September 30, 2016

It's Friday! I have something different today!

Hey y'all!  I am linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and Tif/Katie/ Caitlin/Della for High Five for Friday! It was a long week and I am recapping my Chain Gang dinner at Red Lobster for this post since life is crazy, football and politics have me angry and work has been hectic.

For explanation, my friends and I all grew up in the suburbs and now we all live in, arguably, the gastronomic capital of the United States with literally hundreds of non-chain, gourmet restaurants in walking distance of our homes.  We were having a nostalgic conversation about cheddar bay biscuits and quesadilla explosion salads one day at 1000 figs which is delicious and definitely not a chain.  We decided to start a dinner club that would revisit all of our childhood haunts.  It is a hit, we regularly have 14 attendees, which usually overwhelms the restaurant.

This installment was Red Lobster.  It was my first time.  Enjoy. I feel like that lady from Grand Forks!

Our Hostess made a specialty drink for the pre dinner meetup, a Red Lobster!

September 28, 2016

I bet you you can't tell there's fake noodles in here (Low carb chicken tetratrizzini)

Chicken Tetrazini is something I have probably had only once or twice in the Delta Gamma House. My momma was not the casserole maker, we were more of a chicken leg, rice a roni and corn family. I was looking for a yummy use of the shirataki noodles in my freezer and wanted to try something different with them.  Then I stumbled upon this pin on Pinterest .

The original recipe used the fettuccine style noodles but my angel hair ones worked just fine. I cut this down to feed me four times and I wish I had made more!  She also loves wine in the original recipe but I did not have any on hand that wasn't red, so I left it out, it was fine.  I used a rotisserie chicken and that turned out great as well, and saves you some time!

This is really delicious, healthy and is so good leftover.  you will not be disappointed.  I love that it was so easy to make a creamy sauce without butter and flour to save some carbs and calories (cue Mean Girls..."Is butter a carb?")  Your family and or taste buds will savor this and maybe even dance around!  Full recipe to follow.

Just look at that low carb gooey goodness!  

September 27, 2016

Who needs mayo or bread? (No mayo italian chicken salad lettuce wraps)

The first line of this post from the Kitchn grabbed me, "This is chicken salad for the mayonnaise-hating crowd" Hi, Kitchn, how do you know all my weird food secrets?  I just don't like mayo.  I just can't.  I can taste it when it's there and you can't hide it from me.  I just hate it.  I also hate pickles, shrimp and Adele.  It makes me out to be not a fun guest at parties with a shrimp salad and a pop Pandora station.  

But I want to love chicken salad.  I am a sorority girl from the South, it is what luncheons are made of down here.  One of the lunches at my Delta Gamma convention was just chicken salad.  I ate the bread.  I don't eat bread on the reg, and in fact cannot remember the last time I bought it.  I do remember the last time I made it, though!

To my rescue comes this Italian chicken salad.  It sounded so good, and trust me, it was.  The flavors meld so well, the vinaigrette holds it together okay and the crunch of the added zucchini and lettuce wrap are amazing.  This is a great low carb, dairy free treat.  I had it for lunch over 4 days in a week. It got better by the day! Make this for yourself, you will not regret it!  Full recipe to follow.

Take that mayo and carbs!

September 26, 2016

Recapping the weekend, the end of an era.

Hey friends.  How are you?  Hope you had a great weekend!  I sure did as usual!  It was not a good one for football as my Tigers lost in the most Les Miles fashion ever.  And now he has been let go and I have weird oogie mixed feelings about it. Oh well, to the weekend!

Friday we had Happy Hour for my coworker Dwayne's 29th birthday (he really is turning that age) We all got there and by the time he did, most of us had to leave!

Where's the birthday boy?
We went to the Voodoo Two, which has an awesome piano.  And a good happy hour.
Friday night we had book club to discuss Crazy Rich Asians.  We  were hosted by my friend Suneeta who did a wonderful, book themed spread.  

The book was set in Singapore, we needed Singapore Slings!
I forgot what kind of bread this was, but it was delicious.
Rice noodles!  I ate around the shrimp.
I did not eat this shrimp.
Baked fish with veggies
The whole lovely spread.
Saturday night after that awful loss I went to Cafe Degas for some yummy French food and wine to drown my sorrows.

My companion had the escargots.  I did not pack participate.  I just couldn't.
I got the softshell crab.  I was told there would be avocado.
There was hanger steak across the table.  I did steal frites!
Sunday there was a lovely tea for my cousins who are both getting married this spring.  My grandmother hosts it for all of her granddaughters, she is so sweet

Our super cute servers had their own little table.
We had a lovely spread of sweet treats and finger sandwiches.  And of course, tea!
It was another great weekend of food friends and family.  I am so glad that traveling is done!  Hope you had a great weekend, what were you up to?  Enjoy the debate or football or none of the above tonight.

Happy Cooking!


September 23, 2016

Five for friday-Hello Fall, well in name only!

Hey y'all happy Friday! I am home again! It feels like forever even though I was home two weeks ago.  I am linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and Tif/Katie/ Caitlin/Della for High Five for Friday! I know your week was short and I hope your weekend is long! 


I have not heard this song in awhile and I love it.  Someone posted it on Reddit while I was trying to figure out Reddit the other day.  Such a great song!  Puts me me in a Friday mood!


I have book club tonight!  We read Crazy Rich Asians.  I cannot wait to discuss is was so fascinating. Our friend Suneeta is hosting and doing a Southeast Asian spread.  I am so excited!  Have you read this book?  It is so funny, so educational and a fast read, check it out!


That's all! 


I cannot wait to make this easy recipe! Find it here on Pinterest.  Easy sheet pan and broccolini!?  Yes!

I cannot believe this game was 10 years ago.  I am so lucky to have been there and living back here in New Orleans at that time after Katrina.  It was a wonky day, I had toe surgery the morning of and I looked ridiculous with a cast and a costume.  Great memories and great football!

That's what I got this Friday.  What about you?  What are you up to this weekend!  Whatever it is, have a great one!

Happy Cooking!


September 22, 2016

Some healthy workout fuel (Brussels Sprout, Kale, and Grapefruit Salad)

As you can tell, if you have been around here for awhile, I love Pure Barre.  I have been doing it for almost two years and it has changed my life.  It makes me look better (20 inches and two sizes down!) and feel even better.  The corporate headquarters sends out a monthly email with different tips and tricks, and sometimes there are even healthy recipes included, such as this one.

You can't go wrong with kale and Brussels sprouts in my book.  And adding avocado and grapefruit to the party just makes it that much merrier.  Apple cider vinegar is so good for you, and who could resist a mustardy vinaigrette?

I added chicken to this because I wanted the protein, but I ate it one day without it and it was just fine. The flavor of this vinaigrette is so wonderful, perfect combination of sweet and tangy.  The health benefits are immense and it is very easy to make!  Try this out sometime, you will not regret it! And thanks Pure Barre!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

How healthy and fun does it look?!

September 21, 2016

If only I had a real kitchen in the dorm! (Fancied Up Ramen Noodles)

When I moved back into my old house there needed to be some consolidation, moving of things around and creative orginization.  My old historic house is amazingly beautiful, but like most historic homes, the storage is woeful.  

I used one of my few furniture items I kept as a bit of a makeshift pantry as I had done last time I lived in the house.  The roommate was keeping her food in a cabinet in the kitchen and it was a much needed space for kitchen wares so I moved it all to the makeshift pantry.

As I was cleaning out the cabinet, I stumbled on some ramen noodles.  I immediately wanted to do something with them.  I decided to doctor them up and make them like the noodle places that have been popping up all over town.  

I went over to my friend Maureen's house for this meal and another friend and I helped her hang art in her house.  It only took five years for her to finally "move in"!  They loved the ramen as much as I did.  And it photographed so well!

I love a soft boiled egg and it really made the dish.  The method was perfect, but I still had a hard time peeling the eggs.  I just have to resign myself to the fact that I just am incapable of making easy to peel eggs.  We all have our faults!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Just beautiful!  And so tasty!

September 20, 2016

Recapping the weekend visiting my old stomping grounds of Austin

Hi friends! I know it is Tuesday, but I was driving back from Austin all day yesterday so let's recap on a Tuesday!  I used to live in Austin and I moved back to New Orleans three years ago. One of my best friends, Aimee, still lives there and I had not been back in over 2 years, it was time!

It felt like I just popped back into living there.  It was so nice to be back; but I also felt the whole time that I am right where I belong back here in New Orleans.  I just wish we had clean streets, less roaches, a lower crime rate and better Mexican food like they do!  Oh well, you can't have it all. Here we go!

This is always my favorite drive.  That well designed Capital is always visible!

September 16, 2016

Five for Friday

Hey y'all happy Friday!   I am linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and Tif/Katie/ Caitlin/Della for High Five for Friday! It was a long week, but I am off today for reasons below and ready for the weekend!  


I still don't understand how the Kale and Quinoa Gumbo thing is a thing.  Yes, it's nowhere near authentic and making a roux is sometimes a painful art, but I cannot believe the gumbo truthers got the gumbo recipe pulled.  At least they gave the "healthy" disclaimer like I do when I make low carb swaps!  This parody video is pretty funny though...


My weekend got away from me and I forgot to do a recap post.  The Dixie Chicks were great!  They started off slow but jammed out and did some great covers.  The place went wild when they played Goodbye Earl.  I was sad they did not play anything but Wide Open Spaces from the first album.  Of course some people apparently were offended, but hello, you were going to see the Dixie Chicks! You can find the setlist here.  We had a great time!


Marilyn Hagerty is so cute and back at it again!  If you don't know who she is, she is the Eatbeat Writer for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota.  She went viral in 2012 with her review of Olive Garden.  She truly is a little gem!


I received my Fall 2016 Box of Style in the mail yesterday!  I just love this quarterly treat and it did not disappoint as usual!  I cannot wait until it is warm enough to wear the cape!  I will be packing some of it just in time for...another trip.

The bracelet is coming with me as well as the lip gloss.  Can't wait to use the tassel belt!

I am heading to my former adopted hometown Austin for a visit this weekend!  I am actually sick of traveling now, is that possible? I am excited to see my best friend Aimee; to see how much the city has changed in two and a half years since I last visited and get my Mexican food fix.  But after this, I am not leaving my immediate metro area until December when I go to Napa and I am sticking to it!

Hope you had a good week!  What are you up to this weekend?  I hope you have a great one, filled with fun, friends, football or family.  Or all of those things together!

Happy Cooking


September 14, 2016

Out of the ordinary gorgeousness (Pepper Jelly Chicken with caramelized peaches and sweet potato)

I've been spending a lot of time browsing over at Epicurious.  I just love browsing there.  The website is designed in a pleasing way and they always have something right up my alley.  I subscribe to their daily emails for inspiration.  

One day they sent an email and the only word I saw was caramelized.  It is one of my favorite food words.  I assumed they were talking about onions, but no, they were talking about peaches.  Holy yum!  The ingredients all sounded weird together but I decided to give it a whirl anyway, I had some homemade pepper jelly from my sweet friend Mary Katherine in the fridge that just had to be put to a better use than the last time I tried to cook with it (that fail post has still not been published!)

This smelled so good while it was in the oven.  Even though this is a summer dish with the peaches and my farmers market had sweet potatoes all summer, this will fill your home with the wonderful scents of fall.  And it looks damn fancy on the plate.  Trust, even though this sounds weird, it is sooooo good.  The coconut oil really makes a difference in the flavor so do not sub for that.  Full recipe after the montage.

