Closet Cravings

Ok, I normally don’t post a ton about fashion, beauty and makeup because… well… it isn’t really my fortay. But my awesome friend from PUT THIS ON YOUR FACE has always been my guru and always encouraged me to branch out. So this one’s for you, pretty lady!

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I saw this dress on the cover of the Improper Bostonian and immediately fell in love. Fell in love like a 16 year old virgin falls in love with the high school quarterback who asks her to prom. THAT kind of love. But alas, this beautiful Emilio Pucci designer dress runs at $7,800. Wooof. So now, I’ll just have the picture haunting my dreams.

Here are some other amazing summer things my closet is simply craving. Tell me your summer must have’s and favorites!?

This little summer charmer

Summertime yellow tote bag

this pale blue shift dress

black halter dress I could float around in

this fantastic black plunging dress I plan on wearing to a wedding in June

(OH YES! and I bought this one!)

When Kate Spade can do no wrong

Posted in Fashion | 2 Comments

Easy, Everyday Stir Fry

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Cooking dinner at home is sometimes hard. When I grew up, my moms answer to “what’s for dinner?” when she didn’t know was “chicken something.” That meant she was going to cook chicken and something else and  that would make it taste good. So wise. Like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair.  (what?! the woman has hair on her head!)

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So I did what the mama does and I used everything I had in the fridge to make some stir fry. Boyfriend and I had bought a pack of stir fry beef so we mildly had this plan to begin with.

veggies

Kind of ingredients

  • 1 pack mushrooms
  • 7 pieces baby boc choy
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 large onions
  • 10-15 brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled, diced
  • big handful of sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • soy sauce, to taste

Separately, 1 cup rice, cooked to instructions.IMG_8962

Well let’s see here. I chopped up everything to similar, bite-sized pieces. Lightly salt and pepper them. Also, I made some rice. You can make minute rice, 10 minute rice, or regular rice that takes about 20-30 minutes. Whatever you fancy. But yes, do that now.

Put the oil in a large wok and heat on medium-high. Do a little splatter test to make sure the oil is hot (meaning: sprinkle the tiniest water into the oil. Does it sizzle and sputter? If so, your oil is hot enough).  Slowly put all the veggies in the oil.

Let cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes or until the veggies are almost cooked through. Take the veggies off the heat, put in a separate bowl and set aside. Toss the meat into the hot wok. Cook for about 5 minutes. It’ll cook super fast so watch it closely. As soon as it’s completely browned on the outside, put your veggies back in. Add soy sauce, fish sauce (and if you want, some siracha). Keep tossing everything together for a few minutes.

Spoon the rice onto a plate, top with your stir fry and enjoy!

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It’s a super quick, easy dinner for mid-week after work. It’s even easier if you cut up all the veggies on the weekend and throw them in a Tupperware container.

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Enjoy my loves!

(also try this recipe with chicken!)

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I have such a sweet tooth. It’s terrible completely awesome. There’s just some feel good feeling of cookies, brownies, ice cream sundaes. They remind me of rec soccer and going to Bedford Farms with Mrs. Amato (my second mom growing up) and getting moosetrack ice cream and toll house ice cream.

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But well, it’s the middle of winter and we’re in Boston where it’s negative seven million and one degrees and I keep turning the heat up to 75 when my boyfriend isn’t looking.

NO! I do not want to put a sweatshirt on. I would rather wear my shorts and tank top in the middle of winter. I’M IN DOORS GODDAMN IT. I SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO WEAR IT.

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Sorry. Rant. I just think that indoors I should be warm and toasty and wear whatever I want. Warm, toasty, shorts and cookies. And wine. Don’t forget the wine.

So while I’m here, dancing around in my shorts making cookies, my boyfriend is figuring out my tactics and turning the heat down to a normal 62 degrees. Jerk. Just kidding. He makes me dinner a lot. And cleans the bathroom. He’s a keeper.

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But I digress. Cookies. We were talking about cookies.

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Recipe

  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

So yes, enjoy your sunshine and warmth 73% of the united states (statistic wildly made up). GO AHEAD AND ENJOY IT. I’ll stay here, where I’ll probably break the heating system due to tug of war. I’ll eat cookies and remind myself I’m “bulking up for the beach.”

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Mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and thoroughly combine. roll batter into balls and bake on a prepared baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

Let the sugar rush begin.

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Edamame’s**My fav snack

I’d say about 3x a week boyfriend and I order sushi. Spicy Tuna Roll. Spicy Salmon Roll. Brown rice with the sushi…. duhhh and a side of steamed edamame. THE BEST. I love it. I love, love it. I am so addicted to edamame that we went to a few different grocery stores to buy different kinds to make at home. Some from asain supermarts, some from the regular grocery store. Some in the pods, some out. Some pre-salted, some not.

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So I eat these little suckers SO often I felt the need to do some research and look up their nutritional benefits. These little pre-mature soybeans are a powerhouse of nutrition. According to this website: one cup of edamame’s, which is only about 190 calories, has at least 6% of the recommended daily intake of all nutrients (less vitamin D).

Another reason I love to snack on these? In that same cup you’ll gain 20-40% of your daily protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, folate and Vitamin K.

They are SO great for protein. For women, which, if you haven’t noticed I am, they provide 37% of daily protein. 37% from a plant!

Other little benefits? Edamame is a great source of folate which prevents birth defects through its role in the creation and growth of new cells. In adults, it helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.WOWZA!!! Look at all these little benefits!

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But of course, with any superfood or fad diet, there is always a bundle of negatives that accompany all the benefits. According to an article by scientific america many of the benefits provided by soy products are linked to isoflavones (plant compounds that mimic estrogen). Some studies done on mice and other rodents show that large amounts of estrogen can decrease fertility in women. womp womp.

So here is what I say to that…. and what I say to any major diet/diet fad/exercise regime etc. do what works for you. do what works for you in moderation. do what makes you feel good. So while I love, LOVE edamame, I try to limit my intake to 2 cups per week and generally my boyfriend is munching on half of that.

But either way, it’s a delish little snack that I love to take to work, have with a yummy sushi dinner, or make when I get home super late from bartending and am stahhhving and don’t want to eat left over french fries.

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Summer Mozz & Veggie Salad

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OMG SUMMER IS HEREEEEE. I mean, kinda. It was 45 today and IT’S SUMMER. Right? That’s was it means? But seriously, it was really hard to come back from St John to 18 degree weather. So when mother-nature decided to bless the northeast with 45 degrees I took full advantage.

I went running outside on the first day.

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I went for a long walk with my man-friend on the second where we window shopped up and down Newbury Street. I long for Ray-Ban Aviators in green. LONG for them.

And then I made this salad. It’s so easy. And heavenly. IT IS HEAVENLY.

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I bought an onion roll from the bakery at the grocery store. SEVENTY NINE GODDAMN CENTS FOR IT. THAT’S NOTHING!!!! All I did was cut up the roll into bite sized pieces. Tossed it with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary and popped them into the oven for 7ish minutes on 300. EASY.

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Then I chopped up all these suckers into similar bite sized pieces. Tossed these in a LARGE BOWL then added the home made croutons.

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I used 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar with 1.5 tablespoons olive oil. Added a tad bit of salt and pepper and drizzled it on the “salad.” Garnish with some chopped basil. Or pieces of grilled chicken if you’re feeling wacky.

Now, my suggestion for how to REALLY WOW your dinner guests when serving this salad? Take some toasted, blanched almonds and crush them up loosely. Sprinkle these on top. BAM, you just blew everyone’s minds. I PROMISE.

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Posted in Appetizers, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dishes | 3 Comments

More on St John

st john

The trip to and from st john was utter hell. HELL I tell you. Flights in both directions were delayed and each way was about a 16 hour travel time. SIXTEEN HOURS. That’s enough sleep for TWO DAYS. But no, you can’t sleep, because your drinking beam and ginger from nips you brought water and waiting to hear any news on what freaking gate your flight is now at. You’re also praying that the broken door on your airplane isn’t such a huge deal and someone was just an idiot and didn’t know how to use a handle. Right?

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If you don’t know anything about St John, let me tell ya… It is part of the USVI and you can’t get to it by plane. Just a boat. Or if you’re loaded a helicopter. (Spoiler alert: I’m not loaded). It’s a SMALL island. We drove across it in about 40-55 minutes. It takes me longer to travel down Comm Ave in Boston sometimes!

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60% of the Island is protected national forest. This means that most of your leisure time will be spent hiking, swimming, snorkeling, boating, kayaking…. looking at the ancient ruins… drinking lots of painkillers, bushwackers and other frothy, sugary drinks.

NOT TOO SHABBY IF YOU ASK ME!

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Just a few little places we went to, I loved, and I need you to go to soon.

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If you want to take a trip to BVI definitely go to B-Line Beach Bar. It’s on Little Jost van Dyke and it’s heaven. I almost want to tell you there’s no need to go anywhere else… but let’s face it there is. Anyways so our boat ride to this island in BVI took around an hour. Definitely a lot more time than it should have been but the water was SUPER choppy and we had to go pretty slow. B-Line is this tiny, 2-walled bar in the water. An old dude opens beer bottles and let’s you shoot the caps into a jug on the back wall. If you get it in, beer is free!

They have a grill up at someone’s house behind the bar. There’s only about 3 things on the menu but the food is UNREAL.

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But back to St John… where I actually stayed. We did two amazing hikes/beach trips/ snorkeling.

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We hiked up a flat trail to waterlemon beach and then about 10 minutes upward to two ancient ruins spots. Absolutely breathtaking. The views were unbelievable and the snorkeling was AMAZING.

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We also drove to the opposite side of the island from where we were staying in Cruz Bay. After driving wayyy south past Coral Bay and stopping at the DELISH The Tourist Trap, whose owner is the former exec chef of Chez Henri in my home town, we hiked up Ram’s Head to an elevation of 200+ feet and soaked up the view.

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Me and the man loving life. The hike was definitely tough and the wind was SUPER strong but we loved every minute of it. We passed 2 beaches during the hike. One perfect crescent, white sands with tropical fish galore in it. The other one was full of smooth rocks and had the most blue-green water I have ever seen.

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Ok the end. Go visit. Go visit now. Get a copy of The Last Trail Bandit Guide to the Hiking Trails of St John, VI.

Grab some drinks from Beach Bum Bar… or hang out at Drink for a cocktail and beach views. I have plenty more suggestions so if you are heading that way… shoot me a message and ask!

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St John – sneak peak



 

[bar outside the ferry at Red Hook on st Thomas. So many island things!]



Ohhhh don’t mind my little toes in the water. We had a small kayak launch on the villa property. I checked out the sea wild life before sliding the kayak into the bay]



[is there anything better than perfumed island flowers?]

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St. John… Here we come!



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Bring your lunch to work day (life) – Veggies and Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

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Super exciting news! In two days, I head to ST JOHN. WAHHHH I am so excited. And in anticipation of this five day get away I’ve been off the worm and off of staff meal at work (staff meal at a bar generally consists of either french bread pizza, pasta with meatballs, sandwiches with bacon and mayo or some other absolutely delicious pile of calories).

So I’ve been bringing all my own meals, snacks… everything.

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This meal is probably my favorite to bring. It consists of spaghetti squash, shaved brussel sprouts, diced mushrooms, minced white onion, steamed broccoli and pre-made turkey pesto meatballs. A whole slew of veggies with some lean meat in it? SIGN ME RIGHT NOW.

Basically I just heat everything up on the stove until it’s PIPING HOT and cooked through. Definitely start with the onions and shaved brussels and a tad bit of olive oil. When those are almost cooked through, add the rest of the veggies. (side note: I steamed the broccoli a day before for a dish, so it was already cooked through for this mixture.)

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[I broke up the meatballs a ton, which is why they look a little different in this pic.]

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I have told you before how to make spaghetti squash. Remember? So yeah, I toss in one half at the very end. Sometimes I mix in a tad bit more of pesto as a light sauce. Other times I add a little more olive oil and parmesan cheese. And other times I add diced tomatoes and kind of “mash” them to make a home made sauce. The worst is your sauce oyster!

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Put it into my handy-dandy thermos and head off to work.

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Nerd alert! But it keeps everything super warm and I LOOOVE it.

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New notebook!



Ahhhh a new recycled paper notebook because my other one, filled with to do lists, notes about recipes, drink recipes, whiskey notes and other random things going through my brain, is full.





I’m soooo excited!

It’s the little things in life, right?

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