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Author Archives: tinazeien

The incredible edible egg…. unless you’re allergic to them

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Lately it seems as though everyone has some form of food allergy; peanuts, strawberries, or my allergy to bananas. While most allergens are easy to avoid (I have to skip the banana pudding at the restaurant) there are some that aren’t so easy to cut out of your diet. A co-worker of mine is allergic to a bunch of foods including eggs. When we were talking about favorite meals, my lasagna came up. Sounds yummy right? What about the noodles…. they usually have eggs in them? This is where my recipe for this week is going to be eggless noodles 🙂 (I found this recipe on a fellow bloggers page;



For each large serve:
0.5 cup semolina flour (med. or fine)
0.5 cup plain flour
3 – 4 Tblspn water
1 tspn of your best olive oil

Mix the semolina and flour, and gradually add water and oil, a spoonfull at a time, until a nice pliable and slightly wet dough is formed. The amount of water will vary depending on the flour, semolina and humidity. Leave the dough slightly wet as the semolina will absorb a little more water than ordinary flour will.

Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 0.5 hour or more. I left it for 5 hours before rolling.

If you are making the pasta by hand, roll the dough out as thinly as possible. It might help to divide the dough into 2 before you do this, if you have a small bench. Keep rolling until it is as thin as you can get it. Cut into tagletelli sized pieces.

If you are using a pasta maker, roll the dough out, starting with the widest setting, roll it at least twice through each setting, gradually reducing the settings until it is as thin as you want it. Cut into desired widths.

Add to a large pan of boiling salted water with a teaspoon of oil added. Fresh pasta does not take long to cook. The length of time will depend on the thickness of the pasta, but will be only a few minutes.

Drain the pasta and place into serving bowl with a little of the pasta water to keep it slightly wet. Add your sauce – keep it simple to highlight the taste of the pasta rather than the sauce. YUM.

Friday’s Recipe….that’s a wrap!

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Happy Friday 🙂 For today’s recipe, I thought I’d give you something that is fairly simple and quick to make for the family. Wraps are not only good for that quick “after work dinner fix” but they’re also a great to-go food if you are having a picnic or need to bring lunches for those weekend sports events with the kiddos. Here are a couple of recipes that I got from one of my Pampered Chef books… hope you like them!

Grilled Chicken, Ham & Swiss Wrap
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 oz/150-175 g each)
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
2 1/2 tbsp (37 mL) Dijon Mustard Rub (available from Pampered chef)
**OR** jarred dijon mustard
2 medium whole dill pickles
4 oz (125 g) Swiss cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) light mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
12 thin slices (6 oz/174 g) low-sodium deli ham
3 (11-in./28-cm) flour tortillas
1. Brush chicken with oil then brush on 2 tbsp of the Dijon mustard
Arrange chicken on microwave safe plate & cover with parchment paper.
Microwave on HIGH 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F (74˚C)
Dice chicken into 1/2-in. (1-cm) pieces
2. Meanwhile, slice pickles lenghtwise & grate cheese. Combine mayonnaise,
garlic, and remaining 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard; mix well. Add chicken and stir to coat.
3. To assemble wraps, layer two slices of the ham widthwise over center of one tortilla,
overlapping as necessary; top with one-third of the checken mixture, one-third of the
pickles, two additional slices of ham and one-third of the cheese. Fold in sides of tortilla
and roll up tightly burrito style. Recipe should yield 3 wraps (6 servings)
*Can heat on grill pan if desired cooking 3-4 minutes on each side*
U.S. Nutrients per serving (1/2 wrap): Calories 370, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 6 g,
Cholesterol 80 mg, Sodium 950 mg, Carbohydrate 20 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 28 g


Thai Tuna Wraps
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) fat-free mayonnaise, divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
3 cups cabbage, chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
3 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, snipped
1 can (6 oz) water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1 medium red bell pepper
6 (8-in) fat-free flour tortillas
12-18 large, fresh spinach leaves
1. In bowl, whisk together lime juice, 2 tbsp of the mayonnaise, soy sauce and sugar; set
aside. After chopping cabbage, shredding carrot, slicing green onions and snipping green
onions, add them to mayonnaise mixture. Stir in tuna and mix lightly until all of the
ingredients are well incorporated. Cut bell pepper into 24 thin strips.
2. To assemble wraps, spred tortilla with 1 tbsp of the remaining mayonnaise and top
evenly with 1/2 cup of the tuna mixture. Cover with 2 or 3 spinach leaves and 4 bell pepper
strips. Fold in sides of tortilla and roll tightly burrito style. Recipe should yield 3 wraps
U.S. Nutrients per serving (1 wrap); Calories 190, Fat less than 1 g, Sodium 490 mg,
Dietary Fiber 3 g **this recipe comes from an older cook book that I have so the nutritional
information is limited**


Happy 4th of July!

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Today as we celebrate the 4th eating BBQ with friends and family or watching a firework show (the few that are actually happening tonight) we need to make sure that we recognize and appreciate all of the men and women in the military that have fought their lives just so we could celebrate our independence!

