Lemon Chicken Pasta alla Lucy

Not a day goes by where I don’t end it with a bowl of pasta of some sort. I can’t remember the last time I cooked a homemade dinner with out a pasta dish thrown into the meal somewhere. What can I say, I love me some carbohydrates!

The other day I had endured a particularly exhausting day and wanted nothing more than a big bowl of pasta to end the day. During my college days, one of my roommates, Lucy, would always make our apartment a delicious Lemon Chicken Pasta Dish after long days of studying for exams and hectic schedules. It was a way for us all to come together at the table, unwind, relax, and enjoy each other’s company and a hearty meal while we were at it.

The recipe to her dish is below. It can modified to serve for just one person, which is what I have been doing a lot of this summer to satisfy my weekly craving for it. It can be made in just under 30 minutes from start to finish and served with a glass of wine, is the perfect end to a long day!

IMG_3076The lemon juice adds  the perfect zest to make this an easy summer dish!

IMG_3078Serve with some freshly grated parmesan and bon a petit!

 Lemon Chicken Pasta

Serves: 6

What You’ll Need:

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1 large ziploc bag

1 lb. boneless chicken tenders

1/4 cup garlic butter

8 oz. mostaccioli or penne rigata pasta

2 tbsp. capers

2 tsp. chicken base

1 lemon (for juice)

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1.) Fill large saucepan 1/2 full of water. Cover and bring to a boil on high for pasta. Preheat large saucepan on medium high for 2-3 minutes.

2.) Place flour and seasoned salt in ziploc bag, shake to mix. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add to bag (wash hands). Seal bag tightly and shake to coat.

3.) Place garlic butter in saucepan. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.

4.) Stir pasta in boiling water. Boil 6-8 minutes.

5.) Stir capers and chicken base into chicken. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often to blend flavors. Squeeze juice of lemon into chicken, stir in wine and cream, reduce heat to low; cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally or until thoroughly heated.

6.) Drain pasta and stir into chicken mixture. Serve & enjoy!

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Movie Night

Sometimes after a long week you are desperate for a night in on the couch watching some of your favorite movies. I know I was definitely feeling one of those nights come this past Friday, so I made some buttery popcorn, popped in a movie, and enjoyed not having a worry in the world except listening to the swoon-worthy British accent of Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Below are some of my favorite movies to sit back, relax and enjoy after an exhausting week. What are some of your’s?

Remember the Titans

Big Daddy

Bridget Jones's Diary

The Great Gatsby

Spiderman

Be sure to take a peek at some of my favorite links from this past week:

1.) Great interview with Taylor Swift.

2.) Kate McKinnon from SNL’s Dos & Don’ts.

3.) Humans of New York goes beyond NYC.

4.) This end of summer feast Camille Styles hosted is my type of feast with pasta & wine galore!

5.) Starbucks will be rolling out mobile food trucks this Fall!

6.) This article about ways to transform your life is GREAT.

7.) Anna Wintour wets her famous bob in her ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video.

August Playlist

In just a little over a week, I’ll be heading on a long road trip back home and I’m going to be in desperate need of some new music to get me through the journey. As a lot of you are heading back to school, traveling for Labor Day Weekend, or making a permanent move for a new job in a new city, I wanted to compile a Road Trip Playlist to get you on your way. Feel free to include some of your favorite hits of the moment in the comments section to give myself some more tune inspiration!

1.) Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (I had to start with this one, I just had to)

2.) Gooey by Glass Animals

3.) Cool Kids by Echosmith

4.) Coffee by Sylvan Esso

5.) Buttons by The Weeks

6.) The Way We Touch by WE ARE TWIN

7.) The Face by Kings of Leon (an oldie, but a goodie)

8.) The Fire by French Horn Rebellion & Savoir Adore

9.) Welcome Home by Radical Face

10.) Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver (it isn’t a road trip without listening to this!)

11.) Dreams by the Cranberries (My personal favorite)

12.) Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart

13.) Highway Don’t Care by Tim McGraw

14.) Free by Rudimental feat. Emeli Sande

15.) Left Hand Free by Alt-J

Fall in Love with Fall Fashion

Like it or not, Fall is just around the corner. As depressing as it may be to retire our short shorts, tank tops, and flip flops for closed toed shoes and jackets, there are some fall fashion items I can’t wait to start wearing again. Fall means I get to start wearing my favorite scarfs and cozy socks again. Plus, I get to break out my boots from my closet (or maybe even shop for a new pair of lace-up ones!). Here are some fall fashion items I can’t wait to get a hold of:

Leather Jacket

I’m in love with this leather jacket featured in Elle Magazine.

ScarfThis scarf from Anthropologie looks so cozy & warm.

Fall Boots

In love with these lace up boots from Free People.

scarf2

Great soft colors in this J. Crew scarf.

Swing Dress FP

The perfect dress for those early fall days from Free People.

What are some of your favorite fall items?

Concerts Galore

The summertime is the perfect time of year to attend outdoor concerts with friends and family. Of course, it always depends on the weather, but thankfully this summer the rain has held out for the few concerts I’ve attended (and even if it does rain, who doesn’t love dancing carelessly in the pouring rain to LIVE music?!).

I always have an ongoing bucket list of bands and artists I want to see in concert and this summer I was lucky enough to cross two BIG ones off my list.

In July, I made a weekend trip to New York City to see Beyonce & Jay Z’s On the Run Tour at the Metlife Stadium with one of my good friends from home. I was a big fan of Destiny’s Child growing up and loved all of Beyonce’s top hits when she spun off her solo career. But what I was most excited about for this tour was watching her and her back-up dancers rock out on stage. Even though I was about a mile from the stage, Beyonce and her dancers put so much energy into amplifying every single move and shimmy that the distance between myself and the stage didn’t even matter.

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 Queen B herself  (not many of my pictures came out all that well).

Just last weekend, two of my good friends from school came up to visit Boston and also to see One Direction’s Where We Are Tour at Gillette Stadium (yes I am 23 years old and I saw One Direction, no shame). Even though we may have been the oldest ones in attendance (besides the parents chaperoning their crazy tweens), it was such a fun night and the weather was PERFECT. We may or may not have tried tracking down the fab five the following day in Boston…

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I just had to get a close up of Harry Styles on the jumbo-tron.

IMG_5173They had some pretty cool fireworks to go along with their top hits.

Summer isn’t over just yet! I still have one more concert to attend once I head home, which is the Kings of Leon Mechanical Bull Tour. I’m ready to add some rock ‘n roll into the concert mix!

Working Girl’s Desk Essentials

After working in a cubicle for most of my past and current internship experiences, I’ve found there are some essential items to have in order to make it through your workday. Whether you are starting a fall internship, a new job, or even heading back to school, here are my must have desk items:

#1 Decorations

I love these cute desk calendars of different cities around the world – it satisfies my wanderlust for the day! (It’s 50% now too)

Calendar

# 2 Moisturizer

I don’t know if it’s the office air or what, but my hands get so dry throughout the day and this hand cream always replenishes the moisture.

download

#3 Snacks

I don’t know what it is, but no matter how much I eat at lunch it never fails that by 3 PM, hunger strikes and these energy bars always keep me energized until dinner.

kind

#4 Deodorant

Nothing is worse than showing up to work and realizing you forgot to put on deodorant that morning. Keep some in your desk for emergencies!

dove (1)

#5 Pens (GOOD ones!)

These pens are AWESOME and come in great colors – plus they last long!

Le Pen

What are your desk must-have items?

Brownie Points

The other day I had quite the sweet tooth coming on, but nothing to satisfy it. So I decided I just HAD to bake something to alleviate it! I stumbled across this recipe for Old School Fudge Brownies with Walnuts, courtesy of Joy the Baker’s blog. Luckily, I had all the ingredients listed right at my fingertips and I set out on my mission.

Not only were these the best brownies I’ve made to date, but they made my apartment smell divine! Who needs candles when you have the scent of fresh baked brownies wafting through your home? I topped my brownie with a scoop of Batch’s vanilla ice cream and a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s milk & cookies flavored ice cream – go BIG or go home, am I right?

IMG_3065You have no idea how hard it is to resist brownie batter…

IMG_3072The leaning tower of brownies!

IMG_3073This hit the spot!

What’s your go-to brownie recipe?

Breakfast Power Sandwich

It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your body (and my favorite!). So it’s important to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein and whole grains to get you energized and revved up for the day ahead of you.

Ever since my 6th grade home economics class, I’ve been making myself breakfast sandwiches when I’m on the go – whether it’s before prepping for a big exam, before a busy work day, or just because it’s simply delicious. My whole family has caught on to how I make my famous “Carly McMuffin” that they now make them for themselves.

It’s a really easy recipe that can be served up in just under 10 minutes (my record is 4 minutes after a cup of coffee). Here’s what you need to make your personalized egg McMuffin:

1 English Muffin

1 slice of cheese – I choose swiss cheese

1 tomato slice

1 egg

1 slice of honey-glazed ham or 1 breakfast sausage patty

Italian seasoning

Salt

Put the english muffin in the toaster for about 3 minutes, until its crisp around the edges. While the english muffin is toasting, mix the egg and a sprinkle of the Italian seasoning and salt together in a small bowl. Then heat a frying pan up to medium high and fry the egg omelet style, folding it in half after about a minute in the pan. By now the english muffin has most likely finished toasting, take it out and set it on a plate with the slice of cheese on top of the bottom half, letting it melt. When you’re done frying the egg place it on top of the cheese. Finish off the sandwich with your slice of ham or sausage patty (which you can heat up while frying your egg), the tomato slice, and the top half of the english muffin. There you have it, your own breakfast power sandwich!

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Be sure to check out my favorite links from the week:

1.) Apparently this kid is awesome at TV interviews.

2.) Vanity Fair just released their International Best Dressed List – see who made the cut!

3.) Emma Watson on her style inspiration.

4.) Love these polka dot TOMS for Fall.

5.) Post-run yoga sequence to alleviate pain and soreness.

Savory Summer Salad

I’ve never been able to make a salad as good as the ones at Panera Bread, which always taste fresh with the perfect dressing to couple with their leafy greens. Whenever I see a deliciously photographed salad on a food blog and I try to make it myself, it never tastes as good as it appears. I’m always left disappointed with an unsatisfied stomach.

That was until I came across this delicious summer salad from Pinch of Yum. It looked divine, using all of summer’s fresh ingredients and a simple balsamic vinegar dressing – there was no way I could mess it up. After a grand total of 20 minutes preparing the salad dressing, grilled chicken, and the remaining ingredients, I dove in for my first bite and was finally satisfied. This balsamic watermelon chicken salad is the perfect summer salad to enjoy al fresco!

IMG_3060A great mix of refreshing flavors blended into the perfect summer salad!

What are some of your favorite summer recipes? Share in the comments section below!

 

Food Truck Aficionado

In one of my first posts on the blog, I talked about my love for food trucks (and really all things food!). As the trend continues to grow throughout cities in the nation, I become even more excited seeing that it’s here to stay. One of my first encounters with a food truck was while I was at school in Greenville, SC and I noticed one parked downtown. I had heard about them from magazines and seen them on TV shows, such as “The Great Food Truck Race“, but had never eaten off of one. So that’s exactly what I did, one bite and I became a food truck fanatic.

It doesn’t take much to get me excited about trying new foods, but when it comes to trying new food trucks I’m like a kid at Disney World wanting to try everything at least once. For my Spring Break this past year I went to San Francisco for a few days and was able to attend Off the Grid – basically a food truck aficionado’s dream come true. Between 30-40 food trucks, carts, and stands line up in a giant parking lot on the San Francisco Bay and serve hundreds of people their delicacies.

IMG_3798The entrance to Off the Grid – my own personal heaven.

IMG_3779Picky eaters, you’re lucky – there’s every type of food served so you’re bound to find something you’ll want!

IMG_3786Homemade sangria from a Mexican food truck and fresh dumplings from a Chinese food truck, literally food from all over the world unites at Off the Grid.

IMG_3746The sunset we caught right outside the venue.

My love for food trucks only continues to grow, and no matter where I end up living or traveling to, it’s always food trucks I look up first, rather than dining at a restaurant. I love how you can grab your food from a downtown area off of a truck, meet the chef who cooked it, hear their story and passion for serving the community, and then catch a beautiful sunset or other aspect of nature as you eat your food in a picnic-like setting.

Wherever I end up, I sure hope there’s a food truck or two. Otherwise, I just might have to open my own!