Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Try It" Tuesday

Ok, so you may already know about this product, BUT- there's always more to learn, right? Not only is it the best ever carpet stain remover (EVER!) that happens to also be biodegradable AND non-toxic (safe for pets), but here's a little secret you may not know and here's how I discovered it...

I was doing laundry one day when, much to my chagrin, I noticed that the M.O.T.H. had managed to get grease and mud all over his jeans. I reached for the Shout, sprayed the jeans and hoped for the best.
When the clothes came out of the dryer, I searched for the jeans to survey the damage, but guess what? NO STAIN! Not even a trace of a stain! I couldn't believe it! It worked much better than before, so I knew something wasn't right... I went back to the laundry room and looked for the bottle. What did I find? I'd accidentally used the Spot Shot!

Now, my mother in law has always sworn by Spot Shot for carpet stains and, it was one of the first lessons I learned as a newlywed trying to keep the house clean. Obviously, I'm a believer, too- hence the bottle, but I never would have thought to use it on my laundry.

I wrote to the company (WD-40!) and told them about what I'd discovered and they replied, 'yeah, it's a pretty awesome stain remover, just be sure to color test first. Glad you like it.' (I paraphrased that, of course...) AND sent me a coupon for a free bottle!

Anyway, a few weeks later, I attempted the Spot Shot on a pullover that a pair of red socks had bled onto. I sprayed where the color had transferred, let it soak in for a few hours and...you guessed it! The color that had faded onto my pullover was gone! It's a miracle, right!

Trust me, you gotta give this stuff a try! It IS a lot nicer having one less bottle on the laundry room shelf...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Try It" Tuesday

Nutritional yeast. Who knew?

I recently read a post on Peanut Butter Fingers about an amazing chickpea dip made with nutritional yeast as an ingredient. I'd never heard of such (I'm not vegan), so, of course- I Googled it. Basically it's a deactivated (not living) yeast powerhouse packed with TONS of vitamins and protein (9 grams per 3T serving)!

Sorry for the waviness, this is the result of panorama camera mode on my iPhone...
So why make such a fuss? Well, aside from the nutritional value, it also has a wonderfully savory, kinda cheesy taste that you can add to all kinds of foods! You can make a cheesy gravy out of it, sprinkle it on your popcorn, and use it in dips, obviously.

I actually added a tablespoon into my mashed potatoes last night and I was very pleasantly surprised! It gave them a smoky cheese flavor. I think I will try some in my scrambled eggs tomorrow...can't wait to see what all I can do with this stuff!

You can't find it in regular grocery stores, but you can find it in health food stores (I got mine at Eddie's Health Shoppe in Knoxville), at Whole Foods and online. (Most of the information I've read online recommends Kal or Bob's Red Mill brand, but I haven't tried any other brands to see if there is a difference.) Give it a try! Let me know what YOU think!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Try It" Tuesday

Ok. Stop what you are doing right now, and make this dish. Well, finish this post FIRST, then make the dish.
First of all: God bless Plain Chicken (a.k.a. Stephanie Parker) because she knows how to throw together a wonderful dish. And when I say wonderful, I mean your tongue will beat your brains out trying to get to it! I'm talking cheesy, buttery and scrumptious. Probably not for those of us who are being weight conscious, but definitely simple, tasty dishes that are heck yeah certifiable. Hey! She's Southern, do I really need to say more to convince you?
Anyway, here's one of her dishes that I made for the first time this week: White Chicken Enchiladas. (Cue the choir of angels!)
These babies are really easy to make and prep time takes under 30 minutes IF you cook your chicken in the slow cooker while you are watching Downton Abbey  browsing Pinterest  at work. Here's what you'll need:
  • 8 flour tortillas, soft taco size
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used 2 medium breasts)
  • 2 cups shredded monterey Jack (or Mexican Blend) cheese
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4 oz. can diced green chilies (Get the name brand stuff here. Just trust me...)
I put 2 medium chicken breasts in the slow cooker on high for about 3 hours and they were perfectly cooked. Be sure to toss them in the stand mixer for shredding while you are busy preparing the rest of the recipe.

