Cold Brew Coffee is Life

Cold Brew Coffee is Life


Coffee is my favorite.

Hot, iced, slushed, or candy style.  It just makes my heart happy.

Cold brew coffee is perfect any day but especially when those temps start rising.  It is so easy to make that you just may stop swinging by your fave coffee shop and start making it yourself!  Just think about how much money you will save.

Making coffee cold brew style will result in a smooth tasting coffee as opposed to brewing coffee and then icing it.  That results in watery, bitter coffee.

You only need a few items like a jar with lid, coffee grounds or beans, filter, and filter basket.  And patience.  It takes at least 12 hours for the coffee to “brew”.  But I promise you that it is worth it!

Now if you have a coffee bean grinder, then you can grind your beans right before you brew. Your local coffee shop may sell their beans by the pound. #shoplocal  Or you can just buy some at the grocery.

Now let me show you how super simple it is to make Cold Brew Coffee.


Cold Brew Coffee Recipe



1 cup of coffee grounds

3 cups water

Large Jar with a lid – Like these

Filter basket 

Coffee filter or cheesecloth


1. Add 1 cup of coffee grounds to 3 cups water.



2. Stir and screw the lid on.



3. Place jar in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.  Waiting is seriously the hardest part.


4. Wait patiently.


5. Strain the grounds.  This is definitely the most time-consuming part. But if you have a conventional coffee maker, you can put a filter in the basket and a clean jar underneath and viola(!), a cold brew coffee. I used my pour over basket and it does go slowly as you can see here.




6. Drink some of the most delicious coffee ever.




Do you have a favorite cold brew coffee recipe?








Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here.




And these guys have been out of school for daaays.



In our Southern, thin-skin defense, we simply do not have the equipment to remove the snow that may come once a year.  Coupled with the fact that it doesn’t stay cold here long so what snow we get melts, then refreezes overnight turning into ice.  And ice doesn’t play.  No one can drive on ice.

With that being said, when it snows in Nashville, everyone gets a snow day, even adults.  And it’s fantastic.

Cold, blustery days deserve warm, hearty meals.  Today I made my favorite chili, Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili. This chili is made with organic, grass-fed beef, black beans, tomatoes, and veggies. Everyone in the house personalizes the toppings.  Some add cheese, some add sour cream, tortilla chips or jalapenos.

Personally, I add it all.

Just a heads up, if you didn’t know, I love Aldi’s and do 95% of my grocery shopping there.  I save so much money shopping at Aldi.  Before I started making my chili, I took a quick (staged) photo of the ingredients I bought at Aldi the day before.  Organic food at Aldi is very reasonably priced and only slightly higher than conventionally grown products.



Alright.  Super easy recipe. Let’s go.


Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe




1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained.

4 cups broth – chicken, beef or vegetable



  1. Sautee the onion, celery, and bell pepper until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add beef and cook until crumbly.
  3. Add everything else.
  4. Cook for at least one hour but the longer, the better.
  5. Top with cheese, sour, jalapenos, cilantro….or just whatever your sweet little heart desires.



You can mix it up and have the leftovers as Chili Cheese Fries or over a baked potato.  If you double this recipe, you can freeze half for another dinner down the road.


How did you spend your lovely snow day?!



Check out these other tasty recipes.


Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

“Good food, fast” is my motto in the kitchen.

Real food isn’t convenient or fast, or wrapped up in boxes and wax paper.  Real food is raw and whole. It needs washed, prepped and cooked. Eating real food can be a pain in the ass, no matter how amazingly good it is for you.

Washing, prepping and cooking is not even close to something I enjoy doing.  So I have made it my mission to make eating real food as easy on myself as possible and I would love to share some tips with you to help with your kitchen life balance. A real food kitchen if you will.

The following recipe is super easy to prep, cook and clean up.  Plus, most importantly, the Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies is nutritious with a healthy portion of protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs. It tastes pretty darn good too.


Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies



  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, halved
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried Rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes and brussel sprouts until parboiled for 10 minutes; drain well.
  3. Place potatoes and brussel sprouts in a large baggie.  Add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Shake the bag to evenly coat veggies with ALL the flavor.
  4. Pour the potatoes and sprouts onto a sheet pan.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over veggies. Place a baking rack on top of the veggies.
  5. Rub 2 tbsp of dijon mustard over the steak.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste to taste, and add it to the baking rack on top of the sheet pan.
  6. Place into oven and broil until the steak is browned and charred at the edges, about 7-8 minutes per side for medium. Shave a couple of minutes off for mid-rare or add 2 minutes for mid-well.


Pro-Tip: Cut up and parboil a few extra potatoes. You can make breakfast potatoes or add them to scrambled eggs the next morning.


All of this deliciousness was made using a sheet pan, baking rack, cutting board, knife and a gallon baggie.


I have adapted the no fuss, no muss philosophy with all my meals and it has made my clean eating life so much easier! Stay tuned for more meal time saving recipes.


Until then, here is a pictorial version of the recipe.


Quartered red potatoes, herbs and olive oil in large baggies. Shake to coat.

Veggies and lubed up with olive oil and placed on sheet pan. 

The Steak is rubbed with marinade. The longer the steak marinades the better but even 10 minute will do.


Yum.  All done. In only 30 minutes.  Now you have more time to do fun stuff.


If you enjoyed this time saving, real food recipe, check out the following deliciousness.






Southwest Quinoa Salad

Southwest Quinoa Salad

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. You can read my disclosure policy here.

It’s March 10th, which means that spring is just around the corner…..although it did snow in Nashville today.  So random. Winter had 4 months to show up and it decided to do it mid-March, for two hours.  Literally. It snowed two inches and then disappeared. The first picture was taken at 8:00am and the second, at 10:00am.

You can see where my garden grows in the bottom picture.  Not long and I will fill it with veggies and berries and herbs!  I can hardly wait. Working in my garden make me so happy. It’s so therapeutic. Alex built the awesome fence around the garden out of drift wood from the lake.

In fact, most of the ingredients in the Southwest Quinoa salad will come from the garden. That’s what I love about this dish. It’s fresh, light and delicious.

You can double or triple this recipe to bring to all the cookouts in your near future.

Only 10 more days until spring!

 Southwest Quinoa Salad



  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup red, orange or yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock


  • The juice of 2 large freshly squeezed limes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper (more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp honey


1. Rinse the quinoa well. Place the quinoa in a pot with a tight-fitting lid along with the chicken or vegetable stock. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand for an additional 5 minutes.

2. While the quinoa cooks make the dressing by whisking the lime juice, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, minced garlic and honey until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk again until well combined.

3. After the quinoa cools, mix all salad ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

Southwest Quinoa Salad


This dish can be served as a side or throw on some grilled chicken or baked salmon for a protein packed meal.

Here are a few other of my favorite recipes.

Zucchini Lasagna

Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

Turkey Sausage

Scrambled Egg Muffins


Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

Winter is in full force.  Well, technically. Christmas here in Nashville was unseasonably warm and you will not hear me complain one bit about 75 degree weather in December.  Now, we just have to get through the next two months of yuck weather so March can satisfy my spring fever.

Where you live is probably coldish and there is nothing better than a steaming cup of Hot Cocoa to warm you up. 🙂

I have tried several versions of homemade hot cocoa mix and this one is definitely the best I’ve made so far.  The ingredients are simple and you probably have most of them on hand…well, maybe not dry milk powder.  I just don’t get that stuff but hey, it makes great hot chocolate! This Hot Cocoa mix recipe is not sugar free or “healthy” but compared to the store bought hot chocolate and it’s long list of unpronounceable ingredients, it is a better option.

3 cups nonfat instant dry milk powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Mix everything together in a large bowl.
2. Pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
3. Store your hot cocoa mix in an airtight container.

To make the hot cocoa drink, mix 3 tablespoons of the cocoa mix with 1/2 cup of hot milk and 1/2 cup of cow milk or nut juice (Almond or Cashew milk. Ha).



Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

I don’t mind cooking the meals, it’s the brainstorming of the meal ideas that I’m not into.

Too bad because I really like to eat. I would just rather have someone else make it for me.

This recipe for zucchini lasagna is exciting for me because I haven’t eaten a proper lasagna in six years since I have given up gluten.

The zucchini “noodles” are so similar in texture to lasagna noodles that even my eight year old didn’t notice them.  It could be because of the extreme amount of cheese in the dish.

But cheese never hurt anybody.

Plus, substituting a vegetable for an unhealthy carb totally cancels out the copious amounts of cheese you will consume with this meal.

The noodle slicing is a bit time consuming but I recommend trying this recipe once.  I guarantee that you will end up making it again.

The recipe calls for a marinara sauce that you can either make from scratch (recipe included) or use a favorite from the store.  When using store sauce, take a peek at the sugar amount on the label.  You will be surprised how much sugar some store bought sauce contain.

Without further adieu, here is the zucchini lasagna recipe.

Yum, people.



1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Black pepper, to taste

4 medium  zucchini, sliced 1/8″

1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1  egg

4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Marinara – this recipe is super easy.  If you’re not in the mood to make it, then grab your favorite jarred sauce.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick slices.




3. Sprinkle salt on the Zucchini and set in a colander for 10 minutes. The salt will cause the Zucchini to sweat and release some of it’s moisture






4. Place Zucchini slices on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Depending on how high you stack the zucchini, keep your eye on the oven so that you don’t completely dry them out.  As you can see, I got impatient and stacked those bad boys real high.  I took off the first layer after 10 minutes and started building the first layer of lasagna while the rest dried out in the oven.  Use your best judgement on this one.




5. In a medium bowl mix Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Stir well.






6. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 casserole dish and alternate two layers of zucchini to cover.




7. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta and parm mixture on top of the zucchini, then top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up.


8. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover the foil add one more cup of Mozzarella and bake and additional 10 minutes.


Want to share this recipe?  Click on the pic below to save to Pinterest.

Can’t wait to hear about your zucchini lasagna making venture. *wink*

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

Peace out friends. xo


Delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce

Delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

Homemade marinara sauce is easier to make than you think. Skip the jarred pasta sauce and give this recipe a go.

Homemade Marinara


2 (14.5oz) cans petite diced tomatoes (make sure your cans are BPA free)
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 tbsp dried parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion


1. In a pot over medium heat, saute the finely chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent or for about 3 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, paste, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt n peppa.

3. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Bon appetite.

Wait, that’s French.

Andiamo a mangiare!

If you want to make a hearty meat sauce, brown hamburger or ground turkey and add to the sauce before you simmer. Here is some meaty marinara in my Zucchini Lasagna.


Egg Muffins To Go

Egg Muffins To Go

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

These scrambled egg muffins are delicious, good for you and will keep you satisfied until lunch.

Even more awesome, they are super easy to make.


Mmm.  Breakfast.

Benefits of eating breakfast.

1. Metabolism booster.  When sleeping, your metabolism slows down because it has fewer responsibilities.  Starting your day with breakfast revs your metabolism back up and it will stay up by eating small, healthy meals throughout the day.

2. Stabilizes blood sugar.   Low blood sugar is common first thing in the morning. Skipping breakfast will cause your blood sugar levels to bottom out and leave you feeling sluggish.  Headaches, confusion and weakness are also associated with low blood sugar levels.

3. Fuels your brain and helps your focus.  Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration in the classroom or at work.

4. Sustained energy levels.  Including protein and high-fiber carbs in your breakfast will keep you energized longer by making food stay in the stomach and bloodstream.

So rise and dine, my friends.

Let’s whip up a batch of these scrambled egg muffins. These egg muffins are totally customizable.  The ingredients list below are the foods I like in my egg muffins.

There are so many egg muffin stuffin options.  Bacon, kale, sausage, tomatoes, zucchini or potatoes would be delicious too. Get crazy.

Scrambled Egg Muffins


12 eggs

2 handfuls spinach

1/2 cup diced onion

1 cup sliced mushroom

1 cup diced bell pepper

salt/pepper to taste

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup cheese (your favorite kind)


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Grease (olive or coconut oil) 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.

Step 2

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and saute mushroom, onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


Step 3

Once the veggies are soft, add spinach.  Saute until spinach is wilted.

Step 4

Spoon the veggie saute into the bottom 1/3 of the muffin cup.


Step 5

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl.   Pour eggs over the sautéed veggies until the cup is 3/4 full.  Add a sprinkle of cheese on top.


Step 6

Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

Step 7

Enjoy!  Personally, I finish my egg muffins off with Sriracha.  Mmm, so good.

After the muffins cool, individually wrap them and freeze 1/2 them for a quick breakfast later in the week.  Just pull one or two out of the freezer the night before and reheat for breakfast.  Presto. Breakfast on the go.


Homemade Taco Seasoning is So Easy to Make.

Homemade Taco Seasoning is So Easy to Make.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

Tacos. So good.

Tacos are usually a weekly meal around my house and I would like to share our tasty homemade taco seasoning we add to ground turkey. Grocery store seasoning is under a dollar but includes up to 15 ingredients and if you’re not careful, some seasonings will slip MSG or caramel coloring in on you. Yucko. Scroll on down to get the granola about the dangers of MSG and caramel coloring.

The hustle is below and I recommend putting your taco pants on and make yourself a delicious taco seasoning with pronounceable, natural ingredients. Best of all, you probably already have all of them in your kitchen cupboard.  I usually triple the recipe because, well, we really get down on tacos. Are you up for making some awesome homemade taco seasoning?

Homemade Taco Seasoning


3 tablespoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon black pepper

*Put all of the ingredients in a Mason jar or container of choice. Shake.


  1. Brown your ground beef or turkey.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of water and 3 tablespoons per pound of protein.
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

The shelf life of this homemade taco seasoning is up to one year but really, who can wait that long for tacos? This seasoning can be used for all things tacoesque….enchiladas, burritos….you get the idea.


MSG – Monosodium Glutamate

Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid that our body needs and uses. When the glutamate is synthetically manipulated and processed, it creates a form that is not naturally found in nature. This form, MSG, can cause health issues such as headaches, fibromyalgia, fatigue, upset stomach and flushing. Some people are more sensitive to MSG than others but regular consumption over time can lead to side effects for those who are not.

MSG is used as an ingredient to enhance the flavor of foods. It is found primarily in processed foods, frozen meals and canned goods to make them taste fresher and smell better. MSG will never be found in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and unprocessed meats.

It’s a good idea to be on the lookout for MSG when checking out the ingredients of foods you purchase. Manufacturers are required to label foods that contain MSG however; MSG can be snuck in by being labeled other names such as:

Autolyzed Yeast extract
Calcium Cascinate
Gelatin Glutamate
Glutamic Acid
Hydrolyzed protein
Monosopotassium glutamate
Sodium Caseinate
Textured Protein
Vegetable Protein Extract
Yeast Extract
Yeast food
Yeast nutrient

Caramel color

Caramel color is a food coloring used to make soft drinks and a majority of processed foods a brownish color. Food coloring is created by heating or burning a carbohydrate and mixing it with an acid or alkali (ammonia, sulfites). Carbohydrates can come from sugar, barley, lactose, corn or wheat. Since the source of the carbohydrate is not known, anyone with food allergies should avoid caramel coloring due to possible allergic reactions.

When carbohydrates are mixed with ammonia, a chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI) is produced. Previous studies of 4-Mel have found that the long term exposure to the chemical caused lung, liver and thyroid cancer in mice, according to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. These findings led California to add 4-Mel to the list of potentially hazardous chemicals and therefore limiting the exposure levels of 4-Mel in products sold in the state.

That is some pretty scary stuff! But what it all boils down to is the importance of ingredient awareness, especially when it comes to the stuff we are putting in our bodies.  If you aren’t already, start looking at the ingredients of the foods you buy. I bet you will be surprised, I know I sure was! 

Once you start down the road of ingredient awareness, there is no going back.  Trust me, you will be glad you did especially if you have little ones.