Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Note to self : add to wish list...

I realized today that if I am to look exquisite this second half of the year then I need to put a halt to my culinary pursuits and start going to the gym. Soon the big, thick September fashion issues will be out with all of the incredible fall colors and styles, that in all honesty, never really change. Style is personal, it's what you like and what makes you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror. For me Fall = plaid, saddle shoes, wing tips, vintage cashmere, dark plums and teals, faded men's denim (year round), men's thin stripped button downs and khakis/ dress pants tailored to fit. And most importantly, the little black button down sweater.


Fresh juice it is.

I also realized after web browsing and finding this amazing vintage Chanel dress that I could never in a million years afford, I should probably learn to sew.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

OMGosh I Want!

Found this over at La Petite Coquin

I would love this for Mr. N and myself!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sea Side Bark

This is an original by *me*.

I'm going to be honest, I didn't measure a thing.

I took a bag of white chips (out of convenience- next time I will pay the extra money for a few bars of good quality white chocolate.) and tempered the bulk of them (3/4) in the microwave. 15 seconds- stop-stir-repeat until not quite all the way melted. You should still be able to see remnants of chips but when you stir chips should easily melt and chocolate should be glossy. Add the remaining 1/4 of white chocolate, the coolness of the left over chocolate is the tempering trick. I learned this from watching Ina Garten. Loves me some Ina! Pour melted chocolate on to lightly greased parchment paper that is resting on flat pan. Give bowl with left over melted good stuff to the 8 year old that is standing directly over you. :) Sprinkle with crushed pretzels, finely diced black licorice, cinnamon and sea salt to personal taste. Gently smooth over with wooden spoon so that the cinnamon and salt evenly mix into the white chocolate.

This might not be for everyone but  I love it! Sweet, salty, crunchy with a burst of deep black licorice. Interesting mix that pairs wonderfully with a nice port.

*Next time I promise I will measure.


Quick entry before I go walking (ugh). I inherited several treasures from my parents, among them are boxes full of  INCREDIBLE old photos. Due to my fathers job, he had the privilege of seeing most of the world. Thankfully, he had a love of photography and documented his travels. I'm not sure where this was taken, regardless the view is surreal. I do know that it was taken around the late 1940's to early 1950's. I can only imagine what it must  have looked like in color.

Morning Walk

The view from my walk yesterday Not to shabby, eh? Trying to get myself psyched up to go for another, longer, calorie burning 4 mile walk in like the next 30 minutes or so. The only downfall to having a culinary passion is gaining weight. Which makes it hard for me to enjoy my other passion: clothes. After last nights dinner (angel hair with a sun dried tomato/ cream sauce, french bread with olive oil dipping sauce and  soft mozzarella layered with tomato and basil .... ahhhh fresh basil, such an incredible scent! lest not forget the delicious pecorino romano- heaven.) , I definitely need to get out and move!  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Grilled Salt & Vinegar Potatoes

Photo by Heidi Swanson. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

2 cups / 475 ml white wine vinegar

1 pound / 16 oz / 450 g waxy potatoes (see head notes), cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for seasoning

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

fennel salt* to taste (optional)

Pour the vinegar into a medium saucepan, then stack (or arrange) the potatoes so the vinegar covers them completely. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are just fork tender. You want them to hold their shape, so they don't fall apart on the grill later. Let the potatoes cool in the vinegar for 30 minutes. Drain well, then very gently toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Heat the grill to medium high. Grill potatoes, covered if possible, until golden on one side, then flip and grill the other side - roughly 3 - 5 minutes per side. Serve sprinkled with salt or fennel salt to taste.

Serves 4.

*To make fennel salt: toast 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds in a skillet, pound to a powder with a mortar and pestle, then combining it with about two tablespoons of flaky sea salt.

