mug rug

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Monday mornings are my most and least favorite. My love of entertaining paired with my chronic fatigue syndrome is a dangerous combination and though I always push myself and make it through our busy (but enjoyable) weekends, by Monday I’m pooped. Not to mention I usually have a lot of cleaning up to do from the weekend, putting away of dishes, moving tables back into place, and the dreaded but necessary washing, folding, and ironing dinner napkins. I know you may think I’m crazy for the dinner napkin thing but let me explain. To me, a dinner isn’t complete without cloth napkins. There’s just something formal and elegant about cloth napkins that is completely unachievable with paper. (Ooh speaking of paper napkins though, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post for a cool and helpful tip regarding them…maybe I should call it TIp Tuesday? No…I don’t like the sound of that. But I love me some good alliteration so maybe I’ll figure something out, I’m open to suggestions!) ok now I’m really getting off track…napkins ok…anyway I have an array of cloth napkins in different colors and textures among some of my favorites are a white set with red hand embroidered shapes my sister made for me. After each dinner they obviously need to be washed and I have found that the best way to make sure I can throw a dinner party with cloth napkins at a moments notice (trust me, it happens) is by immediately (and painstakingly I might add) folding and ironing each one before putting them away. Despite the effort, there’s a sort of satisfaction in it, especially when I throw said impromptu dinner party and can effortlessly pull out my ready pressed napkins for the meal. What I was I talking about before my napkin rant? Oh right, Mondays. So after the cleaning up, the part I like about Mondays comes, relaxation! It’s my day to catch up on sleep, take the dog for a nice walk, map out my meal plan and grocery list for the week, read, study for the next day’s meeting, and make a nice dinner for my hubby. But the best way to start all of this, the reason for the above picture, and the greatest thing about Mondays? A nice cup of coffee (particularly a homemade latte from my beloved nespresso served on the adorable “mug rug” ALSO made by my sister, guess she’s pretty talented huh?) and something yummy for breakfast. I know most peoples Mondays aren’t like mine and for that I am grateful…but no matter what yours is, I hope you enjoy it my friend.

Sunday Style

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Every Spring Ross has a big dress sale and I scored BIG last week with several vintage inspired (plus size yay!) dresses for super low prices that I’m excited to share with you! Here’s one of them, it’s by Voir Voir Women and goes perfectly with my absolute most favorite shoes (I even told the butcher to bury me in them) they are Nine West and I’ve had them for years but they’re a unique shade of blue so whenever I find an outfit that matches them I am elated!

that’s a spicy meat-a-ball

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So an old high school friend and reader sent me a message requesting a meatball recipe. So sweet of her to think of me! It’s been a crazy weekend so hopefully this isn’t too late for her intended meal. This is going to be a rough estimate recipe since I don’t really have a recipe, I just kind of make them. The trick to a good meatball is moisture and not over mixing! Here’s Beauty and the Butcher’s meatballs just for you Amanda!

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large onion diced
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper
About 2 lbs ground beef
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup parsley (fresh herbs are ways best obviously but dried is ok too)
Large pinch of basil and oregano
1 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko)
1/2 cup water
Fresh mozzarella (this is for an extra step that I only do on special occasions)

Directions
Coat a large pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be clear and smell delicious. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, herbs, and bread crumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands but not too much! Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do 1 final really good squish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Shape into desired size.
(Now is the time you’d use the fresh mozzarella; after shaping each meatball, tear off a small piece of mozzarella, poke a hole into meatball with your finger, place mozzarella in the little hold and cover with meat reshaping ball if necessary. This extra step is time consuming but when you take a bite of your meatball and there’s an ooey gooey cheesy surprise inside, you’ll be glad you took the time)
Some people like ’em big some people like ’em small. I prefer meatballs slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. (If making a large batch you can skip the pan frying and go straight to the oven) Add them to your big pot of sauce and serve whenever, once they’re in the sauce they’ll only get better. If you’re lucky enough to have any left over, get some nice fresh rolls and make meatball subs!

When the moon hits your eye…

Hopefully you can finish the rest of that lyric…”like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” (if not, hang your head in shame then immediately look up “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin and learn it!) So, one of the biggest things I miss about living up north is good pizza! Boy it is hard to find in Florida let me tell you, so I have resorted to making it myself at home. Thankfully our trusty neighborhood Publix has fresh refrigerated pizza dough in white or whole wheat so I just picked up a few of those and got to work. This pizza is delicious and super easy so here goes…

(I should first preface this by saying if you don’t like goat cheese stop reading here…what’s wrong with you?!learn to love it because it’s amazing)

Now back to the recipe, you will need…

Ingredients

1 pizza dough homemade or store-bought
1 bag organic baby arugula
1 jar fig jam (you could also add real figs if they’re in season at your local market)
About five slices of very thin prosciutto 1 small hunk of goat cheese (I don’t know what the size is that it’s sold in but you know what I mean)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425. Spread to dough out on a stone or cookie sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, and bake in the oven by itself for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and spread liberally with fig jam then goat cheese. Lay out prosciutto in strips randomly along the top of the pizza and put back in the oven for about 8 minutes (just until the cheese has melted and the prosciutto has gotten crispy) then remove from the oven and top with as much arugula as you’d like. Serve and enjoy, doesn’t get much easier than that! This is a great weeknight meal but would also be an awesome party appetizer cut into smaller pieces.

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paddington bear

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It’s cold(ish) today…and kind of rainy. So I broke out my Paddington Bear coat. (if you don’t know who he is click his name for a picture but I wouldn’t waste my time watching an episode if I were you!) I hated that show as a kid, it was British, boring, and uneventful (at least compared to the Care Bears, my absolute favorite). But despite my adolescent disdain for the show, this jacket has always reminded me of him. Even though Paddington’s coat was blue, it was the same cut, hooded, and most importantly, toggled. I love a good toggle. And, of course, leopard. Toggles and leopard, it’s going to be a good day.>

feelin’ groovy

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I got my hair cut last Thursday and my stylist at the end of my haircut acted like he may not have time to blow my hair out, he was going to let it air dry, the nerve!!! Perturbed, I said to him, “You better have time to blow it out because I have all my outfits this weekend planned for straight hair!” Seeing his look of confusion I had to explain to him that having straight hair almost gives me a different persona and I feel like it calls for a style of fashion thats definitely more of a vintage look. It’s straight but wavy and flipped out at the bottom so it automatically demands a thick black cat eye and some of my more retro threads. So of course he complied and I went about my week. Sunday I was Jackie-O, Tuesday I was June Cleaver, and today I’m…(really pushing this blowout to the limit and will be washing it tonight) going for a 70’s head wrap vibe with the sunglasses to finish it off. And who doesn’t love leopard?! (Say that last sentence to yourself in your best Long Island accent it will be much funnier). This wrap is from forever 21 and although you may feel a bit silly and out of your comfort zone at first, just give it a try, you’ll look fabulous!