Archive for the ‘in the kitchen’ Category


Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

breakfast in praiano

It has been just over two weeks since we returned from our amazing vacation to Italy.  I look at pictures every morning to remind myself of our trip.  {I am working on editing pictures and will share about our adventures soon.  Promise!}  This shot from our breakfast table in Praiano makes me smile every time I see it.  This was our view every morning for six mornings!  It was truly unbelievable.  We stayed in a very small {8 room} hotel run by a charming and delightful family.  Arturo took care of us each morning.  Greeting us with “Buon Giorno” and the best coffee in the world!  He also whipped up made-to-order omelets.  Italians don’t eat large breakfasts and rarely do they eat eggs in the morning, so I am sure this was just to keep his guests happy.  Delightfully, his omelets were simply eggs cooked in olive oil and folded over.  Served with fresh herbs and tomatoes-it was perfection!

Earlier this week, I was missing our slice of heaven on the Amalfi Coast, so I cooked myself a lunch inspired by Arturo.  Omelet, sliced tomatoes, sliced cured meat, and orange juice!

an inspired lunch

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

half popped

While goldfish are great fall back snack, the boys in my house enjoy variety!  We {all of us} LOVE Halfpops!  Air popped locally in Seattle, this super crunchy snack is perfect in the afternoon!  My favorite flavor is Butter & Pure Ocean Salt.  HELLO!  And they are made with all-natural ingredients.   Gluten free, nut free, no corn syrup, no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils, no preservatives.  Well, Halfpops are virtually health food!

Now that I will be watching four baseball games a week, I am going to stock up!  Moms need snacks, too.

kernels of goodness


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Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The All-American Slider

Yes, I do love to cook and I try new recipes all of the time.  Many of them include healthy, whole foods like kale and squash.  But sometimes you just need a good burger.  I have pretty much perfected the slider, or mini burger.  Or at least Big W thinks so.  These are totally kid approved!

The All-American Slider

1 lb of organic ground beef {10% fat}

1 tbs. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

2 tsp. {low sodium} Soy Sauce

3 slices Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese

12 King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Combine beef, seasoning, and soy sauce with your hands.  Make small patties by using your palm as the guide.  The patty should will be no bigger than your palm.  Grill or cook on the stove stop until done to your liking.  Just before taking the burgers off the heat, cut each slice of cheese into quarters {or fold and break apart with your hands} and top each patty with cheese.  Place into sliced rolls and serve!

I think the secret is the Lawry’s and the rolls.  Who doesn’t love those incredibly soft, sweet Hawaiian rolls?  You can jazz these up with guacamole, bacon, or barbeque sauce.  My boys like them simply with ketchup.  The All-American Slider.  You can’t go wrong!


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Friday, March 14th, 2014

A Weekly Plan | WHERE IS JUNE?

Spring schedules are nuts already!  No better time than to have a plan.  We all have to put dinner on the table.  I find when I have a plan my family eats better, I am calm(er), and meal time is less of a chore.  I primarily search for recipes that are healthy, quick and easy, use basic (whole) ingredients, and are gluten and dairy free.

These are a few meals we have enjoyed recently. I hope you can find at least one meal to add to your menu next week.  Enjoy your weekend!

1// Spring Salad

I added chicken to make this a complete meal for dinner.  There weren’t blood oranges at the grocery store, so I used a cara cara orange instead.  This was delicious with fig & walnut vinaigrette.

2// Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my most favorite meals.  I searched and searched to find a recipe that didn’t use cheese to bind the ingredients.  This is it.  Super tasty and wonderful as leftovers as well.

3//Roast Pork Tenderloin & Apples w/ Mushroom Saute

A basic roasted pork tenderloin.  The star of this dinner is the apples with mushroom saute.  Oh. MY!  Give this one a try for sure.

4// Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken, Kale Soup

Perfect for rainy spring evenings that are busy right up until dinner.  Cook the soup all day and then add the kale right before dinner.  Simple ingredients, easy to make, and so good for you.

5// Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos

A twist on your basic taco.  The addition of green chilis, beans and salsa make it a complete meal.  Can be served in taco shells if you are wanting more of a crunch.  {Warning:  my kids turned their noses up with all the additions.  It appears they are taco purists.  Just meat, mom.}

6// Spaghetti Pizza Pie {Paleo}

The spaghetti in this pie is actually spaghetti squash.  No cheese used in this recipe.  Just squash, Italian sausage {I used chicken sausage}, pizza sauce, onions, dried basil and eggs.  6 ingredients and a fantastic meal.  It does take an hour to bake, plus the 25 minutes or so to roast the squash so give yourself plenty of time.  My husband thought this was great, which was a pleasant surprise.  More paleo recipes may be in our future.

All meals are gluten free and dairy free because that is how we roll!

Images via recipe sources.


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Monday, March 10th, 2014

All Butter Pie Crust

A couple of weeks ago I took a pie making class at High 5 Pie in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood with a good friend.  In two hours we learned the tricks and basic technique to make an all-butter pie crust.  Please hold onto your arteries, because the recipe calls for two {count them, TWO} sticks of butter.   Let’s just take a deep breath and realize that we don’t eat pie everyday and it is ok to indulge every once in a while.  This crust is flaky and delicious.  And if you are like me, the crust is the best part of the pie!

High 5 pie

The High 5 Pie All-Butter Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

8 0z unsalted butter

3/4 cup ICE COLD water

You will also need a few tools. A pitcher for ice cold water, a counter scraper for chopping butter, a rolling pin, and a pastry cutter if you are going to make a lattice top crust.

tools of the trade

Our instructor gave us great tips.  In a nutshell, keep everything as cold as possible. Chop the butter with a counter scraper into small cubes and freeze it ahead of time.  Add ICE cold water gradually until dough comes together and refrigerate before rolling.  Roll a perfect circle by rolling and making many small turns.  Refrigerate the rolled crust in the pan for at least 2 hours before baking.  Before adding your filling, coat the crust with an egg wash.  This prevents the crust from getting to soggy {Brilliant, right?}.  Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet before placing in the oven.  This helps to catch the butter that will spill over while baking.

pie technique

I loved this class because we also got tips on how to crimp the bottom crust and how to make a lattice top crust.  Skills that are much easier to learn when there is someone showing you how to do it and providing feedback as you try it out yourself!  I highly recommend this class if you live in the Seattle area.  We left with an entire pie ready to bake and dough ready to roll and make another at home.  Since my husband couldn’t help me eat it and my kids are not yet pie fans {not sure how that is possible}, I baked the pie and had one piece.  The rest I boxed up and took to the teachers at the boys’ elementary school.  Nothing better than apple pie with your morning coffee!


Photos by Where is June?




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Friday, January 17th, 2014

salted peanut chews

Earlier this week I found myself with some free time and decided to bake my all time favorite cookie.  My grandmother used to make these cookies for me.  I am not sure if anyone else in my extended family liked them, but she knew I loved them.  At some point I asked her for the recipe.  She dug out the cookbook and gave it to me.  I consider having the cookbook a blessing.  As I stood in my kitchen reading the directions, I knew she had done the same-years before.  And she had done it just for me.  Share your love through small gestures.  {She taught me well.}

Trust me.  These are the best cookies on the planet. And I do not exaggerate.  Take them to a large gathering and spread the love {and the calories}.  It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but they are simple to make.

Salted Peanut Chews


1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

2 egg yolks

3 cups miniature marshmallows


2/3 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups peanut butter chips

2 cups crisp rice cereal

2 cups peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl combine all crust ingredients except marshmallows until crumb mixture forms.  Press in bottom of ungreased 13×9 pan.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Immediately sprinkle with marshmallows.  Return to oven for 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff.  Let marshmallows completely cool, then prepare topping.  In large saucepan, heat corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and peanut butter chips just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in cereal and nuts.  Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows and spread to cover.  Chill; cut into bars.

