Thursday, July 30, 2009

summertime inspired look

The other day I put together an outfit based on a look from the stylish, Swedish blogger Elin.

from Elinkan

dress, Good Style Shop, altered to fit
tights, Target
bow headband, H&M
shoes, Good Style Shop

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

this is exactly what i look like every day...


pin & skirt, thrifted
blouse, Target

shoes, Good Style Shop
purse, Etsy

Okay, maybe not every day.

Anyway, here is our delicious meal from fresco on Sunday night. For Restaurant Week, we each got to choose from one of three appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

my appetizer: farmer's market salad with mixed greens, seasonal vegetables, chevre, and balsamic vinaigrette

Matt's appetizer: seared rare ahi tuna, nicoise-style potato salad, tarragon-caper aioli

my entree: sheep's milk ricotta cheese gnocchi, seasonal vegetables, brown butter herb creme

Matt's entree: asparagus, spring pea, butter lettuce, white bean, red onion, campanelle pasta,
prosciutto, summer vegetable butter sauce

my dessert: mint julip creme brulee

Matt's dessert: dark chocolates by Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier

Everything I had was perfectly luscious. I feel silly talking about food that way, but really, if you had eaten those gnocchi, you'd know what I mean. They were so smooth and rich, but not overly heavy like some gnocchi can be. Also, since my creme brulee was flavored with pureed mint, it tasted like a velvety, creamy mint leaf. Which is great, if you like fresh mint, like I do. I surprised myself by trying and enjoying Matt's ahi tuna appetizer (I am usually picky about fish). It was so tender and mild, and the salad was an excellent complement to the flavor of the tuna. I think fresco will become a regular stop for special occasions.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Tonight we took advantage of Madison Restaurant Week and had dinner at fresco for a great price (I'll post pictures of the meal later). When we left, I had Matt snap a picture not unlike one he took of me on Valentine's Day, the first time we went to fresco. They are both on the steps from fresco to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

navy shirt-dress, Forever 21

belt, shoes, and feather pin, thrifted
bag, Etsy

(click photo to enlarge)


Today's outfit included a lot of new summery thrifting finds, which I will share here as well.

shoes and belt (same from photo above), thrifted, $2.65 and $0.99 respectively
pleated wool skirt, Good Style Shop, $5

tassel necklace, Good Style Shop, $10
leaf necklace, thrifted, $1.99
feather pin (same from photo above), thrifted, $1.99

Also, here are a few snippets of wintery finds that I picked up for a good price. Yes, that is a fur collar you see, but I don't feel so bad since it's second-hand. The coat is also in pristine condition, so it was hard to resist. Then, below is the interesting collar and scarf of a gorgeous, albeit slightly smelly and holey, 60's Italian virgin wool dress. It fits like a dream, so there's a lot of potential to be had--once I sort out the stink and the holes.

3/4-length coat, thrifted, $14

wool dress, thrifted, $6

Finally, possibly the best find lately, a set of iced tea spoons from the great Atomic Interiors in Madison. I know iced tea spoons seem like an unnecessary purchase, but I really do love my iced tea. Plus, these are amazing.

"Ebony Elegance" Iced Tea Spoons

Sunday, July 19, 2009

class & cookies

These 1961 photos just ooze class. They seem to have been taken during a Martini & Rossi-sponsored cocktail party. I want to go to there.

Also, a friend asked for the recipe to make these banana shortbread cookies from an earlier post.
So, here it is!
Banana Shortbread

2 1/2 cups whole grain pastry flour (I always just use all-purpose flour.)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large very ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I always skip these.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer, until creamy. Add the banana and vanilla extract, beating until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat just until well blended. Stir in the nuts (if using).

The right way to do it:
Divide the dough into quarters. Press one-quarter of the dough into an 8-inch circle on a large baking sheet. Using the dull side of a knife blade, score the dough, creating an outline of 12 pie-shaped wedges. Repeat with a second quarter of the dough on the same baking sheet. Shape the remaining quarters of dough on another large baking sheet.

The way I do it:
Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. Use a fork, dipped in flour or sugar, to squash the dough, first in one direction, then in the other direction, making a criss-cross.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the shortbread is lightly browned and has risen. Place on racks to cool and cut into wedges (if applicable).

I love them with strawberry slices and vanilla ice cream, but they'd also be great with chocolate ice cream. I've also played around with putting bits of chocolate in the batter. Try chocolate chips!

recipe from Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool
all photos from Ana Lee, except the last one by me

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

until next year...

I have actually been cooking--a lot--but I have been too busy to post lately. A few weeks back, towards the end of strawberry season, I made this delicious meal as sort of an ode to the berry.

Strawberry Avocado Club Sandwich and Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

You can get the sandwich recipe here. It is an unusual combination but it really works. Make sure you have plenty of the avocado mayo--it makes the sandwich. Though strawberry season is over, the sandwich would still be great without them.