Broccoli With Easy Mustard Sauce

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Broccoli-With-Easy-Mustard-Sauce2source: Pinot & Dita

I’ve been loving the American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook lately. The recipes are quite simple and very tasty. One of my favorites is Broccoli With Easy Mustard Sauce.

Because of my own needs, cooking style, flavor preferences, etc, I made a few small changes to the original recipes.

I removed the flour, reduced the amount of water and added a bit of salt.  The recipe is still quite similar to the one in the book.


3 cups frozen broccoli

2 tbsp water

2 large pinches chicken soup mix

2 pinches thyme, crushed

3 tbsp drained low-fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp sharp mustard



Microwave the broccoli till tender. Drain well.

Combine all ingredients except for broccoli in a shallow saucepan. Stir well. Heat till mix starts to bubble around the edges.

Pour sauce over broccoli and serve immediately.

Get your own copy of the American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook at Amazon. Sadly, this book is out-of-print so you will need to purchase an inexpensive used copy.

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Delicious Low-Fat Herb Spread

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Delicious Low Fat Herb SpreadSource: anemoneprojectors

Since I’m currently on a very low fat diet, I spend a lot of time perusing the pages of healthy cookbooks for exciting new recipes. My new favorite comes from the pages of the American Heart Association Quick And Easy Cookbook. The original recipe is called Cucumber and Herbed Cream Cheese Sandwiches.

As usual, I’ve changed the recipe quite a bit to suit my own tastes.The original recipe called for tarragon, which I’m not always crazy about. Instead I substituted oregano and salt, plus upped the red pepper slightly. The result is yum!


8 ounces low fat cream cheese or other spreadable cheese product (examples listed below)

1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 small pinches red pepper, crushed

salt, to taste

skim milk, if needed


Drain or whip in skim milk to spreadable cheese product till you get the consistency you desire. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Serve with healthy low fat crackers or toasted bread.

Examples of spreadable cheese products are low fat cream cheese, nonfat cream cheese, drained low fat yogurt, drained and blended low fat cottage cheese, Israeli white cheese, etc.

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Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich

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Cheese And Vegetable Sandwichsource: Jennifer

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich for several months. The problem is,  every time I get a green pepper in the house, it gets used within hours for a stir fry or Sloppy Joes. Yesterday, my husband purchasing two peppers instead of one, so today I finally got to try out this easy recipe from the Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook.

As usual, I made a couple of changes to the ingredient list. I only had American cheese, so that is what I used. Also, since pita was the freshest bread in the fridge, that also got added to the mix. I think the original ingredients would probably be better for this dish than my alternates.

Nonetheless, even with my substitutions, the sandwich came out nice and I enjoyed eating it.

Will I add the Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich to my regular rotation of recipes? I’m not sure.  Though I definitely enjoyed my meal, combining cooked green peppers and onions with cheese is a new taste for me and might take some getting used to.

Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich

2 large green or red peppers

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion

Hot pepper sauce (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 large sandwich buns

1/4 – 1/2 pound Havarti or Cheddar cheese

Core and slice peppers. Heat oil in a wide skillet and add peppers. Cook over medium heat as you prepare the onion. Slice onion about 1/8 inch thick and add to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are limp and beginning to brown. Season with hot pepper sauce (if using), salt and pepper.

Split sandwich buns in half horizontally. Divide cheese among bottom halves of buns. Top with some vegetable mixture.  Close up sandwiches, cut in half and serve.

Optional: Though not in the original recipes, vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts can be added for additional crunch.

Serves 4

Get your own copy of Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook: Hassle-Free, Healthful Meals for Really Busy Cooks (affiliate link) at Amazon.

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Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions

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amazing-leonardo-da-vinci-inventionsI’m a big fan of technology books written for kids. I first discovered them when I homeschooled my son for 7 years. Even though those days are now long past, I still read and use this genre of books constantly.

These books have been the source for some of my most innovative projects. Books from these books have inspired me to make  a pantograph (a type of drawing tool),  a flower press, cardboard furniture, sprouts, flicker books, a bird feeder and homemade cheese.  I loved all these endeavors,  but I would never have tried them without the  “push” that children’s books gave me.

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions is the newest addition to my book collection. The book starts off with a history of the Renaissance and then goes on to a biography of da Vinci. After that, the project section begins.

