It’s Time To Fall For Cornbread Dressing

As a child it was simply known as, Dressing. Everyone knew what you were speaking of. Often times dinner would be at my parents house. The late comers would always call to verify if there’s any Dressing. It was the staple for a true fall family gathering. If there weren’t any left, it just wasn’t the same.

There are so many variations of dressing. Some people add sausage, mushroom broth, or carrots to name a few ingredients . There isn’t a wrong or write way to make it. It’s all in personal taste. My two main have to have’s is it must not be dry and whole cranberries on top. untitled-1891-1.jpg

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Have You Had Your Salad Today?

Eating  a salad everyday should be a normal part of life.  As you know its a way to work in a couple of fruits and veggies.  Instead of cooking up so much elaborate food, that may not be healthy in the first place, make a salad. It goes along with anything. like my favorite salmon and a salad. A salad can be as filling as you want. From english peas, pineapples, apples, cranberries, tuna, carrots, pico de gallo, grilled chicken,  nuts and the list goes on.

Should the salad be your only meal? It really depends on whats included in your salad.  If your have your fiber, that lowers cholesterol and prevents constipation, your’e doing a great service to your gut. Did you know fiber fools the brain into thinking you’re full? Therefore if you have a weight problem you’ll shed some pounds. Also fruits and veggies contribute to overall health. Eat your leaves and fruits!

I eat a salad almost daily. It’s literally becoming a habit. My brain tells me salad, salad, salad. Ok ok…geesh!  I ate one today and it was yummy. Often times I make a salad with whatever is available in the fridge . This way the pressure is off to make a salad I see in a book or something. My salad usually includes nuts, berries, veggies and of course lettuce.

Here is a salad I had recently . Make sure you drink enough water daily …

Yummy Salad
Made from leftovers in the fridge.

Don’t Think; Just Drink

I’ve been making smoothies quite a bit these days. Actually I’ve lost track of how long it’s been. It is the healthiest, easiest and cheapest thing to make.  It also saves time, thought,   and pots and pans. Let me explain before you get too worked up. Give me a chance before you go to someone else’s blog ok?

Yes, I said cheap. You don’t think fruits and veggies are cheap? It depends on how you look at it.  If I had to buy sausage, bread,  grits and flour for pancakes all of the time, this would cost more in the long run . Let me break it down a bit more. A large bag of fruit for $12.00 will last nearly 1 month. I’d purchase 3 -4 cartons of Almond milk. This is only the basics. Sometimes I have kale, with peanut butter. For 1 month this would come to about $32.00 for the month. The items I mentioned before . The sausage …ect. It would be about $17.00 and would only last 2 days  depending on how much you eat or if you bought large quantities.

The smoothie will provide raw veggies and fruits that are essential to getting unprocessed uncooked foods to ensure I get all of the nutrients without the dangerous additives. You can’t get that from a pack of processed sausage.  It’s ok in moderation, but I think you’ll be surprised at how much punch ( energy) you’ll gain from drinking smoothies. Stay away from the store bought smoothies. No, not those. They are full of sugar and other preservatives. smoothie-1884-1

Benefits of drinking smoothies is to drink without thinking of what you’ll eat every morning for breakfast.

Other benefits of  drinking smoothies:

  • Improves digestion
  • Lower inflammation
  • Improving heart health
  • Prevent or treat constipation
  • Help liver function
  • Provides energy
  • Clear up your skin
  • Prevents cancer
  • Prevent nutrient deficiencies ( Ex. low iron)
  • Maintain healthy body weight

 

 

 

Organic vs. Regular Apples

At some point you really have to do your own research. I’ve always heard an apple a day will keep the doctor away. Did anyone ever specify if a regular apple or an organic apple mattered?

Apples contain nutrients that are friendly to the skin. The benefits of eating apples include antioxidants ,  fiber, vitamin c and potassium. According to experts the peel of the apple contains anti growth fighting activities against cancer. It’s weird there isn’t a cure for cancer, but somehow experts no exactly what to eat to help prevent it. Huh…

Have you noticed the shiny pretty apples that has a longer shelf life than the dull apples? They are usually filled with pesticides to coat the exterior of the fruit. However, that pesticide enters the apple. This means you’re ingesting pesticide. By which you are trying to eat healthy. How backwards is this? Guess what? According to experts pesticides cause cancer.

Buy the ugly dry dull apples. No, they don’t last long on the shelf. They aren’t meant to be a display on your kitchen. Eat them. Get a quality apple slicer, because some are flimsy and will break after a few uses.  It’s not just the dull apples, make sure they are organic.

Things you can eat to include apples in your diet:

  1. If you eat toast, eggs,   chicken apple sausage with apples slices
  2. Peanut butter and apples slices for snack
  3. Wheat crackers, dairy free cheese and apple slices
  4. Oatmeal with apple slices
  5. Pancakes and apple slices…you get the gist

Eat organic apples. A healthy diet begins with fruits and veggies. I hope you love my pictures. I love photography and I always try to use my images for every blog. untitled-4658-1.jpg

 

Step outside the box: Create Unique Food Shots

What is the likelihood  of seeing food photography where the food has been bitten? Slim to none. Let’s take a step outside the box. The yummy blueberry muffin looks great, but what if someone wanted to see the inside of it? Sure you can slice into it. How about biting it! This is such an awesome shot. It’s in rare form. It’s not perfect, but it is looking pretty appetizing.

 

Recipe:
Oven : 375
1 cup sugar
2 large eggblueberry
2 cups of flour
Mix 12 large muffin cups
Mix butter til creamy
Add eggs one at a time
Add vanilla , baking powder and salt
Fold in half of flour, then half of vanilla almond milk
Fold in blueberries

 

Don’t be afraid to take risk. This shot may not be suitable for every situation, but it would surely look awesome in a bakery shop. If you’d like to use this image for any wall art or business, please contact me first. I’d love credit for my work.  Thanks so much!

Why Candid Photos Are The Best.

One of the beauties of photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It’s what I would call still video, because it adds so much life to an image.

Here are a few tips that will help you magnify  he effectiveness in your shot.

  1. Always have your camera cued up before you find a subject
  2. Keep your camera on the appropriate settings
  3. Being still and making observations is most important
  4. It’s imperative that you have your subject in viewing range while not paying attention.

A great example is this is exemplified in the shot I created. I was in Whole foods grocery store. I had my camera on hand; when I captured one of the most moving images of a mom and her five children. She gave the boys  instructions on where to find items she wanted. They were listening very carefully . I’ve held on to this photo for many years. Often times I wish I could have sent her a copy. It is just a precious time spent with her little ones.

Capture your children while there sleeping , having a conversation amongst one another or at play. Don’t let them see you. The best shots are the natural expression and mood.  Honestly anyone can shoot candids, because there is so much freedom. As a photographer I take it to another level looking far and wide,  for that one in a million shot. Like this one. Most people would have been afraid to be this up close and personal without any awareness. That’s what makes a great candid shot! Get out there and try it. You’ll create better images. noname-2

Don’t be Afraid to Try The Wedding Cake Alternative

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People are becoming more practical when it comes to weddings. Often times the wedding cakes aren’t eaten. They range in price from $100.00 to a neighborhood price of $500.00. This is average and of course based on how many slices, the number of tiers and how fancy the cake will be.  Shut the bakery door! My goodness a wedding cake can really put a dent in your wallet.

There are many alternatives to cake for a wedding, but lets talk about the little bite size cake.  Your wedding should be customized to you and your groom.  You don’t have to serve wedding cake if you don’t want too. Today bakers have become very creative with cupcakes. They can be simple to down right elegant.

 

You can mix and match flavors so theres something for everyone.  Don’t just sit them on a tray. Make a cupcake tower. Most people expect to see the cake slicing photo.  Grab one of those cupcakes from the tower and take a big bite for the picture. It’s cute and you don’t need a knife. How about that! Talk about a conversation piece for years to come. The cupcakes are easy, delicious and often times there will never be any left to take home.

The Origin of the Word Flap Jacks

untitled-4603-1.jpgHere is another excuse to show you a photo I created; one morning after making flapjacks.   The first time I ever heard that word is when I was a little girl knee high to a sidewalk. My dad would talk about how he ate so many flapjacks growing up.

Have you ever thought about where the name flapjacks originated?  Flapjacks dates back to the 1300’s when ” flap” was used in place of “flip.” The jack was used to refer to something smaller than normal. No one really knows why flapjacks was used to describe pancakes, but there isn’t any difference than today when a named is tagged on to something and you never really know why.

I can only eat just one because I normally make them huge. It’s tough for me to order flapjacks  from a restaurant , no one seems to understand my love for the  charred, crispy edges. Never drown them in syrup. It will soak up regular syrup and you’d find yourself pouring more and more. Now you’ll find yourself eating a bowl of sugar.  It’s best with pure honey or agave nectar.   It’s delicious with a strong sweet taste. The taste is so strong until you only need  very little for flavor. Not to mention agave is derived from a plant. Which is much healthier than refined sugar.

Flapjacks are often  served  with syrup, chocolate chips, whip cream, blueberries, bananas, cherries, apples, powdered sugar, chicken, candy sprinkles, jam, honey , agave nectar, applesauce, oranges, nuts, caramel sauce, yogurt and shredded coconut.  If you have tried anything different . Share it with me. I’d love to know.

The Next Word That Comes After Summer, Is Corn.

Hey there! I’m so happy you stopped by. I was hoping we could chat a bit about how elated I am that summer is here! My first thought is bring out the grill. Who wants to stand over a hot stove during the summer? The smell of summer is so tantalizing , but depending on what part of the world you live in. Summer is really here! You no longer have to dream about it or look at beautiful summer adventures in magazines.

Fresh corn is one of my favorite summer foods. Especially the yellow and white corn mixed. Oh! Did you know that  June 11th is  National Corn on The Cobb Day?

There are so many ways to cook corn on the cobb, including boiling, roasting, grilling and steaming. Most of the time I don’t eat it in any elaborate way.  Salt, pepper and a bit of vegan butter will suffice. Believe it or not I’ve eaten fresh corn on the cobb without any seasonings. It’s like a Mercedes, it great alone. How do you like yours?

Here are some recipe ideas using corn :

  1. Roasted corn and tomato salad
  2. Creamy corn chowder
  3. Mexican elotes bisque
  4. Charred corn and black beans
  5. Veggie graten
  6. Sweet corn ice-cream

I can’t leave without touching the heath benefits of corn.  I wanted to be a nurse. Therefore, it’s in my blood. The antioxidants in corn helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease. I’m sure you get the most health benefits from corn that isn’t highly seasoned. Don’t quote me on this. I’m not a doctor. It’s just my educated guest. ( Hehe) The sweet corn is  loaded with lutein.  It promotes healthy vision. So, eat your sweets!

For me, I’ll take mine plain.untitled-4590-1.jpg

 

What! Coffee Has Health Benefits.

About nine months ago I decided to alleviate a few more things from my diet.  I mean why not? It’s been 30 years ( literally) since I ate any red meat. I’m on a roll!  I no longer drink any sodas , especially my favorite Dr. Pepper. Then I decided to discontinue drinking  caffeine free coffee. I heard it’s a synthetic  drink and is bad for you. I know the coffee   (at least I thought) with caffeine is worse.

I’ve always had this thing about not allowing any thing such as bad habits control me. Not to mention there are so many people in the world with bad health; whom continue to eat things that worsen their health.  I’m not perfect, but I try to listen to my body and do what’s best. Finally I am proud to say my main drink of choice is  water. I actually crave water. I know, I sound sick.  I can drink juice, Almond milk  or lemonade  and will not feel a sense of satisfaction until I’ve had some water.  Some of you can relate.

However , here is the problem at hand. I gave up caffeine free coffee, because I heard it’s bad for me as I’ve mention. Another problem I have is repeating myself. Ok back to the subject:  Coffee  causes insomnia , nervousness, upset stomach, increase heart rate, headache, anxiety, nausea,  ringing in the ears and diarrhea. I’m sure there are other symptoms from drinking coffee.  It’s surely caused irregularly heart beats and increased my heart rate, caused nervousness and upset  my stomach.  This is why I stayed away from the caffeine . The caffeine free has small traces of caffeine.  If you ask me, it’s like saying I don’t use crack , but I use crack light. Therefore, I decided not to drink it at all. I have the coffee pot, and coffee maker at home. Perhaps I’ll donate it soon. It’s taking up space in my pantry. Sometimes I think I’ll have a relative over that will ask me for coffee.  I’ll hold on to it a little longer.  Yes, I was really into the caffeine free stuff. In my refrigerator was all of the non dairy flavored creamers  to enhance the taste. It was full of sugar and each time I poured it in my coffee, I felt bad. my conscience would ask why are you doing this to yourself.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not perfect. I’m not extremely strict on my diet. I still eat cookies guys. A for sure weakness. The doctor would have to tell me to step away from the cookies , before I give them up. I must add, that my cookie intake has decreased. Too much of anything can be bad. Sugar is not the best thing in the world to eat. annie-spratt-65077

The confusion comes along when I read an article that express the benefits of coffee. It protect agains Parkinson disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and some cancers. Come on now.  The sugar that most people put in their coffee is enough to cause diabetes alone. Is coffee good or bad for me?

This blog is not meant to verbally beat up on coffee drinkers. Receiving mixed information on weather it’s good or bad for my health is the real problem. I should be able to make an informed choice to do something or not. With all of the misconceptions , it makes it that much more difficult. I love the flavored coffee. I gave them up to improve my health. Now I’m not sure if I’m giving up some of the small joys in life in vain.

One thing I no for sure. I can’t go wrong drinking water. …unless I’m poisoned.