She's Got Words

February 10, 2014

Quick -n- Dirty Chicken Cordon Bleu

Filed under: food & drink — Gigi @ 10:24 pm


chicken cordon bleuIn my house we tend to have a lot of little bits of left overs at the end of any given week. A little bit of left over chicken here, a little bit of left over pot roast there- we even some times (when the world is off its axis) have a little bit of left over picnic shoulder ham hangin’ around. Now before you go an revoke my Southern card, just you wait till you see what I do with that left over ham- and a bit of that left over chicken, too. As to that left over pot roast, well that makes some mighty fine sammiches, come soup day.


Hope y’all enjoy this no fuss weekday meal. Prep it earlier in the day, or even the night before, then bake it off just as everyone hits the door screamin’ “I’m hongry, when’s dinner?”, and your family will be singing your praises faster than you can shake up a side car and kick off yer shoes.




Y’all enjoy, now, ya hear?


Quick -n- Dirty Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 chicken tenders- pan sautéed and seasoned.
10oz of ham- any will do. Chopped deli, baked, diced, pre-packaged, etc
2 1/2 cups of penne pasta- boiled in salted water
1/2 medium onion- diced fine
1 tbsp olive oil/avocado oil
6 tbsp of real butter
4 tbsp good quality flour
1/2 cup skim milk or soy milk (really any sort will do)
1/2 can low sodium/healthy request cream of chicken soup
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp fresh garlic
1 tbsp stone ground dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup of unflavoured panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese

Bring pasta water to a boil and simmer pasta for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. 
Preheat oven to 350º. 
Add your diced onions to a sauté pan and sweat for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. 
Shred chicken and ham and add the meat mixture to the onions. 
Once warmed, remove meat/onion mix from pan and add 4 of the 6 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt till bubbly. Add the 4 tbsp of flour to the butter and mix with a wooden spoon till golden brown (about 3-4 mins)
Once roux is cooked add milk to the pan, off of the heat, stirring all the while till thickened. 
Return pan to low heat and stir in soup. (Don’t stop stirring) Your sauce should coat the back of a spoon lightly. If needed, you can thin it down with stirred in warm water- a bit at a time. 
Once your sauce has thickened, add paprika, salt, pepper, coriander, garlic, and mustard. Continue to stir well to combine. 
Remove from heat and taste for flavour- adjust seasonings as you wish. If you feel your sauce needs a brighter note, add lemon juice to the sauce a few drops at a time, mixing in and tasting till the desired flavour is achieved. 
Spray a 9×9 baking crock with cooking oil. Combine noodles, meat/onion mix, and sauce to the baking crock- mixing well. Layer on swiss cheese and then cover with tin foil and bake for 30 mins. 
In a small sauté pan, melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter with the bread crumbs along with a bit of garlic and pepper. Toast to a light golden brown. 
After baking, top the meal with the bread crumb mix and broil for an additional 5 mins on low- watching with care. (it will burn if you turn your back) 
Serve with peas and carrots for a filling, well-rounded meal.


December 29, 2012


Filed under: food & drink,health & wellness — Gigi @ 5:34 pm

I’m dyin’, y’all.  Seriously, it is bad.  I’ve been starved for a good mac-n-cheese recipe since I left Atlanta and P’cheen is no longer in my backyard.  It doesn’t help that every time I make mac-n-cheese tiny man sticks his tongue out at it ’cause it isn’t as orange, and “watery” as he prefers.  *cue my gag reflex and eye rolling here*

I get it– no, really, I do.  I fully understand that if a kid is exposed to only one type of a food, especially one filled with artificial flavours, dyes, and preservatives it is nearly impossible to steer them into a love affair with something homemade, and good for them; well, as good for you as gooey, cheesy-covered noodles can be.  We even had this argument over grilled cheese the other day.  His claim that I never make “good grilled cheese with the orange, wrapper cheese” hit me right in the stomach- especially since I had just lovingly hand crafted for him an amazing, mouth watering grilled cheese with the most mild cheese I had on hand.  A sandwich he swore he would eat and enjoy.  A sandwich made with the last two piece of bread in the entire house which denied me my very own delectable cheesy goodness.  Let me tell y’all, I had to leave the table for a few minutes for a break after his admission.  I was that hurt.  Even so, I still get it.  So how do I fix it?  

I’m not gonna give up.  I will do whatever I can, within my power, to find the perfect combo-mac-n-cheese there is.  In short: it has to be wholesome, with whole grain noodles, but not chewy plastic-y noodles one often finds with whole grain.  It must be gooey and creamy, but not made so by velveeta or some other processed crap.  And most importantly, it must be soul-satisfying without leaving me feeling like I need to spend a week in the gym to stem the flow of cheese heading straight for my butt-cheeks.  I’ve scoured the interwebs looking for the perfect blend, but I have to say there isn’t much out there.  With this being the case, I’ve taken it upon myself to engineer my own combo-mac-n-cheese from bits and pieces of other recipes that I’ve had former success with in hopes that I’ll stumble upon some hodgepodge of perfection.  So hike up your girdles, girls, this is about the get serious.  

mcncheeseVersion numba 1 of Combo-Mac-n-Cheese

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 3 cups skim milk, hot but not boiling
  • 1.5 cup low/no sodium chicken stock, hot but not boiling
  • 5 tbsp AP Flour
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 16oz low fat/skim mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups whole wheat elbow noodles
  • Worcestershire to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutmeg to taste
  • cooking spray for pan

Set the oven to 375°.  Bring pasta to boil in salted water until cooked just under al dente.  You want the pasta to be soft on the outside, but still firm on the inside.  Generally boiling for ~3-4 minutes less than the directions achieves the desired consistency.  Once pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and rinse under cold tap water. Allow to drain completely while building the sauce.
In a medium sauce pan heat the butter till melted and bubbly.  Add the flour to the butter and whisk for about a minute or so, till the paste is cooked through.  Gradually pour, in a steady stream, the hot milk/chicken stock mix into the paste while whisking the mixture.  Continue to cook and whisk until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in cheese, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Remember your pasta has cooked in salted water, so not much salt will be needed in the sauce.  Your cheese sauce should be the consistency of sweetened condensed milk.  If you want to get a little creative, add some powdered garlic, powdered onion or cayenne to your sauce at this time to give your mac-n-cheese a bit of a kick.
Mix the pasta and sauce into a casserole dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden, the sauce is bubbly and the noodles have completed their cooking.

April 13, 2012

A Mani/Pedi & Easter Candy

Filed under: health & wellness,me, myself & i — Gigi @ 1:32 pm

Since I’ve yet to find a suitable nail salon here in Fargo; one that provides both good customer service and quality nail services at a reasonable price, I have resorted to saving my pennies by doing the work myself.  In all honesty I’m pretty picky about how my nails are done, so I have to be fair here and admit I’ll probably never find a salon to make me happy.  Plus the ritual of doing my own nails is a very cathartic and rewarding experience, and who doesn’t like collecting all those fun and interesting polish shades?

So off I trotted last night to find a new fun polish and to replenish my dwindling spa supplies.  After a good ten minutes of debating the perfect shade of gold and silver (I’m going for the ‘molten look’ here, thanks to Sarah P and her silver nails last Friday) I grabbed my other items and headed off to the discount candy isle for a little treat.  I’ve been really good about watching my caloric intake lately and getting a good amount of exercise in each day, so I wanted a little something to reward myself.  I firmly believe that giving yourself little, reasonable, rewards for good behaviour is a great way to continue your motivation and progress.  No one wants to continue a behaviour if there’s no short term reward, right?

Before I even rounded the corner of the candy isle, I prepared myself mentally for the plethora of sugary goodness available.  I made a firm pact that I could have one treat under 110kcals, even though I still had 230kcals for the day to spend.  I headed past the chocolate bunnies and the jelly beans and went straight for the filled chocolate eggs.  I knew there was no way in hell my true desire, a Cadbury egg, would have fewer than one zillion calories, so I was on a hunt for a compromise egg; one with that wonderful chocolate shell and a suitable alternative creamy center.

Peanut butter cream eggs wouldn’t do, flavoured marshmallow fluff eggs couldn’t suit me, either.  I wanted something perfectly chocolatey, perfectly creamy and perfectly gooey all in one.  Finally I found it:  a Russell Stovers chocolate covered marshmallow egg with a caramel center.  I was skeptical, though.  All the other eggs I’d been looking at were 200+kcals per egg- I just knew this perfect little egg would blast away my limit completely.  I scanned the little egg into my calorie counter app on my phone and was shocked and happily surprised to find not only was the egg a mere 110kcals, but the fat content was just 3g!  Happily, I scooped up my little treasure and headed to the cash stand.

The clerk greeted me and made idle small talk about the weather outside until he went to ring up my chocolate egg.

“Wow, after all that time standing there in front of all that candy, all you are getting is this little egg?”

“Well, yes. Anything more I’d have to it work off and I’ve already worked out enough today.”

“Awe, well, working out is overrated and candy tastes so good.”

“Yes, it does, but it still isn’t worth the cellulite. Have a nice night!”

“Yeah you, too.”

A treat is a treat, ya know?  I have worked too hard to get what little success I’ve achieved so far and no amount of chocolate satisfaction is worth losing that success.  I’ll indulge a bit here and there, but gorging myself on Easter candy is not gonna happen.  

Now how I savour and enjoy that little egg when I get home… now that is the real treat.  *cheesy grin*  

April 4, 2012

Somebody That I Used to Know

Filed under: health & wellness — Gigi @ 1:36 pm

Now that I’ve evoked images of a naked Gotye and Kimbra screaming at each other while covered in paint, I have to say that song is very poignant for me right now, but for reasons that are not related to this post.  I’ll try not to digress in the very first paragraph; instead I’ll direct you to what I first thought when I saw that video– Kimbra’s back.  

Long, lean, nary a fold or tuck of skin in sight.  Now mind you, Kimbra is a mere child at barely 22, but I can remember a time when my back actually looked like that.  Hell, I can remember a time when I still thought my back looked like that, just a scant 5 days ago.  You see my reality was completely shattered last weekend when I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the small mirror across from the larger one in our bathroom.  

There, caught between the reflections, was my mother’s naked back fat.  I was so horrified that I locked the door to the bathroom and cried for twenty minutes while the boys were out walking the dog.  The only thing that pulled me off the floor and stopped my sobbing was the reality that if the hubs caught me in such a state it would send the house into an unnecessary tailspin and that I was wasting water.  I pulled myself up, forced myself to shower and only confessed the situation to my loving and accepting husband while laying in bed later that night.  

Now, for those of you who’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting my ‘mamma’ I will say this:  NO ONE calls her fat in front of me.  Granted, my mother is 5 by 5 and wheezes like a tea kettle when she walks from the kitchen to the bathroom, but she’s MY mamma and you better be respectful.  She and I have been round and round about her health, and at this point I’ve thrown my hands up in defeat.  It is her responsiblity to take care of herself, not her child’s.  I can’t force her, from 1,500 miles away, to take her meds and check her blood sugar, or to stop drinking sodas and get more exercise.  I’ve come to grips with the fact that I may very well lose my mamma by the time I’m 40.  Knowing this won’t make losing her hurt any less, but at least I’ll be some what prepared for this inevitability by her lack of action to take care of her body.  

Even so, when I saw my mother’s back fat trapped in my own reflection Saturday morning, I couldn’t help but feel a tad bit hypocritical.  OK a lot hypocritical, and for that I am formally apologizing to my mother right here and now.  See, mamma, it’s in print: I’m sorry for nagging you all these years about your health while I’ve let my own fall to the wayside.  

As I said on facebook today, I am getting ready to do something very brave here.  No, callin’ my mamma fat on the interwebs is not what I meant, although I’m sure she will have a few choice words for me when I hear from her this afternoon.  No, in my “back fat counter strike” efforts I am about to show my back fat to the world.  Yep, you read that right: photographic evidence posted for the world to see of my nekkid back in all its folded and fatty glory.  

Up until Saturday morning, even though I know I’m not at my prize-fighting weight, I had this grand delusion that at least my back was still sexy.  That when I happened to be viewed from the rear my *ahem* assets were still trim and fit; that only from the front could my love of all things fried and yummy be seen.  But this reality has been shattered.  Gone is the illusion that my body has any resemblance to what it once was.  I have officially let myself go.  

I remember 6 years go sitting in my living room posing for a nude self portrait to prove to myself how fat I was getting.  I remember shuttering at the image that popped up on the little screen when I saw how much my waist had grown and how much my hips had blossomed.  Now when I look at that picture I think of how very beautiful I was then and how far I’ve let myself go.  (please note I not calling myself ugly…I’m just making a comparison of body shapes- then and now)  

Point of fact: Now I’m not saying I’m fat, y’all.  I’m not saying I’m obese either, but I am saying who I am now is not who I want to be and if I’m gonna ever be who I want to be I have to get a handle on things now!  My mother was once an aerobics instructor and was barely 100 pounds soaking wet at one point in her life, but somewhere along the way something slipped and here she is having to powder her thighs to keep them dry and “unchafed”.   At least my mother had the excuse most women my age have- she had a baby, but even so she lost a great deal of weight after I was born and got back down to a very healthy size before she somehow lost the battle later on.  I have no excuse.  There is no reason to have been so lazy that I’ve allowed 20 pounds to creep up on me in 6 years.

