Happy New Year 2016! … a day late

Mimosa Fizz|Recipe for Random

Did you miss me?
I missed ya’ll.  Yes, I say ya’ll and yee haw.

I’m back with an almost refreshed site, a new job, and a renewed purpose.
The reason why I had been gone so long is that my passion had been sucked dry. Ever have that? A job that soul sucks you.  Your get up and go has gone.  Mine actually hitched a ride and moved cross country.

While gone life happened.  There have been highs and lows.  Stress eating happened.  Extra pounds happened.  Travel to Los Angeles happened (you know that was a given). I traveled to Orlando and made it to Harry Potter Land!


Happy times to talk about on another day.

I’ve made some realizations.  Richmond, VA is my home.  Come Hell or high water.  However, it doesn’t mean I can’t travel and see the world. I’m a singleton — I need to start enjoying my life!

It’s time to join the living again and I am ready to share my life with you.

Honesty time – the reason I walked away from the my blog is that I don’t have my shiznit together.  When I would look at other bloggers it was (and still is) daunting.  Feelings of failure , doubt, and (yes) jealousy.  These feelings are not gone but I’m trying to as people say, “stay in my lane” “do me” and “not look backward”. #GirlBoss


So here is to 2016.  May it be better than 2015.  Here’s to carving paths into the world.  Not being a sheep but a lion. Saying what needs to be said.  Unfollowing friends on Facebook. Opening self to the possibilities. Travel. Volunteering. Pursuit of a great burger, donuts, and cake.

I hope you will join me in the random of 2016!

In celebration, I made a Mimosa Fizz.  It’s a mimosa but better; it’s the blood orange Italian soda.




Makes 1 delicious cocktail!

2 ounces Orange Juice
4 ounces Sparkling Wine
2 ounces Blood Orange Italian Soda
1 Maraschino cherry

To assemble, in a Champagne flute place a Maraschino cherry, add juice, sparkling wine, top with the blood orange soda, and drink!

** Get fancy with it and garnish the flute with a slice of orange or a sugared rim.

Peach Pie Parfaits

Peach Pie Parfaits

This was a post that I was to have up last Thursday but the words would not come. I’m not sure if they appeared but let’s give this a go go.

Moving to the country
Going to eat a lot of peaches
Moving to the country
Going to eat me a lot of peaches
Moving to the country
Going to eat a lot of peaches
Moving to the country
Going to eat a lot of peaches …
– “Peaches” by Presidents of the United States

I love peaches. The smell. The fuzz. The soft flesh that is so juicy and sweet it dribbles down your chin. It’s summer memories wrapped in a fruit.

Peaches transport me to the summers that I spent with my grandparents in Lawrenceville, VA aka Southern Small Town, USA. My older sister and I would get on the Greyhound bus and take the hour trip to stay with the grandparents. It was the best. I had the best sleeps with nature being my radio however I was not a fan of actually going outside to play … bugs, ick.

I remember sitting on the porch with my grandparents as they would wave and talk to their neighbors and passers-by. The gentle glide of chairs as I would kick my legs to and fro. Simply content to bask away in the lazy days and people watch.

When I was thinking about my next posting I knew I wanted to do something with peaches. Just like summer they are quickly fading away and you will have to rely on frozen or canned peaches and lets face it … it’s not the same.

I thought about a peach cobbler or perhaps a peach pie? Nah, but a deconstructed peach pie. Yes to the big yes!

I’m talking about a no egg roasted peach curd which allows for an intense peach experience. Pie crust crumbles – no perfect pie crust needed. Greek yogurt whipped cream; a tangy light explosion that offsets the sweetness of the peaches. Summer in a jar. Summer in a jar!




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#ThirstyThursdays Strawberry Cooler


Strawberry Cooler
Summer … I love the thoughts of vacations, floating lazily in a pool, working on my golden delish tan (of course with the proper sun block protection), ice cream – the joys of summer.

I am soooo looking forward to my two vacays. California in September to celebrate my milestone birthday – that’s right I’m turning 21 … haha. Then in October, I plan to head to Las Vegas for a bookfest (don’t judge) and some other thangs. I’m all about the west coast, as you may know.

What I can do without is the dismal heat with the extra side of humidity. Truly, I feel like I live in the 9th level of Hell. The heat is a drainer and I seem to be sweating in places that I don’t want to sweat – I know, TMI.

I need to move to a location that has only spring and autumn. Winter and summer are for the birds!

Know what is not for the birds? This drank! I like to call it a homemade wine cooler. It’s cool, it’s refreshing. It’s like rain in a dry desert; a welcome refreshment.

It’s a simple recipe and you can easily switch out your favorite summer fruit – peaches, cherries, watermelon …

Let’s talk about the ginger ale in this drink … Bruce Cost Ginger ale … how did I live life without you? I didn’t know about you until I attended Eat Write Retreat. It is ah-may- ZING! It really will cure what ails you while being refreshing. It’s dry, it’s sweet, and has a burn that has nothing to do with carbon dioxide fizz but everything to do with ginger. REAL GINGER. I’m sold. I rave about it to my Mom, my friends, and co-workers. I’m hooked!

Another great feature is that you can double, triple, quadruple it or make it a pitcher. You know with 4th of July being tomorrow you could serve it with those barbecue delights- I’m just sayin’. If you make it ahead it will be awesome to the second power, to the second power, my friends! Fruit and Wine is a marriage made in heaven.

Drink responsibly and be safe my friends.


Golden Oreo Lemon Chip Cookies


Golden Oreo Lemon Chip CookiesIt’s that time again … The Leftover’s Club time. You know when food bloggers are paired up to send their delicious treats throughout the world and spreading sunshine on the first Thursdays of the month. Of course I’m always thinking what should I make for my assigned partner and usually there is some kind of procrastinating involved. I thought about cupcakes but with the summer heat they would be more like melty cakes. I wish I could send icecream but that would just be a hot mess! Heat makes things a touch difficult but not impossible.

A favorite fave of summer for me is lemon. It is such a palette cleanser and oh so refreshing. It’s usually not heavy and I like to avoid the heavy during the summer. Light and bright with a taste that is out of sight — that’s my motto for summer.

Luckily, my partner this month — Kim from Feed Me, Seymour is also a lover of the easy peasy and the good, the sweet, the meat, and the carbs. She is also a nail polish and beauty product lover … I can get behind this!! I think we could be soul-mates Hello, check out this post for Gouda Caramelized Onion Grill Cheese Sandwich it speaks to me and she references She’s the Man. I love that movie and yes, the soundtrack is pretty damn awesome (I have the CD).

So I got to thinking— cookies; great for packing (even in the heat). Hmmmmm, chocolate chip cookies but with lemon accents. Replace the chocolate with lemon chips add lemon peel and lemon curd. Finish with Golden Oreos (which are better than original Oreos). It’s cray cray CRAZY Ah-Maze, jammers! Sorry, but not sorry, I’ve been watching the show Playing House on USA — I love it and I want to quote it and add all the one liners to my vocab. Girl Power! It’s been added to my show of shows.


Back to the cookies … My co-workers approved. I found the lemon to be subtle and as the cookies cool the lemon comes across more. To me it resembled a softer Golden Oreo Lemon Creme cookie. If you can’t find lemon chips … and you might not. I had to order them online. Yes, I am that girl. Try subbing with white chips.

Don’t forget … if you a food blogger that loves getting mail that contains treats? Are you looking for a way to network with other bloggers? Are you looking for a way to get your blog out into the world wide web? Then be sure to sign up for The Leftover’s Club. Go ahead an stretch those wings!



