Friday, September 16, 2016

Five on Friday

Linking up with April & Co... as is the custom!

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Catastrophe humor amazon amazon video 203

We're all watching Catastrophe, yes? It's really the only "adult show" reason I currently switch on our TV other than E's and my trudge through Homeland {and talk about a palate cleanser for foreign and domestic terrorism!}.  It's the first show that's made me truly LOL repeatedly in 24 minutes since Parks & Rec. Hit it up on Amazon Prime

Catastrophe high five rob delaney tv humor



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I was all jazzed to recommend these little heart-shaped plug-in LED nightlights that you don't have to switch on {there's a sensor}, but just noticed that Amazon isn't carrying them currently. I bought them last week {$9 for a four pack}, so perhaps they will get them back in stock {or here is the same exact thing but square-shaped}.  L likes the light on in the restroom overnight but the bulb keeps burning out {can't buy LED bulbs for this particular light}, and one of these at each end of the kids' Jack-and-Jill galley bathroom is just the right amount of brightness for a midnight potty trip. We had two left over, so now our bathroom and the downstairs bath are decked out as well.  Super cute and functional, and, if I'm at the end of my rope before bathtime, "go wave your hands in front of the nightlights!" is a great time-suck for the preschool-set. 

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I got RULL basic this week and entered Bath & Body Works for the first time in over a decade. I'm hyper sensitive to fragrances, and that place triggers a cluster headache like no other. But! We had a Skunk Situation {Tangent: Did you know fresh skunk spray stinks like an explosion at a fertilizer factory? It took us 12 hours to figure out why our house smelled like burning chemicals -- it was not akin to the stench that wafts into your car briefly as you speed past roadkill. I'll take that scent any day.}, and after scrubbing, baking soda-ing, vinegar-ing, coffee grounds-ing, Nature's Miracle expensive-ass shampoo-ing, our entire downstairs needed a little pick-me-up.  I grabbed 3 candles {all their 3 wicks are $10 off at $12.50 right now // not sponsored!} in record time and am quite pleased with my selections: Pumpkin Woods, Pumpkin Apple, and Sweater Weather. I had high hopes for Flannel after hearing so many raves, but it smells like every guy I dated from 1999 to 2005. What are y'all's other favorites? 

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Image result for wit and wisdom black skinny jeans

I saw a friend's FB post about Wit & Wisdom "Ab-solution" jeans, and immediately bopped on over to Nordstrom.com to check them out.  Intrigued {and impressed by the $68 price tag!}, I ordered a pair of the Stretch Skinny silhouette in black, and I LOVE them! Super flattering and comfortable.   


Another recent {non-sponsored} shopping triumph is these astronaut footie PJs from Old Navy.  I fucking love my 40 lb toddler in footie jams!  Thank you, ON, for carrying one-piece COTTON pajamas all the way up through 5T sizes! 

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Hands down, my favorite thing on the internet this week.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mediterranean Madness: Greek Burrito Bowls + Spinach Pie

Forgive the {feta} cheesy title... I'm going with it. 


9 years ago, E and I were ferrying around the Greek isles, gorging on souvlaki, sipping Assyrtiko, and smoking Camels on rooftop decks.  

Last weekend, we stood in thigh-deep bathtub-temp water at a family-friendly hill country resort while our minions squealed down the water slides 87 times and cheered on Quakers and Ducky in the rubber duck races. 

So, practically the same thing. 

Perhaps I'm subconsciously paying homage to end of the summer shenanigans with these two dishes.  Both are super simple, SUPER delicious, can be prepped ahead of time, and won't completely annihilate your waistline. 

Greek Burrito Bowls with Chicken, Chickpeas & Lemon-Garlic Drizzle
modified from Iowa Girl Eats 


Ingredients 
- 1 lb chicken tenders
for the marinade 
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed 
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 small cucumber, deseeded and chopped 
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
- 1 teaspoon black pepper 
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
- 1/2 cup EVOO
for the lemon-garlic drizzle
- 1/2 mayo
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced 
- salt to taste
for the tumeric rice 
- 1 T EVOO
- 1 shallot, finely chopped 
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1.5 teaspoons turmeric 
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2 cups chicken broth 

Okay. LOTSA components here. But it all comes together super quickly.  I did everything in about 20 minutes during naptime -- save for bake the chicken and cook the rice which took another 20 minutes right before serving supper. Let's do it. 

Marinate: Place chicken tenders into one Ziploc bag and the chickpeas + chopped veggies {tomatoes, red onion, cucumber} into another Ziploc. Whisk together remaining marinade ingredients {lemon juice, honey, salt, oregano, pepper, mustard, garlic, and EVOO} in a mixing bowl. Measure out 1/4 cup of the marinade and pour over the chickpeas and veggies inside the Ziploc. Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken inside the other Ziploc.  Seal both baggies and shake to coat chicken / chickpeas + veggies with marinade.  Refrigerate both baggies for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.  

Make the drizzle: In your blender or a small food processor, pulse together mayo, lemon juice, and garlic.  Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

Make the rice: Heat EVOO over Medium Heat. Saute shallot until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and turmeric and saute for another 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat with turmeric mixture. Stir in chicken broth and raise heat to High.  Bring to a boil, cover tightly, and lower heat to Low.  Simmer covered until all liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. 

