Tracy’s Gourmet Salad Dressing and Marinade Review

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As a member of Women of Culinary, I had the opportunity to review Tracy’s Gourmet Dressings and Marinades free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review of the products. #ad

tracy's-marinade-reviewFor the past 6 years of so, I have been changing up my eating every January and with it includes more salads, but the dressings. They have so much in them that I am better off just doing oil and vinegar and adding my own seasoning, but I get bored with it.

With the need for clean salad dressings that have ingredients that you can read, pronounce and actually understand, there are not many in that category that I have found. There are even fewer that have a woman as the owner, creator, crafter and master blender, so it is a pleasure for me to be able to introduce to some of you and refresh the memories of others of Tracy’s Gourmet.

After reading some of Tracy’s story, I can honestly relate (heart disease in my family) and I am glad that she did journey down this road which helped improved her health as well as the health of others. You see, Tracy found herself weighing 257 pounds and having a history of heart disease she saw the need to change and it would have to start with her. Her change included eating more salads only to find the dressing had harmful and unfamiliar ingredients in them that did not help the situation at all, but she changed that by creating her own.

Tracy’s Gourmet Salad Dressing and Marinade Review

I was privileged to try three of the salad dressings/marinades and they are:

Aloha Kick Salad Dressing and Marinade

Great to use as a marinade on meats and then grill. If you are expecting this dressing to be very sweet, it is not. Do not worry about it. It has the perfect amount of pineapple juice and marmalade. Yum.

Photo Credit: Tracy’s Gourmet

Aloha-Tracy's-Gourmet

 

Luscious Lavendar Salad Dressing and Marinade

Used on my simple salad (avocado, tomatoes, onions and romaine lettuce). Shake well and then use as you like. This was one of my salads that do when I have the bare minimum for a salad but you can taste the lavender. It is light, but you can tell by the smell and the floral taste. Lavendar-Tracy's Gourmet

 

Dillightful Salad Dressing and Marinade

Used to make a pasta salad that only require a few ingredients: onions, broccoli, tomatoes and Explore Cuisine Organic Red Lentil Penne Pasta. Coat the ingredients with this dressing to your liking and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Add some sea salt to your liking and serve. My first time making pasta salad, but it will not be my last. This dressing is perfect and not overpowering. Usually dill is not my favorite, but it is a keeper and next marinating some chicken.

Dill-Tracy's-Gourmet

The flavor of the dressings are 5 out of 5. Packaging is 5 out of 5, no broken bottles or leaking dressings. Price is $5.99 each which is reasonable for a clean and organic dressing.  I cannot wait to see what else Tracy has in her arsenal:)

 

Have you tried Tracy’s Gourmet Dressings and Marinades? What flavor(s) are you interested in trying? 


National Gluten Free Day – Explore Cuisine

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gluten-free-pasta
Edamame, Black Bean, Chickpea, Red Lentil. I have had each of these in their “natural” form, but I have got to tell you if you like anyone of
these and you are gluten free then you would enjoy what I am about to share with you. I came across an awesome brand that I have not
known about until recently and I have covered a good couple of Gluten Free Expos in Atlanta. I have received some spaghetti in each of the
forms of protein mentioned above for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
Currently, I am eating differently and starting to more cognizant of what I stuff my face with, so these spaghettis are right on time. They are
vegan and full of protein.  Explore Cuisine helps take the guilt out of your favorite pasta meals. All Explore Cuisine products are vegan,
gluten-free, non-GMO and jam packed with nutrientsthe perfect alternative to other glutinous pastas.
I could not leave without sharing an awesome looking dishes that you will be able to try yourself.  All of the spaghetti are delicious and you
will not be disappointed at all. The cool colors keep me wanting to come back in addition to the taste. I mean really who can resist green,
black or red pasta especially when there are no harmful ingredients to make it the colors they are.
National-Gluten-Free-Day
Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti
INGREDIENTS
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Cook the spaghetti until soft according to the packet directions.
2. Drain the water from the pasta, and stir in the pasta sauce. Add more if you like more sauce.
3. Serve in bowls and then sprinkle the nutritional yeast on each one. Season with salt and extra nutritional yeast if desired.
Roasted Vegetables with Pasta
Recipe by Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mama
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 c of yellow squash, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of zucchini squash, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of red onion, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of red bell pepper, deseeded, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 t garlic salt OR salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c of fresh parsley
  • lemon
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss your veggies (excluding parsley) with olive oil and your choice of either garlic salt or salt/pepper.
  3. Put your veggies into an oven safe roasting pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  4. While your veggies are cooking, prepare your pasta per the directions on the box.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.
  6. When veggies are cooked, toss with pasta. Top mixture with the juice from one lemon half.
  7. Top with parsley and serve!

Are you gluten free? If so have you tried the Explore Cuisine brand? 

 


Where to Watch the Playoff Games in Atlanta

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Where-to-watch-playoff-games-in-atlanta

Excerpt from Press Release #carenwestpr

In honor of the first round of NFL playoffs on Saturday, January 6th and the SEC National Championship on Monday, January 8th, it’s time to throw on your jersey and hustle to Dantanna’s to cheer on your favorite teams. Known for combining culinary excellence with the entertainment value of sports, Dantanna’s exudes the sophistication of a five-star restaurant and the entertainment of having a private box at your favorite game. With flat screen TVs throughout the restaurant and bar, no matter which team you’re cheering for, sports fans can take advantage of $15 Buckets of Miller Lite every Saturday and Monday; and $3 Jager Shots – Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Additionally, in celebration of the National Championship game, Dantanna’s has made Mondays even better with Martini Mondays, featuring $3 Three Olives vodka martinis.

Where-to-watch-playoff-games-in-atlanta-three-olive-martini

 

Dantanna’s has three convenient Atlanta locations, that will be open beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday January 6, and on Monday, January 8, 2018. Dantanna’s Buckhead is located at the Shops Around Lenox, 3400 Around Lenox Rd NE #304, Atlanta, GA 30326. Dantanna’s Downtown is located at 1 CNN Center #269, Atlanta, GA 30303, and Dantanna’s Sandy Springs is located at Abernathy Square, 6649 Roswell Road Unit 30, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. For more information visit www.dantannas.com or call 404.705.8873. Stay connected on Twitter and Instagram at @dantannas.

Come taste and see and take part in all of the excitement #Buckhead has to offer.


Top 5 Restaurants in Atlanta 2017

December 31, 2017 / Foodie, Main Menu / 19 Comments
Top-5-Restaurants-Two-Urban

Dining-out-passbook-atl-top-restaurantThis post may contain affiliate links.

2017 is almost officially over, but before it leaves I had to take the time to do a mini flashback of some of the restaurants in Atlanta that I thought were some great places for all those that live and/or visit Atlanta have to visit. Being a foodie, I have found that there are plenty of places to eat that range from casual to fine dining and everything in between.

Atlanta is certainly the place to be for food, fashion and fun and trust you will not be disappointed. I was able to eat at the restaurants I am about to mention at a discount. What discount you say? Well, I used my handy dandy Dining Out Atlanta Passbook and in this book you will find bogo deals left and right. Once having a taste of using this book,  I do not travel Atlanta without it and without further ado here is:

Top 5 Restaurants in Atlanta 2017

Parish

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Two Urban Licks

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ONE

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Richards’ Southern Fried

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McCray’s Tavern

Top-5-Restaurants-Atlanta-McCrays

The Dining Out Atlanta Passbook, is only $39 dollars and it is a steal when you think about all of the bogo deals you find in the book for great restaurants in the Metro Atlanta Area. The book retails for $99, but with my code, G4BM18, the price is reduced to only $39 and within the book there are over 70 Atlanta Area restaurants. Sounds like there is a new restaurant that you can try each week if you want to and in 2018 I will be visiting more restaurants and hey, I might see you at one.

What restaurant in Metro Atlanta would you like to visit? 


4 Fun Sparkling NYE Cocktails

December 29, 2017 / Foodie, Main Menu / 18 Comments
4-Fun-NYE-Sparking-Cocktails

New Year’s Eve is the time to say goodbye to a year passing and welcoming new adventures in the new year to come. And many of us manage to look for something, whether it is a new outfit, a new resolution, a drinks/cocktails. Yes, there are many that fall into all of the categories and some that I did not mention, but one in particular is found all over the place. Drinks and Cocktails. Google it and you will find many out there.

I too have looked and did actually have a favorite from one of the ones I am going to mention to you. I kind of tried it early. It was one of the refreshing drinks we had for Christmas. There are 4 Fun Sparkling NYE Cocktails that I want to introduce to you and they are:

Prosecco Punch

Recipe Credit: Sparkling Ice
INGREDIENTS
1 Part Prosecco
DIRECTIONS
Mix together and garnish with small lavender sprig
Recipe Credit: Sparkling Ice
INGREDIENTS
1oz Vodka
½ oz lime juice
Sprinkle Rim, for garnish
DIRECTIONS
In an ice filled cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake. Pour into a shot glass with a sprinkle rim and serve.
Prosecco Superiore Cranberry Skewer  
Recipe Credit: Santa Margherita
Servings: 2
INGREDIENTS
1 bottle of Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
8-10 frozen cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp water
DIRECTIONS
Put cranberries on a skewer and rinse under cold water. Dip skewered cranberries in water, then roll in granulated sugar. Place skewers on wax paper and place in freezer for 5 minutes. Fill glass ¾ with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore. Place skewers on top of glass and serve.
ALTERNATE OPTION
For a slightly sweeter garnish, soak fresh or frozen berries in maple syrup overnight, then skewer and roll in sugar.
Ginger Raspberry Sparkler
Recipe Credit: Brooklyn Crafted
INGREDIENTS
1/3 oz Raspberry Puree
1.5 oz Brooklyn Crafted

Splash of Limoncello

4 oz Champagne
Squeeze of Lime Juice Fresh
Raspberries
DIRECTIONS
Stir raspberry puree, Brooklyn Crafted Mini Lemon/Lime and Limoncello in a champagne flute. Top with champagne and a squeeze of lime juice. Garnish with raspberries and enjoy!
Which one of these would you like to try? Remember, please drink responsibly.

Christmas Styled by C’estCa New York & $20 off coupon code

Christmas-Display-Alice-Cestcany

Received this outfit for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Christmas Styled by C’estCa New York

Prancing around in new attire is one thing that I enjoy doing and thanks to www.cestcany.com, I was able to do just that. Prior to today, I have known this brand for their tulle skirts for the little girls and big girls alike, and now they are branching out into other garments and I want to share that with you. Stick around and see how you can get $20.00 off your next purchase.

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I had the pleasure to take part in a collaboration and the cute dress that I chose, was Alice and it is beautiful.

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More about Alice (website):

Not your ordinary little black dress. Sheath silhouette, side pockets, and gray side panels. Perfect for special events and every day elegant wear. Silky terylene is the material.

Christmas-Display-Alice-Cestcany
Dresses and skirts are those things that hubby like to see me in because let him tell it, I have great legs, but who am I to disagree:) The dress is lined which helped me get it on a lot better, because I am a tweener size and it was sorry ladies that time of the month where there is extra water weight, so I was a wee bit bigger around some areas than I would have liked, but I still like the dress on me and so did hubby.

Cestcany-alice
To see the dress I selected and many more, visit: https://cestcany.com/collections/casual-dresses and there you will find other cute dresses for your casual and evening wear. I almost forgot!! The great and exclusive deal for my special readers, thanks to CestCany, I am able to offer you $20.00 off your purchase by using Serena20 at checkout.

Have you tried the CestCa brand? I will be going back to get a tulle skirt. They are so freaking cute. 


Healthy Snack: Nut Butter Apple Sprinkle

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Received a couple of sample jars in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Post may contain affiliate links. #ad

I am a major snacker and found that I had better learn how to snack smartly. Yes there is a such thing and I was about to try it out. I figured that I would need a go to recipe. Something that I can always make and make quickly if I need and/or want to snack. Perfect for adults as well as kids.

I decided to take a few things that I enjoy eating separately, apples, nut butter, chocolate and coconut and put them together. I know it sounds horrible, but it really isn’t see below:

Nut-Butter-Apple-Sprinkle

 

I did not measure anything just winged it:

Healthy Snack: Nut Butter Apple Sprinkle

Betsy’s Butter Almond Butter  as much as you would like to use

Red delicious apple sliced approximately 8 to 10 pieces

About a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips (melted in microwave)

About ¼ a cup of sliced coconut unsweetened

Nut-Butter-Apple-Sprinkle

Betsy’s Butters are gluten free, non-gmo and all natural. You cannot go wrong. It is a great substitute for “regular” butters because of the added chia seeds that are found in her products which adds more protein, see benefits of chia seeds here: More About Chia Seeds.

About Betsy

As a registered dietitian and the 2015 Florida Young Mother of the Year, she hated it when she saw chemicals and artificial ingredients junking up healthy and delicious foods like peanut butter (there’s nothing gourmet about partially hydrogenated soybean oil.)

Betsy only uses wholesome, natural ingredients in her Seed Butter, Almond, Cashew and Peanut Butters and it is mixed with delish extras like cinnamon and chia seeds, to create products that are totally nutritious, delicious and different.

Perfect gift for the health nut you know. Get it health nut😊 You can get some here: Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Sunflower Seed Butter, and Peanut Butter.

Have you tried Betsy’s Nut or Seed Butters? Which flavor do you like the most? 

 

 


Give to Others – World Vision Review and Giveaway

World Vision Gift Set

World Vision Contest

The reason for this holiday season is love and to be able to show love to others and one way we all manage to show love is by giving gifts.

How about this year we give gifts that can help others here in the United States and abroad? With a selection from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, the receiver will be happy as well as the ones in need that are being helped by your gift.

There are lots of people in poverty and are suffering injustices around the world and this is one way of helping others that will make an impact.

There are some beautiful pieces made by beautiful people from all around the world. For example, the sample that I received were made from people in India and Africa, see below what I received:

World-Vision-USAThere are some awesome pieces within the World Vision’s Gift Catalog, which includes a Hope bracelet that Patricia Heaton, partnered with World Vision to create. I like them all and they are of high quality and worth every penny. I think the bag and the bracelet are my favorite:)

World Vision Gift Set

Enter to win a similar gift box, by entering below:

World Vision Gift Box

About the World Vision Gift Catalog

Since 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has given people the opportunity to better the lives of children, adults and communities in the U.S. and around the world through hundreds of gifts in all different areas of need: clean water, food, education, sexual exploitation, job training and others. In fiscal year 2016, more than 112,000 people donated more than 274,000 items from the Gift Catalog helping people around the world. To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit www.worldvisiongifts.org or call toll-free at 1-855-WV-GIFTS (1-855-984-4387).

 

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org.

Have you ever given the gift of love, by contributing to a charity helping to better the lives of others? What is it and do you still contribute? 


Talking To Jesus Book Review and Giveaway

December 10, 2017 / Inspiration, Main Menu, Product Reviews
Talking-To-Jesus-Giveaway

Talking To Jesus Book Review and Giveaway

I received two copies of Talking To Jesus for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review and to facilitate a giveaway. This post does contain affiliate links. #ad #talkingtoJesus

Talking-To-Jesus-Review

About Talking to Jesus: 

Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer by Jeannie Blackmer (November, 2017) blends fictional storytelling techniques with sound truths from stories in the book of Matthew. Her hope is to bring these stories alive in a way that can refresh our prayer life and give us a new praying perspective. Though, this is not a formulaic, how-to-pray book. Jeannie believes that prayer is a personal and unique experience for every person.

Each chapter opens right in the middle of the action and takes you all the way up to when the person has their encounter with Jesus. Jesus’s Words are never altered, nor is the dialogue from the person to Jesus. The author then moves you into a Personal Response space where you can see how our lives today mirror the problems of ancient days. Followed by scriptures to reflect on, and closes with an Observation area for you to answer.

Jeanne brings the reader in and so much so that you are able to put your name in the prayers making them so practical. Prayer is talking with God, but not forgetting the part where He talks back. My favorite verse that I would use for substituting my name in is: Jeremiah 1:5 which says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Father God was talking to Jeremiah the Prophet and like him I have doubts at times that I can be used and that Father actually sees me as special. My small substitution would be, “Before I formed Serena in the womb I knew you, before you were born Serena I set you apart; etc. See how easy that was and you can do it too.

Prayer is one of the easiest ways to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus which is something that I know I need more of. I need more of Him and Talking To Jesus can help.

Would you like a chance to have a copy for yourself or a friend? Here is your chance:

 

Talking-To-Jesus-Giveaway

What is your favorite Bible verse that you like to substitute your name in? 


The Santaland Diaries – Horizon Theatre

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I received complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. #ad 

Santaland-Diaries-Horizon-Theatre

The Santaland Diaries – Horizon Theatre

We can all use a laugh or two around this time of the year with all of the pressure and stress the holidays bring. I was so happy when I was given the chance to see the longest running play that they have, The Santaland Diaries now showing at the Horizon Theatre in Little Five Points in Atlanta.  For 19 years this play has ran at the theatre and this year they have Topher Payne, playwright and screenwriter, to play Crumpet.

Another hit with audiences, The Santaland Diaries takes place during Christmas time in Macy’s department store and it is the story of a man’s take on being an elf in one of the busiest cities in the world, New York City. He tells the story from start to finish of how he became an elf and his experiences and they are hilarious. Just imagine, everything you are thinking in your head you speak and is acted out freely. This play has so much humor, that even as the actors are acting they had to compose themselves so that they did not laugh with us. Awesome group of actors and I stress that Horizon Theatre never ever disappoints!!! Great theatre experience all around.

Santaland-diaries

About the Play

Welcome to this wicked wonderland and exposé of all things elfin. Out of work and middle-aged, a writer in need of holiday cash decides to employ his gift for insightful observation in the trade of elfdom at Macy’s Department Store. Besieged by bratty kids with overzealous parents and donning a humiliating costume, he finds that his cynical self and his elfin alter ego, “Crumpet,” are not exactly compatible. His remedy for the saccharine overdose he endures in his never-endingly exuberant job is to tell all – giving us a backstage pass to the secret lives of Santas and elves. Though definitely not your traditional stocking stuffer, this caustic Christmas carol is a laughter-spiked antidote to the holiday blues.

Sardonic, satirical and sarcastic, the merry misanthrope recounts the tale of his stint as a Macy’s Department Store elf named Crumpet. Adapted from David Sedaris’ best-selling book Holidays on Ice, this holiday tale is a modern classic, made famous when it aired on National Public Radio. (from Horizon Theatre)

Crumpet-Santaland

Tickets start at $25*

VIP
Upgrade to VIP for $15. VIP tickets include reserved seating and a complimentary holiday beverage. Platinum VIP tickets are available for $100 and include front-row cocktail table seating, complimentary holiday beverages and scrumptuous treats. Special discounts for groups of 10+. Call 404.523.1477 x111 for more information.

Have you ever seen The Santaland Diaries? What did you think?