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2.29.2012

Brown Butter Sea Salt Crispy Treats



Do you like rice crispy treats? Okay, I know this can be a highly contended issue... let's just say that if you do like them, you are about to experience nirvana.  And if you don't? You're going to change your mind.


These are not your normal rice crispy treats.  Not even close.  Let me break it down for you: brown butter. sea salt. rice crispy. treats. dipped in chocolate.



I know you want them.... The good news is that they are super easy to throw together, requiring few ingredients and few tools.  Ready? Give the recipe a try!



Brown Butter Sea Salt Rice Crispy Treats
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1, 10-oz bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 tsp course sea salt (smoked sea salt is a great choice too!)
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1, 4-oz bar of bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Directions

1.  Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with butter (or non-stick spray).*
2.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Allow it to melt, foam, turn golden, and eventually turn brown and smell nutty and glorious.  Stir frequently and do not take your eyes off the pot! The butter can go from perfect to burnt in no time flat.
3. Turn off heat, stir in marshmallows until melted and smooth.  Return to heat if necessary to make marshmallows smooth.
4.  Mix together salt and cereal.  Add marshmallow mixture, stirring to thoroughly coat cereal.
5. Quickly spread into prepared pan, pressing the top flat.  Let cool.  Cut into 16 squares.
6.  Melt chocolate on top of a double boiler until smooth.  Dip rice crispy treat squares in chocolate as you like.  I prefer to dip half or a corner of each square into chocolate to allow for a non-chocolatey "handle" to make it less messy to eat.  Once dipped in chocolate, place on a piece of parchment paper to cool.
7.  Prepare to obsess over your new creation.

Enjoy!




2.27.2012

Favorite Foodie Blogs

Happy Monday my friends!


Let's start our week off with some procrastination and inspiration, what do you say? I wanted to share some of my favorite foodie blogs with you today.  These are some of my favorite places to turn for new recipes,  menu planning ideas, or even just a mental break from the constant statistical analysis and writing cycle I am currently in.

First up, Smitten Kitchen was the first recipe-based blog I discovered.  Nothing like your first love, no? Deb always has gorgeous photos and delicious looking recipes.  Her recipes are very approachable and explained so that anyone can master them.  Look forward to a favorite recipe of mine from Smitten Kitchen later this week!

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101 cookbooks is a great place to turn for wholesome, homey recipes that are aimed at being healthy while maximizing the flavors of individual ingredients.  I love her soups especially! The photography is just gorgeous too, so it is always way too fun to peruse recipes just to look at photos!

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I don't remember how I came across Cannelle et Vanille, but I am so glad I did.  This lovely woman grew up in France and now lives in the US while keeping up with her French roots.  She always has thoughtful and meaningful things to say, along with the most enticing recipes.  I adore her photography too! She actually does several photography workshops internationally... le sigh.


I've been following Eat, Live, Run for quite a while now.  Jenna, the author, used to have a healthy living and balanced lifestyle focus, but now posts more often on new recipes, book recommendations, and yoga challenges.  She writes like your best friend, and feels familiar.  Plus she has fun recipes in a range of difficulty levels that always look delicious!

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La Tartine Gourmande is written by another born and raised French woman who now lives in the US.  She tends to focus on gluten-free cooking and baking, but you would never even notice it with her creative use of ingredients.  Her photos always remind me to be mindful in my cooking and eating, and to look for seasonal ingredients to make dishes shine.  She just published a brand new cookbook which is stunning- look for some recipes from it on SLR soon!
I found Nectar one day when I was just roaming the internet, and immediately fell in love! The rock and roll style of the blog is so fun- there are playlists to match each recipe! Amazing.  She uses great photography props, and clearly has a lot of fun with her recipes.  It is always a treat to find a new post published here.



What are your favorite places to look for new recipes or dish ideas?

2.24.2012

Friday musings 2.24.12: Fui a Honduras!

Peace out, America!  I'm sick of the cold, so I'm heading out on the 6:30AM (eek) flight to HONDURAS!!!  Not planning on coming back.  Come visit me anytime :)

This is my new front yard!

Jk.  Just going for a week.  And where I'm going is NOTHING like ^that^ - although a girl can dream, right?  I'm going way inland to Morazan, where I will be spending my spring break week on a maternal health project and teaching English in an elementary school.  I'm bringing an arsenal of sunproof REI shirts, Crocs (yes, seriously, but it's the sandal kind so not as bad I swear), zip-off hiking capris/shorts (uhhh... no defense here), and hot pink malaria pills. Ooo baby. Wish me luck on remembering all my Spanish...

In the meantime, enjoy a Stephanie-only week! And then I take over for a week when I get back. It's like a blog battle: Week Stephanie versus Week Lauren.  Have fun picking sides.  (My side gets candy and a personalized tour through Zara's online shoe collection!!)

2.23.2012

Pumped Up Kicks



Have you even seen a pair of nearly perfect shoes... with only that slightly off detail that takes the pair from perfect to, well, just so-so? You immediately wish that you could sharpie away the weird color, or rip off the weird button.  Or, have you had a vision of the exactly right pump that will work gloriously with your new vintage dress, but were disappointed by the offerings you saw? Or maybe you are the creative type who is all about making your unique visions into realities?

This is for you.


Did you know that you can actually design your own shoes? Introducing Milk & Honey Shoes, an LA based shoe company.  On the company website you can view tons and tons of shoes that have been created by other consumers or by their super fash designers.


Or, create your own!

Choose your style of shoe, the toe and heel shapes, strap design (if you want one), heel height and width, and platform design.  Add in the fabric and colors of your choice for all components- they have tons of choices ranging from patent leather to suede to polka dot fabric.



Now, go have fun: www.milkandhoneyshoes.com.  Good luck getting anything done today :)


Which designs are you loving from Milk & Honey? Post your designs here!

2.22.2012

Project Apartment: Building Shopping

On my last visit to Minneapolis, I went reverse apartment shopping - looking for buildings I like on the outside, then looking them up online to check out the insides. Probably not the best method, but it sure is fun! And what's better than walking around a beautiful neighborhood on a beautiful day? 

I have developed a long laundry list of apartment wants (hard wood floors, antique charm, clawed bathtub, walk-in closet, parking spot), and some of these actually look like I could achieve a hefty amount of that list. What do you think?

Neighborhood? Check.

2.21.2012

Longman & Eagle


I flew into Chicago on Friday night, arriving around 8:30pm central time.  The air was clear and crisp, and the city was buzzing with people out and about enjoying the city's nightlife.  And I. was. hungry.  Like, on the verge of sulking and being angry for no reason- you know that ugly side of hunger right? Enter Longman & Eagle.  The first stop in the city was this awesome restaurant and bed & breakfast in the hip Logan Square area of Chicago.  It also just so happens to have a Michelin star... casually.


First things first... a manhattan! Longman and Eagle does their version of the classic drink with Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Punt  é Mes, Angostura and Cherry bitters.   The perfect pick me up, along with warm cheese gougeres filled with Dunbarton Blue mornay sauce.  I was too enthralled with these to document, but trust me.  Insane.



Next up, roasted marrow bones, with bacon shallot jam and pickled kumquats served with toasted sourdough.  Yum.  To balance it out, we chose a simple shaved pear salad next.  Let's just say we licked our plate.




The best dish of the night was crispy pork belly, served on top of butternut squash with a soy chestnut broth.  It was so perfect! Balanced and satisfying but surprisingly not too heavy.



Warm gruyere donuts with fig jam, hazelnut mascarpone, and wild flower honey.  Need I say more?


Clearly the eats and drinks were insanely awesome, but to make it even better, the atmosphere was perfect.  The crowd completely eclectic with everyone from older couples with a classy bottle of wine to young hipsters wearing sunglasses inside.  The music was perfectly current, featuring the Arcade Fire, the Shins, and others.  Decor was minimal, with a fun juxtaposition of candles and glass jars against industrial oversized vents and posts, all surrounded by exposed interior brick.


If you are in Chicago, go! Run! Get there as fast as you can! And bring be back a manhattan...

2.20.2012

I want to ride my bicycle






TShirt: Jcrew  Shirt: White House Black Market  Bracelet: Target  Sunnies: SEE  Pumps: Zara

Oh boy, am I looking forward to the micro-pleats spring trend.  I struggle with T-shirts, but this sketched bicycle one makes me feel a little French - especially with the pleated skirt. Perfect for twirling, of course.

2.19.2012

5,000

Hey thanks! You helped us get to 5,000 views and counting - we feel very special and happy about this. 

What do you have on tap for this week? We are just working away and L has a big trip coming up at the end of the week :)  Stay posted!! 

Have a great week :) 
via Pinterest 

2.17.2012

Friday Musings 2.17.12

To lament the loss of Fashion Week Fall'12 - a fun video from Moda Operandi.

But until Fall '12 actually arrives, we have some serious Spring to enjoy!  Bright colors, fresh silhouettes, and fun prints are everywhere, and we just can't wait. 

On tap for this weekend: Stephanie visits Chicago and has some serious culinary adventures to get to, so look out for some reviews next week.  And Lauren gets a visitor from Minneapolis and competes in the Intercollegiate Championship of A Cappella midwest quarterfinals.  

2.15.2012

Crazy-Awesome New Desserts

How about some sugar to get us through Wednesday, hmm?


Grub Street recently put out an article describing "101 of America's Most Crazy-Awesome New Desserts," in which they described...well... 101 (duh) desserts from various regions of the country that are in some way spectacular, innovative, or generally adored.  Here are some of my favorites:


Chocolate hazelnut budino with olive oil croutons from Fig in Charleston, SC.  L made a butterscotch budino for Christmas this year which was absolutely insane.  I can only imagine the combination of chocolate, hazlenut, and the crunch of the croutons.


Foie gras cheesecake from Haven Gastropub.  Sounds quite intense, but who wouldn't want to give that a try?


With my love for orange vegetables, I couldn't get over these sweet potato donut holes from Roof in Salt Lake City.  I bet they are just barely sweet, crunchy on the outside, and smooth and cakey inside.  Oh. My.


Can you believe there is a restaurant devoted entirely to pudding!? Considering my best friend and I became pudding fiends during college, I almost immediately got in my car to drive to Puddin' in New York.  This is on my life list!


Banana bread french toast.  Why didn't I think of this first?


Wong restaurant in NYC specializes in the duck ice cream shown above.  What even is duck ice cream? I have no idea, but my curiosity is definitely making this a must-try.


This grapefruit givre from Boulud Sud is a frozen hollowed grapefruit filled with grapefruit sorbet and jam, and topped with toasted tulle and sesame seed halvah (think cotton candy).  Creative and light.  Sounds like the perfect ending to a summer dinner party.


This torta della nonna, or Grandma's cake or tart, is the perfect way to pretend you have an Italian grandmother (or to channel her if you already have one).  The toasted pine nuts, creamy custard, and buttery pastry dough comes together for a rich but comforting dessert that would be killer with coffee.


I couldn't leave out the feel good shakes from the Bowery Diner.  Standard diner milkshakes that are kicked up a notch in flavor with add-ins like Chartreuse or bourbon (Hence the "feel good" :)

Check out the rest of the lineup here.


Which crazy-new desserts look best to you? Did you have any surprisingly awesome desserts for Valentine's Day?