Friday Favorites: 5/26/16

by admin on May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial weekend. Any big plans?
We’re in the mountains where we will be spending the long weekend with my parents. Jason and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary tomorrow with a couples massage and dinner and the rest of the weekend we will be kicking off summer in the best way possible. Weather permitting, we plan on listening to bluegrass music on the lawn at one of the local restaurants, grilling burgers and picnicking at the park. I love summer and am welcoming it with open arms. Bring on the hot weather and longer days. (I may be singing a different tune come August)
Wishing you all a safe, relaxing, and fun holiday weekend.


7 One-Dish Chicken Dinners

I’ll take one of each: Toast 4 different ways

My Buffalo Cauliflower Bites were posted on Foodgawkers website. I’ve only had a handful of recipes accepted on here so I was pretty excited when I found out this one made the cut.

25 of the Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Summer Reading Guide from

I just finished the Young Adult novel Tell Me Three Things and loved it. It’s a story about grieving, moving on, friendship and learning how to have confidence in yourself. The author includes a lot of humor throughout the book and the the main story line will keep you turning the pages. Here’s a short summary taken from the back of the book:
After a lot of life changes, everything about Jessie feels all wrong Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?
In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Bloodline starts back tonight…I. Cannot. Wait. !

Favorite Pins:

Thai Peanut Chicken, Edamame and Quinoa Stir-Fry- Ambitious Kitchen


Linguine With Mint Pesto and Corn– A Thought For Food


Healthy Flourless Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Cake– The Big Man’s World


Banana Cream Pie (Vegan and GF)- Minimalist Baker


Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Muffins- Running With Spoons
My friend already made these and  highly recommended them





Sonoma, California

by admin on May 23, 2016

I went MIA from the blog last week and am just now finding the time to sit down and catch you all up. Jason’s company was hosting a work event in Sonoma and since spouses were encouraged to come I happily agreed to go as long as Parker could come along on the trip as well. Since I’m nursing right now, not to mention he’s only three months old, being away from him for 5 days wasn’t really in the cards for me. Scottie on the other hand was happy to stay at home knowing she was staying at her grandparents house and seeing her cousins, as well as a few other family members throughout the week. We received pictures daily of her having the very best time on her own little vacation, which is always nice to see when your away. Since Jason and I had events and dinners to attend to daily we asked our favorite sitter if she was up for the trip and she happily accepted. I can’t say flying across the country with a three month old was easy, and between caring for him, the time change and all the work related activities I left feeling like I needed a vacation from the vacation. Regardless, it was nice to get away and spend a little bit of time with my man and a few days in beautiful wine country.


sonoma 3

This was our second trip out to Sonoma ( You can see the recap from our first trip here and here) and I loved it just as much this time around. It’s such a beautiful part of the country and I feel like I could drive for days just looking at the scenery. The hundreds of wineries is pretty appealing as well. We were able to try out a few different wineries on our visit and our favorite that we came across was Kamen Estate Wines. They had some of the best wines we have ever tasted and since they don’t distribute any of their wines and  have a limited number of cases we bought a few bottles to bring home and open at a later time.  They have a winery as well as a little shop in Sonoma’s town square, which is where we found them. I highly recommend checking them out if you have the chance.

sonoma 2



Most of our meals were handled by Jason’s company and were catered to feed a large crowd of people but we did get a chance to check out two local restaurants while we were there. My favorite meal happened on our last night at Cafe La Haye. We had an unbelievable dining experience consisting of four different courses, each paired with a different wine, and all of us raved on how wonderful the food and service was. The restaurant is small and intimate and I imagine reservations are a must, especially during the busy season.

Prior to the trip we were able to pick one group activity to attend, so Jason and I went with the hike through one of the vineyards. This ended up being one of our favorite parts of the trip as it made us appreciate even more the beauty of the land and the art that goes into making wine. The hike took place at Kunde Winery and it included a few tastings throughout the hike and a packed lunch overlooking the countryside.


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This is one trip I could make over and over and we’ve already started talking about when we’re going back. There are always new wineries to visit as well as new releases to taste and hopefully next time we can venture out to see some of the other regions. So, until then……….








It’s the 21st of May which means it’s time for this months Recipe ReDux post. With Memorial weekend coming up next week this months theme is perfect for those of us who approach these summer months in a more casual and laid back manner.

May 2016 – Theme

Small Plates For Sunny Days
 Small bites are perfect for trying many different tastes. Take tapas style eating outside for al fresco dining or a simple picnic. Or maybe you’re serving small bites at a bridal or baby shower or a graduation party. Show us your healthy take on small plates and finger foods.

Tapas-style meals are my favorite since it gives me the opportunity to try several different foods at once. One of my favorite restaurants here in Charlotte offers a tapas-style menu featuring seasonal and local produce and we love to go so we can order an assortment of dishes from the menu to share.  Whatever the mood you’re in, tapas dinners are perfect for a date night, casual dinner with friends, or even a girls night out.IMG_2712

 I made these finger-licking good buffalo cauliflower bites for this months redux challenge. Unlike traditional buffalo chicken wings this vegetarian (and vegan) approved version is fewer in fats and calories. Not only is it a great way to fill up on veggies but cauliflower is full of Vitamin C and fiber making for a healthy and nutritious small bite appetizer to share. These buffalo bites are covered in a spicy sauce and baked until golden and crunchy on the outside. They’re highly addicting with just a touch of spice balanced perfectly when dipped into the creamy “blue cheese” dressing.IMG_2728

I loved the way this “blue cheese” dressing turned out and even the hubs was finding ways he could use up the leftovers. It taste very similar to traditional blue cheese dressing but much better for you. It’s dairy and soy free making it the perfect alternative for a paleo and vegan diet and for those who, like me, need to eliminate these items for various reasons.


