30x30 Challenge, Week 4

30 August 2012

The 30x30 Challenge: Week #4

I actually really loved a lot of my outfits this week. And thanks to my husband coming home early one day, I was able to get some help with the photos! That cut the time in half (: I really can't believe I've already come up with 20 outfits. I have a feeling the next 2 weeks are going to be challenging - but this IS a challenge.

Outfit #16:

Sometimes I have a weird thing about wearing tanks with nothing over them. That's how I found this little black sweater. I love this thing. It's so lightweight and has saved my life with this challenge. It goes with everything!

Outfit #17:
I love this outfit! I've never paired this sweater with a vneck, but that pop of color under the grey looks great! Especially with the white shorts. Another cute, casual outfit that looks super put together (:

Outfit #18:
I belted this top to give it a different look. I think it would also look cute belted under a cardigan once the weather cools down. GIANT picture of the week!

Outfit #19:
I chose to wear jeans twice this week - once with heels and once with sandals. This outfit takes a nice blouse and makes it more casual.

Outfit #20:
Here's the famous white tank I love, all by itself. See, I love the way it gathers at the bottom so it looks form fitting and I also adore the detail at the neckline!

Twenty different outfits!!! Sorry I'm a midget in #17 - I don't know what happened! Only two weeks to go. I recommend this challenge to anyone who needs to get creative with the clothing they already have!!

Easy Broccoli Risotto

29 August 2012

Risotto can be rough. I'm always trying to find recipes that make it simple. Such as my Roasted Cauliflower Risotto.

Well this recipe is simple. Super creamy. Super delicious. SUPER healthy!!! This recipe can feed 3-4. If serving three, it's 545 calories. If it's four, it's only 407 calories a serving!!! It tastes so rich you'll feel like you must be eating thousands of calories....but you're not (:


(I'll transfer this to a recipe card once the website I use is working again!)

Easy Broccoli Risotto (serves 3-4)
  • 12oz frozen broccoli
  • 3 tbsp margarine
  • 2 links hot italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 1 cup arborio/pearl rice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp 1/3 fat cream cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large skillet over high heat, melt 1 tbsp margarine & cook broccoli for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl & place in the microwave to stay warm.
  2. Add the sausage & onion to the skillet & cook until browned (about 5 min). Add in the rice & garlic & cook for 1 min.
  3. Pour in the wine & stir, until evaporated (2 min). Add 1 cup water, broth & tomatoes & bring to a boil.
  4. Transfer to a baking dish & cover. If you don't have a lid, use foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Uncover dish & add 2 tbsp margarine. Add 4tbsp cream cheese & stir vigorously. Stir in broccoli & season with salt & pepper.

My New Favorite Chocolate Cupcake

28 August 2012

Oh chocolate suicide. These cupcakes were amazing. I made them yesterday, and let me tell you, they will blow your mind!

This is the first recipe for frosting that actually turns out like it does at cupcake shops!!! I've made hundreds, if not thousands, of cupcakes, and this was a GREAT recipe. I'm planning to check out more of Lizzy's recipes - she has every cupcake under the sun!

You can hop on over and check her out...and get this to die for recipe here!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

26 August 2012

Ryan & I love buffalo chicken ANYTHING. At least once a week we have something that contains buffalo chicken. Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Sushi, Buffalo Chicken Pasta....and probably the easiest to make: Buffalo Chicken Dip.

I made this for my entry into the 2012 Virtual Tailgate. If you haven't already, you should go check it out!

I've made this dip a thousand times with a thousand different brands of products. The hands down best companies to use for this dip are: Franks, Philadelphia & Kraft. TRUST ME!!!!


Sage-Walnut Butter Chicken & Tortellini

24 August 2012

Sweet. With a twist. The honey-balsamic-butter combination is melt in your mouth delicious. Love this recipe. I saw the idea in FNM and made it into my own recipe.

Season the 4 chicken tenderloins with salt, pepper & 1/2 tbsp sage. Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat & add the chicken. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, flip, & cook for 5 more minutes. The trick to juicy chicken is low heat and cover it!

In the meantime, melt 6 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of the sage, 1 cup of chopped walnuts & cook for 3 minutes.

Heat salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add 19 oz of frozen cheese tortellini and cook for 90 seconds. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the tortellini & rinse under cold water. Chop up the chicken and add it to the walnut mixture. Add the 1 cup water to the walnut skillet & cook for 2 minutes, until it reduces in half.

In a small pot, simmer 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp of honey & 1 bay leaf over medium high heat for 5 minutes, until syrupy.

Toss the tortellini with the butter sauce, parmesan, salt & pepper. Drizzle with the balsamic syrup.

We polished off the entire thing between the two of us. Last time we had leftovers and they were just as good the second day. Swoon....

I forgot to add the chicken on this recipe card!!! Oops!

Spicy Pierogies & "Kielbasa"

23 August 2012

Ryan begs for this. So I gave in and made it for him last night. This is quick & low fat. I always use turkey sausage when something asks for another similar meat. One kielbasa can have over 300 calories. 3 of the turkey sausages only had 360 calories. We like spicy. I say it time and time again. So if you don't, I'm sure it would taste just as great using "non-spicy" alternatives. For example, dijon mustard, plain cheddar and potato pierogies, etc.

This wasn't really very spicy though, so don't be afraid to try it. The vinegar really mellows it down.

Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

30x30 Challenge, Week #3

23 August 2012

The 30x30 Challenge: Week #3

It's getting harder!!!! I apologize in advance that the pictures are kind of dark. It rained all day from the moment I woke up - making for HORRIBLE lighting. I'm definitely going to have to figure out some more layering. I'm only half way through the challenge. This challenge is making me hate some of these articles of clothing...like, I never want to wear them again after this. When I see the pictures of myself I say, "I am donating this after I get through the 30 days."

Outfit #11:

Can I just say: what the heck happened to my skirt?!?! I looked like I rolled around on the floor after I put it on...Oh geez...Anyways, I do like the mixture of the grey, blush and tan sandals.

Outfit #12:
Cute and casual. I love the color of this blouse. Every week I'm tempted to wear this in almost every photo. This is NOT something I want to donate. I like how this outfit is laid-back, but still looks put together.

Outfit #13:
My giant picture of the week (aka me as 6'2"). I don't usually like wearing shirts with high necklines under blazers, but with the necklace this black shirt worked. It's a strange outfit though...Too sexy for work, but too formal to wear out?? I don't know. I'm sure it looked awesome as I walked my puppy around the apartment complex.

Outfit #14:
An outfit I have almost worn before. I had on different bottoms. But I like this top with the black 3/4 sweater. When I added the white shorts and sparkly sandals I fell in love. It's clean and summery looking, but I could still wear this to dinner.

 Outfit #15:
Like I said last week, I adore this blouse. And it turned out to be pretty darn fine looking when I put it with leggings. This week I used the fabric tie belt it came with. Probably my favorite outfit this week (:

So there it is!!! Week #3 and halfway through. I am surprised at how many DIFFERENT looking outfits I've made. I'm worried that by the end I'll just be pairing a shirt with a random short and it will look like a bunch of repeats. We will see!

Fudge Brownie Oatmeal Cookies

21 August 2012


These were my newest creation. Ryan loves brownies - I always have them on hand. That's how I came up with the Cheesecake Fudge Brownies I posted awhile back.

Well, these are amazing. You make them using brownie mix.

Pick dark chocolate or fudge...

Place 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, and 1 tablespoon of water into a bowl...

...and add in your brownie mix and 1 cup oats.

Like this!

Stir it up good!

Then add in 1 cup of chocolate chips - I prefer semisweet.

Stir again....

Make heaping tablespoonfuls on a plate & place in the freezer. Chill for 30 minutes. During this time place your cookie sheets in the fridge. Why? Chilling the pans and dough will keep your cookies plump and they won't fall flat!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After your dough is chilled, place the cookie dough balls on your chilled pans, lined with parchment paper. If not all the cookies will fit in the oven, keep the dough chilling until your're ready for the next batch. Bake for 12 minutes. 

Let the cookies cool for one minute on the pan and then transfer the parchment/cookies to your counter to cool.

So tempting.....

Yummy yum. We also used these to make ice cream sandwiches after dinner.

To keep your cookies ooey-gooey, place them in an air tight container while they are still warm (:

And keep your puppy or small children away while baking these...or you might end up with oats all over your floor like I did.

Mexican Bubble Breakfast Casserole

20 August 2012

The newest "biscuit" creation.

So I told you last week about these phenomenal homemade doughnuts I made. Well, I woke up yesterday, planing to try new doughnuts (i.e., chocolate and sprinkles....) but I was not in the mood for sweet at all. So I decided to go out on a limb and make up a new recipe. I wanted something savory and I knew the only meat I had was canned chicken, so I settled on creating a mexican style brunch. I also had 3 tubes of mini biscuits left, since they come in a 4-pack at Walmart. I've read about "bubble" recipes. You can make pizza or basically anything out of these recipes. They center around biscuit dough...layering it or tossing it with sauce and then baking it like a casserole. So I decided to do the same.

I opened the biscuits and separated them out on a cutting board.

Then cut each biscuit in to 4 pieces.

Spray a casserole dish (I used 2.75 QT) with cooking spray and place the biscuit pieces in one layer at the bottom. If you used Grands biscuits (large ones) I bet you could use a 13x9 dish or similar and it would also feed more people. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the biscuits.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I cut up 3 peppers (1 of each color).

In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook 1/2 cup onion, 1/2 cup corn, 1 clove of garlic (chopped/minced) and the chopped peppers. I cannot say enough times that I LOVE frozen veggies. I always have them on hand so I can throw things together when need be. After 2-3 minutes, add in 7oz of chopped green chiles and 1/4 cup chopped jalapeños. Cook for 2 minutes.

Next, add in 1/2 cup diced tomatoes and 10oz canned chicken breast (drained). Season with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp ground mustard, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp cilantro. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.

In a bowl, beat 4 eggs and 1 cup of milk. After mixed, add in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Place half of the mixture from the skillet over the biscuits.

This should be just enough for a thin layer. It looks thicker in this picture, but I could still see the biscuits poking through a little bit when you look down from the top.

Mix the rest of the skillet mixture into the bowl of beaten eggs, milk and cheese. Pour over the ingredients already in the casserole dish. Place in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the egg has set and the top is golden brown.

It will look like this! (Minus the hole in the middle) Since I made this recipe up, I wasn't sure if it had cooked through so I cut out a hole to check (:

It was so delicious ::thank god:: because Ryan was starving by the time it was done. It was really easy and went great with tabasco and sour cream. Definitely a keeper and another creative use for biscuits! You can always change out any of the ingredients. Sausage or black beans would be super tasty as well. The key is the egg-milk-biscuit ratio because you don't want to have a soggy casserole. As long as you keep that the same, feel free to let your imagination run wild on the ingredients!

Mexican Bubble Breakfast Casserole (serves 2-3)
  • 1 can Jr biscuits (10 count)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 7oz of chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped jalapeños
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 10oz canned chicken breast, drained
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Separate biscuits and cut each one into 4 pieces. Spray a 2.75 Qt casserole dish and make a single layer on the bottom with the biscuit pieces. Season the biscuits with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the onion, corn, garlic and the chopped peppers. After 2-3 minutes, add in the green chiles and jalapeños. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Next, add in the diced tomatoes and chicken breast. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, the onion powder, ground mustard, cumin and cilantro. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  4. In a bowl, beat 4 eggs and 1 cup of milk. After mixed, add in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Place half of the mixture from the skillet over the biscuits (thin layer).
  5. Mix the rest of the skillet mixture into the bowl of beaten eggs, milk and cheese. Pour over the ingredients already in the casserole dish. Place in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the egg has set and the top is golden brown.
  6. Serve with hot sauce or sour cream if desired.
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