2015 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 900 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Short and Sweet <3

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While this post is about food…it really isn’t. Just a little something I like to call ‘short and sweet’. So since I’ve been blogging almost 2 years now , I’ve blogged a lot of stuff to veggies, to fruit pops, cakes, fish, poultry, soups and stews. I’ve even managed to do a restaurant review as well as shared my take on healthy cooking tips.

Here’s YOUR choice and YOUR chance. I can only be as helpful and productive to my community as possible. With that being said, if there is ANY food topic you wish to see discussed or a dish you’d simply like to see made to actually see the difficulty level…shoot me a comment.

So, you must be thinking…”Jay must be running out of ideas ?”…me, hell no. My mind is always racing, I was just thinking what’s something I haven’t done or something folks would really be interested in reading about.

Thus, the comment section is open and I’m always open for feedback…and don’t be like this lady below…buying a ton of stuff now like…humm, what to cook 🙂

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<3JayTheFoodie

Baked chicken wings with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and garlic sautéed in white wine ❤️

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Baked chicken wings with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and garlic sautéed in white wine ❤️

A few weeks ago I made Sunday dinner for my family and friends. My friend took me to a restaurant a few weeks back and the meal was similar. Theirs was made with chicken breasts and I opted to make mine with wings. While I’m not exactly sure of all of the ingredients used in the restaurants meal I of course made mine with ‘Jay’s twist’. See below:

Ingredients-
12 chicken wings cleaned
Parsley
Sea Salt
White cooking wine
Montreal chicken seasoning
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Course Black Pepper
Onion powder
1 container of artichoke hearts (I used the Goya brand)
1 container of fresh grape tomatoes (You can also used sundried tomatoes, be careful of the sodium contents)
1 clove of fresh garlic
1 container of fresh button mushrooms



Step 1:
Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees and clean your wings well removing any feathers if any and season wings on both sides well. Also add a little olive oil to your pan to keep your chicken from sticking.

Step 2: Clean and chop your mushrooms and smash your garlic.


  

Step 3
: Place your chopped veggies and tomatoes in a Pyrex container and add your artichoke hearts.



(Drain the juice/oil contents off your artichoke hearts)

 Step 4: Add 1/2 cup of white wine, a few dashes of parsley, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to your measuring cup and whisk well.
  
 Step 5: Pour the contents of your measuring cup over your chopped veggies.
 Step 6: One your oven has been preheated cover your wings with foil and allow to cook for one hour, then flip wings, season & allow the opposite side to brown.



Step 7: Once your wings are almost done place your chopped veggies in the oven and allow to cook until your tomatoes are slightly charred.

 Step 8: Food should almost be done…take a sneak peak to check.


 Step 9: Spoon your veggies on top of your chicken, serve and enjoy !  I made wild rice and broccoli as well.

 Bon Appetite !🍴

❤️JayTheFoodie

Leave a comment below and let me know how you enjoyed it !

GG’s famous Banana Walnut cake with Cream Cheese Icing #YummyGoodness

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GG’s famous Banana Walnut cake with Cream Cheese Icing #YummyGoodness

A couple of months back my friend brought to work a cake. Now I’m not a big dessert eater, since I’m always trying to watch my waistline, but some things I will try…if my arm is twisted 🙂 With that being said I do indulge every so often, and since we’ve entered the holiday season I figured…why not. When I tasted this cake I just HAD to know how to make it. Thus, I begged my friend over the Thanksgiving break to share with me her recipe if she wouldn’t mind. Being the kind person and the chef that she is…she kindly obliged.

Without further ado…I present to you GG’s famous Banana Walnut cake with cream cheese icing.

Ingredients*
*Note: We doubled the ingredients because we ended up making 2 cakes.
Banana Walnut cake ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs (4 are shown)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (2 are shown)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • FROSTING-
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (2 are shown)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°/ In a large bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups sugar, 2 eggs  and 1/2 cup softened cup butter to mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add(1) 8oz container of sour cream butter to mixing bowl and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix until light and fluffy.

