Salad For Lunch – 639.50 calories (baby spinach, chicken, avocado, Brie cheese, and nuts)

20180210_163914-1.jpg*** move cursor on photo to see quantities

There is a very important thing I try to avoid when it comes to food: wasting it which also means throwing money out the window. As a result, I learned how to adjust the way I shop for groceries. Now, I keep in mind that I must buy healthy foods that can either be mixed as is or cooked together. As soon as I get home, I prepare meals to last a couple of days and use the fresh foods in different combinations that we consume as soon as possible so they won’t get spoiled.  Continue reading “Salad For Lunch – 639.50 calories (baby spinach, chicken, avocado, Brie cheese, and nuts)”

My New 439 Calories Breakfast and a New Habit


I have found difficult to fight convenience and easy to form unhealthy habits when it comes to food. However, my first goal towards a more balanced lifestyle is about eating healthy foods and change or improve routines. I decided to start with something simple yet very important: breakfast and what I do in the morning. Continue reading “My New 439 Calories Breakfast and a New Habit”

Fast Soup For Mushroom Lovers in Pictures

Mushroom Soup Collage

*** move cursor on each image to see quantities of main ingredients

*** also needed:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • spices (dry basil and parsley or others), salt, and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

makes 6-8 servings

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Note: this recipe is a variation of ” Quick Mushroom Soup” from the book Best-Tasting Healthy All-Time Favorites, Fast and Easy Low Fat Cooking, 1994

Right side of featured image:

My Anytime Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, peppers, avocado, olives)

There are a gazillion of salad combinations. Their content depends on what you love to have in them or on a certain personal health goal like loosing weight. I like to think about any vegetable as an essential resource of vitamins and antioxidants that our body needs. If you believe in the most recent research that some vegetables may contribute to weight gain then you will probably want to keep out the sweet pepper and tomatoes or keep the pulp of the whole tomato only when making this salad. You can basically add anything you like. However, if you want to keep it as a “Mediterranean” type of salad you need to use tomatoes, cheese, and olives. These are the vegetables I used: Continue reading “My Anytime Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, peppers, avocado, olives)”

My First Smart Purchases For This Year [reviews]

One of the things I do at the beginning of each year is declutter different parts of my house in particular the clothes closets. There is always something in there that is either so worn out that I need to throw away or hasn’t been used in a long time and doesn’t fit anymore but still in good shape that can make somebody else happy. I shop for clothes only if I really need to. The price also has to be right. January is a great time to find high quality bargains because of major sales the retail stores have going on. If you are caught up with your last year’s bills, made your spending plan for this year, and your wardrobe needs sprucing up it is worth checking out your favorite retail stores at the mall and online. Because of my closet cleaning my clothes for warm weather are running low. These deals couldn’t have come at a better time. Continue reading “My First Smart Purchases For This Year [reviews]”

Mashed Lima Beans [vegetarian dish]


Last summer was my first attempt to create my own vegetable garden. The few kinds of vegetable seeds I planted yielded only a generous harvest of summer squash and Lima beans that grew with very little maintenance. I used them mostly in soups for the cold weather. Continue reading “Mashed Lima Beans [vegetarian dish]”

My Credit Cards “Paid” For My Holidays Shopping [cash back rewards program]

Saving money can be difficult. I used to think that “saving” meant being able to reserve a considerable amount of money all at once. I had never believed that a few bucks put aside on a monthly basis would make a difference in any way until two years ago when I got serious about taking advantage of the cash back rewards program that my credit cards offered. I had been avoiding credit cards in the past because they only meant “trouble” to me. There were times when due to lack of education my spending got out of control. Because I was unable to pay in full for my purchases I started paying a lot of money in bank fees.

