Friday, July 29, 2011

waking up in vegas {atlantic city!}

staying here tonight!!!
...and visiting my friend Holly, her hubby, and her brand new baby, Santino (i am also looking forward to meeting their horse dog, Minion!)!!!!! more than overdue.

it's going to be a seriously great weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sloppy Joe Remix

sloppy joes are always one of my favorites! i looove them. i think that there are two reasons i love them so much: 1) my mom makes the BEST ones and 2) they remind me of It Takes Two with the Olsen me some old school olsen twins! hahah!

i tweaked this recipe a bit to make it a little less tangy, and a little more sweet! so delicious. please make these, sloppy joes are such a crowd pleaser!

 Open-Faced Skinny Sloppy Joes
{slightly adapted from *Gina's Skinny Recipes}

  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground beef sirloin
  • 1 tbsp steak seasoning or seasoned salt
  • 1 medium onion, minced (i used a pre-diced frozen bag)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup mixed bell pepper, minced (i used a frozen blend)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

Chop all the vegetables really fine, using a chopper or food processor.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat to the pan and break it up as it cooks. Season with steak seasoning and cook the meat until it browns, then add onion, garlic, and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, cook 5 more minutes. Add brown sugar. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan, stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes. Using a measuring cup, pile 1/2 cup of sloppy meat onto toasted buns - we used whole wheat pita bread or whole wheat sandwich thins.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Crrraaazzzyyy Feta!

guys, this picture is unappealing. but i kid you not, this is the MOST amazing dip/spread/condiment i've ever had. EVER. and i know i say that a lot, but this time i mean it! for realz.

Cava is one of my favorite restaurants in the DC area (a few locations), and they have this appetizer called Crazy Feta....and How Sweet It Is is one of my favorite foodie blogs..and she made a home made version of this.
needless to say, i had to make it. immediately. and it was well worth the expensive block of feta and burning my eyes after touching jalapenos (will i ever learn??).


Crazy Feta

From her site:
"makes about 2 cups [a little goes a long way!]
2 bricks of feta cheese, 8 ounces each
3 whole jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
1 bulb garlic
the juice of half a lemon
the zest of half a lemon
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the top off the garlic bulb and drizzle it with a teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap it in foil and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until garlic is golden in color. At the same time, brush the jalapenos with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Either grill or roast them – I stuck them in the oven with garlic and just watched until they were charred. Remove both from oven and let cool. Once jalapenos are cooled, remove skins, cut in half and discard the seeds. Chop into small pieces. Don’t touch your eyes!
In a large bowl, crumble the feta bricks. [Crumbling the bricks yourself works best, but if you can only find crumbled feta that is fine.] Add chopped jalapenos, the zest of half a lemon, and the juice of half a lemon. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb directly into the feta. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and mash with a fork. You want the feta to be a bit “wet” – I can best describe it as a cross between a spread and a dip. There is no right or wrong – make it however you’d like. Taste the feta and season with salt and pepper. Serve with pita chips, warm pita or naan, or spread it on sandwiches. Store it in the fridge for up to one week."

Enjoy! seriously.

Friday, July 22, 2011

No One Mourns the Wicked

Wicked - the musical. at The Kennedy Center

went with a bunch of my friends the other night! highly recommend this musical if you havent seen it already! it's playing at the Kennedy Center in DC until Aug 21st and it isnt sold out - go buy tickets!

we! are! friends!

i made these. apparently, i still have mad skillz (candy stripe and chinese staircase - heyoo!). there are a few more that i didnt take pics of, too.  who wants to be my friend?!?!?!

we are friends! we are friends!

Caprese Quinoa

ahhhh, i've had this recipe at the top of my to-make list since i first saw it! and it lived up to its hype! except i suck and put too much salt (more than the recipe called for apppparenntllyyy) yea. anyway, i ended up rinsing the whole thing off and then topping with basil oil..and what do you know? it turned out perfect! i love when mistakes turn out well in the end.

i only slightly adapted this recipe by adding lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice (umm and too much salt)...because apparently i cant go a day without lemon juice in my life.

Caprese Quinoa
{slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats}
makes about 3 cups worth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 large & 1 small heirloom tomato, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella pearls (or just buy a fresh mozzarella ball and cut it into chunks)
10 large basil leaves, chiffonade
tsp of lemon zest, and juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Prepare quinoa according to directions on box (which is most likely: 2 cups water + 1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes).  Add in the tomatoes, cheese, basil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of basil oil over top and serve!

Homemade Basil Oil
from myrecipes
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves (I used 3 handfuls), coarsely chopped
Blend oil and basil leaves in a blender or food processor for 30-60 seconds, just until the two are mix. Pour mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, just until bubbles appear around the edges. Heat for about 5 minutes, the remove from heat and let cool completely. Once cool, pour through a fine mesh strainer and press on the basil leaves to release all the oil. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks – stays fresh best if set in the fridge.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mediterranean frolics

Mediterranean frolics

Rag Bone knit sweater
£55 -

Aldo shoes
$80 -

Proenza Schouler leather handbag
$895 -

Vanessa Mooney glass bangle
$230 -

Stud earrings
£30 -

i'm heading to Turkey (and most likely Greece!!) in september, and it's pretty much all i can think about!!!!!!!!!! you'll prob notice a developing theme over the next two months!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

peach dress set

peach dress set

Dorothy Perkins sleeveless dress
£19 -

Kate spade jewelry
$48 -

G by Guess bangles jewelry
$19 -

Nail Polish
$4.95 -

if someone could gift this whole outfit to me, i would be very appreciative!

pool partyyy!!

pool partayyyyy

OH yea this is happening this weekend! pool (term to be used loosely, plastic baby pool...) party!!! love it!

Golden Oreo Cheesecake

golden oreo individual cheesecakes. oh so so so good! nothing more to say, here is the recipe:

Oreo Cheesecake Recipe
{slightly adapted from Pink Parsley}

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
makes 30 cupcakes

  • 42 Golden Oreos - 30 left whole, and 15 food processed (just pulsed, not liquified...)
  • 2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature (I use 16oz of reduced fat, and 16oz of fat free - this REALLY increased cooking time)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners, and place 1 Oreo in the bottom of each cup.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Gradually add the sugar, and beat until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla, then drizzle in the eggs.  When well combined, mix in the greek yogurt and salt.  Stir in the chopped cookies by hand.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling each one almost to the top.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until the filling is just set, about 22 minutes (Mine was more like 45 mins by the time they were freaking done. I highly recommend using full fat cream cheese for this recipe...mine were still DELICIOUS)

Transfer the tins to wire racks to cool completely, then refrigerate (in tins) at least 4 hours.  Remove from tins just before serving.

such creamcheesy goodness should be shared with everyone! i brought mine to work and passed them out around 3pm when people start usually start to fall asleep at their desks :)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

happy birthday rachel!!

the birthday girl!!!!!!

post-surprise! absolutely love these girls!

hahaha typical


loved seeing AJ! it's been way too long!
i love surprises and birthdays! the combo is the best! saw sooo many great friends that i havent seen in forever, it was a great night! did i mention we went to my favorite bar, RUMORS?! LOVE IT!

hope your birthday was AMAZING, rach! love you!

Friday, July 8, 2011

and now, the front of the house!

me and sis are living in this precious little house! the owners are AMAZING and made this home so cute! 

so happy...can't wait to have the girls over for a potluck! just waiting on a grill...

Thursday, July 7, 2011


i'm inspired! i love the modern take on old school friendship bracelets! i'll def be making a few of my own soon!

from {here}{here}{here}and{here}

summer pasta salad!

i just posted about some of my farmers market purchases, and i was not kidding when i said how delicious the produce was! my whole car smelled like a caprese salad before i even got home thanks to fresh basil and tomatoes :)

i knew i had to use most of this immediately. sadly it wasn't because i thought it would go bad, it was because i couldn't handle another minute without it....

so i made a delish, fresh pasta salad!

ingredients for the salad:
  • handful or two of cooked whole wheat pasta - i used penne
  • handful of grape tomatoes (yellow or red), chopped into two or four pieces
  • two or three radishes, thinly sliced
  • palmful of frozen (or fresh!) sweet white corn kernels
  • a small plum tomato, diced
  • handful of basil, chiffonade
ingredients for dressing:
  • juice of one lemon
  • teeny bit of lemon zest - gah, im so good at measuring...
  • pinch of cayenne - or in my case, a lot more than a pinch
  • pinch of sugar, salt and fresh ground pepper
  • tablespoon or two of evoo
whisk together dressing ingredients and toss all salad ingredients in with the dressing! 

enjoy! i know you will! it's the most refreshing salad ive had in a while! i'm going to try it with more veggies and no pasta next time! mmmmm!

another new house post, sorry im not sorry

our fridge looks much different now that it used to.  disregard all the booze....focus on the healthy yogurt and veggies and eggs, and how empty it is!!
pup is a little lazy!  sitting on the couch looking out the front of the house!

sorry i keep posting pics of the house! im still amazed at how freaking nice it is!

farmers market!

apparently, i've been missing out on some amazing local produce for the past three years! i finally went to the clarendon farmer's market and came out with some pretty amazing produce! 

i made a delicious summer pasta salad using some of these ingredients, recipe coming soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

my new kitchen!

not the best picture, but gives you a good idea of what i have to work with! finally some room to move around, so sick of arlington galley kitchens! eeeeeeeeee have i mentioned how much i loved my new house yet?!?!

mexican lettuce wraps!

i suppose this dish was inspired by pf changs lettuce wraps...but mostly because me and sis didnt want to fill up on carb loaded fajita wraps!

most simple dish ever! and SO flavorful!

  • chicken breasts, each breast cut into 4 pieces (however many you need...we used three chicken breasts and that provided a LOT of shredded chicken)
  • a packet of reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • guacamole, store-bought or homemade
  • refried black beans
  • large romaine lettuce leaves
  • extras:
  • reduced fat sour cream
  • reduced fat mexican shredded cheese blend

to prepare the chicken, toss the pieces of chicken in about half a packet of taco seasoning. put some EVOO into a skillet and heat on high. add the chicken, brown it on one side and flip. brown the other side, add some chicken stock, reduce to medium heat, and add a lid on the pan.  cook through, flipping occasionally, about 5ish minutes! (i suck at timing, i just check every few minutes)

to shred the chicken, use two forks to pull the meat, or use a handy dandy choppy choppy from pampered chef like i did!

wash your romaine lettuce, and layer all the ingredients as you wish!

seriously delish, and if you omit cheese and sour cream - superrr healthy! :)

enjoy!! :)