Foodie of the Month

Happy Marvelous Monday!!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I can’t believe this is the last day of February.  It is time to share a fabulous recipe from another cooking diva!

I am so excited to introduce the foodie of the month for February because I have known her since middle school. Kristen Moss is the foodie of the month and she such an inspiration for the road to living a healthy lifestyle.  I love cooking but want to share more healthy recipes this year because health equals wealth.  I hope you all enjoy this Kristen’s recipe.

K Moss

 

 

How long have you been cooking?

I have been cooking for as long as I can remember! The way I’ve been cooking has distinctively taken an abrupt change. Cooking has always been a first love!
2. Why do you enjoy Cooking?
Cooking has been an adventure to me. I have always loved creating my own personal spin on “your traditional staples” in the kitchen. Recently I’ve been able to make some lifestyles changes, I’ve traded in an evening of fresh baked brownies with two scoops of vanilla ice cream at 11:30pm, for homemade “yogurt bites” with granola garnished with fresh blueberries! (Pause) I have to LOL sometimes when I think of the dramatic food changes in my life. The constant balancing act of daily food choices has been amazingly exciting!
3. Who taught you how to cook?
If I think back and try to identify my earliest memory of cooking…I would have to say my Mother and my Father. My father loved to cook! He would often cook “Peas and Rice” a staple from Nassau, Bahamas from which he was born. This dish would have many layers, seasonings, and spices. I would walk in the house after school and it would be filled with the smell of sautéed onions and green peppers, and bacon slowly cooking in the skillet in preparation for the dish. As a youth I would watch him mindfully take such pride in what he would be preparing for his family. He enjoyed cooking and seeing our faces and our compliments like, “Now you put your foot in this Daddy”! I would say that’s where my love of cooking comes from.
4. What is your favorite thing to make or a great cooking tip?
I can’t say that I have a favorite “meal” to cook, but I can say I have a particular way of cooking which is very health conscious. A great cooking tip would be to try to find healthy alternatives to the food you already love! For all those ice-cream lovers like myself finding an alternative is often a challenge, and still satisfy that sweet tooth. Bananas have became a staple in my home.
Banana Ice Cream
3-4 Banana Frozen/Sliced
1 Spoonful of organic Peanut Butter
2-3 Cocoa Powder
For this recipe you will defiantly need a food processor or blender! Blend to smooth consistency! Enjoy! Half the Calories!
5. Do you have a favorite famous cook/foodie?
I cant say I have a favorite cook that I follow,  enjoy tweaking traditional recipe’s and putting my own spin on them is something I enjoy. ‘m sure I will attain my favorites along this “healthier me” journey. It’s so exciting! Nutrition has now become my passion. I get excited about educating others of the benefits of healthy eating, and exercise has impacted and changed my quality of life. I’m not where I want to be…but I’m certainly not where I used to be. I Never Knew How Bad I Felt Until I Started Feeling Better!

Foodie of the Month

I can’t believe the weekend is over all ready! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I am so excited to post my first Foodie of the month and year!

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Furniss at a Birmingham Bloggers event and she was so sweet. We had fun talking about blogging, fashion, and of course food.  She wanted to know about the fashion trend with the leather on the side of leggings. I have a passion for fashion too so I gave her a few fashion tips.  I just love her blog because she is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle.  I thought one of her recipes would be perfect for the New Year since so many people set goals to eat better and exercise in the New Year.  She is sharing a yummy gluten free sugar cookie recipe.

 

Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water is a community designed to empower Spiffy Gals to lead a health-filled, stress-reducing lifestyle. By being part of this community, you will learn how to boost your health through fun video tutorials, simple and creative recipes, and informative blog posts on natural living. This is all designed in a way that will save you time and money and give you the tools to educate those you care about.
jessicafurniss
How long have you been cooking?
I have been cooking a little since I was a child, but over the last two and a half years I have begun to really focus on making healthy and delicious foods for my Spiffy Eats readers.
Why do you enjoy cooking?
Cooking is a very relaxing and stress relieving process for me. I love having lots of fresh ingredients in my kitchen to choose from. On most days, I do an inventory of what I have on hand and then let loose all of my creativity!
Who taught you how to cook?
I am self taught in many ways, but I read a lot of cooking websites, watch Food Network and grew up having two grandmothers that are absolutely incredible cooks. I make an effort to use family recipes and techniques every chance I get.
What is your favorite thing to make?
My favorite thing to make is bone broth. I love taking my basic recipe and changing it up. I love how the warm smell fills the entire house. I love using whatever seasonal vegetables I have on hand to enhance the flavor. Each batch turns out a little different and that’s the really fun part.
What is a your favorite cooking tip?
A great cooking tip I would give is always try to think of a whole food alternative to packaged mixes. For instance, when making chili, look at the ingredients on the chili packet. Gather the spices listed in the ingredients and make your own mix. This way you avoid the unhealthy additives found in most pre packaged mixes. And you are able to use your creativity by adding new spices.
Do you have a favorite famous cook or foodie?
It is really hard to choose just one person, so I will share two of my favorites. Tiffany from The Gracious Pantry is absolutely amazing. She uses creativity and healthy alternatives to make real food taste amazing. I admire her cooking style and passion for what she does. Alton Brown is also one of my favorites. I love learning the science behind different cooking techniques. He breaks everything down in such an easy to follow way, while still giving you all of the scientific details.
Gluten Free Valentine’s Day Raspberry Sugar Cookies
For the cookies:
1 Box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix
1 Stick Butter softened
2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 tablespoons organic whole milk
For the raspberry glaze:
1 package fresh raspberries
1/4 cup local honey
1. In a medium to large mixing bowl add eggs, softened butter, vanilla extract and organic milk. And using a hand mixer mix on low until the eggs are beaten (about 30 seconds).
2. Slowly add cake box mix, while using hand mixer on low speed.
3. Once all cake mix is incorporated into the wet mixture, increase hand mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.
4. Using two spoons gather about a teaspoon’s worth of dough and form into a ball shape. Place the individual ball shaped dough lightly onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake at 325° for 6-9 minutes (be cautious not to over bake, these cook quickly. As soon as you see the edges start to brown just a bit, remove from the oven.)
6. While the cookies are cooling, grab a small saucepan.
7. Combine the honey and raspberries into the saucepan and cook on medium low, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
8. Once the raspberries have broken down, use a spoon to drizzle the sauce onto each cookie.
cookies
Enjoy!
This makes about 24-30 cookies, depending on how small you make the cookies.

Foodie of the Month

Foodie of the Month

October 2015

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Norsworthy at Girl’s Night at All South Appliance one night. Mary is a director for Pampered Chef and a great cook. Pampered Chef is a wonderful company that offers a line of kitchen tools, food products, cookbooks and more! I had so much fun at GNO learning new food tips and recipes from Mary. I wanted Mary to share a recipe with my readers because she has such wonderful ideas with Pampered Chef products. Mary is sharing one of her favorite recipes with and it is perfect for fall. I hope you guys enjoy!! This will be perfect for your Sunday dinner tomorrow!

How long have you been cooking?

Around the age of 12 I became a baker because of my love for sweets. I have probably made a million No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal cookies since then! I started my Pampered Chef business 13 years ago and because of that I enjoy cooking recipes other than sweets!

Why do you enjoy cooking?

Cooking is an adventure and a therapy for me along with a glass of wine!

Who taught you how to cook?

I would say I’m self-taught and also give credit to Pampered Chef. Having the right tools in the kitchen is a must and makes cooking so much more enjoyable. My mother liked to be in the kitchen by herself but of course allowed me to do the cleanup!

What is your favorite thing to make or a great cooking tip?

With the fall season, I’ve really enjoyed making “Mini Apple Pies”.

Do you have a favorite famous cook/foodie?

My favorite foodie is Stephanie Parker of Birmingham, AL aka Plain Chicken.

Mini Apple Pies

Ingredients

1 8 oz. package of seamless crescent dough

1 20 oz. can of apple pie filling

2 Tbsp. of granulated sugar

½ tsp. of cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to flatten and enlarge dough. Cut into 12 squares and place dough in a muffin pan. I used Pampered Chef’s Brownie Pan. Allow the dough to drape over the corners. Scoop 2 Tbsp. of apple pie filling into each well. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon together. Add to the top of each square. Pull corners to the middle and add another dash of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately and serve with ice cream, if desired!


Foodie of the Month

Happy Foodie Friday!!

In the words of Julia Childs “People who love to eat are always the best people”.  I would have to agree with this quote for my foodie of the month for September. I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Boyd a few years ago and we would have fun everyday talking about arts & crafts and of course recipes. She is always sharing great recipes on Facebook so; it was a must that I feature her as Foodie of the month. She is sharing a breakfast casserole with us and it looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. With the holidays around the corner I believe this recipe would make the perfect dish for a holiday brunch or potluck. September is also national breakfast month so, add these ingredients to your grocery list this weekend and make this yummy casserole for breakfast.

jenb3

How long have you been cooking?

I’ve been helping in the kitchen only God knows how long. I’ve been cooking on my own since the ages of 9 or 10. I’ll go with 10 because it seems safe.

2. Why do you enjoy cooking?

Cooking is therapeutic for me. To see people enjoying my creations and requesting more is definitely a blessing to me.

