Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Target Shoes

This past weekend, I got so many compliments on these black heels. Everytime I got a compliment, I was so excited to share where I got these shoes! Yes, they are from Target. Unfortunately, they have sold out of the black ones but this exact shoe comes in tan as well. I think it would be the perfect shoe to transition into spring with.
Women's Mossimo® Varana Platform Shooties - Tan.Opens in a new window
 Women's Mossimo Varana Platform, $29.99

Target does have another Black heel similar to mine if you are only interested in black.
Women's Mossimo® Kendal Platform Booties - Black.Opens in a new window
Mossimo Kendal Platform Booties, $29.99

Lastly, Target has the best neutral color pumps which are classics that everyone should have in their closet.

Women's Mossimo® Pearce Pumps - Camel Patent.Opens in a new window
Mossimo Pearce Pump (Camel Patent), $29.99
Women's Mossimo® Paisley Platform Pumps - Taupe Patent.Opens in a new window
Mossimo Paisley Platform Pumps (Taupe Patent), $29.99

You better get to Target fast because these shoes are guaranteed to sell out sooner than later! Mossimo tends to run about a 1/2 size too big so if you order these shoes online, you may want to order both your normal size and a 1/2 size smaller and return whichever does not fit!
Pin It

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nail Art

After my post yesterday, look what I found! Nail designs inspired by Mara Hoffman's clothing line...Amazing! I had to post because I was so excited. Hope everyone is having a good weekend. 
Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mara Hoffman Spring/Summer Preview

If you asked me what I miss most about New York, the first thing that comes to mind are Mara Hoffman's sample sales. Not only is she my favorite designer but she has the best sample sales too. This spring, bright colors and tribal prints are all the rage! I thought it was only appropriate to show you some of her collection and what I hope to be wearing this spring and summer!

These shorts exemplify what Spring 2012 is all about. With inspiration from Frida Kahlo, Mara Hoffman designed her pieces this season with a Mexican flare incorporating bold colors.

I absolutely adore her swimwear collection for 2012. She makes one pieces look so cute!



Pin It

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Kenguru

Last Thursday my husband and I went to the grand opening of Community Cars and saw the debut of the Kenguru! One of our good friends, Stacy is the founder and visionary for this car company. The idea and plans for this car originated in Hungary but due to hard financial times, the production of this car was halted. This car was designed for people who are confined to wheelchairs. There is a ramp at the back of the car that allows a person to enter the car. Instead of there being gas and break pedals, everything is controlled on the steering wheel similar to a motorcycle. The concept of this car is brilliant and Stacy raised the money necessary to make this dream of hers come true. Below is a picture of Stacy with the mayor of Pflugerville, Texas presenting the FIRST car!
Stacy was born with a form of muscular dystrophy and has never been able to walk. There are so many things we take for granted and hearing Stacy's story makes you appreciate the small things like being able to go to the grocery whenever you want and not relying on someone else to take you! However, with the invention of this car, Stacy will now be able to get places more easily. Although this car can only accelerate to 25 mph and cannot go on highways, it has a longer battery life than a wheelchair and will forever change the life of wheelchair-bound people. Did you know that a motorized wheelchair costs $30,000 and a wheelchair accessible van costs $80,000? Well this car costs only $25,000 so the affordability of this car is what makes it unlike any other cars out there.
I had to share with you this amazing story because we could not be more thrilled and proud of our good friend and all of the exciting things to come for Kenguru cars. If you want to learn more about this car, check out the Kenguru website. Pin It

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shrimp Spaghetti Squash

I have never made spaghetti squash so this was a first for me. I was pleasantly surprised with how good this recipe turned out to be. This recipe is also extremely healthy. Spaghetti squash is not only low in calories but it is also high in a variety of nutrients including beta carotene and vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for your eyes and beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant. Beware...spaghetti squash is very bland on its own so it needs all the "spicing" up it can get!
Serving Size-2
1 large spaghetti squash (~2 pounds)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1+1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, cut in half or in threes
3/4 pound raw, medium-sized shrimp, deveined with shell off
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Start with a large knife in the middle of the squash and hold the opposite side, making sure the squash is stable. Then cut away from you. You may have to use some force but I promise it will cut. You will not be able to cut the entire squash the first time. You have to cut half of it the first time and then the other half the second time.
Once you cut the squash in half, remove the seeds!
Season each half of squash with salt and pepper after you remove the seeds.
Flip the squash so the cut side down is facing bottom of a large casserole dish.
Add 1/2 cup of water to the dish and roast for 1 hour.
While the squash is cooking, saute onions in 2 tbsp of olive oil until translucent over medium heat. Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.
Add basil, parsley, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the shrimp around your tomato and herb mixture. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, until opaque. I turned mine half way through. Then mix everything together and cook on low while you remove the spaghetti squash from the oven.
After you remove the spaghetti squash from the oven, shred the spaghetti squash with a fork. Your squash will be so tender by this point.
Finally, toss the shrimp mixture with the spaghetti squash. Place in individual bowls and top with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.
I served this with a head of steamed broccoli and this was more than enough for two of us!
Pin It

