The SavvyCast is a podcast of the Family Savvy blog, where Jamie Tarence will host savvy guests to discuss real life topics that affect us all. Food and family. Marriage and divorce. Fitness and health. The Enneagram and relationships. Each episode is designed to entertain, educate and inspire all who listen. Everyone is welcome at the table! So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s talk.
A Doctor Shares Expert Advice About the Many Breast Surgery Options Available Today
This week on The SavvyCast, Dr. Ben Pearce talks about breast cancer awareness and the many surgical options women have today.
Who is Dr. Ben Pearce? Dr. Pearce received his undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL, graduating manga cum laude from the honors college with a degree in Biology He attended medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, completing rotational years in Huntsville, AL.
Following medical school - he completed a 5-year surgical residency at Louisiana. State University in Shreveport, a Level 1 trauma center, which culminated in board certification.
Following general surgery training - he completed a 3-year fellowship in plastic surgery at Vanderbilt University.
While in Nashville - he trained under leaders in the field of plastic surgery.
He is currently practicing at Reveal Beauty. Find more information here. Breast cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so Dr. Pearce discusses various aspects of breast health~from the importance of early detection, self-exams, and mammograms. He delves into the factors of genetics and lifestyle, as well as the option many women choose for prevention~prophylactic mastectomies.
Key points discussed in the podcast. -How to feel your breasts for any out-of-the-ordinary lumps.
-When to begin getting mammograms if you are at an average risk
-How to know if you are at a higher risk of getting breast cancer due to family history.
-Habits that can increase breast cancer risk.
-The different stages of breast cancer.
-Information on the 5-year remission process.
-Information about mastectomies and reconstruction surgeries.
-Information about cosmetic procedures for women who want to increase or reduce their breast size.
-An overview of breast lifting and breast augmentation.
Resources related to this podcast: For more information, you can schedule an in-person consultation with Reveal Beauty via phone (205) 408-9787 or online (link below). In light of COVID-19, you can also opt to schedule a virtual consultation.
You can find Reveal Beauty at revealbeauty.net or on Instagram @reveal_beauty_plastic_surgery.
Why I am thrilled with my pellet grill and why you might want one too.
In this episode of The SavvyCast, we learn about pellet grills generally and RecTeq pellet grills specifically.
I share why I am thrilled with my pellet grill and why you might want one too.
NOTE: This post is not sponsored by RecTeq, nor am I receiving any compensation. I am just sharing this from personal experience:-)
Why I am thrilled with my pellet grill. My pellet grill is the BEST purchase I've made in years. It has changed everything about how I cook, and I recommend a pellet grill to everyone that I know. Unless you are one who wants to stoke a fire and babysit a charcoal grill or Big Green Egg, a pellet grill is for you. It is the easiest, most user-friendly way for busy people to grill/smoke fabulous food.
Why you might want to consider a pellet grill. You are busy and don't have time to nurse a charcoal grill or Big Green Egg. You want grilled and smoked flavor easily. A pellet grill is the easiest method to achieve this. You want to cook food outdoors to avoid heating up your kitchen. You rarely use your charcoal grill because you don't know how or it takes too much work. What is a pellet grill? A pellet grill is like an outdoor smoking oven. It can reach higher temperatures (up to 500 degrees for a RecTeq) without direct fire. The temperature is maintained consistently for the duration of cooking. Here are a few things to note about a pellet grill.
It requires electricity. The heat source is a firepot. The fuel is wood pellets. The hopper holds wood pellets. An augur pushes pellets to the fire pot. A blower maintains the fire. An app operates the pellet grill from anywhere in the world. Turn on, off, adjust temp, etc.... What is a RecTeq? The original pellet grill was invented by Traeger in the 80's. Trager had a patent on the pellet grill until around 2008. In 2009, RecTeq and other companies began producing pellet grills. RecTeq is one of the leading producers of pellet grills with unparalleled customer service. I have a RecTeq 590, shown below, along with a short video showing the various parts of the grill.
