Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Since the weather has taken a somewhat fall like turn this past week, which I just love, I decided to make this recipe which would be perfect for the cooler temperatures. Plus, I was excited to try out my oil mister for the first time (I absolutely love it btw). This bread was quite tasty and is perfect for fall. It's one of those breads that you can eat as a dessert or have for a quick breakfast, which my husband did for a few days. It is wonderful heated up and equally as good cold. I felt like my pan was a little larger than I would have preferred, but it in no way affected the taste of the bread. As fall heads your way, try this recipe out. It is very easy and packs great flavor into a simple loaf of bread. Enjoy! 

Apple Cinnamon Bread


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large or 2 small red apples, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bread pan.

Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
With a mixer, combine sugar and butter until smooth. Once smooth, add eggs and vanilla until combined.

Add the flour and baking powder, it will look dry, then you add the milk.
Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with half of the apples. Slightly pat apples into batter. 

Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Repeat with the remaining batter, apples, and brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Monday, September 29, 2014

US Open

Kevin and I have a shared love for the wonderful sport of tennis. We both have played for years in school and with our families. So it was with much excitement that we had the privilege of going to day 14 of the US Open. On this particular day of the tournament we watched the Men's doubles final and the Women's singles final take place in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The stadium, which is the largest tennis venue in the world, houses the US Open, which is the only grand slam tournament in the US. We didn't have the best seats, but I honestly don't think there was a bad seat in the house. It is built in a more straight up fashion than out like many other sporting venues. It was almost like we were looking straight down on the action. It was such an amazing experience and I'm fortunate that we got to attend! 

The first match ended in a victory for the US! It was the Men's doubles final match which took place between the Bryan brothers and Granollers/Lopez from Spain. The Bryan brothers took the win in 2 sets, 6-3 and 6-4. Though the Bryan brothers gave up a few games, they were pretty much flawless. It was Granollers and Lopez who had an interesting approach. As pictured above, they both stayed back pretty much the entire time which is a little unusual for doubles. Though their unique technique didn't work for them this time, Granollers and Lopez were very polite and gracious as they gave their speeches and said their congratulations to the Bryan brothers.   

With champagne in hand, yes champs at a sporting event, we prepared ourselves to watch the Women's singles final. Now I have a slight confession to make, I was really hoping Caroline Wozniacki would take the win on this one. I know I shouldn't have gone against the US win, but Serena Williams is just a power house and always wins, so I wanted the underdog to pull out a victory.  Despite my wishes, Serena did get the victory in 2 sets, 6-3 and 6-3. They both played extremely well, but Serena just had more points won on her serve (a whopping average of 107 MPH) and had more aces. She had Caroline running all over the court and Serena made it look easy. She definitely deserved the win. Like I said earlier, it was truly an amazing event to attend. If you like tennis and ever get the opportunity to go you should. You won't regret it! Until next year US Open! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast

As mentioned earlier this week, our anniversary fell on a Monday so we had a weekend celebration. Saturday we enjoyed the day in Seaside Heights and Cape May, NJ. Monday Kevin brought home flowers, our favorite champagne, and cooked the first dinner he ever made me while we were dating........swoon! So Sunday, I skipped brunch with the girls to spend a lazy day with my hubby watching football and dining on a delectable brunch obviously with mimosas. Fist of all, if you haven't been to the blog two peas & their pod, you need to check it out. They have some seriously delicious recipes and a great site overall. I could spend hours just looking at their wonderful recipes and pictures! Secondly, if you couldn't tell, this recipe was so good! The filling was very rich and creamy, but the thick bread was a perfect accompaniment to make it not overbearing. We used an actually French bread loaf that we cut into about 1 inch pieces and it turned out fabulous! It looked small and we were sure we were going to have more, but by the time the second piece rolled around, we were stuffed! You can switch our the French bread loaf for a sliced bread to make it easier, but I did really like the way ours turned out! Enjoy this for your next breakfast or brunch......mimosas optional! 

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast


1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1/4 cup half and half
8 slices French bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
2-4 Tablespoons butter

Powdered sugar for dusting
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.

In a pie plate, whisk the eggs and half and half together. Spread four slices of the bread with the ricotta mixture, about 1/4 cup per slice. Place the other slices of bread on top and gently press them together. Carefully dip all sides of each sandwich into the egg mixture until well coated.

