Reviews You Can Use: Dessange Oleo Miracle Replenishing Three Step System

20150326_211720Recently, I had the opportunity to test out the new Dessange Oleo Miracle Replenishing Three Step System. It consists of a shampoo, a conditioner and a leave-in replenishing oil treatment, all designed to replenish dry, damaged hair. It’s easy to use, starting first with the shampoo and conditioner and then applying the treatment and the bottles are made to look very high-end, with a mix of golds and coppers, fairly unusual hair product colors which I’m sure will make them pop on the shelves. Also, the scent isn’t horrible–kind of a spicy, cologne style versus the usual clean florals of many shampoos.

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Fresh from the shower post-conditioner and yet frizzy and dry.

Now, with that said, the product just fell flat for me. I used it for a week, although if I had purchased it, I probably would have quit much sooner. The whole system is all about its “three precious oils–argan, camellia and pracaxi.” What it doesn’t highlight, of course, is that the second ingredient in the shampoo is a sulfate, plus its full of a variety of alcohol and other chemicals. The oils aren’t listed until much lower in the ingredient list, signifying that there’s probably not much of them actually in the bottle. Because of the ingredients, I wasn’t really surprised when it massively dried my hair out. The “replenishing” conditioner didn’t do much to help the situation. Then, adding the oil, which you’re encouraged to use 2-3 dime size drops, I used two, somehow creates this oily, grease slick, yet frizzy and dry hair. It’s fairly odd and I’m definitely not a fan. I have very long, thick hair and moisture is important to me. This just didn’t work. I’m not sure why something that is supposed to be replenishing would use ingredients that are obviously not replenishing. Then, to get the shiny hair it says it’ll give you, it’s like they just said let’s oil things up, because oil creates shine, right?  Yeah, I’m fairly certainly that’s not the kind of shine we’re looking for. The whole thing just made me want to rewash my hair.

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Post oil application which creates an oily, greasy, unclean feeling.

Something I also found odd was that the largest portion of the text on the bottle, minus the ingredients list, is all about the creator. There’s only a few lines actually describing the product itself. That’s nice that the owner was a word-renowned hairstylist in France back in the 1950s, but tell me how fabulous your product is. I can Google him.

Bottom line, I’m not a fan and this product wasn’t for me. There are some who may absolutely love it, but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea.

I received these products free from Influenster for testing purposes. I was not compensated for my review.

Baking with Buddy: Slow cooker chicken philly sandwiches

20141119_192242A few months ago when I was in the midst of packing, I got to that point where cooking was tough. The spices were packed up, most of the cookware was packed up and the boxes were quickly taking over every available space in the apartment. Enter the crockpot–the “my apartment is packed up because I’m moving” meal savior. Wanting to keep up with my quest to try new recipes, I stumbled across this gem on Pinterest from Foodfamilyfinds.com:

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning
  • sliced Mozzarella cheese
  • hoagie rolls
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Spray a 3 – 4 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn to LOW heat.
  2. Add butter, onions and green peppers.
  3. Toss chicken with steak seasoning, salt and pepper, then add to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Serve on hoagies with a slice of cheese melted on top.

Okay, so being gluten free I changed this recipe up a bit, so here’s my ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 onion (I usually choose between yellow and white, depending on which is on sale)
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I buy these from Wegmans and they’re fairly large so two were more than enough)
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Steak Seasoning (I checked two stores looking for the Dale’s Steak Seasoning, which I should note is a liquid. I couldn’t find it in either, so I went with a dry steak seasoning which worked just as well. If you can find Dale’s, more power to you, but don’t be afraid to substitute it with a different seasoning.)
  • sliced provolone cheese (I’m a firm believer that cheesesteaks should have provolone, not mozzarella.)

To get this thing rolling along, I first sprayed my slow cooker with Coconut Oil non-stick spray and turned it on low.

20141119_164455I then added my butter to the slow cooker and allowed it to heat while I sliced my onion and green peppers, tossing them in once sliced.

Next it was time for my chicken to go on top of the onion and peppers, followed by the steak seasoning and a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper to add additional flavor.

20141119_164752I let the whole thing cook, covered, on high for five hours and once finished, I shredded the chicken using two forks, spooned out portions and covered each with a slice of provolone. Since the chicken was warm, the cheese easily melted. Now, you could use a hoagie and make more of a sandwich, but being gluten free, I went breadless and it worked just as well.

20141119_201240The chicken had a great flavor and easily shredded, plus the cheese added a nice sweetness to the spice of the seasoning and peppers.

Plus, once all was finished, I had minimal mess which was nice because I needed to pack up that crockpot to be moved a few days later with all of the other stuff.

I do not own this recipe. This post represents my experience and take on a recipe found at FoodFamilyFinds.com.

DIY: 50th Anniversary Shadow Box

20140607_161527My husband’s grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last summer and when we were planning our wedding, I heard that they didn’t have a copy of their wedding certificate. Now, honestly, I have no clue where ours is and it’s only been a little over four years, but I was able to hunt theirs down at the local courthouse. For theirs, I created a nice shadow box to put it on display which also doubled as an anniversary gift. Really, I need to this for my own when I hunt it down. This gift can easily be created for a wedding, anniversary or really any other occasion and could easily be used for a birth certificate, diploma or any other piece of paper you wish to display.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A 12×12 shadowbox (This may need to be bigger depending on the size of your certificate)
  • 12 x 12 scrapbook paper (Preferably two contrasting shades or patterns)
  • Decorative straight pins (Six came with the shadowbox)
  • Plain straight pins
  • Double sided tape
  • The certificate you wish to display
  • Other decorative items you wish to include (I used a photo and a little sign I created with Photoshop)

Start off by hunting down the certificate you wish to display. Birth and marriage records can be obtained from the local courthouse. Finding the marriage certificate I used was actually fairly easy. I had both of the names (important) and took them to the courthouse of the county that I knew there were married in. The clerk easily looked it up and helped my find the right one among the gazillions of paperwork they had on file. They made a photocopy and I was on my way.

20140607_155056Next, I picked up my shadowbox (I found mine at Target) and bought my scrapbook paper. I chose a gold patterned piece, since the 50th anniversary is typically the golden anniversary, and a piece of gold glitter paper.

Once home, I created a little sign using Photoshop and printed a photo that I had on file. I don’t love the picture, but it was the most recent one I had. I then used plain straight pins and affixed the patterned piece of paper into the back of the shadowbox, using one pin in each of the four corners.

20140607_160257I then trimmed my glittery paper using the sizes of my certificate, sign and photo as a guideline. I made the glittery paper slightly larger (about an inch and a half on each side) than each of the items to allow the glittery to create a contrast between the item and the background. Using my double sided tape, I affixed each item to its corresponding glittery paper.

Using the decorative pins, I pinned each item into the box, starting with the certificate at the top and then the photo and sign under it.

20140607_164432After adding back the piece of glass (this shadowbox worked like a photo frame and not like some that I’ve seen that open on hinges) I wrapped it in tissue paper, put it in a bag and was on my way.

So there you have it. A nice, personalized gift that someone is sure to love for their anniversary, birthday, graduation or more. 20140607_161527

Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

20141103_185027I’ll start off by saying I’m not a huge fan of pineapple, but this recipe wasn’t bad. It actually didn’t turn out that pineapple-y. My guess is the soy sauce mellows out the fruity flavor of the pineapple.

I found the recipe via Pinterest and it comes from “Moms with Crockpots:”

Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
6 hours
Total time
6 hours 5 mins
 
Author: Amanda@MomsWithCrockpots.com
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 can of pineapple in juice (tidbits, chucks, rings, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Chop onion and place in crock pot.
  2. Place Chicken Breast on top of onion.
  3. Dump the can of pineapple (juice and all) over the chicken.
  4. Dump the soy sauce and the chicken broth on top of everything.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH in the crockpot for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8
  6. hours.
  7. Serve over rice and with a steamed veggie.

20141103_090341For my recipe, I used three chicken breasts from Wegmans. My husband and I buy the big club packs and freeze the breasts individually to cut costs. My pineapple was a can of the Dole Pineapple Tidbits and I used a white onion, plus gluten free soy sauce and Wegmans organic chicken broth.

20141103_090628Following the instructions, I hand chopped my onion and placed it in my crockpot that I had sprayed with Coconut Oil to minimize sticking. I then added my defrosted chicken breasts on top of the onion before adding the can of pineapple, soy sauce and chicken broth. I then set my crockpot on low for 6 hours which ended up being more than enough time. When finished, I served over Market Pantry White Rice. I skipped the vegetable since the chicken was fairy thick and I felt the starchiness of the rice would be too much to then add a vegetable.

