Friday, December 19, 2014

NomNom: Molasses Cookies

I hope I'm not the only one that is feeling all sorts of alarmed that Christmas is less than a week away. How did that even happen?! I love the holidays around this time but for some reason I feel like Christmas this year creeped up way faster than usual which has me doing the last minute holiday scramble which includes baking holiday cookies!

I've been on a spice kick lately which has transcended to my dessert cravings, so allow me to introduce to you today's most soft, chewy, and perfectly spiced molasses cookies. If these don't scream holiday cookies to you then…we can't be friends. Heart you.

There's a wonderful harmony of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar that blend so well together in these cookies that it's hard to eat just one. The lack of self control I have at times had me inhale three cookies in a row after impatiently watching them cool. Classy, I know.

I'd like to think that the flavors in these cookies are an homage to this holiday season and since Christmas is right around the corner it only makes sense to bake them today. Or this weekend. Basically, soon.

These molasses cookies. Glass of milk/hot chocolate. Watching cheesy, holiday movies (my favorites are Elf and The Holiday) in your PJs.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from All Recipes) Yields: 30 cookies
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll them in the white sugar. Flatten gently with your palm or smooth bottom of glass cup. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 7-9 minutes in the oven, until tops are cracked (recommend 7-8 min for soft and chewy texture). Cool on wire racks. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Brights

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Fur stole-vintage
Fold over Clutch-Clare V. (use code SHOP25 for 25% off, ends today)
Leather (faux) pants-BlankNYC
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

Happy Wednesday! The weather the past couple of days have been rainy and cold but the sun finally decided to peek through the clouds today so I decided to inject some of my favorite bright color pairings into my outfit today to go along with that winter sunshine;)

Have a great week. Xo.

Friday, December 12, 2014

NomNom: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

One of the things that brings me joy is sharing recipes and having food related conversations amongst friends. The simple enjoyment and shared curiosity of eating good food together are one of the many things that brings my friends and I together.

When a couple of girlfriends and I were planning one of our good friend's bachelorette party several years ago, we asked the bride to be how she wanted to celebrate and she told us that she wanted to go to NYC for the weekend to simply eat at all the restaurants that was on her list. A trip based solely on eating good food with your gal pals? Done and done. While planning her party, my friends and I literally made a google map of all the food places she wanted to try so that we could optimize our time in the city. Because that's just how we roll when it comes to food, though I'm pretty sure we came back home 5 lbs heavier. Whatever.

Today's soup recipe loosely comes from a potluck my friend Mel hosted a month ago which was based around a Fall theme. Another friend, another food story;) She made this exceptionally awesome butternut squash soup which I basically fell in love with that night and after she shared the recipe and tweaking it a bit in my kitchen to make it exactly how I would imagine the best butternut squash soup to taste like, I give you today's perfect winter soup. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and spices after the addition of spice measurements I included to the recipe. Oh, and please don't skip the step with roasting the garlic head because...roasted garlic in olive oil. Enough said.

The simplicity of this recipe and the earthiness it yields is so worth making. A perfect way to nourish and warm the body during these cold winter days.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Yields: 6 servings)
2 lb butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 garlic head, halved crosswise
2 Tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable)
2 small bay leaves
freshly ground pepper, salt
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Rub cut garlic surfaces with olive oil and put halves back together to reassemble garlic head. Wrap tightly in foil, bake for 40 minutes (bake this with the squash).

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40-45 minutes, 400 F. 

3. Meanwhile, in dutch oven or stockpot, melt butter. Add onion and cook until soft but not browned for about 10-13 minutes.

4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the peel. Cut the squash into large pieces and add to dutch oven along with sliced apples, broth, 2 tablespoons of sage, bay leaves, salt, pepper, curry powder, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.

5. Meanwhile, unwrap garlic from foil. Squeeze from skin into bowl and discard skin. Mash in bowl with fork and stir into soup.

6. Using immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot until smooth. 

7. Garnish with pepper and remaining sage leaves, serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Chambray shirt-H&M (old, similar here)
Hat-H&M (old, similar here)
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

Say hello to this new addition to my outwear family! I had my eyes on this Zara jacket when I first saw it in store about a month ago but walked away empty handed because my coat collection is already quite...abundant. A couple of weeks later I stopped by the store again to return a purchase and saw that the jacket got marked down! I basically took that as a sign, considering my size was also in stock (can you tell I was finding reasons to justify this purchase?) Anyway, it's one of my new favorite pieces I've been wearing consistently especially since it can instantly lift a plain outfit into something else. As Jenna Lyons states, " far as I'm concerned, leopard is a neutral."

Have a great week. Xo.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cropped Leather

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Leather jacket-Helmut Lang (similar version here)
Shoes- Enzo Angiolini (similar option here)

Happy Friday everyone! The weather's a bit gloomy over here in the DMV area but at least the weekend is finally here. So looking forward to catching up with friends, trying out a new restaurant, baking holiday goodies, and getting the last of the holiday decorations up around the place.

Have a wonderful weekend. Xo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toggle Coat

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Coat-Uniqlo (smilar here and here)
Scarf-Zara (from last year, similar option here)
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

One of my favorite places to shop when in NYC is Uniqlo--word on the streets is that they are opening a store in Virginia!! The quality of their clothes and price point can't be beat (highly recommend their warm ultra thin down coats for the winter) so when I was visiting my sister in the city a month ago, I had to stop by. While browsing through the store, I immediately gravitated towards this coat because of the vibrant color red color and the toggle buttons. Pairing the red coat with my favorite tartan print scarf puts me in the holiday mood and excited for what December has to offer:)

Have a great week. Xo.