Uncorked: New Wines to Try

wine-picks

Few things are more lovely than enjoying a glass of good wine after a long day. Here are some recent favorites I’ve tried lately:

Poggia al Tufo, Maremma Toscana, Rompicollo, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011

Esser, Chardonnay, 2012

Otazu, Premium Cuvee, Senorio de Otazu, 2010

Laudun, Clos de Taman, Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2012

Mas + Oller, Pur, 2011

Any other bottles you’d recommend? I’ll be restocking our wine rack soon and would love to hear what you like.

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Lately

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Ellie is in a constant state of dress-up. This was a rare moment without her bear heat. She’s holding “Baby” and modeling her new Sofia dress.

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I have been getting back into reading again. I love to do it, but when things get hectic, it’s the first thing to go….Funny, I always have time for The Real Housewives. One of my little tricks is to take photos on my iPhone of books I might like to read, so I’ll remember them later. I’m more than a little stoked there’s a sequel to The Rosie Project. Any titles I should try?

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Best Dressed Oscars 2015

Starlets brought their “A” game to the Oscars this year. There was a lot of FASHION and quite a few divisive dresses. Below are my best dressed Oscar picks from last night.

Some of these I loved at first sight (Naomi Watts). Others took more review/study (Emma Stone). I’d love to know, which were your favorite looks. Did any of these miss the mark for you?

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Photos via InStyle and Vogue.com

P.S. The host of the Oscar viewing party I attended last night (Sarah) wanted you to know Rosamund Pike was her favorite.

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Corn and Red Pepper Quesadilla

quesadilla

We have been making these every week for months. I’m sorry I’m just now sharing them with you, because they are my favorite, go-to lunch. Sweet bell pepper and corn play nicely with creamy Monterey Jack cheese. Avocado tossed in a little lime and sprinkled with salt and pepper rounds the dish out.

Almost as good as the flavor is the fact that these are ready in 20 minutes – chopping and all. Now, what are you waiting for?

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Date Night Outfit

I’ve been wanting to do some style posts for a while, because I’m basically half clothes-horse, but the thought of photographing myself in outfits and posting them online makes me antsy and nervous. So, I’ve done a few, but they have been pretty sporadic. It is however something I’d like to do regularly.

When Megan said she wanted to do some posts together, I thought it was the perfect time to be a little brave. So, I frantically pulled together some of my favorite pieces as good luck charms, swallowed my second guesses and just jumped. I mean in the immortal words of Katy Perry, “This is no big deal.”

Here are I am at the most lovely Upper Crust, home of remarkably delicious pies, with my favorite leather jacket, leopard obsession and go-to black jeans.

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All photos by Crazybananas

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Fast Food: Alphabet Soup

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Few things are happier than alphabet shaped noodles. I rank them right up there with kittens, miniature tea sets and bubbles. But, while you may still love the shape, you might have outgrown the flavor of the canned variety. My recipe for alphabet soup is crazy easy, kid-friendly and ready in under 30 minutes. (I won’t tell if you won’t.)

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Carrots are sauteed until they are sweet and soft. Then, a little garlic is stirred in. Tomato sauce and broth form the base for the noodles (I think tiny stars would be cute too). Frozen vegetables round out the dinner. If you’d like to add a little protein, stir in cannellini beans or a little cooked chicken. Both would be lovely, but are unnecessary in making the perfect alphabet soup.

Serve to anyone wearing a princess dress. My dinner companion was dressed like Sofia the First.

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Baklava Sundaes

It’s that time of year when we’re all thinking of chocolate, which is not a bad thing. But, I’d like to introduce you to something a little different – my baklava sundae. Phyllo cups, honey, cinnamon and pecans are all reminiscent of the classic dessert without all the work.

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These take well under 20 minutes to make, and any one who eats it will be sufficiently impressed. Make these for your next dinner party or a cozy night in. And if someone in a bear hat shows up to help, watch them closely around the cinnamon sugar…..

Ellie

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Flower Arranging at The Bloom Academy

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This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend The Bloom Academy’s first workshop. Emily hosted the event. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, she is a seriously gifted florist in Kansas City. I mean, off the charts talented.

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A little less than a year ago, I had attended an event where she gave flower arranging tips. It upped my flower game by about a thousand percent, but I still wanted to learn more.

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One of the things that was really great about the workshop is that each guest had an opportunity to have Emily give one-on-one advice on how to improve their arrangement. Mine needed a few more flowers. It was amazing to see how a few small tricks could transform a bouquet.

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Dainty Earrings

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Lately, I have been seriously crushing on dainty earrings. I really can’t get enough.

These four pairs have been on permanent rotation. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how versatile they are. Below, I’ve included a round-up of my favorites, along with some new ones worth picking up.

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1. This pair is Janesko (a local KC artisan). I couldn’t find them online, so instead I found a similar version. However, you should definitely check her work out. It is on point.

2. Chevron

3. Bar with tiny sparkles

4. Bars

I also love with these from Janesko, House of Harlow, Kendra Scott and Bauble Bar.

I’d love to know – Have you tried this trend? What did you think? Any pairs I should check out?

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Tomato Soup

Having babies, meeting Mr. Right or finishing a really wonderful, 600-page book are all things worth waiting for no matter how long they might take. My tomato soup should probably be on that list, though it may not be as life-changing as the other items….(maybe).

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I talk a lot about quick and easy meals here, but let’s be clear – putting some time into a meal is not a bad thing. At our house, soup is always worth the effort. This tomato soup has been getting a lot of air time lately, since Ellie is a soup fiend, and I’ve been finalizing the recipe.

Vibrant and complex, my version of tomato soup has hints of onion and garlic. Sherry vinegar adds nice acidity and brightness to round out the tomato’s sweetness.The texture is light smooth, just like the classic – but way better than a can of Campbell’s.

tomato-soup

Because this recipe takes time and patience, I recommend you always make a double batch and freeze the rest. Whip some up for dinner Sunday evening when you’ve got a little more time to cook, and then, defrost it a few weeks later when you’re rushed or out of time.

The nice thing about this recipe is that base can be used to make the easiest spaghetti sauce on the planet. Right before adding the vinegar, reserve half in a separate container. Doctor it up later with Italian herb seasoning and serve it over spaghetti on another day.

To make a meal out of this soup, add a grilled cheese or hot sandwich, and you have the antidote to cold weather and snow. We paired ours this weekend with toasted brioche, spread with coarse Dijon mustard, swiss and smoked turkey. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

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