Keeping things simple in a not so simple world

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Today’s dinner was inspired by this lovely post.

I wish I could have found a poblano at Trader Joe’s and a vidalia because I would have included them in the pizza.  I also wish I would have thought to grill the zucchini I bought because that would have been nice too.

Gluten-free southwest pizza

Corn tortillas
1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 cup goat cheese
chili powder

In a bowl, mix together the creme fraiche and goat cheese. Add some paprika and chili powder to taste.

Place tortillas on a baking sheet. Spread with goat cheese mixture.
Sprinkle tortillas with corn and black beans.


Place the prepared tortillas in oven beneath broiler.
Cook until just crisp on the edges.


Add cilantro and arugula.

Note: When using tortillas for a pizza base, do not overload them. The tortillas tend to get soggy if you add to many toppings and they do not hold up like regular pizza crust. Also, watch them under the broiler because the edges can get too dark very quickly.





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some recent finds

This Memorial Day has dawned a perfect spring day.  Sunny, in the 70’s and after a brief stop at Trader Joe’s, the kids and I are headed to a state park for a hike and a picnic lunch.

Today, I’d like to share some recent finds from this inter-connected web.

1.  We do not have many lilac trees here.  Lilacs are my most favorite flower and so this lovely post  makes me want to search for a bouquet for my table.

2.  REALLY want to try this lovely thing for dinner soon!

3.  Starting to plan summer lessons and projects for the kids.  No, we do not homeschool, but during the summer, we need things to do and I love to learn as much as the kids.  Here are some activities I’ve been thinking about.

4.  Planning a trip to this lovely bird sanctuary.  My favorite is the albino robin they have.  We often end our trip with a stop at the Great Swamp for a bird watching session.

5.  Thinking about pampering myself using this.

6.  Next we grill, I hope to have garden fresh beets for this lovely thing.

7.  Lastly, I’d like to end one of my weeks with one of these.

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spring quinoa salad

The heat wave continues.  But inspired by a trip to Trader Joe’s that delivered some great spring produce, I have a lovely salad to share with you.  It is simple and quick and just what was needed on this tropical day.


Quinoa spring salad
This recipe is dairy and gluten-free.

4 ripe apricots, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cups cooked quinoa (I usually cook several cups and freeze what I am not using for another day.)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (I did not have any for my salad, but would put it in if I had.)
olive oil
lemon juice

In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil (I used coconut). Add the asparagus and snap peas and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2-4 minutes until just warm and glossy.
Place vegetables in a large serving bowl. Add apricots, cilantro, asparagus and snap peas.
Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
Mix well and serve.

Other ingredient ideas: avocado, dried apricots, substitute apricot nectar for the lemon juice.




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refreshing summer snack

Here in North Jersey, we have had a blast of summer weather.  80’s and humid.  The kids have played in the sprinkler several times in the last day or so.
And with this fabulous heat (yes, that is sarcasm!), I have lost a bit of my gumption to cook. This happens every time it heats up.
So I turn to salads, the grill and my crock-pot.

Today’s salad was a bit basic. Not that that is a bad thing, but I needed something to zest up dinner. To keep the family interested. Something to tango the taste buds. (I’ll stop now.)

This recipe (if you can call it a recipe, it is really so very simple), came from my lovely friend Jen. It is light and refreshing with a bit of zip. And great for hot and humid summery (or summer-like) days.

Cucumber-lime salad

1 cucumber
lime juice
chili powder

Slice the cucumber, sprinkle with lime juice and chili powder to taste.
Seriously, that is it!



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rainy morning activity

This week is suppose to be warm, almost summer like.  But this morning dawned a shady grey as the clouds from yesterday’s rainstorm finish passing through.  So before things clear up, we have created an art gallery in our home. We placed each piece to her specifications and then labeled them all with her choice of name.  We will keep it up throughout the week, as I am sure my daughter will drag all of our neighbors through the house this week.

Here’s a tour:


A Study of Paw Prints


The Slithering Snake Field


Everything in the Whole Wide World Scientist


The Sweating Day with the Fruit Mix


Crowned Royalty


The Fluffy Sparkle House


The Purple Princess


The Green Bow


Mrs. P and Luna Walk on Valentine’s Day


Pretty Flowers and Polka Dots


Luna finding Mrs. P on Flower Island


Belle and the Glorious Flowers


The Rainbow and Beautiful Flower


Caroline and Luna go to see the Diamond


ABC’s and 123’s


The Magician Who Put Sparkles in Outer Space