Friday, October 26, 2012

Delectable Details

Ever since I finished my MBA, I've been promising myself I will blog more. Yet... That hasn't happened.
Why might that be? Honestly- I'm just going to full & completely blame Pinterest. I think I had pinned 749592940 things while I was in school, so now all of my free time is devoted to crafting & cooking.
Has everything turned out great?
Hellllllls no. Unless you ask my mother Who loves everything i do, I'd say my craft projects have about a 40% success rate.
My recipes, on the other hand, have more like a 90% success rate.
Don't worry y'all, I don't get too crazy or gourmet like with my cooking by any means. But honestly, even before Pinterest (GASP, can you picture your life without it now? I...can't even go there.  That thought terrifies me.) I have always thoroughly enjoyed cooking. For me, I feel like cooking dinner (& whatever else) is almost therapeutic.  I actually even cook in complete silence, if you can believe it. Kev snapped this picture a few weeks ago because he relishes  marvels the fact I can be so content by myself for an hour or so every night :)

Anyway, I know I've said it before & I'll say it again, but finding recipes that please both Kev & myself can be a bit of a nightmare headache challenge because he has the eating habits of an 11 year old. Like an 11 year old that prefers Pizza over Filet Mignon.  However, through lots of encouragement & a bit of pushing from yours truly, homeboy has come a loooong way. Just ask him :)  I mean, when he ate peas for the first time, you would have thought he had found a cure for cancer.
So if you deal with choosey kids (or have an insanely picky husband like myself), here are some sure fire crowd pleaser recipes that will make everyone happy :)

Pleasing Pinterest-Inspired Recipes

Fried Rice
-1-2 boil in a bag white rice, cooked
-1 bag peas & carrots, cooked as directed on packaging for 5-7 minutes w/ salt, pepper & butter
-1 cup chopped onion
-2 cloves garlic
-2 tablespoons of olive oil (Honestly-any kind of oil would do)
-2 eggs, beaten
-1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

-Heat the oil in skillet for 3-4 minutes on Medium heat
-Add the chopped onion, garlic, and peas/Carrot mix & sautee for 5 minutes.
-Scramble the two eggs, using either one side of the skillet (you can push over your veggie mix), or you could use another skillet to do this.  I'm super lazy, so I just scrambled it in the same pan.
-Once scrambled, mix it in with the veggie mix.
-Add & mix in your cooked rice (I typically cook the rice while I'm sauteeing everything together)
-Pour in your 1/2 cup of Teriyaki sauce, and mix everything up.  
*I usually have Kevin marinate & grill some chicken to have with this, but I could honestly eat it plain.  It is that delicious!!*

Sooooo Good!!!

One additional note-- I highly HIGHLY recommend using this specific type of teriyaki sauce- it can be found in the "international" aisle at the grocery store.  It is phenom.  

Pinterest Inspired Recipe #2
Spicy Chicken w/ Peas Rigatoni
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt & pepper
- 2 Medium cloves of garlic
-Two chicken breasts, cooked & shredded (I usually bake my chicken at 400 degrees, for about 35-40 mins, and then shred it.  Much better flavor vs. boiling it)
-1 jar marinara sauce (I prefer Ragu, parmesan & romano)
-1 Jar Alfredo sauce
-1 cup of early/young peas, cooked w/ salt & butter
-3/4 box of cooked penne pasta (honestly- again- any pasta would work, minus lasagna sheets or jumbo shells)

-Let olive oil heat in large pot for 3-4 minutes, then sautee all of the spices together until cooked through.
-Add cooked/shredded chicken in with the spices & mix together thoroughly.
-Add cooked peas in with chicken mixture
-Drain pasta & add in with chicken/pea mixture.  Mix well.
-Add both jars of sauces.
*Top with mozzarella* 


Andddd... for the grand finale...

Jan's Red Chili Recipe (perfected by Caroline)
 *Side note- You all should feel incredibly special that I'm sharing this amazingness with you.  This recipe has been adjusted numerous times over the years & it is now simply the most perfect Red chili recipe you will EVER ever try.  I promise.  Kev said this recipe even trumps his mother's recipe (ear muffs, Pat G!- This is the only item he says this about.), which is pretty much the highest praise a wife could ever get from their husband as it pertains to cooking!*

-1 onion, chopped
-2 cloves of garlic
-1.5-2lbs of ground beef
-2 cans of diced, chili ready tomatoes
-3 cans of chili beans (2 hot, 1 medium)
-1 1/2 Tablespoons of chili powder
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon of salt
-1 teaspoon of black pepper
-1/2-1 teaspoon of white pepper (best kick there is!)
-1 teaspoon of cinnamon
-2-3 teaspoons of sugar or brown sugar (I usually do a bit of both)
-1 teaspoon oregano
-1 Teaspoon basil
-1/2 box of elbow macaroni (optional- as I know not everyone likes pasta in their chili)
-1 cup water, as needed

-Brown onion, garlic, and beef together, until meat has browned.
-Drain off grease
-Add beans, tomatoes, & spices.
-Let marinate together for 1 hour or so (**personally, I think it just gets better & better the longer it sits**)
-Add in water (as needed-you might not need the whole cup of water, or you might need more. It just depends)
-Add in cooked elbow mac.
-Let sit for 15 mins & serve
-And you're done!!

