Rye Grilled Cheese

The first thing I remember making on my own was a grilled cheese sandwich. It was fairly simple: white bread, American cheese, and butter so it didn’t burn the bread. And with it getting a bit chilly out, grilled cheese seems like the best bet. I’d add tomato soup, but I was a bit lazy when I made this.

All you really need.. and some butter.

I had a craving for rye bread, I’m not really sure why. Usually I’m one to buy a loaf of French bread, but the grains were calling. Diced up some onion and grabbed a few slices of a Roma tomato. Also might have switched out my regular American cheese for cheddar. Butter the sides of the bread that will hit the pan, put it all together, grill it up, and you’ve got a nice snack. Or lunch.




Mushroom Melody Pizza

I keep hearing these rumors that if I trade meat for veggies, I might be able to cut down my calorie intake. As a believer in most things fairy tale, magical, and imaginary, I’ve been naive enough to believe this.

I’ve also been informed that Halloween is in less than a month. Guess I should be working on that as well… so this is what I came up with as a meat-free meal.

This came out so good!

I never eat mushrooms, but for some reason, after my almost two hour workout this is what I wanted to eat.

Collect the following:
Multi-grain pizza dough
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese
Fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup mushrooms
half a green pepper
Diced Roma tomato
1/4 onion, sliced into rings
fresh garlic

Preheat oven to 350. Cook onions and garlic in olive oil on low until onions are see-through. Spread out the dough on the sheet, I like to put some flour down on the bottom so it doesn’t stick to the cookie sheet. Pour some of the oil from the onions and garlic on top of the dough and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until partially cooked through.

I could probably work on making the pizza more round or square. This is a new shape.

Look at those yummy veggies!

Add green peppers to the onions and cook through. When they’re almost done, thrown in the mushrooms and cook until tender. I tossed a dash of oregano and parsley on top of the dough, grated some fresh Parmesan, the cooked veggies (and some fresh Roma tomatoes), top that all with the mozzarella.

Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted through and dough gets a little crunchier.


Easy Baked Onion Rings

Go healthy. That’s what I’ve been telling myself lately. At least until Halloween anyway. After Halloween I can start packing on sweaters and long pants, right?

These were fabulous. And so much healthier than dumping them in a vat of oil

4C Italian bread crumbs
Egg whites
Onion, I use Vidalia cause they’re sweet
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper

Preheat that oven to 400. On one plate, put some flour, in a bowl set aside the egg whites, and on another plate put the bread crumbs. I put garlic powder and cayenne pepper in the crumbs to give it more kick. You can put it to your liking, but I like to be able to see the cayenne, give it heat.

Flour the sliced onion rings, dip into egg whites, then bread in the crumbs. Place on a cookie sheet, I put some parchment paper down so I wouldn’t have to scrub the cookie sheet.

Pre-oven cooking.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crispy. These were so good! and super easy.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites

So I was offered up the proposal to either go to the gym and work out, or stay at home, drink wine, and make dessert. Take one guess what I opted to do.

It tastes way better than it looks, I promise.

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup  chocolate chips
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened (I used one regular and one reduced fat package)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325. (At this point, we opened a bottle of wine, best decision of the night). However, you should probably combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Put 1/2 cup of the mixture on the side, press the rest into the bottom of the baking pan. I used a 9 x 13 inch pan (the beauty that I use to make my awesome lasagna.)

Making the crumby base.

Then we proceeded to mix in another bowl the following: softened cream cheese, rest of the sugar, flour, and vanilla extract.  Add eggs one at a time, mix until smooth. We didn’t have an electric mixer, so it took a while. But the workout is worth it. Beat in the peanut butter and fold in the chocolate chips. Pour in baking dish, crumble the rest of the graham cracker mix on the top of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until set. Let cool, then refrigerate. Believe me, it was delicious. And let it cool, because we didn’t at first (because we were so eager to eat it), that it wasn’t as good as it was cool.


Yum, yum!

I sprinkled a bit of sugar on top of the bars after I cut them. Gave them a bit of an extra bite.

Burlap Halloween Banner

Happy Halloween, everyone!

I know. I know. It’s early. It’s still September. But if you don’t start now, then you’ll never have everything ready for Halloween. I’ve started so many projects, I think I’m moving into the craft store soon. I think the staff at Joann Fabric is starting to know me by sight. The moment they start saying my name when I walk in the door, I know I’m in trouble. Anyway, so I decided I wanted to make a banner for Halloween with burlap.

Acrylic paint – black and orange
Paint brush
Cotton String
Hot glue gun

Cut triangles of the burlap. I used a pattern I cut out of a piece of paper and kept using it to trace my shape.

Pieces at the ready.

Then I painted a letter on each with black paint. Used a Q-tip to make polka dots on the banner to add some orange.

I went back and redid the letters. They were messy, you’ll see in the next pictures.

Then I took the triangles (dried, of course), and hot glued them to the string.

Careful, the glue is hot!

And when it dried… it was sooo pretty!

Love it!


How to mess up painting a wooden bowl… and then fix it

It didn’t start off this cute. Believe me, it was a feat.

So, a while back I scavenged around a  local antique shop in search of wooden items to paint. I found these wooden bowls and got them for $8 (all together, not each).

What a steal

But what I really wanted to do was paint these bowls. Was hoping to do some kind of pattern on the bowls, so I painted one all white first and let it dry. Then I put these stickers on them that was hoping would have the same effect as the LOVE painting I did. So I dabbed blue paint over the bowl.

Looks so innocent and perfect, right?

I let all that paint dry, pulled off the stickers, and…

What the heck? Are you kidding me??

The nerve of that paint! Messing up my wooden bowl. Argggg. (That’s like a cross between a pirate scowl and the sound I’d make if I ever jumped out of a plane – terrifying.) So I decided instead of getting mad, I painted it over. Through my frustration I decided to let that fully dry and put two pieces of tape on it, making a triangle. Then painted the inside white.

Maybe this will make it better…..

I let that dry, this time being way more patient… and Voila!

Added a layer of my Martha Stewart satin finish and it was all set.

See, not everything that is ruined can’t be fixed. Maybe that says something… hmmm.


Yummy Black Bean Tacos

I totally forgot how amazing the Bernie Mac Show was. Let me back up. A friend came to visit me last weekend and we got to talking about all the shows we used to watch as kids. Shows like Dinosaurs (Go Jim Henson), anything SNICK, Rocko’s Modern Life, and somehow I started singing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Seems there are a lot of shows that I miss watching. SO, in all the nostalgia, we realized we could search Netflix . . . and guess what we found… Bernie Mac! Okay, believe me, it’s funny. Good wholesome family entertainment. The other night I started watching where we left off and I can’t stop watching. I will be seriously sad when I finish the series, I can already tell. Luckily, I’ve learned that Dinosaurs is on Netflix as well.

Anyway, this post was not supposed to be about TV, it was about my taco dinner I made.

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Roma tomato, diced
1/2 a green pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
Shredded cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas
Olive oil

Heat up a skillet with some olive oil. Add onions and pepper, cook through. Add the black beans and spices. Cook until heated through (although, I let it go beyond that and the beans got a little soft).

Getting tasty

Heated the tortillas in the microwave for 20 seconds, added a bit of cheese, diced tomatoes, and some of the beans. The result? A delicious, healthy meal that I loved!! And to think I almost always have chicken or beef tacos. Meat free can be good. Who would have thought?