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The Better Rosemary Honey Butter

March 29, 2014

Butter on Toast
In my household, milk was purchased from the local chain grocery store and there was always a tub of margarine rather than butter on the third shelf of our fridge. As a result, my appreciation for high-quality dairy didn't begin until I was in high school and well entrenched in my cooking love affair. Getting my drivers license was a sweet, blissful milestone because it meant drives to the farmers market were within my reach and no longer dependent upon my mother's schedule. Between the sundry booths of the South Pasadena farmer's market, I learned that fresh eggs are golden and unprocessed cream is liquid heaven.  
Squeeze out Butter Milk
squeezing water/buttermilk from the butter

This was the starting point of my fascination with homemade butter. Not only did I get to collect the bragging rights for butter that I made myself, but the taste was worth so much more than the energy it took to flip the switch on my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. Spread on hearty slices of home baked bread, its delicious. Combined with a touch of maple syrup to glaze carrots, it’s marvelous. But what gets me the most excited is aerating it into pillowy folds as I brown sugar to make a batch of cookies. That is priceless. 
Butter Ball
plain butter

I have been so satisfied with making unsalted and lightly salted butter that I never even bothered to think of the other possibilities. Butter is just as blank a canvas as a plate of pasta, (ooh rosemary buttered pasta...) and there are so many possibilities to make something unique. Nothing beats the savory, resinous flavor of rosemary combined with a touch of honey.
Adding flavor
mixed with rosemary, salt, and honey

The Better Suit: Modern Feminine and Bold

March 25, 2014

I'm currently obsessed with bold suits for women. Maybe it's my obsession with Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" that has sparked my interest, but whatever it is, it can't be denied that there is something compelling about a woman in head to toe plaid. 
Suits for WOmen
image via via via via via via via 

The Better Way to Get the Look: Relaxed Elegance Bedroom

March 22, 2014

Get the Look Casual Elegance Bedroom
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vase: world market | side table: target | clock: amazon | printed sheets: overstock | white sheets: carlyle sofas | lamp: ikea | wallpaper: john lewis | gold frame: fish pond | throw blanket: one kings lane | pillow: one kings lane | art print: minted | headboard: ballard designs | grey pritned sheets: home woot

The Better Roasted Broccoli

March 19, 2014

the best roasted broccoli 
This method for cooking broccoli has turned me into a brocoholic (aren't I just hilarious?) Overcooking and under-seasoning a vegetable is the most heinous crime a person can commit, and this method creates a foolproof solution.  Ever since I started cooking broccoli like this, I refuse to eat it any other way; it has become one of my staple side dishes. Sometimes I'll even eat a big bowl of it as an entrée. 
crispy edges
My favorite part about this roasted broccoli is the way the florets get crispy, salty edges, and the stems become tender and meaty. Yeah, I said it, my broccoli has a tenderness that rivals an expertly cooked slab of meat. 
Dry Broccoli 
To start, you want to make sure the broccoli is completely dry. I personally don't wash it because I know it's going in the oven so the germs don't freak me out. However, if you are really crazy about washing your veggies, then make sure you pat them dry completely. If there is water left on them they will steam in the oven and become soft rather than crisp.
Spray Broccoli 
Next, you'll want to spritz with a cooking spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil. 

Styled with Clara: A Better Fashion Post

March 16, 2014

First Image
If you haven't realized by now, I only like to befriend people who are adorably stylish and who have bangs. Clara and I have been meaning to take photos for the longest time, but the harsh New York weather has made the idea increasingly unpleasant.
Clara's Coat
Coat from Macy's

At first, we tried the outside thing. It was not fun. The "warm" 40-degree weather doesn't feel too warm after five minutes so we relocated indoors to our school's gorgeous student center.
More worrisome than Clara's addiction to coffee is her addiction to Madewell

The Better Dorm Room Fete

March 13, 2014

anatomy of a tuesday food tray copy
The stress level at Barnard/Columbia is unreal. Even more unreal is the stress level during midterms. My best friend, Ellie and I just finished our exams on Tuesday. Although a  grand celebration would be perfectly reasonable, we were too exhausted for anything that did not involve sweatpants. Thus we had a petite fête in my dorm room that involved a tray of delicious goods and Iggy Azelia blasting from my speakers.
food tray
I had all these items on hand so I thought, "Why not?" I still can't decide if my overstocked dorm fridge is a source of pride or embarrassment for me. I suppose this is the one area where I truly deserve my self appointed Martha title. 
ellie holding cookie

The Better Image by Color

March 11, 2014

Flower Pink Green Purple Color Palette copy
flower image via
I love collecting color palettes; they are so helpful when gathering inspiration for any design related project. My favorite way to explore new color combinations is by looking at gorgeous images with interesting hues and going from there. I've decided to start a new series called "The Better Image by Color" where I'll share some of my favorite creations. Enjoy!

The Better Angel Food Cake with Yogurt and Berry Topping

March 05, 2014

 I've decided that maybe it is time for a healthy dessert post. Before you know it the weather will be warming up, and I won't be able to hide under the layers of parkas, drapey sweaters, and thick scarves.
Angel Food Cake with yogurt and berry topping
There is a bit of sugar in this angel food cake, but you can still enjoy it knowing it's made mostly of egg whites and doesn't contain any butter. Yes, you read that correctly: NO BUTTER! Holla at yo girl! Obviously, if you subscribe to the Paula Deen religion this is just not the recipe for you so you can leave and carry on with your day. 
stuck to pan
You really want to make sure that your pan has been degreased because the airy egg foam mixture will deflate if it comes in contact with fats (butter/oils). My pan wasn't non stick, but I didn't mind since I was baking the cake for myself (embarrassing, but true) and wasn't trying to impress anyone with smooth cake edges. I chose to scoop the cake out of the pan and place it in small bowls. Another option is baking it in a pan lined with parchment paper. 
Bowl of CakeCake topped with yogurt copy
I was tempted to cover this with fresh whipped cream, but I didn't have any on hand and was too lazy to go to the grocery store. Instead, I used some Oikos Greek vanilla yogurt.
 Cake topped with berry and more yogurt
'Tis not the season for fresh berries, so sticking some frozen fruit in a food processor or masticating juicer creates tangy topping.