3. Who taught you how to cook?

My Mom and Grandma. I have been taking cooking tips from both of them my entire cooking life.

4. What is your favorite thing to make or
a great cooking tip?

Omgoodness… Ummm… I love to cook chicken. Baked or Fried.

5. Do you have a favorite famous cook/foodie?
Yes, My Grandmother. Many may not know her, but she is simply amazing in the kitchen and in person. My grandmother Mrs. Evelyn Clayton would try to cook anything that looks appetizing. My Mom would call it exotic because it isn’t our traditional soul food. So me being adventurous in the kitchen… Credit is given to my Gram! I love you Shuga! (That’s what I call her)

*Sausage Casserole*

Ingredients:

*16oz of cooked ground sausage of your choice.
*2 Cups of cooked rice (firm)
* Half a cup of each sautéed onion, bell pepper, and portabella mushroom.
*8oz box of cream cheese (room temperature)
*2 Cups of Pepper Jack shredded cheese
* 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
*1 Crescent dough sheet ( Pillsbury)
*1 Pie Crust (Pillsbury room temperature)

jenb2

Preheat oven to 375°
Step 1: In a 13X8 Pyrex dish, mold crescent dough sheet to the dish. Let the dough cook for 10 minutes. Once that has cooked. Remove from oven.
Step 2: Turn the oven temperature to 420°.
Step 3: Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl: Rice, sausage, sautéed onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, cream cheese, cream of mushroom soup, and PJ cheese. (Note: I mixed each ingredient in one at a time to make sure it was mixed evenly. Second note… I mixed my cheese in last because I didn’t want it to melt right away. Third note… Add salt according to taste)
Step 4: Evenly smooth mix ingredients on top of your cooked crescent sheet.
Step 5: Place pie crust on top of your dish and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown. (Optional… For a little decoration I added slits in my pie crust once place on my dish.)
Step 6: Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 7: Enjoy!!!

*Adjust temperatures if needed because every oven is different*

jenb


Foodie of the Month

Hello my foodie fans! I hope you all had wonderful weekend! Can you believe we are 30 days away from fall?

While watching the food network season 8 I was so thrilled to discover Martie Duncan. Martie Duncan is from Birmingham, AL and by living in Birmingham I thought it was super cool to have an Alabamian to cheer for. I immediately became a fan after looking at her website Martie Knows Parties. I am so honored to have her as my foodie of the month. Fall is around the corner and she is sharing a yummy Butternut Squash soup with us.

 

martie

1. How long have you been cooking?

I’ve been cooking my whole life- alongside my mom as a child and then later in life, I started cooking for parties I threw for friends and family.

2. Why do you enjoy cooking?

I love feeding people- it makes them happy.

3. Who taught you how to cook?

My mother was the best cook I have ever known. I learned most of what I know about cooking from her.

4. What is your favorite thing to make or a great cooking tip?

Favorite thing to cook? Pies. And ice cream. My mom made a pie or cobbler almost every single day. I love to use fresh from the farm ingredients like the blueberries my dad grows or peaches from Chilton County and turn them into summer’s most delicious desserts.

5. Do you have a favorite famous cook/foodie?

I would say my favorite famous chef is Jacques Pepin. I’ve had the great pleasure of spending time with him. I loved hearing his stories about his time with Julia, his lifelong love affair with food, and was totally romanced and inspired by him to explore French cuisine. I how have quite a few French classics in my repertoire of recipes.

Bobby Flay is another favorite. I worked with Bobby on Food Network Star and admire his work ethic, dedication to his craft, and how far he’s taken his star…. All the way to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Rachael Ray is also another inspiration. Look at what she’s accomplished to make cooking at home easy and accessible for the masses. Terms like EVOO are now mainstream because of her. She’s self and family trained and has never been to culinary school but has never let that deter her from building an empire that is one of America’s favorite food brands.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 (4-5 pounds) large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup organic maple syrup

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper (I use a couple of big dashes but I suggest you do one, taste and then another if you want more heat)

½ cup heavy cream (more if you like, and I always like!)

2 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Peel the butternut squash. Remove the seeds. Dice into large pieces. Drizzle the squash with 1 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan or roasting pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Check the squash after 12 minutes and turn with a spatula.

NOTE: You can roast the squash in the skin and scoop it out after you cook it. Either way works. With a heavy duty vegetable peeler, I find peeling it first is easier.)

While the squash is roasting, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. Over medium-high heat, cook the onion until softened but not browned.

