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Are you looking for a quick and easy breakfast? These Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins can be mixed up the night before (everything but the eggs). In the morning scramble the eggs and add them to the mix and in twenty minutes your muffins are ready. I usually make a double batch and save the extras for future breakfasts. They keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days just fine. I have not tried freezing these spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins yet, but I’ve been told they do freeze well. These Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins are perfect for meal prep. This recipe makes one serving, which is three muffins, very easy to double or triple the recipe.Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins


I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas and I like to find recipes that include some sort of vegetable. Not always easy as eating vegetables for breakfast does not seem to be the norm, unless you are enjoying a spinach omelet! Often I will stir fry some peppers to enjoy with my eggs but I love the idea of making these ahead of time and having my breakfast ready to enjoy!Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins


Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins




1 cup spinach

1 Tbsp. scallions

1 egg, scrambled

2 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped

½ cup cooked quinoa

1 tsp. Olive oil




Preheat your oven for 375. Cook the spinach with olive oil just until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into your muffin pan, which has been lined with muffin cups or coated with nonstick spray. I used my silicon muffin liners and they work perfectly. Bake for 20 minutes.Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins


As I mentioned this recipe can easily be multiplied to make more Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins. Why not make a big batch to freeze so you always have a healthy, pre-workout meal ready to enjoy!Spinach and Bacon Quinoa Muffins

Recently we traveled to visit my mother-in-law and I asked if I could cook dinner one night. Chicken stuffed with fresh basil was the meal I decided to make and was it ever a winner. The recipe takes only minutes to prepare and can easily be doubled or tripled. The chicken breasts I used were small so we each had our own chicken breast. There were no leftovers.chicken stuffed with fresh basil


The key to making a delicious chicken stuffed with fresh basil is the quality of the ingredients. Use fresh basil and a good quality of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The juice from the tomatoes helps the chicken to stay moist. I can’t wait to try this recipe using fresh garden tomatoes.chicken stuffed with fresh basil


Chicken Stuffed with Fresh Basil



2 boneless chicken breasts

6 – 8 thin slices of mozzarella cheese

3 – 4 small cocktail tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves

Italian seasoning

olive oil



Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Slightly spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray.

Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cut 3-4 thin slices across the top of the chicken. Do not cut all the way through.

Stuff each slice with a piece of cheese, some tomato and a fresh basil leaf. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish. Sprinkle each chicken bread with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.chicken stuffed with fresh basil

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees.chicken stuffed with fresh basil

Additional Notes

Chicken stuffed with fresh basil can easily be doubled or even tripled. Use good quality mozzarella and fresh tomatoes and basil!chicken stuffed with fresh basil



At first glance this may seem like just another macaroni and hamburger casserole. Not so! This Poverty Casserole recipe is good enough for company. The ingredients may start out like a normal casserole, but with the addition of sun dried tomatoes and a little cream this casserole becomes something special! This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cold Weather Cooking. The story is that Sarah Leah Chase developed this recipe as an attempt to make a quick and humble supper of hamburg and macaroni. Like I’ve said before I’ve never made a recipe from this book that wasn’t absolutely delicious! This recipe makes 4-6 servings.poverty casserole


Poverty Casserole or Fancy Baked Hamburg and Macaroni Casserole





3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound lean ground beef

8 whole sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and minced

1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes in puree

2 Tbsp. Oregano

2 tsp. Dried marjoram

Salt and pepper to taste

1 box (16oz) ziti

2 large eggs

2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

2 cups shredded mozzarella

3 Tbsp. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese




Before getting started preheat your oven to 350. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook until it looses it’s pink color. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings. Let the mixture simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile cook the ziti in a large pot of salted water until al dente, and drain.


Whisk the eggs and cream together in the bottom of a 3 quart Dutch oven or other ovenproof casserole. Quickly toss the drained ziti with the eggs and cream. Add the meat mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Fold in 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella. Top the pasta mixture with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella and the Parmesan.Poverty Casserole


Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole in bubbling. Serve at once with a salad and some bread.Poverty Casserole Once you try this Poverty Casserole you may never go bake to the basic recipe for hamburger and noodles again. The addition of the sun dried tomatoes gives this dish a wonderful flavor. Enjoy!Poverty Casserole

We use ginger in many different recipes, Chinese recipes like Beef with Oyster Sauce use ginger. The addition of fresh ginger to this Scallops and Fresh Ginger recipe adds a slight oriental flavor to the dish. My husband’s grandmother was a fantastic cook and living on an island had a local source of fresh scallops. Her favorite recipe for scallops was with Ritz crackers and lots of butter. It was delicious but so much butter!  I once decided to serve her this Scallops with Fresh Ginger when she came to visit us. She had given us a gift of fresh scallops. At first she was a little hesitant, no Ritz crackers? Her only comment was , “this is different” and then she proceeded to enjoy every bite!


