Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

I can't believe it's already 2014! I am not one for making resolutions, but there are a few things I would like to accomplish:

1.  Get a job - not just any job, I want to help a company succeed and grow.
2.  Continue on my real estate investing journey - I just completed my online class and man there was a lot of information I learned!  Currently looking for an investing group or mentor that can guide me.
3.  Grow my networking group - I discovered this was an area I was lacking in my job searching adventure (sometimes I like to refer to my job searching as my once a day anxiety attack).
4.  Update my blog more often.
5.  Contine exercising and eating healthy (eating healthy least 80% of the time because I just love food!)
6.  Get my husband to clean his closet - it's just awful, that's all I'm gonna say 'bout that.

My husband and I started off the New Year by picking the lettuce we grew in our garden.  Tom and I have never tried growing lettuce, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.  We made a great salad and topped it with a bruschetta mixure, artichoke hearts and blue cheese dressing, it was really delightful.

So, here is to a new year, new adventures and hopefully a lot of good times!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tomato Cucumber Salad

I love this time of the year, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, doesn't get any better!  Last night, after returning from a horrific experience at the doctors office, waited in the lobby for an hour before I was even called into a room, saw the doctor for 5 minutes and then waited another 30 minutes to do a blood test, after I went and complained that no one was helping me!!!!!  Good thing I didn't have to go back to work!

Tom and I decided to go to the movies and have "Date Night", but we wanted to eat something before we went, we had leftover stuffed poblanos (that will be in a future post) and I decided to make tomato cucumber salad with fresh basil and oregano, all from my garden!  I love it when I can "live off the land".

Tomato Cucumber Salad
1 large cucumber
2 large tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Fresh Oregano
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Start with peeling and cutting up the cucumber


Pick a couple good tomatoes, chop and add to cucumbers

Add some fresh basil and oregano

Toss this together with salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar


I added some black olives, which my husband was not too happy about.  The great thing is I grew everything in this salad (except the olives)!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spicy Chorizo Corn Chowder

When I browse thru magazines, the recipes I try to focus on have items that are growing in my garden.  This chowder recipe caught my eye immediatly because it has a couple of items from my garden, poblano chilies and fresh basil and it is pretty simple to make.

2 Poblano Chilies
12 oz chorizo, casing removed
4 cups fresh corn kernals, about 3 ears
2 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced basil leaves

The poblano chilies need to be blackened and have the skin removed, my husband does this for me on the grill, puts them in a zip lock bag for a few minutes and the skin comes off pretty easy. Let cool, remove stem, seeds and chop.

Cook chorizo, breaking up sausage, discard any fat.
Cut corn from each ear.
In a saucepan, add cooked chorizo, corn and chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to simmer, add cream and poblanos.
Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with onion and basil.

For some reason my computer did not want to load all the pictures, trust me it was yummy!

Thank you Sunset Magazine for the recipe!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The $5.00 Bill Savings Trick

I am going to share with you one of my money savings tricks, I have been doing this for a long time and everyone like to give me a hard time about it.  Whenever I get a $5.00 in my wallet, I pull it out and put it in a drawer, pretty soon those $5.00 bills are a few hundred.

Feeling Inspired

I was having dinner with some friends last night and we got to talking about blogs, of course I said I have a blog but haven't updated in awhile.  Well, my friend Kortney was telling me about her friend, Katie and her blog, I promptly looked it up, All Things Katie Marie, it was great!  After browsing for awhile, I wanted to jump up and get my blog going again, but decided to wait until the morning, that way I can sit, have a cup of coffee and organize my thoughts.

I originally created the blog to celebrate my Grandma Opal and the wonderful food she cooked.  I decided that I am going to evolve my blog into celebrating not only the great food my husband and I grow and prepare, but the values I have learned from my family and the things that are important to me.

