Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mid Week Crisis

Food shopping. Personally I think it's more fun then buying a dress (which if you've seen my closet, this is a big deal)! But there are always dilemmas: when is the right time to go during the week, Saturday is free but it's Wednesday and I have no food, my recipes require too many ingredients, and it's hot as hell and I don't feel like cooking! COOL YOUR JETS PEOPLE I HAVE SOLUTIONS! The Hollywood Tans in Flourtown, Pa happens to have a great selection of magazines, so while my sister worked there I "borrowed" a few and came across Real Simple magazine. For those of you that have never heard of it I suggest you start, cause everything in it is....REAL SIMPLE to do. So on to the food dilemma, I bring you:

A collection of recipes that only require a trio of ingredients! Thats right THREE. Take that 5 Ingredient Fix! So for the next few weeks I'll give you two recipes every Wednesday that should make your mid week crisis vanish.

Shrimp with Ginger Sauce

Total time: 15 minutes/Serves 4

3/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 tsp salt*
1/4 tsp pepper*

*(like 5 Ingredient Fix these are freebies)

In a small saucepan, cook 3/4 cup apricot preserves, 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt over medium heat, stirring, until melted, about 2 minutes. Place 1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 16) on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 3 tbsp of the apricot sauce, and season with 1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper. Broil until browned in spots and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Grilled Teriyaki Wings

Total time: 30 minutes/serves 4

1 1/2 lbs chicken wings (about 8)
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Halve 8 chicken wings through the joint; cut off and discard the wing tips. Grill over medium-low heat, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Brush with 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds and serve with additional teriyaki sauce for dipping if desired.

So on this extremely hot day, I hope I've made dinner less stressful!

Happy Eating!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Joyful Heart Foundation

I realize that I have an extremely low subscriber rate, and most of what I write about is silly girl stuff to pass the time, but this is the most important post I have written and possibly will write on Live Beautiful Recipes. The cause that this organization represents hits very close to home. All it takes is one person to further educate someone else and thus the chain of awareness begins. Please take the time to read this post, I took it straight from their website so you would understand their message perfectly.

Their Story:
When Mariska Hargitay started playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit over a decade ago, the content of the scripts, as well as the work she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. What she learned was staggering:

One in three women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.
Nearly four children die every day in this country as a result of child abuse and neglect. And up to ten million children witness domestic violence each year.

But what really opened her eyes—and subsequently, her heart—was the fan mail she received. The letters didn't say, "I love your show. Can you send me an autographed picture?" They said, "I was raped when I was fifteen. I'm forty now and I've never told anyone." Victims were disclosing their stories to her, many for the first time.

Mariska founded Joyful Heart in 2004 with the intention of helping survivors heal and reclaim their lives. Today, Joyful Heart's mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

Since 2004, over 2,000 survivors have participated in Joyful Heart's pioneering retreat and wellness programs, thousands more have taken that first important step to get help through our website, and our participation in national educational and media awareness campaigns has planted the seeds of a changed awareness in the lives of millions. This year alone, the Foundation will directly serve over 2,000 survivors and the professionals who care for them.

Their Vision:

Everybody knows that rape, sexual assault and child abuse happen. Society is willing to look at this reality from time to time, but is just as willing to forget the horrible truth about how many survivors are walking among us. The Joyful Heart Foundation is working to build a community that is strong enough not to push this reality away, a community that acknowledges the dark side of this issue, but endeavors to turn toward the light of healing, the path to possibility and the clarity of honest dialogue.

We envision a community that says to a survivor "We hear you. We believe you. We feel for you. You are not alone. And your healing is our priority."

I implore that if you are male or female, 10 or 85, to please pass on this knowledge and encourage others to promote awareness not ignorance. One encounter of sexual violence and abuse can change a person for the rest of their life. If you know of anyone that is or might be a victim reach out to them or the authorities, no one should feel that they are alone in this.

Please visit The Joyful Heart Foundation website for more information on how to help.

Best of Love

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bridal Week 2011: Monique L'huillier

Monique L'huillier take romance to the next level with her gowns. She introduced the colored sash trend on wedding gowns and the backless all lace sheath gowns. Her style is soft, feminine, and luscious. So whether it be a ball gown with mountains of layered tulle and lace or a fitted mermaid gown with structured satin, her designs are a brides dream come true.

Monique L'huillier Bridal 2012

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bridal Week 2011: Vera Wang

One of my favorite times of the year is Bridal Week. And this year it's on steroids due to the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Brides already have a hard enough time picking their wedding dress form whats in the stores already, then Bridal Week comes along and Spring of next year's designs are walking down the runway and suddenly BAM your current dress isn't good enough. So this week I'm going to be posting designs from some of my all time favorite designers who were a part of this years Bridal Week. These gowns are for their Spring 2012 line.

Vera Wang. The QUEEN of the Bridal world. Anyone tries to argue that is just oblivious and very misinformed. Here are her designs for the Spring 2012 line:

I love that she's fearless when it comes to using color in the bridal gowns. Her pallet is so perfect because it introduces color without it being out of place, they're soft romantic and sophisticated. The nude color gown are my absolute favorite, especially the corseted mermaid gown with the ruffled skirt. They are not available on her website yet and probably won't be until early or late summer. Good things come to those who wait!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Complexion Soup

Just to go off of the Glamour Magazine recipes that seem to work wonders, here is one that works wonders for your skin! This is another excerpt from the book 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know .

Complexion Soup is Carrot Soup with Ginger. Glamour's beauty editors call carrots "the friendliest skin food around." They know carrots are packed with beta carotene, which repairs the skin, and loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that battles free radicals. It's a delicious way to get your skin fix and is perfect with a salad for lunch.

Complexion Soup
serves 2 to 3

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, chopped into 1 inch pieces (or zest from 1 lemon)
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 lbs. carrots peeled and chopped
3 1/2 cups water
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup light sour cream, plus 2 to 3 tsp. for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp. minced chives, for garnish

1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and butter over high heat. Add the garlic, onion, ginger, lemongrass (or lemon zest), coriander, cumin and cinnamon. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the onions soften, being careful not to let the mixture burn.

2. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the carrots and 2 cups water to the stockpot, and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.

3. Add the stock to the stockpot, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

4. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Discard the pieces of lemongrass. Working in two batches, ladle the soup into a blender or food processor, and puree.

5. Pour the pureed soup back into the stock pot. Add the orange juice, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cup sour cream. Stir until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Heat the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat; you can also serve cold. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish each with 1 tsp. sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.

And enjoy your new glowing skin!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Engagement Chicken

Yes that's right, Engagement Chicken. Girls if you have been living under a rock then listen up. I have heard of this recipe for maybe 1 1/2 to 2 years. This "magic" recipe where when any girl cooks her boy friend this chicken she is engaged very soon there after. It all started with Glamour Magazine's Fashion Editor Kim Bonnell who gave this recipe to her assistant Kathy who made it for her then boyfriend Jon Suder. A month later he was down on one knee and the story is history. "It's a meal your wife would make. It got me thinking," said Jon Suder, who now has three children with wife Kathy. It inspired three other women from Glamour to try out the recipe on their boyfriends who are now all married! Just this morning on the Today show there are now 72 known stories from couples who this incredible recipe worked for.

So I am obviously obligated to pass this along to my readers in hopes that this works for all of you.

Engagement Chicken

Serves 2 to 4

1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons—including 1 sliced for garnish
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, and 1 bunch fl at-leaf parsley)
1. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash the chicken inside and out with cold water, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fi tted with a rack and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out.

3. Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three different places with a fork and place them deep inside the cavity. Chicken cavity size may vary, so if one lemon is partly sticking out, that’s fine. (Tip: If the lemons are stiff, roll them on the countertop with your palm before pricking to get the juices flowing.)

4. Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn the chicken breast- side up. Insert a meat thermometer in the thigh, and return the chicken to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180°F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork. Continue roasting if necessary. Keep in mind that cooking times in different ovens vary; roasting a chicken at 350°F takes approximately 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.

6. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. And here’s the secret: Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken— this is the “marry me juice.” Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

Want more recipes that’ll change your life? Get Glamour’s cookbook, 100 Recipes every Woman Should Know.

Read More

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Royal Wedding

Since the announcement of Prince Williams engagement to future princess Kate Middleton all of the major designers have been vying for the most prestigious honor of designing her wedding gown. Not just any wedding gown, but THEE wedding gown that will be the most talked about garment since Princess Diana's very own elaborate gown. Her's set the trend for the ball gown style wedding dress.

I have some of the sketches that have been released from designers. Not sure if they are the official designs being suggested to Kate but perhaps we an see what direction they're going in.

“The royal wedding will be magical. Kate’s dress should be a modern mix of the traditional and contemporary.” — Monique Lhuillier

“I think that there will be so many comparisons to the late Princess Diana that her dress should almost be the opposite of what Diana’s was—modern, simple and very elegant.” — Tom Mora, vice president of wedding and special occasion for J. Crew

“I admire the balance Kate Middleton strikes between elegant and contemporary with her unmistakable style. For her wedding dress, I had in mind clean lines, soft shapes and classic touches such as the boat neckline and distinctive train.” — Frida Giannini

“I imagine a wedding dress that is romantic but not flamboyant, an embroidered, fluid silhouette dress in precious fabrics that will help her make an everlasting impression.”
— Alberta Ferretti

“We designed a ‘blossoming’ dress because we imagined her as a new Botticellian Venus.” — Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, Valentino

“The tradition of intricate hand-pieced lacework in the high-necked bodice with elbow-length sleeves, together with the voluminous skirt of a mixture of stiff and soft silk tulle, feels regal, yet poetic.” — Vera Wang

Friday, February 4, 2011

Passport to Wedding Wear

Looking for inspiration for you wedding fashion? Why not look to fashion inspired by different countries? Here are some ideas:

Cote D'azure

New York City




Far East


For specific dress information and more inspiration visit Martha Stewart Weddings

Monday, January 31, 2011

How to avoid Blasé Wedding Decor- Tables and Centerpieces

So your planning a wedding. Congrats! The I'm engaged buzz is gone and its time to focus on the big day, which you've been dreaming of since you were a little girl. Well weddings were a whole different ball game back then and times are changing along with whats currently IN on the wedding scene.

One thing that drives me up a wall is that couples aren't aware of their wedding resources, and wind up going to their local florist and paying and arm and a leg for something that's been done already! If your a traditionalist don't run away just yet, theres nothing wrong with white linens, red rose centerpieces and babies breath,...well I lied about the babies breath. Get creative! You want your guests to walk in and not dissect everything because it's all obvious. These are a few tips I've learned from my past weddings that you should keep in mind for any event situation, wedding or large gathering.

The first thing your guests see are the tables. And whats worse then putting all this effort in the perfect linen and centerpieces that completely clashes with the decor of the room. Instead of boring white linens, pick a different solid color, even a darker one because the items on the table will pop out more and give the room a richer feel.

Next play around with varying centerpieces. Cookie cutter clone tables are out! Take advantage of the height of the room and use tall cylinder vases and candles on some tables and smaller clustered flower arrangement and votive candles on others. Same for rooms with low ceilings, create 2 or 3 different kinds of centerpieces using the same items in different configurations.

Want your room to really pop? Skip the idea of using 4 different colors for your "wedding color palate" and pick one! Monocramatics are great because you use shades of one color. It's very clean, and bold when you pair a soft blue next to a navy blue like flowers in vases. Even this flower arrangement, that doesn't include any leaves, just flower heads in hues of red/pinks.

What not to neglect thats totally unexpected? The chairs! Not into the look of chivari chairs but can't use the huge fabric cushion chairs found in hotels? Not a problem. Lose the sash idea and get a little couture!

So thats a little taste of some simple tips to consider. It's just about making different choices in linen colors, or using your centerpieces in different ways, also not neglecting the details. Once you've got a hold on that your on your way to one hell of a party!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day 2 Recipe

So it's snow day number 2. The Velvet Chicken Soup day 2 is even better than day 1's version, since all the flavors have melded together over night. I Die. So naturally because there's snow on the ground, the sun sets and you cuddle up in front of the fire and you instinctively crave Hot Chocolate. Well instead of a mug of Swiss Miss, why not grab a piece of Chocolate Velvet Cake [the recipe I promised you all yesterday]. Another Helen Corbitt classic from the Neiman Marcus Taste cookbook.

"The name Helen Corbitt gave this cake made me want to try the recipe, and I can vouch that chocolate lovers everywhere will not be disappointed. It is not your typical chocolate cake-it is dense and a little chewy but not too intense. It travels well; the frosting sets up perfectly and looks, well, good enough to eat. These qualities make it the perfect dessert to take along for a party or dinner event. Over recent years it has become a favorite of our guests at Neiman Marcus, especially for birthday celebrations."

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pans
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the Frosting:

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 dark corn syrup
16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

To prepare the cake, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Combine the sugar, sour cream, and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the oil, shortening, and vanilla. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, until well incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and then add the eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape down the bowl again and add the flour and cocoa mixture in one-third increments, waiting for each addition to be incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake pans and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a work surface to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Place the cream and syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl and pour the cream mixture into the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Let cool and then transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for about 4 minutes, until fluffy. Spread the frosting between the 2 layers and then frost the top and sides of the cake.

Serves: 8
Simplicity: +++

*add in different flavoring like espresso, or extracts for even more depth

Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Day Recipe

I LOVE to cook, if it isn't obvious enough. Last year I was given a copy of Neiman Marcus Taste cookbook for Christmas. I have yet to actually use it, but seeing as today in Philadelphia there's 10 inches of snow on the ground and still climbing I thought I would spend some time in the kitchen. The recipe I've chosen, which was sooo difficult to pick cause EVERYTHING looks incredible, is Chicken Velvet Soup. In case anyone else out there feels the need for a hot creamy soup to warm you up today I wanted to share the recipe:

Chicken Velvet Soup

Intro: "Reading through Helen Corbitt's recipes from forty and fifty years ago, it's exciting to realize she was ahead of the paradigm shift that has occurred in American food. She paid considerable attention to texture and enjoyed creating layers of flavor, a goal sought by many of today's leading chefs. The velvety smoothness of this soup is a quality she also sought in her chocolate cake [ I'll be posting that recipe soon!]. When you taste the rich and creamy but simple-looking soup for the first time, you'll find it surprisingly light and refreshing."


1/4 cup olive oil
1 frying chicken, about 3 pounds, cut into pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 chicken bouillon cubes, crumbled
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh parsley (6 to 8 sprigs reserved for garnish)
2 dried bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
6 cups heavy cream
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and sear them, turning occasionally, 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the same saucepan and saute for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the wine, bouillon, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add the flour and thoroughly mix together. Return the seared chicken to the pan and mix well. Add the cream and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 1 hour, or until the chicken meat falls off the bone.

Strain the soup into a clean saucepan, reserving the chicken (discard the vegetables). When it is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat (discard the skin and bones) and add it to the soup base. Return the soup to a simmer and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.

Chefs Notes: the bouillon cubes add an element of flavor that cannot be replicated with stock or other ingredients. it's a truc, or "culinary trick", the great Paul Bocuse taught me."

Serves 6 to 8
Simplicity: + + +

Please leave comments so I know how well the recipe worked out and any adjustments!