Sunday, January 30, 2011


hello hello! ten days ago now (man, time flies) i had the pleasure of the company of a bunch of sweet and fashionable folks, including claire, christine, christina, and keiko, as we got to drink sweet drinks, eat sliders, listen to live music, and view the club monaco spring collection. it's always fun to get together with these girls regardless of the affair, but this was one of my favorite events to date - in no small part because it ended with us all getting to choose one piece from the collection to take home for our very own. there were so many things i loved, and i hemmed and hawed until the last moment, but ended up snagging this silk racerback dress - it's so comfy, and i felt like it would be really versatile. . . and a perfect piece to take on a honeymoon (assuming, of course, we go somewhere warm. with all the frantic planning we've been doing, sam and i haven't yet managed to figure out where to head after the wedding. . .suggestions welcome!)

what is the pose in this photo? holding imaginary handbag? preparing to balance tray of cocktails? i'm a little teapot? who knows.

dress: club monaco spring collection
scalloped slip: thrifted
tights: HUE
shoes: madewell
my new favorite necklace: laura lombardi

and for what occasion did i don this apparel? fondue party!! sam and i have been wanting to have a big dinner party for some time, and decided that there's no better dinner than one in which you dunk everything into cheese. i spent all thursday and friday prepping appetizers and desserts, blanching vegetables, cutting bread into cubes, and grating cheese (well, actually, i had my dear friend ashlee to help with that. . .) for friday night, when our apartment was packed and the food got absolutely destroyed, in the best way possible. sam has now caught the host bug and we're planning our next dinner party already - with a beer and pizza theme (homebrewed beer a la sam, and homemade pizza a la audrey.)

so much more to post - lots of things swirling around in my world and this head of mine, and i'll do my best to get them down here before long!

OH! and my tights DIY was featured on styleist a couple days ago! made my day.

hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

xo audrey

Monday, January 17, 2011

artichoke onion soup for the soul

hello everyone! i am sitting in my kitchen, typing in the warmest part of my apartment - right by the oven, which is propped open and heated to 400. apparently the pipes in my basement chose this weekend to crap out on me, so my radiators are ice cold; sam and i have decided to stomach an extra large gas bill, rather than shiver in our own apartment.

the past weekend had its highs and lows; i usually have fridays and saturdays off, but had to work this saturday, making for an extra short weekend - most of which i spent in front of a computer, desperately trying to remember photoshop shortcuts as i worked on wedding invitations. i did find the time to make us a good, thick, wintry soup - it was easy and delicious, and perfect for these cold winter nights, so i thought i'd share the recipe.

2 cans of quartered artichoke hearts
1 medium yellow onion
3 cups chicken broth
2 T butter
2 t ground fennel
1 t dried thyme
1/4 c heavy cream
olive oil for drizzling
parmasean or similar cheese for crisps

so - start the butter melting in a big pot. a soup sized pot. slice the onion into thin strips, then add it to the butter; saute until good and caramelized, stirring as needed. add the artichoke and saute for a few minutes. add enough chicken stock to cover the onion and artichoke and then some. add the spices, then the cream, and salt to taste; either use an immersion blender or a regular one to puree them until you can't anymore. put your oven to 350, and grate the cheese into little piles on a silpat or piece of parchment, and bake the cheese for 10-15 minutes, or until browned. serve the soup with a drizzle of olive oil, a grinding of pepper, and a cheese crisp or two. and a grilled cheese and pastrami, if you're me.

and an appropriately yellow and green outfit for the day!

dress: thrifted
tights: from mi madre
shoes: madewell
hat: from a weird little antique shop outside of atlanta, ga
necklace: jewelry shop near atlanta (a fish, therefore, a gift from sam)

well! my smoke alarm is going off for no reason whatsoever, so i guess it's time to sign off. stay warm, and much love!

xo audrey

Saturday, January 8, 2011

auld lang syne, my dears

a belated happy new years! i spent mine in chattanooga, as i mentioned, and managed to remember every camera cable, every charger - and forget my battery charger. the camera died the instant i pulled it out. so, there it is. starting the new year off with no bang.

so, i have to admit, this shot is staged. my friend ashlee came over the other night and we had some wine and she, being a photographer but without her camera, decided that i should dress up and she'd take pictures of me. i'm pretty awkward when most people take photos of me, but the glass or two of wine helped, and we got a couple shots that i actually liked quite a bit. this one is my favorite, though, most likely because my entire face is obscured by syrah.

dress: madewell
necklace 1: gift from sam, from california
necklace 2 (rhinestones): also actually from sam, from our recent trip to the south
tights: courtesy of stylefind
tights 2 (patterned one): sam's mom gave 'em in my stocking
shoes: madewell
belt: urban outfitters
purse: gift from a friend, marc jacobs

back to my trip, though - sam and i had a great time, despite the desolation that is northern georgia. i was so excited to hit every goodwill within a twenty mile radius, and i did so, but was left pretty disappointed in the selection (and pretty depressed in the atmosphere in some of them.) i guess it was a wake up call of sorts - i grew up without a lot of money, and certainly shopped in thrift stores out of necessity; today it's more to try to find fun, unique things for a steal, but what a reminder that a trip to the goodwill isn't all fun and games for some. it was humbling, for sure. but everyone was so incredibly friendly, that it wasn't an entirely lost cause.

for reasons to complicated to explain, my flight got really screwed up and we ended up staying in atlanta for one night, and exploring the outer regions some - we found this awesome jewelry store, right next door to a salvation army, and i snagged 3 necklaces that will be getting a lot of play, including one of the two i wore on new years. i've never been huge into jewelry before, but one or two great pieces have really got me kind of addicted.

so our days were mostly spent exploring the country and eating really bad(ly awesome) food such as outback steakhouse and red lobster, and our evenings were spent in the hotel. sam got an amazing room with a giant whirlpool actually like 2 feet from the bed, so we could sit in it and drink wine and watch hockey. which we did. a lot. one game (penguins v. capitols,) one hbo special (24/7 penguins) and mighty ducks I and II. it was not the most glamourous way to spend the new year, but we had a damn good time.

the night of new years we did have an amazing dinner, though - we drove the half hour to chattanooga and sam had booked us a reservation at a really incredible little restaurant that was serving a 4-course prix fix menu. it was lovely, with the small exception of the fact that i'd developed a cold so bad at that point that my outfit was outplayed by my extreme kleenex rash under my nose. ah well.

so, there is my horrific-ly out-of-order new years holiday. how was yours? did you do anything special?

and lastly, a recipe to start off the year! i had the idea to try making creme brulee in oranges, to see if they would pick up some of the flavor. having just sucked one down i can say that it did have a very mellow orange flavor and was pretty delightful, and the orange does make for a pretty presentation (and easy cleanup! just scoop it clean and throw it away [or compost if you're cooler than i am.])

orange infused creme brulee

first - hollow out two oranges. it's kind of an annoying task, and be careful when you get to the bottom that you don't rip out the little stem, which leaves a big hole. i've been there.

you'll need:

2 oranges, cut in half and scooped
4 yolks
1 cup cream
2 T plus 1 T sugar
pinch of table salt
2 T vanilla or vanilla bean extract
2 T fresh squeezed orange juice (just squeeze the stuff you scooped.)

heat oven to 300, and get a kettle with some water ready for boiling.

first - put 1/2 cup of the cream, the vanilla, the salt, and 2 T of the sugar into a small saucepan. stir for a bit to make sure the sugar dissolves. once it starts to boil, turn off the burner and now put your yolks in a bowl - wait until now if you can, so they don't dry out. add the remaining 1 T of sugar and the orange juice and whisk until combined. add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream to the saucepan, to cool it further, then add the cream, bit by bit, to the yolks, whisking all the while. add it all, whisk til combined, but try not to add too many bubbles.

use a sieve to pour the mixture into a 2 cup measure. place the oranges in a small pan - i just used a 9" cake pan (you want it to have high-ish sides.) turn the kettle on so the water boils, and fill the oranges to about 1/2 inch from the top. carefully put them on a middle rack in the oven and then pour boiling water up to 2/3 of the orange. bake for about 30 minutes; they are done when they don't slosh, but just barely jiggle. let them cool off, then cover them and put them in the fridge for several hours (or even a couple of days.) when ready to serve, cover with turbinado sugar (shake off any excess) and use a torch to brulee it. voila! an elegant, delicious and seasonal dessert.

all right, i'm off. sam has been downloading d3, the last of the mighty ducks trilogy, and i have some roasted chicken and dutch macaroni and cheese to scarf.

happy 2011 everyone, may it be our best year yet!

xo audrey