June 30, 2016

Eat Local Challenge Meal! (Summer farmer's market sauteed veggies)

I just love summer.  The outdoor activities, the beach, the fashion, looking a little less white, and, of course, all the yummy produce.  It is my favorite time of year to get a box from Hollygrove Market. It's always filled with summer favorites that I can incorporate into my low carb healthy lifestyle.  

I got a box to kick off the second week of the eat local challenge and it was filled with delicious goodies.  I decided to make a veggie saute that I have made before in some form.  It goes so well with any protein and you can mix up your choices of veggies.  I like spice, but if you are not a big fan, leave out the jalapeno.  

I served this with some flap meat my sister and I split at Costco.  Flap meat is basically flank steak but it is a bit more tender.  This is my favorite meat for when I make fajitas.  It is sometimes hard to find, but when you do, grab it!  I marinated it in my favorite bottled marinade, the Trader Joe's Island Soyaki.  It has such a good sweet and savory mix and always does the trick in a pinch.

What is your favorite summer produce?  What is your go to side?  Have you tried the Island Soyaki?  Let me know!  Before you do, check out the full recipe, which appears after the montage.

Local homegrown produce, except for the onion and garlic.  I would have purchased local, but they were out.  Hopefully that means a lot of participants in the challenge!

June 29, 2016

True decadence (Bacon bourbon brownies)

I wanted to make a fancy dessert for my family reunion.  I am a sucker for brownies so I wanted to make some of those.  Since I am an overachiever I decided regular old brownies would not do.  I was playing around on Pinterest and saw this recipe for Bacon Bourbon Brownies.  Holy cow, three of my favorite things in one, I had to make it!

These are very decadent and perfect for a special occasion.  I wish I would have gotten a pic of an individual one so you could see how moist and yummy they were.  The salty and sweet combination is one of my favorites and if it is yours, you need to make these!  Full recipe after the montage.

Yummy and hot out of the oven

June 28, 2016

Improvising is easy! (Easy slow cooker carnitas)

One of the personality traits I've always struggled with was being a bit inflexible about my plans.  I am a planner for sure, I live by my Erin Condren Life Planner, I plan what I am going to order before I get to restaurants, I can tell you what blog post I have planned for two weeks from now and I am signed up for Pure Barre Platform classes on Saturday mornings through August.  Last year when my life got flipped upside down after I had it all planned out, I was determined to become more flexible.  

But when you are me, being flexible still takes a bit of aforethought.  I had my week planned out for meals with my Hollygrove Box and then I got invited to do other things.  I was planning on a pork chop and beet risotto the night in question.  It was perfect because I could just pop the pork chop in the freezer and save the beets for later since they keep so well.

The following Sunday I went to meal plan. I had corn tortillas, tomatoes, corn, a jalapeƱo, and the pork chop. I needed lunch for the week.  Ooh, I needed tacos for lunch.  I thought my pork chops were fatty enough to try and make carnitas.   I was right!  This is super easy, a crock pot meal and so delicious.  Make this for your next taco Tuesday and you will not be disappointed. The flavor of the marinade really immersed itself in the meat and it was so good with the roasted corn and fresh salsa, although any salsa will do!  I had two coworkers come in on separate days and ask is that you, tell me what that is! Full recipe after the montage.

Simple yummy and local tacos, delish!

June 27, 2016

Recapping the weekend: Delta Gamma convention in Orlando!

Good Morning!  Hope y'all had good weekends!  I sure did!  And you know you are exhausted when you have to turn off the most exciting Game of Thrones finale ever at the halfway point to go to bed.  

I was at the 67th biennial Delta Gamma convention in Orlando.  Alumnae Presidents (Me!), Collegiate Presidents, officers, regional teams and visitors get together to do the business of the fraternity (that's what we call ourself, not sorority). There is also networking, classes on tech and organizing skills, speakers and other awesomeness.  Here we go! 

There was a how many anchors do you have on contest.  I didn't win ;(
We had the people in Orlando in our heats the whole time.
We had a lot of wedge salads...
And a lot of desserts
I got to catch up with one of my Austin gals, who I had not seen in 3 years!
We all had chairs with our chapter on it.  
Taking a pic here was quite the hit!
We got to vote on things with this cool clicker.
We had gifts on our chair at dinners!

OOh look, it is NOT a wedge!
Short Ribs!
This was only the fifth time this has ever happened!
The awesome whistling recipient.  Her "Anchor Man" came and surprised her.
She thought he was fishing!
There was a display from the archives everyday.
I need this shirt!
The signature drink, the Myth.  That's cotton candy.
I had to take this out the window, we were busy the whole time and not much outside time!
The Garden of Giving.  We raised over $100,000 while we were there for our Foundation.  Region 3 (that's my region!) won by a landslide!

We had some great speakers.  This was a panel of DG's that had made it to the top of their professions.  Lots of talk of work life balance, discrimination and getting what you want out of life.
We ended the weekend with a fancy awards gala. It was so fun.  Each region had their own poms to cheer on when a chapter in the region won.  I was sad to see it end!


There was also speakers on domestic violence and sexual assault, both were eye opening.  It was such a magical experience and I cannot wait to go back.  I am so fired up and ready to go kick off my presidency with some new ideas and vigor!

Were you in a sorority?  Are you involved as an alumna?  Do you know how to get involved?  You should if not, it is such a rewarding empowering experience. We aren't just for drinking and parties!

Have a great Monday!

Missy

June 22, 2016

An eat local challenge...challenge (Pecan Crusted Catfish with sauteed summer veggies)

As you may know, I am not a huge fan of seafood.  This is a bit of a conundrum for a foodie living in New Orleans.  Especially since I grew up here and grew up Catholic.  Fridays during Lent when I was a child were my first signs that I would be a dabbling vegetarian as an adult.  

One of my goals for when I hit one year of blogging next month was that I wanted to incorporate more seafood.  I am almost there so it was time.  I signed up for the eat local challenge and some technical difficulties (delayed flight home from North Carolina and car being in the shop) caused me to have to do my grocery shopping for the first week of the challenge at the bougy downtown Rouses that is walkable from work.  I was trying to be strict.  They did not have local pork, beef and chicken like my old and better Rouses.  They did have local catfish.  I hadn't had catfish in years but I remembered tolerating it when I was younger.

I had an open bag of local pecans so I decided to be fancy and make pecan crusted catfish.  It was a good decision.  The pecans really brought out the sweetness of the catfish and make it taste better than the bottom feeder it is.  This was super easy and I highly suggest you try this with catfish or any other mild fish you have lying around.  I served it with some sauteed local squash and tomatoes.  I missed onions and garlic.  Add those and you have a fantastic summer side.  Full recipe to follow.

Looking pretty good!  I love roasted tomatoes so much!

June 21, 2016

Eat Local Challenge Meal! (Potatoes, green beans and sausage skillet)

As I have told you,  I am participating in the Eat Local Challenge during the month of June.  It is easy to eat local when you have a great place like Hollygrove Market and Farm.  They have a weekly box that is chock full of goodies for $25.  Last week I got a box and it fed me breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week with only a few additions. And I made a signature cocktail with it too! (that will come later!)

In this box, I immediately thought the potatoes and wax beans should go together.  I usually make smothered green beans with bacon or ham and potatoes in the crock pot, but I decided to go a little different this time.  I discovered the lower fat, calorie and sodium sausage from Richards when I was cooking for two.  It looks and tastes the part and can dupe a man that loves sausage.  If you aren't in the area it is hard to find it online (hence the Walmart link, shudder) so just use turkey or chicken sausage instead or regular old sausage.

This was really good.  I wanted the potatoes crunchier and the green beans softer.  I think I cut the potatoes too big.  I think next time I will cut them smaller and not boil, but boil the green beans for a minute or two.  It was still a big bowl of delicious, I am just my own harshest critic.  Try this for yourself, sub stuff, add stuff, be happy!  Full recipe to follow the montage

Simple, and for the most part local cast.

June 20, 2016

Recapping the weekend: Friends food and fun!

Hi friends!  Hope you had a good weekend filled with family, friends, food and fun. I had one of those and it was great!  Linking up with Biana for Weekending.  

It felt like my weekend started on Thursday so let's start there!  My mom and I went to her favorite dinner spot, Houston's.  Even though they are a chain, they certainly don't feel like one.  We had a yummy and expensive dinner (oops I like fine wines!) and decided to get a drink after.  We crossed the street to the Blind Pelican and found a lot of people out of town with big piles of crawfish in front of them.  Long story short, I became the most popular girl in the bar because I taught them all how to peel!

It took a few tries to get it right for my first student. 
After a few tries, success!

Friday morning we were greeted at work by the office bread fairy, Dan.  He is the nice man that taught me the art of smoking meat.  He's not a bad baker either!  It was a much needed treat on a gloomy day when I had afternoon duty.
Sourdough bread and Morning Buns!  Thank you Dan!

Friday night was a surprise party for my friend's husband.  He was surprised because his birthday is not for another month!  We cooked out and played in the pool.  Her parents' house is so fun.  And her mom wants me to help her start a blog! #payitforward

SURPRISE!
Things I learned this weekend, dip fish in mustard before the batter.  Profit.  Holy cow so good!
Louisiana Saturday Night!
We had some freshly shucked oysters too.
Which we grilled with garlic butter and cheese!  
We partied until 2 am.  This is probably why!


Saturday I had me niece's dance review.  A new item on my bucket list is to tap dance in a sparkly flapper dress to a Beyonce song.  I wanted to get back up there so bad.  And then I remembered how old I was.  I did take adult classes a few years ago and it was so fun!

I had a nice lunch of Mexican food with my momma and then decided to have a night in.  It was very productive.  I tried out some VoxBox and Box of Style hair products, had a marathon of Veep and made 6 batches of pizza dough for my upcoming family vacation.  We are making our own pizzas on my cooking night.  You can find my dough recipe here.  Please ignore how bad that old post looks!


I love the science of yeast and dough making!

Sunday we went to my grandparents' house on the Northshore for Father's Day.  My great uncle had caught some big redfish and my grandma made redfish courtbouillon.  Oh my it was good!
That's a big fish!
This is the bone!  Quite the fish!  I just love my grandma!
Of course there was dessert!  Pineapple upside down cake, raspberry chocolate pudding cake and angel food cake!

It was a nice day at their home, I was the only one of my "age layer" of cousins that came so I almost got a seat at the adult table but was foiled again.  Maybe one day I'll get there!

What was going on for your weekend? It is a short week for me, heading to Orlando Wednesday. Have a great week campers!
Happy Cooking!

Missy

June 17, 2016

Five For Friday-Last week before traveling!

Hello everyone!  Happy Friday!  It was a long week that started with those tragedies in Orlando.  I still cannot believe it.  Feeling for all of the citizens and the parents of the little boy. I am heading to Orlando next week for Delta Gamma Convention and I intend to find a way I can "Do Good" while I'm there, any suggestions?! Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and Tif/Katie/Caitlin/Della for High Five for Friday  Here we go!

ONE:


Blogger Swap!  Thanks to Meg over at Borrowed Heaven I participated in a blogger swap!  We got matched up with another blogger and sent each other a pair of flip flops and nail polish.  I matched up with another Louisiana girl, Jen, from Marathons and Dogtags.  It was so fun to "meet" another blogger and connect with her!

TWO:


Wednesday, we had the June Birthdays (and me) Dinner at Mopho.  It was making a new memory for me as I had a really bad time the last time I went there a little over a year ago. You long time readers and real life friends can deduce why.  And boy did I make a great new one.  We had a blast and some yummy times, man that place is delicious! I did not capture the whole meal but will do a recap post soon. We have all been friends together for 10 years, some longer, some lesser, but this group is a rock for each other, always!  We missed the missing.

THREE:


I cannot wait to make this next week!  Slow cooker enchilada quinoa sounds so delicious.  I am technically cheating on the eat local challenge by making this, but I need a cheap crock pot meal with my schedule, budget (bar dues are due!) and short week.  This looks so yummy right?!

FOUR:


I love good food.  I love local produce, layered flavors, and fine dining.  I also love Taco Bell.  It's a sickness.  I have not had it in awhile but these double stacked tacos with the Doritos shells  are going to be seriously on my radar when they go national.  But only when I am drunk...maybe.

FIVE:


As the political season is ramping up now that we have our nominees, my inner political science and history nerd (I was a double major in that until my daddy told me to get one that had a career attached to it, harumph) starts reading some awesome political blogs and following election coverage because I love explaining things like the electoral college, why DC has a representative but not really, hence their license plates, and how Puerto Rico and Guam get to vote in the primaries but not in the general election to my less nerdy family.  

What I don't like during this time is Facebook.  It becomes a shit show.  I live in a geographic area that does not match my politics.  I can tolerate sane discussions/arguments (hello, I am a lawyer) but what I can't handle is petty untruths being peddled and retold and people getting personal about their political leanings. It's just silly.  I hated it last time and I did something about it. I want to do it again.

Therefore for the second presidential election in a row, I am taking a no politics pledge on social media.  I am old and set in my ways and so are my friends and family that are opposite of me.  We have become more and more polarized as a nation and I think that is so bad and what is causing gridlock, violence and lies and people regionalizing.  So I will be keeping Facebook about my puppy and nieces and nephew and vacation and football and my instagram about the fun places I happen upon from now until the election and will not to be polarized. Together we can all make a difference! Who is with me?

Well that's all I have.  Hope y'all have a great weekend! Let me know, what are you up to? I'll be back Monday with a recap of mine. Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers out there!

Happy Cooking!

Missy

June 16, 2016

A family reunion conundrum leads to carbs (veggie packed pasta salad)

I had my family reunion a few weeks back.  We were instructed to bring a fully cooked dish that would not need to be reheated or kept at a certain temperature.  I immediately thought, pasta salad.  I had not made one in awhile, and I had a Pinterest board full of them.  I could not decide which fancy one to make so I decided to go a more traditional route.  

This would be great with some chicken added, or even some salami or other Italian cured meat.  Or shrimp if you are so inclined.  It is the perfect summer side and would be a perfect meal with a protein addition.  You can customize this with your own favorite veggies and pasta shape.  I chose the cute crawfish shaped ones my old and better Rouses had and they were such a great conversation piece! Full recipe to follow the montage.

All ready to serve!

June 15, 2016

Wrapped up in love, if you count bacon as love (bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with yummy sauce)

I have a love hate relationship with pork tenderloin.  Well mostly love, but man they get dry!  I love my lean meats but they sure are hard to love!  I had a usual every other Saturday trip to Costco with my sister and nieces and we split some meat (as usual), this time it was pork tenderloin.  I decided to find a new recipe.  Pinterest to the rescue.  I found this pin for a bacon wrapped one and swooned. Yes please!

This is so delicious and really makes the moisture of a pork tenderloin problem disappear. The sauce was so good, just an amazing combo of flavors that melt in your mouth.  Add all the pork and your mouth will wonder why it did not send out invites to the party!

I served this with some delicious Brussels Sprouts that I will share later.  Make this!  It may seem fattening but you can pull off the fatty part of the bacon (that's what I did) and serve it with some veggies and have some easy low carb lifestyle food!  Full recipe will follow the montage.

How you doing?

June 14, 2016

A foil pack actually made on the grill! (Broccoli cheese ranch chicken foil packet)

Welcome to another installment of foil pack camping dinners for the summer!  I made a bit of a fancy one last time.  This one is a bit more mainstream, although I did use an odd ingredient for the base.  I was at my sister's helping her and my brother in law with the kids since they both had night time work events starting at different times.  I had to feed the kids and brother-in-law and figured I would let them in on my plan for foil packs.

This usually calls for bacon bits and rice.  I was going to make my own bacon bits, but that was not in the schedule.  I had some polenta leftover that I wanted to repurpose so I left out the bacon and subbed the polenta for the rice.  I also couldn't find her ranch dressing, so I improvised with just some powdered mix.

The result was tasty and so delicious.  I loved having the barbecued flavor in there.  I also forgot to spray the foil again so the end result looks wonky.  The ranch mix worked perfectly to season the polenta and chicken and the broccoli cooked perfectly.  I think keeping the chicken raw helped in that process.  Make this yourself, on a campfire, grill or in the oven.  Make a memory!  Full recipe to follow the montage.  Also sorry for the crappy I phone photos!  Forgot my camera at home!

All assembled and looking pretty.  If only I had sprayed first!

June 13, 2016

Recapping the weekend Middle of June?!

I am linking up with meal planning Monday with Southern Plate and Southern Bite!

I did some music, food and fun this weekend.

And the rest of this is blank in mourning of the lovely people that were taken too early in Orlando.  I have no words and if I did I would be banned from the internet.  Love, Peace and Namaste be with you, food and jk livin to return tomorrow.  Love everyone and leave them better than you found them please.

Happy cooking with extra hugs-

Missy

June 10, 2016

Five for Friday W words

Happy Friday! I had a long week of work and fun and I am half assing this post, as in I drafted ahead and didn't add to it, sorry! I am ready for the weekend!  Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and Tif for five for friday

ONE:
I'm published!  Well I have technically been "published" before on Westlaw, but y'all, I am in a cookbook!  I went to the Creole Tomato Soiree Wednesday night and received a copy of the book and was recognized by the French Market.  Now granted, I am their lawyer so that may have had something to do with it, but who cares, how fun!

TWO:



I am going to see St. Lucia Saturday night with my music besties!  I cannot wait.  Have you heard of them.  The above song is my current fave of theirs.

THREE:

I had to make a trip to Baton Rouge this week to pick up some files for work.  I also managed to sneak in a Trader Joe's run, lunch at Newk's, and a massage with my favorite masseuse.  Holy Heck Newk's gives you a lot of food!  I could only eat half and wished I could take it home!

FOUR:

I've got the travel bug.  Not for my trip to Orlando in a few weeks or for my family beach trip  the week after.  I mean like far away trip.  I watched Rick Steves on PBS the other night and he was in Amsterdam and Prague.  I did most of the things he did in Amsterdam, but never went to Prague or Germany where my daddy was born, and always regret that.  Then I see this article that there will be a direct flight to Germany from New Orleans next year!  I feel like a trip needs to be planned! I haven't been to Europe in 12 years, it is time!

FIVE

I have no five.  Vacation, work, moving, car logistics and whosits and whatnots have caused me to use these words to occupy five.  

Thanks!

Management

Happy Cooking!

Missy

June 9, 2016

A smashed up lovely for the ages (Garlic Tostones)


Remember when I was dreaming of my trip to Puerto Rico? I was really reminiscing, and wanted to have some food to keep the memories alive. I saw this recipe for garlic tostones and thought it would be perfect. Adding some black beans and chicken and avocado would make it a great Puerto Rican meal. I was not wrong, this was so delicious!

Tostones are just smashed and fried plantains.  If you have not had a plantain or tostones please put your phone or ipad down and run, do not walk, to get some.  They are sooooooooo good!The sweet and salty combination is so good and you will feel like you are eating dessert.  I love fruits and veggies like that!  

This was not as complicated as it sounds to make.  I made this while watching my nieces.  They played while I prepped and cooked. I am a great multitasker! I could not get them to eat the plantains but they loved the chicken and beans.  I made them some rice to go with the beans and  now, along with mug brownies, they always want rice and beans from their Aunt Missy.  Enjoy a nice My Shitty Kitchen on the road post at my sister's beautiful home!  Full recipe after the montage.

Simple simple cast.  I will tell you about the chicken later...
Here is whole garlic.
And now you have chopped garlic!
I had a hard time getting it out of the peel in one piece clearly!
Cut it into rounds.  Doesn't that look just like a banana?
Mix the water and the garlic.
Chop up an onion for the beans
And get it real nice and browned.
Mix the black beans, onion and some chicken broth.  Resist the urge to add spice.

Fry the plantains on one side.
The attempt to flip them over evenly and without splashing yourself.  #guilty
Take them out and let them cool to the touch.  I mean it. Then whack 'em good with a spoon like you are hitting someone mean.  
Give them a good dip in the garlic water.  Drain them on a paper towel.  Resist urge to fry up the garlic.  Puerto Rican food isn't Cajun food!
Put em back to fry a few minutes to get them nice and brown.
And there you have it!  So delicious!  I can't believe I missed that errant bean.

Garlic Tostones (Inspired by Pinch of Yum)
Ingredients 
2 plantains (I only used one and kept everything the same.  One can feed two people with sides)
1-2 cups oil for frying
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup water
sea salt

Peel the plantains and cut them into 1-inch thick disks. Place the garlic in a bowl with the water and set aside.  Heat enough oil in a large skillet so that the disks will be halfway submerged in the oil. When the oil is shiny and a drop of water sizzles across the top, add the plantains. Fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until the plantains are slightly softened and browned. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.  Place the plantains on a cutting board, smash with the back of a wooden spoon to make them half as thick, and let them soak in the garlic water for about a minute. Remove, dab them dry and wipe off garlic pieces so they don't burn, and return to the frying pan. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on each side or until they take on a deep golden color and a crispy texture. Drain again on paper towels, sprinkle with ground sea salt, and serve with  beans.

Black beans 

1 can black beans
half an onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth

Saute the onions in a teaspoon of oil.  Stir and cook until translucent.  Meanwhile drain the can of beans.  When the onions are done, add the beans and broth.  Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 10 minutes.

For the Chicken: I combined equal amounts of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and poultry seasoning and rubbed the chicken thighs.  I heated it in a hot oiled skillet and cooked on each side for 6 minutes. Your cooking time may vary, make sure it is cooked through!

Happy Cooking!

Missy