Say It With Bacon

Do you love bacon as much as I do? How about presenting it in extraordinary fashion as a gift? Ranging from $22-28, a package of bacon in a velvet lined jewelry display case plus cufflinks, a money clip, or mutli-use tool. Father’s Day? Done. You’re welcome.

 

P.S. Different brand, but have you tried Jalapeño Bacon yet? I’m obsessed!

Blake Lively’s Favorite Pastry Recipe

Doesn’t this recipe sound so delicious? Maybe I’m just hungry…figs, sausage, brie, puff pastry…all things I love. Sounds spectacular.

I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy as far as not getting sick, but the one big bummer has been that any sort of sugar gives me a headache almost immediately.  So I’ve had to say sayonara to sweets but luckily, I’ve been pretty safe with lots of fruit so that’s usually where I turn to get something sugary.  I think this recipe sounds like a fantastic dessert idea for me!  (bourbon flavored maple syrup…am I allowed to have that? I bet it’s divine.)

Doesn’t Blake Lively just seem like such a lovely lady to be baking with in your kitchen, tearing off pieces of bread, chatting and sipping lemonade?  I love to hear her tell the story about her sister tiling her bathroom in Louboutins, and if you stick around through the 2:30 mark, you’ll get a close up shot of her stunner of an engagement ring. Whoa.

Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice

lime shrimp and coconut rice via Williams-Sonoma

lime shrimp and coconut rice via Williams-Sonoma

Whenever I need to treat myself (or friends) to a nice dinner, this is always the recipe I think of first.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s delicious and I love the coconut-lime combo.  Do yourself a flavor favor: grab the necessary ingredients and give this one a go for yourself.  You’ll thank me later!  Oh, and don’t forget to put on Harry Connick Jr.’s “A Wink and a Smile” while you’re prepping…it always puts me in a good mood!

Here’s the recipe (via Williams-Sonoma), and if you’re a coconut lover like me, I recommend sprinkling in a generous handful of shredded coconut to the cooked rice to give it even more of a coconut kick!  To round out the plate, we usually add a side of healthy black beans, which makes a great combo for a delectable day-after burrito (that’s if you’ve got any left over!).

Enjoy!

What are your favorite go-to recipes?

 

Chocolate Rum Cake

If you come across Captain Jack Sparrow and he’s wondering where all the rum has gone, go ahead and let him know it’s in this here cake.   The first time I baked it was like taking a shot of rum with every bite I took.  Oddly enough, no one who ate it complained.  I like to think it’s because I found a seemingly acceptible way for alcohol consumption at all hours of the day.  I guess I should also inform you that I’ve previously made it acceptable to eat cake for breakfast (which, btw, how cute is this?), so clearly this is just natural progression.

My German-French friend Dona made this lovely cake and brought it to me at work and she claims to have followed the recipe but I swear hers didn’t taste like mine because I’m pretty sure I didn’t feel like I was consuming alcohol at work. I would remember that. My first go ’round the alcohol tasted more concentrated in the center – like it hadn’t baked out enough – but the second time the outer rim of the cake tasted more pronounced so I’m not quite sure.  If you’re worried, go easy on the booze.  If you really love rum, have at it.  Also, Dona says that this is the easiest cake ever and if you forget things like flour, it still turns out great.  German-French women are so chic.

French Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
8 oz. Salted Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
5 Eggs
1 cup Rum (I think I used Bacardi Gold…and one day I swear I’ll try Malibu because I love coconut)
1 tbs. Pico de Gallo (or espresso, or orange zest, or ground anise…whatever you’d like to compliment the chocolate)
1/2 cup Flour

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan, careful not to burn chocolate.
  3. Separate egg yolk from egg white.
  4. Beat egg whites with mixer until it becomes stiff (looking a little bit like snow).
  5. Beat egg yolks with sugar until it turns whitish and thickens.
  6. Combine chocolate and egg yolk until nicely mixed using a wooden spoon.
  7. Add rum, spice(s) and flour.
  8. Carefully fold egg whites in, trying not to flatten the egg whites by folding too long.
  9. In your cakepan of choice, bake for 20-30 minutes.
    -Cooking times may vary by oven – mine took a little over 25 minutes.
    -To check if ready, slide a knife in cake. Knife shoud come out still a little wet (looking like very moist crumbs) in order to maintain it’s rich, gooey texture.

Decoration (optional):

  1. Ganache — melt chocolate chips with heavy cream to taste.
  2. Grinded and roasted hazelnuts or pistachios, caramelized with sugar.  Dona roasts grinded nuts in a pan without any oil and when they start to smell roasted and look darker, she adds sugar to make an “amateur prailine.”
  3. Be awesome like Dona and grow beautiful flowers in your garden to adorn your lovely French cakes with alcohol in them.

Have you ever made a cake with alcohol?

Gift Idea: Monthly Deliveries

yuzen box.jpg

my first Yuzen box delivery – such a joy to open!

Wouldn’t it be grand to have the feeling you do while opening presents on Christmas morning every month? I think so, and it’s a bit of how I felt each of the three times I came home to discover a Yuzen package waiting for me at my door (read my experience here).  If you can’t quite decide what to get someone or feel like you’re running out of time, here is a roundup of monthly subscription services I’ve come across recently, which, along with Yuzen, would make for fabulous gifts beyond Christmas morning for just about everyone on your list.

For the Crafter: Whimsey 3 months $45 | 6 months $90 | 1 year $165

For the Creative: Creative Bug 1 month $24.99 | 3 months $59.97 | 6 months $101.94

For the Beauty Queen (or King): Birchbox 3 months $30 | 6 months $60 | 1 year $110

For Bob-the-Builder (or anyone of any name): Lego Master Builder Academy $29.99+

For the kids: Kiwi Crate 3 months $59 | 6 months $110 | 1 year $220

For the well accessorized: JewelMint (tailored to an individual’s personal taste, so gift cards are the way to go so they can use credits to pick their selections each month) 1 credit $29.99 | 2 credits $59.98 | 3 credits $89.97

For the shoe-obsessed: Shoe Dazzle (gift cards allow individuals to choose their style selections each month) $25+

For the burly man: Dollar Shave Club from $1/month

For the foodie + music lover: Turntable Kitchen 1 month $27.12 5 | 3 months $81.36

For your caffriend: Craft Coffee monthly $24.99 | 6 months $22.49/mo | Annual $19.99/mo (save 10% when you pay in full up front)

For your furbaby: Bark Box 1 month $29 | 3 months $22/mo | 6 months $17.50/mo

For the snail mail lover: Tota Press, a delivery of 2 letterpress cards for $10/month. (found via Daily Candy, which has great gift guides for all the people and critters in your life).

Happy gift giving! 

Do you subscribe to a monthly delivery service or have you ever been gifted one you loved?