Blog about my thoughts, feelings, interests and my life

Nick’s Grilled Mahi with Pineapple Chutney

Nick and his lovely wife, Lisa, on their wedding day.Nick is cool.

Nick is handsome.

Nick is kinda quiet and shy.

Nick is a chef, a really good chef.

Nick is my cousin and we are both Leo’s.

Nick is very artistic.

Nick shared this awesome and flavorful recipe with me.

Nick, I wuv you! Thanks for sharing .

Nick knows I like to grill so when I told him I wanted to try to improve on grilling fish, he graciously sent me some of his yummy recipes. And believe me, this recipe is yummy! I made it for myself on Mother’s Day, plus my daughter had been begging me to grill her some mahi. She loves to eat fish, and I am so relieved. I am trying very hard to incorporate more fish into our meals at home. But I am sure by looking at this blog you will notice I have not posted lately. Well, that is because I have been sitting at soccer fields for literally days at a time in the cold, sleet and when I am lucky, some heat and sunshine. Because I am a soccer mom, my nights in the kitchen have been pretty scarce. I miss my grill but I was able to use it this weekend for Mother’s Day!



1/4 cup good olive oil

2 Tablespoons orange juice

2 Tablespoons lime juice

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

Pinch of cayenne pepper, (you gauge the heat)


*1 Tablespoon olive oil (see step 3)

1 Pineapple (fresh) or 2 large cans diced

1 Red Onion, chopped

4 Jalepenos, diced

2 Tablespoons ground ginger (1 Tablespoon if using dried)

1 Tablespoon cumin

1/2 cup rum, or 1/4 cup of coconut juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


1. In a large ziploc bag, mix together the ingredients for the marinade: olive oil, orange and lime juice, cilantro, garlic, cayenne, and salt & pepper. Add in the fish. Toss around to coat the fish well. Store in the refrigerator until ready to grill. Only marinate for 1 hour.

2. While the fish is marinating, begin to prepare the chutney by chopping the pineapple, onions, and peppers. Set aside.

3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onions, ginger, jalepenos, and cumin for 6 minutes. *I added 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the saute to keep it from sticking to the pan.

4. Add rum, or coconut juice, and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated. While you are waiting for the rum to evaporate, take this time to fire up the grill.

5. Add pineapple, lemon juice and sugar to the saute mixture. Bring it to a simmer and then remove from heat. Add in cilantro, salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Remove fish from marinade and place in an well-oiled grilling fish basket. Place fish on a hot grill. Grill fish for 5 minutes per side. The fish is done with it flakes with a fork. Remove fish from the hot grill and transfer to a plate, then top with the pineapple chutney and serve with rice and a veggie of your choice (I used fresh steamed broccoli).

Nick’s side suggestions: Rice and Asparagus or Fresh Green Beans (boiled).

Leftovers? You can use any fish leftover for fish tacos. Simply top with black bean salsa, pineapple salsa (or chutney), lettuce and more.

Source: Nick P., of course.

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Triangle Pose

True or False? There are three points and three sides of a triangle?


Keep that in mind as you practice the triangle pose.

For me, as I practice yoga, I try to think about how many triangles my body can make as I hold this pose. Sometimes I focus on one triangle (both feet and hips), and other times I feel ready to take on more than one triangle from the two hands and back foot and so on.

Triangle Pose

First, let me explain that the Triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana, pronounced oo-TEE-tah trik-cone-AHS-anna) is a standing, TWISTING pose which means one will engage the core area. Any twisting poses in yoga will require the use of your abdominals. Beginning from a Warrior II position, I straighten my front knee, pushing the front foot’s weight into the back hip. Both feet are still planted firmly into the ground, pressing through all four corners of each foot (Four corners being big toe, pinky toe, and back two corners of the heel).

Next I reach out through my front hand and arm to the wall in front of me as well as the back hand reaching back leaving an open chest. As I press off my front foot towards the back hip, I reach with my front hand whileI fold sideways toward the front leg. My arm continues to reach out while my feet are very strong and grounded. I land where the pose takes me…meaning my reaching hand (supporting or grounding hand) places itself in the most comfortable, free position. For me personally, my reach takes me to the floor (as shown in the pic above) or sometimes it takes me to my front shin. Do not force yourself to go beyond what your body tells you. You still want to keep proper, healthy alignment throughout your transitions and in the pose itself.

Not only are you moving into your feet and hips in this pose, but you will remember I mentioned this pose is a “twisting pose”. That is true. I want to build my pose from the ground up. Once I get good positioning and a strong stance for me, I can focus on the core (the “twisting”). To do this I simply want to twist my torso using my abdominals. I like to use my two lower ribs to help me open the twist more. In order to twist, I pull my belly button towards my lower spine as to protect my lower back. Keeping the belly pulled in, I take my bottom two ribs and twist open my waist so I can allow my shoulders to stack over one another. If my top shoulder wants to fall outward or inward from the pose, then I listen to my body and it tells me my supporting hand is too far down. If that is the case all I simply need to do is walk my hand up my front leg (shin area) until my shoulders become stacked one right over the other.

When building my pose from the ground up and I get to the section of the arms, I like to think of the wings of an airplane. When a jet or airplane is flying in the sky, the wings of the aircraft are side by side; one cannot move lower or higher than the other. They both are stationary. My arms should be the same. If my arms are not stacked or straight, the problem likes lies more in my forward fold and I have to walk my supporting hand up the leg until I know I am straight and strong in the arms.

Once I build the arms portion of my pose I am ready to continue building the pose upward from the ground. First it was feet, then hips, then waist, shoulders then arms. Next it is the neck and head. As my shoulders and arms align correctly I am ready to press the shoulder blades down my spine towards my hips and away from my ears keeping the spine very long. The crown of the head begins to reach out away from the shoulders.

Finally, breathe deep for 6-12 breathes. Inhaling and exhaling only through my nasal passage. Standing full in the triangle pose, I take the time to reach into all 3 corners of whichever triangle the mind leads me to. It could be what I call the “base” triangle of both my feet and the hips, or it could be my head, hips and front leg, or it could be a right triangle of both hands and my back leg. No matter which triangle I focus on, I want to generate power in those three points creating strength.

As I begin to be full into the pose I can then open my heart and let go of judgment, competition and expectation. Awww. Peace.

Note: As I practice and become ready, I can lift my torso weight from the supporting or grounding hand and simply balance using the power and strength in my base triangle found within my feet and hips.

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Frozen Butterfinger Pie

Do you like peanut butter?

Do you like chocolate?

Do you like Butterfingers?

Do you like creamy, peanut buttery, chocolatey, chunky Butterfingery goodness?


If you like peanut butter pies, then you are bound to love this frozen dessert. It is no bake and so very easy to put together.


Chocolate wafer crust

8 oz. block cream cheese, softened

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

8 oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed

8 fun-size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped


1. In a a bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, condensed milk, peanut butter and powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture becomes smooth, creamy and completely combined.

2. Fold in the Cool Whip by using a rubber spatula. Do not use the mixer. Gently fold in the chopped candy bars.

3. Pour mixture into the pie crust. Cover and freeze until firm.

Source: Adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Note: I buy the fun-size candy bars since I can get a package for $1.00 at the grocery vs. paying around $3 for 3 regular sized candy bars.

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Jen’s Roast Beef & Swiss Hoagies

March Madness. I love this time of year. College basketball, NCAA tournament, (and soccer) is just another reason for me to get excited about spring, and cooking. This quick and easy sandwich right here is one of my husband’s favorites. It is so, so easy to put together. Toppings for this hoagie take longer than any other part. So, if you are ready to watch some NCAA games this weekend, and you need something in a hurry, try this out!


3/4 – 1 pound sliced roast beef (I just get from deli)

4 long slices of Swiss cheese

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 large onion, sliced

1 package of mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 – 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon A1 or steak sauce of your choice (optional)

2-4 shakes of hot sauce (more if you like the extra heat0

Salt and Pepper, to taste

4 hoagie rolls



1. On a broiler or cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, measure out slices of roast beef. Top with Swiss cheese.


2. In a skillet, heat butter. When melted and ready, throw in onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat. Then, add in mushrooms, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Once veggies begin to cook down, add in Worcestershire, steak and hot sauces. Cook for about 2 minutes until well blended. When done, turn heat to low.


(Note: Yes, I purposely placed that Pittsburgh Steelers salt shaker in the background.)

4. Set the roast beef and cheese portions under a broiler (set on High) in the oven. You can also microwave this if you are in a big hurry. Broil for 6-8 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place on hoagie buns.

I like to use these:


5. Open the hoagie bun, place roast beef and swiss, and then top with onions and mushroom mixture. Add any extra sauce that you want. Close the hoagie and slice in half for a better grip and easier way to eat.

His and Her sandwiches…


HIS – This is how my husband likes his – lots and lots of mushrooms on top.



HERS – This is how I like mine – lots and lots of onions on top.

Now, enjoy the madness as you watch your favorite team advance in the NCAA Finals!!

 Serves: 4


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Spelling Bee Champ in the House!!

Only two boys left…one was mine. Here we are all over again. I felt my heart rate escalating, my breath quickening and my nerves going crazy. What’s happening, you ask? Why the 3rd grade spelling bee!  To understand this post I must fill you in on its history. Just last year my son was in the same county-wide (district) spelling bee (but for 2nd grade)…it was down to him and another kid, Mason. C missed a word and Mason finished in first by spelling his two words correctly eliminating C from the competition. C walked away the 2nd place winner and as parents, we were elated, thrilled, proud and so excited for C.

