Prom Dress Try On

The pure JOY that formalwear brings me is just unparalleled! I mean other than my wonderful husband, our loving families and the fur monsters 😉 

To quote Charlotte from the princess and the frog, “Seems like only yesterday we were … wishing our fairy tale dreams.” It was weird to rummage through a childhood of random things lost to my closet this past weekend but it was also fun to remember the little things that ring clear to my truest self! 

My prom dresses are definitely beacons of my truest self. I mean who else is going to wear the BIGGEST pink dress they can find WITH a big ass bow, without reservations!? I’ve always been one to favor the fairytale stories, and the girly dress up games. Truly, if I could wear a ball gown everyday, I probably would! I know that sounds strange, but it makes me who I am!

Is it wrong to easily think to let go of things like yearbooks (Like seriously, H.A.G.S., come on guys!?) but panic at the idea of losing my prom dresses? These dresses allowed me to live out my fairytale dreams and create memories for a lifetime! I mean truly, I was lucky enough to go to THREE proms, all with the same prince charming, who is now my forever. What yearbook page is going to do the same? 

Anyway! If you’re curious, two of my favorite dress designers to follow are Oscar de la Renta and Alexia Maria. Both use classic silhouettes and feminine details, which I can not get enough of! Two of my favorite style bloggers to follow are Blair Eadie, and Jenn Lake. I am obsessed with how these ladies use color to perfectly accompany their outfits! They are #GOALS in my book. Hands down!

Mediterranean Spiced Salmon with Vegetable Quinoa Bowl

Not sure where I got this recipe originally. Honestly, I wrote it down in my recipe book a few years ago and never looked back! This is a super quick and easy weeknight meal with minimal dishes… what’s not to love!? You can also reserve some quinoa for an easy lunch the next day. (Next day’s salad: Add a handful of spinach, some chickpeas and a bit of feta!)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa

1 cup vegetable broth (unsalted or lower sodium)

1 cup water

2-4 salmon fillets with or without skin (about ¼ pound per serving)

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp cayenne

2 tbsp olive oil

¾ cup cucumber (english), diced

¾ cup tomatoes (roma), chopped

¼ cup red onion finely diced (or less, totally a personal pref!)

4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. First make the quinoa: in a medium pan with a lid bring the quinoa, vegetable stock and water to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cook about 20 min or until liquid is gone. When done, remove from heat.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, prep the salmon. First combine the salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Season the salmon with the mixture. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and place salmon skin side down, cook for 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for additional 5 minutes, or until done. Remove skin.
  4. While the salmon is cooking, prep the fresh ingredients including the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, basil, lemon, and parsley. 
  5. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, basil, and lemon zest to quinoa, toss to combine. 
  6. Serve in a shallow bowl with quinoa salad on the bottom, salmon fillet on top with a wedge of lemon and sprinkle of parsley! 

Spicy Turkey Enchilada Skillet

This was way too good not to share! Literally could have polished off the pan but decided the leftovers would be worth waiting for! 😉 I wasn’t in the mood to fuss over rolling actual enchiladas.. So, when I saw this skillet version on What’s Gaby Cooking I figured we could give it a whirl! Possibly going to start making this dish on the weekly, is that weird? 

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil

6 6-inch flour tortillas (we used whole wheat)

1 14 oz can red enchilada sauce

½ red onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

½ red bell pepper, diced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped w/ stalks (save half for garnish)

1 lb ground turkey

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

Dash of cinnamon (mom’s secret!)

1 small can green chilies

1 small can full of water (Or any kind of golden beer!)

½ small can of tomato paste

1 can black beans

1 cup grated colby jack cheese

1 green onion, sliced for garnish

½ cup greek yogurt

Juice from half lime (rest in wedges)

½ tsb cayenne powder

1 clove garlic, crushed 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease 12 inch cast iron skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. 
  2. Prep the veggies, including the red onion, bell pepper, zucchini and cilantro. 
  3. Heat another large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, onion, bell pepper, zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until soft.
  4. Add the ground turkey and ½ of the cilantro to the skillet and cook until turkey is done, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, chilli powder, and cinnamon to the skillet, stir until evenly distributed. Add the green chilies and water/beer, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  5. In the cast iron, layer the ingredients, starting with a layer of enchilada sauce followed by 3 tortillas, ½ of the veggie and turkey mixture, ½ of the black beans, and ½ of the cheese. Repeat for the second layer with the remaining sauce, tortillas, veggie turkey mix, black beans and cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes uncovered, until bubbly and cheese has melted and started to brown on top.
  6. While waiting, make the garlic lime sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the crushed garlic, lime juice, cayenne powder, and greek yogurt. 
  7. To serve, top with scallions, cilantro, creme and lime wedge! 

Recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking

May Mood Board

Green Wine Goblets // Honest Beauty Glow Powder // Green Tie Waist Dress // Blush Loafers // Daisy Headband // French Cookbook // Wine and Bread Basket // Supergoop Glow Screen // Watercolor Skirt // Sandwich Recipe

May is here, and almost gone! Although it’s hard to believe we’re almost three months into quarantine, I really feel like Nick and I have come into our new routine nicely. We’re utilizing a seating area of the house that we NEVER used much before.. It’s quickly become my new favorite place!! Each morning we make our way to the comfy chairs to enjoy a cup of coffee and a few pages of our books! 

Another space I’m excited to start using more is our backyard! We unfortunately had to remove one of the three large oak trees from our backyard. However, it was unhealthy and had lived a full life so it was time to let her go. Fortunately, we are now getting a ton more sunshine out there! I’m dreaming of eating al fresco and lounging with a book!! 

Now for the good part, I’ve pulled together a few things I’ve been loving this month!

  • Even though we are “stuck” at home, it doesn’t mean we can’t make the everyday special!? When I saw these green wine goblets, I just had to have them. We’re using them as pretty everyday glasses and I’m obsessed! 
  • I’ve been trying to transition to a cleaner beauty routine, this month I tried the Supergoop Glow Screen and the Honest Beauty Glow Powder. I’m loving them both! The glow screen definitely lives up to the hype, it’s so light on my skin and at the end of the day it isn’t sticky at all! The glow powder is so nice as well, it’s not as visible as the cream product I previously used but I’m loving the sheer veil effect! 
  • While WFH I’m constantly looking for easy and flowy everyday wear wardrobe options. I’ve been wearing this green tie waist dress on repeat (plus it looks so cute with my new fav headband!) and I instantly fell in love with this watercolor skirt!
  • If I’m being honest, I’ve been loving these blush loafers for a few months now. I now have three pairs, including the blush, tan and blue. They are literally like walking around in your bedroom slippers. 
  • Not sure why, but french cooking to me is just synonymous with a romantic dinner for two! Nick got me this french cookbook for Christmas and we finally made our first meal from it, the Garlic Ginger Shrimp and Spiced Chickpeas. It was delicious!!

Chicken Cabbage Stir Fry

Pasta Bowls // Covered Saute Pan (full set)

Do you ever just crave Chinese take out!? Like after a long day of work you just can’t wait to change into some jammies with a tall glass of wine and a big bowl of lo mein? On nights like these I turn to recipes like this easy Chicken Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s guaranteed to satisfy, so grab your chopsticks and let’s get cookin’!

INGREDIENTS

2 boneless/skinless chicken breast

1 tbs coconut oil

1 tsp curry powder (more or less to taste)

1 package (8 oz) lo mein noodles

5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about half a head of cabbage)

1/4 cup minced fresh ginger

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup grated carrots 

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoons sesame oil

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

sriracha sauce to taste for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok
  2. Thinly slice the chicken breast and season with curry powder. Add to skillet, stirring periodically. Cook for 8-10 minutes, chicken should be fully cooked. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. While chicken is cooking, prepare veggies 
    1. Thinly slice the cabbage
    2. Dice the yellow onion
    3. Mince the fresh garlic and ginger
    4. Grate the carrots
  4. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the cabbage, ginger, garlic, carrots, onion, and sesame oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes. Cabbage should be wilted and onion softened.
  5. While veggies are cooking, prepare noodles (according to package instructions) and mix together the stir fry sauce. 
  6. To mix the stir fry sauce add the soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch to a small bowl and whisk together.
  7. Once the cabbage stir fry is done, add in the cooked chicken, noodles and stir fry sauce.
  8. Toss over low heat for until well coated and combined, about 3 minutes. 
  9. Serve and enjoy! We topped it with Sriracha for a hint of spice!

Recipe adapted from Build your Bite

Lemon & Wine Dutch Oven Chicken

Recently I’ve made a few Dutch oven meals because it really is the perfect way to warm up when the weather is chilly! Taking on a whole chicken isn’t as scary as it seems, the hardest part for me is carving it. My dad is kind of an expert with carving, he taught me to start with the breast and go from there.

The chicken I cooked was upside down, which I did accidentally the first time I cooked a whole bird… But the breast meat turns out really moist so maybe I should start calling it my trick!? If you are feeling adventurous, try cooking yours upside down as well and let me know how yours turns out!

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Lemon & Wine Dutch Oven Chicken

Ingredients

Whole chicken

1 lemon, sliced

5 garlic cloves, peeled

½ medium onion, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried parsley

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

2/3-1 cup of white wine

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree

2. Stuff one slice of lemon into the chicken’s cavity with 3 garlic cloves.

3. Rub olive oil on the outside of chicken. Then generously cover the chicken with herbs, salt and pepper.

4. Place chicken in Dutch oven, pour in the wine and throw in the rest of lemon and garlic.

5. Place lid on top and cook for 1 hour, check temp. You want the temp to get to 160, if not at 160 add 20 minutes and repeat. Then remove the lid and continue cooking until it reaches the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees for a chicken.

6. After removing from oven let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to rest.

7. Remove from pan, and carve!

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Berry Pie, its always in season!

I know its not the season for this pie… But we have to do what we want, because life is short!

If I had to pick my absolute favorite kind of cooking I would say baking a pie. And if I had to pick my favorite pie to make I’d say Mixed Berry Pie. There are tons of recipes out there that are a variation of this pie but this recipe is mine. Out of trial and reassessing this is what turns out the best in my opinion. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do!!

  1. Place half of pastry on wax paper

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2. Press down to start flattening pastry

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3. Roll out pastry to about 12 inch circle

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4. Pull off top layer of wax paper

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5. Transfer pastry to empty pie pan

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6. Roll out top pastry and using a knife, or a rolling cutter, cut pastry into strips

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7. Fill lined dish with fruit filling and weave top pastry

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8. Seal top and bottom pastry by pressing down edges with thumb

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Spring Berry Pie

Filling;

1 cup quartered strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blue berries

1 cup blackberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Mix all together in a medium bowl and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Pie pastry:

2/3 cup pluse 2 tablespoons shortening

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out top and bottom pie pasties. Line pie pan with on pastry and fill with fruit filling. Lay top pastry over top the fruit. Seal top and bottom pastries along side of pie pan with thumb. Cut 4-8 vent in the top pastry.

Mix together all ingredients with your hands. Start with 4 tablespoons of cold water and if dry add 5th tablespoon. Split dough in half. To avoid the messy flour situation roll crust in between two pieces of wax paper to a 12-inch circle. (If paper slides wet the counter top just slightly)

Transfer pastry to pie pan and pour the filling into the pan. Roll out the second half of the pastry. Place pastry on top and fold top pastry under access bottom pastry. Seal fold with thumbs. Cut 4-8 vent in the top pastry. Cover top of pie with tin foil, and place in hot oven. Bake 30 min or until filling is boiling. Remove tin foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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Whats your favorite thing to cook!?

Weekly Budget Tracker!

Every year at school brings new challenges. One of my challenges this year has been keeping my budget in mind! I haven’t totally failed but it’s definitely something I need to work on. The hardest part for me is being able to visualize what I have spent and what I have left.

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So! I made a weekly budget tracker to help myself get organized. I decided on a weekly tracker because I like short-term goals and it seemed less stressful than a month!

How to make a weekly budget? I took what I get for the month and deducted my monthly fees for rent, utilities, etc. Then I took what was left over and divided it by four, because four weeks in a month, gets my weekly budget!

Budget Tracker Example


I hope this can help you as much as it helps me!

Download the Weekly Budget Tracker!

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[Basil] for stems to roots

A couple of weekends ago I got a bundle of basil from the farmers market. But when I got home I wasn’t sure how to keep it fresh.. So I went to the trusty Google!

Google said to set the stems in a container half full of water. It sounded easy enough for me! As I continued to read I found out that if you trim the stems a little and refresh the water every few days I could get the basil to root!

I was so excited to try rooting the basil. I found a container and kept a good eye on the water. After 10 days my plant had roots!!

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My next project is getting some soil so I can plant the basil and start my herb garden!

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Peach [Green Tea] Pie

 

As the month of August comes to an end so does peach season in the south. Before the last of the peaches were gone I got some fresh ones from the Farmers Market.

This weekend was so much hotter than expected… and peach green tea was sounding super refreshing! Then I had the idea of peach pie with green tea in the crust! So here is my little experiment that turned out amazing!!!

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Peach pie with Green Tea crust

Crust:

2/3 cu plus 2 Tbs shortening

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 individual bag of green tea (I used Twinings Green Tea with Jasmine!)

4 to 5 Tbs cold water (tip put ice cubes in the water ahead of time)

Mix all ingredients with a pastry blender or fork. Or if you’re like me just get elbows deep in it! Mixing with your hands lets you feel the pastry and will avoid over working it. Over worked the pastry makes a tough crust…

Split pastry in half and refrigerate while you mix up the filling. Once pastry is cooled roll out your pastry to fit a 9-inch pie pan. My pie has a full top pastry with vents, this pie will also do wonderful with a lattice top.

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tbs corn starch

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp lemon juice

6 medium peaches peeled and sliced

1 Tbs cold butter

Put everything except the butter in a mixing bowl and mix! Pour into bottom piecrust. Before placing the top crust, put small slices of cold butter around top of filling.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 40 min or until filling is boiling and crust is starting to brown.

Top with homemade whipped cream!!

Whipped Cream:

1 ½ cup heavy cream

4 big Tbs confectioners sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

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