Thursday, May 24, 2012


Not my physical home, but JenMarie's Cafe has moved.

Please visit me at

I'm really excited about this move. Right now, this site will remain as is for reference on my older posts, I'm not sure if I'll figure out how to move the info over. Hopefully, I will get them moved and this site will automatically redirect.

For now, please give me some linky love and click on the link and add it to your favorites bar.

You know you want to...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flower Beds Finished!

I never thought that our front porch project, that we started last year, would take so long to totally finish....

The fireman had built these flower beds with timber a week or more ago and we've been picking out plants, digging up dirt, adding soil, laying landscape fabric, planting plants and mulching....

Here's where we have the plants lined up where they should go. I like the boulder at the beginning of the bed. Look at that mess!
Well, the fireman did most of this. I did some planting....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Garlic Kale Chips

I was pretty hesitant about how good Kale Chips could be. I had heard about them from Shutterbean and they sounded interesting, but I was a little hesitant.
Okay, a lot hesitant. It sounded healthy and all, but um, ew.

Then, my friend Jana said she was going to try them, and I was excited cause I could see if they were any good or not. Cause she's a good judge of yummy foods.

She liked them and then it still took me a couple of months or so to get around to buying some and another week yet to actually cook them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Planting Flower Gardens

The kids only have through half of next week before they're out of school. I still can't get over how close summer is.

The fireman and I have been busy working on our flower gardens. I know, the plan was to do the fence next, but we got ahold of a garden tiller and didn't want to lose the chance to use it for free. Also, part of my Mother's Day gifts were all these pretty flowers.

So, the above planter is one of our pretty porch plants. I just plant annuals in these. That way I can change it up and add some pretty splashes of color each year. Gives me something to mess with.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Breasts

I really wanted to call this recipe Hot Breasts, but I thought that might be bad for the search engine...

You know, like Hot Wings...but with chicken breasts?
I was trying to make a healthier version of Hot Wings, but I still wanted a little crunch, so I did do a quick flour and fried in a little oil. Not deep fried, not seriously encrusted. You could if you wanted to, but this is just a little bit healthier. Alternately, you could grill or panfry without any crust at all.

Next, wing sauce. What makes up wing sauce? It's hot sauce, plus butter. That's pretty much it. Hooter's uses more butter for their mild sauce, so their Hot is actually less fat. Follow?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rhubarb Crisp

You know how at Halloween, it's like incredibly important that you buy candy corn? Cause you just can't get it any day of the year.

It's a once a year opportunity.

Rhubarb is like that.
You can't got the the freezer section and buy frozen rhubarb. That'd be weird. But also awesome. 

What is it about rhubarb that makes it so wonderful? I think it's cause it's tart, like cherries, but since you only get it during the Spring/Summer it kinda makes it more special.

I do try to bag up some chopped rhubarb in my freezer so I don't have to wait another 9 months until I get some of this yumminess again.

And now, my friends, rhubarb season is back. Let's welcome it in with my favorite rhubarb recipe!

I love this recipe for two reasons. Firstly, it doesn't have strawberries or anything else in it. It's all about the rhubarb and man does it shine. Secondly, the crunchy topping is sweet and has some serious crunch. The filling is ooey gooey and warm, sweet and tart. What could be better?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Velvet Chocolate Pudding

I really wish I could spoon some of this into your mouth.

I don't think you'd believe me otherwise.

This pudding is rich and decadent and super duper chocolatey and actually, shockingly very low carb...

I want to eat this pudding every night. And luckily, since it's quick to throw together, I could...

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Enchilada Pie

When I was a kid, I didn't like Mexican food, which doesn't make sense now. Now, it's one of my favorite things to eat. Between that and Italian, I could live on weeks filled with spaghetti and chimichanga's.

For Cinco de Mayo, I made a large portion of Chimichanga's and this enchilada pie. Normally, I make enchilada's the real way, where you fry the enchilada's dipped in the red sauce. It's messy. VERY messy. So, I thought I'd try something different.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Roasted Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)

I love trying new recipes with the fireman. It's fun and something we can do together. And he's crazy when he cooks, just so you know...
Sometimes things get thrown...

This one involves beans, baked until they're crispy and crunchy and then seasoned with whatever you want.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Fried Cabbage & Zucchini

 This is another one of the fireman's dishes. He made this for us last night with my Pork Roast and Mashed Turnips.

My poor fireman has been at my beck and call lately. Ever since my foot surgery, I've been not cooking as often. He always cooks about 50% of the time anyway, but for a good two weeks there, he was the only one cooking/cleaning/getting kids ready for school/homework. I don't even remember some of the normal life things that I'm sure happened but he took care of.

But the biggest?

He did my laundry....

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake

I know this sounds soooo weird, but I'll tell you what.

The fireman said this is one of the best chocolate cake's he's ever had. It did not last long in the house.

It's so moist and delicious.

It's total craziness. It's so good you can't stay out of it. I literally ate half the batch the first night. Then, my parents came over and between them and the fireman and I, we polished it off.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Skinny Ms. Fitness

Today, I'm just sharing something that I love.

I found this on Pinterest a while ago, a link for an 7 Day Challenge for Summer Arms.
I really liked the idea of doing 7 days of hard workout to achieve some serious muscle change. I can do 7 days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Completion of the Brick Wall!

Finally another one of our projects has a nice big red X next to it.
Not really, we don't really have a master list with X's, but that would be really cool! Although my fireman would probably kill me....
I got to take lots of fun photos cause I was laid up on the couch at home recovering *read drugged up* while another fireman friend of my fireman who owns a side business doing something with brick walls, I'm not really sure. A lot of fireman have side businesses/jobs because of their schedule and days off. Also on account of their overall brawniness. So, we win all over the place cause whatever job we're doing someone has a specialty tool or has a business or has experience to come help with it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The News in Crutches

Ok, so a few things I've learned in the last week:

Crutches are made by Dr. Evil.
Ice doesn't always reduce swelling.
Pain pills don't necessary dull your pain, sometimes they just remove you from your body.
Sleeping with one heavily wrapped club-foot is a pain, literally.
Propping your leg on every hard surface you encounter will result in may bruises up and down your shin and calf.

It's been a week and I'm tired of being off my foot. I'm tired of being waited on. I know I shouldn't complain since I have lovely people that graciously help me, but oh, man would I love to get my own water.

Yesterday, however, the fireman had to go back to work and the 8 year old girl made me coffee all by herself. It was good, too. She even poured me cup after cup and brought it to me. Awesome stuff. She even helped me make my Sweet Fluffy Omelet with raspberries.

But then for supper, we had planned on trying spaghetti together, but opted for Pizza Hut's $10 Dinner Box. I call that a win-win.

Tomorrow I go in for a dressing change, oh joy.

Tonight the hubby's making sliders!

I don't plan on a whole lot of cooking, so I can't promise many insightful, thought provoking posts this week. I do, however have a couple of fun things I've set aside for a rainy day. If I'm up to it, I'll try to post those.

See you all soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

Sorry I've been MIA. I am currently recovering from foot surgery; corrective foot surgery for my flat feet. I will soon have pain-,free feet/shins, which after nearly a lifetime of leg pain sounds like heaven to me. Especially since I'm all up with the working out and have been walking/running nearly every day.

And because I'm drugged up right now, I can't say that this post will make any sense.

Where were we? Oh, yeah. Acorn squash.
Do you know what acorn squash is? Maybe everyone out there knows how to make this and is all, why is she blogging about stinking acorn squash?
But maybe you don't, and gosh, you should, cause this is like vegetable dessert. Oh, yes, my friends.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Honey Balsamic Chicken Tenders

I have been wanting to make this recipe for like weeks! 

I'm so glad I finally did. It's not difficult or complicated or anything. I don't know why I waited so long. Just a throw-together type marinade and a quick skillet cooking and it's on the table.

Perfect for a weeknight meal when you don't feel like cooking because everyone at work is asking you to do things fast because they can't do their own work in a timely manner.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "You failure to plan does not consititute an emergency on my part."

Yeah, that. I'm thinking of having it tattooed on my forehead.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Backrest For Ohio

I know a lot of you aren't motorcycle riders, but hopefully my occasional motorcycle post doesn't bore you too much.

I just enjoy it so much, and it's a part of my life, so it's hard not to share.

By the way, I named the bike Ohio. Because we drove there to get her, so that's her name. It's not as pretty as the other names I was kicking around, but the girl suggested it and it just fits.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

We tried this for Easter Dinner. I found this recipe online at Pinterest and was so intrigued I had to try it. I also had to adapt it a bit, of course.
By the way, how addictive is Pinterest?!

It's kinda like hashbrown casserole, but with squash! So, it's low carb, but still savory, rich and cheesy. We really loved it!

It's sweeter, because it's squash. There is natural sugar in squash, and the texture is awesome.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Road Taken

Since it's now Spring and the weather is wonderful, the girl and I have resumed our hiking expeditions. I love them.
They complete me.

I run on the treadmill, and still continue to do so. And when I say run, I mean, walk at a very fast pace at a slight incline and then right in the middle, I run for 2-3 minutes, just to get my heartrate up. I don't mean that I actually, like run, for a large amount of time. I'm just not built that way.

The hubby, on the other hand, can run 3-5 miles on any given day, just for the heck of it. *ugh*

Friday, April 06, 2012

Sweet Vanilla Crepes with Warm Raspberries

These aren't authentic crepes. There's nothing fancy about them, except the awesomeness.

When it comes to food like this, I don't claim that they are the best, or the most authentic. But, shut the front door, they're good!

And easy.

And fast.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Stunned Speechless

Today I am stunned speechless.
Okay, truthfully I've been stunned speechless for a few days. 
Naturally Sweet Recipe's Holly, Chelsea & Anne gave me an award!
I really don't know what to say.
Let's try.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Honey Oat and Seed Bread

This bread is vegan, high in fiber, naturally sweetened and honest to goodness, the best bread I've ever made. You could sell this stuff. It's just that good.
It's sandwich bread, pain de mie. Which just means sliceable bread. It doesn't crack and crumble, even when sliced thinly. It's the amount of sugars that are in the bread that allows this.

It's actually, the best. bread. ever.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Honda Interstate

So, last Friday, we had my old bike loaded and ready to go. When I got home from work, I worked out, fed the girl, showered, packed and waited for the fireman to get home from work. He had taken his last 12 hours off, so he got off at 7pm instead of 7am. The fireman relieving him got there a bit early, though so he was home by 6:35.

He got his shower and we were off!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Congo Bars with Sea Salt a/k/a Unspeakable Badness

My new goal is that I'm allowing myself once per week to eat some unspeakable badness called dessert. I'm not going overboard here, but I'm gonna eat what I want, just once per week. It still follows the Dukan Diet, 1-2 celebration meals per week. And I'm going to try to stick to that, but once a week?

Unspeakable badness.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Adobo Chipotle Beef

This recipe blew my mind. I bought some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce a while back. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I knew I wanted to try them. The Pioneer Woman uses them with stew meat, so I thought I'd try that, so this is inspired by her recipe, Spicy stewed beef.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Spring has sprung!

I, for one, am loving it. The fireman grumbled last night that this year he hopes we have a proper winter.

What!?! Is he insane?

Most probably.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Story, Courtesy of The Girl

I found this in my drawer. This was given to me a while back by my girl.

It's titled: Three Chipmunks In My Closet.
This one.

Pardon our basement.

Paraphrased for those without young children:

There was a girl and her name is Rose and I opened my closet and it surprised me.
I could not believe my eyes. I saw three chicmunks (I'm going with chicmunks cause it's cuter.) standing side by side and do you know what I said?
The end.

This is just adorable and sweet and cute.

And if you don't have little ones, you may not think so and therefore may avert your eyes.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Orange Sesame Tofu

What? Don't look at me like that.

Tofu isn't gross. Seriously.

I know it's weird, but it's not that weird.

I've bought tofu before. Eventually, it goes in the trashcan, because I'm too scared to do anything with it or don't know what to do with it. But this time?

I went home with a plan. Picked it up along the way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spinach Ricotta Chicken

Not exactly Irish, but it's a pretty, green recipe. Perfect for March.

I came up with this recipe on the fly. We had been eating a lot of beef and I thought we needed a chicken night. Then, I thought about spinach artichoke dip. That stuff is good! Maybe....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Magic Cereal Bake

What is this?

Well, it is a creation of mine. It is the reason I exist.

Foodwise, that is.
This is it for me, folks. This is what I think of when I want something sweet. It's what I dream about.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Painting again, coffee mugs galore

I have finally finished the coffee mug portion of my mural.

I feel like I've really accomplished something. Another step in the process is complete. I'm happy with it.

It still is far from done.

I need to walk around it and look at it and 'see' where it wants to go next.

This cranberry colored cup is my favorite.
I really love how there's a touch of blue in it. It's definitely my favorite. It's funny because I was so frustrated with this one. I just couldn't get it to work. It was too dark and I couldn't get it to show up right.

I added white and used black to shade. Lightening it up really helped to see it against the green. I added the blue just for texture and interest.

I did this grey one the same time, but I wasn't happy with it. So, I had to fix it up last night. There's a little pink in there to break up the grey, not sure if you can see it. I'm happy with how the lighting came out. It's easier to see in person.

Then, I did this blue one right at the top. It's bright and fun. I like the deep cuff of the mug.

Lastly, this little pink one. The pink was so light and bright that I had to add a darker color to give it depth and shading. Grey just took out the pink, so I used dark purple. Then pushed it back with more bright pink and accented it with some white to brighten it up.

I think it's cute!

I cleaned up my owl a bit.
Here's my mess. Lots of colors and mixing.

You know, when  I started this project, I wasn't even sure I could do it. If you remember, I had a muralist come by the house to bid it. I was totally going to pay someone to do this. I was afraid. I hadn't ever really painted before.

This isn't about how amazing I am, or how I became an overnight painter. Cause I'm not.

It's about the fact that you can change your life. You can decide, I want to learn to paint, or write and do it. I don't care if you're 20 or 50 or 73. You can start a new chapter of your life every day.

If you're 74, apparently, it's too late....

Sometimes I think about what my life's going to be like in 5 years and I haven't a clue. I quit trying to make a hard plan years ago. Plans change, you change. And you know what?  That's the best part. I love not knowing. I love the fact that I can change and grow and learn forever after. I'm not scared to change, not anymore.

Does that make me sound flighty? Weird? Maybe.
But I really like the feel of it. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gooey Brownie in a Mug

This is one of those diet inventions. I needed a chocolate infusion and didn't want a pan of brownies in the house.

This is a typical chocolate cake in a mug recipe. But, I substituted the flour for cornstarch, which produces a silky finish with much less carbs and I substituted the butter for fat free mayo. This lowers the fat, but the big thing it does is turns it from a cake like texture to a heavy, dense brownie texture.     

So, it's a dessert, not diet food, but it's one that's not going to break the bank. The diet bank. That made more sense in my head. Oh, and it actually tastes good. Like rich, decadent good.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Cinnamon Bread

So, yesterday I wanted to make cinnamon bread, but I didn't want to just remake my cinnamon rolls, I wanted really soft, sweet bread. Kinda like a pastry. I definitely wanted something moist. I hate dry sweet breads. So, I bloomed up some yeast with sugar and hot water, threw in some honey and olive oil, and a bit of salt.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Dill Salmon Patties

When I was a little girl, I thought my mom bought these prepared from the store? Like in little round patties that you just popped into the skilet to cook. I had no idea that they came in a can! I might have even thought that they were 'grown' like that. You know, like scallops.

Crazy talk!

Her patties were so uniformly, er formed.

And I loved them, even as a kid.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Just Brickin' It

We finally have lovely weather! It's beautiful.

It's warm and the sun is shining. It's fairly windy, but I kind of like that!

With the wonderful weather, the fireman got outside and cut all of the small filler pieces for the brick wall.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ham, Swiss & Broccoli Frittata

Last night, I whipped up this quick frittata.

Like, literally. I whipped the eggs.

Painting Coffee Cups

I started the coffee cup portion to my ever expanding wall mural.

Finally, I know. It's taken me forever to continue the work on it.

I blame the economy......and Spiro Agnew.

I don't know what I'm saying.

The real problem was that I had decided what to do with the coffee cups, but I think I realized that it was the wrong plan. Somewhere in my mind, I didn't want to start because I knew it wasn't right.

So, I kept rolling the idea around in my head until I finally got the right picture.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sloppy Joe's

I love Sloppy Joe's.

My kids inhale it. They request it regularly.

It's rich, hearty and a little sweet.

And you can have it on the table in about 30 minutes. Total win, win.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Overnight Crockpot Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Hello March! With St. Patrick's Day approaching, I'm feeling my Irish roots.

I love Irish Steel-Cut oats. They call it Irish-Style because they're cut oats, not rolled oats. Rolled oats are regular oats, rolled flat, quick oats are rolled and ground up so that they cook quicker. Steel cut oats are whole raw oats cut into smaller chunks. Rolled oats are also steamed a bit so that they cook up quicker. But they are all oats, just cut differently.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Low Carb Chocolate Pudding Cake

By the way, did I mention that I made it to my diet goal? Well, that's not entirely accurate. I stopped 2 lbs away from my goal. But in my defense, I sat at that weight for 3 weeks without movement. And during this time, I increased my workouts and was super strict.

So, I think that's as far as I can go at this time. Maybe my workouts will continue to improve tone. But honestly? I'm quite happy with my results. So, I don't feel like I'm quitting by stopping 2 lbs short.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Quest of Sensible Shoes

So, I have this question. Is it possible to wear sensible shoes and still look fashionable? It's possible that because I'm now past thirty that I'm getting 'old foggery' and worry about my feet. I wear high heels to the office and my feet and shins hurt every day. This could be partly because I have flat feet and have foot issues, but I ignore that in the favor of fashion.

Is it possible to still be fashionable?

I think so. I did some serious searching online and looking at pinterest's fashion pages. I got lots of ideas. A lot of it was breaking this idea in my head down that you couldn't look 'businessy' without stilettos. I'm starting to think I was wrong.

The fireman gave me some ideas too, cause men look at women. They know what they like.

He even said he'd go shopping with me last weekend, on Sunday after church. But since I knew I'd try on five kagillion pairs of shoes, I took a test run and went with the girl on Saturday. We stopped at a ton of places and tried on a ton of shoes. Her too, cause it's fun.

This is what  I came up with.