Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Put Your Mouth Where Your Pin Is

You are all Pinterest junkies like me, right?  One of the many things I love it for is recipes.  I pin myself a boat load of recipes.  Now I will say they are not always a success, but I think that is true with many recipes sites and cookbooks so no fault to Pinterest.  But the thing is you never know until you try.  So I am trying to actually make some of those millions of recipes I have pinned.  What a concept...I know.

So this week I am trying out three recipes.  I have not yet tried them and they may be a hot mess but they all look so yummy that I think any fails may be the fault of the chef not the authors.

The first I am trying is in honor of my husband, the no-bean eater.  Beanless Beef Chili was a pin from a while back but actually comes from The Food Network.  And since I seem to be living in the Arctic I thought chili sounded perfect.  So here is the recipe copied straight from here.

Picture of Beanless Beef Chili Recipe

2 tbsp. canola oil
1 (2 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium chopped yellow onions
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 small chopped jalapeno pepper
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 scallions
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Put a deep heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Put in the beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it is well browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon and discard the fat from the pan. Pour half the broth into the pan and scrape up any browned bits.

Pour this into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the onions and put the meat on top. Add the chili seasoning, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, jalapeno, and garlic.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and the remaining broth. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Serve garnished with spiced sour cream.

The next recipe I am going to try out are Chicken Gyros.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki sauce

Don't they look awesome!  This recipe is from a blog called Basil.  (Love that name!)  And you can find the recipe here.  Or right here...

Chicken Gyros

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano {dried}
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion {powder}
1 teaspoon salt
  • In a bowl or bag, place all of the ingredients together and mix well. Marinate for up to 2 hours.
  • Once ready, place the chicken on a grill {I use a George Foreman} or in a pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side.
Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon mint
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Mix all of the ingredients together and let sit for at least 1 hour before using.

pita bread
tomatoes, sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
tzatziki sauce {recipe above}

  • Take a piece of pita bread and layer with the lettuce, chicken, tomato, red onion and tzatziki sauce.

And last but not yummy least is Greek Yogurt Blueberry Banana Bread from No Sugar Sweet Life.

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Banana Bread.


1 1⁄2 cup
 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3 tablespoons
 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoon
 Baking Powder
1⁄2 teaspoon
 kosher salt ((optional))
1⁄2 cup
 Brown Sugar (or 1/4 cup agave nectar)
1 teaspoon
 Vanilla Extract
  Large ripe bananas
6 ounces
 Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or Blueberry)
1 cup
 Blueberries (fresh or frozen)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Start by combining flour, baking powder, salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are gooey and liquid-like.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla and brown sugar… mix thoroughly.
  4. Add greek yogurt
  5. Whisk until everything is well combined and there are no lumps.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.  At this point, fold in the blueberries.
  7. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
  8. Put into the oven and bake for one hour, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and (try to) let the bread cool for at least ten minutes before slicing.
Yeilds 12 Slices

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Goodbye Blogger, Hello Wordpress

So I have made a big blogging decision and I am kinda scared.  This may mean absolutely nothing to non-bloggers, so I apologize if this doesn't compute but I am making the big switch.  Bye bye Blogger...hello Wordpress!

Let me start at the beginning.  When I first started Mission Decorate I knew nothing about writing, designing, maintaining, all that stuff about a blog.  And for me Blogger was the perfect home.  First of all it is free.  And how was I to know that 306 posts later I would still be doing this.  (Let me say I did purchase my domain name right away, which is why I don't have "blogspot" in my URL.  Which I HIGHLY recommend doing if you are starting a blog and the name is available.  It is maybe $10 a year.)  Blogger was also a good decision because it is very straight forward and easy to figure out on your own.  It has served me very well.

But what began as a side project has grown into something I love, dedicate a lot of time to and truly wish to grow.  And that is why it is time to say goodbye to Blogger and take the Wordpress leap.  There are endless reasons why people prefer Wordpress to Blogger or vice-versa and I am not about to claim to be an expert, but I will say my main driver is design capabilities and plug-in options.  But if you want to read more I thought this post from The Painted Hive is very well written.  I also like this list of pros and cons from Lovin' From The Oven.

So once my decision was made to make the change I then had to decide how I was going to do it.  It is very possible to do this conversion yourself.  There are actually great e-books out there that walk you through it, like this one from Addicted to Blogging.  But in addition to the conversion I was also hoping to get some design help to change the look of MD.  And that is why I decided to seek out help.  I researched high and low, in every price range, offering every service and made the decision to work with Stephanie at Dirt and Lace Designs.

It may sound silly but just committing to someone has been stressful.  Mission Decorate is my baby that I have built from the ground up and it is hard to hand it over to someone even if it is just for a day or two.  And one of the most redeeming qualities about Blogger is that I know how to use it!  I have no idea how to use Wordpress.  I have watched videos and it looks pretty straight forward but eek.  I am pretty computer savvy and I know I will figure it out but it is still scary.

Now I still have some things to do before the big conversion can get started including selecting a host (which is why Wordpress is not free).  But I wanted to keep you all in the loop because although this wont make a big impact on your Mission Decorate reading (hopefully the site wont be down at all during the switch), it will make a big impact on my Mission Decorate writing.  So wish me luck and I will keep you posted on the progress.