Andouille Sausage Breakfast Tacos // The Speckled Palate

For whatever reason, I always accidentally (read: not-so-accidentally) purchase extra andouille whenever I’m whipping up Shrimp and Grits… and my husband and I always go back and forth on what to do with the leftovers.

A few months back, I had the brilliant idea to make breakfast tacos with the remaining links of sausage, and the resulting breakfast dish blew both of us away.

As someone who wasn’t raised eating crazy hot dishes, the tacos were spicy enough, but not too zing-y to overwhelm and set fire to my tastebuds. For my husband, who adds hot sauce to most everything I cook (though I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at adding more heat to my recipes over the years), the tacos were well-seasoned and spicy enough. So much so that he didn’t need any additional pepper or hot sauce.

These breakfast tacos are a great compromise between the spice-lover and the not-so-good-with-spice-but-trying-super-hard person.

Andouille Sausage Breakfast Tacos // The Speckled Palate

Depending on the sausage, the heat of these tacos varies. Sometimes, it has been perfectly balanced for me, while other times, it’s been a bit of a mouth-on-fire situation.

However, as a dear friend’s dad told me a long time ago after adding an entire bottle of Tabasco to a dish he cooked for us, sometimes, you gotta send those tastebuds into overdrive and enjoy the resulting endorphin rush.

Either way, I absolutely recommend trying this dish, especially if you love a little spice!

Here’s how you can make your own:

Andouille Sausage Breakfast Tacos
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Cajun/Tex-Mex
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 links andouille sausage (or any hot pork sausage)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 small sweet peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 5 eggs
  • Tony Chachere's Salt-Free Creole Seasoning, to taste
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Flour tortillas, warmed
Instructions
  1. Remove the sausage from the casings, and add to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion, sweet peppers and jalapeño. Set aside.
  3. Break the eggs into a bowl, whipping together with a fork. Season with the Tony's, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Once the sausage is cooked through, add the onion and peppers to the pan. Cook until the veggies have softened slightly.
  5. Pour in the eggs, stirring lightly every few moments to scrape the cooked eggs off the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the eggs are scrambled to your desired consistency.
  6. Measure out the filling into the warmed flour tortillas, and enjoy warm!

Andouille Sausage Breakfast Tacos // The Speckled Palate

When you have leftover ingredients, what kind of recipes do you make to feature them?

{ 0 comments }

Chicken Tortellini Soup

by Erin on August 18, 2014

in baking

Crock Pot Chicken Tortellini Soup // Erin Skinner from The Speckled Palate for My Cooking Spot

Yes, I realize it’s the middle of August, and the dog days of summer are upon us.

Yes, it’s a H-O-T outside. I live in Texas. And even though I’m currently visiting Tennessee, it’s still crazy warm outdoors and sweltering enough for me not to want to be outsi

Yes, I know soup during the summertime sounds unnatural…

But sometimes, a girl’s gotta have soup.

I’m over at My Cooking Spot today sharing a recent favorite recipe of mine… Chicken Tortellini Soup. This gem is cooked up in the slow cooker so you don’t have to sweat over the stove as you create this homemade twist on classic chicken noodle soup.

I promise it’s well worth it… even if you’re skeptical of soup in the summertime.

{ 0 comments }

Welcome to another week of the That’s Fresh Friday Link-Up! We’re so happy that you’re hanging with us and sharing your fabulous posts!

It’s Thursday evening… and this week feels like it has been both incredibly long and short. Ever had a week like that? I cannot wait for tomorrow, as I’ll be driving to my hometown to spend a week with my family, and while I’m not necessarily looking forward to the 7+ hour drive from my house to Tennessee, but it’ll all be worth it. … Any exciting plans for y’all tomorrow and/or this weekend?

So, with that said, let’s get ready to party!

If this is your first time with us and don’t know what That’s Fresh Friday is, it’s a weekly link-up hosted by Southern Girl Blog Community and seven other amazing ladies. You can come and share all of the “freshest” posts from your blog and meet some new friends through the event. The only thing that we ask is that you read our simple rules below and help spread the word about our party.

First, let’s meet the girls who let us hang with them every week:

That's Fresh Friday Link-Up Hosts and Co-Hosts // The Speckled Palate

Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Southern Girl Blog Community :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Chene @ Prototype Mama :: Facebook :: Bloglovin’ :: Pinterest

Co-Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Kathryn @ Up To Date Interiors :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Aleshea @ Glitz & Grits :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Instagram

Erin @ The Speckled Palate :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Candyce @ The Sewcialite :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Michelle @ Diva With A Purpose :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Check out my favorites from last week:

It should come as no surprise that I’m highlighting some screen-licking beautiful recipes, right? Because that’s how I roll…

Individual Apple Berry Cobbler from O Taste and See // That's Fresh Friday Link-Up at The Speckled Palate

Individual Apple Berry Cobbler from O Taste and See

Classic Lemon Butter from Eliza Ellis // That's Fresh Friday Link-Up at The Speckled Palate

Classic Lemon Butter from Eliza Ellis

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers from Rachel at My Cooking Spot // That's Fresh Friday Link-Up at The Speckled Palate

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers from Rachel at My Cooking Spot

Blueberry Poke Cake from Swanky Recipes // That's Fresh Friday Link-Up at The Speckled Palate

Blueberry Poke Cake from Swanky Recipes

Triple Berry Cobbler from The Wetherills Say I Do // That's Fresh Friday Link-Up at The Speckled Palate

Triple Berry Cobbler from The Wetherills Say I Do

Be sure to check out what my other co-hosts are digging from last week’s party. All of our features have been pinned to our That’s Fresh Friday feature board on Pinterest: Go check them out here.

The Rules:

Link up anything with the exception of giveaways, reviews and blog/link parties.

Follow ALL Hosts & Co-hosts via one of the methods listed above.

Visit at least two links before yours and mingle with some of the other bloggers! I’m sure you’ll find a new bloggy friend!

Display our link up button somewhere on your blog (sidebar or post) or link back.

That's Fresh Friday Link-Up LOGO // The Speckled Palate

(Find code HERE.)

Link up as many posts as you like. (Please link directly to your post!)

Spread the word about the freshest Friday link-up via Twitter, Facebook, etc.!

The more, the merrier. And be sure to use the hashtag ‪#‎thatsfreshfriday‬ to spread the word!

Every week when the link-up goes LIVE, Chene (one of our lovely hosts) sends out a ‘heads up’ email to our That’s Fresh subscribers. If you would like to be added, click here.

Now it’s time to PARTY! We can’t wait to see what you guys have been up to!

{ 9 comments }

I realize that it’s already almost mid-August, and we traveled to Cape Cod at the beginning of May… but I couldn’t help take a trip back there through the photographs from the weekend we spent there.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

Some of our Nashville friends, who are from the Northeast, decided to tie the knot in the town of Chatham on the Cape. We were excited about the wedding, as we were thrilled for these friends! An added bonus of the wedding was that our Nashville friends are scattered across the country, and we hardly ever get to see them these days. We’d also never been to Cape Cod before (and I’d never been to Massachusetts).

So we booked our travel, and we flew into Boston the day before the wedding with some Nashville friends, who also live in Dallas.

Once we landed and gathered our bags, we rented a car and began our trip down to the Cape.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

We landed around lunchtime, and I texted an old friend about places to eat on the way, as she lives in the area and her family used to vacation on the Cape when we were kids.

We ended up stopping in Plymouth for lunch, and we traipsed into The Lobster Hut, where my friend and I got lobster rolls and our husbands ordered fried clams and shrimp dishes from the seafood hut.

I’d never had a lobster roll before this moment, and it lived up to the hype I’ve been hearing for years. The lobster was so fresh, the dressing was light, the bun was buttery and crunchy. It was absolutely what I needed after a morning of traveling.

We walked around for a few minutes after lunch, checking out the area, then hopped back into our cars and continued down to Chatham, where we were spending the weekend.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with the other friends from Nashville. A large group of the friends decided to rent a home instead of staying at a B&B, and we joined in, figuring it would be a blast to stay in the same place with so many people who we hardly ever see.

That evening, a large group of us dined at The Wild Goose Tavern. Since we were near the ocean, I was intent on eating all kinds of seafood, and I ordered a scallop dish, which was delicious. Another friend ordered the lobster mac ‘n cheese… and when she mentioned I could have some, I tried some without hesitation. It didn’t disappoint, either.

Later that night, we headed down the main street of town and met up with everyone at the post-rehearsal dinner gathering at a local taphouse, then migrated to a bar, drinking, dancing and chatting the night away before a large contingent of the group trekked back to our rental to late night.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

The next day, we relaxed. Our friend made a decadent breakfast for those of us staying in the house. (Real talk: I’ve been trying to figure out a way to recreate this dish for The Speckled Palate. So far, I haven’t had any success.)

It was Derby Day, so a few of us gathered around the television and watched coverage for a bit.

Around lunchtime, I trotted down the street to Chatham Cookware for a delightful sandwich called the Dinghy, which boasted chicken salad with toasted almonds, lettuce, tomato and BACON. Yes, bacon. And y’all, I don’t know if I can have chicken salad without it anymore.

We sunned ourselves on the lawn that afternoon until it was time to prepare for the wedding.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

But first, fudge!

One of the girls who’d vacationed on the Cape before went into town to visit her favorite candy store, the Chatham Candy Manor, and I asked her to get me some fudge after she raved about the sweet treat. She brought me back peanut butter chocolate… and it was divine.

I may or may not have gobbled up a good portion of this as I was fixing my hair for the wedding.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

We walked down the street to the wedding, which was held at a beautiful old church in town. It was gorgeous, and the ceremony was lovely. Once the couple exchanged vows and were pronounced man and wife, we hopped on buses to take us to the reception, which was equally stunning.

The resort was breathtaking, and we marveled at the views of the ocean, munching on various appetizers during a cocktail hour as we mingled with other guests and old friends.

We eventually sat down for a four-course dinner of Creamy Potato Soup with Wisconsin Cheddar, Smoked Duck Ravioli with Truffled Veal Reduction, Forest Mushrooms and Stewed Tomatoes and a Petite Filet of Beef with a Butter-Poached 1 1/2 lb. Shelled Lobster.

There are no words to describe this, other than I sometimes dream about that ravioli. It was so good, in fact, I didn’t have room for dessert. And y’all should know that I always have room for dessert.

Once the dinner hour came to a close, a multitude of toasts were made, the couple shared their first dance and dances with their parents, then the dance floor opened up to the guests. We danced away the evening, singing and laughing throughout.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} // The Speckled Palate

The next morning came entirely too early, as we celebrated our friends’ wedding late into the night, but we had the best time in Cape Cod. I absolutely cannot wait until we get to go back. Hopefully, that’ll happen sometime soon!

And now, it’s giveaway time!

my cooking spot

Hi everyone! My Cooking Spot and its contributors have put together a giveaway for a chance to win 51pc Chefmate Kitchen Gadget Set !

We all got together and wanted to share our love of cooking by hosting a fabulous giveaway!

cs_logo

Below are the contributors who helped put this giveaway together. Check out their fab blogs and see all the amazing recipes these ladies have done.

Be sure to enter to win!!

Enter today in the Rafflecopter entry form below.

What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014} + a Giveaway // The Speckled Palate

Contributors – Clockwise

Jana: Life Could Be a Dream BlogRachel: Oh Simple ThoughtsMarcella: Marcella Roses

Erin: My Cooking Spot - Natasha: Gather Around Our TableMadison: Wetherill Say I Do

Jen: Jen’s Favorite Cookies - Nathalia: Creatively ConsciousMeme: Meme IngeErin: The Speckled Palate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ 8 comments }

Mini Peach Pies

by Erin on August 11, 2014

in baking, dessert, fruit

Mini Peach Pies // The Speckled Palate

Peaches, y’all.

This girl can’t get enough of ‘em, and we were lucky enough to get some of the stone fruit beauties in our CSA box recently from a local farm.

They were the sweetest peaches I have ever consumed.

Mini Peach Pies // The Speckled Palate

While I absolutely adore peaches in my morning cereal and ate several this way, I decided we needed make something equally delicious with the additional fruit.

And since I was craving pie that day, well, pie it was!

This recipe started off as a regular-sized pie idea, but after fighting with the dough (which is really good, btw), I decided Mini Peach Pies would be the best thing since the dough wasn’t as malleable enough to be rolled out.

Problem solving, y’all. And I’m working on fixing the dough so we can have a regular-sized peach pie, so don’t y’all worry.

Mini Peach Pies // The Speckled Palate

We hosted some friends over for dinner that evening. We ate our meal outside, then we devoured a good portion of these Mini Peach Pies and hardly leaving any leftover Mini Peach Pies.

They were that good, y’all. And I think next time I make these babies, I’ll be adding a little bourbon to the peach mixture to jazz it up even more.

Here’s how you can make your own:

Mini Peach Pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet Mini Peach Pies, topped with ice cream, are the best way to celebrate the summertime favorite fruit!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • For the Sweet Pie Dough
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup uncooked old-fashioned oats (not the instant kind)
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, in ¼" cubes, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, chilled (but not too chilled, as it will not break apart in the food processor)

  • For the Pie Filling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups peaches, chopped and with their juices
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Make the Sweet Pie Dough: In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, almond milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In your food processor, measure in the flour, oats, powdered sugar and salt. Process until combined.
  3. Once the dry ingredients have been combined, add cubed, chilled butter and the chilled coconut oil, processing in 1 second intervals until the mixture looks like wet sand and is starting to come together. Pour in the yolk mixture, processing until just combined.
  4. Turn out the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap it securely before transferring to the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Make the Peach Pie Filling: In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then add the peaches and their juices to the pan.
  6. Measure in the dark brown sugar, cinnamon and the salt, then sauté for about 3-5 minutes, or until the peaches are just tender.
  7. Set aside until it's time to make the mini pies.
  8. Prepare the Mini Pies: Grease a mini muffin tin, and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  9. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator, and roll into 24 1" balls. Press the dough balls into the mini muffin tin, flattening with your thumb and pushing the dough up the sides of the tin.
  10. Bake the pie crust for 20 minutes.
  11. Once the pie crusts have been removed, pressed any air bubbles down with a spoon, then fill with the peach pie filling.
  12. Return the muffin tin to the oven, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  13. Remove from the mini muffin tin, and let cool for a few moments.
  14. Serve warm, topped with ice cream!

Mini Peach Pies // The Speckled Palate

What do you like to make using fresh peaches?

{ 8 comments }

Welcome to another week of That’s Fresh Friday! We’re so happy that you’re hanging with us and sharing your fabulous posts!

Before we get into the link-up, could we talk about how it’s already August?! Where in the world has this year gone, y’all? It’s been an awesome summer, but it’s been a quieter one over here than I would like. However, I plan on getting back on my blogging game as the fall rolls in, and let me tell y’all, I absolutely cannot wait for some crisp, cool autumn weather. Too bad won’t be until October for us to feel that here in Texas… but a girl can dream, right?

So, with that said, let’s get ready to party!

If this is your first time with us and don’t know what That’s Fresh Friday is, it’s a weekly link-up hosted by Southern Girl Blog Community and seven other amazing ladies. You can come and share all of the “freshest” posts from your blog and meet some new friends through the event. The only thing that we ask is that you read our simple rules below and help spread the word about our party.

First, let’s meet the girls who let us hang with them every week:

That's Fresh Friday Hosts and Co-Hosts // The Speckled Palate

Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Southern Girl Blog Community :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Chene @ Prototype Mama :: Facebook :: Bloglovin’ :: Pinterest

Co-Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Kathryn @ Up To Date Interiors :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Aleshea @ Glitz & Grits :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Instagram

Erin @ The Speckled Palate :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Candyce @ The Sewcialite :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Michelle @ Diva With A Purpose :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Check out my favorites from last week:

It should come as no surprise that I’m highlighting some screen-licking beautiful recipes, right? Because that’s how I roll…

Berry Salad with Sugared Almonds from My Anything and Everything // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Berry Salad with Sugared Almonds from My Anything and Everything

S'more Brownies from Something Sweet // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

S’more Brownies from Something Sweet

Crunchy Baked Onion Rings from Life with Garnish // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Crunchy Baked Onion Rings from Life with Garnish

Broccoli-Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms with Dijon-Cheddar Sauce from Erica's Recipes// That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Broccoli-Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms with Dijon-Cheddar Sauce from Erica’s Recipes

Be sure to check out what my other co-hosts are digging from last week’s party. All of our features have been pinned to our That’s Fresh Friday feature board on Pinterest: Go check them out here.

The Rules:

Link up anything with the exception of giveaways, reviews and blog/link parties.

Follow ALL Hosts & Co-hosts via one of the methods listed above.

Visit at least two links before yours and mingle with some of the other bloggers! I’m sure you’ll find a new bloggy friend!

Display our link up button somewhere on your blog (sidebar or post) or link back.

That's Fresh Friday LOGO // The Speckled Palate

(Find code HERE.)

Link up as many posts as you like. (Please link directly to your post!)

Spread the word about the freshest Friday link-up via Twitter, Facebook, etc.!

The more, the merrier. And be sure to use the hashtag ‪#‎thatsfreshfriday‬ to spread the word!

Every week when the link-up goes LIVE, Chene (one of our lovely hosts) sends out a ‘heads up’ email to our That’s Fresh subscribers. If you would like to be added, click here.

Now it’s time to PARTY! We can’t wait to see what you guys have been up to!


{ 12 comments }

Welcome to another week of That’s Fresh Friday! We’re so happy that you’re hanging with us and sharing your fabulous posts!

If this is your first time with us and don’t know what That’s Fresh Friday is, it’s a weekly link-up hosted by Southern Girl Blog Community and seven other amazing ladies. You can come and share all of the “freshest” posts from your blog and meet some new friends through the event. The only thing that we ask is that you read our simple rules below and help spread the word about our party.

First, let’s meet the girls who let us hang with them every week:

That's Fresh Friday Hosts and Co-Hosts // The Speckled Palate

Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Southern Girl Blog Community :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Chene @ Prototype Mama :: Facebook :: Bloglovin’ :: Pinterest

Co-Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Kathryn @ Up To Date Interiors :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Aleshea @ Glitz & Grits :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Instagram

Erin @ The Speckled Palate :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Candyce @ The Sewcialite :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Michelle @ Diva With A Purpose :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Check out my favorites from last week:

It should come as no surprise that I’m highlighting some screen-licking beautiful recipes, right? Because that’s how I roll…

Strawberry Loaf with Lemon Glaze from La Cuisine d'Helene // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Strawberry Loaf with Lemon Glaze from La Cuisine d’Helene

Blackberry Lemonade Popsicles from Home. Made. Interest // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Blackberry Lemonade Popsicles from Home. Made. Interest

Blueberry Peach Chicken from Latte Everyday // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Blueberry Peach Chicken from Latte Everyday

Lemon Pudding Cupcakes with Strawberry Lemon Frosting from Life with Garnish // That's Fresh Friday at The Speckled Palate

Lemon Pudding Cupcakes with Strawberry Lemon Frosting from Life with Garnish

Be sure to check out what my other co-hosts are digging from last week’s party. All of our features have been pinned to our That’s Fresh Friday feature board on Pinterest: Go check them out here.

The Rules:

Link up anything with the exception of giveaways, reviews and blog/link parties.

Follow ALL Hosts & Co-hosts via one of the methods listed above.

Visit at least two links before yours and mingle with some of the other bloggers! I’m sure you’ll find a new bloggy friend!

Display our link up button somewhere on your blog (sidebar or post) or link back.

That's Fresh Friday LOGO // The Speckled Palate

(Find code HERE.)

Link up as many posts as you like. (Please link directly to your post!)

Spread the word about the freshest Friday link-up via Twitter, Facebook, etc.!

The more, the merrier. And be sure to use the hashtag ‪#‎thatsfreshfriday‬ to spread the word!

Every week when the link-up goes LIVE, Chene (one of our lovely hosts) sends out a ‘heads up’ email to our That’s Fresh subscribers. If you would like to be added, click here.

Now it’s time to PARTY! We can’t wait to see what you guys have been up to!


{ 8 comments }

The Liebster Award

by Erin on July 28, 2014

in personal, the details

The Liebster Award // The Speckled Palate

So. I recently received an award recently, and I wanted to share it with y’all this morning, as I’ve now received it MULTIPLE times now, and I clearly need to get my act together.

Kendra from Fashion Stylings by Kendra, Kathy from Up to Date Interiors AND Rachel from The Country Contessa tapped me for the Liebster Award!

Thanks so much for this honor, ladies! And apologies on being so slow to get this posted… but late is better than never. Right? Right.

If you’re unfamiliar with this blogger award, here’s what you need to know…

For the Liebster Award, you need to:

  • Mention the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. (I’m using Bloglovin as my metric here.)
  • Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

The Liebster Award is a great way to connect your readers with other bloggers you read and love, and I’m so excited to have received this!

Without further ado, here are the facts about me.

11 facts about me:

(1) I could probably eat Veggie Fried Barley weekly, if not daily. So incredibly delicious.

(2) When I laugh really hard, I sometimes snort. I’ve noticed some people find this endearing while it completely freaks others out. So if you find this endearing? Let’s be friends.

(3) I have one sister, and she is the best. Our extended daily text message conversations and phone calls have gotten me through so many sticky situations and several boring days.

(4) One day, I aspire to write a novel.

(5) And maybe a cookbook, too.

(6) I really enjoy a good whiskey. (21-year-old me would be cringing if she read this sentence, y’all.) 

(7) Pop Culture Happy Hour and NPR’s All Songs Considered are my two favorite podcasts. I particularly love how both recommend new pop culture to check out, whether it’s a song, album, book or TV show and how more often than not, I find several new things I adore.

(8) Along the same lines, I have eight — yes, eight – books on my nightstand from the library. And I am determined to read them all before they’re due back. (2014 yearly goal on books? I’ve already surpassed you by A LOT, and it’s only July! Huzzah.)

(9) This food blog is solely responsible for one of my current freelance jobs, and I consider that quite cool.

(10) As a freelancer, I work from home unless I’m on assignment elsewhere. Because of this, my dog knows all the secrets (which are not secrets at all) about my work, as I like to talk throughout the day. She also knows of my penchant for singing at the top of my lungs while I complete certain tasks. Sadly, she’s never impressed.

(11) If I’m not in the mood to cook, I generally want to eat Thai or Chinese food. So random, but oh-so-delicious.

 

And now, get comfy, grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s get down to the questions I was asked…

Kendra’s 11 questions answered:

(1) What is your favorite clothing store in the whole wide world?
Honestly? Either Anthropologie or J. Crew. I don’t shop a lot, but I love everything from both of those stores.

(2) Would you rather wear all black or a pop of color?
A pop of color. Always.

(3) If you could only wear one or the other, which would you choose? A purse or watch and jewelry?
A watch and jewelry, simply because those can add such fun brightness and texture to an outfit.

(4) Favorite celebrity?
Jennifer Lawrence. She’s pretty fantastic.

(5) Boots or sneakers?
Boots for wearing in the world, sneakers for running.

(6) For a gift, would you rather be given flowers or chocolate?
Is it greedy if I ask for both? Because while I absolutely adore chocolate, flowers are lovely to have around the house… and they tend to last a lot longer than chocolates…

(7) Favorite clothing trend of 2013?
As someone who is absolutely not trendy, I’ve got nothing on this…

(8) You can only wear one item of make up on your face for a day, which do you choose?
Mascara.

(9) The Notebook or A Walk to Remember?
Neither? … I mean, if I had to choose, I suppose I would pick The Notebook. But be forewarned: I’ll cry about it, and that won’t be pretty.

(10) Favorite brand of make up?
I feel like the worst girl ever because I don’t really have a favorite brand. I have various products from various brands and like them all.

(11) Chevron print top or Chambray top?
Chambray top, por favor.

 

Kathy’s 11 questions answered:

(1) What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Sadly, I check my e-mail. In an ideal world, I’d like to climb out of bed, chat with my husband over a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast, then get started with my day. Unfortunately, I do not live in said ideal world, and I am not an early riser. In fact, it basically takes an act of Congress to get me out of bed at a decent hour these days.

(2) Do you have any quirky talents?
My elbows are double-jointed, so I can extend my arms in strange ways. Somehow, I don’t think this is a talent.

(3) What inspired you to start a blog?
I started blogging anonymously when I was in college, and the idea behind that blog was simply sharing the ridiculous things that happened to me. Because at the time, all kinds of crazy stuff was occurring in my life, and I wanted documentation of it all. When I decided to shift away from that blog and start a food blog years later, I had shared a few recipes at the anonymous blog, and they went over well. Since I loved to cook, I wanted to share what I was making, and it snowballed. 

(4) What is your favorite hobby (outside of blogging)?
Does running count? Because I think that’s what I do the most of in my time outside of blogging. If not running, then definitely reading, because I’ve been doing a ton of that, too.

(5) Do you have any pets?
Yes! Sweet Lucy Belle, my Border Collie mix pound puppy. She’s fabulous… and this blog is named after her. (Check it out on the FAQ page if you don’t know the story!)

(6) How many places have you lived?
Lots and lots of places. If we’re talking physical homes, 17 so far in my 29 years. (Thanks, college.) If we’re talking cities, five.

(7) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Happy, healthy and with a few babies. I hope I still enjoy cooking and baking and trying new things in life, too!

(8) If you could have any car, what would it be?
My answer is boring: A Porsche Cayenne or any Volvo SUV. It’s also incredibly expensive, sooooooooo this dream won’t be happening just yet (or ever?)…

(9) What is your favorite meal?
If I’m looking for homemade comfort food, my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. A pulled pork BBQ sandwich from Corky’s or the Commisary in Memphis if I’m looking for BBQ comfort food. (Because homemade comfort food and BBQ comfort food are different and are equally delicious.)

(10) Make up or all natural?
A combination? I hardly ever wear makeup, and when I do, it’s incredibly natural-looking.

(11) What is your favorite color combination?
As an LSU grad, I’ve gotta say purple and gold.

 

Rachel’s 11 questions answered:

(1) What’s the most difficult dish you’ve ever made?
I was really intimidated when I made homemade pasta for the first time. Was it actually a challenge? No. But was I terrified I was going to mess it up? Absolutely. Sometimes, the simplest recipes are the ones that strike fear in my heart because I know the simplicity translates to oh-so-good, and I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. (This is the same reason it took me nearly 5 years to perfect my grandmother’s pie crust. FIVE YEARS, y’all.)

(2) What’s the hardest part about blogging?
Creating a schedule and STICKING to it! I’m trying to get better this year at this, but it’s tough. Strangely enough, I have no problem in my professional life following a calendar right down to the minute, but in my personal life? Ha.

(3) What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked by a reader?
Oh, goodness. I get a lot of garbled, they-don’t-make-any-sense questions from random folks who find my site. I don’t have a strange question that stands out in my mind, so that’s good, right?

(4) What’s your favorite meal?
See #9 above on Kathryn’s questions.

(5) Tell me one story about food from your childhood or past.
When I was a kid, my family baked on holidays. For different holidays, we made different recipes. For July 4th, we baked Tea Cakes and decorated them in patriotic colors and would deliver plates of the cookies to friends, family members and neighbors. For Christmas, it was Peanut Blossoms, Chocolate Crinkles and Potato Chip Cookies, and we’d share them with everyone we knew. Because of this, I bake on holidays and do my best to spread the love with butter and baked goodness accordingly.

(6) Describe your blog in one sentence.
The Speckled Palate is all about the kitchen adventures of a girl who has a speckled palate in every sense of the word, loving a little bit of this and that from every culture and trying to share this sense of adventure through recipes. 

(7) What do you hope people will say about your blog?
That it’s someplace they come for different and interesting takes on more traditional (and some less traditional) recipes and a place that doesn’t just provide good recipes, but also shares stories.

(8) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I studied abroad in Tuscany, so I’d love to go back there and live for another summer or longer if I got to bring my husband and pup along for the adventure.

(9) Name a time that you were embarrassed.
I used to get embarrassed all the time, and I’m happy to say that the older I’ve gotten, the less embarrassed I get. However, there are still moments where I want to crawl into a hole. Here’s one: When I was in college and working for the student newspaper, I walked into the newsroom to witness a conversation that still makes me cringe. Working in a newspaper is a great way to be exposed to all different kinds of opinions and people, and this experience was no different… but sometimes, you can learn too much about your co-workers.

(10) What goals do you have for your blog in the next year?
A more consistent posting schedule. Figuring out a way to work with other bloggers more. Connecting and making more friends in the blogging world, which is growing like crazy and has so many wonderful folks.

(11) Do you have any hidden talents?
People who didn’t know me as a teenager probably would not realize I’m actually quite good with music. I took violin lessons for 13+ years, taught myself how to play the guitar with the help of a friend and actually have a decent singing voice. But I don’t think this really counts as a hidden talent…

 

My nominees are…

(1) Laura from Laura’s Mess

(2) Kelly from Hidden Fruits and Veggies

(3) Alli from 26 Dishes

(4) Jayne from Tenacious Tinkering

(5) Alyssa from The Baking Yogi

(6) Katherine from Katherine Swims

(7) Megan from Latte Everyday

(8) Nancy from Neatly-Packaged

(9) Natalie from Cooking Quidnunc

(10) Eileen from Ham Pie Sandwiches

(11) Erini at Adorkable Me

 

My questions for my nominees…

(1) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

(2) What is your favorite dish to make for yourself? What do you like to cook for company? Are they the same thing?

(3) What is the most difficult dish you’ve ever cooked?

(4) When you’ve had a bad day, what’s the first thing you do when you get home?

(5) When you’re working, what kind of music do you listen to?

(6) Favorite mindless TV show… go!

(7) If your life was turned into a movie, who would you want to play you?

(8) If anyone in the world was going to bring you a dish they cooked specifically for you, who would you want? And what would you like for them to make?

(9) What is the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

(10) What is your favorite hobby?

(11) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

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Welcome to another week of That’s Fresh Friday! We’re so happy that you’re hanging with us and sharing your amazing posts!

If this is your first time with us and don’t know what That’s Fresh Friday is, it’s a weekly link-up hosted by Southern Girl Blog Community and seven other amazing ladies. You can come and share all of the “freshest” posts from your blog and meet some new friends through the event. The only thing that we ask is that you read our simple rules below and help spread the word about our party.

First, let’s meet the girls who let us hang with them every week:

That's Fresh Friday Hosts and Co-Hosts // The Speckled Palate

Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Southern Girl Blog Community :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Chene @ Prototype Mama :: Facebook :: Bloglovin’ :: Pinterest

Co-Hosts for That’s Fresh Friday:

Kathryn @ Up To Date Interiors :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Aleshea @ Glitz & Grits :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Instagram

Erin @ The Speckled Palate :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Candyce @ The Sewcialite :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Michelle @ Diva With A Purpose :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

 

Be sure to check out what my other co-hosts are digging from last week’s party. All of our features have been pinned to our That’s Fresh Friday feature board on Pinterest: Go check them out here.

The Rules:

Link up anything with the exception of giveaways, reviews and blog/link parties.

Follow ALL Hosts & Co-hosts via one of the methods listed above.

Visit at least two links before yours and mingle with some of the other bloggers! I’m sure you’ll find a new bloggy friend!

Display our link up button somewhere on your blog (sidebar or post) or link back.

That's Fresh Friday LOGO // The Speckled Palate

(Find code HERE.)

Link up as many posts as you like. (Please link directly to your post!)

Spread the word about the freshest Friday link-up via Twitter, Facebook, etc.!

The more, the merrier. And be sure to use the hashtag ‪#‎thatsfreshfriday‬ to spread the word!

Every week when the link-up goes LIVE, Chene (one of our lovely hosts) sends out a ‘heads up’ email to our That’s Fresh subscribers. If you would like to be added, click here.

Now it’s time to PARTY! We can’t wait to see what you guys have been up to!


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Runner Food: Strawberry Orange Sunrise Smoothie // The Speckled Palate

Blanket statement: Running in the summertime in Texas is challenging.

Rephrase: Running in the summertime in Texas makes me want to pass out.

Real talk: I generally avoid running in the summertime here, but I can’t not run this summer.

Why, you ask?

I’m running three legs of a big relay race in September. It’s with the same group of folks I ran with last spring from L.A. to San Diego. And this year, we’re running from San Francisco to Napa Valley. It’s going to be gorgeous, and I am so excited. But to run this race? I’ve gotta train, and according to my coach, I should train up to 15 miles to complete my three legs with ease. Which means I’m fully intending on a half marathon in August, aptly named The Hottest Half. (YOLO?) And then 15 miles the week after.

I started getting back into my training routine a few weeks back, joining two of my friends on an evening social run with a local running club… and about halfway through, after we’d already detoured off the street a few times to be lightly sprayed by sprinklers, we began discussing our favorite smoothies.

For the rest of the run, we discussed smoothies. Our favorite fruits. What vegetables we liked to add. Where we liked to purchase them. What we liked to do when we made them at home.

And I got hungry. (Surprise, said NO ONE ever.)

Runner Food: Strawberry Orange Sunrise Smoothie // The Speckled Palate

So when I arrived home, I whipped up a sweet smoothie that I’m calling the Strawberry Orange Sunrise Smoothie. It requires two ingredients and is kind of embarrassing to call a recipe, but it’s absolutely delicious and oh-so-chilly that you might get brainfreeze. (I did when I made my first one!)

Strawberry Orange Sunrise Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast (or Post-Run Treat!)
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups orange juice
  • 1 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh)
Instructions
  1. Measure the ingredients into your blender.
  2. Blend the strawberries and OJ into a consistency of your liking.
  3. Enjoy immediately!

What kind of foods do you crave when you’re running?

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