On my wedding day I weighed 140 pounds at 5 feet 3 inches tall.  The hubs doesn’t know this because he wasn’t there when I happened to see the scale in the restroom of the beauty shop while I was getting my hair done.  He didn’t see the abject horror that erupted on my face as I watched those numbers continue to spin well above my personal perception.  He had no idea that on what was supposed to be my perfect day that I was crying inside at how bad things had gotten.  On that beach, that day, I didn’t just vow to love him forever, but I vowed to become a person we would both be proud of.  

It has been a little over a month and a half since that fateful day. Even though I know I have lost a great deal of weight in that time, due to walking and eating less, my back fat discovery this weekend is just proof positive that I can’t become complacent.  I have to keep shocking myself back into reality and always remember it only takes a little slip to fall.  

So, ready for some shock and awe?  

August 2006 pre back fat weighing in at around 120ish pounds.  

April 2012 current back fat weighing in at 132.5 pounds

I can no longer be ashamed of this, cause this is who I currently am.  I need to accept what I am right now and make the strides necessary to change if I feel it is so important.  I can no longer harp on my mamma for being unhealthy if I am heading down the exact same path she’s trotted down.  This photo is now my phone’s screen saver.  Every time I see it, I am reminded of somebody that I used to know and forgot so long ago: me.  I want to meet that person again and enjoy my life as her once more.  Sure, she’s not gonna be the same as she was, but I’m hoping that she’ll be even better with a little hard work.  Ultimately I want to slip into a pair of jeans and not feel like a bloated cow in the sun.  I want to go shopping for cute clothes without having to strategically minimize all the curves that go the wrong way.  I don’t need plastic surgery.  I don’t need a “cure”, I just need to nip it all in the bud and get off the couch.  

February 27, 2012

You May Now…Change Your Name

Filed under: love & marriage — Gigi @ 2:25 pm

I am now faced with the conundrum every woman deals with when she gets married: to change, or not to change, my legal name.  Honestly, the choice of surnames has already been made; I’ll be known as “Glaze Kolbe” legally, gladly, and forever more.  It is important to me to have “Glaze” remain a last name for me since I am the only one of us left, but it is also just as important for “Kolbe” to be a part of my name, too, as a mark of familial solidarity in my married home.  If I ever have a child they will be given both names as a show of respect for their lineage; as an acknowledgement of the blending of our two families as one.  I just hope that said imaginary baby will be proud to carry both names…but I suppose I’m getting the embryo before the zygote as it were. 

The moral dilemma comes into play, however, with my Christian name, “Brandy”.  I’ve not been “Brandy” for well over 15 years now and no one really knows me as such any more, save my family back in Tennessee and a few close friends from my youth.  I discussed dropping my Christian name in favour of a simple initial (B. Nicole Glaze Kolbe) with my mother and she nearly had a stroke. She laid the Jewish/Irish guilt on so thick that I quickly relented just to hush her up.  “That is the name I gave you- it is who you are to me and I can’t imagine you ever being anything else! It would be like denying a part of who you are to drop your Christian name! Why would you want to do that to me? Are you that ashamed of who you are?”  The way she went on and on, you’d think “Brandy” was a long standing family name with deep roots and history instead of the bleary eyed choice of a woman hopped up on so many pain killers she could barely say her own name the day I was born.  

All my young life I was “Brandy, you’re a fine girl, what a good wife you would be!”, or “Brandy Glaze- hehehehe, that’s a great name for a stripper!”, or my all time personal favourite “Brandy Glaze, isn’t that a candied ham?”  I willfully stopped going by “Brandy” when I turned 18 in order to avoid the carry over of my youthful torment into my college life. “Brandy” is a distant memory of my past and “Nicole” is who I am now.  I suppose I can understand the hurt my mom would feel at the possible permanent rejection of her chosen name for her baby girl, but even with the possibility of sending my mother in to a complete melt down looming I am still tempted to make the break from “Brandy” for good.  

Anyone else ever had this type of issue?  What do you all think of dropping a useless monicker from a legal name?  Do you think it is really as insulting as my mother is making it out to be?  Any compromised you can think of here that I’m missing?

Gimme yer thoughts, y’all.  

December 15, 2011

Who Needs a Pair of $200 Glitter Shoes?

Filed under: dyi & projects,fashion & glamour — Gigi @ 3:37 pm

Three weeks ago I found two simply amazing dresses for our two wedding receptions next year.  They are both stunning visions of raspberry pink, almond, cream, and snow.  (after writing that I have an overwhelming craving for raspberry almond snowcream!)  These dresses say “baby, you are special”, so I knew I had to have an equally special pair of shoes to go with these pieces.

Christian Louboutin Glitter Pump

Unfortunately, though, my champagne taste was quickly drowned by my water budget. It turns out the closest I was able to ever get to finding my equally special reception shoes was either by fussing over the ‘not perfect colour/style’ of shoes within my budget or by pining away at the ‘nearly, but still not perfect colour/style’ of shoes way outside of my budget.  Some pairs were the right colour, but not the right style.  Some would come close in colour and style, but be so expensive just looking at them would give Kasper a heart attack.  Eventually I started contemplating the idea of dying a pair of inexpensive shoes that sorta fit the look I wanted, but still I wasn’t satisfied.  What is a gal to do, y’all?

Now I admit it- I’m an extremely picky fashionista.  I will hem and haw over an outfit for a particular event for weeks, but the pay off is always there:  envious glances and awed compliments from men and women alike.  I want our receptions to be no different, folks.  Even though I am not wearing my wedding gown for these events, I still want to stand out and be the lovely bell of the ball.  Kasper doesn’t get it.  Mom doesn’t get it either, but some of you do.  Some of you understand my plight in not being able to find the perfect pair of shoes for these big days and have been extremely helpful.  I’ve received dozens of messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest  from ladies with ideas and comments on where to look for my perfect pair of shoes.  But it wasn’t until I made a suggestion to my friend Rebecca, whose cat gnawed her silver pumps into oblivion, that I found the perfect solution.

I have a few pairs of ‘great but ruined’ pumps in my collection and even though I can’t bring myself to wear them out any more I also can’t bring myself to chuck them either.  Some of them cost me a very pretty penny and others have sentimental value I just can’t toss away.  So when I suggested to Rebecca that she follow in Teresa’s footsteps (hehe!) and glitter-ize her kitty crunched stilettos I knew I had my answer to several problems.

A pair of lepoard print pumps I purchased long ago used to be a favourite of mine until the suede became damaged in several spots.  They are so comfortable, even for a full 4″ heel, so I couldn’t ever bring myself to throw them out even though I wouldn’t wear them either.  I knew, one day, I’d find a way to repurpose them and give them a new life.  Well, darlings, Monday was that day!  Following a combination of Teresa’s instructions and Geneva’s tutorials from pair and a spare, decided I’d give shoe glitter-izing a go.  I was also pretty lucky to have my friend, Nancy, help me with some pointers as I started.  For those of you who are interested in my process here’s what I did.  

  • First I taped off my pumps around the soles and heels.  I feel pretty lucky that the pair I chose to glitterfy have chic wooden heels and platforms, making them easier for me to handle.  
  • Second I mixed the two different glitter colours I chose to make the perfect seafoam/aqua green shade.  This ended up not being as difficult as I imagined it to be, but if I had it to do all over again I would have mixed the entire batch together at once to make it easier.  Making sure each glitter batch matched in tone and shade was an unnecessary hiccup.  
  • After the glitter was mixed I then mixed a portion of the glitter and glue together to make a base adhesive.   
  • With a paint brush (not sponge… sponge is bad) I liberally applied the glitter/glue to one shoe.  Make sure you have a thin mixture otherwise your glue will clump up and become a mess.  Unfortunately there is no ratio for this, just eye ball it and when you have a still runny, but glittery glue you are there.  
  • Once the shoe was covered in the adhesive, I then generously doused the shoe in glitter and pressed the glitter into place with the back of a plastic spoon.  I worked in sections, pouring, pressing and then pouring the excess off each section until the entire shoe was covered.  This process gave me plenty of time to go over the shoe in detail, making sure the inside seam was well glittered and that the toe area was well covered, too.  
  • I then repeated the two steps above to the remaining shoe.  The second time around it went faster as I felt more confident in my application and wasn’t so worried about accidentally rubbing off glitter glue.  
  • After all was said and done I left the shoes to dry over night and came back the next morning and repeated the process again.  
  • Periodically I would come back during the night and tap off any excess glitter that didn’t stick to the glue.  I found that by doing this I kept the glitter from clumping up during the following step.  
  • Finally, after an entire day of drying I took the remaining glitter/glue mix and applied a light coat to both shoes and left them to dry again in order to seal the glitter into place.  This created a matte finish which, while nice, is not what I was going for.  I haven’t decided yet if I am gonna try another coat with a different sealant to get more glitz and glitter shine.  

And voilà!  A perfect pair of glitter pumps for less than $10 in supplies.  The original shoes cost me $65, four years ago, so I think I am getting my money’s worth.  Honestly the experience was a ton of fun, extremely rewarding and very satisfying.  Instead of giving in and paying nearly $200 for a pair of pumps that didn’t even meet my expectations, I created a new purpose for an old, beloved pair of worn shoes with little effort and are exactly what I want!  Who says you can’t have it all?  Now, with all this being said and done, and knowing now what I didn’t know then, there a few things I’d do differently:  With these leopard suede shoes I should have painted the material white first to make sure the spots didn’t ‘show’.  It really isn’t noticeable to anyone other than me, and it really doesn’t matter in the end, but when I do another pair in the future I’ll make sure I take that step.  Secondly, I would have ordered the perfect shade of glitter online instead of mixing my own.  Sure, I ended up with a perfect shade, but the fuss of mixing glitter has left my living room floor looking like the inside of of a drag queen’s jock strap.  Next time I’ll know better.  Also, make sure you don’t rely too much on the tape as a buffer.  Sure it will keep the glitter/glue from getting on areas you don’t want covered, but it is terribly difficult to remove without peeling up your hard work.  Oh and do note, if you don’t already know, that glitter comes in a variety of textures.  I opted for ultra fine for this project, but next time I might go for a chunkier texture for a different look.

So there you have it!  A perfect pair of pumps for the perfect pair of reception dresses!  I can hardly wait to wear them on our big days.  In fact- I won’t wait!  I think I’ll wear them on NYE for our big plans in the city.  Even if I do knock off a bit of glitter, at this rate, I can afford to glitterfy them all over again and still come out on top!  

It’s all just so fabulous, darlings!  

December 12, 2011

I Have PinFluenza…. I Think….

Filed under: snake oil & opinions — Gigi @ 5:39 pm

Get Ready, Get Set, PIN!

Oh you all know what I’m talking about.  It is a disease, a drug and a delight all rolled up into one precious package.  For those of you who don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, just saunder over here and we’ll see you again in a couple of days.  

Oh no, I have no qualms at all infecting others with PinFluenza.  Everyone should be so lucky to catch this bug.  Husbands, sons, boyfriends, fiancés- prepare to be the second best thing in the house for a while.  But then again you shouldn’t mind too much cause you’ll totally benefit from PinFluenza, too.  

So Pinterest is this totally amazing and completely addictive social “project board” on the interwebs.  It is very user friendly, extremely inspiring and tons of fun.  Women all over the world are finding exactly what they want for their weddings, holiday parties, birthday bashes, gift ideas, and DIY projects.  There are even pins and boards dedicated to exercise inspiration, every recipe known to man, and tips and tricks for photography you can usually only get by shelling out the big bucks.  Cleaning advice, house hold pointers for sprucing positively ANYTHING and so much more.  Pinterest is so addictive I have to set a timer for myself, of 15 mins at a time, so that I won’t spend hours on end just pinning and pining away.  

A blessing and a curse all in one, pinterest can give you endless ideas for anything you want to do, but first you have to pry yourself away from the site in order to achieve your goals.  The point of pinning is to give us a ‘one stop shop’ for so many ideas and things that can be found on the web, so that you don’t have to endlessly search page after page of search results.  Honestly I’m no good at explaining what Pinterest is all about, so here is a better way of putting it.  

So now that I’ve infected the lot of you, I’m gonna go DIY something for the wedding.  Misery loves company… but this is the best sort of misery– the misery of Pinterest!  Oh how the pins hurt so good!  

December 6, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie, Anyone?

