Do you experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? I'm such an introvert that I feel like I'm much more likely to experience FOMH (Fear OF Missing Home) than FOMO. 😂OK, so FOMH my not be an actual thing but it describes my attitude towards social situations perfectly. It's a good thing that I'm married to my complete opposite. My social butterfly husband forces me out of my comfort zone and into situations that stretch my personality. If it weren't for him - I would probably be living as a hermit, deep in the woods somewhere. 😂🌲
Our divergent personalities even carry over into our dinner decisions. It probably won't surprise you that my extrovert husband likes the social interaction of going out to eat. And even though I can appreciate being served a meal that has been prepared by someone else, probably even more than most girls, I also really like to eat my own food. I have comfort in being able to control exactly what goes into my meal and I love the fact that I can prepare my food exactly the way that I like it. There's no apprehension about ordering something that I won't like. Maybe I have FOESEF. (Fear Of Eating Someone Else's Food) 💁🏻♀️
I normally don't order things at restaurants that I can make for myself at home. I like to try and recreate the meals that I get served at restaurants in my own kitchen though. The delicious rolls from my favorite steakhouse, the savory soups that I first tasted at Panera, the pizza from Alini's and the tiramisu from the Macaroni Grill. Some of my recipe recreations have worked out better than others. 😉 There was a copycat Bloomin' Onion debacle that we just don't talk about anymore. 🤣
My family thinks I'm crazy but I actually really like to order salads at restaurants. I like to sample the fun salad combinations that restaurants put together. I'm always looking for new ways to spice up my salads at home and taste testing them at restaurants is a great way to give them a trial run. I gave this salad (minus the steak) a test run at a local pub recently. It was really yummy and I decided to make it more Ben-friendly by adding a little grilled steak to the top.
Mediterranean Steak and Pita Salad
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 (8 inch) pita bread, cut into triangles
2 teaspoons cumin
1 pound skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
2 Romaine hearts, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 avocado, sliced
Add lettuce, mint and pita to bowl with tomato mixture. Toss to coat. Top with sliced steak.
We're officially in the Dog Days of Summer. It's 106 with the heat index in Atlanta this afternoon and I feel like I'm melting faster than an ice cream cone in the sun. I crave cool, crispy salads on days like today. They're a great way to eat healthy and stay cool on these ridiculously hot days.
Fried chicken and beer - it's a match made in heaven, right? There's only one problem - I don't like beer. 🍺🍗 (Please don't judge me.) It actually looks very appealing with it's frothy, golden color but unfortunately - I've really just never acquired a taste for it.
But before you start sending me your beer suggestions, I should tell you that I've sampled a lot of beer. Dark beers, pilsners, craft beer, fruity beers, pale ales, stouts and lagers - I've yet to find one that appeals to me. At the risk of offending beer drinkers all over the internet - I have to say that I just don't like any of it. I apologize to all of my beer loving followers. 🤷🏻♀️ Please don't unfollow me.
I may never be a girl who drinks a beer with her fried chicken but that doesn't mean that I can't be a girl who GRILLS her chicken with a beer glaze. Turns out, this non-beer drinker is a big fan of grilled chicken smothered in a drunken beer glaze. Who knew?
Something magical happens to a beer when you add spice, sugar and garlic. It transforms it from a hoppy, bitter brew to a flavor rich, full bodied, spicy glaze that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken. Maybe I should just order my beer with sugar and spice from the bartender from now on. 🍻🌶🥣
In case you're curious, I did taste the Mexican beer that I added to the recipe - and.... I'm still not a fan. I'll leave it at that.
Beer Glazed Chicken with Summer Vegetables
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 cup dark Mexican beer
6 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons piloncillo (or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 chicken leg quarters
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4" slices
1 red onion, cut into 1/4" rounds
2 ears corn, husked and halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Serve vegetables with chicken.
This grilled chicken was a big hit with my family. What better way to celebrate the end of summer and the start of a new school year?
Around here, summer is an all out sprint. In our house, there's nothing leisurely or remotely relaxing about summer. What can I say? It's so fleeting that I feel compelled to make the most out of every single moment. Fall is a time for rest and rejuvenation but right now, I'm trying to soak in all that this beautiful season has to offer. I'm running into August at full velocity --- and wearing myself out in the process. 😂
I thought that my summer pace would slow down when my kids got older and I didn't have to worry about keeping them occupied and stimulated while they were out of school for the summer. I planned all sorts of fun activities for the kids but I always seemed to tire myself out long before they ever showed any signs of fatigue. 😂 Even when they were responsible for occupying their own time - I always had to keep my eyes and ears open. 😳 (If you've got curious, inquisitive kids - you know what I mean.) 😂 Supervising kids isn't always a physical task but no parent would disagree that raising kids is the most mentally challenging job in the world.
Summer is also the time when I channel my inner Clark Griswold and plan epic road trips with my family. After all, summer wouldn't be complete without our annual 15 hour car ride to Ohio. 🚗 #forcedfamilybondingtime
We've actually spent a considerable part of our summer on the road and away from the house this summer. It's been a great way for me to soak up all that summer has to offer but it hasn't been a great way for me to maintain healthy eating habits. Why couldn't I just crave celery like I do twizzlers in the car? Now that we're back home for at least a few weeks, it's time for this family to get back on track with our healthy eating.
This Pasta Salad with Chicken is a perfect summer dish because I can make it in the morning and it's ready whenever I'm hungry. It's also a perfect meal to pack up and take to the beach or the park. It's not the normal mayonnaise based gloppy, supermarket pasta salad that you're used to. This is a fresh, healthy protein packed pasta salad that your whole family will love. Even my daughter, who is adamantly opposed to olives, gobbled up her entire bowl of pasta salad.
Pasta Salad with Chicken
3 boneless chicken breasts
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup pepperocini, chopped
6 ounces penne or fusilli
8 ounces green beans, cut into 2" lengths
2 cups baby spinach (optional)
Add spinach and season with salt and pepper. (I completely forgot to add the spinach.) 😬
The kids in my neighborhood went back to school last week but I'm in complete denial about the fact that we've reached the end of our summer. My youngest child has one more week at home before she moves back to her apartment at college so here's to making the most of the next 168 hours!!
If serving corn salsa for dinner is wrong - I don't want to be right. It's so stinking hot outside that salsa really seems like the best option for dinner. You know it's a scorcher when it's too hot to even stand on the deck and grill something for dinner. (I'm determined to try and fry an egg on my back deck one day -- I'll keep you posted on that little experiment. ) 🍳 Wouldn't we all just prefer to eat salsa and chips for dinner anyway?
This roasted corn salsa is delicious as a meal. It's equally delicious on a taco and a burrito. It's delicious on a salad and and over a bowl of grits. I would eat it in the air, I would eat it in a chair. I would eat it in the car and in a bar. I couldn't resist. 😂
This scrumptious roasted corn salsa is refreshing and hearty and the sweet corn just steals the show. You know how much I love a good pan of roasted vegetables and adding just a few fresh herbs and spices really brings out their flavor beautifully. Stock up on the chips friends - you're going to eat a lot of them while you devour this salsa.
Roasted Corn Salsa
1 pound plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 ears corn, halved lengthwise
2 onion, sliced into 1/2" rings
1 poblano chile, seeded and halved
2 jalapeno, seeded and halved
2 Tablespoon canola oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Process lime juice, cayenne, tomatoes, garlic and 1/2 t. salt until smooth. Add to corn mixture along with cilantro. Let sit for 1 hour.
Sometimes I add a half and avocado to my corn salsa because I'm obsessed with avocados and because they make everything better. I'd love to hear from any of you who make this salsa with modifications. Let me know what kinds of peppers, seasonings, and spices do you add to make it unique. 🌶
I am a quirky girl. There's no denying it. I have more than my share of undeniable, irrational and unexplainable quirks. I don't like to watch people brush their teeth. I park in the exact same aisle every time I go to the grocery store. I eat my dinner, one food at a time. And don't even get me started on the sounds that people make when they're eating and drinking. 😬 Quirky is an understatement.
One of the many quirks that most of you don't know about me is my aversion to eating meat off of the bone. I am a huge chicken lover but the thought of holding a chicken bone in my hands while eating the meat, makes me cringe. I'm convinced that my weird chicken eating animosity is directly related to the bone because I'm not at all opposed to holding food in my hands. I love burgers, tacos, crab legs and sandwiches. I can eat an apple out of my hand but for some reason, I can't bring myself to pick up a drumstick or a spare rib and eat it. 🍗
Wing eating purists would say that cutting the meat off of a chicken wing with a knife and fork diminishes the experience of eating them. I disagree. For starters, it takes a great deal of time to actually carve the meat from a tiny chicken wing and it slows my abnormally rapid eating speed to a more normal pace. I'm also not a fan of chicken skin (another quirk) so I can eliminate the skin and excess fat from by chicken by using utensils. And most importantly - I can coat every bite with wing sauce for maximum flavor and kick. Isn't that why we eat chicken wings after all?
So whether you're a chicken wing carver or a normal person without bone quirks, you will want to give these Grilled Chicken Wings a try. The brine makes them super tender and juicy. The grill adds that nice smoky flavor and the sauce - well - it's just awesome. These might just be the most flavorful and delicious chicken wings that I've eaten.
Grilled Chicken Wings
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 pounds chicken wings
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups wood chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon salt
Transfer wings to a platter. Reheat sauce and toss with wings.
Please tell me that I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't like to eat meat off of a bone. There must other people who share this weird quirk. I'm trying to convince my family that it's so common that it's even been given a scientific diagnosis like "bone phobia." So if you're a knife and fork kind of wing eater like me, please let me know. I need your support.
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