exploring St. Louis… Roper’s Ribs

Earlier this month,  I headed down into the city to check out the legendary BBQ spot… Roper’s Ribs, owned by Carl & Denise Roper. Roper’s has been a staple in St. Louis county for over 25 years, with a long standing tradition of serving great BBQ to their community.  Y’all this little corner of the world is filled with so much history and flavor, from the moment you walk in you’re met with both an entire wall of awards and recognition as well as the friendliest smile behind the counter.  If you’d like to check out my full review over on YouTube, you can find it over here

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y’all…when I tell this is BBQ you’re going to want to try… oooee it is so FIRE!!!!!

Roper’s Ribs has most notably become recognized for receiving the Steve Harvey Neighborhood award… a total of seven times since opening their doors.

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I’ve teamed up with Roper’s to offer a fun GIVEAWAY for my subscribers to be entered to win… both a bottle of their BBQ DRY RUB as well as a $25.00 gift card to stop in an grab yourself some BBQ. All you need to do, to enter is to be both SUBSCRIBED to my YOUTUBE channel here, as well as one of Roper’s BBQ’s social media pages which can either be found here or here

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Drawing a line in the sand…

40…  I’m officially 2 weeks into my 40’s…

it’s super interesting to me, if you would have asked me 20 years ago… I would have told you that my 40th Birthday would have included some type of  “over the hill” themed party filled with a life is now over theme… but the reality is I feel like my life is just beginning. Maybe it’s all the personal development work I’ve been doing lately or the tried and true expectation vs reality thing… but most days I feel 25 and the day I turned 40 didn’t really change that feeling much.

Last April, I attended a Tony Robbins event and it was such a monumental turning point for me and my personal development…  I walked away with decisions made and lines drawn in the sand.  It’s really interesting the way your brain processes a decision like that.  It’s almost processed like a sigh of relief followed by this wave of energy…

I’m not even going to try to pretend like these last two weeks have been anything close to a massive wave of action. The ONLY promise I have kept to myself is the promise of not looking back…. 40 was the line but today is THE LINE… for the remainder of 2020… no more processed sugar. No more dairy. No more gluten. No more soy.

Which means YES to fresh vegetables. Yes to maximum flavor… and YES YES YES to more foods like these!!!

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The next few days are definitely going to be filled with headaches and sugar withdrawals  but today… today is AMAZING because the line has been drawn and there is no looking back…

Cookie Dough Truffles | Paleo

This recipe was built solely on a craving…

I’ve been yo-yo-ing back and forth with transitioning into a full time paleo inspired lifestyle.  Seriously it was like a yo-yo…   3 days on… 3 days off… and back to on… back to off.  What always kills me is the sugar. I always felt like that whole sugar is an addiction thing was totally bogus until I successfully completed Whole 30…  but let me tell you… as a graduate… sugar really messes with you!!!   It effects your inflammation, it affects your skin, it affects your mood.   It’s just an all around bad time for the empire.

So… one Saturday afternoon, I was determined to stick to the plan… but I wanted something… so I came up with this…

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies sounded good… a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup sounded even better… so I married the two into a Cookie Dough Truffle. Yum.

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These are beyond easy to make and would be a great alternative for anyone looking to make something sweet this year for Valentine’s Day!!!  Be sure to snap a photo and let me know how you like them if you try them!!!

-eliza

Chicken & Cauliflower Rice Soup

 

I am not a winter girl, like give me all the sunshine and above 80 days you can find and I’m a happy camper but even in the dead of summer… I’m making soup. I know..  I know… everyone dives into their salads but nope not me… soups are my jam. Chicken and Rice Soup is a long standing favorite in my house but have changed up my cooking habits after winning Whole30, so this has now become one of my all time favorites.  It’s packed with so much flavor and if you take the time to develop each layer of ingredients in the pan, the payoff is more than worth it.

 

One of my favorite spots to grab groceries is Fresh Thyme or if you’re on the west coast, Sprouts.  Sprouts was one of my favorites when I lived out west, so I always feel like I’m home.  All stores are the same, isn’t it funny how there is comfort in familiarity, … anyway on the back wall by the mushrooms is their fresh herb section.  I always pick up a pack of Poultry Seasoning… and almost always lasts for the entire week of recipes.

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If you’re a soup lover like me, drop me a comment below of your favorite recipe.

XO – eliza

 

chicken empenadas

This past weekend my family all got together  for the weekend. Rarely does this happen, so during our time we spent catching up, we did all of our favorites, baked, played, and looked through old family pictures like the one found here.

