Eat Happy: Pan Fried Bone-In Rib Eye

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


This week, I was both excited and scared to discover I had this recipe.  Excited because, hello, steak… not to mention I was on my period something fierce and like to eat red meat during that time.  Then there was scared, because I have never cooked a rib eye myself.  Also, after the tenderloin debacle, I worried about my grocery store tab.

All that worry for nothing, y’all.

I went to several stores and none carried truffle salt, so I decided to skip that.  My store also didn’t have a rib eye with a bone, but I decided I sure didn’t care about that.  I’ve never enjoyed cutting around a bone.

That pizza is not part of my meal.  That is for kids who only wanted pizza and have a mom who didn’t feel like dealing with it that night.  Brussels are also not in the recipe, but I felt like eating some.

Listen.  This was phenomenal and stupid easy.  So easy, that I don’t understand what took me so long to try pan-frying a steak!  I can not wait to cook steak again.

Eat Happy : Southwest Style Burgers

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


I was excited to make this one… because who doesn’t love a burger? I know I sure do! 🙂

As always, this recipe was uncomplicated and not surprisingly, I had all the ingredients for this particular one on hand! To say I enjoy southwest flavors is an understatement. They are in regular rotation when it comes to meals I eat.

My least favorite part about making burgers? The getting your hands down in the meat and squishing it around to mix all the ingredients and then form the patties. Anyone else feel the same way??

I pan fried these to get a nice sear on the outside and then stuck them in the oven to finish up.

I think they turned out freaking delicious – and I don’t know why this was my first time making this particular recipe! I’ve for sure been missing out.

I added a fried egg to go along with my burger patties…and it was the perfect compliment. For sure don’t mess up this delicious burger with a bun. It’s unnecessary and would totally screw up that whole “no sugar no grains” thing I’ve got going on when it comes to what I eat! 😉

What do you guys think? Have you ever had a southwest style burger?

Eat Happy: Leek and Mustard Crusted Tenderloin

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


I was looking forward to this meal, because Stuart and I often treat ourselves to some tenderloin steaks on the weekend and I’ve been known to really polish some off.  I got to the grocery store and walked right up to the butcher’s counter like I own the place.  After all, I buy from there a lot.  I told the kid running the counter that I needed the 2-3 pounds of the beef tenderloin, unsliced.  He lit up when he weighed out the meat and wrapped it up.

“He must love his job.  Or maybe he loves beef,” I thought.  Oh, how naive I was.

I took my neat brown-paper-wrapped package, set it in the buggy, and glanced at the price.  Then I picked it up to inspect closer because there’s no way I was seeing the price right.

$55.  FIFTY-FIVE dollars.  For a hunk of beef.  oh, but no big since with my shopper’s card I got it for $50!

Oh boy.

Anyway, I had a brief panic attack, checking all my cards and accounts to make sure I could even buy that and the other stuff I needed, then headed home to put away my prize beef.

With the cost of the beef, the pressure to not mess it up was really freaking real.  You know what I’m saying?

I gotta say, once again, Anna did not fail me.  Her recipes are all reasonably easy to follow without fucking it up.

Honestly, the hardest part of this one was the cleanup, because not only was my blender involved, but I transferred the meat a thousand times trying to get the right pan for this project and then once done, the right platter to slice it on.  I did come to the conclusion during the process that I need a roasting pan, new knives, and some other things for the kitchen.

I could NOT get the consistency of the crust just right, nor could I get it to stick to the meat.  I have no doubt that is partially due to the fact that I made a couple of substitutions based on what was available in my pantry (after already spending so much on the meat).  It smelled amazing in the oven though and holy crap, the coating alone tastes amazing.  When I was slicing it, I was eating the pieces that fell off.  I could eat JUST that for dinner.

But listen.  I am just going to put this out there – this is a special occasion dish for us because of the cost.  I am going to venture a guess and say there are probably less expensive tenderloin options.  Mine was just extra fancy, I guess?

Now, the verdict – was it worth $50?

Abso. Freaking. Lutely.  It melted in my mouth and Stuart, who is super picky about how beef is cooked, LOVED it.  We rationed it out over 3 days to stretch our grocery budget.  I will definitely make this again for Christmas or Stuart’s birthday!

I highly recommend making this if you want to impress someone with a fancy meal!

