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: Mango Salsa

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday 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 I was going to be making mango salsa, I gotta tell you – I was not excited and made a face for sure.  I don’t love mango.  Okay, I actually can’t stand mango.  I like mango flavored cocktails and stuff, but biting into a chunk of mango?  Naw.

I definitely wasn’t about to peel and cut up a mango, so I took the lazy and more expensive route and skipped that step.

This recipe is seriously as simple as cut up some shit and toss it into a blender.  I mean, it really doesn’t get any easier than that, especially when you’re lazy and buy as much stuff pre-chopped as possible.

It took me probably 10 minutes to make this, including setting up the blender and chopping the ingredients.  It really smelled and looked good, so I had high hopes that it would also taste good.

I am pleased to say, it is DELICIOUS and I did not feel like I was going to gag on a mango!  YAY!

Such a light and refreshing treat for these warm Texas days.  I had some of it on pork rinds then turned it into a lunch by rolling some into turkey and cheese.

This also made a huge jar of salsa and I am looking forward to enjoying a little of it here and there and mostly seeing Stuart enjoy it, since I typically don’t eat fruit and tomatoes anymore.

Do you like mango?  Do you make homemade salsas?  This is a great variety!

Eat Happy: Broccoli Dip

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday 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?


Sooo this week I made Anna’s Broccoli Dip, and let me just tell you that liking broccoli is not required to like this dip. Cause ya know…per usual – I don’t really care for broccoli. It’s honestly really just a texture thing. All those little balls… I just don’t care for a bunch of tiny balls in my mouth. It reminds of grits. I never like grits for that very reason.

But yeah – enough ball talk. Let’s get to the dip!

Dips are my fave. I love a dip. I could eat a dip for an entire meal. In fact, I did that with this dip.

I did have some mishaps while making this dip which actually have nothing to do with the dip itself, just me needing to get my life together. Want to indulge me and let me rant for a bit? I mean. Thank goodness this is a one sided conversation, because I’m gonna do it anyway. 😉

  • Obviously this is Wednesday…and these posts are supposed to go up on Tuesdays. Can we say blogger fail?
  • Broccoli seriously stinks when you steam it. Like my whole house smelled terrible. HOWEVER, I am super glad it stunk because I went to throw out the offending left over broccoli florets and remembered that I had forgotten to take the trash to the curb! So I mean, thank you Anna for helping me to remember to get that full trash can out.
  • Instead of pre mincing my shallot before throwing it in the food processor, I just threw it in there and let the food processor do the work. People. Then my house smelled like raw onion and steamed broccoli. Not a great combination. I lived through it though and got a delicious dip as a result.
  • Prior to getting this post up, I got hit with one of those “throw everything out, clean everything up” moods. Like, I couldn’t function unless I went through the fridge and pantry, mopped my floors, got all the sheets and blankets stripped from the bed for washing….etc. I almost slipped and busted my ass on my freshly mopped floors. So that was fun.

So ANYWAY – despite all those things I made it here to my computer with the most yummy broccoli dip I have ever tasted. I had planned on sharing this with my mom….but it may not make it to work tomorrow. Sorry mom! 🙂

It’s super easy to whip up. Mine turned out more green than the one pictured in Eat Happy, but I kind of like it that way. I thought about how it would make a cute festive Christmas Holiday dip since it was so green. I also added some chili flakes to the top for a little more heat. As Anna suggested in Eat Happy, this dip would be great with fresh veggies, but all I had on hand were pork rinds which are also serving as the perfect vessel for this dip!

So good.  You guys so need to purchase this book and make this dip! It is seriously yummy and seriously good for you. Why? Cause: no sugars and no grains! 🙂 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today!


If you want to read through our other Eat Happy posts…I’ve got them all lined up for ya!

Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Eat Happy: Kale Chips & Deviled Eggs with Greek Yogurt

Eat Happy: Cheese Biscuits

Eat Happy: Sausage Stuffed Mushroom

Eat Happy: Tzatziki Dip & Almond Meal Pita Chips

Eat Happy: Super Guac! & Smoked Salmon w/ Coconut Flour Blini

Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps

Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

 
Welcome back to our Tuesday post, where we share our experience with cooking through the best cookbook on earth: 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, because you should be buying the book to support the author.  However, we will be telling you about our experience with the process, as well as our opinion of the outcome.  Let’s do this.

I was really excited to do this recipe.  I love cheesy anything and love working with mini peppers.  I underestimated this simple little gem though.

As usual, I had grocery shopping misadventures when preparing for this recipe.  There were NO regular bags of mini peppers left like I usually buy.  There was ONE bag of organic, which doesn’t have as many peppers but I had to just roll with it.  It left me wondering though, what in the fuck is happening mid-March that everyone needs peppers?!

After a WalMart, a Target, and a local grocery store, I still couldn’t find the specific goat cheese the recipe requires.  I had to stop in the grocery store to look up what’s so special about that cheese.  I discovered that it’s made creamy like a spread, instead of crumbled like the one I could find.  I decided to just roll with it.

The cheese was a little difficult to get into the peppers and had just as much all over my countertop, but it was fine.  They smelled absolutely DIVINE while they were cooking!

I didn’t realize until I pulled them out of the oven that I forgot fresh herbs, so I foraged around in my spice cabinet and emerged with my finest dried parsley.

Absolutely could not stop eating these and had to force myself to save 3 for Stuart to try.  100% will be making these again…soon.

Eat Happy: Cheese Biscuits

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday 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 recipe is also made to where you can make cheese straws, which are a good ole southern tradition, but I did not have time for an extra step so I went with a good ole biscuit shape.

I hate, hate, hate grating or shredding cheese but I avoid the extra fillers in most shredded cheese if I can manage taking 5 extra minutes to do it myself.  I also happened to already have block cheese and it needed to be finely shredded, so I just went for it with my hand grater.

When I got the dough ready, I was 100% convinced that it was not done correctly and I had to just roll with what I had going on.  It was much wetter than anticipated.  These bitches smelled AMAZING while cooking.  The kids were just watching the oven, waiting for them to be ready.

When they came out, I was a little confused over how flat they were, but upon looking in a Facebook group where most of the members cook from this book, I realized that wasn’t uncommon.  The most common solution seems to be to add more almond flour, which I will try next time.

And there will be a next time, like probably tomorrow… the kids woofed them down in 30 seconds and begged for more.  Easy and delicious and they will make the perfect addition to a lot of our regular meals.

Melodramatic Birthday Post – Ashley

You guys – it’s Spring. I always say this time of year (March to the beginning of May) is like another Christmas season. There are sooo many birthdays and then throw in Mother’s Day to end the whole shabang. So I’m here to finally talk about my little birthday that occurred last week…and do some rambling….hope you’re all in on this one.  😉

Ok, so… let’s talk about 32. My birthday was last week. Last Tuesday – at 10pm I officially turned thirty-two years old. Honestly, I haven’t even given the number much thought. Yeah, I definitely feel like I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t mind being able to stop time for a little while. You know – stay young longer. I’ve noticed differences in my body and mindset due to aging. Generally though – I’m at peace with my age. So, why am I here blabbing on and one about it? Well I did want to take some time to reflect. Think about where I’ve been … and where I want to be. I’ve always been the type of person that lived more in the future. I always look forward to where I’m going, what type of person I’ll be in ‘x’ amount of months or years… And overall, I’m really happy with where I am now. In this 32 year old life of mine. 😉

I made the comment the other day that I really wish I knew as much about taking care of my body and had the confidence in myself that I do now when I was younger. I am and always have been a super quiet and shy person. I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m socially awkward…not just in person. Ask Rhonda. It even takes a lot for me to interact virtually…. BUT I’ve come such a long way. My highschool and twenty something self didn’t think much of herself much less take any extra time to take care of her mind and body.

Weight was always an issue that I struggled with. The size of my body was something that always made me feel inferior, not attractive, not worth getting to know. I think it is so great now that there are plus sized super models or just plus sized celebrities and public figures who are letting it be known that size does not determine beauty of self worth. I try to flood my social media timelines with women like this. Women who are larger than average, and who are so so confident in themselves. I try to make a conscious effort to compliment my children – not just on their physical appearance. I try to say things like “ Oh my god…you are sooooo cute… and such a sweet baby.” I encourage my son to interact with other children. When he approaches other kids at the park and they don’t want to play with him. Of course, he comes running back to me. I tell him, “That’s ok. Find someone else to play with.” I try to teach him and demonstrate to him that rejection stings but we can move on from that. I want my daughter to be confident in her body and not afraid to wear whatever she wants. I want my son to be confident in his body and to not be afraid to wear whatever the hell he wants. I don’t want them to doubt themselves. I don’t want them to be afraid to make new friends or approach new people – because they worry about the reaction they will receive.  Because I lived that way for so long. I still struggle with that. I’m working on it. And I’ll keep working on it. 😉

Over the past 3 years I’ve made major changes in the way I eat and think about food. I lost a ton of weight….gained some back during and after being pregnant with Sophie…and am now back – less those extra pounds. Rhonda introduced me to the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) Lifestyle that was coined, preached, and demonstrated by Vinnie Tortorich. Eating clean. Cutting out the majority of the sugar and grains in my diet. Those things have made me a physically and mentally healthier person. I know that it has made me a better mom. When you cut the crap out from  your diet, you don’t have to worry so much about the amount that you eat. You don’t have to restrict yourself to teeny tiny meals in the hopes of losing a few pounds. AND you don’t just lose weight. You gain healthier hair, nails, skin, mental clarity, energy, and on and on and on. Something else really important that I gained? Confidence in myself. Confidence in my body. Confidence that does not hinge on someone else’s opinion of me. Confidence that is due to my new opinion of myself.

I can look back … ten … or even fifteen years ago – and where I am now? That’s not where I thought I’d be. But you know, I’m ok with that. I had this disillusioned idea of what I thought life should look like at 32. And for a long time – those aspirations and goals that I set when I was a teenager – the fact that I hadn’t gotten to or reached those goals used to really haunt me. It used to make me feel … like I hadn’t accomplished anything   at all. Which is complete crap. I’ve accomplished a lot. Because listen. It’s ok to change your path. It’s ok to quit something that no longer holds any meaning for you. It’s ok to change your mind. I am a better person now. I’m not perfect. I still have a lot of work to do. BUT I am thankful the place I am at. 🙂 For me, feeling accomplished is no longer about marking off big achievements or reaching momentous goals. It’s not about having a list of things that I can say “LOOK at all the things I’ve checked off!!”. For me I try to feel accomplished in my every day. I look to my future with anticipation and excitement for things to come; however, I relish the here and now. I focus on the people in my life. I think about what can I do in the next few minutes to make something happen. I want to “Be here, now.” I don’t want to look back and think…. I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more…while it was happening.

I think 32 is going to be great. I don’t wake up with any dread of what I may face that day. My family is healthy and happy…and so am I. I really like my daytime job, and I am so happy to have this little blog space that I get to share with my best friend. I am so grateful that each of you come by to check in on us…see what we have to say. 🙂 I’m excited for our future, but I’m loving this. This right here. This moment. :):)