Archive | March, 2013

Recipe: World’s Best Chili and Corn Muffins!!

18 Mar


Well… We certainly don’t have very much longer to enjoy the type of recipe that I am posting today… Summer Chili is a completely different dish, made for lavishing toasted buns and hot dogs with a dose of extra decadence… This chili recipe is one that IS a meal.  I’d suggest making it within the next couple weeks, perhaps on one of the rainy days of spring and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

I came across this recipe while on a trip with my hubby to Washington D.C. last fall, and I was simply DYING for a bowl of authentic “East Coast Chili” … Since I hadn’t been to the East Coast as an adult, I really don’t have any idea what this means… and I’m pretty sure Boston might be better known for it’s chili than is THE DISTRICT… but none-the-less this produces a seriously easy and delicious bowl of pure yummy-ness! Some of the ingredients took me a bit of looking to find, but I am not entirely sure why since now I see them everywhere… with the exception of the “Dark Chili Powder”… this needs to be bought in more of a specialty shop like Draeger’s or maybe even Whole Foods (where I live).

I do suggest that you serve this with a corn muffin (I crumble mine inside but my hubby prefers his on the side 🙂 ).  I’m not sure if that’s how they do it on the East Coast (in Texas they serve chili with rice too! Yum!), but it’s how we do it in this house and it brings the bowl of chili from fabulous to… well, no words, but grunts of pure satisfaction :). I am including both of these recipes, which I have tried several times but have not improved upon since there was just no need… Although a can of fiesta corn and a dollop of jalapeno jam may not be the worst idea I ever came up with when adjusting the corn muffin recipe… but you know what they say “Why mess with perfection?!”


Old Ebbitt Grill Chili

(Serves Six to Eight)
Sweet and slightly hot, this saloon-style chili with beans has been a staple on Clyde’s menu for thirty years. Liz Taylor would order it by the gallon and have it shipped to her house! Since we no longer offer our chili in the can at Britches clothing store, it’s only fair that we give you the recipe that has been top secret for many years.

(This was taken from the website which is included in the “Old Ebbitt Grill Chili” link 🙂

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb. pound small diced onion
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 25-ounce can chili beans
1 12-ounce jar chili sauce (This is in the tomato sauces section at my Safeway)
2 tbsp light chili powder
1/4 cup dark chili powder*
2 tblsp Worcestershire sauce (clearly a secret ingredient)

1. In a heavy bottomed pot, saute the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil until golden brown.
2. Add the beef to the onions and cook until it is about medium-rare. Do not stir the beef around too much – you want to have some large clumps of beef in the finished chili.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until it is just blended. (It may seem like a lot of powder but that’s why they call it chili!)
4. Cook the chili over medium heat for about 10 minutes, just until the meat is fully cooked. Don’t overcook it!

Serve the Clyde’s chili with ice cold beer and condiments like shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream and minced onions.


I’ve used scallions several times, but there is something about the bite of a white onion that lends itself so nicely here. Medium cheddar and a dollop of light sour cream! MMMMM!

*The light chili powders have more of the hot seeds or flakes ground with the pods. By using more of the dark powder our chili is a little sweeter. If you can’t find light chili powder, just using a little bit extra of the dark powder will taste great.

Barefoot Contessa’s Corn Muffin Recipe:

Corn Muffins (Makes 12 Muffins)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup medium cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, and eggs. With the mixer on the lowest speed, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until they are just blended. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are crisp and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and remove from the pan.

The Bowl of Chili Baby! Soooo good!

The Bowl of Chili Baby! Soooo good! Of course you could use ground turkey, but beef is better here!

Sunshine in a Bottle: Best Perfumes For SPRING!

16 Mar


Every year, about this time, I get a MAJOR hankering for some fresh and floraly scents with the deepest hopes of quickening that bright and cheery re-emergence of spring.  Since I am generally drawn to fragrances that have notes of Jasmine or Orange Blossom, it’s with absolute certainty that I bring you a list of fabulous fragrances for just about any fellow harbinger of SPRING 🙂 .  Each one of the fragrances mentioned herein, are subtle but are also sure to evoke the sweetest memories of springs gone-by.

