This is the snack that girly and I chow on while watching movies together on Friday nights!:) It's a great high protein, low carb, antioxident rich alternative to popcorn. You can find them in the Frozen Veggie section of your local grocery. They are also called, "Soy Beans." You can steam them or boil them, then just pop them out of the shell and have at them!:) I like them with a little sea salt. 
Strawberries are on sale right now due tot he holiday coming up - and then you can buy a container of dipping chocolate for $3. This will work on about 3lbs of strawberries - so if you want a frugal way to do Valentines but still look fancy and romantic - this is a fantastic idea! It's a lot more expensive to buy them pre-dipped. Also - they have white chocolate so you can decorate with both - or color the white and make it match other holidays etc.

I made roast chicken rubbed in EVOO, Salt, Pepper, Rosemary and Garlic! And then for good measure I poured some white wine into the cavity!:) It was super juicy, with a delicious crisp skin! Hubby loved it!
Then I added some yummy collard greens, and corn. 
Since I'm a "Former Fatty" my comfort food has changed somewhat. Tonight, I cooked up Acorn Squash, with sugar free fixings. It's simple, healthy, and warm. I hope that if you have never tried this squash before - that you will after seeing this recipe. Even my kidlet loves it!


1 acorn squash, halved with seeds removed1/4 c melted unsalted butter2-4 tbsp splendaCinnamon1 tbsp Sugar Free Pancake Syrup

*place 1/2 of the butter in each half, as well as half of splendaand cinnamon and syrup.*Bake in oven at 350 for about 30 min - checking on it for tenderness. When tender, serve it in it's shell.
**You can add marsh mellows, or nuts if you like. I didn't because I didn't have them!

This is a plant that is EVERYWHERE in Texas. In fact, I challenge you to walk a mile and not see at least one of these. The cool thing about Yaupon is it's FREE because it's practically a weed, and it's got the highest concentration of caffeine of all the "weeds" in fact it's been said to have more caffeine than tea. When all the world goes to hell in a hand basket - here's your fix!
Yaupon Leaf Tea:

Yaupon Tea Leaves (1tbps per cup water)
Tea Ball for loose leaf tea
Honey for sweetening
Lemon for flavor

Directions:Harvest Yaupon leaves and roast at 200 for 2 hours, then crumble in a baggie and use 1tbsp per cup water. Steep 10-15 min in boiling water, then sweeten and flavor.***Has as much caffeine as 10 cup coffee (supposedly) so use no more than 1 cup at a time. And be POSITIVE of your wild plant identification. In fact, it's free to have it checked by your local county extension. If you think you have Yaupon have it checked for positivity and stay away from berries which will cause vomiting.

2 oz Grey Goose
1 tbsp Dry Vermouth
2 tbsp Jalapeno Stuffed Olive Juice
1 Jalapeno Stuffed Olive
1 cup Ice


*Place all ingredients into a shaker (we love stainless steel) and shake until shaker is too cold to hold.
*Serve in a nice glass, make it cheap cause this drink is STRONG and can make you drop your glass. Grey Goose is smooth and high alcohol content.

**Please wait until your child is clearly ASLEEP in bed before having this drink. This is strong. You don't want them injuring themselves and you being too stupid to drive. This is actually something we split ONE between the 2 of us if Kidlet is home. And if she is gone then we both get our own. Your kids are more important so wait if you must.
The Jalapeno adds a great kick - but they also have garlic stuffed and anchovies and other various stuffing. Try them all! Or go without olive all together!
Why make Almond Butter when you can buy it in the store? you like to pay nearly $5 for a jar of almond butter that costs you about $1.60 to make yourself (we get a 48oz bag of almonds from Sam's Club for $10.40 - Don't have a Sam's, check online!)? If so, please go ahead to your store! I won't stop you! But, if you are like me and enjoy saving money, and you want something without added salt and preservatives, then why not make it at home? It's so simple you could do it on a work night!
Why are we even making Almond Butter? Aside from the obvious health benefits attributed to the Almond (see links at bottom for more on that), my daughter had an allergy test last year and the ones that "pinged" were Eggs, Almonds and Cow Dander. Cow Dander was the worst reactor (I know, strange!) but with the dangers of peanut allergies, even mild ones, turning into something much more serious has convinced us (with the help of this weekends rash and swelling after peanuts) that we need to cut as much peanut out of our lives as possible.
Little Girl, LOVES her peanut butter however, so we decided to try out Almond Butter!:)

2 cups Whole Almonds (do not get chopped, slivered etc. they may be rancid)Almond, Coconut, or Olive OilHoney, Splenda, Torani etc. (optional)A food processor

*Place almonds on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
*Nuke a half cup of chosen oil in microwave till about 110 degrees...this doesn't take long
*Place almonds directly into processor still warm. Pulse until they have the texture of a moist flour.
*Turn on low, add VERY SLOWLY some of the oil and let it mix in. If it looks like butter then stop. If still to dry, add a little more .It's not an exact science, just add a little and watch.
*Once it looks like butter, then you can add sweetener, whether that is honey, splenda, agave etc.Store in a tightly shut jar on the shelf for UP TO 30 days, or in the fridge for up to 3mths. Just remember this is a natural butter, no preservatives. It's normal to see some seperation of oil from nut after it has been sitting, simply stir and use as normal!:)

**Almonds have a lot of oils in them and can go rancid, the times of storage are variable as to your home temps etc.
***You can also add other flavorings into your butter, we like Cinnamon.
****A friend of mine, whose grandson has a terrible peanut allergy has found out that Chick-Fil-A uses Peanut Oil, but it's denatured and SAFE for those with nut allergies!

