I recently made a special dinner for my father-in-law. Slow cooked brisket, challah with honey & a delicious compound butter, rosemary roasted potatoes, and this amazing spinach apple salad. This salad was truly the star of the show!
I love this basil pesto! It's super easy & it’s delicious on everything… steak, chicken, fish, pasta… everything. Here's how I make it.
No drive through needed for this one! Here's my take on the fast food double cheeseburger. Ultra thin ground beef & melty American cheese piled high on a steamed bun. It’s burger perfection sure to satisfy your fast food cravings!
For the ground beef, I like to use a grass fed, hormone free, antibiotic free beef. Butcher Box, is the winner for me. It's delivered to my home each month, stored in the freezer and ready when I need it.
I feel like, for this, it just has to be melty American cheese. I know it's "fake cheese," but this is a sinful cheeseburger, not a salad, Karen. Just go with it.
Since I'm trying to mimic that uber satisfying fast food burger, I want a soft steamed bun. The baked fresh hamburger buns at the Publix deli work best for me.
This basil vinaigrette is delicious on everything… steak, chicken, salads, & even my favorite burrata.
Here's how I make it.
Here’s your shopping list & helpful tips to create the perfect picnic grazing boxes.
Here's a little patriotic inspired fruit salad. Super simple, and fun to eat. The kids will love it!
You can easily find star shaped cookie cutters in all sizes on Amazon or at a local craft store.
For the cheese, any firm white cheese will do: provolone, mozzarella, swiss, manchego, gouda, etc.
My favorite grapes to use with this salad are the cotton candy grapes. If you can find them, get them. They're so incredibly sweet!
Looking for nonalcoholic ways to celebrate, that are still festive & fun? I love adding fruit to my sparkling water. In our home, we call this "spa water," but it's just fruit in water. It isn't complicated, but it is beautiful, delicious, and a healthy alternative to sodas or cocktails.
As for the sparkling water, my favorites are Topo Chico and Perrier, but any will work.
Here are some fun combos that will leave you refreshed with no extra calories or fighting a hangover the next day…
Not only is homemade pasta delicious, but it just might be a solution to your "gluten intolerance."
Big Strong Handsome has a gluten intolerance, and typically gets sick after eating foods with gluten. We've found, though, that the "cleaner" the food, the less he gets sick. I recommend finding a "clean" 00 flour and semolina flour that hasn't been processed to death or created with toxic chemicals. After eating my homemade pasta, the only side effect Big Strong Handsome had was a big smile on his face! That's right. No sickness. Turns out, it's not the gluten that causes the intolerance. It's the way we process and grow our food.
The first time we made it, we were all so excited. To make it extra fun, I decided to serve it as a tasting dinner with 3 different sauces: traditional tomato basil sauce, pesto, and a parmesan cream sauce. The favorite overall was hands down the parmesan cream sauce. And the ingredients are, are you ready for this...
Now, sometimes I take the time to make homemade tomato basil sauce, which is a pretty long process and usually involves a couple glasses of wine, and lots of Italian music. Other times, I reach for my favorite jarred sauces by Michaels of Brooklyn. They're so good y'all, and look at that ingredient list on the label! Yes! To make it even better, I can easily pick them up at Publix or order online.
If you're feeding a large group, like I sometimes do, you might want to serve your pasta with my delicious baked meatballs. It's the perfect pairing... other than a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon, of course.
Food Network recently showed us a grilled edible cheeseboard. Whaaaat? That's right. The entire board is edible. Beautiful AND delicious? Sign me up.
I had to try this out for myself, but I decided to put my own unique spin on it. The Food Network chefs created theirs with pizza dough, and I opted for a buttery, flaky puff pastry. After creating a board of my own, I think the Food Network chefs had it right. Pizza dough is the way to go here. The puff pastry I used was delicious, but not sturdy enough to support the cheese when eating. I also decided to bake it instead of grilling, and that worked fine for me.
Who's going to try this edible cheeseboard trend with me?
This is a family dinner that I just completely made up this past fall. My family loved it so much, it makes it into our regular dinner rotation.
These pork chops are beautiful served over a bed of greens on a large platter. Or, call it a day and have them fix their plates at the stove! Dinner is served y'all!
I like to sear the pork chops so they're nice and golden brown on one side, then after I flip them I cover the pan with a lid so they cook more evenly inside.
Food makes me happy! But sometimes life gets busy and you need easy grab-n-go snacks that are healthy options and taste delicious. Here are my top 5 snacks from Costco.
When I'm grocery shopping I ALWAYS read the labels. Always. Just because something is marketed as "healthy" and "organic" doesn't mean it's good for you. In fact, I feel like most processed foods are big fat lies. I said what I said. Lies. Read the labels people. If there's a ton of ingredients that you can't pronounce, it's probably not that good for your body.
Now, if you're not worried about eating clean, unprocessed foods, no worries! These snacks are quick and easy for on the go snacking and taste delicious.
Have you ever made sushi at home? It's a lot of fun, the entire family can get involved, and it's easier than you think! Here's what you need:
Rice Wine Vinegar
Nori Seaweed Sheets
Bamboo Sushi Mat
Bowl of Water
Carrots, jullienne (or pre-cut matchsticks)
Avocado, thinly sliced
*Make the shrimp sauce. You'll love my recipe and it's way better than anything you can buy in the store.
IVF does not always end with a rainbow. This time 3 years ago, I was going through an intense round of IVF. It has certainly helped many families, but every infertility journey is different. For me, I get pregnant very easily, but always lose the baby, and the doctors cannot find a reason why.