In a large skillet, starting with 2 Tablespoons, melt the butter. Add the prepared sandwiches and cook until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Taco Spaghetti

I swear we don't eat pasta everyday. It seems like that is all I have been posting lately. Don't worry though, I have a few gems coming to spice things up! Nine times out of ten when you think of pasta you think of Italian. I'm talking your red sauces and alfredos. However this dish, found here, has a Mexican/semi-healthy (I did eat mine as a salad so that counts right) spin to it. It is super easy and defiantly a crowd pleaser. I mean who doesn't like tacos and pasta. You can also make numerous substitutions like gluten free pasta, turkey or chicken instead of beef, etc. Plus, you can eat it as is, like I did in a salad form (I wanted avocado too, but mine was bad), or with any other combination of ingredients that you love. You basically can make it as healthy or as unhealthy as you wish. However you end up making it, I'm sure you'll have people coming back for more! Enjoy!

Taco Spaghetti

5 ounces dried spaghetti, broken
1 pound ground beef 
1 large onion, chopped
I package taco seasoning mix
water (as much as indicated on taco seasoning mix)
11 ounce can whole kernel corn with peppers, drained
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded, divided
1/2 cup salsa
4 ounce can diced green chili peppers, drained

shredded lettuce
tortilla chips
sour cream

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is brown. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the water and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cooked pasta, corn, 1/2 cup of  cheese, salsa, and green chili peppers.

Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted, should only take a couple of minutes.

Serve alone or with any of the optional toppings!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September Birchbox Review: Cynthia Rowley Eye Pencil

Though silver is not really my color, I loved this Cynthia Rowley eyeliner overall. It glided on silky smooth, almost to a fault at first. I started lining my eye and the eyeliner sort of just took off lol. I had to take a step back and a few breaks just to try to get it straight. I'm not complaining, it was better than having to push hard or keep retracing what I have done over and over. I just need a little bit of a learning curve for gliding it on perfectly. It also stayed put for hours and hours. In fact, it was a little difficult to get off with my Burt's Bees make-up remover wipes. It comes in five different colors: Black, Charcoal, Sky Blue (I might get this one), Violet (another contender), and obviously Silver. And for $16, it is a terrific price point. I highly recommend that you try it, even if you just get the black eyeliner, though I suggest a fun color that might make your eyes pop. I tried two different "looks" with mine. The top one is where I lines my eyes with black first and then did a layer or silver on the top lid and inner corner. It is a more dramatic, going out look. The bottom is double winged silver liner on top and blue with silver in the inner corner on the bottom. It's a little more casual and playful. I can't wait to get other fun colors to try!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Nachos

If you read my post yesterday, Anniversary Weekend, you would know that the first thing my husband (dating at the time) made me was penne chicken Alfredo. It's an easy dish to make, no offense babe, but also a tasty one! So when I saw this recipe, found here, I knew I had to make it. It is a fun, updated way to enjoy chicken Alfredo and nachos for that matter. The only change I made was cutting the basil in half. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of basil, but when I started adding it, it smelled really strong so I decided to cut back. Personally, I'm glad I did, but feel free to add the full amount if you wish. The chicken was very flavorful and when combined, the dish was simply delicious! You could try making your own Alfredo or even replacing the chicken with shrimp and I'm sure it would still be amazing! Enjoy!  

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Nachos


1 jar of your favorite Alfredo Sauce
2 ounces low fat cream cheese
tortilla chips
2 large chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Seasoning for the Blackened Chicken
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, combine all the spices for the chicken. Toss in the chicken, making sure to coat evenly.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and blackened.
In a medium sauce pan, cook the Alfredo sauce over medium-low heat. Once the sauce is heated throughout, add in cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and basil. Stir occasionally, making sure the cream cheese melts and everything is combined.
In one large skillet, or a couple small ones (depending on how many people and how you want to serve it), place a layer of chips, a layer or chicken, some sauce and sprinkle with the shredded Parmesan cheese. Continue to add layers until you have your desired amount in the one or many skillets. Cook on the stove top until warm and the cheese melts a little.

Top with extra basil and tomatoes if desired!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anniversary Weekend!!

So I decided to push back my US Open post until next week, being that I married my best friend on this day two years ago, so I thought that took a little more precedence! So to backtrack a little bit, I print off our monthly calendar for the next month at the end of each month. For example, I will be printing off October's calendar this week to make our dinner schedule. It works great because we have all travel plans, birthdays, outings, etc. so I can make a menu accordingly. Well, when I printed off the September calendar, I noticed a mystery planned on the 20th. I suppressed my inner child and refused to bug him about it the entire month! That is a huge deal for me and him for that matter. We are the worst at surprises and gifts. We get too excited and spill the beans before it's time, so we both did pretty good with this. I actually didn't know what the plans were until Saturday morning when he said how fast can you be ready and we should probably take our beach bag. Even then, I still did not know all the details, truth be told, I don't think he knew everything either haha. I apologize for the plethora of pictures. It was partially me practicing mixed in with a lot of fun!   

So we started our journey to Cape May, NJ. About halfway into our journey we started to get hungry and passed a sign for Seaside Heights (known for the ever so trashy Jersey Shore show), we both looked at each other and just knew that's was our lunch spot. We couldn't resist! We got there a little before 11 so most things weren't quite open yet so we walked up and down the huge boardwalk. They had a ton of little places to eat, but the most surprising thing was the amount of games and arcades they had. It was a shocker for us who had just seeing drinking a debauchery happen on the television show. We were both really impressed with how beautiful it was there. I know they got hit hard by Sandy, but you really couldn't tell. We stopped and got a quick bite at a bar before heading on the lift to get a view from the top. If you can't tell from the picture up top, Kev is not a fan of heights, but he still did it! Now back to Cape May!     

We got to Cape May and drove around for a little bit before deciding to hit up the Cape May Winery and Vineyard. We got there and it was packed! We weren't worried though, we were on our own schedule and figured it must be a good sign. Of course we started with a wine tasting.....I mean what else would you do?!? The wines were quite tasty and we decided to get a bottle of the Lighthouse Red to share while a musician performed some Bob Marley. It was so beautiful out and very relaxing! We also took home a bottle of their Riesling and an Isaac Smith Apple wine for the holidays! I'm so excited!

After our trip to the winery, we strolled the beach for a lille bit before going to dinner. The beach was almost deserted and extremely gorgeous. It was one of the best beaches I had seen which is one of the many reasons it was named one of America's favorite beach towns by Travel + Leisure. The area was so cute and quaint, I feel in love. I told Kevin if we decide to get married again.....to each other of course :)......this is where I want it to be! It was absolutely wonderful!

With grumbling bellies we headed to our final spot, dinner at The Blue Pig Tavern. We sat outside and enjoyed the wonderful weather while we dined on a delectable meal. We started with Ahi Tuna Tartar and a couple of libations. Kev ordered a pork belly mac and cheese, surprise surprise, which was delish, while I got the grilled swordfish with asparagus and mushroom risotto.....it was divine! We vowed to come back and stay longer next time, maybe at one of the many B&B's in the area. I highly recommend a trip here, it's apparently gorgeous all year long!  

It didn't stop there. We made cannoli stuffed french toast with mimosas for brunch on Sunday. Kevin then made me the first dinner he ever cooked for me......penne chicken alfredo with breadsticks. It was an absolutely perfect anniversary weekend! I love you Kevin James and am excited for the years to come!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mini Corn Dogs

Since summer is sadly coming to an end, I decided to make this recipe because it reminded me of the Indiana State Fair back home and the yummy corn dogs there. I haphazardly looked over the recipe when I was making my list, so I ended up forgetting the corn and onion. Two ingredients that I felt set this recipe apart from many others. So, while I prepared everything else, my hubby ran and got these two crucial ingredients. Well, needless to say, those two "crucial" ingredients, didn't really have a presence when we ate the corn dogs. It was just your average, run of the mill, corn dogs. They weren't bad by any means, there was just nothing that made them special to where I would have to have them or make them again. I have a few others to try, so maybe one of those will be better, but in the meantime, I'll keep looking! 

Mini Corn Dogs


1/4 cup cornstarch
2 packages hot dogs (we used Nathan's), cut into thirds
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 ear of corn, grated 
1/4 cup onion, grated
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup buttermilk

Roll hot dog pieces in a light coating of cornstarch, shaking off the excess, and set aside.
We used our deep fryer, but if you don't have one, use a medium, high sided sauce pan, heat 3-4 inches of oil to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels for draining.
In a large, deep bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. In another bowl, mix together corn, onion, egg, buttermilk, and honey. Add to the dry mixture and stir to combine. 

Dip cornstarch coated hot dogs in batter, shaking off the excess, and fry in batches until coating is deep, golden brown. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towel lined pan. Enjoy with your choice of condiments.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September Birchbox Review: Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris

Happy September birch box everyone! Mine just came yesterday, so I was a little panicked that I wouldn't get my Wednesday review completed in time. But, I persevered and here am I, presenting my review for the Catherine Malandrino fragrance Style de Paris. Sadly, this fragrance just isn't me. I tend to go for fragrances like Folle de JoieChloé, and Flora by Gucci that have strong rose, and some peony, notes to them. This fragrance, while have some floral notes, mostly has a musk scent which I didn't care for. This is probably TMI, but a couple of my favorites mention they have a seductress style, while the Style de Paris says it will leave you in a flirty mood. HMMM......what does that say about me...lol. Regardless, of it not being my taste, I have had it on since 8 this morning and after doing dishes, baking bread, doing multiple "photo shoots", and washing my hands umpteen times, the fragrance is still going strong which is amazing. Don't get me wrong, I will still use it up, but I won't be purchasing this "flirty" scent for my collection.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

If you love chicken cordon bleu and want to feed an army, this is the recipe for you. Before I delve into specifics, I need to state a disclaimer. *This is not made with bleu cheese. I repeat, this is not made with bleu cheese. My poor hubby claims he had never had chicken cordon bleu and one of the reasons behind it was because he thought it contained bleu cheese. So, if you weren't sure before, you can rest assured now. Like I stated before, this dish can feed an army. I used my largest skillet, which we hardly ever use, and had to use to hands to move it from the stovetop to the oven because it was so heavy. That being said, you may want to half it if its just for 2, maybe even 4 people with a side. I'm haven't gotten into making meals and freezing them, but if you do try it, let me know how it turns out! Aside from the rather large size of this dish, it was so flavorful and creamy. It tasted just like eating chicken cordon bleu plus pasta. It's one of those recipes that is great when you're craving warm comfort food. As fall and winter our quickly approaching, this is a great meal to make! Enjoy!

30 Minute Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta


1 (12 ounce) package bow tie pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups half and half
2 (10 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon honey mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons sour cream
2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups deli ham, chopped (about 1/2 pound)
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 1/4 cups Italian Panko bread crumbs
Cook package of Bow Tie pasta according to the package directions.
Heat a deep/large (oven safe) skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and melt completely. Add chicken broth, half and half, and cream of chicken soup. Whisk together to combine.
Add honey mustard, onion powder, and salt and pepper. Stir and bring the sauce to a simmer 4-5 minutes, or until slightly thickened, making sure to stir occasionally. 
 Add the chicken, ham, and sour cream to the skillet and stir. Next, add pasta and stir everything together.  
Top with swiss cheese. Then, sprinkle panko over the top.
Turn on your broiler. Place the skillet in the oven, allowing the cheese to melt and the panko to get golden brown. It will only take a few minutes.
Remove from oven and cool a couple of minutes before serving.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New York Tourist Part 2

This post is pretty self explanatory so I'm not going to waste your time and type a lot. This was our night cruise around NYC. For this particular tour we couldn't get off and on at the stops so we were on the bus the entire time, that's why I only have exteriors of buildings or areas. We had a great time on the tour despite the brief drizzle of rain (really sweet ponchos were provided, though I didn't get a picture). We were also stuck on the Manhattan Bridge for a little while. Though I'm not afraid of heights, it was a little frightening looking down from the top of the bus. So now I bring you the McClarnon's on the NYC night tour in pictures.

The Empire State Building all lit up.

Pictures of Chinatown above and below.

Welcome to the outskirts of Little Italy.

A skyline shot from the Manhattan Bridge.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bourbon Flank Steak and Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

It's Friday and you've probably worked hard all week. Why not take this time to indulge yourself a little with a Bourbon Flank Steak, found here, and cheesy potatoes. Extra glass of bourbon optional! Though our steaks were a little too overdone for my tastes, I like mine a bright pink, the flavor was outstanding. The steaks were so juicy and tender and, of course, easy to do. While they are sitting in the marinade, you can start getting your ingredients prepared for your Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes so that they go on at the same time. Then voilà you have a quick, elegant dinner that was so easy to make. The only thing I would recommend, don't use your good Bourbon like we did. That was all we had on hand and if that's all you have go ahead and use it if you feel comfortable. Go ahead and treat yourself for that long week you've had by making this and maybe indulging in that extra glass of bourbon. Perfect for using the nicer bourbon like Blanton's! Enjoy!

Bourbon Flank Steak

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup bourbon, we used Blanton's
1/4 cup soy sauce, low-sodium 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1 1/2 pound flank steak

Combine all ingredients in a gallon size zip-lock bag. Add steak and marinate for one hour. Remove steak from bag and reserve marinade for dipping sauce. Grill over medium heat until your desired doneness is achieved, flipping occasionally. Approximately 20-30 minutes. 

For dipping sauce, add the reserved marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes so that juices throughly cook. Serve over cooked flank steak.

Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes

1 22 ounce prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives
4 bacon slices, crumbled
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Prepare potatoes, stir in all ingredients except cheddar.  Pour into greased dish.  Cover with cheese and bake at 350℉ for 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cheddar Bacon Dip

 The Cheddar Bacon Dip, aka crack dip, was meh for me. The first bite was real good, but a every bite after that was a little too overpowering for my taste. It had a strong salty flavor, can anyone say ranch packet and bacon bits, and then to top it off I used salty tortilla chips. I did salvage it by add more cheese to contract the saltiness. When you make it, I suggest making it as is first, then adding extra cheese if you feel it's needed. I mean they did name it crack dip after all. I may just be the oddball. Also, maybe try a veggie assortment instead. I meant to get some peppers, but it slipped my mind at the store so this is all I had without making a second trip. It's too easy and inexpensive not to make! Enjoy!

Cheddar Bacon Dip

16 ounces sour cream
1 packet ranch dressing mix
3 ounces bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I added about 1/2 cup more)

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers, or veggies!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

August Birchbox Review: Harvey Prince Ageless Body Cream

Unfortunately I am not the best person to write a review on the Harvey Prince Ageless Body Cream. I am bad and haven't really added body lotions into my beauty routine unless they are gradual tanners and I need a boost. I did however give it a go so I could write the best I could about it. First, the smell was amazing! It wasn't overpowering and had a wonderful grapefruit scent. Secondly, it absorbed well and seemed to moisturize well enough. I can't confirm that it lasted "all day" because I honestly didn't pay attention and, like I said earlier, I don't really use body lotions. Now as for the $22 price point, to me that's a little excessive for body lotion. Remember though, I don't really use the stuff so maybe it isn't really that bad. For now, I will have to pass on this product until I become a lotion enthusiast (if that is even a thing). Although, I would purchase it as gifts for others as part of a spa basket or something along those lines!    

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New York Tourist Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, Kevin's parents paid us a visit for a long weekend. Not only did they get to see where we live, but we went to the city a couple of the days and played tourist. One of the major things we did, and actually a ton of fun, was take the Gray Line bus tour around Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Don't worry, we didn't get into any bus accidents while we were boarded! The following is part 1 of our adventures because I took way too many photos to put in one post! We had great weather, learned a great deal of information, and enjoyed taking in the historic sites! 

Above, you'll notice the Manhattan Bridge. It connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan (obviously lol). It has been in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV and movie such as The Dark Knight Rises and I Am Legend. The photo in the bottom left corner might look familiar to some, it is the fountain in the infamous opening for Friends. And next to that, is a horse drawn carriage of course. I had to take a pic because Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to ban them so who knows how long they will be around.  

The famous Apollo Theater resides in the neighborhood of Harlem in Manhattan. It has seen the likes of many greats who got their start here, such as Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, and Aretha Franklin, plus many, many others. Next to that, the famous Yankee Stadium where Derek Jeter is finishing out his famous baseball career. Even if you aren't a fan, I'm sure you've wanted to check it out at some point in your life, I know I have!

The top right picture is The Dakota. Many celebrities reside here, but it is most known for the late John Lennon being shot in the entrance. Below that, is the Chrysler building. According to the reliable wikipedia, it was the tallest in the world for 11 months (1930-31) and is the tallest brick building in the world. The top right is the iconic Flatiron Building. It's triangle shape makes it easy to immediately recognize. And lastly, the Guggenheim museum. It is located on the Upper East Side and has a unique cylinder shape, though expansions have been made over the years to supports its growing art collection.

