One Year Down…​Thank You For Giving Me A Chance

It has officially been 1 year since I started this particular blog and I have been welcomed into the blog world with open arms. I have to admit that every time I write something I second guess myself. I wonder if it’s interesting enough to get you to come back and view another post. I always try to just be myself and that alone is scary.

I remember when I first started my blog I was approached by a well known public figure and he gave me THE BEST pointer. He told me if I wanted my blog to be successive then I had to remain truthful to myself. Choose topics that hit me deep in my core and then just go. Talk the way I do every day, and make sure my personality is present at all times. When he told me this I said well what if people don’t like me or what I have to say?

He responded, “Do you have friends”? “Do they like to engage with you”? “After 17 years does your husband still like you and engage with you”? But most importantly “Do you like you and find yourself interesting”? I thought fair enough!

So here we go! My content is going to be bananas this year, filled with food, diets, crafts, workouts, real talk, and my Life. I am elated to welcome you all to my world.

I know that there are thousands and thousands of blogs that you could have joined or read but you chose mine and I’m honored!

~Belladonna~

Empanadas

You don’t have to fry your food for it to be crispy and delicious. Try putting an egg wash on top of your empanadas and slide into the oven. Place the oven on 375 degrees and cook for 20-25 minutes.

But let me tell you the best part about this meal, other than the fact that it is Keto friendly. (However if you are trying to lose weight then leave out the potatoes and of course use almond flour). There is always so much of the filling left and you know what that means right? Yep break out your favorite chips and start dipping.

So yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday and I wanted to make something delicious but not loaded with calories. When I’m watching the game I like to eat and serve finger foods. I’m usually a huge fan of wings but I wanted to switch it up this year and I am so glad I did.

When I initially looked up the recipe for empanadas I saw that frying was a popular method but not something that I wanted to do. The less grease in my life the better. So I decided to bake them, which was perfect because the crust is prepared the same way you would make a pie crust. My pies always have a nice crust and are beautifully golden because of the egg wash. Without the egg wash your empanadas will have a dull appearance because of the flour. A simple wash will make them glow.

Please feel free to use chicken, tofu, shrimp, sausage, vegetarian plant-based sausage or ground beef. You can’t go wrong with any of these options. I used Ground beef and for my nonmeat lovers, I used vegetarian plant-based sausage.

If your crust is homemade then please make this before you begin your filling. You want to place the prepared crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Begin by sifting flour into a bowl and 2 sticks of melted butter, slowly pour in 1-1 1/2 cups of water. Place in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Begin by browning your meat add seasonings and chopped vegetables. cook on low for 5 minutes and then add potatoes, green chiles, enchilada sauce, and pureed tomatoes. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and then low heat for 10-15 minutes. Place filling into a bowl and look cool for 15 to 30 minutes.

Ingredients For Filling

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 of the vegan plant-based sausage roll cooked separately of course
  • 5 medium-sized potatoes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 red pepper
  • 2 green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 can of green Chile’s
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 large tomato fresh or 1 can

Crust

  • 1-1 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 sticks of melted butter
  • 3 -3 1/2 cups of flour of your choice.

Cut the dough into 4 sections and then cut again. Form it into a ball and then roll them out, stuff, fold, rub egg wash on top and bake on 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored.

~Belladonna~

I’m Not That Kind Of Lady

There are these ideas floating around in the universe about what makes you lady. Has anyone ever told you that you curse like a man? Or better yet, your arms are looking manly so you might want to calm it down with those weights. I actually had a man tell me that my thighs were bigger than his as if that means anything. What did he think I was going to do? Dramatically fall down to the ground and cry my eyes out.

My thighs are big. I squat, lift, cycle with high resistance, and I run. If I wanted little bird legs than I would stop doing all those things. But I like looking strong and being strong. My strength is something that no one can take from me. I won’t be shamed into thinking that my muscle makes me less of a lady.

