because behaving is boring

Overnight breakfast barley

I’ve been trying to come up with healthy breakfast ideas for O lately that can be made ahead. He’s been eating a ton of oatmeal lately (both the refrigerator kind and quickly-cooked that morning), and there’s always some sort of fruit involved. For a few days he had whole-wheat waffles with peanut butter and maple syrup, but then the toaster tried to kill me.

Seriously, flames shot out of the bottom. That’ll wake you up.

I bought some barley for the cauliflower salad I made to go with my beer chicken, and I thought it would make a nice breakfast for O. Barley is full of good things like fiber (not that my kid really needs more fiber…) and whatnot.

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The only problem is that it takes about 40 minutes to cook and we just don’t have that kind of time in the morning.

Oh, hello there crock pot.

Yes, my favorite kitchen item (besides my 8 inch chef knife) can also do breakfast duty. 

This is seriously the easiest thing in the world, and it’s entirely customizable. You can stir in peanut butter or maple syrup, nuts, granola, dried fruit, fresh fruit, chia seeds, almond milk… Whatever makes your heart sing!

Overnight breakfast barley

1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
4 1/2 cups water
Optional:
Honey
Frozen berries
Sliced almonds
Cinnamon
Milk

Before you go to bed, use a mesh strainer to rinse barley, then dump it in the crock pot. Add water, give it a stir, and set it on low. I got mine started around 11:00, and I woke up around 7:30. I’d say at least 6 hours should do it.

That’s it!

To serve, I threw some frozen berries in a bowl, spooned the barley on top, and then stirred in some sliced almonds, honey, cinnamon, and a little milk.

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The frozen berries cooled the hot barley, and the heat from the barley thawed the berries. It was a delicious breakfast that was really simple and healthy.

I spooned the leftover barley into an air tight container and put it in the fridge, but you could easily freeze it in individual servings.

What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas?

Crockpot beer chicken

I don’t generally cook with beer or wine… I suppose I worry that the alcohol won’t totally cook out, and the one time I decided to get wild and add some Guinness to my beef stew it ended up bitter. That was a sad day.

I keep hearing about this magical beer chicken, though. The most simple recipes call for little more than chicken and beer, but some call for herbs and spices. You apparently end up with super moist and flavorful chicken, just for pouring a beer in the pot.

And maybe pour one out for your homies.

…What? I don’t know…

Coincidentally, I happened to see Guinness Blonde at the store recently. I love Guinness, and I wanted to try this new, lighter version…I can’t remember the last time I actually purchased beer, let alone drink one, so I’d been hoping to see it in a 40 ounce bottle. Of course I’d need a brown paper bag with it because I’m super classy…Ok, really I wanted to find a 40 because I couldn’t justify spending the eleven freaking dollars for a sixer of beer just so I could drink one. You know what? I’m getting way off topic. Back to the chicken.

(I did end up buying a six pack of the Guinness Blonde, but from a liquor store for eight bucks.)

You. Guys.

Not only is this the best chicken ever, but it was insanely easy. I did toss a few extra ingredients in there, but nothing wild or hard to prep. You should totally put this on your meal plan soon, if you’re the type to be that organized.

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Crockpot Beer Chicken

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 12 ounce bottle Guinness Blonde  (or your favorite beer)

About 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced

3 garlic cloves

About a cup of chicken broth

Baby carrots

3 or 4 small to medium potatoes, cut into chunks

Salt and pepper

Trim any excess fat from your chicken, then place it in the bottom of your crock pot along with the onions and garlic cloves. Pour in beer, crack some pepper over everything and sprinkle in a little salt. Put the lid on and let it cook on high for about four-ish hours.

After four hours, add the chicken broth (I dissolved chicken bouillon in a cup of hot water), celery, carrots, and potatoes. Turn the crock pot to low and let it go for at least another three hours.

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Serve this chicken with this delightful warm cauliflower and herbed barley salad from Bon Appétit, and maybe a hunk of warm, crusty, French bread to soak up the juices.

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This made a really satisfying meal, and the leftovers make excellent sandwiches. I think I’ve managed to finally conquer my fear of cooking with beer…Now I may be adding it to everything!

DIY Fortune Cookies in Parade

Hey guys! Check out the article I wrote for Parade… These fortune cookies make a tasty Valentine’s Day treat. I should know, I ate a hundred of them while working on the article.

DIY Fortune Cookies

Anyway, check it out on Parade.com!

Jamberry winner!

Better late than never, right?

Yesterday was a much busier day than I anticipated. My mom and I had hair appointments in the morning, and since we were already in town I ran by the post office and grabbed some coffee at my favorite coffee shop. After a couple more stops, we went back to mom’s for lunch.

