Pinterest Productivity | Garlic Honey Soy Chicken

Crock Pot Recipe | Garlic Honey Soy Chicken

This past weekend it was 80 degrees. I know. It’s Fall, why is it 80 degrees? Well, Southern CA hasn’t gotten the dang memo. I decided to embrace Fall with open arms (despite the weather) and broke out my crock pot to make this dish I’ve been eyeing on my Pinterest board. For me, I get great joy when I bring something on one of my Pinterest boards to life – #PinterestProductivity!

It was super easy and super delish! Here’s he recipe. I made a few changes to the original version which I found on JustATaste.com.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

3 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rasberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Sliced scallions, for garnish

Equipment: slow cooker

DIRECTIONS:

Arrange the chicken breasts in the slow cooker so that they are not overlapping.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes, and then pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board. Remove the bones then use two forks to shred the chicken into smaller pieces. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.

Transfer the liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan set over medium-high heat and whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken, tossing to combine. Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet | My Wedding Diet PrepOur wedding is a little under 2 weeks away, and while I did lose a few lbs I definitely slacked on planning ahead so a few of my friends and I have resorted to the Cabbage Soup Diet. At first I was hesitant because I assumed you would only eat soup, it was unhealthy and I’d be hungry all the time. Well, I was definitely wrong about that.  It’s filled with really nutritious vegetables and the plan allows other types of food in addition to the soup, so you really shouldn’t go hungry. You may not be eating what you crave, but you will not be lying in bed wondering why you’re so weak.

Today is my first day on the diet and so far it’s been good. On day 1, you’re allowed to have as much soup as you like and fruit. I’m not hungry and I’ve found that I really like unsweetened iced tea, which is a drink that’s allowed. I’ll keep you updated as the week progresses, but so far the taste and energy level get two thumbs up. We’ll see how many lbs I end up dropping – that will be the real test!

>>>> Update – Total Weight loss 5.5 lbs<<<<

Here is the eating plan the 7 day diet recommends and my throughts/struggles from each day. Before beginning, I’d highly recommend planning the process out and going out and purchasing your ingredients the day before you begin. Making the soup the day before you start will also help, as i does take some time to really cook down.

Day One: On day one of the diet you are allowed to have as much as the soup and as much fruit as you like (no bananas). For drinks you’re able to have water, unsweetened teas, juices and black coffee.

I was like a superstar the first day. I loved the soup and I ate a bunch a fruit and felt full. I was like, this is going to be a BREEZE! I didn’t feel hungry or weak on day one.

Day Two: On day two of the diet you can consume all the fresh raw and cooked vegetables you like. The diet recommends sticking to green leafy vegetables and avoiding dry beans, corn and peas. At dinner you get to reward yourself with a baked potato (you get a little butter on it!), but you must stay away from fruit.

Well, I woke up on Day 2 and I felt hungry. Like really hungry. So, I popped a half a cucumber in my mouth and started to feel better. At lunch I had more of the soup and I cooked up some broccoli and zucchini. I was so excited about my veggies. That like never happens; it was an overnight miracle. By dinnertime I was dreaming about my baked potato, and you better believe I ate the whole darn thing. I didn’t feel hungry on day 2, but I was definitely starting to get sick of the soup. It’s good that the diet allows you additional options, otherwise I would’ve fallen off the wagon on day 2 if I could only eat that darn soup.

Day Three: Day 3 was kinda hard. Not going to lie. I know, I know I was only two days in, but I love food so it was hard. You can only have soup, fruit and veggies on this day. I wanted some meat sooooooo bad!!!! But, I stuck with it and got through it. On this day I’d already lost 3 lbs so I was quite pleased and that definitely kept me going.

Day Four: Welp, day 4 fell on the 4th of July. While I refrained from doing anything crazy (I kept it low key because I had to finish wedding planning), I fell of the wagon. On this day you’re only allowed bananas, skim milk and the soup. I ate like 4 bananas, didn’t have skim milk and I had some shrimp and noodles. Eeeek I couldn’t help myself. It was the 4th of July.

What I am happy about is the fact that I didn’t go full force off the tracks and completely ruin the diet. I cheated a little bit, but I did have the soup for lunch and I had the bananas. And while I did have the shrimp and noodles, it was the tiniest of Bettina portions ever. So, I made a pact to get back in the groove on day 5.

