Food, Tutorials

Succulent Sundays: BBQ Chicken Nachos

Remember that time when I made BBQ chicken bakes?! Well…

I wanted to try something a little different for dinner last night and, let me tell you, these are not-ch-your ordinary nachos! I knew I wanted to make my pulled BBQ chicken in the crock pot since it had been a while but I really wasn’t in the mood for traditional BBQ. So instead I made BBQ chicken nachos. If you need my recipe for the pulled BBQ chicken follow this link. This twist is super easy. All you’ll need is chips, lettuce (either hearts of romaine or shredded iceberg), guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, and chicken.

Chips

Combine Chips and a layer of pulled BBQ chicken in a bowl (or on a plate) and a 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and microwave for 1 minute.

BBQ Chicken on ChipsLayer on lettuce (I used iceberg for my husband’s dinner and romaine lettuce for mine), guacamole, sour cream, and a pinch of cheese on top.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Serve and enjoy! I paired mine with a cup of unsweetened iced tea and it was so good!

Barbeque Chicken Nachos

DIY, Food, Pictures, Tutorials

Homemade French Fries (With Pictures!)

Happy Succulent Sunday, everyone! Today I want to show you how to make easy homemade french fries.

I served these with Jenny-O turkey burgers and, instead of using a bun, I put it between two pieces of lettuce and added a little bit of cheese.

Market Pantry Corn Oil

I usually use grape seed oil, because of it’s very high smoke point, but I recently discovered that corn oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees so it’s definitely a more budget friendly way to fry foods at home. For this recipe you’ll need potatoes, oil, and any seasoning that you prefer.

Homemade Fries Recipe

I happened to have gold potatoes on hand so that’s what I used for this recipe.

Homemade French Fry Recipe

The potatoes fry really well when they’re frying in oil between 250-325 degrees.

Homemade french fry recipe

Once you’ve peeled and cut your potatoes (and your oil is arm enough), place them in a single layer in your oil. Whenever you’re frying something, you’ll want to make sure that you’re watching it carefully (heat + oil = fire). When your potatoes start to turn into a nice golden brown, they’re ready.

French Fry Recipe

When you’re ready, carefully take the potatoes out of the oil and place them in a single layer on paper towels (to soak up the oil).

Homemade french fries

french fries recipe

Season immediately (if you’re going to). I used taco seasoning for mine.

french fry seasoning

homemade french fries recipe

Serve & Enjoy!

Homemade French Fries

DIY, Food, Pictures

Succulent Sundays: A Perfect Day With Pooh (Baby Shower Photos)

I am so excited to share some pictures from a very special baby shower that took place last weekend. The theme was Classic Pooh. Enjoy!

Classic Pooh Baby Shower

The mason jars were filled with honey and served both as a table top decoration and a take home favor for guests.

Classic Pooh Diaper Cake

Classic Pooh Diaper Cake

Non Traditional Guest Book

In lieu of a traditional guest book, attendees signed a “Pooh’s Party” hardcover board book.

Baby Shower Balloons

Baby Shower Decorations

Classic Pooh Scrapbook Materials

Amazon has the most adorable Classic Pooh scrapbook materials that doubled as decorations during the shower.

Honey Jar Baby Shower Favors

These were so easy to make. All you need is honey, 4oz Mason Jars, tissue paper, and ribbon.

Diaper Cake

The scrapbook materials on the diaper cake were tucked into the ribbon so that they can be used later after baby arrives.

Tissue Paper Pom Pom Balls

Classic Pooh Baby Shower

There’s a story behind this book, which doubled as a decoration. This book belonged to the nephew of the mommy-to-be. He insisted that his new cousin get the book (and that it be placed on the food table) as a gift at the shower. Absolutely sweet.

Baby Shower Decor

Baby Shower Banner

Classic Pooh Baby Shower

The food was incredible, take a look:

Pooh Baby Shower Cake

Baby Shower Food

Fruit and Cheese Platter

Veggie Platter

Chips and Salsa Platter

Bowl of Nuts

Baby Shower

Green Punch

Cupcakes, Daily Life, Food, Parenting, Pictures

Happy Birthday, Little One….A Look Back In Time (With Pictures)

I cannot believe how quickly time just seems to have flown by since we were celebrating C’s 1st birthday last year. Today, she turns two and since we’ll be busy sharing this special day with our family, I wanted to take some time to share last year’s event.

Sock Monkey Cupcakes

Late last winter C was obsessed with her Sock Monkey, Isabella, and all of Isabella’s friends (we had a few of those singing and dancing sock monkeys that Target sold last year) and so we wanted to capitalize on what we knew she enjoyed.

Sock Monkey Theme Birthday

Sock Monkey Smash Cake

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

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Tissue Paper Pom Pom Ballls

It's An Ordinary Blog

Birthday Party Treats

Sock Monkey Birthday Party

Food, Giveaways, Health & Wellness, Reviews

Nature Box In Review

 

It seems that subscription services for healthy snacks are the up and coming craze and so when Nature Box contacted me for review, I was elated to have the chance to try it out. Oh, you’ve never heard of Nature Box?! Hungry snack lover, meet Nature Box, a company dedicated to delivering you a box full of healthy, yummy goodness every month for just under $20 (shipping included). It gets better! This company donates one meal for every box you purchase to Feeding America. I got my review box in the mail a couple of weeks ago and just finished up my snacks this evening (I’ve been sharing with the husband, aren’t I nice?! ;)). Each box comes with a description of the snacks. Here’s what Nature Box had to say about my goodies:

“This month, we’re forgetting about the over-hyped New Year’s diet mentality and encouraging you to establish healthy habits that you can sustain all year-long. These snacks will keep you energized throughout the post-holiday slump so you can meet all of your New Year’s resolutions, health-related or not!”

You can find all of my pictures of Nature Box snacks on the sneak peek post from last week.

Wild Berry Bunch

“Say goodbye to fruit snacks and enjoy these chewy berries that will remind you of the far-off summer with every bite. Enjoy them on their own or mix into muffins and yogurt.”

Each serving is packed with delicious dried cranberries, golden raisins, dried cherries, and dried blueberries at only 70 calories. These are ideal for a mom on the go who has a toddler that enjoys snack sharing. I ate these on their own and loved every bite.

Lone Star Snack Mix

“Wake up your taste buds with a zesty mix of mesquite almonds, cashews, and peanuts. This snack is perfect if you’re making a conscious effort to pass on greasy potato chips this year.”

Ummmm….hello delicious! This was one snack I was not planning to share with my husband. At 160 calories (130 of which were from Fat) it’s definitely a snack you want to portion out before you start eating it. The chipotle seasoning gives it a nice kick that will keep you coming back for more. The bag they sent me yielded four one ounce servings, each of which offers 12% of your daily dietary fiber and no cholesterol.

Chocolate Ginger Bliss

“If the stress of the holidays has somehow carried over into your New Year, then grab a handful of this blissful mix to relax and stay focused.”

Watching my husband try this snack was hilarious because he grabbed a huge bite of ginger right off the bat and started snacking on it. So I will say that this snack is meant to be eaten as an actual mix (rather than one piece at a time). It’s a great afternoon treat that has chocolate chips, ginger, tamari almonds, cranberries, papaya, roasted cashews, raisins, pineapple, and apricots.

Orange Crush Granola

“If eating breakfast every day is one of your New Year’s goals, this Orange Crush Granola will have you looking forward to breakfast even before you go to bed at night.”

I’ll be honest, by itself I was not crazy about the granola (only because I’m not a marmalade fan) but on top of some yogurt, it’s actually pretty good. My husband LOVED it. The bag has about two and a half 1/3 cup servings at 190 calories each.

Cranberry Almond Bites

“These berry bites are one healthy habit you’ll be able to commit to all year-long! Tart cranberries and crispy rice combine to make a satisfying bite-size snack.”

If you’re reading this, Nature Box, feel free to send me whatever you have left of this snack because it was absolutely, positively my favorite snack of all time. I had a very hard time sticking to only one 8 piece serving of the cranberry almond bites. Each serving has 130 calories and a lot of yum.

Every month of a subscription with Nature Box is packed with nutritional snack items so you’ll get to try something new each time. Itching for more?! Head on over to my Facebook page (don’t forget to “like” it) for a discount code Nature Box has graciously given to my readers.

Food

Succulent Sundays: A Sneak Peek

I am so excited to be doing a review for Nature Box  that I wanted to give you all a quick sneak peek at some of the snacks that I’ve been enjoying…

Nature Box

Nature Box

Nature Box

Nature Box

Nature Box

Nature Box

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on these snacks the first week of February. In the meantime, what kinds of healthy snacks do you enjoy?

 

 

 

Baking, Cupcakes, Daily Life, Food, Pictures

Where I’ve Been…

I went to bed last night with the promise that I would remind myself to write a post letting you all know where I’ve been the last couple of days…You may not have even noticed that I was gone or you may have wondered why I skipped out on Friday Fictioneers this week, either way I’m going to give you an update. A good friend of mine is having a baby (yay!) and is due in February. I had the privilege of co-hosting a small get together in her honor today and have been working on it during my free time the past few days. I’m planning to do a few tutorials but, in the meantime, I thought I’d share some pictures.

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

It's An Ordinary Blog

I’ll be back to my regular schedule tomorrow. In the meantime, how did you celebrate your Sunday?

Baking, DIY, Food, Pictures, Tutorials

Succulent Sundays: Pulled Barbeque Chicken Bake

Pulled BBQ Chicken Bake

As part of my goals for this blog, I want to take a time every once in a while to talk about food, share a recipe, or post mouth-watering pictures. I’m not going to promise a new post every week but, when I do post on a Sunday, it will be part of a series I want to call Succulent Sundays. Today I want to share a very easy recipe I came up with and made on New Year’s Eve for dinner. It’s a pulled BBQ chicken bake and it is delicious.

Pulled BBQ Crockpot Chicken RecipeYou will need:

18oz BBQ Sauce | Black Pepper (to taste) | Minced Garlic (~2tbsp) | ~2lb boneless, skinless chicken breast  | Nonstick cooking spray | 9oz water

Crockpot BBQ ChickenCoat the inside of the crock pot with non-stick baking spray.

Pulled BBQ Chicken RecipeRinse chicken and cut into strips (this is just a small portion of the chicken I used), set aside.

Crockpot Pulled BBQ ChickenAdd in minced garlic, pepper, water, and sauce into crock pot. Stir.

*I doubled this recipe…in case you’re wondering why my crock pot looks a little full

Barbeque chicken crock pot recipeCook on low, covered, for 5 hours and 30 minutes.

When the chicken is nearly done in the crock pot, you’ll want to start preparing to make the bake.

For this you will need:

8oz Pepper Jack Cheese | Refrigerated pizza dough/biscuit Dough/crescent roll Dough |  Crushed Red Pepper

BBQ Chicken Bake Recipe

I used crescent roll dough. I combined two pieces and then rolled them together into a ball in my hands and flattened them out on the baking sheet. This made enough to split between two people comfortably (with sides).

Baked BBQ Chicken Recipe

I prefer to shred my own cheese so I use the food processor to do the hard work for me…

Barbeque Chicken Bake

Baked Barbeque Chicken Roll Recipe

You’ll want to take the chicken out a little bit at a time to “pull it apart”. The wonderful thing about making it in the Crock Pot is that it is so tender it just falls apart when you touch it. To “pull” the chicken, simply take two knives and separate it into smaller pieces.

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Bulled BBQ Chicken Bake

Place a layer of Pepper Jack cheese onto the dough, top with pulled BBQ chicken and wrap the dough over itself to form a pouch.

Barbeque Chicken Bake

Top with crushed red pepper and a little bit of cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until the dough is done).

Pulled BBQ Chicken Bake

Serve with cole slaw, baked beans, chips, or the side dish of your choosing. Enjoy!

Food, Giveaways, Reviews

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal Review

Influenster Holiday VoxBox 2012

If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook you may have noticed just before Christmas a post about my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster. I was so excited to be selected, as a blogger, to review some of these items and I wanted to take some time to talk about each of them individually. Tonight, I want to talk about Real Medleys, a new Oatmeal from Quaker.

I should mention that these items were sent to me free of charge in exchange for my review.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal – $1.79 per cup

“Simply the best oatmeal ever- and you can enjoy it on the go! Whole grain oats, rye, barley and wheat are mixed with large chunks of real fruit & nuts in a convenient single-serve cup. Just add hot water or microwave and you can have a delicious breakfast anytime, anywhere.”

I’ve seen this new product in the breakfast aisle at my local Super Target but hadn’t really given much thought to purchasing it. When I’ve had oatmeal at home, it’s always been the one that you pour out of a bag into a bowl of water and microwave. You know, the kind you pretty much have to eat at home? Since I’m at home during the day, that works for me but my husband is the worst about making sure he eats breakfast. He likes oatmeal but he never wants to take it into work because he has to bring a bowl with him (that I will likely never see again). I was excited to try this new product and so I made it for breakfast this morning.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

According to the directions, there are two ways you can make this: either in the microwave or using hot water. I opted to follow their recommendation and used the hot water.

Water

Place a cup of water into the microwave (or on the stove, if you prefer) and bring it to a boil. It took about four minutes for my water to boil in the microwave. Once it’s done, fill the water to the dark line in the cup (see the picture above) and let it sit for three minutes.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal Review

Stir and enjoy!

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

The first thing that I noticed about the oatmeal (before I had it) was the calorie count. There are 290 calories in that little sucker. The fact that they’re not all bad calories makes me feel better about eating it. You still have to be careful what else you have with it (read: no Starbucks or other high calorie fancy coffee).

The pistachios give it a really, really nice crunch. I would never have thought to add that nut into oatmeal but, now that I’ve had it, it’s something I plan to repeat. The cherries were nice and, overall, the flavors mixed really well together to form a great breakfast. If you’re the type of person who struggles with eating breakfast due to time restraints or who opts for a drive thru start to your day, this is something you should consider as a healthy alternative to your existing habits.

They have a variety of other flavors available other than the one I tried today. At just under $2 a pop, it’s probably something I’ll reserve for once in a while instead of every day.

As part of my review package with Influenster, they’ve graciously given me and my readers a $25 credit towards a purchase at Sole Society, an online shoe store started in March 2011.

Sole Society is a chic brand of exclusive, high-quality, on-trend shoes, starting at only $49.95. Aside from a great selection of shoes, Sole Society members have access to exclusive fashion and style content, tips and trends from their Fashion Insiders, and special promotions, all focused on everyone’s favorite accessory: shoes.

Use this code to redeem your $25 credit: INFLUENSTER25 *offer expires January 31, 2013.

 

 

 

Daily Life, Food, Reviews, Society, Sustainability

Sola Coffee Cafe: Raleigh, North Carolina

I don’t normally do this (and I don’t plan to make a habit of doing this) but I wanted to talk a little bit about a restaurant I ate at recently…

Sola Coffee Cafe Entrance

I took a trip to North Carolina the week before Christmas and, at the suggestion of my mom (who is a frequent guest there), had breakfast at a quaint little place in North Raleigh called Sola Coffee Cafe. When I started It’s An Ordinary Blog, I never intended to write any restaurant reviews (it’s just not the kind of blog that this is) but there’s something about Sola that I really loved and so I thought it was worth sharing.

I lived in Raleigh up until I went away to college and haven’t been back for longer than a week or so in almost eight years. It seems like every time I do go back for a trip, the area has completely changed. The building that Sola now occupies was a bank, and then it was a childcare facility, and then it was something else, but now it’s something truly amazing: a coffee-house that has a focus on sustainability.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ve probably picked up on the fact that sustainability matters to me. It matters a lot and so when I heard that Sola offers fresh, local, seasonally appropriate sandwiches and salads from sustainable farmers, I was pretty excited to give them my business. Not only that but the atmosphere is ridiculously awesome. It’s comfortable, intimate, and a space that you really feel good in. I took a bunch of pictures (and uploaded them to Instagram if you’re wondering why they look “different”) that are posted below so you can get a feel for what this place is like.

We were there for breakfast and so I ordered their oatmeal with raisins, sliced almonds, and brown sugar and a mocha coffee. My mom ordered a coffee and a thing of their mini-donuts which are made on site. My oatmeal was great, the coffee hit the spot, and the mini-donuts (she let me try one) were warm and delicious…and I’m not even a donut person. I would be really interested to try one of their lunch items…so I definitely plan to go back next time I’m in Raleigh.

I learned while I was there that they have live music in the evenings and a small, private room that you can reserve while you’re there. It’s definitely a place that you can meet up with some friends and hang out at and it’s definitely a place that I recommend. Aside from their focus on sustainability, I really appreciated the decor in the restaurant. Apparently the decorator is a friend of my moms…I wonder if she wouldn’t mind coming to Kansas City to work on my house. 😉

Sola Coffee Cafe Oatmeal and Coffee

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor Bike

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor Fresh Global Social

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor Our Global Local Friends

Sola Coffee Cafe Menu

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor

If you happen to live (or visit) Raleigh, spread the word…it’s worth a visit. Oh, and you can also find them on Facebook.