May 31, 2017

Gentleman Caller's favorite salad (Arugula Artichoke Avocado Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette)

Twas the first time I cooked for Gentleman Caller I coined the term dinner on the fly.  I literally made it on the fly.  Since we lived a half hour apart then, I took a ziploc with some marinade and stopped for a flank steak on the way and marinated it while I drove!  I also made a salad of the things I had in the fridge, arugula, artichoke and avocado.  Little did I know that the AAA salad would be the key to his heart...or at least his tummy!

Recently, on a Tuesday, which we call the new Friday, since that is our standard date night, we decided to have a dinner and binge watch night at home. Or as most people call it, Friday, hee hee. I decided to make that salad again.  It was even better since I made my own dressing.  Gentleman caller smiled at me as he ate it and said, "If I'm ever on death row, will you come make me this salad for my last meal?"  Romantic, eh!

This is such a good flavor combo, you will love it!  My local little market did not have plain arugula this time so I used a mix that contained it.  So feel free to use any kind of lettuce!  I promise you will not be disappointed if you make this, it goes really well with chicken, steak and grilled fish.  Full recipe to follow the montage. Linking up with Meal Plan Monday.

Arugula Artichoke Avocado Salad
Hello pretty salad!

May 30, 2017

Recapping the Weekend-Long Weekend Birthday Surprise Trip!

Hi friends!  Thank you so much for all of your sweet birthday wishes!  I am so lucky to have such great people in my life!  I had such a lovely celebration with friends and Gentleman caller.  He surprised me with a quick whisk away! Linking up with Biana for weekending.

Saturday he picked me up and told me we were headed to cute downtown Covington which is about 30 miles away to stay at the gorgeous restored Southern Hotel.  I wish I would have gotten some night pictures of it, it is so stunning and romantic!

He brought me my favorite kind of beer so we could have some and enjoy the quaint little town. Most of the stores and galleries were closed but we had a nice walk in a historic setting, one of my favorite activities!

So many people were kayaking on the river!  I was a little jealous!
Next, it was present time!  I got the most beautiful, thoughtful necklace.  It is called an Aram Cara and when I read more about it, it just made me cry.  Such a sweet and wonderful gift!

So pretty!

I also got some fun rubs to play with when I am grilling!  I cannot wait!

We changed for dinner and had a cocktail in the lobby bar before dinner.

Some happy birthday celebrators!  
We went across the street to Del Porto for dinner.  I have been wanting to try it and was so glad we did!  We split a few things so we could save room for dessert.

We always get a charcuterie plate!  And I could not pass up the special appetizer: Cantaloupe prosciutto caprese!

We got the Porchetta Spiced Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop with roasted fennel, new potatoes, onions,  and Louisiana citrus agrodole.  we split it and it was just enough food.  And we want to recreate it!
We got gelato for dessert.  We couldn't decide so we got a sample: Dark chocolate, honeycomb and salted caramel.  Holy Cow I was in heaven!

The next day we stopped at the Chimes for brunch.  I always went to the original location in college, and still do when I got back for games.  I got my old favorite, a turkey croissant.  And a giant mimosa!  It was good but not as good as I remember it.  My palate is so refined now!

The rest of the weekend was very low key and full of texts, calls and facebook messages from so many lovely people.  I feel so loved!  How was your weekend?  What did you do?  See you tomorrow for more food!

Happy Cooking!


May 25, 2017

12 things for the end of 37 (It's my birthday Sunday!)

Hi friends!  Happy Friday!  It is my birthday weekend over a holiday?  How did I get so lucky?  I have been treated so well this week already.  I am such a lucky girl.  Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.

I remember when I turned 30 I was so scared about it.  I hated how old it sounded and how I had not accomplished any of the things I thought I would by that age.  Now that I am turning 38, I look back and smile.  I am still not married and still not a mom (the main two things I was sad I hadn't accomplished) and now, I don't care!  I may not have done those things and who knows, may never, but I have traveled; I have grown; I have my dream job; I have amazing friends; I quit smoking; I am totally financially self sufficient and I have never been happier.  I am living proof that youth is wasted on the young.  I am living MY life and that is the lesson I wished I would have learned a lot earlier.

So in celebration of the best year of my life so far and counting, here are my monthly highlights for 37 since I am turning 38 this Sunday.

May-  I still had it in me to do a Mountain split while in the Mountains for my birthday.  Thanks to Pure Barre I hope to still be splitting into my 40's!
Such a great trip.  I never thought I would still be splitting at this age!

May 24, 2017

Ready, set, dinner. Well a side at least (Truffled sweet and white potatoes)

I told you about my dinner on the fly night when I shared the gremolata yesterday.  I needed a side for that chicken so I looked to see what I had on hand.  I had a sweet potato, a white potato and garlic and thyme.  I also had some truffle oil that I hadn't used in ages. I thought, wow this would all be good together, like fancy fries!  I was not wrong.

This was very delicious and very garlicky. If you don't like garlic (I absolutely cannot understand people that don't like it) then don't make this.  But if you are even a little bit team garlic, you will love this.  The thyme in it paired so well with the gremolata on the chicken that went with it too.  These were really good the next day reheated with a fried egg for breakfast!  Full recipe to follow the montage. Linking up for Meal Plan Monday!

truffled sweet and white potatoes
So yummy and such a treat!

