12 Favorite Items from 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018

So here we are, the last day of 2018 and I thought it would be the perfect time to share my 12 favorites items from 2018.  Some of these are practical household items, some are my favorites wearable pieces and others are just fun!
1. January 2018 Amazon Echo Dot - 2nd Generation

2. February 2018 Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones 
3. March 2018 External Battery Pack Portable Charger

4. April 2018 Eocean 54-inch iPhone Tripod

5. May 2018 Soft Large Satin Scarf

6. June 2018 Barbour Women's Hanover Jacket

7. July 2018 Rowenta Excel Steam Travel Steamer
8. August 2018 Simplified Planner

9. September 2018 Henri Bendel Jetsetter Convertible Plaid Backpack

10.  October 2018 Felt Letter Board

11. November 2018 Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal
12. December 2018 OXO Mini Salad Spinner

What were some of your favorites items from 2018?  Let me know in the comments below.

Life Update

Friday, December 21, 2018

Life update: I moved from California to Rhode Island!

The past couple of months have just flown by in the blink of an eye due to numerous things: devastating wildfires in Southern California (especially Malibu where I worked), packing, moving and shipping all my belongings/car across the country, traveling for Thanksgiving, working full time ... the list goes on and on.  All of those things took me away from Perfectly Katie Bear, but I am back and so excited to be able to share my new city/state, adventures and recipes with you all in 2019!

Pumpkin Bread

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Pumpkin bread has to be one of the easiest and most delicious recipes to make during the holidays.  With just a few simple ingredients and about an hour in the oven, you will have a house or apartment in my case, smelling of rich fall spices and a yummy pumpkin loaf to share with family and friends! 

Pumpkin Bread
{Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices}

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin spice
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
pumpkin seeds (for topping)

Preheat your over to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, set aside.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground cinnamon, Kosher salt, baking powder, and pumpkin spice in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and water.  Add the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened, be sure to not over mix!

Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and top with pumpkin seeds.  I picked up my pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds at Trader Joe's and I highly suggest them!  Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.  Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperate for 3-5 days.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Cookies & Scream Chocolate Cookies

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Target's holiday section always gets me.  From the cute decor items to fun seasonal food and goodies, it's just such a fun area to explore and get inspired by.  A few weeks ago I was walking up and down the aisles and spotted some really fun M&M's that I thought would make for a fun spooky cookie this time of year.

Available for a limited time only, Cookies & Scream M&M's are cookies and cream flavored Halloween candies.  They are dark and white chocolate flavored and boy are they good!

These fun Halloween themed cookies have a delicious chocolate dough that creates a really nice base for the M&M's and the sprinkles add a little texture and a really fun pop of color!

Cookies & Screen Chocolate Cookies
{Yields: about 3 dozen}

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 8oz. package of M&M's Cookies & Scream Halloween Candy
1/2 cup multi-colored sprinkles

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until well blended.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the two eggs and beat well.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and Kosher salt.  Then gradually blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture and blend well.  Once combined, stir in by hand the M&M's and multi-colored sprinkles.

Using a cookie scoop, place well-rounded teaspoons onto your prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are set.  Make sure to not over bake!  Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before eating.

These cookies will stay fresh for about a week if covered tightly and stored at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Fall Mood Board

Friday, October 26, 2018

I thought it would be fun to make a mood board for fall to share all things that are inspiring me color and fashion wise lately!  With fall being my favorite season this was a really fun project to whip up.

My October Lust List

Monday, October 22, 2018

Here are some items that I have caught my eye this month!

1. Capes - I love capes but the weather is a little too warm here in Southern California to justify purchasing one for fall, but that doesn't stop me from lusting after one!  And this cape from Draper James is just adorable.
2. Fall Mini Dress - Dresses are my absolute favorite thing to wear and in the fall that is no different.  The color and style of this Maggie dress from Gal Meets Glam is perfect for fall styled with over the knee boots.

3. Silk Leopard Print - My love for leopard print is always strong, but especially in the fall.  This silk button-up shirt from J. Crew is what my leopard dress-shirt dreams are made of and its 25% off right now!

4. Pink Wool Coat - Like I said before the weather is too warm and I have no need for a wool coat, but I am obsessed with this light pink coat from J. Crew!  The silhouette and pockets are a match made in heaven.
5. Tassel Earrings - I am not a huge statement earring person, simple and small is usually my go-to, but I am loving these moss topknot tassel earrings.  The color is perfect for fall and would be so cute with sweaters or to even just jazz up a classic white t-shirt and jeans!  They are the perfect length coming in at just 2.5 inches long.

 6. Colorblock Purse - My mom was the one who turned me onto this perfect purse a couple of weeks ago.  I love the color blocking on it and the shape!  The straps are removable which would allow you to really transform it to fit any look you are going for.

7. KitchenAid Limited Edition Stand Mixer - I am in LOVE with this stand mixer.  The misty sky blue and the hobnob white ceramic bowl are just beautiful together.  I already have a KitchenAid stand mixer in the color raspberry, but like the saying goes, two is better than one and I personally don't think you can have too many KitchenAids!

What are some items you are lusting over this October?  Share in the comments below!

Halloween Playlist

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Halloween is pretty much one of my favorite holidays.  I love dressing up and being able to transform into someone or something completely different for a night.  One of my friends has thrown an epic Halloween party the past couple of years and it has become something that we all look forward to this time of year.  At some point in the night, we all usually turn up the music and dance like no one is watching...and having the right music always makes even the shyest one in the group want to go out and bust a move!

So if you are throwing a Halloween party this year or just want to get into a festive mood while carving pumpkins, then I have the playlist for you.  It's full of great classics like Thriller and Time Warp, but also has some fun songs like Disturbia and She Wolf thrown in to mix it up!

Friday Favorites | No. 41

Friday, October 12, 2018

Yay, Friday is here!  The first two weeks of October have flown by really quickly for me.  Can you believe that we are in the middle of October already?  Where has the year gone?!

Halloween is just a few weeks away and all of my favorites shows are all back on TV.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Hocus Pocus is one of my absolute favorite movies and I feel like I really need this doormat for my front door.

I love this adorable tote bag!

I have never painted pumpkins before but might have to give it a try.

This fall garland is super cute!  I love the colors and simplicity of it.

If you are looking for a new phone wallpaper for October, check this one out.

This cape is too cute.

Hope you all have a fun and safe weekend!

Fall Bucket List

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Its the most wonderful time of year and I couldn't be more excited!  From carving pumpkins to sipping on cider, there really is something for everyone in the fall that makes it such a fun season.

To celebrate, I came up with my bucket list full of fun fall things to do and enjoy!  For baking a pie from scratch try this fun recipe while watching best Halloween movie of all time.  And for a cool and crisp day at the pumpkin patch, I love this outfit.

What are some of your fall buck list items?  Let me know if the comments below!

To download on iPhone, click on the image, then tap on the image and chose "Save Image."  For desktop download, click the image, then right-click and choose "Save Image As."

Apple Crumb Cake

Monday, October 8, 2018

I've said it once and I'll say it again, fall baking is my absolute favorite!  I mean give me all the pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, maple, pecan things...I really just can't get enough.

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest about a month ago I knew it was a must try.  I am a sucker for anything with a crumb topping and this one has a TON!  I was also looking for something to bake that wasn't pumpkin.  Now don't get me wrong, I love pumpkin and have some recipes coming to the blog in the next couple of weeks, but sometimes you have to change it up a little!

This soft and buttery cake topped with fall apples and a really delicious buttery and cinnamony crumb topping is a perfect breakfast treat or a fantastic afternoon pick me up with a good cup of joe!

Apple Crumb Cake
{Yields: 12 servings}

Crumb Topping
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup peeled chopped apples (about 2 apples)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Icing (optional, but like why not!)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and set aside.

