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How to Make My Mother’s Pasta Sauce

They say that smell is one of the best memory makers for the human mind. A smell can take us back to our childhoods in an instant. Rain in the woods can remind me of camp, bleach reminds me of the pool at the health center where I use to take Tae Kwon Do as a child, and the smell of suntan lotion, of course, brings me back to playing on Florida’s soft sandy beaches. One smell that I cherish though is my mother’s pasta sauce recipe.

I feel like everyone has that one “family recipe” that they just love and pass down and this is one of my favorites. I can remember being a child and laying on the floor of my living room watching TV while the smell of this sauce floated in from the kitchen. I love it now because it reminds me of my mother, and it’s easy to make, freezes well and can be used not just in spaghetti dishes, but in lasagna too! I hope you love it as much as I do and that it becomes a staple in your home as well.

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How to Make Hell’s Kitchen Lobster Risotto for Your Valentine

This Valentines’s you don’t need to get on a reality show and be verbally abused in order to learn how to make this very iconic dish from Hell’s Kitchen. Nor do you have to make the journey to Las Vegas to eat at Hell’s Kitchen in the Ceasar’s Palace. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can make this risotto in the comfort (and safety) of your own home with only your spouse to yell at you…if you’re into that kind of thing (no judgment). I got this copy cat recipe from Bake It With Love.

First, I think it would be obvious, but if your significant other has a shellfish allergy, and you don’t want to kill them, then it would be best to find something else to cook. Shellfish allergies can be extremely serious and you don’t want to spend your romantic evening in a hospital (or worse).

Secondly, for those of you wondering what it tastes like, I’ll do my best to describe. The wine that is used adds a subtle flavor and the alcohol is cooked off early on in the process (so it’s safe to feed kids). The addition to lemon and chive added at the end seems to enhance the flavor of the lobster meat, and the risotto has spent a lot of time cooking in the lobster stock juices which means not only is it tender, but really full of flavor. It was a serious win in my book and didn’t really take long to make once all the ingredients where assembled.

Thirdly, on that note, make sure to assemble your ingredients BEFOREHAND. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find measuring cups and praying that your risotto isn’t burning. I did mine in sections. So while my stock was simmering I was prepping the ingredients for the risotto.

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My Mother’s Mini Cheesecake Recipe

Growing up, I often had to raise money to go camping and things like that and raising money in typical kid fashion means having a bake sale. My mother use to whip up these amazing mini cheesecakes and they always SOLD OUT. Seriously and that’s not even the best part. They’re crazy easy make and THEY FREEZE!!!! Why is that so cool? Because sometimes you may not want cheesecake every night that week. You can freeze one mini and that’s it, save the rest for later! So I hope these are a knockout in your home as it was in mine.

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Luxurious Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

I really can’t express how much I hate winter in Massachusetts. I know I’ve said this before, but truly, it’s not even the snow, it’s the icy wind and just the frigidness of it all. To be honest, I actually deal with a subtle form of depression during the winter because things slow down and it’s like everyone is hibernating. I get extremely lazy during the winter, so cooking dinner is usually a struggle, which is why I love this recipe so much.

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Happy Chinese New Year to My Fellow Rats!

Tomorrow celebrations will be held for the year of the rat!!! So to all my fellow rats out there, this post is for you where we’ll take some time to learn a little about the Chinese Zodiac as well as some fun ideas to celebrate it!

To start off, let’s discuss what the Chinese zodiac even is. It’s actual orgins are foggy at best but the story itself revolves around 12 animals. These included the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Chicken, Dog, and Pig. There are several versions of the story, told by anyone from the Jade Emperor to the Buddha but the basics is that the animals are invited to the palace for either a dinner party or a race. On the way, The Rat came firt because he road on the nose of the Ox.

While I’m not Chinese, I found that my zodiac animal is pretty accurate, and it’s kind of fun to see all the celebrations in Chinatown!

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Cantaloupe with Mozzarella and Prosciutto Salad

In this season of dieting, I wanted to talk a little about this new salad for those who don’t like tomatoes or greens.

A traditional Caprese Salad has mozzarella, tomato, and basil and it’s delicious, but not everyone likes tomatoes. My husband for example really doesn’t like them and I don’t always want a traditional green leafy salad so finding this was a major win for my home.

I would like to give credit to the website I found this on, but unfortunately, this recipe was removed and I had to remember it from scratch. I’ve seen variations on this where people have added basil or mint, and even balsamic vinegar, but I’m going to give you the recipe I like to put together when I want a sweet and savory meal. This salad serves 4.

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Feel Healthy and Full with this Detox Green Smoothie with Chia Seeds

Okay guys, for this Foodie Friday I’m going to be really honest, I liked the idea of having a smoothie BUT I was usually hungry a couple of hours later and then I’d buy a hamburger, or I’d cook up a whole box of mac n’ cheese.

Recently I’ve been trying to eat healthier and I came across this recipe. It doesn’t have any super unique things like protein powder, or seaweed or anything special….it was just really simple and straight forward and Ally from Ally’s Cooking claimed it would “Keep you full for hours!”. To be honest, maybe it was because I was hangry, or maybe it was because I just have this natural ability to distrust everything anyone says to me, but I was really not thinking this smoothie was going to be good. I expected it to taste weird, and that in a half an hour I’d be chowing down on a Big Mac (sorry Ally). So I made the smoothie and the first sip was “Oh Wow! This actually tastes great!”. I honestly was surprised. I thought for sure I’d be able to taste the spinach, but NOPE! It was the perfect tropical lunch smoothie I was hoping for and I even set up a little photoshoot with it in my garden. I wasn’t even going to write about it, and didn’t even put it on my editorial calendar yet here I am writing about it because January is the month of diets, fads, fasting, and working out till you pass out and if there’s anything I can offer that makes all this pressure plus the winter blues melt I will. So here’s what’s in it!

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How to Make a Healthy Aussie Breakfast

Hello Everyone! Today I’m going to share a little about what I learned on healthy eating during my trip to Australia. I went to Canberra, then Sydney and even had a chance to scope out the local beach bodies on Bondi. Let me tell you, when it comes to healthy eating and living these guys have it down. The beaches start filling up at 5 in the morning with runners, people doing yoga, swimmers and even some high-intensity interval training. While there I was looking for a cookbook to bring home and the person helping me said that Vegetarian and Vegan cookbooks are their top sellers.

As any good social media contributor does, I made sure to take a picture of everything I ate. This breakfast I’m about to show you, however, was pretty easy to recreate and I felt good eating it. So as my first Foodie Friday post of the year, let’s get it started with a healthy breakfast!

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Christmas Morning Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Christmas morning for me involved getting up, opening presents under the tree, and playing while my mother whipped up a sugar and cinnamon monkey bread. Sometimes she would even let me help by letting me roll the pieces of dough and then dunking them in butter and then cinnamon and sugar before arranging them and baking them.

Unfortunately, I live in a home where my oven isn’t exactly reliable. I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong with it, but the outside of my monkey bread will burn, while the inside is still raw. So while I would LOVE to give you that recipe, I was fortunate to find this delicious Christmas Morning Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Recipe. You’ll still get the smells of cinnamon, and sugar, and the frosting and not sacrifice any of the morning’s festivities to do it either!

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The Best and Incredibly Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pecan Recipe

One thing I love during the holidays, or really any time is candied nuts. You can usually find them in these clear plastic bags and they’re EXPENSIVE! I’m talking $5 for a little bag! So as always, when I find I really enjoy something expensive, I set out to see if I could possibly make these myself at home. Then I wouldn’t have to spend so much money, AND I could have them whenever the mood struck!

Thankfully I was able to find a wonderful recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Pecans featured on the food blog Joy, Food, Sunshine and I decided to put it to the test. The results were not only easy, but better than I expected, and can I just say that my home smelled DELICIOUS too! An added plus is that they are FREEZER FRIENDLY!!!! YASSS!!! This means that as you try to keep healthy during the holidays, you can still sprinkle these over your cranberry and blue cheese salad to give it a little extra holiday sweetness! Running at 119 calories per serving these are also not a bad mid-afternoon snack option, way better than the leftover office donuts in the lunchroom (just sayn’).

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