In Real Life, May 1

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Hello, foodies! It’s been a while since I shared a Real Life post, so let me try to catch you up on all the eventful news around here.

I’ve been really busy lately with three trips to St. Louis since March, all because of my new grandson! In addition to him, I also have a 3-month-old granddaughter in Knoxville. Both new babies (plus our amazing 4-year-old) keep Nana and Papa on the road. It seems we’re always on the move!

Besides doting on my grandchildren — they really are the cutest! — I’ve been juggling work, physical therapy, doctor appointments, and so many other little things that require my attention. Do you ever feel you’re burning the candle at both ends? I sure do. Whew!

Last week I spent a few days away at a beautiful country house in Franklin, Tennesse, with my best blogger friends and it was just what I needed to get rejuvenated and recharged. Although we meet virtually every week, being together in one place was so motivating!

Sourdoughs of Somerset
Sourdoughs of Somerset, Franklin, TN

What’s new on the blog?

Two EASY Dinner Recipes

two pork chops on a white plate with a meat fork and garnished with fresh parsley on a table.

Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops

If you’re wondering how to make Juicy Pork Chops in the Air Fryer, you’re not alone! Pork is notorious for quickly drying out, but this recipe results in perfectly tender pork chops with a slightly crisp outside. The chops are cooked with olive oil and seasoned with simple ingredients like salt, pepper, paprika, and ground mustard, producing a rich, tangy, and smoky flavor.

two salmon croquettes on a plate with a lemon wedge and a spoonful of tartar sauce to the side.

Southern Salmon Croquettes

This Salmon Croquettes Recipe is a southern classic, prepared with flakes of salmon shaped into patties and pan-fried until they are beautifully crisp with a golden outside! Season them with sliced green onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.

A new recipe for the smoker

a smoked pork butt partially pulled with meat claws on a baking sheet.

Smoked Boston Butt (BBQ Pulled Pork)

For the absolute best Smoked Boston Butt (BBQ pulled pork) start with a high-quality piece of meat, slather that beauty with my savory homemade dry rub, and let it cook low and slow until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. So delicious!

A crowd pleaser

Italian meat sauce on a bed of spaghetti noodles in a white bowl.

Homemade Italian Meat Sauce 

Are you ready to whip up the most amazing Homemade Italian Meat Sauce with Spaghetti? This recipe is guaranteed to leave you completely mesmerized with its zesty flavors, savory ground beef, and perfectly balanced acidic-yet-sweet tomato sauce. Forks ready, let’s eat!

More about the blogging retreat

As a food blogger, I feel extremely fortunate to have connected with an amazing group of peers who help and encourage me every week. Each of us is the sole entrepreneur doing ALL the things for our respective businesses. We meet virtually to share info and troubleshoot issues in order to grow.

Those outside the blogging world (sometimes even our families) don’t really comprehend the unique challenges and stresses that come with being a food blogger. Thankfully, these ladies can relate because they face the same challenges.

mastermind group of bloggers in Franklin

Over the last few years, we’ve all become great friends. Last week we learned from one another, enjoyed shopping and dining out together, and laughed — so much laughter! — and even cried together. These talented ladies are a blessing in my life. 😊

I’ll be introducing each of them in future posts, but for now, be sure to check out their sites:

Mastermind retreat 2023 in Franklin TN

Sourdoughs of Somerset

The retreat ended with a phenomenal intimate dinner hosted in the home of Ryder and Mischa Zetts. Both are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in New York and have quite the pedigree, including heading up kitchens at Michelin-rated restaurants.

Mischa is the mastermind behind the literal “cottage” industry known as Sourdoughs of Somerset. She bakes 100s of loaves of delicious sourdough in her home every week and her clients line up down the street on pick-up days. She has quite the following and for good reason, her bread is amazing!

In addition to Mischa’s sourdough, the Zetts offer a different carry-out gourmet menu weekly made with organic vegetables raised in their own backyard. Trust me, if you are in the Nashville / Brentwood / Franklin area, you MUST check it out!

At our dinner, Ryder served up a lovely spread of grilled vegetables, pecan pesto, burrata, shaved prosciutto, the best Caesar salad I’ve ever tasted, and luscious lemon bars with a macadamia nut crust. Just thinking about that wonderful spread has me drooling right now!

Reader review

I love hearing from readers when they find a recipe they love! 💕 Be sure to rate and comment below any recipe you try and let us know what you think — curious minds want to know!

The BEST Grilled Salmon

This grilled salmon really is the BEST and so easy — I make it often! I hate cooking so I especially love how simple this is. I have tried many salmon recipes and always come back to yours.” — Lisa


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.

— Helen Keller

Thank you for being a faithful reader and supporter of Life Love and Good Food — it really means so much to me as a small business!

Have a blessed week, my friends!

Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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