Warm Tomato and Bacon Salad

Ever set out to make one thing and it just didn’t work out because you were missing ingredients? Well that is what happened to me last weekend and this warm tomato and bacon salad was created instead! Yay for happy co-incidences. This turned out so well that I will make it on purpose again soon!

Here is what happened: I wanted to make the bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes I posted the recipe for last week… I went to the fridge and took out the tomatoes and bacon and the package of bacon looked weird. Not in a good way… was 3 weeks out of date (oops – I HATE that). Ok, so now what? I had all of these tomatoes that were on their last legs and I had to do something…. here is what I did instead:

Ingredients

a large container of cherry tomatoes

cooked bacon (5 slices or so) – I always have precooked bacon in the freezer as a life hack – I buy precooked refrigerated from Costco and toss it in there… best thing ever.

flavoured olive oil (or regular but I used cilantro and onion flavoured oil)

fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

parsley

fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions for warm tomato and bacon salad

This is super easy. Toss tomatoes in bowl with 2 Tbsp oil, pepper, salt and some parsley as well as the bacon cut up into small strips and then place on a tray covered in tin foil and bake at 350 F for about 15 -20 minutes – I did this in the toaster oven. Once done grate Parmesan over top to taste, mix and garnish with more parsley and Parmesan. This was a great side dish for a Rainbow Trout my husband baked that night and I used the leftovers cold on a salad bowl a few days later . I will definitely be making warm tomato and bacon salad again.

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken!

Um… what? you might ask. Ok, picture this. Hot wings but not… Buffalo Dip but not… This recipe is for an amazing Buffalo dip stuffed chicken breast. It is pretty easy on prep if you buy a buffalo sauce (like a wing sauce) but I will also add a link for a home made buffalo sauce that is super tasty. Ok so get ready for Stuffed Buffalo Chicken!

Stuffed buffalo chicken
Ok, now my mouth is watering

Ingredients

Here is what you will need

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

cream cheese (four oz softened)

1/2 cup shredded mozarella

buffalo sauce (about 1/2 c) – here you can buy one like Frank’s red hot wing sauce or make your own Buffalo Sauce

parsley, salt and pepper

blue cheese dressing

chives 2 tbsp chopped

Directions for Stuffed Buffalo Chicken

Preheat oven to 400F. In a bowl combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup buffalo sauce, cheese and chives, season with parsley, salt and pepper. Cut a pocket in each chicken breast and stuff with a quarter of cheese mixture each. Place on a tray or baking dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste and bake around 30 mins. Set oven to broil and brush remaining sauce on top of chicken, sprinkle with chives and parsley and broil until golden (around 6 mins) . Serve with blue cheese dressing.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? Perfect for keto diets and football season right?

Bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes

What amazingness are we talking about? Still have cherry tomatoes in the garden – Yep bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes is a thing…

Ok, so I admit, I have been off the keto wagon for a while during the summer and my pants are a bit tight… so fall is here and it’s time to do something about it. You know me, I wont sacrifice taste for pretty much anything so this recipe is keto and has bacon. What else do you need? Here follows the super easy, always tasty bacon wrapped tomato recipe.

Bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes
Yummy looking right?

Ingredients

Here is the short list of what you will need for this super easy recipe

cherry tomatoes (one small container)

olive oil (I like using chipotle flavoured – gives it a zip! or tuscan herb flavoured but you can use plain) – around 1 TBSP _ I love buying my flavoured oil near the cottage at Southampton Olive Oil Company – you can order it online if you like too!

6 slices uncooked bacon

basil (fresh or dried) – around a teaspoon – chop fresh up very small if using fresh stuff

salt and pepper to taste

Super easy directions for bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375 F, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Mix oil and seasonings in a bowl and toss tomatoes in it. Cut bacon in half lengthwise and then in thirds and wrap each tomato in a bacon securing with a toothpick.

Bake until the bacon is crisp (about 25 mins)

Admittedly this recipe for bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes is a bit fiddly… I mean the title of the recipe does imply that doesn’t it? But super tasty and keto friendly and would work great as an appetizer at a party.

Happy bacon wrapping!!!

Keto Zucchini Burrito Bowls with shrimp

Image result for zucchini burrito bowl

Ok, still hanging on to the last vestiges of summer – and I’m going to at least through September and maybe October… so with that here is a yummy summer inspired recipe that is keto friendly (because who didn’t eat and drink too much patio and cottage food this summer?) I cant wait to try it soon – maybe next week – zucchini burrito bowls with shrimp!

Ingredients

Here is what you will need for your zucchini burrito bowls

3 or 4 small zucchini halved and with insides removed (score it into cubes and scoop out and reserve 1/2 of the zucchini for the rest of the recipe)

olive oil (around 4 tbsp)

half of a small sweet onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

small shrimp peeled and deveined – around 1.5 lbs – best if raw and uncoocked

packet taco seasoning (use 1/2)

1/2 cup corn thawed

1/2 cup black beans

Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes chopped 1/2 cup

one cup shredded cheese- italien or pepper jack or your fave

cilantro if you like it

chopped avocado

sriracha mayo to taste

Directions for Zucchini Burrito Bowls

Here is what you do for your zucchini burrito bowls…

Preheat oven to 350 F and place zucchini bowls in a baking dish – baste each with oil then bake 12-15 minutes until mostly tender. Remove this from oven. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat and cook onion and scooped out zucchini until soft – about 5-6 mins. Then stir in garlic and stir for about 30 seconds – add shrimp and taco seasoning cooking until shrimp turns pink and opaque. Stir in corn, beans and tomatoes until heated. Spoon mixture into zucchini bolws and top with cheese and place in oven and bake until cheese is melted. Then top with cilantro, avoocado and salsa or sriracha mayo.

garnish as you choose

Avoiding the sting of sunburn…

With out last long weekend of the summer approaching I thought this would be a good topic to re-visit! Here are some ideas, home remedies and our grandparents tricks and tips for sunburn… Of course the best idea is not to forget the sunscreen right?

Ok, ok, forgetting sunscreen does happen …

Everybody at some time or another has decided to take a fabulous vacation out to the beach, the desert or someplace else that they normally do not venture. 

The trip is always wonderful, filled with fun and somehow in the excitement the sunscreen is forgotten, or you are so wrapped up you stay out a bit too long.

This has happened to practically everyone capable of walking.  In order to avoid all of the pain that sunburn creates it would be necessary to live our lives entirely indoors, and this just is not much fun.  After all, then there would be no baseball games, no swimming on the beach and plenty of other great activities.

First choice? Sunburn Prevention

In order to calm the intense pain that sunburn can cause it is important to know how to treat them.  Of course, prevention is always the best advice, but for those times when a burn is unavoidable, it is important to know the proper treatment methods.  These can help you to avoid screaming in pain each time you lay down to sleep, and also allow others in your family to come within 50 yards of you.  Without a good treatment plan you can expect to be extremely lonely, so now is the time to start learning before you are burnt to a crisp struggling to read the screen.

Before we get started, it is extremely important that you always wear sunglasses whenever you are outside.  Even if you only plan to be outside for a couple of minutes, something can always happen where it is hours before you go inside.  Treating a sunburn in your eye is much harder to do and is not something that is easy at all.  It will also require the specialized attention of an eye doctor to ensure that your vision is not damaged.

Ok, whats done is done – sunburn, now what?

Image result for sunburn
ouch! sunburn…

So you have a minor sunburn? Now what – here are some remedies – but remember if it is more than a minor burn all bets are off and you need to seek medical attention- ok?

One of the first remedies for sunburn that you should try is always drinking ample water.  This is important because it helps to ensure that your body is fully hydrated.

If you are dehydrated, it will cause your skin to dry out, which in turn can make it extremely difficult to soothe your skin to a level that is comfortable.

If you are dehydrated, your skin is going to have a much harder time healing.  Drinking plenty of water will be extremely helpful to ensure that you are getting all of the fluids that you need, not only for your health but also to improve the shape of your skin.

Another highly effective solution for sunburn is to use aloe vera.  This is available in the form of gels, but can also be used directly from the plant.  If you have access to an aloe vera plant, it is a wonderful way to ensure you are protecting your skin.  If you have an aloe plant, you have access to a great asset. 

Used for more than just sunburn, an aloe plant is also highly effective for a plethora of other burns as well. 

You can also use cool milk compresses.  It is important to use cool milk, not cold.  If you use milk that is extremely cold, you will often find that it is extremely uncomfortable to the touch and is more disturbing than comforting.  Using hot milk is also not effective since it will not properly soothe the skin.  To get the biggest benefit possible from the cool milk compresses you should take some cotton gauze or even some very soft cloth and soak them in milk.  You will then dab the compress onto the skin.  I looked this one up and apparently the Vitamins A and D help the skin to heal… It is important not to use it on any skin that is broken – no infections please!

Final thoughts

With some patience, all sunburns will of course heal.  Trying to wait until they heal all on their own is not always possible.  This can make it extremely difficult to work, get the rest you need and also function.  A small amount of relief is always a welcome benefit for most people and is something that should never be discounted.  Getting relief is possible and your skin will certainly appreciate the help.

Home Remedies…. some thoughts..

For the simplest issues that can be wrong there are times when a home remedy can be the perfect solution.  Trying to decide if a home remedy is the best solution for your needs is something that should be determined based on your own particular situation, rather than trying to compare your situation to that of someone else.  It is also extremely important to realize that there are times when a doctor is much better equipped to handle your problem, or another professional.  Trying a home remedy is all about saving money, using natural solutions and also ensuring safety.

Image result for home remedies

A word to the wise…

With this in mind, it can be a lot of fun to venture off to find the perfect home remedy for whatever ails you.  Just be very sure that you are looking for a home remedy that is safe.  If you are looking towards home remedies that are a bit dangerous, you could find that you are encountering a lot of complications and also putting your health in severe danger.  It is extremely important to closely monitor situations to ensure that safety is a key concern but also ensure that you are giving proper attention to the remedy.

Many people swear by home remedies.  They very rarely even venture to the doctor and due to this they can avoid most doctors’ visits, ensure that they remain healthy and also reduce the amount of medication they are required to take during their life.  It is extremely important to understand that while a home remedy can solve many problems, there are some situations, which will require a visit to the doctor.  As long as you are able to safely distinguish between the situations that require a doctor’s attention and those which can allow you to use a home remedy you can typically use the remedies quite safely.

Be Smart about Home Remedies

The simple reality is that as long as you are dealing with an ailment that is rather small or minor home remedies can be the perfect solution.  It is extremely important however to ensure that you see a doctor for any serious problems.  A great home remedy can often be better than a doctor simply due to the ability to be carried out in the actual home, rather than being forced to seek treatment in a doctor’s office, which can often be cold and unfriendly.  Being able to provide simple treatments for simple problem in the home is a great way to improve your health as well, rather than having to wait until you are completely ill before seeking out treatment, many people start administering home remedies at the very first signs of problems and sickness.

Some last thoughts…

With home remedies offering natural treatment options it can also be compared to a much greener lifestyle.  Home remedies will almost always allow you to use natural ingredients that are not harmful to the body at all.  This makes many of them extremely safe, and can also allow them to frequently be used even for young children, rather than needing a separate medication to treat children and adults.  Of course, home remedies are not for everyone, they will typically require a bit of additional time and patience in order to actually successfully treat the ailments. Also please remember to do your research and ensure your remedy is safe!

Home remedies should not be used instead of going to the doctor – but rather for solutions to simple problems – remember if the problem persists or changes you need to visit your doctor – Doctor Google isn’t a good solution and will only scare you!

Some of my favourite home remedies:

Essential oils – Thieves by Young Living – diffuse during cold /flu season and during a cold, peppermint oil on the temples for headache.

Crushed Dandelion leaves – for treatment of small warts

A dish with apple cider vinegar covered in saran wrap with holes in it – a natural fruit fly trap!

Aloe – for sunburn

Bananas (or potassium) and magnesium – for night time cramping

Even Dr. Oz gets into the home remedies here are his top 9

Yummy Summer Salmon Bowl

We have two weeks left before school starts – lots of lazy summer to go … here is a super easy recipe I threw together with leftovers and loved so much that I made twice more on purpose: a super yummy summer Salmon Bowl. It literally took about 5 minutes to prepare (if you have left over salmon to warm up). This is in single portions but can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled for the whole family…

Ingredients for Summer Salmon Bowl

  • one cooked salmon filet warmed up and smashed
  • small tomato chopped
  • half of a ripe avocado – chopped
  • two or three handfuls shredded cabbage (I just bought a bag from the grocery store)
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • sriracha mayonnaise

Directions

This can be warm or cold but I did like it better with the salmon warmed. All other ingredients stay cold… Its a nice contrast. Here is what I did. Put the salmon in a bowl and warm in microwave as desired. Smash with fork so it is in pieces at the bottom of the bowl. Place diced avocado and tomato on top and a squirt of the Sriracha Mayo or just plain Sriracha sauce. In a separate bowl mix shredded cabbage and mayo to desired consistence then place on top of the other ingredients. Eat and enjoy – really that’s it!

It has such nice contrasting flavors and consistency I really liked my accidental leftovers invention and will make it on purpose again for sure!

This one is also keto friendly!

For me this was great for lunch but would also be super tasty for dinner in the backyard with a nice glass of white wine. Let’s keep that summer evening patio thing going as long as we can!!! Who’s with me?

What are cloud eggs and mermaid toast?

