Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pistachio-Orange Cookies

These puppies were the winner for best recipe in the Star Tribune this year. 
New Year's Eve party treat courtesy of you?

For cookies:
• 2 c. flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. cream of tartar
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 1/2  c. granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling dough
• 1/2  c. firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For filling:
• 1 c. raw shelled pistachios, divided
• 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• Freshly grated zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
• 1 tsp. orange extract
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 3 c. powdered sugar
• 2 tbsp. milk (or use 1 tbsp. milk and 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice)

To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda and reserve. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, in thirds, mixing until just combined. Form dough into 1/2-inch balls (about the size of a chestnut).

Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set but not browned, about 11 minutes (cookies will puff up in oven, but flatten).
Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare filling: In food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse 1/2  cup pistachios until very fine (the nuts should almost clump together in a paste between your fingers).

In a bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter with orange zest until light and fluffy. Add orange extract and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.

Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar, in thirds, alternating with milk (or milk and orange juice), beginning and ending with powdered sugar, and beat until smooth (you may need another tablespoon or so of liquid to reach desired consistency). Fold in pistachios, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.

To assemble cookies: Finely chop remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and place in a shallow dish. Spread a generous dollop of filling on the flat side of one cookie. Place the flat side of a second cookie against filling, making a sandwich. Press gently just until filling is at edge of cookies. Roll filled edge in chopped pistachios. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Snobby Socialite, Mad Sense of Style

Sure, when you watch Olivia Palermo on The Hills (RIP) you wish you could claw her face off or do a number of other things that probably aren't appropriate to write in a public arena, but no one can deny this girl is the epitome of fabulous style, an impeccable wardrobe, and perfectly polished ensembles. She always has the perfect balance of timeless looks and cutting edge trends. 

via: whowhatwear

Another something as fabulous as her covetable closet is her dashing apartment in NYC. I wouldn't hate living here....

via: Google Images

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ready for the Year of Natalie Portman?

How much did you love her dark and creepy yet beautiful and elegant performance in Black Swan? Well, 2011 is going to prove to be the year of Natalie Portman as she is set to release three more films shortly after the new year. 

The Other Woman tells the tale of a woman who focuses on rebuilding her broken family after the loss of her newborn. 

No Strings Attached co-starring Ashton Kutcher looks like a fun little romantic comedy. Guy and girl are friends. Guy loves girl. Girl secretly loves guy but doesn't know it yet. That sort of thing. Never gets old, does it?

Your Highness, a pot smoking (from the director of Pineapple Express) infused Medieval comedy also starring James Franco (heartheartheart) looks quite hilarious.


Via: DesignLoveFest

This Will Melt Your Heart

Puppies for Christmas. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Little Challenge

Chelsea, from the blog {frolic!}, said she made a pact not to complain about a single thing for a whole week. Instead of announcing how tired you are, or how annoying something is, you just keep your mouth shut! Joanna over at A Cup of Jo has been trying it to and says, "When you don't complain about something, you weirdly forget about it two seconds later! It has been surprisingly liberating and has made me feel light and cheery."

What do you say? Wanna give it a try? :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Have You Read This Book? If So, Are You Excited For This Movie?

Water for Elephants takes place during The Great Depression and follows Jacob (Robert Pattinson), an ex Veterinarian student who joins a circus crew after the sudden death of his parents. There he meets Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the equestrian star of the circus and her fiance August, a controlling and twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, the untrainable elephant whom he has to learn to understand before he can coach. 

The book is half mystery, half love story, gritty, compelling, and wonderfully written. I highly recommend it.  

Merry Christmas

So much to be happy & grateful for. I love this time of year. Merry Christmas to all of you & your families and thank you so much for reading.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Interview I Can't Wait to Read...

If you know me at all you know i'm dying to get home to spend quality time with the stack of new magazines that piles up while I'm away at school. There is a certain issue I can't wait to get my hands on.....

The lovely Ms. Natalie Portman is on the cover of Vogue this month. She is so talented, intelligent, beautiful and fascinating so I'm excited to curl up and read what she has to say.

PS. Have you seen her new movie Black Swan? It is absolutely crazy but quite genius and beautiful - in a dark way. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Newest Adaptation of an American Classic

Are you a period-piece movie junkie like moi? Here's the newest screen adaptation of the classic novel Jane Eyre, due out March 2011

The Three Simple Rules of Life

"There are three simple rules in life: If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. If you don’t step forward you’ll always be in the same place. "

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Peaceful Happenings of Christmas Vacation

My favorite sound in the world is actually silence. It's that sound when the warm, soft snow is falling and it's so quiet outside it seems like the whole world has come to a halt. If I'm ever with people I go, "shh! Listen...." Everyone probably thinks i'm crazy but I really do think it's something worth stopping and enjoying. Everything has more of a twinkle in that kind of romantically swirling snow scene. 

