Friday, November 30, 2012

What I wore today: 11/29/2012 (Layer it on me!)

Layered outfit: black gingham flannel shirt, leather peplum top, thrifted black mini skirt, black tights, black and white saddle oxfords

This fall, I've been doing a lot of layering sleeveless dresses over button-downs (see here and here), but today, it occurred to me that the same idea would work well with my leather peplum top. I kept the rest of the look simple and neutral, adding some saddle oxfords and a leopard-print belt as secondary points of interest. What do you think? How are you layering button-downs this season?

Layered outfit: black gingham flannel shirt, leather peplum top, thrifted black mini skirt, black tights, black and white saddle oxfords
Layered outfit: black gingham flannel shirt, leather peplum top, thrifted black mini skirt, black tights, black and white saddle oxfords
Layered outfit: black gingham flannel shirt, leather peplum top, thrifted black mini skirt, black tights, black and white saddle oxfords
Layered outfit: black gingham flannel shirt, leather peplum top, thrifted black mini skirt, black tights, black and white saddle oxfords
Layered outfit: black gingham flannel shirt, leather peplum top, thrifted black mini skirt, black tights, black and white saddle oxfords

"Vegan leather" peplum top - Urban Outfitters
Gingham flannel shirt - Eddie Bauer
Mini skirt - thrifted
Saddle oxfords - vintage
Leopard-print horsehair belt - Anthropologie

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday recipe: Pumpkin Cream Pie (again!)

Pumpkin Spice Pie

It's time for one final pie. Again it's a twist on a classic. Now, I totally made this delicious pie last year (and posted it on the blog), but I wanted to post it again for three reasons.

01. I have more (better!) photos. And recipe posts are really all about the photos.
02. I have more readers now who didn't see the post last year.
03. After showing you photos of all three pretty pies together, I couldn't possibly cheat you out of one of them.

So, why pumpkin cream you may ask. Yes, I'm doing a twist on the three traditional Thanksgiving pies, but why? Well, pumpkin pie is lovely, but I'm not a big fan of its texture. So, why not improve the texture while, at the same time, adding a graham cracker crust and loads of whipped cream. Why, I ask you, why wouldn't you want that? Do you hate happiness?

Recipe here. It's a winner. Ryan wouldn't even looks at the other two pies. (This is partially because the boy hates pecans.) How can a nice Texas girl like myself possibly marry someone who hates pecans, you ask. Simple. More pecans for me!

Pumpkin Spice Pie

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Holiday recipe: apple pie with olive-oil crust.

Apple Pie with Olive Oil Crust

The next pie recipe I'm sharing from the three I made for Thanksgiving is an apple pie with an olive-oil crust. The advantages of an olive-oil crust are the unique taste, and the fact that it's vegan. 

However, I found that the crust was drier than a butter crust, and difficult to roll out and shape. Even with more water and olive oil, it just doesn't hold together as well as butter.

If you want a vegan pie or like the idea of experimenting with the savory flavor of olive oil, I'd recommend this crust, especially if you have previous experience with pie crust, which can be a bit tricky even when made with butter. It also helps to not be too invested in your crust looking perfect, as mine clearly does not.

Ingredients: 

(for the double crust)
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup olive oil, frozen in a Ziplock bag to a sorbet consistency 
10 tbsp. ice water

(for the filling)
3 pounds Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spice or any combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves or other seasonings you like
2 tbsp. flour

Step 01. Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine crust ingredients in a food processor until just mixed. Do not over mix.
Step 02. Roll out dough on a floury surface, half at a a time. Place one disc in a pie plate or spring-form pan, trimming the edges to fit. Refrigerate dough.
Step 03. Peel and core the apples, slice each into 1/4-inch slices and place in a bowl
Step 04. Add both sugars, spices, and flour. Stir until apples are well covered.
Step 05. Fill crust with apple mixture. Top with second crust, pinching edges to seal. Cut several long gashes in top crust for steam to escape.
Step 06. Back for 25 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and back to 30 minutes more or until golden. Let cool at least half an hour before serving.

Apple Pie with Olive Oil Crust
Apple Pie with Olive Oil Crust

To my mind, the three most traditional pies for Thanksgiving are pumpkin, pecan, and apple. I wanted to make all three but with a special twist on each. You saw the twist on pecan yesterday (adding chocolate and bourbon - both of which will improve just about anything). The twist on apple is the olive-oil crust. Check in tomorrow for the twist on pumpkin. (A hint: I made it last year too; it's just that good!)

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday recipe: Maker's derby pie

Maker's Derby Pie

The first of the three Thanksgiving pies that I'm going to share with you is Maker's derby pie. Since pecan pie is one of the traditional pies served at Thanksgiving, I thought a derby pie would be a nice nod to our guests coming up from Louisville. 

A derby pie is a pecan pie made with chocolate. Typically this is done by adding chocolate chips, but this recipe uses melted chocolate which gives the pie a more consistent texture and flavor. It's definitely worth taking the extra time to melt the chocolate. Also, I'm a big fan of laying pecans on top instead of stirring them in. It makes everything so much prettier, the pecans are a nicer texture, and it doesn't take much more time or effort.

Maker's Derby Pie
Maker's Derby Pie

I followed this recipe, but added about 1/4 cup of Maker's Mark to the custard just before pouring it into the crust. The addition of bourbon gave it a lovely, multi-dementional flavor. And, of course, was another not to our friendly neighbors to the south. Hello, Kentucky! Ohio loves you!

Maker's Derby Pie
Maker's Derby Pie

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three Thanksgiving pies

Three Thanksgiving Pies

I made three pies this Thanksgiving as well as my cranberry sauce. They had three different crusts. One was fruit-based, one nut-based, and one custard based. Each brought a little something different to the table, and they all turned out pretty delicious. If you are a pie person (as I clearly am), stay tuned, because I'll be posting details and recipes for each pie in the coming days. These pies would be lovely for Christmas as well, or to make any day of the year a little more special. 

Three Thanksgiving Pies
Three Thanksgiving Pies

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Monday, November 26, 2012

What I wore today: 11/21/2012 (In the details)

Scarf-print outfit: Forever 21 scarf-print shirtdress, black tights, quilted leather boots, spiky necklace, studded-bottom bag, motorcycle jacet

This outfit features two of the best Forever 21 purchases I've ever made, a scarf-print shirtdress and a motorcycle jacket. Each was about $30 but looks more expensive. The dress is new, but I've had the jacket forever. (Last seen here and here). The jacket is pleather, of course. But, if you'd like, we can use the brilliant new marketing term "vegan leather." Have you noticed that lately? Whatever advertising exec realized that clothing stores could make pleather look better than leather, like a choice you'd made because you were vegan and not because it was cheaper, deserves some kind of award. Do they get awards? Like that one Don Draper got for the floor-wax ad? I digress.

My favorite way to make a simple outfit more interesting is to add little details and points of interest, like a half-tucked-in shirt or a well-knotted scarf. Here, I've rolled up the sleeves of my "vegan leather" jacket and layered a necklace over a buttoned-all-the-way-up collar. Ryan reminded me that the necklace-over-the-collar thing was totally a trend in the '80s. All too often I find myself accidentally using Paula Poundstone as a fashion icon. Oh well, I guess I'm okay with that. 

Scarf-print outfit: Forever 21 scarf-print shirtdress, black tights, quilted leather boots, spiky necklace, studded-bottom bag, motorcycle jacet
Scarf-print outfit: Forever 21 scarf-print shirtdress, black tights, quilted leather boots, spiky necklace, studded-bottom bag, motorcycle jacet
Scarf-print outfit: Forever 21 scarf-print shirtdress, black tights, quilted leather boots, spiky necklace, studded-bottom bag, motorcycle jacet
Scarf-print outfit: Forever 21 scarf-print shirtdress, black tights, quilted leather boots, spiky necklace, studded-bottom bag, motorcycle jacet
Scarf-print outfit: Forever 21 scarf-print shirtdress, black tights, quilted leather boots, spiky necklace, studded-bottom bag, motorcycle jacet

Scarf-print shirtdress - Forever 21
Black tights - Spanx
Quilted leather boots - Corso Como
Studded-bottom bag - eBay
Necklace - J.Crew Factory

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I wore today: 11/19/2012 (Rosemint)

Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket

My new favorite layering trick for fall is to wear a sleeveless dress over a shirt or blouse like it's a jumper. I loved the effect of this simple idea in this outfit, so a created a similar outfit (same boots and tights even) yesterday. For some reason both looks feel a bit mod and '60s to me. I like it.

What's your favorite unexpected way to layer for fall?

Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket
Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket
Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket
Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket
Rosemint outfit: black tights, black quilted boots, rosebud open-back dress, mint green sheer bow-tie blouse, studded-bottom bag, leather motorcycle jacket

Quilted black leather boots - Corso Como
Rosebud open-back dress - Urban Outfitters (last seen here)
Mint green sheer bow-tie blouse - Urban Outfitters
Motorcycle jacket - Forever 21(last seen here)
Studded-bottom bag - eBay

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Fall recipe: Grilled cheese with gruyere and truffle butter

Grilled gruyere on Shadeau bread with truffle butter

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy that old classic: soup and grilled cheese. But, I like to experiment with the classic by changing up their basic parts. Therefor, I came up with this fantastically delicious spin on a traditional grilled cheese.

The secret? Truffle butter.

Listen, I never asked to have expensive taste. And, believe me, my taste is not exclusively expensive as evidenced by the fact that I used truffle butter to make grilled cheese of all things. (Not to mention the ham I cooked in Dr. Pepper, the crescent-roll jalapeño poppers I made last Super Bowl Sunday, and the retro-jello-mold cranberry sauce I make every Thanksgiving; I mean I can really kitsch it up when I want to). 

That said, I do really love truffles. But the great thing about truffle oil (and, by extension, truffle butter) is that a little bit goes a long way when it comes to infusing any dish with that yummy truffle flavor. 

I've listed instructions for making one sandwich, since I don't like to share my truffle butter with anyone. If you are a nicer person than me, you can easily double the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 slices good quality sandwich bread (I like white, but buy mine from a local bakery that does it up right. If you really insist of spreading truffle butter on Wonder bread, however, I won't tell anyone.)
1-2 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon truffle butter (buy pre-made or mix a bit of truffle oil into room-temperature butter)

01. Spread truffle butter on one side of each slice of bread. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
02. Lay your first slice buttered-side-down into the skillet, add gruyere and top with your second slice of bread, buttered-side-up.
03. Grill until golden brown, then flip (taking care not to spill any cheese) and grill on the other side.

Grilled gruyere on Shadeau bread with truffle butter

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall recipe: Pumpkin-pie-spiced pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin-pie-spied pumpkin seeds

After roasting that pumpkin, I had some pumpkin seeds left over. I decided to roast them like we used to do when I was a kid with the pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lanturns. I remember seasoning them with cinnamon back then, and I thought pumpkin pie spice would be a fun alternative.

Ingredients:
Pumpkin seeds from one pie pumpkin (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or mix cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg yourself)
Salt to taste

01. Rince all the gunk off your seeds using a colander and pat them dry with a towel.
02. Toss seeds in butter with salt and spices.
03. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

What I wore today: 11/10/2012 (Belted)

Belted outfit: leather belt, fair isle sweater blazer, brown corduroys, teal moccasins, rose-print tee, oxblood ombré nails, turquoise chevron ring

I've been pretty into belting blazers since this. I don't know why I keep feeling the need to bring out the turquoise in this "Swayze" but I do. Se also.

By the way, if you don't have a pair of teal or turquoise mocs, you should probably get on that. Just saying.

Belted outfit: leather belt, fair isle sweater blazer, brown corduroys, teal moccasins, rose-print tee, oxblood ombré nails, turquoise chevron ring
Belted outfit: leather belt, fair isle sweater blazer, brown corduroys, teal moccasins, rose-print tee, oxblood ombré nails, turquoise chevron ring
Belted outfit: leather belt, fair isle sweater blazer, brown corduroys, teal moccasins, rose-print tee, oxblood ombré nails, turquoise chevron ring
Belted outfit: leather belt, fair isle sweater blazer, brown corduroys, teal moccasins, rose-print tee, oxblood ombré nails, turquoise chevron ring

Brown corduroy leggings - Pilcro and the Letterpress, Anthropologie
Teal moccasins - Urbanog
Rose-printed tee - Forever 21
Fair-isle sweater blazer - Anthropologie
Wide leather belt - Target
Turquoise chevron ring - Atlantic-Pacific for Bauble Bar

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall recipe: Fettuccine with roasted pumpkin, fresh sage, goat cheese, and toasted pepitas

Fettuccine with roasted pumpkin, fresh sage, goat cheese, and roasted pepitas

I'm a bit of a lazy cook sometimes, so I mostly experiment with canned pumpkin when I'm craving something pumpkiny (examples here and here). However, this year I decided to try roasting a pumpkin myself, and this pasta was the delicious result of my efforts (which, by the way, were minimal; cutting the damn thing in half is the only hard part.)

Fettuccine with roasted pumpkin, fresh sage, goat cheese, and toasted pepitas 
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 pie pumpkin
About 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 oz fettuccine
4 oz goat cheese crumbles
A few fresh sage leaves, scissored into slivers
A few handfuls toasted, salted pepitas
Salt and pepper to taste

01. Roast your pumpkin according to these instructions. Once cooled slightly, slice into bite-size pieces.
02. Boil fettuccine according to the package. Drain and toss with remaining two tablespoons oil and some salt and pepper. 
03. Top fettuccine with with pumpkin, cheese, sage, and pepitas. Enjoy hot with friends and family!

Fettuccine with roasted pumpkin, fresh sage, goat cheese, and roasted pepitas


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I wore today: 11/04/2012 (Black and Tan)

Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace

Truth time: Approximately 30 seconds after taking these photos, I tripped on my flatforms and, in my (thankfully successful) efforts to save my camera, ended up skinning the ever-loving-beJESUS out of both my knees and completely ruining these tights. They are now both shredded and bloodstained. They have been put to rest with highest honors.

So, the truth is that, for most of the day, I wore different, much less cute, tights. But I still had to share my intentioned outfit for the day. I like the idea of taking a simple black-and-tan color palette and executing it throughout my outfit (belt, shoes, tights). The tights, a favorite, will be replaced, mark my words. I can't live in a world without punctuation tights!

"They look like your legs are cursing," was Ryan's reaction when he first saw them. Ohhhhhhhh, how I want them back!

For now, though, my legs are cursing out loud and uncensored. I seriously wrecked my knees. Ouch. 

Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace Black and tan outfit: thrifed 1990s black velvet mini dress, Jeffrey Campbell flatforms, American Apparel punctuation tights, leopard print horse-hair belt, studded-bottom belt, Peter-Pan collar necklace

Patent leather flatforms - Jeffrey Campbell, Free People
Punctuation tights - American Apparel 
1990s black velvet mini dress - thrifted
Leopard print horsehair belt - Anthropologie
"Sparked Agate Collar" Peter-Pan-collar necklace - Anthrpologie
Studded-bottom bag - eBay

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Monday, November 5, 2012

What I wore today: 11/03/2012 (Knit Two)

Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace

Layering a skirt over a dress is a great way to change up your look. Suddenly the dress becomes a top and gets twice the mileage it would get. And layering a sweater skirt over a sweater dress has the added bonus of keeping you nice and toasty warm. 

This dress (seen in full here) and skirt are both fine-gauge wool knits of about the same thickness, and since the skirt is a bit longer and much fuller, layering them worked perfectly. I felt many of the same sentiments expressed in this post about the delightful surprise of layering pieces in a way that makes them look totally different than they ever did before. It's fun to surprise yourself sometimes, isn't it?

A note on the necklace: it has green beads on it, so I often wear it backwards to show only the neutral metallics. I love that it can be worn either way! A friend at Anthro who has one too gave me the idea, a brilliant stroke I wish I could claim myself. Thanks, Kendal! (See the necklace worn with the green facing out here).

Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace
Sweater skirt over sweater dress outfit: brown leather boots, gay knee socks, patterned sweater skirt, sweater dress with ruffled shoulders, leather belt with gold sequins, Peter-Pan collar necklace

Sweater dress with ruffled shoulders - thrifted (seen in full here)
"Blue Messa Sweater Skirt" - Anthropologie
Leather belt with gold sequins - Anthropologie
Brown leather boots - Journey's
Gray knee socks - Target
"Sparked Agate Collar" Peter-Pan-collar necklace - Anthrpologie

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