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Lemon & Wine Dutch Oven Chicken

Recently I’ve made a few Dutch oven meals because it really is the perfect way to warm up when the weather is chilly! Taking on a whole chicken isn’t as scary as it seems, the hardest part for me is carving it. My dad is kind of an expert with carving, he taught me to start with the breast and go from there.

The chicken I cooked was upside down, which I did accidentally the first time I cooked a whole bird… But the breast meat turns out really moist so maybe I should start calling it my trick!? If you are feeling adventurous, try cooking yours upside down as well and let me know how yours turns out!

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Lemon & Wine Dutch Oven Chicken

Ingredients

Whole chicken

1 lemon, sliced

5 garlic cloves, peeled

½ medium onion, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried parsley

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

2/3-1 cup of white wine

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree

2. Stuff one slice of lemon into the chicken’s cavity with 3 garlic cloves.

3. Rub olive oil on the outside of chicken. Then generously cover the chicken with herbs, salt and pepper.

4. Place chicken in Dutch oven, pour in the wine and throw in the rest of lemon and garlic.

5. Place lid on top and cook for 1 hour, check temp. You want the temp to get to 160, if not at 160 add 20 minutes and repeat. Then remove the lid and continue cooking until it reaches the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees for a chicken.

6. After removing from oven let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to rest.

7. Remove from pan, and carve!

Wine & Lemon Chicken

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Berry Pie, its always in season!

I know its not the season for this pie… But we have to do what we want, because life is short!

If I had to pick my absolute favorite kind of cooking I would say baking a pie. And if I had to pick my favorite pie to make I’d say Mixed Berry Pie. There are tons of recipes out there that are a variation of this pie but this recipe is mine. Out of trial and reassessing this is what turns out the best in my opinion. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do!!

  1. Place half of pastry on wax paper

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2. Press down to start flattening pastry

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3. Roll out pastry to about 12 inch circle

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4. Pull off top layer of wax paper

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5. Transfer pastry to empty pie pan

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6. Roll out top pastry and using a knife, or a rolling cutter, cut pastry into strips

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7. Fill lined dish with fruit filling and weave top pastry

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8. Seal top and bottom pastry by pressing down edges with thumb

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Spring Berry Pie

Filling;

1 cup quartered strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blue berries

1 cup blackberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Mix all together in a medium bowl and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Pie pastry:

2/3 cup pluse 2 tablespoons shortening

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out top and bottom pie pasties. Line pie pan with on pastry and fill with fruit filling. Lay top pastry over top the fruit. Seal top and bottom pastries along side of pie pan with thumb. Cut 4-8 vent in the top pastry.

Mix together all ingredients with your hands. Start with 4 tablespoons of cold water and if dry add 5th tablespoon. Split dough in half. To avoid the messy flour situation roll crust in between two pieces of wax paper to a 12-inch circle. (If paper slides wet the counter top just slightly)

Transfer pastry to pie pan and pour the filling into the pan. Roll out the second half of the pastry. Place pastry on top and fold top pastry under access bottom pastry. Seal fold with thumbs. Cut 4-8 vent in the top pastry. Cover top of pie with tin foil, and place in hot oven. Bake 30 min or until filling is boiling. Remove tin foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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Whats your favorite thing to cook!?

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Weekly Budget Tracker!

Every year at school brings new challenges. One of my challenges this year has been keeping my budget in mind! I haven’t totally failed but it’s definitely something I need to work on. The hardest part for me is being able to visualize what I have spent and what I have left.

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So! I made a weekly budget tracker to help myself get organized. I decided on a weekly tracker because I like short-term goals and it seemed less stressful than a month!

How to make a weekly budget? I took what I get for the month and deducted my monthly fees for rent, utilities, etc. Then I took what was left over and divided it by four, because four weeks in a month, gets my weekly budget!

Budget Tracker Example

I hope this can help you as much as it helps me!

Download the Weekly Budget Tracker!

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[Basil] for stems to roots

A couple of weekends ago I got a bundle of basil from the farmers market. But when I got home I wasn’t sure how to keep it fresh.. So I went to the trusty Google!

Google said to set the stems in a container half full of water. It sounded easy enough for me! As I continued to read I found out that if you trim the stems a little and refresh the water every few days I could get the basil to root!

I was so excited to try rooting the basil. I found a container and kept a good eye on the water. After 10 days my plant had roots!!

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My next project is getting some soil so I can plant the basil and start my herb garden!

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Peach [Green Tea] Pie

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As the month of August comes to an end so does peach season in the south. Before the last of the peaches were gone I got some fresh ones from the Farmers Market.

This weekend was so much hotter than expected… and peach green tea was sounding super refreshing! Then I had the idea of peach pie with green tea in the crust! So here is my little experiment that turned out amazing!!!

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Peach pie with Green Tea crust

Crust:

2/3 cu plus 2 Tbs shortening

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 individual bag of green tea (I used Twinings Green Tea with Jasmine!)

4 to 5 Tbs cold water (tip put ice cubes in the water ahead of time)

Mix all ingredients with a pastry blender or fork. Or if you’re like me just get elbows deep in it! Mixing with your hands lets you feel the pastry and will avoid over working it. Over worked the pastry makes a tough crust…

Split pastry in half and refrigerate while you mix up the filling. Once pastry is cooled roll out your pastry to fit a 9-inch pie pan. My pie has a full top pastry with vents, this pie will also do wonderful with a lattice top.

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tbs corn starch

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp lemon juice

6 medium peaches peeled and sliced

1 Tbs cold butter

Put everything except the butter in a mixing bowl and mix! Pour into bottom piecrust. Before placing the top crust, put small slices of cold butter around top of filling.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 40 min or until filling is boiling and crust is starting to brown.

Top with homemade whipped cream!!

Whipped Cream:

1 ½ cup heavy cream

4 big Tbs confectioners sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

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[Straw-Nana Oat Smoothie]

Sometimes in the morning, I want a sweet and fresh smoothie but I also want it to fill me up for a morning full of classes… So I’ll add some oatmeal to a classic strawberry and banana smoothie for an easy morning boost!

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Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

1/2 cup raw oats

1 1/2 cup Milk

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

1 banana sliced

1-2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2-3 ice cubes

Blend ingredients together in blender or stick blender. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

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Would you try this smoothie??

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5 tips: Landing an Internship

The process of finding and landing an internship doesn’t have to be scary and frustrating! Last summer I had an internship lined up months before the end of school, this year I wasn’t so lucky. But! Both years of searching have taught me 5 tips to make to process easier and more successful!

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  1. Keep an open mind: When applying for internships you have to be willing to take the opportunities that are where you are. Your dream internship might be in New York when you’re stuck at home. Also, don’t sweat it if the internship doesn’t work perfectly with your major. If the work interests you then you will grow from the experience!
  2. Apply and Email: Applying online isn’t enough. Sadly but truthfully, your resume will most likely be over looked if you allow yourself to get lost in the crowd. After applying make sure to look online or call the office to find out who you should email about your interest in the position. This gives the employer the motivation to find your application.
  3. 3 sentences: When I am composing the email to introduce myself and share my interest in the internship I try to keep each thought less than 3 sentences. My first paragraph will say why I emailed them. The second paragraph will briefly describe myself. The third will repeat my intentions for emailing and point out my attached resume. The email is a shorter and less formal version of your cover letter!
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask: Last summer I found a company that really interested me but found that they didn’t post internship opportunities. So I went out on a limb and asked if they would be willing to add me to their team for the summer, and they did! They might tell you no, but from my experience they will kindly decline while offering alternative opportunities to look into!
  5. Always say thank you: The people you are contacting have more to do in their day than to answer your emails. With that in mind remember to always thank them for giving you their time. Plus you never know what contacts they have and if they will forward your information along!

I hope these tips help and good luck!

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DIY: Gift in a [Giant] jar

When finding the right gift isn’t happening… put together a giant jar of treats! This is an ice cream bar themed jar but there are so many more options! If your friend likes girly nights in, put together a new nail polish, a girly movie and some pink treats. If your guy friend likes sports, make a collection of game watching snacks with Beef Jerky, unique sodas, and spicy chips.

We are always told it doesn’t matter what you put in the present, what matters is that you thought of them.. But really we all want to give the cutest gift!

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Comment and share your “go to” gift ideas!

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[Burrito Bowl] like chipotle but better

Let’s be honest… Grocery budgets sometimes get cut because of clothing splurges.. But a balanced diet is key to having the energy needed for the best and the worst finals week all-nighters! Cheap proteins will do the trick. This Burrito Bowl has just that!

Skip the trip to Chipotle and make a Burrito Bowl at home! 

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Honestly a burrito bowl always sounds good so when Im not feeling the cooking vibe this is an easy go to. Plus its super easy to pack up as leftovers for the rest of the week!

Burrito Bowl 

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 cup salsa

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tomatoes, diced

1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a large saucepan of 1 ½ cups water cook rice according to

instructions no packaging.

2. Assemble the bowls, divide rice mixture into serving bowls. Top with black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, salsa and cilantro.

3. Serve immediately, drizzle with chili cream sauce.

Chili cream sauce

½ cup plain greek yogurt

1 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 clove garlic, pressed

Juice of 1/2 lime

1. Make sauce by whisking all ingredients together

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Whats your go to meal??

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[Five things to remember during your college years]

I know its not Friday but I wanted to do a Five things Friday… so I am! Here are five things to remember during your college years!

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  1. Make sure to get your stuff done. You are paying for school!
  2. Let yourself have fun!
  3. Spend money on experiences instead of stuff!
  4. It’s okay to do things on your own. It’s actually good to learn about yourself!
  5. Eat Pie for dinner if that’s what sounds good!

I am a workaholic personality with common 19 year-old urges to binge watch all ten season of Friends! It will create a whirlwind in your mind. So when all else fails remember these five things and if they don’t work call your mom!

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What are your recent Netflix addiction!?