Pan Seared Scallops

It has been pretty cold, colder than the norm, and this cold has left me craving hot foods. So this tasty Tuesday recipe brings you delicious, hot, pan seared scallops.

Scallops are very delicate and really don’t need much seasoning, similar to my previous tasty Tuesday post about king crab legs (not sure where this seafood craving is coming from, but I sure am enjoying it!). A little butter, salt, pepper and the aromatic, bitter, warm spice of cumin is all scallops need to compliment their delicate flavor. Served over a wilted (you guessed it  – hot) spinach and bacon salad, your body will feel warm all over, no matter where you live!

Pan Seared Scallops


  • 1 1/2 pounds medium-sized scallops
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Sprinkle scallops with salt, pepper and cumin (a little goes a long way, a gentle sprinkle is enough to add flavor to the already-delicous scallops). Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high temperature. Once pan is hot (fat will start smoking) add scallops to sear, making sure they aren’t touching each other (if your skillet isn’t big enough then sear half at a time).
  3. Saute scallops for about 2 minutes on one side, add 1 tablespoon butter, and flip to saute underside. Baste scallops with butter while sauteing, for another minute or so, or until scallops are firm, browned, and centers are opaque. Set aside and place foil tent over scallops to keep warm.
  4. Heat half a tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, add spinach, and keep moving spinach around for about 1 minute until wilted.
  5. Serve wilted spinach sprinkled with bacon and top with your amazing pan seared scallops.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Key to Happiness

What if we woke up successful and bypassed all the struggles to get to wherever it is we want to be? Woke up and did not feel discouraged or doubtful? Do you think that when you achieved your goal it would be as satisfying having bypassed the process?

I don’t think so. I feel the reason we have such satisfaction when we accomplish our goals is because at one time or another there was a struggle, there was a challenge, a problem that needed to be solved. When that goal is achieved we remember the process it took to get there, and we feel it – the happy, relaxed, satisfied feeling of accomplishment.

I remind myself when I feel discouraged and impatient that goals take time. Accomplishments take time. Life takes time. Nothing happens over night, nothing happens easily, without struggle and challenge. If I can keep that mentality going I feel I can accomplish anything I set my mind too, as can you. On days when we feel discouraged and that little voice sneaks into our heads, making ourselves doubt the choices we’ve made, we need to push on, tell ourselves “it’s okay, I will get there, as I’m not meant to be there just yet”.

In addition to understanding the process and the time to accomplish our goals we must understand life is meant to be challenging, we must not get lost in the process, hoping each day would go by so we can get to wherever we want to be. If you wish your days away to get ahead, soon you won’t have any left and all you will recall is the feeling of rushing your life away.

Enjoy your process. Enjoy every day. Feel your challenges, your journey, and be patient. When you reach your goal, look back and feel in your heart all the days that you enjoyed, the experiences you gained, and the memories you made, because the process is just as important as the destination. You really do hold the key to your happiness, it’s a matter of what doors you choose to unlock along the way that will determine the feel of your journey.

Happy Oath 

Happy oath: Today I will not let other people’s negative energy affect me – I will not let anyone burst my bubble, bring me down, or make me feel bad.

Everyone deserves to be happy, everyday, but sometimes situations out of our control make it difficult to be happy. 

For some reason (at work we like to blame it on a full moon) the energy has been very negative and very tense, from patients to coworkers. So today, my Thursday thought is to have a happy oath – start off the day strong mentally so I can combat any negative energy I may come across. I can’t control my surroudings, but I can control how I let other people’s energy affect me.

Everyone lets out an energy; unfortunately, sometimes it can be negative and toxic, and if you’re anything like me (sensitive to other people’s energy) then they can put a damper on your day.

When someone’s bombarding you about a problem they’re facing, or complaining about a situation they’re in, the negative energy can really drain you (and sometimes you don’t even realize it!). It’s important to take some time and focus on you so you don’t get lost in the negativity and it doesn’t wear you down. Even though it’s good to rid toxic people from your life, sometimes you can’t if they’re your family, coworkers or other people you work with. You have to take the time to take care of you when in those situations.

