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.


Adoption Story Update!

First, thank you for all of the love and support after last week’s post. I am seriously overwhelmed by your kindness. Second, I have no idea how to write this week’s post. I’ve started, erased, stopped and picked back up at least thirty times. There just aren’t enough descriptive words in the English language. For those of you who are just jumping on the DwtD train, I met my maternal, biological family this past weekend. I started my biological family search, back in October, and it all came to fruition, in Atlanta, five days ago. And honestly, I’m still processing and will continue processing for quite some time. I don’t think my head, and heart, can fully wrap themselves around what has happened. I mean, I met my maternal biological mother. The extraordinary woman who gave me a chance at life. Six months ago she was a figment of my imagination – just a person I thought about every now and again when I had to have a check-up or, on my birthday. Fast forward to last weekend and there she was, knocking on my hotel door. To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the year. I was terrified. I think I downed two glasses of chardonnay in two minutes. But then she was in our hotel room, with my incredible half sister, and all of a sudden the nerves were gone, the anxiety lifted and all was as it should be. There were no awkward moments or uncomfortable silences – well, Patrick was silent but only because he was the only male which meant he had no chance of getting a word in!! We all spent the weekend just getting to know one another and laying the framework for our future relationships. Will we see each other again? Definitely. All in good time. For now, I’m just so happy I forced myself to leap. I have been on a carousel of emotions, for the last nine months, but it was 100% worth it . And I truly believe it would have been worth it regardless of whether or not my bio mom ever engaged. The journey alone brought me peace. By starting the search I allowed myself to control the fear so many adoptees struggle with – the fear of the unknown. We choose not to search, in part, because we are scared of what we will find and how what we find might change who we are. But the opposite happened to me. As soon as I submitted my Search Angels application, I felt like I was in control. I was no longer sitting on the sidelines too nervous to try. I made myself work through every, possible, scenario and tried my best to find peace with each potential outcome. And I believe I did. “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

Meal Plan for the Week of 6/23

Sunday, June 23rd – Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Crust Buffalo Chicken Pizza – I have never tried cauliflower pizza crust but I’m really curious so let’s do this people. Use whatever toppings float your boat!!

Monday, June 24th – Southwest Turkey, Vegetable and Rice Skillet – This guy has it all – one dish wonder, family friendly, ready in under 20. Doesn’t get any better, especially on a Monday.

Tuesday, June 25th – Salmon, Avocado Salad – Patrick hates avocado but this recipe will be delicious with or without – it will just be better with. Light and flavorful – exactly what I need after weeks of overindulging.

Wednesday, June 26th – Asparagus Salad with Chicken or Shrimp – Our most recent swim meet was cancelled, due to weather, and I think the make-up will be this evening. Thankfully, this here recipe is easy to make and travels well. I will add some kind of protein to make this a meal, not a side!!

Thursday, June 27th – Chicken Chimichangas – I honestly don’t know how these differ from burritos but I honestly don’t care. Any Mexican dish that is under 400 calories is a winner in my book.

Friday, June 28th – Skinny Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake – Sorry for the seafood heavy recipes these week – just happened that way. I love a Friday night dish I can make ahead of time and this one is worth it. You won’t even know it’s “light.” Enjoy!!

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.

XO ~ Kelly D.


Sweet, Sweet Summer Time

It’s officially summer, y’all. Friday was the last day of school for Regs and Avs. Don’t you remember that freeing feeling you felt, as a kid, on the last day of school. The best. My brain is chock full of memories of ice cream trucks, flashlight tag, mid-week sleepovers and late night swimming. Sweet, sweet summer time. My how things change. These days just the word summer sends me down a rabbit hole of anxiety. Parents have to start making summer plans for their kids in January. JANUARY. Sitters book up in no time, as do camps. I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined the anxiety I would feel over trying to get my kids into camp. Finding a soulmate is less stressful. For the working parent you have no choice – you have to figure out what to do with your kids for twelve straight weeks. And the price tag that comes with those camps. Forget it. Not to mention the pressure to get them into the best camps, you know the ones where they build space ships and solve US – Chinese tensions. Bananas with a capital “B.” And the non-working parents don’t have it any easier. You all have to deal with entertaining your kiddos for twelve straight weeks! When I was a kid (I am officially old), my summers were spent sleeping in and running the streets until dark. I promise you my parents were not planning out my days. My point here – cut yourself some slack. Our kids will be OK if they wake up for the next seventy-five some odd days at nine AM, get their agua from the neighbors hot water hose and ride bikes all day instead of learning algebra. We all survived. They will too. #makesummertimesweetagain

Kitchen Update – We are moving right along. Two and a half weeks and lots of progress. Electrical is mostly done, walls are up and cabinets are in. Next week brings counters, floors and I pray to God, running water!

BEFORE
AFTER

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 6/1

Sunday, June 2nd – Hamburgers, Dogs and Israeli Couscous Orzo Pasta Salad – It’s not officially summer until you have a cookout so the Duffys will be a grilling come Sunday. This couscous & orzo salad is one of my summer staples. It’s served room temp, or cooled, which is necessary when it’s 185 degrees out. Hopefully the tides will cooperate and we can jump in the creek after dinner.

Monday, June 3rd – Baked Chicken Thighs with Asparagus – You all know I have a straight up obsession with @TheModernProper. Their recipes never disappoint. You can sub skinless thighs if you prefer but you may need to add a little more fat to the pan after cooking. I’m not an olive eater so I’ll just forget those guys.

Tuesday, June 4th – Skinnytaste Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce – Pulling out a flashback fav for tonight. Make sure not to overcook these bad boys – 160 and they are good to go. I will serve with an arugula, lemon and parm salad to make it light and simple. Girls will probably get a canned green bean – more than one if I don’t eat them all. God I love a canned bean!!

Wednesday, June 5th – Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles – I have a confession to make. I have never actually cooked ramen noodles. My neighbors eat them all of the time, and when they feed me, I love them. Just never really crossed my mind. That changes today. I will toss these with shrimp or chicken to add bulk!

Thursday, June 6th – Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce – There is a small chance I will have a working oven and running water by this time but just in case, I’m opting for a crocker. I will sub light coconut milk and use skinless thighs. Breasts are perfectly fine to sub!

Friday, June 7th – Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin – I think sheet pan Fridays should become a thing. I’ll work on that. In the meantime, this recipe had me at sheet pan and hoisin. I love hoisin. And it cooks with green beans and potatoes. Quickly put this one together, stick it in the oven and pour yourself a glass. You deserve it.

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.

XO ~ Kelly D.


A Day Late and a Recipe Short

Memorial Camp 2019 is officially in the books. A wonderful time was had by all. We ate too much, drank too much, got way too much sun and too little sleep but it was well worth it for two full days/nights inhaling the salty, Lowcountry air. Of course, I’m putting this weeks meal plan out super late so I will just get to it!

Meal Plan for the week of May 27th

Monday, May 28th – Prosciutto, Arugula, Burrata Pizza – Or whatever pizza you would like. We are still without a kitchen so our neighbors invited us over for dinner. They are the best. On the menu tonight – grilled pizzas. I am not making the pizza dough – neighbor is knee deep in flour as I type – but if he wasn’t doing the deed, I would just buy pizza dough from the store. You can go crazy and add whatever ingredients you would like. I just happen to be obsessed with burrata these days. And arugula. And prosciutto.

Tuesday, May 29th – Asado Chicken and Sauteed Lemon Zucchini – Asado Chicken is a sweet and salty Filipino dish that is full of flavor and really easy to pull together. Oh, and of course, healthy.

Wednesday, May 30th – Hawaiian Ground Beef – I always get nervous when I add fruit to salty foods. Odd as I usually end up loving the flavor combo. This one is crazy family friendly and incredibly easy to make. Chop your veggies/fruit ahead of time and this will take you twelve minutes, start to finish. A good thing because we have swim mock meet Wednesday and will be at the pool, for eighteen hours, to watch our girls swim for three minutes.

Thursday, May 31st – Air Fryer Basil-Parmesan Salmon ( Oven Instructions Too) – I do not own and air fryer so I will be baking my salmon in the oven. Maybe once my kitchen is finished, and I have more space, I can purchase this Skinnytaste one. Regardless of how you choose to bake, this dish will rock your taste buds. Serve with a veg and side salad!

Friday, June 1st – Skinny White Chicken Enchiladas – I have been seriously craving Mexican food. Hopefully I will have a working oven by Friday and I can make this dish in my own kitchen. Easy and scrumptious, perfect for a Friday night. P.S. – summer is officially here!!!

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends!

XO ~ Kelly D.


App, App, Baby

My high school friends and I have our first supper club this Saturday. There are finally enough of us, back in Charleston, to organize such a fun event.  My insanely talented photographer friend, @KristenLequire, is hosting our first gathering so I only need to bring an app.  No big deal, right?  Not true.  The struggle to come up with an app that travels well, eats well and tastes good is real.  I find the “what app should I bring” question is the most common I’m asked by followers.  So, this week I’m giving you a list of my favorites, by category, and a few tips to boot.

Cold Appetizers ~ By far the easiest appetizer option.  Want to make it and forget about it?  These apps are for you.  Most cold apps can sit at room temperature, for around two hours, including apps made with meat, dairy or eggs.  After that, you may want to put them back in the fridge for a bit unless you are OK with being sick the next day.  My favorites:

Goat Cheese, Basil Dip with Honey; Avocado Yogurt Dip w/ Veggies; Neiman Marcus Dip; The BEST Black Bean Hummus; Herbed Goat Cheese; Big T’s Crab Dip; Spicy Tuna Poke and Avocado Cups; Caesar Salad Cups; Boiled Old Bay Shrimp; Antipasto Salad Kabobs; Ceviche;

Hot Appetizers – These can be tricky if you are taking your app on the road. Make sure, when bringing a hot app, it will still be tasty at room temp – some wilt or get straight up nasty after they cool down. Opt for an appetizer that can live in a crockpot or place your app on a warming tray. I really need to convince the peeps @yeti to create some cookware!! Hot apps are perfect if you are hosting – you can pull them out of the oven just as your guests arrive. Below are my favs (P.S. – I have a slight obsession with wonton wrappers. They used to frighten me but no more. Super easy to work with and have made apps a game changer in my world. Use them)

Hot Ham Sammies; Crab Rangoon Dip; Cheesy Sausage Dip; Hot Corn Dip Wonton Cups; Spinach, Artichoke and Goat Cheese Dip; Baked Brie; Crack Dip; Gruyere, Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip; The BEST Hot Artichoke Dip; DwtD Buffalo Chicken Taco Cups (Recipe Below):

For 12 Cups:

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/3 cup ( up to ½ cup depending on how buffalo-y you like your chicken) Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • Wonton Wrappers – 24
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400. Melt cream cheese, butter and hot sauce together on low heat, stirring frequently until fully incorporated.  Fold in picked rotisserie chicken, salt, pepper and paprika to the melted mixture.  Set aside. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Place one wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin cup.  Place about one tablespoon of the buffalo chicken mixture into each cup.  Top with 2 tsp of shredded cheese.  Place a second wonton wrapper on top of the cheese then add the remaining chicken mixture and cheese across all the muffin cups. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until wonton edges are browned and cheese is melted. Top each cup with a dollop of sour cream, tomatoes and green onions – or whatever your heart desires!! Serve immediately.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 5/12

Sunday, May 12th – Happy Mother’s Day. I’m not even going to pretend I’m cooking today. No Mom should. Go out. Order pizza. Have your partner cook for you. Relax and enjoy.

Monday, May 13th – Greek Burger Salad – I’m only linking out the tzatziki because I plan to use a @bubbaburger and since the instructions are on the box, I’m pretty sure you can manage. I’m going to chop my burger, add some veggies and top with this delicious tzatziki. Don’t worry about squeezing the cucumber – it’s not a big deal.

Tuesday, May 14th – Everything Bagel Chicken with Asparagus – I apologize but you will need @TraderJoes Everything Bagel spice for this recipe. You won’t regret it as it’s the most amazing spice, ever. Amazon also sells! I went to put on a pair of shorts Friday night that were HUGE last summer only to find they had shrunk. I swear clothing shrinks if it’s sits for too long. That’s a thing, right? I’ll just eat super healthy in case I’m wrong. This recipe will help!!

Wednesday, May 15th – BBQ Pork Tenderloin in the Crocker – By this point in time my kitchen should be pretty packed up. Hopefully I was smart enough to put a few items towards the front of the chaos for accessibility. My crocker should be one of those items as I will be using the bejesus out of it for the next few weeks. I’ll nuke some green beans and call it a day. Oh wait, will I have a microwave? Hmmmmmmm

Ava’s written message on our kitchen wall. Not sure what is above said message?? I really think it’s a dragon, y’all!!

Thursday, May 16th – One Pan Baked Smothered Chicken – Just chopping and mixing here peeps. Family favorite in my house. Well, Regs doesn’t vote unless it’s grilled cheese, chicken fingers, steak or dessert. 3 out of 4 ain’t so bad. Serve with brown rice, salad – whatever you have on hand.

Friday, May 17th – Salmon and Summer Veggies – Well, I’m pretty sure my kitchen will be dust at this point so I’m hoping my neighbors were for real when they told me I could use their kitchens. Mandy, if you are reading this, I’m coming over. Hopefully I can put these easy packets together in my living room and then bake them at the Reids. Light, summery dish, perfect for a Friday in May!!

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends! Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram – @dinnerwiththeduffys!! Kitchen updates coming soon.

XO ~ Kelly D.


Worth the Wait??

Well, I fell down on the job.  SO sorry folks.  I was hoping I’d have the “I was too busy packing to work” excuse but that’s not entirely accurate seeing as I only packed for about an hour.  It took an hour to pack up our china and glassware.  How does one accumulate so much glassware?  None of it matches and I honestly can’t remember purchasing like 80% of what we have.  So odd.  We left around ten cups in the cabinet, to just survive over the next few weeks, and you would have thought we had left one for all four of us to fight over.  The girls were freaking out.  I can’t wait until we pack up the plates.  Meanwhile, the thought of not having to wash plates, cups and utensils, for the next four weeks, has me kind of giddy. I feel like I’m hitting the jack pot.  People can’t believe we are choosing to stay in our house, during the work, and I’m over here like, “are you kidding?” You want me to leave just about the time my responsibilities will go from 100 to 10? You crazy.  No vacuuming, mopping, dusting, 409-ing, windexing, pledging, or cleaning after cooking?  I mean, it might as well be vacation.  So I have to live in a dust infested house with no sink or stove for a few weeks. Meh, just minor inconveniences compared to being a cleaning lady, short order cook, dry cleaner and uber driver. Dropping two of the four ain’t so bad.  I’ll be armed with my arsenal of Costco paper products, a toaster oven and a grill.  My meal plan may be a bit odd from the 19th to the first of June but I will get creative.  I mean, I’ll have oodles of time, right? This entire post is going to come back to bite me in the arse, isn’t it?  IS IT? I can hear you laughing…..

Photo Cred ~ @Simply Recipes

Meal Plan For The Week of 5/6

Monday, May 6th – Shrimp, Arugula White Bean Salad – On top of all of the packing, swim team practice starts for my girls today. For those who don’t know, summer swim team controls your life for about two months. It’s every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Healthy, delicious and quick will be my strict moto for the next 8 weeks. This one is perfect.

Tuesday, May 7th – Steak and Asparagus Quinoa – Straight forward. Easy. Filling. Go.

Wednesday, May 8th – Weight Watchers Goulash – One of my favorites. Family friendly and low cal – takes no time to throw together.

Thursday, May 9th – Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus – I am always shocked at how flavorful, yet simple, this recipe is. It is one of my favorite chicken and veg dishes, hands down.

Friday, May 10th – Skinnytaste Tuna Noodle Casserole – All of the Friday night, family feels, in this one. Not only low calorie, but it cost about $10 to make. My kind of recipe.

No Sunday meal plan as it’s Monday so I’ve already missed that boat. Plus, our Sunday night meal was Sonic. I needed the grease if you catch my drift. Too much fun, the night before, at Cinco de Derby!! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram ~ @Dinnerwiththeduffys

Happy, Healthy Eating Y’all.

XO ~ Kelly D.