I found this over at 101 Cookbooks (see side reads). A few words come to mind: interesting, acquired taste and pucker. I used white wine vinegar like Heidi suggested but I'm sure (as she stated in her entry) you can use any vinegar you like. The fennel salt was a surprise treat, so aromatic! I loved everything about the deep, licorice scent and taste. Homemade fennel salt will be a regular in my spice collection from now on.
We paired the potato's with chicken but I think beef would have been a better accompaniment. Wash down with wine of your choice as this side seems like it would go with anything.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dinner And Desert: Lobster Grilled Cheese And Fresh Cherry Sauce

Dinner tonight... Omg - yum! Photos and recipes via Kevin of Closet Cooking

Rainy night, jazz on low, cheap German wine in hand, delicious food, family at the table= nice evening

Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich

by Chef Chris Mills
(makes 4 sandwiches)

1 pound lobster (cooked, shelled and diced)
1/4 pound brie (diced)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon tarragon (chopped)
2 green onions (sliced)
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 lemon (juice)
salt and pepper to taste
8 slices bread
4 slices cheddar cheese
salted butter (room temperature)

1. Mix the lobster, brie, mayo, tarragon, green onions, grainy mustard, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Butter one side of each slice of bread and assemble sandwiches with the buttered sides of the bread facing out and fill with a slice of cheese and a quarter of the lobster mixture.
3. Grill until the bread is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted on the inside.

Sour Cherry Compote

(makes 2 cups)

2 cups sour cherries (stemmed and pitted)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 lemon (juice)

1. Bring everything to a boil in a sauce pan and boil for 2 minutes while stirring.
2. Strain the cherries from the liquid, set the cherries aside and simmer the liquid until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and mix the cherries back in.
4. Let cool and enjoy. (Spoon over vanilla ice cream)

The only changes that I made was to use red onion in the place of green onion and regular, sweet-fresh cherries instead of sour cherries. Both dishes turned out better than delicious!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Third Fourth

This makes our third 4th of July together. He stood behind me the entire time the fireworks went off, holding my waist, kissing my neck and telling me he loves me.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

John Doe and His Rockin' Band - "Fourth of July"

Crappy quality but I still like it because it's live. Happy Fourth!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rain, Music, Food

Wanna know what's nice on a (very) rainy July night?

I'll tell you.

A grilled Cheddar Champ, cold beer and Buddy Rich in the back ground.

What is a grilled Cheddar Champ, you ask?

3 slices of good rye or pumpernickel, thinly sliced, high quality roast beef and turkey, thinly sliced high quality sharp cheddar cheese, sweet/hot mustard and a thin coat of horseradish. layer. Dry grill.

Wash down with cold Bass Ale or Dry Blackthorne Cider. Yum.

Recipe courtesy of German Pub I used to work at once upon a time.

$19.00 -n- Change

Oh how I love to thrift. Seriously.
Where else can you go and walk out with a bag full of killer clothes for under $20.00? It's rhetorical so don't bother trying to answer.

This is my new favorite shirt!!! It reminds me of the stuff my mom used to wear in the mid to late 70's only fitted and sexier. I say sexier because I keep the first 3 buttons undone, Mom would have neverrrr done that.  I think it will look smart with a pair of faded jeans and these shoes that I picked up a few months back (while thrifting.)

Pretty green wrap sweater and 2 more ties to add to my collection. Both Silk and, no I didn't rip any price tags off this time.

Mootsies Tootsies in mint condition for $4.00. I like very much.

I also scored 2 pencil skirts, one black with a long, provocative slit up the side and one that's dark grey with a thin sliver buckle in the front. And an all purpose green/ grey wrap sweater that I think will look adorable with comfy, ratty jeans and Lacy tanks underneath.

There are 2 secrets to successful thrifting. 1- You must have vision. 2- Always shop out of season. I shop for fall/ winter in the warm months and vice versa, that way I pick up all of the best stuff.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Valentino Tie

Like it? This is my Valentino ~ 100% silk made in Italy. I got it at the thrift store for $1.99. It was originally priced at $9.99 but some how, some way the stapled on price tag came off and it rang up like all of the other ties, without special prices, do.

I'm thinking it will look quite smart with a crisp, fitted white oxford and a pair of men's dress pants. Yay.
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