Olé y’all!

My sister Christine is the Queen of Mexican food. When we’re both home, we usually have Fiesta night at least once a week. To be honest, I never really craved Mexican food until recently (I’m more like the Queen of Sushi) 🙂 But this Tofu Taco recipe courtesy of my friend Alyssa is one of my all-time favorites. It will have everyone, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, screaming ‘Olé!’

Watch as something pale and bland like tofu transforms…

into an incredibly flavorful entree. Mmm-mm… muy bueno!

Tofu Tacos

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 15 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled (about 2 cups)
  • ½ large white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I use pasta sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 10 tortillas (corn or flour)
  • toppings (i.e. lettuce, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream)

(1) Sauté the tofu in oil for 4-5 minutes until browned, then add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened. 
(2) Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and soy sauce. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the tomato sauce and water; simmer over low heat.
(3) Heat tortillas in a heavy, ungreased skillet, turning each from side to side until soft and pliable. Take the tortilla off the heat and place a small amount of the tofu mixture in the center of each then fold the tortilla in half.
(4) Garnish with whatever toppings you desire.

Makes 10 tacos

I’m also incredibly excited because Christine shipped me my cowboy boots, which I received today! NYC is about to get some southern style y’all.

Advertisements

food & fashion: sites i love

http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/

LA girl Emily Schuman incorporates posts on food, fashion, and home design all with IMPECCABLE taste. it’s a high quality blog from someone of a younger generation which I especially find inspiring! it’s hard not to be sparked by creativity from the beautiful photographs of Emily’s blog– makes me go California dreamin’ every time.

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/

I love my Vogue but for more realistic fashion inspiration I look to Instyle. The Look of the Day always piques my interest. It also does a great job of breaking down new trends and beauty tips– I call it my personal stylist.

http://pinterest.com/

addictive. i used to use flickr.com to find inspiration photos on recipes, clothes, and decor, then bookmark them. the beauty with pinterest is that you create your own personalized bulletins that contains all your favorite finds all in one spot! GENIUS– i really wish i would have thought of this. feel free to follow my bulletins!

http://renttherunway.com/

you have that special event coming up (graduation, wedding, holiday party…) and after rummaging through your closet find you have absolutely nothing to wear. i hear ya sista. the problem is that you don’t want to spend tons of money on a dress that, let’s face it, you’ll probably only wear once or twice. that’s the beauty of rent the runway. this site allows you to borrow top-designer garbs and accessories without paying the full price. i LOVE it and highly recommend it!

http://www.tastespotting.com/

when i’m in a bit of a cooking rut, i always look to tastespotting to pick me up. it’s a compilation of food photos submitted from fellow bloggers. the quality of the photographs is magazine worthy and it keeps me up-to-date on new techniques, food trends and unique recipes.

http://smittenkitchen.com/

This was the blog that started it all. I remember discovering this site freshman year of college and it catapulted my idea of what an ‘amateur’ blog could be. Not only will you fall in love with the beautiful photographs and recipes but also the witty writing of NYC resident Deb Perelman. It’s one of two food blogs that I am subscribed to, which to me is a huge deal.

http://stumbleupon.com

And if all else fails, there’s always stumbleupon.com. By personalizing to your likes and interests, stumbleupon is similar to pandora.com in its approach.  I promise it will help you find your next favorite website/blog as well as waste hours upon hours of precious time.

What’s your blog/site obsession?

Just another Manic Monday…

here’s a silly text conversation between two working girls in the city (myself and my friend Anne Larimer). she bought me a beautiful monogrammed mug from Anthropologie for my birthday which I was so happy to bring to work today!

M: Seriously love my mug! Perfect for this chilly weather xo

AL: Yummy is that hot chocolate?

M: No I wish! Ginger green tea. With honey 🙂

AL: My twin mug and its coaster 🙂

Speaking of all things beautiful and British, did anyone see Kate Winslet (in Elie Saab) at the Emmy’s last night? stunning in red.

and a big hip-hip-hooray to Downton Abbey for winning four Emmy’s including Best Mini-series! Can someone in England please send me a boot-leg copy of Series 2?! I can’t wait til JANUARY!!

my favorite look of the night, however, was Christina Hendricks (in Johanna Johnson). so sparkly and va-va-voom!

happy Monday everyone!

bedroom inspirations

channeling my inner-Nate Berkus. unfortunately i don’t have his access to Oprah’s checkbook. as i find myself moving around quite often these days, i’ve gotten used to revamping my place. but since i’m setting roots in this new apartment for a while (hopefully) i really need to get some stuff that i’ve been putting off. for instance, things like… a bed.

it’s been a fun process of planning and shopping. i’m calling the theme of my new bedroom French Lavender, an amalgamation of soft grays, purples and whites with accents of fun colors. very simple yet plush.

the challenge is that my bedroom is small even by Manhattan standards and thus everything in it needs to be beautiful yet extremely functional. i’ll be updating you on a post of the BEFORE and AFTER (and the entire process inbetween). anyone wanna join me for a painting/assembling furniture party?

blair waldorf's room on gossip girl. this is how every room should feel.

wish me luck!

fun fact: did you know the only difference between the words gray and grey is that the former is the American spelling while the latter is the English spelling. fascinating huh?

update: Bedroom Makeover post can be found here!

some things are just M.F.E.O.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies get no love. except from me.

I understand, they’re not the prettiest cookies, they’re somewhat healthy, and there’s nothing more disappointing than biting into what you think is a delicious chocolate chip cookie only to be fooled by some impostor raisins! But when I was at the MAC store on Thursday for Fashion’s Night Out, they were handing out these tiny cookies on silver platters. Instead of opting for the chocolate-chocolate chunk or the snickerdoodle, I went in for the oatmeal raisin… And since that morsel, I have been craving oatmeal raisin cookies non-stop!

So what better way to inaugurate my new kitchen than with this yummy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe! I’m still slowly settling into my new apartment. My bedroom is in need of a major makeover (which I will probably post about soon) but for the first time ever I have my own bathroom and my roommates are so sweet. The location is also close to the Met so I’ve been walking to work everyday!

I foresee lots of happy memories (and tummies) coming from this kitchen.

These oatmeal raisin cookies are super easy to make. You don’t even need a mixer, just a good wooden spoon, some elbow grease and plenty of LOVE.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • ½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 ½ cups quick-cook rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins

(1)  Preheat oven to 350°F.
(2)  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together, set aside.
(3)  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Slowly stir the flour into the butter/sugar mixture. Add in the oats and raisins.
(4)  At this point you can either chill the dough for an hour in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient (like me!), but I do find that they end up slightly less thick.
(5)  The cookies should be two inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake them for 7 to 8 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top.
(6)  Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

 

does this count as dinner?? 

10 years later…

“The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt was designed by Faith Ringgold and constructed in collaboration with New York City students ages eight through nineteen. The quilt poignantly conveys the importance of communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace. Comprised of three panels, each with twelve squares on the theme of peace, the quilt will be displayed alongside several original works of art that inspired its content.”

Metropolitan Museum: The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt 
August 30, 2011- January 22, 2012

what’s a Kar-dakh-ian?

When New York goes out, it goes ALL OUT. Hence, Fashion’s Night Out was a lively affair! The streets of Soho were so packed with people in stilettos last night, I felt even more miniature than usual. I was so surprised to learn that this was only the 3rd year of this event as it seems like ‘the scene’ for anyone remotely interested in fashion to mingle and be seen. For one night, all the clothing stores and boutiques in New York City stay open until 11p with fun events and performances going on throughout the night (plus free booze and food… if you get there early). FNO has also spread all over the country to over 250 cities, which just means fun for everyone!

The night began when I met up with my friends Anne Larimer and Beca at the MAC store to get prettied up before we hit up all the designer stores. Little did I expect my eardrums to be busted from the shrieking screams of hundreds of people when the Kardashians arrived at their nearby store DASH. complete and utter mayhem as I stood outside the MAC store and waited for someone to hand me a glass of champagne 🙂 life in the city is rough yo.

Afterwards, we headed to Marc Jacobs (one of my favorite designers), proceeded to see the most wonderful $12,000 coat made out of bunnies (which I will conveniently block out of my mind. It was SO soft!) as well as Dakota Fanning. I was more interested in the coat. Then we just walked around stopping by several other stores before ending at Diane von Furstenberg (another favorite!) and Betsey Johnson. It’s just so nice to feel completely indulgent every now and then.

trying on shades at Ralph Lauren

By the end, I was completely girl-ied out. The damage: $0. The experience: fashion euphoria.

Fashion’s Night Out
http://fashionsnightout.com

happy new year?

In fashion, September marks the beginning of a new year. A time to shed those old clothes and last year’s Louboutins in order to forge yourself a new identity. This seems highly appropriate for me these days with my new job, my new apartment, and my new designer wardrobe (hah… i wish!).

For me, September also brings about a reevaluation of sorts. Change is in air. Fall is approaching, kids have headed back to school, and last but not least, another birthday creeping up on yours truly. More so than during the New Year, during this time I find myself setting new goals and aspirations for the future. I always feel too pressured on New Year’s Eve to slap together some bogus list of resolutions (this year, I will not eat chocolate, and pick up gardening… and take ballroom dancing?!). In September, I feel genuinely inspired to create a list of priorities that hopefully will propel me into the direction of becoming a wiser, kinder person. So far the list I have compiled is thus:

(1) apply for graduate school for fall 2012… or eventually
(2) volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter (sadly, I haven’t done this since high school)
(3) workout more regularly
(4) don’t stress out if I don’t workout regularly
(5) read more. blogs, twitters, and emails don’t count– time to get a library card!
(6) explore New York City. It’s the greatest city in the world, and now my new home.
(7) put together a kick-ass grown up wardrobe (my work clothes are waning)
(8) never be too busy for my friends
(9) never ever be too busy for my family
(10) remember that loving others starts with loving yourself  (my friend Oprah tells me everyday)

So far, the start of September has been great. I was able to visit Nashville and Murfreesboro during Labor Day weekend and boy, was it nice! First off, I stopped by Nashville Friday morning where I met up with one of my former Art History professors and then went to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to meet with the director/another of my former professors. It felt like being home. It was so nice to get some professional advice as I have been quite confused about how/when/why I should apply for graduate school. Having my questions answered and my worries slightly eased has boosted me to take the plunge.

After a day in Nashville, I went to the Boro to see some of my high school friends and in particular to celebrate the engagement of my friend Morgan! There are moments when it hits me that I really am growing up, and this summer has been chock full of them.

And last but not least, I am so happy to no longer have to keep this secret: my college-roomie for all 4 years and 1/2 of the renowned Dynamic Duo, JESSIE CAPPS, is back in the states!! She made an early surprise trip back home from Ireland to surprise her brother and his fiancée! The timing could not have been more perfect. After one full year of not seeing her, we were finally reunited on Sunday morning over one of her favorite pasttimes: venti Starbucks coffee (and chai for me). Welcome Home JESSIE!

Now, I’m back in New York City having just finished the first day of my big-girl job at the Met. Today seemed completely stress-free and natural. It felt good to be back. Moving into my apartment yesterday, however, was quite an adventure! When my flight got in at 3p, I called my apartment manager to tell him that I would need someone to let me into my new place since both my roommates were out-of-town. Turns out, he’s in Costa Rica. But no problem, his replacement said he would send someone over to meet me at the building at 4p. Perfect! Fast forward to 7.30p, NO SHOW. no one but me sitting in the lobby of my apartment building with both my suitcases, my September Vogue and a growling stomach. Luckily, a middle-aged French lady in my building saw me stranded and invited me to her apartment to have some tea. Turns out she and her fellow Frenchie roommate are both artists who have lived in New York for 20+ years! We sat and chatted about art and the city while I tried to decipher their snippets of French. They were so incredibly sweet, and I will forever be indebted to their hospitality. When one of my roommates finally arrived at 10p, I bid them adieu but not before exchanging numbers. Who said this city is rude? Non moi!