At one of the stops, we decided to take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We did an audio tour explaining much of the statue's history while we walked around Liberty Island. It was truly breathtaking to see up close, and a lot larger than expected. Kev wants to go back and go up in the crown sometime....eeek! We didn't spend too much time at Ellis Island, only because it alone could almost take a day. However, what we did see was very humbling and interesting to see the history of the immigrants that passed through there.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

I originally saw this recipe and though very vague, fell in love. It was quick, easy and I had leftover bacon to use, so it was a win-win situation to me. However, I was sadly mistaken. Even with all the spices, brown sugar, and bacon, it still had absolutely no flavor. It tasked like we were eating baked chicken with a hint of sugar water. Not at all what I would have expected. So needless to say, I won't be making this one again. If you decide to try it, maybe add more or other spices to the mix. Also, try grilling it instead, which the originator did, though the recipe said to bake it as well. If anything, it will give a nice grilled flavor to it. Let me know if you try it and what changes, if any, you make! Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut into thirds (12 pieces)
12 bacon slices
salt and pepper 
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Season the chicken with the garlic powder, chili powder, and, salt and pepper.  Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of chicken and roll in brown sugar.  Place in baking dish and bake 30-40 minutes, until done.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cheesesteak Crescent Rolls

If you are a fan of cheesesteaks, this recipe is for you! The filling is so creamy and delicious that I could just eat it by itself, in fact, there was a little leftover that I did eat on bread the next day. It's also wonderful that the cheesesteak is all rolled up into individual buttery crescents, making this dish very versatile. You can make it for a dinner or take it to a pitch-in. One piece of advice, freeze the extra beef broth in an ice cube tray to use in dishes later on for extra flavor. Next time you are craving a cheesesteak sandwich, give this recipe a try instead. You'll be happy you did! Enjoy!

Cheesesteak Crescent Rolls

2 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
3/4 pound roast beef, from the deli, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup beef broth
8 ounces cream cheese
2 (8 ounce) tubes crescent rolls
4 slices swiss cheese, cut into 4 (they did strips, I did triangles)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté the onion and pepper in the butter until soft.  Add the chopped roast beef and heat about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef broth and cream cheese. Mix until cheese is melted and everything is combined. Remove from heat.

Separate the crescent rolls. Top with a slice of cheese and about 2 Tablespoons of the beef mixture.  Roll up, pinching the edges so nothing oozes out. Place on baking sheet and bake 10-13 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August Birchbox Review: Marcelle BB Cream

I am not one for foundations just yet. I have this evil stigma against them after seeing countless girls with foundation lines that the same will happen to me. I know I need to get over this lingering fear, but for now, BB Creams are what I turn to. I hadn't heard of this particular one before getting in my Birchbox, but I was really excited to try it. The Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow defiantly did not disappoint. You can see in the picture below that I put it on half of my face and there is a noticeable difference. The skin tone is more even and, though it's hard to tell in the photo, I have a subtle glow. It's also great for all skin types and was very lightweight. I will most defiantly purchase this BB Cream once mine is finally finished!

P.S. Sorry about the lack of other makeup, I just really wanted to highlight the BB Cream!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip with a Side of Fantasy Football

So this past weekend I participated in my first ever fantasy football draft day. It was a lot of fun for me getting to see my hubby getting all worked up over who I got or who he didn't :). With a mimosa in hand, I started drafting players to my team As Long As I Got My Suit and T.Y., (think JT and T.Y. Hilton, who did make my team). I ended up with Andrew Luck, Adrian Peterson, and DeMarco Murray to name a few. After my team was complete, I started working on this football staple around our house. We seriously eat this dip multiple times during the football season, so it was only right for it to make its inaugural debut on draft day. It is so easy and delicious, perfect for watching the game at home or going to tailgate parties. Enjoy it this football season!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 ounce) cans chicken, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup hot sauce
1 cup ranch
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large skillet, heat the chicken with the hot sauce, breaking up the chicken slightly. Once heated through, add the cream cheese and ranch. Cook until warm.

Mix in half, 3/4 cup, the cheddar cheese and cook until melted.

Transfer to a slow cooker and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 of shredded cheddar and cover. Cook until hot a bubbly. I usually keep my slow cooker on low since it's already warm.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eminem and Rihanna

First and for most I want to start off with a disclaimer. I don't use foul language on social media out of respect for others, mainly my family. That being said, there is foul language in some of these video snippets, so view at your own risk!

We were fortunate enough to see Eminem and Rihanna on their three city Monster Tour at Metlife. The show was absolutely fantastic! They sounded so amazing live and put on a great show for the many screaming fans. People traveled from all over just to be in the stadium to watch them perform. I don't like I stop dancing or singing, (well maybe during some of Em's parts.....I'm not the next greatest rapper alive), the whole time! Below are snippets of songs that I hope convey what we got to experience! Enjoy your Labor day!