March 31, 2017

Five for Friday-Hogs for the Cause time!

Hi my dears!  Happy Friday!  I cannot believe it is April already!  I have a busy month ahead, with a trip to Ohio and two weekends of Jazz Fest on the books plus Easter.  It's going to be a doozie! Linking up with the beautiful Amanda for Friday Favorites.

I am off today prepping for Hogs for the Cause.  I am the lead chef on Sweet Swine of Mine, the only all female team competing out of 90+ teams.  I am making the ribs and butts on the smoker and our "Porkpourri" dish for the judges.  That is, a creative dish using pork.  With the ribs we are serving a yogurt based slaw, and with the butts we are making our signature dish for the masses, a Zapp's pie, basically a walking taco with Zapp's chips (who kindly donated the chips to us!)


The Gentleman Caller™ and I are going to see Radiohead Monday!  I am so excited.  Its going to be a long weekend of no sleep and smoking meat and that will be a nice treat at the end!  Here is one of my favorites, do you like them? What is your favorite?



Next Tuesday is a Pure Barre pop up at Nola Brewery!  I am loving doing exercise with beer these days! All my Pure Barre pals are going, it should be a fun time raising money for the LASPCA!


How good does this look?  I am making this for a meal or two next week and adding chicken. Getting ready for swimsuit season takes some work!


I love a secret menu.  I had my favorite off the menu salad yesterday and I am for sure going to try this next time I head to Starbucks!  I always do "Adult Cold medicine" when I am not feeling well, but that drink from Starbucks is more office friendly, hee hee!

I hope to have a recap post for you on Monday but that depends on how tired I am Sunday.  I will be Snapping some fun look for me on there: missyquiggs.  Speaking of, I tried insta stories an I just like Snap better.  I can't get behind insta stories.  What say you?  Do I need to?  Hope you have a fantastic weekend full of fun, family. friends and food like I will.

Happy Cooking!


March 30, 2017

Coffee in ball form (No bake Healthy Chocolate Espresso Energy bites with turmeric)

It is breakfast week at My Shitty Kitchen in case you can't tell.  I have been trying everything to replace my formerly beloved green smoothies.  This is another recipe that I pinned to try.  These energy balls had a bunch of great ingredients that made me feel healthy, and I could skip that second cup of coffee with the espresso beans!  Sounded like a winner!

These are good, but are a serious mess and may offend people who have a texture issue, as in you don't like sticky gooey stuff.  But all in all they taste great and are so different! I bet they would be better if I had gotten a smaller grind on the chocolate covered espresso beans.  Or maybe if I subbed powdered espresso mixed with cocoa powder?  That's an idea! Also the original recipe called for ginger and I was out of it.  They were just fine without it.

What do you usually have for breakfast?  I am still searching for ideas.  I may be ready to grab my old vegan protein powder and start making smoothies again, nothing is coming my way that replaces them for convenience, nutrients and  full factor! Full recipe to follow the montage.

No bake energy filled breakfast bites
They sure do photograph well!

March 29, 2017

Muffins to the rescue! (Chocolate zucchini breakfast muffins)

As I told you yesterday, I gave up on my breakfast smoothies.  I have been loyal to them for so long and I had a mishap. I tried a new protein powder and I did not like it.  Then,  I dropped one behind my toilet while doing my makeup and my pint glass cracked, sending the purpleish green liquid all over the wall.  It was a double sign that I needed a break.  So now, you are getting some different breakfast ideas on the blog!

You know I just love my Kitchn emails I get.  They always are full of useful information for a meal planning and organization loving foodie like me.  And when I got sick of my smoothies, the Kitchn delivered.  With muffins.  Zucchini bread is always a lovely treat, but with chocolate and oatmeal in muffin form?  Well that sounds like breakfast!

I made these a bit healthier by doing half whole wheat flour and seriously reducing the amount of sugar they called for and they were still delicious.  They say the cinnamon is optional, but I disagree, it is necessary.  Since it made more that I would eat for breakfast, I brought them to work for Tuesday team meeting.  They got rave reviews, including one from our head litigator that made me smile, "I would eat more veggies if they all tasted like that!" Make these, you will love them! And you get hidden veggies! What is not to love? Full recipe to follow the montage.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
I love when they turn out like the picture

March 28, 2017

And now for something from the archives (sweet potato and oatmeal breakfast casserole)

I am a green smoothie in the morning girl.  When I first started this blog I was adjusting to life of having to make them in advance for my Pure Barre schedule since I was used to living literally around the corner from it.  Now I was so sick of them I was desperate for some make ahead breakfast that I could have on the go or really quick.  I decided to check on my Pinned it and Liked it Board (that needs some serious updating) for some inspiration.  I knew I was eating other things for breakfast back then before I made the smoothie switch.

And I saw an old favorite recipe, from an old favorite blog I do not visit enough, Eat 80/20.  I looked around and had kind of everything to make it.  I could improvise a few things and make it a clean out the fridge, healthy breakfast!  So hemp went in the place of flax seeds, (I know, who has hemp hearts on hand but not flax seeds?) (yes, I used to live in Austin, why do you ask?) and almonds replaced the walnuts.  I am not sure what this did to it nutritionally, but still felt healthy and tasted amazing to me!  
Try this, it is really different but I promise it is so good.  Your family will never know they are eating hemp! And the topping feels so decadent without being so, it's really that good!  Full recipe with my modifications to follow the montage.

Yam and oat breakfast casserole
Just chock full of healthy monounsaturated fats and goodness!

March 27, 2017

Recapping the weekend, wedding fun!

Happy Monday my lovelies!  Hope you had a fabulous weekend full of fun.  I definitely did. One of my favorite people got married and it was a weekend full of showing she and her groom love.  Linking up with Biana for weekending.  Here we go!

Friday was the welcome crawfish boil at the beautiful New Orleans Board of Trade.  It is such a lovely venue and the company and crawfish was even more lovely.  It was so great to see old friends, make new ones and shower the bride and groom with love.

It is a popular wedding venue as well.  Such a grand building and perfect weather!
Yes please!  Best time of year!

March 24, 2017

Five for Friday, life is killing the blog!

Hi friends. Happy Friday! It's been a long one and I have never been so ready for a weekend! Linking up with the lovely Amanda for Friday Favorites!


As you can tell last week I was MIA.  Work, fun and general life has been so busy the blog has been suffering.  While I was drafting this, I looked back at a post around this same time that explains it, this is just a busy time of year! I said this was the year of no, and I have not been living that way lately. 

And y'all,  Blogger is killing me.  It takes forever for my photos to upload. Are you having the same issues Blogger peeps? Is it wordpress time?  Is it blog quitting time?  Hopefully I will be catching back up to normal after Hogs for the Cause. I need a break and April is just as crazy!

Speaking of Amanda, I am loving my fashion this weekend that she inspired! My good friend Laura is getting married Saturday and I cannot wait! I will be sporting pink shoes, a floral dress and a fascinator!  Last Friday we had a day of bachelorette fun for Laura.   We had a lovely lunch at Commander's Palace and then bar hopped in the French Quarter.  

Laura is in the Chef hat.  I could not be happier for her!

While all the food was amazing, the shortcake was so good!

I had a lovely day of volunteering for the Southern Eye Bank at Audubon Park last weekend too.  It was such a good event. It matched eye and cornea donor families and those that received the gift of sight for a picnic and fun.

The shirt, so pretty!


I cancelled Sirius XM.  It is not official until today but I took all the presets off and pretended it happened already earlier in the week.  I cancelled that, and one other $15 a month non necessity.  I am going to direct debit the savings into my Capital One 360 account and voila, in a year, I will have saved $400.  I think I can live without fancy radio!