Back to Life, Back to Reality

Hi y’all!! Apologies for not posting last week but I just didn’t have it in me. The girls and I have been on spring break, since the 18th, and I have been doing a whole lot of nothing and loving it. I just felt like I needed to allow myself the opportunity to disconnect from all the things, including Dinner with the Duffys. This is my last day of nothingness and I’m a little down in the dumps if I’m being honest. For the past seven days, I have been sleeping until 9AM, drinking my coffee on the back porch, by myself, and relaxing in the sun. It has been magical. I was supposed to be switching out winter/spring wardrobes, packing up my china cabinet and other monotonous tasks but none of it happened and honestly, I could care less. Sadly, it’s coming to a screeching hault – reality will hit like a ton of bricks come Monday. Patrick will be out for most of the week and we have a gazillion tennis, soccer, swim, school and work things that just happen to fall in the one week he can be of no assistance. I hear you loud and clear universe – I’m getting off my arse. This coming week also happens to be a tough one for me, emotionally. Tuesday marks the four year anniversary of my dad’s suicide. In the past, I’ve tried to ignore this day because quite frankly, who wants to acknowledge the day of a loved one’s death? But here’s the thing – I have found pretending this anniversary is no big deal makes it an even bigger deal and does me no good. Surprise, surprise. So this year I’m going to allow myself the space to grieve because honestly, it’s what I believe I need. I think of my dad often but between work, the kids and all of the other things, there is just not enough time to miss him and feel the impact of his loss in my soul. And I need to feel the impact of his loss even if it is only once a year. I think my brain has been telling me this for four years but I just never stopped long enough to listen. Well, I’m listening this year.

If you are struggling with depression, or know someone who is, call the number below. It’s never too late.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 4/28

Sunday, April 28th – Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Tacos – I do not need a cheat day this week people BUT, it’s Sunday and my family needs a family Sunday meal. Just sets us up for the week. These tacos are fuss free and super tasty. Cut back on hot sauce if your kids do not like spicy food – or just add hot sauce to your tacos after they cook.

Monday, April 29th – One Pan Italian Chicken Skillet – Veggies and chicken but in a not so boring way. Balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning kick this super healthy dish up a notch. I have a late work meeting and Ava has a soccer game so I will be meal prepping on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 30th – Sheet Pan Roast Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes – Here’s the thing – I plan to cook tonight but I may end up throwing the girls into the car and having a picnic on the beach, or something equally as out of the ordinary. If I do decide to cook this sheet pan option is fantastic and should provide enough leftovers for lunch or Wednesdays dinner.

Wednesday, May 1st – Healthy Burger Bowl – I love this recipe link as it gives you a multitude of options for this one dish. I will make turkey burgers for the family – by make I mean pull out frozen turkey Bubba burgers – and serve mine in a bowl and theirs between buns. I’m leaning towards the pickled onion, avocado and balsamic option myself.

Thursday, May 2nd – Warm Chicken Salad – No, my kids will not eat this as a salad – Ava might but never Regs. I will use a rotisserie chicken, give them the drumsticks, potatoes and a little lettuce on the side. Everyone is happy – sort of.

Friday, May 3rd – Baked Garlic and Onion Chicken Wings – Y’all, I have never made chicken wings. Isn’t that bananas? I don’t know why – I like them but I guess I just never thought to make them. Well, all of that changes today. I’ll serve these with my go to Costco green beans and call it a night.

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends!

XO ~ Kelly D.


One Fish, Toadfish

I’m super stoked to be teaming up with my current company obsession Toadfish Outfitters, for this post and a sweet Instagram giveaway starting next week. (Be sure to follow me on Instagram for details ~ @dinnerwiththeduffys) So you know, I have the kind of personality that when I find a new product that works (facial, kitchen, home, whatever), I become immediately obsessed. It’s all I can think, talk and write about. Enter Toadfish and their amazing products. I first noticed their gear online and was immediately sucked in to their products, their story, and their passion.  The Toadfish Frogmore Shrimp Cleaner, Put ‘Em Back Oyster Knife and Crab Claw Cutter are just three of their best selling products.  They all look great and perform even better.  As you know, here at Dinner with the Duffys, we are all about eating and cooking healthy, family friendly, foods that do not require a whole lot of time and focus in the kitchen.  Seafood tends to be one of my go-to’s because it’s healthy, adaptable and quick to cook. But, the prep can be a pain – like peeling and deveining a pound of shrimp.  This is why I LOVE the Toadfish guys. Their products make cooking and eating seafood that much easier.  Peeling and deveining shrimp is no longer a tedious task.  It took me no time to peel AND DEVEIN a pound of shrimp.  Let’s be honest – we all know we should devein the shrimp but when it comes down to it, most of us don’t because it takes so much effort – we just eat the poop and tell ourselves it’s nutritious.  But is it?  Really?  Probably not. 

