Donut French Toast

Do you ever have one of those mornings where something fun to make just comes to mind? 

That was Saturday for me, I woke up and immediately thought Donut French Toast. 


We happened to have a bunch of leftover donuts from the day before when it was my turn to bring them to work. While I'm fine with leftover donuts, I knew they'd just go to waste... hence the stale donut still sitting in the box on the counter today. 

Donut French Toast via @labride
I'm all about revamping something, and stale bread is always the best food item to revamp. 
So that's how we ended up here, my Mom's super simple french toast recipe, on a donut. 
You can thank me later. 

Donut French Toast via @labride

Donut French Toast

serves 4
Ingredients::
4 glazed donuts
1/2 cup milk (I had almond on hand)
1 egg
a few dashes of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Spray

Directions::
Heat a large skillet over med to med-high heat (I adjust it as I go). Slice donuts down the center so that you have 8 halves. Whisk remaining ingredients (minus cooking spray) together in a pie plate. When the skillet is hot, spray with cooking spray, dunk donut halves in the milk and egg mixture (coating each side well) and place in the skillet. Cooking until each side is golden brown, but still soft in the center.

**If you're making this french toast recipe without donuts, add in 3-4 tbsp of sugar. I left the sugar out on this for obvious reasons, these donuts had enough sugar already. 



What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 

The Secret Language | What's Your Secret Language Name?

Growing up I always loved to pull out the news paper and see what the day's horoscope was for Pisces, that's my sign. Don't think I'm about to go all weird on you, I didn't believe in the stuff, it was just fun to look at everyone's horoscope every day.

In college I read this book about how certain birthdays matched well with other's for relationships, I didn't pull it out to decide if I should date Jeremy, but I did like reading just for interest way back in the day.

A few months ago I stumbled upon a book at the store that had information about a person based on their birthday that wasn't based on all that astronomy mumbo jumbo. It was done as a survey of thousands of people (20,000) and just gave what common traits were shared with people born on that day, not the junk you find in the paper that you have no clue how it came to be.

The Secret Language | What's Your Secret Language Name?

I was intrigued at just how accurate it was about my personality.

My Grandmother's Scones with Devon Cream

Like many of the recipes hidden away in the envelopes I managed to inherit under the condition I complete the recipe book... I have no memory of this one.

My Grandmother's Scones with Devon Cream via @labride


Although my memory lacks in this area, I'm sure she made them many times considering the page it was typed on (literally typed on) is worn, yellowing, and starting to form holes in the center of the creases.

My Grandmother's Scones with Devon Cream via @labride

This reminds me of traditional English scones, not overly sweet like their American counterparts.

Typing that actually makes me think I've probably had these before. Considering my British obsession, Nanny probably made these in the height of my obsession circa the 1990's.

I made these Sunday morning and had them with coffee before church, but they'd be just as amazing with real tea.

Want to know a little funny something about this recipe. After making it I realized I only made 8 scones instead of 12. I made one large circle and just went to town in my Sunday morning hurry.

Go figure.

My Grandmother's Scones with Devon Cream via @labride

Scones with Devon Cream

makes 12
Ingredients::
2 cups all purpose flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) cold butter
1 large egg
2/3 c heavy cream or Half and Half

Directions::
Put flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mesh strainer and sift into a large bowl. Add cold butter to the bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry blender work the butter n the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Mix the eggs and heavy cream together to blend. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until a dough forms. Gently knead the dough about 8 times. Try not to handle the dough much. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and shape into a circle about a half inch thick. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place the wedges onto an unbuttered baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. 

Note: Cheese Scones - Reduce sugar to 1 1/2 tsp and add 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. 

Devon Cream - 
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tbsp sugar

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and blend with a hand mixer until fluffy and no lumps remain. 

My Grandmother's Scones with Devon Cream via @labride

If you like your scones sweeter I'd add more sugar and vanilla. Then add vanilla and more sugar to the Devon Cream as well. This would also be great with cinnamon, or maybe a pumpkin cream. 

What's your favorite scone flavor?

Meal Pinning Monday

This week we're back with a regular installment of Meal Pinning Monday, so scroll down, link-up, and share your menu with us!

Meal Pinning Monday

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - West African Chicken Peanut Stew (with almond butter)

Tuesday - South of the Border Chicken with roasted brussel sprouts
Recipe on the blog next week for My Grandmother's Recipes

Wednesday - Dinner at church

Thursday - Leftover South of the Border Chicken with roasted broccoli

Friday - Date Night

Southern Living didn't have a photo online, so just the link:)

Sunday - Leftover Chili

Breakfast - Avena (adding in vanilla protein powder)

Lunch - Flat out with mustard, turkey, & kale - pear - celery & hummus

Snack - plain Greek yogurt - blueberries - Fiber One Original

Week in Review

This week had a lot going on, I thought I'd get more photos edited from Type-A Nola... but we'll get to that later.

Right now, let's talk about what's been going on since last Friday.


In no particular order, here's what we've been up to.

1. I don't know where this sucker has been all my life, but honestly a banana flavored Tootsie Roll Pop is heaven! I could have taken every single one of these from my students, sat under my desk, and chomped on them all by my lonesome.

Have I told y'all I have a fake banana flavor obsession? Well I do. In the most serious banana ice pop kind of way.

2. I really should have ordered these pics, and I've said it a million times before, but last weekend was my first ever blog boot camp. On the photo-walk Friday night we ran into a praline shop, that I can't remember the name of, and I bought the absolute best praline I've ever consumed.

Ever!

3. I ventured to Lafayette with Jeremy this week in search of a jacket for work. He is dressed up everyday and can't wander around wearing what teachers seem to get away with. (I love my jean jacket by the way, he just can't do that) It was a bust, but nothing says fun like taking the typical husband role as the disgruntled shopper. I'll shop all day people, but I was just not feeling Marshal's at 8pm. Hopefully tonight on our wandering around the town we can nail down something and return what he got the other day. Anyone know of somewhere to get a good sports jacket at for a good price. (As in we are paying for graduate school good price lol)

4. I got to meet Aimee from aimeebroussard.com Saturday. I absolutely had a blast hanging out all day at the conference and adore all of her aprons. Y'all should check her and out buy one of those adorable aprons, I definitely have my eye on one I'm going to buy. Also, she is a recipe queen and has two cute pups. I couldn't have made up a better blog friend to have things in common with. Seriously y'all if she hadn't come to dinner Jeremy might still be looking at me like I have a lot of made up internet killer friends!

5. Sunday I went over to my aunt's house to take pics of everyone for Christmas. Needless to say I got the manual mode down pat on Monday and fought that camera the whole time with them Sunday. The newest family member sure did look cute though. Tate is about the most adorable, content child I've seen in ages. I couldn't get over how I caught him sleeping in my lap while everyone was getting dressed and I was fussing with my camera.

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

As a teacher I tend to hoard candy.

Right now I have a snickers waiting for a rainy day in my top desk drawer.

Sometime the only thing you need in life is a comforting piece of chocolate to help you survive the day. In this particular instance I found my self with handfuls of chocolate in my bag from the Type-A Nola Bootcamp.

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies | Louisiana Bride

On the way home the car that night I started hoarding the candy from Jeremy for a different reason, I wanted to make cookies out of random Halloween candy.

I let the man eat all the Halloween Cadbury Eggs, I wasn't sure how they would do in a cookie, but if you're brave enough go for it with your own cookies!

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies | Louisiana Bride

When coming up with a name for these babies I definitely couldn't say "kitchen sink" like I wanted to, I had to find something else to call them. Pumpkin came to mind, we just called our Halloween baskets pumpkins. Then again, someone might think this was a pumpkin cookie. 

So I landed on Jack-O-Lantern. 

So go ahead and save a few handfuls of the good candy from your child's Jack-O-Lantern, and make some yummy cookies. 

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies | Louisiana Bride

I really think this is also the perfect teacher cookie recipe, if I have candy laying around I tend to hide it. Cookies though, I put desserts in little baggies and take them to work to share with teachers on my hall.

It's the only way I can convince myself to get rid of sugar.

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies | Louisiana Bride

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

makes 12 cookies
Ingredients::
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 tbsp instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 good handfulls of Halloween candy
   I used - Halloween orange Kit-Kat, Reeses, Milk Chocolate Bars, Reese's, and Hershey's Cookies                     and Cream bar. Use whatever candy you get! 

Instructions::
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used my pizza stone and lined it). In a bowl cream your sugar and butter. Add in your egg & vanilla, mix to combine. Add in the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, and salt, stir to combine. Rough chop your unwrapped candy and toss it into the mixture, stiring until evenly distributed. With two tablespoons scoop out dough and place onto the parchment paper a good inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Everything but the Jack-O-Lantern Cookies | Louisiana Bride

What is your favorite Halloween candy? 

We Just Click {Helzberg Diamonds Giveaway}

If you could capture your relationship in three images what would they be? 

It actually took me a little while to answer my own question, I dug through the backed up photo log that is this blog, search Facebook, and looked all over my computer. It's hard to describe yourself in images when your husband hides from the camera. 

I often joke about how we started dating, I actually did my best to repel Jeremy and get him to stop trying to come around.

That didn't work so well.

A stubborn man always gets what he wants, and this one just ignored me until I agreed to date him.

The beginning of our relationship was definitely more carefree, fun, and well... college.

There is just something to be said about dating in college, the easy schedules, minimal bills, going on dates all the time, and never once dragging in the work exhaustion. It's much more lighted hearted and fun, you don't think clearly.

Things that would obviously be problems down the road are glazed over in the newly dating dream world.

It's never until much later that you actually begin to have to work on your relationship and dig deeper into why you want to be with someone.

read more...

My Grandmother's Recipes | Texas Hash (Paleo)

Like most of the recipes in my Nanny's stash, I had to argue with her as I was searching for this particular one.

Why was I arguing?

Well once again it wasn't where it should go.


Technically this is a casserole, the way I made it, it isn't. However, it's a casserole none the less.

Where was it?

Oh just hanging out in Miscellaneous. The one envelope of recipes that I could easily categorize. To a true Southern woman though, her categories were simple.

Casserole
Breakfast
Meat
Dessert
Bread
Soups & Salads
and...

Miscellaneous

So Texas Hash, baked in a casserole dish... miscellaneous.


I'll toss this into the knife skills discussion we had two weeks before she died. I managed to drag my mother to the dark side, but that old Southern woman was going to but her onions with a steak knife to the end.

Growing up poor on a farm, the oldest daughter of a share-cropper will do that to you.

Speaking of the actual recipe, I changed a few things.

A) I cut down on cooking time.

B) I changed the starch.

C) I cut my onion with a chef's knife and not a steak knife.


Texas Hash
serves 4
Ingredients::
1 lb ground beef (extra lean)
2 med onions, rough chopped
2 tsp chili powder
1 large sweet potato (or sub in 1 cup of cooked brown rice)
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 green bell pepper, rough chopped
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp garlic powder, plus more for sweet potatoes

Directions::
In a large skillet, brown meat, onion, and green pepper. In a separate skillet heat 3 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Chop sweet potato into even size pieces, a large dice, and toss in the hot skillet. Season potatoes with salt and garlic powder. Cook at med-high heat until the potatoes are browning and crisp. Lower heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid, cook for 5 minutes. Check potatoes after five minutes, if they aren't done continue in 5 minutes increments with lid on until tender. While potatoes are cooking, and when beef is browned, add the tomatoes, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the meat mixture. When sweet potatoes are cooked through toss them into the meat mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Serve immediately.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This recipe fits a Paleo diet, if using the sweet potato, and is a great cold weather dish. The chili powder and tomato give it what I'm missing of my mother's chili when we are eating Paleo. Feel free to change the starch to anything you like, I just personally prefer the taste sweet potato adds to savory dishes.


31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Kale Breakfast Skillet

Today is the second to last MPM/31 Days combo for the series.

If you're stopping by to link up for MPM the linky is at the bottom like always.

Let's get this Frugal Paleo train moving.

Meal Pinning Monday

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

What I'm actually making for dinner tonight is something that you'll see tomorrow from the My Grandmother's Recipes series. 

So in lieu of a dinner recipe, here is a favorite Paleo breakfast of mine. 


This is super easy and very filling, and as a side note... y'all know how much I love BBQ, well sometimes I put BBQ sauce in this. 

Weird? Yes. 

But it makes me happy. 

Breakfast Kale Skillet::
Ingredients - 
2 eggs
sliced mushrooms
sliced onion
sliced bell pepper
cherry tomatoes
chicken broth
salt & pepper
olive oil

Directions - 
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes (about a fist full of each). When everything has cooked down add in a few handfuls of kale and a splash of chicken broth. Cook kale until wilted and crack in the two eggs. At this point you can either scramble them, or cook them sunny side up, your choice. After your eggs are cooked through season with salt and pepper. 

31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Paleo Coffee Creamer

I first made a version of this last year when I did my first Whole 30, this past week when I decided I needed to kick my sugar addiction I made it again.

The only difference, I used dates to sweeten it.


So this time I thew in dates.

It's not nearly as yummy as a Cafe au Lait, but it's Whole 30 approved good.

Speaking of Whole 30, there was no way in the world I would have been able to stick with it during Type-A Nola. So I gave it up for two days, and I'll be starting over Monday. Yes I know it defeats the purpose, but it was either waste away on two carrots and some asparagus, or enjoy the weekend.

No one's perfect.


Paleo Coffee Creamer
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 9 pitted whole dates

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 14 oz can coconut milk

  • dash cinnamon

  • egg

  • Cooking Directions
     
    Chop dates and soak in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 30 minutes.

    In a food processor combine the egg, drained dates, coconut milk, and cinnamon. Pulse to combine.
           
    When dates are chopped up as much as possible by the food processor, strain the mixture through a mesh strainer and store in a tightly sealed container for up to 7 days.


    I seriously wish I could have stuck to Paleo while at a blog conference, but such is life.

    As my mother always says.

    I'll be sharing photos from Type-A Bootcamp this week so check back for that, as well as our last full week of 31 Days. It officially ends next Thursday, and my fingers couldn't be happier.


    Gosh it's hard to be on a blog every blooming day schedule!

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Banana Pecan Ice Cream Pie

    Today's recipe is not only a favorite, it was also my birthday cake this year. It's easy, cheap to make, and I swear I really want a piece right now.



    Between this recipe and the Paleo Pumpkin Pie, it's all the dessert I'd ever need.


    The one thing I do like is that if you don't have a Yonana maker this is also easily made in the food processor.

    I won't lie though, I did buy myself a Yonana maker for my birthday just to make this recipe.

    It was also totally worth it.

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Cube Steak & Root Veggies

    I am super excited that today after work we are heading to New Orleans for Type-A Advanced!

    This is my first blog conference and I love that it's a mini session that I could make it too without having to take off work, or drive a zillion miles. Finally something good comes to LA!

    Without further rambling, let's get on to today's 31 Days recipe.


     Cube Steak with Mushrooms & Onions and Roasted Root Veggies:: 

    This is an easy week night meal that's filling, and frugal just like I like it.



    The only change I have for this recipe is to not worry about "grass fed" beef. For one I can't find it easily, and (2) I'm not spending the money on it. It kind of beats the point of cheap cuts of meat.

    This root veggies recipe though, wouldn't change a thing. Except that I'm not eating it right now. Doesn't that pic look divine!

    High Five I'm Headed to My First Blog Conference Friday

    Excited is the understatement of the year for me.

    Jeremy on the other hand just can't wait to sit at a coffee shop all day doing homework while I'm at Type-A Advanced on Friday night and Saturday.


    Oh this week, at least work has become easier since my Tuesday afternoon WalMart meltdown.

    1. We hit up the Gumbo Festival Saturday and Jeremy decided on Gumbo Pizza. It was good, I'm not much of a gumbo person... but it was good. The cracklins were the best though.

    2. I'm about to have to get some grandma glasses holder for my neck, I can't keep up with them at all. I've tried to not wear the geeky glasses much to work, my kids don't get it and just annoy the mess out of me about them. So when I had no choice I knew what kind of day I'd have. Just so happens that day led to the Emo moment at WalMart.

    3. After two days of a Whole30 and no coffee to speak of I was going bonkers. I just like to drink something hot in the morning. I ended up making a Whole30 approved coffee creamer that gets the job done, I'll share it later.

    4. Birchbox. It came in late this month, but it didn't disappoint. Is it weird that I love samples this much? I can't seem to use my samples fast enough, which totally justifies the $10 a month for the samples. That box is about 3 months worth of what I haven't used up yet.

    5. Pinterest saved my life yesterday. I was sick as a dog of what I was eating for breakfast so I had eggs baked in an avocado and it was divine. It seems super sketchy on the texture, but I promise you it was good! You just had to bake the thing at 425 for 15-20 minutes.

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Balsamic Chicken & Sausage

    Aww, another day of clean eating.

    I'm finishing day 3 of a Whole30 and I must say I'm happier today than I was yesterday.

    Yesterday was apparently emotional breakdown day.

    Obviously my sugar addiction is getting the best of me when two days without coffee and I'm in the WalMart parking lot crying my eyes out.

    Once I cleared my eyes I marched into the store, bought some dates and coconut milk and made the best creamer I can stand to drink for the next 27 days. I'm convinced coffee keeps me out of jail, and it's decaf. Obviously there are some deep mental ties to drinking hot liquid in the morning that I need to overcome, but it keeps me sane (ish) none the less.


    I'm just a good day and 3/4 away from Type-A Advanced NOLA and I'm starting to wonder how I'll keep up this up over the weekend. 

    On a side note I seriously can't wait to be in a room full of other people who photograph their food and everything else without looking at me weird. Yay! 

    Now for today's recipe. 

    Balsamic Chicken & Sausage. 



    It's another one of those I wouldn't change a bit, so head over and check it out. It's one of those glorious recipes that will make winter amazing, and you'll be thanking me for sending it to you with the business of the season. 

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Chicken Fingers with Cauliflower Poppers

    Sometimes I just need to be honest, like right now, this is going to be real honest. 

    Teaching is sucking the life out of me right now. 

    With Compass looming over ever teacher in the state's heads, heightened behavior problems due to where I'm at now, and just being at the defeated part of hitting the 5 year mark.... I'm mentally done. 

    I don't talk about my job much on here and for good reason, I'm not one of those "teacher" teachers. I don't live and breathe it. Seriously I chose the career because I could get a Master's in it before Jeremy started his specialist. 

    Now after two major moves, 4 schools, and a curriculum overhaul I'm exhausted. 

    I'm sick of being the "new" teacher. Teachers who have taught less time than I have tell me, "Oh you're just having to deal with this because you're new." Well, yes, I may be new here, but I'm not new

    Nearly ever year has felt like my first year of teaching simply because we've moved, or I've been transferred because of district shutdowns and the new ones were moved around. 

    I just want to be in a room that "my room" and have students that don't give me a run for my money because I'm new. I had really hoped that after moving I would get settled and want to stay where I am, but I can't really imagine it at the moment. Hopefully that will change before the end of the year, but as for now I am at the end of my rope and am totally out of ideas. 

    It just seems to be "one of those years." 

    Now that I got that off my chest, I just really needed to be transparent about something I'm struggling with right now. If y'all think to pray for me this school year I'd so covet your prayers. It's just tough. 

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Now for the actual 31 Days.


    Today's recipes are a favorite and I cook them probably every other week. Since there is nothing I change in them I'm just giving you the pin so you can check them out yourself. 

    I normally make my own almond meal/flour, it's cheaper and much easier. 



    You may want to make Paleo ketchup to go with this, I adore ketchup on these poppers. Jeremy thinks I'm gross, but it's so good. 



    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pressure Cooker Green Chili Chicken

    When I first made this recipe I nearly doubted every aspect of it.

    The taste.

    The cooking method.

    I was happily proved wrong.


    Pressure Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Onions, & Green Chili::
    serves 4


    My changes to the recipe are in pink. 
    Ingredient list:
    1 sweet yellow onion
    1 can of mild green chilies (small can)
    1 pound of stew pork (chicken breasts)
    1 can of diced tomatoes (mine were fire-roasted with green chilies)
    1 big head cauliflower
    Apple cider vinegar (Heinz makes one with the mother now)
    Salt
    Garlic powder
    Paprika
    Cayenne pepper
    Turmeric
    Directions: 
    Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Peel and chop onion into half-moon slices, add to pot, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dust with salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Splash generously with apple cider vinegar. Open can of green chilies, cut into bite-size pieces, and add to pot. Cut pork into bite-size pieces and add to pot. Dust with salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Open can of tomatoes and add to pot on top of pork. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure (may take 5-10 minutes), reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, bring pressure down as quickly as possible (about 5 minutes), and remove top. Meanwhile, cut cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. Rinse and then dust with salt, garlic powder, Cayenne pepper, and Turmeric. Add cauliflower to pot. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure (may take 5 minutes), reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, bring pressure down as quickly as possible (about 5 minutes), and remove top. Transfer food to a plate with a ladle and enjoy!

    This was even better the next day for lunch. It was very filling and Jeremy even like it! 

    My Grandmother's Recipes | South of the Border Grits

    So far the past two recipes have been things my mother doesn't eat. 

    For someone raised by my grandmother, she doesn't eat biscuits, grits, cornbread, and I'm sure there is another food item I'm forgetting. 

    I happen to love grits. 

    Every memory of staying at the camp as a kid involved sausage, eggs, grits, and biscuits. It also involves a very vivid memory of the woman making that food. 

    I can still smell it. 

    There was just something about going to the camp with my grandparents with out my parents. My sister and I would pile in their car and drive to the country. 

    Right before we were out of town completely we'd stop for Popeye's Chicken. 

    That night we'd have chicken, the next morning we'd have the breakfast I mentioned above, and after a day of fishing we'd have fried perch. 

    I also can vividly remember, and smell, my grandfather filleting perch out on the patio. 

    This particular recipe aren't the grits I recall, Mom said she made everything plain so the cousin's would eat it. I would eat it, but Laura and Chris for sure were insanely picky kids. 

    These fall in the category of "things Nanny made for just her and Pop." 

    If it makes you feel better, the recipe is old. Out of one of those cookbooks from the 70's when microwaves became popular. 

    Yes, they want you to microwave these grits. 


    South of the Border Grits::
    Serves 6
    Ingredients::
    4 1/2 cups water
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup regular grits (not instant)
    1 14oz can of diced tomatoes (or Rotel if you like spicy)
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp garlic powder (not in the recipe but I added it in)
    1/4 cup sliced green onions
    1/4 cup cheddar cheese

    Instructions::

    1. Put all ingredients except green onions and cheese into a 2 quart microwave safe bowl. Stir to mix.
    2. Cover with lid or vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 15 to 18 minutes, stirring once, until thickened.
    3. Stir in green onions and cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving. 
    Nutrition info (without cheese)::
    113 calories, 3 g protein, 24 g carbs, 1 g fat, 486 mg sodium. Exchange 1 1/4 starch/bread, 1 
    vegetable.

    I suggest making this on the stove, I personally blow things up in the microwave... this was a bit of a mess. It tasted great, but me and microwave meals just aren't friends. 


    How do you like your grits? 

    Meal Pinning Monday & 31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Grilled Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

    Today is another Meal Pinning Monday/31 Days of Frugal Meals combo.

    So sit back, enjoy the recipe, and link up.

    Before we get to this weeks menu be sure and check out my two most recent posts for 5 Minutes for MomUsing Pinterest to Meal Plan, and 5 Easy Food Swaps to Help You Get Healthier.
    Meal Pinning Monday


    [What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
    MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

    Monday -Grilled Chicken and Roasted Broccoli

    Grilled Chicken::

    Roasted Broccoli::
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place broccoli florettes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until edges are crispy. 



    Style with a Vision :: Is Your Vision Insured?

    Four years ago, after noticing my eyesight wasn't what it use to be, I broke down and got glasses.

    I'm a huge chicken when it comes to eye doctors, so you know I was blind as a bat when I finally went through with it. From the beginning of my first year teaching, to the end of the year my vision completely blurred as far as distance goes.
    From August to May I went from being able to read the board from my desk to not being able to read letters on the white board at all.

    I was lucky that our insurance covered the doctor appointment, but I had to come out of pocket for my glasses, and it seriously limited my selection.

    Aside from my own glasses, I've noticed my students over the years often don't have the proper eyewear, or have very cheaply made glasses. All because it's what they could afford.

    All of the out of pocket eyewear expenses could be avoided with a little vision insurance.

    We're willing to pay for health, dental, rental, car, and even pet insurance, so why not have vision insurance that covers what matters.

    The actual glasses.

    VSP individual insurance is affordable and helps you to get the eyewear you want, and let's face it... your glasses are the only fashion statement you can get insurance for.

    VSP Vision with Style | Pumpkin Patch




    With vision insurance I'm not as in shock when I leave the eye doctor. My first visit I had no idea I would be paying for the visit, lenses, and the frames.

    It was like being told I had to order my burger with out the combo. I was new to the whole process and my wallet was too. It blew my mind that I was spending hundreds of dollars on glasses, and they weren't even that nice. It was just what was in our price range.

    Recently glasses have become popular again. Certain frames are in style, and I've even seen people wearing fake glasses just to get the look. With insurance from VSP Direct you can complete outfit and "insure" your look with great vision insurance.

    VSP is the only not-for-profit vision care company in the nation, and they've spent the better part of a decade developing great vision plans that are now available in nearly every state. Depending on where you live you could have a vision plan for less than $16 a month in 46 states.

    Honestly, I paid more overall for my first pair of glasses than a year's worth of insurance from VSP would have cost me.

    My favorite part of VSP insurance, they don't limit the glasses you can get. They offer dozens of styles to fit the look you want. The first time I bought glasses I had to look at price tags, if I had be insured by VSP at the time I could have been worry free and just picked out the pair that suited me best.

    So what all does VSP vision insurance cover?

    • eye exam with a low co-pay
    • allowance for glasses or contacts, with fully covered lens options
    • lowest out of pocket cost in vision care with average savings of $227
    • 100% satisfaction guarenteed
    • 300,000 providers in convenient locations, making VSP the largest doctor network in the industry

    Imagine how great this outfit would be with glasses just like the sunglasses! 


    Now I have something really awesome for y'all! 
     - Head on over to the VSP Facebook page to enter to win $50 Nine West gift card and 1 year of free Vision Coverage! (9 winners) 
     - 1 grand prize winner will get $500 Nine West gift card and a free year of Vision Coverage. 

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
    

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie

    I've expressed my deep love of pumpkin here before.

    But today we are taking it to a new level, leaving my coffee mugs of canned pumpkin and venturing into a full fledge pie.

    I've had everything sitting in my pantry for this recipe for a few weeks, and today I finally got around to it.

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    Paleo Pumpkin Pie::

    Ingredients::
    For the crust - 
    8 oz of chopped pecans (I used a mixture of almonds as well, thought I had more pecans)
    8 oz chopped dates or 8 whole dates
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    For the filling - 
    2 cups of canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
    1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
    4 egg whites
    1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
    1/2 cup raw honey

    Instructions::
    Combine all of the crust ingredients in a food processor.

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    Pulse until combined and started to for a sort of dough/ paste consistency. It should still be slightly chunky. But small chunks. 

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    Press down the filling in a greased pie plate using a flat bottom glass and plastic wrap to prevent the cup from sticking to the mixture. 

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    In a large mixing bowl combine all filling ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into crust. 

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    Cover edges of the pie with foil, bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 45 minutes. 

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    I'm apparently the only person happy that it was Saturday and there was a pie baking.

    Ellie took up her normal spot on the couch, staring directly at the door so she could be the first to the scene in case something where to happen. Jeremy on the other hand took to doing homework. 

    31 Days of Frugal Paleo | Pumpkin Pie via @labride

    She was actually so excited that she fell asleep.


    By the way, pay no attention to her crooked beard. We had to cut her by hand, my trimmers finally bit the dust, and lazy pants wanted to lay on her side. So one side is shorter than the other, and she now constantly looking at you with the Elvis lip curl. Or the faux Elvis lip curl, as brought on by her horrible hair cut.


    Even though Ellie wasn't impressed, I was happy with how it turned out.

    You really have to watch it to make sure the crust doesn't burn. I was super concerned about eating burnt nuts, yuck. It turned out great though, I love this date and pecan crust, even as a raw crust in ice box pies.



    It's not the prettiest of pies, but it's healthy and you don't have to feel guilty about it. 

    Because I seriously want to have my pie and eat it too.