The Dopest Chef TaTa’s Dope By Design Event Wows All


The Dopest Chef TaTa’s Dope By Design Event Wows All

I received a free ticket to the entrance of one of the hottest events in Atlanta in exchange for my honest and unbiased review and promotion of the event. #dopebydesign #ad #WofCApproved #WomenofCulinary

When you receive an invite to an event at an undisclosed location you know you are in trouble. Not the bad kind of trouble, but the good kind. After receiving an invite to a one of a kind event, I could not pass it up especially after hearing that a very talented female chef was going to be featured, some edible art and fashion. All of these topics are of great interest to me and I was not disappointed. Well I was when it came to an end, but enough wallowing in spilled milk. Let’s move onto the show!!

We are going to start off with the food and venue. What a venue? As I mentioned it was an undisclosed location so when I arrived there was a door that was open to some wonderful scents and upon walking down the hall you see all types of art.

You ask, “Who created most of the masterpieces featured?” I will gladly tell you Chef Ta Ta did. Yes, she created them and some if not all are edible. Shocked me too, and no, I did not try it to see. I just took her word for it and besides it looked too good to eat. Why ruin the picture right? :)


Food: 5 Courses that wowed are taste buds every step of the way

Course 1

  • Sir Le Dutchess
  • Jumbo lump crab over a light and airy dutchess potato drizzled with a smoked tarragon champagne butter sauce.


Course 2

  • Drunken Quail Ramen
  • Asian Spiced Rice noodles with a beer spiked sweet & spicy bouillabaisse topped with smoked Quail wings, Bok Choy, and Asian style vegetables.


Course 3

  • Palate Cleanser
  • Smoked Chocolate dipped lemon sorbet.


Course 4

  • Ying & Yang vs Surf & Turf
  • Duck fat crusted Black grouper over creamy masa porridge and Asian glazed smoked carrots vs Lamb Fritz smothered in smoked lobster corn bisque.

The-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllThe-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllThe-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllThe-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllThe-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllArt: Edible and Otherwise some of which from Chef Ta-Ta (like below)

The-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllThe-Dopest-Chef-TaTa's-Dope-By-Design-Event-Wows-AllFashion: Chef by day, Designer by Night

Ending the night, there was a fashion show featuring some of the Chef’s designs. See video footage below:


This last number was my favorite, hence me taking a picture of the entire back. This is one that I have to have in my collection. I am not even a Chef, but this will surely make me feel like on.

To learn more about Chef Ta-Ta check her out at

Everybody Needs A Big Green Egg Basics Class


I had the opportunity to attend the Big Green Egg Basics class in partnership with CulinaryLocal and learned quite a bit about the Big Green Egg and how it is really a piece of equipment that every one should have if they enjoy cooking.


After attending a couple of classes at the Big Green Egg, I can see how one should probably take the Basics class first. There is a lot of instruction that goes on from:

  1. Breaking down the components of the Big Green Egg
  2. Assembly
  3. How to light Your Big Green Egg
  4. Bringing the Egg Up to Cooking Temperature
  5. Setting up to Cook
  6. Cooking on Your Big Green Egg
  7. Thermometers
  8. Shutting Down the Big Green Egg

That is a lot as you can see, so I would highly recommend this class especially for those of us like me who want to purchase on and have to convince your loved one or to ones who purchased it but are afraid of it.

For this particular class, there was inside and outside instruction and as well hands on fun for the entire group if they wanted.

Chef Amanda, so elegantly shared her story with us, and then proceeded to share with us the components of the Big Green Egg, how to assemble it, how to light properly, bringing it up to the correct temperature and more. After her thorough explanation, I left feeling empowered and figured that I too can properly light my own.


Soon after, Chef Taylor took over and we began the prep work for our meals that day. YUM!!!

We had:

Grilled Donuts w/Brandied Peaches (not pictured)

Grilled Romaine with Maytag Blue Cheese

BGE Cosmic Steak

Cedar Planked Thai Chili Salmon







All of these things were delicious. All of them and what is so cool is that each participant leaves the class with the recipes and everything that was gone over in class. Talk about setting you up for success. You would be able to master the recipes so much so that you can change them up and make them more your own as you go.

Novice or Expert, you will learn something from these great group of people including their awesome volunteers. One of which I think I fell in like with (he likes the fat on the steak and the skin of the salmon, just like me)!!!!

