Confidence Can Cook :: are you ready for some footballlllll?



I am delighted to share another amazing recipe that my friend Ellen has gathered, tested, photographed (& hopefully enjoyed) with you all! Please, take it away Ellen!

During the Fall season, I always find myself craving yummy comfort food. I think it’s a combination of the cooler weather and football watching that happens in our house. While not all of these foods are always healthy, I do try my best to find some that are. ūüôā These turkey meatball subs are just that, healthy, but still full of excellent flavor. I think it’s the addition of the wine and balsamic vinegar to the sauce that really made these stand out. While eating them, we just kept saying how good they were! My two little ones loved the meatballs too, which is always a bonus in my book! If you are looking to skip out on the bread, these meatballs would also be great served with pasta or spaghetti squash. I think they would still bind together well without the bread mixed in, because of the egg white. Go ahead and give these a try, I promise you will love them!




Turkey Meatball Subs
  • Sub buns
  • 3 tablespoons¬†fat-free milk (I had to use a little more than this.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1 lb.¬†ground turkey breast
  • 1¬†large egg white
  • 4 teaspoons¬†olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup¬†chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon¬†minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup¬†dry white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups¬†lower-sodium marinara sauce¬†(I happen to think Delallo is the best store bought brand.)
  • 1/4 cup¬†chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon¬†balsamic vinegar


  1. 1. Preheat broiler.
  2. 2. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Place torn bread from 2 of the buns in a large bowl. Add milk, stirring with a fork until smooth. Add oregano, salt, turkey, and egg white to bread mixture, stirring just until combined. Working with damp hands, shape turkey mixture into 12-16 meatballs.
  3. 3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in marinara, basil, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until meatballs are done.
  4. 4. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet; broil 1 minute or until toasted. Top bottom half of each roll with 3 meatballs, about 1/3 cup sauce, and sliced cheese of your choice. We used mozzarella. I broiled the sub open faced after I put the meatballs and cheese on.

Source: Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, Cooking Light


Thanks so much Ellen! I can’t wait to try these out with my meatball loving fam! ūüôā (I may sneak a few pre-meal taste tests too!)

If you loved this recipe, please show Ellen some love in the comments! I love when Ellen cooks, because it is always from her heart, and that is what this space is all about.

Happy Fall Comfort Food Eating!



confidence can:: laugh. aka: that one time i tried to “do a photoshoot for an outfit post”


hilariously not a fashion blogger.

hilariously not a fashion blogger.

first off, i am faboosh, whether the camera tells me that or not. ¬†(a little confidence can, if you will). ūüôā

this is a dark mistake of a picture of my living room.  it is just the tip of the iceberg that will blow your mind about the upcoming "fashion" post.

this is a dark blurry mistake of a picture of my living room. it is just the tip of the iceberg that will blow your mind about the upcoming “fashion” post.


um…how do fashion bloggers do it? there is a super popular series, well, i’m sure that there are many, many series devoted to this, but i know of what i wore wednesday, by the pleated poppy.

okay. i am not a fashion blogger. in fact, i am not what anyone may call fashionable (at least to the point that someone would ever wear what i wear together, as i wear it). but, instead of cleaning the fridge, grocery shopping, and cleaning my car, i thought i might try something different on this little space. for laughs, if you will.

now, in order to get a good look at what a fashion post is supposed to look like, i suggest my favorites here:

casey from the wiegands

lindsey from the pleated poppy

elsie & emma from a beautiful mess

mary from trusty chucks

carly from this is my story

okay, so do you see a pattern? they all look faboosh, they all have the “i’m cool, without trying to look cool” looks down, they inspire you to dress a little more put together.

umm, thanks instagram for editing out my sweaty, uneven makeup-ed forehead...oh wait...

umm, thanks instagram for editing out my sweaty, uneven makeup-ed forehead…oh wait… :0)

here are my takes:

(also, let it be known that i actually attempted to take some with my digital camera, and a leftover tripod from one of ar’s old christmas gifts a few years back, and then the camera died. and i have NO idea where the cables are to recharge it – this is already turning out great for a fashion shoot).

maybe if i make a funny face, no one will notice that i don't know what i'm doing?

maybe if i make a funny face, no one will notice that i don’t know what i’m doing?

and next up, we have the accessories “close up” shot, that so many before me have perfected:

a little too dark, and also, my hand looks like a limp duck neck.

a little too dark, and also, my hand looks like a plump, weird duck or something.

and next up, we have the “look at my pedicure/manicure that is so cute!” shot that i failed on epic proportions at:

one foot wonder.

one foot wonder.

and then, both feet:

please do not pay close attention to the details of this pedicure.  a 3 year old could have done a better job.

please do not pay close attention to the details of this pedicure. a 3 year old could have done a better job.

and then, you will not even know how to contain your jealousy at the next shot…

wait for it…


i like to call this one fashion dancer.

i like to call this one fashion dancer.

semi normal shot of the side of my head/my scrappy fabric headband thing.

semi normal shot of the side of my head/my scrappy fabric headband thing.

there were a few that i liked, but, alas, i am not a fashion blogger, unless wrists are what you are after:

boom. blew. your. mind.

boom. blew. your. mind.

so all in all, i think i will leave it to the pros, and just keep using pictures of other people, and nature. and gus the guinea pig.  because i am not afraid to say i am bad at something.

fashion blogging is something i am bad at. also, please don’t take this as me making fun of people that can do these. ¬†i am jealous, and also want folks out there to know that the ones that look awesome, who have rad edited photos, and can look cute while doing it all? ¬†kudos to you, and this stuff is hard, and takes so much time!!! my headband is off to you.

have a lovely day my friends, and i hope this post at least made you laugh. ps. my watch is from tarjay. it is this one.


pleated poppy

confidence can:: vitaminia confidencia


do you know what you need sometimes? a boost. of vitamin c? of vitamin d?

of vitamina confidencia. i tell you, it will change you.

¬†i don’t like my pictures taken. i don’t think i’m the only one out there with this issue.

i never have, and i’m trying to change, so that one day, i will have pictures that i can browse and peruse, and tell stories from.

so, what did i do to get a dose of vitamina confidencia? had a photo shoot with my sister colleen, and her wicked awesome photo skills.

my advice for upping that ante for gaining some confidence?

have FUN with it. i am going to attempt to publish this post without making fun of my chin, or my pale, pale skin. ūüôā

tip:: ¬†accessorize! ¬†whether it’s with a fun hairstyle, or a favorite belt or necklace, pick something that makes you smile.

jewelry 2

pick out a few pieces that you love, in fact, if you really want to have some fun…take the time to lay out all of your baubles and lovely pieces, so you can look through them! ¬†and if accessories are not your thing, then go to town with your clothes choices…i am more of an accessories girl – because let’s be honest, they always fit – so i chose to go with the jewelry route.

earring splay

i’m telling you, nothing gets me more perked up than a good bracelet, or a rocking pair of earrings. ¬†and, i’m guessing, if you are anything like me, then that splash of color, or small sparkle will leave YOU sparkling. ¬†ūüôā

let go bracelet

so after you pick out a few things, dazzle yourself with some awesome pieces (you can get fun, funky jewelry that is handmade and affordable on etsy, or big cartel!), then, try to relax…

crazy hands

silly smile


¬†¬† you may even realize that you are beginning to have fun… and, you may just share a giggle or two along the way.

but the most important thing?

that you begin to really see yourself the way that others see you…silly, full of color, and lively. ¬†because, my dears, you are ALIVE! ¬†so, why shouldn’t we embrace that?

best colorsee? ¬†no pale skin/chin jokes … and even though i believe that confidence is extremely important, health is supposed to be total, and not just emotional. i believe in being healthy, and have been working on getting fit. we need to realize that our health and our beauty go hand in hand with our confidence and self esteem!

i call it the confidence can creed:

i, (fill in your lovely moniker here) will not put my looks down. ¬†i WILL celebrate this life I’ve been given with full vigor and passion. ¬†i will realize that what i fill my mind and body with, will be a TRUE reflection of how i feel. ¬†I will no longer judge my day based upon the scale, or if i need to have ¬†a piece of chocolate. or whether my outfit cost $1,000 or is a hand-me-down.

BUT:  I will celebrate my healthy goal milestones. I will embrace my quirks.  I will acknowledge and celebrate my hair, my mind, my booty, my freckles.

 I will make sure to make my health a priority, in whatever way that is important to me,

so I can spread my lovely joy to those whose paths I cross once or daily.

Because, I am beautiful. ¬†And it’s about freaking time I realized it!

God made me this way, and I will celebrate it (and accessorize til the guinea pigs come home)!


Confidence Can :: Cook!


One of the many things I need help with is cooking!¬† I have a few foodie friends who I am always asking for new and delicious recipes, and my lovely friend Ellen S. was gracious enough to be the first contributor to the Confidence Can series.¬† YAHOOSKI!¬† I couldn’t be more blessed or proud to be this sweet lady’s friend, and cheer on our Spartans together, so please enjoy her contribution!¬† Thanks Ellen.¬† ūüôā

Soup’s On!