These are great questions and ones I bet you never thought you would ask? Ever heard of cloud eggs and mermaid toast? Until last week, I hadn’t… that is when I stumbled across this list of foods – how millennial are you? So I started with a score of 17 and took it as a challenge… since last week I am now at 20 and plan on trying a few more of the 30 on this list.

If you follow me on social media you can see what I try and what I think of it – if you don’t yet follow me – click the buttons below and come on the food adventure with me!

Up for a food adventure of your own?

In this article I will post recipes for the very simple and quite tasty cloud eggs and mermaid toast so you can try them on your own if you like… let me know what you think!

Ingredients for Cloud Eggs

Eggs

parchment paper

salt

cooking spray

Directions for Cloud eggs and Mermaid toast

first… Could Eggs!

Preheat oven to 350 F. Separate white and yolk of eggs and place each yolk into a separate glass or bowl. Place all whites into a large bowl with some salt and whip with a cake beater until stiff peaks form. Place bu spoonfuls on cookie sheet prepared with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray. (number of lumps of egg white should equal number of eggs used) and place a well in the middle. Bake 6 minutes and remove from oven. Place a yolk in each well and put back in the oven for 4 minutes. Et Voila – could eggs.

My son Leo said it was like eating a marshmallow but not sweet. Good but weird really.

Next: Mermaid Toast

Ingredients

bread for toast

cream cheese

liquid chlorophyll

Spirulina powder

Directions for Mermaid Toast

This one is easy. Make toast. Smear with cream cheese. Sprinkle with spirulina and chlorophyll and swirl around so it looks pretty – then eat – On one of mine pictured I added a drop of blue food colouring for fun for Leo – yep, Leo ate it and he actually liked it!

Give it a shot – it does require a shopping trip to a health food store or Whole Foods…

Hope you have as much fun with this as I am having!

Harvard Square Salad

So, summer is upon us… this year my family took a 4 day vacation to Boston to take in the sights, eat amazing Lobsta and chowda and of course, I have come back with some recipes that I am copying and putting into the repertoire. This one was so simple and delicious – a salad I had after touring Harvard at a pub I forget the name of – this salad I shall now call Harvard Square Salad.

After eating every meal with a heavy cream chowder twist (or fried or bread or giant American portions…) I was in dire need of lighter fare. Luckily I didn’t give up the yum factor. I loved it so much I copied it and have been making it at home.

Here is what you will need

Ingredients for Harvard Square Salad

here are the things to buy for the yummy Harvard Square Salad

mixed greens

pistachios

goat cheese

asperagus

raspberries or blacberries

avocado

edamame or peas

flavored olive oil (I use chipotle)

white balsamic vinegar

In case you are wondering, here is where I get my flavoured oils and vinegar: Southampton Olive Oil Company. This is very close to where my In-Laws live – so delicious and worth the money…

Directions

So really simple – grill the asparagus and allow to cool. Chop into bite sized pieces, add lettuce, avocado, chunks of cheese, berries, edamame, and a hand full of pistachios. Toss with a drizzle of oil and balsamic vinegar and there you have it – a yummy and healthy Harvard Square Salad.

I have been eating this at least three times per week since I got home – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

With spring like weather finally showing up occasionally, I went looking for some healthy and as always tasty summer salads. I came up with this delicious shrimp and avocado salad that I adapted from something I found on the food network.

This was so good I am definitely going to make it again! I will include the recipe for the dressing I used the first time I ate it – but it made a few portions and the other times honestly I didn’t use the dressing at all and I liked it better (really I felt the dressing had too much lemon in it). In case you are curious here is the original recipe that I modified to suit my tastes… https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/shrimp-and-avocado-salad-with-frico-chips-recipe-2102587

Ingredients for Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Here are the ingredients you will need for the Shrimp and Avocado Salad and the dressing

1 medium Zucchini – halved long ways

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp and 1 tsp Olive oil

salt

soy sauce 2 tbsp

garlic – 1 clove minced

lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon

fresh chives chopped (about 2 table spoons)

uncooked shrimp (about 12 jumbo)

1 avocado

Dressing: 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp mustard powder, 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Combine 1/4 c oil, soy sauce, garlic, lemon zest, chives and some salt and add uncooked shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. When ready grill or pan fry until pink and cooked through – you can chop these into pieces or leave them whole (I did the latter).

Brush zucchini with olive oil and grill or broil so they are tender but still firm. This can be done beforehand and cooled or served hot – chop into bite sized pieces. Peel avocado and dice and toss with zucchini. Place shrimp on top and mix with dressing (optional – I like this recipe better without the dressing!). This can be served cold or with hot shrimp and/or zucchini but I loved it with cold zucchini and avocado and the shrimp freshly cooked – So So good!