Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brown Bag Chicken

This is a strange but amazing technique for cooking a whole chicken. My brother first introduced me to this recipe and I have been sold ever since. You just have to get over your initial fear of burning your house down and then you will be too. The secret weapon you ask? A regular brown paper bag from your grocery store. This bag cooks the chicken so it is moist on the inside but has golden and crispy skin. Yuummmmy! If you don't believe me.... look at this!

See how can you resist that? I'm salivating just looking at it. Here's how it's done.

Brown Bag Chicken

One 3-3/12 pound chicken
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 onion cut in half
Garlic cloves to taste
1 tablespoon of paprika.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Move around the shelves so there will be enough room to place the chicken in the bag so it is not touching any sides. This is important! Also make sure your broiler is not on.

2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Sprinkle with the amount of salt and pepper that you prefer. Place the onion and garlic cloves inside the chicken cavity. Rub paprika on outside of chicken.

3. Lay the paper bag on its side and place chicken inside. Tie the top of the bag with cooking string. Place bagged chicken on cooking sheet with rims and put in oven.

4. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. After removing chicken from oven, carefully open bag to release steam. Here you can check to see if the chicken is done. The best option is to not open bag unless you know it is done. You can adjust cooking time for bigger birds.

5. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

6. Eat!

The raw bird going to die....

All bundled up in the bag.

Cooked to perfection!

The second most amazing thing about this recipe, besides the bag, is the ability to make it your own. If you prefer different seasonings, then go for it! This would definitely impress dinner guests and it is so simple.

Dinner is done!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Girl Behind The Blog

Oh man! This is my first blog. Watch Out World! Are you tired of link ups yet? I know I'm not. Today i'm hanging out with Erin over at Living in Yellow. To share with you the 3 things I can't live without on a daily basis. Prepare yourself for an awkward video! Some how I cut off my introduction so just ignore that please. 

What are your 3 favorite things? I wish I could have snuck in my favorite beverage. Gin. Maybe next vlog...... I don't want to scary anyone away just yet :) If you're new to Betwixt & Between, please stay awhile! Stalk away!



Monday, October 29, 2012

An Ode to the Single Ladies

All the single ladies! All the single ladies! (Are you now singing along?)  

This post is dedicated to all the single gals who are bloggers. Are there any out there except me? Crickets...... I found this website the other day and could not stop laughing. All you hot ladies should check it out. Yes, even if you're married because it's a good giggle time mostly because it pokes fun at single and married gals alike.

I often get questions like "So who are you dating now?"..or.."Can I set you up with someone?" I mostly take these conversations in stride and dish about it later to my single friends. 
You can often hear this..."Oh yeah, tell me about it!" over a bottle of wine and junk food. 

Do you have "tell me about it" moments? Sometimes you just need to talk it out! Blogging is a perfect platform to do just that, especially if you take part in this link up. I'd love to hear what's going on in your world that is annoying, amazing, or even average.  All you single ladies already have my attention!

Join the discussion!

The rules:
1.Please follow your 3 hosts Helene, Emily and Kathleen 
2. Copy the button and link back to us
3. Please Check out at least 2 other link ups! Have fun!!

If YOU would like to co-host next week leave a comment and let us know
and we will put you on our list!!

Tell me about it!!!

Key Lime Pie

I know that it is technically fall but I still try to eat summery dishes to brighten a drab day. Today is one of those days. Its cold and cloudy out and I needed a pick me up. Key lime pie was one of my childhood favorites because of its tartness. This pie is not for the faint of heart. It can make your lips puckers. 

An authentic key lime pie stands out compared to "fake" key lime pies by two characteristics. The first being the actual use of key limes. These are different from most limes found in the grocery store because they are grown in the Florida Keys and are much smaller and sweeter. For this recipe, I used key lime juice that was found during a trip to the south. This juice has come in handy over the years for an extra kick in recipes.  You can substitute the key lime juice for regular lime juice but it might not be as sweet and tart so add a little extra. 

The second characteristic of an authentic key lime pie is the color. Most restaurants or recipes call for adding green food coloring to give the pie and nice lime color. A true blue (not really) key lime pie has a creamy custard looking appearance.

Key Lime Pie

8 Egg Yolks
2 Cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup of Key Lime Juice

3 heaping handfuls of ginger snaps or 1 packet of graham crackers
2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1-2 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375. 
2. Put ginger snaps or graham crackers in a ziploc back and smash the crap out of it until there are just crumbs. 
3.In a bowl mix melted butter and sugar with crumbs. 
4. Next put crumbs in pie dish and push tightly on crumbs to form the crust. Make sure there are not holes. 
5. Put pie plate on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Lower oven to 350 when crust is done.
6. Beat egg yolks until smooth and add condensed milk. Mix.
7. Slowly add key lime juice.
8. After everything is mixed, pour filling mixture into baked crust and return to over for 15 mins or until  center does not jiggle when moved. 
9. Let pie rest/cool down then place in fridge for 2 hours.
10. Eat!

This pie would be even better with whipped cream. I was fresh out and to lazy to go to the store so I ate it as is.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Man that week went by fast! It was stressful and had its ups and downs but I'm ready to start the weekend! I'm linking up with Lauren again but today I am also linking up with Emily for Weekend Blog Hop!

Photobucket Newlywed Moments

 Let's start off the weekend right by looking back and seeing the good parts of this past week.

1. Last Saturday the KC Marathon was happening right in my neighborhood. My roommates and her friends made some signs for the runners and their friend that was running. Watching these runners actually gave me no motivation to run. It looked painful! Maybe some day inspiration will hit me.

2. Guess who voted already?! Sad news is that they didn't give me an "I Voted" sticker. Maybe you just get those on election day.

3. Breakfast in bed makes for a good day.

4. Yes I did watch Gossip Girl at work. Don't tell my boss.

5. Random pumpkin pic. Tis the season!

6. Grabbing supplies for my Halloween costume. I already know I'll have to go back.

What are your plans for the weekend? Have fun!

Pasta Carbonara

This is one of my favorite pastas. Maybe because it is fast and simple. But most likely because there is bacon in it. If there is bacon in it.... I will eat it! I'm guessing this meal isn't the healthiest though. Sometimes you just have to go for it and eat something that will hit the spot and make you happy. :) It tastes like a lighter version of an alfredo sauce

When I tried this particular recipe out, I wished I had a glass of wine and some italian bread to go with the meal. Don't make the same mistake!

Pasta Carbonara

This sauce will be enough for 8 ounces of warm, freshly cooked pasta; always reserve a bit of the cooking water to toss with the sauce and hot pasta.

3 slices bacon

1 large egg
1/2 cups heavy cream
1 green pepper cut into small bites
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces freshly cooked pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. I used angel hair because it was in my pantry. Reserve 1 cup cooking water.

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until finished. Then add the green pepper to the pan to cook. The pepper should get a little soft but still have a crunch to it. Turn heat off when done.

2. While this is cooking, whisk together the heavy cream, egg, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in bowl. You can always add more salt and pepper after everything is mixed together.

3. Drain excess fat from bacon skillet.

4. Put the just-cooked pasta into the skillet where the bacon and green pepper are and place over low heat.

Add the egg-cream mixture and some of the hot pasta cooking water (if needed to make creamy), and toss to coat. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

The great thing about this recipe is the option to change it up to fit your craving. You could replace the green pepper and add peas, onions, or any type of veggie. The options are endless!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Nothing beats going home. Home being where your family is. Where you feel grounded again. Going home is needed especially when you are having a rough week. Woof. What a doozy! Is it really only Wednesday? I can't really name the overall comfort I feel when I get to spend the night at my moms. I guess that means I haven't fully grown out of being looked after by my parents. Does this ever happen? Last night I immediately got in my pjs and ate some ice cream when I got there. It was perfect. 

Another benefit is playing with my puppy. Look at the cute little face! 

Any ways besides having a stressful week and needing a break, I needed to make the trip back home to vote. I will be visiting my brother and SIL the weekend before the election and don't want to risk missing the big day. So today I will go vote absentee! Don't forget to do the same if you will be out of town. I think last election I was away at college and forgot to get my ballot notarized but sent it in anyways. Oops.

On the way back to my place this afternoon I plan on getting supplies to make my halloween costume. I'll make sure to take pictures of the process but hopefully the end results look like this.

I found this gem on pinterest and decided to try it out. It involves me being crafty so it could get interesting!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Butter

I'm not going to lie. I love apple butter but the main reason I wanted to try this recipe was to make my home smell AMAZING! I was not disappointed. If you need to create a welcoming aroma in your house, this will do the trick. Not to mention the benefit of having apple butter to eat afterwards. It could quite possible by my version of crack in the autumn. I want to put it on everything: toast, bagels, rolls... Basically anything with carbs. I found a pinterest recipe for pancakes with apple butter mixed in. Watch out! This will be happening. That pinterest thing is so handy. 

Start with apples. Duh. Any type will do. I picked the cheapest kind and now I do not remember what kind that was. Sorry.

Then you need to core and peel the apples. This handy device was handed down from my grandma and I love it!

Once you've done this step, throw all the apples into a big slow cooker and sprinkle with all the spices and water. It was difficult for me to get it mixed evenly but I tried my best. You can do the same better!

At this point it already smelled like three apple pies cooking at the same time. You will leave the apples to cook for a long time with the lid not completely closed so air can escape. I used my wooden spoon to prop it open. Here is the end result after using a food processor to blend it all together. I had to use my single serve blender because I'm not fancy. I should invest in a processor huh.?

Ta da!! Here is the recipe that actually makes sense.

- 10-12 apples, any type
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice


Peel, core, and dice apples, then place them in a slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.   Place the lid on the slow cooker, but prop it open slightly to allow moisture to escape (I prop the handle of a wooden spoon between the lid and the base). Set slow cooker on low and cook for 12-16 hours, until apples have reduced significantly and turn a deep caramel color.

Remove apple mixture from slow cooker and place in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.   The apple butter is now ready if you plan on storing it in the fridge.  Apple butter will keep quite well in a fashion similar to jam.  

Recipe makes just over a pint (2 cups).

Original Recipe found here

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tricky Coats


Why is finding a perfect winter coat like finding the holy grail? It doesn't happen. Every year I know that I need to get a coat that I can wear on a day-to-day basis but I never end up pulling the trigger. This might be the year! Probably not.  Once I find a great coat, I look at the price and cringe....which means it's not going to happen. Or my lack of fashion sense kicks into high gear. What I need to do is actually plan ahead and buy during the off season. Any ideas? Any free coats?

Friday, October 19, 2012

High Five For Friday

It's going to be a great weekend! I don't have to work and the Cardinals are playing. Whoop! Here are some highlights of this week.

1. Yummy Sushi

2. California Pizza Kitchen with a pal

3. Starting a new book this week. 
4. Let's go Cards!

5. Started my new exercise program this week. We will see how long that lasts. 

What are your plans for the weekend? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

This recipe is AMAZING! I love bread in general but if you add chocolate and bananas, i'm all in. By the way, is it weird that I can only spell banana by singing this song? Every.Time. 

Can you see those delicious chips?! Yummy. The loaf was 3/4 gone by the end of the day. It can double as a breakfast or dessert. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 stick softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In medium bowl, beat sugar and butter until soft. Add vanilla and eggs and beat 1 minute. Add flour mixture and beat 1 minute. Beat in banana. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into loaf pan.

4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. (I had to cook loaf for 10 mins more)

Recipe found here.

Yesterday was a huge day for my blog. I want welcome all of my new followers! Thanks for joining the adventures. :) Let me know if you'd like to swap ads!

Follow along on twitter, pinterest & instagram

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Awesome Lady

Last week I received an email from this awesome lady.

Besides the fact that she is gorgeous, Kaitlyn is extremely sweet. I've been contemplating how I would break into the advertising/sponsor side of blogging and had posted that I am interest in swapping ads. Kaitlyn was the first blog to reach out and give me a helping hand. I had no clue where to start when it came to sponsoring so she was helpful in the process! I'm sure I bugged her to no end when I had weird dimensions/sizes on sponsor ads and had to scramble to correct the situation. She was so patient with me!

You should head over to her blog, Wifessionals. She has some amazing looking recipes that I am dying to try out. Especially this one. Her and her hubby's love story is the best! I can totally relate to trying to find love after college. Hello men?? Any one out there? JK. but seriously.

Anywho, click on over to her blog and see how cool she is by yourself. I believe I made my first blogging friend folks! 

P.S. Interested in swapping ads? Me too! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Roasted Garbonzo Beans

Or chickpeas. What ever you call them, they have been all over pinterest lately and i'm starting this cooking kick with a weird recipe. The only time I remember having garbonzo beans is when they are used to make hummus. MMMMMM hummus. Love that stuff. Any ways, I found this recipe for roasted garbonzo beans so I wanted to check out what all the fuss was about. I found this lovely food blog with an easy recipe. Go check out their cute blog.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse chickpeas and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.In a medium bowl, combine the spices and the olive oil. Toss the chickpeas in the spice mixture and spread the seasoned chickpeas over a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the pan from the oven. Use a spatula to toss the chickpeas, then replace the pan and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until browned (but not burned) and crispy. Allow to cool. Snack away.
These snacks turned out pretty yummy. They remind me of Cornnuts from the gas stations. There was just the right about of spice. The only part of the recipe I had trouble with was the lined baking sheet. When I put the sheet in the oven, the whole apartment filled with smoke! I tried to just open some windows to let the smoke out but eventually I just removed the wax paper on the sheet and had the chickpeas rest on the baking sheet itself. It did not seem to screw the snack up at all.
A yummy and healthy snack

You can't really see the smoke but it was every where!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spice It Up!

This blog world is one CRAZY ride. There are so many things I did not know about while I was still just a silent follower of my favorite blogs. I love when certain sites have a common thread that links all of their posts together. While this blog has only been around for a week or two and I'm still trying to figure out which direction to take it in. 

As of right now, I have decided to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself to cook more. I cook on a pretty basic level. Most of that has to do with the amount of energy I have by the time I get off work and occasionally hit the gym. I work pretty random hours so it can be difficult to make myself cook a meal in the late evening. 

I plan on still throwing in any adventures I have but I'd like to supplement that awesome sauce with some recipes to tie everything together! Stick around and see what pops up on the menu!

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Friiiiday!

Although this is my weekend to work, I am still excited that it is friday. Im getting dinner with my pal Alyssa and watching the Cardinal's game so my weekend isn't a total bust. I'm hooking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk again to highlight my week. What are you doing this weekend?!

1. I ate Chinese with my mom earlier in the week and this was my fortune. This is a pretty good fortune compared to ones I've got in the past. Thursday was a pretty awesome day. I didn't have to work so I guess you could say there WERE special opportunities. :)

2. I'm borrowing this beauty so I can try to take some semi decent pictures. It took me awhile to figure out the basics and I even had to call for help from my brother so we will see how this pans out. Could be sketchy. 

3. My weekly kick ball team lost both games but we still had fun. I even managed to get on base! 

4. You see that big screen? The roommate and I watched the Cardinal's game in an empty bar with the TV all for ourselves. It was creepy and quiet but awesome at the same time. 

5. One of my favorite bars. This was the creepy and quiet place we watched the game but I still love it!

Have a great weekend :)

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Downside of College Life

I don't like this title but hear me out...

As I have mentioned before, I am in a strange limbo between college life and adult life. This could be looked at as a good thing because I get the best of both worlds. Today I wanted to talk about the best parts of leaving college behind (GASP!). 

One thing that clearly sticks out is not having to write numerous papers at one time. While I was getting my masters, it seemed as though the paper demand would never end. It definitely challenged me to have a better worth ethic but it was painful! My program liked to spring "group" papers on us as well. That could be the only thing worse than writing a research paper by yourself. Working with five other individuals, who had their own writing level, gave me a headache. 

Pointless classes really annoyed me. Why did I need to take math courses in my masters program if I was going into the mental health field? I'm sure there is a reason but I have yet to run into a situation where I said "man I wish I paid attention in statistics class!" At my undergraduate college I took many "filler" classes but I had a choice as to what pointless class to take. Such as a class to get acquainted with the library.... Yes, I took it and yes it was pointless but fun. There was even a class on Harry Potter but it didn't fit into my schedule! I cried. 

Being an intern. Enough said right? 

Spending a beautiful day stuck inside studying or telling your friends you can't go out because you have a project due is not the coolest. Towards the very end of school this became really hard because I was so close to being done but still trying to finish on a good note. Senioritis anyone?

I had to really think about the negatives of leaving college behind. While these things aren't fun, they made me into a who I am today. College was amazing and some days I wish I could do it all over again!

Freshman year on the Quad. So young. So innocent. Ha. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Manly Things

Are to-do lists still acceptable? I seem to make them all the time but I have one list that I just cannot add to the finished pile. My roommate and I made a to-do/bucket list when we moved into our apartment. We are both some what new to the area so we wanted to have a running list of activities and adventures we could try out in order to get the true "City" experience.

What's on that crazy list you ask? Take a looksie......

This list has been up since we moved in and whiskey is right at the top. Now we are not just reminding ourselves to put it on the grocery list or to have a crazy weekend....we have a serious objective. We want to drink and order whiskey at a bar like a man. A gentleman. A dude. To us that means straight up or on the rocks. There will not be any silly business with soda mixed in there.

Why did we add this to our list? When you walk into a bar and take a seat to order a drink and you look over and see a girl ordering, not a girly drink but a whiskey straight up, what do you think? Automatically I think a number of things:

  1. I want to be her friend.
  2. She must be hard core.
  3. I must not get on her bad side. 
  4. How does she drink that crap?
Normal thoughts? I think so. Anyways, the roommate and I thought this would be an easy task to cross off the list but we were WRONG. If you've ever tried whiskey without anything to mask the flavor, it can taste like a science experiment gone wrong or dirty fire wood. And that doesn't even cover the feeling of it burning the whole way down. Don't get me wrong, I've done whiskey shots, but slowly sipping whiskey on purpose is a whole new ball game people!

"Good Stuff"

There have been countless attempts to finally accomplish this goal but still no success. Our families even tried to help our weird goal by giving us tips and buying us the "good" whiskies so we could try our luck at home without the embarrassment at a bar. Maybe we will eventually learn to love "drinking like a man" but until then we will always make these types of faces after every drink....

P.S. Notice the last goal? We have yet to cross that one off as well because we can't remember what exactly was the "food by hooka."

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