Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday Snow



This morning I woke up at 3am, then 5am, then 7am. The culprit? Sleet. Banging against my window. Even though annoyed, I was excited that I would see some white on the ground in the daylight. And boy, was that an understatement!

Snow started falling around 730pm





Since we don't have city water, if our power goes out we are effed. In case of power outages, dad filled up lots of things with water so we could flush the toilet!



This is the back porch before I went to bed...



...and in the morning.









And now for my favorite puppy pictures from the day! (And yes, they all have snow coats!)












Monday, January 25, 2010

Things I Dig (right now) - special OMG edition


Align CenterOK, I wasn't going to update my things I dig, but OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH. I am obsessed with books, especially old books or books with gorgeous bindings. I don't know how it is possible that I have been unaware of these for so long, but Penguin Classic Clothbound books - hello lover.


Among my favorites are Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Alice in Wonderland, The Odyssey, OH MY GOSH.


Image from Design Sponge


Image from Design Sponge

These probably aren't as exciting for you as they are for me, but OH MY GOSH. I ordered Hound of the Baskervilles off of Ebay today because it's among the few that aren't for sale in the US yet. Amazon is selling my faves for 13.99. OH MY GOSH. Ok that's enough OMG's but really? OMG!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not Yo Mama's Steak and Potatoes (In Three Parts)





Oh gosh friends, I may die in my sleep from a heart attack tonight, but I think it was worth it. This dinner is from the gods. If you want to impress someone, make this and they will admire and love you forever.

Part I

Potatoes Au Gratin
from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients
  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced (BUT I recommend only two)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.

Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.

Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful.


Before Baking


Hello Gorgeous




Part II

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce
from The Pioneer Woman

Guys, I don't even like steak, OR blue cheese. It grosses me out. But I can change my morals for this one.

Ingredients
  • 2 whole Ribeye Steaks
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Very Large Yellow Onion, Sliced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Crumbled Blue Cheese
Preparation Instructions

Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks. Grill in 2 tablespoons butter until medium rare.

Saute onions in 4 tablespoons butter over high heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dark and caramelized. Reduce heat to simmer and pour in cream. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in blue cheese until melted. Serve steaks on generous portion of sauce.


Prepared Steaks (use kosher salt if you have it)



Ok I know I put the steak pictures up first but they cook pretty quick so do them last!

Sauce:


Chopped up Onions


Sauteing


Finished Sauce


Now just spoon that delightful sauce onto a plate and slap a steak on top of it. Now you didn't think I would make a meal with JUST carbs did you? Of course not! I will be making this salad ALOT. Like ALOT ALOT.

Part III

Cape Cod Chopped Salad
adapted from Barefoot Contessa

8 oz thick cut bacon, such as Niman Ranch (I omit bacon now)
8 oz baby arugula
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
½ cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped*
½ cup dried cranberries
6 oz goat cheese

For the dressing:

3 Tbsps good apple cider vinegar
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice
2-1/2 tsps Dijon mustard
2 Tbsps pure maple syrup
Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup good olive oil

Cook about five bacon slices until crisp and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.

For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1-1/2 tsps salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Chop the bacon in large pieces and add it to the salad. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 4 or 5.



On a personal note: This weekend I remembered why it's worth making an effort. Even when I'm exhausted and the last thing I want to do is make myself look presentable,

it's worth it.

Blogs

Yea, pretty boring title, but it is the weekend so I'm trying to use my brain as little as humanly possible. Anywho, here are a couple fun blogs that I recommend!

1. The Pioneer Woman - cooking and photography and commentary. She calls her husband the Marlboro Man. Obviously I love her.

2. Life in the Fun Lane - This girls business is making hideous furniture look freaking adorable. She has great taste!

3. Becoming Sarah - okay I didn't JUST discover this one, I've been reading for awhile. She's a mom who adores her little girl Charlotte and is actually HONEST about the things that go on. Plus she writes these amazingly beautiful letters to her daughter that will bring you to tears.

4. Reality Tea - If you like trashy reality shows like I do then check this out, I mean it's where I heard about Tamra and Simon's Divorce!

5. Jessica Claire - The most beautiful photography I have seen in a long time. Her commentary is worth reading as well, but at least go and scroll through for the pictures.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Might be (but probably are) a Douche if...

On a daily basis I encounter people that are douchey. If you don't, then you need to fine tune your douche radar because they are everywhere!


You might be (but probably are a douche) if...

1. You have a crazy muffler (or whatever the heck it is) on your car.

Yea, I know you think you are cool by putting a whatever on your car and waking up everyone in a five mile radius, but you aren't. I don't like not being able to jam out to NPR because the sound of your obnoxious car drowns out my radio. You are merely an attention seeker loser, and no one likes you. Also, who do you think you are fooling? You clearly believe yourself to be some sort of street racer, but here is what I believe: you should save us all the trouble and go home and play Grand Theft Auto so that I don't have to hear it. Tell your mom I said hi. You drive a 1988 Honda. A loud noise isn't going to make it better. You are only drawing attention to how crappy of a car you drive.


