Cornbread Waffles with Chili 

Though it’s getting warmer outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make your favorite comfort food. 
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes 
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 Packet Chili Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Onions, diced 
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 box Cornbread Mix + whatever it calls for 

Directions 

  1. Begin by cooking up your ground beef on a medium heat in a skillet. Once that is cooked, drain any grease. 
  2. In a separate pot, combine the diced tomatoes, beans, onions, seasoning, and water. While cooking the beef, let this simmer on a low heat. 
  3. Once the beef is cooked, add it into the chili pot. Stir this and allow it to set on a medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. According to the box mix, make up the cornbread batter. When I made this, I added extra liquid (about 1/3 cup of water or milk) to thin out the batter more. In a greased preheated waffle iron, pour in the batter. Personally, my waffle maker has a timer on it, but if you don’t have one, just check every two minutes.
  5. Remove the chili from the heat, and serve with the cornbread

Crock-pot French Dip

The deli style French dip is a classic American sandwich that usually takes a lot of prep. This recipe is perfect for the weekday as it only takes 20 minutes of preparation.
Ingredients

  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 cup Beef Broth
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Basil
  • 3 lb Beef Shoulder Roast
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • One loaf French Bread
  • Stick of butter, softened
  • 12 slices Provolone Cheese

Directions

  1. At the bottom of your slow cooker, add the chopped garlic and onion. On top, place your roast that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
  2. In a bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, mustard, basil, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour this over the roast, and cook on low for 7 hours.
  3. If after 7 hours your roast hasn’t fallen apart, slice it into 1-inch thick pieces and cut off any extra fat.
  4. Slice the french loaf into 12 slices. Butter one side of each slice. Then assemble the sandwiches by putting down one slice of buttered bread followed by the roast. After that, put on two slices of provolone. Top it off with another slice of bread, but this time with the butter side up. Put them on a hot skillet or panini press until the outside is golden.
  5. Serve with the au jus that’s left over from the crock-pot.

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Chicken Vegetable Soup

I really wanted to recreate my favorite soup this week, but I’ve been to four different stores looking for lentils and couldn’t find any. The closest thing I could find was this soup mix by Bob’s Red Mill, which is a combination of split peas, barley, lentils, and alphabet pasta. It seems like a really weird mixture, but it works. I’ve started off by cooking the creamed veggie soup recipe on the back of the package, but as usual, I just made it up as I went. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, I would recommend making the chicken and stock in advance.

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Breast, Skinless & Boneless
  • 2 Bouillon Cubes-Chicken
  • 1 ½ cups of Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 stocks Celery
  • ½ Onion
  • 1 Cup Milk of your choice

Directions

  1. Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the bouillon cubes and chicken breasts. Allow them to boil for 17 minutes, then cut a breast in half to check to see if it’s done. If it’s still pink, put it back in to continue to cook, checking on them every five minutes. Once they are cooked, remove the breasts, and remove the water from heat. Then, put them to the side so they can cool down.
  2. When the water is manageable, remove any of the floating stuff that might still be in the pot. Measure out 4 ½ cups of this liquid. Either save the rest of this juice, or dump it down the drain. Pour the 4 ½ cups back into the pot, and bring it back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and put in the soup mix. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Thinly slice or grate the carrots, celery, and onions. Put these vegetables into the soup mix, and allow them to soften on a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Chop up the chicken breasts and add them to the soup, and continue to let this simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. To finish this up, remove from heat. Add the milk to the pot, and stir until it’s combined. At this point, it’s still very hot, so let this sit for at least 10 minutes before consuming.

Italian Pork Chops and Pasta Salad

Now that the winter chill has disappeared, it’s the start of grilling season! My favorite thing about this meal is that almost everything can be made the day before so that you can enjoy your evening and have a nice meal almost completely ready for you when you get home. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 9 oz package of Cheese Filled Tortellini
  • One 16 oz bottle Italian-style salad dressing (I recommend a Robusto style)
  • 3 tablespoons Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Basil
  • 2 tablespoons Oregano
  • 4- 4 oz Pork Chops
  • ⅓ cup of grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Directions 

  1. Fill a medium to large size pot with water about halfway full. On the stove top, bring the water to a boil. Prepare the tortellini according to the package. To tell if it’s done, it will have grown in size and is able to float on its own. Afterward, drain it and allow the pasta to cool. 
  2. In a large bowl combine the whole bottle of dressing, salad supreme seasoning, olive oil, basil, and oregano. Give this a good mix so that the dressing and oil don’t separate. Either in a gallon-sized ziplock bag or another bowl, pour in half of this mixture. Toss in the pork chops and cover them. Allow them to marinate for at least four hours or do this overnight for best results.
  3. Once the pasta is cooled, combine it with the remaining of the dressing mixture. Carefully fold in the cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Cover this in the refrigerator, and allow it to ferment.
  4. When ready to cook the pork, fire up the grill at a medium heat. Keep in mind if the chops are bone, they take longer to cook. Personally, mine took about 8 to 12 minutes. 

