Archive | December, 2012

Cooking with Fash!

28 Dec

So it’s not so much that I can’t cook, it’s just never been a passion of mine. However, I love nothing more than to throw a party or get-together. I’m great at setting a table, picking out décor and pulling together a party-worthy ensemble. In fact, I usually have these things all worked out before I even consider the menu. But a party is nothing without good food and I’m always super happy when I find some easy to make recipes that are both tasty and impressive. The best is when they seem all posh and fancy but you didn’t actually have to work too hard at them. This year for Christmas, I made my first ham and paired it with some make-ahead mashed potatoes. I’ve always had a knack for making the perfect deviled egg as well…thanks to my Grandma Clegg’s cookbook. She typed up ON A TYPEWRITER all her recipes for me and put them in a book that I can use. It was a terrific way to pass along family traditions. I thought I’d pass on some of the tips and tricks of these recipes. That way we can all be fashionable AND festive.

First up though…what to wear when baking? I mean this IS a fashion blog. I find a cute apron puts me in the right mood. Mine is emblazoned with “Will cook for shoes.” LOL It looks like this:

A lovely wedding gift from my friend Jessica...fashionable and practical!

A lovely wedding gift from my friend Jessica…fashionable and practical!

Also, an apron will keep any ham bits or potatoes or what not that might go a flyin’ off your clothes. I am also not the neatest and tidiest of chefs. Now, let’s get to it!

 

Step 1: Make-Ahead Bake Potatoes

10-12 large potatoes-peeled/not

1 tsp. onion flakes or 1 sml onion

1 (8 0z.) pkg. cream cheese

1 (8oz.) carton sour cream

salt/pepper to taste

garlic powder to taste

1/4 c. butter

paprika (optional)

milk if needed

Boil potatoes till done.  They are done when you can stick a fork through them easily. Pull off skins if you left them on. Mash them and salt/pepper/garlic powder them.  Whip in cream cheese, sour cream and onion flakes/onion.  Add milk if necessary to make potatoes fluffy.  Spread into buttered 9X13 in. pan.  Cover and refrigerate or freeze till ready to use.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes covered and another 20 minutes uncovered until heated through. When ready to serve drizzle with melted butter over top and sprinkle with paprika if desired.

I will warn you that you need A BIG pot to do this (I actually had to do the boiling in two pots) and whipping in the cream cheese and sour cream takes some elbow grease but other than that, it’s a piece of cake. We just won’t talk about the covert clean up I did of potato clumps that were all over the kitchen. My husband luckily did not see the disaster I made of the kitchen.

 

Step 2: Perfect Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

6-8 eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

salt and pepper to taste

paprika

Directions:

Place eggs in a pot of salted water (I usually put some white vinegar in the water as well to keep any potentially cracked eggs from running). Bring the water to a boil, and let eggs cook in boiling water until they are hard boiled, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. An egg timer as mentioned on Vanessa’s blog is also useful. Drain eggs, and let cool. I usually hard-boil the eggs the night before and leave them in the fridge overnight to cool. Once cool, remove the shell. I find it easiest to tap first the pointy end and then the fat end and peel from there. Run under water to get the last of the shell off the egg and your fingers. Pat dry.  Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and gently scoop out the yolks. Place the yolks in a medium-size mixing bowl and mash them with a fork. Blend in vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. With a spoon, carefully put the egg yolk mixture back into the egg white “bowls”  but do NOT tamp it down. There will be enough mixture so the whites are overfilled. Sprinkle with paprika before serving. You can also top with a small shrimp or crumbled bacon if that is more your thing.

Step 3: Delicious and Savory Ham.

Ingredients:

1 ham bone-in or not (5-7 lb.) NOT spiral cut.

1 ½ cups red wine (sweet wine is best but any red wine will do)

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup prepared mustard (I used Dijon)

Enough heavy-duty foil to line bottom and cover top and seal. You’ll also need a large baking pan.

Directions: Score top of ham, make paste of sugar and mustard.  Pour wine over ham and then put paste all over ham. Make a tent of foil and seal completely. Bake at 325 degrees for three hours. Ham should be about 160 degrees in the center when done. Let sit for a little while and then serve. And that’s it.

My friend Jessica contributed carrots with a honey glaze and herbs from her garden, crème brule, spicy shrimp aapetizers and yummy rolls. Then we feasted like kings and queens. And I don’t think either of us stressed over it too much. For the record, she wore a very cute Mets apron.

I wore my new black sequined jeans, a red and white striped v-neck sweater, red boots and cozy burgandy fur coat. I served dinner in a cute Mrs. Claus apron. All fashions similar to the ones shown below:

Cute flat red boots, Macy's, Style and Co., $45.99

Cute flat red boots, Macy’s, Style and Co., $45.99

Sequin jeans from Mom. Merry Christmas! Macy's, $49.50

Sequin jeans from Mom. Merry Christmas! Macy’s, $49.50

Red striped sweater, this one is from Shoebuy,

Red striped sweater, this one is from Shoebuy,

Mrs. Claus Apron, Pier 1, $12.38 on sale right now!

Mrs. Claus Apron, Pier 1, $12.38 on sale right now!

Rest assured there were several calls to mom and advice given by my Aunt Carol. I sometimes think I couldn’t cook without them available for emergency calls. Who knew potatoes take so long to boil? But in the end, everyone had a delicious time. The recipes even got the approval of my notoriously picky husband. In fact, it went over so well I didn’t even manage to get photos of the finished products. Hope this helps other women like me out there who’d rather decorate the table than slave over an oven. All the photos have clickable links to where you can purchase the clothing and aprons. Stay warm and whatever you do remember:

Be Fierce. Be Fashionable. Be Yourself.

XOXO

H

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Mint Green With Envy and New’s Resolution 1: Solid Gold Success

26 Dec

I’ve noticed an interesting color trend popping up and am wondering if I’m the only one seeing it. Minty green. It’s gorgeous. I’ve seen it paired most often with gold accessories. But it would also be great with it’s darker cousin, emerald green. It’s so chic and elegant and such a nice surprise pop of color. The color is soft enough to not be all up in your face and chic enough to make you feel super posh. Below are some of my favorite pieces I’ve seen the color on. What do you think? Are you going to try wearing it? I myself have a handbag and a peplum dress that I’m going to rock in this fresh shade. Some sparkly gold heels and I’m all set.

Fierce mint green spike bracelet, Nordstrom, $12

Fierce mint green spike bracelet, Nordstrom, $12

Sequin tank, Nordstrom, $30

Sequin tank, Nordstrom, $30

I own this one. So pretty. Steve Madden Fringe handbag, Nordstrom, $88

I own this one. So pretty. Steve Madden Fringe handbag, Nordstrom, $88

Minty chain link necklace, Nordstrom, $18!

Minty chain link necklace, Nordstrom, $18!

American Rag Lace Blouse, Macy's, $49

American Rag Lace Blouse, Macy’s, $49

American Rag Lace Sweatshirt, Macy's, $24.99

American Rag Lace Sweatshirt, Macy’s, $24.99

American Rag blouse, Macy's, $29.99

American Rag blouse, Macy’s, $29.99

Mint Skinny Jeans, Express, $79.90

Mint Skinny Jeans, Express, $79.90

Mint Lipstick print slub tee, Express, $39.90

Mint Lipstick print slub tee, Express, $39.90

Mint green hi-lo dress from Express $69.90

Mint green hi-lo dress from Express $69.90

Mint green slouchy handbag from Express, $49.90

Mint green slouchy handbag from Express, $49.90

In other news, I’m really feeling a black and gold ensemble for my New Years party look. And I think I’m going to go with some killer pants, rather than my traditional dress. I can’t decide between black and gold brocade pants, gold pants or black leather leggings though .Weigh in below! Below are the pieces in the running for my New Year’s look. What are you going to rock in the New Year wearing?

Gold jeans by American Rag, Macy's, $69.99

Gold jeans by American Rag, Macy’s, $69.99

Tuxedo Jacket, Macy's, Only $19.99 on sale!

Tuxedo Jacket, Macy’s, Only $19.99 on sale!

Brocade pants, ASOS, $56.29

Brocade pants, ASOS, $56.29

Gold sequin bustier, Bebe, $59.99

Gold sequin bustier, Bebe, $59.99

Laser-cut clutch, Aldo, $40

Laser-cut clutch, Aldo, $40

Hope everyone had an amazing, restful holiday! I’m looking forward to lots of creative, fun fashion in 2013!

Be safe out there on New Year’s Eve…well safe in everything but fashion. In that, it’s good to take a few risks.

And as always….

Be Fierce. Be Fashionable. Be Yourself.

XOXO

H

Trend Report: 2013

15 Dec

Since we didn’t all end with a bang like the Mayans predicted and with the new year fast approaching (where did 2012 go?), it’s time to talk trends.  These are the top trends I see happening now and in the coming year.

1. The peplum. It’s been here for a little while now and it shows now signs of going away anytime soon. I think the longevity of the trend can be attributed to how wearable, comfortable and flattering the peplum can be. Make sure any shirt or dress with a peplum is snug to your natural waist (or a little below) and flares out from there. Then how large or small of a peplum you want to wear is up to you and how daring you feel. The dress below is from Express and shows a modest peplum.

A minty peplum dress from www.express.com

A minty peplum dress from http://www.express.com

2. Oxblood. Don’t worry this isn’t an ingredient for some sort of Satanic ritual. This is a color; a dark, purplish red to be exact. I always picture an oxblood riding jacket, jodpurs and riding boots when I hear the color oxblood. One of the most wearable and surprising places this color has shown up is as lipstick. Just remember, if you go with such a dramatic deep lip color, keep the rest of your makeup either natural or very slightly gilded.

Oxblood, embellished dress from ASOS

Rooney Mara working the oxblood lip to perfection

Rooney Mara working the oxblood lip to perfection

3. Speaking of gilded…metallic is huge this coming year. Everything from space age silver to gilded gold and rose gold are making an appearance. Pair it with chunky knits to keep it from being too space age. If you are really daring, pair with a bright contrasting color like the neon craze that is still going strong. Poison green and space age silver…YES! This is one of those trends that demands you stand out, so don’t be a wallflower.

Silver jeans from Victoria's Secret online. Also available in red metallic.

Silver jeans from Victoria’s Secret online. Also available in red metallic.

Chinese Laundry heels in gilded gold from www.zappos.com

Chinese Laundry heels in gilded gold from http://www.zappos.com

Michael Kors rose gold watch from Nordstrom.com

Michael Kors rose gold watch from Nordstrom.com

4. Jade/Emerald Green. Give credit to Princess Katherine for this one. Regal, rich and gorgeous, jade green has been making an appearance everywhere. Pantone just named a version of this lovely hue as their color of the year. Whether you choose to wear it in a dress or as an accent with a terrific pair of emerald earrings, you’re sure to stand out in this vibrant color.

Bar III emerald drop earrings from Macys.com

Bar III emerald drop earrings from Macys.com

Gweneth Paltrow in regal jade sequins.

Gweneth Paltrow in regal jade sequins.

Kate Middleton working it like the royal she is.

Kate Middleton working it like the royal she is.

5. Equestrian. This often mixes with the oxblood trend as mentioned above. Think posh country clubs and polo riders and you get the vibe of this trend. The simplest way to dip your toe in is find a lush pair of riding boots to work with your favorite pair of skinny jeans. Or throw on a riding jacket this winter to keep warm.

Enzo Angiolini riding boots from Nordstrom.com, $129.90

Enzo Angiolini riding boots from Nordstrom.com, $129.90

Tommy Hilfiger's Fall 2012 Ad Campaign

Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall 2012 Ad Campaign

6. And last but not least: leather. Whether it’s faux or real, head to toe or strategically placed, leather is fierce and here to stay for the foreseeable future. My favorite pieces are laser cut and/or embellished with grommets and studs. This dress calls to me…I mean I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Heather and leather rhyme, do you? Grab some leather in oxblood to really up the cool factor or snag it in white to keep things icy. Whatever the hue, leather will be front and center this season.

Bebe grommet embellished white leather dress

Bebe grommet embellished white leather dress

Other trends that show no sign of slacking off are neons and leopard print. See some of my previous posts on ways to wear those.  Fashion is meant to be fun, so get out there and experiment with some of these new styles.

Please tell me what trends you want to try this year or if there are any I missed on the list. Hope everyone has a fashionable, fun and safe holiday.

And whatever you do dolls, Be Fierce. Be Fashionable. Be Yourself.

XOXO

H