The new CP&B

Welcome to the new CP&B! I have been doing a little redesigning lately, ya know just trying to keep the look of things fresh and fun, but I also wanted the look of the blog to better encompass what it was all about. When I started this blog 7 or 8 months ago, it was all about enjoying my last few months of college and embracing the shift between the magical land of college and the real world. Which, honestly thats what its still about but, there is more focus on how I’m coping and, as my mom often says “honing my skills as a future house wife” haha. So as opposed to being titled after the things I liked during my previous years, this is more about… what I do on a basis. Create, whether its in the kitchen, at the dance studio, with my collection of craft supplies, or as a refurb of an old find from a thrift store! The play is about exploring my new city, or travels, or any life adventures I may have, and obviously the blog portion is about my obsession with sharing it with all of you! Which, I think secretly irks David, because the other day I started to take a picture of a restaurant we were at and he goes “Do you blog EVERYTHING?” and my immediate reaction was “YES!”. So welcome to the new cpandb. Same content, new concept and look! Hope you stay a while!

Movement Mondays – Olympics Part II

Click above to keep updated on all things Olympics!

Happy Olympics! I hope you have all been enjoying what events you have been able to catch. With my weird work schedule I find my self watching the games either really early in the morning or really late at night, which keeps me all caught up on sports like Women’s Archery, the cycling road races, and a little bit of gymnastics. Oh, and last night on my dinner break I caught some of the synchronized diving competition, which I think is REALLY intense! Since this is Movement Mondays, and all Olympic events require an extensive amount of movement we can somehow swing it to make the theme apply to this post, so try your best. Mostly, I just want to pass my opinion on the Opening Ceremonies and give you the updates on medal counts, etc so far! Lets start at the beginning, the Opening Ceremonies was…. something special. I have to say that there were parts where I was really overwhelmed by confusion and others (like the joining of the rings with the fire works

Also, the lighting of the cauldron was ABSOLUTELY awesome! It started out with these 5 or 6 kids running around with their own torches, somehow representing the future of the Olympics, then they all lit this huge flat structure in the middle of the arena which then turned into the cauldron, let me give you a visual!

I think there was a bit too much of a story line in the actual ceremony. It kind of felt like a history lesson, and the giant baby in dream sequence was maybe one of the more creepy things I have EVER seen. EVER. If you didn’t see it, let me help you out. 

But no worries, a fleet of Mary Poppins’ showed up to save the day, literally flying in over the audience and landing in the middle of the arena, which was pretty awesome! Especially because I love some Mary Poppins! And how awesome does this look!?!

But maybe one of my favorite things, was this shot of the Queen, with an unsatisfactory look on her face, and some clever individuals take on it!

Anywho, Here is an update on the medal counts as of 10 am this morning! Hope everyone is enjoying the games, and come back here on Friday for an update on the winnings so far, as well as some fun and some weird and fun Olympics facts!

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 6 4 2 12
2 3 5 3 11
3 2 4 2 8
4 2 1 2 5
5 2 1 1 4
6 2 0 1 3
7 2 0 0 2
8 1 1 1 3
8 1 1 1 3
8 1 1 1 3
11 1 1 0 2
11 1 1 0 2
13 1 0 3 4
14 1 0 0 1
14 1 0 0 1
16 0 2 3 5
17 0 1 1 2
18 0 1 0 1
18 0 1 0 1
18 0 1 0 1
18 0 1 0 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1
22 0 0 1 1

London 2012- Part I

click above  for live updates, schedule of events, and other olympic news! 

Happy Olympics! I can’t believe its time for another one. I feel like it was just last year that everyone was ogling over that birds nest they built in Bejing for the olympics in 2008. Let me refresh your memory in case you forgot.

