Thursday, April 19, 2012

On a [blog] roll.

 I was talking to my friend Ashley the other day about our love of blogs. Yeah, I have one myself, but I’d never really thought about it before... I really do love me some blogs. There are a few I read almost every day, some I read once in a while, and a few multiple-times-a-day blogs. It’s really just been a post-college development for me. Since graduation, I’ve become a huge follower and Pinner (duh) and now I can’t imagine what I did before. Oh I know, I was missing out. That’s what I was doing. Missing out.

So anyway, I wanted to share a few of my favorite blogs separated by category.

Also, I should note that I read a few of these blogs so much that I feel like I know these people…yeah.

DIY/House stuff for cheap:

  • Apartment Therapy. I get tons of ideas and pinning material from this one. It’s great if you want to incorporate a specific color, look, feel, etc. into a room.
Fashion/Beauty/All things Girly:

  • The Beauty Department. It’s a group of ladies who post awesome tutorials for hair, nails, make-up, etc.

  • A Beautiful Mess. These girls are awesome. They post all kinds of things as well, but have an awesome vintage twist. Recipes, crafts, hair, etc. So many great tutorials for re-using all kinds of stuff. Another perk – great pictures. I want to be them.

  • Eating Bird Food: Super healthy recipes and the inspiration to stay healthy. Brittany has awesome links and support info on her blog, and her story is all the motivation you’ll need. Oh, and she’s getting married, so that’s fun to read about as well!
  • Eat yourself skinny: This blog is another excellent place to find healthy-but-good recipes. I really love how organized it is, it makes finding ideas quick and painless.
  • gluten-free girl and the chef: This sweet couple are the gluten-free magicians. I can’t say that I’ve tried any of their recipes, but I love seeing what they come up with. If you’re really craving a gluten-free version of literally anything, they’ve probably tried it.

  • In Jennie’s Kitchen: I started reading her blog when it was highlighted on the Today Show for Peanut Butter Pie day, in honor of Jennie’s late husband. It’s definitely a great food blog, but Chris and I both got sucked in to her amazing writing as she dealt with her husband’s untimely death. Upon further research, her recipes are awesome. She’s all about flavor and freshness.
Just because/a little bit of everything:

  • Cup of Jo: Joanna is an awesome writer and posts about all sorts of interesting topics. She’s always highlighting cool new products, and my favorite thing she does is her Friday post. She lists (with links) cool things she’s found/is in to for that week. Never disappoints. Oh, and her son is cute.

  • Rockstar Diaries: Straight up, beautiful people. Taza has amazing style, and so does her husband and baby. I pretty much love the products she blogs about, too. I want to pin it all.

  • Cardis Parties & Bacardis: Kristin posts about all things yummy, southern, crafty, and sassy. She has an awesome, dry writing style, which makes her blog hilarious to read. And she's one of my best friends, so that's cool too. :)

  • The Daily Love: This is my feel-good blog. Mastin comes to my inbox every morning with inspirational, motivational, positive messages. Great way to start the day.

Ashley’s favorite:

  • The Hairpin: this lady-blog is quickly becoming one of my faves as well. It’s a bunch of random articles, videos, and anything you can think of for women. It reminds me of stumble upon, but no need to stumble. Everything’s pretty sarcastically hilarious…right up my alley. Thanks, Ashley!

In an effort to contribute to the blog world this week, I got cookin’.

So it’s been a while since we’ve tried cooking something new/challenging. I guess my last venture into the unknown was my ridiculous steak experience. Yeah, it turned out being really good, but I can’t handle excitement like that too frequently. 

For whatever reason, and I’m blaming Pinterest, I decided it was one of those weeks. We usually like to play it safe, quick, and easy, but I figured eventually this blog will get boring. There are tons of great ideas and recipes out there just waiting to be freed of gluten, so, to quote Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear is just another word for ignorance”. 

And I don’t know who said it, but, no pain, no gain.

Anyway, we decided on a chicken recipe because, well, it was on sale. Chicken breasts usually end up super dry and bland in my opinion, so we don’t usually make them that much, but since our BBQ chicken turned out so well a few weeks ago, I figured it was worth a try. And it was… AWESOME! Another cool thing: I found the recipe on Pinterest, and turns it, it was originally from Martha Stewart herself!

Here’s what we made:

  • 3 medium-sized Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • EVOO
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (8 slices)
  • 8 spears asparagus, trimmed, then quartered 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally, then pound between two pieces of plastic wrap until about 3/8 inch thick. 

Finally found that nail polish! Essie Turquoise & Caicos
Our meat pounder = wine
  • Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken breasts and garlic until chicken is light brown on one side only, about 2 minutes.

  • Transfer chicken to a baking sheet, browned side down. Sprinkle chicken pieces with half the cheese.

  • Place a tomato slice and 4 asparagus pieces in the middle of each piece of chicken. Roll up each side so that the two ends meet in the middle; secure with a toothpick. 

  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over rolls; bake until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

From the peanut gallery:

  • We used cut up wooden skewers instead of toothpicks. I think they worked better because of the thickness of the meat.

  • They probably would have rolled better if we had pounded them longer…make sure your chicken is nice and thin.

  • While the chicken was superbly moist, I think a hollandaise-ish sauce would be awesome on top maybe.
  • These would be awesome on a bed of rice or maybe our favorite risotto
The rolling process was a little stressful, BUT I felt like a surgeon again, which is always a good feeling when you're currently obsessed with Grey's Anatomy. Chris was my scrub nurse handing me tools. What a team, huh? I wish we’d recorded our commentary. I’m still laughing just thinking about it. 

Anyway, we of course ate off of the china and watched an episode of Grey’s. (We’re on season 6 now, by the way!) The chicken was super flavorful and moist, and I think the asparagus and tomatoes had a lot to do with both. The Parmesan cheese was icing on the cake (chicken roll) though, we both really liked the cheese variety change-up. I definitely think we’ll make these again, and they’ll be even better because we won’t be going in to it blindly. Maybe we’ll stuff them with spinach next time?


Blog ya later.

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