Monday, October 31, 2011

Recipe: Skillet Chicken Pasta

Pinterest is my new best friend! If you're on there please follow me! I'll follow back so we can share some amazing recipes, decorating tips, and more! This week I bring you a very delicious Skillet Chicken Pasta!!!

Mels Kitchen Cafe has amazing recipes that are easy to follow and substitutions are allowed!

The ingredients:

*serves 4-6

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti or penne pasta
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

The directions:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is rippling and very hot. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, water and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. There should still be a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the skillet but the pasta should be tender.

Add the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir lightly to incorporate them into the pasta mixture. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes. While the broccoli is cooking, whisk the cream and cornstarch together.

Uncover the skillet and stir in the cream, Parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with extra Parmesan, if desired.

My thoughts:

Since my husband and I are not a fan of tomatoes we left them out but otherwise it was DELICIOUS!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Holiday Tip: Halloween Movies

During the week of Halloween I enjoy watching ABC Family's 13 Days of Halloween. It really gets me into the spirit of the holiday!

I also adore going to the haunted houses near our house and having our regular Halloween Party! We scope out the newest Haunted Houses because they're discounted and it help gets the word out. For the Halloween Party we add something new every year!

That being said instead of playing the traditional 'party' music we switch between Halloween Movies and eerie music!!!!

Below are some of my favorite ways to spruce up the Halloween Party and give it at the extra scary edge for this time of year!

Hocus Pocus I watch for the nostalgia. Every year since I was a kid we watched it. That's yet to change!

The Strangers scares the pants off me!!! This is one that the party plays after I'm gone! I don't like to be left with nightmares and this one gives me the heebie jeebies!!

Halloween is an old time favorite. Michael Meyers has given me nightmares since I first saw him as a young girl. This is the only costume off limits for the Halloween Party.

Last but not least is a new one added to our pile of goodies. INSIDIOUS. This one freaked the crap out of me so it'll now be added to the continuation of films on Old Hallows Eve.

What are the movies that make you jump? Any plans for the upcoming Holiday!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Love of Books: Cover Art

For those of you who don't know I am the founder of #chicklitchat on Twitter. We meet every Thursday and discuss a new topic for women. It's normally pertaining to what we love to write, read and how we come about everything. This week is dabbling in the world of publishing. What route was chosen and why. What you enjoy more ebooks or paperbacks? Stop in! (7pm central).

I adore good cover art and lately the ebooks have stepped up their game with some amazing new books that have covers I'd devour!!! I wanted to share some of my favorites today! These are coming from some of my favorite girls over at #chicklitchat

Love and Lattes by Heather Thurmeier - Ebook Price $4.99 - Buy (Twitter handle: hthurmeier)

Destined to Fail by Samantha March - Ebook Price $4.99 - Buy (Twitter handle: SamanthaMarch23

The Last Page by Lacy Camey - Ebook Price $0.99 - Buy (Twitter Handle: LacyCamey)

Sleeping With Paris - Ebook Price $2.99 - Buy (Twitter handle: JulietteSobanet)

That's what I'm going to leave you with today. There were so many I just don't have enough time to showcase them all!!! Did any catch your eye? Any you're looking to add to your e-reader this very moment?!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recipe: Vodka Slush

Holiday season is a reason for creativity. You get to bake, decorate, and make a fun holiday drink. My mother-in-law has the most delicious recipe that I look forward to making every year, and today, I'm going to share with you!

Vodka Slush

Things you'll need:

1 - 6oz cherry jello gelatin (We use red for Christmas. This jellos interchangeable! Any holiday switch out the colors!)
2 - 12oz frozen orange juice
2 - 12oz frozen lemonade
4 cups of cranberry juice
4 cups of vodka
7up or Sprite
A GIANT BOWL (that's able to fit in your freezer)
Freezer room


1. Grab your giant bowl and pour 1 - 6oz cherry jello gelatin.
2. Dissolve in 2 cups of hot water.
3. Add 6 cups of cold water.
4. Throw 2 - 12 oz frozen orange juice AND 2 - 12 oz frozen lemonade.
5. Followed by 4 cups of cranberry juice AND 4 cups of vodka.
6. Freeze for 48 hours before serving, pulling out of freezer every couple of hours to stir. It will gradually turn to slush.
7. Serve with 7-up or Sprite.

It's delicious and everyone will remember your parties based on this delicious treat! Add some spritz and sugar cookies and you'll be the newest Christmas hot spot!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Holiday Tip: Costume Complications

Never give up on costumes for Halloween. I don't know who all plans on going to a Halloween party this year, but the hubster and I throw our own party and LOVE dressing up. In fact, at our parties, costumes are required!

This year was ROUGH. We never have a whole lot of luck finding costumes. It takes us forever, and last weekend was no exception. After an hour of searching we each found what we wanted. Next year we'll shop early and order online. It'll definitely be worth it. Since we've only done this three years in a row we're still learning.

