Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sweet And Sour Chicken (Wings)

I'm pretty sure Chinese food is every one's guilty pleasure. I don't care how much high fructose corn syrup is in those sauces, I want more!

Just not every day, cuz that's gross.

So here's a recipe for the every day fix you don't have to feel bad about.

It tastes absolutely nothing like that fake stuff but it's real and it's very tasty!

Ingredients: This is a really simple recipe so I'm not including any measurements. Because I didn't measure anything!

-  Chicken (I used organic boneless chicken thighs but you could do any piece you like. Using drumsticks with the skin on would work great and you would have some tasty sweet and sour wings!)
- Butter
- Raw honey
- Hot sauce

How To:

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan.

This is what melting butter looks like. This is about how much I used. Good luck ;)
2.  Add in honey and hot sauce to taste and stir stir stir!
  If it looks like this you need to add more honey!
That's better.
You can be pretty liberal with the hot sauce. Taste it as you go, but then add a little more. I don't like spicy things but when I finished cooking I thought it could have used some more. (Of course you could also pour more hot sauce at the end!). You can also make extra of this sauce for dipping.. It's pretty yummy.
3. Oh yea, your oven should have been turned on to 370 degrees! Place your chicken in an oven safe dish and pour the sauce over to cover. Place in oven for about 40-60 minutes until fully cooked. You may want to turn the broiler on real fast at the end to brown the top.
 Stick that baby in the oven!
Um, yup, that's it! THREE steps! Go nuts!
And enjoy!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Citrus Lane November

I canceled my Citrus Lane box about three months ago because I just wasn't loving the boxes I was getting. But when Missy posted a deal for sale on Plum District for a three month subscription I couldn't pass it up.

 I got my "first" box last week. I didn't track the shipping because honestly, I wasn't excited enough about it. The box actually sat in my room waiting to be opened until last night.
From what I remember, Citrus Lane didn't used to have monthly themes but this box certainly did seem to be themed. All the items related to food and I was happy to see the box was pretty full.
Reusable Snack Bags $6.95

I've thought about buying these in the past but never actually bit the bullet. Lately we've been bringing along an "emergency sandwich" for our picky little peanut along with his usual fruit and other snacks and I've noticed myself going through ziploc bags like crazy so these will come in handy. Nothing will replace our Munchie Mug...ever....but I like these a lot and we will totally use them.
Green Toys Pot & Utensils $12.00

Like most toddlers my son likes to empty the drawers and cupboards in my kitchen and finds spatulas, pans and tupperware fascinating! Am I under any illusion that this will prevent him from doing that?....No! But I do think he will like it and I'm putting it away for Christmas, by which time I will probably have a few more from the collection to go along with it.
A win for Citrus Lane! Love this!
Baked Cheese Snacks $1.00

I'm not really big in to these cheesy snacks although my son certainly likes them. We may use these, we may not. I'm trying to avoid unhealthy snacking as we go through this picky stage. I would have preferred a Happy Family pouch or some yogis or something like that. Crunchy Momma would NOT approve of these!!
Lip Balm $16.00

I have a pretty set routine when it comes to skincare (lips included!) If it's not from the body shop or clinique I generally won't use it, with the exception of EOS lip balm. I read some pretty great reviews of this stuff though so I plan on trying it. If nothing else it will end up in my night stand drawer for those mornings when I wake up after one too many glasses of wine and I have super dry lips and too bad a headache to get my ass out of bed!
Skip Hop Plate $6.00

 I love anything from Skip Hop. And I mean anything. I probably own one of everything they make!! We already have the dog, the monkey, and the bumble bee versions of this plate and I was just about to order one more so we had enough for a day and a half since that's how often I seem to run the dishwasher these days...Speaking of which, these plates do great in the dishwasher, even on the bottom rack so you can put them with your regular plates instead of struggling to fit them on the top (anyone else feel like their kids stuff totally messes up the mojo in their dishwasher or am I totally nuts?) One of my issues with Citrus Lane before was that they used Skip Hop products in all their ad's but I would never actually get any Skip Hop products in my boxes. I thought it was misleading. So this plate is a win for them. I love it!!
So...Citrus Lane was a win for me this month and our box had a value of $41.95. Two more great boxes like this and I might keep my subscription past the three month deal. It was, for sure, worth the $10 I paid for it*
If you'd like to try Citrus Lane you can get $10 off your first box by using this link and with the new box configuration, that means you could get your first box for as little as $2 shipped!!
As of next month they will be offering three box types at three different price points which I think is a great idea. If I continue past my current subscription I'm sure I will stick with the regular box but the cheaper option is a great idea and I might consider it in future as a gift. The higher end box would be great as a one time gift to someone also...at least I think so.
*The Plum District deal was three months for $40 but Missy accidentally purchased two and sold the extra code to me for $30

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Hour Friday

My friend and I (and our collective three hooligans) stopped by T.J. Maxx today. I needed canning jars, she needed whatever looked good.