I am officially on Christmas vacation for the next thirty-ish days...

This means lots of coffee (the kind that is joyous and drawn out morning event, not the kind chugged for alertness fuel before class) and reading (my line-up includes a new novel about the life of Cleopatra and the third installment in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, among others)...

...Baking (yummy sugar cookies and festive gingerbread men)...

...long bubble baths...

...blogging more (yay!)...

...snowy walks in winter wonderlands....

...and being 100% Christmas 

Monday, December 20, 2010

TI & Christina Aguilera

These two teamed up for a collaboration on TI's new album called "Castle Walls". I like, do you?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mila Kunis Make-Up

Mila Kunis USED to just be the girl who played Kelso's girlfriend on That 70's show. Now she has an amazing acting career and umm, she's KIND OF amazing looking. She's the girl your boyfriend fantasizes about, but you're secretly in love with her too so you don't even really care that she won the DNA lottery. 

So maybe you & I will never look like perfection had it's way with our face, but we can attempt to pull off her eye-shadow look. I'll take it. 

Brought to you by Glamour:

"She's just got a lovely pink shadow on her upper and lower lids with a hint of gold smeared on the inner half on her bottom lashline. Not an unusual pairing at all, but somehow this particular combo creates the perfect mix of warmth and smolder that makes her look stinkin' gorgeous. I think it's the softness of the pink they used here."

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow 

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow 

Beautifully Stylish Christmas Settings

I hope when I'm older I have the time (aaand this'll probably take some money too) to create household Christmas scenes even remotely as pretty as these. How magical would it be to wake up to something like this every morning in December? 

Photos via: Coco & Kelly, the Decorista, Everything Fabulous, This is Glamorous

Friday, December 17, 2010

Love This Birthday Table-Top Setting

Timeless with a twist 

Gather Up the X-mas Flicks

Christmas Movies
Especially during finals time, I wish I had a night where I could just curl up with a cozy blanket, a mug of hot cocoa, and cue up all of my favorite Christmas movies. Maybe they're so special since it only feels right watching them once a year. The best Christmas movies of all time in my humble opinion (some obvious, some not so obvious) include:

1. Bridget Jones's Diary

Because chasing your lover through the snowy streets wearing only your sweater is so romantical. 

2. Elf (duh)

Yes, undoubtedly one of the best Christmas movies of all time, but Buddy also teaches you to let life excite you, which I love (Ex: "Good news! I saw a dog today!"). Plus, Buddy WORKS those yellow tights. 

3. While You Were Sleeping

An often overlooked holiday movie! WYWS is funny, romantic, and just makes ya feel good. All essential components of a holiday flick. 

4. Love Actually
Agggh! Such a wintery love story classic. You can't watch this movie and not fall in love with it. And guys, if you ever, EVER did this for any girl, she would be yours forever. Little free tip for ya right there. 

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I actually think it might be illegal to go through the holiday season and not watch this movie. I'll check that and get back to you. 

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas

It's just a tradition. You just have to. Look at him. He's like, "pleeeease watch my movie!"

7. Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation
Just holiday family craziness at a whole 'nother level. 

8. Home Alone
I love any movie that has been such a part of my holiday traditions that I feel like I'm 10 again when I watch it. Nothing says Christmas like a child handling a blow-torch. Kevin, you filthy animal.

9. To Grandmother's House we Go
YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT. Sheer Classic. My parents used to get frustrated with me because every time we would go to the video store to rent a movie I would rent To Grandmother's House We Go (no matter the season). I like what I like, 'rents. 

10. A Christmas Carol
Triple dog daring to stick tongues on poles. Classic. The Red-Rider Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Model Air Rifle. Enough said. TBS let's you watch this movie pretty much 13 times in a row on Christmas. I'm down with that. 

11. It's a Wonderful Life
MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!!!!!!!! Anyone that has not watched this movie every Christmas since the age of five will not have the same appreciation for it that I have. George Bailey, and Zuzu, and Clarence have been such a part of my life every December; they have my heart. 

12. Sex & the City (say WHAAAT?!)
Yeah, okay, this TECHNICALLY is not a Christmas movie. But the themes of everlasting friendships and being there for the people you love are ... Christmas-y. K well there is a Christmas and New Years scene so it counts. 
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