I love the Olympics and all, nothing keeps the world turning like a little bit of healthy competition but the amount of money that is pumped into the event is ridiculous. David and I were watching a show the other night about the building of the olympic stadium in London for this years games and they said it took over 1000 days to complete. Thats SO long, and so many man hours, and people working to do it, which is great for employment but…. come on. Anyways, it turned out pretty awesome, so I guess I don’t have any complaints, it just amazes me the about of work they put into it.

However, I do have to commend the English for making something reusable, for example, did you know During the London 2012 Olympic Games, the olympic village will provide a temporary home for around 17,000 athletes and officials, but once the Games have finished, it will provide a permanent residnetial area for, creating a brand new quarter of the city, to be known as “East Village”. Read more about it here! I can’t wait to watch the games unfold, see who can rack up the most medals and what the big story will be this year! Also, I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that the thing I was MOST excited about was the opening ceremony. I mean the one in Bejing was top notch here are some highlights from the opening ceremonies and various events from the games!

If you aren’t pumped after watching that, you need some serious uppers in your life. Needless to say, I am hoping for something spectacular, my inner dancer and choreographer is utterly depressed its happening  while I am at work this evening, but NOT to worry, it will be DVR’ed and I plan to make an evening out of watching it when I get home!  Make sure to catch it live if you can (7pm on NBC)!! I mean film maker Danny Boyle did spend $42 Million creating it, so it has to be epic, right? Rumor has it that some of Englands most famous fictional characters will be in attendance, from the recent Lord Voldemort to the nanny who is practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins, of course! But, everyone is unsure because apparently anyone with an inside scoop  was asked to #savethesecret, to the extent that it was trending on twitter last week, so I guess we will have to wait to find out. 

I mean, its hard to keep a secret for long especially when you consider the masses involved. Over 60,000 people have seen the rehearsals, featuring almost 15,000 cast members, and in a few short hours the secret will be revealed to an estimated audience of almost 4 BILLION people. I mean, am I the only person that finds that overwhelmingly intense? Could you imagine coordinating that.?? Not I. The Opening Ceremonies titled “Our Isles of Wonder” is set to kick off promptly at 9pm in London, and air a live broadcast world wide! Tune in here every Monday and Friday for a run down on some more Olympic trivia and events during the games (7/27-8/12 2012) to get your Olympic knowledge on! Happy competing, go for the Gold!

Meaty Baked Ziti

I got this recipe off the back of a Johnsonville Italian sausage wrapper, so we decided to give it a try this week, since we hadn’t made a pasta dish in a while, and Im a big lover of italian dishes, which might be why I really enjoy winter, because I eat a lot more pasta then. I mean I know its not good for you, but it is so delicious, so I am willing to make the sacrifice of devouring the carbs to enjoy some of my favorite italian treats, which now includes this dish, because it was complete with garlic bread, mozzarella cheese, and little seasoned tomatoes. SO GOOD!

The best part of this meal? It was super easy to make, so there was minimal struggle, and a lot of food. This recipe serves between 6 and 8 people, depending on how hungry they are, and as always, can be easily saved for dinner another night, or prepped and frozen for for a few weeks out and then all you have to do is thaw and bake. So perfect!

Ingredients: 

  • 1pkg. (19 oz.) Johnsonville® Italian Sweet Sausage Links
  • 8oz.penne or rigatoni dry pasta, cooked according to package
  • 1jar(26 oz.) pasta sauce
  • 3/4cup water
  • 1Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1Tbsp. fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/2cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1/4tsp. black pepper
  • 1pkg. (10 oz.) frozen garlic bread, thawed & sliced into 12 slices
  • 3cups (12 oz.) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2cup olive oil
  • 12 fresh whole basil leaves
  • Roma tomatoes, sliced into 12 slices

Instructions:

Prepare Johnsonville Sausage according to package directions and coin slice.

 In a large bowl, mix cooked sausage, cooked pasta, pasta sauce, water, chopped basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Toss gently.

Place mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Place twelve slices of garlic bread on top of mixture and cover with mozzarella. And then dip tomato in olive oil and place on each bread slice. 

Bake uncovered at 400°F for approximately 30 minutes or until heated through. Let stand ten minutes to help set before slicing and serving.

Perfect Party Platter

In my pinterest stalking lately I have been seeing a lot of upcycled items turned cake party platters and serving trays. It makes me wish I lived some where that I could have some kind of party that would justify making  some of these, but I guess for now I will just continue to stalk these until I can find a reason to make one and use it! I love that there are so many different ways to fix something up and each one looks so different! Check out some of these I have found recently on Pinterest.

 

These are great, they are made of simple candle sticks and wood plaques, like you can typically find at Michaels, or Hobby Lobby, and then they were just spray painted bright colors, its a great way to fix up something in a hurry for a dinner or cocktail party, AND you can just repaint the same one every time to go with the decor, since it such a simple piece and there isn’t much to it!

 

If you’re looking for something a little more classy, maybe try something like this! Mirrors and glass make this tiered serving tray look timeless. All you need is some small candle sticks from the dollar tree and various sizes of mirrored glass (which you can also pick up at Michaels or Hooby Lobby) All you have to do is super glue them together, give the glass a little shine and serve away.

 

Something like this is great for summer. These patterned plates on top of these pillar candle holders are great, AND I love the drawer pull on the top, because I love drawer pulls. I feel like I might just buy them just to have because I think they are such a great way to add flair to anything.

 

I also really like this one for something outdoors or for a more rustic feeling! Its made of small terra-cotta pots and then the trays that go under the pots, so, again, its a simple find and a quick coat of paint turns it into something completely new and fun!

 

I also really really like these because they are so much taller than the others. I think they are lamp bases, honestly, which is awesome because there are so many cool lamps you can find at thrift stores and then you can just put a large plate on top to make a serving platter. I also love the crystal details on the one on the left side, I think it looks whimsical, great for a little girls birthday party, or maybe a bridal shower.

 

This one is just a great example of lots of different things you can make, a great way to add some pizzaz to some of the more boring cake stands you might make. I love the silver one on the bottom its awesome! I also really like all the bright colors and how different all of these cake stands look. I think this craft is an awesome way to really personalize your decor for any get together, and it helps to save space on the tables because you can double stack the goodies, AND people will love your one of a kind serving trays! Heres to some inspiration and your next get together!

Unleash the Quiche

I know I say everything is my favorite thing, but quiche really does top the list. At Clemson there was a deli that I frequented most weekends, post downtown struggles, called Pot Belly Deli (aka PBD) and they had this quiche that was quite tasty, and they literally served you a fourth of the quiche AND a side, which in most cases I often selected some sort of fruit salad to make myself feel less unhealthy after eating an entire fourth of a quiche. But needless to say I have been having withdrawals since my departure from Clemson and even in my last two visits back I don’t think I have make it back to PBD, so I decided I would take to the kitchen and make a quiche all my own to fill the void. And it did, several times over…. primarily because pie crusts come in packs of two so we doubled everything and have been eating quiche since Saturday morning, but I’m not complaining!

Heres a little run down on how to recreate this delicious treat for all the breakfast lovers in your life! Also, this saves really well SO, you can preamake the quiche then freeze it before baking OR bake then freeze, and serve it when you need it!

Ingredients:
1 pie crust
Sliced Mushrooms (8oz)
1 box of frozen spinach (10oz)
4 large eggs
Feta cheese (2oz)
Grated Parmesan (1/4 cup)
Shredded mozzarella (1/2 cup)
1 cup of milk
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
Pre heat oven to 350 and thaw the frozen spinach, drain and pat dry. Set the pie crust out at room temperature for 15 or 20 minutes to thaw. In a skillet heated on medium high heat sauté the sliced mushrooms with garlic and a little bit of butter until they are browned and delicious!
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the 4 eggs, the milk, salt and pepper, and the parmesan cheese
after the pie crust is thaw, make sure to poke holes in the crust using a fork to help with the cooking process , then place the thawed spinach on the bottom of the pie crust, spreading it evenly.
Next, add the feta and the mushrooms to make a second layer on top of the spinach in the pie crust.

Next, slowly  pour the egg mixture on top of the existing layers in the pie crust until it reaches almost the top of the pie crust.
Top the quiche with the mozzarella cheese and bake in the oven at 35o between 45 minutes to an hour, or until the quiche is cooked all the way through, then let cool and enjoy!

Movement Mondays- When You Say My Name

I know I said I was going to post my favorites from SYTYCD every week, but I couldn’t resist sharing this Southern Strutt number with you, because as you know I kind of want to be them! AND the partnering in this number is awesome! So, check it out, get inspired, and enjoy!

Birthday Bonanza!

This past week I have had the pleasure of playing host to my little sister for her extended birthday weekend in Charlotte. Honestly it was just the kick off for birth-week, something we celebrate in my family! She came up last Saturday and had her whole weekend planned out with an event everyday to celebrate her 19 years here with us on Earth. For the first few days I felt like I was just a hotel because I was working so she made plans to see friends and family in the area while I was busy. She had dinner plans with a friend Saturday afternoon, with our Aunt Sunday night, and another friend for dinner on Monday and another wednesday afternoon before she left, which left minimal time for my celebrations, but I made do with what time I had, despite my unfortunate work schedule! We made birthday breakfast on Sunday, which was her actual birthday
Complete with scrambled eggs, fruit salad, and french toast from a perviously posted recipe. It was filling to say the least, I had to convince myself to eat dinner that night around 6pm just to keep from passing out at work, even though I wasn’t really hungry.
I also finally gave her the much anticipated birthday present I did for her. In the south in greek life, painted coolers are all the rage, and since she didn’t want to paint one for herself she asked if I would do one for her birthday for her to take to tailgates, events, etc. So I did. I am sure some of you are thinking its crazy I took the time to paint a cooler that is just going to get messed up, but not to worry I took the proper precautionary measurements to ensure it would last as long as possible by using obscene amount of mod podge and then topping it with polyurethane. Hopefully it will make it through the school year unscathed. But here are a few snap shots of the sides I did based on the specs she sent me.

This was the top, complete with her little monogram, just in case someone shows up with the exact same cooler as her…. haaa!

Then this side was one I came up with because she wasn’t sure what she wanted, but I love this lilly print and every sorority girl needs some lilly in her life, so I made this happen.

Then I completed this life is good side to combine her new love of “eno-ing” and obsession with life is good things, which is good, because this side took the least amount of time and didn’t require much precision, unlike a majority of the rest of the cooler….

Then I did this side to get some school pride going, an oops on my part for not getting the letter centered, and in the opinion of my very honest sister “I forgot the gold band in the A and I didn’t include the portion of the lyrics pertaining to moonshine, which is the best part” sigh, I can never do anything right.

This side is my pride and joy, modeled after the blue moon logo for one of their more off beat brews, but I thought it was great for the little mountain, outdoorsy lifestyle in Boone, this side took about 3 days to complete and a lot of stress and struggles!

Tuesday I finally had some time to spend with her so we hit the streets… and by that I mean the South Park Mall to some shopping, eating, and relaxation! And of course to stalk a lot of things we wanted but had no money to buy. For example, I sat with her in the dressing room while she tried on a series of Lilly dresses

and she accompanied me on my quest to find the perfect Michael Kors bag to buy my self when I get my first commission check, which I did, and I will be purchasing it as soon as humanly possible, which will probably be Saturday July 28, giving my check long enough to hit the bank and this is the gem I will be bringing home!!!!
Isn’t this beautiful. The correct answer is yes. Its royal blue and magnificent and smells like leather and makes me feel like all my weird work hours are going to pay off when I can carry this on my arm every. single. day. And no, this has nothing to do with my tote bag obsession as mentioned in an earlier post.

Ok, bag obsession aside, it was great to have time to spend with my sister, which I feel like never happens since she went off to college and I moved to Charlotte. After a day of shopping we met up with my aunt and David at Maggianos, which is a great Italian restaurant, if you’ve never been you should check it out. Its a chain, often found near a cheese cake factory (not a joke). But I had this ginormous pasta dish that gave me some leftovers to bring for dinner at work, and filled me up at dinner, so it was great, and it wasn’t as expensive as I had thought so that was good too, since I so kindly took my sister out to dinner for her birthday!

Sadly dinner was our last hoorah, but I am trying to take off work to be home for another family get together before she goes back to school in August, hopefully that will work out for me! Just thought I’d give you guys an update on why I missed a few posts this week, I didn’t cook much and then I was a liiiiitle preoccupied with my house guest and entertaining. I will try to get back in the groove of things ASAP!

Gourmet Chicken Hot Pocket

Last week David and I made this chicken dish that was wrapped in puff pastry and due to its shape and fillings David continued to refer to it as an adult hot pocket, which for some reason made me like the dish a little less! I mean don’t get me wrong it was really good and pretty easy, but the thought of making something for dinner that would later be referred to as a microwaved pocket of unhealthiness and processed foods. But, maybe mine wasn’t much different, I mean it was filled with cream cheese and bacon which is not necessarily the most healthy thing but… it tasted good and thats all that matters in my kitchen! Also, I made a few amendments to the recipe that I used because it called for one puff pastry per chicken which is NOT really the most practical thing, and it resulted in what looked like a loaf of bread with a chicken breast inside. I mean we used decently sized chicken breasts but lets just put it this way, we made 4 chickens thinking we’d each have one to eat another night for dinner during the week and I only ate half of my one piece so we had 2.5 pieces left over…. it was a bit filling to say the least, so I recommend using only two puff pastries and rolling them out and cutting them in half to make the wrap the chickens. We served it with sautéed broccoli and a side salad, since the chicken had so much going on we thought we’d keep it healthy with the side dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken fillets
  • 2 frozen puff pastry sheets rolled thin and cut in half
  • 8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • few strips of bacon cooked and chopped
  • flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

After you have prepped all the ingredients and rolled the puff pastry thin, mix together the cream cheese, parsley, bacon, and green onion in a small bowl until all ingredients are coated with the cream cheese.

Divide this mixture into fourths so that you have a portion to spread on each of the puff pastry sheets. Make sure to spread the mixture in the middle of each of the sheets

Then place the chicken on top of the mixture  (please notice how ginormous these chicken breasts are, I felt like I was eating an entire chick on my own). Then salt and pepper the chicken breasts for some extra seasoning.

 

Then wrap each chicken int he puff pastry as tightly as possible, use the egg to make an egg wash (just scramble it) and light the brush each puff pastry with the egg wash and place it on the pan seam side down.
Then place the wrapped chicken in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through, then serve!

Movement Mondays – Summer Smash

So, since its summer and each week I have the pleasure of watching my favorite show on television, So You Think You Can Dance. I thought I would keep you all posted on the progress, and share my favorite number(s) from the previous week! Make sure you keep up with all the action on your local Fox station, Wednesday nights at 8 pm (EST). This past week I had two favorites. Obviously the first was everyones favorite, it was a Travis Wall number set to “Unchained Melody” and centered around the story from The Titanic, it was a dance of epic proportions to say the least! Tons of lifts, great partnering and awesome performance quality, and boasting the title of Nigel’s favorite performance of the evening!

Here’s the Travis Wall number featuring top 20 dancers Audrey and Matthew

 

My second was a Sonya Tayeh routine because it was one of those dances where she was totally out of her element. It was so soft and elegant as opposed to her harsh and hard hitting movement! I loved watching her explore other styles of movement! She is such a pehnom!

Here is Sonya’s number from last week “Turning Page” featuring top 20 dancers Tiffany and George