Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Great Crab Cake Test and Crab Snobbery at Its Best

I love cooking, and love crab cakes. I also have a ridiculously high standard when it comes to defining what a true "crab cake" is. I went to, lived, and ate too many amazing crab cakes in the Maryland region to not have converted to being a crab cake snob. Crab cakes contain the best jumbo lump crab and the smallest amount of filler (mayo, a little seasoning or a few breadcrumbs) just to hold it together. It's all about the crab.  But since I only had one container of jumbo crab in my fridge the other day, I decided to do a test.  I tried Barefoot Contessa's (my favorite Food Network personality ever..the woman is FANTASTIC) crab cake recipe which, gasp, is mostly vegetables and filler rather than crab. I needed something that would stretch the crab and make a meal for myself and my very large, hungry boyfriend. While I felt like I was somehow cheating on the entire Baltimore/Chesapeake Bay region, but I did it anyway...

This is how it went...

Chopped a ton of veggies for the cakes

I chopped a ton of veggies for the filling. It included several colors of peppers, celery and red onion. 

This was the seasoning for the filling. It included Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, capers and good ol' Old Bay. I also used Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs that are lighter and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs) to replace the white bread you are supposed to use for the filling. 

I sauteed the veggies with the seasoning until they were slightly soft, but still crunchy. 

Then I added the veggies to this gorgeous Jumbo Lump crab, a little low-fat mayo and the breadcrumbs. I made them into slightly small patties and cooked them in a bit of olive oil. 

Here is the recipe if anyone is interested! ---->Crab Cakes And here is the final product along with an arugula salad I put together with a light, fresh lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil)

The result? I liked them. The veggies were crunchy and the seasoning made for a lot of flavor throughout the cake. I have rarely found a Barefoot Contessa recipe that doesn't work. I think these would be especially yummy if you made them super small and served them as an appetizer for a dinner party.  I don't really consider these true blue "crab cakes",  but I think it's a good option for people trying to stretch expensive crab, people that like a lot of filling with their crab, or even people that would leave the crab out and make a yummy veggie patty. They were very tasty.  Just not a true crab cake : )

Make anything yummy recently? 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Keeping Lips Kissable...

I am loving my Korres lip butters right now. Even though we are out of the depths of winter here, it is still cold and my lips are chapped! These soften, moisturize, impart the faintest hint of pretty color and sheen, and taste delicious. I find exfoliating with a lip scrub from Lush (or just a toothbrush) and then putting this on makes my lips lovely and smooth. I have a bunch, but Guava (the white) and Jasmine (the pink) are my favorites.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Current Love's

February is now gone (good riddance!) and with March comes a ramping up of spring shopping, wacky weather and new love's (at least of the material kind).

Peacock Earring Stand -from Urban to hold some of my stud earrings. I am a sucker for anything blue, and this has been so helpful putting them on display instead of jumbled in a box.

Nude Manicures-These are two polishes that I picked up in Sephora. I am loving a nude manicure right now, finding the right nude is a problem though! These are pretty good thusfar, but my search continues...

Pop's of Color for Spring-Or the hope of spring at least! This necklace is from GlamourRogue's store on Etsy. Very sweet, easy-to-wear and super affordable! The picture doesn't do it justice, and with a black or other winter clothing, it looks so pretty! Store Here

Navy and White-I think the combination looks so fresh and new for spring, even if there isn't anything new about it. This jacket is a find from H&M and it's adorably nautical and cheery!

Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter-a new product for me from Lush. Works like a charm on rough spots like my cuticles and makes those nude nails look great!

White Jewelry-I know I just wrote about my new bracelet, but white enamel and white jewelry in general looks fresh to me right now. Great for brightening current hopes for warm weather as well as the warm months to come!

Happy March everyone! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hermes-Need I say more?

I was home for a root canal last week, and wound up acquiring something far more fabulous and amazing than my time spent in the dentist's chair.  It is an item that I have wanted for quite a long time, and in my Christmas pile from my parent's a lovely gift card from Hermes happened to appear! I am a lucky girl!

My gift on Christmas. Gotta love the famous orange bag!

My mom wound up getting one and since my parent's weren't sure which color I wanted, they got me a gift card to pick one out instead. I don't have an Hermes where I live, so when I went home for said root canal last weekend, I hopped up to the Hermes store near my parent's house and picked up this beauty...

I went with the utterly boring choice and got the smaller white one (it comes in a smaller and larger version in both size and width). I was debating between this one and the blue; but since it was my first bracelet I wanted it to go with everything.  The white looks beautiful and fresh on the wrist to me. I love it so much. It is the most comfortable bracelet I have ever worn; so much so I often forget it is on my wrist.  It's beautiful and lovely, and I hope one day to be able to stack them. What can I say-It's Hermes? Does it get any better than that?

I have been wearing it with my watch

What is your favorite new purchase?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tagine's, MAC lipstick and Chocolate-Oh my!

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

My wonderful boyfriend took me out Saturday for a fabulous meal of oysters, filet mignon, lobster and chocolate. It was delicious! Here is a picture of us before we left. I did a deep side part with sleek, wavy ends by using hot rollers and a little hairspray as well as a red lip (MAC's brave red). I didn't even look like myself, but it was fun to try something new. I found my lipstick stayed throughout the night by using Covergirl's Lip Stain in a red/berry color before putting the lipstick on. It didn't budge through multiple courses and kisses. I was totally amazed as I worried I would be some crazy woman with red all over her face/mouth after scarfing down so much food.

My iphone 4 camera is terrible!

My boyfriend is laughing because he is stooping down to get in the picture (he is 6'6"!) and because he thought it looked like he was taking out another woman. Lol. 

Tomorrow, for the actual day, I am cooking a romantic dinner. We are having an arugula salad with goat cheese, figs, oranges, candied walnuts and a citrus vinigarette.  For the entree I am making a red-wine braised beef short rib in a new tagine (a traditional Moroccan/North African clay pot used for cooking) from Williams-Sonoma my boyfriend bought me, as well as sour cream and horseradish mashed potatoes to go with it. 

This is the tagine from Williams-Sonoma-Pretty, right?!

For dessert I am making a hazlenut and chocolate torte with a dark chocolate glaze. 

This is the torte I am making!

Splurging is what Valentine's Day is all about. Hope you all have a happy one! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Product Alert:Physician's Formula Mineral Correcting Pebbles

I'm always such a sucker for cute packaging, and when I was perusing the aisles of my local Rite Aid, it was no exception. These are just so cute! And so similar to the Guerlain ones! And so pretty!

Needless to say, I bought them.  Thusfar, I have been happy with them too. It comes with a powder puff and a brush, but I usually set both aside and use a small blush brush, highlighting brush (MAC 192) or a large fluffy eyeshadow brush and swirl away around the pastel, shimmery goodness.  

I tried to swatch it, but it wouldn't show up on my hand.  It provides a very subtle, soft highlight and shimmer to the skin.  I find it to pull a bit pinkish gold/white on my currently very fair skin.  I don't find them to be pigmented or life changing; but the glow I get on the top of my cheekbones is a lovely addition to a more muted everyday makeup.  I am sensitive to breakouts and the formula says they are talc-free, which I enjoy. I haven't been irritated by them thusfar and it isn't too bright and shimmery for my oily skin.  While I wouldn't use it all over my face because I do tend to get shiny, and this is a little frosty for my taste, for about $11, I am happy.  

And did I mention they are cute?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

January Favorites

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish-This brown sugar scrub is so moisturizing that you don't really even need a body lotion afterwards! It isn't cheap, but it is worth every penny. My dry winter skin thanks this every time I use it. 

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Summer Tan-this is a WONDERFUL creamy blush color to use for contour. I think it might do a better job than the Chanel Soliel Tan de Chanel. It's a bit more pigmented and more brown than orange. If you use a skunk brush, it gives anyone cheekbones! 

Physician's Formula Happy Booster's Blush-it is more pigmented than I thought and gives a beautiful rosy glow to the cheek.  The scent it pretty as well, although I don't buy the ability for it to uplift your mood. Except if you get happy because your cheeks are so pretty! 

Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel-One of my first reviews was of the regular strength version of this product because I saw it as one of the products that really helped get rid of my acne. But this one is even better! I would never go back to the regular. The extra strength doesn't irritate but you can actually see it making your skin clearer and more even.  My complexion glows after I use this. 

Mac Lipstick in Brave Red-despite a fight with my bathroom counter (in which it lost), I do adore this lipstick. I always wear a nude lip, but I went to the MAC counter and was matched with this shade for my brave (no pun intended) move to a bold lip every once in a while. It's the perfect red. Not too orange, not too blue, and not too clown-y (which I always fear I will look like when I wear red with full lips). Love! 

January is over, and thank goodness! Hopefully spring is around the corner!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pink and Turquoise, Pink and Turquoise, Pink and Turquoise...

Pink and Turquoise
Pink and Turquoise by loganbhanna featuring straw fedora hats

While I will be rooting for the "black and yellow" on Sunday during the Superbowl, I had to create a beachy styled outfit for a class of mine through Polyvore, and I thought I would share them with you.  It is cold and miserable here, and I think the combination between the beautifully juicy and saturated hot pink and the cool, bright turquoise with splashes of gold is a beautiful combination that makes me long for summer and the beach. Stay warm everyone!

What is your favorite summer color combination?


Friday, January 28, 2011

January Favorites-Making Waves

I will be going over my January favorites over the next few days.  This is the first. Bear with me, I have a cold that just won't go away!

Wavy Hair-

It is the best remedy for the "my-hair-is-dirty-but-I'm-too-lazy-to-wash-it", and who doesn't experience that feeling every once is a while ? Well I have experienced that feeling too much recently a la my cold and the overall winter blah's, that I decided to go onto the quest of creating the perfect combination of Gisele/Victoria's Secret glamourpuss and vintage/beachy soft waves.  This was the result of my first real attempt.

Maybe I should review self-tanner next?! Sorry for the strange combination of flash and lack of human contact due to my refusal to go outside when they tell me it's 3 degrees out. But you get the idea....

All kidding aside, while I am not any of the Gisele or vintage pin-up inspiration, it was a pretty decent first attempt.  For those novices like me who want to achieve the perfect soft wave, I have a tip:

*Start with dirty AND straight hair-Even though I have a natural wave to my hair, I wait the day or so after I straighten and blow-dry it to do this. I think having the natural, ahem, "texture" in your hair the day or so after you wash it is necessary to get the curl to hold.  That in combination with the fact that I think you need to have soft, straight, shiny hair to get the curls just right.  Might seem silly or counterintuitive but I read an article interviewing Sara Jessica Parker's hairstylist years ago who lamented that the straightening and then curling is what gave her the shiny, gorgeous bounce to her signature curls.  I think he is right.  The cuticle just won't lay flat or have as much bounce or body in most cases if you start from wet hair. If you are having trouble getting that shine or volume in your waves, try this. 

 As far as what I used to create this look, I find that a clampless curling iron works best for me.  They are super easy to use and create a soft wave in a pinch.  I use an Enzo Milano one and it seems to work just fine, although I hear fabulous things about the Sultra "Bombshell" one sold at Sephora too. See below for my newest lemming.

Sultra Bombshell Clampless Iron
(taken from

After the clampless iron, I spray the curls with a bit of L'oreal Enett hairspray, a hairstylist's favorite. I absolutely LOATHE hairspray and want to most often pull out my hair than spray it on my head, but I found this step is a necessary evil, and with Elnett I must say your hair does still stay soft and touchable. 

Does anyone have any other tips for making the perfect wave? I would love to know!


I'm Back..and it took me long enough!

So I have decided after a long absence due to personal circumstances, I really want to blog again! I hope everyone that reads this will keep the look out for my new and regular posts. Starting on the right foot for the new year, except for this darn cold that won't go away!

Hope all is well in the blogging world. I have some fabulous items, reviews and post ideas coming up. As for this quick post, I wanted to show you what I just bought. It's handmade, and SUPER AFFORDABLE (even though she ships from across the pond) from a very sweet girl I met through my blog, Amy (aka GlamourRouge).

Here is what I ordered-

I just adore the refreshing soft mint color. It won't stop snowing here on the East coast, and seeing single digits on the thermometer has given me a case of the winter blues. I say, bring on fun spring colors and accessories!

Check out her Etsy store. It has some super cute stuff. I got this shipped to the U.S for only like $20!

GlamourRouge Etsy 

Disclaimer: Since I haven't posted in a while I just wanted to go over that I am not affiliated with the store or the lovely girl that makes these things in any way, just a simple shout out because she is sweet!

See you all soon!