Recipe from Pillsbury Holiday Classics II (1983)



Monday, January 13th, 2014

baked grapefruit

I have an incredibly intense sweet tooth.  After dinner I am always looking for a little something sweet. While trying to avoid the Oreos, I often will slice an apple and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.  However, this baked grapefruit is perfect for cold, January nights.  With only three simple ingredients, it is a quick and easy treat.  I used Ballard Bee Company honey and a red grapefruit.  Baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes-it comes out warm and bubbly.  The perfect combination of sweet and tart.  Plus, at only 6o calories for half of a grapefruit this treat is also virtually guilt free!

baked grapefruit

baked grapefruit



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Friday, January 10th, 2014

a weekly plan  Where is June

In the Kitchen-A Weekly Plan is one of my favorite series to write.  We all have to put dinner on the table.  I find when I have a plan my family eats better, I am calm(er), and meal time is less of a chore.  I primarily search for recipes that are healthy, quick and easy, use basic (whole) ingredients, and are gluten free.  If you are like me, you dove into the holidays head first and are now ready to return to the land of healthier eating.  Our meals this week had a theme: comforting.  Blame it on the weather and the time of year.  Kale was in two recipes this week and we sort of love it!

I hope you find at least one meal to add to your weekly menu.  Have a lovely weekend!

1.  Spiced Pumpkin Seed and Cashew Crunch

Not a meal unto itself, but this crunch was super in late afternoon.  If you are able to enjoy yogurt, it would be awesome to throw a handful of the crunch with some fruit on top in the morning.

2.  Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes 

I served this delicious hardy side with broiled salmon. We had left overs and it was great for lunch the next day.  Tons of “great for you” ingredients in this dish.

3.  Tomato-Basil Soup

I have featured this soup before.  A great tomato soup and entirely dairy free as well.  We all need a  super easy dinner.  Serve this with grilled cheese and call it good.

4.  Slow Cooker Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers

I like to use my slow cooker once a week.  Fix it and forget it!   Serve with warmed corn tortillas and avocado. My kids gobbled up the steak served without the tomatoes and peppers.

5.  Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew

A hearty stew cooked on your cook top.  Using fully-cooked sausages, this stew took less than 30 minutes.  There is that kale again.

6.  Pan-Steamed Chicken and Broccoli

From Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Warming Winter Detox menu, this was dinner super yummy.  Little Man devoured the chicken {but took a pass on the broccoli}.  Using gluten free soy-sauce and chicken broth-this recipe was naturally gluten free.  No need to adjust ingredients on this one!

I hope you eat well next week and you have at least one enjoyable family dinner together.


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Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

easy toffee

Ok, this is not a diet food.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  But, this toffee is oh, so delicious!  Here is another favorite holiday treat!

Easy Toffee

15 [or so] graham crackers

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup copped nuts.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 13×9 inch pan with foil, grease foil with butter.  Arrange graham crackers in pan. [Some may need to be broken so that entire bottom is covered.  It doesn’t need to be pretty.]  In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter; bring to boil.  Remove from heat; pour over graham crackers.  Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips.  When chips are soft, spread over top; sprinkle with nuts.  Chill about 30 minutes until chocolate is set.  Break into pieces.  Store in refrigerator.

Deelish!  Be merry and bright.

You might want to make Five Minute Fudge.  xoxo

* Recipe from Pillsbury Holiday Classics II ©1983.  A gift to me from my grandmother’s kitchen.


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Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

five minute fudge

‘Tis the season for sweets galore!  Each Tuesday I will be sharing a favorite holiday treat recipe.  All of them crowd pleasers!

Five Minute Fudge {literally}

1 package (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 (140z) can “sweetened” condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Dump all ingredients into a sauce pan.  Heat over low heat until melted and blended.  Pour into 8X8 pan and cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Wow!  Could it be that easy?  Yes.  The fudge is even easier to eat.

*Recipe from Rachel Ray, years and years ago, when she appeared on the Oprah Show.



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