What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook Club {skinnytaste FAST AND SLOW}

I have a new favorite weeknight cookbook thanks to Gaby’s March Cookbook Club.

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I have been a follower for the blog SkinnyTaste for years and I was excited when Gaby featured her as her cookbook of the month.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve cooked several recipes and I’ve LOVED every single one.  Half of the cookbook is filled with quick-fix recipes and the other half is filled with slow cooker recipes.

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The Slow Cooker Chana Masala is a meatless slow cooker recipe that was the first recipe I cooked from the book.  The chickpeas are spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masalas and cardamom.  This recipe made awesome leftovers and I found myself eating this all week long.

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Last week I made Korean-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps when my sister-in-law visited and they were the perfect quick-fix dinner after an evening barre class.  The ground chicken is seasoned with soy sauce (or tamari), sesame oil, brown sugar, crushed red pepper plus some garlic and ginger.  The lettuce is topped with cooked brown rice, the chicken mixture and then a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds plus sriracha if you like some heat.  These eat-with-your-hands wraps are delicious!  Incredibly light yet satisfying.

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And finally, the Egg Roll Bowls I made for Big Guy and I last Friday night.  I picked this recipe because it only made two servings and since we were heading out of town I didn’t want a lot of leftovers.  The flavors are that of an egg roll but without the weird ingredients and greasy egg roll taste you might find at a Chinese restaurant.  The bowl includes pork (I used 93/7 beef), onion, napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  The flavors come from soy sauce (or tamari), ginger, garlic, dry sherry and sesame oil  It was light but I loved that the portion size was huge.  I think we both loved the mushrooms the most.

There are so many recipes I have my eye on, including:

Spicy Seared Tuna Sushi Bowls

Slow Cooker Bahn Mi Rice Bowls

Spicy Lump Crab and Charred Corn Flaco “Tacos”

Slow Cooker Blueberry Slump

 

Have you cooked from any new cookbooks lately?

Friday Favorites

And here we are, the last day of March.  This past week one of my sister-in-laws popped into town for the night to go to my barre class as well as go to my morning class the next day.  It was such a treat to have her in town and I loved catching up with her on all the happenings in her much-more-exciting-than-mine 20-something life.  I hope to see more of her (plus the other three sisters) soon!  The rest of the week was pretty uneventful minus the fact that I found myself in the middle of a police chase on Wednesday afternoon.  True story.  It was incredibly scary but I drove away unharmed.  I have a full morning of teaching before getting myself ready for a whirlwind weekend in Charlotte.  I hope you all have a fantastic last day of March/first weekend of April and I’ll be back Monday with #WGCcookbookclub – woot woot!

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Favorite Inspiration :  11 Outdoor Spaces to Inspire You This Spring.  Lately I find myself daydreaming about our next house (ignore this, Big Guy) and I’m currently obsessed with porches and patios.

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Favorite Spring:  Strawberry Salsa.  Spring = Strawberries and I’m really hoping that I can get my hands on a few really juicy ones to make this delightful salsa.

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Favorite Flavors:  Caramelized Wild Mushroom Pizza.  Pizza Sundays at home are my favorite,

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Favorite Fashion:  Shoulder & Squares.  Love this look from a gal I went to school with growing up.  I’m so ready to pull out my white pants in a couple of weeks.

 

Favorite Procrastinating:  Do a Supermarket Shop and We’ll Reveal Your Deepest Desire. Apparently I want to be rich.

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Favorite Tips:  Anatomy of a Well-Styled Bookshelf.  Once again, daydreaming of my next house.

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Favorite Rich and Buttery:  Puff Pastry Donuts.  I workout and eat well during the week so I can splurge on the weekend.

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Favorite Life Hack:  How to Get the Lingering Smell of Fried Food Out of Your Kitchen.  You can always tell when we’ve been home all weekend cooking…

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Favorite Layers:  Mint Coconut Chocolate Cake.  Quite possibly the best flavor combination ever for a cake.

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Favorite Cocktail:  The Ginger Rogers.  Grapefruit + Ginger + Gin.  Super refreshing and super spring-y.

 

Cheers!

Pear and Gruyère Strata

Visits with your grandparents should always end with a something sweet.  When we made plans with Mawmaw and Pawpaw a couple of months ago for them to visit, I immediately started planning our short but sweet visit.  I knew that I wanted to send them home with a full belly on Sunday morning so that they wouldn’t have to worry about stopping to grab lunch on the way (because, well, there’s nothing in between here and there worth stopping for until you get the Wilmington).  Also knowing that our Saturday was pretty full, I decided to pick a breakfast that could be prepped before they ever arrived.

The Pear and Gruyere Strata is incredibly easy to prep and involves no cooking before the strata actually cooks the morning you plan to eat.  Cinnamon bread (I used a gluten free cinnamon raisin bread) is layered on the bottom of a baking dish and then topped with a mixture of sliced pears (I left the skin on), butter and sugar.  On top of the pear mixture goes shredded gruyere and then a final layer of cinnamon bread.  In a bowl, combine milk (I used 2%), eggs (I used 1/2 cup eggs that were whisked instead of egg substitute), sugar and cinnamon.  This all mixture gets poured over everything.  Cover and place in the fridge for at least eight hours (mine sat in the fridge for almost 24 and it worked perfectly).

The next morning, simply uncover, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 50 minutes.

Breakfast is ready!

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Serve with copious amounts of coffee!  And bacon if you really love your grandparents.

 

 

Weekend Review {plus Banana Nut Bundt Cake}

Another beautiful weekend has come and gone.  I swear, this one flew by faster than the one before.  On Friday night I had dinner date plans with one of my best gal pals.  We attended a French wine dinner where we enjoyed four courses.  My favorite wine of them all was a sparkling wine.  I would imagine you’re not surprised by that.

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I was up fairly early on Saturday and was quite busy getting things in order before my grandparents arrived early morning.  Between assembling a breakfast casserole and getting myself ready, I managed to squeeze in a quick walk.  My grandparents arrived a little after 11am and after letting them stretch their legs a bit, we headed to lunch.  After lunch, we spent the afternoon enjoying the amazing weather on our back porch.  I loved having some one-on-one time with my grandparents – I share them with seven other grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  While we were enjoying each others company, Big Guy was hard at work on the ribs.  I had planned a menu I knew Mawmaw and Pawpaw would love including Big Guy’s “famous” ribs.  I refuse to give that recipe away but we also enjoyed a Green Goddess Potato Salad, Dill Pickle Slaw (SO GOOD) and a banana nut bundt cake.  We enjoyed dinner in between the two basketball games on Saturday evening.  The banana cake was incredibly moist and I loved the addition of walnuts (I typically go for pecans in my banana baked goods).  The frosting was sweet but so creamy and rich.  We were all stuffed to the brim after dinner.

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The meal was incredible but the company was even better.  My grandparents are seriously two of the most hospitable folks around.  Their beach house is a revolving door of grandkids and their friends during the summer.  It was a treat to be able to spoil them – even if it was for less than 24 hours.

On Sunday morning we enjoyed one last meal together before they packed up and headed out. Mawmaw is a huge college basketball fan so she wanted to make sure she was home in time for the games.  Big Guy and I straightened up the house and then headed out on a long walk at a new spot in town.  The weather couldn’t have been better.

The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and watching basketball (Go Gamecocks!) and making pizza.  We also finally caught up on some DVR:  This Is Us and Criminal Minds (crazy storyline right now).

And now it’s Monday.

Thankfully I have a fun surprise visitor tomorrow which will be a fun break in the week.

 

 

The BEST Avocado Toast

I know, avocado toast is nothing new.  But I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.  I probably was a little late to join the avocado bandwagon, but that’s nothing new – I’m late to all trends.  Anyways, during one of our trips to Drift last weekend, I ordered the avocado toast for breakfast.  In between sips of coffee and bites of my bread, I told Big Guy that I was going to recreate their avocado toast at home.  And I didn’t wait long to get in the kitchen with some avocados and toast.

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Now Drift did not give me any secrets or recipe, however, I’m sure they would if I asked.  So this is my interpretation of their toast based on taste and sight.

Mash 1/2 an avocado in a bowl.  Season with a little salt (more will come later!).  Toast your bread.  Top the toast with the avocado.  Spring with salt and pepper.  Finely chop a few mixed nuts.  Sprinkle those on top along with pumpkin seeds.  Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of your best EVOO.

Oh, and a poached egg on top kind of makes this insane.

In a good way.

 

Weekend Review {3.21.17}

Oh, hey.  Totally pulled a disappearing act but I’m not apologizing.  This past Friday we hit the road after I taught barre for a weekend at the beach.  It was our intention to come back yesterday but Big Guy ended up working from the beach and we left bright and early this morning so I could make it in time to teach my 11:15am class.  Deciding to leave on Tuesday was a very, very good decision.  The weather at the beach was windy but we enjoyed long walks each and every morning along with coffee and breakfast at Drift.  Not only did we get to see my parents but we were able to spend some time with my grandparents and Big Guy’s stepdad.  Oh, and I got to play dominoes and Yahtzee with my parents.  Big Guy refused to participate.  Here are a few outtakes from the weekend:

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avocado toast from Drift (p.s. I’m recreating this ASAP and promise to share my recipe)

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Sharky’s on Sunday for cocktails and March Madness

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watching the sunset with Big Guy and my Momma

It was a good mix of dining out and dining in.  Here are the recipes we whipped up:

Mustard Burgers with Crispy Goat Cheese and Fig-Onion Compote (SO GOOD!)

Coconut Honey Lime Filipino Chicken Adobo Skewers with Coconut Rice and Pineapple Slaw (Incredible!  Big Guy claimed the rice to be the best he’s ever had.)

And finally, HAPPY 36th ANNIVERSARY to my parents!  We love you OH so much.

 

 

 

Friday Favorites

Hey friends!  If you’re not wearing green, consider this your PINCH.  I’ve never been one to go crazy over St. Patty’s Day.  I mean, I wear my green and if I’m on top of my game I plan a fun dinner but to be honest, I have no idea if I’ll eat anything remotely Irish today.  But I’m wearing my green.  Well, after I change out of my gym clothes.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you next week!

Here are my favorites from the week:

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Favorite Round Up:  St. Patrick’s Day Recipes.  Just in case you need some inspiration for your day of eats!

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Favorite Obsessed:  Samoas Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Y’all.  I haven’t had a Girls Scout cookie yet.  And now I want a samoa with ice cream squished in between.  Ooo, I bet thin mints would be good this way, too.

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Favorite Upgrade:  Rockingham Chelsea Boots.  The saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.”  And while I love my Hunter boots, I’m in need of something shorter that’s easier to take on and off.

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Favorite Weeknight Dinner:  Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli.  I love that this dish is made in a crock pot instead of a wok.

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Favorite Read:  “Why I Don’t Recommend Whole30.”  Preach.  I 100% agree with everything this blog post says.  Plus any diet that makes me take out foods that are good for you is just plain cray.

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Favorite Brunch:  Tater Tot Waffles with Bacon, Eggs and Truffle Oil.  Oh my.  Totally putting tater tots in my waffle iron ASAP.

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Favorite Craving:  Shrimp Cakes.  Someone find me some shrimp.  I’ve had a hankering for about two months now.

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Favorite Over Budget:  Fig Leaf Sconces.  I want to have a reason to need these.  I just love the print.

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Favorite DIP:  Avocado Hummus.  Two of my favorite things in the world – TOGETHER.

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Favorite Bring on Summer:  Sparkling Grapefruit Bikini Cocktail.  I can just see myself sipping this by the pool…

 

Cheers!