February 27, 2012

We're Getting Fried In Here!

For Christmas my awesome friend Alycia got me this amazing cookbook - Comfort Food Fix - which is all comfort foods that have been made more healthy! My home girl was definitely looking out for me as I LOVE comfort foods and naturally those are the first to get cut when you change to a healthier lifestyle :)

I finally had the time to sit down and try one so of course I go for one that's an alternative to Fried Chicken! I mean how can you not go for a healthier version of that, who doesn't love fried chicken??

So I made the Honey-Crisp Oven-Fried Chicken. Surprisingly you don't need much for this recipe, just - Chicken (she calls for thighs but I am not a fan so I just used chicken breasts), Corn Flakes, Low Fat Buttermilk, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Honey, and Cooking Spray.

First things first, soak your chicken in 2/3 cup low fat buttermilk for at least an hour in the fridge.

Then you need to crush up those cornflakes. Depending on how much chicken you are making will change how much you actually need of the cornflakes, but if you are a waster like me you give yourself too much to work with. I'd rather have too much than too little.

Best way to crush these babies (without a food processor) is with a rolling pin. Seriously it was quick and easy!

Next you add in all your seasonings. Add in as much or as little as you like. We prefer a lot of flavor so I tend to go heavy on the spices.

Now we are not honey fans. Actually we aren't against it just neither of us eat it or use it so I had to buy a whole new "bear" of honey :) You again will need to figure out how much honey you need depending on how much chicken you are cooking. But put the honey in a separate bowl and grab a kitchen brush.

Since my hands got extremely messy at this point I stopped the picture taking. But you take your chicken out of your buttermilk and shake off the excess buttermilk. Don't be flinging the chicken around but a few light shakes should be enough. 

Then on a separate plate (to keep the mess confined) you will want to spread the honey all over your chicken. On both sides. See how that can get messy.

After you've got honey spread all over then simply coat the chicken with your cornflake/spice mixture. Make sure to really coat it cause the crispier the better right?!?!?

I should've mentioned before you start on your chicken get out a baking sheet and spread aluminum foil over it. Spray lightly with your cooking spray.

Place your chicken on the pan and lightly spray the chicken with your cooking spray. Only needs a spritz!

Pop those suckers in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes, depending on what type of crispy you want to achieve. I also flipped mine mid way through the cooking process to ensure both sides reached maximum crisp potential!

Then of course you must serve with some mashed potatoes (unhealthy I know but how could I not?) and a big ol helping of veggies!

This meal was so amazingly delish. The chicken had a sweet honey taste to it which I was not used to but absolutely loved. Not only do I think this is a keeper but Chuckles devoured it! And the biggest bonus neither of us felt like we just ate greasy fried chicken but we were both so satisfied with dinner.

Based on this recipe alone I'd recommend buying the book but stay tuned cause I will be cooking up quite a few more recipes! I have set a goal to cook up new recipes in March and I know some of those will be coming from this book!

Thanks Alycia!!

February 25, 2012

Chicken Poppers!!

One last recipe for our Superbowl Food Party!! I had browsed the weight watchers website for appetizers but honestly I was unimpressed. Finally I stumbled upon a recipe for Chicken Poppers and thought - "why not?".

These are super simple despite the many ingredients required - Chicken, bread crumbs, cornmeal, egg substitute, paprika, garlic powder, cooking spray and salt & pepper.

First go ahead and cut your chicken up into small bite size pieces. Or have your sous chef do that for you (thanks Honey).

Then combine the bread crumbs, cornmeal, garlic powder, salt, paprika, and pepper in a bowl.

In a separate bowl pour in your egg substitute.

Pretty simple from here folks. Dip the chicken bites in the egg substitute then in the bread crumb mixture.

Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with your cooking spray and then line up your chicken bites.

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping them after the first 5 minutes. And voila - you've got yourself chicken poppers!

I was disappointed in these. They lacked FLAVOR!! And why eat something without any flavor. Really it's a simple fix without adding points, just add a bunch more seasoning. These would probably be great with some italian seasoning or even go the other direction and add in some Cayenne Pepper.

Plus you get 6 nuggets (plus their sauce - we chose not to make that) and it's only 6 points. Meaning it's 1 point or less for 1 nugget. I will make these again but with a lot more seasoning to them!

And that my friends concludes the new recipes we made for Superbowl so here's a final shot of our Superbowl Feast!!

Chuckles made the bacon cheddar pinwheels (seriously amazing)! Chicken Poppers!

Taquitos (not from scratch LOL) and the Skinny Mozzarella Sticks.

Our entire feast!! 

 We had a great Superbowl day. It was actually really nice to be home and not at a big party, just a sweet little party for two!!

February 23, 2012

Skinny Mozzarella Sticks!

Raise your hand if you love SkinnyTaste.com!! I better be seeing everyone's hands up!!

No joke this blog is amazing!! Since I am maintaining this healthy lifestyle there was no way I was going to blow it on Superbowl Foods so I made sure to toss in a few healthy recipes! First up - Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks from skinnytaste.com

You need quite a few ingredients for this one but trust me it's totally worth it!
Flour, Mozzarella String Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Panko Bread Crumbs, Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs, 1 Egg, Parsley, and Cooking Spray.

First things first unwrap all your mozzarella cheese sticks! A.K.A String cheese!

Then cut each on in half. Then put those suckers on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. These need to be frozen so plan ahead!

Once your cheese is frozen (keep them in the freezer) but get your station set up so you can work fast.

Crack your egg into a bowl and whip. Put flour into another bowl.

Then combine you bread crumbs (both Panko and Italian Seasoned) as well as your parsley in another bowl.

The next part you will want to work fast cause you don't want your cheese to unfreeze. I was lucky and had a great Sous Chef (Chuckles) to not only take pictures but to hand me frozen cheese sticks when needed and place the completed ones back in the freezer.

First cover your cheese stick in flour.

Then in egg.

Then roll in your seasoned bread crumb mix.

After you've done this for all of them (or for majority of them) place them on a baking sheet in your freezer. 
Get out a second sheet and line with aluminum foil and spray with your cooking spray. Then take your frozen cheese sticks (that are now seasoned) and line them up on your non frozen baking sheet. Pop those suckers in the oven at 400, rotating halfway through, for about 10 minutes total.

Then place on plate and enjoy these skinny delights while they are still hot/warm. If you wait until they cool they just don't taste right.

Holy goodness!! I'm not even kidding. I LOVED these and they actually tasted healthy and good. In my opinion way better than the original full fat greasy mozzarella sticks you get anywhere else.

You go Skinnytaste!! Thanks for bringing another delish recipe that is a great alternative to a once fully fat (fully gross) appetizer that everyone loves! Make sure you go get the recipe here and try them asap!!

February 21, 2012

Beer and Dip = Beer Dip?

I know it's been FOREVER since the Superbowl and forever since I have blogged but I MUST share our Superbowl Feast and the recipes we made!!

First Up - Beer Dip! That's right people I said Beer Dip!!!

This one is so easy, all you need is: Beer (duh), Ranch Dressing Dry Mix, Cream Cheese, and Cheddar Cheese (yup totally forgot to include it in the picture), and then pretzels for dipping!

You will want a softened 8 oz bar of cream cheese! Mix in your beer and your ranch dip mix!

You want it to look creamy and smooth!

Add in your cheddar cheese! See here's the picture!

Looking delish and of course smelling delish! Well if you like the smell of beer it was smellin good!!!!!!

Present with pretzels. No joke, that's it, easiest dip ever. Unless of course you just buy dip, but why buy when this is so much easier! However should not be served to kids!

Where oh where did I stumble across this easy and delish recipe? Taste of Home!! I was doing a search for appetizer recipes for Superbowl and this came up multiple times! It was really really good!! I would definitely make sure you get the texture right. Ours needed a little more beer to make it a little more like a dip, we broke quite a few pretzels but I didn't want to over do it on the beer and have it taste too much like alcohol!

This is a must try for all 21 and older adults! You can use any beer you like and it really is so easy, took me less than 5 minutes to whip together!! I highly recommend for the next Superbowl or heck Baseball season is just around the corner.......Get the recipe here.

February 15, 2012

Key to Sadness

I just finished up Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay and Yes it's worth all the hype that's been created around it!

This book was so amazingly sad but I loved it!

The book centers around two characters - Sarah and Julia - in two different time periods in France. One lived through the horrible holocaust, in which I never knew the extent of how the French people were involved, and the other lives in more modern times as a journalist who's been assigned to dig up information about that horrific time.

This book truly takes you into a huge part of history that you probably had no idea about, unless of course you are a history buff. I was a little skeptical about this book. I was excited to read it but I was really unsure of how much I'd get into it. After only 50 pages in I was hooked and couldn't wait to take my lunch break and get off work so I could pick up where I left off.

This book is tragically beautiful and I would recommend it to every single reader. It's touching, it's enlightening, and it really captures emotions.

Overall grade - A+. It really is amazingly well written and unique.

February 8, 2012

Welcome Home!

I can't believe that I forgot to post this card I made. Last year my Sister and her Fiancee bought their very first home and of course I had to make them a card! I gathered up all my new home embellishments and paper but I just wasn't excited about any of it!

Instead I hopped online to get a picture of their home and I chose to try to recreate their new home with what I could! This is what I was able to come up!!!

