Category Archives: Food

Focusing On Creating A Healthy Diet

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Focusing On Creating A Healthy Diet

As the new year draws closer, many of us are already turning our minds to resolutions. We want to make positive changes in our lives that help us to be healthier and happier. But why wait until January to put these into place? Sure, the festive season may be approaching and we may indulge in a few unhealthy habits. But it’s better to lead a healthy lifestyle the majority of the time with a few slip ups here and there than to lead a downright unhealthy lifestyle for the next couple of months. One area that many of us end up focusing on is diet. We all need to eat a healthy, balanced diet to provide our bodies with the fuel they need to thrive. But where should you start with this venture? Here are a few suggestions that can help on this journey:

Consider Your Goals:

First, ask yourself why you’re setting yourself this goal. Have you noticed that your diet lacks certain elements and you want to fill those gaps? Have you been feeling run down or out of energy? Are you experiencing obesity and want to return to a healthier weight? The goal of your challenge will alter how you approach it. If you feel that you are experiencing health problems as a direct cause of your diet, consult your doctor before getting started. They may be able to make recommendations, such as target daily calorie counts or carry out tests that could find that the issue isn’t your diet at all. For example, if you’re drained and tired, you may be experiencing a B12 deficiency because your body can’t absorb B12 naturally. You might find that bloatedness is due to lactose intolerance and you need to cut dairy out. Alternatively, they may be able to recommend specialist treatment for obesity such as bariatric professionals.

Five a Day:

A good place to start is ensuring that you get your five a day. There’s a good reason that five portions of fruit and vegetables are recommended. Many of us fail to achieve this, but we need a variety of fruit and vegetables to give our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it requires. Make sure your portions are as varied as possible. Your plates and snacks should be colorful.

Cut Out Junk:

Way too many of us eat way too much junk food. Ideally, you should avoid junk food on a regular basis. These types of food – fast food, takeaways, junk snacks – are often packed with excess sugar and salt. They also tend to have high levels of saturated fat. Try meal planning and meal prepping to get yourself into a better habit of eating freshly prepared foods at home.

Stay Hydrated:

Of course, you need to stay hydrated too. Make sure to drink roughly eight glasses of water a day. You should also try to eat plenty of water rich foods, such as melons, berries, cucumber, and celery

Eating well is a habit that you will need to form, so stick with it over time and you’ll quickly find you’re doing it without even having to focus on it!

Featured Image By: Pexels

3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

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3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

Everyone loves indulging in delicious meals that have been prepared with passion. But not everybody loves cooking these meals. According to a study, nearly 90% of people hate cooking. While eating out might be a solution for most people, it’s not the healthiest option and can increase your expenses. Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to use that space in your home, explore your culinary skills and creativity, and eat healthier meals. Sometimes, you cannot avoid cooking, but if you want to turn it around from a boring and time-consuming chore to a fun activity, here are some ways to do so:

Play some music while cooking:

Playing some of your favorite songs and playlists is a great way to liven up your ambience and make your kitchen more exciting. Cooking can be stressful sometimes, especially after spending a long day at work or school. However, creating a fun cooking environment can make the experience a breeze and boost your mood. You can create a fun cooking playlist with all of your favorite songs. It’s even more enjoyable if you have a portable speaker that you can place in a safe area of your kitchen. You can easily turn your time in the kitchen into a party.

Try new recipes:

Even if you enjoy cooking, it can get very boring, especially when your menu consists of the same recipes. Although you might master making those meals, you will likely lose interest in preparing and eating them. So, why not make your cooking more adventurous by including new recipes? Trying out new recipes is a great way to break your routine and challenge yourself. But don’t be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes. It could take some time before you master any new recipe. You can also switch things up in your regular menu by switching out some ingredients and giving it a new taste. You can check out new recipes by checking out blogs, watching cooking shows, buying a new recipe book, or following a recipe page on social media.

Use quality kitchenware:

Another way to elevate your cooking experience is by using quality kitchen products. When you cook with the right utensils, it saves you a lot of time in the kitchen, which can be especially useful if you have a busy schedule. Using quality kitchen products can also improve the taste of your meals. Plus, you could measure your ingredients better to improve your food’s consistency and texture. It can help you create some of the most beautiful food presentations if you are concerned with appearance. You must also ensure that any leftovers are properly stored, using the correct storage containers to maintain their freshness. Brands like OXO have amazing containers and other utensils that make cooking and storing food a snap.

Cooking might not be your favorite household task, but it is vital, especially if you want to better manage your finances and health. These tips should help you enjoy the entire process of cooking and make the experience a fun one!

