A list of ten things minus two

I know I said I was taking a break from Fashion Friday for the summer and I am, I really am. The question portion of Fashion Friday is officially on summer vacation. However, I had some free time this week and spent some of that time venturing into various stores, which led me to find some cute things that I feel compelled to share with the group.

In fact, I believe I was in Banana Republic (where all my best ideas have always been born) when I decided it would be fun to compile a list of my top ten finds of the week. Unfortunately, there are two flaws with this plan. First, some of the things I found aren’t online, including a darling cotton navy and white striped dress that has captured my heart and is still calling to me from the store where I left it. Second, I’m not sure I actually have a list of ten things, it may be more like seven or five.

We’ll just see where it goes and how long I can make myself wait to watch the season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” and part two of the “Real Housewives of New York” reunion special. It’s not like the DVR is going to watch that stuff for me.

Here’s what I found this week. (Note to P, I didn’t actually BUY anything. I just looked. Because I am exercising self-control)

(Speaking of exercising, I’m on Level 2 of The Shred. I can no longer remember what day I’m on because I skipped various days due to a raging case of PMS. As far as results, my arms are definitely more toned which is such a relief because I’m always so insecure about how my arms look in a bathing suit.)

1. Summer floral skirt

Y’all know I’m a fan of the summer skirt and I think this one is really cute, especially now that it’s on sale because Gap is high if they think that skirt was worth the original $44.50 price.

2. Linen cargo bermuda shorts

I tried these on and couldn’t commit, but I keep thinking about them because they were very lightweight and would probably be a welcome addition to my wardrobe come July when I’m wishing I lived in North Dakota.

3. Halter maxi dress

I hope the link works because Banana won’t let me link to the specific dress because it’s already sold out and I’m not surprised. When I saw it in the window of the store, I immediately parked and went in to get a better look because I thought I could wear it to a wedding this weekend and my twenty-year reunion later this summer.

However, what the picture doesn’t show is that the back of the dress does some tricky kind of thing that basically allows for no sort of undergarment to be worn. But apparently someone has figured out a way to make it work because the dress is SOLD OUT. Are these people gluing some sort of support device directly to their bodies? If you think I’m attending my twenty-year high school reunion with only on a super-glued cup standing between me and public humiliation, then you’re crazy.

4. Embroidered tunic

I really liked this even before I knew they called that color “Wasabi Green”, which just makes me like it that much more.

5. ABK Couture bags

A friend from elementary school makes these gorgeous tote bags and I discovered them last week. I am totally eyeing one of them to be my new laptop bag.

6. Double Mocha Jacket

I didn’t actually see this in person, but found it online when I did my weekly search through all of Anthropologie’s sale items. I am a fan.

7. Good jeans

I have no link for this, but Steinmart had 7 jeans and Lucky jeans in stock this week for substantially less than what you’d pay at the fancy department store.

8. Yellow Box Zebra flip-flops

There are no words for the cuteness.

It turns out I only had eight things, but like the old saying goes better eight than nothing.

(By “old saying” I mean three minutes old because I just made it up)

Y’all have a great Friday.

Pizza, it’s what’s for dinner

I’ll just go ahead and confess that after Caroline left for school yesterday, I crawled back in bed with the remote control and stayed there for the next three hours. It was my belated Mother’s Day present to myself. I would have preferred to give myself a gift certificate for a one-hour massage, but apparently I’m cheap.

Eventually I realized it was almost lunchtime and I was in dire need of a caffeinated beverage, so I made my way to the kitchen only to discover we were down to our last Diet Coke which meant a trip to HEB was imperative even though I was hoping to put it off for one more day. Of course, P had started a list but his lists never really count because I always feel like we can go one more day without another box of Nilla Wafers or Q-tips, whereas a home without Diet Coke is a tragedy waiting to happen.

I waited for Caroline to get home from school because on her Mother’s Day questionnaire she said that one of her favorite things to do with me is go to the grocery store. Personally, I think she’s in it for the guarantee of a donut.

After a sweet forever, we finally made it home from HEB. Ever since they remodeled our store, I just roam the aisles endlessly because I can’t find anything. The layout makes no sense at all, starting with the fact that all the baking supplies are on two different aisles causing me much sorrow and anger at whoever the genius was that came up with that design.

Anyway, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this because the whole point of this post is to tell you about the delicious Blackened Chicken Pizza I made for dinner last night when I realized the cooking elves weren’t going to show up and prepare a fabulous, home-cooked meal for my family and the burden for nourishment lay squarely on my shoulders.

So I’ll quit rambling and share the recipe, complete with intermittent photos that really don’t do a very thorough job of showing all the steps.

Blackened Chicken Pizza (Paula Deen)

3 teaspoons blackening seasoning, divided (found on the spices aisle)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 in. thickness
4 tbs. butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tbs. all purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup milk
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Pizza crust

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons blackening seasoning evenly over chicken breast. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until done.

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You will notice that I used chicken tenders instead of a whole chicken breast because I like to minimize my contact with raw poultry and didn’t want to have to pound it to 1/4 inch thickness.

Remove from heat, cool and cut chicken into bite-size pieces.

In large skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in wine and milk.

It’s totally optional but you may want to take a swig of the wine for yourself if you spent over an hour at HEB because you couldn’t find the powdered sugar.

Continue to whisk the mixture constantly for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in basil and remaining 1 teaspoon blackening seasoning. Remove from heat.

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Preheat oven to 450.

Spread cream mixture evenly over prepared, unbaked crust. (I didn’t make a homemade crust, but bought a pre-made one at HEB because you know that old saying about how Rome wasn’t built in a day? That’s because they were too busy making homemade pizza crusts.)

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Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

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Top evenly with spinach, chicken pieces, and bacon.

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Sprinkle another 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Caroline declared this “the BEST PIZZA I’ve ever had!”

Of course, she said that same thing last week about a frozen DiGiorno pepperoni pizza so you may want to take her culinary recommendations with a grain or six of salt.

But it actually was really good which is fortunate because I made two of them and we’re eating it again tonight.

Look P! It’s not even daylight yet and you already know what’s for dinner.