Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Foodday

Ok lovebugs! You know what day it is!  Time for some delicious recipes from all of you!  

I hope you all have a very safe and happy New Year.  Hug someone you love and remember to be a better you in 2011.

Lobster Potstickers
c/o Dad

8oz fresh cleaned shrimp 
2 oz fresh, cooked lobster chopped into small pieces 
4fl.oz heavy cream 
1T roughly chopped cilantro 
1tsp. Kecap Manis (Indonesian soy sauce)
1 pack Gyoza wrappers
Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Thoroughly dry the shrimp and lobster by pressing them between paper towels. Change the towels and repeat 2 or 3 times to ensure that they are very dry. 
2. Place the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor and season well with salt and pepper 
3. Add the Kecap Manis and pulse the food processor until the shrimp is roughly chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process until the shrimp forms a paste. 
4. With the food processor running- slowly drizzle in the heavy cream and process briefly to create a smooth consistency 
5. Remove the shrimp from the food processor and fold in the chopped lobster meat and cilantro. 
6. To make the pot stickers: 
   a. Place about 1 teaspoon of the mixture into the center of a round gyoza wrapper 
   b. Dip your finger in a bowl of water and wet the outside perimeter of the wrapper. 
   c. Next fold the wrapper toward the center in 3 places to form a triangle. 
   d. Pinch the edges together using the water as a glue to hold them together – make sure to push out any air that gets trapped inside. 
7. To cook the pot stickers: 
   a. Heat a skillet on medium 
   b. Place a teaspoon of oil in the pan and swirl to cover the bottom 
   c. Add about a quarter of the pot stickers to the pan side by side with the bottom flat side down 
   d. When the pot stickers get brown on the bottom, add about 1/3 cup of water and cover with a tight fitting lid. 
   e. When the water is all absorbed and the pot stickers are firm – they are done. 
8. Serve immediately as an appetizer or hors d’ oeuvre with more of the Kecap Manis on the side for dipping

Strawberry Cake with Pink Champagne Buttercream
c/o Kitchen Bellicious

85g (6 tbsp) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 punnets (1 pound) strawberries, hulled and halved (if you wanted to make it a little boozier, you could marinate the strawberries in pink champagne overnight)

For the buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
315g butter, room temperature
2/3 cup pink champagne
Optional: 1 punnet fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate, white chocolate flakes

Grease and line two 20cm round cake tins and preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Split mixture between the two prepared tins and smooth tops with a spatula. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, 1 punnet per tin, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries (1 tbsp for each tin). Bake cakes for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees. Bake until cakes are golden brown and firm to the touch, about 40-45 mins (if on top and bottom rack, switch cakes between racks halfway through). Let cool in tin on a wire rack, then turn out. Can be stored in an airtight container for a day or so before icing.

Chicken Sausage Stuffed Shells
c/o Kitchen Bellicious


1 lb chicken sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 package of large pasta shells, cooked per package directions
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
4 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp salt and pepper each
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 lemon pepper
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes


Preheat your oven to 350. Coat a 13×9 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large saucepan saute your veggies along with the garlic. Add your crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season with 1 tsp salt and pepper each, the thyme, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.Once your chicken sausage has been cooked. In a large bowl, combine your ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp salt and pepper each, the lemon pepper and cayenne pepper, egg and breadcrumbs. Add in your chicken sausage and spinach. Layer the baking dish with a few good spoonfuls of your tomato sauce that you made earlier. Fill Place your pasta shells over the tomato sauce and fill each shell with the chicken sausage mixture. Top with the more tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.

c/o Stephanie Cooks
2 cups sweet onions, peeled and chopped
8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (NOT the white grated powder- you want shredded so it melts)
1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- Combine all of the above ingredients well in a bowl. Transfer to an oven safe dish.
3- Bake for 45 minutes until bubbling and slightly browned. Serve with crackers, sliced bread, or chips.

That's all for 2010! Thank you so so much for hanging out with me!  Be fabulous today!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Accessory

Hey lovebugs!  It's almost time for New Years, which means sparkly dresses, resolutions, and champagne. Now a lot of blogs have done fabulous posts on NYE dresses, if you're still looking you HAVE to check out:  BonBon Rose Girls and Wit & Whimsy.  They have excellent options and ideas.

I thought I would try something a little different and instead of offering dress choices, why not accessory choices?  Sound good? Fabulous, let's go!

Kate Spade, Foiled Again, $75
This is the perfect clutch for NYE.  You can stuff lipstick, keys, phone, and even roll up flats in here!

I love the elegant simplicity of this necklace.  This would be perfect with an LBD or jeans in 2011.

Cole Haan, bow belt, $39.95
I'm loving this find over at the Cole Haan sale.  Look at the detail on the bow!  This would spice up any solid color NYE dress or put it over a cardigan.

Target, Merona Euna pumps, $24.99
Just because it's Target doesn't mean you can't score a pair of fabulous heels.  I'm a sucker for rounded toe, and this print certainly adds some spice!

New Years should be sparkle and sass.  It's the one night a year where no one cares if the dress is a little too young for you, or if that outfit is too dressy for the party.  If you're workin' it, you are the party.

Be fabulous today.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Laptop Luxury

Today's post is a request from a good friend who wants a fabulous work bag.  Her requests are simple: it has to fit a laptop, have an outside pocket for keys, and nothing loud.  Sounds easy enough right?  Let's see what I can find.

Also- who has Friday Foodday recipes to share?

Jessica Simpson, Cypress Bag, $80
I like the dual straps on this bag and the minimal hardware.  But it is only 14' long so depending on the size of the laptop, that would be something to consider.

Melie Bianco, Mariah, $88
This is a nice do it all bag, neutral color and on the inside the lining is cream with black polka dots.  I love a good surprise lining.

17 Coakley, Travel Tote, $206
OK bear with me, I know this is way over the TCB budget, but this request OKed it so look away if you must.  This bag has great pockets and its 17' so it could fit any sized laptop and then some.

Nunzia design, Sophia, $62
I like this bag because it has a removable laptop sleeve, though, it is a bit summery.

I really like this bag.  It's no-nonsense design makes it functional and not flashy.  It has a removable laptop sleeve and great pockets to store your phone, business cards, etc.

A functional laptop work bag can be tough to find for us fashionistas.  Sometimes you can find what you're looking for at a name brand store like Nordstroms, but I find you may want to broaden you normal search and look at luggage stores as well.  Overstock also has a great selection.

Be fabulous today.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You want more, I'll give you more!

Hey lovebugs, I'm sorry for the late post today, but this week the BF and I are on staycation so I slept in.

Since I got such raves about yesterday's post on storage, I thought I'd give you more of what you loved!

In the meantime, I would just love to hear what Santa brought you.  Everything you hoped for?  Having trouble figuring out what to pair that new blouse with? Got a gift card and want to find the best deal? Let me know and I would be more than happy to help!!!

Martha Stewart knows what she's doing.  The woman went to jail, you think she didn't think about shoe storage while she was there? Exactly.  This fits 9 pairs of shoes and it stacks up!  The more the merrier.

Target, Flip flop shoe file, $14
Maybe you didn't get tons of flip flops for Christmas but this could also work to store belts and scarves! I love that it's clear so you can see what you're storing.

Container Store, roll out lid holder, $45
Did you get new pots and pans this year? How about an easy way to store and access the lids?  This little tool is worth every penny.

Container Store, Wing lid ornament holder, $15
Sadly, it is time to take the tree down.  Why not put those ornaments away carefully and store them properly with something like this?

Urban Outfitters, Little Birch tree stand, $32
I have this in my room and I love it.  Ok, I have 3, they rock.

Those are my storage picks.  I like to be able to see the things I store, look at my loot, if you will.  
It's very important to be able to have the clothes and shoes visible, otherwise when are you going to wear them? 

Be fabulous today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Well that was awesome, now where do I put it?

Exactly.  Santa was good to you? Fabulous! You deserved it.  Every single present.  But now that the cookies have been eaten, the gift wrap is in the trash, and the tags are off, what are you to do?

Fear not lovebugs! Today's post is all about storage!!!

Container Store, drawer organizer, $8.99
Did Santa bring you new socks? Maybe scarves?  Put these in your drawers and you are ready to organize!

Container Store, Hanging Sweater bag, $19.99
I love hanging bags for sweaters and does, such a great use of vertical space!, 6 blouse tier hanger, $5
Again, a great use of vertical space and more room for more shirts!, hanging purse organizer, $12
Purses are always tough to store. Use this organizer and you can always see your bags!

Be fabulous today

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Hey love bugs!

Hope Santa was very good to you this year. I'd love to hear what you got! Monday I will feature a very special storage post so you'll know the best ways to store your new loot!

Be fabulous today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Foodday

It's Friday Foodday Christmas Eve edition!!!!!

Have a Happy Holiday all!

Onion Tart

  • -1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
  • -2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • -3 large Vidalia onions or other sweet variety, thinly sliced
  • -4 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • -Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • -1/3 cup good quality beef stock


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a work surface, roll the puff pastry into a roughly 10 by 16-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, trim uneven edges to make a perfect rectangle. Evenly cut off the outer 1 inch of each side of the rectangle in strips; put the puff sheet on the baking sheet. Dip your finger in water and run around the top edges of the rectangle and replace the removed strips of pastry along the edges of the sheet, pressing lightly to adhere. With a fork, pierce the interior of the tart shell to prevent rising; do not pierce the adhered edges. Bake until the outer edges have puffed and are golden in color; about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and thyme sprigs and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Add the stock, a tablespoon at a time, as the pan gets dry, scraping and stirring the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom oft the pan. When the onions are caramelized to a dark golden color, remove from the heat and discard the leafless thyme sprigs (the leaves fall off while cooking).
When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Evenly spread the caramelized onions on the cooked pastry shell and heat in the oven until warmed through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven, to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish each wedge with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately and enjoy!

  • 100 or so pearl onions, unpeeled (from 3 10-ounce bags)
  • 2 1/2 ounces bacon (applewood-smoked is suggested), cut into a small dice
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1/2 bunch chives, cut into 1/2-inch segments
  • Kosher salt, to taste 

Blanch the pearl onions for 3 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain, shock in a bath of ice water, and drain again. Peel the onions (making a slit with a paring knife down the side made this easiest for me), leaving a little of the root end intact.

In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp, then remove it with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Leave only two tablespoons of the cooking fat in the pan, and add the pearl onions, heavy cream and nutmeg. Add salt to taste.

Cover the pot with a lid, leaving it a little ajar. Cook onions until they are nearly cooked through, about 90 percent of the way then remove the lid and finish cooking the onions while reducing the cream by half. Stir in the sherry.

If your onions are done cooking before the cream has sufficiently reduced or if you’re unsure about the alcohol in the sherry, remove the onions with a slotted spoon and transfer them to your serving dish. Continue cooking the remaining sauce to the desired consistency and taste and pour it back over the onions.

Garnish with bacon and chives and don’t forget to share.

  • 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate candies
  • 1/2 cup hot fudge topping, heated, if desired

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-inch pizza pan with shortening, or spray with cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough into pieces and press out dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Sprinkle marshmallows and candies evenly over crust. Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed. Drizzle hot fudge topping over top. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Perfect Holiday Outfit

Merry Christmas Eve Eve lovebugs!

I hope you are all heading to family and friends homes today and tomorrow.  Spending time with loved ones and giving gifts from the heart.  I'm so happy to have been a part of you daily reading this holiday season and I cannot wait to continue in 2011.

Today's post is about the perfect semi-dressy outfit for __________. You know what I mean, church, Christmas dinner, holiday party, take your pick.  You want to look fabulous (obvi) but you don't want to look like a walking Christmas card either.  My advice is to stick with a few basics: cords, chunky sweaters, dresses and skirts with tights.  Use your accessories to show you Christmas spirit.

Love, love, love.  Wear with a long necklace or a skinny belt.

Ann Taylor, Flocked plaid mini, $47 with code SAVE40
I love this skirt, so much visual impact without making your hips look wide.

Halogen, Beaded sweater, $39
I love the embellishment right down to the top of the pockets. Pair this with black skinny cords.

Modcloth, Sheer with me dress, $52.99
Not too holiday, just perfect for dinner or a party with maybe a shoe like this.....

Modcloth, Deck the toes, $30

Be fabulous today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dos and Don'ts of the Holiday Party

Hey there!  As the best of holiday of the year approaches, I wanted to show you something that I think most certainly qualifies as the handbook of holiday parties.  This list has been circulating the web lately and I just had to share it with you!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare... You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas! 

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? 

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. 

8. Same for pies. Apple
, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. 

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Warm and Cozy

Lovebugs.  I'm sick.  It's official.  Welcome to winter.  My face feels like a water bed.  Major bummer.

While I would love to offer you an adorable intro to today's post, it's pretty much this:

This is what I really want to be wearing right now.

Nordstrom, Shimera knit pjs, $58

LL Bean, Wicked good moccasins, $49.50

Nick & Nora, footed pajamas, $23

Charter Club, Super Soft Set, $18

Forever 21, warm slipper socks, $10.80

Stay warm and healthy this week!

Be fabulous today.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guest Post- What Will You Do Differently Next Year?

Today's guest post is from LadyxMusketeer .  We are doing a blog swap about what we will do differently next year.  She rocks, go check out her blog if you get a chance.  And look for my post over on her site later today!

The topic is Action: What will you do next year that you’ve been putting off for too long?  So what will I do next year that I’ve been putting off for too long? 

I will learn to love myself.

It sounds simple, to love oneself,  I’m aware but in actuality it is one of the hardest things that I think anyone could possibly do.  I know for me it’s been one helluva struggle. To be able to actually like who I am  as an individual and to like what I see in the mirror on a daily basis is difficult. I’ve always struggled with fully loving myself and this year has been no different. However, I did not actively try to love myself this year. Instead I opted to pretend to love myself whenever I was in the presence of others or to sit and feel sorry for myself.

This insecurity has followed me around for some time now. There have been times where I have tried to learn to love myself but I would then turn around and allow a single negative comment to completely throw me off track. I’m here to say, not any longer. This year will mark a new beginning for me. I am going to actively work on loving myself. Not partially. Not three quarters of the way. The whole enchilada.

I WILL love myself. I WILL change what needs to be changed in order to achieve that goal. I will buckle down and make the effort to go to the gym on a more regular basis. I will look inwards to my faith for strength and deliverance when the going gets tough. I am going to do this because 2011 is the year for change. I will be happy with who I am and be comfortable in the skin I am in, once and for all. No longer will I let one persons opinion of me completely tarnish the way I view myself. After all, it is just that, one persons opinion. I will not depend upon what others think to make me happy. I will make myself happy.

So, give me your best shot 2011, try to break me down but I will learn to finally be at peace with who I am and love myself unconditionally.

Until next time,