Housekeeping and Updates.

I spent Sunday in a bit of a ‘spring cleaning’ mode — from tackling my inbox, to straightening up my closet, and I even managed to make ahead a few meals for dinners and lunches this week. I figured it was as good a time as ever to do a little housekeeping here too with a few updates!

First, I’m excited to finally have a Facebook page for this little ‘ol blog. I’ve been sharing some behind the scenes pictures and updates over there, and hope you’ll check it out and follow along there too.

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My spring cleaning mode actually lead to a big closet clear-out, and I decided to open up a Poshmark closet to sell a few of the items from my favorite brands (Kate Spade! J.Crew! Ann Taylor! Zara!). The app is super easy to use both as a seller and a buyer. I highly recommend it for anyone doing a similar clean-out this season. Now comes the hard part, not buying up more than I got rid of on the site! Check out my closet, and if you want to sign up too, use this code to get a $5 credit: BNYQO

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And I have a fun update on the Boston Bloggers group too! My Boston Bloggers partner in crime, Alison, has been working hard on rounding up the best blogging events in Boston and sharing them alongside our own event and group announcements in our email newsletter. If you’re a Boston Blogger and you want in, sign up right here! Capture3

Scenes from the weekend.

This weekend zoomed by, partially because I had a packed weekend full of parties and to-do-lists! On Saturday I went to a baby shower for one of my girlfriends, and it was beyond darling. My dear friend Taz was the hostess with the mostest and made an amazing layered blue ombre cake topped with bunting made from her gigantic fabric collection! I found myself hanging out near the mimosa bar, which was so darn cute and delightfully tasty (and lead to a solid post-shower afternoon nap before I headed out to my next party!)

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Sweet Cupcakes.

Last week we had our latest Boston Bloggers event at the Sweet bakery. Sweet had a handful of bloggers over for a whole night of cupcake tasting. So, yes, in case you were wondering, it was awesome. We heard from Sweet’s lovely founder and learned all about how the bakery got started, and how it’s evolved over the years. And then we dug-in and taste-tested lots of their classic flavors (like, oh boy, some of the most delicious carrot cake and cream cheese frosting I’ve ever had!), and a few of their new and seasonal flavors — like Guinness butter-cream for St Patty’s day (yum). I think one of the biggest surprises was tasting their gluten-free cupcakes, I had no idea I was eating a gluten-free cupcake until someone told me — they were some of my favorites from the whole event! Thanks to Sweet for hosting us, and letting me fulfill my fantasy of an all-you-can-eat cupcake feast!

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A Dip-Dye DIY.

My friend over at Wayfair invited me to participate in a crafting challenge and sent me a plan basket to DIY as I please! I picked a basket that was made of a braided wool, and knew I wanted to try a dip-dye technique. To dye it, I filled up a plastic storage bin with water, vinegar, and fuchsia dye. Then I dunked the basket in and let it sit  for about four hours until I got the color I wanted. Then comes the hardest part, waiting for it to dry! I hung the basket over the bin and let is drip dry for another several hours. After it dried completely, I used the rinsed out bin and refilled it with water to dunk basket in and wash out some of the dye and fully set the color. The result is a really pretty pink color with a touch of ombré fading at the edges. The basket is the perfect size for gathering our ever-growing shoe pile in the bedroom, and I’m so happy with how tidy the corner I placed it in looks now!

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Note: I was gifted this basket from Wayfair.com. The DIY, ideas, and opinions are all my own. 

 

Chicken Champagne.

I love digging through my Grandma’s cookbooks to see the little notes and edits she’s made to the recipes over the years (inside the front cover of the book we borrowed is a note to my Grandmother from sister-in-law, and it’s dated 1967, when she received it as a gift!). When I was home at my parent’s house this weekend, my sister and I decided to borrow an old cookbook from my Grandma and make a family favorite recipe — Chicken Champagne. Her version has those little notes written in the margins of the pages (for example, her version omits the chicken livers, PHEW!), and I’ve adapted it a little bit more to omit some of the hard to find ingredients (like shaved truffles). Excuse the grainy cellphone pictures I took of our version — we were in quite the rush to dig in — it’s far more delicious than it could ever look in a photo! Find the full recipe below:

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  • 4-5 boneless chicken breasts, cut up into bite-sized pieces
  • All-purpose flour
  • Jarred mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 5 thin slices of prosciutto, diced
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of good Champagne (drink a little while you’re cooking too!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Serve with angel hair or thin spaghetti  (fresh is best if you can find it, it absorbs the sauce so well)
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Instructions:

  • Toss chicken breast pieces with flour until lightly coated, season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large pan, melt 1/2 cup of butter, and add chicken. Cook chicken in butter until browned.
  • Once chicken is fully browned, add in mushrooms, prosciutto, and heavy cream. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add champagne, stir, and cover for another 10 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper as needed, and toss with fresh grated parmesan.
  • Serve over fresh pasta with additional parmesan cheese on the side, and don’t forget to pour a glass of champagne to compliment the meal!

Note: The sauce doesn’t reduce as well if you double the recipe, instead, use 2/3 of champagne and cream. 

Scenes from the Weekend.

It was my Mom’s birthday last week, so my sister and schemed all week and surprised her on Saturday by coming home and making her a tasty birthday dinner. I’m kind of terrible at secrets, so to pull this off I basically had to avoid my Mom’s phone calls for 3 days — but it was worth it, she was super surprised and we had so much fun celebrating. I love  getting to set the table at my parent’s house too — my Mom has quite the collection of dishes and linens and accessories, so picked out the very a Spring-y of combination of place settings to match the cheery daffodils she had growing on the kitchen counter. And of course no birthday celebration is complete without  sweets — my sister brought a big box of Baked by Melissa cupcakes and I ate them by the handful!

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Orange Mango Margaritas.

I have one last recipe to share from our Taco Date Night party, and of course I saved the cocktail recipe for Friday! These orange mango margaritas are going to be a summer staple, I just know it.  I loosely chopped up 2 small ripe mangoes, and squeezed the juice of two giant oranges into a food processors, and blended the mixture until it was a smooth puree. Then I strained the remaining mango pieces out of the mixture, leaving just the juice behind in a measuring cup. Over ice in a cocktail shaker I mixed 2 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of the mango-orange juice, a squeeze of a fresh lime, and a half an ounce of Grand Marnier. Shake it up, and strain it into a glass, and serve with a lime wedge. With all of that fruit in there, it’s basically like a healthy smoothie (with tequila), right?a aDSC_0051 aDSC_0054aDSC_0062

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 - happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own. 

Chipotle Pulled Pork Tacos.

The main course for my Taco Date Night party was a pulled pork taco with a chipotle lime slaw. We were gifted a slow cooker for our wedding and it’s been such a nice addition to the kitchen this winter — I love how our house smells like savory comfort food all weekend when we get to use it. The pulled pork recipe was simple. I combined a teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder, plus a bit of salt and pepper to make a dry rub for a pork tenderloin. After coating the pork with dry rub, I seared all sides in a skillet before placing it in the slow cooker with a 1/4 cup of honey, 2 seeded chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1 cup of chicken broth, the juice of one lime, and a tablespoon of brown sugar.  After that, I set the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours before coming back at the end to remove the peppers and shred the pork.

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I served them on warm corn tortillas with a chipotle lime slaw (which was just a slaw mix and some of the leftover chipotle lime aioli from my Mexican Street Corn, combined with about a teaspoon of red wine vinegar). These came out delicious, a really nice combination of sweet from the honey and spicy from the chipotle peppers. aDSC_0075

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 - happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own. 

Mexican Street Corn.

I shared a Taco Date Night party on the blog yesterday and today I’m diving into the recipes. I’ve noticed Mexican street corn popping up on lots of restaurant menus near me lately (in particular, the street corn at Painted Burro makes me SO happy) and I wanted to try to recreate the idea at home. It was super.duper.simple. In warmer weather I would have grilled the corn on the porch, but in these wintry cold temperatures, I just charred the corn in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet. While the corn is cooking, I made a chipotle lime aioli. Whisk together in a small bowl 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 to 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobe sauce (depending on your affinity for spice!) and the juice of one lime. When it comes off the pan, sprinkle the corn with chili powder, a little sea salt,  drizzle it with the aioli, and then top it with cotija cheese. YUM!aDSC_0065aDSC_0057

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 - happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own. 

Taco Date Night.

When people ask me, ‘why do you like blogging?’ — it’s posts like these that make me unequivocally be able to say it’s getting to ‘meet’ and collaborate with so many awesome people. The darling Hattie, owner of Hattie Sparks, reached out to me with the idea of collaborating on a table-styling project using some of the beautifully curated products from her shop. I of course jumped at the chance and when I saw the bright Jonathan Adler pieces she pulled together,  I knew they were begging for a little taco party (I guess that makes this Taco Tuesday!). My husband absolutely loves tacos, they’re his favorite food, so I made a plan over the weekend to cook up some gourmet tacos for a Mexican-inspired date night at home.

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For the menu I made a spin on pulled pork tacos that were slow-cooked with chipotle peppers and honey and topped with a lime-chipotle slaw. I plated up some Mexican street corn on a bright green and white geometric patterned tray (those colors together were perfectly appetizing!), and of scooped lots of fresh guacamole and all the toppings into playful bird dishes and bowls! Of course we needed a sweet libation to wash down our tacos, so I mixed up a batch of orange mango margaritas in mod white rocks glasses.

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I hope I have made you thoroughly crave a taco night — I’ll be posting my recipes later this week so you can recreate the whole meal.

And to help you recreate the look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – shop away my dears,  you know need a guacamole bird bowl!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions, recipes, and taco jokes are my own. 

 

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