Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sweet Heat Sloppies with Gourmet Warehouse BBQ Sauce

Hey y'all if you stopped by yesterday you read my review on the delicious products from Gourmet Warehouse of Hilton Head SC.

Oh don't tell me you missed it. Dang.. well, go HERE and read all about it! Their products are delicious, oh did I say that already? Well, they really are.

This was simple and ranks up on the TOP 10 list of recipes for this year!!

With the sweet heat sauce I made a ... similar to sloppy joe sandwich. We had a busy day and I didn't want to head to the store to find something "special" to use it on. I wanted to see if the sauce could stand up for itself without a lot of bells and whistles.

Well, it stood up just fine let me tell ya.

I even drizzled it on my fries! Baked fries of course, gotta stay somewhat healthy.

The leftovers I used the next day for a different recipe, you'll see it later.

Sweet Heat Sloppies
1 lb lean ground chuck
1 medium sweet onion,diced
2 TBSP butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
3-4 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
Sweet heat bbq sauce
1 TBSP bourbon (optional)

toasted buns
baked fries
fresh sliced tomatoes (or a salad)

In a large skillet, deep sided, saute your onion in butter with salt and pepper. 

After 2-3 minutes add your chopped bacon and bourbon. Cook for another 3 minutes, add in your beef and Worcestershire sauce. Allow this to cook completely. Drain if needed.(I use lean ground beef so draining is not needed) Stir in half a bottle of Sweet Heat BBQ sauce. 

Allow this to heat through and thicken slightly.

Toast your buns/bread, bake your fries while the meat mixture is cooking and slice up some fresh tomatoes.


WAIT I'm not done! Oh, you have to come back on August 4th. You'll see what I did with the leftovers. Can you say mmm mmm good? OH YEAH BABE
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gourmet Warehouse review

Today I'd like to tell you about a new company I was recently introduced to. Cynthia over at Feeding Big told me about Gourmet Warehouse in Hilton Head SC. I am SO glad she did.

After speaking with --- and choosing a few items I was interested in trying, they sent me a box of goodies and I mean goodies!

You can read all about their products, their 20+ years of experience and view their inventory at . You won't be sorry. You will however have a difficult time picking just one or two.

First I tried the bourbon honey marinade. I love honey and my husband loves bourbon. I followed the instructions and let my chicken swim for a few hours, then baked it. That simple, nothing fancy about it, but WOW talk about flavor! We enjoyed this simple dish with green beans and some leftover crock pot baked sweet potatoes.

Next I tried the Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce, YES YES YES, I love bbq sauce, my husband is not a fan. I have to present it to him in a way that makes it less bbq sauce and more... recipe-ish. If that makes sense. Again, WOW. I love this stuff, really do and so did my husband. He said, "you know I'm not a fan of bbq sauce but this is really good." Now THAT is all the review you need.

The above photo and recipe will be on the blog tomorrow!! SUPER YUMMY!

Lastly I used the applewood smoked rub, this was exciting to me. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I needed to use it on chicken, yet again. THAT my husband was not thrilled with, he would prefer beef, but I presented it to him in a way I knew he could not resist, wrapped in bacon. That's right! A man and his bacon, you can't go wrong. I rubbed the chicken with the applewood smoked rub, then wrapped it in - you guessed it - applewood smoked bacon, sprinkled a tad more on and popped it in the oven. 

I would have grilled it but it decided to rain. Now, I'm not sure which one is my favorite.

I served this with green beans and some foil packaged potatoes.(recipe up on August 1st)

The next day, I asked my husband, "out of the three products which one did you like best, not the recipes, but the products?"

His reply... "that's hard to say, they were all really good, but I'd have to go with the bbq sauce"

WHAT?!! We have a winner folks! Hands down my favorite and if the man who "isn't a fan of bbq sauce" says it's his favorite, that's one you should order.

I received these three products at no cost to myself in exchange for my honest opinion. I really can't say enough about how much we enjoyed each one and you can be sure you'll be seeing that bbq sauce in more recipes on this blog!
Thank you to Gourmet Warehouse for making sure wonderful products!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Southern Special week 17

Last week was so much fun! Getting to know my co-host better and all of YOUR kind words!

It is always interesting to me how bloggers got started and to see the similarities and sometimes great differences.

If you missed it and are curious, you can always check it out: HERE

Now, my favorites from last week... so many great links! But I did choose a few:

Cream Cheese Ice Cream in a red velvet cup

Lemon spaghetti


Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

Mandy: The Household hero  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter  ~ G+ ~ Pinterest

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram
The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Pina Colada Granola

Pina Colada Granola

You may have seen the first two words of the title and thought HOT DANG a drink! Sorry, I don't drink alcohol, medical reasons.  I used to, and believe me, I drank enough to last me a life time.

But I do enjoy the flavors, strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, rum cake, bourbon, margarita...why are we here. OH YES... a "healthy" recipe. heehee

How about the flavors of pina colada? Pineapple, coconut, and almonds, what? yes I said almonds. I mean it is granola folks, you gotta have nuts.

This is a super quick granola, few ingredients, healthy and delicious.

Ready? Here it is:

Pina Colada Granola
1 1/2 cups oats
3 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP chia seeds
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup chopped dried pineapple

Mix the first 4 ingredients and spread on a baking pan. Slide it into a 300 degree oven for 7 minutes.

Add your last 3 ingredients, stir well and spread out again. Bake for another 5 minutes.

Allow it to cool and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy over yogurt, ice cream (it makes me think the dessert is healthy) , or enjoy it with almond milk and fresh fruit.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Purple Schmurple Smoothie AND Fly on the wall July 2014

I'm going to do something a little different this month, I'm showing you some things that go on, through photos and words.

What am I talking about?

Well, it's time for the monthly Fly On The Wall post!! You know: a bunch of bloggers share with their readers about what goes on behind closed doors, we love our families and they give us LOTS of material...heehee check out what I mean by visiting some of the others.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                          Baking In A Tornado                                Just A Little Nutty                                          The Momisodes                          Spatulas on Parade                              The Sadder But Wiser Girl                          Follow me home . . .                  Stacy Sews and Schools                          Menopausal Mother                                    Go Mama O                                    Kim Ulmanis                        Dates 2 Diapers 2                            Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                         Someone Else’s Genius                      Battered Hope    

Purple Schmurple Smoothie
Quick simple and good
1 cup almond milk
1 cup blueberries
1 frozen banana
Blend and enjoy!

 Our fishing buddy, thankfully he stayed in the water!

I take photos while my husband fishes.

This is Beau, my oldest and biggest kitty, 15 lbs!

My lovely Lily, showing me exactly what she thought of me trying to take her picture, yet again.

Sugar, we're currently looking for a support group, he's addicted to almond milk.

Thomas, one of the farm cats (at my SIL's), he eats and sleeps

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

couscous pinenut salad

Did you see my post about sweet potatoes? If so, I mentioned the couscous salad, well here it is.

I'm sitting here laughing, why? Because every time I see the word couscous, I hear in my head "couscous the food so good they named it twice" and I have no idea where that came from.

We enjoyed this salad along with a perfect baked sweet potato for a meatless meal, that I loved but my husband ate. If you're a guy you know what I mean by that. He's a meataterian and I'm healthy. It's not a meal without meat for him, but since he had ice cream for dessert, he was okay.

Couscous salad
Okay this was really good, simple and yes I cheated a tad. I did the big no no and bought something in a box. I did not use the "flavor" packet in side, so it wasn't too unclean.

I cooked this in my own chicken broth, when I cook a chicken to use in several recipes, I save the broth and freeze it in 1 cup servings. Then I can just take it out and use when needed.

1 cup chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth)
pinenuts, 2 TBSP
cucumber, diced, 1/2 cup
sweet peppers diced, 1/4 cup
olive oil, 2 TBSP
lemon juice, 1 TBSP
pepper, fresh ground to taste
parsley, 1 TBSP dried
garlic powder, 1 tsp

In a small sauce pan bring  chicken broth to boiling, shut the heat off and pour in the couscous. Cover and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. At the end of the time, fluff with a fork and gently stir in all remaining ingredients.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MEET the Host: The Southern Special week 16

Seems kinda crazy, but after 16 weeks, we thought you might want to know more about us: Cate, Mandy and myself.

