Friday, June 29, 2012

Sweet Saturday #11

This week I wasn't sure what to post about. I've been pretty busy again and yesterday I had a migraine, so focusing was out of the question. Then I started thinking about all the awesome bloggers that linked up recently, and decided to highlight some of my faves from the last 2 weeks. Not to say that every posit wasn't just as awesome, but these ones really caught my attention.

I really appreciate those who have been linking up regularly since I started this hop, so this is my way of not only sharing some great posts, but also of saying thank you :) It's been really fun so far!

Without further ado:

This one really caught my eye! I mean, coffee Jellos! A must try for any iced coffee fan, and how creative! Thanks, Linda, from With a Blast!

I actually invited Miss Coleen to link-up after I saw this yummy recipe on another blog hop. It combines 2 of my favorite things: strawberries and chocolate mousse. In a pretty cocktail glass! (commence drooling). Thanks, Crafty and Cooking Momma!

Good Girl Gone Green never ceases to amaze me with her yummy and super healthy recipes. Here is just one of many delights she has linked up here:

And here is yet another gem I just had to share: two ingredient ice cream! That you can easily make without an ice cream maker! Let's hear it for What's Cooking in the Burbs?!

And last, but certainly not least, these adorable sock corsage wristlets from I Heart Pears, my co-hostess today. How adorable and clever is this?!

OK, now it's your turn! Follow these simple rules:

1. Link up something sweet to really WOW us all- your blog, Etsy store, Pinterest, Facebook, whatever you want! 
2. Link-up as much as you want and please follow me and Elise at I Heart Pears. 
3. Hop around and say hi. 
4. Share my button to get more people to join us (not required, but it would be nice!)

Thanks so much for linking up, I really do love Fridays even more because of this :)

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meatless Monday: Tofu with Thai Basil Stir-fry

I was browsing through blogs a couple of weeks ago, and came across one that got me really excited. You may have heard of it- it's called Sea Salt with Food. Apparently it's quite popular, and Angie Tee does an amazing job not only with providing original and classic recipes, but also with the photography. Her shots make you just want to lick the screen.

Anyway, I found a bunch of recipes to try, and this is the first one I did, although I adapted it to what ingredients I had available, so it's different enough that I can say it's not really her recipe, but largely based off of it. Please see the original recipe to find out what I did differently. Mainly, I am not a huge fan of oyster or fish sauce, and I already had sesame oil available so I used that instead of peanut oil. I also could not find bird's eye chilies anywhere, so I used chile paste and that worked quite well. At any rate, this came out so good I ate the whole batch in one sitting. You read that right. And I was quite full and satisfied once I was through.

Tofu with Thai Basil Stir-fry
(serves 4)


1 package 14 oz firm tofu
1/2 lb bok choy
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful Thai basil
1/4 cup sesame oil + 2 tbsp
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
2 scallion stalks, diced
1 tsp red chile paste 
1/2 tsp corn flour
1 tsp sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and press between to plates; place in fridge to drain overnight, or for at least 1 hour before preparation. Once the tofu is drained, slice into 3 pieces length-wise, then into 9 sections width-wise, so you have little squares like in the image below.


Heat the 1/4 cup sesame oil in pan then add the tofu once hot. Fry the tofu on each side until golden brown. Set aside on paper towel to drain. Meanwhile, clear the pan (or use another pan) then heat the remainder of the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until browned, then add the basil and bok choy, and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. 

stir-frying in the sun

Next, add the ginger, chile paste, soy sauce and corn flour, plus a little extra sesame oil if most has been drained from pan. Cook, stirring for another 3 minutes or until the flour is dissolved, and then add the tofu. Turn off heat and stir together until all components well-coated with the sauce. Serve with the scallion and sesame seeds on top, plus salt and pepper to taste. 

So, I'm on Instagram now, you can follow me @jkpherson

As amazing and delicious as this dish is, I'm sorry to say it's not exactly family-friendly due to the spiciness and "weird" ingredients. Of course, if you have kids who like Asian or already eat a typical Asian diet, then this should be no issue. To alter it to your family's tastes, omit the chile paste or replace the tofu with chicken. Using chicken would (obviously) not make it Meatless Monday-appropriate though.

This is going to be a new comfort food dish for me, I just know it.

Here are some other of the recipes I've bookmarked from Sea Salt just because they look too amazing not to share:

Lily did not have any and was not even interested in trying it. She had some stir-fried bok choy and broccoli instead with hummus and pita chips on the side. She is not a fan of tofu unless it is breaded and fried and no longer tastes like tofu.

Now, I have been trying to get a Meatless Monday recipe hop going, but have not had a whole lot of luck with that. So, I am not going to host a link-up today, BUT if you would like it if I did host one again, please let me know in the comments. This is not only because I am "giving up" for now, but also because I do not really have the time to promote it as well as I'd like to right now, but maybe I will in the future. I have seen other blogs have successful Meatless Monday link-ups, so I hope to one day too. I can wait though, and continue to focus more on the recipes, since that is what this blog is really all about.

Now, here is an adorable bonus picture of Lily from yesterday. She is clearly feeling much better :) 

Happy Monday! (if there is such a thing...)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sweet Saturday #10: Loaded Lemonade

Forgive me for not posting yesterday, but after the week I had, I needed a break! Not only that, but my internet was acting whacky Thursday evening (when I usually draft Friday's post) due to a couple of brown outs from the intense heat we had here in NJ. Then poor Lily contracted what may be Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (although it appears to be a very mild case), so I just had to take care of her first and foremost, as all you mommies know!

Yet, I did find some time to try out this sweet and sour and refreshing drink, that combines sour lemons, refreshing cucumber, tangy ginger and cool mint. Do I have your attention yet..?

Loaded Lemonade
(makes one full pitcher)


6-8 large lemons (or 1 1/2 cups lemon juice)
1 large cucumber
2 cups water
1/2 cup honey or agave syrup (to taste)
1 hunk of ginger
Fresh mint leaves 

Slice and dice cucumber, then place into blender with water and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture over a strainer into a pitcher, then return liquid to blender. (This is optional, you may like your lemonade chunky!).

Next, add the lemon juice, ginger, and honey or agave. You can use sugar instead, but it's better to use a natural sweetener, so I'd recommend raw sugar if you have it. You can also make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar with water over low heat in a small saucepan. 

I used a hunk of ginger this size

Blend the added ingredients with the cucumber juice mixture. Add more sweetener or ginger to taste if desired. Serve over ice with fresh mint leaves and sliced cucumber and/or lemon. Pucker up! This is a drink everyone will love, but may not be good for kids under 1. Give children under 3 a watered-down version (I give Lily half juice, half water). This is the perfect summer cooler!

For the adults: Vodka or gin go nicely with this too ;)

I was inspired to add the ginger after I read this blog post from The Tasty Alternative. They have a lot of awesome recipes and info, so check them out!

Lemons are an amazing fruit! Not only are they good for your insides- high vitamin C content, aids in digestion, lowers blood pressure, prevents diabetes -but, they are also helpful in a number of other ways. They can be used as an antiseptic, household cleaner, acne treatment, hair treatment, and so much more. Click here to learn more. Lemons are also a high alkaline food, so they can help keep your body balanced and capable of healing itself.

Now it's your turn to share? Follow me if you aren't already, then link-up something sweet to share- a blog, an Etsy store, an FB page, Twitter page, Pinterest, whatever! Hop around and say hi. Grab a button to spread the word! Have a great weekend!

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Photobucket" target="_blank">Photobucket />" alt="Healthy Mommy Healthy Baby" width="125" height="125" /></a>

We had ice cream yesterday :)

P.S. Sorry about the weird spacing on here, I can't figure out how to adjust it. This has happened before- does anyone know what I can do?


Friday, June 22, 2012

Stop by Tomorrow for Link-up

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Sweet Saturday linky will post tomorrow. Sorry! It's been a looong week, and I just can't dedicate the time to put it up today. Check back tomorrow!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Allow me to be a bit political for a moment...

This is something I care deeply about, and I believe all women should. Since most of my readers are women, I want to bring your attention to this movement that is happening right now. It's a movement supporting the rights of women everywhere, and anyone can help participate. Read the link below for more info.

That's right- Vagina blogs. And, no, this is not pornographical, it's in support of women's rights over their own bodies. This movement has sprung up due to the recent debates involving female members of Congress being shunned and persecuted for speaking their minds and fighting for their right to control over their own body parts. I will let the link below (with video) speak for itself. If you have not heard about this yet, now you have, and that is enough even if you do not participate in speaking on behalf of this issue. 

Thanks for reading, and forgive me to derail you from your usually scheduled HMHB reading, but this is me (us) taking a stand for women everywhere. Women NEED access to health care that can provide them with the assistance in choices only they can make- not anyone else. You may or may not agree with prochoice, but you have to admit that things will get even messier if people are not granted access to clinics, and then have to take matters into their own hands. These clinics also provide care for women who do not have insurance and need gynecological care in order to keep their bodies healthy. Funds should not be cut to these institutions, where many dedicated medical staff work for very little or even voluntarily.

Thanks again, and please feel free to speak your mind in the comments below, or submit your blog to either of the following:

Once more, thank you for reading and I hope I did not offend anyone. If I did, then that is part of the problem that we are trying to combat. It's time to love ourselves, wholly and completely, and teach our children to do the same.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Meatless Monday: Asian-Style Noodle Soup

I hope everyone had a nice Father's Day with their dad, husband, grandfather, brother, friend, whoever this weekend. Poor Paul has a toothache, so his wasn't as grand as it could've been. We did go to a local fair and had some fun there, so I'm glad we at least did that.

Yesterday I had a craving for this simple noodle soup and decided to have it for dinner last night. It's perfect for Meatless Monday too, and you can make it in about 30 minutes! It's similar to those packages of instant ramen noodles you can get for less than a quarter at most grocery stores, only so much better and not such "cheap" quality...(a lot less sodium too!).

New Android means new (and better) camera

Asian-Style Noodle Soup
(serves 4-6)


1 8 or 10 oz. package ramen noodles
6 bunches baby bok choy
4 cups vegetable broth or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 cups water 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger powder or 1/2 tsp diced ginger
1/2 tsp chili paste
Diced scallions and cilantro for garnish

Bring water and broth to a boil. If using the 2 bouillon cubes, add to boiling 6 cups of water. Add bok choy and noodles and boil for 5 minutes more. Bring soup down to a simmer and add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and chili paste, if using. The chili paste is very spicy, so if you and your family are sensitive to fiery flavors, omit chili paste. If some people like spicy and some don't, you can always just add to soup after it's ready. 

Some of the brands I used


Cooking the bok

Add more seasonings to taste if desired, then serve into bowls when ready. Top each bowl with a little scallion and/or cilantro, plus chili paste if using. I like to add extra, but like I said before, it's very spicy hot so only add a little at a time if you're not familiar with using it. Kids should enjoy the long, curly noodles in this soup. Adding extra veggies will make it even healthier.

This soup can be considered a basic base for a heartier soup filled with vegetables such as these:
  • carrots
  • snow peas
  • bamboo shoots
  • tofu
  • peppers
  • onion
You can also add meat to it, but since it's Meatless Monday I didn't include any in the list of add-ins.

Bok choy is not a vegetable I use often, but after visiting the Hong Kong Supermarket in my area recently, I picked some up (mainly so I could try this other awesome vegetarian recipe that should be the star of next week's MM post!) and then got a craving for this soup. I make it quite often when I need a Chinese-food-and-soup fix. It's just so easy to make and very satisfying.

Anyway, back to the bok. Most Americans don't use bok choy in their average meal plan, but you can find it in most Asian food markets. I highly recommend using organic if you can find it, otherwise be sure to rinse it very well and chop off the hard stem ends like in the picture below.

Bok choy is also very good for you. Like other cruciferous vegetables, bok choy can help to prevent cancer. It also contains many vitamins and nutrients, like vitamins A, C, K and folate. Yet another benefit of bok choy is its blood pressure-regulating properties due to its low sodium content.

Try it in your next stir-fry or eat it raw in a salad. Honestly, I'm not fond of it raw due to it being very bitter-tasting, but many people do like it that way; it's also supposed to be the best way to eat it, health-wise.

Now it's your turn to share your Meatless Monday recipe! Please link up any meat-free dish you'd like below. Link as many as you want! Grab a button and spread the word! Thanks for stopping by :)


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Sweet Saturday #9: Some Sweet Pics

I have had a very long week and very little time to focus on my blog or much else except my job and my child, so today I am just keeping it simple with some sweet pics from the week. Enjoy! 

One of Lily's favorite snacks- cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter, bananas and honey (one of my faves too!).

Cousin love ♥

Lily learned how to swing on the monkey bars this week!

One of the many beautiful lilies Paul planted around our house that opened this week

Have some sweet pics or something else to share? Link it up! Follow me if you aren't already and our guest hostess Julie at Little Bits. Then link-up something sweet to share- a blog, an Etsy store, an FB page, Twitter page, Pinterest, whatever! Hop around and say hi. Grab a button to spread the word! Have a great weekend!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Side Dish

I tried this unique side dish the other day when I stumbled across this recipe on Turtles and Tails. The 3 main ingredients that caught my eye were: paprika, coconut oil, and cocoa...on cauliflower! I had to give this one a try...

Cocoa-toasted Cauliflower
(makes 6-8 servings)


1 head of cauliflower
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic (powder or fresh)
2 tbsp. melted coconut oil

Chop the cauliflower up into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the coconut oil and mix well, until it forms a thin sauce. Toss with the cauliflower until the cauliflower is well coated. Spread the pieces onto a aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet, then place into oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with something just as savory!

I think they kid of look like little brains. Funny thing is, cauliflower is good for the brain too!

To be honest, this wasn't as flavor-packed as I thought it was going to be. Next time I will double the amounts of seasoning, but for the sake of honoring the original recipe, I kept the amounts the same. Give it a try this way, or be bold and use extra cocoa and paprika!

You may have been surprised like I was when I first read the ingredients for this recipe- cocoa powder is not commonly used on vegetables. But, it worked quite well with the blandness of the cauliflower, I even made the leftovers extra crispy and ate them like popcorn!

Cocoa powder is rich in good-for-you antioxidants, even more so than the average glass of red wine! It is also good for your heart, helps prevent diabetes (in it's raw form), controls blood pressure, and- you'll especially like this! -helps to treat pms! I guess that's why we all crave it during that time of the you have an excuse to binge on Godiva!

For this recipe, I'd also recommend using an extra rich, high grade cocoa powder to really bring out the flavor as much as possible. Use organic in every way possible, and I also wouldn't recommend substituting a different type of oil for the coconut oil, but if you must, butter would probably work well too, although it wouldn't be as healthy and low-fat.  

Now it's your turn to share your Meatless Monday recipe! Please link up any meat-free dish you'd like below. Link as many as you want! Grab a button and spread the word! Thanks for stopping by :)


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