Favorite Asparagus

Robby and I have a favorite way to cooking our asparagus.

I can’t WAIT to try it out on a grill this summer.  I’m sure it will be even better!



  • 2 bundles of asparagus

  • olive oil

  • garlic salt


  1. Preheat over to 350

  2. Wash asparagus and cut off ends

  3. Spread out asparagus on a foil lined baking sheet

  4. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over asparagus.  Use your hands to toss and coat each stalk.

  5. Generously sprinkle garlic salt over asparagus.

  6. Bake 20 minutes, take out to toss and stir, then bake 20-25 minutes.

  7. Enjoy!

Side note:  On a grill, bake for 30 minutes in a foil pouch, then open for last 10 minutes.

Flounder Piccata with Lemon, Capers and Artichoke Sauce

It’s HOT outside!  As in 102 as the high today, and it’s not even June yet.  Welcome to Texas,  y’all!  

These hot days make me crave citrus flavors and something light to eat.  When I came across a recipe on Skinnytaste.com for Flounder Piccata it sparked my interest.  Unfortunately, our grocery store did not have fresh flounder.  With a little bending of the rules, though, I created a terrific dinner that is great for the summer!

Follow the recipe link above, but feel free to substitute as needed for your dietary needs.  I used fresh tilapia filets and added in a can of quartered artichoke hearts to the sauce.  The artichokes added in a nice vinegar taste along with the capers.  Yum!

Let simmer until reduced to half
Let simmer until reduced to half

The finished product!!

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Quick and Healthy – Taco Soup

It rained here,….sort of. It was dark, windy, and raining south of Midland/Odessa when I left work. It rained for a good 5 minutes and then it stopped. Just like that. You couldn’t tell on the streets or side walks that we’d received any rain in our neighborhood. I guess I should be thankful for 5 minutes of rain, it’s better than no rain at all!

Inspired by the cloudy evening, I decided to make one last stew before temperatures are in the 100’s for the rest of the week.


Taco Soup

Taco Soup
Taco Soup



  • 1 pound lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 small can of green chilies
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning (low sodium)
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Drain and rinse the black beans and corn before combining with full can of kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, green chilies, and taco seasoning. Stir well and let simmer.
  2. Saute chopped onions and ground turkey until turkey is cooked through.
  3. Add meat and onions to the mixture and add 2 cups of water.
  4. Allow to bubble and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve with cheese and corn chips.


*I use lactose free cheese and a gluten free corn chips. This helps keep my allergies in check as well as makes the recipe a bit healthier!

Perk up your Salad!

Need a new flavor for your spring/summer salads?   Try this ah-MAZ-ing Poppy Seed Dressing!  Jolene at Holly Hill Homestead has always been one of my favorite chefs in the entire world.  I think she has outdone herself with this dressing.  

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Try it on fruit salad, with a spinach and strawberry salad on a hot day, ontop of grilled chicken, and more!  I can’t say ENOUGH about this.  THANK YOU, Jolene, for making the world a better place with your dressing!  hehe

But wait!  It gets better!   You can stay at her Holly Hill Homestead Bed and Breakfast and she will do the cooking for you!  (just click on the link)   Hidden in the woods of North East Texas, enjoy a day of antiquing in nearby Jefferson, visit many lakes in the area, or just lounge on the back porch and let the country just cleanse your soul.   (trust me, it’s so worth it!)  

Check out her Blog here at Atop Holly Hill.   She has lots of yummy recipes waiting there for you!  Enjoy!

Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

During the AdvoCare cleanse, I find that I do better if I have snacks readily available during the day.  Sometimes I get so busy at work I won’t have time for lunch, but can grab a hand full of trail mix or an apple.  

Here’s a strange thing,….lately I’ve been craving something spicy!  If you know me, you know that I’m a baby when it comes to turning up the heat of food.  I can’t handle ANY spice without saying “It burns my tongue!!”  My family may never let me live it down.  I don’t know why, but I’ve wanted spicey things lately.   Strange, right?!?!  So last night, I had an idea:  make a snack with some kick to it!  And so I started something new for us:  

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas


  • 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Favorite Seasoning
  • Olive Oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 400.  
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain both cans of chickpeas and blot with a paper towel to soak up any excess water.  The less water the better!
  4. Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper.
  5. Generously dust/sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.  (I used a Cajun seasoning to get that spice kick I’ve been craving!)
  6. Drizzle olive oil on chickpeas just to cover, then toss so it’s well spread.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes then stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Bake 20 more minutes.  Look for a golden brown color in the chickpeas.  Once cooled, they should have a light crunch.
  8. Enjoy!
Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper

Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper

Tony Chachere's, my seasoning of choice!

Tony Chachere’s, my seasoning of choice!

30 by 30: Do Something Spontaneous!

I know, I know…..if it’s spontaneous then you can’t plan on it.   You see, for me at least, it needs to be written done to remind me that it’s ok to DO SOMETHING SPONTANEOUS and deviate from the plans.

And that’s just what happened this past Tuesday night.  I was driving home from work and thought to my self, “Self, what a beautiful evening.  I bet Robby would love to play golf.  Hmmmm, I wonder if he would let me ride along and enjoy the evening?!”

I texted him, “Golf?”  and we were on the course an hour later.   The best part, our friends Hilary and John dropped what they were doing and came out to join us!!   How awesome are they?!?!

So what started out as a ride along turned into me learning how to play golf.  I have NEVER played before.  I stink at putt-putt, and it’s just be assumed that the world is a better and safer place because I don’t play sports.  Robby turned that around, though.  I had a fantastic time playing, and even bogeyed on one hole!    (No pictures just yet, I need to improve drastically before I publicly post pictures of me swinging a club.)

What a perfectly spontaneous night!

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Hil and Alison

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Family Time with Peter!

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This past weekend our fantastic sister-in-law and her youngest, Peter, came to visit.  WE LOVED every moment with them!   While Jenny was taking engagement photos for Danny & Kayla, Robby & I took Peter to a baseball game.   We had so much fun with this lil’ guy!

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And then, on Sunday morning, Robby let Peter learn to drive!  (He had to move the car over a few spots, don’t panic.  The 2 year old isn’t driving around town…..yet)   Robby’s such a good uncle!

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Melt my heart….

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Easy Mexican Salad

I suppose every good recipe has a story behind it.

This recipe was taught to me by a guy I dated in college.  To be quite honest, I was very hesitant to try his cooking since majority of the time we spoke on the phone I always heard the fire alarm going off in the background because he had burnt something.  On the night he made this dish, we went to grocery shop together.  He kept calling it “taco salad” so I went with the typical tex-mex Taco Salad with guacamole, pico, taco seasoning, etc…   After over an hour of miscommunications, he convinced me  that this WAS taco salad because his momma told him so.  HAHA!

Though the relationship didn’t last, this recipe has been one that I’ve passed on to countless friends!

Ode to my ex’s mother:

Dear Cindy, though the relationship was not meant to be,

I’m forever grateful for this fantastic recipe!

And with that, here we go!  Mexican Salad



  • fresh spinach leaves (can use any other type of lettuce)
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef (can substitute quinoa, I used both for extra protein)
  • 1 bottle of fat free Catalina dressing
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, rinsed
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag of Frito’s corn chips


1.  Prepare the ground beef and/or quinoa.  I used a lean ground beef and a black bean quinoa.  The flavors really complemented each other.   Once ground beef is cooked through, drain well and set aside.


Roland brand Quinoa, ready in 15 minutes!

lean ground beef

lean ground beef

2.  Rinse both corn and black beans before heating them in the same skillet as the ground beef was in.  Once warmed, mix ground beef, corn, and black beans together.

ground beef, quinoa, corn, and black beans with dressing on top.

ground beef, quinoa, corn, and black beans with dressing on top.

3.  Add Catalina dressing to the mixture, being careful not to add too much.  I taste test as I go to get the right flavor.


4.  Plate fresh spinach leaves and add Frito’s to the plate.  This gives a nice salty crunch to the salad!

And voila!  A simple and very quick meal.

The best part, the dressing!