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Jalapeno & Cheddar Pulled Pork

There is nothing I like more than feeding my friends and family.  Lately, I have been trying to curb my desire to make too much food.  I’m getting better.  You see, in the last 1.5 years, my husband and I have lost over 120 lbs (that’s together, not individually).  Sometimes it is surprising to think about the quantity of food we used to eat.

Now, I make meals, not dishes.  Here’s an example.


  • 16 oz pulled pork
  • 1 Tbsp bacon grease
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic
  • 7 mushrooms (large, sliced)
  • 3 jalapeno’s (2 chopped, 1 sliced)
  • 1 cup beef bouillon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cornstarch to thicken
  • 6 slices of bacon


I had some homemade pulled pork in the deep freezer.  I reheated that in the sous-vide until it reached 195.  While that was re-heating, I added a Tbsp of bacon grease to my large cast iron skillet.  Then I added about 6 cloves of garlic and 7 large mushrooms and chopped up 2 jalapeno’s.  I took the 3rd jalapeno and sliced it to add at the end, as a spicy topper/decoration.  Once the mushrooms and jalapeno’s were ready, I added a cup of beef bouillon (for gravy, yum).  While that was warming, I mixed the heavy cream with about 1/4 tsp cornstarch and added it that to the pan.  I let the gravy continue to cook while I prepared 2 lunches and 2 dinners.  Each meal was 4 oz.  I topped each one with grated cheddar cheese and cooked it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375.  When it came out, I added gravy, the bacon and the raw jalapeno slices.

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Heavy Duty Cart – Rubbermaid

Is love to strong of a word?  I don’t think so.

We purchased a Heavy Duty Rubbermaid Cart so we could transport equipment and ingredients into our commercial kitchen, when we manufacture Mama’s Sauces.

We had a 50th birthday party at a hotel and we had so many decorations, food and liquor that we took the minivan and brought the cart.  We used it to load and unload all of the party supplies and turned the cart into a wheeled bar table. It was perfect.

Practical Uses:

  • Travel – gets stuff in and out of the car faster (if you have the room to take it)
  • Construction cart
  • Wheeling bar table (we put a tablecloth on it and used it as a bar)
  • Moving
  • Large grocery trips
  • Manufacturing Sauce
  • Self Storage – This cart is much nicer than the carts provided
  • Data Center moves

The cart is sturdy and easy to assemble.  After 5 years it still rolls smooth!  Great for moving everything around on a daily basis and it can hold up to 500 pounds, 250 lbs on each level.  That’s pretty impressive! #Carts, #Sturdy, #Cartlove, #Storage, #Rubbermaid


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The BEST water bottles

Ever have a bottle tip over and start leaking your beverage of choice all over the floor of your car, carseat, laptop, important business papers, onto your clothes?  I have, what a mess and always at the worst time.

We found these Contigo bottles about 1.5 years ago and we LOVE them, which is why I have to tell you all about them.  Not only do they look fabulous and have many different color lids, they autoseal, are leak and spill proof.

Adult Contigo Bottles

  • Two sizes: 20 oz Contigo Bottles and 24 oz Contigo bottles
  • No straw or nipple mouthpiece, they can get nasty, you know what i’m talking about
  • Keeps ice for up to 28 hours
  • Snap lock and a handle, for easy carrying
  • Multiple colored tops
  • Fits in a standard cup holder
  • Cleaning is a breeze with this bottle brush for $4.99 from Oxo
  • Lid is dishwasher safe – top shelf only
  • Hand wash the bottle – to preserve the vacuum seal

We have 4 bottles with different color lids to help tell them apart, the lids are universal and fit both the 24 and 20 oz sizes.

General Uses:

  • Pool
  • Car
  • Boat
  • Nightstand, the cats used to drink from our water glass and would frequently tip it over in the middle of the night
  • Travel, when traveling by plane, we bring them empty and fill them up once we get to the otherside of security

Tips and Tricks:

  • Release the pressure inside before you drink (especially if you are flying).  Push the button, pop the top, then drink
  • Don’t use them for hot liquid
  • Don’t get the painted/colored stainless steel versions, they are pretty, but the color ends up peeling off


Our grandkids (2 & 4 years old) loved ours so much, we looked for a kids version and THEY HAD ONE!  Look at the color options and Mama loves them too.

