Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Salad Mixer

I am going to be perfectly honest with you right now: I am proud of this genius idea. After seeing a seasonal salad on a local restaurant menu this weekend, then trying to remember and subsequently forgetting the exact ingredients, I started thinking about what ingredients just scream fall. Somehow not only seasonal fruits and veggies represent the time of year; nuts, cheeses, and even dressings can fit the theme.

Any Pinterest addict will tell you that this season is bursting with amazing, hearty salads that are brimming with fall flavors. Sometimes, though, following an exact recipe is annoying when you could just as easily whip up your own with either what's on hand, or simply what you love to chow down on. You can even say it's all in the name of healthiness. It is a salad after all, right?

This diagram could have been made with text alone, but I thought that adding pictures would help to plan a salad that's not only tasty, but also visually appealing. A dish that boasts a rainbow of autumnal colors just plain makes me happy. I'll be following my own instructions over the next few weeks and posting some inspired salads, while hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

Friday, October 26, 2012

perfect for fall

shoes c/o Stella Says Go // blouse // scarf // pants

I've always been a sucker for a statement shoe; even when a shoe matches negative one item in my closet, I will still pine for them simply because they're beautiful. When the awesome girls at Stella Says Go introduced me to Jeffrey Campbell's Perfect, my first thought was "holy #*$@ how will I walk in these?" My second thought was wondering how a neutral-colored shoe could make such a statement. As it turns out, the serious platform makes them walkable (okay, not for miles, but reasonable outings), and the style begs to be noticed. The beautifully intricate lace-like embroidery doesn't hurt either. Paired with some vegan leather skinnies, a neutral blouse, and a scarf with just a hint of color, they were perfect for a warm and sunny fall day.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

follow my fall faves

For some reason, I always cringe when I catch myself in an accidental alliteration. I'm not sure why, but it always sounds odd. Even when I typed "Follow my Fall Faves" I didn't like it, but I kept it anyway just to prove to my weird, quirky self that I could. Moving on. I love Pinterest for many reasons, but one of them is that it simultaneously aids and diminishes my online shopping sprees. Collecting items on a pin board lets me pretend I'm actually shopping, and occasionally satisfies that urge, but it also prompts me to shop smarter. If something sits on a pin board for a while and I'm still dying to own it, then I know it's at least somewhat worth buying. So here are some of my seasonal favorites for you to check out, and maybe even shop for yourself.

Monday, October 22, 2012

sweaters, studs & stephenie

Joining the website Shoedazzle a few years ago turned out to be an absolutely terrible idea. Enticed by the thought of new $40 shoes each month, I somehow thought that subscribing to something endorsed by Kim K. was a solid plan. After three straight pairs of painfully unwearable shoes, I quit that service and begrudgingly donated some unworn purchases to Goodwill. 
Then ShoeMint came around. Rachel Bilson instead of Kim? Steve Madden designing the shoes? I was willing to give this idea another go, and I'm glad I did. The shoes are still reasonably priced, comfortable, cute, and actually well made. My most recent purchase was the adorably studded Stephenie Boot, and it is already becoming my go-to for fall. They have a slightly harder look to them, so I kept it girly with a top knot and feminine sweater. Now if only I could program my TV to never play one of those awful Shoedazzle commercials again. Ever.

sweater // pants // bag // boots // earrings

Friday, October 19, 2012

j. crew coats of color

This image from J. Crew's new campaign advertising color, color, color is pretty much my dream. This whole color scheme just calls to me in every possible way. Ok, so the other colors are amazing too. and actually perhaps more wearable, but this particular image just made me happy. Here are some of their amazing new coats, in plenty of time for winter (my last real winter ever!).

Tipped Peacoat
Bow Coat
Boulevard Trench

Funnel Coat
Cocoon Coat

Peplum Coat

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

pumpkin pie french toast with cinnamon-vanilla whipped cream

On a recent fall Sunday morning, as I lounged about the apartment sans Adam, who was visiting Austin, I decided to treat myself to something decadent and delicious. I dug through my pantry, and found that I had all of the ingredients for pumpkin pie, except for the crust. I had a nice loaf of French bread on hand, so I decided to make some pumpkin pie-flavored french toast. Since heavy cream lasts in the fridge for like 100 years, I decided to top it off with some flavored homemade whipped cream. And why not add some pecans while we're at it? This recipe was incredibly easy (no more difficult than normal French toast), and perfectly suited for an October morning... or November, or December, or whenever.

Pumpkin Pie French Toast
Serves 2

1 egg
1/4 cup half & half
2 T. canned pumpkin puree
1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. cinnamon sugar
4 thick slices day-old bread
2 T. chopped pecans
Cinnamon-Vanilla Whipped Cream (recipe below)

Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle over medium heat. 
My stove actually works best just below medium, but it's always too hot.
Combine first six ingredients in a shallow bowl and whisk until blended.
Dip bread into egg and spice mixture on both sides, add to pan, and cook until light, golden brown: approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve with chopped pecans and whipped cream.

Cinnamon-Vanilla Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup sugar
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

my week in photos

The greatest dog in the history of the world {no bias}
This week absolutely flew by in a blink, which was fortunate as far as the work week goes, but actually a little worrying otherwise. I'm not sure where the time went. I do know that I fell asleep around 8:00 on two separate nights, which probably makes me a senior citizen. I did have a very nice weekend with friends, watching the O's win their first (of many) playoff game in a long time and hitting up a street festival in Fell's Point. I leave for Austin Wednesday, so at least maybe I'll have something to photograph other than about 100 photos of Oliver and the harbor. Happy Sunday!

A beautiful view of the harbor
My best friends
"O!" Say can you see (in honor of the Orioles)
Essie Velvet Voyeur
A very early morning walk.
Fell's Point festival

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

potato & goat cheese napoleon with basil-balsamic vinaigrette

It's hard to believe that as recently as about a year ago, I couldn't stand the thought of eating potatoes. Well, except for the fried ones (fries, chips, tots, etc... have always been winners in my book). I decided to teach myself to like them, and suddenly here I am seeking out this Potato & Goat Cheese Napoleon with Basil-Balsamic Vinaigrette. Most recipes on Gingersnaps are either my own, or alterations of existing recipes, but this one is straight up robbed from Bobby Flay. The result was a really tasty side dish, or entree when served with a simple salad, that I would definitely make again. My one bit of advice is to double the vinaigrette, as it was absolutely delicious on chicken breasts the next day (or whisked with some extra EVOO for a flavorful salad dressing). I guess I'm officially a potato convert... especially if they're sandwiched with goat cheese.