The Best Summer Sammie

Hi Y’all! Today I am sharing a super simple summer recipe staple – the tomato sandwich. Now I’m sure some of you have never heard of such a thing but I promise, after you take a bite of this southern concoction, you will wonder what took me so long to share this gem with you. But there’s one thing you need to know, and it’s really important – you absolutely can not make this sandwich unless you have the juiciest, ripest, deepest red tomatoes on hand – no others will do. My suggestion for finding the perfect summer tomato – hit up the farmers market. It’s unlikely you will find perfectly ripe tomatoes at your local grocery store. Regardless of where you shop, make sure you pick a tomato that is deep red in color and is free of cracks or bruising. I’ve tweaked my favorite recipe, just a bit, to give it a little more flavor. Let me know what you think!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 4 RIPE tomatoes, sliced
  • White hoagie rolls
  • 2 cups of Dukes mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. Combine the mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Brush both sides of hoagie roll with olive oil. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned.
  3. Spread as little or as much of the basil, garlic mayo as you’d like, on both pieces of bread. Layer the tomato slices, to your heart’s content, and sprinkle, generously, with salt and pepper. Serve open faced.

XO ~ Kelly D.


Life Lately

Nat King Cole only had it partially correct when he sang about those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” – the crazy part. There has been nothing lazy or hazy about our 2019 summer. I’m not complaining – the not having to do homework or get to bed at a certain time is fabulous. But, the quintessential “summer pic” of a mom, sipping on a cool glass of lemonade while watching her kids play in the pool, is just hilarious!! Patrick and I did get a little break last week. We dropped our two off at Camp St. Christopher and they had a blast. I can’t tell you what we did – I honestly can’t remember!!

Not sure about where you reside, but here in Charleston, it’s getting too hot to eat anything but cold soups and salads. There aren’t enough cold soups I enjoy so I’m opting for salad options this week. Don’t worry – they aren’t your typical boring lettuce and protein mixtures – healthy, flavorful and simple is where it’s at this week! Enjoy!

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 7/14

Sunday, July 14th – One Pot Summer Pasta: This recipe is adapted from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Everyday is Saturday, by Sarah Copeland. You have a ton of room to play with this recipe as you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I used zucchini, tomatoes and kale but any combo will be divine. I know, I said all salads, but pasta and veggies is kind of salad-y, right?

Monday, July 15th – Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini: Again with the pasta but this @Skinnytaste recipe is crazy low in calories and full of flavor. To make this a meal, instead of a side, I tossed in some sautéed shrimp but I think I will do grilled chicken, or rotisserie chicken, the next time I make this one. ( Chicken Sausage would be great too!) I also added a half a cup of yellow and red chopped bell pepper for added crunch. Kid Tip – the beauty of this recipe is all the veggies are raw so you can add them in at any point. One of mine is a veggie eater, and the other a Chick-fil-a eater, so I pulled some plain pasta salad out for her, prior to adding the veggies.

Tuesday, July 16th – Spicy Tomato – Cucumber Salad: Spice + Salad = the perfect combo in my book. I love turning up the heat on lettuce. I added steak bites to my salad but any grilled protein will do. Kid Tip – Spice and kids don’t usually mix so I chopped extra cucumbers and tomatoes and served them plain, with a dippy sauce, and the steak bites!

Wednesday, July 17th – Chicken Zucchini Casserole – Have ten free minutes? You have the time to make this guy. I would let Regan make this recipe if I trusted she wouldn’t lick her fingers after touching the raw chicken. I suggest using chicken tenderloins, instead of breasts, or cube your chicken as the full breast takes too long to cook. If you opt to cube or use tenderloins, check this dish after 25 minutes. And play around with this one – I added tomatoes but artichokes would be awesome too.

Thursday, July 18th – Turkey Taco Bowls: This is a meal prep, lunch, recipe but it’s perfect for a family dinner. I served the adults over romaine lettuce – having a serious love affair with romaine lettuce these days – and put the taco meat in tortilla shells for the girls. I also used the pre-packaged taco seasoning instead of making my own because, well, it’s easier. If you use the pre-packaged stuff do not add water. The turkey will cook down and create enough liquid on it’s own!

Friday, July 19th – Hamburger Skillet with Thousand Island Dressing: I think I’ve shared some version of this recipe before but THIS @thymeandjoy guy is my favorite. The thousand island is on point. A few things – I subbed non-fat greek yogurt for the mayo, in the dressing, and I used soy sauce, not coconut aminos. KID TIP – serve the meat mixture on hamburger buns for a “sloppy joe.”

I hope you and your family have a wonderful week! Please tag and share your Dinner with the Duffy food pics on Instagram!

Cheers! XO ~ Kelly D.


Warmer Days Ahead

Well, after three full weeks of the Duffys being sick, I think we have finally turned a corner. It was a rough three weeks, y’all. I thought I was going to loose my marbles. I’m pretty sure I spent more time in the Dr.’s office than I did at work this past month. February is a complete blur. I apologize for not getting a meal plan out last week but I was sick as a dog and didn’t move for days. So….let’s see. What should we chat about? Oh, I know. I started cracking up the other day, thinking about horrid tan lines, so let’s talk weather. Spring is trying to “spring itself” here in Charleston but mother nature has thrown us a bit of a curve ball. This time of year is so funny. It will be consistently cool and then all of a sudden we will have two or three really warm days and everyone, I mean everyone, pulls out their shorts, t-shirts and Rainbow flip-flops. A few weeks ago, the high was around 70 so I took the girls, and Clare, to the beach. We were in long sleeve tee’s, pants and I think I had on a fleece. Y’all, everyone else on the beach was in a bathing suit. It was so comical because you know they had to be freezing. I was cold in layers. But, the weather guy said it was going to be above 68 so to the beach, to sun, they went. I can’t blame them. I crave the sun too. Our family gets so excited about this local festival, hosted by the James Island County Park, at the beginning of April. This is where the tan lines come in. Everyone always assumes it’s going to be warm, and it usually is, so they dress in their Charleston uniform – shorts, tank and Rainbow flips – but we totally forget to pack the sunscreen. Happens, without fail, every single year. It’s like our brains haven’t fully accepted it’s warm enough to burn. But burn we do. Everyone wakes up the next day with goggles around their eyes, thick tank straps on their shoulders and super straight tan lines right around mid-thigh. It’s awful and hilarious. Happens every year. I love it. How many more days until spring?

Meal Plan For the Week of 3/10

Sunday, March 10th – Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti – The St. Paddy’s Day festivities start early in our family. Like on this day. Patrick will be at a golf tournament all day long. I think it might just possibly be the longest golf tournament in the history of golf tournaments. So, I will make this yummy, comforting dish, for the Duffy girls and leave the leftovers on the stove for P. I think he gets fed at the tournament but Patrick is always hungry – yet he never gains a pound. Go figure.

Monday, March 11th – Sausage Taco Cauliflower Rice Skillet – I know – so many cauli rice recipes. Funny thing is I’m not a HUGE fan. I mean, I like it but I don’t LOVE it. As long as the other flavors dominate the dish I’m OK. And they do in this recipe. The sausage and taco seasoning are so powerful that you barely notice the cauli rice. Honest!!

Tuesday, March 12th – Mustard Chicken with Skillet Zucchini – Normally I can’t stand the thought of just chicken and a veg on a plate. It makes me a bit ill BUT not tonight. The marinade for this chicken is to die for. Recipe calls for you to grill the chicken but I’ll just cook mine in a pan. Oh, and the balsamic zucchini – so bloody good. If you don’t have time to make the balsamic glaze, you can just buy a bottle of it from the grocery store. Try to marinate the chicken overnight if you can fine the time!!

Wednesday, March 13th – Coconut Lime Chicken – I love coconut milk. Lord, it makes everything taste so good. This recipe calls for full fat coconut milk but I will sub light. Not as flavorful but that full fat coco milk is super high in calories. You do you. Pair with basmati, cauli or brown rice!

Thursday, March 14th – 10 Minute Pizza Zucchini Noodles – Call me crazy but this looks so good. When I was a kid, my Uncle Robert used to make homemade pizzas for us every Friday night. The best part was he would let us eat the extra pepperonis while he was making the pizzas. I could eat an entire package of pepperonis if you placed one in front of me. This recipe looks like a better option – since I’m trying to eat healthy and all.

Friday, March 15th – Shrimp, Smoked Sausage and Peppers – This is an instant pot recipe but you can totally adapt it to just be a one pot wonder. I will sauté the veggies and shrimp and then add the tomatoes – I will not add water if I do this on the stove. Healthy, quick and delicious!

I am reviewing a really cool product this week, Beeswax Food Wraps. I can’t wait to try them and let y’all know what I think. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!!! Here’s wishing that your heart be full of love and your life be blessed with good fortune, always. Slainte!

XO ~ Kelly D.


One Fine Day….

Well, I thought we had turned a corner last week but no such luck. Regan came down with the flu on Tuesday – she literally came down with the flu. Fainted in school and all. She’s fine, thank goodness, but my plan to get back on track has been pushed to God knows when. Taking care of children is exhausting but taking care of sick children is a whole different ball game. I’ve learned, this week, that I am not a natural caregiver. #OVERIT. I think I’ve cooked twice this week – twice. Exercise – two and a half times. I started yesterday, got distracted, and totally forgot to go back to my video. I’m so ready to get back into our routine. I need the structure. I really need the structure. If you follow along you know aside from the flu infestation at 111 Duffy Lane, I had other big life happenings this week. Huge happenings, actually. After what I thought was a shut adoption book, I made contact with BOTH biological parents. In the same week. To say I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster is a bit of an understatement. This is how it all went down………
My search angel ( now more like a family member), Daniel, messaged me last Tuesday saying he had located my biological father. I was beyond shocked. I did a little digging and turned up nothing. There was one individual on Facebook who seemed like she could be related to bio dad so I bit the bullet and private messaged her. A day went by and nothing. But, then on Thursday I had an email from one bio dad. Y’all he had no clue about my existence. It was crazy, but long story short, he is very kind and excited to learn more about me and my family.  After connecting with him, I felt like I had to exhaust all of my options and decided to call my biological mother.  Well, that’s not entirely true. I asked my best friend, who had done a little PI work on her own and found out where bio mom worked, to call her. I know, we are crazy – it’s why we are friends.  So, my friend called her.  At work.  And tried her hardest not to give away every detail as to why she was calling, but in the end, she was forced to reveal the real reason she had picked up the phone.  And guess what, the biological mom had never received any of my communication attempts. She had no idea I was trying to connect with her.  Quick lesson here folks – never assume anything.  I was truly functioning, and making decisions, under the idea that she had received and made a choice not to connect. I was wrong.  Life is so surprising.  You just never know what tomorrow will bring.  Two weeks ago I had no medical information, no family history, nada.  Today, I know medical history, the missing pieces of my adoption story and have multiple blood relatives that I never knew existed.  But here is the important part, especially for my fellow adoptees – it doesn’t change anything.  I am still Kelly Regan Duffy, the daughter of Patty and Steve.  The wife of Patrick and the mom of Regan and Ava.  I’m still only 5’1. I still love to cook, eat, drink and be merry. I’m still a very Irish Catholic Charlestonian. I still have the most incredible family and friends in the entire universe.  I’m still the luckiest girl in the world. Now I just have more people to share it all with. And that is truly the lens thru which I see all of this.  Will I get to meet this lovely family with whom I share DNA? I don’t know.  It’s still really early and there are many moving parts. But I think I would like that very much. We shall see.  One day….

Meal Plan for the week of 2/24

Photo Cred ~ Ashley Bakery

Sunday, Feb. 24th – “Fat Sunday” Celebration! We are doing a neighborhood “Fat Sunday” celebration this weekend so I will not be cooking dinner. Instead, I called my favorite, Ashley Bakery, and ordered a King Cake.  I’m hoping the rest of my neighbors are making something really delicious because they are on tap to feed the Duffy’s dinner.  I warned them but they may, or may not, have taken me seriously. So, we may just be eating cake.  IF I was cooking, I would definitely be making my favorite Slow Cooker Jambalaya. ( Make sure to test rice before you turn off crocker – it may need more time!)

Monday, Feb. 25th – Spicy Zucchini Cauliflower Rice – Not exactly family friendly but I have GOT to get my bum back in gear.  I am going on the assumption that everyone in my house will be healthy come Monday so I will be back to my routine, ready to cook, eat healthy and TAM! (Tracy Anderson, y’all. My exercise of choice) Don’t forget to purchase the frozen cauli rice! Oh, and I WILL add chicken, chicken sausage or flank steak to this recipe to beef it up. Pun intended.

Tuesday, Feb. 26th – Lemon Thyme Grilled Salmon – Again, purchase frozen cauli rice here. Will save you some much time and effort. Once you have microwaved your rice, add some fresh lemon juice and thyme to give it some additional flavor. Just a straight forward, healthy dish here, y’all. Oh, with avocado – if you want. I always want.

Wednesday, Feb. 27th – Teriyaki Chicken Bake – Super family friendly to make up for the spicy Monday meal. Feel free to sub out veggies and use what you have on hand – peppers, asparagus. Get crazy!

Thursday, Feb. 28th – Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Lime Quinoa – Pretty straight forward blackened chicken recipe but the cilantro lime “crema” takes it to a whole new level! You can sub cauli rice for the quinoa or just serve with a veg or side salad.

Friday, MARCH 1st – Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa – Sorry for the quinoa overload this week. Just happened that way. It’s March y’all. MARCH. I’m so excited because we get to kick winter to the curb and bring on the spring. I hate the winter. Plus, spring in Charleston is just so good. Flavorful dish here people. Again, sorry for the spice. You can back down on the chili sauce if you need to.

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends! Remember to follow along on Instagram – dinnerwiththeduffys!!!

XO – Kelly D.


Don’t Stop Believing

I’m so sorry friends. This week has been bananas. Ava had the flu, and a crazy high fever, up until Thursday so juggling work and illness proved to be exhausting. And there were other things. Actually, some pretty unbelievable things. I don’t have enough time to go into all of the details but I promise I will next week. Long story, very short, I have made contact with BOTH biological parents – this week. I have spoken to one and have emailed with the other. It’s insane as I truly had found peace in only every knowing what Daniel had found – which was so much more than I ever expected. I had packed up my emotions into a very neat suitcase and that was that. Or so I thought. Life is funny, y’all. As I said, I promise to share more of the details next week but time will not permit today. Just wanted to make sure you had your meal plan before Sunday Shopping!!

Stay Tuned!!

Sunday, Feb 17th – Chicken Wild Rice Cass – Not to get sappy but I can’t let this post pass without mentioning this Sunday is my Dad’s birthday. As you know, my Dad passed away almost four years ago. He was my person, y’all. I miss him every single day but truly believe he is now at peace. This Sunday I am making this comforting chicken and rice dish in his honor – we will gather around the table to eat, drink and be merry and toast to the best, my Daddy-O!

Monday, Feb 18th – Strawberry, Basil Chicken – My plan to be uber healthy last week didn’t exactly pan out. I HAVE to reign myself in this week people. This really light, chicken dish will help. You can add fresh mozzarella to this dish too – beef it up!

Tuesday, Feb 19th – Broccoli, Lemon and Browned Butter Pasta – A friend shared this Cooking Light recipe with me and it looks delicious. If you can’t find whole grained shell pasta, just sub any other whole grain pasta. Family friendly here, y’all.

Wednesday, Feb. 20th – Crockpot Carnitas with Pork Tenderloin – It’s been awhile since I pulled out my crocker but so happy to be doing so this week. There are a gazillion of these recipes but this one looks a little different so we will give it a try! Instant Pot will work here too! Note to self – still need to purchase one of those….

Thursday, Feb. 21st – Korean-Style Pork Chops – I need to hit up Costco this weekend mainly because I found this recipe and now I am dying to make it. I will probably just do some frozen veggies or some kind of quick veg with these!! Yum.

Friday, Feb 22nd – Chicken and Artichoke Quinoa Cass – I love artichokes – they add such a yummy, tangy flavor. Use a rotisserie chick with this dish to make it even easier. Perfect for a Friday!!!

That’s it! Can’t wait to chat next week. Happy, Healthy Eating Friends!

XO ~ Kelly D.


No Regrets


Hey y’all.  I want to take a quick second to thank all of you for your heartfelt messages, emails and comments.  They mean so much to me.  I am overwhelmed by the number of adoptees who, because of my post, are reaching out to Search Angels.  I hope you find as much success, and comfort, as I have.  So, where did I leave off?  Oh yes. Last week, Daniel had begun unraveling my genealogy in hopes of finding my biological mother.  Well, are you ready?  He found her.  Truth be told, Daniel was pretty sure he had found her ten hours after he started my search.  TEN HOURS.  I mean, it’s unreal.  Answers to questions I had been mulling over for thirty seven years came to him in ten hours.  It’s still hard to believe.  Here are the specifics. Last week I received a text message from Daniel stating he was pretty sure he had found my biological mother but needed to do a little more research.  Thirty minutes later, he texted he was sure.  I was without words, and for those who know me, I am never without words.  My first question was, “Does she seem normal?” Daniel ( God love him, he already needs to pray for patience after dealing with me for ten hours) responded that she was alive and all signs pointed to stable. To tell you the truth, I was unbelievably calm.  I think it was just so surreal that I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around the whole thing.  Daniel asked if he could call me the following evening, so, for the next 20 hours, I was in a holding pattern.  I started to get extremely nervous about an hour before Daniel was set to call me.  Thank God my neighbors are my friends and allowed me to babble for 45 minutes straight.  I was about to receive information that would change my life, good or bad, forever.  My phone rang, and Daniel asked if I was ready.  First, he emailed me a copy of my grandfather’s obituary. Next, a picture of my biological mother’s engagement announcement.  When I opened the second email, I could not believe my eyes.  I felt as though I was looking at a picture of myself, minus the 80’s hair.  Words do not exist to describe such a moment. When you have spent your entire life wondering where your nose, eyes, chin, mouth – every single feature – comes from, and then, in one second, all of your questions are answered.  It’s earth-shattering.   From there, Daniel sent me my entire maternal family tree, dating back to 1742. He built my entire maternal family tree.  This stranger spent days searching for my relatives, just to give me something.  He has no idea what he has done, not just for me, but for my children and their children and their children’s children. There is so much more that transpired, but I know what you are waiting for.  Did I reach out and connect with her?  Well, yes and no.  I tried but no response thus far.  Everyone keeps telling me all of the rational things – she may not have received my messages or she may no longer have that address or she needs more time.  All of these are plausible and could certainly be true.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say some part of me believed as soon as I hit “send,” my phone would start ringing, and she would be on the other end of the line.  But, it didn’t, and that’s OK.  Just like with any other let down in life, I have to find the good in the situation.  And you know what, I don’t have to look far.  I am so blessed by all that Daniel has uncovered. I have names, pictures and stories.  Pieces of information I never thought I would have. But most importantly, I was given the opportunity to thank her.  To let her know she can be at peace knowing she made the right decision all of those years ago. So no, I don’t have any regrets about hitting “send” back in October.  It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but worth every single moment.  Adoption is the most incredible gift a human can give, in my humble opinion.  It is not something that happened to me, but something that happened for me.  I am the luckiest woman in the entire world, and I am more empowered than ever to try and not waste a single second of this unbelievable life an unbelievably strong woman gifted to me thirty seven years ago.  If anything changes, I will certainly let y’all know. Now, to the yummy stuff!

