16 January 2015

Recipe : Brussels Sprouts with Cider Glaze + Goat Cheese

There's a cute little after-work spot near my office in Santa Monica that serves a Brussels Sprouts dish that makes you go ga-ga.  **(EDIT: Freddy Smalls has done a facelift on their menu and no longer serves their Brussels the below way.  RIP, best Brussels ever.)**  I love Brussels as it is, so it's not hard to convince me to order them when we're out, but these - these are delectable.

We had a family dinner the weekend before Thanksgiving, and having charged myself with bringing some veggies, I was determined to recreate my fave version of the sprouts.  I pulled from one recipe and another and added a little bit of my own twist, and voila!

Here you have it:  Brussels Sprouts with Cider Glaze + Goat Cheese.

For the base:
2 lbs Brussels Sprouts (I buy them pre-shaved at Trader Joe's, or you can slice them yourself)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
olive oil - amount to your discretion
1/2 c apple cider vinegar, plus 2 tbsp, divided use
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 log of goat cheese

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and spread brussels as evenly as possible on cookie sheet. Sprinkle brussels with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring throughout, until some parts of the leaves are crisp.

In a separate sauce pan, add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, sugar and brown sugar.  Whisk together.  Place the sauce over medium heat, and once it begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Pour the Cider Glaze over the Brussels sprouts.  Serve goat cheese in a side bowl, but meant to be served alongside the sprouts.


15 January 2015


Being single is still a taboo of sorts amongst a lot of crowds.  I think living in large metropolitan areas like LA + NY, we singletons are spared some of the questions that get thrown out there, but not all.  

I came across this Huffington Post article today titled "17 Reasons Men + Women Choose to Stay Single."  I enjoyed reading the answers, and thought you might too.  I personally resonated most with numbers 1, 6 + 10.

Click here to check it out.

Single in the City


05 January 2015

Get outta here, Monday.

Raise your hand if you wish you didn't have to go to work today.  (Both of my hands are in the air.)  After a second five day weekend in a row, I really was loving this whole life-of-leisure thing.  How about ya'll?

Trying to thing of a blog post for today, I just kept thinking about how I don't want to return to reality.  So I decided that I'd run with that, and we'd escape today....to Norway!

After I returned from my incredible 8 day trip to Paris and London last year, I've been trying to figure out where I wanted to explore next.  I've been to Italy, Greece, Germany, so those obvious ones were out.  I realized over time that I was repeatedly pinning images of Norway on my "travel fantasies" Pinterest board, so I'm thinking that may be a great next destination.

Have you been?  Have you ever thought of wanting to go?

Norway is wayyyy up there, north of mainland Europe + just to the west of Sweden.

First, a few basic Norway facts:
Official Name: Kingdom of Norway
Capital City: Oslo
Official Languages: Norwegian, Sami
Government: Unitary Monarchy (they have a King - Harald V!)
Currency: Norwegian krone
Population: 5.1 million

And now to let some pictures do the talking...

What do ya'll think?



02 January 2015

Good reads :: a year in review.

Last year was a big reading year for me.  Growing up, I would devour books like crazy.  Through high school and college though, there is so much forced reading, that I stepped back from any "fun" reading.  At the beginning of 2014, I made it a goal to push myself to read more, so I did what any social gal with a goal to read more does - I started a book club!

There are around 10 of us now in our little book club, and we meet on average every 6 weeks or so.  Between all of our different tastes and book suggestions, we ended up reading a diverse list of titles that I wanted to share with you.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini
Khaled Housseini is an amazing author, in my opinion.  I loved The Kite Runner, and A Thousand Splendid Suns was a good read as well (although my least favorite of his three).  He didn't disappoint with And the Mountains Echoed, and I strongly recommend this as a great fiction read.

Brain on Fire by Susanah Cahalan
Wow.  Susanah Cahalan's memoir of enduring an obscure infection in her brain that led doctors to believe she was losing her mind keeps you on the edge of your seat.  That someone could go through such a dramatic event and come out on the other side alive is amazing.

Uganda be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler
I mean.  Chelsea freaking Handler.  She's a riot.  She just kills me with her unapologetic wit and behavior.  Uganda be Kidding Me is obviously no life changer, but it is amusing!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Eh, following on the heels of reading Uganda, I was less amused by Mindy Kaling's piece.  I don't think she's as much my cup of tea, either, which would obviously influence my opinion here.

The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion
A sweet and pretty quick read about a genetics professor with Asperger's Syndrome who has decided it is time he find a wife.  The book is written to very easily become adapted to the screen.

Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This is personally my least favorite of the books I read this year.  At 771 pages, it was a hefty task to take on, and I made it past page 300 before I finally gave up.  The theme was so continuously depressing that I found my mood being affected, and I just couldn't finish.  It's definitely either a love or a hate with this Pulitzer Prize winner.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This was not a favorite of mine either.  I was one of the few that really detested Eat, Pray, Love when I read it, and I found Wild to be on a similar playing field.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
This one is a great and easy beach read!  The characters are vividly painted, and the story even twists and turns to include Richard Burton as a secondary character.  Italy, Hollywood, a love story that transcends 60 years - it makes for a fun read.

Beyond book club, my sister, Laura, and I have gotten hooked on listening to books on tape on the Audible app during our daily commutes.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I read this before the movie came out, because I was so intrigued by all of the hype around it.  It's a sweet story of two cancer-stricken teenagers finding love.  An easy and good read.  (I still haven't seen the movie!)

Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts
This was definitely my favorite fiction story that I read this year!  It had me completely addicted.  I'd listen on my drive to or from work, and I'd find myself sitting in the car long past my arrival just so I could hear how the chapter of the day would end.  A wealthy Middle Eastern Princess, Adrianne, escaped her brutal and abusive father as a child.  She sets out to plan one of the biggest jewel heists in history as a means of payback to her father for his horrible behavior toward her mother and herself.  Such an enthralling read!

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
I mean, who isn't inspired by a twenty-something self-made millionairess?  Because I sure as heck am.  I felt like #GIRLBOSS became repetitive at a certain point, and I certainly think that Amoruso has zero problem in the self-confidence department, but as a business woman in the Fashion Industry myself, I appreciated this one.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
This book wins biggest waste of time for 2014.  I kept waiting for something to happen.  I've finished it now obviously, and I'm still waiting for something to happen.

Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
I first came to know Alan Cumming by seeing him on The Good Wife on television.  His character has such a super cute charisma that I really came to adore Cumming on the show - so when his book came out, I definitely wanted to read it.  The story unfolds back and forth between his growing up in Scotland with an abusive father and his appearance on the British television show Who Do You Think You Are, which is a show that delves into the history of celebrity's family members.  At the time of the show beginning to film, Alan's father sent word to Alan that he was indeed not Alan's father.  Between that shocker and the eccentric past of his grandfather being laid out for him on the show, I came to adore Alan even more!

...And currently reading:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi


Did you read any great books in 2014?  Please share, I love recommendations!