Friday, December 28, 2012

Tracey Reese at Target..?

I absolutely love Target.

Recently Target has been promoting Neiman Marcus and different designers have added little bits and pieces.

There is everything from Marc Jacobs scarves to Oscar de la Renta tote bags to Jason Wu little girl dresses.

I opted for the Tracy Reese sequined shirt.

I couldn't stop looking at it.

View from above...Just in case you were wondering.

It is just so gorgeous. As much as I love target it is something that I would never imagine finding there.

Check out the Neiman Marcus Cllection at Target.

Everything is 50% off right now. Whaaat??!?

Sidenote: Photo credit - Anthony Deon Pappalardo

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Black and White Christmas

Happy Christmas everyone!

Just a quick post about Christmas outfits.
Ladies especially me worry so much every year about what to wear to different Christmas parties and get togethers.

The solution: black and white.

This year was a very black and white Christmas.

Dress by J Crew
Shoes by Crown Vintage

Top by J Crew
Skirt by New York and Company I know right?!
Shoes by Aldo Remember?

Dress by Free People
Shoes by Lauren Conrad

Black and white is the perfect solution for the Holiday Outfit Dilemma. 
I hope all of you found the most fabulous outfits to wear out.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Big Jack Daddy Burger

I had never really been a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings. There is something about the chain, the sports, and the fact that I can't stand to cover my hands and face with sauce from the wings. 

This time I made an exception. I met with a good friend, S, from college.

This exception changed my opinion about BDubs.

Sorry for the lighting. iPod.

This is the Big Jack Daddy.

A big fat juicy burger patty topped with lettuce, cheese, bbq pulled-pork, bacon, and onion rings. All served with fries and a slice of pickle. 

It was filthy delicious and just a little messy.

And totally worth it.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

End of the World Cake

Did you hear that the end of the world was yesterday?

Oh so silly! No one can really know when it's going to happen.

Just in case we were wrong, my friends J and B threw an "End of the World" party. Obviously I needed to make something to bring.

I made chocolate cake with blue icing and then I cut some continents out of my home-made fondant to garnish.

Now there is only one proper thing to do at and end of the world party with a cake liked this.

We predicted the things that would happen.

Maybe the continents would migrate and create Pangea?

Maybe a meteorite would hit Brazil?

Or maybe South America would float away?

Either way, we knew what we had to do...
This was the earth. And we were going to end it. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting

You are in for a treat.
A while back I bought espresso powder from King Arthur Flour and I have been dying to use it.
You'll agree. This was the best way to use it.
These are the Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies that I made for the "grand exchange" with Salted Caramel Frosting.
These cookie sammies are all of chocolatey, rich, and sinful. Incredibly sinful. 
You will want to keep chompin' on 'em, but I warn you, when I say they are rich, I mean it.

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Recipe adapted from Lovin' From the Oven

1 cup flour

3/4 cup natural cocoa powder I try not to use Dutch process because it's processed with Alkali.
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp espresso powder
8 tbs unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a bowl and set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugars.
3. Add vanilla and egg.
4. Gradually add the powder mixture until just incorporate. 
5. Add chocolate chips. You might have to knead with your hands.
6. Divide the dough and roll each section into two logs. I made mine 1 inch wide and about 12 inches long. Refrigerate until hard enough o slice through.
7. Cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices and bake for 8-10 minutes.
8. Let those babies chill out on a cooling rack.

Side note: If you want thiner slices you might want to use mini-chocolate chips because they are tricky to slice...those chips are stubborn.

Salted Caramel Frosting
Adapted from

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/6 cup heavy cream I don't actually have a measuring cup this size. I eye-balled it.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1. Bring first 2 ingredients to a rolling boil in saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly
2. Stir in cream and return to a boil; remove from heat
3. Pour into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed, using whisk attachment I didn't use one. Whoops.
4. Beat 7 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Use immediately. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Cookie Exchange

This weekend was crazy busy! It was one Christmas-y event after another.

Remember when I told you that I was baking up a storm for the weekend?

Well the pay off was a cookie exchange.

All of my girly friends and I had a baking extravaganza.

I made Chocolate Espresso sandwich cookies with salted caramel frosting.
Meta made winning sugar cookies.
Which she and I carefully decorated.

For a cookie exchange everyone brings their own ingredients and varieties of measuring spoons, cups, and other baking tools and each person makes a different cookie or two.

Before everyone leaves you do the "grand exchange of sugary bits." We used tins that Meta and Emily made. Emily's tins not pictured.

I was gone most of the weekend and I left the tins at my house.
All of the sandwich cookies were gone. 

Needless-to-say I will be making more this week.

Expect a post. :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baking with Aldo

I just have a short little ditty for you all today. Sissy, this really means you. I couldn't wait to show you. :)

I got these bad boys in the mail today:

Oh, I dad was proud to say the least.
He is a cobbler, you know.

What do you do when you get new 6" wedges? 

Or wedgies as my sister and I like to call them...

Jeans-J Crew

You get in the kitchen.

I had a lot of dough making to do for the weekend's baking...

How is your Christmas baking coming??

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Hilton Garden Inn

On Tuesday night I photographed for the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn. My old boss from when I worked at the catering company and friend, Janelle, owns an event planning company and she brought me on along with a handful of other photographers to capture the night.

The other photographers were professionals. Sadly, I am not a professional but Janelle likes my eye for photography so I was on more of a detail/architecture mission.

Anyways..I have some sneak peeks for yous guys. :)

On the corner of Michigan and Broadway

J planned it so the guests arrive on the red carpet because the walls of the hotel are covered in black and whites of Hollywood stars.

Four floors up to the skylight

One of the corner king suites

The building used to be a bank and the owner of the hotel wanted to keep all of the vaults.

History Lesson: There are four vaults like this. Back in the late 1800s/early 1900s the banks would do their own printing. One of the vaults was used for the money printing and the others to store the gold and freshly printed notes.
How do you feel being a little smarter now?? ;)

There are others on every floor that would have been used for safety deposit boxes.

SneakyMcSneaks I'd say.

Also, a big thank you to Janelle for giving me this opportunity. Hopefully this will open the doors to more.

If you'd like to book a room for a night or two or would just like to pay a little visit you can find the Hilton Garden Inn here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blue's Egg Diner

My good friend, Meta, and I needed a good ol' fashioned catching up. What better way to catch up than get breaky?

We went to the place that I always recommend for breakfast: 

Blue's Egg 

Blue's Egg is a modern twist to the diner classic. It is nestled in a strip in West Milwaukee almost in Wauwatosa.

While you wait you can sit at the bar and get yourself a Bloody or you can grab a coffee. As I needed to work after breakfast, I grabbed myself a cuppa joe.

Nail polish: Smush by Urban Outfitters

Once seated, after walking through the diner smattered with photos of Milwaukee architecture, a server will bring you grapes and the house made marmalade and butta.

If you ever talk to anyone about Blue's it is guaranteed that they will rave about the browns among the other breakfast options. 

To be a true diner you need to know how to serve browns and Blue's has it down. Stuffed browns.

Stuffed browns.

M had the onion and cheese stuffed browns.

She also had scrambled eggs, sausage, and wheat toast.

I had the Hoppel Poppel: Breakfast skillet with sausage, bacon, potatoes, spinach, and hollandaise served with pulled ham and cheese stuffed browns, and rye toast. 


We were obviously two happy campers. 

If you are not sure what you want when you go you should order the Egg Plate. For every Egg Plate ordered Blue's donates a dollar to a charity they have chosen for the month. This month's organization is the Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee.

When you go, make sure you give yourself some time. They do not take reservations and it can get quite busy.

You do not want to rush the Blue's experience. Enjoy it. 

Blue's Egg

317 N. 76th St.
Milwaukee, Wi 53213

Sidenote: Don't want Breakfast? Check out Maxie's Southern Comfort, Blue's Egg's sister restaurant.