Spaghetti Squash “Mash”

You may be asking, why spaghetti squash mash? Isn’t there already the classic mashed potatoes and the alternative cauliflower mash? Yes, yes there is.

However, on my journey of reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in my diet, I’ve been seeking vegetables that give a similar flavor and texture of traditional vegetable dishes, but provide reduced carbohydrates.

I’ve been trying different recipes with a spaghetti squash like stuffing them with meat, sauce and cheese or using the scraped out squash as noodle.

Then I saw a beautiful “plated” Instagram photo a while ago and the base of the dish was “spaghetti squash mash”. So I immediately clicked on it and saw the simplicity of it (especially since I had a spaghetti squash in the pantry).

I made it and I was hooked! The texture is a little thinner that mashed potatoes, but the richness of the squash with the flavor of the parmesan will surely delight your tastebuds.

Shopping List

  • 1 medium to large Spaghetti Squash
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Butter
  • Garlic Powder
  • Topping options: Fresh parsley or chives

Gather The Ingredients

Dinner is Served

Spaghetti Squash Mash

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A low carb alternative to classic mashed potatoes.



  • 1 large whole spaghetti squash
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional to serve: butter, fresh chives


  1. Add 2 cups of water to Instant Pot, along with the steaming rack.
  2. Using a serrated knife cut in half and place on steaming rack with the flesh side up.
  3. Do not remove the seeds before cooking, removing it afterwards is best to get the most flesh from the squash.
  4. Place the lid on and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  5. Do a quick pressure release, remove lid and carefully remove halves to a colander and let drain into bowl.
  6. Scoop the flesh into food processor or Vitamix.
  7. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency.
  8. Serve with more butter on top and freshly chopped chives.

Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese

Shopping List

  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Almond Flower
  • Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half
  • Cream Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Oil

Let’s Get Started

My secret to the amazing taste to this dish? Roasting the cauliflower in the oven with plenty of garlic!

Preheat oven to 400¬į. Chop cauliflower in to bite size pieces. Place in large bowl. Drizzle oil over cauliflower and heap teaspoons or tablespoons of garlic to your liking in bowl. Gently stir until evenly coated.

Spread on baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning about half way point.

Prepare the delicious cheesy sauce – In a large pan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in the almond flour (regular flour is perfectly fine, however to keep this low carb use almond flour).

Gradually whisk in the heavy whipping cream (or half and half, whole milk). Whisk constantly until sauce becomes bubbly and thickens. Add cream cheese and dijon.

Add 1 cup of cheese. If sauce is too thick, thin it out with cream.

Gently toss the cauliflower in to the cheese mixture until well combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Dinner is Served

Cauliflower 'Mac' and Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A low carb alternative to a classic favorite comfort food.



  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
  • 2 TBSP Almond Flower
  • Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half (Almond Milk)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400¬į to roast the cauliflower.
  2. Chop cauliflower and toss with oil and garlic, spread on baking pan.
  3. Roast 20 minutes, turning half way through.
  4. Heat pan on medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, whisk to combine.
  5. Gradually add and whisk cream constantly until well combined.
  6. Add cream cheese, dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add 1 cup of the cheese. Add more cream or almond milk if too thick.
  8. Add roasted cauliflower, stir until well coated.
  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
  10. Serve and enjoy.

Steak & Cauliflower Casserole

When you think of a casserole dish, you think of a protein and pasta, amirite? I usually do, too. Until for a health concern I needed to reduce the amount of carbs and sugars. But what would I do without all my creamy, cheesy pasta favorites?

Enter my new favorite vegetable friend – the Cauliflower. This little gem is so versatile! It can be a substitute for rice, potatoes and did you even know…pasta?! That’s right – it tastefully replaces pasta in this dish. You won’t even know it.

Shopping List

  • 1 pound Shaved Beef Steak (found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms
  • 1 package or jar of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Baby Spinach
  • Italian Cheese

Gather The Ingredients

Let’s Get Started

Prepare the cauliflower for roasting. Chop up into bite size pieces. In a bowl, mix with oil, salt and garlic. Spread on baking sheet and place in pre-heated oven. Cauliflower should be lightly browned and tender.

I like to season the beef with steak seasoning. Cook up meat while cauliflower is roasting.

After the cauliflower is roasted and the meat is browned, mix everything in a bowl. Spread in a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Dinner is Served

I just love dishes you can slide out of the oven and take to the table so you can enjoy catching up with the family.

Steak and cauliflower casserole

This dish would go great with a salad, or is fulfilling all on it’s own.


Steak and Cauliflower Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A low carb comfort food casserole.



  • 1 Package shaved beef (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Italian cheese
  • 1.5 oz sun dried tomatoes, about 1/2 package or jar
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms (baby bella), sliced
  • 1 large cauliflower head, chopped into bite sizes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, milk or half and half
  • 16 oz jar of Alfredo sauce


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400¬į.
  2. Chop Cauliflower into bite size pieces.
  3. Mix cauliflower in bowl with a swirl of oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp garlic.
  4. Roast cauliflower in oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on size of cuts.
  5. Turn oven down to 375¬į.
  6. In small batches in skillet, brown the steak.
  7. Combine everything in bowl.
  8. Spread in 11×13 baking dish.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, until dish is bubbly.


Cheesy Chicken Verde Enchilada Skillet

Who doesn’t love dinner done quick? With busy schedules and tired end-of- the-day bodies..this dish will go together quick and easy and be oh-so-pleasy for the family! And it can be done in one skillet.

Shopping List

  • Grilled Chicken Strips – Trader Joe’s or Costco is a great source
  • Verde sauce – either a salsa or enchilada sauce will do
  • Chicken Stock – this recipe doesn’t call for much, so I prefer Better than Bouillion
  • Can of diced green chiles
  • Tortillas – Regular work just fine, I prefer for my WOE (way of eating) to select a low carb version. I find this among the regular tortillas at chain stores such as Safeway
  • Sour Cream – I prefer full fat
  • Cheese – so many options – use a Mexi Cheese, Queso or Monterey Jack
  • Optionals: Cilantro, can of green chiles, tomatoes, avocado

Gather Your Ingredients

Let’s Get Started

Warm your skillet to medium-high heat. Add chicken stock and green chiles. Add the verde (or enchilada sauce). Stir and bring to a simmer. Add sour cream and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, while your sauce is simmering, cut your tortillas. I use a pizza cutter. Cut into strips vertically then turn and cut horizontally until you have bite size squares.

When sauce has thickened slightly, add the chicken. Stir to coat.

Add in half the cheese and the tortillas. Stir the mixture and simmer until heated through.

Top with remaining cheese just before serving and removing from heat. Heat cheese just until it begins to melt, then remove from heat. Top with cilantro and serve!

Dinner is Served

A great side dish is Mexican Rice or my personal favorite, Mexican Cauliflower Rice.

Cheesy Verde Chicken Enchilada Skillet

A quick and easy weekday shortcut dinner for a Mexican favorite



3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Cup Salsa Verde from Trader Joe’s (or Verde Enchilada sauce)
1 Can diced green chiles
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 Cups grilled chicken, sliced into bite size
4 taco size tortillas – Try a Low Carb Brand like LaTortilla Factory
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheese
Optional Toppings:
-Diced Tomatos


  1. Heat Skillet to medium high heat.
  2. Add chicken stock, verde sauce, green chiles then sour cream.
    Stir and bring to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Cut tortillas with pizza slicer while simmering.
  4. Add Chicken after sauce has thickened slightly.
  5. Stir in half the cheese and tortilla strips.
  6. Stir to heat through and cheese is melted.
  7. Right before serving, add remaining cheese on top and heat just until cheese is melted on top.
  8. Top with cilantro and additional toppings you prefer.

Valentine’s Day Angel Food Cake & Strawberry Skewers

My girls just love strawberries. They can gobble them up all year long. And isn’t a treat that they are shaped just like little red hearts? They make for the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.

Pair strawberries with Angel food cake and it’s like a little slice of heaven. Each time I make an Angel Food cake (which isn’t very often), I always question myself “why don’t I make this more often”. And that is echoed by my two girls. I have no answer for this. Note to self: Make more Angel Food Cake!

Before you dive into a treat of strawberries and Angel Food Cake, let’s make this a little more fun. Let’s make this a portable treat and drizzle chocolate over it. YES!!!


You need 4 things to complete these tasty skewers

  • Skewers
  • Angel Food Cake
  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate

Valentine’s dessert

Can it get any easier? Simply make or buy your Angel Food. I can’t resist making one when I have the time. I’m glad I look at the directions as I tend to forget it requires 3 hours to completely cool. That could really throw timing off if you tend to take these to an evening party and start too late in the day.

Next, you have to let the cake cool. Everybody cools theirs on a Kahl√ļa bottle, right?

How to cool angel food cake

Valentines angel food cake

Isn’t there just something dreamy and magical about Angel Food Cake?

Once your cake is cool, turn upside down and start making your slices. You can get up to four cubes when you slice a nice thick cut. I may or may not eat a few imperfect pieces. Quality control.

So for this set of skewers, I used a pre-made Angel Food Cake from the store. It came in a loaf style and was super easy to cut and assemble. This is a great time saver if you don’t have time to make an Angel Food cake and let it cool (up to 3 hours).

Another tip if you would like a smaller serving, use a smaller piece like a flat popsicle stick. ¬†It’s about half the size and doesn’t require as many strawberries or pieces of angel food cake.

Valentine strawberry skewers

Check out this tip! ¬†Dip a whisk into the melted chocolate the “shake” over your treat while moving hand back and forth and you will end up with lovely drizzles. ¬†Be sure to do this over wax paper not your pretty platter. ¬†The paper will catch all the drizzles, not your platter!

Enjoy these at your next get together!

Simple Tip to Organize Your Closet

I’m not sure about you, but when it comes time to get dressed in the morning, I’m only about half awake. In the closet, everything is a blur. And OK, I’ll admit I’m not winning any awards for putting clothes away. And my family, bless them, tries to also help by putting away my clothes when helping with laundry. So here is it, let me air my (not so dirty) laundry. Here is a peek at my closet getting at it’s worst!

closet organization

But I’m already a grumpy morning person and it makes me more grumpy to search and hunt for the pair of pants or jeans I want to wear. So I had to come up with something that made it easier for putting away my pants so I could easily find them before my morning coffee. And secretly, to help my family when they put away my jeans that I can find them every time I go to the closet, even if I wasn’t the one to put them away.

Probably like you, I have several different pairs of similar colored jeans. When hanging in the closet, they all look the same. Problem is, one is skinny, one is crop and one boot cut. (Or whatever the current fashion that is coming back that I swore I wouldn’t succumb too). I never seem to guess right when selecting the dark denim. Then for some reason, it doesn’t set my mood right for my day. So this system works smoothly to make my morning brighter so I can be a better person to the people I get to encounter and be with the rest of the day. Seems like a little thing, but it’s amazing taking a little simple task and making it more organized can make 0r break a mood.

So I had to make a plan. Off to the craft store I went. On my list was tags, twine and most definitely new hangers. I found just what I was looking for at Michaels. I really like their Recollections Line. (Go to Michaels and search Recollections)

organizing closet

Here is how I organized my pants in my closet.

First, I had to make a list of all my jeans. This also allowed time for me to go through each pair of jeans, try them on, deicide if these are still my fit and style or if they needed to be donated or altered. You can’t tell, from the photo, but I had to bring my phone back for some tunes! I turned on my favorite Spotify playlist for the task. (ahh, ya, I took it back to the early 90’s for this one).

closet organize


cabi notes

After my list was complete, I wrote the names of each pair of jeans on each tag. Make sure the tags are all facing the same way so when you’re scanning your closet, you can easily read each tag.

This system works! Like all things getting organized, this takes time in the beginning to get there. But once this simple system is in place, it just works all on it’s own. Looking to put away that pair of jeans from the wash? No need hunt down that random hanger. It’s the one right there. The empty one that you properly labeled. This is an inexpensive and simple solution.¬†And it lends itself into the saying “loving what you have & having what you love”.

Oh So Must Have Apps

Ever notice how much we rely on our smartphone these days from everything to scheduling to organizing to entertaining our lives these days?  Back in the day, we would have to have a separate device, appliance or piece of technology to accomplish our tasks and keep our hobbies in check.

Remember all the gadgets we had to have around us just to keep us on time, organized, up to date on current events and entertained?  This image is just one image that tells the tale of how technology and gadgets have been replaced on one piece that travels in our pocket or hand everywhere we go.

Now we use our smartphones to research, shop, purchase, plan and entertain us from music to audio books. I’ve put together a favorite list of mine that helps keep me entertained and sane. ¬†There are more I could list, but here is my top 10 (in no particular order).

1. Hoopla

Hoopla App





Do you have a library account?  If you do, then you need this app!  Hoopla allows library patrons to download or stream media content free of charge!  You can subscribe up to 6 different media sources.  Hoopla provides digital books, audiobooks (my fave!), music and video.

This is such a great go to tool!  For days when I am doing chores, running errands or traveling, I can download a book РI really enjoy the audiobooks Рand escape.

Simply log into your log into your library account and search Hoolpa to see if your library offers this service.  From there follow the set up and log in requirements.  Finally, download the app onto your device and log into your account.  Now you are ready to search books, music audiobooks and videos.  You can borrow up to 10 titles in a month.

Hoopla app audio books









2. Zinio

Zinio digital magazine





Again, I ask – Do you have a library account (if no, why not?!). ¬†The library offers so many free services, especially in this ever changing digital age. ¬†And Zinio is a digital platform to checkout magazines via your local library…for free!

On a weekend getaway or for the days relaxing by the pool, I enjoy catching up on the latest magazines.  The whole range from family fun, Hollywood gossip, and food.

Zinio allows you to check out digital magazines to read from your personal device. I love to save this app for my iPad so I can keep the feel of the larger size, not my smaller screen.  Then I can simply swipe page by page.  And if I want to read up on an article?  I can enlarge it to suit my eyes.  I also screen shot ideas like food or ideas for around the house or for my family.

First you will need to log into your library account.  Search for Zinio to see if your library offers this service.  Set up an account with Zinio.

Important to know:  When you want to search for magazines on Zinio, you will have to search in a web browser, not the app!  Simply log into your Zinio account and you will see a screen similar to this:

zinio magazine subscription









You will have access to a drop down menu for different genres your library offers. ¬†You will see large thumbnails of the current magazine cover. ¬†Once you click into a magazine, you will also have access to a few back issues and here you can ‘checkout’ the magazine.









When you select check out, you will have an option to stream the magazine or to download it and keep browsing.









Now you are reading to head over and open your Zinio app! ¬†Select the ‘Read’ option and here you magazines will appear. ¬†The new ones will have to be downloaded from the cloud to your device. ¬†You will see the little icon below the magazine. ¬†Click on it and it will take a few minutes to complete the download.

zinio app for magazines









Also, there is a feature of ‘Shop’ where you can set up subscriptions or purchase magazines from a much larger selection, but I’m much too frugal with my time and money, but it looks like a great service if this is more of your style.




3. Waze

Waze app phone navigation





Waze is a community and traffic based navigation app.  Ever take off on your trip, following the navigational directions and next thing you are sitting in traffic? Well, Waze will look ahead for you at all the possible routes and take you the fastest way, avoiding accidents, back ups and anything that could delay you.  You will even get updates while traveling along the interstate about a disabled vehicle along the side of the road!

How do they compile this information? ¬†From users in your community. ¬†One time while traveling with the Waze App open, we came upon road construction that we were not alerted to. ¬†While we were stopped, a message popped up “We notice you have been stopped a while”. ¬†We were given options to report back our lack of progress on the route. ¬†We clicked road construction and realized this info will be relayed on to the next user and they will be alerted and/or rerouted on a different route. While traveling, pop ups will appear that other users have alerted as hazards. ¬†You will have an option to thumbs up or down if the distraction or occurrence is still happening or if the hazard has cleared.

Also there is a fine selection of voices. ¬†I personally have opted with the Boy Band last trip. ¬†I mean, why not? It was a little comical being sung to ‘in 1000 ft, turn left”. On a recent trip the kids and I changed dad’s voice to Mr. T.


waze navigation app









4. Street Food

food cart app





Food trucks have been one of the greatest trends! ¬†I love exploring different eats and bites around town. ¬†But sometimes it’s hard to hear about a new food truck find until you see a friend check in with a photo of mouthwatering food. ¬†Some cities have a designated area where food trucks have to be, but in other towns, food trucks can park where they can find the best location. ¬†And sometimes they can move around. ¬†How do you keep up? ¬†Look in the App Store or Google Play with key words like ‘street food’ or ‘food truck’. ¬†You should find one for your city.

This is great way to keep up to date where your favorite food truck is.  They will provide info weather they are open or closed, location and hours.  And also a link to their menu.  And if your lucky and know they can get busy, a way to call or message your order for pick up when you arrive.

Food truck app










There is both a map view (like above) or a list view.  Both show food trucks that are currently open (green) or closed (red).  Both have clickable links that will open to a page with more information about each business.  The businesses can provide a description of the cuisine and detailed lists of times and locations of the truck.  Additional info each business can provide are phone (perfect for those phone ahead orders for busy days and busy food trucks Рno line waiting!), website with full menu and links to their other social media apps.



5. Countdown

countdown app





OK, there is really nothing must have about this – this is just purely for pleasure! ¬†We have a vacation coming up and it’s easy to get excited about it – to count down with the kids by the day, hour, minutes and second! ¬†Last day of school countdown!? Big birthday bash coming up? ¬†How many days to Christmas? ¬†You can choose from many stock photos ranging from all special occasions or simply choose from one of your own.

Countdown app









6. Venmo

venmo payment app





Have you ever been out with friends and spend time trying to split the bill? ¬†Some of you have cash and others have credit card and someone pulls out the calculator to divvy up the bill. ¬†Or you decide to go in on a gift for someone and everyone is pitching in $5 and you just don’t have cash on you at the moment. ¬†Better yet, get home from a great date night out and it’s time to pay the babysitter and…you have no cash! ¬†Yikes.

This app is a game changer!

Venmo is a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money to those in their social network (P2P – Peer to Peer). It’s owned by PayPal (and uses same security and safety measures) and debits or credits your linked bank account.

Of course with any other electronic payment system, do your own research and only do what feels right for you.  I would advise to only use Venmo with those in your close social network.  I personally would not use this to pay the complete stranger you buy a piece of exercise equipment off Craigslist or OfferUp!


Venmo payment app









Here is a screen shot from the fun feed with Venmo. ¬†You can also see all the transactions of friends in your personal network are exchanging. ¬†I didn’t want to screen shot as it is more private, but I have some pretty humorous friends! ¬†When you make a payment, you can add a note about the transaction. ¬†With emoji’s or with simple words.

One reason I also wanted to share this particular screen shot was that I learned something from a making a payment to a friend that I thought was on Venmo. ¬†I found her name on the list but didn’t look closely enough that she actually hadn’t registered. ¬†So it was my hairdresser and after I left, I realized I can’t talk and calculate a tip at the same time and that I didn’t leave enough of a tip. ¬†So I went to make a payment with the caption “because I can’t add ??”. ¬†But a few days weeks later when my account was being reconciled, I got a notification my account had been reimbursed that payment with the explanation that the user was not on Venmo. ¬†The explanation did not come through the app, but in an email. The time may have been longer that necessary, but at least I know that I’m not just sending my money off in the world wide web and it not landing in the appropriate place. ¬†It was being looked after and rightfully returned because of my careless mistake.

7.  Red Stamp

red stamp digital cards




With all the social media platforms out there, we have extended our “friend” circle quite large and seem to always be wishing someone a happy birthday! ¬†And as quickly as life seems to be flying by, when it comes time to plan for get togethers and parties, stopping by the store or ordering invites and mailing can sometimes slip through the cracks.

This is why I love Red Stamp. ¬†They have digital cards you can customize with or without photos. ¬†You also have the option or order cards or just say “it’s a digital” day.

I love the simplicity of creating a card or an invite with a few swipes and clicks on my smart phone.  And there are options to add photos to personalize your card.

Also, if you are a consultant for companies like (Arbonne, CAbi, Jamberry, Limelight, Stella & Dot…just to name a few of the 32 from the list), they have custom templates sending out announcements and invites.


8. Redbox (for purchasing gift Promocodes)

Redbox prom codrs




I know everyone knows that Redbox is easy breezy to search for a movie in a kiosk near you to reserve and pick up, but the reason I want to highlight Redbox is because the ease of gift giving you can do with this app downloaded to your phone!

Weather you are looking to give a teacher gift, a figt for a babysitter or your kids need a quick gift for a friend, you can down load 5 – 10 (or more!) promo codes to give as gifts in less than 5 minutes!

Select the DVD & Blu Ray option and scroll down the e- gift cards to PROMO CODES.  Select Promo Codes.

Red box promo codes

















When it comes time to select your promo codes, you can send them all to a friend or the trick I use is to send them to myself.  I am then sent via email 5 codes that I can use how and when I choose.

I then get on Pinterest and find a cute free printable that I can hand write the code into and send on its way! I’ve used these cute ones from A Southern Mother. ¬†They are FREE¬†cute ticket stub printables!

9. Postagram




You are on your amazing vacation and looking for that perfect postcard to send back to the friends and family back home. And then finding a postcard stamp – or just a stamp itself!? Or you have captured a keepsake photo and wish to capture it and send to a long distant loved one.

How about mailing a personalized photo OF YOU?! And adding a personalized message.  And the photo can pop out for a keepsake.  All from your phone, at only $1.99. Yes, please!

Postagram send personalized postcard



















any do list making app





Here is a reoccurring moment in my everyday life: I am doing something “busy” like driving or prepping a meal or using the bathroom (eh, hem) and I have a thought of something I REALLY need to do. ¬†Like text someone or call someone or pay that bill or make an appointment. ¬†All of those life daily tasks that you mean to do and forget to do and think of doing at the most inconvenient time when you don’t have your planner or your “to do” list and paper handy. I usually have my phone on me on most occasions (yes, even sometimes in the bathroom. ¬†No judgy eyes!).

I love this app for the ease of entering a task.  It has









There are so great apps out there to make life a little more manageable and to keep you chugging along about your day.  I hope you find some (or all!) of these useful to add to your daily family routine.

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