Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I’ve got some favorites to share with y’all. One of which might weirdly be my most favorite thing in the history of my favorite things entries. Here we go.

Buffalo chicken

I randomly bought some Frank’s Buffalo Sauce on a recent trip to the grocery store. I don’t have a very high tolerance for hot stuff, but I do like a little kick sometimes. I have been marinating chicken breasts (I always buy the smaller tenderloins) in the sauce and then lightly breading them with Italian bread crumbs and baking them. So yummy. It tastes like you’re eating something you really shouldn’t—a great guilty pleasure, minus the guilt.

Cardio Fusion close to home
The awesome Kevin “KSmoove” Maddox, who teaches Cardio Fusion at Children’s every Thursday, has started teaching at DWT Studios in Smyrna, right around the corner from my apartment. I’ve been taking Zumba classes at DWT for a while, but having Kevin so close to me is such a treat. It’s by far the hardest class I take, and now I get to do it twice a week. Whee!

My new cookbook

My best friend Rebecca knows me so well. And lucky for me, she is one of craftiest and most creative people I know. For my birthday, she made me a cookbook featuring some of my favorite (and soon-to-be-favorite, I’m sure) recipes from my beloved I’m so excited to have all these recipes at my fingertips. It was a truly thoughtful gift that meant so much to me.

And now, for my most favorite thing, possibly of all time. Are you ready?



Yes, I said cauliflower. Now look, I know that by itself, cauliflower just seems like a plain, colorless vegetable that lacks character and charisma. But in the past week, this seemingly boring food has changed my life. I’m not even kidding.

When low-carb eating was all the rage, I had read about—and even tried—cauliflower as a mashed potato swap. Y’all know I love me some mashed potatoes. But I love them so much I can’t keep them in my house. So learning that cauliflower could be an acceptable substitute? I was thrilled. So I tried them. They were terrible. I never tried them again.

Until last week. My dear friend Laura Cobb and I often swap new food obsessions and recipes. She told me that she makes cauliflower mash every week. Laura’s recipes have never once let me down, so I decided to give them another shot.

Since last Tuesday, I have eaten, um, five bags of frozen cauliflower. Yeah. Beyond obsessed.

I use frozen cauliflower (Bonus? It’s less than $1 a bag.) and steam it right in the microwave (I vent the bag, put a little water right in there and set the whole bag in a Tupperware dish in the microwave so the water doesn’t go everywhere. I cook it about 5 to 6 minutes). Then I drain it, stick it in the food processor with two wedges of light Laughing Cow cheese and some salt and pepper, and process until it is the lovely smooth texture of my beloved mashed potatoes. Except none of the guilt, hardly any of the calories and lots more vitamins than those potatoes could ever give me. To sum it up, I’m having a torrid affair with cauliflowtatoes, and I don’t plan to stop any time soon.

That’s it for November. I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving. I plan to concentrate more on my family and friends than I do the food to make it through the holiday without gaining. This week, I lost a pound and am down a total of 130. Feels good to be on the losing end again. 

I am thankful for all of you, my lovely readers! Thanks for keeping me going every day.


Anonymous said...

If you say so, I will give the cauliflower a try, though I am very dubious.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Erika, I love cauliflower and not so much mashed potatoes, so this receipe sounds fantastic and I will definitely try it, and maybe add my own flavor. I sought of lost focus and reading your blog today brought it all into perspective. Thanks for being who you are! You know I love you, girl!


Anonymous said...

With tremendous skepticism, I tried mashed cauliflower a couple of years ago (my primary prior experience was at the hands of a college roommate many years ago, who loved steamed cauliflower and cooked it all the time - there's no nice way to say this, it stunk up our apartment). Much to my amazement, I loved it and have been looking for a good recipe every since! I'm excited! PS: Caryn, "try it, you'll like it!"


rebeccanni said...

Erika, I make 'caulitaters' all the time! I steam the cauliflower over chicken broth, then add a sprinkle of garlic powder and seasoning salt. You cannot taste garlic, but it changes the taste of the cauliflower! Then I mash it with nonfat or reduced fat cream cheese! Even my daughters are sold on them.

Systa Soul said...

The cauliflower recipe sounds phenomenal. I must try it!!

Anonymous said...

You inspired me to make cauliflower again and I made for my family and they loved it! I admit, I added an extra laughing cow but still yummy. :)
My faves lately are taking a whole wheat tortilla, smear a laughing cow and add rotisserie chicken or other meat of your choice. Pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add some spinach and buffalo wing sauce and it's a wrap. Also, the prepackaged Asian salads are a great go-to. You know they have the cilantro, cabbage, dressing, sometimes almonds on the side. You can add some chicken for a complete easy meal. So inexpensive and easy! I'll often add my own dressing (Newman's Own Low-Fat Sesame Ginger). I love that stuff!
Love it when you have a favorites post! :)