Shades of Green: My Zara Dress and Pasta and Wine Pairings Made Simple 

I have to admit I would have never picked out this Zara “Cut Out Back” dress for myself. It was a gift from a fabulous fashionable friend that clearly knows me well. As soon as I put it on I knew I loved it and immediately wanted to… well…blog about it. It is available now in this khaki shade and black. http://m.zara.com/us/en/woman/knitwear/cut-out-back-dress-c0p4115050.html


 At first I thought I should keep it very simple with plain grey booties and not a lot of accessories because I didn’t want to ruin the look of it. After consulting with a very trusted and stylish dear friend I decided that it would be ok to add a little flair. 


I found this camouflage scarf years ago at Claire’s, back when my daughter, Angelina was just starting to be intrigued by the wonderful world of accessorizing. I remember trying it on with my daughter looking at it with excitement and I also recall buying a cap and handbag with the same funky print. William was asleep in the stroller, by the way, which made shopping quite easy for me and my girl.



The shoes are from Target and I’m sure many of you remember them from the endless number of Instagram/ Twitter/Facebook/ Blog posts I’ve featured them in. Yes, I have them in fuschia and leopard too. 


The bracelets are all from http://www.alexandani.com which is an amazing line that began right in my hometown of Cranston, RI. They not only make extraordinary jewelry but give back immensely to the community. 

The color of my much appreciated Zara dress reminded me of a rich olive oil. Because of this, I initially decided to share my favorite recipes that involved olive oil. When I began searching my memory,calling my mom, and going through my old fashioned card catalog of recipes I realized that a lot of the recipes I wanted to include involved pasta.


 This got me to thinking that since pasta is such a popular food staple for many I should share some of my favorites and also include the proper wine pairings. I included recipes as practical as possible but also flavorful and interesting and easy for weeknight entertaining. 

Tomato Based Pasta 


http://philosokitchen.com/ragu-barese-apulian-meat-sauce/


http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/strozzapreti-with-tomato-pancetta-sauce

Wine suggestions: 

Medium – Bodied Red Wines 


http://winefolly.com/review/medium-bodied-red-wines/

Cheese Pasta 


http://ilcorvopasta.com/2015/01/23/tonnarelli-with-cacio-e-pepe/


https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/cheesy-baked-tortellini/0a89db0c-a582-4739-bdd5-595f015f78c0

Wine Pairings:

Full-Bodied White and Light Bodied Reds


http://www.hellovino.com/wine/pairing/pasta/pastacheese

Seafood Pasta 


http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/linguine-ai-frutti-di-mare-238646


http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1940/20minute-seafood-pasta-

Wine Pairings:

Light Bodied and Medium Bodied White Wines


https://www.matchingfoodandwine.com/news/pairings/what_wine_to_match_with_different_pasta_sauces/

Pesto (Herb) and Vegetable Pastas


https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/fresh-pasta-with-arugula-pesto-fingerling-potatoes-green-beans


http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pasta-primavera-recipe

Wine Pairings 

Light Bodied White Wine 


http://uncorkingcharacter.weebly.com/light-bodied-dry-white-wine.html


Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I hope you found it worthwhile and inspiring. 

I’m making some changes to my blog and excited to say I will soon relaunch and hope you will like what you see! 

Please feel free to leave a comment or question. I always reply in a timely manner. Also, if you have a blog or link you’d like to share I would be happy to check it out.

I always appreciate your time and attention. 

Yours truly,

Jennifer

Xoxo


Ps.

I can also be found on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mommyteacherfashionista/

Twitter:

And Facebook:

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Breakfast At Sydney: Style, Dining and Avocado Inspiration 

I was absolutely thrilled when owner, Jordan N.Boslego, invited me to visit his new Australian inspired restaurant in the Waterplace Condo complex in Downtown Providence. Sydney was designed in homage to the coffee shop culture in Australia ( mostly in Sydney and Melbourne) with its logo evoking the famous Sydney Opera House. According to one of my amazing Australian friends, Mandy Arisa of Sydney, Australia http://instagram.com/ministryforstyle “Yesssss coffee is amazing here” although the always classy Vivian of Melbourne, Australia http://instagram.com/theblacklayers states “Coffee is more amazing in Melbourne!!!! Cafes everywhere compared to Sydney…I would say it’s best in AU!” According to the girls, independent coffee shops do really well there, with hardly many Starbucks or larger chains taking over.

Boslego has certainly captured the charm of the culture in this brilliant and  delightful yet elegant and modern restaurant. My daughter and I took advantage of Boslego’s invitation by having a breakfast date there last Sunday. We enjoyed every moment of our experience and our meal. 

I absolutely adored the Avocado Toast. It was served with feta, cherry tomatoes and micro greens. I also asked for smoked salmon and a poached egg. It was incredibly perfect. The espresso was divine and the lovely Allie and adorable Michael could not have been more accommodating and pleasant while attending to me and my daughter. 


I happily noticed that Sydney uses so many local establishments for their ingredients. The eggs are from Baffoni’s Poultry Farm, the milk from Guida’s Dairy, and they purchase their honey from Full Bloom Apiary, keeping the businesses here in RI flourishing. 


Angelina enjoyed the ricotta toast. They offer both a savory version ( served on olive bread with fresh herbs) or sweet (served on country Pullman with English preserves and fresh berries). She choose the sweet and was really happy about her selection! 


We both decided we would visit again soon and try out one of their pastries.


I was also interested in coming back for one of their grab and go choices, since I work nearby in the city.




I assured both Allie and Michael I would be back soon and I will let you all know how it goes!


I wore this cute little tunic dress I found at http://www.journeyfive.com/ I discovered Journey Five on Instagram over a year ago and purchased many items from the site. The owner is a mom of 5 with a whole lot of style who keeps lots of ladies looking their best no matter how busy they are. Truly, a woman after my own heart. 

My hat and tights are from target.com and the boots were a recent find from macys.com. They are the INCinternationalconcepts line and I’ve been wearing them nonstop since I got them. 

My necklace is called “Fringe Benefits” and is from the Lulu Avenue Collection. http://instagram.com/meredithholdman

After visting Sydney and enjoying the awesome avocado dish I decided I would try to incorporate more avocado into my recipes. Not only does it contain heart heathy mono saturated fatty acids, it is loaded with fiber and proven to lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Having it prepared so well at Sydney certainly inspired me to take advantage of the healthy benefits. 

I found quite a few ideas I want to try in the next couple of weeks.

http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/9-delicious-avocado-recipes/


http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/avocado-fries

http://m.food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-avocado-recipes-745515


http://glaminati.com/avocado-recipes-ideas-to-cook/

http://www.food.com/ideas/recipes-with-avocado-6339

http://www.quericavida.com/recipes/collections/by-course/the-sweet-taste-of-avocado-unique-avocado-dessert-recipes


http://m.food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-avocado-recipes-745515

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope you found it entertaining and worthwhile. I truly appreciate your time and attention. 

Let me know if you have any favorite avocado recipes, dining suggestions or style ideas of your own. I’d love to hear from you. If you have a suggestion for something you would like to see here or a blog link you would like to share, feel free to drop it in the comment section. 

Follow me on Instagram, where I try to inspire creativity and and originality daily.

https://www.instagram.com/mommyteacherfashionista/

Thank you so much!

Yours truly,

Jennifer

Xoxo 


Valentine’s Day Inspiration Part 2: Let’s Just Stay In 

Those of you that read my last post , “Valentine’s Day Inspiration: Sequins and Sweets” know that it was all about that amazing burgundy sequin dress from http://like2b.uy/shoppinkblush and going out on the town. I also included a whole lot of recipes for some very sweet treats. I wrote about how my dad took me to the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, RI for the photo shoot because we really wanted a special place for such an amazing dress.

That day I also brought  along one of my favorite finds from thredup.com. I find a lot of the cocktail dresses I collect there and love to style them in different ways. I wear them everywhere, even to teach kindergarten,which I know many of you know.

I kept this Express brand dress more on the casual side with tights, casual boots, and a fun cap which I also happened to find at thredup.com. I found the choker recently at target.com.



It’s not surprising, I’m sure, since I wear dressed down cocktail dresses to teach kindergarten, that I would share this outfit and now suggest a stay at home Valentine’s Evening.

So here I go.

Get dressed up and plan a special dinner for two. These recipes are all black- tie worthy but do not require lots of time in the actual kitchen. They all include  a whole bunch of shortcuts, an excellent variety of healthy ingredients and still taste like they were made from scratch.

Black – Tie Worthy Dinner for Two

Start with:

Roasted Portobello Crostini

http://www.food.com/recipe/roasted-portabella-crostini-302072


Next serve:

Angel Hair with Spicy Clam Sauce

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/linguine-with-red-clam-sauce/a87840ed-7185-46fa-9199-42778bf72e18


Main Course:

Blue Cheese-Crusted Filet Mignon

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/72267/blue-cheese-crusted-filet-mignon-with-port-wine-sauce/


Roasted Potatoes of Provence

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/provencal_new_potatoes/


Grilled Vegetables with Saffron Rice

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/grilled-vegetables-with-saffron-rice-recipe


Desserts and Drinks

Bow-Tie Cookies

http://m.foodideasrecipes.com/stores/bow-tie-macarons-1394088740,9723.html/598

Chocolate Valentine’s Day Pear Dessert

 


Cocktail Suggestions

27 Simple and Sexy Cocktails for Valentine’s Day

The Cloud Nine


Left to right/ top to bottom:

Ms.Monroe,Valley of the Flowers, French Kiss, Peppermint Truffletini


Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I hope you enjoyed this quick little Valentine’s Day Part 2 post and hope you found it worthwhile.

I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment and drop a link if you have something to share. I respond to everyone in a timely fashion.

Yours truly,

Jennifer

Xoxo

Ps.


Valentine’s Day Inspiration: Sequins and Sweets 

Many call it another Hallmark holiday, but there is no denying that Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to put on a gorgeous ensemble and hit the town. Whether you are going out on a romantic date or drinking one too many whiskeys with close friends, you can sparkle and shine to your heart’s content and enjoy every moment of the night.This is especially true  if you happen to come across the most perfect dress in the world, like I did.

I was approached by a lovely woman from the PinkBlush boutique http://like2b.uy/shoppinkblush/ to try something and give a review. When I went to the beautiful site I immediately found lots of dresses, trendy tops, skirts, and lovely accessories but my search was over when I found the most amazing burgundy sequin gown. I requested it and days later it arrived at my door looking even more incredible in person! I was telling two of my friends at work about the gown and showed them the online picture and also had to also send them photos when it arrived. Jen and Lacreasha both agreed it looked even better in person. 

I was excited to put it on and share the photos because the PinkBlush boutique is going to give a $75.00 gift certificate to one person that comments on this post. So, don’t be shy. Say something! 

The next day I my dad, aka my photographer, took me to a local hotel http://curiocollection3.hilton.com/en/hotels/rhode-island/providence-biltmore-curio-collection-by-hilton-PVDCUQQ/index.html?wt.srch=1 for pictures. It was actually his idea because after taking wedding pictures for 40 years he kind of knows the best spots in town. 




The Providence Biltmore is an iconic, landmark hotel with an illustrious past. It really such a magnificent place to stay, hold an event or just have a really nice dinner or drink. It would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, of course. 

You can provide dessert. Here are two of my favorite recipes, which are actually both from my mom. I grew up with Red Velvet Cake as a traditional Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Birthday favorite. 

Red Velvet Cake


You will need:

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs 

2 ounces red food coloring 

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup buttermilk 

2 1/4 cups cake flour 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vinegar

Frosting

3 tablespoons flour 

1 cup milk 

1 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup butter

1. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs.

2. Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa 

3. Add to creamed mixture.

4. Add buttermilk alternating with flour and salt.

5. Add vanilla.

6. Add soda to vinegar, and blend into the batter.

7. Pour into 3 or 4 floured cake pans.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 24-30 minutes.

9. Split layers and fill and frost with the following frosting. 

10. Prepare frosting by adding milk to flour slowly, avoiding lumps. 

11. Cook the flour and milk until very thick, stirring constantly.

12. Cool completely.

13. Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy.

14. Add to cooked mixture.

15. Beat, high speed, until very fluffy.

Chocolate Sweetheart Cakes for Two 


You will need:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar 

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 

3 tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt 

1/2 cup water 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil 

1/2 teaspoon white vinegar 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Chocolate Frosting ( recipe follows)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 8 inch square baking pan.

2. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; beat with whisk or spoon until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. 

4. Transfer to cutting board. Using 3 1/4 inch heart shaped cutter, cut cake into 4 hearts. Prepare chocolate frosting; spread over tops of two hearts. Piece remaining two hearts on top. Garnish as desired. 

Chocolate Frosting 

You will need:

1 tablespoon butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar 

1 tablespoon Hershey’s Cocoa 

2 or 3 teaspoons milk 

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Place butter in microwave safe bowl. Microwave at medium power ( 50%) 20 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir together powdered sugar and cocoa; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating with spoon or whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. 


This is a really easy and delicious recipe that’s perfect for sharing with those special people in your life.

Double Decker Chocolate Hearts 


http://www.acmoore.com/make-n-mold-174-double-decker-chocolate-hearts.html

Here are some more really great ideas inspired by classic conversation candy hearts. They are perfect for a party or sending in to school with your child for all their friends and teachers to enjoy.

Rice Krispie Treat Heart Pops


http://www.celebrations.com/c/read/conversation-heart-treats-valentines-day

Conversation Heart Ice Cream


http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g3180/valentines-desserts/?

Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies


http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/mini-conversation-heart-cookies/c3360460-849d-4d3d-8c5f-8ca7d767a6fc

Dipped Oreo Cookies 


http://www.celebrations.com/c/read/conversation-heart-treats-valentines-day


Hope you found this post entertaining and useful. I truly appreciate your time and attention.

Thank you so much for visiting the blog today and Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Yours truly,

Jennifer 

Ps. I recently had the pleasure of sampling the Bootay Bag subscription service and love it. The best part is that proceeds from each payment goes to a great cause. This month a dollar will be given to melanoma research and treatment. 


http://bootaybag.com/ for more info and to subscribe 


Plan a Winter Buffet With Style: Sophisticated and Time Saving Entertaining Inspiration 

My enthusiasm for dining and entertaining well can be rather extreme yet my time is often limited. This party is designed to keep the jitters down and celebration up. The time-saving strategies provide a relaxed, foolproof plan of action. From drinks to dessert, you will see how this can be an easy, but special way to entertain friends on a quiet winter Sunday. It could be a great idea for Super Bowl Sunday or even a mid-winter, February-March leisurely weekend. 

Before I start with the actual plan and recipes that will save time, let’s take a look at this gorgeous timepiece I received from JORD Wood Watches. It’s from the Cora Series and the lively Rose is such a perfect accent to the wild and natural grain of Zebrawood. Jord has an amazing selection of wood watches. You can win one of your own by entering my giveaway here https://www.woodwatches.com/g/mommyteacherfashionista on Sunday, January 29,2017. The giveaway will only be open for 24 hours and will begin the moment I post a special video on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mommyteacherfashionista/  Even if you don’t win, you will actually still win! Everyone that enters will receive a $50.00 gift certificate to JORD and all my followers may use my special code : mommytohtbtv for 15% off! 

They really do have an amazing collection. Go ahead and check out their vast variety https://www.woodwatches.com/. I’m sure you will agree that they have an option for every occasion and outfit. 

I loved how my Cora Watch coordinated with my Lizzie Dress https://dizzy-lizzie.com/ from thredup.com. 


My hat is from target.com, the scarf was a gift, and the boots are https://www.google.com/search?q=inc%20international%20concepts which I recently found on sale at http://www.macys.com. 

Let’s get back to the party. Invite guests to arrive in staggered hours, especially if your place is small. Invite some at one, others at three, and at 5:00. Obviously if you are doing this for Super Bowl Sunday, you can’t stagger times, but it’s a great idea for entertaining on a quiet non- event day. Plan to have a selection of stews. One variety is fine if you are having less than 50 people but this collection of recipes is perfect for that amount. Have pots of the stews simmering on the stove. The breads, which you can make the day before, can be piled in baskets. Scatter bowls of mixed nuts and platters of of sliced apples and cheese throughout your apartment or house. Select a friend to play bartender- it will take the heat off you. Suggest that friends eat whatever they want in whatever order they want. For example, the apples and cheddar cheese make a good dessert or an appetizer. If some have already eaten, just Chocolate Walnut Pie will fit the bill for them. Have all the food accessible. Use plastic or paper dishes and plan for recycle stations that are easy to get to but still out of the way- in a niche in the kitchen or in a corner is a good idea. 

Beer Beef Stew 


You will need:

8 lbs. lean stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

About 2 c. flour 

About 2/3 c. vegetable oil

8 medium onions 

7 13 3/4- oz cans beef broth 

1 1/3 c. dry red wine 

1 1/2 6 oz. cans tomato paste 

Bouquet garni: 3 bay leaves, 12 sprigs parsley and 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves 

2 lbs. new potatoes, peeled and quartered 

2 10 oz pkgs. frozen peas 

2 lbs. baby carrots, trimmed and peeled 

Pat beef dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Set aside. In a large sauce-pan over medium high heat, heat 3 tablespoons oil. When very hot, add just enough beef to cover bottom of pan without crowding. Brown beef well on all sides; remove to colander to drain while you drain remaining beef, adding more oil as needed. To oil remaining in pot, add onions and cook over low heat 15 minutes or until soft. Return beef. Add broth, wine, tomato paste and bouquet garni. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally, adding more liquid if necessary. Skim and discard fat. Add potatoes, peas, and carrots and simmer 25-30 minutes or until tender. Makes about 4 gallons.

Peasant Fish Stew


You will need:

2 lbs bacon 

8 medium onions 

14 garlic cloves 

8 medium sweet green peppers 

8 medium sweet red peppers 

8 8oz bottles clam juice 

6 13 3/4 oz. cans chicken broth 

4 c. dry white wine 

Generous pinch saffron threads 

1 qt. (4 cups) heavy cream

4 lbs. medium fresh or frozen fish such as cod or haddock 

4 lbs. medium fresh or frozen shrimp 

4 lbs. fresh or frozen scallops 

In large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat cook bacon until golden but not browned. Drain bacon on paper towels. Set aside. Pour off all but 1/3 cup bacon drippings from skillet and reserve remaining drippings for later use. In skillet with 1/3 cup bacon drippings over medium heat cook onions uncovered about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add garlic to the skillet and cook 1 minute   over low heat until garlic just releases its fragrance. Remove onions and garlic to a large kettle. Add 1/4 cup of reserved bacon drippings to skillet. Add peppers and cook over low heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Add bacon, peppers, clam juice, chicken broth, wine, saffron and cream to kettle and bring to a boil. Add fish, shrimp, and scallops and simmer about 5 minutes or until just cooked through. Taste for seasoning. To keep warm, keep soup just below a summer as it sits on the stove so seafood will not become tough or overcooked. Makes about 5 gallons. 

Cheddar-Beer Biscuits 


You will need:

2 1/3 c. buttermilk baking mix

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

2/3 cup flat beer 

Flour 

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine baking mix and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir in beer until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously 30 seconds. Turn out onto floured board. Roll to 1/2 – inch thick. Cut with 3- inch cutter dusted with flour. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 1 dozen biscuits. For best results do not double recipe. To make enough for open-house party make biscuits three times. 

Focaccia 


You will need:

6 -6 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 

2 T. sugar 

4 tsp. salt 

2 pkgs. active dry yeast 

2 c. water 

3/4 cup olive oil 

2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. dry rubbed sage 

2 garlic cloves 

With mixer on low speed combine 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In saucepan over low heat, heat water and 1/4 cup oil until very warm. With mixer on low speed, add liquid to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes. Add 2 cups flour and beat on high speed 2 minutes. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Divide in half. Spread each half into a jelly roll pan. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover; let rise 30 minutes. Make lots of indentations on dough with thumb. Sprinkle each pan of dough with 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, sage, and garlic. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 2 loaves.

Prosciutto Bread 

You will need:

2 T. sugar

4 tsp. salt

2 pkgs. active dry yeast 

6 cups flour 

2 c. water 

1/4 cup olive oil 

1 1/2 c.chopped prosciutto or ham 

1 1/2 tsp. dried basil 

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 

Olive oil 

In large bowl with mixer on low speed, combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 3 cups flour; mix well. In saucepan over low heat, heat water and oil until warm. With mixer at medium-low speed, gradually add liquid to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes. Add 2 cups flour and beat on high speed 2 minutes. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down. Knead in prosciutto, basil, and oregano. Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into a 15 inch-long loaf. Transfer to baking sheet. Make diagonal slits along top of loaf. Cover; let rise 30 minutes. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with olive oil. Makes 2 loaves.

Chocolate Walnut Pie


You will need:

3 squares semisweet-baking chocolate 

2 T. butter or margarine 

4 large eggs 

1/2 c. sugar

1 c. light corn syrup 

3 T. Kahlua 

2 c. walnuts 

1 9 inch unbaked pie crust

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In top of double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely. In a medium bowl with fork, beat eggs with sugar and corn syrup until light and fluffy. Blend in chocolate. Stir in nuts and Kahlua. Pour into pie shell and bake about 40 minutes or until center is set. A toothpick will not come out clean when inserted in center. Pie will firm up as it cools. Let stand at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Can be made 3 to 4 days in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. For a party of 50, make 5 pies.

Whether you entertain a lot or a little, you want to do it well. Hopefully these suggestions and recipes will inspire you to put together a delicious, elegant get together in a minimum of time. 

And speaking of time, don’t forget to be on the lookout for my video on Sunday, which is when you can enter the 24 hour giveaway. Everyone that enters will receive a $50.00 gift certificate and 1 person will win a watch. I’m excited for everyone that enters! 

Thank you so much for your time and attention. It is truly appreciated. 

Yours truly,

Jennifer

Xoxo


Fashion,Truffles, and Bellinis: Celebrating Versatility and Variety 

Don’t you love it when you find something so fabulous you want to wear it again and again? Or a recipe so perfect you want to keep on making it for everyone you know and love? Or a cocktail so incredibly easy to create you serve it at all your parties? 

Don’t you eventually get kind of tired and bored with those things and wish you had other options and varieties just as perfect as the original but a little bit different? Of course ! That’s what I thought! 

The idea for this blog post came to me when I was approached by a lovely friend I knew from Instagram. Dana Poitevint https://www.instagram.com/danapoitevint/ asked me if I would like to pick out a few pieces of clothing from her LuLa Roe business https://m.facebook.com/groups/lularoedanapoitevint/ and create 2 outfits to share on Instagram and here on the blog. I actually loved the clothes so much, I took those few (3) pieces and came up with six outfits.

She also generously offered this code: mtf10 ( mommyteacherfashionista- save 10% off) for all of you to use on any purchase from her line of versatile clothing. 

I was familiar with the line because over the summer I wore a “Julia” dress and loved the fit. I was surprised to see the variety of patterns it came in. The “Julia” is a form fitting, knee length, knit dress with mid-length sleeves and a high neckline. Its simple silhouette makes the Julia dress a great canvas for layering and accessorizing. This dress is a staple for every season’s wardrobe. It is feminine, flattering, and like me, you might not want to take it off. This is what got me thinking about old favorites  and adding variety. I loved the dress so much I didn’t want to just wear and show it as 1 outfit. Here it is 3 different ways. As you can see I just changed around layers and accessories, using items from my closet,and created 3 entirely different looks with 1 new dress. 





For more patterns and information about the “Julia” -http://www.lularoe.com/julia-dress/ 

The other Lula Roe outfit, or pieces, I picked out are the “Cassie” skirt and the “Randy” unisex tee-shirt. 

The “Cassie” is a flattering and comfortable pencil skirt with an adjustable waistband that can help you  alter the length as desired. I changed my “Cassie” skirt so it would be a little shorter to accommodate OTK boots in the last two looks. 

All three looks include the “Cassie” skirt and the “Randy” unisex tee shirt. I love the fit and feel of this raglan tee. It resembles a classic baseball shirt and has the style, ease, and comfort a perfect tee should.



For the full “Cassie” collection- http://www.lularoe.com/cassie-skirt/

For the full “Randy” collection- http://www.lularoe.com/randy-tee

Check out Dana’s Inventory Sale this Wednesday for lots more information and many other amazing pieces from her line. You can join her group here- https://m.facebook.com/groups/lularoedanapoitevint/#_=_ and don’t forget to save 10% with my code : mtf10 😉 

When you do find Lula Roe Pieces you love, or any new items of clothing, don’t be afraid to make them unique, style them and restyle them again and again in different ways. It’s great to absolutely love an item or outfit so much and you don’t have to ever let yourself get bored with your clothes. Just own your own look and be yourself. 


Variety and versatility doesn’t just apply to fashion and creating outfits. I’m going to show you how two very tried and true recipes can be created and recreated for optimal pleasure and enjoyment. 

They are both perfect for this time of year when you may want to give someone a homemade gift from the heart or you may be in the mood for a sparkling wine mixture with a whole lot of personality rather than just the same old Prosecco. 

Truffle Love 


Lucious Chocolate Truffles


This will make 2 dozen classic chocolate truffles. 

You will need: 

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 

2 tablespoons butter 

1/4 cup whipping cream 

2 tablespoons liqueur ( almond, cherry,coffee, hazelnut, Irish cream, orange, raspberry, etc.) 

1 tablespoon shortening 

Finely chopped nuts 

1/4 cup powdered sugar or cocoa, if desired 

1/2 teaspoon milk, if desired 

1/2 teaspoon milk, if desired 

1. Line cookie sheet with foil. In heavy saucepan, melt one cup of the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in butter. Stir in whipping cream and liqueur. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thick enough to hold a shape. 

2. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto foil. Shape into balls. Freeze 30 minutes. 

3. In 1 quart saucepan, heat shortening and remaining 1 cup chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Using fork, dip chocolates one at a time, into chocolate. Return to cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle some of the truffles with nuts, small candies, powdered sugar or cocoa. 

4. In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar and milk until smooth; drizzle over some of the truffles. Refrigerate just until set. Store in airtight container in refrigerator and and serve at room temperature by removing from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. 

Of course you can change this recipe around by using different liqueurs and toppings. 


Here are a few other simple ways to keep it interesting and never let anyone get bored with your truffles 😉 

Coconut Toffee Truffles 


Stir 3 tablespoons chopped chocolate covered English toffee candy into whipping cream mixture. Sprinkle truffles with additional chopped candy and coconut instead of the nuts as directed in Step 3. 

Milk Chocolate Truffles 


Substitute 1 cup milk chocolate chips for the 1 cup semisweet chips in Step 1.

White and Dark Chocolate Truffles 


Stir 3 tablespoons chopped white chocolate baking bar into whipping cream mixture. Drizzle with melted white chocolate instead of powdered sugar mixture as directed in Step 4. 


Presentation is everything, so keep the interests and personality of the recipient in mind when packaging your truffle gift.



Bellini Love


The original Bellini was reportedly invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani. His original recipe was made by mixing Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine, into puréed white peaches. While this combination is delightful, there are many other fabulous variations so simple and satisfying to create as well.

Peach Bellini 



For Each Drink:

1 part fresh peach purée 

2 parts iced champagne or other sparkling white wine 

Raspberries for garnish

Spoon the fruit purée into a fluted champagne glass. Pour in the champagne and stir to blend. Garnish with raspberries.

Pear Bellini 


Prepare drink as for Peach Bellini, but use: 

1 part fresh pear purée 

2 parts iced champagne 

Garnish with Rosemary 


Strawberry Bellini 


Prepare drink as for Peach Bellini, but use: 

1 part strawberry purée 

2 parts iced champagne 

Mango Bellini 


Prepare drink as for Peach Bellini, but use:

1 part fresh mango purée 

2 parts iced champagne 

Hope you enjoyed this variety of versatile fashion from Lula Roe, luscious handmade candy, and delightful cocktails for just when you need a refreshing, sparkling treat. 

Thank you so much for your time and attention. I hope you found this worthwhile and I hope it inspires you to add a little creativity and variety to all you do. 


Yours truly,

Jennifer

Xoxo 

Eco-Friendly Fashion with Aventura and Amazing Game Day Party Appetizers 

It is a typical January night in Rhode Island. It’s 28 degrees and the Patriots are taking on the Chiefs tonight in the NFL Playoffs. For those of you who do not know, the Patriots ( or Tom Brady & Co. ) are a BIG DEAL around here. My principal and assistant principal at the school I am currently teaching kindergarten in encouraged us all to wear Patriot logo gear yesterday. 

Today, I need to be extra warm but also have extra sparkle ( cheering for Tom) so I am opting for this ‘Clara’ dress from Aventura which is easily found here: http://instagram.com/aventuraclothing Aventura uses organic and sustainable fibers to make fashionable clothing with with low environmental impact. All the eco-friendly dresses from Aventura are ultra soft and flattering, made with organic materials and easily snazzed up for festive occasions.  This dress could be very casual if left unadorned and worn with casual boots, however that’s not my style, even for watching football. 

I added a sequin vest and boots, both found at thredup.com, a faux pearl statement necklace from http://dalexandercollections.tictail.com/product/pearl-statement-necklace and bracelets from http://www.alexandani.com/. 

My belt was from a cocktail dress in my closet and I picked up the white blouse at Express over 3 years ago. 







I live by this quote and admire others who share a bit about themselves through their clothing and accessories. I don’t wear sports motto apparel but I will cheer on my favorite team with a special ensemble (sequins and ‘Cheers’ bracelet set) and of course, special treats. 

Caribbean Chicken Wings


You will need:

1/2 cup pineapple juice 

1/2 cup ketchup 

1/4 cup packed brown sugar 

1/4 cup teriyaki marinade and sauce (from 10 oz. bottle ) 

1/4 cup honey 

2 cloves garlic 

2 pounds chicken wing drummettes

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In 1 quart saucepan, heat all ingredients except chicken to boiling, stirring occasionally. Place chicken in pan, pour sauce over chicken. 

3. Bake uncovered about 1 hour, turning chicken 2 or 3 times, until chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone.

4. Spray inside of  3 1/2 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover; keep warm on Low heat setting. 

Roast Beef Bruschetta 

You will need: 

1 loaf (1 lb) French baguette bread, cut into thirty 1/4-inch slices 

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 

1/2 cup chive-and-onion cream cheese spread ( from 8-oz container)

1/2 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef 

1/4 teaspoon coarsley ground pepper 

4 plum (Roma) tomatoes, thinly sliced 

8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush both sides of bread slices with oil. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 5 minutes or until crisp. Cool 5 minutes. 

2. Spread cream cheese over each each slice. Top with beef; sprinkle with pepper. Top with tomato slice and green onions. 

Italian Nachos 


You will need:

28 slices baguette French bread 

Olive oil cooking spray 

1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage 

2/3 cup Alfredo pasta sauce 

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

1 large tomato 

1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained 

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 

Chopped fresh parsley 

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line large cookie sheet with foil. On cookie sheet, arrange bread slices with sides touching. Spray tops of bread slices lightly with cooking spray. Bake 6-8 minutes or until light golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, in 10 inch skillet, cook sausage over medium high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in Alfredo sauce and Italian seasoning.

3. Spoon sausage mixture evenly over bread slices. Sprinkle evenly with tomato, olives and cheese. Bake about 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot. 


Hot Buttered Rum


You will need need:

Hot Buttered Rum Batter

1 cup butter, softened 

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 

1 cup whipping ( heavy) cream 

2 cups powdered sugar 

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

For each serving:

2 tablespoons rum 

1/2 cup boiling water 

Ground nutmeg 

White chocolate curls, if desired 

1. In medium bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in whipping cream and powdered sugar alternately on low speed until smooth. Stir in nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Use immediately or freeze up to 3 months. 

2. For each serving, place rum and 2 tablespoons Hot Buttered Rum Batter in mug. Stir in boiling water. Sprinkle with nutmeg and white chocolate curls.

Hot Spiced Wine


You will need:

1 cup packed brown sugar 

2 1/2 cups orange juice 

1 cup water 

Peel of 2 oranges 

6 whole cloves 

3 whole allspice 

1 four-inch stick cinnamon 

1 bottle dry red wine or nonalcoholic red wine 

Orange slices, if desired 

Additional whole cloves, if desired 

1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat all ingredients except wine, orange juice and additional cloves to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes.

2. Remove orange juice and spices. Stir in wine. Heat just until hot ( do not boil). Serve hot in mugs or heatproof glasses. Garnish each serving with orange slice studded with additional whole cloves.


Cosmo Slush 


You will need:

6 oz frozen ( thawed ) limeade concentrate 

3 tablespoons powdered sugar 

2 cups citrus flavored vodka or orange juice 

1 cup orange flavored liqueur or orange juice 

4 cups 100% cranberry juice blend 

1. In blender, place limeade concentrate and powdered sugar. Cover; blend on high speed until well mixed.

2. In 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish, stir limeade mixture and cranberry juice until well mixed.

3.Cover; freeze at least 8 hours until slushy. Stir before serving. 


Whether the Patriots win or lose, I will always support my favorite local team and I will always do my best to make game day special. I was thinking of purchasing this set I saw https://www.aliexpress.com/popular/patriots-bracelets.html for the Super Bowl.


Thank you so much for visiting the blog today. As always, I appreciate your time and attention and hope you found this post worthwhile. 

I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on Eco-Friendly Fashion ?  Do you have any kind of Game Day traditions? What types of foods do you find work well when entertaining a crowd of people for a casual event? And lastly, do you prefer sequins or team- logo attire for cheering on your favorite team? 

Yours truly, 

Jennifer 

Xoxo


Ps. One last thought …


Sassy and Satisfying Simple Pleasures: Budget and Calorie Saving Fashion and Food Inspiration 

Simple pleasures- that’s what people most often feel like they are missing when they are trying to save money or eat right. I will show you a few options to for saving money and eating healthier that will also allow you to look your best and enjoy flavorful, lightened up classic foods. The recipes will warm your heart and soothe your soul. The fashion tips will keep you slaying and keep money in the bank so you can finally plan that trip you’ve always wanted to go on or that home-remodeling job you have been thinking about. 

Let’s start with fashion. Think secondhand first. As the thredup.com motto states: “Save time, save money. Live consciously, live well. Look good, feel good.” I couldn’t have stated it better myself. It’s all true. 

Right now on the thredup.com site you will see winter layers up to 75% off, activewear starting at $3.00, and top kid’s brands for less than $10. I also saw Anthropology, J.crew, and Banana Republic suit separates for less than $30.00 each today while browsing on the thredup app. They have many items in perfect condition with tags still on! 

Did you just clean out your closet and want to earn credit at thredup.com or cash to pay off a bill? Order a free clean out bag here http://support.thredup.com/hc/en-us/articles/203414936-How-do-I-order-and-ship-a-Clean-Out-Bag-with-thredUP- You will be amazed at how easy it is. 

This Cache dress was less than $20.00 at thredup almost 2 years ago. I’m sure some of you are thinking “Oh,that dress again!” I’ve worn it so many times and posted it quite a few times as well. However, that brings me to another money-saving tip: Shop your closet, of course!! 

Find cute, trendy accessories at affordable prices at like these OTK boots and this faux fur vest at places such as burlingtoncoatfactory.com , marshalls.com and target.com.  Both my vest and boots are from BCF. I also visit http://www.polyvore.com and use the price filter to only look for the most affordable items. I found all of these faux fur vests and OTK boots today. They are all steals rather than splurges. 



You can find affordable, on-trend accessories many places, add them to your favorite pieces in your closet and you won’t have to wait for a sale or dig into your vacation fund to look amazing! 

See ? Sassy enough and you don’t have to feel sad about digging into any of your savings.


So, are you ready for flavorful, lightened up classics? Do not feel like you are missing out on simple pleasures when you are trying to eat right. That hearty pot roast and slice of chocolate cake can be all you crave when the wind starts whipping and faux fur weather begins. Luckily, these recipes all include the right blend of ingredients and a few lighter substitutions so you can still enjoy your all-time favorites in a healthier way. 


Maple Orange Pot Roast


You will need:

1 boneless beef rump roast 

1/2 cup orange juice 

1/4 cup sugar-free maple-flavored syrup

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth 

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon grated orange peel 

1 bay leaf 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/4 teaspoon pepper 

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into large chunks 

5 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces 

2 celery ribs 

2 medium onions, cut into wedges 

4 teaspoons cornstarch 

1/4 cup cold water

In a large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown roast on all sides; drain. Place in a roasting pan coated with the nonstick cooking spray. In the same skillet, combine the orange juice, syrup, wine or broth, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, orange peel, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; pour over meat. Place the carrots, potatoes, celery and onions around the roast. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours.

Remove meat and vegetables and keep warm. Pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Discard bay leaf and skim fat. Pour into a saucepan. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pot roast and vegetables. 

8 servings 

1 serving = 335 calories/ 8 grams of fat 


Simplicity can also apply to a classic feel-good favorite like this, almost like a security blanket for the soul.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup


You will need:

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

1 cup water 

2 cups frozen French-cut green beans 

1 1/2 cups sliced onions

 1 cup coarsly chopped shredded carrots 

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram 

2/3 cup reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix

1/3 cup cornmeal 

1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

1/3 cup fat-free milk 

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, sauté chicken in oil until browned and juices run clear. 

In a large saucepan, combine flour and 1/2 cup broth until smooth. Stir in water and remaining broth. Add the beans, carrots, onions, marjoram, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cornmeal and cheese. Stir in milk just until moistened. Drop batter in 12 mounds onto simmering soup. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. 

1 1/4 cups soup with 3 dumplings =353 calories and 8 g fat 

Do not skip dessert. No one will believe this but this ooey-gooey chocolate cake is actually light.

Caramel-Pecan Chocolate Cake 


You will need:

1 package (14 ounces) caramels 

1 can (14 ounces) fat- free sweetened condensed milk 

1/3 cup butter 

4 squares ( 1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted 

1/3 cup canola oil 

1 1/2 cups water 

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce 

2 egg whites 

1 egg 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

1 1/3 cups sugar 

1/3 cup sugar blend 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon salt 

3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted 

1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar 

In a small heavy saucepan, heat the caramels, milk and butter over low heat. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chocolate and oil. Beat in the water, applesauce, egg whites, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, sugar blend, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture until blended. 

Pour half of batter into a 13 inch x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cake; top with remaining batter. Sprinkle with pecans. 

Bake 18-23 minutes and then cook on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners’ 

sugar. 

24 servings 

1 serving = 318 calories and 13 g fat 


This is a rather comforting little pleasure that can be served before or after dinner.

Hot Bourbon Orange Tea Toddy 


Your will need:

1  (3 inch ) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges 

1/4 cup honey 

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

3 regular size orange pekoe tea bags

1/2 cup bourbon 

Bring first 4 ingredients and 1 quart of water to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add tea bags. Let steep 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard solids. Whisk in bourbon and serve warm or hot. 


Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I appreciate your time and attention and hope you found the post useful and enjoyable. 

What are your favorite ways to save money, stay stylish, and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle? 

I’d love to hear from you ! 

Yours truly,

Jennifer 

Xoxo 

Casual Chic Elegance: Effortless Fashion and Entertaining Inspiration 

Who says a shirt dress should be plain? Not me ! I love finding cool and casual pieces that are anything but plain and also have a bit of sophistication and elegance. You can imagine how thrilled I was to see this artfully designed Elenyum shirt collar, A-Line, short sleeve, printed dress at StyleWe. https://www.stylewe.com/?utm_source=lookbook.com&utm_campaign=helilan&utm_medium=social&utm_term=ID&utm_content=jenquattrucci 


Find this dress quickly here https://www.stylewe.com/product/shirt-collar-a-line-short-sleeve-printed-casual-shirt-dress-1842.html

I added a long sleeve tee-shirt, hat,tights, and heels from target.com to make it appropriate for the cold weather we are having now. However, I’ll be sure to get plenty of use out of this amazing dress in the summer, adding just a casual sandal and a lighter, straw hat. 

My lipstick is Fly Girl by Lipsense which can be found here: https://m.facebook.com/groups/designerlips


Not only can your outfit be a work of art but your lunch can be too. Or your dinner. And it can be healthy and easy to put together and elegant enough to serve to guests. 

How about a beautiful Cajun Salmon Salad that only takes 25 minutes and is less than 350 calories a serving ? 


You will need: 

1 pound fresh or frozen salmon

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 

1 cup fat-free Thousand Island salad dressing 

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 

1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning 

4 cups packaged lettuce mix

1 cup cooked brown rice 

1 cup, no salt added organic kidney beans, rinsed and drained 

1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers 

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove bones. Brush both sides of fish with olive oil and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning; set aside.

2. Oil grate when ready to start grilling. Place fish on hot oiled grill. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Do not overcook.

3. For dressing, in a small bowl, combine salad dressing, hot pepper sauce, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning.

4.Divide lettuce among 4 chilled plates. Top each plate with 1:4 cup rice, 1/4 cup beans, 2 tablespoons bell peppers, and one-quarter of the fish. Arrange artfully and serve with dressing.


How about this beautiful, newly enlightened chicken salad with a tropical twist? It’s a perfect meal full of delicious and appealing super foods. 

Tropical Chicken Salad


You will need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Refrigerated pineapple chunks

1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt 

1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

4 cups romaine lettuce 

1 cup refrigerated mango chunks 

8 strawberries 

1 avocado, sliced 

1. Set up grill for direct cooking over high heat. Brush both sides of chicken breast halves with olive oil; set aside.

2. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Place chicken on hot oiled grill. Cook 4-6 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink.

3. For dressing, drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Measure 1 cup pineapple chunks; set aside. Refrigerate remaining juice and pineapple for another use. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/3 cup reserved pineapple juice, yogurt, and orange juice concentrate. Set aside.

4. On a large platter, arrange romaine, chicken, pineapple chunks, mango chunks, strawberries, and avocado slices. Serve with dressing. 


My favorite healthy lunch to order when I’m out is also easy to prepare and rather delightful to serve when entertaining friends. 

Chicken and Baby Spinach with Raspberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette 


You will need:

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries 

1/2 cup light balsamic vinaigrette 

3/4 teaspoon sugar 

8 cups baby spinach 

1 cup sliced cucumber 

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion 

1 1/3 cups purchased chicken breast 

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup chopped pecans 

Ground black pepper 

1. For dressing, place 1/2 cup of the raspberries, salad dressing, and sugar in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the remaining 1 cup raspberries, spinach, cucumber, onion, and half of the dressing. 

3. Divide mixture among 4 chilled plates. Toss chicken strips with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Divide among the plates. Top with feta cheese and pecans. Season with pepper. 


As a mom and kindergarten teacher I treasure the time I spend with children and like to make it not only enjoyable but also a valuable learning experience.

I found this unique and very favorable recipe in the book Pretend Soup by Katzen and Henderson. I have made it numerous times both in the classroom and at home with my own children and their friends. 

Number Salad 

 



Find the complete recipe here http://www.molliekatzen.com/kids.php?recipe=number_salad


The presentation of a meal made with love is so important. You can even bring one of these healthy salads to a friend’s home and gift them a fabulous new salad bowl and utensil set. 

http://cblfineart.com/shop/donna-toohey-small-ceramic-bowl-p-50.html

http://lavinantiques.com.au/decorative/5008.html

https://www.aliexpress.com/popular/pottery-salad-bowl.html


Ziggy Salad Servers



https://www.etsy.com/market/salad_servers

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog today!

I hope you found it enjoyable and I hope it inspires you to appreciate the loveliness all around us, either in a beautiful piece of clothing like my dress from https://www.stylewe.com/ , an artfully designed healthy meal, or just in the happy faces of the special people you are sharing your life with.

Yours truly,

Jennifer 

Xoxo 

Simple and Splendid Sunday Brunch Ideas: Fashion and Food Inspiration 

I have always been a huge fan of dressing up for any and all occasions. I’m guilty of restyling fancy cocktail dresses I love again and again to make them appropriate to wear to my job as a kindergarten teacher.

However I do believe I found the most perfect piece to nail a polished daytime look ( for brunch or any daytime occasion) that is still feminine and fun. 

I searched the https://www.stylewe.com/ website and was delighted to find the Dark Blue Polka Dots Girly A-Line Mini Dress. https://www.stylewe.com/product/dark-blue-polka-dots-pockets-girly-a-line-mini-dress-82983.html





It is so comfortable and warm. The lining is crystal velvet and so unbelievably cozy. I love the Peter Pan collar on this StyleWe dress and added my favorite necklace from Kate Spade. It is the Magnolia Bakery Mini Cupcake Pendant. 


You can find it here: https://m.katespade.com/products/magnolia-bakery-mini-cupcake-pendant/WBRUA960.html 

I am wearing Steve Madden red patent leather heels I found at thredUP.com but I found a similar pair here: https://www.google.com/shopping/product/14973588181154799451?q=steve+madden

My lipstick is a brand called lipsense and the shade is called Fly Girl. It is the most vibrant, gorgeous shade of red and I wear it often. The best part about it is that I never have to reapply it. It is smudgeproof, waterproof, and kissproof for up to 18 hours. You will get a substantial discount if you mention this post to Amanda at https://m.facebook.com/groups/designerlips or at http://instagram.com/designer_lips. 

My hat and tights are from target.com which is my go-to place for basics and an occasional fun accessory. 

I think this would be the perfect outfit to go out to brunch in, however when Sunday morning finally rolls around, you can take advantage of every glorious minute of it by planning a simple, splendid brunch. 

One option is a leisurely breakfast that can be savoured with a thick copy of the Sunday paper. Start with glasses of a tomato juice cocktail or a spicy Bloody Mary. Next try thick luscious slices of French Toast spiced with bourbon. Serve it with regular or Canadian Bacon- it only takes a  few minutes to sauté. ( The microwave makes cooking bacon a breeze.) To end the meal, enjoy bowlfuls of juicy and succulent fresh fruit. Make it with the market’s freshest selections. It’s perfect to top the bowls with pomegranate seeds. The jewel-like fruit is a real exotic treat and adds not only brilliant color but an interesting crunch too. Then, get cozy and enjoy more coffee, more of the paper and more of Sunday. These first few recipes are appropriate if you are in the mood to plan a breakfast for two. 

Bourbon French Toast


You will need:

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk 

1 T bourbon 

Grated rind from 1 orange 

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash grated nutmeg 

4 slices (1 inch) thick, challah or French bread 

Butter

Syrup:

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 T. bourbon 

1 T. butter 

In a shallow bowl or pie plate with wire whisk, combine eggs, milk, bourbon, orange rind, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until well mixed. Dip bread slices into egg mixture, turning to coat both sides. In a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, melt enough butter to coat the surface lightly. Add bread and cook until well golden on both sides, adding more butter or margarine as needed. In small saucepan over medium high heat, combine syrup, bourbon and butter. Heat until butter is melted. Serve syrup over toast with bacon.

Fresh Fruit Cup 


You will need:

1 medium apple, cored and cut into chunks

1 medium pear, cored and cut into chunks

1/2 cup red seedless grapes 

3T honey

1 T.fresh lemon or lime juice

1/4 c. pomegranate seeds 

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except pomegranate seeds. Toss until well coated. Just before serving, sprinkle some pomegranate seeds over each serving. 


Get the most from a pomegranate by starting from the stem end of the fruit and, using a small knife, score the skin into quarters. Then, simply pull the sections apart to expose the succulent seeds. Pluck them out leaving the bitter white membrane behind. The entire seed is edible.

Tomato Juice Cocktail 


You will need:

3/4 pound tomatoes, sliced 

1/3 cup chopped onion 

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons sliced celery

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool. 

Transfer tomato mixture to a blender; cover and process until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled. 

Spicy Bloody Mary


You will need:

16 oz tomato juice

3 oz vodka 

2 dashes hot red pepper sauce 

1 dash Worcestershire sauce 

2 jalapeño peppers 

Pinch celery salt 

Pinch black pepper 

1 lemon, juiced 

Celery spears, for garnish 

Combine all ingredients, except celery spears, in a small pitcher. Pour into large glasses filled with ice and garnish with celery spears.

Note: You can omit the alcohol in this recipe for a Virgin Mary.


Another idea is to make someone feel special with this leisurely, heartwarming spread. This savory omelette, mouth- watering potato medley served with the refreshing tomatoes juice cocktail above will definitely warm up a wintry day!

Fresh Vegtable Omelette 


You will need:

4 egg whites

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 

2 eggs 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon butter 

1 medium tomato 

1 small zucchini 

1 small onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

1/3 cup shredded cheese

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, water and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and salt until thick and lemon- colored, about 5 minutes. Fold in the whites. 

Melt butter in a 10-in. nonstick ovenproof skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add egg mixture. Cook over medium heat for five minutes or until puffed. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, sauté the tomato, zucchini, onion, green pepper, and Italian seasoning until tender. Carefully run a knife around edge of omelet to loosen. With a sharp knife, score center of omelet. Place vegetables on one side and sprinkle with cheese; fold other side over filling. Slide into a serving plate; cut in half. 

Skillet Potatoes 


You will need: 

1 large baking potato 

1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper

1/4 cup chopped celery 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil 

1/2 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms 

1/2 teaspoon paprika 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place potato in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a nonstick skillet coated with nonstick spray, cook the other vegetables in oil for 2-4 minutes. Stir in the potato, paprika, salt and pepper; cook until lightly browned. 


One last way to be hospitable and treat your family and friends ( or just yourself ) to a special brunch is to prepare an assortment of oven- fresh scones. Serve with hot tea or coffee and lots blankets for snuggling up. 


In addition to being time-honored delights in Britain, scones have garnered a following on this side of the Atlantic too. The charming bites are not only versatile and easy to prepare, but their wholesome goodness perfectly compliments the lifestyles of health-minded bakers.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Scones


You will need:

2 cups all purpose flour 

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour 

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup butter

1 3/4 cups 1% buttermilk 

1 1/2 cups blueberries 

1 tablespoon sugar

In a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking power and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in blueberries. Turn into a floured surface; gently knead 10 times.

Transfer dough to a baking sheet covered with cooking spray. Pat into a 9 inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges, but do not separate. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 39-35 minutes or until golden brown. 

Coconut-Glazed Orange Scones


You will need:

3 3/4 cups self-rising flour 

1/4 cup sugar 

2 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 cup cold butter 

2 eggs 

1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons fat-free milk, divided 

1 teaspoon grated orange peel 

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, 1 cup milk and orange peel; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Roll into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Using a floured pizza cutter, cut widthwise into 2 inch strips, then diagonally into into 2 inch strips, forming diamond shapes. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. For glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, coconut extract, and enough remaining milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over scones. Serve warm. 

Parmesan Sage Scones


You will need: 

2 1/4 cups biscuit / baking mix

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

1 3/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage 

1/4 teaspoon pepper 

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon half and half cream, divided 

8 fresh sage leaves 

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cheese, sage, and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup cream. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 5 times. Transfer dough to a baking sheet coated with spray. Pat into a 6 inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate. Brush the remaining cream over dough. Press a sage leaf onto the top of each wedge. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm. 


A Few More Tips:

When hosting a brunch at your home, make your space as comfortable as possible. There’s not much you can do about the layout of your house. That much is true. But you can bring in extra chairs or big cushions into a room you think most people will hang out and mingle in. 

Music adds so much to the atmosphere  (well, to the world)so definitely do not forget to put together a playlist you think your guest ( or guests) will enjoy. I love this blog http://www.turntablekitchen.com/ for excellent food/ music pairings and compilations. 


It’s also a good idea to have games on hand. These are a few of our favorite family games.


My all – time favorite:


 If there are younger children involved, we let them be part of the adult teams and it works out. Most of the time the children want to be with us even if they are just helping, rather than be on their own with a game for younger children. When opening your home to others, do your best to make everyone feel special. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I hope you found it worthwhile and that it inspires you to try something new this year. 

I’m glad I found this dress at https://www.stylewe.com/ and I’m planning to get lots of use out of it while making the most out of cozy Sunday brunches in the new year. 

What are your plans for this weekend and the New Year ? I’d love to hear what you are planning ! 

Yours truly,

Jennifer 

Xoxo