Meal Plan for the Week of 1/27/19

Photo Cred ~ Blue Apron

Sunday, January 27th – Spiced Shrimp and Pearl Cousous – I adore pearl couscous. It’s one of my favorite foods. Not quite sure why, but I just really love it. I will not have verjus rouge but no doubt will have some kind of red wine on hand to sub instead!!!

Monday, January 28th – Sriracha Tuna Salad Wrap – If I survive this week I will be pleasantly surprised. The girls have a performance this evening so I will have zero minutes to cook. My plan is to throw this super easy tuna salad recipe together Sunday so all I have to do is throw it in a wrap, or on top of lettuce, when we get home. Feel free to double if more than two are eating:

1 can of tuna, 2 tablespoons greek yogurt or mayo, 1 tsp of soy, 2 tsp sriracha (or more depending on your heat meter). Mix it all together and that’s all she wrote. I will top mine with avocado because everything is better with avo.

Tuesday, January 29th – Lemon & Dill Baked Cod – I have a HUGE work event on Saturday so I need really easy recipes. This one is just that and obviously healthy to boot. Feel free to sub any white, flaky, fish!

Wednesday, January 30th – One Pan Sausage, Potato & Asparagus Bake – Super straight forward, family friendly option y’all. You can use green beans if you don’t like asparagus – honestly, you can do you in this dish. I love the idea of sausage, potatoes and asparagus so I’ll keep mine as is.

Thursday, January 31st – Roast Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans – This is a spice rubbed tenderloin, which can be hit or miss, but I really enjoy the flavors in this one. Even better that you don’t have to marinate the thing. I always forget to marinate.

Friday, February 1st – Super Easy Stir-Fry – I will sub chicken for the turkey breast peeps. I have my Costco chicken in my freezer so no sense buying something I don’t need. Love a good stir-fry!! Is it seriously February?

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends!

XO ~ Kelly D.


Lifestyle vs Diethood





Happy New Year, Y’all! I can’t believe the holidays are officially behind us. Lord it goes by fast. This year was especially daunting for my family of four. We had something every single night. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I’m exhausted. It was fun, no doubt, but I’m ready to trade in the social for some peace and quiet at home. My apologies for not meal planning over the past week and a half but really, what’s the point? I can’t tell you the last time I cooked a meal. I’ve made many an appetizer ( my chicken Caesar salad cups are the bomb.com) and plenty of side dishes but when it comes to an actual meal I’m 0 for who knows how many. And that’s A OK – it was fun while it lasted. But y’all, I’m ready for a change. Bring on the meal planning/sharing. It’s time. I know many of you have already started a New Years cleanse, no carb, no dairy, no meat, no food diet and I feel you. Lord knows “my back is aching, my belts too tight and my hips are shaking from left to right” but you won’t find me cutting out anything except alcohol during the dreaded “J” month. I’ve done that before and it never pans out. What does seem to be more sustainable, from my experience, is a calorie awareness and portion control plan. I love food – ALL food – but I’ve learned to eat smarter so I can indulge in all the deliciousness. Being calorie conscientious has made keeping my weight in check that much easier and it’s something I can do forever. I choose a lifestyle over a diet every single time. It’s the whole idea behind Dinner with the Duffys. Cook delicious, yet healthy, family friendly food for a healthier, happier you. Now, I will confess I have not been so great about my portions lately. It’s amazing how quickly the calories can add up, even when you are eating something super healthy. So be aware. I use the My Fitness Pal app ( FREE) and will stick to a certain caloric intake daily in order to get back on track. This effort, in conjunction with exercise, will make a HUGE difference. Exercise…..the dreaded word. I hesitate to bring up exercise as it seems like everyone on the planet has an opinion on what we should be doing. I board the “to each his own” train but I do strongly encourage everyone of you to MOVE daily. I don’t care if you run, walk, bike or hike – just MOVE. Me, I am a Tracy Anderson for lifer – TAM is my JAM – but you do you. Last PSA for the week – if you are a female pick up those weights. Strength Training is something women absolutely need to be doing weekly. Why? A number of reasons but here are the top three:

  1. Preserves Muscle Mass – Muscle mass diminishes with age. If you don’t strength train then the loss of muscle mass gets replaced with fat. Yep, fat. Listening now??
  2. Osteoporosis – Adding weight training (just light weights) can slow bone deterioration and actually help strengthen your bones. Stronger bones = delayed or NO osteoporosis.
  3. Controls Weight – Yep, picking up as little as three pounds helps burn more calories. So grab light hand weights before you walk around your hood. Or, do like my gal pal and strap those ankle weights on to run your errands!

