Haylie Abele from Our Balanced Bowl (Transcript)

Season 1 - Episode 10

November 6, 2018

Transcript - Haylie Abele of Our Balanced Bowl

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Welcome to BFF with the Chef. I'm your host, Nicole Schewgman. Aloha, friends and foodies and welcome back. Today I'm getting the chance to interview Haylie Ably. The blogger enforced behind our [balanced 00:00:20]. Haylie's blog is a fun, lighthearted place where she shares recipes that come straight from her kitchen. After losing 80 pounds and recovering from an eating disorder, she makes an emphasis on living a balanced lifestyle and is passionate about showing others how it can be done. Her recipes are mostly healthy, occasionally indulgent, and always filled with love. Hey Haylie, welcome to the show.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Hi Nicole. Thanks so much for having me.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Oh, well thanks so much for coming on. I love your Instagram and I would say that when I look at your blog, it just feels so warm, inviting and cozy, and I'm super excited to chat with you today about it. So I'm just going to go ahead and jump right in with these first three questions. You Ready?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     I'm ready.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     All right, so tell us about the last meal you cooked for yourself?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     So it was probably last night. My husband always cooks breakfast, so last night I made dinner and we made Tacos, so every weekend when we have a little bit of extra time to make food, we make tacos. He makes homemade corn tortillas and I do pretty much everything else from the homemade salsa to what we put inside the Tacos, and last night it was Chorizo, which is probably my favorite taco topping. It's just so flavorful and spicy and we always make sure to just load the salsa on top of it.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     So. Okay. Homemade corn tortillas?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Yes. He makes them.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     All right. Even though it's his recipe, we have to stop for a minute because that sounds amazing. Is there like a special machine, like what's going on here?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Oh Gosh. It's so not fancy at all. He rolls out the tortillas with like a mason jar and we just use corn flour, like masa that we buy all at ALDI. We are actually traveling at the end of the month to Mexico City and we're hoping to buy like an authentic tortilla press when we're there, so they're a bit thinner and just much more enjoyable than what they currently are, which they're great now, but we know they could be better.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     You're the first person I've ever known who, you guys make corn tortillas. I'm insanely jealous. Now I'm putting this on my bucket list of things to make and that sounds amazing and yes, if you get a corn press, can you please put that on your blog?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Oh yes, absolutely. If we find one, the recipe's going on a blog for sure.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Yeah, that sounds amazing. Okay look, I have just not yet gotten a chance to interview a Mexican blogger, food blogger who has done that, so if you're out there by the way, get in contact with me. I want to do an interview with someone who specializes in Mexican food because delicious, but wow, that sounds amazing. Okay. Yes. Good luck. Please find it. I will help with this search so that I can see you make these things. That sounds amazing. All right I digress. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. That sounds good and I'm also a big Taco fan.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     My husband and I, every night during the week you can pretty much find us making either shrimp tacos or salmon tacos or turkey tacos. It's just, what can we put it in between a corn tortilla then it's a taco from my perspective.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Absolutely.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     That's sacrilegious. Someone's screaming in their car right now about that. I don't care.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     We are so excited to go to Mexico to try like super authentic, delicious Tacos. They're so cheap there. They're less than a dollar per taco.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Yeah, I know. I feel like, oh my gosh, I can't wait to hear about the trip. So please update us. All right, sorry. All right, what is a meal that brings you back to your childhood?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     I have to say biscuits and gravy. I can still remember the smell of bacon waking me up every Sunday morning when my mom would make it and there's just really not a better way to wake up than just smell bacon and know that you're about to eat a delicious plate of fluffy biscuits with this creamy, flavorful gravy, and it's still my favorite breakfast to this day.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     That sounds delicious and I know that you have a recipe for that on your blog and we're going to get into that in a little bit, but I love that idea of just waking up to that smell. You know there's these smells that are in your childhood that once they're engraved in there, it's like your flavor memories. It doesn't matter how old you get that those smells and those meals bring you immediately ... you're back to being 10 years old. I love that. Sausage or bacon gravy. Oh, that sounds delicious. Can't wait to talk about it.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     All right give us an ingredient you can't live without?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     My husband will be so proud that I say this, but I have to say butter. Salted butter.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Oh yeah. Are you salted or unsalted?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Oh, 100 % salted. Why is unsalted even made? I don't know, but ... and it's so funny because growing up we only had Country Crock in the fridge. If you know what that is, and you think it's butter growing up, but it's actually margarine and so when my husband introduced me to the real stuff, I mean my world has been just forever changed because of that and we probably put it on every meal.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     I'm going to to tell you, I also grew up with Country Crock. Country Crock man. You're a child of the nineties or eighties. You probably had Country Crock in your kitchen and I'm not mad at that. I think ... didn't they used to think that margarine was better than butter?

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Yeah, they did which is crazy.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Yeah my mom, she had it because she was trying to like feed us you know.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     It's the cheaper option too.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     Yeah. I mean I can tell you I grew up with Country Crock my whole life. My grandma, my mom, because they told us it was better for us and then I moved for a month to Paris when I first ... I don't even think I really knew much of a difference when I was in college, but at the ... When I graduated from college, I got this scholarship to go study French for a month in Paris and so I moved there and that's the first time I had like real French butter and just like you said, my whole world shifted.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     I was like, what is this nectar of the gods? I can't believe.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     That's how I feel too.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     I'm like, I've been lied to my entire life.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Yes, [crosstalk 00:06:41].

Nicole:                                       00:00                     There's someone out there still using Country Crock going, you know, it's not that bad. I'm like, have French butter. Change your life. Yes. Wow, okay. I love that you said butter because I think butter is a food group.

Haylie:                                       00:00                     Yes, absolutely.

Nicole:                                       00:00                     It really is. I've got a freezer of butter just frozen butter because you can freeze it really well and my husband's like, what are you trying to like barter butter some day. I'm like, when the apocalypse happens we will save our lives by butter.

Haylie:                                       07:10                       Yeah, you will survive because of that butter.

Nicole:                                       07:16                        Exactly. That will be worth more than hundred dollar bills. So you just keep that butter right in there.

