Category Archives: Food

Lil Red & The Best Anniversary Ever

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Lil Red & The Best Anniversary Ever

Hello! On September first, Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary of dating. This past weekend, we celebrated officially by the most wonderful surprise that Johnny had been working on: A specially prepared dinner by a chef friend that I got to choose.

Originally, I wanted something bold like Pad Thai or Indian food but Johnny is not a fan of either so I went with an old favorite of fettuccine Alfredo, garlic bread, and a salad. This was sure to go over well with the both of us and on Saturday I was banished from the apartment while our mystery guest and Johnny got to work.

For a few hours I visited my parents and brother as well as their next door neighbor, Alice. But, the entire time, I was eagerly awaiting a text from Johnny to tell me I could come back home. I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time I was away and I was freaking giddy when I was allowed to start heading over.

I opened the door to our apartment and was greeted by the most delicious aroma of garlic bread you could ever imagine, a cleaned off kitchen table, and our friend Jimmy standing in the kitchen! Jimmy plays in The Outside Voices with Johnny and is an exceptional chef so Johnny hired him to prepare our anniversary feast.

I was literally speechless when I saw Jimmy because I had no idea who Johnny was talking about this whole time. Between that, my kitchen table being cleaned, and Johnny looking so damn fine I was completely floundering, lol!

Around seven, our meal was ready and Jimmy poured us both a healthy glass of wine and left us to begin our celebrations. Saying our dinner was to die for was an understatement. The fettuccine Alfredo surpassed anything I’ve ever had before (Take that, Olive Garden!). The rosemary garlic bread was so crisp and had enough garlic to kill a vampire but that’s exactly how I like it. And, finally, the salad was gorgeous – fresh greens with mozzarella cheese, blackberries, sliced almonds, onions, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Can you say, YUM?!

We ate like royalty and immediately after, we retired into our comfy clothes to begin the relaxation portion of our celebration. All night, Johnny and I listened to music, poorly did imitations of our favorite TV characters, and laughed. It was the best day of my life.

Johnny’s anniversary date night was one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me and I am never going to forget it. The following morning I told him I thought I gained a pound from dinner but that food baby was just a small price to pay for the most beautiful day! ❤

How did you celebrate an anniversary this year? How about a birthday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Disappointment Of The Day: Mango Outshine Popsicles With Tajin Edition

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Disappointment Of The Day: Mango Outshine Popsicles With Tajin Edition

Howdy! I recently had a huge grocery shopping trip because Johnny and I were down to below the bare minimum at our apartment. I picked out plenty of our favorites but I also snagged something that I’ve been curious about compliments of never ending Facebook ads about it: Mango Outshine popsicles with a coating of chili lime Tajin seasoning on it.

I love trying out new foods and unique flavors and after seeing it advertised for what felt like forever, I just had to give these popsicles a shot. I thought the sweet heat of the mango and chili lime combination would be tasty but I guess I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I would have to eat an entire popsicle’s worth of it.

My first bite into the popsicle was great, I’m not going to lie. So, I had a few more and got maybe a quarter of the way into it. Then, the taste got really old really quickly and I was totally done. The mango portion of the popsicle was sickly sweet in comparison to the spicy seasoning and it left a really questionable taste in my mouth and stomach.

The combination of the way too sweet fruit with an, on its own, very tasty and kicky seasoning was anything but refreshing which is what you want in a popsicle. I don’t think I could ever eat a full one of these fruit bars and I definitely regret buying them because I know damn well the remaining five are going to sit uneaten in my freezer for the next century, lol!

Save yourself some cash and skip on these Outshine fruit bars because they were a big fat Disappointment Of The Day. -_-

Have you bought any duds lately? What are your thoughts on these popsicles if you have tried them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Snacky

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Feeling Snacky

Hi! It has always been important to me to have healthy food and snacks in my apartment. I rarely eat sweet treats as I prefer the savory but Johnny, on the other hand, requests something in the dessert department whenever I go grocery shopping. And, when that time of the month rolls around, I am oh so happy when there is chocolate or cookies handy compliments of Johnny’s sweet tooth! ❤

When Aunt Flo comes for a visit, my primary craving is ice cream. However, I can’t justify buying a tub of ice cream that I’m barely going to eat. My solution? Frozen Greek yogurt!

Living that #YOGURTLIFE in the words of Terry Crews from Brooklyn 99!

My newest snack craze has been sticking a yogurt in the freezer and crumbling a chocolate chip cookie for the topping. I love the ice cream like texture of the yogurt once it freezes and with that extra bit of cookie it feels like I am eating a low calorie sundae.

Your topping preference is up to you but for the yogurt I definitely prefer the Light & Fit by Dannon. The vanilla Greek yogurt is so rich, creamy, and flavorful and it’s seriously hard to believe that it’s only eighty calories! I like how filling it is and sometimes, if I’m not snacking sundae style, I will have a yogurt with my medication before bed.

The Dannon Light & Fit yogurts were actually not my first choice but Johnny brought them home from the grocery store as my primary option wasn’t available. He is always getting me to try new things and this one just happened to become a staple at chez moi!

What is your favorite snack? Do you crave sweet or salty? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

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Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

Howdy! My boyfriend, Johnny, is somewhat of a breakfast aficionado and I revel in when I can actually make breakfast for him over the weekends. A few days ago, however, breakfast for dinner was the move and it ended up being one of my favorite things that I’ve made in a long time. So, get your orange juice and coffee ready because we are talking breakfast burritos!

The last time I went to the grocery store, I went a bit wild because we literally had no food in the apartment. In this “we’ve gotta stock up” stupor, I had no problem purchasing all of the goods to make delicious meals at home. A girl has gotta eat. 😀

One of the things that I love about Johnny is that he is willing to try new things. For example, I am a strict vegetarian while he is the furthest thing from it. While there is meat at our place for him, there is MorningStar veggie sausage patties and chicken nuggets for me… And for him too, because he likes the vegetarian products as much as I do!

I decided that breakfast burritos would be a delicious way to go and something that Johnny would love. So I purchased tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded hash browns, vegetarian sausage patties, and eggs for the filling. In fact, when I mentioned it to him when I got home from shopping he asked me if I could make them right at that moment, lol!

I didn’t make the burritos right at that moment but when I did the following day they were a huge hit! In one pan I scrambled eggs and in the other I combined the hash browns and sausage together, breaking apart the patties into pieces once they were cooked enough. After everything was prepared, I mixed the eggs, hash browns, and sausage into one pan and then I put some shredded cheese in each tortilla. Then, I added the filling and wrapped them up. Breakfast for dinner is served!

While I preferred some salsa on mine, Johnny liked his plain. Either way, they were SO yummy and I definitely plan on making breakfast burritos again. Next time, I might consider different toppings like sour cream, guacamole, or cheese sauce. I also might add some sliced red peppers for a tangy crunch. However you dress your breakfast burrito, it is sure to be a hit no matter what time of the day you eat it. 😀

What is your favorite meal of the day? How about your favorite meal to cook? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Grocery Shopping Fun

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Grocery Shopping Fun

Hello! I don’t know about you guys but I have always loved going grocery shopping. From tagging along with my mom in my youth to stocking up the cupboards in my apartment, there’s just something about picking out tasty food that is so enjoyable to me. I normally only try to go shopping one time a month and knock everything out that I need and it has always worked for me. In fact, it works even better now in COVID times because who wants to go to the store every single time they run out of something?

My shopping extravaganzas were put on pause for the past month or so because Johnny made a few smaller trips. I was so thankful he did because I really didn’t feel like it but his shopping trips just didn’t hit the same. No offense to my MAN because I definitely was not as specific on the shopping list as I could have been, lol! This past week, I finally did a big shopping trip after we deemed our apartment as having “nothing to eat” and it was a blast!

In my neck of the woods, we have Giant Eagle and if you’re lucky it’s a Market District one like I have by me. The Market Districts are DOPE because they have literally everything you could ever want including all of the things you didn’t even know you needed. When it first opened five or so years ago, it was actually the place to be as there is a bar where you can get a drink and walk around with it while you shop. They even had live music playing for the first handful of months.

Not only does the Market District have a bar but they have all kinds of food stands where you can pick up specialty items – everything from gelato and sushi to stir fry, soul food, and delicious prepared pasta salads, soups, and antipasto. Like I said, all of the things you didn’t even know you needed.

I love going grocery shopping because it feels good to take care of myself and Johnny. Of course, I get everything we need on the list but I picked up plenty of treats for myself like vegetarian sushi, my favorite grapefruit beer, and yummy fruit popsicles. Johnny, on the other hand, got a lot of the breakfast items that he eats but didn’t make a special request for. I got them anyways because I wanted him to have variety. 🙂

Adulting doesn’t always have to suck and I think my deep love for grocery shopping is a prime example of that. Don’t tell anyone – but it can actually be kind of fun!

