Family * Travel * Food

Sensitive stomach? Give Gourmend a try!

So many people worldwide deal with stomach problems, from minor issues to more serious conditions, affecting around 20% to 30% of the population. Some people are especially sensitive to certain foods like garlic and onion bulbs, experiencing discomfort, bloating, and other digestive woes after eating them. This sensitivity can happen for different reasons, like certain enzymes or compounds in garlic and onions that don't agree with everyone's stomachs. So, for those folks, picking what to eat can be a bit of a balancing act to keep their stomachs happy.

If you're one of these people who have a sensitivity to ingesting onion and garlic bulbs, this post is for you. I have a dear friend whose husband is going through cancer treatments, and ended up developing major stomach issues to where he has become very limited on what he can eat. His wife had to find as many low FODMAP recipes as she could to be able to cook nutritious meals that actually taste good. 

Good thing there are seasoning options from Gourmend foods. Gourmend offers seasonings and broths that are low FODMAP-friendly, and are made from natural ingredients. All of their products contain zero fillers, additives and preservatives. They contain no gluten, sugar, dairy, onion bulbs, or garlic bulbs. Another bonus is that they contain limited salt so that you can add salt to suit your taste or dietary needs. 

But, how do they taste? 

Wow, wow, let me tell you-- they taste incredible! I am already coming up with ideas in my head on how I plan to use all of the seasonings. That Garlic Scape Powder is so dang tasty. It has a sort of sweet taste, and then the deep garlic flavor creeps in. The taco seasoning has a good kick and is super flavorful. I love that you can add salt as needed, and really you wouldn't need to add much else when you're cooking your protein for your next Taco Tuesday. I know what I will be using to season my shrimp and chicken this upcoming Cinco de Mayo! 


The Garlic Chive Salt tastes like something I would want sprinkled all over freshy air-fried chicken wings or potato wedges. I need to make that happen! The Green Onion Powder is perfect for everyday seasoning for basically anything you want an onion flavor added. I still have to try out the broths, but I have a feeling they will not disappoint. I'm envisioning a soup with shrimp, baby bok choy, mushrooms and bean sprouts. I will report back when I do give 'em a try. 

Here's some helpful info on Gourmend products 

🐮 Bone Broth 🐔

Our bone broths (beef and chicken) are simmered for 16 hours with free range bones for savory richness. They feature several gut-friendly vegetables and leek and scallion tops replace garlic and onion for that gentle allium deliciousness.

 ðŸŒ± Gut-friendly Powders 🌿 

Our 3 original powders: Garlic Scape Powder, Garlic Chive Powder, and Green Onion Powder. Even if you're sensitive to onion and garlic, you can bring those flavors back into your cooking. All of the tastiness, none of the digestive issues.

 ðŸŒ® Taco Seasoning 🌮 

Our taco seasoning is a gently delicious blend of single origin ingredients that ramp up any taco night. It features our Garlic Scape and Green Onion Powders as well as several other ingredients that we carefully source from other brands we know and love.

 ðŸ¥• Vegetable Broth 🍄 

We worked for 2 years to get our recipe just right for this one. With so few quality vegetable broths on the market, we wanted to make sure this tasted amazing while being easy on digestion. This broth features oyster mushrooms for umami flavor and a host of other fun vegetables.

💚 Salt Blends 🧂 

These salts are made using our unique Garlic Chive and Green Onion Powder along with Californian sea salt.

**As always, none of our products have any fillers or preservatives.

Find out more about Gourmend

Want to try Gourmend products out for yourself? Go to their website, and use code: MOMFILES15 for 15% off your first purchase. 

Disclosure: Gourmend provided product samples for my family to test out, and all opinions are our own. Please note that there are affiliate links in this post

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A Guide to Choosing the Right Knife for Every Occasion

Most people use knives every day, for various purposes, without ever really thinking about it. However, there are some situations where you need to carefully select the knife that you will be using. 

In those cases, it’s a good idea to choose the right knife for the occasion based on a variety of different factors, and this post is here to walk you through some of them. Hopefully, this will make the choice easier for you. Keep reading to learn more! 

Determine the purpose

Step one is to determine the purpose that you will be using the knife for. If you are someone with a vast collection of knives, simply deciding what you want to use the knife for will already eliminate quite a few options and narrow down the pool. 

For example, if you want to use a knife to finely slice some vegetables, you should look at your kitchen knives and remove anything too long or bulky from the list of possibilities. Similarly, if you are looking for a utility knife or a hunting knife, you probably shouldn’t be reaching for a kitchen knife. Instead, you will want to opt for one of the best ever hunting knives, as they were created for this specific purpose. 

Consider the size

Any knife connoisseur knows that it’s a good idea to have a wide range of knives in different sizes. This is because different sizes of knives will be suitable for different occasions. 