Anyone who comes from a large family background that includes attending church on a Sunday morning, knows that if there are eight people up & getting ready, two and a half fully functioning bathrooms is hardly enough space.  I think back to heading to my grandmas for Sunday dinner and think, how did she build these enormous feasts for all of us when we’d visit and still have time to roll and set her hair, leaving on time, perfectly put together.

Lattice Apple Pie

Saturday night,  my sisters and I decided Apple Pie, ( You can find the recipe we used here.) would be a perfect fall choice for Sunday afternoon dessert, and something simple like CrockpotChicken Tacos ( I love the recipe found here so much flavor. ) , would be both easy and kid friendly.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

So, Tuesday morning rolled around and I was left with a lot of meat from the chicken tacos,  I also had a can of Pillsbury GRANDS biscuits that were intended for breakfast sitting my fridge so I began creating.

I came up with a simple Chicken Empanada,  now, its no secret that I love love love all things hot & spicy. There is truly nothing better on the palette than that perfect blend of hot & spicy.

Chicken Empenadas

1 can of GRANDS flaky layer biscuits ( individually rolled out as flat as possible)

Fill each with a small amount of shredded Colby Jack or Mexican Cheese, the left over chicken, grilled peppers, onion, a jalapeño, dash with some extra of your favorite hot sauce ( if you like it as spicy as me)

Don’t over fill with the mixture, you will want to be able to fold the dough in half, as pictured.

Chicken Empenadas

Bake in the over at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown and you’ve got easily 2 -4 meals depending on the size of your family.

Chicken Empenadas

                   The crust is super flaky, and its perfect when its still warm and right out of the oven.

 

Empanadas are so simple and really can be filled in so many ways…  what fun things would you add into yours?  Tell me in the comments below.

 

eliza

 

 

defining your why…

Have  you ever come to a place in your life where you’ve thought something over for so long that you find yourself coming up with reasons to talk yourself out of the reasons for not doing something. (try to get that straight in your head… )  That was me a few weeks ago.  I knew I needed to hone in my focus, and I hated continually making excuses for not getting things done.  Finally I just said to myself,  “Stop coming up with reasons and excuses, for what you should be doing, and just do them. No one is going to do it for you. ”

Now, Philippians 4:13 is a verse that has become quite popular to quote.  As believers do we really believe that, ” WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US”?!?      When you really begin to think about what that means for your life, you probably begin to realize just how much faith & trust in God that really takes.  The faith to know when to stay and the strength to know when to walk away.

Taking the time to fully develop your why, can be easy or it can be hard.  I hear so many people say their purpose is their kids, or their career.  As a person who still considers myself transitional my why is just me.  In focusing on me, I’ve really put a lot of thought into what that truly means…  I think it goes a little something like this…

I was a broken soul,  wondering through life with no true direction or plan of my own, it was through His grace and love that I sit here today, and it is only with His power that I will succeed in tomorrow, because of that…

“I want to be a woman whose life is a testimony to the power of God’s word, and His ability to transform & renew.”

What about your why, do you find it easy to define?

BE DIFFERENT…

“What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give everything else?”

Romans 8:31-32

Have you ever made a conscious effort to stop and only live in the moment? Not worrying about things you did in the past… not worrying about what is going to happen next month, tomorrow… even 30 minutes from now. Its challenging. Last week I turned 33. A few days before I had a minor meltdown… well not so much meltdown as a re-evaluation. It hit me that my mom passed away at 45… wow!!! I had so many dreams, goals, unanswered prayers to see through. 12 years wasn’t a very long way away… (not that I thought I would pass away in the same time frame or anything, more of an observation) then it hit me like a ton of bricks just how valuable everyday on this Earth is. I immediately made a deal with myself and with Jesus Christ to really enjoy this year… no expectations… no timelines… just a couple of guidelines and then go after it.

So the day comes, my birthday begins and it was truly an amazing day. I woke up to an entire day available to spend with, one of my favorite people, my dad. We went to lunch at my favorite restaurant and when the check came… we had been seated at Table #33…well isn’t that fun!!!

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Lunch was followed by another one of my favorite activities… a tour of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Let me tell you, the 3 hours of history and knowledge I soaked in was amazing. I had forgotten what an inspiring life Lincoln had led. Did you know that a few years before he became President of the United States you would have found him in a bed… alone… and so depressed from heartbreak that he didn’t even care to go on?

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I’ve been there… living in the muck & mire of life, sad, confused, feeling like I’m alone in a house full of people pretending to care about me, wanting to be away from all of them so badly that I’d say or do really anything. Not really wishing it would be over but rather just wishing for something… anything to be different. To wish for something to be different you have to do something fairly simple… BE DIFFERENT.

That difference for me has been to make a conscious effort to make all that I am… every breath that I take, an act of thankfulness and gratitude for every good person in my life and every beautiful experience Jesus Christ allows me to feel. When this began to happen my focus changed… it no longer mattered if I was in the right line of work… it no longer mattered if I would or wouldn’t, ever get married… have children. I have began to realize that even though my life is far from perfect and prayers are still given daily, dreams are still coming into fruition, I no longer have time to focus on the details because I am filled with such a joy that anything that will be added to the moment feels like a little miracle.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

“Miracles” like my dad suggesting my favorite restaurant without even knowing it was my favorite… suggesting we head over to check out a new exhibit not knowing that spending a day at a library would be the perfect birthday gift for his daughter. And in those moments of gratitude all you can do is say…

“Thank you Jesus, for teaching me to dive into today instead of busying myself with developing tomorrow.” -eliza

Ruby Red Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Last year I began a new love for something that I’d generally avoided…  fruit.  I know it sounds weird and I really don’t have a reason why I did.  I found though that fruit & wine are a wonderful pair, I’m sure your thinking well duh, right about now seeing as its a derivative of one. But truly, one of the finest things in life is a well orchestrated fruit salad with a nice bottle of Moscato. (and truth be told  I don’t even generally ever like white wine.)

I’ve recently been finding myself enjoying fully developing the flavors in foods, as well as finding new and unique pairings of wine to accompany them. One of these obsessions has become perfecting vinaigrettes.  It would seem finding the perfect vinaigrette would be some what of a challenge, when really the possibilities are endless.  Here is one that I came up with that turned out to be quite a hit for Sunday brunch.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Vinaigrettethe salad = baby spinach, chopped romaine, beefsteak tomato, white onion, ruby red grapefruit sections,  feta cheese 

1/4 c. finely chopped white onion

2 T finely chopped garlic

2 T Honey Dijon mustard

1/4 c champagne vinegar

1/4 t sea salt

3 T Dark Agave Nectar

1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

1 large ruby red grapefruit

In a small bow whisk together onion, garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Then juice the contents of the grapefruit into the mixture.  After the following is thoroughly whisked slowly pour in olive oil while continuing to whisk causing the dressing to emulsify. You can easily gauge whether the vinaigrette has emulsified by taking a leaf from the salad prepared and dipping it in the dressing, if it evenly coats the leaf as pictured below your dressing is complete.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Vinaigrette

 

 

 

a new journey…

Back in August I began a trek across the country that would change my life more than I ever believed it could. People would ask me, how long are you staying, what brought you back, why HERE… and I simply would say “I’m afraid to say anything regarding my plans because I’m afraid that God will play a trick on me and leave me here. Needless to say this was the last place on earth you would find me if it were up to me… but it wasn’t up to me and over the past 6 months I’ve gotten pretty ok with it.  Have you ever just walked away from everything… EVERYTHING!?!  To some that might seem scary or irrational or inappropriate but for me it was out of necessity. Some times we choose things in life that aren’t the best road, that put in our path choices that we never imagined choosing. In these instances walking away is fairly simple, removing yourself from toxicity is a must, and setting your goals higher is a non-negotiable.  I’ve learned a great deal about myself in these past few months, but my favorite part of this journey has been my reconnection to my faith in Jesus Christ.  In this change I’ve felt the need to change all things… including Creme de la Curves.  I love connecting with my readers, filling you in on the latest style, trends, tips and fashion & beauty are totally a passion of mine.

Eliza Beerbower - Creme de la Curves

While I will still be creating interactions with you all, they will now be on a more personal level, filling you in on my struggles, my passions, my desires, and my dreams.  With all this said I’m so excited to announce a new adventure in my life. I took the first three months of my time here, to stop and focus my energy & time on me. I read A LOT… journaled even more and genuinely just prayed the most. I felt like the message I was getting was that of {grace}. I had been saved from entering into a world of hurt & unhappiness. I have a story to tell, but in that story there was a voice in me that said, tell others stories with your strength I’ve given you. Be their strength. And so I did in the form of {grace} magazine.  It was launched at the first of the year. I’m so blessed to have the contributors who have joined us on board.  I truly believe God is going to do amazing things through the testimonies of those enclosed in the pages of each issue. {grace} will be encouraging the same standards as Creme de la Curves, by using ALL women no matter her shape or size to represent us.

Model : MoMoe MurrayPhotographer : Qiao Qiao Jade

I welcome you to bookmark the page {grace} magazine, I believe the content to be inspirational as well as the beauty & fashion… I hope you are all just as equally excited to take this journey I’m on with me, as I am in walking it.