Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Girls Night Out Vlog

Oh yes! We did this! I've been itching to try one of the very few Chicago cooking classes and I finally did! I'm no rookie to this, as I participated in a private cooking event with friends before, but this was years ago, and at the time I couldn't really cook much, let alone blog about it, so I had a ball hanging with my girlfraaans at The Chopping Block Chicago! We had so much fun you guys, and I truly enjoy hanging with these ladies because 99.9% of the time we are laughing. We even joke that people are probably so annoyed with us when we are together, because we laugh the entire time! We were celebrating one of my closest friends birthday's, another friend that just moved to Chicago, AND another friends promotion! She had no idea we were planning to celebrate her, but that's what I love about this group, they are never afraid to show love, and celebrate one another. I enjoyed our time at the Chopping Block so much, the food was delicious, the wine was the bomb, and if me telling you isnt selling you enough, watch my vlog!

   

Happiest of Birthdays again to my partner in crime Lo, welcome to the greatest city there ever is Kath, and Em job well done! @scandolopez you win with the best IG handle of all time!!


Peace, Friendship, Food, & Wine!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Risky Business

Monday we meet again! 

Had such a great weekend, especially because I've been so busy with work/travel. I'm literally going nonstop all week, so it felt good to get out this weekend, and catch up with friends! This week's look is inspired by one of my favorite old time classic movies, Risky Business! If you haven't guessed it already, the famous white, crisp white button down shirt was the main part of my outfit, and yest it was RI-SKY!  I'm a fan of all T shirt dresses, and they come in so many different designs, lengths, patterns, I mean the list goes on. I wanted just a basic, true, classic white t shirt dress, and found mines at Nasty Gal! I took this super casual, but sexy shirt, and glammed it up with my fave pair of black pumps, and a leather jacket. This look was perfect for the fun I had in store over the weekend!








You can shop my look below!



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Dinner Series : Fried Chicken




Happy Sunday! 

Wanted to share my recipe for Fried Chicken on the blog, as some of you have sent in your questions and asked how my family makes this meal. Fried Chicken is definitely a staple in the African American culture, and how it's prepared has been passed down from generation to generation. There's so many ways to make friend chicken, so many different types of grease to fry it in, so I'm just going to share with you how my family makes it. It's super easy, and super quick, but so good! I've never been a fan of commercially cooked fried chicken like KFC, Popeye's, or Harold's Chicken. (My Chicago folks know the deal) and those are all still really good options (minus KFC) but I'd rather my chicken be cooked in my kitchen, with  my seasonings, with my flour, and in my grease! Feel free to share your favorite ways to make fried chicken, and to learn mines, keep reading!



Ingredients:

1 pack of chicken wings (they usually come 6/9 ct.)
Lawrys Seasoning Salt
Black Pepper
Garlic Seasoning
Flour
Canola Oil 
Hot Sauce (for dipping)



1. Start by cleaning your wings, entirely. They come sometimes really bloody, or with small feathers still attached. I usually spend alot of time cleaning my chicken, because you don't want to eat the gross stuff. Clean all the folds, rub the grit off of them under cold water, and remove any particles you don't want to eat. Once entirely clean, fold them into little triangles.


 2. Season Away! This can make or break your chicken at the end of the day lol. I keep it simple with my seasonings because I don't want my chicken too salty, but I still want enough flavor. Lawrys is a staple seasoning salt, because it gives all my meats that good flavor I need, without making it salty or too bland. I usually season my chicken with Lawry's first, and then pepper, and then the garlic seasoning. I don't measure how much I use, I just eyeball it. You can tell when you have way too much. One rule of thumb I use, is if you can't see the skin of the meat anymore, that means you have too much seasoning. The good thing with chicken is if its too much seasoning, you can always rinse it off with cold water, and start over.
 

3. Make sure the entire wing is coated in seasoning. I usally start on one side, and turn it to the other side to season. What makes this part really easy to do, and to cleanup, is putting a large bowl in your sink, and cleaning/seasoning your seasonings in that bowl, like so. 
 
 4. In an old paper bag, or grocery bag ( we clearly ran out of paper bags), pour about 2 cups of all purpose flour in your bag. Double the bag because it can get really messy once you start to flour your chicken. 

5. After your bag is doubled, and you have a good amount of flour in your bag, place 1 -2 pieces of chicken in the bag, hold the bag closed with your hands, and shake! You want to make sure every inch of your wings are covered in flour. Repeat this step until all of your wings are fully floured.


6. Get a large pot out, and pour about a half a bottle of canola oil into the pot and put on medium to high heat. You want your grease to get nice and hot before putting your chicken wings in. I usually start my grease before I flour my chicken because it doesn't take long for the grease to get hot.

 7. You know your grease is hot when you start to hear it popping. Once it starts popping start to put your wings in one at a time. Be careful!! The grease is popping, which means you can get popped with grease, and burn yourself. So place them into the pot with a fork, or kitchen tongs, and place them in the pot very slowly. Depending on how big your pot it, you might be able to fit all of your wings in at one time. I usually throw 3 - 4 in at a time to fry. 


8. It doesnt take long to fry, so if you are frying chicken, I'd stand over the stove just to make sure you aren't distracted by anything else. It's super easy to walk away, and then come back to burned chicken. Trust me I know :) You'll notice as your chicken fries, it starts to bleed. You will see blood in the pot, but that means it's cooking on the inside. I usually keep them frying on one side for about 3 - 5 minutes, and flip it over to the other. 

9. Your chicken should be done once they are golden brown, and crispy on the outside like the photo. Sometimes to test, I just take one out, and pull the meat back on the inside to see if its done. If not, I throw it back in. 

10. Make sure you have a plate with paper towels ontop of the plate. Once your chicken is done you will want to put it directly on the paper toweled plate, so that it can catch the grease dripping off of the chicken.


11. And walah! You're done! Easy right? Serve with any side that you want, and pair with your favorite dipping sauce. I'm a hot sauce girl, so Louisiana hot sauce is my JAM.


Let me know how your's turned out, and send me your pics/snaps! I can't wait to see what you think.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mermaid Blush

Happy Monday loves! Loved this look, and I didn't know how well it was going to go because at first glance the dress looks very summery and the weather is starting to change here in the Chi. I was headed out to a quick dinner with my friends, and it wasn't cold out, but it wasn't burning up outside either. I purchased this dress earlier this summer, but never had the chance to wear it. I picked up the dress from the lovely ladies at House of Chic LA. I can always find pieces there that I absolutely know no one else will have. But once I put it on, and started snapping pics, it went so well with the greens, and especially with the leaves falling. With the fishnet detail, and the way it hugs my curves I felt like a true mermaid! Not to mention the very bottom of the skirt, and how it billows out from the knee. I loved this dress, and so sad that summer is ending because I won't get much wear out of it until it gets warm again, but it was so fun to put on, and I got soooo many compliments.

Also, the ladies at House of Chic LA are obviously business owners, but if you follow them on their social medias, they are all about promoting self love, sisterhood, and always empower our young women to never underestimate the power of a good slay!  To learn more about them, and their BOSS boutique, visit House of Chic LA












Slay on my friends...I sure will :)






Monday, September 12, 2016

Safari Slay



Hey ladies! I am milking summer for everything it's got! I was determined to get this look up on the blog. I felt like I was on a Safari with this look, with the earth tone colors and the statement animal print shoulder bag. My entire outfit is under $100 minus the purse ( purchased last year). My look is from Windsor Store. I shop at Windsor for those random items that might pull a look together, for example this vest. I'd never just wear the dress alone because it's a little too short and thin for me :) But! With the vest on, and the statement shoulder bag, it really brought the dress down, but still kept it sexy! Do you guys shop at Windsor? 










Dress: Windsor | Vest: Windsor| Arm Cuffs: Windsor| Shoulder Bag: purchased last year | Heels: Steve Madden


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mom's Potato Salad



Yes, this happened today! For those of you that know me, or my family you guys KNOW my mom can slay on some potato salad. Like since the dawn of time she's been able to make this, and this was passed on to her from my grandma. She can literally make this in her sleep, and is known throughout my entire family ( mom & dad's side alike) for her famous potato salad. I was itching for the chance to get it up here and walk you guys through how she makes it, which was also a treat for me because out of the 1000 times she's been in the house making it, I've never sat down and watched her do it. This gave us a good time to bond, & connect and for me to learn how to make the salad myself. In the kitchen when we were making this I asked her how did she learn and her reply was, "Just like you're doing now. I use to sit on the counter and watch my mom make it when I was your age." Oh mom...you sure do warm my  heart. :)  For my moms FAMOUS potato salad, keep reading!


Ingedients:
5lb bag of red potatos (usually a small bag)
1 Dozen Eggs
1/4th Red Onion
1 Jar of Sweet Pickle Relish
1 Tbsp Mustard
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 Tbsp. Salt
1/2 Tbsp. Pepper
1/2 Jar of Hellmanns Mayonnaise


First, you're going to skin all of your potatoes. Once they are all skinned ( we used the whole bag, because we were making a large bowl.) Once all skinned grab a large boiling pot and put your skinned potatoes in the pot. Fill the pot with water.

Begin to chop your potatoes while they are in the pot. Continue to chop until all of your potatoes are about 3/4th quartered size (see picture below). Don't worry if the water is dirty, or a little murky, you will rinse off the potatoes before boiling them.



Once you've rinsed off the old water, fill the pot back up, with the potatoes still in the pot. Add your eggs to the pot also.

When both eggs and potoates are covered with water in the pot. place your boiling pot on medium to high heat for 40 to 45 minutes. Your potaotes should be very soft towards the 45 minute mark. To test this, poke a fork into your potato while it's boiling. If the potatoe slides right off, your potoates are done.


Seperate your now boiled eggs into a seperate bowl. Pour the hot potoates into a strainer over the sink. You'll want to drain off any water that was remaining from your pot. 

Once your potates are well drained, rinse off your eggs, and cool them down. We will peel and chop these later, and add them to the salad.



While your eggs are cooling, be sure to chop 1/4th red onion. Set aside. 

Transfer your boiled potatoes into the serving bowl, begin to gently mash them. Not too much, as you still want some potatoes to still have structure to them. So don't mash them until they turn out like actual mashed potatoes. Mix them around, mash them, but make sure your potatoes still have good texture to them.

Add your onions, pickle relish, salt, pepper, sugar, mustard, and mayo. Continue to mix until your ingredients have combined. Peel and chop your eggs, then add into your salad. Again mixing until they are combined.



At this point begin to taste your potato salad. You can add more of the ingredients we've already added to bring it to the flavor that you want. Usually at this point my mom adds more mayonnaise, or mustard, and sometimes a little extra sugar to make it a little more sweeter.

Mix until all of your ingredients are added, and boom! You've got yourself my moms famous potato salad!


This dish can always be paired as a side for dinner, or makes a SUPER easy dish to bring to dinner partiers and/or gatherings. Trust me I know...this is my mom's GO TO dish. She's been doing this since the dawn of time, so it's been tested, tried and true!!!

Happy Sunday and cheers to starting off a fabulous week!



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Travel Vlog: LA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, WeHo

Hi Friends!

It's been a very busy past month with work and travel, but I have so much fun stuff planned for the next couple of months on the blog! I've been traveling so much this month, But I managed to squeeze in a quick getaway last weekend to LA, and I had the time of my life! LA is such a different vibe than Chicago, & I can totally see why people move there and never move any place else. The food was A-MAZ-ING, the views were breathtaking, and the men were gorg! I went for a long weekend to visit one of my closest friends from college, who graciously let me stay at her place, and drag her around, city to city so that I could have a good time. I vlogged my trip for you guys, and if you haven't already been, make this your next stop on your travel list! :) 







Again, big thanks to my dear friend Patrice! Thank you for allow us to almost die from eating so much, drinking, walking our feet to the bone, and most of all laughing until we cried. I am so lucky to call you my friend. :)

 

design + development by kelly christine studio