We eventually lose the boys. Then I hear giggles... Coming from the lingerie department. They are hiding underneath the women's undies. Good choice boys. People are staring. I'm giggling. Then my friend's son runs through the aisle, stretching every pair over his head, and announcing, "MOM, MOM, I HAVE UNDERWEAR!"

Yea, we got that.

These minor shenanigans led to this purchase:

Then this:

Turns out our homemade wine tastes better with vodka.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

St. Louis... My New Favorite City! Grant's Farm Edition

I will admit, I never really thought much about St. Louis. What's worse is I'm pretty sure I used to pronounce the "s". It never really crossed my mind except for the occasional Nelly throwback... At least it was catchy...

But recently our good friends Mr. Skudds and his lovely fiance, Suz, moved from Chicago to St. Louis, so of course this was a perfect excuse for a road trip!

We took our trip during the week of Labor Day (Detroit to St. Louis to Nashville to Gatlinburg, but more on those later) and stayed in St. Louis for three nights. It was not nearly long enough!! Seriously, this is my new favorite city! I was skeptical, being the beer snob that I am, because Anheuser-Busch practically owns the city... But turns out I can overlook that, as long as I bring my own beer ;)

Speaking of Anheuser-Busch... Grant's Farm! Our first stop on our St. Louis tour was Grant's Farm, it was the old home of Mr. Busch. And his 281 Acres. They eventually opened it to the public and it is basically a small zoo, or a large petting farm. You could easily spend an afternoon here. We arrived early in the morning to beat the rush, and the heat. You only pay for parking and all other activities are free! Including beer samples! Or "Complimentary Anheuser-Busch Hospitality". Turns out Busch owns quite a few beer companies and they are displayed on tap. Still not good beer, but better than your typical college party.

Upon arriving at the Farm, go straight to the back to meet the Clydesdales. There are a few photo opportunities as well as a small gift shop. But there is another bigger gift shop inside the actual farm area. Once through visiting the horses, make your way back towards the parking gate to enter the farm area.

This is what we were dealing with

Your tour begins at the train. It will take you around the beautiful grounds where you can view the animals on the farm and learn about the history of the company as well as see the Busch families' original home. The train will then drop you off at the zoo area where you will be free to roam around to your heart's content.

Ducks and cows and...

This thing's butt

Other activities on the farm include...

Chasing peacocks

Creepy bunny carousel 

Bird shows

Goat feeding. Obviously my favorite part. Hamburger was terrified. Be warned, these are some pretty hungry goats. They will literally eat your clothes, and probably small children.

Don't forget to say hi to crazy eyes...

Hamburger is not a fan of snow cones. Crunchy momma is happy.

"Complimentary Anheuser-Busch Hospitality"

The German styled "food court," or um, Bauernhof, is located towards the end of the farm, right before you board back on the train. There are a few different options; salads, sandwiches, pizza, chicken fingers, brats, sauerkraut, pretzels... We opted for the brats... They were quite tasty!

It's posted that you can't bring outside food... That is one of my favorite rules to break. And no one checks. So go ahead and bring snacks :) 
And of course, camel rides!

Thus concludes our first afternoon in St. Louis! And with a quick stop at the gift shop, Hamburger is now a proud owner of this t-shirt:

"I Survived Feeding The Goats" Barely

We had a fantastic time at Grant's Farm and would highly recommend this stop, especially if you have children. It's quite reasonably priced and perfect for big groups! Plus it adequately tuckers out the kids. And the big kids as well.

Budweiser also has a brewery in St. Louis which offers, from what I hear, pretty enjoyable tours. We didn't have time to go there on this trip... And yes, had we had enough time I would have went... Despite my snobbery I do love brewery tours. Plus they have Clydesdales!  You can find more information here.  

For the record, I am not endorsing Bud. Ok, it sounds like I am... But their gimmicks work! Whatever, I still won't buy the beer, but yea I do like the activities.

Anyways, stay tuned for more on our road trip! I promise, no more cheap beer.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spinach Mushroom Balls

Who wants a quick healthy yummy appitizer?? ME ME ME!

And you.

Here ya go!

1/2 onion
1 shallot
3.5 cups mushrooms
1 lb. organic fresh spinach
1/2 cup butter
6 eggs
1 cup asiago cheese (or whatever cheese you like)
1 cup breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350. Chop onion, shallot, and mushrooms

I didn't do this, but i highly recommend chopping the spinach as well.

2. In a large skillet/saucepan/whatever melt butter and saute your onions until clear. Then add mushrooms and continue to cook until browned

3. Add spinach and cook until wilty, or whatever it's supposed to do. Set aside.

 4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together 6 eggs. Add spinach mixture, cheese and breadcrumbs. Leave in refrigerator for about 30 minutes, until the mixture thickens a bit.
 Pre-thickened picture

5.  Grease baking dish with olive oil. Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and roll it into balls and place on baking dish. Bake until browned and fully cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Enjoy the cheesy goodness!

Also, pulled these guys out of the garden today :)