The project section is divided into five parts: art, machines, water, flight and war. There are anywhere from 2-6 projects in each category.

For me, the projects are the “meat” of the book. Each project has very easy-to-follow directions, accompanied an abundance of illustrations. In addition, each of the projects is put into historical context, with an accompanying photograph of Leonardo’s work.

As I flipped through the projects,  I mentally made a note of those I would enjoy trying on my own, and those that would be fun to do with the kids.  The projects for me to try include building a perspectograph,  learning two-point perspective, plastic making and paint making.  Projects for the children are a camera obscura, a hygrometer and trebuchet.

If, like me, you’re a crafter who enjoys bringing a bit of technology into her projects, take a look at Amazing Leonard da Vinci Inventions. It’s available inexpensively on Amazon, or at most public libraries.

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Red Bean Soup

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Red Bean Soup

source: Renee Suen

This very healthy and tasty Red Bean Soup is my variation on Nava Atlas’ recipe in Great American Vegetarian.  My version uses canned beans and thereby cuts cooking time down dramatically.  I’ve also  skipped some of the steps in the original Red Bean Soup recipe, but without sacrificing the flavor.


1 can red or kidney beans

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 large stalks celery, diced

1 can chopped tomatoes

3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil

few grains cayenne pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat, till light golden. Add the celery and cook till celery begins to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Add beans, tomatoes, water, bay leaves and thyme. Add cay­enne pep­per, black pep­per and salt to taste.

Lower heat and sim­mer, un­cov­ered, for at least anoth­er 30 – 40 min­utes.

Add more water if needed, but don’t overdo it. This version of Red Bean Soup is so chunky,  it’s almost  like a stew.

Note:  The original recipe suggests you puree the Red Bean Soup, but I usually don’t, and my soup is chunky instead of smooth.

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Eggs And Onions Appetizers

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Eggs and Onions Appetizers

source: esimpraim

I used to believe this recipe was a common American dish, enjoyed by most families.  Just recently,  I was surprised to find out that Eggs And Onions  is  eaten almost exclusively in Jewish homes. Surprise!


4 hard boiled eggs, peeled

1 onion, peeled and chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

lettuce leaves, optional

crackers or rye bread, optional


Fry the onion in a generous amount of olive oil till a rich brown. Do not drain the olive oil.

Chop each egg into  into 8-12 chunky pieces.

Combine the egg, onion and olive oil, salt and pepper. Allow to cool and then serve.

To serve, layer a couple of lettuce leaves and a scoop of Eggs and Onions onto four individual serving plates.  Garnish with thin slices of rye bread or crackers.

Makes 4 servings.

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10 Ways to Help Your ADHD Homeschooler

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10-ways-to-help-your-adhd-childsource: amenclinicsphotos ac

Homeschooling is a wonderful option for an adhd child.  It allows the child to receive an individualized education at the hands of a devoted teacher.  And, it allows his special “issues” to be dealt with fairly and patiently.

Here are some tips for helping your adhd child thrive in the homeschool:

1) If you suspect adhd but have not yet had your child tested, go ahead and take the plunge. The faster you have your child diagnosed and treated, the better for you both.

2) If your doctor recommends medication, don’t drive yourself crazy questioning  his opinion.  If your doctor told you to get your child glasses, you would do it without researching every point-of-view on the subject.  Adhd medication should be treated the same way as glasses.

3) Chunk down assignment into small pieces.  Large assignments can be overwhelming for some children.

4) Allow extra time for completing assignments if your child needs it.  My son is great at math but it takes him more time than many other children.

5) Allow short, frequent rest breaks instead of one long one.  Our homeschooling schedule was an hour of work, followed by twenty minutes of break.

6) Make sure you are available to give you child plenty of reminders to stay on task.  ”Get back to work please,”  is all you need to say.

7) Please, NO lectures or punishments.  Children want to please their parents.  If your child could do better, he would do better.

8) Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish as much each day as the books say you should.  ADHD kids naturally work slower than other children.

9) Try alternative methods of learning.  Science doesn’t have to be always learned from a textbook.  For instance, participation is 4H, watching videos and doing experiments are also good ways to learn science.

10) If you feel yourself stressing out, join an adhd support group.  One or two visits to the group will quickly convince you that your situation is normal and okay.

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