Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Menu #2

Weekly Menu #2

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

We had a bit of a crazy weekend with illness and unplanned camping so I'm using a couple of last week's recipes again, but I'll make new ones for you.

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

 pumpkin soup recipe

I'm the one who is sick.  So, today, I'm whipping up some soup from all of the veggies that are still sitting in the refrigerator.  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 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!

Making bread might seem like  a lot of work in the beginning, but the more practice you have, the easier and faster it gets.  Wait until you make some garlic and walnut bread!  The smell will drive you insane!  Or maybe a cajun braided loaf?  Do this on the weekend and give the family a real treat.

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 all or just a touch of butter is you have to.  Use fresh whenever can or frozen.  Do NOT use canned.

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 your probably shouldn't be eating it.

Thursday:  meat, starch, veg

Choose a favourite meat like 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 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 RELLY 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!

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, some french fries.  Once a week is not 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!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Boutique Cute Doll FREEBIE

Welcome, to The Cherry On Top!  

I've got Boutique Cute Doll on feature today.  "Between The Pages" is the newest release and in typical BCD fashion, it is FABulous!

The kit is linked up to the store, where it is on sale, but only for a couple more days.  Grab it while it's this cheap!


Here are the two book marks I made with "Between The Pages".  The first one you can get right here.    (Click, choose Media Options, then choose download.) The second one you have to get from the BCD blog.  Click on the image and it will take you there.

 download BCD Blog

If I were you, I'd laminate these!  It will make them extra rigid and water resistant, too!

I also provided you with a link where you can get these FREE bookmarks that Terresa has made.

 BCD Blog

Everything here is for private use only.  You may share our links, but not the images, please.

Thank you for the visit!  See ya again, soon!  I'll be participating in an Autism Awareness blog that will have a lot of FREEBIES for you to ooh and aaah over.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekly Menu #1 From The Cherry On Top

Welcome to The Cherry On Top's first weekly menu planner!!!

I am super excited to bring it to you.  I've been planning weekly menus for years now and it saves so much hassle, time, money and there are not nearly so many left overs in the fridge either.  You will not believe how much less discussions occur over what's for dinner!

I plan my menu everyday Sunday either behind my computer or with  some recipe books.  If I'm in a pinch for time, I just go back to my agenda and look through and choose stuff from there as well.

Eventually, I might put the  menus in different levels according to time and preparation, but most of the menus, especially those during the week will be made in 20 minutes or less.  If you find it takes longer than that, just give it time until ya get better acquainted with the system.

I must also share with you my experience with time saving.  My biggest time saver is my stove.  I use gas and it is truly my favourite method to cook.  I would bet that is how I have been able to save so much time, control the heat of my food better and hence, prepare much tastier dishes.

Enough, blah, blah, blah....Let's get cook'n!!!

Monday:  Fresh tortellini with tomato sauce

Fresh pasta may cost a bit more, but there is no comparison to that of dried.  Choose any kind you like.  Did ya know it cooks in less than five minutes?!  What can be faster than that?!  It is also much healthier, too because it isn't filled with all kinds of conservatives. Plus, there is such a variety out there.  I always keep fresh pasta in the fridge on stand by because it's so versatile and fast.

You can make your own pasta, but of course, that is even more time consuming, but fun.  The kids love to help make fresh pasta, though I don't make it often.

For the sauce you may choose to either dump a pot of your favourite tomato sauce to save even more time or use a can of diced tomatoes (choose one with onions, garlic and herbs if you like.) or throw some onions and garlic in a mini chopper and add to the tomatoes and bam!  You might also like to add half of a bouillon cube or a teaspoon loose bouillon for more flavour.

Tuesday:  Guiness Beef Stew

Follow link to recipe.  It's super duper easy and hardly anything to prepare.  I would think you can dump everything in a crock pot, let it cook all day while you are at work and it'll be ready when ya get home!  Ya gotta love the crock pot when you have little time.

Wednesday:  M-S-V  (That's meat, starch, veg.)

