Sunday, April 21, 2013

how to: french toast muffins

I was lying in bed this morning, hungry, and on Pinterest there was a post for French Toast muffins that really taste like French Toast. Ehhh.. that might be pushing it. It's maybe more snickerdoodly? Anyway, they are still tasty. Here is the original recipe: Velvet Lava Cafe

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Yields 10 muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-large bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. Do not overmix! they will not be as soft! Add the batter to muffin tins - I used a large cookie scoop and that worked out great. You want to have your muffin cups only 2/3-3/4 full. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes until they get golden on the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Put melted butter in another small bowl. Once the muffins are done, but still warm, dip them in the butter then the cinnamon sugar and Enjoy :)

They are pretty sweet so I ate them with fresh cut up strawberries and bananas and that evened it out well.

how to: diy work out tank

So i have a lot of tshirts from high school and i don't want to get rid of any but i just don't need fifty tshirts - they don't all get worn and that makes us sad (us meaning me and the left out shirts haha). also, running in arizona makes me very hot and sweaty and i've been wanting more tank tops i can run in and yes my first choice would be to buy some nike ones but i'm resisting since i saw a tutorial on pinterest on making tank tops out of your old tshirts. win win? i'd say it's a tie. clearly, it looks like i just cut up my old soccer shirt but now i don't get so hot running soo... it was worth it!

First you cut out the collar and the bottom hem
Then cut an additional half inch all the way around the bottom - you'll want it for later

Cut out the sleeves starting from the top and going down. Also make your neckline deeper if you want it to more closely resemble a tank top
Cut a deep V down the middle of the back and cut further in on the sides for a razorback effect
Bring the straps in the back together and wrap the 1/2 inch scrap around and tie it tight
Ta da!
Depending on how you want your tank top to look like you can cut it lower in the front or change how far in and down your straps come. I tried it on a couple shirts and played around with it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

how to: cajun chicken pasta

We were invited over for dinner to our friend's house and they made this Cajun Chicken Pasta from The Pioneer Woman and it was delicious. I just had to make it again. I would eat this every week probably. It takes a bit of preparation - took me about an hour from start to finish - but it's totally worth it.

  • 3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3+ teaspoons cajun spice mix, depending on your taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 whole green bell pepper
  • 1 whole red bell pepper
  • 1/2 whole large red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 whole roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

Cut the tops and bottoms off of the peppers. Core and seed them. Slice them in nice 1/4 inch slices.
Slice the onion in half from top to bottom. Cut off the top and bottom and remove the outside layer. Slice up only half the onion.
Peel the garlic and mince it by hand - or buy a garlic press and use that (I have one and love it).
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. You're going to keep this separate. Cut them in about four vertical slices and then cut them horizontal so you get little dices of tomatoes.
I didn't notice that the tomatoes go into the pasta separate so I didn't do that so  DON'T LET THIS PICTURE MISLEAD YOU!! :)
 Cut the chicken into cubes and add the cajun spices. The more the better!

 Heat a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat. I don't have a skillet but by the pictures from The Pioneer Woman's blog I think it would have made the food tastier. Anyways.
Add half the butter and olive oil to the skillet.
When it's very hot add the chicken - only add enough so that there is a single layer. I could do it in one shot but you might need to do this twice.
Don't stir the chicken; let it get nice and hot and black until you flip it over and do the same on the other side.
Remove the chicken and add it to a plate.
With the pan still on high add the remaining butter and olive oil. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Add some more cajun spice. You won't regret it.
You want to cook the veggies like you did the chicken - get a nice brown outside. After you've cooked the veggies for only a minute or so add the tomatoes. (Like I said earlier, I just threw all the veggies in at once and it didn't kill the recipe). Cook all the vegetables together for another minute or two. Add the vegetables to the plate with the chicken.

This is when I started cooking the fettuccine. Make sure not to forget about it - overcooked pasta is :P

Put the pan back on the stove and add the wine and the chicken broth (the heat should still be on high). Side note: I got carded for the first time when I bought the wine - preeettty exciting :)
Stir the liquid around scraping the sides of the pan to keep all the yummy flavors in. Cook on high for a few minutes until the liquid goes down by half and gets a deep brown color.
Reduce the heat and add the cream. Whisk it around on medium heat until it thickens. Add some more cajun spices - YUM. I put some sauce on my finger to taste it and kept adding spices until I liked the flavor.
Once the sauce is thick add all the chicken and vegetables and all their juices. Stir everything around and add some pepper.
Dump the drained pasta into the pan with everything else. Toss it all together and make sure the noodles get covered. Let everything cook together for a few more minutes and try not to taste it. Oh who am I kidding - I always eat things I like while I'm cooking so when I serve Spencer and I I can give us equal amounts but really.. I got more :) oops.

After you deem it ready add some fresh parsley and enjoy!

Okay so my picture isn't awesome.. But trust me it is delicious. Check out the Pioneer Woman's recipe she has amazing pictures.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 1, 2013

How to: clean a whiteboard

My friend Aleisha suggested I write a tutorial on how to clean a white board. I remember the way I tried to clean white boards when I was younger was to use a new pen to write over the old smudges and erase. Not sure how that even worked at all. But this idea is much better. It's using a simple magic eraser! She's going to be an elementary school teacher so this trick she learned is invaluable. Just rub your dirty whiteboard and tada: