Friday, August 22, 2014

Fashion Friday: Signs of Life

You guys! Fall is coming!!!

Growing up in Florida, I always think it's interesting how most people have negative connotations of fall. I always remember the weather people complaining about the 60 degree weather and longing for the hot summer temps to return. Fall/winter is often associated with the death and/or dying of life but I have always considered it a new beginning, to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall" and believe me, it can't come soon enough!

Outfit Details
Dress & Necklace (s/o) - Forever21
Shoes - Steve Madden @ tj maxx

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Parmesan & Asparagus Herb Crustless Quiche

When I saw this beautiful asparagus on sale, I HAD to nab some up.

Asparagus and I haven't always been the best of friends, in fact, I just started liking this vegetable within the past couple of years. Let's face it, asparagus isn't the best smelling veggie in this world and the flavor can be overpowering at times but if you get a good batch and cook it just right, these little green spears are hard to beat.

As a kid I always remember asparagus being bland and super stringy, which can easily happen if you leave the butts on! I always take one spear and gently bend it in half, the spear should break off, this naturally tells you where the "butt" part starts and gives you a good idea about just how much you need to trim for the rest of the bunch. With this recipe, I decided to leave the crust of this quiche because I was feeling lazy to reduce the calories and make it lighter for summertime. I am also taking full advantage of my herb garden before the cool fall and winter months take over. This quiche was super tasty, with the flavor of fresh parsley, asparagus, and golden brown baked Parmesan bits in every bite, I am willing to bet this will convert any asparagus hater.

Parmesan & Asparagus Herb Quiche

2 TBS butter
1 bunch asparagus, diced, to yield 2 cups chopped asparagus
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, or more to taste
6 eggs
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tsp. ground yellow curry (you could use Dijon mustard instead)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2.Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, and add the butter. When the butter is bubbling, stir in the asparagus, and sauté it for 2 minutes. Add the herbs, sauté it for 1 more minute until it is fragrant, and remove the pan from the heat.

3.In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, curry, cheese, and salt until they are thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pie plate. Place the asparagus in desired design or pattern.Bake it for 20 minutes, uncovered, until the quiche is set, or a few extra minutes if you want it a little browned. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or let it cool, cover it tightly, and freeze it for up to 3 months.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Honey Oat Whole Grain Bread with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Compound Butter

Is there anything more comforting and downright jovial in this world than the smell of freshly baked bread? If my metabolism wasn't slow as molasses I would probably definitely have bread with every meal. There's something so satisfying about that warm, soft, chewy texture and when you spread some brown sugar cinnamon butter on a warm piece of toast? Forget about it.

Unfortunately I think the art of bread baking as gone by the wayside in America but it's so easy and affordable to make I'm aiming to bring baking back *cue new version of Justin Timberlake song
I think people are always intimidated at the thought of baking breads, when in reality they're probably one of the easiest things to make, don't get me wrong, baking is always an exact science and you do have to dedicate the time to proof, knead, etc. BUT as long as you have the time baking bread is probably one of the easiest (and dare I say most rewarding) achievements in the baking world.

Honey Oat Whole Grain Bread

makes 1 loaf

recipe adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

1 cup water
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 TBS honey
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread or all-purpose flour* (I used only bread flour)
1 cup quick cooking oats, plus more for topping loaf (or you could just grind rolled oats)
4 TBS (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 TBS salt

Directions:

1.Combine water and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; heat 30-45 seconds until warm (about 115 degrees F). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast and honey. Let sit 10 minutes until yeast is foamy.

2.Stir in flours, oats, butter and salt. Using a dough hook, knead on medium speed 6 minutes until dough is smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky (alternatively, knead by hand 10 to 15 minutes on a lightly floured surface). Keep dough in bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place* 1 hour until doubled.

3.When dough is doubled, punch down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Press into an 8-by-8-inch square, tuck in sides slightly and roll up into a log. Transfer to a lightly greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise 30 to 40 minutes until dough reaches the edges of the pan.

4.Heat oven to 400 degrees F (375 degrees F if loaf pan is dark or nonstick). Sprinkle oats on top of risen loaf. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until loaf is deep brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from loaf pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Compound Butter

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temp.
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 TBS honey

1.Beat butter until smooth, add ingredients and taste. You can either put the butter in a bowl or take some tin foil/plastic wrap and roll the butter in a tube for freezing.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Entryway Ideas


It's not often I share decor ideas on this blog but with our apartment almost complete, there still remains a vacant untouched spot near our entryway. I want something that is rustic yet modern, something that could be straight out of Anthropologie without the price tag that comes along with it (am I the only one that feels like just straight up living in that place?). These are a couple of affordable options I found from various stores, what is your go-to place for affordable home decor?

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Fashion Friday: Are you Kitten me Right Meow?


Despite my enduring love of weenie dogs, I have always considered myself to been a closeted cat lady, in fact it's probably a good thing I married Lewis otherwise I'm sure I would have ended up with at least 20 cats. When I saw this shirt at Forever21 last year I HAD to get it. The one I am wearing here is black but they have since come out with a similar one that's grey and equally awesome.

Outfit Details

Shirt & Skirt & Earrings (Similar)- Forever21
Shoes - JCPennys
Vest - Papaya s/o
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