Triple Onion Turkey Burgers and a Product Review

Triple Onion Turkey Burgers

**Review of Calphalon 5 in 1 Grill Electric. I was given this product gratis to review. All opinions are my own.***

This is a long overdue post … as you know I am not a consistent blogger. Just take a look. I am trying to change my ways. Time management can either be a friend or a frenemy. We use to be frenemies but we are making our way to friendship and I would like to thank evernote. I try to resist the digital age when it came to notebooks and books but I have been won over. I really didn’t understand what evernote could do until I lost my recipe notebooks among all the craziness of The Move 2014. It was not THE move so settle down and let’s talk turkey, ground turkey.

I love homemade turkey burgers and not a big fan of the frozen turkey burgers. A turkey burger can make me as happy as a beef burger.

I truly think it’s in the flavorings and toppings. You know what is good in ground turkey. Onions, Onions, and more onions with some garlic and even mushrooms. This is not a burger to eat if you plan to get close to someone, just sayin’.

Enter the triple onion turkey burger. It contains caramelized onions both in the ground mix and as a topper. The seasoning is a packet of dry onion mix. The rest of the ingredients inside this amazeballs burger is just bonus. When you sandwich it between some potato buns … oh to the m to the g.

I’ve been working on this recipe for awhile now so this has also slowed my progress in reviewing the Calphalon 5 in 1 grill.

What is the Calphalon 5 in 1 grill you ask? It’s a versatile grill that will have you giving away your indoor grill du jour, panini maker, and griddle. Yes, it’s that good.

The Calphalon 5 in 1 grill. I am in love with this grill. LOVE! George Foreman who? I coveted this grill when I attended Eat Write Retreat last year. It was used to make grilled pizzas … which I did not get to eat but it’s ok. I have the grill and I can make my own. Perhaps this weekend (it always comes back to food). Note: If you want to grill pizzas on the Calphalon grill use the sear setting.

I have had the Calphalon grill for way over six months and I still have not used it to the max!

Truly the possibilities are endless; from pancakes to steaks and anything in between. The Calphalon grill is user friendly and the temperature can range from 225 F to 425 F along with a sear function.

My favorite dish to make thus far is seafood and burgers. I still need to practice with steaks and chicken. It’s all user error — trust me. I’m that person who uses the product first and read the directions last. Is that you, too?

My favorite feature on the grill … the removable plates (that are dishwasher friendly) and the fact it can be a griddle or a grill. Also you can griddle or grill with the it opened (which increases the space real estate) or closed (dual cooking).

The only downside for me is that I can’t seem to achieve those pretty grill lines … you know you want it … (It’s 2014 and the song Blurred Lines is still taking up space in my head.)

Overall thoughts: A great investment to have since the grill has multi uses and is easy to clean. The Opti-Heat System allows for reliable and accurate heating results. Better for a singleton or small family versus a large family.

The Calphalon 5 in 1 grill can be purchased through Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macys, Bloomingdales, and Calphalon. It’s easy to understand why Calphalon is the leader in premium cookware and kitchenware.

Suggested Retail Price is $129.99.


{#TheLeftoversClub} Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Oatmeal Bars


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Oat Bars Taking a moment out of my dreaded move to do a post. Believe me it’s a welcome distraction. Sidebar: I have lots o’crap and it’s all from my hobbies that I enjoy. They are space suckers, fo reals!

It’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means!?!?!!

Not hump day but The Leftover’s Club timmy time!

I always ponder what I want to make and send to my food blog pal. Will it be cupcakes, fudge, some caramel trifecta … you know those little bites of empty calorie goodness? A minute on the lips and years on the thighs (and tummy). YOLO!

Nope … hopes crashed and dashed – just kidding. I’ve been finding The Leftovers Club a great way to stretch my creativity … it allows me to step out of my quite comfortable box. It’s needed and of course you don’t want to give your blog buddy something that they will not enjoy. That would not be cool and would not make me “the best blogger”, ha ha.

These chocolate chocolate chip almond oatmeal bars is my take on the Larabar. I have seen recipes on pinterest and pinned several recipes in preparation of trying to be healthy … yeah about that.

When I saw that Johanna from Notes from a Messy Kitchen is a marathon runner and that she makes and eats healthier fare than what my normal modus operandi usually is … I had to turn to my “Think Healthy, Be Healthy” pinterest board for inspiration.

I’ve been following Johanna on instagram for a few weeks and I must say her healthy creations have left me drooling. Hmm, healthy can be yummy? Shut the front door!

These CCCAOB’s are quite easy to make. You simply gather the ingredients place them in your food processor and pulse. Easy peasy, peeps, easy peasy. No baking. No additional sugars. Gluten Free. I believe Paleo friendly? If you not a fan of dates you can always try prunes, raisins, and or figs. You could also add crisped rice if you are looking to add additional texture. Play around with recipe and make it your own.

I found the taste to be pleasant. It will never replace the taste of an honest to goodness brownie or chocolate chip oatmeal cookie but it’s not horrible. The chocolate flavor shines and the bits of chocolate chips don’t make you feel deprived.

Johanna, I hope you will find them enjoyable.




Are you a food blogger that loves getting mail that contains treats? Are you looking for a way to network with other bloggers? Are you looking for a way to get your blog out into the world wide web? Then be sure to sign up for The Leftovers Club. Go ahead an stretch those wings!



Eat Write Retreat

This is a long over due (and possibly long post) but I feel that it’s a timely post since Eat Write Retreat (EWR) 2014 will be happening in June and there is still time to join in the fun!

I had the privilege to attend EWR in the capacity of volunteer last year. I felt very fortunate to be asked by Casey and Robyn – the great women behind EWR. I would do it again in a heartbeat! It was fantastic to experience the behind the scenes as well participating in the festivities scheduled.

If you never been to a food blogger conference and it’s on your bucket list then may I suggest Eat Write Retreat. Why?

It’s a great opportunity to network with other food bloggers. The blogger spectrum is diverse. There are novice bloggers (like myself) intermediate, and the experienced attending EWR. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS – when else will you get a chance to meet those who know (and understand) what it means to blog.

*EWR Takeaway* From Joy Manning and her workshop entitled Contact High – A fresh approach to networking is to make friends on purpose. Also be sure to share information and not just simply contacts. Be authentic in your generosity.

“You are gonna learn today!”

You learn so much at Eat Write Retreat that it can make your head spin. My head is still spinning and it’s February! Also the speakers enjoyed sharing their knowledge. SEO, cache, photography, sponsored posts – oh my! You are going to want to make sure you have the ability to take notes. There were a lot of bloggers that brought their tablets or computers to capture the information.

Bonus, after the conference Casey and Robyn made sure to provide follow ups to the workshops. Awesomeness.

In between all the learning there is eating … so much eating. Bring your expandable pants – I’m just sayin’.

If you do choose to attend Eat Write Retreat may I impart some bits o’ wisdom. These are the the things that I either learned or made note of during the conference.

Since the conference is in Philadelphia again be sure to enjoy a Philly steak.

Bring comfortable walking shoes. Comfort is king when it comes to shoes. I packed my most unforgiving shoes on this trip – oweee woweee.

Don’t forget to have an empty piece of luggage for all the swag that you are going to end up taking home. It’s plentiful and beautiful. Thank you so much EWR and the amazing sponsors.

Be prepared to become impassioned to create the best damn possible blog. If you have been battling blogger burnout, I feel that EWR will shine a new light and invigorate. I know my blog is still not finished (it’s STILL being remodeled) but attending EWR made me want to take the next step in blogging. Letting go of my wordpress hosted blog and making that leap to self hosting.

Make sure that you have business cards. I know that this might sound stupid but I was that girl who did not have business cards with her. Special in my own way, I am.

The closing of Eat Write Retreat you will have an opportunity to pitch to the pros. So here is that chance to put to use some great knowledge that you will be presented with at the conference and perhaps work with that company you admire.

Last year, the keynote speaker Monica Bhide presented on the topic of sponsored posts and provided some great thoughts on the matter. 

*EWR Take Away*
-When thinking about sponsored content  – think outside the box.  Your post could include product information, service information, links, and messaging.

-Would you consider running this content if it wasn’t sponsored

-Be honest, make sure you declare that the post is sponsored even when mentioning it on social media #ad 

There is so much I learned and so many take aways that I could go on for days but instead I think I will share those bits via FB in weekly posts starting next week.

To sum up this post … if you can, you should go to Eat Write Retreat. If you are interested in hearing fellow bloggers experience of EWR check out these blogs!

Devour and Conquer
Food Marriage
Small Chick Big Deals
Savory Simple
Sarah in the Kitchen
Fifteen Spatulas
Real the Kitchen and Beyond

Don’t delay and purchase your tickets for Eat Write Retreat 2014! Also if you are interested in the digital downloads from the 2013 workshops they are available for purchase.


Disclosure: I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own. I was just a fortunate volunteer. 🙂

Local Food Scene … Burger Bach

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Hey-yo! Time to dust of these blog cobwebs and start getting my blog game on track. A vicious vicious stomach flu has sidetracked me for the last week and the thought of food and cooking makes me want … never mind.

I thought to myself, “self what about blogging about food related topics while recovering.” Great idea self!

Like to read about it? Here goes …

I am trying to explore more of my local food scene and I heard great things about Burger Bach (pronounced batch) in Richmond (VA). Hello, it has burger in it’s name; I am THERE. It’s a New Zealand inspired Gastro Pub that specializes in using locally sourced items when possible.

A New Zealand Gastro Pub? The only things that I know about New Zealand is that is close to Australia, Flight of the Conchords, and … that I would like to visit. US education fail, ha!

Burger Bach currently has two locations in Richmond, VA. I happened to visit the original location in the Carytown with my friend. When you walk into Burger Bach it’s very comforting with the beautiful wood tables and open space. I felt at home. It’s not frou frou or filled with nonsensical items – straightforward. I found the waitstaff to be pleasant and attentive (let’s not forget to TIP our servers). There was no rush to get in or get out.

Burger Bach offers a gamut of beverages. Real Sugar Coke and Sprite in bottles!!! I don’t get a chance to indulge in real sugar Coke unless I am visiting Canada. If soda is not what you quest; Burger Bach also offers lemonade and an assortment of teas, coffee, and water. For those that crave some alcoholic libations; they offer a variety of beers that includes local breweries and even a local Virginia hard cider, Bold Rock.

From what I have read and seen about New Zealand and Australian food it’s about fresh items along with great ingredients that are used to make phenomenal dishes. I truly feel that Burger Bach accomplishes that with their offerings and I am glad that it’s been a successful venture.

Before I get to the burger can we talk about french fries and dipping sauces? Can we? The fries were delicious. Little bites of perfection. My tip … go large. Yes, they are that good and before you think I am a hog … my friend and I shared the large. The sauces that I have tried so far are the Organic Tomato Ketchup, Garlic Aoili, Manuka Honey Mustard, and it’s not an option but we asked to sample it – blueberry barbecue sauce. D-d-d-d-d-d-elish-ious!


For my visit I enjoyed the Hangover burger. When I bit into my burger the freshness and complementary toppings had me doing my happy dance! Egg on a burger is genius … genius! I felt the burger was full on the flavor and not grease. My burger was perfectly constructed and did not fall apart in my consumption.

There is something for everyone. If beef is not your thing they do offer lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian options and for an additional $1.00 you can have a gluten free bun. See- something for everyone.

Quite simply- Burger Bach makes great burgers. You will want to continue to visit Burger Bach to try ever burger on the menu. I do. East Coast burger I have my eye on you next. Treat. Yo. Self.

Burger Bach
10 South Thompson Street
Richmond, VA 23221


Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The views shared are my own. I’m just a girl that loves burgers.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread|Recipe for Random

Happy New Year from my newly made over blog. There are still a lot of tweaks that I need to make but I have the links working and have imported my old posts into the new and have transferred my subscribers … so I say I am cooking with gas.

I am sorry that it has taken so long for me to start posting again. Time truly got away from me. Days bled into months. I am going to try and do better. There is much I want to accomplish this year!

Today’s post is about Banana bread or as I like to call it ‘Nanner Bread; I have attempted to make banana bread several times and each time it was a failure and I mean F-A-I-L-U-R-E. Then I happened on this recipe Julia’s Banana Bread. It contains simple ingredients to make a phenomenal dish and it’s LOW ACID.

It also made me want to go back to Hawaii.

Why would I care about low acid? My Leftovers Club buddy, Paula, at Low Acid Yum is managing GERD by diet and her blog is about low acid yumminess. Acid in food is not a forethought in my mind when it comes to eating except when I make anything tomato base. This posed a challenge to me. Thinking cap engaged. What could I make that would be low in acid AND will ship well? When in doubt, Google it out.

So I did and guess what Bananas can help fight acid reflux – thanks health.com!

Of course I can’t not just try and make adjustments; so I did make changes. I switched out part of the flour (ok, I ran out of All Purpose Flour). I doubled and roasted the bananas. The banana flavor went through the roof … I didn’t even think it was possible but it is. I reduced the egg content and replaced a majority of the oil with yogurt.

Ah-mazing, this Banana bread is Ah-mazing (if I do so say so myself). Are you a blogger and liked being introduced to new blogs and get amazing treats then sign up for The Leftovers Club.


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White Cheddar Popcorn

White Cheddar Popcorn| Licious Food

Welcome to my contribution to the Leftovers Club! Here’s hoping you will enjoy it Aly of Cooking in Stilettos. It’s my favorite snack food and I want to share the love.

Can you believe it September, my most favorite-ist month? This year has flown! Yes, I am still alive and will be turning another year older on Saturday (yay, me). If my Mom happens to be reading this … one word, Amazon … actually three words, Amazon Gift Card.

So essentially life is good. I entered a contest, I made it to the semifinals, and then I lost. Poop. Thank you to all that voted! I’m sure the best person won.

I’m alive and kicking with a roof over my head. Still living la vida loca in Virginia. I have pushed my LA dream back to 2014 for some health care. If you don’t have it … you truly-uly miss it and I wants it. I have also been busy working on taking the next step with this blog. I can’t wait to reveal it and host a little giveaway as thanks; sort of like giving a birthday gift to a lucky reader.

Now on to today’s post (in my Oprah voice) white CHEDDDDAR PopCORRRRRRRN! I love white cheddar popcorn. It’s fantabulous and I could eat it all day, every day. My most favorite white cheddar popcorn is Oogie’s and it’s very hard to find it where I live. I have tried lots and lots of other brands and it’s not as good as Oogie’s. It’s a Debbie Downer moment each time I try another brand that just does not compare. What constitutes a good white cheddar popcorn? It should taste of cheese with a subtle undertones of onion and garlic with a kiss of salt. I’m not big on salty. Salty over powers the cheese and that just blows. What do you do When you can not find your favorite snack? Why you simply make it and surprise it’s quite easy!

Bonus – when you add cheese popcorn to caramel popcorn that is simply freakin’ delicious. Trust me and check out this post I did awhile back … Cheese and Caramel Popcorn, it was an introduction to my love of Oogie’s and the sweet and cheesey delight.

So, the next time you have a movie night make it a white cheddar popcorn night!


White Cheddar Popcorn
A Licious Original Recipe

1 ounce white cheddar powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
6 cups of popcorn, popped
Olive Oil Spray

In a small bowl combine white cheddar powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, white pepper. Set aside.

Using either a large bowl or in my case a roasting pan, add popped popcorn and coat popcorn with oil. Leave no popcorn dry! I found that the spray help me coat the popcorn evenly and not leave it oily. Next add the cheese mix to the popcorn and toss, toss, toss and toss some more. Then serve to the hungry masses!