Cali girl turned Hoosier; educator, researcher, married mother of two and "empty nest" blogger. I enjoy singing, travelling, photography, decorating, adventure, learning about different cultures, hearing peoples' life stories and helping others the best I can.
Once again, I had items in my fridge that needed to be used up. And recently we gathered a bunch of fresh veggies and herbs from our kids’ garden as they are away for two months living in Southern California. 🏖
My son is on a job rotation, left Indiana with his family, and can you believe he’s only minutes from where I grew up? I hadn’t been back since 1992 when he was born. It’s kind of surreal thinking my two grandkids are now placing their little feet on some of the same beaches that I did as a kid. Life has a way of coming full circle doesn’t it?
Anyhow, I used some of those fresh, garden goodies and decided to make another pasta dish. It’s not my usual recipe but it turned out so well, according to the hubs, my main critic, that I decided to share it. It really can be tweaked to your liking. These are mere suggestions. 🤗
But it’s quick, it’s easy and oh so YUMMY!😋🍲
Note: Ground beef, red chili flakes & garlic not pictured
Brown your meat with all veggies and seasonings. (We used beef this time but usually use chicken.)
Lastly, add in fresh tomatoes after all other veggies soften and cook tomatoes briefly. (You can also use canned tomatoes of course. 🍅)
Boil your pasta and add it (along with remaining water) to the ground beef mixture. Stirring in 1 can of red enchilada sauce.
Add 1 block of cubed cream cheese, cover till melted, and blend all together adding in any extra seasonings. I did add some red chili flakes here as well as some extra spices.
Then simmer till all the ingredients heat through
You can garnish with anything. 🥑 We loved cilantro, avocado, cheese and a fresh squeeze of lime.
*We felt adding the lime was key! It added just the right notes 😁👌🏼
Even though it’s been so incredibly hot this month, this recipe caught my eye. I decided this chowder recipe looked good enough to try even though I’d been sweating bullets lately.
I usually only make soups in the fall and winter. However, my daughter came up from GA with her 4 month old to stay a month. Having been on prednisone for 3 weeks (for my 3 ongoing, herniated discs) well, as usual, it made me SO hyper, able to stand long hours again and cook to my heart’s content. 😜 I really miss doing things pain free and cooking being one of them. Getting old can really stink!
In Indiana, the fresh corn 🌽 is becoming abundant and it just sounded so yummy to add some right off the cob to complete this recipe.
I actually tweaked a recipe from Natashaskitchen.com this time and let me tell you the family absolutely loved it! My husband said it’s one of his new favorites now. Mine too!🤗
Just when I said I wasn’t going to eat more sweets, I found a Facebook page of two, older ladies that bake all kinds of yummy food. Their page is Pinky Ma’s Cakes, Cookies and Candies. They are the cutest sisters that remind me so much of my late grandmother on my mother’s side.
They talk about their life and even share an unbelievable story about their childhood. I don’t want to share what went on so you’ll be sure to check them out for yourselves and hear just what happened, but their love for each other and service to others is so evident. They’re fun to watch.
Anyhow, they showed these dumplings the other day and I tried to make both the peach and apple. I even made my own concoction of strawberries and blueberries. Oh my gosh, were they delicious and so easy to make. My husband loved them and so much so we’re packing the leftovers in our suitcase to take on out flight ha.
We’re taking one last trip before we fear all will be shut down again this winter, and we’ve finally reached a point where we can try and get away. (We also had airline miles to use before January.)
Out last trip was out west to Yellowstone and the Tetons last year around this time. Yet, like many of you we’ve had a tragic year, and I’m not quite ready to write about it all yet, but let’s just say “when it rains it pours.” And probably why I’ve been eating more sweets this year than my entire life!😜 So, we hope to rest our hearts and minds if at all possible.
Recipe is on the sisters’ Facebook page mentioned above.
Have you ever used prepackaged Naan bread? What about for individualized pizzas?
I just bought some Naan at ALDI (as well as my other ingredients) and began experimenting and these mini pizzas turned out great! And they are quick and easy to make. Plus it’s fun individualizing them. 🍕
I was thinking I can’t wait for my grandkids to grow up then they can come over to make their own lil pizzas. (Wait, I don’t want them to grow up!) 🤗
You really can use any ingredients you want, but here’s the ingredients I used:
Italian seasonings ( all types)
Chopped sweet peppers
I baked them after they were all assembled for only 15 minutes at 350 degrees but every oven is different, so be sure to watch them; you don’t want them too brown. And then, I broiled them at the last minute to melt everything and make it all brown and toasty on top! Yum!😋 Oh, And I’ve been hearing about people ordering this hot honey from Amazon to put on top of their pizza, but I actually found some at Aldi. I have to say it is delicious on top of pizza.
They were hubby approved, and we’ve now made them more than once. 👌🏼
Tell me if you try making them.
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When I’m wanting to rest my mind, I experiment with recipes. 👩🏻🍳
Well, I’ve been laying around the house for three weeks after surgery hardly able to move. So today, I can finally get up and move more freely able to do a little more, and use my arms. I’ve been so stir crazy I felt I should cook. I mean really cook. I mean like cook all day into the night cook. (Presently, I have a bowl of potato salad in the fridge that could feed an army.) We’re empty-nesters, there’s only two of us. Yep, I made enough food for an army today ha!
We usually shop at ALDI, so I tried to use up items we already had on hand.
One item we have really enjoyed are these packages of pork carnitas from ALDI. You just place them in the microwave, so they’re so easy to use. I usually shred the meat after I heat it.
I mean this was a really yummy meal with great flavor.
We recently took a quick trip down to Georgia to be with family at Thanksgiving. It was kind of last minute. We wanted to get away and then realized we hadn’t been with both of our kids, for this particular holiday, in seven years! So off we went.
The minute we arrived we realized our daughter was very ill. 🤧Honestly, had we known sooner, we probably would not have even travelled down there. She had been to the doctor but like I had guessed, probably was a virus and meds wouldn’t help. So I tried my hardest to help her get some kind of rest, but we were up each night till around 4 AM as her hacking cough just would not quit. (Poor thing, I know how that is…a nagging cough can just drive you completely mad!) She’s still my baby, so me trying to sleep in the next room and hearing her hack away …just not possible. I couldn’t handle it, and kept trying everything I could think of to ease her misery. Nothing worked. 😞 I looked like the walking dead. 🧟♀️
Which reminded me of a particular story when she was little, and I had a horrible asthmatic bronchitis with a cough that drug on for over a month. Absolutely nothing would help me sleep. NOTHING! I had even pulled muscles near my ribs from hacking so much. I remember one, long night finally thinking I’m just going to run out in that snow and no one will even find me! 🤪It just drives you crazy, doesn’t it?
And of course driving down to Atlanta the same old scenario, we hit lots of traffic, came to complete dead stops, and again accidents were witnessed. We literally see an accident every single time we drive through there; sometimes I think we’re going to be in one ourselves as people just race by us going 100 miles an hour!
But It was all worth it getting to see little grandbaby Chloe. Oh my, she is so doggone cute! “They’re” all so right when they say a grandbaby is like nothing else! 🤗
We went to a Christmas light show in a park one night and the baby was mesmerized by all the action and bright lights. I’m sure next year it’ll be an even greater level of excitement for her.
I brought matching hats for her and her mom to wear. They both looked so cute! The baby just turned 5 months.
We also had Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s mom and brother now that they have moved down there. She is 81. And his sister, and cousins came over with their younger kids and there was a sort of a “kissin’ cousin” play date going on. 😁
Chloe wasn’t quite sure what to think!
My hubs also would turn 56 on our drive home, so while we were there the kids surprised him with a cookie cake.
It was fairly warm, so after dinner we walked downtown Newnan, Georgia and saw more lights. They have a quaint downtown square much like we do here in our town.
We left a day earlier and it’s good we did because as soon as we got home, my poor husband got deathly sick and has been sick ever since. Hes just laid around hacking and tried to work later but ended up having to take off some time. Now he’s counting down the day to retirement come spring. (Too bad it hadn’t been sooner.)
But Yay! 🤗
I recently talked him into letting me re-paint my daughter’s room that has been bright aqua for over a decade! We had an ordeal with the paint store and finding the right paint initially, but now I’m loving how it tuned out. I was actually thinking of more of a BoHo style and painted the walls white. He wasn’t sure about all white walls, but I assured him decorators everywhere were doing it and it’d be fine. Guess what, we BOTH really love it!
But you would not believe how many different shades of WHITE there are! I have a second decorating Instagram account @morgie_and_me where I share decorating ideas AND get ideas, so I am already enjoying this new decorating and photography space.
I couldn’t wait to decorate it for Christmas. I don’t think I’ve ever fully decorated an entire bedroom for Christmas.
And to be real honest, I believe all the decorating helps my mind find rest as I’m forced to think of other things. I’m just not dealing well with what has happened to my mother among other bad news I received this year. It all really affects me. I just can’t turn it off. I think about the suffering my mom is going through, along with missing out on so much life and it just really gets to me! And for my own mental health, I think I decorate to try and force myself to escape because I literally think about her 24/7.
I guess decorating is less damaging than drinking or drugs so that’s how I try to give my mind a break.
But after 20 years in this particular house, I’m now itching to change everything. We’re still not sure what we’re doing in retirement. We actually had our house sold this past summer (we were selling it ourselves) then, at the last minute, we changed our minds and backed out. A long story maybe to share later!
Meanwhile, I’ve been decorating like a crazy woman for Christmas and with this new room, the kids soon to arrive, taking care of the hubs while also trying not to catch any germs from the hubs, it’s kept me pretty busy. And in full hasmat attire. Ha.
My husband actually went to urgent care last night. Poor guy, he is really sick this time. I don’t think I have ever seen him this sick in 32 years of marriage!
Have any of you caught this horrible bug? I’ve been using hand sanitizer and walking around the house grabbing things with my shirt sleeve instead of my hands. 😷
PS Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I was going to share some of my Thanksgiving decor initially, but didn’t get around to it as we headed out the door so quickly.
This recipe is the most delicious recipe for cornbread I have ever found. The addition of creamed corn just makes this cornbread moist and much like a dessert to be quite honest. 👌🏼 This cornbread recipe is fast, it’s easy… it won’t get stuck in your throat! 😉 Does that ever happen to you?
Anyhow, I believe you and your whole family will love it! (Not sponsored in anyway. I just love it. It’s my go to recipe.)