Baking with Buddy: Mini Egg Pizzas

20140316_192922Earlier this month, I whipped out a recipe I had been wanting to try for some time. I got it from my friend Stacey (you can check out her blog here) who found it online at Paleo Parents. I’m not strictly following a Paleolithic diet, which excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils, but, being gluten free, I’m somewhat default paleo. Homegirl likes her ice cream, potatoes and sugar though. See the difference?

Anyway, the idea of these pizzas is that the base is mainly eggs. There’s no dough and no cheese, but your really wouldn’t know that by the way they taste. I will say the hubs was super suspicious of these, but I think he ended up liking them (at least that’s what he told me).

20140316_224359Mini Egg Pizzas
Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Tree-nut Free, Peanut-Free (contains eggs)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp lard or olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 C tomatoes, diced (or one 14 oz. can, strained)
  • 1 C pepperoni, diced
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 C black olives, chopped (optional)
  • 1 C mushrooms, chopped (optional)

20140316_193912Instructions

  1. Heat lard or olive oil over medium heat
  2. Saute onions until almost softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Add tomato paste, cook and stir for one minute until well incorporated with onions
  4. Add tomatoes, cook 2 minutes stirring frequently
  5. Add pepperoni, cook together for 4 minutes, stirring frequently
  6. Crack and beat eggs until fluffy and bubbly
  7. Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper to eggs and mix
  8. Grease muffin tin cups (eggs will stick) or use a silicon pan or liners
  9. Spoon 1 Tbsp of tomato mixture plus any other additions into each muffin cup
  10. Pour egg mixture into muffin cups until they are ¾ full (eggs do fluff up in oven)
  11. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until tops become golden brown. We prefer our slightly underdone if we’re saving them for the week so that when reheated the eggs do not become overcooked.

20140316_194713Sounds simple enough, right? For this recipe I used Simply Balanced Organic Eggs, Hunts Tomato Paste (it was on sale), turkey pepperoni (try not to eat pepperoni because of the nitrates because those jokers will kill you but I made an exception) and olive oil instead of lard. I opted out of the mushrooms and black olives, but I included everything else the recipe asks for.

The recipe is supposed to make 16-24 pizzas. Following the instructions, I made only 14. They came out huge. Go with the 20+, trust me. And, they aren’t cute. Trust me, they really 20140316_221420aren’t cute. The spices make them look a little green, but they taste great. I was surprised by how much they tasted like a pizza without being an actual pizza. The hubs even agreed, which is saying something since he was so skeptical of them from the start. Definitely try out this recipe, which could also make a great breakfast dish. And check out Paleo Parents for more kid-pleasing Paleolithic recipes.

I was not compensated for this review, nor was Buddy, although he probably wouldn’t mind a bone or two.

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Things I’m obsessed with: Ebates

20140226_114650Almost two years ago, I signed up for Ebates and it was quite possibly the best decision ever! Ebates is a company that offers you cash back on your purchases at a more than 1,700 online stores. The stores cover a wide variety of interests and are places that you would be shopping at already–Groupon, Living Social, Target, Walmart, Macys, American Eagle, Sears, Snapfish, Amazon, Kohl’s, etc. Basically, you just go through the Ebates website and click on the store you want to shop at. The link then takes you to that online store where you make your purchase. Ebates then gives you a percentage back on that purchase.

Example: I want to buy some photo books from Snapfish. I visit the Ebates site and click on Snapfish. I design my books and checkout on the Snapfish website. Ebates then gives me 10 percent of my purchase subtotal back. So for a $35.00 purchase, I would get $3.50 added to my Ebates account. Plus, if it’s my first purchase using Ebates, I also get a $10 gift card to one of several stores, including Target and Macys. Bam! I just got cash back on a purchase that I was going to make anyway.

There’s no fee to use Ebates, the cash back is free and you can choose to receive it by check or Paypal transfer. The money is paid out every three months and the cash back percentage varies at each store, but can go up to approximately 25 percent. Plus, they run random deals super often featuring double cash back at various stores.

EbatesI can’t say enough good things about Ebates. It’s like free money on the things you were already buying. Plus, they keep an updated list of promo codes for each store, so like with Kohl’s, you can shop one of their numerous sales, use your promo code to get 15-30% off, get Kohl’s cash on your purchase and get Ebates cash back. Since joining Ebates in June 2012, I’ve received $323.89 via Ebates checks. That’s just cash back on the things I was already going to purchase. It really comes into play around the holidays when I’m doing a lot of the shopping online to avoid the in-store chaos. (Although my husband says I’m a hermit since I’d rather shop online than in store.)

Now if Zulily was one of the stores available via Ebates, I’d really be dangerous.

Update: They have Zulily. Oh gosh. This could get serious. Must step away from the computer…

I was not compensated for this review. I just love Ebates!

Birchbox, I hardly knew ye…

20140226_201844Last month, BirchBox was offering a promotion that was too good to pass up. (I’d post it here, but it has long since expired.) If you signed up for the $10/month subscription and used a promo code, you also got 100 BirchBox points, which is basically $10 in their store to purchase any full size product. Sounded like a great deal and I’d get to check out the subscription boxes you hear so much about.

20140226_202408My first box came last month and boy was I surprised. It was pretty fun to get something in the mail, (I can see why Buddy gets so hopped up over his BarkBox each month), but the box was tiny. I expected it to be big, like it looks in the photos, but it was about 7 1/2 inches long and 2 inches thick. Do what?!? Ok, so color me unimpressed. Inside was tea (have I mentioned I don’t care for tea), little travel size Frederic Fekkai shampoo and conditioner, a tiny little four-shadow eyeshadow palette and a perfume sample. Yeah, you could say there was some variety, but being somewhat of a free sample queen, I just couldn’t see the box adding up to its $10 price.

20140313_175535Completely unimpressed, expect for the joy of getting a surprise box in the mail, and undecided, I let my subscription continue for a second month. This month’s box was better, but still unimpressive. It was the same size and included a Jergens BB lotion and coupon (I do love coupons!), a super bright cheek/lip tint which I haven’t been brave enough to try yet, a rescue balm skin salve/lip balm, heat protectant spray/detangler and the tiniest bottle of mineral sunscreen you’ve ever seen. I think it might double as sunscreen for dolls. I mean that’s how small it is. So needless to say, I’m over it. I bailed on my subscription, briefly mourned the loss of my $20, and moved on.

I hear Ipsy is pretty fabulous, at least that’s what the ex-BirchBoxers are saying via Facebook, so I plan to check that one out. And bonus, even if you hate their products, they come in a different little makeup bag each month, so there’s that. Maybe Birchbox isn’t all that bad, and I invite you to try it for yourself and let me know what you think, but it just wasn’t for me. On to the next…

UPDATE: I just signed up for Ipsy and can’t wait to try it. Even the survey was better. I’ll post a review next month after I receive my first bag!

I was definitely not compensated for this BirchBox review and in fact, lost $20 in the process due to subscription costs. Blah.

Reviews You Can Use: J’Adore VoxBox

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Last month, I was super delighted to find the Influenster J’Adore VoxBox in my mailbox. The VoxBoxes are awesome because they are chock full of products to test and review, two of my favorite things. Plus, this one was a nice Valentine’s Day pink, which didn’t hurt.

The box featured Boots Botanics Ionic Face Mask, Red Rose tea, Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight, Kisses Lashes, Vaseline Spray Lotion for Men and a family-size bag of Hershey’s Kisses. I’ve already reviewed the face mask in a separate post. You can check that out here. As for the Hershey’s Kisses, they were beyond amazing and really, if you haven’t had a Kiss, you haven’t lived so there’s no review necessary for that one. As for the tea, I love the packaging and design. It seems like a great product from a great company. If I were more of a tea drinker, I’d definitely check it out, but I’m IMG_20140215_222125not, so moving on.

The Vaseline Spray Lotion for Men is a great idea. Great idea! However, I worry about its ability to survive since men just aren’t into lotion. I guess it has some girly connotation because my husband was less than interested. I think I’ll probably end up using it unless his lotion phobia subsides.

The Kisses Lashes are cute, as in mega-cute, but they make me nervous. I’m not a big false lashes girl, since the idea of getting glue near my contacts makes me uber uncomfortable. I’ll hold on to these for a rainy, need a lot of lashes, kind of day.

