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kaldridge

5 Secrets to Taking Gorgeous Maternity Photos

By Lifestyle No Comments

Congratulations, you are pregnant! Whether you are feeling gorgeous and powerful or big and puffy; these five secrets will help you take gorgeous maternity photos.

1.) Good Photographer

It cannot be overstated that your photos greatly depend on the photographer you choose. There is a reason why you are paying them and that is for their expertise. It truly does make a difference in the quality of your photos. The biggest advice I can give you is to pick a photographer whose aesthetic matches your own. If you like moody photos, choose a photographer who edits that direction. If you like light and airy photos, choose a photographer who can handle that type of photo. Don’t feel bad being picky on this as it makes all the difference in the outcome of your photos. BUT I will be very clear that you need to pick a photographer within your budget. Do not go broke trying to pay for maternity photos. It’s a balancing act finding a photographer who fits the look you like while also fitting in your budget.

2.) Pick and Outfit You Are COMFORTABLE In

You are pregnant and with that comes a ton of body changes. It is so important to find something to wear that you are comfortable in for your maternity photos. There are a ton of outfits that you can choose for these maternity photos, but don’t feel pressured into a certain type of outfit. Pick whatever makes you feel beautiful and comfortable because that will transfer through to the photos. If you choose an outfit that you are uncomfortable in or doesn’t feel like you, that will come through in the photos that are taken. An example of this that I struggled with is a form fitted dress versus a flowing dress. In general I drift towards form fitting dresses that land before my knee than I do flowing dresses down to my feet. However, since I was feeling big and uncomfortable, I knew I would like the outlook of the photos better if I chose a flowing dress that wasn’t tight.

3.) Pamper Yourself

One of my biggest recommendations is pampering yourself before your photo session! For me that meant splurging at Drybar for someone to style my hair. The reason I suggest this is because your hormones are at their highest, especially as you get closer to your due date. At this point I was seriously so filled with hormones, everything made me cry and I felt so self conscious about my belly and how much my face had swelled up. Going out and getting my hair done made all the difference in how I felt during out photo session. I felt beautiful and a bit more like myself! Trust me, this is an area to splurge on as it will make you feel so much better!

4.) Keep Expectations Low

When you look at Pinterest, all you see are the best of the best maternity photos. Chances are you will not love every photo that is taken of you when you are pregnant. You will have those photos where you don’t like the angle or the way your face or body looks. That is completely normal and to be expected. You may also go into the photos expecting certain shots that you had seen online. The online problem with holding out hope for a certain shot is that they rarely live up to your expectation. I would highly recommend going in with your expectations a bit lower. Be okay that a different shot might be your favorite, that you may not like them all, and that it may be a bit harder emotional than you planned. But speaking from experience, looking back at those photos after having my daughter is everything! I may look different, but I love the photos and cherish them!

5.) Have Fun With Them

Go into the photos with the goal to have fun! Go into it remembering why you are getting these done in the first place. You want to make memories and remember this time in your life. To do that you need to step back and look at why you are having the photos done. If you can gain that perspective back you will be able to better enjoy your maternity photo experience.

Below are some of my favorites from our maternity session! Hope you enjoy them and my 5 secrets to gorgeous maternity photos.

Photographer: https://www.instagram.com/victoriaisabeltate/

Dress: https://www.indiefashionboutique.com/

Hair: https://www.drybarshops.com/

How to Make Chicken Meuniere with Tomato and Parsley Sauce

By Food No Comments

Now that I have a baby, easy dinners are where its at! I never understood the need for moms to have easy dinners to make until these last few weeks with my newborn. Tasty but easy dishes are a gold mine for moms. This chicken meuniere is an easy and tasty dish that is perfect for a weeknight. There are not a lot of steps to this meal and the dish was very tasty and light. Chicken Meuniere is lightweight yet tasty and the sauce added a fresh aspect to the dish.

