Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs,
I'm headed home this weekend for my mom's birthday. I hope you have a great one too.

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz lime
  • about 4 oz ginger beer 
Stir all but ginger beer with ice cubes and pour into a 10 oz glass. Fill with ginger beer. Lime garnish.

Breakfast Risotto
c/o A Taste of Home Cooking
4-6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Fresh chopped parsley, minced (optional)
Poached eggs for serving

Pour the broth into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth is at a simmer. 

In a heavy-bottomed skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the pancetta and cook until it has crisped and rendered its fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter into the pan, and then add the shallot. Cook until tender, then stir in the garlic just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, coating with the butter and toasting the kernels until they are translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the wine to the pan. Scrape up any browned bits and allow nearly all of the wine to be absorbed by the risotto. Add a ladle-full of warm chicken broth to the rice. Stir frequently and do not add another ladle of broth until the first is almost completely absorbed. Continue to stir frequently, adding broth by the ladle, until the rice is creamy and has just a slight bite in the center when you try it. This will take about 25 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in the cheese and pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately with poached eggs on top.

Key Lime Pie
c/o Smitten Kitchen
1 1/2 cups (155 grams) finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers) 16g 2.5T
3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
3 large egg yolks (though extra-large would do you no harm here)
1 14-ounce (396-gram) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup (155 ml) fresh lime juice (from about 1 dozen tiny key limes or 4 persian/regular limes)

To Finish
3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 to 2 tablespoons powdered or granulated sugar, to taste

Heat oven: To 350°F (176°C).

Make crust: Combine graham crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add butter and stir until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. I like to use the outer edge of a heavy measuring cup to press in neat, firm sides but nobody will be the wiser if you just use your fingertips. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack while you prepare filling. Leave oven on.

Make filling: Zest limes into the bottom of a medium bowl until you have 1 1/2 tablespoons. Beat zest and egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until thickened again, about 3 minutes more. Squeeze zested limes until you have 2/3 cups juice. Whisk into yolk mixture until combined. Pour into graham crust and bake pie for another 10 minutes, until set but not browned on top at all. Let pie cool completely before adding topping — you can do this outside (thank you, January!) or even in your freezer (but don’t forget about it) to hasten the process, and your pie reward, along.

Make topping: In a medium bowl, beat cream and sugar until soft peaks are formed. Spread over top of chilled pie. Ideally, pie should be chilled at least another 2 to 3 hours with the cream on top so that it can fully set before you take a slice, but whether that happens is between you and your pie. 
Key lime pie keeps in fridge for a week, though certainly not around here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Double Down

When looking at necklaces, I feel like your choices are either a statement necklace or teeny and delicate. What about something in-between? Today we're looking at double layer necklaces that offer some versatility and charm.

BaubleBar, Dahlia Layered Necklace, $36
How feminine and glamorous is this necklace? I love the blush hues to lighten up the heavier stones.

This understated double strand has tiny stones on the charms that offer just a touch of bling.

I love this necklace now with a crisp white button down and in the summer with a colorful sundress.

I like this necklace because it's quiet and unique. You can add it to a busy pattern and it still fits.

A double layer necklace is a great way to change up your usual jewelry rotation. Go statement, simple, chunky, or charmed, this trend is versatile and affordable.

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Say My Name

Let's get personal. When I say monogram do you think jewelry or towels? Ok, I'm about to blow your mind. Here are some gorgeous monogram pieces that aren't your standard accessory.

What did I tell you? Add your personal touch to this stunner or a top for just $6!

Love a simple pullover for when spring comes (when, not if) and this sweatshirt comes in four other colors.

This bag is classic. Add your monogram and it's your go to forever bag.

Mark & Graham, Wool Initial Ball Cap, $49
How adorable is this cap for winter? For him or her, I love this hat!

Monogramming your closet is always fun, especially when it's a piece that you will have forever. A beautiful leather bag, a simple initial on a sleeve, it just makes things personal.

Be fabulous today!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Makes Wide Turns

You know what simple trend I love for workwear? Wide leg trousers. I think they are crazy chic and make such a statement, which is tough to do with pants. When I did a quick search for them, everything I found was linen or resort wear. I'm sorry, but it's 7 degrees here. So I kept digging, and found these great winter options.

I'm telling you, you can wear this. It's corporate, feminine, and creates a teeny waist.

Loft, Peppered Tweed Pleated Wide Leg Trouser, $69 (extra 40% off today!)
Ooooh this texture. These pants are long and lean and a bit Olivia Pope.

A bit bolder but this elastic waist is comfort central.

I know there aren't many sizes left, but I had to grab this pair because of the price!

Wide leg trousers are an easy way to boost the wardrobe up a notch. They're versatile, dressy, and work with tops and sweaters that are already in your closet!

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Wake Me When it's Spring

Happy Monday lovebugs,
At this point in the grand scheme of winter, do you just want to give up? White flag raised Mother Nature, you win. It's this time of year when I search out cozy. Something warm, soft, but still put together. Today we're looking at a cocoon cardigan. It even sounds cozy.

Last Call Neiman Marcus, Knit Circle Cardigan Sweater, $56
Oh cozy. So warm and soft and this sale price? Don't mind if a do!

Currently 40% off, I am loving this pop of teal when I'm generally wearing a lot of black and grays in the winter. 

This sweater has some nice texture which usually means dry clean only, but would I do that to you? Heck no.

Speaking of texture, how about this beauty? This is chic and soft in so many ways.

Back in November, we looked at cocoon coats, but why not something to wrap yourself in all day long? These cocoon cardigans are functional, easy to layer, and machine washable.

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite recipes this week.

The Champagne Martini
c/o Five O Clock Cocktails
3-4 ounces champagne
3/4 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

Combine Cointreau, Luxardo, and Fee Brothers Peach Bitters in an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir briskly for about a minute with a bar spoon. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with champagne.
Cauliflower Salad
1 large head cauliflower
2 hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon dill relish
2 teaspoons finely diced onion
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, much like you would a potato for potato salad. Rinse and drain.
Add just enough water to cover the bottom of a 12 inch skillet and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower to the skillet and cover to steam.
Let steam for 3-5 minutes, checking for doneness with a fork. When a fork slides in easily, add the cauliflower to a large bowl. Do not overcook the cauliflower or your salad will be mushy. I prefer it tender-crisp.
Chop the hard boiled eggs into small pieces and add to the bowl with the cauliflower.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for the paprika, and whisk together to form the dressing for the salad.
Gently fold the dressing into the cauliflower and eggs, stirring to coat each piece. Sprinkle with paprika.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until cold.
Molten Chocolate Cake
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites

  1. Lightly grease 3 ramekins with butter.
  2. Melt the chocolate into the butter in a double boiler and let cool a bit.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar and mix into the chocolate.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks.
  5. Fold the chocolate into the egg whites.
  6. Pour the batter into the ramekins, no more than 2/3 full.
  7. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 7-10 minutes. The outside will be set and possibly crack and the inside will still be liquid.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes and then run a knife around the edges and tip onto a plate. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Breaking the Shell

We're getting a little hard core today on the blog. You have your array of clutches in your closet and they're great, but they aren't exactly what you want to grab this weekend. I hear you. I'm here for you. Today let's look at some clutches that stand for themselves. No, seriously, today we're looking at hard shell clutches.

Nordstrom, Glint Linear Ridge Clutch, $58
I love this clutch for a special occasion. It comes in gold and silver, but I prefer this gunmetal. Understated and still fancy.

This clutch is like a piece of art. I love the glamour but it's also very modern.

When talking hard shell, you usually think metallic. Enter this beauty. Break tradition.

Dress this bag up or down, its ready for date night or jeans.

A hard shell clutch is something a bit different when looking at a smaller purse but I think it makes a nice statement piece.

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

That Sale in the Window

Ok lovebugs, today we're looking at a trend that's gotten a whole lot of attention lately. I say lately because we've looked at this pattern back in June. The windowpane print. It's similar to a plaid but monochrome in color. The pattern can vary in size which is great to match proportion to your body type.

100% cotton and 100% fantastic. I love the balance of the black and light blue.

Starting simple? Try these sheer tights with a pencil skirt (of any color).

Old Navy, Pixie Pant in Windowpane, $17 (!!)
No, really, these pants at this price. Just go. Go now.

Lord and Taylor, Panacea Windowpane Cuff, $18
You thought this was just for clothing? Check out this great modern yet preppy windowpane cuff.

So there you have it. A lighter-feeling plaid print in the windowpane trend.

Be fabulous today!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Flounce Much?

What are your favorite words? Do you love potato, effervescent, what word in this lovely language speaks to you? One of my favorite words is flounce. It's flirty and fun. It describes a personality and today it describes a skirt hem.

Ann Taylor, Shimmer Flounce Skirt, $69
A beautiful, shimmery blush satin makes this skirt absolutely perfect for work, drinks, and date night.

A lovely midi length that is...wait for it...machine washable.

You've been waiting for this sale. This wool skirt comes in four colors so you can mix and match with your favorite sweater, button down, or blazer.

Piperlime, Keepsake Take you there, $56
Let's end with a print. How lovely is this floral? Two layers of flounce for maximum impact.

So get your flounce on. Try these bubbly and daring hemlines that next time you want to spice up your skirts.

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Foodday

Happy long weekend Friday lovebugs. Here are my favorite recipes this week.

The Ward Eight Cocktail
2 ounces straight rye whiskey, such as Knob Creek
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce grenadine
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Add the ingredients to a Boston shaker or cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sweet Potato Chili
1 can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
1 large Sweet Potato (Yam) , peeled and diced
1 can (15 oz) Crushed Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin (more or less to your taste)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Sour Cream for topping, optional
Cilantro, optional

Drain and rinse pinto beans until they run clear. Set aside in a sauce pan.
Peel and dice a large sweet potato (Yam), into very small bite sizes pieces. Set aside in sauce pan.
Open tomatoes and pour into the sauce pan.
Top with chili powder and cumin. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
Cover and bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, stirring often. Alternately, this can be made in a slow cooker and cooked until the sweet potatoes are always fork tender.
Serve immediately with sour cream on top. Or shredded pork if desired.

Peanut Butter S'mores Cookie Cups
1 stick butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a standard sized muffin tin with cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and beat until well combined.
Place around two teaspoonfuls of dough into the bottom of each muffin tin and use your fingers to press it in a bit to cover the bottom of each muffin well. Drop a teaspoon of marshmallow fluff and Nutella in the center of each. Roll a teaspoonful of dough into a ball and smash it flat and place it over the top of the fluff and Nutella. Repeat to cover each cookie.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before removing from the muffin tin.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    Stripe Tease

    Let's have some fun with stripes today. Have you tried a mixed stripe pattern? It's a style that mixes two or more types of stripe such as color, thickness, or direction. It's a pattern that has a lot of movement and is perfect for any time of year.

    You've gotta love JCrew. This sweater isn't navy and beige, it's navy and champagne. So make sure to pop a bottle when wearing this cozy sweater.

    So often when you think stripes, you think nautical but that isn't the case here. A great 3/4 length tee for layering.

    A simple dress that commands the room in a always comfy ponte.

    Even UO is getting in on the game and in a perfectly monochrome way.

    Such a simple concept. Mixed stripes. Who would have thought?

    Be fabulous today!

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