May 3, 2013

With Mother’s Day coming up, I’d like to give a shout out to all the mother’s in the world.  It’s the hardest job, but the most rewarding. Take the day and simply enjoy it with your children – doing whatever you like to do with the family. If you (or your children or significant other) love to cook, here are three easy recipes to get you through the day.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake


  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix and both pudding mixes. Add the eggs, oil and water and mix until well blended.
  3. In a second bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Pour in the rest of the batter and spread and then sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes.

Tortellini Spinach Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 9 ounces three-cheese tortellini
  • ¼ cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups fresh spinach


  1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. While this is cooking, chop the cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash and red bell pepper into 1 inch squares.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the tortellini, chopped vegetables, salad dressing, and seasonings.
  4. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. When ready to serve, serve it over the spinach. This can be eaten right away or can even be held in refrigerator for a day.

Healthy Stir Fry


  • 1 pound beef top round steak or chicken
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with press
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 16 ounce bag fresh vegetables for stir-frying (such as broccoli, carrots, snow peas, celery)
  • 2 tablespoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
  • ¾ cup water
  • Brown or white rice to serve over


  1. Cut steak or chicken into 1/8 inch thick slices. Toss the meat with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 crushed garlic clove. Let this stand for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Cut onion in half and then thinly slice crosswise. Cut red pepper into ¼ inch slices.
  3. In deep nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add half of beef/chicken and stir-fry 30 to 45 seconds or just until beef/chicken is no longer pink. Transfer beef/chicken to plate. Repeat with remaining beef, without adding additional oil.
  4. In same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil until hot. Add the onion; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes stirring occasionally.   Add vegetables for stir-frying, red pepper, ginger, water, and remaining soy sauce and garlic to skillet. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove skillet from heat; stir in beef/chicken with its juices. Serve the stir fry over rice.

Simple healthy recipes for the kids to make for their moms or for the family to make together. Keeping it simple gives you more time to spend with the kids on your special day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers.

photo credit: lafattina via photopin cc