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Recent Posts

Traditional Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe: All Fired Up For St. Pat’s

Traditional Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe: All Fired Up For St. Pat’s

St. Patrick’s Day means a lot to us down here in Savannah. You know. Leprechauns, green eye shadow and hair, shamrocks everywhere, green food, green fountains, lotsa lotsa beer and booze, more leprechauns, beads, and a few more leprechauns thrown in for good measure. The […]

What’s a Griddle Cake?: Your Query Answered With A Savory Griddle Recipe

What’s a Griddle Cake?: Your Query Answered With A Savory Griddle Recipe

I won’t make you wait that long. A griddle cake is a PANCAKE. Mystery solved. Your welcome. But if you stop reading now you won’t get the juicy details leading up to my deliciously divine recipe: Savory Three Meat n’ Cheese Griddle Cake Topped with […]

Greenhouse Educational Programs: Sustainable Greenhouse “E.34” in Savannah Georgia

Greenhouse Educational Programs: Sustainable Greenhouse “E.34” in Savannah Georgia

I stumbled upon this cool little building while researching one of my last posts on coffee. And by researching I mean drinking… a cup…of coffee. If you read that post you’d remember me saying that the coffee shop was in an area of town “leaning” into revitalization. By leaning into, I mean make SURE you’re aware of your surroundings at all times whilst skipping through the streets sucking down your cold brew.

While driving off from the local coffee roaster I found myself saying aloud, “Wut is thaaaaat?!” and literally stopped my car in the middle of the road. After I made sure the coast was clear, I jerked my car into reverse and pulled to the curb to check out this curious building.

To my right was this guy:

What a super cool idea in a neighborhood that really needs some love. I decided to do a bit of googling. This particular project was the brainchild of a SCAD student, Meagan Hodges, via her masters final project and was brought to life by a local non-profit called Emergent Structures. This organization firstly aids in collaborations between developers, architects, engineers, local government, and property owners and teaches them how to replace common parochial construction demo with sustainable deconstruction.

Several local and nationwide businesses contributed to this awesome cause. IKEA was the largest contributor to the project with notable help from business’ such as Guerry Lumber, Gulfstream, Southern Pine Company, Savannah Technical College, and even Whole Foods.

Their aim is to reduce waste by re-purposing materials such as old timber from dilapidated houses, slabs of granite and marble, and even bath tubs. These materials are used to build structures such as this greenhouse located within an area of Savannah known as a food desert.

This structures intended use is for an agricultural training center for Savannah teens with special needs. The training is provided by Meagan’s local non-profit organization called Design For Ability which trains teens in the area of green jobs.

If you’re in the area and would like to stop by you can find the greenhouse off E. Broad Street and 34th. I think the YouTube video provided below can better explain what the project is all about and how it’s meant to benefit the local surrounding community here in Savannah.

This is such a noble cause. If you’d like to find out more about Emergent Structures and other projects they’re working on or to learn how you can possibly collaborate with them you can find them at: http://emergentstructures.org/

There’s so much you can learn about your community by just driving around it! It’s funny how we get caught up in the day of work, and busy schedules, and family that we somehow forget to look AROUND us. There’s so many things going on around us it’s nice to be reminded that there’s more to this life than what’s going on in mine alone.

What local projects or nonprofits have your heart? Have you ever been a part of something like this that benefits your local community? I’d love to hear about it! Any comments, thoughts, suggestions just leave below!:)

Southern Biscuits With Sausage Gravy

Southern Biscuits With Sausage Gravy

I guess my website will just have to fit into that category of healthy-ish…well in this case…NOT healthy-in any way, shape, or form. But it’s southern, as am I, and a pretty popular breakfast dish here in Georgia. I actually did not grow up eating […]

Georgia Coffee Roasters: Perc Coffee of Savannah

Georgia Coffee Roasters: Perc Coffee of Savannah

If you’ve ever ventured into a coffee shop here in Savannah you may have happened upon an amazing cup of coffee that just so happened to be roasted in a local company called Perc. What I didn’t realize was that Perc (besides selling wholesale to […]

Easy Ham And Potato Casserole: Comfort Food At Its Finest

Easy Ham And Potato Casserole: Comfort Food At Its Finest

I made this dish not too long ago on a whim and kinda threw it together one afternoon for a weeknight meal. It was awesome and I (and my family) gave myself a pat on the back. The next day I realized I didn’t write anything down about the dish and kicked myself for not thinking ahead. This week I thought about that casserole again when my mom had a plate of spiral ham leftover from dinner. This time I wrote everything down and I’m sure you’re gonna love it. It’s a favorite combo of ham, broccoli, potatoes, and cheese. It’s topped with a few ritz crackers for crunch and a little more cheese.

This recipe is easy to put together because of time saving things like leaving the potatoes unpeeled and using packaged shredded cheese. If you’re really in a crunch for time you can sub in frozen broccoli (after a quick thaw under cold water) rather than using fresh and just mix it in the casserole right before baking it.

Easy Ham And Potato Casserole

*4 medium Russet Potatoes, (skins on) diced into 1/2″ cubes

*1/2 pound broccoli florets, cut in half (or bite size pieces)

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*1 cup ham, diced

*1/2 stick butter

*3 Tablespoons flour

*1 teaspoon salt

*1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

*2 cups milk

*2 cups shredded cheese/ divided ( I use a mix of cheeses, your call)

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set to side. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover (over 2″ above) diced potatoes in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan with cool water and about 1/4 cup salt. Bring water to boil.

In a separate sauce pot melt butter and gently stir in flour and seasonings. Cook about a minute and a half until bubbling and fragrant. Slowly add (while continuously stirring) the milk. Turn heat on medium high and continue to stir until bubbling. Turn off heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Stir until smooth.

Creamy Cheese Sauce Complete

Once potatoes are almost fork tender, drop in fresh broccoli and cook two minutes. Strain.

Heading for the oven

Stir together potatoes and broccoli, ham, and cheese sauce and pour into prepared dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and Ritz crackers.

Bake for 25 minutes and turn oven up to 400°. Bake another 5 minutes until casserole is bubbly and golden brown. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

What are your go to weeknight meals? Please share them below!

Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep: Meal Plan And Recipes

Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep: Meal Plan And Recipes

This week has been a doozy. Besides work and social “thangs,” I’ve also been researching how I wanted to do this whole “better eating thing.” If you’ve read any of my stuff before you know that I am a bit of sweetaholic. My dentist can […]

List of Fiber Foods: How much do we need?

List of Fiber Foods: How much do we need?

It’s funny how sometimes you know you’re on the right track with something because everything around you somehow matches up or brings forth new info or knowledge pertaining to the exact thing you’re already working on. It’s like the universe is saying a big “Yaaaaasssss” […]

The Mediterranean Diet For Beginners: Eat Delicious Food And Feel Better!

The Mediterranean Diet For Beginners: Eat Delicious Food And Feel Better!

I know it’s the New Year and that’s not the reason for this post…well, for the most part. I’ve been wanting to change my diet for quite some time now. The keywords here are change my diet “lifestyle.” As in, the way I eat, from here on out. That’s the number one problem for most people when they say they are going on a diet. It immediately imprints the negative connotation of going without. Restricting oneself. That is the opposite of what I want.

This post actually started out as an outline of how to eat Paleo on a budget. I thought it was a pretty necessary topic especially since I was considering the Paleo way of eating. I’ve heard of this “diet” (like most of you) for quite some time now and have been curious about it for quite some time as well. I’m curious about a lot of diets actually, because I feel that I should FEEL better. I’m in my thirties, thin, physically active and I’m surrounded by my loved ones. I’m blessed, truly. But I also know that I should and that I CAN feel better than I feel.

Most days, (as energetic as I may come off to people) I feel like I’m walking around in a fog. I wake up groggy, spend the better part of my morning groggy, with the exception of those days when I throw back a couple of

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My early morning mmmmmmmm.

sugar packed coffees (or perhaps even a energy drink). I own books and cookbooks about going wheat free, gluten free, becoming a vegetarian, you name it! But I’ve yet to fully take that plunge. I know it’s fear. Fear of the unknown.

What do YOU have to fear?

I ask myself this too. I guess the fear of going without. I know how much I cherish that little cup of joe in the morning. I also know I won’t have to (at least I don’t think) cut that from my morning routine. I will however have to remove that heaping teaspoon (maybe tablespoon-please don’t judge :0) of granulated sugar that I dump into my cup. Coffee with no sugar??? Bleck!! Supposedly I’ll “taste more of the subtle nuances the coffee will offer without the sugar.” Blah blah blah.

I’ve noticed that my mood over the last few years has gotten more and more roller coastery and I’m really not a fan of those kinds of coasters (neither are my family members). So, here I am staring at my computer screen again, researching diets. I actually purchased two books on Amazon, “Practical Paleo,” and “Deep Nutrition.” The Practical Paleo diet is an updated version and besides the stellar reviews that I read I especially like that the author includes meal plans as well as pantry stocking guides for the novice paleo person….me.

Researching My Options

While I waited for my book to make it’s way to my doorstep I decided to look up the basics for a Paleo based diet. Basically it is consuming all lean meats, heavy on the veggies and some fruit, and no refined sugar or wheat products as well as a no on dairy products. I’m actually fine on the no’s of this diet..for the most part. I can do almond milk in my cereal with no problem. Besides, the main thing I want to cut from my diet is SUGAR. That’s my weakness. I think that’s most people’s weakness. Sugar. Besides that spoon of sugar I throw in my coffee in the morning, pretty much everything I, well we, as a Western society, eat contains sugar. Stuff you wouldn’t even think needs or would have sugar ….has it. Why? Because corporations figured out a long time ago that when people eat sugar, their brain craves more of it. So companies have found ways to incorporate more of it into their foods so that we WANT more of it in OUR foods.

I looked up the US News top choices for diets for 2019. Paleo was actually listed as #33 on their list of 41 diets. Guess what made number one? The Mediterranean diet. Hmmmmmmmm.

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Back to Amazon. Amazon is my go-to search engine when researching books. I’m especially fond of the available reviews posted for any item I’m considering purchasing. The search was on for Mediterranean diet cookbooks and alas I found “The complete Mediterranean Cookbook,” by the authors of America’s Test Kitchen. If you don’t know anything about ATK you should know that they test recipes until they are perfect. Not only that, but they give the scientific reason for cooking foods a particular way and why certain food choices are better than others for particular dishes. They’re kind of the Alton Brown of food kitchens and I love that. I see the book. I read the nearly perfect reviews. Into Cart. Into box. On it’s way. To me.

What Exactly Is The Mediterranean Diet?

So, let’s talk about the Mediterranean diet. Again, with that diet word. Let’s just call it the Mediterranean way of eating instead. This way of eating includes a lot of fresh seafood, lots of wholesome vegetables, limited amounts of red meats (total opposite of Paleo), whole grains, beans, nuts, and thank you Lord, allows wine! I have found my callin’!! Not only that but you can also eat dairy and cheese in moderation. Olive oil is a staple

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ingredient which I am on board for as well. I’m really excited about this way of eating because I think long term it’s a lot more sustainable way of eating. And as picky as my family is, it’s a lot more approachable than any of the other diets I’ve looked at. It’s also more of the foods that I’m familiar with and will hopefully inspire me to bust out my pasta maker and maybe make some fresh linguini.


Conclusion

Now that I’ve got 15 (3 actually) books on their way from Amazon what does that mean? Well it means I’m gonna read all of them and report back to you! I’ve decided that I’m going to start with the Mediterranean diet

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because as I said before I find it a lot more feasible for not only myself but for my family. I want them to eat better. I want my parents to enjoy their retirement and to truly feel good. Italian cuisine is one of my top favorite cuisines to make (and eat) so I’l be bringing a lot more of those kinds of recipes to you as well. I can’t wait for the books to arrive and to get in the kitchen with some new recipes under my belt. I will report back soon!

I’ll also make sure to include some “diet” friendly alternatives that you’ll be able to find in your local market when you’re in a bind.

With the New Year and making resolutions, was starting a new diet plan one of yours? Or did you just decide to maybe cut out one thing that you maybe overindulged in during 2018? Leave a comment below:)

Best Bone Broth Recipe

Best Bone Broth Recipe

So, here we are. Winter. At least they say it’s winter. Even though it’s a balmy and wet 62 whole degrees outside here in Georgia. I’ve noticed a lot of things lately (besides the strange weather) and it includes a lot of sniffling noses, coughing, […]


My Diary

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So, here we are. Winter. At least they say it’s winter. Even though it’s a balmy and wet 62 whole degrees outside here in Georgia.

I’ve noticed a lot of things lately (besides the strange weather) and it includes a lot of sniffling noses, coughing, and body aches. What is up with the weather and people suddenly falling ill? People here in this area always blame our crazy, wackadoo weather conditions on the sudden health ailments of everyone but it actually has very little to do with that at all. It’s just the simple fact that people are spending a lot more time indoors as opposed to outside. And when you think about the fact that a major holiday just passed and people did what? Hung out with tons of family members INDOORS in CLOSED IN areas. People together. Tight quarters. Germs abound. So with all these colds, the flu, and viruses being spread around I started thinking that maybe I needed to up my defense. Besides my normal dose of gummy adult (yes, adult) vitamins I take I’ve also been downing a glass of orange juice a day for better measure. I’ve been thinking a lot about bone broth lately and perhaps incorporating that into my routine as well.

I got a reminder from Facebook this morning saying that exactly one year ago to the day I posted about making stock. So funny that today, in my crock pot, sits a mess of bones and vegetables and herbs for just that.

I watched a video the other day with Ben Greenfield who is a brain and body coach and well known biohacker. He wrote a New York Times bestselling book called, “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, and Life.” In the video he talks about how to make your body the best body it can be. A lot of tips are reinforcing what most of us already know, such as getting the proper amount of sleep, staying away from sugar, and exercising. But he delves deeper. He tells you what supplements to take and why, the proper ways to exercise, as well as little things you can do to improve your daily performance as well as improve sleep. One of the things he mentioned was taking a regular dose of collagen. You can catch his video here:

So, What Exactly Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein that actually accounts for 1/3 of the total protein found in our bodies. It’s the glue that holds our bodies together. It is found not

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only in the skin but also in the bones and connective tissue. Loss of collagen starts occurring in your mid twenties and usually becomes more pronounced in your 30’s with loss of elasticity in the skin. Of course there are factors that can cause rapid or premature collagen loss such as smoking, large sugar intake, sun exposure, and autoimmune disease.

There are some things you can do to counter this loss though and it includes taking the recommended dose of Vitamin C, which helps synthesize collagen, and eating foods that are high in alpha-hydroxy acids which are found in vegetables, fruits, and milk. The best vegetables to consume are dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. Fruit-wise, stick to berries, which are high in antioxidants. And eat proteins like salmon, tuna, and grass fed beef which are high in Omega 3’s. This is where the bone broth comes in.

What’s Bone Broth?

Let’s forgo the bone broth hype and call it what it is. It’s stock. It’s not fancy. It’s not boujee. It’s bones. It’s water. It’s vegetables and herbs. It’s the base of soups. It’s the backbone of sauces. It’s necessary. And it’s so simple to make. A good stock is not only rich in flavor but rich in body, too. And it’s full of collagen. And since collagen is found in bones and bones are used in stock, why not drink said stock? And call it something fancy like, hmmm, bone broth?

Roasted Chicken stock:

  • 8 lbs chicken bones and trimmings (I’m using back bones)
  • 1 pound mirepoix; chopped in 1″ pieces (1/2 pound onion, 1/4 pound celery, 1/4 pound carrot). <Or one large onion, 2 carrots, and 2 stalks celery chopped.>
  • 1 satchet of cheesecloth (lil bundle) with: 10 parsley stems(leaves removed), 8 sprigs thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 2 garlic cloves. <Or throw it all in sans cheesecloth. It’ll get strained out in the end anyway. >
  • Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (kosher or sea) and freshly cracked pepper

Follow my link here to grab the full instructions for my Roasted Chicken Stock. 

Today I followed that recipe exactly. The only difference in the recipes was that for this crock pot version I did not roast the vegetables with the bones and added the vegetables after putting the bones in the crock pot. I also cooked the stock for a total of 8 hours.

Instructions for Crock Pot Bone Broth:

*Brown the bones in the oven at 425° for one hour and place them in a large crock pot.

*Add fresh raw vegetables for this version and cover with water about an inch from the top of the pot (about one gallon of fresh cold water).

*Cover and turn on high. Once stock starts boiling uncover and skim surface of impurities and turn to low. Cover with lid.

*Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

*Strain though fine mesh strainer.

*Cool down to room temp.

*Refrigerate or freeze. This makes 10 – 12 cups of beautiful gelatinous stock

bone broth lilchefchic

All bagged up and ready for the freezer!

Conclusion:

I’ve been inspired to drink stock. Half of this will find its home in my fridge for me to consume like a cup o’ coffee and the other half will go in the freezer. It’s kind of the perfect time for inspiration isn’t it? Heading into a New Year. Making little tweaks here and there, and maybe even a complete overhaul for some. I think I’ll start with this simple little tweak by adding a cup of “broth” into my daily routine. I know what went into it because I made it. It doesn’t need a fancy label to tell me that..or a 12 dollar price tag.

Have you jumped on the bone broth bandwagon? What are your thoughts and/or experiences with this trend? Comment below!


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Best Blueberry Scones: King Arthur Flour Recipe with Fresh Berries and Lemon Zest

Best Blueberry Scones: King Arthur Flour Recipe with Fresh Berries and Lemon Zest

In my last post I did grilled chicken thighs enrobed in blueberry barbecue sauce, so now-it’s time for dessert.  Blueberry Dessert! Well, sort of:) But first, let’s talk about ALL of the awesomeness contained inside this little berry.  Blueberries are high in antioxidants which help […]

How To Make Beef Stock From Scratch: Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Beeeef Bones!

How To Make Beef Stock From Scratch: Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Beeeef Bones!

Cue the Salt n’ Pepa theme song..”Lets talk about….BONES baaaby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things there may be. Let’s talk about……………bones.” That’s not exactly how the song goes, but for this post, it’ll […]