Baked Bacon

Real Talk: I hate cooking bacon.  I hate the way the fat crackles and hits my arm.  I hate that I don’t have that cool mesh bacon burn blocker apparatus.  Hence why I chose to cook bacon inside these cinnamon rolls instead of just cooking it.

Hades

I found this pin and thought, “Perfect.  Now I can cook bacon without rage.”  So I laid out my bacon on a foil lined baking sheet.  My cookie sheet was dirty so I went with my pizza sheet. If you look closely, you can see that I used 2 overlapped sheets of foil.  This was a mistake. You want your foil to be one sheet.  The fat from the bacon will liquefy and seep through between two sheets of foil.  I had a greasy mess to clean at the end because of that. Which seems like the opposite of the point of this pin.

Baked Bacon

I followed the directions on the pin exactly. Oven at 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. This is what I got:

Burned Bacon 2

Why did this have to happen to my precious bacon?  Why? I guess it could have been worse. I could have tried this with more bacon. The bacon lovers in my house were pretty disappointed.

Burned Bacon

Grade: Cost: Time:

F

$2

Prep: 2 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Level of Difficulty:
Easy? It wasn’t hard to set up, but it didn’t work correctly.
What I Would Change:
1. Use one large sheet of foil to catch the fat.2. Bake it for a shorter amount of time. Definitely keep an eye on them.
Overall Impression:

I was pretty steamed that these didn’t turn out.  Obviously the length of cooking time was incorrect.  I might retry this while watching them closer to determine what the proper baking time is.

 

Lose the Bat Wings – 17 Arm Exercises

I recently found out that I get to be a bridesmaid. That means photos galore. Awhile back I told you about a leg workout I’ve been doing. I said I had been combining that routine with another arm one. Well, THIS is that arm routine.

Lose the batwings - 17 arm exercises tested on Pintertesting.com

To access these arm exercises you will need to either log in with facebook or create an account. (I HATE that!) I could access it on my tablet and phone without logging in so hopefully it’s just a computer feature. Still it’s a pain in the a$$.

What I liked:

  • Tells you what area of the arm you’re working (Biceps, triceps, shoulders, etc)
  • Images of each workout
  • Step by step instructions.

What I didn’t like:

  • Having to log in to access the content. What gives?… Ok I get it, but it’s a turn off….

Workouts:

  • Biceps:
    • Hammer Curl
    • Concentration Curl on Stability Ball (I just did this in a chair)
    • Bicep Curl
    • Crossover Hammer Curl
    • Reverse Bicep Curl
    • Horizontal Bicep Curl
  • Triceps:
    • Overhead Triceps Extension on Stability Ball
    • Tricep Kickbacks
    • Kneeling Triceps Extension
    • Single-arms Triceps Extension
    • Weighted Overhead Triceps Curl
    • Push Up with Triceps Extension
  • Shoulders
    • Cheer Press
    • Dumbbell Front + Lateral Raise
    • Side Fly Extension
    • Weighted Arm Circles
    • Shoulder Press.

My Routine and Results: I started with 5lb weights. I have very weak arms. The first few exercises were easy but by the time I was nearing the shoulder exercises my arms were exhausted. I did about 15 reps for each routine. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s enough for a beginner. I’ve seen incredible results on my arms within just a few days. The best part is that you can do these almost anywhere. I’ve even done a handful of these at my work desk.

Grade: Cost: Time:
A Free Varies. Mine is usually around 20 Minutes
Level of Difficulty:
Easy/Medium
What I Would Change:
Switch around the routine. I do these the way it’s listed, but I think alternating between each muscle might help you go longer (ex: Bicep, Shoulder, tricep, etc)
Overall Impression:
I’ve seen great results. I’ve done this so many times that I hardly need to even look at the list anymore. Most of these are easy enough for beginners, but also basics for more experienced workout enthusiasts.

 

Strawberry Poppyseed and Bacon Chopped Salad

I had a lot of strawberries left over from the greek yogurt strawberry banana bread that I made last week (which in case you didn’t read about it…. do yourself a favor and go read about it. It’s delicious!) Well, anyway… aside from that not being proper grammar, I had almost a full container of strawberries left. Of course that was planned because I also had planned this….. a strawberry poppyseed and bacon chopped salad.

Strawberry Poppyseed and Bacon Chopped Salad tested on Pintertesting.com

I’ve been hooked on salads, specifically chopped salads for the past year or so. The cafe at work makes these salads that are to die for! I’m not proud of this, but their poppyseed dressing is so good that I have even licked the plate to get more of it…. When I saw that this recipe comes with its own poppyseed dressing, I almost jumped through the roof! Hello homemade crack!

The original recipe comes from Cremedelacrumb

Ingredients
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons poppyseeds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl toss together chopped lettuce, strawberries, bacon, and red onion. In a food processor or blender, add all dressing ingredients and pulse 1-2 minutes until smooth. Pour dressing over salad and top with crumbled feta cheese. Enjoy!

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My Comments

This salad was delicious! It will be perfect with a few alterations.

  • Be careful how much bacon you add! Our bacon pieces were tiny so I cooked two extra pieces. It was way too much bacon.
  • Add a little less sugar to the dressing. The dressing was good, but I’d take away maybe a teaspoon, potentially a full tablespoon of sugar from the dressing. With the strawberries it became just a little too sweet.
  • Keep an eye on the red onion. It’s really good balancing out the dressing, but can be a lot very quickly.
  • Add chicken. That would have made it a perfect recipe.
  • Switch out the bacon for some walnuts.
  • Change out the fruit. I think the dressing would taste just as good on apples as it did on the strawberries.
Grade: Cost: Time:
A- A lot of basics, but can get pricey. Estimated = $10-$20 for ingredients. 15 Minutes
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
See “My comments” for extensive list. In summary: add chicken, add nuts, limit bacon and onion. Limit sugar in dressing or use another sweetener.
Overall Impression:
A really really good salad, but needed some individual tweaking. Add chicken and less bacon and it could be A+ as is. I’ll be using this dressing again for sure.

5 Strand Braid

This 5-straid braid has been all over Pinterest for the past few weeks. I love love LOVE braids. They can be fancy, casual, unique, classic…. They are just the best. I tried this tutorial awhile back and… it was aweful… I didn’t get it at all… This past weekend I was in the mood to try it again. This time I searched pinterest for a video tutorial.

Maybe it’s how she started the video, but I found this woman absolutely addorable. “Hi my beautiful friends!”. Umm yes! Complementary and personable?!? Please be my friend! I’m already eager to find other tutorials by her.

I found her tutorial extremely easy to follow. Particularly the lines: “outside strand goes over the one next to it and under the one in the middle.” Easy peasy! I can’t believe I had that much trouble before! This braid IS hard to do if you have layers. I couldn’t get it as far braided as a regular braid or a fishtail, but it still looked long enough.

image

Update: I tried this with wet hair and found it even easier to do. If you have too many layers to braid it the full length, braid as far as you can and tuck underneath for another great look.

Grade: Cost: Time:
A+ Free 5 Minutes
Level of Difficulty:
Medium/hard
What I Would Change:
I did mine as a braid in the back. Maybe do a side braid or what about pigtails!?!
Overall Impression:
Hell yes! New favorite braid! You NEED to watch a video tutorial to do this right. I looked at multiple written tutorials and they are just awful…. I even watched another video tutorial that was also terrible. This video is great and I want to be her friend.

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Banana Bread

Strawberry Banana Greek Yogurt Bread tested on Pintertesting.com

Looks good doesn’t it? Don’t you want to just jump right in to that picture and devour it? My family and I sure did. The original pin is from Closet Cooking.

Recipe

Servings: makes 1 loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large over-ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
Directions
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix brown sugar, bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, yogurt and strawberries in another large bowl.
  3. Mix the dryy ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. (55 minutes was perfect for my oven)
Grade: Cost: Time:
A Free for us. Most ingredients shouldn’t cost much. Prep: 5 MinutesCook: 55 Min – 1 Hour
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
I forgot the vanilla until after I put it in the pan. It wasn’t mixed in evenly. I think this may have impacted the overall flavor a bit. I also chopped my strawberries into sliced and halved those again. I should have either left then regular slices or added an extra 1/4 – 1/2 cup.
Overall Impression:
 So light and fluffy! They weren’t kidding. It could use more strawberries but otherwise excellent. What I loved most is how light on the sugar it was! It’s a perfect bread for summer.

Easy 4th of July Nail Design

I have been pinning tons of different 4th of July nail designs to try. UNFORTUNATELY, on Monday one of my nails decided to break MID-NAIL. ouch! this severely cut my painting time down to…. well nothing. I needed a simple nail design. This looked like it would serve up nicely. It’s also easy enough for anyone to do at home!

image

Directions are simple:

  1. Paint a white base coat. I suggest 2 layers to be safe.
  2. After white is COMPLETELY DRY (This is VERY IMPORTANT), cut pieces of tape into very thin triangles and place on nail (this should cover the middle portion you want to stay white.
  3. Make sure tape is secure on nail. You don’t want any gaps for the paint to get under
  4. Paint sides red or blue. I alternated it like in the image and love it, but you can put them all the same way too.
  5. Pull of tape after red and blue COMPLETELY DRY! else it will smudge the lines. Pull off thick end first.
  6. If desired: use a bobby pin or tooth pick to create dots.

TADA!
image

 

Grade: Cost: Time:
A+ Free if you have red white and blue polish 2 Hours or less
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
You can use a full piece of tape to cover the white and do a two step process instead of cutting the tape. I found making the triangles much easier. This would be a cool design for your favorite sports teams too.
Overall Impression:
LOVE! Why have I never tried this before?

Parmesean Basil Orzo

Today I bring you… a little bite of heaven. Otherwise known as Parmesean Basil Orzo. I’ve had a taste for orzo recently and convinced my parents to pair it with a whole grilled chicken. The original recipe comes from Plain Chicken.

Basil Parmesean Orzo Recipe tested on Pintertesting.com

Parmesan Basil Orzo
serves 6-8
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups orzo
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (yes the stuff you usually add to pasta or pizza)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt
pepper

  1. In a large skillet, combine butter and orzo.  Sauté over medium heat until orzo is golden brown, stirring frequently.
  2. Slowly stir in the broth and garlic powder and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer 20 minutes or until orzo is tender and almost all the broth has been absorbed.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot.

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Some of the lights in my kitchen have burnt out so the lighting is even worse than usual. It looks and tastes similar to a mac and cheese, but not nearly as cheesy. It’s both light an delicious and a perfect side. My family loved this. This recipe is supposed to serve 6-8 and 4 of us devoured it all.

Basil Parmesean Orzo Recipe on Pintertesting.cm

Grade: Cost: Time:
Our Average: A+ Free. I had everything. Growing my own basil finally came in handy! ~22 Minutes
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
Serve warm and right away. Our chicken wasn’t quite done so I needed to reheat it. To do that I added more chicken broth so it didn’t get clumpy.
Overall Impression:
YUM!! We’ll be making this a lot this summer. It’s got just the right about of cheesy flavor but the orzo is still light enough to make a perfect summer side dish.
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