Unrecipe of the Week: Savory Tomato and Avocado Butters

August 24, 2016

Avocado toast has taken over the planet, in every iteration from simply smashed to decorative avocado roses. We just stumbled across this recipe for avocado butter from Alton Brown, and knew we had to try it. Oh the possibilities!  Smear it on toast, rub it corn on the cob or spread it on a piece of fish. We could go on and on with ideas for this one.

And then we saw a recipe on the Kitchn for tomato butter and started dreaming of it tossed with fresh pasta, topped on a piece of chicken or spread on bread. Whatever your fancy, these savory compound butters are a must try.

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Avocado Butter:(adapted from Alton Brown)
Combine 2 avocados, peeled and pitted with 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, a garlic clove, a healthy squirt or 2 of lemon juice, a small handful of cilantro leaves, 2 teaspoons of toasted cumin seeds and salt and pepper to taste in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined.

Spoon the mixture onto plastic wrap and form into a log. Refrigerate for several hours until formed. Slice and use as desired.

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Tomato Butter:( adapted from the Kitchn)

Place tomatoes under the broiler and cook until they are blistered and start releasing their juice. Cool to room temperature. (use 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, or about 2 cups of regular tomatoes)

Combine the tomatoes with 2 sticks of unsalted butter, salt, a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and black pepper in the food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes are finely chopped and the mixture is well combined.  You can roll this into a log as above, or put it in a crock in the refrigerator to store.

Enjoy!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Spring Roll Bowls

August 23, 2016

We’ve been obsessed with food served in a bowl for awhile now. Smoothie bowls have gained popularity recently, and grain bowls and “power” bowls have replaced the salad as the go-to healthy lunch option. Now, there seems to be a new bowl on the scene: The spring roll bowl!

Taking a cue from the Asian spring roll, which is traditionally a rice paper wrap filled with vegetables and sometimes seafood or meat, the bowl version lays it all out in abundance, without the carbs.

An array of fresh, raw vegetables are enhanced with Pan-Asian infused flavors for a meal that is tasty, satisfying and healthy. Step away from the stove, and pull out the sprializer, to make your own summer roll bowl!

A Pinch Of Yum created this Vietnamese inspired bowl filled with vegeatables in a sweet garlic and lime sauce.

A Pinch of Yum

A Pinch of Yum

Rawmazing created this amazing spring roll bowl that uses Paleo friendly ingredients, such as almond butter and coconut aminos, instead of peanuts and soy sauce.

Rawmazing

Rawmazing

Lazy Cat Kitchen may call theirs a vegan sushi bowl, but whatever they want to call it, we call it delicious!

Lazy Cat Kitchen

Lazy Cat Kitchen

Tastes Better From Scratch got into the act, with their version on the theme:

Tastes Better From Scratch

Tastes Better From Scratch

Skinny Taste adds shrimp and hoisin sauce to their spring roll bowl:

Skinny Taste

Skinny Taste

Half Baked Harvest’s recipe is for the real deal, but their ingredient plate was so beautiful, we can’t help but think it would be perfect just like this, drizzled in their Thai Mango dipping sauce!

Half Baked Harvest

Half Baked Harvest

We’re definately inspired! Stay tuned for our vegetable summer rolls with carrot dipping sauce to be re-interpreted. Because, let’s face it. Food does taste better in a bowl!

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Travel Snacks

August 19, 2016

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We’re flying to the west coast next week, and with the time difference, it can feel like you spent an entire day trapped on an airplane. I am obsessive about my clean diet, and would much rather indulge in something delicious while on holiday, than have it all break down by eating processed crap on an airplane. I don’t want to land with a bloated, upset stomach, or with a whole day’s calories wasted on Jetblue’s infamous bags of cookies and chips.

Surviving a 5 hour or longer flight without starving or eating empty calories takes a little planning, but it is doable. Choose items that are easy to toss in your bag, don’t require refrigeration, and won’t offend your fellow seatmates. Here is my list of portable snacks that are healthy enough to pass my finisky standards, and the TSA’s:

Healthy Travel Snacks:

Whole fruit: pre-washed and wrapped apples, pears, peaches or plums can be a savior on a trip. I love bananas, but they never seem to survive the trip without bruising and smashing.

Add little packets of Justin’s nut butter, for a balanced snack that combines fiber and protein to keep you full until you land.

Nuts: Small bags of nuts, pre-measured to prevent over eating, are easily packed into a purse or carry on.

Roasted chickpeas: For legume eaters, roasted chickpeas are a great high protein snack, that is delicious too!( unrecipe HERE)

Crudité: Sticks of celery, carrots or cucumbers make a healthy portable snack. Adding a little nut butter makes them more filling, and a whole lot more interesting! Just be conscious of the people around you when start crunching away!

For those who eat dairy, many hard cheeses don’t require refrigeration. Cut a few slices or cubes and eat them with your fruit or cruditês. Avoid the “stinky” ones to keep your neighbors happy.

Protein Bars: I usually rule these out on principle, as most of the commercial bars on the market are no more than fancy candy, repackaged to appear healthy. Kind bars are made from all natural ingredients, and are a better than average choice in a pinch. For meat eaters, EPIC bars get great reviews, and contain grass-fed meats. They are Paleo friendly and are low sugar and gluten free.

What are your go-to airplane snacks? Do you plan ahead, or do you just “wing it?”

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Going For The Gold

August 17, 2016

All eyes are glued to the television these days, as the world’s best athletes compete for gold medals in Rio. In honor of the Olympics, we’ve pulled together a sampling of some of the best-in-show metallic makeup, so you can go for the gold too!

via Buzznet

via Buzznet

Gold lips are one way to get into the Olympic spirit.
These, from Nars and Dolce and Gabbana are just a few of them many options available at the beauty counter.

Dolce + Gabbana

Dolce + Gabbana

Nyx

Nyx

Nars

Nars

The eyes have it, with glittering gold touches of metallic shadow.

Lukas Znojek

Lukas Znojek

schauteraber tumblr

schauteraber tumblr

via who what wear

via who what wear

For a more wearable take:

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown

Stila

Stila

Nailed it! Goldfinger for the win!

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Jin Soon

Jin Soon

Nars

Nars

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Gelatin

August 16, 2016

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Whether you are making jello-shots, candy, or unbaked cheesecakes, it is important that the gelatin completely dissolves, to avoid unpleasant gummy clumps.
The secret to working with gelatin is a technique referred to as “blooming.”  To do this, mix the liquid and the gelatin together with a fork until forms the consistency of apple sauce. Let it sit for several minutes to fully hydrate, before mixing in the other ingredients. This should allow the softened gelatin to integrate smoothly leaving you a lump free end product. We bloom our gelatin before mixing in the bubbling hot syrup when we make our marshmallows, and it gives us the light, fluffy texture we love.

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Switch To Switchel

August 15, 2016

There are lots of drinks out there, purported to boost energy, create the ultimate balance of bacteria in the gut, help you lose weight and gain clarity. From Red Bull to green tea and the ever trendy kombucha, there is no shortage of  hyped out drinks to choose from. Apple cider vinegar and green juices share the stage with a host of other natural choices with “magical powers” to make your skin glow and your belly calm.

via Alex Lau for Bon Appetite

via Alex Lau for Bon Appetite

Well, just when you thought you had reached your healthy beverage nirvana, a new one steals the spotlight. Say hello to Switchel, the latest beverage to enter the healthy drink scene. Around since the late 1700’s, switchel is the perfect way to hydrate on a very hot day. Made with stomach soothing ginger, it allowed thirsy farmers to consume enough liquid to quell their thirst, without making them sick. It is also thought to reduce inflammation and balance the body’s natural ph levels, due to the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
Switchel is similar to lemonade in some ways, and very reminiscent of the iconic Master Cleanse cocktail. It is easy to make your own, and although it is touted as a healthy electrolyte booster ( ala Gatorade), it’s also a great base for an adult beverage when mixed with rum, whisky or a dry white wine.

Give this recipe a try, and perhaps you too, will want to switch to switchel!

Mapel -Ginger Switchel: via Bon Appetite

 INGREDIENTS:

SERVINGS: 4

  • 1 5″-piece fresh ginger (about 6 ounces)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 4 cups water or club soda
  • Mint sprigs (for serving)

PREPARATION:

  • Pass ginger through a juicer (you should have about ⅓ cup). Combine ginger juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and lime juice in a large pitcher and stir until maple syrup is dissolved. Chill until cold.
  • To serve, dilute with water and pour switchel into ice-filled glasses; garnish with mint.
  • Do Ahead: Base can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Switchel can be mixed with seltzer or sparkling water instead of regular water for a bit of a “fizzy kick.”

If you don’t have a juicer, you can grate the ginger instead.

Some people use raw honey instead of the more classic maple syrup for variation. The most important thing is to use pure maple syrup or honey, and not a processed version.( aka Aunt Jemimah’s pancake syrup)

Enjoy!

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Give ‘Em The Slip

August 10, 2016

Slinky slip dresses are back in a big way this season, with street style stars everywhere embracing the look. The secret this time around, is to take an irreverant approach to styling. Layer it over a tee, add a sneaker and suddenly what started out as sexy lingerie is now a fun, casual piece to wear during the day.

This blush toned slip gets toughened up when layered over a grey heathered tee shirt and topped with a chunky cardigan. Boots take the look into fall with ease.

shop lunar

shop lunab

This lady in red mixes it up with a crisply striped shirt and boots.

W magazine

W magazine

Fashion blogger Tamu McPherson adds a minimal white tee and pointed toe shoes to give her Alexander Wang lace trimmed slip a sleek, graphic vibe.

Tamu McPherson

Tamu McPherson

The bell sleeved shirt layers impeccably under this black slip.

shopstyle

shopstyle

X marks the spot with a sexy strap detail on top of an oversized white tee.

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Blush toned ruffles are accented with white sneakers and a large black satchel for a look that is both tough, and tender.

fashion carpet instagram

fashion carpet instagram

Winterize your sexy slip with a chunky knit sweater for a cozy twist on the look.

chic.vogue.chanel.tumblr

chic.vogue.chanel.tumblr

How do you plan to give summer the slip?

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Burned Bottoms

August 9, 2016
My oven

My oven

I’ve written before about my erratic oven. It seems to cook unevenly, and sometimes items are burnt on the bottom and raw inside. I rotate my pans, adjust the temperature, and cover things to avoid them getting too brown before they are done, but sometimes I still get burned bottoms on cookies and cakes.

Recently, I discovered a solution to this issue. The heating element in my oven is on the bottom. Even once the oven is pre-heated, the coil intermittently ignites to retain the temperature. I have started placing a metal baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven, and putting the food I am cooking on the racks above. This seems to act as a barrier, absorbing the intense heat before it hits the bottom of the pans holding the food. So far, it has prevented my cookies and cakes from scorching.
If your baked goods are suffering the same fate, give it a try. It has made a big difference!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Poptails

August 8, 2016

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This has been one of the hottest summers on the record books. Cold rosé is being turned into “frozé” and cocktails are being frozen into pops to help beat the heat. Last weekend, I hosted a few ladies for brunch, and we kicked off the day with a refreshing “poptail,” to get our party started. Later, as the guys came by to join us, they were starting to get a bit melted. No worries there; we simply plopped them in a glass and poured some champagne over them for a drink that was part kir royale, and part smoothie. Either way, it was a hit!
While this recipe is super simple and tasty, you could take almost any summer cocktail and freeze them in ice pop molds with good results. Besides, isn’t everything better on a stick?

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Strawberry Grapefruit Poptails

Place 1 pound of strawberries, washed and hulled into the blender. Add about 1 cup of grapefruit juice (fresh is best, but unsweetened natural juice is fine too!) and puree until thick and smooth. Add about 5-6 oz. of vodka and blend.

Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until the are just starting to solidify. Place the sticks in the molds and freeze until firm.

To remove from the mold, run the bottoms under warm water to make them easier to pull out and enjoy!

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Dress Over Pants

August 3, 2016

Just when we think there isn’t a new way to style jeans, or layer, we spot something new that elevates our everyday items to high fashion status.

Suddenly, chic women are wearing ultra girlie dresses with slim jeans or trousers underneath for a new play on proportion and quirky femininity.

At DKNY, a crimson slip dress layers over slouchy trousers.

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dkny

A slinky satin slip takes jeans and plain white tee to a new level.

ninasvintage.com

ninasvintage.com

Sheer lace layers over a skinny black turtleneck and pants. Sneakers add yet another element of surprise to the look.

styledumonde.com

styledumonde.com

Wide cuffed jeans take the “too sweet” edge off of a delicate lace and embroidered off the shoulder dress.

popsugar fashion

popsugar fashion

This flounced skirt and camisole get a lift from dark denim cut off jeans and a pale peach fur piece.

Honestly WTF

Honestly WTF

Sheer white ruffles top graffiti jeans and a black bralette for a feminine touch.

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan

Prim and proper gets schooled with slim jeans and gold loafers.

Instyle

Instyle

Are you ready to pull this look off ? The secret is clearly in the mix…be sure to balance a dres that is uber feminine with pants that are more casual ( you can’t go wrong with skinny jeans!) and have fun with your footwear. It’s the perfect way to breathe life into those girlie dresses relegated to the back of the closet!

 


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