I once read that every woman should have ONE true fragrance… For years and years I searched for that one scent that was absolutely me… but then I just gave up; For me, this is simply impossible and I have finally accepted it.  In my humble opinion, fragrance is a personal journey (I carry bottles of the first perfume I ever wore (Love’s Baby Soft), and the one I remember my Mammaw wearing to church (Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door or Tresor by Lancome), just so I can bring back the memory with a whiff), and a trip to a local perfume department is almost like looking into a scrapbook of memories or listening to THAT song you loved during a certain time period of your life.  Here, I will give you my take on each fragrance, but urge you to take a sniff of each one the next time you’re at the mall and see what memories they conjure for you.  Treat yourself to some sunshine in a bottle!!!Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 11.07.03 PM

1. Orange Blossom, by Jo Malone: This fragrance was introduced to me by one of my very best friends who lived in Paris for a bit… Well, she actually lived all over… I would receive post cards from exotic locals and imagine all the wonderful adventures she was having, and upon her return there was always a bit of beauty or fashion influence imperative to follow from my perspective.  As such, anytime she suggests something to me, I just know it will be luxurious!!    This scent IS the sweet and enduring scent of orange blossoms, pure and simple.  It reminds me of carefree days spent waiting for warmer weather and educational freedom so I could get out and ride my bike around the neighborhood with friends.  Being in the heart of fruit-tree country, often I could smell these blossoms on the wind… So incredibly lovely, this was my firsScreen Shot 2013-03-15 at 11.08.22 PMt Jo Malone LOVE and my first TRUE bottle of spring!

2. French Lime Blossom, by Jo Malone: This one, my Parisian loving friend wears today and it really does remind me of her, which is just lovely!  I’ve never been to Paris (yet), but I do imagine a wonderfully and effortlessly fabulous Parisian woman wearing this scent… It’s light and fresh, but has the playful floral of the lime blossoms. French Lime Blossom is slightly more sophisticated than the orange blossom scent with it’s green quality and hint of actual lime, but is it equally evoking of spring… or perhaps a spring romance!

3. White Jasmine & Mint, by Jo Malone: White Jasmine & Mint was a fragrance addition FOR ME  last year, and I plan on continuing the indulgence.  The sparkling green-ness of the mint in this blend is so lovely and adds something altogether unique.  Often, I blend this fragrance with my Orange Blossom scent to get a fragrance more complex and all my own (I should mention Jo Malone’s fragrances are designed to be worn alone or combined with others! Yipee).  This IS NOT your grandmother’s white-flower scent, so if you’re nervous about a fragrance that contains jasmine in the title, don’t be.  To me, this scent revives memories of warm spring evenings when all the night blooming jasmine starts to tell it’s secrets to the wind… mmmm, I can smell it now!

4. La Chasse aux Papillons by Le Artisan Perfumeur: If I could only have one bottle of spring for the rest of my life, this would be it.  If I had to bury a bottle of perfume for every season so that the future might know what spring smelled like in days gone by… I say again, this would be it.  The title means “chasing butterflies” and perhaps this, as much as the extremely feminine nectar cradled within is why I keep coming back to it year after year.  This fragrance hits every note I adore in a fragrance, orange blossom, lime, lemon, tuberose, laughter, sunshine, and pure woman-ness (Ok, the last three aren’t really notes, but THEY ARE TO ME!).  This is a fragrance I wear in the daytime, unless I layer it with something for night…  I picture myself out in the sun with a picnic basket or strolling an outdoor mall with friends.  This scent is pure and clean and fresh… which I think is asking a lot of a white-flower fragrance! It doesn’t give this headache prone girl any trouble!

