Yummy Saturday

This year, I decided to give some homemade, edible holiday gifts instead of store bought items. After brunch this morning, I spent the remainder of the afternoon in the kitchen making some scrumptious treats.  I made homemade granola and homemade peppermint & wintergreen white vanilla chocolate bark.  Both were extremely easy to make and both turned out absolutely delicious. I am going to put both items into cute tins tomorrow and some of my holiday gifts are done!

Granola: perfect for breakfast with milk or fruit, on top of yogurt, with ice cream, or even on its own

Granola in the oven
  • Ingredients for 6 servings
    • 3 cups of Quaker oats
    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 cup cashews
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup + 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
    • handful of raisins
    • handful of dried cranberries
    • tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Directions
    • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
    • In a large bowl, combine the oats, both types of nuts, and brown sugar
    • In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, and salt
    • Combine both mixtures
    • Pour onto a large baking sheet (spray with non stick cooking spray prior)
    • Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes
    • When just 20 minutes left, take out and pour cinnamon on and stir
    • Remove from oven and transfer into bowl
    • Add raisins and dried cranberries
    • Combine together
    • ENJOY
The finished product
Peppermint & Wintergreen White Vanilla Chocolate Bark: perfect whenever and wherever
  • Ingredients for about 2 pounds of bark
    • Crushed peppermint and wintergreen candies, to yield 1 cup
    • Approximately 8 cups of white vanilla chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons of water
    • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Crushed up candies (and they can be crushed even smaller)
  • Directions
    • Place unwrapped peppermint and wintergreen candies in a plastic bag and hammer into small chunks
    • Melt the chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl with the water and oil
    • Stir so all chips are melted together
    • Combine the crushed candies with the chocolate
    • Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment paper
    • Place in the refrigerator for approximately 45 minutes or until firm
    • Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces
    • ENJOY

The finished product
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fashion + comfort = heaven (aka Bloch)

I know we all have tons of ballet flats currently in our closet.  It’s one of those items that every girl can’t get enough of. From different colors to patterns to textures, the options are endless. I live in ballet flats. If I could wear them year round, oh you better believe I would (but the snow and/or rain shatters that dream).  I have different colors, brands, textures; I’m kind of obsessed. However, my absolute favorite ballet flats of ALL time would be none other than Bloch.  When I say they are the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever owned, I actually mean it’s like walking on butter (seriously).

Bloch started as a technical dance shoe company and the man (a shoemaker) that started the company way back in the day was dating a professional dancer at the time. She complained of her feet hurting and he created and designed the most comfortable ballet dance shoe around. From there, a business grew. Years later, Bloch technical dance shoes turned into Bloch fashion shoes. How cute of a story is that?! They have all sorts of styles – from very simple to very embellished. There is something for everyone!

The next time you’re in the market for a ballet flat (which should really be any day now because they are extremely vital to one’s collection of shoes), you should not buy anything except Bloch. It will be one of the better decisions you’ve made. I can guarantee it.

(a sampling)

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…in a New York state of mind…

A few months back, my mom and I came across what is currently my favorite necklace.  It’s not only on a long chain (which I love), but the pendant on the chain is just perfection.  The Lagos Sterling Silver Heart of New York necklace needs to be the next gift you buy for yourself! I just love it. Parts of different landmarks of New York cover the charm. Times Square, Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, and a few other historic sites all make up the parts of this pendant.  It is such a fantastic and unique piece.  And, don’t worry, if you don’t live in New York – charms have also been created for Chicago, New Orleans, Beverly Hills, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Texas.

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don't put that drink down just yet

Coasters. Something many people don’t think twice about. Well, you should start thinking twice because coasters aren’t only functional, but they are fashionable, chic, and fabulous, and can add a little ‘spunk’ to any old coffee table. They come in various sizes, colors, textures, and patterns. They are a fabulous hostess gift (because no one can ever have TOO many coaster sets) and a fun collectible, as well.

Agate Coasters from Z Gallerie
Mosaic Cranberry Coasters from Pier 1 Imports
DVF Decal Coasters from DIANE von FURSTENBERG
Beaded Coasters from West Elm
Michael Aram Forest Leaf Metal Coasters from Saks Fifth Avenue
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enamel me, please!

One of my current favorite items is the Hermes enamel bracelet.  The ‘H’ is a classic, but I’m referring to the printed bracelets.  I know they’ve been around forever, but lately I just am LOVING them.  They come in every color under the sun, in a variety of patterns, and they never go out of style.  I know they may be more than what you’re looking to spend on a bracelet, but this is not any old bracelet. It’s worth the investment and will last you for years and years and years to come (or you could put this item on your Hanukkah or Christmas wish list and maybe a special someone will purchase it for you).

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Birthday Brunching

One of my best friend’s birthdays was a couple weekends ago.  A bunch of us took her out to dinner on Saturday night, and then we all went to the party afterwards. We all know a birthday is never complete without a yummy birthday brunch.  Due to many of us being on budgets, and having gone out to a big dinner the night before, I decided to host the brunch at my apartment.  I figured it would be fun, something different, casual, easy, and much more economical.  It was easy to prepare for and everyone loved it.  You can even have all your guests bring something from your list, so it’s almost a ‘pot luck birthday brunch.’
 
Your shopping list couldn’t be more simple:
  • A variety of bagels
  • Various flavors of cream cheese
  • Fruit salad
  • Possibly some egg or tuna salad
  • Orange Juice and Champagne (no brunch is complete without mimosas)
  • Yummy dessert (such as mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa, for you New York City folks)
  • And to make the birthday girl feel like a kid again – some fun little girl birthday decorations
 
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scarves, scarves, and more scarves

I could never have enough scarves.  They are the perfect addition to any outfit.  They make a simple black dress look fresh and new.  They make jeans and a tee look downtown funky.  They spruce up a simple blazer. They do it ALL (and they don’t even have to be expensive)!  As you can see, I have one shelf in my closet dedicated to scarves. I’m not talking winter scarves; I’m talking lightweight, fabulous little numbers that add that little extra something to any old ensemble.  And they also make the perfect present.  A girl can NEVER have too many of this staple item.

 

Some of my favorite scarves have come from LF StoresFree People, Laila Rowe, and Urban Outfitters.

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The Beginning

Welcome to From Prosecco to Plaid! With the end of 2011 nearing and a new year beginning, I felt it was the perfect time to start my blog.  You may wonder what this name means and what this blog could possibly be about.  It will be centered around pretty much EVERYTHING. In layman’s terms, it is a lifestyle blog.  It will cover everything I love – from fashion and style to cooking and baking to entertaining and event planning to interior design and decor and everything in between. Prosecco is not the only thing I drink and plaid isn’t the only thing I wear, but my blog will cover it all…quite literally from Prosecco to Plaid.  And more on the derivation of the name in due time. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy…

                                                                                                photo by: madlag – flickr


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a movie and (caramel) popcorn

There are few things better than going to the movies on a Sunday afternoon, getting a fountain drink (if my apartment could fit a fountain soda machine and they made chic looking ones, I’d totally own one), and splitting a bag of popcorn with your movie buddy.  It’s something I don’t do nearly often enough, but when I do, I couldn’t be more content. In fact, I went this past Sunday. While the movie was borderline terrible, the experience was as enjoyable as I remembered it to be.  That being said, sometimes you want something sweet and salty while at the movie theater, but you don’t always want to buy popcorn AND a box of candy.  While movie theaters don’t offer caramel popcorn as an option (at least the movie theaters I’ve been to), you can always make your own and bring a little bag of it.  And of course it’s also perfect for when watching movies at home.  The recipe is extremely simple (I promise) and it turns out nothing less than DELICIOUS.

Ingredients:
  • 1 package (14 oz) of caramels (I recommend Kraft caramels)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 12 cups of popped popcorn (or less depending on how much you want to make)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray
  • Melt the caramels (easiest way is in the microwave – put the caramels, butter/margarine, and water in a microwavable safe bowl, cover with paper towel, for 2.5-3 minutes (depending on how strong your microwave is), and stir after each minute)
  • Combine the popcorn in a large bowl (try to separate from the kernels, because once the caramel is in place it’s hard to see the kernels when eating, and you don’t want to bite down on kernels)
  • Add the caramel mixture and toss it so all (or most) of the popcorn is covered
  • Spread onto prepared baking sheet
  • Bake 20 minutes – stirring after 10
  • Spoon onto a sheet of aluminum foil or waxed paper
  • Let it cool and then break it apart
  • ENJOY
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