Food

Foodie Friday: Louisiana Pralines

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!  Battling all of these northeast winter storms, and just having had to shovel nearly a foot of snow makes me long for New Orleans – where today’s high will be in the mid-60’s.  (Jealous)  One of the home-town treats that I’ve been missing are pralines, or “pecan candy” as native New Orleanians call it.  It’s usually my staple souvenir whenever I travel home and friends or co-workers ask me to bring them something back. 

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Thursday Thanks: Thanksgiving Gatherings

soul-food-dinner

If there is one thing that I am thankful for is family. Thanksgiving is the major family get-together holiday. Many people love this time of year, while others hate it. Some folks are fortunate enough to have families that can come together and enjoy each others company, and then some are not so fortunate.  I’ve known folks where one section of the family doesn’t get along with the other, and it’s cause for a Thanksgiving filled with tension.
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Friday Fitness: Smoothies, Smoothies, Smoothies

Fruit Smoothies

I LOVE smoothies!  I always have.  When I was little I would beg my mom to buy me an Orange Julius every time we went to the mall.  Then, when they started putting those smoothie packets in the fruit section of the grocery store, I was in heaven.  All you needed was frozen orange juice, or a few bananas and milk – pending on which packet you were buying.
I was recently reading about people doing health detox programs and cleanses.  The primary goal for most was weight loss; however, everyone talked about an increase in energy, clearer skin, and overall feeling better.  Well, I want all of that – minus the weight loss part. In my search I stumbled across Simple Green Smoothie blog and their 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  While I am not jumping into a 30-day challenge of drinking green smoothies, they had tons of great information that could get me off to a good start.

I tried their starter smoothie “Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie”.  It was a simple recipe that included all of the fruits that I love, and the one green that my mother used to force me to eat – spinach.  Ohh the hours I spent at the dinner table in tears, while carefully dropping spinach into the napkin I had hidden in my lap.

Here is the recipe for the Beginner’s Luck GreenSmoothie:

Ingredients
2 cups fresh spinach (I purchased the salad bag of baby spinach)
2 cups water
1 cup mango (I purchased frozen mango)
1 cup pineapple
2 bananas

I blended my greens and water first (as recommended) to ensure that I didn’t have any leafy chunks or stems.  I then added the fruit and blended until it was really smooth.  It’s recommended that you use at least one frozen fruit to make sure that your smoothie will be cold.  If you find that your smoothie has somewhat of a bitter taste, add more pineapple or mango to sweeten.  My smoothie initially had a strong banana taste, so I added more pineapple and a dash of lemon juice.

My Creation

I never thought I would see the day that I would be eating or drinking spinach, but this was really tasty!  My mother would be proud!  Plus there’s the added benefit of the much needed iron, potassium and vitamins.  This was also friendly on my wallet.  🙂
Well, this is my start to improving my health.  Now I just got to get that exercising thing started…

What about you?  Do you enjoy smoothies?  What are some of your favorites?


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Happier, Healthier & Wiser – That’s Me!

Today, Kimberly over at Being A Wordsmith blog has asked us what are some things that we do to be Happier, Healthier, and Wiser.

Happier:
I spend as much quality time as I can with my daughter.  I want to build many memorable experiences with her.  We really have a lot of fun together.  (See bounce house post for proof.)  When we’re out I try to take as many photos as I can.  Not to embarrass her, but so that when she’s older, I can say “Look Petunia, you rode the cow train!”

Healthier:
When I decided I was really serious about taking the plunge into motherhood, I began to eat alot healthier.  I cut out the fast food, cut back on the fried food, added more green vegetables, and began to cook more.  I discovered I loved trying new dishes, and I developed a love for baking from scratch.  I’m happy to say the Petunia LOVES green vegetables.  Brocolli is her favorite, but she can put a hurtin’ on some collard greens!  LOL


I know this is home-made whipped cream Petunia and I were whipping up may not count as healthy, but it was good!  LOL


Another thing I am seriously working on to improve my health, outside of drinking more water, is getting more sleep.  It’s been a struggle.  I tend to get to bed somewhere between 11pm and midnight, but then my alarm goes off at 5am.  This is everyday, and by the time Friday gets here, I’m seriously dragging. 

 

 

I wish this was me right now…



WISER:
Letting stuff go!  I’ve realized that you can be walking around carrying years of past hurts, slights, and disappointments, and the only person still upset about it is YOU.  You’re mad while the other party is enjoying life, not thinking a thing about you.  Let it go, move on!  You’ll feel so much lighter – I know I do. 
Another thing I’ve done is to let some people go.  If you always have some kind of mess brewing, negativity, or you’re a contibutor of gossip, than you can keep it moving!  I want no parts of it!  I have no time for it, don’t want to hear it, because nine times out of ten, if you’re calling me to gossip about “So and So”, then next week you’ll be calling her to gossip about me.  Folks like that will block YOUR blessings!

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What about you?  What do you do to be happier, healthier, and wiser?
 
September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt:  What are 3 things that make you Happier?  Healthier? Wiser?


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