Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Appetite for Design

Last Saturday, I spent the afternoon in Portland, Oregon. One of my favorite finds while I was there was a street fair booth full of simple and cute bags and accessories by a company called Appetite. All of their items are handmade and screen-printed with hand-drawn images. Luckily, you don't have to be in Portland to get your hands on the gear. Appetite has two Etsy shops, one for accessories and one for home decor. Products include clutches, wallets, hobo bags, pillows, napkins and more. With lots of designs, sizes, colors and Mother's Day around the corner, it's a fun and affordable find for you and mom.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Funky Chicken

In celebration of my carnivorous ways, I'd like to share an easy and delicious jerk chicken recipe I came across. Jerk seasoning is a blend of spices that can either be rubbed directly onto meat or combined with a liquid to create a marinade. Most commonly, the spices are used on chicken, pork or fish. I think this recipe is just the right amount of spicy and sticky, and cornbread makes the perfect side item. You're sure to love this jerk as much as you love this one.

Jerk Chicken with Corn Bread
Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

2 bunches scallions, trimmed
2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons molasses
1 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
1 8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Lime wedges (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F. Thinly slice the dark green tips of 4 scallions; set aside. Place the remaining scallions in a roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, allspice, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, black pepper, oil, lime juice, and molasses. Spread the spice mixture over and under the chicken skin. Place the chicken on top of the scallions. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the corn muffin mix according to the package directions. Stir in the jalapeno and reserved sliced scallions and scrape the batter into a greased 8-inch-square pan. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the chicken with the roasted scallions, corn bread, and lime wedges, if desired.
Tip: For a more intense flavor, rub the spice mixture over the chicken, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours before roasting.
Yield: Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eco Chic

Because it's Earth Day and because my favorite vegan/hippie/bohemian friend is paying me a visit all the way from Brooklyn, I felt it my duty to share some of my favorite eco-friendly products out on the market right now. Green items have definitely entered the mainstream and with suppliers ranging from Stella McCartney to Target, it's easy to find products that suit your price range and taste. Here are just five examples of ways you can help the planet in style.

5. CB2 is selling bold, striped bedding that is made with cotton and planet-friendly dyes.

4. One of my favorite finds for its sheer quirkiness and innovation is the recycled flip flop door mat. The colorful mats are constructed from metal wire and foam rubber flip flop scraps that would normally end up in a landfill.

3. Made from vintage automobile and furniture upholstery, Kim White Handbags bring new life to old fabrics.

2. I am loving this pitcher and its matching glasses from Crate and Barrel. Made from 100 percent recycled glass, the color and look are perfect for lazy, lemonade-filled summer days.

1. These glass hoop earrings are made from recycled coke bottles, so go ahead and quench your thirst for fashion.

Monday, April 21, 2008

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

I'll be the first to admit that yellow is not a wearable color for everyone, including myself, but it sure is flattering on feet. A bright pop of color brings life to any outfit, and what could be more summery? Piperlime is a great resource when searching for shoes in yellow or any color you like. A few of my golden favorites are these Kenneth Cole flats, these Ralph Lauren pumps and these rain boots by Chinese Laundry.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Proof is in the Puddin'

For me, a trip to Savannah isn't complete without totally overindulging in sweets. It's the southern way, and it's certainly the way in my family. Although this Paula Deen recipe is entitled Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding, it is my mama's banana pudding. It's decadent, sweet and creamy, with a few variations and shortcuts from the traditional dessert. For presentation's sake, mama and I served it up in individual ramekins and topped it with additional whipped cream. Now that's some fancy puddin'.

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen and the Food Network

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Night Light

Warm weather has officially made itself known, which means more and more evenings spent in the outdoors. These tea bowl lanterns from Anthropologie will provide the perfect ambiance for those nights spent on the back deck or on your apartment balcony. The handmade glass urns are available in a turquoise, clear and gray tone and come in two sizes. Anthropologie has a variety a outdoor lighting options right now, including these funky recycled bottle lanterns. So step outside and light up the night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Daily Dish

While shopping in Savannah, my eyes fell on some charming dish towels that featured drawings of the city's sights. I found out that DSCdesigns, located in Charleston, South Carolina, places their illustrated cityscapes on plates, mugs, pitchers, dish towels and more, and Savannah is only one of their featured designs. They have also created products centered around Boston, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Charleston and more. The homeware can be found in gift shops throughout the cities that provide its inspiration.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Clutch Play

As I was walking by ALDO yesterday, I couldn't resist going inside. I headed straight for the back of the store, where the accessories and handbags reside, and honed in on their bright and beautiful spring clutches. The skinny patent purses cost just $35 and are available in light pink, blue, orange, yellow and black, adding a bold, sophisticated splash of color to any outfit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brilliant Taste

While down in Savannah, I stopped in at one of my favorite sweet shops, Two Smart Cookies. In a new space nestled under Savannah's live oaks, the cookie creation center is as welcoming as ever. While they make a mean peanut butter, a tasty ginger and a jam-packed monster cookie, the real crowning glory is their iced cutout cookie. They're thick and chewy with a tasty almond flavor, and they're just about the cutest cookies you'll ever see. They come adorably decorated and are often holiday or event-themed. The shop also sells locally-made gift items, including dish towels, jewelry, books, bags and kids' stuff. If you can't make it to Savannah, Two Smart Cookies have shared their business model and recipes with shops in Oklahoma City, Charleston and Atlanta. They also box and ship their sweet treats, which are a perfect pick-me-up for restless sugar lovers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Out & About

It's time for a little vacay. I'll be out of town for the next week, soaking up sun and southernness in Savannah, Georgia. Have a great week!


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