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My First Attempt at Making Vidalia Oven-Fried Onion Rings (Video & Recipe)

Vidalia Onions Oven fried Onion Rings

Over the last few years, we’ve fried less and less food in our home. We don’t even buy grease. I honestly, still eat fried food (sometimes) when I eat out at restaurants, I just don’t cook it anymore. Vidalia Oven-Fried Onion Rings

While I’d like to always believe I was a healthy person or had the desire to be healthy, I know that I didn’t purposely start watching what I ate until I started having children. Most of all, being pregnant made me evaluate everything I put in my body because of the baby, but had a lasting effect because I wanted to:

  1. Get my body back post-baby.
  2. Stay healthy for the long term.

For the last 10 years, we’ve been doing our best to live a healthy lifestyle and make good food choices. Consequently, three years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which contributed to me narrowing down my good choices even more.

It’s all fruit and veggies for me! A lot of fruits and veggies.

My Personal Vidalia Onion Challenge

As much as I order onion rings at restaurants and buy frozen onions rings as a treat for myself, I‘ve never made them at home. Never.

I’ve always wanted to make homemade onion rings but thought it was hard. Well, that is until Vidalia Onions shipped me 10lbs of onions! This was the perfect time to take on the challenge of creating my favorite crunchy snack.

The test was going to be, how can I re-create what I order at restaurants without frying them.

Luckily, I had all of these ingredients at home (except the buttermilk) and created the perfect crunchy Vidalia Oven-Fried Onion Rings.

Check out my quick 59-second video on how I made my Vidalia Oven-Fried Onion Rings! It’s super easy, I promise! 

One great thing about living in the south is that you are always near freshly grown vegetables and fruit stands. At one point I tried to grow my own vegetables. I will share that story another day.

I lived in Georgia for 17 years and that is where my love for Vidalia onions grew. Vidalia Onions are grown in Vidalia, Georgia (south of Atlanta) and if you ever travel down to Florida on I-75 south, you will see signs directing you towards the farms, to buy onions.

Did you know an onion could be sweet?
What makes an onion sweet? The soil.

There are about 20 counties in Georgia that create the perfect combo (weather, low sulfur soil and seed variety) to grow the sweetest hand planted and harvested Vidalia onion. It’s the first sweet onion ever and has been growing strong for over 80 years. 

Vidalia onion season is from mid-April through August. Which means now is the perfect time to visit your local grocery store and get a few. These onions are considered the premiere sweet onion by the world’s best chefs and home cooks, the Vidalia onion is known as the sweetest and most versatile in its category.

I was telling my husband, I can literally taste the difference. Vidalia Oven Fried Onion RingsVidalia Oven-Fried Onion Rings Recipe


2 Vidalia Onions
Buttermilk (enough to cover the onions)
1 small bag of Flour
2-3 Eggs
1 Box of Panko Bread Crumbs
(Seasoning optional)

Peel and cut onions into rings
Soak onions in buttermilk for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator
Dip onions in flour
Followed by a dip in the egg mixture
Coat onions in panko breadcrumbs
Place on a rack with holes to allow the onions to be baked on both sides at 400 degrees.
After 15 minutes, turn the onions over.
Cook for another 15 minutes.
Select your favorite sauce and enjoy

Vidalia Oven-Fried Onion RingsVidalia OnionsVidalia Onions 2Vidalia OnionsVidalia Onions 3Vidalia Oven-Fried Onion Rings 4How Do You Use Vidalia Onions?

I honestly Vidalia has made an onion ring making monster out of me now! You get an onion ring! You get an onion ring! I promise, I’m making them weekly now (well at least April through August), so I hope my family is ready! 

Vidalia Onions are great in just about any meal. What meal do you use them for? I’d love to hear your suggestions so I add them to more things. 

Check out the #OnlyVidalia hashtag online to see how other influencers are using Vidalia onions. 

Disclosure: Vidalia onions sent me a box of onions for review and compensated for this post, but my thoughts are 100% my own.


Baked Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries – Fab Five Cooks!

Who doesn’t love a good french fry? A french fry made any type of way has been my favorite food since I was a child. I could eat them if you let me.

I was the same up until a couple of years ago. I realized that eating french fries really held no good nutritional value or benefit for me. I started letting go of my beloved favorite fried veggie.

I wasn’t sure of the exact moment I realized I could have a similar love affair with Sweet Potatoes, but thank God I can.

Sweet Potatoes:

  • Help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.
  • Natural sugars are slowly released into the blood stream
  • Major source of potassium & help regular heartbeat and nerve signals
  • Contain Vitamin D  plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
  • Good source of Vitamin B6 & C which produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity.

I now make baked Sweet Potato Fries and feel like I am in healthy heaven when I eat them. You can make them sweet, spicy, & a variety of toppings. It all depends on what you feel like on a given day.

