What's in my bag? I was inspired by Pinterest (yet again) to do a "What's in my bag" tag. So here it is! This is basically what I carry around with me any and everywhere. The essentials for a girl's everyday, on-the-go life. I hope you like it and it inspires you to either make your own tag or put these items in your bag!

Longchamp "LePliage"
pixi tinted lip balm
Smith's Rosebud Salve
Kate Spade iPhone case
Tweezerman nail file
Ray Ban glasses
Kate Spade wallet
Purell Hand Sanitizer
Hair ties
Monogrammed Water bottle
It's no secret that most everything I post comes off of Pinterest. That app is like a whole new world for me…a new fantastic point of view (alluding to Aladdin…please pick up on that)! But anyway, I just couldn't live without it.

Can we talk about Dolce and Gabbana's Spring 2014 Fashion Week show? The details, the art, the ancient roman accents… it was so fabulously unique. That's what's amazing about it. It stands out to me. I suppose I'm just drawn to those key features but it was all so amazing to see (on the internet…of course :)).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
 The first look/combination of favorite pieces is the one to the left. First of all, the shirt is so beautiful yet can be casual. Lace and designs like such are trendy as it is, but my being a vintage-enthusiast draws on the fact that there's almost an edwardian style to the shirt as well. Where can I get it??? 

Next, I love the skirt with the belt. The belt is a nice statement piece, and I'm glad there isn't other distracting pieces of jewelry. It's very edgy, but I think the outfit would be great without it too. I suppose it depends on the occasion. The skirt is totally in. I'm liking leather skirts this season, whether they are black or brown, short or long. The punk feel to this one combined with the elegance of the top makes it a fierce outfit. My only question is what shoes she paired with it….

Taken from: refinedstylefashion.com 

I especially love these outfits for the skirts. Very feminine! Pretty simplistic I would say, for both. Simplicity is another feature of my favorite looks for this season… and probably even winter too. But anyway, plaid is always nice for fall. I like the idea of a coat over a dress, too. 

Pretty sure this is from 
Vogue Italia

It's been a while since I've posted. I've done a bit of rearranging of things… And I decided that I wanted to put everything on one page, so that each new post is visible when it happens. It's not quite as organized as I'd like, but I've noticed other blogs in this one-page format and I thought that it'd be best. There may be a chance that I can set it up to appear on the home page and in another tab, but I'm not tech-savvy so that's just not going to happen. Anyway, thanks for baring with me!
Long time, no talk! Sorry I haven't posted for awhile… I've been super busy! But I found time to post today about my favorite season: fall. This is the season for fashion and everything beautiful, so I wanted to jot down the basics and looks that have caught my eye! (Random: I like the word "autumn" better than "fall", but I feel like no one uses it… sad) Now this is just my opinion and I'm no expert, but these will probably be in my daily looks.
My favorite looks that I plan on wearing this fall are: stockings (yes, I will MAKE them come back), long-hemmed skirts and dresses (vintage inspired), old sports tees, higher socks with booties, boyfriend jeans, high waisted jeans, leopard prints.

Leopard sweater image from blasfemmes

Jeans and booties--- love it. From WhitWhimsy

Long, beautiful, vintage-inspired dress from fashionising.com 

Colors that I plan on wearing this fall include: a classic red (80s inspired), a darker skin color, mauve, burgundy, matte gray, black, metallics, orangey-brown, royal blue, olive green. This mauve color is called "don't sweater it" from Essie.

I had this soup for lunch AND dinner. It has a surprise ingredient that isn't too bad :). But it is a little high calorie, and I'm going to make some changes from the original recipe that I found on Pinterest. The original recipe is from The Comfort of Cooking along with the link to the recipe. Before we get started, this is a mildly time consuming soup. There's a lot of simmering. But other than that, not too hard and a delicious outcome! Enjoy. 

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking's recipe
Marietta May

1-2 tbsp butter (optional-package deal with onion)
1/2 medium chopped yellow onion (optional)
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2-2.5 c half and half (healthier version: 1.5 c milk, 1 c half and half)
3-4 cups chicken stock
1/2-1 lb. broccoli florets
1 c matchstick carrots, chopped (personally I would leave them out)
cracked black peppercorn
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1-1.5 c grated cheddar cheese

1) With the first set of butter, sauté the onions on medium-high heat until lightly brown.
2) Add next set of butter and flour and whisk for a couple minutes (creates a roux).
3) Stir in the liquid ingredients and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4) Chop up the florets and carrots (I suggest leaving out the carrots) relatively fine. Add to the pot along with the nutmeg and pepper. 
5) Turn up to low for 25-30 mins. 
6) Turn off the heat and use a hand blender to get rid of the chunks.
7) Serve!

This is the roux (flour and second set of butter added to the onions)
After everything is mixed, get rid of the chunks by using a hand blender and it'll look like the first picture
Maybe I know what you're thinking: that meatloaf hasn't been cooked. Yep, I forgot to take the "after" picture before we ate it all. I'm so sorry…. this is the only picture I have closest to before the baking. This meatloaf is pretty standard, and pretty easy. But mind you, baking takes a LONG time… and don't think that this isn't a messy process. Well actually I guess it doesn't have to be messy, but it's more fun that way:) In the end, it was delicious and juicy… everyone loved it. Hope you enjoy. 

Traditional Meatloaf
Marietta May

2 ground pork patties
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
3/4 cup steel-cut oats
1 large egg
1 tbsp seasoned salt
Steak Sauce

Preheat the oven to 325º F
1) In a large bowl, mix the pork and chopped onion by hand.
2) Add the tomato sauce, oatmeal and egg. Mix with a spoon.
3) Mix in the seasoned salt.
4) Put the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan.
5) Top the loaf with steak sauce (Enough to cover the whole top).
6) Put in the oven for 1 hour.
There are plenty of ways that this delicious wrap could be healthier, but these are just things that I had on hand. You could use a whole wheat tortilla or a lower fat dressing. Anyway, this recipe makes about 1-2 wraps, but I only wanted one so I had a bit left over. What's in it, you ask? Brown rice, avocados, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, corn, cheddar cheese, mayo, and mustard. So, very simple….let's get started.

Healthy Wrap–No meat
 Marietta May

1/2 cup brown rice
1 handful cooked corn
1 handful orange bell peppers, chopped
1 small handful matchstick carrots
1 small handful shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp mayo
Cracked black peppercorn
1 flour tortilla

1) Cook brown rice
2) Mix together the corn, peppers, carrots, cheese, and avocados.
3) When the rice is done, add it to the veggie and cheese mixture. Mix all together.
4) Add mustard and mayo and pepper.
5) Spoon the whole mixture onto a flour tortilla.

See? Very simple. So simple, in fact, that I almost didn't include directions, haha. The mustard and mayo can be substituted for your favorite kind of dressing or sauce.
I've been wanting to make these donuts for a while… I saw them on Pinterest via The Skinny Fork but those are Vanilla Bean. I didn't have Vanilla Bean Paste so I just swapped that with vanilla extract. I'm guessing they taste very different from each other, but these donuts with extract are still pretty good and are worth sharing. I also didn't have Whole Wheat White Flour so I used All-Purpose flour… so it's probably a little less skinny. Ok I should probably say that I didn't use a Donut Pan either, because I don't have one…. so as you can see, this recipe is pretty flexible depending on what materials you have. If you have the bolded ingredients above, maybe you should check out the original recipe for the Vanilla Bean donuts! Because those are about 120 calories, and mine are most likely not as low calorie, but still skinnier than regular donuts. Anyway, let's get started!!! 

Skinny Vanilla Donuts
Inspired by The Skinny Fork recipe
Marietta May

1 c. All-purpose flour
1/8 c. sugar
1/8 c. honey or sweetener
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1/4 c. plain fat free greek yogurt
2 tbsp. skim milk
1.5 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Vanilla Glaze: 
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. skim milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 325º F and grease a cookie sheet or donut pan.
2) Mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl.
3) Mix the rest of the ingredients (all the wet ingredients) in a separate bowl, then add to the dry ingredients.
4) Gather the dough in the bottom of a ziplock bag (or piping bag) and cut off a corner. 
5) Pipe out some dough in whatever donut shape you want on the cookie sheet or pan. 
6) Bake for 10-15 minutes.
7) Mix all the glaze ingredients together while donuts are baking.
8) Take the donuts out, let cool, then dip one side in the glaze to coat. Let the donuts sit untouched for the glaze to harden.

