Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - PW's Chicken Salad

 So good! The perfect amount of creaminess, saltiness and sweetness all wrapped into one sandwich.

Recipe and photo found here. 

1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken
2 stalks (to 3 Stalks) Celery, Chopped

3 whole Green Onions, Chopped

2 cups (to 3 Cups) Grapes, Halved

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Plain Yogurt Or Sour Cream

1/2 cup Half-and-half

A Small Handful Of Fresh Dill, Minced

1/2 cup Slivered Almonds

1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Brown Sugar

Juice Of One Lemon

Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Rinse chicken thoroughly and place in a large pot of water. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done (about 45 minutes to an hour). When you are ready, remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate. With your fingers or a fork, pull all of the meat off the bones, chop into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

Chop all of your fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl with the chicken.

In another bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

Add fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro…whatever makes your skirt fly up) and if you’re feeling a bit brazen throw in a dash of cayenne pepper!

When the dressing tastes just right (you must taste test for appropriate saltiness especially), pour it over the chicken/veggie/fruit mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed. If you are feeling naughty add a sprinkling of bacon bits.

Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich or heck, eat it straight out of the bowl with a serving spoon.

Kosher Salt To Taste

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spring Target Preview.

I came across the website Refinery 29 while looking for bridesmaid necklace ideas, which lead me to a Spring Target preview. There is some seriously cute stuff that is going to be put on the shelves in February!


What do yall think?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scenes from {last} weekend.

Friday night

Andy (Caroline's hubby) passed his CFP exam (woohoo!!) so he decided to have a "Book Burning" get together.


Started out with some cornhole..

Which led to us trying to see who could put their foot behind their head...

Which lead us to see who could do heelstretches..

Which led to bowling...

Totally unplanned weekend. And I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Mistress's Favorite + A New Desk.

Back on January 5th (aka National Whip Cream Day), my homegirl Alexis, who works for Naked Jay Vodka's PR company, contacted me with a new cocktail recipe featuring NJay's Whip Cream Vodka and asked if I'd like some samples to try it. Would I turn down free vodka? Heckkkkk no.

I finally gathered my ingredients after a few trips to the grocery store - there were only 3 ingredients but I have a tendency to make lists and leave them at home. Cameron has started to study for his PE (Professional Engineer) exam that he's taking in April so that means I get to watch whatever shows I want (Bachelor) and drink tasty concoctions while doing so.

If you can get your hands on some NJay whip cream vodka, I highly suggest you try this recipe!

My Mistress's Favorite
1 ½ oz. Naked Jay Whip Cream Vodka
4 oz. Pineapple Juice
Splash of soda.

 Combine in a highball glass and stir. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Soaked some pineapple chunks in it. YUM.

And speaking of Cameron studying..I snapped this pic of him studying Monday night. We found the desk on Craigslist and picked it up on Sunday. That thing was a beast to get in the house and I'm pretty sure I strained a muscle in my neck from it.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Lightened Up Lasagna Soup

Oh.My.Goodness. This may be one of the best recipes I've ever made. I suggest you make it immediately. And like regular lasagna, it's 10x better the next day. The original recipe was from Paula Deen, but then her sons made a lightened up version of it. 404 less calories and 28 less grams of fat!

Recipe and photo found here on The Deens Bros website.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (I just used ground beef)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
8 Whole-wheat breadsticks or grissini (optional)

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan. Serve with the breadsticks, if using. (whole-wheat lasagna noodles take a little longer to cook.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meet the Maids.

I'd like to introduce you to my bridesmaids today! You've probably heard about each of them before, but it's time to put faces with names and hear why they're special to me. :)
Maid of Honor - Stephanie
My Seester. No matter how much I pick on her, she knows how much I love her. I know she'd do anything for me, and vice versa. I can't wait to spend my big day with her standing by my side. :)

Matron of Honor - Emily
The BFF in WWW. Emily & I met when we pledged Chi Omega our freshman year. I can tell her anything, literally ANYTHING. She's been there through all of my heartbreaks, with me on multiple road trips and not to mention, she has a great wardrobe that I get to play in quite often. :)

Friends since before I can remember. Our mom's were bridesmaids in each other's weddings, too! She is very laid back, much like myself and I think that's one of the reasons we get along so well.

Met when we pledged Chi Omega together my freshman year, her sophomore year, and were close friends all throughout college. Lived with her for 3 years before I moved in with Cameron. She has the sweetest and most upbeat personality of anyone I've met. She would do anything for her friends and family.

Jenny and I also met when we pledged Chi Omega our freshman year. She was the yankee from Connecticut with no car so we'd ride everywhere together in the Stanz. Now, you'd have no idea she was a northener because she dated and is now married to a true southerner and her accent is thicker than molasses. :)

Cameron's sister & a fellow Gamecock lover. So excited to gain more siblings! I remember after about a year of dating her brother, she told me he must really like me because he never brought girls around his family. :)

Leslie and I have been friends since 1st grade. We lived in the same neighborhood growing up. Since we were butt buddies, we always participated in the same activities - karate, cheerleading & horseback riding, just to name a few.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Asking the Maids.

Before I even got engaged, I knew exactly how I wanted to ask my bridesmaids to be a part of our big day (anyone surprised?). Little did I know that this "little" project would take for.ev.er to make. Oh well, they loved them and they turned out super cute so it was worth it!

I originally came across this idea from a post on Once Wed. Her's are obviously much cuter than mine, but I worked with what I had. Once I found the idea, I attempted to draw my own doll. Didn't turn out so hot. So then I Googled a template and came across Heather's blog. She was kind enough to send me a template of the paper doll. Huge help! From there, I looked on Etsy to find the actual cards since I am not Publisher savvy. I saved money by printing them off on my own, rather than having them sent to me. I sketched the dresses and hair by hand.

In order to see how fun this project was, here are some numbers: 
28 paper dolls (21 dolls attached in two's, 7 singles)
+ 49 dresses  
 + 49 pieces of hair (customized by hair length and color) 
= a LOT of cutting and hand cramps.

Here the are, start to finish.

I'll be introducing the recipients of these cards next week! :)
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts.

Another random Thursday post coming atcha!

-The ski trip was SO much fun! It started snowing almost immediately once we got to Boone and was almost continuous throughout the entire weekend. We wound up skiing a whole day on Saturday and a half day on Sunday. I hadn't been skiing since high school so my first run was really sloppy and I almost killed myself by going straight the entire time rather than zig-zagging. I was hauling ass and was seriously scared for my life. Oops. After that, it was like riding a bike. It all came back to me. :)

View from the top of the mountain.
The guys enjoying the hot tub. None of the girls stepped foot in it all weekend, surprisingly.
We also found some plastic sleds in a closet at the house. I think we might have had more fun sledding than skiing. Possibly.
Me (front) & Caroline (back)

-Cameron's sweet parents gave me us this SUPER soft and cozy planket from Pottery Barn. They received one for Christmas and every time I go over to their house I grab it from their bedroom and cozy up with it. It's on sale right now so I suggest you get one! You won't regret it!
Top color
-Not gonna lie, even though wedge salads are super easy to make, I was pretty proud of how mine turned out. :)

-I like to take pictures of my meals.
French toast casserole topped with bananas fosters (minus a bite) that I made for everyone before a day of skiing!
Avocado & tomato bruschetta sprinkled with balsalmic vinegar. SO GOOD.
Pork chop, skinny potatoes au gratin & sauteed kale with tomatoes and feta.
-After almost a year and a half break (when he bought the house), Cameron and I are members of a gym again! We used to both be members of Pivotal but now we're at East Shore. I can already tell I'm going to love it. So much closer to our house and I have lots of friends that are members there, which will motivate me to actually go! I did a core class on Tuesday, Taebo last night and Emily & I are trying out Zumba tonight! Some awesome white girl moves are going to be happening.

All for now! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad

This is another delicious find from SkinnyTaste that I can't wait to try!

Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado SaladGina's Weight Watcher Recipes Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 7/8 cup • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 210.4 • Fat: 9.2 g • Protein: 25.1 g • Carb: 7.8 g • Fiber: 3.6 g • Sugar: 0.6

Sodium without salt: 260.8 mg

1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1 hass avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 limes, juice of
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.

In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeño. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, January 13, 2012

December & January Birchbox.

Birchbox had a slight issue with getting a lot of people's December Birchboxes out on time, but they were very apologetic and even gave us 100 Birchbox points! That's $10 off of a full size product!

Favorite Item: Oscar Blandi dry shampoo. This stuff beats out my $3 Suave dry shampoo any day. It works so well I'm tempted to spend the $25 on it. Hey, I would get $10 off!

Not a fan of: Atelier Cologne in Ambre Nue. Too heavy for me. Just not my style.

Scared to try: Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil Shimmer. #1 - I don't want my body to be shimmery. #2 - If I put it in my hair, it would make it oily 100x faster than it already does.

I can't get this stupid photo to turn the right way. Grr.
Favorite item: ALL OF THEM. Seriously, best box I've gotten so far.

Let's start out with the tasty treat, the Larabar in Carrot Cake. I don't even eat carrot cake at parties, but I scarfed this down instantly.

The Archipelago pomegranate soap smells AMAZING and it doesn't dry out my skin like most bar soaps.

Clark's Botanicals smoothing marine cream is pretty good. I only say pretty good because I do not feel any exfoliation going on, nor do I feel any tingling. Bonus: The initials on the top of the jar are Cameron's. :)

Juicy Couture's signature fragrance is light, sweet and flirty, and the sample even has a little pump on it so you can actually spray it, rather than dab it on your wrist. It's the little things that make me happy, people.

And the grand finale (to me, anyway) is the Stila smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in a shimmery midnight blue color. Eyeliner is my one thing I have to have one before going out in public so I was super pumped about this pick.
If you still haven't signed up for Birchbox, do it! If you don't want to commit to the whole year, buy yourself a 3 month "gift" subscription for $30 and try it out! Go here to join.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday.

Here are the random thoughts that are going through my mind today..

-Going skiing this weekend with 4 other couples! So excited! According the Weather.com, it's supposed to snow all 3 days we're there! If I'm going to be super cold, it might as well snow!

-Iphone users: What is a good app for taking screenshots on your phone? Help!

-Caroline gave me these SUPER cute Jonathan Adler salt & pepper shakers as an engagement present. They match our kitchen perfectly. The funny thing about the story, is that she was shopping with her mother-in-law the day we got engaged, and picked these up as a future engagement present because she just "had a feeling." Little did she know that a few hours later, she'd be getting a text and a phone call from me with the big news! :)

-I sent out my bridesmaid invites yesterday and I can't wait to share them with you! Yes, I found the idea on Pinterest.

-I came to work on Monday morning and there was a tasty surprise from my co-worker on my desk!
Pickle flavored Pringles!
-Pics from last Saturday and one of the many reasons I love living in Charleston. Boating in January.

Ta ta for now! :)