I will say that I had to make a couple changes to the recipe just based on how the cooking was going. The recipe didn’t say to drain any remaining liquid from the pan before making the sauce but there was too much so I omitted the extra olive oil. I very well could have done something wrong, but that was my experience. The blend of flavors in this Chicken Meuniere was excellent and really made the dish stand out.

Overall Review: 4.8/5

If you are busy and looking for a meal you can prep ahead of time this would be the one. I don’t think you would have any issues making the sauce ahead of time and refrigerating it until you cook the chicken. That would cut your cooking time in the evening down significantly as all you would have to do is cook the chicken and heat the sauce up. I highly suggest you try making this for your next family meal! Pair it with some cooked veggies or mashed potatoes for a more filling meal! If you try this Chicken Meuniere, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

For more recipe reviews: CLICK HERE. xoxo-Kayla

Chicken Meuniere with Tomato and Parsley Sauce

Recipe from Giada de Laurentiis's Weeknights with Giada cookbook
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Flour For the bowl mix
  • 1/2 tsp Salt For the bowl mix
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 Chicken cutlets 4 oz pounded to 1/4 inch thick is recommended
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 4 Plum Tomatoes Seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata Olives quartered
  • 2 tbsp Capers Rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 Large Lemon Grated zest
  • 1/4 cup Parsley Leaves

Instructions
 

  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil and butter
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper and season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Take chicken and dredge in flour mixture
  • Shake off excess flour mixture. Place cutlets in skillet for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Transfer to a plate and keep warm (I place in microwave to keep warm)
  • In the same pan add olive oil, tomatoes, olives, capers, wine and lemon zest. Scrape any brown bits from bottom and mix in the pan. (You may need to drain pan beforehand so its not too runny) Cook for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes soften. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Pour tomato mixture over chicken and serve warm.

8 Things I Learned as a New Mom

By Lifestyle No Comments

Congratulations mom! Wherever you are I hope that you are healthy and enjoying your life as a new mom. However, it is very easy to get frustrated, exhausted, overwhelmed, and more. I am far from an experienced mom, as I type this I have a newborn baby girl who just turned a month old. She spent over a week in the NICU so I’ve only had her home for about 3 weeks now. These are the things I have learned over those few weeks and I hope it helps you as you navigate those first few weeks as well!

1. Prepare for the Unexpected.

The first and most important piece of advice that I could give to any new mom is to prepare for the unexpected. The date they give you to expect your child to be born is just an estimation, they will come on their own time. Health issues can arise for you or for your baby at any time (oh the joys of pregnancy!). For me, that meant six weeks early due to sudden severe preeclampsia and the potential complications that posed to me and my daughter. This meant that the six weeks I thought I had left to prepare for her arrival were gone, all plans had to be escalated and quickly! We also had to mentally prepare that she would be in the NICU for some time after her arrival, so I wasn’t able to hold her for long, I wasn’t there to change her first diaper, etc. So try to prepare, at least mentally, for the unexpected. Things can happen in an instant and being able to ebb and flow with the changes is critical.

2. Soak It In.

You have heard people say it over and over, “The days are long but the years are short.” It’s hard to keep that perspective when you are exhausted and dealing with a tiny human day in and day out. However, it is so true. As I am typing this, my daughter is here next to me and already a month old. It feels like just yesterday we had her and were in the NICU feeding her for the first time. You child will only be that tiny once, and while its exhausting, its also magical and fleeting. Try to find a way to enjoy the moment you are in. For me, gaining that perspective was by watching other moms and babies in the NICU. I realized how precious time is, how precious life is, and how blessed we were that our daughter was doing so well. Sometimes you just need a bit of perspective to see things in a new light.

3. Housework is Not Critical

Let me free you from the belief that you need to stay on top of all housework with a newborn. You do NOT need to do it all. I can promise you that the housework will be there when you are ready. Personally, I was never OCD about housework before my daughter arrived anyways, but I do think that being able to set it aside and focus on her is crucial. She will only be this little once, the kitchen needing cleaned will be there for the rest of my life. So, if I put it off for a few hours or until the next day, no big deal. It will get done. I hope that you can find a way to have that perspective, because it will free you!

4. Accept and Ask for Help

I struggle hard with this one; I hate asking for and accepting help. Helping others and being there for them is easy and something I love doing. Admitting I can’t do it all and need help takes a humbleness that I don’t like showing. But you are a new mom! You deserve the help! So don’t feel bad, don’t feel guilty, don’t feel like you are failing. It is quite the opposite. What’s really happening is that people know you were thrust into a whole new world full of exhaustion and new beginnings. Because of that they are trying to walk with you and support you. Be okay with the support, say thank you and let go of the guilt momma.

5. Hold Your Baby.

This one is just my own personal testament. I refuse to believe I can spoil my newborn baby. She went from being in my belly 24/7 to out in this cold world. If she needs some extra love and extra time in my arms, by all means she can stay there. I believe wholeheartedly that holding and comforting my newborn baby is crucial and a magical thing. She needs me and needs someone to love on her and make her feel safe. And lucky for you momma, your baby wants to be held by you! Enjoy those special moments and hold your baby as close as you can!

6. Formula or Breast milk – Whatever Works for You and Baby

Seriously, I have never bought into the belief that you are a bad mom if you don’t breastfeed your baby. It was something I was personally never interested in, but I talked to my husband and agreed I would give it a shot due to the medical benefits and bonding in can bring. And while I am breastfeeding and pumping for my daughter, we use formula as well and have no issues with that. Formula is an amazing invention that allows babies to be fed and grow with all the nutrients they need! Breast milk is amazing, but guess what?! At the end of the day, as long as your baby is fed, the rest really doesn’t matter. Momma, let go of any guilt of doing what society or family want you to do. Do what you think is best and what is best for baby and move on!

7. Give Yourself Grace

Last night, my daughter was screaming bloody murder and we could not figure out why. We had fed her, changed her, held her, all the things we could think of. After about a half an hour we decided to give her another bottle and see if maybe she was hungry again and low and behold that was it! Poor little thing was just hungry and I didn’t realize it. Those moments make your heart sink as a new mom. But I realized after that I am still learning, this is all new and there is no guide on how to take care of my baby girl. So each day is going to full of trial and error, its going to have good and bad moments, but in each moment I will give myself grace. I am learning and that means giving myself patience as we handle each new thing. So momma, don’t be too hard on yourself if you do something wrong or miss something. It’s going to happen and doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you a REAL mom. It makes the moments you do know what they need all the more special.

8. Treat Yourself

This actually happened by accident and wasn’t a planned purchase. But Amazon Prime day fell not long after my daughter was born. We saw an awesome deal for a Nespresso and some pods and I decided to treat myself. It wasn’t anything crazy expensive but it allowed me to get something for me that would help me feel better on those long mornings. You have went through quite a lot momma, if you need something to treat yourself too and feel like yourself then do it! Don’t feel bad doing something just for YOU. You have and will continue to work incredibly hard and you deserve to treat yourself every once in a while.

Most of all, I hope you remember that you are doing great. You were designed and chosen to be this babies momma. You CAN do this! On the hardest of days hold onto these few scriptures that hopefully will bring you comfort.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Matthew 6:25-27 ‚ÄúTherefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

For more blogs by Cultivate Confidence – CLICK HERE

How to Make Beef & Mushroom Skewers with Soy & Scallion Butter

By Food No Comments

Seriously, these beef and mushroom skewers are PHENOMENAL. It’s 100% the marinade and the butter you place on top. They just take the flavor profile to the next level. My husband and I loved them and devoured almost the entire thing, this recipe is one that I will definitely add to our rotation. These skewers are super easy to make and would be perfect for a weeknight where you want something tasty and easy. I personally paired these with some grilled corn on the cob and it was the perfect meal.

There is a caveat I want to make about the soy and scallion butter. For one, I cannot find scallions anywhere! Pandemic issue or is everyone buying scallions?! I ended up substituting for chives since I couldn’t find any scallions. Additionally, I felt like the butter didn’t mix well and I couldn’t get it smooth enough. What I did instead was so heat up the mixture and use it more as a marinade/spread to use after the kabobs had been cooked. I was still able to get a great amount of flavor and it was far easier to spread. The recipe originally calls for you to dip the kabobs into the butter mixture but that just wasn’t going to work when I made them.

Overall Review: 5/5

I highly recommend you try this recipe, it was easy to make and the taste was amazing. Beef and mushroom skewers can be paired with any number of sides and would be a crowd pleaser if you have guests over. Be aware that when meat is cut small like this it gets cold fast, you will want to serve and eat these pretty quickly so you get the full effect. If you decide to cook these, please let me know what you think in the comments below!

If you are interested in other recipe reviews click here: Recipe Reviews.

Beef and Mushroom Skewers with Soy and Scallion Butter

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis
Servings 4 Kabobs

Ingredients
  

Skewers

  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 (1 1/4 pd) Sirloin Steak cut into 3/4 inch pieces About 24
  • 24 Button or cremini mushrooms (or what you can find) 12 oz of mushrooms

Butter

  • 8 tbsp Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 Small Scallions (if you can find them, I had to sub with chives)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce

Instructions
 

Skewers

  • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. On your skewers alternate the meat and mushrooms until you are out. Arrange on a baking sheet and evenly marinate the olive oil mix on all pieces on the skewers. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat a grill to medium heat and grill until about medium in temperature (or whatever you prefer). Transfer to platter and let rest for a few minutes. Right before serving add the butter mixture on top of the skewers (you can dip but spreading on top worked amazing for me). Serve immediately.

Butter

  • In a small bowl and use a fork to combine butter, scallions, garlic and soy sauce until smooth

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam

By Food No Comments

These peanut butter cookies with blackberry jam was one of the first recipes I wanted to try when I got Giada’s cookbook. It was such an interesting concept adding the blackberry jam and I was curious to see what it would taste like. Let me preface this entire review by saying that I am 30 almost 31 weeks pregnant and my taste buds have been hit and miss at times. I will definitely make these again once the baby is here and my taste buds are a bit more normalized. But for now, here is my initial assessment of these cookies.

These are really easy cookies to make but they are BIG cookies. These are not small chocolate chip cookies, they are 1/4 cup cookies that flatten as you bake them. To give you a visual, one cookie will fit a small plate. My biggest issue with these was keeping the blackberry jam in the center. As they baked the jelly spread quite a bit. Additionally, the area where the jelly was got real thin and hard since from the liquid of the jelly. I double checked the recipe and it said that the jelly went in before baking, not sure if the cookie would turn out the same if you added the jelly at the end or even after baking. But this was one of the first issues I found. The other issue that I found was that the level of cocoa powder made that taste come through more than the peanut butter. So be prepared for quite a bit of cocoa powder taste when you make these cookies.

Overall Review: 3/5

When it comes to the taste of these peanut butter cookies with blackberry jam, they are honestly not my favorite. It’s not that they are necessary bad, they just aren’t great. I’m wondering if it would be better to do chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder? But overall they are good if you are looking for this specific taste. Later this year, I will try them again to update you and see if they taste better once my taste buds are back to normal. If you decide to try them let me know in the comments below.

For more recipe reviews head to our page here: Cultivate Confidence Reviews

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies with Blackberry Jam

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted butter at room temperature Cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup Creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Large Egg Beaten at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Blackberry Jam

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment
  • In medium bowl, sift or whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
  • In another bowl or mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and all light brown sugar until smooth.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix until blended. Gradually add flour and mix until just incorporated. Don't continue to mix once you can't see flour.
  • In a small bowl place the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Form dough into 1/4 cup balls and roll in the sugar. Should make about 10 balls. Only place 5 balls on a baking sheet and make sure they have space between them.
  • Use a 1/4 tsp to make an indentation in center of each ball (1/2 to 3/4 inch deep). Spoon a tsp of jam into each indentation
  • Bake cookies for 11-14 minutes until cookies are crackled and dough has spread. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to rack and then cool completely for 20 minutes before eating.

5 Reasons I Love to Cook from Home & You Should Too

By Food No Comments

It took me years to learn to cook, let alone enjoy doing it. Cooking used to be a huge struggle because it took time, preparation, extra cleaning and some skill (of which I had little). To take an hour or more after work to sit down, prep and cook a meal sounded absolutely exhausting and many days it was. And It was harder and harder because I made it that way. I choose to see it as a burden instead of a blessing. What do I mean by blessing?

I would argue there are five reasons why I love to cook and you should too. Let’s start with the first reason.

1.) Cooking From Home is Ultimately Healthier

Ultimately cooking and eating at your own home is healthier than going out to eat even at a restaurant with healthier alternatives. Why is that? That is because you are able to control the ingredients you put in. You control the amount of oils, fats and other items that go into your food and the quantities. Cooking from home allows you to substitute unhealthy items for healthier alternatives making your food lighter in calories, salt and carbs. You can still make equally unhealthy foods at home should you choose too, but in general since you are putting the ingredients together, you will choose the healthier option.

2.) Cooking From Home Is Cheaper

Cooking from home ultimately ends up being cheaper because you control your budget, you are able to set how much you want to spend and any leftovers can be used for another meal! Leftovers are probably my biggest money saver. Make just a bit more of something than you know you will eat that evening and you can package the leftovers for lunch the next day. For those on a budget, this is the best way to start saving money.

3.) Cooking from Home Develops New Skill Sets

The best thing that I have found from cooking and baking is that I am developing new skill sets. I’m not perfect or a chef my any stretch but I am better than I was. And each day I get a little bit better. These skills make cooking feel less like a chore and makes it more enjoyable for me to do. I have also found the areas of cooking I’m not as fond of so I avoid those or find alternatives to make cooking fun.

4.) Cooking from Home Can Help with Weight and Health

Being able to cook, especially a relatively healthy meal for you and your family is a blessing. It doesn’t make the time element or the expense element go away. But it keeps you and your family healthier, it keeps your finances in a better spot as eating out adds up quickly, and it lets you enhance your cooking skills.

5.) Cooking From Home is Fun and Family Friendly

Cooking from home is fun and family friendly! You can involve your kids or spouse in the dinner process which allows you time to hang out and bond together. Plus cooking can be as fun as you make it! You can pick and choose your spices, try new ingredients, try new meals and more! You can make cooking enjoyable and a blast!

Why do you love cooking? If you don’t love cooking, why is that? Let me know in the comments below?

How to Make Grilled PB&J

By Food No Comments

There is always that one college staple that lasts with you for the rest of your life, for me it was the discovery of grilled PB&J. I have had more peanut butter and jelly in my life than I care to count. It’s just one of those foods that never goes out of style and is always a go to on a rough day or a day you are busy. Well there was this small little ‘dining’ area below where I lived in the dorms and one of the things they offered was a grilled PB&J. One day I finally got around to ordering it and it was LIFE CHANGING. Literally the melted flavors of peanut butter and jelly combined with the rich toast taste of the bread was just phenomenal. It’s hard to explain how amazing this was to a young college kid, but it was definitely a highlight for me!

Overall Review: 5/5

Once I discovered the grilled PB&J it became a routine part of my meals/snack regimen. There are several ways to make this, you can make a normal PB&J and then butter the outer sides of the bread and set on a warm griddle. The other option is closer to how you make a grilled cheese sandwich. Butter the bread slices and let those start to toast on the griddle and then add your peanut butter and jelly to the slices. Once the jelly and peanut butter are warm you pull them off the grill, combine and enjoy!

If you do decide to make this grilled PB&J, know that its an easy way to spice up a classic recipe. You can adjust any portions of this recipe to adjust to your taste and what you have in the fridge. Overall, this is a simple classic recipe that will be a fun staple to add to your lunch rotations. For those who decide to try this recipe, leave a comment below so I can see how it went!

For more recipe reviews head to our page here: Recipe Reviews.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly

Servings 1 person

Equipment

  • Griddle

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Slices White Bread
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • Jelly Grape or Raspberry
  • Peanut Butter Jiff or Peter Pan

Instructions
 

  • Place your griddle on medium/low heat. This is important because you don't want to burn the toast and want to give time for the peanut butter and jelly to melt properly.
  • Butter one side of each of your two slices of white bread. I prefer white bread with peanut butter and jellys but you can use any type.
  • Add your desired jelly and peanut butter to each slice of bread (non-buttered side) and place the two pieces together. I highly recommend leaving margin for the jelly and peanut butter to spread and is melts. Otherwise it will overflow out the sides of the bread.
  • Set your peanut butter in the jelly in the center of the griddle. Let cook over medium/low heat. Don't let it get too hot as you want to see the insides melt and the outside of the bread look golden brown.
  • Once cooked, take off pan and place on plate. Cut in half and serve.

How to Make Baked Chicken Drumsticks

By Food No Comments

Chicken drumsticks are a staple in my home so when this baked chicken drumstick recipe popped up I knew I had to try it. Let me start off with the first thing I loved about this recipe and that it is that it was baked. I am not saying baked drumsticks are better than deep fried, but they definitely are healthier and easy to make. Plus being able to throw dinner and the oven and get other things done while they cook is a huge help on busy evenings!

There’s not a whole lot to say on the process for making these drumsticks, they are seriously so easy to prep and get ready for cooking. The flavors are good, nothing crazy and not overpowering; definitely designed to be paired with your favorite sauce. The biggest thing with this recipe is that they need to be broiled at the end to give them that outer crispiness that they are lacking. Baked chicken drumsticks are a healthier alternative to deep fried drumsticks, but without broiling them they lack that crispiness. I will try to boil them for a few minutes the next time to see what a difference they make. For those who have texture issues, I would highly recommend you consider broiling them at the end for a few minutes to get that crispy texture otherwise the baked texture is a bit harder to get down.

Overall Review: 3.5/5

Overall, the baked chicken drumsticks are good! Pair them with ranch or BBQ sauce, some veggies and fruit and you have yourself a good dinner. The best thing about these were the pure simplicity of them. There was nothing challenging about making them and it’s perfect for anyone who needs an easy dinner idea. If you do choose to make these baked chicken drumsticks, let me know in the comments below! Do you think they need to be broiled or do you like them as is?

For more recipe reviews head to our page here: Recipe Reviews.

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pds Chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp Avacado Oil I used Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tsp Paprika
  • 1-2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley I subbed basil leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Add all the spices and oil to a large zip top bag, add chicken and seal. Shake the bag until all the chicken is coated evenly.
  • Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes (165 degrees internal). Personally, I would recommend broiling for a few minutes so that the chicken skin gets nice and crispy. I didn't think it was near as crispy as it could have been.
  • Serve immediately.

How to Make Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo

By Food No Comments

I love pasta, especially Fettuccine Alfredo pasta. There is just something about pasta that is comforting, homely and always hits the spot! I was looking at different pasta recipes the other night and came across an article about ‘real and traditional’ fettuccine alfredo. The biggest thing in the article is that there is NO CREAM. The original way to make this pasta does not include heavy cream or milk of any kind. Am I the only one late to the game on this knowledge?!

Regardless, I felt like my mind was blown so I wanted to try it out. Let me preface this by saying, I do not have authentic ingredients. I will make this recipe again with authentic ingredients, but this was the best I could find at my local grocery store. Hopefully in the next week or two I can try my hand at making fettuccine pasta myself and find authentic parmesano reggiano cheese. So forgive me in advance, but I think this fettuccine alfredo turned out great even with the standard ingredients from the store!

Overall Review: 4.8/5

Most of the reasons people, especially those who grew up in the states, will not like this recipe is because they are used to our super creamy pasta sauces. This type of alfredo is not near as creamy and that’s because it does not have the heavy cream/milk texture in it. But what it does have is a stronger cheese and butter flavor, which I personally love. You could absolutely add some grilled chicken or shrimp to add some protein, but it tastes amazing and light on its own. That lack of heavy cream/milk makes this pasta light and I didn’t get that heaviness feeling I normally get after eating pasta. I’d highly recommend trying this Fettuccine Alfredo recipe for your next dinner, and if you do let me know in the comments below!

For more recipe reviews head to our page here: Recipe Reviews

How to Make Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo

Original Recipe From: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/04/fettuccine-alfredo-sauce-italian-pasta-recipe.html

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter Diced
  • 4 oz Parmesano Reggiano (or Parmesan) Cheese Grated
  • 1 pd Fettuccine Pasta
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  • Add fettuccine pasta and cook until al dente. DO NOT DRAIN!!
  • In a separate large bowl, dice the butter and add the grated cheese
  • Using tongs add the pasta on top of the butter and cheese.
  • Add a half cup of the pasta water to the pasta, butter, and cheese bowl. Mix with tongs until combined and creamy. Add more pasta water if you want a creamier texture.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Grate some extra parmesan on top and serve immediately! Enjoy!

How to Make Copycat Starbucks Blueberry Muffins

By Food No Comments

I haven’t had a ton of pregnancy cravings, but these Starbucks Blueberry Muffins sounded AMAZING so I had to make them. These are moist, flavorful, full of blueberries and have a nice crunch with the extra topping. The only downfall to these is I followed the topping recipe. It didn’t feel like there was enough butter to make the crumbles correctly. I added some more butter to make it work, but the proportions seemed a bit off. Once there was another 2-3 tbsp of butter I was able to get a thicker crumble that I was looking for. The end result and taste was great though, so you may have to play with the butter proportions depending on how you like your crumble.

The base of the blueberry muffin is phenomenal though! I really think its the sour cream add in that makes this muffin so moist and yummy. That cup of sour cream getting folded in and then gently folding in the flour is whats key. As long as you don’t overwork the mixture you should be good to go. As far as cooking time goes, I have a 1 year old stove and it took about 20-23 minutes to get these muffins to a golden brown top/edge and a fully cooked center. Personally, I like to start at 15 minutes, check the muffins and then add by 3-5 minutes until completed. This eliminates the chance that I will accidentally burn the muffins, which would suck after all the work you put in.

Overall Review: 4.5/5

I think if the crumble proportions were a bit better this would be a 5/5 recipe. Since things have to be adjusted a bit I did knock a few points off the review. But the overall flavor and taste of these Starbucks Blueberry Muffins is phenomenal! You should absolutely make these the next time you get that muffin craving. If you are interested in more recipe reviews head over to our review page here: Cultivate Confidence Reviews.

Copycat Starbucks Blueberry Muffins

Recipe From Crazy for Crust

Ingredients
  

Topping

  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 5 tbsp Unsalted butter softened I need an extra 2-3 tbsp

Muffin Mix

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 cup Blueberries fresh or frozen(defrosted and drained)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line/spray muffin pan

Topping

  • Add all topping ingredients together in a bowl and mix with a fork until they are in crumbles. I had to add extra butter to the original recipe to make good crumbles

Muffin Mix

  • In a large bowl add eggs and beat with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes until thick and frothy.
  • Mix in sugar and oil and mix until creamy and combined
  • Add vanilla, vinegar, baking soda and salt.
  • Using a wooden spoon mix in the sour cream and then the flour. Mix until combined, batter will be lumpy but don't overwork it.
  • Fold in blueberries. Be gentle so they don't break!
  • Bake for 15- 23 minutes. Start with 15 and check every 5 minutes so you don't overcook them. Top should have golden brown edges and middle should be clean when a toothpick is inserted.
  • Cool on a baking rack and serve.