Simple Joy Saturday #51

Simple Joy Saturday #51

In 2019, I am posting a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. Feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments!


February 2019

Enjoyable Reads:

I kindly ask you to click the link above and review the flowchart at the beginning of the post.  It may change your life.

  • The Time Machine by H.G.Wells

I continued reading (or, more accurately, listening to) books on the 100 Books Bucket List.  Out of the 5 books I completed in February, The Time Machine is the only book that I can recommend.


Forgive me for including two grammar-related resources, but if you consider yourself a snoot (syntax nudnik of our time), you will love Garner’s hefty handbook, which cheekily explains every grammar error you could ever encounter.

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Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie with Blind Spot “Fit and Nutty”

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie with Blind Spot “Fit and Nutty”


I was originally going to save this recipe for July, and then I learned a few very important facts:

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Dorm Life: “Toasted” Pumpkin Seeds

Dorm Life: “Toasted” Pumpkin Seeds


I found myself dropping quarters into the man’s hand.  What was I thinking?  Everyone knows that quarters are a precious commodity to college students.    Well, I may have to combine some laundry loads, but at least the mini pumpkins would look festive on my counter.

They hadn’t been sitting there more than two hours before I grasped my trusty table knife and made the stab.  Surely I was out of my mind.  You use seeds from big pumpkins when you want to toast them, and you do so in an oven.  This was going to end badly.


Somehow, it worked…

“Toasted” Pumpkin Seeds


  • Fresh pumpkin seeds
  • Cinnamon to Taste


  • Press the pumpkin seeds between layers of paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Combine cinnamon and dried seeds in a sealable container and shake until the seeds are well-coated.
  • Lay pumpkin seeds n a flat layer on a microwave safe plate.
  • Microwave one minute.
  • Stir.
  • Microwave thirty seconds.
  • Stir.
  • Continue microwaving in thirty second intervals until seeds begin popping.
  • Let cool, eat, and enjoy!
Dorm Life: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Dorm Life: Mashed Sweet Potatoes


I am not quite sure what possessed me to buy a sweet potato.  Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love sweet potatoes.  I could eat them on a daily basis.  However, I live in a dorm room and eat all of my meals in a cafeteria.  I really had no need for a sweet potato.  For some reason, though, I did indeed buy a sweet potato, and it sat on top of my mini fridge for a full week.  Taunting me.  I had to make something.  I couldn’t let such a tasty food go to waste.  What could I do?

After 168 full hours of not touching the potato, I knew that something had to be done.  I washed the potato, pulled out my college cooking utensils, and set to work.

Let me just mention that a butter knife does not cut a raw sweet potato very easily.  I eventually resorted to stabbing the potato, twisting the knife, and breaking the potato with my hands.  It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.  I boiled the cubes in my hot pot, mashed them with a fork, and stirred in cinnamon and almond milk for flavor and creaminess.  Delicious!

Simple Mashed Sweet Potatoes


  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 tbs. milk
  • cinnamon to taste


  • Boil cubed sweet potato until completely cooked.  I consider the potato cooked when I can easily mash it with a fork.
  • Drain.
  • Transfer potato cubes to a plate and mash with a fork.
  • Transfer to bowl.  Stir in milk and cinnamon.
  • Eat and enjoy!
Paleo Problems and Sweet Potato Patties

Paleo Problems and Sweet Potato Patties


I’ve noticed a lot of people out in blogger’s world advocating the Paleo diet.  They make it sound great–let’s eat like cavemen–and their pages have some pretty yummy recipes.  Since I know I could never be a strict Paleo (no oatmeal? no yogurt? no black beans? forget it!), I decided to see if I could even make it a day.

For breakfast, I cooked some eggs.  So far so good…then I topped them with corn salsa.  Strike one.

          – That’s okay.  It’s only one meal.  I will do better the rest of the day.

My mid-morning snack was peanuts.  Strike two.

          – Alright. Third time is the charm.  Lunch will be perfect.

I found a recipe for sweet potato patties, made some modifications to keep it both Paleo and tasty, and set to work. After some cooking and photographing, I devoured two delicious sweet potato patties…topped with cottage cheese.  Strike three.  I’m out.

More power to ya’, cavemen.  For now, I will keep eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon.

Paleo (or not) Sweet Potato Patties


  • 1 cup shredded sweet potato
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbs. almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • honey to taste (if you have also given up the Paleo way of life 🙂 )


  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  • Shape mixture into two patties
  • Heat a medium skillet over high heat and place patties in the pan
  • Cook for a few minutes on each side until the patties are golden brown
  • Remove from pan, eat, and be thankful that we are not cave people
Muffintop Makeover

Muffintop Makeover


I have loved baking for as long as I can remember, probably because I have always loved dessert.  When I found this recipe from the Fit Bald Man, I was intrigued.  I made a few alterations based on my preferences and fell in love with these muffintop friendly muffintops. 🙂

Peanut Butter Filled Muffintops


  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (more or less to taste–I used more because I am OBSESSED with this metabolism-boosting spice)
  • 4 TBS oatmeal
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 12 tsp peanut butter (or other nut butter)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mash the bananas.
  • Mix in the eggs, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon.
  • In a food processor, grind the oatmeal to a powder.  Stir oatmeal into other mixture.
  • Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non stick cooking spray. Pour batter evenly into all 12 tins.
  • Place one teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each tin.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until thoroughly cooked and golden brown.  Remove and let cool.
  • Scoop out, eat, enjoy, and tell me about your success!