Carb Overload! Perfect Pasta Dishes

Check out Pasta Overload: Perfect Pasta Dishes

by Jor-El at

Have you been looking for the perfect pasta recipe to try?  Look no further! Here are 12 Perfect Pasta Dishes that you should make tonight!

Like most people, I’ve long had an unhealthy obsession with pasta. Sometimes I try and convince myself that I’m due pasta because I try to run regularly but I know in my heart of hearts that’s usually just a silly excuse to go into full-fledged carb-beast-mode. But that’s neither here nor there.

Today, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite pasta recipes, which include everything from light summery salads to incredibly rich and indulgent cheesy-pasta fests.  Hey, they both have a perfectly valid place in the world, right?!

I’m a Southern boy at heart so I would be remiss not to include a classic southern mac & cheese recipe although since relocating to NYC years ago, I have to say I don’t eat it nearly as much as I used to. Yes, there are restaurants that serve it here, but there’s nothing quite like mom’s mac & cheese that has way too much butter and cheese, right?  Nonetheless, it’s still my much welcomed go-to for pot luck dinners so I must be doing something right.

Here are some of the best/most intriguing pasta recipes around. While I haven’t made all of them, several have found their way into my tummy over the years and the rest, well, they’re on my short list of things to cook up.

Here are the recipes included in my collection:

  • Artichoke Spinach Cannelloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
  • Chicken Picatta
  • Missouri Toasted Ravioli
  • Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagna
  • Ranch BLT Macaroni Salad (SUPER easy and good!)
  • Rotini Salad with Kalamata Olive Dressing
  • Easy Lasagna
  • Classic Macaroni Salad
  • Baked Ziti Casserole
  • Classic Southern Macaroni and Cheese
  • Creamy Philly Beef Stroganoff
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Pasta Salad (made with Rotini)
  • Easy Tuna Casserole


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from my friends over at Foodie. Check out their site for a plethora of recipes that you can collect on your own.  There’s tons of inspiration!

Stimulate Your Senses with FOCUS by Coffee Blenders

Coffee Blenders Line

If you’ve read my previous post about battling caffeine addiction, then you probably have a good idea about how much I love coffee.

Ever since I was a kid, I remembered enjoying emulating my parents and drinking coffee on Sunday mornings with my French toast. Doesn’t that sound delicious?!

As I’m in caffeine recovery (now only drinking 1-2 coffee drinks per week!) I was all too excited to give Coffee Blenders FOCUS coffee a try.

FOCUS is a 100% Arabica coffee from the folks at Coffee Blenders. FOCUS is aimed at improving cognitive performance, but does it really work?

I was beyond skeptical that FOCUS would actually have any effect on my mental state so I actually tried it out for the first time on what was supposed to be a Saturday filled with a lot of lounging and light reading.

I used my Keurig K-cup French Press and brewed my first cup. To be honest, my first cup was a little too weak for my taste when I brewed it with 8 ounces of water, but since then I’ve made cups with between 6-7 ounces of water. Remember, how much I said I like coffee?  The real question is, did it help me focus?

The kicker is, I ended up feeling energized enough that I ended up writing 3 posts within the next hour or so. Now that may not sound like much, however when I set my mind to a  lazy day, I’m incredibly adept at meeting my goal. I created three posts and polished off some additional work for as well. So it turns out there is a little something special about this coffee!

The proprietary ingredient is Cereboost which is actually American Ginseng. Apparently American Ginseng is a potent and fast acting root which helps improve memory, cognitive performance and helps you manage cold symptoms. Not bad.

While you can only brew one cup of FOUS at a time, if you’re anything like me, that may be all you need to give your day a quick jump-start. And with the addition of Cereboost, you may find that the lethal combination of caffeine and American ginseng might just be what you need to get your day off to a productive start or midday pick-me-up.  To find out more about FOCUS, you can visit

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Products for review were provided courtesy of Coffee Blenders for the sole purpose of this review.

Weekly Obsessions 8.22.14

Pentatonix covers Ariana’s “Problem”, Pierce Brosnan is horrible at Goldeneye with Jimmy Fallon and I learn I’m the last of a “dying Black breed”.   These are my latest weekly obsessions!

I came across this gem of “25 Thing that Prove You Are  The Last of a Dying Black Breed.”  This hit me right in the feels!

I was never particularly good at shooting games (still not good, by the way) so I was happy to come across this video of Pierce Brosnan of Goldeneye fame take on Jimmy Fallon in a quick battle.  It looks like Pierce and I are pretty much on the same level so now I feel a little better.

Pentatonix released the first single off their upcoming EP PTX: Volume III and it’s a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Problem”.  It has a different vibe but still very good. Give it a listen!

6 Reasons You Should Be Watching FouseyTube

fouseyTUBE. DOSEofFousey. Yousef Erakat.  He’s one of my favorite YouTubers around and here are six reasons you should be watching him.

fouseytube shopping

1. He has a good time shopping.

Fitted hats and cool gear is all you pretty much see fouseyTUBE rocking in his videos and it’s clear that he makes an effort when it comes to his appearance. Yousef is always lined up, looking sharp and sporting his trademark thick eyebrows. When it comes to grooming, he’s definitely got something good going on there. Anyone know what products he uses?

fouseytube eyebrows

2. Look at them brows..just look at ‘em.

fouseytube yoga pants

3. He’ll pretty much do anything for a laugh…

fouseyTUBE is best known for hilarious (usually juvenile) prank videos which have garnered millions of hits on YouTube which is no easy feat. It certainty takes hard work. His videos are often pretty funny, sometimes just plain silly but always entertaining.

In addition to his ability to flex his comedic chops, Yousef also has a conscience. The YouTube extraordinaire raises awareness with this videos on social/political issues. He’s also hit big numbers with his The Public Rape Experiment (Trigger warning: Includes a story of sexual assault and related themes throughout the video) and The Kidnapping Children Experiment (Trigger warning: Depicts fictitious kidnapping scene), proving that he’s got a lot more to offer us than a few good laughs.

4. His laugh is a hilarious dolphin like dream. No seriously, I dare you to resist its power.

fouseytube ahmed

5. He tortures his has good friends.

One of the great things about fouseyTUBE is that you often see his friends join in on his growing YouTube journey. You often see them being pranked, and them occasionally pranking fouseyTUBE himself. What’s great is that you get to see a close group of guy friends who really just like to enjoy each other’s company. You can tell there’s a lot of love between them and that’s very cool to see in his videos.  In addition, his parents also occasionally make the cut and they’re pretty awesome too.

fouseytube depression

5. He talks real and is healing right in front of our eyes.

Earlier this year Yousef disclosed that he battles depression. The startling admission seemingly came out of nowhere for us but in his declaration, you can see his earnest desire to work hard to get better. And with the stigma surrounding mental health, he shows us that men of color, and middle eastern men in particular, also have emotional challenges to face in life.

Yousef vlogs daily on his second channel DOSEofFousey and you can catch up on all of his earlier vids on his fouseyTUBE channel. I hope you’ll be watching, I know I will!


Celebrate National Rum Day with Captain Morgan

Today is National Rum Day!  If you’re looking for an unusual yet tasty drink to enjoy today then check out my recipe for the Captain Morgan Twizzted.  It’s one part sugar and one part spice!

In honor of National Rum Day, the folks over at Captain Morgan sent out a call to bloggers to help create an unconventional recipe using a mystery box of ingredients.  Here’s what my box looked like:


Unfortunately, the Pringles and Hershey’s really only helped get my creative juices flowing.  I was able to come up with a way to transform a few of the ingredients to create a drink I’ve named the Captain Morgan Twizzted.  It is pretty much as strange as it sounds!

Captain Morgan TwizztedWhat you’ll need:
3 sticks of Twizzlers
3 cups water
Texas Pete Sriracha
3/4 shot Liber & Co Tonic Syrup
1 shot Captain Morgan White Rum

1. Fill 3-5 ice cubes in a tray with 1/2 water and 1/2 Texas Pete Sriracha. Freeze.
2. Heat water in small saucepan until boiling. Add chopped Twizzlers sticks and cook until water is reduced by about 1/2. Strain the liquid then cool.
3. Add sriracha ice to tall drink glass. Add plain ice if needed. Add one shot Captain Morgan White Rum, then 3/4 shot Liber & Co. Tonic Syrup. Add cooled Twizzler reduction to fill. Stir.
4. Add additional drops of Texas Pete Sriracha for additional spice (optional).
5. Enjoy!

What do you think?! It’s a little bit of work but a very unconventional drink that will definitely keep guests on their toes.  Happy National Rum Day!  Drink responsibly.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by the folks over at Captain Morgan. Product was provided for the creation of cocktail recipe.

Weekly Obsessions 8.14.14

I was poking around Upworthy the other day and stumbled across this video featuring Thadra Sherida as a hard-working waitress in a local diner.  Admittedly, I got very excited once she started speaking because I know that servers don’t have it easy.  Be nice, or at the very least courteous, the next time you’re out dining.  I mean, who really wants to sound like the guy in the video?!

This is by far, one of the coolest things I’ve seen this week. Check out these photoshopped pictures of yesteryear…now with color.

Keeping up with…Bruce?  Someone decided to edit all the Kardashians out of their reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  The results are priceless.

And finally, in this clip late night comedian Conan O’Brien honors the late Robin Williams who died earlier this week of an apparent suicide. It’s a great display of the incredible entertainer that Williams was and definitely left me chuckling.  Enjoy!

Product Review: PCA Skin

PCA skin care product review

Skin care is often a blind spot for many men. But, as I’ve learned, adopting a quick skin care routine can help you keep looking your best as you age and that’s something all of us can appreciate.

Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on PCA Skin.

Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45

I’m a big believer in the idea that one should wear sunblock daily, especially in the warmer months, to limit the impact of the sun’s rays. Exposure to the  sun is one of the biggest contributors to aging skin. We’ve all seen someone who has had a little too much sun and what that does to their skin, right?

What I appreciate about this product is that it is largely light and weightless. This is by no means the heavy, oil-filled sun block that you buy from the drug store. The texture has a light, almost whipped consistency which makes it easy to apply evenly.

The SPF 45 level protection is no slouch easier. This is by far the best sunscreen I’ve ever out on my face. And a little goes a long way. And because it’s powered with zinc oxide, caffeine and antioxidants you can be sure that you’re also doing your skin a favor by both protecting and nourishing it. Two thumbs (way) up!

Total Strength Serum

I have to be honest, serums are one of those grooming items that I still think are reserved for women only. Needless to say, wrapping my head around the idea of the PCA Total Strength Serum was definitely something I had to get used to.

Overall, I’ve grown to enjoy the product over the past several weeks. Featured in Oprah magazine earlier this year, the Total Strength Serum boasts a pretty big list of peptides and moisturizers (including natural ones like coconut juice).

The serums packs a pretty solid moisturizing punch and 2-3 pumps are a perfect amount of coverage for my nightly skin care routine. I dare to say that I like it. Trust me, I’m surprised too but if something works, it works!

For more information about these products visit PCA Skin care online.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of PCA Skin.

Tani Product Review: Offering Luxury Underwear for Men

tani luxury underwear

As guys we are, unfortunately, notorious for holding on to underwear for entirely too long past its expiration date. But what if you bought higher quality pieces instead of 3 pairs for 10 bucks? Well, then maybe Tani luxury underwear is for you.

Tani has been in business for over 25 years, but if you’re like me, then you probably had no idea! Aimed to crate the softest and sleekest underwear in the market, Tani uses innovative knitting technologies and luxurious fabrics to make for long-lasting and comfy wear.

The folks over at Tani wanted my take on what they had to offer and sent over a few samples for my opinion. In a nutshell, Tani has been one of men’s fashions best kept secrets.

I tried a black tank and a pair of Tani’s signature boxer briefs which both turned out to be incredibly smooth and luxurious feeling. It may be hard to imagine feeling that excited about underwear, but Tani’s offerings are just that special.

Tani uses thick, yet supple fabric that also prevents the development of odor-causing bacteria. This means that while wearing Tani, you can feel comfortable knowing that foul body odor will be kept at an arm’s length do to the fabric technology. And that’s no small thing.

For all that luxury, there is a high cost involved.  The Air Fitness Boxer Brief rings in at a whopping $45 while a tank will set you back a cool $60.  Obviously, this isn’t your everyday underwear.  But, these could definitely make for a special gift for yourself or a loved one who likes the simple, but nice things in life.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided by Tani for the sole purpose of this review.

Weekly Obsessions 8.8.14

POTUS Obama gets “Fancy”, Buzzfeed shows us how close we are to our phones and see if you’re one of the world’s worst employees. These are the latest Weekly Obsessions!

First up, Buzzfeed shows you how ridiculous we all look with our smartphones in “If Your Boyfriend Was Your Smart Phone”.  The rice bit may be my favorite part.  We’ve all been there right? RIGHT?!

President Obama sings Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”.  So good.

Do you want to know if you’re one of the world’s worst employees? You may want to check out the following list.  These people have really just given up… 

Product Review: Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water

skin illuminating cleansing water

Today I bring you my review of Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water!

Let me begin by saying that the Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water (Quandong & Sweet Orange) was not designed with men in mind. I say that not as a fault but as a point of clarification before moving forward with the review.

The cleansing water is as it sounds, a very gentle water-like substance. By design, it’s purpose is to help women remove makeup and other impurities from the face and eye area. Since I don’t wear makeup I can’t really evaluate it’s ability to remove cosmetics but can speak on it’s overall cleansing ability.

I should start by saying that the cleanser is housed in an effective dispenser, but it requires a cotton pad as you have to push down on the dispenser head twice to release the right amount of product. It’s a foreign way to use a product for me, but women might be more well versed with something like this.  That being said, it’s not difficult but just a novel way of using a “cleanser”, so to speak.

Generally speaking, I found the product to be OK, but a little light for my skin. While it’s sensitive formula was great to limit drying, I’m not totally convinced that my skin was “clean” after using it as a part of my nightly routine. It really is great for those with sensitive skin because of light formula and slightly fragrant scent.  I imagine that it might actually be beneficial for those looking remove make up.

Overall, I think that Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water is best left for the ladies. Guys you can probably opt out of this one and try something a little more suited for your skin type.

U.S. customers can purchase the Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water from for $24.99.

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Coast to Coast for the purpose of this post.

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