A Dose of PA Dutch - Chicken and Waffles

When I mention the words "chicken and waffles" to someone, I get one of two extreme reactions--extreme love, or extreme disgust. 

Listen. I come from Central Pennsylvania. The land of the Amish, fatty foods, and back road eateries where said Amish folks make said fatty foods. Chicken and waffles is one of those delicacies I grew up eating at home, at church, and at restaurants. The other night for some reason I was craving that taste, so I knew I was going to need to whip some up when I got home.

Central PA Chicken and Waffles

You will need: 

For the gravy:
4 tsps butter
1/2 c flour
2 cups of chicken stock
7-8 pieces of frozen chicken cutlets (I love Trader Joes frozen chicken! Just buy a huge bag and keep it in your freezer for times like this.)

For the waffles:
Waffle mix

1. Cook the chicken in the microwave according to directions on the bag. I stuck mine in a microwave safe dish and cooked on high for five minutes, rotated/flipped them over, and then continued to cook on high for another five minutes.

2. While the chicken is cooking in the microwave, make your gravy. Start out by melting the butter in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Once melted, slowly add flour to make a roux. After all the flour has been added, slowly whisk in the chicken stock and continue to whisk until smooth. 

3. If you time it right, your chicken should be done cooking by the time you are done mixing the gravy base. Now, cut up the chicken into small pieces and mix into the gravy. Turn heat down to low and let simmer while you fire up the waffle iron.

4. Cook waffles according to directions, pretty much something along the lines of mix, pour into iron, and cook until it beeps. Even easier: pop some eggos into the toaster. Leggo my Eggo!

And that's it! An easy dinner to satisfy a unique craving. Best enjoyed on vintage Pyrex plates. It might not be the prettiest thing, but it sure hit the spot when I was missing home.
(Speaking of Pyrex, check out Allison's feature on vintage Pyrex...makes my heart swoon.)


Back in Black

Surprise! Things look a little different around here!

Lately, I had been feeling like I was in a rut....with my style, with my creativity, pretty much with everything that didn't involve conking out on the couch with Big Bang Theory reruns in the background. I was feeling blah about what I was throwing on to wear to work. I mean, when it reaches the time of year when things are just cold and miserable, does anyone really feel like dressing cute? I sure don't.

But I was sick of it! Sick of it, I tell ya! So I took it upon myself to revamp the blog AND my style funk! Last week, I straightened my hair, put on a skirt, and had myself an awkward self photo shoot in the backyard. Oh, how I have missed those! This black H&M button up and gray skirt were both thrifted at some point or another, and the necklace was a cheapie at Body Central. I love how a long bangle instantly spruces up a boring top!

Ian and I also (finally) backed up our computers this weekend, and I took it upon myself to clear out all my photos on my computer which dated back to 2007. Is it any wonder I never felt like uploading photos? It always took a million years. Could have had something to do with the 15,000+ photos I was storing on my hard drive (I'm not even kidding). It seems like such a dumb little task, but doing that little thing made me feel productive and like I could finally take on some new projects.

Soon, daylight savings time will be here and we will be able to start sprucing up the backyard to get ready for summer get-togethers and evening lounging. 

But for now, you'll have to deal with the dried-up-herb-garden-and-random-foam-balls-kicked-over-the -fence-by-our-neighbor's-kids backdrop. Can't expect too much out of one weekend.

**Just a note about the new design--I designed the header and sidebar, but was lucky to find the adorable social media icons from Carrie Loves. They were so easy to install and she has every color you could ever want! 


You Win Some, You Lose Some

The Super Bowl may have been the highlight of most people's weekend, and as much as I loved stuffing myself with queso dip, chili, and cupcakes, I will totally be talking about this Pinterest Win all week (although Beyonce was pretty fabulous).

I am a huge fan of girls nights, and I'm an even bigger fan when those girls nights involve CRAFTS. And pizza...and wine...and Dominos lava cakes...

(As you can see, any shred of effort to eat well was shot this weekend. Whoops. Good thing it's a new week!)

Renee, the hostess for the evening, found this adorable tutorial on Pinterest for hand-dotted glass tumblers, and it was the perfect activity to try out on a snowy Saturday evening in Arlington. All you need are some plain drinking glasses/tumblers/votives/shot glasses, acrylic paint, and q-tips. 

The Pinspiration

This was everything I love in a craft-- easy, mindless, and looks a lot harder to make than it actually is. 

I also love when a craft so simple still allows everyone to customize it to their personality with the colors...placing of the dots...thickness of the dots...I mean really. The sky's the limit here.

Once you allow your paint to completely dry, you're supposed to 'bake' them in the oven to set the paint. A quick Google search instructed us to place the tumblers in a cold oven set at 350, allow them to warm up gradually, and then bake 30 minutes before allowing them to cool completely in the oven. The paint will also be set automatically after 21 days, so it just depends on how quickly you want to use your glass, and/or if placing glass in your oven freaks you out.

After the success of the tumblers, it only made sense to continue with another Pinterest-inspired craft: stamped coasters! As you might have seen in the supplies photo, we had various hues of ink, pretty stamps, and stone tiles that had been previously washed and dried. The steps for this craft were even simpler than the first--just stamp. Easy enough, right? Well. Let's go over a few pointers:

1. Cheap ink will not work. We had a few 60-cent options which didn't even come off onto the stamp, let alone onto the tile. The only color that worked was green, which had been a little more expensive. No big, right? We'll just make Saint Pattie's Day coasters!

2. Make a game plan. Look at all the stamps you have, and then decide which ones you want where. Don't just go with the first option in front of you, because then you will see the one across the table you like better and will be sent into a pouty, stamp-induced hatred for your coaster. Not that I don't love vines and birds.

3. Once you've stamped, it's time to seal your design. 

4. Read the directions. If it says to spray the solution onto a cloth first, don't spray directly onto the tile. Please.

Nailed it.

5. However, if you weren't happy with your design to begin with, this stuff will completely wipe your slate clean and give your tile a new beginning. 

6. Decide that you have mastered the q-tip dotting technique, and make a coaster to match your tumbler.


7. Don't be jealous of Amanda, who's coaster rocked.

What have we learned here? You win some, you lose some. 


My Space

Upon moving into our new house and Ian proclaiming the basement as his Man Cave, I decided that I, too, needed a little space of my own. Lucky for us, there was an extra bedroom that had been previously used as a nursery and since we have no need for that at this point in our lives, I simply couldn't let a perfectly good seafoam green room go to waste. Thus, The Bren Room!

Because "Craft Room" seemed too matronly. And "Studio" is way too pretentious for someone who's artistic skill spans no further than a few lucky Pinterest finds. So The Bren Room it is...for now.

As you can see, the room is in it's early, early stages. The table and cube shelves are recent Target finds, and pretty much everything else is junk that was previously strewn about this room in a heap. Throw in a Beatles poster that hung in my room when I was a teenager, some books, and some crafty odds and ends, and essentially, it's like my room back at my parent's house all over again.

But I have high hopes for this room, my friends! Some of the things currently on my to-do list are:

-A pretty desk chair
-A new wall color and maybe a bold accent wall (I'm in love with So Shay's recent office makeover!)
-Funky lighting
-A small couch or love seat

My plan is for this room to be an inspiring space where I can kick start some creative ventures, whether it be devoting more time to blogging, making things, or reading.

Oh, and finding a way to store dresses, purses, and shoes. Eeep. Yeah, I have a separate closet for these things.

One day I know I'm going to cringe when I look back at these photos, but just store them away as the "Before" version...

Happy almost-weekend! 

^Everything on this list is absolutely true. But I am optimistic!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...