After 3 miscarriages we tried an intense round of IVF...
21 doctor appointments
102 pregnancy tests
4 lost baby embryos
...& too many tears to count.
We don’t always get the rainbow we wanted at the end of the storm. Sometimes God chooses a different path, and though I don’t know why we’ve experienced so much heartache and loss, I’m thankful for what we do have. I’m thankful for the blessings of this life, and will do my best to share God's love, light & kindness with others on my journey.
For my son's 17th birthday, I decided to make him a confetti cake. Honestly, it's a lot easier than it looks y'all.
Try this one with your kiddos! Prepared pizza dough makes this quick, easy, and so much fun to create. This was a fun idea from my sister-in-law to keep my mind occupied away from the heaviness of Mother’s Day. It was a delicious snack with a glass of vino too! 😉
To create my easy focaccia garden I used:
I can feel the heaviness of Mother’s Day coming in my bones. I can feel the knot in my throat & the tears welling up in my eyes. Every thought brings my mind right back to the three babies we’ve lost, & my overwhelming grief. It never gets easier. Ever. But I do get stronger. Most of the time I’m fine, but sometimes, like this week, my heart just breaks over & over.
Our journey to baby is over, & I accept that, but now I grieve not only the babies we lost, but also the hope of ever being a mother.
I’m also a stepmom. I’m a proud, full time, hard working, bend over backwards for my child, love him with every breath in my soul... stepmom. BUT even when it’s good as a stepmom, it’s complicated.
To all the grieving mothers...
To all the stepmoms...
I see you. I am you.
Sending love to you all.
Champagne Granita... one of my favorite ways to end a meal. It's the perfect dessert at the end of a nice meal. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's light, and not heavy on your tummy. And it's beautiful.
I've also made this with strawberries and grapefruit instead of lemon, but they're all delicious. Peach would also be really refreshing, like a bellini slushy!
I watched the one and only Chef Thomas Keller make his famous Avocado Louis on Instagram, and let me tell you. When I say it looks like a piece of art, I mean, this thing looks like it belongs in the Louvre. It's gorgeous y'all! Chef Keller is simply masterful, and so inspiring to watch. Watching him create his Avocado Louis, with such care and precision inspired me to create this ribbon salad.
While my salad doesn't belong in an art gallery, it's sure to be a showstopper when you serve it to guests.
My weapon of choice to create the "ribbons" is a traditional vegetable peeler. It works best for me to get the perfect thin ribbon curl on the carrots and celery. For the cucumber and radishes, though, I prefer using the mandolin. I like them to be paper thin for this salad.
Place all of the veggies in an ice water bath before assembling the salad. This seems to help everything crisp up and assists in curling the "ribbons."
This salad is so good it deserves to be an entree. Or it's lovely with a nice steak or grilled chicken. I love it, and it couldn't be easier to prepare!
This is one of the only salads where I don't make my own dressing. Instead, I use Garlic Expressions. You can find it at Publix or online. It's delicious, and it's not full of thickeners, preservatives, or toxic chemicals found in most prepared salad dressings. It's American made, non-GMO, vegan, allergen free, gluten free.
I prefer to buy a wedge of blue cheese, and crumble it myself. It ALWAYS tastes better. When you buy pre-crumbled blue cheese it typically contains anti-caking agents... sounds delicious, huh? No thank you. I'll spend the extra 15 seconds and crumble my own cheese.
An Apple A Day
We almost always have Honeycrisp apples on hand. They're Big Strong Handsome's favorite, so that's what I buy. I think almost any sweet apple would be delicious in this salad, though. Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gala, they'd all be good.
Let's Get Nutty
Whole walnuts can be a little pricey, so you can always substitute whole walnuts with walnut pieces, or pecans. Whatever you prefer.
Who doesn't love a good Cuban sandwich? They're so delicious, and such a treat! I wanted a way for us to enjoy the same flavors at home, without the bread, and of course, a quick way to make it for busy weeknight family dinners. So here's my Cuban Pork Tenderloin.
The trickiest part of this recipe is flattening out the pork tenderloins, but once I got over trying to make it perfect, it became a whole lot easier. I try my best to delicately filet it out with long, shallow cuts down the length of the tenderloin, but I inevitably get distracted with other things around the house demanding my attention. So I typically end up kind of hacking at this thing and end up with weird little grooves all along the inside of it, but you know what... it doesn't matter. Nobody sees that part! So as long as you can get it flat-ish... you're good.
You don't need 30 different herbs and spices to season this with either. Konriko Dry Mojo seasoning is everything! It has the perfect spice blend, without any preservatives or other yucky stuff.
I've found that prosciutto works best. Now, that might be because I secretly think I should be the matriarch of a big Italian family with a brother Pauly, an Uncle Jimmy that's an attorney, a cousin Mikey that "knows a guy," and there has to be an Isabella that still lives in Naples, Italy. I digress. I've tried rosemary ham and regular deli ham, but I really prefer the flavor and texture of the prosciutto.
You can use the baby dill pickles like I did, or longer pickle spears. Slices or whole pickles, though, don't really work for me on this recipe.
The yellow rice I made with organic brown jasmine rice and a few shakes turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. It was delicious. No yellow number 5 here!
The next time I make this, I think I might slather the outside of the tenderloin roll with mustard as well, and then wrap it in even more prosciutto!
When you're putting away your leftovers, put them directly into meal planning containers. That way, you have easy grab-n-go lunches or quick dinners for busy weeknights.