 

Eat Happy: Chili Lime Flat Iron Steak

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


Hey y’all hey. It’s after five and I am FINALLY sitting down to write this blog. And listen. Let’s be real honest. I literally just cooked this bad boy about 30 (ish)  minutes ago. The steak was rubbed down around one and marinated all afternoon though.

And then also – I don’t know if you guys are regulars or if you’ve been here from the beginning of this series, BUT if you are, you may remember how I mentioned that I’m just not a big fan of big slabs of meat. I know, I know. That sounds silly. It’s how I roll though.

The flavors of this dish are allllll up my alley. Obviously, while I was making it I was having fantasies of letting it chill then slicing it super thin and making a taco with it. A taco minus the actual taco of course. A taco bowl. You know: a little bit of shredded lettuce, some guac, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and black olives. YUM

Did I just commit some kind of steak treason? 😉 ALSO, I did not garnish with cilantro. It’s fo sho not my thing. I hate how it smells and tastes. Anyone else feel that way about cilantro?

A little confession: Because I never cook slabs of mean – I’m a little insecure about how my steak looks. Thinking of sharing these pictures makes me just as nervous as the idea of posting a picture of myself in a bikini. LOL Be kind and gentle with me and when you think your steak judgy-ments.

But yeah. I did the damn thing and cooked this steak. It is super delicious. I will not lie though – I ate a couple pieces then stuck it in the fridge to chill and decimate with my taco idea later on tonight. 🙂 🙂

And as always – Anna’s recipes are simple and easy to follow. I cannot ever express how much I appreciate that. This one was so simple that I could for sure come home and tackle it in a reasonable amount of time with little effort on a busy week night which is a major plus when you have to corral and take care of a five and two year old. But what I appreciate the most? The fact that I can feel good about putting this meal in my body since there are no sugars or grains in it.

Thanks so much for coming by today! Tell me, how do YOU feel about slabs of meat? If you have Eat Happy, have you cooked this recipe yet?

 

 

Eat Happy: Coconut Crusted Shrimp

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


When I saw that I was going to be making shrimp, I was excited because I love shrimp, but I have also never actually cooked it myself, so there was some intimidation there.  After reading Ashley’s shrimp experience from last week, I was really not looking forward to peeling and deveining them.

Luckily, Kroger had the hookup.  Sure, they were more expensive, but it was a price I was willing to pay to avoid that nasty task.

I was expecting this to be a stressful meal to make, just out of shear intimidation.  However, I poured some tequila, turned on the music, and got to it.

Like pretty much all recipes where you bread or crust something, the most frustrating part was when the coating starts to get super wet and no longer sticks to shrimp.  In other coated foods, I have started doubling the coating so that when the first batch gets wet, I can use the second.  Just a tip for you.

I honestly can’t believe how overall easy this was to cook and how delightful the taste was.  I feel like it’s a dish that I can impress company with, but at the same time, my 4-year-old loved it.

Would absolutely make this again, and kinda can’t wait!

Eat Happy: Asian Marinated Shrimp Skewers

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


So, I really love shrimp. Eating shrimp. If you asked me what my favorite meal is I’d probably first reply by saying I’ll eat anything mexican and anything with shrimp.

The thing is- peeling said shrimp really freaking sucks. I can’t tell you how many times during the process of peeling these shrimp that I considered giving up. Pinching their heads off and seeing all the things that secreted during the pinching…. I just can’t imagine willing doing that again for a while.

I mean. Was it worth it? Well yeah. We’re doing this whole thing to get out of our comfort zones when it comes to making NSNG foods. Well, when it comes to making food in general! And also, this was super delicious.

Anna has yet to let us down. 🙂

Also, considering I prepped and cooked this dish while I was also making Quesadilla Casserole and baking/shredding some chicken for another recipe later this week – I can safely say that this shrimp recipe is easy peasy to whip up.

The hardest part is the shrimp peeling. I feel like that could be a form of torture. Cheat on your math test? Here, now you must peel 3 pounds of shrimp.

Sophie, my two year old, wasn’t helping matters when she repeatedly would come check on me and go, “oooh mommy what you doin’? That yucky!” LOL

I didn’t cook my shrimp on skewers. Why? Cause I failed at remembering to buy some. I feel like they probably tasted the same. 😉

But yes, this was super yummy and as always extremely good for my body because there were no sugars or grains!

EASY HOMEMADE MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANER

Well hello hello! Welcome back to the blog… today I wanted to share with you my recipe for a solution that I use to clean my makeup brushes.

Obviously, you can go to most beauty stores or even Walmart to buy makeup brush cleaning solutions. I’ve done just that many times. However, I have a ton of brushes, and I usually neglect to clean them until the whole gigantic lot needs to be scrubbed down. This procrastination means that when I do clean my brushes – I use a TON of cleaner during the process. A good makeup brush cleaning solution is not typically cheap. And I’m cheap. And then also there have been times where I didn’t have a backup on hand when I ran out of cleaning solution midway through a  brush cleaning session. I improvised a lot and made my own cleaning solution to finish up getting all those brushes clean.

This homemade makeup brush cleaner was really just my backup for an emergency situation when I ran out of store bought cleaning solution until I realized that this homemade solution was cheaper and really performed just as well if not better than the expensive brush cleaning solutions I was buying from Ulta.

It was a light bulb moment that I haven’t turned back from! And so, without further adieu … I give you my go to homemade makeup brush cleaning solution:

To be honest – I never measure when I’m putting this concoction together. I just eyeball it, but I know that if it were me reading this blog post – I’d want some concrete measurements to start out with.

Cleaning Your Brushes:

  1. Wet the bristles underneath warm water running from the faucet.
  2. Dip the wet bristles inside your makeup brush cleaning solution
  3. Swirl the soaked brush around on the surface of a rubber makeup brush cleaning pad. (I use this one)
  4. Once you see the makeup residue being dislodged from the brush onto the rubber pad, place the brush/rubber pad setup underneath the running water and swirl the brush around until all the makeup residue is washed away and all of the cleaning solution is rinsed from your brush.
  5. Run your pointer and thumb finger over the brush bristles so that they are laying flat in their intended state. Place the brush on a towel to dry.

Cleaning Your Makeup Sponge:

  1. After you’ve cleaned all the brushes that you need to, dilute the remaining cleansing solution with water. It’s important that the solution not be thick when you dunk your sponge in it. Why? Well. You’ll be there for ten million years trying to squeeze out all that soap. Trust me.
  2. So, dip your sponge in the diluted cleaning solution and squeeze and release it several times while it is submerged.
  3. Take the sponge out of the cleaning solution and hold it under running water while you perform the same squeeze and release motions until the water runs clear of bubbles and soap residue.

There you have it! A makeup brush cleaning solution that I’m sure most of you could whip up without having to leave your home to search for the ingredients! Let me know if you try it!

 

Eat Happy: Almond Crusted Baked Cod

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


When I realized that I was making fish again, I took a deep breath before remembering that Anna Vocino hasn’t steered us wrong yet.  I was definitely excited to go back to the fancy ass Kroger to get the fish, so it made it fun.

I will admit, to save some money and frustration, I took a few liberties with this recipe.  I already had almond flour, but no almond meal as the recipe calls for.  I looked at Kroger but they didn’t have any, so I decided to just roll with the flour rather than make another stop.  Instead of chopping fresh chives, I used lightly dried ones.  And shallots?  I’m not entirely sure what those are because I always just add more garlic instead.

Is there anything more satisfying than a big hunk of good butter melting in a pan?

Yes, there is.  It’s garlic sautéing in said butter. *drool*

Sometime in the middle of cooking, I sat down my champagne glass and it barely tapped the handle of the coffeemaker.  Unfortunately, that broke the glass.  I’m still not sure if I’m more upset about the glass being broken or the champagne wastage.

I have to say, this was the least stressful meal I’ve made from Eat Happy in quite awhile!  It was quick and easy to prepare and well, tasty as fuck.

I served the fish with tomato slices marinated in balsamic vinegar and topped with mozzarella, baked and and finished with a quick broil.  Delicious!

Eat Happy: Salmon with Lemon Dijon Basil Sauce

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


Well HELLO! So glad you’re back (or new?) to our series. 🙂 Normally, I would have been filled with much fear and trepidation before attempting to execute this recipe. Why? Well. Fish in general is not something that is part of my normal repertoire of meat I cook. BUT – I’ve already tackled tuna two weeks ago. AND last week, Rhonda did a salmon recipe that turned out super delicious (according to her review). Therefore, I was super chill about this whole thing this week.

I’ll just start by saying, this was damn good. I’m for sure going to make this again…definitely for my dad. He really likes salmon, and I’m pretty sure this will impress the heck out of him. He’s a really great cook, and used to always encourage me to learn to cook well and to enjoy it. I never really got on that boat, but when I can impress him with something I cooked, I feel pretty dang good about myself. 😉

Anyway, to the experience at hand.

I ventured to my local Winn-Dixie to retrieve the salmon and other (very few) ingredients that I didn’t also have on hand. Which reminds me. I said this the other day in our NSNG Facebook Group. If you’re cooking recipes from this book and have to buy a bunch of stuff that you think you may not use again. You might be worried that it is extra money not well spent. You’re wrong.  You’ll totally use it again. For me, I really appreciate that. For example : I bought Dijon mustard ages ago and have used it so much while cooking through Eat Happy. Dijon mustard is not a typical staple in my fridge, so when I bought it I thought, “this will just sit in the fridge til it expires and I have to throw it out.” Um. Wrong. I’ve been using it like crazy!

But like I said – I went to Winn-Dixie. I went there once with the littles in tow. They were their usual distracting selves. I’d promised a visit to the trampoline park following this trek through the grocery store – so to say they were waiting on pins and needles is a huge understatement. Every time I grabbed an item, Coop kept asking: “is THAT the last thing???” I mean. Bless my heart. So we check out and leave and I run home to drop the goods off before we head to the trampoline park.

As I’m unloading the groceries – I realize my bell peppers are missing. There aren’t bell peppers in this recipe but I’d bought them for something else. SO – I get back in the car and call the store. They lady is like, “yup. we saw that you left them. Just come back when you can.”

Sooo, we go jump and then I have to break it to my very tired and very whiny children – that yes. We have to go back to the grocery store.

We go check in with customer service to confirm that yes I’m here to retrieve my forgotten bell peppers. Sophie sees a tiny child buggy that she MUST PUSH around the store. I allow her to get that. Now. We’ve got the bell peppers and are about to leave when the sweet lady who checked me out reminds me that I also forgot my lemons.

The lemons!

I definitely needed those for this recipe. SO, I have to tell Coop, who is done with this whole affair, that sorry bud. We gotta make the hike back to the other side of the store to grab those lemons. I also made Sophie put back her buggy. She breaks down screaming and crying. Cooper is going on and on about how he’s just ready to go home and watch rescue bots. I mean. You would have thought I was subjecting them to actual torture techniques.

AND while I’m getting the lemons, Sophie wanders off and finds an apricot that she decides to squeeze until it bursts in her tiny little hand.

I mean. Bless it all.

We did finally get all of the ingredients and make it back home. Compared to my shopping experience – cooking this salmon was a freaking breeze. Really though, it’s a very straight forward and simple recipe that sounds super impressive.  IMO

It’s so damn tasty too. And so damn good for my body. No sugars. No grains. I was satisfied and left feeling great about my choices.

And apparently. Rhonda and I love salmon. We had no clue. Thank goodness Anna is around to help us realize that through her amazing cook book. 😉

As I am writing this post, I’m heating up the left overs in the oven to eat for dinner. And I can’t wait for it to be ready!

What about you guys? What are your feelings on salmon? Any mom stories from the trenches of grocery shopping with unwilling kids to share? 😉

Eat Happy: Pistachio Crusted Coriander Salmon

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

I was, to put it mildly, not excited about making this meal.  I am super intimidated by cooking fish and I just don’t eat a lot of seafood in general.  In addition to that, I abhor pistachios.  Cool.

My stores that I frequent most often are Target and Walmart – solely because they are behind my neighborhood.  It’s quick, easy, affordable, and I know where everything is in the store.  They don’t have fresh seafood departments though.  To be honest, I am not sure I would have gone through with heading over to Kroger to get salmon if not for the fact that I was wanting to try their store brand seltzer water.  Motivated by my favorite Tito’s mixers, I headed on over.  I got the salmon and the goddamn pistachios, along with the (expensive-ish) spices that I didn’t have at home.

At home, I had to talk myself into jumping in.  The absolute worst part of the entire process was the beginning – shelling the pistachios.  I put on a training video I was wanting to watch and got after it.

There was some gagging over the fact that I was going to eat pistachios and that there was fucking skin involved in the fish.

Let me just tell you though – when the fish started baking, it smelled absolutely amazing.  The kids kept asking me what the great smell was.  They still had no interest in eating it, mind you.

Well… turns out it tasted just as amazing as it smelled.  Once again, the anticipation was much worse than the actual process and result.

That being said, I’ll substitute with another nut next time, because fuck pistachios.