What's Cooking With Trice: Sweet & Garlicky Chicken w/Essie Spice

Hi Dolls,

It's been a while since I did a What's Cooking with Trice  post!  According to my friend Ashley, I need to up my recipe game! She's been patiently waiting on new recipes to try so this one is for you, Ash! I've been on the go so much lately that I haven't taken the time to prepare myself a good home cooked meal.  Shame on me...that is until now!
  I was sent these two amazing bottles of Essie Spice sauces and let me tell you something, there is so much flavor bursting out of each of these bottles, it's unreal!  
After reading up on their products, I learned that "Essie Spice blends and sauces are crafted in small batches using traditional West African spices and cooking methods with influences from Asia, The Caribbean, South America, and Europe.  They draw on the uniqueness of each place but also have the seamless fusion of the different spices that complement each other." In addition to that, they are Gluten and MSG free with no added preservatives, fillers, or artificial coloring!  You can read more about their different sauces and spice blends at EssieSpice.com.  
Trust me, you are going to want all of them!  
I was honored when Essie, herself, agreed to send me a couple of sample sauces to try for myself.  I was super excited when I opened the box and saw that she sent the Coco-For-Garlic!  I am a huge garlic lover and this sauce is flavorful and full of roasted garlic and Virgin coconut oil!  When I opened the bottled, the spices were so aromatic, I knew immediately it would be the perfect marinate for my chicken!  
I was also sent the Tamarind Oh which is a sweet and tangy sauce made with a delicious blend of Tamarind, of course, ginger, one of my favorites, guava, and vanilla!  I mean, how would you not like a sauce made with those ingredients?  I am looking forward to making some sweet and tangy stir-fry's with this sauce!  I used a little in the marinade for my chicken to add a hint of sweetness.
So about this dish I made.... It was super easy!  You guys know I'm all about quick and easy meals!  It was just that, and jam-packed with flavor!  I'm sad that I didn't make more!  This recipe was enough for two servings only.
1.)  For a quick marinade, in a medium size bowl mix 1/3 cup of Essie Spice Coco For Garlic, 1/4 cup of Essie Spice Tamarind Oh, and a handful of chopped parsley.  
2.)  I lightly seasoned 4 chicken thighs with salt pepper, added them to a plastic baggie, and poured in the marinade, massaging the chicken to make sure all pieces were evenly coated.
3.)  Once all of the chicken was coated, I heated up a couple tablespoons of Coconut Oil in the skillet, and 2 chopped cloves of garlic (I had to keep the coconut and garlic party going).  I then added all of the contents of the baggie, chicken and marinade.  I sauteed them on top of the stove until they were brown, about 8-10 minutes, and then turned the heat down and covered it for another 10 minutes or so.  The aroma in my kitchen was sensational!
I plated my chicken over jasmine rice and immensely enjoyed every bite with a side of veggies.
It was literally that easy!  With the amounts of flavor bursting from this dish, one would think I spent hours in the kitchen!  My boyfriend came over, walked in and said "It smells so good in here, I could smell it outside."  He looked in the skillet and said "Oh, I'm eating the rest of this!"  Like I mentioned earlier, I'm sad I didn't make more!  It was seriously one of the best chicken dishes I've ever made.  It is going into my home cooked meal rotation and I am officially an Essie Spice fan for life!  Listen to me...you guys HAVE to try some of her sauces and spice blends! Go to EssieSpice.com it will change your life!  When you do, be sure to let me know!  I'd love to see what you create with them!
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

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LiteHouse Foods at Moxie Kitchen & Cocktails