What we ended with:

Queen of Hearts and Zombie (obvs the hubsters the zombie). I found a picture of mine... it seems the Zombie one is much harder to find than I thought!

What are you dressing up as? Remember to never give up! Go for what you want. There are too many stores NOT to get what you want!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Me Time: Project Beginner Housewife

So I originally started this blog to help get control of my Muse. For those of you who don't know, I'm a writer. I write contemporary fiction and have fallen in love with all things romance, fun, and quirky.

I started this to help jump start my next novel and also learn to cook a few things. So far it's working out beautifully. I've enjoyed meeting all you new wonderful people and I'm visiting some fantastic blogs I never would have found before!

You really are making this worth while. So today I leave you with just a thanks. Thank you for stopping in, for following, and for caring enough to comment. You're very appreciated here and I hope you stick around.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe: Spicy Chicken Bites

As you know, being a Beginner Housewife the key is simplicity. If you get to darn creative you lose focus and you lose the fun (at least for me). So last week when I was pinning over on Pinterest (SERIOUSLY follow me... it's fun!) I fell across buffalo chicken bites. They weren't exactly what I wanted but the idea triggered a simple approach and I took it.

I present to you, my delicious (but not attractive) chicken bites.

Things you'll need:

Spices (I use red pepper and various others. This is the part where your creative soul takes over)!
Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet (this makes it so easy)!
Shredded Cheese
A pan
A cookie sheet
An oven
A cutting board


Homemade potato chips


1. Spice up your chicken. Normally while cooking (in a pan) over a stove I add them. I love to be creative and try some new combinations, but the choice is yours on how spicy or sweet you want your chicken!
2. Heat up the oven to the directions of the pillsbury dough.
3. While cooking the chicken you can also chop up your potato and throw them into the frying pan OR stove to bake so you have the salty side item.
4. When the chicken is complete you'll want to lay out the pillsbury dough and cut it into triangles.
5. Add in the middle of the dough the chicken and cheese, cover the combination tightly and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until complete.
6. Cook for the alloted time (as listed on the pillsbury package), and voila, dinner is served!

It's up to you on if you'd like to add the potato chips or veggies. The hubster and I love to mix it up. But for now, they're you are! Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Relationships - Anniversaries should be special

I'm one that believes that you should celebrate the day you two met or wed. I don't care if it's something small or extravagant, just a little something to show your love.

My husband and I celebrated our four year anniversary last week and he was a total sweetheart. We both decided that our five year we'd do something fun... a true vacation to celebrate the five years we made it together! Which meant, naturally, this year wasn't as important.

That didn't stop him from being the perfect gentleman and showing that life still has those unexpected surprises!

He bought me diamond earrings, replacing the one's that fell down the drain at a doctor's office one week a month ago. As if that wasn't enough he also bought me a bouquet of flowers. For those who know my husband, he's not a romantic so these gestures shows he cares and listen.

What did we eat for dinner? $5 pizza from Little Caesars. So inexpensive and yet we enjoyed each other's company, inside our house, and it was better than any dinner date we could have had.

For me it's all about time. I just want time with my husband, the gifts are special, but the time is what really matters. So on your anniversary you should take time to just be with one another, after all, in the end, that's what really matters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love of Books: Shoe Addicts Anonymous

Do you have a love of books?

Yes, this blog is for all the things I adore, from food, creative home decor, all the way to books. I tend to share all the things that I come across and enjoy (or suck at it). I try everything... or at least sit there and think about trying it.

Book of choice: Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison
Reason: Shoes (duh)
Lesson: Friendships can be found in unexpected places.

The Blurb:

Helene Zaharis's politician husband keeps her on a tight leash and cancels her credit cards as a way of controlling her. Lorna Rafferty is up to her eyeballs in debt and can't stop her addiction to Ebay. Sandra Vanderslice, battling agoraphobia, pays her shoe bills by working as a phone sex operator. And Jocelyn Bowen is a nanny for the family from hell (who barely knows a sole from a heel but who will do anything to get out of the house).

On Tuesday nights, these women meet to trade shoes, and, in the process, form friendships that will help them each triumph over their problems--from secret pasts to blackmail, bankruptcy, and dating.  Funny, emotional, and powerful, Shoe Addicts Anonymous is the perfect read for any woman who has ever struggled to find the perfect fit

My thoughts:

Four girls all with big life issues looking for someone to confide in. One of them is smart enough to start a group for ladies interested in size seven shoes. With her shoe addiction she's looking to swap adorably expensive Manolo Blaniks with someone else's to avoid the extra charge on her credit card.

In doing so she meets three fabulous women who all band together and form a real bond. It really is a story of love, laughter, and a few cocktails.

After reading this it truly had me valuing not only my friendship but my shoe collection. I'm one who adores flats, tennis shoes, and quirky handmade vans. I love my friends and any chance I get to listen to them confide in me their secrets I feel honored.

This is one of those feel good books you're sure to want all your friends to read!

I give it four cupcakes!

SOOOOOOO... what's your favorite pair of shoes? Do you adore girl time? Are you a big reader?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Recipe: Mini Taco Pizzas

My husband and I love simple! The easier and faster the recipe the more successful it'll be in our house.

I present to you, Mini Taco Pizzas!!!

This is such a great recipe for easy nights in and the kids can join in for the fun as well!

Things you'll need:

Refried Beans
Taco Seasoning
Shredded Cheese
Some style of breading (we use anywhere from bagels, flatbreads, to sandwich rounds).
Chips (optional)
A cookie sheet
An oven


1. Brown the ground beef. Add the taco seasoning as instructed.
2. Heat up the refried beans.
3. Use the beans as the sauce, placing it over the breading of choice (if you can use a toaster to toughen up the bread, do, but it's not necessary).
4. Add hamburger to the pizza, followed by the shredded cheese of your choice.
5. Turn oven on to broil.
6. WATCH your pizza, you're just looking for the cheese to melt. Normally takes about 2 minutes.
7. Pull out of oven and added the fixings (lettuce, sauces, chips)!
Such an easy and delicious recipe that I've yet to screw up... unless you count burning the chips while having the oven on broil... I didn't watch carefully enough!

Friday, October 7, 2011

City Tip: Embrace Your City

I love Houston. There is so much to do, so much to see! Every weekend brings something new!

Once a month my husband and I love to try something new. Break out of our shell and try a new place, a different style of food! It's kind of amazing what you'll find.

Newest sport love: Roller Derby. These girls are fierce, independent, and fabulous! For $15 we get several hours of top notch entertainment!

Newest food love: The Shack (formally known as The Love Shack). This place has the most delicious burgers. What a donut for a bun? How about a grilled cheese sandwich? They break burger molds. They also put brisket and bacon on french fries. Hello heaven. (No that isn't a strange guy in the photo -- it's the owner)!

Newest adventure: Discovery Green. This place is filled with fun! From delicious breakfasts, great farmers market, live music, and water fun for children it's an all day chill fest! Bring a blanket and prepare to enjoy everything from hula-hooping excersizes to fun projects for the kids!

What have you discovered in your city?

Monday: Recipe - Mini Taco Pizzas!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Me Time: Reasons to love Etsy

I bring you Me Tip: Reasons to love Etsy! I'm one that loves to save money but also wants something unique and memorable to chat about. Well, there is this little known website ETSY that rocks my world.

With all these beautifully handmade pieces it's hard not to go crazy with all the great stuff! I'm one, that when it's time to splurge, still splurge on a dime. Very rarely do I go over the wall to extravagant. I wear these pieces when I'm feeling daring, unique, and want to make a statement!

I figured every once in awhile I'll show you some of the most recent and favorite pieces of mine!!! I'll provide the cost and the link if you choose the purchase them!!!

This honeycomb pendant is AMAZING! Price: $35

Gumball Charm Necklace is darling! Price: $10

Such a cute headband! I own a few! Price: $26

It's hard not to fall in love! So, any to your liking? Do you love Etsy? What other sites do you use?

Friday: City Tip - Embracing Your City

Monday, October 3, 2011

Recipe: Hot Apple Cider in Apples!

One of my favorite scents is the smell of apples and cinnamon. You could achieve this by baking a pie or buying a candle but my favorite way is by making hot apple cider.

Toast autumn's arrival with hot apple cider, the quintessential fall evening drink. With this easy-to-make crock-pot recipe, you will be ready in no time to serve a few mugs to your friends at a festive gathering, or just grab a mug for yourself and settle down before the warm hearth.

Things you'll need:

1 gallon apple juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 piece of cheese cloth
cooking twine
3-4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces
1 whole nutmeg
Orange peel
Small crock pot


1. Place cloves, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and orange peel in the cheese cloth. Draw the corners of the cheese cloth together and tie the twine around to create a small spice sack.

2. Pour apple juice into a crock pot and stir in the lemon juice with a wooden spoon. For tangier cider, you may opt to add a little more lemon juice.

3. Plug in the crock pot and set the heat on a low or medium setting. If you do not have time for the cider to heat slowly, use a high setting and stir more often.

4. Allow apple juice to heat for approx 20-30 minutes or until warm.

5. Put the spice sack directly in the apple juice. Stir the cider occasionally, moving the spices around the crock pot if necessary.

6. Remove spice sack and discard once cider is heated to preferred temperature.

7. Pour the piping hot cider in your mug (or apple if you're daring)!

8. For a cute touch add a cinnamon stick as a stirrer!

Author note: If you want something even easier, go to a nearby store and look for 'mulling spices' read the directions (normally just requires apple cider juice) and you'll have cider with a lot less ingredients!

Wednesday: Reasons to love Etsy!