Thursday, February 26, 2015

Frocktails: Color Me Bold

Pregnancy really threw a wrench into pairing cocktails with dresses of the non-maternity variety, so after a yearlong hiatus, I'm happy that frocktails is back! First up, a bold red dress and an equally vibrant blood orange cocktail.

For the drink, I took the classic French 75 and incorporated blood orange juice. It brings a little extra sweetness and a whole lot of color to the cocktail.

The fiery color of this dress from ASOS is eye-catching enough, but with the structured silhouette and sassy slit, you've got a real statement-maker. Cheers!

Blood Orange French 75

1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces blood orange juice
2 1/2 ounces chilled Brut Champagne

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and blood orange juice and shake until chilled. Strain and pour into a champagne flute or coupe and top with champagne. Garnish with a twist of orange.

Dress found here. See past frocktail posts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time and Lace

I've been spying all sorts of lace-inspired items lately, which bring a little modernity to the old-fashioned material. If I were in advertising, I'd come up with something like, "Lace: it's not just for your underwear drawer."

[spotted here: throw; hanging vase; frame; place cards; server and serving board; phone case]

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thoughts of the Week

How do I love hot chocolate? Let me count the ways.

Speaking of things that are hot and chocolate.

Now this is how you escape from winter.

These planters are so chic.

Totally intrigued by Jack White's guacamole recipe.

I love the look of this baby shower, especially this gorgeous cake.

Hoping we can take some dreamy family photos one of these days.

Happy Friday! Harrison is four months old today! He's celebrating with a growth spurt and eating every two hours. I think mama deserves some pancakes. Anything fun planned this weekend? We'll be watching the Oscars on Sunday even though we saw hardly any of the nominated movies this year. I think I'll be rooting for Boyhood. It holds a special place in my heart since I was pregnant with Harrison when we saw it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I Bought It, I Like It: Diaper Bag

When I was choosing a diaper bag, I wanted to keep things simple, sophisticated and make sure I picked something my husband wouldn't be embarrassed to carry. I ended up going with this faux leather option by Canadian brand Matt & Nat, and I've been so happy with it. You can carry it by the handles or the strap, and there are internal dividers and zippers to keep things organized. I especially love the accessibility of the outside pockets for my phone and keys. It meets all my mama pack rat needs, but it's stylish enough that I can see myself using it beyond the baby stage. The tan shade mine came in is no longer available, but Land of Nod is releasing the same style bag in black, navy, clay and natural later this month.

This series highlights items I've purchased with my own money that I think you would like too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tabletop Water Tower

Etsy shop 2of2 features all kinds of impressive, small-scale architecture, but this miniature water tower is the piece that really caught my eye. Made from birch, aluminum and steel rivets, it would bring a charming little touch of NYC to a mantel or bookshelf.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cocoa-Coated Popcorn

I've never been much for making plans on Valentine's Day. I feel the same way about New Year's Eve. There's something about those holidays that involve the expectation/pressure of going out when I'd prefer a cozy meal at home over a crowded restaurant or bar. I'm thinking we'll stay in, watch a movie, and I'll shake up a batch of this cocoa-dusted popcorn. It reminds me of the Cinerama, our favorite movie theater in Seattle, where they serve a similar chocolate popcorn that smells just like brownies baking. So Valentine's Day isn't all bad. It does give me a reasonable excuse to eat chocolate.

Cocoa-Coated Popcorn
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt

In a large saucepan, stir together the oil and popcorn kernels. Cover and pop kernels over medium heat. In a bowl, combine the cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over warm popcorn; gently mix to coat. Add salt to taste.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Dessert: Passion Fruit Soufflés with Raspberry Sauce

If you're looking for an alternative to chocolate for a Valentine's Day dessert, these passion fruit soufflés are about as different as you can get -- and they allow for all sorts of romantic puns. They're light, subtly tropical and the most gorgeous shade of pale yellow. If you want to add more flavor and the requisite Valentine's color, raspberry sauce does the trick.

Passion Fruit Soufflé
Recipe adapted from Daniel Boulud and Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup passion fruit purée
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for coating ramekins
1 tablespoon butter for greasing ramekins
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F. Generously butter the inside and rims of four 6-ounce ramekins. Dust the insides and rims with sugar, making sure that they are thoroughly coated. Tap out the excess sugar and place the dishes on a baking sheet. Whisk together egg yolks and passion fruit purée in a large bowl until well blended. Set aside. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low speed just until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar, beating until the whites form glossy medium-stiff peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture in three additions until well incorporated but not overmixed. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins up to their rims. Run your finger along the outside edge of the dishes to remove any excess butter and sugar. Bake the soufflés for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and drizzle with raspberry sauce. Serve immediately. Makes 4.

Raspberry Sauce
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 pint raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cook until berries release their juices and just start to break down, about 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, press berries through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Return strained juice to saucepan, stir in cornstarch and cook until mixture comes to a boil. Let cool. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gifts for Your Tiny Valentine

Chocolate and flowers are good for grown-ups, but if you want to show your little ones some love on Valentine's Day, here are some gifts that are as cute and sweet as they are.

[found here: 1. onesie 2. origami bath boat 3. stuffed lion 4. bib 5. heart sunglasses 6. night light 7. heart teether 8. car 9. hat and mittens 10. moccasins]

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Duffel Shuffle

We're heading to Savannah and Charleston this week for a quick visit with family. When we fly, we usually bring along our very efficient and sensible Briggs & Riley carry-ons, but these cute duffel bags make we want to be a little less practical.

[found here: mustard polka dot; sailor stripe; dark navy; hearts; blush stripe; green]


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