**TWO MAJOR NOTES- I typically taste my chili about 20 times while I make it.  I seriously always wind up adding a bit more of the various spices listed above, depending on what I think it needs.  I also make Kevin taste it numerous times, so I can get the taste just right.  It SHOULD wind up having a twinge of sweetness w/ a pretty big kick of spice.  If not, just keep adding more/less of those spices**

With cold weather fixing to invade Kentucky this weekend, these recipes are the perfect solution to a good home-cooked meal.  I hope yall enjoy them as much as Kev & I have :)
And as always- if you have any questions regarding any ingredients or instructions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!

With that, I hope yall have a fantastic Friday!!  

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Few Friday Fascinations

I swear to our good Lord that I have not been avoiding my blog.  I just have had the absolute worse case of writers' block ever.  I literally fall asleep thinking about what I could/should write about, and I draw complete blanks.
Finally, by the grace of God, I realized that it was my obligation to share with you all a few random obsessions that I have had as of late...
1. Hair Screws
We all know I love a good up-do, especially one with a Faux Braid (here's a quick tutorial for those of you all who haven't mastered that little trick quite yet)

However, lets face it- unless we wake up super early to have mass quantities of time on our hands before we go to work in the morning, I am alllllllll about easy w/ mahh hair in the am.

Enter hair screws. 

These bad boys run about $6-8 dollars, and you can find them practically anywhere that sells shampoo. Seriously.  I saw them at Kroger, if that tells you anything.
Not only are they cheap, they are extremely easy to use... 
Let me demonstrate (no tutorial- sorry yall- my phone was fixin to die, so pics will have to do today.)

I swear to everything holy & pizza that this is the easiest up-do of all time.  

1. Lift hair up like you were going to put your hair into a pony tail
2. Twist around & make the bun shape
3. Insert screws into an x shape into the little twist bun you created.
4. Just kidding, there is no #4. Its that easy. 20 seconds, tops.

Suck it, Sock Bun :) 

2. Talbots Outlet

No, my 58 year old mother did not just hijack my computer, you read that correctly.  For professional clothing that has a bit of style & classiness, you honestly cannot beat that outlet store.  It is phenomenal, I am obsessed with it, and I'm not even going to apologize for loving it so much. I'd like to tell you I'm mildly embarrassed that I see 62 year old women shopping there every time I go, but I mean, honestly- those senior citizens obviously know whats up bc the place rocks. I bought ALL of the following clothing (including the dress in the beach pic) for $92. 

Gotta Love some great clothes at senior citizen pricing :)

3. Loreal Nail Polish
So, I'm uptight with OPI & Essie because I honestly think their polish doesn't stay on very well.  I promise to yall that I am not cheap in the slightest, but I refuse to pay $8-$9 for polish that doesn't stay on.  Here lately, all I have been buying is Loreal.  Their fall polish colors are on point & only about $4.

Check out what color I've been sporting this week (and yes--- i'm well aware my fingers look identical to a 12 year old boy, but what can you do?) :)

Why hello, Greycian Goddess.
It is seriously my favorite Gray color of the season. Its not too dark or harsh, which I love.  I know neutral/dark colors are super trendy but I gotta be blunt-- sometimes staring super dark polish day in & day out just kind of depresses me & makes me want to start on a round of prozac. Just saying :)

4. Fallll lalalalaaa la la la laaaaaa

Typically?  I live for Fall.  We've got a bit of colder weather, jeans, pumpkin spice lattes, bourbon, etc. (ha, who am I kidding? I live in Kentucky--> we drink bourbon alllll year long. Those of you not from here should follow suit.. it will make your life infinitely better.)
However, my fall (because I am married to THE super fan of the University of Kentucky) hasn't been too fun, due to my Wildcats being embarrassingly bad at Football this year.  And believe you me, super fan is NOT fun to be around when his beloved wildcats are losing on a weekly basis.  

Anyways, I've just gone ahead & focused my efforts straight into Christmas.
Thanks to my boredom of now routinely skipping UK Football games, I have channeled my energy into creating various random Holiday items.  While I'm going to do a full post about the random Pinterest stuff I've made for Thanksgiving/Christmast/NYE, I'll give you a quick preview.

Fabulous, Fun, & For the Frugal :)

1. Buy a pack of plain glass ornaments, fun tissue paper & coordinating ribbon, & modge podge
2. Modge podge those suckers
3. Use your fun tissue paper, and stick it alllll over the ornament
4. Paint a layer of modge podge all the tissue paper covered ornament
5. let dry, add a bow, and you're finished!

Even if your team is having a stellar season (unlike my poor Cats), these are still super fun to make & could be fantastic little gifts for the upcoming Holiday season!!

Alright yall, thats about all I've got in me tonight.  Hope everyone has had a fantastic week & has an even better weekend! I know I'm ready to get mine rolling asap :)  Mmwwwa!