October 31, 2019

Vintage Vibes







 

{Denim: American Eagle // Blouse: Vintage/Thrifted // Metallic Booties: Old Aldo // Chain Belt: Thrifted}

Happy Thursday! Just a little outfit inspiration coming your way on this gloomy and rainy Halloween Thursday. I rocked this outfit last Saturday for a coffee and lunch date and felt so cute and put together.  I was happy to discover this vintage blouse that I completely forgot about.  I almost had a closet meltdown; my closet is in desperate need of organizing.  Speaking of organizing, I was just looking at this blog post of mine from 2011 for some much needed inspiration - I may group it together by color again, I remember that being so much fun! I'll be sure to share the process here again, stay tuned. 

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing! 








October 29, 2019

Skillet Chicken with Mushrooms

Your Tuesday just got super flavorful; enter Skillet Chicken with Mushrooms.


I know, I know. Mushrooms are so taboo – you either hate them or you LOVE them.  And I just happen to love them, so if you are like me – you will ADORE this dish. Even if you don't quite love mushrooms, this is still a delicious dish; my 16 year old, who claims to "loathe" mushrooms came back for seconds, after diligently scraping the mushrooms back into the pan when she made her plate.

This chicken and mushroom dish has SO much flavor. It starts with getting the mushrooms nice and caramely, almost crispy, then adding in fresh garlic, shallots and earthy ground thyme - which gets nice and aromatic. This creates a rustic sauce that isn't too rich and creamy and I just love that. I have been trying to cook with less fat (read: BUTTER) these days and this dish is perfectly light but also has that decadent feel. It's so satisfying! 

I made this on Sunday and it was the perfect warm and comforting dinner for a cool and rainy day, but I also LIVE for a weeknight meal that is this delish. 
Ingredients
For the Chicken:
  • 8-10 thinly sliced chicken cutlet
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

For the Mushroom Sauce: 
  • 2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chicken bouillon paste (or 2 cubes)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 pinch sugar {balances the flavors!}
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water



{Start with seasoning your thinly sliced chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.}


{Next, season your flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love well seasoned (flavorful!) food.  It is important for me to season every layer very well so that everything that comes out of my kitchen is flavorful and good!}



{Next, dredge your chicken in the seasoned flour.}



{In a large skillet {I used my cast iron} heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add your seasoned and coated chicken and saute for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  Once all your chicken is browned, remove from the pan.}


{After removing your chicken, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and then your sliced mushrooms. Arrange in a single layer and let them brown, undisturbed.}


{After about 5-7 minutes or so, your mushrooms will be perfectly golden brown Stir and turn the mushrooms and continue cooking until all the moisture is released and evaporated.}


{Next, add your sliced shallots and cook until softened.  Season with salt, pepper and dried thyme and stir to combine.  Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or so, until fragrant.}


{Pour the dry white wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape any flavor bits from the bottom of the pan.}


{It's time for a flavor booster!  Add in a heaping tablespoon of the chicken bouillon paste.  You could also add the cubes here if that's all you have.  This will add an amazing savory flavor to the dish.  I call this chicken bouillon paste my secret weapon! :)}


{Stir the chicken bouillon paste in very well and make sure it's dissolved.}


{Next, add in your chicken broth, half and half, Dijon mustard, ground thyme, paprika, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.}


{Mix well, let this come up to a simmer.}


{Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in water and mix well to make a thin paste.}




{Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and bring the sauce back to a light simmer. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed. Look at that flavorful mushroom goodness!}

{Add your chicken to the simmering sauce.}
  

{Let this simmer over low heat until the chicken is warmed through. Garnish with dried parsley and serve piping hot!}


{I served this chicken with rice, but it would go perfectly with potatoes or pasta {bowtie!}! 

This dish is so flavorful and wonderful - I guarantee there will be NO leftovers if you make this one.  My family devoured it and practically licked their plates clean, so there's that. 

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing! 







October 25, 2019

Friday's Faves | Bloom and Grow



Happy Friday!! I hate to sound redundant but these weeks are seriously going by so very fast I cannot believe that in a few short weeks, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving!  I have been in such a good mood lately, and I am staying positive that things will continue on that way.  I always said I didn't want to be the one to keep mentioning "changes" that I am experiencing since turning 40...BUT, since turning 40 (lol), there has been a sense of calm and peace that has taken over me.  Most days I can't pinpoint it, but on days like today, when I feel content with my life, happy that I am going to have a great weekend and blessed that I have family and friends to share it with – I savor every single second.  

If you're reading this, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, a great week and a beautiful rest of the year! 

Now, on the the things I love and adore this week. 


{I picked up  this beautiful butterfly pin on a family shopping trip this past weekend and it is STUNNING.  It just adds a little piece of happiness to my outfit. When I saw it, I knew I wanted to wear it on a jean jacket, but I also can't wait to rock it on a boyfriend blazer.}


{Remember when I mentioned on last Friday's faves post that I was going thrifting? Wellllll I scored this beautiful leather fringe jacket!I was SO beyond thrilled when I spotted this bad boy!!! It's genuine leather and is SO heavy and soft. I can't wait to rock this for years to come.}


{And speaking of thrift store scores... how insanely GORGEOUS is this vintage iridescent punch bowl set that I picked up?!  My jaw literally dropped when I spotted it. I will be getting so much use out of this beauty for years and years to come! I cannot wait to make yummy punches for the upcoming holiday season.}



{I've been loving sipping coffee and tea out of this adorable mug in the mornings.  Pretty little touches in life is what it's all about.}


{These  Kenneth Cole metallic loafers get the most attention of any shoe that I have ever worn in my entire life. LOL! So many people have stopped me to tell me they love my shoes. They are just a HAPPY shoe, in the most vibrant magenta shade. I love wearing these beauties, especially on Friday! I just ordered the gold ones. :)}

xoxo, thanks for reading! 





October 18, 2019

Friday's Faves | Choose Happy


This has been the longest week ever; I am SO looking forward to relaxing this weekend! I have plans to go thrifting so I am SUPER excited.  I am going to be looking for unique blazers and tops, I hope to have some fun pieces to share on the blog soon, wish me luck! 

Have a fantastical weekend! ♥ Here are five of my faves from this past week: 


{I woke up craving a berry smoothie on Sunday so I decided to whip one up and it was perfection! I added frozen strawberries, fresh blueberries, oatmilk, low carb strawberry yogurt, and almond butter to my blender and whizzed it until smooth.  It was so filling and delicious.}



{Later on Sunday afternoon, I whipped up a chicken sandwich  for lunch because I am missing that infamous Popeye's chicken sandwich SO MUCH. haha! My teenager convinced me to try and make my own and needless to say... it was super duper BOMB!! A seasoned and crispy chicken cutlet, spicy mayo, dill pickle slices, sweet and creamy coleslaw,  all on top of a buttered and slightly toasted brioche bun. WOW! I am craving one right now.}


{If I had to have a signature lip color, it would probably be this pretty deep raspberry coral shade called  "Je T'Aime" by Marc Jacobs BeautyI love it so much and always get tons of compliments when I wear it.}


{These sunflowers on my dining room table have been making me smile all week.  They are such a delightful welcome when I come downstairs to make coffee in the morning.} 


{This was my favorite outfit of the week, I felt perfectly comfy and cute for an impromptu brunch date with hubby. I love a good dress + jeans combo! :)  Deets: Jeans | Dress | Sneakers | Handbag 

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing! ♥




October 16, 2019

Candied Yams | Southern Sweet Potatoes

Can't we all agree?  Candied yams were made for Sunday dinners and holidays!

They are so comforting and delightful and will be such a perfect addition to your Sunday dinner table.  And with the holidays quickly approaching, this will be a necessary recipe to have in your repertoire.  I absolutely LOVE to have a bite of these sweet and cinnamony potatoes when there is also baked macaroni and cheese.  These are almost dessert like and together with savory bites of your holiday spread will be so magical and delicious! Please be forewarned, this is a verrrrry decadent side dish: vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter... with yummy potatoes, baked down and candied into bubbly perfection. The key ingredient is the orange zest – it enhances the spicy cinnamon flavors beautifully! 

So so good! And Super duper easy.  Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients:
5-6 Medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Stick Butter, divided
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Heaping Tablespoon Orange Zest
Juice of One Orange

{Wash, peel and thinly slice your sweet potatoes.}



{In a medium saucepan, add your white sugar, brown sugar, water, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, half stick of butter, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla. Cook on medium low heat until it starts to boil.  Reduce the heat and let this simmer for about 7 minutes, until it thickens a bit.}

{Arrange your sliced sweet potatoes in a baking dish with high sides.}


{Pour the cinnamon syrup over the sweet potatoes.}

{Take the remaining half stick of butter, slice it and place on top of the sweet potatoes.}

{Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place on a baking sheet before putting in the oven.  The syrup may bubble over so to prevent ruining your oven and causing a burnt and sticky mess, be sure to use a baking sheet barrier!}

{Cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for an hour, or until you remove the foil and see that the potatoes are nice and soft and the syrup has thickened and "candied" on the yams.}

{Remove the foil and return the pan to the oven to cook and caramelize for about 15 more minutes.}

{Look at that sweet sticky flavorful goodness.  These potatoes are just bursting with holiday flavor.  When you make these, your kitchen will be engulfed in that unbelievable sweet and spicy aroma.  I absolutely love how the potatoes have kept their shape and aren't mushy.}


{Yummy candied yams and a bite of macaroni and cheese? I can't name a better flavor combo if I tried! :) }

I hope you enjoy these as much as my family does!  Let me know if you make them. :) 

xoxo, thanks for reading!