Tag Archives: mushrooms

The Plum Tree by Ellen Wiseman

I feel like all the book reviews I’ve done have started with ‘This is the best book ever! Read it!’. But it’s so truuuuuue! This one was a great, great book. It’s a love story between a German girl and a Jewish boy living in Germany during World War II….and it just totally sucked me in. Isaac and Christine are falling in love just as the war is starting and very soon their world is shattered by all the new laws separating the Jews from the rest of the world. The story follows Christine throughout the entire war, and the ending was completely not at all what I had expected. I listened to it through my  Audible account while I was at work which was, let me tell you, a huge mistake. Everyone knows you don’t listen to World War II love stories in public, let alone while working. Naturally, I cried. I can just see Linds rolling her eyes at my lack of control over my emotions. 😉

I’m already listening to a new book, ‘The End of the Affair’ which is written by Graham Greene and narrated by Colin Firth. Totally chose is cuz Colin Firth narrated it. I’ll letcha know how it is 🙂

Anyways! I’m off to make some Brie Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms wrapped in Bacon for a Girl’s Night that I’m hosting, so I need to get moving. Keep your eyes out for this recipe, if it turns out as well as Bacon Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Goat Cheese I will be a very happy girl. And maybe M and I will figure out a name for these things that flows a little smoother off the tongue…I’ve tried it both ways as you can see and my tongue gets tied every time.

Happy Reading!




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Filed under Books, Food Stuffs.

Shells with Spinach,Toasted Pine Nuts & Ground Almonds {and HAPPY birthday, MJ}!}



Good morning, bright & early! Gabs must be going through a growth spurt because we are back to waking up every 4-5 hours at night- pack on those pounds girly, I need more of you in my life!



I was browsing Pinterest  for dinner ideas a couple nights ago and saw a delicious-sounding recipe for pasta that I decided needed to be in my belly that night. I swapped a few ingredients, added a few more, and viola! Dinner is served.



Lately all the recipes I’ve been sharing are dinner recipes, and that’s because I can’t stand the idea of turning on my oven to bake something sweet when it’s 90 degrees outside (not complaining!). Plus, I’ve eaten all of the chocolate chips in the house. By myself. Intervention please!



Now that I’m done bemoaning the fact that my sweet tooth is taking over my body, I’ll focus on dinner. This was a perfect spring dish that totally hit the spot, and wasn’t too heavy for a warm day. I had made (what I thought was) more than enough for the two of us for dinner, but by the time we put down our plates, somehow it was all gone.



Sometimes when I try new things in recipes, I don’t tell Joey about it until after we’ve eaten because I don’t want it to negatively sway his opinion about the meal. Sneaky me 🙂 This time, the secret ingredient was ground almonds mixed into the pasta. Sounds weird, I know. I saw it in a cookbook a while back and have been wanting to try it ever since! The almonds are ground pretty finely, so it adds a lovely texture and nutty flavor to the pasta.

Joey, a few bites in, totally called me out on it. “Are there almonds in this? It tastes kind of nutty.. what did you put in this?” I tried to judge the situation. Is it too early to tell?? He’s only had a few bites… But I ‘fessed up and he gave it two thumbs up! Whew. Maybe because he’s now an almond farmer? Whatever, I’ll take it!

Try it out and let me know what you think! I used this recipe– but did not use thyme, and added lightly toasted pine nuts, grilled chicken thighs with S&P, about a 1/3 a cup of finely ground raw, unsalted almonds. 


P.S. my running buddy kindly notified me of my pregnancy brain  mom brain (is that a thing?) and reminded me that the Modesto Pregnancy Center 5k is THIS Saturday! I knew it was May 4th, but somehow that still felt a long ways away. We may be walking instead of running because of my injured feet and my running buddy is pregnant, but the goal is the same! There’s still time to donate!

P.P.S And more importantly, it’s my BEAUTIFUL niece’s first birthday today!! That little girl is one of my favorite people on this earth. I am so bummed to be missing her birthday party this weekend in Texas, but soon they will be moving back here for a year so I will give her a big birthday squeeze in a month!! 


