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