Salad Nachos

Adding healthy ingredients takes a snack to a meal

Lunch on Sundays at SuzerSpace is just about always nachos. Good on rainy days, good on sunny days. They pair well with sports, or crafts, or even chores.

You can’t really go wrong with melty cheese and chips, and anything else you add is bonus.

Because I top these with arugula and southwestern salad dressing, I call them “Salad Nachos” and then I feel less guilty about them. Although as long as you keep the fatty items off, and be tight on portion control, nachos don’t necessarily have to be on the bad list anyway.

A quick word about my feature photo – this isn’t a food blog, so I’m showing them exactly how we eat them. I lift them off the baking sheet by the foil, and then wrap that foil around the serving plate.

Classy? Not really. Easy cleanup? You betcha 🙂


Salad Nachos

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2


  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Black Beans rinsed and drained
  • Salsa
  • Arugula
  • Southwestern Style Ranch Salad Dressing


  1. Line a small baking pan with foil
  2. Place a single layer of chips on the foil, keeping them close together so very little foil shows through.
  3. Add a light layer of black beans, and top that with salsa.
  4. Sprinkle with shredded cheese evenly so everything gets a little.
  5. Place this dish in a cold oven, and turn oven to Bake, 350 degrees. *See first note below
  6. Bake until oven hits preheated temperature, switch to broil. *See second note below.
  7. Remove from oven when cheese and chips are browned and crispy.
  8. Top generously with arugula, sparingly with Southwestern style ranch dressing.

Recipe Notes

  1. I call this cooking method "Two-Stage" cooking, which is I'm using the pre-heating of the oven to warm all the ingredients and then switching over to broil to blast them at the last second. I find if I just broil the nachos, the tops are good, but the beans are cold.
  2. When the nachos are in the first stage of cooking, you've got freedom to do something else, since the oven will beep (or in our case play a song) when it's at 350 degrees. However, when you switch to broil, DO NOT LEAVE the oven, not even for a second. These go from "almost there" to carbon in as long as it takes you to look up that just one more thing on the computer.


Show and Tell: Paper Swallows

A craft I tried from another website

Three dimensional paper projects are high on my list of fun things to make. Often I don’t even have an intended use for them, I just want to see how they go together.

Pinterest is on to me, and early last week a pin for these paper swallows landed in my feed. Originally, I ignored it because they looked a little scary. But I liked how quick they appeared to come together, and I figured if I cut them from colorful paper, they’d be much happier looking.

And I was right on all counts.

Continue reading “Show and Tell: Paper Swallows”

Miniature Paper Hyacinths

Cute, quick and easy to make

My obsession with making easy paper flower crafts continues with Hyacinths.

I have actually tried to grow these more than once, but between the squirrels that kept digging up the bulbs, and our well intended but big-footed hound dog that squashed them like King Kong, they never fared well in the SuzerSpace yard.

I’ve seen a couple of posts on how to craft these up, and Pinterest is swarming with them, so I’ve course, I’m going to step in with my version as well.

This craft is super low tech – you need scissors, construction paper and glue.

Continue reading “Miniature Paper Hyacinths”

Sunday Scrolling: April 9, 2017

Hockey Horns, Bike Repair Stations and Vigilante Grammar Justice

Today is the last day in the regular NHL season – the Stanley Cup Playoffs (which are practically a full season themselves) start on Wednesday. While waiting for the playoffs to start, you can entertain yourself with this great noisy site.

Several parks in our area have installed these cool Bicycle repair stations that have a rack, tools and QR codes you can scan to see videos of common bike issues that you can fix. I’m not sure how many manufacturers there are for these, but here’s a map from one of them to see if there are any where you ride.

Via FiveThirtyEight – Apparently there is a Vigilante Grammarian roaming England, correcting apostrophe mistakes in signage. Sometimes I’m tempted to bring my own Sharpie/White Out kit to the grocery store and correct all those misplaced possessives myself.

None of the links in this post are affiliate – they are all just things that caught my interest this week.

Stencil Painted T-Shirt

When I created my personalized bike license plate, I realized that the weeded part of the vinyl letters from my name would be a perfect stencil for a T-shirt.

I’ve painted T-shirts before, but not since I bought my Silhouette Cameo. Blogs abound with the instructions for cutting vinyl for a stencil and then painting either fabric or wood signs, and I definitely wanted to try this technique.

And it turns out it’s pretty easy and fun.

Continue reading “Stencil Painted T-Shirt”

Black and Bleu Wrap

Layers of flavor for an easy meal

The trick to eating with a focus on good nutrition and a tight budget is to think like a restaurant.

Besides frying everything, and using a lot of salt to make everything taste good, restaurants know that layers of flavor are the key to a good dish.

If you take a flatbread wrap, throw on some cheese and black beans and nuke it in the microwave, it’s a little bit soggy and sad.

But if you heat the beans first, and then layer the wrap with cheese, the beans, arugula and top with chunks of bleu cheese, suddenly you have something special.


Black Beans and Bleu Cheese Wrap

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1 Flatbread (we use low-carb)
  • 1/8 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Black Beans Rinsed and Drained
  • Arugula Washed and Patted Dry
  • Bleu Cheese Chunks* (see note)


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat beans in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until really warm but not dried out.

  2. On flatbread, sprinkle cheese in center

  3. Layer on black beans, arugula and black beans. Add salsa on top if desired.

  4. Roll and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Note: I don't actually like Bleu Cheese - Mr. SuzerSpace does. I make my version with Feta, but we still call them Black and Bleu Wraps. Sounds fancier that way 🙂


Teeny Tiny Tip: Protect Your Work Area from Glue

An easy trick that doesn’t require a 500 word essay to explain

Save you junk mail to create a protective surface for using a glue stick |

A glue stick is often my weapon of choice when putting together simple crafts. But the trick is finding a way to use it so that you can apply it and not turn everything else around it to a sticky mess.

Enter today’s teeny tiny tip – use your junk mail. Those magazines you get but you are positive you didn’t subscribe to? Perfect. Apply glue stick liberally to the item you want to stick together while it is on top of the first page of the magazine. Don’t worry about the glue that goes wide of the item. Keep moving the craft that needs to be glued to a safe spot on the sheet as you go, until that sheet is too sticky to use. Tear it off and recycle it, and guess what? Another sheet is ready to go, right below it.

Also visible in this photo is an even tinier tip – paperclips make great clamps for holding the edges of paper together as the glue dries.


Big Spring Flowers Picture Window

Removable vinyl is perfect for a seasonal display

White flowers and butterflies cut from removable contact paper make a seasonal window display

In the back part of my kitchen I have a beautiful picture window. It lets in great light into the space, which normal people would use for an eat-in kitchen area.

I’m guessing you already know I don’t consider myself normal 🙂

Honestly, we eat at the coffee table in front of the TV. So that space in the kitchen has served as an office area for Mr. SuzerSpace for several years. Recently he vacated it so I could have it for my craft space.

And that big picture window is an excellent display space. Continue reading “Big Spring Flowers Picture Window”

Sunday Scrolling: April 2, 2017

Crunchy snacks, New Emoji and a List of Books

I have not tried any of these snacks but the the part where she says “…but for me, it’s one of those foods where applying the whole all-in-moderation philosophy of eating is almost laughable” means we are on the same team.

New emoji! I’m looking forward to the Steven Cobert inspired eyebrow raise, the one that swears, and especially the one looks like me! Not sure I like the label of “older adult” on that one since I’ve been gray since my mid-thirties and have worn glasses since I was 3. But that is most definitely my haircut.

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day, which is not my favorite, but this list of books from comics and humorists looks to offer a few good suggestions.

None of the links in this post are affiliate. They are just things I found interesting on the Internet this week.