Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Favorites

1. Sweater Dresses

I bought my favorite sweater dress (seen here)

from Anthro and you're not going to believe this...
but it's on sale at a third the original price right now! It's sometimes hard to find things that are good work-to-play crossovers, but not with this dress. I wore it to work today. And I wore it in a fashion shoot three months ago. Even under a faux fur coat or a wool cape, this dress works hard to do its part.

2. Brushstroke Florals

3. The Greatest Altoids Ever

Presenting Dark Chocolate Dipped Ginger Altoids. They also come in peppermint and cinnamon, but why even bother with those when they have Ginger?

4. Benefit Cosmetics

My skin was saved by Benefit's tinted moisturizer (with SPF). Before I found You Rebel, I tried every type of foundation known to womankind, including the mineral powder stuff. This is better. God, I sound like QVC.

5. Michael Stars tanks, tees, dresses, etc.

And I'm so glad you stuck around to the end, because Benefit Cosmetics AND Michael Stars have teamed up to offer this AMAZING Sweepstakes. I just found it this week, and it's kind of too good to be true.

Get this: the grand prize winner will receive $600 worth of Michael Stars and Benefit Cosmetics every season for one year, a.k.a. $2,400 worth of pure goodness.

When I typed "Golden Style Sweepstakes" into google images, I didn't find what I was looking for. I did, however, find this:

It looks like Finny won the Best in Sweepstakes for the Des Moines Golden Retriever Club! Congratulations to Finny, and congratulations to whoever wins the Benefit/Michael Stars Sweepstakes.

If you happen to win and you read about it here, will you please send me a lipgloss at your earliest convenience?
Merci beaucoup!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The folks at ModCloth kindly asked for the best mac & cheese recipe known to man.

You may think that based on recent posts, I'm somehow affiliated with Modcloth, or get some kind of kickback from them. I only wish that were true, (especially if the kickback came in the form of dresses).
The truth is, I just really love their style and the story behind the company, so I wanted to share with them, and with you, dear reader, my husband's famous Baked Green Chile Mac & Cheese.

Thanks to Food Network, for the photo. This is exactly what ours looks like! OK, ours might not be as pretty. But I bet it's more delicious.

Here is the recipe in all its one-million-calorie glory. Seriously, it's awful for you. I'd recommend saving this recipe for special occasions, like Christmas, or Tuesday. Enjoy, and don't hold me responsible for any impending heart attacks.

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp powdered mustard
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/2 c. half & half
1/2 c. yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 c to 1 c diced New Mexico green chiles
1 bay leaf
1 tsp smoked paprika, or more to taste (if you can't get smoked paprika, don't bother)
1 large egg at room temp, or gently warmed in a water bath
6 Oz. of good quality (not KRAFT) sharp cheddar, shredded
6 Oz. smoked gouda, shredded
1/2 c. parmesan
Fresh black pepper

1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. bread crumbs or panko
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp herbs de province
Salt to taste
xtra bread crumbs to prepare baking dish

Note, if you can't get good quality New Mexico green chile, fresh or frozen, I'd recommend making it with chipotles in Adobo instead, because canned green chile is an abomination unto the lard. I'd start with 2 chipotles finely diced and 1 to 2 Tbsp of the adobo sauce, then add to taste. (Don't use the whole can-- I wouldn't even mention this, except a good friend made this mistake once, and it was pretty painful to all parties involved.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare a baking dish by coating with butter and then with bread crumbs or panko

Shred cheddar and gouda and mix together into a bowl with 1/2 c. parmesean, stir together well.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta until it is nearly al dente, but a little toothy.

In a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard. Whisk gently for about 5 minutes until the roux begins to brown. Make sure it's completely free of lumps.

Stir in the milk, half & half, onion, green chile (or chipotles & adobo sauce) bay leaf, and paprika. bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about ten minutes until it thickens. Stir occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.

Break egg into a separate dish and whisk thoroughly. Ladle a small amount of the roux into the egg and whisk, to temper the egg. Repeat this a couple of times. Then stir egg mixture into the roux.

slowly Stir in 3/4 of the cheese, allowing it to melt thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into the baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Make the topping:
Melt i/4 c. butter in a small sauce pan

Mix 1/2 c. parmesan, 1/2 c. bread crumbs and 1 Tbsp. herbs de province and salt to taste, in together in a separate bowl, then add to the melted butter and stir until a dry, clumpy mixture forms.

Top the mac n cheese with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes before serving.

I typically consume between three and four times the amount of mac & cheese seen here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

After reading Cormac McCarthy's

The Road

(which I absolutely loved and would describe as two parts horror to one part beauty)
I needed to take the edge off a bit, so I'm rereading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

And come on, it has something to do with the newest movie as well...

If you haven't seen it, you have to-- not because it's necessarily the best interpretation, but come on. Johnny, Helena and Anne-- I mean, come ON.

When I was little I loved the whimsy and silliness of the story, and when I reread it in college, I definitely picked up on the social commentary. This time around, I'm finding it absolutely hilarious and well... wonderful.

What are your favorite books from childhood?
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