Friday, November 30, 2012

Kellogs Tour

A few weeks ago, I went on a daddy daughter date to the Kellogs Tour of Gymnastic Champians in Philly to see the Fierce Five (the women's olympic gymnastics team). I really loved watching them in the Olympics and when I heard they were touring the country I wanted to go so bad. I couldn't think of anyone who would want to go with me, so I asked my parents. Mom happened to be in Dallas the week they were here but Dad said he would go with me. I don't think he was exactly thrilled at the idea of watching gymnastics but because he is a great dad, he went with no complaints :)

We stopped at an Applebees on the way for dinner then we were off to Philly. There were all these signs saying Gymnastics-Park here. So we did. Parking was $20. For the next half hour all Dad said was, "$20?! I can't believe that. $20 for parking?!" And the sad/funny part was that it wasn't the parking lot for the Wells Fargo Center. It was like two Parking lots away. We walked a solid 20 minutes in the cold! And everyone else was parking in the right parking lot right next to the building! We tried asking one of the employees how much that parking lot was but I dont think she understood us. Hopefully it was more than $20!

It was totally PACKED!! I was surprised how many people were there. And there were a ton of little girls and the only males there were Dads. The show was different than I expected. It was more like a show. There was a lot of dance and scrobatics. It reminded me of Circ De Soleil. I took some pics on my phone, sorry they kinda stink, Here is the link to the show's website so you can see good pictures.




I took videos of Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas doing their floor routines, but blogger wontlet me upload them. They are sideways anyway, so it might just be for the best. Jordyn Weiber did her floor routine as well. It was so cool to see them do the same routines that they did in the olympics, in person! Kyla Ross was not there (she is still in High School) and McKayla Maroney couldn't perform because of an injury but she was there.

It was a fun night! Its truely amazing how much skill and dedication they have.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cinnamon Almonds

This is HANDS DOWN the BEST recipe I have tried from Pinterest. This will be hard to beat! I have wanted to make them for awhile, but I didn't have a reason to make it. Thanksgiving was perfect for it!

Here is the original recipe. As usual, the Italics are my notes and the pictures are my own.

Ingredients

1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt (I Skipped)
1 Egg White (I read the recipe wrong and did the whole egg but seriously it turned out great!)
2 tsp. vanilla
3 Cups Almonds (I bought the big bag of whole almonds from CVS (23.5 oz i think) which equaled 4 cups and used the whole thing)
1/4 C. Water

In a medium sized bowl, mix together sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another medium sized bowl, whisk the egg white (or whole egg)and vanilla until it’s a little frothy (mine never frothed). Add almonds. Make sure the almonds are thoroughly coated in the egg white mixture. Add cinnamon mixture to the almonds and toss until coated.

Thoroughly spray with Pam, or whatever, the stoneware of your large crock pot. Add the divine mixture of almonds and sugars to the crock pot and turn it to low.

Cook (with the lid on) 3-4 hours stirring every 20 minutes (I only did 3 hours) In the last hour, add the 1/4 C. of water and stir well. This ensures a crunchy yummy coating. **make sure after you’ve added the water that you continue to cook the nuts for another 45min to an hour (I added the water after 2 hours, then cooked for another hour afterwards)**

You have to stir really well, especially as it gets later in the cooking process.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the almonds flat to cool (). The almonds will be sticky at this point, so make sure you separate them a little and have no large mounds.

I had beautiful, crunchy,sugary, dark brown coated almonds. There was quite a bit of leftover sugar bits (and I brazenly snacked on that too!)


Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Baked "Fried" Chicken

Once again I had my parents and brother over for dinner. We had our friends, the Kirks, over as well. I always try to make a new recipie when I have my parents over. It is honestly the only time I really go all out with my cooking. This Sunday I made Potato bread in the breadmaker, Creamy Cheesy Potatos (See this blog post for recipie), Orange Glazed Carrots and Baked "Fried" Chicken. I must say it was all yummy! Here are the recipies for the carrots and the chicken.

