Just some notes to friends

Sprouts! Grow your own on your kitchen counter

This is the finished “crop” after just 5 days!  I started the second jar after the 3rd day so I could keep them in stock in the refrigerator.  So far we have had them on a Wedge Salad (added amazing flavor), Ground Sirloin Burgers (will never eat one without the sprouts again) and a Turkey and Cheese Spinach Wrap (YUM!)

You only need a few supplies like these to grow your Sprouts:

The gorgeous Jar, I found at TJ Max Home goods Store for $3.99.  I bought two!  Then I went on an internet mission and of course landed on  The Sprout Screen (which I recommend) is the best.  It was $3.50.   I also purchased the green sprout cap (plastic) and did not like it.  So now I have ordered 3 more of the Stainless Sprout Screen.  The Spouting seeds are a Salad Blend for $14.50 the seed blend contains Alfalfa, Radish, Broccoli and Clover.  I love it!  You can taste the radish and it really spices up the salad or anything you use it with.

Sprouts Growing

Start with 2 Tablespoons of seeds, add to jar, secure screen in lid and rinse several times with water.  Fill jar 1/2 way with water and set on counter overnight.   Drain water off and rinse 3 times and drain all water out.  Lay jar on its side at an angle as in the above picture on the counter.  My jar is sitting in a salad bowl.  I live in Arizona so my kitchen is full off sunlight, so make sure you do have some natural light near.  Rinse 2-3 times a day filling and shaking the container to make sure they are well rinsed then place back on its side to drain and grow!  By the 4th or 5th day, your jar should be packed!

Ready to eat!

The Sprouts are ready to harvest!  Just grab a big mixing bowl and pull all of the sprouts from the jar and fill the bowl with fresh water.  Swish them around a bit and the hulls will float to the top.  I used both a small strainer and a big spoon the skim them off.  You may need to do this twice (I did).  The drain well and repack your jar and secure with a solid lid (the ones they come with 🙂  And you are ready to eat them!!  Here is a Turkey Spinach Wrap  I made for lunch featuring the sprouts! The wedge salad last night was terrific as well just added the sprouts on top of the dressing before the salad was served.  It got rave reviews from the home front.  You can add sprouts to just about anything including soups and on top of pasta salad (I am doing this next).  Get creative!!


June 17, 2012 Posted by | Egg Free, Garden, Lunch, Main Dish, recipes, Salad, Sandwiches & Wraps, Vegetables, Vegetarian | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bagels

We have added a few new favorite flavors to our morning bagels.  After my last visit to the local bagel shop, I spotted a few I just knew we would love and I could make them with our own array of peppers growing in the backyard.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bagel

This is the finished product!  In the back are the Everything Bagels with Parmesan Cheese (my personal favorite), which are another new addition in the favorite category.  We have been growing our own peppers for a couple of years now and we used the Cajan Bell Peppers fro these.  They are miniature Green Bell peppers which pack a huge punch.  The may be a little hotter than the Jalapeno so I decided to use them both.  They turned out awesome!!  Check out pictures of the Pepper Plant, this plant is 2 years old and we picked 8  nice size peppers yesterday.






Cajon Bell Pepper


Just start with this simple Bread Machine Bagel Recipe from All  I featured it here Bread Machine Bagels.

  • 1 Cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

  • 2 Tablespoons granulated Sugar

  • 3 Cups Flour

  • 2 1/4 Active Dry Yeast or 1 packet

Turn on your Bread cycle and let the machine do all the work!  After the cycle ends, pull out the dough and shape into a ball.  I Let it rise for about 40 minutes.  Cut dough into six equal pieces and knead into a smooth ball.  Push your thumb through the center and start stretching the center until you have a good size  round rope going.  Place all six on floured board to rise another 30-40 minutes.

Bread Machine with 15 minutes left on the Dough Cycle The dough is ready to come outDSC_0240

Boil a large  pot of water and add 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar.   Preheat oven to 500, yes 500 degree’s.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (for the easy cleanup) sprinkle cornmeal o it so the bagels will not stick and get your toppings ready as well.  Drop 2 bagels at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds then flip and continue to boil for an additional 30 seconds.  Remove from water and place on folded dishcloth to drain.  Repeat with the other 4 bagels in 2 more steps.  Once the bagels have drained, place on the baking sheet.

DSC_0243Brushing with milk before topping

I use milk to brush on the tops as mine are Egg Free.  No need for all that mess either.  Then get creative!

Topped and ready for the oven Gotta have a Sesame Bagel in the Bunch

Bake at 500 for 5 minutes then turn baking sheet 180 degree’s and put back in oven and reduce temp to 450 degree’s. Continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.  Then they are ready to come out!

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese BagelDSC_0265DSC_0267Sesame Bagel

There you have it!  I made 3 Jalapeno/Cheddar and 2 Everything Bagels with Parmesan Cheese and 1 Sesame Seed, well just because they are so good just like that.  Let them cool and store in a bag in the fridge since they have dairy on them (I am a freak about that stuff).  We bought a bagel slicer, fondly known around here as the “Guillotine”  at Bed Bath and Beyond.  It is handy and no one gets cut!


May 7, 2012 Posted by | Breakfast, Cheese, Egg Free, Lunch, Mexican, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps, Vegetables | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Broiled Beefsteak Herbed Tomato’s

OH MY was this good!!!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Broiled Tomato's

I decided to combine a few different recipe idea’s and come up with a new Sandwich which turned out to be a HUGE hit!  I started surfing one of my favorite food blogs, The Noble Pig, and found this recipe   I have been craving anything Caprese lately since the Reluctant Entertainer featured on her Friday Roundup, on July 29th, the Caprese several different ways.  One of the recipe’s was my Caprese Wrap!!

SO here is the new sandwich after I added the Balsamic and before the cut.

Grilled Caprese

I started with 2 Beefsteak Tomato’s cut into thick slices (3 each tomato), sprayed a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet, seasoned the slices with salt, pepper and a little oregano.  Then chopped a small amount of fresh mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Popped them under the broiler for 3 minutes.  Here they are sliced and seasoned

Sliced and Seasoned

For the each Sandwich:
Deli sliced bread of your choice
3 thin slices of Prosciutto
3 thin slices of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1 thin slice of Havarti Cheese

Heat non stick skillet to medium high,  place the Mozzarella on one slice of bread and the Havarti on the other with the Prosciutto in the middle.  Grill until cheese starts to melt and bread is lightly grilled.  Then add:

3 Broiled Tomato’s from above
6 fresh Basil Leaves
Place back in the hot Skillet for a minute or 2 on each side to melt  together.
Then plate the sandwich and open it up and lightly sprinkle with Balsamic Vinegar to your liking.  Cut in half and enjoy!!

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Cheese, Italian, Lunch, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chicken Salad Wrap with Creamy Italian Dressing & Havarti Cheese

This is a go-to quick and easy lunch I make often.  When I bake Chicken Breasts in my Dijon, Honey, Worcestershire Sauce and White Wine Vinegar Marinade, I ALWAYS throw a few extra in for wraps.

Chicken Salad Wrap

I used about 1/3 of a Baked Chicken Breast, Chopped for this Wrap.

Recipe for Chicken Salad Wrap with Creamy Italian Dressing and Havarti Cheese

1 Spinach Wrap Tortilla (I used Mission)
1/3 Cup chopped cooked chicken breast
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese
2 Green Onions, diced
Lettuce chopped, I used Iceberg you can use any on hand.  I used about 1 cup
2 Slices of Havarti Cheese from the Deli
2 Tbsp Marie’s Creamy Italian Dressing
Start out by laying down a sheet of wax paper and place the Spinach Wrap in top, this will make it so much easier to roll and keep those yummy ingredients inside.  First spread some cream cheese on the tortilla, then add the green onions, cheese, lettuce and chicken.  Top with the dressing, I used a small spatula.   Assemble as shown in the above pictures and roll it up!  I then cut it in half on a diagonal.  Then enjoy!

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Cheese, Chicken, Lunch, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ham, Salami and Three Cheese Wrap

Ham and Salami Wrap

There is nothing like a fresh tortilla wrap!  You know the kind, the tortilla is so fresh and soft and all the ingredients just come together.   Well this is one of them.  I started with a new package of Spinach Tortilla’s from Mission.  Spread some whipped cream cheese and lightly sprinkle some Italian Herbs over it.   Then dice a little green or red pepper and 1 medium or 2 small Roma Tomato’s.