A great thanks to our soldiers from the ones that protected us when the USA first became a country to the ones that are still overseas protecting us now! I am truly grateful for the sacrifices made by our military and their families!!

God Bless the USA!!!

A Thousand Words

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The girls and I stopped at Redbox to rent some movies and we picked Eddie Murphy’s “A thousand words”. In a nutshell Eddie’s character Jack finds that his life is linked with a tree. With each word spoken by Jack, a leaf would fall off of the tree. He had 1,000 words (leaves) left….. I won’t tell you anything more about the story line so I don’t ruin the movie but the big message to take away was that you need to appreciate every moment you’re given. That words aren’t always enough and that the little things count.

With all of the comings and goings in our everyday lives, we sometimes forget to push “pause” on life to stop an smell the roses. Now I don’t imagine that we’re all going to stop what we’re doing to find a rosebush or run to the floral department to smell a bouquet but instead of everyone parked in front of the TV zoned out on some reality show, go outside and run through the sprinklers or see what sorts of shapes you can find in the clouds. Turn off the TV and put away all electronics at dinner time and spend those precious moments finding out how one another’s day went, pull out a board game from the closet and have the whole family participate. Anything you can do to carve out that special uninterrupted time with one another will make you appreciate one another so much more.

In other words, allow yourself to be a child for a couple of hours… I mean don’t we spend enough time being adults?

Way to go Rockies!!

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Last night’s Rockies was AWESOME! We beat the San Diego Padres 10-2 and they had an amazing firework show after the game. The best part of the game? $26,000 was raised during the game to help all of those affected by the Colorado fires. Colorado has a great baseball team and even better fans!!

Friday’s Recipe

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Tonight my girls and I are going to the Colorado Rockies game tonight… and watch the fireworks afterwards 🙂 So I thought today’s recipe should be something that reminds me of baseball games. These would be great for watching the game at home or for your tailgating parties.  LET’S GO ROCKIES!!!!

Chicago-Style Hot Dog Bites
2 pkg (12 oz/340 g each) refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits
2 tbsp (10 mL) poppy seeds
3 hot dogs
2 small whole dill pickles (about 1/2 cup/125 mL coarsely chopped)
1 small onion
4 oz (125 g) sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL) yellow mustard
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Pull apart biscuit layers horizontally in half to form 40
biscuits. Arrange biscuits on cookie sheet or baking stone. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and
bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, cut hot dogs in half lenghtwise then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm)
half moons. Place hot dogs on microwave safe plate, cover and cook for 30-45 seconds or
until hot. Coarsely chop pickles and onion. Blot excess moisture from pickles using paper
towels. Seed and dice tomatoes. Combine pickles, onion and tomatoes in small bowl; mix
well and set aside. Grate cheese; set aside
3. Remove baking stone or cookie sheet from oven and set on cooling rack. Top bicuits
with hot dogs and cheese. Bake 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven;
top with vegetable mixture and drizzle with mustard. Recipe should yield 20 servings.
U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 160, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 10 mg,
Sodium 530 mg, Carbohydrate 15 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 5 g

How to convert measurements in your recipes

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I don’t know about you but I hate when I am reading a recipe that calls for an ingredient in grams but the ingredient I have is measured in ounces.  Pampered Chef came out with a conversion chart that is a two-sided magnet… probably one of my favorite things that I’ve ordered through them. I thought I’d share the information with you J

Measure Equivalents

1 tbs = 3 tsp = 0.5 fl. oz. = 15 mL

¼ cup = 4 tbsp = 2 fl. oz. = 60 mL

1/3 cup = 5 tbsp + 1 tsp = 2.5 fl. oz. = 75 mL

½ cup = 8 tbsp = 4 fl. oz. = 125 mL

2/3 cup = 10 tbsp + 2 tsp = 5 fl. oz. = 150 mL

¾ cup = 12 tbsp = 6 fl. oz. = 175 mL

1 cup = 16tbsp = 8 fl. oz. = 250 mL

2 cups = 1 pint = 16 fl. oz. = 500 mL

4 cups = 1 quart = 32 fl. oz. = 1 liter

2 quarts = ½ gallon = 64 fl. oz. = 1.9 liters

4 quarts = 1 gallon = 128 fl. oz. = 3.8 liters

1 large egg, beaten = 3 tbsp = 1.fl. oz. = 45 mL

Recipe Conversions


Half Double Triple Measure Half Double Triple
¼ tsp = 1/8 tsp = ½ tsp = ¾ tsp = 1 mL = ½ mL = 2 mL = 4 mL
½ tsp = ¼ tsp = 1 tsp = 1½ tsp = 2 mL = 1 mL = 5 mL = 7 mL
¾ tsp = ¼ + 1/8tsp = 1½ tsp = 2¼ tsp = 4 mL = 2 mL = 7 mL = 11 mL
1 tsp = ½ tsp = 2 tsp = 1 tbsp = 5 mL = 2 mL = 10 mL = 15 mL
1¼ tsp = ½ + 1/8tsp = 2½ tsp = 1 tbsp + ¾ tsp = 6 mL = 3 mL = 12 mL = 19 mL
1½ tsp = ¾ tsp = 1 tbsp = 1½ tbsp = 7 mL = 4 mL = 15 mL = 22 mL
1 tbsp = 1½ tsp = 2 tbsp = 3 tbsp = 15 mL = 7 mL = 30 mL = 45 mL
¼ cup 2 tbsp ½ cup ¾ cup 50 mL 30 mL 125 mL 175 mL
1/3 cup = 2 tbsp + 2 tsp 2/3 cup = 1 cup 75 mL = 40 mL = 150 mL = 250 mL
½ cup = ¼ cup = 1 cup = 1½ cup = 125 mL = 50 mL = 250 mL = 375 mL
2/3 cup = 1/3 cup 1 + 1/3 cup = = 2 cups 150 mL = 75 mL = 325 mL = 500 mL
¾ cup = 6 tbsp = 1 + ½ cup = 2 + ¼ cup = 175 mL = 90 mL = 375 mL = 550 mL
1 cup = ½ cup = 2 cups = 3 cups = 250 mL = 125 mL = 500 mL = 750 mL

Something the whole family can do

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A great activity that you can do with the whole family is to create a family cookbook. When I was a kid, my Aunt Sue did just that. She had all of us (including the kids) write down our favorite recipes, organizing them in sections (appetizers, beverages, breakfast, etc.) and  made copies for all of us.

I didn’t realize what a treasure our “Heritage Cookbook” would turn out to be! Flipping through the pages 26 years later, it cracks me up to see some of the things we wrote when we were kids. My younger brother Sean submitted his recipe when he was 6 years old for waffles: “Put a waffle in the toaster and pop the waffle up. Put 0n butter and then syrup, then you eat.” How cute is that?! The cookbook also has recipes from family members who have since passed away. My grandmother’s recipe for fudge or my dad’s recipe for meatball stew are things that I can still make for my girls because we all got together to make this book.

It’s been almost 30 years since my aunt made our cookbook and I’m working on making a new one so my children can write their own recipes and look back when they’re older and realize how priceless things like this can be. Try making your own “Heritage Cookbook” with your family and see just how much fun everyone will have making it!

Well-stocked Pantry

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To throw together a quick meal for the family after a busy day, every kitchen should have some of the basic necessities:

Pantry Basics                                   Produce                                       Refrigerator Basics

All-purpose flour                                Celery                                            Eggs

Brown sugar                                        Garlic                                            Butter/margarine

Sugar                                                     Russet potatoes                          Milk

Olive oil                                                Whole carrots                             Sour cream

Vegetable oil                                        Yellow onions                            Cream cheese

Cornstarch                                                                                                   Parmesan cheese

Plain dry bread crumbs                                                                            Shredded cheddar cheese

Pasta and Grains                              Freezer Basics                            Shredded mozzarella cheese

Elbow macaroni                                 Frozen corn                                Herbs ans Spices

Penne pasta                                         Frozen cut green beans           Coarsely ground black pepper

Spaghetti noodles                               Frozen peas                                Chili powder

Instant rice                                           Frozen stir-fry vegetables       Crushed red pepper flakes

Bread                                                                                                             Curry powder

Canned or Jarred Goods                 Condiments                                Garlic powder

Beef broth                                              Balsamic vinegar                     Ground cayenne pepper

Chicken broth                                       BBQ sauce                                 Ground cinnamon

Tomato paste                                        Dijon Mustard                          Ground cumin

Spaghetti/marinara sauce                Honey                                         Ground ginger

Diced tomatoes                                    Hot sauce                                   Onion soup mix

Cream of celery soup                          Ketchup                                       Paprika

Cream of mushroom soup                Mayonnaise                               Salt

Peanut butter                              Taco seasoning mix


Soy sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Yellow mustard

Friday Recipes

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Hi everyone… welcome to my new blog! This is the first blog I’ve ever had so I’m really excited about sharing some recipes and my random quirky thoughts 🙂 Some of my recipes are meals that I’ve been making for years while others are from various websites, cooking magazines (such as Paula Deen’s cookbook) and cook books from The Pampered Chef. In the effort of eating better, a lot of my recipes will be on the healthier side but there will also be comfort foods and deserts put into the mix as well.

For this weeks recipes, I wanted to pass on things that seem simple to make and don’t require turning on your oven 🙂

Asian Chicken Salad [Cooking With Paula Deen]

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (the rotisserie chickens from the grocery store work great for this recipe)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into strips

1 (81/4-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup crispy rice noodles* (you should be able to find La Choy Rice Noodles at the grocery store)

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 rice wine vinegar

2 limes, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, place lettuce, chicken, bell pepper, apple, mandarin oranges, rice noodles, and green onion, tossing gently to combine.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sesame oil and olive oil. Slowly add rice wine vinegar, whisking to combine. Add lime zest, lime juice, sugar, and salt, whisking until well combined. Pour desired amount of dressing over romaine mixture, tossing gently to coat.

Serve immediately (Makes 6-8 servings)