May 2014 Archives

Put a Fast and Healthy Spin on Comfort Food ... FREE

By Charlotte on May 30, 2014 6:22 AM | Read More

If your family is anything like ours, you can never go wrong serving comfort food. After all, what's more soothing than chicken pot pie, fried chicken and chicken fried steak? Ahh!!  

But wouldn't it be nice if there was a quicker, healthier way to get classics like these on the table? The folks at Southern Living and LouAna want to help you do just that. They've joined us to give away three, approximately $32-value gifts including their latest cooking inspirations.

Each prize package contains:

Southern Living's Comfort Food Made Easy cookbook - Features more than 140 incredibly easy and delicious recipes to answer your need for down-home cooking, fast, with tons of gorgeous photos and tips on how to whip up impressive dishes on a tight schedule. Each of these stress-free family favorites has been triple tested by Southern Living experts to make sure they're simple for the busiest cooks to pull together. (Oxmoor House, March 2014, $21.95/Paperback)

LouAna 100% Pure Coconut Oil - Swapping LouAna Coconut Oil for other oils or butter can make many dishes healthier without giving up flavor. It has no coconut smell or taste so no one will be the wiser. But it's vegan and contains beneficial fatty acids, zero trans-fats and no cholesterol. ($10)

LouAna 250.jpgSL_ComfortFood_Cover_280.jpg

You could learn quicker, healthier ways to prepare comfort food FREE thanks to Southern Living and LouAna.

We're giving away 3, approximately $32 prize packages containing their latest kitchen inspirations. Each includes a 288-page Southern Living comfort-food cookbook and LouAna coconut oil for healthier cooking.

Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest* ends June 19!

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Remotely Possible

5 Tech Travel Tips

By Bob on May 29, 2014 4:02 AM | Read More

I never travel without my iPad. Yeah, I'm swimming against the Boomer male stereotype that says I'm supposed to be a Luddite sloth (Ok, maybe during football season) but I take my high tech toys with me when I hit the trail.

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Guest Room

3 Tex-Mex Empanadas Perfect for Parties

By Charlotte on May 28, 2014 6:18 AM | Read More

By Lisa Eisenman Frisk and Monica Eisenman, authors of The Party Food Bible

An excellent way to serve Tex-Mex at a casual gathering is to fill the table with an array of dishes, such as these three empanadas, piquant pico de gallo and creamy guacamole--served with homemade tortilla chips, of course.

Cheese, Corn & Chili, Chicken & Orange and Spicy Beef empanadas

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Daily Distraction

Good News!

By Bob on May 27, 2014 4:27 AM | Read More

I saved the beer!

5-27 - I saved the beer-600.jpg

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Don't Try This At Home

The Best Grilled Chicken

By Bob on May 26, 2014 4:28 AM | Read More

Now that summer is here I'm spending a lot more time around the grill - chicken usually, but we're also fond of good Gulf shrimp (yummm). We don't get to the beach as much as we'd like, so when I fire up the grill my go-to entrée is usually chicken.

Great Grilled Chicken - 600.jpg

Since it's a kitchen staple, we keep a Zip Lock bag full of grilled chicken breasts in our freezer at all times. Why? After a hard day slaving away in the blogosphere, it's a quick and easy dinner! 

If Charlotte wants to whip up some of her famous chicken enchiladas, she's ready to go. It's also great in her spicy chicken cheese dip, grilled chicken salads, chicken spaghetti and even by itself with a side dish of her special Mac & Cheese. 

This recipe is super easy and if you know a guy who likes to grill, it's something he can do to help out in the kitchen. Bonus!



These Breasts Are The Best ...

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Just Desserts

Classic Chocolate Cream Pie

By Charlotte on May 23, 2014 6:43 AM | Read More

Bob and my mom have one big thing in common (besides loving me!): they're both crazy about chocolate. And this Classic Chocolate Cream Pie is among their favorite desserts.

This chocolate-lover's dream includes a store-bought crust filled with creamy, milk-chocolate pudding and covered with whipped topping and roasted pecans.

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Daily Distraction

We Put the "Sun" in Suntan

By Bob on May 20, 2014 4:22 AM | Read More

Makes you wonder who had this bright idea.

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Playing Favorites

Orange is the New Black Season 2

By Bob on May 15, 2014 4:34 AM | Read More

Netflix' new original series, Orange is the New Black, returns June 6 for another 13 episodes. The edgy drama features brief nudity, language and adult situations. If these things bother you, then I'd stick to Inuit Pawn Stars on The History Channel or House Hunters Intergalactic on HGTV.

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Why Weight?

4 Snacks 100 Calories or Less

By Bob on May 14, 2014 4:53 AM | Read More

I try not to snack between meals, but there are times when you just gotta have something to eat. Nutritionists say that it's really OK to eat several small meals a day. The operative word is "small". Here are four easy to prepare snacks that come in under 100 calories. 

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Daily Distraction

I've Eaten Here A Few Times

By Bob on May 13, 2014 4:16 AM | Read More

...but an hour later I was hungry again.

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Don't Try This At Home

Home Remodel on the Range

By Bob on May 12, 2014 3:21 AM | Read More

About a year ago, Charlotte and I decided to remodel the ranch house. It wasn't an easy decision. I'll confess my first thought was "let's just drive a bulldozer through the front door and call it a day." Calmer heads (and we know we're talking 'bout Charlotte here) prevailed.

Little house on the Cranfills Gap prairie

House Exterior - 600.jpgIt wasn't that it was a bad house - not in an Amityville Horror kind of way - but more like a "what's the limit on my Lowe's card?" way. We're talking plumbing, electric, roofing, paint, sheetrock, carpentry, brush-clearing...all stuff that had to be done before we could even think about putting some lipstick on this piglet.

Thanks to a call from the Smithsonian...the retro kitchen has survived (for now)Retro Kitchen-600.jpg

Well, we did that stuff. And by "We" you know I'm referring to many talented and skilled professionals who do this for a living. I am, after all, the only man in Tarrant County who had to have his car towed the one time he tried changing his own oil. If I'd done this myself, I'd still be trying to pry the 1960's paneling off the living room walls.

We picked some paint and got moving

Colors-600.jpgSo what's the verdict?



...from the Ike Turner Pimp Collection at Rooms To Go...

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In the Mirror

In the Mirror: jane iredale Mineral Makeup

By Charlotte on May 11, 2014 6:49 AM | Read More

Mineral makeup maven Jane Iredale was practically in our backyard last week. She visited Soft Surroundings in Southlake, TX, where I was first in line to try her summer launches and chat with the natural cosmetics guru. (Sure, it was FUN but please tell Bob I was working!)

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Slow-Cooker Enchilada Stack

By Charlotte on May 9, 2014 6:53 AM | Read More

My slow cooker gets a workout on Tuesdays. That's the night I meet eight of my best girlfriends for book club and, if we're busy like always, Bob and I eat afterwards.

This enchilada stack recipe is perfect for those nights. Besides answering our constant craving for Tex-Mex, this slow-cooker sensation gives us a hot meal that's ready as soon as I hit the door.

This yummy enchilada stack includes six layers of tasty, homemade chili con carne sauce, flour tortillas and cheesy goodness.

Let's Eat-600.jpgIt includes tasty, homemade chili con carne sauce, flour tortillas and plenty of cheesy goodness. I like using fresh flour tortillas from Rosa's Café, our favorite for fast Tex-Mex, especially since Bob often volunteers to pick them up! But soft-taco size (eight-inch) tortillas from the grocery store also work well here.

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Guest Room

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Birthday Bundt Cake

By Charlotte on May 7, 2014 1:10 AM | Read More

By Krystina Castella, author of Crazy About Chocolate

If you bake only a few times a year, it is most likely for a loved one's birthday. 

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Daily Distraction

Some Say Love's A Prison

By Bob on May 6, 2014 5:12 AM | Read More

And some are just prisoners of love...

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Just Desserts

Pecan-Laced Mexican Wedding Cakes

By Charlotte on May 2, 2014 6:56 AM | Read More

Want a sweet way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Try these Mexican Wedding Cakes from Esther Brody's The 250 Best Cookie Recipes (Robert Rose Inc, September 2013, $19.95).

Highly addictive, these crunchy, buttery balls are laced with finely chopped, toasted pecans and dipped in powdered sugar.

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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