Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

If you haven't noticed, I kind of like buffalo-flavored things. Louisiana or Texas Pete hot sauce is a staple in our refrigerator, along with Chipotle Tabasco sauce, jalapenos, and Tony's seasoning. I guess you can say we just like spicy food in general.

I've mentioned that pizza is one of my favorite meals to make, not to mention one of the easiest, and we have it usually once or twice a week. The great thing about pizza is that there are SO MANY options, it's hard to get tired of it because it can always be different.

One of my favorites is buffalo-chicken pizza. For this you'll need:

Pizza crust
Tomato sauce (one 8 oz can)
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Buffalo/hot sauce
Shredded cheese
Any other topping you'd like on your pizza (mushrooms, anchovies, jalapenos, etc.)

I'm going to start with a little disclaimer saying that I love making things SIMPLE and EASY when I'm cooking, because the last thing I want to do after a long day of work is slave in the kitchen for hours. Therefore, I do not make my own crust or pizza sauce. If you prefer to do that, kudos to you. I use a pre-made, pre-cooked thin whole wheat crust, which I usually purchase from Wal-Mart.

First thing's first, you want to cook your chicken, I prefer to cut my boneless skinless chicken breast (one breast should be enough for one pizza) in to teeny pieces, toss in some salt and pepper, and cook on a skillet in a little bit of evoo. If you don't have any EVOO and just want to use regular ole vegetable oil, that's fine too. Or if you want to make this super simple, just use chicken in a can.

After the chicken is cooked all the way through (or you've opened your can and dumped it on the skillet) add about 1/3 can of your tomato sauce, along with your buffalo/hot sauce. I don't ever measure these things. Measuring is for the birds. But if you want to get technical, probably around 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of buffalo sauce. If you don't want it too spicy I'd put about half that amount. Turn your stove eye to low and let the chicken simmer in the tomato/buffalo/hot sauce mixture. Stir occasionally.

In a small sauce pan, dump the remaining tomato sauce and add some more buffalo sauce. Turn stove eye to low and let simmer. Stir occasionally.

While the chicken and sauce is simmering, cut up all your veggies and other pizza toppings. I shouldn't need to go in to detail about how to cut your vegetables, and if I do then maybe you should re-think making pizza at home and give your local Pizza Hut a call. I'm sure they'll even deliver.

By this time your tomato/buffalo/hot sauce mixture should be nice and warm. Turn the sauce mix and the chicken off. Spread the sauce all over your pizza crust with a spoon. Spread chicken pieces around and add sliced veggies evenly. Cover entire pizza with your choice of shredded cheese (my favorites are mozzarella or cheddar). It's up to you how much cheese you add, but I usually end up using about a cup.

Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Cut in to sections and serve!

What is your favorite go-to meal after a long day of work?

Monday, October 27, 2014

We're married, now what?

In the last week, I have gone from living alone in a tiny one bedroom apartment (that could hardly house all of MY belongings) to sharing it with a whole other person, and all of THEIR belongings. To say it's been an adjustment would be an understatement.

Where do we put all the towels?

Why should you get more closet space?

Don't wash that shirt with the dark clothes!

I've never spent so much money on groceries in my life!

What do you mean, you don't like my toothpaste?

No, I really don't need to watch TV to go to sleep.

Those are just a few things that have been said around our teeny tiny (550 square feet to be exact) apartment in the last week. But after a few days, we adjusted. We still have our own separate toothpaste, and Derek has brought his (completely ostentatious 55 inch) TV into our bedroom. Compromise. My name is half way legally changed to my married name and we've got a morning routine down. So far, this marriage thing ain't half bad.

But with all of that going on, I haven't had much time for blog post related thoughts. So today I'll leave you with a little count down, inspired by this one.

Five things I accomplished over the weekend:

1. Got out of the house on Friday night to go to a friend's annual chili cook-off. We actually entered in the cook-off last year (and unfortunately didn't win) but this year, we were too busy to make anything to enter so I got to be a judge - tons of fun!

2. Mountain biked at the state park in Auburn. It's finally getting cool enough to bike without dying, and we hadn't been to that trail in quite some time, so I thoroughly enjoyed our ride.

3. Tailgated with our tailgate crew. It was our first time seeing everyone since a few weeks before the wedding. The weather was perfect, the game was intense, and the beer was cold. I couldn't have asked for a better Saturday on the plains.

Tailgating with this guy never gets old!

4. Bought extra storage for the apartment. Like I mentioned, my closet space has halved, so I needed to find a place for all my shoes, belts, purses, etc. Whoever invented under-bed storage and those over-the-toilet shelf-things were freaking geniuses.

5. Went on a haunted hayride with some friends. We missed it last year, and almost didn't consider going last night, but it was worth it and so much fun!

Four of my current favorite pins from Pinterest:

one | two | three | four

I have been obsessed with all things home décor lately (maybe I'll talk more about that later this week). From gallery walls, to bright rugs, to quirky bathroom décor, I want it ALL. But for now, I'll just continue to lust after it from behind my computer screen.

Three items that I really need or would really love to purchase:

1. Any of the items mentioned just before (especially a pretty pretty rug).

2. I did really need some new tennis shoes, being that I bought my last pair over two years ago and I wear them pretty regularly with work and the gym. But I splurged last week and bought me some fresh new kicks.

3. Some new coffee mugs. Because one can never have too many cute coffee mugs.

Two things that are bothering me:

1. The temperature in my office (too cold).

2. The temperature outside (too hot).

One of my favorite quotes:


Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm back!

Hello! Holy moly, it's been almost a month (!) since I've visited this little space. Just in case you weren't around before, and this is your first time visiting (or maybe you're just really bad at paying attention to things) I got MARRIED over the weekend. 

When I last wrote, I talked about getting on a roller coaster. So far, this has been extremely accurate, but in an awesome way. I know it's only been a few days but being married is great. We had an awesome time on our honeymoon and are getting used to living together in my teeeeny tiny apartment. It's tough when he takes up as much closet space (if not more) than I do.

As far as the wedding goes, there were a few hiccups (when are there not?) but we made it through and the day was absolutely perfect! I could not have asked for a better wedding. I'll do a more detailed post later, and leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from the day (you may have already seen some of these if you follow me on instagram).

I have never felt more beautiful than I did on Saturday!

That may or may not be Miller Lite (it definitely is).

Me and my dear ole dad.

Me and my mom, dad, and brother.
Our photographer was a family friend, so unfortunately she does not have a website for me to share with you, but some of these are some of the few she has sent me, please to not share or save without letting me know! Thanks!

Friday, September 26, 2014

I'm about to get on a roller coaster

With my upcoming wedding, I (obviously) have been stuck in wedding-planning mode and there is a never-ending stream of wedding-related thoughts running through my head at all times. Particularly when I'm trying to go to sleep. It goes something like this:

"How much time will we need for pictures?"

"How much will this cost?"

"If I don't do ____ I'll be able to save more money to do ____ instead.

"Will the bridesmaid dresses look good together?"

"Will 100 stems of baby's breath be enough?"

"I hope everyone comes on time."

"I'll kill them if I don't."

"I still can't believe ______ isn't going to come. I really thought they would."

...and so on and so forth.

But lately some other thoughts have been creeping up in my mind. Less wedding thoughts and more marriage thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts catch me off guard, take my breath away and leave me a little winded. Sometimes they're happy thoughts, I become overwhelmed with emotion just sitting at my work desk and tears well up in my eyes, because I can't wait to start my life with Derek. Sometimes they're scary thoughts. They make my stomach turn in knots and my heart jump up in my throat.

The best thing I can think to compare it to is a roller coaster - beginning with the engagement being like waiting in one of the long lines. The whole two hours you're waiting with anticipation and excitement, hoping you'll get a good seat, that the automatic camera gets a great picture, and that no one is going to barf on you. You're nervous, but mostly you're excited.

As you're getting closer - the next group to board - you start to get a little more nervous, but you're still excited. You think that first hill didn't look so high from the ground, but now that you're up close, its a little scary. But you know you love roller coasters, you cant wait for the car to get back around - you're counting the minutes, until finally it pulls in and the other passengers get off.

Now, you're in the car. You've buckled your seat belt and lowered the safety bar. There's no turning back. Your heart is pounding and your palms are a little sweaty. But then the attendant comes around and checks all the safety bars - you have a moment of panic. You can't get out! It's too late! What if something happens? What if you don't want to ride anymore? But then the car begins the slow ascent up the first hill - the big scary one - to start the ride.

I know there will be ups, downs, and probably a few loopty loops that aren't expected. There may be times when I have my hands up in the air, screaming with delight and there may be times when I'm holding on to that safety bar for dear life, praying that I just make it through. But that's marriage. I'm not going in to it thinking it's all going to be unicorns and rainbows. There will be ups, downs, and arounds. There will be trials - and triumphs - and we will have to support each other through them all.

I'm ready to start my ride of a lifetime.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rainy Engagement Pictures

Honk honk....captain of the struggle bus right here. Last night, some very good friends of ours threw us a "stock the bar" shower and shrimp boil. We had a blast but got home entirely too late, and I am needing to chug coffee this morning. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite engagement pictures with you all (since I was such a tease last week). 

The day I took engagement pictures, it was dreary, rainy, wet, and anything else you could think of that would make taking pictures less than ideal. But we said "what the hell" and went for it anyway, and I'm so glad because they actually turned out pretty great.

We decided to take pictures at the same place we'll be getting married, because (1) I just love the place and I've seen other couple's pictures taken there that turned out gorgeous and (2) I wanted to scope out places to take pictures on the day of the wedding - so yes, you can expect to see some duplicates of these pictures in our wedding garb. Let's just pray it doesn't rain that day.

One of my absolute favorites! I always think kissing pictures are awkward, but this one turned out not so bad.

You can tell here that the rain was starting to ruin my hair, but I still really like this one!
So there you are, another teaser - but hopefully this time you all are a little more satisfied!