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My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality // Oscar Wilde

Tag: Food

// Nashville, a 12-hour affair.

After much deliberation, coaxing, and begging (really, it didn’t require any of that), I took a short trip up to Nashville to visit Allison, Roger, and their pups, Luna & Bermuda. So what does one do when only visiting a city for 12 hours? As much as you can, of course.

We started off with mandatory caffeination–Barista Parlor was closest, so that hit the spot! Next up, the collaboration between pop-up ramen shop Otaku South and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. And it was. Amazing. Perfect noodles, crunchy and spicy chicken, all floating in a well-seasoned broth. It should also be mentioned that even though I ordered the “hot” bowl, it wasn’t so hot that you could not enjoy the meal. The spices on the chicken were mild enough to enhance the sweetness of the batter, leaving your mouth prickling and excited for more.

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I finally got to meet the friends I’ve heard so much about! Mallory was a sweetheart and Nicole (Monday Mint) & Kelly were so fun! Post-dinner, we went to the Grassy Knoll Movie Night to see Easy Rider. Was anyone else kind of completely disturbed by this movie? I mean, initially, you’re just really confused about why you’ve been watching absolutely nothing happen for 45 minutes. Then, there’s young Jack Nicholson. THEN spoiler, everyone’s dead. BAM. Also, can we just talk for a second about this AMAZING vintage blanket Allison scored at a yard sale recently?

DSC_0023 DSC_0027 DSC_0033 DSC_0035 DSC_0040We finished off the evening with a girl’s trip to The Patterson House, where I ventured from my usual favorite cocktail, the Blinker, and tried the Hungarian Like the Wolf. I was not disappointed. In fact, one drink in, and I could feel it. So yes, those $12 cocktails are worth it. Luckily, Roger was kind enough to be our chauffeur/DD, so Allison and I weren’t stranded.

Partially because the next day required a super-early trip home and partially because Allison and I always have a habit of waking up obscenely early, we got up at 6:30 am to visit Crema and get some photos around the city. Photos of food, cappuccinos, and what to wear to feel like you’re still in pajamas (yet looking chic) are coming soon.

 

// petit fours & bridal bliss.

Heather Dasher, a family friend, hosted the most beautiful bridal shower for my older sister earlier this week. I was in charge of the games, so of course we made wedding dresses. Out of toilet paper. Project Runway, anyone?

Much to our dismay, the bride did not win the game! It was a tough call, but my mom’s team took the cake!
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// final days — Allison’s visit, part two.

DSC_0001 DSC_0005DSC_0008 DSC_0012 DSC_0023 DSC_0027 DSC_0029Here’s the thing about Allison & I–when we are traveling, we do two things. First of all, we pack literally everything we could possibly need whilst on an excursion. That includes an extra pair of shoes, an umbrella and/or rain jacket, a book, 2 large cameras, sunscreen, Advil, & sunglasses. In each of our bags. The second thing about us traveling is that after the first day, we are literally exhausted with the number of photos taken the previous day, coupled with our extra large and heavy bags, that we generally completely forget to take photos for the following days. We’ll take a few here-and-there; of savory breakfast bagels (here & here), coffee (here, here, and who are we kidding–probably a few other places), and early morning trips to Brooklyn.

Then, we will completely overlook Allison’s first time trying Vietnamese food, the strange man carrying the mysterious bag at 8 am, the crowded subways, walking over a mile one way to realize we were walking the wrong way all along, the long rides home, the fancy drinks at a prohibition-style bar, a fairly uneventful break from the walk on the steps of the Met, not even venturing towards the Statue of Liberty, walking over a mile for a fabric trade show that we couldn’t get into, my first time trying anything but pre-packaged ramen, and the rainy movie in the park.

But it’s probably for the best–because all of those things were just great for Allison & I. Traipsing NYC, eating one sketchy hot dog from a cart international cuisine at a time.

 

And now, here’s what we were wearing–the orange shirt was purchased at the Brooklyn Flea, from Martine’s Dream // Allison’s fabulous jumper was found on sale at Scotch & Soda // black flowy top & flowery pink bralette from Anthropologie // the ever-worn Sam Edelman “Petty” booties // Allison’s earrings are from Baublebar

// Ninesday (edibles).

9. To get you all in the mood for the Ninesday, food edition–

8. This week, I’ll be making my sandwiches in advance, so that I can sleep in that extra fifteen minutes every morning. This Green Goddess grilled cheese from Tastespotting will definitely hit the spot. Avocado + mozzarella + toast + pesto + OMG CAN’T WAIT.

7. I’m really excited to try this quinoa stir fry bowl. I found the recipe on The Almost Vegan’s blog. I’ll probably nix the yard fungus mushrooms and add snow peas.

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6. Those of you who know me know that I love quinoa. It’s one of my favorite go-to ingredients. Thanks to Eating Well Living Thin, I can even add it to my veggie burgers. And this time, I will chop the onions really small. Unlike that one time, which caused the burgers to smoosh into blobs of black bean goop. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

5. After downloading the A Beautiful Mess photo app, I mosey’d over to her blog to see what’s new with Elsie. And in doing so, I stumbled onto recipes for summer tarts. Talk about yummy! Also a bonus: I can reuse many of the groceries I already purchased this week.

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4. Turkish Carrots & Lentils with Herbs, thanks to the Splendid Table. I’m most excited about this recipe because a) I have lentils and no idea what to use them for and b) because it seems like something that will last a little while in the refrigerator. Which is always a bonus, when cooking for yourself.

3. With summer in full swing, I’ve been dying to make recipes with tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red tomatoes, green tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes…you name it, I want to try it. And the Flourishing Foodie has made that possible. A tomato quiche, you say? I think I’ll make mine with gouda. Bon apetit!

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2. Well, while most of my cooking is done at home and most of my dining out is at places with paper menus, plastic forks, and coffee sleeves, I do really enjoy a nice restaurant here-and-there. I think I’ll splurge a little and try out this vegetarian restaurant that was featured on NPR a few months back–Dirt Candy. Because really, “anyone can cook a hamburger, [we should] leave the vegetables to the professionals.”

1. I have a confession: I’m a bit of a wino. Not in an addictive manner, but I really, really love wine. I think it adds that extra flavor profile to your dinner (and can cover up any kitchen accidents). And, of course, those wine glasses just make you feel fancy.

Next confession: I’m not necessarily a connoisseur, by any means. When trying out new ingredients or toting a bottle along for a dinner party, I have no idea what I should be bringing. My go-to? A red. Yep, that’s about as specific as I get. I much prefer red wine. I have stumbled upon this really excellent list of tips for wine & cheese pairing. And I’ll be putting them to use. So don’t everyone invite me over for your freshly baked tomato quiches made with fancy, fancy cheeses all at once.

// sweet potato hash + fried eggs.

Thanks to a great recipe I found on Nom Nom Paleo, I was able to use up the rest of last week’s groceries! I made a sweet & spicy potato hash with a fried egg on top.

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Ingredients:

sweet potatoes (I used three so that I would have leftovers) // a bit of cinnamon // dried parsley // crushed red pepper // salt pepper to taste // Cajun seasoning // 1/4 stick butter // 2 eggs // (optional) mozzarella cheese

1. Peel sweet potatoes.

2. Grate sweet potatoes (the first time I made this, I couldn’t find the grater, so cut them very small–also effective) & transfer to a bowl.

3. Mix spices & parsley into the grated sweet potatoes.

4. Melt 1/4 stick of butter in skillet, when it begins to brown, add the sweet potatoes. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then turn the heat down and put a lid on the skillet.

5. In separate pan, fry eggs (the original recipe called for sunny sie up eggs, but I went ahead and flipped mine).

6. Place egg on top of sweet potato hash. All finished, time for brinner (breakfast + dinner)!

 

// accidental vegetarian chili.

So, I’m still getting used to this “only buy what you can carry thing.” It makes grocery shopping quite different from buying everything you need for the week, piling it into the car, and being on your merry way. I bought several items that were heavy–laundry detergent + canned items + my normal fresh items + boxed items…you get the idea. It was a fairly miserable experience.

Today, I had two recipes in mind when I set out to Trader Joe’s. But, in my usual fashion (without Alyssa, who is the list-maker), I only bought half of what I needed for both  recipes. Not to worry! I found two different chili recipes that used the ingredients I bought and combined them!

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Ingredients:

32 oz vegetable stock // 1 sweet potato, cut into bite-size pieces // 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces // 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed // 1 can chick peas, drained & rinsed // 1 cup quinoa (I used white, but you can use any color) // 2 small tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces // 1 yellow onion, diced // 2 tsp paprika // 1 tsp garlic salt // 1 tsp crushed chili pepper // salt and pepper to taste // 1 tbsp olive oil // 1/4 clove of garlic, finely chopped // 1/2 serrano pepper // 1/8 c. fresh parsley

  1. Saute onions in olive oil until they turn yellow or clear, then add garlic and red bell pepper for about 2 minutes.
  2. Cook quinoa (1 c. quinoa + 2 c. water) in a separate saucepan. Set aside.
  3. Add vegetable stock to the sautéed vegetables.
  4. Add remaining vegetables and spices to the mixture, let simmer at a medium heat for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft enough to eat.
  5. Mix quinoa into the chili. Voila!

// Nashville, a few weeks late.

Recently, I took a couple of mini trips to Nashville. No, unfortunately, they weren’t quite long enough for me to visit Allison (other than a quick hello!), but they were just long enough to get some family time in–on the first trip, I did a cake tasting with my sister and her fiancée and for the second trip, we scoured shops for post-graduation clothing [oh yeah, I'M DONE WITH COLLEGE, YOU GUYS].

First stop on the wedding cake trip–Barista Parlor. Joe had fancy chocolate for breakfast, of course. I had a jam tart.

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For the cakes, we went to Sweet 16th Bakery. We tried several different desserts–the Elvis, a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, a lemon bar…and to cut the sugar, we had one of their famous breakfast sandwiches and Israeli cous cous salad [menu here].

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And on the more recent Nashville trip–a stop at my beloved Crema just before digging through designer castoffs at UAL. I didn’t carry my camera around for this trip, so I just have a few cell phone shots of the afternoon. We finished out the day with lunch at Silly Goose and a quick stop to see Allison at Eclectic Nashville. You can see photos on Instagram here and here.

It was nice to get a chance to get away from Auburn and Huntsville, even if for just a few hours!

Ninesday / a little early

I know it isn’t Thursday just yet. But I’ve been in a blogging sort of mood. Which is great for my readers, right? Now you get to pour over Ninesday an entire 24 hours early.

9. I got these for my birthday from my Madre. Also, these. And another pair of ankle booties, but I can’t seem to find a link for them. Just know that I now have three new pairs of shoes. And am wearing them in ASAP.

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8. Lately, I’ve been in a daydreaming, blog rolling kind of mood. I just stumbled upon yellowtrace. It’s put together so beautifully.

7. I’m trying to grow my hair out some. Not a lot. Just a little here and there. Maybe, if I’m lucky, it will turn out to be as QT as this–

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6. This image. Oh, to be such a beautiful puff of smoke. Travelling wherever one pleases, dancing over the water.

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5. Spring Break is coming up. And fast. What are my plans? Probably sitting on the couch. Eternally. Studying statistics. Oh, and. Getting my wisdom teeth out. “CONGRATS ON YOUR LAST SPRING BREAK OF COLLEGE. I’MM’A STEAL YOUR TEETH.” Expect puffy face really QT photos.

4. This. This is my life. I might make one of these for my apartment.

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3. Well, this video is kind of creepy. I have to say, however–killer eyeshadow. Though, I truly don’t understand the entire tips of her fingers being painted. It reminds me of chocolate or something.

2. Also on birthday topic, Alyssa supplied the midnight drinks, & Donnie planned a trip to ATL to go shopping, eating, and to see Ra Ra Riot. Here are a few snapshots, thanks to Instagram (was anyone else unaware of the new online IG profiles?)–

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1. I am still in the running to win a paid internship in NYC with Vince Camuto. So if you have a few minutes of free time, will you log into Facebook, then follow this link and vote for me? The contest is for “Interview Attire.” Each person can vote once per day! Thank you, thank you, thank you (in advance)!

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Ninesday.

9. The Cranberries. Forever love.

8. Oh, GILT. How do you get your name-brand clothes so cheap?

7. I’m terribly choosy when it comes to boots. And its rare that I will find a pair that I can see myself wearing everyday, for every occasion, without question. Acne’s done it.

6. Madewell. Again. And always.

5. Dying to have this  vu de l’extérieur print. I’m truly running out of wall space. And if I don’t stop gawking over Pinterest ideas, I’ll be sitting on stacks of artwork, rather than chairs.

4. Hahahah. Haaa. Because everyone needs a pop art, Warhol-inspired Frankenstein of their very own.

3. A monthly craft package?? What a fantastic idea, we love citrus! I know several people who would absolutely love to receive these!

2. Did I mention that I cooked with Papa Sean a while back? Fresh corn pancakes with chives, gouda, pepperjack, parmesan, sour cream & tomatoes. Positively divine.

1. Can you believe it is September already?

Eggplant? Who knew.

Hello lovely readers.

Today marks a very special day. A day that will be remembered eternally–the day I consumed my very first eggplant. Now let’s not get carried away; I wasn’t brave enough to try it solo, in all of its glory. My mom suggested that I mask it with veggie lasagna. Then, she taught me to make it!

Vegetarian lasagna

3 small eggplants, sliced horizontally / 1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin / 3 yellow tomatoes, sliced / uncooked baby spinach / 1 jar spaghetti sauce (20 oz) / 1 large bag mozzarella cheese / 8 oz ricotta cheese / whole wheat lasagna noodles / 1 tbsp olive oil / parmesan cheese / salt + pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees / Mix spaghetti sauce with mozzarella & ricotta / Pour olive oil into bottom of casserole dish / Smooth two large spoonfuls of cheese & sauce mixture into bottom of casserole dish / Cover sauce with uncooked lasagna noodles / Layer all vegetables (eggplant + bell pepper + tomatoes + spinach) / Season with salt + pepper / Add a second layer of sauce & cheese mixture / Cover top with uncooked noodles / Top lasagna with leftover sauce and cheese mixture  / Final step: add parmesan! Lots & lots of parmesan / OH WAIT! Most important step–add 1/4 c. water to dish / Cook for 1 hr, 15 minutes.

 

 

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