Monday, September 24, 2012

Over the Weekend

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Jacket-Old Navy (buy HERE)
Shoes-Pour La Victoire
Bracelets-Lolabellas (c/o), Mulberry, flea market from Egypt
Necklace, ring-David Yurman

Happy Monday everyone! I know I usually post my weekend snapshots every Monday but today is a little different. I'm leaving for Portugal/Spain today and wanted to give you one last outfit post before I leave. Over the weekend, I've been running around trying to get last minute errands done for this trip and wore this easy, no fuss outfit while doing so. I'll be bringing this recently purchased utility jacket with me on this trip because it's light and a perfect transitional piece into fall. The temperature over in Lisbon is in the low 70's which is perfect to walk around with a light coat.

I'll be gone for about 2 weeks but I'll be posting my adventures on twitter @NomNomBlngBlng through out the vacation, so make sure you follow me there, if curious=)

Thanks for visiting and I'll talk to you soon. Xo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stripes on Stripes

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Blouse-J.Crew outlet
Sweater (similar color HERE), skirt (buy HERE), sunnies-H&M
Shoes-Pour La Victoire
Necklace-Neiman Marcus  

Happy Wednesday everyone! The fact that this week is halfway over makes me so happy because that means I have less then one week to go until I leave for my vacation to Portugal/Spain! I'm starting to feel excited and a bit anxious because I still have a few kinks I need to finish researching on for the itinerary before I leave. I've also been thinking about the clothes I'll be bringing with me, and this easy sweater I just bought will most likely be packed in my luggage. I love the pop of luscious green and the fact that you can wear it casually over jeans or dress it up with a skirt makes it an easy transitional piece from day to night.

I've always been a fan of color and patterns growing up but mixing same patterns within itself is unfamiliar territory. I wanted to do a play on stripes with today's outfit and stay within the shared color (black) of both shirts. It's a subtle yet noticeable mix of pattern play;)

What is your favorite way to mix patterns?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I...

1. Went on a double date night with my good friend, Mel and her husband to Masa 14. It's an Asian-Latin fusion tapas restaurant in Washington, DC that has a vast menu of dishes intended for sharing. I prefer their brunch menu more so then their menu because it's unlimited drinks (alcoholic) and food. Overall, it was great evening with great people.

2. Was surprised by the boy with flowers he (proudly) picked from the farmers market. I love having fresh flowers in the home. Thanks boo.

3. Explored Baltimore, MD with the boy because we needed to return something at a J.Crew outlet. I wanted to take him to brunch at Blue Moon Cafe which has the BEST french toast and hash browns. These are not just any ol' french toast though--it's Capt'n Crunch french toast. These are so good that they were featured on the food network. Highly recommend if you're ever in the area.

4. Walked along the inner harbor, shopped, and each bought things for ourselves. I ended up buying only a leopard print belt which has been on my shopping list for awhile and the boy ended up buying a pair of Cole Haan shoes. He couldn't get over how comfortable the were so it was a no brainer purchase.

5. Used my new dinnerware I bought from Z Gallerie all throughout the weekend. I fell in love with the ikat print  when I saw it at the store and couldn't resist the set since they were also on sale;)

6. Cooked a Sunday dinner of turkey meatloaf, stir-fry green beans, and the tomato crostini (recipe posted HERE). It was such a good, comforting meal to end the weekend.

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 14, 2012

NomNom: Mac and Cheese with Buffalo Chicken

Everyone has their own comfort food. I definitely have a couple, with one being mac and cheese. When I was younger, I would make out of the box mac and cheese after I got home from school as a "snack"  quite frequently and it's kind of amazing that I didn't blow up as a child just from my mac and cheese indulges. Thanks mom and dad for my metabolism.

Whenever I come across a recipe for my favorite comfort food, my interest and curiosity peaks to no levels. But with mac and cheese, it's a bit of a gamble because the prep time to make it is time consuming so the trial and error part of finding that perfect recipe isn't very efficient. But if you think about it, finding that recipe is a bit like life. Stick with me for a bit--I have a point. You learn as you get older and hopefully wiser that life is a bit of trial and error and the road to get to that "aha" moment/recipe might take awhile and I see this parallel with my road to finding the perfect mac and cheese recipe. A trial and error. Yes.

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that I'm a sucker for spicy food. This recipe has all the things that I love incorporated into this dish. The buffalo chicken is so, so perfect in this dish because the chicken along with the bites of cheesy mac you taste with a kick of spice from the hot sauce is pure comfort in one bite.

The hot sauce mixture set aside for the side is crucial for this dish. It really is necessary for this dish because once you spread half of the mixture in the casserole to bake, the sauce drys up a bit so you need a fresh reminder of that spicy kick from the saved hot sauce mixture.

Make this dish. Have a cold beer. It'll elevate your views on mac and cheese and make you fall in love with it all over again.

Have a great weekend. xo

Ingredients (Adapted from Bon Appetit) Serves 12 
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper 
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika 
1 1/2 tablespoons salt 
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin 
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander 
2 cups whole milk 
3 large eggs, beaten to blend 
4 cups cornflakes, ground to crumbs in processor 
1 pound chicken cutlets, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips 
Canola oil (for deep-frying) 

1 pound small elbow macaroni 
2 cups chopped green onions (about 8 large) 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano 
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided 
3 cups chopped onions 
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour 
4 cups whole milk 
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 cups packed) 
8 ounces provolone cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups packed) 
2 teaspoons paprika 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 cup hot pepper sauce (preferably Frank's RedHot Original)


1. Whisk first 6 ingredients in deep medium bowl to blend. Place milk in second bowl, eggs in third bowl, and ground cornflakes in fourth bowl.

2. Working with 4 chicken strips at a time, place in flour mixture and toss to coat. Dip same chicken strips into milk, then eggs, then cornflake crumbs, coating with each; arrange on sheet of foil.

3. Pour oil into heavy medium saucepan to depth of 2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan; heat oil to 335°F to 350°F.

4. Working in batches, add coated chicken strips to hot oil and fry until golden and cooked through, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken strips to paper towels to drain.

5. Cut strips into 1-inch-long pieces.


1. Cook macaroni in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain; transfer to very large bowl. Mix in green onions and oregano.

2. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in same large pot over medium heat. Add 3 cups chopped onions and garlic. Cover; sauté until onions are soft but not brown, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add flour; stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer sauce 2 minutes. Add all cheeses, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

3. Whisk until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Mix cheese sauce into macaroni. Mix in chicken pieces. Mound mixture in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir hot pepper sauce and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat until butter melts; spoon 4 tablespoons over macaroni in dish. Bake macaroni uncovered until heated through, about 30 minutes, or 45 minutes if made ahead.

5. Serve, passing remaining butter and hot-sauce mixture separately.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Safari Chic

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Vest-Old Navy
Maxi dress-Splendid (similar style HERE)
Scarf, belt-J.Crew (similar style HERE)
Bag-Balenciaga (similar style HERE)

Happy Wednesday everyone! The weather has finally started to cool down which means I've been layering my clothes and adding one of my favorite accessories to my outfits: scarves. I love using this vest as a layering piece to my outfits and that it reminds me of being on a safari which is something on my travel list;) I layered it on top of a maxi dress and couldn't resist adding a leopard scarf to the mix.

A couple of days ago, I was invited to the private sneak peek preview party for the new Nordstroms Rack in Tysons Corner, VA. I was contemplating wearing today's outfit that night but decided to wear something else that didn't require layers for efficient fitting room changes if necessary;) It was a great night of shopping and noshing with bubblys being served constantly.Who doesn't love that? The 2 floor store has a huge selection of designer goods for both men and women. I managed to snap a couple of photos from the event in the midst of my shopping/munching. Enjoy. xo.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I...

1. Bought a new book to read. I'm looking for books to bring with me to my long trip to Portugal coming up and I've heard great things about The Alchemist, so this is on my next read list. I might start reading it before the trip which means I'll probably need to buy another one. Suggestions are welcome.

2. Made this AMAZING buffalo chicken mac n' cheese. The prep time to make this dish was long but the end result was so worth it. The boy and I had 2-3 servings and a lot of 'mmmm' was said in between bites. Recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine and will be coming soon.

3. Relaxed with a glass(es) of night and caught up with the latest issues of my favorite food magazines. I've had an intense week at work last week where it required me to stay after hours and all I wanted to do was just stay in and just relax.

4.Received this lovely tweed jacket courtesy of SugarLips. I love tweed jackets and the leather trimmings on this jacket is so perfect for fall.

5. Played tennis with the boy. Tennis is one of the few sports I still play and with the perfect, comfortable weather we had yesterday, it was a great way to seize the weather.

Friday, September 7, 2012

NomNom:Tomato Crostini

So this past week I started having what I thought might be seasonal separation anxiety. I know there isn't a legitimate medical diagnosis for it (I asked the boy, just to be sure) but I started feeling really anxious that summer is over. I dunno. I looked at all the the fresh basil that was still sprouting outside and felt like I just wasn't 100% ready for fall. There are still hints of summer still around whether it be from the humid weather we've been having lately or from the fresh produce I still see at the farmer's market, and that makes it even harder to let go.

I know that pretty soon hints of cool air will greet us in the morning, which also means the basil growing outside will no longer be thriving. Sadness. For this reason alone, I've been on a basil kick recently just so I can optimize this beautiful, fragrant herb I always have at hand and the most recent recipe I made was this ridiculously easy crostini. It was even better because I didn't have to make a trip to the supermarket to buy any of the ingredients needed because I already had everything in my kitchen.

This can be made to be eaten as an appetizer, a side dish, or just as a snack. It's easy, healthy, and so flavorful. Again, did I mention how easy this was?

Have a great weekend. xo

Ingredients (adapted from Bon Appetit magazine Aug 2012) Serves 6-8
2 lb ripe tomatoes, cored, halved, seeded, chopped into 1/4" pieces (I used grape tomatoes)
3 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 1 halved Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 loaf ciabatta or baguette, cut on a diagonal into 1/3"-thick slices, toasted or grilled
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Combine tomatoes and minced garlic in a large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper.

2. Add 3 Tbsp oil and vinegar; toss to mix well. Cover and let tomateos marinate at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 hours to allow flavors to develop.

3. Rub one side of toasted bread with cut sides of remaining garlic clove; drizzle bread with oil and cut in half crosswise. Add basil to tomato mixture in a bowl and toss well.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange crostini on a platter. Spoon some tomato mixture on top of each crostini.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Lace shirt-H&M (recent)
Jeans-Hollister (similar style HERE
Bag-Balenciaga (similar style HERE)
Shoes-Taryn Rose
Bracelets-Hermes, David Yurman

When I was a kid, I hated anything lace because I didn't like that  feeling that the lace dresses/shirts I wore felt so uncomfortable against my skin. Although I didn't like lace on me, I still appreciated the fabric on someone else. It's feminine, delicate, and just pretty. While browsing through H&M last week, I came across this shirt and decided to try it on only because the sleeves looked loose which meant no rubbing against my arm. It was a win. 

Because lace fabric is very feminine, I waned to pair it against something with a bit more rugged such as jeans with a destroyed look. I couldn't help but add a pop of red to complete the outfit;)

Hope you're surviving this work week so far. I know that it's been a struggle for me to mentally get back into the groove of things after the long weekend. xo.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I...

1. Took a 2 day brief getaway with the boy to Delaware (Rehoboth beach) since we haven't been to the beach once this summer. We both happened to have a 4 day weekend so it was the perfect excuse to escape. The weather was perfect (hot and sunny) and we basically indulged in food, shopping, and relaxation. He is a french fries lover but being from the west coast, he never had Thrasher's french fries and it's sorta a must eat place if you're in the Maryland/Delaware beach area. They're hand cut fries that are fried in peanut oil with the perfect amount of crispiness. The only way to eat them is to sprinkle them with salt and douse them with apple cider vinegar. No ketchup is served at Thrasher's but once you take a bite of the fries, none will be needed.

2. Wanted to eat seafood only meals while at the beach so he looked up a couple of places nearby that received good reviews. While waiting for a table at a restaurant, we wandered to the bar area since it was happy hour and actually ended up staying there ordering food from the happy hour menu because it was so good. The fried oysters and fresh shrimp was divine.

3. Went shopping to the outlets. It required 2 days for us to scour most of the stores and surprisingly enough he ended up buying more things then me. I found some great stuff at J.Crew and was content with my purchases=)

4. Ate at an amazing seafood restaurant called Henlopen City Oyster House. I was craving good fish so the boy found another restaurant that received stellar reviews on their seafood. I ordered a perfectly cooked, flaky Tilefish and he ordered their meaty crabcake sandwich and both dishes were outstanding. We both agreed I had the better dish though.

5. Visited a winery near the beach. We both enjoy going to wineries so he planned for us to squeeze in some tasting time at the winery. We were both so impressed at the wines we tasted (12 total) that we ended up buying several bottles to take home with us.

6. Took out some out of town guests to eat at our favorite Szechuan restaurant in Maryland. The boy's college friend was visiting from Pittsburg over the weekend and we got back to town just in time to have dinner with them. They wanted to eat at a good Chinese restaurant since it's non existent in the area they live, so we took them to Sichuan Jin River. It's located in Rockville, MD and it has easily become my favorite Chinese restaurant. Szechuan style of Chinese cuisine incorporates spice to a lot of their dishes which probably has a bit of an influence as to why I love it so much;)

How was your weekend?