Filed under: food & drink — Gigi @ 11:05 pm

Easy, peasy and oh so good!

This week, with all the cold and the excitement of the coming festivities, I wanted to make a few ‘stick to your ribs’ meals to keep us warm and happy.  I started out with a basic meatloaf with mash potatoes and broccoli and tonight I concocted an amazing, melt in your mouth chicken pot pie that was the easiest meal I’ve made in years.  All it takes is a crock pot, a few hours, your favourite veggies and chicken bits and two pie shells and voilà- instant homemade goodness!

Homemade, Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie

3-4 chicken breasts (with rib meat)
4-5 potatoes, diced
A small can of corn nibblets
A can of green beans
A can of mixed peas & carrots
A can of cream of celery
1/2 cup of chicken stock
A handfull herbs de provence
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pre-made pie shells, in tins
Salt and pepper to taste

Now all of my ingredients were as low sodium as I could find, which is my preference, but get what you can and want.

Basically, take the first 9 ingredients and throw them in your large crock pot for 6 hours on high.  Once the chicken is cooked through, shred it and add it back to the pot.  Preheat your oven to 400°.  Simmer the stewed ingredients on low until the majority of the liquid is boiled off.  Follow the instructions on the pie shells package for making a double pie crust.  Prick the entire bottom crust with a fork and add the crock pot ingredients to the shell.  Cover the pie with the remaining crust, seal the edges together and cut slits in the top crust.  Add salt and pepper to the top crust and bake in the oven on a cookie sheet for 45 mins or until the crusts are golden brown.  Brush butter on the crust if you want an extra touch of flavour, but it isn’t really needed.  Let the pie cool for about 10 mins and cut into four pieces.  Enjoy!  You will have plenty of filling left over, so save it and eat it straight or load another double shell and freeze it to bake it off later.  

So easy, and so good.  Hubs even went back for seconds… but then again he always does that.  Let me know what you think, y’all.  

November 29, 2011

Easy (Healthy) Tomato Chicken & Ravioli Soup

Filed under: food & drink — Gigi @ 1:29 pm

Yummy and Easy Soup

1 Can of diced Tomatoes

1 Box of Trader Joe’s Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup

A large hand full of basil

A heaping table spoon of crushed red pepper flake (or sub in black pepper if you want a more mild soup)

A dash and a half of garlic powder

1 Can of shredded Chicken Breast

1/2 family size package of 4 cheese Ravioli

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large sauce pot and simmer for 10 mins. Add chicken, stir well and simmer for another 5 mins. Reduce heat to low and gently drop in ravioli pasta one at a time stirring frequently and gently.  Simmer another 5-10 mins.  Viola!  Healthy and yummy dinner!  Add grilled cheese for a well rounded meal.  

October 25, 2011

Freedom Begins Here!

Filed under: soap boxes & stump speeches — Gigi @ 11:44 pm

Here is a copy of the letter which will effectively sever all my ties with the evil empire known as Bank of America tomorrow morning when it hits the post box.  Huzzah for the little man!  

Bank of America
Account Closure
Tampa, Florida

Dear Bank of America Representative:

This letter is a written document to request full closure of all of my bank accounts with Bank of America.  I no longer wish to have anything to do with this company in any way.  I have withdrawn all of my money, what little I have left, and moved my business to USAA.  There will be no need for you to handle my account closures in any way other than swiftly and completely.

Not that any one in this company will care about why I am closing my accounts, but just in case someone human is reading I no longer feel Bank of America has their customers’ best interest at heart.  I can no longer sit idle, working hard every day to keep what little money I have in my pocket, while Bank of America works just as hard at taking that hard earned money from me.  It also disturbs me greatly that recently my account information was compromised within your data base, but I was never notified of this breech of safety other than to have a new card show up on my door step with no word as to why.  The decent thing to do would have been to notify me immediately of the suspected breech, even by automated message at least, to let me know what was coming.  Bank of America’s handling of this situation was horrid and conducted with extremely poor form.

I know Bank of America doesn’t care about me as a person and my account closures won’t amount to even a blip on the radar.  I know I am just one customer in a sea of millions, most of whom might not have any issue with the blatant faults this company has.  Even so, all I know is I will sleep a little easier tonight knowing my money is out of BoA’s hands and that means the world to me.

Here’s to one person standing up and saying “no more”.

Good luck,

Brandy Nicole G.

Little Person

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