Easy Turkey Burgers (+ GIVEAWAY)

Disclosure: Butterball provided me with a turkey gift check, as well as two other turkey gift checks to giveaway, in exchange for a post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Easy Turkey Burgers

I feel like the weeks are just flying by lately. For some odd reason, it’s almost summer, and I’m still finding random ornaments around the house (I was failing at being Pinterest-y last holiday season). Last night, we decided to cut the grass, and it was the first time of the year where I was wiping sweat like crazy. Only a few short months until fall, right?

Since it’s been heating up outside, I’ve been cooking less and less. I’m just drained after a long work day, and even though I don’t spend much time outside in the summer months, it somehow tires me out. I’m all about quick, simple recipes that don’t involve heating up the entire house right now, and these burgers are it. They come together very quickly, and involves very little ingredients.

Easy Turkey Burgers
Source: an original


  • 1 lb. 97% lean Butterball ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional toppings, such as Butterball turkey bacon, sliced cheese, and sliced avocado (my favorites).


  1. Mix the turkey, Worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, and garlic powder  together by hand in a bowl. Be sure not to over-mix the ingredients.
  2. Split the meat into four portions and flatten them into patties. Top each side of the patties with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the patties in a grill pan over medium heat, flipping once, until cooked all the way through. If you want a cheeseburger, during the last minute of cooking, add the slice of cheese on top of the burger, allowing it to melt.
  4. Add toppings as desired and enjoy!

Now, another about these burgers is that they are a lot more calorie-friendly than a typical burger. I love that Butterball definitely offers some options for healthier cooking with their turkey products. I know it’s normal to think about Butterball in the cooler months (for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals), but they also offer products like ground turkey, turkey burger patties, turkey bacon and turkey sausage, which you can use year-round.

The generous folks at Butterball are offering a $20 gift check (good for turkey products and groceries) to TWO readers of The Nifty Foodie.

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below (continental US readers only):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This giveaway is supplied by Butterball, and is open to readers in the continental US only. Entries will be accepted until June 26th, 2015 at 11:59pm (central standard time). Winner will be emailed (make sure you leave an email address in the form), and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.


April Showers…and May Showers…

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by OXO. I received gardening tools, in exchange for a fair review on the blog. All opinions are 100% my own.

About a month ago, we took a weekend to basically spring-ify everything around the house. I cleaned out the beds, and planted annuals and vegetables/herbs. I also purchased a new blood orange tree. We have a whole mess of citrus trees in the backyard now. :-)

Spring Gardening

I planted cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, and of course, basil. I’ve found over the years that these plants are no-fail for me. I wanted to plant green bean seeds, but I just haven’t found the time yet. It’ll happen soon, though! I love roasted green beans in the summer months.

In fact, since I planted everything a month ago, I haven’t done anything to the garden. We’ve had quite a bit of rain around here, and so I haven’t really gone in the backyard to give everything a closer look. Well, after rain, rain and more rain, I need to clean everything out again.

Thankfully, OXO sent me a fun package of outdoor gardening tools recently.

Spring Gardening

Included in the package was their trowel, plow, hand rake, outdoor pour & store watering can, cultivator, and bypass pruners.

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Frozen Mango Margaritas

Frozen Mango Margarita
Please drink responsibly. :-)

The past couple of weeks have been full of April showers. I think we had 9 days of rain in a row…it was gloomy and all I wanted to do was curl up on the sofa, eat ice cream and take a nap. I thought this week would be different, but Monday, nature threw a nasty storm our way. It was the first time I went through a tornado warning at work (thankfully, there was no tornado there.) However, most people in the area lost power, fences and trees fell down and there were apparently a few tornadoes in the southeast area of the state (which doesn’t happen very often).

A nice surprise after all of this bad weather is an unusual cool front. It feels like fall weather outside right now, which is a nice change away from 80 degrees and humid. So, to celebrate the lovely weather, I made this margarita. My usual favorite is strawberry margaritas, but since the grocery store near me had mangoes on sale, I had to make mango margaritas. I even bought extra mangoes to make some sorbet (SO good!).

The great thing about margaritas is that they really aren’t that complicated….your fruit of choice, tequila, orange liqueur, a bit of sugar or agave, lime juice and ice. Then, just blend it all. It takes minutes to make a pitcher full of these (for this recipe, you will want to double the recipe to make a pitcher full), and your guests will love you for it.

Frozen Mango Margarita
Source: Epicurious


  • 1 1/2 cups diced, peeled ripe mango
  • 3 oz. white tequila
  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend together until smooth. Enjoy!


Skillet Baked Ziti

Skillet Baked Ziti

Even though I’m back to calorie counting, I just love a good, comforting meal sometimes. I try to limit my splurges to one splurge meal per week, eating something I normally wouldn’t want to admit to MyFitnessPal :-). I made this dish for the first time last fall, and I was shocked at how flavorful it was for being a fairly simple recipe. I ended up making two batches of this ziti, one for us and one for my dear friend, who had just had a baby. She and her husband absolutely loved the dish, as well and ended up asking for the recipe! I consider that the biggest compliment of all!

This dish is a dream for clean-up…you make everything in the skillet from start to finish. I ended up making this in a braiser pan, and it worked just fine. This also makes a good bit of food…we had leftovers for a couple of days between my husband and I (and we totally went for seconds the first night). It was SO good, and I shouldn’t be surprised…it was from America’s Test Kitchen, and also, one of my favorite bloggers, Pink Parsley, blogged about it before (which is where I originally read about the recipe first).

Skillet Baked Ziti

Skillet Baked Ziti
Source: Pink Parsley, originally from America’s Test Kitchen


  • 1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 oz. ziti
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 oz. (about 1 cup) freshly grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet (I used a 3 1/2 qt. braiser pan), brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up the large pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink (about 4 minutes). Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for about a minute (until fragrant). Add in the crushed tomatoes, as well as 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer everything gently for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add in the water and ziti, then carefully stir everything to combine. Cover the pan, increase the heat to medium, and cook at a simmer, stirring often for about 15-18 minutes, until the pasta is just tender/al dente in texture.
  3. Remove the mixture from heat, and stir in the cream, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and 3 tbsp. of basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle in the mozzarella, as well as the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan on top of the pasta. Transfer the pan to the oven, and bake until the cheese has melted/browned, and the sauce is bubbling (about 10-15 minutes). Before serving, sprinkle with the remaining tbsp. of basil. Enjoy!

Easy Sweet and Salty Party Mix

Disclosure: I was provided with samples of G.H. Cretors products, in exchange for a post. G.H. Cretors is also supplying the prize for the giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

Easy Sweet and Salty Party Mix

When I was a kid, I had an adorable wooden, handmade Easter basket. I fondly think about it every year around this time, and it brings back lovely memories of Easter Day. The Easter Bunny 😉 was so creative and thoughtful with our baskets…they would contain our favorite candies, as well as a couple of fun trinkets/toys. They were beautifully wrapped in colorful cellophane, complete with the perfect bow. So much attention to detail…I can only hope my kids one day get that level of creativity in their baskets. :-)

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A Bunch of Randoms

Hey y’all!

It’s been a while since I last blogged, and I’ll be honest..with life as hectic as it’s been lately, I just couldn’t get behind the computer to unwind and just…write.

Heck, I haven’t even baked much lately. I’m sure my and my husband’s coworkers are missing the baked goodies. Ah well…I’ll get re-motivated again. 😛

Since it’s been a while, I figured I’d update y’all on what’s going on with my life lately.


About a month ago, my local yarn shop was holding a sale on select yarns (by the bag full). I lucked out with some gorgeous, vivid yarn at the shop, as well as a great needle bag for $5 each. I also splurged on some colorful speckle-dyed yarn by Madeline Tosh. I just adore it, and I think I’m going to attempt to make something similar by yarn dyeing again using some wool yarn that I have in my stash. :-) I think a lot of people in my family/friends will be getting something handmade as a part of their Christmas gift this year.


The weekend after Mardi Gras, my sister and I did another 10k. It wasn’t pretty, but I crossed the finish line. I ended up making running skirts for us, using this tutorial. It wasn’t that bad to make these (and I’m really out of practice on my sewing machine), and they came out SO cute!


Here we are at the starting line…it was a nice day for a race, but like the last 10K, I have a lot of training to do before I’m in race shape again.


Speaking of races, I went to a local running store and purchased new Ravenna shoes. I loved my Brooks Ravenna 3s, and after another fitting, it seems like I’m loyal to this shoe. It’s really a great one for me…lots of cushion and support for my overpronating self.


