Appetizers for Dinner

black bean dip

Do you ever make appetizers for dinner?  It’s one of my favorite treats on a weekend night when we have a movie or a big game to watch.  This past Saturday night we got Sherlock Holmes 2 from Netflix and thought it would be the perfect night for apps for dinner.  We made chicken wings and a bacon black bean dip that was just out of this world.  You have to make this the next time you have a need for an appetizer!  My husband made the entire thing and said it a little laborious, but once he tasted it, he said it was totally worth it…

Spicy Black Bean and Bacon Dip
from The Boston Globe Magazine, February 6, 2011

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled, with 1 Tbs rendered fat reserved
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs chopped pickled jalapeno peppers plus 1 Tbs packing juice (we just used a regular jalapeno chopped up and omitted the juice)
1 29-oz can black beans, drained but not rinsed, 1/2 C beans reserved
1 1/2 Tbs Tomato paste
3 scallions, thinly sliced

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the bacon fat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute; set aside off heat.

In a measuring cup, combine the lime juice, jalapeno packing juice (we omitted), and 3 Tbs hot water.  In a food processor (we used a magic bullet), puree all the beans except for the reserved 1/2 C, the onion mixture, tomato paste, 1/4 Tsp salt, and black pepper to taste, about 30 seconds; scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a flexible spatula.  With the feed tube open and the motor running, add the lime-jalapeno mixture in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping if necessary.  Add the reserved beans and pulse just to combine.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the jalapenos, the scallions, and the bacon.

Cover and let flavors develop, about 30 minutes.  Adjust the season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve.


Monday Outfit

I’m kind of sick of summer clothes, is that wrong to admit?!  For the past week or so I have been slowly incorporating some non-summer pieces back into my wardrobe.  Like with this outfit, white shorts – summery, button-down shirt (although I rolled the sleeves up to 3/4) – not summery.  Anyways, I am wearing this with my white Jack Rogers sandals and gold anchor necklace, similar to the one below.  Have a great week!

Couple Things…

It’s Friday!  We don’t have much going on this weekend, which is nice. Other than my cousin’s baby shower, the most exciting thing we have planned is to sit around and watch our baby girl do the army crawl all around the house, so cute!  Have a great weekend…

I love Rashida Jones on Parks and Recreation, this article she wrote on her love of suits is pretty funny.

My first September fashion magazine issue has arrived…happy reading!

This is the coolest ice cube maker ever…

Picnic in the Park

newport picnic1

A fun thing to do while you’re in Newport, RI is to go to a Polo match – pack a picnic, some chairs to sit on, and some wine or beer to drink and it’s really a fun night and oh-so preppy, right? Anyway, this past Sunday night they were playing a special exhibition game according to their website so we made some food, bought some delicious cheese, and chilled a white wine.  We got there just in time for the match to start…but there was no one else there!  Long story short, after we called the Polo hotline (yes, such a phone number exists!) and found out the torrential rains throughout the weekend made it so the fields were too soaked to play on!  D’oh!

We drove around and decided to take our picnic elsewhere – to Brenton Point, aka, the Kite Park because the wind gets so strong there everyone flies kites.  We had such a nice time, it was the perfect night to have a picnic by the ocean.  Our sweet baby girl had a ball rolling around the grass and eating her own baby dinner on our picnic blanket.

And here was our view:

newport picnic3

I thought I’d share what we made in case you have any summer picnics coming up and need ideas!

We had shrimp cocktail, grilled veggies (eggplant, onions, summer squash, zucchini, and green peppers, I know, it sound like a lot but we had so many leftover veggies from our CSA the week before!) and 2 delicious cheeses – an herb-ed goat cheese and a brie.

We bought a super cold Riesling to wash it all down and ate one of these for dessert – a fun picnic in the park!


Chevron prints are everywhere right now.  And what the heck is it?  According to Google definitions, a chevron pattern is a fractographic pattern of radial marks (shear ledges) that looks like nested letters “V”… and according to Charlie Brown:

You can wear it on your nails

On your phone

And even on your nursery walls:

Personally, I do enjoy a cute chevron top or skirt and for Fall, I think this is on my shopping list – a simple sequin chevron tee from J. Crew

Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies

strawberry shortcake cookies
We had quite a few leftover strawberries after they were buy 1 get 1 free at the grocery store last week so I was looking up recipes to use them before they went bad.  I thought of Strawberry Shortcake because who doesn’t love that summertime dessert?  But then my friend Martha pinned this recipe the other day and I knew this is how I would use up our strawberries.Well, these cookies are just phenomenal – the cookie part is like a little sweet biscuit and then the sweet strawberries are throughout, all I can say is…YUM and they really do taste like a mini strawberry shortcake.


Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
from Martha Stewart Living June, 2009

12 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 Tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 C plus 1 Tbs granulated sugar
2 C all-purpose flour
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp coarse salt
3 oz (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 C heavy cream (we used half and half, that’s all we had)
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.Enjoy!