Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some recipes and enjoying this warm. beautiful day! :-)

Busy here getting organized, spring cleaning, running to activities and more! Kathleen was super excited when she came home the other day and had earned her certificate and a bag of popcorn for her popcorn words she learned in Kindergarten!

I love how enthusiastic she is about learning!

Jerry tried his hand at making her a special lunch this past weekend and this is what he came up with!

Toast hat, pears, gummy eyes and a banana mouth, lol. Not bad "daddy!" ;-)

I made baked ziti with summer squash the other night and it was pretty good, the girls liked it so that's always a plus ;-)


4 oz. whole wheat uncooked penne or ziti pasta (2 cups)
1 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini raw, thinly sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cups marinara sauce (homemade if you have some on hand)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. olive oil

Cook pasta then drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray
Heat oil on large skillet over medium heat. Add squash, zucchini and garlic, cook stirring till softened about 6 mins or so. Stir in cooked pasted and marinara sauce.

Transfer the mixture to prepared baking dish and top evenly with ricotta cheese and mozzarella.
Bake until heated through and bubbling about 20 mins or more.


I've also been having a black and white summer bean salad for my lunches, really good and refreshing!


1 cup white beans drained and rinsed
1 cup black beans rinsed and drained
1 large tomato diced (or grape tomatoes)
1 small uncooked onion diced (I left this out because I'm not a fan of onions raw :-)
1 rib celery raw, diced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I used red also very good)
2 tbsp parsley, Italian minced
Salt and pepper to taste

This picture doesn't do this next meal justice.... it's Bar-b-Que chicken and black bean pizza


1/2 pound of chicken breast cubed
1/2 cup bar-b-Que sauce
16 oz pizza crust pre baked
1 1/2 cup Mexican cheese shredded
7 1/2 oz black beans canned, DRAIN AND RINSE!
1 small onion uncooked (red) finely chopped
1 Tbsp raw cilantro chopped

Place oven rack in middle of oven, heat to 450 degrees
Spray a nonstick skillet and stir fry chicken over medium heat, when cooked place in medium sized bowl and toss with half the bar-b-Que sauce.
Place pizza crust on baking sheet and sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese. Then arrange chicken and beans over top. Sprinkle with onion and cilantro. Drizzle with rest of bar-b-Que sauce, add remaining cheese
Bake 10 mins. or until cheese bubbles.

Kathleen was helping me make banana bread and a cake for Jerry's work today. Here she is mashing the bananas:

And prepping the cake! ;-)

It was so beautiful today we just had to spend some time outdoors! I picked Hayley up at dismissal time and off we went!

She was trying to squint and smile, lol!

This one is one of my favorites!!

Just love these "little" hands always on the look out for ways to be creative! A craft project on the horizon!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Mark Twain

Have a wonderful week!



KERRY said...

I really love that quote!!! I may have to borrow that one :)
Your pics are just lovely, your youngest daughter has the prettiest red hair ever!
Your fave photo sure is a keeper, looks like a beautiful day you all had :)
Enjoy your nice weather xo

Sweet Tea said...

I always enjoy seeing your recipes and they all look like Keeper's, except for maybe the one using squash. Other than eating zuchinni, raw in salads, I have never found a way I enjoy eating them. Maybe camoflauge is the way to go!...Our weather was beautiful here too. Looks like your girls had fun at the park.

Heather said...

Beautiful Pictures!! & Beautiful Girls!! enjoy that warm weather Love Heather

Katharine said...

Great pics! I am going to try that bean salad, it looks great, so does the pizza!(Now I'm hungry, lol)

Annie said...

The piggy-back ride picture is great!

I enjoy Mark Twain quotes, too. :)

Mark said...

You leave Jerry alone! I think he did excellent in whipping up that snack. My snack-guy would look like the elephant man if I ever attempted to make one.

Tara said...

I'm making your bbq black bean pizza for sure! I love pizza and love the idea of a little extra protein on it! Look sosososososo good!
Happy day to ya, tara

Cindy said...

So great to get outside and enjoy this spring weather isn't it?? You captured some beautiful memories jill.:)
have a happy day

SonyaAnn said...

Thank you for sharing. And have a wonderful warm day!

Camille said...

Fun post Jill! Your girls have a lovely place to play outdoors. Warm? It's been SO COLD here the last few days! Maybe spring will soon come to us too. :)

How fun that your hubby got creative in the kitchen...that must have made the girls smile.

Blessings to you!

Nicolle said...

Yummy on that bean salad. I might make that for lunches soon. It looks great. Love your cute little chef in the kitchen with her pink hat. We've been enjoying the park a TON this last week or so. Looks you you guys have been as well. Your daughters are so cute. I love those pine cones your oldest picked up. Enjoy your weekend! xo.