Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sail Away!

This weekend, my husband and I are getting our sea legs (literally). Arrrgh!!!

I can't remember the last time I set sail, but I do remember how much I love the feeling of total isolation and sunshine...and the smell of saltwater and fresh air. Only problem is I have absolutely no idea what to wear. Here's a guess. Let me know if I'm close.

P.S. a one-piece paired with jeans is my new thing, as it's more appropriate than a bikini since we'll be among my husband's work colleagues. This is no spring break trip. 




Monday, April 25, 2011

Buddy Bands

photo via sharetv.org
You didn't really think I'd let you (or spring) get away without some Friendship Bracelet vs. Buddy Band vs. Love Cuff nostalgia, now, did you? Ohhhh...accessory feuds were so much fun back in the late 80's.

photo via realitychicblog.com
It's funny because a lot of fashion editors insist the decade's hold over fashion is on its way out; I highly disagree. Case in point: this new obsession with friendship bracelets. Everything from braided neon finds to semi-precious leather and twine creations are quickly becoming the number one accessory to "stack" with.

I've boarded the train, done the "wrist" work, and have to say that you definitely do not need to break the bank to look like one of the Saved by the Bell alumni.

Forever 21 
American Eagle Outfitters 
Max & Chloe
Lucky Brand via Zappos
American Eagle Outfitters 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jamie Chung & Katie May



Yesterday, Creme Caramel; today, Jamie Chung.

Here's the Korean beauty on the cover of KoreAm magazine in waves galore, sipping away in staples from my new favorite up-and-coming Los Angeles designer, Katie May, wearing a Shauna Metallic Bustier and Sofia Shorts. She looks like a very chic version of "Exotic" Barbie, which I adore.

Modern femininity is May's motto, and something the bright-eyed wonder woman accomplishes all too well with her impeccably tailored washed silk blouses and dresses. I don't know about you, but I want it all! Right now, pieces are available exclusively via her Web site.

Happy Easter/Passover/Spring/or whatever makes you tick today!

Kimmy Jean Dress 
Keira Blouse
Krissy Dress

All photos via katiemay.net

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekend Needs

Zeng Toi's Coconut Creme Caramel from Food & Wine 
We all have needs; I look forward to fulfilling mine (don't get dirty, guys) during the weekend because gosh darn the week is just so busy.

As I've mentioned to you before, I have various writing jobs, two dogs, and a husband, so therefore Monday thru Friday is pretty much a race to get things done. Therefore, I'd like to start a new tradition on I'm Starving, where I'm going to pick out some food and clothing items I'll look forward to trying and wearing Friday-Sunday. Basically, it will consist of a list of guilty pleasures on a budget (sometimes not) that will make my weekends both productive and satisfying.

Friday Night
A delicious childhood favorite turned amazing, the look of these new Milano cookies reminds me of living in Florence, spending hours with roommates talking, sipping wine, and dunking shortbread cookies in Nutella. "Florence 15," so what?


photo via Pepperidge Farm


Saturday Morning/Afternoon
This month, InStyle says you should look cute (not embarrassed) for your trip to the juice bar post-workout.  I'm in need of some new workout gear and am probably the only one who prefers Nike to Lulu, so I'll be on the hunt. 


Saturday Evening
A good friend is turning 30 and celebrating with a house party. I'll bring two bottles of wine since the stuff is probably gonna flow like Sparkletts. 

For a French, Cotes Du Rhone style wine with an unbelievable price tag, try Rabbit Ridge (left), which can be found at Trader Joe's. Labeled an Allure de Robles, the blend hints at rich berries and black pepper. 


If you want a bubbly, La Marca is hands down my new favorite Prosecco; it's crisp, not too sweet, and leaves a honey aftertaste on the tongue. 


(photos via nvwe.com and jerichowines.com)


Sunday Evening
Trying out a new dessert recipe this Passover was a nightmare, but I intend to perfect it for my parents' enjoyment. Every Sunday we see them for dinner, so I intend on serving them the best Creme Caramel of their lives. 


Zeng Toi's Coconut Creme Caramel (pictured at top of post)
Published in Food & Wine

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 10 large egg yolks
  4. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  5. 2 cups heavy cream
  6. One 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. Pinch of salt
  9. 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, cook the granulated sugar with the water over moderate heat, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet brush, until a rich amber caramel forms, about 15 minutes. Quickly pour the caramel into a 9-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish to coat the bottom.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until very thick, 2 minutes. Beat in the cream, coconut milk, vanilla and salt and pour into the baking dish. Set the dish in a roasting pan. Pour hot water in the pan to come halfway up the dish's side. Bake for 1 hour, until the custard is just set but still jiggly in the center. Refrigerate in the dish overnight.
  3. Run a knife around the edge of the custard. Set the dish in a pan of hot water for 10 seconds. Invert a flat platter over the dish then turn the custard and caramel onto the platter. Top with the toasted coconut and serve.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring/Summer Fashion Inspiration: Katherine Heigl (at age 15)

photo via entertainment.ca.msn
As a long week ended last Friday, my girlfriends and I reenacted a favorite activity from our childhood, the sleepover. Dressed in pajamas and up to our elbows in cookie dough, us late twenty-somethings transgressed for a night and picked a flick that would really get us in the mood. My Father the Hero was the unanimous choice, "the" chick flick of '94.

photo via jjb.yuku.com
Oohing and awing over Katherine Heigl's angelic teenage face and slender bod, we began to remember just how incredible her wardrobe was. Funny thing is most of her outfits are back in style. Floral skirts and shorts paired with cotton t's and tanks are in hot pursuit, so with that said, I think it's time for another outfit post. P.S. that Ben guy is hot, hot, hot...even if he does have an earring. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Meat Group!

(One of the Olsen sisters in the epic Sloppy Joe scene during It Takes Two
No, I'm not about to provide you with a recipe for a microwave burrito (Encino Man) or reminisce about how cute the Olsen sisters were. What I am about to do is supply you with instructions for the fiercest, easiest, most delicious, cunning, laudable dinnertime dish ever: the Sloppy Joe.

Last weekend, I got my hands on a pretty tasty "slider" version at The Six. A little bit more gourmet than any childhood version, these two-biters were made with turkey instead of beef and had fried pickles to add a little crunch and saltiness. Nonetheless, they served as inspiration to create my own version for your noshing pleasure. Trust me, they're delish. The secret: lots of ketchup and moist turkey (no extra lean &*^^%#@)!

The following recipe is adapted from one I followed as a kid. Let's get down and dirty and next time we'll "Wheeze the Juice."

Valerie's Healthier Sloppy Joe's
4 Potato Hamburger Buns
3 Scallions
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1/4 cup Ketchup
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Finely chop green onions. Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and add ground turkey and onions, chopping up the meat with a wooden spoon. Fry until brown and then add ketchup and garlic powder. Stir and simmer for only a few more minutes. Heat your buns and Voila! you're done.

If you're up for it serve with my oven-baked fries.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Well-Dressed Vegas

Milla Jovovich photographed by Terry Richardson in '98 for Harper's Bazaar
Between taking on various writing gigs, living with two dogs and a hard-working husband who all love my home-cooked meals, and balancing plans with an extremely diverse group of girlfriends, I'm in need of  trip out to...by now, you know where.

Not only do I love breathing in casino oxygen that smells of "Reds" and cheap perfume, becoming one with the rowdy 3 p.m. pool scene, and gawking at bachelorette mishaps, I love planning each and every one of my outfits well in advance. That way I can spend time on more important things, like acting as the in-room DJ, becoming the resident mixologist for a prompt 7 p.m. pre-cocktail cocktail hour, and curling everyone's hair. Yes, I'm the Vegas Jack of all trades.

Here's what I'm thinking...

Car Trip: Don't make fun of my music choice; it's girl time, which means sing-along time.


Pool Play: I'm digging pants instead of shorts right now.

Night Owl: McQueens, sequins, and some 5-hour Energy love...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring at Gryson


Dude, check out Gryson's spring line. A little bit o' shit-kicking glamour...like a refined rhinestone cowboy. I love the line's contradictory combination of casual earth tones and rustic leather straps mixed with luxurious lambskin. I'll take 'em all. What do you think?

(see it all here

Monday, April 11, 2011

J.Crew Fall Jacket


(photo via fiveofour.blogspot)
Of all the jackets in the land, this is the fairest of them all. J.Crew's tweed and khaki motorcycle jacket (for fall '11) can be paired with jeans for a dressed-down look or complemented with some feisty leather "jegs" for an evening out. OBSESSED!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Pat on the Behind for Spanx!

Alexandra Jacobs (formerly of The New York Observer), an established features writer with a straight-forward, intriguing voice, recently composed an up close and personal piece for The New Yorker on a female entrepreneur I admittedly knew zilch about.

Before I read Smooth Moves: How Sara Blakely rehabilitated the girdle, Spanx symbolized a celebrified mega-brand, one I winced at every time I heard someone recite its magical power to slim. "I don't ever want to need that stuff," I told myself on a regular basis. But after reading about founder Sara Blakely's relatable train of thought, her short but powerful "Don't be afraid to fail!" motto, and her dog (a poodle named after Yves Saint Laurent's muse, Loulou de la Falaise), I caught a glimpse of a woman I wouldn't mind ending up like.

While winding through Blakely's many accomplishments, family relationships, trials, and current endeavors, Jacobs creates a role model for us readers who are desperately trying to make something of ourselves in a cold world overrun with technology and clich├ęd ambitions.

Have a look at what the Spanx Atlanta headquarters look like, below, and you'll understand what Blakely lives for. "I sat in gray cubicles long enough," Jacobs recounts Blakely saying during their visit.

If you haven't guessed yet, only 13 out of the 105 employees at the offices are male. The design is saucy and reminiscent of a boudoir--it looks like Jonathan Adler had a twin sister and she went to town. But, no...it was Bradley Hughes.






(All photos via Bradley Hughes)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sienna Miller and twenty8twelve

Sienna Miller and sister Savannah Miller's fashion label, twenty8twelve, just released its spring 2011 lookbook, unveiling a highly desirable (and highly wearable) slew of feminine-turned-edgy garments.

With Sienna as one of two models in the new presentation, you can only imagine how fast and well the new collection will sell. Her complexion: softly sun-washed; her figure: perfectly petite; and her beauty: unfathomable. The clothes, just like her, have that same "girl next door" appeal with a just a touch of rebellion.







Friday, April 1, 2011

West Coast is the Best Coast

Happy Friday to all you phat cats! When I came across this photo of model Hilary Rhoda on What Goes Onone of my new favorite fashion blogs, I just had to share. I also had to brag that "this" California girl can have In-N-Out any time she wants (due to the fact that it's right down the street from her abode).

Yes, I'm sticking my tongue out at all you East Coasters and Mid Westerners, who think you've really got it all. Well, you don't have "Animal Style" now, do you? But that's OK. Wipe your tears (and your saliva) because I'd like to share a recipe I came across long ago for a D.I.Y. Double-Double, Animal Style. Try it this weekend when your barbecuing, or if its too cold outside, save it for the warm weather.

Recipe and photo via Serious Eats
MAKES TWO (2) 1/4-POUND BURGERS 





  • 1/2 pound fresh beef chuck with plenty of fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 soft Hamburger buns, preferably Arnold brand
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 dill pickles chips
  • 2 quarter-inch-thick slices ripe tomato
  • 2 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce, white core section removed, torn to bun-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 4 slices deli-cut American Cheese

PROCEDURES

  1. 1
    If using a meat grinder: Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm.
  2. 2
    Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Grind meat and refrigerate immediately until ready for use. Handle as gently as possible. Proceed with step three below.
  3. 3
    If using a food processor: Place bowl and blade of food processor in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.
  4. 4
    Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Working in two batches, place meat cubes in food processor and pulse until medium-fine grind is achieved, about 8 to 10 one-second pulses, scraping down processor bowl as necessary. Refrigerate ground meat immediately until ready for use. Handle as gently as possible.
  5. 5
    Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees while you cook the onions: Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes. Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir. Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again. Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  6. 6
    Make the sauce: Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar in small bowl. Stir to combine.
  7. 7
    Place closed buns in preheated oven for 2 minutes until slightly darkened and crisped. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat until shimmering. Open buns and add face-down to skillet. Toast until dark brown around the edges, about 1 minute total.
  8. 8
    Form ground beef into four 2-ounce patties, using damp hands to press each into a patty about 3/16ths of an inch thick and 4 inches wide. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil to pan, swirl to coat, and heat over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add burger patties and cook without moving until well browned and crusty on first side, about 2 1/2 minutes. While they are cooking, spread 1 tablespoon mustard on raw side of each patty with a spoon. Meanwhile, top each bottom bun with up half of spread, 4 slices pickles, 1 slice tomato, and lettuce. Flip patties with a thin spatula so mustard side is down and continue to cook for 1 minute. Top each patty with a slice of cheese. Divide onion mixture evenly between two patties. Place the other two patties directly on top of the onions , sandwiching them between the beef. Transfer patty stacks to bottom bun. Top with top bun, and serve immediately.