Sucré New Orleans Review/Giveaway


Being from the New Orleans area, I’m so lucky to be surrounded by amazing restaurants and businesses. Back when I worked in the uptown area, I was exposed to a whole new area of small businesses that I fell in love with. Sucré was one of them. I was ecstatic when they expanded and opened a location at the mall in the area. It’s such an inviting place, and I love to drop in almost every time I’m in town.

If you’ve never been, they sell a little bit of everything to satisfy the sweet tooth, like gelato, chocolates, macaroons, cupcakes and other specialty desserts. I honestly could spend some major money every time I go in there, but I try to restrict myself to one treat (except this one time when I went). :-)

A few weeks ago, the generous folks at Sucré reached out to me to offer a giveaway to you guys. Their 8 pc. indulge chocolate collection, to be exact. I was sent a box to review as well (ok, twist my arm), and I just wanted to share just how gorgeous this box truly is.

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Wholly Stuffed Jalapenos and a GIVEAWAY


I used to be an avocado hater. There…I said it. When I was a kid, I thought they had a weird texture and tasted kind of bland. It took me until college to give these a try again, and it was in the form of guacamole. Avocado quickly became one of those foods that I learned to love as an adult. If something has sliced avocado or guacamole in it, chances are I’m gonna go for it.

As easy as it is to throw together some guacamole, I have to admit that I was stoked to find out about Wholly Guacamole’s products. I first discovered Wholly Guacamole products on a whim at the grocery store. When I started calorie counting, I basically walked all of the aisles of the grocery store to find snack ideas, and I came upon their 100 calorie guacamole packs. While I could definitely eat a whole batch of guacamole, I loved the idea of having it pre-portioned in a small amount. It’s the perfect dip for baked tortilla chips and veggies!

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Turkey Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe Quesadillas & Calphalon GIVEAWAY


Well, HELLO JULY! So many wonderful things going on this month: July 4th, my best friend’s wedding (OMG…hope my bridesmaid dress still fits after the 4th haha!)…well, that’s basically it. However, those are two HUGE events to me. I love the 4th of July. LOVE. The fireworks, the smell of the grills going crazy in our neighborhood and celebrating the holiday with All-American classic dishes. It’s just great. I’m pretty sure I wake up on July 4th craving food from the grill. Wonder if my husband would grill breakfast for me….LOL!

One of my favorite All-American dishes is sloppy joes. My Mom used to make sloppy joes a lot when we were kids, and the klutzy person in me loves the fact that the food is naturally sloppy. Whenever I go out to eat, I end up with a line of food around my plate. I’m not a neat eater at all. I’m sort of a disaster in public…I’m surprised people take me anywhere. Any food that says it’s sloppy means no judgement if I make a mess, right? Right.

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Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish Pies & A Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith’s for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mrs. Smith's (1)

I feel like I’ve been baking pie like crazy lately. Between the office potlucks and family get-togethers, it just seems like the butter will run out. Seriously y’all….I purchased 12 boxes of butter last month and I’m down to 5! Crazy, no?

As much as I love to bake, sometimes there’s a party where I just don’t have the time to make something for us to bring. There may be some people who will judge me for this, but hey, I’ve been known to purchase a frozen pie or two, and bake them up. I usually tend to grab for Mrs. Smith’s, because I’ve never had a bad pie from them. In fact, my husband insists that his all-time favorite pie is Mrs. Smith’s Cinnabon Apple Crumb Pie, so when Mrs. Smith’s (via SocialSpark) offered me the opportunity to try their new line of Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pies, I just couldn’t say no.


In case you’re a stranger to Mrs. Smith’s products, here’s a little background on the company (from the company’s website):

When Amanda Smith baked her first pies in the kitchen of her Pottstown, Pennsylvania home, she used the finest ingredients and amazing attention to detail to create the finest pies available. Amanda Smith started by baking pies for family, friends and charity events, but when her son, Robert Smith, convinced her to sell her pies, a business was born. Today, the makers of MRS. SMITH’S® desserts continue the tradition started by Amanda Smith, delivering pies and cobblers with made-from-scratch goodness you can see and taste. MRS. SMITH’S® pies and cobblers … a timeless tradition. Their new Signature Deep Dish pies come in four flavors:

  • Signature Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
  • Signature Deep Dish Cherry Pie with Butter Fudge Sauce
  • Signature Deep Dish Peach Pie with Cream Cheese Icing
  • Signature Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Icing

The great thing about these pies is that it comes with a fun topping packet to help you create a unique, customized pie, and of course, with any Mrs. Smith’s pie, it couldn’t be simpler to bake. Simply take it out of the freezer, place it on a baking sheet (in case it leaks) and let it bake in the oven. Then, once the pie has cooled, add the topping.

Mrs. Smith's (2)

I got to try the pumpkin pie, and it was VERY good! It was spiced well (some pumpkin pies don’t have enough spice, in my opinion), and the custard was super smooth! The pie dough was very flaky and not at all soggy, too. I especially loved being able to decorate our pie with the included icing packet, which gave it a fun, festive touch. If you’re under a time crunch this holiday season, this pumpkin pie would definitely do the trick! To find where these pies are sold, here’s a link to the retailers near you. Mrs. Smith’s is generously offering one reader of The Nifty Foodie a coupon for a free Signature Deep Dish pie, as well as a $50 gift card to Williams-Sonoma!!
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White Chocolate Brownies & A Giveaway

White Chocolate Brownies

I love living in the South. Sure, the heat index is enough to make you want to just sit in an ice bath all day, but the food?! Oh, the food MORE than makes up for it.

Around here….

…your cooking is judged based on how good your gumbo is
…we embrace stale bread for bread pudding
…we have a love (the drink)/hate (the storm) relationship with hurricanes
…we don’t mind getting our hands dirty to dig out tiny pieces of seafood over newspaper
…a biggie–you know the difference between creole and cajun food

I know a lot of people frown upon Louisiana since there are some stigmas about living here, but I really am blessed to say that this is my home. I just love the little things that make Louisiana home, and even if I don’t live here the rest of my life, I know that Louisiana will always be a part of me. Cheesy, but seriously true.

When I was contacted about reviewing a cookbook called “The Southern Foodie“, I just couldn’t resist. The book, written by food/drink/travel writer Chris Chamberlain, features recipes from favorite restaurants in the South and it’s organized by state. Of course, when I got the cookbook, I frantically flipped through the pages and bookmarked numerous recipes.

I was very happy to see Louisiana well-represented in the book, too. There are some great staples in there, like red beans and rice, pralines and bread pudding, to name a few. Besides the classics, I found that there are some fun, out of the box recipes, like barbequed oysters and sweet potato-andouille soup. This book is great for someone trying to get a feel for Southern food, and even for Southerners, it’s impressive how many different recipes the author has in here that I’ve never heard of.

One of the hardest things for me when I find a good cookbook is to choose a first recipe. I actually have quite a few that I want to try, but I was really in the mood to bake, so I decided to make these white chocolate brownies. I love that brownies bake up so quickly and you don’t have to fork out the mixer to make them. It’s sort of dangerous how easy brownies are to throw together and these were no exception. :-) This brownie is a white chocolate brownie base with white and bittersweet chocolate mixed in. Often times, I find white chocolate desserts to be a little too sweet, but I really think the bittersweet chocolate helped to balance things out a good bit. I ended up halving the recipe, since the original recipe makes two 13×9 inch pans worth of brownies (the halved recipe is below). I sent these to work with my husband, and found out that some people enjoyed 2-3 brownies on their own, so this recipe is definitely a winner. Based on this recipe, I can’t wait to give some others a try!

Now, you know I wouldn’t just dangle this cookbook in front of y’all without having a giveaway. :-) The publisher sent me extra books to giveaway to two lucky readers!

Cookbook Giveaway

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Blogiversary Giveaway WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! I loved reading about your first kitchen adventures. Some of you had me laughing (I’ve been there with the disasters) and some of your stories warmed my heart.

The winner of the cookbook giveaway is:

Cece who wrote:

And I remembered to tweet :)!/PicklePicnic/status/160090998872088576

Congratulations, Cece! To redeem your prize, please email me within 48 hours at! Congratulations!


Four Years Ago (+ A Giveaway)

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! I loved reading about your first kitchen adventures. Some of you had me laughing (I’ve been there with the disasters) and some of your stories warmed my heart.

The winner of the cookbook giveaway is:

Cece who wrote:

And I remembered to tweet :)!/PicklePicnic/status/160090998872088576

Congratulations, Cece! To redeem your prize, please email me within 48 hours at! Congratulations!


Four years ago, I started this blog as a challenge to myself. I wanted to be able to do more than boil hot dogs or cook a mean scrambled egg. At the time, I moved back in with my parents after finishing my degree, and I felt that I should contribute more in the house since my parents both worked fairly late.

I wanted to cook dinner.

I remember the day before I started my blog, I went to the Winn-Dixie near my house and purchased everything necessary to make turkey meatballs that evening. I kept thinking that there was no way I’d mess this up. I mean, meatballs. How can you mess up meatballs? And thankfully, I didn’t mess up the meatballs. They were delicious.

The next day, I got a little bolder and bought everything I needed to make biscotti. That evening, those came out without causing the smoke alarms to go off. :-)

I was hooked. So, that evening I started a food blog, because I knew I could do this. I could learn how to cook.

I started watching Food Network more, and bought my first cookbook. I wanted to learn terminology in recipes. What the heck is folding anyway? Saute? Braise? So confusing. To give you an idea of how rough the beginning was, I used to cook my chicken in a layer of water, wondering why it didn’t brown. ::sigh::

At some point, my Mom noticed my efforts in trying to learn, so she gave me hands-on lessons too. I think I learned the most from my Mom. To me, she’s completely a pro. I’ll never forget the time we went to a local craft festival, where they served this amazing crawfish sauce on top of fried eggplant. She replicated it perfectly.

I want to be just like her someday.

After four years of challenging myself in the kitchen, I can safely say that I’m perfectly comfortable with trying almost any recipe. There are still some kitchen fails, but that’s what carry-out pizza is for, right?

It’s been so amazing to watch this little chunk of cyber space grow into a blog that actually comes up when you search it on Google. :-) Google knows I exist. That’s pretty darn cool.

It’s also been wonderful to become friends with so many of you. I haven’t met you in real life, but sometimes I feel like I can tell y’all anything. Not anything like my social security number, but still, I can share a lot with y’all. :-) I want to thank y’all by offering one of you a copy of one of my favorite cookbooks.

Source: Barnes and Noble

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Happy Haulidays with Chronicle Books!

Happy Haulidays
Book Collage Source: Chronicle Books

I absolutely love the holiday season. While it gets dark at 5pm around here, and that’s sort of depressing, I can’t help but feel happy. I love giving the ones I care about gifts and watch their reactions! Most importantly, I always love to help others out in some way, whether it be choosing a child to “adopt” and give them gifts for Christmas.

Chronicle Books is offering something amazing this year to one lucky blogger: up to $500 in books for the blogger, one of their readers AND a charity/library of their choice!

While I don’t read novels (high school honors classes ruined novel reading for me), I’m a huge fan of books that support my hobbies, which are mostly cooking/baking and crafts. So, here’s the list of books I would absolutely LOVE to have from Chronicle books. :-)

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Thanksgiving is this week + a giveaway!


Since the original winners never emailed me, I had to re-draw for the Turkey gift cards!

cara….who said:

I try to get as much done as I can the night before and we rent an extra fridge!


Kayla…who said:

My tip is to make your SIL host so you can just show up with your pecan pie and call it a day. :P 

For the two of you who won, to redeem your prize, please email me within 48 hours at! Congratulations!


I absolutely cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week. It feels like a few weeks ago, I was sweating like crazy any time I stepped outside. Oh wait…that weather is still going on here.

Maybe that’s why I can’t believe it. Ah, life in the South. Turkey Day in 80 degrees is the norm around here. To get myself in the mood, I usually start baking up a storm.

Turkey Cake Pops

I made these little guys two years ago to get myself in the mood for Thanksgiving. I’d love to make them again, but only two were eaten. Why? Well, because they were “too pretty to eat”. ::sigh::

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Blogiversary Giveaway #3

I hope everyone has had an awesome week!  I’ve had a blast reading your comments for giveaway #1 and giveaway #2 (both of which you can still enter). Giveaway #2, especially, because y’all are giving me handmade ideas for future giveaways. :-)

This last giveaway is actually a request from a couple of you. Last year, I held a similar giveaway, because I know that some of y’all aren’t able to find some ingredients that I consider staples in our Louisiana kitchen. It was probably the most comments I’ve ever received from a giveaway, which to me, shows that y’all want some Louisiana staples in your kitchen, for sure! (Can’t say I don’t blame you!)

New Orleans Giveaway Redux

So, here it is folks. Quite a few of these are things we use in our home regularly. The crawfish boil makes for some AMAZING mashed potatoes (and of course, boiled seafood). Tony Chachere’s seasoning is like the salt & pepper in the house, especially for my husband, who loves things WAY spicier than I do. Community Coffee with Chicory is a CRAZY strong coffee. While we don’t make coffee in our house regularly, I do get this stuff at the local coffee shop. This is NOT your typical Starbucks-like coffee. :-) Gumbo File is an ingredient that is a must-have for making gumbo. My friend in NYC said this stuff was no where to be found, so here it is..up for grabs. And of course, Zatarain’s Jambalaya, Gumbo and Pastalaya mixes for easy peasy weeknight dinners. :-)

Here’s the deets:

All you have to do to enter is comment telling me, what would you like to see more of on The Nifty Foodie?

For an additional giveaway entry, post this on your Twitter and comment back with the Twitter link: “I just entered @niftyfoodie’s Blogiversary Giveaway: Louisiana Staples for the Kitchen. Enter here!

You have until Monday, January, 24th at 11:59pm to comment.

Just a note: Only continental US readers can enter this giveaway.

FTC Disclosure: These prizes are provided by The Nifty Foodie.

Thanks so much for reading this blog for the past three years. I’ve had so much fun sharing my kitchen adventures with you, and best of luck with the giveaways!