My next favorite tool is the Crab Claw Cutter. Growing up in the Lowcountry, some of my favorite memories are of sitting at a news papered table, covered in steaming blue crabs .  Back then we used the backs of butter knives to crack those suckers.  We would spend hours picking through the whacked shells to get what little meat would could get.  My girls won’t have that same problem.  The Toadfish Cutter “was designed to cut evenly around crab claws in one step, keeping meat intact and shell fragments out. It allows you to create stunning presentations with lobster, blue, king, and dungeness crab claws.”

Beyond creating tools that will save you beau cops of time, these products actually do a hell of a lot of good.  I recently interviewed Thor Rhodin, CMO of ToadFish Outfitters and was blown away by the true heartfelt desire this company has to make a huge difference in improving our waters. When asked how the Toadfish guys got started Rhodin stated, “We all grew up in Beaufort since we were little kids, so the water was ingrained in us whether it was surfing, fishing and just being outside. From a young age we all realized the massive amount of strain that the explosive population growth and urban development put on the waterways we loved and considered our back yards.” From that point on the seed of conservation and preserving what these guys loved was planted. Rhodin continued, “The wheels started spinning and we started thinking of ways we could positively impact water quality and that’s where the oyster came in. The oyster was the perfect solution considering that a single one can filter up to 50 gallons a day removing all the toxins and pollutants we put in as a society. Without oysters we would be in a water quality crisis much like the Chesapeake and New York harbor. When we started Toadfish, SC was harvesting a 150,000 bushels of oysters a year and was only replanting 40,000 bushels of shell a year so we wanted to bridge that gap. So far we have planted close to 70,000 square feet of new oyster reefs throughout the country and are on a mission to continue our efforts.” ToadFish products, which have been featured in national media like Garden & Gun, Coastal Living, Food & Wine, Real Simple, are sold both online at toadfishoutfitters.com and in stores across the country including Sur La Table stores. Do yourself a favor and purchase a Toadfish Outfitters product.  Whether it’s an oyster knife, Toadfish Inshore fishing rod or their “Toad You So” hat, you won’t regret investing in what they are offering.  I know I haven’t. Well, my husband hasn’t seeing as he’s snatched everything I’ve purchased! I’ll deal with him later. 

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 3/31

Sunday, March 31st – Crock-Pot Tuscan Garlic Chicken – I can’t even put into words how excited I am that today is the last day of March. Everyone knows April is by far the best month of all of the months. It has nothing to do with the fact that my special day falls on the 18th – nothing at all. Because it’s Sunday and technically a “splurge day” we will put this over orzo or pearled couscous!

Monday, APRIL 1st – Smoked Sausage and Peppers – A little Cajun spice for you in this dish but you can adjust to your preference. Also, I will serve this over cauli rice to cut down on calories and carbs.

Tuesday, April 2nd – Chicken Jalapeno Burgers – Again with the spice, but you can absolutely remove the jalapeno if you need to. Just use as a garnish instead of in the mix. I will sauté some frozen okra to serve as a side!!

Wednesday, April 3rd – Low Carb Creamy Chicken Stuffed Peppers – You can use a rotisserie chicken for this dish which is perfect for hump day. Just remember to pick your chicken when it’s warm. I made the mistake of picking mine cold, the other night, and it was awful.

Thursday, April 4th – Buffalo Chicken Salad – I know, again with the buffalo chicken but y’all I love buffalo flavored anything. This is not a creamy buffalo chicken salad like last week so chill your jets.

Friday – April 5th – Flank Steak Caprese – Such a perfect Friday night meal. This will take no time to make but looks, and tastes, divine. Serve over lettuce, with a side salad or with whatever you are craving.

BE SURE to follow along via Instagram @Dinner with the Duffys, so you don’t miss the chance to win $100 to Toadfish Outfitters next week!!!!

Healthy, Happy Eating Y’all!

XO ~ Kelly D.


Kitchen Renovation??!!

I’m sure you are wondering why I posted the above picture of a random kitchen. Well, this is what I hope our current kitchen will look like here in a few months. (Not this exactly, just one of the four thousand kitchen photos I’ve pinned from Pinterest) For the past month or two, any free time I’ve had has been spent comparing appliances, flooring options, faucets, etc. Hence the blog posts rolling out late! I have been dreaming about re-doing our kitchen since the moment we moved in, over fourteen years ago, but I never thought it would actually happen. I think my husband actually said, “not until college and weddings have been paid for.” But God intervened, on my behalf, and we ended up having a bit of a leak, under the kitchen sink, and now it’s either replace or re-do. Not to mention, our utensil drawer ripped out of it’s casing (no clue what it’s actually called but casing sounds right) last May and our floors are coming up. The kitchen is a hot mess. But technically it’s still usable so Patrick thinks the whole re-do is a waste of money. Well, that’s not completely true. He just thinks it’s more money than we need to be spending at the present time. And he’s right (don’t tell him I typed this) but I can’t help myself. The idea of a little more kitchen, cabinet, cooking space gives me goose bumps. I keep telling him it will all work out while secretly crossing my fingers and toes. But, we are in the final stages – just waiting on the bank to tell us we are allowed to go into more debt!!! Yippee. I’ve been working with Coastal Cabinets and King Construction, on this project, and I could not be happier. If you know me, you know anyone I work with requires a boat load of patience. I think I’ve made a million and a half changes in the last week. I’m exhausting. But these guys have been absolutely wonderful and I can not wait to see this project thru with them. If all goes well, we should have the green light to begin in about two weeks. Of course, that’s placing the cabinet order so real construction won’t start until May-ish. I will definitely do a “follow along” as soon as the project begins. And, if you have any slide in range, cabinet microwave suggestions, hit me up. I’m probably due for another change about now!

Meal Plan for the Week of 3/24

Sunday, March 24th – Baked Penne Alla Vodka – My plan is to clean, all weekend, to get the house ready to be appraised. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about the appraisal but I worry about everything so cleaning it is. My point – after two days of straight cleaning, I’m going to want something delicious and this dish is it. I dream about recipes like this one. Perfect for a family Sunday. Nothing fussy but does require a little hands on kitchen time.

Monday, March 25th – Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde – I think everyone in the country is on spring break except for the Catholics. Most Catholic schools take spring break over Easter so this year, it’s April 18th! A MONTH away. I assume you spring breakers are cracking up at the idea of a meal plan. Instead, you are last minute packing for your sunny beach getaway. I get it. I’m just really jealous. Here is a crockpot meal so the rest of us can pretend like we are taking it easy this week!

Tuesday, March 26th – Mediterranean Shrimp with Zoodles – I’m not an olive person, y’all, but this dish will be delicious with or without. I will purchase pre-spiralized noodles to make life easier – remember, we are pretending to be on spring break!! The one extra I will do is to make my own, light, Tzatziki. I love this @skinnytaste recipe. Sometimes I strain the yogurt, but most of the time I do not.

Wednesday, March 27th – Parmesan Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Garlic & Herb Veggie Spirals – This is an overnight marinade, y’all. Just a heads up. Personally, I need the reminder as I can’t ever remember which ones require marinating. I’m excited to try this dish – new spin on a staple!

Thursday, March 28th – Buffalo Dill Chicken Salad – Doesn’t get much easier. Super adaptable. I will probably do a greek yogurt, mayo split but you do you, y’all.

Friday, March 29th – Moroccan Braised Chicken, Lentils, Smoked Paprika & Tomato – I love Moroccan food. The richness of the flavors are just out of this world. And for whatever reason, I really love lentils. Fridays are usually a little more laid back in our house so I’m going to grab a glass of wine, turn on my favorite Pandora station, Hipster Cocktail Party radio, and get to cooking in what will hopefully be my old kitchen in a few short months!!


