Stonewash Jeans + Leopard Flats

February 24, 2014

{Stonewash Jeans ~ DOTS / Black Tee ~ GAP / Black Duster ~ Thrifted / Leopard + Pony Hair Flats ~ Cynthia Rowley {black option} / Vintage Fendi Zip Planner / Clutch / Sunnies ~ ZeroUV}
It was finally warm enough to wear flats without socks on Sunday and I loved every second of it. I also went without a jacket, which was probably a premature move, but the sun felt great.  And I was in the car, which is always my excuse for being inappropriately dressed. LOL!
I hope you had a fantastic weekend!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥


Crispy Beef with Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Sauce

February 11, 2014

This was one of those thrown together dishes that came out much better than I had anticipated.  I knew I wanted to make a beef + noodle dinner and I was dying to try this thick and long squiggly fusilli col buco pasta, even though they should traditionally be used for Italian cooking.  I almost went the usual pepper steak with gravy route, but decided to put an Asian spin on our Sunday dinner.
Package of Thinly Sliced Beef, cut into strips
1 Small Onion, sliced
1 Small Red Pepper, sliced
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
3 Heaping Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
5-6 Green Onions, minced
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Hot Pepper Flakes
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil 
{Start by seasoning your sliced beef with salt and pepper.}

{In a large HOT skillet, heat your oil and begin frying your seasoned beef.}

{Cook for 5-7 minutes until the beef is crispy and brown.}

{After the beef has browned, remove from the skillet and drain.  Set aside.}

{In the same skillet, start browning your peppers and onions.}
{After about 4 minutes, when your onions and peppers are nice and brown, add in your minced garlic and ginger.  Stir well and let sauté for another minute or so.}
{Add your drained beef back to the pot and reduce the heat. While you make your sauce, the beef will crisp up even more.}


{Now it's time to start the sauce.  In a small saucepan, add in your soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and green onions  Let this come to a simmer.}

In a separate bowl, mix your cornstarch with enough water to make a watery paste.}

{Add this to the simmering sauce to thicken.}
{Add in the crushed red pepper flakes. Taste it and see if anything else is missing.}

{Let the sauce simmer over low heat to thicken a bit more.}

{Meanwhile, cook your pasta and drain.  You could use any pasta here, angel hair {my favorite!} would be fantastic!  This squiggly long fusilli reminded me of jumbo ramen noodles, which I loved.

{To the pot of beef/onions/peppers, add you noodles and top off with your sauce.}

{Mix this well to coat every noodle and add in bit of beef broth, if needed, to loosen the sauce a bit.  I did NOT use the entire package of noodles so I did not have to add any beef broth.

{Serve with a pretty green vegetable and top with fresh sliced green onions.}

{I loved the crisp and tender pieces of thinly sliced beef.  It held up to this hearty and spicy sauce. Isis didn't care for the texture of the noodles.  I think it had a lot to do with them being hallow in the middle, so keep that in mind. Whatever noodle you decide to make, I am sure you will love this dish!}
xoxo, thanks for reading. ♥

Better Than Take-out: Cashew Chicken

February 5, 2014

Ok, listen.  This cashew chicken recipe will change your weeknight dinner life. When I made this a few weeks ago, my family loved it so much, they requested it again the next night.  We had it two nights in a row!  The flavors are amazing and I promise you, this is so much better than ordering take-out. You are controlling what goes into the dish and can get creative and add in whatever you think will be good. I think I have finally mastered an authentic tasting Chinese meal that can be whipped up in my own kitchen.  I am so excited!  So many times, I have tasted and tried copycat recipes that just don't quite hit the mark, but this one here tastes better than any cashew chicken I have ever had when eating out or ordering in.
Enough chatter...on to the recipe!
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 8 Ounce Can of Roasted Whole Cashews
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Half of a 7 Ounce Jar of Hoisin Sauce
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Half of a 15 Ounce Can of Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons {or 2 cloves} of Garlic, Crushed
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
1 Small Red Onion, Diced
1/2 Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
Hot Pepper Flakes, to taste
Green Onions, for garnish
Jasmine Rice, to serve it with - a key component, in my opinion

{Start by cutting your boneless, skinless chicken thighs in really small bite-size pieces.  You could use chicken breast here, but trust me – the thighs are so much more flavorful.}
{Next, start dicing your flavor-starters – red pepper, green pepper and red onion.}

{In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and begin sautéing your onions, peppers, garlic and ginger.}

{Let this sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, or until tender and delicious. Once tender and caramelized, remove from the pan.}

{To that same pan, add in another 2 tablespoons of oil.}

{Add in your diced chicken thighs.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.}

{Add in your cornstarch and mix this really well to coat each piece of chicken.  This will help thicken the sauce.}

{Continue to cook until the chicken begins to brown.}

{Once the chicken is golden brown, add your onion/peppers/garlic/ginger.  Mix well.}

{Add in about 1/2 can of chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan.}

{Now it's time to bring the sauce together.  Add in your hoisin sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, rice vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir this well, combining everything.}

{Next, add in your brown sugar.}

{And your red pepper flakes {and plenty of them, if you like things spicy, like we do.}  Let the sauce continue to bubble and thicken.}

{Add in the entire can of beautiful whole cashews. My favorite nut of them all. :)}

{Lower the heat and let this simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken a bit more.  Taste it for seasoning and feel free to add anything you think is missing.  I may have added some more soy sauce.}

{GLORIOUS. I served it over sticky jasmine rice (A MUST!) and topped it with some diced green onions. I cannot begin to tell you how good it was. Spicy, savory and sweet. What more could you ask for? Ha!}

{As previously noted, we had it two nights in a row and there were NO leftovers. Both nights.}

{I hope you will give this one a try if you enjoy Chinese food. This is a good one!}
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Crab Stuffed Flounder

February 4, 2014

Hi guys!  I have another delicious recipe to share and this one is SO long overdue.  I am actually torturing myself right now because I am on day four of a twenty-day raw food cleanse.  My mouth is literally watering looking at these pics. Lol! I made this fish over the holiday, it was such a huge hit with my crew. This is one of those easy and fancy dishes that will impress whoever you make it for.  And with Valentine's Day being 10 days away – this couldn't have come at a better time.  :)
8 Flounder Fillets
1 Large {16 Ounce} Can of Fresh Crab Meat {I used claw meat, but jumbo lump would be divine!}
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
2 Tablespoons Butter
3-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Egg, Beaten
1/4 Cup Mayo {or sour cream}
1/4 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
{Finely dice your onion and pepper.}

{In a large skillet, melt your butter and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.}

{Over medium heat, sauté your onions, peppers and garlic until they are soft and caramelized.}

{Rinse and drain your flounder.  You could use any fresh fish here, really. Salmon would be really good!} 


{Here is the crabmeat I used. It's claw meat, which you know if you've seen my other recipes with crab {like this one, YUM!}, it's my favorite to use.  It really has SO much flavor.  Jumbo lump crab meat is a little more expensive, but of course can be used instead.}

{While your onions, peppers and garlic are caramelizing, season with salt and pepper.}

{Using the garlic powder, onion powder and 1-2 tablespoon of the old bay, lightly season your fish on both sides.}

{Lay your seasoned fish out on an oiled baking sheet.}

{Take your onions, peppers and garlic off the heat.}

{Using a small knife, gently score the fish down the middle, being careful not to cut all the way through.  With your fingers, create a long well to stuff the fish.}

{To a bowl, add the crabmeat and onions/peppers/garlic mixture.}

{Add in your breadcrumbs...}

{And your mayonnaise. If you are not a fan of mayonnaise, feel free to use sour cream.  You may need to drizzle in some olive oil to help bring everything together.}


{Next, add in your beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of old bay and parsley}

{Mix well to combine.}

{Generously fill the well you created with the crabmeat mixture.}

{Once they are all stuffed, drizzle with a bit of olive oil to aid in the browning and sprinkle on some dried parsley {to aid in the prettiness! :)}

{Bake these in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. AMAZING!}

{The top will get slightly crispy from both the olive oil drizzle and the breadcrumbs.  The presentation of this dish is quite stunning.  I told you, you will impress your guests with this one!}

{I served ours with my baked macaroni and cheese {I used orecchiette pasta this time.... and one word: PERFECT!... but decadent.  A vegetable should have also been served.  But like I said, it was around the holidays and boy did we indulge... and I loved every minute. :)}
Let me know what you think! And if you plan to try this one.  I love when you guys make and enjoy my dishes. ♥
xoxo, thanks for reading!