Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches (or why reading labels is important)

So I saw this recipe on a couple blogs and I knew I was going to try it. Okay, really I saw the recipe and I had some chicken breasts and didn't know what to do with it. There we go. I only had a pound of chicken breasts so I went to the store to get another pound and some slider bread, came home and started cooking. I cooked this on high because it was now 2pm and I didn't feel like eating at 7-8pm.

Around 530pm, the chicken was done. I went into the pantry and went to take out the dressing. Well...this is why READING LABELS IS IMPORTANT! I had Italian dressing...NOT Caesar. So I stood there contemplating on what to do. Do I run to Fred Meyer (which is literally right near my house) or do I just use it the italian dressing and see what it tastes like? After about 10 minutes of thinking and Other Chef convincing me otherwise, I went to Fred Meyer.

THERE I had yet another dilemma. Do I buy creamy caesar or just straight caesar? So I stood there for another 5 minutes contemplating that in my head. Did the recipe call for regular or creamy? Would it make that big of a difference? I just...don't...know. I ended up buying some creamy caesar and a bottle of Moscato for New Years Eve and headed home.

Went home, dumped in the dressing and the cheese, put it back on for 30 minutes and then served. Little Man is always critical of my cooking. Well any ones really. I have to warn people ahead of time that its not their cooking, I assure them. Its that he is SO DANG PICKY. I had him try a fork full and of course, he was like Oh I don't know about this Momma. Really? Really son?? So I told him tough cookies. He's gonna try it on a sandwich. You know what...Little Man ate two sandwiches. That's what I thought! Momma 1 Little Man 0.

The link to this deliciousness can be found here. For those that don't want to go to the link, the recipe is below!

 It really is amazing and we will be eating this again! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Oh deliciousness!

Tell me this doesn't just look delish? So easy to make too!

Recipe that I used:

Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches
adapted from Betty Crocker 

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 bottle of your favorite Caesar Dressing (I used Brianna's Asiago Caesar) OR 1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup plus one packet Caesar Dressing mix

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
12 french hamburger buns or buns of your choice (about 2 1/2 inch)

1.  Place chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker, cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours.
2.  Remove chicken from cooker using a slotted spoon.  Place on a cutting board and pull chicken into shreds.
3.  Place chicken back in the cooker and pour dressing (or cream of chicken plus dressing packet), Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top.  I only used about 3/4 of the bottle of dressing.  Stir until mixed evenly. Cover and cook on high heat for 30-35 minutes or until mixture is hot.  
4.  Spoon 1/4 cup mixture onto lettuce in each bun and serve! 

Chickbands Winners!!

Thank to you all that entered my giveaway for the Chickbands giveaway! 

The winners are!!! 

Amy with comment #7

Clarinda with comment #12


Nicole D with comment #18

Congrats to all the winners!! Contact me within 48 hours at soljerster AT gmail DOT com with your email addresses so I can contact Kara at Chickbands! 

Stick around because I have many more giveaways lined up for the very near future!! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Unhealthy Weakness

Eating out.

This is honestly the worst freaking weakness I have. It really is.

You'd think that.

I have actually done extremely well with cutting back on the Starbucks. I haven't had a Starbucks coffee since November (before Thanksgiving I might add) so why is it so hard with the cutting back eating out? I will tell you why. Because it's so damn convenient! Last thing I want to do every single day is make a meal, then clean up, etc etc. Gets tiring day after day.

BUT I need to start cooking more. Not just for the sake of my ass but also for the sake of the blog. Because I miss cooking! I miss having delicious food making my house smell AMAZING! I actually miss cooking.

Dang, I actually do. Is that normal??

What are some of your weaknesses? What do you do to help cut back on them?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

First off, Merry Christmas!!! I hope that your day was filled with everything you wanted and also filled with laughter, family and love! 

Being away from family for the holidays has always been hard for me. I grew up with a rather large family so when it was only three of us, that was hard to get used to. I haven't been home with my family since 2004.

Yeah. Long time.

But today, as I sat in my jammies at noon, folding laundry, watching A Christmas Story for the 3rd time today...I realized I kinda like it. I hate missing them. Don't get me wrong at all. But the fact that I can do what I want, when I want kinda nice. No hustle and bustle to get from one house to the next. No having to get ready to go immediately after breakfast. Just a relaxing, laid back Christmas with the family.

And that is what I think Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas!!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just a Single Picture.

I made PW's Ultimate Club Sandwiches the other day..this is now my 3rd time making them. And I swear, they are even more amazing each time. 

You know you want one of these....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chickbands Review and Giveaway!!!

I am most definetly NOT a headband person. Then again, I am not really any type of person besides blow dry, straighten and go kind of person. 

Enter Chickbands. 

I am IN LOVE. Seriously. And I am not just saying that because she had made a Buckeyes one, no. Not at all ;-P

 I love them because of how versatile they are. You can wear them at the gym or honestly out and about.
Totally taken off guard but kinda like this!! LOL 
LOVE the glitter bands!!! 

 And yes, true to what Kara said, they DO NOT SLIP. I wore my Chickband (the OSU one) out and about all day and not once did it leave its spot. SCORE! Cute, practical, versatile and adorable. What more can you ask for...seriously :D AND they are great for kids. Kara puts them on her girls and they do NOT slip. I don't know about you guys but I remember as a little girl hating to not be able to run around at recess without my hair going amiss. 

Kara at Chickbands wants THREE of you to be able to enjoy these as well!! Yet another reason she is completely awesome!! 

Here's how you win! 

1. Follow my blog and comment that you did (1 entry)
2. Follow Chickbands Facebook page and comment, tell her that I sent you and comment that you did (1 entry)
3. Comment below which chickband you would choose if you won! (1 entry)
4. Share this giveaway on your Facebook, blog or Twitter and comment that you did (possible 3 entries, each place shared is one comment please!) 

Good luck and I can't wait to see the winners! The winners will be selected on December 31st at 12PM PST!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Giveaway Preview....

Tomorrow I am setting up another giveaway. Here's just a preview. Can you guess what it is??

Its not normal to be it?

So today we went to South Sound Running (which if you are ever in this area, CHECK THEM OUT! Best store ever!!!) because Other Chef needed some new running shoes. He has been wearing his Asics for about a year now and they were in dire need of replacement. We walked in and 25 minutes later, we were out. Bam. Done.

Look at these Brooks beauties!!! 
So that brings me to my it wrong to be jealous?? I am not jealous he got Brooks, oh no. I love, no...ADORE, my Saucony's. I am jealous it took him only 25 minutes! My shoe buying experience was a fiasco. No other word to describe it really. It took me three different stores before I finally checked out South Sound Running and now I will never go back. Not to mention the pain, the confusion and the money spent! Maybe I should have just gone to SSR to begin with....

What are your running shoes? What brands do you stick with? Which do you use for trail and road? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I realized tonight...

So I realized four things tonight.

1. I missed cooking. I missed trying out new recipes. I missed screwing it up and then hating it and then hating myself because I screwed up. Oh yes, all of that happened tonight! 

2. Any soup that isn't cut and dry (meaning, just add this and go) I screw up. Oh yes, the last two soups I tried, screwed up. So I think, for the time being, those are being put on the back burner. At least just for a minute. I suck at making sure I keep an eye on it. I suck at making sure I don't burn it. Oh yes, all of this happened tonight! 

3. I have a very sensitive taste bud to nutmeg and thyme. I didn't use thyme tonight but any recipe that calls for it, I kinda cringe. And when I do use it, I use very little of it. I just can't do it. Tonights recipe called for Nutmeg. Yeah...I cringed. That is all I tasted. So yeah, that is kind of a problem!! 

4. Cooking a recipe with a laptop/tablet/smartphone/etc is amazing. I used to have to write it down OR literally run from the kitchen to the office to see what I needed to do next. Let's just say, that made cooking really really tedious and boring. Never again! 

Tonight I decided to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Of course, I used PW's recipe because come on, I love her stuff. And I botched it. I didn't pay attention to the soup and cooked it too high (still learning what is too high and too low for my pots and pans) so the bottom burned. There wasn't near enough salt added. Then the nutmeg. Oh man, the nutmeg. That is ALLLL I tasted. And it totally ruined it for me. Mind you, Other Chef and Little Man loved me. But for me, I think its that blasted nutmeg. 

Dang it. I really wanted to love that soup :( 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Roast Chicken

How do you make this:

Look like this?

Well its quite simple actually!! 

This is what the roasting pan should look like before you cook:
Rosemary (fresh) and a full lemon with the nubs chopped off.

