Monday, March 30, 2015

March Madness and Sliders

Friday was all about Utes basketball. I was excited to watch them in the Sweet Sixteen but super nervous that they were taking on Duke. It felt like forever until game time and my stomach was doing flips the whole game. Unfortunately, we lost but the team did awesome and I am excited to cheer them on next season.

We invited my family over to cheer on the Utes and enjoy some delicious food. Nachos and cheeseburger sliders seemed like the perfect March Madness meal and it turned out great. Everyone loved the sliders! The savory of the meat and sweetness of the Hawaiian bun goes really well together. They will definitely be added to my easy, party foods recipes because they take no time and you can make multiple trays and feed an army. I will share the nacho recipe some other time because this post is all about the sliders.


2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
Chop up a medium onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 package of Hawaiian rolls
6-8 slices of cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl season ground beef with black pepper. Mix in bread crumbs, salt, and onions. I used my hands because it was easier that way.

3. Take a 9x13 pan and press ground beef mixture into it. Make sure you fill the pan and that the meat is in an even layer.

4. Cook for 30 minutes or until meat is cooked all the way. Carefully drain the liquid from the pan. The meat will shrink so that helps with the process. Add cheese over the meat and put back in the oven for another two minutes.

5. Let cool for a few minutes then cut the mixture up into smaller squares. I made fifteen.

6. Make slider to your liking. I put out ketchup, pickles, and mustard as options.



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer for Target

What more can a sorority girl want than for Target and Lilly Pulitzer to join forces!? I know some people are really upset about the whole thing but I am not one of them. Obviously the original Lilly brand is my favorite but I am excited about this collaboration. It's never a bad thing to be able to add more bright dresses to your closet.

Lilly Pulitzer is the perfect brand for summer. I love the bright colors and I feel a lot of her items (especially dresses) can be worn during the day while you're running errands and at night for a date night or drinks with the girls. All her items are preppy and feminine which is the perfect combination for my closet.

I have added it to my calendar to be at my local Target right when it opens on April 19th. I'm not expecting too much chaos here in my city but I will have my RBF on in case anything tries to get in my way. Below are the items I'm hoping to grab. All the pictures and information came from Target.

From left to right
1. Shift Dress- Happy Place
2. Turban Headwrap w/ Elastic Band- My Fans
3. Halter Top- Pineapple Punch
4. Shift Dress- See Ya Later
5. Embroidered Clutch- Nosie Posey
6. Wedge Espadrille Sandals- Gold
7. Linen Shift Dress- Girraffeeey
8. Espadrilles- Nosie Posey
9.  Challis Romper- Happy Place


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chicken Mushroom Stroganoff

This week has been a little rough. Starting on Monday afternoon until last night I had a stomach ache. As I started to feel better, The Husband got home from his work trip to New Mexico with a terrible cold. I know he's excited to relax this weekend and hopefully start to feel better.

Since today was the first day my appetite was normal I decided to make some chicken stroganoff. I had made it once before and it turned out great. It was even better the next day since the noodles had a chance to sit in the sauce overnight.

Chicken Mushroom Stroganoff
4 Tbs butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp rosemary
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup of sour cream
1/2 package egg noodles
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbs fresh parsley
2 cups diced chicken store bought (Like a rotisserie chicken)

1. Heat frying pan over medium heat and melt butter. Add onions and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for another five minutes or until tender.


2. Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Add thyme and parsley to noodles and mix well. Set aside and keep warm.

3. Add all the spices to the onion and mushroom mix except the thyme and parsley. Mix well. Add the chicken stock and turn up heat to simmer.

4. Add the sour cream and stir to combine. Sauce will begin to thicken. If you would like it thicker you can add a tsp or two of flour.

5. Add the chicken and cook a few more minutes to allow everything to get warm.

6. Serve noodles and pour sauce on top.




Monday, March 23, 2015

Go Utes

One of the things I was most excited about moving back to Utah was being able to go to events at the University of Utah. I had not been on campus since my graduation almost four years ago and I was excited to be able to be a part of all the fun. After all, I spent eight years there (my Bachelor's was a slow process) so I have quite the attachment.

Our Utah gymnastics team, the Red Rocks, are incredible. They have so much talent and always have the highest fan attendance in NCAA women's sports. I had never been to a meet before but saw that they were hosting the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships and bought tickets right away.

Saturday we drove up to Salt Lake to have lunch before the meet. I love that city so much! If you have never been you are missing out. It's beautiful and has so much going on. Anyway, for lunch we stopped at one of my favorite places. Hires Big H has delicious burgers and the fry sauce (a Utah staple) is to die for. The whole time I was in Colorado and I would order fries anywhere I would think back to Hires fry sauce and make a note to buy some online.


We got to campus early enough to walk around and make a visit to the bookstore to buy some merchandise. The campus is beautiful and it was fun to see all the new stuff that has been added to it. There was some picture taking, shopping, and reminiscing about the good old days. Then it was time for the meet!


