Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night was the first of 2 Thanksgiving dinners I’m attending this year.  Confession. I’ve never cooked a turkey.

I’ve made some side dishes here and there, and definitely a great pumpkin pie but never attempted to mess with the bird.  But, why bother when my mom’s more than happy to take on that job.  Check out what a Cuban thanksgiving dinner looks like.  It’s a mesh of Cuban/American spanglish cuisine.

Turkey, Pork and baked chicharones











Moros (black beans n rice)









Green bean casserole with pecans









Yuca with garlic and onion mojito


















It was a lovely evening with family and friends.  There was also some mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and mashed potatoes with gravy.  I can’t believe I don’t have pics of the dessert table!  There was sooo much sweetness there.  My two pumpkin pies, cheesecake tray, carrot cake, chocolate to die for cake, and quite a few others. 

Today was spent at home with my son decorating the Christmas tree.  Yay it’s up!  Not only did Hunter help me bring all the crates in from the garage and he actually put up the tree, put on the lights and decorated much of the tree.  I still have and use many of the cute things that he made as far back as pre-k.   I pulled out some of his letters to Santa and we were cracking up reading them.  One year he asked for a techno parrot??  Great memories shared, I love it.  He’s 17 now so I cherish these kind of days that I can have him all to myself.  I used to decorate 2 trees.  One, with his toys and cute stuff and then a big ‘grown up’ tree in the living room for me.  These days, one is good enough.

These are some of my favorites for the tree:

Hunt's 1st Xmas - carousel horsie with his name engraved









His fave from his Looney Toon phase











Aahhh the gingerbread man he made in Pre-k












And my all time absolute favorite…………….

The snowman......READ THE POEM! LOL











“I built a snowman it had a big head, I didn’t know what to do with it so I went to bed”

Give me this stuff over diamonds any day!

Today marks the official beginning of the Holidays and it was an absolutely perfect day…..now on my way to our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner with more friends and family.  We are so blessed.

Eat well, live long and give your thanks!


Check out my pic

Really short post.

My pic of pizza from my Pizza Heaven review  is on the homepage of FOODBUZZ.COM.

Check it out!

Breakfast for dinner anyone??

Have you ever just been sooooo busy and sooooo tired by the time you got home that no matter how hungry you are, you’re just NOT cooking up a hearty meal?  I know you have, I’m not the only one.  Twice in the past week, I’ve had those kind of days.  Whenever that used to happen I would settle for a bowl (or two) of cereal and milk.  But now that I’m putting a strong focus on what I eat,  I’ve substituted one breakfast item for another.  Is it healthier, I don’t know, heartier and more filling, maybe. 

Brown eyed baker posted a pic  of perfect scrambled eggs and that’s what I was craving on those crazy busy days.  So easy, quick and filling.  Doesn’t this make you want breakfast for dinner?








One night I added my homemade hummus to the bread and the other time I added guac.











Many studies have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers……Not sure what that means when you have breakfast for dinner.  Those same studies also show that when people eat eggs at breakfast, they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day.  So, I’m thinking that when I have eggs for dinner, I won’t be craving or snacking in the evening which is one of my biggest issues with food.  Makes sense huh?

When was the last time you had breakfast for dinner?

Thai chicken lettuce wraps…YUM!

The women’s Bible study group at my church  had a potluck today and after much consideration, I went with the Thai chicken lettuce wraps.  It’s quick and easy, tastes really good and is healthy and nutritious.  I used a recipe from one of the foodies on foodbuzz, Kathy from Vegas. (sorry your link’s not working). 

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (grounded)
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • small can of diced water chestnuts
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely minced lemongrass
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil

I used  Bibb lettuce, grated carrot,  basil and cilantro for garnish. 

The only ingredients I left out of Kathy’s recipe is the fish sauce, and I used regular onion instead of green onions.

  • Heat oil in pan and add the ginger and garlic, sauté for 1 minute
  • Stir in the chicken and cook until done
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and saute an additional 2 minutes (except the lettuce, carrot, basil, and cilantro)
  • Let the chicken cool off a bit, then serve a tablespoon or two of chicken on each lettuce leaf.  Garnish it with the grated carrot, basil, and cilantro.  Roll it like a taco AND….VERY IMPORTANT, serve with Thai sweet chili sauce. That sauce could become my new addiction 🙂

ground chicken,chestnuts,onions,garlic,etc cooking









Soo so good!










There were at least 3 or 4 different kinds of quiches and lots of other goodies there….check it out.


















Breakfast pizza









Yep, I tried some of this amazing dessert
























Everything was delish and great fellowship.

Eat well, live long and enjoy a potluck!   WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DISH TO MAKE FOR A POTLUCK DINNER?

A quickie visit to Miami and a quickie green meal

So much to do, such little time.  And that’s coming from someone who’s not working.  ME.  But I do keep busy.  That’s why I’ve slacked on the blogging.  I’ve been doing some research on something I’m working on, volunteering at church, attending 2 bible studies, running errands, keeping my home nice and clean, doing laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, going to doctor appts, etc, etc…..who the heck has time for a j.o.b?  (journey of the broke).  😦

But seriously, I don’t know where the time goes, and I’m pretty good with time management.  And for the record, because I know what you’re thinking, I only use Facebook while working in other screens.  I’m happy to announce that I’m one of only a few people who doesn’t play Farmville 🙂     It’s kind of interesting that some people I know are on Farmville from morning to night.  Can you say ‘addiction’…. 

Well, this morning I had to go to downtown Miami.  It’s a lovely place until you need a parking spot.  I drove around for 30 minutes and after praying to God, I got a spot right in front of the building I was going to.  Thank you Jesus!!  You’re so good to me.  There are still so many unoccupied, unfinished high rise condo buildings in that area. 










Drove by the Heat Arena …GO HEAT!












And the Freedom Tower……I can’t believe this pic turned out so clear since I was driving.










I lived in Miami for 30 years but am now happy calling the Broward county suburbs my home.

I was starving when I got home and made my favorite quickie meal……tofu over spinach salad and a green smoothie.  I had been marinading the tofu in some Mojo, mustard and spicy sauce. 








Sauteed the tofu with onions and when it was done (15 min.) poured it over some spinach leaves and avocado.

Tofu, spinach, avocado, onions and feta










While the tofu was cooking I baked some sweet potato chips and made a green smoothie with banana, strawberries,mango, oj and 2 cups of spinach.






















So yummy and healthy.  What’s your favorite quickie meal?


Winter food in the tropics

I remember as a kid hating our Miami winters.  All of a sudden we’d have to wear bulky sweaters (which we didn’t own many of), or just pile on lots of layers of clothing and the trips to the beach stopped.  My mom never let us use the heater because of some kind of fire phobia she had.  I guess I just didn’t realize or appreciate that we lived in paradise and those “winters” only lasted a few days anyway.  But when you’re a native tropic (born in Cuba) and the weather drops below 60, well, that’s cold! 

On that note, I’m SOOOOO looking forward to the temperature dipping into the 50’s this Friday, Yippeeee!!  I’m walking and starting to jog more, and therefore really welcome that weather change. Not to mention, that I can wear my cute boots, if I can find them.   And, now that I’m such a foodie, unless it gets a little bit chillier I don’t want to mess with “wintery type foods”.  Last week I did make an attempt at cooking (well microwaved) an acorn squash….and stuffed it! (it’s a winter food)










I used to think these were mostly used for decorating, but they’re actually quite tasty.  It has a mild, sweet flavor and acorn squash is loaded with Vitamin A, C, pottasium and is a great source of fiber.  Research shows that squash may have anti-cancer type effects.  For those of you with Asthma, nutrients like Vitamin C may be able to reduce the severity of asthma-like conditions.  So eat some squash because its packed with Vitamin C. 

Before cooking the squash, I poked it 5-6 times with a sharp knife, kind of like you would do with a potato before putting it in the microwave.  The squash went in the microwave for 8 minutes.  Then I let it sit for about 5 minutes.  While it’s being nuked cooked, I was sauteeing some Boca meatless crumbles (looks like ground beef).    When the squash cooled a bit, I cut it in half and scooped out all the seeds and the stringy fibery stuff.


















Once the seeds were out, I filled the squash with the meatless crumbles and topped it with fat free cheese. 










My crumble stuffed acorn squash was a tasty, very lo-cal (under 200 calories) and high protein quickie meal(under 15 minutes). 

