If it's called a slider, I don't feel so bad about eating 6 2 of them, furthermore as far as I am concerned anything smaller than a McDonald's burger, even remotely smaller is a slider...But I contend these really are sliders, so eat as many as you want! I made them the other weekend for a football game viewing, but they would be great at a party or lunch or even just a weeknight dinner, and the recipe could easily be doubled or quadrupled. I made the BBQ Chicken in the crock pot, which was easy, but if you wanted even easier you could totally buy BBQ Chicken at the market. The best part - the leftovers were was even better the next day!
Few things make me feel better in life than a list, not just a "to-do" list but a grocery list, a goal list, a who's coming to the party list, who I like the most list any list really; specifically I like these lists on index cards or post it notes - durable paper. Each day before I leave work I write down the top five things I need to accomplish the next day on a post it and stick it right in the middle of my desk. I find it's a great way to end one day, get the work stuff out of my mind, and then the next day I'm ready to jump right in. At any given time I have at least 3 index cards in my purse; usually there is a grocery list index card, an I need to buy this at Big Lots the next time I go card, and some card planning whatever social engagement is coming up next - could be a packing list, party list, or wine list...
Saturday we are having four couples over for lunch. Our friends Joey & Crystal who moved to California are in town to visit with their baby Jack! Since they live in California this is the first time all of us Georgia people get to met the baby, so its sort of his debut party. Because of this exciting time almost all my index cards are about Saturday. I have a grocery list to make this turkey sandwich and this ham sandwich and some blanks for some other sandwich I am going to make, along with notes to figure out an appetizer and make cookies for dessert - which I checked off last night, along with eating half of some dough. A successful party is all about preparation. I have a list of what I need to clean before Saturday because every southern girl knows you have to have a clean house when you are having guests. Finally, I have a list that I have been working on for weeks with tailgate ideas that I want to use this year...see this list thing is serious business.
Are you a list maker? Does it help you relieve stress to write it all down or does it stress you out more to see everything you have to do staring you in the face? What is your favorite appetizer for a casual lunch? Do you like a crudité tray? Are you a chips and dip fan? Do you just head to the bloody mary bar? I can't decide what to do...
Sincerely Loving Food, Lainey
Thanks to the rainy, rainy, rainy weather this weekend I was super productive. Saturday involved a morning Blast session, luck fell my way when I was able to score a Chick-fil-a biscuit at 10:50am (side note - why does breakfast service stop at 10:30 and not 11), I used one whole Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 4 cups of vinegar and half a roll of paper towels making my kitchen so clean I would eat off the floor, and then rounded it all off with a trip to a Buford Highway LEGITIMATE taqueria. It was called Taqueria Los Rayos, they don't have a website, the cashier spoke very broken English, it is in a building that was for sure a Dairy Queen at one time, and the tacos are savory slow cooked amazing treat served on 2 corn tortillas. I had the beef, chorizo and chicken - all 3 spicy delicious. The place is in between Buford Hwy and Clairmont right at the Skyland Rd. intersection - if you are in the area and wanting some legitimate Mexican food you should totally try it out!
Yesterday was about canning and planning. Planning the meals for this week, a lunch with friends for next weekend (2 BIG sandwiches ham and turkey) and the first tailgate of the year only 2 weeks away. With a trip to Costco, Kroger and Big Lots in the books I think I am ready for the upcoming challenges. Dinners this week will be pretty simple because Thursday our friend is coming to town and as a special treat taking us to Bone's for dinner, so gotta cut calories in advance. Bone's is like the signature Atlanta, man's club, steak house - think wood paneling, cigars and scotch...I'm not really into cigars or scotch, but I'll take wood paneling and a delicious steak any day!
Annie at Annie's Eats inspired me to do some canning this weekend, in honor of Can it Forward Day, so I made this zesty corn relish I found on tasty kitchen and tried my hand at pickling okra that I picked at my friend's farm last weekend. I know the corn relish will be delicious since this is the second time I made it and if the okra turns out well I will share the recipe!
Everyday the fabulous door man at One Buckhead Plaza
greets all the little worker bees coming in to start their day with a smiley hello, and on Fridays he really ups the ante by telling everyone, "Happy Friday!" I really love it, not a huge deal, but just a little something extra to get the day started off on a fabulous foot. So, HAPPY FRIDAY TO YOU! And let's take a look back at the four most fabulous things that happened this week.
1. Tuesday I started a month unlimited membership at Blast 900. It is one of those crazy boutique gyms with a daily hour long work out. I have been 3 times and I'm completely in love, like one of those It Hurts So Good kind of loves, I am so into interval training kind of love, I might even start juicing for some meals kind of love. I can hardly sit on the toilet, not to mention get back up, sorry tmi...but I just remember how skinny my thighs are getting with every squat...I am so looking forward to the next 28 days and all my workouts!
2. Old Navy is having an amazing active wear sale. I figured since I will be working out like crazy for the next month I should look good doing it. I totally scored some $10 sports bras, $14 tanks and $12 capris! Budget Friendly! I realize these aren't like lulu lemon quality or anything...but this girl loves deal! Especially when the deal is cute stuff!
3. COOKIE BARS holy moly bat man! My girl Ashley brought these over last Friday for our taconight dessert and it was literally one of the best cookies I have ever put in my mouth AND they are really easy to make. Definitely a winner!
4. Suits - If you don't know Harvey Specter you need to log onto Netflix and learn, or usanetwork.com. He is the best "closer" aka gutsy, witty, handsome, smart, charming, hot attorney, in Manhattan and I am so pumped because SPOILER ALERT after this week's episode he and his side kick Mike are back on good terms, so all is right with the world. This is the best summer show ever! Fast paced, hot, conniving, smart, just a great, great show. I am counting the hours until Tuesday at 10pm for the next one...
Friday night I had some girl friends over for tacos and sangria. It was a complete blast! The girls brought over chips and dips, tons of dips: Texas Caviar (a variation of my Redneck Caviar), Trader Joe's Cheese Dip and even homemade guacamole and a delicious dessert...maybe I can get her to share the delicious chocolate chip cookie bar recipe! After we drank five a couple rounds of sangria I made Tilapia Fish Tacos and heated up my favorite refried black beans that I had prepared earlier in the day. These beans have literally become my go to Mexican side dish, where ever I take them people LOVE them and ask for the recipe...they are waist line friendly (high in protein/low in fat) and so delicious I didn't have time to grab a picture before they were all gone. This recipe is also great to cut in half if you are only cooking for 2 or just as easy to double or triple if you are cooking for a large group. I hope you enjoy!
Sincerely Loving Food,
After my family vacation, eating approximately 3,583 calories before noon a day, I like to do a detox of sorts and try to eat healthy, clean, low calorie meals. At least for a day or two…My first night home I used one of the zucchini that had grown while we were gone, pre bugs, and some pantry staples to make teriyaki zucchini stir fry served over quinoa. Very filling, quite tasty and it came together in less than half an hour. I was a little nervous about the quinoa substitution, but I didn’t have any rice in the house, and I’m really glad I went with it. I think this is a healthier choice I will make again! Since this was a dinner for one I left out meat all together, but if you really need meat some chicken or shrimp would pair beautifully!
Recipe after the jump. Sincerely Loving Food, Lainey
The Good – My tomatoes are doing wonderfully well! I have probably picked about 2 pints of cherry tomatoes and new fruits are still growing on that plant. I haven’t harvested a purple heirloom yet, but there are about 9 on the plant now and I think 3 of them will be ready at the end of the week; I can’t wait! Finally these little guys have been my favorite, Bonnie’s Better Boy. I have picked about 10 of them and there are another 10 or so on the plant. They are about the size of a baseball and are perfect for slicing to eat with salt and pepper as an afternoon snack (just did that) or good for a family of 2 to each have 2 slices on a sandwich or burger. Very, very good.
The Bad – I guess it’s not bad now, but it rained like every day for the past 5 days. Ok, enough of the disgruntled teenager voice but seriously, this rain was out of control. Normally I’m ok with a rainy weekend, but this was a 4 day holiday weekend and it rained the whole time. Fireworks were cancelled, BBQs postponed and the festiveness that usually encompasses the 4th of July just didn’t seem to exist this year. We still partied on the covered front porch, ate hamburgers and hot dogs and set off fireworks in the driveway making the best of it, but I really could have done without the rain. Thanks to the peeps who did come over to celebrate America’s 237th and my 30th; it was fun, even with the stupid rain! The Bugs – AHH, these little @*%$#ers. From my research I think they are baby cucumber beetles which grow on the leaves, eating and destroying them as they grow. Luckily we got 3 zucchini off the plant before they took over, but I’m scared that the plant is a goner. So far I have pulled off and squished at least 15 of them, but every time I go back there are more. And yes, they are gross, think yellow slug with lots of black hairs – VOM! I hate you bugs and the yet to grow zucchini which you stole from me!
See the little buger right in the middle?
You can really see the damage on the bottom leaves with all the holes.
I think this coming week will involve pulling up the zucchini plants and getting the bed ready for a late summer something, maybe a Japanese Eggplant, a red bell pepper, or some snap beans? At least I enjoy planting new things #silverlining #lovetoplayinthedirt.
What have been your favorite summer veggies? Do you have a garden? What’s growing well and what’s not? Do you see the sun today like we finally do here in Atlanta? I hope so! Sincerely Loving Food, Lainey