Friday, August 26, 2011

Beat by the Heat

I could apologize for my lack of posting lately, but its nothing new these days.  It is just too dang hot for much around here.  All I do is sweat!  This weekend is supposed to be record breaking heat again at around 110.  Seriously?  It has been like this since May.  So, I haven't really had the desire for much craftiness around the house.  Lots of crock pot dinners (because they don't put off that much heat) and salads.  However, Clay was out of town last night and that' s the time I use to experiment.  I looked through my pantry and concocted quite the tasty meal.

Tex Mex Crispy Chicken
4 Skinless Chicken Breasts
Baked Tostitos Tortilla Chips
Milk
2 Eggs
McCormicks Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
Block Colby Cheese (in a block)-  I got some raw milk colby from the market and it is the best cheese ever...seriously
Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 400 (if you have a convection, even better.  The outside will be even crispier).  Crunch up enough tortilla chips to get about 2 cups of crumbs.  You can leave them a little large, they don't need to be as small as panko.  Sprinkle in a some of the taco seasoning.  The amount is up to you.  I LOVE taco seasoning so mine is pretty heavy.  Then drizzle the crumbs with olive and toss to coat.  Take your chicken breast and cut a slit in the side to form a pocket.  Insert a small (or whatever size you like) sliver of cheese inside the pocket.  In a small bowl, combine your eggs with a heavy splash of milk and whisk to combine.  Hold the chicken together and dip in the egg mixture and then into the crumbs.  If the crumbs are falling off, just press on some more and then place the breasts on to a baking sheet.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until cooked through (it depends on the thickness).  I loved how it came out!  I topped it with a little super hot salsa and an avocado salad with lime dressing.  Clay came home today and had already crushed the leftovers before I got home from work.  He loved it.





Tuesday, August 16, 2011

House Wren

I went to the City Wide Garage Sale last weekend here at the big event center downtown.  It usually happens about once every six weeks and you never know what you'll find.  There are a few vendors there that are my go to spots for certain things that I love to pick up.  I'm a sucker for vintage linens.  I picked up a few rose printed tablecloths that I think I'll turn into aprons and some napkins that I'd like to embroider.  He also has a huge pile of vintage clothes that if nothing else can be used for the fabric.  That's where I got my holiday party skirt last year (remember this post?) for $8!  Once that main guy is hit, I'm on the prowl for little odd ball what nots.  I'm also known to hit the brakes any time I see something sparkle.  I adore old brooches and costume jewelry.  However, to my disappointment, it seems as though everything has gotten a lot more expensive, especially the jewelry.  Bummer.  I thought this was a bust until I came across the coolest booth, House Wren.


















They just posted a bunch of pictures on their blog here.  If you haven't seen the show, Picker Sisters, then please disregard the comparison.  I totally thought of that show when I walked into their booth.  Picker Sisters airs on Lifetime (ooh, I think tonight now that I type this) and is about two sisters that live in L.A. but travel all over the U.S. picking great antiques and taking them back to their builder to make really cool furniture.
Check out the culvert that they converted into a backyard swing.  The only thing is that in Texas, you would basically be putting yourself in an oven to sit in that during the summer.  Definitely made more for California.
























I never thought to use an old tin sign as a headboard but it looks great!  I wonder if it rattles?
















House Wren is a husband and wife that do basically the same thing.  The lighting really caught my eye.  Check out these pendant lights made from the whisks of old commercial mixers.  Wouldn't they be cool over a kitchen sink?  Check out their blog to see where they will be next...
What makes this couple even better?  They have two Boston Terriers...and one is named Ruby.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Semi-Homemade