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Design

This is a very exciting day as I am excited to unveil my new and improved blog! I want to give a special thanks to Franchesca Cox with Small Bird Studios for her wonderful design. Her patience, creativity and thoroughness made it a pleasure to work with her. I have a new appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into designing a website. Over the next few weeks, I will be categorizing all of my posts under the labels on my new and fancy navigation bar! Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to find whatever you are looking for whether it be recipes or travel information! Compared to my old amateur design, this looks way more professional and I hope you like it as much as I do! Here is a link to my blog for my subscribers...
http://hiptipsfromjlipp.blogspot.com/ Pin It

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yukon Gold Potato Soup

This is another light and tasty soup that it is easy to make and perfect for a cold, wintery day. The secret to this soup's creamy texture, golden color and splendid flavor are the Yukon Gold Potatoes. This kind of potato also gives this soup a warmer hue than the white color of a traditional potato.
1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
4 medium green onions (chopped, using all of the green tops)
2 carrots (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
32 ounces of chicken broth (I prefer Swanson's 99% fat free Organic Chicken Broth)
3 pounds of Yukon gold potatos (peeled and cut into bite size pieces)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt + more salt to taste
1 Tbsp lite maple syrup
1 cup of frozen corn (optional)
1 cup fat-free half and half
Turkey bacon, micowaved crisp, and broken into pieces (I prefer Jenny-O's Turkey Bacon. It tastes and cooks the best!)
Peel and chop your carrots, green onions, onion and potatoes. Here is what cutting your potatoes into bite-size pieces looks like.
Using a 4 Quart soup pan, steam yellow and green onions, carrots and garlic in 1 cup of chicken broth, covered for about 10 minutes. DO NOT BROWN.
Add the rest of the ingredients (except the half and half and bacon). Simmer until potatoes are soft which takes about 20 minutes.
Mash approximately half of the mixture using a potato masher or you can smash it against the side of the pan. This helps to make the soup thicker. No worries if you mash too much, it still tastes good either way!
Add the half and half and simmer for a few more minutes. Garnish with your turkey bacon and voila, you are done!
I often use low sodium broth in my soups, however this recipe is the exception. Make sure you taste the soup before serving because you may need to add even more salt than the recipe calls for!
Also, if you buy Jenny-O's turkey bacon, I cook 3 slices for 3 minutes in the microwave to get that extra crispy flavor. Of course time could vary depending on your microwave but if you have a newer microwave like mine, aim for cooking it that long. Pin It

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Week

This is my week in a nutshell. Friday cannot come soon enough! A few nights ago I did laundry and left a pen in my scrubs. Not only did it ruin my most comfortable pair of scrubs but it also ruined my favorite white shirts as well as a few other things. The worst part of this story is I NEVER wash whites and darks together but for some reason I did this time and look what happened to me!!! What a pain in the rear!
Pin It

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Butternut Squash Seeds

I could not resist throwing out the seeds from my butternut squash. I used almost the same method to cook these seeds as I did for my acorn squash (if you remember that recipe posted in August).
Butternut squash seeds
Garlic salt
Pam (nonstick spray)
Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with Pam.
After you wash the grime from the seeds, place the seeds onto the baking sheet. They should still be wet.
Generously sprinkle with garlic salt.
Bake seeds at 425 degrees for 3-5 minutes (eyeball them to make sure they do not burn), then toast for 1 minute (until golden brown).
This will be your favorite snack ever! You can probably eat all of them in one sitting.

