Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Season That Never Was...

Classes officially ended for me this past week. I may or may not have thrown up my hands, and let out a shriek of joy this past Tuesday at 6:15pm. How quickly two years go by?! I think it'll really sink in once fall semester starts and I have no classes to go to. I'm anxious about this "dissertating" process, especially since people say it can be quite isolating, but I'm also really excited. I get to be fully immersed in my research.

As I was going through some files on my computer, I came across some pics that must have been taken in colder weather, as evidenced by my hat and coat, but I can't really remember. Was it ever really that cold?
You already know I felt completely gipped on a true winter season this year. And people doubt that climate change is real. I thought I'd share the pics as a way to briefly reminisce on the season that never was. With temperatures already hovering around the 90s in what's supposed to be spring, it'll be a long time before I'll be wearing anything like this again.  
Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fuchsia & Floral

Happy Friday Guys!
Fridays are so awesome. I don't know about you but any stresses I have become a little less daunting when I get two extra days to deal with avoid them. I wanted to share an outfit with you that I wore a couple weeks ago for a reception at my school.



Would it surprise you to know that the top and the skirt cost me about $13 (combined that is). The top, which is 100% silk, was another thrifted find and I got it for $6.50. The skirt was on extra clearance at Target and was about $6.50 as well. Here's to putting a chic look together without having to go broke in the process!
Blazer: Gift (from Forever 21), Shirt: Thrifted, Skirt: Target, Shoes: Asos, Bracelet: Thrifted, Necklace: some boutique in Atlanta, Bag: Ralph Lauren via Macy's




Have a great weekend!
xo Chioma

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Healthy Sweet Treat: Apple Cinnamon Bread

After baking some chocolate cranberry muffins for class a couple months back, I got an idea for an apple cinnamon bread recipe. I was thrilled with the end result. These are the perfect healthier sweet treat using white whole wheat flour, no butter, no oil, and only 3/4 cup of sugar. Even more exciting than what's not in them is what is. There are apples coming at you from all directions - unsweetened applesauce, apple cinnamon Greek yogurt, apple pie spice, and of course chopped apples. The end result is a delicious, incredibly moist and fluffy apple cinnamon bread that will have your home smelling amazing! I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I do:)


Ingredients:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp apple pie spice (can be found at any grocery store)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cinnamon maple syrup (regular maple syrup will work just fine!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract (found some at Target)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
2 5.3 oz containers of apple Cinnamon Chobani greek yogurt (can be found at Walmart, Publix, or Harris Teeter)
2 cups of chopped red apples
Optional: Raw Turbinado cane sugar for sprinkling on top of bread batter.




Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (see note below)*
Line your muffin tin with liners and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, add two large eggs, maple syrup, sugar, applesauce, greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and maple extract. 
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
Add the wet ingredients to they dry ingredients, slowly mixing until no dry pockets remain (be careful not to over mix).
Use a 1/4 cup to scoop your batter into your muffin tin.

This yields about 15-18 muffins. I opted to make 12 muffins and then poured the rest into a 9X5 pan which yielded 8 medium-sized slices.

*I learned a trick to bake muffins at a high initial temp of 425 degrees for 5 minutes to get them to shoot up, and then reduce the temp to 350 degrees for the remainder of the bake time (18-20 minutes).

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mini Appliance Haul (under $100!)

finally went ahead and bought some kitchen appliances that have been on my need to purchase list for years. Don't ask me why it took so long. There's no excuse.


These are all basic appliances that are commonly called for in recipes. I think after seeing the 50,000th recipe calling for a food processor, I thought to myself maybe I should just buy this thing. It's clearly not going anywhere. So I did. And it's funny because getting the food processor inspired me to pick up some of the other appliances I've been procrastinating on purchasing.
What they look like unboxed. Isn't the slow cooker darling?!

The best part is that I got all four of these items for under $100 (tax included).

I got the food processor on sale at Target a few weeks ago for $40.
I got the slow cooker, digital scale, and lemon zester from Amazon. The lemon zester was $15, the scale was $12, and the slow cooker was $29.


I'm excited to put these babies to use. I think I'm going to make some type of chicken dish in my slow cooker first. The idea of throwing ingredients in it in the morning, and returning home at the end of the day to an incredible smelling house with a fully cooked meal is magical. Bonus points for the slow cooker being pretty to look at:)

For my food processor, the first thing I'm planning to make is going to be a pesto (which I've been dying to do). I'm also considering a nut butter, or a recipe for these vegan sweet potato bars with a gingerbread crust using dates that I found online.

For my lemon zester, it'll likely be some variation of a lemon poppyseed or lemon blueberry muffin.
I've already used the digital scale to make an apple cinnamon bread recipe (delicious) that I'll be sharing with you shortly. So far it's worked well.

Happy Friday's Eve!


Friday, April 8, 2016

Thrill of the Thrift

Few things compare to the thrill of a good thrift find. Insert this 97% wool red Ralph Lauren Blazer with ornate gold buttons that I found at a thrift shop a couple years back. I paid a whopping, wait for it, $10. Crazyyy! Once I saw the price I snatched it up immediately before I could blink and it was gone.

Here's where the story gets a little sad. This beauty was sitting in my closet for over a year because I couldn't get my butt to a tailor. I finally said enough was enough and took it in October of last year.
After a few tries (they weren't taking it in enough), it was perfect. I'm in love. This will be in my closet for a long time (read: forever).

What's your best thrifted find?? Let me know!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Culinary Pursuits: Banana & Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Overnight Oats

There are probably a million overnight oats recipes floating around the Internet. Change that to a million and one. I've been hearing about this overnight oats business for ages, but never got around to making them. Well, I finally decided to make my own and I'm very happy with how they turned out. Check out my recipe below:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats (no steel cut or instant oatmeal packs will do!)
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
1 banana (half for the oatmeal base and half for the topping)
1 tbsp of Kalot Dark Chocolate w/ Coconut Almond Butter Spread (I found this at Fresh Market. If you don't have this a tablespoon of Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter or Chocolate Hazelnut Butter would also be great)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons of granola (optional)

Directions:
Combine all of your ingredients (minus the half of the banana and granola) and mix thoroughly until evenly combined.




If you're not making this using a mason jar or some other lidded container, then cover what you put the overnight oats base in with some saran wrap so that the liquid doesn't start to evaporate. Wrap up your other banana half in saran wrap and put it in the fridge as well.
The next morning, take it out of the fridge and top it with the other half of your banana.
If you like, you can also add a couple tablespoons of your favorite Granola (I love how customizable these can be).
Found this at Target and the nutrition profile was solid. I'm not a "granola" person per se but for the times I do buy it I always check the stats because the sugar and calorie content can get really high.


Enjoy!

What an awesome little invention. This meets all my breakfast criteria:
Quick & Easy to Prepare
Portable
Yummy
Good for You

Doesn't get any better!