Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oriental Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite salads ever.  My mom started making when I was in high school and lots of my girlfriends would beg to come over for dinner.  I am in Charlotte tonight and tomorrow for work and asked my mom to whip up this old favorite.  It did NOT disappoint, so I thought I'd share.

Oriental Chicken Salad

Lettuce of your choosing (non-iceberg) torn into pieces
1 cup+ walnuts
2 packages Ramen noodles (any flavor, because you toss the seasoning packages)
4 T butter
2 bunches green onions chopped
4 chicken breasts (roasted with olive oil, garlic salt, S&P until golden brown)

1/2 c. canola oil
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
salt & pepper

Heat all of the above ingredients except oil together and cool, then whisk in the oil.  To thicken it up you can blend in small food processor and then refrigerate overnight (the longer you chill, the better -- do at least a few hours in advance, ideally overnight).

Saute onions in melted butter (about 5 minutes) on medium heat.  Crumble noodles & walnuts and add to pan -- continue stirring until everything is toasted (about 15 minutes on medium heat so that butter is all absorbed).



Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend recap: 8-year-old birthday

This weekend we helped host a leap year birthday for one of our dear friends, Chris.  Kathryn created a transformers themed party for our favorite 8-year-old (8 * 4 = 32!).

I was running around like a crazy person, so I only managed to snap a few photos.

Anna Claire- the ham rolls turned out PERFECTLY thanks to your recipe!!

35ish years later and they still have it! :)

And I got quite the hostess gift loot -- Kiki & the Hamricks were way too thoughtful!  Look at the great elephant frame Kathryn gave me.  LOVE IT.  

Project updates coming!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

On the hunt...

...for these gorgeous antique copper and brass ship pendants
Any ideas on where to find them?!

Is this kind of close??

Also-- thanks for the messages -- little O is home from the vet.  I think she is exhausted from all the excitement of the ICU. :)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bubble Gum Bean

We came home from a quick dinner at Zoe's and discovered O ate an entire pack of sugar free gum.  Thankfully (for me), a dear friend from McKinney (hi, BB!), had gone through this with her dogs or I wouldn't have thought anything of it.  

If your dog ever gets into sugar free gum, it likely contains Xylitol which can be highly toxic to dogs.  Sure enough, it was the second ingredient listed in the tiny remaining scrap of a pack that the Bean devoured.

I called our vet and they instructed she be taken to the emergency vet.  They induced vomiting and have now coated her tummy in charcoal (little OD girl!).  So thankful we got her there quickly.  She will be there overnight so they can give her fluids and keep checking all her vitals, then transported to her regular vet for another 12 hours in the morning -- serious stuff, that Xylitol.

Just wanted to warn everyone else who may not know how dangerous sugarfree gum is for pets.

No more impulse buys for me at the drugstore or grocery!


Wardrobe needs some love

For those of you that have been following, you know I spent my Feb. allowance in January.  I am ready for it to be March so I can treat myself to a LITTLE something. :)

I am typically more of a decorista than fashionista, but with the new j-o-b, I think I should focus March money on making myself presentable.  I need a few more biz casual items in my wardrobe.  I've been eyeing some blouses that could take me from day to night.  (Check out some of the steals -- Old Navy channeling Anthropologie, I like!)

Then some of these spring-like days got me thinking of some other items for spring/summer and Hawaii...

And last, but not least, 2 accessories I'd love for spring.

Anything you are dying for as the weather gets warmer?


Monday, February 20, 2012

Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 Runway Show - Go Caroline!

One of my dear college roommates, Caroline, works as a designer for Marc Jacobs.  The Fall 2012 Runway Show was last Monday during NYFW -- so magical and beautiful!

Here are a few shots I grabbed (love print screen!).

Isn't the set fantastic?  Aren't the clothes gorgeous?  Aren't the hats the ultimate statement?

Watch it here.  SO impressed, Caroline.  Can't wait to view the collection in more detail.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend recap: Valentines Dinner, Craft & New Raleigh Restaurant

Rachel & Todd came over for a little last minute Valentine's dinner on Saturday night.  We had a delicious and rich dinner -- a cheese plate fit for a king to start (thanks, Rach!), filets w/ Bearnaise and mushroom gravy, sauteed mushrooms, deluxe au gratin potatoes (thanks, Rach!), lemon & Parmesan asparagus & molten lava cakes for dessert.

The great thing about this decadent dessert is you probably have all the ingredients on hand.  I only had to buy the bittersweet chocolate.  It is easy and impressive, make it for your Valentine!

Ingredients (to make 4 individual cakes):
5.5 oz. of butter (1.4 sticks)
5 oz. of bittersweet chocolate (chopped or use chips)
3 eggs
3 egg yolks (in addition to 3 eggs)
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Grease the tins / ramekins and set aside.

In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally   Then let the mixture cool slightly.

While the chocolate and butter are melting, in a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks & powdered sugar.
Then whisk the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.  I was careful to pour a little at a time and was stirring quickly and constantly so the eggs didn't scramble (because I wasn't patient and didn't allow the chocolate long to cool).  Then add and whisk the flour into the mixture.  Pour carefully into individually greased dishes.
If you bake immediately you only need to do so for about 5-7 minutes.  If you refrigerate (like I did), refrigerate until you are ready to bake (up to a day in advance is ok) and bake a bit longer ~10 minutes.

Here is my little whisk licker - she approved!

You can serve with all kinds of toppings.  We served with vanilla ice cream and a raspberry sauce.  

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 bag frozen raspberries
1/8 c. sugar

Puree together in food processor.  Optional: pass raspberries through a sieve to get rid of most of the seeds ( I did not do this).  Then chill until ready to serve.  You can then decorate plate with puree and could add puree to whipped cream.  Decorate with raspberries.

Here are are finished products!  Full disclosure: as you can see, Rachel's was a bit TOO molten.  I just realized while typing this post that I had the oven at 400, not 450.  No wonder!  I kept mine (right) in the ramekin and served with a bit of raspberry puree and ice cream.

Valentine Craft
We have no Valentine's decorations, because Josh, like many men, thinks it is a made up holiday.  I'm not expecting gifts, but I do like a decoration or two. (AND an orchid & card please, Josh!)

If you've been following, I am fresh out of cash monies for the month of Feb -- in fact, took care of that in January :)  So if I wanted a decoration it would have to be something FREE.

I cut off part of a box from my office move and cut out the shape of heart and started gluing left over tissue paper onto it.  Now this is actually arts & crafts...

Our front door may now look like we have a kindergartener living here :)

In other news - we tried Battistella's on Friday night with Josh's family and it was EXCELLENT.  I highly recommend you try it for dinner one night soon.  They also have an excellent Sunday brunch menu that I'm dying to try.

It's self described as "New Orleans and upscale Southern."  We had a little of both -- apps: coconut shrimp (special), barbecue shrimp (didn't taste really barbecue, better to me -- delicious sauce), gumbo and entrees: herb roasted chicken, rib-eye (special), catfish (special), seafood trio - oysters, shrimp & catfish.  Every single thing we tried was delicious.
Left: Herb chicken, right: ribeye

Stay warm!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our Oakwood Bathrooms & Bathroom Dreaming

I haven't done anything to our upstairs bathrooms, hence why they have never made an appearance on the blog.  They were redone prior to us moving in.  I have a few friends in the midst of totally gutting theirs and it got me thinking -- ours may not be exactly my dream bathrooms, but they do incorporate some things I love: black & white tile, soothing & clean paint color, bead board and some cheerful art.  Best of all- they didn't cost us anything extra and for a 100+-year-old house, we are so fortunate that they didn't require any work.
I could use some new monogrammed linens to spruce them up!
My mother-in-law purchased these whimsical  dogs for her laundry room and then changed directions.  I think they could be darling in a nursery or kids' bath one day.
I actually shower in the guest shower since it's much bigger than the tub shower in the master.
The pedastal sinks in both bathrooms are pretty, but they allow for NO storage.  In full disclosure, this was right after Vivian came...they don't usually look like this!

Now for the dreaming part of this post...

It may not be super practical, but how gorgeous is this bathroom?  Love the chandelier, exposed tub, giant gold mirror, french chair and glass & metal shelf.
via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine
Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles bathroom, traditional bathroom beautiful bathroom
via House Beautiful

via Country Living
clawfoot tub
Designer Betty Lou Phillips has several bathrooms that incorporate: marble, chandelier & cleanness of the gray and white palette.
via Betty Lou Phillips
marble bathroom, chandelier in bathroom, gorgeous bathroom
via Betty Lou Phillips
monsieur and madame tile, french bathroom, carerra marble bathroom

via Betty Lou Phillips

I love interesting wallpaper in a bathroom, too.
via Betty Lou Phillips
gold and white wallpaper
via Elizabeth Dinkel
green wallpaper in bathroom, marble subway tile