Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Menu Planner #15

Welcome back to The Cherry On Top's Weekly Menu Planner!

I'm probably sitting in Spain right now, sipping on some lovely sangria while enjoying the view of the pools, ocean and mountains.  Finally!  We haven't been on this kind of vacation in years and having two boys with Autism makes life a little tougher.  So, this vacation is well in need.  Hehehe...

I'm writing this one up early and set'n the schedule to post while I am away.  I'll cross my fingers that it works.

Let's get started!

Monday:  Caprese Salad With Grilled Flank Steak

This is an awesome recipe.  I love salads like this.  Use your grill pan and the steak will be ready in minutes.  Mozzarella is so yummy and will fill the tummy, too!  This recipe is easy to whip up and of course, really good for ya, too!  Click the picture to get the recipe.  It's ready fast and don't worry that there is no starch.


Tuesday:  fish, starch, veg

This is a way too, easy tilapia recipe for you.  Ready in mere minutes!  I love that.  Now what do you want to make with it?  I say, get the steamer ready.  Add some fresh green beans and rice or some small potatoes and steam away while you prepare the fish and set the table.


Wednesday:  meat, veg, pasta

This here recipe is a pasta primavera with Italian sausage.  Click on the image to get hooked up.  I love all the veggies in here.  Feel free to switch some out or puree the ones that the family isn't so keen on.  If spicy ain't yo' thang, than leave it out.  I think chicken in this dish would be awesome!


Thursday:  flex day

Feel free to bring some hoagies tonight.  Give yourself a break from the kitchen or if you wanna stay true to the home cooked menu, then I would like to introduce you to this dish.  My mom made this as well.  There are so many variations you can use as well as cooking methods.  I thought it would be a great basic recipe for you.  Most people love this Polish Style, Kilbasa.  Throw it in the crock pot and it's ready for when ya get home or cook it all up in the pot.  The sausage cooks really fast.  Just the potatoes would need some time, but were are talk'n 20 minutes here and it's ready.  (As for the water they say to add, it's fine, but make sure ya put some bouillon in it.  Just watch for the salt content because sausage usually has all the salt you need.)


Fun Food Friday:  It's the 4th of July today!  You are probably going to be heading out or hosting your own picnic!  I'd say that's all up to you!  I will give you this awesome link for festive fourth food.

4th of July recipes

Saturday:  flex

I'm keeping this a flex day because you will probably be having a lot of left overs.  If not, I'll hook ya up with an awesome sandwich recipe just in case.


Sunday:  Cajun Dirty Rice with Shrimp

I am totally looking forward to this recipe!  I loves me some dirty rice, nah!  Shrimp ain't the cheapest thing in the market. So feel free to replace it with chicken or fish.  I buy frozen shrimp. It's cheaper.  When I'm ready to cook, I soak the frozen babies in some hot tap water.  They thaw in just a few short minutes.


OK!  Off to go pack!  You go and get your shopping list together.  Make plans to come back for next week's menu planner.

Have a great, healthy eating week!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekly Menu Planner #14

Welcome again, to The Cherry On Top's Weekly Menu!

Hola ,Amigos! Things are get'n crazy as I prepare for a trip to Spain!  I didn't want to leave ya hanging.  I loved this weeks menu's.  So, I'm just making some alterations to it.  I'll do the same for next weeks because I won't be here!  Yay!  Hehehe...

I hope you have a trip planned for the summer.  We hardly ever leave this place.  With two, young, Autistic children, with terrible car sickness, you can understand that one!  The restaurant in our complex is amazing.  Fresh, daily made, home cooking at an unreal price!  It's such a lucky card to draw.  Paella, zarzuela, apperos...I can't wait!

Monday:  Soup N' Sandwiches (click on the image for the pumpkin soup recipe)

 pumpkin soup recipe

Home made soup is so easy to make.  Wash the veggies that are still sitting in your fridge.  Cut them up in large pieces, throw them in the pot, add some salt, pepper and maybe a touch of veggie bouillon.  (Just watch how salty it is.)

