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Turning 35

Today I turned 35. I remember when I turned 30 and had a mini meltdown at work, feeling lost and thinking I’d never have a family of my own. I remember last year, wishing that I could be pregnant and feeling so down about not being a mom yet. Last year, I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d have a beautiful daughter before I turned 35. I remember praying and hoping that I’d have a child before I turned 35, and it happened. Today, I cherish my gift. Each year I will remember my wish from the past and treasure my daughter. She is more than I could ever wish for. So perfect, beautiful, soft and sweet. Of course we have our moments but one smile wipes away all the stress and worry.

I already feel like I miss her or that I’m going to miss her. Going back to work in a few short weeks is going to be tough. I know it will take time. I am trying to enjoy our time together now and not worry about the future but I do already miss her. I shed a tear today thinking about how hard it’s going to be, to be away from her. But it will just make me cherish our time together more. I know that this is how it has to be. Last year, I’m not sure I could have guessed how hard it would be to face work. I do like to work and be busy but it’s all different now. I have different priorities. Now I will work to ensure that we can enjoy our time together worry-free, invest in our future and take fun trips together.

Now that I’m a mother, I have to compartmentalize my work at my job and my work as a mom. Never before have I had to separate home and work so much. But I feel that to be successful at work this will need to be the case. Of course I will be talking about her all the time with my co-workers but in order to get anything done there, I will need to focus on that part of me. It’s like I lead two lives: one as a career woman and another as a mom. This will be a new challenge for me.

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Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken – Freezer recipe

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

(4-5 servings)

  • 2-3 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • ½  cup white sugar
  • ½  cup vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½   cup of pineapple juice (use what’s in the can)
  • ½  can of large pineapple chunks

Add all the ingredients to the bag.

Write on the bag:

Cook 4-5 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Serve it over rice and enjoy.

While I am cooking the rice I  like to shred the chicken and put it back in the juice before I serve it.

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Classic Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

This is my husband’s aunt’s quiche recipe, dear to our hearts as his grandmother Lorraine passed away this year. I’ve made this dish several times this summer, good for breakfast or anytime.


  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp plus pinch salt
  • Ham sliced thinly
  • 2 cups shredded cheese – Tillamook Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Swiss
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 t powdered mustard
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 C heavy cream (or half n half)
  • 1 C sour cream (light is okay)



  1. Pie crust: Cut cold butter into flour. You may add 1 t onion powder and 1/4 t celery salt to the mix – gives it a little extra flavor. Roll out crust or pat by hand into pie dish.
  2. Filling: Line the bottom of the crust with thinly sliced ham. Then add cheese. In another bowl, add eggs, flour, mustard, pepper, and combine. Then add cream and sour cream. Thoroughly mix everything and pour into the pie crust.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 375 for 40 minutes or until custard has set.
You can also add any veggies you would like – 1 cup finely chopped broccoli on top of the cheese before pouring in the egg mixture. If you set the pie plate on an air-flow cookie sheet in the oven, the crust will be flakey on the bottom.
Credit: Nancy Hunter
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Easy Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

We accidently bought too many bananas this week so we have a whole bunch of ripe bananas! My husband usually makes banana bread that is so good but I wanted to try something different. This recipe is not altered but it could easily be altered to be healthier – using applesauce, honey or cutting the sugar in half. These muffins are like cake so if you want a different texture you could use some whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Mash bananas in a separate bowl (I used a potato masher). Stir in bananas; mix well. Add flour and baking soda, mixing just enough to moisten.
  3. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



12 muffins

Calories: 217

Carbs: 33g

Fat: 9g

Protein: 3g

Sugar: 20g


Recipe from Mr Food Test Kitchen – Easy Banana Muffins

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BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza


We went to Trader Joe’s today after lunch. I found some small flatbreads and thought I’d use them to make individual flatbread pizzas. I have some chicken breast that I will bake with barbeque sauce. This recipe is very easy to alter. Bake as much chicken as needed and for leftovers. Just alter the amount of bbq sauce to make sure it covers the chicken.


  • 2 chicken breast (more is fine)
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce plus 3 tablespoons
  • Flatbread (6 small)
  • 1.5 cups of shredded cheese (monterrey jack works well or cheddar)
  • Onion (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a glass pan (8×8 or 9×13 depending on how many chicken breasts). Place chicken in the pan.  Pour a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of bbq sauce over the chicken. Bake chicken for 25 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Place a 1/2 tablespoon of bbq sauce as the sauce on the flatbread. Sprinkle chicken. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Top with onion and cilantro. Turn oven to 400 F and heat for 5-10 minutes. Watch to make sure they don’t burn.

Nutritional Facts:

6 Servings

  • Calories: 360
  • Carbs: 39g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Sodium: 564mg


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Beef and Potato Skillet

Beef and Potato Skillet

Tonight I wanted to make something with the russet potato I had plus the pound of lean beef, green pepper and onion that I got at the grocery store. I looked for recipes on beef skillet or casserole but I decided to just make my own. So here’s what I came up with – it’s easy to adjust to your tastes:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 large baking potato
  • Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic salt (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheese


Heat a skillet or dutch oven to medium-high heat. Dice the onion, pepper and potato. Brown the ground beef (5-7 minutes depending on pan). Take the ground beef out and place in a bowl or on a plate. Either leave the beef grease in or add olive oil to the pan. Add the peppers and onions to the pan and sweat – 5 minutes. About half way through add the potatoes. Also add seasoning. Cayenne is also a good spice to add. Stir to make sure they don’t stick. Add the ground beef back to the pan and set the heat to low/simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.


4 servings

  • Calories: 270
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Sodium: 193mg
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Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries

I wanted to make something to eat for breakfast this week that was different from our typical cereal or peanut butter toast. My mother-in-law makes a wonderful baked oatmeal that can be stored cold or frozen and then each serving is heated up in the microwave with a splash of milk poured over it. I’ve used several different recipes in the past. Today I found one from called Baked Oatmeal and Blueberries with Bananas but I changed it some, omitting the bananas and doubling the recipe. Here’s what I ended up with:


  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cups uncooked quick oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups milk


Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly spray a 8×8 or 9×9 glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine oatmeal, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Then pour wet into dry ingredients and mix to combine without overmixing. Pour into baking dish and drop blueberries into it slowly.

Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Nutritional Facts:

  • Calories: 208
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 19g
  • Sodium: 85g

Weight Watchers Points per Serving: 6


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Lentil Stew with Ham

Lentils and Ham

I like lentils and ham but sometimes recipes just don’t have the right taste leaving the pot of lentils bland. Then the leftovers sit in the fridge, uneaten. I adapted a Cooking Light recipe. This recipe resulted in a tasty pot of lentils and ham, especially by adding the dash of hot sauce.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot (2 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped baking potato (1 large russet)
  • 1 cup chopped smoked ham/ turkey ham
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, Italian style, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Splash of hot sauce or chili powder to taste
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard, collard greens, or spinach (optional)

Directions: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, lentils, carrot, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add (Swiss chard optional), potato, and ham; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in tomatoes, basil, thyme, and pepper; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with parsley and a dash of hot sauce.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving: Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

  • Calories: 320 Calories from fat: 24%
  • Fat: 8.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 20.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 41.7g
  • Fiber: 15.1g
  • Cholesterol: 12mg
  • Sodium: 943mg

Retrieved from This recipe originated from Cooking Light by Ken Haedrich, 2002.