Around my house whenever dinner is ready we say “Soup’s On!” using a voice that we do our best to make sound like my Father in-law’s. This is how he lets the family know it’s time to eat and now we are continuing this tradition at my house too. In this case it was actually soup that was being served.

It’s winter in Michigan so let’s just say it was an easy decision to try out this Pioneer Woman soup recipe. As soon as I spotted this Italian Chicken Soup on Pinterest, I knew it was the next new recipe I wanted to try. Let me tell you that I am SO.VERY.HAPPY. I did. This recipe was easy to make and it also fed my family for 4 days. Being a full time, working mom, knowing that I had this awesome soup waiting for us in the fridge for dinner this week gave me much excitement. Some may call me lame, but seriously, having a good hearty meal that you can reheat in a few minutes for 4 straight nights equals gold to me. And no, we didn’t get tired of eating it 4 days in a row! It’s that good. Do yourself a favor and add it to your list of recipes to try SOON.

Italian Chicken Soup
*original recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. Recipe below has been adapted by me.

Ingredients you will need:

16 oz. Ditalini Pasta (short macaroni noodles) I found them in the DeLallo brand.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (used to coat noodles after cooking them)
3 Chicken Breasts
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Diced
2 stalks Celery, Diced
2 whole Fresh Jalapenos, Diced (Remove seeds) Don’t worry the soup wasn’t too spicy at all!
1 small can of diced green chiles
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (used to sauté vegetables)
1 can (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes, Diced. ( Keep the juice because this is added into the soup.)
2 cups Heavy Cream ( could substitute fat free half n half for healthier version.)
5 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Oregano
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (used to sauté Oregano)
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Parmesan Cheese Shavings, For Serving

Cooking Instructions

Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions, being sure not to overcook it. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.


Place chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for another 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred meat. Return shredded chicken back into the broth and set aside until later.

Dice canned tomatoes and return them to their juice. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet with the 2TBL of olive oil over medium high heat. Add oregano. Stir the oregano around for about a minute over heat to avoid burning. Turn off heat and let oregano sit until you are ready to add to soup.

In a large pot sauté onion, peppers, celery, and jalapenos in olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.


Add chicken broth, shredded chicken, green chiles, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring this to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, cream, and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Add salt and pepper as needed to satisfy your tastebuds. Stir and heat mixture on low until it is hot again.

Serve with lots of Parmesan sprinkled on the top, or whatever kind of cheese you like. I also topped ours with fresh croutons from my favorite local bakery. Enjoy!!


I am now drooling, and know what I’ll be making this week!¬† Thanks so much Ellen.¬†¬† Now go out there and be confident in your cooking people!¬† Soup’s On!

Confidence Can :: The Beginning

There are things that I’m not great at.¬† Surprised?¬† Ha!¬† You know, I thought the gig was up.¬† ūüôā¬† Cleaning, cooking, and organization are a few of these things. Exercising and knowing when to be quiet are a few more. But one of my biggest weaknesses?


Just plain old, nothing fancy, confidence.

Smiling big, walking tall, hair blowing in the wind like Cindy Crawford on a photoshoot (well I don’t want to be her, but you get my drift).

The end of 2012 was a whirlwind of holidays, eating too rich of foods, worrying about rushing, and then, miraculously, realizing that I didn’t have to.¬† Not if I had confidence.¬† Not if I could proudly make a decision and be CONFIDENT in it.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

I had this scripture written on my blackboard in my kitchen for about the last 3 months.  But, I did not know how to apply it to my life.

Non traditional families bring more planning, less structure sometimes.

Long commutes bring stress and anger.

Figuring a budget and sticking to it takes hard work, and determination.

Making sure that I don’t look like a bag lady when going to work takes patience and a Reese Witherspoon budget.

Right?¬† Well, at least some of that stuff is true.¬† (Although if Reese wanted to throw a few bucks my way, I wouldn’t be mad).

And I need to work on my confidence in ALL OF THESE THINGS?  YIKES!

But, instead of being overwhelmed, I decided to go to some of my closest friends and confidants.¬† And, pick their brains about their strengths, so that we can share it here with you and learn some stuff to help all of us.¬† Sound like a plan?¬† There won’t be tests at the end, but perhaps I will have gained confidence to inspire, give back, and give away something that will surely boost your confidence!


I proudly introduce to you, my new series, Confidence Can.¬† There will be several categories, from my dear friends, who all have different passions and strengths, and are willing to freely help me with this endeavor.¬† I can’t wait for everyone to gain some confidence, and truly know that this is going to be the best year yet!¬†