Thursday, January 31, 2013

Backyard Attire

I wore this to a bar-b-q the other night.  My friend Russ made some awesome veggie burgers and he gave me the recipe to share with you.  More on that later.
Sweater: Gap, Dress (worn as a skirt): Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Journey's, Assorted Jewels

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wild At Heart

It's gotten a bit warm here in Memphis, so I've been wearing sandals.  I would wear sandals all year round if I wasn't concerned about my toes falling off in the dead of winter.  This outfit includes every animal inspired piece of clothing that I own.  I'm digging it.

Jacket: Can't remember, Pants: Forever 21, Wife-Beaters: Hanes (men's), Sandals: Journey's, Assorted Jewels

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Refined Sugar and Color

I help conduct the 4th and 5th grade girl's choir at my church.  Honestly, I don't do all that much, I mainly just hang out with the girls and try to get them to think I'm cool.  In my ongoing effort to get 4th and 5th grade girls to like me (wow, that sounds really sad), I decided to take them a sweet treat this past Wednesday night.  I was in a bit of a conundrum about what I should make.  I make awesome chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but kids don't like oatmeal.  I make a delicious chocolate cake with cream cheese icing, but cream cheese icing is too complex and delicious for ten-year-old palettes.  I finally asked Olie what kids like and he responded, "kids like refined sugar and color." Hmmmmm..... I decided to go with rice krispy treats, but made with Fruit Loops instead.  Refined sugar and color? I think I nailed it.

Now in all honesty, I didn't use actual Fruit Loops, I used the Kroger brand that was $1.99 compared to $4.99 for the name brand.  They taste exactly the same (though don't tell my mom that, my brother and I swore as children that off-brand cereal tasted different.  It doesn't).  I also used Kroger brand marshmallows that were on sale for $1.  So, all in all, this treat cost me $3.

Generic Fruit Loop Rice Krispy Treats

10 cups Fruit Loops (this was the whole box.  I bought a small box)
1 bag of marshmallows (about 60 marshmallows)
6 tbsp butter

This is super easy.  Here's what you do.

Melt marshmallows and butter in a pan on medium heat.
Ok, before I move on, is that the most glorious image you've ever seen in your life or what? Melting marshmallows and butter.  I thought Olie was going to die.

Moving on.  Once the marshmallows and butter are all melty and homogeneous, add them to the Fruit Loops and mix together.  This is kind of tough because the marshmallow goo is very sticky, but just keep at it. It takes a while for the marshmallows to set.

Now transfer to a greased casserole pan.  Grease your hands and press this mixture down to get it to spread evenly in the pan.  If you don't grease your hands, this will be a disaster.  Grease your hands.
Now just let them set.  This should take about thirty minutes tops.  After they set, be sure to cover them with foil or plastic wrap.  If you don't, they will dry out.

Then pass the bowl you mixed them in to your husband and watch him revert to a child.  Olie literally scraped the bowl with a spoon.  Here's the proof.
You can use all kinds of cereal for this.  I think Captain Crunch is next on the list, my personal favorite cereal.  Or maybe Honeycomb.  Honeycomb is the bomb.

And there you have it.  The kids went nuts for these (and also the other adults that help out).  Mission accomplished.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pink Lady

Pink Top: Forever 21, Black Dress: Primark, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Purse: Thrifted, Assorted Jewels

Friday, January 25, 2013

An Unexpected Art Show

The coolest thing happened to me yesterday.  I was driving down Central Avenue, I took a right turn onto Cooper, drove under the bridge and this is what I saw.  Someone had curated a nice little art show in the middle of midtown.  I frantically drove home, grabbed my camera and raced back to snap some photos.  Lesson learned? Never leave home without your camera.

I love to see artists working outside of the system to get their art seen.  This was so encouraging to me as an artist.  I'm not sure if this is a group of artists or just one, but bravo to you, whoever you are.  What a gift to the community!  I'm not sure how long this will stay up (probably not long), but I'm so glad I got to see it.  And that I got to snap it so that I can share it with all of you!

These artists could not have picked a better place to display their work.  I think this is one of the most beautiful areas in midtown, and seeing the way artists are responding to it, I'm not alone (click here for an outfit post that I did in this very spot a few months ago).  There are lots of artists around town that are using the city as a backdrop to their art.  I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for more gems like this to share with you.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Homemade Potsticker Wrappers

So, everyone remember my potstickers from a few days ago?  Well, after I made them, I got to thinking that they would be even better if I made the wrappers from scratch.  When you eat potstickers at a restaurant, the wrapper is the best part.  It's all thick and noodle-y.  I wanted that!  Turns out, they are super simple to make and totally worth the extra step.  And cheap.  It's just flour and water.  Cheaper and tastier? I'm there.

Disclaimer: as you can see from the top picture, these potstickers aren't as pretty as the ones I made with store-bought wrappers.  But they are so much yummier.  I will always opt for taste over prettiness.  Also, I kind of burned the bottoms of the potstickers.  But they still taste amazing.  So don't be afraid of a burned bottom.  (ha ha.......burned bottom.  I'm 12)

So here's what you do: mix together 2 cups of flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir together until combined.  Then knead the dough for five minutes.  Now the dough will be pretty warm, so be careful.  And you will think that this five minutes of kneading is a waste of time, but right at the end of the five minutes, the dough transforms into this sticky, homogenous, elastic-y dough.  Which is what you want.

Cut the dough in  half and shape each half into a log about 12 inches long.
Cut the log into pieces about 2 inches long.  Now they need to be shaped into the wrappers.  I tried shaping them with my hands (didn't work).  I ended up putting each little piece of dough into a gallon size ziploc and then using a rolling pin to roll them out (this is also my corn tortilla method, coming soon).  Since the dough is so sticky, this allows you to roll it out thin without sticking to the rolling pin and then the dough just peels away from the ziploc.  Pretty cool, huh?
Now they are ready to fill.  Here is my filling recipe.  I'm gonna be real, it's pretty good.  Feel free to use someone else's recipe.  But mine is really good.  Just saying.

Disclaimer Number 2: this dough is a lot tougher to fold.  It's very elastic, so when you stretch it, it doesn't always want to stay stretched.  I only had to throw out one potsticker though, so it's not too bad.  You might have to use a little less meat, just under a teaspoon.  As I said last time, my folding method is  not very precise.  I just fold it over like a little pie and crimp the edges.  People get really into folding dumplings though and there are tons of tutorials online for beautiful folds.

Now it's time to cook!  I cook these exactly like the potstickers made with the pre-made wrappers, but I'll re-write it here for convenience. Add a little oil to a pan (I used peanut oil, but canola oil will be fine) and heat it on a medium/high setting.  Once the pan is hot, add the potstickers.  Try to get them to stand up, but this isn't totally necessary.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until the bottoms start to brown, then add 1/4 cup water and immedietely cover with a lid.  Cook for 5 minutes more, or until the water has evaporated.  Ta-da!  Completely homemade potstickers!
I have to say, this is one of the most satisfying things I have made in a long time.  I never ever ever thought I would make these at home.  And completely from scratch!  I think you should try it just to have the satisfaction.  And for the yumminess.  Olie and I decimated these postickers in about 3 minutes.  They are good.  Worth the extra time, trust me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunday Brights

I wore this to church this past Sunday.  I love that this is a very ladylike outfit  but in such wild colors and patterns.  It's a great contrast.  And its perfect for church, where I want to look appropriate but still look like myself.   
Top: Forever 21, Dress: Thrifted, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Assorted Jewels

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Parent's House, Part 2: The Dining Room

As promised, here is the next post on my parent's house.  This is the dining room.  As you know, I will be moving soon and am looking to my parent's house for interior decorating inspiration/ideas.  I think the take-a-way from this room is that a little elbow grease goes a long way.  The black and white floor isn't tiled, it's hand painted by my mom (I helped a little).  Also, the blue walls have a white wash over them to give them a subtle, aged look.  These touches really make this room.  I think even the drapes were hand made.  Finding drapes that long is really hard (I know, I've tried).  If you know what you want, just do it yourself!  You end up with a much more interesting room for a whole lot less cheese.  If you missed the post on the living room, check it out here.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

See Through Me

Striped Shirt: J Crew Factory (men's), Pink Blouse: Forever 21, Jeans: Levi's, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Hat: Gifted from my grandmother so I have no idea where it is from but isn't it cute?