Hogs for the Cause is next weekend!  It is a fabulous event benefitting families fighting pediatric brain cancer.  I am the head chef and will be grilling up a storm.  You can read my recap of last year here.  This year it is at a different location and I am in a much better place in my life so I cannot wait! Luckily  had some time this week to draft blog posts that had been waiting so I can be MIA, but not really!

Hope y'all have fantastic weekends!  I sure am with all the wedding festivities!  What are you up to? Let me know!

Happy Cooking!


March 22, 2017

Yum yum come get you some! (Easy jambalaya with the Jambalaya Girl)

When you live in Louisiana, you are surrounded by good food.  Ask anyone where the best red beans, gumbo, jambalaya or etouffee can be found and usually you will get "My mama's house" and not a restaurant.  My momma is not a great cook, but in my book she makes the best red beans.  My ex used to make the best gumbo, but I dare say mine is now the best since I learned from him and practiced harder to make it better.  And when anyone asks me where the best jambalaya is, I will always say, "it comes out of a box!"

My close friend Kristen is the Jambalaya Girl.  I have introduced her before.  Her mix is so good, most people cannot tell it is a mix.  I made it for the Super Bowl when I lived in Austin, and everyone wanted to know how long it took me.  Well, with the help of the Jambalaya Girl, about 30 minutes! It is so good, so easy and such a treat.  I hadn't had jambalaya in a while and I picked up some of her mix at my Rouses.  

You out there in non New Orleans land can have this dish in your life!  The Jambalaya Girl is on Amazon!  But also if you order from her website and sign up for emails, you also get 10% off your first order. And she makes gumbo too if you don't have a recipe handy, and I can vouch that it is delish!  Check out how easy it is below!

The best and easiest jambalaya you will ever make!
So good, so good!  You have to come get you some!

March 21, 2017

No greens for that new baby! (Roasted root vegetables with smokey seasoning)

I showed you what I made my sister for dinner the other day and this is the other component.  When she is breastfeeding there is no time for the foods we normally love in her diet.  No greens, beans or noodle swaps, just straight meat and potatoes for my nieces when they are babies and growing! I decided to try and roast some veggies and not just make mashed potatoes.  I was having a particularly (I say was, still am) busy week at work and decided to take a break and grocery shop at the fancy Rouses by my office.  I could take a quick break, walk, get my groceries and be happy.

Well my bags split on the way back.  Right at the exit to the big fancy building across the street. I looked ridiculous scooting all the elements of the meal out of the way of a stockbroker's Yukon sneaking out early.  So for the rest of the day I had turnips in my purse!

In any event, this was so yummy!  The spices were just right and the veggies had so much flavor due to the roasting.  No one turned up their noses at the turnips!  Although, it was four adults having this with pretty unpicky palates.  Make this yummy side with roasted chicken, pan seared pork chops, flank steak, or with fish like I did.  You will not regret it.  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Roasted root vegetables with smokey seasoning
I forgot to get a finished product picture, but they look good going into the oven too!

March 14, 2017

A sister birthday dinner (Pan seared Tilapia with strawberry avocado salsa)

I always cook my middle sister a yummy dinner for her birthday.  Last year it was some delicious duck and a random veggie concoction.  This year I was going to do her favorite, lamb, which is not my favorite (that's what a good sister I am!).  Turns out, her birthday was on Ash Wednesday.  Being the good Catholic she is, she requested seafood.  I wanted to opt for vegetarian since I am not a seafood person, but she is breastfeeding and Ruby is averse to most green veggies and beans, so seafood it was.  

I tear out recipes all the time from the magazines to which I subscribe, namely, Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens and Food and Wine.  I had one on my fridge for tilapia and salsa from Real Simple and I decided to make that.  But to make it more local with some local strawberries instead of grapefruit. I figured avocado, cilantro and green onions were not as agitating as most greens, and I was not wrong. This was so simple, fresh and delicious, a really easy weeknight meal! I served it with roasted non green veggies which will be forthcoming.

