February 27, 2014

In the Kitchen: Feta Dip


Growing up in Jackson, Miss., I spent too many Friday nights at Keifer's with my girlfriends. We would gorge ourselves on gyros, cottage fries, and feta dip, and then do it again the following weekend. I don't miss the greasy fries or gyros, but my craving for feta dip is still strong. While living in Birmingham, Will and I created our own version of Keifer's legendary feta dip. It is a little thicker than the original, but the flavor is spot-on. So, if you are a Jackson transplant like me give this feta dip a try. I think it is just as good, plus a little healthier. 

Feta Dip 

3/4 cup greek yogurt 
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
1/8 cup red wine vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
1 garlic clove 
3/4 cup feta cheese 
1 teaspoon oregano 

In a food processor combine greek yogurt, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and garlic. Pulse until smooth and season as needed with salt and pepper. Add feta cheese and oregano and lightly pulse. You want the mixture to still have chunks of feta. Serve cold with pita chips. 






February 26, 2014

New Post: Spring Cut

Top: J.Crew (similar) // Jeans: Gap // Flats: J.Crew ( similar) // Jacket: J.Crew // Sunglasses: Karen Walker 

Last week we had a few days in the mid 60's, and it was glorious. I wore flats, light coats, and spent one afternoon at a winery. Sadly, that is not the case this week. We had a few snow flurries yesterday and this cold-front is supposed to stick around, but this is not stopping my serious case of spring fever. I'm still wearing flats despite the cold weather and lightened my hair in anticipation of warmer weather. It is almost March, so that has to mean spring is close, right? 




February 20, 2014

Style: Winter White

Sweater: GAP (similar) // Skirt: J.Crew // Scarf: J.Crew // Boots: Zara (similar) // Jacket: J.Crew // Bag: Kate Spade (similar)

This white skirt has quickly become a staple in my closet. I eyed it for months, and finally gave in while J.Crew was having a sale. I love wearing it with oversized sweaters and boots, but I think it will also play nicely with a feminine blouse as the weather warms up. I know some are afraid of wearing white during the winter, but I completely embrace it. As long as you keep the fabric seasonally appropriate I believe you can wear every color year round. 



 

February 19, 2014

J.Crew Fall 2014


I have a serious J.Crew addiction. I started shopping their in middle school, and my love for the brand escalated quickly. I praise their high quality clothing, but also love watching how they have evolved over the years. And yes, I feel like their style has evolved with mine. They have taken me from my cardigan and T-shirt phase, to lusting over every piece in the J.Crew Collection. I'm currently swooning over the above items from their Fall 2014 line that was debuted at New York Fashion Week, last week. I love the soft palette (a very good different for fall), and classic J.Crew mix of textures and patterns. Sadly, you will not be able to shop these outfits until next fall, but for now you can shop a few of my favorites pieces from their spring collection which are listed below. 


February 18, 2014

In the Kitchen: Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake


This dark chocolate brownie cake is everything I need in life. Sweet, dense, chewy, and filled with rich dark chocolate, this cake may be my new favorite dessert. I made this last week during our snowstorm, and it was gone in two days. The only disappointing part was that when I took it out of the pan it cracked. So, if you want to try this dessert I would suggest either serving it in the cake pan or using a cheesecake pan. But, if it cracks on you, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and you will not be able to tell. 

Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake 

1 stick unsalted butter 
3 ounces dark chocolate 
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate 
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar 
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder  
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 tablespoons flour 
1 egg yolk 
3 egg whites 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour (using cocoa powder) and 9 inch cake pan. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until smooth and then remove from heat. Whisk in 3/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and egg yolk. Set aside. 

Beat egg whites and 2 tablespoons sugar with a mixer on high speed until mixture is glossy and stiff peeks form. 

Fold flour into chocolate with a rubber spatula. Then, stir in egg whites in three batches. Pour batter into floured cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to completely cool in the pan. 






February 17, 2014

Style: Snowy Days

Coat: J.Crew // Sweater: J.Crew // Boots: Hunter // Pants: J.Crew // Scarf: Gap (similar) // Gloves: J.Crew // Hat: J.Crew // Lips: Nars

Last week, Charlottesville received over a foot of snow. In all honesty, it was magical. It fell continuously for over 24 hours and blanketed everything in sight. I took full advantage of this snow day by making pancakes, going sledding with Will, and enjoying some homemade vegetarian chili. Once again, my J.Crew puffer coat served me well. It shielded me from the heavy snowfall and kept me so warm I was a little hot. The snow is still here, and looks like it will be for a while. It is not nearly as pretty as it originally was, but I'm still enjoying its magical appeal. 



February 14, 2014

Friday Favorites: Pale Pink Coats

ONE // TWO //  THREE

In the last 24 hours we've had over 16 inches of snow. It is beautiful, but damn I am cold. I don't have high hopes for an early spring, but I can make the transition a little easier with a pale pink coat. I think pastels are perfect for transitional weather. They let me pretend like it is warm and sunny, but I can still stay warm due to heavy materials like wool and canvas. So, while I try to dig myself out of this snow, I will be daydreaming about my future coat. Also, if you already own one I think it is the perfect piece to wear for Valentine's Day. Stay warm this weekend! 

February 13, 2014

Style: White Tweed

Coat: H&M (similar) // Dress: Anthropologie // Boots: Zara // Clutch: J.Crew // Gloves: Banana Republic (similar

We snapped these pictures right before the winter storm took over Charlottesville. You can see small specks of snow on my coat, but it is nothing compared to what we now have outside. This white tweed dress from Anthropologie is one of my favorites. It is warm enough to wear even on the coldest days, but is not chunky like some sweater dresses so I still feel stylish. I'll be snuggled up in my leggings today, but I'm sure this dress will make a reappearance once the east coast thaws out. 




February 12, 2014

Cocktails for Two: Pink Gin



Over the years, Will and I have adapted a Valentine's Day routine. I buy him a nice whiskey, and supplies beautiful flowers and dinner. This way we can avoided the masses and cheesy dinners, and just enjoy our company. We always start the evening with a pre-dinner cocktail. Years past have included variations of champagne cocktails, but I want to keep it simple this year. Pink Gin is the epitome of a simple cocktail since it only involves two ingredients: gin and bitters. It is quit strong, so you only need one, and make sure to use a high quality gin because you can really taste it. Pair this with a cheeseboard and you are ready for a lovely evening at home. Cheers, lovebirds

Pink Gin 

4 ounces gin 
8 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine gin and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into coupe glasses. 





February 11, 2014

Style: Puffer

Coat: J.Crew // Hat: J.Crew // Gloves: J.Crew // Boots: Zara  // Jeans: Gap // Blouse: J.Crew (similar

This puffer coat is my saving grace. I've worn it almost daily over the past few months, and it has not let me down. The goosedown filling is insanely warm, plus it is knee-length so that means almost my entire body is shielded from harsh winter temperatures. Paired with knitted winter accessories, and I am ready to brave the coldest Charlottesville days. I opted with the black version because I felt it would be more useful, but the crimson maple color is quite striking. I know this coat will last over the years so it was a worthy investment. 


February 10, 2014

In the Kitchen: Brunswick Stew


Comfort food is personal. For my husband, it is a grilled cheese dipped in ketchup, and for me it is brunswick stew. Growing up, whenever we had a large snowfall brunswick still was most likely cooking on the stove. While my brother and I would spend the day sledding and having snowball fights with our neighbors, my mom was at home making my favorite stew. She always made hers with chicken, but I decided to switch things up with a pork loin. This stew has a strong barbecue flavor, which is a nice reminder that warmer days are ahead.  

Brunswick Stew 

1 pound pork loin cut into 1 inch cubes 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced 
3 garlic cloves, diced 
28 ounces crushed tomates 
5 cups vegetable broth 
1/2 cup vinegar barbecue sauce 
1/4 cup sweet barbecue sauce 
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 russet potatoes, diced 
1/2 quart frozen white corn 
1/2 quart frozen lima beans 


Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Make sure the pork is dry by patting with a paper towel and then season with salt and pepper. Sear meat in the dutch oven in two batches, making sure all sides are brown. Remove meat and place on a plate lined with paper plates. 

Add diced onion and garlic and cook for about ten minutes or until translucent. Then, add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, barbecue sauces, and worcestershire sauce. Make sure to get all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Place the meat back in the dutch oven along with the diced potatoes, corn, lima beans, and cayenne pepper. Lower heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 1-2 hours until desired thickness is reached. 



February 7, 2014

Friday Favorites: Valentine's Day Cards

ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX 

Why stop giving out Valentines when you're in grade school? The uprise of letterpress studios over the last few years has made me want to send out specialty card for every occasion. Plus, snail mail is the best! Send someone you love a card this year to show them you care. 

February 6, 2014

Style: Checkmate

Jacket: J.Crew (similar) // Shirt: J.Crew // Jeans: J.Crew // Booties: J.Crew // Bag: Kate Spade (similar

I spent the last nine years in the deep south, so I've been a little spoiled by mild winters. I never really understood the need for a winter coat until moving here. So, when a warm week in February springs up, I'm all over it. I have lived in this J.Crew sweater all season. It is warm enough to keep me from freezing, but thin enough to layer under thick coats. Plus, the light blush color is a nice contrast to the dark winter hughes. Paired with boyfriend jeans and booties, you have my go-to look until April.   


 


 

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