but when I bring out the old youth group (yay Anastasia) tshirts that I’ve had for some 15 years,
I can make roasted jalapeno soup and call it Fall.
Back in August I attended my family reunion over in Northern Alabama. Southern cooking and fried chicken and pies and pound cakes are the name of the game. Woodworking and quilting. What I also received this year was a giant bag of jalapenos. Can life really get much better? Fresh grown jalapenos. Yes, from people who really know what they are doing in the vegetable garden arena (not me, I kill basil). What was I going to do with all of these tiny peppers that tasted so good with just a subtle amount of heat?
Make soup of course. And anything you can put cheese, bacon, and avocado on has got to be a good soup, right?
This has just the right amount of heat. You may want a glass of milk nearby, but most of you will probably be able to handle it. I just downed a bowl of it. My husband will have it tonight alongside a full-loaded baked potato. Not too shabby for a Monday night.
Cooking and I go way back. I had to start cooking and grocery shopping when I was in grade school but I didn’t know anything about healthy eating back then. I came into my love of cooking in college. And as I’ve gotten out on my own, I love baking, sharing my table with others, and I’ve loved eating healthier too.
What you put in your body is just as important as how much you move your body when wanting to lose weight (or just to stay healthy). And nowadays, everyone has specific diets: gluten free, no dairy, vegetarian, no carbs, vegan, fat free, etc. Whatever way you is up to you and your doctor, but here are some of my favorite healthy recipes from over the years.
Enjoy – and please share your fave healthy recipes in the comments so others can see them.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – perfect, creamy, and definitely packed with protein with the chickpeas. Eat it with a spoon or with some raw veggies for a perfectly nutritious appetizer or small plate.
Black Bean Salsa – I usually make this several times a year. Raw, whole ingredients. Can’t get better than that. And it is perfect for a topping on meats or salads, and you gotta have this to go with your standard Taco Tuesday.
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls – most people do allow for some bread – and what better way than to use whole wheat flour and just imagine the smell of yeast in your home – I think it is an amazing smell.
Hooray for a Monday off (well, I really don’t work, so not much change here) and the unofficial start of fall. I’ve got some eating healthy to do this week. My mister has some stuff going on with work so the littles and I will be eating our meals by ourselves for a few days at night.
I have some leftovers to send with the mister for lunches: beef stew, triple b mac and cheese, cream of celery soup (recipe coming soon), and vegetarian baked ziti. And this week I’ll be making:
Lots of green smoothies
Lots of salads
The boys faves: chicken nuggets, fish nuggets, veggies, fruit, sandwich meat, pbj, etc.
Making these muffins (it is one of our rotations for breakfast along with oats, yogurt and granola and fruit, and cinnamon toast)
BBQ. Everyone has their opinions of it, especially in the South. Vinegar? Brown sugar? Mustard? Smoked with sauce? Smoked with sauce on the side? Pork? Beef? Never-ending discussion on this subject.
I do like some BBQ better than others but one of the best parts about bbq is the side dishes that accompany it. And this new macaroni and cheese would own up to the best bbq at any picnic table – especially this weekend, as it is the official last weekend of summer and many tailgating parties are happening as well.
Cardamom is definitely my favorite go-to spice with anything berries or citrus. It just lends that special “oomph” and “hmmm, wonder what is in there” to any recipe. I have made some cardamom sugar with the pods and always have ground cardamom in my spice “basket” (a wine box I found at Goodwill which I love and am always in search of another one for cheap).
Anyway, I had to share this recipe tonight! Just in case you have tons of lemons and you just have to have cookies with your decaf tonight!
This recipe is a shout out to Cheryl Day who owns Back in the Day Bakery – my fave cafe in my favorite city in Georgia, Savannah. I tweaked her recipe and oh by golly is it good (and her’s is stellar too by the way).
1½ tsp lemon extract (I love opening the bottle of this, smells amazing)
¼ tsp sea salt
1¼ cup 10x sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
zest of two lemons
⅛-1/4 cup cardamom sugar (for sprinkling on top before baking)
Heat oven to 350.
Spray sheet pans with baking spray.
Cream butter. Add in salt and lemon. Combine sugar and zest. Then add in all purpose flour. Shape into balls with your hands and gently press them down (I'd love to find a pretty cookie press for this one, a simple, antique one would be great).
Let chill in fridge for 2 hours.
Sprinkle cardamom sugar on top of each cookie.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
Cool a little - then devour them warm, or wait until morning.
Greetings folks at the last day of August. I wanted to share a little about how I go about planning my menu each week, and remind you still have until tomorrow to enter my 10 year blogging giveaway, and give you the menu for the week.
Here is just a few steps in my menu planning:
Ask my mister if there is anything that he would want for food this week. He usually gives me one or two specific things so I try to always mix those into what I’m already planning.
I have my go-to food blogs and always some cookbooks on hand to peruse and see what looks yummy to me this week.
Think about our schedule and our diet needs for the week. Sometimes my husband has two days off, sometimes only one, so that plays a factor. Also, we are on the go…so I like healthy and portable if we are going to be gone close to lunch time.
I write down the recipes I want to make and make a list. Then, I hit my pantry and fridge to see what, if anything, I have off that list so I don’t duplicate it. Then I put that revised list into the notetaker app on my android. This is so much more handy to me than paper and pen. I can just delete as I go with one finger. Not needing to balance paper, pen, grocery cart, and two little boys who are reaching for shelves or hitting my heels with the little grocery cart.
So, here is what we are doing this week:
Macaroni and Cheese with banana peppers
Kung Pao Cauliflower
Roasted Jalapeno Soup
Beef and Vegetable Soup.
I’ll be sharing the recipes on facebookin if you want to follow along there – and I’ll be tweaking them – so if they come out well, I’ll share them with photos on Instagram (you can follow along over there) and the recipes here on the blog.
One of the reasons I started this here blog ten years ago this month was to share recipes with my college girls. I loved sharing recipes so they could cook them for dinner, or to share with friends, or even now, to share with their husbands and families.
This month marks 10 years of blogging for me. I love to blog, share recipes, connect with readers, and share life and community. It can be done on blog world – believe me!
So, for this blog, I wanted to share some resources that I love – because often people ask me what are my go-to recipe places on the internet. I’ve come to absolutely love these blogs and turn to them first more than other places. I hope you come to know these bloggers, love their food, know their stories, and share their food with your loved ones.
everything important happens around a table
eatliverun – I started reading Jenna back when I lived in Louisville like 6 years ago. I loved her healthy(ish) recipes, her stories, her wine-tasting, California-living life, and her photos. She also is a fit-girl! She is a momma and though she doesn’t blog here now, she is doing fitness coaching and you can follow her on Instagram. But, she still has her blog up. Two of my favorites are her Thai Red Curry and her Pistachio Cupcakes (as my mister, they are so good). And, if you haven’t read her book and love culinary life stories – you will love her White Jacket Required. I finished it in two days (and I have toddlers!).
bloggingoverthyme Laura and I share the same last name (well, my maiden name). She is superb at the camera and I love her story-telling and her chronicling of her now life in Chi-town. She is down to earth and shares delicious recipes – and she interacts with her readers and wants to encourage them in their kitchen pursuits. I just made her Lemon Zucchini Cardamom Bundt Cake. So good (I ended my sugar and carb fast a day early just to have some – and a BLT).
pinchofyum I’d love for my husband and I to be able to turn this blog into a well-paid blog so that he could quit his job and we could just do this. Wishful thinking. But, other than the monetary side of the blogging, this couple is great at giving photography tips, delicious recipes and that may be a little out of my culinary box, and again, is interactive with their readers. I do love these chocolate chip cookies and this delicious granola
dineanddish Kristen is so friendly and personable and of course a great chef for her family and others. She cares about her readers. I wish I could meet all of these bloggers and sit down for coffee or bake with them in their kitchens. That would be such a treat. Again, her photographs are great (notice a theme of food and photography) and her recipes are delicious. LIke these maple scones perfect for the fall that is approaching quickly and because I’m from the strawberry cap of the world, this unbelievable strawberry shortcake
And since I’ve been blogging for ten years – I will be giving one lucky reader a little prize package – filled with things that I blog about! So, all you have to do to enter is comment here (and for every entries share on social media)! I will pick the winner on September 1!
The kitchen is one of the most beloved spots in almost anyone’s home. People tend to gravitate toward the kitchen : hanging out at the kitchen bar, sipping coffee, talking, or helping bake cookies (or eating them). One of the mindsets I tend to hold to is everything important happens around the table. And, when we do move into a house of our own we will get my parents’ wedding table (solid oak 8 foot long) where I ate most of my meals until I went to college. Can’t wait.
everything important happens around the table
But, until then, I sit at an oval table that I’d love to DIY and think about everything I can learn about myself from being in the kitchen. Why am I thinking about this today?
Because I just put a bundt cake in the oven. I love bundt cakes but hate making them. They are easy to make but usually, no matter how much I butter and flour the pan, I can never get them out perfectly. Why? For the love of butter, why?
So, I’m facing my fears today because I saw this delicious recipe over at Laura’s blog earlier this week and had everything in my kitchen to make it. Now, I have doubly greased and floured the pan, and I’m holding my breath for an hour to see if it will come out or not.
Here are some fears of mine in the kitchen (and as you can probably relate – to the rest of life):
I’m not good enough. With the advance of social media and my love of photography, cooking, baking, farmers markets, local eateries, and cookbooks, I fear I will never live up to what I see on my phone, computer, or little cafe I go to. But, I’m also learning is that I never will be – but I certainly can try. I should be competitive with myself, and not with everyone else. I need to keep trying and learning and improving. Progress not perfection.
I will fail. Yes, you know what I will fail. So will you. We are not perfect by any standard. Even the best in home or restaurant chefs burn something, can’t capture the food with the lens, or have to throw out an entire recipe because it didn’t taste right. Failure is a part of life. You know what, that bundt cake might stick. But, I guarantee my husband and two littles will eat most of it and the people I give it to will like it. They won’t care what it looks like.
Someone else will win. I’m a very competitive person. And, you know what, with so many bakers, photographers, runners, wives, mothers, handletterers around me – I will never be the best. Someone will always be better than me.
When I list out these fears – sometimes they sound silly. But I know how very real they are. So, I press on. I keep on baking. I keep using my bundt pan. I keep trying new recipes and taking photos. I dream of one day having my own story-cookbook or having a photo in a magazine. Maybe one day. Until then I will keep cooking for my family, making food as gifts to people, and stick with my motto of everything important happens around the table.
What are your fears in cooking, your hobby, or other areas of life?
Today, as I sit in our home in the middle of the state of Georgia, I am sorely missing the Atlantic Ocean. Ok, I really miss any body of water. Water is very therapeutic for me – listening to the waves, the water at it knocks against itself, the glare of the sun off the stillness of the top of the water, walking along a beach while my feet get wet, then sandy, then wet again. Being on any body of water is the best place I can be at any given moment. Today, I will take you back and share some memories with you and a fabulous new recipe we had yesterday.
My love for the water started before I could walk. We lived in central Florida and had a pool. My brother was a little older than me and was taking swim lessons. My parents thought I should go ahead and learn – so I did. I loved swimming and jumping off the diving board.
My love for the Suwanee River came from my Papa. I remember learning how to drive a boat about the age of 7. It was just me and Papa and the sparkling water of North Florida. A john boat brought some sweet memories. He taught me to fish, to not be afraid of gators (ha!), and how to cook homemade french fries. He also taught me how to clean fish – which we would eat immediately after catching them.
I remember quiet summer evenings at our trailer near Munden Creek (near the sleepy fishing community of Suwanee, FL). Mosquitos and radios and country tapes that included Kenny Rogers, Alabama, George Straight, and Barbara Mandrell. We would play rummy because we had no television. We would walk down to the little pond with worms and cane poles.
I moved to a beach town for college and quickly knew that I was born to live by the beach. You’d never be able to tell because I’m as white as they come, but everyday my junior and senior year I would walk down the beach in the morning and the evening. Some college friends and I would get a group together and have some worship jam sessions at night by the water.
My mister and I in our courting days took a few trips to the waterside of Carolina. The first time we held hands it was sprinkling and we were walking along the beach. Romantic yes.
On our honeymoon we woke up in Prince Edward Island overlooking the bright shiny water.
I love bridges, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, creeks, oceans, and the gulf.
One thing that goes well with water: seafood. And with seafood you need good dipping sauce and good friends to share it with.
Yesterday, I made a tarter sauce that I could easily eat with a spoon. Yes, the entire bowl, no seafood necessary. Thought I would share it with yall. But, first, let me introduce you to a company in South Florida run by a young friend of mine. His family is so important to me and I value their friendship. Tyler started Sailfish Alley Outfitters and runs a quality fishing gear. We all know you need fishing gear and here is the place to get some of the best. And you might as well look good while doing it. With custom tees and hats and more, this is your place to find it. And while you are catching fish, looking great while doing it, building relationships while you are fishing, you can be dreaming of the tarter sauce that you’ll have back in your fridge for your catch of the day.