Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pin 24–Simply Great Chicken

IMG_8374I was immediately attracted to THIS PIN for 2 reasons.  First, it’s minimal ingredients (3), all of which I generally keep on hand (brown sugar, italian dressing mix, and chicken breast).  Second, it’s not a lot of fuss.  2-3 steps depending on how detail oriented you are, but super easy.  Also, this chicken apparently tastes so good that whoever invented it didn’t bother with any sort of abstract name, just went with ‘Simply Great Chicken.”  That’s just good marketing.

So I got my lazy behind into the kitchen one night trying to figure out what I would make for dinner considering I hadn’t thought about it all day and had no idea what I could conjure up.  I saw this in my pins just a bit earlier and decided it was the night to try it.  The recipe is to simply rinse and dry your chicken breasts (3 lbs) and place in greased pan.  Mix together 1 package italian dressing and 1/2 cup brown sugar then coat the chicken and top with the rest.  I made a couple minor adjustments to suit my needs/ and preferences.  I cut up the chicken to cut down on baking time and I doubled the brown sugar and italian dressing.  I like there to be a sauce whenever possible.  I baked at 350 degrees for approximately 25 min (vs 50-60 per recipe).  Check it out during baking. MMMMMMM.


So I probably cooked a bit longer than necessary but I wanted to make sure that the sauce really candied onto the chicken.  I decided to serve it over rice, which ended up being an excellent call if I do say so myself.



This chicken really is simply great.  It’s sorta sweet and sour chicken tasting, only maybe more sweet and spicy?  Perfect over rice.  It’s super easy and tastes so good.  I’m sure kids would love it too.  You could easily add veggies to it at some point during the baking time, or, as I plan to try next time, cook it all in a pan like stir fry.  Totally worth trying.  I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers.  Many thanks to Katy at Food For a Hungry Soul for posting and ending up on Pinterest :)

Don’t forget to save room for dessert!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pin 23– Alcohol and Water Ice Pack

IMG_8363I’ve had many instances of needing an ice pack.  Flat feet, bad knees, a car accident in the mix with lasting shoulder crap’ola….  ice packs are my friend.  And I like to have a one or two ready in the freezer.  I HATE buying them and definitely hate defrosting a bag of veggies before its time.  I like using the refreezable/reheatable  rice/bean type bags but they never seem to hold the cold for long enough.  The buyable snap and use type is great for emergencies but expensive to keep on hand.  So when I saw THIS PIN, I hoped that it would fit the bill.

All you need is 3 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol and some sort of closeable baggie.  I just poured it all in the bag, gave it a little shake and threw it in the freezer.  I didn’t check until the next day so I’m not sure how long it took to freeze but when I took it out it was stiff and had molded to the shelf.  After only a squeeze or two it was soft and perfect for icing a sore  shoulder.  It was melted but still cold after a little over an hour.

IMG_8364 IMG_8367

Bottom line – DO IT!

Invest in a larger bottle of alcohol and make yourself a few of these in different sizes.  Think about how awesome it would be to ice a lower back with a gallon bag sized ice pack!  Be mindful of your baggies, making sure to close them all the way and getting a sort with a good closure.  All in all I will be getting a few of these stored in my freezer!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pin 22– clean cast iron with coarse salt

IMG_8353I have one single item of cast iron cookery – a combo griddle/grill pan.  I got it for an awesome price and was so excited to use it.  I must have left my brain in bed that day because I totally did not grease the grill grates before making steak tips which resulted in one horrendous mess.  I have scrubbed it using just hot water many times and a few times with a tiny but of mild soap even though I’m not supposed to.  But NOTHING seems to get off this awful black layer of char.   I saw this pin and hope it would save my lovely pan.


Ultimately this pin leads to so I thought it should be pretty reliable.  But the directions are literally 2 sentences that just say to use coarse salt with a soft sponge.  No IMG_8352indications of how much salt to use or any other hints.  So I took my pan – it’s so gross looking – and rinsed with hot water one more time and then just spooned piles of coarse salt all over.  I did both sides.  I used a soft sponge on the griddle side but the sponge just couldn’t get in between the grill grates so I pulled out a bristly brush and used that gently.  OK gently at first, then I was just full on scrubbed determined to make my grill look new.


The results were good.  The griddle side looked cleaner but there were still some markings from where the fire from my gas stove hits it when I use the grill side.  I don’t know if that was supposed to come off or not.  The grill side looked much better (anything would have!) but that layer of char is still there.


Bottom line – worth it

It wasn’t the miracle I was hoping for but it definitely worked the best at removing a lot of the grease and grime that I couldn’t before.  So for general use when you haven’t possibly ruined your cast iron it’s a great way to add some scrubby power.  Meanwhile if anyone knows how I can get this thing totally clean let me know!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pin 21 - make-up brush cleaner

IMG_8282So as a first for Pin Busting, I’m putting 2 pins head-to-head.  Both claim to be the best ways to clean your make-up brushes and they are super similar actually.  

The first one says to mix 1 cup hot water with 1 T vinegar then soak the brush for 20 minutes.  You then rinse with cold water and pat dry.  The second is the same except for adding 1 T of Dawn to the mix.  Vinegar has those magical natural anti-bacterial qualities to it so that made sense to me.  The addition of Dawn I would think would be to help cut through grease etc.  SO after seeing them both pop up a lot I figured I ‘d compare.

I followed the directions exactly for each, putting my all over powder brush in the vinegar/water solution and my blush brush in the +Dawn solution.  I waited 20 minutes, then smooshed them around a bit and these were the results.



I was shocked to see so much more makeup in the +Dawn solution!  I thought, maybe it’s just because it’s from the pink blush versus just the sheer skin tone from the face powder, so I re-soaked the face powder brush in a new +Dawn solution for another 20 minutes and this was the result.


Winner!  Clearly the +Dawn solution is better at removing all the makeup.  Look at all that nastiness that didn’t get cleaned out the first time!!  BLAH! 

Bottom line – DO IT!

Super cheap and easy and clearly effective at getting the gross out of your brushes.  And BONUS they smell great for a while after too!  My only complaint is that they take so long to dry (mine took at least 24 hours) so you almost need to remember to do it immediately following applying your makeup so they are good for the next day.  But that has nothing to do with the cleaning solution.  I used to just use a foaming antibacterial soap and it was the same drying time.  Anyways, WINNER +Dawn solution!


Enjoy your clean and soft brushes!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pin 20– “the bread”

IMG_8311I’ve seen many, many versions of this pin.  Some claim it’s a miracle bread others say it’s the best 2 ingredient bread ever.  After seeing so many versions, I assumed this was a miracle bread that you made with 2 ingredients that was also $#%$^in awesome.  I looked at a few of the pins and they all bring me here.  But – it is actually a recipe from Pioneer Woman for what she says is the bread everyone expects her to make.  So right off the bat I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be baking any fresh bread.


The directions are to slather insane amounts of butter (1 stick per half!) onto french bread and bake then broil.  Now, she won me over at first because butter makes everything better and I am a carb addict so it couldn’t have been better in theory.

So I followed her directions except that I halved her recipe since there are only 2.5 people in my house and while I could eat a whole loaf of bread soaked in butter even I have enough willpower to stop myself here.  A whole king size candy bar, no, but I can manage to pull myself away from cholesterol on oversized bread :).


It looks fabulous right?

Pioneer Woman insists that the fairly burnt part has the most flavor and the more you let it cook the tastier it will be.  So I took out half at the point I normally would and let the second broil a bit longer to really darken it up.


the bottom line – eh

I won’t say it wasn’t good, because there is no way bread and butter is bad, but I wasn’t excited about it.  Neither version was particularly impressive and I can’t say I felt justified eating half a stick of butter for it.  Unfortunately this one just didn’t live up to the hype :(.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pin 19–baby powder to stop creaking wood floors

IMG_8267Anyone with wood floors knows how annoying a creaky spot can be, but if you have a baby and creaky woods floors it becomes outright infuriating.  The loudest parts are always right outside the baby’s room for sure, and the stairs are always the worst, at least at my house anyways.  THIS PIN, which I’ve seen several variations of, says that getting a little baby powder in the grooves stops the noise.  My supportive but super cynical husband was beyond skeptical of this one right of the bat.

So…  I sprinkled baby powder right over the largest grooves (I have old floors so there are some rather large grooves here and there) and used a broom to push it into the groove and then smeared it all over the surrounding area.


I did this on the floor space near the bedrooms and I tried it on all the stairs as well.  For the stairs, since there is not a groove down the center I tried to get it in good in the back and side grooves.  Once the powder was all smeared around I walked around on it thinking that maybe it might help push some of the powder where it needed to go.  Then it sat for a bit while I gave my son lunch.  I cleaned it up using wet paper towels.


After all was said and done I took a stroll around my stairs and floor.  Not the slightest bit of change.  Still obnoxious, still squeaky and still loud right outside my son’s room.  Crap.

Even a week later, nada.

Bottom line – don’t bother

You’re just going to make a mess to clean up afterwards without any apparent benefit.  The husband said that even if there was a chance of this working our floors are well passed this point.  So maybe if your floors are newer than ours (not hard to do) it might work.  Maybe.  But I’m not betting on it.  The only positive thing I can say is that it smelled good, at least it does to me.  Clean baby smell.  But don’t do all this just for the smell!  You can just take a wiff right from the bottle :)

‘til next time,


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pin 18– baby oil to make your razor last longer

IMG_8266Like most women, or adults I suppose, I use a razor with replaceable blade cartridges that cost a small fortune. I’ve tried downgrading to various disposable brands and haven’t found any that feel as nice so I just suck it up. But when I saw this pin claiming to make these beauties last longer I was all over it.

So I poured a whole lot of baby oil on my razor when I started with a new blade. I tried shaving one leg with my regular shaving gel and the other with just the baby oil. I’m sorry to say that I will not be able to tell you whether or not this actually makes the blade last longer because I hated it so much. It felt like I was using a old razor, or at least a cheap one both ways. I was so pissed about it for 3 reasons. First, can’t follow through on the true busting of the pin since it felt so crappy. Second, It felt so crappy. and third, I wasted the brand new razor feeling!! The next time I used my razor, sans baby oil, it felt way older than it is and now I’m stuck with it for a bit because it was my last one in the pack and I’m just not ready to shell out my coveted dollars for new ones just yet.

Bottom line – waste of my time and a new razor :(

Maybe you won’t notice the difference. Or if you do notice maybe you won’t care and will find out if it actually lasts longer contrary to how it feels. I wish you luck either way and will say a little prayer you don’t end up with in grown hairs or razor burn :) But definitely come back to let us know if you’re tougher than me!

My apologies for not coming through on this one but I guess when it comes down to it I’m a bit of a wuss here…

‘til next time


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pin 17 sugar hand scrub

Hello again!  It’s been a little while since I’ve posted and I have good reasons why… mostly technical difficulties but I won’t bore you with details.  The good news is that I’m back so let’s get rockin’.

I’ve been struggling with super dry hands this winter….  before dawnsugar scrub 1before dawnsugar scrub 2


and was thrilled when I came across this pin that promised an end result like Mary Kay Satin Hands.  I have used that product in the past and loved it so I knew what to compare to.  When you actually follow the link the original blogger Jille does not make this comparison at all, she actually calls it a gardener’s scrub.  Either way, the mix is approximately equal parts sugar and Dawn with Olay Hand Renewal dish soap but adjusting as needed to make it a thinner paste  as opposed to a liquid soap or complete paste consistency.

I didn’t want to make a big tub of it in case I wasn’t thrilled so I basically poured a little puddle of soap into a small dish then added sugar until it seemed right. 


I wet my hands a bit and scrubbed away.  Seriously I didn’t want to cut it short so I must have spent 5 minutes meticulously scrubbing my hands, especially my knuckles, lower side thumb area and cuticles.  Once satisfied I rinsed well, dried and put on my fav hand lotion (OPI AVOjuice in case you are curious – it’s fab).  I don’t know where I learned it but I’m pretty sure you should always moisturize after exfoliating.  Anyways, immediately following the lotion my hands felt great, soft and smooth and seemingly with less dry flaking skin hanging around.  And they smelled great – from both the soap and my lotion.  Success!

after dawn.sugar scrub 3after dawn.sugar scrub1

Or at least I thought so.  Less than 15 minutes later I needed more hand lotion and noticed the same areas with dry flaky skin coming back, improved but still there.  BOOOOO.

after after

Bottom Line – better as a gardener’s scrub

Had my hands been filthy from gardening or cleaning out the basement (random you might think but we just accomplished this woohoo!) this would’ve been a great improvement from regular hand soap and an awesome alternative to the “MAN” hands cleaning products that leave your hands smelling super weird for the rest of the day.  But is this combo worthy of comparison to the Satin Hands line?  I don’t think so at all.  Original blogger, score for great cleaning method, some random pinner along the way just sensationalized a bit too much!!

Stay clean my friends :)


Thursday, January 3, 2013

New year, new posts!

Happy New Year!  New post coming 1/8/13!!  Can't wait to get this train rolling again!