Orange Glazed Chicken

Ingredients
32 oz bag of baby carrots
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of orange juice (the one i used was an orange pineapple combo juice because thats what I had and I didnt want to buy another)
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

1. Combine all ingredients, except water and cornstarch, in a crockpot.
2. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. (I just put the baby carrots in whole and cooked it for just over 3 hours and the carrots still had a bit of a crunch. Next time I will either cut them or let them go longer to get them soft)
3. Put carrots in a serving dish. Pour the juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
4. Combine water and cornstarch in a seperate small bowl and add to the juice.
5. Let it boil for a minute, stirring constantly, or until thickened. (This is the first sauce/gravy I have attempted that thickened well!) Pour over carrots or serve on the side

I loved these! The smell while it cooked was incredible!! just as good as cookies baking! And it was simple and easy! The carrots and sauce were super sweet and yummy! A definite winner

Baked "Fried" Chicken

This was another recipie I found on Pinterest

Ingredients
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloin
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (Typically I skip the salt, but I did shake some in)
1 tablespoon Season All (I used Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)
3/4 teaspoon pepper (I didn't actually measure it)
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 stick butter
Buttermilk

Instructions
1.Place thawed chicken breasts in a bowl of buttermilk and let soak 20-30 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
3.Combine and mix thoroughly flour, salt, Season All, pepper, and Paprika in a gallon-size Ziploc bag or bowl.
4.Cut butter into a few pieces and place in a 9- x 13-inch pan. Melt butter in preheated oven. (So I totally didn't read this step of the directions and I sprayed a cookie sheet with pam and baked them on that but the crust stuck to the pan. A glass 9x13 probably would have worked better)
5.Spread melted butter around the bottom of the pan. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray, if needed, to make sure that there are no dry spots.
6.Shake excess milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece in flour mixture. Either shake in the bag until coated or dip each piece in the bowl until coated. (I did the bag but when I do it again I'd just do it in a bowl, I feel like there would be more control over coating them, and the bag got really gross and messy from the buttermilk)
7.Place each piece of chicken in the preheated pan (My pan wasn't preheated)
8.Bake for 20 minutes. Turn each piece of chicken over and continue baking for 20 more minutes, or until cooked through

The chicken was really good. It reminded me of Chick'fil A. Next time I do it, I'll do it in a glass pan and cut the chicken up into smaller bites. The coating kinda all fell off and thats my favorite part. I think that with smaller pieces there will be a lot more crust and a better chance of it sticking. I also had a ton of chicken so I doubled the recipie for coating. I suggest doing that for sure! It seemed to dissapear so quick when coating the chicken, I was scared I wouldn't have enough.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

End of shoedazzle


Believe it or not, but I might be done with shoedazzle. They have just made so many changes and have gone so far from the original buisness model that I loved. The quality has become shotty. It takes a week for anything to be shipped and then another week and a half after its shipped to recieve it. And now you have to pay for shipping if you buy an item less then $39.95 or anything on sale, regardless of price. They have changed the price of most products to over 39.95. They have now added "designer labels" and charge $100-$200!

When I was scrolling through and saw the $130 price tag on these heels I thought it was a typo...nope. And the "designer labels" are designers like Chinese Laundry. And its not like shoedazzle gives a discount on them.

These here, shoedazzle is selling for $129.00. On the Chinese Laundry website, the are $129.95.

It now takes 45 days for your points to post rather than 30. They dont send a return label with the shoes anymore. You have to go to the website to request a return. And they have added all these "sales" Like 20% off any regularly priced item. But then they add shipping! Take a regular shoe priced at $39.95. 20% off would make it $31.96, slap on the $4.95 shipping fee and its $36.91. So that 20% off isn't really 20% off, its $3.04 off. What kind of sale is that?!

You used to get all new shoes to pick from each month. Now they add just a few new shoes. The other they add look exactly like the old shoes just in different colors.

I am still waiting on my last credit to post, then I think I am done for the most part. I have been a member for two years and have gotten tons of great shoes, but everything must come to an end. I'll still check it out every once in a while. I know the old founder and CEO has come back to the company so maybe it will improve or just go back to normal, but I am not holding my breath.

Maybe I should just save up all the money I would normally spend a shoedazzle, and get myself a pair Christian Louboutin's