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


  1. Those are such fun tights! The necklaces are to DIE for.

    Stacey Kay
    “Runway Inspiration, Vintage Decoration”

    My First “Haul” Video – Thrifting in Indiana!

  2. I love your necklaces and your brogues...:)

  3. very cute jewelery - happy new year!

  4. I love everything about this post, from your fabulous "staged" outfit, to the tale of your New Year's to the recipe that sure to get gasps of awe at my next dinner party!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Oh goodness, those look ridiculously good.

    Creme brulee always seemed like a really fancy, inaccessible recipe...I may just attempt it now!

  6. I adore this outfit and those Madewell shoes make me want to buy them every single time!

    I totally get what you mean with the goodwill's etc. My family also had little money and I remember being incredibly embarrassed when my mother would get things for me to wear from the thrift store, but would wear them when she was around.

    Now they are my favourite and I'm sure I have my mother to thank for that! :D (I even wish I still had most of the stuff she bought me) little 90's dresses and floral sweaters!

    Ayesha x