Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite recipes this week.

Cranberry & Saint Germain Pitcher Sparkler
Ingredients
1 cup vodka
3 ounces St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups club soda

Directions
In a large pitcher filled with ice, combine all of the ingredients. Serve in champagne flutes or other festive glasses.
    Lomo Saltado
    Ingredients
    • 12 ounces thin sliced ribeye steak
    • 1/2 teaspooon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 yellow bell pepper
    • 1/2 poblano pepper
    • 1/2 red onion
    • 1 tomato
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup beef broth
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 cup freshly fried French fries, for serving
    • 2 cups cooked white rice, for serving
    Directions
    1. Slice the steak into thin strips and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
    2. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.
    3. While steak is cooking, slice the peppers, onion, and tomato into thin slices.
    4. Add the vegetables to the pan with the steak and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
    5. Add the soy sauce and beef broth to the pan and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
    6. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro.
    7. Serve over rice with french fries.


    Rhubarb Upside Down Spice Cake
    Ingredients
    Topping
    • 1 pound (450 grams) rhubarb, trimmed
    • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
    • Finely grated zest from half a lemon
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
    • Two pinches of salt
    Cake
    • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2/3 cup (125 grams) light or dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
    • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
    Directions
    Heat oven: To 350°F. 
    Make topping: In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, trim your rhubarb to lengths that will fit across the bottom in one direction, i.e. some short and some taller. Remove rhubarb and cut each stalk lengthwise into thin (about 1/4-inch thick) ribbons. If your rhubarb is already quite thin, you might just want to halve each piece lengthwise.
    Sprinkle sugar into skillet and add lemon zest; use your fingers to mix the zest into the sugar; the grit of the sugar will help release the most flavor from it. Add butter and salt and heat skillet over medium until butter has melted, stirring frequently. Add rhubarb and cook, turning gently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until it has softened slightly and released some of its liquid. Remove from heat and set skillet aside.
    Make cake: In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined, then vanilla. Sprinkle mixture with baking powder, salt, and all the spices and beat well to thoroughly mix them in. Add buttermilk; mixture will have a curdly texture but don’t worry, it’s all going to even out. Scrape down bowl and add flour; beat only until it disappears.
    Check your rhubarb base to make sure all the pieces are in the order you’d like them to be; nudge around any that are not, then dollop cake batter over rhubarb mixture in small spoonfuls and smooth top as best as you can. As the rhubarb mixture will be very wet, this will seem almost impossible. I actually gave up and just put it in the oven, where the cake spread into one even layer on its own. (Thank you, cake.)
    Bake cake: For about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted deep into the cake (but not the topping underneath) comes out batter-free. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Place a larger plate upside down over the skillet and use two potholdered hands to flip cake out onto it. If any rhubarb is stuck in the pan or slides down the side, just return it to the top of the cake.



    Thursday, May 25, 2017

    Give Me A "P"!

    It is almost time for the long weekend. I thought we should have some fun with a playful purse that is full of poms. Yes, pom poms.

    Spring, Camel by Aldo, $55
    This bag is such a party. How can you not have fun wearing this?

    Super soft pebble leather makes this bag extra luxurious. 

    Poms AND tassels? Sign me up.

    Charming Charlie, Pom Wristlet, $19
    And for something under 20 bucks. Love the white with the bright colors!

    Have some fun with your bags this summer. Try a pom pom or a tassel with a pop of color.

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Wednesday, May 24, 2017

    She's On Another Tier

    Let's talk tiers. They offer some lovely dimension to an outfit without a pattern or print. A tiered top is breezy and great for summer.

    Love love love this top. The v neck, the waistline, love it.

    Not feeling the hot pink? This jersey top comes in five other colors.

    This is the top that inspired this post. Perfection for the office.

    OK, ok I'll give you another polka dot, relax!

    Looking for something that isn't skin tight but looks fitted and fantastic? Look no further than these great tops!

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    Sunshine Days

    Last week we looked at some pretty fantastic espadrilles. Today I thought we would combine the style with a sneaker. That's right, the perfect summer sneaker.

    Anthropologie, Alohas Bambita Espadrille, $98
    If this doesn't say summer, I don't know what does.

    Do you love these? I love these. They also come in a handful of other colors.

    A low maintenance shoe that is the equivalent of chambray.

    Classic brand with a punch of feminine. Perfect for summer.

    While summer may be all about the sandals, sometimes a solid sneaker is that way to go. These espadrille options are great for warmer weather.

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Monday, May 22, 2017

    Not Not Loving the Knot

    As the weather gets warmer, its important to realize the variety of casual weekend shirts that are available. These tops will keep you cool and stylish without blowing your budget. One style I really like it the tie front waist top. It's breezy and can be dressed up or down.

    J Crew Factory, Striped Tie Waist Pocket Tee, $34
    How adorable is this tee? Pair it with cotton shorts or an eyelet skirt.

    Bloomingdale's, AQUA Tie Front Tee, $24
    A crisp and clean white tee that is as soft as can be.

    I love this top with patterned shorts. It's a staple without being boring.

    And a button down version. Simple and easy to accessorize.

    Sure it's easy to grab a tank top on those hot days, but know you've got options. Stylish ones.

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Friday Foodday

    Happy Friday!

    Here are my favorite recipes this week. 

    Scotch Collins
    c/o Fogged in Lounge
    Ingredients
    • 2 oz blended scotch (Johnnie Walker Black Label)
    • 1/2 oz lemon juice
    • 1 tsp rich simple syrup
    • soda to fill
    Directions
    Stir all but soda with ice, and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Fill with cold soda. Lemon garnish.











    Layered Chicken Enchilada Bake
    Ingredients
    • 2 (10 oz) cans red enchilada sauce, divided
    • 9 (6 inch) yellow corn tortillas (I use Mission Extra Thin Yellow Corn Tortillas)
    • 1 (16 oz) can fat free refried beans
    • 4 teaspoons canola oil
    • 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into small bite-sized pieces (about ½”)
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 cup drained and rinsed canned black beans
    • ¾ cup frozen corn kernels
    • 6 oz 50% light sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    Directions
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Drizzle about 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce across the bottom of the dish and spread around with the back of a spoon to lightly coat the bottom of the dish. Arrange 4 ½ of the tortillas across the bottom of the dish to cover the majority of the space (my arrangement is pictured above). Use a spatula to spread the refried beans evenly across the tortillas, forming an even layer across the whole dish. Set aside.
    2. In a large skillet or saute pan, bring the oil to medium heat. Add the chopped chicken and diced onion and stir to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are softened (6-10 minutes). Drain the liquid from the pan if necessary. Add all the remaining enchilada sauce, the black beans and the corn and stir together. Remove from heat.
    3. Spoon about half of the chicken and sauce mixture evenly across the top of the refried bean layer in the casserole dish. Sprinkle about half of the cheddar cheese evenly across as well. Arrange the remaining 4 ½ tortillas in a similar style to step 1 (I did the same but flipped the layout so any small missing spots from layer 1 would be covered and vice versa). Spoon the remaining chicken and sauce mixture evenly across the newly laid tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

    Double Chocolate Creme Brûlée
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
    • 6 Egg Yolks
    • 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 1 Tbsp High Quality Cocoa Powder
    • 4 ounces Finely Chopped Semi Sweet Chocolate
    • 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Extract
    • 4-6 teaspoons of Turbinado or Demerara Sugar*

    Directions
    Place the oven rack on the lower-middle rack, and preheat oven to 300 degrees. Fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
    Place cream, and sugar into a different, medium sized saucepan and bring the mixture to a rolling simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. While the mixture is heating up, crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Discard the whites or use them for another recipe. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they are light and fluffy yellow.
    When the cream is simmering, turn off the heat, and remove the cream from the stove. Stir in the vanilla extract, chopped chocolate, and cocoa powder. Stir the mixture until the chopped chocolate has melted completely. Return to the heat if there are a few chunks that just won’t melt.
    Slowly pour 1/2 cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks while whisking them continuously to temper the eggs. Repeat this process until you have whisked in all the cream mixture. Distribute amongst the ramekins. Place the filled ramekins into a 13×9 inch baking pan, and place them into the oven. With the boiling water you prepared earlier, gently pour the water into the bottom of the 13×9 inch pan, until it reaches about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Gently push the rack into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the temperature of the custard reaches 175 degrees.
    Gently remove the ramekins from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool for at least one hour. Cover with plastic wrap and place the custards into the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours. Blot away any condensation with a paper towel prior to torching the sugar on top and serving.
    Torch the top of the creme brulees until the sugar melts and becomes crispy and caramel colored. Serve immediately.



    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    Get Tanked

    The tank top doesn't always get the love it deserves. It's a simple article of clothing that can be a workhorse in your wardrobe. Sure it's not much fabric, but all of the options below have something a little extra.

    A beautiful back to a simple white tank.

    Simple yet quite dressy. Oh and the price.

    Shoptiques, Dex Relaxed Fit Tank, $39
    A great break away back opening. Dress it up or down.

    American Eagle Outfitters, Flounce Tank Top, $34
    Quite a beautiful tank with so much going on. Fitted, print, and just lovely for weekend wear.

    Dress up your tank or layer it up for work. Make this small piece work hard for you.

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    Let's Have A Romp

    OK lovebugs, I've got a treat today. Rompers under $50. These sassy one pieces are weekend ready and under budget.

    A punchy yellow with playful poms on the edge of an asymmetrical detail.

    Nordstrom Rack, Adelyn Rae Plated Romper, $34
    I really love this romper for a casual wedding. Check out the open back.

    Forever 21, Pleated Floral Romper, $22
    Gotta love the price on this one. I like the wide flutter leg as well.

    JCPenny, a.n.a Romper, $29
    Chambray anyone? I'd swap out the belt for something with more contrast.

    If you haven't gotten on the romper train, these affordable options might be worth a try!

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    Flutter Nutter

    I'm really into a dress with personality. Skip a solid sheath dress and give me something with flair. That's why I love a great flutter sleeve dress. This simple detail packs a punch that really dresses up the look.

    Stunning allover print with a show stopping neckline.

    Cobalt that makes a statement. Perfect for a wedding.

    This dress is a great canvas to play with. Add a metallic belt or statement necklace to have some fun with color.

    New York & Company, Flutter Sleeve Hi-Lo Dress, $44
    Another great color and perfect for twirling, which is a major dress requirement for me.

    Solid or print, pastel or monochrome, a flutter sleeve detail really makes a dress special.

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post



    Monday, May 15, 2017

    Summer Shoes

    Warmer temps mean a change in many things, perhaps the most important of which is footwear. Ok maybe not the most important, but it's a big deal. Pedicures are had, flip flops are dusted off, and for me an espadrille purchase is made. I love espadrilles as a dressier summer shoe and these lace up options have personality.

    I really, really want these shoes. It's been really difficult for me to not put these in my cart. I love the stripes and the monochrome.

    Saks Off Fifth, Schutz Kobi Lace Up Espadrille, $79
    Currently half off, these lace ups alternate a braided lace up and plain.

    Feminine and bright, these also come in a muted tan.

    Another wedge option with a simple canvas ribbon lace up.

    Lace up those new shoes and enjoy the warmer weather. It's espadrille season.

    Be fabulous today!

    Shop this post


    Friday, May 12, 2017

    Friday Foodday

    Happy Friday!
    Here are my favorite recipes this week.

    Bare Minimum
    c/o The Kitchn
    Ingredients
    For the ginger syrup (makes 1 1/2 cups, enough for 12 cocktails):
    5 ounces fresh ginger (1 medium hand)
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup water
    For 1 cocktail:
    1 fresh basil leaf
    6 raspberries
    1 1/2 ounces New Riff Kentucky Wild Gin (or other floral gin)
    1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
    Ice
    4 ounces club soda
    Lemon slice, for garnish

    Directions
    Peel the ginger and chop into rough 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a small saucepan, add the sugar and water, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
    Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof medium bowl, measuring cup, or glass jar, pressing on the ginger with the back of a spoon. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Cool to room temperature.
    Place the basil, raspberries, and 1 ounce of the ginger syrup in a cocktail shaker. Muddle for 30 seconds and the remove the basil. Add the lemon juice and gin, then fill the shaker with ice. Cover and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Strain into a Collins glass. Add the soda water and top with ice. Garnish with a lemon slice, if desired.

    Monterey Chicken Spaghetti
    Ingredients
    • 6 oz. spaghetti, broken into 3 pieces
    • 1 cup shredded or diced cooked chicken
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 cups grated monterey jack
    • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
    • 3 ounce can french fried onions
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
    2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and add to a large mixing bowl.
    3. Add the chicken, egg, sour cream, garlic powder, cheese, spinach, and half of the onions to the bowl and stir well to combine.
    4. Pour into prepared baking dish and top with the remaining onions.
    5. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
    6. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more.
    7. Serve immediately.

    Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
    Ingredients

    FOR THE CHEESECAKE:

    • 2 pkg (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla

    FOR THE CAKE:

    FOR THE FROSTING:

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup caramel sauce (homemade caramel sauce or jarred is fine)
    • 4 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 Tbsp milk
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

    FOR THE GANACHE:

    • 4 oz dark chocolate
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 2 Tbsp caramel sauce
    • pinch of kosher salt

    Directions

    FOR THE CHEESECAKE:

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a large roasting pan on the lower 2/3 of the oven, preheat the pan too!
    2. Prepare springform pan by wrapping bottom of pan (outside) with double layer of foil. Spray pan with nonstick baking spray and line bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper. Meanwhile, boil a kettle of water to use later.
    3. Beat cream cheese with granulate sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    4. Beat in sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into prepared 9inch springform pan. Place pan in center of preheated roasting pan in the oven. Pour boiling water slowly into the roasting pan, until there is about an inch of water coming up the sides of the springform pan.
    5. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.
    6. When cooled, transfer entire springform pan into the freezer for several hours or overnight. I put it in freezer for about 2 hours. **If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake!

    FOR THE CAKE LAYER:

    1. Prepare chocolate cake according to package directions for 9 inch cake. Or, like me, prepare a homemade dark chocolate layer cake using THIS recipe

    FOR THE FROSTING:

    1. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Add caramel sauce, powdered sugar, milk and kosher salt.
    2. Beat for 4-5 minutes until soft and creamy.

    TO ASSEMBLE:

    1. On a cake platter, lay one layer of chocolate cake, top with the cheesecake. Then add the other layer of chocolate cake. Spread frosting over entire cake, sides and top.
    2. Refrigerate frosted cake while you prepare the chocolate ganache.

    FOR THE GANACHE:

    1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine dark chocolate with heavy cream. Heat 30 seconds. Stir and heat an additional 30 seconds. Whisk for several minutes until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
    2. Once cooled. Spread over top of chilled cake. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp of caramel sauce and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve!