Saturday, April 30, 2016

key lime poke cake

Key Lime Poke Cake
Serves: 12

Cake Ingredients
1  15.25 oz. yellow cake mix
1  3.4 oz package instant lemon pudding
1  c. water
1  c. canola oil
4  large eggs
2  tbsp. fresh key lime or regular lime juice

Glaze Ingredients
1  c. confectioners' sugar
2  tbsp. fresh lime juice

Frosting Ingredients
8 oz.  cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 c. unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 c.    confectioners' sugar
1 tsp.  lime zest
1 tsp.  lime juice
1/2 c.  graham crackers (lightly crushed)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Zest and then juice two limes.
Lightly coat a 9-by 13" glass pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding, water, oil and eggs. Mix in the lime juice until fully incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until set and a wooden pick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then use a fork to carefully poke holes into the cake.

In a bowl, combine 1 c. confectioners' sugar and 2 tbls. fresh lime juice. Slowly pour over the cake so that it seeps into the holes; let cool completely.


Using an electric mixer, beat 8 oz. cream cheese and ¼ c. butter with 2 c. confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 tsp. lime zest and 1 tsp. juice. Frost the cooled cake.  Sprinkle with graham crackers and remaining zest.

{adapted from a recipe in Woman's Day Magazine}

Saturday, April 23, 2016

carrot tops

My carrot-top grandchildren
like carrots

but not crunchy ones

Here is what I do to soften them a bit . . .

simmer baby carrots in water or white wine
for 15-20 minutes until a bit soft
{I used Pino Grigio as it was what was on hand}

empty a jar of bread and butter pickles 
and save the brine

fill the empty jar with the cooked carrots

return the sweet brine to the jar
and refrigerate for a few hours

these are also a nice addition to a relish tray

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


This political season has troubled me in so many ways
but the right to vote is a privilege.
Sigh . . . 

Friday, April 15, 2016


On a recent trip to the airport
the Sunshine Skyway Bridge was closed due to fog

 {photo credit: only in your state}

We had to detour around the bay
Low and behold it took us right past IKEA

We stared the morning with a one dollar 310 calorie breakfast

After 2 hours of wondering around the store
we came home with . . .

two orange pillowcases

a kitchen dish soap dispenser

drawer organizers for our three new babies {due this year}

fun trays for  hors-d'oeuvres

small bookshelves {to hold our spices}

a fun bottle for water {or an adult beverage}

We were tempted by so many things.
We may just have to go back.

Friday, April 8, 2016

family visit

April will bring us family from the north for a visit

Looking forward to catching up and some fun times

hanging out with the some wine and a bloody mary

wish that little one was coming too

Friday, April 1, 2016

lemon chicken with broccoli

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli
Serves: 4
6 SmartPoints
{photo credit:}

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp table salt, divided
1⁄4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
12 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast cut into pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tsp minced garlic
2 1⁄2 cups uncooked broccoli, small florets
2 tsp lemon zest, or more to taste*
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Step 1: In bowl, combine 1 1/2 Tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper; add chicken and turn to coat.

Step 2: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes; remove to a plate.

Step 3: Put 1 cup broth and garlic in same skillet; bring to a boil over high heat, scrapping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Add broccoli; cover and cook 2 minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove broccoli and put with chicken

Step 4: In a small cup, stir together remaining 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 Tbsp flour and 1/4 tsp salt; add to skillet and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Step 5: Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken, broccoli, and lemon zest; heat through.

Step 6: Remove skillet from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice; toss to coat.

Serve over brown rice (1/2 cup rice = 3 SmartPoints)

*adapted from a weight watcher’s recipe

Friday, March 25, 2016

grandma mary {one more time}

Shared by our son Blaine today:

At 3:45 a.m. on March 22, 2016 Lindsay and I were blessed with the arrival of little Opal Josephine. We have also been blessed by the love and generosity of many friends and family that have helped us prepare for our new journey. Our hearts are warmer than we ever thought possible. We look forward to the adventure of guiding her through this beautiful world, and can't wait for her to meet everyone who makes it so much so.

Oh, and a special thank you to her namesakes 
Lindsay's late great grandmother Opal and 
my late great grandmother Josephine!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

free tax preparation

Have you heard about
free tax preparation from
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide ?

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation to anyone.
With the help of a team of IRS-certified volunteers they make it easy for you.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has more than 5,000 locations
in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers. 

There’s no fee and no sales pitch for other services.
AARP membership is not required.
No one asks your age or your income.

It is very popular here in Florida.

Find a location near you.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


March will bring us friends from the north

This will be a welcome respite for us 
after a weighty winter

Looking forward to an enjoyable few weeks

As my friend Vista Woman and I often say "I go to the sea to breathe"

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cider Glazed Roast Pork with Apples, Sweet Potato, and Sage

Cider Glazed Roast Pork with Apples, Sweet Potato, and Sage
Serves 4  ~  8 SmartPoints

{photo credit epicurious}

4  boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper  
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 uncooked sweet potato, diced
2 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sage
1/2  tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat pork dry; season with  salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together onions, sweet potato, apples, garlic, sage,  1 tsp salt and allspice; drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large  skillet over high heat.
Sear pork on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side.
Place chops on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray
Spoon apple mixture around pork
Roast until pork registers 145°F in center, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile: Place skillet on stove top over medium heat; add vinegar and cook, scraping up browned bits, 1 minute.
Add cider  and simmer to reduce to a syrupy texture; add butter and swirl skillet until it melts.
Drizzle cider glaze over top of pork chops

{adapted from a Weight Watchers Recipe}