Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

GoPicnic

I have decided to start an additional section here on MIWS to recommend products, from makeup to movies, trinkets to food, that I have tried and love. As a note, I am not endorsed by any sponsors of the products. This is strictly what I like, and my opinions.

This first little gem I found while buying lunch items for work at Target. It's called GoPicnic. Essentially, it's the type of thing you would expect to take with you on a bike ride or something. It has a variety of snacky food, which I personally like, from crackers and cheese to meat, fruit snacks, trail mix, and chocolate. And there are a few different ones to choose from. The only thing that's missing is a drink, but that's not a huge deal.  I have tried most of the flavors, and the 2 pictured are my favorites. Give it a shot! They even have meat-less options for you vegetarians out there! :)




Panko Crusted Stuffed Chicken

You know my obsession with chicken? It's only getting worse. I found this amazing recipe here. As a note, I altered this recipe dramatically, preparation-wise, because I found a better way to do it with less mess. So, sorry for the lack of pictures for now!

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup milk
-2 eggs
-handful of spinach
-handful of grape tomatoes, diced (remove seeds, if possible)
-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
-1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
-1 clove of garlic, minced
-sea salt and black pepper, to taste
-dash of oregano
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-Italian seasoned Panko crumbs
-2 teaspoons olive oil
-toothpicks or kabob skewers

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Mix the ricotta, spinach, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, sea salt, oregano and pepper until thoroughly combined.


3. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold water.

4. Mix the eggs and milk together in a bowl.

5. Dip chicken breasts into a bowl of milk. 

6. Season each side of the chicken with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

7. Carefully dip the chicken breasts in the Panko bread crumbs until evenly covered. Use a fork to press the crumbs onto the chicken.

8. Cut a long horizontal slit along the center of the long edge of the chicken breast, almost through to the other side.


9. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the ricotta mixture.


10. Close the slit using toothpicks of kebab skewers.

11. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.


12. Flip the chicken over, and place into pan and into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (there should be no pink when you cut into it).

Next time, I think I will do this as strips, and just place the filling on top as garnish. In reality, the chicken breasts I bought were too huge, and actually took about 40 minutes to cook all the way through.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cherry Cheese Pie

This is also a classic recipe of my mom's. So classic that when she makes it, my brother and I fight over it (among other family members)! It's really easy, and if you don't like cheesecake (like me), you will love this--I promise! Alternatively, you can also use a strawberry, blueberry, apple, or raspberry filling as a topping.


Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 mins (4 hours of settle time)

Ingredients:
-1 graham cracker pie crust
-1 can sweetened condensed milk
-1/3 cup lemon juice
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 package cream cheese
-1 can cherry pie filling

1. Let cream cheese sit out until it is room temperature and soft. Cut it into small pieces. Or, if you are impatient like me, pop it in the microwave at 20 second intervals. But don't cook it! It should not turn brown or appear burnt.



 2. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk.


3. Use mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth.


4. Add in lemon juice and continue to mix.


5. Add in the vanilla and mix until well blended.


6. Pour mix into pie crust.


7. Cover the pie, and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.


8. Remove pie from refrigerator. Add cherry topping and serve.

Monday, September 17, 2012

DIY Blackhead Remover II

Ok, so here's my second go at a DIY blackhead remover. I do have to say that this one was a little more abrasive, and took away some of my blackheads, but not all. So it kinda worked, I guess. Maybe it will work for you! Here is the original idea.



Ingredients:
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tablespoon baking soda
-1 makeup sponge

1. Mix baking soda into milk with a spoon.


2. Using a makeup sponge, get a chunk of the baking soda (you have to dig to the bottom of it). Apply to area affected with blackheads. My main area is my nose.


3. Rinse mixture off with cool water. Repeat if needed. I repeated twice, but still saw some blackheads. However, I did notice a difference, and there were fewer.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DIY Blackhead Remover

Eww, blackheads. They are tiny black bumps deep under the skin that are caused by excess oil. Most people get them on their nose, forehead, cheeks, and lips. I am prone to getting black heads on my nose mostly. You can't see them unless you are super in my face, but I notice them. I have seen tools to remove blackheads at Sephora, but I don't know that I want to use a sharp object to try and rid myself of them! I decided to give this remedy a shot, because it is natural, cheap, and less painful.  Warning! It gets messy, so don't wear your favorite clothes. Here is the source.


Ingredients:
-1/2 lemon
-3-4 drops of honey

1. Drip the honey on the half lemon, and rub it around on your face, concentrating on the area with the blackheads.



2. Leave the mixture on your face for 5 minutes.

3. Rinse your face off with cold water. My skin feels and looks great! Still have blackheads though. Boo!


So, did it work for you? I have plans to try out another natural blackhead remedy in the near future, so stay tuned! My verdict for this one: fail, but I posted it anyways because a) it was a good facial regardless, and b) everyone responds differently to different things, so maybe this will work for you even if it didn't for me!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chili

This is my mom's chili recipe from as long ago as I can remember! It's not at all spicy, so feel free to spice it up accordingly.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:
-1lb ground beef
-1 onion
-1 6oz can tomato paste
-1 can tomato soup
-1 16oz can tomato sauce
-1 can red kidney beans
-1 1/2 cup tomato juice (not V8!)
-1 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-3/4 cup macaroni noodles



1. Spray a large pot with cooking spray and place over medium heat on stovetop.

2. Chop onion into small pieces.


3. Add onion and ground beef to pot and brown ground beef.


4. Drain and rinse kidney beans under cool water. Set aside.


5. In a new pot, bring water to a boil then add noodles. Cook for 7-8 minutes.


6. Shake up tomato juice and add to ground beef, once browned.

7. Add tomato sauce and stir.


8. Add tomato soup and stir.


 9. Add tomato paste and stir. This one thickens the mixture.


10. Add chili powder and stir.


11. Add pepper and stir.


12. Add beans and stir.


13. Turn burner heat down to medium-low.

14. Drain noodles and mix in with chili.




I like to jazz up my chili with toppings like sour cream and shredded cheese and crackers. Feel free to get creative. Also, a wee bit of cayenne pepper will increase the hotness of the chili.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mummy Jar

Hands down, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love fall in general, with the cool weather, beautiful colors of the changing leaves, hot apple cider, pumpkin picking, not to mention the lovely aromatic collection of nail polishes, candles, lotions, and body washes at Bath and Body Works and Sephora. Here's a little craft that you can do, and it makes a great gift for friends and family too. Here is the original idea.

Supplies:
-mason jar
-roll of gauze
-Mod Podge
-paint brush
-wiggly eyes
-hot glue gun
-flameless tea light candle
-scissors

1. Unroll a strip of gauze. Wrap it around your jar, starting from the top, and overlapping it only slightly with each layer. When it covers the whole jar, cut the piece off that you will use.

2. Taking the gauze between your fingers, gently pull it apart in different directions. This will "rough it up" a bit, like mummy wrappings.


3. Paint the entire jar with Mod Podge, and wrap the gauze around the jar once more, overlapping it only slightly.


4. Allow the Mod Podge to dry about 30 minutes. Then, paint a layer of Mod Podge over the gauze to seal it and keep it in place. Allow to dry for 30 minutes.


5. Using a hot glue gun, glue 2 wiggly eyes on your jar, and allow 15 minutes to dry.



6. You can fill your jar with candy or goodies, or simply place a flameless tea light candle in it, and you can take it to work.