Continue reading “My Credit Cards “Paid” For My Holidays Shopping [cash back rewards program]”

Not Sure What To Have For Dinner? Cauliflower – The Amazing Vegetable [Five Cheese Cauliflower Bake]

Cauliflower with cheese Collage (2)Every fall, we were waiting impatiently for the cauliflower to come to markets. It was a special time for us because we could only have fresh cauliflower once a year when it was in season. Cauliflower was the highlight of autumn cooking because we knew there would be a delicious dish coming. My mom used to save some of the cauliflower that we would eat raw while the dish was getting cooked in the oven. She also pickled cauliflower in big jars with other vegetables such as green tomatoes, cabbage, celery, and carrots to have ready for winter.  Continue reading “Not Sure What To Have For Dinner? Cauliflower – The Amazing Vegetable [Five Cheese Cauliflower Bake]”

Walk and You Will Find Them – Charleston’s Hidden Places [picturesque]

If anybody asked me what Southern cities of the United States I wanted to revisit, Charleston in South Carolina would be my first choice. This past Christmas was our third visit to Charleston in the past four years and the best one by far. We wanted to be surprised and walked to places off the beaten path. Exploring some of Charleston’s Historic District on foot is an excellent idea if you visit Charleston for the first time. Rich in history and architecture, with an unique cuisine, and wonderful Southern hospitality, Charleston deserves its name, The City of Charm. Charleston has survived disease, great fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, Indian and pirate attacks, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and been rebuilt through the efforts of many dedicated people.  Continue reading “Walk and You Will Find Them – Charleston’s Hidden Places [picturesque]”

Just In Time For the Cold Weather

Today, I just finished assembling my Aran cable wrap. I got the idea from visiting woolen mills stores during my trip to Ireland. This wrap is actually a very popular item. The front overlapped piece reminded me of the wrap Tess was wearing in the latest movie adaptation of one of my favorite books, Tess of the D’ Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Her wrap was a type of shawl named sontag and had a triangular shape. Women used to wear a rugged shawl over their shoulders during the cold days that they could also wrap in front of their chest and tie their ends behind their waist to keep warm when they were working outside.

Continue reading “Just In Time For the Cold Weather”

From the Man That Still Keeps the Christmas Spirit Alive For Romanians

Stefan Hrusca Collage 121917

I watched Stefan Hrusca in concert for the first time during the early 1980s. I had heard of him before from listening to some bootleg recordings. As many Romanians at that time, I was immediately captured by his unique voice that rapidly won him a high reputation as a folk musician. Unlike any other Romanian artist he made himself known by pouring his heart into singing traditional songs and Christmas carols from his place of origin, Maramures County (Northern Romania), and has been tirelessly doing so ever since.

Continue reading “From the Man That Still Keeps the Christmas Spirit Alive For Romanians”

Scarf, Neck Warmer, Or Wrap… You Choose

This project was unplanned and unexpected. It was more of an improvisation just like many things I do.

The yarn

At the check out time in one of the woolen mills stores in Ireland, I was short a little in order for my purchase to be shipped home at no extra charge. I picked up a couple of souvenirs and still did not have enough. Then I thought that some yarn should make up for the difference. Without any particular knitting project in mind, since I hadn’t knitted in such a long time, I just grabbed three hanks of yarn at random in whatever color came into my hand.

Continue reading “Scarf, Neck Warmer, Or Wrap… You Choose”

I’ve Had Enough of This Ham!

Baby Lima Beans Soup (1)

Three days after Thanksgiving Day, I still had leftovers ham. I had used some in omelettes and a couple of casseroles and still ended with over a pound of meat that I had no plans for. Then I thought about the dried white beans soup that my mom used to make and the Baby Lima Beans I collected from my new vegetable garden this fall. Now, the solution was simple: Baby Lima Beans With Smoked Ham!

Continue reading “I’ve Had Enough of This Ham!”

Make It Your Next Knitting Project

You can’t visit Ireland without buying or at least admiring beautifully knitted garments especially the famous Aran sweater. It is amazing how nowadays, machines can create intricate patterns that once could only be made by hand. Stores were selling both kinds. Interestingly, I found that the handmade items had a more simplistic design and a higher price than those machine made. Making a sweater, for example, can take a long time. It makes sense to use a machine if someone’s living depends on knitting. However, people still choose to knit by hand not necessarily to make money.

Continue reading “Make It Your Next Knitting Project”

Let’s Get Nutty, Honey! [squash gone crazy]

I got to work as soon as I learned the Iroquois legend about the Three Sisters. I became curious and couldn’t wait to do the same thing. Although it was a little late into the summer I went on and planted beans, squash, and corn anyway just like the Iroquois tribe did. I thought it would be a wonderful Thanksgiving idea to be able to give thanks for the nature’s bounty that came from my own new vegetable garden. I chose Lima Beans, Zucchini or Courgette, and White Corn. Continue reading “Let’s Get Nutty, Honey! [squash gone crazy]”