Ravioli Soup

If you haven’t noticed, I make a lot of soup. Soup is usually easy, quick , comforting and delicious. There are two things that are a must have in soup if you intend on feeding your family at dinner time. Meat and Pasta of course! Without them a soup is more of an appetizer than a family meal. My family can eat, so I have to be able to fill them up or I’m in trouble.

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s I make sure I pick up a bag of mini Ravioli in their pasta section. I always have them in my pantry. They are really tiny, so they are perfect for kids and soup. Feel free to use any ravioli you have on hand, just adjust the cooking time per directions on the package.


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Adapted by:  Feel Good Foodie

Ravioli Soup


  • Olive oil
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. of mild italian sausage(ground, out of casing)
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste or crushed tomato sauce(either or will work)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s mini ravioli(16 oz.)
  • fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • grated pecorino romano cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and cook until brown. Use a wooden spoon to break it up into little pieces while it is cooking.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes and stir.
  7. Add the tomato paste or sauce and stir, while scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  8. Add the water and stir.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  11. Add the basil and parsley and the ravioli.
  12. Bring to a boil and cook per directions on the package.
  13. Remove from the heat and serve. Top each bowl with grated cheese.


If you like this recipe, you will also like:

Feeding the Fam on a budget

Soup Season



Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

I feel the most important meal for kids is breakfast. They get rushed off in the morning and are expected to have energy and patience all day while they learn. That certainly can’t be done with a big bowl of sugary cereal or a cinnamon bun in the morning. Way back before I had kids, I was a teacher. I saw the difference between the kids that had a nutritious breakfast and the kids that did not. I taught kindergarten for a year and I used to get in trouble because I let them rest their heads on their desks in the afternoon. Most of them fell asleep. Poor babies needed a nap. Guess that’s why I’m not a teacher anymore. Lol.

But there are so many options for breakfast. It just might take a little time to make ahead each week.

I made a list of some of my favorite kid friendly breakfast items that will give your kids the energy they need to keep their brains on point all day. Most of these can be used for  lunch or snack as well!

  1. Eggs: When I eat an egg or two I am full for hours. It gives me energy and prevents me from snacking like I usually do.
    • Hard Boiled Eggs: I usually hard boil 6 at a time. These can be eaten with just salt and pepper. I love them dipped in mustard as well. That’s usually my mid morning snack while I’m rushing around. My son loves deviled eggs. Take the yolk out and mix with a little mayo, salt and pepper. Put the mixture back in the middle of the egg and sprinkle with paprika! Hard boiled eggs can also be used in salads or to make a quick and simple egg salad. I also love chopped egg and avocado. Chop one of each and stir together. Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning and that is it!
    • Egg Muffins: My son Dominick has two for breakfast and sometimes two before bed. He’s growing and always hungry!
  2. Muffins: The muffins we buy at the store have some scary ingredients.
    • Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: These are filled with great ingredients and taste delicious! I have to hide them from my husband because he will eat the whole batch! My son Matthew has one as a snack in school and two for dessert.
    • Pumpkin Muffins: It does not have to be Halloween to enjoy pumpkin muffins! If bananas aren’t your thing, all you need is a can or two of pumpkin…
  3. Bring on the smoothies! I am a big fan of smoothies. I love that you can customize them with what you like. They can also be prepared in freezer bags and placed in the freezer. All you have to do is dump it in the blender and add your choice of water, milk or juice!
    • Triple Berry Smoothie: This is my go to smoothie that everyone in my family enjoys. I love that there is a big bunch of spinach in it!
    • I also make a very simple kid friendly smoothie some mornings that both of my boys love. No spinach, but a great big serving of fruit!
      • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
      • 1 frozen banana
      • 1 cup of watermelon
      • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of orange juice
    • Smoothie Bowl: If sometimes your kids need a little bit more crunch to their breakfast, you can make a smoothie bowl. We enjoy it with peanut butter and granola with some sliced bananas on top. Simple and delicious.
    • Strawberries and Cream: The perfect deconstructed smoothie for your picky eater.


  • Ok, so this one simple tool will assist you with all these healthy foods.  Egg Slicer 
  • And if you are in the market for a muffin pan, this would be perfect!
  • This Ninja Blender will make your life a lot easier when you start on your smoothie adventure!

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Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

I have two boys that are growing fast and are always hungry. I’m constantly looking for healthy snacks and meals to fill their bellies up so they stop eating! I found a healthy recipe for whole wheat banana muffins about a year ago (I can’t find the original recipe online, but it was great) and we got hooked. I made very little changes and they are perfect! If you buy muffins in the store, the ingredients are actually scary… These ingredients are simple and clean! I usually freeze them for the week and pull out a few each day. I  have one for breakfast with my smoothie or throw one in the kids lunch boxes. My son Matthew will pick one of these muffins for dessert over ice cream, believe it or not. I am not a baker and these come out perfect every time!

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins


  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk(I use almond coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of quick oats plus a little more for sprinkling on top.
  • A handful of chopped walnuts
  • A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top.


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and almond milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix.  Throw in the walnuts and/or chocolate chips(tastes great with both).  Mix them in.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Other healthy breakfast options…

Pumpkin Muffins

My Go To Smoothie

Tropical Delight

Super Pretzel PB&J

Boy have we enjoyed this summer…

My boys are getting bigger, so I don’t have to entertain them all day like when they were little. We slept late and stayed up late. My husband was even able to take a month off from work and we all got to visit family and friends in Long Island for three weeks! We feel grateful for the time we spent together as well as rested and relaxed, but now it’s back to reality!

Back to school. I can just hear my kids whining when I say that. It stinks in one way, but it will also feel good to get back to a schedule. That schedule will include waking up early, homework, and after school activities. I will be back to packing lunches, prepping dinners and preparing after school snacks.

With the first day of school right around the corner Rachael Ray Magazine editors challenged me to come up with an after school snack using Super Pretzels. 🥨

So this got me thinking. What comes to mind when I think of back to school? Peanut butter and jelly.

So we started on our taste testing journey. Things got messy. That’s for sure. Especially when I started complicating the recipes. My mind was all over the place and honestly nothing tasted perfect. After a week of trial and error and lots of trips to the grocery store I figured it out.

Keep It Simple Stupid(K.I.S.S.) – I heard the K.I.S.S. Principle from my dad while he was probably giving me a pep talk regarding something. And it is great advise. So I went back to my first thought.

Peanut butter and jelly.

And it is perfect. And delicious. And nutritious! And so simple…

We all tasted it and agreed. It really is a perfect after school snack to fill the hungry bellies before they are off to their activities. My kids come home from school like they haven’t eaten all day. So a small bag of fruit gummies isn’t gonna do it for them. The snack has to have some substance to it. I like that the pretzel will fill them up and the peanut butter will give them protein. I used a natural peanut butter with no hydrogenated oil and a non-gmo natural concord grape spread with no high fructose corn syrup. So I would really feel comfortable feeding this snack to my boys. Of course any chance I get I serve them fruit. So a side of fruit and a big glass of milk was served to complete this perfect after school snack.

This back to school campaign with Rachael Ray and Super Pretzel has helped us get back into the back to school groove!

Hope you think of this Super Pretzel PB&J when you’re in a rush and looking for something to fill the kids bellies up until dinner.


Super Pretzel PB&J


  • 4 big Super Pretzels
  • peanut butter – no stir with no hydrogenated oil
  • jelly – non-gmo natural concord grape spread


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place 2 pretzels with the top side up and 2 pretzels with the top side down.  (Top side meaning the side you salt)
  4. Lightly moisten the top of the 2 pretzels that have the top side up.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 4 minutes.
  7. Broil for 2 more minutes.
  8. When it’s done take a wide metal spatula and flatten each pretzel so it’s thin and crispy. (I like everything crispy.  It also makes it easier for the kids to hold and eat.)  
  9. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes so that the peanut butter and jelly don’t slide right off.
  10. Spread peanut butter on the 2 pretzels without the salt.
  11. Carefully spread the jelly on top of the peanut butter.
  12. Place the salted pretzels on top of the unsalted pretzels to make a sandwich.
  13. Slice in half and serve!

I served each half with a side of fruit and their choice of milk(plain, chocolate or strawberry).

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Summer Salad

Summer is creeping up on us in Florida. Our watermelon is perfect right about now! This is a summer salad that my sister Ali makes. It tastes light and refreshing just like summer…

By Alexandra Salvatore

I wanted to emulate one of my favorite appetizer salads I’ve been going crazy over. In Long Island we wait all winter for warm weather and summer fruits. This salad is on almost every menu on the East end of Long Island and all are done with their own twist.

It contains all of my favorite things – watermelon, feta cheese and a peppery, crunchy green like arugula. You can also use baby spinach for a less bitter green. You can also crumble the feta for a less intense salt/cheese flavor. I use the balsamic glaze pictured. I’ve actually used that glaze for many other things like a simple mozzarella and tomato salad. I would suggest having one in the house. You can get it at Costco or an Italian market. It doesn’t have a close expiration date which is great too. Enjoy this refreshing and savory salad. It would be a great thing to serve as an appetizer or even as a side salad with a fish entree. 🐠🍉🧀

Summer Salad


  • a bag of arugula or baby spinach
  • a seedless watermelon(about 4-6 pieces cut into thick triangles)
  • a block of imported feta(in water), cut into rectangular chunks(can crumble as well)
  • balsamic glaze
  • salt and pepper
  • (Optional) – chopped pistachios to sprinkle over the greens before the feta


  1. On a large platter lay out the chunks of watermelon.
  2. On top of the watermelon, place a handful or two of arugula or spinach.
  3. Then top it with the chunks of feta cheese.
  4. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


If you enjoyed this recipe you’ll love:

Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

Italian Salad(Pasta or no Pasta)

Shoepeg Corn Salad

Dump Cake

Summer always makes me think of pie. Two of my favorites are, Sweet Cherry Pie and Strawberry Apple Pie. I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest one day and came across Dump Cakes. Don’t let the name discourage you from making this. Knowing that I can dump ingredients in a bowl, bake it and serve a delicious, sweet dessert makes me love it even more. I will be experimenting and trying every dump cake combo I can. Right now these are my two favorites that are perfect to bring to a friend’s house for a BBQ. 

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Click here to shop for some of my favorite items.

You can serve either of these with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for some extra goodness… 

Dump Cake

Strawberry Dump Cake


  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 2 cans(21 oz. each) of strawberry pie filling. I used Duncan Hines Comstock Simply Strawberry Pie Filling.
  • ½ cup of melted butter(1 stick)


Apple Dump Cake


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 2 cans(21 oz. each) of apple pie filling. 
  • ½ cup of melted butter(1 stick)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 X 13 glass pan.
  3. Empty both cans of pie filling into the pan and spread evenly.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the cake mix and butter. 
  5. Stir and break up any chunks with a wooden spoon or fork.
  6. Pour the cake mix over the pie filling and spread out evenly.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pie filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown. 
  8. You can serve it warm or cold. I made it the day before, let it cool, and covered it in the fridge. I topped each piece with a scoop of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream!

If you like this recipe you will also enjoy:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda 🥤

Apple Cake🍎



So I’ve never been in an ALDI and they opened one near my house. So, my husband and I wandered in to check it out. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It definitely threw us off when we had to put a quarter in the cart to use it. Lol. And I wasn’t sure what to think about them not having bags(had to pay $ .07 for each bag).

I didn’t love the feel of the store. I think I’m spoiled by my trips to Publix and Trader Joe’s. It didn’t seem like they had much we’d be interested in, but we left spending $72 and got a whole bunch of stuff we needed.

That included all of the above…

Some of the items that impressed me were:

Frozen blueberries- $2.49!

Almond butter- $4.99!

Eggs- $1.37!

3 Pounds of ground turkey- $6.99!

Pistachios- $4.49!

Frozen strawberries- $3.99!

I think I’d wander in again…

Happy Shopping🙂