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Archive for November, 2010

on to the next one..

Post Thanksgiving 2010, my roommate and I planned a lovely Sunday full of tree decorating, cozy home-cooking and spiced chai tea! With all the intent of fully immersing ourselves in the season to come, we bought our first little Christmas tree & had a blast decorating over & Home Alone! We added a few personal touches to an otherwise classic red/white candy-cane tree, & they’re adorable, if I may say so myself. Try these bell ornaments this Christmas to ‘spruce’ up your pine!…

All you need are some jingle bells (<3TJMAXX), thin ribbon (color of your choice, preferably red!) & ornament hooks ($1 Walmart!)..DIY in 3 Simple Steps:

  1. Thread the ribbon through both bells
  2. Tie a small bow
  3. Add hook to append it to the tree and you’ve got a simple, yet unique, homemade ornament for all to enjoy

 

 

Get creative, my roommates’ sporadic knot style can also be fun & sweet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jen & Meredith Celebrate Christmas

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I just finished watching a movie about one of the greatest women in history – but she failed to share her excitement for flying with me so I am still nervous for this weeks Cali flight! Amelia Earhart’s courage didn’t rub off on me, unfortunately, but her wise words did: “Only I can make a fulfilling life for myself”.

Here is a tidbit of her biography from the latter part of her life as a journey-hungry aviatrix, compliments of The Official Website of Amelia Earhart.

“…the world will always remember Amelia Earhart for her courage, vision, and groundbreaking achievements, both in aviation and for women. In a letter to her husband, written in case a dangerous flight proved to be her last, this brave spirit was evident. ‘Please know I am quite aware of the hazards,’ she said. ‘I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.'”

 

It’s amazing that the message women share with one another today resembles that of over a century ago: “…there are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City.

 

(Although we seem to be a bit ‘wordier’ today in our delivery). Either way…women are moving mountains in our society with their strength of spirit and I only have one thing to say –

– This girl power post has been brought to you by a young, empowered, aspiring to be all she can be, woman. jmb.

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thanksgiving p.s.

P.S. – Don’t forget to balance your food pyramids right tomorrow! Remember during appetizers & h’ordeuvres that you still have dinner & dessert, & during dinner that the best is yet to come! Don’t neglect your once-a-year treats! Enjoy!

and if you decide not to listen to my advice and find yourself keeling over by the time dessert rolls around, try these for a little bit of sweetness…i assure you they won’t disappoint – (best if warmed!)

apple cider cups

Happy Eating, GO COWBOYS!

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I found this decadent chai tea and I think I’ll make some while I’m home with the family this weekend – stock up for the winter to come! It’s a shame these items lose their color when you make the tea bags though – I might have to find a way to preserve their beauty! Possibly the ‘ol pitcher out in the sun to make true sun tea. More to come on this little project when I get the ingredients! ❤

from our friends @ the kitchn

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The Price i$ Right!

So I have the best news on this Tuesday evening, the last of this work week for most! After a long day at the office, forced workout, and Lean Cuisine dinner that was anything but satisfying – I got a fun call. For anyone who knows me I have never been good with keeping secrets (unimportant ones at least) so you’ve probably about guessed this one by now but I can’t believe it! I have watched The Price is Right throughout my childhood (RIP Bob Barker’s game show career), with some of the best episodes watched with my friends at Care One, Holmdel elderly nursing center, but I never thought I’d be on set! Although claims from the legend say – Bob Barker: “Drew Carey doesn’t make ‘Price Is Right’ exciting like I do” I’m sure just being a part of it will bring me joy & excitement! Plus, if they call my name, I’ll get to freak out like all the people I mocked from my couch back in the day –

So Wish me luck!!

 

…& feel free to quiz me on the price of various items until the big day 😉

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Morristown had its last Farmers Market of the season this past weekend and the Fall weather was ripe to be enjoying the most delicious Asian Pears and Honey Crisp Apples! I also took this as an opportunity to stock up on fresh ingredients for these seasonal recipes I’ve been dying to try. With Thanksgiving in the air, D&B is throwing a PotLuck Lunch this Tuesday, and what better excuse to make some Caramel Apple Bars and Sweet Potatoes w/ Candied Pecans! ;). Can’t wait to share!

I kept the apple bars simple/classic and used only MacIntosh Apples, however, mixing Golden & Red Delicious or going for a Granny Smith tart flavor have also been some of my favorite combinations! Inspired by The Vegetarian Casserole Queen:

I would only make one suggestion, MORE crumble please! I think they came out lovely and they smell divine, but I think they would ‘stick’ better with this minor change to the recipe below…

Caramel Apple Bars
1 cup flour
1 cup oats (I used old-fashioned)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted
2-3 apples, cored and chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping, heated slightly or at room temperature (so it spreads easily)

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Spray cooking spray in a 2 quart (7×11) casserole dish.
3.  In a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda.  Stir in melted butter until crumbly.
4.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared dish.  Bake for 8 minutes.
5.  Spread the apples over the crust.
6.  Drizzle the caramel topping generously over the apples.
7.  Crumble the remaining crust over the top.
8.  Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
9.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.


Fairly simple, and SO delightful, especially after a day of market adventures or apple-picking at your local orchard (check these Jersey locations for some nearby: Apple Orchard, NJ).

But the best is yet to come! It’s a shame, but I really only eat Sweet Potatoes with Candied Pecans 1x/yr, and let’s face it, for a side dish that almost feels like an excuse to eat dessert early, that’s probably enough. Also though, it’s saving them for the holidays and special occasions that makes them even sweeter when I do indulge! Compliments of Epicurious.com

  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Let stand in colander 15 minutes. Purée sweet potatoes in processor.

Beat eggs, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in puréed sweet potatoes. Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.

Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

I halved the recipe because this was too much for my lunch needs but I am sure this would make a great spread at Thanksgiving this year, and they are super easy to make! I bought the sweet potatoes from the market, and only had to run out to grab Pecans because I had most of the items on hand (any true baker would too!).

“Bee It Ever So Bumble”

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy

 

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As I get ready for a much awaited trip to Cali, I was inspired by these photos from sfgirlbybay.

I may be a dreamer, but I can’t wait to have a loft in Soho so I can decorate it with these divine styles. Picture this…

grandiose armoire to house my digs

add those simple personal touches

wine & dine in this sweet little kitchen

w/ room enough for a workbench like this one from kate miss,

& her dreamcatchers to get me there –

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