Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Easy Buffalo Chicken Chili

As I have said before I love anything with Buffalo sauce in it!  This is a great and healthy option if you are craving Chicken Wings but are watching your calories.  It got 2 thumbs up from Allen!  You could swap out the Monteresy Jack cheese with blue cheese crumbles or pepperjack!  This would be good (and Easy!) to make for the Superbowl this weekend.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
3 cups cooked & shredded chicken breast
6 cups chicken broth
3/4-1 cup Buffalo Chicken Sauce ( I use Texas Pete or Frank's!)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and carrots.  Cook until soften.  Add to crockpot along with remaining ingredients (not toppings).  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  
Toppings (optional)
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Diced Avocado
Go Seahawks! Josephine

Friday, January 23, 2015

All About that Black…. and White

In my eyes Orange is not the New Black… Black is ALWAYS the new Black!  Sometimes I feel like I live in the color black.  It's neutral, it's slimming and it fills the racks in my closet so it makes sense. These are a few of my favorite Black & White outfits from the past month.  
Coat: Jack from Belk
Dress: Bailey 44 from Anthropologie
Sweater (my fav sweater- I have it in black too!) from Anthropologie
Skirt: Alice & Olivia from Saks (last year) Similar one here
Over the knee Boots (now on sale for under $75!): Sam Edelman from Belks
Sweater: Sanctuary (now on sale under $25!!)
Leggings: Spanx
Boots: Same as above
Dress: Rachel Zoe from Denim House in Charlotte

What are some of your favorite black and white pieces?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crockpot Lava Cake

I found this recipe on pinterest and it is HEAVENLY!
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 box instant chocolate pudding
2 cups cold milk (2%)
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
Line your small crockpot with parchment paper.  Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  With your mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and 1 1/4 cup milk.  Beat on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes.  Pour carefully into parchment paper that is lining the crockpot.  Next mix (with your mixer) the package of instant pudding with the remaining 2 cups of milk. until thickened pudding consistency-  Pour that over the cake batter.  DO NOT STIR!  Next sprinkle chocolate chips over.  DO NOT STIR!  Put the lid on the crockpot and cook for anywhere from 2 1/2- 3 1/2 hours- until the top looks set and no longer liquidy.  Mine took the full 3 1/2 hours but you don't want to overcook it so I would watch it the last half of the cooking time.  When it is finished dig down in the crockpot to make sure you get some of the delicious gooey chocolate.  Serve with your choice of ice cream.   I had mine with Salted Caramel Gelato but I think Vanilla or Peppermint would be equally fabulous!  YUMMMMMM!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Turkey & Kale Soup

I adapted this from a recipe out of Giada's Feel Good Food cookbook.  This is a "family favorite" meal in my house because everyone ate it without a fuss which made me happy and when mom is happy isn't everyone happy!?!?! :-)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 (14 oz) container of Mirapoux
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1 can diced tomatoes
6 cups of chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup brown rice, cooked
4 cups of kale, chopped
Shaved or Grated parmesan
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add mirapoux and sauté until softened.  Add shallots and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook while crumbling until no longer pink.  Add tomatoes, chicken broth, herbs, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add cooked brown rice.  Add kale and simmer until wilted.  Serve with parmesan.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

7 Beauty Buys I Can't Live Without

I have a few tried and true products that I love and use religiously.  I hope you love them as much as I do!
(1) Alchimie Forever Protective Morning Cream:  This is an amazing moisturizer for my combination skin.  The lotion doesn't feel heavy at all.  My skin feels soft but not at all greasy.  It is quite a bit more than I usually spend on face lotion but I think it is worth it.  One jar usually lasts me 2-3 months.
(2) Chanel Glossimer:  My friend McCay introduced me to this lipgloss a few years back and I have been forever grateful.  Before that, I had been strictly a MAC girl.  I loved all the beautiful colors but I hated how sticky it was.  This is why the Chanel lipgloss is PERFECT- gorgeous colors and not a bit sticky!

(3) MAC False Lashes Mascara in Extreme Black:  It lengthens and volumes without clumping.  I usually do a few quick coats during the day and a few more if I am heading out at night.

(4) Nars Powder Blush in Orgasm:  It is such a gorgeous universal color that works on everyone.  It gives you that perfect glow!

(5) Benefit Eye Bright Stick:  If you have been up with sick kiddos all night or even out having a blast with your girlfriends, you need this.  Just a little bit in the corners of your eyes instantly refreshes your face and brightens your tired eyes.

(6) Vita Liberata Self Tanner in Warm (Fair):  This is the most natural self-tanner I have ever done at home.  It gives you a gradual hint of color within a few hours.  If I have been professionally sprayed I also use it as my moisturizer when the color starts to fade. As an added plus- it's organic too!

(7) Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo/ Conditioner/ Protective Primer:  These are the newest line of products from Bumble & Bumble.  It softens my color-treated hair but it doesn't weigh it down or make it feel greasy. I love it all!

What are some of your favorite beauty products?  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Vegas Baby!

We have been back from Vegas for a week and I miss it already!  Don't get me wrong, I missed the kids terribly.  Now that they are back in school and we have early mornings, homework and sports games and practices and Allen is back to traveling, I am missing our laid-back winter break.  Allen goes to Vegas every year for his annual "Guy's Trip".  I have been only a handful of times but it is growing on me.   Allen and I have not been on vacation without the kids for a year and a half.  We were long overdue for some "us" time.  We enjoyed delicious food, saw amazing shows and even managed to win some money!
The first night we ate at Giada DeLaurentiis' new restaurant "Giada" at the Cromwell.  It was wonderful.  Everything we had was delicious but my favorite thing hands down was the Bacon-Wrapped Dates.  They were stuffed with Italian Sausage and served with a Gorgonzola Cream sauce.  Amazing!!  My mouth is watering just describing them!

The Kale Salad was heavenly too!

For Brunch the next day we ate at the Wicked Spoon in the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  I dined on Red Velvet Pancakes with Chantilly Cream, Chestnut Risotto and Poached Eggs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce.  All that and of course I indulged in Bottomless Mimosas. When in Vegas!!

During the day Allen taught me how to play Blackjack.  I got the hang of it pretty quickly and even enjoyed it.  I made friends with the dealer who was very kind and patient with me.  I even came away with more than I sat down with!

That night we had dinner at Kumi in Mandalay Bay.  They had a amazing drink called the Root of Sin.     I will be trying to re-create this at home!  Their Crispy Rice and Yellowtail with Jalapeño was delicious.  The Hot Mess Roll was so fresh tasting and incredibly flavorful.
After dinner, we went to see Michael Jackson: One.  It was a Cirque de Soleil show complete with dancing and Michael Jackson music.  It was truly mesmerizing.  Wow, the things the acrobats can do with their bodies is amazing!  I highly recommend you see it if you have the chance.  
The next day I got to go spend the morning at the Bathhouse Spa at the Delano Hotel where we stayed.  I sipped tea, sweated out toxins in the steam room and got a Hot Apple Cider Massage.  It felt incredible!  I literally almost fell asleep on the table.  Massages are not things I indulge in frequently.  In fact, it had been over two years since my last massage.  I have been missing out!
The Spa was modern and completely relaxing!

Our last night in Las Vegas was spent attending the Maroon 5 concert.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love them!  They put on a great show and never disappoint!!  I was even lucky enough to meet two of the band members again the morning after. Yes- I am that cheesy fan that talked to them and asked if I could get pictures.  They were so friendly and down-to-earth… makes me love them even more!