January 29, 2016

Cocktails for Two: Gin Cider


Snowy weekends call for a warming cocktail, and this one does the trick. We started making this, this fall when cider was abundant at the grocery store. The cider still feels festive during the winter, and a kick from the grapefruit and gin gives the drink a little punch. We enjoyed this Saturday afternoon, when the snow was supposed to stop falling, but kept going through the earlier evening. What was a beautiful snow has now turned grey and lost it magically qualities, but I still have this cocktail to remember the day by.




Gin Cider

4 ounces of gin
3 ounces of fresh unfiltered cider
1 ounce simple syrup infused with rosemary
1 ounce lemon juice

For the simple syrup, combine 1 ounce water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place in microwave, covered, until sugar dissolves. Add 2-3 rosemary sprigs and steep overnight. Discard rosemary when ready to use.

Combine gin, cider, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until shaker has frosted over. Pour in to two coupe glasses and garnish with rosemary.


January 28, 2016

Style: Must-have Mules


I know, it is still January. Your feet have not seen the sunlight in months, but spring is on the horizon and these mules will be in your shopping cart. I bought a pair from Zara last year and I practically lived in them. They let you easily transition out of boots before it is warm enough to slip on your sandals. I love them with skinny pants, but they look equally as great with a midi dress or skirt. I especially love this taupe suede pair that rings in under $150.  A great neutral pair will take your far this year. So go ahead and buy a pair now to wear on the occasional warm winter day.  

January 26, 2016

In the Kitchen: Overnight Waffles


What is better than waking up to waffles on a snowy day? Almost nothing. I wanted to make yeasted waffles for years, and this past weekend seem like the perfect excuse to bust out the old waffler iron. They were easier than I anticipated to make, and so much better than regular waffles. You may think I'm exaggerating, but the yeast allows the waffles to become light and airy and the thin batter gets them nice and crispy. Giving these waffles the best texture possible. Plus, I think making the mixture allows for an easier morning. Just pour the batter in to a waffle iron, and hello delicious breakfast. Trust me, you will be not disappointed with these waffles. Make them this weekend and you will see the overnight waffle light. 


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Overnight Waffles

1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Combine yeast and lukewarm water in a large bowl. Stir this mixture and let it sit until yeast has dissolved. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter has dissolved and the mixture is warm. Combine half of the flour with the yeast and stir to combine. Then add it milk mixture, and finish with remaining flour, salt, honey, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir until mixture is lump free, you may need to use a whisk. Cover batter with plastic wrap and allow to set out overnight.

In the morning, the mixture should have doubled in size but will still be quit wet. Whisk together the egg and baking soda, add to the batter, and mix until smooth. Heat waffle iron and lightly coat with butter or a non-stick spray. Ladle 1/2 cup (more or else depending on the size of your waffle iron) in to the waffle iron and cook until desired doneness. I like mine on the crispier side so they go for a little longer than normal. The mixture is pretty lose, so you will probably need to use more batter than with a traditional mix. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.








January 25, 2016

Style: Snow Day Stripes

snowday outfit

This past weekend can be described in today words: snow day. It snowed for over 36 hours in Charlottesville which covered everything with a bright white coating of snow. Saturday, which was originally supposed to be a light day of snow, ended up looking like a snow globe. My husband and I acted like children, sledding and making an igloo. While Sunday ended up requiring a lot of shoveling we were still able to enjoy the snow. A thick sweater layered over a striped shirt kept me warm, while my Hunter Boots kept me dry. We are still waiting for the roads to clear. Until then, you can find me in a variation of this look. 

snowday outfit
snowday outfit
snowday outfit
snowday outfit
snowday outfit

January 22, 2016

Keep Planning



I like to think I am a highly organized person, but my sock drawer would show otherwise. Although my closet is not always perfect, where I am organized is work. I plan out my days in advance, and am pretty old school with my organizing. I like to keep my days scheduled in a planner and use Google Calendar to make sure everything correlates. I think my need to write everything down goes back to writing in journalism school. I would start all of my articles on paper and later transcribe them on to my computer. 

I picked up this Rifle Paper Co Planner earlier in the year. There is a notes section in the front which I love, and every day has enough room to jot down important events. Plus, it is hard to misplace a print this bold and lovely. If you're a little behind on your 2016 planning I highly recommend this planner to keep you organized. If nothing else, this print will brighten up a gloomy winter day. 

January 19, 2016

In the Kitchen: Shakshuka

Shakshuka

One of the best meals we had in Charleston was brunch at Butcher and Bee. This restaurant, who only serves lunch, brunch, and latenight, quickly became on of our favorites this summer. They have a rotating meal so you can rarely get the same meal twice, which is sometimes a little disappointing because everything is so good. I knew I had to recreate the shakshuka I enjoyed at brunch. I've made it before, but it was a tad bland. This shakshuka was rich and flavorful, the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold winter morning. Paired with pita and a dollop of tahini sauce, and this dish takes on a delicious mediterranean flare. Plus, you get to enjoy tomatoes in the dead of winter, when I start thinking I'll never enjoy them again. 

Shakshuka
Shakshuka
Shakshuka
Shakshuka


 Shakshuka

1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 28 ounce can plum tomatoes
4 eggs
1 tbs chopped parsley
tahini sauce
pita bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add olive oil and swirl around pan. Add onion and red pepper and saute for 10 minutes until soft. Then, add garlic and spices and saute for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add plum tomatoes two at a time breaking them up with a spatula until almost all the juice has been absorbed. This will help char the tomatoes and build a nice base for the dish. Once all tomatoes have been added, add remaining tomato juice from can. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

Once thickened, create four indentions in the tomato mixture for the eggs. Crack eggs in to indentions and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes until whites have set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Top with chopped parsley and serve with tahini sauce (I buy mine from Trader Joe's) and pita bread.

January 18, 2016

Style: Stripes & Silk Scarves

silk scarf

Want to know the most versatile piece of clothing in my closet? The title now belongs to this striped shirt. My love for a good striped shirt runs deep, and this one happens to top the list. It is a little slouchy without looking sloppy and thin enough to layer under sweaters. Plus, the fact that it is under $40 means I can purchase it in multiple colors. I wore this outfit on our last day in Charleston. We had brunch at our favorite spot, Butcher & Bee, and then walked along The Battery before heading home. My trusty striped tee paired with a silk scarf and trench coat gave me comfort for the ride home, while still looking put together. I am now counting down the days until our next trip to Charleston. 

silk scarf
silk scarf
silk scarf
silk scarf


January 14, 2016

Style: Brocade Dress

jill stuart brocade dress

I fell in love with this dress back in September when it first appeared online. So when I found it in my size right before Christmas, I knew it was a sign. I love the delicate peter pan collar paired with the thick floral brocade. I packed this dress for our weekend in Charleston, and it was the perfect piece. There is no denying that this dress is extremely feminine, but some days that is what you need to put a pep in your step.

jill stuart brocade dress
jill stuart brocade dress
jill stuart brocade dress
jill stuart brocade dress
jill stuart brocade dress


January 13, 2016

Style: Cropped Flares



I will not be retiring my skinny jeans this spring, but I am excited to dabble in a new denim trend. The cropped flare is exactly what it sounds like, and it offers endless styling abilities. Think of this as a the new boyfriend jeans: cropped, a little relaxed, but with a twist. My reason for loving them is because they are perfect for petite frames. I will never be able to wear traditional flares, even the petite styles are overwhelming. These jeans give me the chance to rock a flare and still look proportional. I prefer this style in a lighter shade, like these from Alexander Wang for a more casual look. Come spring, I'll be pairing mine with a striped tee and loafers. Will you be trying this denim trend in 2016? 

January 12, 2016

Style: Striped Sweater & Belted Trench

striped sweater & trench coat

We spent the weekend back in my favorite city, Charleston. We mostly ate and drank our way through the city at all of my favorite spots, which I will never complain about. It ended up being a little cooler than expected so my trusty trench coat rarely left my shoulders. I bought this coat while in college and it still gets a tone of wear. It is a great workwear piece, but I often dress it down with boyfriend jeans and a simple striped sweater. Plus, it is extremely neutral so it is perfect for traveling. I plan on having many more wonderful trips with this trench as my companion. 

striped sweater & trench coat
striped sweater & trench coat
striped sweater & trench coat
striped sweater & trench coat
striped sweater & trench coat

Madewell Striped Anchorlight Sweater // J.Crew Boyfriend Jeans (similar) // Banana Republic Trench Coat (similar) // J.Crew Ballet Flats // Banana Republic Necklace // Karen Walker Sunglasses // Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag

January 7, 2016

In the Kitchen: Ginger Shrimp Salad

shrimp ginger salad

A light salad during the heart of winter can be surprisingly refreshing. The majority of our meals  are focused around what is seasonal which means a lot of hearty root vegetables, but there is more than just carrots and turnips. Winter gives us both citrus and lettuce which can brighten up any winter meal. This salad highlights both of these, with a nice kick from a ginger vinaigrette and roasted shrimp for protein. Sure, coming home to a cold salad on a cold day isn't always what I want, but it is what my body needs.

shrimp ginger salad
shrimp ginger salad
shrimp ginger salad


Ginger Shrimp Salad 

1/2 pound shrimp, deveined & peeled  
1 head bibb lettuce, torn 
1 grapefruit, segmented 
1 jicama, peeled & chopped 
1 tbsp ginger, grated 
1 tsp grapefruit juice 
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil 
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 
salt & pepper 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine ginger, grapefruit juice, rice vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together until emulsified. Set aside. 

Pour 1 tablespoon of the ginger dressing on shrimp and toss to coat. Place shrimp on a baking sheet and roast for 4-5 minutes until pink. Set aside to cool. 

Combine, cooked shrimp, lettuce, grapefruit, and jicama in a large salad bowl. Toss with ginger dressing and serve immediately. 

January 5, 2016

Style: Over the Knee Boots


There are three items that get me through winter: puffer coats, turtlenecks, and over the knee boots. Without these, surviving January in Charlottesville would be difficult. I've worn my over the knee boots from Zara time and time again. They have enough room to wear over jeans, but also work well with tights so I am not confined to pants for three months. I've rounded up a few of my favorite over the knee boots below, because you can never have too many boots when the temperature drops below freezing. 



January 4, 2016

Style: Striped Swing Turtleneck

striped swing turtleneck

I've been lucky enough to take a little time off for our last "Christmas break". We spent the last two weeks with our families with a little time at home to ourselves. Being able to get out and enjoy Charlottesville while it isn't extremely cold in January is a Christmas present in itself. We've been stopping by all of our favorite breweries and restaurants before the students return A lightweight turtleneck and boots is all that is really needed right now, with a jacket just in case I get too chilly. I return to the real world today, and I feel rested and ready to return. Bring it on, 2016!

striped swing turtleneck
striped swing turtleneck
striped swing turtleneck
striped swing turtleneck


 

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