Archive for August 2011

I'm a Thriftaholic image courtesy of Meet Virginia Design

I was reading the latest post from Alina at My Yellow Umbrella and saw this link entitled “I’m a Thriftaholic“. Wow, now that caught my attention!

I wouldn’t consider myself as loyal a “thrifty shopper” as my friend Kristen who buys & sells on Craig’s List and always knows the local thrift store sales (I wasn’t even aware that thrift stores have sales!)  Kristen faithfully goes to garage sales on Fri/Sat mornings (I think I’ve been to less than five Garage Sales ever, and it was with K!)  But I DO love to find a good bargain on Ebay, at a consignment store, thrift store, or church sale.

I’ve clothed my kids in Euro and boutique clothing which I’ve randomly found while looking for toys or DVDs.  I’m picky about smoke or animal smells, which is why I only like to pick up things which can be Clorox-ed or washed in hot water.   I’ve found some nice maternity clothing, business suits and blue jeans while thrift shopping.

So Morgan and her friend Ana over at the Meet Virginia and Sweet Serendipity blogs have come up with a way to unite the like-minded.  Brilliant–I’m in!

While looking for a fall calendar, I came across this collection of checklists on the Moms Who Think blog.

Checklist photo courtesy of Moms Who Think

What a great way to get organized for back-to-school!

Among the long list of checklists are Grocery Shopping, Budget Worksheet, House Cleaning, Vacation, Babysitter, and First Aid Supplies.

And while there, I also found these fantastic lists of Adjectives and Words that Rhyme!  To me, that is like finding buried treasure!

If a person who loves cooking and eating is called a “Foodie“, is a person who loves words called a “Wordie“?! (And I don’t mean verbose!)

Check out Angela’s blog “Anything but Perfect” and see all of her generous and adorable FREE printables! I was looking for a September calendar this morning and came across her blog.

She also has an etsy store, with an editable personalized version of her School Notes!

Thank you Angela!

Free Printable September 2011 Calendar.

I just made this delicious summer salad, first posted by Elizabeth Rider at Whole Living Blog and reposted by Alina at My Yellow Umbrella.  Thanks ladies!


Black Bean & Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the dressing:

•1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
•2 tbsp Agave Nectar (or Honey, but I prefer Agave as it’s low-glycemic)
•1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
•1 Tsp Cumin
•1 Clove Pressed Garlic
Ingredients for the Salad:

•3/4 Cup Dry Quinoa
•1 Can Whole Black Beans
•1 Red Bell Pepper
•1 Handful Cilantro
•1 Bunch Green Onion (about 7-9 onions)


1.Combine all dressing ingredients in bowl and set aside to allow the garlic to diffuse.
2.Cook quinoa according to package instructions.  (With whole grains in general, double the amount of water for the amount of grains you are cooking, combine water and grains in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until the water is cooked into the grains.  In this case, 1.5 cups of water and 3/4 cup quinoa should take about 15-20 minutes to cook. Careful to not let it burn!)
3.While the quinoa is cooking, chop the red bell pepper and green onion into small pieces.
4.Drain and rinse the black beans.  Make sure to give them a good run under the water and drain out completely.
5.Give the cilantro a medium chop.
6.Combine all ingredients and dressing and fold together. Salt and black pepper to taste. (Can be served warm or chilled, and keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.)


I substituted a mixture of white, red & black quinoa and used honey because that’s all I had on hand.   I also only had 1/2 of a red pepper, but it still tasted excellent.

I stopped at a wonderful country farm-stand yesterday and purchased these striking vegetables!

Phenomenal variegated tomatoes!

A gigantic yellow one!

There were also several golf ball sized perfectly round, red, juicy tomatoes, and two or three large slicing tomatoes.

The baby ugly tomatoes were eaten like cherries on our way home so they are not in this photo.   I’m not sure of their variety but after doing a quick online search I think they might have been Costoluto Genovese.  Aren’t they cool?

Today for lunch I had a fresh salad made with several of the small variegated tomatoes and a spring mix of baby lettuces, greens and radicchio. I devoured it with the Lemon Caesar dressing that our family loves.


I also picked up purple basil and the most lovely variegated baby eggplant!

I’d love to find a “summer version” of egglant parmesan.  I like my own recipe but I usually make it in the wintertime because it’s hearty and filling.  I’m going to be looking for a lighter version to make with these fresh vegetables.  This is truly farm to table!

A hearty breakfast which is delicious and healthy is Greek yogurt with unsweetened Muesli

Today I’m eating CHOBANI brand yogurt, which is all natural and made in NY state! 

I put about 1/4 cup of Old Country Style Muesli (raw grains, fruit & nuts) on the fruit yogurt.  It’s chewy and satisfying. 



Great recipe to bring to a party!

Taco Mound    

Layer on a serving platter or quiche dish, in this order:

Mix together and spread on top:

  • 1 16-oz. container sour cream
  • 1 1-oz. package taco seasoning

Add fresh pico de gallo salsa made with:

  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet or Vidalia onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (taste it and perhaps you’ll use both halves)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (a handful)
  • olive oil (splash)
  • salt & pepper
  • Tabasco pepper sauce (a few shakes) or part of a fresh jalapeño pepper, minced

Top with:

  • 1 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican Style Finely Shredded Cheese (a blend of Cheddar, Monterey Jack & other cheeses)

Serve with tortilla corn chips. (We like TOSTITOS®  Scoops or Hint of Lime.)

This is so delicious and people always ask for the recipe!

 Thanks Sarah!

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