Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 Fresh Ingredients to Enhance Any Meal - Do you know what they are?

Personal Update before our blog on 5 Fresh Ingredients...
Sorry it's been a a couple of weeks since my last post but it's been a bit hectic around here. Hope you all had a good Valentine's Day. Terry and I had a delicious Gulf Coast inspired dinner at the house on Valentine's and he showered me with beautiful spring flowers and gave me his heart all over again via a gold and silver heart & key pandora charm for my bracelet. On a different note, I am so proud and excited for my husband, his project - his work, Hadley's (Southern Food Done Right) Restaurant opens tomorrow, Feb. 20th in Jackson, TN. It will be open from 6 am to 10 pm 7 days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fast food (made fresh, never frozer) but upscale atmosphere. It's been a long 7 months of hard work on his part since we moved to Jackson but's the first Hadley's is finally opening. If you are in the Jackson area, stop by and try it out. Ok, back to the topic of today's blog...

Today as I am preparing Turkey Chili I am reminded of a few staples I keep around my kitchen and most of these items will enhance just about every meal you prepare.

I keep the following in the crisper of my refrigerator: fresh sweet onion(s), 4-5 full garlic heads, package of fresh rosemary, a package of fresh basil and sharp cheddar cheese (place your onion and garlic in separate zip lock bags in the crisper of your refrigerator to eliminate any odor issues).

Most all recipes I make call for onion and typically if it calls for onion, I usually add a little fresh garlic as well to enhance the flavor of the dish. Depending on the dish, I will chop fresh onion and garlic and saute together in a cast iron skillet or saute' pan before adding to my recipe.

I use fresh rosemary and basil in so many recipes but will add to plain white or brown rice, to yukon, red, or white whole or cubed potatoes and roast with a little olive oil in the oven for a different side item, you can add fresh rosemary to fresh green beans while steaming then transfer to a hot cast iron skillet or saute' pan and add a fresh roasted pine nuts or pecans and it makes a delicious side item. In addition, you can always add to chicken, pork, beef or even seafood when grilling, baking or roasting.

A little cheese can be added to just about anything you may be preparing. When we make fresh salads to go with our dinner, I will grate a fresh cheese over the top to give us a little boost of added protein.

I keep a cabinet full of dry spices which are easily accessible and enhance any and all recipes but from time to time, fresh just gives the recipe added flavor and try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible. We also use Cavender's Greek Seasoning on everything and they make it in salt-free as well which is what I like to use.

BTW, do you have issues chopping onions and tears rolling down your cheeks? When you refrigerate your onion prior to cutting it, it eliminates the tears. Take your onion from the refrigerator and cut immediately. If you are short on time and forgot to refrigerate your onion, place the onion in the freezer for 5-10 minutes then chop.

Let me know if you would like my Turkey Chili Recipe via blog comment and I will be happy to share it with you.

Think about it the next time you go to the grocery...what did Scarlet mention in her blog that I need for my refrigerator?

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food." Genesis 1:29

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recipes & More!

Ok, I am hooked on, formerly Skinny Crock Pot on facebook but now it's a full website with all types of recipes, health tips, fitness tips, beauty tips, etc. I have yet to make a recipe that wasn't absolutely delicious and good for us with lower calories and great taste! You must check it out! I check out this site as much as I check out pinterest and you all know how much we are all addicted to pinterest... :)

This morning while taking care of my sick husband I put dinner in the crock-pot before leaving for work and I love coming home to the aroma of a delicious dinner ready to eat! I was never a big fan of the crock-pot but I have fallen in love with it this fall-winter!

Let me know which are your favorite recipes on SkinnyMs.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's a new day!

Thank goodness it's a new day!

So let me recap for you...I've worked a lot of extra hours at work, worked from home for the Architect in Destin on his year-end financials and helped Terry as needed with Hadley's all the while in spare time visitng and chekcing on my Mom and Grandmother in Covington. It's been a busy January and February so far. Lsat Saturday, my day off, I worked all day for my husband at Hadleys working on new hire personnel files and getting all the staff in the system for payroll (bonus of not being paid, they showered me with samples of the menu); spend Sunday with Mom taking her to Memphis to check on my Aunt who was in a car accident Saturday afternoon and visiting my Grandmother, while Terry was at a work meeting in Halls. I got home at 4 and started making our super bowl treats. We weren't able to go to our friends house for their annual Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party unfortunately and we were both asleep within 10 minutes of the end of the game. Long workweek last week, busy weekend, busy Monday today and I don't see it letting up anytime soon.

I came home today worn out but I put in Wii Zumba DVD and started dancin'! Our twin nieces always loved Zumba and told me I would love it but I never went to classes with them when we lived in Florida. Guess what? I do love it! I know I probably look a bit ridiculous since I can't get all the moves down but I am moving the entire time the instructor is moving and I have to be honest with you, I have made up some pretty fun routines out of what she shows me and I can't always do what she is doing exactly right but I make the best of it. The good news is that Zumba (so far) doesn't hurt my bad knees like walking or using the treadmill and it works out my entire body. Hope this is successful and I continue to come home and want to Zumba.

On a different note, I don't know if any of you have had to have HRT Hormone Replacement Treatments or not but I am having a hard time finding a treatment my insurance will cover. I do not want to take hormone pills, I want the injections, they work better accroding to so many studies but I might have to find a second job to be able to afford it. My hormones, or lack there of, have caused so many issues with me since my hysterectomy a few years ago, I actually did great and leveled out for about 2 years after my surgery but the last 9 months to a year have been horrible!!!! I look in the mirror and don't recognize the person looking back at me.

Today, I am proclaiming it's a new day! I am thanking God for the weather, the abundance of work for me to do (aka job security), for my health, my family, my friends, and all my babies out there (nieces, nephews, their children, my 4-legged kids, etc.). I am taking charge of my life and going to strive to enjoy each new day!

I might need a pep talk or pick me later in the week but today, Monday, February 6, I'm going to make it!

Take time to hug your babies, your husband, your parents, your friends, tell them you appreciate them and that you LOVE them! You never know what the next hour holds!!!!

Have a blessed day!