Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe - I’m In!

I have been thinking about making a capsule wardrobe for the past year and I’m finally taking the plunge.  Over the past couple of years I’ve been slowly culling my wardrobe (and my stuff in general) and I’m excited about taking a new challenge and trying project 333.  Please visit Courtney Carver’s Project 333 (linked here) for more information on the concept!

Capsule dressing with project 333 basically means that I'm selecting 33 key items for the season by going through my clothing and picking out what I would like to wear in the next  three months.  It also means that I'm going to box up everything else that's not necessary for the upcoming season or that's not inspiring.  As I'm writing this, my first capsule wardrobe is almost complete and I’m pretty darn excited about it.  I'm excited, not because I'm looking to become a fashionista and have the intention to turn this website into a fashion blog, but I'm excited because I'm interested in living intentionally, minimally and stepping away from excess and consumerism... all of which capsule dressing promotes.  

So let's talk through what is happening with capsule.  The pictures show all the items in the capsule and I will have to say that I decided to exclude sleepwear, undergarments, exercise clothing and jewelry.

Here is a list of the items I selected:

TOPS (4)
1 - sleeveless green and blue patterned blouse
2 - grey short sleeve lace shirt
3 - white button down blouse with dark blue trim
4 - chambray button down shirt

5 - blue and white embellished sweater
6 - blue and red embellished sweater
7 - dark green v-neck sweater
8 - cream knit sweater
9 - grey cardigan
10 - mustard cardigan
11 - black fleece vest

12 - black lace dress
13 - red, white and blue striped dress

14 - black blazer
15 - jean jacket
16 - fuchsia peacoat
17 - green parker
18 - fleece pullover

19 - dark blue jeans
20 - black slacks
21 - black leggings
22 - maroon corduroy pants
23 - lace skirt

24 - black chunky heel boots
25 - brown chunky heel sandal
26 - black flats

27 - blue striped scarf
28 - black gloves
29 - black fleece headband
30 - red beanie
31 - jewelry: wedding ring/band, rose-gold watch, pandora bracelet, beaded necklace, long dainty necklace, 2 pair of stud ear-rings
32 - black work tote
33 - ???

The official start of this for me is October 1st.  I'm excited!  

Combinations so far:

1 - grey short sleeve lace skirt, blue jeans, brown chunky heel sandals 
2 - blue and white embellished sweater, blue jeans, black chunky heel boots, green parker, red beanie
3 - maroon corduroy pants, cream knit sweater, brown chunky heel sandal, green parker
4 - lace skirt, sleeveless green and blue patterned blouse, no shoes (because the day was spend at home)

I hope everyone is having a good week.

♡ Nina

Monday, September 7, 2015

Homemade Orange-Pistachio Gnocchi

Hello friends, here is our new vegan recipe for September: homemade potato gnocchis!  They are much simpler to make then you think, yet the results are absolutely stunning.

These light, fluffy gnocchis can stand up to any egg based pasta and blow them out of the water!  They pair nicely with any rich creamy pasta sauce as well as with pestos and tomatoes.  With a little time and effort, these gnocchis will be the star of any home cooked dinner.  The orange pistachio sauce takes humble ingredients and blends them into something unique.  The brightness of the orange and the richness of the pistachio come together to create a flavor that is both bright and earthy at the same time.  Good for hot summer days when something refreshing is needed and also for cold winter nights when you need a taste of summer.  

The contrasting green and orange colors on the plate also add a fresh visual element to elevate the dish to something extraordinary. 

GNOCCHI Ingredients:  
  • 2 large Russet Potatoes
  • 2 cups of Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Salt

SAUCE Ingredients:  
  • 1 cup shelled and peeled Pistachios
  • 1/2 cup Oil of choice
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • juice and zest of one Orange

  1. To start, process the pistachios very fine in food processor.
  2. Next, with processor still running, drizzle the oil into the nuts. 
  3. Move pistachio mix into a medium bowl and season with salt, orange juice and zest.
  4. Next, make the gnocchi dumplings.
  5. Begin by preheating your oven to 450°F and washing the potatoes.
  6. Place the 2 large russet potatoes on a baking sheet and put in oven for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. As soon as the potatoes have a crunchy skin and are soft on the inside, cut them in half and scoop out the insides with a soup spoon.
  8. Once the potato is out, place in a fine sieve and push through to create a fluffy textured mashed potato. 
  9. Spread the mixture out on a clean counter top and let the potatoes steam for 3-5 minutes.  This way they release their excess liquid. 
  10. Next, bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stove. 
  11. After potatoes have stopped steaming, add 1 cup of flour and the salt to the dough by dusting it over the steamed potatoes.
  12. Use a spatula to fold in the flour, being careful not to overwork the dough as this will produce tough, gummy gnocchis.  The least amount of time spent working the dough is paramount.  If the dough is too wet, slowly add more flour to the mixture. 
  13. After the dough has achieved a slightly tacky texture, dust the countertop with flour to prevent sticking.  Then roll the dough into long, thin snakes and cut them into your preferred dumpling size. 
  14. At this point, it is good to test the dough by placing one gnocchi dumpling into the boiling water and cooking it until the gnocchi floats, then dropping it into a bowl of cold water.  If the dumpling falls apart or appears too mushy, dust the batch with flour and knead the dough gently 3-4 times and then try again. 
  15. Once the desired consistency is reached, cook the remaining dumplings and place them onto a baking tray in the refrigerator to cool.  (The gnocchis will hold nicely over night this way or for 3 days if put into a container with a lid.) 
  16. Then, put a medium sized skillet on stove top over medium heat.  Add oil and once the pan it hot, brown gnocchis on both sides.
  17. To plate, pool orange pistachio sauce onto a small plate and pile gnocchis in the center.  Garnish with more orange zest if you like.
       Nina & Spencer