Scroll down to see pictures! 
Dry ingredients only
Wet ingredients
Don't worry about the Yogurt chunks left in the liquid mixture! Also, mix this with the wooden spoon otherwise it will all get stuck in the whisk.
Makeshift piping bag on the non-stick cookie sheet… sorry it's not prettier! :)
I made your regular old donut shapes because I'm boring… but that doesn't mean that you can't have fun with shapes! Tip: In the oven, the dough will spread out (covering the hole), so to keep shape, pull them out halfway through baking to push them apart again and repair the hole.
Let them cool on cooling racks for about 10 minutes before glazing. I didn't have enough dough to make more than four doughnuts, so I tried to make little donut holes but they turned into doughnut drops, haha.
If you have extra glaze leftover, spoon it out evenly onto the donuts!
This is an easy recipe that I saw in a local cookbook but I made a couple changes to it. It's super easy, with ingredients I had on hand, and it's absolutely delicious. Enjoy:)

Banana Bread
Marietta May

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
2-3 over-ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. nuts (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º
1) Mix the butter and sugar together.
2) In a separate bowl, mash up all the bananas with a fork until they are a juicy pulp (I like my bread chunky so I don't mash every bit).
3) Mix in the bananas and eggs into the butter and sugar, then add the dry ingredients I split the flour into 2 parts and mix between parts (one cup at a time).
4) Add nuts if you wish, then split dough between two small greased and floured bread pans, or one big one. 
5) Sprinkle sugar over the top of the dough in the pans. Bake for about an hour (if you're using two small pans…longer if one big one). 

Scroll down for pictures!
I like my bread chunky so I left some small chunks in here!
Take a paper towel to spread to stuff around… then sift a bit of flour to coat the pan
Sprinkled on some sugar!
Hello everyone! I browsed through multiple different sources to find the simplest cherry pie that I could find. It came right out of the Joy of Cooking cookbook by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Warning: lots of dishes were used in the making of this pie…and it is kind of time consuming! But what good dessert isn't time consuming!? I was lucky enough to get some leftover dough so I made easy Cherry turnovers!! But let's focus on the pie :) I hope you find this recipe useful!

Note: I also doubled the recipe used in the cookbook because I like more cherries in my pie… but it was a little too much so I changed the recipe to be about perfect.

Cherry Pie
Adapted from the recipe in Joy of Cooking
Marietta May

9-inch pie pan
Butter dough: homemade or store bought (and enough for a top and bottom)
5-6 cups fresh sour cherries
2-3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4-1/3 c. water or fruit juice
1 c. sugar
A couple drops of almond extract
1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg
1 Tbsp sugar

*Prebake the pie crust! This is crucial* Maybe 325º for 20-30 mins?
1) Preheat the oven to 450º F.
2) Roll out two balls of dough (one will be the bottom, another the top) with flour on a hard surface and let sit while you work on the filling.
3) Wash and pit all of the cherries. If you don't want whole cherries in the filling, cut all the cherries into small pieces.
4) Combine the cornstarch and liquid (water or fruit juice) in a separate bowl, mixing until smooth. Add sugar and almond extract; mix. 
5) Pour the mixture into the bowl of cherries and let sit for 10-20 minutes. If you don't want a lot of juice in the pie, you can drain the cherries a bit. Or if you like it with lots of juice, leave it in the filling.
6) Take one circle of dough and place it into the pie pan. You may want to poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork, just to be safe :) 
7) Place the liquid mixture with cherries into the pie pan. Flatten them down as much as possible.
8) Dot the filling with the butter
9) Place second circle of dough (with some fork holes) or lattice on top of cherries and close the edges down.
10) Make an egg wash with the egg (beat it in a small bowl) and brush it on the top of the pie. Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
11) Put the pie in the oven on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and leave the pie in for about 40 more minutes or until golden brown. 

What I would do differently: I used about 8 cups of cherries, and I thought it was slightly too much. I doubled the liquid mixture too, which oozed out of the pan the whole time it was in the oven. So I would do less of that (the recipe seems to use roughly the correct amount for the amount of cherries). I used whole cherries, and even though it was pretty, I wish I had cut the cherries into smaller pieces.

Scroll down to see pictures!

I'd say about half of the time the seeds don't come out on the first try. Really make sure that the seed is out; it's very important!!
Remember to let the liquid mixture soak the cherries for 10-20 minutes!
Want to learn how to make a lattice? Check out Cooking Guide's youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jv8BGw31Cg
And voilà! An easy, delicious cherry pie.