Sunday, June 29, 2014

Paris of the South Pasta and Why Asheville is Calling Me #AVLWineFest

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I'll never forget the day that I first heard about Asheville.  I had just landed a job at a prestigious college in Montecito, CA, and my boss said he was heading there the next day for a conference.  My first thought was, where in the world is Asheville (we didn't have Google back then).  And my next was, is there actually life outside of California?

Now, I'll admit this was almost 16 years ago... back before being voted the freakiest city in America by Rolling Stone Magazine.  And way before Obama not only helped put Asheville on the map, but also one of my favorite rib places.  And don't even get me started on your beer, dear Asheville.

But even then, Asheville was calling me.  Little did I know that three months later, just like their (completely brilliant and spot on) recent ad campaigns asks, "Asheville is calling... will you answer?"  I would.  And I did.  And we packed up the cars, and headed South.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

{Videos} How to Save Big at Harris Teeter Super Doubles This Week- Including Organic Products (June 2014)

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It's another week of Super Doubles at Harris Teeter, and so far it's been the best yet.  Here are the videos of my shopping trips from the last three days, including all the coupon matchups.

The sale runs through Tuesday, July 1, and some of the products include organic and natural food and personal care items like meat, organic eggs and baby food.  And my personal favorite- organic cold-pressed Evolution Orange Juice.

For more information on how to coupon, click here.  And watch on to learn how you can save money for you and your family.  Plus, be able to easily give to those in need.

Happy Couponing!


Video #1 Coupon Matchups
(*Note- items with a date and RP, SS or PG are from past Sunday newspaper coupons.  RP= Red Plum, SS= Smart Source, PG= Procter & Gamble)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Video} 3 Healthy, Quick Dinners 6/23/14- Roast Pork Lo Mein, Broccoli Leek Soup, Perfect Roast Chicken #3DinnersAWeek

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There's something so satisfying about trying a new recipe and having it become an instant hit.

And this week I had two... a really fun Roast Pork Lo Mein using leftover roast pork tenderloin, and whatever veggies we had in the fridge.  Plus a soup that was so good, that my Man even asked for seconds.  Super fresh and healthy, and no cream.  And on day 3, I made an old favorite, Roast Chicken.  A dish that just feels like home to me... not to mention, one of the simplest dinners when it comes to preparation and clean up.

Watch on to learn more about these go-to-meals, perfect for busy weeknights.  And to learn more about 3 Dinners a Week, click here.


Recipes

Day 1-

Roast Pork Lo Mein- I adapted my recipe from this one, except I changed up the sauce a bit.  I used olive oil instead of sesame oil, and added a bit of red pepper flakes instead of hot chili sauce.  I also added the juice of one lime, to add even more depth of flavor.  And to the veggies, I added in sliced celery, and left out the sesame seeds (since I didn't have any on hand).

Day 2-

Broccoli Leek Soup

3 c. fresh broccoli florets
1 large leek, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
32 oz. chicken broth
Salt and Pepper
Red pepper flakes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil

In a skillet, add olive oil and sliced leeks.  Saute until the leeks are soft and then add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  To a large pot, add in the leek and garlic mixture, the broccoli and chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is soft.  Add in the lemon juice, and check for seasonings.

Pour the entire mixture into a blender, making sure not to go over 3/4 full (as the hot soup will expand), and blend until smooth.  Serve.

Pan Fried Rosemary Steaks

Day 3-

Roast Chicken- Clean out the cavity of a whole chicken and pat dry both the inside and out.  Salt and pepper inside the cavity.  Then on the outside drizzle on some olive oil and rub around the skin.  Then salt and pepper the outside.  Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 50 minutes or until the breast meat reaches 160 degrees.  Let rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes, and serve.


*If you'd like to see more of my #3DinnersAWeek videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

PopSugar Must Have June 2014 Unboxing and Are Subscription Boxes Really Worth it?

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Growing up, there was nothing quite so exhilarating as opening the mailbox to discover stacks of shiny catalogs, magazines, and letters from friends and family.  You know, the kind on stationary... written with an actual pen.

But these days, with catalogs and magazines now easily found online.  And e-mails and e-cards saving mailing time... and stamps.  What used to be my excited skip to get the mail, has now turned to more of a reluctant walk, primarily finding bills, junk mail, and more bills.

And then came the subscription box.  And there was finally a little bit more joy in my mailbox.  And man, this last year especially, they've become popular.  Satisfying just about any hobby or passion from food, travel, beeauty, eco-friendly, knitting and crafts, to even treats and toys for your pet. 

But are they worth the hype... and the cost?

Read on to see what was in this month's very popular PopSugar box.  Plus my thoughts on the products and subscription boxes in general.


Emily Griffin's The One & Only- $28- This was a nice surprise, and something you don't often see in a subscription box.  I am a slow reader, so it will be a while until I can give you a review of the book.  But, with Summer here, there will be plenty of opportunities to read, especially when we head to the beach.  Plus, the story sounds good, as I'm always one who loves a good book surrounding sports, even though I'm not an actual sports person.


Lollies Basic Hair Ties- $8- Hair ties always come in handy, and what a cute design!  I especially love these since I often wear hair ponytail holders on my wrist before yoga class (so I don't forget).  And these are so fancy they could actually pass as bracelets.  I've worn these, and they are great, even for my fine hair.  Plus, the thickness and material is substantial enough to not pull or break my hair.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tuscan Chicken Meatballs, Artichokes and Spinach Skillet and a Day 2 Soup #HealthyLuxeMeals

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If I could pick my ultimate favorite food, it would have to be artichokes.  Dipped in mayonnaise.

Yes, you read that right, mayo.  And yes, I should try to sound a bit more sophisticated and call it an aioli.  Although the two really are different, as an aioli is just garlic and olive oil- no egg. But when it comes down to it, I like mine simple.  Steamed and dipped in Hellman's mayo.  No fancy stuff needed to achieve pure artichoke bliss in my world.

But, here in the South, artichokes can be hard to come by, and they can be really expensive.  So, I finally gave in, and tried artichoke hearts out of the can.  And you know what?  They're delicious.  And I don't mean the marinated kind, but the ones packed in water that you can easily find at places like Target or Whole Foods.

Monday, June 9, 2014

{Video} 3 Healthy, Quick Dinners 6/9/14- Award Winning Chicken Lasagna Petals, Roast Hash, Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Mango Bacon Jam #3DinnersAWeek

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Leftovers are more like a luxury, in my home... meaning less time cooking, less money spent, and less dishes to do.

And this week, I bring you my Paula Deen Contest Winning Lasagna Petals using leftover poached chicken.  Then, my Roast Hash, which used all the leftover fruits and veggies in my fridge.  And finally, my Roast Pork Tenderloin, which I'll use the leftovers for stir-fries, sandwiches, and in salads this week.

Watch on to learn more about these go-to meals, perfect for busy weeknights.  And to learn more about 3 Dinners a Week, click here.




Recipes

Monday, June 2, 2014

{Video} 3 Healthy, Quick Dinners- 6/2/14 Greek Baked Chicken, Parmesan Crusted Lamb Chops, Turkey Burgers and Candied Tomatoes #3DinnersAWeek

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This week, I bring you three of my simplest, most requested, and my own personal favorite dinners!

Each so full of flavor, and beautiful in color... and did I tell you they're healthy too?

Watch on to learn more about these go-to meals, perfect for busy weeknights.  And to learn more about 3 Dinners a Week, click here.




Recipes