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Julie

calcaojulie@hotmail.com'

Published: 128 articles

Best Bacon Wrapped Turkey

For the longest time, I got away without cooking during the holidays. My sister-in-law would do Thanksgiving, my parents would do Christmas Eve, and my in-laws would do Christmas Day. All my family and I had to do, was show up with maybe … wine/beer, and bread.

Then, everyone moved out of state and we were left by ourselves. However, I can sincerely count on one hand how many times I cooked a turkey. It can ruin the whole dinner if not cooked right. So, I avoided cooking it on many holidays.  I am sure there are plenty of people out there that feel the same way as I do about turkey. Read More →

Flank Steak Fajitas in Crock Pot

Last Friday it was my baby’s 6th birthday. I was supposed just to have family over for cake and decided to have them over early to enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather at the pool. Because we were going to spend most of the day at the pool, I didn’t really want to spend the rest of the day cooking. So I decided to make steak fajitas in the crock pot. A meal that I have made multiple times in the past two years. I have mentioned it in other posts, if you don’t have a crock pot, go get one.

It cooks your food while at work or out of the house. It doesn’t heat up your house which is perfect during summer days. And most crock pot meals require little food prepping.

This is the birthday boy!!! Read More →

Artificial Food Dyes: Why you shouldn’t consume them

Artificial food dye, synthetic food dye, food coloring, FD&C Red No. 40, or Tartrazine (a.k.a. Yellow No. 5)… whatever name it’s listed under, it is all pretty much the same stuff.  I have no problem occasionally digging into yummy homemade treats made with plenty of chocolate, sugar, or whatever else we’re craving But what I NEVER want to “treat” my family to is a dose of chemicals derived from petroleum. You read right. That is what artificial food dye is made from and unfortunately the 15 million pounds of food dye used in the U.S. per year (5 times more than in 1955) is in much more than just colorful icing these days. Read More →

Yummy Rice Krispie Treats

Last week was Valentine’s Day. Stores were filled with a lot of candy and chocolate for the event. Call me cheap, but I never fall for the Valentine’s Day trap. It has nothing to do with money but more about the junk being sold. I don’t buy any of that stuff for my kids during the year and Valentine’s Day will not be an exception. Plus, I am teaching my kids that they don’t need to be given chocolate or gifts on  day to feel loved. T h e y   a r e   l o v e d   a l l   o f   t h e   t i m e. Read More →

Apple Pie

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Thanksgiving week, my oldest son had to attend a “Friendsgiving” dinner and had to bring apple pie for dessert. Everybody else in the house was also asking for apple pie. Just the thought of the freshly baked apple pie made me thinking that I could make one. I had plenty of apples and everything else to make one. But I never made pie other than chocolate oreo pie which doesn’t require the making of a pie crust. I was a bit scared but decided to search for a good recipe. There are so many out there but came across one from addapinch.com that caught my attention. Read More →

All Butter Pie Crust

This ties in to the apple pie I made during Thanksgiving week. It was my first time making apple pie or making a pie from scratch, including the pie crust. I didn’t have vegetable shortening. In fact, I haven’t bought it in over 15 years. I know there is an organic version of it but I really didn’t want to go to the store so I looked up a recipe that only used butter and came across a fabulous recipe by crazyforcrust. Of course, butter doesn’t render the flakiness that you would find in a crust made with shortening but it tasted delicious. We like the taste of butter anyway so it worked out just fine.  Read More →

Apple Pie Spice Recipe

I just completely forgot about this post. I sometimes start writing about a subject and it just sits there as I completely forgot about it. So the week of Thanksgiving, my oldest son had a Friendsgiving to attend and he needed to bring an apple pie. We hadn’t had an apple in a very long time. I had never made one. Well, I had never made a pie…from scratch. One of the ingredient the apple pie recipe required was apple pie spice which I didn’t have. However, I had all ingredients to make it at home. Read More →

Boeuf Bourguignon – Crock Pot

boeuf bourgigon

I hear it all the time that boeuf bourguignon is a stew. And I couldn’t disagree more. Growing up up, my mom’s stew consisted of cubed meat cooked/steamed with veggies. No sauce. It was kind of plain and something I was not looking forward to. But beef bourginon has so much flavor…It makes me hungry just to think about it.

When I first got a crock pot over 3 years ago and searched for recipes to make in it. Got to love a slow cooked meal. I came across this recipe from The Kitchn. Although it is a crock pot recipe, it requires a lot of food prepping and cooking before it hit the crock pot. So, I bookmarked the recipe and it took me a while before I made it.

Over the week-end, I made a whole chicken in the crock pot, then made chicken stock with the left over bones, and ended making chicken noodle soup. Then I made port wine chicken. So I was left with carrots, celery, tomato paste, fresh thyme, and parsley from those two dishes and thought boeuf bourguignon was a great dish to have on my meal plan after making the aforementioned to reduce waste. Even though my sister-in-law made it for us last week-end, it was on my meal plan and decided to make it anyway.
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Quinoa – Kale – Sweet Potato Salad

It’s been a while since I wrote something on the blog. It was the Holidays and wanted to be more present with my family and decided to be on the computer as little as possible. Since I work from home as a banking consultant and health & wellness coach, I couldn’t shut down completely but I did the best I could and had to give up blogging during the Holidays. Which is OK because I got some great quality time with the kids. even if it meant watching TV with them.

It was so cold during the Christmas break that we didn’t venture out much other than going to see family, going to the gym, and grocery shopping. It was absolutely fine as our lives can be so hectic with school, homework, and after school activities.    Read More →

Lemon Chicken

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I usually cook something easy during the week, either something in the crock pot or something that doesn’t require me to stay at the stove for a very  long time. I as actually supposed to make this recipe on Sunday but we opted for something else. I had the chicken available and didn’t want to wait until the week-end to cook it. So today was the day. Plus, the kids were home. Our first snow day in Colorado. It wasn’t actually our first snowfall but I guess it was a bit too much during the night and all schools were closed for the day. And, I was done with my banking consulting work early this morning so I had plenty of time to cook something more tedious.  Read More →