I got a call from my mom on Saturday wanting to know if we wanted to come over for supper on Sunday.  Of course we did.  I told her I'd bring a 2 sides and a dessert.  Well, two out of three were hits.  I made summer pesto pasta salad, balsamic portobellos and polenta, and a sorbet trifle.  The pesto pasta was great but I used brown rice pasta which got a little soggy when I warmed it back up.  I think if I was going to make it again, I'd cook the pasta until it was almost done so that when liquid was added back during warming, it would be perfect.
The portobellos were great.  Since I'm not eating bread (the whole gluten/wheat thing is a bummer), I thought I'd do the mushrooms and polenta as a base for my hamburger.  I could have definitely skipped the burger (even though they were great thanks to my brother) and just had the huge marinated fungus (as Clay refers to them).  The recipe can be found here on Martha Stewart.
The dessert was also Martha inspired from this recipe.  I bought a pint of raspberry sorbet, a pint of mango, and a half gallon of pineapple/coconut ice cream.  I added some fresh berries to the raspberry and some chopped pineapple to the coconut ice cream and then layered them in a loaf pan.  I let it refreeze overnight to reset.  When we were ready for dessert, I put it in a sink with a little warm water to loosen up the edges and took it out in slices.  It looked so pretty with all the colors.  I put each slice over a little piece of store bought pound cake.  It was a great dessert that not only was fairly easy, I didn't have to heat up the house with the oven.


















American Eagle Contest

I love American Eagle.  In fact, I used to work there when I was in high school.  I'm not sure why I thought working retail was a good idea to save money since I basically exchanged my paycheck for a wardrobe.  I haven't done one of these in awhile, but Polyvore is sponsoring a contest for American Eagle for a chance to win a $1000 gift certificate and to see your work on a billboard in Times Square.   All you have to do is use the mini editor below, create a look, and publish it in order to be entered in the contest.  The last day to enter is Thursday the 18th.


Get your own Mini Editor from Polyvore



Best Ever?

I've noticed that a lot of pins on Pinterest are claiming to be "best ever" recipes.  Best ever potatoes, best ever cupcake, best ever crock pot recipe...you get the idea.  I pinned the "best ever" broccoli recipe and one of my cousins commented on it that it really is the best ever.  I had to try it.  What was even better is that it wasn't that hard.

Best Broccoli Ever
Broccoli cut into florets (I used two small bunches)
2 cloves of garlic-sliced
1 tablespoon of parmesan-shredded
1 lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil

Pre heat the oven to 425.  If  you washed the broccoli, make sure it is completely dry or it won't get crispy.  Like I've read before, what you would be washing off will get baked off in the oven so you can skip that part.  Toss broccoli in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay out on a foil lined pan and sprinkle the garlic slices over it.  Place in the oven for about 25 or until the edges start getting brown and crispy.

BEFORE:
















Once it is done, pull it out, and zest the lemon over the top.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice  over it and then sprinkle with parmesan.  I put it back in the oven for about 8-10 so that it would get all crispy again with the lemon and cheese.  It was THE BEST broccoli ever

AFTER:



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On a Roll

I've been on a roll with recipes from Skinny Taste.  They are all fairly simple and most include ingredients that are already in the fridge.  After a long night of sushi and cocktails topped off with dessert on Friday night, we were back to a nice light dinner at home on Saturday.  I love Italian food, but don't want to eat a ton of carbs before bed.  I tried the Chicken Rollatini with Spinach a la Parmagiana.  It was delicious!  I loved every bite.  No pasta at all and I didn't even really miss it.  For the side, I made a caprese salad with a twist.  I was inspired by this picture I found on Pinterest.  I roasted the tomatoes first and then sliced them like the picture.  Then I tucked a few small pieces of mozzarella in the slices and stuck it back in the oven.  Once the cheese oozed a little, I took them out, added a little fresh basil and topped it with balsamic reduction.  Even though it was really good, Clay decided he likes it better raw.  I just had a couple of small roasted tomatoes with the balsamic reduction and they were great.

From Pinterest:
























Another great thing about this rollatini recipe, it makes for awesome leftovers.  It was just as good today as it was on Saturday.