20140307_230507Rounding out the box is the Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight. I have to say I hate taking the time to straighten my hair. No, let me rephrase that. I hate taking the time to even dry my hair, much less straighten it. I have thick hair, and even with my ionic dryer, it just takes so long to dry. I usually just let it air dry. With all of that said, testing out this product was a big leap out of the comfort zone for me. In fact, I even put it off a few days because I was dreading it so much. However, once I tried it, I loved it. It was so easy to use. You wash your hair, spray this on and then dry it. After drying, you straighten your hair using a flat iron.

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The spray makes the dryer and flat iron more effective while also preventing your hair from heat-related damage. It seemed to really speed up my drying time, which I was beyond thankful for and straightening it took no time at all. (My hair is wavy, so not curly, but definitely not pin straight.) And, on top of all of that, it really lasted three days. I usually wash my hair every other day, but to really test out the longevity of this product, I let it go three days and it worked like a charm. I definitely recommend this one and I’ll be using it again.

Overall thoughts on this VoxBox? I really enjoyed all of the products, even the tea and fake lashes, which just aren’t my things. Can’t wait until the next one.

I was not compensated for this review. I received the J’Adore VoxBox free from Influenster for product testing and review purposes.

Reviews You Can Use: Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask #powerofplants

20140310_214858Thanks to Influenster, I recently had the opportunity to test Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask. I had actually been wanting to try out a mask, so this came at a great time. It was fairly simple to use. You clean your face and then spread the mask on, avoiding the eyes and mouth. This dries super fast, so you want to get it on quickly. Then you just leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse it off.

Applying the mask was super easy, although I have to say the color isn’t the best thing ever. It reminded me of a swamp/mud creature due to its greenish-brown tint. The smell wasn’t bad though, so I didn’t mind it. This thing hardened crazy fast though. I could barely move my face less than five minutes into it. 20140310_214625Plus, it kind of itched which drove me a little insane. Really, 10 minutes couldn’t end fast enough. With that said, after rinsing it off (also super easy), my face had a nice, tingly fresh feeling. The mask definitely did its job, enough so that I’ll use it again. Also, it kind of scared my husband when I walked out of the bathroom, which was fun.

I was not compensated for this review. I received this product free from Influenster for review purposes.

Baking with Buddy: Chicken broccoli alfredo

20140310_185601A few weeks ago, I picked up a box of Annie’s Homegrown Gluten Free Classic Alfredo Skillet Dinners at the grocery store. I hadn’t seen gluten free alfredo before and Annie’s is a great brand. It’s made without artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives and the cheese is made using milk from cows not treated with rBST–all big pluses in my book. In addition to the box of alfredo, the meal also called for one pound of chicken, one cup of lowfat milk and 1 1/2 cups of water.

Classic Alfredo

1. Brown one pound diced chicken breast in skillet. Remove from pan.

2. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup lowfat milk and Classic Alfredo seasoning pouch contents to skillet. Mix well.

3. Add pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 11-13 minutes stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is gone.

4. Remove from heat and uncover. Add cooked chicken and liquid cheese sauce. Stir well. Let sit 2-3 minutes.

20140310_192149To begin, I diced two defrosted chicken breasts and browned them in the skillet with a little Simply Balanced Organic Butter. The butter gives it a little extra flavor. Once the chicken was browned, I set it aside and mixed up the alfredo seasoning (using Simply Balanced Organic Milk) as directed in step two before adding the pasta. If you’ve ever worked with rice pasta before, you know it can be a little tricky to get it just right. However, this pasta turned out perfect. I think it was due to the milk that was mixed in with the seasoning pouch. It kept the pasta from sticking together like rice pasta can sometimes do. Also, while cooking the pasta, I tossed a Green Giant Steamers bag of broccoli in the microwave. When both were finished, I added the chicken and broccoli to the pasta and voila–dinner.

20140310_194623I have to say, it was amazing! The sauce had a great taste to it and the broccoli added a little something extra to the dish. I will definitely be making this again. In fact, it was so good that I even ate the leftovers during the next two lunches. It also didn’t hurt that the husband raved over it. I hope Annie’s will come out with more gluten free skillet meals. It’s hard to find quick, healthy gluten free dinner options. If you see a box of this, be sure to grab it. It’s definitely worth the money.

I was not compensated for this review. Nor was Buddy and he really likes bones.

Reviews You Can Use: Tone Petal Soft Body Wash


Thanks to BzzAgent, I’ve been testing Tone Moisturizing Body Wash Petal Soft Pink
for the past few weeks. While I like the packaging (it’s super pink and modern with lots of designs), I’m not crazy about the scent. I tend to go for fruitier scents, so the floral is a little too much for me. It’s not something I would choose for myself given the option, but for those who like floral scents, this would be perfect. It makes a nice rich lather, which some body washes fail to do, and seems to leave skin feeling soft. All in all, it isn’t a bad product, and if the scent were fruitier, it’d be a shower staple.

Here’s the whole line of Tone Body Washes:

  • New! Petal Soft with Pink Peony & Rose Oil
  • Mango Splash with Cocoa Butter
  • Daily Detox with White Clay & Pink Jasmine
  • Soothing Oatmeal with Shea Butter
  • Ocean Therapy with Deep Sea Extracts & Pearl Essence
  • Fruit Peel® with Alpha-Hydroxy Fruit Acids

I think Mango Splash or Fruit Peel are probably more my style. Which one would you go for?

I was not compensated by Tone Body Wash for this review and received the product free for testing via BzzAgent.

Things I’m obsessed with: Zulily

20140310_185025My friends, a monster has been created. I have become full-on addicted to Zulily. I can’t remember who told me about it or if I saw a commercial, but I love it. I’m a coupon, sale-seeking, won’t buy it if it’s not on sale diva and Zulily fits right in with that. If you’re not familiar with it, Zulily is basically a flash sale site. They advertise sales from various merchants usually starting at 6 a.m. pdt (9 a.m. for us East Coasters) lasting about three days. Once the sale ends, they place a bulk order for all the items sold and then ship you your stuff. The great thing is it’s usually at least 40 percent off, if not more. The not so great thing is it takes a little while to receive your order. Because of their process, you can wait, on average, 3-4 weeks to get your stuff. It varies for each sale, but trust me, these deals are worth the wait.

20140310_185443Last month, they had a TOMS sale. TOMS, in case you aren’t familiar with them, are these fun canvas shoes with hundreds of colors and designs. For every pair purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need. They can be really hard to find on sale, so imagine my delight when I found out they were going to be on Zulily and at a great price! I set my alarm clock (homegirl likes to sleep, plus I had a late meeting for work) and when I logged in at 9:10 a.m., 10 minutes after the start of the sale, some were already sold out. EEK! No worries, I nailed down three pairs. My goal was to get them all in, see which I liked the most in person, and then sell the others. (Another point: there are no returns, but if you know your way around Ebay that isn’t an issue!)

20140310_224115Well, my three fabulous pairs of TOMS arrived at my home Monday, 14 business days after I placed my order, and let’s just say I don’t think I’ll be utilizing the Ebay option. My husband, on the other hand, is less than thrilled. However, I just point out two things: 1) I got three pairs of TOMS for what I would have paid for a pair and a half. 2) My indecisive purchase just gave three pairs of shoes to children in need. How can he argue with that? Plus, I’ll be closet purging via Ebay within the next few weeks to both clean out my closet (cue the Eminem) and pay back my shoe purchase. And also, I probably need a little more space for that super cute shirt that should arrive via Zulily any day now.

If you’re hunting for a good find, please sign up for Zulily. Some of the current sales include Athleta and Vera Bradley.

I was not compensated in any way from Zulily for this post. Seriously though, if you know how to make that happen, let’s talk mmk? Also, if you would be so kind as to sign up through one of my links in this post and make a purchase, I’ll get $15 credit, so thanks. And be sure to share your link once you sign up!

Resurrection?

LOGO_-ONAIR_Resurrection_57778_302__140307200731After watching the premiere of Abc’s Resurrection, I realized I had a ton of questions. I also realized I’ll probably be tuning in week after week. Personally, I love shows that are thought provoking. Twists and turns draw me in, as do complex subjects. If you haven’t caught the show, the basic premise is “What if your lost loved one returned?”