It’s finally feeling like spring out here…weather is in the 80s, it’s raining like crazy, and well, there’s also crawfish season. I’m so loving places that offer all you can eat crawfish, and one of our local casinos, L’Auberge, offers it every night (through April 4th). We went one night really early in the season, and because of low supply, they ran out before we got in. I ended up tweeting about how bummed I was, and they ended up comping the next meal for us, which had crawfish a-plenty. (Great customer service!) I was also told that they are definitely getting the supply taken care of now that crawfish are more plentiful, so we shouldn’t face that issue again. We’ve been a few times since the first incident, and every time…there’s crawfish like crazy! It’s not that bad for $25/person, either, when you consider the fact that you can eat as much crawfish as you want. :-)


This past weekend was so much fun. In south Louisiana, we have parades the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. It’s sort of similar to Mardi Gras parades, but the prized throws are beads, undergarments (yep..haha!), Irish Springs soap, Moon Pies, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. I can’t wait to make some stew with most of the vegetables that we caught!

Also, since St. Paddy’s Day is right around my birthday, I just had to try Sucre’s Paddy Cake (top left). It’s essentially their king cake, filled with salted caramel and chocolate. OMG. Best birthday cake EVER. I’m going to have to make this a tradition, for sure!

Hope y’all enjoy the rest of your week!

Chocolate Glazed Tart with Strawberries

Disclosure: I received a gift card and coupons for ingredients used in this recipe, in exchange for this sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Chocolate Tart with Strawberries

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s hard not to think of the classic chocolate covered strawberries. It’s just the perfect, simple treat to enjoy for the holiday. You simply clean/dry the berries, melt chocolate over a double boiler, dip, allow to dry (if you can wait) and enjoy! If you’d like to make things more festive and decorative, Driscoll’s has a few ideas here.

I wanted to make this treat even more indulgent, by placing chocolate covered strawberries on top of an indulgent, chocolate tart. While this may look intimidating, the recipe is fairly simple. With a chocolate sandwich cookie crust, truffle-like filling and a chocolate glaze, this heavenly dessert would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert! Topping this dessert with chocolate covered berries and white chocolate drizzle is just the cherry on top of the sundae. :-)

Chocolate Tart with Strawberries

As much as I love chocolate, I have to confess something to y’all. My husband does not like chocolate. I know…I KNOW. I like to joke that while it’s a bummer, I absolutely know for a fact that no one else in our house is touching my chocolate stash haha!

Chocolate Glazed Tart with Strawberries
Source: slightly adapted from Epicurious


For the crust:

  • 25 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely ground in a food processor
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp. warm water

For the topping:

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 12 medium to large sized Driscoll’s strawberries, cleaned and dried
  • 2 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • sprinkles (optional)


  1. To make the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle rack, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir together the ground chocolate sandwich cookies and butter. Then press the mixture evenly into the bottom and 3/4″ up the side of a 9″ fluted tart pan. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, or until firm. Allow the crust to cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes.
  3. To make the filling, bring the heavy cream to a boil, and pour the hot cream over the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, allowing the mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir the mixture until smooth. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and salt together in another bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, mixing well (this is to prevent the eggs from scrambling once the egg/chocolate mixtures come together), then add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Place the tart pan in a baking sheet (just in case there’s leaks). Place the tart pan in the oven, baking for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is set about 3 inches from the edge, but the center is still jiggly. Allow the tart to cool completely in the tart pan on the cooling rack, about 1 hour.
  5. To make the glaze, bring the heavy cream to a boil and remove the cream from heat. Stir in the chocolate, until the mixture is smooth. Then, stir in the corn syrup and warm water.
  6. Pour the glaze on top of the tart, and then gently tilt and rotate the tart to allow the glaze to coat the top evenly. Allow the glaze to stand until the glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  7. To make the berries, while the glaze is setting, place the bittersweet chocolate and 1/4 tsp. of the canola oil in a double boiler, stirring often until melted. Set a parchment paper or wax paper lined baking pan on the side. Dip each berry in the chocolate, up to about 1/4 from the top of the strawberry. Place the dipped berries on the parchment/wax paper lined baking sheet, about an inch from each other. If you’d like, you can add sprinkles on top of the chocolate. Allow the strawberries to set for about 10 minutes (they will still be slightly wet).
  8. Arrange the berries on top of the tart. If you’d like to stack the berries, they will still be slightly wet to allow them to stick to each other. Melt the white chocolate and 1/8 tsp. of canola oil in a double boiler, and then drizzle the white chocolate over the tart and berries. Enjoy!

