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Archive for December, 2011

Happy Holidays!

A Merry and Happy Christmas and/or Holiday to you all!

 

A few merry links to inspire your holiday cheer:

Holiday Flash Mob that sounds amaaaaazing

Puppies!

Christmas Angels… in KMart

Bad presents for kids… hilarious or really mean?

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Brussel Sprouts 3 Ways

Roasted Brussel Spouts

  • Half brussel sprouts
  • Toss in 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper
  • At 375 degrees, roast for 30 minutes
  • Move sprouts around with a spatula and roast for 5 – 10 more minutes
  • Enjoy! (Especially the crispy leaves that fall off..)

 

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Sugar

  • Cook bacon until crispy.  Remove from pan, retaining bacon fat
  • Add Brussels sprouts, S+P  and brown sugar to pan and cook 2 – 4 minutes until the sprouts begin to cook and sugar is melted
  • Transfer sprouts to baking pan and roast for 30 minutes at 375 or until crispy
  • In the meantime, cook onions in the same pan on low heat until caramelized
  • Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook 5 minutes more
  •  Serve Brussels sprouts in a bowl with crumbled bacon and onions
  • Enjoy!

Maple Mustard Brussel Sprouts

  • Saute 1/4 cup of onions in olive oil until softened 3 – 5 minutes
  • Add Brussel Sprouts (cut into halves or quarters depending on size) and saute together for 3 – 5 minutes
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and close cover for 6 – 8 minutes
  • Meanwhile whisk together 1/4 cup of dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Add maple/mustard mix, steam for an extra few minutes if necessary (you should be able to stick a fork in them easily)
  • Enjoy!

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Party Hair Tutorials

Most of the time my hair goes straight up into a bun every morning, except when I have a big meeting or a fun engagement that night and then I spend the time to straighten and maybe even put my hair in curlers (my fiance can never understand why someone with naturally curly hair would straighten and then recurl their hair… he doesn’t undestand the idea of bouncy cascading curls verse kinky uncontrollable curls…).

But for those specialty events when I want to stand out, I turn to the trusty internet for hair help. Here are my favorite 4 hair tutorials that I have pretty much successfully  mastered:

The Martha Stewart Side Chignon 
(Note: This is the most difficult, but after trying a few times it looks fantastic. Don’t forget to curl your hair because when the pieces stick out of the chignon you want to make sure they look purposeful, not like you just can’t get your hair to behave.)

Cup of Jo Gibson Roll
(Note: Make sure to give yourself a little volume on the top with a fine tooth comb so that you don’t look too “Heidi”. Also messy is okay here! It’s a “Oh I just threw my hair up as I ran out the door and oh, does it look fantastic? Well thank you so very much” hair do.)

 

Cupcakes and Cashmere Beachy Waves 
(Note: This one is great because it is hard to mess up. Just make sure that you curl in different directions and that you mainly curl from your ear down. We’re not going for Shirley Temple here!)

Joan Holloway Inspired Mad Men Do 
(Note: Okay, this was for a Mad Men party.. but had I not gone so crazy with the teasing, this could have been an awesome regular party updo)

P.S. The number one advice I can give you as the secret to awesome updos is: Make sure your hair is a day or two dirty. Might be gross, but I swear it helps!

~ c

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I have a great friend, Tyler, who is amazing with ingredients. I mean I love to cook, but Tyler loves to cook and isn’t afraid of anything. Pig’s belly? Sure! Lobster tails? Why not!

So, whenever I get to see him I grill him with questions about what he’s concocted last. Last weekend he  was telling me about a cocktail he made for his family at Thanksgiving that sounded so fabulous I had to try it myself.  This cocktail doesn’t use crazy ingredients, but it is crazy good.

Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Cups of Cranberries

Simmer all ingredients together for 15 minutes. Let cool. Put all ingredients in a container in the fridge overnight and strain in the morning. You will have a bright red delicious syrup perfect for cocktail experimenting.

Ty’s Cranberry Cocktail

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Ginger Ale
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange, Lemon or Lime Slices (I chose lime to get the red/green theme)

The “skinny” Version

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange, Lemon or Lime Slices

Pour. Cheers. Drink. Enjoy. Happy Holiday-ing!

P.S. Lucky for us Tyler has a blog, tyskitchen.com, where he documents the meals he’s made during the week. Check it out!

~c

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‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through DC

Tiny lights were strung among streets lamps, windows and trees

The shops were all buzzing with a last minute rush

I even saw a caroler (or perhaps a mid-day lush)

With three holiday parties and only hours to spare

I needed something quick, but with holiday flair

Away to the market I ran like the wind

White chocolate, cream cheese and Oreos (peppermint!)

I crushed up the oreos and mixed in the cream cheese

(I left a few oreos on the counter as a tease)

I rolled them into balls (smaller than a quarter you’ll see)

With my budget double boiler I melted with glee

With a dip and some sprinkles my hostess gift was all done

Super easy, delicious and festive and fun!

With these cute oreo pops I could pull any fella,

Merry Christmas to all and THANK YOU Bakerella!

Bakerella’s Oreo Truffle Recipe: http://www.bakerella.com/grocery-item-goes-gourmet/

* My budge double boiler is pan with water, a colander and a bowl that is microwave safe, but not stovetop (whoops!)

* When you realize that you can’t let these dry top down, you can dump all your eggs into tupperware (and break 2) and then use the styrofoam egg carton to hold up the sticks

* I used Trader Joes peppermint Joe Joes, Wilton white chocolate disks, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and CakeMate Peppermint Sprinkles I found when I couldn’t find regular candy canes anywhere

* The truffles melt easily in heat, so my advice is to freeze them prior to setting them out so that they melt slower

~ c

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1. Kate Spade Earrings Gumdrop Earrings  (Studs that are anything but understated)

2. Ikea Milk Frother for at home lattes

3. Anthropologie Hobnail Tumbler set for chic entertaining

4. Ad Hoc Cookbook (Because you really want to try making Thomas Keller’s fried chicken)

5. A skinny belt that can be worn with a million and one outfits

6. An everyday Leopard Scarf so that she stops stealing mine

7. A massage, because wedding planning is no joke

 

1 – 4 ~ c and 5 – 7 ~ a

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Red Pants

I really want a pair of red pants for upcoming holiday parties, but I’m having trouble deciding which ones I want. I do however know that I would like them to be work appropriate and warm enough to wear at Christmas and for Valentine’s Day. Here’s what I have so far:

#1. JCrew Wool Cafe Capris. Definitely my favorite, but also the most expensive. Why oh why does JCrew have to be so expensive??

#2. Ann Taylor Modern Cropped Pants. I haven’t seen them in person yet, but hopefully they are wool and lined like the Jcrew ones. I mean it’s winter time… unlined pants just don’t work.

#3. JCrew Minnies. I have these in a very dark purple and I love them. Allie has them in black and loves them. But they are tight… very tight (and a size up looks too big). Are tight red pants sort of like tight white jeans? Just not good on anyone? (Plus they are more of an orangy red, not a holiday red).

#4. Express Ultimate Double Weave Columnist. I haven’t bought anything from Express in years and I think that there’s a reason for that – thin, stretchy, low quality material. But I have to admit, this model looks pretty hot in these…

Has anyone tried any of these on? I need help!

~ c

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