Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Best Ever Cajun Seasoning (P.S. it's from Emeril)


If you need a go- to cajun seasoning, THIS IS IT! You can buy Emeril's Essence in the store, but you probably already have all of these things in your spice cabinet. It's also nice to make it yourself because you can adjust the spices according to what you like. I recommend going a little lighter on the cayenne and you can always add extra. A little of that stuff goes a long way. And really kicks anything up a notch.

We put this on everything! It's delicious on grilled meats, fish and even on roasted veggies! When i'm not using my beloved Everything But the Bagel seasoning on my morning eggs, this is a good switch up! 

This makes a big batch, so grab an empty spice jar and you will have plenty of this seasoning to keep on hand.

Emeril's Essence

2.5 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper (cut back on this for less spice)
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a spice jar! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Antipasto Kabobs

Going into the weekend with all the heart eyes and pumpkin beers right now. I'm also hoping for an October crispness in the air so that we can enjoy our back patio fire pit and make some s'mores! It's almost Happy Hour time and happy hour on Friday, truly is the best hour- especially when you have a good snack to go with it. 


I'm completely obsessed with these Italian bites. I took them to our big neighborhood party this past weekend and they were a huge hit. They are filled with ALL THE GOOD ITALIAN THINGS and the presentation is automatically cute with everything perfectly lined up. They are also easy to grab which is great for a mixing and mingling setting. What more do you need!? I found these perfect sized bamboo skewers at World Market and they were deifnitely worth the extra trip. A drizzle of pesto on top would totally take these over the edge in all of the best ways. 

I'm already looking for an excuse to make these again.  

Antipasto Kabobs
recipe from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers

1 package cheese tortellini, cooked according to instructions
Sliced salami
Green olives
Fresh basil leaves
Grape tomatoes
Fresh mini mozzarella balls

Cook tortellini according to the instructions on the package. 

To assemble kabobs, I did salami, tortellini, green olive, basil, tomato, mozzarella. I finished with a drizzle of good olive oil and a tiny bit of salt and pepper. 







Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pumpkin Power Cookies


I am normally of the mindset "LONG LIVE SUMMER", but as soon as September 22 rolled around on the calendar I was ready to switch to Fall. Will has been super excited about the seasons changing over, well, since Summer started, and he told me that because Friday was the first day of Fall, all of the leaves were going to fall off of the trees at once. Cutest little kid comment ever. 

The season comes and goes so fast here and even though we are still hovering in temperatures around 80 degrees, I want to soak it up before Christmas is knocking at our door. Which is three months from yesterday. Whoah.

These power cookies are the perfect healthy snack, sweet treat and everything in between. My Paleo Snack Bites are my go-to pre workout snack, but I needed a change this week. The 5:15am wakeup call to hit the gym is never easy, but it's been a little easier this week to crawl out of bed knowing I can eat one of these. My kids LOVE them, too! They are packed with all kinds of good nutrients and filled with the flavors of Fall. They are also grain free and refined sugar free! What more could you want!?



Pumpkin Power Cookies
recipe from Primally Inspired

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk pumpkin, coconut oil, honey, pumpkin pie spice, salt and eggs. Mix until combined. Stir in walnuts, pecans, cranberries and chocolate chips.

Using a spoon, drop about a tablespoon or two of the cookie mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes. 

Once they are done and completely cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and store in the fridge.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpea Salad



I posted this photo on my Instagram stories earlier this week and seriously got TONS of replies asking for the recipe- so here it is! Who knew so many people loved roasted cauliflower!? I always thought I was in the minority. I could eat it every day.

The best part about this recipe is that I kind of just made it up. It started as this salad (linked HERE) and has kind of evolved over time. I buy a head of cauliflower almost weekly and chickpeas are a pantry staple so this is such an easy go-to. Fresh parsley isn't necessary but adds a little color and extra flavor! (another thing that's almost always on my grocery list).

A great way to make this salad even heartier is by adding a few stalks of chopped kale. Just add a little more olive oil to your dressing! My new favorite kitchen tip: mix your salad dressing up right in your salad bowl! Add salad ingredients and toss when you're ready. 

Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpea Salad

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil + more for drizzling
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
handful flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Arrange cauliflower and chick peas in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing about halfway through.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Once the cauliflower and chickpeas are done, transfer to the salad bowl and toss in the dressing. Add chopped parsley and toss once more. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Skinnytaste's Cauliflower Potato Tacos + Lime- Cilantro Chutney


We went meatless on Monday night AND had tacos so it was almost like we were living on the edge. I'm telling you though, these tacos. I cannot stop thinking about them. The flavor was crazy in all of the best ways and the combo of potatoes and cauliflower is so unexpected.

I cannot take any credit for this recipe, as it came from Skinnytaste's Fast and Slow (one of my favorite cookbooks right now). If you don't already have this book, it's a great one to add to your collection. Everything I have tried has been excellent but this comes as no surprise. 

We LOOOOOVED these tacos. They have a lot of smoky spice with a little bit of heat. The roasted potatoes and cauliflower would totally be a great side on their own but if you are going big with this meal, just put it in a taco. The lime-cilantro chutney makes this meal! Don't skip out on it. Make your next Monday meatless. Or your next Tuesday Taco- filled. Whatever you do, just give these a try!  



Skinnytaste's Cauliflower Potato Tacos + Lime Cilantro Chutney

Filling:
3-4 cups cauliflower florets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 TBSP olive oil
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt

Chutney:
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1.5 TBSP fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For the tacos:
Soft corn tortillas
1/4 red onion, slivered
plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, olive oil turmeric, cumin, crushed red pepper and salt. Toss it all together and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

For the chutney, add cilantro, jalapeno lime juice and salt to a bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until well chopped, adding water if it's too thick.

Head a cast iron skillet on high heat. Warm tortillas, for about 30 seconds on each side, until they start to blister. 

To assemble tacos, spoon a layer of the cauliflower potato mixture and top with onions, chutney and Greek yogurt.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Stuff


I have always been a Summer lover, but it's especially sweet with my little sidekicks. It's hard to believe that August is just around the corner!! Thankfully, we still have a good chunk of Summer left. 

We have spent tons of time at the pool, seen lots of friends and have been hitting all of our favorite Charlotte spots. Will and Kate are at such great ages right now and truly so much fun.








Will got some caterpillars for his birthday and we had fun watching them turn into butterflies! The entire process was about 20 days and well worth the wait. We let them go free on July 4, which was fitting since it was Independence Day. I ordered this Insect Lore kit from Amazon and it couldn't have been easier. The kit comes with a voucher to order your caterpillars once you are ready for them. Will is already asking when we can order more caterpillars and we will definitely be doing it again in the near future!




Another fun find of the Summer has been this Ice Cream Ball. I swear, this thing is genius. This was another birthday present that Will got from some friends and it has been a huge hit. You fill one side of the ball with ice, and the other side of the ball with the ice cream ingredients, then roll it around for 20 minutes. Making kids work for their ice cream- this is an idea I am totally behind! 



Mark and I even got to sneak away to Asheville for a dear friend's wedding and it was wonderful! Any excuse for some quality time together and a weekend away with friends.
 Shortly after that, we spent another weekend in the mountains with some more good friends. Mark played in a golf tournament and Will, Kate and I enjoyed a little escape with friends in the crisp mountain air. There is nothing like the mountains in the Summer! 




I think that my favorite part of the Summer has been watching Will and Kate become best friends. They have always loved each other, but their little relationship has grown so much over the past few months and it brings me so much joy to be a part of it. Their conversations are pretty hilarious and they ADORE each other. 






I want to remember these sweet Summer days forever. Hope you all are enjoying them, too!




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Save your Summer Memories with Chatbooks!




I love everything about Summer. The lazy days, the longer nights and plenty of sunshine to enjoy. We are making so many wonderful memories and I am soaking it all in as I know these two little ones of mine will only be this little once. Can't Summer stay forever!? Luckily, I have tons of photos of their sweet smiling faces and all of the fun we are having. 

I read an article once about how photos rarely get printed these days because we just take SO MANY OF THEM. Out of the whole article, this line has always stuck with me; "don't let your photos grow up to be jpeg files". I say that in my head nearly daily as I snap photos of moments that I want to remember, both big and small. With our cameras quite literally in our back pockets at all times we are hoarding ALL THE PICTURES. Get those files off of your phones and cameras and into photo books for your family to enjoy for years to come.




A few years ago, I discovered Chatbooks and immediately fell in love. They make it so easy to get your photos printed and bound and shipped right to your door. I subscribe to my Instagram photos, which immediately get shipped to me every 60 photos, and I have made a few other custom books, too. We have quite the collection now and Will and Kate LOVE looking through them- they are perfect for tiny hands. They have become my favorite memory books to flip through.

These cute books also make great little gifts!



The Chatbooks Semi-Annual Summer Sale is live now and you can get 20% off of EVERYTHING through July 31, 2017.  The sale includes their new collaboration with Rifle Paper Company which I cannot wait to get my hands on! I am drooling over all of these gorgeous floral prints. Use code: GROW 


Download the Chatbooks app to get started. Don't let your Summer memories hibernate on your phones and cameras!

*This post is sponsored by Chatbooks. All thoughts and ideas are my own. I received free product for writing this post.