Procedures: Different routines to think through BEFORE the beginning of the year.

Procedures: Different routines to think through BEFORE the beginning of the year.

Many of us are stepping into new roles this year. Whether it is our first year teaching at all, or our first year at a new school, or our first at a new grade level, being intentional at the beginning of the year, before you ever see a student, can save you so much time, and mental sanity throughout the entire year. The best piece of advice I got when starting my teaching career was to think out my procedures and make sure they are clear and intentional. After 7 years of secondary teaching, I have a list of student facing procedures that I revisit, and adjust each year to fit my context. I also revisit this list before the start of the second semester when students come back from winter break. I am sharing in hopes that it will act as a resource for you when you are starting your next school year!

  • Entering  the classroom
    • What noise level do you want them to be at? 
    • What do they do when they first walk in? 
    • Should they borrow their supplies before class? 
    • Where can they find the warmup? Where are you while all of this is happening?
  • Exiting the Classroom
    • What noise level do you want them to be at?
    • What needs to be done before the bell to make sure the room is ready for your next group of students? Ie: trash picked up from the floor, materials turned in etc.
    • Are there daily deliveries that students need to return before they leave?
  • Bathroom Passes
    • In a perfect world, how often would you want to allow students to use the restroom?
    • How will you track restroom usage for documentation to identify patterns if need be?
    • Will a student helper be useful?
  • Borrowing supplies
    • Where in the room will the supplies be located?
    • How will students be held accountable for returning your supplies?
    • What time of the class period will you allow students to borrow the supplies?
    • Who will be in charge of making sure supplies are returned (maybe student helper?)
  • Late Work Policy
    • First, what is your district/campus policy on late work?
    • How will you go back and check late work? Will it be turned in in a different location?
    • How will students communicate special circumstances to you?
  • Turning in assignments
    • If you have paper assignments, where in the room will students turn in these assignments?
    • What time of the class period will students turn in assignments due? (before the bell ringer? Part of your exiting procedure?
  • Phones and technology
    • First, what is your school’s policy on cell phones?
    • Where will students store their devices durning you class. (I find that it is helpful for students to have options when it comes to their phones. I let students put it in their backpack, face DOWN on the top right hand corner of their desk, or in the lock box charging station)
    • What are the consequences for unauthorized use?
    • What are the rewards for responsible use?
  • Incentive System
    • What opportunities are you going to provide for students to gain positive feedback?
    • How are you going to track it?
    • Who is going to be in charge of tracking it?
  • Student Jobs
    • What opportunities are you going to have for students to share responsibility over their learning space?
    • How are you going to rotate the jobs for everyone to get an opportunity?
    • How are you going to hold students accountable for doing their job well?
    • Where in the room are you going to track who has what job for that week?

Thank you!

I hope that this is helpful, and I wish you the best for the upcoming school year. Remember mind, body, and then classroom. In that order 🙂

Classroom Vision: 7 Questions to ask yourself to set the foundation of your classroom.

I truly believe that to have a classroom where all feel welcomed and valued, it must start with being intentional about the questions you ask yourself surrounding what you want to be true for your students. Here are 7 questions you can use to begin planning your year. I hope it helps!

How to Actually Eat What You Buy!

One thing I struggle with is eating what I buy. I don’t know how, but I would always end up opening Uber Eats, hitting up a drive through, or picking up take out even though I have TONS of food in my fridge. I was in denial until one day, I sat down with my […]

Classroom Vision: 7 Questions to ask yourself to set the foundation of your classroom.

Classroom Vision: 7 Questions to ask yourself to set the foundation of your classroom.

When I first started teaching, I felt overwhelmed. Here I was, straight out of college, with virtually no student teaching experience, staring at the reality that in a couple short weeks, I will be left alone in a room with 20 plus 7th graders and expected to keep them alive, and better yet, actually TEACH them something. I had no idea where to start. Thankfully, I had the guidance of older and experienced teachers who shared the best advice which I still utilize today. I needed to start with a vision.

Like all leadership positions, the tone, direction, and culture starts with you. In order for me to lead my students in the classroom, I had to first understand where I wanted to lead them. I had to ask myself, “What type of classroom environment and values do I want to work towards?” I found this effective. I am happy to say that today, my district student survey results are positive with many of the domains over the ditrict average and some of the domains were even over the state average. My students report that they feel respected in my classroom, and I accredit that to starting with these questions, and then working to build systems around them. 

I want to share this with you because I truly believe that to have a classroom where all feel welcomed and valued, it must start with being intentional about the questions you ask yourself surrounding what you want to be true for your students. Here are 7 questiong to ask yourself when you begin to plan your year. I hope it helps!

  1. What is the goal of the year? What do you want students to walk away with when they leave at the end of the year?

I want you to push beyond data and numbers in this question. The skills and habits you want them to leave with is important, but I would also push you to think about personally and professionally how you want them to feel. Because I teach 9th graders, a big part of what I want my students to leave with are skills to reflect and process emotions. This is something that will not only help them to focus on their work more effectively, but also help them to navigate life far beyond my classroom.

  1. How do you want students to feel when they come into your room?

This is a big one. Though it seems small, whether a student feels welcome, safe, and seen, plays a LARGE role in the overall classroom culture and if a student will be open to tackle new content and ultimately learn. Think of adjectives that you want your students to feel like when they come in. For me, I want my students to feel safe, seen, open, loved, and empowered. 

  1. How do you envision students engaging with the work?

Do you envision your students up, doing hands-on activities, and engaging with manipulatives? Do you see students regularly engaging in sustained silent reading? Students taking charge of their learning and exercising agency and choice? When you picture the perfect student engagement, what do you see? Since I am an English teacher, I see students tackling rigorous texts and engaging in dialogue about their ideas of how the text relates to their lives, and the world at large. 

  1. With what mindset do you envision students approaching problems and difficult situations in your classroom?

Learning does not take place unless you engage with something new and challenging. So, at least for me, approaching problems and difficult situations is the entire point of school! What mindset do you envision your students having when they approach work that may push them out of their comfort zone? What kind of self-talk do you want them to have? What types of resources do you want them to have access to? How do you want them to proceed when they get stuck?

  1. How do you want relationships to look like in your classroom? What language do you see them using with one another? How do you see conflict being resolved?

Conflict is unavoidable both in your classroom and in life. One of the most important lessons we can make space for in our classroom is how to approach conflict in a healthy way. It is imperative that we are intentional and explicit with students about how we handle conflict. In order to do this, you must flesh out for yourself, how do you see it taking place in the classroom? What level of voice? What language? At what point do they need to involve the teacher or a mediator? How do we move forward?

I would also push you to think through how you want students to celebrate each other and themselves? Do you have a unifying cheer? Are students leaving shoutouts on a shoutout board? Are you ending each classperiod with glows? Being intentional from the start can make celebrating and positive thinking a staple in your classroom. Especially if you teach secondary, don’t assume that this will develop on its own. Intentionality is key!

  1. What do you want your students to remember from your class when the year is over?

What do you want as the main take away? For me, it was the mindset of “No failure, only data,” And because I started intentionally from the beginning, by the end of the year, I had students quoting it to me when I found myself in a fixed mindset. I would like to think that is what they took with them moving on. What do you want to stick for your students?

  1. What do the STUDENTS want to be true in their classroom?

I saved this for last, not because it is the least important, but because you cannot ask this question until after the school year starts. Though you want to have a foundational vision when stepping into the year to build systems around, it is extremely important to get the student’s values and input as to what they want their classroom to be because in the end, the classroom is for them. I ask my students at the beginning of the year what their goals are and what they value. What they want to get out of the class, and I make adjustments to be sure that the students can see themselves reflected in our classroom.

After you think through all of the questions, you can begin to build systems around the answers. If you want students to feel seen when they come into your room, maybe build a system where you are at the door greeting them each class period, or start off with a emotional check in for the warmup before jumping into the work. If you envision your students collaborating, set your room up in groups. If you envision students dealing with conflict in a professional way, maybe introduce them to sentence stems and then incentivise their usage. When you know where you’re going, it is easier to know what systems to put in place!

THANK YOU!

I really hope these questions have been helpful. Remember, you are amazing, and so many students and parents are grateful for you even though, sometimes it might not seem that way. I will see you next time, and in the meantime, remember, you are enough.

5 tips to get you through school and a full time job! (or any busy season!)

I know that I have been away for a while, and that is because I had a busy season within my life. I planned a wedding and got married! I moved twice! I got into a graduate school program and earned my degree. All while still teaching 9th grade English full time. 

This blog, formerly known as everydaylicious, has truly helped me turn everyday delicious, but not just from a food standpoint. It helped me to find value outside of work and learn that making life amazing is a daily choice. Now that I have taken a step back, I realize that cooking and recipes are just a piece of the puzzle. I truly wish to bring joy to educators, and busy people alike. Moving forward my blog will be a platform to share lessons learned throughout life in hopes to help others nourish their mind and body to affect their classroom.

For my inaugural blog post, I want to share how I survived such a busy season with my mental health intact. Here are some tips I learned along the way. Hopefully this will help you with any busy season that you’re in.

This busy season culminated in me graduating from The University of Texas with a Masters in Educational Leadrship and Policy

1. Be Kind to yourself!

If you are not your cheerleader, then you very well may be your enemy. This seems like a simple tip, but I chose to put it first because without this, I feel like it doesn’t matter what you do because you will always feel like you are not good enough. I was hit hard with imposter syndrome when I started my school work. It took me a long time to realize that I need to talk myself up! I started putting positive sticky notes all over my house saying things like “You got this!” and “You go Glen Coco!” It worked to remind myself that I am doing my best, and that is enough which leads to more productivity and the push I need to complete tasks.

2. Lean on others!

You are not alone. Speak to your professors, lean on your classmates, lean on your friends and support system. I did my graduate program with a cohort, so it was easy for me to identify those who I can reach out to when I needed clarification or motivation, but even if you do not have a cohort to lean on, I strongly encourage you to find your people or person because they could be the difference between you giving up and finishing strong. Put your pride and competitive nature away, and ask for help!

3. The slow cooker is your best friend!

With a full time job, a new marriage, and a full time course load, finding time to eat is one of the most challenging things to do. I did not want to fall into a cycle where I am getting fast food every day because my wallet and my body could not handle that. I leaned on slow cooker meals to set it and forget it.The food would either be done when I woke up to pack and take to work for lunch, or I would set it in the morning, and come home to a meal just before I had to hop on zoom for a class!

4. Find a system that works for you!

I made the best purchase when I bought my ipad because I knew that I needed somewhere I could store all of my notes and reading materials. I downloaded the “good notes” app which allowed me to electronically take my lecture notes and import my pdf’s from the syllabus where I could highlight and make notes on them just as if they were paper. I also downloaded all of my books on kindle to read on my ipad. This made it convenient. If I had my ipad, I knew I had all of my study materials, and I didnt have to worry about leaving anything anywhere. 

I stress that you should also have a system for your personal care. If you do not make time for things that feed your soul, you will run out of steam before your reach the finish line. Take your mental, emotional, and spiritual health just as seriously as you take the health of your GPA. Schedule it in your calendar, and actually do it. If something comes up, you can move it, but don’t cancel it. Trust me it is worth it.

5. Lastly, Balance is the best option.

Sometimes I would have to say no to things that I really wanted to do. Sometimes I knew that I needed to press a little harder because I had overlapping deadlines, but if I did have to push harder, I would be intentional about my rest. Understand that there are ebbs and flows to your work. You cannot poush 100% all the time at anything and expect to endure with your mental health. Give yourself a plan for how you are going to set boundaries and say no to some stuff when it is difficult.

Thank you!

Remember, you’re amazing just for being you. I hope these ideas help you in your journey and remember, mind, body and then you can worry about the classroom.

How to Actually Eat What You Buy!

How to Actually Eat What You Buy!

One thing I struggle with is eating what I buy. I don’t know how, but I would always end up opening Uber Eats, hitting up a drive through, or picking up take out even though I have TONS of food in my fridge. I was in denial until one day, I sat down with my financial planner and faced the reality; I was spending HUNDREDS of dollars on food a month and, trust me, as a teacher, I could not afford to maintain that lifestyle.

So, I went on a mission to find out how to actually consume what I bought from the grocers. Now, I’m not perfect, and sometimes things still go to waste, but I will say since I’ve been more intentional about my food habits, I have improved. Improved enough to think my tips might be of service to you if your struggling like I was. I hope they aid you in your quest to make Everydaylicious!

Planning is Key!

  • Grocery shop in meals: When I planned out my meals before I went to the grocery store, it made me be more intentional with what bought. When I am staring at my fridge, I know exactly why I decided to buy an item which meant that I was far more likely to actually use it.
  • Be honest about your cravings: When I was honest about what I’m actually craving, then I could plan accordingly and keep those items, or an alternative, on hand. For example: I knew that I randomly craved sweets, so, instead of running out to get ice cream or a cookie, I made sure to keep an alternative in my home. I keep Larabars, bananas with chocolate, and agave to top rice cakes! Sometimes, I do plan to splurge, and I’ll buy Mochi ice cream, or cookies in cream. Not only does it keep me away from ordering or eating out, I also make sure that my splurge doesn’t fall into a junk food spiral because it was planned as a treat!
  • Plan to ‘treat yo’ self’: One of the motives that would drive me away from my pantry and to the delivery apps was that little voice in the back of my head saying, “I deserve to treat myself! I work hard! YOLO” (Yes, that reference is old, but I love Drake lol) So, it hit me one day that I should plan to buy items from the grocery store that would satisfy that impulse. Some of my “treat yo’ self” items include mochi ice cream (yes, I love mochi haha), special cheeses to make an at home charcuterie board, hot chocolate (because I am a child), and sparkling water (because I am also an adult).
  • HAVE FUN!: My last planning tip is to have fun! If I planned something new and exciting to cook, then I was far more likely to cook it because I was excited about eating the food. Whether I planned an old favorite or a new experiment, being excited about my meal made me more likely to cook and enjoy it!

Make it Visible

  • Post a list on the fridge: I love to post a list of all of my meals, snacks, and sweets on the fridge, so I don’t forget what I bought and when I feel like “I don’t have anything to eat” I can remind myself that that’s a lie! It’s simple, but it works!
  • Organize your fridge and pantry: Two years ago, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Yes, I read the actual book after binge watching her show Tidying Up on Netflix. Yes, I read an entire book on cleaning lol. What I learned is that if you can see your items, you are more likely to use them. So, I organized my spice racks, my pantry, and my fidge in a way that I could see and know how much of what I have. While “tidying up” I discovered that I had duplicates of SO MANY ITEMS. I didn’t need to buy canned tomatoes for weeks, and I had enough garlic salt to last me a year!

Practice Grace

  • One phrase that I like to use is, “No mistakes, only gifts.” I first heard this in Judy Holler’s book Fear is My Homeboy. (It is an impactful read, and I would definitely recommend you pick up a copy or download the audio book.) This saying is a reminder that mistakes are just data. This also applies to the kitchen! If you end up not eating what you bought and still running to take out, take a step back, evaluate what happened, and try again with a new gameplan. I am confident that eventually, you will find a system and a combination that works for you!

Thank you!

Again, thank you so much for reading. It fills me with deep joy and gratitude that people take the time to read my writing. I hope that this was encouraging and added value to your lives. As always, don’t forget to make Everydaylicious.

Slow Cooker “Gumbo”

Slow Cooker “Gumbo”

Okay, so I am going to start this post with the caveat that this is not a true gumbo. Being from the American south, with family roots in Louisiana, I cannot, in good conscience, call this a gumbo because I did not start with a traditional rue. I will, however, say that it was gumbo inspired, with ingredients and flavor profiles pulled from the delicious dish!

I decided to make this meal because it is a simple way to bring some comfort food to your weeknight. With the crock pot, it is truly a dump it and forget it until it is time to enjoy! Here is the recipe!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Chicken Thighs 4
  • Shrimp 1 bag frozen uncooked
  • Okra 12 oz cut and frozen
  • Diced Sundried Tomatoes 1 Jar
  • Tomato Sauce 1 can 15 oz
  • Diced Tomatoes 1 can 14.5 oz
  • Minced Garlic 2 tbs
  • Paprika 1/2 tsp
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cayenne adjust depending on spice tolerance
  • Oregano 1 tsp
  • Thyme 1 tsp
  • Bay Leaves 3

  • Slow Cooker

Step 1: Put Everything in the Slow Cooker

Put everything in the slow cooker EXCEPT the shrimp! The only thing that matters is that you put the chicken in first and pile everything on the top. Sausage is also an option if you would like to add it.

Step 2: Cook

Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 hours. After 6 hours, put the shrimp in and cook for another 30 minutes. Your chicken’s internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.9 degrees Celsius).

Step 3: Enjoy

Yes, I promise, it is that easy! Now you get to eat it! I like to put mine over rice!

Thank you!!

As usual, I would like to extend my thanks! I feel truly honored that you invited me into your kitchen and your life! Don’t forget to love yourself and make Everydaylicious!

Eating Well in a Hurry!

Eating Well in a Hurry!

This is a different kind of post for my blog, but I want to share more content that will be valuable to you and your journey to make Everydaylicious! If you did not know, my day job is teaching! I teach high school English in the Dallas, Tx area. During my career, I have coached basketball and cross country, sponsored multiple clubs, and worked with organizations to develop curriculum on top of all the responsibilities that come with the charge of teaching 120 nineth graders! All things considered; I understand the busy struggle.

Regardless of how busy you are, prioritizing your health is a nonnegotiable. Not only can you not pour from an empty cup, but you also can’t fill a broken one. Even though planning is key, I learned early on that meal prepping every week is not realistic or sustainable for me. If you are like me, spending countless hours every Sunday to cook and pack food for the week was draining; I missed having my Sundays to myself; I got tired of eating the same meal halfway through the week; finally, if I didn’t meal prep, I was screwed and off to the closest fast-food restaurant I went.

For all of these reasons, I decided to find a better way. Here are my quick tips and favorite go-to’s for when I am short on time but want to eat well!

My Favorite Pre-Seasoned Raw Meals

One of the most valuable eating tips I’ve learned is to utilize pre-seasoned meals. They usually don’t take long to cook, and it’s so simple that it’s nothing to throw them in the oven or pop them in a skillet after a long day’s work. It is usually cheaper than ordering food, and it is usually better for you! Here are some of my favorites!

  • Aldi’s Atlantic Salmon with Mediterranean Herbs: This is delicious! I throw the salmon filet’s in the oven or, if I’m really in a hurry, a cast iron skillet. I like to pair it with asparagus or microwavable steamed vegetables. You can also ustilize boil in bag rice and your favorite dressing!
  • Aldi’s Cilantro Lime and Tomato Basil Chicken: These are some of my favorite go to pre-seasoned chicken! You can use them in recipes for a quick protein without the hassle of seasoning and marinading!
  • HEB Meal Simple Meals: I will say that this is Texas specific, but if you are lucky enough to live near an HEB market, their meal simple meals are basically a meal prep you can just pick up! They have oven and microwave options. Most of the meals can be baked or microwaved in the containers they come in, so you can also save time on washing dishes!
  • Trader Joe’s Salads: Okay, so these aren’t “pre-seasoned” But I included it in this section because it serves the same purpose! I love to keep a couple of these salads in the fridge for when I am in a pinch. They come with pre-packaged and pre-portioned salad dressing and toppings.

Pre-Cooked Protein

Another thing I like to buy while grocery shopping is pre-cooked protein. This makes it easy to throw a meal together without much thought or prep! Here are some of my favorites and how I have used them in the past!

  • Good and Gather Grilled Chicken Strips and Shredded Chicken: You can find this brand in Target! You can really use this hack for almost any quick meal that requires chicken. I used it to make a taco bowl by adding canned black beans, green chilies, canned tomatoes, spices and boil in bag rice. It took 10 minutes to make and it was delicious!
  • Rotisserie Chicken: You can find rotisserie chicken in different stores, but my favorite is from Walmart! You can either eat it as is and pair it with a quick side, or you can use it to create quick recipes! The recipes are simple to find on Pinterest or a quick google search!
  • Pre-cooked Frozen Shrimp: This is another one that you can find all over the place! I love this because even though they are frozen, shrimp thaws very quickly if you put them in water! Similar to the chicken, you can eat them by themselves with cocktail sauce, use it on a quick salad, or add them into a recipe!
  • Aldi’s Fully Cooked and Seasoned Turkey Breast: If chicken isn’t your vibe, Aldi also has fully cooked turkey to add to quick recipes and salads!
Aldi’s fully cooked pre-seasoned turkey breast

Better Fast-Food Options

Let’s face it. There will come a time when you are going to eat fast food. In today’s society, it’s inevitable. Here is a list of specific meals that I like to eat. I will also include general tips when eating out, so you don’t need a recovery from your meal!

Specific Meals
  • Chipotle’s Burrito Bowls: This is great because it is fully customizable, and they have multiple options for protein and starches! They even offer cauliflower rice!
  • Panda Express Plate with Super Greens: I love that panda express has a super greens option! I try to avoid the classic orange chicken, even though it is my favorite, and go for black pepper angus steak or mushroom chicken.
  • Starbucks Protein Boxes: These are a little more on the pricier side, but they are my favorite when I am in a pinch or on a road trip. I like the eggs and cheese protein box, but they have a variety of options!
  • 7 eleven’s Salad and Wraps: Again, not a gourmet meal, but it is an understatement to say that these meals have saved my stomach on several occasions. They are awesome when I realized that I forgot to prep lunch. I can stop and grab a salad or a wrap, 2 bananas, some trail mix, and a sparkling water, and I am set!
Eating Out Tips
  • Look for grilled options: Many restaurants have grilled versions of your favorites. It’s a great way to avoid the breading that can cause the “itis” (the sleepiness that occurs after eating a carb heavy meal)
  • Choose veggies when possible: Many restaurants, including fast food, have options where you can choose fruit or vegetables for a side! This is an easy way to make fast food a little less taxing on your body!
  • Bring your own tortillas: This might seem silly, but my dad gave me this idea and I’ve since regarded it to be genius. He would bring his own low carb tortillas to a restaurant and order fajita’s! My favorite is Siete Food Grain Free Tortillas. You can find them at Walmart!
  • Bring your own condiments: There are so so many options for condiments today to fit your food lifestyle. It’s a simple way to customize your fast-food meal to fit your needs! (Even Beyonce brings hot sauce in her bag!)

The Frozen Meal

When all else fails for me, I reach for a frozen meal. However, today’s market has so many options, you can still make choices that fit your food lifestyle and treat your body with love! Here are some of my favorite brands that have a variety of options!

  • Healthy Choice Power Bowls: You can find these in almost any grocery store, and I love them because they come with a wide range of dietary options. Whether you are carb free, meat free, dairy free, or none of the above, you can find a bowl that fits your lifestyle!
  • Evol Frozen Meals: These bowls also come with vegetarian options. They also have gluten free bowls! My all-time favorite is their Fire Grilled Steak Bowl.
  • Amy’s Kitchen Meals: You can find these bowls in Whole Foods. These meals come with plant-based options, and they use organic ingredients. In addition to microwave meals, they also have oven meals in lager portions!

Thank you!

As usual, I would like to express my graditude for your support and time! I hope that this adds value to your life, and don’t forget to make Everydaylicious!

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Lobster Grilled Cheese

My goal when eating is to not require a recovery after each meal. For me, that means my usual diet doesn’t include dairy or bread, but the occasional indulgence is a must! This is why, on Valentine’s day, I decided to splurge and make this lobster grilled cheese. It was AMAZING. My fiancé took one bite and said, “I knew you loved me.” That is when I knew I had to share it with you. Whether your occasion is a birthday, anniversary, or just making it through the day (because sometimes it be like that). Here is the perfect recipe for celebrating and making dinner extra special!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Lobster tails (the amount varies on size of both the lobster and portion of grilled cheese)
  • Sour dough bread or a baguette
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Salted butter
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Minced Garlic
  • Salt

Making the Grilled Cheese

Step 1: Boil the Lobster

  • Add water to a medium/ large pot. The amount of water and size of the pot will depend on the size and amount of your lobster tails. You want to make sure that the water completely covers the lobster.
  • Salt the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add your lobster tail(s)
  • You will know that the lobster tail is done when the internal temperature is between 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit (57-60 degrees Celsius). The lobster will turn red as a hint!
  • Take the lobster out and let it cool!

Step 2: Assemble the Sandwich

  • Remove the lobster meat by cutting down the middle of the lobster tail with kitchen sheers. Roughly chop the lobster meat do your desired size. I like mine to be thiccc!
  • Place the lobster meat, gruyere cheese, and gouda cheese between two slices of bread. I used Trader Joe’s baguette, but you can also use any sour dough bread you please.

Step 3: Grill the grilled cheese!

  • Option 1
    • in a small bowl or ramekin, soften a couple table spoons of butter (the amount of butter does not need to be exact).
    • Next combine the softened butter with thyme, oregano, and minced garlic.
    • Then, spread the now garlic butter on each side of your sandwich.
    • Finally, Place the sandwich in a skillet on low-medium heat and cook until the bread has browned and cheese is melty goodness!
  • Option 2
    • Melt a couple of table spoons of butter in a medium saucepan on low heat.
    • Add thyme, oregano, and minced garlic to the skillet. Wait to add the minced garlic until the last possible second. Garlic will burn easily!
    • Finally, Place the sandwich in a skillet on low-medium heat and cook until the bread has browned and cheese is melty goodness!

Thank you!

There you go! A decadent, yet approachable, fancy pants celebration meal! I absolutely loved making and eating this dish. It helped to make my Valentine’s day special and I hope it can bring something special to your next celebration, even if that celebration is simply being alive because you are a gift and worth celebrating!


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Garlic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

This is a decadent way for you to prepare your brussels sprouts. A perfect addition to any meal to make it feel special and fancy pantsy! These were inspired by the brussels sprouts I got at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. I wanted to bring that luxury to my dinner table, and I think that I succeeded! Here is the recipe, so you can bring some deliciousness to yours!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Brussels Sprouts (I used 1 16 oz bag from Walmart)
  • 1 lemon
  • Butter 1 stick (salted or unsalted)
  • Olive oil
  • Minced Garlic 2 tbs
  • Bacon 4 strips
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste (optional)
  • Baking pan
  • Skillet
  • Cast Iron Skillet

Making the Brussels Sprouts

Step 1: Bake the Brussels Sprouts

  • First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit..
  • While the oven is heating, cut each brussels sprout in half, and spread them out on a metal baking sheet. Next, drizzle olive oil onto the brussels sprouts and make sure they are evenly coated. Then season the brussels sprouts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The garlic power is optional. I like garlic an awful lot, so the extra seasoning is my jam!
  • After seasoning, place in the oven for about 15 minutes. They do not have to be cooked all the way through because we are going to finish them off in the skillet!

Step 2: Create the Sauce

  • In a regular skillet, cook 4 slices of bacon until crispy then set them aside on a paper towel to drain. I used 4 slices, but if you would like more bacon in your brussel sprouts, you can adjust it to your desired bacon level. I mean, who doesn’t like more bacon?
  • In a separate cast iron skillet, melt butter, on low heat, until the bottom of the skillet is evenly covered. The amount of butter you use will depend on the width and depth of your skillet. I used about half a stick.
  • Once your butter is melted, add 2 tbs of minced garlic

Step 3: Combine

  • By now, your brussels sprouts should be ready to come out of the oven. Place them into your cast iron skillet.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces and add them to the skillet. You can use a knife, but I tore off the pieces with my hands!
  • Next, cover and cook on low-medium heat until the brussel sprouts soften and begin to brown! (tip, if your butter starts to smoke, you have the heat too high. Also, you can always add more butter to the pan while cooking to make sure your mixture doesn’t burn.)
  • Lastly, squeeze lemon juice onto the brussels sprouts at the last minute before taking the brussels sprouts out of the pan. This is very important! The acidity brings brightness to the rich buttery flavor. I used about half a lemon, but it is really to taste!

Thank you!

And there you go! A delicious and easy way to cook brussels sprouts. I paired my brussels sprouts with lamb chops and mashed potatoes for a delicious Christmas dinner! As usual, thank you so much for reading. It means so much to me that people take the time to read and try my recipes. Don’t forget to make Everydaylicious!

Honey Soy Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

Honey Soy Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

With a Soy Alternative Option!

Week night meals remain the conundrum that is centerfront of my food life. How do I find time to make quick, healthy, delicious, and cost effective meals? Many a times I found myself at a loss and opening my uber eats app as a remedy lol. This is why I decided to share this recipe with you. It is quick and easy and maybe it can help you delay the call of take out for at least one night!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 of a white onion
  • chives (optional)
  • minced garlic 2tbs
  • soy sauce (or coconut aminos) 1/3 cup
  • olive oil
  • iceberg lettuce head
  • salt
  • Pepper

Making the Chicken

This shredded chicken is great for all types of recipes! You can really use any sauce with it. I love to use BBQ sauce and make chicken sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!

Step 1: Boil the Chicken

  • In a large pot, add 4 cups of water, 2 tbs of salt, and a quarter of an onion and bring to a boil. The onion does not need to be minced. Just cut the half of an onion in half and add it to the water!
  • Carefully add the 3 chicken breasts to the water and let boil until the internal temp. of the chicken is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.. The cook time may vary depending on the thickness of your breasts. It took mine about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Shred the Chicken

  • Using tongs, carefully take the chicken out of the water and place it on a cutting board or plate.
  • Using two forks, shred the chicken. Using the forks, pull the chicken in opposite directions, and it should begin to come apart!
  • Set aside for later!

Making the Sauce

Step 1: Create the Base

  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat
  • Mince the other 1/4 of your white onion and add it to the skillet
  • Cook on medium heat until the onions become translucent (if your olive oil begins to smoke, turn down the heat)

Step 2: Add the Flavor

  • Add 2 tbs of minced garlic, a handful of chopped green onions, 1/3 cup of soy sauce (or coconut aminos for extra healthyness) to the skillet. Cook on low to medium heat until it begins to simmer.
This picture is using coconut aminos!

Step 3: Assemble

  • Add the shredded chicken to the skillet. You don’t have to cook it, but just stir to make sure the chicken is fully coated in the sauce.
  • Fill one leaf of ice burg lettuce with as much of the honey soy chicken you want!

Thank you!

As always, I want to thank you for reading and supporting me! I love cooking and posting recipes. It has been my outlet, my way to express my creativity, and my gateway to communities. Let me know if you try it and what you think! And as always, don’t forget to make Everydaylicious!

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Pumpkin Spice Waffles!

Pumpkin Spice Waffles!

Fall is for pumpkins spice everything and brunch is for every time of year, so why not make pumpkin spice waffles?! I made these waffles for a stay at home, best friends brunch and it was a complete hit, so I am sharing the fall goodness with you! Here is the recipe so you can soak in the season and brunch with the best of them!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment
  • all-purpose flour 2 cups
  • Baking Powder 2tsp
  • butter milk 1/2 cup
  • whole milk 1 cup
  • unsalted butter 4tbs (melted, but not hot)
  • eggs 2 ( separate the whites and yolks. Make sure they are room temperature)
  • vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
  • salt 1 tsp
  • sugar 1/3 cup
  • cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • ginger 1/8tsp
  • cloves1/8 tsp
  • allspice1/8 tsp
  • nutmeg 1/8 tsp

  • waffle maker
  • mixer (upright or hand)
  • hand whisk

Making the Waffles
Step 1: Make the Batter
  • Plug in your waffle iron and let it heat while you prepare the batter.
  • Whisk together 2 cups of flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, and 1tsp of salt in a large mixing bowl. Once evenly mixed, use your hands and push the mixture to the outer edges of the bowl, leaving a circular gap in the middle to pour your wet ingredients.
  • Pour 1 cup of whole milk, 1/2 cup of butter milk, 4 tbs of melted butter, and two egg yolks into the center of your dry ingredient mixture. Using a hand whisk, whisk together ingredients until they are evenly mixed.
Step 2: Make the Meringue
  • In a separate large, clean, mixing bowl, using an upright or hand mixer, whisk two room temperature egg whites until frothy (you should see bubbles and the mixture should just begin to turn white).
  • Once frothy, gradually mix in 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk on high until you create a meringue with soft peeks. This means that the egg whites should be the consistency of shaving cream!
  • Make sure your bowl is big, your eggwhites are room temp, and all or your utensils are clean as can be or your meringue will not set up!
Step 3: Combine and Cook
  • Add the meringue to the batter, and gently fold until you do not see any white in the mixture.
  • Then add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp of ginger, 1/8 tbs of cloves, 1/8 tsp of all spice, and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg.
  • fold until spices are evenly distributed.
  • Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray and pour your batter in! Follow the cooking instructions for your specific waffle iron! and there you go!

Thank You!

And there you go! Wonderful, seasonal waffles to share (or not lol that’s on you!) Happy fall, and don’t forget to make Everydaylicious!


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