Monday, November 29, 2010

Brownie Pudding

As it gets closer to Christmas, holiday parties will soon pile up. I remember this time last year when I had needed an item to bring to my office party. During my brief stint in "funemployment," I watched a lot of Food Network and was particularly struck by an episode of Barefoot Contessa. It was when Ina makes brownie pudding for her husband on their anniversary and let me tell you, it looked so incredibly extravagant and delectable I could have licked the screen. My mouth still waters thinking about it. And so I'd like to share the recipe with you, lovely followers (all 18 of you). This will for sure be a hit served up with some vanilla bean ice cream. Its a little more complicated to make, having to beat the mix and bake surrounded by water so it won't cook through, but definitely worth it in the end, TRUST me.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
  3. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
  4. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
  5. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Indian Summer

I saw this sweater by Left on Houston in Lucky magazine a few months back and put it on my fall wishlist. A few (ok, a lot) of miscellaneous purchases later and I had to shelf the dream of owning it. I am still thinking about the great navajo print and graphic black/white which keeps the sweater jacket interesting. I would wear this with grey jeans and my hot pink Giuseppe Zanoti python flats, or black skinny pants or leggings with my red Miu Miu mary jane pumps, or even with my Zara leopard flats and a big sparkly necklace - I always prefer to go bold with accessories.

The jacket went on sale at down to $118, and just a tip - if you sign up for the newsletter, you'll get an email for 10% off a purchase.  *You could do what I did and create an email account just for junkmail from online shopping. That way you'll still receive coupons but they won't clog up your actual email or tempt you if you aren't looking for another reason to shop.

Funny enough, as I went to find other favorite items for a new post, I realized two of the items I have been continually lusting after are also from tribal influences:

Resin Lariat Super Skinny Jeans

Resin Denim makes the Lariat Super Skinny Jean with this cool, faint aztec print. Patterns don't work on a thick thigh like mine, but I am digging the effect on these jeans. I wish I controlled more than a few of my friends' wardrobes and wallets, I'd force these jeans on them in a heartbeat. $154

House of Harlow 1960 Tribal Wrap Ring

Lately, I have really been into the rings from House of Harlow 1960 but honestly the entire line is cool (and affordable). I love the Tribal Wrap Ring in the gold and am mesmorized by the look of the huge ring on a finger. $65

Bendel Girl

Ever since my Aunt Joanie first walked me through the aisles of Henri Bendel's as a young shopaholic, I have never forgotten the excitement of seeing the brown and white Bendel stripes. My sister and I took a Black Friday stroll through the new and improved (now accessories only) store and I quickly realized it housed all the things you don't need and never really knew you wanted until you see it. There were so many cute little items everywhere I turned, it was tough to keep a tight grip on my wallet. Now that the store has e-commerce available (, its the perfect place to buy gifts for friends or stocking stuffers.

Henri Bendel by Imposter Earmuffs gallery 0

Adorable and incredibly soft earmuffs, my favorite winter accessory, $68
(I refuse to ridge my freshly straightened hair with a winter hat)
Centennial Stripe Jewelry Roll gallery 0
Centennial Stripe Jewelry Roll gallery 0
Jewelry bag for travel, something you never think about until your
necklaces are tangled or an earring is bent, $55

Bendel Bow Small Puppy Bowl gallery 0

I don't even own a pet, and this little bowl had me melting, $30

Bendel Loves New York Silk Scarf gallery 0

Who would want to fold this scarf?
I keep picturing it framed on my wall as a work of art, $58

Thursday, November 18, 2010

There She Is, Grab Her!!!

Just wanted to share this funny photo....look at the difference in faces. Jennifer Love Hewitt on the left looking ecstatic to have snagged a photo with an A Lister, and Rachel Zoe on the right looking mortified but trying to hide it while stuck in a photo with a D Lister.

Also, for discussion - How the hell is RZ's body able to sustain a pregnancy? I was sure they'd hire a surrogate to "preserve the pretty."

                                        *image from

Copy Cat

I despise everything about Jenny Humprey, the character as well as the girl who simply portrays her on TV.  BUT Eric Daman, the stylist from Gossip Girl, definitely knows his shiz. My girl Aubree and I agreed that the one good thing about her which ALMOST detracted from those God Awful extensions was this really fun sweater from Alice + Olivia. $365 from Net-a-Porter, currently sold out on ShopBop. 

Alice + Olivia 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Desperate (to be a) Housewife

Thank you Morgan for alerting me to some pressing celebrity news, my gurl JSimps got engaged over the weekend. I want to be happy for her, surely I do, but not so sure I approve. I'm feeling like this is too good to be true for poor emotionally needy Jess. I don't trust Eric - the ink isn't even dry on his divorce papers and he's already purchased a ticket on the gravy train, he knew a ring would lock her and her Macy's money down. He went to an ivy league school to play football, then played third string quarter back for a few teams, and his latest title boasts "Jessica Simpson's boyfriend with no job in sight"...clearly ambition is not his forte. And by the looks of that ring, he figured he didn't need to try too hard. A ruby on a gold band, really? He didn't even spring for classic diamond and platinum, sure sign that he didn't have much to go on with the money left from his divorce and saw giant dollar signs on Jessica's chest for his future.

I hope she's not jumping in with blind rage at the annoucement of Nick and Vanessa's engagement, those two crazy kids are solid and will definitely work out in the long run. For Jessica and lazy (but hot) Eric, the future remains to be seen. I give it less than a year before they either call off the engagement or jump into marriage and the subsequent divorce. I have even higher hopes for Lamar and Khloe lasting longer, and that ain't saying much.

*image from

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Winter coats - we all need them. But who wants to be boring in black or built like the Michelin man (unable to put your hands at your side)? Not. I. So I have picked my favorite coats to snuggle up.

I love love love me a faux fur chubby.  Sometimes a cropped fur jacket can channel more Jenny from the Block and less every day wear, but I think this one from Juicy is adorable.  It looks super warm and perfect for nights out or a day full of errands. 

For the puffer, I say the MICHAEL Michael Kors jacket (that everyone and their neighbor has) is the best buy. There is a reason its so popular, it is warm and actually fairly slimming. I have the above version from Bluefly, but you can also get a similar one from Macy's for $120, act now!!

For color, I threw in the purple Tulle jacket. Two years ago I bought an emerald green wool Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket and I have yet to regret the high price tag. I get a MILLION compliments on my chic coat, and it doesn't matter that it won't go with all colors, the coat makes (and covers) the outfit no matter what. You don't have to be boring in black.

The Mara Hoffman coat I die for and wish I could make an addtion to my closet, but alas, I have no need for it this time around. Maybe next winter. Just had to put it up for all the bloggersphere to collectively swoon at its coziness.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Website I Love

I was lucky enough to meet Hanneli Mustaparta during Fashion Week when I was a minion stuck at the door for check-in. She is a stunning former model who takes street style photos of high fashion names, my favorite. Hanneli was so sweet and I couldn't help but admit my love for her blog. Normally I would try not to geek out so hard to someone I recognize, but she was so gracious and happy to learn I was a follower. All the pictures are of herself and friends in expensive designer or cheap vintage threads.

Hanneli has been everywhere lately, she was all over the Fashion Week scene and showing up in Vogue. Doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous and impossibly thin, but what a wonderful life she has, simply from a blog about pictures of interesting fashionistas.

Sigh, I have high hopes for this blog.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Inspiration Board: Hilary Duff

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am trying to incorporate more scarves into my wardrobe. I look at pictures of my girl HDuff and she has the right idea. Scarves have become her signature look - she throws on the accessory and voila, girl's got an outfit. She's all about the big accessories to slim down the body and I like her thought process: big earrings, big glasses, big scarf, big purse deflect from anything busting out on that hourglass figure.

You could go with the a skinny scarf, the traditional long scarf wrapped around, the oversize square scarf or an infinity loop (the latter two are new favorites of mine). Trust, this is so easy to pull off and seem stylish. I wore a red square scarf tied around my neck with a long black GAP tank, Uniqlo black boyfriend blazer, dark J Brand Lovestory flare jeans and black booties and was told multiple times how cute I looked. And it was so PLAIN, the scarf is just what pulled it all together. So go forth, my children, and invest in a scarf from H&M or Urban Outfitters and you too can be as stylin' as me and HDuff.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Obsession of the Moment

I tend to be a pretty plain dresser. I'm not so creative as, say, Emily from fav blog Cupcakes and Cashmere. My outfits aren't always inventive or colorful and I'm constantly looking for an easy way to tszuj up an ensemble. (Side note, I remember Carson Kressley from Queer Eye always used tszuj in reference to boosting an outfit a bit, adding a little oopmph. I had to google its exact spelling, who knew the spelling was quite so ridiculous)

I can't stop thinking about the Charmer boots from Kelsi Dagger.  These shoes are the ultimate for me right now.  Laser cut leather to look like snakeskin, they hit above the knee and are so sexy even without a high heel.  Any outfit I throw together with this pair will seem instantly cool and pulled together. Add these boots with a tunic and leggings, you'd swear I was a Kardashian (oh yes I went there, judge away).  You can get them now on sale in black for $196, they also come in dark brown and cognac at other retailers like Piperlime and Endless. I'm stuggling to decide what color to get!

Kelsi Dagger-The Charmer Reptile Skin Boot in Black

Currently my credit card is on a spending freeze to keep priorities in check, like paying for health insurance and a recently purchased mattress. But that's no fun, its much more enjoyable to picture myself purchasing these boots and frolicking around the city.

Model Stalker: Lily Aldridge

For whatever reason, I'm obsessed with models. Can't explain it, just am. I love recognizing their faces in editorial spreads and advertisements, seeing which ones are on every major runway and in pictures from fabulous parties.  My all time favorite will always be Karlie Kloss (see header of blog). But recently I have become more and more intrigued with Lily Aldridge,  age 25 and from LA.

She is the face of campaigns like J Brand and Victoria's Secret

Engaged to Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill, have been dating since 2007
Lily is so very lucky, indeed. But, the same goes with Caleb. Don’t you agree?

anyway… thus begins our Caleb-Lily picspam! Actually, not really. I can only take so much, you know :-(


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Is She Serious: Taylor Momsen

It's hard for me to understand Taylor Momsen's angsty teen faux rebellion. Mainly because I wasn't handed a stick thin figure, celebrity friends, and thousands of dollars at age 16. Rather, I had to navigate the halls of high school with frizzy hair and body issues like the rest. I'm sorry, remind me again what she has to be so bitter about in life?

Taylor, it's not our fault you hate society. Please don't punish us with those God Awful extensions anymore. And while you're at it, wait a few years until you dress full-fledged whore. You can always be a closet skank like the rest of us were at your age. Maybe that's why you are such a freak, you don't have traditional examples of teens in America to guide the way. Instead, you idolize 90's train wreck Courtney Love and live behind in the times. Get a clue - you have very little promise of a career, and alienating all normal Gossip Girl fans is not doing you any favors for your dismal Hollywood future.

momsen onitsuka 13
* image pulled from

Monday, November 1, 2010

GG Love

I skipped on commenting about last week's GG episode cause I thought it was Eh, only so so. This one kicked it up a notch but went out with a bang (literally). My thoughts:
  • Juliet's creepy and desperate tone when "running into" Serena + the Bump It in her hair was so uncomfortable, I physically cringed.
  • Only Serena's psychotic and insecure outburst when stalking a guy would come off as endearing as opposed to stage 5 clinger.
  • "I'm gonna hit the cheese table" sounds like something I would say in an awk moment. Not so well played Humphrey.
  • AND there is NO way that Serena can remember the Gettysburg Address in an instant from elementary school but not pick up on the Single White Female vibe that Juliet puts off.
  • One of the minions guesses what the tape holds, "A Nelly Yuki snuff film?" Brilliant writers, well done.
  • Chuck/Blair Hate Sex, amaaazing. The slow motion and Chuck's bow tie were just too, too much. Ahh, its moments like this that are why I live for TV.