These smoothie bowls are delicious, healthy, and have been the secret to beating my sweet tooth lately. We make them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and sometimes we make small ones for an after dinner snack.
I love fruit, so I top my blueberry smoothie bowls with lots of different fruits. Granola and dried coconut give it great texture, and a fun crunch. Big Strong Handsome is pretty picky when it comes to fruits and veggies, so I typically just put granola, dried coconut, or an apple on top of his.
TIP: If you’re worried it won’t be sweet enough for you, you can always add in some honey.
These are so good y’all. You’ve got to try it.
Who doesn’t love crab legs? Hot, steaming, Cajun seasoned, dipped in butter… crab legs. I love me some crab legs, and I love a low country boil, but who has time to lug out the big huge pot, bring gallons of water to a boil, make the whole house smell like seafood, and clean up that huge mess? Not me!
I saw one of my favorite Food Network stars, Sunny Anderson, do a Sheet Pan Shrimp “Boil” so I decided to try it with crab legs.
Now, I like to cook everything separately because that way I get perfectly cooked crab legs, delicious roasted potatoes, hot buttery corn, and smoky sausage that snaps when you bite it. When you boil everything together, it’s good, but everything gets watered down and the flavors get muddled together. This way, everything shines.
Over the summer Dustin had an abundance of fresh peaches and was looking for new ways to use them. This syrup was a winner.
Now, if we could just get mamma to make some of her biscuits to go with this peach syrup...
1 failed round of IVF
4 lost baby embryos
21 doctor appointments
102 pregnancy tests
...& too many tears to count
This is what our journey to baby looks like. I didn’t get my rainbow baby. I will never have a child of my own.
Every woman’s journey to baby is different. Some have challenges, & some don’t. In my case, we get pregnant very easily, and everything tests “normal.” The pregnancy just… ends. It ends with my heart shattered into a thousand pieces, and I dissolve into an emotional puddle on the floor, knowing that I’ll never get to hold my babies in my arms.
The doctors and specialists weren’t able to find a cause for my pregnancies ending in miscarriage. That leaves me with nothing to blame, nothing to point at and say “that’s why.” It leaves me sitting here wondering if it’s just not in God’s plan.
Now, before you lovingly tell me: "it will happen," “just pray about it,” “try acupuncture,” “take progesterone,” or “just stop trying & it’ll happen.” Please know that we tried everything we could.
This is NOT an easy journey. There is so much grief and pain. Not a day goes by that I don’t grieve and feel the aching in my heart. I do my absolute best, though, to be strong, put my faith in God, and focus on gratitude for the blessings that I do have.
Some days, the grief wins... and that’s ok. I give myself grace, and know that tomorrow is a new day.
So how do I cope?
Support from friends & family
(and if I’m being completely honest) Wine
To the woman on a similar journey… I see you. You’re not alone. If you want to talk, I’m here.
I’ll share more going forward about our journey to baby, infertility, how I cope with grief, helpful advice for friends and family, and updates on our new adoption journey. Thank you for letting me share my story.
I’ve always loved making lunches for my stepson to take to school. Even now, as he’s starting his junior year of high school, he still asks me to make his breakfast with a boujee coffee to go in the morning, and I make him a lunch to eat at school.
Now, I realize that this is one of 100 things I have to do in the morning, and I know he’s old enough to do this for himself. BUT, I want my son to grow up knowing his step mamma loves him, cares for him, and always tries to give him the best in every way. So I will gladly spend a few extra minutes for my boy.
These lunches don’t have to be fancy y’all. They just have to taste good and look appetizing to your kid.
For my son’s lunches, I like using these reusable bento boxes. The compartments keep everything separated and sealed, there’s no waste, and it goes straight in the dishwasher when he gets home.
For his breakfast I use these plant-based disposable clamshell boxes. Order them on Amazon, and they arrive the next day. Done.
It keeps his breakfast warm until he gets to school and eats it, it’s safe for the environment, and it’s one less dish we have to wash.
Here are a few simple lunch ideas...
This is a super simple recipe, and one of my favorite ways to use leftover crab meat. When we have crab legs for dinner, we inevitably have a little bit of crab leftover. I crack open the leftover shells, clean all of the meat and store it in the fridge overnight. The next day… summer rolls baby!
Warning: This dipping sauce is addictive. You may want to make extra and store it in your fridge because it’s delicious on leftover chicken, shrimp, and veggies. It’s better than anything you’ll pour out of a jar. Promise.
