Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Dinner for a Special Occasion


Let's go back in time to two weeks ago...

It's been a Valentine's tradition for the past few years that I make a special dinner AND dessert. Yes, making two recipes in one night is an accomplishment for me and I can't help but pat myself on the back every time I do that. Since Tomas' favorite meals are hearty ones, I always try to find something along those lines (even though it is sumer here and maybe hearty dishes aren't the most seasonally appropriate, but it's what he likes!)


For this Valentine's Day, I decided that I wanted to make Baked Ziti, but with a little extra "something" to it. So, I did what I always do...I hopped on the world wide web and started looking for recipes. I found THE recipe with that extra something, and that extra something would be sausage and pancetta. While I try to steer clear of red meat, I cannot turn down pork...so, Baked Ziti with Sausage & Pancetta it was! And boy was it good. My only frustration was that it did not photograph well at all. Why is it that some of the most delicious dishes look the worst in photos? I apologize that it's not the prettiest, but we shouldn't be judging food just by its appearance now, should we? In this case, we should not. ;-)

Baked Ziti with Sausage & Pancetta

Now, for dessert....

Earlier in the week, I was watching Ingrid Nilsen on YouTube and she had teamed up with Claire from the Kitchy Kitchen to showcase three special dessert recipes for Valentine's Day, and I chose to make the recipe for Chocolate Molten Cake (see the video here and click ahead to 7:40 minutes for the recipe). I'd never attempted to make a molten cake before, because honestly I thought it was something that was out of my skill league. But, as it turns out, it's not hard at all, and takes no time!


The only thing I did differently was substitute the salted caramel for dulce de leche (then I added a little bit of coarse sea salt to create my own salted dulce de leche).

In the future, I plan to make the following adjustments to this recipe:
1.) I will not fill the cakes with SO much dulce de leche. I think I overdid it.
2.) I will use less sugar...I say this only because I think the chocolate that we have here is sweeter than the chocolate in the US. For example, in the US there are various types of chocolate to choose from and here it's not like that so I just bought a regular chocolate bar, which I think was sweet enough without adding additional sugar.
3.) I will cook my molten cakes for 1-2 minutes more because when I went to remove the cakes from their ramekins, they broke and I think if I cooked them just a tad more they would have held their form.

Broken, but oh so delicious!

Warning: These cakes are VERY sweet, so one small cake per person is more than enough! My ramekins were on the smaller side, so I was able to make three cakes from the recipe that was intended for two cakes, but in the end the smaller cakes worked out well! We weren't even able to eat the third cake....well, not until the next morning at least ;-)

What is your favorite meal to make for a special occasion?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Eighties Revival


I tend to always get dressed with a theme in mind. Those of you who know me personally may already know this about me, and how I enjoy dressing how I feel that day, whether I'm going for a certain look or I just want to express my mood through my clothes. Well, on this day, I was really feeling the 80's vibe.


I've been a huge fan of crop tops ever since they appeared on the scene a few years back, but honestly, I've never felt comfortable bearing my midriff to the whole world (That's just me...maybe if I get a six-pack one day I may feel otherwise. But, until then, me wearing a crop top in public with regular waisted bottoms is not gonna happen!) Even knowing that I probably won't ever wear a crop top, I still buy them anyway. Don't judge me.

Anyway....I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that high-waisted jeans are socially acceptable these days. I don't know why it took me so long to get a pair. I got this pair for my birthday and they are super comfortable, flattering, and they allow me to wear crop tops without exposing my stomach. Now, that makes me one happy chica!




ABS...Always Be Squintin'
I really need to start wearing my sunglasses.



The idea of this photo was to leap in the middle of the rainbow......
We did several takes, but I never did quite get it right. 
This was my best attempt....I do think that my Converse gave me a little extra "air" though. ;-)


Wearing:
Top - Fujimoda (CABA, Rodriguez Peña al 1000, right off of Avenida Santa Fe)
Jeans - Dittos (lighter wash, here)
Belt - Vintage (from my Mom's closet)
Sneakers - Converse
Watch - Baby G (here)
Backpack - Dooney & Bourke (here)

What are your thoughts on crop tops? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Leave 'em? Hate to love 'em? 
Love to hate 'em? I'm getting carried away...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gone Hiking


For me, there's nothing better than the feeling of the sun on my skin and breathing in fresh, crisp air. I've always loved to go for walks, although I haven't done much walking lately. But, when you've got such a picturesque setting to go walking in, it's hard to say no. I just wish we had time for more hikes when we were in Arizona. We hiked for about two hours on this particular day, and we're going to push for more the next time we go hiking!




















Do you like to go for walks and/or hikes? If so, what is your favorite place to take a walk or hike?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Insp-hair-ation

It's been about four months since I last changed my hair (a light red to blonde ombre look), and now I'm ready for something new! If you couldn't tell, I get bored of my hair easily, and have gone through MANY color changes since my teen years. I don't have an exact idea in mind...in fact, I'm open to going more red, brown, or even blonde!

Where will my hair journey take me next? I'd love to hear your input!


Shades of Red




(Jaclyn Hill---a new favorite beauty guru of mine!)


(Linda Hallberg---another new favorite beauty guru!)

Shades of Brown









Shades of Blonde


Light Blondes












Dark Blondes







(Photos from Pinterest)

What do you guys think I should do?! I think I'm leaning towards ash blonde, or even something lighter if it's possible! I'm just on the fence about it because with bleach comes hair damage! Decisions, decisions...