We’ve already discussed that different sized knives in the kitchen will be best suited to different purposes, but there are also other reasons why you’d want to consider the size of your knife, such as if you are traveling and need the knife to take up as little space as possible in your travel pouch

Think about your safety 

When it comes to knives of all kinds, another important thing to keep in mind is the element of safety. Of course, all knives have potential risks associated with them, but some knives may be a bit safer than others, especially depending on the situation. 

An example of this would be if you are traveling with a knife. An open knife will hold a much bigger safety risk in this case than a knife which can be flipped shut to conceal the blade. Similarly, if you are teaching your children how to chop vegetables, you may want to opt for a knife with a duller blade, or even a plastic knife, until they get the hang of things.  

Keep the cost in mind

Finally, while some people may have an array of knives to pick from and will thus have a knife for every occasion, others may not.

If you need to buy a knife for whatever reason – such as trying a new recipe, replacing a broken knife, or going on a hunting trip for the first time – you should make sure to pick a knife within your budget so that the expense doesn’t affect your family’s finances too much. 

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Ground Beef for Your Recipes

Ground beef is a staple for most families. Whether it’s for chili, meatloaf, or tacos, there are some essential things to consider when selecting your ground beef.

Look for packages with a nice cherry red color. Anything darker may have been exposed to oxygen and could have been spoiled. Also, avoid buying ground beef that looks dry or pasty.

Look for the USDA Quality Grade

When it comes to choosing ground beef for recipes like meatloaf, tacos, or burgers, shoppers may find themselves comparing packages of ground beef that look very similar in the grocery store. While the packaging might say “ground chuck,” “ground round,” or “ground sirloin,” it’s important to know what these terms mean.

The quality grade system evaluates meat for traits that predict tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. The highest grade, Prime, is reserved for carcasses with a high level of marbling and is very tender. The two highest grades are Choice and Select, both very delicate. The lowest three grades are Utility, Commercial, and Canner, and these are typically used for really cheap ground beef and other processed meat products such as hot dogs and dog food.

While the higher-grade ground beef will cost more than cheaper options, it’s well worth the extra expense if you’re looking for the best possible meat for your family. The taste of the heart is far better than what you’d get from a low-grade cut labeled as hamburger or ground beef.

Look for the Lean-to-Fat Ratio

Many ground beef packages list the meat’s quality grade and lean-to-fat ratio. The fat content varies depending on the grind of the beef and its intended use.

The lean-to-fat ratio is usually listed on the package in a slashed number format, with the amount of lean meat before and the fat content after. For example, a box of 80/20 ground beef has a high level of lean meat and a low-fat group, making it ideal for burgers and other recipes that call for a formable patty that won’t fall apart or dry out.

Other types of ground beef are more suited to stews and soups as they contain more fat. One popular choice is ground round, which has a lower fat level but isn’t as juicy as other types of ground beef. It is often used in recipes of moist cooking methods, such as casseroles and stuffed peppers. It can also add moisture and richness to a dish without much fat.

Look for Freshness

Ground beef is one of the most perishable items in the meat case. So it’s important to choose new packages. A bright cherry-red color is a good sign, meaning the meat hasn’t gone bad. Also, be sure to smell the box, as foul odors can tell you a lot about the quality of the heart.

Ideally, it would help you to look for a source grind label, which tells you what part of the animal’s body the meat came from. This makes a difference when cooking, as the fattier cuts are more flavorful and tender.

In addition, choose packages with a “use by” date that is as close to your recipe’s window of opportunity as possible. And be sure to keep raw ground beef and other foods separated in the fridge, as cross-contamination can spread illness-causing bacteria from the meat to ready-to-eat foods. For longer shelf life, Underly likes the little plastic or foam packages (called trays) you sometimes find in the meat case, which can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days and frozen for up to three months. 

Look for the Meat’s Color

From the basic burger to meatloaf and chili, ground beef is the cornerstone of many dinner recipes. But have you ever considered what kind of ground meat you’re grabbing off that shrink-wrapped tray in the supermarket?

Those bright red packages of ground beef may look the same at a glance, but they each have a unique lean-to-fat ratio and come from different cuts of meat. Choose one that suits your cooking needs and goals, and opt for a high-quality cut of meat whenever possible.

To make the best choice, select a “source grind” that specifies which cut of meat is used in the mix. Canal House recommends selecting ground chuck (from the neck and shoulder) for casseroles and meatloaf and 80 percent lean ground sirloin for hamburgers.

Look for ground beef that is a rosy pink with defined white flecks of fat to ensure that the meat is fresh. Ground grayish or brown beef is a sign of spoilage and should be thrown away immediately for food safety reasons. The color change is due to the meat’s myoglobin changing to oxymyoglobin as it is exposed to oxygen.

Look for the Butcher’s Mark

Ground beef is a staple in many meals. It’s convenient, inexpensive, and delicious. However, not all ground beef is created equal. The quality of ground beef can make or break your recipe. This is why you should always buy the best ground beef you can afford. Whether you are making burgers, meatloaf, or casseroles, you want ground beef that is tender and flavorful. The best way to achieve this is to get your ground beef from a butcher or deli.

