September 28, 2012

weekend wisdom

"If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance and I'll be dancing with myself" - billy idol
Photo © Brian Sorg

swaying solo to a set by aloe blacc in the best city in the world. because being yourself is always in style. 

skirt x dvf, boots x jimmy choo, tank x twenty8twelve

September 27, 2012

my risotto brings all the boys to the yard (hopefully)

"This is one of my favorite recipes to make with a new everytime" - Peter Maki Jr (family friend/love dr)
On a vacation in chilly Monterey Bay this summer, Peter whipped up his famous risotto for the group. I was skeptical, until I tasted it and had to admit that I too, would be starry-eyed over such a dish. I filed it away for a fall night in chicago.

Last weekend, a freezing morning inspired me to attempt risotto. River Valley Kitchens has a stand at the market with an incredible selection of fresh & dry mushrooms, among others. I asked the 'risotto expert' and she recommended oyster mushrooms & dry porcinis.

I decided to test this on two men who didn't need to be won over, but whom I did hope would fix my leaky sink afterwards. I got the basic gist from various recipes, then created mine to be vegetarian & mushroom focused.

River Valley Kitchens Mushroom & Pea Risotto (makes 2 heaping portions)

1 bunch fresh oyster mushrooms (or other variety of choice), torn into small pieces, 4 - 6 oz total
1 1/4 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms ground up
1/2 c thawed or fresh peas (thank you to brian for this suggestion)
1 c carnaroli rice (or arborio)
6 - 7 c vegetable stock
1/4 c shallot, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 c dry white wine
3/4 c freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, smallest grate size, plus extra for topping off servings
4 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat skillet over med-high and add 1 1/2 tbsp butter; saute fresh mushrooms, garlic and one tsp salt until slightly browned. Set aside.

2. Bring stock to a simmer in a large pot; while this is happening, heat separate skillet over med-high, add 2 tbsp butter, olive oil, shallots & dried mushroom powder. Saute 2 - 3 min then add rice and stir frequently, about 2 minutes to crisp rice.

3. Add white wine and stir until evaporated, around 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth time, allowing rice to absorb completely before adding next cup. Stir constantly so that rice does not burn. Continue this process, until 5 cups have been absorbed completely. 

4. Add 1/2 cup broth, mushrooms, peas, parmegiano-reggiano cheese, and final tablespoon of butter. Then add last 1/2 cup broth & season with salt & pepper to taste. You may need more or less broth at this point, depending on consistency. Risotto should be creamy & thick (all in all, this process took around 35 - 40 minutes). Serve immediately, finishing with a generous sprinkle of cheese on top.

***Risotto is time-consuming & can be to accept that it will probably be different each time & go with the flow (when in doubt, it's impossible to go wrong with extra cheese & butter). That's why I recommend opening that bottle of wine upon completion!

Photos © Brian Sorg

No meal is complete without, so we paired a spooky syrah blend by twisted oak wineries recommended by the sommelier of the family, my dad. Cheers ;)

September 26, 2012


neutral [noo-truhl] adjective (of a color or shade): matching well with many or most other colors or shades, such as white or beige

I like this outfit because it reminds me of a recent girls' trip to nyc. After tragically leaving my favorite karen walker's on the train, we headed straight to barneys to replace them. I was drawn to the shoe department, and walked out of there with sneakers, instead of sunglasses. The sweater was the result of an inability to properly read my mom's iphone, fortuitously resulting in us stumbling upon a gorgeous boutique in williamsburg, brooklyn.

photos © Brian Sorg

If you happen to be in williamsburg, be sure to check out joinery, where you will be greeted with a smile & beautiful handmade, locally designed items, in a rustic space.

sneakers x isabel marant, skirt x elizabeth & james, tank x splendid's layering line, sweater x wool & the gang (a really awesome fair-trade, ethical company)

September 25, 2012

sun (spots)

Nothing is prettier than natural light & I'm quickly learning when those magical moments are. After a lazy saturday afternoon in sweats, I pulled it together for a tasty dinner at chilam balam (only to revert right back to my sweats for a movie after).

This leopard blouse is a size too big (scored at a Krista K sale), so I compensated with painted-on flares & tied it up, 80's style.

Photos © Brian Sorg

flares x rag & bone, blouse x graham & spencer, tank x splendid's layering line

September 24, 2012

on layering

The temperature swung from 41 degrees to 70 degrees over the course of the early am to mid afternoon yesterday. The only way to dress for this is to layer (and accept the fact I will still only be at an optimal temperature half the time, if I'm lucky). 

Nothing is easier than a solid black palette with a long-sleeved something tossed over. Splendid's layering line carries a variety of neutral solids in varying styles. Always my go-to for tanks & tees to layer with.

photos by Rex Waters 
( I sprung it on my dad that I wanted him to take photos outside causing minor anxiety & slight overexposure, but I like the variety )

skirt x zara, boots x jimmy choo, tank x splendid's layering line, sweater x jcrew men

September 21, 2012

weekend wisdom

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try" - Dr. Suess

 so try I did

Photos © Brian Sorg

September 20, 2012

I see a red door & I want it painted black...

It's starting to feel like fall around here & last weekend was the perfect mix of sunny & cool. On the way to the market opportunity presented itself in the form of an abandoned church with a red door.

Seen here wearing items that are always in heavy rotation, with the addition of a vest purchased at Krista K, a favorite boutique. One aspiring comedian remarked that it could be off the set of Northern Exposure, to which I replied that I'm far too young to understand this reference. Zing!
Photos © Brian Sorg

sunglasses x prada, boots x jimmy choo, cut-offs x marc by marc jacobs, vest x twelfth st by cynthia vincent , l/s tee by Splendid's layering line

September 19, 2012

Morning Musings

I dream of a morning which consists of a leisurely cup of coffee over the paper, easing into a wildly productive day. Cut to reality, which consists of a futile search for matching socks, frantically thawing Stella & Chewy's for my dog (more on this wonderful company later), needing google phone to call & locate my missing blackberry, throwing jewelry on at a red light...and on and on.

via tumblr

No matter how late I am though, there are two things I cannot live without. The first is my venti Americano, black, waiting for me (it's easy to make friends with the barista when 3/4 of them are named Katie).

The other is a smoothie, whipped up while waiting for my hair to dry, in a blender that is older than I am. Who said multi-tasking was counter-productive? *Actually, studies have, but that's for another time...

Ball Jar Smoothie - serves 2
1 frozen banana (I discard the skins of a bunch of ripe bananas, then freeze them all in a bag)
1 cup frozen berries (a mix of rasperries/blueberries/strawberries is my favorite)
1 - 2 frozen peach slices (optional)
Handful of almonds/walnuts/sunflower seeds, whatever is on hand
1 tbsp un-shelled hemp seeds (if you need a protein boost)
1 cup plain almond milk
1 tbsp Vanilla protein powder (I like Tera's Whey, which can be found at Whole Foods)

Throw all together in the mixer and blend until smooth...this takes a while with that ancient blender. Pour into a Ball jar (because everything looks better in a Ball jar) and enjoy!

Photos © Brian Sorg

September 18, 2012

Scents & Scentsability

I have never been one who enjoys testing perfumes, although I love the idea of having a 'signature scent'. Unfortunately, I'm just too lazy or overwhelmed by endless, unidentifiable scents at Nordstrom. For that reason, I tend towards classic & easy, finding it impossible to go wrong with Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Parfum.

Perfume to me is two-fold...does it smell good (as in, can I wear this everyday without feeling nauseous or offending the noses of those around me) & does the bottle look pretty on my counter (arguably the most important factor).

For this reason I used to wear Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Parfum, because it speaks to both categories. So much so that I am considering bringing it back & starting a perfume rotation if you wild, I know.
Also, my counterpart recently picked up Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Eau de Toilette, & nothing says true love like matching bottles. I really am feeling nauseous.
Photos © Brian Sorg

September 12, 2012

Summer Vegetables + Pantry Staples

I made a huge batch of quinoa a month ago by accident (wasn't paying attention to directions), so after consulting google, determined I could freeze it & have since realized this is a great time saver for when I want to easily add some grain to a dish.
I had been wanting to utilize summer vegetables & cannellini beans on hand, so was inspired here
Spicy Kale, Tomatoes, Quinoa & Cannellini Beans (+ a few more) - serves 3 - 4
1 cup cooked quinoa, my favorite is red quinoa
1.5 cup cooked cannellini beans or 1 can cannelini beans drained/rinsed
1 bunch kale, washed, & ripped into 1" pieces (discard stems)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed, cut in half
2-3 clove garlic, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp Pepper, 1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes (more or less depending on taste)
1/4 cup nuts of choice, toasted or raw (sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, pine nuts)
1/4 cup feta or goat cheese (optional)

1. Heat 1/2 olive oil in saute pan/cast iron skillet over med-heat. Once oil is shimmering, add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes & cook until translucent, stirring frequently (3-4 min)

2. Add kale pieces & remaining olive oil & toss together, stirring frequently (5 - 7 min), until kale is bright green & slightly wilted

3. Turn down heat to low, add cherry tomatoes & toss gently (1- 2 minutes)

4. Toss beans, quinoa & sauteed vegetables together with the lemon juice, top with nuts & cheese if desired, serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!
Photos (c)  Brian Sorg