World Pasta Day

best-pasta-sauce-recipe-ed1110-daniel-main-mdnApparently it’s World Pasta Day. I didn’t know that this existed, but I woke up to an email with a headline proclaiming ‘PASTA DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT’ which I immediately had to open. I’m a firm believer that eating healthy, whole foods (including pasta!) is the way to go; I don’t really understand people with self imposed gluten and dairy free diets or excessive dietary restrictions. I love food way too much too give anything up unless I had a serious health or moral reason to do so. That being said, I also think that the old adage ‘everything in moderation’ is key in regard to food. I typically eat very healthfully, but I definitely let myself indulge.

Back to the email. It linked to this scientific study which states, among other things, that “Pasta and pasta meals are part of healthy, cultural food traditions around the world. It’s time to stop demonizing carbs or any other macronutrient, and start focusing on good taste, real foods, lots of plant foods, and overall common sense.” Amen.

If you feel like celebrating my new favorite holiday (only sort of kidding) then here are a few amazing sounding pasta recipes:

seeing stripes

IMG-7 (1)I love outfits like this; a simple, easy to wear dress paired with just a few well-chosen accessories. When we took these photos a few weeks ago (during a heatwave, hence the summery look) I had worn this striped dress to work during the day, and switched out my flats for a pair of fun strappy metallic sandals for an evening out with friends. I know that the unwritten fashion rulebook says that not supposed to carry such a large handbag out at night, but rules are meant to be broken right? Plus, I really love this purse.

I also really love the dress. It’s from J.Crew a few years ago and therefore (sadly) sold out, but I’ve been noticing that tons of shops currently have chic striped dresses in stock. Stripes have traditionally been associated more with Spring and Summer than any other time of the year, but maybe this should be another rule that gets thrown out. They’re so timeless and go with virtually everything. Plus, if wearing florals for winter are allowed then surely the simple stripe can be accepted! What are your thoughts? Do you like striped dresses for fall and winter? I’m definitely going to continue wearing mine, but I’ll make it a little more weather appropriate by adding tights and either an army jacket or a blazer.IMG-9-2-682x1024

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shop the look:

My Three Favorite Breakfasts to Make at Home…

I can clearly remember when I first started drinking coffee. I was 16 years old, on vacation with my parents in Amsterdam, and incredibly jet lagged. My mom suggested I have a cup of coffee with breakfast, which made me feel incredibly grown up. For the rest of the trip I would pour myself a mug of coffee each morning, adding some milk and probably way too much sugar. I remember really loving the ritual of making myself a cup of coffee, and it’s still my favorite part of each morning. I don’t feel like I necessarily need coffee, but I do like it and have a cup (or two) just about everyday. I usually stick to a dark roast (with cream, no sugar), but when Starbucks gave me the chance to try out some of their flavored K-Cup Packs® for my Keurig, I jumped at the chance. Here are three breakfasts I made myself this week, and the flavored coffee I chose to go with them…
starbucks tranq 1starbucks tranqI made banana muffins over the weekend and decided that one with a nice pat of butter would be the perfect breakfast in bed for a particularly grey day. Justin goes to work super early (he wakes up at 4:30!) and I tend to wake up soon after, so I have quite a bit of time in the morning before my work needs to begin. I decided to be a little indulgent and made myself a tray for breakfast in bed including one of my muffins (I used this recipe for the muffins but I used 1/3 cup less sugar, an extra banana and threw in some chopped walnuts) with quite a large pat of butter (oops…making up for the exclusion of sugar I guess!) and brewed myself a Starbucks Caramel K-Cup®, which was the perfect pairing. I think I’m going to start having breakfast in bed more often, it’s such a nice way to begin the day.

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I love to make omelettes or scrambles with whatever random items I happen to have in my fridge. On this morning, it was pecorino cheese, cherry tomatoes, basil, and a few sprinkles of Herbs de Provence. Oh, and a generous sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and some freshly ground pepper. I find the key to great scrambled eggs is to take your time; cook over medium/low heat and take them off the stove just about thirty seconds before you’d typically think they were done. They continue to cook after they’re off of the element and will be just perfect once they’re on your plate. I had mine with Starbucks Vanilla K-Cup® coffee which had just the right amount of sweetness to go with my savory meal.

IMG_8341IMG_8371This might be my favorite breakfast, ever. It’s so simple but so good; I often find myself ordering muesli or granola at restaurants which seems boring considering I can just make it at home, but there’s just something so delicious and satisfying about it. My favorite muesli is from Seven Sundays, and I like to pair it with vanilla Greek yogurt and whatever fruit I happen to have in my house. On this morning I paired my breakfast with the Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce K-Cup® coffee, served in a vintage teacup that was my grandmother’s. Isn’t it pretty? It was so fun making myself these meals all week; I’m inspired to start using our good china and making little things more of an ‘event’. Isn’t there some quote about how life is an event, so what are we saving our good stuff for? That’s my new motto…at least for the rest of the week!

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The rich aromas and sweet flavors you love from Starbucks, now brewing at home. Introducing two new K-Cup® flavors for all, inspired by our café favorites.

LEGAL: Developed in partnership with Starbucks Coffee Company and their new Starbucks® K-Cup® packs. K-Cup® packs for use in Keurig® K-Cup® brewing systems. Keurig, the Cup and Star Design, Keurig Brewed, K-Cup and the Keurig brewer trade dress are trademarks of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc, used with permission.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company, via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company

Travel Tuesday: Dhara Dhevi Thailand

5403Thailand wasn’t really on my travel radar until recently. I know quite a few people that have visited and absolutely loved it, but it just wasn’t somewhere that I felt like I urgently needed to visit. It had been one of those places that I figure I’ll see sometime in my life, but that I didn’t need to start saving my air miles for (I’m obsessed with air miles, you?) and checking out hotels. That is, until I stumbled across this amazing looking hotel, the Dhara Dhevi.

The resort is situated on the outskirts of Chiang Mai and seems as though no detail has been overlooked; there’s a stunning spa, beautiful pools and delicious sounding restaurants. It looks incredibly opulent and probably isn’t a very authentic version of Thailand, but you are able to take traditional cooking classes, plant rice with locals, purchase artisanal items and take part in arts and crafts demonstrations like basket making and flower arranging. Maybe the key would be to first explore the country and immerse yourself into the culture and then spend a few days here relaxing at the end of your trip. That sounds about perfect, doesn’t it?

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Cooking Class at Fig & Olive

IMG_3286Last week I had the chance to take a cooking class at Fig & Olive, one of my favorite restaurants here in LA. They’re known for amazing dishes inspired by coastal Spain, France and Italy (where all the best food comes from, in my opinion), a fantastic wine selection, and a plethora of delicious olive oils which they pour for you to taste with freshly baked bread before your meal. I’m really into olive oil, so to me this is amazing and a major draw. You can actually buy their olive oil in store, which is neat and would make a really great gift.

At the cooking class we had Chef Pascal Lorange show us a few of their delicious fall menu items, my favorite of which was the Pumpkin Sage Ravioli, above. I loved it because the ravioli wasn’t stuffed with pumpkin as you’d expect, but rather with a slightly spicy (he uses harrisa in it which is my new favorite condiment) chicken, ricotta and shallot mixture. The ravioli was tossed in pumpkin oil before being plated on a pumpkin purée, and topped with fried sage, pumpkin seeds, and micro greens. It was incredibly delicious, and would be the perfect thing to make for guests that you really want to impress. It’s comprised of quite a few steps and ingredients, but I swear to you the results are so worth it. God I’m hungry now….

Click here for the recipe!

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