On this day you can choose any kind of meat, starch or veg that might be laying in the fridge with nothing to do.  Hehehe...Or the freezer.  Choose something easy like sausages that cook up fast, a steak that's cooked in less than 7 minutes on the grill pan or maybe some fish in the steamer.

This is also a spot where you might say.  I'm just too, busy, let's order pizza or Chinese take out.  Keep your meat in the freezer to keep it fresh. If you're not sure you are going to use it in the first two or three days of purchase.

Thursday:  Big Salad

A large salad is a great way to get rid of stray veggies in the fridge, basket or canned in the cabinet.  Buy a green that you really like.  I'm not a fan of Iceberg.  When I stopped buying it, I started liking salads more.  Try a Romaine, Rucola (my favourite) or even some Belgian endive.  Mmmmm...Spinach is also absolutely delicious eaten fresh.  Then add some chopped, cooked chicken either fresh or purchased.  Bacon, tuna, anchovies...the choice is yours!  Add olives, shredded cheese, beans, corn...You can do so much with a salad.  If your kids are not a fan, then pull out the few veggies they will eat.  Usually tomatoes, corn and carrots are ok with them.

You might also want to add a little bit of cooked pasta.  It makes it more filling and will be great for the picky little ones!

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:  Brazilian Shrimp Soup/Gruyere, Bacon, Mac N' Cheese

I've got these all linked up for you.

It's no biggie you do not have this special kind of cheese, use the one you like, but make sure it is REAL and not processed.  Cheddar is a great substitute.

Sunday:  Pesto Chicken Salad/Fish, Starch, Veg

The first menu is all linked up.  Get pre baked rolls, go to the bakery or make the rolls yourself.  Don't be afraid to use all ready made pesto in the jar.  It is usually healthy, too!  It will save you some time.

For the fish, I often buy frozen, but of course, fresh is best.  Rice goes great with fish, but don't be afraid to try some quinoa, polenta even mashed potatoes are yummy with fish and often favourite a favourite of the little ones.  By all means, peel the potatoes and make them fresh!  Peel, wash, cut, cook, drain water and add a bit of milk and butter to your liking of consistency and mush.  It's really easy and cannot compare to the other junk.  It's weekend!  Make time to be in the kitchen.  It really is important.

You could also use this spot to eat left overs, go on a picnic or have a day at your favourite restaurant.  Sunday's meat should be in the freezer anyway, so it won't spoil, while you give yourself a break and maybe something nice to do with the family.

Staying home and eating real food is the best for you and the family.  Remember, you are what you eat!

Check out these free printables if you think it might help as well.  Click on the image.


Now, go get your grocery list together.  YES!!!  A list!  You have to do it.  For one, you won't remember it all.  It will save you time and money.  Don't buy too much junk either.  Snack on fruit, yummy raw veggies, nuts, raisins, yogurt, pretzels....If you don't buy it, you won't eat it!

Let me know if it would be totally awesome, if I made the list for you.  It's a lot of work in the beginning, but if it will help you....I might also make printer friendly versions if this all goes well.

Have a great, healthy week of eating.  You deserve it!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Huge, Hybrid, Digi Hop With Paty Greif


FYI:  I have TWO hops going on right now, which means a LOT of FREEBIES!!!  You will have to scroll to catch Romajo's blog hop and check out all of the other fabulous freebies I have from previous blogs.

Paty Greif and By Romajo are my featured designers today!  Yay!  What a great way to look at two entirely different designers as well.   Keep scrolling to see all of the wonderful things we've got ready for you.

Paty Greif hand draws all of her gorgeous goodies.  So you know you are in for original work.  How fab is that?!

The kit we are hopping on is The Colours Of The Jungle.  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  This kit is so fantastic, I'm making a photo book and having it printed out and you can too, with just a few simple steps, the kit and all of the freebies you will be collecting.  Isn't that so exciting?!

Let's look at all there is in this expansive bundle, shall we?

I have two layouts I made with the kit.  My little monkeys!  Lucky you!  If you really like these layouts, it's available in the mini photo book/ quick pages.  Yay!

Here's a very small look at all of the different quick pages we have for you.  They are quite sensational.  You can make your own mini photo book with these.  Click on the image for a larger view.

Here's a couple of the many add ons!  How adorable are these jungle animals?!  Click on any image you would like to see larger.




Of course, you can save some serious pennies, by buying the mega bundle!  Click on this preview and you can see all there is to have.  You will be able to make a mega scrap book!


I've created some FREE word art for you as well as a FREE door hanger for your own little monkeys!  You will find this one on my FB Page.  Click on it, get over there and grab it.  Don't forget, you have to become a fan first.
Here is your download that was created by me, The Cherry On Top.  Scroll further and check out the other links for even more awesome FREEBIES!



Here's a FREEBIE from Theresa.  I set it all up for you.  Just click on the image for a direct download!  How easy is that?!

Melanie has this lovely ready for you on her Facebook Page.

 Melanie's FB
You will find this coordinating alpha on Paty's Facebook Page.  Click on the image to go there.


Head over to Marcelle's blog for this lovely freebie.


And for you hybrid lovers, Reca has something absolutely fabulous!


Check out this lovely hybrid project from Karina!  If everything goes right, all you have to do is click on the image. 


  Another fabulous hybrid from Andrea is on her Facebook Page!

 FB freebie

Thank you for joining us on this awesome parade of goodies from Paty Greif!  Be sure to tell your friends and share the link with them because sharing is caring and it's a the best way to say thank you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Romajo's Scrap Hop

Hey there, Happy Hoppers!

Welcome to another blog hop from By Romajo!

We are featuring the new release of Lucky Spring by giving you lovely FREEBIES and of course, a great deal on this large kit. 

I composed his layout with Lucky Spring.  I softened up some of the ellies simply by ghosting or fogging the images.  

The image is all set for you to get a closer look at the kit, over in the shop.  Romajo always puts her kits on a great sale for the first week.  So grab it while it's cheap.  It will be available this Saturday, March 22nd.

 romajo shop

The Cherry On Top has made two FREEBIES for you with Romajo's pretty goodies.  This bright, sunshine word art which you can download right here by clicking on the image. This one is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.


I also have this lovely frame cluster over on the Facebook page.  Watch out for the other freebies there as well.  If you're not familiar with the The Cherry On Top, scroll down the Facebook wall and see what kinds of FREE stuff I continually post,  daily and become a fan today!

Here are more freebies from By Romajo's Creative Team.  Click on the link to be sent there, where you can download all of them.  I am an early bird.  So, if you go to a blog and the freebies isn't ready yet, then give it time, but they all should be up for the weekend!





Thanks for taking a hop to The Cherry On Top!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Welcome to The Cherry On Top!

Yes, of course I've got FREEBIES for you today!  This time they are from Throwing Some Scraps Around.  Fabulous kits at an amazing price.  I'm talking TCOT CHEAP!  Ya won't miss out on quality or creativity.  Just take a look for yourself!

TSSA's newest release is, "Take It Easy".  I love that title.  We all could do that, right?!  Fun, bright. vivid colours.  Textures, shapes, Oooh la likey!


Don'cha just love when a designer has quick page options?!  For the many of those who have, "no time", this is the answer!  Plug in your picture and print!  It's that easy and it looks fantastic!


I thought I would pick one of my previous favourite kits from TSSA, but honestly, they are all really spectacular.  How about these colours?!


And now, the moment you've been waiting for!  This FREEBIE can be found on Throwing Some Scraps Around, Facebook Page.  Just being a fan gives you the opportunity for wonderful freebies.  I made the second one, on the bottom left with the banner.  The banner is in the kit and it's blank!  Yay! So you can fill in what you want.

The FREEBIES don't stop here!  Keep scrolling for another one!

 fb page

I think layouts are the best way to see what's in a kit. and ma!  Aren't these ellies the best?!

