Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Pasta always makes me feel comforted.  It makes me think of cold, snowy nights and being inside a warm home, dressed in fuzzy pjs and having a hearty dinner.  When I think about pasta, my soul smiles.

I know that was a little deep.  But hey, I’m a deep sista! Anyways, try my recipe.  You’ll fall in love!

 

Ingredients:

Dried Shells

Spicy Turkey Sausage

Frozen or Canned chopped Spinach (thawed, drained and squeezed dry)

Italian Cheese Blend (shredded)

Ricotta Cheese

Garlic Powder

Dried Rosemary

Alfredo Sauce (home made or store bought)

S&P

 

Procedure:

Prepare Spinach to thaw, drain and squeeze all the juice out.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Brown the Sausage and set aside to cool.

Cook the shells for 5 mins and then soak in cool water so they can be handled and drain.

In a bowl, combine the cheeses, seasonings, spinach and sausage.

Layer the alfredo sauce in the bottom of your baking pan.

Start stuffing the shells. ½ tbsp of mixture per shell.

Once you have all the shells in a single layer in the baking pan, top with more alfredo sauce and then top with more shredded cheese.

Bake for 20 mins. Until you see the cheese start to turn a golden brown on top.

Let cool before serving.

Chef Keke’s Strawberry Margarita

Hello All!

Here is my take on the famous strawberry margarita drink! Enjoy! And as always, drink responsibly!

*This recipe makes one Pitcher

Ingredients:

1 cup of ice

1 part Gold Tequila ( I used Jose Cuervo!!)

2 parts of Strawberry Margarita Mix (Again i used Jose Cuervo brand)

1/4 cup of whole frozen strawberries

1 tsp of fresh lemon juice

Splash of Lemon Lime Soda

Optional: Fresh Strawberries for Garnish

Procedure:

In your blender, add your ice and crush. Then add all the remaining ingredients (except the FRESH strawberries) and blend until smooth.

Pour into your favorite margarita glass. Take a fresh Strawberry and cut the middle of the bottom of it and slide it onto the side of your glass and Enjoy!

You can also make a salt or sugar rim which would be absolutely delicious!!!

 

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How to Survive the Government Shutdown: What should we eat?

First let’s talk about who the FDA is and what they do and review.
The FDA is the US Food and Drug Administration and what they do, is, they’re responsible for protecting public health by ensuring the safety and security of medication, biological products (meaning things made with sugar, proteins or having to do with cells and tissues), medical devices and the nation’s food supply (they even review cosmetics..for my glamour people out there!)

So now we know who the FDA is and what they do, now let’s talk about what foods they regulate. They regulate bottled water, infant formula, some Meat and Poultry, Dairy and Vegetables.

One thing that would be good is eating Kosher food. Due to religion of Judaism, Kosher food would be highly sanitary due to their enforcement of no cross contamination with the separation of meat and dairy. You’ll also want to avoid foods that are processed and does not require cooking. Those are things like deli meats, processed cheese, anything that you can think of along this line you would want to avoid. You should also avoid unpasteurized fruit juices, fresh vegetables and produce. Unless you have your own garden or trust someone who has a garden, I would not suggest purchasing from grocery stores without the proper food inspection.

You should be consuming foods that requires cooking, this is to make sure that you are getting rid of bacteria. Please cook all food to correct temperatures, refrigerate properly and avoid cross contamination. Meat is regulated by the USDA and they said they would continue monitoring it for our safety during this shutdown, however still take all precautions.

 

 

**DISCLAIMER** EVERYTHING MENTIONED IS MY OWN OPINION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT THE FDA WEBSITE PROVIDED BELOW!!!

For more information visit the FDA website at:
FDA Website

Restaurant Review: Luke’s Restaurant

 

 

This restaurant is located in Orlando, FL and is actually owned by the same Chef who owns the Prato restaurant I reviewed as well. For that review please visit the link below:

Restaurant Review: Prato

Luke’s has the same upscale and elegant vibe as its co restaurant. The menu had limited items on there so I can deduce that the menu changes often based on ingredients and in my opinion that makes for the best food!

 

While I was there I had the crabcake appetizer, it was light and airy with a light crispy crust. Fresh and flavorful, you could almost taste the saltwater. It also included a lemony homemade tartar sauce with dressed greens.. soo amazing!

I also had the Beet, Quinoa and Black Bean burger. The beet was the primary ingredient so if you are not a fan of beets you may not like this burger very much. The beet does give it a slightly sweet flavor. It also had a special sauce and the veggie “burger” had a crispy crust served on a grilled bun.

If you’re ever in Orlando, FL make sure to swing by Luke’s or Prato and get into the feel of the atmosphere. Both restaurants are an experience!

Restaurant Review: Se7en Bites

Se7en Bites is an unexpectedly refreshing concept to the restaurant business. You walk in and walk up to a counter where you place your order and grab a number and then find a seat amongst the large picnic style tables. You’re basically sitting and dining with strangers! If you’re introverted it might be a little offputting but if you’re outgoing you’re bound to make new friends!!

I had their chicken salad on a bed of greens. It has big hunks of chicken breasts with almonds and herbs. The greens are perfectly dressed with a balsamic dressing!

 

I also had their 5 cheese mac and cheese with carmelized onion bechamel sauce giving it a rich flavor that distinct and amazing!

 

Their white Peach Sangria is delightfully refreshing and served in a cute mason jar! Of everything I tried, I recommend you have this!

I also tried their Nutella stuffed cookie which was to DIE for!!! And their chocolate covered cheesecake which seems to be made with ricotta, I wasn’t a big fan of that.

They have amazing Breakfast and Brunch items also, if you’re in Orlando or come to visit this place is a must try!!

 

Healthy Meals

Here are some pictures of some of favorite healthy dishes to indulge in!

 

Salmon stuffed with Crabmeat and a herb oil drizzle

Chicken Salad on a Bed of Greens

Thai deliciousness… I cant remember the name of the dish

Roasted Broccoli and Mushroom Pizza

 

Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Tacos and Vegan Mac and Cheese made with a Cashew Sauce!

 

My Trip Back Home

Recently I visited my hometown of Nashville, TN and took pictures of some of the local food I enjoyed while I was there. Some of the food was so good I forgot to take pictures like my mom’s homemade chili, my dad’s braised neckbones, my sister’s southern greens and other homemade food made by other family members.

Take a look at some of the restaurants i tried there..

 

First up is a Nashville CLASSIC! this restaurant has been seen on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and I used to eat there way before the fame and its called ‘Prince’s Chicken‘. If you’re ever in Nashville, you MUST try this place.

The next place isn’t exclusive to Nashville, but I’ve never been there before; ‘Bar Louie’s‘- this is their breakfast skillet piled high with fried chicken tenders. Wherever you are, if they have this place you need to try this!

 

I am an avid pizza lover so I definitely went back to this place multiple times. Its called, Slim and Huskeys and they are a new and popular restaurant quickly expanding into Georgia, maybe they’ll come down to Florida. It’s basically a build your own pizza bar and its amazing!!

 

Another place I tried is also an oldie but goodie from Nashville is the fish sandwich from Mary’s BBQ Pit. I promise it is the best fried fish you’ll ever have!!!

 

If you’ve had some of these places or are looking to travel to Nashville soon, let me know in the comments below your experiences or what looks good to you!!!