With the chicken, just butter it down. ALL OVER! Make sure your hands are nice and buttery. Then put some kosher salt (YES kosher salt is AMAZING!) all over it. If you like your skin crispy and salty, then add as much as you want! If not, then don't. Just measure out the salt as you see fit! Then you want to stuff the chicken with 5 WHOLE cloves of garlic, rosemary (cut them in half, we used 1.5 boxes) and then a WHOLE lemon. Just shove it all inside. Roast it for 2 hours in the oven at 375 degrees (or until done) and voila. Dinner is served! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!!! 

Holidays can be SO depressing!

This past January, I lost my Grandma. Next to my mother, she was the most important and influential person in my life. Although I did miss the memos that she tried to send to me. Like the one that woman take care of the house while the men work. Umm no. Or the cooking constantly (all four meals, the man never does)...yeah that has JUST started in this house. OR the most important one from her...never go to bed with a sink full of dishes. Yeah I think I am guilty of this every single night! 

This is the first year that I am without her for Christmas. I live on the other side of the country now from my family but this year...I can't even call her. I won't hear her laugh. I won't hear her telling her how much I mean to her. I have nothing this year. I didn't think it would have affected me as much as it has, but it has. I hope that morning as we open our presents, she is there. I hope that she is there as she watches me tackle cooking my first ham. I hope shes there to watch her Angel (Little Man) open his gifts. 

Thinking about all of that though, makes me smile. Because for the first time in 8 years, it will be the closest shes been to me for Christmas.

Are you missing anyone for the holidays this year? 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Running Divas Giveaway!!!

The winner of the Running Divas tank and shorts is!!!

Nicole with the comment:

I'm following their FB

Congrats! Please contact me within 48 hours at soljerster at gmail dot com with your address so I can get this out to you!

Thank you to all that entered and shared!! Hang tight because I will be having another giveaway here VERY soon!!! 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Need the "must have" running tunes!!!

So my readers know that my computer died. Had to be replaced.

What my readers don't know is that my external hard drive hasn't been hooked up in almost 3 years.

Or that my iTunes is now completely brand new.

Which means I almost lost about a grand worth of music.

I say ALMOST because this time I was smart enough to move it to my iPod. I think I had this impending feel of doom and that is what made me decide to it. Mind you, this was THREE years worth of music I have downloaded.

Three days after I did died.

Epic. Sad. Face.

So with me getting back into running, I need tunes. I used to have an iPod Nano but I sold it when I got my Classic. Now...anyone who has a classic can attest that this thing is MASSIVELY huge and heavy. I didn't even think that I could use an armband with it. I just figured it was too big. Yeah I was wrong! You CAN use an armband with this hunk of metal. (And I strongly advice it because running with it in your front pocket of your jacket is really really really dumb. Not only will you get an iPod bruise on your hip/leg BUT you run the risk of it flying out of your unzipped pocket and hitting the ground WHILE ripping your earbuds out of your ears. True Story.) So I checked the prices at Target one day and was like The armband was 30$ but an iPod Shuffle is only 46$? And I can clip it onto my shirt?? WHAT?!? Since when were the iPod Shuffles under 100$?? Can you tell I do NOT keep up with Apple prices in the slighest?

Ain't it cute? (Ignore the extremely unfeminine hand and the crap on the floor...this is Other Chef's truck.
Now I am sure that I can somehow move my music from my Classic to my new iTunes and onto my Shuffle but dear God, that sounds like a heck of a lot of work. Not to mention that Other Chef came back from a deployment with 3 500GB externals filled with music. So help me fill this thing up with the "must haves" of working out!!

Monday, December 05, 2011


Coffee pot brewing its first pot this morning!
I used to have an obsession with coffee. Well let me rephrase that, not just coffee but Starbucks to be exact. In high school I used to be go Arabica (a coffee place that used to be on the East Coast) every morning. When we were transferred to WA, my obsession only got worse. There is literally (just looked this up so no joke) 10 Starbucks within a 2.5 mile radius of my home. The closest is about a minutes drive from my driveway to their drive thru. I have to pass it everyday when I leave my house. EVERY. DAY! Then I read about how many calories were in my favorite coffee.

That's when the brakes screeched on my obsession.

525 calories in my favorite coffee. Holy. Jeez. WOW.

Since I am working out and trying to get back to my prebaby weight (yes I realize he's 6 but whatevs) I am limited to 1300 calories a day. Working out obviously gains me more but yeah...1300. So one coffee, BEFORE breakfast, leaves me with 775 calories for the rest of the day. NO WAY.

Now I homebrew. I have been giving my coffee pot a massive workout. I am actually waiting for the day that I press brew and nothing happens. You will all hear a massive scream from your various points around the world. Never fear. That is just me having a meltdown because my favorite ever kitchen appliance has finally died. (This things going on 7 years old...its coming!)

What is your obsession food or drink related?

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Okay, I was going to hold this in until I started the training BUT....

My Friend N and I are running the St Paddy's Day 5k this year!!!

I am so excited. This is my first official 5k. I registered already and am ready to go! I start training on Monday and man am I excited. I mean nervous. I mean ecstatic. I mean...AHHHHH! I can't wait! And to be able to do this with someone who has become so close to me...score! Main (well used to be now) Chef will be with the kids while we do it. When we asked if he wanted to go to too he said "Nah, I run triple marathons. In under an hour. On my video games." Really?? *rolls eyes*

 Its downtown, starts at 7am....

Dang. I am going to be before 530am and it won't be for shopping.


Thanksgiving post!

So it pains me to say this BUT every year for the last 7 years, when I made Thanksgiving dinner it was normally just one of those precooked dinners that you get from Safeway. But to anyone that has been following my blog, you know that I also just recently started cooking and trying to expand my skills. Well this year, I decided to cook my own dinner...all of it. And so I did.

The turkey was going to be my hardest challenge. I have never cooked one before. I was horrified thinking that I was going to screw it up and all of us would end up with food poisioning (yes, worst case scenario always in my head!!!). I didn't know what brining was so I didn't even bother to do that but I did find a link on PW's site that I did follow (which can be found here ). I didn't stuff my turkey either. My grandmother used to do that all the time and ugh, I hate mushy stuffing. So no go on this one! The only spices I used were kosher salt, pepper and stuffed that thing full of minced garlic. I used so much in fact, I was being asked how much did I use cause the smell was strong. Meh, whatever. It came out DELICIOUS! When I had to baste it, like she says with the butter, I used a stick of butter with lemon juice. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

It started like this....

And then to this....

And then this!!!

I also made some DELICIOUS green bean casserole (my secret is using cans of cream of mushroom AND chicken...delicious), Main Cook made some delicious sweet potatoes (recipe WILL be coming soon), mashed potatoes, Turkey Stuffing, Cranberry sauce (just out of can, nothing special), turkey gravy (out of jar, again, nothing special) and my pumpkin pie.

My very first EVER homemade pumpkin pie...still working on the crust!

Dinner...was..sooo...good! And the good news one was sick or got sick and everyone walked away from the table stuffed to the gills. That my friend is awesome!

Thanksgiving Dinner with some Moscato...ready to eat!!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Running Divas Review and Giveaway!!

So I got my computer the other day...back joining the land of the interwebz. Honestly, you never really realize how much you miss having your own computer until you are having to share. Sucks. Majorly.

Thanksgiving came and went, man was it a good time (I will post about that in a seperate post). Day before Thanksgiving though...I got a box in the mail. It was from Running Divas who was kind enough to send me some items to giveaway!!

I took the items out of the box and was instantly impressed with how lightweight AND soft they were. Seriously. I have never felt something this soft before (without using a ton of fabric softener and then you run the risk of feeling that nasty softener feel...yuck). The other thing that caught my eye was how cute the sayings were. The long sleeve brown tee says "Mile after Mile after Mile, etc" all the way down the side and on the back it says "Marathon is a concept by which we measure pain". And the cool thing about the sayings is that you can customize it. Anything you want on any piece of clothing, you can get. How cool is that?  Marc and Aeron did a great job with these items and I can't wait to share them with you!

These are the two pieces that I am giving away:

You know you want them! The back of the tank says "its who we are its what we do"

Here's what you do!!

1. Follow my blog and comment that you did! (1 entry)
2. Follow Running Divas Facebook Page and comment that you did, tell them I sent you!(1 entry)
3. Share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or by Twitter (possible 3 entries) and comment you did.

Make sure you do one comment for each thing that you do!! Thanks!

This giveaway will close on the 9th at 10AM. Will mail the item priority! I will be using to pick a winner!!

Good luck and I can't wait to see who the winner is!!! 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Quick Post!

My new computer is in and I am IN LOVE! I am about to head out to go eat dinner so be looking out for a new blog entry (longer) later tonight!! Giveaway is being set up tomorrow!! WOOT!
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