Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite recipes this week!

Bacon & Onion Pizza with Pesto Cream Sauce
c/o Country Cleaver
8 oz of your favorite dough recipe (or store bought… Shh! I won’t tell!)
½ head of roasted garlic
Olive oil
¼ cup ricotta
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup basil pesto
Flour for rolling the dough (~1 Tbls)
¼ lb bacon, in a large dice
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 oz whiskey (or 1 heaping tsp sugar)
½ cup mozzarella

1. Make the dough, if not already prepared.
2. If you don’t have roasted garlic laying around, cut the top off of a head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a dish at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes or until fragrant. Cool, and remove from the head by squeezing the base of the bulb.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta and sour cream. Fold in the pesto. Season with freshly ground pepper. Put in refrigerator to meld until assembly.
4. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy (but not burned). Remove from pan in a slotted spoon, and drain on a paper towel.
5. In the reserved bacon fat, start to cook the onions over medium heat. Salt, and slowly cook until just starting to brown (about 20 minutes). Finish the onions by adding the whiskey or sugar. Cook until alcohol is dissolve, or onions are fully caramelized and sugar is cooked down.
6. Assembly! Roll out the dough – I made mine into a square half-sheet pan lined with parchment, but adjust based on your pizza skill.
7. Spread pesto-cream mixture over the dough, be sure to leave room for crust.
8. Sprinkle with cheese.
9. Dot with ½ head of roasted garlic.
10. Sprinkle bacon and onion over the top.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for about 8-12 minutes – but adjust the temperature and cooking time to suit your baking method (my pie took a little longer because of the dark base of the baking sheet). Check often if you’re unsure (with the light, don’t open the door!) or a pizza novice.
12. Enjoy with a glass of wine and a side salad. If you’re feeling REALLY fancy, you can always just 

put your balsamic-dressed greens right on top of the hot pizza… but do whatever moves you.

Mushroom Stroganoff
c/o Skinny Taste

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth (or beef if you're a carnivore)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 5 oz sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • 8 oz sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • 3.5 oz Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp white wine or sherry
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 8 oz uncooked noodles 
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Cook noodles in a pot of salted water according to package directions, I like to under-cook them a bit so I can mix it with the sauce and let it finish cooking.

Meanwhile, while the water starts to boil for the noodles, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter over medium heat and add onions to the pan. Cook 2 - 3 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; stir and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. 

Add wine; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds. Stir in sour cream; add noodles, mix well and garnish with parsley if desired.

Fried Green Tomatoes
3 large green tomatoes, sliced into 1″ thick slices
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups vegetable oil

  1. In a shallow dish, mix together both kinds of breadcrumbs, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. In another shallow dish, mix together buttermilk and eggs.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Dip a green tomato slice in the egg wash mixture then cover with breadcrumb mixture, lightly pressing it onto the tomato. Shake off excess and gently place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until all slices have been coated.
  5. In a deep pot, bring vegetable oil to 350 degrees using a thermometer.
  6. Fry two to three tomatoes at a time, you don’t want to crowd the pot too much. Fry each side 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown, then flip over and fry the other side.
  7. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to let excess oil drip off. Repeat until all tomatoes have been fried.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite sauce. We created a mayo and ketchup based sauce.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Anything But Pencil Pusher

Pencil skirts have always been and will always be a staple in every woman's wardrobe. They come in black, navy, pink, houndstooth, but let's try something new, something unexpected. A patterned pencil.

This skirt is absolutely gorgeous. The geometric print mixed with bursts of color, and hello, the price.

A sweet mushroom print skirt that is just adorable for an office setting with a white tie silk blouse.

A fabulous almost watercolor canvas design for a skirt. You go Vera.

Are you kidding me? I'm beyond smitten with this skirt. You know who would wear this? Wait for it...Kate freaking Middleton. Go, go now and buy it.

I could wear a pencil skirt 9-5 everyday for the rest of eternity but I'm just loving the opportunity to mix in some sass. Embrace the pattern!

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Buckle Up!

Happy humpday lovebugs! We're getting there. Today we're enjoying an equestrian inspired piece of jewelry, the buckle bangle. It is a classic piece that is just perfect for layering.

Classic, simple and I love the mix of metals. 

Juicy Couture, Wide Buckle Bangle, $88
The heaviness of this bangle makes it a great statement piece. 

Bauble Bar, Avocado Link Wrap, $32
How about a pop of color with your buckle? Bauble Bar has done the layering for you!

This is a beautiful and light bangle with an interesting and vintage looking buckle.

Equestrian inspired fashion is huge this season, and this simple take on a bangle is a great and easy way to integrate the trend into your wardrobe.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


There are a plethora of coats you can wear in the fall, the quilted, the anorak, and more but today we're looking at the trench; and while the khaki trench is classic, what's big this fall is the black trench. It's very sleek and subtle. Take a look at these options.

You want something classic, durable, dependable, and never going out of style? London Fog. Under $100. This is what we like to call a staple.

Are you more petite? This is a great option for you. Make sure the hem hits just below the waistline but not past the crotch.

Steve Madden, Asymmetrical Zip Jacket, $89
Certainly something out of the box when you're thinking of the classic trench. I love the collar and faux leather belt.

On sale from $230! Woo! Try switching out this belt with a skinny glitter or neon belt.

I love a great trench for fall, if you're going to invest, I recommend finding one that is waterproof NOT water resistant. Pay attention ladies!

Be fabulous today!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm Bossy

Hey lovebugs!
Happy Monday to you. I'm just loving this weather right now. I enjoyed the weekend with walks with Norman and The Bf and enjoyed a cocktail or three at Lincoln.

Now we're back to work, and in order to turn that frown upside down, we're looking at embossed clutches. I love the look of embossing because it's high impact without a high price tag.

BCBG MaxAzaria, Harlow Clutch, $78
This beautiful neutral would dress up a pair of jeans or an LBD. I love the understated metal enclosure.

Banana Republic, Camilla frame clutch, $59
It's very difficult to find navy accessories that don't look like they belonged to your grandmother. This chic little bag is the perfect answer.

You can only find these in store because its sold out online, and for good reason. It is an essential four season clutch.

Nordstrom, Tarnish Plate Clutch, $64
What a beautiful blush bag. I love the metal details on the bottom edges.

Try an embossed bag when you need a little extra shimmer to an outfit. There is a color for every season in this trend.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Foodday

We made it! Happy Friday! I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Here are my favorite recipes for this week.

Skillet Chocolate Sheet Cake
c/o Kitchen Bellicious
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
dash salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the Topping:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
3-4 tablespoons milk (as needed for consistency)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together and set aside.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, bring the butter, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, and water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the dry ingredients well. Mix in the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Bake the skillet cake at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
While the cake starts to cool, make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil. Remove them from heat and add the icing sugar, nuts, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over the warm cake, spread with a spatula.

Lighter Veggie Alfredo Pasta
1 pound pasta, any shape
Cooking spray
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, diced
1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
2 cups baby spinach
1 jar Classico Light Asiago Romano Alfredo sauce
Salt and pepper

1- Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the pasta according to packaging directions.
2- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add garlic, stirring for about one minute. Add the mushrooms, cook until soft. Add the red peppers and spinach.
3- Add the sauce, stir well, season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook together for 5-7 minutes.
4- Drain the pasta, toss the pasta with the sauce and veggie mixture.
5- Transfer to a 9x13 dish, bake 15-20 minutes.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
c/o Skinny Taste

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt.Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic.Cook about 5 minutes on low heat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

                                Thursday, September 20, 2012

                                That's One Sassy Oxymoron

                                Happy almost Friday lovebugs,

                                Today we're looking at what is a bit of an oxymoron: the full mini. A great full skirt is always in style, but this is a mini version! Mega volume with not a lot of length.

                                A great textured mini that has some good structure to it. This would go great with booties.

                                You want a leg lengthener? Get this skirt. A perfect flouncy piece that is easy, breezy and sexy.

                                So this skirt could use a better name but who doesn't love an elastic waistband. I mean, deep down, it's all about the elastic waist band.

                                Down from $150, this skirt is fabulous. Add some lace on top and you are a show stopper.

                                The full mini may not always be appropriate for the office (use your own judgement, or the looks of others) but maybe adding some tights to the ensemble make it just right for date night.

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Wednesday, September 19, 2012

                                Bringing Bow Back

                                It's no secret I'm a sucker for bows. And I'm so happy they're making their way to shoes. Big this season is the bow back trend on shoes. Today let's look at some heels that lay on the sass but with the sweetness that balances it all out.

                                Modcloth, Raise the roof heels, $42
                                Just, yes. Enjoy it. Stacked heel, purple bow back. Someone give me a black mini and tights and let's go out.

                                This bootie has a hidden platform and the sassy cutout is just to die for.

                                My girl Jessica has done it again. These rounded toe leopard print heels are fabulous. The tiny bow back is the perfect add on.

                                Alloy, Gabriella Mini Wedge, $32
                                A little wedge perhaps? These beauties are perfect for a cord mini.

                                The bow back heels are a bit pin up-y but in a sassy sort of way. I think pairing these with jeans or a mini make it perfectly appropriate for anytime.

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Tuesday, September 18, 2012

                                Clutching on

                                A great trend this fall is the portfolio clutch. I love it because it's a little masculine, a little preppy and a lot chic. Take a look at these oversized clutches that are perfect for business or pleasure.

                                Here's the problem with Etsy, there's only one of these. One of these fabulous vintage clutches. Run.

                                The fold over fastener on this bag makes it so easy to grab and go, I love the neutral that will go with everything.

                                This clutch is a little boho with the patchwork leather, but the hard lines make it very clean and chic.

                                Coast, Serena Clutch, $80
                                Well hello oxblood portfolio clutch, I believe we've hit the fall trend trifecta!

                                How are you feeling about oversized portfolio clutches? You may have to slim down what you toss into your bag, but the overall look will be worth it!

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Monday, September 17, 2012

                                Patterned Pleasures

                                Happy Monday lovebugs! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I don't know how the weather is around you but here in DC it is stunning. You can walk to work and not be in a full sweat by the time you get the office. You can even layer on, dare I say it? A cardigan! Today we're taking a looking at some fantastic graphic cardigans that are perfect to wear right now.

                                How about this fantastic zig zag pattern, perfect for work or play.

                                Nordstrom Rack, BP Shawl Collar Cardigan, $48
                                Hello prep central! I love this shawl collar cardi. Wear it open and belt it or button up and head out!

                                So while I'd love to post a Kate Spade cardigan on here given that they are rocking the dots this fall, it's not exactly in the budget, so how about this fantastic blurred spot cardigan from Loft? It comes in two colors.

                                Anthropologie, Sedimentology Cardigan, $29 (!!)
                                Obsessed with this 50s inspired cardigan. The colors are so cheery and the extended short sleeve is perfect for fall!

                                Cardigans are one of my all time favorite items to have in my closet because they work for everything. You will see a lot of them on TCB this fall and winter. Graphic cardigans are a great way to mix in some patterned interest to your outfit.

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Friday, September 14, 2012

                                Friday Foodday

                                Happy Friday lovebugs! Here are some of my favorite recipes this week.

                                Parmesan and Garlic Linguine
                                c/o Lauren's Latest
                                1/2 pound linguine pasta
                                2 tablespoons salted butter
                                1/4 cup heavy cream
                                1/2 clove garlic, finely minced 
                                lots of salt & pepper, to taste
                                1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid from pasta
                                3/4 cup freshly grated parmigianno reggiano
                                fresh parsley, for garnish {optional}

                                Bring large pot of water up to boil. Sprinkle in a generous amount of salt and stir in pasta. Cook linguine until al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Place linguine back into hot pot and stir in butter, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese until butter and cheese start to melt and create a sauce. Pour in some pasta water to get the sauce to the consistency you want. {I only used about 3 tablespoons.} Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Pour onto serving platter and top with fresh parsley and more grated cheese.

                                Cheeseburger Skillet Pie with Tomato Salad
                                c/o Real Simple

                                • 4  tablespoons  olive oil
                                • medium onion, chopped
                                • kosher salt and black pepper
                                • 1  pound  ground beef
                                • 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies
                                • 1 1/2  cups  biscuit mix, plus required ingredients
                                • 4  ounces  Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
                                • 1 1/2  pounds  assorted fresh tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
                                • small shallot, thinly sliced
                                • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
                                • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar

                                1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes (with their juices) and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more.
                                2. Prepare the biscuit mix according to the package directions. Drop 8 mounds of the dough onto the meat mixture in the skillet and sprinkle with the Cheddar. Bake until the biscuits are golden and cooked through, 18 to 22 minutes.
                                3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the fresh tomatoes, shallot, parsley, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Serve with the cheeseburger pie.

                                Bacon Jam and Guacamole Quesadilla with Fried Egg with Bacon Jam Vinaigrette Drizzle

                                • 1 (10 inch) tortilla
                                • 1/2 cup cheese such and cheddar and/or jack, shredded
                                • 2 tablespoons bacon jam
                                • 2 tablespoons guacamole
                                • 1 egg
                                • 1 teaspoon bacon jam vinaigrette (see below)

                                • Directions
                                  1. Place the tortilla in the pan, sprinkle half of the cheese over half of the tortilla, top with the bacon jam and guacamole and the remaining cheese.
                                  2. Fold the tortilla in half coving the filling and cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
                                  3. Fry the egg and serve on top of the quesadilla with a drizzle of bacon jam vinaigrette.

                                  bacon jam vinaigrette 
                                  • 3 tablespoons bacon jam
                                  • 2 tablespoons oil
                                  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
                                  • 1 teaspoon mustard
                                  • salt and pepper to taste
                                  1. Mix everything well.

                                Thursday, September 13, 2012

                                Start with a Shell

                                You know what's awesome about fall? So many things; football, apple cider, jeans, crock pots, football, but you know, one of my favorite things about fall is layering.  Adding more pieces to an ensemble. And the basis of layering it a sleeveless shell. This can sound boring, but add some collar detail or some  jeweled notes and you have a perfect canvas to just walk out the door or add a cardi, a blazer, a jean jacket, you name it!

                                The best part about this top is...everything. You can wear this with dark denim, a bright orange mini, you name it, it's going to work!

                                Forever 21, Rhinestone A-line tank, $22
                                This tank is very simple, a great going out top or add a bright blazer to it.

                                The Limited, Jeweled Halter, $14
                                I love this bubble hem and the color is such a stand out!

                                Great bib, great pleating and great neutral color. This will work for so many occasions.

                                A great shell is the perfect start to any outfit. Add layers or go simple. Either way, these embellished shirts are sure to please.

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Wednesday, September 12, 2012

                                The Tortoise and Your Ear

                                Happy humpday lovebugs,
                                Today I wanted to talk about some tortoise. We all know and love tortoise sunglasses, but recently, I'm really loving the casual cool of tortoise earrings. There is something very classy yet no frills about it.

                                Tory Burch, Walter, $78
                                Tory knows simple and chic and these studs do just that. I love the gold accents.

                                I'm picturing these with a tweed blazer and jeans, super library cool.

                                Banana Republic, Tortoise Stud Earring, $29
                                Doesn't get more everyday wear than this. Use these for suits, shorts, jeans, or dresses.

                                I love these because they're so artistic. Eye catching and unexpected.

                                Tortoise is timeless and seasonless so find a piece that you love and spend a little bit more on it so you can have it forever. I promise they will be one of your go to signature items.

                                Be fabulous today!