Wednesday, March 28, 2012

project 365 vol. 12

My favorite time of year is coming.  Summer!  I love love love that it's getting's what I've been doing to celebrate the climate change:
Sunday March 18, 2012
 Unfortunately, I went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries last week.  This was by no means a celebration, as there were millions of people there and it took forever for me to check out.  Wally world...great place to people watch; horrible place to shop/get good customer service/have a sense of smell.

Monday March 19, 2012
On Monday there was a storm a-brewin'!  I was at the dance studio teaching a jazz class to little munchkin heads in a room made up of mostly windows when it started to POUR.  Wind, rain, thunder, lightning.  Then, the office manager came into the room to tell me that "if I hear a tornado siren I should retreat to the center of the studio".  Good to know.  In the end, there were no tornados and I made it home safe.  AND my car got a free wash. :)

Tuesday March 20, 2012
On Tuesday I got to do something really cute!  Two of my friends are throwing a bridal shower for another one of my friends, and in the invitation they requested that each guest give the bride a recipe.  I decided to write one of my faves...lemon basil chicken.  What a great idea for a bridal shower, right?!  I'm definitely going to steal this.

Wednesday March 21, 2012
Do y'all play DrawSomething?  If you don't, you should start.  And play me!  I'm addicted to this game.  It's like Words with Friends and pictionary mixed together.  Above you can see one of my latest creations.  I may have a little too much free time on my hands, huh?

Thursday March 22, 2012
I started reading this book on this particular Thursday.  I haven't gotten too far into it yet, but what I've read is really great.  It switches between a Jewish family living in Paris during the Holocaust and a family living in Paris during present day.  I haven't figured out the connection between the two families yet, but I bet it's a good one! 

Friday March 23, 2012
Last Friday I picked out my swim suit for this summer!  It's from Target, and guess what?  When I went to pick this little diddy up, it was 60% off the original price, and they only had one left in my size.  It was meant to be.

Saturday March 24, 2012
I went to Target on Saturday, and while I was there I bought these ramekins.  I heart them.  I need to get a kitchen torch so I can make creme brulee. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Herb-Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are always a good idea.  

My sophomore year of college I ate chicken McNuggets at least once a week.  

"Happy Meal nuggets with honey mustard and a large sweet tea please!" 

"Drive around ma'am."  

My roommate/bestie, Gabe, and I called that "perfect meal", and if we were feeling especially glutenous we'd get an "extremely perfect meal"...the chicken nugget 10 pack.

However, I'm not in college anymore, and there isn't a McDonald's 1/8th of a mile from my apartment up here in Dallas, so I have moved on up in the world of chicken nuggets.  I want to share my recipe for some "grown up" nuggets with y'all, so here they are!

Herb-Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
(Ingredients are at the bottom)

Step 1: Get all of your breading stuff ready.

Chop the herbs and garlic, grate some cheese, and measure everything else.  Then, dump it on a plate:

Step 2: Create an assembly line.

Put all of the chicken tenders on a plate and sprinkle both sides with plenty of salt and pepper.  Crack your eggs and pour the water into a shallow bowl or dish, then lightly beat them together (add some salt and pepper).  Pour 1 cup of flour into a shallow bowl or dish (add some salt and pepper).  Put your breading mixture out (add some salt and pepper).  Finally, pour some vegetable oil into a pan and let it start to heat up.  I put mine on medium heat so that it's hot enough to give the chicken a nice color/make them crispy, but not so hot that it pops me in the eyeballs.  

Here is my assembly line, minus the pan of oil:

Step 3: Prepare the tenders for the frying pan.

Here, we will follow one lucky chicken tender on his journey to the pan...

First, coat both sides with flour.  Remember to shake off the excess flour before you move onto your next step!

Next, dunk him in the egg mixture.

Lastly, give the chicky a good roll in the breading.

Step 4: Fry your chickens!

I don't cook my nuggets completely by frying them.  I just want to give them a nice color, and then I'll finish them off in the oven.  I fried about 3 or 4 at a time, but you can do more or less depending on the size of your pan.  

Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until they have a golden color.

Step 5: Place the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and allow them to finish cooking in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes.  I always cut into one when I think they're done just to be sure.  The last thing I want to do is give myself or Austin the bird flu.  

That's what happens when you eat raw chickens, right?

Once the chicken is it!  I served mine up with homemade mac and cheese, a flaky roll, and some ketchup.  

These suckers are good.  Give 'em a try!


2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons dried thyme
5 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Other Ingredients:
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast tenders
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs beaten with about 1/4 cup water

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

project 365 vol. 11

Here's what I did over my spring break!

Sunday March 11, 2012
Have you ever had the sopapillas from Taco Cabana?  If not, I suggest you do so immediately.  I had some on this particular Sunday, and my day was much brighter because of them.  

Monday March 12, 2012
When Austin and I moved into our apartment, I bought this dish drying mat from one of my most favorite places, Bed, Bath, and Beyond (available in the "beyond" section).  I use it almost every day, but for some reason I decided to take a picture of it on this Monday.  

Tuesday March 13, 2012
On this day (night, really), we went to a place called Top Golf with some of our amigos.  I'd never been there before, and it was really fun!  I liked this bean bag toss game and Austin (obviously) liked that whole golf part.

Wednesday March 14, 2012
I just had to take a picture of my spring break, hump day lunch.  I thought it was so purdy!  What we have here is a turkey & cheese sammich with honey mustard on a toasty toasty bun, baked BBQ chippers, strawberries, and some cool mint oreos.  Cool mint oreos are the bomb, by the by.  I bought some because I needed them to make a recipe I was trying out, and I had some I ate 'em!

Thursday March 15, 2012
Thursday=60 cent boneless wings at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Austin and I went with some of our friends, and I ate some.  Yum yum!

Friday March 16, 2012
Remember those cool mint oreos I was jabbering on about up there?  They taste really good over some vanilla ice cream :)

Saturday March 17, 2012
St. Patty's day!!  A bunch of us hit up the parade in downtown Dally bar to eat, drink, and be green!  It was a fun day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

project 365 vol. 10

Sunday March 4, 2012
The past couple of Sundays have been beautiful!  Warm, sunny...perfect weather.  Last Sunday, we went to brunch, then sat outside all day drinking mimosas and I read while all of the boys played washers.  It was a wonderful day.

Monday March 5, 2012
This was the day that I started recording every episode of the ellen show on my DVR.  I love ellen, and I really don't know why it took me so long to get her on there.  She makes me laugh...and dance!

Tuesday March 6, 2012
HUUUUUNGERRRR GAMMEEESSSS!!!  I read all three of these within a week.  And now I'm chomping at the bit to see the movie that comes out next week.  If you haven't read them yet, I highly recommend it.  Also, don't tell Austin, but I have a crush on Peeta.

Wednesday March 7, 2012
On Wednesdays I don't have anything to do after school is out (Mondays and Thursdays I teach at the dance studio, Tuesdays I watch kickball, and Fridays we usually do something fun).  SO, I like to cook something semi-complex or time consuming on Wednesdays.  This past hump day I chose to make chicken and dumplings.  Those are the dumplings all cut out on my new pastry mat.  I love that grandma has one, so when I use it I always think of her :)

Thursday March 8, 2012
I subbed for a jazz/lyrical class on this particular Thursday.  The above picky pic is the playlist that I used for the warm up.  I LOVE doing classes like this...especially when they're for older girls.  I love my babies that I teach, but when I teach older girls it's almost like I'm just giving a class to my friends or my old dance team.  It's my fave.

Friday March 9, 2012
I subbed for a Spanish teacher on Thursday and Friday.  She had this button on her desk, and I thought it was funny.  Maybe one of these days I'll make a collage of all the cooky things I spy in teacher's classrooms...

Saturday March 10, 2012
Saturday night was hilarious/fun/rainy/dance-filled/crazy.  We went out to Fort Worth with a bunch of our friends (mostly kickball team members) and had a blast.  The highlight of the night was definitely one of our guy friends singing this classic Barry Manilow hit.  "Her name was Lola..." 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I think it's about time for an update on what's been going on around here in terms of dinner.  These are some of the things we've been chompin' on:

I could probably cook this every week and Austin would be a happy camper.  Every time I make it, it gets a little bit's the perfect one dish meal, and the leftovers taste great!  

Austin actually found this recipe for us, and I think it's a keeper!  If you like Mexican/TexMex, this would be a great dish to try.  I love the flavor that the tomatillos and chipotle peppers give the chicken, and topping everything on that crispy tortilla makes it all work.  Yum!

Yum Yum YUMMMMM!!!  That's all I have to say about that.

This is another recipe found by Austie Marie, and I have to say...I wasn't too terribly jazzed about attempting to tackle grits.  I had never tried them before because personally, I think they look nasty.  However, I was willing to give them a try because Austin wanted to eat this.  The verdict?  I'm not a fan of grits, particularly the "instant grits" that this recipe called for.  Maybe I'd like gritties if they were cooked by a professional Southern chef.  BUT, here's the good news: the shrimp from this recipe is aweeeee-some.  I added the leftover shrimp to some angel hair pasta for Austin's lunch the next day, and it was delish. 

Ok, this isn't the most photogenic dinner I've ever made, but it IS one of the yummiest.  Chicken and Dumplings has always been one of my favorites, and even though my grandma's version will always be the best, I think this recipe/mine is pretty good too!