Day Five: So far this has been my favorite day. You’re allowed to have Beef and Tomatoes. So good. You are supposed to consume ten to twenty ounces of beef and up to six fresh tomatoes. It is also recommended that you consume 6 to 8 glasses of water, and of course, that darn soup. If you like, you can substitute the beef with chicken or fish.

I grilled up some beef and tomatoes and went to town. Everything was so flavorful and savory since I’d been living on veggies and fruit for the most part. I made enough beef for dinner and do not foresee cheating because it felt that good to eat it for lunch.

Update: Cheating did not occur. I stuck to the meat and tomatoes. I’d definitely say this was the easiest day yet!

Day Six: Day 6 is another good day. You’re able to have beef and vegetables. As many vegetables as you like and up to 3 steaks. Mega mega whoa! You still have to eat the soup one time and that was definitely a bleh and I did not do it. I feel like if I had, I probably would’ve curbed my appetite and not eaten as much beef and perhaps shed a bit more weight.

Day Seven: The last day of the diet. Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables is on the menu. Carbs. AMAZING. And soup at least once, which is like I said just bland by this day rolls around. I did not eat the soup on day 7 and I ended up eating turkey because I could not stand just the brown rice and vegetables. I really shouldn’t have though, it wasn’t such a rough day but I caved. I do not recommend caving on the last day. I definitely regret it!

What I learned: The diet is a little hard at times, but you start to feel results almost immediately which makes it a lot easier to continue. The key is the soup; if you eat the soup you will not go hungry. Now, I’m not going to lie and say the soup tastes amazing. It is definitely on the blander side, but hey it’s a diet, it’s not supposed to taste like in-n-out. Overall grade is a B+ and I’d definitely do it again if I needed to cleanse or shed some pounds for a particular event. For me I did it for the wedding, and I’m really glad I did. If I didn’t stick to this type of rigid schedule I would’ve been “trying” to eat healthy and it would have been a mix and match of good and bad foods. This diet made it so it was good at ALL times and I wasn’t starving myself.

A huge lesson I learned is that the basic of healthiest foods really do taste good. I’m always reaching to eat the most savoriest and complex things, but having an apple as a snack and sautéing some onions and brocoli does actually tastes good. I learned that I like bananas a lot and I don’t need to eat carbs with every meal. These are like MAJOR break throughs for me because let’s be honest, my eating habits were not the best prior to this cabbage soup cleanse.

I definitely want to continue on the quest to be healthier and while this is very much a style blog, I do want to share that journey with you all. For me it’ll be about finding balance because I love good food, so there’s no way I can give up all that savory and sweet deliciousness that exists in this world!

I ended up losing a total of 5.5 lbs from the diet and I definitely see myself sticking to a much healthier diet and lifestyle. I would do this diet again and I recommend it for anyone who is looking to kick start a healthier lifestyle. Like I said in this post, you’re not starving yourself, you’re instead making yourself very hyper aware of what you’re putting into your body. You learn how much you really need to feel full, and that my friends was a break through for me!

In case you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to click through to read the recipe, here it is…

  • 6 large green onions (also called “spring” onions)
  • green peppers
  • 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
  • carrots
  • 1 container (10 oz. or so) mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • half a head of cabbage
  • 1 package spice only soup mix (I used the onion soup mix from Lipton’s)
  • 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional – I didn’t use these)
  • 1 48oz can Low Sodium V8 juice (optional – I didn’t use this)
  • Season to taste with pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc. (Little to NO SALT!)

Recipe Directions

Slice green onions, put in a pot on medium heat and start to sauté with cooking spray. Do this until the onions are whiter/clearer in color (about 4-6 minutes).

Cut green pepper stem end off, then cut pepper in half to take out the seeds and membrane. Cut the green pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.

Take the outer leafs layers off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.

Clean carrots, mushrooms, and celery, cut into bite size pieces and toss them in. Add tomatoes now, too.

If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.

For seasonings, you can use a spice soup packet of your choice (no noodles!) or use beef or chicken bouillon cubes. These cubes are optional, and you can add spices you like instead (make sure not to add much salt, if any at all).

Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the 48 oz of Low Sodium V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup simmer for a long time – about 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Pinterest Productivity || Recipes

Summer Recipe Inspiration || Pinterest ProductivityIt’s time for another installment of Pinterest Productivity! Pinterest Productivity all started when I began to realize that I was pinning hundreds and hundreds of pins, and wasn’t doing anything with them. I mean, they’re lovely to look at, but what’s the point if I’m not going to put them to use. So in an effort to increase my productivity I decided to blog about pins I’d take from the screen and into real life.

This installment of Pinterest Productivity includes three Summer recipes I’m itching to try. The grilled chicken and corn salad, Parmesan Baked Tomatoes and Salmon Cakes are on my must make next week list. Once I make these lovelies, I’ll make sure to post them on Instagram and on the blog for your viewing pleasure.

Now, I challenge you to breathe life into three of your favorite Pinterest Pins!

 

One Week Ago, We Were Enjoying Jack’s Wife Freda

It’s hard to believe that one week ago I was sitting across from CK at Jack’s Wife Freda in NYC. We opted to celebrate CK’s 23rd birthday together, just the two of us, on my last night in the city. I’m so excited I was finally able to devour a meal at Jack’s Wife Freda. So many instagrammers I follow are always uploading lovely photos of their coffee, menu and food, so I knew it was going to be a hit.

CK ordered the Matzo Ball Soup to start with and its large matzo ball and broth helped hold off the hunger pangs we’d acquired trekking downtown. For the main course, I ordered the Prego Roll and must admit the skirt steak in the sandwich was a bit salty for my taste, but I still enjoyed it and indulged in the delicious crispy fries. CK ordered the House Pasta for dinner and I really liked her dish, the bolognese sauce had the perfect ratio of meat to pasta. I’d definitely go back again, and this time I’d love to try the Whole Roasted Garlic as a starter, we saw it on another table and man did it look good.

A Day in LA | Joan’s on Third and MILK

Joan’s on Third | Short Rib Sandwich

Joan’s on Third | Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Sandwich

Carolina Zoning Out at Joan’s on Third

Ice Cream Sandwiches at MILK Bakery

Since CK takes off for the Big Apple next month we have been savoring are time together figuratively and literally. This past weekend we headed up to LA for the usual mix of food and fun. We had a delicious lunch at Joan’s on Third and everything was sooooo good and soooo fresh! The ambiance was quite relaxing and although it was a tad on the warm side, the outdoor seating was a must.

For some dessert we headed over to MILK for some ice cream sandwiches. Now, I know ice cream sandwiches same old same old, but these were no ordinary ice cream sandwiches. The already delicious ice cream was sandwiched between macarons, yes I know, Macarons a blogger dream! I mean to die for! I had the cookies and cream and CK devoured the watermelon sandwich. These are a must get for sure, I can’t wait to go back and try other flavors!

InstaWeek Number 10

Yummy food snaps from the week. Finally tried Umami Burger with Sara B./ Had another good Chipotle meal/ Made some BBQ at home for the BF and I

Sister Time. CK and I spent Sunday afternoon exploring Abbot Kinney. We stopped by Intelligentsia and the coffee was amazing!

As usual we’re linking up with A Little Dash of Ash. Follow us @bettinakina and @carokina. We took some fun outfit photos on our little day trip adventure, we’ll post these up tomorrow. Stay Tuned. Xoxo-Bettina

Pinterest Productivity: Homemade Wontons with Spicy Sauce

TGIF it’s time for some Pinterest Productivity! This week I chose the Homemade Wontons with Spicy Sauce pin from my “Yummy” board. I would definitely make this recipe again; the prep was easy, they didn’t take long to cook and they were delicious. I’m a little sensitive to MSG so I left the MSG out of the sauce and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I know a lot of you have this recipe pinned as I’ve seen it pop up on my Pinterest feed, so don’t hesitate any longer and make these wontons this weekend!

Homemade Wontons with Spicy Sauce Recipe via Return to Sunday Supper

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 5 minutesTotal Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

For the Wontons
Large pot of boiling water.
1/3 pound raw shrimp, washed, deveined, tails removed and finely minced.
12 wonton wrappers, defrosted
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Dash salt and white pepper
1 egg (for egg wash)

For the Sauce
1/4 cup thin (light) soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Accent
(Accent is a flavor enhancer used in Asian cooking, it’s also known as MSG – I didn’t use any Accent and it was still good)
1 or 2 tablespoons (depending of how much heat you like) hot chili oil

Garnish
2 scallions (green onions), sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Wontons:

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
Wash the shrimp, remove the tails, devein and finely mince.
To the shrimp, add 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, dash of salt and white pepper.
Whisk the egg, and brush the wontons lightly on one side. (This is what is going to seal the wontons).
Evenly divide the shrimp mixture onto the middle of the wontons. Fold them to make a triangle. Press the edges together. Let dry for 10 minutes.

Sauce:

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, Accent, and chili pepper with oil.
Place wontons into boiling water and cook until done (about 4 minutes, when the wontons start to float). Remove with slotted spoon.
Serve immediately with the sauce and scallions (green onions) as a garnish.

Here are some photos of the prep and finished product, hope you all try this recipe out!

The Baked Egg Boat

The Pinterest Productivity series continues this week with the Baked Egg Boat recipe. I must confess, I didn’t make this lovely dish for brunch. Instead I made it for dinner and it was super delish, the crunchy bread and cheesy creamy center was absolutely divine!

I’m going to continue bringing pinned recipes to life in the Pinterest Productivity series, but I’ll be adding in some fun DIYs next week so stay tuned! Let me know if there are any particular pins you’d like to see brought to life from my DIY board.

BAKED EGG BOATS (makes 4)

INGREDIENTS:

4 demi sourdough baguettes (I used 2 sourdough loaves)

5 eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped and fried until crisp

3 ounces gruyere cheese, grated

2 green onions, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt, the pancetta adds a lot of salt)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cut a deep “V” through the tops of each baguette until about a 1/2 inch to the bottom. Partially unstuff the baguettes. Set aside.

3. Place the eggs and cream into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide and pour the mixture into each baguette boat and place onto a baking sheet.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut and serve.

Pinterest Productivity – Feta Pasta Salad and Party Popcorn

Pinterest productivity, what does this mean? For me, increasing my Pinterest productivity means making a conscience effort to bring recipes, DIYs and inspired outfits to life. Last week I became painfully aware of the fact that I have only created 5 out of the 150 recipes I have pinned to my “Yummy” board. I  decided to take action, and am determined to bring to life a minimum of 1 pin per week. Whether it’s a new style or recipe, I will be documenting my Pinterest productivity here on the blog and on Instagram.

Todays post includes 2 of the 3 recipes I featured in my Kick-Off Pinterest Productivity post. I did make a few tweaks to these recipes, but for the most part the Oreccheiette Feta Pasta Salad (Court & Hudson) and Party Popcorn (She Wears Many Hats) recipes remained as the Blogger’s originally intended. We had the pasta salad for dinner, and indulged in the white chocolate candy covered popcorn for dessert.

Oreccheiette Feta Pasta Salad (Mine should technically be called Shell Feta Pasta Salad) 

1 box Orecchiette pasta (I used a bag of Shell pasta)
1 carton of grape or cherry tomatoes
20 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup lemon garlic dressing
salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta until al dente, drain and place in a large prep bowl. Pour dressing over the warm pasta and place in the refrigerator to cool. Slice tomatoes in half and place in a small bowl. Chop basil into small flakes or to preferred size, add to tomatoes. Once pasta has cooled combine the tomato/basil mixture and feta with the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add a bit more dressing as preferred. Chill salad for 1 hour to meld flavors.

Lemon Garlic Dressing

Ingredients

2 – 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or put them in a jar and shake to blend. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If the dressing is too zingy for you, feel free to add more olive oil to soften the flavor.

Recipe via Court & Hudson

Party Popcorn

6-7 ounces (weight) white candy melts, melted
8-9 cups popped popcorn, lightly salted
sprinkles or nonpareils in your favorite color (note to self, use brighter sprinkles next time)

On a large baking sheet or bowl, gently mix in the melted white candy into the popped popcorn. Now for the sprinkles! Sprinkle the sprinkles before melted candy hardens.

Recipe via She Wears Many Hats