Make this, you will not be disappointed. It made the birthday girl, brother in law and gentleman caller all happy as well as me! The salsa is probably great with chicken or steak too or just on its own.  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Pan Seared Tilapia with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
A colorful light meal perfect for lent and when you are dreaming of summer

March 13, 2017

Recapping the weekend, crawfish everywhere!

Hi friends, happy Monday.  Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  I sure did.  Linking up with the lovely birthday girl, Biana for weekending.  Lots of fun here, let's get into it!

Friday night I had dinner with my high school besties.  We had not all gotten together since our fun trip in August to Mississippi.  We had an even better time this time!  Dinner at the amazing Marcellos and a wonderful catch up.  So luck to be friends for 25 years!

The waiter was not a good photo taker so a selfie had to work
Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day Parade at my friend Rebecca's.  They had crawfish and so much fun.  Long day and so worth it!

March 10, 2017

Five for Friday A sneak peak at St. Patrick's Day!

Hello my gentle readers, Happy Friday! It was a long week and I am ready for Friday!  I was lucky enough to to watch two episodes of This is Us this week, cannot wait for the finale next week! Are you watching? Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.  Here we go!


Speaking of Amanda...These shoes y'all!  She has had them on heavy repeat and I was drooling over them.  They were out out of my price point and I kept dreaming of them.  Then somehow I stumbled across them on mega sale from Nordstrom!  They are no longer on sale, sorry, but keep checking!  I will be wearing them on heavy repeat this spring for sure!  Thank you for stocking my closet yet again, Amanda!

Also used my new tripod for this one!!

March 9, 2017

Lessons on investing in spices (Curried Chicken and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner)

I love trying out new spins on low carb diners.  First, some housekeeping.  I call my lifestyle the little to no carb lifestyle but to some of you strict low carbers, that is probably a misnomer.  I don't really count carbs unless something comes in packaging.  Which usually I do not buy.  But what I do is, I try not to have an processed or added carbs (think rice, pasta, white potatoes, bread) and stick to lean meats and veggies. This has helped me lose all of my quitting smoking weight and keep most of it off.  I went on a bit of an eat what I want bender lately and have been trying to get back on track!

I saw this on my Pinterest for a curried sheet pan and thought it would be a great little to no carb and exotic treat.  I had turnips leftover from a previous Hollygrove Box that I thought would be a great sub for butternut squash and stopped in at the market to pick up some fresh local Brussels Sprouts.  It was good, but, next time I think I will go to a spice shop and get good curry powder. Or at least get some that is not just to its expiration date. Mine is too celery based and did not have a good depth of flavor.  That is my fault, not this recipe's.  I also think that the butternut squash would have been really good, or even a sweet potato.  In any event, I ate the leftover veggies like a banshee and reused the leftover chicken to make a quick leftovers recipe that is coming.

Make this, you will love how easy and how little cleaning you have after!  Do you make sheet pan dinners? What are some of your favorites?  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Curried Chicken and veggies sheet pan dinner
The cast.  That is a really large onion!  Don't use that curry powder!

March 7, 2017

It takes a village (Slow Cooker Healthy Chicken Cacciatore)

My cousin Chelsea lives in LA, as in Los Angeles.  She is too cute and sent me a recipe a while back that she had made for dinner for herself and her man.  I pinned it and forgot about it.  Now that I have photography class on Wednesday nights, that is a night I desperately need a slow cooker recipe I can eat before class in a rush or I will resort to picking up Bud's Broiler  (#4 with hickory Sauce) on the way home after class like a ravenous fool.

I also have been on a weight gaining spree and needed to slow my roll and get back to my little to no carb lifestyle.  This recipe was perfect for that goal as I would just serve it as is with no rice or noodles, kind of like a soup.  I added some of those marinated veggies from Costco I like to add to everything and they were an excellent addition!  Try this, it is really good, lots of depth of flavor, set it and forget it and healthy!  Everyone wins!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Slow Cooker Crock Pot healthy Chicken Cacciatore
A hearty bowl of delicious!

March 6, 2017

Recapping the weekend, recovery and restoring!

