Saturday, November 26, 2011

Style File 11/26/11

Ok, so, Brad and I went out  on Black Friday. We left here around 10am, not really expecting to hit anything good. We mostly just like to see the mayhem, and to look around and see what there is to see. But every couple of years I find something awesome. This year, I found two things! So I styled them for your viewing pleasure. And because I love putting on new clothes!

The first Black Friday score: A new pair of skinny jeans for 20 dollars. These jeans are actually grey. They look blue in this pic, but they're grey. I like them. Here's a link to them on JCP's website. Had I seen them online first, I never would have bought them because they look a little lame. But they fit wonderfully and they are so comfy. Almost like PJ's.

 I've had this suede jacket forever. I had my senior portraits (as in: Senior in HIGH SCHOOL portraits) done in them. I've been too big for this jacket for a long time, but I never got rid of it because I like it so much. I'm glad I held onto it because it fits again! Yay!
 Sometimes less is more, you know? White tee, jeans, boots, go.
And these boots are my second score. 30 dollars. Originally 100. Yes. I wanted some flat brown boots, but for 30 bucks I couldn't say no to these. I'll just have to get some flat boots after Christmas. ;)

Outfit Rundown:
Suede Jacket: Charlotte Russe, I believe. It's old. I think I bought it my Junior year in high school. 
Tee: Target
Jeans: JC Penney
Boots: JC Penney
Earrings: Vintage. From my mom's closet.
Necklace: Gift.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What was for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving was wonderful! The Turkey turned out great. We have lots left over though. Now to figure out what to do with the left overs?

For dinner tonight I ate pumpkin pie. Don't judge me.

:) Hope you're recovering well from your food comas. Style file up tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's for Thanksgiving?

TURKEY! That's what's for Thanksgiving! :) Here's what I'm using as a guideline for roasting our Turkey breast:

  • 1  (10-to-12 pound turkey) turkey
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh herbs, plus 20 whole sprigs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano and/or marjoram, divided
  • 2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • Aromatics: , onion, apple, lemon and/or orange, cut into 2-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cup(s) water, plus more as needed

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve for making gravy. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels. Mix minced herbs, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place aromatics and 10 of the herb sprigs in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups water and the remaining 10 herb sprigs to the pan.
  3. Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. If using a remote digital thermometer, insert it into the deepest part of the thigh, close to the joint. Cover the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to conform to the breast. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours more. If the pan dries out, tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan and add 1 cup water. The turkey is done when the thermometer (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F.
  4. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and cover with foil. (If you're making Herbed Pan Gravy, start here.) Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. Remove string and carve. 
Except obviously I am not doing a whole bird. So my plan of action is to make the herb/olive oil rub. And then place the Turkey in my pan. I don't have a roaster pan, so this might get interesting. I'm thinking I'll use a generic 9 x 13 pan, and then cover it all with tin foil. But anyway, in the pan I'll place the lemon, apple, and onion. I'll probably only use half of each thing. And then I'll place some sprigs of herbs around and under and probably on it. It's going to be herby! :) I bought some turkey broth that I'll probably use instead of water, just for added flavor, and again, i'll be using less than the 3 cups listed here. Cover it all with tin foil and roast for a while, then i'll uncover it and let it brown up for the last half of the cooking. I think it should go well.

As for the whole day to get in my cooking, here is my Plan of Action to get it all done:

-Tonight after work: Brad is picking up Turkey Breast from the butcher. We'll have to find some space in our fridge. Tear up half of the bread to dry out (for stuffing)
-Wednesday after work: Bake pumpkin pie. Wash broccoli and let dry.
-Thursday am: break up rest of the bread, toss the salad (minus the dressing). Chill beverage.
-Thursday afternoon (around 2ish): prepare turkey, and prepare stuffing, put turkey in at 2:30 (we want to eat around 5:30 or 6). The Turkey Breast will be 6-8 lbs (not sure yet!), so I figured 2.5 hours to cook. Is that correct? Put in stuffing (separate pan) in around 30 minutes before Turkey comes out.
-Thursday evening: prepare and boil potatoes/parsnips, prepare broccoli and put in oven 15 minutes before turkey comes out, mash potatoes, put it all in serving dishes.

We shall see how it all goes! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's for Thanksgiving? 11/21/11

Thought I would share the recipe I will be using for my pumpkin pie this year. I thought I would break out of using the recipe off the back of a Libby's can. :) This recipe is in no way clean, but pumpkin pie is ok to eat on Thanksgiving, right! I would prefer to not use store bought pie crust as it has all sorts of icky additives, but I honestly do not have the time to make a pie crust nor am I that great at it. If I had a food processor, I might consider doing a no-roll type of crust. But, alas, i have no food processor.

Not my picture. :)

1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 -9 inch unbaked pie crust (I use Pillsburyt)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until well combined.  Add eggs, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Mix everything until completely smooth (about 3 minutes in my KitchenAid mixer on medium speed).  Pour pie filling into an unbaked deep dish pie shell.  Bake the pie for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Bake for an additional 50-55 minutes until the center of the pie does not jiggle (loosely).  Allow the pie to cool on the counter and then chill it in the refrigerator before serving.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Tomorrow I'll share how I'm going to do the Turkey as well as my plan of action to accomplish all of the cooking!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's for Thanksgiving? 11/17/11

GOOD NEWS! I got a turkey breast! yay! Well, actually, I ordered it. I will pick it up on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. I ordered it from a Butcher who sells all natural turkey. So that is going to be awesome. Except I've never cooked a fresh turkey breast. I'm assuming it won't be much different than cooking a thawed frozen one.

On to the recipe for today. Liz's Famous Broccoli (i've been cooking it this way since long before it went up on pinterest).

Not my picture. Came from pinterest. :)

What you'll need:
-Fresh broccoli florets (I will probably use two bunches for Turkey Day. chop them off the bunches. Wash and allow ample time to dry before cooking)
-Half of a lemon
-Olive Oil
-3 cloves of Garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 (or if you're like me, just put it in the oven with whatever else you're cooking and adjust cooking time. Lower the temp the longer the cooking time!).  In a large bowl with a lit, place the broccoli, 3-4 tbsp olive oil (or less if it will cover the broccoli), garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Put lid on top and shake it all up. Place on foil-lined cookie sheet (it helps crisp the broccoli up) and put in oven until the broccoli is crispy and just starting to brown (about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees). Remove from oven and place in serving dish, squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lemon over and mix to distribute throughout the dish. Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's for Thanksgiving?

Like many Foodies out there, over the course of this week I am going to share with you some of the recipes I will be using for my Thanksgiving Feast this year. I've found some cleaned up recipes to make so they still fit in with how we eat (mostly. But it's the holidays, we can break the plan. :) )

The recipes I share are mostly just going to be sides because, well, I figure everyone has the way they do their turkey. If it's not broken, don't fix it! That said, I'm on a quest to find a Turkey breast that will be suitable for Brad and I to consume. We don't like dark meat, plus a whole Turkey seems like a lot of food for two people! I'm having a very hard time finding a turkey breast that isn't injected with saline and other crap. I will succeed, though. But I might have to break down and buy a very small turkey and just find someone to take the dark meat off of our hands.

Anyway, so today I am going to tell you (because I don't have any pictures of my own) how I am going to do our potatoes this year. I call them: Not Your Momma's Mashed Potatoes. I adapted them from Terry Walter's Clean Start cook book. I adjusted the proportions a little because in my test run they weren't quite to our liking. Potatoes have gotten a bad rep recently, but they're really not bad for you. They are a starch, but unless you kill them with tons of fat or naughty add-ons (bacon), they're actually a good thing to consume!

Full Disclosure: Not my photo. :)

Not Your Momma's Mashed Potatoes:

-2 medium baking potatoes
- 1 large parsnip (or 2 medium ones or 3 extremely small ones. :) )
-Olive Oil
-skim milk

Peel and cut up the potatoes and parsnip into small pieces. Place in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer until the potatoes and parsnips are mashable. Drain the water off and put the potatoes and parsnips into a bowl (or kitchen aid mixer bowl so you don't have to had mash them). Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tbsp  skim milk. Mash up! If you don't like the consistency, add milk a little bit at a time until desired consistency is achieved.Trust me on the tablespoon at a time thing, I have consumed lots of runny mashed potatoes because I am impatient and didn't measure! SO RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO JUST DUMP THE MILK IN!

This is for two people, and we'll have a little left over. I just really don't like left over potatoes because they get all weird, but if you want more or are feeding more people, simply maintain the ratio of potatoes to parsnips. The parsnips have a sweet taste to them, and last time I made them I used two parsnips (but they were gigantic) and was not happy with how they tasted. Ideally, you shouldn't really be able to tell that the parsnip is in there, but it will still up the nutritional value of mashed potatoes. We don't eat gravy, so that's not a worry for us... but if you must do the gravy thing, please do it sparingly!

And because I had no idea what a parsnip looked like prior to my googling, here is what you're looking for in the grocery store:
not my photo either. :) But don't they look like giant white carrots?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Style File 11/7/11

 Occasionally, I need to look really professional for work (I guess it makes me look like I know what I'm doing ;) ). Usually when we have an event. In this case, I'll need to look nice for our preview weekend. So I thought I would take you through my tips (as if I'm an expert? haha) on how I shop and put together professional outfits for when we have an event at work.

 It's easy to lose a sense of your own style when you work in a conservative place where you have to wear suit-ish outfits. So, in order to keep things feeling like "me" I look for pieces that are tailored and modern looking. The fit is everything in these pieces. Look for jackets that nip you in at the waist. The should seams should always be on the outside of the shoulder, and the sleeves should be just the right fit. The button up has princess seaming and nips me in at the waist as well. That's key, because a lot of button shirts have a tendency to make a person look boxy and shapeless. And we don't want that!
 I also look for ways to add color to the outfit. In this case, I tried to find a button up that had some color in it. This one has some red in the stripes. Also try to find pieces that have interesting details. Like the jacket, it has fun buttons on it and some fun pockets. Interesting pieces of jewelry also do the trick.
 I also try to use some patterns and textures. These pants have a faint pinstripe (and they're also navy, not black) that I paired with stripes. Some might not like it, but I think they're both subtle enough that I can wear them together. It's also tempered by the neutral jacket. :)

My last tip for professional attire, is to mix and match. It's a little unexpected and a fun way to break up a suit and get a lot of different combinations out of just a few key pieces. You can still look put together even if the pants (or skirt) and jacket don't match. As long as they are both of equal "dressy-ness" you should be fine.

Outfit Rundown:
Jacket- Banana, thrifted
Shirt- Worthington, JC Penney
Pants- GAP, modern boots (I have three of the same pair of pants. They're all just different colors)
Shoes- ?, JC Penney

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's for Breakfast? 11/1/11

Look at that date. 11/1/11. Two things: 1.) How is it already November?! 2.) That's a lot of 1's. Just wait until the 11th!

I thought I would do a feature on what I normally eat for breakfast: Oatmeal! This oatmeal, however, has a special fall twist that I just can't get enough of lately: PUMPKIN! I love pumpkin. Normally at this time in the fall, I gorge myself on sweet pumpkin bread, pumpkin roll, and many other sweet pumpkin treats. Those treats, however, are not part of the Clean Eating plan, but I have found ways to incorporate pumpkin anyway. I must confess, that while I have cut a lot of processed sugars, I have not cut all sugar. Instead of using white sugar, I've been either using organic sugar, raw sugar, or honey in it's place. So I am still enjoying a cleaned up pumpkin bread. ;)

Onto how to make this. I need simplicity in the morning. I'm in a hurry and have a pretty rigid routine. I eat Oatmeal and scrambled egg whites for breakfast, so to make it quick I microwave both. That's why the oatmeal looks a little sloppy... I just microwaved it until it was done.

What you'll need:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats (less processed than those packets of oatmeal. Plus, it just tastes better. Once you go old fashioned, you'll never go back to instant. Blech).
1 scant cup of water (to make up for the fact that pumpkin has a lot of moisture in it. Plus I like my oatmeal a little drier)
2 spoonfuls of Organic Pumpkin Puree (or one giant spoonful. Eyeball it. Also, NOT pumpkin pie filling. I used Trader Joe's brand and it was delicious. If you don't get organic, look for brands that have just pumpkin and maybe some water in it. No added sugars!)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
Pumpkin pie spice to taste

Combine all the ingredients into the bowl. Mix. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until done.
Eat with your egg whites and you're good to go!