When I finally sat down to announce the winner, I realized that my laptop was in desperate need of maintenance. I spent the afternoon dumping a lot of memory hogs and doing some long overdue updates. Of course, by the time all of that finished (it took for-ev-er) I had to go home and get dinner ready for two very hungry guys.

As I worked on dinner, I decided to get the post written after I put O down for the night.

After O was settled in bed, washed my face, cleaned up the kitchen a bit, and settled in my chair with a blanket and my laptop.

And then I fell asleep.

So I apologize that this is late, but I apparently was in desperate need of some shut-eye.

SO. Without further ado…

*drumroll*

The winner is…

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Anna Elizabeth!

Please email Courtney at jamwithcourtney (at) gmail (dot) com with your address and wrap choices…Congratulations! Feel free to come back and show off your beautiful nails.

As for my wraps…believe it or not, they are STILL going strong! I can’t believe they’ve held up so well. I’ve been converted, for sure. Thanks SO much to Courtney for giving me the opportunity to try Jamberry!

If you’re interested in purchasing Jamberry wraps through Courtney, she can be reached on Facebook, her Jamberry site, and of course through the above email address. If you have a special event coming up, I strongly suggest you give these a shot!

Is there a beauty product you’d like to see reviewed? Do you have a product I should try? Shoot me an email at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know!

Jamberry Nail Wraps…Review and Giveaway!

I was recently offered the opportunity to review Jamberry nail wraps, and then host a giveaway so a lucky reader could give them a shot. Because I’ll try just about anything once, I love free stuff, and I really like doing giveaways… Of course I said yes.

Now, back when I used to work in a jewelry store I got into the habit of getting my nails done…I had a standing appointment every two weeks with my favorite guy. I always got short acrylics with either French tips or OPI’s Waitress (it will forever be the perfect nail color, in my opinion) because I wanted to make sure they looked classy. After all, when you’re a girl working in a jewelry store you are often asked to model things for customers…I didn’t want to lose a big engagement ring sale because my nails were snaggly and gross.

After I moved on from that job I fell out of the habit. In fact…I don’t think I’ve had my nails done since. I do occasionally paint my nails myself, but that’s a rare occasion because let’s face it…I’m usually too lazy to bother.

I’d seen Jamberry wraps before…but I never considered trying them myself until now. After getting an email from my new pal (and Jamberry consultant) Courtney, I checked out her website. There are so many choices that it took me quite a while to decide on a design I liked, but I finally narrowed it down to Midnight Celebration and eagerly awaited their arrival.

When they came (pretty quickly, I should add!), I ripped the envelope open and ooohed and ahhhhed over them for a bit. They were every bit as lovely as they had been on the website. For some reason, I had almost expected them to look cheap and tacky but they definitely weren’t.

Because I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, I didn’t bother to read the directions in advance. Instead, I waited until O was down for the evening and assembled what I thought would be the necessary tools for application.

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Wine is a necessary tool in many aspects of life.

After gathering the stuff I thought I needed, I picked up the package and read the instructions. I remembered that I needed rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to wipe my nails off…and of course we were out of both.

Lucky for me, The BF ran out to his shop and brought back acetone. Ok, so now we can start sticking these puppies on!

…OH, they have to be warmed up? Maybe now is a good time to watch the video Courtney sent me

I tried to get a photo or two of the actual application of the nails, but it’s really hard to focus a camera when you’re holding a hair dryer between your knees and attempting to apply a nail wrap. I would’ve asked The BF, but he is the kind that will just take a quick, blurry picture and wander away. Plus, he was too busy helping, because he’s “applied a few decals to a number of vehicles, and that’s basically what you’re doing.” Use your imagination to picture the actual application, and feel free to add a few curse words being said because, totally.

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Once I got the hang of the application process, it wasn’t so bad. It was more involved than I originally thought it would be (I’ll be honest, I was expecting more of a peel-and-stick method), but nothing worse than applying nail polish and way cheaper than going to a salon. Plus, there was no horrible nail salon smell to contend with. Am I the only one that gets the sneezes in nail salons?

Once I finished the last nail, I spent a good fifteen minutes walking around with my fingers splayed and refusing to touch anything because, hey, fresh manicure. The BF gave me a funny look and asked, “Aren’t they stickers?” and suddenly I realized I was being careful for no reason. Whoops!