Hello friends!  Hope you had a great weekend!  I sure did, lots of family time, date night, cleaning and purging and fundraising,  it was so good to get a break for Mardi Gras, although the social calendar is ramping up!  Linking up with the lovely Biana for weekending.  Let's get to it!

Friday I took a half day and hung out with two of my favorite munchkins.  They were off school all week and my new momma sister, tax season having momma, newly retired dad and hard working other sister had their fill of taking days.  It was my turn.  I took them to the Louisiana Children's Museum.  It was a good choice, they had a blast!

Captaining a ship was their favorite!

We went to Tutti Frutti after for froyo. Aunt life is the best, it was good to give them back after a long day!

March 2, 2017

A recipe from my files, or lack thereof (Tender juicy pork tenderloin with onion pan sauce)

I love when pork tenderloin tastes good.  But man is it hard to do!  They come out dry sometimes. Flavorless.  Chewy.  Ew!  I made a delicious version of a pork tenderloin a million years ago when I used to email my friends yummy meals I made so they could recreate them.  (How did I not see this blog coming!?)  I looked through my emails and couldn't find it.  I vaguely remembered what I did but not exactly.  Time to recreate!

I was cleaning out my pantry and came across a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix, which was the only ingredient I remember about that tenderloin.  I bet myself it would go great with a mustard rub and a white wine pan sauce.  Yup, it sure did!  I brined the tenderloin before cooking, and I have to say that is the best thing to do to ensure they are moist and tender.  Even just a 10 minute brine will do you some good.  I like to do about a half hour.

I paired this with some leftover risotto I made previously and a steamed artichoke, which is one of my favorite things.  The pork was so delicious, and great leftover in some tacos! Try this, you will not regret it!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

tender juicy pork tenderloin with onion pan sauce
That sauce y'all, it is so good!

March 1, 2017

Recapping Mardi Gras!

Howdy friends!  Here with a recap of my Mardi Gras shenanigans. Well only until Sunday, my blogger app is not working and won't let me update it with Monday and Tuesday pics.  But you will get a good enough if an idea of the fun from this mini update!  I was a bit more low key this year than last year (just re reading that recap made me tired!), but still fit in a ton of fun.  And a few Pure Barre Classes.  Let's get to it.

Friday the Ladies of Misrule had our Mardi Gras Luncheon in the French Quarter.  We had delicious food, wigged out and had a delightful ladified day.  

Having drinks after on the balcony at Galatoire's.  Maybe I should go redhead!

It was not to full swing yet.
I decided to be responsible and take a ride home with the gentleman caller when he got off work and not stay out.  I am still thanking myself for that because my days off ended up not being off. 

Saturday we walked to the Endymion route and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine.  My dad usually rides in the parade and my whole family goes to the Extravaganza after.  Due to him not riding, my sister having a baby and me prioritizing Jazz Fest in the budget; only my mom and dad went.  The parade was great, and I was half a block away from this tragic incident and did not even know it happened until people started checking on me.  So sad, I am so happy no one was killed.  

A lovely day on Orleans Ave. 
Sunday we went back to my old Historic Home for brunch before the Krewe of Thoth.  It was so good to be back in my old hood and on my beloved porch.  Jen was a great hostess as usual!
What a spread!

All of the bands line up in the neighborhood.  Many of them used our bathroom!
The gentleman caller and I on the porch where we first stated our courtship.
The book club girls and the Kipp band leaders.  The serenaded us for letting the students use the bathroom!
I usually trek down on my bike to see the battle of the bands and watch Bacchus, but biking alone to my new neighborhood at night is not a good idea.  Instead I headed home like a responsible adult and we had make your own pizza night and watched the Oscars.  What an ending!

His and hers.  Arugula for the win!
Monday was a parade and Peche and Tuesday was brunch and the Quarter.  I hope you get to come to Mardi Gras one day if you haven't, it is quite the spectacle!  Happy Wednesday to you and Monday to me!

Happy Cooking!