Friday, December 27, 2013

Influenster - Violet Vox Box

Not the best photo - click on the links below for more information on each product.
This post is not food related, but it is about something exciting.  As a member of Influenster, I was selected to test out some products for the Violet Vox Box.  This is the second Vox Box I've gotten to review and I'm really excited to test out these products.

Included in this box is:

Goody Athletique Headband - This is an awesome headband that's designed for keeping your hair back and absorbing sweat while working out.  However, since chopping all my hair off, I've been struggling to keep my hair out of my eyes when doing other things.  I found this to be extremely helpful when baking Christmas cookies this year.  It did not budge the entire time!  I honestly cannot say that for any other headband I've tried.

Sally Hansen New Triple Shine in Sparks Fly - Wow!  What a gorgeous color for the holidays!  I've been working on getting my nails back in shape, so this is extra incentive!

SoyJoy Banana Bar - One word - YUM!  I loved the idea to zap it in the microwave for 8-10 seconds to get a fresh baked tasting treat.

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas Pulped Pomegranate Red Earth Clay Spa Mask - I haven't tried this yet, but I'm excited to test it out.  It sounds really refreshing and fun!

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo - I also haven't had the chance to try this and with my naturally curly hair, I'm not the best candidate to test this out.  My hair kind of likes some extra oil and dirt in it to look it's best (TMI - I know). 

I am so excited to be a part of this program and to try out these great products.  Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these products and what your thoughts are.

**Please note I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Italian Chicken-Zucchini Skillet

This recipe was adapted from this recipe from Hunts.

This was something I threw together after googling a few ingredients one crazy evening.  I am trying to really watch what I eat and eliminate as many processed and unnecessary ingredients as possible.  The benefit of this dish is that it has tons of veggies and cooks really quickly and in one pan!

If you have really hungry folks, you may need to add some pasta to increase the staying power of this.  Or you could add more chicken to increase the protein. If you are going to mix with pasta, you may want to add some tomato sauce to make it less dry.

Ingredients:
Boneless Chicken (I used about 4 chicken tenders; about 1 lb)
Herb and White Wine marinade (or Italian dressing/marinade)
Cooking Spray
1 can diced tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano (or whatever Italian blend you enjoy)
1/2 small onion diced
1-2 zucchinis peeled and sliced
Parmesan cheese

Here's How it all Comes Together:

1. Dice the chicken into bite sized pieces.
2. Marinate the chicken for about 15 minutes in marinade.
3. While the chicken in marinating, dice up your veggies.
4. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.
5. Cook chicken in skillet until no longer pink.
6. Add veggies and undrained tomatoes.
7. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
8. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
9. Serve over pasta (orzo, rotini, penne, etc.)

The Verdict:
Mr. Picky Pants actually really liked this.  It was a little to "light" for him, so he would benefit from the pasta as I noted above or an additional side with some carbs.  I was really surprised he enjoyed it since it had so many veggies in it, but he said it was actually quite tasty.  I was just happy I didn't have to make him a separate dinner. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Lifeway Kefir


As a participant in Influenster, I received a coupon for a free Lifeway Kefir product.  I grabbed the Lowfat Kefir Cultured Milk Smoothie in Strawberry Banana.


Well, tonight I gave it a try.  It has a good flavor, but the overall kefir flavor was just too sour for my liking.  So, I decided to "enhance" it a bit.




Ingredients:
1 cup Lifeway Kefir Smoothie in Strawberry Banana (most flavors would work)
1/3 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries (or your favorite berry)
1 T honey

Here's the easy part:
Combine it all in the blender and blend.

The result is a tangy, sweeter smoothie with all the benefits of the kefir.



Unfortunately this is not something that Mr. Picky Pants would even dream of tasting, so I didn't even try.  Oh well, his loss.

Please note:  I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tastykake® Kandy Bar Kakes

I am participating in a testing program called VoxBox from Influenster.  I received a really fun box of goodies to test out and share my opinions.  I know this blog isn't really designed for this, but since it's food related, and Mr. Picky Pants related, I figured I give it a shot.

The first thing Mr. Picky Pants saw when I opened the box was the Tastykake Kandy Bar Kake - S'mores flavor.  He grabbed it out of the box before I knew what happened.  I've been trying to prevent him from eating it for a couple days, but gave in today.  I didn't even get a picture of the cake, just a sad, empty wrapper.






Having had MANY S'mores treats before, Mr. Picky Pants expected this to be messy - as most are.  Usually the graham cracker portion crumbles when you bite into it.  He was pleasantly surprised when it was a moist, soft cake surrounded in chocolate with a marshmallow filling.  Needless to say, we'll be looking for these in the near future.

Visit http://www.tastykake.com/ for more information.

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Biscuits

This is a new take on Chicken Tortilla Bake but slightly more Picky Pants friendly.  The cheesy chicken mixture is the same as in the chicken tortilla bake.  The biscuit part is literally just canned biscuits (though I suppose you could make your own if you're cool like that).  It was actually pretty easy and they came out much better than I expected.

Ingredients:
1 can refrigerated biscuts
Boneless Chicken
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 small onion
1-2 cups cheddar cheese (enough for the tops reserved)
1 cup peas/broccoli or any other frozen or canned veggie

I don't have pictures of making it, but it's pretty simple and you can refer to the Chicken Tortilla Bake recipe for help.

To start, spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Cut the biscuits in half like you would when they are baked so you have two discs for each one. 

Roll each half biscuit into a disc large enough to fill one muffin cup.

Press into the muffin cups so they come up the sides as far as possible.

Bake these unfilled following the directions on the can of biscuits for about 8-10 minutes.  About half way through pull them out and push down the middles since they puff up (you need this space for the filling).

While the biscuit cups are baking, brown the chicken and onion and combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Pull out the biscuit cups when they are done baking and push down the middles again.

Fill each biscuit cup just to the top with the filling (don't overfill or you'll make a mess).  Top each cup with a little extra shredded cheese.

Bake for about 5 minutes more - keep an eye on them so the biscuits don't get too brown.  Remember you're just heating the filling through and melting the cheese.

Once they are done, they should pop right out and be ready to eat.

The Verdict:
Mr. Picky Pants really liked these.  They were devoured quickly and were easy to eat.   These were definitely a meal fit for a 4-year-old since they combine all the food groups into one little package that's fun to eat.  I will definitely be making these again and will probably try new fillings.  I'm thinking of a sloppy joe biscuit next.