Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jalapeno Corn Bread

A little story about yours truly:  I am a Girl Scout.  Have been since kindergarten, with the exception of a month or so when it "wasn't cool" and then discovered that I could get scholarships and got my head straight.  I am a lifetime member.  Girl Scouting is cool.

And when I was in junior high, I had to shadow somebody who had my dream career in order to earn a leadership badge.  Easy, I thought, I'll write to Martha Stewart.  And write to Martha I did.

Martha's letter writer was very kind in her let down, informing me that Martha's show taped very early in the morning, much too early for a young teen.  I was a happy camper nonetheless, because the letter included an autographed photo of Martha that read "To Ashley, you're a good thing."  I've never been so happy.

Until this happened, of course.  But we're not here to talk about Martha and Snoop.  We're here to talk about jalapeno corn bread.

And Martha's jalapeno corn muffins make a bitchin' corn bread.  Seriously.  So moist, so spicy.  Wonderful.

And while I am normally the person who uses cornbread solely as a vehicle to get as much butter as humanly possible into my mouth - this cornbread didn't require any such shenanigans.  It is a good thing, just like Martha and, according to her, ME!

Oh, ok, these are a good thing, too.

Christian Louboutin via Bergdorf Goodman

And they just scream "Martha Stewart Jalapeno Corn Bread!"  Don't they?!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Saturday Sip: Fresh Margaritas

Wow I've been away for awhile.  I would love to say that I've been sipping on these the entire time, but that's not really the case.

I broke my juicer halfway through this process, but if you have a juicer I recommend using it for the limes.  Hand squeezing takes awhile.

1 1/2 cups lime juice
1 1/2 cups tequila (I used Jose Cuervo Silver)
3/4 cup triple sec
2 heaping tablespoons sugar (or a sweetener of your choice)
Tons of crushed ice
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 more tablespoons sugar

Throw your lime juice in a pitcher with the tequila and triple sec, then throw in the first two (heaping!) tablespoons of sugar.  Stir well and fill the pitcher with crushed ice.  Combine the last two tablespoons of sugar with the salt on a plate.  Use a lime wedge to rim your margarita glasses, then dip them in the salt/sugar mixture.

Those are the prettiest darn margaritas I ever did see, if I do say so myself!  They were darn tasty, and made enough for 6 LARGE beverages.  Enjoy responsibly, peeps!

While you're enjoying those responsibly, I'll be enjoying this purchase:

Rebecca Minkoff via Nordstrom

I purchased it in pink, which is a major departure for me, but it is going to be the perfect pop of color with my primarily black and gray honeymoon wardrobe - 15 days until we depart!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Health(ier) Pizza

I love pizza, and if I had the time I would consider making pizza a much more regular part of my diet, particularly when it tastes like this.

For the crust:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar 

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.  In the mean time, combine the flour, olive oil, salt, and sugar.  When the yeast and water are good and frothy, add them to the flour mixture and stir well, until you have a nice stiff dough.  Let it rise in a lightly oiled bowl for about half an hour, until it's doubled in size.

I am a firm believer in par-baking pizza crusts (nobody likes a soggy crust).  So I preheat my oven to 350, then roll my dough out onto my baking stone and prick it a bunch of times with a fork.  Then I bake it for 12 minutes.

And it starts to get all puffy (but not TOO puffy!  That's what the pricking is for!) and golden brown.  Then I top it with lots of good stuff.

On this particular occasion, I went with store-bought pizza sauce, lots of spinach, mushrooms, and onions, followed by a little pepperoni and sausage and the mandatory mozzarella (I used a low-fat version).

Put the whole thing back in your 350 degree oven and bake it until it the cheese starts to bubble and the crust turns golden brown on the edges (cooking time will vary depending on toppings.  Since this pizza had many, many toppings it took about 20 minutes).  When I consider the expense of ordering pizza or making it myself, I really wonder why I ever call in an order.  This is just so easy!!!

Also easy is a great summer sandal, and I just received these last week.

Vince Camuto via Nordstrom

It is possible that I am, single-handedly, keeping my local Nordstrom in business.  But with shoes like this, how can I say no?