Friday, March 30, 2012

{Friday's Fancies} April Showers!

Happy Friday!!! I'm so relieved this week is over. It was a tough one at work with the non-stop conference calls while trying to meet contract deadlines. I'm in need of a relaxing weekend where I can turn my brain off. Hopefully, the weather won't be too bad and our plans for camping on Saturday night won't be ruined. I'm pretty excited for this since I've never been camping before. It'll be an experience to say the least! But I'm excited to venture out of my comfort zone and  even tackle a new and challenging cooking space! If anyone watches Top Chef, you know cooking out in the middle of nowhere with limited pots and pans is not the most ideal situation - but I'm ready. I may make this sweet chili salmon dish I posted last night - mmmm.

Now, today we're going to to talk looking chic in the rain! Today's Friday's Fancies is fitting considering I woke up to rain and should expect a downpour later tonight. I mean it is almost April, so I shouldn't be surprised at the crappy weather that's to come. But there's no reason you can't put together an outfit that's rain proof AND chic. Just look at Rach below - she's my inspiration this fancy Friday:
{via Pink Peonies}


Rainy day ensemble


Rach has a knack for mixing and layering prints and colors. She really does look chic/hot all the time! I'm inspired by her bright wellies paired with even more bright colors, which is like a punch in a rainy, grey day's face. I'm loving this little polka dot hooded anorak {only $34!}, especially paired with a striped shirt. Mixing prints can look effortless and it's a great way to keep your outfits interesting. Just try and keep it to no more than three different prints in one outfit {you'll risk looking a hot mess}. Throwing on some bling, like a crystal necklace and sparkly studs, doesn't hurt either! Everyone loves a little sparkle in their life :)

For more rainy day ensembles, head on over to {longdistanceloving} and see what other bloggers are hoping to wear while singing in the rain! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Try and stay dry peeps.

xx

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet Chili Salmon

Finally, I was able to make this fish dish I've been raving about for a couple weeks! My oven is still not fixed, but I was able to make do with a little MacGyvering. I still ran into a few mishaps, but in the end it turned out perfectly. This is a dish I don't think I could ever get sick of. Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce is a staple in the recipe. I've toyed with trying to recreate it myself, but I've got a strong feeling that won't happen unless TJ's decided to stop carrying it. Let's pray that never happens, k? Great. 

This sauce compliments fish with it's upfront sweetness and lingering of spice. With the addition of more spices, fresh cilantro, and a heavy dose of roasted cherry tomatoes, this salmon will change any seafood hater into a mega lovvvaaaa. Trust me on this one - it will not disappoint!
{Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce - my favorite}
{Seasonings: Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime, Pepper}
{After you've sauced and seasoned the fillet, add a generous amount of halved cherry tomatoes and 
top with chopped cilantro}
{Such a yummy and healthy dinner, especially paired with veggies like roasted Parmasen asparagus}

My own recipe :)

{Serves 2}

Ingredients: 2 salmon fillets {fresh or thawed}. 3 Tbsp Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce. Seasonings: Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime, Pepper. 4 tsp lime juice. 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped. 1/2 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Tear off two pieces of foil {about 3 times the size of the fish} and spray the middle of each sheet with a light layer of cooking spray. Place one fillet in the middle of each sheet, skin side down.
  3. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp of the TJ's Sweet Chili Sauce to each of the fillets and spread evenly with a knife.
  4. Add each of the seasonings to your liking {Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime, Pepper}. I prefer to go a little heavier on the Mrs. Dash seasoning than any of them. The sauce isn't too spicy so I highly suggest adding about 1/2  tsp of red pepper flakes to give it a bite.
  5. Add a couple tsp of lime juice to each fillet. Then, surround the outer edges of the fish with halved cherry tomatoes and top each fillet with 1 Tbsp of the cilantro. 
  6. Now, it's time to fold the foil into a little tent packet that's loose enough for the heat to circulate in the foil, which allows for steaming. Bring the long sides together in the center and tightly fold them together towards the food. Stop folding a few inches before you get to the fish, leaving you with a pocket of space and creating a "tent" shape. Tightly fold the remaining sides until you get an inch or so from the fish. 
  7. Place packets on a baking sheet to avoid any leakage while it's baking, especially if you don't use strong foil. For thicker fillets bake the fish for about 15 minutes; thinner fillets for about 11 minutes. You can check at the 10 minute mark by carefully unrolling the top of the foil tent {BE CAREFUL IT'S HOT}. You'll know if it's done because the meat should be flaky. 
  8. Once done, take the baking sheet out of the oven to let cool a couple minutes and poke a hole in your foil tents so your fish doesn't continue to cook. Once the foil packs are tolerable to handle, unroll the foil tent and open it up. You can serve it in the foil on a plate or use a spatula to remove your salmon and roasted tomatoes. That's up to you!
Hopefully you'll be able to find the Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce, but if not just browse your local grocery store for something similar. Hope you enjoy! 

xx

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Trend: Colored Denim

Colored Denim @ the Pacers Game

A big trend has been happening for a while now and there's no ignoring it - colored denim is here to stay! I've actually embraced this trend in the form of colorful trousers so I can wear them to work and still comply with the dress code policy. I know, I am one smart cookie. But I've attended some Indianapolis Pacers games lately and quickly realized I need some blue or yellow jeans in my life ASAP! Bright denim is a great way to show your undeniable love and support while still looking trendy and stylish! This goes for any team, but today we're going to focus on the Pacers baby!

Outfit #1: This is a very laid back outfit. These yellow jeans are perfect to show your Pacers pride on game days and any other day that requires a little pep in your step! How could you not be happy wearing this gorgeous yellow? I've paired them with Toms blue ballet flats in order to be comfortable for anticipated trips up and down the stairs. You never want to be empty handed at a basketball game - major faux pas. Now, on to the accessories! This little Indiana necklace is perfect for games and it's a great everyday necklace. A cross body bag is my purse of choice for sporting events. Why you ask? Well, your purse will never have to touch the sticky stadium floor {or bathroom}, it's less likely to get stolen, and it leaves you hands free to obnoxiously yell and cheer! The wicker fedora can be left at home if you prefer, but I think it compliments the outfit, especially that fabulous little bag.

Outfit #2: I wanted to showcase a more fancy shmancy outfit that could be worn at the game or the bars downtown. Not that you can't wear Outfit #1 to the bars, but I prefer to wear heels in order to vertically enhance me by four or five inches so I'm out of elbow-in-the-face range {yeah, that happens when you're short}. These blue skinny jeans are a less daring option and when paired with a yellow striped scarf and rope accessories, you get a mix between Pacers fan and nautical sailor. I'd finish the outfit with a pair of walkable/comfortable/killer wedges and of course, a trusty cross body bag.

On a different note, I am excited to have recently joined/been accepted to the Indianapolis Bloggers group {inspiration behind today's post}! I wasn't familiar with any Indianapolis blogs, other than What I Wore, and I'm really looking forward to being an IB member! There's some pretty interesting blogs around Indy and I highly recommend you go and check them out!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Insta-fun #2

Happy Monday everyone! I got so much love from the Instagram pictures I shared last Monday, I've been really excited to do another round up of my pictures from last week. Of course I am linking up with a {little} dash of ash and some other wonderful bloggers to share some Insta-fun! Hope you enjoy them :)

{I started off the week with my new Alexander Wang's I scored
 during The Outnet's clearance sale!}
{Perfect weather for grilling out}
{First day of Spring brought floating Magnolias to my front yard 
and a smile to my face}
{I wish I had better pictures from Happy Hour at the Symphony
I attended with my boyfriend and his parents, but this is a
pre-concert picture from our seats}
{Martinis post Symphony at Nicky Blaine's - I like mine dirty with
blue cheese stuffed olives}
{Tyler and I caught on camera at the Pacers vs. Suns basketball game. 
Awkward shot of my nose right there too HA!}
{AMFs at the Louisville, KY Howl at the Moon for my friend's 
bachelorette party! I have to admit 4th Street Live is an 
AMAZING time and cannot wait to go back!} 

Follow me HERE or search for my username alliesbubble.

xx

Friday, March 23, 2012

{Friday's Fancies} March Madness


{Inspiration for today's post - via}

Friday's Fancies - IU Support

Since UofA isn't in the NCAA Basketball Tournament {boo}, I've got to support the Indiana Hoosiers and Syracuse Orange in the tournaments. Reason being I live in Indiana and my boyfriend is a Syracuse Alum. This is actually OK at the moment since they're not on the same side of the bracket - I've lucked out on this one! The love and support from IU fans here is beyond crazy, especially since they've stepped up their game this year. I actually have an IU shirt I received as part of my birthday present from my good friend Claire a couple years ago. I still haven't worn it out in public though, but that's my own loyalty to being an Arizona Wildcat getting in the way. Maybe someday.

Since I am cheering for two different teams at the moment, it was a little difficult to choose which team I wanted to feature today. Since IU is playing Kentucky tonight {9:45p EST people!} I figured I would put together an outfit inspired by their iconic candy cane warm-up pants in the first image above. If I was a die hard IU fan, I would buy these jeans in a heartbeat. Now, they may not be the exact red a Hoosier would want, but they're pretty damn close. I'd pair them with a crimson silky button down and Converse for attending the big game or stomping around the bars. Comfort is key when you're around rowdy Hoosiers. You may never know when they might start a riot and lift ginormous trees out of the ground and march them down a street {true story from my friends - check out a video here}. To finish the look, I think a rad red satchel and fun bracelet like this Marc by Marc Jacobs wrap is in order for the Big Dance.

For more sporty inspiration check out some more Friday's Fancies posts at {longdistanceloving}. A big thanks to {av}, a native Hoosier herself, as she puts together this blogger link up every week!

Oh and one more thing, I'm sorry for the lack of food posts this week. I have a couple recipes to share with you all, but unfortunately my oven is broken! I figured it out when I attempted to cook and take pictures the other night for a blog post. I ended up finishing the dish on the skillet instead of the grill {why, I have no clue} and it was not a pretty ending. I'll be sure to get that one and a requested veggie dish up next week. Have a great weekend lovelies!

Ps. I wanted to wish my wonderful, talented, opinionated father a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! Love you daddy!!! xx






Monday, March 19, 2012

My Instagram Bubble

Hope your week is off to a great start and Monday was good to you! I thought I would join in on A Little Dash of Ash and Story of My Life's Instagram blogger link ups! Both of their blogs are totally adorable and you betcha I'm one of their followers! Now, I don't think I use Instagram as often as some people (I only have 99 photos total, which is on the low end), but I love checking Instagram throughout the day to see what's new in my friend's lives, even if it's just a freshly lacquered mani/pedi or their favorite green iced tea. It's the little things that make you smile that make this crazy life so great, don't you agree? And what better way to appreciate those little things than to capture them with your nifty high-tech phone. I think looking back on these pictures a few months or even years down the road is going to be pretty cool. Anywho, here's some of my favorite snapshots from last week via my Instagram

{Wearing a birthday gift - thanks ladies!}
{A little bling for the day}
{My Grim dog lookin a little tired after some play time}
{Watermelon colors + leopard}
{Made BBQ ribs and baked mac and cheese with bacon
and pancetta for a cookout with friends - shout out to the
other chefs in the kitchen Ray and Tyler}
{It's the Irish girl in me - I LOVE me some Guinness}
{St. Patty's Day fun - my mustache glasses were a hit}

Feel free to view all my Instagram pictures and follow me HERE

xx

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mushroom Toasties

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Hopefully everyone is out and about on this beautiful day {at least it is here!} celebrating and having a good time! I meant to get this recipe posted earlier in the week, but our internet was out for a couple of days and time just got away from me. Since today is supperrrr busy this is going to be a quick post and I will direct you to the original recipe I found here for specific directions!

I've made these toasties on many different occasions and a lot of times upon request! They're such a nice twist on a mushroom side dish. I love me some stuffed mushrooms, but I do love it when mushrooms shine as a filling instead of the base! Paired with some gooey cheeses and tomatoes, it's sure to be a crowd pleaser. I don't usually deviate from her recipe at all, but I couldn't find any good vine ripe tomatoes in the store. So, I used a bunch of cherry tomatoes I already had on hand and they still tasted delicious! I'm going to get to making these AGAIN for tonight's party {I may try and find some green tomatoes}, but I hope you try out Tadka Pasta's recipe soon and let me know if you're in love with them as much as I am.
{Add cream cheese to the sauteed mushrooms and mix}
{Use a cookie cutter or upside down glass to cut out bread circles for the base of the toastie}
{Lightly butter one side and make a small slice from the center to the edge. Fold like a funnel and press gently on the overlapped pieces. Place the bread buttered side down in the mushroom tin.}
{Add a pinch of cheese, then the mushroom mixture, then top it off with more cheese}
{Add halved cherry tomatoes then top it off with a dash of dried basil. Place in the 375 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes, top with Parmesan cheese and bake for a few more minutes.}

Enjoy & have a great weekend!

xx

Friday, March 16, 2012

{Friday's Fancies} St. Patrick's Day

St. Patty's Day
Happy Friday everyone! First off, thank you for all the lovely comments on my birthday post. I wasn't sure how personal I wanted to get with my blog posts, but with all the sweet comments I definitely plan on sharing more of my life via pictures with you all. With that said, today is definitely a great Friday since I took work off to relax, grill out, play some corn hole, and watch some NCAA basketball. That last one is definitely geared more towards my boyfriend's interest, but I'm a good sport {and live in the Midwest} so I go along with it.