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 large Frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups Mild Salsa

Directions

1.) Place the chicken, seasoning, and pico de gallo into a crockpot on low heat. Let this cook for 8 hours.

2.) After the eight-hour mark, the chicken should be falling apart. With a fork, shred the chicken. Then serve with either brown rice or use a taco meat.

Pork & Lime Nachos 

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Tortilla Chips (about 2/3 of a bag) 
  • 2 cups Pork, diced
  • ½ cup Refried Beans
  • 4 cups Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ½ of a 4 oz can Green Chilies, drained
  • ¼ cup Cilantro
  • 2 teaspoon Jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Lime, zest
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill
  • ⅓ cup Pico De Gallo

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. On a baking sheet, layer on the tortilla chips. Then pile on the shredded pork and beans, sprinkling on half of the cheese as well.
  2. In a pot, add milk, the rest of the cheese, and green chillies. Allow the cheese to melt on a medium heat, so it becomes a smooth liquid.
  3. Deseed the avocado and combine with dill, yogurt, lime, cilantro, and jalapeño and blend into a liquid.
  4. Place tray into oven for 7 minuteor until the cheese layer has melted.
  5. Once out of the oven, let the nachos cool for a couple of minutes. To finish them, sourcream sauce, cheese sauce, and Pico De Gallo.

4 Ingredient Pesto Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a 16 oz box of spaghetti
  • A 6.3 oz jar of Barilla pesto
  • 4 medium sized chicken breasts
  • A pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Begin by filling a large pot halfway full with water, and put on a medium-high heat setting. While this is heating, add in 1/2 box of spaghetti and a pinch of salt. From here, fix the noodles according to the directions on the packaging.

 

  1. While this is boiling, cut up the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Throw them into a covered skillet and let them cook through. When there’s no pink left, drain any juices off the chicken. Then put the chicken back into the pan, letting them get a nice and burn-like crust on them.
  2. By now the pasta should be done, so go ahead and drain it. Put the spaghetti back into the pot and mix in the jar of pesto, mixing with kitchen tongs. Once evenly coated, add in the chicken.

Hot Ham & Cheese Rolls

Hot Ham & Cheese Rolls

These rolls are the love child of cinnamon rolls and Hawaiian ham sandwiches. The recipe comes from the blog Kevin and Amanda. 

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/hot-ham-cheese-party-rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 can refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust
  • 3/4 lb deli ham
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Unroll the pizza dough onto a cutting board and press into approximately a 13×18-inch rectangle. Top with ham and cheese slices.
  3. Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll up the edge tightly. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. Cut into 12 slices, approximately 1-inch wide. Arrange in prepared baking dish.
  4. Next, combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and the glaze is combined. Pour evenly over the tops of the rolls.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and browned.

Suicide Squad Review + Spicy Chicken and Waffles Sandwich

Boy, where has the summer gone? School starts back up soon, and there hasn’t been one huge standout movie of the year yet. After Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad gave DC a second chance to take over the box office, fans, and the critics. Suicide Squad was a paint by the number action flick, but it was chaotic enough to make it work.

From a narrative standpoint, Suicide Squad was a mess. Earlier this year, I witnessed the exact same plot a handful of times. The plot should be at the center, and the characters should drive the plot forward. Suicide Squad did expand upon their characters by giving them quick origin stories via flashbacks. Director, David Ayer, most likely chose this style to give some insight on why they were chosen for the team. Giving minute long introductions effectively set up the squad without wasting a ton of time.

On the other hand, this was the most fun I had at the movies all summer. Its colorful cast of characters all need their own spin-offs. As much as I loved the cast, I felt like it was overcrowded at times and should have had fewer members on the squad. This would’ve given more time with each of the characters, and as a result, we would’ve gotten a chance to get to know them better.

This was the first movie in years where Will Smith hadn’t phoned it in for the paycheck. Of course, queen Margot Robbie was going to be a fan favorite. She’s freaking Harley Quinn! These two bounced back and forth with the “main character” role in Suicide Squad, though they didn’t have equal screen time.  

For the other members of the Suicide Squad, they needed to be featured more or not at all. El Diablo and Katana were the standouts for me and deserved extra screen time. There is so much DC can do with Katana, and they better not waste her. The two members of the squad that really served no purpose were Captain Boomerang and Slipknot. This was Jai Courtney’s best performance since Spartacus. (Flashbacks to Terminator Genisys.) Slipknot had the skills of a boy scout, and Boomerang robbed every bank in Australia. That’s all you need to know about them. Rick Flag didn’t serve a purpose, and you still could have had a movie without his weird Texas accent. Killer Croc looked amazing, but again, he was a wasted character.

Viola Davis can do no wrong, and she always gives an Oscar worthy performance. I wanted her to be the villain of the movie. Instead, we got Delevingne and her eyebrows. Delevingne’s acting has gotten better since I last saw her, but she still needs a lot of practice if she wants big roles like this.

Finally, we have the Joker himself: Jared Leto. From all the interviews and press it seemed like the Joker was going to be in it a lot more than 7 minutes. I really like how they blended every version of the Joker we’ve already seen into one psychopath. I think they nailed the Joker and Harley Quinn’s messed up relationship, and I need more of it. Leto did a fantastic job and complemented Ben Affleck’s Batman.

Sometimes the music was overbearing in scenes. The first act was almost like a music video. This was prominently featured in the squad’s introductions. Also, the music was almost always on the nose, such as when the squad was brought together and Seven Nation Army was playing.  Songs that were written for the film, including Purple Lamborghini, Sucker For Pain, and Heathens, fit in much better.

I’m not going to lie to you; I had a lot of fun with Suicide Squad. The cast had chemistry, and everyone pulled their own weight. My problem is that it had the same note by note action that I’ve already seen. With Wonder Woman and Justice League coming out next year, there is still hope for DC.

Suicide Squad was a hodgepodge of so many different things, and it worked. Brunch is the only time of day when you can have pancakes and salad at the same time without being judged! So why don’t we combine these two ideas into one sandwich?

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Spicy Chicken and Waffles Sandwich

Ingredients

  • ½ cup waffle mix
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cooked diced chicken breast (4 oz)
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha

Directions

  1. Preheat waffle maker. In a medium bowl, combine waffle mix with water, cheese, garlic, basil, and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.
  2. Once heated, prime waffle maker with cooking spray and pour in batter.
  3. While this is cooking, add together diced chicken, maple syrup, and sriracha in a small bowl and set to the side.
  4. After the waffle is cooked, remove and place to the side.
  5. Cut the waffle in half and place the chicken on one of the halves. Then top it off with the second half of the waffle.

Top Places for Fandom Fashion

In recent years, many brands and stores have been noticing that geeks and nerds are an untapped market. Before, fangirls who wanted to show off their nerd pride only had the option of t-shirts. Sure t-shirts are nice, but sometimes we want something a little different.  

I created a list of my favorite stores where I like to buy my swag.

Her Universe

Created by Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars, Her Universe is one of the most popular brands of fandom related clothing. Mostly what I’ve purchased from them are their t-shirts, but they have some really cool dresses that can be worn for every occasion. Also, almost all of their pieces can be bought in a plus size. Her Universe has a lot to offer, but a large amount of their clothing is pin-up or vintage inspired. The brand has expanded into stores since its release and created store exclusive items for Hot Topic and Kohl’s. One downside is that Her Universe’s clothing can be pricey, but they run sales regularly.  

HOTH PIN-UP DRESS: $90

http://www.heruniverse.com/apparel/hoth-pinup-dress.html

Hot Topic

Growing up, I was afraid of going into Hot Topic. This was due to the amount of early-2000s goths that shopped there. Times have changed, and so has Hot Topic. The store still continues to be a truck stop for emos, but has become nerdy and fandom-friendly.

STAR WARS DARTH VADER CAPE DRESS: $44.99

http://www.hottopic.com/product/star-wars-darth-vader-cape-dress/10444579.html

STAR WARS BB-8 GIRLS BOMBER JACKET: $59.50

http://www.hottopic.com/product/star-wars-bb-8-girls-bomber-jacket/10444571.html

Torrid

Torrid is the answer for all nerdy fashion for plus-sized women. Though most of their items are more casual, they carry some fun pieces you can dress up or down.

Disney Ariel Collection Button Down Tank Top: $38.50

http://www.torrid.com/product/disney-ariel-collection-button-down-tank-top/10514255.html?cgid=popculture-disney-viewall

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon Wing Tee: $34.90

http://www.torrid.com/product/walking-dead-daryl-dixon-wing-tee/10527047.html

Kohl’s

Kohl’s has been killing it with their Junior and Junior Plus sections. Again, they have Her Universe pieces available in both sizes, but if you’re wanting something both fashionable and nerdy, this is the cheapest place. This year especially, I’ve liked their Avengers workout collection and 75th Anniversary Captain America line. The only problem with Kohl’s is that they don’t really restock, so I would snatch up items when you see them.  

Juniors’ Plus Size Marvel Captain America Scalloped Tee: $23.80

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2468426/juniors-plus-size-marvel-captain-america-scalloped-tee.jsp?color=Tomato

Juniors’ Marvel Captain America Pleated Shortie Shorts: $25.99

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2466153/juniors-marvel-captain-america-pleated-graphic-shortie-shorts.jsp

Thinkgeek

Thinkgeek is where it’s at! They have every fandom you can think of and usually are reasonably priced. If you’re a Trekkie, I would check out their line of swimsuits.

Star Trek:TNG One-Piece Swimsuit: $59.99

https://www.thinkgeek.com/product/isoo/?srp=2

Star Trek:TNG Deanna Troi Swim Shirt: $37.49

https://www.thinkgeek.com/product/isor/

Converse

No outfit is complete without a pair of shoes. If you’re a classic converse kind of girl like me, the Converse DC line is goals.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star DC Comics High Tops: $60

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/converse-chuck-taylor-all-star-dc-comics-high-top-unisex-shoe/pid-11389590/pgid-11396302