What food is great on a pellet grill? One pan meals are fabulous. You can cut up veggies, chicken or another protein.....toss in EVOO and smoke. Jody smokes vegetables for his 10-month-old and purees it for baby food. Pizzas on the pellet grill are amazing. I buy Papa Murphys take and bake. Five minutes at 500 F = stone-fired pizza. Salmon is FABULOUS on a pellet grill. Below is a photo of salmon that I made on my RecTeq. What are grill grates? A grill grate is an accessory that is helpful for those who want to get sear marks and caramelization on meat. Grill grates can heat to a higher temperature (up to 600). It has a flat side and a grate/grid side that you can use. You can blacken meat or fish on grill grates.
Why buy a RecTeq Pellet Grill? Began in 2009. Wanted to bring quality grill at low price and old school service with follow-up customer service. Hand out cell phone numbers of the general manager. If you don't feel that you are getting good customer service, you go straight to the top. Thick metal, higher temperatures, more consistent temperature than most competitors. Unparalleled customer service.
RecTeq grills are sold online only. There is no middle man. Factory direct allows RecTeq to offer the lowest price and to monitor customer service. There is a hub in Evans, Georgia, an 80-acre facility where RecTeq is produced. Folks from all over go to Evans to learn more about RecTeq and purchase if desired. Easy delivery & shipping. RecTeq offers a 30 day guarantee.
What size RecTeq should I buy? If in doubt, go one size larger than you think you need. Most people have only one regret where size is concerned~not buying a larger RecTeq. Zane and I have the 590, and I do wish that we had purchased the RT 700. Why? One reason is that the difference of roughly $
How to brown ground beef for the best flavor, texture and color.
Follow these 10 tips and you'll brown ground beef that has the best flavor, texture and color (not bland, grey and boring).
Browning beef is a basic kitchen skill. This week, I decided to go back to the basics by discussing how to brown ground beef. Anyone who cooks at all can use this skill to make good meals better. Ground beef is the basis for many entrees, and browning it should not be haphazard. It makes a huge difference if the end result is savory, golden, and laced with brown bits. Pale, grey, spongy meat is not appetizing at all!!
In the following podcast, I talk about choosing ground beef and browning it with golden, crispy bits rather than soft, gray pieces of meat. I also share some tips + tricks that I use along the way. For those who prefer video, I share a short video of how I brown ground beef.
Choose your beef. Ground beef has various levels of fat depending upon what you choose. Starting with the highest fat and moving to the leanest includes the following: ground beef, ground chuck, ground round, and ground sirloin. I prefer ground chuck, which is typically 80% lean beef to 20% fat.
Salt beef and let it sit. First, season beef with kosher salt and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. This allows the salt to season and tenderizes the beef before cooking it. Letting it sit also helps the meat brown better, as the meat won't be cold. It is best to leave most meats at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so that it will sear better.
Use a good skillet. A good skillet for browning ground beef should be large enough for meat not to be crowded. In my opinion and experience, cast iron skillets do a superior job of browning all meat, including ground beef. In a recent blog post, why a cast-iron skillet is the best thing you'll ever buy, I talk about cast iron skillets. I discuss the advantages, maintenance, and recipes that go well in cast iron. I also link to my favorite skillets and where to buy.
Add fat and heat. No matter what beef I have to brown, I always add a bit of oil for superior browning. For one pound of ground beef, I add about a tablespoon of oil~canola or extra virgin olive oil. The skillet should get hot enough for water drops to sizzle when they hit the pan. This combination of hot fat in the skillet helps the meat to brown and form a golden crust.
Salt along the way. Salt before the meat hits the pan, and also salt the meat while it cooks. Once the meat is fully cooked and brown, add a touch more kosher salt to finish it off. Adding salt in layers/stages makes for a much more flavorful beef.
Let both sides brown before flipping. Like cooking pancakes, browning beef does best when letting each side sit in the skillet undisturbed until a golden crust forms. Then it is ok to turn. After both sides develop a crust and brown bits, the meat can be separated into smaller pieces which can cook until done. In the short video below, I show how to brown ground beef from start to finish.
Drain excess liquid. Most beef, especially the higher fat versions, will release liquid that needs to be drained if there is enough to start covering the meat. Liquid will make the meat steam and prevent it from crisping and browning properly.
Cook until no pink whatsoever. Make sure the meat is completely cooked to 165 degrees or higher. A meat thermometer is helpful in measuring the temperature. If you don't have a thermometer, just cook until almost every piece is golden and nearly crisp. Breaking meat into tiny pieces safeguards against any uncooked meat.
Finish with salt. Once the meat is cooked, finish with a final sprinkle of kosher salt. Because you salted before and during cooking, you don't have to use a heavy hand at the end. It is best to taste and add salt as needed.
Freeze for later. If you want to freeze the beef, simply let it cook, place in a ziploc fre
Why a Cast Iron Skillet is the Best Thing You'll Ever Buy
Here's why a cast-iron skillet is the best thing you'll ever buy for your kitchen and the smartest investment you'll ever make in cookware.
What is a cast-iron skillet? A cast-iron skillet is made from molten metal that is poured into a cast that forms it into a one-piece pan. Cast-iron is made mostly from Iron ore that has a high carbon content. The only company still making cast-iron cookware in the U.S. today is Lodge Manufacturing in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
Cast-iron skillets are tried and true. Until World War II, the term "cast-iron skillet" was redundant, as every skillet was in fact made from cast-iron. In the 1960's, non-stick coatings entered the cookware scene and became all the rage, and by 2006, roughly 85% of skillets sold were "non-stick" Teflon. But concerns of toxicity from some non-stick pans has brought a new love for and appreciation of traditional cast iron. Cook's today now see what cooks long ago already knew~a cast-iron skillet is the best skillet any cook can own.
Cast iron has many advantages. Health benefits. Some healthful dietary iron leaches into food that is cooked in cast-iron. Nonstick properties. Well seasoned cast-iron is beautifully non-stick but without harmful coatings that might emit toxic chemicals. Inexpensive. A good cast-iron skillet can be bought for as little as $20. It is a fraction of the cost of many other types of cookware. Durability. A well maintained cast-iron skillet will last a lifetime~or many lifetimes~and can stay in a family for generations. Versatility. Cast-iron skillets can go from stove to oven to table. They are freezer-friendly, and can also be used on an open fire (for campers). Cooking superiority. Many types of food just taste and look better when cooked in cast-iron (i.e. cornbread, fried chicken, sauteed vegetables).
How to clean a cast-iron skillet. Remove stuck-on food with a spatula (metal is fine and won't harm cast-iron). Run hot water over the skillet. Scrub with a stiff natural or plastic brush. Kosher salt can be sprinkled in the skillet first for added scrubbing power. Rinse thoroughly and completely. Dry completely immediately after washing. Place skillet on the stove over low heat until all hints of moisture disappear and the skillet is completely dry (optional but optimal). With a clean cloth or paper towel, rub a light coating of oil on the entire inside surface of the skillet. With a clean cloth or paper towel, rub again to remove any traces of excess oil. Store the skillet in a dry place. Can you use dish soap to clean a cast-iron skillet? Although most "rules" say not to use dish soap, I use lightly sudsy water for heavy, fishy smells. An easy way to elminate most unpleasant odors that does not involve soap or suds is simple. Place the skillet in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes. This typically causes the smells to evaporate with the heat.
Should I buy seasoned or unseasoned cast-iron? If you inherit a cast-iron skillet from a family member, it will definitely be seasoned from years of use. I would highly recommend buying a pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Lodge pre-seasons all of its skillets, which is a huge plus.
What is the best cast-iron skillet you can buy? If you buy a cast-iron skillet, the best and only brand that I would recommend is Lodge. I love cast-iron and have an assortment of Lodge skillets in various sizes. I link to the ones I have below as well as a few other options for various cooking needs. Be aware when scrolling on amazon that other brands will pop-up and appear to be Lodge. Make sure you are buying Lodge for the best product.
What is the best size cast-iron skillet to buy? The size that I use most often is my 12" cast-iron skillet. Whether cooking for two or twenty, this is the skillet I most often use. For one, I like for my pan to be spacious so that food doesn't crowd. Another reason
Let's Talk The Buddys App: How it Was Borne and How it Helps Others.
In this episode of The SavvyCast, you'll learn how the Buddys app was borne through grief and how it helps support others in times of hardship or loss.
In this episode of The SavvyCast, James and Caitie Morgan share the inspiring story behind their newly released app, Buddys. After experiencing the devastating loss of their one-year-old baby boy, Caitie and James found comfort in surrounding themselves with other couples who have also gone through the loss of a child.
For the last few years, James and Caitie have prayed for ways to be helpful to others walking through grief. James began devising a plan for an app that would connect people who were grieving with those who could help them navigate the difficult times.
This quest to help build a "technology support group" finally came to fruition when the Buddys app was borne. This free app can be downloaded on iTunes or android. that gives users the ability to connect with others who have experienced similar hardships as them. The Buddys app is all about finding and building a community of people who you can relate to, and I think this app is an incredible outreach to people who are experiencing grief in various areas of their life.
Buddy's consists of 5 main topics for life challenges: Family & Parenting, Loss of a Loved One, Medical, Mental Health, and Relationships. If you or a loved one is experiencing issues with any one of these and needs a loving, supportive community, then I highly encourage you to join this app! Buddy's is available now on Google Play and the App Store.
Resources related to this podcast. Buddysapp.com
Let's Talk Beauty "Big Guns" That are Worth the Money
In this episode of The SavvyCast, I share some of the beauty treatments and procedures that I consider worth the time and money.
Beauty Treatments Worth the Money In this episode, I share the beauty treatments and procedures that I personally feel are worth the time and money. I discuss the things that make the biggest difference to me personally and offer tips on deciding whether something is worth it for you.
Dental Work I consider this one of the most dramatic improvements one can make for overall aesthetics, especially for those who have never had orthodontic work. My resource for veneers is Dr. Paul Bargainier of Brookwood Dental Care.
Hair treatments I share two hair treatments that make a huge difference to me personally. For those who live locally, I share where I get my treatments done in Birmingham.
Smoothing treatments: Brazillian Blowout (6 weeks) and Keratin Express (12 weeks). My resource for hair smoothing is @fringesoho. Ask for Chris; he will get you set up. Extensions. Tape in Easihair and Clip-in. My resource @kimlaslo_hairbykim. Microblading browsbymilly.com
Cosmetic procedures Botox (Dysport) and filler (Kysse and Restylane) My dermatologist is Dr. Jo Lynn Herzog. (205)824-4441 and @drjolynneherzog on instagram. Nails SNS Powder OPI Funny Bunny Not worth the time & money (to me personally) Spa services such as facials, microneedling, dermaplaning, and microcurrent/red light treatments. I prefer to do this at home.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I’m new to the Savvy Cast and loving everyone I have listened to so far!! Big fan!!!!
Costco and TJ faves
I love knowing other families’ fave buys at Costco.
Whenever we have a function at our house, I always buy my flowers at Trader Joe’s.
Costco is also a great buy for roses.
Inspiring talk for teens and parents
Emma is an inspiration to this middle aged mom. She speaks with such confidence and credibility. I am planning to share her episode with my 14 and 16 years olds for a discussion starter. Her book suggestions are on my shopping list. Teens tend to listen to other teens- it would be great if Emma could make additional appearances to talk to teens.