Monday, April 30, 2012

Mini Upside Down Cakes


Every kind of food is more appealing as a mini.  Mini burgers.  Mini cupcakes.  Mini tacos.  And why didn't I think of making mini pineapple upside-down cakes?  How adorable!

photo courtesy of little_lily84

In this month's RedBook Magazine, they have a few different variations of these (traditional, blueberry orange, and raspberry-rhubarb).  And the gist of all of the recipes, is that you take your basic recipe and do them exactly like a traditional full sized cake...only in a muffin tin.  How easy is that?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Strawberry Honey Butter

Over the last couple of weeks I have talked a little about preparing for summer.   I chose my summer cocktail and purchased my ready-to-grab gifts.  Now I’m moving on to my homemade touch for the season…strawberry honeybutter.  It’s quick and easy to make and is great for bagels, biscuits and you could even serve it with a warm baguette for an easy dessert.  Whip some up and put it in a cute jar, Mason or other and you have yourself a great homemade gift.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Food treat.

A couple of weeks ago a friend brought over a bag of treats that he picked up in Norway, Smash! OMG. Where has this chocolaty treat been all of my life?

Essentially a Bugle covered in milk chocolate, Smash! has got the salty/sweet thing nailed. It is so addictive that I can't stop sneaking one or two here and there. The only problem? You can only find these in Norway.

Norway?!?!?! Surely this can't be true. Has anyone seen these elsewhere? I need to stockpile them and need some help.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Picnic Ready

MyDrap has rolled out the gingham in all shapes and sizes. I love these reusable linen napkins and I plan to purchase a few today in anticipation of summer picnics, snacks in the park and leisurely afternoon brunches.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

From the Right Bank
The bookcases in this updated Victorian home are so very cool.

Sugar and Cloth
Well hello, Beautiful. Minty, creamy and delicious too.

Intimate Weddings
How charming are thee DIY herb garden markers?

Apron Strings
What a lovely way to spice up the morning!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sweet as Honey


It seems like I have spent my whole life in search of the perfect lipstick. Depending on the trends, I am looking for the perfect nude. The perfect pink. The perfect red. And all of these searches have made me forget an oldie but goodie, Clinique's Black Honey.

I remember vividly that when I was 17, the woman at the make-up counter practically had to hold me down to make me try this color. I was convinced that the dark raisin lipstick would turn my fair skinned face into a goth-like creature. But I was SOOO wrong.

Black honey is incredibly sheer and provides what I believe is one of the most universally flattering shades of deep rich color. Your lips will look naturally flushed, not Morticia-like. And if you are still scared, Clinique has released a whole line of honey hues...each with a different tone that suits your particular need.

With all of that being said, I find it is quite comforting to reconnect with my cosmetic friend :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Smoky Salsa


I realize that Cinco de Mayo is a couple of weeks away, but when it comes to Mexican food I am happy to prepare and test recipes early and often.

So I was pretty excited to see that Julieta Ballesteros of Crema in NYC shared a recipe for Salsa de Chipotle this month in Glamour Magazine. Often a salsa or sauce in Mexican cuisine can take what seems like 1 million ingredients to create depth of flavor. This recipe relies on smokey chipotles and roasted tomatoes to deliver a flavor punch.

Perhaps it will earn a place at our table on Cinco de Mayo.

Salsa de Chipotle
serves 6

6 medium-sized plum tomatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp for pan
1/4 Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Season with salt and place in oven. Roast for 1.5 hours.

In a medium pan, heat 1 tsp oil, and saute onion and garlic until golden brown. Set aside.

When tomatoes have finished roasting, put them in a blender with onions, garlic, cilantro, and chilies. Blend on slow speed and add salt. Gradually increase speed while adding oil and process until smooth.

Serve with chips or on tacos.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


You know every year I babble on about being prepared and buying gifts for the season ahead of time so you don’t have to stress birthdays or hostess gifts. Well summer is around the corner and this has got me thinking about my dwindling gifts. So I’ve decided that I’m going to restock with Bellocq tea products.

You might be thinking tea…in the summer. But just wait until you get a load of the colors and packaging.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hangover Pizza

Can’t quite figure out the ingredients on this pizza? That’s because it is a special breakfast hangover pizza made with scrambled eggs, sausage crumbles, tater tots and red peppers. BUT, I’ve saved the best for last…they replaced the tomato sauce with white gravy.

This is the perfect reason to knock back a few.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Link Love

Always trust a skinny cook
Love these healthy and beautiful appetizers.

Finally a fantastic use for doilies.

Endless Simmer
Cupcake Pudding Shooters…What!

I just happen to have some pallets.

Monday, April 16, 2012

In Love with Lavender


One of my favorite scents in the world is lavender. It instantly conjures up thoughts of a lovely day at the spa or a sunny afternoon in Provence. But apparently I could also be picturing New Mexico in my day dreams.

The Los Poblanos Farm and Inn near Albuquerque has a line of lavender products that sounds absolutely amazing...and they look pretty fabulous too. With just the right mixture of rustic charm and simple elegance, these beautiful products would be the perfect product to keep out in a guest bathroom...or maybe keep for yourself :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

J Winery Pear Liqueur

Summer is quickly approaching and that means plenty of entertaining and rooftop cocktails. Each year I try to find a refreshing cocktail that I can throw together quickly and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Also it doesn’t hurt if the bottle is an adorable addition to the bar.

That’s why this year, I am going with J Winery Pear Liqueur. The pear flavor is strong and crisp and with the addition of Prosecco and tangerine juice it becomes the perfect refreshing summer cocktail. If sweet drinks aren’t your thing…check out some alternate recipes here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Terrific Tree Trunks

Home Decor.

I love the look of nature inserted into modern decor. And lately I have noticed a lot of fantastic twists on faux bois with tree trunk side tables. Whether they are true to color, lacquered, or metalic, I think they inject just the right amount of mother nature into your humble abode. Just think...a whole lot of nature and none of the allergies. Fabulous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Les Aperitives Victoria Pineapple

Looking to kick up your cocktail without a lot of fuss? How about just popping a couple of Les Aperitives on a skewer to adorn your drink? The little cubes are sweet with fruit flavor and spicy with peppercorns on the outside. This allows you to pair it with a variety of cocktails.

When people ask you what it is you can simply say, “Oh, an apertive, similar to a pates de fruit but with a slightly softer texture.” Very fancy indeed!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Link Love

Tuesday Inspiration.

Now this is a sweets table that I could graze around for a few hours!!

Intimate Weddings
This DIY is perfect for gameboard fans.

This graphic designers fresh new take on Disney Classic Movie posters are A-MA-ZING!!!

The Wannabe Chef
To you gluten free-guys and gals out there, this carrot cake is celiac friendly and looks pretty darn delish.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bar Cart Needed

Home Decor.

Ok folks. I need a little encouragement because I am breaking all of my own rules for the sake of being cheap.

I have been in the market for a bar cart for about a year now. When I saw this beauty from Society Social, I got very giddy and was convinced that I had the one.

Gorgeous, yes? Now here is my dilemma. This bar cart comes in both silver and gold. I find the gold to be particularly lovely, however the metals in my existing home furnishings are almost entirely silver. Hmm...

Now I have always believed that your can mix and match finishes as long as the pieces are well curated, but I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger. I just keep telling myself that this is a "non-essential piece" and I should just wait until I find something that doesn't create said dilemma. But my mind keeps wandering back to this lovely.

So what do you think? Should I stop being indecisive? Or do you have something better that I just haven't found that might fit the bill? Please help!! My vodka bottles need a home.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sweet Shot

Drink Recipe.

Last weekend I was visiting my folks in Indiana and stopped by one of our old college drinking holes on the IU campus in Bloomington. I was pretty stoked to be carded at the door, but that excitement wore off when I realized that the bartender serving me was born in did I get so old?

But this old dog is happy to learn new tricks. So I had our young barkeep teach me how to make the "hot new shot" at the bar. And it's pretty dang tasty.

The Key Lime Shot features Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, which lends just enough sweetness to cut the lime juice and create a burst of yumminess.

And actually, I think this could be served as a drink on the rocks if you so choose on a hot summer day. It's very refreshing and sweet and contains much fewer calories than an actual Key Lime Pie. Which this not-so-twenty-something can truly appreciate. Enjoy!

Key Lime Shot/Cocktail

2 parts Pinnacle Whipped
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
3 parts Diet Sprite

Shake with ice and serve in shot glasses. Or stir and serve over ice.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easy Peasy

Check out this cute addition to any Easter buffet from Catch my Party.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What to bring?

Easter is this weekend and it got me thinking about the last holiday we celebrated. You know me I celebrate anything and everything…but I am talking about the normal person.

This past Christmas I spent a lot of time muttering under my breath in the kitchen things that were not so nice. The reason I had such a “bee in my bonnet” was the fact that a few of my family members at this gathering showed up late and empty handed. The tradition at my family gatherings is that everyone brings a dish and the host makes the main course, this is how it has been for YEARS. Now sometimes people ask the host, “What can I bring and they say…just yourself.” This is acceptable and usually means the host has a very specific plan in place and in that case you just bring a hostess /host gift as a thank you.

This was not the case here, as a matter of fact the question of what to bring was never posed. This act of disregard gets my riled up. It says to me that their time is more valuable than everyone else’s or they are somehow superior and should be served. If I were to have tried to assign them a dish I’m sure I would have gotten a poor me answer like they don’t have any money.

Here is my solution: Deviled Eggs.

They cost a buck fifty and are easy to prepare and a nice addition to any dinner. So please people don’t show up empty handed, at least, boil some damn eggs :)

photo courtesy of FOODjimoto

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Link Love

The Wedding Chicks
Check out what happens when two graphic artists marry.

My Baking Addiction
Cadbury Crème Egg Cupcakes…enough said.

Better Homes and Gardens
Simple yet adorable.

Insert magazine, glass of wine and snack and I'm in heaven.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Matzo Brei


Something that I have realized about myself is that I am a great lover of condiments. French fries are purely a vehicle to get ketchup to my mouth. Pita needs a good pile of hummus or tzatziki to make me happy. And so on and so on...

So you can imagine that I was pretty excited to see a recipe from the editor of Bon Appetit for Matzo Brei. His family's version is fried up into a pancake-like fritter that you top with jam or syrup. Um...yes please!!

I do believe that this Matzo Brei will be the perfect vehicle for a jar of homemade jam that I have in my cupboard right now.