Friday, January 31, 2014

January Photo Project: Cold

It seems fitting that I'm sharing your cold-themed photos this week given how brutal the weather has been in some places. I snapped a pic of my coat and boots following a day in the snow. Here's what you shared:

Lesley took this photo of her daughter Maltida walking through the snow that hit Georgia this week.

Jaime shared a pic of a snowy evening in Boston. I love how the State House glows against the blue light.

Allison took this photo on her daily walk with her dog Odin.

Jenny shared a photo of the rental car she was driving this week while her car was in the shop. She says she drove it like a grandma to keep from fishtailing.

And I like Hanna's photo as a response to the cold. That's what I'm talking about.

If you want to share one of your photos of the cold, just leave a link below! I'll announce February's theme next week. Thanks for sharing your pictures with me!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brace Yourself

My dad gave me this beautiful bangle for Christmas (pretty good taste, huh?), and I've been wearing it at least twice a week ever since. It was made by Meredith Sutton, a metalwork jewelry designer in Savannah. I love how it looks industrial but still manages to seem feminine. It's my best new thing.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mimosa with a Twist

I think of blood oranges as a bright spot in dreary January. Over the weekend, I made blood orange mimosas and blood orange bars. While the bars didn't quite win me over (I think a different crust is in order), the cocktail hit the spot and would be the perfect way to add a splash of color to a winter brunch.

Blood Orange Mimosa

2 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed blood orange juice, chilled
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)
3 1/2 oz. chilled champagne or sparkling wine

Pour orange juice and orange liqueur into a flute or coupe. Top with champagne. Serves one.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Apartment Inspiration

Apartment life can be limiting at times, so I'm always inspired when I see small spaces that manage to feel like a home. This charming apartment in Spain looks lived-in without seeming cramped and cluttered. It's a fine balance.

[spotted on: one kind design; photos by: mi casa]

Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend in Photos

When it's freezing cold outside, it's tough to make myself leave my cozy, blanket-covered spot on the couch, but I've been feeling stir-crazy, so I thought we should venture outside before it got all Shining up in here. We trudged out in the snow for a tasty brunch in Brooklyn, got caught in a flurry on the way home, and I promptly returned to my spot on the couch and thawed out for the rest of the afternoon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thoughts of the Week

My neck and I want to bundle up in this.

I've been daydreaming about these cookies.

The beauty of less than perfect photos.

Don't mind me, I'm just exercising my toes.

Pitas sound like the start of a perfect lunch.

These finds could make me go all Cruella de Vil.

How toys have changed.

And please send your cold-themed photos my way!

Happy Friday, pals! Hope you've got some fun in store this weekend.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brighter Days

If you're like me and wait until halfway through January to get a new calendar, then here's a find for you. A bright new pattern each month would perk me up all year long.

[made by: 1canoe2]

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Half Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Last week, I was craving a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, but I was also craving a fast, easy dinner, so I decided to meet my soup halfway with boxed stock and a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Chicken noodle sacrilege? Maybe, but it was so tasty, I didn't care. Perhaps on some snowy Saturday afternoon, I'll boil down some chicken bones, but for a quick, comforting weeknight meal, this worked wonderfully.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock (Look for stock not broth. I used a brand called Medford Farms that was great, and people seem to like Kitchen Basics too.)
12 oz. ounces dried wide egg noodles (I actually used a 15 oz. bag because who has ever complained about too many noodles.)
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded, about 2 cups of chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Turn the heat to low, fold in the shredded chicken and continue to simmer for another few minutes to heat through. Season with salt and pepper and remove bay leaves and thyme. Makes 2 quarts of soup. I put my leftovers in the freezer for an even easier weeknight meal.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weather Wear

I've been on the hunt for a plaid scarf. It's the perfect way to add a little color, pattern and warmth to that wool coat I'll be sporting for the next two months.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Song Sentiment

I could go a little crazy when it comes to song lyric art, like cover-a-wall-crazy. It's amazing the nostalgia and happiness just a few words can evoke, and it's tough to choose just one or two songs. These prints from The Oyster's Pearl aren't making my decision any easier.

[prints found here; lyrics courtesy of: Tom Petty, The Avett Brothers, The Beatles and John Prine]

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chocolate and Amaretto and Almonds

On a cold, gray January day, nothing beats curling up with something chocolate. This tart knocks out a handful of cravings in one fell swoop: silky chocolate mousse, crunchy amaretti cookies and toasty almonds. None of that moderation business.

Chocolate Amaretto Mousse Tart
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food

For the crust
40 amaretti cookies, crushed in a food processor (about 6 ounces total)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons amaretto
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup of sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Crush cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. With machine running, slowly add melted butter and process until mixture resembles wet sand. Press crumbs in bottom and up side of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake until crust is set, 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

In a medium saucepan, bring 3/4 cup cream to a simmer. Add amaretto, remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk to combine, then let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, whip 1 cup cream with confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in chocolate mixture until combined. Pour filling into cooled crust and refrigerate until chilled and completely set, about 2 hours hours or overnight. Top tart with toasted almonds before serving.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Party Platter Giveaway

Update: Jenny is the winner! Congrats!

This week marks my 6th anniversary of blogging(!), so I thought we'd celebrate with a giveaway. And appropriately enough for The SoHo readers, I have the SOHO rectangular platter (valued at $88) from Beatriz Ball. It's simple and elegant, handmade from recycled aluminum and easy to care for -- it never needs polishing! Be sure to check out the Beatriz Ball Collection to see more of their gorgeous tableware.

For a chance to win, just leave a comment below before 11:59pm ET on Wednesday, January 22nd, telling me how you'd put this lovely platter to use. One winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Frocktails: Fine Wine

I've shared this mulled wine recipe before, but I like it so much, I couldn't resist endorsing it one more time and pairing a dress with it. I've tried a few versions of mulled wine, but I come back to this one every winter. I love the blend of spices and the way the apple cider and orange juice mellow out the alcohol and add some sweetness.

This purple dress by Free People is so comfortable! I'm a fan of the vibrant color, soft cotton material and details like the back cutout. It's cute enough for a day out, but cozy enough to lounge around in at home while you're sipping on that mulled wine.

Mulled Wine
Recipe adapted slightly from Ina Garten

4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
3 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, peeled and juiced
4 whole cloves
4 star anise
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 orange, peeled, for garnish

Combine the cider, wine, honey and orange juice in a large saucepan. Using cheesecloth and twine, create a sachet for the orange peel, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise and add to pan. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Pour into mugs, add a large piece of orange peel to each and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Dress found here. Pendant found here. Frocktails is a monthly feature for fashion and libation inspiration.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend in Photos

Aside from brunch and the Golden Globes, there was a lot of football-watching at my apartment this weekend, so I mostly busied myself with reading, baking and soup-making -- and a nap or two.

Friday, January 10, 2014

You with the Stars in Your Eyes

While we were down South over Christmas, we basked in the fact that we could actually see stars in the sky. It's something we miss living in New York City. Jonah bought an app on his phone called Sky Guide, while we were walking around Charleston one night. It pinpoints your location, and you just hold the phone up toward the sky and let it map out the stars overhead. We instantly felt smarter pointing out Jupiter and different constellations. $1.99 well spent. Hope you have a great weekend, stargazers!

[photo by: Manzeck Photography]


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