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


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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