What is your favorite adulting chore? How about your least favorite? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red And The Rogue Cheerio

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Lil Red And The Rogue Cheerio

Hello! My boyfriend, Johnny, is basically the cutest and he is always doing little things around the apartment that make me think about him when I notice it. For example, he likes to change the position of my wooden artist’s body model and whenever I see which way the legs or arms are stretched out this time around it never ceases to make me smile.

Recently, Johnny has taken up eating Honey Nut Cheerios to lower his cholesterol ever since his friend came back from the doctor’s with a report of his cholesterol running high. It’s a little bit funny but more power to him for making a positive change!

Before he even began telling me about his new breakfast routine of having a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios in the morning I definitely knew. How? He is always leaving a rogue Cheerio behind:

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While Johnny makes his breakfast, he is definitely tired enough to not notice if an escape artist Cheerio ends up on our kitchen counter instead of in his bowl or the bag. So, when I am prepping all of my own stuff in the morning, I am greeted by the Cheerio that got away sitting all alone on the countertop.

When I asked Johnny if he ever notices the rogue Cheerio in the mornings, he replied with: “No, but it’s so you know I’m eating my breakfast”. And, now that he knows I notice it, I think he leaves a Honey Nut Cheerio behind anyways just to make me smile. It seriously always does and I do feel a bit better knowing that he ate before going to work!

The rogue Cheerio may seem like a silly story but I think it’s sweet and something so small can make a huge impact on your day. Normally, waking up for work is a drag but seeing that piece of cereal in the morning just tickles me. Instead of thinking about all of the crap I have to do for the day, I am usually thinking about how happy I am and all of the amazing times Johnny and I have had in our almost year of dating.

Moral of the story? The Rogue Cheerio makes for a very happy Lil Red and a boyfriend who is lowering his cholesterol one bowl of Honey Nut at a time, lol! 🙂

What is something little that makes you smile? What is your favorite kind of cereal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun Family Fiesta

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Fun Family Fiesta

Hello! Sometimes my schedule can change at the drop of a hat. Clients might cancel and I am left with a huge chunk of free time. For example, a few Wednesdays ago I only had to work with my morning client and not my afternoon one so I decided to go to my mom and dad’s place afterwards. Johnny would be at work and then band practice and I didn’t particularly want to spend all evening playing Animal Crossing… Again!

After I was done at work, I headed to chez parents. During the drive over, I gave my sister a call and she happened to be free too, which meant her and her daughter could join all of us for some family fun and a Taco Bell dinner party, as per my request. We spent time outside in my dad’s gardens but, mostly, we all just hung around and enjoyed each other’s company.

It is always such a treat when several members of my family can get together at one time and I know everyone had just as great of a time as I did. Since COVID, I still see my friends through Skype and social distance hang outs but that doesn’t happen often. However, I see my family numerous times throughout the week and that definitely helps. Even the shortest visits lift my spirits and, afterwards, I never fail to have an extra pep in my step.

A family Taco Bell night seems like such a simple pleasure but I am still looking back at it fondly a few weeks later. It was just so fun and the impromptu Hump Day dinner party kept me in a happy place as I finished up my work week. While going out frequently is not an option for me with such high risk clients, I have learned how to still have a good time with nights in. And you know what? Those nights in are awesome!

If these crazy times have you in a slump, you might need some quality family time to get yourself back in gear. Schedule a take out dinner “party” of your own and enjoy!

What is your favorite restaurant? How often do you get take out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

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My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

Hello! When I’m at work, I am constantly being handed bagfuls of goodies from the gardens of whichever home I’m at for the day. During my produce haul last week, I was given a gigantic squash that I had absolutely no idea what to do with. My client’s mom suggested spaghetti squash and I have always wanted to try it so I thought I would give it a shot over the weekend.

Unfortunately, my attempt at making spaghetti squash was not very successful and, after a quick Google, I learned that the squash I used definitely did not look like traditional spaghetti squashes. WHOOPS! Lol, oh well. I tried something new and now I know differently for the next time! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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To learn how to prepare my “spaghetti squash”, I visited the blog Cookie + Kate. This is one of my mom’s favorite sites to get vegetarian recipes from and, as her spiel goes, “Cookie is the dog and Kate is the human”. Lol, I consulted Kate’s recipe while making my squash and it was so easy to follow because it was just like learning how to make it from a friend. No unknown cooking terms and no long stories of how she found God while making this dish, haha.