Cook chicken & assemble bowls: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place marinated chicken on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  After allowing to cook a bit, chop roughly.  Layer rice, chicken, and marinated chickpeas + veggies in bowls and drizzle with lemon-garlic sauce. 

Spinach Pie


I looooooove spanikopita. I ate it every single morning for breakfast in Greece, and I can take down an entire tray of spinach-y dill-y feta-y apps.  I've had this Easy Spinach Pie from Budget Bytes pinned for an eon, but every time I check it out, I skip over it due to its lack of actual Mediterranean components.  I finally got around to fiddling with it, and I am super pleased with the end result!  

Ingredients
- 1 sheet puff pastry {it usually comes in a 2 pack}, dethawed 
- 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, dethawed and squeezed of all excess water
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped 
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped {all parts}
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
-  1 cup Feta, crumbled 
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, whisked + 1 whisked egg for glaze
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Using a rolling pin and a sheet of wax paper dusted with flour, roll out the sheet of puff pastry until it stretches to a roughly 12 in x 12 in square. This is easiest to do when the pastry is still cold. Lay pastry over a regular pie pan {the corners should be hanging over the edge} and pop it back in the fridge.

Mix together chopped spinach, shallots, dill, and green onions.  Combine the remaining ingredients {reserving one of the 3 eggs for glaze} in another bowl.  Whisk to incorporate eggs. Stir wet ingredients into veggies.  Spread mixture into the chilled pastry in the pie pan.  Fold corners of pastry over the filling to meet in the middle.  No big deal if you have gaps in the pastry! You can either put the uncooked pie back in the fridge for up to 24 hours {I imagine it would freeze beautifully as well} or bake right away.

Preheat oven to 375.  Brush whisked egg over the top of the pie for a glazed appearance.  Bake pie for 45 minutes.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to fully set and cool slightly before serving.

We enjoyed ours with that kate + brussels + lemon vinagrette bagged salad I love so much tossed with the marinated chickpea + veggie leftovers from the recipe above.  And I might have eaten two more slices stone-cold for breakfast.

Opa! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Five on Friday

Joining April once again for a little FoF...

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You can make risotto in your oven and it is good and life-changing. I was totally skeptical, but Bon Appetit don't lie.  There are times when constant rice stirring is very cathartic, but that time is not (a) May through September in Texas or (b) when I'd rather chat with company.  This recipe offers a great base for any sort of spin on risotto you wish to take, but the kale pesto is also delish.  I made it during naptime with toasted pecans instead of walnuts, an extra cup of kale instead of parsley, plus I went ahead and pulsed in my Parmesan {instead of stirring it all in at the end}. The only other adaptation I made was to use chicken broth in place of water. 

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What to do with all that leftover arborio goodness? Bake you some balls! I just form my leftovers into slightly-smaller-than-a-golfball orbs {the pesto in this recipe held everything together nicely, but depending on what kind of risotto you are using, you might need to mix it with a beaten egg} and roll them in a mixture of half Italian bread crumbs and half finely grated Parmesan {1/4 c + 1/4 c is usually sufficient}.  Bake at 375 on a wire rack {pop a cookie sheet underneath it for oven cleanliness} for 15 to 20 minutes.  They'll also freeze and make great appetizers. I've been trying to get creative with nut-free lunches and was planning on sending these to school for the kidlets... but, um, PECANS, duh.  So I've been forced to eat them myself.  Such a tragedy, but I'm coping well enough. 

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Like every other annoying white lady in America, I can't stop drinking cold brew coffee. And while the store-bought bottles of concentrate are much cheaper per cup than a coffee shop latte, I was plowing through them at a very brisk pace. I was all set to purchase the Toddy T2N Coldbrew System after admiring it at my friend C's house {she highly recommends it, btw!} when E saw the Coffee Sock Coldbrew Kit.  It's made by a local company, the cotton is organic and responsibly sourced, and its super easy to clean and use {they sell hot brew goodies too!}. Mine is the 64oz kit {you can see the sock hanging dry over my sink faucet in the background}, and it can make up to 6 cups of coffee concentrate. You do have to replace the sock about once a year.  I am super pleased with this purchase and feel like a regular pioneer woman whilst brewing my own coffee in a baby-sized mason jar. 


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I bought the Dignitet curtain wire kit before B was born.  Possibly even prior to becoming pregnant with B.  I had grand thoughts of creating a rotating art wall for L, and, like so many other Pinterest projects, I procrastinated in a big way. Of course now I'm pretty pleased with myself as, had I executed this little tableau on my original timeline, it would be firmly stuck in Dallas and not brightening up L's current space!  See kids, sometimes laziness pays!  As far as IKEA projects go, this one is not too terrible if you have (1) screws {the kit doesn't come with them}, (2) a good pair of wire cutters for the deceptively strong braided wire, (3) this YouTube video {the included directions are crap, surprise-surprise}, and (4) a laser level {unless you are going diagonal like me... I don't like levels and that may or may not have played into my positioning decision}.  And DO NOT LOSE THAT TINY ALLEN WRENCH FOR THE LOVE. Once you have all your gear in place, this shouldn't take more than an hour, tops.  If you have a knack for building things, I bet you can hammer it out in 30 minutes. I love how it turned out! 

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Livin' that 1SE life in August! {Is this an expression people actually use with a straight face?}

Happy weekending! Don't think too hard!

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