Zucchini Skewers

Hey There,

Today’s recipe isn’t really a recipe at all. It’s really just two ingredients beautifully arranged on a stick. Since the recipe is simple, quick and to the point, i’ll make this post the same.

Check out the “recipe” below and consider whipping this up when company unexpectantly drops by or when you need to take something into work for pot luck lunch.


5-6 zucchini thinly sliced salami

  1. Using a spiralizer, spiral the zucchini using the largest “ribbon” blade.
  2. Place zucchini on the skewers in an alternating pattern.


I served these skewers with a lemon dill mayo but a lemon, pepper and olive oil vinaigrette would also pair nicely.

Dress Up Your Table With These Spring Inspired Plates

Hey There,

Spring is finally here!!! For a while, I didn’t think it was going to come. I mean we had snow flurries here in Richmond during the second week in April and I know that some parts of the country were experiencing snow storms up until the last week in April. I feel that each year spring comes later and later and that the spring season gets shorter and shorter. It seems that it goes from snowing one day to blazing hot the next. I guess that’s global warming for you! We definitely need to start being a lot kinder to our plant. But anyway, I digress. So since spring finally decided to show up, I thought that it would be fitting to highlight some of my favorite spring dishes.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Pier One and Anthropologie and picked up a few new dishes to add to my collection. I try to do this every couple of seasons just as a way to spruce up my tablescapes at my family dinners.  Since the real-life kitchen on Wellington is small and devoid of any real storage space, I have to be very selective with what I buy. I try to pick plates that can be used for multiple seasons. I try to pick pieces that are inexpensive, and I like to pick pieces that compliment my existing dinnerware (which is white and gold) so I usually just buy salad plates. When I host dinner, at least 12 people come every time. Now I love my family and I love entertaining but I certainly don’t want to spend a ton of money buying 12-18 new plates all of the time. So while I was out, I picked up the plates below. They all remind me to spring and I can’t wait to play around with them. As you can see from the pictures below, I was in a “blue” mood. I think the blue dishes will pair nicely with my white/gold dishes and make for an interesting table. Now, there were only a few quantities of each of the blue dishes, so I am hoping to pick up a few more plates and create a mismatched tablescape. I’ve never created a mismatched table, but I have been studying them on Pinterest. I am hoping that I can pull it off! I don’t want it to end up looking haphazard and messy so if you have any suggestions on how to create the perfect mismatched tablescape then, by all means, please share your wisdom with me.

Be sure to check out my new additions below and tell me what you think. Also, tell me from where you like to purchase your spring inspired tableware. Oh, and check out my Pinterest board, “Dressing the Table” to see some of the other spring-inspired dishes that I love. If I had room to store them all and an unlimited amount of money, I would honestly buy every single dish pinned on that board and then I would host dinner parties and family dinners every week.

See you in my next post!

~Samantha J.


Baptist Pound Cake

Hey There!,

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it looks like I’ll be hosting Mother’s Day lunch/dinner again. I’m the only woman in my family with no kids, so I guess the task falls on me, that is until I have kids of my own. I’m still working on this year’s menu, but I do know that it will include this 5 flavor pound cake we like to call, “Baptist Pound Cake”. Now I made a version of this cake last year for Mother’s Day lunch but I have since then improved the recipe…at least I think it has improved. I simply added cream cheese to the recipe and I think it makes all the difference. The cake was moist before, but since adding the cream cheese it has become ever more moist and dense. It’s just so perfect.

Now, if you all grew up in “black church” or maybe you just attended a southern church, you’re all too familiar with pound cake. It seems that whenever there was an afternoon program (or afternoon pro-grim, as the old people say) it could be guaranteed that the following six things would be on the repast menu, 1) pound cake 2) after dinner mints 3) cookies 4) punch (preferably red or green and the kind that comes frozen that you just pour ginger ale over) 5) salted peanuts and 6) sheet cake. Some older church lady usually made the pound cake and it was always dense moist and perfect. This cake is just like that. The flavor is great, the texture is great and eating it just takes you back to fun times and times of fellowship (at least it does for me).

I think another about this cake that makes it so great is that you can dress it up or down and top it with almost anything you can think of. Sometimes it’s good all on its own, but other times a little icing, some fruit, nuts, ice cream or whipped cream and help take it to the next level. This cake is just so versatile and it’s just perfect for every occasion.

So if you love pound cake like I do and if it conjures up childhood memories like it does for me, be sure to check out the recipe for “Baptist Pound Cakes”. Be sure to tell me how you like to top it or if you like to eat it plain.

See you in my next post.

~Samantha J

Baptist Pound Cake

1 brick cream cheese at room temp
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks of butter (salted) at room temp
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 tea lemon extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter until it is light and whipped. About 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the salt and sugar and continue to beat for another 3-5 minutes until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl crack 6 eggs. Add them one by one to the mixer while on low speed making each sure each egg is well incorporated.

Add the flavorings.

Add the flour to the mixture in three parts.

Generously butter and flour two loaf pans. Divide mixture into the two pans.

Bake for 30 45 minutes or until done.

Top with your favorite topping and enjoy.



Januray Wish List

Hey There,

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to buy things. It’s something about getting something new that created a huge rush for me. I think that feeling may be characterized as a shopping addiction, but oh, well! LOL. This year, I am working to be more disciplined with my purchases and how I spend my money. I’ve come to realize that you can’t have everything you want and that there has to be some balance. Even if you can afford something and there is nothing stopping you from getting it, it is sometimes good to pass it on just to practice discipline and self-control.

Although I am working on curving the amount I buy, there is nothing wrong with still dreaming and adding things to my wishlist even though I know that I am not going to get them for a while. So with that being said, below is my “Wish List” for January. These are just a few of the items that I’ve had my eye on.

Vitamix Blender – Now that I am cooking more and experimenting with different dishes, I’d like to upgrade my blender. Right now, I am using an older version of the Ninja blender and to be honest its still works pretty well. It gets the job done and does a pretty good job of blending everything smoothly. However, if you’ve ever used a Vitamix you know that NOTHING compares to a Vitamix. My mom has one, and from time to time I use hers and my goodness it is nice! This magical machine blends things down until they are as smooth as butter! SO NICE! Now, I know that these blenders are well worth the price but it just seems ungodly to spend $300 to $500 on a blender. After all, three hundred dollars can cover a couple of bills or be used to support a very worthy cause!  Maybe one day I’ll bite the bullet and get one. Perhaps for my birthday in April, but for right now, this will remain on my wishlist for a while.

Staub Cast Iron Tomato Cocotte – I think these cast iron dishes are just the cutest and most festive things in the world. As you all will come to learn, I swear by cast iron! I just love how heavy and sturdy it is and I truly feel that it makes your food taste 1000% better than it would be if it were cooked in a conventional dish. Cast iron wears well and if it has an enamel coating its a dream to clean. I first found these Staub dutch ovens a few years ago. I actually found a pumpkin shaped one in Marshall’s maybe three years ago but I decided to pass on it because of the price. This year, I decided to buy one but I couldn’t find one at Marshall’s. The William Sanoma here in Richmond had the pumpkin shaped dish during the fall season, but every time I went to buy it, I talked myself out of getting it. I think it was the price that kept tripping me up. Just like the Vitamix, I know this dutch oven is well worth the price, but it is just something about spending $150 for a dish that seems a little extravagant. This dish, like the pumpkin shaped one, is priced around $150 so this too will probably stay on my wishlist for a while but I honestly think this would make the perfect spring and summer dish. Actually, this would work all year long. The tomato shape would be appropriate for spring and summer and the red color would carry you through the fall and winter. This actually may be a better buy than the pumpkin dish! However, at $150, I’ll have to think about this for a while longer before I decided to add this to my cart.

KitchenAid Pasta Roller and Cutter – This is another item that I have been wanting for a while. Actually, I’ve wanted this ever since I got my KitchenAid stand mixer about 6 years ago. As you’re probably guessing, the price is what stopped me from getting this.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to make pasta and these attachments will really come in hand when I get ready to learn. I’m thinking to make it a little easier on my pockets, I’ll maybe buy one attachment at a time. I just saw that Amazon is selling one of the attachments for about half the price of the set so that may be an option.

Staub Mini Round Cocotte – These are just so cute and little and they would be perfect for family dinners. They could be used to hold sauces or mini casseroles.

So guys, that’s whats on my wish list this month! Be on the lookout for February’s list next month, but in the meantime, please share with me some of the things on your wish list. Oh, and be sure to check out my Pinterest board, Oh I Just Gotta Have It! to find out what other items I’ve been eyeing.

Until next time,


January 2018 Wish List


Staub Tomato Dish

KitchenAid Pasta Roller and Cutter Trio

Staub Mini Round Cocotte


Chicken Salad

Hey Guys,

How’s life?!? What’s new with you all? These past few weeks have been crazy busy since my workload at work has dramatically increased because of the upcoming holiday. I work in the grocery industry and we’re always preparing for a holiday. Once one passes we are gearing up for the next one. Although I’ve been working super long hours I’ve still managed to enjoy the summer weather and spend some time with family and friends. Just yesterday, a few of my mom’s relatives dropped in for a quick visit. We all met at my grandmother’s house and just sat and talked. It was a nice and easy visit and it was really nice to catch up with everyone.

Now as you know when family stops by you better have something offer them. Since they were coming in the middle of the day and only staying a short while my grandmother asked me to make some chicken salad. Now, I made this chicken salad for Mother’s Day lunch back in May and it turned out great. This time, the chicken salad turned out great again! The first time I made this dish, I roasted a whole chicken stuffed with roasted garlic, fennel, celery, butter and a TON of herbs. This time I opted for store-bought rotisserie chicken since I was short on time. You couldn’t even taste the difference. I just shredded the chicken with two forks added in the other ingredients and combined and voila I had the perfect chicken salad.

Be sure to check out the recipe below and let me know what your quick go to dish is to make when family stops by on short notice. As always, leave a comment.






Shred Chicken


Add in celery, shallots, seasonings


Add in mayo, combine and top with almonds

Chicken Salad

2 whole chickens
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup celery
1/2 shallot
1/4 cups of mayo
1/2 cup honey roasted sliced almonds

1. Shred chicken using two forks

2. In a bowl combine chicken, seasonings celery and shallots.                                                       *Feel free to adjust seasoning according to your taste*

3. Add in mayo and combine.                                                                                                                  *Feel free to adjust the amount of mayo according to your taste*

4. Top chicken salad with sliced almonds




And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2: 15-17