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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Reese Family

Merry Christmas! Here is my Christmas card for this year, isn't it fabulous??? I love it. For the past two years I have had Maren Reese (she is not related to me I just found her on She is so awesome to work with, so if you haven't ordered your cards yet, check out her blog! It is so easy, you just pick your design, email her your picture and she send you a proof within hours. It is only $15 for her to design  yours and she will send you the file and you can either print them yourself or she can print them and send them to you (that's what I did). Anyway I love to support a small business espically when it's another mom.
So go to and pick out one of Maren's designs! I promise this will be the cuteset Christmas card you ever send :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Balsamic Potato Salad

This is a wonderful merry of flavors, it's fresh, refreshing and tangy. We all chowed down on this one at my house. I served it with chicken but it would be such a great side dish to a grilled steak! This recipe can be tweaked to make it your own, if you don't like asparagus then use green beans instead, or use both.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I love to indulge! It is one day that is entirely devoted to a great meal so on Thanksgiving I enjoy it! We are having Thanksgiving at our family farm, we all bring something, my mom and I will wake up early to make the cornbread dressing/stuffing together like we do every year. This year I have perfected my green bean casserole. I made a test batch of this yesterday and it was practically gone in about 30 minutes. It was a huge hit! My goal was to make it taste great without using any canned soups....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Italian Meatball Bake

Not sure if I love Italian food or Mexican food more...guess it depends on the day, well today it's all about the Italian food. After having some issues with my stomach I decided to try to eat gluten free to see if it made a difference in how I feel. Make no mistake I am still eating carbs, rice & potatoes just not wheat. This was my attempt to make a low fat, gluten free meatball Italian dinner! And I have to say, it was great!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rice, Black-eyed Peas and Swiss Chard

Last summer at our family farm my cousin, Rusty, who by the way is an amazing cook! A low fat cook? No way but a totally amazing cook for sure! He has a huge vegetable farm up in Dahlonega and had brought some fresh Swiss chard and made a delicious dish that was similar to this. Today just happens to be his birthday, happy birthday Cuz! I brought the idea home and tweaked it just right to make still delicious but also really healthy. This could honestly be a meal in itself!

Hamburger Soup

This is a family favorite at my house. My mother-in-law used to make this for my husband when he was a kid. When I first met my Jeremy in college we used to go back to visit his family in Augusta, his mom would cook up a storm and she was an amazing southern cook! She doesn't cook much these days but she used to do wonders in the kitchen. I remember the first time Jeremy told me his mom was making us hamburger soup I thought, yuck that doesn't sound good to me. I had eaten vegetable beef soup but not with hamburger meat, that just did not seem appetizing, but it was great! Of course I have adapted it over the years to make it healthier but when I need something quick to make I can always throw together a pot of this crowd pleaser for my crew!

One special note about this soup, you can NOT mess it up, if you don't like some of the veggies I used, then use different ones, you can add a bit more or less of whatever veggies you like, make this one your own! Also this recipe calls for frozen veggies, I do not use canned vegetables (other than tomatoes), I rarely use frozen veggies in recipes I just like fresh best but for this one frozen are great, plus you don't have to worry about additives or preservatives that are in canned vegetables.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Acorn Squash

This is something my mom has always made it is so simple yet so delicious. I love squash, all of them but this is especially yummy! Some people like to add Cinnamon, and sugar to their squash but I love the natural sweetness of this squash and when you add a little butter and salt it has a great balance of sweet and savory. I had it in my vegetable bowl on my table for about 4 days before I made it and my kids kept asking about that 'green pumpkin.'  They couldn't wait for me to cut into to it and cook it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Elle!!

Yesterday my girl turned 4, and all day long she kept asking, "am I 4 yet?" She can't believe that she really made it to 4! Ha!

Top four reasons this girl makes my heart sing....

1. Elle is the most appreciating child, always telling me she loves the most random things!

2. Elle is so funny, particular about things and just plain funny, keeping us all laughing!

3. Elle is very helpful, she loves helping me cook, garden, she is always trying to help!

4. Elle is very loving, she would lay in my lap all day and snuggle with me!

We had the best time together planning her best-princess-party-ever, actually it was the only princess party she has ever had. Other than her first birthday party, it was actually the only real birthday party she has ever had and it was perfect according to her :) We spent the week decorating and making fun things for the party. My friend Catey came and helped me decorate, thanks Catey for your help and great ideas!  

Yesterday when she woke up Grant and I decorated her bedroom door. 
Then Grant and I hid her presents, which he thought was super fun, she had a blast finding them all!
 I think she liked finding the presents better than opening them!

Then after lunch the party started...
 As the little princesses arrived they had to follow Rapunzel's hair to find the party...
Which started at the front porch...
Through the house...
Down the stairs into the basement...

To our princess party room!
The little princesses had fun doing all kinds of princess things.
Making necklaces....
Having their nails painted, thanks Aunt Meg for all your help...
Faces painted, decorating cookies and playing princess games!
They were super cute!
Then we had cake, a Tangled Tower that was a tower of love from me, who was determined to not spend $50 on a cake from Publix, mine was cuter than theirs anyway :)
And Elle loved it which is all that really matters to me!
The cake was really yummy too, I made a giant cookie and baked it for the crust, once it cooled, I filled it with cookie dough ice cream, then it had cream cheese icing, yum!
These princesses had a blast! This is Elle with Olivia, her cousin and true BFF. It was a really fun day!
Happy Birthday Elle, We love you!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Potato Soup

I think the only part of cold weather I like is making cozy, hearty, warm soups! This is my twist on a hugely fattening soup. It is really delicious! I made this last week, we took our kids to a Trunk or Treat in the back of the neighborhood and it was so cold outside all I wanted to do was come home and eat some of this!

6 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed
2 T butter
1 large onion
1 carrot, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
2 cartons chicken stock
2/3 cup half & half
2 t salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
Toppings : grated cheese, bacon crumbles, spring onion, fresh parsley
Saute onion, carrots, celery in the butter for about 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to soften, add the potatoes and stir for a minute or two, be careful the potatoes don't stick, keep it moving, I added a few splashes of chicken stock to keep mine from sticking but if you don't mind added fat butter would be best. Add the stock stirring to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
Diced potatoes
Diced Veggies
This is a picture of the potatoes and veggies during the saute with a splash of chicken stock.

 Then you add the rest of your stock.

Once the boil is done you slowly stir in your cream, or half and half. At this point the color of the soup is not  creamy looking, if you aren't concerned with the calorie/fat content of the soup I would add another 1/2 cup of cream. However if you are trying to keep this lower in fat and cholesterol then try this trick I use. I take my stick blender and run it through the soup for about 30 seconds a couple of times. You have to be careful, you can quickly turn this into 'mashed potato soup' (I did that once!) If you don't have a stick blender then take about 2-3 cups of the soup out of the pot, blend in your traditional blender and then add it back in the pot. At this point you need to add your salt and pepper and then taste it to see if you need more.

Now you are ready to serve and top with whatever makes you happy, cheese, bacon, scallions.

Weight Watcher Friends: This soup has 4 points per 1.5 cup serving. If you add toppings other than the scallions then you need to adjust your points.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Favorite Go-To-Sandwich

I love this sandwich, the base of it is always the same but I love to change it up with whatever I have that's fresh. I make this all the time in the summer but made it the other day and thought, I usually put main dishes on my blog, but sometimes a simple sandwich is just what the doctor ordered!

1 Bagel Thin (I love everything bagels)
1 T light chive and onion cream cheese
3-4 slices lean deli meat (I used black forest ham)
1 slice cheese (I used Havarti)
5-7 fresh spinach leaves
3 slices fresh tomato
4-6 slices of cucumber, sliced thin

Simply spread the cream cheese on each of the insides of the bagel. Then layer the sandwich, deli meat, cheese, spinach, cucumber and tomato.

It is a super simple sandwich that is absolutely delicious! It is so versatile, you can use veggie cream cheese or just plain, use ham, turkey or roast beef, change up the cheese and make it your own. Just put the things on that you love and it will be great!

Weight Watcher Friends: This sandwich may vary depending on your ingredients but this one here has 7 points. This sandwich with an apple makes an awesome lunch!