Monday, November 24, 2014

Bread making for beginners




So.. I got a little sucked into watching the numerous food and farming documentaries they now have on Netflix and I got a little inspired.  After viewing a certain Ted Talks about bread, I think it's safe to say that I was drinking the kool aid a little too much and instantly sought out a plain and simple basic bread recipe.  I filed through countless recipes but none of them seemed "authentic" or easy enough for me until I stumbled upon this whopper.  It requires only 3 ingredients and very minimal effort so we can skip to the eating part without breaking a sweat from kneading it all day.  Yay!  I modified the 'no-knead crusty artisan bread' recipe from The Comfort of Cooking blog, and I was completely shocked when my bread came out EXACTLY like hers on the first attempt!  I'll be keeping this one. 

No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Directions:

  1. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add warm water and stir until all the flour is wetted thoroughly and the dough forms a cohesive mass.  Do not overwork the dough! (Shouldn't be a problem for us lazy folks)
  2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and and let it sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours.  The dough will rise and get bubbly. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 450F and place an uncovered dutch oven in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.** 
  4. Turn the dough on a floured surface with floured hands and form it into a nice ball.  Let it sit until the dutch oven is heated through.   
  5. Place the dough into the heated dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid and bake for 7-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. 
  6. Remove the bread and chop it up with a sharp knife. 

I ate my hot, crusty, fresh bread with butter and marmalade and will be eating it later tonight with some soup.  It was delicious! 

** I also didn't have a dutch oven, so I used a circular glass casserole dish with a lid.  It worked just fine! 

Find the original recipes and additional photos here  at the Comfort of Cooking blog. 

If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out!  I hope you are as excited about this as I am :) 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Skyscrapers (And Pants) for Miles

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I definitely have not been able to update my blog as much as I've been wanting to because school, work, and this head cold I've had will just not quit!  Thankfully, Thanksgiving break is coming up so I can lay back, relax, eat everything and take some food photos!  Hooray!  My favorite things ever! 

Don't worry, I wasn't going to fail to mention these ridiculously excessive high waisted pants. I spontaneously snatched these from Anthropologie on the sale rack after seeing that these were the last pair (I'm such a sucker for lonely items) and managed to shell out a measly $24.00 for these!  Still not certain if that was a deal or not since they show every single lump, bump and insecurity I've ever had, but I am drawn to them anyways.  Expect to see them later.  Much later, actually, like waayy after Thanksgiving and my workout plan has commenced.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Black and White Lakeshore




Nixon hates us
Wool Coat:Elevenses  //Black Skinnies: H&M//Booties:Report
Scarf:H&M//Leather Bag:Steve Madden

When you live in Chicago, the beach ALWAYS sounds like the best idea you've ever had until you get there. The season doesn't even matter. In the Summer, the strong winds pelt you with sand and particles until you get irritated, blinded and eventually give up and leave. In Autumn, it seems like the perfect place to take some cool pictures against the milky sky and water until you realize that every inch closer to the lake becomes -10 degrees colder than before. In the Winter, forget it! Although I'll probably return to take some pictures anyways when it's all frozen and beautiful (and instantly regret being there). 

 Brysen and I froze our asses off and his poor dog, Nixon, looked completely miserable the entire time. We snapped some photos before calling it quits then went to a Vietnamese restaurant for some lunch. I've never had Vietnamese cuisine before, so I was stoked! I did have a concern however.. After we burned our lips off with jalapenos, we noticed that the egg rolls tasted like barnyard... Is that normal?? We were too awkward to say anything so we ate them all figuring we will know soon if they were tainted. We finished off our afternoon browsing some marketplaces and spent the rest of our night in Target because we are weak and can't spend less than an hour in there. Have a great rest of your weekend! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bite lipstick quad


Top left: Pomegranate//Top right: Winterberry//Bottom left: Rhubarb//Bottom right: Sable

I want to start off by saying that I went to Sephora for ONE LOUSY THING and left with a gift set of 4 lip crayons and several other items I convinced myself I would die without. 

Sephora!! You old stinker, you got me again with your siren song and money siphoning abilities. 

Despite the fact that I never actually bought what I went there for in the first place, I'm actually pretty impressed with ALL of these Bite shades. I'm only slightly skeptical on that sable shade but just because I have it in my mind that all nude lippies make me look like a pale, waterlogged dead body.
I highly recommend these extremely pigmented, slightly scented and creamy lip crayons. Not a bad idea to pick up this adorable set if you're still trying to find a nice lipstick shade that suits you. 
Plus, did I mention that the texture and opacity surprisingly hides flaky, dry winter lips? High five! 

Have a happy hump day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baby Blue





It's November, and I left my coat inside just so I could snap a few photos of this ridiculously soft and fuzzy sweater. Am I freezing half to death? Maybe. Am I leaping around to stay warm or because I've always wanted an action shot? You may never know! Ok, I'll admit, I love jumping around because I like seeing how much air I can get (in this case, roughly 2 inches).

I had a bit of a wild Friday night and made some kitty cat nail art! Now I can take my "friends" everywhere this weekend ;) I'm still a firm believer that crazy cat lady chic is always in style.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lilac Rhombus?


Dead weasel or crabby cat? 



Ok, so I've had a more than stressful week and Halloween gave me the excuse I was looking for to get a little wild and dye my hair purple. Please don't ask why I've always wanted to do this but now that I left my professional job, I am all over it. Time to let my freak flag fly! Just joking, this will wash out soon and I just might let it.. (maybe).

Since I had a rare weekend off, I decided to indulge in a little more kitty torture. I felt inspired by the fallen leaves and wanted to make him a Lion King style crown that I foolishly assumed he'd enjoy and all I got in return was bite marks. As it turns out, you can't force cats to do ANYTHING. In 98% of my photos (I probably took around 100) he's either screaming or looking completely defeated/dead, which makes my sweet leaf crown look more like a miserable burial shroud.

Have a great rest of your Sunday!