Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Superbowl recipe: pizza bites

Pizza bites recipe

I mentioned in my "blooming onion" bread recipe post that I love making unapologetically gauche and decadent food for Superbowl Sunday. Like that recipe, these pizza bites involve lots of cheese and lots of carbs and are sure to be a crowd pleaser whether you whip them up for a Superbowl party of just for an ordinary evening at home watching Parks and Rec, which is how Ryan and I enjoyed them. 

I got the recipe here. You basically just wrap puff pastry dough around string cheese. What could be more simple?

I found that a spray of PAM works just as well as brushing butter or an egg wash over the bites to make the oregano stick and give them a golden-brown glow. I also found that it's difficult to seal the puff pastry well enough to keep the cheese from oozing out at least a little, but that oozing, slightly browned cheese, is not necessarily a bad thing. 

Pizza bites recipe
Pizza bites recipe
Pizza bites recipe

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Monday, January 28, 2013

What I wore today: 01/27/2013 (Heavy Rotation)

Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag

For a novelty sweater, this "La Parisienne" intarsia number from J.Crew has been seeing a lot of action since I purchased it in November. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it's super warm. I've learned in recent years that cotton sweaters are total bullshit and a complete waste of time. Wool or cashmere fo' life!

This polka-dot blouse is in heavy rotation too. It's so versatile because it's black and brown and can be easily layered under things or over things. 

As for the boots, I've been looking or something like them since I saw these Freebird by Steven ones on Shopbop and Free People. I've kept an eye out for a while for a good pair of leather ankle boots that I could insert pieces of a Mexican blanket into. But, before those turned up, these Target ones did. I've got to say, Target has been so good creating designer inspired shoes lately. Case and point: sneaker wedges.

Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag
Heavy Rotation outfit: Pilcro jeans, blanket ankle cowboy boots (caballero boots), sheet polka-dot button-down blouse, J.Crew "La Parisienne" intarsia sweater, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow satchel" bag

"La Parisienne" intarsia sweater - J.Crew (still available on eBay)
Sheer polka-dot button down blouse - Forever 21
Blanket ankle cowboy boots - Target
"Winslow satchel" bag - Lauren by Ralph Lauren

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I wore today: 01/22/2013 (Texas Tux)

Texas Tux Outfit: Ombré chambray shirt, skinny jeans, brown leather boots, maiden braids, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow Satchel" bag

As I mentioned here, layering this necklace over a collar buttoned up all the way has become one of my favorite little details to spice up a simple outfit. And you can't get much more simple than denim on denim. (See some of my other Canadian/Texas Tuxedos here & here)

As for the braids, I periodically get obsessed with maiden braids and I've been on a major kick recently. In fact, I learned the other day that my hair is actually long enough to do a whole wreath (not just over the top as I'm wearing here). I've been waiting for this moment since I was 8 years old and saw Leia's braided wreath in The Empire Strikes Back for the first time. I must say, I feel like I've accomplished something big.

I think I'll try to shoot a tutorial soon. 

Texas Tux Outfit: Ombré chambray shirt, skinny jeans, brown leather boots, maiden braids, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow Satchel" bag
Texas Tux Outfit: Ombré chambray shirt, skinny jeans, brown leather boots, maiden braids, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow Satchel" bag
Texas Tux Outfit: Ombré chambray shirt, skinny jeans, brown leather boots, maiden braids, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow Satchel" bag
Texas Tux Outfit: Ombré chambray shirt, skinny jeans, brown leather boots, maiden braids, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow Satchel" bag
Texas Tux Outfit: Ombré chambray shirt, skinny jeans, brown leather boots, maiden braids, Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Winslow Satchel" bag

Ombré chambray shirt - Target
Necklace - J.Crew Factory
Brown Leather Boots - Journey's
"Winslow Satchel" bag - Lauren by Ralph Lauren

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Superbowl recipe: "blooming onion" bread

"Blooming onion" bread

Historically, I haven't taken much notice of the Superbowl. And while I do enjoy watching them game more now than I used to (read: I kind of understand what's happening), my favorite part of this new ritual is making some kind of unapologetically gauche and decadent food to share with friends and family. 

Last year. I made these baked jalapeño poppers, which were quite popular with Ryan's parents. This year, I'm considering my options. How do you top jalapeños wrapped in crescent roll? You consult Pinterest of course. 

...That's where I came across this little gem of an idea: "blooming onion" bread. 

"Blooming onion" bread
"Blooming onion" bread

The concept is that you take everyone's favorite part of a blooming onion: the way people pulls off tasty morsels of food from a communal golden bloom, but you replace the whole onion part with cheesy bread. What could be better than that?

I basically followed this recipe, but I used pepper jack cheese instead of plain Monterey Jack. I also skipped the green onions, used less butter, and sprinkled the poppy seeds on after drizzling the butter (rather than mixing them into it). Since I was out of foil, I baked the whole thing, unwrapped, for about 25 minutes, which worked just fine for me. 

"Blooming onion" bread
"Blooming onion" bread

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Golden Globes Fashion

I know there are about a thousand so-called definitive Best and Worst Worst Dressed lists already circulating the internet. You, as I do, probably agree with some of their choices and not with others. I don't pretend to have the final say on who looked great and who didn't, but I do want to share my favorites and my disappointments and offer some thoughts on why certain looks worked while others didn't. 

Please comment with your own opinions; I'd love to hear them.

Fun things first: 
My Favorites

Kristen Bell in Jenny Packhan
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES 

A very pregnant Kristen Bell looked absolutely ADORBS in a cap-sleeved Jenny Packham gown. I am such a sucker for cap-sleeves anyway, and the way the bodice framed her bosom and tummy was so flattering. This lady is super adorable anyway (as evidenced here), but she was definitely in full form on Sunday.  

Michelle Dockery in Alexandre Vauthier
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES

We cool if I just front load this post with opulent cap-sleeved confections? Good. I'm a woman obsessed. Michelle Dockery was perfection in Alexandre Vauthier. Beyond even the gown, her makeup, hair and styling hit all the right notes for me. 

Naomi Watts in Zac Posen Kate Hudsen in Alexander McQueen
SARA DE BOER/STARTRAKS & JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES

I really love a long-sleeved gown on the red carpet as well. A front keyhole, whether modest or plunging does a lot to keep frumpiness at bay. Naomi Watts and Kate Hudsen both nailed this look in Zac Posen and Alexander McQueen respectively. Notice how the covered-up look stays interesting through the use of a saturated color, in the case of the Posen, or metallic embellishments in the case of the McQueen. Glorious. 

Kelly Osbourne in Zac Posen Lucy Liu in Carolina Herrera
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES & David Fisher/Rex/Rex USA

Somebody had to bring the fun, spring pastels to the party, and I ardently admire Kelly Osbourne and Lucy Liu for answering the call with the help of Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera respectively. Their gowns had totally different shapes, not to mention the bold patten of the Herrera one (which brought to mind images of Marie Antoinette at Versailles). 

I knew the moment I saw Lucy Liu, that she would take a lot of hate for this gown, but I unabashedly love it. She clearly does too, and I commend her for wearing it. Also, that fishtail braid was a stroke of inspiration! An up-do would have made her look like a little girl playing princess; but the braid says, "Hey, isn't this fun!" 

As for Kelly Osbourne, you've just got to hand it to someone who matches her lavender hair to a mint gown and then adds a robin's egg clutch. Her expression in the photo says, "I am having SO MUCH fun, but even if she weren't smiling, that would have been quite evident from her look."

Anne Hathaway in Chanel
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES

There's really not much to say about the serene minimalist perfection that is Anne Hathaway in this Chanel gown. The shape and color are perfect on her, and show off her dark pixie cut. She just nailed it. 

Claire Danes in Versace
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES

I'm usually bored by a straight-up bombshell look like the one Claire Danes brought to the table; red gown with plunging neckline, loose blonde hair... I'm yawning. But, I have to hand it to Danes' stylist, this Versace gown did wonders to give her sexy curves I never thought she had. And, it made a nice surprise after last year's gamine look (which I also adored). Sometimes you have to switch it up.

My Disappointments 

Jessica Chastain in Calvin Klein
JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP

Okay, I know I just said that sometimes you have to switch it up, but sometimes you really should go back to what you were doing last year. This is Jessica Chastain's year to bring home The Big One, so it really pains me that she looked a thousand times better on literally any of these other red carpets. Honestly, during her acceptance speech, I just kept trying to be happy for her, but mostly I was just hoping her boob didn't pop out. That Calvin Klein gown owes her a big apology.

Halle Berry in Atelier Versace
SARA DE BOER/STARTRAKSPHOTO.COM

It is seriously hard to make Halle Berry's not look amazing, but somehow this Atelier Versace dress manages it. Let's not even discus the fact that it seems to be made out of a scarf you'd see tossed over a lamp in some fortune teller's caravan or a middle schooler's bedroom circle 1997. Instead, might I direct your eye to the bustline. I know it's really hard to even concentrate because that patten is going in a million directions at once, but are her breasts two different sizes??? No, they're not. We all know they're not, so why does her gown make them look like they are? Because IT'S TERRIBLE, and it should publicly apologize for slander against Halle Berry's hotness. 

Lena Dunham in Zac Posen
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES


Oh, Lena, Lena, Lena, where do I begin? I know that your career is kind of based on your image as A Total Mess, but maybe you could trust the public to be able to separate your character from yourself and appear in public now and then looking good or, you know, not terrible. 

I know, as a woman with a far-from-celebrity-perfect-body that it's harder for you to pick a gown than it is for many of the others. And clearly even a perfect body doesn't guarantee a perfect red carpet moment (*cough*Halle Berry*cough*). But you could start by not picking a gown in a shape and color that would suit Glen Close. You are my age, and you are accepting a Golden Globe in a mother-of-the-bride dress for God's sake! 

Also, it's okay that you walk like a linebacker when you put on heels; they take practice after all, but maybe you should freaking not wear heels if your'e going to lose every ounce of grace that gown might have afforded you every time you take a step.

The Facial Hair that Stole the Show 

Let's be honest for a moment. We all love gowns, but the real reason we tune in is for the the facial hair. I'm exaggerating its importance a bit, maybe, but really, exaggerate this!

Bill Murray
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES



I want Bill Murray to always look like this. His windswept slightly-crazy-old-man hair and Civil-War-era mustachio are freaking amazing, and I'm honestly contemplating framing this photo and hanging it on my wall. 

Also Ben Affleck looks damn fine with a beard. Oh, and congratulations Ben Affleck on a job well done. But really, Best Performance by a Beard on a Best Director Nominee, am I right? 



Ben Affleck beard
SARA DE BOER/STARTRAKSPHOTO.COM

What were your favorite and least favorite gowns of the night? Do you have any favorite facial hair? Please share. 

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Monday, January 14, 2013

What I wore today: 01/08/2013 (Catch-up)

Two-tone blazer outfit

Since I dedicated last week to my home tour (living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, dressing room, bathroom), it's taken me nearly a week to share this outfit from last Tuesday with you. Let's catch up, shall we?

I love this blazer; it's just so easy to wear. All I have to do is add some colored denim and some jewelry, and I look pulled-together with zero effort. That's the kind of piece we all need in our wardrobe for those completely uninspired Tuesdays. 

Two-tone blazer outfit
Two-tone blazer outfit Two-tone blazer outfit
Two-tone blazer outfit
Two-tone blazer outfit

Two-tone blazer - Anthropologie
Plum jeans - AG, Anthropologie
Gray tee with leather sleeves - Zara
Quilted leather boots - Corso Como, Nordstrom
Nameplate necklace - custom
Bauble necklace - eBay
Claw bracelet - Asos
Pavé cable bracelet - J.Crew

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Home Tour: the bathroom

My Home Tour: the bathroom
Each day this week I'm posting another room as part of a full home tour. See the others herehereherehere & here

For me a home tour would not be complete without a peek into the bathroom. I read recently that women are, in general, more likely to care about bathrooms and find sanctuary there, while men are more interested in basements. That certainly rings true for me. I don't care if I never see another basement again in my life, but I have daydreams about hanging an opulent chandelier over my bathtub.

The bathroom in our apartment came with a few challenges (fake tile that looks cheap and is really hard to clean, a linoleum floor) and one big delight: a giant bathtub. Over time, I've made small changes to help turn the space more and more into a tranquil sanctuary.

What began as a simple color story (green curtains married to a lavender floor by a bath mat with hints of each) has evolved into a sea-monster theme. I like that it's a fun twist on the oceanic theme often seen in bathrooms. 

But, instead of seashells, tentacles. 

bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom
bathroom
My Home Tour: the bathroom

Shower curtain - Urban Outfitters
Bath mat - Anthropologie
Moby Dick print - Urban Outfitters
Clothes hanger - IKEA
Whale glass - Anthropologie

Well, that concludes my home tour. I hope you enjoyed seeing my space. Back to regular programming come Monday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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