Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lookout World...

...

I've started scrapbooking!

As you might know, one of my goals for 2012 is to make a Miller scrapbook. So I began that project recently and I am having a blast!

Here are some photos!



I'm having a blast! 

Anyone have any scrapbooking tips or tricks to share?

All for now,

Alexandra

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recipe Duds {#s 36, 37 & 38}

Since I am posting these recipes after I have made them, I go out of order sometimes. 

For that reason, and for saving time I am lumping 3 recipes that were not very good into the same entry.

Here we go! 

Cream Cheese Chicken {crock pot}


It was ok. But it served A LOT. So we were eating this for a while, and it got old very very fast.

Apple Bran Muffins

I don't have a picture of this one, but it was not very exciting. I wanted to use up some apples, but they ended up being wasted anyhow. I think it would have been better with more apples, and all of the bran ground up. I didn't like the chewy full pieces of bran.


Apple Puffed Pancake


I think this one would have been good but something went wrong in the baking process. It reminded me of monkey bread a little bit. I think I would want to try making it again. It just turned out pretty eggy in the middle which wasn't what we wanted. The outside was really good, so I think that if it was all that way it would be really really good. I will let you know if I try it again :)


We drizzled it with Honey, because we were out of maple syrup and dusted it with cinnamon sugar. This made it pretty darn tasty minus the eggy middle. Again, I am excited to try this one again! :)

Any tips for puffed pancake recipes out there?

All for now,

Alexandra

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Mom! 


We love you! {and we are glad that you put up with our silliness} :)


Love,

Jess, OE and Alex {& Kyle!}

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jambalaya {recipe #35}

Sometimes you just need a meal that is a little something out of the ordinary!

Why not try this jambalaya recipe to spice things up a little?!?

Jambalaya
{Borrowed, Adapted and Enjoyed from: Country Woman Magazine}


This recipe serves 9 so we cut it in half for ourselves.

Ingredients: 

6 fully cooked sausages {any kind, spicy, mild.. chicken etc}
1/2 lb chicken tenderloin cut into small slices 
1 T. olive oil
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 (14 1/2 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp. cajun seasoning

1) In a large pot {we use our dutch oven} saute sausage and chicken in oil for 5 minutes. Add the veggies and saute again for 6-8 minutes.
2) Stir in broth, tomatoes, rice and spices.
3) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Make sure to stir often so it doesn't stick to the bottom!
4) Let stand for 5 minutes! Its HOT! :)

Enjoy!

What is your favorite recipe to spice up your weekly menu?

All for now,
Alexandra

*this recipe is also wonderful for mardi gras season!*

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Breakfast Burritos {recipe #34}

One of the simplest, tastiest meals you can make is breakfast for dinner. 

Often times when I forget to clean the crock pot or if I have an evening exam, breakfast is my go-to dinner solution. 

Breakfast burritos are something that my dad makes a lot at home. I always loved that for breakfast, so why not make it for dinner.

Here is the "recipe" that Kyle and I use.

Breakfast Burritos


Ingredients:

Eggs - we use 3-5 depending on how hungry we are
a splash of milk
a sprinkle {to taste} of cajun seasoning
a handful of chopped veggies {onions, bell peppers, mushrooms..}
butter or oil
hashbrowns {eye ball it}
cheddar or jack cheese {shredded}

*note* We don't usually add meat because it doesn't seem necessary, but if you want to add cooked sausage or bacon it also works well. We just use whatever we have on hand, which is typically chopped veggies :)

Equipment:

Griddle pan

Instructions:

1) Warm griddle pan and add oil or butter. When it melts add hashbrowns {season if desired} to one side and veggies to the other. {or cook all together}. 
2) Meanwhile, beat eggs, seasoning and milk together. When hashbrowns and veggies are cooked, add the egg mixture and cook as you would scrambled eggs.
3)When eggs are done add cheese to the top, turn off the heat and let it melt.
4) Add egg mixture and potatoes to warm tortillas. Serve with salsa of choice. {you could also serve with guacamole or sour cream}

Enjoy!

What is your favorite quick breakfast recipe?

All for now,

Alexandra

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thank God for Dirty Dishes


Thank God for Dirty Dishes

They have a tale to tell,
While other folks go hungry,
We're eating very well.
With home and health and happiness,
We shouldn't want to fuss.
For by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us!

This poem was found hand written into an old cookbook and then added to our family cookbook for a reunion. 

I think it is really special and a wonderful reminder in these tough economic times. This was written during a time when people were having similar struggles as we are today and the people in my family kept this as a reminder of how blessed they were. 

Next time you are worried or overwhelmed {by dishes or otherwise} remember how lucky you are. Cherish what you have and do what you can to bring that feeling to others. You are more blessed than you realize, so share some of that with those in need.

What is your favorite keep positive saying?

All for now,

Alexandra

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Snapshots of The Black Keys & Arctic Monkeys // Tulsa, OK // May 2012


I love them too, just not as much as Kyle. :)

So when we heard that they were going to be near us we bought tickets sort of as an extension of Kyle's birthday gifts. 

We were originally going to see them in St. Louis since we love it there, but it sold out. 

At first I was bummed that we would have to go to Tulsa for the show, but it ended up being much cooler then I thought!

I apologize for the pictures, they don't want to be my usual picture size, so I made them smaller for better quality.

We found an Irish pub {Public House} for dinner called James E. McNellie's. We love pub food and thought it sounded fun.


When we walked in we were pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and amount of people packed inside. It was clear that this is a hot spot in Tulsa.


Cool wall art.


We waited 30+ minutes for a seat but on a Saturday night it was definitely worth it! As we were being seated the wait was over an hour and a half! We started off by ordering mozzarella sticks for our appetizer. They were DELICIOUS! The marinara was a real treat!


I ordered the Shepherd's pie, a favorite of mine. It did not dissapoint. I also got a cup of the potato leek soup which was fantastic! It would have made a great meal on its own!


Kyle got chicken fingers, but pub chicken fingers are way better than normal plus they had a house BBQ that he was excited to try.


Then we headed off to the concert. We parked in a parking garage {$5} and walked the short distance to the really interesting looking BOK center.


We got there and the Arctic Monkeys were opening. I personally enjoy them. I would recommend their 'whatever people say I am that's what I'm not' album. Its pretty punk-y and has a really thick English accent, but its great! I was happy that they played some of their older stuff along with the newer stuff that I don't know. The performance wasn't visually exciting from far away, but the music was great and the lead singer was entertaining. He said 'Tulsa' a lot. In his really thick British accent it was really funny and came out more like 'Tulsaaarr'. :)


After a quick break the Black Keys came onstage. They are really wonderful live and it was really fun to watch. The light shows and staging were really cool. We had a lot of fun!


Then they ended the concert, but due to persistent fans came back out for an amazing encore. They played a song that I really like called Everlasting Light and used a few disco balls and lights to make an incredible display!


After the show we went outside and saw these really pretty trees! 


The show was great, the food was great, Tulsa ended up being a much cooler city than we expected. I wouldn't hesitate to go back for another show sometime in the future.

Read/see kyle's account of the night here.

Where are your favorite concert venues? Where are your favorite surprisingly cool cities?

All for now,

 Alexandra 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Parmesan Red Pepper Crusted Tilapia {recipe #33}

This is a nice light meal, that is easy to make and VERY flavorful!

Parmesan Red Pepper Crusted Tilapia

{Borrowed, Enjoyed and Adapted from: Busy Family Dinners}


Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 Tilapia fillets

1 or 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup REAL Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup Egg {whipped up} or Egg Substitute 

1) Whisk up 1 egg with or without a bit of milk in a bowl. In another bowl add the pepper flakes, spices and cheese. 

2) Dredge {dip} the fillets in the egg mixture and then the cheese mixture. Repeat until all are covered.

3) Place fillets in a baking dish {we used our silpat lined cookie sheets}. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with your favorite salad and bread! 

Enjoy!

What is your favorite easy fish dish?

All for now,

Alexandra

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ACURE Organics: The Perfect Skincare Line

The beginning of this is dense, but stick with me! Its VERY important and you get to the good stuff when you scroll down I promise! :)

If you are like me your skin is not perfect. {this already sounds like a Proactiv commercial... don't worry its not..} I had acne from the time I was 11 or so until the present. I have always struggled to find something that works for my skin. I've now found it, and I couldn't be happier.

...a little bit of the story...

Before our engagement party in June 2011 I was offered a free facial from a popular skin care brand. The consultant was extremely nice and the products looked great. I got swept up in wanting to be a part of a group and a company that had so many good values. However along the way I realized that what was IN the products reflects a big part of that company's values. My face started to feel sticky after I used the products, some even hurt a little. So I decided to look up the ingredients and was truly disappointed with what I found. Full of parabens and chemicals that can't be easily translated into something recognizable. I was really torn on what to do. I had made this great connection with the consultant as well as another person and I didn't want to ruin it. I really believed in some of the things that the company implemented, but the ingredients were too important to overlook. I just couldn't get my skin accustomed to something so bad for me and bad for the environment.

So I sent it all back, cleared my head {heh, heh}and went to the Merc, our local health food store. There I was in a daze, I had no idea what to look for in natural skin care products, but I needed to just dive in. It was then that I stumbled across ACURE organics.

and now I am in love.


ACURE organics is made in Florida by a family owned company with some great morals. ACURE products are all made from natural ingredients {no parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, thalates or artificial colors} and contain some fair trade and organic ingredients as well. They do NOT test on animals. Their packaging is made from Post consumer recycled content. They donate much of their proceeds to charities that focus on cancer research, including Bright Pink.

I was really blown away by the wonderful values of this company!

Here is what I bought & Why I like it: 

Facial Cleansing Gel superfruit + chlorella growth factor


Great Cleanser!! Its light and foamy! Removes makeup and dirt really really well! Lasts a really long time, you only need a small amount to effectively clean your face. Its a bit pricey for the size but again, it lasts a LONG time because you don't need to use a lot each time. 

{this picture was taken after 5 months of use!}

Cost: ~$15

facial toner rose + red tea


This toner really really helps my skin. I am really fair so I tend to get pink and red splotches, this toner is fantastic!! Plus I like the smell. This is going the fastest for me.. but I think I use more than I need to... ;)

Cost: ~$16

seriously firming facial serum


This is a product that I bought separately after I had started the entire line, but its quite possibly my favorite part! Its a really nice oil {you only need a tiny tiny bit!} that firms your skin. I'm only 21 so I really don't have very many "fine lines" but I do have some acne scars etc. This serum is full of antioxidants and antinflammatories that really firm my skin in these trouble areas and I can actually see a BIG difference in the appearance of my scars! This stuff is magic! {but not full of hormones or plastic-y chemicals!}

Cost: ~$23

 Oil Control Day Cream


This is a really great moisturizer for day! Its light and keeps oily skin under control {great for summer}. You only need one little pump from this tiny bottle to cover your entire face, so like the cleanser it lasts a while. This doesn't leave your face sticky! The one downside is that if you use this after the firming serum it takes away some of the oil in it. So I would avoid the area you added the serum to, or just use the serum after.

Cost: ~$19

chlorella growth factor + pomegranate night cream


This night time moisturizer is really great. Its thicker than the day cream and helps firm your skin as you sleep with their chlorella growth factor. Again, one little pump from this small bottle covers your entire face. Bonus: your face isn't left sticky!

Cost: ~$20

superfruit + chlorella eye cream


This is the product that I have bought most recently. I bought it because I had been wearing more eye makeup and it was starting to irritate the skin around my eyes when I removed it. This cream is really nice. It really reduces puffiness and redness under the eyes. It also reduces fine lines which is a bonus. You only need a TINY bit each time, which means that this will last a long time like the cleanser. 

~$19 

So overall I spent $112 on 6 products, that are lasting a LONG time! So far MORE than worth it!

The new products are good for me, good for the earth and my skin looks and feels great! 

I have been using them for almost a year and I could not be more pleased! I am still using the original bottle of almost everything!

If you are interested in ACURE organics, check your local health food store or click here to buy online.

For a list of things to avoid in your skin care products click here.

If you have any questions feel free to ask! The health of your skin, body and of the earth are very important! So don't take your products lightly!

A great way to start is to switch your products as your run out of them, {rather than buying a whole new line} your skin and the earth will thank you!

I have since bought a few more of their products that I will be blogging about soon! Stay tuned! :)

All for now,

Alexandra

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Veggie Pot Pie {recipe 32}

One one particularly cold spring day I made this veggie pot pie.

It was easy, delicious and very warm. 

Its perfect for a cold or rainy day!

Veggie Pot Pie

{Borrowed and Enjoyed from: College Vegetarian Cooking by Megan and Jill Carle}


Ingredients:

3 potatoes

2 carrots

1 small onion

8 oz of mushrooms {we didn't think this was necessary}

2 cups water

1 veggie bouillon cube

1 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry {thawed!, the rest from the upside down chicken pot pie?}

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2) Peel and cut veggies into small pieces.

3) Place water, bouillon and veggies in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas to the pan.

4) In a bowl, mix dry ingredients and milk, stirring until smooth. Slowly add the milk mixture to the pan, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

5) Pour the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish and top with the sheet of puff pastry. Press the edges of the pastry down so it sticks to the sides of the pan. Cut 4 slits in the top of the pastry.

6) Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!


Your puff pastry will probably have creases in it where it was folded and frozen, but that's ok it tastes good! :)

All for Now,

Alexandra