At the supermarket, look for packages that say what kind of cuts were used to produce the ground beef you are purchasing. For example, you will see boxes that indicate ground chuck, ground round, or ground sirloin. This will tell you what fat percentage was used and show its quality.

Always store your ground beef properly and avoid raw meats or ready-to-eat foods. Raw ground beef can spread illness-causing bacteria to those foods and utensils that come into contact with it. Also, never pour its liquified fat down the drain when cooking ground beef. This can cause clogs and lead to future plumbing problems.

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Learn to make a genuine Thai Khao Hom Mali at home

Southeast Asia has many beautiful landscapes to offer and an interesting culture behind which can also be learnt through its food. As a region, it’s pretty diverse and every meal mirrors that diversity, so much so that you’ll find very simple dishes next to most intricate ones, not only in terms of ingredients but in terms of the elements used. 

What can’t be denied is the fact that they, sometimes, may be seen as weird and bizarre because of the combination of ingredients. However, the landscape offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and crops. That’s the reason why rice is such a staple element in this region. Moreover, this gastronomy is rich in seafood and herbs. All that combined gives as a result diverse textures and flavors. 

Rice types and Khao Hom Mali

Jasmine rice is a typical medium-grain rice type used in this gastronomy because of what its name describes: the fragrance it releases when cooked. It can be steamed or boiled, but, common to every recipe, as this type of rice is gummier and creamier than other kinds, the process of cooking has some specific steps. For example: you need to rinse it three or four times before cooking in order to get rid of most of the starch. Besides, once it is fully cooked and strained, you’ll need to move it around with the help of a fork so that the grains stay separate, otherwise, the rice will compact as it cools down.

However, the true secret to cooking rice is to know the proper water to rice ratio. In the case of Jasmine rice, you’ll need one cup of rice and 1¼ cup of water. Depending on the cooking method, this is generally the best way to do it. And last but not least, the heat should be low for the grain to cook evenly.

One country, one recipe

Now, as for jasmine rice recipes, as said, every region and country has its own delicacies to offer so, let’s focus on how to cook the rice first and you’ll find two Jasmine rice-based dishes you can make from different countries. Either of them will be a pleasure to make and eat.

How to cook Jasmine rice

Rinse the rice two or three times under abundant cold water.

Pour three cups of water and 2½ cups of Jasmine rice.

Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Once it boils, take the heat to low and cook for fifteen minutes.

A pro tip is to let it sit for five or ten minutes with the heat off and the lid on before serving or using.

Thai Basil Chicken

Ingredients:

2 cups of rice.

1 onion.

2 cups of ground chicken.

Soy sauce.

Fish sauce.

Fresh parsley.

Basil leaves.

2 tsp of salt.

2 tsp of pepper.

Preparation:

Preheat some oil in a wide saucepan and add the minced garlic and the diced Thai chili. Fry that for a minute and add some previously peeled and diced onions. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes.

Take the ground chicken to the pan and break it up with a fork. Fry it for at least five minutes or until it’s golden.

Pour some soy sauce and then some fish sauce. Mix and blend everything together. Keep frying for an extra two minutes. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir continuously.

Place some roughly chopped basil and fresh parsley.

When the chicken is ready, serve with the previously cooked Jasmine rice. 

Vegetable rice

Ingredients:

1 Onion.

2 cloves of garlic.

Ginger.

1 carrot.

Bay leaves.

Green beans.

1 cup of Jasmine rice.

Preparation:

In a wide pan, sauté some previously peeled and diced onions together with minced garlic and some ginger. Do so for a couple of minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Now, add a diced carrot, roughly cut bay leaves and some green beans.

In this case, you’ll cook the rice here, add the rice and toast it. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn.

Then add the right ratio of stock (you’ll save time if you have it already made).

Season the mix with a teaspoon of salt and one of black pepper. You can also use some paprika.

Bring the mix to a boil and at that point, reduce the heat, as explained before.

Turn the heat off and let everything rest for ten minutes before serving.

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Whetstone vs. Honing Steel: When Should You Use Them?

Honing steels and whetstones are essential tools to help you maintain sharp edges and the right balance for your kitchen blades. Not only that – using a dull blade can be downright dangerous.

Ensuring that all your knives are properly maintained will make chopping, slicing, and dicing relatively effortless – however, only using honing steel or a whetstone won’t do much good because you need to use both of these tools together to keep blades sharp and edges straight.

Whetstone and Honing Steel: What’s the Difference?

Whetstones are used to sharpen blades while honing steel realigns curled edges and straightens them out. Honing steel is often referred to as “sharpening steel,” but this is incorrect – honing steel does not sharpen blades.

When to Use a Whetstone

A whetstone is a flat, rectangular piece of stone. They are available in different sizes and gradients – like fine and coarse sandpaper. Oil stones are traditional whetstones that need to be coated in oil before use, but water stones need to be soaked in water. Water stones and oil stones both work well, but water stones make cleanup easier afterward. 

When your blades feel like they need to be sharpened, you should use a whetstone. If you’re a home chef who uses your knives often, you will usually have to sharpen them around twice a year. 

You can use either a grinder or a whetstone to sharpen blades, but whetstones are better because they won’t eventually destroy your blades after repeated sharpening. By using a whetstone, your blades will last you a lifetime. 

How to Use a Whetstone

When it comes to using a whetstone, practice makes perfect – don’t expect to be able to sharpen your blade perfectly on the first try. Over time, you’ll gain more control and learn the proper technique to use your whetstone correctly.

When you begin using a whetstone, try to hold the blade at a 20-degree angle. Begin by pulling the shaft toward you while the blade makes contact with the stone. 

When you are feeling more confident, you can push, pull, or move the blade around the stone by using small circular movements – just be careful not to push too hard, or you can dig the blade into the stone and damage both the stone and your blade.

Use a timer when you’re sharpening your blade on the whetstone because you need to sharpen the other blade for the same amount of time by using the same movements – this will give your blade balance and an ultra-sharp edge.

While you continue to work the blade over the whetstone, you’ll notice wet grime beginning to build up where the blade makes contact. Let the grime accumulate because it aids the sharpening process.

When to Use a Honing Steel

You should use honing steel to hone your blades after each. Every chop and slice can cause a small amount of damage to your blade – especially when you’re using it to chop vegetables on a hard surface or to slice bone. 

Because the knife is hitting a hard surface reputedly, small twists and bends begin to form quickly and these can throw your knife and shaft out of alignment. 

Honing will help keep the blade straight and repair any curling or damage caused by normal use. When you’re blade is properly aligned with its shaft, it will perform at its best, which will help you perform at your best in the kitchen, too.

It is important to remember, however, that honing steel is a maintenance tool, not a blade sharpener. 

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5 Impressive Science Recipe Hacks You Have To Try

Science is not limited to the laboratories, the beauty of science is all around us all of the time – we simply do not realize it. Foodies use the power of chemistry to improve their recipes in a new and exciting way. By incorporating these impressive science hacks into your recipes, you will learn to cook or bake faster and better. Science can make a remarkable difference to the quality of your cooking, so implement these five hacks the next time you are in the kitchen:


1. Defrost A Turkey Faster

Improve your cooking by using the power of science. Thanksgiving isn’t the same without a turkey, namely the deliciously stuffed kind. The best turkey stuffing is made with stale bread, but that is a different topic. Defrost your turkey faster by running it under cold water. Moving water defrosts faster and quicker than just plopping it in a sink filled with water.

2. Pasteurize An Egg

You will never have to shy away from making a recipe that calls for raw eggs ever again. Reduce your chances of contracting salmonella poisoning by pasteurizing your eggs in the shells. You can do this by boiling them in water heated to 140F, but no higher than that, or the eggs will start to cook. You can store pasteurized eggs in the fridge, just like regular eggs. This process will reduce or eliminate the microbial growth of bacteria so you can make your favorite dish without any problems.

3. Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

This fun liquid nitrogen experiment is a quick way to make delicious ice cream in no time. You need to be careful when experimenting with liquid nitrogen because it can cause injury if it is not properly used. This kind of ice cream is more delicious than regular ice cream because it is made quickly instead of slowly so it is notably silkier and smoother.


4. Perfect Eggs

Use the power of science to make perfect scrambled eggs. After many tests and trials, the consensus amongst the professionals for adding salt to eggs is to do it at the start. Beat the eggs together and add the salt, then leave the mix to rest for fifteen minutes before cooking them. Salt affects the taste of the dish and it also changes its chemical composition, so perfect timing is everything. Remember that with salt, cold enhances its saltiness and heat reduces it.

5. Pasta Like The Pros

The trick to cooking pasta like the professionals is to keep the water at a constant rolling boil. As pasta cooks, it rapidly releases starches that make it incredibly sticky. If your water is not at a boiling point, then your pasta will stick together and won't be properly cooked. By keeping it in rapidly boiling water, the pasta will be constantly moving so it won't stick together.

Cooking is a science of its own but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with different types of science in the kitchen. Different sciences often work hand in hand to create a better result so you don’t need to be afraid to try new things.

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4 Dishes that the Whole Family is Sure to Love

Making meals for a family is hard, let’s be honest. Not everyone likes the same things, and you may be craving something fancier, while the kids want chicken nuggets. If your family is made up of fussy eaters, then good luck trying to find a meal that will please everyone. Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ll be giving you a few staple dishes that even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy, and that your whole family – young and old – can have together. These are also incredibly easy to adjust according to dietary preferences, and certain elements can be left out if someone in your family doesn’t want to try something new.

