As American as….

Every year we make a trip right over the border to visit our favorite Wisconsin apple picking spot.  We load up on apples and cider doughnuts, say hello to the goats and visit the famous “Big Cheese.”


It is a wonderful tradition shared with my husband’s family.  We get there as soon as it opens in the morning and get out before the crowds get out of hand and the bees attack.  There are always more apples than I intended so we eat a lot of apple dishes in September and October!


Baking an apple pie is another part of the tradition.  I try to make the crusts the day before we go so we can have a homemade pie the same day we pick.  My lovely sister-in-law gave me an apple peeler/corer/slicer which makes prepping the apples go much quicker. I highly recommend using one if you have lots of apples that need peeling.

It is always a great day and a great way to welcome fall in our home.

The recipe I use is adapted from The Joy of Cooking, All About Pies and Tarts, cookbook.



Apple Pie



Strawberry Watermelon Salsa

A little while back, I posted a picture on Instagram of this salsa, but I am finally getting around to adding the recipe.  I had to taste test it before I shared!   It is delicious and actually keeps well for several days in the fridge.  I thought it might get soggy but I was wrong.  This is a super healthy addition to any meal.  Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A and fiber.  Watermelon also contains Vitamins A and C as well as lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant.

Here is a super-easy and quick recipe to push you into summer. Short post today but don’t worry I am working on a couple new ones for you all, stay tuned!

Strawberry Watermelon Salsa

1 cup diced strawberries

½ cup diced watermelon

½ jalapeno finely diced

¼c red onion finely diced

1-2T finely chopped cilantro

Juice of one lime

Salt to taste


Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Great on chicken or fish or served with chips.


Enjoy and Happy Summer!






Quinoa, the ancient Incan grain, has become a huge hit these days and for good reason.  This gluten-free, pseudo-cereal (actually related to beets, chard and spinach) is high in fiber and protein.  It is also one of the only plant foods considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids.  These are amino acids which cannot be made in the body, so must be consumed via food. Quinoa keeps you feeling full longer because of the high fiber content.  It has a nuttier flavor than other grains, giving it a unique taste.

When I first tried quinoa, maybe ten years ago, no one could pronounce it and it was not available in many grocery stores.  There were very few recipes out there and no products made from quinoa.  Now it is being used to make gluten-free pasta, cereals, granola bars, chips- and the list goes on!  I still think it is best to consume it in the natural state, but some of the newer products are great for the gluten-free community.

Here is my go-to quinoa recipe.  It is a version of the very first quinoa recipe I ever tried.  I have adapted it over time and it actually changes depending on what I have in the fridge.  It is great as a side dish or can be enjoyed as a meatless main meal- it is definitely filling enough! We enjoy it cold or at room temperature.  Nutritional information does not include the optional add-ins.

Quinoa Salad

Serves 4 large portions

1c uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2c water or broth
1 cucumber diced
1 bell pepper diced
1 tomato diced
1 green onion chopped
1T olive oil
2T red wine vinegar
3T various herbs- basil, dill, oregano- etc (3T total)
salt and pepper to taste
Optional- feta or bleu cheese, nuts or seeds

Bring water and quinoa to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, let cook until water is absorbed- around 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork. Add all the other ingredients.  Let cool completely in fridge, covered.  Before serving, let sit out of fridge for 30 mins, if desired.

Nutrition Information: Kcal: 231, Fat:7g, CHO: 27g, Protein: 7g, Fiber: 6g