Football Party with Swell Ice Cream!

This past weekend we not only celebrated Labor Day but also the first weekend of college football this year. We all brought several dishes including a lot of favorites like rotel-cheese dip, BLT pasta salad, homemade salsa, pigs-in-a-blanket and Ryan even whipped up a hot crawfish spinach dip.

I decided to bring most of the Swell Ice Cream flavors for every one to try out. We opened them all up and dug right in! Now, I am not usually a "protien" ice cream fan.. I've never tried one I liked but these are really quite the game changer. Low in sugar, and we're talking around 5 grams a serving. They are high in protein only about 125 calories a serving! (Which in my book means eating a whole pint is fineeee.) Aside from all of that, I have to admit that it actually does taste like ice cream.

 Salted Caramel Crunch, Cookies and Cream and Mint Chip are some of my personal favorites.

Salted Caramel Crunch, Cookies and Cream and Mint Chip are some of my personal favorites.

 Bingo cards and Ice Cream for everyone!

Bingo cards and Ice Cream for everyone!

 Who's eyeing that coconut flavor and thinking about delicious desserts it could be transformed into??!

Who's eyeing that coconut flavor and thinking about delicious desserts it could be transformed into??!

 Even the mini football fans got in on the fun!

Even the mini football fans got in on the fun!

 Once you picked your favorite, you got to keep a pint!:)

Once you picked your favorite, you got to keep a pint!:)

Super fun day with the greatest of friends plus who doesn't love an interactive dessert?

Don't know where to find Swell? You can click here for their store locator!

What are some ways you would serve your Swell Ice Cream? Toppings? Shakes?

I wanna hear them!

Brunch Totchos with Tillamook

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Today I've partnered up with Tillamook to bring you this deliiiiiicious recipe for brunch totchos. Tillamook is a farmer-owned, farmer-led dairy co-op based in Tillamook, Oregon. After 109 years, Tillamook makes its cheddar in the same way – with simple ingredients, patience, and old-fashioned farmer values. Tillamook is guided by the belief that everyone deserves real food that makes them feel good every day, which is why Tillamook Cheddar is Dairy Done Right – crafted with time for the boldest flavor and in the most natural way possible.

I recently made this for out-of-town guests for breakfast and it was just too good not to share. It's relatively quick to throw together as long as you have everything prepped ahead of time. 

 

You will need:

1 bag of frozen tater tots (bake until crispy)

1/2 a block of Tillamook Cheddar (shredded)

1 lb. of cooked bacon

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

1 cup of chopped green onions 

1/4 cup of sliced jalapeños 

2-3 fried eggs (I fried mine in the remaining bacon grease.)

A dash or two of paprika.

Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Once your tater tots are crispy and golden brown, remove from the oven. Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle your Tillamook cheese and bacon on top and place them back into the oven for just a minute or two to get the cheese melting. Remove from the oven. Add your fried eggs first. Then sprinkle your green onions and jalapeños on top. Lastly, add the avocado slices a few at a time all over the tots. 

 

That's it! 

My two not so secret weapons are Tillamook cheese and making sure the tots are exxxxxtra crispy. 

 

Now that Tillamook cheese is here in the southeast you can use their store locator on their website to find their cheese near you!

https://www.tillamook.com/where-to-buy.html

Roasted Cauliflower + Leek Soup

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The weather here lately has me craving all the warm soups. I created this one using a lot of what I had on hand plus some fresh ingredients from Trader Joe's! This soup contains zero dairy (vegan friendly) and is still just as creamy and velvety as if it did. Instead of heavy cream or butter, I used white beans to create the same texture. Topped with roasted garbanzo beans, lemon juice, pink sea salt, spicy sesame oil, fresh thyme and parsley there is flavor for days. The best part? It's SOUP-ah easy.  If you don't know already, you can print out all of my recipes! Just check it out below. I think you'll really love it. 

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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Sweet Potatoes

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TOP 5 y'all. This is going down as one of the best things I've ever made! So simple and versatile! For the barbacoa recipe click here. You'll just need to bake your potatoes at 375 for 50 minutes. I added a few Idaho potatoes for the kiddos which is a great idea for those who aren't sweet potato fans! Also, you can cook this in a slow cooker or an instant pot by simply using recommended times! Vegan? Vegetarian? Use jackfruit instead of beef. Top with as many toppings that will fit!!! Avocados, onions, jalapeno, sour cream/greek yogurt, shredded cheese, pepper flakes... just a few of my favorites. 

Homemade Vanilla Maple Granola

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I LOVE granola. What I don't love is how expensive it can be so I don't buy it often. Making it from scratch is way less expensive and have enough for everyone to dig in. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to make my own but I'm never going back!!! This recipe is perfect for letting the kiddos in on the fun! It's a great opportunity to teach them the benefits of each ingredient. Feel free to add in different dried fruits or nuts. You can also add honey if you do not have maple syrup. Get creative! :)

homemade vanilla maple granola

Trader Joe's Favorites & Holiday Finds

If you have followed me for a while you know TJs is my grocery store of choice! I frequent the one located at The Summit here in Birmingham. It's not too big and it's very easy to navigate, especially once you know what to look for. That's what I am going to help you with today! One of the best things about TJs to me is their produce. Not only is it always organized but the variety and prices are spectacular. You will find all of your basics plus things like fresh ginger, purple sweet potatoes, rainbow chard, bags of lemons, bags of avocados, persimmons and pomegranates. The second best things about TJs is their cheese section. I love cheese more than I love Mexican food and if you know me, you know thats an astronomical amount. In a minute I'll show you how I styled a charcuterie board with their cheeses. Before I begin sharing everything else,If you're a mom, TJs is YOUR SPOT for school lunch ideas!! Especially if you are like us and love a good bento box. Your kids will thank you. Okay, now for the fun part... 

 Now towards the front we have their peanut butter pretzels which are a family favorite. Great for the kids lunch but usually Ryan or I get to them first! Their dark chocolate pb cups are the BOMB but beware, they disappear way faster than you knew possible. I love including their dark chocolate almonds in trail mixes and charcuterie boards- so good! Then there is the infamous "Just Mango Slices" that I seriously eat in one sitting every stinkin time. No added sugar, just mango- genius! These peppermint pretzel thins are seasonal so grab them while you can.

Now towards the front we have their peanut butter pretzels which are a family favorite. Great for the kids lunch but usually Ryan or I get to them first! Their dark chocolate pb cups are the BOMB but beware, they disappear way faster than you knew possible. I love including their dark chocolate almonds in trail mixes and charcuterie boards- so good! Then there is the infamous "Just Mango Slices" that I seriously eat in one sitting every stinkin time. No added sugar, just mango- genius! These peppermint pretzel thins are seasonal so grab them while you can.

 Ever since traveling to Thailand as a teen, Thai dishes have been a staple at my house. Granted it's not the real deal but it gets the job done! Make sure to grab their Thai Red Curry Sauce (combine with a little coconut cream) to pour over your grilled chicken skewers! I also love to make anything greek here at the house so I always have tahini and hummus. These two are the best at TJs IMO. Don't forget to grab a few cans of garbanzo beans to make your own falafel or add to a greek salad. Lastly, TJs almond milk is great to keep on hand for smoothies or cooking. 

Ever since traveling to Thailand as a teen, Thai dishes have been a staple at my house. Granted it's not the real deal but it gets the job done! Make sure to grab their Thai Red Curry Sauce (combine with a little coconut cream) to pour over your grilled chicken skewers! I also love to make anything greek here at the house so I always have tahini and hummus. These two are the best at TJs IMO. Don't forget to grab a few cans of garbanzo beans to make your own falafel or add to a greek salad. Lastly, TJs almond milk is great to keep on hand for smoothies or cooking. 

 I buy these two things almost weekly. The salmon is not frozen when you buy it but I did throw mine into the freezer for now. The chicken is ready to go, just throw it onto a baking sheet, surround it with potatoes and veggies. Bake it for about 45 mins on 400. Instructions are on the back of the bag but that's how I cook mine!

I buy these two things almost weekly. The salmon is not frozen when you buy it but I did throw mine into the freezer for now. The chicken is ready to go, just throw it onto a baking sheet, surround it with potatoes and veggies. Bake it for about 45 mins on 400. Instructions are on the back of the bag but that's how I cook mine!

 My TJs Spatchcock Chicken roasted with their baby zucchini, rainbow carrots, red onion, baby potatoes and fresh thyme.

My TJs Spatchcock Chicken roasted with their baby zucchini, rainbow carrots, red onion, baby potatoes and fresh thyme.

 We love to entertain so here are a few essentials to host a great party. WINE- they have such a great selection. I am not a connoisseur but these are a good start. They usually they have "crew pick" markers to help you decide on a good bottle! This stout is pretty good and not too chocolatey. This pack of crackers is only $3.49- WIN! I learned about these individual salami stick packs from a friend and I can't stop buying them! Great for kid lunches or a charcuterie for one!

We love to entertain so here are a few essentials to host a great party. WINE- they have such a great selection. I am not a connoisseur but these are a good start. They usually they have "crew pick" markers to help you decide on a good bottle! This stout is pretty good and not too chocolatey. This pack of crackers is only $3.49- WIN! I learned about these individual salami stick packs from a friend and I can't stop buying them! Great for kid lunches or a charcuterie for one!

 My friend Virgina from @yourlifeedit told me about these. They are perfect for keeping in your gym bag or car to use after a workout. I love them.

My friend Virgina from @yourlifeedit told me about these. They are perfect for keeping in your gym bag or car to use after a workout. I love them.

 Another great stocking stuffer! Rainbow honey gift pack. 

Another great stocking stuffer! Rainbow honey gift pack. 

 I really love all the little gift ideas they have for the holidays. These are so cute!

I really love all the little gift ideas they have for the holidays. These are so cute!

 A few eucalyptus bundles for $2.99 each and a TJs wreath for $9.99 each. Fresh decor is the best decor! 

A few eucalyptus bundles for $2.99 each and a TJs wreath for $9.99 each. Fresh decor is the best decor! 

Now to the left we have their peanut butter pretzels which are a family favorite. Great for the kids lunch but usually Ryan or I get to them first! Their dark chocolate pb cups are the BOMB but beware, they disappear way faster than you knew possible. I love including their dark chocolate almonds in trail mixes and charcuterie boards- so good! Then there is the infamous "Just Mango Slices" that I seriously eat in one sitting every stinkin time. No added sugar, just mango- genius! 

 My charcuterie board made with their farmhouse cheddar with italian truffles, baby swiss, black pepper tosacano, chive cheddar, prosciutto, sliced pepper salami, salami sticks, grapes, pb pretzels, dark chocolate covered almonds, assorted crackers, fig butter and sliced pomegranate. 

My charcuterie board made with their farmhouse cheddar with italian truffles, baby swiss, black pepper tosacano, chive cheddar, prosciutto, sliced pepper salami, salami sticks, grapes, pb pretzels, dark chocolate covered almonds, assorted crackers, fig butter and sliced pomegranate. 

 Here is an almost empty box of Ryan's favorite cookie. Think gingersnap with chunks of chewy crystalized ginger in them... WHOA. 

Here is an almost empty box of Ryan's favorite cookie. Think gingersnap with chunks of chewy crystalized ginger in them... WHOA. 

 The best almond butter. I use their pumpkin butter for the kids grilled sandwiches in their lunchbox but you can just eat it with a spoon. HA. For the fig butter, I like to include it on a cheese board, goes well with soft mild cheeses. Ryan like to keep their cookie butter with cocoa swirl on hand. We've melted it on top of ice cream but I love dipping apple slices in it! This maple syrup is great to have for glazing salmon, topping waffles or using in place of sugar when baking! 

The best almond butter. I use their pumpkin butter for the kids grilled sandwiches in their lunchbox but you can just eat it with a spoon. HA. For the fig butter, I like to include it on a cheese board, goes well with soft mild cheeses. Ryan like to keep their cookie butter with cocoa swirl on hand. We've melted it on top of ice cream but I love dipping apple slices in it! This maple syrup is great to have for glazing salmon, topping waffles or using in place of sugar when baking! 

 These two hot sauces are a must buy. That green dragon sauce goes on just about anything I eat! If you love tacos as much as I do, you're gonna need that taco sauce! I always keep their coconut aminos on hand to use in marinades or in place of soy sauce. Favorite seasonings- their seasoning salt and their everything but the bagel blend. I think they are $1.99 each, feel free to grab a few while you're there! 

These two hot sauces are a must buy. That green dragon sauce goes on just about anything I eat! If you love tacos as much as I do, you're gonna need that taco sauce! I always keep their coconut aminos on hand to use in marinades or in place of soy sauce. Favorite seasonings- their seasoning salt and their everything but the bagel blend. I think they are $1.99 each, feel free to grab a few while you're there! 

 Their greek yogurt is perfect for the kids breakfast but with these flavors they could easily be a great way to cure a dessert craving! They do have about 9-12g of sugar but who's counting?! 

Their greek yogurt is perfect for the kids breakfast but with these flavors they could easily be a great way to cure a dessert craving! They do have about 9-12g of sugar but who's counting?! 

 Do not pass up the frozen section- there are some REAL gems down that aisle. Chili Lime Chicken burgers are great for meal prep if you're into that. That Jasmine rice is ALWAYS in my freezer Inside the box is 3 separate microwaveable bags! Their frozen falafel is great for a quick meal as is their cilantro chicken wontons with those coconut aminos I mentioned earlier. GARLIC NAAN- need I say more?

Do not pass up the frozen section- there are some REAL gems down that aisle. Chili Lime Chicken burgers are great for meal prep if you're into that. That Jasmine rice is ALWAYS in my freezer Inside the box is 3 separate microwaveable bags! Their frozen falafel is great for a quick meal as is their cilantro chicken wontons with those coconut aminos I mentioned earlier. GARLIC NAAN- need I say more?

 Here are some of my weekly produce picks. Jalapeños, heirloom/cherry tomatoes, ginger, pomegranate seeds, purple sweet potatoes and their bagged kale! 

Here are some of my weekly produce picks. Jalapeños, heirloom/cherry tomatoes, ginger, pomegranate seeds, purple sweet potatoes and their bagged kale! 

 Their seasonal treats can be found quite easily! 

Their seasonal treats can be found quite easily! 

 Great stocking stuffer!! How perfect is this for the foodie in your life!?I picked up on for myself. 

Great stocking stuffer!! How perfect is this for the foodie in your life!?I picked up on for myself. 

 For the chocolate lover.

For the chocolate lover.

 I grabbed their pine garland for $8.99 each and a few packs of eucalyptus for $2.99 each. BOOM- tablescape complete! 

I grabbed their pine garland for $8.99 each and a few packs of eucalyptus for $2.99 each. BOOM- tablescape complete! 

That just about covers it! Make sure to get over there soon to load up on those great gift ideas and their seasonal specials. If you enjoyed this post or have any questions please let me know in the comments below. 

Roasted Chicken and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

If you are looking for a quick healthy dinner that requires verrrry little clean up, this ones for you! This is great for meal prep or serving to a family of 4! If you have a big family, you can easily double the recipe by making two pans. This one will definitely be on repeat at the Gravois house. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do... 

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Honey & Fig Buckwheat Pancakes

Yesterday would have been my Grams 68th birthday. She passed away a few days after Olivia was born after a 40 year battle with cancer. You would have never known it by the smile on her face and the joy she carried around with her. Grams was the closest thing to a second mom and one of my best friends.

Today I made these pancakes for her, using her beautiful tarnished silverware and lace napkin in my pictures. She loved figs and honey. She loved making every little meal special whether it was letting me use a fancy napkin from her collection or garnishing a simple bowl of fruit with mint. She was an extraordinary person and an even better hostess. Maybe a little bit of this hobby of mine has a little bit to do with how much I loved her making every thing so beautiful. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and always remember to make sure to add something a little extra to it so that you make someone feel extra special. :)

 

 

honey & fig buckwheat pancakes

White Bean Chicken & Kale Soup

This soup was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers recent dinner posts, @LivingwithLandyn. She's fun, down to earth and always has some really great ideas for healthy dinners. It's also very similar to the white chicken chili soup that I love SO much that we eat it at least once a month! 

We have been incredibly busy this month. We recently sold our home in Baton Rouge (Thank GOODNESS) and we spent this past weekend getting our stuff from the house into storage in Birmingham. One step closer to getting into a new house here in the Ham! Please be praying that we find the perfect (imperfect is fine too...) house. This feels like such a refreshing new chapter in our lives. I could not be more thankful to be back in our favorite city. 

Back to the soup! I know, I know... you are probably thinking "WHY SOUP IN THIS HEAT!?" Well, because I love soup and I am preeeetty sure you'll understand after you give this one a shot. Now the secret ingredient is the GREEN DRAGON HOT SAUCE from Trader Joe's. If you do not have access to a Trader Joe's, no problem, I've linked the sauce on my SHOP tab!! I keep a lot of links to my most recently used things over there so don't forget to check that out. 

 

White Bean Chicken & Kale Soup

Simple Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

We had such a great long Memorial Day Weekend! Saturday we got to meet up with some friends for the Salsa Showdown at a local brewery. Sunday we spend the day relaxing and playing outside in what was supposed to be rainy weather but turned out to be really nice and sunny. Yesterday we spent the day prepping food for a family dinner. We make bacon wrapped jalapeños filled with cream cheese, jalepeno sliders, grilled chicken and baked beans. I had some pineapple coconut cream cake with homemade vanilla ice cream because it would have been a tragedy to have not. We ended the night playing outside with the kiddos. 

Someone please bring me all the coffee this morning because I am not ready! 

I wanted to share this reallllly simple salad that is really healthy if your on a diet or just downright delicious even if your'e not! 

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos

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All I want to do is eat tacos with YOU... (or without you, I'm just here for the tacos!)

The first time I ever had barbacoa tacos I thought they were the worst things ever. They were bland and topped with RAW onions!!! The seven year old inside of me was already gagging. I remember ordering bean burritos with NO onions from Taco Bell as a kid and every now and then I would get a crunchy onion in there and GAG there went everything. Lunch over. But yeah back to the good stuff. This recipe is quite honestly one of the best things I have ever made. Seriously, red onions and all! 

Real quick I want to add that I am SO excited to finally get to share all of my recipes with you guys. This website will grow with time, I have big plans for it! I am so passionate about helping people find balance and hopefully creating a community where you can be encouraged. 

If you notice, there is a shop tab above. That tab will not only show you a picture of a lot of the most recent ingredients and kitchen tools I use but they are all links so with one click you can purchase them if you need to! If there is ANYTHING I can help you with please leave a comment below or message me on my instagram! 

Now for the recipe...

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos

Gluten Free Banana Date Bread

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Slow rainy week but we are just that much closer to selling our house in Baton Rouge! We should close on the 9th and I couldn't be more excited! Even if I do bawl my eyes out in front of the new owners. It was our first home we bought together. It was where we brought home our sweet Olivia in between her chemotherapy treatments. There was a lot of good and some bad but I'll always have a special place in my heart for that house. For now I think I'll go curl up on the couch with my realtor app and look for new houses. I thought sharing my favorite gluten free banana bread recipe would be perfect with this post since it's better served warm on a rainy day, preferably cuddled up on the couch with a warm blanket. I hope every one of you is having a great week no matter the weather! 

P.S. In my SHOP tab I have linked most of the ingredients that I used for this recipe so that you can find them easily!

Gluten Free Banana Date Bread

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Holy Guacamole!

Every summer my mother-in-law, Laura, takes all of the sisters and sister-in-laws on a big beach trip with the kiddos.  It's been such a great way to bond with all the girls and their little ones throughout the years. Being an only child is GREAT in every way but getting married and gaining a zillion siblings (especially some sistas) has been such a blessing to me. SO on the trip we always hit up the grocery store upon arrival and without fail these ingredients go into the buggy first! We make this guacamole EVERYDAY of the trip! To be honest we only eat guacamole on this trip... and rotisserie chicken but thats another recipe I need to share! All of that to say this is the best guacamole I've ever had and I make it any chance I get! The secret ingredient, in my opinion is the lemon. Limes are my jam but the lemon in this recipe is a must! Also, if you are an only child like me, make sure to double the recipe so you don't have to share your portion. 

Holy Guacamole...