Because of the holidays, I’m all out of whack when it comes to my meal plan. This is what I’m thinking. I will share three recipes for this week and then on Saturday/Sunday I will send out a full meal plan for next week. Not sure I can go out ten days. Maybe by then I will have a New Year’s Resolution. So many to choose from……



Wednesday, January 2nd – Weeknight Healthy Turkey Bolognese – This is kind of like my Sunday y’all. I start back work tomorrow so I need to treat tonight’s dinner like Sunday Supper. I’m a little depressed if I’m being honest. I will be OK once I get thru tomorrow but I’m definitely doom and gloom today. Nothing a good Bolognese won’t fix!!

Thursday, January 3rd Sweet Paprika Chicken and Cauli Bowl – I know, I totally made fun of the cauliflower rice substitute but once I found it in the freezer section, pre-shredded, I became a fan. It’s pretty tasty and so easy to prepare. Definitely buy it frozen. Try it!!

Friday, January 4th – Mediterranean White Chicken Enchiladas – A healthy enchilada dish under 400 calories a serving? Yes please. I will so need this dish come Friday. Everything about this dish screams comfort. I can’t wait.

Short week, I know. I promise to get you a full meal plan for next week before Monday! Oh, and I will share my Caesar app cups too. We can do this people. Just a few more days until the weekend. Let’s rock it!

XO ~ Kelly D.


Merry Merry & Busy Busy

Four days people. Four days until the BIG Day. I am no where near ready. I haven’t wrapped a single gift – not one. My house looks like an Amazon sorting facility – there are boxes everywhere. I am still waiting on a few things to arrive and I just pray to God I can remember where I hid everything. It’s the most wonderful time of year, right??? Oh and tonight is our neighborhood Christmas party. We do a progressive dinner every year and it’s so much fun. This year’s theme is “Pemberton Country Club” so the courses are all very sophisticated dishes except for the Duffys. We got the last house in the rotation so we are the “after party” house. Think Caddyshack. I’m pretty stoked as we are serving McDonalds hamburgers, Taco Bell tacos, potato chips, in the bag, with French onion dip, out of the can. Now if I can just find three hours to clean my house…..

Photo Cred ~ Lil’ Luna

Tip of the Week : OK so obviously I’m not meal planning this week. There is no point as we will be here, there and everywhere. Any meal I plan will most definitely go to waste. Instead, I will keep the items I mentioned last week on hand as well as some Boars Head deli meat, good quality bread, pesto and the ingredients for a white chicken lasagna. Random but it works. Trust me – you need something in your house for lunch people. I love white chicken lasagna and for some reason it seems like the perfect after Christmas dish – don’t ask me why. You can make this ahead of time and put it in the freezer. Then when your family or friends pop over, unexpectedly, you can feed them. I just like knowing I have something in my fridge. Just in case. Plus, I know my family will pop over unexpectedly so this is a necessity for me!

That’s a wrap people. Short & sweet this week. Here’s wishing you a Very Merry Christmas. Sit back, relax, eat all the food and drink all the wine. That’s my motto for the next five days! Cheers!!!

Kelly D.



Gobble Wobble Recovery

Holy Mother of God.  Y’all, I have been in a food coma since Thursday.  I actually ate more on Friday than I did on Thursday and became ill.  I think I consumed an entire five pound bag of potatoes by my lonesome.  But it was so good and SO worth it.  My apologies I never got around to sharing creative ideas on what to do with all of the leftovers but I was too full and too tired to make it to the computer.  And, since I’m two days behind in getting out my weekly meal plan I’m going to cut this blog super short so you can get to your home shop shopping.  OH – one more thing before I go. I’m partnering up with some amazing females this week on Instagram for an unbelievable giveaway.  I think the value is over $400.  Just follow me on Insta, by tomorrow,  for all of the deets – DinnerwiththeDuffys!! 

Photo Cred ~ Foodie Crush
  • Sunday – Lemon Chicken Stew –  I had a recent request for my favorite chicken soup recipe and I didn’t have to think twice to come up with this goodie.  Now, I’m sure you are thinking, “it’s just chicken soup so I’ll pass on this one” but don’t you dare.  This is the most satisfying chicken soup you will ever eat. The tarragon, lemon and leeks are a triple threat in this one. Perfect for a Sunday. 
  • Monday – Shrimp, Arugula, White Bean Salad –  I need the biggest metabolism reset button of my life this week and this little salad is gonna kick it off right.  Nothing complicated or fancy here but really good flavor, low cal and easy peasy. 
  • Tuesday – Slow Cooker (Instant Pot) Paleo Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili – This recipe right here is genius. There are literally two steps – dump and turn on. And, wait for it……you top this chili with goat cheese!!!!! WHAT WHAT??!!!
  • Wednesday – Balsamic Chickpea, Avocado, Feta Salad – I told y’all I was going light this week. I wasn’t kidding when I said I ate myself sick.  But, I will add chicken to this one as my husband doesn’t count a chickpea as a protein – more like a garnish.  Super quick hump day dish.
  • Thursday – Grilled Zucchini & Sausage Kabobs – You know how I feel about kabobs (such a waste of time) so I will just stir-fry the sausage and veggies.  PDiddy will eat his over rice but I’m going lean this week so no whites.
  • Friday – Steak and Asparagus Quinoa Bowl – Last day in November peeps.  How is this possible? Our Elf on the Shelf, Carter, arrives tonight so I need a quick, easy Friday dish as all of my energy will be sucked up trying to remember to do something with him. Feel free to start taking bets on what time I will sit straight up in the bed, panicked, because I forgot to move him. 

There you have it friends.  My shortest blog post ever!!! Enjoy!!

XO ~ Kelly D. 


Let’s Talk Turkey!

OK people, we are thirteen days away from the most fabulous food day of the year ~ Thanksgiving! I LOVE gobble day almost as much as I love my birthday. My husband is most certainly rolling his eyes – my birthday celebration would last an entire month if it were up to me and all of five minutes if it were up to him.  This year is oh so exciting as I get to host this fabulous holiday.  Some of you may cringe at the idea of hosting but for me it means I get to stay in my house, all day, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on, apron clad and barefoot in my kitchen. Not trying to throw it back to the 50’s y’all, but I just really love to wear an apron, be barefoot in my kitchen and watch a parade!! Just me?  When I think of how this day will unfold ( which I do more often than I care to admit)  I picture me, calmly cooking in the kitchen, sipping a glass of perfectly chilled chardonnay, turkey roasting in the oven and my kids, happily setting my gorgeous kitchen table.

Turkey

Photo Cred ~ joyful healthy eats

This is hilarious, right,  as there will be nothing calm, or perfect, about this day!  I will be a nervous ninny and everyone in my house will pay for my nerves. There will be attempts to help ease my anxiety but none will be 100% successful.  I will make so many lists; recipe idea lists, drink lists, ingredient lists, table lists, seating lists and day of lists. Problem is I never really cross anything off of said lists, so I end up making new ones, and then I inevitably forget something and find myself at Target or the grocery store like fifteen times during that one week.  But guess what? Not this year.  For some crazy reason this is the first year it dawned on me I could create a “turkey day ingredient list”, on Harris Teeter home shop, to begin slowly adding items I will need on the 22nd. Our friends at the Teet are so damn clever. Why is this such a big deal? Well, raise your hand if you have NEVER had to go back to the store after getting home and unpacking eighteen grocery bags because you forgot something?  I see no hands. Plus, no need to walk up and down the aisles with a giant g-list that’s trailing behind you like you sprouted a dinosaur tail. On November 20th I will pull up to my favorite James Island HT and load all those beautiful, brown paper bags into the back of my caravan. Tell me that doesn’t make you happy??!!! Since I have already started working on my “turkey day recipe list” I figured I would share. Not bragging – I have chosen to begin my turkey planning over cleaning my house, helping my child with her social studies project and switching out the girls summer/winter closets – they can totally still wear shorts!  #Priorities. So how about this week I give you multiple tried and true turkey recipes and next, my favorite side dishes?  Sound like a plan? Good – grab a pen and paper and label this list “Turkey & Tips”…

Turkey & Tips: At my house we have fried turkeys and we have roasted turkeys and I love them both ways.  BUT, I prefer an oven roasted bird because it’s just prettier, y’all.  I order my turkey from Whole Foods, every year, and they have never let me down.  The process is super simple – go online, choose your size and select your pick-up day.  If you are brining  your bird, make sure you pick it up at least 2 days before. AND make sure if you purchase a frozen bird you give yourself DAYS to thaw that sucker. There’s a Duffy rumor floating around that my sis-in-law learned this the hard way!!!  OK, on to my favorite turkey recipes:

  1. Slow Roasted Turkey – I love slow roasted birds as they require very minimal hands on time.  You need to make sure you have your bird, thawed, two days before t-day as you will start seasoning it 48 hours prior to baking. This method calls for you to cook the bird on high for 45 minutes and then all but turn off the oven and cook while you sleep! No lie.
  2. Classic Roasted Turkey – Doesn’t get any more Martha Stewart-ish than this.  You need your bird thawed 24 hours prior to baking for this fabulous favorite!
  3. Cheesecloth Roasted Turkey – This was our recipe of choice last year and it did not disappoint.  Probably one of the juiciest birds I have ever eaten.  You will have to put in a little extra time/work with this one but it is totally worth it in the end! We dry brined our bird last year – dry brine recipe below.
  4. Dry Brine Recipe – So much easier than a wet brine! Plus, the salt pulls all of the moisture out of the skin so it gets nice and golden brown without robbing the meat of flavor/moisture.  I will absolutely be dry brining my bird this year!!
  5. Breast Side Down Turkey – This is kind of a genius idea right here people.  We all know the breast meat dries out the fastest but cooking it upside down allows all the juices from the cooking bird to drip down to the breast meat making it super moist and flavorful!
  6. Non-Brined Turkey – I have to say, this one looks pretty darn good.  It incorporates the cheesecloth method but skips the brining, so all of your work is day of.  Just make sure your turkey is thawed!!!

Thanksgiving Wisdom – There are so many turkey day tips out there and quite honestly, some are BANANAS and will cause you more anxiety.  For me, there are two simple thoughts I can share:

  • Anything you can do ahead of time, do.  Set the table, wash the linens, dice the veggies, make the bread (I’ll share the best drop biscuit recipe next week), pie filling, gravy, and all the casserole dishes you can make & refrigerate prior to baking. Don’t go crazy, but if you have the time, and space, do what you can as this will seriously cut down on your day of cook time. Plus, it will free up your kitchen cook space. I struggle with space as we only have one oven.  Which leads me to my next tip….
  • Create a recipe game plan.  Have each recipe on a sheet of paper with what temp it needs to cook at and for how long.  This will allow you to see what dishes you need to prep first, what dishes can cook in the oven together and honestly, if you have the space/time to actually make and serve all of your dishes – I have to borrow my neighbors ovens to get all of our sides ready around the same time.  To this point, make sure you include recipes you can cook on the stove, in a crockpot or dishes that can be served cold.  Oh, and write down what time you start cooking each dish and when it should be ready.  There is NO WAY you will be able to keep track of all those times in your brain.

Okie Dokie, now on to what you should eat THIS week!!!

Meal Plan for the week of November 11th!

Sunday, November 11th – Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage & Kale – Can you even? How good does this sound?  And you don’t even know it has cream in it!! Surprise – it has cream.  Everything is better with cream.  Plus, anyone eating this recipe will believe you slaved in the kitchen all day when in reality, it should take you all of 15 minutes to pull together.

Monday, November 12th – The BEST Tuscan Garlic Chicken – The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are SO long.  I’m kind of OK with that as I will start losing my shizzizzle once Dec. 1 rolls around but on the other, a drawn out week is the worst. Thankfully you’ve got this yummy recipe to help make your Monday super simple.  Really filling and low calorie.  Serve with a side salad if you are watching carbs!!

Tuesday, November 13th – Smoky Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salad – I know, this screams summer  but honestly, you can purchase these delicious ingredients all year long so why not?  My husband hates two foods and two foods only – avocado and water chestnuts – so I get the avocado all to myself! This recipe calls for you to grill your salmon which is fabulous but if you don’t want to mess with the grill, just bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes. When it’s flaky, it’s done!

Wednesday, November 14th – Chicken Shawarma Sheet Pan – I have a love affair with The Modern Proper.  Their recipes are bananas good and insanely quick to whip together.  This recipe calls for two things you may or may not be familiar with – peppadew peppers and tahini.  Peppadew peppers are a pickled sweet red cherry pepper and can be found in the “pickled” section of your g-store. There really isn’t a substitute so if you can’t find, don’t worry about it.  Tahini looks like peanut butter and can be found in the ethnic section of almost all grocery stores – you shouldn’t have an issue locating!!

Thursday, November 15th – Sesame Garlic Beef Short Ribs – Instant Pot or Crock Pot here peeps.  This week is amazing, right? Not much to say about this insane recipe other than its super simple! Oh, it calls for coconut aminos which is paleo code for soy sauce.  I have a major work event, on this day, so I’m banking on my husband pulling this together so I can chow down once I’m home!

Friday, November 16th – Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili – Our weather people are calling for cold in Charleston next week, which means it will be hot as hell, but I’m going with it.  I know I’ve given you multiple chicken and slow cooker options but they are all too good not to share!! Plus, chicken is cheaper and it’s always so nice to come home to a crockpot dish on a Friday. You may even have leftovers for Saturday lunch!!

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.  Please do me a favor and follow along on Pinterest ~ Dinner with the Duffys!!

XO ~ Kelly D.