HELPFUL HINT: If you have overnight to prepare chicken, place it in a zip top bag, season it with a little salt and pepper, and soak it in buttermilk. I guarantee no matter how you cook it, it will NEVER be dry!- Now back to your regularly scheduled program...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Mix shredded chicken and 1 cup of the cheese together. If you are only making 8 enchiladas, take 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture and place it in each tortilla (use a bit less if you are making 10.) Roll up the tortillas and place them in the pan seam side down.
In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Allow sauce to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and chilies.

Pour the sauce over the tortillas and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

Now, I would love to be able to tell you how well the leftovers freeze and all that, but after the second night, every little scrap was gone. Which is saying a lot because M.O.T.H doesn't even like Mexican-ish food and he gobbled this stuff up! This is a really great dish that we will definitely be having again...

And as if that wasn't enough to make your day awesome, I'll conclude this post with a shot of Lucy after a recent walk sporting her road feet. Life really is good, isn't it?  Now go ROCK!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Knit Wit

So, as you may already know, I kinda like to knit. I wish I had time to do more of it, but here's a shot of my latest project:

This project is great for beginners, just as long as you can knit in the round. However, in the event that you can't, here's a wonderful link from Knit Picks to teach you!
Ready to get started? Here's what you'll need:

  • Size 15, 24" circular needles. (You can use pretty much any size you have, just be sure to adjust your yarn accordingly.)
  • 130 yards of bulky yarn
  • This pattern- which is basically:                                                                                                    CO 120 stitches and place a marker joining but making sure not to twist the stitches.              Knit 3 rows. Purl 3 rows. Alternate these sets of rows 6 more times (I actually ran out of rows because I used larger needles, but its ok!)
Bind off loosely,  block and enjoy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


This post is dedicated to being BETTER. Here's why: Lately I've noticed a pattern in conversations with other people (as well as those with myself. Yes, you read that correctly...). My friend wants to lose weight so that she can look and feel better. Another pal wants a better marriage. My sweet baby sister is in Mississippi for training so that she can be better at her job. Lately, I have been praying for a better attitude. 
Most people, if not all of us, want to be better. 

And the good news is: We all can be better in some form or another and sometimes all it takes is a small change or two!

For example, my workouts are better because of these gems:

Because they haven't been named yet, I will call them "Better" Bands!
They TOTALLY rock because they have a velvet lining that prevents slippage and keeps your hot mess hair out of your face during even the heaviest of workouts! 
You can buy them here. They're pretty cheap and come in a variety of colors, so pick up a few!

Another way I'm making a small change to be better is this: 

I have started supplementing these sparkling waters  for my usual diet drinks and I have to admit, I can tell a bit of a difference! With these drinks, I'm not as hungry as I usually get when an drink diet drinks. The best news about these sparkling waters is they have NO artificial colors, flavored and NO sodium. My favorite favors are berry and coconut, but I've heard that grapefruit is pretty good, too.

 As my college professor always said, "and there you have it!" Sometimes small change can make a huge difference. We find something that works and makes life a little better, we share it with others, they share it and BOOM! before you know it, we're saving the world one headband at a time!

Think about what works for you and share it with someone else today. Who knows? Maybe all we need is to reach out to someone else and just let them know we care. I don't know about you, but I feel better already.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Tasty" Tuesday

I've decided that today's post is going to be called "Tasty" Tuesday  and it is courtesy of Peanut Butter Fingers, a blog that I love! If you haven't checked her out yet, you really should. She's wonderful! She recently posted a simple, baked, orange chicken dish, but I have adapted it for slow cookers. It's really easy and super delicious!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken. (Drumsticks were .98/lb this week, so that's why I used them, but chicken tenderloins or breasts will work, too!)
  •  1/2 cup of orange marmalade
  •  1/2 cup of Catalina dressing

Here's how you do it:
Place chicken in the slow cooker and season with a little salt and pepper.
(If you ain't scared, you might even put a little butter on top of these drumsticks for a little extra flavor...)

Mix dressing and marmalade in a small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Cook on High for 3 hours or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (These drumsticks were ready in under 3 hours, so read your slow cooker manual and monitor the temperatures closely when in doubt.)
Voila! Easy Orange Chicken!
It really is delicious and wonderful and all that. The good news is that you can use low fat Catalina dressing and sugar free marmalade to cut calories, just beware that it will alter the taste a bit. Each serving (1 drumstick made by this recipe) is approximately 176 calories give or take. As you can see, I served the chicken over white rice and a side of streamed broccoli (which you can't see...) and it was very filling. Enjoy!