Wednesday, January 19, 2011

back in action!

After being on hiatus while at home where instead of cooking the majority of meals, I got to sit back and relax and be catered to by my wonderful, wonderful parents. Who not only cooked delicious meals, they let me pick out all my favorites I had been missing at school that I'm daring enough to make or just taste that much better when they are made my them.

Being an anal retentive planner (thank you mother) I dove right back into playing mom here at the apartment and planned the whole weeks menu and hung it on the fridge so there is no questions as to what we are having and to reassure my lovely roommates they will in fact be eating a real meal each night and not cereal (which is usually the case when I do not make dinner, they have cereal and any one who knows me knows breakfast is not my ideal meal and cereal is definitely not a meal of choice.)

The menu for this week:
Sunday: Chicken Mac and Cheese
Monday: Beef Barley Stew
Tuesday: Chicken sausage with roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes with peppers and onions and a salad
Wednesday: Slow- cooker spicy buffalo chicken sandwiches from Everyday Food
Thursday: Greens and Beans (Maria's personal fav)

Fridays in our house are usually take out nights just because we made it through the week and deserve a treat!

I'm not a huge fan of mac and cheese but I came across this recipe and thought it looked delicious, and that it was, it exceeded expectations. Emily helped make dinner and although it was a bit chaotic it was full of laughter and hoovering from Miss Mariah.

Taking a little break for some left over Chinese.
You simply layer the cooked shells, chicken and bacon then peppers and onions and finally add the cheese sauce which is a mixture of Gruyere, Parmesan and Cheddar and repeat and bake for 20 minutes and you are ready to eat!

Monday: Before I left my mom cleaned house on the pantry at home to stock up the pantry here and gave us one of those jars with all the contents to make beef barley stew which I had planned for Monday because it was our first day before school so it seemed like a Sunday and Sunday is soup day. Good thing I planned on that because I had acquired a rather unsightly rash on tops both my arms over Christmas break and I figured it was from using a new soap, which wouldn't surprise me since I am allergic to everything under the sun. I woke up Monday to see that it had spread so I sent my mother pictures and she scheduled my an appointment to see the Doctor at 1:30, so I had to leave at noon, it was 11 at this point so I hopped in the shower and figured I could make the stew quick since it had to cook for a few hours. It was so simple, just had to brown the stew, add the contents of the jar and water and let it simmer for a few hours. I didn't know what time I would be back either so if I wasn't home for dinner they could eat without me, all they had to do was serve themselves.

Since beef barley stew isn't the most eye appealing thing, here's a picture of my lovely rash!
Have no fear, despite not only my doctor but another doctor at the office not knowing what it was (eczema was ruled out, because although I've had eczema for as long as I can remember) these bad boys do not itch or hurt one bit. They decided to treat it like eczema though and it seems to be working. I have to take Prednizone 3x a day for 6 days and lotion 2x a day. They are looking better, not as red and fading slowly but surely.

First day of classes, wahh, can't believe it is starting again! Tuesdays I'm done at 3:20 which gives me enough time to go to the gym and have dinner ready by 6-6:30 which works out nicely. Ever since I introduced Maria to buffalo chicken sausage she has been a fan, so when my mother brought us regular pork sausage with mushrooms and artichokes we were broadening her pallet some more. I personally am not a huge fan of Italian sausage, I prefer chicken sausage much more so when I went to Skip's to load up on goodies I found chicken sausage with roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. We sauted up some peppers and onions and had a salad. So simple, yet so good.

Mondays and Wednesdays are my dreaded 8 am days. I had an 8 am on Mondays last semester, but twice a week this semester?! Treacherous. On a positive note, we got to class today and my professor decided that from Monday on out class would begin at 8:15 instead of 8, hello and extra 20 more minutes of sleep! My second class at 10:35 got canceled so I could come back before my third class at 11:40. This worked out swell because I had already gone to class, prepared everything for the chicken, got it in the crock pot to cook for the 4 hours it needed, did the dishes, made my bed and cleaned the bathroom all before 10:30, it was glorious. 

I have a weakness for anything buffalo chicken flavored, I could eat it for every meal if I could. When I came across this recipe over break at home I was so excited to try.

 The recipe was really simple, I cut it in half because we have a little baby crock pot plus there's only us 3 and we don't really eat that much.
 All I wanted for Christmas as a garlic press, low and behold half way through my stocking I unwrapped a garlic press, Christmas could have been over and I would of been as happy as a clam!
 The sauce consisted of these guys, it looks like kind of an odd concoction, I was a little nervous at first.

You put the mixture in for 4 hours then shred up the chicken and serve on a bun, how simple!

This is our baby crock pot my mom found at Walmart for $3 and Jill picked it up on black Friday, it's perfect size for us.

 As I stirred it basically shred on its own so I didn't have to do much.

 Not very good quality it was taken from my phone, but these were great. We had them on whole wheat buns with blue cheese, sweet potato fries and broccoli, YUM!

I know, it hasn't happened yet but there has already been pictures of greens and beans already so need for duplicates.

 As I have been writing this throughout the day, so much free time on my hands this week (better enjoy it while it lasts!) we have been solidifying our plans for Saturday because it is the big Villanova- Syracuse game which obviously we will be attending. Given the fact that it as at noon and activities at the dome start at 9, yikes!, and our love for entertaining, we figured we would have some friends over for some breakfast and drinks orange juice before we head off to the game. Mariah was watching Paula Deen one day where she made omelets in a bag and we thought it would be a great idea for Saturday morning because everyone gets their own individual baggie and can put whatever they want inside. I was SO perplexed by this i just had to watch a video of just how this works. It's pretty darn cool, I'm excited to try! Another task I wanted to tackle is homemade bagels, my grandma used to make them all the time when we were young and they were so good, I wanted to be able to make my own. So after searching I found one so we'll see how it goes! That adventure will surely be blogged about, also with pictures of the game, they are expecting over 30,000 again. Oh Syracuse basketball, how I adore you.

Impromtu Bake Sesh:
I have wanted to make homemade granola for the longest time because most granola has some sort of nuts in it, making myself incapable of consuming, lame. I came across a few recipes and we decided that since we only had quick oats we'd make granola bars that i found here.

It called for 3/4 cups of craisins but we substituted 1/4 cup with chocolate chips to add a sweet treat! These were also a winner.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

all that glitters is gold

Warning: This post is not about food, rather a crafting adventure (another favorite hobby of mine). This is also a very long post!

Any girl loves glitter, right? Well minus a few exceptions, ahem our neighbor who was not particularly fond of the glitter sprinkled in the walkway...but that's another story, I, on the other hand am no exception and re-kindled my love for glitter around Halloween time. Emily had the brilliant idea that we would be Josie and the Pussycats, because one: we watched the movie last semester and re-lived our childhood and two: who doesn't want to be a rock star? So we headed to the mall, found all the glitz and glam we could and off we went back home for me to make a sign, signature to the movie, with what other than glitter? I mean what's a rock star with out the glam? Upon making the sign, glitter and I fell back in love, we took a break from each other for a few years while I took up new hobbies like going to elementary school (where I feel as though glitter would be frowned upon due to its stick-ability to everything and lack of an appropriate method of clean up) and then as  I continued to grow my crafting became solely based around puffy paint, why you may ask? Ask any Fairport Cheerleader how much puffy paint they have and you would soon see it is a staple, whether its team shirts, stunt group gifts, pillow cases, you name it, it can be puffy painted. (Or if you are my mother, your specialty is puffy painted holiday socks!) Any who, back to glitter and my re-kindled love. After the sign making, I wanted to glitter everything and I wanted to buy anything glitter-y. I needed heels for a formal that I was wearing a black dress to, so off went Mariah and I, hoping to find heels in any solid color, just to add some pizazz to my outfit, after much frustration we found nada, and we searched, Mariah is a shoe connoisseur so went from store to store, still no luck, until we were on our way out and she said, oh let's stop in here. I was so over shopping at this point and being let down she had to drag me in, and oh am I glad she did. Low and behold we found the perfect shoes. Not only did they have my size, I could walk in them (a true test, being such a clumsy child- hence why mother calls me grace..for my lack of..) but the best part...they were glitter-y. Oh man was I in heaven.

Seeing as though I am not one to wear heels out on your typical night (Halloween really did me in) I wish I had glitter-y shoes of some sort that I could wear out and did not need a special occasion because they really jazz up an outfit. I got a picture frame from my best friend Tess that says something along the lines of whatever you do in life, make sure you do it in cute shoes. So, one day I was looking around online, probably at recipes to make because well, that is what I do in my spare time, I came across this and almost died. DIY glitter flats? Hello, glitter and a craft project combined in one, how much better could it get? I enlisted Mariah, she probably rolled her eyes and thought to herself, yet another one of her crazy ideas? But I simply bribed her with some guacamole and she quickly obliged. 

 Being a poor college kid with no income for the time being, spending $40 on a pair of flats is just not in my forecast (another reason why I liked this project). I began researching flats and found some at Target, convenient because Jo-Ann's is right next door.

 I found these bad boys for $12.99, not bad.
 After Target, I beep bopped over to Jo-Ann's and picked up the rest of the supplied which were all super cheap, each glitter container was .99 and the brushes were .39 a piece. The killer was definitely the clear spray which was $5.99 BUT the lady in front of me in the check out line had a 40% off coupon and gave it to me so everything came to be $7.39 with tax. So, thank you lady in front of me for buying all your items on sale and giving me that coupon!!

We had no idea what to expect slash what to do, the instructions were kind of vague so we kind of just went with it and the actually turned out really well!

Figuring out the ratio of mod podge to glitter took a while but finally we figured out that you had to use double the glitter than mod podge and it worked out.
 The first couple coats looked funny and while we waited for the mod podge to try it looked really silly with the white all over but once it dried you could see where you needed more glitter.

 Obviously we had to break into the wine to get our creative juices flowing.
 The final product!

They turned out really well I'm excited to wear them and I want to make more! I'm thinking all gold or all silver, hmm the possibilities are endless maybe I should just take up making glitter flats for a living!