Post Author: Rachel
*Dairy & Gluten Free
This is currently my favorite recipe - Thai Chili Chicken Meatballs with a spicy peanut sauce. It's flavorful, delicious, super easy to make, and it's husband approved! It takes just about 10 minutes to put together, 15 minutes to bake, and it only lasts about two days in our house. They are so scrumptious!
Originally, I found this recipe on SimplyGlutenFree.com, which is full of wonderful options for anyone who has celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. After making these the first time, I tweaked a few things to better fit our taste buds.
SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a blender or food processor, blend the crackers into fine crumbs.
Pour the crackers into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Shape into small balls using about 1 or 2 tablespoons of mixture per ball and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until the meatballs are browned.
SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
Combine all the ingredients in small mixing bowl and mix well.
If the sauce is lumpy, which is probably will be, microwave for about 10-20 seconds and stir until smooth.
Serve with the chicken meatballs. Enjoy!!
*dairy & gluten free
These are super delicious treats! They are dairy and gluten free, and a "healthier" version of a chocolate peanut butter cup. It takes no time at all to make and all you need are four ingredients and cupcake liners.
Once the timer goes off, they are ready to enjoy! Be sure to store them in an air tight container or sealed bag in the refrigerator.
This recipe is so simple and is a wonderful treat for everyone and those with dietary restrictions. I originally found the recipe here and will definitely be making them again. Yum!
Hope you enjoy!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
Happy Cyber Monday! Hope y'all are snagging some great discounted deals today!
If so, here's another fantastic offer for today ONLY from one local business, Life Equals. Use the code "RACHEL50" for 50% site-wide on one-time purchases or a subscription!
One of the products my husband and I both take regularly is the "Balance The Superfood Shot - Foundation Blend." Plus, I just recently started using the "Turmeric Blend" every couple of days as well. It's just a two ounce shot that's packed with half a day's serving of fruits and and vegetables. Now, just for clarity, this is not a substitute to your fruit and veggie intake but it is a great, easy and tasty addition to your routine.
The Foundation Blend has 100% organic pineapple, lemon, carrot, beet, cranberry, blueberry, cherry, spinach, kale, acai berry, camu camu, goji berry, elderberry and dragon fruit, with a dash of turmeric. It has no added sugar or preservatives and is rich in antioxidants.
The Turmeric Blend includes 100% organic turmeric, tart cherry, orange, papaya, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. This is great to drink after a workout because it's packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Just like the foundation blend, this shot has no added sugar or preservatives. It also packs powerful curcumin, which according to Health Line, it is "known to play a role in heart disease...It is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant."
Besides the superfood shots, I also use Life Equals' Focus & Energy vitamins and the Women's Multi Vitamin.
I absolutely love discovering and supporting local businesses like this one and was happy to share this one day deal with y'all! Head over to Life Equals, browse around and use the code "RACHEL50" when checking out to get 50% off your purchase. This code can be used for everything on their site too!
Let me know what you think!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
Over the weekend, my husband and I participated in our first ever chili cook off as contestants! We had a lot of fun tasting all kinds of unique and delicious chilis. The competition was fierce, but in the end, WE WON!!
We made some scrumptious White Chicken Chili and it was a hit. There were 12 entries in total, each judged on presentation, aroma and taste. I still can't believe we took home the winner's plaque!
So, I wanted to share with you this (now) award winning chili recipe.
As I've mentioned before, I enjoy experimenting with recipes and throwing together new and creative meals. I took a little of this and a little of that from a few different chili recipes ... my mother-in-law's recipe and a few from Pinterest too.
We like our chili with a kick, so feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeños and peppers.
1. Combine the chicken, onions, celery, red pepper, green chili peppers, garlic, cumin, salt, coriander, oregano, cayenne pepper, Tony's, bay leaf, and jalapeños in the crockpot. Pour the chicken broth over the top, covering the chicken and the vegetables.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6 hours.
