Grain Bowls

Grain Bowl with Garlic Expressions

and One of the Funniest “Food” Blog Posts Ever!

I’ve been told several times to try a grain bowl from Panera. I like Panera for lattes, breakfast soufflés, and pastries, but lunch? No thank you. But I was intrigued by the Mediterranean grain bowl. I haven’t had one yet, but did some searching on Pinterest and saw a grain bowl with blueberries and quinoa that looked amazing. I went to my fridge and threw everything I had (well, not everything) in a bowl and voilà, a “grain bowl” was born!

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Black Bean Tomato Soup

Sopa Tarasca

Otherwise Known as Sopa Tarasca, it’s Black Bean Tomato Soup with Bacon!

Have you ever heard of Sopa Tarasca? Do you cook your own black beans from dried beans? Do you like bacon? Silly question! Everyone likes BACON right? I’ve been quiet over the holidays and I’m sorry, but I think everyone will forgive me once they try this recipe for Baconny Black Bean Tomato Soup!

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Four Ingredient Tuna Cakes

Granny's Tuna Cakes

Family Recipes! It’s Time for Granny’s Cripsy and Easy Tuna Cakes!

Many of my recipes are inspired by meals I remember having at my grandmother’s house, that my Mom made or recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation through my husband’s family. I’m excited to bring you a new page and category called “Family Recipes.” You’ll find recipes like these easy, crispy four-ingredient tuna cakes, inspired by childhood memories, or family favorites, old and new!

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Instant Pot Chickpea Soup

Chickpea Soup with Olive Oil and Oregano

Instant Pot Chickpea Soup, with Lemon & Oregano. It’s so Good and I’m so Excited that it’s Soup Season!!

Creamy rich chickpea soup with olive oil and oregano
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Sweet Spicy Salmon Glaze

Salmon Sunday on FoodieBook Friday?! Yes, I highly recommend this Sweet Spicy Sriracha Salmon Glaze!

It’s about time I posted my tried-&-true Sweet & Spicy Salmon Sunday Glaze Recipe! I’m posting this on Friday so you can pick up some nice thick salmon, sriracha and/or gochujang, sesame oil, and soy sauce for this weekend!

Salmon Sunday

For my very first attempt at cooking salmon, I used this recipe I saw Chef Michael Salmon… um SYMON, Chef Michael Symon make on The Chew. I sooo loved and miss The Chew. Anyhoo, either he suggested using hot Chinese mustard and honey on the episode, or somewhere on The Chew is a recipe where he or someones else used hot Chinese mustard. (or I made it up?)

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Easy Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Tomatoes Onions Basil & Garlic!

Italian Sausage, Garden Tomatoes, Basil, Onions served on crusty roll.

I Call These “Brenda’s Italian Sausage Sandwiches.” They are an Awesome & Quick Recipe to use up Your Garden Tomatoes & Herbs!

This recipe is so easy it’s almost NOT a recipe! My Sister-in-law makes the best Italian sausage, pepper & onion sandwiches on a crusty hot baked roll. I intended to replicate her recipe for dinner using fresh garden goodies! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bell peppers in my garden, and the ones at the meat market looked soggy and sad. I didn’t let that stop me, no way!

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Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash

Cherry & Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash – It’s not my Mother’s Stuffed Acorn Squash! It’s a delightfully easy, sweet and savory dish!

Stuffed acorn squash
Jump to Recipe

Just like everybody else, I often find it hard to come up with ideas for dinner. I was looking for something to inspire me to make dinner and I had just read about this garlicky, salty skillet bread on the Food In Books blog. It was amazing! I served it with herbed olive oil that I made with parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Thanks Food In Books, for the inspiration!!!

olive skillet bread rising

So I had bread, now what!?

Olive Skillet Loaf
Olive Cast Iron Skillet Bread sliced

That got me totally inspired to get creative in the kitchen and how I came up with this Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash recipe!

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Easy Shrimp Fajitas

I’m not much of a planner. Sorry! If you are a lover of lists and meal plans this may not be the blog for you. But if you want to know how to turn a few fridge and freezer finds into a quick meal, you’ve come to the right place! Easy Shrimp Fajitas are great on a weeknight!


I peeked in the freezer and all I had was a couple of bags of frozen shrimp, salmon, one chicken breast, and lots of ground meat. In the fridge, I had bell peppers, avocados, cilantro, scallions, leftover Instant Pot garbanzo beans, corn tortillas, and lettuce. Here’s what I came up with! Lettuce wraps for me and corn tortillas for my husband to take to work tomorrow for dinner. It’s not beautiful but it’s delicious and nutritious.

Quick Shrimp Fajitas

Ingredients for Easy Shrimp Fajitas

  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bell pepper (if you also have a jalapeño it would be a great addition)
  • 1/2 cup Cooked beans. I’d prefer black beans, but I had garbanzos ready!
  • 1/2 Lime (optional)
  • Scallions (optional but they add great flavor)
  • Cilantro (also optional)
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Red pepper/cayenne for heat, optional (you can just use a taco seasoning packet if you prefer, instead of chili powder, cumin, and red pepper)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lettuce and/or tortillas

First, I cut the cheeks off the bell pepper and charred them over my gas burner. Once charred I put them in an airtight container to steam for a few minutes, while you slice your onions. After a few minutes, you can easily scrape off the skins and slice the pepper into strips. Charring the pepper is optional but if your stomach doesn’t handle pepper skins very well, and you like the extra flavor from the char, I highly recommend it!

Char peppers over a flame.
Steam the skins off the peppers
After steaming the skin scrapes off easily!
Thinly slice the pepper.

Slice the onion in half then cut into slices and cook in a cast-iron skillet with a teaspoon of olive or avocado oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Cook until onions are cooked through but not mushy.

Cooking onions

Add the beans and peppers until heated through. Set aside and use the skillet to cook the shrimp.

Rinse the shrimp and pat them dry. Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper over the shrimp. If you like a little heat, start with a scant amount, like a very scant quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and sprinkle over the shrimp.

Season the shrimp.

When the shrimp start to curl, you can see them turning a little white and the tails are turning pink, flip them over. Immediately season the shrimp on the other side and add in the peppers, onions, and beans. By now the shrimp are likely cooked through! Stir it and cut one shrimp in half to test for doneness. Remove it from the pan immediately. Over-cooked shrimp is not good! Especially if it’s going to be reheated and served later! Taste and add seasoning if necessary.

Shrimp cooked through.

It’s done when it’s no longer opaque or squishy on the inside. The whiter it gets, the more cooked or overcooked it is.

Serve with avocado, thin-sliced scallions, and cilantro in lettuce cups or tortillas. Freshly squeezed lime brings out all the flavor! Add salsa if you have it, but with the lime, you won’t need it.

Easy shrimp fajitas on a weeknight

If I wasn’t so tired I would have steamed some rice to go along with this… and added a nutrition label to my recipe… but I’ve been fatigued lately. I’ve had some B-12 injections, started some supplements, and hope to be feeling better soon. Yawn.

I thought the garbanzo beans would be weird but they worked in this recipe! A red bell pepper would have been pretty, but this is what was in the fridge! Let me know if you cook up something similar with garbanzo beans, I’d love to hear about it, please comment below.