Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hair Inspiration

{loving the heavy side swept bangs}
I'm bored with my hair.  Like really bored with my hair.  It's the longest it's been in quite a while.  Usually at this point I do something drastic like cut it all off a la Rihanna.  Although, I don’t want to go down that route this time around.  I guess I just need some kind of change.  Possibly color, maybe some heavy side swept bangs, I don’t know.  Here are some of my Pinterest finds.  What do you think?
 {love this subtle color}
 {my favorite cut - I'm so tempted, but it's more than likely NOT happening}
{amazing evening hair, it doesn't hurt that it's on Megan Fox's head either}
Follow me on Pinterest here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Macaron of The Month: Strawberries & Cream

As mentioned last month, I began a new feature called, "Macaron of The Month".  This month's flavor is Strawberries & Cream.  So, I've gotten better, but there is still more work to be done.  Here are some things I learned this time around:
- Use almond flour NOT almond meal.  I used almond meal and although they tasted great you could see flecks of the almond skin throughout the macarons
-325 degrees is WAY too hot for these babies.  I tried baking them at 300 and I think that is the perfect temp.  Next time I'll leave them in for longer than 10 minutes.  My feet got stuck to the parchment/silicone mat.
The filling consisted of a vanilla buttercream and diced fresh strawberries.
All in all they tasted great.  Practice makes perfect.  Until next month, my friends!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life Lately

 {Josiah on his 2nd Birthday}
Sometimes all you need is a nice gloomy Saturday.  At least that's how I felt this past weekend.  I really did nothing imparticular.  Ran some errands, prepped some cake pop orders, gave macaron making another go, among other things.  Here are a few shots from the past two weeks...
 {Mickey cake pop favors I made for the party}
 {had my first professional manicure in over 7 months.  I think my cuticles scared the manicurist}

 {indulged in a few (I use the word few very lightly) of my bro-in-law's mom's AMAZING homemade rainbow cookies}
{celebrated National Margarita Day with some homemade passion fruit margies}
{macaron making round two}
You can follow me on Instagram here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mocha Chocolate Ice Box Cake

This mocha chocolate ice box cake was the perfect finale to our incredible Valentine's Day dinner.  It took the traditional ice box cake to another level with the addition of espresso powder, Kahlua, and Mascarpone cheese.  I used a combination of chocolate wafers and Trader Joe's Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies for each layer.  That just wasn't enough so I spread each cookie with a little of Trader Joe's Crunchy Cookie Butter.  This stuff is INSANELY delicious, trust me on that!  Instead of the chocolate shavings the recipe calls for I used some cake stencils and cocoa powder.  For a no bake dessert that will definitely impress your guest this cake is the way to go.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cooking Together

Here's a look at our Valentine's Day dinner from last week.  You can check out the menu here.  We both came to the consensus that this was the best meal we have EVER cooked together.  By the way, my new favorite cocktail is Korbel Brut Rose with a splash of St. Germain and a slice of lemon zest.  So yummy!  I will share our dessert recipe tomorrow.  It's a good one...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

There is something so generous and satisfying about cooking dinner for someone you love and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to do so. As seen last year, Chris and I have a tradition of working together to create an amazing surf and turf dinner on V-Day. This year's menu consists of:

Mocha Chocolate Ice Box Cake (I’ll share this recipe with you next week)
 I truly love this little tradition of ours.  HapValentine's Day!

Click here to follow me on Pinterest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oatmeal Creme Pies

I remember back in the day my mom would pack a Little Debbie's snack in my lunch box.  Some of my favorites were the Zebra cakes, Nutty Bars, and of course the Oatmeal Creme Pies.    The Raisin Creme Pies were my least fave, but they ended up in there from time to time.  This recipe brought back some serious grade school nostalgia, a homemade oatmeal cookie (better than the original, sorry Lil Deb) sandwiched between some store bought marshmallow fluff.  I added a little Valentine's flair with some white, pink, and red sprinkles.  My first bite made me feel like it was snack time at Daniel Webster School circa 1987.  It's kind of crazy how food can take you back to a certain time and place.  It can invoke all of these feelings and help you remember things a little more clearly.   I think that is definitely one of the things that I really love about cooking and baking. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NYFW Street Style

{all photos by Christian Santiago}
Chris (the hubster) was hired as a street style photographer at Lincoln Center for New York Fashion Week.  He has a really great eye and spotted tons of style makers and trend setters along with hot messes, but we won't get into those.  Here are some of my favorites so far...
Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad
Karen of Where Did U Get That
Lindsey of Saucy Glossie
Natalie of Natalie off Duty
Robert Verdi

Monday, February 11, 2013

Life Lately

 Happy rainy, cold, slushy Monday!  I must have pressed the snooze button at least three times this morning.  This dreary weather is made for sleeping in, but unfortunately that was not an option for me.  Yesterday I accompanied Chris to Lincoln Center for one of his freelance gigs (more to come on that later in the week).  It was freezing out, but I was a lady on a mission.   While Chris was doing his thing I was determined to take the 10 block trek to the Levain Bakery for some of their AMAZING cookies as I never had tried them before.  Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but the odds were stacked against me.  My feet were numb, there was ice, snow, and UNAVOIDABLE slush puddles everywhere, and last, but not least I was only wearing one contact lens.  Yes, ONE contact.  The other one ripped earlier that morning.  No bueno.  Anyway, there were several times during this little voyage where I questioned my sanity and thought of turning around, but like I said, I was a lady on a mission.  When I finally saw the welcoming Levain Bakery sign with my one good eye I could have cried tears of joy, but instead I just decided to get in there as quickly as possible so that I could defrost and finally complete my mission.  If you get the chance to go I highly recommend the Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, out of this world delicious!

 {my homemade Southwestern breakfast bowl}
 {Valentine's Day cake pop decorating}
 {trying to stay warm}
 {victory is sweet}

{to be continued...}

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate and peanut butter anything are my kryptonite.  A Reese’s peanut butter cup is almost always hard to resist.  I decided to give making this homemade version a try.  I used a plastic mold as well as mini cupcake liners, both yield great results.  To make these goodies Valentine’s Day appropriate I decorated them with jumbo sized heart sprinkles.  For the peanut butter lover in your life fill up a mini mason jar with these goodies and add some Valentiney pizazz.  Now, who besides people with severe peanut allergies would not love this as a gift?!