Better than Soda

better than soda

We all know that a part of eating healthy is not drinking sodas.

And if you didn’t know, sodas are full of high fructose sugar or lots of regular sugar that is not great to consume on a daily basis.

But, just because soda isn’t the best choice doesn’t mean that you have to go without some bubbles in your life.

I know that I love having something to look forward to during my 3 o’clock slump at my desk.

Bubbly drinks feels like celebration…and during these hot and sticky Southern summer days, you need something to cool you off. It’s a need!

That’s where my favorite Better than Sodas come in. I’ve selected three of my fave seltzer type drinks that are low on sugar (and other weird stuff) and full of flavor and bubbles.

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Cookies Again

coconut oil oat chip cookies

I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of cookies.

They’re up there as one of my favorite desserts. That’s because cookies are:

  • a mix of textures
  • can contain chocolate
  • can be combined with lots of flavors
  • are bite-sized

There are so many reasons for my cookie love. Although I definitely don’t make cookies every week, I like to whip up some new ones every month or so, and it’s even better when I can substitute coconut oil for butter.

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Ingredient of the Month: Basil


I hope you have enjoyed this Fresh Herb Week (#freshherbweek) that we’re having. I know that I have had fun sharing new recipes and ideas with all of you.

And, there might be even more twitter questions in store, so keep an eye out!

This is our first herb ingredient of the month, and I am very excited! Since I currently have a thriving plant of it in my backyard, I’m so ready to get to using it!

Without further ado, I introduce to you, my friend, basil.

Tell me more:

Basil is an herb that grows in leaves on stalks. There are many varieties, such as sweet, Thai, lemon and purple. The color of basil can vary from a grass green to purple and everywhere in between (in a very non-Barney sense).

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Fresh Herb Week: Thai Beef with Basil

thai beef with basil

Welcome back to Fresh Herb Week!

The wonderful thing about herbs is that they can often be a virtual transport to another land.

When I smell thyme, I think about the tea that my Jordanian friend used to make me.

Mint often reminds me of condensation-covered glasses of cool iced tea that my mom used to serve with a fresh sprig of the green herb on top.

I guess a lot of my memories revolve around tea, too.

You can do so much traveling by using herbs in your cooking, taking you to countries all over the world.

thai beef with basil

Today, we’re featuring basil in a Thai-inspired recipe that’s full of flavor, texture and freshness.

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Fresh Herb Week

fresh herb week

As a home chef, I’m always looking for simple and inexpensive ways to add flavor to my dishes.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just walk out to your porch or in your fridge and have a flavor booster right there for you to use?!

If you’re getting excited about that possibility, then I’ve got two words for you: fresh herbs!

From salads to main dishes to cocktails, there’s so much you can do with a good herb. Fresh, complex and unique, each herb can add something so great.

And all you have to do to get started during this Fresh Herb Week is:

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Lighten it Up

cucumber salad

Southern food is so near and dear to my heart.

It’s basically for pulled pork that I can’t be a vegetarian.

And that creamy mac and cheese and crisp fried okra gets me every time.

But, I also love my greens, fresh veggies and salads — which are totally apart of my heritage, too. Hello, summer fresh tomatoes, pickled onions and clean cucumber.

cucumber salad

It’s so nice to have a few simple salad or veg recipes to whip up to add to a buffet of fried chicken, pork, brisket or whatever you’ve got going on.

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Simple Saturday: Dark & Stormy

dark & stormy

We’ve been having a lot of evening storms around here lately, and I’m all about it…especially since I have a covered porch to enjoy them under.

It seems like at least a few nights each week for the past month, we’ve had a spectacular showing of strong wind, dark and grey mixed clouds, and anywhere from light sprinkles to sheets of rain.

There’s something scary about storms, but there’s also something so beautiful about watching them pass when you know you’re safe and dry.

In honor of an evening storm a few weeks ago, we decided to have a Dark & Stormy.

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Summa Chowda

summer corn chowder

Soups are definitely my thing year-round, so I’m always happy to discover some soups to enjoy in the summer.

I also love using up my recent farm stand purchases. Have I mentioned that I now live 5 minutes from a farm stand?

When I saw this Summer Corn Chowder recipe, I made a point to pick up corn cobs and new potatoes the next time I was at the farm stand.

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Fourth of July Remix

Summer holidays come and go…and are you eating the same food.

The same well done burgers paired with the same gloppy potato salad. Do you just end up feeling bloated and tired?

Whether you’re an adventurous eater or not, there’s certainly room for you to branch out this Fourth of July.

Try something new. Make your holiday a bit healthier (dare I suggest?!). Cook something fresh and exciting for your family.

Today, we’re taking the old classics of Fourth of July and giving them a remix. New ingredients and new techniques are sure to liven up your long weekend.

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