Buffalo Cauliflower Bites With Vegan "Blue Cheese" Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • Buffalo Cauliflower Bites:
  • 1 Medium Head of Cauliflower florets
  • ⅓ cup Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅔ cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter, melted (or other Butter of your choosing)
  • Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing:
  • ½ cup vegenaise (vegan mayo)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • pinch of salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the vegan dressing in a small bowl and set aside. You can prepare this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use,( I found that I enjoyed it even more the next day)
  2. For the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites:
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil and set aside.
  4. Combine water, flour and garlic powder in a bowl, mixing until well combined.
  5. Coat the cauliflower florets with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes tossing halfway through. .
  6. While the cauliflower is baking combine the hot sauce with the melted butter . When the cauliflower finishes baking pour the hot sauce over the florets, fully coating all the pieces. Bake 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve with the Vegan "Blue Cheese" Dressing for dipping


Friday Favorites: 5/13/16

by admin on May 13, 2016

Happy Friday the 13th. I hope the day is treating you all well. I’m getting this post out much later than usual as this week has been crazy. We have a big trip planned for next week but I will get into that more in next weeks Friday Favorites post. Lets just say its leaving me feeling both nervous and excited as it will be Parker’s first time in an airplane. Last night we took Scottie to see Daniel Tiger Live and she loved it. It made me realize we don’t do enough activities like that, especially now that Scottie is getting older and understands a whole lot more. Since the show was uptown we ended up grabbing dinner at a restaurant near the theater and sitting outside. It was a really nice evening and it made me really excited for summer and all the fun things we have going on.
In true Friday fashion I’m here to share a few of my favorite things from the week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Spring’s Hottest Breakout Novels

30 Books You Should Read In 2016

I love food and I love yoga so of course I’m loving this new e-book Nourish Your Namaste that Kara, one of my fellow Recipe Redux members wrote.

100 + Healthy Lunch Recipes

This wine and popcorn pairing to get you ready for the season finale of Scandal or your next movie night.

SkinnyPop Wine

Favorite Pins

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps- Bev Cooks


Baked Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes– Skinnytaste


Chicken and Avocado Burritos– Closet Cooking

Chicken Avocado Burritos 800 9572

Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie– PaleOMG



Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl

by admin on May 11, 2016

I eat sushi almost every single week and if I had it my way I could possibly change that to every single day. Considering it can be pretty pricey and I’m to lazy and impatient to try rolling and cutting my own roll, eating it in a bowl is an easy way to get my sushi fix. I think most of us can agree that everything is better in bowl form and this deconstructed sushi bowl gives me the same fresh and flavorful taste I love and crave.


In order to stick with tradition I used rice as my base and since brown rice is a healthier option that’s what I chose but feel free to change it out for white rice or even quinoa. According to the sushi selection at whole foods wrapping rolls with quinoa is a thing and I can’t say I hate the idea. This bowl packs all the essentials needed for a well balanced and nutritious meal; whole grains, healthy fats, protein, and Omega 3’s along with other various vitamins and minerals.


I wanted to keep this bowl as simple as possible for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Since I almost always have smoked salmon in the house that’s what I used but you can replace it for raw sushi grade fish like salmon or tuna. If you do use raw fish make sure your fish is coming from a good source. To take this bowl to a whole new level I topped it off with a spicy vegan aioli. It adds creaminess to the bowl with just a touch of spice. If you like things really spicy you can add more sriracha to fit your taste. The good thing about this meal is that its easily adaptable based on personal preference and ingredients you have on hand. Have fun with it and let me know if you come up with other good combinations.



Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1½ cups brown rice, cooked
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon
  • ½ avocado, cut into slices
  • ½ cup frozen shelled edamame
  • ⅔ cup shredded carrots
  • toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
  • For the Spicy Vegan Aioli:
  • ¼ cup vegenaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  1. If you haven't already cooked your rice, do so according to the instructions on the box/bag.
  2. Meanwhile, add the edamame into a bowl and warm in the microwave, Shred, or slice the carrots and prepare the avocado by cutting the avocado in half, removing the pit and slicing.
  3. In a small bowl add the vegenaise, sriracha, and lime juice, mixing until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds by adding them to a dry skillet on medium heat and stirring often. (3-5 minutes is all it takes).
  5. Once all the toppings have been prepared you can start building your bowl. First divide the rice evenly among two bowls. Top with the shredded carrots, avocado slices, edamame and smoked salmon. Before serving drizzle each bowl with the spicy aioli and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over top.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl Calories: 559.2 Fat: 29.9 Saturated fat: 2.8 Carbohydrates: 48.3 Sugar: 4.7 Sodium: 1,463 Fiber: 7.3 Protein: 20 Cholesterol: 13