I’ve got big expectations for April. It has been a long winter, and we are due for some nice weather. I don’t want to jinx it, but there is no snow in the 10 day forecast!! To start feeling spring like, try some brighter colors on your nails. I’m loving the blues and purples – what about you?!
Since staring my new job I have noticed that needs required for an everyday tote have changed. Since my current role requires a lot more travel and working remotely I have been on the prowl to find a bag that fits all my needs. I needed something that would easily carry my work laptop, gym clothes and not fall to ruin under the pressure of commuting in NYC (ie. the weather).
I had been eying one of new coworker’s bag for months, and finally asked her about it a few weeks ago. She has since sold me on The Metro Tote by MZ Wallace. The bag comes with three separate pouches, perfect for storing gym shoes, power plugs or any other items you want physically separated from other contents of your life. The nylon bag is perfect for the ever-changing weather conditions and doubles as a great/fashionable baby bag for all those new mommies out there. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors. I settled on the large Metro Tote in black and have aptly named it the magician’s assistant for all the pockets and bags it contains. I brought it with me when I was visiting with Melissa the other week and she has even fallen in love with this gem. In addition to their Metro line of totes, the Bedford has also captured my eye.
Below are some sweet pics I snagged from their street style section of the site, followed by some of my favorite items…Enjoy!
We have been MIA for a few weeks now, sorry about that! Jess and I decided that the blog should always remain fun. So when life is crazy with life things, those come first.
Jess was in town two weekends ago, which was great! We did a lot of relaxing, which we both needed! We had every intention of making this recipe, but she had to jet out on Sunday to avoid the crazy snow storm that hit the next day. I didn’t want the bananas to go bad, so I decided to make it for my husband and I. I posted a pic to instagram (follow me @meljparrish) and my followers/friends went crazy!! It was pretty spectacular if I do say so myself. Next time I would cook it for a little less, I love when it is under cooked. I would also add walnuts, chocolate chips, or both to take it to the next level. Happy baking!
Recipe: Nutella Swirled Banana Bread - Original Recipe
Makes 2 loaves **I halved the recipe.
3 large or 4 medium (2 cups mashed) bananas, yellow with brown speckles
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. rum, optional
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Nutella
**Next time around I would probably add walnuts or chocolate chips. I like having a crunch.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with butter, lined with buttered parchment. Mash the bananas with a potato masher, so they still have some small lumps, set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and rum. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar/butter mixture, just until smooth. Add the bananas and mix just until they are combined. Place the Nutella in a bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds to soften it. If you don’t use a microwave, you can heat the Nutella over a double boiler for a couple of minutes. Drizzle 2/3 of the Nutella over the banana bread batter. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the Nutella into the batter, trying not to over mix, so you can see the swirls when it’s baked. Add the rest of the Nutella and swirl into the top of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
A snowy day calls for comfort food, and there is nothing more comforting than chicken pot pie. I had full intention of making grilled chicken salads. But after a viewing an episode of Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten had me scrambling in the kitchen to see if I had all of the ingredients. And I did! Better yet I had PUFF PASTRY! Now I could just bake the puff pastry plain and call it a day – but a recipe that really needs it?!
This was my first attempt EVER at chicken pot pie. The flavor was delicious. It certainly is not something to eat everyday (so much butter), but it certainly was a nice treat.
Chicken Pot Pie by Ina Garten
Ingredients ***I halved everything.
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
**I used Trader Joes Puff Pastry. If you are feeling ambitious enough to make the pastry yourself – GO FOR IT!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
**I put into one corning ware bowl. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour (Puff Pastry cooked quick 25 – 30 min), or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Despite today’s weather (more snow-shocker) I am choosing to look forward to a more positive time, Spring! I first fell in love with slip-on sneakers last fall when Joe Fresh had a sweet pair in camo print!!! My affection was rekindled when I spotted a leopard print pair at Gap a couple of weeks ago. So I have used my deductive reasoning skills (see what I did there), and am going to say they are going to big this coming Spring, Summer and perhaps Fall. Today I have curated a great selection of slip-on sneakers, each of which I would happily add to my ever-growing shoe collection.
Spring, I am ready for you!!!
Goodness gracious my husband is lucky we don’t have a house my shopping cart would be FULL! Now how to convince him we need a decorative gem…. I believe that phrase is “Do first. Ask for forgiveness later.” Happy Friday!