Monday, March 28, 2011

This Month's Contribution!

Hey peeps!

JC's Loft

Scoot on over to JC's Loft to check out this month's contributing post by yours truly!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Today has definitely started off on the right foot . . . Ellie at I Love to Cook nominated me for the Stylish Blogger Award!

Since my little 'ole blog hasn't been around very long, and I thought it was mostly family (and a few peeps who found their way to me over the internet) that read it, I am honored and THRILLED to be nominated!

As with everything, however, there are rules (bummmmmmmmmmmmmmmer) and here they are:

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
Share seven things about yourself. 
Award seven recently discovered new blogs.
Contact these bloggers and let them know they've received the award.

Easy enough, and happy to oblige!  Although seven things about myself may be a bit difficult, I will give it my best shot:
  1. I am TERRIFIED of birds.
  2. I love clothes and shoes and fashion, and I am totally addicted to weeding out my closet.  I go through it almost weekly picking out things to donate to goodwill.  Gotta make room for new goodies, peeps!
  3. I grew up in North Dakota, went to college in Illinois, law school in Ohio, and am now living in (and loving) Florida.  It is now my main goal to get EVERYONE that the BF and I know to move to Florida.
  4. I love making lists but this list is hard.  HA!
  5. I met one of my BFF's through Fab Sugar and we "talk" via email and text nearly every day, but have never met in person.
  6. I think I want to get my Ph.D. in English literature (but don't tell the BF because he would die . . . or kill me!)
  7. I love my dog Arnie more than any person, place, or thing in the world.  And how could I not?  Look at her!

That cuteness never fails to make me smile!  Ok!  Now I have to link to my favorite seven new blogs, and give them this PRESTIGIOUS award!

Thank you all for providing me TONS of inspiration on a daily basis!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Knockoff Nachos

Because I know that a lot of my readers live near Old Chicago (or near Chicago, itself . . . hey guys up north!) they will (I think) know how happy the BF and I were when we discovered an Old Chicago in Brandon, FL, about 20 minutes away.  They will also, then, know how devastated we were to learn that the Old Chicago in Brandon, FL (and the ONLY one in Florida, by the way) closed at the end of last year.  Insert (the BF's) tears.

Old Chicago makes some absolutely bitchin' Italian nachos.  And since we can't get the real thing in these parts anymore, I thought I would try and recreate them last weekend, when the BF's sister was in town (HI!).

I purchased what ended up being an excessive amount of wonton wrappers, and used about 1/20th of what I bought, and deep fried them for 2 minutes per side, in vegetable oil, then drained them in a colander over paper towels.

I layered the deep fried wontons in a 9x13 baking dish with browned Italian sausage, pepperonis, slice pepperoncinis, and mozzarella cheese, and put them in the oven at 325 for 15 minutes, then under the broiler for about 5 minutes.  I served them with hot red pepper marinara and they were a hit!  (And for those of you wondering:  yes, they taste like the Old Chicago nachos and no, this isn't part of my "diet.")

While looking for shoes to fulfill my graduation requirements I came across these:

Brian Atwood via Saks.

While our "regalia instructions" indicate that dark shoes are best, I'm not a rule follower and I think these would look great 5'7" below my mortar board.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

On Monday night I whipped up these enchiladas, which are based on a Campbell's soup recipe my mom copied and gave to me when I left for college (Hi Mom!) and which are now a regular staple in the Cookin' in Heels house (although with lots of changes).

In a large pot, bring a lot of water (I'm not sure how much, I apologize for my inaccuracy!), 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of chili pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves to a boil.  Add 4 medium chicken breasts and 1, 10 oz. package of frozen spinach and boil until the chicken is cooked through (usually about 15 minutes).  Remove the chicken and drain the spinach and let cool, then shred the chicken.  (You can also cheat and buy a store-bought rotisserie chicken, but I don't think it tastes nearly as good.)  In a separate bowl, combine 1 can of cream of chicken soup with 3/4 cup of light sour cream, plus 1 tablespoon of juice from a jar of jalapenos (if you don't like spicy, skip it).

In a large pot (I use the same pot that I used to boil my chicken and spinach), saute one medium onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until tender.  Add 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 small can of chopped green chilis, the shredded chicken, drained spinach, and 3 tablespoons of the soup mixture. 

Spread a small amount of the soup mixture in the bottom of a 9x9 square baking dish.  Divide the chicken mixture evenly into 6 whole grain tortillas, and fit them into the baking dish.  Spread the remainder of the soup mixture over the rolled tortillas, and top with 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I use a Mexican cheese blend).  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, until bubbly and melted.

I serve mine topped with salsa and jalapenos.  It ain't pretty, but it tastes damn good!

The Dolce Vita for Target wedges I posted yesterday got me thinking that maybe it is possible to find cute shoes that I can actually afford.

Plenty by Tracy Reese via Nordstrom

I love these (in grey) and their price makes them totally purchase-able, especially since I know I will wear them ALL the time.  Meant to be?  I think so!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ricotta Parfaits

As I mentioned yesterday, the BF and I have recently begun a diet.  A major diet.  One that involves not only lower calories, but more well-rounded meals.  To that end, breakfast is now in order on a daily basis, and each breakfast must be tasty AND healthy.

For two of these parfaits, I combined 1/2 cup skim ricotta, 1/4 cup low fat, organic, french vanilla yogurt (special note:  I DESPISE YOGURT.  I hate it more than almost any food in the world.  Combining it with ricotta solves some of my issues because I don't have to feel it's slimy, goopy, disgusting texture on my tongue), and one tablespoon of wheat germ.

I put half of the ricotta/yogurt mixture in a glass, then topped it with one tablespoon sugar free raspberry jam, 1/4 cup Bear Naked granola with almonds, and some frozen berries with pomegranates that I thawed in the microwave.  While this isn't going to be my number one go-to breakfast, it was extremely filling, full of protein, fiber, and sweetness, and gave me a lot of energy for the day.  The BF, who is normally hungry for lunch at 10:30 a.m., said this held him over until 1:00 p.m.  That, peeps, is a breakfast success.

Another success:  Dolce Vita for Target.

Found here.

How did I not know about this?!  Why didn't you tell me, peeps?  With my limited budget, these are perfect and currently sitting in my online shopping cart, waiting to come home to me (unless I find something even better, that is!)!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baked Tortellini

Another Monday Tuesday has arrived and I find myself in SHOCK that it is mid-March.  The BF and I have had a steady stream of visitors for (what seems like) the last month, and our diet has gone to sh*t completely out the window (although that changed as of yesterday, more to come on that).

This baked tortellini (adapted from this recipe) was thrown in amidst our non-diet weeks, and it was as tasty as it was easy.

I used a mixture of chicken and garlic tortellini and three cheese tortellini.  Each bit was a total surprise because I had no idea what sort of flavor I'd be in for!

Had I used ravioli, I'm sure the dish would've been much more aesthetically appealing . . . but I never care about how my food looks (unless we have guests).

These shoes are NOT on my list of potential purchases for my big day (which is, for those of you who don't read regularly [and shame on you!], the day I graduate with my Master's) because they're a little too much to pair with an enormous graduation gown and ridiculous hood:

Prada via Bergdorf Goodman

They are not, however, too flashy for the beach (at least not to me) and, therefore, I will continue to love them unconditionally.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicken Tremendous

This is another one of those quick, easy, go-to recipes that I keep laying around when I don't really feel like cooking.  It's super easy and only has 4 ingredients!

All you need is 1 packet of onion soup mix, 1 cup of rice, 1 can of cream of chicken soup (thinned to soup consistency), and 4 chicken breasts.  Spray a 9x13 baker with cooking spray, then sprinkle the onion soup mix in the dish.  Top the onion soup mix with the rice, then lay the chicken breasts on top of the rice and dump the soup over the whole thing.

Toss it in the oven at 350 for about an hour and 15 minutes, and it comes out perfect!

I have decided to start saving up for my very first pair of "fancy" shoes . . . I intend on buying them for my Master's graduation ceremony (December 10 . . . it will be here before I know it) and these are on my list of possibilities:

Christian Louboutin via Saks.

Professional, librarian-ish, but still sassy.  Just like me!  I have no doubt that I will change my mind before the big day, but it's good to have a list started!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Biscuits and Gravy

There is nothing that I (and the BF) love more than biscuits and gravy and ever since the move to Florida, I have been making my gravy with a mix.

That's right, peeps, a mix.  How very un-cooking blog of me, right?  I know.

My mom gave me a super-easy gravy recipe that has officially and forever replaced the mix I used to use.

Brown one pound of hot pork sausage over medium high heat, then mix in 1/2 cup of flour until the sausage is well coated.  After that, whisk in 3 cups of milk (I used skim, but any kind will do), let it come to a boil, add salt and pepper (and, in  my case, white pepper and tobasco) and let it thicken, and that's it!

I served the gravy with my world-famous (or just famous to the BF) biscuits and scrambled eggs, and it was wonderful!

My favorite breakfast is definitely better now that I can make it from scratch!

Speaking of favorites, I have a black leather Miu Miu skirt in my closet that is DYING for some fabulous shoes to go with it.

Miu Miu via Barneys.

These would be amazing, and a girl can never have too many fabulous labels.  Right?!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back to (mostly) Regularly Scheduled Programming

Peeps!  After a faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous weekend at Clearwater Beach (which involved 6 hours of quality sun time, plus finally getting rid of the BF's ridiculous plastic sunglasses [ash:  1, the BF:  0] and buying myself a super cute beach cover-up), and two days of catching up and getting ahead on school work, I am BACK!  Hopefully the blog won't fall by the wayside again, but I can't make any promises, given how the rest of my semester seems to be shaping up.

But enough about all that!  Tonight I whipped up a delicious porkchop dish that I am ready to share with the world (or the 5 peeps that read this blog)!

I grilled four pork loin chops (rubbed wit garlic pepper seasoning) in a pan with olive oil, for about 4 minutes per side.  While the grillin' was goin', I combined 1 can of cream of chicken soup with 1 can of water and 1/4 of a red onion in a small baking dish.

After the porkchops were done grilling, I threw them into the soup mixture and tossed them in the oven, at 375, for about 25 minutes.

It's quick, easy, healthy, and tasty; definitely a go-to recipe in this house!

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but the idea of studded shoes is very appealing lately.

Christian Louboutin via Barneys.

If that isn't one bad-ass, kick-ass shoe, I don't know what is.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I am sure you're all sick and tired of hearing me complain about being overwhelmed and blah blah blah blah blah.  Frankly, I'm sick of talking about it (and certainly tired of feeling that way) so I am happy to report that I'm taking a much needed time OUT this weekend.

The beach (as always) is calling my name so I'll be hanging out here all weekend.  I promise to be back AND BETTER THAN EVER next week!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chicken Paprikash

I'm just going to be up-front and let you all know that I TOTALLY forgot an ingredient (sour cream) when I made this recipe early last week.

I am also going to be up front with you and let you know that the sour cream omission did NOT matter.  Not even a little bit.  Sure the sauce was less creamy.  BUT the sauce also had less calories because of the lack of sour cream, thereby securing its place in our "weeknight diet" arsenal without a problem!

The onions in the sauce sweetened up so nicely, and the paprika was sweet and smoky and delicious.  By the time the BF got home from work (much later than anticipated) the chicken was practically falling apart and couldn't have been more tender and tasty.

Add egg noodles and it's just about the perfect meal!

I saw these shoes at Macy's and I'm pretty sure I need them.

Jessica Simpson via Macy's.

I prefer the gray of course.  But these shoes are insane.  INSANE.  And I would be over 6 feet tall.  Only good things can come from being over 6 feet tall.