Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chipotle Beer Chicken Skewers with Garlicky Rice

When Dusty decided he wanted to join his father on the farm, Dusty's mom sat me down and gave me a run down about what it's like to be a farmer's wife. In the winter it's wonderful because it's the off season and your husband is around all the time. But in the spring and I have a husband? I thought I had one but I haven't seen him in a week!

From 6 am to 9-10 pm, Dusty is out on the farm seeding and spraying at the moment. With my work schedule as a nurse, by the time he comes home, I'm in bed sleeping. It's been quite an adjustment from what I'm use to when it comes to seeing and spending time with my husband. Date nights...forget about it. Eat a meal together...good luck with that! See you in October babe!

The one piece of advice that Julie (Dusty's mom) gave me that stuck out was that I need to find "my own thing" to keep me occupied and involved with the community and friends. Only working 3 days a week leaves me 4 days to sit around waiting for Dusty, and Duke and I can only go for walks so many times a day! I've definitely been struggling with all the free time now that I'm not a full time student.

So after a week of that, I decided to not only get a second job as a car-hop at the Dash In, I decided to get a third job as a Tastefully Simple Independent Consultant. As much fun as car-hopping is and the joy of getting to know more members in the community, I am soooo excited about Tastefully Simple! The women in the area that are apart of TS seem like such a great group of people and I can't wait to get to know them.  I also can't wait to do parties and meet new people in Shelby. It's going to be a fun experience and plus, food is involved!

If you couldn't tell by this blog, I love food! Now that I work weird and very loooong hours, I want to come home and make something quick and delicious....enter Tastefully Simple.

On Friday I got a package in the mail with some of their new Spring/Summer collection seasonings and sauces. This Chipotle Beer marinade was the first on my list to put to use in the kitchen.

Chicken + Chipotle Beer Marinade Mix + Beer (or Olive Oil) + Veggies =
Spicy Savory Chicken Skewers
The rice is even easier....
Rice + Chicken Broth + Garlic Garlic Seasoning =
Super Flavorful Rice
I made this dinner for my husband and his cousin last night, and boy did they gobble it up!
If those two farmer boys loved it, I know your family will love it too!
Chipotle Beer Chicken Skewers with Garlicky Rice
{Serves 4}
-2 whole Chicken Breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
-1/4 cup Beer (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
-1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
-1/2 Yellow Onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
-1 small Zucchini, thinly sliced
-4 ounces sliced Mushrooms
-1-1/2 cups Long Grain Rice
-3 cups Low Sodium Fat-Free Chicken Broth
-1/2 tablespoon Garlic Garlic Seasoning
-2 Green Onions, finely sliced
-12 Wooden Skewers 
For the Chipotle Chicken Skewers:
Place the Chipotle Beer Marinade Mix in a large plastic bag with 1/4 cup Beer or EVOO. Add the cut up chicken breasts, seal the bag and shake to combine. Set aside to marinade for 30 minutes or longer.
Preheat the grill over medium heat once you are ready to get cooking. Skewer the veggies and marinated chicken in an alternating pattern until all the ingredients are used up. Grill chicken skewers for 8-10 minutes, rotating throughout, until chicken is cooked. Serve on top of the Garlicky Rice.
For the Garlicky Rice:
In a rice cooker, combine the chicken broth, Garlic Garlic Seasoning and Long Grain Rice and cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, depending on your machine. Keep warm while you grill the chicken skewers. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions.
If you are interested in anything and everything Tastefully Simple, please visit my Tastefully Simple Independent Consultant page
Not only can I host parties in person, I can host them online too! Just ask me how ;)
Consultant ID: 0150308
Recipe adapted and inspired by Tastefully Simple
This post was not sponsored by Tastefully Simple. I am an Independent Consultant for Tastefully Simple and purchased the products myself. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I just really love there products!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Duke

It's hard to believe my little chunk of a pup is already 1 years old.

Duke's birthday was on April 9th (same as my mom's) and of course Dusty and I honored it by eating hot dogs and giving Duke tons of treats and toys! He isn't spoiled at all I tell ya ;)

After nearly having Duke in our lives for almost a full year, here is a list of some things I've learned about him.

Duke loves...

Playing at the puppy park.
He is always the most well behaved pup. It makes a puppy mama's proud!
His big comfy chair.
Destroying his new toys...
(this was originally a duck on a rope)
...and making a big mess with them.
The farm.
Being my helper in the kitchen.
All things food.
(especially things involving bread, cream cheese and sugar...just like his momma!)
Watching me put my make-up on
...and trying to eat cotton balls and make-up brushes.
Going for long walks.
His fashion accessories.
Snuggling while sleeping or watching TV...or just snuggling anytime!
And sleeping. This boy LOVES his naps!
These are just a few things I've listed. I could go on and on about how much Duke loves babies, children, doing dishes, the UPS lady, the Schwan's man, family, his yard, etc.
This pup sure is full of love!
Duke dislikes....

Getting his paws tickled.
Bath time.
This happens a lot lately since he comes home muddy from the farm.
The neighbors cats.
He absolutely dislikes blow dryers and vacuums!
I couldn't get a picture of him with that because usually he is off and running away from them.
Duke is a goofy dog! But I sure am glad he is mine!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ultimate Iced Mocha {Starbucks Verismo Review}

Just after starting my job at the hospital and working three-12 hour shifts a week from 6am to 6pm, one of the worst things Keurig stopped working! I don't know about you, but getting up at 4:45 am is really rough and requires a little extra umph to get going for 12 hours straight. So when my Keurig died, I panicked a little...okay, a lot!

To my relief, a week later, a miracle happened. The clouds parted ways and the heavens opened up.....

Staples (as in the office supply store) contacted me and asked to me review the new Starbucks Verismo system. Hallelujah! Dusty and I were getting a little desperate for some java and weren't sure if we wanted to invest in another Keurig, seeing how the one we had for just 2 years pooped out on us. This wonderful news from Staples and Starbucks answered our caffeine prayers!

After several weeks of using our Starbucks Verismo System, Dusty and I couldn't be more pleased. Not only can we brew coffee, but we can make espresso-based drinks like lattes and mochas (my favorite!). 

Here are our thoughts on the Starbucks Verismo System....

Cons: You can only use the Starbucks Verismo pods. Before our Keurig died, we bought a case of k-cups from Sam's Club, so now we are stuck with approximately 50 k-cups! I might have to take them to work and donate them to another Keurig user. On that note, the Verismo pods are difficult to find if you live out in the middle of no where like myself. Therefore the pods have to be ordered online or purchased when we go on a trip to the city.

Pros: Very simple to use! The instruction manual was very easy to follow and we figured out how to use the machine in a matter of 1 minute. Also, we live 80 miles from the nearest Starbucks, so having readily accessible Starbucks at home is AWESOME! Plus the system came with a recipe booklet so we can make our own Starbucks drinks. The system has a water reservoir, which we didn't have before with our basic Keurig, and we really like this feature. After checking I saw that the cost of the Starbucks Verismo System is $119.99....not bad considering you can brew coffee, espresso, make chai tea, hot chocolate and it includes a special milk heating feature. Not bad at all! Plus I really like that the machine requires you put it through a rinse cycle prior to brewing. I have a feeling that is a big reason why our previous coffee machine died. 

Like I said, it couldn't be more simple to use. Just simply fill the water reservoir, turn on the machine, run it through a rinse cycle, lift the handle, pop in your favorite little Starbucks drink pod and brew!

I used my family members as guinea pigs and made them various coffee drinks.They said it was just like having the actual Starbucks, without having to drive 80 miles! On our last trip to Great Falls, Dusty and I loaded up on coffee, espresso and milk pods from Starbucks and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Now we have enough coffee to get me through a years worth of 12 hour shifts. 

Like I said earlier, iced mocha's are my absolute favorite caffeinated beverage. Before having the Verismo system, I made a delicious iced coffee version, but now that I can brew espresso, I can make the real deal! 

Just simply place 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce into the bottom of a glass....

Add the brewed espresso shots (2 shots if you need the extra kick like me!)
Pour in 6 ounces of Milk. Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole....your choice!

Stir or shake to combine...

Add ice and there you have it! 

Happy Monday!

This post is sponsored by Staples. They provided me with the Starbucks Verismo System to review and share with you all. I did not receive monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions on the Verismo System are my own...and if you didn't figure it out, I love this new coffee system! The recipe for this glorious Iced Mocha came with my Verismo system. Thanks Starbucks & Staples!

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