Without giving too much away, the premiere focuses on Jacob, a young boy who wakes up in a rice paddy in China 32 years after he drowned in a river in Arcadia, Missouri. The boy is returned home to his parents, one who is in disbelief and the other who is all too willing to welcome the miracle that is her resurrected son. What we don’t know is why Jacob is back and what the consequences of his return will be. As someone with a B.A. in English, this is where it gets interesting from a creative writing standpoint. There’s so many ways this could go. Who sent Jacob back? Why is he back? What is his purpose? Is he destined to drown all over again?

I’ve read some interesting theories online. Some say maybe Jacob is an angel sent back to accomplish something on Earth. Some go for a more sci-fi angle. I’m not sure yet. What I do know is the whole thing has kind of a reverse Rapture feel to it. In the Rapture, people obviously vanish. Here, they’re coming back. Plus, the word “resurrection” has a largely religious feel to it. Granted, the word itself means “to bring back from the dead,” but I think people really link it with Jesus’ post-crucifixion resurrection from the tomb. And, with Abc being owned by Disney, their programming leads more toward a family-oriented feel. If any network were going to have a religious show in primetime, it would be them. Further perpetuating that idea is the introduction of the town’s pastor, who is trying to explain Jacob’s return to his congregation and the show does air on Sunday, which could do more with ratings possibilities, but still.

eYlawjBGRKrk9z7R--Shr9Rvcd1bWXCnvpZYMUeS_6kI think there’s something important in the first episode that will play out in future episodes. Jacob asks, “Did I die? Did we all die?” I think we’ll see how that integrates into the show in the future. Plus, we know we’ll be seeing more people like Jacob, which again, plays into the numerous directions the writers could go. What about a child who lost a parent or a spouse who lost their significant other? Are they remarried? How does the return of this loved one impact that?

I can’t wait to see where it goes. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Resurrection is available on OnDemand and Hulu, as well as the Abc website. The next episode will air Sunday at 9 p.m. on Abc.

Baking with Buddy: Chicken fajitas, slow cooker style

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This is Buddy and we like to cook, a lot. Granted, his role is more moral support than anything since he just lays in the kitchen floor while I cook, but that counts, especially when I try to tackle something that’s on the complicated side and my husband isn’t here to catch my momentary meltdown.

Earlier this week, Buddy and I tackled chicken fajitas in the slow cooker. We got the recipe off Pinterest via the website Stacy Makes Cents. It’s one I’ve actually made before and held on to it for future use.

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1/4 to ½ cup chicken broth, depending on preference (leave this out if you prefer a drier fajita filling)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • Squirt of lime juice
  • Tortillas
  • Fajita fixings
  1. Combine sliced onion and peppers in the bottom of a greased crockpot.
  2. Lay chicken on top of veggies.
  3. Pour chicken broth over top.
  4. Sprinkle everything with cumin, salt, and chili powder.
  5. Give a nice quirt of lime juice over the top.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 4-8 hours (or on High for 4 hours) or until meat is shreddable.
  7. When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon on tortillas with your choice of fixings.

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The recipe calls for a yellow onion, but I made turkey meatloaf the day before and had half a white onion left over, so I used that instead. For peppers, I used green and yellow, which were left over from a three-pack I had also bought for the meatloaf. I also chose to use only 1/4 cup chicken broth (Wegman’s Organic Chicken Broth) since my chicken was still a little frozen in the middle and I didn’t want to end up with too much moisture. I put everything in the Crock-Pot, according to Stacy’s recipe, and cooked it on low for 8 hours. I had a late meeting for work, so the timing was perfect. 

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And who doesn’t love a slow cooker? You can just fix it and forget it. Fabulous! I have a programmable Crock-Pot so when the cook time is up, it automatically switches to warm. Love it! 

When I got home, the chicken was a little scary looking. I’ll admit it. However, once shredded it looked amazing.

I’m a gluten-free girl so I didn’t opt for the tortillas and I’ve yet to find a great corn tortilla, so I added shredded cheese and ate it paired with yellow rice, cooked by my husband while I was on my way home from work. It was pretty great. My only notes for next time would be to add lettuce and tomato along with shredded cheese post-cooking. I also think this would be great on chips, almost like chicken nachos. My husband said he’d up the spice factor, so maybe some additional peppers would help. I think it was definitely missing the red bell pepper, which I had included when I cooked it before. And Buddy? Well he only eats dog food (with the occasional treat), but I’m sure he enjoyed the smell.

20140306_205050And check out Stacy Makes Cents for more great recipes.