Tag Archives: dinner

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Actually… any holiday that revolves around eating is my favorite holiday. But, seriously. There is nothing better than spending the morning helping my mom cook Thanksgiving dinner, chilling in the afternoon, and then sitting down to a beautiful meal with my loved ones.

The food is the bomb, the cozy atmosphere of my home is perfect, and the time spent with my family is second to none. And, I sincerely hope that the same goes for all of you. I always try to remember what I’m thankful for on the daily and all of my sweet readers in one hundred and eighty-eight different countries are on my list every time – especially today!

Thank you to everyone who has supported lifewithlilred throughout the years and, no matter how you spend today, I hope that it is an amazing one. Much love. -Sarah

Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

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Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

Hello, hello everyone! When it comes to family vacations, my dad is the king of planning. From activities and shops to hikes and the best restaurants in the area, he spends time scouring the internet and travel books for stops to make for the ultimate vacation. While in Asheville, North Carolina for our vaca, we had dinner at The Moose Cafe after shopping a charming little farmers market right down the street. Although the menu wasn’t the most vegetarian friendly, I still managed and ended up with a massive plate o’ carbs. Check it out:

carbs

^^^ Awwww yeahhhhh

During one of our previous trips to Asheville, we had breakfast at The Moose Cafe and that was really crazy good. And, despite only having one option to eat for dinner, it was still really crazy good. I was able to pick four side dishes to form one mega meal and went with the cheesy grits, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and French fries as well as a slice of cornbread. As if that wasn’t enough carbohydrates for ya, don’t even get me started on the pre-meal biscuits and apple butter. YUM!

From a health perspective, this might not have been the best meal. But, from a “I was super hungry” perspective, this meal fucking SLAPPED. The biscuits were huge, soft, and fluffy. They literally melted in your mouth with a butter and honey finish. And, committing even more carbicide on the main course was just what I needed after a long day.

Some of the sides were definitely better than the others and I have them ranked in the following order:

  1. French fries
  2. Cheesy grits
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Mac n’ cheese

However, once I had them reheated as leftovers, they all tasted really freaking good! Funny how that works out!

What is your favorite spot for breakfast in your neck of the woods? Where do you like to eat if you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Facebook

Five Tips To Follow For Faster Cooking

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Five Tips To Follow For Faster Cooking

Cooking at home is always better than ordering take out or getting a pizza delivered for the third time this week. You can always find more taste and more nutrition when you cook the food at home. However, there are occasions when you need to make cooking easier so that you spend less time in the kitchen when you’re hosting a party or family dinner. Apart from using the best vegetables and other ingredients, you must use the best cooking methods that are not only safe for the food but also make your cooking effortless. You can use some great tips and blend them together with your knowledge and experience to make cooking easier and less time consuming. Remember, most of these are devised by the great chefs and are tried and tested by the homemakers. Here they go:

Plan your recipe:

One might say that this is the most important step, because the recipe that you choose is what will be on your dinner plate. Make sure you pick something that you feel capable of being able to make well – especially if guests are coming over.

Get your ingredients read:

Very often, people feel the pressure when they do not plan their recipes. If you plan what to cook and how to cook, then it becomes easier for you to get the ingredients ready and within your reach. This preparation keeps you ahead of your time as you start cooking right at the moment when you get the stove ready.

Set up appliances and ignite the stove:

After getting the ingredients out, you should get the appliances ready and ignite the stove. Make sure you have the best appliances right in front of you and you know how to use them so an unexpected fire doesn’t ruin your meal!

Use a pressure cooker and smoker:

It goes without saying that the use of pressure cookers can ease the task of cooking. Since boiling the ingredients is an important step of cooking, you can use these appliances to shorten your cooking time because they boil the food in a reduced manner. You should make sure to boil your veggies before you cook them. This preserves the nutrients and reduces the time for cooking, as well. Also, if you have a smoker, you can cook a number of recipes quickly. To learn more about smokers, visit review websites like Hvacify.Com.

Go for multitasking:

This is an efficient way to reduce the time for cooking. While you boil the ingredients in a cooker, you should do some other task on the oven so that you can finish another item off of your check list till your vegetables are ready. In a similar manner, you can prepare the spices for a particular dish till something else is being done on the stove.

Though these are some of the top tips that you can follow to make cooking faster, you can apply some more from your own experience. Also, the internet is loaded with a lot more innovative tips that you can always learn and apply to make cooking an enjoyable necessity.

Special K Cereal Obsession

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Special K Cereal Obsession

Hi everyone and happy Monday! Cereal has always been the perfect anytime food, to me. It’s great in the morning, but I find that it’s even better for dinner or a late night snack. My grocery store recently was giving away a box of Special K cereal as their weekly freebie, which was pretty sweet in itself. But, oh my goodness, the sweet deliciousness definitely lies in the cereal, for sure.

specialkspecialk1

The Special K cereal with berries and peaches is the freaking bomb.com. The cereal flakes have the perfect amount of crisp crunch to it, even after you pour your soy or almond milk over top of it. And, as soon as the milk hits the dried berries, they instantly plump up, making them taste freshly picked. The peaches and blueberries are as sweet as can be, and the raspberries add just the right amount of tartness to it to tone down your sweet tooth a smidgen!

But, the best part? The yogurt pieces!! These amazing little guys are jam packed with probiotics and taste EXACTLY like white chocolate. So delicious! So much so, that I think I am going to go pour myself a bowl right now. 🙂

What is your favorite kind of cereal? When is the best time to eat a bowl of cereal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Big Idea

3 Thoughts Everyone Has On Christmas Day

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3 Thoughts Everyone Has On Christmas Day

The big day is nearly upon us, a day that many of us have been counting down to for the last three months. Some of us have even been counting down for the past 12 months, such is our joy of Christmas and the festive fun and celebrations that it brings. Christmas is inherently unifying, and despite celebrating in many different ways, we can all find ourselves thinking surprisingly similar thoughts on Christmas Day itself. Which of these do you recognize?

“Can I sleep more?”

Christmas Day, without exception, makes everyone feel exhausted — even if you hadn’t done much. A quick pre-dinner nap is an essential… and an after-dinner one, too, if you can sneak it. It’s undeniable; for most of us, Christmas is about two things: sleeping and celebrating.

“I can’t possibly eat anything more.”

This is then usually followed by: “oh yes, turns out I can”. Christmas Day is a day of gluttony, the one day of the year where it’s possible to just kick back and relax. The word “calorie” doesn’t even enter our vocabulary. So we’re merry as can be, our stomachs are full, and then someone offers us a slice of chocolate orange and suddenly we find our appetite again.

“When are we watching a movie?”

What would Christmas Day be without a festive movie or two? It’s the perfect way to unwind after a big meal, so make sure you plan what you’re sitting down to. Do you prefer to stick to an old favorite or would you opt for this fantasy movie idea?


Infographic Design By Sunny

Non-Turkey Holiday Meal Alternatives

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Non-Turkey Holiday Meal Alternatives

Sorry to say it, but Christmas is less than two weeks away. Of course, you probably knew that already. That ever-ticking time bomb is the main reason why we’re all going crazy for gift ideas and last-minute preparations at the moment. If you don’t know what you’re doing on the day yet, it’s past time you decided. The holiday season waits for no one!

Somewhere among all of this preparation madness, most of us turn our attention to food. If you’re hosting the big meal this year, it’s likely that this is the only thing you are thinking about. At few other times of the year are we expected to prepare so much food for so many people. Lucky for you, there are plenty of guides out there about how to make this task a little easier. But, there’s no getting around the fact that there’s still an immense amount of pressure when the time comes.

On top of which, some of us can’t stomach the traditional option. Turkey is an acquired taste. And, for those of us who most definitely haven’t acquired it, the holiday season can be stressful at best. If you’ve only just managed to push the Thanksgiving turkey from your mind, the last thing that you want to do is eat it again at Christmas. As such, your job becomes even harder.

You’ll be glad to know that, while turkey has become a holiday staple, this is down to nothing more than convenience. While it’s difficult to say exactly when this tradition started, it was fast in place by 1863, when Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday. This is thought to be primarily due to the size of the things. There were few other types of meat available in the past that were large enough. In fact, beef wasn’t readily available until the late 19th century. So, the only alternative was chicken. For obvious reasons, it wasn’t the best for large meals, and turkeys took center stage. They were a cheap way to feed a lot of people.

