June 25, 2016

Birthday Cake Latte for the Coffee Lover

Today is my birthday and to celebrate I recreated a coffee drink I tried in Salt Lake City last month and loved: the Birthday Cake Latte from Seattle's Best Coffee. This easy to make brew has white chocolate and vanilla mixed in and is topped with pillowy whipped cream and {of course} sprinkles!
Time to celebrate!

Ingredients:

Makes one large latte
  • 3 tbsp espresso coffee 
  • 5oz warmed milk {frothing optional}
  • 2 tbsp white chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • whipped cream, for topping
  • rainbow sprinkles, for topping

Directions: 

  1. Add white chocolate syrup and vanilla to the bottom of a mug.
  2. Pour warmed milk into the mug.
  3. Place in coffee maker {I use my Ninja Coffee Bar} and brew espresso directly into mug.
  4. Once done stir to mix the flavors at the bottom of the mug.
  5. Top with a swirl of whipped cream and a pinch of rainbow sprinkles
To get the birthday cake flavor I added white chocolate syrup 
and vanilla extract to the mug before adding the milk and coffee.
First, add 2 tbsp white chocolate syrup.
Now add 1 tsp vanilla.
Now warm 5 oz of milk. Frothing is optional {I always do!}.
Pour the warmed milk in the mug.
Now time to brew your espresso {or coffee if you'd rather}.
I add 3 tbsp to my Ninja Coffee Bar filter and brew directly into the mug.
How gorgeous are these layers?!

Give it a stir then top with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

It's my birthday and I will drink coffee {with sprinkles} if I want to! 
A photo posted by Nicole (@flchefnicole) on




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June 21, 2016

Refreshing Peach Iced Tea

Y'all know I am Southern through and through and I love me some Sweet Tea!
I make it all summer long, usually Sun Tea out on my patio.
I love using fresh fruit to add sweetness and flavor, so when I stocked up on peaches at the store this week, I decided to make some homemade peach syrup for my iced tea.
It tasted so good I think this Peach Iced Tea is now my signature summer drink!



Ingredients: 

Makes 4-6 servings 

Peach Syrup:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 large sliced peaches
Tea:

  • 4 Family Size Tea Bags
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Ice
  • 1 peach sliced, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring syrup ingredients to boil. Then reduce heat to medium.
  2. Crush peach slices as you stir to dissolve sugar.
  3. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil water and then add tea bags. 
  5. Brew tea by letting the bags steep for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove and the discard tea bags.
  7. Strain syrup through a fine strainer to remove peach pieces.
  8. Pour tea into a pitcher then add syrup along with 1/2 cup sugar. 
  9. Stir well and refrigerate until chilled.
  10. Serve over ice and garnish with a couple fresh peach slices. 
To make the peach syrup you need 2 large {or 3 small} sliced ripe peaches.
I leave the skin on and just roughly slice.
Add one cup water and one cup sugar to a medium saucepan.
Add the sliced peaches and bring to a boil over medium high heat. 
Turn heat down to medium and stir, crushing peaches with a spoon.
Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil water then add tea bags.
Brew tea by letting the bags steep for 5 minutes.
Remove and the discard tea bags.
Strain syrup through a fine strainer to remove peach pieces.
Pour tea into a pitcher then add syrup along with 1/2 cup sugar. 
Stir well and refrigerate until chilled.
Serve over ice and garnish with a couple fresh peach slices. 
Can you taste it already?! Perfectly sweet and downright delicious! 

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June 20, 2016

Summer Pool Bag Must Haves for Moms with Toddlers

Summer is here and we are loving this sunny, beautiful weather! We are lucky enough to have a neighborhood pool {complete with an attached baby pool} to play in and cool off on these long days. As a Mom of two toddlers {or should I say one toddler and one preschooler?} I struggle with the same toddler drama that most parents deal with daily. 
What do I feed my picky eater?  
Now, I like to call my girls' foodies since I love cooking and they love eating. I am proud that they eat well and enjoy most of what I make them. But, of course, they have their days when they scream and cry and don't want a single thing I make them. It's frustrating and time consuming to make meal after meal or in most cases snack after snack to appease those hangry kids. Lucky for me I have solved this dilemma thanks to Gerber Lil' Beanies.  These crunchy, cheesy snacks are bite size and flavor packed. They are perfect for throwing in our pool bag and snacking on the go.
I first came across Lil' Beanies at my local Walmart in the baby food aisle. I thought I would give them a try and both girls dug right in as soon as we were in the car. Guess what? The can was empty when we got home!
 Made from the goodness of navy beans, Lil’ Beanies have 2 grams of protein (9% Daily Value) and 1 gram of fiber per serving. Also, Lil’ Beanies(TM) is baked, not made with genetically engineered (GM) ingredients, naturally flavored and has a taste toddlers love!
Gerber® Lil’ Beanies snack has a taste toddlers love!

So now you know my kiddos' favorite summer snack so let me tell you my 
- Must Haves for your Summer Pool Bag
coming from a Florida born and raised Mom of two! 

The pool bag basics for kids:

  • beach towel
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • water bottle
The extras: 
  • wipes
  • hair clips and ties
  • comb/brush
  • lip balm
Fun stuff:
Gerber Lil’ Beanies are a nutritious snack made from the goodness of navy beans, Lil’ Beanies have no artificial colors, flavors or preservativesFor this campaign, you will be reimbursed $6 to purchase and experience any of the following Gerber® Lil’ Beanies(TM) flavors:


 Gerber Lil’ Beanies are available in two flavors :
Original
and
White Cheddar & Broccoli

Ava could swim all day! She has always been my 
water baby and her sister is following in her footsteps!
After swimming it's...you guessed it...snack time!
Stella loves to eat and eat! She devours Lil' Beanies snacks
and they are the perfect size for her little hands and don't make a huge mess.
Gerber Lil’ Beanies are available at your local Walmart. The first bean-based snack in the baby aisle, Lil’ Beanies are made from the goodness of navy beans and are baked, not made with genetically engineered (GM) ingredients, and naturally flavored!
Learn more here.

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June 18, 2016

Slow Cooked, Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwiches


Who doesn't love a hearty, slow cooked sandwich topped with melted cheese and lots of crunchy, spicy peppers?!

 I first tried an Italian Beef Sandwich during my trip to Chicago last fall and I have been craving one ever since! My little town in Louisiana is partial to Cajun style poboys only, so I decided if I wanted an Italian Beef Sandwich I needed to make my own at home. Even better, I adapted this recipe from my favorite blogger, The Pioneer Woman, and made it in my slow cooker! Cooking with your slow cooker {aka Crock-Pot} is perfect for beating the summertime heat since you are not warming up the house by using a hot oven.
Today I teamed up with Mezzetta, whose jarred peppers and Giardiniera relish are perfect for this open faced Italian Beef Sandwich, and made a killer creation to share with y'all! Check it out below and then scroll down for info on entering Mezzetta's Summer Grilling Giveaway

I fell in love with the Italian Beef Sandwich during my visit to Chicago last fall for the BlogHer Food conference. I knew my husband would go bananas for it too, so I recreated it at home.
Talk about foodie heaven! 
We had a blast eating amazing food non stop all weekend long!
 My cousin Lauren {she writes Our Little Nook blog} attended the conference with me. It was a much needed time away for us busy Mamas and nice to get all dolled up for cocktail parties!
 Did I mention the keynote speaker was Sarah Michelle Gellar {aka Buffy}?!
We had to get a selfie! 
And we partied with Ree Drummond, who writes The Pioneer Woman blog and hosts the popular Food Network show!
  Besides the Italian Beef, the most memorable meal during our trip was 
the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Giordanos!
Definitely enough to feed a crowd {and weighs a ton too}!


Ingredients:

Makes 6 large sandwiches
  • 2.5 lb-3.5lb chuck roast, trimmed of fat
  • 32oz box beef broth
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 cup Mezzetta Giardiniera (Chicago-Style Italian relish) drained, plus extra for topping
  • 1 cup Mezzetta pepperoncini pepper rings, plus extra for topping
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini juice
  • 12 provolone cheese slices
  • 6 hoagie rolls, toasted

Directions:

  1. Place chuck roast into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Optional, you can chop into smaller chunks. 
  2. Pour beef broth over roast then add 1 cup of Italian dressing.
  3.  Add pepperoncini pepper rings plus 1/4 cup of juice from the jar, along with 1 cup of Giardiniera relish.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
  5. Shred meat with a fork in the slow cooker then cook on low for one more hour.
  6. To serve: split toasted buns in half then scoop the shredded, juicy meat mixture on top and add provolone cheese slices. 
  7. Top with extra pepperoncini pepper rings and diced Giardiniera.
  8. Serve these sandwiches open faced and warm. Dig in! 
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Talk about Spicy Summer Heat!
This recipe, using Mezzetta peppers and relish, is a Bold and Bright Summer Sandwich.




I use two Mezzetta products for this recipe: Italian style Giardiniera relish mix and deli sliced mild pepperoncini rings along with a cup of flavorful Italian dressing. 
Start with a 2.5 lb-3.5lb chuck roast. Trim any visible fat.
Optional: chop into smaller chunks.
Place chuck roast into the bottom of a large slow cooker. 
Pour beef broth over roast.
Add 1 cup of Italian dressing.
Add pepperoncini pepper rings 
plus 1/4 cup of juice from the jar.
Then add 1 cup of Giardiniera Italian relish mix.
I could eat this stuff with a spoon!
Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
Shred meat with a fork in the slow cooker then cook on low for one more hour.
I like to toast my hoagie rolls first.
How tender and juicy does this look?!
To serve: split toasted buns in half then scoop the shredded, juicy meat mixture on top.
Add two provolone cheese slices to each sandwich. 
Dice up additional Giardiniera relish mix for topping. 
Top with extra pepperoncini pepper rings and diced Giardiniera.
Serve these sandwiches open faced and warm. Dig in! 
I hope you enjoyed this Bold and Bright Summer Sandwich
Now enter this giveaway from Mezzetta to win a Weber Gas Grill and other summer grilling essentials.


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