Thursday, June 24, 2010

More about the move

Hi All! So, my website & blog are now linked together in one at This makes it easier for you to find all the great recipes, but now ORGANIZED!  Love it!  Also, there is a great giveaway going on right now!  Hope you join us over at our new site and join in on the great giveaways!

Happy Eats,

Wendy Jo

Monday, June 21, 2010

Making the MOVE! Come follow!

It's time for me to move!  I have merged my website and blog into ONE!  Yippee!  So now, all you have to do is subscribe to to catch up on my favorite recipes or giveaways! (RSS feed I hope you make your way over to my new site. The recipes are now categorized and easy to find!

See you over there!

Wendy Jo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Harvest Time

Walking out to the garden to see spots of red makes me smile!  Ahhh, it's harvest time.  My Beefsteak tomatoes are almost ready--2 are pink, and my Romas are exploding:
One lone green tomato dropped when I tugged...fried green tomatoes are tasty, too!
Not a bad harvest for June in San Diego!  So, now to decide which yummy recipe I plan to make with these juicy treats.  Perhaps....

Or a tomato & olive salad

 Caprese salad sounds great, too

Or maybe I'll just toss them with pasta!

Decisions, decisions!  Fabulous decisions to make! ;o)  Hope you are enjoying your garden this season, too!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Congrats to the Giveaway Winner....

Michelle Crawford is the winner--Congratulations!

Michelle prepared Denise Austin's Turkey Bacon Muffins and had this to say about the recipe:

I made the Turkey Bacon Morning Muffins with a slight adjustment to the recipe.  Rather than 1 1/4 cups white flour, I used 1 cup white flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour.  I try and do that with all the muffins I make.  Other than that I followed it as stated.  I have to say that I don’t think I’ve ever made muffins without sugar!  I was a little worried because to me a muffin is cakey which means sugary.  These muffins were pretty good and healthy.  I was really hoping that my kids would like them.  Breakfast is a favorite meal in our house and we even eat it for dinner from time to time.  They both love muffins and they love breakfast meats.  I thought for sure with the two combined they’d be delighted.  Well, not really.  My son ate a little bit of it but my daughter didn’t even want to touch it!  I really talked them up and ate mine first.  Finally, after adding a tiny bit of butter to hers she took a couple bites.  She still wasn’t crazy about them.  I think it was a texture thing for for of them.  My husband probably would have liked these because they are NOT sweet.  I decided to freeze most of the leftovers since the kids will not eat them tomorrow.  I’ll try again when daddy is home and see if he likes them.  All in all, I thought they were light, moist and filling.  I’d make them again.

Thanks for hosting a give-away and having me branch out of my normal blueberry or sweeter muffins! I’ve attached two pictures.

 Yes, savory muffins take a bit to get our head wrapped around the idea that muffins can be savory, too.  I absolutely adore William & Sonoma's Muffin Cookbook!  There are numerous dinner muffins that I make and love.  Kids might be a tougher sell, but kudos to Michelle for trying and challenging her kids to try new foods!  I hope your hubby loves them, too!  Perhaps served with dinner instead of breakfast or with an omelet.  Yum!

Thanks Michelle for whipping these up and sharing!  Michelle, also has her own blog @ where she shares amazing crafts with her kiddos!  It's on my RSS feed!!!

Michelle you won....

  • Free coupons for Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon
  • Denise Austin-approved Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon recipes
  • Denise Austin’s new book: “Denise’s Daily Dozen”
  • Denise Austin Yoga Pack – includes: Denise Austin Yoga Body Burn DVD & Official Yoga Mat
  • Jump rope
  • Workout CD mix
  • Branded water bottle
  • Exercise journal
  • Eco-friendly tote – perfect for heading to the gym or the grocery store
The videos are great--I did yoga last night! I hope you enjoy!  To everyone else, stay tuned tomorrow for another chance to win this great giveaway...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Versatile Blog Award--Thanks Michelle!

Thank you Michelle for the Award! Check out her fabulous blog for family craft ideas!!!  Super creative and realistic!  Plus, her kiddos are adorable!

Rules for receiving the award are:
1. Thank the person who gave me the award
2. Share 7 things about myself
3. Pass the award on to 15 (sorry...didn't get to that many) fabulous bloggers
4. Contact the bloggers I have picked and let them know about their award!

7 Things About Me:
  1. I originally intended this site to be a nutrition & science-driven blog; however, it turned into me--the Kitchen Sink! Hope you like that, too!
  2. My sideline hobbies (beyond the kitchen) are hiking, climbing, sewing, & scrapbooking.
  3. I have another website which "fuels" the other side of me @ 
  4. Although I live in California, I'll always be a Texan in my heart & soul
  5. My shoe size is 6.5 (yep, small feet & big heart)
  6. No tattoos nor funky piercings on me
  7. I have a crush on Matthew McConaughey 
My awards go out to:
Hopefully the above follow me, so now they know!  ha!  Congrats and thanks for giving me such fun things to read, too!

Giveaway continues!

Alright--something must have been too challenging about that one, because not a single person tried out one of the recipes.  So, no winner...hmmm....Let's try again!  I have two great gifts to giveaway (Courtesy of Kraft), and they are great!  So play along!


  • Try one of Denise Austin's recipes OR make up your own with Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon.  
  • Take a picture
  • Email me picture and your thoughts about the recipe.
  • End Date: Wednesday, June 16th
  • Email: 

I'm going to do another one next week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Denise Austin & a Great Giveaway!

There are those who have taken on an iconic role as fitness & nutrition experts.  We have all grown up with them…Richard Simmons (don’t deny it, he is a lover of fitness), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Fonda (although Vietnam Vets remember her for different reasons), Ellie Krieger (a favorite dietitian of mine), Denise Austin…and the list can go on.  I am thankful for those who choose the public light and promote what we need more of—balance…balance of our health and life.  Fitness & nutrition is a way of life!  Just recently I was given the opportunity to interview Denise Austin, and yes, she truly is as energetic off screen as she is on screen.  I was getting motivated just interviewing her!

Clearly fitness is her expertise, so I wanted to get her take on nutrition. Sometimes I worry that fitness gurus will also be fanatics when it comes to food—which is not balanced.  Well, Denise Austin is balanced!  She noted that she is not a nutrition expert, but she likes to cook and eat.  She practices mindful eating and does not even know it!  I had to ask her for some lifelong nutrition rules she lives by…

Denise Austin: I like to cook!  I really cook and we [husband, two teenage daughters, and herself] sit down as a family—we eat and talk as a family.

Denise expressed that it’s important that she and her family know what is in their food. She likes food fresh, healthy, & tasty!  Denise stated that both her daughters are athletes and she feels that they need to nourish themselves, but she never discusses weight or calories with them.  She feels it is more import that she models healthy behaviors while eating.  Through this approach she has raised two teenage girls who share her love for food & fitness.  Kudos to Denise for this approach!

Her mantra she shared with me was that if you exercise you can eat healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time give yourself a break to splurge. Agreed!  Just make sure you do a couple of her workouts a week and make sure you watch that the 20% doesn’t creep over to 50%! J

More tips from Denise Austin: Don’t watch TV while eating & always eat at the dinner table.  Those are both “biggies” at my house, too!

Oh, and the best part of the interview…Denise Austin is giving away a “goodie bag” to two of my readers!  She really is fabulous!  I am going to break this up into two giveaways! 

The first giveaway…Denise Austin generously shared with me some of her favorite quick meals that she loves to make!  All of these are made with Oscar Mayer’s Turkey Bacon (yum—bacon really adds a lot of flavor with just a single piece!) 
Giveaway goodies...

 Prizes to be supplied by Kraft:
  • Free coupons for Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon
  • Denise Austin-approved Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon recipes
  • Denise Austin’s new book: “Denise’s Daily Dozen”
  • Denise Austin Yoga Pack – includes: Denise Austin Yoga Body Burn DVD & Official Yoga Mat
  • Jump rope
  • Workout CD mix
  • Branded water bottle
  • Exercise journal
  • Eco-friendly tote – perfect for heading to the gym or the grocery store
Here is how to win…
Try one of these recipes, write up a 100-300 word review (what you liked, did you share it with anyone, was it simple, any changes, etc.), take a picture, and share with me via email: I am going to pick the winner based on your picture and review of the recipe.  Giveaway ends on Sunday, June 13th at 6pm PST.  All participants will have their recipe and picture posted on my blog, and the winner will be notified on my post.

Turkey Bacon Morning Muffins

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 12 servings, 1 muffin each


What You Need!

12 slices OSCAR MAYER Turkey Bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1-1/4 cups flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tsp.  CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large egg whites


Make It!

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Mix bacon, flour, oats and baking powder in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; stir just until moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.)
SPOON batter into paper-lined muffin pan or muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray, filling each cup 2/3 full.
BAKE 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate or freeze any leftover muffins.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving:  

·      Calories  180
·      Total fat  7 g
·      Saturated fat  1 g
·      Cholesterol  10 mg
·      Sodium  270 mg
·      Carbohydrate  23 g
·      Dietary fiber  1 g
·      Sugars  9 g
·      Protein 5 g
·      Vitamin A  0 %DV
·      Vitamin C  0 %DV
·      Calcium  6 %DV
·      Iron  6 %DV


Turkey Cobb Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 10 min
Makes: 1 serving


What You Need!

2 large leaf lettuce leaves
1 slice OSCAR MAYER Turkey Bacon, cooked, cut in half
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Shaved Smoked Turkey Breast
2   thin peeled avocado slices
2 thin tomato wedges
1 Tbsp. KRAFT Light ROKA Blue Cheese Dressing


Make It!

TOP lettuce with remaining ingredients; roll up tightly.


Nutritional Information:

Per Serving:
·       Calories  140
·      Total fat  9 g
·      Saturated fat  1.5 g
·      Cholesterol  30 mg
·      Sodium  770 mg
·      Carbohydrate  6 g
·      Dietary fiber  2 g
·      Sugars  2 g
·      Protein 11 g
·      Vitamin A  35 %DV
·      Vitamin C  15 %DV
·      Calcium  2 %DV
·      Iron  6 %DV

Healthy Living Information
Good source of vitamin A or C

Nutrition Bonus
The lettuce in this breadless sandwich is not only rich in vitamin A but it also teams up with the tomatoes to provide a good source of vitamin C.

Easy Cheesy Frittata


Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes: 6 servings


What You Need!

4 whole eggs
4   egg whites
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
2 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon or OSCAR MAYER Turkey Bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Make It!

HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat whole eggs, egg whites and water with whisk in medium bowl until blended.
STIR in 1/2 cup cheese, tomatoes, bacon and basil. Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.
BAKE 25 min. or until puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5 min. or until melted.


Nutritional Information

Per Serving:
·       Calories  120
·       Total fat 7 g
·      Saturated fat  3 g
·      Cholesterol  150 mg
·      Sodium  260 mg
·      Carbohydrate  2 g
·      Dietary fiber  0 g
·      Sugars  0 g
·      Protein 13 g
·      Vitamin A  15 %DV
·      Vitamin C  2 %DV
·      Calcium  30 %DV
·      Iron  4 %DV

Healthy Living Information
Good source of calcium

Nutrition Bonus
The cheese in this flavorful frittata provides a rich source of calcium.

You can find more of Denise’s recipes and health tips on her website:
Thank you Denise Austin for your fabulous energy, enthusiasm, your commitment to health, generous giveaway, and allowing me to interview you!
Thank you Oscar Mayer and Kraft Foods for your delicious turkey bacon and food products!

Please note, Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me.  This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by Edible Nutrition. 

Stay tuned for your next chance to win this giveaway package next week! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Blackberry Season!

Why is it we call them "black" berries when they stain everything purple?  I am guessing it has something to do with PurpleBerry not sounding as sweet?!?  Thoughts?

Blackberries are actually native to the US, and feed not only humans but many animals, too.  Similar to other berries they are packed with antioxidants, to include anthocyanin and quercitin.  They are loaded with fiber, 8 grams per 1 cup!  That's better (and more satisfying) than any bar or cereal.  If you combine 1 cup of Kashi's Go Lean and 1 cup of berries you will get 18 grams of fiber--that is more than 1/2 of my daily fiber needs.  Nice start to the day!

What is your favorite blackberry dish?  Blackberry cobbler, blackberry pie, or just plain blackberries? I love them all!  If they are sweet I can just sit and eat them.  I actually found myself in a painful predicament one time after eating far too many.  They were growing wild on a hiking path we were on and I just kept nibbling away...all day...painful morning followed! ;o)

This morning I found a delicious way to enjoy this berry:
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp simply fruit orange marmalade
1 cup blackberries
Taste buds soared with delight!

Tonight, I am preparing Alton Brown's Blackberry Cobbler recipe! I can smell it already!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Dogs Love Their Veggies, too!

Meet my babies...H & J!  H is my veggie lover and J will nibble them when he wants to--if H has it, he wants it too.  However, when I say the word "carrot" H comes running into the kitchen and waits by the refrigerator--no kidding.  She loves her carrots!!  I have to actually buy the big bags from Costco just to have "treats" for them on hand at all times.  

Carrots are actually great for dogs and serve as healthy snack alternative to the high-calorie treats at the supermarket, plus they are much cheaper!  A giant bag of carrots costs pennies compared to Greenies!  My pooches also enjoy green beans, broccoli stalks, and asparagus spears.  Odd as it may seem they truly do love them!  You may have veg-fan of a dog, too! 

Just something fun to share!  Eat your veggies!!!  ;o)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Obsession & Biscuits!

It's time I come clean--I am a cookbook addict!  I love the pictures, the ideas, the colors, the possibilities...  Some say cookbooks are dying, but for those of us who love to cook cookbooks are cherished items in our households.  My absolute favorites aren't the most popular, nor from the Food Network stars, instead they are often the Junior Leagues and Southern classics.  Here are my most used Texas Cookbooks (another obsession of mine--home!):

Cookbooks are more for generating ideas instead of feeling restricted.  I truly love them. I will sit in my atrium and just look through them and create ideas for future meals.  Perhaps I am from a different generation--I don't know.  They bring me such joy and happiness---like a video game for my nephews or a history book for my husband. :o)  Just different.  

With my love of cookbooks comes my quest of the best biscuit recipe.  If you are from the South or had a Grandma (Gran-MAW) who made them well you know what I am saying when I say "Why in the HELL would you eat a canned biscuit?"  Whoops--was that too rough?  Sorry, but DARN!  They are SIMPLE and when made well they melt in your mouth!  I love savory biscuits, sweet biscuits (for shortcake--not really a cake at all), and my fave is with HONEY!  

One would think that with my biscuit obsession that I have settled on one recipe--nope.  I continue to explore new ones, and revisit ones from the past.  This morning I whipped up these 
and "HELLO FLUFFY & FLAKEY BITES OF LOVE!"  Silly as it seems, biscuits to me are a bit of nostalgia!  They bring back fabulous memories of my youth, they bring me home a bit!  I hope you decide to put away the can and try these next time you crave biscuits.  

Thank you, Terry Thompson-Anderson for writing Texas on the Plate and for this fabulous biscuit recipe
Makes 12-16 biscuits (depending on your biscuit cutter size or glass!)
3 cups flour
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 cup shortening (yep, crisco or Spectrum makes one that is trans fat free) COLD
1/2 cup butter--COLD
3/4 cup buttermilk (MUST USE!)

  1. If you have a food processor, break it out!  If not, get a pastry blender ready.  Preheat oven to 400*F. In a bowl (or your processor) mix together flour through cream of tarter--pulse.  
  2. Add in COLD fats (shortening and butter, cut into chunks), pulse for 30 seconds.  Should resemble pea size crumb, clusters.  Note: you never, ever over mix biscuit dough--they will be brick like!!! 
  3. Make a well in the center and pour the buttermilk in.  Mix with your hands or a large spoon until it comes together.
  4. Flour a cutting board or counter top and run your hands under COLD WATER.  Yep, it's a trick!  This keeps the heat of your hands from melting the butter when you knead it--trust me!!!
  5. Gently knead the dough, but no more than 5 times!!!  Roll out to 1 inch thickness and cut, roll and cut, roll and cut--you should be done and ready to bake now! Place on a cookie sheet and you can brush the tops with additional buttermilk if you'd like--I did not, but sometimes I do. :o)
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. 
  7. Tasty the flakey goodness!!!!

    It might just be the ONE!!!  

    And the winner is...

    And the winner is...

    The Thiele Family!!

    Their favorite Dairy Recipe...
    From the Thiele Family: I tried this recipe at a friend's house in Misawa Japan and FELL IN LOVE! How do you make cheese better? Add delicious seasonings and olive oil to it and let it soak in!! It is so yummy on crackers, baguette slices, or just by itself. I make this at almost all my social functions. It puts an average cheese tray to shame!

    Marinated Cheese

    ½ cup olive oil
    ½ cup white wine vinegar
    1 2 oz jar diced pimentos drained
    3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
    3 tablespoons minced green onions
    3 cloves garlic minced
    1 teaspoon sugar
    ¾ teaspoon dried whole basil
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 8-oz block of sharp cheddar cheese

    1 8-oz package of cream cheese
    Combine first 10 ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly and shake. Set marinade mixture aside. Cut block of Cheddar and cream cheese into ¼ inch slices. Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish. Pour marinate over cheese and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

    Source: Jenn Edwards! Thanks girl!

    I LOVE the Cuisinart hand blender set (it would do wonders for my kiddos daily smoothie treat prep) and I LOVE this blog even more! When I am out of ideas for healthy dinners, this is my life saver!

    I have to thank all of the fabulous entries!!  Thanks to Jessica (Baked Mac & Cheese), Steve, Ash, & Cam (Enchiladas w/zucchini), Sarah (Grilled pizzas), and CGS (Mrs. Richard's Chicken Enchiladas).  YUM!  I cannot wait to try all of these recipes, and I hope you do, too!  

    I really liked the uniqueness of the cheese appetizer dish, and the fact that dairy was the main star!  Plus, who can resist fresh herbs in the summer?  Not me!  So, Thiele Family: Congrats and drop me an email at with your address (not to be shared with anyone other than the fabulous Midwest Dairy Council) to receive your giveaway.

    A big THANK YOU to the Midwest Dairy Council for the generosity and getting a positive message out about dairy!