Steak
Steaks are a classic dish in most families. Very few people who eat meat don’t like steak. It’s also great for adjusting to each person’s preference, as you can alter the cooking time of each steak to change how the steak is done. There are various ways of making steak, so you can make it several times a month without repeating a meal. While any steak will be a hit, what will really impress your family is if you make them a steak to outdo all other steaks: the Wagyu steak. Wagyu steak is one of the most beloved steaks, and you can even decide on whether you want American Wagyu vs. Japanese Wagyu.


Pasta
Pasta dishes are great. If you add in enough ingredients, you don’t even need to make sides, which means less dishes! Plus, there are so many different kinds of pasta to be found – from the types of pasta, to the sauce, to the key ingredients . . . You can make a different pasta dishes each week and never run out of ideas. We’d recommend sticking to the classic mac ‘n cheese if you want to make everyone happy, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try this baked feta pasta that has been making the rounds on TikTok.

Fish and Chips
If you’re looking for a simple meal that will please young and old, fish and chips is the way to go. Even children who claim that they don’t like fish are unable to resist the crispy golden batter of fried fish. Of course, you can buy frozen fish already in a batter, but if you want to make an impression you can always try one of these basic batters.

Chicken Parmesan
Chicken parmesan is a dish that is so easy to make, but tastes so good that people will think you’ve spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. Chicken parmesan consists of a breaded chicken breast covered with tomato sauce and a cheese of your choice. To make it more individual, you can be modify it by adding different sauces to each family member’s dish, according to what they like best. Chicken parmesan makes a great dinner that will leave the family satisfied and full. To really make it a dinner they’ll ask for again and again, add one of these simple side dishes.
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7 Reasons to Use a Service for Fresh and Ready Meals

Fresh and ready meals can transform your health objectives by bringing nutrition to the front of the priority list, without the hassle and extra time required for cooking and meal preparation. As a result of this excellent nutritional opportunity, it is important to invest time into selecting the best-prepared meal service to meet your needs. Like with other services, not all prepared meal companies are created equally. Therefore, if you seek meals you will eat and enjoy then you must know all considerations and avoidances.

The following will teach you seven reasons why you might want to try a meal service that offers fresh, healthy meals. 

One: Consumer-Friendly Packaging

Packaging that is excessive and not environmentally-friendly should be avoided. Also, BPA plastics are on the “do not use” list for the environment and your body, so you want to avoid them. That means you want to find meals prepared in modern, eco-friendly packaging that is BPA-free. These containers must be well-sealed and recyclable to minimize your environmental footprint. 

Two: Convenience

Some meal kits ship individually portioned ingredients, so you can cook your food easily at home without trips to the grocery store. If you desire convenience, then choose the prepared meal option. These are meals you can have delivered, refrigerate for future use, microwave, and eat out of the dish.

Three: Customer Service

Like with any product or service, customer service can make or break a company and a prepared meal business is no different. If any company does not value its customers and satisfaction over all else, then you must keep looking. 

Four: Easy-to-Read Information

If a fresh and ready meal service doesn’t provide accessible, easy-to-read nutritional information about all meals, it’s time to move. Having access to the nutritional information about what you consume delivers the insights required to meet nutrition and health goals. This is critical if you are following a specific diet, like Keto. 

Five: Flexibility

Many fresh and ready meal provides will not budget on your plan after signing up. However, part of eating healthier is finding what works and doesn’t so you are going to want to make changes. Therefore, if you need to change meal plans or put your plan on hold for a vacation, don’t opt for a service that does not allow changes. Instead, find a prepared meal service that offers flexibility in their plans and meal options. Request customer reviews and testimonials to set the expectation. 

Six: Healthy Ingredients

If you are utilizing a prepared meal service, then never pay for subpar ingredients. First and foremost, a prepared meal company is a business, many of which will compromise the final product for the consumer to save on their bottom line. Therefore, find companies that utilize local and organic produce and other ingredients. Search for services offering whole ingredients to maximize health benefits. 

Seven: Variety of Options

How boring would dinner be if you are eating the same meal three or four times per week? It’s certainly a good deterrent from reaching your nutritional goals. A fresh and ready meal service should allow you to choose the meals and not have them decided for you. That means, the best services provide a variety of choices ahead of time, not just one or two, so you can meet your goals and maintain a healthy biome.

In summary, healthy meal services can be a life-changing endeavor. With their nutritional deliciousness, you can free up time to focus on other healthy activities without ending up in the drive-thru line at 9 PM. To get the most out of a fresh and ready meal service, you must know when to pursue and when to run, while knowing exactly what to expect from the provider.

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How To Cook Chicken Thighs In An Air Fryer

If you haven't already hopped on the air fryer bandwagon, you better get with it! I have had one for about 6 months now, and use it every day, sometimes even a few times a day. It really is a very versatile kitchen appliance that every home cook needs. I recently decided to try some boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the air fryer for the first time. Normally I grill them either on my cast iron grill pan or the outdoor gas grill. I didn't feel like dealing with the pollen outside so I wanted to see how the air fryer would work.


