Image

Girls’ Night IN

I so enjoy spending time with friends.

There’s always so much to do in New Orleans, but there’s nothing wrong with a good old girls’ night in!

Yesterday, I was able to have breakfast with a friend who was in town for a conference and then wrapped up my day with a game night with my girlfriends.

20170115_145600

Bible Taboo got HEATED! One of my friends got this candid shot of me clutching my pearls with the church fan going! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

We had a ball playing Bible Taboo and enjoying a few snacks.

photogrid_1484513881448

What’s a game night without snacks?!?

Continue reading

3 Tips for Embracing a Low-Carb Diet

The Storyย Behind This Post

Many people have asked me what I’ve done to lose the weight (and keep it off) this last go round. ย I don’t have one simple answer, but I do know what I was doing that probably contributed to my weight gain. ย 

Continue reading

Pasta Possibilities!

I love making pasta. ย I feel like the possibilities are almost endless.

Now, I know I said I try to limit the number of occasions that I make traditional pasta in one of my previous posts— but let’s be honest– there’s nothing like a good fettuccine!

I received a stainless steel colander to review and used it to make one of my favorite recipes.

prochef_colander

Here’s a bit of info about the colander:

  • The stable base allows you to safely strain hot liquids even in busy and wet kitchen environments.
  • Micro-perforations let the liquid quickly drain away while keeping the food safe in the bowl.
  • The entire colander is easy to carry.
  • Aside from straining, this is also a great solution for grease cooking, splatter control, frying, sautรฉing and other liquid-heavy cooking.

Anyone who loves to cook knows the importance of a high quality colander. The Pro Chef Kitchen Tools round colander is strong, stylish and efficient and I’m happy to have it in my collection. ย When I’m not using it to cook, it also doubles as a great fruit/veggie holder on my counter top!

Now that you know a good bit about the colander, here’s the all important recipe and some photos of the colander in action!

We made this dish using another Blue Apron recipe. ย (This isn’t a sponsored post — I just REALLY like Blue Apron and they post ALL of their recipes online, so you can use them even if you don’t subscribe. ย I LOVE THAT!)

Spring Chicken Fettuccine

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken Tenders
  • 6 Ounces Fettuccine Pasta
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • ยฝ Bunch Asparagus
  • 1 Bunch Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Crรจme Fraรฎche
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • โ…› Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Prepare the ingredients:

    Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus; cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Remove and discard the kale stems; finely chop the leaves. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and chop into bite-sized pieces; transfer to a bowl. Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

  2. Cook the chicken:
    In a large, high-sided pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Cook the pasta:prochef_chicken_fettuccine1
    While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ยพ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.
  4. Add the vegetables:
    While the pasta cooks, to the pan of chicken, add the asparagus, kale, rosemary, 2 tablespoons of water and as much of the red pepper flakes as youโ€™d like, depending on how spicy youโ€™d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and the kale has wilted.
  5. Finish the pasta:prochef_chicken_fettuccine2
    To the pan of chicken and vegetables, add the cooked pasta, crรจme fraรฎche and half toย the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring vigorously to coat the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Plate your dish:
    Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cheese. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready For Some Football?

It’s Football Season, which means it’s that time when I get to make tailgating snacks.

See, I could care less about who is playing. ย I’m a “Carolina Girl” living in Saints Country, so I’m really just here to make the food. ย And tablescape.

I found some really cute yard-line print table cloths at Kroger on an extreme markdown (were talking 99% markdown) when I lived in Mississippi and I knew it was meant to be.

So I’m just here to cook the food and go with my party theme. ย I’m a simple woman. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I received this Srirachaย CHA! by Texas Peteยฎย to review and my Carolina Girl, heart was sooo happy!

For those that don’t know, Texas Pete is a North Carolina Company. ย If we know anything in North Carolina, we know our sports and we know our food! ย Winston Salem is the home of hot sauce and Krispy Kreme Donuts… I could go on and on about how much I miss Carolina Style Barbecue, Hush Puppies, and Robert’s Famous Chicken Salad, but I’ll get to the point of this post– THE RECIPE! ย 

I used this item to add some kick to oneย of my favorite tailgating snacks: “Fran’s Famous Meatballs.”

 

Fran’s Famous Meatballs:ย 

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Meatballs (You can make these fresh if you have the time, we keep meatballs in the freezer since I make these on demand). I usually allow them to thaw before cooking.
    • This recipe makes 1, 16 oz bag of meatballs
  • 1/2 Cup of Grape Jelly (YES– JELLY!)
  • 1/4 Cup of CHA! by Texas Peteยฎ
  • 1 Cup of Barbecue Sauce (I normally use Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce, but I tend to go with whatever brand is on sale or what we have available in our pantry)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic (Can you tell that we like Garlic? ๐Ÿ˜€ If you’re not a fan, just leave this out)

Directions:

(If you are making your meatballs from scratch, you will need to brown them first, before beginning these steps. You can do that in the oven or using the stovetop)

  1. Warm the jelly over medium-high heat (until it is dissolved). Be careful to stir continuously so that the gelatin does not burn.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients and the meatballs, stirring until the meatballs are coated on all sides.
  3. Allow meatballs to simmer in sauce for 5 minutes while covered.
  4. Then transfer meatballs to a crock pot or servingย dish where they can remain warmed for serving.
  5. Stir occasionally to prevent meatballs from scorching.

This is really a simple recipe, andย can spice it up by adding in a new item like I’ve done with the CHA! by Texas Peteยฎย or changing the barbecue sauce that you use. Sometimes I even change the jelly– I’ve used apricot jelly, grape jelly, and blackberry jelly in the past. You can mix it up, but don’t leave it out. ย The JELLY is key!

Book Review: The Anti-Inflammatory Cookbookย 



I’ve already shared a good bit about my history of dealing with chronic pain, but the saying is really true– “You are what you eat” and for many of us,ย  inflammation can cause problems and symptoms that may be uncomfortable, painful or even unbearable and what we eat can play a significant role in worsening or improving these symptoms.


Withย The Fast & Fresh Antiโ€“Inflammatory Cookbook, you can continue to enjoy delicious meals withย your loved ones, family and friends, while reducing inflammation, becoming pain free and improving your overall health at the same time.

Each of the recipes in this cookbook are made with easy to find fresh ingredients, are simple to prepare, and are either quick to bake, steam or saute, or they make use of a slow cooker, giving you more time to get on with your busy life whileย dinnerโ€™s cooking!

Here’s a “sneak peek” of what you’ll find inside:

  • 150 delicious, mouthwatering recipes including some of my favorites:
    • Sriracha Steak Wraps
    • Spicy Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles
    • Burrito Brunch
  • A 7-Day Meal Plan to start you on your journey to restoring your health
    • Lifestyle planning
    • Morning, Lunch, Dinner, and snack suggestions
  • Comprehensive dietary advice (Food allergies, Gluten Free, Weight-loss/gain, etc.)
  • Guidance to reduce inflammation
    • Including details of various illnesses and diseases and their linkages to inflammation

I think this is a great cookbook and I’m glad I added it to my collection. ย I really appreciate the visual appeal of the book and the wealth of knowledge it shares with the reader.

Moreover, the philosophy is really a powerful one– once you take the time to understand the foods that make you feel good and those that flare up your symptoms, you can enjoy more of those healthy foods that help you to feel better, which will help you to manage your weight and your inflammation and symptoms will (hopefully) continue to decrease over time.

Healthy eating, partnered with a good fitness routine and active lifestyle, have been key to managing my chronic pain issues and I’m even more encouraged after reviewing this cookbook!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissionโ€™s 16 CFR, Part 255 : โ€œGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.โ€