Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs, here are some Halloween inspired recipes for this weekend.

Dark and Stormy Death Punch
c/o Food and Wine
  • One 20-ounce can lychees in heavy syrup
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 16 brandied cherries
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 12 ounces dark rum
  • Three 12-ounce bottles ginger beer
  • Ice cubes
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the lychee syrup and ginger to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, stuff 16 lychees with brandied cherries. Set each lychee in the cup of a mini muffin pan or in an ice cube tray. Strain the lychee-ginger syrup and pour it over the lychees. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a pitcher, stir the sugar into the lime juice until dissolved. Add the rum and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. 
  4. Unmold the lychee ice cubes into a small punch bowl. Pour in the lime-rum mixture. Add the ginger beer, stir gently and serve in ice-filled glasses. 

Ratatouille Stuffed Jack-o-Peppers
  • About 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup homemade breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 7 medium red and orange bell peppers 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 firm, medium eggplant, peel half the skin, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 small fresh red chile, finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe plum or small vine tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat about 1/4 cup EVOO in a small skillet with the butter. When the butter foams, add the garlic and stir 1 minute. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to soak in the oil and butter. Toast until light golden, then remove from the heat and cool. Mix the cooled breadcrumbs with the cheese and parsley.

Trim the tops off 6 peppers and reserve, then scoop out the seeds. Using a small, sharp paring knife, cut out a jack-o'-lantern face in each pepper. Set the peppers upright, and if a pepper is very unstable, trim the bottom to make the pepper stable. Season the peppers on the inside with salt and pepper, invert the peppers and place on a baking sheet, tops alongside. Seed and chop the remaining bell pepper and reserve.

Salt the eggplant and drain 15 minutes in a strainer or on a towel.

Spray the peppers with a little cooking spray and roast to char the peppers at the edges and tender-crisp doneness, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to handle.

Heat the remaining EVOO in a large, deep skillet. Add the reserved peppers, thyme, chile, eggplant, onions and zucchini, and some salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir another minute, and remove from the heat.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the vegetables and taste to check seasoning. Pour the tomato sauce into a casserole dish. Stuff the peppers, overstuffing the cavity a bit, and set the tops in place to complete the Jack-o-Peppers. Place the peppers into the dish as you fill them. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal.

To serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and roast until the peppers are hot through, 30 to 35 minutes.

Skinny Mummy Cake Balls
  • 16.5 oz package yellow cake mix
  • 6 oz plain fat-free Greek yogurt (Chobani)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • baking spray
  • 48 oz Baker's white chocolate (20 oz calculated in n.i)*
  • mini chocolate chips for the eyes
  • 1 wooden skewer
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a the cake pop pan with baking spray.

Combine the cake mix, yogurt, 1 cup water and egg whites in a large mixing bowl and beat until combined. Place the batter into a pastry bag or large ziplock bag with the tip cut off.

Pipe the batter into the prepared cake pop pan and bake about 18 minutes (I rotated the pan after 10 minutes to be sure they baked evenly). Let it rest 5 minutes before opening the pan.

Place the cake balls on a wire rack and repeat with remaining batter. Using a scissor, cut the seam off the balls. 

Refrigerate the cake balls for about 45 minutes, this helps the chocolate stick to the cake.

Melt some of the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions, careful not to over heat the chocolate. If it's too thick add a drop of oil to thin out. Use the wooden skewer and insert into the cake ball, then dip in melted chocolate. Let the excess drip off then place each ball on parchment or wax paper.

Place remaining chocolate into a piping bag and drizzle onto the tops of the balls to make a criss-cross effect to resemble a mummy wrap.  Place the mini chocolate chips over the chocolate for eyes and set aside to dry.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Look Mom, No Sleeves!

It is prime layering season because you can leave for work and it's 40 degrees but by the time you come home it's 65. It's annoying, but luckily one of this season's great trends is here for you. It's the sleeveless long vest. A great layering piece that works for outerwear or workwear depending on how you style it.

Where this as a trench, wear it as a vest with a turtleneck, heck wear it with tights as a dress!

Bloomingdale's, AQUA Long Vest, $98
A great take from menswear. Wear this open or belt it.

Nordstrom, Trouve Raw Edge Long Vest, $78
A double breasted style that is very corporate but a silky fabric that is very creative.

Simple, city chic. I love this for work or a night out.

Try this trend out for fall and I promise you will be layering heavier knits under it for winter. It's an easy addition to any outfit!

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Last Minute Halloween

It's almost Halloween and while it is my least favorite holiday (I know, hate away) I know there are a few of you who still need a costume. So here we go.

Regina George: one, two three, four

Where's Waldo: one, two, three, four

Rosie the Riveter: one, two, three

There you have it. Dress it up, down, and get some candy. 

Be fabulous today!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Tortoise and the Accessory

Let's talk tortoise. Tortoise is usually seen in glasses or homeware, but today we're looking at some fantastic tortoise jewelry. It's as classic as pearls and much more affordable.

A real stunner of a necklace. I'm wearing this all year round for the perfect pop with any outfit.

Lord and Taylor, Kate Spade Tortoise Studs, $38
You can't beat this price for a pair of Kate Spade studs that you can wear for work or play.

Picture this with a cashmere turtleneck sweater or a simple white tee. Exactly. Do it all.

BaubleBar, Midi Tortoise Cuff, $32
Arm party of one? Yes. Also comes in a slim version.

These pieces are eye-catching and they don't break the bank. Tortoise is a classic look that you can pair with just about any color, print, or style. Always works.

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

She's Got Flare

Happy Monday lovebugs,
I thought we would ease into the week with some casual looks with denim. As I've mentioned earlier, the 70s are a big deal this fall. Part of this trend is long leg flared denim. It creates a dynamite silhouette and you can find a pair that fits any budget.

Gap makes a really solid jean and I love this simple yet sleek look.

A lighter wash and a higher wash, very 70s. Also love her sweater.

I love a dark wash with no fading or whispering. They create a long line and are easily dressed up or down.

The name says it all. These jeans were made for the 70s and they are oh so fab with long sleeve floral, drapey sweater, or simple tee.

Flared denim is not your middle school bell bottom. It is tailored, fitted, and ready for some heels. Preferably chunky or stacked heel for maximum impact.

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite recipes this week.

The Butterfly and the Bee
c/o Fogged in Lounge
  • 1 1/2 oz calvados
  • 1/2 oz ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton)
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 2 dashes lavender bitters
Shake with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist.

Beef Burrito Dip
  • 1 package Hurst's Slow Cooker Chili Beans with seasoning packet
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 5 cups water
  • 15 ounces jarred salsa
  • 4 ounces cream cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • tortilla chips, for serving
  • guacamole and sour cream, as desired

  1. Sort through the dry beans and remove any debris. Rinse well and place in a 5 quart slow cooker set to high.
  2. Add the diced onion to the slow cooker and top with the whole chuck roast.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning packet from the bean package into slow cooker.
  4. Add 5 cups of water to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 6 hours.
  5. Remove the lid, shred the beef with 2 forks, and stir in the salsa, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and green onions. Stir until mixture is combined and cheese has melted.
  6. Turn slow cooker to low and serve with tortilla chips. Top with guacamole and sour cream, as desired.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Fudge
  • 1 jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 11 ounce package white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup strawberry preserves, or your favorite jam
  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add marshmallow cream, white chocolate chips and peanut butters. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine butter, sugar, salt, and whipping cream. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 4 full minutes.
  4. Pour boiling mixture over ingredients in mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat for about 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy (and white chocolate is completely melted).
  5. Pour half of the mixture into bottom of baking dish. Top with strawberry preserves. Using a knife, swirl the jelly into the fudge. Top with the remaining fudge mixture. Swirl again with the knife, to mix the preserves into the peanut butter layers.
  6. Refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight, until set. Cut into bites and enjoy. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks. ENJOY.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

High Calorie Colors

My favorite color is purple, but I also have a love of very saturated colors. Deep, rich colors that make a statement. I will pass on a pastel every time if I have an option like garnet. Oh you thought that was only for jewelry? Let me blow your mind with these rich garnet pieces.

Rounded toe, texture, bow? Sign me up.

Old Navy, Twill Midi Skirt, $10
That's right, $10. Get on this skirt. The length is great for booties and the patch pockets give a casual feel to a feminine skirt.

A great fall jacket for everything from running errands to apply picking.

Open front comfort and the perfect shades of garnet.

If this color was a food it would be super high in calories. It is so rich and decadent. Perfect for the autumn colors we're seeing right now.

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You Can Ring My Bell

It's hump day, you know what else looks like a hump? A bell. Stay with me. It's bell sleeve hump day. See what I did there? No? Ok, great. Bell sleeves for everyone. Let's look.

Simple but very Michelle Obama. Perfect for work or dress it up with jewels for a holiday party.

The 70s are back this fall and this blouse is perfectly on trend.

Amazing texture aside, I love the faux wrap silhouette of this sweater.

Hello fall sweater dress. Pair with tights, leggings, boots, anything.

A simple bell sleeve really changes the style of an outfit. It's breezy, it's 70s, it's quite gorgeous.

Be fabulous today!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Holes in Your Story

Yesterday we looked at an urban-inspired collection at Kohl's. Today I want to continue that more cool, industrial trend with grommets. These simple embellishments pack a punch and when styled correctly provide a touch of rocker to any outfit.

Bloomingdale's, Labonia Grommet Detailed Gloves, $50
I'm starting with my favorite piece. Not only are these gloves the perfect length, the color is stunning.

60% off, this bag is a great accessory to balance out a fuzzy cashmere sweater.

You may think these shoes aren't going to fly in your conservative office, but check out the mid-heel height and pair it with a tie neck blouse.

Saks off 5th, Grommet Trim Cotton Tee, $19
Just when you thought grommets were just for accessories. Picture this tee under a blazer. 

I lean more preppy than rocker, but this is a trend I can get behind. The subtle detail of the grommet is the perfect embellishment to an outfit. Grunge, chic, classic, you name it, grommets are here to stay.

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Swoon for Thakoon

Happy Monday lovebugs,
Let's talk high fashion for low budgets. In the past we've looked at designers who have done lines for Target or Kohl's and they are such a fun experience. Wildly talented folks making their styles affordable for the average woman. Today I'm really excited about Thakoon for Kohl's. This collection is urban chic and there are so many options for under $100. Here are some of my favorites.

I love the contrast of floral (summer) with long sleeves. Perfect for fall and even longer into the winter with a layered button down underneath.

Forget the blanket scarf trend, this is what you need for fall. A little grungy with the flannel and a little menswear with the oversized collar. Love it.

Is there anything particularly eye catching about this skirt? No. But that's the beauty of it. It's the perfect base or staple piece for your closet.

Mixing prints is always fun, especially when it's done for you. So simple and work-ready.

Thakoon for Kohl's is a beautiful collection with more than 30 pieces under $100. Run, don't walk.

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Foodday

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

Bloody Fizz
c/o Martha Stewart
  • Ice 
  • 2 ounces Campari 
  • Blood-orange soda, such as San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa 
  • Gin
Fill glass with ice. Pour in campari; top with soda. For an extra kick, add a shot of gin

Whipped Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip with Baked Oven Fries

c/o Country Cleaver

Homemade Oven Fries:
  • 3 Russet Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup Olive or Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

  • Whipped Bacon and Blue Dip:
    • 2/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped
    • 1 cup Crumbled Wisconsin Blue Cheese
    • 4 slices Bacon, cooked and finely chopped
    • 3 Tbsp Chives, minced
    • 2 tsp Dill, minced
    • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
    • 1 clove Garlic, minced
    • Salt and Pepper to Taste
    For Oven Fries:
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub and dry potatoes of residual dirt, do not peel. On a cutting board, halve each potato. Slice each half into ½” sections, then lay each section on its flat side and cut again into ½” slices making fries. Place the fries into a large bowl of cold water and let the potatoes soak in the water for 10 minutes. This will help remove excess starch.
    Line a baking sheet with several paper towels. Drain the potatoes and lay onto the paper towels, patting to dry. Once dry, pour onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
    Place into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, turning three times while baking. The potatoes should be crispy and golden brown when done. Remove from oven and plate.
    For the Whipped Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip:
    In a bowl, using an immersion blender, or use a food processor if available. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl. Blend until the cream starts to set and hold soft peaks. Scrape down the bowl several times through the process to ensure that the cream is being evenly mixed. Once the cream has softly set, add in the crumbled Wisconsin blue cheese, chives, dill, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Pulse the mixture together until the cream has set and the Wisconsin blue cheese has been mixed in. Pour into a dish and serve along side homemade oven fries.

    Harissa Eggsc/o Skinnytaste
    • 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp minced red onion
    • 14.5 oz can petite tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp prepared Harissa (I used Mina) or more if you like it spicier
    • 4 large eggs 
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley or chives
    Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the oil then the onion and sauteuntil golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, harissa, salt and pepper and increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until the liquid reduces a bit, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Reduce the heat to medium-low, carefully add the eggs, salt and pepper and cover. Cook until the top of the eggs set, about 4 to 5 minutes, or to your liking. Top with chopped fresh parsley or chives and serve.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    Raw Beauty

    We all love bling. Big, small, statement, or sweet, we love a great piece of sparkle. What I am really leaning towards right now is the raw bling, specifically druzy. This stone brings a natural and unfinished look to any piece.

    Rose gold, y'all. I mean come on. Stunning.

    Sole Society, Natural Agate Bracelet, $54
    Not your average wrap bangle, this has got some dimension. 

    Tom's Marketplace, Green Druzy Stone Earrings, $38
    What a beautiful pop of color and these earrings help create jobs for artisans in Brazil.

    A winter white stone is going to look beautiful against a cashmere sweater.

    A beautiful stone will always take your outfit to the next level but they're often over your budget. These druzy options are perfect for your outfit and your wallet.

    Be fabulous today!

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