12.19.2018

An Easy Low-Carb Veggie and Egg Frittata Recipe

It has taken me 49 years, but I made my first frittata in 2018. When you try to eat lower-carb in your diet, breakfast is often challenging. Stratas and other casseroles sound good, but they contain a high amount of carbs either through bread or potatoes.

This frittata is great for lower-carb diets




Carbohydrates, in general, can be confusing to people. Your body needs carbohydrates for fuel and carbohydrates are extremely important in a diet. The key in weight loss success though for me was choosing the right carbohydrates for fuel.

When I tell you that I'm eating lower-carb foods then I'm fueling up on lettuce, tomatoes, and vegetables. All of those foods contain essential carbohydrates. I have reduced my intake of refined higher carbs like white bread, pasta, and processed foods.

For this lower-carb breakfast frittata, I used 3 squash,  a few broccoli florets, 1/2  onion, tsp of minced garlic, a sprinkle of dried basil, 8 grape tomatoes and a handful of cheddar cheese. I used eight eggs plus salt and pepper. Did I measure? No, not really. I sauteed the squash and onion for about 12 minutes until browned and soft.  I added the grape tomatoes to add a touch of holiday color to the frittata.

veggies for the lower-carb frittata


You could use any type of vegetables you have on hand for a low-carb frittata. It's lower-carb because it does not have a crust like a quiche. Eggs are a good source of protein and this dish will keep you full most of the day.

After sauteeing my veggies, I whisked eight eggs in a bowl. I also added salt and pepper to the eggs. I use Himalayan pink salt mostly in my diet.

Lower-Carb frittata with veggies, cheese and eggs.


Pour the veggie mixture into a pie pan. Add the eggs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the center of the frittata is set.

The easy frittata is attractive and would make a great holiday brunch or breakfast idea.

Lower-Carb Holiday Frittata #Holidays #Breakfast #Entertaining



My time for writing and sharing this recipe with you was made possible by Hinessightblog sponsor,  North Carolina Nissan Frontier dealer, Don Williamson in Jacksonville, N.C. 

12.16.2018

Heavenly Hash: A Simple, Everyday Dessert with COOL WHIP

My children love dessert.  My husband says they got their sweet tooth from me, but I think they get it naturally, from their grandmothers.  My own grandmother certainly had a sweet tooth, and some of my fondest memories are when I would spend a week with her at her home in Durham, and we would whip up an easy dessert using COOL WHIP whipped topping.  She had several in her recipe box, and the best part of cooking with her each summer is that I used to sneak a little finger tasting of COOL WHIP before it was tossed in with the rest of the ingredients.


Fast forward thirty-five years, and I’m trying to make some of the same type of memories with my children that I made with my grandma.  My son never got the opportunity to meet my dad or his great-grandmother, but he does share a quality that they both had: He loves to cook.



I remember my dad making a great fruit dessert using COOL WHIP as the main ingredient.  He would mix the topping with coconut, marshmallows, and fruit. It was simple and delicious.  I’m fairly certain that he grew up having this everyday dessert often, especially during the summer months. I never made it with my grandmother, but I certainly remember eating it at a lot of family reunions.

My family is now making this special COOL WHIP dessert. I don’t have the exact recipe that my father or grandmother used, but one of my church cookbooks had something very similar to my family’s recipe.  My dad used mandarin oranges, but we’re whipping up this everyday delight with pineapple today.  The taste is old-fashioned, but I’m serving it with a modern, cosmopolitan twist.



Heavenly Hash

1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits, well drained
2 cups COOL WHIP whipped cream, thawed
1 cup of sweetened coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
3 tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with Chess cookie.

This dessert needs to chill an hour before serving, so we make it in the afternoon, and then it’s ready that evening for dessert, or it can even be served as an afternoon treat on a Sunday as soon as it is ready. 

It’s simple.  It’s delicious! And I love that my children are going to have special summer COOL WHIP memories just like me.






Updated: December 2018

12.12.2018

Easy White Bean Chicken Soup for a Crowd

When I'm feeding a crowd, I always look for recipes that are easy. I first served this white bean chicken soup earlier this fall and I thought it was great. My mother-in-law was such a fan of this easy chicken-based soup that she wanted me to text her the recipe the next day. 


I liked this chicken soup so much that I plan to serve it to friends at a holiday gathering later this month for the holiday season. Surprisingly, the recipe originated from a Southern Living kid's cookbook that I bought years ago. 


This easy white bean chicken soup is great for entertaining a large crowd.


This white bean chicken soup can easily be doubled for entertaining. You could also saute your own boneless chicken and use a rotisserie chicken breast seasoning instead of deboning a chicken from the store. This easy chicken soup takes on a holiday look when you add cilantro for a touch of green.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.  It also freezes well. 
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  •  
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, boned, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 (16-ounce) cans great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  •  

      **You can double the recipe, but I still use only one onion. If the chicken soup is too thick, you can add water or extra chicken broth on the reheat. 

    Directions: 

    Melt butter in a large pot over low heat: add carrot, onions, and garlic. Saute until tender then stir in chicken, chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, and red pepper. Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.  Place beans in a medium bowl and mash using a potato masher until about half the beans are still whole. Add beans and the whipping cream to the chicken soup mixture. 
    Cook 10 additional minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro (optional). 
This easy white bean chicken soup is great for cold days and for a crowd #soups #stews #Mainmeals




My time for writing and sharing this blog post is made possible by sponsor, Rivenrun Dental in Richmond, Virginia. 

12.08.2018

Holidays in Raleigh, NC: The Iconic Angus Barn is a Southern Tradition for Families

When you drive down Highway 70 between the cities of Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, you will spot an iconic red barn that has created pure holiday magic in the Triangle for families for more than 50 years.

And every year, holiday decorations at the Angus Barn, a premier steakhouse in Raleigh, gets better and better. It's like the NC's mountain's Biltmore Estate for the eastern part of North Carolina, just on a smaller scale.


The famous iconic Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC


The exterior of Angus Barn twinkles as soon as you see it. It's surrounded by car lots and commercial businesses now on a very busy highway, but despite the hustle and bustle around it, the Angus Barn still projects that same holiday magic of yesteryear. When this restaurant was first established in 1960 in Raleigh, it was located in the country. Seriously, the country! The country where you would see barns in rural North Carolina.  I have photos of my parents all dressed up attending business Christmas parties. Even though Raleigh's Angus Barn is spread among urban sprawl on Highway 70,  it is one of Raleigh's most iconic places to visit, especially during the holidays.

The Angus Barn still maintains its country roots with a rustic, elegant interior. But, this is no country Cracker Barrel even though there is the Angus Barn Country Store which sells its famous cheese and crackers. Of course, Angus Barn elves are modern now and they ship everywhere so non-Southerners can have a little taste of what's so great about Raleigh destination. With most entrees priced above $30 and a children's menu starting at $14, it's a place where many Southern families splurge during the holiday season.

Diners inside the Angus Barn love the Holiday Season


People flock here because it's an experience like none other. A purely magical, joyous experience for kids. To dine during normal dining times like 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, in December you may need to make Angus Barn dinner reservations up to a year in advance. The Angus Barn extends its hours during the holiday season though, and if you can sit down to eat dinner at 10:00 pm, then you probably can snag a reservation during this busy time for the restaurant.

Inside the Angus Barn at the holidays


Dinner at the Angus Barn is steeped with tradition, and unlike most high-end steakhouses in America these days, they do not do that a-la-carte business of sharing a larger side with the table. Your 14-ox "IronChef" Ribeye (Oh, yeah. There's that, too. Angus Barn Executive Chef Walter Royal won TV's Iron Chef Competiton. He beat chef Cat Cora) comes with your choice of soup or salad and a side.  Bread, homemade crackers, cheese, and fresh raw veggies are on the table for every Angus Barn diner to enjoy. Even for non-beef eaters, the Angus Barn menu has something for everyone to enjoy.

The Angus Barn is beautifully decorated during the Holiday Season


But, the view of the Angus Barn restaurant through the magic of a child's eye is where this eatery has its edge. Beautiful trees, appearances by Santa, life-sized elves greeting you at the door with homemade gingerbread cookies, and hot cocoa. It's like North Carolina's own North Pole.

There is a toy box for kids, and kids are taken into the kitchen by staff to make their own dessert sundae after dinner.

The only downside though is for kids who are true steak lovers because the Angus Barn kid's menu has a variety of typical kid-like items, but the only steak choice for kids is a chopped hamburger steak. I've talked to many parents (you know parents today have more sophisticated little foodies) who frequent this venue year after year, and they all have expressed their desire for a small filet option for kids. Angus Barn, are you listening? I've got one child aging out of the Angus Barn kid's menu. He'll be 13 this month and he has had an aversion to any kid-type menu for years.

My son is one expensive date these days. But, I do think more and more elementary-school-aged children are eating fish and filet cuts of beef these days. Things have changed since the 60s.

And I must not forget the ladies parlor for little girls like mine. I think Liza remembered the bathroom experience more than anything. It's a fancy parlor and they have all these toiletries to powder your nose. It's a little girl's adult version of the blingy store Justice.

It's fancy inside Raleigh's Angus Barn Ladies Room. Kids love it.


Can I wait for a Table at the Angus Barn?

During the week, you may have more luck waiting around for a table, but the wait is long. Good thing you have lots of holiday decor and elves to view while you wait for a table. However, the Angus Barn Wild Turkey Lounge, which is upstairs in the restaurant is a first-come, first-serve no reservation dining with a full-service menu. It is open in the early afternoon during the holidays with a special sandwich type menu and it typically has live music at night. I personally think this part of the restaurant is charming. 

Upstairs at the Wild Turkey Lounge inside the Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC


It is a sophisticated bar so if you have older children like I do who are used to dining in luxury hotels and do not have to dine off a kids menu,  I would not hesitate to dine here in the late afternoon with them at all. Dining in the Wild Turkey Lounge offers elegance without the family bells and whistles of downstairs. I think the Christmas season makes this lounge even more appealing.

Have you dined at the Angus Barn in Raleigh, N.C?

The Angus Barn also have a Pavillion that hosts private parties. In December, parking is at a premium. It, of course, is free to look around the Angus Barn. The Angus Barn is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The Angus Barn is decked out beautifully for the holidays in #Raleigh #NorthCarolina. It's great for kids and parents. #Holidays #Decor #Restaurants


My time to write this post was made possible by blog local sponsor, Gladwell Orthodontics in Raleigh, N.C. 

I last visited the Angus Barn on my birthday after Christmas in 2017.  All photos were taken by Leigh Powell Hines, and are subject to copyright. 

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