This weekend is going to be especially great since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday! I embrace my Irish heritage with lots of Guinness, Irish stews, and if I'm feeling up to it - some Irish car bombs. Tyler's parents are having a big St. Patty's Day blow out so we'll be posted up at their house. I got a neon green scarf to wear and then some pretty sweet neon green glasses with a little mustache attached. Needless to say, it's pretty legit.

So, for some Friday's Fancies I put together an outfit that would be St. Patty's Day chic. These jeans are the perfect green mint to satisfy the "wear green or get pinched rule". Paired with the little sleeveless white blouse and gold satin studded loafers, you are ready to take on all festivities thrown your way. Of course a green cross body purse is needed so your hands are free to drink and eat and be merry. Top it all off with some festive jewelry {sparkly head boppers count as jewelry too right?!?} and a trusty rose gold Michael Kors watch.


For some more St. Patty's Day inspiration and fun, head on over to {longdistanceloving} and check out all the other bloggers who've linked up this week! Hope you all have a lovely weekend and like the quote above says, "may your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck!"

xx

Monday, March 12, 2012

25 Awesome Years

{Birthday dinner with family. My mama is a great cook.}
{Red velvet cupcakes are my favorite. Courtesy of an awesome coworker 
who's one amazing baker.}
{Layered stars and tangerine. It was a perfect day outside too.}
{Sushi feast for lunch with my work girls. The one on the right is mouthwatering: basic cream cheese roll topped with a crab mixture, pepper jack cheese, tobiko, and Sriracha!}
{Official birthday dinner with my boyfriend}
{He took me to an old Italian restaurant, Mama Carolla's}
{Tiramisu. This was gone in 2.5 seconds}
{Another birthday dinner with a bestie at Brugge. Citron mussels and Triple de Ripple beer, 10% alcohol}
{Bacon sushi. Yeah, that happened.}
{Shared birthday with this handsome guy who also hosted our party}
{Two of my great friends, Allyson & Katherine}
{Birthday kisses from my boyfriend, Tyler}

Quick hello on this gorgeous Monday to share some tid bits of my birthday week. 
I'm really lucky to have such amazing family, friends, coworkers, and 
one sexy boyfriend in my life. 

xx

Friday, March 9, 2012

{Friday's Fancies} Spring Break

Spring break
I hope everyone had a great week and it didn't creep by too slowly. I have no complaints since it was my birthday on Tuesday! Turning 25 wasn't too painful. I ate great food all week, received some pretty awesome gifts {you'll benefit as well since some were baking items!}, and I still have this whole weekend to look forward to as I continue to celebrate my 25 years of awesomeness awkwardness with friends! Hopefully, I'll remember to take some pictures to share with you that are not just of food.

I honestly can't believe we're into March already - where'd the time go?!! And if I could have it my way, I would get a spring break vacation just like the good ole days {do I sound old or what?} where I'd be posted up on a beach somewhere getting some much needed Vitamin D. This winter has been incredibly mild, but our current weather is still no Arizona or California! Today, we're gonna pretend like we're going somewhere, anywhere that has some surf and sand. Wearing these items while my toes are buried deep in the warm sand and a beer in hand would make me one happy girl:

  1. Orange scallop bikini - I've already promised myself I'd incorporate tangerine into my wardrobe as much as possible this year {see recent post  here}, so of course when I ran across this scalloped bathing suit with gold trim it was love at first sight. It's such a flattering color and the scalloped detail makes it that much more sweet.
  2. Sandals - I love simple sandals like this pair. The single crystal and wrap detail is just enough to make them not boring.
  3. Fedora with flower - Keeping my face out of the sun is a major priority of mine*. This fedora does just that while still looking stylish. 
  4. Yellow beach tote bag - This little tote just seems like it was meant to stroll up and down the boardwalk. I am in love with the embossed leather, vivid sun color, and cute leather tassels that hang off the straps like so. 
  5. Multi color cover up - I was drawn to this beach cover up because of the color palate and design - it's very Missoni-esque. 
  6. Cat eye sunglasses - I love the chunky cat eye frames much better than the more prominent or pointy frames. They're a nod to the trend without going overboard.  
  7. Bracelet - This bracelet goes perfectly with the entire outfit or just the bikini. Less is more when at the beach, right?!? ;)
For more Spring Break looks and destinations, check out the bloggers who've linked up for Friday's Fancies at {longdistanceloving}. They'll definitely make you wish you were on a nice long vacay farrrrrr away from work. Have a happy weekend!

*Back in 2006 I had some skin cancer removed from my neck/collar bone. Skin cancer runs deep in my family. Granted, we're from the West coast where we've grown up in harsh sun and A LOT of it. I also worked as a swim instructor, life guard, and sales at a popular tanning salon in college. Arizona was known for pool parties and I never missed one. I only had myself to blame and since then, I have turned a new leaf and embraced sunscreen, hats, and seeking shade when needed. Just a little back story for you all. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spicy Chicken Empanadas

I know I featured an empanda dish on here recently, but I couldn't help myself when I had some amazing cinnamon chicken leftovers from a dinner my boyfriend made for me {have I mentioned you're the best babe?}. It was easy inspiration for dinner the other night, especially since I typically add cinnamon to my chicken empanada mixture. I made them with my preferred filling of chicken, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, onions, jalapeno, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced tomatoes, lots of cilantro, and Parmesan. I know it sounds like a long list of ingredients to squeeze into a little finger food, but believe me these little suckers pack a punch - well worth the time and effort! The smoked Spanish flavors are amazing and they're even better when topped off with some a lot of sour cream!
{I diced leftover cinnamon chicken to use in the filling.}
{Cook the seasoned garlic, jalapeno, & onion. Add all other ingredients and let it simmer.}




















{Add Parmesan. Add the filling. Fold over , pinch sides together, then press down with a fork.}


















































My own recipe :)

{Makes 18}

Ingredients: 1/2 onion, diced. 2 cloves of garlic, minced.1 jalapeno, minced. 2 tsp cinnamon. 2 tsp ground cumin. 2 tsp ground pepper. 2 Cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded. 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, minced & 1 Tbsp of adobo sauce.1 can Hunt's No Salt added diced tomatoes, drained. 3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped. 3/4 Cup unsalted chicken stock. 1 box Pepperidge Farms puff pastry sheets, thawed. 1 Cup Parmesan cheese.1/2 Cup flour.1 large egg. 2 Tbsp water. Sour cream (optional, but recommended).
  • Take your puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to thaw at room temperature for approximately 40 minutes. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp grape seed oil. Add garlic, jalapeno, and onion and cook until onion is translucent. 
  • Add the cinnamon, cumin, and ground pepper. Cook for one more minute. 
  • Add the chicken, chipotle peppers and additional adobo sauce, tomatoes, cilantro, and chicken stock. Bring the ingredients to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 25 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened up. Once done, set aside to cool.
  • Lay one of the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough so it's a little thinner and easier to work with. Using a 3 in cookie cutter (or a glass upside down like I did) cut out circles of the pastry dough. You can re-roll the dough one more time for more pastry circles, but more than one re-roll will result in tough, hard to work with dough. I was able to get 18 circles out of two pastry sheets.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a small mixing bowl, wisk together 1 egg and 2 Tbsp of water for the egg wash. Set aside.
  • Constructing one empanada at a time, wet the outside of the dough with water using your finger. Score the wet area with a fork. Add approximately 1 Tbsp of Parmesan in the middle of the circle. Then add 1 Tbsp of the cooled chicken mixture on top of the cheese. Take one side of the dough and fold over, enclosing the mixture. Pinch the sides down with your fingers and then use a fork to press down gently on the pinched sides (see pictures above if needed). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat until all pastry circles are used.
  • Using a basting/pastry brush, brush all tops of the constructed empanadas with egg wash. This will give your treats a nice, golden brown crust.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Take the sheet out and let the empanadas cool for a few minutes. Serve with sour cream if desired.
Empanadas are time consuming compared to other finger foods, but they're made with a lot of love and I think they're more than worth it in the end. They kick all other finger foods butts! Enjoy!