Temecula Gets Gardening

Temecula Gets Gardening

Vlada’s Seeds of Life, a non-profit, Golden Valley Seed, and Robert H. Roberts Temecula Public Library have teamed up to offer the public free vegetable, herbs and fruit seeds in the month of April. You can get your hands on free seeds, while supply lasts by visiting the Temecula Public Library at 30600 Pauba Road, Temecula

Vlada is passionate about individuals and business coming together for the benefit of others and she is doing just that by bringing these organizations together to make a difference in the community. On her first visit to drop off seeds that were donated by Golden Valley Seed, she found many eager young kids excited about the seeds and very eager to take them home to plant their own vegetable gardens. This project is not just about seeds and gardening, it’s about the community coming together to make a difference. It’s about encouraging strong families ties by providing an activity that the families can do together and its about reaping the the rewards that come from working together and most importantly, it’s about families coming to the dining table to share a meal together.


Hearty Stuffed Peppers

Hearty Stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers is a dish found in many cuisines, particularly in Spanish cuisine, and it’s also a very common in Serbian Dish as well.  I grew up on a farm in Serbia and our garden was abundant with all the vegetables that go into making stuffed peppers.  Add some meat to this dish and you have a hearty meal. 

You can make a vegetarian version of this dish or substitute any kind of ground meat as well as incorporate your favorite vegetables.  Get creative and add raisins or pine nuts to the mixture. 

Traditionally, a sauce was also made for the stuffed peppers, but you can use your favorite pasta sauce in this recipe

  • 1 Cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1 Cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 Grated zucchini
  • 5 Large mushrooms
  • 2.5 lbs Ground Turkey, or Ground beef or pork
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup of rice
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • 10 Large bell peppers (green, red, orange or yellow)
  • 1  Jar of Pasta Sauce

Cook 1 cup of rice and set aside.  Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté onion, celery and carrots and mushrooms.  After a few minutes add the zucchini.  Add the meat and cook until meat is  done.  Remove meat mixture from heat.  Add salt and pepper, 1 cup of cooked rice and 2 eggs
Incorporate fresh parsley and garlic

Stuff Peppers

Half the peppers or keep them whole. Remove the top stem, seeds and membrane from peppers making sure to leave the lip on the pepper so the mixture stays in the pepper.   Stuff the peppers with the mixture being careful not to overstuff the peppers, you’ll need to leave a little extra space for the rice to expand.  Place the peppers in a roasting pan and add the pasta sauce and enough water to cover the peppers only 1/4 of the way.

In a 350 degree preheated oven bake stuffed peppers for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender.


How to stretch your food investment: Vlada’s tips for organizing your refrigerator

It’s a good idea to organize and clean out your refrigerator about once a month.  Vlada did just that with a class at Rancho Damacitas for single moms.  Rancho Damacitas is a foster home in Temecula, California helping to serve struggling single mothers with young children through the Empowerment Village Program.  The class that Vlada held at Rancho Damacitas helped shed light on the importance of not letting food go to waste and making the most of your grocery investment.   Vlada believes It’s important to avoid food waste and it’s especially important when you are on a tight budget and want to make your dollars stretch.

By cleaning out your fridge regularly you take an inventory of what you have and organize food by how perishable it is.   

Here are some of Vlada’s favorite tips to making the most of your groceries and and organizing your refrigerator:

  1. Organize and take an inventory of your refrigerator regularly so you know what you have.
  2. Place highly perishable items together and at eye level so you are sure to use those first.
  3. Place sweet treats and unopened prepackaged items in the back of the refrigerator.  You don’t want to be tempted to use those first since they can sit in the refrigerator longer
  4. Place Dairy, milk and cheese on their own shelf.  Re-wrap opened cheese packages to help them stay fresh longer
  5.  Place meats or foods that have a long shelf life, especially if heavily processed or in unopened packages, on the bottom shelf.

While cleaning out your fridge, this is a great time to plan and cook your dinner from items that are about to expire.  When you are done, you’ll not only have a clean refrigerator but you will also have dinner on the table  from items in your refrigerator that might have otherwise been tossed in the trash, and that’s money saved.


Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake {kid-friendly, homemade}

Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I’m excited to share one of my daughter’s favorite cake recipes.  This easy cake recipe is great if you are new to baking with your kids, or looking for a recipe your child can try on their own or,  you just want a quick easy dessert for guests. This Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake is perfect for the job.  Baking a cake doesn’t get any easier than this.   With just  a few ingredients you probably already have in you kitchen, you are guaranteed success and a fun time baking with your kids and a cake made completely from scratch with no artificial ingredients.  I made this cake with fresh pineapple but feel free to substitute canned pineapple.   I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do. 


8 eggs

8 tablespoon sugar + 1 cup brown sugar 

8 tablespoon flour 

1 1/2 stick butter 

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup flour 

1 fresh ripe pineapple ( or canned pineapple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Separate 8 eggs whites from egg yolks
  2. In a 12” oven proof skillet or pan, melt sugar and butter under medium flame
  3. Peal and cut fresh pineapple (I recommend fresh pineapple, but you may use canned pineapple) and arrange slices on top of melted butter and sugar mixture
  4. For the cake mix, in a mixing bowl whip 8 egg whites and gradually add 8 Tablespoons of sugar
  5. Once well mixed add 8 egg yolks
  6. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of flour into the egg mixture and gradually add 1/4 of milk and 1/4 cup of oil and pour over the pineapple mixture and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Let cake cool for about 15 minutes, run knife around edge of cake then carefully invert into a platter.




Homemade Caramel

The best caramel you will ever taste is only minutes away!

1 c. sugar
12 oz. evaporated milk
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
Pinch of salt



Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Pumpkin pie is one of our favorite pies, especially if it is made from scratch, as this recipe is. This makes 2 pies.

4 c. cubed baked pumpkin
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground clove
1/2 tsp. real (pure) vanilla
12 oz.  evaporated milk
2 pie shells


Homemade Cheese

This time-tested way of making cheese requires nothing more than milk itself and a little bit of time. Try it and if you like it,  why not share the recipe with your kids and friends? All you need is one gallon of 2 % milk. To learn how wonderfully easy it is, just watch the video. 



Stuffed Cabbage

Throughout my childhood I  watched my mother and grandmother prepare this traditional dish. I feel very happy to share recipe with you! 

To start, we’ll need 30-35 pickled cabbage leaves. To learn how easy it is to make them click here:

10 slices smoked bacon
1 c. olive oil
1 large onion
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
3 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
1 c. pearl rice
Salt & pepper per taste

1/2 c. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
8 oz. tomato sauce
4 c. water
Pinch of salt & black pepper
Pinch of sugar

The directions are easy to follow, but if you need a little help just send me a note on my Contact page, and I will be glad to help.

Cooking and Kids 2763


Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

For years I have been enjoying making different sauces using Rinaldi pasta sauce, and this is just one of my favorites!

1/2 c. olive oil

1 med. onion

2 stalks celery

1 med. eggplant

6 sweet Italian sausage links

1 zucchini

1 medium to large carrot

1 jar Rinaldi spaghetti sauce (24 oz.)

Fresh basil



Srpski Bozic i Miki rodjen. 244