So eat well, live long, and try some squash! even if it’s 80+ degrees outside!

A little piece of heaven

Yesterday after church, I was starving!  I hadn’t eaten breakfast, just a cup of coffee.  I was helping out at the Angel Food sales desk and we (my sisinlaw n friends) chatted thru the entire 1st service.  We were in the lobby, not inside the sanctuary.  So, we decided to stay for the 2nd service and didn’t leave the church until around 2pm.  I was really HANGRY by that time!  I was with my nephews, one wanted to go to Tijuana Flats and the little one (the picky eater) wanted pizza.  So pizza it was.

We headed over to Pizza Heaven in Weston.  It’s a small Italian restaurant that has been around for ever.  When I used to work the Weston territory, I would always rush into Pizza Heaven for a quick sub or salad.  They’re very friendly and the service is quick.  The staff makes you feel like you’re dining in their home, super friendly, casual and comfortable.

We ordered a large Sicilian pizza with half cheese (for the picky eater) and half pepperoni and it was delicious.  The crust was thick and crunchy, not greasy. 

Pizza Heaven

Square thick crust pie!

Pizza Heaven










I did indulge today, no doubt.  The garlic rolls came and were gone in a flash!  I had two!

Pizza Heaven

I had my garlic quota for the week!









My brother ordered a shrimp bisque appetizer that was made with 3 jumbo shrimp in a creamy pink soup.  Yummy, I would have had that as a meal.  It had a slight spicey twang.

Pizza Heaven









And we finished a nice lunch with a warm capuccino.

Pizza Heaven

love the sugar sticks












I will be walking and jogging a few miles today to burn off those garlic rolls.  But because I eat healthy I can indulge once in a while.  What actually made this pizza heavenly, the company…..family. So if you’re near Weston, check it out.

Pizza Heaven  4420 Weston Rd  Weston,Fl 33331  954.349.4566



Let’s talk….

I know what you’re thinking….Martica’s getting lazy with her blogging duties.  Not so!  I’ve been, well, busy.  With, you know, stuff.  The kind of stuff that keeps you busy.   Let’s talk weather.  It’s been nice, not hot.  There’s a hurricane lurking around the Gulf and I guess we’re getting those winds??  It’s a nice welcome change around here, just can’t spend too much time on the hair.

Let’s talk flax. 

I’ve added flax seed to my diet.   Some of the benefits I’m looking forward to include:  smooth skin, they assist in building muscle and burning fat, they’re good for heart health, are high in Omega3 oils and they might even help with arthritis.  Back up!  Did I say it assists in burning fat and it’s good for my heart?!  That my friends is a good enough reason to sprinkle a couple of tablespoons into my smoothies or yogurt every day. If you have or are a teenager with acne, flax seed is supposed to help clear some of that up also.   Here’s my first plate that included some milled flax:










Let’s talk Biofreeze!  

Good, good stuff.  Ever since I started going for long walks and some light jogging, I always end up with back and hip pain.  I got a couple of  samples that were in my goodie bag from the 5k last weekend and felt instant relief after rubbing some on those sore spots.  I know it’s temporary relief and I have to get to the root of the problem, but the Biofreeze gel feels so good.  I’m hooked.  So I went and got a 4oz tube.












Let’s talk food.  

Since this week really has been a busy one, I have found myself making lots of quickie, rushed meals.  Now for me that’s not a problem, because most of what I cook takes less than 20 minutes.  My favorite for a quickie morning meal is yogurt, fruit and of course, now some flax seed.  I was soooo busy one day that I actually burned….well take a look for yourself……

Burnt pan

Oh well!










No biggie, the chicken was salvaged,  and eventually was used for a couple of quickie wraps.

chicken,spinach,tomato,fat free cheese on a whole wheat wrap












Also had some black bean soup topped with fat free cheese

Black bean soup, Yum!









And snacked on apples and peanut butter.








Oh and that’s pumpkin butter in the corner…..love that stuff!

I did try something new this week, Shiratake tofu noodles that I heard about from Hungry Girl.  They smell, icky, really icky.  But once you get the smell out by boiling them for a few minutes they weren’t that bad.  I added some Boca crumbles, sauce and made a spinach salad with tomato and feta. The noodles were ok but they come in a small bag and we only got 2 small servings out of it.  Since they’re soooo ridiculously low on calories, I would have liked to have eaten more of the noodles.   Talk about a quick meal, 3 minutes to boil the noodles, a few minutes to cook the Boca crumbles, add sauce, make salad and you’re done in less than 10 minutes!

Shiratake tofu noodles topped with Boca crumbles and sauce









Let’s talk sleep.

The time change this year has turned me into a napper.  I find myself wanting to go to sleep at 9pm.  On that note, this girl’s getting to bed, it’s late.

Eat well, live long, and add some flax to your life.

It’s taco night! kinda

What an absolutely beautiful morning! I got up as usual 6:30am, ate some peanut butter on bread, laced up my shoes and headed out the door. It felt so good to walk my 3 miles in the early a.m. On my last 1/2 mile I met up with a 95 year old sweet lady (YES 95!!) who was taking a stroll with her walker and friend. God bless her, I hope I can walk if I make it to 95!! So inspiring!

Well, my mom came for a visit yesterday and guess what we did…..yep her favorite….yardwork!










I made us an egg-white omelet with chopped onions, spinach and tomatoes. And my mommy loved my green smoothie!












My mom always comes bearing gifts and this is what she brought me….








Chestnuts from her recent trip to Alabama!  And this beautiful and delish avocado!









These lovelies from her garden…










and this adorable sapphire ornament for my Christmas tree….

Last night I made a yummy turkey taco but on Arnold whole grain bread instead of taco shells.  Soooo good.  This quickie meal was whipped up in 20 minutes.    Add adobo, chopped onions, paprika, sea salt and pepper to some Jenni-O ground turkey.  Cook until done. 









Toast the bread  and top with turkey, tomato, avocado and salsa!




Turkey taco on Arnold thin

Turkey taco on Arnold thin bread

One of these served up with some baked sweet potato fries is more than filling!







Eat well, live long and enjoy a taco night!

Journey update

Buh-Bye October…You were a long and very busy month.

Let me start off with the info I promised to give you in October, but didn’t.  Stats.

I started to blog  about my weight loss journey a couple of months ago.  The goal is to loose 59 unwanted, very annoying and clingy pounds.  Also, to change my eating habits, add more veggies and fruits and eat less meat and/or chicken.  I’m very happy to report that at this point I could probably become a vegetarian and not miss the meat or chicken.   I’ve added new foods that I absolutely love, tofu,tempeh and greek yogurt (Fage) to get my share of protein and have become a sweet potato and spinach junkie

Not to mention that my green smoothies  have a become a huge part of my new wellness plan.

green monster










So here goes:

Start weight:  189 lbs  (I’m only 5feet tall or short so that’s a lot of weight for my little body)

Current weight:  178 lbs

Only 48 lbs to go!

Exercise:  walking  30minutes to an hour 3x each week and occasional yardwork.  On rainy days I may pop in a workout DVD.  I began a running program, C25K (couch to 5k) and completed my 2nd 5k this past weekend.  NO, No no I didn’t run all three miles but my goal is to do so in the near future. 

I do realize that some of the healthier food choices I’m making have higher amounts of fat but it’s the good fat you guys.  Don’t be afraid of the good fat! 

Healthy fats

Some of the choices are higher in carbs than I would prefer but they are still good for me.  My energy level has increased 100 %, and I’m sleeping like a baby (most nights).  AND! I love that I’ve been able to fit into some clothes in my closet that are a size or two smaller. So all in all, I’m happy.  I’m not rushing the weight loss by following a diet (been there, done that) but I am putting my focus on the quality of foods I eat.

November and December may be a bit challenging,  as there will be temptations everywhere, but I’m prepared.  It’s ok to splurge and eat the ‘not so good stuff’ once in a while in moderation.  This past weekend, while I was rushing around I snuck in two beef hamburgers, birthday cake and dulce de leche ice cream.  I even drank a coke and ate about 8 mini chocolate bars (IT WAS HALLOWEEN!)  BUTTTTT, because I’ve been walking and keeping super busy, I didn’t gain an ounce, am not bloated and am still on track.   Thank you Lord!  I feel great!