the best of summer in a watermelon salad!

today is the first monday of summer vacations at home. the boys and i have a few errands to run. we need to go to a few farm markets to buy fresh strawberries and other locally grown yummy produce. we need to buy new waterbottles (again) as lion keeps losing his! the kids both go to camp next week and they’ll need them then. i’m not sure how to get my lion to be more careful of his belongings, as his brother is so meticulous with his things. clearly it’s a personality thing and not a mothering thing!


anyhow, to day i want to share the best summer salad recipe out there… WITH WATERMELON!!!!



summer is here and it’s the season for enjoying all kinds of fresh, juicy and yummy salads. we always have a salad of sorts with our dinners, whether it be a big green leafy salad, a warm quinoa or a filling bean mix. there is a salad for everyone’s tastes in this world!

watermelon salad 4


i’ve seen lots of pictures for watermelon salads so i decided to come up with my own recipe with what i had in my cupboards. and, holy moly was it ever good! especially since we devoured it on a hot n’ muggy summers evening! it’s quick to make and perfect as a side on a busy or super hot evening. 


watermelon salad with feta and fresh basil
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  1. 1 watermelon
  2. 1/2 container of feta
  3. lots of fresh basil leaves
  4. 2 tblsp olive oil
  1. 1. cut up your watermelon into chunks. i tried to leave mine a bit bigger than bite sized because when mixing the finishes salad i thought the pieces would fall apart.
  2. 2. i took the feta and crumbled it with my fingers directly onto the watermelon. added fresh basil leaves, ripping them by hand a little too to release the delicious aroma.
  3. 3. add olive oil and mix gently.
bear & lion
my boys loved the salad and gobbled up lots of it! 

it really is super easy and SO, SO yummy!

xo, mama lola

yummy roasted chickpeas.


i made a carrot ginger soup for my weekly soup exchange and i wanted to include something yummy with the soup, other than my usual parsley or cilantro garnish… and then it hit me.. KAPOW… roasted chickpeas!

it’s the easiest, yummiest add-on ever!

roasted chick peas 2

 ok, so here we go.

i was pretty generous with my spices, because i wanted my chickpeas to POP with flavour and i used a large can.

roasted chickpeas
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1 can chickpeas
  2. 5 tblsp olive oil
  3. 1 tblsp paprika
  4. 1 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 tblsp cumin
  6. 1 tblsp tumeric
  1. 1. preheat oven to 425F. drain and rinse chickpeas.
  2. 2. oil your cookie sheet with olive oil. add chick peas.
  3. 3. in a separate bowl mix dry spices and sprinkle onto chickpeas. ensure chickpeas are evenly spiced. place in oven. let bake for 15 minutes.
  4. 5.add to soups, tacos, chili, salads or nibble on their own!
bear & lion

what do you think? they look pretty yummy, right?

i will be sharing my ginger carrot recipe soon, as well!

worth a try, i think! enjoy! 

xo, mama lola

delicious fish tacos!


fish tacos, tex mex

 fish tacos are pretty popular these days. I LOVE THEM!

i decided to try and make my own and they turned out AWESOME! there was a lot of cutting, slicing and chopping involved for the mango salsa and the guacamole i also made.

but, it was so worth it!

cutting mango, mango salsa mango salsa, fish tacos, mango

i love the look of my simple spices in the bowl!

i was pretty nervous about making these, because we love them so much the pressure was on, but now they have become family favourite for sure! and, depending on how hot you want the flavours to be you can definitely add more chili or whatever! 


pan fried fish tacos, skillet fish tacos, tilapia

fish tacos, tilapia fish tacos, taco tuesday

fish tacos, mango salsa, guacamole, recipes


delicious fish tacos!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
fish tacos
  1. 1 lb white fish (tilapia is the best choice)
  2. 2 tblsp olive oil
  3. 2 tsp paprika
  4. 1 tsp chili powder
  5. 2 tsp oregano
  6. sprinkle of coarse sea salt
  7. 2 fresh limes
mango salsa
  1. 1 mango
  2. finely chopped cilantro
  3. 1/2 finely chopped red onion
fish tacos
  1. in a frying pan (preferably cast iron) heat olive oil.
  2. mix paprika, chili powder, salt and oregano in a bowl. take a filet of fish and cover it with your spice mixture. feel free to use your fingers to really rub it in!
  3. fry in hot pan adding more spice mixture if desired. fish fillets may break apart which is desirable, as they cook. cook about 5 mins on each side.
  4. squeeze fresh lime juice all over cooked fish.
mango salsa
  1. cutting mango can be tricky. the pit inside is flat:ish so imagine your fruit in thirds. once you have your fruit cut slice in the palm of your hand, cut it horizontally and then vertically, so you can get nice cubes. (see photos for reference)
  2. in a bowl add mango, chopped cilantro, red onion and the juice of one lime. add a titch of sea salt. stir well.
  1. *serve in warm tortillas.
bear & lion

 serve with fresh lime juice, grated cheese, fresh cilantro all in a warm tortilla! 


fish tacos, mango salsa, fresh lime, tex mex, taco tuesday

 is your mouth not watering from looking at the pictures?!?!

for the guacamole recipe, go HERE!

oh, and finally… i installed a new recipe plug-in hoping to make it easier for you guys to save, print the recipes. i’d love some feedback…was it a good choice?


xo, mama lola

minestrone soup recipe

my neighbourhood soup exchange is going strong!

here is another favourite soup recipe that i have added to my repertoire!

minestrone soup, hearty soup, vegetarian soup

a few weeks ago i was on pinterest looking for soup inspiration and i found this amazing 30 minuteĀ orzo minestrone soup recipe from julia’s blog, a cedar spoon. i loved the pictures of the hearty soup, as i am totally a visual gal, and immediately pinned and then wrote the list of ingredients for my grocery list. it’s full of beans and veggies, which is just what we love at our house!

i did tweak her recipe a little to what we had in the pantry!

below i am sharing what i used and did for our soup.



3 table spoons of olive oil

1 yellow onion, choppeed

2-3 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

large handful fresh spinach

2-3 garlic cloves, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can kidney beans

1 can black eyed peas

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup ditali pasta

1/2 cup fresh basil

1 tsp oregano

2 bay leaves

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste



1. heat olive oil in soup pot sauteeing chopped onions, garlic, carrots and celery, until tender. sprinkle with a titch of sea salt.

2. add zucchini. they cook quickly, in about 5 minutes.

3. add beans and canned tomatoes, veggie broth, oregano, basil, bay leaves and pasta. some cook the pasta separately and add to soup, but i like to do it all on one go. then, add spinach at the end.

5. serve with crusty bread or crackers.

minestrone soup, recipe, hearty soup, vegetarian soup

to swap soup we transfer in mason jars. the soups can sometimes can sit for a few days in the fridge after being swapped, so that’s why i don’t bother cooking the pasta separately. the noodles will soften nicely in the jar.

minestrone soup, vegetarian recipe, soup, hearty soup

hearty, belly warming soups are my favourite during these cold winter months. the kids also love when i send them in their thermos’ to school for lunch. yum!

let me know if this is a recipe you’re going to try!


xo, mama lola

wontons for dinner!



after all the sweet and heavy foods of the christmas holidays, my taste buds have been craving all kinds of other flavours and textures. so, after surviving the the saturday after new years at the grocery store, i decided to spend two hours on the kitchen preparing food for my family. i’m not a great cook, but i do love it!

i was a little apprehensive about how my boys would respond to the wontons as recently my eldest, bear, has become quite.. um, opinionated about his food preferances. but, so my delight and surprise he loved them and both kids asked me to send them in their school lunches. (mama SCORE!)

here i am sharing what i included inside my wontons, but i think really you could stuff them with anything.



1 yellow onion finely chopped

1 block firm tofu crumbled

1 cup frozen peas

1 small carrot finely chopped

3-5 kale leaves finely chopped

sea salt

to taste curry powder

to taste cumin

fresh ground pepper

1 package of wonton wraps

small bowl of water



1. sautee all of the above ingredients until nice caramalized.

2. take a wonton wrap in one hand, fill it with about a table spoonful of your filling. wet your index finger in the water bowl, then follow the edges of your wonton wrap. you may need to wet your finger several times to ensure the all of the edges are wet with water. the water will act as glue.

3. when it is all wet, fold the wonton wrap over creating a triangle. place on a hot frying pan with olive oil. keep flipping and pushing the wontons around in the pan to ensure that they don’t stick or burn. i find a hot pan work best, but i suppose it depends on what kind of pan you are using.

4. i served the wontons with sweet and sour sauce, which the kids loved!




so, what do you think, easy enough to do? totally!

next time i’m going to commit more time and make more so i can freeze them!


xo, mama lola

mouth watering cranberry recipes!

cranberry recipes 1

i love cranberries!

they are such a wonderful tart flavour and can be used in so many different kinds of foods.  during the holiday season cranberries are especially popular in all sorts of goodies. here is a wonderful round-up of cranberry recipe ideas, ranging from butters to bars to salads!

cranberry butter

 cranberry recipes, christmas recipes, cranberry

the view from great island

this cake looks so scrumptious and like the perfect breakfast treat to kick off christmas day!

cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake

cranberry recipes, holiday treats, cranberry baked goods

alexandra’s kitchen

i love bark! this chocolate bark looks beautiful, but i bet is tastes way better than it looks!

cranberry and pistachio chocolate bark

cranberry bark, christmas bark, cranberry recipes

love and lemons

salsa from cranberry’s? AWESOME! gotta give this recipe a try this holiday season! great for a party!

cranberry salsa

cranberry recipes, cranberry salsa

kate’s healthy cupboard

cranberry salads are pften paired with walnuts, which is a no-no in our family as DH has a walnut allergy. this salad recipe is intense, but i bet so worth it. don’t those candied almonds sound lovely?!

cranberry and avocado salad with candied spiced almonds and sweet white balsamic vinegrette

cranberry recipes

honest cooking

i want to share my bar recipe. these cranberry blueberry bars are perfect as hostess or teacher gifts!

cranberry blueberry bars

cranberry blueberry bars, cranberry recipes, christmas treats

bear & lion


let me know if you have a favourite cranberry recipe and share it in the comments section!

xo, mama lola

fave soup round up!


we here in southern ontario we have enjoyed a lovely fall with warm temperatures making things feel more like summer! but, it seems as though things are taking turn now as cooler temperatures are settling in, grey skies are taking over. this kind of weather makes me want to pull out my crock-pot and dig up all my belly warming recipes.


fall soup round-up 2

about a year ago i started a soup exchange with some neighbourhood friends. once a week everyone cooks up a batch of yummy soup and then we exchange a big mason jar of soup with one other person. it’s such a life saver, because i often freeze the extra soups for busy weeks when there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get dinner done!


here are a few of my favourite soups that i made for my friends…



i went to the library and found a bunch of soup recipe books for inspiration. this week i made a super delicious minestrone soup that i adjusted slightly from the original recipe to accommodate my ingredients and taste! i’ll be sharing that recipe here on the blog soon!

happy soup-ing!

xo, mama lola

the best potato salad recipe…EVER!

now that bear is back to eating eggs, i can make my favourite potato salad recipe again. potato salad is one of those foods that i connect with summer BBQ’s and eating outside. my recipe has pickles and red onions in it for some extra flavour, which everyone LOVES!


potato salad



4 medium red potatoes

4 hard boiled eggs

1/2 red onion

lotsa fresh dill (i used about 1/2 of a bunch)

4 pickles

1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise


fresh ground pepper





1. cut potatoes into 2cm squared pieces and steam. once tender to a fork poke put into a bowl to cool. finely chop onion, pickles and dill.

2. cut hard boiled eggs into quarters, not too small as they fall apart easily when mixing the ingredients all together.

3. once the potatoes have thoroughly cooled add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. refrigerate until ready to serve.




this potato salad was a hit at a BBQ we went to at a friends house.

the perfect side to hot dogs!

xo, mama lola

sweet potato & carrot soup.

i made this soup the other day for my kids and they LOVED it. bear is happy to take warm soup in his thermos for his school lunch.

sweet potato and carrot soup 4


4 sweet potatoes

4 medium/ large carrots

3 garlic cloves

2 bouillon cubes

8 cups water

2 tblsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

fresh ground pepper

green onions

blue cheese



1. peel sweet potatoes, carrots and onion and chop into chunks. peel and dice garlic.

2. add olive oil to soup pot and heat gently at a medium to low heat. add onions, stirring to ensure they do not burn. once they are lightly browned add garlic, sweet potato and carrot. keep stirring to make sure nothing burns.

3. add water, spices and broth cubes. let the veggies gently boil until they are nice and soft. remove your pot from heat and use your handheld immersion blender to blend all of the ingredients. once it is at a consistency of your liking, serve and ENJOY! i sprinkled some blue cheese and chopped green onions on top for some extra yumminess!


sweet potato and carrot soup 1

sweet potato and carrot soup 2

let me know how the recipe works out for you!

xo, mama lola

pita pizza’s for dinner!

pita pizza's, homemade pizza, mini pizza

this is such an easy dinner for when everyone is tired from the day. it’s also one where if the kids want to help they can get busy!

we love to make pita pizza’s. using pita bread instead of store bought pizza dough is healthier, as they have less preservatives and weird ingredients. for our family i typically use 4-5 pita’s depending on if we’re having anything else with dinner, like a salad.



pita bread

pasta sauce

fresh basil

1 can chick peas

1 green pepper

1 red pepper


1/2 zucchini

handful fresh spinach

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 cup cheddar cheese



feta cheese, canned tuna, anchovies, meats, avocado… really you can get as creative as you like! haha!

pita pizza. mini pizza, kid friendly meals

mini pizza, vegetarian dinner, pota pizza



1. preheat over to 350F. cut and chop all of your chosen veggies. grate cheese. open cans.

2. evenly spread canned or jarred pasta sauce on to each pita. combine veggies, chick peas and beans according to your family’s tastes. sprinkle cheese as desired.

3. bake in the oven until cheese has melted.

4. cut, serve, and ENJOY!!!


veggie pizza, pita pizza, chick peas

super easy, right? you can have kids even decorate their own pita with whatever they like  and then everyone has their own!

xo, mama lola
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