Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What I've Been Cooking - Quarantine Edition

Every week I try to make two home cooked meals in addition to our weekly steak night (which we cook together every Friday or Saturday night). What I make usually consists of recipes I come across online, or ones I find in cookbooks. I also like being able to make versions of some of our favorite Mexican, Chinese and other favorite dishes with far less sodium, and half the calories. 

I always try to spruce up recipes and put my own spin on them - even if that's simply adding additional spices, or subbing one ingredient for another. Once my creations are complete, I share shamefully un-Instagram worthy food photos on my stories (be sure to follow me). I figured since we're all hunkered down for who knows how long, it was about time I shared them on the blog. Here is a look at what I've been cooking while under quarantine.  

Note: Since a lot of grocery stores are empty or have limited stock, I tried to focus on recipes that consisted of items that many of us have in our pantry, freezer or fridge. 

Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry
When purchasing the chicken for this, I always ask the men at the meat counter if they can cut 1lb of chicken breast into cubes, That way I can avoid the hassle, and don't have to deal with raw chicken at home. 9 out of 10 times they are more than happy to do it for you. 

I sub cornstarch for arrowroot flour
I add scallions - they really make the flavor pop, and add extra freshness 

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken 
This has been our go-to recently. It makes just about 3-4 meals for us, and can be used so many different ways. We have made salads, tacos, and quesadillas with it. It also freezes well. 

I sub the chicken broth for a half jar of our favorite salsa. I also use canned corn instead of frozen, but I think either would work. 
I add two fresh bell peppers (diced), as well as a jalapeno (minced, with ribs and seeds). I also double the amount of cilantro and use a spoon full of tomato paste to make it a little ticker.

Date Night Rigatoni with Sausage & Kale
We always use fennel over celery, and I think it makes a huge difference. We like to serve this with burata and prosciutto on a bed of arugula with toasted bread. 

I sub the sausage for chicken sausage, but have made it with pork, as well. Both are equally as good. 

Build Your Own Pizza
This one doesn't really have or require a recipe. We simply purchase whatever plain pizza crust is available in the frozen section, and top it with our favorite marinara sauce, cheese, and whatever we have in the fridge. 

For this pizza I used Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce, Kraft 5 Cheese Italian Blend, and then added onion, jalapeno, arugula, bell peppers and some pesto on top.  

Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema
These are packed with flavor, and are a great vegetarian recipe. 

I omit the flower and milk completely. I find it unnecessary, and actually like the cauliflower better if I simply throw it in the hot sauce just by itself. It also cooks up more crispy, which I like, and cuts the cooking time down a bit. 

I sub sour cream for greek yogurt. 

I hope you all enjoyed seeing a glimpse at what's cooking in my kitchen! Please let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this, and if you cook any of these meals! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas

Hello, lovers! 

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, so I wanted to share with you some of my favorite festive looks of love

I've shared all these outfits over the years, and thought it would be a great idea to compile them into one post. Whether you're enjoying a casual night in, headed out to the movies, or going on a fancy dinner date, I have something that will cover all your bases. 

Plus, most of these pieces are still available, and if they're not, I've linked similar items. If there's something you don't see a link to that you like, just ask me! 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Current Amazon Favorites

My love for Amazon is undeniable. I mean, who can argue with a retailer that A) sells everything under the sun, and B) lets you buy something with one easy click. Did I mention two-day shipping? 

What's fantastic about Amazon, also makes it dangerous....It's so easy to spend sleepless nights combing through and purchasing random things you never new existed and/or didn't know you needed. Ha! But who can resist. 

Actually, some of the most random things I've found on Amazon have become my most used, worn, and consistent buys. I've recently started sharing more of my Amazon purchases, and figured it was about time to put them all in one place and start continually sharing them with you. Here is a look at 25 items I purchased, and love. Also, did I mention everything is under $55?

1. Five slot leather sunglasses case. If you're like me and love to travel with multiple pairs of sunglasses, this case is for you. It can hold up to five pairs of sunglasses, rolls up, and saves tons of space.
2. Beauty blender travel case and holder. This cute cat travel case not only keeps your beauty blender protected while you travel, but it also releases moisture and has self cleaning pad on the bottom.
3. Gucci 'inspired' earrings. These dupes were too cute to pass up, and are great quality.
4. Colorful slides. These are great quality, come in fun patterns/prints, and are a fraction of the Gucci mules that they're inspired by.
5. Sleep mask. This sleep mask comes in several colors, and the silk is the perfect weight to help you get some extra shut eye.
6. Lipstick holder. I may not be a beauty blogger or have that detailed of a beauty routine, but I do love lipstick and can never have enough. This lipstick holder is perfect for anyone that is trying to stay organized.
7. Reusable straws. I've really been trying to cut down where I can on my plastic consumption as much, and as often as I can. I purchased these a few months ago, and absolutely love them. Not only are they cute, but they're dishwasher safe.
8. Face roller. I put this in the freezer and use it in the morning. It reduces puffiness, calms skin, and a ton of other stuff.
9. Acrylic base shaper. This is such an amazing item. If you own an LV Neverfull, a Goyard bag, or anything that has a slouchy base, this item helps the bag maintain it's shape. It is made-to-order, so it can fit any bag and also help support your bag so that your items don't stretch out the straps.
10. Earring lifters. These are great for anyone that has saggy earlobes, or wears earrings that are heavy. They instantly lift up the earrings, giving you that perfect look.
11. Sleep shirt. This is so comfortable and comes in several colors. It is a fraction of the prices of the similar Nordstrom Lingerie, and is great quality.
12. Hair blow dryer and volumizer. This is seriously a game changer. It gives you that great salon blow out look, and is easy to use.
13. Headbands. Amazon has tons of different trendy headbands, and these come in a pack of two for under $10.
14. Basic t-shirt. I own this tee in every color they sell it is. It is the perfect v-neck cut and the material doesn't wrinkle and is soft.
15. Exfoliating body scrubber. I've always loved loofas, but have never liked how unsanitary they are. I came across this and have been using it for the last month. I've loved it so far, and have been pleased with what a good lather it makes.
16. Long-sleeved dress. These dresses are terry cloth on the inside, and are perfect for a casual outing or running errands.
17. 2oz glass spray bottles. I use these when I travel. I fill them with water once I get to my destination, so that I can easily spritz my beauty blender. I prefer to do this vs totally submerging it in water.
18. Grippy socks. If you're like me and love going to barre based workouts, or pilates, these socks are a fun way to add a little pop to your outfit. I have them in several colors, and have been really pleased with the quality. Even after several washes, all the sparkles are still intact!
19. Sunglasses. A fun, trendy pair of sunglasses that doesn't break the bank.
20. Rhinestone initial earrings. These are the perfect compliment to any outfit, or are great for anyone that has a second piercing in their ear. They'd also make a great gift.
21. Turtleneck dress. An effortless and easy dress for the season. Can easily be dressed up or down.
22. Scrunchies. Who can argue with paying $5.99 for 40 different colored velvet scrunchies?! They're more gentle on your hair than normal hair ties.
23. Make-up cleaning brush mat. This mat sticks to the bottom of you sink, and makes cleaning your make-up brushes a breeze.
24. Self tanning mitt. Perfect for applying your favorite sunless tanner (mine is St. Tropez). It gives you and even, streak free look.
25. Body-con dress. I wore this dress for my birthday, and got so many compliments on it from you guys. It is under $55 and comes in several colors.


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