One of the fancier platings I have done recently!

September 13, 2016

A slightly low carb treat (Chicken and pancetta meatballs with pepperonata)

This post is out of control beautiful because I was house sitting when I shot it at my friend Jennifer's house.  She is a trained chef so she has the good stuff, and her kitchen is new, clean, and has a ton of natural light.  It was like the stars aligned for this awesome meal.

When I started my little to no carb lifestyle I was cooking for more than me which caused me to look outside the box more often.  I made this one early on and my taste tester  was very impressed.  I served it then with some oven roasted kale.  That is nice if you need it, but this lady was full on just the meatballs and pepperonata.

Y'all this is so good and healthy.  It is a great lunch or a weeknight meal.  The peppers are so good, the chicken meatballs are so great, and when you put them together it is a flavor explosion!

The pic was taken at my desk, not indicative of what is to come, but that is where the finished product was assembled.  These two are a match made in heaven. 

September 9, 2016

Five For Friday-Finally Home for Once!

Hey y'all happy Friday! I am finally home on one, feels like forever.  I am linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and Tif/Katie/ Caitlin/Della for High Five for Friday! I know your week was short and I hope your weekend is long! This was hard to draft, still haven't exited vacay mode!  So excited NFL football is back to take my mind off the LSU Tigers.

I have booked my final trip of this well traveled year!  I am going to Napa for the first time ever!  My friend Jen and I are going in December.  She used to live there so she knows the lay of the land, and we get to stay with her friend for free!  More money for wine and food!  Have you been to Napa?


I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THIS SONG.  That's all.  First time I have noticed the lyrics.  So millennial. I can say that as a cusp Gen X'er.


As if New Orleans needs more restaurants to add to my list, we have so many new restaurants opening this fall!  I love to eat and try new things; I am so lucky to live in this city while it is experiencing such amazing growth.  If only it wasn't pricing houses out of my budget ;)

This is a very sad story but is still hilarious all the while.  Heroin addiction is no joke, but make sure you watch the instagram videos. I am a novice at things like embedding instagram shots. Add it to the list of things to learn!


Saturday night I am going to see Elle King and the Dixie Chicks! I could not be more excited.  When I pulled out of my parents' driveway to head to Austin when I moved there this song came on and I cried my eyes out.  In a good way.


Well that's all I can muster today. Getting back to reality has been hard.  Next week will be back to normal, kind of.  Hope you have great weekends!  What are you up to?

Happy Cooking!! 


September 8, 2016

Bucket List Trip Recap Part 2! Milwaukee is a hidden gem.

Hello everyone!  This is a short week for me so no recipes, just recaps!  This one is all Milwaukee.  If you have not been there, GO!  But only in the summer.  I am sure it is not fun when it is negative one degrees outside!  We decided to spend the majority of our trip there because Chicago is always an option for travel, when the hell else would we go to Milwaukee?  I will tell you, I hope I go back!

Let's pick up the trip with the Sunday after the game that sucked...Oh and sorry, it is pic intensive.

They go hand in hand!

September 7, 2016

Bucket List Trip Recap Part 1

Hi friends! Long time no talk.  I have been a traveling fool as I warned you.  I got back yesterday from my bucket list trip to Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay to see LSU play Wisconsin, visit Chicago and Milwaukee for the first time, see the Cubs in person and go to Eataly! I will be on a serious diet this week with all the yumminess that was had on the trip.  It was so long and fun, I will break it into two parts, before the sad game and after.  Man, the football team looked terrible!  Who cares, the trip was worth it!

All we needed was charcuterie.

September 1, 2016

Where have I been?!

Hey friends!  I have been on a whirlwind of travel.  I went to Cincinnati to visit my family and now today I am heading on my bucket list trip to see LSU play Wisconsin at Lambeau Field!  Here's a slight recap of goings on.  I'll be back with food and fun next week. And I will be on a severe diet and exercise binge.  Enjoy your Labor Days!

Our family mantra