To prepare my spaghetti squash, I cut it in half from the middle and then halved the pieces again. Afterwards, I scooped out all of the squash guts… AKA the seeds! It was actually pretty fun. Once the squash halves were seedless, I drizzled olive oil onto each of them and then seasoned with salt and pepper. All that was left to do was bake them and I kept my squash in the oven for a little under an hour at four hundred degrees.

I was eager to take my squash out of the oven but, sadly, there was nothing really “spaghetti” about it. I tried to fluff the insides into a spaghetti like texture as Kate had mentioned but there was hardly even any squash to work with on the interior. What I was originally hoping was going to be a noodle shape ended up being a few forkfuls of the squash and the texture definitely looked more like pulp. Although, I must say, it still tasted really good!

Sadly, my attempt at making spaghetti squash didn’t go too hot. However, I feel confident that if I ever get the right ingredients to make it with, it will turn out delicious with the help from Cookie + Kate! 😀

What is your favorite vegetarian recipe? What do you top your spaghetti squash with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Smoky Cauliflower Bites Recipe

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Smoky Cauliflower Bites Recipe

Hello! As I get older, I have definitely been trying to eat more healthy. AKA more fruits and veggies and less Taco Bell, lol! But, seriously, sometimes it’s just a hassle to make a healthy meal – especially after a long day at work. Quick and easy recipes are the name of the game in my household and this super simple/speedy recipe for Smoky Cauliflower Bites makes for a delicious and ultra fast appetizer for your fam:

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets

Directions:

  1. Combine all of your dry ingredients and mix into the olive oil, then pour over your cauliflower florets. You might want to let it sit for a few hours, shaking every so often to let the flavored oil sink in on all of the areas it might have missed.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 and transfer into a baking pan and roast until tender – about 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe is by Courtney Stultz of Weir, KS and I have no rights to it!

My client’s brother makes these cauliflower bites often and it is my absolute favorite treat. Last week, he so generously bought a head of cauliflower for me and mixed up the dry ingredients into a zip lock bag so all I would have to do is cut the veggies and heat it up at home. It was such a sweet gesture and I was eager to make it because it is so delicious in every sense of the word.

After fifteen minutes of roasting in the oven, my cauliflower was ready to eat and it was just as good as when my client’s brother makes it. I love all of the seasonings that drench the cauliflower because they add quite a bit of heat to it but it was never overpowering. Johnny and I dipped our bold and smoky cauliflower bites in Ranch dressing and enjoyed it as a side dish with our dinner. Ranch or sour cream is a good bet to have handy with you just in case there’s a little too much “oomph” for anyone at the table.

Easy as pie to make and tasty any time of the day, make these Smokey Cauliflower Bites to spice things up at your next family dinner!

What is your favorite veggie recipe? How do you eat healthy at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Garden Goodies

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Garden Goodies

Hi! I looove having lots of fresh fruits and veggies at my apartment and, during the summer, I am never lacking in that department. My dad as well as all of the families of my clients have gardens and I always seem to be returning home from work with surplus veggies. It’s freaking awesome and I haven’t been without cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans in weeks.

I know that all of the families I work with are up to their ears in produce and they have entire gardens but, shit, I am too! I can’t even get to the bottom of my crisper drawer until it’s filled up again with all of the garden goodies I am constantly being gifted with. The last thing I am doing is complaining about it, though!!

My appetite changes drastically in the summer because I get nauseous when it’s really hot. I find myself craving light dishes as I think I would keel over even thinking about eating a heavy meal in my hot ass apartment. Having a never ending supply of veggies has been a game changer because I can snack on them all day totally guilt free and it has added a lot of variety to my cooking.

This past week, I had an overflow of produce that I needed to purge from my fridge – cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, lemon, and lots of garlic. So, I decided to prepare a cucumber salad with the ingredients I had available. My recipe went as so:

Lemon Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large cucumbers with the skin peeled and cut in slices
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Juice from one lemon, with some of the pulp added too
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

I am obsessed with the salad I whipped up and have been eating a few servings daily. I just love the tart lemon mixed with the tang of the balsamic vinegar and when it’s poured over crisp veggies it is an absolute treat. Get creative with your cooking and try making a salad recipe of your own next family dinner!

How has your garden been doing? What do you have growing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah