Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dana's Bakery

I think the whole country is on a little bit of a macaron kick. 
First it was cupcakes, then cakeballs, and now macarons. 

Which is fine by me. I love macarons.

I don't know the difference in macaroon or macaron but I do know that they are yummy.

I've always wanted to try to make them but I know it can be super difficult.

So I just look at macaron pics and dream.

I found Dana's Bakery on instagram and started following her sometime last year.

The pics of her macarons literally make my mouth water.

I haven't tried them but they look amazing!

Dana's Bakery has had a lot of success and is now being sold in Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC. 

So I'm assuming they taste pretty good...

The flavors are just so unique. They sound delicious.


Cookie Dough

Key Lime

Chocolate Covered Strawberry


All of the macarons are gluten free and are made with almond flour.

Along with awesome flavors, Dana's bakery offers a "Macaron of the Month Club."
They are several different subscriptions for the club for you to choose from. Different price options.
I think it would be a great gift idea!

She's also offering discounts for Valentine's Day pre-orders.

The discounts END TOMORROW!

So you better jump to it macaron fans!

BUT if you want to get your favorite blogger a Valentine's Day present this would be a great idea.

And I don't mean Blair from Atlantic-Pacific. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Homemade Vegetable Soup & Cornbread

This vegetable soup is one of my favorite things for my mom to cook.

It's just so warm and comforting.

Here's what you need:
Crushed Tomatoes
Cubed Ham or a Ham bone with ham still on it
Frozen Mixed Veggies
Potatoes, washed, peeled, and chopped

1. Add the crushed tomatoes, cubed ham or ham bone to a large pot.

2. Cover with water and simmer for at least an hour.
My mom recommends to let it simmer and the refrigerate it overnight. The next day, scrape off the extra grease from the top of the soup.

I have no patience so I didn't do that!
Probably should have.

3. On medium heat add the frozen mixed vegetables. I used a bag of peas, carrots, and corn and added a few handfuls of frozen okra I had. 

4. After the vegetables have been cooking for a while, add the chopped potatoes.
I peeled my potatoes but you certainly don't have to.

Test your potatoes after about 10-15 minutes to see if they are done.
If they are ready, so is the soup.


Now for the Cornbread...

The recipe requires a small cast iron skillet.

Here's what else you need:

Vegetable or Canola Oil
Martha White's Cornmeal Mix
1 Egg
1 Cup of Milk

1. Put two tablespoons of oil into the cast iron skillet and place it in a cold oven.
Turn the oven onto 450 degrees.

2. In a heavy duty bowl, add 1 cup of the cornmeal mix, one egg, and one cup of milk. Stir to combine.
The batter needs to be soupy and not think.

Sometimes, my mom adds a teaspoon of vinegar to the mixture and then lets it sit for a little bit.
It makes it more like buttermilk.
She adds the milk after the vinegar sits with the batter for a while.

3. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, take the skillet out, add the oil into the batter, and slowly stir to combine. Make sure your bowl is heavy duty because the oil will be super hot.

4. Pour the batter into the same skillet you just used and put it into the oven at 450 degrees for 18-20 minutes. 

You want it to be nice and golden brown on the top.

Once the cornbread is ready, take it out of the oven and flip the skillet over onto a plate or platter.


This is how I eat my soup and cornbread.

Love. love. love. 

I think I will go fix another bowl right now. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday's Must Have - Quick & Easy Yoga

I've been trying to make my yoga practice a more significant part of my life.

I especially love beginning and ending my day with yoga.

Yoga allows me to focus my mind and center.

It really helps me to keep my head focused on what is important and what is not.

I recently found these awesome morning and nighttime yoga videos on youtube.

They are both short and pretty easy but you give you a nice stretch.



I really love the bedtime routine.

Cameron and I usually eat dinner right when he gets home from work. Then we both split ways and do our own nightly routine. We meet up to watch TV or a movies. That's when I start pressing Cameron to get in bed with me. I sleep SO much better when he is bed with me and I LOVE going to bed early. Love it!
He usually gives in around 9. I get in bed and pass out. He reads or watches TV until much later.

But lately, we have been doing the "bedtime routine" right before we get in bed.

It's just so good...

Most of the time, after we finish the video I just want to sleep exactly where I finish the video.

It's really that good!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Check our Sarah Beth's other videos and her playlist especially.

Great for yoga practice at home. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

5 Things I Love

Hating Loving this 10 minute arm work out video.
I started with 8 lb. weights and almost died.
Don't do that and you're good to do. 

Love this picture.
I took home one of my 7th grade class guinea pigs over Christmas break and then the entire summer break.
His name was Rodney.
This pic just cracks me up.
I told Cameron that anytime I'm about to go white girl crazy on you about something just show me this pic. 
I will die of laughter and not want to kill you anymore.

Freaking Homeland y'all.
Everybody is watching this show.
You need to join them!!

So I've moved on from obsessing over Goyards.
Now it's this Prada bag. LOVE. 

I would LOVE to be this girl for a little this weekend.
I am seriously missing the beach. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Skillet Sausage Pasta

Love a pasta dish.

This one is easy, hearty, and kinda spicy.

I had never baked anything in a skillet before but it couldn't be easier.

Here's what you need:

1 lb. hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
*I used hot Italian sausage. To remove the casings, I used a sharp knife and cut lengthwise down the sausage and peeled the casings off.
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups water
12 ounce or ziti
*I couldn't find ziti at our Kroger so I used rotini
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley
4 oz. Mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 475. 
Add the crushed tomatoes to your food processor or blender.
Pulse until there aren't any large lumps left.

2. After removing the casings, cook the sausage in a skillet. Use a spoon to break it up into small pieces.
Cook until brown.

3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet.
*I was out of red pepper flakes so I didn't add them.
Cook for a minute or so.

4. Add the tomatoes and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 mins.

5. Add the pasta and water to the skillet. It will be very close to overflowing. Very slowly combine the water and pasta with the mixture. I started on the outside and tried to stir into the center of the skillet.

  6. Cover and simmer on medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to them bottom.

The pasta will NOT absorb all of the sauce.

7. Add the cream, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Stir to combine, Season with salt and pepper.

8. Top with the mozzarella and place the entire skillet into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

 You want the cheese to be golden brown.

9. Top with a little more parsley and serve. 

This dish is very, very good...

and pretty!

It turned out kinda spicy so I doubt I will ever add the red pepper flakes when making this in the future.

Instead of using a skillet, you could transfer the pasta to a casserole dish. 
It would be a great meal to take to family and friends.

We ate it by itself but I would definitely recommend a side salad to lighten it up.


Original recipe from Tracy's Culinary Adventures

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sally's Selections

My sister Sally is quickly becoming a music guru and my go-to person to find out what I need to be listening to.

Early last year she turned me onto the Lumineers and the Alabama Shakes.
Since then, both bands have become HUGE and were both nominated for grammys.

So Sally knows her stuff.

Sally at Bonnaroo

Me & Sally at Bonnaroo 2011

Our tumbling instructor, Tony watched Sally tumble for the first time and then looked at all of us and said "Sally's got skills."

She was 5 years younger than my friends and me and she schooled all of us.

He was so right.

Sally has serious skills.

My sister is beyond talented. I've said this before but I have a strong feeling that I will be attending a music festival named something like "Sallyfest", "Sallyroo", or "Sallypalooza."
(VIP tickets hollaaaa!)

I always say that maybe she will feel sorry for me and let me design a t-shirt.
But then I remember that Sally is also a bad@$$ artist.

I asked Sally to create a playlist of the music she is loving right now.

When I first looked at the playlist I was like "Seriously Sally? Did you just google a list of bands with the weirdest names?"

But I've learned to trust Sally's taste. You should too.

So sit back and listen to the selections of Sally.


Make sure you scroll all the way down. 
There are 18 tracks.

Don't be afraid to try new bands.
That's how we learn and grow.
Never stop learning and never stop trying new things...

My faves:
Beggars Guild - Roadkil Ghost Choir
Pain from Love - Rubblebucket
Birmingham - Shovels & Rope
Common Sentiments - Typhoon

I'm really digging "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Of course it's the one marked explicit. #publicschoolgrad


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lots of Leopard

Dress : Target 
Leggings : Old Navy
Boots : Tory Burch (similar style on sale)
Necklace : Ginette NY
Earrings & Rings : Tacori

This is one of my favorite "throw on & go" dresses in my closet right now.

I've worn it to work, dinner, and parties.

It's so easy to dress up or down.

When I wore this to work last Saturday I had several people ask me where it was from.

They were so shocked to hear that it's a Target dress.

Unfortunately, it's sold out right now but keep your eyes open for amazing finds at Target.