Hi Dolls,

I attended an awesome event at Moxie Kitchen and Cocktails earlier this week with some of my favorite foodie peeps and a few new faces from around the blogosphere.  The event was hosted by Litehouse Foods Inc., a company whose products you may have seen in your local grocery stores.  They offer a wide variety of salad dressings, fruit dips, glazes, herbs, veggie dips, and artisan cheese crumbles.  During the event we were able to watch a live cooking demo featuring some of the Litehouse Foods dressings, get helpful eating tips from a registered dietician, and of course, indulge in some of the amazing dishes Moxie has to offer!
As I mentioned before, we were able to watch a live demo given by registered dietician, Jenna Braddock.  As a mother who tries to incorporate veggies into meals for picky little eaters, she made a Roasted Carrot and Ranch Hummus featuring the Litehouse Homestyle Ranch dressing. She added a little extra virgin olive oil, fresh chopped roasted carrots, and my favorite, white beans (opposed to the traditional chick peas), blended everything up nicely and voila! It was a delicious hummus that's not only good but good for you! 
 I love hummus so I will be trying this recipe out at home for sure!  We enjoyed it with carrot slices, green peppers, and pita bread and it was delicious!
For The Table:
The rest of the evening was spent getting to know more about each other and each other's blogs, eating habits, and best practices for maintaining healthy lifestyles, especially as food bloggers.  It was very enlightening and I learned some tips that will certainly help curtail those urges to snack throughout the day.  Jenna did, however, remind us that there's nothing wrong with enjoying the things you love to eat. With anything, moderation is best!  With that being said dinner was served!  It was family style and we passed dishes around the table!  I could not have been happier to start the meal off with these!
Cheddar Biscuits:  
They were super cute and bite-sized with a BBQ butter that was to die for!  I seriously could have ate all of them and been satisfied the rest of the evening!
Fried Calamari & Cauliflower:
Served with charred lemon and a creole dipping sauce.  The calamari was cooked perfectly and the sauce had amazing flavor!
Pimento Cheese Toast:
Made with Farm bread, potato chips, and pepper jelly.  All of these flavors mesh together nicely.  I loved the potato chips on top.  They added a nice crunch! 
Summer Salad: 
These salads were beautiful with leafy greens, shaved farm veggies, and of course, LiteHouse Homestyle Ranch & Chunky Blue Cheese dressings!
I had to feature the watermelon radish on this salad because it is an absolutely beautiful veggie!  We had a few sides to go along with our entrees including some of my favorites!
It was nice and gooey like any Mac n cheese should be!
Seared Broccoli:
With smoked almond salsa.  I love broccoli and I love almonds so this was truly a match made in heaven!
Crispy Potatoes:
I loved the chimichurri because it had nice flavor, however, the potatoes needed a little more seasoning.
Short Rib:
Made with Seminole Pride beef, Dr. Pepper Glaze, "redneck risotto" (mashed potatoes), chow chow, and upland cress. It was pretty good with a nice flavor profile!
Pan-Roasted Chicken
Dressed with harissa carrots, roasted sunchokes, and arugula pesto. There aren't very many times you can mess
up a chicken dish.  This was no different! It was chicken and it was good!
Scottish Salmon:
This was my favorite dish of the evening!  It came with goat cheese-smashed potatoes, arugula, and a pistachio gremolata.  It was delicious with just the right amount of flavoring!
Last but certainly not least we all know and understand that no meal is complete with out dessert and this one was definitely worth the wait!
Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
"Candy Bar" Cake:
Chocolate Cake, peanut nougat, caramel buttercream, and the star, salted caramel ice cream!!!
The entire evening was a great time!  I love it when I get to meet other bloggers!  The food was great and I loved the pointers for healthier eating. Next time you're in Publix or your local grocery store, grab a Litehouse food product!  You'll really enjoy it! 
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!!!

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Statement Earrings!!!

Hi Dolls!

Last week, my friend and I took a trip to San Marco square for our normal weekend shenanigans (follow me on snapchat to get a glimpse into those crazy, fun times) and it was the perfect location for pictures!  So about my outfit....I finally built up the courage to rock a crop top!  I see so many do it so well and I admire those who do.  I gave it a shot with the extra flowy pants for the perfect summer time look!
So as a sidenote, don't you just hate it when you iron your clothes and as soon as you sit down, they wrinkle back up???  Well that's exactly what happened with my pants!  Sitting here added wrinkles to my pants so just know I had good intentions :)
I kept the look pretty neutral and added animal print accessories and heels for more interest.  These are my absolute favorite wedges  They're high but super comfy!  
The star of the show were my earrings though!  
I received tons of compliments on them through out the day.
I absolutely LOVE this oversized clutch as well!  That bad boy holds a lot of stuff!
I got these pants last summer and I honestly forgot I had them until I started cleaning out my drawers.  I was like, YESSSSSS!  I love when that happens.  They were super comfy and oh so flowy!  I love the stripes and the rope belt which gives these pants a bit of a nautical feel.  
Don't mind the wrinkles...Grrrrrrr!
For alternative styling with these pants, I was thinking maybe a colored tank, a fedora, and a basket purse!  That would be a perfect, beach ready look!  I might try that next!  How would you rock these pants? 
Crop Top:  Forever 21
Earrings:  (old)  Natural Hair Expo
Pants:  Zara
Heels:  ShoeDazzle
If you read my last style post, you read that I am going on an EPIC trip!  Well, the time has come and I'll be heading to the Galapagos Islands this week!  I can hardly wait, it is definitely going to be something I get to check off my bucket list!  Of course I will be sharing pics with you!  Hopefully I'll be able to show you some of it while I'm there, through my Instagram so make sure you're following!  If not, there will definitely be a blog post about it when I get back.  
As always, thank you so much for stopping by!  I truly appreciate you!  Have a great week!  

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What's New at The Candy Apple Cafe?!?!

Hi Dolls,

I always get excited when I get the opportunity to venture down to The Candy Apple Cafe.  It has become one of my favorite places in downtown Jacksonville!  Just being in there makes me happy!  I've said this before but with it being attached to Sweet Pete's, it's like walking into a real-life Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory!  At the cafe, the food is always deliciously eclectic and so are the cocktails! You can read more about my delight here!  This time around was just as awesome.  I was invited to a media dinner to try some of the new brunch and dinner menu items that are now available and to my delight, we were welcomed with a sinful skewer of candy bacon at our place setting.  From then on, I knew we would be in for a treat the rest of the evening!
Executive Chef Jamey Evoniuk, staff, and On Ideas Marketing have done an amazing job revamping the menu!  For starters we had the opportunity to taste the Pork Belly and Cheddar Waffles which is part of the new brunch menu.  It was gobbled up before I could snap a picture but take my word on it, it is something that cannot be missed.  Just think about it...pork belly is amazing all by itself but if you add it to a savory and cheesy waffle and dress it with mustard glaze and apricot preserve, you've got a winner winner chicken dinner!  
Here's what else we were able to try:
We had a choice between soup or salad.
French Onion Soup:
Oooey and gooey goodness!  Made with sherry, carmelized onion, and gruyere.  Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm.
Wedge Caesar: 
 Made with sweet gem lettuce, boquerones (anchovies), pepper-parmesan dressing, and croutons.  The boquerones were an interesting surprise because I'm used to them being melted into the Caesar dressing.  It was a little weird seeing little fishies on my salad but I appreciate the thoughtful creativity.  You can also enjoy this salad gluten-free without the croutons.
Mayport Shrimp and Grits
 Nice and creamy dish of Greenway Farms stone-ground grits, sauteed mayport shrimp, and tomato relish. 
Char Grilled Filet Mignon:
This was probably my favorite dish of the evening!  The meat was cooked perfectly and it was served with an amazing savory brioche bread pudding, wild mushrooms, roquefort, and a topping of grilled asparagus!  DELICIOUS!  
Herb Roasted Chicken Moutarde:
This was another wonderful dish with lots of flavor.  Made with potato dauphinoise (scalloped potatoes), a creamy caper sauce, and grilled asparagus.   
Short Rib Pot Au Feu:
This was a pretty fancy beef stew served with oxtail, my fav, bone marrow, celery root, cornichons. and a baguette.  A totally gluten free option if you omit the baguette!
Wild Mushroom Risotto:
This was another favorite, which for me, is kind of surprising. It wasn't until a year or so ago that I started liking mushrooms, but I digress.  This risotto was perfectly prepared with the right consistency.  Made with sage-beurre noissette and shaved reggiano.
When at the Candy Apple Cafe, it would be completely unheard of not to enjoy a cocktail or two!
Verdict's In:
If you like a little spice, this cocktail is made with Mezcal, pressed lemon juice, blackberry-raspberry puree, and a housemade jalepeno simple syrup.  It's garnished with a jalepeno slice!  Spicy!!!
Bourbon S'mores:
This was definitely a dessert cocktail!  It was made with housemade chocolate infused Four Roses bourbon, Kahlua, Kerry Gold Irish cream, milk, demerara syrup, and a marshmallow fluff!  Oh, and you can't forget the graham cracker rim!   If you like s'mores, this is the drink for you!
White & Red Mimosa Popsicles:
These were so cute!  As a matter of fact, I would love to try to make something like this the next time I host a brunch.  They are made with a frozen St. Germain popsicle, raspberry-orange juice, blueberries, and Bolla prosecco.
Ginger Carrot Cake and Orange Cheesecake:
No meal would be complete without dessert! The carrot cake was made with crystallized ginger, buttermilk glace, and delicious mascarpone vanilla bean mousse.  It was good but I preferred the  cheesecake that had a subtle orange flavor and a mixed berry compote.
Ofcourse you can't go to The Candy Apple Cafe and not get Candy Apples!  That would just be wrong!  It was a wonderful evening of great food, wonderful service, and good laughs! Next time you venture to downtown Jax, a stop at The Candy Apple Cafe should be on the to-do list and while you're there, definitely give the new brunch and dinner menu a shot!  You'll be very pleased! 
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a great weekend!

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Hi! I'm Trice, a Jacksonville, FL based blogger. I LOVE shopping and all things fashionable and want to show everyone that "Teachers Have Style Too!"! I also LOVE to cook and enjoy dining out. Please enjoy my fashion and food experiences and leave a comment if you'd like.
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