Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My favorite recipe and craft blog!

If you're looking for a fun website for detailed recipes and fun crafty things (and other vital information) by someone who is engaging, charismatic, and a little loony (like me!), look no further than MISSBUTTERBEAN.  Am I just sweet talking this blogger because she's one of my greatest friends in real life? Maybe a little...but only because I can't get enough of the food she makes!  Jenny and I have been friends for over a year, and I'm still amazed at the talent she has in the kitchen.  Of the recipes on her blog, I've taste-tested at LEAST six items she's made (and that's only off the top of my head!).  I've sat on her couch and watched her make countless wreaths while we'd watch terrible movies.  It's become a staple of my social hour!  She's full of vim and vigor, sugar and spice, and so many other things. So head on over to her blog...there's something there you'll love!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Italian Chicken

Today for dinner, I'm making Italian Chicken.  This is a pretty simple recipe I use as a go-to on days that I want something that tastes fancy but isn't costly.

I started out with a pack of ten chicken breasts, but I only used six for this recipe.  I like having some left over chicken so I can do other things with it later.  I poured Italian dressing into two sandwich baggies for the chicken breasts to marinate.  Before I put the chicken in, I put little slits into them so the dressing can slosh around inside and out, making the chicken savory and flavorful.  I usually let them marinate overnight, but I was really craving this recipe today, so I let them juice up for about four hours.  I went shopping earlier for a zucchini, a squash, and a container of mushrooms.  I sliced them up and stored them in the fridge until I was ready to get cookin'. 

I set the oven to 350 degrees and got my ingredients ready.  In a glass casserole dish, I poured the chicken and dressing out and separated them evenly.  I added more dressing to the dish because I don't want the chicken to dry out during cooking!  Once I put the chicken in the oven, I got my vegetables out and set the kitchen timer for ten minutes.  When the timer went off, I flipped the chicken over so the sides would cook evenly.  I checked the centers to see how they were doing and everything seemed to be cooking beautifully!  I sloshed them around a bit to get more dressing everywhere and set the timer for another ten minutes.

Once the second timer went off, I was ready to put the vegetables in.  This time, I only set the timer for seven minutes, which was plenty.  The chicken was cooked all the way through and the vegetables were cooked, but still had the right amount of crisp. 

This recipe can go great over pasta, too!  I usually put it over penne or rotini, but all I had was spaghetti.

Unfortunately, I was in such a rush making this that I didn't even think to take more pictures.  I didn't know I'd be posting about this, but here I am!  Luckily, I did get an image of the finished product: 

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Saving Raine: The Drone Wars (Book 1)

If you haven't seen it yet, the trailer for Frederick Lee Brooke's Saving Raine, the first book in his Drone Wars series, has arrived!  The teaser was released two weeks ago and can be seen here, with the full length trailer following:

Trailer for Saving Raine: The Drone Wars     

I'll definitely be reading this one after I'm finished with Angela Scott's Zombie West trilogy (book 1 review coming soon!).  You'll be able to buy both books from the links on the side of my page that zip you directly to Amazon.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Have you ever been to Charleston?

I've lived in Charleston, South Carolina since August of 2011.  There's a lot to offer here, but I haven't really seen its potential until last night.

My family is down here visiting and we've been researching things to do on our vacation weekend.  I thought I knew everything to do since I've lived down here for more than two years!  I've found things last night that I didn't even know existed.  About 30 miles south of the city is a tea plantation. I love tea, and so does my family.  It looks beautiful!  The Firefly Vodka distillery is in that same area as well, and while I was out with a migraine, my family went without me :(  But there are plantations upon plantations to see, gardens, historical sites, gorgeous churches and cemeteries, and tons of restaurants.  I found two local places that offer an evening of painting and drinking!  Of course, I can't afford to experience all of these things, but I CAN afford to research the costly ones, and many of the sites are free (see: a small Fort Sumter museum at the tour launch site, 2nd Sunday, The Battery, plenty of art galleries like The George Gallery, and of course, the Angel Oak tree).

Tonight, we're going to a murder mystery hosted by the Footlight Players (there's also another troupe called the Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre).  I'll definitely have a review of that, and hopefully some pictures!  Tomorrow is an open day, but I'm going to take them to brunch at my favorite place for chicken & waffles, The Early Bird Diner.  That's Plan A, because they get VERY crowded VERY fast and only have a limited amount of seating.  It's the most popular place in Charleston for brunch, and rightly so, because their food is amazing (and chicken & waffles is a staple of southern cuisine!).  Plan B is to go to The Blue Rose Cafe, another one of my favorite places.  The Blue Rose Cafe is very different from The Early Bird, though, because it's an Irish restaurant.  While The Early Bird serves mainly soulfood and southern/American food (see: country fried steak, meatloaf, and shrimp & grits), The Blue Rose takes food up a notch and offers items like Irish Chicken Curry and Seafood Gorgonzola, and for dessert, my go-to sweet treat is the Buttermilk Pie.

Of course, I might try to hit both of those restaurants today and tomorrow!