But like I said, here we were all over again…except this time it was down to C and Matthew. I was rocking my knees franticly as I remembered the year before. It was happening all over again. The other kid, Matthew, was an awesome speller just whipping out those letters to every word like he was the one that actually came up with the spelling for them. I was so nervous and excited, but C was calm and cool. I remember being so impressed by his ability to stay calm under the pressure. He would look at me and smile as his eyebrows lifted. All I could do was smile back and give him a confident, reassuring look.

What was that? Matthew missed a word? My first thought was poor Matthew. I would not even be able to think of words, or letters for that matter, under all that pressure. While I take a deep breath C stands up, takes a second or two, and starts spilling out…”K – I – N – S – M – A – N.” Shew!!!!!!! He spelled Matthew’s word correctly. But to win, he had to spell another word. The bee facilitator gave out his (hopefully) final word. Already standing, Colin waits, thinks and then delivers the following letters…”L – A – N – C – E”.

He did it!!! He won the 3rd grade district (county-wide) spelling bee!!! He was so happy and excited! I was very, very proud of him! Good job, C! Matthew was an excellent speller…all the kids were. After all, they are leaders in their own classes, at their school and in their county.

We were so proud of C for his hard work! People are still coming up to him asking him if he was the kid in the newspaper who won the spelling bee. He delivers a grin calm and cool.

C with his Dad after winning 3rd grade county spelling bee.

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Simple Hershey Pie

Hershey Pie

This dessert recipe is S-I-M-P-L-E and quick to put together. We had company over to eat dinner and watch the NFL playoff games this weekend. Well, I knew most of my time would be consumed in making dinner so I had to fall back on a simple dessert. And, Hershey Pie it was. You only need three ingredients! I realize it could look a little prettier and I really did have the best of intentions in adding something extra to the top of it, but just flat ran out of time.

4.4 oz. Hershey chocolate bar (the big bar)
1 lb. (16 oz.) Cool Whip (I used Lite)
6 oz. Oreo Crust
1. Break apart chocolate bar and melt in a sauce pan on medium-low heat. Stir so the chocolate does not burn. This step will not take long.
2. When chocolate is completely melted (no lumps anywhere) and smooth, remove from heat. Slowly add in the Cool Whip. Use a whisk to fully mix and incorporate the whipped topping into the chocolate. The Cool Whip will melt and appear light. This is fine…it will firm up more once it is frozen.
3. Pour into the pie shell. Freeze until ready to serve.
(Notes: Keep stored in freezer. Also, you can also use any flavor pie crust you prefer like graham, chocolate, etc.)
Source: Lynda J.
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Le Creuset!! My first piece!

Oh I am very, very excited! I just bought myself my first piece of Le Creuset!

Le Creuset 5 1/2 qt. Round French Oven (Ocean)

Every time I walked into Williams-Sonoma or a cooking store, I was always sure to take a hard, hopeful look at the cast iron collections. Every trip in the store I would think to myself…”one of these days I will make you mine”.  And it happened. I did it! I picked out a 5.5 quart Ocean piece of Le Creuset! Ah!!! The force behind me helping me make this substantial purchase was the fact they were on sale for 20% off and I had a gift card which I had received for Christmas. So, it was easier for me to take the plunge! Next on my WS list? A pizza peel and salad tongs! Next on my Le Creuset list? The Grill plate.

Innaugural meal? Homemade Spaghetti and Meatball recipe by Pioneer Woman!!

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DIY: Glittering Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

Last year I decided to purchase a new tree for my dining room. In the past we had two trees…one in the living room which is the “family” tree with all the kids school creations along with all of our Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, and in the kitchen was the snowman tree. But I was looking to add a more elegant tree into the mix and I thought the dining room was the perfect place.

After making several trips to Garden Ridge, I finally decided on the right tree. Then came time to decorate the tree…I had already spent at least $100 on the tree itself and I did not want to spend $100 more on decorating the tree. So, I decided to make most of the ornaments myself.

Searching the internet was how I came up with Martha Stewart’s instructions on how to create dazzling glitter ornaments. I LOVE glitter and sequins…anything sparkly really. Now, there are some recipes out there on the internet which show you how to glitter the inside of a clear glass ball ornament using ink, but that really wasn’t the look I was going for. I wanted the full scale dazzle!

List of Supplies:

8-count glass ball ornaments

1 bottle of Martha Stewart glittering glue

1/2″-1″ paint brush

1 Tbsp. Martha Stewart fine glitter (color of your choice)

1 Tbsp. extra fine Recollections glitter (color of your choice)

8 wooden skewers

Piece of foam/Styrofoam board

Ribbon color of your choice


2 bowls


1. To prepare your workspace, lay down a sheet of paper or cardstock.

2. In a bowl, combine the glitters together; mix well. You should have another empty bowl on hand so you can sprinkle the glitter over the ornament and the bowl acts as a “catch-all” for the falling glitter. Plus, you are able to recycle and use the glitter on the rest of the ornaments. You will repeat this step over and over. If the glitter lands on the paper, that is fine…simple transfer the glitter from the paper back into the bowl to use on a new ornament.

