Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Networking: Not Just a Buzzword

Y'all know I love talking. 

So networking isn't that hard for me. But it is super important - even if you don't find it fun like I do.

I wrote a blog post over at my work's website all about networking and why it's super important for women, along with some tips on how to make it easier, less painful, and - dare I say it - fun!



I'm also a founder of a Memphis networking group just for women, and we're having our first event on June 8th - it's a choose your own adventure event! 


(But not set in a carnival. No thank you. Do not want.)


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Whole30 Cinco de Mayo Recipes


It's almost Cinco de Mayo, which usually means LOTS of "Mexican" food and margaritas and so so so much cheese dip. 

But this year, I'll be one a round of Whole30 during Cinco de Mayo, so I thought I would share some of my favorite Mexican-ish recipes that are totally compliant and delicious!

First, what is Cinco de Mayo?


So Cinco de Mayo isn't a holiday devoted to delicious Mexican/Tex-Mex food. But it is, in the US, a day of celebration of Mexican culture, which is rich and vibrant and, most importantly for our purposes today, filled with delicious food. 

One Skillet Whole30 Mixed Fajitas
(serves 4)


1lb chicken thighs (you can use breasts, but I think thighs are more flavorful)
1lb steaks (I used chuck steaks, but really anything should be good, since you're going to slice them so thin)
1 red onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 Serrano pepper, chopped
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, cut in half

Fajita Seasoning


3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 teaspoon Italian seasoning (why? It's easier than getting 30 spice bottles. I know it's not Mexican.)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1. Mix all the seasonings together - this makes quite a bit, so use to taste on the fajitas!
2. Add 1 tablespoon olive olive oil to a grill pan or cast-iron sklllet  and heat to medium high.
3. Season the steak with about a tablespoon of the fajita seasoning, making sure to coat completely.
4. Grill steak on one side for about 2 minutes, then turn over and grill for another 1-2 minutes, depending on how done you like your steak.
5. Remove steak to a plate and cover with foil.
6. Add remaining olive oil to the pan and let it heat up.
7. Season the chicken, again making sure it's coated.
8. Grill the chicken for 3-4 on each side, and remove to plate with steak. Cover both with the foil.
9. Add onion and peppers to the skillet, add about 1 tablespoon of the seasoning, and stir for 4-5 minutes, until tender but still crisp.
10. Cook the broccoli according to the instruction on the bag while the other veggies are cooking.
11. While the veggies are cooking, thinly slice the chicken and steak into strips.
12. Add the steak and chicken (and the juices from the plate!) back to the pan with the veggies and stir all together.
13. Drain the broccoli and add it to the pan, stirring everything.
14. Zest half the lime and squeeze the juice from half the lime into the pan.
15. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed!

Serve on a salad, as a bowl, maybe with cauliflower rice or zoodles, or mixed with guacamole!

My Dad's Guacamole


6 ripe avocados
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 Serrano pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1/2 habanero pepper, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Juice from the other half of the lime used above
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper
1. Smoosh avocados - I cut them out of the peels and then use a potato masher.
2. Add everything else - season to taste!
3. Stir together with a fork.
4. Enjoy!

And, finally, no matter how you're enjoying a day of delicious food, remember that cultural appropriation is not okay - make some amazing food, think about the rich cultural heritage of Mexico, and check out this infographic from the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Kansas University for ideas on celebrating Cinco de Mayo!






Friday, April 28, 2017

I Survived a Whole 30 - and I'm Doing It Again! Plus: My Top Whole30 Tips!


Even a quick glance around the internet will get you hundreds of thousands of results for "Whole30."

What is it? 

From the website:


So basically, it's a reset for both nutrition and the relationships you have with food/your body. It's sort of related to the Paleo diet, but with a few more restrictions. 

No:
Grains
Dairy
Added Sugar - real or artificial
Legumes
Carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites
Recreating or buying junk food made with "approved" ingredients - so no Paleo muffins and the like
Alcohol
Soda
Weighing yourself or taking measurements for 30 days

YES!
Meat - even bacon if it isn't cured with sugar!
Any vegetable that isn't a legume - including potatoes!
Eggs
Fruit and fruit juice
Basically all nuts except peanuts (which are a legume)
Any spice that doesn't have any of the above no's
Coconut - milk, flakes, oil, and flour
Water
Coffee
Tea
AND A MILLION MORE THINGS!

Everyone hears "no dairy, grains, booze, or sugar" and thinks I can't eat anything. But that's just not true - I've been eating A LOT of amazing food!


Strawberries, banana, Justin's Almond Butter.  








Lamb Lollipops with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans - my own recipe!


Salad with Chicken, Onion, and Tessemae's Ranch


Fried Eggs Over Roasted Potatoes with Bacon, Fruit, and Almond Butter



So I'm clearly not starving. 

And honestly, I've never felt better in my whole life. 

I've always been a little heavy, and an emotional eater, and while I still want to lose some weight, and I definitely still have feelings about food, I've never felt so in control of my own mind and body. 

Plus, in just 30 days:
I completely got rid of my dandruff
My skin cleared up
My eyes got brighter
The circles under my eyes disappeared
My gums are healthier
My allergies are so much better
My anxiety has been reduced significantly
My clothes fit better
And I lost 18lbs

Here's a before and after, where the results are pretty clear - same time of day, same lighting, same office:

But also, I just *feel* better. Was it hard? Sort of - I really missed pasta. But then I had some pasta and it was fine, but I realized what I actually missed was the emotional comfort/ease of making pasta. I still like it. I'll still eat it. But I don't have real feelings about it anymore. 

