July 2014 - Simply Samantha

Rosemary Garlic Baked Chicken

12:00 AM

I have found the most amazing chicken recipe the other day. It's probably the BEST chicken recipe I have made since being married.
It is so simple yet so yummy and moist and delicious. I can just go on and on.

I remembered to take pictures this time!

*Yay for Samantha*
Well, I actually didn't take the pictures. Steve did. I just remembered to ask him to take the pictures ;)

Rosemary Garlic Baked Chicken Breast
(original recipe found here)
Calories: 168.1
Protein: 16.5g

 photo IMG_8372_zps5823bc2b.jpg

1 small onion, chopped finely
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. good quality olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground sea salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half for 4 svgs.

(btw, as you can see. I am quite a fan of Badia spices ;) ) 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then spray, with any type of non-stick spray (I used a organic olive oil spray), a pan to fit the size of your chicken and set aside.

Chop up your onion.

 photo CollageFood_zps3881d05d.jpg

Then in a bowl, mix in your onion with the red vinegar, olive oil, mustard, rosemary,garlic, and sea salt.

 photo IMG_8397_zps4571f1da.jpg

Place the chicken in your pan that you had set aside and pour the mixture over the chicken.
 photo IMG_8403_zpsa8a9057d.jpg

Bake in the oven on 400 degrees for 40 minuets. During that time make some yummy side dishes for your chicken. I chose my "go to'd", organic rice and veggies.

 photo IMG_8413_zpsafb878d4.jpg

Tada. So simple right?
 photo IMG_8417_zps2ec7940a.jpg

This is a VERY husband approved recipe. Its super healthy while full of flavor!

Enjoy readers!!

fresh ingredients

Homemade Salsa

8:00 AM

 photo IMG_8368title_zpsa61892a4.jpg

Last week I picked off what was left of our tomatoes in our little garden. The Florida heat finally got a hold of the plants and they are now dead. We still got a lot of tomatoes from our 6 plants we planted. My favorites were the La Roma tomatoes. They are so meaty and tasty. You can throw them on anything. Or in my case, make salsa out of them. My husband is a salsa connoisseur. He loves himself some salsa.
The above jar in the photo is my 3rd and apparently best batch I have made so far, according to my husband. 

What I love about salsa is that you can make it any way you want. Salsa is almost always gluten free, low in calories, and full of fresh ingredients.
I didnt measure anything when I made mine. I just threw as much as I wanted in the food processor. 
Here is what is in my salsa.

La Roma Tomatoes
Half a Red Onion chopped
A small handful of fresh Cilantro (fresh is best)
Minced Garlic
Sliced Jalapenos 
Lime Juice

If you let it sit for 24 hours it makes the salsa taste even better because all the ingredients blend together. 

What do you like in your salsa readers?? Let me know in the comments!??


Why I said no

8:00 AM

I really don't know if I will post this. I try to stay away from too much personal stuff here on my blog. But I also like to use this blog to let out my thoughts, tell my stories, and maybe help other young women out there.
So, here we go.

About two weeks ago, my "lady parts" doctor suggested I get an IUD. I've been on the pill for about a year and have not had any issues with it but he said an IUD would be a good idea because the pill can sometimes hurt your eggs and other things.
It was a pretty quick visit so I was ok walking out of there knowing I would be getting this IUD.
Flash forward to this past weekend. Since the visit two weeks ago, I have been having "pros and cons" thoughts growing in my head. I kept praying and asking God for a straight answer but wasn't really getting one.

I usually have this "feeling" when I believe God is telling me not to do something and I hadn't had it yet. Everything was going fine, the IUD was ordered and I was able to get an appointment.
The day came that I was supposed to get the IUD.  I had a horrible nightmare that something went wrong with my IUD. I woke up, did some errands, then headed to my appointment. However, during this entire time I had this "weird feeling" in my stomach and body. I pushed that feeling aside calling it nerves and sat in the doctors office and waited.
AND waited.
Finally they called me back. And told me they weren't sure if I could get it put in that day because I wasn't on my cycle. So I waited some more, talked to the nurses about my options and if it was ok to ask the doctor some more questions.
At this point im an emotional wreck because I'm tired and that "weird feeling" is raging in my body. I sat in the room looking at the IUD sitting on the table, tears in my eye's, this thought pop'd in my head.
"If I want you to have children, you will have children regardless of some t-shaped thing inside of you."
and I was like "REALLY God, now you say something as I sit here in tears".

My doctor came in, saw I was fully upset ( I figured he was used to it since all he see's is women everyday and we tend to cry... a lot..). He reassured me if I didn't feel comfortable with it, I didn't have to have it. I wasn't having anything to serious going on down there for him to advise me that I HAD to have the IUD. He wasn't going to put something in my body that might made me feel worse. He fully understood and told me not to worry. I was stressing out about something that I didn't need to be.

Granted, I do run the risk of continuing to take the pill and it hurting my egg's. But everything in life has a risk, and furthermore any form of birth control has that risk, nothing is 100%. If I don't need something in my body I would rather not have it.  If my doctor was like "Samantha you need this, your birth control is making it 10x worse and if you dont get this you are not going to have babies in a couple years", then yes I would have sucked it up and gotten it. But since he told me I didn't have too, I would be ok. I didn't worry about it.

I kept wanting to trust God throughout this whole thing. However, I kept wanting to trust Him on the decision to have the IUD rather then seeing what He really wanted me to trust Him on, which was that regardless of what is in or what I am putting in my body, In 2-3 years when we start thinking about children. If it is HIS will, I need to trust Him that He will bless us and take care of us and let us have kids. He is the true physician, if he wants us to have children we will. Regardless of what form of birth control I use. Goodness, if he can make Sarah pregnant beyond child baring years, I think he is more than capable of blessing my husband and I down the road with a child of our own.

So readers, I guess the bottom line is sometimes God puts you through things and sometimes He'll wait to the very last minuet to give you an answer. Regardless, learn from it, and more importantly don't trust Him on just one thing. Trust Him on all the things.

P.S I am not saying the pill is better than and IUD or that if you chose to get an IUD that your are crazy or making a mistake. I think if you have one and it works for you that that is great. This is just a situation I went through and I dont by any means means want to offend anyone.
I am also not a medical physician. This post is merely just my thoughts and experiences.


Quinoa Burgers

2:30 PM

I saw this recipe the other day and it had all the things I like. Quinoa, spinach, and feta.
AND it's gluten free. Made by the lovely lady over at Gluten Free in Orlando.

 Below is the recipe (all credits go to Alexis). You can find the recipe on her site here too!
: http://www.gfinorlando.com/2013/10/spinach-feta-quinoa-burgers.html

 photo 10514047_260587787468706_336368998_n_zpsc4997dd1.jpg

Spinach and Feta Quinoa burgers:

1 C of uncooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil + more for frying the burgers
1 C of sweet onion -- chopped
2 cloves of garlic -- minced
2 C of fresh baby spinach -- chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Herbamare seasoning
4 large eggs -- beaten
1 C gluten free breadcrumbs
1/3 C grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/3 C feta crumbles

Rinse the quinoa in a strainer and cook it according to package directions.  Put it in a large bowl to cool.  

Cook the onion in 1 tsp of olive oil in a stainless steel frying pan on medium heat.  When the onion has begun to soften and brown, take the pan off the heat and add the garlic and spinach.  Stir until the spinach begins to wilt, then add your vegetable mixture to the quinoa bowl.  Allow the quinoa mixture to cool to room temperature before adding the salt, pepper, Herbamare, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan/Romano, and feta.  Stir well to combine, then form 8 patties.  

Clean your frying pan, add enough oil to coat the bottom, and turn your burner to medium heat.  When your pan has heated up, add 4 quinoa burgers, cooking them for about 4 minutes on each side until nicely browned.  Add more oil to your pan and cook the remaining 4 burgers. 

The burgers were amazing. Totally husband approved. The only thing I did differently is I didn't have Herbamare seasoning so I just added some seasonings of my own (garlic powder,onion powder, parsleyrosemaryoregano, salt and pepper).
I also didnt use GF bread crumbs, i used some crushed corn tortilla chips that I sometimes use to substitue for GF bread crumbs.

Its a fairly easy recipe especially if you make the quinoa a head of time.

Thanks for the great recipe Alexis! 

daily outfit

Better than a Tripod

8:00 AM

 photo IMG_8338_zps77740b0d.jpg
 photo IMG_8353_zps1c67437e.jpg
Dress:Target // Shoes: Urban Outfitters // Purse: Target // Necklace: H&M // Rings: Him ;) //

My husband has been a real encourager of my blogging. He's always telling me to keep writing even if it's just about my life as long as I enjoy doing it.
SO, the other day we were getting ready to leave and I told him if he wants me to keep blogging/writing he's going to have to help out some days and be my camera man.
He is truly better than an tripod. His 6'5'' hight also helps get good angles ;)

BTW I swear my flats in this picture are tan, not white. 
Stupid Florida and its bright sunlight.


Weekend WrapUP

11:54 AM

This weekend was a crazy one. Wasn't till Sunday afternoon did I get a chance to relax.

Friday was Momma/Daughter day. We even had doctor appointments at the same time.
(yes we are that "kind" of mother/daughter lol)
Anyway, after our individual Dr. appointments we headed to lunch at Etho's in Winter Park. I am my moms only companion when it comes to eating at hippy/vegan/organic places. Which I don't mind cause I also love those kind of places :D

I got the Fungus Among Us on a gluten free brown rice rap with blue corn tortilla chips and mango salsa.
OH EM GEEE guys. It was so amazing. The portabella was delish and I'm seriously considering switching over to veganaise (shhhh don't tell my husband ;) ). My only downside was the wrap didn't really hold up, which didn't really surprise me since it's very rare to find a GF wrap that does lol

 photo image-14-07-14-09-32_zps0597e066.jpg

After lunch we ventured over to the new Trader Joe's. I thought since it opened 2 weeks ago it wouldn't be that bad on a Friday at 12/1pm.
I was wrong.
It was insane. I don't understand why they would have such little parking for a place that would draw a lot of people to it.
I thought the store itself was cool and interesting. Definitely had a lot of organic produce which I was excited about. And, I about had a heart attack when I saw their organic popcorn was only $1.50 (or around that price).
Below is what I picked up in the madness.
(Props to my momma for driving me down there and going on the Trader Joes adventure with me :) )
 photo IMG_0824_zps96a978d4.jpg
LEFT TO RIGHT: Organic Spinach, Green Peppers, Ketchup, 2 bags of popcorn, Baby Carrots, Onions.

I am not sure if I would go there again. Just because finding parking was horrible and it kind of took away from the experience of shopping at the store. I did see they were putting a Shake Shack in the same shopping center . I LOVE shake shack. That will probably be the only reason I would ever consider going down there and battling the crazy parking lot like that again.

Saturday morning I was planning on being more productive to be honest. But I felt like poo most of the morning so I did little to nothing.
However, the hubster and I decided to take a little spontaneous day date trip to Orlando. First stoping at Jason's Deli for lunch and then we decided to brave Ikea on a Saturday, during tourist season.
 photo IMG_0829_zpsdd43e4b1.jpg photo IMG_0830_zps9246ea30.jpg
We managed ok. My husband pushing me through the maze that is Ikea and not letting me stop and browse like i normally do. Which of course led me to forgetting to stop and pick up some little things but thats ok. Now I have an excuse to go again lol.
 photo IMG_0831_zpsb63008e3.jpg

We came home and I spent the next 3ish hours putting together my desk and chair. I kept myself busy while putting it together by watching/listening to Emma. It wasn't to hard to put together. I just wasn't going to let a Swedish piece of furniture defeat me lol
 photo IMG_0838_zps22c21bc0.jpg

Now i have a new little home office to work in the mornings and the weekends when I need to get some work/school work done.

Hope you guys had an amazing weekend as well! 
Till next time readers! 

Annie's Homemade

Friday Favorite's

8:00 AM

Annie's Bunny Cookies:
I found these in Target the other day and about fell over. It's been forever since I had anything like these little cookies. You know how hard it is to be a nanny and not be able to have some of those little chocolate and vanilla flavored cookies the child you offers you?? It's hard. I had about half the bag in about two days. I've eaten Annie Homemade product for years. Mom used to buy their Mac and Cheese in bulk when I was young and now I still buy the same products (just gluten free) for my husband and I.

 photo 10535013_739762216066591_207009366_n_zpsec9dadbb.jpg

House Colors:
After the summer I'm really hoping the hubster and I can splurge a little and get our house painted. I love our cute little house but I dont know why someone decided to paint it yellow with green trim. I'm thinking we are going to go with something like the picture below. What do ya'll think?

Shrimp Scampi:
If you haven't seen it already. Check out my recipe for Gluten Free Shrimp Scampi. Its probably the yummiest thing I have made in a long time. You can click the photo below to go to the post.
 photo IMG_8331title_zps2963ea6f.jpg

LC Conrad July Collection:
I think Lauren Conrads clothes are in 75% of my Friday Favorite post's. Which I don't mind. Some of the dresses from her July collection are amazing. If I had the money I would buy ALL THE DRESSES.

My hubby and I:
I could list for hours some of my favorite things about my relationship with my husband. One of my favorite things is how we tend to reference Frozen for somethings in our lives. For instance when we are talking about good things we tend to say "all good things, all good things" in an Olaf voice. We have know shame.

Goodie Two Sleeves:
This company has the funniest shirts. I own the Rhino on pictures below. I already see like two I want to purchase soon! Check out their website here: http://shopgoodie.com/


Join me!

8:00 AM

You should join me this coming November if you happen to be in the Orlando area on the 22nd!

 photo Ej0PtsTKKXwhjcmtt6pREP2XoHsPUrFJaja8xFTZCz1FzmWxhcYgD4i7LBBSRznD_zpsd7d7b599.png

I'm attending the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention at the Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World Orlando.

Here is a little about the conference.

The Food Allergy and Celiac Convention is hosted by two individuals with extensive knowledge about celiac disease, gluten-free awareness, and food allergies: Laurie Sadowski (lauriesadowski.com) and Sarah Norris (glutenfreedairyfreewdw.com) are also experienced in dealing with food allergies at WDW, and have developed relationships with the Special Diets, chefs, and event planning teams there. Focused on building awareness on health and lifestyle–not just the food, but definitely the food–the convention is set to highlight awareness at the most magical place on earth!
Lean even more here : http://celebrateawareness.com/about-2/

I can't wait for this conference! I mean, it is AT Disney World and it is about living with Food Allergies and bringing about awareness. That's a win win if I do say so myself.
My whole family and I all own Disney seasonal and annual passes to Disney, so we go quite often when we can. Disney has been amazing about getting on the "Food Allergy" train. Many of the workers I have come in contact with at Disney when buying food or eating at a restaurant have been extremely helpful and knowledgeable when I let them know of my Gluten allergy.

I am most excited for the culinary demonstrations by Disney chef's at the conference. My inner "wanna be" chef is really looking forward to it.
And of course any little goodies I happen to pick up there is a major plus.too  ;)

I am a part of the Blogger Street Team alongside my mother and many other wonderful bloggers that are going to be using social media to our hearts content before and during the conference.

Let me know if you are going to come join or already are planning on coming in the comments!

 photo BST-logocopy_zps6d1eddc4.png

gluten free

R4U: Shrimp Scampi

8:00 AM

 photo IMG_8331title_zps2963ea6f.jpg

The hubster has been wanting a meal with shrimp for weeks now. We finally picked up some shrimp at a local fish market and I decided if we were going to eat shrimp, we were going to eat it healthily (is that even a word?).
I was a little hesitant to make a shrimp scampi, mostly because I had never made it before.
Hence why there is only one picture for this post... because I was so focused on making sure the meal came out not burnt or horrible tasting.
Which it did not! It was delicious. When I did my first taste test I walked out to Steve and said "You married a (excuse my language) damn good cook"

Recipe 4 You: Shrimp Scampi  

Below is the recipe I used. It is from Simply Recipes. I found her recipe on Pinterest
(seriously, how did we live without pinterest)


  • 1 pound large (16-20 count) shrimp, shelled* and de-veined, tail-on for presentation if you want
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, slivered, or 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* Whether you prepare the shrimp shell on or off is really up to you. Cooking the shrimp with the shells still on will impart more flavor, but they are much messier to eat. Shelling the shrimp before cooking them will make the shrimp a lot easier to eat and you can save the shells forshellfish stock if you want.


1 Heat a sauté pan on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, foams up and subsides, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. If using unsalted butter, sprinkle with salt. Sauté for a minute, or until you see the edges of some of the garlic just beginning to brown.
2 As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the shrimp to the pan. Then add the white wine and stir to combine and coat the shrimp with the butter, oil, and wine. Spread the shrimp out in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat to the highest setting and let the wine boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
3 Turn the shrimp over, or toss them so the cooked sides are mostly facing up, and boil the wine for another minute. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice and black pepper.
Serve alone, with crusty bread, over pasta, or over rice (for gluten-free version).

I used a Gluten Free Linguine pasta from Ancient Harvests instead of rice. Though if you make it with GF pasta like I did, make the pasta close to the end of cooking the shrimp or after. I made the rookie mistake by making my pasta before hand and let it stay in the pan to keep warm and clumped together like GF pasta tends to do sometimes. 
I also used a Pino Grigio for the white wine part of the recipe. It gave the shrimp a little kick but a savory not spicy kick. 

Till next time friends! 


Friday Favorites

8:00 AM

Society 6:
I love this website. It has so many interesting design's and products. I've already pinned somethings that I want to buy for our house.
Like, how cute is the Wookie and Han bag? I need to add this to my star wars collection lol

 photo 5626042_1825111-bagtote16_b_zpsee0905ab.jpg

NASCAR time:
The hubster has to work most of today so we wont be able to join friends for 4th of July celebrations like normal because he wont be getting home in time. However, he will be home in time for us to head up to Daytona to watch cars go around in a circle! (and no i am NOT being sarcastic). The past couple of years, I have gone to NASCAR races with my dad. So we are gonna celebrate the red, white, and blue by watching some good ol' nascar. ( no, you may not comment on how boring nascar is, to each his own and my own is liking nascar ;) )

Ok, I know I have ENOUGH mugs in my kitchen cabnit but COMON. How cute is olaf!
 photo 8f823946d0d0df6dd1e910ef38b7199b_zpsa246db87.jpg

Food Allergy and Celiac Convention:
I am so excited about this! I am a part of the blogger street team for this convention in November. If you are in the Orlando area on the 22nd of November COME to this convention. There is going to be tons of vendors, speakers, and culinary demonstrations.
Learn more at: http://celebrateawareness.com/
 photo Ej0PtsTKKXwhjcmtt6pREP2XoHsPUrFJaja8xFTZCz1FzmWxhcYgD4i7LBBSRznD_zpsd7d7b599.png


DIY Chalkboard

1:49 PM

 photo DIYchalkboard_zpse7acf848.jpg

For a while now, I've been wanting to do something to my kitchen to make it more "homey". Everything but the appliances in our kitchen need to be upgraded. However, us poor newlyweds have no money to do a full kitchen remodel so we take little DIY steps to help make our house better (and better looking).

Below is how we did our own DIY Chalkboard. The finished product really made out kitchen feel more "homey".
As we were doing this project, I took the time to document it for you guys!
These are not perfect step by step directions but you can get a rough idea how to do one yourself.

 photo IMG_8268_zpsab98d08e.jpg
Now as I write this, I am not home to get actual measurements of the size of our bored.
When I measured it, I didn't have any "set measurements", I just went by my eyes and measured how big and wide I wanted it. So, I would say don't worry about having "set measurements" to much. Just make it the size you want. It is your chalkboard for goodness sake! lol.
Once you know how big you would like your board. Use painters tape (aka blue tape) to tape out the board on the space of wall you would like it on.
 photo IMG_8279_zps3400233b.jpg
Then, get to painting. We used a Chalkboard paint by Valspar and it worked really well.

 photo IMG_8286_zps4bcff302.jpg

I ended up doing about 4 coats. But don't fret friend! 
It dries REALLY quickly so you will be able to paint another coat after about a half an hour or so.

 photo IMG_8291_zps2136afc8.jpg

After your final coat let the entire thing sit for 24-48 hours.

 photo IMG_8293_zps071fa081.jpg

After 24-48 hours take a pice of chalk and rub it up and down all over your chalkboard. This is called "seasoning the board" and will help make whatever you write on your board first not be permanently shown on the board.
After your have rubbed the chalk all over it, take a damp rag or sponge and wipe your chalk bored and it should look like the picture below.

 DIY ChalkBoard

And Tada!
My husband bought and cut the trim to the measurements of the square to make the board look more finished.

 photo IMG_8313_zps75ec14d5.jpg

It was a pretty easy project. The only thing I didn't do that I wished I would have done was sanded the wall down a little before painting. There were some spots towards the top that were a bit bumpy from the wall but other than that it turned out rather fine.

Till next time friends!