3. About 30 minutes before the timer is up, shred the chicken by pulling apart with two forks (it will easily fall apart). Place back in the crockpot and add the corn, beans and a sprinkle some cilantro on top. Taste and add any other seasonings as desired.
4. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
5. Serve topped with more cilantro, jalapeños and sour cream.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
pOST Author: Rachel
Tribe Street Kitchen opened earlier this year as a new addition to the River Market area near downtown Kansas City. It is a trendy spot with a small corner bar feel that features a variety of unique foods and flavors. It hosts an incredible outdoor patio shaded by trees and filled with twinkling string lights. Often you'll find a live band that creates an upbeat and relaxing ambiance. This place has quickly become one of our favorite stops for brunch!
Each item has a unique twist; common food put together in an uncommon way creating distinguishing flavors. It's an extremely varied menu, so be prepared to try something new. Here are a few of our top choices from their brunch menu.
Biscuits and Gravy with chipotle sausage...mmm mmm mmm! Two fluffy, warm buttermilk biscuits covered in a chipotle gravy with chunks of sausage and served with a side of potatoes. We always ask for their unique version of ketchup because it's more like a sweet and spicy salsa. So good!
Another winning pick is the Fried Chicken Pancake Tacos. It is the perfect combination of flavors and we order it almost every time we visit. Initially, I was hesitant about trying it, but it is mouthwatering delicious! The menu describes it as "Hat Yai chicken, crispy shallot, tamarind syrup, mango on a basil pancake." The syrup is lightly drizzled over the top and combined with the chicken, it marries the perfect amount of sweet with salty and you won't be disappointed. However, I will say that I expected the chicken to have a spicy heat to it and was surprised when it didn't. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but I love HOT fried chicken.
A few of their other taco options are A la Mexicana, Chorizo and the Huevo Frito tacos. We had the Huevo Frito tacos recently (pictured below), which is "fried egg, feijoada, queso cotija, avocado and cilantro hollandaise." It was savory and tasty and the avocados were incredibly fresh.
Of course, we also enjoy their pitchers of refreshing mimosas. Cost is $14 and pours about four or five servings per pitcher. Or, if you're a Bloody Mary lover like myself, they have plenty of choices.
There's a Backyard Bloody, Wanderlust Bloody, or a Bird's Eye Bloody.
The last one is my favorite and has changed the way I make and order this drink anywhere else! The Bird's Eye Bloody is, "Thai chili vodka, lime and house-made pickles" and wow, it is phenomenal! Now, I always use a Thai chili Sriracha or request that kind of vodka to add a wonderful spice and twist to the typical ingredients.
We love taking friends to this spot, because their made from scratch menu items are unique, flavorful and diverse. The unique space is really warm and inviting as well. We've only been to Tribe for brunch and I can say we've enjoyed it every single time.
We've never had to wait for a table, but they have a $4 "Wait Drink" on the menu that changes daily and is only available to guests waiting for seats. Cool idea, don't you think? Wish every place had this deal.
If you give Tribe a try, let me know what you ordered and how you like it!
post author: rachel
Over the weekend I whipped up some really tasty chocolate cinnamon protein pancakes. It was a very simple recipe, plus they are gluten and dairy free! They ended up being pretty thin but once you stack two or three up they're just fine and they taste wonderful.
- 1 1/3 pancake mix
- 1 egg
- 1 scoop protein powder (I use chocolate, thus the chocolate flavor)
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup almond milk (I like vanilla for extra flavor)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Lite or sugar free syrup to top
Not pictured but, I would also recommend adding a scoop of Further Food Collagen. I use it in just about everything. If you'd like to order some, use the discount code "RACHELSANTSCHI"
Another note, I think next time I make these, I'll add some cocoa powder or dark chocolate chips for a boost of chocolate flavor. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until throughly mixed.
I recommend warming the coconut oil so it's soft
and easier to stir into the batter.
2. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto a greased skillet.
3. Once pancakes are fully cooked, top with a dash of cinnamon and lite or sugar free syrup.
Makes for a delicious breakfast! Enjoy!
