Friday, January 30, 2015

Fashion Friday: Fancy-Pants (& what to wear for Valentines Day - The Edgy Look)

This has become one of my favorite outfits - I love the mix of black & white patterns offset with a fitted pop of color! These next couple of Fashion Friday posts will feature a variety of Valentines Day looks, this week is the look for the edgy girl. The nod to red with this blazer I bought a couple years ago on sale at H&M and the bow detailing on this shirt from Forever 21 is the perfect subtle nod to V-day without being overtly girly.

Outfit Details

Blazer - H&M (old)
Bow shirt (sold out online)/Hat/Plaid Shorts (sold out - similar) - Forever 21
Tights - Target
Boots - Kohls (old - Similar)
Betsey Johnson Camera purse - Modcloth (sold out)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fiskesuppe (Norwegian Cod and Root Vegetable Chowder)

This has probably been my favorite soup I've made all year (if not ever).
With that being said - it was the most difficult one to photograph. I had two separate photo shoots for this soup and I don't know if
a) The dark, dreary weather caused the lighting to be off
b) If the somewhat bland color of chowder posed an issue or
c) If I was too blinded by hunger to really care. was probably c

Whatever the cause, I finally had to settle with the pictures above because this chowder only lasted a couple of days. Even though I love fish I had never had it in a soup before - clams yes, shrimp yes but fish? I was scared at first that over time the fish would become overcooked with us reheating leftovers but it stayed flaky and moist. This was so hearty and delicious, the perfect soup to enjoy on a chilly winter day. Traditional Fiskesuppe originated in Bergen, on the West Coast of Norway. It always involves cream, fish, and root vegetables and seasoned with a touch of sugar and vinegar. Cod is the most common fish used but I read that you can also utilize Swai, salmon, halibut, or monkfish.

Fiskesuppe (Norwegian Cod and Root Vegetable Chowder)

serves 4-5

6 tbsp. unsalted butter (I used "healthy" butter with olive oil - hence the oiliness)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small leek, sliced ¼" thick
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced ¼" thick
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
4 medium new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
3 cups fish stock
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 lb. boneless, skinless cod fillet, cut into 2" pieces
2 TBS dried dill, plus more for garnish
1 TBS dried parsley leaves
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Crusty bread or crackers for serving


1.Heat butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, celery, onions, peppers, and leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 8–10 minutes.

2.Add carrots, parsnips, potatoes, stock, milk, cream, and Worcestershire; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.

3.Add cod, and continue to cook, stirring gently, until fish is cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Stir in dill, parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Serve with bread. Refrigerate for up to one week.

*Recipe adapted from Saveur

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Christmas Lima + White Bean Turkey Southwest Chili (Vegetarian Option as Well)

This is one of those "get rid of everything in your fridge and pantry" meals, don't you love those? Never has freeing up some space in your home been so deliciously rewarding.
It all started with the Christmas Lima. Lewis and I have been eyeing these for years now, with their bright red and white appearance we thought it would be the perfect dish to make Christmas day - yeahhhh with a four hour drive and family craziness beans were the last think on our minds come Christmas so there they sat, alone and unused.
We finally used half and made some traditional southern style beans n' greens, these beautiful beans are slightly nutty in flavor with a firm texture, and although their color isn't nearly as vibrant when cooked, they still brought something unique to the table.
This time around, I wanted to try and incorporate them into a different dish (plus we had left over navy beans from this dish) . If you don't have the time to use dried beans you can always sub out the traditional red kidney beans for this recipe - just reduce the cooking time.

I did my best to record measurements whilst making this chili but because I used dried beans it required a little more liquid, I added about 1 cup of chicken stock - if you're using canned beans instead I would start off omitting the chicken stock and then if it's too thick for your liking you can always add the stock later on.

Christmas Lima + White Bean Turkey Southwest Chili

serves 3-4

1 (28oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
1 (14.75oz) can of whole yellow corn, drained
1 medium sized onion, diced small
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
16oz of ground turkey (for the meat eaters - I used 85/15 and drained most of the fat)
1 cup dried Christmas limas (that have been soaked overnight)
1 cup dried white navy beans (that have been soaked overnight)
2-3 TBS red chili powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
splash of hot sauce (optional)
1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth - if needed)
Shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions for garnish

1. In a sauce pan, cook the turkey until no pink is showing (because I made 2 kinds of chili I kept my meat separate) season with salt and pepper. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 2 min. (I added some fat from the turkey for extra flavor). Add spices and mix on heat for about a minutes (this toasts the spices and enhances flavor).

2.To the onion garlic spice mix, add tomatoes, corn, beans, and 1 cup chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 35-50 min. stirring every 10 minutes or so.

3.Serve hot, garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions.

Dried Christmas Limas
*Christmas lima picture from Zursun Idaho Beans

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fashion Friday: Picture Perfect

I have been waiting to photograph this awesome camera Betsy Johnson camera purse for weeks now! When I saw it on Modcloth it was love at first sight, unfortunately that love was slightly lessened by the semi-hefty price tag :/ I online stalked this purse for weeks until they finally had a special discount going on for cyber Monday and my Mom surprised me and bought it for Christmas! Needless to say you're gonna be seeing a lot of this baby. I decided to pair it with this Liz Claiborne sweater (because I've been really diggin' polka dots lately) and add a pop of color with these Mossimo shorts from Target.

Outfit Details
Camera Purse by Betsey Johnson
Liz Claiborne Sweater & Mixit Necklace - JCPenney
Tights - Forever21
Sugar Boots - Kohls (Old)
Shorts - Target (Old)
Nail Art - Sally Hanson

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Film Flashback: Cloudland Canyon Cira 2007

It's no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Cloudland Canyon State Park. My family and I have been coming here for so long (these pics were taken about 8 years ago - yikes!) I have fond memories of drinking coffee by the fire, grilling out at the picnic area, and playing highly competitive games of dominoes - not to mention going on day long hiking adventures with my Dad. It was always nice having that escape in the mountains, surrounded by waterfalls and towering trees all of life's problems suddenly seemed so small.

Want to see more updated pictures of this park? You can find them HERE and HERE.

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