The easy version is to buy some pre made soup.  I always have soup in the cabinet!  My grocer sells an awesome organic soup in a bottle.  Just shake, open, pour in a mug and voila!  Mmmm...Check out the ingredients.  Most package soup is pretty darn good especially if there is no meat in it.

Serve up your favourite sandwich or buy a fresh French loaf and just dip!  I strongly recommend getting away from the white bread in a plastic bag with a long shelf life.  Try a bread machine.  It literally takes under 10 minutes to dump your ingredients in and turn it on.  When it beeps, you take it out and let it cool.  It is THAT easy!

Tuesday:  fish, starch,vegetable (click on image for couscous recipe)


Use your favourite fish and either bake, pan fry (in olive oil or coconut oil) or steam.  If you have a steamer, you can make an entire meal in there!  Steam broccoli, rice and your fish!  Talk about a time saver.  Throw your ingredients in the steamer, turn it on and get the table set, the kids washed up, empty the dishwasher and it's ready!

If you are wanting to stay away from starch (especially, potatoes and bread which is a great idea) then make some couscous, quinoa or bulgar.  Couscous is so so easy and fast to make!  Just add a pad of butter and season to your liking!  It goes great with fish.

Green beans, broccoli, whatever the family likes.  If you are using a lot of butter and salt, start cutting back until you don't use it at all or just a touch of butter if you have to.  Use fresh whenever you can or frozen.  Do NOT use canned foods.

Wednesday:  spaghetti/pasta

Definitely a family favourite.  Good old fashioned spaghetti.  My boys love the long noodles.  My little guy has sensory issues and cannot stand spaghetti sauce, so I just take out his pasta and put a little butter on it.  Then I serve him raw veggies.  They are the best for us and he actually likes quite a few different kinds.  NEVER stop introducing or reintroducing fruit and veg.  You might  just be surprised.  Never force, but persuade and even reward your child just for TRYING something new.

Making your own spaghetti sauce is a lot of work depending on what you like in your sauce.  Dump a can of canned tomatoes to your hamburger (if you are using meat) and shake in some spices and herbs that you like.  Use bacon or chicken in your spaghetti for something different, or no meat.  My family doesn't usually even notice!  Mushrooms are the key for this.  If you family has a problem with veggies like garlic, onion, peppers, shrooms...then put it all in the food processor.  That's what I do.  These vegetables are just so healthy, I have to use them and so should you!

You may used jarred sauce.  Just make sure there is no sugar and that you know what ALL of the ingredients are.  If you can't pronounce it, then you probably shouldn't be eating it.

Thursday:  meat, starch, veg

Choose a favourite meat like a lean steak, fish, pork chops, sausage (my kids favourite), chicken strips (not breaded if possible).

Wash and peel your potatoes AND some carrots or spinach.  Put them together and let them cook.  When finished, drain off water into a measuring cup and mash together.  That's right!  My kids do NOT eat cooked carrots or spinach, but when mixed with mashed potatoes?!  THEY LOVE IT!

Add a touch of butter, salt and either milk or a bit of that reserve liquid if you are staying away from dairy.

If you know how to whoop up a quick sauce, then pour your reserve in the pan you used for your meat and add your thickener (2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water shaken very well).  We make a volcano and the sauce is lava.  They go nuts over this, STILL!  Hehehe...

Fun Food Friday:  Taco Buffet

So easy and another family favourite.

Choose the meat you want (fish, chicken, beef, pork) and sauté it with some Mexican seasons of your choice.  While simmering, prepare the buffet of sour cream, salsa (or cut tomatoes), guacamole (you might be surprised that the little ones actually like it even if you don't.), shredded cheese, onions, your choice of soft, hard or boat shells or a mix, then the meat.  Everyone makes their own!

Saturday:  grilled cheese (Click on image for a pimped up grilled cheese!)

 grilled cheese recipe

Once again, don't use that awful, bagged bread!  It is REALLY BAD for you.  Soften up your butter or just put the butter in the pan than slop both sides of the bread in it.  So easy, right?!  Lay in your REAL cheese and top with the other slice of buttered bread.  It only take about 3 minutes in total.  Hello?!  Serve it with some raw veggies, pickles or soup! Add a slice of ham, chicken or bacon if you like.

Sunday:  plan a BBQ!

Get the grill (or your grill pan) going!  Choose the family's favorite grill'n meat. Whip up your favourite pasta, rice or potato salad or if the kids are dying for them, some french fries.  Once a week is not a big deal. Heat or boil up your corn and voila!  Dinner is served.

For THE most awesome pasta salad, click on the image.

 pasta salad recipe

OK, you're set now with a week's worth of healthy and yummy meals.  Get a grocery list together and start eat'n right! 

*Try to eat potatoes less and less.  Look for Nicola potatoes if you have to eat them.  Potatoes promote cancer growth and wreak havoc with those suffering from diabetes and other types of inflammatory diseases.*

If you ever have questions or want to share your favourite, healthy all natural recipes, please comment.

Let me know if you are liking these menu planners.  It takes me a long time to make them and if I don't get feed back, I'll stop doing it.  I hope you are enjoying them!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Just So Scrappy Hybrid Freebie

Hi there, Happy Scrappers!

Welcome back to The Cherry On Top!

I've got a lot of fans out there who, like me, love Just So Scrappy.  Katie's kits are absolutely gynormous and the colour palette is always pleasing.  Her range is just unbelievably versatile and perfect for any scrapper.  JSS's prices are also one of the lowest in the market.  How else do ya think I knew about them?!  Hehehe...

Just Relax is another, absolutely fabulous kit with a stunning colour palette.  It's classic, rich and flat out wonderful.  Wow!  I had to scrap some of my favourite trips of one of my favourite countries, Germany.  I love it in Germany and we go on vacation there a couple of times a year.  This is Monschau, Germany.  It's very small and well preserved.  An easy day trip for most Belgians.

When I think of relaxing, I have to include pictures of a trip without children!  Hehehe...For sure!  Here's another gorgeous city worth seeing if you are anything into architecture.  It's Leuven, Belgium.   I was pretty amazed at the sites.

Here's a closer look at the kit.  The image is all hooked up to the store where you can find just a basic kit, which is what I always use, but there are so many other things in the shop and available with all kits from Just So Scrappy.  Extras are a specialty!  Head over and add this lovely kit to your stash!

 FREE Download

As always, I've got a freebie for you that I designed, thanks to the generosity of lovely designers! Katie was crazy about my huge photo corners in my layout so I played around and designed a lovely card with them that you can use for just about anything.  Make a card, like I did here or use it as an embellishment in a digital layout.  You could print it out and frame it, use it as a tag, wine bottle label or adhere it to a plain gift bag and add some ribbon for a nice gift!

Click on the image and this hybrid freebie is all yours.

If you really are into freebies, then click on this image and check out the JSS Facebook Page.  She's got a whole mess of them over there!

 JSS on FB

Sorry this freebie is no longer available. Enjoy and come on back tomorrow for the weekly menu!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

TCOT Weekly Menu Planner #13

Hi!  I feel like I was just here!  Hehehe...Let's just jump right into it!

Monday: fish starch veg

I'm not a super huge fan of salmon, but I know a lot of others are.  So, here goes a recipe for you!  Feel free to substitute your favourite fish with this same recipe and it should turn out just as yummy.  One of the great things about fish, eh?!  Now, what are you going to cook it with?  Rice from the steamer?  Mashed potatoes?  Couscous?  The choice is yours!  Broccoli or green beans would be great with this, too.  Fresh first, then frozen.  Never canned or jarred, ok?!


Tuesday:  Steak, pot, peppers

I love beef.  I have to admit, but beef and shrimp are probably my favourite.  This recipe is very easy as is most steak recipes and fast, too.  I love that!  My kids would never eat the onions and peppers.   So, I slice them big enough to pick them out and typically just cut up some raw carrots or tomatoes for them.  To me, baked potatoes are the way to go here.  If you have time, chuck them in the oven, if not go ahead and nuke them, but it's not nearly as healthy or as yummy as in the oven.  Hey!  It's been a while since we've had fries.  If ya wanna make some here, then go ahead!


Wednesday:  honey, sesame chicken

This is one of those awesome meals where ya give yourself a few minutes in the morning to throw it in the crock pot, ya come home from work, steam some rice and supper is ready.  I love that!  Add a few carrots if you like or other veggies at the very end of cooking, like mushrooms or peas.  I get a lot of stuff from this site.  So feel free to find some other great recipes.


Thursday:  pancetta and sun dried tomatoes

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  I think the entire family will love this one. I make something very similar.  If you have no idea what pancetta is or where you can buy it, than just grab some nice bacon.  It's not THAT different.  Hehehe...  The recipe is a great, basic, pasta recipe and you could use shrimp, chicken or other meats in the pancetta's place.  Very fast and easy meal here that's full of flavour!  I love that! Don't forget fresh pasta!


Fun Food Friday:  French Bread Pizza

Ok!  Ok!  I might put pizza on the menu too often, but it is a family favourite, after all!  Here is something a little different.  Now, I'm sorry, but I can never figure out why one would eat something not so healthy as something like this.  Take a half baked loaf or a fresh baked loaf of French or Italian style bread, slap some jarred sauce on there and add your favourite toppings.  It's so much healthier than frozen or take out and it will be ready in half of the time!  That's right!  Half of the time.  A couple of minutes to prep it and only 10 minutes or less to cook!  Enjoy!


Saturday:  hot dogs

I'm hooking ya up with some....alternative ways to make hot dogs, but you know the drill!  Consider some corn on the cob or maybe potato salad and cucumber salad to go with it.


There are so many different ways to make dogs!  We do ours totally traditional here.  Just some onions, ketchup, mustard, buns and actually, I like pickles with mine.  However, when I lived in the States I loved a chili dog.  Then I moved to the south and ate one with cole slaw!  Wow!    There are so many things you can do.  Don't be afraid to venture some veggie dogs either.  Once ya got all of your toppings on there, you won't even notice a difference.

Sunday:  Gumbo

My hubby has been after me to make some gumbo.  So today will be his day!  Hehehe...My recipe is very similar to this one.  Good ole fashion ingredients and room to add or subtract some extras if you like.  It's Sunday!  Take some time to cook and enjoy your family.


Alright!  You're set for another week.  If there are some things you're not so crazy about, then check out previous menu's that will fit you and your family's needs better.

Thank you for taking a peek!  We'll see ya next week!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gorgeous Freebies From TSSA and TCOT

Welcome back to The Cherry On Top!

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to blog about Throwing Some Scraps Around's newest release, By The Sea.  Is it not absolutely fabulous?! Of course it is!

I really love working with Jodi's kits.  The colour palettes are breath taking and the embellishments she puts in are always well thought out and very useful.  See for yourself through the two layouts I created with, By The Sea.

Awe, me and Liam.  Man!  I wish I could still fit into those pants!  BWAAAH!

This has to be one of my all time favourite layouts and kits.  I scrap lifted a layout from someone over at The Studio.  I often place sketches and beautiful layouts on my FB Page to inspire my fans.  Stop over and see what's up.

Familie aan zee is Dutch for Family on the the sea.  Always a bit chilly for me.  Can't even get my toes in the water!  Hehehe...

Here's a closer look at the kit.  Don't forget, there are always quick pages for each kit Jodi makes in case you love the style, but just don't have the time.  Clicking on the preview will take you over to the Etsy shop where you will find everything you need at a super good price.  For real!



Throwing Some Scraps Around is always super generous with her freebies.  Thank goodness, right?!  Just don't forget this isn't a lucrative business.  Your  monetary support every now and then is not only greatly appreciated, but also will help us keep going!

Click on this lovely quick page to the link for the FREE Download.

 FREE Download

Sorry, this freebie is no longer available.

 FREE Download

Thanks for hanging out with the cherries.  Make sure ya do it again!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Awesome FREEBIE From TCOT and BCD

Howdy, Fans!

Sorry about all of those acronyms, but that title would have went into next week!  Hehehe...  I have a feeling you don't care one bit, do you?!  You are here for the GOODIES, aren't you?!  Of course!  Why else would I be making them?!  LOL!

