June 24, 2012

Leftover Chicken? Make these!

I pulled out this recipe last night after realizing I had almost a full rotisserie chicken in the fridge that I needed to use. I had used some of the meat for chicken and black bean quesadillas a few nights ago and wanted to use up the rest of the meat so I could get the bones into a pot with veggies and herbs to make some more of my homemade chicken stock.

These are called chicken croquettes, and they're great not only because they are a unique way to use up any kind of leftover chicken you have (I've used leftover baked, roasted, and grilled meat) but also because they are so customizable depending on whatever you want/need to use up. Last night, for example, I had a couple roasted red peppers floating around at the bottom of a bottle in the fridge, so I knew those would work. My roasted chicken yielded about 5 cups of meat, so I also increased all the other ingredients to make 12 croquettes. I'll give you the starting recipe and then some things I do to jazz it up a bit.

Chicken Croquettes
Original recipe found HERE

  • 3 cups cooked and finely chopped chicken (dark or white meat, doesn't mater; you're going to want to really chop it up pretty finely so the patties hold together better. I used my Pampered Chef handheld chopper)
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sauteed chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1. Saute the onions in either olive oil or butter. I wouldn't skip the onions in this recipe because they help keep the croquettes moist and add a lot of flavor. Mine were vidalia so they were yummy and sweet.

2. Now this what I do to make sure my croquettes taste good even before I cook them. I mix all ingredients but the eggs together in a big bowl, and then I get creative! I usually add some parmesan cheese, herbs (either fresh or dry, doesn't matter!), Lawry's seasoning salt, garlic, etc. Like I said, last night I threw in some finely chopped roasted red peppers. I sample the mixture and add ingredients until I like the way it tastes, then I add the eggs.

3. Add the two eggs to the mixture. If the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add another egg.

4. You have two options for cooking these. You can cook them in a skillet in some oil over medium heat until golden brown, or do what I usually do and bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for about 12-15 minutes at 350. I've done both cooking methods and the work just fine, I just like throwing them in the oven because it's less fattening and it gives me a few minutes to work on something else in the kitchen.

These are great with just about any sides, and the website I found the recipe has reviews from others that like to use them for sandwiches. I served mine with some broccoli salad and some cheesy herb baked potatoes. These are man-approved in my house, and I hope your family enjoys them, too!

June 7, 2012

Not perfect, but pretty!

I still haven't taken the time to share pictures of the living room, and that's partially because I don't feel like it's "done". The living room has a gray, white, brown, and navy blue color scheme, and right now it's just TOO gray. I'm kicking myself for not going with the navy rug...

Anyway! On a recent trip to Goodwill I found this metal wall art and thought it was pretty cute, and the $3.00 price tag made it a lot cuter! The price tag from Hobby Lobby was still on the back, and I'm hoping that the art's original owner didn't pay $25 for it. Yikes. There was a random yellow line of paint on the right side and there were a couple of dinged up spots, but I knew I could take care of that!

 The background of this picture makes me laugh because it shows the "his and hers" aspect of our garage. A pallet for me on the left, and hubby's weights on the right!

I decided that this project was my chance to start bringing more blue to the living room.
First I rubbed the whole thing down with a little sandpaper and sprayed it down with white paint and primer. Next, I covered the cross with aluminum foil and sprayed the rest blue, the same paint I used on my yard sale lamp. I'm sure there's a better way to do this type of "sectioning off", but I'm kind of impatient and it's the first idea I had :)

The aluminum foil method wasn't the greatest... there are a couple of spots where the paint went under the edge of the foil, but oh well! I channeled my inner nester and remembered that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!

AND it serves its purpose, if only temporarily. I finally have something on the living room walls and there's more blue... which makes me happy :)

And before I go, I wanted to share with you the most creative housewarming gift we got last month. Our sweet friend Cristina has been our go-to-gal for her photography skills, and we've had engagement, anniversary, and Christmas pictures done by her (and love them!). Cristina used her arsenal of pictures to make us this SO COOL gift...

A closer look:

Isn't that a great gift idea?
Thanks, Cristina!!!

June 6, 2012


Today's project was never meant to be a project. But sometimes that just works out, I suppose...

I was perusing Pinterest a few weeks back when I saw a recipe for a watermelon margarita. While I like a fruity margarita as much as the next person, I was more interested in the glass the drink was served in.

These anthro glasses immediately caught my eye, because they looked ADORABLE and totally DIY-able! So while on a recent trip to the store whose name shall not be spoken to get some kitty supplies, I also picked up some paint pens. I was heading to the home department to pick up some glasses when I remembered a pretty set of glasses that we were given at our recent housewarming party.

*I would like to let the sweet and beautiful party guest know that I loved the glasses "as is", but I can tell she's a gal who appreciates a good makeover :) *

So here were the glasses before:

Instead of using all of the colors like the inspiration photo, I decided to stick with colors that went with my kitchen/living area since I'm all matchy-matchy like that. I used white, brown, silver, navy blue, and light blue paint pens. I just did one color at a time, randomly placing dots of paint on the outside of the glass. I tried to make the dots less concentrated as I went up the glass, and keep the paint on the bottom half of the glasses.

So here's the after!

I think it worked out pretty well and came super close to the original just with own little spin on it! Now, in full disclosure, these will definitely have to be hand washed and may not even hold up that well because the paint can be easily scratched off. However, I have ever intention on figuring out a way to do this project in a more permanent way because I think these would make the cutest wedding gift! I know I would love to receive them as a gift! I saw somewhere online about a paint pen that can be used on glass/porcelain and baked to make it permanent, so I will check that out. Anyway, I'm only out the cost of the paint pens, and I used so little of the paint that I can use them in other projects.

June 1, 2012

Good Things

Life has been good lately. Here are some reasons why (If you follow me on facebook, most of this is old news)...

Adam and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary last week and it was wonderful. He had class on the night of our anniversary, so while he was gone I got out some decorations left over from our wedding and jazzed up on living room. When he came home we had a little candlelight, an AMAZING strawberry cream cake from Greenlife, and a little dancing to our first dance song. It was great.

Speaking of great, Adam's great, He had the most beautiful flowers I've ever received sent to me at work. They filled the office with the sweet smell of roses, and everyone loved them. The chocolate that came with them didn't hurt either...

Last year we celebrated our anniversary during our vacation, which was a cruise to Mexico. Fabulous! We're saving up our money and time off for a big trip next year (Alaskan cruise with my family! Eek!), so we decided a little weekend getaway would suffice this time around. We spent Memorial Day weekend in Gatlinburg/Piegon Forge and had a lot of fun. This area can be really cheesy and packed with tourists, but there's always a lot to do and great food to eat. The highlight of our trip was definitely where we stayed, Eight Gables Inn. We're becoming B&B fans quick, and this one was amazing. The owners are so thoughtful, the B&B itself was beautiful, and the food was great. Check it out if you're in the area and need a peaceful place to stay!  The picture up there is from our visit to the aquarium, where I fell in love all over again with penguins. They're just so dang cute!

I'm really digging the new cats. They are definitely a handful, and I don't always love waking up to spaghetti on the kitchen floor or miscellaneous hair accessories tore apart in the den, but they're so sweet and fun. It is a common occurrence to have both kitties asleep in my lap while Adam and I watch TV, and I love it.

Booyah! I can grow vegetables! I harvested the first of my green peppers and green beans this week and was so excited. It really makes me look forward to next spring/summer because I plan on doing an actual garden next year. For now my containers are working just fine! I should have some yellow squash ready in a couple of weeks.

And this here was the highlight of my week! I fell in love with this table/cart while visiting my favorite antique storing during my lunch break yesterday, and my sweet hubby went and picked it up for me after he got off of work! I had been having a hard time finding a coffee table for our den, so this just worked out perfectly.

It's looking like this summer is going to be a ton of fun, and we already have so many things planned. Just in the next couple of weeks I get to see one of my best friends from college, I have a ladies' night planned for next week, Adam and I are going to one of those wine-and-paint classes, we have several birthday parties to attend, we're hosting our very first family function at the new house (Father's Day dinner),  and last but not least... we're taking tango lessons!!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!