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The Better Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner: Spinach Goat Cheese Frittata Minis

May 28, 2012

It's a natural fact that everything is best in minis. I don't know why or how this works, and I believe it is a conundrum best left for Sheldon to solve. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that if you make it in a mini serving, you can have an unlimited amount, and still have consumed less than if you were to eat one regular size portion...or at least that's how it works in my mind. 
I also like to think that the spinach counteracts the less than healthy ham and cheese of these frittatas. I'm blissfully ignorant about nutrition, and for my happiness and sanity it is probably best that I stay this way.
{I like French bread with everything, so naturally...}

{Lining cups with prosciutto}

{Goat cheese}

{Egg, cheese, spinach, and milk doesn't look to pretty yet}

{I used an ice cream scoop for even frittata minis}

My parents don't eat ham so I also made some with thinly sliced turkey meat and they were delicious too! I imagine that if I ever get sick of making French bread from scratch (I doubt it, but let's pretend for a second) I will serve these on the side of pancakes.

The Best Grandparents

May 25, 2012

There's Mothers Day and Fathers Day, but for some reason there is no Grandparents Day. You would think that the Hallmark company would try to create one, but for reasons that I do not know grandmas and grandpas have been shoved to the side. Here is a post about my grandparents. May now and forever officially be titled Grandparents Day.

This is my grandpa (my dads dad). His name is Zephenia, but I have many nicknames for him like Gimpy, Grampster, and G-Unit. I love taking pictures of him because his face has such character. Look at that firm skin and even complexion. I promise you photoshop was not used. He says his secret is hard work, lots of naps, and carrot juice. Every time I visit he enjoys taking me around and showing me off to all his friends who have already met me 1,001 times, but it's okay I don't mind. He also has a way of making a three minute story last a solid ten minutes, but I suspect that is hardwired into the brain of every grandpa. 
This is my grandma (my moms mom). She is known to many as Miss Myrtle, but I call her Grandmimi. She's so adorable and has the sweetest laugh. She is also the only person I know who likes to iron, and oh boy, does she do it well. Never do I leave her house with a wrinkle in my dress or a pleat out of place. Usually when I'm telling people in my family to hurry up I say, "Come on, Miss Myrtle moves faster than you," but it's not really that much of an insult because she does move around quite quickly. If you haven't had a good nights rest she's not easy to keep up with. 

They both give me oodles of love, food, and stories, but one of my favorite characteristics are their charming Jamaican accents.

We spent some time at a park in Boston and I taught Gimpy how to use a digital camera. This is the first photo he's ever taken with a DSLR. He was so fascinated that he could immediately see the picture on the screen. "This is much better than those film cameras," he said.

The Better Things I'm Loving

May 22, 2012

As the school year came to a close, the life changes that seemed so far away are quickly approaching. Last Wednesday was my last day of high school, and in two weeks I will be graduating. Here are some of the things I'm most appreciative of right now.
{A peak at the outfit I'll be wearing on Honors Day}

{My graduation dress}
UPDATE: You may have noticed in my graduation post that I didn't end up wearing this beaded dress. For the last few months I have taken up running and until a week before graduation I didn't realize that I had lost quite a few lbs. I tried on my dress and to my surprise it wouldn't stay on! Because of the boning and beading I just had to get a new dress, but it worked out for the better since I think the Ralph Lauren dress is waaay prettier!
{TV on DVD}

Screen shot 2012-04-29 at 2.05.39 PM
{My college acceptance letter; they mention my application essay about Martha Stewart}

Oscar de la Renta Scarf
{My Oscar de la Renta scarf that adds sophistication to even jeans and a tee shirt}


{View from the second story}

The Better Sophisticated Mac & Cheese

May 18, 2012

The funny thing about being a person who's frequently in the kitchen trying new recipes is that people expect me to be some kind of Wolfgang Puck. The truth is my taste buds have not matured much since the days of Lunchables and corn dogs in third grade. While I try to find recipes that are new and refreshing, most of them are pretty simple in technique and don't require an array of ingredients. With the exception of Go-Gurt, my favorite foods have remained the same; I have just stepped up the presentation. This recipe is not as easy as your out-of-the box Kraft variety, but I promise you it is well worth the trouble. 

The Better Wish (That Won't Come True)

May 15, 2012

Sometimes I really wish there was a way to prepare a plate for each and every one of my readers. I don't know how it would work; maybe you would click a button and next to your keyboard a little takeout box containing food from my kitchen would appear. This desire of mine always creeps up when I prepare something especially delicious, and last weekends dinner was one of those occasions. 
An herb roasted chicken, asparagus, and mashed potatoes may not seem like anything particularly special, and for the most part it's not. However, I have perfected the method for cooking poultry, and I am dying to share it with the world. 
1. Marinate chicken overnight in favorite marinade, making sure to puncture the breast for thorough flavoring.
2. Stuff chicken with an onion or apple (something that has a good amount of moisture).
3. Put chicken on its breast then wrap pan with plastic cling wrap, then wrap with a layer of foil.
4. Bake chicken.
5. 30-45 minutes before chicken is finished cooking remove from oven and flip on back.
6. Remove foil and plastic wrap, and allow it to brown in the oven for the remaining cook time.
{Sauteing asparagus}

{The dinner table}

{Garlic, parmesan mashed potatoes}

{Backyard garden}


The Better Artichoke Spinach Dip

May 11, 2012

Saturdays in my household are known for being filled with good food, lots of TV and board games (if my dad feels up for getting beaten by me). This week I adjusted a recipe from Real Simple, and made this scrumptious artichoke spinach dip. It goes perfectly with homemade, (or store-bought) toasted French bread. This recipe will forever hold a place in the Party Recipes file on my computer. 
{Ready for the Oven}

{On a toasted slice of baguette}

The Better Daily Essentials

May 08, 2012

There is something so fascinating and forbidden about peeking into the handbag of a woman. You can learn more about someone from what they deem every day essentials than you can from a fifteen minute conversation. The lady that carries dog treats is far different from the woman who carries five different shades of lipstick. Here is a peek of what I carry with me (minus crumpled receipts, spare change, and gum wrappers, of course). 
1. Altoids/ 2. Powdered water flavoring / 3. Cosmetic case/ 4. Keys, mini nail clippers, and the doo-dad for the ball machine at the driving range/ 5. Kindle / 6. Think Thin brownie crunch bar / 7. Note book and Tiffany's pen/ 8. Marc Jacobs wallet/ 9. iPhone and headphones / 10. Juicy business card case / 11. Weekly copy of The Economist/ 12. Lilly Pulitzer agenda / 13. Burberry aviators

IMG_8460 copy
1. Cosmetic case from Ann Taylor Loft/ 2. Bobbi Brown finishing powder/ 3. Neosporin/ 4. Bandaids/ 5. Missoni scented hand lotion/ 6. Nivea lip balm/ 7. YSL Touche Eclat/ 8. Bobbi Brown stick foundation/ 9. Benefit mini mascara/ 10. Eos lip balm/ 11. Bobbi Brown blush/ 12. Hair ties and hair pins/ 13. Bobbi Brown kabuki brush

The Better Business Card

May 05, 2012

I am am crazy in love with cute call cards, and for ages I have wanted my own. When I went to some of the local stationary and printing shops, I saw so many wonderful cards at not so wonderful prices. $50 for 100 was a bit hefty for my budget forcing me to walk away. As a person who takes pride in creative problem solving, I knew this was an opportunity to cross a project off my list without breaking bank. 
Inspired by cards like this, this, and this, I decided to design my own, and find a way to get them printed that wouldn't leave my wallet dry.

The Better Summer Essentials

May 01, 2012

In a couple of weeks I will be taking a trip to the east coast to watch my brother graduate from medical school (he's now qualified to operate on people...CRAZY!), and it got me thinking about what I would pack. I can't remember the last time I didn't take more than I needed, and this time I'm determined to use everything I carry with me. This got me thinking about my summer essentials.
sumer essentials

Other than my favorite white tee, nothing compares in versatility the way my chambray button down does. Used as a sleep shirt when I forget to pack pajamas, a cover up when I'm at the beach, or an easy top with white denim shorts, I can easily use this item 4 times in one week. I especially love how it can be taken to a level of sophistication when tucked into a pair of crisp capris and sitting below a layer of bold necklaces.

I love skirts and shorts that have a bright, bold pattern. They make the rest of the dressing process easy because simplicity is key. Most of the time I don't get more creative than a thin, v-neck sweater or a James Perse tee, and as I run out the door I usually throw on a pair of leather flip flops. 

Living in California my perfect summer dress is my perfect spring, fall, and winter dress as well. But for those of you who aren't lucky enough to have 80 degree weather year round, whipping out one of these must bring you great excitement. For a casual day of shopping and lunch I might pair it with espadrilles or leather sandals. But the great thing is it works well for dressier brunches or dinners when worn with a bit of a heel. 

What other shoe screams summer the way a ballet flat espadrille does?  They always add a touch of innocence to the high hemlines of short shorts and mini skirts. Anytime I'm headed to a beach destination these are always in my bag; they offer the practicality of a flat shoe with the playfulness of the espadrille heel.