Happy Monday, everyone! Please welcome my mother-in-law and Rachel’s mom, Jeannie. We are so excited to have her share one of our favorite recipes!
Post Author: Jeannie
A big thank you to Rachel and Grace for allowing me to be a guest here on 30upahead.com. I have a wonderfully delicious recipe to share with you that has been a longtime favorite at the Santschi household. The day I first tasted this melt in your mouth bread is clearly etched in my memory ... I was immediately swooning over it and asking my mother-in-law for the recipe.
I was thrilled when I discovered it's made with a few simple ingredients I always have on hand and that it's a very easy, no fail recipe. To my delight, it is consistently requested by my kiddos when I come to town for a visit and when that delicious smell fills the air, it just feels like home no matter where you are.
1. In large pan, bring water and margarine to a boil. Stir in oatmeal. Set aside until cool (about 2 hours).
2. Transfer oatmeal mixture to mixing bowl and add next 4 dry ingredients and stir well (I use my KichenAid mixer on low to stir).
3. Add eggs and stir.
4. Slowly add flour and salt and stir.
5. Bake in lightly greased and floured bread pans at 350 until toothpick comes out clean (approx 1 hour) or muffin pans for about 35 min. Since there's just two of us here, I use mini loaf pans and freeze any extra for another day.
Mmm mmm good! I hope this scrumptious bread makes it's way to your table for breakfast, an after school snack or a late night treat. But whenever it is, I hope you share it with family and friends.
Heaven only knows the number of muffins that have been consumed at my kitchen table while listening to the heart of a friend or the ups and downs of a day at school or the office. Such sweet memories, each and every one!
Thanks for letting me be a small part of your day today. ☺️
Post Author: Rachel
I love these protein bites and they’re a staple in my fridge. They’re in high demand for so many reasons - when you need to curb a hunger attack, when you’re short on time and need a quick grab and go snack or just need to crush a sweet tooth craving.
Note - I have been using Further Food Collagen in everything! If you'd like to order some, use the discount code "RACHELSANTSCHI"
1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until thoroughly blended
2. With your hands, form the mixture into small balls and place on wax paper
3. Place in fridge to set and after half an hour, enjoy!
Store in fridge in an air tight container.
Just double this recipe from the get go so you’ll have plenty to share with your spouse, your roommate, the kids, etc.
Until next time!
Post Author: Rachel
You’ve probably noticed I love easy crockpot recipes. So yet again, I want to share with you one of my favorites.
Not only is this recipe simple, requiring just four ingredients, but it can also go with so many things. I've put it on top of salads, wrapped it in a tortilla, and it can even just stand on it's own. It has just enough spice and flavor!
For lunch, I put the buffalo ranch chicken in a big piece of romaine lettuce, topped it with cherry tomatoes, avocados, banana peppers and spicy ranch dressing. It was incredibly delicious! (photo below)
1. Place all ingredients in the crockpot and set on low for six hours or high for four hours.
2. Once the chicken is cooked through, about four hours, shred it by pulling it apart with two forks. The chicken should be very tender and easily shred.
3. Place it back in the crockpot for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Often times there is too much sauce left in the crockpot, so I don't keep all of it. I save just a small amount of sauce to store with the leftovers, but if needed later to reheat, I'll add some chicken broth or more buffalo sauce to taste.
Post Author: Rachel
As you know, I love experimenting in the kitchen and use my crockpot regularly. It's just so easy to throw some ingredients into the pot and let it do all the work until dinner time.
So, I wanted to share with you another easy recipe I discovered. Plus, the only actual cooking required is browning the meat.
1. Brown the ground beef. I used half a pound of ground beef and half a pound of turkey.
2. Chop, drain, dice the remaining ingredients as needed and then add to the crockpot. Set on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
3. Once the timer is up, grab a bowl and a scoop of this delicious soup. Top with cilantro and avocado.
I also added some roasted red pepper tortilla chips on top for crunch.
Note: To add a little more spice, throw in some chili powder or an extra jalapeño or two. Or if you're a cheese lover, top your bowl with some cheddar cheese.
This is such an easy recipe and a great meal for dinner or to pack for lunch at work.
post author: rachel
It's no secret - I love wine! I enjoy trying new wines, learning about different types of wine, the grapes used, and the barrels they're aged in.
About five years ago, my husband and I went to Napa and Sonoma and completely fell in love with exploring the vineyards and discovering new wines.
We have invested in a few upscale wines that we save for special occasions and once we pop the cork, we savor every drop. However, we have also found several very reasonably priced wines that we drink regularly. You don't have to break the bank to find wines that provide fantastic flavor, rich tannins and a smooth finish.
Here is my list of the Top 10 red wines under $25...
10. prophecy cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: "Prophecy Cabernet sources grapes from premier appellations across California. The wine is smooth and approachable with layers of blackberry, plum and raspberry with oaky notes of graham cracker and a smooth finish."
- Prophecy Cabernet Sauvignon
9. ozv old vine
Tasting Notes: "A robust Zinfandel from the region's signature 50-100 year-old vines. Jammy with raspberry, milk chocolate and mocha falvors, soft tannins and a supple mouth feel. Pairs well with Memphis-style BBQ Ribs; Angus-patty Hamburgers with Gruyere; Pepperoni Pizza; Hanger Steak with Balsamic Reduction."
- OZV Old Vine Zinfandel
8. Ménage à Trois silk
Tasting Notes: "With its bright, red ruby hue in the glass and alluring fragrance of dried violets and berries, silk beckons, promising an unforgettable experience. Succulent cherry and ripe raspberry flavors mingle with delicate hints of rose petals and toasty spice, and glide gracefully across your palate like liquid silk. Seamless and lustrous, Silk is the lavish, luxurious encounter you’ve been craving."
- Ménage à Trois
7. Robert Mondavi cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: "Layered and complex, our Bourbon Barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon leaps from the glass with aromas of blackberry cobbler, graham cracker, brown sugar, milk chocolate, coffee and smoke. A palate of blueberry pie, praline, sweet vanilla custard, caramel and mocha is framed by soft, chewy tannins and a hint of toasted oak on the lingering finish."
- Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Aged in Bourbon Barrels
6. 7 Deadly old vine zins
Tasting Notes: "Complex aromas of tart cherry, raspberry and caramel are wrapped in flavors of chocolate cake, vanilla oak spice, and plenty of wood smoke. Medium bodied with a rich smooth texture, mild tannins and a beautiful garnet color."
- Michael David Winery
5. 14 Hands cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: "The 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, juicy red that features aromas of dark cherry, black currant, coffee and subtle hints of spice. These flavors are complemented by a touch of spicy oak and emphasized by refined tannins."
- 14 Hands Winery
4. Dreaming Tree crush
Tasting Notes: "This wine brings juicy red fruit with good mid-palate weight from the Merlot, ripe, jammy flavors from the Zinfandel, and dark fruit and structure from the Petite Sirah and Tannat. This blend of the North Coast’s finest varieties results in a very tasty, complex wine with lots of fruit flavors and a long, soft finish."
- Dreaming Tree Wines
3. Decoy Red Wine
Tasting Notes: "Rich and concentrated, this wine reveals voluptuous layers of blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate. On the palate, hints of salted caramel and exotic spices add depth and complexity to the fresh fruit flavors, while carrying the wine to a long and silky finish."
- Duckhorn Vineyards
2. Freakshow cabernet
Tasting Notes: "Quickly becoming one of Michael David’s most sought-after wines, this brute of a Cab is midnight in color and medium in body. A myriad of French oak influenced aromas fill your glass, accompanied by toasted hazelnuts and blackberry cobbler. Flavors of ripe Mission figs and hints of clove and cinnamon give way to velvety tannins, balanced acidity and dark ripe fruits."
- Michael David Winery
1. Arrington red fox red
Tasting Notes: "Aromatic notes of wild strawberry and black tea are followed by flavors of mixed berries, vanilla and black plum."
- Arrington Vineyards
This is one of our absolute favorites, but if you want to shell out a few more bucks, you have to try their Russell 2014 at $33.00 or the KB915 at $60.00. This vineyard is incredible and honestly, all of their wines do not disappoint. Grace also featured this vineyard in her Top 5 Things To Do In Nashville.
Did I miss any? Add your favorite red wine in the comments!
Post Author: Rachel
This is a super simple cookie recipe and a great healthy alternative! It’s also perfect if you need to use some bananas that are about to go bad. We had a few bananas that were just about past their prime, so I went to Pinterest to find some recipes I could throw together.
Here's what you need...
- 1 ripe Banana
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1/2 tsp Agave
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
- 2 scoops Further Food Collagen
At the last second, I also decided to add some cinnamon on top!
Side note - I have been using Further Food Collagen in everything! If you'd like to order some, use the discount code "RACHELSANTSCHI".
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mash banana in bowl
3. Thoroughly mix peanut butter, agave and vanilla with mashed banana
4. Slowly add in coconut flour and collagen mixing well
5. Form into walnut sized balls on baking sheet
6. With a fork, flatten each piece and sprinkle cinnamon on top
7. Place in oven and bake 10-15 minutes
YUM! Hope you enjoy these as much as we have!
Would you turn down a chance to try some mouthwatering Italian food? Me neither! I recently had the chance to visit Tavernonna Italian Kitchen, a farm to table restaurant, located inside Hotel Phillips in downtown KC. This place has great ambiance, an elegantly modern atmosphere with a cozy vibe, exceptional staff and amazing Italian cuisine. They recently invited local media members and social influencers to test out some of the new specialty items on their spring menu.
As you can see from the menu above, we had the chance to try some exquisite dishes. We also taste tested a number of drinks and we were wowed; all wonderfully flavorful and refreshing. Also, I must say, everything was beautifully and creatively served, but the taste was even better!
These pasta dishes were out of this world! At Tavernonna's, Executive Chef Bryant Wigger creates these true Italian meals from fresh and locally sourced ingredients. I savored every incredibly flavorful bite.
In the photo above, the dish on the left is the Nettle Casarecce and on the right is the Spaghetti with wild ramps, focaccia bread crumbs and black pepper pecorino. Two fan favs, for sure!
The top photo is the Thyme Basted Scallops with caramelized cipollini, faro risotto, celery leaf gremolata, and bully porter sumo. It was scrumptious!
The photo above is the Alaskan Halibut with fregola, pancetta, sweet peas, tendril pesto and it was sitting in a beet sauce. For me, it was a surprisingly delicious combination - who would have thought beet sauce would make such a great base.
Dessert, oh my goodness, was equally wonderful! The perfect ending - gelato and espresso.
Everything was soooooo good, it was hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to chose, I'd say the Bruschetta - goat cheese always gets my love - and the Nettle Casarecce. YUM!
A fantastic experience, for sure, and the food and drinks were exceptional. Also, parking is validated at Hotel Phillips for all Tavernonna customers.
I'd highly recommend giving the spring menu a try for yourself. You'll be glad you did!
Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope your week is going swimmingly and that you enjoyed Rachel's post about her amazing trip to Sydney. I am SO ready for our next vacation and her post has definitely had me drooling over Sydney.
Some of you may not know this, but I am an especially lucky lady because my husband LOVES to cook. Must be a sibling thing ... he and Rachel are both comfortable in the kitchen and enjoy experimenting with new recipes. I have deemed myself the sous chef and stick to cutting fruits and vegetables.
Anyway, the hubs likes trying out new kitchen products and gadgets and researching better, faster ways to get nutritional meals on the table. With that being said, we purchased our first cast iron skillet!
We've heard great things about cast iron and were intrigued. So Sunday night, my husband couldn't wait to break it out. He decided to use it to cook chicken and, oh my gosh, it was like eating at a 5 star restaurant. What took us so long to add cast iron to our kitchen supplies??
After tasting it for myself, I had to know the benefits and WHY a cast iron skillet is so amazing. I've compiled a list, but honestly, you should just try it for yourself. We got ours here.
1. They are naturally non-stick when properly seasoned.
This is important and I didn't realize it could really be better for your health. Most non-stick sprays have chemicals in them, which is never a good thing. The more natural, the better.
Even a pre-seasoned cast iron pan can use extra protection, so season your pan when you get it. Heat it on the stovetop until it's smoking hot, then rub a little oil into it and let it cool. Repeat this process a few times.
2. They are so easy to clean.
Wash your pan thoroughly and by hand by with a mild soap and water using a soft bristled brush or a nylon scrubbing pad. Soap isn’t always necessary, but a little mild soap is fine.
After rinsing, promptly dry thoroughly by heating on high heat. When all moisture has disappeared, wipe it down with a little bit of oil on a paper towel and let it cool.
Remember, cast iron is not dishwasher friendly and metal scouring pads can damage a well seasoned pan.
3. They increase the amount of iron in food.
Makes sense, right? And, it’s incredibly cool. Several studies have shown that iron levels can increase significantly in foods cooked in cast iron pans. So, ladies, when it's that time of the month and you need to boost your iron intake, put your cast iron pan to use.
4. It retains its temperature.
For best results, preheat cast iron for 20 to 30 minutes in a hot oven or on the stovetop starting with low heat and gradually increasing the temperature (about 10 minutes). Remember, cast iron is slow to heat up and equally slow to cool down. Once it's hot, it retains its temperature longer and helps foods cook evenly and brown beautifully.
5. They are long-lasting and inexpensive.
A well cared for cast iron pan is practically indestructible. My in-laws have have used cast iron for years and they hold up great year after year.
Cast iron skillets are reasonably priced to begin with, but if you divide the expense over the number of years of use, it's just pennies a year!
What's your favorite kitchen tool? Please share below, I always need gift ideas for my hubby. ;)
Have you ever been to a bar that has no menu? Sounds absurd, right? Well, last week I visited a bar with no menus and for someone who is incredibly indecisive, this was really nice for a change.
A good friend said she wanted to have a swanky Friday night and try somewhere new, and luckily, there are always new restaurants and bars in Nashville, so I'm typically down for the adventure. I asked her where she wanted to go and she suggested Attaboy over in East Nashville.
Attaboy originally hails from New York City so you know it's going to be good. When we arrived, we saw a line forming at the door, but then a waiter would come and grab a few people at a time. This had me kind of scratching my head in confusion. Then I realized Attaboy is a speakeasy. If you've never been to a speakeasy, it has this underground "hush hush" feel to it. You knock gently when your group gets to the door and they only take a few people in at a time. Places like this make me so happy because I feel like I'm invited to experience something fun and unique.
The line moved surprisingly fast and before we knew it we were seated in a cute little room that was dimly lit with candles. Our waitress came in and announced that there was no menu and she would be putting drinks together based on of our likes and dislikes. YES! I LOVE this. Every drink is a flat rate (about $14) which, in my opinion, is not too shabby for the service and drinks you receive. Also, this is the typical cost of a cocktail in Nashville. We each went around and shared what our favorite spirit is and the flavors we prefer. I typically like a Manhattan so the waitress made a cocktail that was a spin off and it was delicious!
The ambience was perfect, the drinks were smooth and the service was incredible. I will happily go back!
I'm so glad that Nashville is getting more speakeasy type bars because they are my fav! So, if you are ever in the area be sure to check it out! Dress up, think about what your favorite flavors are and enjoy what they come up with for you!
Check them out here!
Over the weekend, I searched through Pinterest - as usual - to get some healthy dessert ideas. Something that would subdue my sweet tooth, but not give me a sugar high. I've also been trying to cut dairy from my diet, so this is a perfect fit since it's dairy and gluten free. This recipe is a surefire winner!
I posted the photo below on Instagram and instantly had at least ten people ask me for the recipe. So, as promised, here it is!
I found this recipe on Build Your Bite and just had to try it! She suggested substituting maple syrup for honey or almond butter for the peanut butter, if you'd like. I also tried sprinkling some cinnamon on top while they're still hot and it adds a nice flavor.
Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Do you ever think about where the food you're served at a restaurant comes from? Do you know where they source their produce and meats? Farm to table restaurants are my favorite and when I find one, I'm a regular. The food is fresher, you're supporting local farms, and it just tastes better!
So I was excited for another chance to visit The Old School restaurant. Their made from scratch menu is seasonal and relies on the availability of fresh ingredients that are procured daily. The restaurant sits on a 9 acre site that is also home to The Old School Farm, a beer garden, an event barn, a music room, and a dance floor and all just a few minutes from downtown Nashville in Bells Bend.
The farm is a "unique non-profit dedicated to producing quality farm-to-table food while providing employment for individuals of all abilities. Old School Farm was founded in 2013 on the belief that creating a sustainable farm can also produce sustainable jobs while giving back to the community at large."
Everything about this place just soothes the soul! Plus, it's an amazing venue for events. My company used their outdoor event center to host our Vision Day for 2018 and it was awesome. I wish I had had my rehearsal dinner here! Everyone is so nice, the cocktails are great and the food...nutritious and delicious.
We took our best friends along for dinner on Friday night and we loved it. One of my favorite things was that we were no sooner seated than they had a tray of light snacks - mini breadsticks, maple pecans, nuts and fruit - available for us. It was perfect to snack on before our cocktails came!
My cocktail was perfect. It was a spin off of an Old Fashioned, just a little sweeter. We also ordered their Cheese Board which was full of, again, local cheeses and meat. The jam (pictured on the left below) was unlike anything I've ever tasted. Again, so light and so fresh, not too sweet, it was just right!
For our entrees, we each tried something different. The guys ordered the burger and the roast, my friend, Rachel (not my sister), ordered the chicken and I ordered the Vegetable Bolognese. Everyone raved about their choice, but I'm convinced mine was the BEST. It tasted just like a bolognese sauce, but even better.
This place is a must if you are in the Middle Tennessee area. We love it and have never been disappointed. The best thing to me will always be how fresh everything is and supporting local businesses and all of the farmers that partner with this company is a bonus. What are your favorite farm to table restaurants?
Are there ever enough hours in the day?! Between work, time at the gym, laundry, errands, making dinner, preparing for the next day and whatever else is on your to-do list, there's often too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Meal prepping for the week is one of the ways I gain a little extra time each evening. It's also a great way to stick to those healthy eating resolutions we all made just a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it takes a little planning, time and effort, but it's so worth it when lunches for the week are all packed up and neatly stacked in the fridge! An hour or two invested today, saves lots of time during the week - that's a win for me!
Here's my quick and easy lunches for the week- salad, sweet & spicy sweet potatoes, hard boiled eggs and jasmine rice. I also throw in some apple sauce and a lara bar.
One of my favorite salads is a semi copycat version of the oh-so-delicious Grilled Market Salad from Chick-fil-A.
GRILLED MARKET SALAD:
Avocado Ranch Dressing
My mom actually introduced me to this one. She likes to add some blue cheese crumbles and chopped nuts too.
SWEET & SPICY SWEET POTATOES
I've shared this recipe before (here).
I absolutely love it! We have this very often in our home.
Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
Red Crushed Pepper
This week I made two Grilled Market Salads and two Taco Ranch Chicken salads. Two of my favorites. Yum!
Some people can eat the same thing every day and never get bored. I am not one of those people. I have to change it up just a bit. So for my Thursday and Friday meals this week, its more of a Mexican salad.
Lots of veggies topped with an easy peasy Taco Ranch Chicken that's made in the crockpot and is super simple.
TACO RANCH CHICKEN
1.5 lb Chicken Breast
1 cup salsa
1 packet Ranch Seasoning
1 packet taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1. Place all ingredients in the crockpot.
2. Set on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
3. Shred chicken and place back in the crockpot for 30 minutes.
Voila! Easy at that.
TACO RANCH SALAD
Red Bell Peppers
Shredded Taco Ranch Chicken
Spicy Ranch Dressing
Lunches are now ready to grab and go each morning. This is a big time saver for me and if you give it a try, you might just find it is for you too.
Also, be sure to make meals you will enjoy eating and I suggest mixing it up from time to time. Be creative, try to copy your favorite restaurant meals, and have fun trying new combinations. Most of the time, the meals I make don't come from a cookbook. I just try a little of this and a little of that - Pinterest ideas, some family favorites, and others that just seem like they might be tasty. If it's great, awesome! If it stinks, oh well, better luck next time.
If you meal prep, please share your go to favorites. I'm always looking for good ideas!
Year after year my husband and I faced the same dilemma and would spend hours racking our brains for what to get his mom for Christmas. She'd tell us she has every thing she needs and really what makes her heart happy is quality time together. So we try to give her that when we can. This year was extra special!
She knew we were driving in from Tennessee to be with extended family for Christmas, but we convinced her that when we arrived in Texas we wouldn't be able to connect before she was scheduled to head out of town for the holiday. But my hubs loves planning surprises (I've been blessed many times by his sweet surprises, but that's a story for another time) and we came up with a plan to arrive extra early by driving thru the the night.
I don't know if it was more fun for my MIL to be surprised by our unexpected early arrival or for me, my husband and FIL to plan the surprise. Either way, we were thrilled to be able to spend a few hours together and so we did what we do best - we talked, we laughed, we drank and we enjoyed beautiful Christmas decor all while indulging in a terrific meal at one of her favorite restaurants, Shoal Creek Tavern. It was delicious and a great spot in the DFW area.
The lunch menu has a wide variety of amazing choices and, I noticed, their weekend brunch menu offers a variety of unique items as well. The atmosphere is great and the enclosed patio area was very comfortable even though the temps outside weren’t.
The soup and salad combo was perfect and just the right size for me. The lobster bisque is absolutely to die for! The salad was light and refreshing with the tastiest croutons. Of course, we always order mimosas any time we are out for lunch with Momma Santschi. They're her favorite and these were delicious!
The men each ordered Kobe Steak Burgers and cleaned their plates! They gave it 5 stars and, I'm not gonna lie, I was a little jealous watching them eat those yummy burgers!
Momma Santschi decided to go with the Vaquero Tenderloin Salad. It was the perfect size and the tenderloin was incredibly juicy and cooked to perfection.
I love that my in-laws appreciate the gift of quality time - giving it and receiving it - and knowing that this little bit of extra time together blessed Momma Santschi's heart in a big way, made driving thru the night worth it. Surprising her was pure joy! I'm incredibly blessed and truly enjoy spending time with my mother-in-law.
If you are ever in the DFW area, check out Shoal Creek Tavern and make some special memories of your own. They have a beautiful fire place, several big screens to catch the latest game, a gorgeous bar area and, of course, delicious food!
Oh, the crockpot! It is easily one of my favorite appliances in the kitchen. It makes preparing meals so simple, just set it and forget it. I especially love using it in the winter when soups and stews are often what’s for dinner. Plus I really love walking in the house to the aroma of good food, hot and ready to eat. So yummy!
Recently, I posted about this meal on my Instagram and had a number of people reach out asking for the recipe. So here it is - an easy, healthy, simple recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.
I've perused Pinterest for the best recipe and have combined a few of them to make it my own. Feel free to do the same! This recipe, to me, is super easy, and tastes wonderful.
14.5 oz low-sodium chicken broth
14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15.25 oz can corn
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Place the chicken breasts in crockpot and pour chicken broth and diced tomatoes on top. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir, cover with lid and cook on low heat 6 hours or high heat for 4 hours.
Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from crockpot and shred. It should be tender enough to pull apart using two forks.
Place chicken back in the crockpot and add black beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice. Stir and cook for at least another 30 minutes.
I like to top this soup with avocado, tortilla strips, more cilantro, and shredded cheese when serving.
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