Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Success…

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I had my first taste of a fried green tomato about a year and a half ago when we moved to the south and instantly fell in love with them. I loved the crunch that the chef created and how he paired it up with a sweet goat cheese sauce that totally complemented the bitterness of the tomato. I was then determined and went on a mission to recreate this dish at home. There was a lot of mixes being made and frying going on and unfortunately very little success happening. I researched a bunch of recipes, but still couldn’t get it right. Then… Panko happened and success was mine. :)

Here is what you will need:

  • 3 green tomatoes
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s Season Salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • olive oil for frying

Here is what you will need to do:

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Get yourself assembled and measure out the ingredients.

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Mix the flour with the seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper.

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Slice your green tomatoes and let then sit on paper towel for a few minutes.

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Blot the top of the slices to remove any extra moisture and start heating up about an inch of olive oil in a frying pan.

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Time to get ready to batter. Coat the tomato slices in the seasoned flour mixture, then dip in the beaten eggs and finish them off with a good coating of the panko breadcrumb.

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Make sure your oil is hot before adding the battered tomato slices to the pan…

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and fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crunchy.

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I like to serve them up with a yummy sweet chutney or jam and crumbled up goat cheese.

YUMMY!!!

xoxo

Jill 

P.S. I haven’t tried it yet, but was thinking how great these would be as a B.L.T..  😉

Family Vacation… 2017

Aruba

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There is nothing I love more than a family vacation to the Caribbean.  So… when our very generous, wonderful friends offered us one of their time shares in Aruba, we jumped at the chance and made our schedules work for some much-needed time together and fun in the sun.

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Aruba really is beautiful..

Its full of gorgeous beaches, wonderful shops, fun activities, perfect temperature pools, delicious restaurants, friendly people and a constant relaxing breeze…

And we did our best to try to enjoy it all. :)

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Friends for over 10 years.

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It wouldn’t be a vacation without Brody asleep on a lounge chair.

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My Babies.

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Favorite girlie in the world.

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Fun.

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Not Fun 😉

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Go-Cart Racing

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A visit from a local.

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My People.

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Mexican Dinner.

Becs poor toe will never be the same.

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Night life with a three-year old..

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BEST DINING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!

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Beach Dining..

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♥♥♥♥♥

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Aruba Souvenir

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Thank you Braunstein’s for your generosity and friendship.

Love you all…

 

xoxo

Jill 

Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce

I know… It’s been a while..

But I’m back 😉

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Ok, so today I am going to share my super easy tomato sauce recipe. This is the sauce that I use for dipping, pizza pies, parmesan dishes and pasta. It is also perfect as a start off sauce. Feel free to add meatballs, seasoned cooked chop meat, seafood and even some yummy cooked veggies.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • generous sprinkling of kosher salt ( you will most likely add a little more after sauce comes to a boil)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley

Here is what you will need to do:

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Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil and mince in the garlic. Stir it together and then cook on low heat until the delicious smell of garlic cooking takes over your kitchen.  Make sure to keep an eye on it. No one likes burnt garlic!!!

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Drop in the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and mix all together. Cook for about 2 minutes continually stirring.

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I just love these tubes of tomato paste that you can store in the refrigerator. They are available in most supermarkets, so definitely pick this up when you see it.

Time for Tomatoes

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And these are hands down my favorite!!

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Add the 2 cans of peeled tomatoes to the pot and then use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes and mix all the ingredients together. Give a good stir and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, lower the heat to simmer, taste for any extra needed seasoning and then cook for about 30 minutes with a vented cover. Make sure to give the sauce a good stir from time to time.

And there you have it….

Hope you like it :)

xoxo

Jill 

Fried Mozzarella Patties

Yum!!

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I love, love love cheese of any kind!! I especially love hot melted cheese on everything from veggies to pasta.  These fried mozzarella patties are a cross between a mozzarella stick and an Italian recipe called mozzarella en carrozza and I just can’t get enough of them…

Here is what you will need.

  • Package of Fresh Mozzarella

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( I like to use this brand because it is easy to find and comes pre-sliced, but whatever you find will be great )

  • 1 cup of italian style bread crumbs.
  • 1 cup of flour.
  • 2 beaten eggs.
  • olive oil for frying.
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • sprinkle of dried basil and dried parsley.

Here is what you will need to do.

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Get your ingredients measured out and mozzarella ready for some dipping.

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Coat a slice of cheese in the flour.

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Then dip it in egg followed by the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the rest of the slices.

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Get your oil nice and hot and fry each patty until they are golden brown and crispy.

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Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and dried basil and parsley.

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Serve it up with your favorite marinara sauce and…

Enjoy

xoxo

Jill 

P.S. My favorite quick and easy Marinara Sauce will be coming soon :)

Holiday Season Wrap Up

And Our Forever…

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Here’s to our first Christmas tree in our new home. :)

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We ♥ Christmas

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Santa came…

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And our stockings were filled. Christmas was so fun and followed up with a quick and first ever 12 hour road trip to New York for the New Year.

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It was such a last-minute event and we didn’t get to see everyone we would have loved to see, but the smiles on my kiddies faces made the long trip so worth it.

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You just have to love stolen iPhone photos. :)

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2016 was a pretty good year for us…

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And I want to wish everyone nothing but the best for 2017.

xoxo

Jill 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

With potatoes on the side….

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In my opinion, nothing is better than a big warm dish of beef stew on a chilly winter night. I love it even more when I get to throw everything into a slow cooker in the morning and end up having a clean kitchen and a wonderful meal ready for my family in the evening. I do not include potatoes in my stew because I don’t like how they come out. But every good stew needs a potato, so I love to serve it up with either mashed or scalloped potatoes on the side.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2½ – 3 lbs of beef stew meat
  • 1 medium spanish onion – chopped
  • handful of baby carrots
  • handful of baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • sprinkle of dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Here is what you need to do:

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Chop the onion, clean the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Toss into a slow cooker along with the stew meat and baby carrots.

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Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper and toss in two bay leafs.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the beef broth, bouillon, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and italian seasoning.

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Pour broth mixture into slow cooker and..

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Give a good stir to mix all the ingredients together.  Set to cook for 4-6 hours.

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An hour before your stew is set to be ready, mix flour with the tablespoon of butter and pour a little hot broth from the slow cooker over it. Mix it all together and add flour mixture into your stew. Give it all a good mix and continue cooking.

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You can serve it up with yummy buttered noodles or crunchy warm bread. Me, I’m a mashed potato kinda girl. 😉

Enjoy

 

xoxo

Jill ♥

Garage/Mudroom Cubbies

I just love organization…

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I love our new home, but the lack of a mudroom was driving me crazy. Tripping over shoes at the door and constantly looking for lost items is not my idea of a good time. The garage was quickly becoming a big dumping ground and something had to be done about it. So I stepped up my Pinterest game and discovered so many wonderful ideas that I am now able to share with you the final product that was just finished recently.

Here is what you will need:

  • Ikea Billy Bookcases
  • white screws and nails
  • hooks of your choosing
  • shims
  • crown molding
  • baskets or fun boxes
  • wood letters

Here is what you will need to do:

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Build the bookcases according to the directions that come with them. Adjust the shelves and then shim up the bottom to make them even and flush. Screw each bookshelf into the wall.

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Screw in the hooks at a height that works best for you….

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And then finish off the top with crown molding to give the cubbies a more finished look.

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The baskets are from Target and fit perfectly in the top slots. The letters were just a fun touch that I thought finished the cubbies off. I did find pictures of cubbies with chalkboard name tags that I thought were a great idea as well.

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I can’t even tell you how useful these cubbies have turned out to be. Definitely one of my most favorite projects so far.

Hope you like it.

xoxo

Jill ♥

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

Sometimes you just need a cookie…

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I have to confess, I have been really bad this summer and indulging in all the yummy food that Georgia has to offer.  I’m probably going to have to try to fit back into my jeans soon, so I’m thinking it’s about time I get back on track with my diet.

But…

Even people on a diet deserve a yummy cookie every now and then and boy do I have one for you.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 sticks of room temperature butter
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2¼ cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts

Here is what you will need to do:

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whip the butter, brown and white sugar together.

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 Mix in the eggs.

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Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

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 Add the flour mixture, spoonful at a time to a slow-moving mixer.

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Mix in the vanilla.

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Toss in the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and mix them into the batter by hand. Scoop out batter onto large baking sheets.

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I like to use a small ice cream scoop, so the cookies turn out even in size.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

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Serve them up with a big cold glass of milk and….

Enjoy

xoxo

Jill 

A Tale of Two Chicken Soups

KK requested Soup….

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I grew up eating chicken soup that was made up of left over chicken, soup greens, pasta and tiny veggies. My husband grew up eating a chicken soup called Sancocho which is a slow cooked soup that contains chicken, cilantro, yuca, plantains, corn on the cob and small pieces of potato. I love them both. My family, not so much. :(  So I came up with a recipe that includes everyone’s favorite from each soup that is easy to throw together and even better the next day.

Here is what you will need:

  • ½ of a large spanish onion – Diced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 chicken breast – skin removed
  • 4 chicken legs – skin removed
  • teaspoon of garlic powder
  • teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 12 cups of water
  • 3 packets of Goya chicken powdered bouillon
  • large handful of chopped cilantro
  • few pieces of frozen yuca
  • 1 cup of frozen veggies
  • 1 cup of tiny pasta

Here is what you will need to do:

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Saute diced onion in olive oil for a few minutes until translucent.

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Add in chicken pieces and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss everything in the pot around.

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Add in water and packets of chicken bouillon. Give it all a good stir.

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Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add your frozen yuca pieces, cover and boil for another 15 minutes.

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Bring soup to a simmer.

  Remove cooked chicken from the pot, cut meat off the bones and cut chicken into bite size pieces.

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Add chicken and large handful of chopped cilantro back to the pot. Give a good stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Add in your pasta and veggies, cover and cook until pasta and veggies are tender. Remember to keep giving a good stir every once in a while, so the pasta pieces don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

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And there you have it…

Enjoy :)

 

xoxo

Jill 

Georgia Aquarium

A great experience for all.

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( Photo credz to Ms. Kailey Delgado )

It is sometimes very difficult to plan a family outing that works for both teenagers and a two-year old.  The baby gets tired, the teenagers get attitudety, ( yes that’s a word ) a momma gets cranky and the day gets cut into an early trip home. 😉

So, I just wanted to share our day at the Georgia aquarium because with all that has been going on lately it was so great to get out and enjoy a day that everyone loved.

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Please lets take better care of our oceans.

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The baby got his map and we were ready to go. :)

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How cute is he…

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He didn’t feel the need to touch. 😉

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You can actually swim with the whale sharks.  Can you say Christmas present!!!

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I love these guys♥

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Super fun penguin exhibit.

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The day ended with a fantastic dolphin show, which we all loved and a great family photo to take home to remember.

Love my peeps and their beautiful smiles…

 

xoxo

Jill ♥

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