Friday, November 30, 2012

Butternut Deliciousness

 Foodie Friday

Hello everyone! Today I would like to share with you my FAVORITE soup in the whole world. It's creamy, delicious, and pretty low on calories! It has become a Thanksgiving staple in our house now (two years running) and I will also be serving it Christmas (yes, its that good). Its a great way to sneak veggies into a meal without it tasting too bland or boring and it sure warms you up on a chilly night. It is an adaptation of a food network recipe, and I hope you try it and love it as much as my family does!


 Butternut Squash, Apple, and Cheddar Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a splash more for the prosciutto
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 medium apples (I use Fuji apples), thinly sliced
  • 1 large white potato, diced
  • 1 large butternut squash, remove seeds and dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (you can use veggie broth to make it vegetarian)
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish 
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces (optional)
  • Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional, I used ciabatta bread)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (needs heavy seasoning) 



Melt the butter and the oil in a large pot, preferably a dutch oven, over medium-low heat and add the onion, apples, potato, squash, garlic, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sage and flour. Add the cider and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the broth and milk, cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato is soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Add the cheese to the soup and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Puree in a blender in batches until smooth or in the pot with an emulsion blender, and season heavily with salt and pepper for desired taste. Remember to keep tasting! Garnish with the prosciutto, more cheese and chives. Cut bread into slices and drizzle with olive oil and cheese and broil in the oven until crisp. Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Throwback

Tasty Thursday

This year for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of the stuffing, which is probably my favorite part of the meal. This particular dish was pretty easy to make, and so delicious! It is a recipe adapted from food network magazine, but I put my own little spin on it, including delicious bacon pieces! I made this for the holidays, but you can really make it anytime. It is not the lightest dish in the world, but it sure is tasty. I hope you and your family enjoy!

Thyme, Sage, And Bacon Stuffing


16 cups stale sourdough bread cut into cubes

4 strips of uncooked bacon
(you may omit this to make the dish vegetarian)

1 stick of butter, plus extra for the top

2 cups diced celery

2 cups diced yellow or white onion

4 cloves diced garlic

1 diced shallot

2 eggs

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tbs chopped fresh sage

2 tbs chopped fresh thyme

3 cups chicken broth
(you may use vegetable broth to make the dish vegetarian)

salt and pepper to taste


Place bacon strips in a large, hot skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy. Place on a plate with paper towels to remove excess grease (you may skip this step to make the dish vegetarian). Melt 1 stick butter in the same skillet with the bacon fat over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, shallot, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the onions begin to get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken (or veggie)  broth and bring to a simmer. Beat 2 eggs with the chopped parsley in a large bowl and add the stale bread, then pour in the vegetable-broth mixture and toss. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees F and then uncover and bake until golden, about 30 more minutes (or stuff in your turkey and bake).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Every Girl Loves Pearl

The Gift Of Sparkle

Hello again! Today I would love to discuss with you a classy favorite of mine, pearls. What girl doesn't love pearls? They shine without being to gaudy, they add sophistication to about any outfit, and they never go out of style. Here is my take on a few shiny, sparkly, and classy pieces that will complete your holiday look this year. Also, a few cosmetics to add that coveted glow. These suggestions also make great gifts for the women in your family. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to shine on during this winter!

The obvious choice for pearls is in jewelry of course. My husband has given me many different pieces of pearl jewelry throughout the years and they just always look so beautiful and can tie any outfit together. They are timeless as well so you will have them for years to come.

Tiffany Bead Earrings

James Avery Coil Ring With Pearl

J Crew Pearl Twisted Hammock Necklace


 Anthropologie Pearl Blitz Bib Necklace

A fun trend this year is sparkly dresses, jackets, and collars. Although these are not all embellished with pearls, they would compliment any pearl accessory well.

Left: Anthropologie Sunday Dress

Right: Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Pearl Dot Blouse

Left: Urban Outfitters Pins And Needles Sequin Blazer

Right: Piperlime Rhyme & Echo Caden Sequin Jacket

Piperlime Tinley Road Sequin Pencil Skirt


J Crew Poka-Dot Sequin Top

Left:ASOS Pearl Collar

Right: Zara Peplum Top With Beaded Collar

Finally, the glowing skin trend. To give your cheekbones that pearl-es sent glow, use some of these highlighters. Apply with your fingertips lightly for the cream or liquid based and a fan brush for the powder. They help give you a bit of shimmer without looking sweaty or glittery.

Fresh Satin Luster Face Palette

Left: Benefit High Beam

Right: Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

Nars Blush In Albatross

Sparkle on!