5.  Grand Neroli by Atlier Cologne: This is another fragrance that was introduced to me by a fellow fragrance lover and friend.  This scent is much… hmmm.. what word should I use here… Deeper than the other fragrances.  It’s certainly one that could be worn at night as well as in the day. If you haven’t heard of this line before, you really are missing out! Their Orange Sanguine was so close in place of this one that I think it must be mentioned here as well.  For if Grand Neroli would be night, the Orange Sanguine would be day, with juicy hints of blood orange and bitter orange peel… I somehow imagine myself in Greece or Italy when I envision the obviously fabulous woman who wears either of these scents… but you can be positively marvelous right in your own backyard with a bottle of this on your nightstand!Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 12.15.02 AM

6. Pink Jasmine by Fresh: This scent is a cross between the freshest most clean scent you can imagine (think fresh laundry or your favorite shower soap) and jasmine… Imagine walking past a warm dryer vent on a spring day.  I love to wear this to bed (yep, I even wear a touch of perfume to bed… If it worked for Marylin, Hallllllo!!) or any time I want to feel super fresh and cleeeeean.  I should mention that the like-named cream, which fetches a pretty penny, is lovely layered with any of the Jo Malone fragrances suggested here. This is probably the scent in the bunch that I wear the longest, from March through August when I need a real freshness lift! Did I say fresh enough here!!!?

There you are! I’ll note here that some of the biggest complaints with any of these fragrances is that they don’t last once sprayed.  I sort of agree and disagree.  Since I am so sensitive to fragrance, I can’t use many that are bold enough to last from dawn to dust; at least without me become immune to the scent after the first hour… And, I will also mention, that to me, part of what is so great about these scents is that they are closer to the smells I LOVE in nature, and not that strong, overpowering fragrance that is usually associated with white flowers. Do you have any favorite spring scents I should try!?  Looking for a fragrance recommendation? Hope this helps you find the perfect spring fragrance!!!


Best Undereye Concealer!

14 Mar
Best Undereye Concealer!

Bye Bye Under Eye offers a waterproof, yet moisturizing formula that will stay put no matter what. The truly innovative formula contains high concentrations of Vitamins K, A, C, E and Collagen – clinically proven to reduce under eye puffiness and discoloration while strengthening the delicate skin of the under eye area.

Soooo… there’s one downside… I don’t know where to get it besides ONLINE (super sad face). But can I please, PLEASE tell you how much I love this product!

For years I had searched and searched for a product that had enough coverage but didn’t crease in those little tiny evil lines under the eyes!!! I tried everything the drugstore had to offer, and just about every single brand at Sephora… But now, my search is over… I faultered just once this last year to re-prove that this, in fact is, the best 🙂 .

What’s to love about this one?  Here’s a couple things:  first, it’s SUPER blendable, which is very important to me, it’s waterproof (this stuff won’t budge), it’s packed with TONS of vitamins and minerals that are great for the undereye area (almost like an ultra tinted eye cream), AND this tube is HUGE!!! Mine lasts almost 8 months or more!

If you don’t like something with coverage, this isn’t for you, but if you’re like me and need to erase those undereye bags and circles, this works like a dream!!!

Let me know what you think!!!


Spring 2013 Nail Polishes I ADORE!!!!!!!!!!

6 Mar

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 7.02.20 AM I am a self proclaimed NAIL POLISH JUNKIE! I thought I was hiding my habit from my husband, but one night he mentioned that I should never light a candle in the downstairs bathroom or the entire house would be engulfed in flames due to the sheer amount of nail polish present. I have managed to get my ‘nails’ on all except the purple color (I have an almost identical color from OPI).

All of these formulas are cheery and opaque, so they really pop on the nail! I love BUTTER LONDON’s Philosophy when it comes to chemicals, and their colors are TO DIE FOR! So far the peachy tone is my favorite, closely followed by the bubblegum pink! I have a feeling the mint color as well as the typically hard-to-wear yellow will be a mainstay in my nail repertoire from Spring through Summer! Try them out!Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 7.02.58 AM


For those of you looking for more coverage in a BB cream!

4 Mar

For those of you looking for more coverage in a BB cream!

Many of you know how much I have LOVED the Nars Tinted Moisturizer… But, like many of you, it just didn’t provide enough coverage when I needed it. I still love my Nars lotion, but after of a week of using Diorsnow White Reveal, I may be a convert. Although it does have SPF 50, and I am not a huge believer in higher than 30, the coverage is great with the same benefits of BB creams!!! However, because of the added sunscreen, you really need to make sure you wash your face before bed!!! Try it out and let me know what you think!

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