these six

These Six1I personally love a belated birthday gift. It’s a surprise on a day that is not your birthday which makes it even more of a surprise. Which is awesome. My friend Lisa made my day with this illustration from the talented BigFashionBook on etsy. A now prize possession in my office. Thanks Lisa!/2Every Wednesday Matt Ballassai chugs a huge-arse glass of wine and well, “whines” about it. And this guy is one good whiner. This week’s was one of the best – why clothes shopping is the absolute worst. The kid one is worth a watch too! (There is foul language, just a warning if the kiddos are near.)/3These cutoffs are quite possibly the most comfy shorts I have ever owned. Great length too! To be completely honest they are not the most flattering (legs could be slimmer) but I chose to ignore that small imperfection. (They run huge so if ordering size down.)/4Tomato season! We did not plant a garden this year but Sticky came home with a box of fresh maters from the Amish yesterday. Tomato sandwiches, tomato pizza, tomato omelets, tomato salsa…we are about to turn into a family of tomatoes. Well, all except Jettie – she thinks they smell good but doesn’t want to put one in her mouth./5Coconut margaritas because it is the weekend and I am ready for a drink./6These two, in their grundies, sharing a stool, at the bathroom sink. GAH! Won’t be long before this scene would be well, so wrong. But I’ll soak the cuteness of it up right now while I can!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

xo,

brandyjsig

 

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roasted cauliflower & chickpea tacos

Vegetarian TacosThe man of the house claims he could eat pizza every single day and never tire of it. For me it’s tacos. At least in the spring and summer months. A variety of vegetarian and seafood tacos to be precise. Bold, fresh flavors tucked inside a corn tortilla. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Of course I love pizza too…but tacos are lighter with a little more attitude. (Insert Stickt saying “like you, Brand!”)

Vegetarian TacosIn case you were wondering…yes, this taco contains zero meat. Zippo carne. Nada. If you believe a taco must contain meat of some sort then I urge you to try this recipe.

Tacos are all about the explosion of flavor, texture and freshness. This version kills it in all three categories. The cauliflower and chickpeas have that smokey flavor, while the cabbage, avocado and cilantro add layers upon layer of bright flavor. What takes this to a top tier level though is hands down the crema. It’s creamy and fresh and exactly what this taco needs.

Vegetarian Tacos Vegetarian TacosSomething this fun to look at can not taste bad. It’s simply not possible. Foodography for my eyeballs.

Vegetarian Tacos Vegetarian TacosIf you’re looking to lighten up a meal with something that won’t disappoint in the taste department, you have to make these. And don’t forget to invite me over. I’ll bring the cerveza.

Enjoy!

brandyjsig

 

 

 

roasted cauliflower & chickpea tacos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 tacos
Ingredients
  • for the tacos
  • 2tsp chili powder
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • ¼tsp garlic powder
  • ¼tsp onion powder
  • 1tsp sea salt (kosher will do)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • for the crema
  • ½cup plain yogurt
  • juice of half a lime
  • ½tsp red pepper flake
  • 2tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400DegreesF. Mix chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion power, salt, lime juice, olive oil and water in a small bowl. Place cauliflower and chickpeas on baking sheet. Pour spice mixture on top and toss until everything is well coated. Roast for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Cauliflower should have crisp edges.
  2. While veggies are roasting, make the crema. Place yogurt, lime juice, red pepper flake and cilantro in small bowl and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more yogurt if crema is too runny for your liking.
  3. To assemble taco place some cauliflower mixture on a corn tortilla. Top with a little cabbage, avocado, cilantro leaves and drizzle with crema. Prepare to enjoy one of the best veggie tacos ever!

 

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peach hand pies

Peach Hand PiesThere is something so wonderful about portable pie. It’s a dessert that a person normally needs a fork to eat transformed into a perfect pocket of on-the-go sweetness. Who doesn’t love that? Only crazy people, that’s who. Or at least crazy to me because I could eat these bad boys morning, noon and night.

Let’s talk about our favorite pie filling. For me it will always involve fruit. Sure the creamy fillings are great and all…but a flaky, buttery crust filled to the brim with bright, perfectly sweet fruit will always have my heart. Especially peaches. Their flavor is as bold as their color. And when they are in season…Oh.My.Gah.

Peach Hand PiesThis is not going to be a dessert that can be thrown together in 30 minutes (unfortunately). It is however fairly simple to make, you just have to have some time to let all the chilling that needs to happen, happen.

Crimping the edges is the part that gets me the most nervous. You go through all the effort of making crust, rolling it out, assembling each pie and then you stick those things in the oven only to open it back up to one hot mess. Suffice it to say I was expecting the mess. Only one little bit of peach escaped, and wouldn’t you know that hand pie was still gorgeous and delicious.

Peach Hand Pies Peach Hand PiesThis crust was a new one for me. It contains cream cheese which definitely gives it a bite that pairs will with the sweetness of the fruit. It baked beautifully – definitely one I would use again. The only thing I may do differently is try to roll the dough slightly more thin. (If you suck at rolling out dough say “I” – I, I, I!)

Peach Hand PiesYou guys, this whole hand pie making thing was pretty darn fun. I am not going to go as far as to say you will see these as much as scones or cocktails (duh) but you will be seeing them again.

Enjoy!

brandyjsig

 

 

 

peach hand pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9 to 10 5" pies
Ingredients
  • for the crust
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 2cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • ¼cup milk (plus a couple extra tsps just in case)
  • for the filling
  • 3cups peeled, diced peaches
  • ¼cup sugar
  • ¼cup brown sugar
  • 2tbsp corn starch
  • 1tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼tsp kosher salt
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • for the sealing dough and wash before baking
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sugar
Instructions
  1. For the crust. Cube butter and cream cheese. Place in freezer for 20 minutes before adding to rest of ingredients.
  2. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor a few times. Add the cold butter and cream cheese cubes and pulse until small clumps form. Add the milk and pulse until a dough forms when you press together with your fingers. If dough won't form add more milk 1tsp at a time (be careful not to add too much).
  3. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a dough that stays together. Cut in half and from 2 1" thick disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Right before pulling dough out of fridge make the filling. Place peaches, sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and stir. Set aside.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a dough disk and roll out into a depth of ⅛" thick. Use a circle cutter (or bowl) and cut out preferred circle size (mine were about 5" circles). Set pie circle on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with second disk.
  6. Spoon a small amount of the filling into center of each circle. (Amount will depend on size of circle. I used about 2tbsp per circle.) Brush edges all the way around with beaten egg. Fold dough in half pressing the edges together and then crimping with a fork for extra security. If some juice sneaks out wipe away with paper towel. Place back in the fridge for 20 minutes. (Begin preheating the oven to 375degreesF at this point).
  7. Once pies are chilled pull out of fridge and brush the top of each with egg. Sprinkle a good amount of sugar on each. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. When finished place on wire rack to cool a bit. They are delicious warm with come ice cream. Cooled pies can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

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diy banana oatmeal mask

DIY Banana Oatmeal MaskBananas and oatmeal are staples in our home as I am sure they are in many others. Very few breakfasts go by without a nanner or bowl of oats being involved. What you may not know about these kitchen commoners is that they also make for a fantastic face mask. All it takes is a few whirls in the grinder combined with a little mashing and you have yourself a mini beauty treatment right at home.

DIY Banana Oatmeal MaskYou are gonna need…

  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1tbsp whole fat yogurt (optional)
  • 1tbsp honey (optional)
  • coffee grinder

Place peeled banana in a bowl and mash with fork. Place oatmeal in a coffee grinder (the one that you do not use to grind coffee preferably – if you do not have a grinder leave whole). Pulse a few times until ground. Add to banana along with yogurt and honey if using. Mix until well combined. Apply to a clean, dry face quite liberally.* Leave mask on for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and moisturize if desired.

*Due to allergies be sure to test a small patch of skin before trying any at home skin treatments.

DIY Banana Oatmeal MaskThe bananas are a natural astringent while the oatmeal does double duty of astringent and exfoliater. I put my mask in the fridge for 10 minutes before applying. This makes for a refreshing “cooling effect”, especially when first applied. I love this mask for it’s clearing power and the smoothness it adds to my tired skin after a very long day.

Someone once asked me why I didn’t post pics of me in my homemade masks. I’m not sure why…but it did get me thinking that you guys deserve the proof that I have indeed rubbed mashed banana all over my face.

So here is a little proof from me to you:

DIY Banana Oatmeal MaskBing: “So uh, what the heck is on your face and can I eat it?”

DIY Banana Oatmeal Mask

The good news is he actually can eat it. Beauty treatment and a snack all in one. That’s getting it done.

xo,

brandyjsig

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denim and destroyed

Remember my friend Johanna? You know, the hot girl who can wear the crap out of a pair of jeans? More specifically a pair of destroyed jeans?

Well, it doesn’t matter if it’s on a model, a stranger or someone I know…every time I spy a pair of purposely beat up denim I think Johanna. I swear when the girl was born a fashion ferry flew into the hospital room and beat her over the head with a “wear the hell out of edgy denim” wand. Ripped jeans + Johanna = Fashion Bliss

Knowing Johanna the way that I do though, she would want the rest of the world to experience the wonderfulness of torn denim…and I couldn’t agree with her more. They are definitely her style – but she does it in such a sophisticated, updated way that reminds me they can be everyone’s style as long as you own the right pair. Fit is key, as it is with every pair of jeans. Hole placement and the amount of destruction is important too.

If you shy away from this trend because you think you are “too old”, “too thick”, “too conservative”, “too whatever” I urge you to try on a few pairs. You may be surprised how much you like them!

072715_destroyed_jeans1AEO Denim X Skinny Jean – great ease you into option with it’s classic skinny fit and light destruction. Especially love the added tear by the pocket./2Forever 21 Crochet-Patch Boyfriend Jeans – personally, I prefer a boyfriend fit on the destroyed side. This one is a nice price with a little girlie touch underneath those rips./3ASOS Ridley Black Skinny Jeans – two huge things are going for this pair. First of all, they are black which means they are naturally slimming (who doesn’t want that?). Secondly, only the knees are “busted” making them on trend yet keeping chic at the same time./4Only Regular Skinny Jeans – because I didn’t want to leave out my favorite denim color. While I do not own a pair of destroyed white jeans I do lust after them. Love how the rips on these are not so much open holes as the are rips with threads connecting each side. Perfect for the bright white shade./5AE Hi-Rise Boho Flare – 2 weeks in a row now I have been pumping the flares. (Clearly there is some determination on my part that you need a pair in your closet.) AE has always done denim, especially “worn” denim, well. These are no exception and completely on trend with the oh so groovy vibe going on in fashion.

Which is your favorite pair of destructed denim?

xo,

brandyjsig

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