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans 10K

Disclosure: I was selected as a Rock ‘n’ Blog ambassador for the Run Rock ‘n’ Roll race series. My race entry was comped, in exchange for social media & blogging. Please consult with a doctor before you start any type of workout program. I’m not a doctor…just some random blogger.  All opinions are 100% my own.

It’s been a while since I participated in a race. The last time was the Mardi Gras Mambo 10K, and I was still sort of recovering a bit from the half marathon a month before.

I found out around Christmas that I was accepted to be a blogger for the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series, and I told myself that even though I’m not trained for it, I just had to get the ball rolling again and do the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans 10K. I registered and told myself, as long as I finish the race, I would consider that to be a huge accomplishment. My sister also decided to do the race with me, so I wouldn’t be doing this alone. :-)

I was pretty darn excited to get back in the swing of things. I was worried that I’d have to buy some new running clothes, due to the weight gain, but thankfully, I kept one pair of larger sized compression capris.


The day before the race, my sister and I headed to the expo. We didn’t have much time to spend there, since I had plans right after to visit family, but it was nice to be in that environment again. We passed by The Louisiana Marathon booth and noticed there was a long line for a game they had. For $1, you spin the wheel for a chance to win discounts or race swag. I thought, why not…I loved that race and worse comes to worst, I’m out a $1.

Imagine my surprise when I spun 50% off race registration! They told me that I was the first person to spin that for the day, AND in addition to the 50% off, they were giving away free “In Training” shirts to anyone who registered that weekend. So, after talking to myself and out loud a bit much, I signed up for the 2016 HALF MARATHON. Yep. I’m doing a half next year! (The same half I did in 2014…) Also, the icing on the cake was that my sister spun the same thing, too! So, we’re doing the half together!


The next day, I woke up at 4am, and drove down to meet my sister at my parents’ house, and we carpooled to the finish line parking. I purchased a premium parking pass, because I absolutely hate stressing about finding parking on race day. $20 well spent. Parking was a breeze! We also purchased shuttle passes that brought us straight to the starting line. That was very efficient as well. We probably waited 5 minutes (at the most) to board a bus!

With all the intensity of race day, I felt like the shuttle bus driver wanted to make everyone laugh a bit. “John Tucker Must Die” was on the bus TVs, and it was on the part where John Tucker climbed outside of the hotel to sneak in a girl’s room (but it ended up being the teacher’s room). I needed that laugh…


Once we got off the bus and I saw the starting line, I got those race day jitters. What if my legs couldn’t do it? What if I injured myself? All of these doubts…after a few minutes, I told myself that I did a half marathon a year ago. I can handle a 10K.


Before we knew it, the 10K started. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect..it was in the mid 40s, perfectly sunny and it was in New Orleans for crying out loud. I love New Orleans! I started by walking a good bit, just to warm my legs up and see how things felt. Just after mile one, however, my left heel started rubbing in my shoes. Surprisingly, jogging felt better than running on my feet, so I started slowly jogging around mile 2.

Around mile 4, I really started feeling pain in my right ankle and calf. I realized with my left heel issues, I was running more on the outside of my feet than usual (to avoid the blister pain), and I was probably putting more pressure on my right leg than my left, because of the pain in my left foot. While I always run in support shoes, with the way I was jogging, there was no way those shoes were going to help me out.

I told my sister to go ahead of me, because while we made pretty decent time in the first 3 miles, I didn’t want to hold her back. Also, in case I was reaching the point of being swept, I wanted her to finish, because she was still feeling great. I pretty much limp jogged/walked the last two miles. All I wanted to do was finish. I could see the cop car behind me a few blocks away, but thankfully, I didn’t get swept. I finished the race with 5 minutes to spare (on the course time limit).


Sadly, by the time I finished the race, they ran out of 10K medals, so I was given a half marathon medal and a Rock ‘n’ Roll medal. Last week, however, I got an email from Rock ‘n’ Roll that my medal will be mailed to be soon. YAY!


While I didn’t have a good race, I have to admit that the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans 10K was a nice race. The course is nice and flat (watch out for potholes, though…it’s New Orleans, after all), and the spectators and volunteers were the best! They had some really funny signs, which helped me smile during those last couple of miles (which I really needed). Also, the bands along the way were awesome. I did the race without headphones and didn’t once miss them. :-) The finish line festival was really awesome as well. City Park is a great place to just chill out and rest after a race.

