June 29, 2011
June 24, 2011
Then for a while Mr. Banker and I brewed our own iced coffees every morning in an awesome process using a french press and overnight cold brewing. You can read about that here.
While I was pregnant with Little Bear I was sad to discover that you can't order a decaf iced coffee, only decaf iced espresso drinks from Starbucks. Then came the beginning of the end when I found my perfect drink, the Skinny Iced Caramel Macchiato! However, a grande is straight up $5 y'all. So this is a special once a week or two drink (and then maybe sometimes I get the Venti, shhhhh)
Life is a little too crazy right now for me to remember to grind the coffee and setup the press before bed, so I've taken to making my iced coffees in the afternoons. Here is my special process ;-)
June 23, 2011
Mr. was only slightly worried at the damage I might do while he was sleeping ;-)
I knew from trying on most of the Spring dresses that I wasn't really feeling any of those. I have a new love for Callahan shorts and was able to snag this pair for $17.40!
and 2 Murfee scarves! At $120 each regularly, these are hard to justify...but on sale they will be a great accessory year round!
June 21, 2011
I assumed that she would enjoy something for her, rather than something for her home. My eyes landed on this adorable bamboo makeup bag that I thought would be perfect to hold a few items. I picked a tube of bath salts, a yummy smelling lotion and added a small pack of Caspari tissues from my gift closet. I hope she enjoys them!
I always seem to forget that World Market is a great place to find things...I especially love their jewelry too!
June 17, 2011
Last Saturday I went to scout it out!
June 16, 2011
I wanted to reach out to my friends/readers to see if anyone would like to guest post next month while I'm on vacation. I know many of you have family blogs or are thinking about starting a blog...so if there's something you'd love to share, let me know!
Also, I'd like a little feedback on anything you'd like to see me post about. I'm going to try to keep up with Foodie Fridays, but other than that my posts are just going to be whatever seems like something fun to post at the time. I'd love to know what type of posts you enjoy most and can also open it up to Q&A (I love when bloggers do this!)
So, leave a comment with your thoughts, or email me at email@example.com
June 13, 2011
the grilled chicken with pickles)
|mmmm, doesn't that look delicious!|
Emma Classic Monogram Sandals
June 12, 2011
Loving my new room!
|Sitting Area...with my painted and recovered side table...got that piece at the Raleigh Flea Market years ago!|
Now I just need to finish loading up the desk and working on a few things for the walls. Also, I want to add a trim to the edge of the shelves...should I go simple:
or a little more fun?
June 10, 2011
He visited again when I was 12 or 13 and this time I was ready. However, my palate wasn't ready and the poor oyster was quickly dispelled into the trashcan (there may or may not be an unfortunate home video of this...)
Almost ten years later Mr. Banker and I made a day trip from NYC (he was there for an internship) to Oyster Bay, NY. We found a place to have lunch and I (naively) thought that I should at least have 1 oyster while in Oyster Bay! So I ordered 1, got a look like I was crazy, and successfully ate my first oyster. And I wasn't a fan.
Well, the Feb/Mar issue of Garden & Gun intrigued both Mr. and me as there was a fantastic feature on oysters! Last Friday night we decided to give the Oysters Bienville recipe a try!
1 dozen Gulf oysters, shucked, liquor reserved (arrange oysters on open bottom shell and discard top half)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 jalapeño, pith and seeds removed and fine chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped celery hearts (about 1 rib)
½ cup finely chopped shallots (about 4 shallots)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. flour
½ cup oyster liquor (supplement with water if necessary)
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. Angostura bitters
2 tbsp. fresh-picked thyme
2 tbsp. snipped chive
2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Coarse salt and white pepper to taste
In a medium-size saucepan, heat oil over high heat. Add garlic and vegetables, stirring a few times to coat, and turn heat down by half. Stir occasionally until vegetables start to release moisture (without browning), about 4 to 6 minutes. For the roux, add butter and melt. Slowly add flour, whisking constantly, until flour is incorporated. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly add oyster liquor and cream, whisking until smooth. Turn heat to high and bring to a light boil, all the while whisking. Let the sauce thicken, about 1 minute. When sauce has thickened, adjust viscosity with water. This is the trickiest part. You need to use enough water to thin the sauce down and prevent scorching, but not so much that the sauce gets too thin. (Note: We used ½ cup.) Reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until sauce is thick enough to liberally coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Add bitters, herbs, salt, and pepper.
Bread Crumb Mixture Ingredients
¹/³ cup finely chopped cooked bacon (applewood smoked rather than hickory)
²/³ cup freshly grated Parmesan
²/³ cup panko (lighter, crisper Japanese-style bread crumbs that make an extra crunchy crust)
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Combine bacon, Parmesan, and panko in a bowl and slowly add the melted butter, folding lightly with a spoon.
Fill a baking pan halfway with rock salt as a bed for cooking the oysters, and heat in oven for about 15 minutes at 475ºF. (Preheating the prepared pan allows each oyster to cook with equal heat from below as well as above.) Top each oyster with 1 tablespoon or more of sauce, and sprinkle with a generous amount of bread-crumb mixture. Transfer to prepared pan and bake in preheated oven until golden brown and slightly bubbling, about 7 to 10 minutes.
June 7, 2011
After Little Bear was born I was really motivated to try to get my body back, since he is going to be our last baby. Probably a month after LB was born I read Jackie Warner's "This is Why You're Fat" and started following that plan. I lost all my baby weight in about 2 months and was very happy! I continued to semi-follow the plan with weeks off here and there, oh, and the whole month of May for my birthday ;-) The plan is very much about "clean" eating and is very healthy, but not really easy to follow religiously when you love food as much as I do :-)
I was on the lookout for new plans to kick these last 10-12 pounds. I saw the Dukan Diet briefly on Dr. Oz a few weeks ago and then saw more talk on Twitter. I picked up the book at Costco on a semi-whim, but am really liking the plan! It is heavy on the proteins, but is very mathematical about what your goal weight should be, about how long it should take to lose, how long to do a "stabilization" diet and then you are free to eat WHATEVER you want aside from 1 day a week! 1 day a week...that's what I'm talking about!
Yesterday was my first day on the Attack portion of the diet, that I'll do for 4 days. Hopefully I'll do periodical updates to try to stay accountable. Would love to know if anyone else is following the plan too!
Uuggggggghhhhhh, I did this thinking it'd be a good idea, but it made me kinda depressed. Oh well, for the sake of being real here's a current pic and my "goal" pic....
Maybe if I had Jamaica in my current background it wouldn't be so depressing!
June 6, 2011
So, I'm starting a new diet today....how many times have you said that before? I can say quite a few myself. Though I know I don't have a ton to lose (just that elusive 10 pounds many women have) I started thinking back over the journey my body has taken until now...
In high school I was just average. I didn't think much about dieting or exercising or what I ate. Most of my friends were guys, so maybe that's part of why it wasn't a big deal to me.
In college, a women's college at that, I still didn't really feel much pressure about my size or weight. I probably put on the Freshman Five, but nothing crazy. Still ate whatever I wanted without religiously working out. Mr. B and I dated all throughout college, so maybe that is also partly for why I didn't worry about my body image all that much. We were pretty comfortable in our relationship from the beginning. I did start working out some in the Spring before our wedding. Just to tone up a bit, nothing crazy.
And then we got married. And got in that happy, comfortable phase of life. I think all 20-somethings should expect some gaining. That paired with a sedentary desk job is a recipe for weight gain. So over the next 3 years or so I put on about 10 pounds. I would "diet" here and there, probably in preparation for Summer and forget all about it come Thanksgiving and Christmas. The only time I got serious about getting in really great shape was before our trip to Jamaica, a last hurrah before trying to make babies. I hired a trainer, worked out 3 times a week with her and ate mostly grilled chicken and veggies. I lost the weight, felt great and was toned. And then we came home and everything went out the window again. It just wasn't realistic to maintain.
This is when my gaining really began. I put back on the 10 I had lost and another 10 after I started following The Fertility Diet- which had you drink whole milk and eat ice cream every day. Then I got pregnant the first month we tried. And then the weight gain really began! I gained over 50 pounds. I kind of thought after BB was born it would just kind of fall off. Over a few months I lost a lot of the weight, but the last 15 pounds was just kind of hanging on. I wasn't very motivated and finally got the rest of the weight off right before BB's first birthday. And a month later I found out I was pregnant again.
This is getting rambly, so I'll continue in another post tomorrow....
June 3, 2011
We hosted one of our favorite couples for Memorial Day. I worked with C at my last job before mommyhood and recruited her to join JL with me. Sadly, she's being relocated to Michigan with the company, so it was one of our last cookouts. Her husband, M, and Mr. B love to talk grilling. Mr. got a Big Steel Keg for his 30th and M has a Big Green Egg (they are basically the same thing except one is ceramic and one is steel....this is what they tell me.)
One of Mr. B's favorite things to grill is pizza. He's really perfected his techniques! His margarita pizza is to die for! For grilling he prefers Stephen Raichlen's recipes--so I'll link them up!
FYI- We "cheat" and buy our pizza dough from Publix. You can also make your own, or maybe even use the Pillsbury roll out kind, but we've never tried that.
Here is our margarita pizza- roasted tomatoes are the key!
Loving my Tar-jay melamine platter!
Next we tried Potato and Bacon Pizza! It was DELISH!
And we even tried dessert pizza this go round...a semi-fail chocolate pizza and this yummy Bananas Foster Pizza with homemade vanilla ice cream! YUM! (Mr. used Alton Brown's Bananas Foster recipe as inspiration)
Hope this inspires you to give grilled pizza a try!
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
June 1, 2011
You want to know what love is? Love is when your husband will paint a room in your house pink. A room that isn't going to be occupied by a sweet, little princess (unless you count me, ha!) A few weeks ago he came home armed with chips of all the pinks that Benjamin Moore made. I fell in love with some of the names:
Finally I decided on these two colors
Pink Cherub for the walls
From the entry door. No help for the basement drop ceiling and fluorescent light
And from the wall of doors.
Ugh, this room is a design nightmare. It's tiny and has too many doors and no windows! But it will be my little pink retreat!