Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Cheesy Sourdough Loaf

Hello, dahlings!

I first had this bread years and years ago.  I think my mom might have been the one who found the recipe initially.  It was insanely awesome and so simple.  Years later I made it for my husband, who loved it as well.  It is so cheesy and buttery and the green onions add a great flavor to it.  It's just one of those yummy, comforting foods you have to have once in a while.

It isn't the healthiest tasty bread recipe on the block, so I forgot about it until I stumbled upon it again on Pinterest.

This is from The Girl Who Ate Everything's blog post on the bread.  I changed it just a bit.


 Cheesy Sourdough Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 unsliced loaf sourdough bread
  •  12-16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 2 or so ounces of Gruyere, shredded
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted
  •  1/2 cup finely diced green onion
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the bread length-wise and across the width of it without cutting through the bottom crust. Mr. Diva had to hold the bread while I cut when I went across the width.  Be careful not to tear it too much.

Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle a couple tablespoons of melted butter in all the crevices.  Insert cheese between cuts.  Combine remaining butter with green onions.  Drizzle over bread.  Wrap in foil; place on the baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

And enjoy it!  It is great for a party, dinner party, to take to someone's house, etc.



 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This Week's Top 10 Favorite Posts

I want to start a new weekly segment of my favorite blog posts that I run across during the week.  They could be about anything really, not just fashion.  I think it is a great way to share more information, styles, recipes, etc. with you.



For my first ever Top 10 Weekly Favorites post:


Enjoy!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What I Wore: Running Errands and Date Night

Last Saturday was a pretty busy day for us, but a fun one!  Mr. Diva and I went to get our haircuts, ran some fun errands, and then went on a double-date to dinner and a movie with some friends.

Overall, it was a pretty casual day.  I'm trying out different poses too. lol





Black Tank - Old Navy
Ruffle-front shirt - Lane Bryant
Jeans - Avenue
Shoes - New Balance
Handbag - Rosetti (bought at JCPenney's in 2011)




 My sweet husband and I...


...and a few precious photos of two of my three kids.




Have a great weekend!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Birchbox Review: February 2012

Catching up with Birchbox posts...

If you don't know about Birchbox, it is a monthly subscription service.  For $10 a month, you get a box of 4 to 5 high-end skincare, makeup, and/or hair care products to sample.  Sometimes there are also "lifestyle samples", like an organic granola bar, tea, etc.  Some products are even full-size!

It is a really fun thing to get in the mail!  Plus, I am a product junkie and love being able to try all these different products.  Check out the website for more information!


This month's theme was Spotlight.




Birchbox February 2012

Products Include:

  1. Colorscience Pro Glow and Go Travel Puff - I enjoy this to perk up my face and add a little bit of color when I have been out and about all day long.  It does give off a nice amount of color, so a little goes a long way.
  2. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - This is a great exfoliant.  It has a great orange scent and does a good job. 
  3. EYE ROCK Designer Liner - Did not like these.  I love the idea of them though.  They are stickers in various eyeliner designs that you stick to your lid instead of dealing with eyeliner application.  The problem is that you have to cut them down to the size of your eye and hope you get it even and smooth.  When I placed the sticker on my eye, it was difficult to get in position and pulled the skin of my eyelid all weird.
  4. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint - The color didn't go with my skin tone very well.  It was a lot darker than me, so I didn't get a lot of use out of it.  I love the Jouer lip products I have used though.
  5. Nail File - Cute little nail file for your purse.
  6. Birchbox Digital Download - The download was a song by Green River Ordinance.  I enjoyed the music very much.  You can watch some of their videos on YouTube.  Some of their stuff reminds me of Edwin McCain.









Saturday, February 18, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Fiesta Lime Rice Stuffed Peppers

Hello, dahlings!

This Stuffed Peppers meal has been one of our favorites since becoming pescatarian.  It has a lot of flavor and is very filling.  You can change it in many ways, which makes this recipe even more exciting to me.



For the Rice:

I started with the Fiesta Lime Rice recipe from Skinnytaste.  I tweaked it a little based on my time constraints and tastes, so I am going to type it here as I made it.

  • 2 bags of Minute Brown Rice, cooked (or 2 cups of uncooked rice, cooked)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (you can also do fresh tomatoes here instead.)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • A bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes
  • Fiesta Lime Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Philadelphia Cooking Creme in Santa Fe Blend
  • Shredded Mozzarella
Directions:

Combine rice, beans, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro.  Mix well.  Add the juice of the 2 limes and some lime zest if you prefer.  Add about half of the container of Cooking Creme.  Use Mrs. Dash, salt, and pepper to taste.  I probably used at least a tablespoon of the Mrs. Dash.

Add a couple handfuls of the shredded mozzarella and mix well.  Set aside.

UPDATE:
I made them again today (3/1/2012).  To the above rice mixture I also added:  half of an 11 ounce jar of jalapenos (like what you would put on nachos), a 4 ounce can of green chiles, Sharp Cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese instead of mozzarella,  and the zest and juice of the 2 limes.


I also ended up boiling the pepper tops that I cut off (see below), chopped those tops into small pieces, and added those to the rice mixture.  The jalapenos give this a nice heat.  Plus, I love the sharp cheddar flavor!

For the Peppers:

  • 6 bell peppers
Directions:


Boil water in a deep pot.  Make sure water will cover peppers.  Cut the tops off of the peppers and scoop out the seeds. 

When the water is boiling, turn it down just a bit.  Place pepper in boiling water for 3 minutes.  I put mine in open side up so the water would keep the pepper down.  If you have a big deep pot, do more than one pepper at a time.  My pot was small, so I had to do them individually.   After the 3 minutes, set them on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, open side down, to drain.

Place peppers in a pan or cookie sheet, fill with rice mixture, and top with mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.  You will know they are done when the cheese is melted and bubbly and the skin of the peppers is a bit wrinkly.








Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I Wore: Valentine's Dinner Dress!

I have been really excited to learn about so many great plus-size clothing companies lately.  I've slowly been acquiring pieces from some of the companies when they have a big sale.  Following these companies on Facebook is really great for me because they announce special sales and deals quite frequently.  So far I have bought a top from SWAK Designs and a dress from Kiyonna.  I am always concerned with sizing that accommodates my big hips and smaller bust.

I will talk about my SWAK top in an upcoming post, but today I want to show you my amazing Kiyonna dress!  I was eyeing the Maggie Polka Dot dress for a while before I finally gave in and bought it.  It is described on their website as follows: "Channel your inner pin up girl in this retro inspired polka dotted number. Both trendy and flattering, this fully lined dress is complete with a double empire waist, a full skirt, and ruched sleeves.."

This dress does NOT disappoint.  I was so excited when it came in the mail.  I tried it on immediately, completely prepared for the inevitable chore of deciding what uncomfortable shapewear I was going to have to wear underneath for it to lay correctly on my body.  But it fit me incredibly well on its own.  The sleeves aren't too tight on my large upper arms.  The length is perfect and the empire waist is fabulous.  And who doesn't love a full skirt?  This dress is flirty and fun and makes me feel so pretty!  It is fully lined and made in a slinky, smooth polyester/spandex fabric that flows well and isn't too warm.

The sizing was pretty true as well.  I do have a smaller bust, especially for a plus size girl.  My only critique would be that the bust was a little big on me.  However, I didn't feel that it looked bad or was something I couldn't live with.  I used a little bit of clothing tape to keep the bust secure and had no issues.  I guarantee I will be buying more from Kiyonna in the future.

Without further ado, here are some photos:

Mr. Diva and I about to head out for dinner



Moi posing!



Wearing the Maggie



And being silly :-)



It was a bit chilly, so I wore a black cardigan (from Avenue).  I don't have any red heels (*sad face*), so I wore some black peep-toe wedges that have silver detail (also from Avenue).  They still lent a retro vibe to the assemble.  For a bit of color, I donned some large pink pearls.







My baby girl, Miss P, and I were sporting the same color scheme.  I forced her to pose with me. lol  (Please pay no attention to my totally unfashionable, messy dining table.)



Thanks for reading!  Do you have an article of clothing that makes you feel fabulous?  What is it?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{Crafting Diva} How To: DIY Tulle Valentine's Wreath


I can never seem to stay ahead of the holidays.  In a perfect blogging world, I would get all of these posts out way in advance.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  I hope you all have a wonderful day with your significant others, friends, and/or family!  Valentine's Day doesn't just have to be about romantic love.  :-)  I wish all of you love and hope you get to be around those you care about today and every day.

I've been a bit obsessed with having a holiday or seasonal wreath on my front door at all times.  I bought a clearance rainbow-colored metallic tinsel wreath at Target sometime after Christmas.  I've been changing up the decor on it for various events.  (I'll do a post about that wreath later.)

Right now, I want to tell you about a pretty wreath I made last week.  I found the idea via Pinterest and couldn't wait to make it using some of my leftover wedding tulle, fabric, and ribbon.

Here is the original I pinned:



I'm not really sure what the measurements of this white one are.  Mine turned out pretty large.

Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial



Here is what you will need to make this:

Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial
  • Heavy duty wire
  • 5 yards of Tulle  (I used 7 yards)
  • Strips of lace, ribbon, fabric, etc.
  • Long strip of fabric for hanging
  • Scissors, ruler
 Directions:

Make a heart shape with the wire.  I got a fairly heavy duty wire in the floral section of my local craft store.  I can't find the packaging anymore to tell you the gauge.  In the future, I would get a heavier gauge and twist it to make a sturdier base.  Also, I don't know the measurements of the white heart.  Mine ended up being 17 inches wide at the widest part by 19 inches tall.  I also needed an extra 2 yards to finish it, so make it whatever size you want.

Cut the tulle into 2 inch by 4.5 inch strips.  This didn't take quite as long as it sounds, but my fingers were cramping from cutting it all.  The strips don't have to be perfectly straight, so don't stress out about perfection on this one.

Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial

Tie the strips of tulle into knots around the wreath.  I wanted a fuller look than the white heart, so I used two strips at a time when tying them onto the wire.

Valentine's Door Wreath TutorialValentine's Door Wreath Tutorial

Add strips of lace, fabric, or ribbon of your choosing to add some more pizzazz and dimension.

Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial

Add a long strip of fabric to the wreath for hanging.  I also had to go back over my heart with some scissors to even out the length of strips.  They were a little uneven in places.

Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial

I spent a total of $4 on this wreath for the wire.  The tulle and ribbon I already had from leftover wedding-related craft projects.  The fabric was leftover from making vests and ties for my wedding.

It did take a little while to tie all the strips, but it went by a lot faster than you might think.  I managed to get over half of it done while not watching the Super Bowl. lol  I'm really happy with the end result.



Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial
 My ribbon and bag of tulle strips


 Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial
 Strips tied onto the wire.  Keep pushing them together for your desired fullness.

 Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial
Add ribbons for pizzazz!


 Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial



Valentine's Door Wreath Tutorial

Have fun!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Easy Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Biscuits

These are fantastic.  I really don't need to take up your time by giving you more to read because that means you aren't making these!
If you love the Cheddar Garlic Biscuits, you will most certainly love these Rosemary Garlic Biscuits.  They are perfectly garlicky with the great flavor of rosemary.  This recipe is another one from Skinnytaste.


Easy Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Biscuits
From Skinnytaste.com - Follow above link for Printer Friendly version

Ingredients: 
  • 2 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick
  • 3 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free milk
My additions are:  I add another tablespoon or more of chopped rosemary to the biscuit mix;  I tend to be heavy-handed with the garlic.  I LOVE garlic!


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a small pan, add oil and half the garlic; sauté on low heat about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chopped rosemary.

In a large bowl, combine biscuit mix, parmesan cheese, and remaining garlic.  (I added the extra tablespoon or so of rosemary also.)  Stir in milk and mix (do not over mix). Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls (about 1.5 oz each) onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Brush or drizzle biscuits with melted butter. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.

Enjoy!




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