Most importantly, I decided to do Whole30 again! I'm on my second round, day nine today, and I feel just as amazing as I did the first time.

I've made list of my top 8 Whole30 tips below!



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Memphis Nosh: Los Comales Mexican Restaurant

Sloan and I are constantly on a constant quest for great, hole-in-the-wall restaurants - Memphis is full of them, and we're always discovering something new. Recently, we found what may be the holy grail of "holy shit I didn't know that was there" places.


Los Comales is an insanely good Mexican restaurant, barely 10 minutes from our house, that we had no idea existed.

Sloan found out about Los Comales from a friend he used to work with. His friend is Hispanic, and Sloan always asked where his favorite restaurant was. His friend would say "my wife's kitchen." FOR YEARS. 

But finally, he saw on Facebook that Oscar said his favorite place was Los Comales, just down from us on Perkins and American Way, and off we went!


Los Comales is close to the corner of Perkins and American Way, and is really nice inside. And huge - there are lots of booths, private rooms, and tvs, as well as a bar.

\

The guacamole is fabulous. This is just a tiny one - they don't play with the large sizes.


They also have the most amazing salsa. The red salsa is great, but that green salsa is like an avocado cream salsa with an insane amount of heat. We've put it on everything and it's so good.


Action Shot! 


This is the Milanese Torta - I don't know what bread they use but it is amazing. Soft but still sturdy enough for that great sandwich. 


This is the super spicy shrimp - the Camarones a la Diabla. This is seriously spicy people.

Not as spicy as the Menudo, which I did not get a picture of, but which they serve every weekend, and which my friend Troy is obsessed with. 

They also have, without a doubt, the best burrito I've ever had in Memphis. 


And the drinks? Oh my. 



Basically, if you want really really good Mexican food in Memphis, this is the place.
Like strong drinks and Mexican food? This is the place. 
Like spicy food/condiments? This is the place.

For real. You might even look like this when you eat there: 


(Aiya, basically seeing the face of god while eating a quesadilla.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Holidays: Gift Guide 2016

It's holiday season, and that means it's gift season.

No matter how your family does the holidays, there are bound to be a few stressful moments - buying stuff for others is fun and gratifying, but it's also hard to think of something for everyone.

Here is my list, but these categories are good for everyone! I subscribe to the "something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read" theory for kids, but hey, adults like that too!


Christmas 2016





This bag from Lilly Pulitzer is awesome - it's a pretty large tote, but if you unzip the bottom, it's a huge travel tote!

Really versatile necklace from Kendra Scott? Perfect piece with any outfit, and I ALWAYS love getting jewelry!

Little makeup pieces are great stocking stuffers, and these lip glosses from Clinique are so cute!

A cozy throw? Perfect to cuddle up with a new Kindle, a couple of cookbooks, a book of mysteries, or a giant puzzle (because I like torture, clearly). 

Finally, because I just finished the revival, a Rory Gilmore Pop Figure. I was Rory at 16-22, and I can absolutely say that I'm not too far off from Rory at 32.

Happy holidays to everyone, and don't get too stressed about gift buying - think about the person, how they make you feel, what they like, and then avoid the mall and shop small or online! :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Memphis Nosh: Gourmade Food Truck



Have you ever been in love?

I have.

I am.

With a food truck.

(Image from The Memphis Daily News, because it's hard to take a picture and juggle all the food.)

Gourmade is an amazing local food truck run by Jared Richmond that serves the most delicious food - fantastic sandwiches, burgers, tacos, fries, bbq, mac 'n cheese, and dear sweet baby Jesus the desserts.

For example, this is the "Appetite for Destruction." It's fries, covered in mac 'n cheese, covered in pulled pork, covered in bbq sauce. In the corner there is the burger Catherine ordered.

I seriously think I died a little that day.

(Also pictured - two awesome beers from Memphis Made. We were there for one of their events.)



Here it is again. With a beer from Wiseacre. I like beer.


They have great specials, like the "Blinking Pig" - fries, pulled pork, blue cheese slaw, and spicy aioli.


And here is that beautiful burger. Be warned - it's two patties. Two patties of happiness. 

And you know, those fries don't look like anything real special but they're delicious and we ate every single one.


There's also a spicy burger sometimes, with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese and spicy aioli.


Also, side note - I HATE bread and butter pickles but these are soaked in magic or something because they're so good. I may have stolen everyone's for myself.

Seriously, this thing is intense.


Like, knife and fork intense.


But so worth it.

They even made me a kid's burger this weekend when I took Aiya - clearly, she was also in love.


And then. 

And then. 

There's these.

Fried avocado tacos with roasted poblano and chipotle aioli. 

DEAR.

LORD.


Oh, but this ride isn't over yet, buttercup.

Gourmade also has the best banana pudding I've ever had. It's thicker than normal banana puddings, almost like a gelato consistency, and the wafers are soft but not mushy and it tastes like bananas but like...bananas from God.


Gourmade goes all over town, and they do a lot of private events. We actually worked with them for a work event at High Cotton a few weeks ago and not only is the food insanely good, but everyone who works there is really nice and they are, by far, the easiest food vendor I have ever worked with, in any job, ever. 

Check out Gourmade on Facebook, Instagram (but get ready to drool all over your phone), and Twitter, or on their website.

Seriously. You'll hate yourself if you don't.

I mean, you'll hate yourself after you eat the Appetite for Destruction too, but it'll be the happy kind of hate, like "oh I hate myself but oh I don't care, hand me another beer."