Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken!

Good afternoon friends! How is everyone's February going? We just had about 4 days of rain, storms, and cold weather- then today it's sunny, beautiful, and about 70 degrees. Gotta love Florida weather. I'm just so grateful for the sunshine today! The constant rain was making me so lazy! It's just hard to feel productive when the view outside is so dreary. Slow cooker meals are my fave for a rainy day, because they do all the work for you! So you can grab your snuggie and your puppy (or kitty) and catch up on your DVR. Or you know do something productive if you're more motivated than I. 
I saw a recipe on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago for a crockpot salsa chicken, and it sounded so yummy! The only issue I had with it was that it included cream of chicken soup and some other kinda sketch ingredients. So I said to myself, let's clean this up a bit and make a meal out of it. Turns out Chicken + Organic salsa + Rotel + slow cooker= DELICIOUSNESS. You don't need anything else. If you want to make it even CLEANER, in place of the salsa and rotel just chop some tomatoes, peppers, and onions. That's essentially what's in there anyways. Make sure to add some seasoning too, of course. 

About 2-3 Chicken Breasts
1 Jar Your Fave Salsa
1 Can Rotel (Tomatoes & Chiles)
1 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning (mine is here)
Step 1: Place your chicken in the crock of your slow cooker in an even layer.
Step 2: Pour the salsa and rotel over the chicken and top with the taco seasoning.
Step 3: Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Step 4: Pull your chicken breasts out and shred with 2 forks, OR if you have a stand mixer toss your chicken in the bowl and use the paddle attachment on 1 or 2 for 30 seconds to get the perfect shred with zero work. (TOLD YOU I WAS LAZY!)
Perfectly shredded chicken, every time!
Step 5: Put your shredded chicken back into the salsa sauce and stir to coat completely. Put slow cooker on "warm" and let the chicken soak up the sauce while you set up your taco bar. Or salad bar. Or however you wanna eat this chicken...
Our Taco Bar! Avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, & Lettuce
ENJOY! We used low-carb tortillas to make to make tacos, but this chicken is great over a salad or wrapped up in lettuce for a carb-less taco! Yum!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef & Broccoli!

I've got a good one for y'all today! This is probably my hubby's FAVORITE dinner. Which makes me super happy, because it is sooo easy! The crockpot does all the work for you, you just chop the steak & veggies. It's like takeout Chinese that's waiting for you when you get home. Minus the MSG. And way cheaper. Skirt steak/flank steak is SO CHEAP! I bought the particular one in this post at the commissary for $3.50. The ENTIRE meal ran me less than $5. 2 servings. <$2.50 a piece. Can you beat that at the local Chinese food joint? I DON'T THINK SO. 
Pretty right?! Okay I'm done talking- you need this recipe. Now.

1 lb. Skirt steak or Flank steak
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Hoisin Sauce (find in the Asian food aisle, next to Soy Sauce)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Fresh or Frozen Broccoli

Step 1: Cut your steak into strips.
Step 2: Place your steak strips into a gallon sized ziploc bag. Pour corn starch over the steak and toss to coat. Let rest, & make the sauce while the steak is resting.
Not the clearest picture, but that's the steak in the bag coated in corn starch. Promise.
Step 3: In a medium sized bowl whisk together garlic, soy sauce, water, hoisin sauce, & brown sugar.
Step 4: Place your steak strips in the crock of your slow cooker, pour sauce over top.
Place top on slow cooker & cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. When you're about 20 minutes away from eating toss in some broccoli. Stir to combine everything, replace top and let cook an additional 20-30 minutes on low. EAT.
Enjoy :-)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon!

Happy Friday everybody! Did you have a super lovely Valentine's Day?! I really think the whole day is blown out of proportion, honestly. No- I'm not one of those anti- V-Day people ranting on Facebook all day about the "Hallmark Holiday" I LOVE love. I just think it puts a lot of pressure on people. The roses and chocolate and teddy bears and expensive dinners- oh my! I just don't like it when it becomes all about the material things. Sure, when we were in high school I loved when my hubbs (boyfriend at the time!) brought me the giant teddy bear and roses so I could show off to all my of friends- because that was HIGH SCHOOL. Nowadays Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are like a High School hallway everyone showing off their goods! We went for a super low-key holiday, I told my boo I would cook him a great dinner and he should bring the champagne and chocolate (chocolate is non-negotiable!). We watched The Silver Linings Playbook which was a great movie and I cooked this:
Bacon. Wrapped. Filet. Mignon. So fancy right?! SO EASY! Seriously one of the easiest meals I've ever made, but it's so impressive! I know Valentine's Day is over, but the next time you really want to knock the socks off of your sweetheart I recommend this steak. They will think you are a gourmet chef- but you will know it was super simple. And most importantly, DELICIOUS. 

Let's talk about the filets for a minute. Picking out a good cut of meat isn't an easy task. I was super lucky and received this little package from one of my FAVE companies Certified Steak & Seafood last week:
That's filet Mignon and Chilean sea bass. Um, yum. What's so great about Certified Steak & Seafood? Here's the 411: They used to deliver exclusively to high end fancy schmancy restaurants but have recently begun shipping to regular 'ol Joes like you & I! They have high quality cuts of beef & uhhh-mazing seafood. See those cuts of fish?! GORGEOUS. Check them out at www.certifiedsteakandseafood.com and right now (valid through Feb. 28, 2013!) if you use the code FBR125D you'll get $25 off your order! Winning! I liked to follow them on their Facebook page too (https://www.facebook.com/certifiedsteak?ref=ts&fref=ts) because they're always posting discounts and contests! Alright now let's get to it...

2 Filet Mignon
2 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Slices Bacon

Step 1: Season both sides of the filets with Montreal Steak Seasoning (or your fave steak seasoning):
Step 2: Place steaks in a gallon sized ziploc bag and add olive oil and soy sauce. Toss to coat and let marinate for at least an hour:
Step 3: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a cast iron skillet (or a heavy bottomed skillet of choice) heat olive oil on medium- high heat:
Step 4: While oil is heating up wrap a slice of bacon around each filet and secure with a toothpick:
Step 5: Place steaks seasoned side down into hot oil, cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until you have a pretty seared steak:
Step 6: When you have seared both sides of the steak, place cast iron skillet (or transfer steaks to an oven safe pan if you are using a regular skillet) in the pre-heated oven. For a rare steak, cook about 5 minutes, for medium rare about 10 minutes, for medium-well about 15 minutes. (cooking times will depend on thickness of steaks- keep an eye on them!)
Those are my Italian roasted potatoes on the bottom rack! Perfect side dish.
Step 7: When cooked to desired done-ness, pull steaks out and let rest for about 5 minutes to redistribute the juices. Serve! Enjoy!
So fancy, but so easy- right?! And a little love collage I made because I KNOW y'all wanna see how cute my hubby and I are:
 Don't forget to check out Certified Steak & Seafood for all of your beautiful cuts of meat & fish!  

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Wicker Dresser & A Pinterest Tip!

I recently let y'all in on my little furniture upcycling secret. It's been a lot of fun and a super affordable way to furnish my new house... Up until this dresser. This dresser sucked. I was going to do a whole tutorial on my process, but this was NOT the piece for that. Instead I'm just going to show you the pictures and tell you that you probably shouldn't take on a wicker piece of furniture unless it's totally free. It's a really big pain in the butt. Here was what the dresser looked like when I salvaged her from a little antique shop:
Yes those are lightning bolts. I don't know what would possess a person to put lightning bolts on a wicker dresser, but that's what it looked like. What you can't tell from this picture is that the paint on the dresser was obviously very cheap spray paint. Shiny and thick and not painted well. A hot mess. I took all of the hardware off, removed the drawers and the doors and the interior shelf and sanded everything down as best I could. Then I sprayed the entire piece with white Krylon primer. I taped off the wood edge details and then sprayed the dresser with Krylon "Ocean Breeze". I went over the wood details with white paint and replaced all the hardware, drawers, doors, and shelf. Finished project looked like this:
Pretty big improvement right? 
This dude was a beast. Took me a good long while. I hate wicker. End of story. 
ANYWAYS the other thing I was going to tell y'all was this little Pinterest tip I picked up the other day. Shaving with baby oil instead of soap/shaving cream. It's supposed to extend the life of your razor (which I love because I'm a cheap-o & razors are expensive!) and give you a closer shave. I tried it out and I LOVED it. 2 days later and my legs are still super smooth, but the BEST part was that when I got out of the shower my legs were so moisturized! Usually I have to put on a ton of lotion immediately after showering because I have very dry skin, I didn't use any lotion and my legs were perfectly hydrated. Easy peezy. Bonus: saves me money on razors & lotion! Just thought I'd pass that little tidbit along :-) 

Hope everyone has a great day... I've got a Thai recipe coming up this week so stay tuned!