Wednesday, November 30, 2011

rustic-y glitter-y christmas wreath

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The supplies (minus the pinecones--oops!) and tools
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Securing the pine boughs to the wreath using floral wire
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The completed base

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And the final product!
I was feeling the need to accomplish some little project over the weekend, so on Sunday I headed to Michael's armed with a 40% off coupon and the delusion that all of the Black Friday and holiday shoppers would not be there.

My coupon was valid. My delusion was not.

After what felt like forever, I emerged from the craft store armed with a vine wreath and a lot of glittered items. When I got home, I added some pine boughs leftover from a floral arrangement made the previous day along with some pinecones that Chloe spotted on one of our walks. I used some floral wire and a dab of hot glue to secure everything to the wreath, and voila!

I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, however, my bow tying skills have gotten rusty. I guess it's a good thing that it's giftwrapping season--I'll be getting lots of practice!

P.S. You can see the Christmas ball wreath that I made last year here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

leftover turkey enchiladas

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I make these simple enchiladas anytime I need to use up rotisserie chicken leftovers, and they work equally well for leftover turkey!

These are great to prepare ahead of time and leave in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I haven't tried freezing them yet, but that will definitely be happening in the near future as I try to stock up our freezer with some healthy meals for nights that we don't feel like cooking.

Light Enchiladas
Makes 4 servings
  • 8 ounces shredded turkey (or chicken or beef)
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce (I use the bottled one from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 cup lite shredded cheese
  • 1 avocado
Preheat your oven to 350. Coat a glass baking pan with cooking spray. Place 1 ounce of meat in each of the tortillas, folding the tortillas over the filling, and placing them in the pan. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas, then top with all of the cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with avocado.

What is your favorite way to use up leftover turkey?

Monday, November 28, 2011

thanksgiving

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The table
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Rustic flowers + birch bark candles
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My turkey's before shot
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And the after shot. We were so hungry we forgot to take a picture before we cut it!
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The spread
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Brussel sprouts with bacon and apples
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Maple whipped sweet potatoes
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Shelley's yummy stuffing (made with bread from Porto's!)
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Shelley's pumpkin pie
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And all of her mini pies!
Well, our first holiday as the hosts was a success! The food all turned out really well--everyone enjoyed almost everything (or maybe everyone was just really hungry...). The brussel sprouts were amazing. The cornbread casserole was a favorite. The turkey was perfect. The potatoes with walnut-blue cheese butter were a big hit. The stuffing and pies were delicious! I wasn't impressed with the maple whipped sweet potatoes (Martha, that's the first time you've let me down), so I'll be trying a new recipe if that dish falls on me next year.

Before we host another family holiday, I would really like to get a square or rectangular dining table with leaves. The table situation bothered me immensely. We should also get some more silverware, serving utensils, and napkins!

All in all, it was a great Thanksgiving. I was able to enjoy my little traditions of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then watching Miracle on 34th Street. I missed sharing these traditions with my family, but I'm so thankful that we had the opportunity to host at least part of our family in our home this year.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with time spent with family while enjoying a great meal.

Friday, November 25, 2011

christmas decor inspiration


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I love everything about this. Everything. (via pinterest)
   
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Mini Christmas trees in urns + garland (via Martha Stewart)
   
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Snowflake lights for the patio (via weheartit)
 
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How cute is this? (via pinterest)

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Garland, galvanized tub of mini trees, that table, the entire space... (via pinterest)
  
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Little gold glittered deer! (via pinterest)
  
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Such a sweet little Christmas wreath. (via pinterest)


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A simple yet very pretty way to use some of the vintage ornaments we have in the garage. (via pinterest)
I always pretned that I start decorating for Christmas the day/weekend following Thanksgiving, but it rarely happens. This year, I am going to do it! I might not finish completely by Sunday, but I am at least going to get started! I wanted to pull some inspiration pictures for ideas before I head out to brave the crowds at Home Depot and Michael's today.

And now I have a serious Christmas question for you:
Real Christmas tree or fake?

cornbread casserole

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Cornbread casserole is a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition in the Premo family. It is something that we have all looked forward to and begged my mom to make at other times of the year (to which she countered, "But then it won't be special"). This year I substituted the nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream and it turned out great! The cornbread casserole was a hit at dinner yesterday. Next year I'm thinking about adding some green chile (obviously that suggestion came from Justin's family), and I want to try making this as muffins so that there is more of that crisp edge. Or maybe I'll get one of those funky brownie tins that makes it so every piece is a corner... What are your family's favorite holiday recipes?

Cornbread Casserole
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup oleo melted (that's margarine for anyone who's not from the Midwest! I used butter.)
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 pkg Jiffy Cornbread Mix
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour mixture into a greased 8 x 8 in square (or round or whatever you wish to use) baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes until a fork comes out mostly clean.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

guest post: holiday makeup

With the holiday season, parties and family get-togethers kicking off *gasp* tomorrow, I asked my friend Rebecca Oates who is a makeup artist to share her favorite makeup look for this season. I think that her look sounds really easy for people with minimal makeup skills (like me!) to pull off, and I feel like it will be perfect for casual and glamorous affairs. So, without further ado, here is Rebecca:
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Rebecca's friend Christina was nice enough to model this fun look for fall.
One make up trend I'm really digging this fall is bare skin paired with bright orange-red lips.

When I say bare face, I don't mean literally.  I evened out her skin tone with a light foundation, added a bit of bronzer, and some sheen from a bobbi brown shimmer brick on her cheek bones.  I did very thin black liner above her upper lashes (MAC fluidline ) and a touch of a taupe eye shadow.  And mascara, of course.

Basically, this is just a very clean, no makeup-makeup look.
That is until I got out the hot red and orange lipsticks and then, Bam.  Girlfriends got some punch.  

I mixed about 3 or 4 lip colors to achieve this particular color, but one of  them was MAC Red.  
Even though technically the current trend is a hot red-orange lip, I love this same look with a straight red, a hot pink, or any bold color that you love.  

If you are nervous about the whole lipstick thing and are looking for a gateway lip color without much fuss, try Laura Mercier's Hydra Tint in Crimson or Berry.  It is a lot more transparent and feels just like chap stick, not to mention, it doesn't transfer to your teeth.  Also, a no fuss option is lip stain.  Revlon's Just Bitten is a great choice.  Put on a lip stain with some gloss or chap stick on top and there is no budging or touchups for hours.  

Above all, remember to have fun with it! 
 Rebecca lives in San Antonio, Texas and has a blog called Desert Dwelling where she chronicles life with her husband Evan and their dog Tebow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

roasted potatoes with blue cheese-walnut "butter"

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This is the first recipe that I've made out of my newest cookbook, the Flat Belly Diet! Coobook. These are amazing--so much so that I decided to add them to our Thanksgiving Menu for this year! I love potatoes with blue cheese (the cookbook recommends serving these with flank steak--yum!), and the walnuts and scallions just take these to another level. This is a really simple, healthy side dish recipe that I'm sure I will be making for years to come.


Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese-Walnut "Butter"
  • 1 lb. thin-skinned baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 9" baking dish with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place the potatoes in the prepared dish and toss with the oil, pepper, and salt. Turn cut side down in the pan. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until very tender and lightly golden on the underside.


Meanwhile, put the walnuts in a small baking pan or skillet and place in the oven to toast for 6 to 8 minutes. Tip into a bowl and let cool. Add the blue cheese and scallions and crumble with your fingers.

When the potatoes are done, turn them over and sprinkle evenly with the walnut mixture. Bake for 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.
Makes 4 servings.

Monday, November 21, 2011

thanksgiving menu

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via Pinterest

Thanksgiving 2011 Menu

Appetizers
 Trader Joe's Cranberry Chevre with Whole Grain Pita Bite Crackers
Vegetables with Hummus
Shrimp Cocktail
Main
Brined and Roasted Turkey
Turkey Gravy
Shelley's Stuffing
Cornbread Casserole
Cranberry Sauce

Dessert
Shelley's Pumpkin Pie
Maybe something else if I have time/desire/energy








Friday, November 18, 2011

thanksgiving table inspiration


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Mini white pumpkins (via
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Leaves, white dishes, candles, and mercury glass (via pinterest)
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I love everything about this one--from the turkey plates to the green glass to the rustic centerpiece (via pinterest)
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Rustic candelabra, antlers, plus green and white pumpkins and gourds (via pinterest)
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Simple and rustic with a chandelier! (via pinterest)
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Such a cute idea for the kiddie table! (via pinterest)
I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday! I have the menu mostly finalized--I'm still trying to determine whether anyone would be disappointed if we had mashed sweet potatoes and roasted potatoes instead of mashed potatoes. I would also like to come up with a light appetizer or two.

I am mostly excited about setting a pretty table. I want to create a rustic feel with white pumpkins and candlelight, but I'm afraid that I've waited too long to buy the white pumpkins so now I need to come up with a back-up plan. I'm not really sure what to do... I'm leaving soon to run our errands for the week, so we'll see what I find out there!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the big apple

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Remember when I made the Tipsy Arnold Palmer and said that I wanted to try The Big Apple this fall? Well, after seeing this cocktail recipe in Blueprint magazine 6 years ago I finally got around to trying it! And it was delicious. Bubbly apple + whiskey? Yum...

On a side note, did anyone else get Blueprint while it was being published? I have every issue that was ever published and I flip through them all a couple of times a year just because they are so pretty. I miss getting the new issues in my mailbox.
So, here is the recipe for The Big Apple:
  • 1 c. sparkling apple cider
  • 3 oz. whiskey
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 lady apple (I just used the tiniest apple I could find)
The recipe says that this is for 2 drinks. I'll let you decide how many drinks it makes for yourself...

Monday, November 14, 2011

home tour: the kitchen + the dining area

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Here is our kitchen! This is the most finished room in our place since it was gutted and completely renovated after we bought the condo. I have to say that I love our kitchen. I love all of the counterspace that we have for such a small kitchen. I love that I can have a little windowsill garden. I love our cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Most of the projects that I have for this space involve the dining area.

We haven't really done anything in the dining area (except for the chandelier), but the space is so small that there isn't really much to do!

This is what the kitchen looked like a little over a year ago.

Here is my laundry list for the kitchen + dining area:
  • finish painting
  • chalkboard paint
  • baseboard/moulding missing spot
  • dimmer switch for recessed lighting
  • dining area rug
  • buffet table
  • strip and stain table
  • paint chairs
  • make new curtains
  • art for above buffet table
  • touch-up paint on ceiling where old light fixture was