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

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

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.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Charlotte Eats: Siano Mozzarella Demo at Zia Pia Imports!

 {image via The Charlotte Agenda}

If you are local to Charlotte and if you love good food (fresh mozzarella, anyone!?), you are going to want to check out this event tomorrow night, July 20, at one of my favorite local spots! Zia Pia Imports, located in the 7th Street Public Market uptown, is featuring a fresh mozzarella demo that is sure to be as entertaining as it is delicious.

"Watch as Siano Mozzarella demonstrates how they make their delicious, locally made mozzarella di bufala, burrata and stracciatella! For those of you who don't know stracciatella, your life is about to change. Nada's Italy will present this impressive region whose sites include Mt. Vesuvius, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, ancient Greek temples and one of the most breathtakingly picturesque coastlines in the world, with towering cliffs. Check out this amazing Nada's Italy tour to Campania. Rosa, Alfonso's mother, will perform a cooking demo with their freshly made stracciatella!"

{image via Siano Mozzarella}
Thursday, July 20, 5pm
Free to attend :: $25 to eat
Three courses include:
Antipasto featuring Siano's fresh mozzarella di bufala 
Pasta from Gragnano with Stracciatella, cherry tomato and fresh basil
Dessert of Burrata freshly made on site as you watch!

Check out each of these local Italian companies and make sure you like them on Facebook!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Chicken Parmesan

I've gotten into the habit of trying at least one new recipe a week which has added a ton of new favorites to our ever expanding dinner rotation. Fast and fresh is my favorite in the Summer, so that we can maximize our time outside after naps!

This lightened up Chicken Parmesan is comforting and totally Summer-fied. The original recipe inspiration came from this Cooking Light recipe here, but I cleaned it up even more swapping out the panko for almond meal. I also added a layer of marinara on top of each chicken breast to brighten it up and, if I'm being honest,  because my kids love anything with a little sauce! Everyone in the Moore house loved this meal. Swap out milk for almond milk and leave out the cheese for a Paleo/Whole30 approved dinner.

Summer Chicken Parmesan
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup almond meal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
3 chicken breasts, filleted
salt + pepper
olive oil
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
handful fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup marinara sauce
shredded mozarella cheese

Preheat Broiler and place oven rack in the middle.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1/4 cup of milk. Place the almond meal in a pie dish and season with a little salt and pepper, and mix up with a fork. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. 

Create a dipping station, and dredge each piece of chicken in egg, then the almond meal mixture. 

Add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Cook each chicken breast for about one minute on each side, transfer to a baking sheet prepped with cooking spray or parchment paper. Top each chicken breast with a layer of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes.

In the skillet, heat a little more oil and add garlic, zucchini, tomatoes and basil. Saute for 5 minutes until the vegetables are starting to get soft. Serve chicken with veggies on top and more fresh basil if desired. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

#EatMooreDinner, Vol. 6

If you are in Charlotte, HOW GORGEOUS IS THIS WEATHER!? I left for the gym early this morning and it totally felt like FALL! It's a beautiful Monday.

It's been awhile since I shared our weekly menu, so here I am. For a long time now, I have done my meal planning and grocery shopping at the beginning of the week but I think I am switching my grocery day back to Thursday or Friday. I did this a lot when we were first married and loved it. We are trying to undo the habit of always eat out on Friday and/or Saturday, so I'm thinking grocery shopping closer to the weekend will make our weekend cooking stay exciting. I always end up making the best things on our menu towards the beginning of the week and by the end of the week, I'm honestly over it. This week's menu is planned up until the weekend. I'll do another round of meal planning/shopping before the weekend which will take us through the following week! 

Here's what we're eating:

Summer Chicken Parmesan, inspired by this recipe from Cooking Light

Curried Chicken Salad + Roasted Asparagus

Asian Turkey Meatballs + Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing (from the Skinnytaste cookbook)

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sausage + Roasted Veggie Kale Bowls

Thursday, June 22, 2017


We are a few weeks into Summer here and our days have been carefree and easy. Will's favorite thing to ask me when I tuck him in at night is "what are we doing tomorrow", and it's been fun planning our days together. He gets so excited about the little things and is always up for an adventure, whatever it may be. I have a huge list of indoor activities I want to do with Will and Kate this Summer and the first on our list!? SLIME TIME!

WE HAVE ARRIVED and we are becoming slime making experts around here. Perhaps we have a future selling this stuff on YouTube like the cool kids!? We made our first batches last week and Will is loving this stuff. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous about the mess but we have had zero slime hair disasters so far so I'm calling it a success.

Mixing it up has been the most fun for Will. He likes to pour the glue, add his coloring and dump in the baking soda. When that's all mixed up, I add the contact solution a little at a time. This is a great rainy day activity for your little ones. We've had our slime in ziploc freezer bags for a week now and it's still just as good as the day we made it! This is the recipe from Elmer's Glue and I followed it exactly the first time. It came out a little too hard so I added less contact lens solution- the most random ingredient of all- and the result was much better. 

Elmer's Glue Slime

12 oz. Elmer's glue
1.5 Tbsp. baking soda
food coloring
3 Tbsp. contact lens solution

In a large plastic bowl, dump glue. Stir in baking soda and food coloring until combined.
Add contact solution, one Tablespoon at a time, making sure to mix quickly. The mixture will become hard to stir and this is when the slime forms. I have found that about 2.5 tablespoons of contact solution is just the right amount. Slime will form into a ball- remove from the bowl and knead a few minutes to get it to the right consistency. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag. 

For more recipes, it's Slime Central over on the Elmer's website

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cherry Tomato + Hearts of Palm Salad

I'm allllllll about Summer salads. When everything is so fresh and colorful, they really are hard to beat. All you need is some ripe produce, good olive oil and vinegar with a little salt and pepper and everything kind of just falls into place. Grill some chicken or fish and serve a little Summer salad on the side- this is my kind of eating right here.  

Hearts of Palm are one of my favorite salad ingredients. They add an interesting texture and take on the flavor of a simple vinaigrette beautifully. We grew up eating these with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. So simple and so good. This is the perfect little Summer side. Cherry tomatoes are my favorite and I love adding both the red and the yellow for that bright Summer color. I'll be making this one again and again!

Cherry Tomato + Hearts of Palm Salad

1/2 pint red cherry tomatoes
1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced 
1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
olive oil
red wine vinegar

In a small/medium bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, parsley and red onion. Drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar, and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or cold. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mountain Weekend Getaway

Last weekend in the mountains was just SO GOOD. On Saturday morning, some girlfriends and I drove up to the Boone/Banner Elk area and had the best 36 hours. No kids, no agenda and the most gorgeous weather. There is just something about that fresh mountain air that always does wonders to the soul. We stayed at my friend Allie's mountain house which was a little slice of heaven! 

We arrived around lunchtime and made a pit stop for lunch at The Cardinal, which came highly recommended by a friend. We sat on the back deck of the restaurant and kicked off our girls weekend with gourmet burgers and local beers. PERFECT! This is where I discovered Boonshine Brewing (which we hit up for lunch the next day!) The Farm Burger was everything. 

Our next stop- Grandfather Vineyard Winery. This spot was so quaint and perfect for an afternoon with the girls. You also cannot beat the backdrop. The view of Grandfather Mountain from the patio was beautiful. The wine was so, so good. We shared two bottles from the tasting room- The Pinot Gris (my favorite-perfect for summer), and the Cabernet. 

Dinner was a treat and we had all been waiting for this meal for months! We had reservations at Artisanal, a restaurant in Banner Elk that is open seasonally. I cannot express how much we all LOVED it. The restaurant itself is so stunning. It's elegant but rustic and still has that homey mountain feel. The back deck area of the restaurant was a lovely spot to enjoy our pre-dinner cocktails. I could have sat out there all night in front of the fire! The food, the service, the company- everything about our dinner that night was just wonderful and I want to go back!! If you are local to NC this place is a must. 

Before we headed out of town and down the mountain on Sunday, we had lunch at Basil's Fresh Pasta + Deli/Booneshine Brewing. This was such a cute spot! I had the most delicious BLAT and left with a full belly AND a four pack of their IPA. 

Clearly, we ate and drank our way through the weekend, but I couldn't have asked for anything more! So thankful for these friendships! (and the dads that held down the forts at home to make this moms weekend away possible)