Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Panettone French Toast

What is Panettone, you ask? Okay, because you asked, I shall tell. It is a sweet Italian bread served around Christmas. It has dried fruit and is perfect for toast...and French Toast!

While watching a Giada at Home Christmas show, she made some and it looked oh-so-freaking fab. But I tweaked the recipe a bit to lower the fat. I swapped whole milk for almond milk; and used half-and-half in place of the cream (and reduced the amount.) Then I added some vanilla extract, omitted the sugar and YUM! Heavenly French Toast.

I used Mahler's "Panetone" Bread as it is in a loaf and pre-sliced. Traditional Panettone will be round. Slice off the round top and then slice your bread for this recipe.

Panettone French Toast

*Sliced Panettone Bread (Six to eight slices)
*Six eggs (or the equivalent in Egg Beaters)
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1 cup of almond milk
*1/4 cup of half-and-half
*Two tablespoons of Smart Balance

In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, almond milk and half-and-half.

Heat 1 tbsp Smart Balance in non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Dip your bread in, letting the mixture soak in before turning over. Place in skillet and cook four minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining bread, adding more Smart Balance to skillet as needed.

Cover cooked French Toast with foil to keep warm as you do the rest.

Serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I never knew I needed a purple Birkin...

until I saw Khloe Kardashian carrying one. How FABULOUS is this bag in purple? Oh, oh, it looks so gorgeous against black! I.want.one. Reality, however, is to find a good fake one as my Paco does not have the same bank account as Lamar. I will not, I am pretty certain, receive a Birkin on my anniversary. Tragic. Yet true. So the quest for a fake begins....

Monday, December 13, 2010

William & Kate--Engagement Photo

Okay, I am *officially infatuated* with Kate Middleton and Prince William. How lovely is this photo? How cute do they look? How do I get my hands on that gorgeous cream colored dress Kate is wearing? LOVE them, LOVE the dress, LOVE MY NEW STYLE ICON KATE MIDDLETON!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate Nutella Drop Cookies

'Tis the season for holiday baking, yes yes? YES! I know, stand back in shock, but even I indulge in some holiday, chocolate-gooey treats at this time of the year.

And this recipe (adapted from Giada, of course) is kick ass awesomeness.

I am talking about her recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti, which I turned into Chocolate Nutella Drop Cookies with Chocolate Chips. Oh.my. Soft centers, chocolately goodness...you can keep sugar cookies, I want chocolate ones!!

Chocolate Nutella Drop Cookies (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Muscavado Brown Sugar (dark brown sugar would work too)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In mixer, combine butter, sugars, and Nutella and cream for about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Use a wooden spoon and stir in flour mixture by hand, then stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by tablespoon onto baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes (cookies will look a little underdone when taking them out.) Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I love these sunglasses

Okay, seriously, how FABULOUS are these cat-eye sunglasses by Nicole Richie? Oh.my.God I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Oversized? Cat-eyed? GORGEOUS! FUN! I WANT THEM!!

They will not be available until February and it is taking all the willpower I have not to hit that tiny "preorder" button on the Singer 22 website to ensure I will have them when they are first available!

But, alas, I am *attempting* to watch my budget. And Christmas shop...but if Santa is listening, these would be very, very, nice to have in my stocking as an I.O.U....

Monday, November 22, 2010

I found one!!!

So, thanks to the blog Outblush, I GOT MY OWN KATE MIDDLETON DRESS!! WHOOOO! I got the BCBG dress (#6) from Neiman Marcus last call for--get this--$94 bucks off!! For $53!!! Happy happy happy day!

I want to be Kate Middleton

Okay, so we all know I love Hilary Duff, but I am also crushing on Kate Middleton's style. In particular, this blue stunner of a dress! This dress by ISSA is no longer available, but I shall search for a substitute because this is gor-ge-ous, ladies! (Never mind the fact that if it was available, I would not be able to afford the $616 price tag. Details. Whatever.)

I would also love a replica of Diana's engagement ring. Still beautiful 30 years later!

So this season, in addition to being thankful for family, friends, health, good job, etc, I am thankful I have a new Fashion Icon in Kate Middleton. I will post updates on her fashion here for us to review. And drool over....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roasted Pear, Fig and Greens Salad

Hi Dolls! Yes, yes, I have not blogged since September but my busiest month of the year is OCTOBER so now I'm back! And I have the most delicious fall recipe to share with you all! So riddle me this, readers: What happens when you modify a Bobby Flay salad recipe, add a modified Katie Lee balsamic dressing recipe and merge the two together?

A restaurant quality salad that screams fall!

Roasted Pear, Fig and Greens Salad

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBSP Agave Nectar (or honey)

Combine in tupperware container. Shake. Done.

For the salad:
*Four fresh figs, halved (or you can used dried, but if you are watching sugar intake this really bumps up the content of sugar. If you don't care about that, whooo hooo just add your dried figs)
*Four Pears, cut into slices.
*Olive Oil
*Mixed Greens
*Pancetta (Optional add in: you can cube it and saute it until crisp, then drain wll on paper towels)
*Pecans or walnuts (another optional add in.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put pears on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, toss with hands. Put sheet in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Check, if pears are turning brown, they are done. If not, roast five minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.

To serve: top greens with dressing, toss. Then top with roasted pears, figs, pancetta, and nuts.

To serve with your salad: Try toasting some whole grain bread. Top with fig or pear jam, then a smear of creamy goat or gorgonzola cheese. YUM!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reicpe O The Day: Grilled Mole Chicken

A friend of mine found a recipe from Jillian Michaels for Mole Pork Chops and recommended it to me. Now, Mole is a sauce with about 5,326 ingredients in it, including chile spice and cocoa powder, but I am happy to report, this is just a Mole rub used to make the pork chops nice and spicy. And it does not have 5,326 ingrendients in it, therefore, I was inclined to give it a try.

Of course, I had to tweak it--I used it on boneless chicken, pan grilled it, used smoked paprkia instead of paprika, and switched fresh garlic for garlic powder. The result? Delicious, spicy chicken that was ready in 45 minutes. (If you put the rub on in the morning and refrigerate the chicken, you can pull it out, grill it, and have the chicken done in 15 minutes.) Sweet!

I served this with black beans, tortillas, and sauteed plantains with maple syrup. A trip to Latin America in 15 minutes, what is not to love?

Grilled Mole Chicken (adapted from Jillian Michales)

*two boneless chicken breasts (this will make four servings)
*1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
*2 teaspoons onion powder
*1/4 tsp garlic powder
*1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
*1 dash cinnamon
*1 tbsp brown sugar

Put a piece of waxed paper down on the counter. Put down a chicken breast, cover with another piece of waxed paper and pound until thin.

Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Rub spices on both sides of chicken, let sit overnight or 30 minutes.

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray each side of the chicken with cooking spray. Grill until cooked through (depending on thickness of chicken, usually 4-7 minutes each side.) Cut chicken in half for serving.

Mango Salsa

1 mango, diced
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp salt
1 avocado, diced

Combine all of the above and serve with chicken.

To complete the meal: serve with rice, black beans, tortillas, plantains...and enjoy your Latin American diner!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recipe O' The Day: Healthy Chocolate Pancakes

So I have been on the hunt for a healthy pancake recipe. You know, one that doesn't create pancakes that taste like utter crap. I have tried many, none of them tasted any better than if I had ripped apart a cardboard box, cut out circles, and poured syrup over the top...until I found this recipe by Joy Bauer.

These pancakes are FREAKING AWESOME. They taste delicious, whether you use the strawberry topping or indulge a bit with a dab of Smart Balance and drizzle of real maple syrup. I could eat these every weekend. So enjoy!

Chocolate Pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup skim milk
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, sugar, flaxseed, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the whole egg and the egg white. Then add the milk, oil and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until batter is just blended. Do not overmix. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.

Spray a large skillet or griddle with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. After two minutes, ladle 1/4 cup batter per pancake on to surface. Cook until bubbles form on surface, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook about a minute longer.

Strawberry Sauce: 1 16 ounce frozen unsweetened whole strawberries and 1 TBSP maple syrup.

In large saucepan, combine frozen strawberries, maply syrup and 2 tbsp water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Nutrition info for 2 pancakes: 242 calories; 7 g protein; 9 g fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 4 g fiber; 260 mg sodium. Strawberry Sauce (1/4 cup) is 35 calories, 2 g fiber.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I just bought these boots

And two things to note here: I paid CASH and they were marked down from $219 to $139! Yes! Will go awesome with my jeggings, ruffled white shirt, cardigan, etc. LOVE! Ali on the Bachelorette had a pair of Miz Mooz boots I *loved* (remember, Bachelorette fans? The ones with the buttons on the side?) but alas, they are no longer available.

But these ARE. And I have them. Of course, now I have no money for anything else but I have a sweet pair of boots if all else fails...LOVE!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recipe O' The Day: Blue Mesa Hatch Chile Gazpacho

First of all, aren't those fresh ingredients just beautiful? Baby Roma tomatoes, Hatch chiles, cilantro? And since it is Hatch chile time, what could be better than tossing them in a blender and whirling them up into a spicy gazpacho with some serious heat?

Yes, it's 106 outside but a chilled, spicy soup is delicious. I found this recipe from one of my favorite restaurants, Blue Mesa, and gave it a try. It is not for the faint of heart but it is delish. I like to top with a dollop of low-fat sour cream and eat with a salad for lunch. Delish!

Blue Mesa Hatch Chile Gazpacho

1 cup canned vegetable broth
1 1/4 pounds Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 whole cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped jicama
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 large green onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garnish: sour cream, diced avocados, more cilantro, etc.

Blend vegetable stock, tomatoes, and chiles in food processor or blender. (I blended the onions here, too.)

Mix in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Chill and then serve with garnishes of your chosing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hilary Got Married!

Yes, in my obsession of all things Hilary Duff, here's a pic of her wedding this weekend to NHL player Mike Comrie! Love the pouffed hair--on trend! Love the dress (Vera Wang!) And check out the ice on her finger! Well played, Ms. Comrie!

Damn you Michael Kors, Continued...

Why, oh why, MICHAEL KORS, do you torture me this way? Why do you put such delicious outfits on your website that I WANT EVERYTHING IN THE PICTURE? I am in love with this outfit also! The cranberry coat...the shiny boots...the sassy bag...I need a paper bag so I can hyperventilate. I'm getting hives from not using my credit card. I am seriously debating the merits of financial freedom over freaking fab fashion...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Damn you Michael Kors....

...and damn you MARIE CLAIRE magazine for making me *obsessed* with getting a faux fur vest!! Actually, I would like this enitre outfit by Michael Kors: the vest, the sweater, the jeans, the boots, the bag. Delicious. But is it credit card worthy? Alas, me thinks no but I can dream about it all the same, interest-free.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fab Beauty Find: Too Faced Cosmetics

So I recently purchased this FAB Too Faced eye kit at Ulta. Oh, Too Faced, let me count the ways I love thee! The kit has lots of great neutral colors, all with a shimmer (I love love love some sparkle & shimmer!) There are three cards included, telling you how to create different looks with the kit. I used the Too Faced eyeshadow primer with it and the color stays on all day, pinky-swear promise!

And how can I not love a company that has a lipstick called Marcia Marcia Marcia (I own it) and George & Weezy eye-shadow duo? Brilliant.

Recipe O The Day: Red Pepper Pesto

Okay, so it's kind of been awhile since I blogged, but I will make up for that with this super simple pesto recipe! And this one has no cheese! (More flavor + less calories = FAB.)

I use this on sandwiches with roasted vegetables and goat cheese, but you could use it on pasta, too. Best of all--you can make this with five ingredients and in under three minutes in a food processor. So step away from that pre-packaged pesto in the store and make your own, ladies!

Red Pepper Pesto

*2/3 cup roasted red peppers from a jar
*3 cloves of garlic
*1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts (I used pine nuts--just bought a little bag in the baking aisle and they worked fine.)
*3/4 cup basil leaves
*1/4 cup olive oil

Pulse red peppers, garlic cloves, nuts and basil leaves in food processor. Slowly add olive oil while machine is running. Add salt and pepper to taste (I omitted salt and it was still very tasty.) Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DELICIOUS Leopard Cardigan at Ann Taylor

Okay, readers, how DELICIOUS is this Leopard Print cardigan at Ann Taylor? LOVE! Leopard is going to be sooooooooooooooooooooooo spot on this fall. It is coming up everywhere in the pre-fall lines: belts, shoes, cuffs, jackets...I treated myself to this little piece of Leopard Love! with the help of an Ann Taylor 40 percent of coupon. I plan on wearing it with a tank and black pencil skirt in the fall to the office; with jeans and black platform pumps on the weekends. Me-ow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recipe O The Day: Pan Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Drizzle

So my new issue of Bon Appetite came in the mail yesterday. Oh, happy day, I love getting magazines in the mail. Actually, I love getting them anytime because I'm a magazine slut but I digress.

Inside I found a recipe for brined pork chops with balsamic drizzle. Hmmm. I hate brining, the meat tastes way to salty for my liking afterwards, but I do love balsamic vinegar. So I skipped the brining, grilled my chops, and made the balsamic drizzle to go on top. Yum! Dinner is done in 15 minutes! WARNING: Reducing vinegar on the stove can be kind of stinky, so run your fan and light a candle. Mr. Paco did complain about the smell of boiling vinegar, but I ignored him because I'm all about the good sauce.

Pan Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Drizzle

*4 pork chops
*Olive Oil
*3/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
*1 TBSP unsalted butter

Brush each side of each shop with olive oil; sprinke with salt and pepper. Heat gril pan over medium heat and grill until cooked through.

Meanwhile, boil balsamic vinegar for five minutes (until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.) Reduce heat to low; whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate pork chops, drizzle vinegar over top. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recipe O the Day: Mixed Greens with Fresh Figs, Goat Cheese and Chicken Italian Sausage

Okay, seriously, I had this dinner done in less than 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES! Take some mixed greens, mix a little dressing, slice some fresh figs (or buy some dried ones), heat up pre-cooked Chicken Italian sausage in the microwave, cut a nice hunk of whole grain bread...A healthy summer dinner is on the table! FAB!

Mixed Greens with Fresh Figs, Goat Cheese, and Chicken Italian Sausage

*Mixed Greens
*Fresh Figs (I used two fresh figs per person)
*Pre-cooked Chicken Italian Sausage (I used one large link per salad. I got Pederson's Natural Farms Chicken Sausage, Mild Italian Flavor.)
*Goat cheese
*5 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
*3 TBSP Olive Oil
*Fresh cracked pepper

Reheat sausage according to package directions, or if using fresh sausage, cook until done. Set aside.

Mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil in small bowl. Set aside.

Arrange greens on plate. Cut figs in half; arrange on lettuce. Slice sausage and place on top of greens. Crumble fresh goat cheese over the top. Drizzle with dressing and serve with bread. FAB!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Style Icon, Again: Hilary Duff

Okay, fine, I am obsessed with Hilary Duff's fashion. Now that we have gotten past that, let's discuss this fab casual outfit, shall we?

I love the balance of this: causual flip-flops, casual shirt, nice designer jeans and WOW! bag. This would be really easy to copy on the cheap. And, let's not forget her glasses, which look SIMILAR to mine! So I can totally copy this look for a nice fall transition weekend outfit. Let's shop, shall we?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I *heart* Jerseylicious!

Okay, like that isn't an embarrassing enough of a confession, but I do! And now I have found the Gatsby Salon website, and they have t-shirts for sale! How fun would one of these shirts be with jeans and a light cardigan and heels for a weekend casual outfit? LOVE!!!

Recipe O The Day: Whipped Ricotta and Fruit

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. I have found a new lucious treat that is actually good for you.

Whipped ricotta cheese.

Yes, ricotta is *not* just for lasagna or stuffed pasta. It is simply DIVINE when whipped for a creamy texture, sweetened with a touch of honey, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Luscious is the word that comes to mind...I adapted this recipe from Nathan Lyon and thank you, Nathan, for some creamy goodness that won't make me blow out of my new Ann Taylor pants...

Whipped Ricotta Cheese

*2 cups of low-fat ricotta cheese
*1/3 cup honey
*1 tsp grated lemon zest
*1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients in mixer with paddle attachment for three minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula and whip again for three minutes. Now it is done.

Serve with fresh fruit. (I am eating mine with fresh organic raspberries today.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Recipe O The Day: Lentil Spread

Looking for a protein-packed alternative to hummus? Yeah, me too! Luckily I found one in Tosca Reno's The Eat-Cleant Diet Recharged book. This is cheap to make, very easy, and tastes delicious with Ezikel bread, veggies, etc. In fact, today my lunch consists of two tomatoes, two baby cucumbers, roasted red peppers, Ezikel bread and this dip, along with fresh watermelon and Greek yogurt. Yum!

I modified Tosca's recipe a bit. I swapped olive oil for avocado oil. I do not like green onions so I omitted those, and used garlic powder instead of real garlic. (Lazy.) Turned out just fine, though!

Lentil Spread

*2 tbsp walnuts
*1 cup cooked lentils
*Sprinkle of onion powder
*1/4 tsp garlic powder
*1 tbsp whole grained mustard
*2 tbsp olive oil
*1 tbsp soy sauce
*Fresh black pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Add water a little at a time to get the dip consistency you like. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This is why I watch Barefoot Contessa

T.R. Pescod.

He is just so lovely, so sophisticated, so elegant...so Hamptons! Charmed. I am charmed. And I could watch him all day. Instead I settle for watching him pop in on Ina's place on Barefoot Contessa, but alas, he doesn't come over much. Sigh.

Food Network needs to give this man a show. NOW!

Recipe O The Day: Watermelon and Tomato Salad

This is another summer salad that I absolutely *adore*. Fresh watermelon...juicy tomatoes...tossed with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, greens...dressed with simple olive oil and baslamic dressing and fresh black pepper. Simple. Delish. It sounds weird, I know, but trust me, it works.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

*Mixed greens of your choice (I used Mache. Again.)
*Two small tomatoes, quartered
*One cup of cubed watermelon
*Handful of basil leaves, torn
*2-3 small mozzarella balls, torn
*1/8 cup olive oil
*1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
*fresh cracked pepper

Mix the lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon, basil and cheese on plate.

Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pepper. Drizzle over salad. Toss. Eat. LOVE!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Musings on last night's episode of The Bachelorette

So last night Ali took the guys (and Chris Harrison!) to Turkey. Three random thoughts on this and that's all I've got:

*I am in love with her necklaces. Cute? Always!
*I never wanted to go in a Turkish bath before, but that was pretty freaking cool. Too bad if I ever went to Turkey, only Mr. Paco would get to go in. And share it with a bunch of dudes. Ick.
*They wasted all that precious olive oil for wrestling? Noooooooooooooooooo! The cook in me shrieked in horror at that sight. However, Kirk in olive oil? Not bad.

More Add-Ins for the Peaches and Greens Salad

No, I will not talk about the Peaches and Greens salad everyday, HOWEVER, I would be remiss if I did not share that I added a few things to it today and it is so LOVELY that I must include them here:

*Fresh basil leaves, hand torn and sprinkled on top
*A tablespoon of dry roasted sunflower kernels

This salad is so light and summery! I'm in love!

Tomorrow I will post my spin on Tosca Reno's recipe for Lentil Dip. Delish, healthy and a nice alternative to hummus.

Monday, June 28, 2010

MORE Recipe O The Day: Whole Foods Peach Walnut Salad Dressing

Okay, just sampled this and it is delish. It is fresh tasting and works AMAZING with fresh cucumber! So here's a super simple salad dressing, with NO oil, compliments of the Whole Foods website.

Peach Walnut Salad Dressing

*1/2 cup chopped fresh peaches
*1/4 cup orange juice
*1/3 cup walnuts, toasted (or if you are lazy like me, just toss them in from the bag)
*1 TBSP lemon or lime juice.

Put all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend. If too thick, start adding water a little at a time to get the the dressing consistency you like.

Use with the Peach and Greens salad recipe posted below (using in place of oil/lemon juice, of course.)

Recipe O The Day: Simple Peach and Greens Salad

Yes, you read that right. Peaches aren't just for cobbler, people. They are in season and *most* delicious in your salad. And really, does it get any easier than this? No. It is pure and simple and really good. Combine with some rustic bread and hummus/lentil spread to round out the meal. Delish.

Peaches and Greens Salad

*Mache Greens (I love these, they are very tender but of course use greens of your choice)
*One Peach, sliced
*One Mini cucumber, cubed
*Fresh mini mozzarella balls (I used 2-3, pulled into pieces)
*Some walnuts
*Olive Oil
*Squeeze of lemon

Combine greens, peach, cucumber, walnuts, and mozzarella. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Give a lemon a squeeze over the top. Toss. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Preview: Ann Taylor Winter 2010 Collection

Happy Happy! A preview of what will be in Ann Taylor's Winter Collection! Animal Prints? Check! The Color Camel? Check! That DELICIOUS faux fur draped over that coat? OH YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time to empty out Mr. Paco's pants so I can start saving coinage now....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fab Find: Rachel Roy Spider Sweater

Yes, yes, I know it is 102 out right now in the Dallas Metroplex, but isn't this Spider Cami sweater by Rachel Roy just FAB? I see it over a white ribbed tank top, nice jeans, the brown Dany shoes by Jessica Simpson? YES I CAN SEE THAT TOO! I can see that, with my in my new Span-ish dining room hosting a Sangria Party? YES! Fab, Fab, FAB!

Okay. So I can see a Sangria party. And dream of hosting it in this fabulous outfit, in my pretend Span-ish living room. LOVE!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fab Find: The Dany Shoe

I am in LOVE! with this Jessica Simpson shoe. Say what you want about Jessica Simpson (although I confess to owning a couple of her CDs, natch) but the girl has some really kick ass shoes. These are some FREAKING FAB shoes! I adore the brown ones. Would look really sweet with jeans and a tank top, yes yes? Again, this whole being poor is kind of a buzz kill on the obtaining them part, but as you all know, I can dream Dany shoes with the best of them...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fashion Find: Kate Spade Bee Ring

I absolutely *ADORE!* this Bee Ring by Kate Spade. It's huge. It's yellow. It has the most *ADORABLE* little bee on it! What is not to love? And wouldn't it look stunning on my right hand? Yes, I think so too! Well, fashionistas, it can be yours for $125 at Saks, dah-lings. Just promise me to show me yours when you get it so I can drool all over it with pure envy. And I'm a mommy. I will have wipes on hand to clean off said drool when I am done.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I want a Spain (ish) Dining Room

Okay, if you are reading this blog odds are you know me. If you know me you know I am a fruitcake. So would it be awful to have the Swedish Kitchen (blog page main photo) and then have a Spain inspired dining room with the above pottery and colors? I could do the dining room yellow and accent with blue...and red..which would tie the living room, kitchen, and dining room together. Except the Dancing Swedes don't tie with Espana very well. But who am I kidding? Don't people expect this out of me? I just got the SANGRIA PITCHER for my b-day (thanks VCS!) and now I want to decorate around it. LOVE!

FAB Blouse at Belle Gray

I *heart* this blouse. It is actually something I can wear, unlike Ali's clothes for the hip and cute 20 something set. But I LOVE! the detail and color of this blouse. FAB! Wish I could have it, but shall just admire it on Belle Gray's Facebook page. Because I am just wheels off enough to admire blouses on Facebook, you know...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meal in under 30: Jalapeno Glazed Chicken and Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Looks like a plate of fabulocity, if I may quote Kimora Lee Simmons, does it not?

This is a super easy dinner. The chicken is glazed with a jalapeno jelly based sauce, grilled on top of the stove for like 4-5 minutes per side, done in 10 mintues. You can also use this glaze on pork, too.

The sweet potatoes are peeled, cut into chunks, boiled and done in 15 minutes. Add your seasonings and potatoes in the food processor, whip them up, and you are good to go. (This is a hybrid recipe of the earlier posted whipped sweet potatoes.)

Add some heated black beans...Dinner is done! What is not to LOVE?

Jalapeno Glazed Chicken (adapted from Bon Appetit)
*four chicken breasts, boneless and thin cut. (If you can't find thin cut ones, just pound them out yourself or have the butcher do it.)
*one 10 ounce jar Jalapeno jelly (I used Oasis; it has no high frutcose corn syrup.)
*Two tablespoons white wine vinegar
*1/2 cup chopped cilantro
*One half a lime

Prepare glaze: put jelly, vinegar, cilantro and juice from 1/2 a lime in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until melted. Reserve 1/4 cup of glaze from saucepan for later.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush chicken with glaze; put on pan. Cook about 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Serve with reserve glaze as a dipping sauce, whipped chipotle sweet potatoes (or Spanish Rice) and black beans.

For the Whipped Sweet Potatoes: follow earlier recipe (using 4 sweet potatoes)and start ahead of chicken. When potatoes are in the food processor, add 1 tsp adobo sauce (from a can of Chipotle Peppers), 2 TBSP butter, and 2 TBSP maple syrup. Process until smooth. Taste. If you want more heat, mince 1/2 to 1 chipotle pepper and blend again.


Monday, June 7, 2010


A big shout out to three people here: AMY, JENN and Nothing Bundt Cake. Amy & Jenn introduced me to this deliciouness this past weekend for my birthday in three flavors: Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet and White Chocolate Raspberry. Oh.my.freaking.Gawd. FAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This cake was moist...delicious...the icing was divine....The best cake EVER! From now own Nothing Bundt Cake gets my business for any holiday requiring a cake.

By the way, after my party people left on Friday night, I sat down to 1/2 a bundt cake and ate all the icing off. By myself. With a serving spoon. If that doesn't scream sad and pathetic I don't know what does, but I can tell you it was damn tasty, even if it is sitting on my thighs right now.


I am too old to rock this but...TRES CHIC!

Okay, I know, I know, you are reading this and going, "Holy Crap! Is Wendy obsessed wtih The Bachelorette Ali and Hilary Duff? What is up with the old bag and 20ish something women? Can't she find someone her own age to write about?"

Style, dah-lings! That's all. I'm *all* about interesting style. And yes, I shall write about 40 somethings with good style when I see it. But I digress. Let's get back to Ali, shall we?

And this dress Ali is wearing is FREAKING FAB!

If I were two decades younger, I'd buy this RIGHT NOW. No delay. It is such a simple and gorgeous dress that speaks for itself. The shoes? LOVE! The dress, the hair, the make-up? All perfection. LOVE!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Totally Cute Top

Is this top not just totally cute? Too bad it is from Janie & Jack and made for the toddler crowd. Miss P might look groovy cool in it, however, since she can wear a 4T.

Perhaps, though Ali from The Bachelorette could wear it too. She likes yellow. And she is about the same size as Miss P...

Oven Roasted Radishes

Let's discuss radishes, shall we? I must admit, I am not in LOVE! with the radish. Pretty on my kitchen counter? Of course. Tasty? Eh, no. My dad, dear old Grand Master Wayne, loved radishes in salads and would eat them alone with salt. Ewh. I never had the LOVE for that.

But radishes that have been oven roasted with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh black pepper and kosher salt?


I read about them in the New York Times food section a week or so ago and was intrigued with the idea. Roasting brings out the sweetness in them. So being the gamer that I am, I decided to try them. And color me stunned, they are DELICIOUS roasted. They were sweet, they were carmalized...I could have eaten a bowl of them right out of the oven. They were THAT good.

What I did end up doing what putting them in the fridge and eating them cold over my salad this week. A tasty combo of baby lettuce, fresh corn off the cob, sliced orange bell pepper, grape tomatoes, roasted radishes and the buttermilk dressing I posted a while back. FREAKING FAB and screams summer.

But let's get back to the radishes, okay? Here's how to make them...if you are brave enough to try them!

Oven Roasted Radishes

*One bunch radishes, leaves trimmed off, ends trimmed
*Olive Oil
*Kosher Salt
*Fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Cut radishes in half. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper.

Roast 15 minutes. Flip them over, roast another 5-15 minutes until browned. (You will need to watch these--every oven is different and yours might get done faster and you don't want blackened radishes!)

Enjoy hot or cold.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spicy Black Bean and Grilled Pineapple Tacos

Oh my. Oh my. These are FREAKING fab! I saw a recipe for Grilled Pineapple Tacos from Fresh365online.com and was intrigued. Of course, I had to add more to it: spicy black beans, fresh diced tomato, organic shredded white cheddar cheese, slices of avocado. DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY! What is not to LOVE?

Spicy Black Bean and Grilled Pineapple Tacos

*One can spicy black beans (or you can make your own spicy black beans if you are inclined)
*Pineapple rings (I bought mine fresh in the produce section. I wouldn't used canned rings, too syrupy.)
*Whole Wheat Tortillas
*One avocado, sliced
*One tomato, diced
*Shredded organic cheddar cheese
*Shredded lettuce (I used Mache but use whatever you like best)

Heat the black beans in a saucepan.

Meanwhile, while beans are heating, grill your pineapple rings. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Put pineapple rings on pan, grill for five minutes. Spray rings with cooking spray and flip, grilling for another five minutes. Set aside when brown and carmalized.

Heat tortillas.

Cut pineapple rings into tidbits. Assemble your tacos and enjoy!

Style Icon: Hilary Duff (AGAIN)

Before you all become alarmed that I am becoming obsessed with Hilary Duff, well....you are right. I am obsessed with this woman's STYLE. I totally love the way she rocks a scarf in any season. In fact, I bought a scarf at Ann Taylor during a *minor* shopping binge incident last March (I have been clean ever since, however, but I digress) and get compliments every time I wear it. In fact, here is another scarf from Ann Taylor that is just delicious:

I LOVE! this! What a nice pop of color against a white T-shirt or tank, or black T-shirt or tank! The possibilities are endless! So that would totally justify a purchase, right?

Oh, okay, it doesn't and I know I will LIVE! without it. Kind of like the vest from Lisa Rinna's store I blogged about. Sigh.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sauteed Mushrooms & Fennel over Polenta

So Sara Snow had this recipe on her blog for polenta with local mushrooms and greens that sounded intriguing. I read through it, and of course, began changing it. You know, because I like to pretend I am Katie Lee/Giada/Other Food Network celebrity.

I added some fresh fennel, sliced thin, and some fennel seeds to the mushroom and onion mixture. I omitted the greens and leeks, favoring a fresh Mache salad on the side. Then I used prepared quiona polenta, the greatest invention ever, sliced it and baked it. Then I topped it with the sauteed mushrooms and fennel, sauteed with port, and viola! A totally vegeterian meal that, if you ask me, is restaurant quality.

People this one is easy. The only buzz kill is that you have to chop a lot but I promise it is not hard.

Sauteed Polenta with Mushrooms and Fennel

*1 tube prepared polenta (You can find this in the pasta aisle in many flavors. I opted for Quiona Polenta but regular/flavored polenta works just fine.)
*2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
*1 medium onion, sliced thin
*2 Fennel bulbs, fronds (fern part) cut off; bulbs sliced into thin strips/pieces
*1 teaspoon of fennel seed
*1-2 pounds of mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
*4 cloves of garlic, minced
*1 tablespoon of rosemary, chopped
*1/2 cup of red wine or port
*Salt and pepper

Slice your polenta into 1/2 inch thick slices. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 15-30 minutes, until hot and a little bit crunchy on outside. (I sprayed the tops of my polenta slices with cooking spray to achieve this)

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add onions, fennel, and fennel seed and saute for 7-10 minutes, until the onions and fennel are starting to brown and are soft. Add the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and saute 5 minutes more. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Add wine and cook until almost entirely evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Serve over polenta rounds. Toss a green salad with olive oil, balsamic, and fresh parmesean cheese and serve on the side. Enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seriously, how cute is Sara Snow?

This girl is cute. And she lives green. I'm totaly jealous.

This book is on my wish list. Perhaps it is possible to have Casa de Wendy be Green and chemical free? I'm going to pick up a used copy and see if I can get past Chapter One...

Giggle Better Basics Cleaning Products

So Giggle is like the hippest, coolest, baby store EVER. Modern pieces, organic clothes...and now natural cleansers for the home. While I am no Sara Snow (the cute, bubbly, go-green organic hostess of Get Fresh & Living Fresh With Sara Snow, I do want to reduce chemicals in my casa. We'll talk about eliminating the clutter and crap piles in another post.) And these products look great! This one works on carpets, bedlinens, etc. There's a cleaner just for toys, laundry soap, etc. Love!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Today's Recipe: Whipped Sweet Potatoes

So last night I tried a new recipe from Jillian Michaels' Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. It was for smashed, skin on sweet potatoes. I really wanted to like this--it had healthy coconut milk, skin on potatoes, etc. But sadly, I must report that I did not. I didn't like the texture with the skins on and chunks. Ick.

And I *really* do think sweet potatoes need some sweetener to taste really well.

But I got to thinking, what if I used coconut milk and added some maple syrup or agave to my whipped sweet potatoes? I made a second batch and these were so yummy. LOVE!

Don't have coconut milk? No worries--I have provided a substitute below.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

*Four medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
*1/2 cup plain coconut milk OR 2 tablespoons of butter
*Two tablespoons of agave nectar or maple syrup or brown sugar
*1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Put sweet potatos in saucepan of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes. (Test with fork for doneness--they should be soft.)

When sweet potatoes are done, drain off water and put the potatoes in a food processor. Puree. After they have started to puree, add coconut milk/butter, cinnamon, and sweetener of your choice.

Done. Easy. And you have a healthy homemade side in less than 20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! Lisa Rinna's shop, Belle Gray, just posted this photo on Facebook. I want this. I really really really want this. My credit card is itching. I'm getting hives. What is an extra $162 on top of a mountain of debt? I would be fab in this! FAB!

Okay. Deep breath. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath. This is a WANT and not a NEED.

But if you all NEED it call Belle Gray fast!!!

I will live if I don't have this.
I will.
I will.
Repeating this and locking credit card in work drawer now....

STYLE ICON FAB FIND: House of Harlow by Nicole Richie

Oh, how I do *adore* the House of Harlow Jewelry collection by Style Icon Nicole Richie! Beautiful pieces (and some in Peacock designs, my newest obsession!) and Piperlime even has some on sale this week. (But not the neclace above, however, sigh.)

But cool pieces that are timeless? LOVE!

Monday, May 17, 2010

This Woman Kicked My Ass Tonight

This is Cathe. She looks all sweet and harmless, but she is a Grade A ass-kicker on this workout I did tonight! Oy vey! 51 minutes of cardio drills and ab work. So you are sucking wind for three cardio burst exercises, repeated twice, then you get to drop down to the mat for core work. I hung on until the last two minutes before collapsing on a heap on my mat, gasping for breath while my skin struggled to go from fire engine red back to the pale sickly color it is naturally. Wait. Let's just call that "Nicole Kidman" fair because that sounds more attractive.

Anyhoo, I was spent. So why do I let this woman torture me so?

A) It's a freaking fab workout. This WILL get you into shape.
B) It's cardio capacity building
C) I am a hypochondriac. I obsess about my heart health. Do you *really* think I work this hard so I can rock short shorts? Oh hell no. I'm way to old for that look anyway.

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

I will post a picture of the actual salad later, but last night I ate the perfect summer salad (and yes, technically it is not summer yet but when Central Market is full of heriloom tomatoes? Oh yes it is summer in my kitchen!)

I used a mix of baby heirloom tomatoes, fresh greens, corn from the cob and made a healthy, lite Buttermilk Vinaigrette (adapted from a recipe found on Martha Stewart's webpage.) We had it with BBQ roasted chicken for a delicious Sunday meal.

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:
*1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
*2 Tablespoons white whine vinegar (I used Pinot Grigio Vinegar)
*2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Fresh ground pepper
*1/2 tsp coarse salt if you like (I omitted)
*1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (I think basil would be fantastic, too.)

*Whisk all above ingredients together. Done. Easy!

Now, make a salad with the following:
*Fresh organic greens
*sliced grape, cherry or heirloom tomatoes (the more colors the *prettier* the salad will be. Presentation is EVERYTHING people!)
*One orange bell pepper, diced
*Two ears of corn, corn scraped off the cob using a sharp knife.
*One avocado, cubed

Toss together. Put on plates. Drizzle with your vinaigrette. Grind fresh pepper over the top. Again, look at the veggie count--whooo hooo you have varied your vegetables like the USDA Pyramid tells you to. Don't know what the pyramid is? Here's a link for everyone who wants to learn:


And that concludes the health portion of the blog today. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Style Icon: Hilary Duff

I am really LOVE!ing this look by Hilary Duff. Maxi dress, sandals, scarf, big bag...Ms. Duff really knows how to rock her accessories and this is a *perfect* look for summer. I.want.this.outfit. And this concludes my fashion public service announcement of the day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Teresa's Salsa Cruda is Greatness

I freaking LOVE! this cookbook! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I made the salsa cruda (a raw sauce) and it is divine on top of a fresh salad. I tweaked the recipe from Teresa's a bit--used multi colored grape tomatoes; added black olives, left out the parsley and used some fresh oregano, substituted a sprinkle of garlic powder for fresh garlic. Enjoy!

Wendy's Version of Salsa Cruda

*Two cups of grape tomatoes, sliced in half (I used red and orange ones)
*1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
*2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano leaves
*1/4 tsp garlic powder OR 1 garlic clove, minced
*1/2 tsp salt
*Couple of grinds of fresh black pepper
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1/4 cup black Nicoise olives, halved

Combine everything in a mixing bowl. Gently toss with your hands. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Enjoy over pasta, on top of a salad, etc.

The Bachelorette is BACK May 24

And color me stunned, she is not wearing yellow...

Ann Taylor has a *fab* Tote

This is FAB. And that is my public service announcement of the day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I need a Sangria Pitcher

I didn't know I *needed* a Sangria Pitcher until I saw this one on La Tienda's webpage. Cute, no?

La Tienda is a store that carries all kinds of stuff from Spain. LOVE! the catalog and website: www.latienda.com Ole!

Fun Find: Lisa Rinna Dance DVDs

Okay, so I must say this upfront: I *heart* Lisa Rinna. I have ever since she appeared as Billie Reed on Days of Our Lives. She has spunk...fun hair...and a really kick ass body.

Which leads me to her DVD collection she made after doing Dancing With the Stars (another LOVE! of mine but that's a post for another day.) I found this one really cheap on Amazon.com--for like $4--and thought, why not? I got it and what can I say but FAB FUN FUN FUN! On this DVD, I have so far mastered the rumba and the paso doble (Oooooh really fun! It's a mad angry dance and what's not to love about that?) She breaks them down really slow and solo at first, then you go slow, medium, and fast with Lisa and a dance class.

Now, I have no illusions that this DVD will give me Lisa's body, but I broke a sweat and had a blast. I highly recommend this if you want to do something fun at home. Love you Lisa Rinna! Thank you!

You will need this for today's recipe

I am so in LOVE! with So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk! It's light, it's yummy, and it is perfect for the recipe o' the day today.

Berry-Banana Breakfast Smoothie

*1 scoop of whey protein powder (I used vanilla flavored)
*1 cup of Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk (you can save sugar by using unsweetened)
*1/2 cup of frozen cranberries (Can use any other frozen berry of your choice)
*1/2 cup frozen blackberries (ditto above)
*1 banana

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend.

So there you go. Now you have a very thick, filling breakfast shake. If you don't like your shake as thick, cut the banana in half and put the other half in the freezer for tomorrow's shake.

I love this because you can sip it while sitting on the freeway in hideous Dallas traffic. Or you can drink this one-handed so for all of my mommy pals, you CAN have breakfast while holding a newborn in the other arm!! No excuses. You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So shake it up and start off with a protein kick. And now you have achieved a couple of servings of fruit, too. Well done!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Henry Cavill can come over for kuchen...ANYTIME.

Okay, so it might be completely wrong for a few weeks shy of 40 woman to think a man born in 1983 is HOT. (I know my younger readers are going "EEEEEEEEEEEWH" right now but an old lady can dream, right? Right!)Mr. Cavill is currently playing Charles Brandon on The Tudors. And I get this eye candy every Sunday night, hurrah!

Anyhoo, Mr. Paco knows he is on the approved marriage deal-breaker list. You know, in case Mr. Cavill has interested in a middle aged lady with tot in tow. It could happen. And if it did, he could have any kind of kuchen he wanted in my kitchen.

Ooooooooooooooooooooh I LOVE!

Okay, I totally lied. I am back before Thursday because I feel COMPELLED to share this with you all. (And it's a slow day at the office and I should be filing, but I digress.)

I LOVE! This Peacock Cuff from Anthropologie. It is FAB, yes yes? But being that I am on a financial diet after a complete binge this spring, it shall remain at Anthropologie. Sigh. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Sigh.

I'm back..to blogging!

Okay, so I had a blog before which I completely abandonded in 2009, I am starting anew with this one--Kaffee and Kuchen. Hopefully I will be able to stick with this like I am somehow able to stick with watching every episode of The Bachelor. (An amazing skill I have, I know.)

Speaking of The Bachelor, why do I even bother watching The Bachelor when I always go over to Reality Steve's web page, read EXACTLY what is going to happen, and then watch the show anyway? When I could be putting my time to better use like canning vegetables and providing my family with nutritious food?

Wait. I don't know how to can vegetables so that's probably why I watch The Bachelor. But I digress. I'm the girl who reads the last page of a book first. I've got to know what happens. GOT TO. Yes. I am that girl.

Have a fantastic Wednesday and will be back with a recipe tomorrow. But don't expect a photo with it, that's way too ambitious for me in the middle of the week. :)