Monday, August 7, 2023

Perfect for the Back-to-School Rush: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites #healthysnack #peanutbutter #nobaketreat


Where has the Sumer Break gone?!?!? It's back-to-school time here in Texas this month. That means parents and kids are busier adjusting to getting up earlier in the morning, taking part in after-school activities, then the with dinner and homework routine in the evenings. Recipes that are simple, quick, or can be made ahead are lifesavers. Today, I'm sharing a simple no-bake snack that kids of all ages love: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites. These bite-size granola treats come together in less than 30 minutes. Simply whip up a batch on Sunday afternoon, and you're got a tasty lunchbox treat...or afternoon snack...for the coming week! I used dried cranberries here, but feel free to use whatever dried fruit you have on hand to customize them to your family's personal tastes.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out...Featuring Tributary at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter #WGDinesOut #SADining #TributarySA

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out feature is back! We're reintroducing this popular series with Tributary, a farm-to-table restaurant located at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. Chef Joseph Martinez focuses on produce and meats sourced from local farmers, keeping in mind Texas seasonality. The Weekend Gourmet team recently visited Tributary to sample items from the creative, wide-ranging menu. From appetizers to desserts, it was a delicious dining experience.
Tributary offers plenty of seating in its main dining room, as well as in the Marriott Rivercenter's expansive lobby. The lobby seating offers a ton of natural light...and great people watching! We were greeted and quickly seated in the expansive lobby dining area adjacent to the restaurant's well-stocked bar. We started our meal with a duo of craft cocktails and appetizers. The Tributary Tequila O.F. is an updated take on a classic Old Fashioned cocktail. It features Dobel Diamante Cristalino Barrel tequila that's hand-selected by the Tributary team. This tequila is exclusive to the restaurant, so this is definitely a one-of-a-kind cocktail you literally won't find it anywhere else! It's potent, but smooth...with a citrus back note from the twist of orange peel. We also tried the restaurant's signature Tributary Margarita...a beautiful fuchsia cocktail flavored with tangy prickly pear and lime juice. It's festive and delicious...cheers!
We paired our cocktails with a duo of appetizers. Up first was the Chips & Dips Trio...which included two housemade salsas and freshly made guacamole. Although not prepared tableside, we both agreed that the supremely fresh guacamole was some of the very best we'd ever eaten. Simple, creamy, and delicious!
Next from the kitchen was a warm flatbread appetizer with a distinctly Tex-Mex flavor. The Chicken Tinga Flatbread featured spicy Chipotle Braised Chicken, Oaxaca Cheese, Cotija, Pickled Red Onion, and Cilantro. The crust was thin, but not soggy. The toppings were mildly spicy and cheesy...the pickled onions brought a brightly tart flavor to every bite.

After enjoying our cocktails and appetizers, it was time for a shared salad course. Tributary's updated Iceberg Wedge features creative sweet tea-infused bacon, creamy mild Point Reyes Blue Cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and herb-infused Buttermilk Ranch. This salad was bursting with fresh flavors...a perfect Summer dish. I could literally eat this salad every day of the week!

From there, it was time for two comforting Gulf seafood entrees: Blackened Red Snapper and classic Southern-style Shrimp & Grits!

Monday, July 17, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party: The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood...Featuring Rock Shrimp Quesadillas with Oaxacan Cheese and Tomatoes #HogIslandBookofFishAndSeafood #shrimp #quesadilla #seafood

The final installment for this year's ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group is a food that's near and dear to my Gulf Coast heart: seafood! The Hog Island Book of Fish and Seafood offers readers
 250+ recipes that feature literally any variety of seafood you can imagine. James Beard Award-winning chef author John Ash takes a comprehensive approach to preparing and cooking shellfish, crustaceans, finned fish...and many more. Ash features recipes from California-based Hog Island Oyster Bars, as well as other chefs who embrace their focus on sustainability. Recipes include regional favorites like San Francisco cioppino, Louisiana crawfish étouffée, and New England clam chowder.

I considered literally dozens of recipes to feature here, but ultimately kept coming back to the simple Rock Shrimp Quesadillas with Oaxacan Cheese and Tomatoes. They're ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, and they taste amazing! Whether you're looking for a Summer dinner that doesn't require heating your oven...or looking for a fun food to pair with margaritas for guests...this recipe is a perfect pick.

Friday, July 14, 2023

First Watch Introduces Seasonal Summer Menu Items -- Including Two New Iced Coffee Creations #firstwatch #icedcoffee #brunchdining #summermenu

First Watch recently unveiled its new seasonal Summer menu, and I had a chance to stop by my neighborhood location to try a few of the limited edition menu items. If you've never been to First Watch, it features a Daytime Dining concept with a chef-driven menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch items. In addition to seasonal food items, First Watch has added two new specialty iced coffee drinks to its menu that are perfect for beating the Summer heat: 

  • Mint Mocha features a chocolate drizzle and peppermint coffee. This decadent drink is topped with a thick and sweet cream cold foam, Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, and a mint garnish.
  • Honey Caramel Crunch features a salted caramel drizzle and sweet honey coffee. This iced coffee is also topped with the richly sweet cream cold foam and toffee crumbles.

Both of these iced coffee creations are deliciously sweet...and so refreshing! Best of all? Every weekday through August 11th, customers who dine in at any San Antonio First Watch location can enjoy a $2 iced coffee of their choice – including these two new flavors. That's an amazing deal!

While you're enjoying your gourmet iced coffee, it's a perfect opportunity to try out some of First Watch's new Summer menu items! We started out with the warm Bacon Cheddar Cornbread, topped with sweet honey butter. If you love cornbread, you will love this sweet-savory version!

Next up, we shared two savory breakfast items. First up was the Tex-Mex inspired Carnitas Breakfast Tostadas. This flavorful dish features hand-pulled pork carnitas, cheddar-jack cheese, black beans, and two eggs -- we chose over easy. Everything is arranged on top of crispy corn tostadas, then topped with white queso, sliced avocado, roasted corn salsa, house-pickled red onions, and cilantro. On the side is fresh fruit sprinkled with spicy Tajin seasoning.

This dish has a lot of fun flavors...and textures! It's savory, a little spicy, and the crunchy tostada shells add nice texture. We agreed that the tart pickled red onion perfectly brought all of the flavors together. This dish is definitely a must try!

Our second Summer menu item was the Lone Star Breakfast Hash. It has hand-pulled brisket and house-pickled sweet peppers in a crispy potato hash. The hash is then topped with two sunny-side-up eggs, cheddar-jack cheese, smashed avocado, fresh pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, and scallions. It's served with two wheat-corn tortillas to make breakfast tacos.

These breakfast tacos were so good! The tortillas were soft and warm, and the hash was a perfect combination of savory and spicy. It's a perfect Texas-inspired breakfast or brunch.

If you prefer your brunch dishes on the sweeter side, the Summer menu also includes a decadent Strawberry Tres Leche French Toast that looks and sounds amazing...mercy! First Watch has locations all across the country. To find your closest location, be sure to check out the handy Location Finder -- by city, state, or zip code -- at their website.

Disclosure: First Watch provided me a gift card to facilitate a visit to try their Summer seasonal menu items. All opinions shared in this post are solely my own. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Gearing Up for July 4th with White Chocolate Cheesecake-Berry Trifles #july4thfood #redwhiteandberries #nocookdessert


July 4th is coming up in just a few days...and today I'm sharing a simple, festive no-bake dessert that perfect for hot Summer entertaining! My White Chocolate Cheesecake-Berry Trifles use cubed angel food cake, because it's lighter in fat and calories -- something I always consider these days. To keep things "red, white & blue," strawberries were a must, along with blackberries...also known as dewberries here in the South. You can definitely use blueberries if you prefer them. The cheesecake filling is made from reduced-fat cream cheese, cashew milk, and a healthy dose of melted white chocolate. Put it all together, and you've got a fabulous holiday dessert. Even better? The individual components can be made up to a day ahead, saving you time in the kitchen so you don't miss any fireworks!

