Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reader Favorites: June

Thank you for all of the love this month! June is one of my favorite months; it's officially Summer! If you missed any of the posts this month, here are the top posts you visited in the month of June. Enjoy!

Let me know if there are any nutrition-related topics you would like me to cover. You can comment below or tag me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Friday, June 24, 2016

State of My Goals Address: June

As promised, I am sharing updates on my goals and 2016 resolutions in the state of my goals address. You can take a look at my 2016 goals and my thoughts on goals and resolutionsSharing these goals is a way to keep me accountable and help me to improve, grow, and learn. People who share their goals tend to be more successful. So, I'm sharing the goals here to encourage you and to keep me accountable. You're welcome to comment with your goals and share your progress as well. Feel free to tag your goals with #RDTODgoals or #healthyRD on social media.

2016 Goals
Try 30 new recipes. 
In June, I tried a few new recipes including:

  • Shrimp boil
    • I'm a Louisiana girl. I grew up with crawfish boils. If you don't have access to crawfish, I think a shrimp boil is a great way to enjoy a low country boil. Recipe post to come.
  • Hummus!
    • I'll be sharing a post about my favorite hummus recipe and how to change it to different varieties of hummus. 

For those keeping track, this makes my new recipe count 23 out of 30.

Build endurance and strength.
I continue to attend my favorite weight lifting class. I've also started some cardio dance to increase my cardio variety.


There was no big travel this month. But, we have some travel plans later this year. So, stay tuned!

image from

Read more.

I also read Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I enjoy the author's writing style; she paints pictures with her words. She is able to describing food, smells, experiences, and difficulties and makes the reader feel like she is right there with her. 

For those keeping track, my book count is 4 in 2016.

Learn something new.
I took a cake decorating class; I'll be posting more details about this class soon. Taking classes are a great way to learn a new skill. I foresee more classes in my future!

These are my broad goals for 2016. What goals are you working on in 2016?

Comment below.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Cooking Class: Pasta

I went to my first cooking class! I went to a homemade pasta class at Sur la Table, which might be my new favorite kitchen store. 

I was nervous, like first day of school nervous. Silly, right? But, it's true. Y'all, this class was so fun! The chef was knowledgeable and managed the class well. Chef D was a funny, entertaining teacher. 

I was selected to help demonstrate making the pasta dough, which was fun. It was a simple process, and here's the recipe for fresh pasta doughMy favorite part of the class was learning a new skill, making pasta! 

The class was 2 hours. It was very well organized. They gave us a printed packet with all three recipes we made: fresh pasta, Spring Paparadelle, and Ravioli al Uvo. We reviewed kitchen safety and hand washing. They also provided an apron to use during class. This was super helpful for the pasta class; it prevented the flour from getting everywhere. 

They provided light snacks, coffee, and water. I appreciate the light refreshments because it made the class feel more homey and hospitable. 

The class was very well organized. The recipe ingredients were on sheet pans ready for the students to complete the mis en place. The chef had two helpers who cleaned after each recipe was completed. That means no dish washing, which was another one of my favorite parts of the class. You were free and actually encouraged to make a mess in someone else's kitchen, dirty dishes and equipment, and the staff took care of all the cleaning. It was great!

During the class, we worked in teams of four. I was concerned that the class wouldn't be enough of a hands-on experience for me to learn pasta-making skills, but I was pleasantly surprised. The class was structured well, and everyone got hands-on experience with each dish. Students had the opportunity to work on each step of making the pasta. 

image via

I also learned new cooking skills on different pieces of kitchen equipment. We used the hand crank pasta machine and the Kitchen Aide pasta attachment. It was important to have at least two people to roll out the pasta with the hand cracked machine. It was much easier to use the Kitchen Aide pasta attachment with one person. It was cool to get to work with these products before deciding to purchase them. I think that trying out different kitchen tools was another great experience of this class.

image via

Pappardelle with Caramelized Onion, Sweet Peas, and Prosciutto

The first pasta dish we made was a Spring Pappardelle dish. This pasta looks like a wide fettuccine. This dough was had cut with a chef's knife. It was really simple to make. I can see myself preparing this recipe at home. It was simple to make, only required the pasta rolling tool, and it was super tasty! 

The pasta was paired with Spring peas, pancetta, caramelized onions, and tons of fresh herbs. It had an egg-base sauce similar to a carbonara. Delicious! The pasta was al dente and fresh. The pancetta provided a great salty bite. The onions were caramelized and slightly sweet. The sauce was rich but not heavy or overpowering. The peas and herbs were fresh, bright, and Springy. It was a well-balanced, satisfying dish. 

Raviolo al Uvo
The second pasta dish we made was a Ravioli al Uvo. This dish was a little more technical.  It was extremely rewarding and satisfying to make ravioli successfully. 

We made fresh pasta and rolled out the dough. We made the filling with ricotta cheese,  nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, and fresh herbs. We separated eggs and used the yolk for the filling. 

We brushed the pasta with an egg wash. Covered the filling with another piece of pasta. Then, cut the pasta into round ravioli. 

We boiled the pasta. And none of them burst!

I was the saucier for this dish. I made my first brown butter sauce, which was fun and tasty. Browning the butter reminded me of making a dark roux. It tastes time, patience, and pretty constant stirring. At one point, you might think you're burning the butter instead of browning the butter. It was a delicious sauce that I plan to make again.

This dish was creamy thanks to the brown butter sauce, ricotta cheese, and egg yolk. The rich, creaminess was balanced by the freshness of the lemon, mint, basil, and parsley in the filling. I thought this dish looked impressive and would be fun for entertaining. 

Another one of my favorite parts of the class was that we were able to taste each dish we made. By taste, I mean we all had a meal-size portion of the pasta dishes we made. 

I highly recommend taking a cooking class if you want to learn a new skill or try a new recipe. My favorite aspects of this cooking class were:

1) Hands-on experience learning a new skill.

2) Trying kitchen tools before buying them.

3) Recipe preparation and clean up completed by the staff. No dishes! 

4) Tasting and trying new recipes.

There are several businesses that offer cooking classes in my area. Check out the classes in your area! I have two more cooking classes scheduled this Summer. So, stay tuned for my review of those courses.

I hope you enjoyed this look into my life and cooking journey. I hope this series encourages you to try something new - try a new recipe, a new class, try something that interests you.  I would love to see how you are challenging yourself and what you are trying new. Feel free to use these hashtags for your with #NewRD, #RDTODGoals, #HealthyRD and use #easyentertaining for your hosting and entertaining pictures. You can also tag me @RDtipoftheday, so I can see what you do and maybe even feature you on the blog or social media. It is so important to continue to grow and learn. #NeverStopLearning

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Friday, June 17, 2016

RDtipoftheday Favorites: June Edition

Welcome to RDtipoftheday's favorites June edition. This is my blog series that highlights some of the best things I've been watching, reading, listening to, cooking, and eating. These are a few of my favorite things this month.

Eating & Cooking
Homemade granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit


Have y'all seen the Cookie Monster commercial? I think we can all relate to this because he knows how it feels to wait for cookies to bake.

For a few more giggles, check out Cookie Monster's outtakes.

Also, I love celebrity musical impressions.

I really enjoy watching Food Network Star. I found some videos and articles about previous contestants on Food Network Star. From Season 7, Whitney Chen on Following Your Passion and information about being a contributing editor at Guilt Taste.

Also from Season 7, Mary Beth Albright's article about Food Writer's Take on Gingerbread. Here's an inside the Food Network Star Kitchen; it's a really neat perspective on the set. I love seeing behind the scenes pieces.

Hope writers podcast - I liked this episode about learning from unlikely writing teachers. I find inspiration in many things, but it seems to come in spurts or seasons. So if you need some inspiration for writing, check out this podcast.

I loved Annie F Downs' talk on One Calling, Multiple Expressions. I believe we all have gifts and abilities. How we use our talents may look different in different seasons. Check it out; I found it to be super encouraging.

If you are wanting to use your gifts and talents in a creative way, are you blogging? Writing may not be everyone's creative outlet. But if you're starting a blog, check out these five ways to start and grow a blog.

I hope you enjoyed these tips, recipes, and all of my favorites from this month. Let me know if this is a feature that you would like me to continue by commenting below. And, let me know if you have something you want to be featured. Thanks! Have a great weekend!

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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