My old dorm  
My first gymnastics experience was definitely one to beat. The crowd was awesome and the Red Rocks killed it! I did keep looking at my phone because the men's basketball team was playing Georgetown and I was dying to see how they were doing. I started jumping up and down when I looked down and saw they had won.They made the announcement over the sound system and the crowd went cray.



The Red Rocks won the Pac-12 championship to seal the perfect day for any Utah fan. It was such a good day and I was happy we got to go. We spent Sunday at home being lazy and watching March Madness. Since moving to Utah we hadn't had a weekend day where we were being lazy at home just the two of us. The lazy Sunday was the perfect way to end the weekend!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Seafood Alfredo

The cooking bug got me this last week and I decided to try something new for dinner on Friday. I love pasta and seafood and found a recipe I had printed out years ago for Olive Garden's seafood alfredo. It didn't look intimidating and I decided I was going to make the pasta and the cheese and garlic biscuits that I had made once before.

I was pretty nervous once I started cooking the pasta. I had never cooked scallops or shrimp and was worried I would overcook them. I followed the directions carefully to make sure I didn't end up wasting a pound of scallops. It would have been a tragedy if they had been under/overcooked.

Glad to report that it turned out great! Not to toot my own horn but my first bit was a delicious surprise. The Husband reacted the same way and my youngest sister confirmed my success by having three servings of it.

The pictures do not do it justice. The lighting in my kitchen is horrible and I just don't have the patience to carry my bowl of food around until I find good lighting. My dream house will for sure have lots of natural light in the kitchen! But since all you have are these sad pictures you will just have to trust me that it was delicious.

Seafood Alfredo
16 oz fettuccine noodles
1 pound scallops
1 pound small shrimp- deveined and no shells/tails
1 stick butter
4 Tbs olive oil
5 minced garlic cloves
4 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 and 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan cheese
1 and 3/4 cups of mozzarella cheese

1. Pre-heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the scallops for about 6 minutes. Stir in the shrimp & cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until done. Remove from the pan & set aside.


2. Put remaining two Tbs of olive oil into a saucepan and melt butter at medium-high heat. Add cream, garlic, and pepper and cook for about five minutes. Whisk often.

3. Slowly add the cheeses and continue stirring. Make sure to whisk often. This will take a few minutes to melt all the cheese completely. 


4. While the sauce is cooking, boil the noodles according to package instructions. 
5. Place pasta on serving plate and combine with seafood and sauce. You can also mix everything together.




Thursday, March 19, 2015

The DMV and the Cookie Bars

I got to spend my morning yesterday getting my car registered. After three and a half years of living in Colorado I had forgotten what it was like to get my car registered in Utah. I had to do the safety and emissions, get the vin number checked out, and head to the always fun DMV. The whole process wasn't too terrible but I forgot how pricey it can be once the whole process is over. In Colorado after the first vin check they just send you a reminder in the mail, you pay online, and you're done!

As I was thinking about how sad it was going to be to take off my Colorado plates I made a right turn and ended up right next to my youngest sister on her way to school. Luckily the light was red so we were able to make lunch plans for when she was done. I couldn't help but smile afterwards and think about how that could have never happened Colorado.

I had a little time to kill before our lunch date and was craving something sweet and really in a baking mood. I looked through Pinterest and found an easy and quick recipe on this blog and decided to give it a go. When we first moved in, I had told The Husband that I wanted to build up my baking pantry and have all the necessary things for most recipes. My pantry had everything the recipe called for! Plus, it required me to sift flour which I love to do. The cookie bars were great and it only took me a half hour including melting butter and clean up.

Cookie Bars
1/2 a cup of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda 
3/4 cups of chocolate chips (I also added butterscotch chips)

1. Melt butter in microwave safe dish. Let cool.

2. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. Mix well.

3. Add dry ingredients gradually. Mix well. Pour into greased 9x9 pan.

4. Add chocolate chips and mix a bit more. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Royal Weekend

This last weekend had some gorgeous weather and we took full advantage of it. The Husband decided he wanted to grill some ribs and that we should invite my family over on Saturday. It was a great time! The ribs were delicious, my mom brought her amazing potato salad, and we spent two hours playing loteria (it's kind of like Mexican Bingo). Since it is always better to have too much food than not enough, The Husband had bought like twenty pounds of ribs. Even with seven people we didn't make that big of a dent.

On Sunday we had Danny's sister come over to check out the apartment. Her kids loved the playground and it was adorable to see them hanging off The Husband and following him wherever he went. He even channeled his inner Jordan and showed his nephew how to dribble a basketball. His parents came over as well and we had some of the leftovers from the day before.

I was exhausted Sunday night but had remembered to set the DVR for the series premier of E's The Royals. As you can read in my about me section, one of my goals in life is to be bff's with Kate Middleton. When I saw the previews for the show I knew it was something I was going to at least check out. Maybe the Duchess would make a cameo, lol.