I’ll never forget when I returned home for the first time after basic training. I was in the best shape of my life. 5’6 and a half and 175 pounds. Mind you before basic training I weighed 132 – 138 pounds. I ate and trained like a crazy lady. No one outworked me. Anyways, I came to visit my parents because I had a few weeks before the spring semester of my freshmen year began. A few of my friends were in town visiting and I could not wait to see everyone. But quickly my emotional state changed greatly. My emotions were overcome by the “wow you look just like your brother” (He is a massive, muscular athlete). I would be rich if a had a quarter for every “dang you look like a man” comment. Consequently, most of the men they knew were out of shape dads with a beer belly.

I on the other had a flat, tight stomach and legs that could crack walnuts. None of their dads could do that. Here I was at 18 just becoming a lady and told that a lady is what I wasn’t. If I wanted to be a lady then I needed to drop back down to 132 pounds.

I wish I had the frame of mind that I have now. The things that I would have said may make you blush. Let me correct that, you most definitely would have blushed and dropped your jaw in a amazement.

People listen to me!!!! Muscle is beautiful, it’s sexy and it will keep you from injury when you are working out and everyday life. The older we get the more we need weights in our life. Yo will not “look like a man” whatever that means. Fall in LOVE with you and your curves.

You could have chosen any blog but you chose mine and I’m honored.

~Belladonna~


Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Gravy

The world has gone crazy over the Keto diet. I ignored everyone that said anything about it. I was so over hearing the word Keto….unitl I googled the benefits of choosing a Keto lifestyle. I hate to admit but the more I read the more I fell in love. I thought to myself ” I can do this”. The recipes are endless and the option to add carbs for my family works perfectly for every meal.

So if you are interested in my new found love then come along and enjoy the journey to good eaten and a slim waistline. I will have a few recipes each week. My goal is to show the world that you don’t have to starve yourself to be fit. FOOD IS IMPORTANT. The types of food that you are eating is the key to weight loss and your overall health.

Now first let me mention that low carb lifestyle change plans will tell you to stay away from certain fruits and certain vegetables. You need to find out what works for you and what hinders your progress. We are fabulously different on the outside as well as the inside. What works for one person may not work you.

Let me stop babbling and share this amazing meal.

Please feel free to add roasted or sautéed onions, green peppers, red peppers, squash, zucchini or broccoli for healthy side options.

Ingredients

  • 10 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tsp Lawrys
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • Plant Based Veggie Patties

Ingredients For Gravy

  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 8 Ounces Mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Garlic
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • 2 Cups chopped Spinach (Optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Chicken Thighs

Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel and trim off excess fat. Season the chicken thighs with lemon juice. Let it absorb the lemon juice for 15 minutes. Combine the garlic cloves and herbs. Seasoning Chicken or veggie patties. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and sear chicken thighs in batches until browned on each side and no longer pink in center (about 8 minutes each side, depending on thickness).Transfer to a plate; set aside and keep warm.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

On the same pan or skillet, put the olive oil and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft. Add the garlic and herbs. Stir in cream, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and continue cooking until sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the parmesan cheese and allow it to melt through the sauce while occasionally stirring. Return chicken to the pan.

Please watch the short video below and please share comments after making it.

You Could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored.

~Belladonna~

Kung Po Chicken Stir Fry

I cook every day, and I hate repeating meals. I would prefer not to cook if I stand at the stove and recreate the same boring dish. Do you feel like that? Trust me, I know that it is difficult to be creative when you are busy with work, shuffling kids around to sports and other extracurricular activities. But if you are striving to have a healthy diet, then you need to put time aside for cooking.

The most important part of your diet is food, 80% to be exact and 20 % for exercise. I have been alive long enough to know that killing yourself in the gym and then coming home and eating any and everything that you lay your hands on will hinder your progress. Your determination to be a healthier version of you will quickly spiral and sink to all new low. So keep fresh vegetables, chicken thighs, salmon, real butter, and a good pot on deck!

Ingredients

  • 1- 1 1/2 cups of PF Chang Kung Po Sauce
  • 12 Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 1 Large Onion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Lawrys
  • 2 Heads of Broccoli
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1/2 Bag of mini carrots and cut in half
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 3- 4 cups of Brown Rice
  • Green Beans
  • Salmon is also an awesome substitute for the chicken thighs

You have the option of cooking your brown rice in the same pot with all other ingredients or solo. I also will alleviate the chicken broth many times when making this meal. The meat will create so much liquid that adding more seems pointless.

Place pot on medium heat, add seasoned Chicken thighs, cook for 5 minutes on both sides. Add all veggies, cover, and place on low heat.

In separate pot prepare rice (according to package directions) or add to the chicken, once it is completely cooked and all veggies are tender. If there isn’t enough liquid in the pot add 2 cus of low sodium chicken broth. add rice and cook on low for 40 minutes. Pour Kung Po Sauce over the entire one-pot mixture. slowly stir and serve.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored.

~BellaDonna~

Squash Tacos 🌮

Y ‘all ain’t ready for this but I’m going to tell you anyways to STOP whatever you are doing.

Right now I just need you to focus!

Take a sit and get ready to watch the video of the best twist for taco night. If you are anything like me then you probably don’t know much about cooking squash. I am stepping out of my comfort zone and chopping squash.

I was skeptical about making my tacos with squash. Now I’ve made squash soup and I’ve sautéed it, and even grilled it. But never I have I had squash on my tacos. But this year I am trying to clean up my eating and make as many healthy recipes that I can. I’m in the fitness industry so this is what I should be doing. Right? If I refuse to eat right then how can I tell others to. Now don’t get me wrong you will fine some recipes on here that will have you on the tread meal for a week straight! But that’s okay because sweating is good for you honey.

Okay so lets get to the kitchen and burn up some pots! Get all your ingredients out and lets play.

Ingredients

  • 1 large squash
  • Large yellow onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 4 ounce can of green Chile
  • 1 8 ounce can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of cumin
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp. of pepper
  • 2 tsp of  chili powder
  • 1 8 ounce can of drained and rinsed black beans
  • mozzarella, cheddar, or any type of cheese of your choosing

Be careful when you are slicing up your squash. I cut myself because the squash wasn’t ripe enough and I was growing impatient (rookie mistake) and was getting quite wild while slicing the skin. okay so lets get passed my stupidity and watch the video below.

Okay ya got it? YAYYYY

After you put the final layer of cheese on, place it in the oven on broil and let cook for 5 min.  I STRESSSSSSSSSSS 5 minutes. It will burn and look a hot mess if you leave it in there any longer than that.

Thank you for watching and please come back!!💗

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I am honored!

~Bella Donna~

Squash Tacos 🌮

Y ‘all ain’t ready for this but I’m going to tell you anyways to STOP whatever you are doing.

Right now I just need you to focus!

Take a sit and get ready to watch the video of the best twist for taco night. If you are anything like me then you probably don’t know much about cooking squash. I am stepping out of my comfort zone and chopping squash.

I was skeptical about making my tacos with squash. Now I’ve made squash soup and I’ve sautéed it, and even grilled it. But never I have I had squash on my tacos. But this year I am trying to clean up my eating and make as many healthy recipes that I can. I’m in the fitness industry so this is what I should be doing. Right? If I refuse to eat right then how can I tell others to. Now don’t get me wrong you will fine some recipes on here that will have you on the tread meal for a week straight! But that’s okay because sweating is good for you honey.

Okay so lets get to the kitchen and burn up some pots! Get all your ingredients out and lets play.

Ingredients

  • 1 large squash
  • Large yellow onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 4 ounce can of green Chile
  • 1 8 ounce can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of cumin
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp. of pepper
  • 2 tsp of  chili powder
  • 1 8 ounce can of drained and rinsed black beans
  • mozzarella, cheddar, or any type of cheese of your choosing

Be careful when you are slicing up your squash. I cut myself because the squash wasn’t ripe enough and I was growing impatient (rookie mistake) and was getting quite wild while slicing the skin. okay so lets get passed my stupidity and watch the video below.

Okay ya got it? YAYYYY

After you put the final layer of cheese on, place it in the oven on broil and let cook for 5 min.  I STRESSSSSSSSSSS 5 minutes. It will burn and look a hot mess if you leave it in there any longer than that.

Thank you for watching and please come back!!💗

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I am honored!

~Bella Donna~

OMG This Pizza

Happy Monday!

If you are not having a happy Monday yet, I bet you will after you eat this pizza. I have literally made pizza for the last 18 years and I thought that I nailed the recipe. But I didn’t…not at all. My skills have hit a whole new level and I am patting myself on the back.

So buckle in and watch this video and make sure you follow every step. If you do then you will want to send me money every week because I have just given you meaning to your life! I’m serious, my address will be listed below and I accept small and big bills.

Listed Ingredients

  • 2 packs of active yeast
  • 2cups of hot water
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2tsp of salt
  • plastic wrap
  • onion
  • bell pepper
  • ham
  • pepperoni
  • pasta sauce
  •  fresh mozzarella
  • When you’re watching the video please pay attention to how I put olive oil all on top of the crust and pushed fingerprints all around the crust. The olive oil will help the crust turn a pretty honey color and the fingerprints will make the pizza rise evenly.
  • Bake crust on 375 degrees for 15- 20 minutes and then add toppings. Bake for additional 15 minutes.

    You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I am honored!

    ~BellaDonna~

    2019 I Welcome You

    It’s a New Year and the beginning of the rest of your life. I don’t know about you but I love January 1st. This is my chance to refocus and reconnect with things and people that I am passionate about. I can brush up my visionary board and look at the things that I accomplished and things that still are waiting patiently for me to get to.

    What are some of the things you want to accomplish this year? Please let me know and remember that nothing is too big or out of reach. Dream BIG and work HARD. If you have anyone in your life that doesn’t fit into those plans then politely boot them to the curb and move ahead.

    This is your time to be great and to give thanks to God for blessing you with another moment. Another day. Another year. Make use of your time an dive into your passion…NO EXCUSES! Don’t waste time thinking about your plan too much because you will find that you have talked yourself right out of your dreams and aspirations. Trust me, I have done this many times and I learned the hard way. I have had plans then slowly told myself not today, not right now.

    On this day January 1st, 2019, I tell myself why not today, why not right now, why not me! I am my biggest cheerleader and my biggest dream killer. I over think and suffer because I put myself on the back burner. But in 2018 I started living for Kelli and what she wants to do. Best decision I ever made. I planted seeds like it wasn’t nobodies business. Sometimes I felt like I was all over the place but I listened to God and just moved according to his plan.

    2019 I welcome you with my head held high, arms reaching out to grab my blessings and a heart filled with praise.

    I’m ready yall!

    You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and Im honored!

    ~BellaDonna~

    Chocolate Crescent Rolls

    I am determined to learn how to make crescent rolls like Meryl Streep on “It’s Complicated”. I absolutely love every bit of that movie but the baker in me keeps rewinding the scenes of her in the bakery. I think I would feel like I had died and gone to heaven if I had a bakery that looks exactly like hers.

    One Day I will!!!

    Okay, so there is a scene where she is making huge chocolate crescent rolls for Steve Martin and the way she is rolling out the dough and sprinkling chocolate chips is AMAZING!! I swear I have seen that part a thousand times and it will never get old.

    Out of total inspiration from this movie… I present to you my chocolate chip Crescent rolls. Stay tuned for a bigger version in the near future.

    Ingredient

    • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
    • 12-ounce package of Chocolate chips
    • 1 can of Crescent Rolls or Refrigerated Dough

    Watch the video below and enjoy making this easy recipe!

    You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored.

    ~BellaDonna~