Friday, March 29, 2013


Happy Friday, and Happy Good Friday that is!

Does everyone have fun Easter plans? We are changing it up a bit and serving a meal at our local night shelter Easter morning and then doing brunch at my parents house. My contributions to brunch are a Boozy Bacon Jam with Homeamde Biscuits and Blueberry Pie Bars, stay tuned for the recipes.

Last night we had some of our favorite people over for dinner and I served this pork tender, this salad and roatsed new potatoes. I forgot how much I love roasted potaotes and they are SO easy. There is no real recipe, you simply quarater new (sometimes called creamer) potatoes and toss with olive oil and your seasonings of choice and roast them in the oven at 425 for 40 minutes or so. They get crisy and delicious.

I also made a double batch of these Almond Butter granola bars, and WOW I forgot how insanely delicious these are. This time around I subbed in walnuts for the almonds, omitted the butter and they still turned out great!

In shopping news, I'm making this precious shirtdress mine, and at 30% off no less it's an amaaaazing deal.

Happy Easter weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

So if I'm being totally honest with you all I haven't ACTUALLY eaten this recipe yet. I made this for friends this week and am planning on having the leftovers for tonight's dinner. However, said friend said it was delicious so I'm trusting her.

I mean with this ingredient list how could it not be? This also took less than 30 minutes to make, thus making it a great weeknight meal!

We will be having this salad alongside this dish tonight, can't wait.


Spicy Sausage Pasta via Kevin & Amanda

Spicy Sausage Pasta slightly adapted from Kevin & Amanda

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked chicken sausage (I used an andouille version from Trader Joe's)
1.5 cups diced onion (I used a diced blend of onions/shallots/garlic from Trader Joe's)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I didn't add this since garlic was in the blend above)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup Lite Mexican Blend cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cheese and scallions.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake

So I have this wonderful friend I call Yahabs (Real Housewives of NYC anyone?) and this girl LOVES lemon desserts. I made dinner for her sweet family this week and I knew I had to make this cake for them when I saw it in Bon Appetit awhile back. I hope she loves it as much as I think she will.

If you want to check out my friends ADORABLE family, see her blog here.

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake via Bon Appetit

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake from Bon Appetit


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 8 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup apricot or peach preserves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour Bundt pan; set aside. Whisk baking powder, salt, and 3 cups flour in a medium bowl. Combine sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl; using your fingertips, rub together until lemon sugar is well blended.
  • Add 1 cup butter to lemon sugar. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes longer.
  • Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  • Bake cake until golden brown and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; remove pan and let cool completely. 
  • Combine preserves and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until glaze is reduced to 1/2 cup, 6-8 minutes. Strain glaze into a small pitcher or bowl; discard solids in strainer. Pour glaze over cooled cake and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Roasted Garlic Pasta

Hmmmm pasta salad? It has never been top on my list, but after seeing this recipe that involved roasted garlic I was sold. This was my first time roasting garlic and WHOA, it makes your home smell amazing.

I made a few changes from the original recipe, mainly that I subbed the pasta for a brown rice/quinoa blend that you microwave and then I heated the ricotta cheese plus 1/2 cup of water together in pot over  medium heat to combine well to put the sauce together.

Roasted Garlic Pasta via Budget Bytes

Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad adapated from Budget Bytes


- 1 head roasted garlic
- 1 lb pasta OR 1 pouch of brown rice/quinoa blend
- 15 oz. fat-free ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmasan
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 1/2 cup water


Combine roasted garlic, ricotta mixture (see above) and salt/pepper to taste in a large bowl. Make pasta or microwave other "pasta" source and add to bowl. Quarter cherry tomatoes, and add to bowl along with spinach and basil. Add the parmasan cheese and stir well to combine. Enjoy!

See this tutorial for how to roast garlic.

And P.S. I served this with this mandrain orange and cranberry salad

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I know these posts usually come on a Monday, but this week has been a little nuts sooooo that didn't happen.

I've been doing a LOT of cooking this week which I love.

Sunday I made this salmon dish again and it was just eh. I really need to step up my game in the fish department. I'm not confident cooking fish and that's something I need to work on STAT.

Monday, I made these Panko Chicken Strips and they were delicious! However, next time I will add even more BBQ seasoning and maybe some fresh grated Parmesan too.

via How Sweet It Is

Last night was this soup, it's quickly becoming one of our favorites and later today I'll be baking a batch of these Red Velvet Brownies (hold the icing though) for a very special birthday girl. My sister is turning the big 3-0 on Saturday!

via How Sweet Is Is

In non-cooking news I'm utterly obsessed with two things this week. One being this book by Jen Hatmaker, wow is all I have to say. Thanks to Jenna from Eat, Live, Run for cluing me in about this powerful book. Two, I'm indulging way too often in the Starburst Jelly Beans, OMG guys, can't. stop. eating. them.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's a Pancake Kind of Day

I'm still in the groove of trying all different kinds of breakfast ideas. In case you missed it, these breakfast cookies and these banana oatmeal muffins have been my top two favorites. This morning I made a batch of these pancakes. I'm undecided on these, I ate them plain without syrup and I'm thinking that was a mistake. I think tomorrow morning I'll try them with syrup.

Either way these are healthy and filling!


Banana Almond Oat Pancakes via GreenLiteBites

Banana Almond Oat Pancakes from GreenLiteBites

  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats 
  • 1/4 cup Almonds 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Grind up the oats and almonds in a processor. In a bowl mix the processed oats/almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl mash the banana. Then whisk with the vanilla, egg, and milk.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to create the batter.

Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.
Pour batter on the griddle in about quarter cups, this yields around 7-8 pancakes.

Cook for 3-4 minutes. The edges with start to brown slightly and there will be a few bubbles. Flip.
Cook for about 2 minutes until set.

Monday, March 18, 2013

In Love with Lasagna

UGH Monday! Totally feeling a case of the Monday's right now seeing as this past weekend was so fun and relaxing. The hubs and I went over to my parents home for a scrumptious dinner on Saturday night and my Mama who is an EX-cellent cook made this lasagna. Holy holy, it was unbelievable, while not healthy it was totally worth it to indulge.

While it does have a lot of steps, and having a helper make this with you isn't a bad idea, the pay off is so worth it. It was delicious. I'm EXTRA excited about the leftovers she put in my freezer for me.

Make this for someone you love and enjoy!

via Elle Decor

Makes 10 to 12 servings
•5 T extra-virgin olive oil
•2 medium onions, finely diced
•2 stalks celery, finely diced
•1 lb. fresh wild mushrooms, trimmed, washed, and roughly chopped
•½ lb. spinach leaves, stems removed, washed
•4 T butter
•2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into approximately ½-inch pieces
•1 cup dry white wine
•½ cup all-purpose flour
•1 cup heavy cream
•3 cups milk (Any kind is fine, we used fat-free!)
•½ bunch Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
•Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
•16 dried lasagna noodles
•1 lb. fontina cheese, cut into small dice
•1 cup grated Parmesan
•Salt and freshly ground white pepper
In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat 3 T of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, then add the spinach with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted and mushrooms are tender. Remove the vegetables from the pot and reserve.
Add the butter to the same pot, and adjust the heat to medium. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper, and add to the melted butter. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is almost cooked through but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost completely reduced. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken, and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, allowing the flour to coat the chicken and absorb the liquid. Gradually stir in the cream and milk, scraping the pot to release any cooked flour from the bottom and sides (if necessary, stir with a whisk to break up any lumps). Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, allowing the liquid to thicken. With a spoon or ladle, reserve 1 cup of liquid. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the cooked vegetables and mushrooms. Add the chopped parsley. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.
To Assemble the Lasagna:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles for about 8 minutes; they should be not quite cooked through (al dente). Strain the noodles in a colander, and rinse in cold water. Drain, then toss noodles with non-stick spray to prevent sticking. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with non-stick spray. Place a layer of 4 noodles on the bottom, overlapping them slightly. Top with one third of the chicken mixture, then one third of the diced fontina. Repeat layering twice, finishing with a layer of noodles. Spread the reserved sauce on the noodles and then sprinkle with Parmesan. (At this stage, the lasagna can be refrigerated overnight. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.) Cover with aluminum foil or a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 400°F, remove the foil, and continue to bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stripes & Nudes

Yes, stripes and nudes are two of my favorite things! I LOVE a good striped top and nude shoes are my life. Nude shoes elongate your legs people, everyone should have a FEW pairs. As for stripes, while they have always been a classic, I find that these days they are being incorporated in more trendy ways which is fun to take inspiration from.

For example this outfit, by amazing blogger Blair of Atlantic-Pacific...layering can be such a game changer with the items in your wardrobe. I'm guilty of not taking advantage as much as I should, but Blair's latest outfit post gives me some new fresh inspiration.

via Atlantic-Pacific

I also am in love with this striped dress from Banana Republic. You ALL would never guess how flattering it is on, it makes your waist look tiny! I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but Banana is offering 30% off all full-priced purchases with code BRTHANKS so maybe it's time? Although, HOLD UP, it's already on sale so pick this up and then treat yourself to something else that is full-priced, I mean your saving $$$ anyway, right?

Chevron Striped Ponte Dress via Banana Republic

Back to the nudes, these ballet flats from Cole Haan have been on my Pinterest for a LONG while. Such a classic, I know anyone would get miles of wear out of these. They can also be yours after taking 25% off with code EVENT25.

Manhattan Ballet via Cole Haan

Happy a happy shopping filled Thursday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Almond Butter Brownie Cupcakes

Cupcake is a very loose term in this title. I heavily considered not posting this recipe today as I'm undecided on whether or not I even like these. I'm all about baking healthier desserts since I have such a HUGE sweet tooth so when I came across this recipe I knew it was a must bake.

However, they almost taste TOO healthy for me, but I've only had one so far so I'm hoping to give them another tasting shot. One change I would make is to add the almond butter to the batter instead of messing with the marbling effect, because to be honest my marbled effect didn't really work.

What do you think of this recipe?

via Butter Baking

Almond Butter Brownie Cupcakes adapted from Butter Baking
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
1 egg
1 egg white
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond butter
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Place all ingredients except the peanut butter in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth and the oats turn to a powder.
In a small bowl, microwave the almond butter for 30 seconds.
Pour the brownie batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 of the way.
Pour about a tablespoon of melted almond butter onto each brownie bite, and gently swirl it in with a knife, creating a marbled effect.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the centres are set. Makes about 12.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Break

Oh how I've missed having a Spring Break. I'm so jealous of all the college kids that are off jet setting to far away tropical locations! Since a tropical destination is on the brain I thought I would feature some swimmies on my wish list. Last summer I hunted for the perfect one piece, but had no luck with any I tried on. Here are some I've pinned lately, I'm OBSESSED withe Miu Miu one and hoping to make it mine.

I think a one piece is a staple to have in one's swim wardrobe for those days that your just not feeling like rocking a two-piece or when you are doing some sort of adventure sport in the water, because let's face it there is a lot less to lose when you only have one item of clothing to worry about!

Oahu Maillot via Marysia Swim

ASOS Peplum Swimsuit via ASOS

Miu Miu Bow-embellished bandeau swimsuit via Net-A-Porter

Marysia Flamingo Cutout Maillot via Anthropologie

Are you headed anywhere tropical soon? If so, do tell!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Happpppy Monday friends! I love Mondays, I know so annoying right? But Mondays are the start to a fresh week and I love that feeling. AND The Bachelor finale is on tonight!!

Some thoughts for you all all today...

If in Houston, go directly to BRC and order the biscuits and the boozy bacon jam, OMG life changing. I searched on Pinterest today for a similar recipe and am hoping this one is the ticket.

Do you all remember this Nina Ricci dress that Diane Kruger wore at Cannes? It's available should you be lucky enough to purchase.

via Red Carpet Fashion Awards

Did you all see Elements of Style's post from Friday? This picture is giving me great outfit inspiration...I'm still obsessed with any and all chambray shirts I can get my hands on.

via Elements of Style

Lastly, do you all shop on Tobi? It's somewhat like Forever 21, but you can find some great FINDS. I'm contemplating this blouse. How cute with colored shorts and wedges? Or over white jeans?

Breaking Buds Blouse via Tobi

Oh and I'm cooking this and this for dinners this week.

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dress Week

This week I've found myself being enamored with dresses. This must be my minds way of telling me that I'm ready for spring!

After seeing all the hype over the Shopbop sale, I followed Bluebonnets For Sal's advice and got this Vince dress. I am a new lover to all things Vince, and while I can't always justify the price tag, it was at LEAST nice knowing this was almost $100 off. Isn't the color so bright and cheerful?

Vince Shirtdress via Shopbop

I was exchanging something at J.Crew also this week when this dress stopped me dead in my tracks. This is SO something I would always gravitate towards as its a classic, but with a twist. That small scalloped detail is what makes this dress a winner. I purchased the navy, but all colors offered are great options.

Scalloped Dress via J.Crew

I'm thinking one of these might be my Easter dress! Is it odd that at 26 I STILL validate a new dress for Easter? Hmmmm...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Breakfast Continues...

Soooo today I ran out of these muffins, but still had one overripe banana, so I made a quick batch of these Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey muffins. Holy GOODNESS, these are good, and while I think they aren't quite as healthy as these, they are still a good choice.

I halved this recipe and it still worked great too just FYI! I'm interested to see if subbing almond butter for peanut butter and oat flour (ground up oats) would yield the same amazing results? I think I'll try that next time.

via An Edible Mosaic

Peanut Butter, Banana, & Honey Muffins slightly adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Yields 18 muffins
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey 
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 
1/2 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F and spray a muffin tray with non-stick spray.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Cream together the bananas, honey, peanut butter, yogurt, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over-mix.  Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Did everyone have a good weekend? We had a really fun here in TOWN, which was beyond nice.

Friday I was out shopping with a client (For a reminder, I do closet consulting and personal shopping, if interested email me at and I ran across this jacket and am obsessed. I'm hoping this outfit works as well in person as it does in my head, but I think putting this J.Crew top which is already on it's way to me underneath would be great. I think I'll pair the jacket/top combo with this pair of army green cargo like pants that I have from LOFT, but throw on high heels with it too...stay tuned, maybe I'll post a picture.

Striped Twill Zip Jacket via Gap

Tilda Rhinestone Top via J.Crew

As far as cooking this week, I've still been eating these muffins for breakfast, SO good. I made this last night, but honestly wasn't impressed, which was a bummer. I'm having this oldie but a goodie for lunches this week, SO delicious and fresh, it's a MUST try salad and it screams Spring to me.

Happy Monday!