what’s on our table



Art comes in many different forms. For me, making a pretty plate with local food is one of the ways I unwind. When I try something new, and it looks appetizing on the plate, it makes something in my heart feel alive. Here’s what’s been on the table at the Brankshire home this summer. Best part? Most of the vegetables came from a tiny little patch right outside of my door. Can’t beat the flavor of food that was picked 10 seconds before it hit your table.

What’s been cooking for you guys this summer?


Quick & Easy: Burrito Shell Pizza

We love our pizza around here. Loaded with veggies and just enough sauce? It’s a perfect way to round out a day. But, cooking pizza from scratch can take a long time. Ordering out isn’t always an option with our budget. And I don’t always think ahead well enough to have pre-made crusts on hand for when we really want it right now. So I started making a little short cut pizza using burrito shells. We could have our pizza within minutes, and hardly heat up the house on a hot day. I’d say it was a win for us.

photo (5)

What You Need

  • Burrito Shells
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Diced veggies of choice (we will put just about anything on ours!)
  • Cheese of Choice
  • Oil
  • Herbs

What You Do

  1. Brush shells with olive oil and sprinkle garlic salt and dried oregano (or italian seasoning) on them. Put them in the oven to warm up.
  2. Spread pasta sauce on the shell.
  3. Top with your favorite veggies. We go for just about anything we have on hand: spinach, broccoli bits, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, olives, onions and fresh tomato slices. But you can just use what you like in a pizza! Return to oven to let the veggies get tender.
  4. After the veggies are just about perfect, top with cheese of your choice. We’ve used soy cheese, nut based cheese or even crumbled, seasoned tofu as vegetarian options.
  5. Slide it onto your plate and enjoy your personal sized pizza


If you’re in a real hurry, you can start cooking the veggies in a pan on the top of the stove. This will cut down the time that they need to be in the oven and also can help keep the shell from getting too crispy!

Quick & Easy: Garbanzo Salad

I ate a bowl of garbanzo salad for lunch. For supper we had our version of fresh spring rolls. (for the third time in two weeks, I might add. Yum!)

What do these two meals have in common?

Both of them are simple, fast, and require minimal or no cooking. Those are the kinds of meals that I like to keep ingredients handy for on busy, summer days. When it is too hot to think of turning on the oven, and I’m too busy to spend much time on supper, it feels good to have some simple options that are delicious, cool, and quick!

Today I want to tell you about the first recipe in a mini series I’m starting that will tell you some of our favorite summer time menu items. Not all of them are cold, but they are all quick & easy! Some of them are simple enough that there’s no real recipe. Just a few ingredients mixed together and served!

Here’s the “recipe” for what I ate for lunch: Summer Garbanzo Salad


What You Need

  • Cooked Garbanzos
  • Fresh Tomato, diced
  • Fresh Cucumber, diced
  • Dollop of Mayo (or dressing of choice)
  • Mustard (just a tiny sneeze)
  • Fresh Parsley, minced (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

What You Do

Put everything into a bowl, season to taste. Mix and serve with lettuce or just buy itself. Yum!


Here’s another way I like serving this salad!  Before I add the veggies, I’ll sometimes lightly mash a few of the beans. Mix it up, and serve it with a little extra dressing and some finely shredded lettuce inside of a whole grain pita pocket. It’s perfect for a summer picnic!

What do some of your Quick & Easy Summertime meals consist of? I’d love to hear!

P.S Don’t miss out on this amazing Homemaking eBundle that’s on sale for just a few days. 97 eBooks for $29.97. There’s even some simple summer recipe eBooks in there!

linked up today with One Project At a Time

31 Days: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day


Since all of us kids left home, my dad has discovered a new talent. He makes the most beautiful, and tasty whole grain breads and rolls you could imagine. I am convinced that he could be a pro if he wanted to. His precision and attention to detail make him an ideal candidate for taking up baking, and it pays off with almost always perfect looking products. Growing up, I was the family baker. While I am not as concerned with following the recipe to a T as he is, the love of baking is something we share.

For the past few birthdays, he’s picked out artisan baking related items for me. This year, he and mom bought me this hefty volume called Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I’ve been itching to try it out, and it just seemed like a good day to do it. It really does only take around 5 minutes to mix it up and set it aside to do its thing. Talk about appealing on overly busy days!

I think I’m going to work my way through the book and try out as many of the recipes as I can. Perhaps I’ll report about it here as I go.



linking up with The Nesting Place with my take on October’s 31 days. This is day nine.