Haylie:                                       07:16                        You're thinking ahead, Nicole. I like it.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       I'm trying to. I'm trying to. The main things in life. Who cares about money when you don't have butter? All right well, I want to talk to you about your journey that you took to get to your food blog because I do want to tell you that when I look at your blog, it's so beautiful and it feels ... I said that in the beginning that it feels so cozy and warm and your blog is the equivalent of curling up on a Sunday afternoon with a blanket on the couch and a cup of hot cocoa. That's what your blog feels like to me. I want to hear ... Give us at least somewhat of that journey that you took to get to your food blog today.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Well, first of all, thank you so much for that compliment. That's probably the sweetest review I've ever received of my blog, so I truly appreciate it. Yeah. So I guess we'll start back and I'll try to make this story quick. My family always jokes about how I'm a terrible storyteller, but I'm going to prove them wrong today. About four years ago, it was New Years and as you probably know, everyone's New Year's resolution is to lose weight, and I just decided to actually stick with it this time. Growing up in the south with butter and biscuits and gravy and everything, I found myself overweight and needing to lose weight. I bought a Jillian Michaels DVD, the 30 Day Shred, I think. I never stepped foot in a gym and I just cut down on my calories and started eating somewhat better, and somehow I actually stuck with it and I lost it 80 pounds in that journey.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Afterwards, however, I found myself just really limiting myself and what I was eating. I was over exercising. I had cut myself down to 800 calories a day and it was just becoming detrimental to me and to my family. I just realized I had a problem and that I was suffering from an eating disorder, and soon after I met my husband and he was just ... I mean, he's my best friend, the most wonderful person ever. He let me in on a secret that the "healthy foods" that I were eating, AKA Lean Cuisine frozen pizzas, just meals that are marketed healthy for you, but if you look at the ingredients, they actually aren't. He just let me know that's not what was going to help me recover, that I needed to begin eating real foods, real vegetables, you know, everything that just would make my body feel better and just my soul feel better as well.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Yeah. After that, I mean, with the help of Ben and my family and just a lot of talking it out, I was able to recover from my eating disorder. It's still ... I won't lie ... an everyday struggle, but overall I would say I am better and I just wanted to start my blog to show people that it's okay to have that piece of pizza every once in a while or it's okay to have a burger and fries without feeling just weighted down with guilt. I just wanted to show people that it's okay to live a balanced life with healthy food, but also indulgent food because that's what a normal life should be. It shouldn't be restricting yourself from foods that you love. It should be incorporating them into your diet and your lifestyle and making that something that is doable for you on a daily basis. That's really how my blog started. I wanted to share recipes that I loved that I've been cooking for years and how they might've helped me lose weight or I have many pizza recipes and baking recipes on my blog that show you just that you can also indulge at times as well.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       I love that. That is so beautiful. Also just so helpful for so many people out there who are struggling with the same thing. I've not had an eating disorder. I have had friends who have gone through that struggle and I know that it's very difficult and people think they understand, but they don't understand. I don't even try to pretend that I understand, but I just want to be supportive. The fact that you could take something that was a real struggle in your life and turn it into this really wonderful resource for other people is really awesome. What is it about food now? You mentioned some of that with your husband. What would you say you know now about food that you didn't before you started this journey?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       I think the main thing that I've learned about food is that it's not the enemy. That's what I used to see it as when I was losing weight or struggling with the eating disorder. I saw it as an enemy, something that I didn't want to even deal with because it could potentially make me gain the weight that I lost back. Now I see it as just 100% fuel. Food is fuel. We need it for our bodies and we can put amazing things in our bodies. It's just not the enemy, if that makes sense.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       It totally does. I think that's an important message for people to hear. I feel like, in some ways, I'm really lucky to have been born in 2018. My mom, when she was younger, struggled with her weight. But, one of the things she did for me was she always ... One of the best gifts my mom ever gave me was this strong sense of self esteem in regards to dieting and regards to just weight gain in general. She didn't put her insecurities on me and she always made a point to tell me that I was beautiful because she was beautiful and I really believed that. She ingrained that into me and I just ... I don't know ... went through life. Everybody has issues, everybody has things they struggle with, but I never struggled with my self image. I always thought, "Well, yeah, I'm not a perfect 10 but I have a beautiful face and I'm a beautiful person inside." It just never even occurred to me to think that I was not a beautiful person, if you know what I mean.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       I'm grateful for her for that. I love that in this day and age, that more and more women, and more people in general, honestly, are taking charge of their lives and just even through the struggles that they go through, it's becoming more body sizes and shapes are becoming more acceptable and the fact that there's this real movement behind, no, just eat real food. It's okay and is more encouraging to those folks out there who could be susceptible to that, so I want to applaud you for what you're doing because that's hard what you did, and the fact that you're so balanced and you're not the only person I've interviewed who's gone through that and the other folks who I have also just so impressive that you're able to take something that was such a struggle and still a struggle honestly, and be open and honest about that, but at the same time show that there is a way forward is really, really, really great.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       I love it and that's why I want to ask you, what are those meals that you cook over and over? Because I think it's important for people to see what you eat on a daily basis. I think food bloggers can give this image that everything you see on your Instagram is just perfect and that's how your table looks. I don't know about you, but my Insta does not show what my table really looks like.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       I'm there with you. People might not follow me if they saw really what-

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Girl, same.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Let's see. Every morning for breakfast we both, my husband and I, we just eat eggs. It's the most simple thing to do. They're high protein, they're just easy to make.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Are you cooking them? How are you cocking those eggs?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Oh, gosh. We usually make omelets, so that's a way to kind of incorporate some more vegetables into them. So we throw in some red onion, some green bell pepper and of course, we are cooking it in butter because there's no other ways to cook eggs in my opinion. They make it so delicious.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Amen.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Then, at the end, we load it up with salsa and so that's breakfast usually, but I'd say the meal that I cook the most often for dinner is actually a recipe on my blog and it's a recipe I posted a long time ago, but it is my black bean burgers.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Well let's get into that. Let's talk about these black bean burgers because I know that you had ... when we had first talked that's something that you had brought up. I want to ask you about this recipe, why you make it over and over again and what's so special about it to you?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Yeah. When my husband and I were first dating, the Pioneer Woman at the time had posted this recipe for black bean burgers and I told Ben, I was like, "Let's make this tonight," and so we did that night. So we had black bean burgers and we made homemade sweet potato fries and we took it on a picnic and it was just a wonderful memory. Ever since then we've been making those black bean burgers, and I've since adjusted the recipe to fit it more to what we'd like, but they are just the most delicious, hardy, crispy burgers that you will ever have in your life.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       We fry them in a cast iron skillet with some butter to up the crisp level on them. Sometimes I will add to the batter for lack of better term, I'll add fresh garlic, chopped jalapenos to make them a little spicier. Like I said, they get crispy and delicious and we always load them up with mayonnaise because we love mayonnaise and we will tell everybody that we do because we just love mayonnaise. We also will always put red onion on top. but the real kicker for these black bean burgers that we do every single time is we fry an egg over easy and in butter of course. We put it on top of the Black Bean Burger. It is literally life changing with the yoke, the runny Yolk and the Black Bean Burger. And just that first bite is always just like you roll your eyes in the back of your head with pleasure. It's so good.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       That sounds so delicious. I have to ask you, so I know you put an egg in these burgers to hold them together. Once you're doing like the batter, it's not really batter. Is it more like a mixture would you say?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Yeah.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Yeah. So are you shaping them with your hands? How are you getting them into that burger patty shape?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Yeah. First, you just start out with two cans of black beans, put them in a bowl, you take a masher. If you don't have a masher you can just use a fork as well. And you mash them to where they're mostly all mashed together with a few whole bean pieces still left in them. You add an egg, which I've actually had a follower of my blog tell me that they've used a flax egg before because they were vegan and not worked for them as well.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Oh, okay.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Yeah, and so you add an egg, but then you also add about a cup of breadcrumbs. And to the mixture, I really just like to change it up every time. Like I said, you can add in chopped garlic, chopped jalapeno. It just has to be pretty small chunks of it because you don't want big ... a big slice of jalapeno in one burger and-

Nicole:                                       07:25                       I mean, girl, my husband does, but no.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       True. That is true, but yeah, so after that, you're just going to mix it all together. And then what I do, is the recipe actually makes four burgers, but since it's just my husband and I, we make two at the time and then we freeze the other two and they work wonderfully for freezing. That just means we have much less work to do the next time we want to eat them because we can just thaw them and fry them in the butter.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Nice. Do you have to ... Some recipes for black bean burgers and make you put them in the fridge to harden them up a little bit? Do you have to do that or can you go from mixing? You come home at night and you're like, "I don't have time to put something in the fridge. I got to go to bed," so do you have to like put them in the fridge? Are these make ahead things or can you just go from can to mixture to a frying pan?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Oh girl. I'm all about the easiest possible route. Especially at dinner time because you're exhausted and you just want some kind of hot food in front of you, but you definitely don't have to put it in the refrigerator at all. That's not even written on my blog. You can go straight from mixing and making the patties with your hands to throwing them in the pan and they are done in five minutes or less.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       That sounds good. Oh my goodness. I might make that today for my weekly meals. I'm always trying to ... on Sundays is when I do my meal prep because there is no ... I got no time for prepping meals during the week. So. That sounds so good. I'm not kidding. That sounds really good. So I want to take a picture of them. Everyone knows who's a food blogger knows how long it takes for you to actually set up your kitchen to take a beautiful picture. Hey, side note to all those people who are on Instagram who don't do food blogging. If you only knew how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into actually taking a beautiful food picture, you would not just scroll past in a second.

Haylie:                                       07:25                       You're preaching to the choir. I'm right there with you.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       It takes forever, but I'm just going to make those. Maybe I'll take a picture, a bad picture to show you that I made them because they sound really, really good, Haylie, so good. I saw that on your blog, you splurge for brioche buns, which I'm like, "Those are the queen of hamburger buns." Also get a brioche hot dog bun. Up your game. Get a brioche hot dog bun, but they are the queen of buns as far as I'm concerned. The second is a potato roll, but I am from the northeast so you know, but you, you use brioche buns for your black bean burgers, right?

