Tag Archives: food

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

5 Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

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5 Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

The choices you make for your pets can affect the environment in the same way as the choices you make for yourselves. It’s important to try to reduce your pet’s carbon paw print whenever possible. This might not always be an easy task and their health and happiness should always come first. There are, however, several ways you can be a more eco-friendly pet owner:

Adopt a pet:

By adopting a pet from a shelter rather than buying one, you could end up saving two lives. You’ll be giving a home to an animal that needs one, and also freeing up space in the shelter for another stray or abandoned pet. It’s a more ethical choice to adopt a pet from a shelter.

Be responsible about the type of pet you adopt. If you want a dog but only live in a small home, then it’s best to go for dogs for small spaces. If you get a larger dog, then remember to take it for walks once or twice a day as it will need regular exercise.

Sustainable pet food:

There are several ways to make pet food more sustainable. You could try to make your own dog food, it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. Speak to your veterinarian about the dietary needs of your pet. Certain animals might need more specialist food that you can only buy.

If you’re buying pet food, check out the best brands for healthy and sustainable products. There are several brands that aim to reduce their environmental impact by limiting shipping, emissions, and GMOs.

Recycled toys:

Some animals such as dogs and cats can really go through toys. These will probably end up in a landfill. It’s better to go for recycled toys or toys made from natural, biodegradable materials. These toys are much better for the environment in the long run.

There are also some great brands that sell eco-friendly toys. These toys are made from durable recycled plastic. You can also find recycled leashes and other accessories. These can even be made from earth-friendly fabric like hemp and other certified recycled materials.

Non-toxic shampoo:

Use organic and natural shampoos for your pet’s bath time. You can find plenty of organic pet products online and they’re not very expensive. Look at the label and see if it’s free of dyes and parabens, as it will be better for your pet’s fur. Not only are non-toxic shampoos gentler on your pet’s skin, but they’re also better for the environment. There will be fewer nasty chemicals running down the drain as a result.

Clean up waste:

You can get a hold of recycled eco-friendly cat litter from big brands such as Purina. This is made from old newspapers. If your dog or other animals do their business outside, then clean it up. It can actually be damaging to the environment to leave it. When cleaning up after your pet, use bags made from plant-based or recycled materials and throw it out immediately.

We can all do our part to help the environment and now your pet can be included with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Slim Chillers Frozen Martinis Review

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Slim Chillers Frozen Martinis Review

Hi! I am constantly seeing Facebook posts filled with recipes for frozen boozy drinks that I will literally never make no matter how delicious they look. Mainly, because lazy. Lol! So, needless to say, I was very excited to find some martini freezer pops when I was out and about. All I needed to do once I was home was stick them in the freezer and wait for a frozen drink of my own – no blender required! Check it out:

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I paid twenty dollars for a pack of eight Slim Chillers, which included two of each flavor: Appletini, Watermelon Lemonade, Lemon Drop, and a Cosmopolitan. The first flavor I tried after I got home from work was the Watermelon Lemonade and, I’m not going to lie, it was absolutely disgusting. The freezing process somehow managed to get all of the vodka on top and the flavor at the bottom. This resulted in a solid block of liquor to munch on and syrup that was wayyy too sweet pooling at the bottom. Yuck.

I was feeling less than impressed with my purchase after the first freezer pop, which I didn’t even finish. But, I figured you can’t go wrong with a Lemon Drop and that one was perfect. So was the Appletini! Lil Red loves sweet/tart drinks and both freezer pops tasted like a classic Lemon Drop and Appletini – not like liquor and snow cone syrup. 😀

The jury is still out on the Cosmo, as I have yet to try it. In fact, I’ve never tried a Cosmo in my life so we’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed it’s just as good as my two favorites and, if not, Johnny can drink those! :*)

What is your favorite treat to cool down with? How about your favorite kind of martini? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Spaghetti Recipe

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Summer Spaghetti Recipe

Hello! On our last day of staycation in Lexington, Kentucky we had a great big cookout. My sister’s boyfriend, Ramon, was the grill master for all of the guys and I was in charge of the vegetarian dish for the ladies: Spaghetti. At first, I was fine with just heating up some sauce and calling it a day. However, Ramon was creating grill magic and I wasn’t going to be caught dead just serving spaghetti with red sauce!

So, I got to work. And, I must say, thanks to the friendly competition, I think I created a masterpiece that I would definitely serve for myself and Johnny again. My entire family loved it and I think all of you will, too! Check it out:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box spaghetti
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1/2 of a large, red onion
  • 2 lemons
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, oregano

Directions:

We all know how to make spaghetti so we are going to talk about the saute I made to put on top of it. I wanted the dish to be really light so I didn’t want to go with a heavy sauce. So, I created a dressing in the vegetable saute by doing the following:

  1. In your frying pan, add butter and olive oil and season it with the herbs of your choosing. I kept it light with salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.
  2. Once your mixture is all melted, add the vegetables. Then, squeeze the juice from one full lemon over top. If the mixture still looks dry like mine did, add more butter and olive oil. To top it off, add five to six splashes of red wine vinegar and continue seasoning to your heart’s content.