I’m currently on day four of my Jamberry experience and I can’t believe that they haven’t chipped at all. Like, even with the bubbles I didn’t quite get out of the first one I applied…And even though I didn’t quite pick the right size for my thumb nails. Nope, these puppies are still going strong and I’m finding myself a bit converted.I’m not going easy on them, either…I’ve done dishes, laundry, typed, changed diapers, picked my face (I’m just being honest, here), peeled open spice containers, and all sorts of other things that would ruin regular nail polish.

I can see these being a great way to have snazzed-up nails for an event…And I’m saving the remaining wraps for my toes because I hear you can really get some miles out of them that way.

So… At this point in my Jamberry experience I’m surprised to say that I give ‘em two snazzily decorated thumbs up. I’m really glad that I like them so much because remember the giveaway I mentioned?

One lucky reader will win two wraps AND a full application kit (pictured below). How awesome is that? Entering is super easy and only involves two steps!

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Well, maybe three if you haven’t liked my Facebook page yet. But that’s silly, because I know you have!

To enter, simply complete the following steps:

1. Like Willfully Disobedient on Facebook

2. Like Courtney’s Jamberry Page on Facebook

3. Visit Courtney’s Jamberry website, then come back and leave a comment with your two favorite wraps.

I’ll announce the winners and give my final opinion on Tuesday, so good luck!

**Giveaway open only to residents of continental United States. Family members of Courtney and I are not eligible (sorry guys). Entries will be closed at 11:59 pm on Monday, February 2nd, 2015.**

Thoughts I have while playing Trivia Crack

I have never, ever seen this show in my whole life. How did I know the right answer?

I’m on a hot streak! Look at me gooo…answer that one wrong. Oh well, spoke too soon.

Hahahahahahaha, I kicked that guy’s ass. I’m so smart.

Maybe I shouldn’t play since I’ve had this glass of wine.

Oh, hey! Wine must make me smarter!

…or not.

Eenie meenie minie moe…

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Sports is only my worst category because half of the questions are about unimportant shit like soccer.

STOP WITH THE SOCCER QUESTIONS.

AND HOCKEY.

I should go on Jeopardy.

Now I know the periodic table? Um, that’s about 17 years late.

Why can I remember the name of a director of a movie I haven’t even seen but I can’t remember to get eggs at the store?!

I’m so good at this. I’m brilliant.

Chicken in lemon cream sauce

I have been trying  (and largely failing) to stay away from red meat lately… I think eating it in large quantities is probably bad for you no matter what, but I’ve been told (by a doctor from The Doctors) that it’s thought to be a contributing factor in fibroid development.

I’m not trying to go through that mess again.

The problem is, I kind of love red meat. Last week we had chili and Salisbury steaks…Cow and more cow. I decided Friday night would be a good night for chicken…but The BF sent me a text early that afternoon suggesting we go out for Chinese. I ate beef and broccoli in garlic sauce. Mooooooo

Saturday night I finally made some chicken and man am I glad I did. This was delicious and pretty easy, even with a toddler literally sitting on my feet while I cooked.

I’m not saying I want to give up beef (right now I so badly want a giant, juicy cheeseburger), but I will gladly eat more chicken if I can drown it in a delightful lemon cream sauce…

Yes, I realize that cream isn’t exactly health food. Baby steps, people.

Chicken with lemon cream sauce

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 4)

Greek seasoning

1 cup flour

Two tablespoons butter, divided

Cooking oil (I use canola)

1 cup mushrooms (or more if you love mushrooms), roughly chopped

About 1/2 of a medium onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

Juice of one lemon

A big handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Parmesan cheese, grated

Pepper, to taste

To begin, heat a little oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle Greek seasoning over both sides of chicken, then dredge it in flour. Give it a shake, then arrange the chicken in your hot pan and cook for about 6 minutes on each side (or until your meat thermometer reads at least 165°). Remove chicken to a baking sheet, cover with foil, and place it in a warm oven (I stuck it in while my oven preheated to 375° for the garlic knots) while you make the sauce.

Turn the heat down to medium and drop your remaining tablespoon of butter into the pan. When it’s melted, add onion and mushrooms. Give it about 5-10 minutes, then add the garlic. After about 5 minutes, deglaze the pan with chicken stock and stir. Let that bubble and reduce by about half. Pour in half of your lemon juice and the cream, let it come to a bubble, then add the chicken back to the pan. Toss in some parsley and fresh-cracked pepper and turn the heat down a bit so the sauce thickens. Before serving, taste the sauce and add more lemon if necessary.

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I served mine over spaghetti, but you could use rice or even spaghetti squash. Sprinkle some grated parmesan over it, throw in a salad and some garlic bread, and you have a delicious (and cow-free!) dinner that even your toddler will love. 


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