I used one of my cricut cartridges, cardstock, glitter, and of course I used a sticker!! I was able to get the color of house pretty darn good, however it's not a two story house!

Even though it wasn't identical my Sister absolutely LOVED it! I was proud to give it to her and I think she really loved the personal touch I put into it!! I still can't believe I forgot to post this since that was quite a few months ago, but I had to share it now!!

February 7, 2012

Another book down!! Boy do I feel like I'm on a roll!!!!!!!!

I just finished reading Morning Glory by Diana Peterfreund.

Now this was definitely an easy read and I got so hooked from the get go that I couldn't put it down! I finished this book up within 2 days and I couldn't even get through the movie!

The book lets you develop your own picture of the characters, which isn't too far off from the actors and actresses but for some reason the book is just so much easy to get through and so much better!

It's about a tv producer named Becky who gets canned from the tiny local station she was working at. Not because she's a crappy employee but because the station couldn't afford her and because they wanted to bring someone in with credentials. Desparate to find a job, because working is her life, she applies to every station she possibly could.

A connection from her previous employer lands in a big stations executive producer of a failing morning show. Leave it to Becky to work her butt off and do everything possible to get the shows ratings up. Does she succeed? You will have to read it in order to find out and since it's an easy and super cute read I highly suggest you check it out!

It wasn't thrilling by any means but it was sweet and you really do fall in love with Becky!
Overall grade = B.

February 4, 2012

Do You Believe?

Last year for Christmas I snuck onto Amazon.com and looked up my friend Alycia's wishlist cause out of everything to get her I knew books would be the best! She's a reader like me so it just felt natural to gift books!

Well one of the books I got for her was called The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. Needless to say I was intrigued so I hopped back on Amazon.com and ordered a used for copy for a penny. For $4 (had to pay shipping) I thought even if I didn't like it, no biggie!! $4 is a replacement to a coffee from starbucks. And really which is better for you?? Anywho I digress.....back to the book.

When I first started this book my reaction was "What the hell did I like back then about this book summary?" I was super nervous but I like going out of my comfort zone and reading books that I may not have picked out on my own. After 100 pages I was hooked. Yes it took me 100 pages to enjoy it but that's exactly why I like to give books a real fair chance. I hate not finishing books so there has to be something a book to offend me in order for me to stop reading.

And you know what the biggest part of this book that was making me uninterested? It was that there is magic. And as I was talking about it to my Chuckles it was a more "What the hell is wrong with me?". A book is supposed to a story you can get into and it doesn't have to be that realistic. I may not believe in the magic that occurs in the book but who cares? It's a book and the main reason I read is to get lost in a story and just step out of my own little world.

Once I realized that I was being silly, I got hooked on this book. You can't help but love the characters (well the ones you are supposed to love) and you are rooting for them the whole time. There are three main characters in the book - Josey who is stifled by wanting get her Mother's love and forgiveness (Mom is a very sad character), Chloe - who got cheated on by her Man and its so heartbreaking cause you just love the woman, and then Della Lee - I'll let you read about her story for yourself!

It's really hard to describe what this book is about so I'll leave you with this, there's magic of all sorts. There's medical healing magic (don't worry it's not over the top, it's just a small happening), love magic, book magic (so funny), and of course evil magic!! In fact one of the characters that is a bad bad guy reminds of the character Jimmy from Practical Magic (the movie with Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, and it's a book).

This book really did a complete 180 for me from when I first started reading it and I couldn't put it down. Overall Grade - B+. Easy read, you'll love the characters, and just let yourself get lost in the magic.

February 2, 2012

It's A Pirate's Life For Me!!

Last year for Father's Day we went to this AMAZING Pirate Festival that my Mom found online! We weren't sure what to expect but it was so much FUN!!!

Scrapbooking these pages were a little bit more difficult than I thought but I love how they turned out!!

I used parts of a Storyteller's Club layout and added my own embellishments!


That's the actual map/program from the event! It worked as a perfect background page!

I love the pirate stickers I found to add to these pages! Check the parrot on the left hand side :)

Since the paper didn't really go super great with theme I thought it'd be fun to add some color. I just took blue paper and then cut slices of paper off and reattached! Broke up the black which was great! And of course the red looked awesome on the black and blue!

More of the super cute Pirate stickers!

And last but not least gift time! We of course did gifts at the house since it would have been impossible to do them at the event! We are all super red in these pictures so maybe I shouldn't have used the red but overall I think the pages turned out great!

It felt nice to get in my scrapbook room and do some scrapbooking pages!! I know that I won't get too much time with all the wedding DIYs we are starting but that's okay. I'll just have to fit in regular scrapbooking every chance I can!!

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