Saturday, September 11, 2010


Waking up this morning, the goose bumplies on my legs, combined with the cripsness of the morning air, reminded me of something I’m not quite prepared for. Autumn is just around the corner. And even though this summer seemed to be hotter and humider than the last…I don’t think I’m quite ready for the change of seasons.

(And in case you were wondering, I FULLY support the use of words like bumplies and humider, and believe they should be used as often as possible.)

I apologize to all you English Majors out there.

(But not really)

There is one thing that makes me feel better though, when the thought of raking leaves, and then shoveling snow enters into my mind.

Soup Season!!!

Yes, those two words bring peace to my soul on a cold and blustery day like today. And soups like the Chicken Corn Chowder over at my most FAVORITE cooking blog, The Sisters Cafe always seem to make my days seem a little warmer, and a little brighter.

Remember those meatballs I made? You know…the totally healthy and delicious ones? Well thanks to Family Fun, I can share with you a great (and healthy!) soup to serve them in.

In order to spare you more of my incessant ramblings, I will just do this:

***This is the recipe I sent to my sister. (wise cracks and all). Enjoy!***

Minestrone soup recipe

For printable recipe click: HERE

And if you’ve stuck it out this far…You deserve a reward.

Head on over to and enter to win a fabulous prize. (Today is the last day…so HURRY!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Holy Moly….a giveaway!!

So excited to be sponsoring a giveaway over at

(And just between you and me, you have a pretty darn GREAT chance of winning. Considering there are only 3 comments so far)

So……should you want to enter to win $50 worth of Just Bead It Design Product…I suggest you head on over there right now! There’s only 2 days left!

AND…if you visit my Etsy shop…you might just get a sneak peak at my new product line! (coming soon. Very Very soon.)

(okay…you got me. I couldn’t resist posting my sneak peak here too.)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It’s true…

We have returned from our journey back west. And we survived. (My garden, however, did not)

I could write and tell you all about my fabulous family vacation.

  • Like when my brother-in-law took a turn on the tube at Bear Lake, and it was so bumpy, his extra long legs kept flying up and making funny angles in the air. (seriously…I am still laughing about this)

  • Or when My sister and I teamed up against Mike and my brother Adam to play Cranium…and we won! But only because Rachel kept cheating and whispering the answers in my ear. (sorry boys!)

  • Or the time(s) Miles COMPLETELY regressed in his potty training. booh! :(

But I won’t. At least not now.

Or, I COULD tell you about all the FABULOUS things in store for Just Bead It, like:

  • LOTS of giveaways in the very near future

  • a completely NEW look


But I’m not going to do that either.

At least not now.

Because I only have one thing on my mind right now. I experienced something just short of what I would whole-heartedly describe as a MIRACLE tonight. (you keep your minds out of the gutter. This is a family blog.)

Could it be possible that I am the last person in the WORLD to know about spaghetti squash???!!!

3265144101_43fb27fbb1 Seriously. This unassuming vegetable has completely rocked my world.

And this is hard for me to write. You see, I have never been one to be enthusiastic about health food. When someone says “You have GOT to try this!!! You can’t even TASTE the (insert disgusting vegetable here)…” I am the first to call B to the O to the LOGNA! I enjoy my bi-weekly trek to the golden arches, where-in I order a happy meal for my little Tornado, then tell him they forgot his french fries so I can keep them all for myself. You can flog me later.

But the extra eight (or so….let’s err on the side of caution) pounds I have been packing around with me this year have started forcing me to think about things like calories, and dieting and (gulp), exercise.

So when I came across a recipe in my Family Fun magazine that featured squash (a vegetable no less) that acted like my carbolicious noodles I often enjoy, I was intrigued.

Then, when I saw the recipe was actually for meatballs that you could then use for not one, but two supposedly delicious and healthy meals…I knew I had to give it a try.

I may be a lot of things…but a good cook has never been one of them. I have been actively trying to improve upon that skill as of late and I couldn’t pass up a chance to try these recipes out. Besides, I figured spaghetti squash (whatever that was), would probably be cheap this time of year.

And it was. I am happy to report I can now change the status of these dishes from SUPPOSEDLY delicious to DEFINITELY delicious. I will eat them again. Like, tomorrow.

So….Let’s start with the meatballs. Oh…those wonderful meatballs….

FLASHBACK: When I think of meatballs, I always think of my sweet Grandma Barnard. Not because she was shaped like a little meatball. No siree. (even though she was.) But its because when I was engaged and went to Grandma’s house to flaunt my new sparkler, she took one look at it and said “Oh my…when you make meatballs…the meat is going to get all stuck down there!” And that is why I loved my Grandma so. :)

But back to the meatballs.

They are made with ground Turkey and extra-lean ground beef, seasonings, and SPINACH! Yes…spinach. My skeptical husband popped one of these into his mouth and I could literally SEE the surprise wash over his face. They were good. He couldn’t deny it.


Here’s what you need:

1 lb. extra lean hamburger

1 lb. ground turkey

1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach

1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan

3 large eggs, beaten

2 Tbs. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 C. panko bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.

***If I were you, I would line my baking sheet with foil. Then spray the foil with cooking spray. Just do it. You will thank me later***

In a small bowl, mix together all the seasonings. In a large bowl add your meat, eggs, and spinach. Then dump in the mixed seasonings. Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. (try not to over mix.)

Pinch off about a teaspoon or so of the mixture and roll it into a ball. (Mine were about 1 1/2 inches) Place on your baking sheet, and continue this, spacing meatballs 1/2 inch apart.

Bake meatballs until lightly browned and cooked through (about 20-25 minutes)

Once they are done...let them cool and you can plop them on a meatball sandwich with some BBQ sauce, freeze some for later, OR..... you could make this....


Those aren’t noodles people. Oh no…they are vegetables. My newly beloved spaghetti squash. Want some? Just…

go buy a spaghetti squash. Cut it in half lenghtwise. (don't forget to remove the seeds.) Put the cut sides down in a microwaveable safe baking dish. Pour in a half a cup of water, set your cook time at about 12 minutes, and walk away.

When the squash is done, take it out. (VERY CAREFULLY!! That sucker will be HOT!)

Wear an oven mitt or something. Then take out a fork and go to town on the squash.


Seriously, just shred away. This might be a good activity to do when your son has just smeared a whole tube of toothpaste on your newly cleaned carpets. It will make you feel better. I’m just sayin’…

Now take a few of those meatballs, add them to your favorite spaghetti sauce, drizzle a little olive oil, salt, and pepper over your squash, top with the sauce…and Enjoy.

You won’t regret it.

(If that doesn’t entice you to try it, this will: My little toothpaste bandit ate an entire plate full. Then asked for seconds. Seriously. I wouldn't joke about something as elusive as a 2 year old eating their vegetables.)

Freeze the rest of your meatballs to use later in a completely delectible minestrone soup.

What? You want that recipe too? I can’t say I blame you. It was even better than the squash.

Stay tuned……