Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Muffin!

Yep I'm on another muffing kick, surprise surprise. Truth to be told I HATE throwing away food and I had a carton of buttermilk that was about to expire so I researched for a healthy muffin recipe that had buttermilk in it. I decided on these Oatmeal Muffins, I made a few changes from the original recipe just based on what I had and prefer. These are super hearty and filling. Yum!

Oatmeal Muffins via Pittsburgh Needs Eated.


Oatmeal Muffins adapted from Pittsburgh Needs Eated.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (lightly packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Heat the oven to 375F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the flour, oats, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into a large bowl. Make a well in the center.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar, then add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and pour the mixture into the well. Using an oversize rubber spatula, incorporate the mixtures by pushing them from the side of the bowl toward the center. Fold in the nuts. 

4. Portion the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and the tops are springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Store at room temperature. Also, these muffins may be frozen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lustworthy Item #2

I'm sure MANY of you have seen this look from Donna Karan's 2012 Fall Collection floating around Pinterest, Neiman Marcus or Bergdorfs websites, but I just had to share. It's GORGEOUS...its different, but still so classic at the same time. The way the cowl neck top lays makes its so visually interesting. Of course the black bow is my favorite detail, no shocker there. If anyone wants to send this ensemble my way feel free!

via Donna Karan

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Melanie Auld Jewels

Once again I can't remember how I came across Melanie Auld's line of jewelry, but I did somehow and boy am I glad. And once again I'm drawn to a few of her statement earrings. I know, I'm officially obsessed. Do any of you all own a piece of her jewelry? I think the Gemma, the first pair pictured are my favorite, the mix of colors and stone are gorgeous.
Gemma Earrings via Melanie Auld

Pave Tusk Earrings via Melanie Auld


Blythe Earrings via Melanie Auld

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tis the Season for WHITE!

In honor of the Memorial Day holiday I wanted to post a few of my favorite all white outfit inspiration pictures. Although I do FULLY believe that you can in fact wear white before Memorial Day it still remains a starting off point for many to pull out their favorite summer whites.

I don't think I could even pick a favorite look from the ones below. I think my favorite thing about wearing all white and is ALL the options you have with your accessories, on one hand I love to do a nude wedge and simple gold jewelry, but on the other I love bright turquoise/coral/cobalt/emerald accents too...decisions decisions.

Hope you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day. Most of all, thank to you all those who have served for us and our great country.
Pencey Summer Dress via Shopbop

via Glamour
DVF via Shopbop

via La Dolce Vita

via La Dolce Vita




Saturday, May 26, 2012

The HUBS Cleared His Whole Plate!

I'm sure my husband is cringing at this title, BUT I knew this was a winner of a dish when he finished his plate so quickly. I've talked before about how I'm not a casserole person before,  but I like to try them from time to time because they are convenient and normally a budget friendly meal. I had pinned this recipe awhile back from Debbi Does Dinner (Great blog on low calorie meals!) and had a good excuse to make it this week. I made a few tweaks...hope you all enjoy!

Brown Rice Casserole from Debbie Does Dinner


Brown Rice Casserole Recipe Adapted from Debbie Does Dinner

1 large onion, chopped
1 pepper, green, chopped
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Spice
1 lb. Italian Chicken Sausage
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (Uncle Ben's Ready Brown Rice is REAL handy here)
3/4 cup cheese (I used fresh grated parm and didn't use the whole 3/4 cup)

Saute the sausage until almost done.  Add the chopped onion and pepper and saute until meat is done and veggies are getting soft.  Add the Italian seasoning and cook for another minute.  Add the rice and stir.  Put the mixture into a casserole dish. I used a 9 x 13 and it was pretty thin, you could use an 8 x 8 for a thicker casserole.  Sprinkle cheese on top. Put the casserole into oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until cheese is melted all is hot. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Who Knew PALEO was SO yummy?!

So I've posted recipes before from Ingredients, Inc, Alison really makes some fantastic recipes and they never disappoint. I was asked to make a dessert for a girls meeting that I had last night and I knew I wanted to bring something somewhat healthy...or as healthy as a dessert can be. I had pinned these no bake cookies forever ago and decided this was the perfect time to make them! O my goodness, they are delicious!

No-Bake Paleo and Gluten-Free Cookies from Ingredients, Inc


No-Bake Paleo and Gluten-Free Cookies

Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen (larger cookies)
Ingredients
1 cup finely chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts (I put 2 cups of walnuts in the food processor and used all that it made)
11/2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips (I used dark)
1/2 cup almond butter (I used self-grind) (I could only find chunky almond butter so I used that and it worked great)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (I only had sweetened on hand)
Preparation
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Process nuts in a food processor until very finely chopped (almost ground). Set aside.

3. Combine chocolate, almond butter, olive oil and honey over low heat in a medium saucepan 2 to 3 minutes or until it has a smooth consistency and chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, coconut and nuts.

4. Drop by tablespoon or teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until they harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Balsamic and Orange Marmalade, Who Knew!

Another chicken dish today! I know a lot of people like me get sick of the same old chicken so I'm always trying new ones to see which recipes will become mainstays in our house. This recipe sounded like such an interesting mix so I just had to try it.

Do any of you all read Busy But Healthy? I'm really liking some of Kristine's recipes!

Almond Crusted Chicken w Balsamic Orange Drizzle via Busy But Healthy



4 x 4 oz chicken breasts, pounded slightly between plastic wrap to even out thickness
1/2 cup almond meal (Can find in the bulk section at a lot of grocery stores)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 
Drizzle
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp reduced sugar orange marmalade (I couldn't find reduced sugar at the store I was shopping at)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  As mentioned above, pound out chicken breasts between plastic wrap to even out thickness.  In a shallow dish, place all other dry ingredients.  Dunk the chicken in the almond mixture on both sides.  Place in a oven proof dish (uncovered), place in oven.  Cook for 10-15 minutes on each side.  May need more or less time depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and orange marmalade.  Allow to simmer and reduce for a least 20 minutes.  You’ll know its done when the sauce will cover the back of a spoon.
*TIP: If you find your chicken breading isn’t browning in the oven, simply turn it to BROIL HIGH for last 5 minutes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Lunch Salad

Sooo I love making a "salad" on Sundays to feed me for lunches through the week and I have a new one for you all. This is so yum and fresh. I slightly adapted this recipe from the Sprinkled with Love's version...Enjoy!


Slightly adapted from Sprinkled with Love
1 cup dry quinoa (I use 1 "packet" from a premade quinoa and couscous blend from Costco)
2 ears of corn, grilled
1 cans black beans
2 heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
Salt, pepper and lime juice (I used one whole lime) to taste 
Directions: This recipe is super easy to make in advance, not to mention you can basically alter it anyway you see fit for fab results. Start by cooking the quinoa and grilling your corn. Allow for the corn to cool before cutting the kernels off the husks! Roughly chop the tomatoes. Combine the cooled quinoa and corn with everything else (rinse and drain the beans, chop the veggies, mince the and jalapeño, etc.). Serve cold. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lustworthy Item #1

I want to start a reoccurring post over here on lust worthy items. Everyone ok with that? I came across this skirt when looking at the looks from Cannes (A place I desperately want to visit, JDB are you reading this?) film festival and I think it's just perfect. I love that it's feminine and a little on the adorable side, but fresh at the same time. I would tuck in a killer silk white blouse and nude heels for now, but come winter a black turtleneck, tights and black booties would look great too...ohhhh the options!

Carven Silk-cady and lace mini skirt via Net-a-Porter

Monday, May 21, 2012

T Strap Sandals

So I want to love these styles I really do, for some beyond silly reason I'm convinced that this particular style of sandal makes my calves looker bigger than they are actually are, weird huh? You all are probably thinking I'm crazy right about now....however, this style from Nine West makes me want to try them again.

This sandal is ultimate everyday current classic perfection. I say current because of the metallic touch. This would be a great buy for anyone!

Nine West Paulyne Flat Sandal



Friday, May 18, 2012

Black Beans Win Again!

Lame title I know I know...but, you will think the same way after you make this dip. I had randomly seen this recipe in an Oprah magazine and taken a quick pic on my iPhone and then waited WAY too long to make it. It's always a hit and its healthy, win win. Its great with chips (Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips are my new fav find!) and with veggies too. Enjoy and happy weekend!

Smoky Black Bean Dip via Oprah.com

Servings: Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions , including green tops
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tsp. canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 small jalapeno chili , seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 1/2 cup and 1 Tbsp. minced cilantro
Directions
Total time: 25 minutes

In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, coriander, and cumin. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 2 minutes. Add beans and 1/3 cup water. Simmer until water evaporates, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process bean mixture until coarsely mashed. Add lime juice, chipotle chilies, and salt. Process until smooth. Add sour cream, jalapeño, and 1/2 cup cilantro. Pulse just until cilantro is incorporated. Adjust seasoning, then transfer to a bowl. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve immediately.

Per 2 Tbsp. serving: 57 calories, 2 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 2 grams fiber

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fendi Resort 2013

So I was lusting over on M'oda 'Operandi (Amazing website, everyone needs to join!) the other morning and came across the stunning Fendi Resort 2013 collection. In my head I'm of course thinking WHO actually buys these pieces, sighhhh, must be nice! However, in a fairytale world Look 17 below would make a new home in my closet.

This to me this dress is the best mix of feminine, chic but a little bit of tough thrown in too...I would have a hard time deciding between a killer pair of black patent pumps or a colored shoe for a more fun twist. 

Fendi Multimedia Dress with Belt via M'oda 'Operandi


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

OH MY SALAD!

O my goodness this salad is amazing, I've made it twice in one week now! The dressing totally makes the dish and I would highly recommended using the best basil you can. The first time I made this I served along our standard grilled lemon pepper chicken tenders and then last night served it with leftover pulled pork sandwiches.

Go now and make this, you won't be disappointed!

Spring Salad with Strawberry Lemon Basil Dressing from Oh She Glows



Spring Salad with Strawberry Lemon Basil Dressing

Slightly adapted from Oh She Glows

for the dressing (yield: 2/3 cup):
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup, to taste
  • fine grain sea salt & black pepper, to taste (I used 1/4 tsp each)

for the salad:
  • Slivered almonds, toasted
  • mixed greens
  • strawberries, chopped
  • chiffonade fresh basil

1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Toast the almonds for about 7-8 minutes and then remove.
2. In a food processor, add the strawberries, basil, lemon juice, and oil. Process until smooth. Add in the salt, pepper, and maple syrup to taste and process again.
3. Assemble the salad as desired. Leftover dressing should keep for at least a few days in a sealed container.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Recipes from Mother's Day

Happppppy Monday friends! Who else is exhausted? The only thing getting me through today is knowing that Emily's season of The Bachelorette starts tonight!

Mother's Day was a huge success yesterday (Thanks to all my sisters!) and I wanted to share some recipes with you. I did this Pulled Pork recipe and it was beyond easy and very tasty. Jenna is a genius and always has the best recipes, you need to be reading her blog if you are a foodie.

Saucy Crock Pot Pulled Pork from Eat, Live, Run



serves 6
2 lbs pork butt shoulder (ask your butcher if you don’t see it on the shelf)
1/2 bottle Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade
1/2 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (I used Stubb's)
1/2 onion, chopped (I took a shortcut and bought pre chopped onion and just threw in 1 container of that into the crockpot)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Rub the salt, ground mustard and cayenne (I didn't really measure here, I just covered my pork all over with a mix of the salt, ground mustard and cayenne.) all over the pork shoulder then brown the shoulder on all sides in a heavy pan on medium/high heat. This should take about 10 minutes.
Remove browned shoulder from the pan and place in a crock pot along with the chopped onion and sauces. Turn crock pot on high and cook for 6-8 hours. You’ll know the pork is ready when it falls apart when stabbed with a fork.
Remove the pork from the crock pot and shred with a fork then place back in the sauce and serve. (I didn't put the pork back in the sauce, I felt it was moist enough to not need that step, having some extra barbecue sauce on reserve though for your guests might be a good idea though.)
Obviously our dessert items were a high priority on our menu and one of my SIL's (Hiii Allison!) made a to die for Rum Cake, but I felt something chocolate needed to be made too. I decided on this Southern Chocolate Brownie Pie. It was was the perfect balance of being rich, but not too rich that you couldn't finish it. The only thing that would be of made this pie better would of been a big fat scoop of vanilla ice cream, I mean it's a crust less pie so at least its semi-healthy right? 
Southern Chocolate Brownie Pie from Ingredients, Inc

Prep: 15 minutesCook: 40 minutes
Ingredients
11/2 cups granulated sugar1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa1/2 cup butter, softened3 large eggs1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon sea salt1/2 cup dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate morsels1/2 cup chopped walnuts1Whipped Cream (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer. Stir in chocolate morsels and walnuts. Spread batter evenly in a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with whipped cream, if desired






Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Best Friend

Ahhh Mother's Day, what a special day tomorrow is! In all honesty we should celebrate the devotion and love that Mom's possess everyday, but tomorrow is an extra important day to do it. I'm hosting a Mother's Day lunch at our home with the help of my sister and sister-in-laws, we are blending all our families and Mom's together and I couldn't be more excited. We have a VERY yummy menu planned too, don't worry recipes will come next week!

In the meantime, remember to make a moment to celebrate your Mom. Mom's really are the best. I'm so honored to not only be my Mom's daughter, but to also call her a best friend. While I could talk about my Mom for days (I bawled when I left for our honeymoon because I didn't want to leave her...embarrassing I know!) I wanted to highlight ten things that I love about her here on the blog!

Yep that would be my stunning Mom, SO chic! 


Top 10 Things about Ging
 - She is an amazing cook and baker
 - She loves with her whole heart
 - She taught me to give back, she volunteers SO much at many great non-profits and organizations and has showed me how important it is to help others
 - She is a great entertainer. She has mastered the whole elegant entertaining, but in a casual setting thing and thanks to her entertaining doesn't scare me!
 - She is strong. SO very strong.
 - She has taught me just how joyous it is to be a Mama and has made me excited for when that chapter in my life comes.
 - She has taught me the importance of sitting down together as a family to eat.
 - She showed me NYC!!!
 - She surrounds herself with SO many amazing friends that have become amazing role models to me.
 - She is my rock and my absolute best friend.

Thank you Mama for everything you do...from coming over to hang pictures on our walls to planting flowers in our front yard to endless trips to Dallas to find the perfect drapery fabric to all the morning walks to the dozen phone calls a day...but most of all for just being there and being you. You are perfect and I love you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

ClosetChic Summer Staple

Yayyyy for FRIDAY! Anyone have fun weekend plans? I'm looking forward to a chill night tonight and then some fun activities tomorrow and then OF course a big Mother's Day Celebration on Sunday.

Look at these shoes. They are classic, practical and a pair that you will reach for again and again. Wear these with everything friends!

Madewell Patent Postscript Peep-Toe Wedge

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Words to Live By...

I love coming across new blogs that inspire me, don't you? I just recently started subscribing to Dalai Lina and am loving all of Lina's post. I had to tell you all about one she did a few days ago on living your best life as if someone was writing your life story. Lina goes onto explain that you wouldn't want your story to be boring and more importantly if someone was following your every move how you would want to portray your best self. This post really minded me that its the little things like taking the extra step to smile at someone at the grocery step or tell the postman thank you or hug your loved ones a little harder. See the full post here.

Lina Dickinson, the blogger behind Dalai Lina

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Loves at Kate Spade

I was DELIGHTED the other day when I received an email from Kate Spade showcasing their new arrivals. Here are the items I was drooooooling over, there are some perfect Mother's Day gifts in this roundup too. That wicker iPhone case and the statement earrings (Shocker!) are calling my name!!
Primrose Hill Veronica
Primrose Hill Little Kaelin
Celeste

Delavan Terrace Phone Case

Paradise Pebbles Chandelier Earrings


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Marfa Love...

So no this post isn't really about Marfa, TX, although I REALLY want go to Marfa (Girls weekend anyone?).  It's more about this photo pictured below taken of the Prada sculpture in Marfa taken by my talented friend Kristin. Kristin has an amazing way with the camera and now has a website up and running where you can view her work and even purchase it too. I am beyond impressed with her work and am hoping to add this photo to my gallery wall. Kristin is one to watch friends, you heard it from me first!

Prada Marfa by Kristin Kirkley

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Santa Fe Love

Hiiii friends, I've been in Santa Fe most of this week and have ABSOLUTELY been loving it. We have a dear family friend getting married today and we just can't wait for the celebration. Santa Fe is a perfect destination wedding spot or vacation spot. We have relaxed a TON this week, but I wanted to highlight a few must sees in Santa Fe.

There are so many awesome hotels in the area, but if you have a larger group (Like our family!) I would rent a house. We went through Casas de Santa Fe and we have been very pleased with our house. We are just a few minutes from Canyon Road (the main street for the galleries) which has proved to be an awesome location. My favorite stop on Canyon Road is without a doubt Bittersweet Designs, they have the best necklaces, I was so excited to finally purchase one.

via Bittersweet Designs


There are so many yummy restaurants too, since we have been staying in a house we have had access to a kitchen and have been cooking a lot, but I would definitely suggest two places. One is where the "locals" go and it is authentic Santa Fe, Maria's is worth the stop! I have never been to a restaurant with more kinds of tequila than Maria's. And don't forget to get a sopaipilla! For a nicer meal Geronimo is the place to go. One of our sweet friends (Hi Becca!) put together a big group dinner for a bunch of us there and it was beyond good. The restaurant is so small and gorgeous. One more stop would be the bar at the Hotel St. Francis, we didn't make it there this trip but I've been there in the past and its gorgeous and a great setting for a after dinner drink.

via Santa Fe Travelers

Of course you should look around the historic Santa Fe square, the Georgia O'Keefe museum and there is also a great kitchen shop called The Spanish Table that has some great Santa Fe pottery and local cookbooks.

I'm already looking forward to my next trip back to Santa Fe! A big thank you to Leigh & Michael for getting marrrrrried!

Friday, May 4, 2012

SHE has prints now!!

The SHE I'm referring to in the title of this post is the amazing artist that is Michelle Armas, I'm sure unless you have been living under a rock that you have heard of her. Her paintings are gorgeous, but they are a little out of my price range, BUT now she is selling prints. If you are willing (Which I think you should be!) to buy prints of your favorite artists it is a great affordable option. My favorite print from her current offerings on her website is this one. In love with the mix...thoughts?

Millenium Print via Michelle Armas

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Slipper Meeeeeeeee

I felt like a proud Mama when one of my ClosetChic clients texted me a picture of these Cole Haan slippers and asked which color she could purchase, are they not adorable?! I had purchased a leopard pair for this past fall/winter and loved them, so now I am thinking about adding a more spring/summer version to my wardrobe. Here are a roundup of a few pairs, which would you purchase?

These Hadleigh slippers are a favorite of blogger Krystal Schlegel.

Hadleigh Slippers

These Steve Madden ones are the same style as my leopard ones from this past fall/winter.

Croquet by Steve Madden
And last but not least, these Cole Haan's are my favorite! 

Air Morgan Slipper Ballet by Cole Haan





Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Suzanna Dai

So by now I'm sure most of you are aware of my obsession with statement earrings, they are my favorite accessory by far. I had seen a few of Suzanna Dai's pieces at Calypso (a FAV shopping destination of mine!), but had never really explored all she had to offer until the other day. Check out some of her stunning earrings below, its so hard to pick a favorite but the Male Drop pair are REALLLLLY calling my name!

Rome Button Earrings
Rajasthan Drop Earrings
Metropolis Drop Earrings

Male Drop Earrings
Casablanca Drop Earrings