Don't be this guy.


2. You are John Edwards

If you live in any other part of the country OTHER than North Carolina, you probably don't care, but here, John Edwards gossip is hot and heavy. Today he announced that he IS the father of his skank looking mistress' child. Apparently the only person who DIDN'T know he was the father was in fact John Edwards. If you have three children and a wife with terminal cancer and you have a baby with another woman then you are a douche.

Now that's a woman worth ruining your life over!!

3. You text and drive

Okay, I will admit, I was an avid texter and driver. But after watching this weeks oprah about the issue and learning that a human's brain is not physiologically capable of texting and driving safely, I will never do it again. The empirical evidence is huge, as is the human evidence. So many people's lives totally ruined by someone on a phone call or texting while driving. So consider this fair warning, if you don't stop texting and driving, then you will become a douche in my book. Watch these stories.



Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Jr.

I still get shivers when I watch this. I had someone tell me that racism doesn't exist anymore. My answer, after I got over the shock that someone actually believed that, was "well that is because you are a straight white male" (and obviously ignorant). Just because something doesn't affect you personally, it doesn't mean you shouldn't care about it. The person who said this will never be denied a place to live or a job or a raise or marriage or benefits because of his gender, sexual orientation or the color of his skin, but there are a hell of a lot of people who are. We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go as a country for equality to be achieved. Women today still don't make the same amount of money for the same job that men do. Today remembers someone who believed that equality is possible, that what is inside is what counts, and that we are all humans under the skin. But to me, this day is for ALL people who believe in equality and who believe in equal opportunities no matter your race, gender, orientation, origin, etc. So if you believe in equality, that men and women and ALL people have the right to equal access of opportunities and resources and even things like housing and health care, than this day is for you! Keep on believing!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thing's I Dig (right now)

Happy Sunday! Usually Sunday's are pretty sad because it means the weekend is almost over, but hellooooo three day weekend! Oh and the site hit 400 visitors so thank you all for reading! When I come across things online I bookmark them and so here are my most recent favorites:

1. Fleur De Lys glasses from Anthropologie. Love the colors and vintage feel of these!

2. Comfy Shoes - namely these Mossimo Odell Ballet Flats. Walking around a nursing facility for eight hours has made me appreciate these AMAZING shoes even more. My go-to black shoes gave me blisters so I went this weekend and bought these in black. Now I have Five pairs! They come in every color you need...love love love.


3. Sharpie Pens. Enough Said.


4. Etsy. Etsy will be getting it's own post. If you haven't discovered the amazingness that is Etsy, than you are missing out in a big way. Anything and everything vintage, handmade and unique.



5. This Gap Leather Field Jacket. I want it BADDDDDD.



6. The Pottery Barn Catalog. PB is amazing and if I was a millionaire I would probably buy out all of their furniture and pay them to come decorate my house. I go through and rip out rooms or things that match what I like for inspiration.



7. This White Bird Vase from Target. I am going through a phase all things birds. I can't explain it, but i'm into it.

8. Sweater Vests. Not the kind that 80 year old women wear with fall leaves or kitty cats or something, but cute ones! I have this Talbots Bias Tweed Vest and lurve it.

NO!!!!!


Another extremely poor vest. Do not wear.



9. This Deux Lux Ruffle Bucket Bag from Urban Outfitters in Peach. Gorg.




That's all for now! Thanks for reading my lovely readers!



Friday, January 15, 2010

So...

I made my favorite pasta EVER tonight but was too tired to take pictures, but trust me it's freaking good. So instead, here is a recipe for puff pastry with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Reminiscent of the profiteroles at Maggiano's.



1. Go to the grocery store
2. Buy a package of frozen puff pastry shells
3. Buy a pint of Hagen Daazs Vanilla Bean ice cream
4. Drive Home
5. Put your puff pastry in the oven, DO NOT THAW OUT!
6. Make your chocolate sauce, it takes less time the pastry
7. Make a delicious bowl of heaven and enjoy!

Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Adapted from Tyler Florence (actually all i do is add a pinch of espresso powder, so it's still all mr. florence)

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, cut in chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Instant espresso powder
In a small pot heat the cream and butter. Right before it boils take it off of the heat and then stir in the chocolate, vanilla, and a pinch of instant espresso powder. Stir until melty and glossy and smooth and yummy. THAT'S IT! Easy right?!

oh and if you don't have instant espresso powder in your cabinet then get off your lazy bum and go buy some because any chocolate dish you make is better with it. You can thank me later.

UPDATE: I forgot to say...sprinkle some sugar over the pastries before you pop them in the oven and when they come out separate into two pieces and put the ice cream in the middle like a sandwich.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010