Wednesday Wants: Embroidered Clothing

Wednesday Wants: Embroidered Clothes
It’s time to get my stitch on. On a scale of 1-10 of craftiness, I’d safely same that I’m at a 4. I know how to use a hot glue gun (and skillfully), but I never had the patience for anything that required yarn or thread. Everyone’s pulled out their needle and thread for spring’s biggest trend—embroidery from head to toe. Here are my favorite picks for this stitched (and seriously pretty) trend, from top left to bottom right. 

  • Sam Edelman clutch: I. Love. Clutches. Apply your best Oprah voice when you say that in your head—because that’s exactly how I feel. I’m fully prepared to have orinthologists fawn over this bag. 
  • Madewell embroidered jeans: I can’t keep orchids alive, but at least I can wear them, with no water or sunlight required. I’m fully supportive of a denim-on-denim look with these jeans. 
  • ‘La vie’ military jacket by Rebecca Taylor: if you see me regularly, you know that there’s a 75% chance that I’ll be wearing a cargo jacket. A sweet, floral accent seems like the perfect spring update for this personal staple. 
  • Topshop skinny jeans: I need a new night-out rotation. Im digging the thought of embroidered skinny jeans and a black cold shoulder top, especially as warmer weather starts to really sit in. 
  • Gap button-up: No one can go wrong with a blue button-up. I’d dress this one down with boyfriend jeans and flat slip-ons. 
  • Guitar strap by Rebecca Minkoff: I don’t know how to “shred” anything other than old checks, but I will wear this as a bag strap. 
  • Zara embroidered jeans: These babies are sold out already, but tune keep tuning into Zara to check back for more. 
  • ‘Reena’sandals by Topshop: Kill two trends with one shoe. Lace yourself up in these embroidered sandals, then head out the door. 

Hearty (But Healthy) Sausage & Bean Soup

Hearty Sausage and bean soup

It’s been a week since our plane touched down from an 8-day stint in Oaxaca City. Per usual, San Francisco welcomed me back with it’s chilly, grey arms then initiated started a 24-hour downpour as the cherry on top. At this point, spring just seems like a mythical season that San Franciscans can only dream of.  To warm up my hardened black heart towards this city and its weather I looked to the queen of organic luxury, Gwynnie P., for a soup recipe to get me through the next few days. I’m usually crafting up my own, but GP is just such an inspiration that I had to spring for the $5 vegetable broth to get this recipe exactly right.

Hearty (But Healthy) Sausage & Bean Soup (c/o Goop)
Ingredients

2 spicy sausage links (pork or chicken)
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 bunch of mini carrots, diced
1 bunch of swiss chard, de-stemmed and torn
1 Tokyo turnip, diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1-quart vegetable or chicken stock
Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
4 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil

1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot (hi, dutch oven!) on medium-high and add in 2 tbsp. of your olive oil. Meanwhile, remove your sausages from their casings and break your sausage up into half-inch chunks. Brown your sausage bits in the pot, then promptly remove from heat and set them aside in a separate bowl.

2.  Don’t waste those delicious sausage drippings! Leave them in the pan, then add the onions, garlic and dried thyme. Caramelize these for 10 minutes (or until they’re a translucent tan), then add your carrot bits. Saute the carrots for another 10 minutes.

3. After you’ve sauteed until your heart’s content, add in your diced tomatoes, turnip, butternut squash and stock. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer for 45 minutes.

4. Once your turnips and butternut squash split with the touch of a fork, add in your already cooked sausage, cannellini beans and swiss chard. Simmer on low for another 20 minutes then you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday Wants: White Sneakers 

What’s the one wardrobe staple that I can’t live without? Aside from a fresh pair of undies, it’s always a white sneaker. From my first pair of white Converse in college to my newest pair of Allbirds (which are perfect for traveling), they’re top dog in my shoe closet. Yes, white sneakers do get dirty pretty quickly, but most of my favorites can be thrown straight into the washer with a little bit of OxiClean and a healthy does of air-dry time. Whether I’m “dressing them up” with a floral blouse for work or dressing down with a sweater for the weekends, here are my favorite white sneakers.

1. Superga Cotu Classic: Fine Italian sandals for a not-so-Italian price. Supergra’s are perfect for running those weekend errands. They’re solid and sturdy, just like a long line at the grocery store on a Sunday night.

2. Puma Basket Sneakers: Now that’s what I call a comeback. Puma fell off of my personal radar, but they’re back! These basket sneakers have been making their rounds with bigger laces that look a lot more ladylike.

3. Allbirds: Sneakers made from wool? Yup, and they’re the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I sprung for these for my trip to Oaxaca (more on that later), and they were the first pair of sneakers to keep my feet happy even after a long day of playing turista. Want to wash them? Just take out the inner sole and throw them in the wash!

4. Kenneth Cole ‘Kam’Fancify your feet with these puppies from Kenneth Cole. Gigi and Kendall have worn these babies, so why haven’t you gotten a pair yet? Even if you march to the beat of your own fashion drum, these sneaks are a fine alternative to flats from 9 to 5.

5/6. Vans ‘Old Skool’My pre-teen pipe dreams are still alive and well. Even though I’m not into sk8r bois named Kevin anymore, I still love my Vans.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs

Kimchi Deviled Egg recipe

Three weeks has quietly flown by, like a tiny little sparrow. Just kidding, I was gritting my teeth every time I saw anything resembling a pastry. Every time I walked by a coffee shop, I had to talk myself down from the ledge of caffeine. This week, I’ll start the reintroduction phase, but I’m going to throw it back to the start when I was totally jazzed on the elimination diet and whipped up these elimination diet-friendly eggs.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs 
Ingredients

6 large, free-range eggs
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/3 cup kimchi and kimchi juice
2 tsp. coconut aminos (sub for soy sauce)
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 tbsp. gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)*
Salt, to taste

1. For perfect, hard-boiled eggs, bring water to a boil then add your eggs. Let them cook for 10 minutes, then promptly remove them and place into a bowl of ice water.

Tip: When it’s time to crack your eggs, crack them from the bottom! Trust me—that wider end has a hollow spot that makes it easy to peel off the shell.

2. Use a food processor to finely chop your kimchi. Combine your egg yolks, sesame oil, kimchi, kimchi juice, coco aminos and gochujang together and use a fork to blend until smooth.

3. Create a makeshift piping bag by cutting a small corner off of a Ziploc bag. Spoon your egg yolk mixture into the bag, then fill your boiled eggs up. Top off with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and enjoy!

*I was on a nightshade-free elimination diet plan. So if you are too, skip the gochujang!

Chimichurri Roasted Salmon

Chimichurri roasted salmon recipe

Week one of Elimination Diet 2017 has been going. Well? Can’t say that—but I can say that I have gone through it with resolute strength at that creamy, roasted smell of the coffee shop on my corner every morning. Plus, I haven’t even grabbed a slice of pizza or deliciously buttery pastry at my weakest! Instead, I’ve been a slave to my diet and cooking everything du jour dans ma cuisine. Plus, I’ve embraced rabbit food salad as an actual lunch food group. Every time I pick up an unfamiliar snack or go grocery shopping, I pick everything up and read the nutrition label on the back—I must look like the confused math lady. But, it’s been somewhat fun figuring out what I can and cannot eat, plus I’m actually really impressed with myself that I haven’t caved (fingers crossed it won’t happen tomorrow). I  guess I’m not doing a great job at selling this elimination diet.

Read this part if you want to know the good parts: I cooked this delicious roasted salmon recipe and ate it with mashed sweet potatoes on the side. It’s totally elimination diet-friendly (no dairy, no gluten, no nightshades) and protein-packed. Another benefit of this diet? My jeans are feeling a little less snug!

Chimichurri Roasted Salmon
Ingredients

1 salmon filet
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to boil. To make your chimichurri, combine all of your fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper into a food processor. Process until your herbs are finely chopped.

2. I like to cook any fish in parchment paper or foil—it keeps it really moist and flavorful. Set a piece of foil, large enough to fold into a tent over your salmon, in an oven safe pan or tray. Coat your salmon in your chimichurri mix and bake for 10-12 minutes. An easy tip to make sure salmon is cooked? If it’s flaking easily with the touch of a fork, it’s ready to eat. Enjoy!

Winter Beauty Essentials

Winter Beauty Essentials

Winter is coming. Kidding, it’s totally here. The other day I put on a puffer coat just to move my car, so for a born & bred California girl it’s safe to say that anything less than 50 degrees is freezing. I might be eating my words in a week, but I’m lucky enough that my skin doesn’t suffer from any dry spots once the temperatures drop. So let’s dive into my favorite essentials from this winter.

  • belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched: After reading review after review of gel cleansers (and trying out Milky Jelly by Glossier), I hopped on the gel cleanser train. I’m all aboard now, since this one takes out every last drop of makeup, especially when you cleanse a dry face at the end of a long day.
  • Living Proof Dry Shampoo: I’ve also been skipping washes throughout the week (only every other day, okay!) since it’s way easier to curl my hair on a skip day. I can’t say I love this dry shampoo, but it does the job. I’m still looking for “the one” though.
  • Rose balm dotcom: I’ve already counted the ways that I love balm dotcom, so I’ll spare you. This winter, I’m reaching for this lightly tinted balm with the same all-day moisture.

Winter Beauty Essentials

  • Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream: This bb creamI’m a slather on and go type of gal. I have no patience for blending and disdain anything that feels like a layer of vaseline on my face. sinks right in and covers up those imperfections from any late night or too many pizza slices.

Winter Beauty Essentials

  • Moisturizing Moon Mask by Glossier: This one’s lightMaybe the trick to banishing any dry spots is a serious relationship with any and all face masks. , but doesn’t skimp on the moisture. Plus, I’ve read that you can sleep with it on. Now that’s a two-in-one mask.
  • Harry’s razor: Winter might not be the most optimal time for silky smooth legs. But when you discover Harry’s razors (now sold at Target too!), it’s hard to not shave even if your legs aren’t catching the faintest glimpse of the sun.

Winter Beauty Essentials

  • Replenishing Gel Cream by REN: Even if my skin’s not having a meltdown, I like to give it a bit of upkeep when it comes to preventing blemishes. I’ve been using this daily, underneath my moisturizer, to keep it 100%.
  • Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner by Marc Jacobs: Branded as a gel pot eyeliner in a crayon, this is my one-way ticket to a quick and easy lined eye. I like to put it on before a big night, that way the smudges look more semi-smoky rather that unintentional by the night’s end.

White Bean and Beef Chili

Chipotle White Bean and Beef Chili

I’m two days into an elimination diet. It’s going well, thanks for asking. What’s been the hardest thing to cut out? Hm, I would have to say my morning coffee (esp. when you stayed out till 4 a.m. this weekend). For the next 21 days, I’ll be avoiding all things dairy, soy, alcohol, coffee, non-grass fed produce, grains and processed food. While I’ve been planning my diet-friendly meals, I realized that most of what I eat aligns with the elimination plan. Really, it’s all about eating whole, fresh and seasonal. But back to this chili—even though it was a three-day weekend, I was all about staying at home, getting caught up on some records that I needed to listen to and hunker down from the cold. So I reached for my adobo-soaked chipotles (my current favorite) and grass fed ground beef and went to chili-town.

White Bean and Beef Chili

White Bean and Beef Chili 
Ingredients

28 oz. canned and peeled tomatoes (try to get a BPA-free jar!)
20-23 oz. cooked and drained pochas beans (or you can use cannelli or navy beans)
1 adobo-soaked chipotle pepper
1 lb. grass fed ground beef*
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and cracked black pepper
Olive oil

1. In a heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat, saute your onions, garlic, bell pepper, chipotle pepper and spices together until the onions are slightly translucent or about 10 minutes.

2. Heat another pan to medium-high heat and brown your ground beef with salt and cracked black pepper. Browning meat takes a solid 15 minutes, you want your meat to look edible, so look for a taupe-brown color, not a light grey. It’s called browning for a reason!

3. Once your onions and spices have seared, add in your canned tomatoes and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, then break apart your tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

4. Once your meat has browned, add it to your tomatoes, then add in your beans. Simmer for another 15 minutes and then take out the chipotle chili before serving.

5. If you’re not on a cleanse, serve it with cheese or sour cream on top. Or if you’re like me, try it with avocados. Enjoy!

*Grass-fed beef is cleanse-friendly! Cattle feed often contains soy and other additives which make it’s way into your meat.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Kale and Chorizo

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Chorizo and Kale

It’s raining, it’s pouring and I was snoring until 10 a.m. on Sunday. The biggest storm of 2017 (I hope) is hitting San Francisco, which made it optimal soup weather but not optimal leave the house weather. But when a soup craving calls, I have to pick up the phone. This soup is creamy, but has no cream, is spicy, but doesn’t burn your taste buds off and is hearty, but won’t make you feel sluggish. Plus, it only takes an hour tops to prep and cook.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Kale and Chorizo
Ingredients

1 1.5 lb. sweet potato, cubed
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
3 cups vegetable broth
1 link of organic chorizo, sliced
3 cups of chopped kale
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 450°. Get your sweet potatoes ready for roasting by coating them with olive oil, cumin, cracked black pepper and salt. Add in your garlic cloves and adobo-soaked chipotle. Pop into the oven for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly golden.

2. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and blanch your chopped kale for 30 seconds to tenderize them.

3. Once your sweet potatoes have roasted, use a blender or immersion blender to puree the potato, garlic and chipotle pepper in batches. Gradually add in vegetable broth as you blend.

4. In a heavy bottomed pot, brown your chorizo, then add in your newly pureed sweet potato broth and add in your blanched kale. Simmer for 15 minutes, then enjoy!

The Under Hundred Gift Guide

Happy holidays! Are you #stressing about getting gifts for all your big loves this holiday? Don’t worry, I am too. I am what they call a “visual learner” so I had to assemble a visual list to get all my gift-giving essentials in one place this year. Here are all my picks, all of which are clocking in at under one hundred dollar bills.

Here’s the Oh Wonderful gift guide for 2016: 

Under $100 Gift Guide 2016

What to Get Your Boo

If he needs a wardrobe refresh, opt for a pocket tee by Everlane where everything’s made in full transparency. If he’s into cooking (and you’re into eating), invest in his (or her) culinary future and your future meals by getting them a long-lasting cast iron Lodge pan. Help him keep his finances in line with a leather wallet from Tanner goods and keep him active with wool sneakers from All Birds.

What to Get Your Parents 

Out-gift your parental units this year and recap your favorite memory of the year with a photo printed from Parabo Press. Help them wake up with a gift box of coffee from San Francisco-based, Blue Bottle coffee. Help them serve themselves or their future guests with a bowl from Heath served straight from a cast iron pot from Le Creuset.

What to Get Your Best Friend

Help your gal pal keep her lips super soft with Glossier’s Balm Dotcom (you know I love it too), then help her keep her hands soft with Byredo hand lotion. Tell her and everyone else how dope she is with a charm necklace from Kris Nations. Have her gather all of her essentials into a leather travel pouch from Cuyana.

Mexican Beef Stew

Mexican Beef Stew Recipe

It’s getting frosty over here in San Francisco! It’s officially coat, cuffing and cooking soup season so there’s a 100% chance that I’ll be in the kitchen trying to warm up. The first winter soup to make the cut was this Mexican Beef Stew with rice. Think: Tender beef, a citrusy kick and a subtle spice that’s not too overwhelming.

Mexican Beef Stew
Ingredients

5 tomatillos, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 lb. beef stew meat
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp.chili powder
4 dried chili de arbol
1 jalapeno, sliced thinly
1 bunch cilantro stems
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. honey
Salt and cracked red pepper
Lime wedges

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, bring your vegetable broth, dry spices, chili de arbol onion and cilantro stems to a boil. Bring them back down to a simmer and add in the beef, cilantro stems, onion, jalapeno, tomatillos and honey to the mix.

2. Meanwhile, use a rice cooker or a pot with equal parts water and rice to whip up some rice. You’ll be putting this at the bottom of your bowl when you serve up your soup.

3. Cook soup for about an 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the stew meat is fully cooked. Spoon rice into your bowl, then cover with soup. For an extra tangy kick, squeeze in some fresh lime juice and garnish with a few cilantro leaves. Enjoy!