2.28.2014

My Favorite Things for March




The month of March brings the beginning of Spring, warming temps and lots of celebrations!

Essie provides two great colors, perfect for any occasion.
Tart Deco is the current most pinned polish!

Need a hairspray that will work in any weather? 
Aussie Instant Freeze hasn't let me down yet. 
Through high winds and heavy snow, my curls have stayed intact!

Don't let the winter weather dry out your skin. 
Jergens Natural Glow lotion keeps your skin moisturized 
while ridding your limbs of that winter white.

Don't forget to pick up this month's copy of Southern Living… 
featuring my home state, Tennessee and current city of residence, Washington D.C. 

With all the Mardi Gras and St. Patty's Day parties, let May Designs' May Book help keep you organized.
As a March Bonus, now through Sunday evening, all MayBooks Months + Weeks Agendas are 50% off!!

Make March impressionable with all of these fabulous items!

kristyn

2.18.2014

A Weekend of Birthdays

This past weekend was FULL of birthdays. Most notably we enjoyed a three day weekend (in some cases 5 days thanks to the snow) in honor of President's George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, it was also a weekend of celebrating four of my great friends and even a new one!
Friday, wasn't just Valentine's Day, but a new friend Ed's birthday. We enjoyed a fun evening of meeting new people, eating lots of chocolate strawberries and toasting to the man of the hour!


Saturday was an early riser, as my roommate Ashton had a big surprise for her boyfriend Ryan. 

We picked up some yummy doughnuts and coffee and headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Most people don't realize, but President Harry S. Truman added a bowling alley to the White House in 1947. If you know someone who works for the Executive Office of the President, you can rent out the bowling alley for a gathering. Ashton and all of our friends surprised Ryan with a morning of bowling, in the same room many of our past presidents and current president have thrown a strike or two!

          

Saturday night was all about my good friends Alex and Katherine (aka Getty). 

They had a bunch of us over to their house to hangout and of course we then headed on over to our fave Glover Park hangout, Mason Inn

It wouldn't be a birthday without presents, so I made these precious gift boxes for Al and Getty! Everything below I found at Target. How cute are these boxes?


The box was filled with some yummy cupcakes and red velvet cookies (link to recipe), pink and white polka dot straws and of course my fave Champs, Barefoot Moscato


It was such a fun night and great having most of the girls together! (Sorry the pic is a little blurry)


I am a HUGE fan of birthdays, but more importantly I love celebrating my friends. 

February has been such a fun month toasting to everyone's special day!! 

Happy Birthday Ryan, Charlie, Alex, Getty and Ed! 

kristyn

2.14.2014

My Valentine's Day Gift to You!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

As my gift to you, here is the recipe that evidently made a great impression on y'all last night! 

As a forewarning, these cookies taste even better than they look. 

Happy baking (and eating)! Trust me, you won't be able to eat just one!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies


What you'll need: 

1 box of Red Velvet Cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
6 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips 
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of corn starch 


Directions: 

Combine the cake mix, melted butter, eggs, cocoa powder and vanilla
Mix with a large spoon
Fold in white chocolate chips
Place in the fridge for 30 - 40 minutes to harden 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and corn starch
Mix together with a fork
Remove dough from fridge
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
Either use butter to grease the parchment paper or Pam Cooking Spray
Roll dough into 1 inch balls (using a 1 inch ice cream scoop to get the dough the right size makes it easier)
Then roll the ball in the powdered sugar and corn starch mixture
Place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet
Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are crinkly at the top
(It's okay if they are a little soft and doughy… they'll harden up as they cool)

Pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy!! They're served best warm or you can store for up to a week if they're sealed properly. 

kristyn

2.12.2014

The Perfect Date Night Dinner


When I posted this picture a few months ago on Instagram of a meal I made, people went insane. I got texts, comments, and many questions on how I made this dish. While I am in NO way a chef like Paula or Sandra Lee, I am striving every day to make them proud. 

You can ask my mother, growing up I hated to cook. I refused to let her lend me her guidance (oh how I regret that now) for making the perfect fried chicken or how to properly melt chocolate (trust me, it isn't as easy as it seems).  

As I get older, a passion for cooking has quickly developed. I love nothing more than finding a recipe on Pinterest or in a cookbook and adapting it to my own. Sometimes a recipe just needs more salt or would be good with a different side dish. 

The Apple Cider Bacon Scallops was a recipe I found on Pinterest, but made it my own. With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, a home cooked meal may be the perfect date night for you. This is my favorite dish and it will definitely make the best impression possible for any holiday or date night at home!

Apple Cider Bacon Scallops 
Dinner for Two
6 Jumbo Sea Scallops
2 slices of thick cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
One pkg of mushrooms
10 oz. of baby spinach 
butter
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper 
About 3/4 cups of unfiltered apple cider
About 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 
1 tablespoon of honey

If scallops aren't your thing or you have seafood allergies, try thin cut chicken breasts. 

Directions: 
Place sea scallops on paper towels and blot dry
Make sure they stay dry or they won't cook properly 
Lightly salt and pepper the scallops and set aside
(If you're doing chicken, do the same, lightly salt and pepper, put in your oven for 30 minutes on 350 degrees. Once done, turn off oven and leave inside till ready to plate.)

Cook bacon till thick and crispy
Cut into tiny cubed pieces and set aside

While bacon is cooking, chop up mushrooms in thin slices

Leave bacon grease in sauté pan
Reheat to medium - high
Add a little butter to the pan
Sauté mushrooms till lightly brown
When done, place mushrooms in bowl and set aside 

Leave grease and butter 
Add a little more butter to pan if needed
Work in batches to sauté the spinach till it's wilted
Continue till all spinach is cooked
Add mushrooms and bacon to the pan
Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper 
Put in a bowl and set aside

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the apple cider, balsamic vinegar and honey
Set aside

It's all to coming together!!

In your large sauté pan, heat till searing hot
Make sure you still have a thin layer of bacon grease and butter
Place scallops in pan to sear
Leave for 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown
Flip scallops
Leave for 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown
Remove scallops and put on a plate to keep warm (place in foil tent if possible to keep them warm)

Slowly pour the apple cider mixture into the pan, stirring in any leftover scallop bits
Heat for about a minute or two, till the liquid has thickened 

Time to plate your dish!

Place spinach, mushrooms and bacon mixture on plate
Place scallops on top
Pour apple cider mixture over
Clean up your plate edges and voila!! 

Happy cooking (and eating)!

kristyn