The chicken was well-cooked and had a good flavor to it. I will say I’m finding out that I’m not a fan of soy sauce and chicken in the crockpot. It creates a strange flavor that I can’t really put my finger on. It’s a little heavy and with chicken, I would rather it be lighter. It could also be that this dish needs a little more seasoning or something extra. I can’t quite figure it out, but it was missing something. I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks after trying it. In the meantime, enjoy!

I do not own this recipe. This blog represents my own experience with it.

Less than 10-minutes, under $10 Valentine’s Day wreaths

20150214_150811I ended up working a lot this week and didn’t get around to making Valentine’s Day wreaths until today, yep Valentine’s Day. Luckily, they’ll make an easy transition to spring since they aren’t overly holiday-ish. To keep things simple and easy, being that I was on a time crunch and all, I combined pre-made embellishments with rustic-style wreaths.

20150214_150807 The wreaths I picked up in the dollar section of Target for $3 each. One was a little bent, but at $3 I can’t really complain. To go along with them, I also nabbed a pink felt flower for $1. The flower is attached to a clothespin which makes it easy to attach to the wreath.

20150214_150756I also picked up three-dimensional burlap floral stickers by Jolee’s Boutique. I had never seen them before, but I fell in love with them and the burlap matched the style of my felt flower. Plus, they were on sale for half off so $2.99 for each, with each containing two stickers. Score! In the floral section, I picked up some bright pink flowers for $5.99. Not on sale, but not horribly priced either.20150214_150842

For the first wreath, I used the pink flowers, pulling them into individual stems and then wedging those stems down into the grapevine wreath material. It took about five minutes and bam, I had a wreath.IMG_6408

For the second wreath, I attached the felt flower first, using the clothespin to hook onto the grapevine wreath material. Then, using the twisty tie attached to the back of each flower sticker to wrap around the grapevine, I added two cream flowers and two pink flowers. Again, five minutes later, I had a wreath. IMG_6401

And now both my front and back doors have a nice, festive pop of color on them all for less than $10 each. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thirty One and cardboard equals genius!

20140930_221220If you’re like me, you have at least one Thirty-One bag. If you’re unfamiliar with Thirty-One, now is the time to check it out here. You’ll thank me later. Anyway, what is the most popular thing in Thirty-One’s lineup of products? Utility totes! I have the large utility tote, I have the deluxe utility tote, I have the zip top organizing utility tote. You get the picture. Now, Thirty-One is a smart company and they don’t just make the totes. Oh no. They make tops for the totes, attachable pouches for the totes, etc. etc. but there’s still an issue. A majority of the totes have soft bottoms. This is fine if you’re tote is maxed out full, but not so great if isn’t. So behold, I give you the life hack to end life hacks–a hard bottom for your Thirty One utility totes.

20140713_191357It’s fairly simple. You need cardboard, scissors and some waterproof tape. I used packing tape, but you could probably use duct tape, especially the super cute stuff with the bright colors or fancy patterns. I didn’t have that on-hand, so clear tape it was.

For my cardboard, I used the flaps off an Amazon box. I’m an Amazon junkie so it’s no surprise I had one of these laying around. Any cardboard will do, but this enabled me to re-purpose something I already had on hand.

Using your scissors, cut the flaps off the box. Then, take the flaps and push them into the bottom of your utility tote. This is to get a measurement for how long and wide the bottom will need to be. Make a mark on the flaps where they need to be trimmed. Taking them out of the bag, trim them in the necessary spot to ensure you get the proper length to cover the bottom of the bag.

For width, I found that I had to tape two flaps together, overlapping one slightly with the other, to get them to cover the bottom of my bag. This may not be necessary depending on how wide your cardboard is.

20140713_191341Once everything is cut and the two are overlapped (if necessary) tape everything together. Be sure to cover every inch of the cardboard, front and back, with tape to prevent them from getting wet in the bottom of the bag and bending.

When you’re finished, pop your new cardboard bottom into the bottom of your bag and voila, you now have a hard bottom utility tote.

20140713_191419Now you may be thinking, this is just cardboard and tape. It’s not going to hold up. I assure that’s not the case. I fashioned these bottoms for two of my totes right before I took them on a week-long beach trip. These bags were carried out to the beach everyday, occasionally became a home for wet towels and picked up a little sand along the way and they stayed perfect. I’ve since used the same bags, with the same cardboard bottoms, for a weekend beach trip, pool trips, moving, hauling Christmas presents and more. I have yet to have to remake a bottom or had any issues. Fabulous!20141225_122108

Fajita, fajita…

I’m a huge fan of naturally colorful food. There’s just something about it that screams healthy. Now note I say NATURALLY colored food. No, Cheetos do not count. I’m talking vibrant peppers and scallions, colorful fruit, green vegetables. Those kinds of things. So really, taking that into account, it’s no wonder that I love fajitas!

I usually choose to make steak fajitas with bright peppers and onions. They’re not my husbands favorite, but he loves me so he eats them anyway.

What you need to make Fajitas, Fajitas:

  • Steak
  • A variety of peppers (I usually use some combination of red, orange and yellow, sometimes adding in a green one here or there) 20140901_193611
  • Olive oil
  • An onion (I usually use a white onion, but really I’ll rock whatever’s on sale)
  • Fajita seasoning (I use Ortega)

1. I start off by cutting my steak into thin strips. I try to use organic steak, grass fed beef. I find it has a better quality and plus it doesn’t contain all the crazy things other beef does thanks to what the cows are fed and how the meat is treated.

2. 20140901_193425Once my steak is cut into strips, I put a small amount of Olive Oil in a skillet and add the steak. I cook it until it’s well done, but not burnt. I like it done, but not overdone.

3. Setting my steak aside, I chop my peppers and onions into large pieces and add them to the already hot skillet. Adding a small amount of oil, I sautee the vegetables until finished. I don’t like them too cooked, but I do like them a little soft. Usually, when the onions are being to take on a darker appearance I know my vegetables are done. It’s really up to you how you want them. I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here.20140901_195039

4. When the vegetables are finished, I add the steak back into the skillet and heat everything together adding fajita seasoning.

5. When done, I usually serve them on a corn tortilla with shredded cheese and occasionally lettuce and tomato, depending on the mood I’m in. I will say corn tortillas are an acquired taste, so flour tortillas work just as good.

Okay, now that I’ve made myself super hungry, enjoy your fajitas. Let me know how they come out. And if you wanted to send me some, I wouldn’t hate that either. Keep in mind if you’re in a rush or don’t feel like working with raw meat, you can also pick up preseasoned fajita steak strips that you just have to heat up. It’s an option.

Holy moly, eight months till 30…

A few years ago I had this idea to create a bucket list of things to accomplish before I turned 30. Well, here it is 2015 (Happy New Year by the way!) and I’m only about eight months away from turning 30. Eight months! How did that even happen? In looking at this list, created in August 2012, I’ve definitely crossed some things off, and have to get cracking on others. Here’s an update on the epic 30 by 30.

The list, in all its 2012 glory, with status check-ins in red:

(Please note these are in no particular order. Some should probably wait until right before 30 like number two so I don’t bite it before I can check off the other 28…)

  1. Go deep sea fishing
  2. Fly on a plane (Let’s be realistic here. First, I don’t like heights. Second, I have anxiety in the car. Third, these things keep going missing. I’m not trying to be on CNN. I don’t swim well. I’m fairly doomed. I don’t know that I’ll cross this one off before 30…
  3. Visit the Statue of Liberty ( I really think everyone should do this at least once and I want to celebrity stalk in NYC…) (I saw the Statue of Liberty from super far away when driving to Maine, haven’t visited yet though)
  4. Buy a house (Boom! Doneski! Mark it down!10389029_10100179173162601_3907133462420420455_n
  5. Make fabulous things and sell them on Etsy (This could be a great way to great my craftiness out of my system without junking up my apartment…) (I’m currently working on an office/craftroom and should be ready to make and sell items shortly)
  6. Visit Curacao
  7. Get at least two stamps in my passport (Nailed it! In the fall of 2012, my husband and I took our third cruise, this time to Mexico, Belize and Honduras. I made sure to get stamps in all three!) 
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    Mexico!

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    Belize!

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    Honduras!

  8. Read 50 books from Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list (Being a former English major that lived off SparkNotes this may be more torture than entertainment…I’m guessing Andy Cohen’s book isn’t on this list…) Okay, I edited this one in Aug. ’13 to the Goodreads.com list instead, or as I like to refer to it, the “books I may actually stay awake through” list 🙂 This one will need a separate blog post…
  9. Watch 50 movies from IMDB’s 250 best list (I really hope these aren’t all black and white or it could be like number eight…akin to water board torture…) This one will need a separate blog post as well…
  10. Cook or prepare 100 new recipes I’ve been using Pinterest to keep track of these. I have one board where I pin recipes, and then I move them to a second board once I make them. So far, I’ve made 46 new recipes. My new house has a huge kitchen, so I’m excited to finish this one over the next few months.
  11. Get involved/volunteer I try to do this as much as possible, whether it be volunteering for vacation Bible school or other church activities or helping out organizations I’m passionate about. Right now, it’s all about Ellie’s Big Give, honoring a young girl who passed away last year after a battle with cancer. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/elliesbiggive and please contribute if you can!
  12. Speak Spanish to a native speaker (All those years of high school and college Spanish really should have taught me enough to have a conversation…if not, Spanglish should fully apply here…)
  13. Get a six-pack (No, not the Bud kind but rather the “I’ll eat you for breakfast” kind…) Not quite there yet, haha
  14. Design and build a flower garden (Will probably need to come after number four…) Done!
  15. Sing karaoke to strangers in a public place (I secretly practice my Tina Turner routine now and then…) I sang to strangers at a New Year’s party the other night, does that count?
  16. Try out for Wheel of Fortune (I was made for this game…) Hello Wheel Bus, where are you?!?
  17. Start a business Boom. Did it!
  18. Pay off debt (Really, shouldn’t this be on everyone’s twenties list?) Rocking it out, one bill at a time
  19. Try new things within reason (Emphasis on the last part…this can not be used against me…) I definitely have embraced this one. I try to take every opportunity that comes along, providing it isn’t crazy. No, I’m not skydiving. Sorry I’m not sorry. I’d like to make it to 30.
    IMG_4675

    Making friends with a South American Sea Lion

    IMG_4402

    Shark anyone?

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    Doesn’t everyone dance with their servers?

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    The Charleston donkey

    IMG_9580

    Local goats

    14

    And more goats!

    144

    A giraffe!

    189

    Yeah, these guys spit in my hand while eating…

    17

    He tried to steal the bucket. I won.

    114

    In the aviary

    IMG_4921

    L.L. Bean!

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    Just hanging around in Salem…

  20. Paint pottery
  21. Make Edna Lewis fried chicken (She’s a goddess and it’s a multi-day process…also this will now have to be gluten free…)
  22. Update my camera (I love my XTi, but it’s time to bump it up…) I did this, finally! I love my new camera, but I’m looking at upgrading again. I know, I know. Dang technology!
  23. Eat lobster in Maine YES! I ate Lobster in Maine! 
    20130925_194847

    Isn’t this the best restaurant pager ever?

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    The Portland Lobster Company!

    20130924_201630

    Lazy Lobster

  24. Try at least one new food a month Lame. I have since edited this out due to its lameness and the fact that I already pretty much do this. Instead, I’d like to see a whale… Okay so this is another one I changed back in Aug. ’13. I have since seen a whale and it was awesome! 

    IMG_5237

    A whale just off the coast of Massachusetts!

  25. Make (gluten free) bread from scratch (Pie crusts may defy me, but I will make this work…)
  26. Eat less processed foods Doneski! Going gluten free pretty much cuts out most processed foods.
  27. Host a holiday dinner (Again, this will probably need to wait until after I accomplish number four…)
  28. Sew a dress
  29. Learn to like mornings (So important, but not that fun…) I don’t know about this one…good thing I have eight months to make that adjustment…
  30. Complete a race (Any race will do…)

 

The 10 Minute Wreath

If you’ve been following this blog then you know that I haven’t posted anything in months. Why you ask? My husband and I have been purchasing our first home. We moved the Saturday after Thanksgiving and still have boxes aplenty, but we’re in so that’s what counts. Don’t worry, there’s lots of home shopping/buying/moving/diy blogs to come, but for now let’s focus on something I like to call “The 10 Minute Wreath.” Why a 10 minute wreath? Because I’m living out of boxes and can’t find half my craft supplies, but still have to decorate for Christmas.

The 10 Minute Wreath

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Supplies:

Silk poinsettias (You’ll need at least six blooms, depending on the size of your wreath. I found them three blooms to a stem for $3 each at Walmart.)

A wreath (I found a plain, evergreen wreath for $2.97 at Walmart.)

Battery-powered lights (I used Phillips twinkling lights from Target.)

Ribbon (At first, I purchased a silky ribbon from Walmart, but it was too soft to make a bow. Be sure to choose a ribbon that is a little stiffer or has wire.)

Wire cutters

Steps:

Start off by putting batteries in the lights. You do not want to get those suckers on your wreath only to find out that don’t work. You’ll end up slinging the whole thing across the kitchen.

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When you have working lights, wrap your wreath in them. I like to start with the end that has the battery pack on it and wrap from there, using the cord to wrap around the battery pack and secure it to the wreath.

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Now, cut the blooms off the main poinsettia stems. Be sure to leave a little of the thinner stem on each of them to tuck them into the wreath. You’ll definitely need wire cutters for this step, because scissors won’t cut through the stems. They’re usually some type of wire that’s wrapped in green plastic.

With the poinsettias cut, stick them into the wreath, leaving as much space between each as you desire. I left a decent amount of space to show off the lights, but you could really cover the entire thing with the blooms if you wanted.

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Next, cut a sizeable amount of ribbon and tie it around an empty space on the wreath making a bow.

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Viola! You’re done! Hello Christmas wreath! Hang it on the door and enjoy!

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Baking with Buddy: Grilled Chicken Squash and Zucchini Bake

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is visit the local farmer’s market. I take my Thirty-One Market Tote and head out with my husband to find some produce. Recently, we picked up zucchini and squash, two vegetables I absolutely love. I usually saute them, but I wanted to try something a little different. Behold, the grilled chicken squash and zucchini bake!

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I found a recipe on Relish.com for a squash and zucchini bake and then tweaked it. Here’s that recipe:

Ingredients

4 small zucchini, diced (about 3 cups total)
2 cups (about 5 1/2 ounces) club cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 small onion, grated
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or 9-inch-square baking dish.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add zucchini; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
  3. Press cracker crumbs on bottom of prepared pan to form a crust. Dot with butter. Spoon zucchini on top.
  4. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy. Stir in onion, milk, 2/3 cup Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over zucchini and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Cheddar and Parmesan.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes, or until golden on edges.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m gluten free so the first thing out the door were the cracker crumbs. Instead, I substituted in two cups of gluten free bread crumbs. I then used organic eggs and milk and reduced fat cheese. I didn’t buy enough squash and zucchini at the market, so I added in some organic ones purchased at Wegmans. I also added in Bare Naked chicken tenders.

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Here’s my recipe:

1 package of Bare Naked chicken tenders

2 zucchini

2 squash

2 cups (about 5 1/2 ounces) gluten free bread crumbs

2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter

3 organic eggs

1 small onion, grated

1/2 cup 2% organic milk

1 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or 9-inch-square baking dish. I figured the chicken would add some size to the dish and I didn’t want it to be too thick so I used my Pyrex 9 x 13 baking dish. I sprayed it with Pam Organic Olive Oil to keep the casserole from sticking.
  2. Melt one tablespoon of organic butter in a large skillet and add chicken, cook until golden brown.20140707_190613
  3. While the chicken is cooking, slice the zucchini and squash into triangular pieces. I first cut it into slices and then cut those slices into fourths. Why? I don’t know, it just seems to be the best size for a casserole. You don’t want the chunks to be too big.20140707_190817
  4. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add zucchini and squash; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well in a colander. 20140707_193821
  5. With the zucchini and squash ready, the chicken should be finished cooking. Put the grilled tenders into a food processor (I used the 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor (which I love)) and pulse them until finely chopped.
  6. Press the bread crumbs on the bottom of the prepared Pyrex dish to form a crust and dot it with the remaining butter.  Spoon zucchini and squash on top.20140707_192518
  7. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy. Stir in onion, milk, 2/3 cup Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over zucchini and squash and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Cheddar and Parmesan. 20140707_195024
  8. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes, or until golden on edges.
  9. Enjoy!

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I absolutely loved this dish and I hope you will too. It offered a new way to cook some old favorites. Let me know if you try it. I want to hear what you think!