Haylie:                                       07:25                       Yes, so when we have buns, we usually use the brioche, but most of the time we just eat it on a bed of mixed greens or if we have romaine lettuce, we can try and make a lettuce wrap. That's, too because we're also having sweet potato fries because you can't have a burger without fries. So just to cut down the carbs a little bit, we will often just have it on lettuce wraps.

Nicole:                                       07:25                       Completely understand. So even though I love a brioche bun, I also know that I have to cut down on the carbs at time because you are 100% right. You cannot have a burger without fries in my opinion. Chips will do if you have to, if you must. But honestly, a sweet potato fry is superior, I think for any type of burger. I mean, I like a regular fly, but if it's the choice between sweet potato and regular, sweet potato every single time, 100%.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       I'm there with you.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       Just amazing. I remember a time where a sweet potato fry, it was like this really crazy thing. I went all over, I used to go live on Guam and I remember I would drive from one side of the island to the other because there's only this one place at the time that was saving sweet potato fries and I was like, "What is this? This is amazing." That was back in 2005 when people were like, "Sweet potato fries? What kind of craziness is that?" Now, you can't go five minutes without being hit in the head with a sweet potato fry. I love it. It's the best. What I was going to say before I went on that long tangent was, at Whole Foods, there's these hundred calorie buns now that you can buy. They're a very thin bun, because I was telling my husband last night as we were eating turkey burgers, "Hey, I just can't. I got to have a bun."

Nicole:                                       22:33                       I feel a little bit of my heart get a little sad whenever I eat a burger in a lettuce wrap. I'm like, "This is not a burger." It is for some. There's someone screaming in the car right now, "It's a burger." Yeah, I know that for you, that's a burger. For me, not a burger. I need a bun, but those hundred calorie buns solve my dilemma of having a bun so I don't feel so bad about it. And they're lower in carbs. So there you go, for all those people who feel like me, you need a bun, go to Whole Foods, get a 100 calorie bun.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       That's awesome.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       All right, so what is your most popular recipe on your blog?

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Oh goodness. I'd say within the last couple months it is my stove top mac and cheese recipe. It's ditching the Kraft boxed mac and cheese or the Annie's, whichever kind and you're making it 100% from scratch and it's delicious. It's pockets of ooey gooey cheese, with the large shell pasta. Not the little tiny macaroni noodles. I'm going full on shells and [inaudible 00:24:30] and it's, I mean so good. It's also just really easy. It's not anything super difficult that a normal person who maybe doesn't cook a lot, couldn't do. It just is delicious and it will ... I think I wrote on my blog that you will never use boxed mac and cheese again after you make this recipe.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       That sounds so good. What do you think makes your mac and cheese different than others?

Haylie:                                       22:33                       One, the simplicity of it. It's not a bunch of random ingredients that you're not already going to have in your pantry. You're not going to need smoked paprika for it. Also I think just that it is that really basic but delicious mac and cheese. There's no broccoli added to it or anything that's trying to harm just that delicious simple flavor because I think mac and cheese should not be messed with. Don't be adding vegetables, don't add meat. It just needs to be pasta and cheese and it is just delicious.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       Well there you have it folks. Don't be messing with mac and cheese.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Oh, yeah. That'll be my new slogan.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       I know, right? Don't be messing with mac and cheese. I love that. Okay. So I was looking over your blog, which I told you I love and you have this ... There's this picture of you and your mom making biscuits and gravy, which just made my heart melt into a puddle, mostly because it also reminded me of how me and my mom would be making food together. There's just something awesome about, especially once you're an adult, being able to spend time with your mom because she's not just your mom, she's your friend. I love my mom so much and she is a friend to me and I do love hanging out with her. But that recipe, girl, sausage or bacon gravy even better, because people know I love bacon. Please walk us through this heavenly nectar of the gods that you're making.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       Yes. Oh my gosh. So first of all, my mom is very similar to you. She's my best friend and she's just a wonderful person. This particular recipe for biscuits and gravy has been passed down for generations in my family and she probably taught me how to make it when I was about 14 or so. And it's almost went against everything in my body to write up the recipe, because as you're making it, it's such a gut feeling. You never measure out anything. It's just you have this amount of grease from your bacon or your sausage and you never measure out the flour that you have to put into it or the milk that you're going to pour into it to make it the creamy, delicious gravy that it is. It was so funny for me to write that post and I dedicated it to my mom for Mother's Day because like I said, it was so hard to actually have to sit and measure out the ingredients.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       I'll really quickly go through it. You start out with either sausage or bacon grease. I don't really have a preference, but if you want your gravy kind of chunky, you can always mesh up the sausage at the end and put it in and stir it in. You start out with the grease, you add in seasoned flour, and that's just flour with salt and pepper that you've mixed into it. From there, you start to really quickly stir it to make sure the flour starts to cook and once it's all combined, both the grease and the sausage, you're going to add in whole milk. Like I said, it's such a gut feeling, you just add as much as you think. I do have correct measurements on my blog. Once you're adding in the milk, you're continually stirring the pot and from there, I mean, you just have to continually whisk it until it begins to get thick and you know it's done ... my mom has always told me this ... you know it's done when it starts to bubble and once it starts to bubble, you need to take it off the heat immediately or else you're in for just a thick paste.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       That sounds so good. I was reading in your blog post, you're like, "I haven't been able to make homemade biscuits yet." There's no shame in that. There is a biscuit war going on that I didn't know about. I live here in Hawaii. #NoBrag, that my cousin is listening right now going, "We know you live in Hawaii. We get it." I've mentioned it every single time, but I do love living here, but one of the things I can't get or I haven't been able to find here is white lily flower, which some people swear that that's the only way you can make a real southern biscuit. But Kathleen Phillips, who I got to interview a couple of weeks ago from Grits and Gouda, she has a really easy recipe in her blog and it's two ingredients. I won't share it right now, but if you are like me, I also struggled to make biscuits. I've been meaning to try that, so I'm going to try it with your sausage or bacon gravy recipe and then I will report back.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       That's awesome. Actually the last time I made it ... because we make it every time I go up and visit my family ... the last time we made it, I made my own biscuits and they turned out good. So I was-

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Oh my goodness. You're going to repeat that recipe. Come on girl.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       Yeah. The next time I make it, I will definitely photograph it and make sure to share the recipe because now I'm a believer and the making your own biscuits and I mean, of course, if you're in a time crunch just buy the store bought, it's fine. I don't care, but it was a therapeutic process for me to roll out the dough and knead it and so I think it was just a wonderful experience to get to make those homemade as well as the gravy for my family.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Yeah, there's something about just doing it from scratch and like you said, we don't care. Go get them the store bought biscuits. We won't be mad. Sometimes shortcuts are okay and we don't judge. I'm definitely a big believer in not judging people for what they need to do in order to feed their bodies. Feed your body in the way that you choose. But if you have always wanted to try to make homemade biscuits, it's worth it.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       Totally.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       We're both telling you right now. It's worth it. It's so fun. My biscuits don't rise. That's my problem. I'm going to try Kathleen's recipe because she swears ... I mean a 10 year old made this recipe, I saw it on her blog and that it works. So I'm going to try it and then please show me how you made your biscuits because sausage ... I always lean towards sausage gravy, but bacon gravy ... oh my goodness ... just sounds so amazing too. I'm not kidding, Haylie. When I looked at your pictures, I seriously debated, "Is there a possibility for me to reschedule this talk with her," because I want this so bad.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       It was difficult to photograph that, because, I mean, it's just gravy. How can you make it really look super appetizing? So I hope that by hearing this podcast people will become believers in it, because it is delicious.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       It really is everybody. It's a wonderful Sunday morning meal, especially if you just come in ... if you're someone who goes to church, it's a great meal to have after church. If you don't go to church, it's a great meal to make up in the morning and just contemplate your life, and if you're eating sausage gravy or bacon gravy and biscuits, your life's not that bad.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       So true.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Okay, so it's getting to be that time. What is one tip that you can give to that home cook out there that's been invaluable to you or that will make their meals more delicious?

Nicole:                                       22:33                       I think the thing that I've learned by making my own food at home is to never underestimate how much depth of flavor you can bring out with just an extra crack of pepper or sprinkle of salt at the end of your dish. That's something I always do. I always add more pepper, always add just a pinch more salt and it just takes the flavor and the profile of it all, and just takes it up a notch, I think.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       That's such a good tip. Now, do you do that as you're cooking or is it like a finishing salt when you're all done?

Nicole:                                       22:33                       It's usually, yeah, a finishing salt, a type of garnish type of thing, and it just has really ... It makes every meal, I think, just more delicious.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Oh, that's a great tip. You heard it here, folks. Finish your meal with a little bit of salt and pepper. It brings it up just a little bit and I truly believe that. I believe that you should salt your food. Your food needs salt. It just tastes better. Listen to Haylie. Salt your food, people. Where can people find you, Haylie?

Nicole:                                       22:33                       You can find me on my blog, which is www.ourbalancedbowl.com. I also have an Instagram and that is @ourbalancedbowl. You can also find me on Facebook @ourbalancedbowl. And lastly, I have a Pinterest account where I pin all of my recipes and that is @ourbalancedbowl as well.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Well, this has been super fun. You're fantastic. People. go to ourbalancedbowl. Look at this gravy recipe. Go make those black bean burgers and go learn more about this incredible blogger, Haylie. Thank you so much, Haylie, for being on the show today.

Nicole:                                       22:33                       Thank you so much, Nicole.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       All right. So you just finished hearing me talk with Haylie Abele, and she is just so adorable. I swear. I truly loved chatting with her, and her blog, Our Balanced Bowl, even though she's only just started it, it's not been that long, I think, it's already so beautiful and brimming with awesome, delicious recipes. While we chatted, Haylie and I discussed that her husband makes homemade tortillas, tortillas. What am I saying? Which of course know blew my mind.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       I don't know why it never occurred to me that you could just make your own tortillas, which is crazy because I'm the very first podcast, I talked about lufsa and I stand by the fact that I consider that to be a Nordic version of a tortilla. And if you haven't tried to make it at least once, your FOMO is real. I think that's why I love talking to fellow food bloggers and chefs so much. Every time I do, my mind is opened. I learn something new and my worldview is expanded in this really awesome in neat way. It just takes one person to say, "Oh yeah, I make my own tortillas," and I'm like, "What?" All of a sudden, now there's this whole new thing that I hadn't considered doing that I definitely want to do. This is why I like doing the podcast so much, because I learn so much.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Oh, and by the way, I made Haylie's black bean burgers and they were delightful. They were stupid easy to make. You could honestly have them on your plate and in your belly from the time you start opening that can until the time you sit down on your couch, turn on Netflix ... Let's be real. You know that's what you're doing. That's probably 30 minutes. It'll take you a longer time to find something to watch on Netflix than it will take you to put those burgers together, so go ahead and do that for dinner. I also made her bacon gravy and she is right. Stop cooking the gravy when it starts to bubble or that gravy's going to become paste. I was lucky and I saved mine just in time, so it was thicker, but it wasn't paste. To go with that gravy, I used Kathleen Phillips from Grits and Gouda. Yes. She has the two ingredient biscuits.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       Go back a few episodes. She was episode eight and she talks about how to make those two ingredient biscuits. So I made those and they were super tasty and super fluffy. I can't believe that they only take two ingredients and along with Haylie's gravy it was just a delicious rich, just awesome breakfast and I totally relished it and so did my husband. These things that people are talking about, they know what they're talking about. It's really good. By the way, there'll be links to all that in show notes and of course I'm just going to remind you real quick about the Facebook group. It's BFF with a Chef, and you should definitely consider joining. Every time I interview someone I ask them, I invite them to join the group if they want.

Haylie:                                       22:33                       They're in there and actually I've seen people ask questions and the guests respond. It's a great way for you to talk to Haylie about her gravy recipe. I also try to share extra tips and recipes, and anytime I find an Instapot sale, that's going in there, cookbook recommendations, and a bunch of other cool stuff that you're just going to have to join to find out about. Join already, and get even more of my witty humor and mispronounced words and scatterbrained thoughts inside that group. It's really fun. Finally, if you liked this podcast, please consider giving me a review. Those reviews really help the podcast be found by other people who love butter just as much as you do. Until next time, this is BFF with the Chef wishing you a great week and hoping that you've been inspired to go and make something delicious. Goodbye.