Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let there be salad..

Happy Sunday! Well I guess not so happy since tomorrow is Monday! And it has been one hot weekend here in the central valley!! UUgh I hate it! But since  this summer time weather has forced it's way into my life it is time for some BBQ! I do love utilizing my BBQ on hot evenings when the thought of turning on the oven makes me feel faint.

I wanted to share with you all a little yummy I tried tonight and it worked out MAGICALLY!
I have tried this before but the result were not so favorable .....

Iam a big fan of the Buffalo Chicken Salad from Chili's. Chili's is our normal family place for the occasions that we take the kids out. If its just me and the hubs we usually go a little more fancy ( but not to much, that would involve to much work getting fancied up!) I am the kind of person that always orders the same thing at each restaurant I go to. I do not like to try new dishes, every time I do I hate it!. This is not the scenario at home, I love to cook and I am always trying new dishes, but at restaurants I always get burned when trying new food.

So here getting back to the point. I love this salad. It has spice from the buffalo seasoning and creamy from the ranch, corn chips .. well here is a run down of ingredients from the Chili's website

"With applewood smoked bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, tortilla strips, house-made pico de gallo and ranch dressing."

After the 1000 time ordering this salad, I had to try to make it on my own. As noted above I did try once to make the fried buffalo chicken and lets just say No Bueno... So this time I opted to make grilled chicken

And here is my version. I used a recipe from food network for the chicken ( you can find it here) It was a Bobby Flay recipe that I tweaked just a bit. I believe he was using chicken breast with the skin on,  and I just used frozen tenderloins that I defrosted and seasoned as instructed, but when cooking on the BBQ I basted with the marinade on both sides. Here is a run down of my indigents

1. Bag of Salad, I like the 5 lettuce blend so you get some of the darker stuff in there instead of just iceburg.
2. A few Tortilla chips that I crumbled up
3. 1 tbs. Bleu Cheese crumbles
4. Some Ranch made from the packet, Which I think is way better than the stuff in the bottle. Plus I used LF ingredients to make..
5. Cant make a Chili's Copycat dish with out my Chili's Copy cat salsa ( you can find that recipe here also !)
6. Avocado
7. Tamed Jalapenos ( TAMMED because if not those suckers are hot!!)
*8. Insert tomatoes here, I didn't have any but I would have if I did. But the salsa made up for the lack of tomatoes.

Here is a close up!!

For me this definitely hit the spot! I'm not going to say I do not have to go out to get this anymore but this is for sure going into the dinner rotation. I wish I had a calorie count to give out, but I am almost 100% positive that the homemade version has to be better. The chicken it grilled not fried. The portion size was more in line with what one person could/should eat. And I used less dressing and the LF version of said dressing... Yea dont you think??!! 

Try this out for sure I think you will love it, and please let me know what you think I would love to hear your comments!

Hope each and everyone of you have a great week!

~ Bianca

* found a calorie count for the Chili's version on my helpful fitness app on my phone. The Chili's version can be anywhere from 800-1000 Calories! Yikes. I calculated mine and it runs anywhere from 400-500 cals depending on how much of each ingredient you use. Also I forgot to mention I omitted the  heavy cream cream and creme fraiche sauce in the Bobby Flay recipe because I didn't want the extra calories and I planned on using the ranch.. Hope that helps!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bathroom Redo.

We all know the saying while the cat is away, the mice will play. I live by that saying!  For work purposes my husband has to leave town once or twice a year,  this is the time I choose to play. Not that I cannot do projects while he is here, I just choose to do them while he is gone because I can take as long as I want, do it however I want, tape off or not..basically no super vision. No "your doing that wrong" etc. etc... ( * husband is very helpful and a supportive DIY'er and in no way am I saying he does not help or support my endeavors...just sometimes I like to be left alone! lol)

OK y'all here is what I did while he was literally on the other side of the planet ( he was forced to go to hoo for him!) and had no idear of what was going on at home.

My "Master" bathroom. My house was built in the 60's so this bathroom is not really the "Master" , it just gets that name  by technicality because it is the closest to my room which I really cant call the "Master" either because the room my two daughters share is about the same size...But I digress..

OK master bathroom, remodeled roughly 7 or 8 years ago by yours truly.This bathroom was classic 60's with pink and brown tiles. I'm pretty sure at some point the shower was redone before we bought this house,  but the counters and pink toilet were left for me to enjoy.

This was a low budget remodel and the only cost here were new tiles, paint, sink, fixtures, and shelving that Mike made for me and staining the existing cabinet. We got the toilet for free because at the time my in laws were also remodeling their bathroom and they gave us their gently used toilet.

I chose a honey onyx tile, in a tumbled finish ( not really shinny) The tile has shades of  honey yellow, brown, grey and off white. At the time I was new to this whole home decorating thing. This is my first home and I think I got lucky that 8 yrs later it was only the paint color that I was dying to change. I have gotten a lot smarter about my color choices for long term items such as tiles etc. For the wall color I chose a nice neutral green shade called withered moss ( Valspar brand @ Lowes) . I used all middle shade of the swatch for the ceiling (fennel splash) and the lightest shade ( ginger sugar) for the trim. I actually used the trim color through out the whole house. Its a nice off white'ish color.

* disclaimer #2 ..I do try to stay away from trends, that is I have heard it is smart to stay away from trends because they are constantly changing, BUT I saw this in a magazine ( what I am about to new bathroom..)  about a year ago and it has been eating away at me since then.. I HAVE BEEN DYING TO DO THIS... It has been sitting there, in my noggin tempting me, egging me on, saying HI every once in awhile when I have a free moment ... I tried to go online and find my inspiration picture from CB2 but of course it was no longer available. I always wait to long to catch the trend train,LOL! OK are you ready.. here it is, my new bathroom color

this is a really dark picture but I think you get this idea. Its grey!! I love it, let me tell you why. The inspiration room I saw on CB2 was actually yellow with grey accents. I thought to myself..self you have yellow tiles you can add grey to it and get kind of the same effect. That is why I chose grey. I know its pretty trendy right now, but it fits in with my existing color scheme of  blues, greens, and browns so I went for it. Here is a little better shot.

This color is called Elephant skin and is the Behr brand from Home Depot ( and I spent way to much time there during this project!) OH OH! My mirror, my love!! Mike and I went to L.A for a weekend getaway awhile back and the hotel we stayed in had one of these mirrors. You can guess the rest, I feel in love and had to have it and here it is! It is in the perfect spot for make-up application, and no more leaning over the counter to make sure things look right!

The wall color matched perfectly with they grey shades in the existing tiles...

 Wait I am forgetting to tell you the drama and low point of this simple redo.. OK, not sure if this happens to you, but never fails to happen to me. There aways has to be some sort of project drama that makes you regret the whole crazy idea.. Here is my drama cut short because I don't want to bore you.. 
 1. I choose 5 samples and paint on wall, had favorite but thought it might be to dark for small room
2. Went with second favorite, bought quart because small room and was buying the 1coat paint.
3. Ran out of one coat paint, not sure why, but did and had to go get more.
4. Finished painting and waited a day to dry and put room back together..
5. Paint dries and for some reason is giving off a purple tone?? asked son what he thought ( with out hinting that I though it looked purple) and he said what I didn't want to hear PURPLE..
6. Go to Home Depot and buy 1st choice of paint and repaint bathroom!!!

I have been collecting the milk glass, and they worked out splendidly in here

I started this guy awhile back with letter stencils from the dollar store,  I just had not finished filling in the letters with paint. I used water color to do this and it gave that perfect weathered/aged look I was going for. I see a kind of green tint in these pictures, it is so not the case in person!

Built in shelves, more milk glass, a painted wooden box cabinet thing from Ikea that I have had forever that contains my makeup and necessities.

And Voila there you have it! Did the Hubs notice, after a minute or two. I painted his office to ( pictures to come ) so that was the first thing he noticed. I might have mentioned other surprises which sent him on a scavenger hunt around the house looking for what I had done while he was gone. He noticed the new mirror first then realized the paint color. Boys are so funny about noticing the obvious some times!

So what do you think, I love it! So happy every time I go in there. Will post pictures soon of my other " while the cat is away" projects.

~ Bianca