Next year, I’m hoping to do the half marathon, since I’ll be trained for one the month before anyway. I’d love to get the Louisiana Double Down medal, if they offer it next year! I have some big goals and dreams for 2016, but I know I can do it!

I can’t wait!

Very Berry Smoothie

Disclosure: I received a gift card and coupons for ingredients used in this recipe, in exchange for this sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Very Berry Smoothie

A few weeks ago, I started my first DietBet (since the weight gain), and I haven’t felt more empowered in a while. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m in control of things again. While I still enjoy a piece of dark chocolate every day after lunch, I’m happy to say that it’s an improvement over what used to be. I used to eat lunch wherever I wanted (burgers, tex mex, you name it)…and the pounds packed on FAST. Now, I have to think consciously about meal choices. If I know I’m going out to eat that night, lunch and breakfast will be light to compensate for it.

I figured out that I’m a big fan of fruit when it comes to trying to find snacks to enjoy that are healthy but also low in calories. Fresh fruit, fruit leather and of course, fruit smoothies. Now, while it’s not exactly berry season out here in Louisiana, I love knowing that Driscoll’s has tasty, fresh berries that are available year-round!

As far as fruit smoothies go, I’m a big fan of a simple berry smoothie. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries..you name it.  They add sweetness to a smoothie without added sugar, which is of course, awesome. My favorite smoothie lately is this one, which I’m sharing with y’all today. It has blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, satsuma (or tangerine) and banana. You can throw it together quickly in a blender, and before you know it, you have a delicious, nutritious smoothie that is packed with berry flavor (without adding in any extra sugar)!

Very Berry Smoothie

Very Berry Smoothie
Source: an original


  • 1/2 cup Driscoll’s blackberries, rinsed/washed
  • 1/2 cup Driscoll’s raspberries, rinsed/washed
  • 1/2 cup Driscoll’s strawberries, rinsed/washed
  • 1 medium tangerine/satsuma, peeled
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups ice


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend thoroughly until smooth. Enjoy!

How the Gain Has Made Me Stronger

Back in 2013, I was so proud of myself. I was dropping weight like crazy, and I was 25 measly pounds away from 199 for the first time in years (like seriously…we’re talking middle school).

The gain

This past holiday season, I saw my before weight on the scale (plus a few). The 300s. I wanted to cry. In fact, for a good two hours, I looked at my weight loss milestones with so much regret. How did I let myself go this far? I thought about where I would be if I just kept going, and after staring at pictures and my motivation swimsuit that I bought a couple of years ago (I won some credit to the website and figured…why not?), I told myself to stop sulking, and it’s time to do something about it.

The gain
Left side: March 2013, Right side: December 2014

I can absolutely think back to the series of events that led to my current weight. At my lowest in April of 2013, I was in the 220s. I went from the 220s to the 230s and stayed there for a while. Then, half marathon training happened in the fall, and I started justifying foods for the amount of exercise I was doing. The longer runs were the hardest days, because I felt like my stomach was a bottomless pit, and whatever was easiest to grab, I’d buy it. I figured if I was burning 1000+ calories, I could eat whatever I wanted. Wrong. I easily gained 10 lbs. from half marathon training. Yep…GAINED.

After the half marathon, I still had those horrible eating habits, even though I wasn’t running nearly as much. I was pretty beat up after my half, so I completely lost motivation to go to the gym, to eat better, etc. In the meantime, my 16 jeans went to 16W, then 18W, and now, a snug 20W. I kept telling myself that I would get back in the swing of things soon…the diet would always start on a Monday. Then, Monday would happen, and of course, I’d eat something terrible and say, “Next week…”.

I had to wait until I was ready to get back in the swing of things. I knew the moment would hit me at some point, like it did the time before. Stereotypically, enough was enough right after Christmas. I’m not going to say that I’m starting all over again, because everything contributed to my journey thus far. The 70 lb. loss, the gain…it’s all a part of the journey. I may not be the quintessential before/after weight loss story, but to me, my journey is everything. I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way and cannot wait to see the numbers on the scale go down again. While I could keep beating myself up over the weight gain, I’m just going to view this as a moment in my life where I’m going to be stronger from this and appreciate my weight loss that much more.

I’m currently doing a DietBet, and the weight is steadily going down. I’m fairly sure I’ll just do DietBets like last time, until 4% is no longer feasible for me. Also, I’ll be writing monthly updates on here, and sharing weekly weigh-ins on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. :-) I’m also on MyFitnessPal (niftyfoodie).