3. Remove the silver cap from your glass bulb.

4. Insert a pencil into the opening in the ball ornament. I like to use my pinky finger because I have better control of the ornament as I apply the glue.

5.Using a paint brush, generously apply the glittering glue on the clear bulb until the entire area is covered with glue.

6. Cover the glue area with glitter.

7. Slowly slide the skewer into the opening to replace the pencil.

8. Stick the skewer into the foam board to dry.

9. Once dry, replace the silver cap back onto the ball.

10. Shake off the excess glitter back into the bowl of mixed glitter so you can use again, if desired.

11. Tie a ribbon bow onto the silver cap.

12. Hang on the Christmas tree.

This is really a very simple process. Last year, I made red and black glitter balls using only Martha Stewart glitters. This year I added the extra fine glitter to help the ornaments have more of a “winter” look about them.

When I used only the Martha Stewart fine glitters, the measurements were 1 Tbsp. glitter (color of your choice) with 1 tsp. Sterling Silver glitter. Mix together well.

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Swiss Steak

Swiss Steak

This Swiss Steak recipe is going into our family’s meal rotation – most definitely! I made this last night because I was plum out of ideas (and tired) of ways to cook chicken, so I picked up some cube steak at the grocery. My boss had been talking about making some Swiss steak this week and I decided I wanted to try it myself. She used to work as a waitress for years and is a fantastic cook herself, so when she talks about recipes and food, I listen! She has helped me alot!

We also like to make old-fashioned turkey dressing together every year at Christmas. We make up a big batch and split it. My boss even showed me this summer how to put up fresh corn to freeze for the winter (you can see it in the picture). Like I said before, she really has taught me alot about cooking and food, and I will always be grateful for her wealth of experience and information she graciously passes to me.

I can’t help thinking about Dad on this meal, too. Boy, would my dad love this recipe…I can’t wait to e-mail him this morning and tell him I am going to make it for him soon. No doubt he will enjoy this dish.

Ya know, when I think about this recipe and whether or not it is healthy, I can’t imagine it being extremely or astronomically high in calories…the ingredients used for the gravy as it cooks (or steams) is water and diced tomatoes.


4 -6 pcs. cube steak, tenderized

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil



1/2 cup water

1 16 oz. can diced or stewed tomatoes

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

Worstershire sauce

Hot sauce


1. In a large skillet, heat oil.

2. While oil is heating, place flour in a flat dish with edges. Flour both sides of every cube steak pressing the flour into the steak. Salt and pepper the steaks to taste. When oil is ready, brown steaks on each side. Repeat until all the steaks are breaded and browned in oil. Set steaks aside and drain on paper towels.

3. Drain off the oil from the skillet without discarding the drippings. Place steaks back into the skillet. Add water and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. I used an electic skillet and cooked it on 225 degrees. Be sure and scrape underneath the steaks a couple of times so they do not stick to the bottom of the skillet.  

4. Meanwhile while steaks are cooking, dice onions, press garlic and slice carrots. Put them all in a bowl together and set aside.

5. Shake 2 shots of Worcestershire sauce on each steak and add a few drops of hot sauce to the skillet. You know how hot you take things, so if you prefer more heat than feel free to add as many drops as you like!

5. After the meat has cooked for an hour, pour onions, garlic and carrots over top of the steak. Spread them out over all the steaks. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until meat and veggies are tender.

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice. I prefer mashed potatoes. 🙂 Now, there just might be some astronomical calories in the mashed potatoes!

Note: You can also add green and/or red peppers, celery, peas, lima beans, corn, whatever veggies or beans you like to doctor up your swiss steak. If you just stick with this recipe, you can’t go wrong either. Enjoy!

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Happy Halloween!

Kenny and Dolly

Even though summer is long gone and winter is right around the corner, Halloween is happening today! I enjoy logging onto Facebook to see all the creative ideas people come up with for their office costumes. T and I were invited to a Halloween party this past weekend, and we decided to go as none other than two country celebrities…Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers!

My husband wasn’t really feeling Kenny’s vibe (since it was my idea and not his), but once he sported the wig and painted on the beard, he was beginning to come around. We had a lot of compliments at the party about our costumes. My boss deserves all the credit for Dolly’s wardrobe since she let me borrow the sequined top and skirt. Kenny’s wardrobe was donated by both my dad and T’s stepfather.

Just think, on Halloween we get to be whoever we want for a whole day! Happy Halloween to all of you!

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