Links to Health Benefits of Almonds:

1 medium Yellow Squash, quartered1 medium Zuchinni, quarteredHandful of Carrots (I used baby carrots)1 Turkey Fillet Mignon (got ours from HEB, see more below about that)Mrs. Dash Seasonings of your choice


*Place Turkey Fillet Mignon in baking pan in a 375 oven for roughly 40 minutes or until it reaches 180 internally, AFTER seasoning to your liking with Mrs. Dash seasoning.
*Marinate your veggies in marinade of your choice, Italian Dressing (lite) works great!
*Place veggies in your steamer, or you can stir fry them, which I did.
*When all are done, arrange on plate and serve!

***Fillet Mignon is never cheap, but if you learn how your super market marks down their meat, then you have learned a good tip, indeed! We rarely buy meat at whole price (except my boneless skinless chicken thighs). Our local HEB will mark down their meats for "Quick Sale" the day before the expiration date. So if you keep an eye out on the cuts you like, and see when most will expire, you can head to the grocer first thing in the morning on the day that is before and get them, throw them in your freezer and then you have the tenderest meat for 50-70% off!
1 liter Borden Plus Hi-Protein Milk (or whatever milk you have)3oz Plain Yogurt of your choice (FAGE greek 0% Yogurt)Whatever fruit/sweeteners that you wish!

*Wash all ustensils with warm soapy water and dry completely. You want to breed the good live cultures, not the bad! I usually wash my pot, spoons etc with soap and then rinse with White Vinegar and then rinse again.
*Place milk in pot and bring to a boil (don't wanna boil? See tips at bottom), stirring constantly so as not to scorch the milk. After brought to boil, turn off heat completely, and let it sit and come down to 110 degrees. If you don't wanna wait, you can fill your sink with ice water, and plunge the pot in cold water. Keep an eye on the temps - if it gets below 110 you will have to heat again.
*In a seperate bowl, temper some of the milk into the yogurt. If you don't wait for the milk to cool first, you will kill the cultures. After you have tempered it and it is smooth, stir the culture into the large pot of milk. When this is well mixed - place lid on, then wrap in a thick towel, to retain it's temp. Some choose to set the pot on a heating pad on low...this is a pretty good idea if you keep your home cold.
*Let the milk sit undisturbed for at LEAST 6 hours. This will give you a light tang. If you want it tangier, let it sit a few more hours. I wouldn't go more than 12 hours.
*Chill for a couple hours, then serve with whatever sweeteners and flavorings you wish.

**Powdered milk gives yogurt an added Protein boost, and also thickens the yogurt in the same way Manufacturerers use Pectin. On your first batch start with 10 table spoons.
**Don't wanna boil cause you don't have time or are super duper lazy like I am? Heat the milk to 110, remove from heat, and follow instructions. You DEFINATLY wanna add powdered milk if you do it this way, because it wont be as firm as boiled.
** Wanna keep your sweeteners healthy? Try Agave, Torani or DaVinci Sugar Free Syrups, Honey etc. You can even use Sugar-Free Jams, though I suggest you heat them slightly before stiring into your yogurt cause it will help the mix.
**Picky kidlet that doesn't wanna eat yogurt? Let them pick their toppings, or bribe them like I do by letting them color their yogurt with food coloring!
First off, you are probably asking yourself just who on earth would eat pickled onions.! I could blame it on my German Heritage, or I can just be honest and say - they are freaking delicious!These are SUPER quick to make and are ready as soon as they cool. Anyone can do this - and I suggest you at least try this recipe one time. There are tons of health benefits to eating onions - for info on that, check after the recipe!

2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar (you can use white too)1/2 cups Water1 tsp Salt1/2 tsp Cumin1 tsp Dried Oregano1/3 c Splenda (you can use less)2 Red Onions (you can use yellow or white, but red make a pretty pink color!)

*Combine the first 6 ingredients in a pan and cook on medium.* Clean your onions (get the loose skin off, and both ends) and then cut into THIN strips.*If the brine hasn't reached a boil yet, crank it up and get it there. As soon as it's boiling, add onions to the brine and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 25 min.*After the 25 min have passed, move your onions to whatever container you choose to store them in, and place into fridge. When fully cold, DIG IN!

How to use:
*Just eat em'!
*On or in a salad
*On a sandwich in place of Saurkraut

Benefits of Onions:
*They have antibiotic and antifungal properties that can be used inside (internally) and outside (externally).
*They are known to protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes, and a variety of cancers.
*Help to increase good cholesterol and lower bad