Entries from July 29th, 2011

July 29, 2011

beauty scoop | chanel glossimer in pagoda

I keep my lippies separated into three different drawers: pinks, reds and naturals. I’ve been so determined to find the best natural, rosy color for my lips that my naturals drawer is now overflowing into my reds drawer (the less-populated of the three — reds are so hard to find!).

Of my more than 50 total (I know, right?) tubes and pots of gloss, my holy grail of lip glosses has to be my Chanel Glossimer in Pagoda.

chanel glossimer pagoda

{I love the hint of shimmer in Pagoda.}

Chanel’s Pagoda, a pretty, warm rose hue, has subtle sparkle yet megawatt shine. It’s a thicker gloss, but it’s not too sticky or plastic-y (I have a few other high-end glosses that just feel like a sheet of Saran wrap on my lips!).

Pagoda is so close to my natural lip color; it boosts my own shade a bit yet adds an attractive layer of shimmer. This makes it a perfect choice for my day to day, yet it has enough glitz to it to wear out at night, paired with a smoky eye and flashy jewelry to help catch more light around the face.

What’s your go-to gloss for an easy day-to-night transition?

July 27, 2011

vintage varnish | essie mesmerize spring 2009 nail polish

I haven’t worn blue nail polish on my fingernails since my teenage years (which, OK, wasn’t that long ago), but when I saw Essie’s cobalt-blue “Mesmerize” in the lineup at Beauty Brands, I knew I had to have a little vintage varnish on my fingertips.

essie mesmerize spring 2009 nail polish

{Essie's "Mesmerize" is a creamy, cobalt-blue nail polish that has a splashy, wet look.}

“Mesmerize” debuted in spring 2009 and has since become a staple, along with “Marshmallow” and “Ballet Slippers” in Essie’s nail polish collection. I added “Mesmerize” to my own growing-collection of nail lacquers over the weekend and have since gotten some oohs, ahhs and eyebrows at my choice of such a bold blue usually reserved for toenails (sorry, I have turquoise on those boys right now!).

What do you think of shiny, splashy, cobalt-blue for fingernails? Do you work in a more traditional or creative environment? Would this color be OK for your day-to-day? Let me know in the comments section!

July 25, 2011

on the menu | simple weeknight meals from self magazine

Last week wasn’t my best cooking week. Sometimes, during the hustle and bustle of busy days and late nights, I am just a little uninspired to do even the most simple grocery shopping and instead rely on takeout and boring sandwiches to get through the week.

This week, though, after devouring a new issue of Self magazine, I’m ready to plot out a few cooking adventures (with just a couple nights off for a much-anticipated date and Friday night party with friends).

Monday: Pasta with Sausage and Red Grapes

pasta with sausage and red grapes shape magazine 6 sweet suppers

{Pasta is a staple in my kitchen — such a simple base for flavorful meals, such as this Pasta with Sausage and Red Grapes from Self magazine. Photo Courtesy Self magazine}

I’m excited to try this recipe (and two others) from Self magazine’s recent feature, “6 Sweet Suppers.” I love the story angle — simple dinners that incorporate fresh summer fruits into the main course — not just as a side dish or dessert. I can’t wait to experience the taste of juicy red grapes and savory sausage — I’ll be getting some fresh sausage from the local Italian grocer near my workplace.

Tuesday: Dinner at 715 in Lawrence, Kansas

715 restaurant lawrence kansas

{It's been a while since I've been to 715 — glad that's going to change on Tuesday!}

OK, so maybe I’m not cooking on Tuesday night, but I’m not passing up the opportunity to dine at my favorite restaurant in my old college town with my favorite person — the teacher man. From artisan pizzas to handmade pastas, 715 is always worth the drive to Lawrence.

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad

grilled chicken and peach salad self magazine 6 sweet suppers

{This light, refreshing salad is perfect for cooling us down at dinner after all the record-breaking heat we've been having in the Midwest. Photo Courtesy Self magazine}

I have been finding every way possible to weave peaches into my diet this summer. Peaches are a staple summer fruit — a good rival to watermelon, which is just a tad too messy to deal with on a weekly basis. I’ll be stocking up on peaches again during my next food run at the farmer’s market.

Thursday: Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

fish tacos with strawberry salsa self magazine 6 sweet suppers

{Dress up your fish tacos with a sweet spread of strawberry salsa — yes please! Photo Courtesy Self magazine}

The teacher man and I make some sort of Spanish fair at least once a week — tacos, fajitas, salsa — you name it. It’s simple and satisfying. When I saw this recipe for Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa, I knew we had to get it into our regular rotation. Dressing up a simple white fish taco (cod, halibut or tilapia) is so simple with the right spices — and fruits! I’m looking forward to chopping up my new container of bright-red strawberries and heating it up a bit with fresh jalapenos to make this spicy strawberry salsa.

Friday: Blues, Beer and BBQ in Kansas City

smoked brisket

{Melt-in-your-mouth brisket awaits at the end of the week! Photo By VirtualEm/Courtesy Flickr}

Barbecue is just one of those things I’ll leave to the pros in Kansas City. The teacher man and I will be joining friends and coworkers for a night out to celebrate a recent destination wedding, and what better way to say congrats to the newlyweds at home than with a real KC barbecue, blues and beer?

What’s on your menu this week?

July 22, 2011

recipe of the week | cheese and snack platter with pink peppercorn and thyme champagne cocktail

I love dining with Tabitha. As a food editor and enthusiast, Tabitha is always talking up the latest recipe she’s made, vegetables she’s grown or restaurants she’s tried. She knows the ins and outs of food — how to grow it, cook it, pair it and eat it — and it’s always a treat to munch on something the woman herself has put together, because it’s always done with the utmost love and detail.

When I visited her during a trip to New York last winter (catch up with my NYC posts here, here, here, here and here), she took me up to her humble Harlem apartment and fed me a plate of cheese before we hit a late-night comedy show. But this wasn’t just any cheese; it was cheese from an amazing creamery in Vermont that she was researching for an upcoming article she was putting together.

tabitha alterman cheese and snack platter

{It wasn't too difficult to polish off this platter before a night out on the town.}

Bottom Left: Landaff Creamery Landaff
Bottom Middle: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Bottom Right: Ploughgate Creamery Hartwell
Top Left: Von Trapp Farmstead Oma
Top Right: Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue

All of the cheeses were aged in Jasper Hill’s cheese caves in Vermont; I’d love to take a trip with the cheese queen herself to do further research!

In addition to the tasty cheeses Tab shared with me, she also paired them finely with some great snacks — including some delicious pickles she made herself!

Top Left: Tabitha’s Quick and Easy Nonstop Pickles
Top Middle: La Panzanella and Carr’s Crackers
Fresh Blackberries
Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly

In addition to all this goodness, she also made me the cutest, most “Tabitha” drink ever, a “Pink Peppercorn and Thyme Champagne Cocktail,” which I happily sipped and slurped until we had to leave to make it to our midnight show.

pink peppercorn thyme champagne cocktail

{A bit of bubbly, herbs and peppers makes for a fun evening cocktail.}

You can try out Tabitha’s concoction with the ingredients and recipe below:

Pink Peppercorn and Thyme Champagne Cocktail

Sugar cube
Few dashes of orange bitters
5 or so pink peppercorns
Sprig fresh thyme
Half-jigger (or more for sweeter flavor) of pink peppercorn thyme simple syrup (directions below)
Cava or other dry sparkling beverage

Combine all ingredients except sparkling beverage in a glass or pitcher. Pour in cava (or other dry sparkly beverage) at the end, stir and serve.

Pink Peppercorn Thyme Simple Syrup

Boil 1 cup raw sugar in one cup water with several sprigs of fresh thyme and a small handful of peppercorns. Strain after syrup cools.

What do you like to eat with your foodie friends? Any fun summer appetizer or drink recipes? Share them in the comments section!

July 21, 2011

100th post

In January 2010, I started this blog to document all the things I love as they relate to style, beauty and food. I know I haven’t always been consistent — something that I’ve tried to remedy this year! I’ll also be the first to say that I’ve had some odd posts here and there, especially in the beginning as I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my little space on the Internet.

What’s surprising, though, is that there are just as many quirky people out there searching for the things I’m writing about — my Google analytics prove it! My posts about food (namely cupcakes and macarons) pique your interest the most, but surprisingly, some of the more random things I have written about — Midwestern-style sloppy joes, for example — continue to appear in my top 10 list of most-viewed content month after month after month.

Thanks so much to the thousands of you who stop by every day to see what’s new in my world. Give me 100 or so more days until post 200!

kimberlyloc's 100th blog post


Until then, enjoy re-reading your top 10 favorite posts from my archive.

1. macaron taste test | natasha’s mulberry & mott | leawood, kansas

2. why kimberlyloc?

3. michael jackson cupcakes | hey cupcake | austin, texas

4. this makes me happy | lady gaga cupcakes

5. petit bistro | french mediterranean restaurant & lounge | bentonville, arkansas

6. man who cooks | loose meat tavern sandwich recipe

7. birthday cupcakes | how to bake cupcakes in ice cream cones

8. crazy about coral: spring nail polish colors

9. trend i love: mason jars as decoration

10. colors of inspiration: turquoise accent wall

July 20, 2011

cupcake taste test | more | chicago, illinois

Some of my favorite foods and drinks come in flights.

Wine flights.
Cheese flights.
Cupcake flights.

Patty Rothman, the “cupcake curator” behind Chicago’s more cupcakes, has proven that packaging six gorgeous, delicious mini-cupcakes, or “moresels,” into different flights keeps cupcake enthusiasts squealing with delight.

I had a chance to share a couple of more’s cupcake flights with my friend Sarah a really, really long time ago (I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to blog it…), and I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate some of more’s thoughtful designs and flavor combinations into my own home cupcake creations.

more cupcake sweet flight

{I was so drawn to the intricate detailing of the middle "black and white" moresels in more cupcake's "sweet flight," which costs $9.50}

One flight, the “sweet flight,” contains a couple traditional flavors: red velvet (far left) and salted caramel (far right). I was completely taken by the whimsical middle cupcake though — the black and white — which is a mix of Belgian dark chocolate and Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake, topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and milk and white chocolate curls. All of the moresels were utterly amazing — moist, decadent and just fun to eat! I’m planning to try my best at attaching chocolate shavings to some homemade cupcakes soon.

more chocolate flight

{You can't go wrong with a chocolate flight — and $9.50 isn't too much to throw down if you're a chocoholic and cupcake enthusiast like me.}

Another flight, the “chocolate flight,” caters to the chocoholics out there — myself included. Again, that middle cupcake — the signature “more” cupcake — caught my eye, but really, it’s what inside…cream filling…that sold me. Made with Belgian dark chocolate cake, a cream center and chocolate ganache, the more cupcake was outstanding. Also included in the flight are chocolate chocolate (far left) and chocolate vanilla (far right). From this flight, I’m inspired to work on my cupcake penmanship as I attempt to create signtature kimberlyloc cupcakes and mini cupcakes.

Are mini-cupcakes the next (not-so-) big thing?

July 19, 2011

recipe of the week | spicy cucumber salad with green bell peppers, garlic and onion

One of my favorite side dishes growing up was my mom’s spicy cucumber salad. It was a staple in our refrigerator and served at most meals (in addition to rice). I don’t know why it took me nearly seven years since leaving home to ask my mom how to make it. Last week, when I started craving spice and crunch, I knew I had to call my mom to figure out her ancient Chinese secret to making the best side dish ever: spicy cucumber salad with green peppers, garlic and onion.

spicy cucumber salad

{Spicy cucumber salad can now become a staple in my own refrigerator!}

It’s really quite simple and requires very few ingredients. Balance out your veggies according to what you want more of in the salad. I used three cucumbers, which was enough for three large Mason jars. I only had one bell pepper and one onion, so I spread those out amongst my jars. Choose whatever crunchy veggies you like — here’s what I used:

Green bell peppers (or whatever color you like)
White onions (again, choose whatever color you like)
Sliced jalapenos (I used jarred jalapenos instead of fresh ones — they seemed hotter to me.)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Equal parts water and vinegar
Crushed red peppers
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper

1. Peel your cucumbers (or keep the skin if you like) and slice them into thin coins. Make two piles, and add one pile to a large Mason jar.

2. Dice your onion into small chunks. Make two piles, and add one pile to your Mason jar.

3. Chop your bell pepper into small chunks. Make two piles, and add one pile to your Mason jar.

4. Pour equal parts vinegar and water into the Mason jar (the amount depends on the size of your jar).

5. Add in the other piles of cucumbers, onions and bell peppers.

6. Spice the jar with several dashes of black pepper, crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you want your cucumber salad.

7. Drop in the minced garlic.

8. Spoon in the sliced jalapenos — again, this is totally dependent on how spicy you like it. I added about two tablespoons.

9. Pour in more equal part of vinegar and water, depending on your jar size, leaving about half an inch of space in the jar.

10. Top the jar off with additional dashes of spice and gently stir.

11. Seal the jar with the canning lid and ring and store in the refrigerator for two days.

Your spicy cucumber salad should be ready to eat after that! The combination of vinegar’s acidity and all the spices will create a tangy, pickled spicy cucumber salad that is sure to become your favorite side dish, too.

Does your mom, Chinese or not, have a special recipe to share with me?

July 18, 2011

home decor | obsessed with owls | anthropologie wise ol’ cookie jar

Every time I step into Anthropologie, I’m drawn to the most loud, obnoxious hooter in the store. Maybe it’s because I’ve yet to get my owl home decor fix. Meet “Wise Ol’ Cookie Jar, Orange” from Anthro:

wise ol' cookie jar orange owl anthropologie

{This orange owl cookie jar may scare you away from eating too many sweets.}

Cute or creepy? She’s made in Italy and costs a whopping $128! I could probably get a less-expensive and less-obnoxious piece of owl home decor at Anthro (such as this cute switchplate or this hook), but that just wouldn’t be as fun as this ridiculous orange owl cookie jar.

Guess I’ll start saving now.

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