The first steps

Now for the layering part.  Add a few leaves of leaf lettuce, 2 slices of Havarti and 2 slices of American cheese over that.  Place thin sliced Salami and roughly chopped slices of Deli Ham over the top.

Now you are ready for the finish!   On top of the Ham I used some Marie’s Creamy Italian Parmesan in the Vegetable section, which is my new favorite and it really seemed to work here.  Check this out!

Ready for our wrap

And then roll up tight in wax paper, this holds it together in case you have it really stuffed.  The slice it in half and share with someone special!  I did and he loved it.  I asked what he liked best and he said “it was so soft and fresh!”  Just what I wanted to hear.  He is not usually a cream cheese fan and did not even know it was there other than to say it was Delicious!!!

May 23, 2011 Posted by | recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bagels made with the Bread Machine

Perfect for Sunday Morning!!  Fresh Bagels!!

I discovered that my bread machine was in the cabinet in our huge pantry, and had forgotten about it for years.  Well we have been cranking out the fresh rolls, potato bread and of course Bagels!  I found a recipe on the web  Here is our bounty this morning!

Cooling on the rack

Poppy Seed

Sesame Seed

Garlic and Onion Bagel

Garlic and Onion Bagel

Now you might say “where are the holes?”  Well, they were there and as they where raising, they kind of closed up.  We did not mind.  I made 6, two of each.  We baked them only 20 minutes on parchment paper which is my favorite way to bake anything.  YUM!  We both made a sandwich for lunch with them.  My next post will show that beauty!

Now, if you have these gadgets just hanging out in the back of the cabinets, PULL THEM OUT!

I just use the “Dough” setting as I love the smell and I think the machines kind of over bake things.  Made Parker House rolls for dinner last weekend to serve with Swedish Meatballs over Pasta.  Turned out great!  We had company so there was no pulling out the Nikon for those shots, next time.

Just follow the recipe link and they will turn out perfect!!  I made just 6 as the recipe says they will make 9.  They would be very tiny.  Sprinkle with any toppings that suit you and bake them at 375 for about 20 minutes.  You will be very glad you did!

May 15, 2011 Posted by | Bread, Breakfast, Fun with Friends, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , | 1 Comment

Italian Caprese Wrap with Fresh Basil, Tomato and Prociutto

This Wrap is so easy to prepare and it fulfilled my craving for a Fresh Caprese Salad and and Sandwich at the same time!

We have harvested some of our Roma Tomato’s from the plant that is producing like crazy.  Some people do not believe that you can grow Tomato’s in containers, but honestly here in Arizona where is is hotter than normal it is nice to move them around  for the best mix of sun and shade.  The one plant has produced at least 25 Roma’s since we we brought it home 1 month ago from..Costco!  Yes, Costco had big plants and this one came home with us.

Sliced and chopped ready to go

The Basil plants (3 of them) are also going crazy.  I have them in the shade and use the fresh leaves every other day it seems.  As I was assembling the Wrap, I decided to roll the leaves together and slice into thin strips, worked out perfect!

Layered and drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil for a wonderful Finish

 The flour tortilla was warmed on a non-stick skillet for about 2 to 3 minutes per side over medium heat, then layered the filling in this order:  Fresh thinly sliced Mozzarella, Prosciutto, (I used 3 slices), Chopped Roma Tomato’s (3), then about 6 Basil leaves rolled and thinly sliced.  Drizzle some Balsamic Vinegar and I misted some olive oil over the top.  Fold like Burrito and cut in half.

Just Sliced!

Just Sliced

Now you can share….or like me,  I ate the whole thing!!!

Caprese Wrap

Flour Tortilla
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese 4-5 thin slices
5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
3 Medium sized Roma tomato’s Chopped
3 Slices Prosciutto Ham
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Spray Olive Oil

Now Follow the Pictures!!!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Italian, recipes, Salad, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Bean and Vegetable Burrito

An easy vegetable burrito with everything from the garden and pantry!

Ready to Roll!

Here are the rough chopped vegetables sauteing in some olive oil spray.  Just veggies and 1/2 plus (to taste) Taco seasoning, 1/2 can drained Black Beans, then added 1/2 cup Salsa Verde Enchilada Sauce.  Saute for about 5 minutes to blend.  Then set aside.

The filling blended together

I ran out to my new little container garden for the Cilantro and could not resit taking a few photo’s of the plants!  Soon everything will be ready for fresh Pico right out of the garden!  I can’t wait!

My Container Garden

Next I assembled to Burrito.  I like the cheese a little melted because it seems to hold everything together better.  I heated the Tortilla in the non-stick skillet, added the cheddar cheese and heated about medium for about 3 minutes.  Spoon in the black bean filling, top with some fresh Cilantro.  That is it!!  I did add some fresh salsa from our favorite Mexican Restaurant, Raul and Theresa’s. The place is awesome!!  We go there every Wednesday for the special, all you can eat shredded beef taco’s and cheese enchilada’s.  The big guy gets 3 and 3 every time.

Filling the Burrito

 That is it!  it was so easy!

Black Bean & Vegetable Burrito

1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
1/4 Cup Chopped Yellow Squash
1/4 Cup Chopped Zucchini
1/4 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1/2+ teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 Can Black Beans, Drained
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Salsa Verde Enchilada Sauce
10 Inch Flour Tortilla’s
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
Fresh Cilantro

Then Follow the pictures!


April 30, 2011 Posted by | Egg Free, Mexican, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps, Vegetables | , , , , | Leave a comment

Grilled Caprese Sandwich on Sourdough

Here it is :Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Havarti, Sliced Tomato, and Fresh Basil!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich

I have been craving a Caprese Salad for days, that wonderful flavor of fresh Basil, Mozzeralla and Vine Ripened Tomato.  But then waited to long for lunch so thought I would make it a little more hearty.  And here is what became of that craving.

Caprese Sandwich up close!

If you are wondering where that extra sprig of Basil went after the pictures?  Right into the sandwich of course.

Grilled Caprese Sandwich on Sourdough

2 Slices Sourdough Bread
2 slices thin sliced Prosciutto
6 big Basil Leaves
1-2 Thinly slices of  Havarti Cheese
Thinly Sliced Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Thinly sliced Vine ripened Tomato

Heat non stick skillet to medium low, and mist or rub Olive Oil on 1 side of each bread slice.  Place first slice oils side down and top with the Havarti slices, Prosciutto, and then Mozzarella cheese.  Cover with 2nd slice.  I covered the Sandwich while grilling with a piece of foil to keep the heat in to melt the cheese without over cooking the bread.

Slice the Tomato and then place the slices on a couple of pieces of paper towel to drain, this help keep the sandwich from becoming soggy.  When the cheeses are melted add the Tomato slices and Fresh Basil leaves!  That is it.  I thought about a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar, but tried it without and it was outstanding!  Maybe next time.

By the way, the Havarti added an additional flavor that just enhanced the whole Sandwich.  I am a big fan of using 2 different cheeses even in a basic Grilled Cheese Sandwich.


March 12, 2011 Posted by | Egg Free, Fun with Friends, Italian, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey, Swiss and Bacon Spinach Wrap with Cherry Tomato’s

Turkey Swiss & Bacon Wrap with Cherry Tomato’s

This Wrap is so easy and healthy and did I say good?  For a fast lunch that is filling (I was only able to eat half) and easy to take on the go!  I was craving a Club Wrap and I had saved some bacon from Sunday Morning’s Breakfast just for this occasion.   I love the flavored tortilla’s and grabbed Spinach this time.

Turkey Swiss & Bacon Wrap

1 Spinach Tortilla Wrap
5 slices of very thin Turkey
2 slices of Swiss Cheese
1-2 Table Spoons of Whipped Cream Cheese
Italian Seasoning
1 Tablespoon chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 slice Cooked Bacon/ Chopped
Baby Spinach Leaves
Butter Lettuce Leaves
Sliced Cherry Tomato’s

First thing I do is prepare all ingredients to have ready to assemble.

Ingredients ready to go

I start by laying out my Tortilla, spread the cream cheese and sprinkle some Italian seasoning on top.  Then add the red pepper, spinach and butter lettuce leaves

We are Halfway there!

Then place slices of Swiss Cheese followed by the crumbled bacon, then the sliced Turkey.  Top it off with the slices of Tomato.


February 1, 2011 Posted by | Egg Free, Fun with Friends, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment