A New Kind of Grown

Grey and brown that is... Get it? Grey plus brown... grown... si?  Anyway you don't have to like it!  I did it!  It's been a while since I posted more than one outfit in a one-week period so THE WAIT IS OVER!!  I've become a bit obsessed with the combo of this polka-dotted scarf and the mohair sweater my dad brought my mom back from Taiwan decades ago.  I don't think I've ever worn grey and brown together excuse me, I've never been so grown.  LOLOL  I like it!  And... I'm a model, idiot.

Scarf: Etsy-ed
Pearl Necklace: Claire's (forever ago)
Copper necklace: I Made This! (Just switched out the ribbon)
Sweater: Target
Cardigan: Mom-ed
Silk belt: Gap (lo these many years ago)
Cords: J. Crew ($15!)
Boots: Nine West


2011, Recipes 18 & 19: Eggplant & Red Pepper Frittata with Avocado Fries

Eggplant & Red Pepper Fritatta
Recipe courtesy of Guilty Kitchen

  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon, cut into cubes
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced (I used red pepper)
  • 125g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 6 extra large eggs or 7 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream (half and half or heavy)
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
1. In a cast iron or other heavy, oven proof sauté pan, set heat to medium. Cook bacon until crispy, remove from pan and drain on paper or kitchen towels. Set aside.
2. Drain all but two tablespoons of bacon fat from pan and return to heat.
3. Sauté eggplant and onion in bacon fat until onion turns translucent and eggplant begins to soften.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat eggs, salt, pepper and cream.
5. Return bacon to pan with eggplant and onion. Pour egg mixture over, top with tomato, feta and oregano.
6. Bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes or until sides are completely set and middle remains wobbly.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before serving, which will allow the centre to set.
Results: Yum!  I used red pepper instead of tomatoes because I think non-summer tomatoes are disgusting.  They always taste like water.  I also subbed shallots for onion just because I had some.  Furthermore, what's a recipe w/o garlic???  I added 2 large cloves, minced.  I also salted and peppered the veggies because I believe in seasoning at every step.  I used milk instead of cream and blue cheese instead of feta.  LOL. 

This really wasn't supposed to just be a long list of substitutions but all that matters is it was delicious and I was inspired!  And it proves you don't need to be intimidated by ingredients in a recipe.  There are always adequate or more than adequate substitutions!

Avocado Fries with Sriracha Lime Mayo
Recipe courtesy of A Cozy Kitchen
  • 1 avocado, sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Canola oil, for frying

Lime Sriracha Mayo
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • Sriracha, or other spicy chili sauce

Fill a skillet with oil until it’s about ¼ – ½ inch full. Heat on high until oil sputters when a drop of water is dropped in.

Place the milk, flour and egg into three separate shallow dishes. Beat about a tablespoon of water into the egg mixture. Take a slice of avocado and dunk in milk, then the flour, then the eggs, then back in the flour. Place each slice on a plate until you’ve dunked the whole batch in batter.

Slowly add the slices to the oil. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan, so stop before they all start touching each other. After about a minute you’ll see the edges turning brown, this means it’s time to flip them over. Allow to cook for another minute and then remove them from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

To make the mayonnaise, mix together the mayo, lime juice and sriracha. Add the Sriracha to taste depending on how spicy you want it. Serve along side your avocado fries and enjoy!

Results: Surprising.  LOL.  The double-dipping makes the batter pretty awesome.  I put salt and pepper in each of the three bowls (milk, egg & flour).  I didn't know quite what to expect and at the end of my portion I still wasn't sure about these.  I think the batter may overwhelm the avocado too much.  My avocado was definitely a little over-ripe and my slices a bit too large but I don't think these were insurmountable obstacles.  The dipping sauce was BOSS!  Because of the delicateness of the avocado, definitely go light-handed on the sriracha or you will only taste sauce.  All things considered, I would try these again. 


2011, Recipe 17: Smoky Chipotle Meatloaf

Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup hickory flavored barbeque sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or to taste
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced,
  • or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotle
  • peppers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons hickory flavored barbeque
  • sauce

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth, then whisk in 1/3 cup barbeque sauce, garlic, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, kosher salt, black pepper, celery salt, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce until evenly smooth. Mix in the onion, oatmeal, and ground beef with your hands until evenly blended. Pack the mixture into the prepared pan. Brush the top of the meatloaf with 2 more tablespoons of barbeque sauce.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Results: AMAZING! I really, really liked this. I halved the recipe since I had only one lb. of turkey. I added one diced small yellow bell pepper and a handful of diced baby bella mushrooms. One chipotle gives it a nice spice! The bbq sauce adds another layer of smokiness. I served it with bacon cheddar mashed yukon gold potatoes.  YUM!  I took the potato recipe loosely from this recipe on allrecipes.com.


2011, Recipes 15 & 16: The Ultimate Chicken Wings with Curry Lime Butter & Carmelized Onion, Sun-dried Tomato & Baby Bella Pizza

Ultimate Chicken Wings with Curry Lime Butter
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 big, fat rounded tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Rinse the wings under cool water and pat dry. Put them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with the seasoning. Then spread the wings out on a baking sheet and roast about 25 minutes until the skin gets crisp and brown, and the meat is tender.
While you wait, throw the butter, red curry paste honey and soy sauce into a blender. Season with salt and puree. Scrape into a big bowl. When the wings come out of the oven put add to the bowl with the curry butter. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the wings. Give it a toss and you're done. Garnish with cilantro.

Results: Seeing as I don't eat Chinese food, I have no soy sauce in the house so I eliminated that.  I also didn't have cilantro since it looked awful at the farmer's market this weekend and was too expensive at the grocery store.  In spite of those things, these wings were GOOD!!  They came out of the oven a beautiful golden brown.  Then the sauce just hit it right! Rashan loved them!

Carmelized Onion, Sun-dried Tomato & Baby Bella Pizza
Recipe based on one from Livestrong.com

1 medium onion
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 oz. baby bellas
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Trader Joe's pizza dough
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed against your palm
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flake

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 425 (or you can roll dough on a cookie sheet, but it will not be crispy).

Chop onions and sautee in vegetable oil. Add sugar and salt. Cook until caramelized. Add chopped garlic and cook a few minutes until garlic is also browned.  Wash and slice mushrooms. Lightly sautee in oil until slightly browner.  Add salt at the end.

Roll dough and put onto heated stone.  Spread sauce onto pizza, add onion and garlic mixture. Top with tomatoes, then mushrooms.  Finish with Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Results:  MMMM!!!  Rashan was so happy to have me cooking for him today!!  Also: TJ's dough? 99 cents every day!  That's what I'm talkin about!  I already had all the ingredients in my house so this cost me just about nothing today.


2011, Recipe 14: Lazy Jerky Turkey Chili

Recipe courtesy of the February 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or turkey breast
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 scotch bonnet chile peppers, finely chopped (for a milder jerk, use 1 chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed; for a very mild jerk, use a red fresno chile pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 scant palmful sweet smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (about 1/2 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • About 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • One 12-ounce bottle lager beer (or omit the dark brown sugar and add 1 cup cola instead)
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
    Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chile peppers. Stir in the thyme, paprika, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, beer, worcestershire, brown sugar and vinegar; simmer to combine the flavors, about 5 minutes. Serve in bowls and top with the scallions.

    Results: Delicious!  I made this for a video one of the first years in my program had to create so I was cooking for 3 instead of 2 this time.  Everyone enjoyed it!  I love scallions.  I also quickly & lightly fried a tortilla, folded it and made it the "bread" in lieu of cornbread.



I decided to steal this dress from the BCBG outlet.  Originally $129, now $29?  Don't mind if I do!  By steal I mean buy to wear.  LOL.  While I spur all my 30x30ers on, I couldn't do it.  I'm still not fully recovered from the first and it's just not for me.  I want to do some of the Everybody Everywear challenges but I keep hating what I do with the chosen item the day I use it!  LOL.  Such a failure.  This is from my first day teaching this semester.  I was also on the hunt for a white watch.  I hated how ceramic looked on my wrist so I knew I wanted rubber.  Without all that foolish fake diamondness.  Or to use Rashan's favorite word: bling.

 Now you should throw your hair on top of your head.  LOLOL! Not at all awkward.
 Now pout.
Dress: Max & Cleo
Blazer: Express
Tights: Target
Watch: Target
Pumps: Nine West
Boots: Marc by Marc Jacobs


2011, Recipe 13: Apple Flaugnarde*

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pear brandy 
  • 2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Creme fraiche
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter a 10 by 3 by 1 1⁄2-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.

Beat the eggs and the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and apple brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, and creme fraiche.

Results: Mmmmmm!!  And virtually foolproof.  I know seeing as I "made cream" using milk and melted butter and eliminated the brandy the second time with equally delicious results.  I baked this twice (as you see), both times with Jonagold apples.  The first time I used apple brandy (though others say really any brandy or rum will use, I just happened to have apple brandy) and cut the pieces according to her directions.  The second time I didn't use any alcohol in the recipe, fanned cut slices and served it for brunch.  Both times I used cinnamon-infused sugar for the extra tbsp. on the bottom of the pie pan.  I also added a pinch or two of nutmeg to the batter and about 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice based on suggestions from reviewers.  Both times I had to force myself not to devour the whole thing.  I've NEVER liked egg custards but this joint right here?  YESSIR!  I got that golden brown color by sprinkling (cinnamon-infused) sugar and nutmeg on the top about halfway through.

*Apparently this is only a clafouti when it has cherries.