Squash and Turkey Sandwiches

Sometimes in the summer, it can be hard to help students to stay motivated with their co-curricular experiences.  Either the positionally-correct people are not present, or its difficult to get buy-in for the members of the group to participate.  One of the projects the Greek Council President has decided to continue is the Constitution review.  The lovely and wonderful members of the community had increased buy-in when it meant they didn’t need to cook food for themselves, so I invited them over for dinner.  With all sorts of different dietary needs abounding, I made a semi-feast for the 10 or so students who came over on Monday night.  For some of them, it was a chance to eat something that they did not have to cook themselves, with no dining services being offered on campus through the summer.

I served a few things about which I have previously posted:

In an effort to cook through some of my cookbooks, I had planned to also make a Roasted Potato Salad.  But, my weekend time efforts took me to purchasing store-made potato salad.  I had also hoped to make Cereal Bars and Rhubarb Bars, but decided to buy cookies at the store as well.  I had a lot of writing to do for articles on which I am working at the moment.

I did make one other family favorite: Hot Turkey Sandwiches and try a new recipe: Spicy Butternut Squash Skillet.  I had a variety of students either attending or possibly attending in terms of dietary needs.  Vegetarian, Jewish, and other needs made it so that I wanted to have a large variety.  I also made the recently frequently cooked Grilled Vegetables with zucchini, summer squash, red peppers, mushrooms.

Here are the recipes used:

Spicy Butternut Squash Skillet (from Clean Eating Adventures):

  • 1/2 diced butternut squash (cooked)
  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • ¼ c cilantro
  • ¼ c diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sriracha — about ¼ c
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c black beans
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder

Heat oil in skillet and saute onions and garlic.  Add squash and brown it.  Sprinkle with chili powder and cumin.  Add quinoa to brown.  Add corn and beans.  Finish with sriracha.  Top with cilantro.



Hot Turkey Sandwiches

  • 6 c turkey/chicken, cooked and shredded or diced
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • ½ c cooked green pepper
  • 1 ½ c chopped celery
  • ¾ c chopped onion
  • 1 can cream of mushroom/chicken/celery soup
  • 3 c grated cheese

Mix together and heat at 400 degrees for 1 hour.


Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Nancy came over for dinner again on Friday night and we had some great discussions…we talked supper clubs, fashion, language, and a variety of other topics.  We ate salad, and then went up to the Lincoln Wine Bar for a little music and with the intention of eating gelato — which we eventually did, topped with a shot of espresso, which did this great caramelizing and added almost a taste of chocolate to the vanilla gelato we were eating.  There was a great musician playing — Robert “One Man” Johnson.  If you enjoy blues at all, I would encourage at least checking his music out.  He is really talented and sang beautifully.  He had a ton of fun with the audience as well!

As for the salad we made, it was nice as it made 4 servings, so just enough for us to eat on Friday and me to have leftovers on Saturday, in the midst of writing.  A pretty simple Black Bean Taco Salad I’ve had in my recipe box for about 8 years, I’m not sure where it originated, but it’s been a favorite of mine.  I don’t think I’d made it for a couple of years, so it was nice to be able to make it for some folks who I knew would enjoy it.  Minda and I both worked on chopping different pieces of it and prepping so that when Nancy arrived, we were ready to eat!

black bean taco salad


Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette


  • ¼ c chopped tomato
  • ¼ c chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime rind
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.



  • 8 c chopped lettuce
  • 2 c chopped chicken breast
  • 1 c chopped tomato
  • 1 c chopped green pepper
  • 1 c diced red onion
  • ½ c shredded cheddar
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed

Combine salad ingredients and toss with vinaigrette.  Serve.

Pizza on the Grill

sausage pizzaAs I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, I have a roommate, Minda, who recently moved in.  Last Friday night we got together with our friends Nancy and Kara for a little women’s gathering.  We discussed intentional living environments, the value of empowering women, the trials and tribulations of working on campus and deciding to leave.  It was a motivational and wonderful experience.  And, of course, we ate good food.

