Sunday, October 28, 2018

{What's For Dinner}: Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Italian Chicken Sausage

I've never had to overthink much when it comes to what I eat.  I often teasingly say that I'm an equal opportunity eater, meaning that I enjoy good food without discrimination.  However, lately, I've renewed my commitment to healthier fare to attain (and maintain) my personal health and fitness goals. 

Despite the bad rap that "healthy" foods can sometimes receive, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Sure, it might mean moderation when it comes to indulgences, as well as embracing our favorite foods prepared in slightly different ways (e.g. baked vs. fried), etc., but it does not have to mean absence of flavor and the scrumptious goodness that we desire--and deserve.

Last week I whipped up one of my favorite healthy dishes, that not only delivers scrumptious flavor bite after bite, but also happens to be a cinch to prepare.  Can we say, win-win?!  I grabbed some sweet peppers from the market and decided to transform them into a meal by stuffing them with a quinoa and Italian chicken sausage mixture. (So good!) They were received by happy mouths and tummies, mine included!, and will definitely be on future rotation in my cooking repertoire.

I'm excited for you to make them and enjoy the same satisfaction and....

Happy Eating!

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Italian Chicken Sausage 

Serves 6
6 sweet peppers
1 cup quinoa
1 lb. Chicken Italian Sausage
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, to taste (optional)
Olive Oil
Shredded Cheese
Chopped scallions to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse and dry peppers, core to remove stem and seeds, and set aside in a baking dish.

Pre-heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sausage (removed from casings) and saute until browned and cooked through.  Set aside.

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Drain through a sieve and add to skillet with sausage.  Add in tomato paste, tomato sauce, oregano and a light sprinkling of salt.  Over low heat, stir to combine all the ingredients and form a quinoa and sausage mixture. 

Lightly drizzle oil over peppers and spoon quinoa and sausage mixture into each one.  Sprinkle cheese on top of each and cover the baking dish with foil.  Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven or until peppers are tender.  

Remove from oven and garnish with scallions.  Serve hot and enjoy!



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Warm and Cozy Fall Recipes X Atlanta and Company

On the set of Atlanta and Company
I'm a stickler for riding out a season until the very end, but once it's gone, it's gone--no strings attached. :)  And saying farewell to Summer recently in anticipation of embracing my most favorite of seasons, Fall, was a welcomed transition.  Never mind that the temperatures in my parts have not fully caught on and co-signed on the recent autumnal equinox, Fall is finally here!

For most, Fall is beloved for the cooler, crisper weather, gorgeous foliage, football, tailgating--and the seasonal fare that makes it all delicious.  Warm and cozy seasonal fare, to be exact.

Ready to share my Fall recipes on the set of Atlanta and Company
I provided a head start on Fall eats during my recent segment on Atlanta and Company, where I dished on spices and herbs that make for richly flavored, versatile and, yes, scrumptious, food and drinks to carry you tastefully through the season and beyond.

I featured some of my tried and true favorites, including:
Spicy (Turkey) Chili
Rosemary-Thyme Cornbread Madeleines; and
Hot Mulled Cider.

This menu will suit any weeknight, game day, weekend gathering, or celebration, so be prepared to keep it in constant rotation as the season continues to unfold.

Finally, in case you missed it, you can watch the full segment below for extra tips and fun!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

{Things To Do In Atlanta}: Pinewood Forest Idea Home

Life is good.  :)

I ended last week on a high doing something I absolutely love--once again sharing my food passion and expertise on Atlanta and Company.  (More to come on that soon, so stay tuned!)

As I prepared to finally embrace the weekend, I mentally switched to low-key mode and prepared to indulge in maximum chill, save a couple of exceptions.  Beyond a movie night out on Friday which fit my low-key agenda perfectly, there was a Saturday afternoon home tour of home tours.

After making the drive across town, I arrived at the beautiful, emerging "live, work and play" community of Pinewood Forest, where my gaze was immediately met with a glistening, sun-kissed lake.  I made my way to the Idea Home, nestled amidst finished and unfinished residential construction, and settled in for a highly anticipated tour of the property on its opening day, presented by Atlanta Magazine and Atlanta Magazine's HOME.

Touring beautifully designed homes, dressed with exquisite decor, is always an inspiration download and creative spark for me, and this home did not disappoint!

Each room was its own odyssey, with so much to see and take in.  From subtleties, to bold statements, surprise spaces, and full on "I can see myself living here" refrains, it was worth every minute spent.  So as you're considering things to do around the city, be sure to log this one on your favorites list.  (*Bonus: head over to the nearby Hanna Brothers Studio Cafe for a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch until 3 p.m.)

The Pinewood Forest Idea Home Tour is going now through October 7, 2018.  Hours are Fridays, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.  Admission tickets are $25 and available for purchase here.

Happy Touring!


Monday, August 20, 2018

Atlanta and Company x How To Eat Your Favorite Foods!

One of my earliest memories of being held accountable for proper table and dining etiquette dates back to the ripe young age of nine and my fabulous (and greatly beloved) fourth grade teacher.  In between managing our homeroom, being hands-on with her students, and silencing the childish noise in French (yes, French), Ms. Butts made valuable use of our lunch periods by making social graces a priority.  That, coupled with ongoing reinforcements on the home front, left me especially fond of etiquette in its many varieties all these years later. 

And so, several years ago, I created my How To Eat series here on DMRFF to share quick and fun dining tutorials for some of our best beloved foods.  The results?  Better dining finesse (a.k.a. confidence) and a higher etiquette I.Q.

And then the most wonderful thing happened...(drum roll, please) and last week I appeared on the long-standing and uber popular daytime show, Atlanta and Company, sharing some of my How To Eat wisdom on pasta, bacon and bread and butter.  (Can you say, awesome?!)

In case you missed it, you can watch me here.  And be sure to check the archives for even more foods in this fun series! 

Happy Eating!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

French Potato Salad

I've come a long way baby.

Let me explain.  Growing up, I had a very loose, slightly on, mostly off, relationship with potato salad.  And considering that most of the potato salad I came across at family meals, barbecue's, cookouts, and the like, contained their fair share of mayonnaise, I was simply not a fan.

It's never easy to convey why you don't take to a particular food--especially when it seems that most you know and come across are fans.  But there I was--the girl, now woman, with a distinct disdain for this favorite dish and its main dressing.  However, I'm fortunate that as my natural development continued, so did my palate's evolution, and I ultimately came to like--not love--traditional potato salad.  Nothing major, but I could handle a serving or two a few times a year.

And then I was given the gift of discovering what seemed to be a recipe created just for me and my fellow non-mayo cohorts: an herb-y, vinaigrette tossed, and beyond delicious, French Potato Salad.  Made of tender red and white potatoes, with accents of fresh herbs, a luscious champagne vinaigrette, and a few other flavorings of white wine, chicken stock and green onions, it's one of my favorite side dishes for any occasion and my definite go-to when I'm on potato salad duty.  It's a lighter, elegant spin on the classic American-style and suits me (and my taste buds) perfectly.

I brought it back to life in my kitchen recently for a family gathering, and let's just say the bowl was empty at the end of our time together (humble brag -:) ).  It serves up beautifully warm or at room temperature, making it extremely versatile and picnic friendly.  Make it for yourself and I'm certain you'll be coming back for more.

Happy Eating!

French Potato Salad >>> Get the recipe here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

{Be Inspired!}: Summer Reading

A favorite pastime in my local bookstore
Summer and reading have always been a favorite pair for me.  And if I'm being completely honest, it goes all the way back to my childhood. I fondly remember the times when choosing and checking out library books through the mail, no less, brought as much joy and preoccupation as riding my bike and watching my favorite t.v. shows.  It was almost as if I couldn't read the books, mail them back, and order new ones, fast enough. (I'm still in awe at how amazing my county library system was to put books and the love of reading at our fingertips.)

Then there were the suggested (ahem, mandatory) Summer reading lists that would follow in later years.  And I was still sold and fascinated all the same.  I even managed an "advanced for my age" title or two.  Like the Summer I read Alice Walker's, The Color Purple, at the ripe age of 11 and returned to my 6th grade English class in the new school year ready to do a book report on the work.  I don't recall if that went over well with my teacher, but I'll never forget how glad I was to have the full, robust backdrop of the book when the acclaimed movie was later released.

I could go on and on about the many expressions that my love for books, the written word--poetry, prose, history, literature, everything--and reading have taken over the course of my life, but I'll save those for future posts. :)  For now, suffice it to say that I'm eager to get some new titles under my belt as the season unfolds.

I haven't firmed up my selection yet, but with Summer officially arriving this week, I'm motivated to do so sooner than later.  I recently came across this list of 8 Non-Cookbook Food Books curated by Bon Appetit.  A couple of these titles are definitely piquing my interest, so we'll see where I ultimately land.

And what about you?  Do you enjoy a Summer read, or two, or four?  What's your favorite genre? Author(s)?  I'd love to know what's on your list!

No matter your preference, we can all celebrate the gift of books and...

Happy Reading!


Monday, April 30, 2018

{Tasting Summer}: 5 Top Summer Food Festivals

Summer, travel and food go together as few things do.  And when you’re talking taking in the myriad food festivals that abound during the Summer season, there never was a more perfect trifecta.  I can attest that there is rarely a more authentic way to take in a destination—whether you have one day, or one week, to spare—than through its local food culture. 

To get you going and plotting your next delicious foray, these top seasonal food festivals from around the country will leave you satiated in more ways than one. 

The Atlanta Food &Wine Festival – when you’re seeking down-home, yet sophisticated, tastes of the South in food and drink, there’s no better place to be.  This perennial favorite brings together the best chefs and food purveyors from across the South for an unforgettable three-day indulgence that will remind you of all the right reasons that life below the Mason-Dixon line is grand. 
(May 31- June 3, 2018;

Austin Ice Cream Festival – If you scream for ice cream, then imagine a one-day food festival dedicated to ice cream and more ice cream!  Test your ice cream eating skills with fun competitions, while feasting on confections from local creameries for the ultimate sweet indulgence. (June 23, 2018;

Seattle Street Food Festival – Coffee isn’t the only thing Seattle does well.  Try a food festival boasting food trucks, pop-up picnics and more from local emerging chefs! (July 7-8, 2018;

Taste of Chicago – Arriving on the heels of the 4th of July, the Taste of Chicago offers one more delectable reason to celebrate.  Food lovers convene on this long-standing Midwest favorite, hosted lakefront in Grant Park, and adorned by a magical skyline, to indulge in the best of classic Chicago eats (deep-dish pizza, anyone?) along with nightly live entertainment to keep the good vibes flowing. (July 11-15, 2018;

Maine Lobster Festival -- Imagine five days devoted to everything lobster! That's what's in store when you head to the annual Maine Lobster Festival. With fun and feasting in high gear, the acclaimed festival centers on celebrating local seafood.   
(August 1-5, 2018;

Wherever your foodie adventures lead this Summer, you’re sure to find... 

Happy Eating!
© D.M.R. Fine Foods. All rights reserved.