Archive for December, 2011

December 30, 2011

Thoughts: Top 10 Recipe Posts of 2011.

Wow, did this year fly by.

I remember starting my blog at the beginning of the year with only a few family members following along and now I have a consistent following, that I’m so proud to call my ‘blog friends’. So thanks for stopping by. Thank you for visiting this posts over and over again.

Here is a recap of the most popular posts in 2011, here on Sensible Lessons.

Coming in at #1 Turkey Meatloaf Muffins. When I was making these I never thought so many of my blog viewers would enjoy them so much! They are trademarked – don’t even think about it.

#2 Lemon Garlic Chicken Obviously. I mean seriously.

#3 Sweet Potato Qunioa The best quick salad. With leftovers of sweet potato and qunioa – this goes together so quickly and is super healthy and full of protein!

#4 Beef Bourguignon/Beef Stew Needed in everyone’s stew repertoire. Very hearty, melt in your mouth carrots…and you need crunchy bread with it!

#5 Black Pepper and BBQ Molasses Chicken Sandwiches This is a great outdoor meal to have during the summer!

#6 Gorgonzola and Buttermilk Steak Sandwiches YES! Grilled bread, sweet caramelized onions, perfectly cooked steak…and GORGONZOLA! Yes, please. Right now.

#7 BLT Sandwich I could have this anytime of year. Look at those colors – mouth-watering. and BACON!

#8 Tandoori Chicken Kabobs A fun meal to serve for guests – quick cooking on the grill and fun to pull of the skewers.

#9 Grilled Corn Salsa Another anytime of the year recipe – if only fresh corn was year round.

#10 Spiced Pumpkin Bread with Ginger Glaze No Comment. Just make it. You will see – I was right and this is very good.

And there you have it. On to another year of delicious food.


December 29, 2011

Thoughts: Christmas re-visited via my Iphone.

We were in Washington over the holiday. Lots of family, baked goods, piles of presents, laughs, baked goods and more baked goods..and some chocolate thrown in too!

Any time spent at the airport is made better by some of this. What is not to love about chunks of chocolate in creamy mint ice cream! Plus, starting off any holiday with a bowl of this in your stomach, is always good.

No Christmas Eve is complete without visiting your local Target and cruising down the breast pump aisle. Michele couldn’t be more excited to tell us all the details about these pumps. Good Luck, Maureen (don’t hate me for posting this photo)!!

Christmas after all is about children. We had a great time with our nieces and nephews. They are waving at their Grandmother before the frenzy of present opening begins.

This is the best picture taken from our entire 5 days there. Our niece, Catherine licking the dessert bowl clean. I die everytime I look at this.

Mr. A helping the ladies ‘make’ cinnamon rolls. Ignore the package that they came in, Folks.

Visiting the Pacific Ocean is always a must. Deception Pass was gorgeous, even with cloudy skies.

View from our picnic lunch.

A visit to Washington State isn’t complete without ending at Pikes Market.

What is not to love about fresh tulips?!?!! Spring has sprung…at least at this market stand.

For lunch, Uli’s Sausages.

My traditional German Bratwurst.

December 28, 2011

Life Lesson: We are human.

Laughing, crying, joy and anger… All are a vital.  All make us human.

December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a warm yet snowy Holiday season!

December 23, 2011

Life Lesson: Productive?

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

December 22, 2011

Thoughts: Happy Happy Birthday SL.

Yes, it is true. Sensible Lessons is the ripe olde age of 1 today! I can’t believe it. I remember when I was so shy and timid to tell friends and family about my blog. And look at her now, all grown up. I mean 1 years old is old, folks.

The journey of blogging is one that I didn’t know much about a year ago. It has been so rewarding to me – I never knew this about blogging. It is such a nice and warm feeling knowing that the blogging community has embraced my presence and accepted me into their virtual arms.

I owe the success of Sensible Lessons to you. My daily readers, monthly readers or the readers just stop by once in a while. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your comments and emails. I am flattered that you stop by and read my posts and bring Sensible Lessons into your lives. Thank you!

Cheers to another year! May the next year be as bright as the first.


December 16, 2011

Thoughts: Random Friday.

Capturing my week through my Iphone!

Target’s life lessons.

a really big picture of slabs of Pork Belly.

That’s white chocolate. Ignore the greens.

and some ‘instant snow’, just because.

December 15, 2011

Food: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Butter.

I know. These were supposed to be a healthy breakfast but then it turned into a sweet indulgence. They are worth it.

Whole Wheat and Flaxseed Meal makes you feel good about eating these. The maple cinnamon butter does too.

And I can’t forget the pumpkin.

I am determined to keep pumpkin in my diet forever – I mean it shouldn’t just be brought around the Holidays.

They look pathetic without butter.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Butter

adapted from Bob’s Red Mill, Multi Grain Waffles

Yields 6 waffles


  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds meal
  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt


Preheat waffle iron to medium heat.

1. Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Using a whisk, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well to combine.

2. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray, liberally. Pour mixture into waffle iron. Cook throughly, or until waffle iron indicates they are done. Remove from iron and serve hot with maple cinnamon butter and maple syrup.

To make Maple Cinnamon Butter : Combine 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 pinches cinnamon and 1-2 teaspoons REAL maple syrup.


December 14, 2011

Life Lesson: Obvious.

Purposely ignoring the obvious is like walking backwards toward the enemy.

December 13, 2011

Food: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, apples…and bacon.


Brussels Sprouts are good.

Bacon and apples make them better.

Bacon makes anything better really.

The Husband even approved, with seconds of course. They are soft but still have a bite. Carmelized which adds a sweet texture and enhanced flavor. The apples are disguised (what he said). And thick cut bacon and some grease…come on, what is not to like.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts, apples…and bacon


  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 green apple, chopped


1. In a small sauce-pan, cook bacon on medium low, until crispy. Drain fat into container and let bacon dry on papertowel.

2. In a large non-stick pan, add brussels sprouts, butter and salt and pepper. Turn on heat to medium high. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Turn heat down and deglaze pan with 2/3 cup water. Put lid on pan and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Remove  lid. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of bacon grease and chopped apple. Continue to stir occasionally. When all water is evaporated, add chopped bacon.

4. Taste test. Add salt and pepper if needed. Test the texture of the sprouts too. Don’t overcook them – you want them to still have a bite/crunch to them! Enjoy hot.

December 12, 2011

Thoughts: Naps.

I take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

December 9, 2011

Food: Mediterranean Chickpea Stew.

Yes it is true. I am on a roll. These vegetarian recipes are just cruising on through my kitchen lately. It’s a trend and I want to be apart of it.

No really. I do.


 Cooking for other people is fun. Especially when they ask for dishes that you don’t normally make. Getting out of my comfort zone has been good. And they are delicious too!

 This is something that I wouldn’t normally cook for myself at my home. But I may have just changed that. This is so hearty, full of flavor and very quick to pull together.


Mediterranean Chickpea Stew

Adapted from WholeFoods

Yield = 4


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow or orange pepper (I used 1/2 of each), cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed quickly
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooked quinoa, brown rice or couscous, if desired


1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Lower the heat, add garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add zucchini and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Stir in chickpeas and capers and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve warm over quinoa, brown rice or couscous.



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