the humble beet

folks, this post is dedicated to the humble, the delicious, the underrated and widely unknown beet.  i’m not sure i could pinpoint in time for you when and where my beet obsession began, but it feels like such a natural pairing to me and it’s almost as if i can never get enough!  i think if you were to ask my friends about my love for beets, they’d probably say the same thing.  i mean, it’s so known among my personal circle that whenever beets are on the menu at a restaurant, everyone immediately hollers, “kelsey!  there’s beets on the menu!  are you going to get them?”  and, i always and happily reply, “of course!”

i love my beets cold, cooked, or now, as i recently discovered, in cracker form!  that’s right, it’s the cracker i’ve been waiting for my entire life.  i was just doing my weekly shopping at the local disco kroger when i moseyed into the cracker aisle, trying to make a snack selection.  i could always go with the traditional cheez-its or ritz crackers but then a beacon of light shone directly in the right spot and called me to the good thins beet crackers.

i squeaked in excitement, left my buggie in the middle of the aisle, and rushed over to the shelf.  i could hardly believe what my eyes were seeing!  i immediately threw them into the cart and rushed home so that i could give them a taste.  now, as a beet-lover, i had high expectations for these crackers.  as i began to munch away, i was waiting for the classic beet flavor to hit me like a ton of bricks but it didn’t quite happen.  it really is more of a hint of beet after you take a few bites and, if you didn’t know they were beet crackers, you probably wouldn’t be able to identify them as such.  however, i am still ecstatic that the cracker industry is trying to raise awareness about this incredible root vegetable that really has so many health benefits and is quite versatile in the kitchen.  from gold beets to red beets, just cook ’em up, pour on some balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle on some goat cheese and you’re good to go!  #beetsforlife!

salsa – the number one condiment in america

recently phillip returned home with arms full of groceries from the local buford market for, you guessed it, taco night!  as everyone knows, no taco night is complete without chips and salsa, and phillip picked quite the winner with the herdez salsa casera.

this salsa is fresh and flavorful, everything you want in a little pre-dinner appetizer.  i mean, if you’re gonna fill up on chips and salsa, it may as well be the best stuff you can find!  this jar of condiment heaven is the perfect balance between chunky and liquid-y, if that makes any sense at all…?  i guess what i’m trying to say is that it’s kind of more restaurant style, and i think it is just divine.

also enjoyable is their verde salsa.  it was a great topping for my taco salad, and i’m sure it would be a great addition to a plate of enchiladas or maybe even chimichangas.  heck, dip your quesadilla in it, too!  the possibilities are endless!

i mean, as long as you don’t get your salsa mixed up with your seltzer, you’re good to go!

mmm, halos!

in an effort to get a jump start on the tried (and tired) tradition of resolving to eat healthier with the new year, i’ve decided that if temptation is out of sight then it is out of mind.  so, while cruising the local publix this past weekend, i returned the santitas chips, velveeta cheese, and can of ro*tel back to their shelves with much discipline and instead opted for something more natural and, overall, healthier for the body:  halos!

you may be familiar with halos because of all their cute advertisements lately.  for example, take my favorite commercial airing these days.

gaaaah, i about died when i first saw it!  now, it may be true that the target audience for halos is your average six year-old, but that doesn’t mean that we adults can’t enjoy them also.

i toted the five-pound box of citrus treats back to the condo and got to work.  i figure the easier i make it to eat well the more i will do it.  so, having healthy food in the house is step one.  step two?  make those halos even easier to enjoy by pre-peeling them!  getting those excuses out of the way will help hold me accountable to whatever wellness goals i may have.  the big question, though?  how long will it be before i give in to the stash of oreos in the kitchen?  keep your fingers crossed for me!

 

#dailyselfie – popcorn addict?

a couple weeks ago a bunch of us from work went out on lake lanier for one last summer hoorah.  although the day started out overcast, it cleared up just enough so that we could splash around in the water and get a little sun on our cheeks.  john and his lovely wife amy cooked us an amazing low country boil with sausage, potatoes, shrimp, the whole shebang!  of course, though, there were appetizers and snacks, and it was while i was sipping on my second yuengling that i had my first handful of g.h. cretors popcorn.  maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the cool breeze, or maybe it was the fact that i wasn’t working.  whatever it was, i fell in love with that stuff right then and there.  the cheese pieces aren’t overpowering, and the caramel bites are crunchy and sweet.

now, i probably don’t need a 1 lb 10 oz bag of the stuff, but my coworker greg bought it from costco, so what else would i expect?  perfectly portioned bags?  puh!  nonsense, i tell you!  i shared a few bowls with folks today while i was in the office, but i don’t expect it to last long once it’s at home with me, where i can feast on junk food in the privacy of my own living room while watching the premiere of the latest season of survivor in my sweatpants.  you know you’re jealous!

popcorn

#dailyselfie: cheez-it mania

cheezit

ever since i was a young girl, cheez-its were my go-to cheese cracker snack.  no, cheese nips would never do.  don’t you even dare to call them an acceptable substitute!  my obsession really took hold in my college years when i actually bought my own groceries and food.  yep, there was no one there in aisle 6 of the east side kroger in athens to keep me from buying the family size box of cheez-its.  and what’s worse is that no one even seemed to care!  should it be normal for a young woman to eat that entire box herself in a single sitting?  no, absolutely not, but that didn’t stop me from doing it.  it didn’t help that my very first roommate ellen essie was an elite enabler.  we would spend our friday nights laughing on our lofted beds, chomping down on cheez-its, and then falling asleep with all of the lights burning bright.

i wish i could say my passion for cheez-its came to an end along with my college years, but in fact, it did not.  i think, if it’s possible, it might have even grown!  my pantry was never without them, and sometimes there were multiple boxes if publix was having a bogo sale.  it’s like they knew i was going shopping on those days.  i wouldn’t even wait until a box was empty to buy more, for i never wanted to be without them.  in fact, i loved cheez-its so much that my first tweet ever was about how i eat cheez-its in three’s.  one at a time?  nope.  how about two?  not for me, sir.  three cheez-its at once are the perfect bite, and even before i’m done chewing a handful i’m reaching back into the box for more.

as i began traveling regularly for work, the cheez-it buying frenzies were fewer and farther between my local grocer visits.  in fact, the box you see in the picture above is the first one i’ve bought in months.  now, i don’t want cheez-its thinking they’ve done anything wrong.  i still love their commercials and that bright red box, but sometimes your heart grows fonder when there’s a little distance.  i still love this cheesy, salty snack with all my heart’s might and do, too, believe that real cheese matters.

p.s.  i know this picture technically isn’t a selfie, but i still think it’s worthy of the #dailyseflie tradition!

#dailyselfie: cherries!

today was quite a tuesday.  monday had already started the week off with a busy tone and really didn’t let up with the rise of a new sun.  i dropped by the office of my coworker robert for a few minutes of sanity when i saw on his desk a bowl full of cherries.

“eek!” i exclaimed, “i love cherries!”

without hesitation he offered me a whole handful, and i was grateful for this small act of kindness between friends.  sometimes it’s a simple gesture like this one that can keep your attitude positive amidst bombarding e-mails and unruly software.

om nom nom.

om nom nom.

cherries have always been one of my favorites.  i remember growing up and going to the grocery store with my mom.  we would grab a bag of cherries (typically when they were on sale; they aren’t the cheapest but so worth the money!) and on the ride home we’d eat nearly half.  man, thinking about it now makes me wonder where the time has gone.  i’d do a lot for another childhood day back in birmingham.  do i have to grow up just yet?

san francisco – day 2

thursday morning honestly arrived a little too early for my liking.  although brian’s bed is extremely comfortable, a few more hours of shuteye really would have done wonders.  well, there’s no room for whiners on this vacation, so we were up and at it by 7:30 a.m.  an early day indeed!

brian was going to take the later bus to work so that we’d have a little morning time together.  our first destination of the day was cafe st. jorge for a little caffeine and munchies.  this place was all kinds of adorable, and i’m sure i embarrassed brian with all my question asking and picture taking.  hey, there comes a time when one must be a shameless blogger, and that time for me is now.  this type of coffee shop is right up my alley, and if i lived here, i bet it’s where i would go to write and read.

brian went for a large black coffee and i had a small cafe au lait.  it was a solid au lait, a good thing since it is my favorite coffee beverage.

my cousin is such a stud!

my cousin is such a stud!

for eats i had the banana bread.  i didn’t want anything too filling since i was planning to eat practically all day long.  i wish it had been a little more moist, but the flavors and density you come to expect from banana bread were definitely there.

'naner bread.

‘naner bread.

brian went with his usual in the small granola bowl.  it was the cutest and most homey bowl i’d ever seen in my life, and i’m lucky he let me have a couple bites.  the yogurt wasn’t overly sweet, and the homemade granola was stupid good.  the fruit was fresh, and everything together in a single spoonful made for a very tasty breakfast.

IMG_20150423_075124~2

we grabbed lids for our coffees and began our morning hike.  brian had warned me about the hills, but, yeah, i quickly felt out of shape, and i run half-marathons for goodness’ sakes!  slowly my layers were stripped as we continued upward towards the heavens.  all that was running through my head was miley cyrus’ hit “the climb.”  remember folks, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

brian promised me the effort would be worthwhile, and after we were atop the city, i realized he was absolutely right.  the view from this high up is just gorgeous, a sweeping scene of san francisco and all its neighborhoods.  the breeze was cooling, and the ultimate feeling of relaxation set in as we took in everything.  ah, thank goodness for vacation days!

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zesty corn dip

corn dip

tori was in town this past weekend to tend to wedding activities (it’s only nine days away – eek!), and like always, she had plenty of things to bring to atlanta from home.  for clark, she brought his winter clothes.  for the kessey girl, she brought me a recipe.  ah, yes, she knows me so well!

this zesty corn dip really couldn’t be easier.  well, i suppose the only way it could be easier is if you didn’t have to do any chopping, but even for the most novice cook, you got it!

ingredients

2 12-ounce packages frozen corn

1 8-ounce block of cream cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup diced green onion, white and green parts

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 2.5-ounce package fully cooked bacon, diced

1 4-ounce can diced green chilies

directions

place all ingredients in a crock-pot/slow cooker.

cover and cook on low for 4 hours OR on high for 2 hours, stirring the dip halfway through cooking time.

’tis picnic season!

picnic

a couple of weeks ago, i had the brilliant idea for kyle and i to surprise kari, his fiancée, with an impromptu trip to piedmont park, where they would just happen upon a wonderfully laid out picnic with goodies for a fun-filled afternoon.  i was up quite late pulling everything together, but it was certainly worth it.  we spent a delightful day under a tree as the rain lightly fell down around us.  there was no shortage of people watching, giggling, story-telling, and good company.  and then when i thought it couldn’t get any better, we went to the dog park afterwards to watch all the pups romp around in the sun.  the perfect saturday afternoon with my favorite people.

the treats we dined on were so delicious that i knew i couldn’t keep them to myself!  the antipasto pasta salad and pineapple-mango salsa were delicious, but my favorites were the blackberry lemonade, lady marmalade chicken salad, and homemade rice krispy treats.

p.s.  my secret for the rice krispy treats is to double the marshmallow filling.  YES.  you know it’s what you want.  for the rice krispy treats, melt six tablespoons of butter on the stovetop.  add 16 ounces of mini marshmallows and melt.  stir until combined.  measure out six cups of rice krispy treats into a large mixing bowl, add the melted marshmallow mixture (say that five times fast), and fold with a spatula until incorporated.  mash mixture into a 9 x 13 pan that has been liberally coated with non-stick spray.  NOMS.