NYFW 2015 (& other NYC things.)

I’m not sure there’s anything better than a weekend with friends, homemade taco nights and visiting one of your favorite cold brew destinations in Brooklyn. And that’s just the start of my recent weekend adventure to NYC.

Manhattan as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge.
Manhattan as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge.

Keep reading for the who, what and where of the city girl experience I like to call N(ew).Y(ork).F(riend).W(eekend)..

Continue reading NYFW 2015 (& other NYC things.)

Lou & Grey Spring Shopping Party

It’s a little over two weeks until the official start of spring but the season has been in full swing since the latest collection landed at the sister store to Ann Inc.’s LOFT. If you haven’t met Lou & Grey, it’s the style secret  you’ve been waiting for and on Sunday I had the chance to meet and greet with some of the stylists at my local store.

“It’s spring and everything is getting a fresh look, including Lou & Grey…”

Keep reading for more of the who, what & wear from this weekend’s fantastic event!

Continue reading Lou & Grey Spring Shopping Party

Turkey Day Recipes You Can D.I.Y.

If there’s one tradition I love most about the holidays, it’s probably the food. My Dad takes great pride in his gravy while my Mom has an amazing recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. When it comes to appetizers, my sister made some amazing stuffed mushrooms last year (a recipe I hope she plans on replicating :hint hint:) and my brother specializes in, well, eating. This year I am looking for new ways to spice up my holiday contribution and below I’ve included some of the ideas that I have come up with!

Hors D’oeuvres: Artichoke Bread a la Closet Cooking

Game time/ midday snack? Don't mind if I do!
Game time/ midday snack? Don’t mind if I do!

What you need:

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped-2 green onions, sliced-2 cloves garlic, chopped-4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature-1/4 cup mayonnaise-1/2 cup sour cream-1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded-1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated-1 loaf Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise

Mix the artichoke hearts, green onions, garlic, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano reserving some of the cheese. Hollow 1/2 an inch out of the center of both halves of the bread. Spread the mixture into the hole in the bread slices and top with the reserved cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven covered in foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

SaladArugula Salad with Grapes, Manchego and Toasted Pecans a la Three More Big Bites

Break up your menu laden with baked treats for some crisp greens!
Break up your menu laden with baked treats for some crisp greens!

What you need:

1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar-1 tablespoon champagne vinegar-1 tablespoon fig jam-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt-1/8 freshly ground pepper-2 medium bunches arugula, rinsed well and thick stems removed-1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped-1/2 cup red grapes, halved-1/8 lb Manchego cheese thinkly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegars and fig jam. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Season dressing with salt and pepper. In a large salad bowl, combine arugula, pecans, grapes and manchego. Toss with dressing and serve.

Side: Brussels Sprout Hash with Carmelized Shallots a la The Noshery

More veggies to make for a delicious side!
More veggies to make for a delicious side!

What you need:

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) of butter, divided-1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced-Coarse kosher salt-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar -4 teaspoons sugar-1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, quartered -3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil-1/2 cup water

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes. Quarter brussels sprouts length wise. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown at edges, 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and 3 tablespoons butter. Sauté until most of water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 3 minutes. Serve and top with shallots.

Dessert: Vegan Thumbprint Cookie a la Whole Foods

A little sweet for your savory Thanksgiving or holiday menu!
A little sweet for your savory Thanksgiving or holiday menu!

What you need:

1 cup almonds or pecans-1 cup rolled oats-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour-1/2 cup expeller-pressed canola oil-1/2 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup-1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt-5 tablespoons fruit juice sweetened jam

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put almonds and oats into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and add flour, oil, syrup and salt. Stir to combine well. Roll walnut-sized balls of the dough in the palm of your hand to form each cookie, then arrange on 2 large baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Press your thumb gently down into the center of each cookie to make an indentation. Spoon a scant teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake cookies until golden brown and just firm around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool completely, then serve immediately or store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container.

Drink: Cranberry Orange Punch a la Martha Stewart

Cranberry Orange Punch
Pop. Fizz. Clink. Gobble.

What you need:

1 ½ cup of water-1 cup of sugar-zest and juice of one orange-4 sprigs of sage-4 cups of cranberry juice-1 cup of vodka-¼ cup of Triple Sec liquer-sliced, skewered kumquats and cranberries, for garnish

Boil water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add zest and sage. Steep 45 minutes and let cool. In a large pitcher, combine cranberry juice, vodka, Triple Sec, orange juice, and the sugar-sage mixture. Let chill and serve in a punch bowl. Garnish with kumquats and cranberries.

What recipes will you try this holiday season? Share them in the comments below, on Facebook or by tweeting your recipes to me by following @vanessainboston. Happy Holidays!

xo, Vanessa