Monday, May 18, 2015

Pan-Seared Chicken w/ Tomato-Barley Hash & Charred Broccoli featuring Hello Fresh

Hi Everyone,

I recently was able to try Hello Fresh, a weekly food service that delivers amazing recipes along with fresh ingredients right to your front door. One of my coworkers recently tried it and gave it rave reviews, so I knew I needed to try it for the blog. The recipes I chose for my first week looked super complicated but ended up being so easy! They give you the recipe with step by step instructions and make creating a gourmet meal super easy! My husband happens to be a super picky eater and I was pleasantly surprised when he ended up loving the very first meal we tried. Hello Fresh works out to $12/meal per person (it's $69/week for 2 people and also has options for 4 and 6 servings per meal), and it takes all the hassle out of shopping and planning! If you are interested in trying Hello Fresh, use the code QWVYGB for $40 off your first box. 

Recipe (feeds 2 people)

  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • 3/4 Cup Barley
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 oz Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Stock Concentrate
  • 1 Crown of Broccoli
  • 2 ClovesGarlic
  • 1 Bunch of Chives
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil with a large pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the barley to the pot and cook for about 30-35 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into florets. Zest and halve the lemon. Finely chop the chives. Mince or grate the garlic. Halve, seed, and core the tomato, then dice.
  3. Toss the broccoli florets on a baking sheet with 1 Tbs of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until lightly charred. Then, finish with a squeeze of lemon.
  4. While the broccoli roasts, heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown but not yet cooked through. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven to finish cooking for 6-8 minutes, until juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in the same pan, heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced tomato and cook, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Ad the cooked barley to the tomato mixture along with the lemon zest, chives, stock concentrate, and 1/4 cup water. Toss to combine.
  7. Thinly slice the chicken against the grain. Serve atop the tomato-barley hash with charred broccoli to the side. Sprinkle with the slice almonds and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pregnancy Update: Week 18

Well hello again everyone!

Danica (Brooke) here, I have been wanting to get back to the blog for awhile now but I have been so unbelievably sick! And by sick I mean all day morning sickness. The sickness started for me around week 5...I am now at week 18! To say the least I would be totally ok if it decided to go away now :) Throwing up all the time takes it out of you. I have been so tired all the time, and I have had no desire to get ready for the day. I basically do what I have to to make it through each day and call it a success. I have been on a nausea medication for most of the time. Occasionally it works if I can keep it down, but for the most part I still throw up at least 5-6 times a day. My doctor has told me that I should start to notice the sickness going away now that I am in the second trimester, I am crossing my fingers that he is right! Working two jobs through the sickness has been interesting to say the least. Luckily my boss has let me work from home a lot so that I don't have to share the fun with my office co workers:)
We are super excited to find out what we are having! I haven't had much intuition about it, neither of us really care either way though as long as the baby is healthy we are happy!

I thought I would do weekly updates here on the blog, if anything so I can go back to remember this experience. I will be answering a little list of questions that I have found other bloggers doing, I think it is a super cute way to remember the experience week by week.

How far along: week 18 day 5

How big is the baby: The size of a sweet potato

Cravings: Citris has been tasting really good but I wouldn't consider it a craving. I want sushi so bad it hurts.

Weight gain: 20 pounds. This seems a little high to me but I haven't been too worried about it with as sick as I have been. Survival is my number one concern at this point :)  I have not been able to work out at all since I found out I was pregnant so that has been a huge lifestyle change for me!! Also my boobs have tripled in size and feel like they weigh about 20 pounds each so I am sure they have contributed to my lovely weight gain.

Stretch Marks: I haven't noticed any new stretch marks, I already had a few on my inner and outer thighs from when I was a teenager, but I have not noticed any new ones up till this point. I have been using Mothers Special Blend and a sugar scrub to help my skin remain as stretchy as possible! My skin has been HORRIBLE through this process, I have developed exema and the worlds driest skin, it is so itchy!

Sleep: I sleep alright. I wake up every 2 to 3 hours STARVING so I have to get up and eat. I have tried ignoring it and I get so sick, so lesson learned I have to eat 24/7. I am hoping the sickness will pass soon so that I don't have to eat at all hours of the night. I am sure that has contributed to my weight gain as well.

Thoughts: Aside from all of the sickness and changes in my body I feel so grateful and excited for this new adventure in my life. Experiencing pregnancy has been a crazy ride but one I wouldn't change for the world, I feel so blessed and a little overwhelmed at the thought of becoming a MOM. I think of how selfless my mom is and wonder if I am capable of that kind of sacrifice. It will be a growing experience for selfish little me that is for sure.

We are going to find out what the gender is on the 27th of this month! I am so antsy to find out what this little nugget is. I had a dream that it was a little boy but I have some pretty crazy pregnant dreams so who knows if this information can be trusted:) I will keep everyone posted on the gender reveal in the next couple of weeks!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Latest and Greatest

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Today I am sharing some of my latest favorite beauty finds. All of these products are now in my permanent rotation, and I can't believe I went so long without them! The NuMe curling wand gives me perfect waves that last all day, and the Redkin Dry Shampoo allows me to go at least 5 days without washing my hair! The PMD (a personal microdermabrasion tool) has become such an important part of my skin routine, and you can purchase it for 50% through Mint Arrow's website! I just discovered Urban Decay's eye shadow and let me tell you I am obsessed! It has such a good pigment and lasts all day without creasing! This GlamGlow mask has become my go-to for getting rid of breakouts.

Have you tried any of these products?