Appetizers,  Dinner,  Turkey

For my mother, with love and hugs

My name is Gina and I am the daughter of the ever so famous Spicegirlfla!  For a special treat for my mom I decided to create my own post in dedication to her.  Since she is in the process of moving our  family to Atlanta she has not been able to post for quite awhile.  I know how much she is missing her blog, riding her bike and being away from those she was close to in Florida.  My mom needs to feel settled and right now her whole world has changed.  She’s been looking and looking for a place to live that will feel just right for her.  In the meantime, as she commented already, she is in temporary housing and all her belongings are in storage.  I just can’t imagine her living without her cookbooks and food processor!

With the help of my fabulous photographer, Michelle, we created what I believe will be one of her best posts yet. 🙂  I do hope that makes her smile as she’s been a bit sad.  Virtual hugs from any of her readers would certainly help too!

Since moving to college I have become extremely interested in cooking healthy  (and inexpensive) meals for my roommate and me.  I am constantly searching through food and fashion blogs looking for inspiration.   I had an entire fridge filled with food that needed to be consumed before my first trip to Atlanta.  I searched through tons of food blogs to find the perfect recipe to make and I stumbled onto a healthy recipe for stuffed peppers. I had never prepared this dish so it intrigued me even more! These are insanely simple to make and probably one of the most delicious meals I have made thus far.

Stuffed Peppers

Adapted from

  • 4 green bell peppers, tops removed, seeded
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Wrap the green bell peppers in aluminum foil, and place in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from heat. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the turkey until evenly brown. Set aside. Heat oil in the skillet, and cook onion, mushrooms, zucchini, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and spinach until tender. Return turkey to the skillet. Mix in the tomatoes and tomato paste, and season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stuff the green peppers with the skillet mixture. Return peppers to the oven, and continue cooking 15 minutes.

My new temporary roommate and photographer, Michelle, was craving mozzarella sticks. Being broke college students and just beginning our intense summer workout schedule, I scoured the internet looking for the best mozzarella stick recipe. This was our end result:

Baked Mozzarello Sticks

Adapted from

  • 12 sticks of string cheese in your choice of cheese, go for the low sodium kind if you want to be extra healthy
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 5 tbsp of bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil, or cooking spray

Cut the cheese sticks in half, making 24 slices, then freeze the slices in the freezer until completely frozen.  Beat the egg in a small bowl. Use a separate bowl to combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  To bread the cheese sticks: First dip the frozen cheese stick into the flour, then into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture.  Once all of the 24 sticks are coated, place them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil coated with a few drops of olive oil or sprayed with cooking spray (this will keep cleanup to a minimum, and keep the sticks from sticking!)   Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes, or until crisp. They need to be watched closely so they don’t melt completely!

Thank you for supporting my mother’s blog and sending her your love!

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


  • SallyBR

    As someone who is about to move after living in a place for almost 20 years, I can relate to what is going on with your Mom. Life is so busy, that I didn’t quite “compute” how long it’s been since she posted, and getting the email notifying me of a new article, immediately put a smile on my face

    Then, I saw you, Gina, and WOW! I’ve never had kids of my own, but I gotta say if I had, I wish a daughter would do that for me…. pretty awesome, special, heart warming

    I wish Linda all the best in this new phase, things can get pretty tricky and we feel as if sitting in a roller coaster waiting for the big drop, but… it all works out, so hang in there, and get a very warm hug from me…

    • spicegirlfla

      I am so very touched by this! I woke to seeing everyone’s warm comments and it has definitely turned my spirits around!! Thank you Sally for your wise words of encouragement; I really do feel like I’m right on top of that roller coaster and any day now it will drop! And it will be a great experience!! And, my very best to you on your upcoming move. I had not expected this move to be so challenging for me; I did a major relo 10 years ago so much easier (or maybe I just forgot the stress and just remember the good!)

  • Lisa

    Hi Gina! What a special treat! Y our mom is always mentioning you in her posts and now we get a chance to read one of your posts, let alone a really super yummy recipe. I bet this made your mom’s heart smile, I know it made mine! 🙂

    I wish your mom the BEST!We Miss You Linda ! Virtual hugs from me and my crazy boys. 🙂

    • spicegirlfla

      Hi Lisa…I miss you all so much! Sadly, I’ve not been able to even read any other blogs so I’m really missing all thats going on in your family too!! So you see from my little girl who filled my years of raising her with lots of drama, she touched my heart with this post and showed me how she can really care about others! We would always laugh about how her life was “all about me”….I think she actually had a t-shirt with that saying!!

  • David

    Well Done! Great comfort food and wonderful pictures. You mother must be proud, and what a lovely tribute to her~! Linda, you done good! Hope all settles out soon and you are back with us shortly.

    • spicegirlfla

      Hi David, I know you have girls too and so I’m sure you can relate to how special this was that Gina did this for me. Girls love to take, take, take (with a smile that makes you want to give and give) so to see her turn around and give right back in a way that she knew would make me smile and feel so loved, is truly awesome!!

  • Kristy

    Oh Gina! I can just picture your mom beaming as she read this! I’ve been in her shoes before and know how tough these kind of adjustments can be, but knowing what I know of your mom she’ll be through this and back on her game in no time! Gina you are a treasure to honor your mom in such a thoughtful way. And Linda, know that I’m thinking of you and sending lots of good vibes your way! Hugs!!!!

    • spicegirlfla

      I am sooo beaming with this post Kristy! It has made me realize too that even though I’ve been unable to post, I’ve been missing the connection I had with you and so many others through reading your posts. And we may all live so many miles about, this virutal connection of caring and throughtfulness has made me feel soo good this early Sunday morning!!

    • spicegirlfla

      I want them too! When she came to visit me she mentioned these mozzarello sticks but we didn’t have an chance to make them. Either she comes to visit me again REAL SOON or I’ll just have to make these for myself!! The peppers too!!

    • spicegirlfla

      It’s funny though Greg that Gina NEVER wanted to come in the kitchen with me! She was way too busy and could never be bothered. Gina was definitely not a Miss A. So to see her cook and be more “like me” , in her own way, is so very wonderful!

  • ChgoJohn

    Way to go, Gina! A warm and caring writing style, great recipes, and beautiful photography. You are your Mother’s daughter, no doubt about it. Send her our best wishes.

    • spicegirlfla

      Wasn’t this just so sweet! Her photos too caught my attention for sure!! I’m so very blessed and happy to have her do this, as well as seeing all these caring comments with so much best wishes! How can I possibly not have a great day and a great outlook for the future with all this love!!

  • Choc Chip Uru

    Hi Gina, it is so nice to meet you 🙂
    This post idea is such a sweet and wonderful idea and I am sure must have cheered up your mum no doubt – you are very kind 🙂
    I am giving many virtual hugs to you both and wishing your mum the best for the move!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • spicegirlfla

      Awww….thanks for the hugs and wishes Choc Chip!! You’re an incredibly, talented and thoughtful young girl too and I so appreciate your always following along on my post. I just realized I must check to see what yummy treats you have been making….your desserts are always so killer good!!

    • spicegirlfla

      Lol….I love that Maureen…I do hope I land on my cooking feel very soon!!! While I have been cooking every day for my son, it’s not the same as doing so for my blog with the excitement of posting something new and writing up a story. My heart just hasn’t been there. But I do know it will be coming back very soon and I’ll be cooking and happy in my new home!!

  • Karen Shiebler

    As the Mom of three grown kids who can all cook…..I say, Bravo!! Both dishes look fantastic, and I can tell you from personal experience that any young person who can cook will never lack for a place to live or a horde of friends to feed!
    Your Mom must be so touched and so proud of you!
    Please tell her that we miss her, and we wish her all the best in her new endeavors!

    • spicegirlfla

      Yes, you’re right about that – with Gina knowing how to cook, her friends sure know where to go! Plus, now you can visit your children and have them cook for you….to that I say Bravo!! I am so touched and proud of her for doing this. This has definitely made my day and given me an excitement to get my life back together Soon!!

  • Barb Bamber

    I think nothing warms a mom’s heart more than seeing her daughter following in her footsteps.. I think you will need your own blog soon, Gina! Linda.. it’s been forever and a day and we’ve all missed you.. I will pray that your move happens much faster after this “lucky” blog post and that you’ve settled in and are happy in your new home real soon:) xo Smidge
    ps.. cheese strings sticks.. awesome!!

    • spicegirlfla

      Thanks Barb! Gina has certainly warmed my heart and lifted my spirits in doing this! And I have missed all of you so much! Your blog has always made me feel so good, your photography, poetry and lovely recipes. I hope my “home to be” will be warm and welcoming as yours!!

  • Judy@Savoring Today

    When I saw the post in my inbox this morning, I was so excited to touch base with Linda again. What a sweet surprise to see this thoughtful note and recipe from Gina! Definitely, her mother’s daughter. 🙂 It made me smile as I am sure it touched your heart deeply for your daughter to reach out in such a special way (tissues anyone?).
    Please let Gina know she did a superb job with this recipe and kudos to Michelle for the photos–well done!
    I do miss see your posts, Linda, and I pray this is a short season of feeling displaced for you. As women, our heart is to settle and nest, create a home, a haven. It will be so. One day. Soon.
    And we will welcome your posts, connect, and enjoy your recipes from a new place.

    • spicegirlfla

      Judy, thank you so much for your kind, supportive and understanding comment. I think alot of mothers can relate to the feeling I got when Gina posted this. Her caring and thoughtfulness truly lifted my spirits and warmed my heart!
      I’m trying to keep myself positive and learn through this experience. They do say we grow the most from our difficulties! I’m about ready to stop “growing” and get settled again! 🙂 It will happen soon, I do believe!

  • pat grace

    so glad you did this for your mom….i am certain she is grinning ear to ear, loving you and proud of you! i REALLY. love the healthier recipes you posted and can’t wait to try them! thanks and will keep that perfect place in prayer for your mom!

    • spicegirlfla

      I keep telling Gina she must read all these wonderful comments she is getting!! Thanks Pat for stopping by! I agree, I can’t wait to try her recipe too! Imagine that, my little girl is now giving me recipes!!

  • Chica Andaluza

    What a lovely post Gina and I bet Linda is really proud of you! We miss you Linda but understand that you need to get settled first, everything else can wait, we´ll still be here.

    • spicegirlfla

      Thanks Tanya, I do miss you too! I could see myself relaxing over at your home…a glass of wine and one of your fabulous dishes! Just the thought of that brought a smile to my face…too bad we live so far!

  • Courtney

    Awwww, what a great daughter you are! Speaks to the greatness of your mom, too. 🙂 Lovely post and here’s sending some virtual hugs to Linda – hope you get yourself settled in sooner than later. Glad to see a post and know things are going okay. 🙂

  • Kitchen Belleicious

    what a wonderful, beautiful post dedicated to your mom! I love the stuffed peppers (who doesn’t love stuffed anything especially with sausage). Love hearing a little more about you. you and your mom rock and are both so talented!

  • Kathy

    Gina, You are such a wonderful daughter and your mother has to be so proud of you! Your stuffed peppers look scrumptious! Linda…sending you lots of hugs…I know how hard a move can be! Stressful doesn’t even scratch the service! My son lives in the Atlanta area…I’m sure when you are settled you will enjoy it quite a bit! Wishing you all good things!

  • Charles

    Aaah Linda, we miss you, but how kind of you Gina to post in your mother’s stead as she’s so busy right now!

    I see you are no stranger to the kitchen like your mother (but can you make such fantastic biscotti?) – these look fantastic, though don’t show me the mozzarella sticks… I have a bit of a weakness for anything involving melted cheese, lol 😀

    Take care both of you – thanks for this post today, I hope everything is going well 🙂

  • Caroline

    Hi Gina! That is so sweet of you to help your momma out. These peppers look fabulous! Linda–we miss you ! I can’t even imagine how stressed you are right now with the move, and I’m sure you miss your kitchen. What part of Atlanta are you moving to? My brother moved there not too long ago and absolutely loves it!

  • Granny's Parlour

    I had not been here in a little while (so hard to keep up sometimes) and am so glad I stopped by. What a great kid (not quite a kid anymore, but to a mom she is)! Gina, you are a gem. Though I got here late, I thought this was a reminder that one does not require an official occasion in order to honor mom. Also, it is not every day that you come across an article that honors mom with a picture of a scrumptious green pepper dish. I instantly liked the idea. Mothers provide nourishment in so many forms. What better token of appreciation than to cook a meal and write about it, in the spirit of mom and the activities she herself values so much.

  • Geni

    What a beautiful post Gina. As moms we work so hard to raise our kids so that they grow up to be happy, caring adults and obviously you are doing that! She must be very proud. The stuffed peppers look crazy delicious.

    Linda, please know you have LOTS of HUGE virtual hugs from me. I hope that you find the place that seems “you” so that you can go back to doing the things you love…like cooking! Moving to another state must just be a total culture shock…like the ground has been pulled out from under you. Please take care and know that at some point, it will all seem normal and you’ll be settled in. It just might take a little while. Take care!!!!

  • betsyb

    What a lovely tribute from your daughter, Linda. I know you are so proud of her. I hope all is starting to smooth out for you here in Atlanta. I miss reading your posts. But of course the three top most stressful thing in life are divorce, death and moving…and not necessarily in that order. Hang in there and I’ll look forward to the time when you’re settled and back with us in the blogosphere.

  • Hotly Spiced

    I’ve been missing your mother’s blog and that is so lovely of you to post for her. Your stuffed capsicums look very good indeed. I do hope your mother is able to settle into her new life in Atlanta and that all works well for her. Friends of ours left Australia many years ago to start a church in Atlanta. It’s called C3 Atlanta. I think they have three of them. It seems you can have a wonderful lifestyle in Atlanta and I hope that is the case for your lovely mum xx

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