Popeye Punch Smoothie Recipe

I like to think I’m a pretty healthy eater. I cut back on processed foods years ago and I try to use fruit as a dessert. I get as much protein as I can and I only drink water (ok there’s wine…and craft beer). I will admit to a pretty strong sweet tooth, but I usually limit that to things that are homemade and I pass over store-bought treats. This is starting to sound less healthy than I intended. We all have our things. You know? Anyway, as health conscious as I try to be, I have a very hard time getting in my greens. Salads don’t fill me up and I’m just not very creative when it comes to cooking green foods.

Last year I found a remedy to my not-so-green existence. I took the 30 day smoothie challenge from www.simplegreensmoothies.com. The challenge was simple. Drink a green smoothie every day for thirty days. Believe it or not, at the end of the month I found that I had created a habit that has stuck with me. A year later I am still drinking the smoothies and love the way they make me feel. People ask me all the time what is in the mason jars I carry around. They simply can’t believe that a green liquid can be that delicious. I’m quick to offer them tips and recipes because I truly believe in the power of the green smoothie. I plan to share lots of smoothie tips and recipes in the future, but I wanted to start you off today with a simple one that packs a protein punch and has no spinach taste whatsoever. I promise.

Tropical Popeye Punch (makes three servings) 


8 oz. Plain or Vanilla Greek yogurt

8 oz. water

2 cups spinach

1 banana

2 kiwis

2 cups pineapple

Mix liquid and greens first and then add other ingredients. If you use plain yogurt you may want to add a little honey for extra sweetness.

I like to pour these into mason jars and store them in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or you can be kind and share with a friend. I typically use Taddler reusable canning lids to store them, but I just happen to be in the grocery store the other day when I spotted Pioneer Woman’s new line of dishes and they had mason jar lids and straws! I swear the woman can see into my soul. I snapped them up and rushed home to make a smoothie, but I have to admit I was pretty disappointed when I realized they only fit 32 oz. mason jars. Not to worry though, I will dig out some wide mouth ones so I can be sure to use them! They are that cute!

If you’re hesitant to try a green smoothie, just go for it. Start here and let me know what you think! If you’re a green smoothie pro, what are some of your favorite smoothie additions?





Is It Fall Yet? Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Fall is in the air! In southern Virginia that means that people are talking about fall, there are Halloween decorations popping up, you pulled out all your cardigans and hoodies, but you’re just looking at them while you sweat because it’s still ninety degrees outside. We got a thunderstorm the other day and it temporarily cooled things down so my three year old and I went a little crazy decorating. She kept yelling, “Look! It’s fall-tastic!” while I set out the acorns and fall leaves and every day since she’s become obsessed with checking the leaves for color change. No such luck, honey. However, it’s coming. I can feel a crisp in the air. We’ll be consuming all things pumpkin while wearing our favorite boots in no time!



During our fake fall fiesta, we decided to do a little baking as well. One of my favorite combinations is pumpkin and chocolate chip. As a matter of fact that was the flavor of my wedding cake. In case you feel the need to taste a little Autumn, I thought I’d share the recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 2 dozen)


4 eggs

2 cups sugar

15 oz pumpkin puree

11/2 cups of applesauce

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking sods

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbs pumpkin pie spice

1 cup of mini chocolate chips


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cups or use liners.

2. Mix eggs, sugar, applesauce and pumpkin puree

3. Combine dry ingredients and then add to wet ingredients and mix well.

4. Pour into muffin cups and back for 15 minutes.

These muffins freeze perfectly. Throw your second dozen in a large Ziplock bag once they cool, then pull them out one at a time and reheat in the microwave. Excellent warm breakfast as you’re rushing to work.


If you let your three year old pour the mix into the muffin cups, you will end up with some awkwardly large muffins and some that are bite size. Be prepared.



Wasting a Sunday with my Local Lizards

There are times when I want so badly just to be alone it makes me want to scream. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not about to go all Christopher McCandless Into the Wild on you. I love all the people around me, especially my husband, and I value all the time we share together. That said, there are times that I would trade a few quiet lonely moments for absolutely any possession I own. You know what I mean? I’ve been feeling that itch for quiet aloneness for a while lately and I knew today would be the day. 

With a preface like that you would think I did some deep soul searching and had a great epiphany or something. Or that I would at least get some laundry done. But I did nothing. Really, nothing. That was kind of the point. Sometimes the pressures of life and general adulthood call for a complete veg out.

I spent the morning reading some new blogs that absolutely cracked me up and made me decide that I’m going to do a better job of writing more often. I don’t care if no one reads it, I write for me and it feels good. It also made me realize that I don’t get enough comments on my blogs. Some of these people have literally TONS of comments. I know you’re out there, I can see it in the stats thingy that tracks blog traffic. So I’m curious why no one has anything to say to me. (Yes, this is a pity tactic to get someone to comment. It will be super pathetic if it doesn’t work.)

About noon I headed outside to lay in the sun and read my new book. I slapped on a bikini top and sprawled out on the deck with my Nook and a smoothie. Now, I don’t want any comments about the dangers of the sun and skin cancer. I’ve heard it all. Look, I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. I have one vice, laying in the sun. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink (more often than most people), I eat healthy, and I exercise. If a couple hours in the sun on a beautiful day is going to be the thing that does me in, I guess that’s a chance I’m going to take. Besides I don’t have that beautiful alabaster skin that makes some women look like living dolls. I just look pale, sick, and ashy when I’m not tan. Seriously.

So about the smoothie. Oh my deliciousness! Here’s what it was all about:

 A large handful of any berries you have (I used strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry)

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder

1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds

2 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt

I put the berries in my Magic Bullet. (This thing is awesome for milkshakes and smoothies)

I mixed them up first so I could fit the rest in the cup.

The I added in the rest of the ingredients and pulsed it in the Magic Bullet.

Yum! The perfect mid-day snack for a little back-deck layin’!

So I was laying there enjoying the romantic trysts of Eric Northman and Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris’s latest masterpiece when I felt eyes on me. In my incredibly secluded backyard (where I lay in a bikini top that I would rather die than be seen in public wearing) I swear I felt something watching me. And then I saw this….

It was just watching me! So I crept a little closer….

And realized he had a friend.

I’m not going to lie to you. I spent the afternoon chasing these things around trying to take pictures of them. I’ve decided they live under the deck. When I typed them into the Google Machine, I decided they are called Eastern Fence Lizards and they eat stinkbugs, which are taking over my house so I’m counting the lizards as allies. Just when I thought I was done chasing them around, this guy showed up.

And then things got really exciting because there were two of them and they were locked in a death match. They locked onto each other’s heads and tumbled down the stairs. I was so freaked out over this that I couldn’t even get my camera on in time. But trust me if Chuck Norris was a lizard, he would be this guy, because he whooped the other one’s ass.

Like I said I accomplished nothing today, and it was wonderful! Sometimes I think we have to step back from the world and watch it go by for a bit. It’s always rush, rush, there’s something bigger and better to be doing. I’m as guilty as the next person of being too caught up in what has to be done and not truly appreciating all the things I already have. Do yourself a favor. Take an afternoon off to just be alone, recharge your batteries, and watch the lizards play. The laundry will wait for you.

My husband came home early from work and surprised me. I was really glad to see him. Really, I was! Actually, I couldn’t wait to tell him about our new allies in the war on stinkbugs. No, seriously, it just takes a little while all alone to help you remember what it is you love about being part of a twosome. So as the thunderstorm clouds roll in I trade my smoothie for a new beverage…

And get reacquainted with an old friend that hasn’t had much attention lately.

And wait for Jon to come in from his small farm duties so we can cuddle up and watch a movie. The perfect end to a completely unproductive  productive day. 



Blueberry Cherry Almond Muffins


I am a domestic goddess. Ok, maybe not, but I’ve been cooking a lot lately and some of it is really good. I have a husband that literally needs about 5,000 calories a day just to maintain the weight that he already is. I know, sometimes I hate him too. He gets up really early and doesn’t have time for breakfast so one of the things I do to help him out is freeze meals for him to eat on his way to work. Bacon, egg, and cheese bagels is one that I make that freezes really well.

All you do is fry up six eggs and cook about six slices of bacon (cut in half). Toast six bagels (I use Arnold’s Whole Wheat because they have 10 grams of protein). Then assemble the sandwiches. 

The trick is in the freezing. Wrap the sandwiches in a paper towel, then wrap again in wax paper. Put the them in individual freezer bags and pop them in the freezer.

When it’s time to eat, take off the bag and wax paper (leave the paper towel on) and heat for 70 seconds in the microwave. It’s that easy! I become #1 Wife and the hubs is fat and happy. I like to use Cinnamon Raisin Bagels for my sandwiches because they taste like healthy versions of a McDonalds McGriddle- which is my kyrptonite.

