Saturday, October 6, 2012

Yum Yums! Jambalaya

Not the greatest pic, but...
I saw this "Soup" version of mixed vegetables from Harris Teeter. It has okra, potatoes, green beans, peppers, corn, carrots and celery! It was about $1.50 for the pack so I decided to buy it. I really wanted to make Chicken and dumplings w/ it..but I wasn't really in the mood for soup. I have a whole can of tomato puree plus some rice so I decided to make Jambalaya instead! I looked at some recipes but I didn't really like what I saw (mainly because I didn't have the ingredients they asked for) so I just decided to wing it and see how it turned out. I didn't use everything in the vegetable mix- I omitted the potatoes and celery because I HATE cooked celery, and I decided that I'm gonna use the potatoes for something else, so I just put them back in the bag. My chicken was previously seasoned and I used cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion powder and garlic salt. Here it goes!

Serves: 3
Preheat oven: 350F
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

3 pieces of Chicken (I used 2 thighs and a leg)
1/4 of a Kielbasa link, medium dice
2 tbsp Veg OR Olive Oil 
3 cl. Garlic, minced
1/4 Onion, medium dice
1 tsp Fresh Thyme, minced
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 bag of Harris Teeter Soup Mixed Vegetables
1/2 c. Rice
2 oz Tomato Puree
3/4 can Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. In a medium sized dutch oven, or pot, over medium heat, saute Kielbasa until it releases its oils. Remove Kielbasa from pan and add oil. 
  2. Once oil is hot, add chicken and sear (brown) on all sides. Be careful to adjust the heat (lower as needed) so that the chicken is not burning. Once all pieces are evenly browned, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, in the same pot over medium-high heat, saute garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and vegetable mix until the onions are translucent.  Add rice and saute until all rice is coated in oil-about 2 mins. 
  4. Add tomato puree and stir in chicken broth. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. If the rice is still undercooked, add a 1/4c water (only if needed).
  5. Once the chicken is cooked (thigh reads 165F), add back into the pot and stir.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Yum Yums! : Personal Tortilla Pizza

I think I've been having a Tortilla overload! 
I've been making everything from chips to breakfast burritos with them.
The other night I didn't really plan on cooking anything, but I was really hungry so i just decided to whip this up right quick. 
I'd been saying that I was gonna make my own personal pizza one day, but I'd never gotten to it to making the dough, so I figured a simple Tortilla shell would suffice.. lol. 
You'll notice that I'm using alot of the same ingredients, in terms of vegetables, because I've been tryna make these things STRRREEEETCH.
 Living on a budget sucks. As a matter of fact, not having a job yet sucks...but I'm working on it. lol
Welp, here it goes!

Personal Tortilla Pizza
Serves: 1
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cook Time: 5-10 mins
Preheat oven: 350F

1 Whole Wheat Tortilla (the regular ones will work just fine too)
1/4 of a Kielbasa Link, small dice
1 tsp Fresh Thyme, rough chop
1/4 of an Onion, small dice
1/4 of a Green Bell Pepper, small dice
1 Chili Pepper, seeded and diced
1 cl. Garlic, minced
4 slices Roma Tomato
1 Tbsp Tomato Sauce (optional)
1 Slice pre-sliced Provolone, torn into about 8-10 pieces
3 Tbsp shredded Mozzarella Cheese

  1. In a small saute pan over medium heat, saute Kielbasa until it begins to release its oils.
  2. Add Onion, Bell Pepper, Chili pepper, Garlic and Thyme to the pan and saute until the peppers are cooked all the way through and onions are translucent. Set aside.
  3. Spread tomato sauce onto tortilla, then add tomato slices and disperse the Provolone pieces evenly across the tortilla.
  4. Top with your Kielbasa mixture and shredded mozzarella and bake 3-5 mins, or until the cheese has melted.
  5. Remove from oven, slice and enjoy!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yum Yums: 20 Minute Baked Tilapia

I got a whole bag of frozen Tilapia fillets for freakin $10!! SCORE!
 I was so happy when I saw that they were on sale cause they're usually $15 -__- and Lord knows that I needed some fish in my life. I can only take but so much of beef & chicken...

The one thing that I love about Tilapia is that it's versatile. You can fry it, bake it, steam it, poach it...the possibilities are limitless. The only thing I've done with it so far is bake it and this is something that my grandmother does ALL of the time, so kudos to her for this post!! When I made this the first time, I DEMOLISHED that poor fish...I couldn't believe how good it was! It was actually better than my grandmother's (but you better not tell her I said that. lmao)!
I kind of modified her version cause she usually puts tomatoes and a few other things on it, but it still came out really good! What I love about this recipe is that it's so quick and easy, AND you can eat the vegetables you used in the foil w/ the fish. 
Here it goes!

Baked Tilapia
Serves: 1
Prep time: 5 mins   
Cook time: 20 mins
Preheat oven- 350F

1 Tilapia fillet
1/4 of an Onion, thinly sliced
2 cl Garlic, smashed, peeled, and cut in half
2 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Sprigs of Parsley
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tbsp Kosher Salt 
1 Tbsp Veg or Olive Oil
Lemon wedge/lemon juice (optional)

I used onions I already had diced up
  1. Get a piece of foil that will be large enough to wrap the fillet in, about the length of a standard sized reading book (I used Reynold's Wrappers)
  2. Place the onion slices down first, spreading them out so that they are about the same length of the fillet. place the garlic on top of the onion. Feel free to sprinkle a little bit of the salt on the onions and garlic if you wish (optional).
  3. Place the fillet on top of the garlic and onions and season w/ Salt, Cayenne and Italian seasoning. Make sure the entire top of the fillet is fully seasoned. 
  4. Place the sprigs of thyme and parsley on top and drizzle w/ oil. Squeezing some lemon juice over the fillet can also be done, but is optional.
  5. Wrap the foil over the fish so that it is fully covered and no steam can escape. Place in a cake pan or on a small cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until fish is opaque(white) and flaky.
  6. Remove from oven and discard thyme and parsley sprigs before eating.
I roasted some carrots w/ mines


Monday, October 1, 2012

September's Hair Tales...

Staple style of September.

My regimen for September was pretty, deep-condition, blow-dry, twist, oil scalp w/ Castor oil 3-5x a week!
I blow dry using the tension method, I deep-condition with anything I have on hand (coconut milk, coconut oil, eggs, honey, yogurt are a few examples), co-wash w/ Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut and oil my scalp w/ my Castor/coconut oil mix. I've been trying to steer away from doing small twists cause I'm just going to assume that they are the culprits of why my hairline started thinning. >=(
 I've also been looking up different up dos to do for class, but since I only have class 2x week, I haven't really been pressed about leaving them up for the whole week (i have itchy hands =[ ) 
Me and the boyfriend went out on a date a couple of weeks ago and I wore a twist-out with my bang twisted and pinned to the side.  It's safe to say that the humidity didn't show me any mercy cause as we were sitting there eating, I FELT my hair EXPANDING. LMAO. It got transformed into a side bun w/ twisted pompadour bun with the QUICKNESS. Hahaha!  The most recent twist out I've done was AMAZING. 
The Monday after our date night I had done the baggy method on my ends, sat under the dryer w/ a conditioning cap on my whole head for a half an hour, and then just let it air dry.
The day I took them was sweet, sweet GLORY goin on on my head! I was feeling myself TOO much. 
Once that twist-out began to stretch out, I threw it into that side bun thing again (I really like that style ;]), and a few more buns until wash day. 
Wash day, i finger detangled my twist out and applied  yogurt & honey as a deep conditioner. I sat with it in my hair for like..4 hours (I'm sorry, The Parkers was And once I rinsed it out, detangling in the shower was like BUTTER. I'm still shocked at how little time it took me! Afterwards I just rubbed some Shea butter into each wet twisted section, my castor/coconut oil mix to my scalp, re-twisted it and let it air dry.The day after THAT, I just broke the big twists into smaller twists, and that's basically what I'm rockin right now!

NEW FITNESS GOAL! Operation: Tight & Right!!

IDK who she is...but I WANT her legs!!!
As some of you may know, I am now taking an Exercise Physiology class where we are learning the composition of the human body, how it works, and how exercise directly effects it. After this week, we will be going to the gym to apply all that we've learned and focus on our set goals for our physical evaluation paper. 
MY goal for this class is to work on my overall weight-lifting/ strength, but to really focus on my legs and butt cause when I tell you cottage cheese ain't got nothing on this....uh, nevermind, that visual is really nasty. Lol

I'm going to be incorporating more leg circuits in to my workout, along with trying to bulk up on some more proteins & fiber (not too much though).

"Why are you doing this? Your body's fine the way it is!"
I know. I just want it to be BETTER than what it is! Am I happy with my current body?? Abso-freakin-lutely! But do I know that my body is capable of being so much more?? Hell yeah!!
Anytime I reach a goal, I always make myself a new goal to reach. It keeps me busy so that I don't fall back into old habits. And I like to further challenge myself to see what I'm capable of, both mentally AND physically.



Helpful Tips for College Students to Save Money!!

As many of my fellow college students all know, we are BROKE and whatever money we DO get is usually spent on fast food, Starbucks...and the club. Lol Granted, saving money is definitely not a DIFFICULT task, sometimes when you have it at your disposal, you're inclined to spend it. I've found myself in so many predicaments where I would actually NEED to get something, but not have the money because I spent it on Chinese the night before [WOMP] 
That feeling genuinely SUCKS.
Consequently, I've found a few good ways to help myself save a little bit of money when it comes to my  expenses and I live by these 3 rules:
  • DON'T buy it if you don't NEED it. (especially if it's not on sale)
  • See what's on sale in weekly circulars
  • ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take advantage of printable coupons!
  • If something you buy is not to par, NEVER hesitate to write the company an e-mail.
DON'T buy it if you don't NEED it!
Common freakin sense, right?? But you know, sometimes you're in the store and you're like, "I waaaant..." NO! Don't give in!! If it's not on sale, it's just not worth it until it is. It helps to make a list of everything you need before you go shopping to have a general idea of where you need to go in the store. The list helps you to remain focused and to avoid wasting money on things that you don't even need. Keep yourself focused on the necessities, everything else can definitely wait.

See what's on sale in the weekly circulars
I never go into the store without checking their website for their weekly circular first. I like to see if what I need is on sale yet, but if not and they aren't showing anything I'm generally interested in, then I just don't go to the store...I try to keep myself away from the temptation of grocery shopping. lol. Now, I'm pretty sure every grocery, pharmacy and variety store (Walmart, Target, etc..) has their circular on their website and if not, then suggest that they do! They love customer feedback!

-------> ALWAYS take advantage of printable coupons!!! <-------
I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOVE coupons!!! SO  what I did was set a separate email account just for my coupons and manufacturer ads to be sent to (ex: I went to manufacturer websites ( ex: Kellogg's, Dove, etc...) and signed up for their emails. They usually have monthly coupons that they send to their subscribers. In addition to that, I signed up for,, and which are all LEGIT printable coupon websites. I advise that you pay attention to the quantities of what the coupon is for. For example, you see a coupon that say SAVE $1.50- Poptarts! And then underneath it, it'll say when you purchase 3 or more boxes -__-. Yeah. Look out for those. Also, some additional couponing websites that are really good are:
  • iHeartTheMart - focuses on what sales and coupons are going on Walmart, exclusively.
  • focuses on what sales and coupons are going on in Target, exclusively. Also features other great online deals!!
(I suggest yall give these two^ a- go if nothing else!) 
NEVER hesitate to email the company [and complain]
Say something you brought was stale, broken or just wasn't as good as you expected it to be..DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT hesitate to go to that company's website and tell them about it! Like I've said before, they love customer feedback! One thing NO company wants to do is lose customers under any circumstance, so you know what they'll do? Compensate you, USUALLY with vouchers for free products or coupons! I just had an unfortunate run-in w/ some mold in some frozen vegetables (eww, right?) so I took a picture of it and the UPC code on the back of it and sent the company a nice little email about my disgust and I just got my vouchers today..3 of them for free products. I once had another unfortunate issue with some deodorant that I had purchased,  and I did the same exact thing and got 2 free deodorant vouchers. I'm not makin this stuff up!! Now, I'm NOT telling you to go lie to the company about your experiences with their products, but I AM advising that if you DO, that you tell them about it. They love to make their customers happy!
Just by following those 4 little rules I've set for myself, I find myself saving more and more money while also being able to realize that I really don't NEED all the things I want- I can definitely live without them, in fact. 
But the main point of this post is to just help you guys make yourselves conscious of the fact that there are savings right at your fingertips, you just have to learn how to sort through them and decide if it's actually needed! Self discipline also plays an important role in all of this. 
Remember: if you don't NEED it, DON'T buy it.