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Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

Cocktail Culture – Election Night 2012 Nibbles

Last night I was so nervous about what the outcome of the election was going to be. I was running around the house vacuuming and reorganizing shelves. Then I chopped this giant vegetable tray. It will last a few days. We go through a lot of raw veggies in this house.

Rabbit Food

And then I drank all of this while waiting for B to come home from a meeting. I have around 5 Pinot Noir options that any grocery store carries that I like and can pick up on a whim. Kendall Jackson is one of them.


When B finally got home I made him a plate with provolone, black and green olives and some prosciutto. Oh, and pepperoncini peppers. I find that having the chopped vegetables, etc and being able to make an American-style antipasti type dinner can be really helpful. Especially when no one wants to cook or eat a full plate of food but instead graze and chat.

I had been eating my own personal crack aka Kettle chips earlier so today I have all the food guilt but whatever. Just like elections, you win some you lose some with diet.

Fast Food and Maintaing Weight – What Works for Me

Heyyyy, how you doin?

I’m sure you’re fine, but if you’re like me you don’t have a lot of time for cooking. Or maybe like me you just don’t care to do it that much anymore. But that gives you a quandary of how do I stay healthy, maintain or lose weight while not eating junk. And if you are like me it will take a GALLON of salad to feel full.

A lot of people on twitter have asked me about some of the things I eat so I wanted to share. But with the disclaimer that I’m not perfect, I’m not a nutritionist or a trainer. These are just some things that I like to eat that are fast, relatively healthy and would fit into most people’s diet.

Ok, so generally I try to stay vegetarian but preferably vegan on a day-to-day basis. This is about my health and being advised to maintain an anti-inflammatory diet by my doctor. I do notice when I maintain the diet my chronic pain does subside. But I live in the South and sometimes a girl just needs some queso or some mac n’ cheese.

My number one fast food that fits in this diet is black beans. LOVE THEM SO MUCH. You can add chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, hot sauce or whatever you want. Generally, I prefer to just add hot sauce and then microwave. (And don’t start on the horrors of microwaves. We are all doing the best we can and this isn’t McD’s so move on.) I prefer to use Bush’s reduced sodium.

Cheap, Lo-Cal, and FAST!

Plus, the fiber. Oh, the fiber.

Soup. Love soup.

This one is organic, dairy & gluten free. Plus, the whole box has 240 calories. It’s flavorful and filling so its perfect.

Yummy in my tummy

I’ve found that I really like Larabar’s for breakfast.

I like these two at breakfast. Honestly, I add a lot of issues changing from Atkins bars or other brands that reminded me more of a candy bar. But I got used to these quickly and they are better for you. I just tell myself I’m making good decisions for my health and maybe my insurance company will notice I take care of myself now.

Sometimes I still eat some fish. I like frozen salmon or tuna burgers from Whole Foods. They are actually relatively inexpensive. The burgers cook quickly in the oven and I usually just put some salt and pepper on them then eat with a salad or raw vegetables depending on what I feel like. These are from Kroger. These burgers aren’t ideal because there are some additives that I don’t want but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Win some, lose some.

Those are a few easy food items that are quick, cheap and relatively healthy that I like to have around to help maintain my weight and try to stay on the healthy train. Kind of basic but it works and keeps me out of McDonald’s.

Macaroni & cheese and shaky iphone videos.

I filmed a pseudo-tutorial on how to make my version of macaroni and cheese. It’s split into 3, shaky, iphone videos because I had to do it myself. But I think you will get the general idea.

One thing I forgot to add is I showed my friend how to make this recipe. She does her own version but with a gouda mix. She says it is amazing, but I have never tried it. You can do whatever mix of cheese you like. I just use a
mix of cheddars.

The point of this recipe is to have a Southern-style, macaroni & cheese that has flavor and remains moist. Even in leftover form.

I feel I have accomplished those goals and according to everyone else for the last 15 years of my life I have done just that.

So here you go.

Let me know what you think.


MAC & Cheese 1


Mac & Cheese 2


Mac & Cheese 3

And I don’t know why this blog won’t let me just insert videos but I’m very irritated with it right now.

Something to look forward to – Cake Decorating Classes

I have been given the go ahead to take these. I am really excited. If you look at the price it is a small amount for everything you get. My mom used to make all the fancy candies years ago and my grandmother used to have the main cake business in her small town, so I think I can pull it out from somewhere.

Here are my thoughts about taking the class. From earlier posts and experiences we all know I am picky. But I am tired of expecting one thing when I place an order for something and it not being anything like the original order. Cold, old cakes are gross. So I am going to tackle this. Plus, there seem to be pregnancies left and right and I think it would be a good skill to have will all these kids coming into the world. My friend Susan is going to take the class with me which is nice because now we can carpool into the land call OTP (Outside the Perimeter).

Recipes – Susan’s Easy, Cheesy Cheese Biscuits

Here is Susan’s cheese biscuit recipe that we had last week with the lobsters.

Buy a cheese and garlic dry biscuit mix. Follow directions on package, but use milk instead of water.

Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 450 for 9-10 minutes.

While baking, melt butter and mix with 1 tablespoon of garlic powder (not garlic salt).

Brush on top of hot biscuits right when they come out of the over.


Great with lobster (and lots of white wine)!

Cookbooks to Love

I love to cook. I come from a long line of Southern cooks with the one caveat that I grew up a vegetarian. So, pork is not really something that I use or eat to this day. I guess, we have our own version of what is Southern, no?

I learned to cook from my mom and using the Southern Living yearly compilation cookbooks. But I have moved on. There is really nothing I won’t try and the more people to feed the better. But I have tired of the sticks of butter and cups of cream that is regular occurence here in the South (and in Barefoot Contessa). Seriously, it is all I can do to stay a 6-8 in J.Crew.

My latest (for some time) new favorite way of cooking is the “New South” way. Not as heavy, fresh, locally grown food. This is a trend, yes, but I have been on it. Sara Foster is someone I really like. I have her first cookbook, Foster’s Market, and those recipes have been a hit. She is based out of North Carolina and originally worked for Martha Stewart.

I find her food fresh and exciting. The above is the new cookbook that I picked up last week. Have not tried any of the recipes, but they seem easy and for everyday life.

Foster’s Market is somewhere I would really like to visit and wish ATL had somewhere like it.