Here are some of the topics I will be including in my new, updated version of Grandma Opal's Midwest Favorites:
 - Recipes
 - Exercise tips and tricks
 - Budgeting and money saving ideas

Thanks for the inspriation Katie!  Everyone please follow All Things Katie Marie!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Walnut Tartlets

On the 5th of July, my sister and I had plans to do some wine tasting with Auntie Maria and Grandma in Santa Cruz, our journey began by going about 5 miles out of our way to the Summit Store in the Santa Cruz Mountains to get some sandwiches, if you ever visit this area, you MUST go to this store, it is AWESOME! After we got our sandwiches, we were on our way to Santa Cruz, there is a group of wineries on Swift Street and a delightful French Bakery, Kelly's French Pastry.  The wine was good, but the Walnut Tartlets at Kelly's French Pastry were delicious, so were the French Macaroons.  Well, I decided I could make those little tarts, so I got up this morning, looked up a recipe on the internet, found one that I liked and dived right in.  The funny thing is, I was thinking I haven't blogged about my food recently and on my way home from my jog, I saw my friend, Trisha, from high school, she reminded me that I haven't updated my blog, so here it is, thanks Trisha!

First, I had to make the pastry, not too bad and I found out that I LOVE my Cuisinart food processor! I have had the mini tart pans forever, but I have never used them, they worked perfect!  I love to buy nifty baking contraptions, haven't used them all, but I shall start!
Next, I had to bake these little guys and make the filling, these are the ingredients for the filling, not really low fat, oh well, I am going off the diet today.

Next, I had to fill the tart shells with the yummy, walnut mixture
These went back into the oven, the recipe said to bake them about 25 minutes, I think it was a little too long, they got a little browner that I would have liked, BUT they tasted really good.
I am sure that I will have to do some more R&D on these, but I think they were a success!  I will have my sister try these tomorrow, after we get our workout done!
My hubs and Sarah have been in Colorado for a week for softball, they are coming home tonight, I can't wait to see them, I will try to get one of them to be a taste tester later on!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Garden Love Pie

The Palermo family spent their summer vacation in Oklahoma, visiting some great people and meeting some new one's (Makenzi and Cassi Coder, you girls are awesome!), as always, the Hillenburg family was the best and I wish we could see all you more often.  The girls got caught up on old movies(Ya Ya!) and saw a new one, that I won't name, and that we all walked out of.  One of the movies we were desperately trying to watch was "The Waitress", we could find the DVD cover, but no movie.  We even tried to buy it at several stores, but no luck.  If you haven't seen "The Waitress", it's about a woman who works in a pie diner and has a special knack for making pies and then she gives the pies all kinds of crazy names, there is some other things happening in the movie too, but I don't want to give away too much.  Right now, our garden is producing all kinds of wonderful things, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, oregano and mint.  As I was looking thru a magazine, I found this recipe that incorporated all the yumminess from the garden and thought it sounded fabulous.  I guess you could call it a quiche, but that sounds too fancy, we are going to stick with pie, because for one, it's baked in a pie dish and for two, you need to have a pie shell to bake it in and three, pie just sounds like comfort food.  This isn't technically one of my grandma's recipes, but I will use her pie dough crust and if she was still here, I think she would really like it.  I have decided  that going forward all my pies shall be named.  I will call my apple pie "I love my daddy pie" because that was my dad's favorite.  I will call my banana cream pie "I love my husband pie" because that is one of his favorites that he only gets at Thanksgiving.  My pies shall all have the word "love" included in the name, because I know my grandma loved to make pies.


Pie = Love

'Nuff said.

Here is the recipe for "Summer Garden Love Pie"
1/2 pkg pie dough(this girl doesn't use "store bought" dough, but if you have to use store bought it's ok)
2/3 cup fontina cheese
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup shallots
3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1 1/2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 large eggs
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

Preheat oven to 350. Put dough into a 9 inch deep pie dish, sprinkle with fontina cheese, olives and shallots.  Lay half the tomato slices on top, then combine the flour, cornmeal and thyme (I added some fresh basil and oregano too) and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Top with remaining tomato slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Combine milk, Parm-Regg cheese and eggs, pour into pan, bake for 40 minutes or until set, let stand 10 minutes, top with basil. Combine cherry tomatoes with salt and serve with the "pie".

Here is the cast of characters:

Grate the cheese:

Chop the olives:

Put the cheese, olives and sliced shallots in the pie dish:

Layer in some tomatoes:

Sprinkle with the flour/thyme/cornmeal mixture and I added some fresh basil and oregano and another layer of tomatoes.  Then mix the milk, eggs and parm and pour over the top:

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the pie is set and sprinkle fresh basil on top:

This pie had all the yummy flavors of the garden:

I would like to thank my husband for being my food photographer, couldn't do it without you!