Featured Image By: Pexels

The Haunted House Restaurant Date Night

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The Haunted House Restaurant Date Night

Hello!! This past Saturday, Johnny and I were on deck to see Les Miserables at Playhouse Square because my parents couldn’t attend. You can read all about that experience and peep my OOTD from it later this week! Prior to heading to the theater, we decided to finally check out The Haunted House Restaurant in Beachwood for dinner. Despite the, admittedly, unoriginal name, there was nothing in the realm of normal at this restaurant and it was a blast! Check it out:

Lol at Johnny!

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The whole restaurant was decked out in murals and horror movie memorabilia

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Michael Myers was a guest star and lurking around the whole place!

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For drinks, Johnny got the Beetlejuice and I went for the Trick Or Treat. For food, Johnny ordered the Texas Chainsaw Burger and I got the Ecto Burger.

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The Haunted House Restaurant opened in Beachwood about a year ago and Johnny and I were so excited to go despite the mixed bag of reviews that we had heard. Some people loved it while others complained about the food and that it wasn’t like a “real” haunted house. This wasn’t the case for me and Johnny at all and we cannot wait to go back. In fact, we are already planning to host our birthaversary there in June!

Let’s start with the food and drinks… The Haunted House Restaurant had a huge cocktail menu featuring spooky themed drinks and their own wine. Johnny’s version of a Pina Colada called the Beetlejuice looked SO cool and he really enjoyed it. I ordered their popular “Trick Or Treat”, which was basically a boozy apple cider and it was delicious. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be and I loved that it was garnished with fresh pieces of apple for a classy touch. I want to make something similar for a scary movie night ASAP. 😀

I can’t speak for Johnny’s Texas Chainsaw Burger but my Ecto Burger was just alright. It was an impossible burger with vegan BBQ pulled pork, gouda, and onions. I wanted to like it so badly but it was pretty dry overall and was lacking severely in the flavor department. The French fries, however, were amazing and I would have been happy just eating a plateful of them.

Although my burger wasn’t the best, it was okay because the experience as a whole was. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, Johnny and I were so there for it. All of the staff were in costumes and horror makeup, the decor was second to none, and the creepy music playing on the speakers all set the stage for a great evening. Also, our server at the bar was a star!

The fabulous murals and memorabilia was like being in a scary movie museum and there seemed to be tricks and treats everywhere you turned. Johnny and I happened to be there when a birthday was being celebrated and the staff put on a great show. The sirens from The Purge played over the speakers and the staff came out dancing with flashing lights for the birthday guest. Then, they played “In Da Club” and it was hilarious lol.

All of the above isn’t even the best part because that belonged to whomever the restaurant had playing Michael Myers. About halfway through our meal, Johnny noticed Mr. Myers posted up outside one of the doors to the restaurant. He reveled in scaring passerbyers and the restaurant goers alike and happily posed for pictures when asked. Then, he made his way inside and went throughout the place to entertain everyone. Unfortunately, we had to go before he got to the bar where we were seated but it was still so awesome!

Our trip to The Haunted House Restaurant was one of mine and Johnny’s favorite date nights yet. We had so much fun and the only bad thing is that it’s about forty minutes away. This actually might be a good thing, though, because we would be there literally all of the time!

Where is your favorite date night spot? What is your favorite scary movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Sarah’s Vineyard Date Night

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Sarah’s Vineyard Date Night

Hello!! The fall is when Johnny and I thrive and we have been making the most out of the lovely weather through weekend date days. This typically involves taking OOTD pictures, running an errand or two, and then going out for a late lunch or dinner. It is the best! This weekend, we decided to go to Sarah’s Vineyard for dinner and it was delightful and delicious! Check it out:

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There is nothing like some quality time with my main squeeze to lift my spirits and we had a blast at Sarah’s Vineyard. It is a beautiful property and we both haven’t been in years. Also, whenever I have gone with my friends, it’s strictly for the wine and not the food lol! I was so excited because everyone in my neck of the woods raves about the vineyard’s wood fire pizzas and I couldn’t wait to have a slice or ten. 😀

I don’t know about you guys but whenever Johnny and I go out to eat, I look at the menu hours in advance. This gives me ample time to decide what I want because it can be overwhelming to choose from a menu I haven’t experienced yet. It didn’t take me long to know what I wanted from my pre-screening and everything was just as good as I imagined it to be.

For wine, Johnny went with the not too sweet Sweet Elisa, which kind of tasted like church wine but was still pretty tasty. We also got to make use of the vineyard’s bottling service since Johnny haphazardly ordered a full carafe SMH! I was disappointed that my favorite, their white sangria, wasn’t available so I chose the sweetest option, Golden Solstice. It was light, refreshing and much better than my usual Barefoot!

Normally when we go out to a restaurant, we never order appetizers. However, I just couldn’t say no to the Artichoke & Asiago dip. Sign me up for anything that involves artichoke and cheese because I love it oh so much. I’m glad I tried it out and it was SO yummy but I wouldn’t order it again next time. I hate to be the one to complain about prices but I thought ten dollars was steep for the tiniest bowl ever of the dip. Hey, sometimes you just have to live a little. 😀

As our main dish, I got the Margherita pizza and Johnny got the Pepperoni & Banana Pepper. In fact, he’s currently eating his leftovers for breakfast as I write this! Johnny really liked his pizza and I was happy overall with mine. It actually tasted much better the next day. The garlic oil sauce and toppings on mine were so light that my pizza just tasted kind of doughy. Next time we go, I plan on just doing a cheese pizza with a couple of veggies on top and I think that I’ll like that much better.

Johnny and I had such a great time at Sarah’s Vineyard and we are eager to go back – especially since it’s close to our apartment. The vineyard has such a charming, cozy atmosphere and it really is the perfect date night setting!

Where was the last place you went on a date? What is your favorite restaurant? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

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First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Hello!! I love to cook and try out new recipes and during my last curbside order, Johnny requested fettuccine Alfredo for dinner. I have never made it before but I figured that it couldn’t be that hard! As per ushe, I consulted Pinterest for a recipe and settled on one by Self Proclaimed Foodie. Although I wasn’t blown away with the end result, it was still pretty good. Check it out:

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^^^ Obsessed with my tomato butter! YUM!

The Alfredo sauce recipe by Self Proclaimed Foodie only had four ingredients to it – butter, garlic, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. I went with this recipe for its simplicity but I think it was a little too simple for my liking. Even after adding parsley, salt, pepper, and way more garlic than necessary, it tasted really bland overall. I definitely plan on making Alfredo sauce again but I think that I will find another recipe for it.

During my next attempt at Alfredo sauce, I will also be steering clear of the Kraft Parmesan cheese! I didn’t even think about buying the thinly shredded kind, which probably would have made a big difference. The Kraft cheese didn’t fully melt down and that gave the sauce a slightly gritty texture. It didn’t make as much of a difference once it was poured over pasta but taste testing from the pot left a lot to be desired!

On the bright side, Johnny ended up really enjoying his requested dinner so that made me happy. I just hate when something I make doesn’t turn out exactly how I want it so here’s to a more flavorful and creamy sauce next time around!

What recipe do you recommend for homemade Alfredo sauce? Have you tried cooking anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

The Best Grilled Cheese EVER

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The Best Grilled Cheese EVER

Hello! I pride myself on my cooking and I LOVE making dinner for my husband and family whenever I can. It feels so good to make something that everyone enjoys and it is a true labor of love. This past week, however, the tables turned and my sweet Johnny ended up making dinner for me. I was craving a grilled cheese something fierce all day and he definitely delivered:

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^^^ He was so pleased with himself for “plating it up” for me!

Last week was a whirlwind between work and helping out at my mom and dad’s house. Every day when I got home, I pretty much just sank into the couch and prepared to do it all again the next day. By Friday, I had averaged a solid 11,000 or so steps per day and walking up the stairs to my apartment was a monumental feat on my aching legs. I was also freaking STARVING.

Rather than become one with my couch, I had to make my way to my office to finish some billing and online work. I am one of those people that can’t do anything else until all of my work is completely done but the rumbling in my belly was proving troublesome. So, I decided to ask Johnny to make me a grilled cheese to which he replied “of course” even though he was worried it wouldn’t turn out as good as mine!

By the time I finished my final tasks for the day, my dinner was ready and I couldn’t wait to chow down. It looked AMAZING and it tasted even better. Food always tastes better when someone else makes it for you and this sandwich was a true testament to that! I was so thankful to Johnny for lending me a hand but he was even happier that he could cook for me for a change. He was so proud of himself and, damnit, I was proud of him too. ❤

With so much going on in my life, Johnny told me that he will cook anything that he is capable of for me. AKA eggs and, now, grilled cheese. It was the sweetest thing and I really do have the best husband/grilled cheese chef ever!

What is your favorite simple thing to cook? What is your go to comfort food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Deal With A Loss Of Appetite

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How To Deal With A Loss Of Appetite

If you’ve been experiencing a loss of appetite recently and you want to get back to normal sooner rather than later, you’re in the right place. There are many reasons why we might not feel like eating as much as usual, and it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of the problem and try out some potential solutions. We’re going to talk about what that might look like and how you can make a positive change:

Talk to Your Doctor:

First of all, you should talk to your doctor about the situation that you’re facing. You want to make sure that there aren’t other health issues that are making you feel less interested in food. They’ll be able to check you over and carry out tests to see if everything is in order. If it is, they can offer more advice on what you can do to improve your appetite going forward.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits:

Your sleeping habits are linked to your diet and just about every other aspect of your health. If you’re not getting the amount of sleep you need at night, you’re eventually going to pay the price for that. So think about what you can do to improve your sleeping habits and try to get to bed a little earlier each night.

Change Your Diet to Make it More Nutritious:

If you’re not eating as much, it’s important to make sure that the food you are eating is full of the nutrients that your body really needs in order to stay healthy and functioning. If that’s not the case, you might start to experience more problems that arise as a result of your lack of appetite.

Fix Dental Issues:

Fixing your dental issues at the root is one of the best things you can do if you want to make sure that you enjoy the process of eating. Lots of people who have aches and pains in their teeth and jaw find that it stops them from wanting to eat as much. That’s why options such as full-mouth dentures or implants are popular and provide a solution to that problem.

Increase Your Physical Activity:

It’s often the case that you’ll feel like eating more when you’re being more active. If you’re not currently doing much exercise and you lead quite a sedentary life, that could be one of the reasons why you don’t feel like eating as much as you once did. Try fitting some kind of physical activity into your day and see if that makes a difference for you.

A loss of appetite might signal something else going on in your body that you need to address or it could be a mental health issue. It’s important to speak to someone if you’re not sure!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Breakfast For Dinner

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Breakfast For Dinner

Hello! I am a huge fan of breakfast food and used to love cooking big breakfasts for myself and Johnny over the weekend. This hasn’t happened in a while because now we usually just skip to lunch lol. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have breakfast for dinner, instead! This past week, I whipped up our favorite spread when I got home from work and it hit just right:

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My go to breakfast foods for me and Johnny are dippy eggs, MorningStar sausage patties, biscuits and gravy, and hashbrowns for Johnny. Biscuits and gravy was something that I always wanted to try but never got the opportunity to because it’s always made as sausage gravy in restaurants. However, inspiration struck several months ago and I finally thought to look up a vegetarian recipe for it.

During my search, I found this recipe by ammiface and it is, easily, one of my favorite dishes morning or night. The white gravy recipe is SO quick and simple to make with only six ingredients. It turns out amazing every time and tastes just as good leftover as it does freshly made. Not only is it a must make for me but I now have to make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners because the other vegetarians and meat eaters alike in my family love it too.

I suppose I could incorporate MorningStar sausages into this gravy recipe but I like it so much as is that I never have the heart to. Regardless of any tweaks you might make, the vegetarian white gravy is perfect for breakfast, dinner, or in this case – breakfast for dinner. Enjoy!

What is your favorite breakfast food? What is your favorite vegetarian dish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Yummy Asian Cabbage Salad

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Yummy Asian Cabbage Salad

Hello! Johnny and I have several favorite go to meals that I make pretty much every time I do grocery shopping. This is all well and good but it can get kind of boring cooking the same things with no variation. So, I have made it a point to try making new side dishes to enhance the meal even more. It’s amazing how much the dinner transforms with just one different thing, like when I made a pot of cilantro lime rice with a taco dinner.

To keep going with this, I decided to try a new salad recipe when I cooked a veggie lo mein meal for my entire family. I found the recipe for Asian Cabbage Salad with a peanut ginger dressing on Well Plated By Erin. I had scoped out many Asian salads on Pinterest but I went with Well Plated’s because it used the fewest ingredients and looked so easy to make. Check it out:

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I love going on Pinterest but it can sometimes be disheartening because there are a plethora of recipes that I would like to try but use SO. Many. Ingredients. I just can’t justify buying twenty plus things for a dish that I might not even like. I already had about three fourths of the ingredients that I needed for this salad so it was the obvious choice to go with and I am glad I did!

This Asian Cabbage Salad was to die for and, much to my surprise, Johnny even liked it. That is really saying something because I truly thought that he was going to tell me that there were too many vegetables in it lol. The salad had so much crunch, flavor, and texture and it was delicious as a side or mixed into the veggie lo mein. It also kept for several days leftover and that was another huge plus because of how much the simple recipe made.

I definitely plan on making Well Plated By Erin’s recipe again but there is one thing that I will be tweaking. While I liked the peanut ginger dressing well enough, it didn’t pack much of a punch against all of the colorful veggies. I would have liked for the dressing to have a bit more bite and I’m not sure if that can be solved by making more of it or adding something new. I’m thinking of substituting a tablespoon of the honey for brown sugar and adding one more tablespoon of soy sauce to see if that will make a difference.

Overall, I am really pleased with this new recipe and it was a hit at dinner… It was also a hit every time I had it leftover too and you can’t beat that!

Where do you like to find new recipes? Have you cooked anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah