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Monday, August 31, 2009

Honey Nut Chicken and Oven-baked Fries

There is a restaurant here in Louisville called the Hall of Fame Cafe which has the best walnut crusted chicken - its in their Honey Nut Chicken Salad and its what I order every single time we eat there. Their chicken is fried so I wanted to try to make a healthier version. (And I really wanted fries to go with it.)

Honey Nut Chicken
(Serves 2-3)

1 package of chicken breasts
3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of AP flour
1 egg
1 T spicy mustard
1 T honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound thin. Combine egg, mustard, honey, S&P and whisk together in a shallow bowl. Combine flour, walnuts, S&P on a plate. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, then transfer to the baking pan. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Oven-Baked Fries
(Serves 2 -3)

2 Russet potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
Lawry's seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean 2 large potatoes. Cut each potato into thin strips. Soak the fries in a bowl of hot water for approximately 20 minutes. Mix with olive oil and spices and spread onto a baking pan lined with foil in a single layer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, turning about half way through.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blueberry Scones

I decided to try making scones after seeing this on Brown-Eyed Baker earlier this week. I've never made scones before but it seemed easy enough.
The scones look pretty and taste pretty good. The blueberries add a nice juicy tartness to them. I think they could use a little more sugar as they are a little plain in my opinion, but they are light and fluffy like the should be and I'll call it a success for my first attempt. The recipe said it makes 12 scones but I cut mine into 16 slices. I didnt have any sanding sugar so I just used regular granulated sugar.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Water + Cars = Miserable

About 3 weeks ago, we got hit with major flash flooding. The parking lot where I work was completely flooded, and a lot of people's cars, including mine, were damaged.

See that car out in the middle by itself - that would be mine - after I tried to move it and it died because the exhaust was under water. It was a great day for me. I ended up having a car with water up to the seat cushions that wouldnt start for 2 days. Since then I've been dealing with the insurance company and the dealership. Its miserable.

The insurance company doesnt want to fix anything and claims it's fine but the car still smells awful and they replaced the carpets and bottoms of the seats but not the seat backs. They say the seat backs weren't wet - although they didnt inspect until 5 days after the flood so it was dry by then. Now the seat backs dont match the seat bottoms. I filed another complaint and the adjuster came to see it today. He claims he can't see the different colors and can't smell anything. Great... this is turning out wonderfully.

I'm pretty much fed up with this and just want to sell my car at this point - I'm looking at buying one of these...

The Mazda CX-7. Only I will get most likely get black - because like Henry Ford, I think the only color a car should be is black.

Hopefully the adjuster calls me back with some good news soon and I can be done with this mess.

Quick and easy dinner

Last night I finally decided to cook something, my poor husband has been eating out or having popcorn for dinner quite a bit lately. However, I didn't have a lot of time and I wanted to use up some of the stuff that's been in our pantry awhile so I came up with this...

(Excuse the iPhone picture please)

Rotini with Ground Turkey:

(Makes 4 large servings)

  • 3/4 box of whole wheat rotini or other short pasta
  • 12 oz of lean ground turkey
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 jar of marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup of red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Approximately 1 T. of minced garlic
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1 tsp.)
  • Approximately 2 T. of fresh oregano
  • Approximately 4 T. of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet over med-high heat. At the same time, start the water for the pasta. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the onion and garlic, when the onions are translucent, add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and let simmer. When most of the liquid is cooked off, add the roasted red peppers and marinara sauce. Meanwhile, add salt to the boiling water for the pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, drain. Add the drained pasta to the meat sauce and toss together. Let simmer another couple of minutes for flavors to combine. Top each serving with some oregano and cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009


In an effort to lose the pounds that I have gained since the wedding and save a few bucks, I'm going to start bringing my lunch to work again. I was doing pretty well at this before the wedding but got really bored (and lazy too).

So Day 1... I made my standard spinach salad (recipe below), brought a Dannon Light n'Fit Yogurt and an apple. I'm also going back to drinking water all day long. I gave up Diet Coke about 5-6 months ago, a serious cut back since I had drank 2+ cans of soda every day since about freshman year of high school. I was getting headaches if I didnt have caffeine and figured it couldnt be healthy so I quit. I only cheated about 4 or 5 times in the 3 months before the wedding but like everything else diet related, that went out the window when we left for the honeymoon. I figured I was on vacation, so I could have Diet Coke if I wanted to. Although its still a "once in a while" kind of thing, I have definitely been drinking more and more of it lately and I dont think its doing me any favors. Even though it doesnt have any calories, it also doesn't have any nutritional value.

Strawberry Spinach Salad:
(Makes 1 serving)

2 cups of baby spinach
6-8 strawberries (hulled and quartered)
1 T. crumbled Feta cheese
1 T. chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
1 T. Craisins
1 T. fat-free poppyseed dressing

Mix together and add dressing just before eating. Adding grilled chicken to this makes it an excellent dinner salad.

I regularly rotate in other dressings including honey mustard vinagrette (I really like the Wishbone salad spritzer version) and Raspberry Vinagrette (Ken's Raspberry-Pomegranite Lite is good).

Friday, August 21, 2009


Let me introduce you... I'm a 27-year old newlywed working lots of hours and trying to make the most out of life. I love experimenting in the kitchen, decorating and remodeling our house, and gardening. I grew up in Iowa, went to school in Pittsburgh, then moved to Kentucky. I've been here for 5 years now. I met Todd when I started grad school at UofL. Todd was born and raised in Louisville and has been here ever since. My husband is also 27, working his way through the world of electrical distribution, loves to play golf, and watch any Louisville sporting event.

We have 2 crazy mutts - Coco and Cassius - who keep us entertained and vaccuuming. Coco (the black one) is a rottweiler/lab mix and is 5 years old. She was diagnosed with epilepsy last year but is doing well so far on her medication. Cassius (the brown one) is a boxer/husky mix. He has characteristics of both - jumping on everyone and using his front paws for everything like a boxer and digging massive amounts of holes in our backyard like a husky. Overall they are both good dogs though.

So far this summer has been a busy one for us. We got married on June 6th in Louisville and then honeymooned in the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana.

It was a great vacation and a beautiful island. We stayed at the Excellence Punta Cana.

After we got back we took a trip to Iowa for an open house with my family and friends who couldn't make it to the wedding.
The next weekend, was another wedding as one of our great friends got married and I was the matron of honor.
Then we had a couple weeks off to catch up and get the house back in order before heading to Pittsburgh for one of my college roomie's weddings. It was great getting to see the girls from school again. We always have so much fun together, I wish they lived closer.
Finally, we made it to August where life has slowed down a little bit and we've been able to relax and enjoy the rest of summer at a slower pace.

This blog is mostly a form of entertainment for me now that my wedding is over and I dont have anything to plan. I plan to share recipes, diy projects, and other happenings in our life so hopefully it will keep you entertained.

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