Monday, March 17, 2014


For my birthday, the H bought me tickets for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.  The big event finally rolled around, and we had so much fun.

First up, we saw Alex Guarnaschelli.  She is BY FAR my favorite Food Network chef, and I couldn't wait to see her demonstration.  Mo Rocco (whom I also love) introduced her as the Tracy Flick of the culinary world, which was enough to send me over the edge, but her demo was just awesome.  She seems as delightful in person as she does on tv.  And when I asked her who her favorite chef is, she told me it's Bobby Flay, which also delighted me.

We also got to see (and meet!) Trisha Yearwood.  She is a DELIGHT.  Absolutely wonderful  She even sang "Wrong Side of Memphis" while she iced a cake.  I want her and Alex to be my new BFFs.

We missed Giada's demo (it conflicted with Alex's and I have my priorities) but I did see her at her book signing, standing with this random person.  We also saw demos by Andrew Zimmern, Masaharu Morimoto, the Deen family, and Aaron Sanchez.  Aaron was HILARIOUS.  He cursed up a storm so I had to add him to my future BFF list, too.

I would definitely recommend the big event to anybody who likes to eat and drink as much as the H and I do.  I got a couple of autographs out of the deal, and was close enough to Tyler Florence to touch him (I didn't.  I wasn't trying to get arrested).  It was a GREAT weekend!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kale Salad


It's been a month since I posted (and during that post I told you peeps that I suck), and I still suck.  My camera is broken and, since I've gotten used to the new camera, I haven't wanted to take pictures with my stupid camera phone.  So I've been slacking.


I read Andee's blog regularly and when she posted this kale salad I knew I had to try it.  Since the first time I made this salad, I've been incorporating kale into all of my salads.  I actually like it best with some spinach, red onions, tomatoes, parmesan, and a lite raspberry vinaigrette.  But I go back to this recipe regularly, too!


With the Season 4 premier upon us (April 6!) it would be wrong of me to not include George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series on this blog.  I am a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy geek, and these books (which I finished last summer but the H is reading now) scratch every itch I have in that genre.  Just don't get too attached to the characters.


T Tahari via Neiman Marcus

The H bought me this dress for Valentine's day, and I'm having it altered in preparation for a conference I'm attending next week.  I'm presenting, too, and even though I'm crazy nervous, this dress will help me look the part!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Layered Bean Dip


So, last weekend, law school besty texted me with a simple question:  what's a fun thing to bring to a Super Bowl party that's not too intense as far as cooking?  That's right up my alley, of course.  When I told her about this bean dip, she asked if it was on the blog.

The answer, of course, was NO because I have been remiss in my blogging.  I suck.

This dip doesn't.  And it's easy.  A layer of beans.  A layer of salsa.  A layer of corn and onions, then a layer of cheese.  You could add more layers, I don't care, but put the beans on the bottom and the cheese on the top to seal in the goodness, and you'll be good to go.

I like this hot, because everything sort of oozes together and gets all creamy.  I've topped this with avocado and sour cream, in the past, and it's wonderful.  And I haven't, still wonderful.  And perfect for the Super Bowl.


I am becoming well-versed in the snark of Simon Doonan, and I love every minute of it.  His latest, The Asylum, is no exception.  He is funny, he tells great stories about himself and the wonderful world of fashion, and he seems to know EVERYBODY which I love.  It's like having a best friend who's friends with famous people but with whom you are not actually friends.  For someone like me, who is actually a friend of the friendless, this is perfect.


The H and I are going to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in a couple of weeks, and I need these:

Christian Louboutin via Neiman Marcus

These will be perfect for meeting my NEW best friend, Alex Guarnaschelli, and brunching at Tongue & Cheek.  I can't wait.  The countdown is on (14 days, for those who are counting).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spicy Tequila Lime Chicken Quesadillas


First, I almost forgot how to spell quesadilla.  My confusion may come from the fact that I totally forgot that I made these AND I made them back in October (if the date stamp on my camera can be trusted).  Or I'm tired.  One of the two.

I marinated these chicken breasts in a plastic bag with tequila, lime juice, cayenne pepper, olive oil, and minced garlic for about 4 hours.

I grilled my chicken, then my peppers and onions, in the same pan (so the veggies would pick up some of the seasoning from the marinade).

I topped one flour tortilla with sliced chicken, onions, peppers, and shredded Boar's Head three pepper colby jack cheese (I am OBSESSED with this cheese).  Then topped it with another tortilla and threw it on my grill.

We enjoyed these tasty treats with light sour cream, habanero salsa, and homemade margaritas.  It didn't suck.


So you're clearly all going to think that I only read really weird books.  Or books with dark characters.  Or books with murder.  Or whatever.  And I'm ok with that, because I always let people know that the books I tend towards are different before I make recommendations.  I give you the same disclaimer, peeps.

Sharp Objects is good.  The characters are interesting (if a little exaggerated in their imperfections) and the setting is well-described and spot-on.  I felt a little like Gillian Flynn fought too hard to make the reader go "WTF!" with this one, and so I didn't love it.  (For the record, I felt this way about Gone Girl, too, but not as strongly).  Given that this was her first novel, though, it was excellent.  And her mind must be a VERY dark and twisty place, which is nice for people like me who like dark and twisty (and slightly depressing) things.


The fun-spending ban is still on, and since I don't consider working out to be much fun, I don't consider purchasing this tank a violation.

But a girls' gotta keep herself in shape (for me, to keep myself from going absolutely CRAZY [or crazier than my normal nature]) so bring on the bar(re).  Boo.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Molasses Cookies and The Shining Girls


Before the holidays this year, I made several different treats for the people in my life whom I really like.  The people who I REALLY like got some of these Chewy Ginger Cookies.

I say that partially, but not wholly, in jest, because it turns out cardamom is expensive.  And I used fresh ginger.  And so I thought these cookies, which took longer than usual to make and cost about $15 per cookie, should only go to really high quality peeps.

And I'm not going to lie to you, these expensive little gems not only looked better than your average cookie, but they tasted better, too.  Cardamom and ginger for the win?


Remember many moons ago when I told you I would update you on The Shining Girls?   Well it took me longer than expected to get to starting this book because of a variety of reasons (the least of which being that I went to get my hair done sans book and had to go buy another book [more on that later] which I then had to finish before I got back to this one.  Whew.)   But, y'all, this book is GOOD.  Totally bizarre and twisty turny in an Inception sort of way but SO, SO GOOD.  If you like serial killers and kickass female characters and time travel (I realize that sounds wrong, but it's not) then pick this up yesterday.


I am on a self-imposed "fun spending ban" for at least two months (food doesn't count), which means I haven't been wearing anything all that special lately.  I have decided, however, that I need a perfectly vaguely oversized men's white t-shirt to wear to work so that I can look like a librarian/cater-waiter crossover.

And because I have the body of a twelve-year old boy I am lucky enough to be able to buy these "men's" shirts in the little boys department.  This one is from Land's End and will join my wardrobe as soon as this spending ban is over (and maybe I'll even make the H take pics - unless I hear violent protests from the masses, in which case I will continue to keep this blog from becoming a personal style blog).

Monday, December 30, 2013

Year in Review

This has been a BIG year for me and for the blog.  I got married, traveled, got promoted, turned 30, and completely revamped the blog.  Here are a few of my favorite posts from 2013!

Brioche rolls.  'Nuff said.

The BEST french onion soup.  And so easy.

I developed a love of drop biscuit cobbler.  Blueberry, specifically.

I found a recipe for the tastiest (and most dangerous) margaritas.

The H and I ate in three spectacular cities:  London, Paris, and Rome.

The blog redesign (and rename!) launched.

And I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

2013 was an amazing year and I can't wait for 2014 to be even better.  Thanks for sticking with me through it all!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookie Swap Time! Coconut Oatmeal Crisps


 As I announced previously, this year I decided to join the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  It was with some trepidation that I made this decision, as I normally only try out new recipes on people that HAVE to like what I make (ie the H or other immediate family members).  But I went out on a limb nonetheless and made some Coconut Oatmeal Crisps

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Oatmeal Crisps (adapted from BHG):

  • 1 3/4  cups  quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 3/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes, plus more for sprinkling 
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 3/4  cup  butter, melted
  • 1/4  cup  light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4  cup  whipping cream
  • 1 1/2  cups  bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • 3  tablespoons  shortening

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out a big cookie sheet to line with foil.  (I am normally hard core about using my baking stones for cookies, but they didn't work well with this recipe.)  Then combine your dry ingredients, including the coconut flakes.

In another bowl combine your butter, corn syrup, and whipping cream, and stir that into your dry mixture.  Drop the dough onto your foil by rounded teaspoons and bake for about 11 minutes.  The cookies will start to brown around the edges.  Remove the foil from the cookie sheet, replace with a new sheet, and start it all over again, allowing your cookies to cool completely on the foil (I had about 4 sheets of foil going during the process).

After all of your cookies are completely cooled, heat the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, stirring occasionally, and then dip your cookies in the chocolate.  I then laid my cookies on a cooling rack with foil below, and sprinkled them with coconut before placing them in the fridge to harden a bit.  

I sent my cookies to three bloggers in totally different parts of the country (Shanna, Annakate, and Chrystal), and I hope that they enjoyed them!  I received cookies from two other bloggers, Erica and Lisa and dang, these people know how to make cookies.  They put me to shame! 



I bought The Shining Girls months ago (in April, I believe?) and it just arrived.  I haven't had a chance to crack it yet (it's on my agenda for the weekend) but I can't WAIT.  Word is it was slated for a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio before it was even released to the public.  I hope it lives up to the hype!


 Scuba Leggings via Express

I purchased these leggings (at the recommendation of a friend) for Thanksgiving and they didn't disappoint.  They wipe clean and they stretch, and they kept me warm in the below-freezing Minnesota temps.  I require nothing more of holiday eating attire.