I got her this shirt thinking it was a safe buy, since I was the only aunt! Totally forgot about Tim’s sisters- oops! MJ, lets pretend the shirt says that you are my favorite niece!! 🙂 



Is she not the cutest thing ever?? Love you MJ, and happy Birthday sweet girl!

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Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs.

Pulled Pork and Vegetable Stuffed Bell Pepper Boats


Sorry so blurry, taken through the screen!

Sorry so blurry, taken through the screen!

Look at my 3 adorable pups. Jaz was staring at me through the window as I was making breakfast this morning as if to say, “You’re wasting time making breakfast when you COULD be taking me out for a walk??” We get that attitude a lot from our dogs. 😉

Napping together, and Ghost has a paw on Jaz! How sweet :)

Napping together, and Ghost has a paw on Jaz! How sweet 🙂

Today my exercise regimen is planned to look like this:

4 mile brisk walk (sub 14 min. miles)

20 minutes strength yoga (free Dave Farmar podcast!!)

30 lunges at each mile marker on my walk

I’m loving the free RunKeeper app on my iPhone- it keeps track of pace, distance, time & calories burned and keeps me working hard! I always feel great after an invigorating workout but this may be somewhat of a stretch since fast walking is getting more difficult these days… We shall see how it goes! After my walk, my plans for the day include getting some groceries for GAME DAY tomorrow, cleaning house, and finally packing my hospital bag for delivery!! Any suggestions from mommas out there for what essentials to pack?

On to dinner from the other night!

I’ve been falling back in love with my Crock-pot as of late- there’s something so freeing about tossing some ingredients in a big hot pot and knowing that dinner will be ready later that night without so so much as another thought. The other day I dug way back into our deep freezer (man, I need to clean that thing out…) and found a big ol’ pork butt! Heehee. HEY. Grow up.  🙂


It was frozen rock solid, so I just tossed it in the crock pot on high all day and by the end of the night, we had a LARGE amount of pork. I was just going to shred the pork with forks, but it was taking a while and not as ‘fall-apart’ as I would have liked it, so I thought I’d toss it in the food processor and make quick work of it.


I underestimated the power of the processor. Basically turned my lovely pork butt into dog food. What I had hoped would happen was that it would shred the meat, but I must have processed it too long (10 sec is too long?!) and it looked like canned Purina! Ick.  So… instead of pulled pork buns for dinner, I called an audible and decided to go a different route to mask the dog food look of the delicious meat! Which maybe I should clarify- it did not taste like dog food, promise. 


These peppers are chock full of vegetables, and then the tasty filling is loaded into yet ANOTHER vegetable. That’s my kind of dinner! Filling, but nutritious and delicious. It’s rapidly becoming one of Joey’s favorite meals too! Slam dunk.


I’m sure it’ll be a hit with your family too!

Happy Saturday to you!




Pulled Pork and Vegetable Stuffed Pepper Boats


1 pork butt, cooked and shredded (seasoned with S&P and chicken broth for 10 hours)

4 oz chopped baby bella mushrooms

3 bell peppers, color of your choice

2 cups wild rice, cooked

3 small tomatoes, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

3 slices mozzarella cheese, for topping

3/4 cup black beans (optional)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like some heat!)



Wash all vegetables prior to handling. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off tops of bell peppers and scrape out the seeds. Set the tops aside.

Spray the peppers with cooking spray and put in oven to soften as you prepare the filling. (About 10-15 minutes)

Save as much bell pepper ‘meat’ as you can from the tops and dice. Add bell pepper and onion to a large pan and saute until translucent, season with salt & pepper. After cooking for a few minutes, add diced mushrooms, black beans, tomatoes, and cooked rice to the pan. Season with red pepper and parmesan. Stir in pulled pork to filling- taste and season more as necessary with S&P.

Take peppers out of the oven, and stuff with filling. Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese and put back into oven for about 25 minutes until thoroughly heated through. (everything is already cooked, so oven time is minimal!)

** I usually stuff a whole bell pepper, but lately I’ve been cutting the bell pepper in half length-wise and making ”bell pepper boats” – half the portion and still very filling!**



Filed under Food Stuffs.