The first episode was pretty interesting although not the best television. The characters aren't very developed and they seem to want to remind you constantly that they have titles but it has me curious about what will happen. Princess Eleanor (daughter of Elizabeth Hurley's character) seemed to be the most interesting one of all. We meet her at the club where she is snorting everything in sight, drinking like a fish, and flashing her lady bits while dancing on a table to Natalia Kills' Problem. They want you to know that the song is in fact the story of her life when she arrives at the palace in a helicopter and is found cradling a bottle of champagne the way some of us simpletons cradled bottles of Jose Cuervo in college. 

Photo cred here
Alexandra Park plays the princess and seems to be destined to become the break out star of the series. Hurley plays the sexiest queen ever (her body is CRAY) and the King's brother seems to use Scar from The Lion King as his inspiration for the character. It's all very obvious but if you like trashy TV you should check it out.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Wednesday morning I was browsing on Pinterest for a healthy chicken recipe. One of the things I've enjoyed about being a housewife after the move is that I get to put more thought into our dinner menu each night. I came across a recipe for skinny chicken & broccoli casserole from a blog called Yummy Healthy Easy.

I had most of the ingredients in my fridge and thought it would be a nice, filling, and healthy dinner. I liked that it used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and all the protein to hold me over until breakfast the next morning.

The casserole was delicious and The Husband loved it as well. He actually took some leftovers for lunch the next day and I had some for lunch as well. I recommend it for anyone that wants a quick, cheap, and a bit healthier option for dinner. It made six servings.

Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 8-oz packages of mushrooms
2 cups of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of skim milk
1 16-oz package of broccoli
1 5.3-oz plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of light mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-qt. casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook broccoli according to package directions.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook mushrooms and onions until tender. Add chicken and cook all the way through. Drain pan if needed (I recommend not to drain it completely so the flour doesn't stick to the pan when you add it).


3. Sprinkle flour over chicken mixture and stir constantly for about a minute. Stir in the milk, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the broccoli and heat through. Add yogurt, mayo, salt, and pepper. Stir lightly to combine.


5. Pour into casserole dish, sprinkle cheese on top, and cook for 20 minutes. Enjoy!



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shaken, Not Stirred

On Sunday, The Husband and I met his parents for a delicious breakfast and then decided to stop by the second hand store. I love going to Savers here in town to look for books. Anytime I go there, I look for the books I loved as a little girl. Sweet Valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club were my absolute favorite in elementary school and I would still like to complete my collection and pass them on if I ever have a daughter.

I didn't find any books there but we decided to take a peak at the store next door. Right when we walked in I fell in love, deeply and all at once. Before I tell you what took my heart I need to explain that The Husband and I had been looking for a bar. The apartment we're in is turning into the most grown up one we have had. By this I mean everything matches and that it doesn't look like the one we had when we were in our early twenties. Our current dining room is spacious and since we love to have people over we decided that a bar would be the perfect addition to it.

For his birthday a few weeks ago, I gave him a bar tool set and book  about whiskey to get us started in the right direction. It had been sitting on the kitchen counter until I found its friend on Sunday morning. I liked the length, height, cabinets, and the fact that it was red because it would stand out from our black dining table and chairs. The Husband agreed on first sight so we pulled up the car and made the purchase. It got put together in about an hour and immediately gave the space the color it was lacking.

Currently the most represented drink is whiskey or bourbon (The Husband's drink of choice) but I am hoping to get it fully stocked and have all libations covered. His pride and joy is the Johnnie Walker Collection pack I got him for Christmas. He has been very exclusive about who he shares it with so we will see how long it stays on the bar before it gets moved to the cabinet.

Besides alcohol, I need to start keeping olives, lemons, and other garnishes around. I hope we can have it fully stocked by summer. I also gave The Husband a grilling tool set for his birthday so I'm hoping the summer will be filled with yummy grilled burgers and delicious drinks.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dirty Thirty Part Deux

My thirtieth birthday was Friday and it was as special as I hoped it would be. The Husband surprised me by coming home from work early and taking me out to lunch. He bought me some yummy treats and the most beautiful flowers. 

Along with the treats and flowers, he gave me a card telling me that after lunch with his family the next day we wouldn't be coming home and I needed an overnight bag and a cocktail dress.  I am bad with surprises because once I know that something is happening I turn into a child. However, he did a good job keeping the secret and Saturday after lunch he led me to the car and drove off.

We ended up in Salt Lake City at the Hotel Monaco. The hotel is a hotel we would go to when we lived in Salt Lake anytime we wanted to have a romantic evening. It is right in downtown so everything is close and the staff is always friendly and attentive. I have also always been obsessed with the decor. I feel like they have the perfect combination of modern and sophistication.

The Lobby, I call the couch the seashell
Our room
For dinner, we went to the restaurant in the hotel called Bambara. The food is delicious and it has such a great atmosphere. I ordered the scallops because I am obsessed and was beyond stuffed at the end. We then made our way over to the bar and I had the most delicious cosmopolitan ever.

Overall, the weekend was perfect! I hadn't spent a birthday with my family in a few years so it was nice to spend my birthday evening with them and eat cake and have tequila shots. The first few days of being thirty were incredible and I can't wait to see what the next 360 days will be like.