Year: 2015

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites

My mom is THE pecan pie lady.  At any family gathering, church function or holiday meal you better believe she will be baking a pecan pie from scratch and there won’t be a crumb left to take home.  With all the corn syrup, brown sugar, pecans and butter-each slice comes in at a hot 500 calories or more.  WOAH.  Most individuals can’t afford to consume that many calories on dessert alone, especially after a holiday meal where we all tend to overindulge a bit….or a lot. Guilty as charged! Mama just might have a little competition this year.  I made these mini pumpkin pecan pie bites for a cooking demo and they were a hit! The filling is made with real pumpkin puree mixed with almond butter and cinnamon then placed in mini phyllo dessert shells, which you can find in the frozen section at most grocery stores.  Tip: I piped the filling into the mini shells from a sealable sandwich baggie where I had snipped off the corner with scissors.  Cleanup is a dream! C Then I topped the shells with pecans, maple syrup, …

Farm to Table love

Disclosure: I attended a sponsored farm to table tour. I was not compensated for my time in writing this post. All opinions are my own. Helloooo November! The pumpkin spice craze has come and gone and holiday season is almost in full swing.  I’m finally settling into my position with a new company after literally hitting the ground running since August.  I recently had a moment where my love of foodie field trips and passion for educating audiences on healthy eating completely collided. During the annual October Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo that took place here in Nashville, I attended a Farm to Fork tour sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA). We visited the Hatcher Family Dairy farm located in College Grove, several miles south of Nashville.  There we were treated to a full breakfast utilizing farm fresh and locally sourced ingredients, followed by a tour of the farm led by the Hatcher family themselves.  In a recent educational session focused on shopping smart and buying locally sourced foods, I was able …

My First FNCE!

It’s been a week since attending my first FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo for those of you not in the nutrition field).  WOAH! I loved every single second of the experience, and living in the host city made it extra special. I’ve never felt more assured of my career choice, nor have I ever completely GEEKED out so many times in one weekend.  Spotting Robin Plotkin and Regan Jones wandering the expo floor on Tuesday before the closing session was the icing on my FNCE cake (or should I say ‘brulee’? #lifegoal)! I’m not sure how I let almost six years pass without attending this conference, but rest assured that won’t happen ever again.  Not only was I able to sample the latest and trendiest items in the nutrition market and hear from experts in the field at countless educational sessions, but I had the opportunity to network at a few fun events surrounding the conference.  I’m still in awe of the whole thing, but behold me in all of my nerdiness below: Perhaps …

Fall Foodie Field Trip

It’s not often that I have a four-day weekend with no plans to travel ANYWHERE! I’m glad I’ve had a few days to relax and indulge in one of my favorite past times-food (shopping for it, eating it, baking it, reading about it, watching it, writing about it…you get the idea).  I’ve also been obsessively watching documentaries on artisan-ing (yes, artisaning should be a word), urban gardening and organic farming. As I try to focus on living simply and spending more time on what really matters, the idea of growing my own food and becoming less of a ‘consumer’ is appealing.  So naturally, a field trip was in order to a community of artisans and food growers that I’ve visited a million times over as a child.  This community of Mennonites is in Southern Kentucky, just 20 minutes from my home town north of Nashville. What is a Mennonite? I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but Mennonites are a particular Christian group of the Anabaptist denomination.  This is the same group that the more well know …

Fire-Grilled Corn with Homemade Jalapeno Aioli

I recently made the hour-long trek to my parents’ farm in northern Tennessee for some deliciously fresh home-grown potatoes, tomatoes and corn…oh my! That’s right ya’ll; I’m a closeted country girl. I remember moving back in at my parent’s house the summer after graduating college before moving to Dallas for my internship, lamenting the idea of harvesting corn and potatoes and selling them off the back of my dad’s pick-up truck.  The produce coming from my parents’ “hobby” farm was so good that locals would approach my dad and ask to buy it, so naturally my younger brother and I were put to work. Today, I would jump at the chance for such a gig-oh how times have changed! Since returning from our wedding/honeymoon in Key West, I had been dying to recreate the fire roasted corn on the cob I had eaten numerous times there. It’s so simple and delicious you will be dying to make it ASAP as well! Fire-Grilled Corn on the Cob with Homemade Jalapeno Aioli 4 fresh ears of corn, husked and …

Eat. Explore. Relax. Key West

It’s no wonder that some of the classic literary greats-Tennessee Williams and Earnest Hemingway to name a few-drew inspiration from immersing themselves into life in the Florida Keys. Key West is a town in which time stops, days of the week blur together and the sunset is celebrated nightly. MY KIND OF PLACE! Known as ‘The Southernmost City in the Continental USA,’ Key West is closer to Cuba than Miami and the rich history of the island city includes Bahamian wreckers, commercial fisherman, spongers and Cuban cigar makers. In case you are wondering what a Bahamian wrecker is-it’s one who takes valuables from a sunken shipwreck near shore.  We spent a week here honeymooning, indulging in the food, exploring like a local and relaxing in the oasis of our B&B. Being only about 4 miles in diameter, renting a bike or scooter is a must. Luckily our B&B was prepared to accommodate every minute detail. Do yourself a favor and stay at the Mermaid and the Alligator if your travels bring you to Key West. Lush tropical …

Our Wedding Adventure

Call it coincidence, call it chance, call it following the wind or maybe just call me crazy. I have always been one to listen when my intuition speaks, and let the universe be my guiding light. Our wedding being a prime example. The story begins last fall with a booked all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica. We had decided to get away for a tropical, beachy excursion in mid-November and neither of us had been to the western Caribbean. Vacation time approved, airfare and all-inclusive resort booked; the restaurant reviewing commenced. (Food-always my top travel priority!) We had retired to bed early one night at my old apartment. Never having any issue with sleeping throughout the night, I was mysteriously awoken from a dead, deep sleep. Not from a noise or bad dream, but a voice in my head saying ‘Don’t Go.’ I hadn’t discussed nor thought about the booked Jamaica trip that particular day, but I KNEW that the voice in my head was referring to this trip. Not over thinking it at the time, I shortly fell back …

Month of Firsts

May has been a whirly, windy blur of a month filled with many firsts.  Is it possible to feel exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time? From hosting the first successful love filled party at the new home to  first time travels through Arizona and  Nevada for the Todays Dietitian Spring Symposium; I feel more like ‘me’ than I have in awhile.  I feel so absolutely wealthy in new experiences this year; which to me is so much more important than any amount in a bank account could ever be. Here are just a few quick snapshots: On that note, I can’t wait to put into practice some of the nutrition communication skills and writing techniques I learned at some of the sessions I attended at the symposium.  Eeeek! In other news, this is my last blog post as a single person. I will be officially married in barely over a week on the white sandy beaches of Key West, Florida. Neither myself nor my fiancé have ever been to that part of Florida, so we are extremely excited to start …

Kitchen Vibes

Sooooooooo…..I’m a bad Dietitian.  Let me explain.  The month of March is (was) National Nutrition Month-a whole month devoted to Dietitians and educating the community and individuals on how to eat healthfully and improve lifestyle habits.  This year the theme was ‘Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle.’ Hello-so many opportunities missed for a play on words.  Let’s just say I didn’t take the Bite bate. I have been MIA from my blogging life with just moving into our first ever HOME! “Official Adult Status” Between the part time job that I consider securing a mortgage and moving through a TN March ice storm AND National Nutrition Month activities, I’m ready for a vacation. Here are some highlights from my National Nutrition Month.  Stay tuned for a fun travel adventure in April. My fellow dietitian teammates and myself held a taste challenge in which colleagues tasted a bite and guessed the ingredients. Here are the Sweet Potato Brownies from Deliciously Ella.  She has some very tasty and pretty gluten free/vegan recipes on her blog and just came out with a cookbook! …