And here's Liam when he was the child from hell!  Hehehe.....The kid NEVER slept!!!  How on earth could I be so skinny, otherwise?!  Ha!!!

Here's my FREEBIE I made with this beautiful kit!


Want even more FREEBIES?!  I've got tons.  Yes!  TONS!  Hehehe....Over on my Facebook Page and Pinterest Board.  Wanna learn more about my Pinterest Boards?  Go to the previous blog and get hooked up!

Grab this one I made with The Studio's March Color Challenge by clicking on it and going to the link.
 the studio freebie

This one is on my Facebook Page.  Become a fan and it's all yours!  It's the best way to keep up on all kinds of FREE stuff.  Sewing, crocheting, recipes, templates, card making...Too late!  This one is no longer available, but there is another lovely in its place.


And this FREEBIE is also on my Facebook Page.  There is a coordinating freebie a couple of posts back.  Just keep on scrolling and see the tons of FREEBIES you can find.  Yes!  Tons!  hehehe....Too late!  This one is no longer available, but there is another lovely in its place.

 fb freebie

Have a super, happy day and leave me some love!  Hardly anyone does that these days!  Mom!!!  Not even you!!!  Hehehehee....

Monday, March 10, 2014

What Is Pinterest?!

 Vintage Board
Hi there fans!

I've got a little something different for you today.  If you are already following me on Pinterest, well thanks!  You get the idea of what The Cherry is all about.

Pinterest is my other addiction.  It's a place where ya pretty much just look at pictures.  I love that! They cut right to the chase.  You can "like" a Pin by clicking on the little heart.  You can Pin a Pin, which is like putting it on a prick board.  The other thing you can do is comment on a Pin.

You "Follow" people, companies, Starz, etc...Things you are interested in.  It is totally FREE.  You don't get any kind of junk mail either.  If you set the right settings.  I've never ever had any kinds of problems with Pinterest.

To the left, I've put all kinds of images representing a couple of different boards that The Cherry On Top has on Pinterest.  Follow All of my boards or go through and pick and choose the ones you like best.

My most popular boards are "Free Stuff", "Color", "Templates" and "Scrap Ideas", but I have a lot more than that.

The first image is from a free stamp download I found on Pinterest.  It's fabulous, no?!  There is a ton of free stuff to be had there!  Check out my Vintage Board, too!  That's where you can find images like the gorgeous air balloons.  I just love that and recently used it on a layout.

Are you into DIY?  Saving money?  Buying things on a budget?  Then Pinterest is the place for you.  Look at that cool image with the wire wisks and the tea candles!  So simple and so fabulous!

I have all kinds of templates on my Pinterest Board, "Templates".  Like the one you see with the stars.  Great for scrapbooking traditionally, digitally or even for card making.

A little further down, you see an expanded Pin with a cool project for making jewellery.  I thought it would be great for your bored teens and tweens or maybe you like it yourself?!

Then you see a picture of poppy seed and lemon cake.  Yummy!  I get so many recipes from Pinterest.  If this is your thing, you can follow a lot of people who like the same things you do.  I like really healthy stuff with all natural ingredients and rarely deviate from that, but there are a lot of people out there who just love chocolate, desserts, wine, etc.  You name it and you can find it on Pinterest. 

 "Templates Board"

My most popular digital scrap board is A-manda Creation, but I've got a lot of other ones you can follow to keep up to date with your favourite designers.  The last image will take you to that board and the big "P" in the red box at the top of my blog will take you to Pinterest where you can find all of The Cherry On Top's boards.

It is really, really easy.  When you are on the internet and you see something, like say that layout with the cute little boy...hehehe...You'll have a Pin button at the top of your browser, if you install it there and you click on "Pin It".  Then you choose the board you want to put it on.  One that you create.

 "Food" Board

If you have any questions, feel free to leave it in a comment and I'll help ya get started.

That's my spiel on Pinterest.  I hope you'll follow me there.  Please put your boards here if you like and I/we can follow you back!

Have a super, awesome day and thanks for checking out the Cherry.