To make the crumb topping mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and Kosher salt together in a medium bowl.  Then stir in the melted butter and mix together using a fork.  Add the flour and mix until you get a nice crumble mixture, then set it aside. 

In a medium bowl, toss the chopped apples and cinnamon together until fully coated, then set aside.

For the cake batter, whisk the flour, baking soda, and Kosher salt together until combined, set aside.  Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth.  This process should take about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.  Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and beat on medium to medium-high speed until combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Then with the mixer on a low speed, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until smooth.  The batter will be thick.  Do not over mix!

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.  Top it evenly with the cinnamon apples then add the crumb topping.  Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to really press the crumb topping down into the apples and batter so it sticks.

Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes.  Baking times vary, so keep an eye on the cake.  You will know it is done with you insert a toothpick or cake tester in the center and it comes out clean.  If the edges or top are browning too quickly, you can loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it set to cool on a wire rack.  Allow it to cool for a least 30 to 45 minutes before slicing and serving.  If you would like, which I highly suggest, top the cake with vanilla icing.

This apple crumb cake will stay for 5 days in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Friday Favorites | No. 40

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday is here and to celebrate happy hour is in order!  Anyone else celebrating the weekend's arrival with a fun cocktail?

Speaking of cocktails this fall sangria looks like a must try this fall. #ThankYouPinterest

Just saw a few days ago that my favorite foundation now is available in an oil-free matte version and I can't wait to give it a go.

I am loving this top and its ruffle sleeves.  Dress it up or down, it really goes with anything!  Also, this jacket.  What can I say, I am a sucker for ruffles!

In case you missed it, this week on the blog I posted about this AMAZING pumpkin recipe and talked about my favorite neutral shoe to wear especially during fall.

I can't wait to get my hands on this book and this book!  Both look like such fun reads :)

This time of year always makes me want to get crafty and artsy.  This weekend I think I will pull out my hand lettering book and get back to practicing!  The holiday season will be here before I know it and I would love to be able to address cards to friends and family with fun festive handwriting.

What are some of your favorite things from this week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great and safe weekend!

My Go-To Neutral Shoe: Leopard Print

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Leopard print has been a favorite of mine for many years and acts as the perfect neutral shoe, especially in the fall.  I love the detailed pattern made up of several different brown and black colors which go really well with solid colors or other patterns.  It can dressed up or dressed down. You really can't go wrong when wearing it as a neutral shoe option in my opinion.

I picked up the loafers in the photo at Marks & Spencers when I was in London a couple of summers ago.  I love them so much and they have held up great!  I couldn't find the exact ones online, but these loafers are very similar.  For a heel option, my go-to is the Jessica Simpson Levin Velvet Pumps.  They are the bomb dot com and comfortable!  I repeat, comfortable!

And if you are looking to spice up a simple jeans and t-shirt combo, these flats from my fall wardrobe staples post that I did last week on the blog would be perfect as well as these Kids x kate spade slip ons.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fall is officially here people!  Are you as excited as I am?  I sure hope so.  There is just something so special about this time of year.

And the star flavor of the season is of course pumpkin.  From homemade pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie, I just can't get enough pumpkin.  Now I know some people may not be as pumpkin obsessed as I am, but these cinnamon sugar pumpkin mini muffins might change some minds...they are that good!

These light and fluffy pumpkin mini muffins are dipped in butter and then rolled in sweet cinnamon sugar.  They taste like a yummy combination of a pumpkin donut and a muffin!  Give these a try for breakfast this week and enjoy with a good cup of coffee.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Mini Muffins
{Yield: 20-24 mini muffins}

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup milk

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Start this recipe by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, then spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, Kosher salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg and set aside.  Then in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Add the egg and stir for about 1 minute.  Add the vanilla bean paste, pumpkin puree, and milk and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry.  Stir together until just combined being sure to not over mix!

