Monday, July 28, 2014


i rarely ever bake. make that, i never bake. but when my mom made these over the 4th of july weekend they were delicious, simple & a huge hit at a cookout. i whipped them up for a summer dessert not long ago & they were just as popular. this is a paula deen recipe so it's bound to be amazing...enjoy!

easy bake toffee brownies
ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 6-8
  • 1 17.6 ounce package brownie mix with walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • cooking spray
  • 3 6 ounce symphony brand candy bars with almonds & toffee chips
1. prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

2. line a 9x13" pan with aluminum foil & spray with cooking spray. spoon in half the brownie mix smooth with the back of a spoon. place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. spread the remaining batter on top.

3. bake according to package directions. let cool in pan completely, then lift from pan by the edges of the tin foil. this makes it easy enough to cut into perfect squares. enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


well hello there! i've had a few requests for updated recipes so i'm going to try to get back on the horse! i had some leftover chicken & a few links of frozen andouille sausage so a gumbo was calling my name. most gumbos are very complex & while i don't pretend to have an ounce of cajun in my blood, this is pretty darn close to the nola staple! you probably have most of the ingredients around the house which makes for a cheap dinner per serving. you can even toss-in or substitute shrimp if you have some on hand. enjoy!

chicken & sausage gumbo
ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4-6
  • 3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1.5 tablespoons emeril’s essence seasoning
  • 6 tablespoons butter {divided-1 now, 5 later}
  • 2 links chicken& turkey andouille sausage, thin sliced
  • 5 tablespoons flour {i prefer whole wheat pastry flour}
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 .5 cups onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 cups {plus some} chicken stock
  • 1 bag slicked okra
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt {to season}
  • Hot sauce {to season}
  • Brown rice {for serving}
  1. in a bowl, toss shredded chicken with emeril’s seasoning & set aside.
  2. in a medium skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. add sausage & brown on each side. remove & set aside. add shredded chicken to skillet & toss for 5 minutes. remove & set aside with sausage.
  3. in the same skillet, add 5 tablespoons butter & melt over medium-low heat. add flour & whisk for 10 minutes until golden brown. remove from heat & set aside. this is your roux.
  4. in a large stock pot or le creuset, add one tablespoon olive oil & bring to medium heat. add garlic & sauté for 3 minutes. add onion, celery & pepper cook until soft. add chicken stock, okra, worcestershire, paprika, roux, sausage & chicken. bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat & simmer for 1-2 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally. season with salt & hot sauce to desired taste. add additional stock if needed.
  5. serve warm over brown rice with additional hot sauce!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


if there's one dish i love, it's p.f. chang's lettuce wraps. in an effort to re-create this dish at home, i used ingredients i had on hand & what seemed simple. these turned out to be amazing & even better, i used all-natural ingredients so they are healthy & "clean". make extra for're going to want more!

turkey lettuce wraps
ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 2-4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil {or coconut oil, if you have it}
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger {optional}
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, broken into large leaves
drizzling sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1. bring a large skillet to medium heat, add oil & garlic. saute for 3 minutes. add ground turkey, carrots, ginger & cook until meat is no longer pink. mix soy sauce & rice vinegar in a small bowl. pour over turkey mixture & cook for one minute. remove from heat.

2. for the drizzling sauce, whisk all ingredients in small bowl. to serve, fill each lettuce leave as desired & drizzle with sauce. enjoy!

*optional add-in's: chopped mushrooms, water chestnuts, peanuts, scallions or bean sprouts.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


one of my favorite staple items to keep around the house are these frozen shrimp from costco. now i LOVE LOVE LOVE fresh shrimp but these will do when you can't get your hands on big 'ol gulf shrimp. it's the convenience factor can almost always cook them with ingredients from the pantry or fridge. and that's exactly how these delicious sage brown butter shrimp were born! 

now run along & whip these'll thank me later!

sage brown butter shrimp
ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 2-4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • optional: pasta, quinoa, spinach 
1. in a large skillet, bring olive oil & butter to a medium-low heat. add sage leaves & saute until leaves are bubbling, popping & crisping {around 4 minutes}. remove leaves & set aside.

2. add garlic & saute for 3 minutes. add shrimp & cook until pink {around 5-8 minutes}. add in sage leaves & toss with shrimp {leaves will crumble}.

3. serve warm over your favorite pasta, quinoa or spinach!

Monday, January 13, 2014


ok. lets all admit some point you died over j.simps daisy duke bod. you starved yourself, only ate chicken of the sea, ran & ran & ran some more....& then pondered cutting all food & water from your diet to achieve her look.

it's okay...i feel you, understand you, i can relate. i want that damn body too.

in my quest for this...i found a link to what was supposedly her "workout" 5 days a week. i have been kick starting my monday with this & have found it's an amazing workout!! it burns a (*)&(%^*&+%$^&$%^ ton of calories & is hard. hard. work. seriously. hard. work.

jessica simpson daisy duke workout
*sometimes i cut the treadmill times in half to try to keep it at an hour

now go get that daisy duke body...

Monday, December 30, 2013


beef short ribs with pappardelle & parmesan
it's almost a new year which means new dishes to try! i've had an itch to make short ribs since i recently had them at one of my favorite restaurants. they are so delicious when cooked low....and....slow. 

this recipe is fairly simple & requires easy ingredients. i would request the best short ribs from your local butcher shop-lots of meat & little fat make this dish fit for a king!

short rib ragu 
ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4-6
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots {or chopped whole/baby ones}
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced {divided-2 now, 2 later}
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2-3 pounds short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 {14.5 ounce can} diced tomatoes {in juices}
  • 3/4 cup cabernet sauvignon {or another dry red wine}
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 thyme leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 package sliced white mushrooms
  • parmesan, for serving
  • *pasta

1. in a food processor, combine onion, carrots, celery & 2 cloves garlic. pulse until roughly minced. set aside. on a plate or in a large casserole dish, season short ribs on all sides with salt & pepper. set aside.

2. add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a dutch oven or large pot. bring to high heat. add short ribs to pan & brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. remove & set aside on a plate with paper towels to absorb any grease. drain all but about 1 tablespoon of fat out of the pan.

3. bring the pan to medium heat. add garlic & saute for one minute. toss-in carrot/celery/onion mixture into the pan & saute for 10 minutes or until cooked through. add in tomatoes, wine, beef broth, herbs & short ribs & bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, cover & cook for 1 1/2 hours.

4. remove lid & stir. toss-in mushrooms & cook for another 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. remove the meat, bones & herbs from the pot. shred the meat, removing any fatty pieces & return it to the pot. season with salt & pepper, to taste. serve warm!

*serve over pappardelle, rigatoni, penne or gnocci pasta & top with parmesean cheese!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


bread & wine-shauna niequist : i'm half way through this & want to hug my neighbor for lending it to me. it's a book full of life, love, friendships, stories, spirituality & recipes all rolled into an inspirational read! thus far i've laughed, cried & made balsamic pork tenderloin...i can't wait to read her other books, cold tangerines & bittersweet.

cooking light october issue : this is one of my favorite subscriptions...easy recipes & always provides inspiration for my monthly meal planning. next on my cooking list, crispy fish with lemon-dill sauce!

neiman marcus christmas book : oh neiman marcus you've done it again! $1.85 milly for a forevermark diamond experience? $150,000 for a global falconry companion? whatever happened to the simplicity & joy one received from the jc penny christmas catalog? sigh...

ivory lane blog : head on over to ivory lane blog for hours of photo gawking from the cutest blogger ever, emily. i love her style, her adorable family & all the ideas she brings to life!

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