So, today, we are sharing our "interview" questions. AND of course I'll share my favorite links from last week. Be sure to hop over to their sites as well, because you could be featured there, we each choose our own.

Dawn's answers:
Blogging questions:

How long have you been blogging? 2 years on June 18th
Why did you start blogging? I became an empty nester and needed to fill my time, plus friends and family had been asking me for years for recipes or to write a book. So blogging seemed like a good place to start.
How did you come up with your blog name? I struggled with that one. My husband and I sat around for a couple of days making list of names until we found one we liked.
Do you have any blogging advice? It's a lot of work or a lot of fun, that is up to you. Like a baby, time consuming, don't do it if you don't love it and make it yours. There are a million articles on how to be a successful blogger, but my experience has been like anything else in life, what works for one does not always work for another. Find what works for you and stick with it.

Personal questions:
How long have you and your husband been married? We celebrated 23 years of marriage in May. We have been together 25
How did you meet your husband? hahaha now THAT is a story in itself. I was dating his roommate.
Do you have children? I have 3 grown sons, two with my husband. PLUS 2 grandchildren
What are some of your hobbies? cooking, reading, photography, writing
Do you have any pets? 3 furbabies, cats
Where do you see yourself in five years? Working on a book that has been accepted for publication Ten years? Preparing for retirement
Do you have a favorite book? The Mitford Series, by Jan Karon. It is a set of 8 and I have read the entire series 6 times. I love them.
What is your favorite vacation place? I have only been on vacation twice in my life so I don't have a favorite spot. Anywhere would be nice.
Does your town have any fun festivals in the summer? We recently moved to a teeny tiny town in South Georgia and yes, we have the Wild Chicken Festival

Cate's answers:
How long have you been blogging? 
I have been blogging for five years.

Why did you start blogging?
I started my blog as a way to let my family in Illinois know what I was doing in Georgia. I don't even think they knew about it until I started sharing my posts on Facebook and that was recently!

How did you come up with your blog name? 
Well, I'm a Random Crafty Georgia Girl! I post about the crafts I make along with the randoms of my life while living in Georgia! (I'm a girl too just in case you didn't know that!)
What has been your most viewed post? 
Peanut Butter Blossoms 
Do you have any blogging advice?
Just be yourself. Don't try to make your blog something that you aren't! When I first started blogging, I didn't really know what I wanted my niche to be. Just find something you like and it will come to you!

Personal questions:
How long have you and your husband been married? 
Mr. RCGG and I will be married for 2 years on July 21st.
How did you meet your husband? 
We met through mutual friends. He was homeschooled and his friends were in my class.
Do you have children? 
What are some of your hobbies?
I love reading, making crafts, and blogging.
Do you have any pets?
We have two cats.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
In five years, I see myself living closer to the beach with Mr. RCGG and our kids! In ten years, I see myself still on the beach with the husband and kids! Haha! I like the beach!
Do you have a favorite book?
My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is the only book I have ever read more than once. Every time I read it I find something different about it!
What is your favorite vacation place? 
We love Jekyll Island! I have blogged about it many times. We were married there almost two years ago! It just has this beauty that makes you want to get back to nature. You wouldn't even know you are by the ocean.
Does your town have any fun festivals in the summer?
Nope! We have Pioneer Days in the fall, but it really isn't that great!
Mandy's answers:
How long have you been blogging?   8 months
Why did you start blogging?  I was pregnant, and wanted an outlet
How did you come up with your blog name?  My life revolved around my "household" and my husband and son are obsessed with superheroes
What has been your most viewed post?  Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday Party and Avocado Fudge
Do you have any blogging advice? Just be yourself!

Personal questions:
How long have you and your husband been married? 7 years
How did you meet your husband?  at the gym!
Do you have children? yes, 2- my son will be 3 yrs old in a couple of weeks and my daughter is 5 months old
What are some of your hobbies?  photography and fitness
Do you have any pets?  not anymore, we did have a pug named Oreo
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?  we are moving to the beach in a month, so I plan to stay there.  I will eventually get back to my career in event planning once both kids are in school
Do you have a favorite book?  I am more of a magazine reader if I ever find the time
What is your favorite vacation place?  Aruba or any Caribbean cruise
Does your town have any fun festivals in the summer?  There are tons of things going on in Orlando every week, it is like they come up with the most random things to have a festival for, so too many to list

Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

Mandy: The Household hero  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter  ~ G+ ~ Pinterest

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram
The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!

This week I chose the LAST THREE post that were linked up. Cause I'm random like that.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

How to bake sweet potatoes in a crock pot

I love my crock pot, it is perfect for large meals, days when I'm busy and days like last week when temperatures are over 100 each day. I don't feel like heating up the kitchen with the oven or the stove top for that matter.

We had #meatlessMonday, which my husband is not thrilled over but I gave him ice cream for dessert so he didn't complain, or at least not outside of his head anyway.

Preparing the sweet potatoes in the crock pot or slow cooker: {all crock pots are slow cookers but not all slow cookers are crock pots :) Crock Pot is a name brand.} Line your cooker with a piece of foil, add 1 cup of water, this helps them to steam and not burn. Place your potatoes inside and place the lid on top. Cook on high for 2 hours and DONE! Perfect potatoes. I then turned mine on warm so we could enjoy the potatoes later that night.

AND no mess to clean up! Dump the water, if there is any left, take out the foil, rinse the cooker and you're done.

I enjoyed one for lunch and then that evening we had one for supper along with couscous salad, which you'll find here in a day or so.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cranberry Shallot Vinaigrette - #CIC

Dog-gone I had a difficult time this month trying to decide WHAT to do with these two ingredients:
cranberries (fresh, dried, frozen)

Yep, you guessed it, CIC time! Crazy Ingredient Challenge

Each month I assign two ingredients to our bloggers who are up for the challenge, they in-turn come up with a NEW recipe, never before posted on their blogs and then we all link up on the 20th.

This month we voted on the ingredients. They had four choices and well, cranberries and shallots won, by one vote!

I tossed around ideas and dreamed up dishes until I wasted all my time and BAM here I am the night before we post, writing up my recipe and editing my photos. Can you say "procrastinator" ? Yep... I did the big no no.

I settled on making a vinaigrette, I had thought about a sweet/savory bread, stuffed chicken, stuffed pork loin, but I swear I looked at the calendar wrong and thought I had another week. *red face*

I hope the others weren't as bad as I was this month. Check out all their recipes at the bottom.

Cranberry Shallot Vinaigrette
2 TBSP dried cranberries
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot
1 TBSP honey
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ginger powder
juice from one lemon (2 TBSP)
2 TBSP water

Add all but the evoo into a blender, blitz/liquefy, slowly drizzle in the evoo, this helps to thicken/emulsify the vinaigrette.
Chill and serve over fish, chicken or a salad. I used mine on leftover talapia and mixed baby greens.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Fajita Burgers AND Use Your Words (installment 6 of Pearl and William)

Today I'm sharing my newest burger, and man was it good PLUS this is the monthly UYW post! Hope you're as excited as I am. 

Now, talk about a good meal, maybe not healthy, but good!

I love fajitas and my husband is not big on them, so I decided to take my homemade fajita mix and add it to lean ground beef for burgers.

It was a winning combination! Simple as well. 

Fajita Burgers
1 lb lean ground chuck
fajita mix ( I make my own HERE)
peppers, seeded and sliced
onions, sliced
sriracha mayo

These burgers were delicious and really easy to make. I mixed my own fajita seasoning into a pound of lean ground chuck, sauteed them in a pan with the onions and peppers. Served on a bun with sriracha mayo.

My husband really loved them and of course it always makes him happy to have burgers for dinner. I know he truly enjoyed them, he must have said "these are really good" about every other bite and that makes me happy.

Serve with a salad, baked chips or baked fries. It's summertime and fresh fruit is abundant right now, we had fresh watermelon and blueberries as a "salad" before we enjoyed these burgers.

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Now it is time for the #UseYourWords monthly challenge, the past 6 months I've been writing a saga of love, hardship and Amish woes while keeping in tune with the challenge of using words given each month by...I never know who, or what I'll get. This month it continues.
Welcome to #UseYourWords - This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 
  Your words are: cake ~ fun ~ fish ~town
They were submitted by: 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

If you missed the previous installments you can catch up by going to the follow post: (the number is the link)
Installment 1 :a love story
Installment 6 of Pearl and William
Pearl was redding up the main room when she caught a reflection of herself in the window. She stood and thoughts of the last week played in her mind. Here she stood, a young woman betrothed to her beloved, about to embark on something she only dreamed would happen, marriage. AND she was going home, filled with mixed emotions, she continued to clean.

Ah home, a long trip, but she would have wedding plans to make, a dress to stitch up and packing. That thought brought her sadness and joy. Leaving her childhood home would be difficult but it was for the best. She, William and her parents had done something this week that was not common among the people, they had talked about what they would do, where they would live and details concerning the children. Not only was she getting married and moving away but she would be mother to three children.

Her mother came into the room and asked if she had plans to bake a cake that day. Oh yes, where was her mind, Ma would think she was not fit to be wife and mama. ugh...

For the trip they baked bread, cakes and fish cakes because they travel well. This would allow them to travel without extra cost.

William came and helped them pack up the wagons and followed them as far as town. It was a lot of fun having everyone together, but they must continue alone. A brief embrace and promises to write, holding back tears Pearl climbed back into the wagon and they were off.

Over the weeks that passed, William and Abe worked long and hard hours repairing the farm, planting and harvesting crops, little time to head to town or have any fun. It was no fun without Pearl, he missed her something awful.

Pearl stayed busy helping her Ma around the house, preparing for the wedding, the trip back and dreaming of her life with William.

That is, until that faithful day in late September when she received a letter from William. WHAT, she could not believe what she was reading...she took a deep breath and continued.

William explained how he and Abe had gone into town, they were listening to all the ruckus next door at the saloon, someone was having fun, but not the kind he would partake in. Having just finished their dinner of fish,fresh beans, fresh bread, tea and then had a slice of cake. Coming out of the hotel restaurant and onto the gangplank walking toward the buggy, they were about to leave town when they caught sight of someone that made them both stop dead in their tracks!

SARAH???? Coming out of the brothel??? Dressed like a ... a ... no. It couldn't be, but it was! But how, why, it couldn't be....they both stood furhoodled and dumb struck staring across the way.

Stayed tuned for the next installment

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chia pudding

On my journey of healthy, fitness and clean living, I have seen tons of photos on instagram and recipes on Pinterest about chia seeds. What's the big deal? All I can think of when I see them is... you guessed it "ch ch ch chia, the pet that grows when you water it" hahaha

If you go to and type in chia pet, you come up with 640! OMGosh are you kidding?! WHO wants or needs that many different varieties of a chia pet, obviously the American public. Too funny. Everything from Duck Dynasty, to kittens to the President.
Chia seed search will net you 1188!! Good grief. So yes, I bought some. Didn't have a clue what to do with them, but I bought them. Organic chia seeds.

I put them in a smoothie, on a salad, in some granola, and then made some pudding.

I prefer them in the granola but the pudding was pretty tasty too.

chia pudding
1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 tsp, heaping of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 TBSP chia seeds

Blend first 3 ingredients well and stir in your chia seeds. Place in a decorative glass, cover and chill for 2 - 24 hours.

Not bad! Healthy and chia seeds seem to swell up and make you full for a longer period of time.

Top the pudding with chopped nuts, shredded coconut or fresh fruit for even more flavor and benefits.

What are chia seeds and what are the benefits? According to
The Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica,found growing in Mexico dating back to the cultures of the Mayan and Aztec's. "Chia" means strength, and folk tales or legends have it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. I get it, I see companies claiming, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium
Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
Due to the mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds, it makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. Most people sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel, which I do not enjoy, the texture is eww. 
This excerpt was borrowed but not copied from and is not the entire article but just part, if you want to read the entire article go to:

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