This.  Was.  Great.  Austin told me it was in his top 5 favorite things I've ever cooked.  It was pretty simple (but kind of messy!) to put together, and it was ready quick!  The chicken turns out so moist (probably because of the cheese in the middle), and I LOVE the sauce that you put on top of everything.  We will definitely be having this again and again!

About a year ago, Austin went on this little Men's Health diet.  We tried a bunch of different recipes that Men's Health gave him, and there were a few keepers that we still make today.  These turkey burgers are one of those recipes.  These are definitely not as good as sinking your teeth into a juicy, meaty, bacon cheeseburger, BUT they are still really great and healthy!  I like to top mine off with some colby jack, guacamole, and a toasty toasty bun.

There ya go!  Try one of these yummies for dinner soon!

Friday, March 9, 2012

project 365 vol. 9

Feb's over and March is up!  Project 365 is just rollin' down the river...

Sunday February 26, 2012
Sunday is practice day for the big league chewbacca kickball squad.  I like to sit in the bleachers and take pictures of my favorite player.

Monday February 27, 2012
On Monday I made our menu for the week and wrote it on my chalkboard.  This was my Christmas present from Austin, and I write on it every week.  It's cute and it keeps us organized...perfect present for a teacher!  

Tuesday February 28, 2012
On Tuesday night I went to Austin's kickball game.  The game ended in a tie, but I counted it as a win for me because I had my good pal Fun Dip.  Eating sugar, using a stick made of sugar?  Don't mind if I do.

Wednesday February 29, 2012
Wednesday was a hockey kind of day!  We got free tickets to the Stars game through Austin's work, and even though they ended up losing it was still a great game :)

Thursday March 1, 2012
Thursday was the day that I finished this book.  The Help was SO took me about 2.5 days to finish, and I am itching to see the movie now.  

Friday March 2, 2012
I subbed for a Chemistry teacher on Friday.  This clock was in her room.  What a riot those science teachers are!

Saturday March 3, 2012
I guess it was a week of sports around here because on Saturday we got to go to a Mavs game.  We went with some of Austin's work clients/boss, so we got to sit in an awesome suite, and during the 3rd quarter we posed in the locker room with one of the championship rings and Donnie Nelson, the Mavs' General Manager.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

project 365 vol. 8

Week ocho is upon us, folks!  Here's what's been going on:

On Sunday, Austin went to a hockey game with some of his homeboys, so I stayed home and had a date with my DVR and this plate of munchies: 

Sunday February 19, 2012
Monday was President's Day, and you what that school/dance studio for me, so I had the day to get caught up on my chores!  I don't really have "chores", but I like to call them that because it makes me feel like I live in the country, and if I'm pretending I live in the country I can talk in an accent. "Dad gummit I reckon' I gots me about 15 dang shirts to iron...I better giddy it on up!" 

Anways, I spent a lot of my Monday ironing. 

Monday February 20, 2012

On Tuesday, I had time to bust out my new rolling pin and bake some cookies!  How domestic does this picture make me look?

Tuesday February 21, 2012

I went to Target on Wednesday because I received a ridiculous amount of Target dollars for my birthday, and they were burning a hole in my pocket.  I bought some household necessities like shampoo and soap, but I also found these cute little cards on clearance!  So I snatched these up, and then wrote out my thank yous to everyone who made my birthday great :)

Wednesday February 22, 2012

Thursday was kind of a rough day.  I was subbing for a 9th grade basball coach, and I think the type of students that a baseball coach has are kind of different than the type of students that a 23 year old girl would have.  For example, one of the classes I had was full of kids who were making up classes they had previously failed/weren't able to take for various reasons using a computer program.  Most of the kids in here were doing what they were supposed to be doing, but there was one particular student who gave me a lot of trouble.  He kept changing the settings on the school computer (changing the cursor from an arrow to a banana, flipping the desktop upside down, changing the colors of the toolbar, etc).  I told him over and over again to quit, but then I had to send him to the office when he changed the desktop picture to this:

Thursday February 23, 2012
In case you don't know, that's Dave Chappelle (a commedian who had his own show for awhile) dressed as a crackhead.  That was a fun discipline slip to write..."Please speak with (insert student name here) as he changed the background of the school's computer to a picture of a crackhead."

Friday was a better day.  I went to school in the morning, and come nightfall I had sweatpants on my leggies and one of these babies in my hands:

Friday February 24, 2012

I told you guys about how I got some new shoes for my birthday, right?  Well here they are in action!  These were from my sister and Justin, and I wore them out on Saturday night.  I can now say that they are officially "rug-cutting" certified.

Saturday February 25, 2012