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the mini muffin tins about 2/3 full.  Bake for 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove the muffins from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.  While the muffins are cooling, make the sugar coating.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish.  In a separate small dish, melt the butter.  Once the muffins are relatively cool, dip into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

These muffins stay soft and fresh at room temperature for 3-5 days.  You can also freeze the muffins for up to 2 months.  Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up before enjoying.

Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Friday Favorites | No. 39

Friday, September 21, 2018

Happy Friday and wow, what a week!  Work was insanely busy and I am so happy the weekend is here.  No major plans, but I am okay with that since this past week has been crazy.

If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the first day of fall tomorrow, you should bake something yummy for breakfast and give these homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts a try!

I have my fair share of purses and storing them can be a pain.  They fall over, bend weird, etc.   I found these clear acrylic shelf dividers and think they will help keep everything organized and in its proper place.

This would be a really fun treat for a girls night this fall.

New Gal Meets Glam September dresses arrived this week and I love the Tinsley and the Celeste in berry.

My hair is pretty lifeless and has a really hard time holding a curl most days.  I saw this new Living Proof product and think I will give it a try and see if it makes any difference.

Have you used any of these products before?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great weekend!

My Fall Wardrobe Staples

Monday, September 17, 2018

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

Fall is my absolute favorite season and one of the many reasons as to why is because of fall fashion.  I just love all the rich colors and the mix of textures!  Today I am sharing with you my fall wardrobe staples that I feel every preppy girl should have in their closet.

Preppy Dresses & Skirts: Since the temps are on the warmer side in Southern California I can get away with wearing dresses and skirts well into November without having to add tights or over the knee boots.  The Cindy dress from Gal Meets Glam has the cutest preppy details with the adorable collar and ruffle on the bottom.  I am also a sucker for anything with a houndstooth pattern this time of year and love the colors in this skirt.

Textured Sweaters: My mom bought me this fisherman sweater from LL Bean two years ago for our trip to Ireland and it is still one of my favorite sweaters that I own.  The chunky knit texture is great and you can wear it with jeans, leggings, and skirts.  Every time I wear it I get so many compliments on it.

Medium Wash Jeans & Leather Leggings: I'd say that jeans are a closet staple year around for me, but medium wash jeans are a must for fall.  I love the wash on these jeans from Old Navy and how they can be dressed up or down depending on the top and shoes you are wearing.

The same thing can be said for a pair of leather leggings.  Depending on what you wear with them you can keep the look cozy with an oversized sweater and cute pair flats or dress it up with a feminine camisole and heals.

Barn Jackets: Quilted barn jackets are my go-to outerwear for fall.  They are the perfect thickness to layer with a sweater and a shirt and will keep you warm, but not too warm.

Classic Jewelry: Pearls add a classic touch to any outfit no matter what time of year it is, but I just love wearing them in the fall.  They are the perfect neutral accent to any look!  I also absolutely love these statement tortoise scallop hoop earrings from Tuckernuck.  The golden brown color of the tortoise is perfect to wear with jewel tones or neutrals.

Stylish Footwear: I always have a pair of leopard flats in my closet and wear them as a neutral footwear option throughout the year.  These pointed-toe flats from J. Crew Factory are a great option for when you are not ready to wear boots just yet! 

I purchased these booties last year and got so much wear out of them.  They are comfy and go perfectly with jeans.  Lastly, a pair of Hunter Boots is a must for fall.  They have been such a popular footwear choice the past couple of years and I feel no different about them this year!

Multipurpose Backpack: I purchased my first Henri Bendel purse last year and have been in love ever since.  The Jetsetter Convertable Backpack is the perfect bag for fall as it can transition from a traditional purse to a crossbody to a backpac in just a few simple steps.  It can go with you from apple picking to brunch with the girls in a snap!  I purchased this exact Jetsetter for fall and absolutely love the plaid pattern and texture. 

Baseball Caps: Again, anything with texture or pattern is something I gravitate towards in the fall and it's no different when it comes to hats.  I picked up this adorable tweed and suede hat when I was in Ireland a few summers ago and love wearing it with jeans and a t-shirt.  I also saw this baseball cap the other day at Target and think its just perfect for this time of year.

What are some of your fall wardrobe staples?  Let me know in the comments below!

Friday Favorites | No. 38

Friday, September 14, 2018

Happy Friday everyone!  I had a lot of content planned for the blog this week, but just completely ran out of time to post.  This weekend I am heading up to my dad's ranch for some quality father-daughter time and will also try to get post finalized for the next couple of weeks!

Treat yourself this weekend and make a pumpkin spice latte at home!

One of my best friends has a great millennial lifestyle blog, This Modern Broad which you all need to check out ASAP!  Colleen is a kick-ass lawyer by day and awesome blogger by night sharing make-up and fashion (her Friday Flatlays are my fav!) to fun restaurant and book reviews.  She is so witty and fun in all of her posts just like she is in real life!  She also just announced that she and her husband are expecting a little nugget this February and I could not be more excited for them!

Colleen also inspired me to finally purchase a felt letter board.  I have wanted one for the past year but thought they were maybe just a quick fad, but boy was I wrong as they have only grown in popularity!  I purchased this one on Amazon and loved the packaging when it arrived and the quality is great.  If you are looking into getting one, I highly suggest you do.

I bought an Apple Watch a couple of weeks ago and wanted to have a one-stop charging station for my iPhone and watch.  I found this stand also on Amazon and love it!  It cleared up a lot of clutter and cords on my bedside table.

Last week I posted about blue light blocking glasses in my Friday Favorites post and the pair I ordered arrived in the mail yesterday.  They were pretty big on my face so I decided to send them back and am going to give these ones a try.

If you love lattes and don't own a Nespresso machine, you need to get one!  It is still one of my favorite kitchen purchases of all time.  I was at Target the other day (shocker!) and saw that they are now selling Archer Farms espresso pods that work with my machine which is HUGE!  In the past, I could really only order the pods online or if I was lucky could purchase them at a few retail stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Now on my weekly trip to Target, I can scoop some up and it makes one less stop on errands day!

I drink a protein shake almost every day and never thought about adding a shot of espresso to it until I saw Kate from The Small Things Blog post about it.  This week I tried it and love how something so simple can be so delicious!

What are some of your favorites from the week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you all have a great and safe weekend!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Monday, September 10, 2018

I truly love a good pumpkin spice latte, but don't love paying $4.95 for something that is so simple to make at home!  With just a few ingredients and 5 minutes, you will have an amazing, better than Starbucks latte that you can enjoy anytime you want this fall.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte 
{Yield: 1 serving}

1 cup milk
1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 lungo shot of espresso or 1/4 cup of strong hot coffee

To start, prepare your lungo shot of espresso and set aside.  Then in a small saucepan, heat up the milk, pumpkin puree and sugar over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and espresso.  Pour the latte into your coffee cup and enjoy it as it, or you can top it off with a little more pumpkin pie spice and/or whipped cream!

Friday Favorites | No. 37

Friday, September 7, 2018

Happy Fri-YAY!  This past week was a good one and I am really looking forward to having a weekend full of relaxing and hanging out with friends.

Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks...well it was back last week, but work was cRaZy and I wasn't able to post about my excitement for it!

My September free digital download is available here!

KitchenAid just announced on Thursday that they are releasing a limited edition stand up mixer/hobnail ceramic bowl for their 100 year anniversary and I am in total LOVE!

These recipes look amazing and are low-carb.

Love this outfit for fall! #leopardeverything

This is the cutest party favor I have ever seen!

If you are not ready to give up summer just yet, check out this recipe for a yummy steak dinner.

Looking for some fun stuff to binge-watch this weekend?  Check out this, this, and/or this!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado and Cucumber Salad

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I love fall and am so happy its right around the corner, but I am also not ready to let go of grilling and fresh summer produce just yet!