I started with one package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fresh lime, and an assortment of dried seasonings. I simply washed the chicken with the fresh lime, and then rinsed and patted dry. I seasoned to my liking with my go-to spices. I also recently discovered Trader Joe's chili lime seasoning, and it has become a new must-have. If you are located near Trader Joe's, you have to grab a bottle!

After my chicken is seasoned, I set it aside for a bit while I heat the air fryer to 400° for five minutes. You can lightly spritz your chicken with olive oil if you are worried about them sticking to the basket, but I didn't have any issues. Place chicken in fryer basket according to how many you can fit for them to lay flat. Cook for 7 minutes, and flip. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until nicely brown. They come out super juicy and perfectly cooked! This was so much easier than using the grill.


Chicken thighs are so versatile and can be served with a variety of side dishes, or on top of a salad. We have been eating lower carb meals lately, so I threw together some delicious vegetable fried "rice" (riced cauliflower). What a tasty combination!


Don't forget to grab this chili lime seasoning from Trader Joe's. It's only $1.99 so I will be grabbing a few extra to stock up.

Be sure to check out these other recipes:


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How BI-LO Delivery By Shipt Saves Busy Families Time

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Shipt + BI-LO. All opinions are my own. 

Do you ever find yourself at home browsing recipes on Pinterest, and you find the perfect dinner or dessert recipe that you actually have all of the ingredients for? Yeah, me either. I always seem to be off by one or two ingredients. It's hard for me since I do not have access to a vehicle during the day, so this means waiting until after 5:30 before any of the working adults get home. By that time, it's too late to try to put dinner together after getting to and from the store.

I am so grateful to live in the age of technology where you can get just about anything you need, sometimes as quickly as you need it. Thankfully Shipt grocery delivery service is available for the days I can't get to the store right away. Shipt is a membership-based service that you can join with an annual or monthly subscription, and you can cancel at any time. I'm thrilled that they now deliver from BI-LO stores.

Right now if you become a new Shipt member, you can get 2-weeks of same-day delivery free, and receive a $20 credit on your first order from BI-LO! Who doesn't want FREE groceries? Now all of those recipes that I want to make can actually happen. Shipt grocery delivery is not only convenient since you don't have to leave your home, but it helps prevent all of those unnecessary purchases. I can't ever seem to not have that urge to buy things that are not on my list for a variety of reasons. Also, not having to make a trip to the grocery store is a huge time saver, especially for busy families.

I was super excited to make my first order from BI-LO using Shipt. This just happened to be one of those times where I seemed to have run out of so many of my kitchen and household staples at the same time. Also, since it is the baking season, I stocked up on a few baking supplies so I won't run into the issue of not having all of the ingredients for a recipe. But you know what? If I do run out it's no problem! I can just log into my Shipt account and make a quick delivery order, and receive my items in as soon as one hour. As long as I keep my order $35 or more, my delivery is free.



I feel like once you get Shipt delivery, there is no turning back. I enjoyed receiving my groceries from BI-LO, and I look forward to placing my next order. My Shipt shopper alerted me via text when she made it to BI-LO and asked if I needed any additional items. She shopped my order, and as soon as she was done, she texted me to let me know she was on the way to my home. You can start your Shipt account online or through their free app available through your phone's app store. Don't forget to take advantage of their special promotion to get your $20 credit to shop at BI-LO.


So now the question is which dessert or entree do I make first? I guess the next thing I need to work on is my meal planning. That's definitely not my favorite thing to do, but at least I can grocery shop in my pajamas! If you have any questions about BI-LO delivery by Shipt, leave me a comment or send an email. Thank you for stopping by today!
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Southern Caviar aka Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe

Over the years, I have been to several events where a special dish called "Southern Caviar" was on the buffet table. I have tried it a few times and loved it so much. If you've never tried it before, it's a flavorful and fresh dip/salsa/salad that you eat with tortilla chips. I recently got to thinking about making it myself and did a Pinterest search for recipes. I was overwhelmed by the number of recipes that popped up. I think I gave up after viewing so many and finally decided on a few that really looked delicious. 

I ended up using those recipes as a guide to making my own version. When I made it, I was afraid because it was A LOT. Trust me, we didn't have a whole lot left over once the family tried it. It is so good that you can't stop eating it. The best part is that it's easy to make with no cooking required, which is perfect during the hotter months. Check out the recipe below. 

Ingredients:
2 cans of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 bag of thawed frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup of finely diced cucumber
1/2 of a medium red onion finely minced
1 jalapeno seeded and finely minced
1 rib of celery finely diced
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
chopped cilantro to your taste, about 3 tbsp

Dressing:
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
5 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp of sugar

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Toss everything together and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Easy, huh?


You are supposed to let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, but some of us could not wait. It is so good with the scoopable variety of tortilla chips or even corn chips. This would be perfect on top of Jasmine rice and then topped with chopped avocado as a vegetarian bowl. Yum!

Check out these other delcious recipes:
The Perfect Potato Salad To Take To A Cookout
Perfect Margarita Recipe
4 Ingredient Greek Pasta Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!
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The Perfect Potato Salad To Take To A Cookout

I don't know about you, but I think the side dishes at a cookout are the best part of the meal. I admit I will often pass up the grilled meats for a plate of just sides. One of my all-time favorites is potato salad. That is one dish that not everyone can make well. The food snob in me judges other people's potato salad mighty hard. HA! Seriously though, I make an excellent one that everyone raves about. Today I am sharing my recipe with you all.

Ingredients: 

Red potatoes (about 6-7 medium size)
2 whole large eggs
Finely chopped red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, and Italian parsley
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
Dressing ingredients:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp yellow mustard
2 tbsp pickle relish
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
a few splashes of hot sauce (optional)

How to make it: 

Slice potatoes in even pieces, about 1/4 inch thick. I like to leave most of the skin on mine for added color and texture. Rinse and place them in a large pot of cold water. Salt generously! Place the 2 whole eggs on top of potatoes so they can cook at the same time. Boil until potatoes are fork tender about 10 minutes. Do not overcook! Scoop eggs out and place in ice water (this makes for easier peeling). Drain potatoes and place on a large plate or dish to cool down.


While potatoes cool, combine your dressing ingredients so that the sugar dissolves. Peel and chop the boiled eggs. Once the potatoes are mostly cool, you gently toss together all of your ingredients. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Be careful with adding salt since your potatoes should already be salty and the dressing ingredients have salt in them. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Enjoy!


Quick tips:
If you do not care for mayo, you can substitute it with fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt.
You can customize your vegetables or add-ins by using celery, carrots, bacon, or whatever you fancy.

This potato salad recipe took me a few years of tweaking and perfecting and is what I have been using for years. I'm often asked to bring it to a cookout or party. I love that you can make it ahead of time so there is no stress on the day you need it. I hope you try my recipe. Thanks for stopping by today!

You may also like:
Best Deviled Eggs Recipe
The Perfect Margarita Recipe
Shelly's Easy & Moist Meatloaf
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The Best Keto Pizza

We have been steadily working on eating fewer carbs and lower sugar in our house. Of course, there are those days when we crave a good old-fashioned slice of pizza. I decided to try a keto pizza using a basic low-carb mozzarella (fat head dough) recipe. I have heard others say that it is just as good as traditional pizza, and it turns out that they are right! The vegetable pizza I made surpassed my expectations. Even my daughters were super impressed. If you are living the lower carb lifestyle, you must try this pizza recipe.



Ingredients: 

1 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup almond flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch of salt (optional)

For the toppings:
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
fresh spinach
shredded mozzarella
pizza sauce (you can use low sugar)

Extra items you need:
Parchment paper
Rolling pin
Pizza pan or flat cookie sheet
wooden spoon

Directions:

Heat oven to 425° and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. In a microwaveable bowl, heat mozzarella and cream cheese until melted, about one minute. With a wooden spoon, quickly mix in the rest of the ingredients. You need to then use your hands to combine the dough a bit more so all ingredients are better incorporated. Next, place dough ball between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll dough into desired shape. Transfer dough to baking sheet and poke holes all over the surface with a fork. Now place in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. You will see it start to brown quickly in the last couple of minutes. 

Remove from oven and top with pizza sauce, vegetables, and cheese. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until you reach the desired color and cheese is melted. You can sprinkle some crushed red chili flakes if desired. Slice and enjoy!


You can add any toppings you like, but if you do use any meats, be sure they are precooked since the final baking is just enough to melt the cheese. This pizza, paired with chicken wings cooked in the air fryer will be our new Friday night dinner to replace takeout. I'm surprised by how easy is to make!

Be sure to check out these other low carb and Keto recipes:

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Simple Fried Mushrooms In The Air Fryer

One of my most favorite times of year is when the South Carolina State Fair comes to Columbia. I used to enjoy the rides in my younger days, but now it is all about the food. I don't think anyone goes to the State Fair with the expectation of eating healthy food. If you do, you might be going to the wrong place! One of my state fair must-haves, aside from the sweet treats, is the deep-fried mushrooms. You can smell them cooking from what seems like a mile away. As much as I love them, I do find that I start feeling a little queasy after a while because the oily fried taste starts to get to me. 

I got an air fryer a few months ago and decided to experiment and make my own "fried" mushrooms at home. They were so simple and delicious that I knew I had to share the recipe. You can't go wrong with the perfect crispness without the grease or guilt. 

Ingredients:

fresh mushrooms, cleaned with stems trimmed and cut in quarters
egg, slightly beaten with a little salt and pepper
seasoned bread crumbs
extra virgin olive oil

How to make them:

Preheat air fryer to 400° for up to five minutes. Dip your mushrooms into beaten egg, then coat in bread crumbs. Once your mushrooms are breaded, carefully add them into your fry basket. Spray with olive oil or whatever oil you choose. Cook for 4 minutes and then shake basket to toss mushrooms around. Let them cook for about 4 more minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ranch or condiment of your choice.


Tip: You can add a little grated parmesan to your bread crumbs for a bolder taste. You can also use this recipe for other vegetables like zucchini. I also recommend getting an oil spray bottle like this one for your olive oil. It has been the best thing to use with my air fryer since cooking sprays can cause damage to the unit, and olive oil is healthier.

If you have an air fryer and love mushrooms, you have to try this recipe. If you don't have an air fryer, you are missing out!

Also, check out:
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs 
Perfect Greek Pasta Salad
The Best Keto Pizza

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Shelly's Easy And Moist Meatloaf

Do you ever crave a hearty home cooked meatloaf dinner? I never used to be a huge fan of meatloaf, because it always seemed to come out too dry or rubbery in texture. That has changed since I have played around with recipes over the years and finally perfected it. My recipe is easy since you will probably have most of the ingredients on hand.


Shelly’s Easy and Moist Meatloaf


  • 2- 2 ½ pounds ground beef (chuck)
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced finely
  • Fresh herbs (I use basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. You don’t need a lot, like a sprig of each, and use what you prefer) 
  • Finely diced jalapeno to taste (like half of a small one with seeds removed)
  • 2 slices of white bread (torn into tiny bits)
  • ½ cup milk
  • Dry seasonings of your choice (Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc) Here are my favorites
  • A few dashes of steak sauce (optional)
  • A few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
  • ½ cup Ketchup


Heat oven to 350 degrees. I like to lightly saute the onion and garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil first, then add jalapeno and herbs. Empty on to small plate and set aside to cool down for 5 minutes. In large bowl, add ground beef, seasonings, sauteed veggies, bread crumbs, and milk. Mix everything together by hand and form into loaf shape, and place into loaf pan. Cover the top with ketchup. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit about 15 minutes before slicing.


Tips: You can line loaf pan with parchment paper for easier removal and cleanup.
Be sure you do not overcook or you will not have a juicy meatloaf.

This delicious meatloaf goes nicely with traditional mashed potatoes, or mashed cinnamon brown sugar sweet potatoes, and fresh green beans or asparagus. Oh, and the leftovers make the most scrumptious sandwich the next day!

Check out these other delicious recipes:


Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by.
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All About Butter

If you are going to be cooking and baking this holidays season using real butter, you should take a look at this helpful infographic. You can also read more here regarding butter grades and standards. 

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How To Prevent Your Turkey From Looking Pale Without Overcooking It

We've all seen it all over social media. The curse of the pale turkey. It's not pretty at all. I admit that I panic every year when it comes to roasting a turkey. I have finally gotten a good handle on how to bake it to the perfect crisp, golden brown while making sure it's super juicy, and fully cooked.
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My first bit of advice it to ditch the baking bags or aluminum foil to cover the entire bird. Using either of those steams your turkey, and sometimes makes for a chewy, rubbery texture. The entire process really comes down to using the correct oven temperature, as well as baking your turkey with an oven-safe meat thermometer.

Here is the simple breakdown of what I do 

Start with a fresh or fully thawed turkey. Remove the giblets and neck, and discard. Next,  wash the turkey with citrus juice (usually lemon or lime) inside and out. Rinse it well, and dry with paper towels. I use a heavy turkey roasting pan with a rack so that the turkey sits up higher, and the underside gets brown as well. Heat your oven to 325 degrees.

I blend together a small bowl of dry seasonings such as salt, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, Complete seasoning, black pepper, cayenne, and a variety of dried herbs. I sprinkle the seasoning blend all over the outside of the turkey, as well as the cavity, and under the skin of the breast. I also rub some room temperature butter under the skin of the breast, and all over the bird. Next, you tuck your wings under the back, and insert your meat thermometer in the deepest part of the breast. Place your turkey on the rack breast side up, and pour one can of chicken or vegetable stock in the bottom of roasting pan. I also add some rough chopped onion and celery on bottom of roaster, and inside the cavity for extra flavor.

Now you place turkey in preheated oven and leave it for the first hour. Baste with the drippings from the bottom of pan every 30 minutes until your thermometer reaches the correct temperature for turkey which is 190 degrees. I tend to loosely cover the breast area and wings with foil to prevent over browning. For a turkey between 15-18 pounds, it should take around 3 and 3/4 to 4 hours to fully cook. When you remove your turkey from oven, cover completely with foil and let it rest for a good 15-20 minutes before carving. I use the drippings to make homemade gravy.

If you are planning to roast a turkey this holiday season, follow these directions. You will have a perfectly juicy, golden-brown masterpiece you will feel proud to serve your family and guests. I freeze the drumsticks, and wings for later use to make soup. I hope you and your family have a great holiday season! Thanks for stopping by.



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