When Q is gone, I take the easy road with cooking. I do the basics: quesadilla, burrito bowl, cereal, salad, sometimes just cheese and crackers and almost always some sort of pasta.


Last night I went the pasta route, but instead of just doing a simple pasta marinara, I decided to spice things up a little bit by including some spinach and feta from a filling I made for chicken earlier in the week. The result was fantastic! It made “simple” pasta turn into flavorful, filling and delicious pasta. And it was SO easy.

You could definitely substitute the frozen spinach for fresh spinach if you have it in the fridge (I did not). Also, you want to really drain the frozen spinach before using it. I use a colander and lots and lots of paper towels to do this.


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Best Wife Award?

by Koko on September 6, 2013 · 5 comments

in Baking

Whenever I leave town, I feel a little guilty that I’m abandoning Q and Carl. Oh the two of them do just fine without me, but I always miss them. Since I’m heading to Hawaii next week for a quick trip to help my grandma move, I wanted to help my boys out before I left and prep some meals for them/Q.

Not only was I cooking for Q, but I also decided to  bake three different types of cookies for a big yard sale happening in our neighborhood tomorrow. I figured since we only have a handful of goods to sell, if I baked 3-4 dozen cookies and sold them at $1 each, we could do really well!


So I was a crazy cook today with the oven running from 12-6, the slow cooker churning away and the sink stacking up!


And this is what I made:

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili – such an easy one and it makes SO much chili! I put this on top of brown rice for a hearty lunch.


Baked Penne with Spinach and Tomatoes I added turkey sausage, since Q requires meat in all of his meals. Another easy one that makes a LOT of food


Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies–  these are a BIG crowd pleaser and I think the yard sale buyers are going to be in awe.


Snickerdoodles– Easy, delicious and Q’s favorite. (Another GREAT recipe if you have Cream of Tartar on hand)


Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Cheese Bars– another crowd pleaser- a mix of cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies!


Oh and now I feel like this:


Happy Weekend y’all!

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Weekly Meal Planning

by Koko on August 15, 2013 · 4 comments

in Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe

Q and I are back on the meal planning road. It always takes a little while to get back in a routine after moving.

We had to figure out what Q’s work schedule was going to be like (he gets home around 6:45 each night) and what my school schedule was going to be (night classes Monday and Tuesday) and then make our plans from there.

The good news is we are able to find great fresh produce that we were lacking in Alaska! There is a huge variety of places to shop (the commissary, Fresh Market (like Whole Foods), Publix, and local farmer’s markets) and we have been exploring those as well.


Monday – Orange Sesame Chicken Bowls. Easy, quick and I had all the ingredients on hand. If you don’t have grated carrots, you can just cut whole carrots into pieces and roast them instead like I did here! I am a big fan of having a bag of carrots in the fridge at all times for juicing or dishes like this.


Tuesday: Teriyaki Chicken Bowls. I don’t know if it is because my mom is from Hawaii or that I am a quarter Japanese, but I LOVE teriyaki. I wanted to try my own sauce for this dinner and found out that it is actually SUPER easy (recipe below). I used the Griddler to cook the chicken breasts, roasted carrots in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees and put some white rice in the rice maker. This meal came together in less than 30 minutes!


Teriyaki Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger

Whisk ingredients together and you are good to go. I used half as a marinade for my chicken and the other half went on top of my bowls

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken, Greek Salad and Cous Cous with Tzaziki Sauce:  Another easy, off the cuff dinner idea. Q and I have SO many homegrown tomatoes laying around that I thought an easy Greek salad was in the works (cucumber, tomato, feta, olive oil, salt and pepper). I *cheated* and made cous cous from the box (can’t beat 5 minute cous cous) and used The Griddler again for our chicken. An easy tzatziki sauce finished this one out (Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper).


Thursday: Tonight will be my favorite Caprese Pasta with our remaining tomatoes! I usually cook out some turkey sausage on the side for Q to add to his since he is not a fan of vegetarian only meals.


Friday: Pizza Night! Q and I got an awesome pizza stone for our wedding and it has upped the quality of our pizzas by a lot, definitely worth the investment.


What’s on your meal plan for the week?

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Summer Lunch

by Koko on August 14, 2013

in Cooking, Recipe, Salad, Vegetable


I LOVE summers!

I love wearing shorts, going to the pool, having the sun set past 8pm and bbqs.

And I especially love homegrown tomatoes.

My mom, the gardening queen, is the best tomato grower I have ever seen. She has boxes filled with heirlooms, cherries, romas, and every type of tomato there is. And the best part is that they all grow and are delicious!

When Q and I moved out of Alaska (there was no way we could grow tomatoes there!), we knew we needed to get our tomato growing on. A friend suggested these Grow Boxes and so far we have had great success (batch after batch of great tasting tomatoes).

My favorite summer lunch is the simplest of meals and yet never fails to please. Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. That’s it.





Tomatoes growing!


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