Archive for December, 2014

Very Superstitious

December 31, 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we often reflect upon the past and resolve to do things better in the year to come. Some cultures celebrate by following age old superstitions to ensure a happy year ahead. Here are just a few of them:

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Eating 12 grapes, one to represent each month of the year, is considered good luck by some.

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Others eat leafy greens, which signify money, as a way to bring about prosperity in the coming year. Black eyed peas are also thought to resemble coins, another sign of wealth.

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Make sure to wash your clothes and clean the house before midnight so you do not bring any “dirt laundry” into the new year. A sparkling house allows for a clean start. But be sure to do it now to avoid sweeping away the good fortune on January first.

All the single folks might want to wear red underwear beneath their New Year’s eve finery. It is thought that red lingerie will bring  love in the future.

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Welcome 2015 by eating foods that are the proper shapes.Eat round foods, such as donuts and bagels so your dreams and wishes come full circle  Eating long noodles equates to living a long life.

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Just don’t eat everything. An empty refrigerator or cupboards mean they may stay that way all year!
Whatever you do to welcome the new year, may it be one of great happiness, good health and prosperity!
Happy New Year!

XO Indigo Jones

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Whatever Sticks

December 30, 2014

Lately, we have been dealing with some pretty sticky situations; hello marshmallow making! When working with sticky ingredients, such as honey, syrups or molasses, try lightly oiling your hands and utensils to make things a little less gluey. Make sure you use a neutral tasting oil such as canola, sunflower or even a squirt of cooking spray so that you don’t add unwanted flavors to your food.

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Coconut oil also makes a great lubricant for dishpan hands, and is pure enough that it won’t taint the food you are preparing, as a regular lotion might. Go ahead and slather up to keep your hands and your food stick free.

photo: Glasshouse Images

A Lighter Shade of Pale

December 29, 2014

This season, it’s time to break the age old rule that one should not wear white after Labor Day. Layers of pale whites, greys and beiges look modern and oh-so-chic, when winterized through texture, fiber and accessories.

Go ahead and pull out your white jeans.  These ladies will show you how it’s done.

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Shades of winter white layer to create a look of relaxed elegance. A textural sweater,  worn over a sheer blouse, effectively winterizes a white suit. The boiled wool coat in a slightly deeper tone adds richness and depth to the outfit.

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Full cut and fluid trousers pair with a simple turtleneck for a minimalist approach to winter white dressing. Light shoes with heavy black soles and a black bag and eyewear balance the look. Bonus points for her expertly cut pale grey hair.

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Skinny jeans and sneakers in pure white get the winter treatment when topped with a textural wool coat in a slightly deeper hue.

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Woolen layers in varying tones of white are accented by a pale taupe coat and a furry hat.

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Shades of grey from icy silver to deep charcoal add dimension to this casual look. White sneakers and a black and white bag complete the illusion of effortless dressing.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Avocado Toast

December 26, 2014

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Over the holidays, we have somehow become addicted to avocado toast. Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to make, maybe it is because we think it’s healthy, maybe it is because it is so satisfying and comforting, but most likely it is because it tastes so good! We have been making it on mini slices of toasted baguette as an appetizer, but you can use whatever type of grainy, delicious bread you have and make a meal of it.

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Avocado Toast:

Brush slices of bread with olive oil, and sprinkle it with sea salt. Toast it in the oven until it just starts to brown. Watch is carefully, as bread goes from barely brown to burnt pretty quickly!

In the meantime, mash up a ripe avocado and mix it with the juice of  1/2 of a lemon, sprinkle it with some red pepper flakes and a little sea salt to taste.

Spread the mixture on the toasted bread and devour  enjoy!

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Get creative with it: Rub a garlic clove on the bread before toasting to give it a little more flavor. Sprinkle some diced tomatoes on top for a little extra color. Mix in a few chia seeds for some added health benefits. Serve with a poached egg or some smoked salmon and make a meal out of it!

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Crystal Ball: Food Edition

December 22, 2014

Crystal ball

This week, we are gazing into our crystal ball to predict what food trends we will see in 2015.

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Don’t bug me:

Insects are creating a buzz as a new source of sustainable protein. While many countries have been eating insects for centuries, Americans are yet to embrace the concept.  Not only are insects protein rich, they pack 15% more iron than spinach, double that of beef and have as much vitamin B12 as salmon. They are also low in fat and cholesterol. Even more importantly, insects thrive on very little water and consume agricultural byproducts, such as corn husks and broccoli stalks, thereby creating a much smaller negative impact on the environment. Chupal is already selling protein bars made from crickets, that are available in dark chocolate, coffee and cayenne, peanut butter and chocolate and a coconut, lime ginger flavor. Watch for insects to become more accepted in the food world in the coming year.

Savory yogurt:

Last year, Blue Hill released it’s savory yogurts in flavors such as beet, carrot and tomato, made locally from grass fed cows. Greenwich Village staple Murrays Cheese has set up an in store yogurt bar, featuring tomato and kimchee flavored varieties. A new shop in New York’s famed Chelsea Market called Sohha Savory Yogurt, is also getting in on the action, with flavors such as Zaatar’ and Everything Bagel. India, Greece and many Arab countries frequently use yogurt in their cuisines, so mixing it with herbs, spices and vegetables seems almost intuitive. Haagen Daz has already introduced it’s line of savory frozen yogurts in Japan, so they should be making their way stateside soon.

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Ugly root vegetables:

Farmer’s markets and CSA boxes are always filled with random, ugly root vegetables that perplex consumers over how to prepare them. Chefs are not deterred, and kohlrabi, parsnips and celery roots are among the vegetables showing up on high end restaurant menus. Whether fried, gratineed, or pureed, these humble vegetables are replacing the potato for a flavorful and trendy new twist on classic fare that everyone will be talking about next year.

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Cauliflower is the new kale:

Move over kale, there is a new kid in town. Cauliflower, the latest wonder-veg, is a master of disguise. While we love it just roasted with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese, it’s also the perfect stand in for its less health conscious counterparts. Puree it into mock mashed potatoes, or use it to create a stand in for a pizza crust. Coat it,bake it and slather it in hot sauce for a vegetarian take on buffalo wings. Puree it into a rich, creamy soup without the cream.  High end restaurants are beginning to offer cauliflower steak as a main dish alternative to meat. Roasting the entire head whole has also taken off, with chefs putting their own twists on seasonings and sauces.

New takes on hummus:

Hummus has already gained popularity with the masses, out trending salsa on Google search. The Middle Eastern chickpea spread is so popular, that every grocery store features a variety, and Subway is experimenting with using it on their fast food sandwiches. Foodies are taking their favorite spread to the next level, infusing it with other international flavors, such as Thai chili, and cilantro and chimichurri. Others have used the same concept with alternative ingredients, substituting Japanese edamame or lentils in place of the traditional chickpeas. Watch for a flavor explosion of new riffs on hummus to develop this year.

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Punch:

Dust off your grandmother’s punchbowl, because the old mainstay of social gatherings is coming back and this time it’s spiked! Mixologists in upscale venues are pulling out the punches, creating communal cocktails with unique ingredients.

Rickhouse in San Fransisco serves a bowl of aged rum, lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters, ginger beer and an herbal liqueur called Amaro CioCaro for $50. New York’s NoMad Hotel Bar offers a $110 concoction of cognac, Royal Combier liqueur, lemon juice, demerara syrup, lemons, mint and lots of ice. It’s only a matter of time before everyone else gets in on the act. We are already seeing lots of upscale food and beverage websites touting alcohol laced punch recipes for holiday entertaining at home.

Tickets to high end restaurants: Frustrated by “no-shows,” restaurants are exploring selling tickets for dinner, enabling chefs and restauranteurs to ensure a full house and preplan their food orders with more exactness. A prefixed menu with a set price including tip can be booked online, just as one might book theatre tickets or air travel.Discounts are often offered to those who book early. Highly acclaimed restaurant Alinea is among the pioneers of this new system. For hot spots, plan to set the alarm to jump on line as soon as reservations open, just as we do to book bikes at fitness studios.

Restaurants creating “Instagramable” moments:

We are doing it anyways. It has been the bane of many restauranteur’s existence. People are photographing their meals and often asking the waiter to get into the act, which delays service to others. In the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, chefs are whipping up Instagram and Pinterest worthy tidbits that are delivered ready for their photo op. Watch for unique plating and latte art to go mainstream, and novel adaptations of classics appearing. We have to admit we are already in on this one, with our handmade,whimsical treats on indigo jones eats, which we think are pretty pin-able , if we say so ourselves.

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Broth is the new juice:

Detoxing, juice cleansing, and green juices are the holy grail of the health conscious trendsetter. This year, juice bars and juice brands started popping up everywhere, and even Starbucks got into the action. Next year, souping could replace juicing, with soup cleanses emerging on the diet scene, and bone broth becoming the latest healthy fad.

Bone broth has already been having a moment in the wellness community, with nutritionists and fitness professionals touting its benefits. The broth, made from organic, grass fed animal bones boiled over a long period of time, is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium and collagen. New York City chef Marco Canora has recently opened his outpost Brodo in a takeout window at his restaurant Hearth, selling, (you guessed it) broth. In California, newcomers Soupure is banking on their soup cleanses replacing cold, filtered juices. Developed in conjunction with a team of nutritionists and chefs, Soupure founders believe that soup is a more nourishing and satisfying way to cleanse than cold pressed juices, saying “Throwing away the vital fiber matrix reduces most fruits to simple sugars that could leave your liver overworked and kidneys imbalanced, and without the benefits of macro-nutrients like protein and good fats, many of the vitamins and minerals featured in some juice combinations are simply rendered unusable.”

Look for bone broth and soup cleanses to expand their visibility,with healthy soups and broths popping up on restaurant menus, and freestanding shops.

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Good Sports

December 19, 2014

Designers are showing their pre-fall collections for 2015 and from the looks of things, sporty chic is here to stay.

The edgy, street smart look of season’s past gets an upgrade with sophisticated silhouettes and luxurious materials.

Michael Kors topped his red and white track pants with a turtleneck sweater and tailored peacoat for a classically American take on sportswear.

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Michael Kors

 

Rhie layers luxe grey sweats and tops it off with a bright red stadium coat.

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Rhie

L.A. designer Nili Lotan’s elevated twist on the grey hoodie is paired with a long silk skirt with shirt tail hem.

 

 

 

 

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Nili Lotan

Color blocked pants in graphic black and white work off of a woven tee and grey coat with knit trim from Rag and Bone.

 

 

 

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Rag and Bone

 

 

 

Our Crystal Ball: Fitness Edition

December 18, 2014

Crystal ball

There are trends in everything, from fashion and interiors, to cosmetics, food and even fitness. As the new year approaches, here are a few of the the fitness trends lurking in our crystal ball:

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Treadmill workouts:
We have been inundated with indoor cycling studios for the past few years, and if you have ever tried to book a class at Soul Cycle, or a Saturday morning ride with Wil Ashley at Equinox, you know just how popular and almost cult-like spinning has become. The great music, high intensity intervals, encouraging (and sometimes intimidating) coaching, and a high calorie burn are some of the reasons people flock to studio cycling. This year, we expect to see the phenomenon spread to running, with indoor treadmill workouts starting to appear around town. Equinox launched it’s Precision Running series a few months ago, and new studio, Mile High Run Club is already getting some buzz. Watch for more and more studios and classes to start popping up around town in the new year.

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Recovery and Rejuvenation:

We hit it hard everyday… running, spinning and doing high intensity metabolic training with weights. This results in fatigue, sore muscles and plain old exhaustion.

This year, expect to see classes that focus on aiding recovery, using foam rollers, therapy balls and other tools to help undue the knots and kinks from working out through myofascial release  I love Laura Ward’s Pilates /Bartenieff Fusion which gives me a great stretch and release after one of the afore mentioned cycling classes.

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Body Weight Training:

Lately I seem to be reading more and more about body weight training, which relies on your own body to provide the burn. Bypassing weights and machines for old school rounds of burpees, pushups, lunges, and squats is taking off, and classes that include 30-60 second rounds of each of these exercises in quick secession are trending upwards. Look for adult “playgrounds” to emerge, with jungle gyms and other simple equipment suitable for pull-ups, climbing and suspension training.

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Wearable Tech and Digital Engagement:
It seems everyone has a wearable technology device on their wrist, tracking activity, calories, steps and even sleep. As technology improves, and more companies enter the arena, we will start seeing even more digital engagement. Apple’s Health app becoming standard on all iPhones, is just a start, and the much anticipated release of the Apple watch could be a major game changer in 2015. Designer takes on wearable technology, from notables such as Tory Burch for Fitbit, will make health and fitness tracking fashionable.

Shorter workouts at a higher intensity:

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been the big thing for a while and will continue to gain momentum. With life getting busier and busier, people are looking for more bang from their gym time buck. Tabata reared it’s head a couple of years ago, and variations of the 4 minute rounds of super high intensity 20 second intervals with 10 second recoveries have been appearing in fitness classes everywhere, including cycling, running and strength training disciplines. Compound movements are stepping into the forefront now, shortening workouts by combining moves that target multiple muscle groups. Think squat or lunges with bicep curls and presses, or plank variations. Circuit training classes, such as Equinox’s MetCon3 or Stacked, combine compound movements with plyo movements to get the heart rate up, as well as build strength. Shockwave, adds rowing intervals to mix, leaving participants breathless and into the coveted anaerobic zone, which builds muscle and increases stamina through oxygen depletion.

 

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Morning Yoga Raves:

Early morning dance parties, featuring healthy juices, yoga and meditation instead of cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, are taking place in big cities across the globe. Start your day with an underground party before work, for an uplifting, social and spiritual awakening. Watch for this trend to spread as an alternative to the current club scene.

Stay tuned for more predictions in the world of food, fashion, and fitness for the coming year.

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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This Pretty Much Sums it Up!

December 17, 2014

Since the launch of indigo jones eats, I’ve learned a lot about taking my passion: cooking, and doing it in a large quantity, on demand. I am so excited that people have embraced my little endeavor, and orders are coming in!
I have chosen to make things that are multi-faceted and time consuming. Each item is made by hand, and has multiple components. Assembling the items and packages takes a lot of time. Because I am just starting out, I am making my own labels and packaging, and sometimes doing deliveries myself, in addition to baking.
While I LOVE every second of it, I have to admit that I am figuring it out as I go. Each new order is met with exhilaration and a little fear, as I calculate what it takes to fill it. So far, it’s all good. Orders are going out on time, and met with rave reviews. I even manage to get the kitchen cleaned up before starting the next batch! Even so, I can’t help but feel a little like Lucy in one of my favorite television moments of all time:

If anyone wants to be my Ethel, drop me a line!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Rolling Cookie Dough

December 16, 2014

We’ve been making a lot of cookies lately. { Insert shameless plug for indigo jones eats here.} Most recipes call for refrigerating the dough before rolling it, which allows the gluten to relax, therefore reducing shrinkage and making for a flakier outcome. With a super sticky dough like gingerbread, chilling makes it just firm enough to be handle. It also makes most doughs really hard to roll out.

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I have wasted lots of time letting the dough chill, only to have to let it sit to soften it enough to roll out.
While I was testing recipes for graham crackers to use to make my s’mores, I came across one that called for rolling the dough between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper, and then chilling it. While that recipe did not make the final cut, it did change my life. Since then, I have been rolling all of my cookie doughs this way, laying them on a baking sheet, and popping them into the refrigerator. The results have been spectacular.

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When you’re ready to roll, just peel off the top sheet, cut the dough into the desired shapes, lift it off of the bottom sheet with a spatula and viola;  perfect cookies!
For my hand shaped shortbread spoons, I have been chilling them after they are formed, and before they are baked with great success.

This has been a holiday cookie season public service announcement. You can thank us later.

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Don’t Start the New Year Fat

December 15, 2014

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It’s holiday season, which often means  lots of celebrations. Celebrations mean food and alcohol, late nights, and skipped workouts.

Today, I overheard a conversation between some women on the mat while stretching after spin class. It went like this: Person 1;” I can’t wait until January, so I can stop eating too much and get back to normal.”

Person 2: “I know, right? I got on the scale and couldn’t believe my eyes. I will get on track after the first of the year.”

Male person 3: Why not just reel it in now?

{crickets}

Sorry ladies, but the guy is right. It’s easy to over indulge at a party, and it’s also perfectly ok to do so once in a while. But every meal is not a party, and there is ample opportunity to practice good judgement to offset the less healthy treats you will be partaking in later.

It’s a slippery slope. We get off track, and then adopt a WTF attitude for the rest of the week, or the entire holiday season.  I’ve been there. I get it. But this year, I am committed that I am not going to enter a new year feeling bad about myself. I want to start the year off on the right foot.

There is no time like the present, and I have been more diligent than ever to amp up my workouts, and eat healthfully and mindfully when I am home, knowing full well that when I go out I am going to enjoy myself. This doesn’t mean starving myself between treats. That never ends well. It does mean viewing my meals as fuel and nourishment, and not just stuffing cookies in my face. With the recent launch of indigo jones eats, I have been elbow deep in cookie dough and chocolate for days on end. It hasn’t been easy not to sample every batch, but I know I feel better by not doing so.

Here are a few of my personal strategies to manage holiday indulgences:

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1. Know when the parties are, and that is when you are going to throw caution to the wind and imbibe in whatever you want. All other times, eat healthfully.

2. In between, set strict eating guidelines, and stick to them. I have been eating a very high protein, low fat, low carb diet. I make sure that I have the right foods on hand so that I don’t grab the wrong thing when I’m hungry, by default. When I have a craving, I remind myself that I can have whatever I want at the upcoming party. So far, that tactic is working.

3. I consider what the upcoming event might be. Should I eat something first, so I am not at a cocktail party or an open house, eating fattening nibbles instead of a healthy meal? Is it a sit down event with a menu. Can I make a healthy choice for the main course, and then share a dessert?

4. For every cookie, candy, or cheesy, carb-y whatever, ask yourself if it’s worth the calories. Why waste them on a mediocre, stale pastry, when you can walk away and feel good about your self control, and the way your pants fit? If the answer is yes, by the way, go for it!

5.If it’s special, if it’s decadent, if it’s out of this world delicious…eat it, savor it, enjoy it and don’t look back. After all, you only live once.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

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Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats


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