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Step 3: Add flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in bananas  and walnuts (bananas not pictured)

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Step 4: Spread into a greased 15 x 10 x1-in. baking pan and coat with flour to allow cake not to stick and shake out the rest. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). 

19Step 5: Now…on to the icing !! In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to achieve desired consistency.

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Step 6: Once cake has cooled from the oven spread icing and allow to sit. Then serve and enjoy !

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Bon Appetite !
❤ JayTheFoodie

I’m in love with the coco <3

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I’m in love with the coco <3

So…as fad diets go, new and fresh things to try when it comes to living healthy and ‘changing your life for the better…one step at a time’ whether is everyone and their mother eating the newest superfood…kale, chia seeds, acai berry, edamame, flaxseed, Tart cherry juice, shiitake mushrooms, pomegranate juice *inserts blank stare* or some other new thing I decided to jump on the new fad bandwagon with my newest yet healthy favorite thing…coconut oil.

My mom put me on to coconut oil a few years ago because she knows how much I love to cook so I was excited about the cooking component, but did you know they’re like a million and one uses for coconut oil ?

Let’s start with the basics. In true foodie form and fashion when it comes to my research I love to quote good ole Wikipedia and WebMd. Let’s see what they’ve got to say about the coco…

Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature  coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It has various applications as food or in cosmetics. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidifiction (the process which causes a substance to become rancid), lasting up to six months at 24 °C (75 °F) without spoiling.

Many health organizations advise against regular consumption of coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat (similar to that of  animal fat) having potential to increase risk of  cardiovascular disease.

So…what are the differences between all these oils and fats…good question, because I’d like to know as well…

There are basically two groups of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Within each group are several more types of fats.

The good guys — the unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation and used to replace saturated or trans fats, can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of  heart disease.

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, while unsaturated (vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, peanut and avocado oil) fats are liquid at room temperature. This is because saturated and unsaturated fats differ in their chemical structures. Saturated fats have no double bond between molecules, which means there are no gaps and the fat is saturated with hydrogen molecules. Saturated fats are often found in animal products (meat, poultry skin, high-fat dairy, and eggs) and in vegetable fats that are liquid at room temperature, such as coconut and palm oils. Thus my theory is to ingest coconut oil sparingly.

Now…on to uses…

Coconut oil is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying, and is a common flavor in many South Asian curries, it is also often used by movie theater chains to pop popcorn and thus adding a large amount of saturated fat in the process. If you’ve never cooked with coconut oil, you’re in for a real treat. Look for certified organic, either virgin (unrefined) or refined, depending on your recipe and your personal taste. Organic virgin coconut oil has a soft coconut aroma and more pronounced coconut flavor. If you don’t care for the taste or smell of coconut but you want the benefits of the oil, the organic refined version is a perfect choice. It stands up beautifully to high heat and doesn’t impart a coconut flavor or aroma.

I purchase my coconut oil at Costco or Mom’s organic market.

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  Common cooking uses for the coco

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Oil/Butter Replacement- There’s no better way to get the benefits of coconut oil than to replace other less desirable fats with it. When cooking or baking, substitute it for butter or just about any oil. It lends moisture, freshness, and richness to baked goods, and a subtle complimentary flavor to savory dishes. How much you substitute will depend on the recipe you are making. For baking, most people will fall in the 1:1 ratio or 80% coconut oil 20% water when subbing for butter. For basic cakes, cookies, and brownies I find 1:1 to be sufficient. When it comes to more complex pastries that get their flaky puffiness when steam is escaping, you may find yourself tweaking the amount a little. For oil substituting, subbing 1:1 is a good route to go.

                     Coconut Oil also has the wonderfully healthy components

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Reduce Risk (or effect) of Alzheimer’s – Alzheimer’s is devastating to all who experience it, whether personally or with a friend or family member. It is no wonder that we search so desperately for a cure. The word that coconut oil could possibly “cure” or prevent Alzheimer’s started circulating with vigor when a pediatrician published a book about feeding coconut oil to her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, and got positive results. Other studies have confirmed that ketones, which are essentially “brain food” provided to keep the brain functioning when the body runs lower on glucose, can help improve memory, and potentially “reverse” the effects of Alzheimer’s. It’s a much more complex subject and process, but that’s it in a really wrapped up nutshell. The dosing that I have uncovered implies 2 teaspoons taken daily with food to help improve cognitive function.

Metabolism Booster – 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism. If you sit around eating coconut oil, you aren’t going to lose weight. However, if used to substitute other fats, it can help you drop the pounds by taking the place of those other calories. Unlike most saturated fats, it’s mainly comprised of medium chain fatty acids, versus long chain fatty acids. This difference in molecular structure means that it doesn’t get packed away as fat as easily and instead is sent straight to the liver to be metabolized, giving you a boost in energy. This energy in turn makes exercising easier, and the exercise in turn helps you lose weight. Another major factor that it plays is as an appetite suppressant. Craving something you shouldn’t be?

Thyroid Supporter – Regular coconut oil consumption has been shown to support healthy thyroid function.

Energizer – 1 teaspoon can give you a burst of energy instead of turning towards a caffeinated energy drink.

Oil Pulling – Swish coconut oil around in your mouth for 10 minutes before brushing.

Constipation Relief- Take a tablespoon of coconut oil every morning on an empty stomach to keep your digestive track running smoothly. You can try 2 tablespoons to work out  acute constipation as well.

crackedpawremedy

Cracked Paw Pads- Doggy paws are tough, and they should be a little rough, calloused, and thickened. Imagine how tender they would get if they were soft and smooth! That being said, when your dog starts to get really dry, cracked paws, rub some coconut oil into them to help them heal. Don’t overdo it though- your dog doesn’t want its paw pads to be as silky smooth as your skin. The hardest part about this is keeping them from licking it off. Make sure to keep your canine away from delicate floors if you are worried it might stain.

Hair Mask– While in the shower, melt your coconut oil by running the jar under the warm water. Then, after shampooing, apply a generous amount of the oil to wet strands and twist hair into a bun. Let it sit for at least five minutes before rinsing to add moisture and shine back into limp locks.

Body Oil/Moisturizer/Lip Balm/Cuticle Softener– As a solid, coconut oil’s creamy texture makes it the perfect light moisturizer to slather all over. Apply a quarter sized amount right after you get out of the shower so it can sink into your warm skin. The light tropical scent that lingers after it’s applied.

Tattoo Moisturizer/Healer-The feeling after you get new ink is beyond amazing, and you want to do everything you can to help your tattoo heal and stay healthy. Often time’s thick petroleum jelly is applied to keep the tattoo moist, but that can get gummy quickly, and can sometimes feel like you’re suffocating your skin rather than helping it heal. Instead use coconut oil to facilitate healing and keep the area moisturized (but not drowning.) As much as you love it, your tattoo is technically a wound, and your body will treat it as it would any other trauma. This includes that maddening itch, which coconut oil happens to soothe quite well. It is much less smothering, and more natural, than many other products, and keeps your skin moisturized, smooth, and healthy-and your new tattoo radiant. For the period that you would usually use jelly, apply coconut oil instead. You can be generous here, but remember that it melts quickly and can get runny, so applying smaller amounts at a time is useful.

Makeup remover-Just a teaspoon (or less) can take off a day’s worth of makeup with ease, no matter the staying power. Massage a dollop of warmed, liquified coconut oil straight onto skin and watch as makeup melts away, then rinse with warm water. To make your own coconut oil makeup remover wipes, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per round cotton pad in a microwave-safe container. Then, lay the cotton pads in an even layer and let them soak up the oil overnight.

Shaving Cream-Warm the jar under the water and smooth onto legs before shaving. Your razor will glide smoothly, allowing for a super-close shave, and your legs will be moisturized from the oil in the process.

                                 Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet or Frying Pan

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Who knew coco had so many great benefits ?  Since I’m a foodie, you know I couldn’t forget the cooking aspect of the coco..right.

  1. Wash your brand new cast iron pan with soap and water. This will hopefully be the very first and very last time you touch this pan with soap.
  2. Lather up the pan sides and bottom generously with the coconut oil. And you don’t actually rinse. Instead, bake the pan at 250°F for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and drain off the oil to reuse later and let the pan cool.
  4. Repeat this process of lathering up the pan after every time you use it for the first, say, four uses. Then you’ll want to keep the maintenance part of the seasoning up by re-seasoning every once in a while, or after you’ve had to give it a good ol’ salt-scrubbing.

                                               Cutting Board conditioner

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Coconut oil has become an increasingly popular substance used to maintain cutting boards and butcher blocks. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and is therefore resistant to rancidification. That said, there are reports of boards that have been treated with coconut oil beginning to smell after a long period of time.

Well guys…that’s all for now, but if you’re familiar with any coconut oil uses or recipes for that matter, feel free to shoot me a comment below and I’ll be glad to share or test it out !

❤ JayTheFoodie

 

 

Inhale…exhale 🌿

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Inhale…exhale 🌿

I have had always had digestive problems for as long as I can remember and I feel I have tried every possible thing to remain ‘regular’, less bloated, less groggy and all around happy. From detox teas to senna teas to Plum juices to yougart and probiotic pills…you name it I bet I’ve tried it all.

Over the summer, as I worked out more so than in the fall and winter months, I began really started looking into holistic healthcare and focus more on my mental health. I was that friend or family member who kept a pill container of vitamins, in odds and ends in my purse, glove box, desk drawer & of course in any medicine cabinet in the house. I just never knew when I’d have to grab an ibprofin, aspirin, Imodium, Tums, or Pepto. I had become…the pill queen 👑…and wore my little crown proudly. Whenever anyone was in need…whether it was cramps, migraine, slight headache, inflammation, indigestion…I had it ready and was ‘Jill ( not Johnny)on the spot’.

It wasn’t until I really delved into mental and holistic healthcare a little more until I later realized a few things that I should have known.

1. Pain is natural…suck it up buttercup !

2. Everything does not require a pill…a glass of wine (dare I even say such a thing), or…coffee (I may regret saying this, but we’ll go with it for now).

3. Water, water, water ! According to my go to source WebMd; Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

Water helps your kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.

Water helps maintain normal bowel function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.

While these are all things I’ll admit I should have known sometimes everyone has their epiphany, their lightbulb or their ‘Ah ha !’ moment at a later time.

I can say now that while I still use pills I am not nearly as dependent as I have now sought natural methods of healing, I have introduced meditation, breathing & stretching exercises. I ultimately came to the conclusion I was having so many digestive problems due to stress. I am slowly learning to ‘Inhale the good shit & exhale the bullshit’. Now, don’t get me wrong I will still have a cheat day, a Girl’s Night In or Out (now with Skinny margaritas to cut cals), and I’ve limited coffee intake to try and ‘stay sane’. I’m just a lot more contious of what I out in my body & it so much more than caloric intake…it’s how many meals have I had, where’s my water and what was the last time I ate. I am trying to be a lot more aware of my little machine & I know it’ll only work as well as I want it to with the proper nutrition (fuel), nourishment, sufficient water & ultimately rest.

In the vein of digestive health, I’ve also begun to occasionally drink Kombucha tea. I stumbled upon it while visiting a local market and read the contents. I figured it wouldn’t hurt so as I put it in my basket I got on my ‘Google machine’ and began my research. 

 Kombucha refers to any of a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly used as functional beverages for their unsubstantiated health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY). Actual contributing microbial populations in SCOBY cultures vary, but the yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces (a probiotic fungus) and other species, and the bacterial component almost always includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.

Kombucha refers to any of a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly used as functional beverages for their unsubstantiated health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY). Actual contributing microbial populations in SCOBY cultures vary, but the yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces (a probiotic fungus) and other species, and the bacterial component almost always includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.

                                                  
The geographic origin of kombucha is unknown, and its etymology is uncertain. Historically, kombucha has been home-brewed or locally brewed, but in the late 1990s, commercially bottled kombucha became available in North American retail stores. It is known in Chinese as chájūn (茶菌), Japanese as kōcha-kinoko (紅茶キノコ), Korean as hongchabeoseotcha (홍차버섯차) and Russian as chaynyy grib (чайный гриб). These names translate literally to “tea fungus” or “tea mushroom.”

Kombucha has been claimed to cure many diseases and to have a wide range of health benefits; however, there is a lack of high-quality evidence to support these claims. There are several documented cases of adverse effects related to kombucha drinking, and there is the potential for contamination during home preparation. A systematic review found that the mostly unclear benefits of kombucha drinking did not outweigh the known risks, thus could not be recommended for therapeutic use.

Kombucha has been promoted with claims that it can treat a wide variety of human illnesses including AIDS, cancer, and diabetes, and that it provides other beneficial effects such as stimulation of the immune system, boosting the libido, and reversal of gray hair. However, evidence of kombucha’s beneficial effects in humans is lacking. In particular, although animal and in vitro experiments suggest that kombucha consumption may be beneficial, as of 2014 no controlled human trials have been conducted to confirm these conclusions.

While his post was a little different than most please note as the holidays come I will still serve up the meals you have so grown to love but I want to add a healthier twist.
Be Happy, Be Healthy ✌🏾

#JayTheFoodie

Soulful Sunday String beans

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This past Sunday was my good friend’s Gma’s birthday. In addition to all the other yummy food that was served…goulash with Parmesan and butters egg noodles, deviled eggs, fruit, meat and cheese trays, salad, cakes, pies and not to mention a fabulous fall sangria…I wanted to bring yet another veggie. 

Not just any veggies but I wanted to ensure these was a little soul added.  Now guys note…I did not grow up cooking underneath my mom or my grandmothers. I honestly make food the way I think it should taste, however  Some food does happen to be reminiscent of my mom & grandmothers cooking though 🙂

Check out the easy recipe for Soulful Sunday string beans !

Ingredients-

1 lb of fresh string beans cleaned well

1 whole onion chopped

4 pieces of uncooked bacon chopped

1 clove of minced garlic or 2 tablespoons of minced garlic

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 contained of chicken stock or both

A few dashes or cayenne pepper, sea salt, and black pepper

Step 1: Clean your fresh string beans well under running cold water in a colander.

  

 
Step 2: Chop and peel your onion & bacon

   
   
  
Step 3: Add your onion, bacon & minced garlic to a large pot.

   
    
   
 Step 4: Have the contents above on medium heat until your onions begin to carmelize. Then add your 1/4 cup of olive oil and your seasonings and slowly stir with a wooden spoon.

  
This aroma of bacon, onions and garlic is amazing & im my opinion the ‘The Holy Trinity’ of any meal made with love. ❤️

  

   
 
Step 5: Once your seasonings and oil have cooked down well slowly add your string beans while stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure all our beans are covered with your yummy onion, bacon & garlic goodness 😜.

  

Step 6: While stirring your beans add your chicken stock and then allow beans to simmer on medium heat with a secure top, occasionally checking and stirring for :30.

   
    
 
Step 7: Now, some people like their beans al dente whereas I prefer mine to be a little softer. Either way really is fine. Below is a final product and needless to say everybody was pleased 🙂 Feel free to eat as an entree or serve as a side….either way Bon Appetite !

  
Love,

Jay The Foodie 💋