Pin It

Monday, January 16, 2012

Carmelized Onions, Sage, & Butternut Squash Pizza

This pizza is amazing. To my surprise it is filling too. Usually, my husband and I can eat almost an entire pizza but we still had 4 pieces left. I attribute this to the butternut squash.
Adapted from A Full Measure of Happiness
Pizza dough (I use the premade dough from Central Market)
1 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 Small sweet yellow onion
Dash of salt
Olive oil for drizzling
Handful of fresh sage leaves (about 20)
1/2 Cup-1 Cup of pizza sauce
3 ounces of goat cheese
1-2 Cups of reduced fat mozzarella cheese
All of the ingredients minus the pizza sauce!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut your onion into long slices. Place 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan with the onions. Cook on LOW heat for 45 minutes-1 hour, stirring occasionally, until onions turn a golden brown
While the onions are cooking, peel the top portion of the squash and cut lengthwise.
Remove the seeds from the squash. DO NOT DISCARD the seeds. I have a recipe for the seeds tomorrow so check back.
Cut the squash into cube-sized pieces. You do not need to use the bottom of the squash (where you did not peel) as there is plenty of squash from the stem.
Spread the butternut squash and HALF of the sage leaves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Flour the dough and spread it out into the shape of the pizza you want.
I use a foil-lined, baking sheet covered with nonstick spray to put my pizza dough in.
Spoon the pizza sauce on top. Layer the butternut squash, carmelized onions and ALL of the sage leaves on top.
Then sprinkle both types of cheese on top.
Cook for 20 minutes or until cheese turns a golden brown.
Pin It

Friday, January 13, 2012

Accessory Auctions

I wanted to let you all in on what I do every Monday night (besides watching the Bachelor of course)! I participate in an online auction via facebook. Let me tell you, it is the most exhilarating experience ever. It is open to anyone who has a facebook account.

Here is how it works. You have to search "Accessory Auctions" in the facebook tool bar. Then you have to like their page. After that, you will be notified of their upcoming auctions and they will preview the items up for sale. The auctions are held at 8pm every Monday night. At 8pm you go to their facebook page and they begin posting various sorts of things including earrings, necklaces, rings, scarves, handbags, etc. They always list the quantity and the price of the item so you know that before you bid. If you want a particular item you post "SOLD and your email address." Usually you can tell whether you won the item or not based on the number of responses to that post. BEWARE, items tend to sell out within a minute. Hence, you have to be very fast at typing "Sold" when they post an item. They usually will not post a new item until the previous one sells out. However, if it has not sold out within 5 minutes, they will go ahead and post a new item. The trick to getting what you want is to keep pressing the refresh button on your computer so you know exactly when the next item is posted. Once the auction is over, the person in charge of Accessory Auctions sends you an invoice that you pay on paypal right away. If you do not pay your invoice right away, they will give the item to the next bidder.

I had to let you know about this because they have such cute stuff at very reasonable prices. Often times, they have earrings that are almost exact replicas of Kendra Scott's earrings, only these are half the price. Anyways, the girls who run this company are brilliant. They are well organized and send you your purchases right away. Here is my most recent purchase and I love them!
Pin It

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Semi-Sweet Brussels Sprouts

Here is another brussels sprouts recipe that hits the spot. It has the perfect touch of sweetness while not being too sweet to overpower the brussels sprouts.
Adapted from The Wannabe Country Girl
Serving size-2
1 lb brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp of butter
1 Tbsp of honey
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of pecans (I used walnuts because that was the only thing I had)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the outer leaves of the brussels sprouts. Then, depending on the size of your brussels sprouts, halve or quarter them and place on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Drizzle the brussels sprouts with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, making sure to coat all of the brussels sprouts.
Generously season with kosher salt and pepper.
Roast the brussels sprouts for 20 minutes, making sure to turn them with a spatula half way through so they cook evenly on all sides.
Place 1/4 cup of pecans (walnuts) on a lined baking sheet and cook in the oven with the brussels sprouts for 5 minutes.
While the brussels sprouts and pecans are cooking, add 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp of honey to a microwaveable dish and melt in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Remove the pecans and brussels sprouts from the oven and place in a bowl. Toss with the honey butter sauce. I used only half of the sauce but it is up to you depending on how sweet you like your brussels sprouts. 
My husband and I gobbled up an entire pound of brussels sprouts because they were that good!

Pin It

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roasted Artichoke

I love artichokes. I have made steamed artichokes quite a few times and every time I seem to burn the bottom of the pan because I let the pan run dry of water. You may wonder how this happens and often times it is because I lose track of time or turn my back for a few minutes. This time I tried something different and roasted the artichoke. Cooking an artichoke this way is a no brainer and I will never steam another artichoke again.
1 whole artichoke
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves or minced garlic
2 Tsp of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
Heavy duty aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut 1-2 inches off the top of the artichoke as well as the base of the artichoke as both parts are inedible.
Remove the outer leaves and trim the pointy edges of the remaining leaves so you do not cut yourself.
Place 1 Tbsp of oil on the foil and place the artichoke on top of the foil.
Slightly spread the leaves apart with your fingers and place garlic cloves or minced garlic in between the leaves as much as possible.
Sprinkle top of artichoke with sea salt, 2 tsp of lemon juice and drizzle with more olive oil.

Double wrap the artichoke with 2 sheets of foil and place in the oven.
Bake for 1-1.5 hours depending on the size of the artichoke.
Remove artichoke from the foil and serve. You know the artichoke is done if you can easily pierce the bottom of the artichoke with a fork.
***Once you get to the "heart" of the artichoke, make sure you scrape the hairy part of the heart off, exposing the meaty center. Then divide equally among everyone eating the artichoke. I like to hog this part of the artichoke to myself!!!
You can serve this as is or put some fresh parmesan cheese on top. A lot of people like to dip their artichoke in a butter sauce or ranch dressing so you can do it that way too. Either way, I can assure you that cooking your artichoke this way is the best if you want a tender artichoke!
Pin It

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

LIGHT French Onion Soup

This recipe is a winner! I felt like Julia Childs cooking this recipe. I did not know you could make french onion soup healthy! Instead of using gruyere cheese which most french onion soup recipes call for, I used low fat Swiss cheese. Also, this recipe does not call for any butter and I used reduced sodium beef broth as well. 
Adapted from My Recipes
Serving Size-approximately 8 bowls
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups thinly vertically sliced sweet onion (2 medium onions and not 3 as shown in the picture)
4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion (2 medium onions)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
8 cups less-sodium beef broth
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese
First, thinly slice the onions. I cried like a baby during this part!

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 
minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 
Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. 
Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute.
If you are not using a dutch oven, transfer onions to a large stock pot. 
Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours. Taste and add more salt to soup if needed.
Preheat broiler. Place bread on a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until 
roasted, turning after 1 minute. Do not cook the bread for more than two minutes otherwise you will have burnt bread. Yuck!
Place oven-proof bowls on a baking sheet. Ladle approximately 1 cup of soup into each bowl. 
Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or 
until cheese starts to brown.
I served this with a side salad and rotisserie chicken.

Pin It

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oven "Fried" Chicken

I am always looking for easy things to cook for dinner after a long day of work. This is one of those things that never gets old! My mom used to make this for me when I was a kid and now I am cooking this for my husband and hopefully one day my kids! There is nothing special to this recipe. I simply follow the directions on the box and we always get moist chicken on the inside with a crunchy skin on the outside. Some may compare Oven Fry to Shake and Bake but they taste totally different. Oven Fry cooks with much more flavor and with a better crunch than Shake and Bake!
1 Box of Oven Fry
1 Egg
6-8 Pieces of chicken (without skin)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cover baking pan with foil and cover with nonstick spray.
If you buy chicken legs or thighs with the skin on, make sure you remove the skin if you want to make this recipe healthy.
Place the oven fry mixture in a medium-sized bowl and 1 lightly-beaten egg in another bowl.
Moisten each chicken piece in the egg first. 
Then drench in the oven fry mixture and cover on all sides.
Place chicken on your baking pan.
***I used both chicken legs and chicken breasts. I like chicken legs and thighs better than the breasts because they cooks more evenly through. If you do not like bone-in chicken, then buy the boneless chicken tenders because they are smaller and cook better than chicken breasts.
***If you cook chicken legs and chicken breasts, make sure you separate the two on different pans as the cooking time varies with bone-in chicken versus boneless chicken.
Bake the bone-in chicken (chicken legs, thighs) for 40 minutes.
Bake the boneless chicken (chicken breasts) for only 20 minutes.
I like to serve this chicken with corn and steamed broccoli.
Pin It
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved