Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chimichurri Sauce for One

I have to admit, one of my favorite flavors (aside from chocolate and coffee) is cilantro. 

While I will add it to soup (like I did last night), tacos, salad, and nearly any savory food that will hold still... Jeremy does not share my love for the flavor. 

Yes, I married one of those people who think it tastes like soap. I always feel so sorry for those people and the greatness they are missing out on. 

A few weeks ago though, my cilantro soap tasting husband made me a little surprise. 

Chimichurri Sauce for One via @labride

I happened to be working a school function late and he decided he was going to surprise me with what dinner was. I knew he was grilling steaks, but as far as sides I was a little scared.

The man knows I prefer healthy, he on the other hand is known to order double carb sides at a restaurant with no shame and still fit in his pants the next day.

To my complete shock I came home to not only homemade sweet potato fries, the man had made Chimichurri. My cilantro hating husband had made the best homemade Chimichurri I've had in ages.

Ages actually being that I haven't made any in about six or so years, due solely to his distaste for the stuff.

I immediately demanded the man tell me what he did to make just enough of the goodness for me and promptly wrote it down. This Chimichurri sauce is the perfect blend of cilantro with enough tang from the vinegar and spice from the garlic to make any cilantro loving individual happy.

It made me happy enough to put it on nearly everything I could, and even get a few looks from Jeremy about the fact that I didn't have to eat the entire serving.

It was too good to save for later though.

Chimichurri Sauce for One via @labride

Chimichurri Sauce for One


Ingredients::
1 tbsp of red or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp water
1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Directions::
Add all ingredients to a small food processor and pulse until cilantro is chopped up very fine. If you don't have a food processor this can also be done with an immersion (or hand) blender. 

Chimichurri Sauce for One via @labride

My food processor is actually too large for this recipe and Jeremy had trouble getting everything to blend for it. When I made it the second time I used my immersion blender and it worked out a lot better. However, if you have a small chopper that would be even easier. The small quantity is harder to blend in a larger gadget.

Then again if you have a mortar and pestle it would work even better! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Heart Pinterest - Easter Edition

Can you believe it's almost Easter? I honestly couldn't be happier to see a few non work related Spring Break days in my future!

Let's do this week's post with a little Easter theme:)


I love this idea of using a chocolate bunny as part of table decorations >>> genius use! 


I feel like if ever we were fancy at Easter Jeremy could have us covered with this napkin fold. The man was the king of napkin folding when we worked at Sage in Monroe in college. 


Egg dying color chart, always useful! 


My love of spinach dip makes me think this Spinach Dip Bunny would be delicious and darling:)


Natural egg dying chart... in case you're into that sort of thing, or just really like the colors. 


This is a great idea if you have small children dying eggs, we all know they don't have the skill it takes to balance on that odd little wire thing in the egg dying kit. 


Concrete eggs, I'm making these next year!


I know everyone remembers making these as a kid, I love the idea of using them as garland. 


This printable banner is beyond adorable, if I didn't need more printer ink I'd print it right now:)


I feel like this is a necessary skill for any egg related craft, a skill I definitely haven't tested out yet. 


Be sure to follow LABride on Pinterest for more awesome pins all week long.



If you'd like to link up your Pinterest account feel free to do so below. I haven't added a linky here before, but why not give someone else a chance to link up their Pinterest account:)



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Hippie Products I Swear By

A few years ago I started to notice that what I was using on my skin had started causing breakouts. 

No one wants to see someone in their late 20's with acne, let's just be honest. 

I had tried a product containing mineral oil to remove makeup, later discovering mineral oil clogged pores. Then the next popular drug store makeup remover I bought made my eyes burn like I had splashed vinegar in them. Why on earth would eye makeup remover burn? 

It still baffles me. 


That led to me finding other ways to do the things I wanted, without having quite as many chemicals involved. My thinking was mainly that if I couldn't ingest it I probably shouldn't be using it.

I'm still tempted to start to no-shampoo method and completely take up the oil method of skin care, but those will have to wait until summer when I have more time to let my skin and hair adjust.

Until then, these are the products I currently adore.
(You may remember in past years when I posted here and here about other hippie things I loved.)


First up, chia seeds and coconut oil.

Chia seeds happen to be the only complete vegan protein (at least that's what I've read.) Why do I love them? Well these little Chia Pet seeds have a tendency to swell up any liquid they are near, which make you feel full longer (slows digestion) and they also help prevent blood sugar spikes. Chia is also a great source of fiber and omega-3.

