Thursday, July 21, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Melts

This past weekend Kevin and I decided to make Buffalo Chicken Melts.  We had made these before and really liked them so we thought we would share.  This is a healthy and very flavorful recipe from the Skinnytaste Cookbook.  It is a gluten free recipe (yes, even the bread) that the anti-anti gluten people in your life will even enjoy! Just ask Kev, he loves them! We have experimented with both the cheese (sliced pepper jack vs. shredded) and the chicken (the slow cooker version below and rotisserie) and every way has turned out amazing! If pepper jack is too spicy, try a cheddar or Monterey jack cheese. And if you're pressed on time, just use the rotisserie, it will be fast and still healthy and full of flavor! Kevin and I did this on our second time making this and it was excellent.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Melts

1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) convenient slow-cooker shredded chicken (recipe below) or breast meat from a store bought rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon gluten free mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons Frank's RedHot sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
4 slices multigrain bread, lightly toasted (I used Udi's whole grain bread)
8 thin slices tomato (we did 4, 1 on each)
4 slices pepper jack cheese

Preheat the broiler. 

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, carrots, celery, red onion, mayo, hot sauce, and cayenne (if using). 

Arrange the toast on a baking sheet and put 2 slices of tomato on each (see ingredient list). Divide the chicken salad evenly among the slices and top with 1 slice of cheese. Broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling, about 2 minutes. 

Convenient Slow-Cooker Shredded Chicken

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 pounds)
3 cups chicken broth or water
1 onion, quartered (optional *I used)
1 celery stalk (optional *I used)
1 sprig fresh parsley (optional * I did not use)

In a slow cooker, combine the chicken, just enough broth or water to cover, and any remaining ingredients you're using. Cover and cook on high 4 hours. 

Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks. Discard the remaining liquid and vegetables. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Psycho Donuts

Ok guys, full disclosure, I've never been much of a donut fan. Now before you start groaning and cursing me, it's mostly for a sentimental reason. My Pap (Grandpa) would go, what seemed like once a week to go get donuts for my cousins and myself, upon which I would always receive a tiger tail donut. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the donut, but I loved the sentiment even more.  So when it was time for me to be a "big girl" (still debatable), I never got donuts because it just wasn't the same. 

Fast forward to modern day and thanks to a little Bacon and Beer Classic, I have become a renewed donut fan. Now I know you're a little perplexed by that last sentence. Bacon and Beer does not equal Donuts. However, Psycho Donuts is not your typical donut shop so it makes perfect sense. We first tried these donuts at the aforementioned Bacon and Beer Classic in San Jose. Psycho Donuts had a booth set up and featured a delectable bacon (and I think maple) donut. Needless to say, it was enough for us to quickly look up where this place was so we could check out what else they had to offer. The donuts are best described as quirky gourmet donuts with equally quirky names (the ones with blue are the Cookie Monster ones and the pink below is the Strawberry Fields). The donuts are not only the perfect breakfast option, but also make a great dessert! We have become hooked and it's great making new memories, though I'll always hold on to that special time with my Pap. If you're ever in the Bay Area, check them out. They have a couple locations and I promise you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Spicy Apples

So I am starting off our recipes with something so incredibly simple that it hardly deserves a full post, but I had never thought to try it before (I'm a granny smith apple lover and this called for a red apple so I wasn't sure if I would like it). But, as I stated earlier, it was too easy not to give it a shot. I found this recipe in Women's Health Magazine a few months back and quickly tossed it together. Needless to say, I was/am a huge fan. The combination of spices with the subtle sweetness of the apple made it so amazing. And besides that, we all know the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," plus chili powder is supposed to boost your metabolism. That's a win-win in my book. It's great for a quick snack, a side to your upcoming picnics, or even a not too sweet dessert. Feel free to add as much, or as little of the spices as you want! Enjoy!

Spicy Apples

1 Apple, sliced (I prefer a red variety for this)
Fresh Lemon Juice
Chili Powder
Pinch of Salt

Toss together you apple slices with the spices and lemon juice in a bowl, or sprinkle it on, whatever works for you and gets your apples slices coated.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Coachella '16

Ok, Ok...........I said we were back and that was it, nothing else followed. Maybe you feel like the hubs in the car, maybe you're cheesing like me, who knows, but what I do know is, I vow to actually get it back up and going!! Yeah!!!!! Like for real this time! I probably have stuff from the East Coast still left to talk about.........maybe one day I'll get caught up! Until then, look forward to keeping you posted and hope you enjoy what we have so far! FYI, the videos may have explicit lyrics, view at your own risk!

So the hubs and I went to this little music festival, maybe you've heard of it, maybe not, Coachella this past April. Close to our West Coast arrival, we were discussing how it was on our bucket lists and that we should look up to see when tickets went on sale/when it was, etc. Lo and behold, we got online and tickets were actually on sale at that moment and there was no question about what was about to take place. Weekend 1 was already sold out, so if we were going to do this, we had to decide now. With one look, two weekend 2 tickets were added to cart and the countdown began. In the months leading up to April we often discussed if we would be able to handle a full three day weekend in the desert listening to music for hours and hours each day. We had been to one day of the three day Governor's Ball music festival and honestly, that was a bit rough. I don't even really know why. It wasn't as hot, we didn't have too many drinks, and it was one day, but that alone made us a little nervous. Then the various news articles speculating who would be performing this year started coming out. The name that they all kept mentioning, well at least the ones I read, was Guns N' Roses. We were both beyond excited, though we knew it could easily just be a nasty rumor. As the months kept passing. more and more information kept coming out to keep us on the edge of our seats, eager to just get to Coachella already. First was the Coachella app, it was pretty much useless at first (makes sense seeing as the festival was still months away), but it still had basic info and the countdown on it to keep you going! Then, it was the main information everyone was waiting for, the set times for each of the three days! That alone should have been enough, but no, then there was the ever important outfit preparation for the weekend!

Now when it comes to packing, I am the best/worst ever. Kev just throws whatever together (according to the situation obviously) which in the case was t-shirts and shorts, a day before hand. I on the other hand have to start a pile months in advance of possibilities, then start narrowing it down. In the meantime though, I am still shopping and adding and subtracting to my pile. Needless to say, the hubs goes a little bonkers, but I am usually relaxed the day we are leaving because I am confident with my selections and know I have everything. Since this was our inaugural Coachella, I decided in true festival form to let my inner flower child fly...literally. I swear I had something floral on with every outfit and of course, I made the ever important flower crown (which I threw away the same day because it got too hot and annoying lol). My essentials were: #1 Bandanna. I was so surprised how much I actually needed it, but the first day I tried to not wear one and it was coughing most of the night and morning. Luckily I had some vintage ones from my grandma packed and ready to go. #2 Layers. Now I know that's not really an item, but layers are essential. It goes from chilly to warm morning, hot day, and cold evening. I had everything from bikinis to jackets on and everything in between. #3 Sun protection and a water bottle. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen, oh my. My hats are cheap ones from a market in the theater district in NYC. For my sunglasses I went with the classic, round Ray-Ban, perfect hippie style for festivals. Sunscreen and water bottle are pretty self explanatory, but if you want to know what I use, let me know! The brands I was mostly rocking this year were Flynn Skye, Auguste the Label, Gucci, Triangl, Tularosa, and One Teaspoon!     

The festival itself was a blast.  Guns and Roses weren't even the highlight of the show.  During Ice Cube's set, there was a surprise NWA reunion complete with Dr. Dre that was incredible.  Sia's dancing girl performed with her, and we discovered many great new artists that we'd never personally heard of or listened to before but are now on permanent rotation on iTunes.  Joywave in particular was pretty cool to see live.  It was also neat checking out genre's we weren't familiar with.  Kevin listens to hard rock and metal primarily, but on the way home he even purchased a reggae album (Protoje).  The crowd was a lot of fun and we managed to keep Kevin from getting extra crispy in the dry, summer sun.  The food was great, they had a lot of awesome craft beers, and the grounds the festival were held in itself were really nice, contrary to what we would have thought prior to attending.  All around great experience and must do event if you are ever given the opportunity.

Overall, it was an amazing experience and we hope to do it again.