Add the cooked squash to the onion. Use a spoon or a spatula to break up the squash. Stir in the first 4 cups of chicken broth a little at a time. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, adding more chicken broth as necessary to keep the soup from becoming too thick.  Add the maple syrup, salt and both peppers. Whisk in the cream. If you like your soup with some texture, stop here.  I like this soup really smooth so I use an immersion blender to make it smooth and velvety before I add the heavy cream. Just before serving, stir in a tablespoon or two of butter. I find it makes the soup even more velvety and delicious.

Depending on portion size, this serves about 8

I spoon this into quart-sized Mason jars, keeps in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. Sometimes I make a big batch and deliver it to friends around the holidays. Always appreciated.

 

squash soup

 


Foodie of the Month

Happy Foodie Friday!

It is that time of the month for me to share with my fans a great cook and foodie. I believe in celebrating every cook and for that reason I wanted to do the foodie of the month on my blog. I know there are great cooks all over the world and I want to help share a taste of their cooking style with my fans. I am proud to announce Janet Turner from Indiana as the foodie of the month for July. She is sharing an all-time favorite Macaroni and Cheese. Macaroni & Cheese is a great comfort food. I hope you guys enjoy!

JTurner

1. I have been cooking since I was 5 years old. So basically all my life!

2. I love to cook because for me, it’s an expression of love.

3. My mom and grandma were 2 of the greatest cooks I know. In fact, my grandma made her living as a cook for several local restaurants and my mom was a first class baker. They both taught me how to cook.

4. My favorite thing to cook would be my family’s version of a traditional Christmas dinner. Glazed ham, chicken & dressing, Mac & cheese, greens, potato salad, fried corn, candied sweet potatoes, a couple of fruit salads, cakes, pies, home made yeast rolls…. I love Christmas!

5. I would have to say, Patti LaBelle is my favorite famous foodie. I have a few of her cook books, and I try to watch any show she is on doing a cooking demo. She makes it look easy.

I am known as THE cook in my family now. My food has been compared to my mom’s cooking style which, for me is the highest compliment! Below is my recipe for Homemade Baked Mac & Cheese. Enjoy!

1 16oz. Box of Elbow macaroni noodles

1/4 cup of milk

3 eggs

1can of cream of mushroom soup

1 16 oz box of Velveeta cheese, chopped into cubes

12 ounces of cheddar cheese

12 ounces of pepper jack cheese

1 1/2 sticks of butter, cubed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Boil macaroni until fork tender, ( approx. 8 minutes) drain .

Chop Velveeta into cubes.

Beat milk, eggs, and cream of mushroom soup together, sit a side. Place cubed cheese and butter in your baking pan, pour macaroni into pan and stir until cheese and butter start to melt. Add salt and pepper.

And milk, eggs, and soup mixture. Stir until blended.

Add the pepper jack cheese and stir until blended.

Add half of the cheddar cheese and blend.

Pour the rest of the cheddar on top and place into oven at 350 degrees.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and stir it insure cheese is well blended and melting.
Place back into oven, and bake 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden brown.

ENJOY!!!

MacCheese JT


Foodie of the Month June 2015

Happy Foodie Friday!! I am so excited to introduce my first foodie of the month! Lebra Johnson is the foodie of the month for June. I have known Lebra since I was in elementary school and she is like a big sister to me. She has always been a great cook and hostess with mostess! I am proud to say she is pursuing her culinary degree for her passion for cooking. She is sharing a yummy recipe for Shrimp & Grits!

ljohnson

1. How long have I been cooking?
I have been cooking since I was able to reach the stove. I have been in school pursuing culinary for two years.

2. Why do I enjoy cooking?

I enjoy cooking because it brings out a whole new world of love. Cooking makes my heart smile. When you can come into someone’s heart with food, that’s love.

3.Who taught me how to cook?

No one really taught me. I just started putting things together myself. I watch and take notes when I’m in a teachable environment. My dad is a very good cook, but he lives out of town.

4.What is your favorite thing to make?

I like food, so whatever that means I like to make. Food, food, food!

5.Do you have a favorite famous cook/ foodie?

I really don’t have a favorite famous cook. A good girlfriend of mine is an amazing chef in NYC. I love to see what new things she’s cooking up. Her name is Ashley Sneed.

Shrimp and Grits

Portion out 8 shrimp per serving

8 slices of Andouille sausage

Heavy cream

Marsala wine

Shallots

Fresh minced garlic

Oil

Cajun seasoning

Butter

Stone ground Grits

Make according to directions

Finish with heavy cream and fresh grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat pan with oil just before smoke point

2. Add shrimp and slightly cook then add sausage

3. Add garlic and shallots tossing well, then deglaze the pan with Marsala wine

4. Add cream and reduce slightly to thicken sauce.

5. Finish with a pad of butter.

6. Serve over prepared grits in a bowl.

grits

Enjoy