So, you probably saw Boutique Cute Doll's gorgeous new kit, Explore Everyday?  Wow!  It is just fabulous, which is good ole fashioned BCD creativity and product.  Always, always awesome.  So, that means I have to come up with awesome free stuff to go with it.  So do you!  You can make the most wonderful projects with BCD products.

Here's one layout I made with the new kit and it is get'n hits like crazy.  Thanks for that!  When you have a fabulous kit, you get fabulous layouts and projects.  It's that simple!  Really!

Here is a closer look at the kit.  The image is hooked up to the store if ya wanna check it, which I'm sure you do!


If you came from the BCD blog, then you might know about the challenge that is going on over there.  Just take this sketch and do your magic.  Then put a link to where we can find your project and you could win a prize!  How easy is that?!

 bcd blog

Here is my version of the sketch.  I'm a bit of a rebel when it comes to being told what to do!  Hehehe...I like making my own rules.  Surprise!  Not!  So you have a great kit to work with AND inspiration.  You're set! Let's see what you make.

I took my original layout and moved some pieces around so that you too could enjoy it!  Just place your picture in the pink square and you have a gorgeous layout.  Yay!  This baby is worth printing and framing, for sure! It's a direct download.  Click on the image and it's yours.  How nice is that?!

Sorry, these freebies are no longer available.

 FREE Download

This free word art is available on the BCD blog.  If you didn't grab it yet, click on the image and get it from over there.  Isn't it just darling?!

 BCD Blog

Now, be good boys and girls and share the links and not the products.  These are for personal use only and are NOT to be sold or pirated for goodness sake!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'm going to have some hybrid freebies later this week and next week, too.  So keep checking back!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week #12 Menu Planner From TCOT

Get'n ready for another week!

Let's plan it and save, some time, hassle, money and eat better.

Monday:  pulled pork sandwiches (or chicken)

Throw all of the ingredients in the pot in the morning and let it simmer all day.  When you come home from work, dinner's ready!  These babies look totally awesome.  I have to say the Hoisin sauce threw me off a bit!  I'm gonna hook ya up with another just in case.


My hubby wrestles up our pork shoulder on the grill and then slices it super thin.  Ooh, la, la!  Make sure to get some fresh buns or bread that isn't full of preservatives.  Even the half baked bread's better.  If it's gotta long shelf life, then it ain't no good!

This next recipe is really easy and a little bit more typical.  The Six Sisters have totally awesome recipes.  Go check them out!


Tuesday:  spaghetti

We are big time spaghetti eaters!  The kids love it.  It's healthy and it fills the gut.  It's also a great way to get rid of older vegetables that have seen better days.  Hehehe...There are so many variations and you can go super simple and gourmet!

I make my sauce pretty standard.  NEVER sugar!  Tomatoes are sweet enough and so are peppers if you're going to put them in there as well.  Even a bottle of sauce is ok, but they probably have some preservatives, sugar and a lot of salt in it.  Sauteeing canned tomatoes in some oil oi with garlic and onion is even good enough with some herbs for extra flavour. Don't forget fresh pasta!  There is absolutely nothing like it!

Click this link below for a VERY easy recipe, but do NOT put the sugar in.  Yuck!

Wednesday:  meat-starch-veg/flex day

This is a flex day.  Grab some hoagies, throw some yummy pizza baguettes or pizza bagels in the oven, if time is tough.  Heat up some of that left over spaghetti or throw some grated cheese over it and let it heat through in the oven.  Yummy!

Otherwise, bake some fish and prepare some bulgar with your favourite veggies like chopped carrots and peas.  Really healthy and delicious.  Check out this recipe if you've never made bulgar before. It's really mild and cooks fairly easily and fast.  If some of these herbs leave you questioning, just leave them out and use the ones you are more comfortable with.  It will still taste great!


Thursday:  big salad

I've found the only way...hehehe...I will really go to town on a salad, is if I'm not skimpy.  No iceberg, yuck!  Lots of tomatoes, olives, cheese, scallions, cucumbers, go for some croutons and seeds if you like.  Feel free to chuck in some diced ham, chicken or bacon, too!  You could always go Mediterranean and stick with just veggies and seafood.  Add your favourite dressing and dinner is served!  If a big salad isn't enough, then boil a little rotini pasta and  put that in there, too.

I'm leaving you with a yummy salad and salad dressing recipe.  My go to is balsamic vinegar, olive oil and herbs.  That's it!  This one is also easy and you more than likely have everything in the kitchen.


Fun Food Friday:  Cheeseburgers!!!!

Buy frozen patties if you prefer and to save time, buy fresh pre made patties from your butcher or grocer or, make your own.  It's really, really easy and hopefully, Friday is a day where you have some extra time to cook something super yummy and fresh.

Hamburger, a dash of Worcester, an egg, some bread crumbs and herbs is all ya need!  My hubby loves when I put 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke in there, too.  Use a grill pan if you have one.  It gets super hot.  It's fast and is healthy, too!

Garnish any way you like.  Sliced cheese, onions, pickles, lettuce tomato, bacon...MMM.....Don't give fries if you are using buns.  A big delicious burger should be enough.  Especially, if you are using vegetables as garnish.


Saturday:  risotto and sausage

This is so awesome!  It took me a few goes before I got good at making risotto, but man was it worth it.  Just don't stir too much and keep checking for doneness!  That's it!  Once again, if you are staying away from pork, use chicken and even beef would be a good substitute. I wouldn't even need any meat, but that's just me. :)

Sunday:  grill and pasta salad

We grill nearly every week, at least once.  My husband loves it.  I love that I don't have to cook and it is probably the healthiest way to cook as long as you clean the grill!  Hehehe...

I get my ribs already marinaded and vacuum packed.  My veggies will be in the pasta salad so that's two birds with one stone!  This recipe is my all time favourite pasta sale recipe.  Ya gotta give it a go!


Enjoy your weeks worth of menu's and we'll see ya next Sunday!

Leave a comment if you would prefer the recipes, right here and or a shopping list.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Free Photo Booth Props

Welcome to The Cherry On Top!

It's gonna be a quickie today!  Hehehe...I really wanted to make some photo booth props for Father's Day because my hubby needs some new pictures of the boys in his office.  LOL!  I looked on line, but couldn't find any free ones.  So, I headed over to, grabbed some pngs and came up with this!

A couple of fans said they would be interested in having these, so here they are!  For you for all of nut'n!  Just click on the image, look to the right for a download prompt at Photobucket.  Enjoy!

 FREE Download

I've got tons of FREE stuff on my blog.  Feel welcomed to scroll through and grab all that you can!  It's all for personal use.  You may only share this link, not the products themselves.   Thanks!  Come back tomorrow for the Weekly Menu Planner.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Freebies From The Cherry On Top

Happy Friday to you!!!!!

Hehehe...I woke up this morning to an inbox full of free stuff.  Yay!  I shared most of it on my Facebook Page and put some on my Free Stuff Pinterest Board, too.

I've got two of these gorgeous frame clusters available on my Facebook Page under the Apps section to the left.  Click on the images below to find them there and if you are not a TCOT fan, then for goodness sake!  Become one today!  Hehehe....


 FREE Download
(Click on the image to link to my FB Page.)

 FREE download
(Click on the image for the direct download.)


 FREE Download
(Click on the image for my FB Page to download.)

That's it!  You just got hooked up to three fabulous FREEBIES from The Cherry On Top, just because!  I love doing that.  Now this is one of my first attempts using my designer CU stash.  These CU goodies I bought from all over, but they are designed by:  Sekada Designs, KAagard and Aveziur and I designed the freebies for you.

Here is what I did with the FREEBIES.

WAIT!!!  I am going to have a train for FREEBIES coming up in the next few days.  One from Boutique Cute Doll (actually two) and THREE HYBRID FREEBIES from Just So Scrappy AND Boutique Cute Doll as well.  Hybrids give you the option to print and create or use them on your Digi Layouts.

Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure ya do it again!!!