Here’s a few exercises I practice to shake off any negativity I’ve been around:

  • Think of a happy place you can zone in on or something funny to escape to, such as when they are talking visualize a dog shaking its’ leg as if it’s shaking off that person and their negative words; worst case it’ll make you laugh and that’ll help in itself
  • Repeat a happy oath or phrase in your head – as above
  • Remind yourself their troubles aren’t your responsibility – you are responsible for you, and they for themselves
  • If all else fails and you’ve been bombarded with negativity, then a hot bath, glass of wine, and maybe a good book or funny show should work to let you filter out any negativity at the end of your day

Hope your day is positive & happy!

Perfect Pearls

I’ve many a times bought myself a lottery ticket in hopes of hitting it big; in hopes that I could free myself from the everyday stress of work, of life. I wanted to take the pressure off of me – allow myself financial freedom and luxury, for me and my family.

Time after time I played, hoped, and dreamed, never winning, then I slowly came into a realization – I have everything I could ever ask for and more. 

Great amounts of money won’t bring me happiness, it won’t teach me the life lessons that I have been fortunate to learn. My house is not huge and luxurious, but it is my home, an amazing, warm, comfortable home. My car is not a fancy, expensive car, but it is newer and drives great. I don’t wear all the top brands and buy my clothes at expensive boutiques, but I am warm, comfortable, and happy.

Sure the 8-5 40 hour work week is always something I dream about getting away from, but I’m greatful for my job, for there are so many people out there who don’t have one. 

I am blessed for my health, my family, my life. And if you think my life is perfect and without it’s complications, ups and downs, you are mistaken. I just choose, everyday, to focus on the positive. I think to myself how I am fortunate to have what I have, and think what life would be like without all I’m blessed with. 

When my family and I were living in Poland and our country was still communist, my mother would have to wait in line for butter and bread, being passed out in rations, by the government. My father would tell me that when he was growing up he’d have a bite-sized piece of meat, put it on one slice of bread, then he’d move the meat up the bread as he ate so he could smell the meat since it was too small to fit over the whole slice of bread. I can drive myself to the store and buy boxes of butter, and not have to ration. I can go to the deli, have a pound of meat sliced, of my choice, and eat it without even any bread. This may seem so little for some, but for others it is a luxury. A winning lottery ticket cannot teach you that feeling of being thankful for the little things you have. 

Being grateful doesn’t always come naturally – it’s very easy to get caught up in what everyone else has as we compare ourselves to others. You have to really look, everyday, at what you have and put the effort in to appreciate it. After doing this for days, maybe months, and even sometimes years, it will become natural and you won’t have to point it out to yourself, you’ll just feel grateful. 

I used to look for perfect seashells on the shore, or maybe some treasure, and not until recently did I realize the beauty in all the broken shells. All the bits of pieces, that when mixed together, are beautiful just how they are. It really takes that feeling deep inside, of being grateful for the little things we are fortunate to have, each and everyday, to truly be happy.

Baked King Crab Legs

This tasty Tuesday recipe is a simple recipe for baked king crab legs -simple because it has just a few ingredients and tasty because it just is delicious.

King crab legs already are so tasty and really do not need much seasoning at all. Just serve with a little butter to compliment the flavor and the flavor combination will keep you coming back for more.

Serve with crusty french bread (see below for my gluten free recommendation), a simple spinach salad, and you’ve got a satisfying meal that you’re sure to cook again and again.  Best of all the recipe is very simple and it won’t take you more than 30 minutes to put together.

Baked King Crab Legs


  • 3 pounds king crab legs
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chives (or substitute fresh chives if you’ve got them on hand)


    1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place crab in shallow baking dish.
    2. Melt butter on low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until melted. Whisk in remainder ingredients.
    3. Using kitchen shears, cut slits into the crab leg shells to allow for butter mixture to get in. Brush legs with butter mixture and pour remainder of mixture onto crab legs.
    4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, basting crab legs with buttery mixture every 5 minutes.
    5. Bake until meat is opaque and flaky. Serve with butter and crusty french bread. Udi’s Gluten Free French Baguette is my go to when I need a crusty, gluten free bread with a soft middle, which works great for mopping up delicious butter!

Enjoy and happy eating 🙂

Learning to Walk

I’ve been watching my 8 month old son moving around, trying to crawl, trying to walk, and it’s really truly inspirational.

Life can be tough. We put so much pressure on ourselves everyday, sometimes giving up when faced with a difficult task. People look to others, media, and books for inspiration; to those people who are successful and have “made it” to wherever their “it” is. But the mentality it takes us to reach our goals is simpler than you think, and most importantly, you already have it in you.

Take a look at the effort a baby gives to learn to walk. Every day they try, fall, and try again. They don’t give up until they succeed. That was you and I years ago – we had to learn to walk and never gave up. I have it in me, as you do, as we all have all along from the day we were born.

So what if we gave up then? We’d still be passed around by our parents and friends because we gave up on that goal of walking (now that’s a funny visual). As a baby you don’t give up. You don’t have a choice – giving up is not even an option!

I will not give up on my goals. I will not give myself an option. Don’t give yourself an option – and if you get down in the dumps, just picture your parent or friend passing you around like a baby, have a good laugh, and try again until you reach your goal. 😀 I bet the 8 month old you would.

#Friday Feeling

I’ve come to a realization, as many of you already have, that people love Friday. All across social media there’s all sorts of excitement for Friday; thank goodness the weekend is here. Even though I agree with the excitement and catch myself sending out TGIF texts, I try to keep myself grounded and grateful for my week.

Did everything go well this week? Absolutely not. I could list and complain about  numerous issues I faced this week, from health, to work, to children; but I won’t. Why not complain? Simple. Complaining makes me re-live the problems I faced.  Complaining makes me feel those emotions I already overcame. It churns in my stomach when I complain, makes me feel I’ll thinking about problems out of my control that are causing me further, unnecessary distress. So I don’t. I choose not to. I choose to be happy. Why complain about something that’s already happened and I’ve already faced. I faced my week, I overcame my problems, did the best I could (even though at times it’s easy to say to ourselves we would’ve done better).

We all have obstacles we face daily; sometimes it’s voices in our heads telling us we could’ve done better, questioning our own actions, bringing harsh judgment upon ourselves. But do we not just do the best we can? We do. Everyday. We all do the best we can to our ability because if we didn’t then we wouldn’t exist. My best may be someone else’s worst. So reflecting back on the week know you did your best. You may have not met all of your goals, you may have not accomplished all your to do’s, but if you tried then you did the best you could for you.

As the week closes, and Friday is here, I will not celebrate the fact that it’s the weekend and forget my hard week; instead I will reflect on my best that I did all week. And anyway, tomorrow may not come, today is today; we will never be the same, every minute passes by, so enjoy the day, and as everyone says, happy Friday 🙂

Train of Thoughts

The mind is a powerful, beautiful, scary thing. Scary because people underestimate the mind and it can run away with your thoughts if you allow it to. It’s very easy to attach ourselves to thoughts and emotions that can torture us; making us re-live unpleasant life experiences, negative possibilities, and fall into a deep depression all brought on from our own thoughts. Thoughts that keep us from excelling, thoughts that hold us back because of fear and as a result we miss out on life experiences and advancing ourselves.

You always hear and read motivational statements that you should push yourself; face your fears and you will succeed. That’s not easy, at all, and if someone says it’s easy then they’re not being honest.  It’s very hard to push, it’s very hard to face our fears. For me I can’t take a statement such as be positive or face my fears and be successful without going through a cleansing process of my mind.  I need to feel it; I need to filter the negative thoughts from my head, and it all comes from repetition and patience.

When a negative thought comes into my head I acknowledge it. After acknowledging it I say this thought is not wanted in my head and I let it pass by.  You think that simply saying “stop being negative” is an easy answer, but it’s not. You have to get down to the nitty gritty; when negative thoughts come to your mind acknowledge them, say you’re not going to give these thoughts the time of day, and let them go.  Visualizing a train of thoughts stopping and going helps me feel the negative thoughts driving away into the far distance. This visualization helps me stay more positive and not give any more attention to negativity. Once I’ve felt these emotions come and go, I can refocus my energy on positive thoughts and happiness and continue my everyday life.

This mindset takes months if not years to shape you into a positive, happy person, but it starts from within and it starts with facing your negative thoughts and training your mind to let them go. Expectations are also a big component of becoming a positive, happy person – expect the change to occur at a gradual pace.  It takes patience, time, understanding of yourself and forgiveness from within. We are human,we are not perfect, nor will we ever be. We are not born negative; it takes to time to re-program our minds as it took time to become negative – this is a learned behavior. You can not rely on someone else to make the change for you, if it be your partner, parent, or friend; it starts from you. Their influence may push you in the right direction, but ultimately you will be left alone with your thoughts and need to take responsibilty over them. 

It’s ok to have a negative thought, a worry, but you don’t have to let it take over; instead, acknowledge it, see it pass, and move on. Do this at quiet times of the day; I practice cleansing my mind on my commute to work or in the shower when it’s quiet. This doesn’t happen over night, but if you start the process one day it will click, and you’ll feel it and it will become second nature. You will become the person who recognizes other negative people because you remember how awful it was to feel like that and you’ve made a shift. Be patient with yourself, forgive yourself, and love yourself because you deserve it. You also deserve to be happy and that starts with a positive mind. 💜

Roasted Veggies & Butternut Squash Soup

Do you ever make something to eat and don’t realize how delicious it actually will turn out? Well this happened to me while making my roasted veggies with butternut squash soup. I’ve always just roasted butternut squash and simmered all the other veggies, but this time I roasted everything together… And I didn’t roast enough of them! As I transferred my veggies into the soup pot I taste tested a carrot here, a piece of celery there, and had to stop once I realized I was consuming all my roasted veggies and there would be nothing left for soup!

Delicious and nutritious, everything from carrots to onion, these veggies tasted amazing after being roasted. I told myself next time I’ll make just roasted veggies and devour them and put the rest of what I hadn’t consumed into my soup pot. Guess it’s better to be a little short on my veggies for the soup instead of them coming out bad!

The recipe below is a perfect cold weather meal loaded with vitamins and goodness. Butternut squash steals the show – lots of vitamins and antioxidants in this nutty squash, delivering almost half a daily dose of vitamin C in a serving (great for immune support and healthier skin) to an abundance of vitamin A (great for eye health) –  not to mention a good source of fiber and potassium. With the addition of garlic, onions, potatoes, celery, and carrots this roasted veggies and butternut squash soup is a fantastic meal for an immune boost and also sure to warm you up during chilly weather. Enjoy and stay warm!

Roasted Veggies & Butternut Squash Soup


  • One whole butternut squash, skin on, seeds removed and squash chopped into large pieces
  • 1 cup chopped carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped (I prefer red onion for the sweet flavor)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 large, whole garlic cloves with skin on
  • 1 russet potato, scrubbed, skin on, chopped into large pieces
  • 32 ounce container of chicken or vegetable broth (or homemade if you’ve got it!) – if using unsalted, may need to add salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Place aluminum foil over large cookie sheet/pan. Grease with oil. Place veggies onto sheet, trying not to layer too much if possible. Generously drizzle with EVOO. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until veggies are soft and starting to brown a little.
  2. Once roasted, remove from pan and let cool. Peel skin off squash, potatoes and remove garlic from skin. Add everything into soup pot along with chicken broth. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon – mix well. Remove from heat.
  3. Use either a submerged blender or regular blender to puree the soup. I like the Cuisinart Hand Blender as it’s less messy and saves time.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon for garnish and serve with salty crackers or crusty bread. My favorite gluten free salty cracker is Lance’s Gluten Free Baked Crackers, as seen above – they remind me of Ritz crackers and compliment the sweet soup perfectly!


Tomato & Green Onion Sandwich

Life is so busy! The holidays are almost here and so is the busy holiday season.  All of a sudden traffic gets worse, work gets busier, stores are packed morning to night, and life feels just a little more hectic.  Not only is it important for our minds to escape to simple places such as reading a book or going for a walk on a chilly Fall day, but sometimes we need to let our bellies escape to simple eats as well; to me one of the best escapes is a simple tomato sandwich. Udi’s Gluten-Free bread spread with unsalted, creamy butter, layered with juicy tomato slices, fresh green onion, salt and pepper are all I need to escape for a few minutes and give my body and mind a break from the busy holiday season. Healthy and light, tomato sandwiches are not only a nutritious part of my diet, but also bring back childhood memories when life was just a little simpler.

Fun facts about green onions (aka scallions or spring onions):

  • Green onions are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins K & A
  • Allicin in green onions helps prevent stroke and other coronary diseases
  • You can easily have an endless supply of green onions – simply put the remainder of your green onion root in a mason jar of water, sit it in a sunny spot, and you’ll have new green onion in a few days (change water out every couple days so it stays fresh)
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