Tuesday, July 26, 2016

BBQ Chicken, Snoodles, and Slaw Salad

I really wish I could come up with some catchy way to say BBQ Chicken with more S's. Slathered S'poultry? Nope.

On to the recipe! Or, rather, helpful instructions!

I've been craving some sweet potatoes lately, and I also recently found the spiralizer kitchen gadget that I bought months ago! When you spiralize a sweet potato, what do you get? Snoodles, apparently! (per my friend that's what they're called, so if that's not the case, I blame her)

If you're unfamiliar with a spiralizer, it essentially is this gadget that cuts vegetables into long strands of noodles. It's pretty sweet. Google that, stat.

My darling decided he was going to make broccoli & cauliflower salad, which is delicious, and obviously needed to be consumed with gusto and an appropriate main dish.

So. Between my craving for sweet potatoes, and the nummy slaw salad, and there being some leftover plain, cooked chicken in the fridge, adding BBQ chicken to the meal was a no-brainer.

Step 1: Make Slaw Salad. Chop broccoli, cauliflower, and crispy bacon pieces, and toss it all together with your preferred coleslaw dressing (and maybe add a little honey for some extra sweetness). Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Step 2: Spiralize your sweet potatoes, toss with some oil (or leftover bacon grease if you're awesome like me), and bake in a 400 F oven until tender.

Step 3: Chop your already cooked chicken, toss with your preferred BBQ sauce, put it in an oven-safe bowl, and pop it in the oven next to your snoodles to get all nice and toasty warm.

Serve the chicken over the snoodles, and the slaw salad on the side. Or all touching and happily coexisting in the same bowl like I did.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DIY Green Smoothie "Powder"

Right - so this whole idea started because I have SO MUCH CHARD in the garden right now. Like,
trimming and laying out the chard for dehydrating
I'm *almost* sick of eating it. Almost. So I decided to start preserving it now - and rather than go with the traditional freezing of the chard, I decided to dehydrate it! Super easy.

Step 1: Clean the chard.

Step 2: Dry the chard.

Step 3: Trim off the stems, and save those for making bean salad (use to replace the celery).

Step 4: Lay in a single layer in your dehydrator, or place right on the oven racks like I did.

Step 5: Put your oven on the lowest setting (mine goes down to 150 degrees F) and let it cook for... hours. Like, three hours, or until it's dry and crumbly.

Step 6: Put it all in a food processor and whip it, whip it good, until it's all finely ground.

Step 7: Store in an airtight container.
I'll call that done!

You can add it to green smoothies, soup, dip... and other cooking things. Sorry, not super creative with the how to use it right now. BUT I'm sure that you'll think of something!

BEWARE - allllll of that chard in the first photo dehydrated down to less than a cup of chopped, dried greens. Don't add a ridiculous amount to your smoothie, a whole salad's worth comes to just a couple of teaspoons. If you add more than that you take the risk of... well, probably a lot of time on the potty.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Stupid Beetles

Thing are growing fast! Especially the greens, we're harvesting lettuce and chard several times a
poor bean leaves
week and can barely keep up! We put in a row of raspberries, leaving room for more.

But you know what's not so cool? BUGS EATING MY STUFF. The beetles have arrived, and they're working their way through my beans. A bucket of hot, soapy water is one of my favorite ways to deal with beetles. Knock them off the leaves into the bucket and they drown. No pesticides, easy peasy.
bye bye bugs

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Egg White Peel Off Mask

You know those nose strips that you get damp, put on your nose, let dry, and when you peel them off it's like a forest of gross coming off your face?

You can DIY that for pennies and do YOUR WHOLE FACE. Just an egg white and some single ply toilet paper (or two ply separated in half).

I just did this tonight and it worked. Pretty sweet! No photos, because eww. We don't need to go there. Watch this video for the how-to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtOJ9URjTUY

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dinosaurs & Rainbows

Max had his sixth birthday party this weekend! Can you believe it? He's getting so big.

As is his usual, he requested a specific theme for his birthday party. This year was Dinosaurs & Rainbows. I can do that! He also invited his entire class... so I had to plan on approx 12 RSVPs and their parent(s). No problem... yeah. Slightly intimidating.

I did a few things to achieve this:

  • ordered a bag of 72 mini dinosaurs for favors
  • bought a freakin load of candy
  • filled the crockpot with hotdogs and bought five bags of various chips
  • had my friend Erin with Sweet E's make me some banging rainbow dinosaur cookies (which double as decorations when plated)
  • put out a bowl of multi colored mini marshmallows (huge hit!)
  • rainbow streamers
  • dinosaur themed table cover and rainbow themed plates
  • made dinosaur egg cake pops (like making regular cake pops but elongate one end of the ball so it's egg shaped before dipping)
  • made a dinosaur dig cake with a skeleton inside! I'm really proud of this one, it turned out great, and the kids thought it was fantastic!
  • as favors I made 21 dino egg pinatas. Paper mache + small balloons + spray paint + those mini dinos and all that candy + approx three hours of my life = EXTREMELY HAPPY GUESTS. Seriously, that was their favorite part of the party. I had them each choose one, then on three they smashed. It was glorious. The story behind why I would do something so ridiculous as make 21 egg pinatas? Well, Max REALLY wanted a pinata for his party, but it was eating at his sense of fairness that only one person would win. So his solution was that everyone has a pinata! Very fair, but I don't know if I'll do that again. It was easy, but very time consuming. In retrospect I didn't need 21, but the RSVPs were sketchy so I wasn't sure of the head count. In the end each guest got two (except Max) so it was doubly awesome for them.
I don't have pics of the pinatas, sorry. It was down to the wire getting those done, and by the time I remembered, they were smashed!
can you see the dino skull?
How about now? Can you see the skull?
The reveal! An Albertosaurus!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mermaid Hair Maintenance

HELLO Mermaid Hair! (Or unicorn hair, which is probably more appropriate with this photo - I swear the umbrella in the painting wasn't intended to look like I have a unicorn horn. Just a REALLY AWESOME coincidence.)

So - you went to the salon or DIY'd it, and now you have funky colored hair. NOW WHAT??? How do you maintain your lovely locks to keep that color as vibrant as possible as long as possible?

Want to know the big secret?


For reals.

Or, rather, don't shampoo it. The thing with having hair any color of the rainbow is that it's a temporary dye. It will only last 6-8 shampoos, and after that the color will fade pretty significantly. But don't despair! With some strategic hair care, you can totally get your color to last a solid month.

So what to do instead of shampoo? Here are some alternatives and my suggestions on frequency. Keep in mind that your hair may not be as silky soft as it is when you've shampooed and conditioned - but it'll still be clean! AND it'll be healthier because you won't be stripping (shampooing) and re-hydrating (conditioning) it constantly.

1: Rinse thoroughly with water. Get your fingers up in there and scrub your scalp, loosening the oils etc so that it will rinse out. Run your fingers through, squeegee out the water, and repeat. You can do this for 3-4 days at least before your hair will start to look funny. What's awesome about this method? Your hair will be easier to style! The residual oils will actually work a little like styling balm.

2: Wash your hair with cheap conditioner. Most inexpensive conditioners have mild surfacants in them that will gently clean your hair. You'll need quite a bit to work it all the way through your hair, more than you're used to. Get it really worked in, and don't forget your scalp, and run your fingers through several times. A wide toothed comb is handy for making sure you get it all the way through. Don't leave it on your hair for long, and rinse thoroughly. The longer you leave it on the more color will wash out. Personally I love the giant containers of conditioner with pumps from Costco.

3: Use cool water. Hot water opens up the hair shaft, allowing more of the color to escape. I hear it's also better for your skin to use cooler water (hint, hint). Don't freeze or anything, hypothermia isn't worth gorgeous hair, but avoid hot showers.

4: Use a depositing conditioner every other "wash." A what? These conditioners are tinted and will leave a little bit of color behind, slowing the fade. You've probably seen them in the drug stores for blonds, brunettes, and redheads. Using a blond conditioner is great for yellow and orange hair. Go for the redhead for orange and reds. To find the cooler toned conditioners you usually have to go to a beauty supply store (or online, which is my preference because I don't like shopping) Use blue tint for blue, green, and white hairs, and purple tint for purple, blue, silver, and white hair.

5: Don't over style. The more you fry your hair the more you have to condition, and the more color will be stripped as you condition it. Also three day old styling products get icky. Go as minimal as you can, maybe instead of product all over, just do the ends of your hair, or just the fly aways. Try changing up your hair style so its a little easier. Like - blow out and style on day 1, headband or barrettes pulling the hair away from your face on day 2, and a ponytail on day 3. Or just let your hair air dry and see what happens! Maybe your natural hair inclinations are good looking all on their own.

Questions? Hit me up in the comments!