30 April 2012

Three Cup Chicken Over Steamed Rice

Growing up, my mom cooked homemade meals from scratch for us every night. 

Both my parents were born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, and moved to America shortly after my sister and I were born. To make sure we stayed in touch with our roots, they raised us in a mini-Taiwan culture: We spoke Mandarin around the house, learned to read and write Traditional Chinese, and ate Taiwanese food year-round. 

My mom instilled in me a love of all Asian foods by cooking all her favorites night in and night out for over 18 years. I've come to realize that the food you eat as a child often guides the food you seek out as an adult. It's the very notion of comfort food: food that takes us back to our childhood and invokes memories from our past. 

Which leads me to this dish...

27 April 2012

All That Shines and Sparkles

I love outfits and homes that have a touch of sparkle!
We're hearing that sequins will be big this season...so stock up on that shine!

Photo credits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

26 April 2012

Thrifting: It's All in the Details

Last week, I showed you guys the Mediterranean Plates that I had found at one of my favorite thrift stores.
This past weekend, I visited another thrift store in my area and got lucky again in the dinnerware department...

I'm loving the intricate cutwork detail...and I was lucky enough to find four matching plates!
At $0.59 a piece, my grand total came out to just $2.36 plus tax...success

Pier 1, handcrafted in Italy?
Yes, please

Thrift stores are quickly becoming my favorite place to hunt for unique dinnerware pieces. 
Can't wait to show off these little beauties! 

25 April 2012

Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Here's a healthy mid-week recipe for you all, featuring the health food industry's newest darling: quinoa.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a type of grain that has recently garnered a lot of attention. An ancient grain originally native to South America, quinoa is high in protein and boasts an abundance of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, riboflavin...the list goes on.

In a nutshell: it's healthy, so eat it!

24 April 2012

MANGO My Makeover

I'm loving MANGO's new Summer line! 
Fresh, clean, girly, and very summery, with lots of white and neutrals.

And how cute are these inspiration outfit boards? 
I'll take one of everything, please!

All photos courtesy of MANGO

23 April 2012

Braised Pork Neckbones in Garlic Tomato Gravy

If there's one recipe I'll pass down to my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, it'd be this one.

I came across this dish on Proud Italian Cook, one of my favorite Italian food blogs. Marie, the chef behind the website, posted this dish and described it as "Italian soul food, food that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling every time you eat them as you recall memories and smells of your childhood." She then described her husband and his brother sharing the meal together while recalling memories of their mom.

The nostalgic post made me hope that one day, my future generations will do the same. Marie was kind enough to share this recipe with me...which has quickly become one of my favorite Sunday night dinners to make - such a comforting meal to end the weekend.

The first time I made this, Brad looked up from his plate, mesmerized, and said, "Vicky, this is the best meal you've ever made." 

20 April 2012

Suburban Renewal: Chest Diaries, Part 2

Earlier this week, I mentioned my current project of restoring a vintage chest I'd bought a few summers back. 

To give you a little history...let's travel back in time momentarily: 

It was another hot July summer day in Columbus, and Brad and I decided to spend the day thrifting. 

On the top of our list was a vintage chest...but no luck. As we were leaving our last thrift mall, sad and empty handed, we ran into a man (let's call him Chester). Chester was sitting outside by the parking lot, and Brad and I were immediately fixated on what he was using as his chair: the very vintage, very antique chest that we had been searching for all day!  

Crossing my fingers, I whispered to Brad, "Think it's for sale?" We gave it a shot and asked him. Chester laughed and said, "Sure, why not?" $50 was his asking price, so we scraped together all the cash we had on hand to arrive at a grand total of $46...which he took with a wink and said, "That'll

This time travel wouldn't be complete without a glimpse of Chester (helping me load my trunk into the trunk of my car!): 

As you can see, the chest was very vintage and needed lots of TLC. 

19 April 2012

Neon, Neon Everywhere

The buzz word at work these days has definitely been neon neon neon! We can't get enough of it! 

Love it or hate it, neon's back...and it's everywhere!

Are you pro neon or con neon? 

Photo credits:
1 2 3 4 5 6

18 April 2012

Steamed Mussels with Fettunta (Fresh Garlic Bread)

One of my favorite appetizers of all time is steamed mussels in a white wine broth with grilled bread.

I've never made it on my own, since mussels were always a little daunting to me. Then, my friend showed me this recipe on A Cozy Kitchen and I was convinced it was all in my head (and I was right!). I adapted it slightly (to make it a tad healthier) but stuck to the heart of the recipe. 

My favorite part of my version is that instead of serving it with plain grilled bread, we take it a step further by serving it with Fettunta - or the Best Garlic Bread You'll Ever Have.

17 April 2012

Meet Gracie Girl

Meet Gracie.

Gracie is a 13-week old yellow lab collie mix (we think). Brad and I adopted from our local shelter, Pets Without Parents. Technically, she's his puppy...but I love her all the same. 

How adorable is she? 

16 April 2012

Suburban Renewal: Chest Diaries, Part 1

I came across this photo on Pinterest a few months back and fell in love with it. Something about the vintage chest being used as a nightstand just gave the room so much added character and personality. 

This inspiration photo ended up being the catalyst for a little DIY project of my own that ended up taking over multiple weekends and will definitely still take over more weekends to come.

Check back later this week for the beginnings of this project!

13 April 2012

Lust: Ferragamo Wedges

What wouldn't I wear with these? ($1,190)
A girl can dream...

Spring Cleaning, Tiffany Style

Click here to find a store location near you. See you there!

Chicken Chorizo Tortilla Soup - with Doritos!

So...the Doritos' marketing team has been working very hard recently...

First, they came out with the Doritos Locos Tacos: A crunchy taco made with premium seasoned beef, crisp lettuce, and real cheddar cheese, in a shell made from Nacho Cheese Doritos® Chips

12 April 2012

Olivia Envy

For those of you who are unaware of my love affair with Olivia Palermo, I figured now was the perfect time to tell you...
I have a major girl crush on her.

I mean, really? She's pretty much flawless. 

Mezzi Rigatoni with Rotisserie Chicken in Garlic White Wine Tomato sauce

As promised, here is the recipe from yesterday's sneak peek post: 
Mezzi Rigatoni with Rotisserie Chicken in Garlic White Wine Tomato Sauce

One of my favorite go-to-meals for busy weeknights is a simple pasta cooked in a light tomato sauce. This pasta in particular is one of my new favs: simple, delicious, healthy.

11 April 2012

Thrifting: Mediterranean Plates

A few weekends ago, I stopped by a local thrift store, Volunteers of America. Thrifting guarantees that you never know what you're going to find. There are good days, there are bad days...and then, there are great days. Lucky for me, this was a great day!

I went in originally looking for a silver platter for my bar/kitchen. No luck there, but I did find...

Not one, not two, not three, but four matching pieces! Pier One, made in Italy...90 cents a piece? Yes, please! 
A beautiful mix of new and rustic, light and airy...summer in the Mediterranean, anyone?


As if that wasn't enough, I also found two matching Pottery Barn dishes...for $1.91 a piece.

All I could think about was how great they would look photographed for the blog...
and what better accompaniment than some fresh pasta?

I'm sure these plates will be making lots of appearances in my house this Spring and Summer.

The pasta is a mezzi rigatoni with shredded rotisserie chicken, slow simmered in a garlic and white wine tomato sauce. It was simple and delicious - a perfect weeknight meal. 

Recipe to come tomorrow!

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