This week I topped everything I have ever done with my freezer breakfast- Cherry, Blueberry, Almond Muffins!! Oh. My. Goodness. 

You will need:

1 cup blueberries (1/2 cup reserved)

1 cup cherries (pitted and diced)

3 cups minus 2 tbs. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

dash of nutmeg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 capful of vanilla extract

brown sugar

2 tbs. almonds

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg into a bowl. In another bowl mix sugar, vegetable oil, egg, yogurt and vanilla extract. Add the bowls together and mix just until moist. Mix in berries but leave out the 1/2 cup of blueberries for topping. Stir lightly. Spray muffin pan and pour in mixture. Top each muffin with remaining blueberries and almonds, lightly pressing them in a bit. Sprinkle muffins with brown sugar. Bake at 385 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.

Just pull out what you want to eat now…and freeze the rest by laying them flat side by side in a ziplock bag. Do it quickly before you eat them all!  I mean it, I was already down four muffins before I made it to the freezer. Then you can pull them out as you need them. Pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and BAM!

With these muffins, my diabolical plan to fatten my husband up so that I will look skinnier is in full effect. Bwahahahaha! (I say, as I twirl my imaginary handlebar mustache.)

It Was a Good Friday

The last time I disappeared from the blog, it was because I was pregnant and I wasn’t ready to share it with the world.  Guess what? Not pregnant, just busy. Busy raising a child, teaching the children, you know your typical “woman running the world” stuff.  I just haven’t had the energy to write, and to be honest I haven’t had much to share. There’s been a lot of adjusting, learning, and kind of just surviving over the last year. But Reagan is getting ready to turn one and I feel like I’ve settled into a groove and it might be time to start writing again. Besides, it’s spring in Southern Virginia and that means there is much fun to be had!

Today is Good Friday. I’ve been baking. I felt like I needed an Easter tradition that I could share with my little girl.  I decided that Hot Cross Buns could be something we could do together every year on Good Friday so that we could enjoy them Easter weekend.  When I am in need of a fantastic dish that doesn’t skimp on delicious (or on fat) I always turn to Pioneer Woman- Ree Drummond.  Here’s the link to her Hot Cross Buns recipe that I used today.

It’s a bit of a process, but it isn’t hard. The only problem I had was getting the rolls to rise. We live in an insanely drafty house. It’s an old farmhouse with several additions and depending on what room you are in, you may need a Snuggie or full-blown snowsuit. So where to find a warm place for the rolls to rise?

A wise resourceful woman steals her daughter’s space heater and hides the rolls in the guest bathroom.

Now I’m just waiting for the rolls to bake and cool so that I can make the pretty little icing crosses on them. And that is where my mind is lingering, on the thought of the cross and just what that means. 

For me Easter has always been the unofficial start of spring. It’s a time of new birth and new beginning. Even more so last year when my baby girl was born the day after Easter. It’s a time for eggs and pretty dresses and chocolate peanut butter eggs. In my head and in my heart I felt the true meaning of Easter for a long time, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I felt it deep inside of me. What it truly means, Easter.  

I rock my daughter in the quiet of her room. I kiss her little toes. I listen to her giggle and call “Mama” in the dark. And I think about the cost, the sacrifice that God made for me- and for her. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

I think about Jesus as a child. He once had squishy cheeks and baby giggles. He was not only the savior of our world, he was some one’s son. Someone rocked him and listened to him breathe in the dark night. Someone watched him grow into a man, and someone watched him die.

And as my rolls are cooking and I am preparing to celebrate the rebirth of that savior, I hang my head with humble thanks because I know in the depths of my soul what a sacrifice like that really meant. I feel it in my aching heart. And in that I know how much He loves me.

Freezer Meals for the Lazy Lady

I am always on the lookout for ways to make life easier. Life gets hectic sometimes, and let’s be honest mostly I’m just downright lazy and try to find a way to take shortcuts. So since I like to appear as though I am a naturally-gifted domestic goddess, I have to pull a few rabbits out of a hat now and then. One of these so called “rabbits” is freezer meals. 

I had the idea a while back to make a bunch of freezer meals before the baby comes. I worry that once she is here I will feel so overwhelmed that I will have zero desire to cook and my already thin husband will quite literally turn into Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas. I worry about this for his health, and because if he gets skinnier and I still look like I swallowed a trash barge after baby comes, we may have an episode of Snapped on our hands.

So, the freezer meals. I dabble a little here and there, but last weekend I decided to take the full plunge. My trusty sidekick in this cooking endeavor was my friend Allison. You may remember her from past blog adventures like my trip to Boone, The Scream half marathon, and Sake Saturday. Allison is usually game for any plan I can cook up. So we made a list (which I left at home) and hit the grocery store. 

The plan was to make several meals that I could put in the freezer that were also crock pot friendly. I wanted to be able to take the bag out of the freezer, dump it into the crock pot and have it ready to eat at the end of the day without any more effort. See, I told you I was lazy. 

On the menu was:

Peppercorn Steak


BBQ Chicken

Freezer Baked Oatmeal Cups

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Individual Apple Crisps

I have a tendency to go big when I do something. It’s a curse and a blessing.

Here’s what you need to take on a cooking day of this scale (in addition to Allison- get your own friend, she’s mine):


I suggest a very large food processor. I got this one for Christmas in addition to my Kitchenaid mixer. It has a wide mouth opening and also makes french fries.

By the time we got everything ready we were starving so we put the french fry feature into action. I HATE cutting up sweet potatoes, but it was so easy with the food processor. We may have gotten a little carried away….That’s ok, they freeze too. Then I can just throw them in the oven for snack another day.

One thing I simply cannot function without? The infamous pink sweat pants.

Ok, they might not be a necessity, but they are for me. I can’t tackle a job like this in any other article of clothing. Admit it, you’ve got your go-to comfy pants too. Mine just happen to be hot pink.

After we gorged on sweet potato fries, we got down to business. It was really pretty easy to do with four hands. Allison prepped the veggies and I chopped then we followed the recipes and added everything into giant freezer bags. We doubled every recipe and were able to make 4 freezer meals (2 bags for each of us) out of every recipe. Each bag held enough food for dinner for two and at least two leftover lunches. I tend to believe that there is no point in cooking unless you have leftovers for lunch.

I also believe that you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel. So here’s the links to the recipes we used.

Peppercorn Steak– This was actually not a freezer meal, but I didn’t see any reason why it couldn’t be. The girl that writes this blog used her crock pot for 365 days, so it is full of ideas for lazy people.

BBQ Chicken- Sadly, just one week later, the blog that I got this recipe from has been removed and I didn’t write the recipe down! Basically, it was peppers, onions, garlic, mustard, worcerstire sauce, and some other seasonings added to a bag with chicken. Wow, I know that is really not helpful. Sorry.

Goulash- Same blog, same sad story. Something with a bunch of veggies and meat. Why would you delete such a wonderful blog?? There is sometime wrong here.

Baked Oatmeal Cups– These are sugar free and delicious! We made three varieties: Banana Chocolate Chip, Blueberry- Cranberry, and Apple. They’re baked and frozen in muffin cups so you just pop them out of the freezer and heat them in the microwave for a minute. My husband devoured like nine of them for breakfast one day. So easy and healthy.

Individual Apple Crisps– I have an incurable sweet tooth and these did the trick without all the sugar. They come from Iowa Girl’s blog and I love her! When I am lost for easy cooking ideas I always turn to her website. Plus I made them in these cute little crocks that I got for Christmas so that made it fun.

Individual Chicken Pot Pies– I didn’t freeze these because Jon and I ate them up really fast, but I think you could easily freeze them. I may try it next time because they were amazing! I loved that they were in my little crocks too because I also have an issue with portion control. 

About five hours later we had something that looked like this:

This was Allison’s stash to take home.

Here’s a peak at my freezer now:

Speaking of freezers, last week our refrigerator decided it was finished. The whole thing just quit working. We lost most of our food, including a lot of the stuff that I had previously cooked and frozen. I was so furious until I realized that meant I got to buy my dream fridge. Take a look at this baby.

I swear to you that angels sing when you open it. Ok, maybe not but I hum a few bars. Look at all that space! If it is possible to have inappropriate feelings towards an appliance, I may be guilty.

By the end of the day I was pretty exhausted. I suggest that if you’re going to do this, don’t wait until you’re seven months pregnant to get started. My back was killing me. Allison didn’t really seemed phased by it all though, so I’m thinking it’s a pregnant thing. 

This weekend it’s time to work on the nursery. It’s actually coming along pretty well, but I don’t want to post pics until it’s a little closer to finished. However, just because you hung in there with me and looked at all those delicious food pictures, I’ll give you a sneak peak.

Happy weekend, everyone.