Here’s my simple recipe & steps for Garlic Parmesan Baked Sweet Potato Fries:

1. Start with two cleaned sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries_BernettaStyle

2. Cut the sweet potatoes into french fry pieces & soak them in water for 1 hour to get the extra starch off (if you want them extra crispy).


3. Place the Sweet Potatoes in a bowl in pour in the olive oil, sea salt, pepper & garlic seasoning. Take your hands and toss them in the bowl. Then place the fries on a baking sheet and place them in the oven on 420-450 for 20 minutes.

Sweet Potato Fries_BernettaStyle

4. When they are ready, let them cool for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and more salt & garlic (your preference) and dig in!

Sweet Potato Fries_BernettaStyle

They come out great every time!11012424_10206862963366170_1553407846703969087_n

It’s first Friday, so that means the Fab Five is serving you up Sweet Variety! I’m so happy to see what my Fab Five Bloggers Gal Pals have cooked up with Sweet Potatoes too:

Kita | Kita is making Sweet Potato Casserole for one. This is for those who want to hide in their closets and indulge in their very own sweet potato casserole without making any for the rest of the family. It’s the holidays so you can be a little bah humbug and treat yourself.

LaShawn | LaShawn is making a Grown up Baked Sweet Potato with feta and sun-dried tomatoes. For those of us looking for alternatives to the traditional sweet potato this holiday season. This is not your mama’s sweet potato.

Mimi | Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes, turn sweet potatoes into your favorite side dish with a few herbs and olive oil.

MJ | Sweet Potato GritsLove grits? Love sweet potato? Combine them for this delicious taste of fall and Southern eats. Enjoy with country ham, green onions and a splash of hot sauce.



Home Life Recipes

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

I have been trying to make more things that will make my family smile. I honestly am not a sweets type of person, which means I don’t eat a lot of cake, donuts, brownies, etc.. That also means, I don’t make it but my husband and children enjoy it all!

I have decided that I wanted to start making more things that put a smile on my families face and when I saw these red velvet cream cheese brownies – I knew this was the perfect way to start.

Red_Velvet_browniesWe actually went to our family reunion a few weeks back and they made the same cakes, but a chocolate version. I tasted a bite and noticed how smooth it was in my mouth.

Although it was a brownie, it melted in my mouth and tasted good. I learned on our family’s Facebook page, that these were originally supposed to be red velvet so I wanted to actually create the same brownies but add nuts.

red_velvetFor the red velvet brownies:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon red food coloring
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake filling:
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease it with butter.

In a large bowl, combine the melted 8 tablespoons butter with the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, food coloring and salt, stirring to combine. Then stir in the white vinegar.

Whisk together the eggs in a small bowl, and then stir them into the brownie batter. Fold in the flour, just until combined, then pour the batter into the prepared pan, reserving 1/4 cup of the batter for the topping.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a handheld electric mixer), blend together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until well combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer over the brownie batter then top the cream cheese with dollops of the remaining brownie batter. Using a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl the cream cheese together with the dollops of brownie batter.

Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before lifting the parchment out of the pan then slicing and serving.

afterI was so ready to dig in! Apparently, my husband did too because he snuck in the kitchen and took a big chunk out! Hmph! red_velvet

FEATURECan you see yourself making this sweet treat for your family (or yourself)?

Remember, you can always store them in a plastic container and save them for day 2! They are sometimes better that way!

Home Life Product Reviews Recipes Reviews/Recaps

Whip it Good! Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! Yogurt Pie Recipe

Thank you to Yoplait for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try Yoplait Greek 100 Whips!!

I am not sure why, but whenever someone mentions the word WHIP, I automatically hear the songs, “I whip my hair back and forth!” or “Whip! Whip it good!” in my head. Both make me want to dance and evoke a happy feeling.


So when I was asked to review Yoplait Greek 100 Whips!, I couldn’t pass it up! The 3 main reasons I wanted to review it were:

Whipped 2

In addition to just trying the taste of a new yogurt, I decided to make my Famous (why is everyone’s dish so famous?) Simple Yogurt Pie! It’s so simple, you only need 3 things. I purchased my Yoplait Greek Whips! from Kroger and Publix (I went back again).

  1. 2 Yogurt (Yoplait Greek 100 Whips!)
  2. Cool Whip Toppings or Store Brand
  3. Graham Cracker Crust

I tried Vanilla Cupcake simply because I’ve never seen another flavor that peeked my interest like that. I wondered would it taste sweet but go down light and it actually did. It wasn’t heavy nor needed to be mixed up (like some Greek Yogurts). Who wouldn’t like a PIE, that is as light on the tummy as it is on your taste buds?

Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! Yogurt Mousse

  • 100 calories
  • 9 grams protein
  • 0% fat
  • 8 flavors

How to make a Simple Yogurt Pie

  1. Mix 2 Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! in a bowl with Cool Whipped Topping until it all blends smoothly.
  2. Pour the mixture into the Graham Cracker Crust
    1. Topping like fruit or nuts are optional
  3. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours and Enjoy!




After you let it set in the refrigerator for a few hours, you can take it out and enjoy! Now, sometimes it can still be soft – so just be gentle when you slice it for your plate.

Sometimes, it can fall apart but it’s still soooo good! As you can see in the picture below, it was about to crumble! But we ate it all too!


We loved the Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! Vanilla Cupcake Yogurt Pie and my husband asked me earlier today to go get some more and make another Yogurt Pie! I think we have a winner here!

We have to try the other flavors:

  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Lemon Meringue
  • Raspberry
  • Tropical
  • Strawberry
  • Black Cherry
  • Blueberry


Lucky You!

I want you try this new delight! So, click on the link below and you can get a COUPON!

The SAVE $1.00 ON FIVE Yoplait® when you buy FIVE CUPS any variety Yoplait® Greek, Yoplait® Greek 100 or Yoplait® Greek 100 Whips!® yogurt

Have you tried this yet? I’d love to know your thoughts. Which flavor will you try first?


Living Smart Recipes

My Last Day Eating McDonald’s Fries With 17 Ingredients!

When I was a young lad, McDonald’s was the go-to restaurant. My mom took us there all the time. My choices ranged from the triple cheeseburger, Big Mac or chicken nuggets. The most important thing I had to have were the French Fries! I love fries and growing up, McDonald’s fries were the top on my list.

Fast forward umpteen years later. I am now a wife & mother to my own children who also have come to love McDonald’s. Over the last 5 years, we have been doing better with healthy eating and researching what’s in our food. With movies like Food Inc. and Forks & Knives, I have cut down my meat intake to a couple of times a week.

For the most part, I don’t eat at fast food restaurants anymore. It’s that 2% of the time that I would stop and get my old faithful french fries. Well, McDonald’s published its french fry ingredients and it’s a list of 17!  At home, I make the best fries. I even made a video about how I make Oven Fried Potatoes. I use two ingredients, Potatoes and Olive Oil. Why does McDonalds need 17 ingredients?

After reading an article (the bulk is below), I decided I have seen my last days with their French Fries. I bought some and although they tasted the same as they always did, they tasted different because I now knew what I was eating.

I am so tired of companies producing foods that have ingredients that harm us. No, it might not harm us the day we eat it but over the long haul, it will add up in our system. It makes you wonder why so many people are sick or just have health issues. I understand companies are in the business “to make money” but it is at the risk of your customers health? It seems so.

Mario Dupuis, a production manager at McCain Foods in New Brunswick, discussed where the potatoes are washed, peel and cut. They are also blanched to “remove natural sugars” that would cause color variations then soaked in dextrose for an even color. There’s also an ingredient to prevent greying, drying to remove excess moisture and a quick-fry for 45 to 60 seconds before the fries are frozen for shipping. 

Here are the 17 Ingredients: Potatoes, canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavor (vegetable source), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent) and cooked in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with THBQ, citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane) and salt (silicoaluminate, dextrose, potassium iodide). 

Many of the ingredients above are hazardous to human health, including those which are genetically modified (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil), hydrogenated (soybean oil), chemically preserved and antifoaming (THBQ, citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane), and artificially colored (sodium acid pyrophosphate).  Source.

Living Smart Recipes Smart Simple Stylish

Nutrition Fact Labels Changes Are Clear

New Nutriton Fact


Do you really pay attention the Nutrition Fact Labels? I do. Now more than ever since I want to know what is really in my food. These labels have not been updated in 20 years so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information. The new label would replace the out-of-date servings sizes to better reflect how much we really eat and it gives us a fresh new look as well. It highlights the thing we want to see first, like serving size and calorie count! Continue Reading

Living Smart Recipes Wordless Wednesday

Mr. Tea #WW


If you remember my Green Tea post a few weeks back, you know I like to drink Tea!! Well, I was on Instagram again and saw the coolest/weirdest looking thing. A man hanging out of a cup! I stopped and brought the phone closer to my face thinking, “What is this?” After doing a little more research, I found out it was a Tea Bag Holder! SOOO TOTALLY COOL TO ME!!

This was is actually called Mr. Tea Infuser. You put the tea bag OR loose tea leaves in his pants (silicone) and prop him up on your cup. He does all the work!!


I actually hate dealing with my tea bags but this way, they don’t get in my way when I am drinking!! I haven’t bought one yet, but it’s definitely on my list! Unless, someone wants to “Gift” me one!! Hint Hint!!

Mr. Tea is made of pure, food grade, flexible silicon rubber that can withstand temperatures from -22 degrees F to 450 degrees F.  Mister Tea is versatile, durable and a great all-around performer! Measures 3.25 inches tall x 2.5 inches wide x 1 inch thick.  Source

You can get these on Amazon or Ebay with a range from $9.99 to $19.99. It just depends who you want to buy from!! Tell me if you get one. I really do want one!


Living Simple Recipes

Living Simple :: How I Made Homemade Tortillas Chips

Last night I made homemade tortilla chips for the first time. They were very good! My daughter wanted to help so we started the process. I went to a Mocha Moms event a few weeks back and the theme was Mexican. One of the lovely ladies made these and everyone was talking about them. She told me how and I decided to try, so here are the steps.
Step 1: Get a bag of flour tortillas (the ones that you use for soft tacos). 
             Cut them into pieces with a pizza cutter.
Step 2: Dip them in grease (I used Canola oil) for about 10 seconds. They brown quickly.
              You can flip them if you want. Just be quick about it.
Step 3: Once they are all out of the grease, pour a little (to taste) Sea Salt on them.
              I didn’t have straight sea salt, but Garlic Sea Salt so it added an extra UMPH
              to the taste.
Step 4: Eat up! They just melted in my mouth. I added some ground turkey, cheese, lettuce
              and tomatoes. I made a nacho salad. It was delish!

Future idea: Instead of pouring Sea Salt on the chips – dip them in a mixture of Cinnamon & Sugar for a sweet homemade treat. I will be trying that next.

Living Simple Recipes

Living Simple:: Zoes Kitchen Gift Card Give-Away & Review

Saturday evening my family and I were able to attend a blogger feast at Zoës Kitchen in Marietta, GA. I didn’t know what to expect, but only knew it was considered Greek American. Personally, the only thing I eat Greek are Gyro’s and Salad so I was interested to see what else is on the menu. The decor was modern, sleek and spacious. (That’s Krystyn & me with our babies!)
Zoës Kitchen is a natural extension of Zoë Cassimus’ lifetime of cooking for family and friends. Inspired by Zoë’s original recipes and her simple, fresh-from-the-garden sensibility, we start every day by making the food from scratch onsite at each restaurant. Our dishes are wholesome; our portions generous. It’s Mediterranean-inspired comfort food with customers’ dietary concerns in mind–nothing fried with gluten-free and vegetarian options. Zoë means “life” in Greek. (Source)
We (the hubby & I) were pleasantly surprised with all the options from healthy kid selections, a variety of salad and pastas, kabobs, wraps, sandwiches and desert! They make 90% of their food fresh every morning, so you know you are getting quality every time you go. They even make fresh Green Sweet Tea and a Limeade – which was MY FAVORITE! My husband had to pull that limeade out of my hands. I couldn’t stop sipping on it. My favorite dish that they served us was these delicious steak and mushroom wraps!! I even said out loud, “I love these things!” I ate about 4, but don’t worry, they weren’t as big as you think! They were hot and the steak & cheese just melted in my mouth.

These pictures just show a few of the meals we were given. The first is the FAMOUS Greek Salad. The Greek dressing stays on the table but can request a different dressing if you like. The second picture is one of the kids meals. It was grilled chicken wrapped in cheese with Marinara dipping sauce and fruit! Healthy. Love it. What is not pictured was a big bowl of cole slaw and a dish of cold tomato pasta! Yummy but my stomach was just ready for those Kabobs and hot wraps!

I want you to taste what I did and enjoy it as well. So have lunch on me!
I am giving away at $15 Gift Certificate to a reader. This Give-away will be open for 5 days! 1/29 – 2/2
Rules: Leave a comment stating what you would like to try at Zoe’s & Subscribe to the blog while your at it! Thanks everyone! (Leave your email in the comment so I can contact you if you win).
Update: The winner is Brian!
Thanks everone for entering!

Living Simple Recipes Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Oven Fried Catfish Recipe

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!
Today’s photo of the day is “My Oven Fried Catfish!”
When I started dating my husband yeeaaarrsss ago, I spent alot of time watching his mother cook. She taught me somethings I still do today, one of which is Oven Fried Catfish. If you still like the fried taste but without the grease, this is the way to go. Last week, I made this dish and took a picture for my friend who wanted to try Oven Fried Chicken. The process is the same. You can google different recipes, oven temps and methods. But after you do it often, it will just come natural!
Here’s a simple recipe:


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a shallow dish, stir together the cornmeal, paprika, thyme, salt, celery seed, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Dip the catfish fillets in milk, then place them into the cornmeal mixture and coat liberally; place on the greased baking sheet. (Which I coat with Olive Oil) Coat the tops of the fillets with cooking spray until wet. (I have never done this, but you can if you like.)
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
  4. *** I bake it a little longer than 15 minutes. At least until its looks and feels crunchy, and of course DONE.***