Scallops and fresh ginger is a quick recipe. Preparing the rice will take the longest and if you chop the vegetables ahead of time the whole dinner can be on the table in well under an hour!Scallops with Fresh Ginger


Scallops with Fresh Ginger




1 large carrot, peeled and trimmed (3/4 cup)

1 small zucchini, end trimmed (1 cup)

1 small leek, trimmed (3/4 cup)

4 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. shallots, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. freshly chopped ginger

½ cup white wine

½ cup heavy cream

  • ½ pounds bay scallops




Cut the carrots into 1-½ inch lengths, and then continue slicing into matchstick like sticks. Cut the zucchini and the leek into matchstick like sticks as well.


Melt 2 Tbsp. Of butter in a skillet and add the shallots, cook briefly and add the carrots. Cook for about 30 seconds and add the ginger. Cook briefly and add the wine. Let the wine reduce almost completely and then ad the cream. Cook over high heat until reduced by half. Add the scallops, zucchini and leeks. Continue cooking until the scallops are done. Swirl in the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and serve over rice. Makes four servings.Scallops with Fresh Ginger


The cream adds a delicious creaminess to the recipe and the fresh ginger ties it all together. If you are a scallop lover you will enjoy this Scallops with Fresh Ginger.Scallops with Fresh Ginger

Most people would have made their own Elderberry Syrup earlier in the season. In fact I’ve been meaning to make this Elderberry Syrup ever since a friend of mine gave me the recipe! It still seems like folks are battling various colds and flus and I figured it’s never too late.Making elderberry syrup


If you don’t have a local source for black elderberries you can actually buy them online. I found the best deal on Amazon but if you know of a better deal please let me know! Everything else I had on hand. You can actually buy Organic Elderberry Syrup kits online but I wanted to do it myself. Try to use local raw honey in the recipe.


Elderberry Syrup




2/3 cup organic dry black elderberries (3 ounces)

3 ½ cups water


2 Tbsp. fresh ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon powder

2 whole cloves

1 cup raw local honey




Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add your elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.Making elderberry syrup Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 45-60 minutes.Making elderberry syrup The liquid will be reduced to almost half. Remove from heat and let cool. Mash the berries using a spoon. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar.Making elderberry syrup


Discard the elderberry mash into your compost. To the elderberry syrup in the jar add one cup of honey and stir well.Making elderberry syrup


That’s all there is to it! Store in the refrigerator and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Standard dose is ½ tsp. – 1 tsp. For children and ½-1 Tbsp. for adults. If you do get the flu you can take the normal dose every 2-3 hours. I am not a doctor so if you are really sick don’t hesitate to see professional advice from your primary care physician! Hopefully you are enjoying a healthy winter!



You may have had a delicious chicken soup before but this Zuppa Mariata is the most delicious and comforting soup I’ve ever had! The recipe makes 4-6 servings. The first step in making this recipe is to make the Chicken Balls. They need to have some time to chill before they can be cooked.Zuppa Mariata


Zuppa Mariata




1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

½ cup chopped onions

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp. Lemon juice

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Oregano

¼ tsp. Pepper

8 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)

3 ounces egg pastina (3/4 cup)

40 chicken balls (recipe below)

2 egg yolks

1 cup light cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper and oregano to taste.




Before starting the soup make your chicken balls (recipe below). Then proceed with the soup recipe.


Sauté mushrooms and onions in oil in a skillet until tender. Sprinkle lemon juice, alt, oregano and pepper while cooking.


Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock to boiling. And the mushroom mixture and pastina. Boil 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken balls and continue cooking until the chicken balls are done. Turn off the heat and combine yolks, cream and cheese. Blend well and whisk into the hot soup. Season with salt, pepper and additional oregano, to taste. Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley if you like.Zuppa Mariata


Chicken Balls


(makes about 40)




1 cup ground, chicken (can use ground turkey as well)

2 Tbsp. Chopped parsley

2 egg whites

½ cup dry bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Pepper




Combine all ingredients and blend very well. Chill until firm enough to handle. Shape into small balls. Chill until ready to cook.


Cook the balls, either in the soup or in boiling salted water, until they float to the top, about 10 minutes. The cooked balls also freeze very well.


Seriously, this Zuppa Mariata is so delicious I think I could have eaten it all in one serving! Luckily I refrained and we had the leftovers for lunch the next day.Zuppa Mariata

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