Tuesday, January 31, 2012

pop of lemon-lime

Sweater: Gap (similar); Skirt: Topshop, Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita
Neon colors aren't always the easiest thing to pull off, especially for a ginger. As if it wasn't hard enough to match fluorescent brights with other pieces, adding in a little red-orange glow complicates things further. I love this sweater because it pulls the neon away from my big old head a bit, and is just a bit muted. Pairing neon lemon-lime with an oatmeal color would have never crossed my mind, but it almost turns the sweater into a neutral. It was perfect for walking around the harbor as the sun set to spend an evening in the Leinenkugel Beer Garden sampling a little liquid gold.

Lights that are somehow both outdated and unsightly, yet so pretty when the sun goes down.

Beer samplers at the Leinenkugel Beer Garden

Monday, January 30, 2012

herb-crusted salmon & roasted fingerling potatoes with chive pesto

Growing up, I had a well-known and extremely adamant hatred of potatoes... except for the fried ones; french fries, chips, tots, and the like were naturally OK with me. However, I recently made a decision that I truly believe most people can make with most foods: I decided to make myself like them, and I did. Seeing all of the colorful fingerling potatoes at the store prompted me to look up a recipe to make use of them, and I settled on Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto. I'm very happy I did. The potatoes were crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside; the chive pesto was refreshing and full of flavor. I chose salmon to pair with the side, and concocted a very simple recipe to complement the flavors. The overall dish was somehow both hearty and light, and both Adam and I licked our plates clean. Literally.

Herb-Crusted Salmon
Serves 2, measurements are approximate

Two 6 oz. salmon fillets
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. Panko bread crumbs
1 t. herbs de Provence
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 T. EVOO, divided

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly coat baking sheet with 1/2 T. oil.

Heat remaining oil in small saute pan over medium heat. Add bread crumbs, herbs, salt and pepper; cook until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, spread Dijon mustard evenly over fillets. Press bread crumb mixture over mustard.

Bake for 11-12 minutes or until salmon is opaque and flakes easily.

Changes to Chive Pesto:  I added 1/4 c. of shaved Parmesan, used pine nuts, and omitted the water from the recipe.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

pantone color report: spring 2012

Just as I was thinking to myself that I should post some of the beautiful color schemes I have been obsessing over in the world of interior design, I came across the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2012. Much to my surprise, the colors I had already been lusting over (and dreaming of flooding my big-girl apartment/house with someday) showed up on a trendy little list. Go me. Some combination of Cockatoo and Driftwood, with accents of Cabaret and something slightly more yellow than Solar Power will end up in my home someday... much to Adam's dismay. Manly? No. Awesome? Yes. Aren't these spaces amazingly cheerful and pretty?

*All images from Pinterest.

Friday, January 27, 2012

fried egg, bacon, and gruyere panini with red pepper aioli

One of my favorite local spots in Baltimore offers an intensely awesome breakfast panini that I decided I should recreate at home for dinner. The idea is straightforward enough: bacon, fried egg, tomato, and cheese; however, it's the melted Gruyere and homemade Red Pepper Aioli that really make the sandwich sing. Other than the minor skills required when frying the egg to gooey-yolk perfection, which isn't always the easiest thing to do, the sandwich couldn't be easier to assemble. It made an excellent easy dinner for us, but would be even more delectable when nursing a little, er... headache... on a sleepy Saturday morning.

Fried Egg, Bacon, and Gruyere Panini with Red Pepper Aioli
Serves 2

4 slices Texas toast or Italian bread
2 eggs
6 slices Applewood smoked bacon
Gruyere cheese (I used a kind of worrying amount, but it's your call)
Red Pepper Aioli, half of this recipe

Cook the bacon in a saute pan over medium heat. Remove remaining bacon grease from heat and reserve in pan.

Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread. Assemble sandwich using all ingredients except fried egg.

Fry eggs over medium heat in bacon grease (or, if you're healthier than me, dump that and use EVOO), add to sandwiches, and place in panini maker or heated pan until lightly golden brown.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

rustic details

Military Jacket & Winter Tale Scarf: Madewell (no longer available), Watch: La Mer, Boots: Steve Madden

Just the other day, a friend suggested that I take more snapshots to use for "fashion snaps", instead of only posting quality full-body photos. The idea was that I can post more outfit ideas, without having to worry about near-perfection. I'm not sure why I haven't been doing this; I think maybe I just needed someone to tell me it was OK to be imperfect. Yeah, I have some issues. But here we are with some Instagram snapshots showing the details of an outfit I wore yesterday afternoon to strut my little man Ollie around town, and run some errands (I know, exciting). I actually really like how they turned out, and will definitely be pumping out more posts like this in the future.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

gruyere, honey & truffle butter grilled cheese

In the midst of a trying week stuck banging my head on a wall in the pediatric clinic, I managed to sneak in a more decadent and delicious lunch than is natural for your average Wednesday. I always feel a little proud of myself when I come up with a recipe, even if it's as simple as throwing some ingredients on a sandwich, and this fancy grilled cheese was no exception. I cannot tell you how good it felt to curl up on the couch, if only for a minute, and indulge in this slightly sweet, slightly salty, cheesy treat. And then I went back to school. Sad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what a winner

Fur Vest: Piperlime; Chambray Shirt and Pants: J. Crew; Sunglasses: UO; Neckace: F21, Shoes: Simply Vera Wang; Bag: Nordstrom Rack

I must admit that I feel like a winner in this outfit, and there are three reasons why. One: I bought this faux fur vest last winter, got pretty excited about... and then let it sit unused in my closet for a year. I finally pulled it out, threw it on, and felt very luxurious yet warm and cozy. Two: I promised Adam that once I mixed these shoes into an outfit, I wouldn't look like an S&M-loving working woman, and I'm pretty sure I don't. Three: I finally sucked it up and posted a photograph of how my hair actually looks on a daily basis, which is dirty and messy, and I'm OK with that. Success all around!

Monday, January 23, 2012

cinnamon sugar french toast bites

Adam and I both love French toast (yes, there is something French he doesn't hate), but don't eat it very often. Every time we're at brunch, there is always something savory, cheesy and delicious that wins over our hearts. It's usually something with bacon... or chorizo... or both. However, I've realized that making French toast at home for "brinner" is fun, easy and delicious. These Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bites were insanely satisfying to both the taste buds and my childhood French toast stick-loving self.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

spring trend: gold, gold, gold

Can you believe I'm posting something about Spring already? I barely can, considering it's January and there's a sheet of ice covering most of Baltimore, but there is a reason to this incongruity. I love any trend that you can already be somewhat prepared for. Whether you (like me) just love gold in general, or you just have a few pieces of gold jewelry lying about, you're already on the right track. I'm kind of obsessed with everything on this round-up, and am trying to scrape some change together for the loafers as we speak. They're just the perfect mix of trendy, casual, and office-appropriate. Whether with a bold statement or a touch of gold, this trend can be added to pretty much any outfit in your repertoire.

1. Flicker Sophie Tote, Kate Spade
2. Finley Retro Sunglasses, Michael Kors
5. Gold Flecks Tank, Anthropologie
7. Brantpoint, Sperry Top-Sider
8. Gold Dimension Ring, Piperlime

Saturday, January 21, 2012

spaghetti bolognese

This Spaghetti Bolognese may not look like anything out of the ordinary, but let me tell you something: it is absolutely just that. I'm not sure why I even chose to make bolognese sauce, seeing as I have no particular interest in it, and would never order it while out. Perhaps it's because most Emeril recipes require approximately eight million ingredients, and this list was reasonable. Adam and I recently visited friends who are first-time parents to a newborn son, and decided to take them dinner. I figured a nice sauce would travel well and reheat easily. I served the dish with this salad, and the dinner was a big hit. Everyone was blown away with how rich, flavorful and slightly creamy this fantastic sauce tasted. I strongly recommend making a large batch of this sauce and eating (or freezing) it for many happy, comforting meals.

Friday, January 20, 2012

oliver at the harbor

One warm afternoon last week, Adam and I decided it would be fun to walk Oliver to the harbor for the first time and take a few photos of the growing lad. The harbor is about a block away from our door, so we thought we'd make it fairly far around the water. We were wrong. Very wrong. As soon as we entered the area, we were mobbed by about 100 passersby who wanted to see/touch/photograph our little man. He handled it very well; in fact, he relished in the attention so much that the sun went down before any pictures were taken. In order to salvage our lack of clear photos, I snapped two quick pics of my very casual outfit. You see, now I can loosely claim this is also a "fashion" post, albeit it a quite boring one, and not just puppy loving.

Trench and Necklace: UO;  Shirt: J. Crew;  Jeans:  Anoname;  Shoes: Tretorn for J. Crew

Hair: a first attempt at something new. Meh.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

roasted shrimp with tomatoes and feta

If my adventures in cooking have taught me one thing, it's that you will go insane trying to make a new recipe every night for dinner. I'm guilty of recipe ADD, as I am rarely willing to spend time repeating anything. However, I've realized I need to start building a small arsenal of easy recipes to turn to time and time again. This Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta is one of those recipes. Incredibly easy, fresh and full of flavor, this entree deserves to be repeated. It doesn't get much easier than throwing ingredients in a baking dish and popping it in the oven. I served the shrimp and tomato mixture over orzo, but it would also be great served with a loaf of crusty bread, bruschetta-style.