I made this dish with a couple of friends of mine during a "girls night in" this summer and was blown away by the flavor.  The fresh veggie salad has a wonderful spicy kick from serrano chiles and pairs great with the lime and fresh black pepper marinated steak.  And as an added benefit, this dish is low-calorie, but trust me, it sure doesn't taste like it!

Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado and Cucumber Salad
{Yield: 8 servings}

1 flank steak, trimmed
2 tbsps. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
cooking spray

1 English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 cups torn Bibb lettuce
1 1/2 cups diced avocado
3 tbsps. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. minced seeded serrano chile
1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. Kosher salad
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

To start this recipe, place the steak in a large shallow dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.  Rub those two ingredients into the steak then cover and allow the steak to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

While the steak is marinating, prepare your grill or grill pan.  After the 20 minutes are up, remove the steak from the dish and discard any leftover marinade.  Sprinkle the steak with 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt and place the steak on the grill coated with cooking spray.  Grill the steak for 8 minutes on each side or until your desired degree of doneness has been achieved.  Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing it.

While the steak is resting, prepare the salad by combining the cucumber, lettuce, and avocado in a large bowl.  In a small mason jar add the fresh lime juice, minced serrano chile, olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper.  Attach the lid on the jar and give all of the ingredients a good shake until combined.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently.

Serve right away with the thinly sliced steak and enjoy!

Adapted from MyRecipes.

Friday Favorites | No. 36

Friday, August 24, 2018

Happy Friday everyone!  This week has been a whirlwind at work; I honestly can't believe that it is already the weekend.  Between meetings, playing sock wars (dodgeball with socks), late nights at work, celebrating the end of a great summer with friends and getting my hair done... it has been a really good, full week.

On Monday evening I grabbed a few drinks with friends from work.  I had a really good frozĂ© and it inspired me to make it at home.

I want need these earrings for fall!

I am a big fan of the TV show Younger and I just found out that Marriage Vacation, a book that is published on the show, has actually been published in real life.  Looks like a really fun, easy read and I can't wait to get my hands on it find out whats on page 58!

Lemon, ricotta and almond...sign me up!

I am thinking about getting this to help keep my hair smooth and frizz-free so that when I wake up in the morning I'll just have a few touch-ups instead of having to do a full restyle.

My job requires A LOT of time in front of a computer screen and I have been noticing lately that I am getting headaches at the end of a long day.  I am going give these or these a try to see if that helps reduce the strain on my eyes and headaches.

What are some of your favorites from the week and also let me know if you have tried any of the recipes or items from above in the comments below?  Have a great weekend!

Brownie Pie

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Stop what you are doing and head to the kitchen...you need to this make brownie pie ASAP!  This recipe is simple to make, contain lots of chocolate and a flaky pie crust.  What's not to like about that?!

I came across this recipe that combines brownies and pie (my favorite dessert) while flipping through Joanna Gaines Magnolia Table cookbook last week.  I made Joanna's lemon pie about a month ago and it did not disappoint, so I had a pretty good feeling this pie would be another winner.

And guess what?  I was right!  The brownie is rich with chocolate, moist in the middle, has that perfect light crust on top and is all wrapped up in a flaky and buttery pie crust.  I dare you to take just one bite and tell me it isn't amazing!

Brownie Pie
{yields: 8 servings}

8 tbsps. salted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked store-bought 9-inch deep dish pie crust
powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Then heat the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted and smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar until smooth.  Pour into a medium bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

While the chocolate mixture cools, like your 9-inch pie plate with the unbaked pie crust and set aside.

After 10 minutes, whisk in the eggs one at a time, then follow with the flour, vanilla bean paste and Kosher salt.  Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the pie crust.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a cake tester inserted into the pie comes out clean.

Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for an hour.  Before serving, dust the top of the pie with powdered sugar.  This brownie pie is fantastic on its own, but would also be great with some fresh whipped cream or ice cream!  If you have leftovers, store at room temperature for up to 2 days.


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