Earlier in the week Minda and I had been talking about wanting to make pizza.  Between that and having one of my mom’s friends ask if I had ever made cauliflower crust pizza, we decided to make a couple of pizzas and try things out.  One of the members of the group is gluten intolerant, and we all try to mostly eat real foods, so this was a good chance to explore a little bit outside of our regular thoughts on pizza and try some different recipes out.

cauliflower crust pizzaThe first recipe we decided to try was the cauliflower crust pizza.  It was a bit of a fail.  In part, it was a fail not in taste, so I think there is a future for it.  I had looked up several different cauliflower crust recipes and decided to go with one lacking flour.  After exploring these options, I decided on the recipe from Eat. Drink. Smile.  I think this recipe was a fail in large part because I tried to make it work on the grill.  The crust seemed to just need some more time to cook and a more regular cooking environment than one in which I was constantly opening and closing the grill lid due to our other pizza being cooked.  I plan to try the crust again in the oven, and making sure to grease the foil really well or cook it directly on the pan.  We used the toppings described on this Budget Bytes  and the flavor of everything was really good.  The sauce is pretty rich, so know that if you decide to try this white sauce, but overall, I think I just need to tweak the recipe and my cooking methods some.  We only put mushrooms on half of it, but it tasted great!

chebe pizza crust mixThe second crust we used was a store-bought mix called chebe gluten free pizza crust..  These pizzas turned out delicious.  We began by splitting it into two crusts and cooking them on the grill.  We topped it with this organic pizza sauce, added Italian sausage and red pepper, and fresh basil, along with some cheese.  I could have eaten the whole pizza myself.  I would definitely repeat this process and maybe take the toppings from the other pizza on this crust.

grilled fruitFor dessert, we grilled peaches and pineapple, which was a nice sweet treat to end the meal.  I wish this week would continue to be less humid so I felt like we could be out on the porch again more frequently, but it doesn’t seem to be happening, so we’ll have to ignore that for now.  Maybe in the evenings when it cools off.

At this moment, Kara has left our little town and is preparing to go off and work on her doctoral degree.  But, Nancy came for dinner again on Friday.  We made a taco salad.  More recipes coming in the near future 🙂

Welcome to the World, David Timothy!

Several months ago, my sister shared that she and Andrew would be adding to their family with a new baby.  It’s been fun to watch their preparations from a distance and see Simon adjusting to the anticipated arrival of a new baby.  He was actually the one to spill the beans to me last November when I was visiting them.  He was identifying who people in the room were and when they asked where the baby was, he pointed at Carmen…and I found out they were going to have another.

Well, on Tuesday the newest arrival to their growing family came into the world and from what I can tell so far, he is going to be another adorable member of the family.  I’ve only seen a few photos, but from what I’ve heard, all are adjusting to the family.  I cannot wait to meet him in a couple of weeks.  It can’t get any better than having a family who loves each other.  So, I have a new nephew: David Timothy, born on Tuesday, at 8 lbs, 6 oz and 20 inches long.  My brother-in-law posted on Facebook:  “He is named after Carmen and my favorite hero in the Old Testament as we hope and pray that he will also be a man after the Lord’s own heart, courageous in battle, fervent in worshiping God, and a leader who spends his life building up the People of God.”

I’ll post some photos after I’ve met him, but for now, I am excited to be an aunt again!

One more sheepish return…

It’s been awhile since I’ve been blogging…sorry for that.  I see I’m still getting some regular clicks on things.  I have been cooking and other things, but I have not been motivated to write things not related to my academics (and truth be told, I haven’t been that motivated to write things related to my academics).  But, it’s time to get back into go-mode for so many reasons.  I need to get writing, I need to keep cooking, and am coming back for some more delicious eats.

I am sure quilting will continue to take the backseat to everything else for awhile, as I should focus on my academics anyway.

Since I start classes tonight, it’s a good chance for me to refocus on blogging regularly.

For those of you with whom I haven’t spoken in quite some time, I’ve been busy with my friend Minda, who moved in almost a month ago.  She is an amazing photographer and I am so glad to have her in my life.  She’s also big into clean eating, so we’ll be concocting some great food over the next few months and I can’t wait to post about that.

I’ve also been busy with a major renovation project at work.  I’ve been trying to post a photo a day over on Instagram, so check me out there.

In the meantime, look for a few recipes coming up: grilled vegetables, vanilla maple cinnamon pork chops, and some other things I’ve tried…

I hope the start of summer is going amazingly!