Have you been to a Big Green Egg Class? There are several to chose from and see what is coming up next by going ⇒ here

Pork Clouds My New Party Snack

February 9, 2018 / Foodie, Main Menu, Product Reviews

Big Game last week, the Olympics and the Trumpet Awards this week, there will always be a reason for me to try new snacks. In fact, who am I fooling, I do not need a reason a game or an awards show to try new snack options. I was able to try Pork Clouds for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. #ad #powertothepork

Pork Clouds My New Party Snack

So I had my first bag just because I wanted to try them without anything, just plain in the raw, and the first one that I tried was Rosemary and Sea Salt. Yum. The rosemary is prominent and the salt is there but barely noticeable. I was fine with that and I was pleasantly surprised that no one has made an rosemary flavored pork rinds/clouds. This is a winner if you do like rosemary.

The second bag, I must admit I was calling myself being daring, so I did a little pico mixture and some cubed grilled chicken thigh and put it over the Malabar Black Pepper pork clouds and this was a great idea. I had never thought to put pico or chicken for that matter over pork clouds. This was a keeper as well, but wait there is more…


The third bag, Habanero Pepper, was I believe my favorite way to enjoy the pork clouds. I made vegetable beef soup and put some on top of the soup and oh my, so tasty. Hubby even enjoy this, so much so he put more in the soup and some on his next helping. So hot, but sooooo good!!! My favorite by far. Habanero-Pepper-Pork-Clouds


Pork Clouds are a delicious carb free alternative in the salty and savory snack category. They are cooked in olive oil, only 100 calories per bag and an awesome source of protein (over 11g per serving). All flavors are gluten free and free of added hormones, which makes these the perfect game day snack or perfect snack for any gathering or just to have instead of potato chips.

Have you tried Pork Clouds before? If so, what flavor was your favorite? 

Big Green Egg Tailgating Fun


I was given the opportunity to attend Tailgating on the EGG class at Big Green Egg Culinary Center, in partnership with CulinaryLocal and had an awesome time and left so full. Chef Amanda and Taylor greeted me with a smile and welcomed me to the class.

When you think of entertaining and cooking what do you usually think of? Ovens, stove top cooking and bbq grills, but it is time to expand your way of thinking when it comes to entertaining and cooking. I had a chance to learn it first hand by attending my first Big Green Egg class in Atlanta.

Prior to attending the class, I had no experience using or seeing a big green egg in person, by a friend of mine baked a pizza on it and I was suspicious until attending this class.




Bake, fry, grill and more on these cool devices, but I am not here to talk about that but about the amazing classes they have at the Big Green Egg Culinary Center. After getting lost trying to find the place I welcomed the beer, wine and other drink selections we were provided with.

Beware, after seeing the pictures below you will want to purchase one for yourself, and start making all of the delicious treats we were able to have during this class and everyone took food home with them.


Each of us had to share what experience if any at all we had with using a Big Green Egg. Me being a novice, I felt a little off, but I was relieved to find that the instructors Amanda and Taylor and the other assistants were very helpful and put me at ease.

There is a right way and a wrong way to open the grill. Who knew? Well the people who have purchased one of the eggs certainly know, but I was so glad that they shared tips throughout the class.

The class was hands on, so everyone had a chance to taste, mix and try the food as we went and that is like the best part to being in the kitchen right?



Chef Taylor shared about experience being a griller and big green egg user since the age of 10, she had a wealth of knowledge just in case you want to take part in a championship grilling competition. The ribs should bend but the bones should not come out of the meat (see pic below), if the bones come out then you instantly lost the competition. I will not find myself in a pro competition, but hey you never know I may change my mind and this knowledge may come in handy.





Upcoming class, Big Green Egg Basics, is perfect for people like me with little to no experience on the Big Green Egg and others to come. For more information, check out all of the classes on

What is the best dish you have created on the Big Green Egg and if you haven’t what is the dish you are most looking forward to trying one day on the Big Green Egg?



Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Crunchies

 I have received samples of Crunchies in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. #ad

Just in time to end National Oatmeal Month, I wanted to share what you can do with fresh dried fruit from Crunchies. It is okay to play in your food, just any kid you know and in my case you can ask me one of the biggest kids I know:) Crunchies has been mentioned in so many times in various Health and Fitness Magazines that once you try them you will see why. Great snack even for the kids.

I put a big S in my oatmeal using Strawberry Banana and decided to dress it up some and use it in my dessert. You do not lose any of the flavor with the fruit and or vegetable being freeze dried.


Brownies and vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry crunchies.


Crunchies comes in 8 varieties and it is nothing but pure freeze dried fruits and vegetables.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Crunchies


Picture and recipe from Crier PR

Prep: 10 mins / Cook: 1 hour / Total Time: 1 hour & 10 mins

8 Servings



1 (16 oz.) bag of dark chocolate chips (the higher the quality, the better)

¼ cup Crunchies Strawberries

¼ cup Crunchies Raspberries

¼ cup Crunchies Blueberries


  1. Pour chocolate chips in a saucepan and begin to cook on the lowest temperature while stirring constantly until completely melted.
  2. Remove from heat and pour in the center of a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Smooth out with a rubber spatula.
  3. Sprinkle on Crunchies fruit.
  4. Store in a cool, dry place until hardened.
  5. Allow chocolate to cool and completely harden before breaking apart. Now serve and enjoy!

These are very tasty and can be added to many recipes, get inspiration here → Inspire Me. Crunchies can be found at your local Walmart store, but to see where is the closest place for you to go here.

See how easily Crunchies can be incorporated into your Valentine’s Day meals? Have you tried Crunchies before?

Meaty Classes at Pine Street Market


I had the opportunity to attend the Whole Hog Class at Pine Street Market for free in partnership with Culinary Local in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I learned oh so much from Rusty #knowyourbutcher. #ad

Warning: A cut up animal picture is below.



If you do not like to see cut up animals, this class is definitely not for you.  


Have you always wondered where various parts of the pig come from? Have you wondered about the process of how bacon is made or pork butt? Did you know that the pork butt actually comes from the shoulder of the pig? I had no clue, but I found out that and more.

Some of these questions and more have crossed my mind, but I never thought that I would be able to get the answers upfront and personal. Education is the key if you ask me and I like to be educated especially about things I eat, so as mentioned, thanks to culinary local I was able to learn some things. True, I could have looked online and some of it is true, but what is better than getting the information first hand from a butcher who has been doing in the business for over 15 years.

First things first though, a waiver had to be signed before we could go to the back to start the class which made sense to me, but what I did not expect were the recipes for some tasty treats including bacon.

To me there could not have been a better teacher, so from start to finish Rusty Bowers, Whole Animal Craft Butcher, #knowyourbutcher, from Pine Street Market, showed about 10 of us from start to finish the breakdown of a pig. We saw everything from the cooler and the room used for curing and smoking the pork.


After showing us how to cut our pork chops, each one of us took turns to cut our own and when class was over we took some home with us and yes it was good if you were wondering. Each participant received as well 2lbs of bacon and it was good. Simply seasoned and oh so tasty.

If you were wondering if they had more than pork, they do, including lamb, chicken and turkey.

All of the staff helping Rusty were very very helpful and knowledgeable and it was kinda fun to see while the class was going some of his patrons’ watching the class take place (they are all future attendees I am sure). We learned about various types of pigs and this one came from Riverview Farms.

We were served various parts of the pig and all of them were moist and we received tips on how not dry out the meat, how long let certain pieces sit in brine, and more.  Rusty had one of his good friends there, Brad from Moody Tongue, that provided us with some refreshments that paired well with what we had.

Check out the pics of what we were able to try during our visit:






Would I pay for a class? Yes, I would and would not hesitate. How about you?

For information on the next class, coming up soon so stay tuned to for the upcoming classes.


Grilled Cheese & Beer Book – National Cheese Lover’s Day


Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of my most favorite things to eat anytime of the year. Why? Simply because I enjoy cheese and I do not discriminate. It is perfect in the summer with a refreshing beer and in the winter with a hardy soup. There seems to be no wrong way to make a grilled cheese sandwich and that excites me.

Just in time for National Cheese Lover’s Day, January 20th comes, Grilled Cheese & Beer: Recipes for the Finer Things In Life.


Menage-a-cinq-national-cheese-lover's-dayMénage à Cinq

3 slices of sourdough bread
2 slices of cheddar cheese
1 slice mozzarella cheese
1 slice of Muenster cheese
1 slice pepper jack cheese
1 slice provolone cheese
1/4 avocado

Directions: Grease one side of each slice of bread and place in a pan on medium heat, greased side down. Cover all three slices with cheese (in no particular order). Once the cheese is melted, put avocado on two slices. Slap it together and enjoy!

Beer Pairing: This is our ode to one of our favorite show, The League. Except, instead of it being Andre’s swanky wine bar, it’s a delicious sandwich paired with a light refreshing lager—one with some punch behind it. Otter Creek’s Citra Mantra is a pretty good bet if you can find it. If not, the guys on the show always prefer Stella Artois or Bud Light. Old post office boxes are a pretty sweet idea for a bar, though. Right?

Johnny-Apple-Cheese-National-CheeseJohnny Apple Cheese

2 slices whole grain bread
4 slices Adirondack cheddar cheese
1 granny smith apple
3 strips of bacon

Directions: Grease one side of each slice of bread and place in a pan on medium heat, greased side down. Place the cheddar on the bread so that all of the bread is covered. Thinly slice the granny smith apple and place it on one slice of bread so the cheese and bread are completely covered. Add bacon strips to the other slice of bread and cheese. Once the cheese is melted, put the sandwich together and tada! You are all set.

Beer Pairing: This one has a lot to work with for something so simple. A good European-style lager will do well to complement the sharpness of the cheddar and the smoky flavor from the bacon. Heineken and Grolsch would both do fine, but for those looking to accentuate the apple, why not try it with a cider? Although not beer, anyone trying this on a warm sunny day shouldn’t shy away from a nice Angry Orchard or Naked Flock to hit the notes a beer wouldn’t.

Surprise Giveaway, Enter to Win a Copy for Yourself:

Grilled Cheese & Beer Book Giveaway

About the Authors:


Kevin VanBlarcum is a brewer at Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY. After graduating from the University at Albany, he began pursuing a career in the brewing industry. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains, Kevin currently resides in Pine Hill, New York. James Edward “Eddie” Davis has honed his skills as a chef from Brooklyn, NY to the Catskills. Eddie fell in love with the culinary arts and began to hone his skills at a local favorite, The Caboose.

Pics and press release: Hatherleighpress

Have you ever celebrated National Cheese Lover’s Day? If so, what is the oddest item you put on your grilled cheese sandwich? 

5 Reasons to Run to First Watch Cafe


I have received a meal free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. #ad

First-Watch-OutsideRecently I was invited to First Watch to help promote a new coffee program that they have called Project Sunrise. More about that later, but I am so upset that prior to my visit I had not heard of First Watch and after tasting the food, I really could not understand why unless people were trying to keep the place to themselves. A hidden gem in Smyrna, GA (currently 7 total locations in Georgia), only serving breakfast, brunch and lunch and truly they do specialize in the three and they truly do not disappoint. My hope is to expose you to a new restaurant that you will dine frequently for years to come and can feel good because you are helping one of the many great community programs they are investing in.

There are 5 reasons to Run to First Watch and I will not prolong the reasons why:

 One Reason: Cinnamon Chip Pancake

Our classic multigrain pancake batter featuring seasonal cinnamon chips. So filling and so good.

Table-Shot-First-Watch-CafeSecond Reason: AM Superfoods Bowl and Fresh Fruit Juice (Vegan Options)

Coconut milk chia seed pudding w/fresh bananas, berries, blackberry preserves and housemade granola. Served with whole grain artisan toast topped with almond butter and Maldon sea salt.  Fresh fruit juice all day every day. One’s shown: Kale Tonic, Morning Meditation (my favorite) and Chilled Pear Cider.


Third Reason: Avocado Toast

Thick-cut whole grain toast topped with fresh smashed avocado, EVOO, lemon and Maldon sea salt. Served with basted eggs. Nuff said. Who does not like avocado toast?


Fourth Reason: Million Dollar Bacon

Hardwood smoked bacon with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne and maple syrup drizzle. So yummy. I wanted to eat all of the bacon on the table.


One of my most favorite pics. I had to see the bacon and avocado again. Million-dollar-bacon-first-watch

 Fifth Reason: Community

First Watch is always doing something in the communities they have locations. Project Sunrise involves high quality coffee grown and harvested by a group of women in the Huila region of Colombia. The coffee has medium body, hints of cherry, orange, toasted nuts, honey, milk chocolate and caramel, which makes for a fantastic complement to our menu’s variety of fresh breakfast dishes.

Project-Sunrise-First-WatchCheck out just one Community Outreach that First Watch is part of:


Have you been to First Watch Cafe? If so, what is your favorite dish or let’s face it dishes? 

Tracy’s Gourmet Salad Dressing and Marinade Review


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



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.


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

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.
Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti
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
  • 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
  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?