If you want to make these even easier, pick up some prepared crab meat from the seafood section, and precut veggies from the produce section. Done and done.
These summer rolls not only look beautiful, they taste delicious, and they’re guilt free. For a vegan option, just leave out the crab meat.
Who doesn’t love a good juicy cheeseburger? There’s many different methods for a great burger, but this is my favorite way to make a delicious burger at home.
I’ve become a purist when it comes to cheeseburgers. I don’t add anything to the meat because then it becomes more like meatloaf, and I don’t want meatloaf. I want a big juicy cheeseburger with sauce that drips down my arm while I’m eating it. Don’t judge me.
There are a few things that make this burger a winner in my book:
Butta Yo Buns
Butter and toast the inside of a soft fluffy brioche bun until it’s golden brown. Trust me on this. It makes a difference.
Simple, yet brilliant. Recipe below.
I said what I said. Cheeeeeese. Skiiiiiiiirt. Your life will not be the same after this. I’m not talking about just one slice. Not just a little handful melted on top. I’m talking an absurd amount of shredded cheese piled up on your burger cascading down onto the griddle, melting and bubbling into cheesy perfection.
To get your cheese to melt properly you need to put a lid or dome over your burger. If you’re using an iron skillet, you can use a lid. If you’re using a griddle you can purchase a metal dome cloche, or you can use a metal mixing bowl. You can also toss a single ice cube under the dome to create even more steam and melt the cheese to ooey gooey perfection.
We’re going to sear the burger allowing it to cook in its own juices. When grilling a burger, the juices fall through the grates. Now, you won’t see me turn my nose up at a grilled burger, seared is just my preference.
This is a SUPER fast dinner, so here’s how I do it:
1 Set the table, because, duh… family dinners are the best. Get everything set so you’re ready to sit down and eat as soon as the scallops are finished cooking.
2 Make the salad. Mix everything in a big bowl. Then, spread it out on a big platter. Now, add your lemon wedges.
3 When your salad is plated and ready, start preparing the scallops. Remove the side muscle, pat them dry (like, really dry) with paper towels, line them up on a cutting board, and season them.
4 Now heat your pan. When it’s screamin’ hot, add the oil, then the scallops.
*It’s important that you let your pan get hot before adding the oil and begin cooking. You need the pan to be hot so it will sear the top of the scallop to a beautiful crispy golden brown. If your pan isn’t hot enough you’ll end up with a beige scallop, or you’ll leave it in the pan longer trying to get it brown and end up over cooking it. And let’s face it, an over cooked scallop is like chewing on an eraser. Yuck.
5 Cook, baby! Cook! This part goes fast. I typically make so many scallops for my crew that by the time I finish flipping them over, it’s time to take them out of the pan. So, if you’re doubling or tripling this recipe, move fast.
When the scallops are finished cooking, take them out of the pan and place them directly on top of your salad. Then walk that gorgeous platter of deliciousness over to the table and wait for the applause. (And the crowd goes wild!)
Now pat yourself on the back. You just made your family an AH-MAY-ZING dinner!
What in the world is a trough salad? I learned from the queen of trough salads herself, the fabulous Miss Katie Lee. A trough salad is basically a big ginormous salad that you eat right out of the big salad bowl. I’m not talking about a large bowl, I’m talking the big huge mixing bowl that you would typically serve everyone out of. Pile that sucker up with spinach, mixed greens, and a ton of fruits and veggies and viola. You just made yourself a trough salad. Now dig in, enjoy the deliciousness and feel guilt free.
PRO TIP: If your family isn’t laughing at you for the size of your bowl, you’re doing it wrong.
Here are a few of my trough salads:
*When I say 2 cups of greens, what I mean is, I reach in and grab 2 handfulls of greens. I’m not using measuring cups here.
My stepson requested poke bowls, so I created this recipe for a fun family dinner. A traditional poke bowl has diced raw fish, but we chose seared ahi tuna coated in everything bagel seasoning. This added a ton of flavor.
I like to take the tuna out of the fridge before I do anything else, just to knock the chill off of the meat. This allows for a more even cook on the tuna.
We chose some of our favorite toppings for our poke bowls, but you can use any toppings you like.
If slicing and dicing isn’t your thing, get some help from the grocery store and buy precut fruit and veggies. You can probably find a premade dressing for the rice noodles for an additional shortcut, but you’ll be missing out because this dressing is delicious.