Now, I mainly used plain jane coconut oil until Jeremy sent me out looking for organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. He wanted it mainly for oil pulling, which is supposed to be great for your teeth and help remove toxins. I on the other hand use it for a few more things - it's a great moisturizer and the variety Jeremy had me pick up has a much stronger taste of coconut and tastes amazing in recipes. One of my favorite ways to eat coconut oil is in my Paleo Macaroons or on a baked sweet potato with a little salt and pepper.

Another great way to use it is to slather it on your hair (dry), pull your hair up into a bun and heat with a blow dryer for a few minutes to allow the hair cuticle to open up and absorb the oil better. Next let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes and then wash your hair as usual. After washing/conditioning as usual I then use my next favorite product (Apple Cider Vinegar) as a rise for my scalp to remove any build up.


Apple Cider Vinager (ACV) is another long time favorite of mine. I drink some every morning and use it in my salad dressing every day for lunch. Not only that I like to use ACV as an astringent for my face by mixing it with equal parts water and slathering it on with a cotton ball. Not only does ACV help to fight acne, if you're using it as a hair rinse it is known to get rid of dandruff by changing the ph of your scalp and making it harder for yeast to grow. I talked a little more about uses for ACV in a post here

I was let on to the wonderfulness of grape seed oil by another blogger about a year ago and haven't looked back. It's high in vitamin E and stands to be the only thing I will use to remove my eye makeup. It's a great moisturizer for your eyes and doesn't burn at all, which is a major plus in my book. Just soak a cotton ball in a little grape seed oil and dab it onto your eye lids and lashes to remove your makeup and moisturize the skin around your eyes at the same time. 


A few times a week I like to take a detox bath using 1/2 cup of epsom salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil. Get the water as hot as you can stand and stay in for 20-30 minutes. If I'm feeling sick I will add in 1/2 cup of ACV (it helps your body become more alkaline, eating too much sugar, caffeine, and other junk causes your body to become acidic) and some fresh or ground ginger (up to a tablespoon, the ginger brings up your body temperature and helps you to sweat). The baking soda is very cleansing and has anti-fungal properties, plus it makes your skin soft.

Be sure if your taking a detox bath to keep a big glass or water around to stay hydrated, if I get too hot I will get out sooner than the 20 minute mark.


Of the essential oils I like to use, lavender and tea tree oil are my top two. The lavender is super soothing and when I add it to a detox bath right before bed I always sleep much deeper than usual. (I'm a horrible sleeper.) I will use tea tree oil in a detox bath, or if I have acne breakouts I dab a little on the breakout. It's anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antiseptic - I've used it to fight ring worm (thanks teaching for the exposure to random things), to heal cuts, and to help me breathe better and get over colds faster.

I feel like I've listed everything in my cabinet.

What are some of your favorite home remedies? 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

Can you believe it's already Easter week? This year has already started to vanish. 

Then again I feel like every day I make it closer to 30 the years begin to get shorter. 

All the more reason to eat seemingly healthy the majority of the time. 



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I've come to realize I cook a lot of chicken, and this time of year I grill nearly everything. It's cheap-ish and easy, so shoot me!

Monday - Grilled Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday - Tenderloin with Baked Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday - A Tone It Up Soup recipe (I've been experimenting with their recipes and am very tempted to buy their program.)

Thursday - Burgers & Chips (mine will be bunless and wrapped in lettuce and sans chips)

Friday - Steak and Baked Potatoes (it's out Friday night ritual)

Saturday - Who on earth knows. I'm mainly going to be meal prepping for the week of Spring Break all day. 

Sunday - pick something up on the way to my parents house! 

I wish I had some awesome Easter recipe to share this year, but with Jeremy on praise team here it makes going home rather difficult. If I were in Vidalia sooner I would be making these two recipes. I've honestly been eyeing them for weeks! I will however be making Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls while I'm there, I can't visit my parents house without cooking something. I promise you, this group of people won't leave a Cinnamon Roll behind. I can just about bet the 4 year old will even love them. 




Now it's your turn!


Like up your favorite meals, recipes, or even your own meal plan!





Friday, April 11, 2014

High Five For Friday

What are we at now? 

25 work days until summer. 

I can totally deal with that. 


1. The older Ellie gets the more walking her is a chore, this week I drug her out only to spend the entire mile pep talking her like I was Jillian Michaels and promising treats when we got home. Old girl is a hot mess for sure!

2. It's been state testing week, and I can say I've survived! The kids are going stir crazy, and spring is in the air, so we can only count down the year from this point on.

3. Somehow I managed to grab a bad package of Chicken at Walmart the other day and have been regretting it since Wednesday night. I knew when I took that bite I should have spit it out, but I didn't want to gross out my students so I begrudgingly swallowed the mess. I think I gave myself some milk salmonella poisoning and have been regretting that decision every minute of the day. Just a little FYI if you've never had food poisoning, I've had it at least twice that I can recall, don't take Pepto or anything like that. It's best to just stay hydrated and let it pass.

4. We've been going to a small group on Thursday nights and they've been reading Mere Christianity, I say 'they' because I had yet to read it. This week I finally decided to catch up and actually really enjoyed the chapters I've read so far. Granted I like the ones I haven't heard anyone already discuss better, some of them seemed a little redundant after having heard everyone talk about it.

5. Chemo is still being put off until they can locate the origin of the cancer. We all wish it would just get going, but my poor ole daddy is having to have another scope. We are very much alike on going to the doctor only when limbs are visibly falling off, so I can promise you he's been to the doctors more since February for this than he's probably ever been in his life. The man's getting irritated from what I gather. Hopefully they'll get the info they need to move along with treatment very soon so he can feel like something is actually being done and all the doctors in town aren't just stabbing at him with needles and charging his insurance half to death.

What has everyone else been up to this week? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cajun-Caesar Chicken Marinade

When we were engaged I had a few Southern wedding etiquette books that also included recipes. 

Many of those recipes called for things that I would have had to shoot myself. Not exactly being the biggest of hunters, or even owning a gun, I opted for store bought meats and went with the basics of the recipe. 

That's where this one came about. 

Cajun-Caesar Chicken Marinade via @labride

Like any recipe I love, this one has evolved over time. It was originally intended for dove, and it also used other seasonings, but we all adjust what we do to something after years of making it. 

This particular poultry marinade is the perfect blend of tangy and spicy and is perfect for grilling. There is just something about a vinegar-ish marinade that works well over an open flame. 

Plus all the little tasty bits of garlic char to the meat as it grills and makes me extremely happy. I'm one to intentionally cook meat at such a high heat that the ends area seared to a crisp just because I prefer it that way. 

Cajun-Caesar Chicken Marinade via @labride

Cajun-Caesar Chicken Marinade


Ingredients::
1/2 cup light Caesar Vinaigrette
1 heaping tsp of Cajun Seasoning (I use Tony's)
1 heaping tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 lb chicken (I tend to buy boneless skinless breasts or thighs)

Directions::
Combine chicken with all marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag and allow to marinade for 30 minutes to overnight. The longer it marinades the better, but sometimes I have very little time. Preheat grill to medium high heat and grill until chicken is cooked through.

Cajun-Caesar Chicken Marinade via @labride


Now that it's grilling season, what are some of your favorite foods to grill?

 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I Heart Pinterest Wednesday

Pinterest - the mindless lifesaver. 

It's just Google, optimized for women. 
At least that's my opinion. 

Here's what I've loved this week...


I love this and want one for when we buy a house and I'm permitted to nail things into walls again. 


There are two drinks I swear by in this world other than coffee, Kombucha and Keifer. I honestly need to learn to make them both. 


As soon as I saw this I knew I had to make it with Joshua over Easter! We have been a peanut butter play-dough making family since the 90's. This could be revolutionary for us. 


Our PR trip is edging closer and I seriously need to hone my total of two skills. Those being turning on the camera and not dropping it yet. 


I made this for lunch Sunday and served it with chopped salad and some Jalapeno Jack Pretzel Chips, total girl meal. I adored it and Jeremy wanted more "food."


Let's be real honest, I haven't thrown a "party party" since Jeremy last graduated. With graduation being a full 1 1/2 hours away I don't get that option this time either. I really need to find a reason to make this. It blows my other uses for a tiered tray out of the water. 


Ellie has become obsessed with these; if she hears the fridge open she comes running to see if she is getting a treat. You kinda have to keep them in the fridge to keep them from molding, but maybe that's just a South Louisiana humidity issue. 


As if I needed another reason to salvage doors around here. 


Follow me on Pinterest for my favorite pins all week long!


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