Tuesday, August 19, 2014

chicken and broccoli lemon pasta

I think it's about time for a recipe post!  I made this pasta a little while ago, and Austin and I both really enjoyed it.  It's healthy as can be and tastes great.  That's a win-win if I've ever heard one!

Chicken and Broccoli Lemon Pasta

2 chicken breasts
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 lb of spaghetti (or whatever pasta you want)
1 TBS butter
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 head of broccoli, chopped up into little florets
2 lemons, one cut in half and the other sliced in wedges
1 1/2 TBS chopped parsley, plus more for garnish 


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and set aside.

2) Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high and add in the olive oil to get it hot.  Once the oil is ready, brown the chicken.  You're not trying to cook it through, just get some color on those bad boys.  It should take a few minutes per side.

3) Throw the browned chicken onto a sheet pan and stick it in the oven to let it finish cooking.  This should take about 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts.  Once the chicks are done, take them out and let them cool off for a little while (10 minutes or so) and then cube them up.

4) While all of that chicken stuff is happening, get going on your pasta.  Cook it according to package directions, drain, and then set it aside.

5) If you're feeling frisky, you can also start on the broccoli while the pasta is cooking and the chicken is in the oven.  If that's too much going on at once though, you can wait.  Either way, you'll want to use that chicken pan with all of the lovely brown chicken bits to heat up the butter at medium-high.  Once the butter is hot, add the garlic and stir it around for about 30 seconds.  Once the garlic is fragrant, throw in the broccoli.  Stir that around until it's tender and then squeeze in the juice of a lemon and add in the parsley.

6) Once the broccoli is ready, stir in the pasta, and then add in the chicken.  If the pasta looks too dry, you can add in some more olive oil and/or lemon juice.

7) Serve the pasta with chopped parsley on top and a lemon wedge.  Enjoy!      

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

dinners lately

One thing I love about summer is that I have lots of time to try out new recipes.  I went a little crazy on pinterest a few weeks ago and have made it my mission to test as many of the new dinner ideas that I pinned as I can.  

The first thing I want to talk about isn't a new recipe, but I wanted to show y'all anyway because it's easy and delicious.  

There isn't really a "recipe" for this...I just browned some turkey meat and then seasoned it with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of cayenne.  I also heated up some beans and grated two types of cheese (pepper jack and cheddar).  Once everything was prepped, I just spread the beans on some tortilla chips, topped that with some of the turkey, and then sprinkled on the cheese.  You can either melt the cheese in the microwave or in the oven (broil for a few minutes).  The result is deeeee-lish.

Baked Fish Sticks

I saw this fish on eatliverun one morning, and I made it the same night.  The panko gives it a nice crunch, and the fish had great flavor.  It's also very simple to make and tastes fab with a side of green beans and a crusty roll.  Jenna recommends using cod or flounder, but I used halibut because that's all they had at Central Market.  I'm sure any white fish would be fine.

BBQ Chicken Thighs

I wish all the time that we could have a grill at our apartment, so when I saw this baked version of BBQ chicken on The Pioneer Woman's website, I knew I had to give it a shot.  The chicken ended up getting a really nice glaze and was super moist.  Mashed taters and a giant cob of corn were the perfect sides.

Buffalo Chicken Fingers

These are basically a big kid version of chicken nuggets.  That's why I served them with Ninja Turtle mac n cheese.  Austin and I both really liked them though!  Also, the leftover chicken made for a delicious quesadilla the next day for lunch.

The final thing I wanted to share today is this peach ice cream.  The last time Austin and I went to Houston we stopped to get peaches on the way home.  I decided that I'd make this since I had fresh peaches coming out of my ears.

Peach Ice Cream

It was SO yummy and the perfect thing to have on a hot day.  I just love my ice cream maker!  If you have a Kitchenaid stand mixer, it is definitely worth it to invest in the ice cream maker attachment.

Hopefully this post made you hungry!  Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 4, 2014

bachelor bagz

About a month before our wedding, Austin and some of his guy pals took a little trip to the beach.  In other words, they had a bachelor par-tay!  

Luckily, my guys didn't get as crazy as these fools...

I was terrified excited for them to go on their trip, so I wanted to send something along for the boys to have fun with.  Off to Party City, Walmart, and Spec's I went!  I found lots of great supplies that I thought would be fitting for their beach getaway, and I think these little bachelor bagz are a good idea for any bride-to-be.  It's a sweet way to show your almost hubby (and his friends) some love.  Here's how I put them together:

First, think about your theme.  I went for "crazy beach party", but other ideas could be Vegas, Mardi Gras, Sports, etc.  Since it's a bachelor party, you'll want to make sure you include things like alcohol, snacks, funny accessories, and anything you know your man and his pals would enjoy.  For example, Austin loves a good fake mustache, so those were a must.  Once you have everything, lay it out in piles to make bag stuffing easier.

I ended up getting each guy a snack bag of cheez-its, tiny bottles of Crown and Fireball, a crazy straw, a fake mustache, a water gun, a pair of sunglasses, a few poppers, a lei, a kazoo, and some glow sticks.  It also worked out because Party City had everything in matching colors, so each guy's bag was color coordinated! (I know the boys really appreciated that!)    

One Bachelor Bag, Please!

Walmart sells colored paper sacks for mucho cheapo, so that was the perfect package for the bagz.  I just did a little assembly line using my piles, and everything came together pretty quick.

In the end, Austin and his amigos got a kick out of their party favors (unless they lied to me), so I was glad I made them!  

Other good ideas would be to bake cookies or some other snacks for the trip, make muffins or scones (do boys eat scones?) so they have something for breakfast, or create a personalized cup for each dude to drink out of during the party.  The possibilities are endless; you just have to think about the guests and make sure it's something they would love and appreciate!  

**NOTE: If you want to do this for your man, make sure you keep in mind how much extra space the guys will have as they travel.  I asked one of the drivers (shoutout, Stephen!) if he wouldn't mind hauling the loot for me, and he happily obliged.  This shouldn't be a problem for most boy trips since they don't pack as much as girls. :)  If the men are flying somewhere and don't have room for bagz though, think about getting a small gift for your groom to use during the trip.  A set of nice dominos, a shirt for when they go out, a bottle of his favorite liquor, or whatever else you think he might love!