May 23, 2017

Some Friendly Inspiration (Thyme Bacon Gremolata and Chicken Thighs)

I had a lot of people over for Jazz Fest.  Most of them brought me treats and supplies like champagne, toilet paper and sausage.  My friend Laura brought me some thyme from her parents' garden.  She also suggested I pair it with bacon and onion over a protein. I remembered that as I put away the thyme.

The next week, Gentleman Caller and I decided to have a #tuesdayisthenewfriday (our usual date night) at home. He had to work late so I decided to make dinner on the fly.  I remembered the thyme and realized I had everything I needed to make a delightful meal. 

I added lemon zest and garlic to Laura's idea and subbed shallot for the onion and called it gremolata. And it was a good decision.  The flavors combined to make a party in my mouth and paired really well with the chicken.  I bet it would be excellent on fish too!  This is easy yet fancy, adds a ton of flavor and will impress your family members or guests!  Make this and you will not be disappointed. Full recipe to follow the montage. Linking up for Meal Plan Monday!

thyme bacon gremolata
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

May 22, 2017

Recapping the weekend-Almost Birthday time!

Hi friends!  Happy Monday!  Hope y'all had a great weekend!  Linking up with Biana for weekending.

Friday night I had a low key night at home and did laundry and watched "Caution-this drug will kill you" and "Mommy dead and dearest" on HBO.  Both were so fascinating!

Saturday was Miss Ruby's baptism!  I just love her!  We had mass, good food, family and a bounce house.

Me and my 4th niece

Sissy and I had matching shoes!
Sunday Gentleman caller and I checked out Bayou Boogaloo.  The weather made us go home, then it was okay.  Stupid weather!

The floatilla were out in full force!
We stopped in to Pal's Lounge for a drink and to meal plan.  We ended up with a lot of meat. When a man wants to grill, he grills!

Yes, it was just us two eating!  I love planning ahead for the week!

We dined al fresco.  I am so glad to check it off the summer bucket list!
Hope you had a great weekend!  Next weekend is my birthday, gearing up for that and a new driver's license this week!  See you tomorrow with more food!

Happy Cooking!


May 19, 2017

Five for Friday- How is may almost over?

Howdy friends!  Happy Friday!  I am ready for a long weekend next weekend already!  Linking up with Amanda from Meet at the Barre for Friday favorites.  Here we go!


I made up a recipe for Spicy Grapefruit margaritas the other night for Happy Hour and they were too delicious not to share.  And super easy!  And low calorie!

2 cups Sparkling grapefruit water (I used Skinny Girl for color, but pamplemouse LaCroix will work)
1 cup Trader Joe's Jalapeno Limeade (or just plain old line juice if you don't have a TJ's
1 cup or more Tequila to your tasting
juice of one grapefruit (I cut in half and squeezed by hand)

Combine and serve over ice.  Enjoy!


Rest in peace Chris Cornell.  I was so sad to hear of his passing.  I was such a grunge girl (I'm old and Gen X!) and his voice was one of my favorites.  I feel like he was at his best in this song, and bonus, Eddie Vedder is there too!  


If you haven't heard we are taking down some confederate monuments here in New Orleans.  They took down one a few blocks from my house Tuesday and I had to go people watch.  I packed my wine and camera and saw some things that shocked me.   I got this shot and I think my photography teacher would be proud for capturing the scene so well and in a subtle way.


I am so excited to go get my birthday treat from Kendra Scott next week.  It will actually just be replacing a piece I lost when my luggage was stolen.  All the other birthday deals have been disappointing.  Well, not Sephora, but I'm waiting for that one.  Everyone else still charges shipping or doesn't let discounts apply to what I want or what is on sale.  What are your favorite birthday perks?


There is yet another music festival in my neighborhood this weekend!  This time it is Bayou Bougaloo.  It is free to enter, unlike the $550 I paid to go to Jazz Fest!  I cannot wait to head out, I hope the weather cooperates!

Well that is what I have, hope you have a delightful weekend with people you like, food you love and great fun!

Happy Cooking!


May 17, 2017

You can't beat an easy to clean dinner! (Sausage and Veggies sheet pan)

Sometimes you find a recipe that you must make right when you see it. This is one of those. I was playing on pinterest for some some inspiration and stumbled across this one for a sausage sheet pan dinner. I had some leftover sausage begging to be made, some leftover zucchini from the beautiful zoodles with avocado sauce and some other produce that needed a purpose. I was set!

This was really easy, so tasty, healthy since I used low fat sausage and only one piece of foil to throw away!  Hardly any dishes to be done!  Try this with your favorite sausage, favorite veggies and eat it with your favorite people. Full recipe to follow the montage. Linking up for Meal Plan Monday!

Sausage and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner
It looked so good I photographed it several times.

May 16, 2017

When you want pizza but not dough (Hawaiian Pizza Quinoa Casserole)

Hurricane season is coming.  That means I need to start cleaning out my freezer.  My freezer is a funny place, filled with odds and ends of leftovers, homemade creations and beer mugs. Notwithstanding the beer mugs I feel myself slowly turning into my grandma.  Now I just need to learn how to sew and I am all set!  I had pineapple, pizza dough and ham in my freezer and this made me crave Hawaiian pizza.  I am trying to avoid pizza and other carby things; therefore I decided to brainstorm.

I remembered back in Austin my friend Aimee would always make a quinoa pizza bowl.  Maybe I could make this, but in casserole form!  I had a little quinoa, and some riced cauliflower and this caused my mind to get spinning!  I could combine those two for the base and make a pizza casserole!

Y'all, this was so good!  I really enjoyed the Hawaiian toppings but you can sub out whatever you usually put on your pizza.  I ate this for dinner three nights in a row and was sad to run out.  Try this out, you will not be disappointed.  It's not a substitute for pizza, it is just a lovely dish on its own.  Full recipe to follow the montage. Linking up for Meal Plan Monday!

Hawaiian Pizza Quinoa Casserole
This picture does not do it justice, so good!

May 12, 2017

Jazz Fest Weekend Two Part Two

Well since this was a hard week to get back to reality, instead of Five for Friday, I will give you more Jazz Fest recap.  And since it is my favorite fest, let's link up with Amanda for Friday favorites!

Saturday was the Kentucky Derby and my sweet friend Kim, who is famously #blessedatthefest snuck in all the fixins for mint juleps!  

She has koozies and pins too with her hashtag on it.  It's not religious, this lady went through a lot at the same time I did and we are so much better for it!

She also dressed like she was at the derby.  I missed that memo!

The weather was just amazing,  We were so lucky!

Some new food for you, crabmeat beignet!  I did not try it as I was a tinch hungover and seafood was not appealing to me.

These little ladies had a great time dancing to a brass band.  Made me want to bring my Katey Kakes out there!

We set up at Stevie Wonder.  I got bored.  He started way too slow.  Plus I had someone else to see...
Snoop Dog!  I went by myself and regret nothing.  He was so awesome and played everything.

We made some random friends from Kansas City who asked if that was crawfish.  They ate a bunch and next thing you know I brought out the bourbon and we all started following each other on social media.  I love porch parties!
SUNDAY.  The sad last day.  But I needed to get back to reality.

We got up and did yoga outdoors with Nola Tribe.  I needed my Namaste. 
Then we headed for the fest.  This year the Cultural Spotlight was on Cuba.  I want to visit so bad and this made the itch worse!  They had excellent Cuban food that I gobbled down so fast there were no pics!

The music was just insane!

We moved over to catch some Kings of Leon. That lead singer is some good looking!
But then I headed to the Fais Do Do stage to see a band on my bucket list, Dawes.  I had an emotional experience watching them, I laughed, I sang, I cried.  They are really amazing.

Caught up with one of my high school besties after for the Meters.
While at the street party after I found Gentleman Caller.  He had to get more Jazz Fest!

The fest besties and I celebrated the end of a successful Jazz Fest on the porch with rose.
Y'all it was just amazing.  The food, the music, the people watching, the porch parties.  I hope that you one day get to it, and sit on my porch for crawfish!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend full of all the things I enjoyed last weekend.  And happy Mothers Day to all the mommas out there whether human, fur or hopeful.  I hope the people and animals in your life show you how much they appreciate you. And you do the same who deserve it from you!

Happy Cooking!


May 10, 2017

When life throws you potatoes (Greek style roasted potatoes with lemon)

Remember how I told you they throw produce at St. Patrick's day?  Well here is yet another post about thrown produce! I caught one red potato and a few lemons so I decided to make something yummy with them.  When you Google potato and lemon, you usually get a result of some sort of Greek dish.  I was inspired as I love Greek food...well Americanized Greek food.

I decided just to make up my own little recipe with one of my favorite kitchen spices, Cavender's Greek seasoning.  This stuff is so great!  I love it on chicken when I make my favorite Greek Salad or when I am having a boring chicken and a side dinner.  Check it out sometime.  They did not pay me to say that, I really like the stuff!

This was a yummy and different way to do your boring old potatoes and spice up dinner.  The lemon really brightens it up for sure! Try these out, you will love them! Perfect with any protein, even with an egg for breakfast!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Greek style red potatoes
Just plain yummy!

May 9, 2017

Jazz Fest Weekend Two recap -part one

Hey Y'all!  Blogger is being wonky and I am a busy bee.  I am recapping the first two days of jazz fest weekend two.  It was a blast and I can't wait until next year!  The weather, company, food and living in the neighborhood has been unreal!  I said it before and I will say it again, this should be on everyone's bucket list!

Thursday started with a Mardi Gras Indian Parade!
It was Gumbo weather!

Widespread Panic was very what it should be.  I wish I would have gotten this guy's card!

Friday was family day at the fest!  My parents and their friend and I had mimosas in the back yard.
Gentleman Caller cut out of work early and came too for his second day of festing!

Ah Wilco was really good, but a bit depressing...

So we went to Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds instead just in time to see thier special guest, Jimmy Buffet!

Friday fest friends!

Happy Cooking!