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Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Crostini


I'm not afraid to admit that I was once a picky eater. If a food wasn't familiar, then it certainly wasn't going on my plate. This was the trend for YEARS! As I started to learn more about nutrition, I understood that I would have to be more open to food. So there I was... forcing myself to eat vegetables and try new fruits (as a sophomore in college). My cravings began to shift and trying unfamiliar foods became a welcomed norm. In fact, some of my current faves are the same foods that I vowed to never touch. 

What does any of this have to do with the yummy appetizer pictured above? ...Well, mushrooms were at the top of my foods to never touch list. "Mushrooms are fungi." That is the only thing I remember learning about them in middle school. No one ever mentioned the powerful antioxidant capacity in various mushrooms. No one told me they serve as a good source of potassium (that's right, not just bananas). Mushrooms are actually pretty great, and they provide several other key vitamins and minerals with disease-fighting abilities

How could I say no to all this healthful goodness? I finally decided to try a mushroom... and I fell in LOVE! Why did no one ever tell me how perfect these little pale fungi could be? Now, I crave mushrooms at least once per week. This week's craving blossomed into our Mushroom & Smoked Gouda Crostini. 


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 French (wheat) baguette, sliced ¼” thick
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 3 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil under medium-low heat, adding onion and garlic once warm. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms to pan and sauté, stirring intermittently for 5-6 minutes; season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. When mushrooms are cooked, add thyme and stir mixture. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 4-5 minutes.
  4. While mushroom mixture is resting, heat broiler. Lightly brush olive oil onto sliced baguette and cook under the broiler until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes (WATCH CLOSELY!). Remove toasted slices from broiler and gently sprinkle shredded Gouda.
  5. Top each crostini with some mushroom mixture and enjoy. Serve quickly!




[Lettuce] Wraps Done Right

Kamaria Mason

Rotisserie chicken is tasty and cheap. Throw together some sides and you have a quick meal with minimal effort. The only problem is that after two meals I'm sick of it. For those of you with a multi-person household, this may not be an issue. But some of you may be like me, a sexy single stuck with half a chicken! So I decided to spice up and repurpose this lesser half.


  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 cups of rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons of reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 ear of fresh corn (OR) 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 10 Romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed separated
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatos, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese.

Optional garnishes: Cilantro, Avocado, Guacamole, Fat-Free Sour Cream.


Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, taco seasoning and water to the skillet, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add black beans and corn to the mixture, stir, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon mixture over lettuce leaves. Top with red onion, tomatoes and cheese. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and avocado. Happy Eating!!

Sunrise Skillet Hash


FFN Hash.jpg

My typical work week is a fast-paced, high stress reality full of never-ending tasks with tight deadlines.  Saturday however, I like to take a second to slow down and savor the moment (and flavor) by eating a hearty and satisfying Breakfast. No cereal bars allowed!

The only problem? It's hard to savor the flavor with a barely stocked refrigerator.  By the end of the week, only left-overs and remnants of meals are in my fridge. I suppose I could head out early Saturday morning to go grocery shopping, but that would be too much like right. NO, waking up early on Saturday is not the way I roll! But a girl's gotta eat... One Saturday I stumbled across the carcass of a mostly eaten rotisserie chicken, half an onion, some pepper strips, and two red skinned potatoes. I thought to myself "surely I could figure something out with these scraps, right?!" I threw everything in a skillet, added some spices, topped my masterpiece with a fried egg and Voilà Saturday's Skillet Hash!

1 tablespoon of olive oil
½ cup yellow onion, chopped
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into i-inch cubes
1 teaspoon Emeril’s BAM Original Essence or favorite seasoning salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup of mixed peppers, chopped
1 cup of Rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 eggs Your Way (sunny side up, scrambled, or fried...whatever you want it’s Saturday!)
¼ cup Italian shredded cheese blend, garnish

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add yellow onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add red-skinned potatoes. Sprinkle Emeril’s BAM Original Essence or your favorite seasoning salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika onto the potato mixture. Stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir and add mixed peppers and Rotisserie chicken. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Time to EAT! Plate the potato mixture first, top with eggs Your Way and garnish with cheese.

Mini Meaty Frittata

Kamaria Mason

Breakfast is always tricky for me. Up North, I would drink some tea, grab a granola bar and run out the door.  When I moved to North Carolina and discovered a true Southern breakfast, I was done for. Who knew that one meal could have bacon, sausage gravy, biscuits, fried chicken or fish, grits, pancakes, cinnamon apples, and eggs anyway you like them but always with cheese! For months I was in heaven...fictitious food coma heaven that is. I never got any work done after breakfast because I was too lethargic from all of this tasty food. So I had to think of an alternative, something quick, portable, and satisfying. That's where the Mini Meaty Frittatas come in. These beauties feature Italian turkey sausage, spinach, red onions, and six-cheese Italian blend. They are freezer friendly, so typically I make a batch of one dozen on Saturday morning, eat a few, and then I put the rest in a freezer bag to enjoy during the week.


  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup turkey Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend
  • Olive oil cooking spray

       Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a medium bowl beat eggs. Stir in milk, salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Add cooked turkey Italian sausage, red onion, spinach, and cheese blend to the bowl. Stir egg mixture. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and spoon the egg mixture into the muffin cups. The egg mixture should be evenly distributed among the 12 muffin cups. Place the muffin pan in the oven. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. After the eggs are set, remove the muffin pan from the oven and allow the mini frittatas to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the muffin cups.  Serve warm with seasonal fruit or a yogurt parfait. Enjoy!