Friday, October 28, 2011

Quickie Friday: Cheese Fondue

If you haven't gathered over the 13 months I've been writing this blog (holy crap, btw, where has the time gone), the F and I LOVE cheese.  A lot.  More than pretty much anything (not Arnie, though.  Nothing tops Arnie.).  This cheese fondue, which is just milk, cheddar cheese soup, salsa, and some shredded cheddar seemed to fit our cheese-loving bill.

Overall this dip was good, but not great.  If you're going to make a tasty cheese dip to enjoy while you watch football (or the World Series or the Real Housewives), go this route.

While going the grunge route, I would normally suggest a good pair of Doc Martens, but these could be a nice (read:  cheap) substitute:

They are called "Belt-Wrapped Grunge Boots," after all.  And what better way to channel your inner (or outer, if you're me) Nirvana fan than with a boot that says exactly what it is?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Greek Quinoa Salad

Morning, peeps!  I apologize for the extreme slowdown in posts, but believe you me I'm trying to kick the cooking into high gear (on the days when I'm actually home to cook, that is) so that the blog doesn't suffer!

I had never tried quinoa, but I work with a lot of women who are in very good shape and who swear by quinoa, so I figured I should try it (you really can't go wrong with a grain that contains both fiber AND protein, seriously).

Essentials for this salad:  kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, quinoa (duh), feta cheese, and I added some chicken (that I baked with Greek seasoning).  I use a cup of quinoa (cooked in 2 cups of water) and add enough of the other ingredients so that it looks like I have a little bit of everything.

When I pack this for lunch, I pack a little bit of light Greek vinaigrette, toss it well, and chow it down!  It's really filling and very delicious.  Next time I make it I'm going to add spinach, too, to give it more color (and iron).

The more I look at the B Brian Atwood shoes in stores or on blogs, the more I want a pair.

B Brian Atwood via Saks

These would be so great for both graduation AND the big day.  The dollars-per-wear just keeps making more sense . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday . . .

to me!!!

No, I'm not turning 25 (I just thought that cake was cuuuuuuuuuuuute!) but I am turning 2_!  WOO!  Looking forward to the next year, peeps, and I hope you are, too!

*image via

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quickie Friday: Bean Dip

Full disclosure:  the F was NOT a fan of this bean dip.  "God forbid we eat a healthy dip during football," I responded.  And so he ate.  And the longer it sat, the spicier it got, and the more we both enjoyed it.  So, peeps, if you're lookin' to spice up your football Saturdays or Sundays, leave this in the crockpot a little bit longer.

I combined 1 can of fat free, spicy refried beans with 1 can of rinsed black beans, 1 can of mexicorn, 1 cup of salsa, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and salt to taste.  Put it in the crock pot on low for as long as you can handle the delicious smells, then about 20 minutes before you're ready to eat, top it with sliced green onions and shredded Mexican-blend cheese.  Easy and not too darn bad for a football dip, if I do say so myself.

It has FINALLY started to "cool down" here in Florida (it gets into the low 70s at night!  YAY!) so cute boots are definitely even more in order than they were before, and I'm loving all the short boots I've been seeing lately.

via Forever 21

For an under $35 bootie, these are pretty cute.  And the 4" heel height is just right for traipsing around town.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Broccoli Salad

In my quest to incorporate more salads/vegetables/generally healthy foods into my diet (especially after the gorging that was done during the Food & Wine Festival), I thought I'd try making this broccoli salad.

There's not much to it:  broccoli, raisins, red onion, bacon, and a white wine vinegar/mayo vinaigrette to bring it all together.

I actually put TOO MUCH dressing on this salad, but it was tasty nonetheless, and certainly added more veggies to my day than I'm used to.

I wish I could say something enlightening about these:

Christian Louboutin via Barneys

But these shoes are called "Winter Trash."  So how could I possibly have anything more to say?  Really.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Saturday Sip: Spinach Juice

One might argue that adding spinach to an otherwise delicious fruit juice would render it disgusting, undrinkable, and *gasp* green.  And that one would be wrong.

For my last birthday, the F got me a fancy schmancy juicer, and I have tried to juice just about everything (including a not-so-successful foray into pepper juice . . . don't ask).  This juice contained a couple of apples, a couple of oranges, some cubed pineapple, a handful of hulled strawberries, and yes, spinach (at least 3 handfuls).  You can't even taste the spinach, peeps!  If you need a little extra iron, or just to sneak some more veggies into your day, this is a great way to do it.

On my first Saturday Sip, I mentioned that I am in dire need of a new bag, and suggested a black replacement for my black bag.  I'm thinking, however, that an injection of some color may be in order.

Tano via Must Have Bag

It is reminiscent of my favorite shades of blue and big enough to carry EVERYTHING I need (which lately has included wedding magazines and small meals so I'll be ready to start trying on dresses in less than a month).  And the price is SO RIGHT.  Whaddya think?  Go Blue?

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Favorite Weekend of the Year

What does this picture say to you, peeps?

Cuz to me it says "C'mon, Ash!  Time to drink around the world at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!  And that's where you can find me this weekend.  Thank you, Mickey.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Balsamic Tortellini Salad

This recipe is adapted from another recipe, one which called for lemon juice as the acid.  While I like lemons (particularly in my diet coke), I'm not a huge fan of adding lemon to salads.  So I changed the recipe, and I ended up changing it quite a bit, so I'll just rewrite it here!

Start by sauteing 1/2 cup of sliced red onion with a little garlic in some olive oil (until the onions become translucent) and, in the meantime, boil some cheese tortellini according to the package directions.  Add spinach to the onion mixture and saute until it wilts.  During the last 3 minutes of the tortellini boiling, add asparagus, then drain the whole thing.

After you drain the pasta and asparagus, put it back in the pot and add the spinach and onion mixture.  Add 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, toss it to coat, then eat up cuz this shit's stuff's delicious!  Oh, and FYI:  balsamic vinegar > lemon juice.  Just sayin.

Also just sayin:

Dior via Neiman Marcus

Do you think it would be appropriate to get married in these boots?  Anybody?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Saturday Sip: Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Hey peeps, I won't bore you with the reasons why the next month of my life is going to be insane (or maybe I will:  visitors, more visitors, food & wine festival, comps, wedding venue searching, more comps, a birthday . . . whew!) but I WILL let you know that the Saturday Sip is going to appear from time-to-time around these parts.

I got this recipe for a Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie from Sterling Style.  Given my general distaste for peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas (all of which are central to this smoothie) I won't drink it, but the F LOVES it.  It has quickly become a favorite around these parts.

Because the Saturday Sip doesn't involve "cooking," per se, I thought that I would mix things up by not involving shoes, either.  This week, while bored at work, I noticed that my beloved leather, buckled purse by The Sak is starting to show exactly how much it is loved . . . and that I'm probably due for a replacement.

Alexander Wang via Saks.

Meet the Trudy Tote.  Big enough to haul around all of the essentials (sunglasses, regular glasses, wallet, keys, wedding binder [which is quickly becoming an essential]) yet still chic.  And black.  Black is of the utmost importance.