Again, inspired by Pinterest, I had an idea….

So I went to Publix and purchased some fresh strawberries, Oikos Greek Vanilla organic yogurt made by Stoneyfield (personally my favorite brand), Mike’s Hard Strawberry Lemonade (seasonal) and a package of 3 oz dixie cups.


I improvised using pretzel rods instead of popsicle sticks and it actually worked quite well! I also added some sunflower seeds** on the tops & bottoms to add a little salt to the sweet. So it was really easy!

dixie cup
add enough sunflower seeds to bottom of cup to barely cover.
drop in a spoonfull or 2 of yogurt
puree strawberries and add a few spoonfulls of that
layer another spoonfull of yogurt
stick pretzel rod in center
Put in freezer

3-4 hours later – enjoy!

You can also buy any of those girly fruity sweet malt beverages and freeze them in the dixie cups too.
Then you can enjoy a nice little popsicle cocktail! Do you own experiments & most importantly, be fearless & have fun with it!



My FAVORITE Popsicle : Creamy Basil

I discovered this amazing popsicle when I lived in Nashville, TN at a place called Las Paletas* – this place has the most amazing falvor combinations I’ve ever seen. Hands down the BEST, and I am sorry to say, they are better than the King of Pops which is out local gourmet popsicle guy.

So anyways, I had tried this delicious popsicle in Nashville a few years ago and I still can’t get it out of my mind! I’ve even asked the KOP if he would make this, but he does basil lemongrass – not as good in my opinion…


Here’s what I did…

I took milk and sugar and fresh basil heated all 3 ingredients together on a very low temperature over the stove until all the sugar and basil was infused with the milk. Then, I froze it and made popsicles. They were PHENOMENAL.

Amen, The End, and Arivaderchi!

*Las Paletas is located at:
2907 12th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37204

** Adding the sunflower seeds reminded me of Nutty bars from the Frozen Custard we used to get when I was little and lived in Indiana. Soooooo delicious!


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Bloody Mary Steak Bites

Inspired by a Pintrest of mine I discovered 42 weeks ago, I decided that I wanted steak for dinner. I hopped in my car and journeyed up to Trader Joe’s for the few ingredients I would need for my meal.

grocery list.
tomato sauce.

Everything else I would need was already at my house.

Here is what I started with. See if you can guess how it all ties together before I tell you…

Most all ingredients
Do you see the CD in the background? I was listening to Rose’s Pawn Shop while making this meal.
A fantastic CD – you should probably go buy it right now. Funeral Pyre is my favorite song on this CD.

The first thing I did was to make some white sangria.

1 half bottle of sauvignon blanc (any white wine will do).
1 half bottle of pineapple apple juice from Ardens Garden.
I full can of peach citrus fresca.

Now that I have a delicious beverage to accompany me, I can proceed with the dinner.
First I took the ribeye’s I’d bought and did a dry rub on the 1st one.

rub into steak in order of list.
chicken broth bullion powder.
diced fresh garlic & onion.
sprinkle course seat salt & ground black pepper.
red & green pepper spice mix from Whole Foods.
parmesan cheese.
panko bread crumbs.

2nd one.
wet marinade.
tomato juice.
worsteshire sauce.
freshly diced garlic & onion.
hot sauce.
pickle juice.
lemon juice squeeze.

boil water for corn on the cobb before you start doing the steak stuff.
put corn in hot water when ready. only boil for about 5-7 minutes.

side note: have you EVER in your life seen corn look this weird?

slice baby zucchinis

I sliced these 3 different ways because I like to play with my food.

sprinkle s&p over veg.
heat sautee pan on medium high heat until hot.
add evoo.
wait 30 seconds.
add veg to pan.
always cook vegetables al dente.

take out of pan and set aside.

add dry rub steak.
cook for approximately 4-7 minutes or to half of desired wellness.
I prefer medium rare and I think this is the most well done ANY meat should be cooked to.
flip once.
3-4 minutes on this side, or until cooked to perfection.

set aside. sample.

add marinaded steak bites.
cook to perfection.

while bites are cooking, make bloody mary dipping sauce:
same as wet marinade, only I varied the proportions for the sauce vs. marinade to better suit my taste and added capers to this.
tomato juice or sauce.
worsteshire sauce.
freshly diced garlic & onion.
hot sauce.
pickle juice.
lemon juice squeeze.
add capers

WALA! Dinner is served.

Oops! I’m out of sangria! Time to improvise. I only had one can of Fresca, so luckily I had a bottle of champagne in my fridge since around NYE, and being as their hasn’t been any reason to open it before now, now seems like the right time to open it!

see my improvised variation>>>

I was so hungry by this point, I didn’t bother trying to clean up the plates for photo presentation, so get over it.

Then, after writing this whole thing out, optimizing all the photos and everything I decided I wanted a little sweet action, so since the only kind of baking I do is break n baking, I made a batch of mini chocolate chip cookies and made mini ice cream sandwich with Tahitian vanilla bean gelatto. Okay, I had two..
Perfect end of my day.
g’nite ya’ll.

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Strawberry Salad Yumness

Here’s what I invented for my lunch today as I my stomach burbled through the grocery store today…
Fresh organic strawberries, sliced
Basil (picked fresh from my plant)
Balsamic vinegar
Champagne wine vinegar
Sugar (I used a pinch of coarse brown turbinado I had on hand)
Lemon juice (I used a smidge I shaved off of the lemon juice ice cubes I had made in my freezer

thinly slice basil
add strawberries, balsamic & champagne vinegar
add 2 pinches of sugar, and half a lemon squeezed
swirl around in tupperware container
top with goat cheese and eat.


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Parsley Water

Did you know that parsley isn’t just a garnish?
When a recipe calls for parsley, I always end up with way more parsley than I need. I usually end up making my own version of a sort of tabbouleh-esque salad, but I get bored with that. So I wondered, what else can I do with all this extra parsley? What if I make parsley water and drink it? It’s got to be good for me for some reason, right? Well, this is what I found out:

…is a natural breath freshener
…relieves urinary tract infections (it’s a natural diuretic)
…helps ease premenstrual discomfort (these same diuretic properties removes excess fluids from the body BEFORE they cause discomfort)
…detoxifies your kidneys

One half a cup of parsley contains 40 milligrams of vitamin C, or 66% of the Daily Value, that’s more than HALF the amount in a full orange.
Parsley is high in potassium and in Vitamins B, A and C, it also contains calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, chlorophyll, together with sodium, copper, thiamin and riboflavin.

Follow these easy steps for a kidney cleanse.

Cut a bunch of parsley into smaller pieces.
Boil the parsley in a pot of water for 10 minutes.
Let it cool down and then sieve and discard the parsley.
Pour the filtered water into bottles or any container and keep in fridge.
Drink one glass of the water daily until gone.
*I added lemon juice to mine and thought it tasted much better.

Emily’s ‘Not Tabbouleh’ Parsley Salad

1 bunch of fresh, flat leaf, Italian parsley
1 tbspoon of evoo
1 whole lemon freshly sqeezed
Salt and pepper to taste.
I add this combination to quinoa, or even a small pasta like Acini di Pepe*

*Some of the tiniest pasta around, Acini di Pepe is Italian for ‘little peppercorns’, although in truth they are even smaller, closely resembling a hefty couscous.

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Corvina & Sauteed Spinach with a Lemon Garlic Caper Meuniere Sauce

Damn, I ‘m Good!

After an always enjoyable, and always under budgeted trip to Dekalb Farmers Market, I came home with 2 different types of fish I’ve never really eaten or prepared before. Monkfish & Corvina. Tonight, Corvina was my test gerbil.

A Perfect Pan Sear:
Heat up the pan first, dry.
When hot, then add butter or oil.
When melted, place fish (or meat) in pan.
After 1-2 minutes, turn heat down & cover.
Another 7-13 minutes later (or you can peek and look at down side of fish to desired brownness) flip. And flip ONLY ONCE. Cover again for approx 1-2 minutes or until middle is cooked to desired temperature (I prefer MR on Salmon & Extra Rare on Tuna, if either MUST be cooked at all).

You want to cook Corvina all the way through, but never too much to dry it out.
I don’t understand these people that order WELL DONE anything. ESPECIALLY ANY TYPE OF STEAK!
Total Sidebar Note:
People! You are paying high dollar for a piece of meat. Why in the wild wild world of sports would you KILL the entire point by ordering it like a hockey puck?
Beats the pants off of me.

Back to the Blog…

Okay, after pan searing it, place fish on a plate and set to side.
B.T.DUBS…Have spinach ready with a few cranks of S&P.
Toss Spinach in pan and add a little butter.
Cook until JUST WILTED. It should be BRIGHT GREEN. Many people over cook their spinach and it ruins the nutritional value of it. It literally cooks all the good vitamins and minerals out of it until all your left with is a soggy, wilted nasty slimy spinachy glob of green.

Arrange nicely with fish.

Turn down the heat and throw a little butter in the pan, maybe 1 tbsp and a half, 1 clove Garlic (sliced thinly) until it starts to smell wonderful because of the garlic infusing into the butter. Cook until the butter gets frothy, sift off the frothy part (that’s the milk fat) with a spoon and keep on low heat for about 3-5 minutes – you’ve just made brown butter, or clarified butter, aka ghee.
Remove from heat and let cool for approximately 5 minutes.
When cool, add 2 tbsp capers (include a little of the juice too), and one half squeeze of lemon.

Drizzle sauce over fish.

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Experimenting in the Kitchen!

Things I’ve never cooked or thought I liked before today:



So I went to “whole paycheck” today with no actual agenda other than more food for my fridge as there is little else in there save for condiments & thirst-quenchers.
The last time I was here, I discovered a delicious raw kale salad in their prepared foods chef cases, so I was inspired to purchase my own kale & attempt to duplicate their recipe. They print the ingredients right on the label, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Then I found myself in front of the fish counter. I am marveling at all the different types of fish they have & wondering which variety I want. As I have worked for an award winning seafood house restaurant for over 5 years, I know a little bit about most of the fish here. U-10 size (under 10 per pound) Sea scallops?Yukon River Wild Alaska King or Sockeye Salmon? Monkfish, (looks like a monster, tastes like lobster)?

Monkfish. She ain't pretty, but she sure do taste good!


No, not THAT Swordfish...


Yeah, THAT Swordfish!

Hmmm, well, I keep saying & thinking I don’t like it, and people keep telling me, I haven’t had it cooked right, and that it is delicious. So, okay, maybe that’s true. Maybe where ever it was I had it that one time years ago, it was overcooked. Fair enough. I’ll give it a shot. So I got .40 lbs at $21.99/lb which ended up costing me approx. $8. I thought that was a fair amount for an experiment.

When choosing swordfish, look for the little strip of dark meat to be red, not brown.

I also bought some sweet white miso for experimenting.

So I arrived home, put on some music, and played!

Well, first I googled each item to figure out A. how to cook swordfish correctly and 2. How to integrate miso into a variety of recipes. After I got a general idea of the proportions & other ingredients used to combine with the miso I decided it was time to play.

Here is what I came up with:

White Miso Vinaigrette Dressing
2 tsp. Organic Sweet White Miso Master
2 tsp. Lite Soy Sauce
2 tsp. EVOO
2 tsp. Rice Vinegar
2 tsp. Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
3 tsp. Finely Chopped Fresh Ginger Root
2 TBSP. Water
2 TBSP. Arden’s Garden’s Hotshot (my favorite) (or any citrus juice you have on hand works just as well)
Whisk briskly until *emulsified.

* To emulsify means to combine two liquids that normally do not combine easily, such as oil and vinegar.

Swordfish Preparation:
Use fingers to rub approximately ½ tsp evoo on each side of the fish. Then crack some sea salt & black pepper on each side. Heat up dry sauté pan over high heat for approximately 3-5 minutes. AFTER the pan is nice & hot, throw in some butter or oil and as soon as it is melted (which should only take about 10-15 seconds if it’s the right temperature) sling that slab of fish into the pan. (and by “sling” I actually mean place). Sear for 4-5 minutes, or until fish is cooked 2/3rds of the way through. Flip ONLY ONCE to cook another 2-3 minutes on the 2nd side. You want to cook your swordfish like steak. **Medium Rare being the ultimate goal.

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**As steaks cook, the meat becomes progressively more firm as the muscle fiber in them tightens. By pressing on the center of the piece of meat, being careful not to burn yourself, you can tell how firm, and therefore how cooked, it is. This isn’t a very exact method, since it will vary depending on the cut and thickness of the steak and other factors, but this is the general method.
First press on the large muscle at the base of one of your thumbs with the hand completely relaxed. The firmness of that muscle is a little tighter than a raw steak. Press on the center of the uncooked steak, off heat, with your “impeccably clean” finger, just to be sure how tender it is starting out. When you think the steak is approaching the degree of doneness you are looking for, using the muscle at the base of your thumb as a guide, check the firmness of the meat. Here’s how:
• If you want a very rare steak, compare the texture of the meat to the firmness of the muscle at the base of the thumb of your completely relaxed hand. If they feel the same, the steak is ‘blue-rare’ to rare.
• For medium-rare, touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb of the same hand. Feel the firmness of the muscle at the base of the thumb. Check the meat to see if it is the same firmness. If it is, the steak is medium-rare.
• For medium, press the tip of the middle finger against the thumb of the same hand and feel the muscle at the base. That is what a medium steak will feel like.
• For medium-well, use the ring finger, and
• For well-done use the pinky, as above.

For this, I simply grabbed a handful of the leafy dark green cruciferous vegetable (off the spine), tossed it into my colander to wash, squeezed the water out of it, drizzled a dab of evoo on it and cracked a little sea salt & black pepper over it, rubbed it around all over the herbaceous plant. Then I heated up a new pan on medium high heat for only about a minute, then tossed the kale around in the pan until it wilted slightly, but kept its nice bright green color. You never want to overcook vegetables, because then you end up cooking all the actual vitamins & minerals out of it.
And that’s it folks!

Bon Appétit!

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Forbidden Rice Salad

Forbidden Rice Salad
Forbidden Rice Salad

* Forbidden Rice
** Craisins
Sunflower Seeds (roasted & salted)
¼ Lemon
Course Sea Salt (2 cranks from a salt grinder)

Directions: Cook Rice. Let it cool. Toss in Craisins, sunflower seeds, salt & lemon juice. Enjoy.
* You can also use any sort of whole grain wild rice mix you like. I actually used Lundberg Black Japonica™ rice because I ran out of Forbidden Rice and the only place to buy it (that I’ve found) is at Lotus Foods.com. And I live in Atlanta, population 416,474, not exactly po-dunk-ville. I figure if they don’t have it at the Dekalb Farmers Market, then I don’t know where to look.
** I used Pomegranate flavored Craisins.

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