By now, your vegetables should be frying away in its own sauce, which is going to make them literally burst with flavor. I kept mine cooking on a medium to high heat until the last five minutes or so when I brought it down to a simmer. I wanted to make sure they were all thoroughly cooked but I also didn’t want them to shrink away into nothing!

3. Once your pasta is cooked, simply add your saute to it and mix it well. Then, you’re going to take the juice from another full lemon to add in as well as any additional seasoning to taste.

The end result? A light, lemony pasta dish that is amazing on its own or, according to the meat eaters in my family, fabulous with chicken over top. I would have snapped some pictures of my creation but, by the time I thought to do it, the pasta was long gone. Lol, WHOOPS. 😀

My entire family agreed that another cookout needs to happen this summer and, this time, Ramon and I agreed that he will make the chicken and I will make the pasta again because it was such a hit. Bon appetit! ❤

How do you like to get creative in the kitchen? Have you had any cooking success or failures lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Kind Of Adulting?

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Kind Of Adulting?

Hello! My boyfriend and I recently celebrated his thirty-first birthday and my twenty-sixth. Johnny and I have birthdays exactly one week apart from each other and I kind of have to laugh at our haul. We received and purchased quite a few appliances for the kitchen and bathroom so adulting, right? Sort of!

Johnny and I are also big kids at heart so our birthdays wouldn’t be complete without something a little more fun. Hence, the LEGO sets we gifted to each other. We got the perfect combination of “work” and “play” things for our birthdays and despite feeling like a grown up with our new appliances, we couldn’t be happier! We have been enjoying the following:

Electric Toothbrush:

I have had a lot of dental woes compliments of my oral surgery gone wrong two years ago. Because of the extensive problems I still suffer from, I have to see a periodontist pretty frequently. My periodontist has recommended an electric toothbrush till he’s blue in the face and I guess I didn’t realize just how bad I needed it until I found my gum problems were getting worse.

That past visit to the periodontist happened a week or so before my birthday and I planned on purchasing an electric toothbrush for myself. But, then I remembered birthday and my mom agreed to let me order one off of Amazon. The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe I had been brushing my teeth any other way before. And, now I can’t picture my dental care without it.

The best part? Johnny loves it too and let me pick out a pink electric toothbrush that we share, with different brush heads obvi! I just adore the color and I am so pleased with the results I’ve had so far. 🙂

Air Fryer:

Johnny’s parents so kindly gifted us with their barely used air fryer, which was amazing because we were going to buy one right after we left their home. So, instead, we went to the grocery store and purchased ALL of the air fried delicacies you can think of. French fries, mozzarella sticks, hash browns, you name it. Then, we went back to our apartment and had a big air fried feast!

We are so obsessed with the ease of using our air fryer and how FREAKING AMAZING it makes everything taste. We are both looking forward to trying new recipes and if you have any favorites, please pass them along. Especially anything vegetarian. 😀

Brita Water Pitcher:

The last new thing we got for our apartment was a Brita water pitcher and filters. Mainly because Johnny was sick of lugging all of my water bottles and gallons after going grocery shopping! Haha, but seriously, the Brita pitcher is awesome. We have both been drinking so much more water, which comes right from our own tap and filters to delicious, safe to drink H20 instantly.

I honestly have never seen Johnny drink as much water since purchasing the Brita pitcher and it is such a positive change. I, myself, have been drinking way more too even though I’m usually pretty good about it. The filters last for one month and they are inexpensive to purchase – I got six on Amazon for twenty-five bucks.

Another great bonus? The pitcher and filters are easily going to pay for themselves since we won’t be purchasing water at the store anymore. You just can’t beat that.

Johnny and I are adulting in our own way and I love it. We also love all of these handy little tools that make life so much easier! 😀

What is your favorite appliance? How do you stay young at heart? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Looking After Your Physical Health In Lockdown

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Looking After Your Physical Health In Lockdown

When practicing social distancing by staying at home, it can be difficult to keep your physical health in check. It’s no longer possible to go to the gym, run an organized race, or meet up with your sports team. And our normal food, sleep, and hygiene routines have gone out the window. Much has been said about how to look after your mental health in these stressful times, but your physical health is important too. We don’t know how long social distancing measures will be in place, so it is crucial that you stay on top of your fitness now and don’t wait until the lockdown is over.

If you are struggling to look after your health in lockdown, here are a few tips to help you:

Have a routine:

With your professional and social life on hold, all sense of routine has disappeared. You might feel there’s no need to establish a schedule for your days when you barely leave the house, but this may be more damaging to your health than you think. A lack of structure in your life can make you less motivated to look after yourself and promote bad habits regarding eating, sleeping, and exercise. Establish a framework to your days by getting up and going to sleep at regular times, and sticking to set meal times. Plan your days to fit in healthy activities and use the extra time productively.

Get enough sleep:

These are stressful times, and many people are struggling to sleep right now. The quantity and quality of sleep have a huge impact on your mental and physical health. If you don’t get enough, you may find yourself with weakened immunity, cognitive impairment, weight gain, and a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Go to bed and wake up at regular times, and make an effort to reduce your exposure to phones and social media in the hours before bed, as these will only impact your sleep further.

Be active every day:

The lockdown has made it harder to motivate ourselves to exercise, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day will make you stronger and fitter, as well as reducing your risk of almost any health condition, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and cancers. Not to mention the mental health benefits. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a brisk walk or an online fitness class or a yoga session, schedule in some activity every day, and you will soon feel the benefits.

Eat well:

When you’re always within a stone’s throw of your kitchen, it can be hard to eat right all the time. Although comfort food can be beneficial now and then, you need to maintain a balanced diet if you want to avoid health problems. Avoid the temptation to order takeout and start preparing yourself nutritious meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and take care to reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake.

As well as taking these steps to maintain your physical health, it is also crucial that you deal with any new or existing health conditions promptly. You can talk to a doctor online about any medical concerns, so you don’t even have to leave the house. Stay well!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Hello! For the past few months Lil Red has spent a majority of her time indoors due to the coronavirus. When you have no access to the outside world, it is way harder than you can imagine to create daily content! Ever since lifewithlilred began over five years ago, I have always encouraged guest bloggers on my page – especially now!

This is why I am so grateful to my sweet friend, Alice, from Alice Rambles for reaching out to me with a tasty recipe for butternut squash risotto. This recipe combines a bunch of my favorite things and I am looking forward to trying it myself. After checking this post out, do be sure to give Alice’s page some love and if you are interested in guest posting on lifewithlilred, please email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com .

Now, let’s get to it:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Hi everyone, my name is Alice (from Alice Rambles). Sarah has very kindly offered to let me write a guest post for her blog, and I thought today I’d share one of my favourite easy recipes – butternut squash risotto!

In the UK, butternut squash are harvested throughout summer and autumn, so this dish not only uses fresh, seasonal vegetables, but it also reduces our food air miles which is always a great thing to consider. This recipe is also easy to adapt for vegetarian and vegan diets and serves four people.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 50g butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 50g Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan alternative), finely grated
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of sage (fresh or dried)

 

Equipment:

  • Large baking tray
  • Medium saucepan
  • Large wide saucepan or deep frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 7. Mix your chopped squash with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. Spread it over the baking tray and roast it for 30 mins, until it’s soft on the inside but slightly coloured on the outside. Mash half of the squash into a rough puree, and leave the other half whole.

  • Next, heat up your stock in the medium saucepan – bring it to the boil first, and then lower to a simmer. In the wide saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat, then add the onion and cook it slowly until it is soft, but not coloured.

  • Stir the rice into the buttery onions, and keep stirring until the rice is shiny and the grains are starting to become transparent.

  • Pour in the wine, stir it through and simmer until it has all evaporated. Turn the heat down to low, then start adding the stock (one ladle at a time) and stir continuously.

  • Keep going until you’ve used up all of the stock – at this point the risotto should be thick and creamy, with the rice still retaining a bit of bite to it.

  • Stir the squash puree through the risotto, then add the grated Parmesan.

  • Serve, and garnish with the remaining chunks of roasted squash.

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And there you have it, so simple! This recipe is great for when you fancy a nice warming meal and, of course, you can mix it up by adding your own herbs, spices, and flavours if you wish. If you’d like to see more of my posts then do check out my blog (Alice Rambles), and let me know if you give this recipe a try!

Thank you so much again to Alice for sharing her delicious recipe with all of us! What is your favorite kind of risotto? What is one of your favorite seasonal dishes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

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Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

Helloooo! One of my most favorite foods in the whole world is SOUP. I friggen LOVE it and find myself craving a huge bowl of French Onion even during the hot summer months. Weird? Maybe. Delicious? Always. While in quarantine, I have become increasingly fond of the soup and sandwich combo for lunches at home on the weekend.

Although, nothing beats my mom’s homemade soups, I have had pretty good luck finding vegetarian friendly canned soup at the grocery store. Normally, I’ll heat up whichever soup I feel like on the stove top (I’m partial to Progresso’s Butternut Squash) and make a grilled cheese or bagel sandwich to go with it.

I am a huge fan of Everything bagels and recently went with the following for an easy and filling lunch:

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The Amy’s Southwestern Vegetable was definitely not as good as their Black Bean soup but it was alright. Although, I can’t say I would want to get it again. Meanwhile, on my sandwiches, I love to have a leafy green on it like spinach, lettuce, or sprouts. Then, to break up the dryness of the bagel, I apply hummus and a spicy mustard for that extra special little kick. 😉

We are in a very weird time right now and, purchasing food that you can stretch out will really help you limit your visits to the grocery store. The beauty of the bagel sandwich? You could get yourself the ingredients for about ten bucks and it would provide you with lunches for an entire week!

I have grown very fond of packing myself a bagel sandwich for my longer days at work and it always nips the hunger pains right in the bud. It has been a solid month since I have gone grocery shopping for myself and my boyfriend so, hopefully, this fondness will continue as I eat my way through this bag of bagels. 😅

What is your favorite kind of soup? What is a food that you can eat any time no matter the weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah