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Monday, October 31, 2011

Inspired by Gone With the Wind

I was re-organizing my wardrobe this weekend (which contains very little clothes, and mostly movies, perfume, nail polish, and lots and lots of DVDs), when I found my copy of Gone With the Wind.  I watched it later that night and (as usual) was struck by how beautiful the clothes were.

Sometimes I find myself wishing that really beautiful, elaborate clothes would come back in style.  Then I remember CORSETS and feel thankful to live in this century:)

Anyway, I was particularly struck by this outfit Scarlett O'Hara wore in the movie:

The very next day (absolutely by chance, I swear!), my new Anthropologie dress came in the mail, and of course it was red!  Recently I've gotten really into buying clothes used/off ebay, particularly when I'm not a fan of the brands current offerings.

I found myself really inspired by Scarlett's amazing red costume, and came up with this (which I wore to the grocery store!)

Absurdly short dress by Anthropologie, leggings by Juicy Couture, necklace by Lucky, bag by Juicy Couture, shoes by Sam & Libby.

What do you think?  Are you inspired by Gone With the Wind?  Movies in general?  Let me know!

Until next time,


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Decadent Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

These cupcakes are h-e-a-v-e-n-l-y.  I used dark chocolate cocoa for the batter, which is insanely moist and delicious.  I'm not gonna lie, these are in no way, shape, or form healthy.  Sometimes, you kinda want something candy-like and delicious in cake form though, and this satisfies that exact craving!  I was contemplating adding chopped, unsalted peanuts to the top of it, but I completely forgot- no matter, these are delicious with or without.

Cupcake Batter Recipe:
2 cups all purpose or cake flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa

                                                     Delicious rich batter
Oven 350

In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.  Add water, oil, and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined.  Beat on high speed for two minutes.  Add the eggs and beat for two more minutes.
Pour the batter into prepared muffin tins, filling the cups 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until done.

                                       Cupcakes cooling on wire sheets

Using a sharp knife, cut out cones from the middle of the cupcakes, being sure not to pierce the bottom.  You won't be using the cake centers, so go ahead and eat them (I would post a picture of this, but the centers were eaten when I wasn't looking).

Using a ziplock bag with a hole cut out (or you know, an actual pastry bag with a cool metal tip), pipe in the peanut butter buttercream.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Recipe:

1/3 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy works best, but smooth is fine too)
1/2 cup butter, softened
6 tablespoons powdered sugar

Once you've filled the cupcakes, go ahead and ice them with the chocolate buttercream.  Unlike the cupcake batter, I used plain cocoa instead of dark chocolate.  The frosting is rich enough without adding the dark chocolate.

Chocolate Buttercream

1/3 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup chocolate milk, plus more if necessary
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, adding the cocoa and sugar in batches.  Add the milk and vanilla as necessary to make it smooth and creamy.

                                                    Covered in Chocolate!

                              Sliced in half- check out all that peanut butter filling!!

If this doesn't make you feel like you're eating a Reese's in cake form, then I don't know what will!  If you try this, let me know how it goes:)

Until next time,


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nail Polish Organization System

I don't have that many nail polishes (compared to a lot of other people I see on the internet anyway), but the ones I do have are always in a jumbled mess.  I got an idea for an organization system from one of my favorite blogs, By Celina.

I'll put the link to her system at the end of the post, but in the meantime, here's what I did:

                              Jumbled, disorganized, and just plain ugly.

I bought a piece of green foam from Jo-Anns (the kind florists use in floral arrangements) and measured it against my nail polishes.  I then used a knife to carve in little steps.  (No pictures of this part, sorry!  Rest assured that it was a very messy and labor-intensive process)

Once that was done, I used a piece of pink fabric I found around the house, and pinned it over the steps like this:

                                                  From the front

                                                  From one side

                                                  From another side

                                                  From the back

From the front, with almost all my polishes!  It's a little bizarre looking from the back and sides, but since they're covered up, it's all right.

I got the original idea here.

How does everybody else organize their polishes/makeup, etc?

Until Next Time,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Haircut/ Film Inspiration

Soo on Saturday, I got a new haircut, and unfortunately it's taken me until TODAY to figure out how to style it properly.

I was going more for a Grace Slick kind of look, like this:
But I think I have more of an Uschi Obermaier look going on:
I'm not upset though: Uschi is one of my favorite style icons from the 1960s/1970s.  I've been a little obsessed since I saw the German movie Das Wilde Leben (for those of you with Netflix, it's labelled as "Eight Miles High).  The movie is phenomenal, and even if you're not a fan of her/her lifestyle, it's worth checking out for the fashion and music alone.

Since I started taking college level German, I've been watching a lot of foreign language movies.  Das Wilde Leben, in my opinion, gives an excellent account of the alternative lifestyle in 60's Germany.  When people think of 60's counterculture, it's always America that springs to their minds (at least to me, anyway).  I'm particularly enjoying foreign movies set in that time period: it's always interesting to compare the culture clash in other countries.

It's also got me thinking a lot about my impending move to Europe (possibly/hopefully to Germany, but perhaps elsewhere) and making me wish the year was going by a little faster!

Another movie that demonstrates this pretty well is "The Dreamers," which is set in Paris.  It's an English language film and rated NC-17, so if you're squeamish/adverse to sexual content, I don't recommend it.

Until Next Time,


Sunday, October 9, 2011


Lately I've gotten really interested in learning more about my heritage.  As part of the learning and exploring experience, I have (of course) been cooking traditional recipes like crazy!  So many of these recipes are meat heavy, which generally presents a challenge.  As a result, I try to find breakfast and dessert recipes that animal-friendly.

Which brings me to..Crempogs!  A Crempog is like a Welsh buttermilk pancake.  The recipe I'm about to give you dates back to the 18th/19th centuries, but the original yeast one is even older (but I kind of hate working with yeast, so buttermilk it is!).

The cakes are traditionally cooked on a cast iron bake stone, so I used a regular cast iron skillet.  If you don't have one, I'm sure they'd come out fine with a regular pan.  The recipe I originally found was in odd (at least for an American girl) measurements, so I had to covert them to regular cups, etc.  What follows is my interpretation, with a link to the original recipe below.  Enjoy!

3 1/3 cups of all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. baking soda
butter for frying

Whisk the baking soda and the buttermilk in a bowl, then add the flour and beaten eggs.  The batter should be really thick, much more so than a regular pancake batter.  Put the batter in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Note: Do normal people really keep buttermilk in their refrigerators?  I don't.  It always seems to go bad before I end up using it, which is why I was SO OVERJOYED to find powdered buttermilk in my grocery store.  Four tablespoons added to one cup of water is equal to (and tastes like) a cup of regular, store bought buttermilk.  For this recipe, I used seven tablespoons to the 1 3/4 cups of water.

Heat up the skillet and bring the batter out of the refrigerator, giving it a quick stir before using it.  The pan is hot enough when you flick water on the surface and it sizzles and bubbles.  Using a tablespoon, drop the batter onto the skillet and cook like regular pancakes.


Crempogs are traditionally served with golden syrup and sugar, but I found other things that were also phenomenal with it.  I tried the original golden syrup/sugar combination, but also tasted strawberry Brummel & Brown, maple syrup, and wild cherry preserves.  I basically tried a different topping with each one!

                                                   Golden Brown & Absolutely Delicious!!

The original recipe, along with a little history, can be found here:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Absolutely Amazing, Super Simple Tomato Sauce:)

I've said before that I haven't found a good home made tomato sauce recipe, and as a result, always use store bought jarred stuff...until today!  A few months ago, I found an excellent recipe, and have been editing it constantly- subtracting and adding ingredients until I think it's good enough to eat with a spoon!  Without further delay, here it is:

1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
Canned tomatoes (two cans of diced or a large 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes)
Balsamic Vinegar
Crushed Red Pepper
4-5 Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in olive oil.

To begin, finely chop your garlic (the amount you use is up to you: I like to make it fairly garlicky and use 1-2 large cloves, or 3-4 smaller ones) and sun dried tomatoes.  Saute it in the olive oil over medium heat until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes with the liquid the sun dried tomatoes and reduce the heat to medium low (if medium is a 5, then medium low would be about a 3 on a gas stove).  Let it simmer, covered, for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the 20 minutes, it should have reduced quite a bit.  Add a splash of balsamic vinegar (again, this is up to you.  The purpose of the vinegar is to enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.  If I had to give an actual amount, I'd say 1/4 cup of vinegar).  Add a tablespoon of the tomato oil to the sauce as well.  Return it to medium heat and let it simmer for another ten minutes.  Add the crushed red pepper (as much as you want- I like mine really spicy, while my family prefers it milder), and let it simmer for another three or so minutes.

Serve with gnocchi, pasta, etc.  This is particularly delicious with ricotta salata cheese.  I've also found that if you cook it for a bit longer, until it has a thick consistency similar to refrigerated maple syrup, it's really good with quesadillas!