November 24, 2015

In the Kitchen: Marinated Olives

Are you hosting Thanksgiving or any holiday parties this year? Weather you are or not, this marinated olive recipe will become your new go-to for easy entertaining. Pick up your favorite olives, add a few tasty flavors like fennel seeds and lemon rind, and enjoy these all evening long. They can be put together in less than five minutes, and look much more impressive than opening a jar or store bought olives. Plus, they taste pretty good as well. Serve them in a pretty bowl alongside your favorite cheese and you have a quick and easy appetizer. Of course, if you want to make these for yourself, I highly suggest it. 

Marinated Olives

1 1/2 cups mixed pitted olives
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Rind from 1/2 a lemon

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine. Chill in fridge for 2 hours to two week to merry flavors. Serve chilled, alongside your favorite cheese and enjoy.

November 23, 2015

Style: Stripes & Olive

I dread the first day of wearing tights each fall. After this, there is no going back until April. You may get that one warm day in February or March where you want to run outside in shorts, but until then my legs do not see the sun. Committing to this look can be a bummer, but if you style your outfits with darker color palette in mind you can make them work with almost anything. 

I wore this  military shirtdress many times this fall with tan flats and a striped pink shirt. By adding black booties and a striped black shirt the look is now more cohesive, and I can get more wear out of this dress. What are your tricks for making your outfits wearable during the colder months? 

November 19, 2015

Setting the Table

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time last year. I strategically planned everything, from the turkey brine to what wine we would drink while cooking. This year I am being a little more lax. Yet, one thing I will not scrimp on is the table. Growing up, my Mom and Aunts would spend the entire afternoon setting the table. Tablecloths and napkins were always ironed and centerpieces were meticulously put together. 

Last year, I stuck with cooler tones: navy napkins, a taupe runner, and ethereal florals in a mercury vase. I was proud of my workmanship and am looking forward to setting the table again this year. If you're hosting Thanksgiving and in need of a few new pieces to round out your table see below for a few of my favorites, and how I will be dressing my table this year.

ONE A white porcelain table setting is perfect for any occasion. // TWO Add a festive touch without being gaudy with these maroon linens. // THREE Give a french twist to your wine glasses. // FOUR Your turkey will certainly shine on this platinum platter. // FIVE Thanksgiving is not complete until you pass the gravy boat. // SIX Instead of a floral arrangement, center your table with a wooden candleholder you can repurpose at a later time. // SEVEN I'll be adding a few magnolia leaves to the table for a pop of color. // EIGHT These salt and pepper shakers are nice enough all your formal dining occasions. // NINE Serve your Brussels sprouts with wooden salad tossers. 

November 18, 2015

Style: Bold Sweater Set

Think a sweater set involves just a shell and cardigan? If so, think again. Sweater sets have come a long way over the years from dresses and sweater coats to pullovers and skirts, and this classic combination has endless possibilities. 

I stepped out of my comfort zone when I picked up this sweater and  sweater skirt from Anthropologie. I'm 5'3 so I tend to stay away from large prints, but this one worked. The skirts waistline is striped which allows for contrast within the outfit. Tucking in the top ever so slightly also helps breakup the large-scale pattern. When working with such a bold print, keep the rest of your look simple. A neutral shoe and bag let your sweater set shine, in the best way imaginable.

November 16, 2015

In the Kitchen: Potato & Fennel Gratin

Is anyone else having a hard time believing Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away? We're hosting again this year, and I have yet to do any planning. Besides the turkey, this potato and fennel gratin is one dish I know will be on my table. You can prep everything a day in advance. So, all you have to do is pop it in the oven on the big day. The potatoes are perfectly creamy and the onions and fennel add a nice bite to the dish. I suggest you swap out your mashed potatoes for this dish, but if you can't save this recipe for Christmas. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

 Potato Fennel Gratin

2 pounds golden potatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 tablespoons butter 
1 fennel, core removed and sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup half & half 
1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, minced 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a gratin dish with butter and set aside. 

Add olive oil and butter to saute pan over medium heat. Once heated, add fennel and onion and saute for 5-10 minutes until soft and golden. Try to avoid any dark coloring, so keep the heat low if needed. Remove fennel and onions from the saute pan and place in a large bowl. Add sliced potatoes, half & half, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme to bowl. Mix until everything is coated in cream, and then pour into greased gratin dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown and potatoes are soft. Garnish with additional thyme and serve warm. 


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