Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pretty In Pink


Happy Valentine's Day!!
 
Hi friends! Wanted to share my Valentine's Day look with you, as I'm sure most of you ladies are getting ready to go out with your guy or your girlfriends tonight! I celebrated yesterday with my closest friends, first we gave some of our time to the children at the Ronald McDonald House Charities ( will be in a separate post) and then we did dinner at Bar Sienna. La la LOVED dinner at Bar Sienna, the vibe was exactly what I needed, and not to mention the food was delish! Surprisingly there were lots of girl groups out yesterday celebrating "GALentine's Day", which I'm all for celebrating love with my gal pals. :) For my ladies that are single, and down and out today...always remember God loved you first before anybody did, and still does. His love never lies, cheats, steals, or disappoints. Enjoy this season that your in! There's nothing more that I hate, than a woman who is happy to just "have" a man. You know what I'm saying? Like the, "Well at least I got a man," types. If that's all you've got, I'm sorry but you don't have much to offer girlfriend.

YOU are so much better than that. A man is not the end all be all. Yes it's good to have someone to lean on, and take you out, and make you feel good about yourself...but it feels even better knowing that you can do that for yourself before depending on anyone else to do it. What can you be working on now that will better yourself? What about you can you learn to love more? Can I share something? I have really old school family members, specifically some of my aunts who in my opinion sometimes put me down because I'm currently single. They sometimes look at me like I have the plague because I don't bring every Tom, Harry, and Joe to our family gatherings, or I'd rather be doing something useful to better myself like travel, or try new restaurants with my friends than sit up under some guy who can do absolutely nothing for me. What they think is that I can't get anyone. The truth is, I don't want just "anyone", and I was taught to never settle for anything less than what I deserved. So what it's another Friday night sis, and your at home and the closest thing you have next to a date is Netflix. Right now God is molding YOU into the woman he destined you to be. Your man will be there. Keep not settling. :)








Coat: Missguided | Dress: Asos | Clutch: Akira (sold out) similar here and here | Shoes: Nordstrom | Bracelets: Alex & AniStella & Dot


X's & O's,

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday Snacks


Happy Super Bowl Sunday!!! Wanted to share some of my favorite game day meals! I'm not huge on the Super Bowl like some people may be. I mainly watch for the commercials and of course the half time performances. You already know my girl Bey will be gracing the stage, and slaying like no other! So let's get right to it, here are a few of my favorite, and easy, game day meals!

Pulled Chicken Nachos

Chicken Breast
Nacho Cheese
Tortilla Chips
Re-fried Beans
Jalapeno Peppers
Salsa Mix (Optional)

So your pulled chicken nachos can go any way you want them to go. There are so many ways to make nachos, and plus their super easy to make so get creative! I opted for the most simplest recipe, and less work because I had other dishes that were included.

To start, grill your chicken breast (easiest way would be on a Foreman grill) but you can always cook in a skillet. Season to your liking, I like mines with lemon pepper seasonings and cilantro. If you're making a big plate of nachos (pending your party size) I would cook about 4 chicken breast. Always add or take away based on the number of people you're trying to feed.  Once your chicken is cooked, start to shred the chicken with a fork into shredded pieces. Once fully shredded, set aside.

Heat your nacho cheese in a skillet on medium heat. I stood over mines and stirred continuously to prevent it from burning. While it's heating, I threw my tortilla chips on a plate, and got my toppings together. Once your cheese is completely heated ( should have a lot of movement), turn on simmer.

Heat your re-fried beans in a small saucepan on low. I always do this last because it takes a second for them to heat up. Once these are heated I placed them first on my tortillas. Then I pour my cheese on top of my beans. After my cheese is layered I put my pulled chicken breast on top of the cheese. At this point you can add whatever toppings you like. Like I said, you can get really creative ( black beans, olives, avocado, etc.) After I added my cheese I added a dash of fresh cilantro, and a couple of jalapeno peppers.


Hot Wings
 Chicken Wings
Vegetable Oil
Hot Sauce
Butter
Ranch or Blue Cheese

Same rules apply, buy enough chicken based on the amount of people your feeding. I started by cleaning my raw chicken wings, and seasoning them to my liking. While cleaning your chicken you can have your oil on the stove getting hot. 

Pour enough oil in a big pot, enough so that once you place your chicken in, the entire wing is covered in the oil. I usually just eyeball the amount. I put on high heat and wait for it to get hot. Before frying chicken, or anything for that matter your oil has to be piping hot, and sizzle when you place your chicken in. As a rule of thumb, I always stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. I know its ready when it little bubbles start to form around the spoon, that means you're good to go!

Place your chicken in carefully, one by one. I wouldn't cook all your wings at once because you don't want to overcrowd the pot, and risk having some chicken not cooked all the way through. I have a big pot, so I usually cook about 4 - 5 at a time. While your chicken is frying you'll notice it will start to bleed...that's totally okay because that means the chicken is getting cooked on the inside, and you definitely want all of that excess blood out of the chicken before you bite into it! I typically flip my chicken periodically while it's in the pot to make sure it's cooking evenly. Because they are frying the chicken will float at the top, and even though the top is cooking, you'll still want to flip it and make sure that side is getting enough fry time while it's completely submerged under the oil. I cook my chicken about 8 to 10 minutes and take it out when its golden brown and crispy. You can also check your meat on the inside to make sure it's cooked all the way through.

To drain any excess oil off the chicken, I set aside a plate with a ton of paper towl and lay my chicken there to drip. It will stay pretty hot, but you just want to make sure all of the excess oil is off the chicken before we dip it in the wing sauce.

In another pot I put 1 stick of butter, and 1 cup of Louisiana Hot Sauce on low heat. I mixed both butter and sauce until they blended together. This will be your sauce that you dip your wings in. Once your sauce is ready, take your wings ( 1 at a time) and dip into your hot sauce pot. Make sure the wing is completely covered in the sauce, and put into a serving bowl. Continue this step until all of your wings are fully covered in the hot sauce mix. Once in the serving bowl, I poured the remaining hot sauce over the wings. Serve with either ranch or blue cheese dressing on the side!


Cheese Quesadillas

Flour Tortillas
Mild Cheddar Cheese
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cilantro

These are super easy to make. I usually put about 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet and turn the skillet on medium heat. Once your oil is hot, place 1 flour tortilla in the skillet. 

Once your tortilla is placed in the skillet, place your toppings on top of the tortilla. You can also get creative here too. I kept it simple with just a mix of cheeses and seasons. You can add chicken, steak, veggies, I mean the possibilities are endless. Once you have all of your toppings added, place a second flour tortilla on top of your toppings. We will flip this, and flatten in the next step.

Some people use a spatula and just flip the entire quesadilla to the other side. But because not all the toppings may have melted yet, or might not be sticking together because one side of the tortilla has yet to touch any heat, I take the skillet off the stove, and place my hand over the top part, which is still pretty cool. Move quickly because you don't want to burn the other side. While my hand is over the top part, I flip over the skillet. At this point the entire quesadilla is in my hand, and I just quickly place the uncooked side back into the skillet, and place back onto the heat. If you don't want to use your hands, you can always use a plate just to be safe.

While the other side is cooking, I usually use a spatula to flatten my quesadilla, to make sure both tortillas stick together. Not a lot of pressure is used, I just really make sure the ends of the quesadilla are sticking, so nothing comes out. Once your other side has browned, take out of the skillet and cut into fours. Place on a serving dish. This goes well with avocado or sour cream as a dip.

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

Pasteurized Mozzarella Block Cheese
Italian Breadcrumbs
Vegetable Oil
Eggs

This dish call for a little overnight prep work. The night before I made these delicious babies, I cut up 1 block of pasteurized Mozzarella cheese. It has to be pasteurized because if it's fresh cheese, when you place in the skillet, the entire thing will melt! 

Cut into vertical strips ( like mozzarella sticks) don't mind that they are square, once you throw them into the oil, the edges will round out. Take 2 egg whites, 1 egg with yolk and stir in a bowl. Once your sticks are cut, set aside another bowl of the breadcrumbs. 

Take one stick, dip into the eggs and turn. Make sure the entire cheese stick has been covered in egg. Then place into your breadcrumb bowl. The same process applies here. Make sure the entire stick is covered in breadcrumbs, corners too. Set aside on a foil pan. Repeat this step for all cheese sticks. Remember you can always add or take away the amount you are making, depending on the party size.

Once all of your cheese sticks are coated with egg and breadcrumbs on a baking sheet, cover with foil and place into the freezer. The sticks need to freeze for a minimum of up to 2 hours, but no more than 24. I put mines in overnight, so about 8 hours I let them freeze.

Once you're ready to cook, heat your oil in a medium sized pot. Same rules apply like frying chicken. You'll want to make sure that grease is piping hot before placing your cheese sticks in. Once your grease is hot, place your sticks in. I did about 3 at a time. You'll want to turn them continuously, because keeping them in the same spot for too long runs the risk of the cheese melting on that side. Because they are frozen, you'll want to make sure the entire cheese stick is cooked all the way through. Once I started to notice cheese bubbling out on the corners of my cheese sticks, I took them out. Cook time was about 4 - 5 minutes each stick. 

Place on a paper towel for any excess oil to drip. The good thing about homemade mozzarella sticks, is you know what ingredients are in them, AND you can make them big or small! I had some pretty chunky ones, so cheese was literally oozing out of them once they were ready to eat. This was by far the best mozzarella stick I have ever had, and will almost never buy another Mozz stick from a fast food place again because they will never do this justice! Serve immediately with marinara sauce on the side.


I hope you guys enjoy your Super Bowl 50 Sunday with these amazing dishes! These are game day meals, but can also be served on regular days, or weekends with friends! Make sure you add your chips and dip guys! I'm not rooting for any particular team, so all I have to say is #gobeyonce!

Touchdown!




 

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