Friday, June 9, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party: Gather -- Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens...Featuring Cruditès with Avocado Salsa Verde #GatherCookbook #abramsdinnerparty #farmtotablecooking #avocadosalsaverde #summerfood

As Summer settles in, my meals tend to center around healthy, fresh seasonal produce. That's why today's ABRAMS Dinner Party featured cookbook is especially timely! Janet Fletcher's new cookbook Gather -- Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens spotlights some of California's most iconic wineries' culinary gardens...and their fresh, wine-friendly dishes.
 The recipes showcase fresh seasonal produce and are gourmet casual...without being fussy. Garden-to-table cuisine is a great way to focus in on using seasonal fruit and veggies at their peak of freshness. I wanted to serve a healthy appetizer for our Memorial Day BBQ meal, so I chose Cruditès with Avocado Salsa Verde from Alexander Valley in Healdsburg -- located in Sonoma County's Wine Country.

Picturesque Grounds at Alexander Valley Vineyards
The winery has five acres of edible gardens onsite, with much of the produce grown made available at the popular Healdsburg Farmers Market. However, the winery's Wetzel family also uses the garden's bounty to create a range of dishes for winery visitors. The fresh 
Cruditès with Avocado Salsa Verde is tangy and mildly spicy. This versatile salsa works great as an appetizer...or as a sauce to top grilled meat and seafood. There are several steps to make this salsa, but it's it's not complicated to make at all. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: The Great American Burger Book...Featuring The Smoked Burger from Houston #TheGreatAmericanBurgerBook #abramsdinnerparty #burgers #smokedmeat #TexasFood #summerfood

This year's ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group posts are quickly winding down as Summer approaches. But? Today's featured 
ABRAMS Publishing cookbook is perfect to have on hand as burger season heats up! George Motz's encyclopedic The Great American Burger Book: How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home shows readers how to recreate regional burgers at home. This expanded and updated edition features iconic burger flavors and cooking techniques like Minnesota's cheesy Jucy Lucy, Wisconsin's Butter Burger, and California's Classic Patty Melt. There's even a chapter devoted to international burgers! I opted to focus today on a Texas classic: The Smoked Burger from Guy's Market, a butcher shop in Houston. This burger is smoky and simply adorned...the beef and flavorful smoke definitely take center stage. This is definitely the burger you want to add to your Memorial Day grilling menu!

This burger forgoes traditional burger toppings like mustard, pickles, lettuce, onion, and tomato. The Smoke Burger instead features toppings typically served with smoked or chopped brisket sandwiches here in Texas: tangy BBQ sauce, sliced dill pickle, and onions. I also offered sliced cheddar cheese for those who wanted to add it to the mix. For this recipe, the beef used AND the smoking technique are key to achieving the best flavor. I used 85/15 ground Angus chuck that was smoked with a combination of charcoal and post oak wood. Soft potato buns were a perfect addition to cradle this burger. One note: instead of using the homemade BBQ sauce recommended by Motz, we opted for a favorite bottled sauce to save a bit of time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wendy's Great Eight for May 2023 #wendysgreateight #bestbites #favoritefood #healthyfoodfavorites

 After a hiatus while I overhauled my nutrition...and lost 10o monthly Wendy's Great Eight column is back! Going forward, this monthly column will focus on my favorite healthy food and beverages -- along with kitchen gadgets that support my new healthy eating goals. I hope you'll find some healthy ideas that will help you meet your personal health goals too! Let's get started...

(1) Like Air Baked Puffcorn. If you enjoy eating crunchy snacks...but not their excess fat and calories...baked puffcorn is a great snacking alternative! I've really been enjoying Like Air Baked Puffcorn recently. These all natural, gluten-free baked puffs are literally light as air. And? They come in great traditional popcorn flavors like Butter & Salt and American Cheddar. They also have two sweet flavors: maple-flavored Pancake, and Cinnamon Bun. Each generous 3-cup serving of Like Air has just 150 calories, 9 grams fat, and 15-17 carbs. All four flavors are delicious...but I have a bit of a soft spot for the Pancake. Like Air Puffcorn can be found at major retailers, including Sam's Club, Kroger, ShopRite, Fairway, Price Rite, Kings Food Market, and Balducci's. They can also be purchased via Amazon.

(2) Barebells Protein Bars. My weight loss and maintenance center on eating more protein and fewer carbs. One way I accomplish this goal is to eat protein bars. I'm picky, though! I prefer bars with around 200 calories, along with zero sugar/low carbs, and plenty of satisfying protein. I really enjoy Barebells Protein bars, because they meet these requirements and taste AMAZING! I've tried three flavors so far: Cookies & Cream, Creamy Crisp, and Caramel Cashew. These flavors have 200 calories, 20 grams of protein, and zero added sugar per substantial 1.9-oz bar. Carbs range from 18-20 grams, depending on the flavor. I sometimes cut a Barebell bar in half if I'm running low on available carbs at the end of the day. Barebells can be found at major retailers nationwide...and they can be purchased direct from their online store.

(3) Jordan's Skinny Syrups Naturally Sweetened Sugar Free Syrups. I start my day with a protein coffee shake nearly every morning...and I love using Jordan's Skinny Syrups to provide a pop of sugar-free flavor to my creations. I was excited when they introduced a line of naturally sweetened syrups with stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol. Sugar free...without artificial a winner to me! This naturally sweetened line comes in Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Mocha, and Cinnamon Dolce. Each 2-tablesoon serving has zero calories and just 6 carbs. The Naturally Sweetened line is currently available for purchase at Target, as well as via the Jordan's Skinny Syrup online shop.

(4) Chike Coffee Protein. As the weather heats up, I enjoy iced coffee to beat the heat. With Texas-based Chike? I can help meet my daily protein macros too! Chike's high-protein coffee shakes contain two shots of real espresso and whey protein isolate. All natural flavors include Chai Latte, Mocha, Caramel, Vanilla, Original Iced Coffee, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Simply add 10 ounces water or unsweetened almond milk, shake, and pour over ice. Each delicious Chike iced protein coffee has 120 calories, 20 grams of whey protein, 4 carbs, and just 1 gram of sugar. Chike is sweetened with sucralose, the same sweetener used in Splenda. Chike is available at retailers nationwide, and via the Chike online store. Especially convenient is their single-serve Sampler Pack for $14.95 -- which lets you try five popular flavors to find your favorite! My personal favorite is the chocolate Mocha.

Monday, May 15, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: Asada Cookbook...Featuring A Better Pico and Blended Guacamole #AsadaCookbook #abramsdinnerparty #guacamole #picodegallo #makeitfresh #mexicanfood

It's time to feature another great new cookbook as part of ABRAMS Publishing's #abramsdinnerparty blogging group. Today, I'm featuring a cookbook that's perfect for your Summer entertaining plans! Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral's Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling features foods commonly served at an asada. Throughout 
Southern California, an asada is a gathering of family and friends, great music, cold beverages -- and a healthy side of fun and community. The party centers around smoky grilled meat with flavors and spices traditional to Mexico. Asada's 100 recipes are divided into eight key elements served at an asada: botanas (appetizers), carnes (meats), mariscos (seafood), side dishes and vegetables, salsas, aguas frescas, cocktails, and dessert. 

See my Instagram account (weekendgourmet) to get their recipe for marinated, grilled Carne Asada Classica. I opted to focus here on a pair of accompaniments: tangy-spicy Blended Guacamole and A Better Pico. Both are simple to make and taste incredibly fresh! If you've never made homemade pico de gallo, THIS is definitely the recipe you want to try. 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Blueberry Muffin Smoothie #breakfastinaglass #smoothies #breakfastonthego #healthyanddelicious


Protein shakes and smoothies have played a major role in my 100-pound post-stroke weight loss. I start nearly every morning with a protein coffee shake...and I've recently started including fruit-based smoothies. I love smoothies, because they make it easy to meet my daily allotment of healthy fruit and vegetables! I keep my kitchen stocked with frozen fruit, unsweetened nut milk, fat free Greek yogurt, and healthy add-ins like chia seeds. Then, I can whip up a breakfast OR afternoon smoothie in less than 5 minutes. This Blueberry Muffin Smoothie features frozen fruit, protein-packed Greek yogurt...and an extra fiber boost from the addition of oatmeal. The end result is creamy and delicious...without being overly sweet. I just love it!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: In Praise of Home Cooking...Featuring a Simple Frittata Template #InPraseofHomeCooking #abramsdinnerparty #frittatahowto #weekendbrunch #essentialeggs

The next cookbook I'm featuring as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group is Liana Krissoff's encyclopedic In Prase of Home Cooking -- Reasons and Recipes. This cookbook is a must-have resource for learning classic home cooking techniques and recipes. It's perfect for both newer cooks who want to learn no-fail ways to create classic comfort home cooking...and for seasoned cooks who want to perfect cooking methods/techniques. From how to cook a pot of perfectly fluffy searing a juicy steak...and even perfectly cooking eggs in a variety of ways.

Krissoff offers readers proven cooking techniques that result in perfect fried eggs, fluffy scrambled eggs, and hard-cooked eggs that have a creamy yolk and a tender white. Then, there's her easy-to-master Frittata Template. Instead of being a set recipe, it's a versatile template that can easily be adapted to whatever veggies, cheese, and other proteins that are on hand in your kitchen. Last weekend, I made a brunch frittata with leftover roasted zucchini and yellow squash, sliced cooked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and a bit of mozzarella. It came together quickly and baked up tender and delicious. Simply cut the cooked frittata in wedges and serve! 

Monday, April 17, 2023

A Simple Guide to Eliminating Bad Sleep Habits #healthy2023 #bettersleep #qualitysleep #restorativesleep

Getting good- quality sleep every night is important for a number of reasons...yet it can be very elusive! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some useful, practical tips to help you eliminate bad sleep habits...and replace them with positive sleep habits. This article may contain affiliate links.

 Pexels - CC0 License

Sleep difficulties can be tiring...pun absolutely intended. A sleeping issue is rarely a distinct, separate problem that you have to deal with. This is because the effects can (and often do) bleed into every other aspect of your life, from how attentive you are when behind the wheel to how well you perform at work. Scientists suggest that sleep deprivation itself can mimic the effects of being intoxicated, which goes to show just how odd we can feel should a sleep issue take root in our lives. Of course, seeing a sleep doctor is sometimes is taking medications or natural remedies like CBD to help you.

It’s also worth examining your sleep habits, because resolving these issues can greatly improve your sleep situation. In this post, we’ll discuss a clear set of simple steps you can take to improve your sleep habits. From there, you’ll be able to rest more reliably and comfortably, which will allow you to wake up each morning feeling energized and ready to tackle your day. With that in mind, consider the following information:

(1) Be Disciplined with Your Electronic Device Usage

Key items that rob people of sleep everywhere are smartphone devices and the blue light that emanates from televisions -- both affect our circadian rhythms. It’s important to be as disciplined as you can with with your use of these devices before you head to sleep. Otherwise, they can keep you alert and awake for much longer than you intend. In the long run, that will make a big difference. Excess use of these items can cause you to feel frustrated, robbing you of your sleep and restfulness. As such, we recommend taking time to relax before bed by disconnecting -- reading can be a great bedtime alternative.

(2) If the Bed’s Not Right for You, Don’t Force Yourself to Endure It

Sometimes, your bed itself might be harming your sleep. An uneven mattress with a broken spring, pillows that are too thin to give your neck adequate support, or a bedroom that's stuffy and poorly ventilated can cause discomfort and make it harder for you to feel comfortable in that space. You don’t need to spend excessive money on improvements! Items like new pillow cases, a replacement duvet, or even fixing a worn bed frame can work wonders. It’s okay to have personal preferences.

(3) Don’t Avoid Communicating with Your Partner

If you go to sleep with a partner, it’s good to discuss issues that might negatively impact your sleep. For example: your partner might have an untreated snoring habit you can do without hearing (note that sometimes snoring is a sign of a medical issue like sleep apnea). Discussing the purchase of a larger duvet so you don’t wake up shivering without it covering you is another example. Some couples even plan to sleep in different beds. This is especially true if one person works a nightshift and doesn’t want to disturb the other...or you’re swapping shifts caring for a newborn overnight. Clear, open communication is always key.

With the above advice, you’re sure to eliminate bad sleep habits, which will in turn help you start building good ones in their place.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party: Meal Prep Magic...Featuring Double-Chocolate Protein Smoothie #ABRAMSdinnerparty #MealPrepMagic #smoothie #proteinpower

I'm back with another great cookbook feature as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party group! Meal Prep Magic features a stepwise meal prep system to save busy cooks time, money, and mealtime stress. Author Catherine McCord's believes that kitchen success comes down to two main strategies: organization and advance meal prep. Her simple three-stage process to achieve this duo includes:
  • Stage 1: Purge -- Remove, Assess, Edit, Clean Kitchen
  • Stage 2: Organize -- Pantry, Fridge/Freezer, Utensils/Cookware
  • Stage 3: Prep -- Meal Plan, Chop, Precook Ingredients
After sharing this three-stage meal prep process, McCord shares 100 compatible
family-friendly recipes that are quick to make...and healthy. These recipes can be prepped ahead/made ahead; made with kitchen staple ingredients; and utilize your freezer, air fryer, InstantPot, and slow cooker. 
The recipe I'm sharing is McCord's Double-Chocolate Protein Smoothie...since I start nearly every morning with a smoothie. This smoothie is sweetened with frozen banana and maple syrup...and features both unsweetened cocoa powder AND semisweet chips. The secret ingredient? Frozen cauliflower! More on that in a bit...but trust me that your mind will be blown.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Easter-Ready Sipping...Featuring Sugar Free Mint-Peach Tea Sipper #springsips #sugarfree #mocktail #peachtea #perfectforeaste

Sweet tea is as common here in Texas as in-season Hill Country peaches! However, I don't drink sugary beverages these days. So, I challenged myself to create a refreshing sweet tea beverage with zero refined sugar...and plenty of peachy goodness! I used monk fruit sweetener instead of granulated sugar to make a delicious mint simple syrup for this tea. It also features a refreshing sparkling peach puree. Instead of ice, this fruity tea is poured over frozen peach slices -- to amplify the peach flavor. This minty peach tea is perfect for sipping all Spring long, but would make an especially festive addition to your Easter entertaining this weekend!
The end result is a family-friendly mocktail that everyone who tasted raved about. It smells absolutely amazing...and tastes even better! Best of all, this tea can be made up to one day ahead and chilled in the fridge. Smells heavenly...tastes even better...and can be made ahead? That's a winning trifecta, friends! Wait until you see how simple it is to whip up a pitcher of this delicious sparkling fruit tea. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Easter Fun...Featuring Bunny-Approved Baked Easter Doughnuts #easterbaking #bakednotfried #doughnuts

It's almost time for Easter! Today, I'm sharing a recipe for baked doughnuts that are decorated to look like colorful Easter eggs. My Bunny-Approved Baked Easter Doughnuts would make a perfect addition to your Easter breakfast table -- such a festive and special treat! They're buttermilk cake doughnuts similar in texture to a muffin, and they're baked instead of fried. They bake in about 10 minutes -- which gives you just enough time to whip up the glaze and assemble your colorful toppings. Feel free to tint the glaze if you want, but I stuck with white since I was used colorful Easter and Spring-colored sprinkles. Decorating these doughnuts is a bit like coloring Easter eggs -- only you'll have half a dozen delicious doughnuts to enjoy when you're done. I made two minor tweaks to a simple baked doughnut recipe from Sur le Table. I subbed cinnamon for the nutmeg called for, and I added vanilla extract with the wet ingredients. Feel free to double the recipe if you want to make a dozen doughnuts -- you'll have plenty of glaze!

If you're watching your carbs like I do nowadays, I'm also providing directions to make a sugar-free version of both the doughnuts and the glaze! 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Seafood Meals for the Lenten Season...Featuring Sizzling Garlic Shrimp #shrimp #seafood #lentenfridaymeals #garlic

It's officially the Lenten season for Catholics -- which means Friday meals are meatless around here until Easter. Growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast, I grew up eating lots of seafood. Gulf shrimp? Don’t even get me started…it’s still my favorite food! Today, I'm sharing a simply delicious recipe for Sizzling Garlic Shrimp. It's made with just FIVE simple ingredients...but they combine to provide HUGE flavor. It's quick to make for a speedy dinner…and it also makes a fabulous appetizer. Here's an insiders' tip for you: if you buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined, this dish can literally be ready to eat in about 10 minutes. If you're not watching your carb intake, put a loaf of French bread in the oven to serve on the side -- it's perfect for soaking up the flavorful sauce!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Celebrating Mardi Gras at Home...Featuring Mardi Gras BBQ Shrimp #mardigras #shrimp #seafood #celebrateathome

Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras…one final celebration before the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday. Michael and I love New Orleans food, music, and spirit of celebration…so we love to celebrate Mardi Gras! I typically put on some lively Zydeco music and cook up a special Louisiana-inspired dish to celebrate. My spicy Mardi Gras BBQ Shrimp are perfect for any Mardi Gras celebrations you have planned. The dish is full of the big flavors we love, and it's not at all complicated to make. Contrary to their name, they’re not actually BBQ’ed in the typical Texas sense. Instead, this New Orleans specialty features shrimp simmered in a spicy sauce. I recently found a great version of this dish from one of our favorite restaurants, Brennan’s of Houston. BBQ shrimp definitely delivers on flavor – with a robust sauce that includes lemon, Worcestershire, and spicy Cajun seasoning. A simple salad is all you need for a complete meal.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tutorial: Assembling a Lightened-Up Game Day Taco Bar Stadium #gamedayfood #snackadium #smartsnacking #footballfood #healthyanddelicious

The NFL playoffs are in full swing...and the Super Bowl is coming up in a few short weeks. That means lots of cheering...and lots of amazing FOOD!! Today, I'm going to show you step-by-step how to create a Lightened-Up Game Day Taco Bar Stadium. Since my 100-pound weight loss, I use healthier versions of my favorite taco fixings to reduce fat, carbs, and calories. I do this without sacrificing any of the fun or flavor! I use a fun football field serving platter I found a couple of years ago at my local discount store as the taco bar's centerpiece. I'll show how easy it is to create this simple football-themed display. My football field tray had sections to hold lowfat shredded cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and guacamole. Reduced fat sour cream and the trio of  healthy sauces are spooned into four smaller sections in the tray's "end zones." The end result is a display with great eye appeal...and taste! 

Keep reading to see my step-by-step method to cook and assemble this easy Lightened-Up Game Day Taco Bar Stadium. I promise it's easy...the entire process of cooking and set will take you an hour! To save time, the beef and chicken taco fillings can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. This taco bar is a perfect showstopping centerpiece for any game day spread. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Healthy Game Day Appetizer...Shrimp Remoulade Deviled Eggs #healthy2023 #healthygameday #healthyappetizer #deviledeggs #shrimp


It's NFL playoff season...which means we need some game day snacks! These days, I have to carefully plan so I can enjoy appetizers while sticking with my healthy eating plan. Today, I'm sharing a fun spin on traditional deviled eggs. These Shrimp Remoulade Deviled Eggs feature bold shrimp remoulade flavors in a two-bite appetizer. The high-protein, lower fat Greek yogurt-based filling can be made up to a day ahead -- making assembly time just before serving quick and easy on game day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Southern Living 2022 Annual Recipes: Skillet Baked Nut-and-Banana Oatmeal for ABRAMS Dinner Party #SouthernLiving2022AnnualRecipes #abramsdinnerparty #breakfast #bakedoatmeal #brunch

I'm moving into 2023 with another great ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group feature...showcasing one of my most anticipated books this season! Southern Living recipes are a standard bearer here in the South...a beloved food resource shared from generation to generation. That's because their recipes always seem to taste like the South...and we can always count on the recipes giving us good results and fabulous flavor! Every December, the Southern Living annual recipes cookbook is released -- featuring every recipe from the past year in one convenient hardback book. I have every edition going back to 1997, so I was thrilled to see the Southern Living 2022 Annual Recipes on my Dinner Party cookbook lineup again this year! There are so many recipes I can't wait to try in the coming months...but this time, I needed a healthy and delicious breakfast for my Dad's birthday breakfast. He picked Skillet Baked Nut-and-Banana Oatmeal -- a yummy mashup of oatmeal and banana nut bread. With just a handful of simple ingredients, this dish is a simple-to-make weekend brunch dish. It's sweetened with mashed banana and honey, so it works well with 2023 healthy eating goals you have!

NOTE: The original recipe is called Skillet Baked Almond-and-Banana Oatmeal -- featuring almonds. I subbed in pecans, because I'm unable to eat almonds.