We’ve taken up the tradition, and now pay more and more for turkey each year. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re hosting dinner this year, why not try something a little different? To keep everyone happy, you may want to prepare a turkey crown on the side. Chances are, though, that you’re not the only one fed up with turkey. So, before the big event, ask your guests if they’d be interested in the following alternatives:

A few different types of meat:

Turkey may have been the only 19th century choice, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, you have anything to choose from. For some families, a mixture of Christmas meats is standard. You can place your meats in the middle of the table, and leave guests to take what they fancy.

To make this work, consider meats which are relatively different from each other. It wouldn’t be any good serving chicken alongside turkey. Instead, you could opt for a mixture of beef, pork, and turkey. These all offer different taste sensations, which are sure to go down well. And, this way, you can ensure that you get a decent dinner without having to turn to the turkey.

Salmon as an alternative:

You may not realize it, but turkey isn’t the only traditional option open to you. Salmon has also found its place in the holiday hall of fame. Admittedly, most people opt for this as a starter or breakfast treat on the day. But, there’s no reason you can’t make it work as an alternative primary meal. By buying a whole salmon, like those found at Citarella gourmet market, you can ensure that you have enough to go around. These fish are huge!

Bear in mind that, if offering this alternative, you may want to provide a sauce other than gravy. While most meats would work with a standard turkey gravy, your salmon certainly wouldn’t. Instead, offer a creamy sauce or a honey mustard alternative. Other than that, you can serve your salmon alongside the turkey and again, ensure everyone’s happy.

turkey1

^^^ Another turkey alternative.

A nut roast alternative:

If you have vegetarians coming, you may already be planning a nut roast. Why not stick with that yourself? By incorporating orange peel and cranberries, you can have plenty of Christmas flavors. And, you can still enjoy all the trimmings which make a Christmas dinner what it is. As a non-veggie, you could even get stuck into pigs in blankets without worry! Still, you’ll be able to steer clear of the turkey.

While it is a traditional vegetarian option, a decent nut roast is more challenging to come by than you might think. They’re nearly impossible to find in shops nowadays, and there are a lot of dodgy recipes out there. Make sure to try this out before the event to make sure that your choice is the right one. It wouldn’t be unusual to have to try a few before settling on your winner.

Often, there are warning signs about whether a recipe will work or not. Look out for the binding ingredient, the vegetables used, and the seasonings. All of these work together to make a huge difference. You may end up having to mix a few recipes to achieve the right effect, and that’s okay. This is very much a practice makes perfect situation. By the time you reach an end result, you can be sure that your vegetarian guests will be glad for your dislike of turkey!

 

Your own concoction:

Of course, you could do away with tradition altogether, and concoct your own dish for the day. While guests may be surprised at first, this is sure to be a standout dinner for them. And, again, as long as you offer a small amount of turkey, too, this is sure to work well. Alternatives worth considering include beef wellington, roast duck, or something like a sausage and stuffing plate. Have a look through your cookbooks and decide which recipes sound most appealing. Then, think about ways to make them festive. Staple flavorings, such as stuffing, cranberries, and orange peel, could all help to get your concoction cooking.

Focus on the veggies:

You could argue that the trimmings are the best thing about the meal. For proof, consider that many vegetarians don’t even opt for an alternative (I don’t!). Instead, they’re quite happy to make do with all the lovely veggies and some fluffy roast potatoes. So, why don’t you just get rid of your turkey, and enjoy everything else?

To ensure a turkeyless dinner works well, go all out with your additions. Make sure your stuffing is extra good and roast those parsnips in honey so they have an extra something special. You could also make cauliflower cheese, which would form an alternative centerpiece of its own. And, of course, don’t forget all of your traditional festive veggies. Brussel sprouts may divide the crowd, but they need to feature on there somewhere. Rich greens, such as curly kale, can also provide a fantastic Christmas taste sensation. You might even want to go all out with your gravy. Adding spices and herbs while cooking this can make a massive difference to the taste.

turkey3

Mmmmm

A final word:

You don’t have to eat turkey if you don’t want to. But, if you are going all out with something different, you may want to warn your guests. We are creatures of habit, after all, and a last minute change of plan might not go down well. Instead, let them know what you’re going to do. As mentioned above, turkey is rarely a favorite. The chances are that your guests will surprise you with how willing they are to try other things. And, of course; that small turkey crown will please those who simply can’t go without tradition.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

The Pre Date Night Frenzy

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The Pre Date Night Frenzy

Going on a date is a serious business, right? We want to look good for our intended beau! However, in the run-up to the big night, logic seems to go out of the window. Partly due to stress, as well as ensuring we are the only girl on the guy’s radar during the evening, we take part in some weird rituals and habits that might seem a little crazy in retrospect. Take a look at what we mean below, and see how many you are familiar with:

Getting ready hours before the date: We want to look our best, so with all of our giddy excitement, we start getting ready hours before we are due to go out. There’s a lot of prep to be done, from choosing the outfit that we are going to wear to working out what makeup will match the look we are going for. We want to impress the guy, not look like something the cat just dragged through the back door, so we make every effort to get things right.

dateeAnd it’s only 9 AM!

We look to Hollywood for advice: You may not be going to the movies on your night out, but you can still pick up a few handy lessons from Hollywood in the day’s leading up to your date. If you want what she’s having, you may pick up some tips from Meg Ryan in ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ and if you want to know what not to do, there’s no better place to learn than from a ‘Bridget Jones’ movie. Of course, Hollywood isn’t reality, so don’t assume all of your Cinderella fantasies will come true. Real life is far more complicated, although watching Bridget make another embarrassing faux pas is going to lighten your mood before you go out.

datee1Flickr Image

We sabotage our good looks: While trying to look good for our date, we stand a greater chance of ruining things for ourselves if we overdo it. Popping zits may seem like a good idea, but it only increases the chances of another outbreak. Hint: Use decent acne cream, instead. Then, when waxing to get rid of body hair, we are in danger of breaking out in unflattering red bumps. Hint: Use these helpful tips to soothe skin after waxing. Hello, silky smooth skin!

We change your mind about the outfit…again: Remember that outfit you picked out at the start of the day? Maybe it’s not the right one after all, so you should probably try something else. You FaceTime your besties and ask (order) them to give you their valued opinion. After listening to their advice for an hour, you hang up on them. They clearly don’t know what they’re talking about. That blue dress with those shoes? Are they mad? In a frenzy, you go back and forth in your mind and body trying on each outfit, trying to preempt your guy’s opinion. In the end, you decide the outfit you chose the first time was the right one after all. Classic.

We become proficient at telling the time: What time is it now? Oh, it’s okay, there’s still hours to go before the date. What time is it now? Oh, it’s only two minutes after the last time you looked. Look, you aren’t going to make time fly by checking your watch every few minutes so relax and give yourself a break. Do something to distract yourself, and you won’t fret as much. Play some music, chat with your friends, watch Bridget Jones for the third time today. What time is it now? AHH, you’re meeting him in five minutes and you still haven’t done your hair. Where did the time go?!

We play the date through in our head…a hundred times: There’s no way that you will know how well the date will go until you actually get there. That doesn’t stop you from going over every eventuality. In your first daydream, you step out of your car door and into your fella’s arms. He whisks you off of your feet and into a ballroom in a scene that is reminiscent of that one part in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Only, he’s no beast, he’s absolutely gorgeous, and he proposes to you before the first dance is over. ‘Yes’ you shout out, and everybody applauds as they relish in your celebration. Second daydream: you fall out of your car into a muddy puddle, ruining your dress. The guy doesn’t so much whisk you off of your feet as drag you through the mud as the crowd begins to gather. You stand in the middle of the puddle, just a girl standing in front of a guy, only you are no longer the Julia Roberts in your head, and you have stepped into the cringy world of Bridget Jones. Yikes!

datee2#dreamdate

And then: After going through everything we mentioned, you finally get to your date. He compliments you on how you look and you tell him it was just something you threw together. When he then asks you how your day was, you look at him straight in the eye and say it was fine, just another chilled out day. Of course, you know different. Let’s just hope the date is worth it!

The pre date night frenzy is real and sometimes it can be brutal. Take a deep breath, eat some chocolate, and CHILL OUT! You’re great and it’s going to be a wonderful night!