Kids Contigo Bottles

  • 100% BPA free
  • 14 oz Contigo kids have multiple color options (2 or 3 packs)
  • Dishwasher safe – top rack, both pieces
  • Easy to use
  • No straws or leaks, they autoseal and are spill proof
  • Fits in the cup holder on the car seat or backpacks

We have tried 54 oz Bubba’s and they are nice and big and have big wide bottoms, but if they knock over, they leak and they don’t fit into your car cup holder.  The Tervis and Yeti tumblers, keep your beverage cold, but the straw hole is going to leak when it tips over.

Contigo also has a great customer service department and warranty.  My lid broke, I called, and they sent me a replacement right away!

Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Note: This post contains affiliate links which provide me with a small commission when you make a purchase through those links. The profits go to the support of my family and this blog. Thank you!
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Low Carb Pancakes

Recipe’s, they are so awesome.  Everyone has their own tastes and make changes to suit their own liking.  Here’s one of my favorites!

Low Carb Pancakes

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oz cream cheese (full fat)
  • 2 oz heavy cream
  • *2 Tbsp coconut flour 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • splash of pure vanilla

Blend it all together, let it rest for a minute or two, grease the skillet, the first time… and go… no need to add butter between each batch, unless it sticks.  This recipe made about 14 little pancakes, perfect for two.

  • You could use fine almond flour as well, but if you do, use only 1 oz of heavy cream.  Add more cream to thin the batter/pancake.

Rasberry Topping

  • 6-8 oz Rasberries
  • 8 grams Swerve

Note:  This post contains affiliate links which provide me with a small commission when you make a purchase through those links. The profits go to the support of my family and this blog. Thank you!

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Rasberry Parfaits – Low Carb

Who doesn’t love a good dessert?  I have been on a low carb/keto friendly diet since July of 2017.  I love a sweet treat at the end of the day.  Honestly, I have so many less cravings, but when I do, this is usually my go to:

Rasberry Parfaits

Serves two
  • 1 8 oz container of Mascarpone Cheese (room temperature) (cream cheese can be used
  • in it’s place)
  • 2 cups fresh rasberries
  • 1/3 cup Swerve (a natural sweetener that does not spike your insulin level and no bitter aftertaste)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Blend all of this together with a mixer until the heavy cream sets and then gently layer cheese mixture, rasberries, cheese mixture, rasberries.  The nice thing about this recipe, is that it is so versatile.  Here are a few flavor ideas, if you should get bored with this recipe.

You only need about a tablespoon to satisfy you (think fat bomb).

Flavor ideas

  • Chocolate:  Melt a square or two of unsweet chocolate and add it to the mix.
  • Mocha:  Add a shot of espresso or cold brew coffee shots and a square of melted unsweet chocolate
  • Almond:  Use almond extract instead of vanilla or add it in addition too.
  • Almond Joy:  Use almond extract, add a 1/4 cup toasted unsweet coconut
  • Cheesecake:  Use cream cheese instead of mascarpone
  • Pecan crumble topping – saute some pecans in butter and swerve, dash of cinnamon
  • Fancy – mix rasberries with some balsamic vinegar and a touch of swerve (to taste)
  • Reeses:  Add 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter and some melted unsweet chocoloate

Be creative and explore your cravings, please feel free to add any flavor profiles that you try and love.

Toasted toppings.

  • 1/4 cup coconut or pecans (or both)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp Swerve

Toss these together over heat until they begin to toast, let cool and sprinkle on top of your dessert.  Enjoy! #fatbomb, #lowcarb, #dessert, #swerve, #sweettooth, #rasberryparfait

Note:  This post contains affiliate links which provide me with a small commission when you make a purchase through those links. The profits go to the support of my family and this blog. Thank you!

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Have you ever thought about buying a Vacuum Sealer?

Have you ever wanted a vacuum sealer?  It helps you keep food longer, prevents freezer burn and cuts down on food waste.

We bought our first sealer when we participated in the pride parade as a food vendor.  We made some great sandwiches, chicken parm, meatball, and cooked some pork loin for yummy boneless spare rib sandwiches.  We sold a lot of food, but I have a tendency to overdue it!  WHAT?  ME?  Oh yeah, so anyway, we had leftovers a plenty.  We brought some of the food to a local shelter and went online to buy our first vacuum sealer on Amazon Prime (so we’d get it in two days).  Our first vacuum sealer was the Seal A Meal purchased in June of 2015 for $45.69 (now around $35).

It was not a bad unit and I would certainly recommend it as it did what we needed it to do and customer service is wonderful. We had 2 issues with it over 2 years, the company was great and helped troubleshoot, sending a replacement when they couldn’t fix it.  The new one lasted almost another year, but I don’t think it was big enough to handle our needs.  We decided we needed a bigger vacuum sealer.

Our next sealer was the Kiartten Vacuum Sealer, we bought it in June of 2017 for $127.99 (now $169.99).

It was certainly fancier, had more capabilities.  It was also more expensive and more complicated to use.  It should have lasted longer and performed better, but it did not.  Again with the just because it costs more, doesn’t mean it is better quality. You had to press HARD on the front portion of the sealer to lock it in place.  We were always getting moisture into the drip tray, it never really handled the liquids well.  Also, when sealing dried powdery goods, like flour, or spices, there was a little hole that would clog all the time.  The most high maintenance and expensive vacuum sealer that we owned.  The heat element broke within 6 months of our purchase. We called the company, they walked us through the troubleshooting and ended up replacing the unit. We did this twice in 6 months and then said, that’s enough, let’s try a different brand.

We went with the Food Saver Brand.  It was $88.97 in December of 2017 and now it is $105.34.   So far so good.  It has a lever to secure the lid and it has the option to seal or vacuum and seal and also gives us the moist or dry option.  We use both features on a regular basis.  We slow cook a pork shoulder and then freeze it in 4 meal portions so we can eat dinner and then lunch the next day.  It works well and we love it.  We use it for spices as well, re-sealing the bag and keeping them fresh longer.  We also use it to store cheese,  we like to buy really good cheese in 5 lb blocks, cut it into smaller portions, vacuum seal it and freeze it until we are ready for the next piece.  Vacuum sealing makes our food last longer, gives us less waste and helps us maintain our portion size, because we weigh all of the food we eat.

The bottom line here is that yes, you should have one, and sometimes the most common brand is the best, which is why it’s most common.  Oh and here is a link to the Vacuum Sealer Bags we use.  They are great and you can custom size them to just what you need.

We hope you found this helpful, happy Vacuum sealing.

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Bath Towels – Thick or Thin?

=====UPDATE 9/19/2018=====

Thin Turkish Towels, that’s what we are talking about today!  We bought some on May 15 and some on July 4, they are still our favorite towels.  They have gotten softer and hang better.  I’m not sure we have lost any color in them at all!  Check it out for yoursef!

Bright, beautiful, over 6 months old, we use them ALL the time.  We are so happy with our purchases!


Why am I writing about towels you ask?

Well, I may have found a better set of towels and I might love them, let me tell you about the old ones first.

Less than two years ago, we bought some oversized towels, hand towels and washcloths for the guest bath.  They are heavy weight, and the bath towels are large enough to wrap around you (35″ x 68″).  I thought I would love them and they would last a long time, quality costs money right (@$39.99 each)?  Well, apparently not, these towels have a wide band at each end and it has tightened and shrunk, it will not lay flat, or hang properly. They have lost their luster and the fabric has pulled in some areas.

It was time to replace them and we are not doing that again!  So, we went for something totally different, Turkish Towels and so far we love them!

They are 100% Cotton and 37″ x 70″! They also come in 30 different beautiful colors.

They are lightweight at only .6 lbs each, compared to old towels at 1.7 lbs. I literally wrapped it around myself and used it as a sarong, to walk to the pool.

They are super thin which is nice, as it takes up less room and is light enough to travel with or bring on the boat. I bought two towels for about $45, some are a little less, depending on my color selection.  We plan to replace all of our towels with these and as we do, we’ll be donating the old towels to a local shelter!

At this point, we really love them and look how cute the packaging is!!  If anything changes, we will update the website, but for now, they are keepers!