Wrap, Baby Wrap

A few weeks ago a fun company, Criss Elite, asked me to try out one of their products – Beeswax Food Wraps. I was so excited and couldn’t wait for them to show up on my doorstep. The wraps arrived in this super cute packaging with cute little flamingos and flowers. I was kind of already sold at that point. I’m such a sucker for good packaging. Any way, these wraps are reusable, eco-friendly, plastic free and non-toxic. I gotta be honest real quick. I’m not usually sold on a product just because it’s eco-friendly, plastic free and non-toxic. I’m still asking for a straw every time I go to a restaurant so I guess some would put me in the “environment hater” category. It’s not true – I love the turtles and all of the creatures, but I am just not gung-ho enough to only purchase products that are plastic free, eco friendly and non-toxic. BUT, I am sold on this product mainly because I LOATHE plastic wrap. Like, I really, really hate plastic wrap. Why, the strong reaction to a simple product that has been around for decades? Happy to tell you. First, I almost always cut my finger while trying to rip the plastic. Not sure why as I don’t have an issue with the sharp cutter on a wrap of aluminum foil, but that cutter on the plastic wrap does it to me every single time. Second, it is a pain in the arse to try to keep it from sticking to itself. I pull out a beautiful sheet of plastic, start to cut it and all of a sudden my perfectly sized sheet is now half it’s size and has morphed into a ball, instead of a sheet. Third, it never sticks to the bowl or dish or whatever it is I’m trying to cover. It will stick to itself, all day long, but when I need it to stick to my dish, fat chance. So, you can see why I was excited to learn there was an alternative to this demon product. And the beeswax wraps work! For real. How, you ask? Well, first the beeswax wrap needs to be warmed up with your hands to take the shape of a piece of food or to cover a bowl. When you take them out of the packaging they are hard. (I was a bit worried at this point) As the beeswax cools, the wraps will seal and keep your food fresh naturally. You just pull one out, rub it in your hands and then cover what you need to cover. What next? Wash the wrap with little soap and water and hang dry. You can reuse them for up to a year. Crazy. Oh and the best part. Totally forgot. Because they are antibacterial and have antioxidant properties of beeswax and jojoba oil, your food will stay fresh longer and keep foods like avocados and bananas from browning as quickly!!! Y’all should totally try them. I will definitely be purchasing more of these Criss Elite Beeswax wraps. Bye Bye plastic wrap. Can’t say I’m sad to see you go.

Meal Plan for the Week of 4/17

Sunday, March 17th – Lightened Up Shephards Pie – Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all. This is one of my family’s favorite holidays so I had to find an appropriate recipe. I love this @skinnytaste shephards pie. You won’t even notice it’s lightened up. Super easy and tasty and totally family friendly. Slainte!

Monday, March 18th – Weight Watchers Tuna Noodle Casserole – Have I shared this recipe before? I don’t think I have but then again, maybe? I think I’ve shared something similar. Any who, this is a great family casserole that comes together super fast. Perfect for a Monday night.

Tuesday, March 19th – Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes Sheet Pan – Yep, you read that right potatoes. There is nothing bad about a potato, y’all. This recipe is under 400 calories a serving so cool your jets. AND it’s a one pan wonder. You are welcome.

Wednesday, March 20th – Spicy Ground Turkey & Green Beans – It’s been a while since I pulled out my Costco frozen green beans. Feel like it’s time. Can’t mess this one up. Super straight forward and quick.

Thursday, March 21st – Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Skillet – So similar to others I have shared but so easy and tasty it’s hard not to keep putting these into the rotation. P and the kids (who am I kidding – the KID) will add shells while I put over lettuce. I will add some tomatillo salsa to my plate!

Friday, March 22nd – Sheet Pan Philly Cheese Steak – I’m super excited about this recipe. Sheet Pan, Cheese Steak – what’s not to love. This will run you around 550 calories BUT that number does include the bun so not too bad. Plus, it’s Friday so go crazy!! Update – if you are Catholic just switch Monday with Friday! I can’t ever remember to not eat meat on Fridays…. I guess that makes me an “environment hater” and a heathen. I’ve been called worse…..

There you have it. Healthy, Quick and Delicious meals for the week of St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy Y’all.

XO ~ Kelly D.