Monthly Archives: July 2011

Hungry for the Weekend


My mom is here this weekend and so, like whenever someone visits from out of town, we will be doing a lot of eating at restaurants.  It can be a lot of fun to try new places, sample new dishes, and indulge in flavors I am unfamiliar with.

What is interesting about food, is how closely it is tied to family.  I suspect, that while walking through the Farmer’s Market, or Eastern Market, or when sitting down for brunch, we’ll likely talk about memories that are tied to food, and create some new ones at the same time.

This week’s Hungry for the Weekend features some food inspiration and some food for thought.

Bon Appetit

If you, like me, are hungry for the weekend please, enjoy these links:

Have a delicious weekend!

Taco Night


Growing up “taco night” was a big deal in our house, we usually had friends come over and share in the abundance of food, and as far as having fun while eating, it’s hard to beat this meal.

So, with that in mind, it was a really nice surprise to come home from work on Tuesday and find that Taco Night had graduated to a more sophisticated level and made for me, by Mark.  What is great about this dinner, is that it is a cinch to make and the ingredients are all fresh and healthful and seasonal for summer.

Taco Night Platter - Pre Construction

Ingredients for the perfect Taco Night:
1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast/tenders
2 ears of corn
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
corn tortillas
1/2 packet of taco seasoning, Trader Joe’s
1 tbsp of canola oil
1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt, nonfat
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of Lite Mexican Blend Cheese, Trader Joe’s
 

If you’re lucky enough to have  a BBQ grill this is the perfect all in one, little clean up meal to make.

Step 1: Coat the chicken in the canola oil and then dredge in the seasoning mix. Set aside.

Taco Dinner

Step 2: Put the corn, still in it’s husks, the chopped onion, the to

matoes secured in an aluminum foil “bag”, then chicken over indirect heat on the grill – in that order.

Step 3: Rotate the corn, flip the onions, shake the tomatoes, flip the chicken (only once) after ten minutes.

Step 4: Allow corn to cool enough so that you can handle it; remove the husks and cut the kernels from the cob.  Prepare the “sour cream” by mixing the yogurt and olive oil.

Step 5: Serve and make your tacos!

Wedding Advice: It’s Time to Eat


In a new weekly installment on The Daily Batch I will share wedding advice, tips, creative ideas and answers to your most difficult wedding questions and the issues and questions I am asked about in real life.  If there is an issue you want me to tackle, tell me in the comments!

 

So, you’re supposed to “Eat, Drink and be Married” but the question of what to eat can often pose a major problem.  Here’s some advice!

Vegetarian Wedding Food Ideas

 Question 1: My fiancee and I are vegetarians, should we serve meat at our reception? – Mr. and Mrs. Loves Lettuce

Answer: Without knowing if you are a vegetarian for health reasons, or moral reasons, I fall back on the principle that guided all of my wedding planning: the reception you host should be a reflection of who you are, individually, but most importantly as a couple. 

If you maintained a gluten-free diet (for health) would you serve breaded chicken with a side of pasta and bread pudding for dessert?  If you kept Kosher (for moral/religious reasons) would you serve shrimp cocktail followed by pork chops in a cheese sauce?  The answers to both of these questions are likely “no”.

If you and your fiancee live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, then the day and night of your wedding should be no different.  The people you invite to celebrate with you are presumably the most important people in your lives and they would not want you to compromise your health or morals in favor of beef, which as it turns it not always “what’s for dinner”.

Work with your catering director to develop a menu that is reflective of your dietary needs, and suits the needs of your families.  Push the limits beyond the standard vegetable plate., aka steamed vegetables and brown rice.   Look for ways to appease all tastes without offending anyone’s sensibilities.  A good place to sneak in some “traditional protein” might be the cocktail hour, if you feel so obliged.  And, remember tempeh, tofu, portobello mushrooms, and hearty root vegetables have all been known to make a carnivore smile.

Marc Mezvinsky, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and former President Bill Clinton

Or, follow the lead of one famous 2010 bride, Chelsea Clinton who served a vegan menu and a gluten-free cake, and but threw a bone to meat eaters, by serving up some organic grass-fed beef.

Do you agree or disagree with this advice?  Let me know.  And, if there a wedding related issue you want advice on or just some tips – leave a note in the comments.

Photo Source: Top, L – R: Design Sponge, Pinterest, Showfood, Pinterest. Bridal Bar, Once Upon a Plate, Martha Stewart, Bridal Bar, Martha Stewart

 

Jennifer Lopez’s Miami Style


I am a looong time Jennifer Lopez fan.  I think she is beautiful and her style is enviable.  To me, she is a fantastic performer and what a Hollywood star should be – talented, beautiful, dramatic, glamorous.

She is also a big fan of South Florida – extra points for that.  La Lopez just celebrated her birthday in Miami, on a yacht, so really off the coast of Miami and wore this.

Jennifer Lopez in Miami, via PopSugar

Jennifer is wearing an Emilio Pucci bikini and headwrap and a Hard Tail Diamond Panel Maxi Skirt. This look is a great mix of high  and low style.

Get the look here:

Emilio Pucci Bikini at Net-A-Porter, or on sale at Bluefly.com; Hard Tail Diamond Skirt at Couture Candy

This is a style I would definitely wear in Miami on or off of yacht.

Happy Birthday Jennifer, may this year be a fabulous one!

 

Something Blue for Home


Last weekend Mark and I wandered up and down 14th street, a street in DC with a great collection of high end, low end, salvaged and custom made furniture.

In and out of the stores we went and my eye continued to focus on one thing, blue. Blue sofas, blue rugs, blue velvet chairs.

In fashion and in home design I consider blue a neutral, just like black, brown, beige and gray. And this shade of blue was especially beautiful, it didn’t seem shy, muted or reserved, this was not your baby’s blue.

Blue door, Walnut Street Development

Blue can be fresh, bright and welcoming.

 

Navy Walls, ElementsofStyle.com

Blue when it veers towards navy is stately and strong.

 

Blue Cocoon, Dominomag.com

Blue in it’s darkest midnight shade has an air of sophistication and elegance.

Patriotic Blue, MarthaStewart.com

Blue can be bold, traditional and patriotic.

 

Blue Chairs, ApartmentTherapy.com

Blue can be feminine, playful or whimsical.

 

Do you decorate with blue? Would you go so bold as a blue door, or wall or floor? Or, is your style more understated and you’d test this color with furniture or decor?

Hungry for the Weekend


Here is the current state of affairs in my life: DC, where we live, is currently under a heat advisory and warning of hyperthermia.  Two thoughts on that: one, I don’t ever recall that happening in the 18 years I lived in Florida, and two, I am guessing Firefox is underlining “hyperthemia” as a misspelled word because it is so rare!

Additionally my kitchen is an appliance graveyard.  I have a broken refrigerator, in the wall, a new one in the dining room, a hole in the wall that is too small for the ovens, and two dishwashers.

Needless to say, I am not doing too much cooking, and yes, I am very hungry for the weekend!

Caramel Apple Bites via Domesticali

This week’s Hungry for the Weekend features summer fare: ice cream, BBQ, grilling, and a rebuttal to America’s favorite treat, the s’more.

If you, like me, are hungry for the weekend please, enjoy these links:

Have a delicious weekend!

Gluten free Blueberry Crumble


We are having a major blueberry moment in our house.  Yesterday we went through two pints of blueberries.  That is a lot, FYI.  Luckily for us, blueberries are like natural vitamins for your body when you consider their health benefits: packed with cancer-fighting, anti-aging, eyesight-saving and disease-fighting antioxidants.

So, last weekend when we were having a BBQ Birthday party and my sister-in-law’s house I went for the perfect summer dessert, blueberry crumble, made gluten free and dairy free to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Ingredients: Blueberries, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Gluten Free Flour Mix

Ingredients
Filling:
2-3 pints of blueberries
1/4 lemon, squeezed
1 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
 
Crumble:
1 egg
1 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp dairy free “butter spread”
*Extra butter for pan

In a large bowl wash and rinse all of the blueberries, and keep an eye out for any pesky stems.  Shake to dry and then add the lemon juice, sugars and cornstarch.

Gently mix the berries and sugars and allow it to set for a few minutes.  The juice will begin to form, and the cornstarch will take effect to keep it from getting too thin.

After about 15 minutes pour the blueberries into a “buttered” pie dish and use the now empty bowl to prepare the crumble.  (Don’t bother washing the bowl, there is some goodness stuck to the sides!)

With your rings off, mix with your hands the flours, sugars, and egg.  The mix should be “crumbly” and hold a small shape if you were to pack it with your fingers.

Pour the topping on top of the blueberries, leaving about a half inch of blueberries at the edges.  Dot the top with small pieces of “butter”.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned and the blueberries’ juice is bubbling and bright.

Sooo good!

Share this with friends, family, or eat it all by yourself – this is a perfect, healthy forkful of summer in every bite!

And the Bride Wore White…


When planning a wedding I really thing the dress sets the tone.  Some say it is the location (the beach, a ballroom, a bar – whatever).  But, I disagree.  When brides begin their planning in the back of their head they have a vision of what they will look like on their wedding day.  The bride who sees herself as a princess, sophisticate, goddess will pick the setting to match their style.

I reviewed the Resort 2012 shows to find these looks and created mini inspiration boards to accompany them.

Images: Marchesa, Martha Stewart, Great Gatsby, Martha Stewart

How decadent is this style?  Inspired by the Marchesa gowns, it’s elegant, bright, fresh and while attached to a vintage aesthetic it still feels completely modern.

 

Images: Naeem Khan, Pinterest, Bhldn, Pinterest

Naeem Khan, a favorite of Hollywood and the FLOTUS, this inspiration board feels well traveled, glamorous, and collected by your friend with the most admirable and enviable style.

 

Images: Badgely Mischka, Brides, OneReverie, WeddingBee

This style is for the playful bride – Hello! Polka Dots!  – and yet it is still completely sophisticated and lovely for a wedding.  Added to the playful nature this inspiration board picks up the theme of dots and color.

 

Images: Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella & Dot, Ruth Drennan Cakes, Rosebrook Meyer Stationary

This inspiration board, inspired by the Salvatore Ferragamo gowns, have a sprinkle of sparkle, a fluidity of movement and clean lines.

 

Images: Carolina Herrera, Oh So Beautiful Paper, The Velveteen Baker, Constanca Cabral, Christian Louboutin

Images: Carolina Herrera, Oh So Beautiful Paper, The Velveteen Baker, Constanca Cabral, Christian Louboutin

This set inspired by Carolina Herrera is for the fun, retro inspired bride.  It feels seasonless with the crisp black and white and the pop of red.


The Prints and Colors of Africa


I believe that three times makes a trend; and so when I post on trends or new fashion ideas it is always after I have seen it in a number of places and ways. That is what happened with this trend:

First, when I was walking back to my office I saw a slim woman in her 40’s wearing a silk skirt with African print trim throughout. It really caught my eye as it seemed an unusual but very beautiful choice.

Then, the next day coming out of the same building (is there a secret trend factory on K Street?) a woman in her 20’s was working a sleek sheath in an African print. In my head, this second spotting is probably how gambler feels when the first two 7’s come up on a slot machine.

And then finally, at the end of the week from across the street a bold flash of fuchsia caught my eye as a woman sashayed in a gorgeous patterned shift dress.

7 – 7 – 7: three times makes a fashion win and a trend. In doing some fashion research (shopping) I was especially delighted to see that the options were as diverse as the women I saw wearing this trend.

The Colors of Africa
Top to Bottom, L – R: Patchwork Tunic, Spot Top, Missoni Mare, Fair Trade Ruched Skirt, Nicole Miller Indego Africa Shorts, Summer Dress, Tribal Tube Dress, Handpainted Dress, Braided Bracelet, Africa Clutch, Kisslock Clutch, Printed Ballet Shoes

Would you wear this trend?  It seems like a fun and easy way to add color and vibrancy to your late summer wardrobe.

By the Beach


For some the dream is to wake up and overlook the Park (Central), for others it’s mountains, for us it is this:

FashionMeNow.blogspot.com

Where this ocean is located is still to be determined…

In the category of dream house locations, there are a variety of styles.  Is it modern Malibu abode, a palatial Palm Beach, a cottage in the Cape, or sophisticated in South Beach?

These cities each have their own unique styles, and the home styles are no different.

Miami Beach, Architect Alexander Gorling, via Architectural Digest

Martha's Vineyard, Architect Twinette Tharp, via Architectural Digest

Malibu, Architect David Lawrence Gray, via Architectural Digest

Palm Beach, Architect Jeffery W. Smith, via Architectural Digest

Here’s a favorite that is currently for sale, found on Redfin:

Breakfast with a View, Malibu

I love admiring real estate.  Looking at beautiful homes in beautiful settings may feel indulgent to some, but for me it feels inspiring.

In one moment I love the strength of clean modern lines, and in the next the quaintness of shuttered windows and wainscoting.  I like neutral tones from gold to beige, and am overjoyed with splashes of pink, green and turquoise, beaten up hardwood and porous oversize slabs of marble all seem perfect.

Where is your dream home?