Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunshine & Dinosaurs

On Black Friday, Jason and I braved Downtown Disney for a day of shopping, dining, and overall fun. Jason and I love Disney - we honeymooned in Walt Disney World so this was a nice treat for our "just after five month-er-versary" or whatever. Anyhow, it was a nice treat for us.


We started off eating at T-Rex, a restaurant that we inexplicably love. Maybe it's the giant dinosaurs. Maybe it's the ridiculousness of how the waiters carry through on telling you that we just "barely survived that meteor shower" that inevitably happens every five minutes. Or really, really, it's the footprints flatbread. A flat bread pizza with mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, and goat cheese, rotisserie chicken, caramelized onions, and topped with a balsamic vinagairette glaze. We had made many pizzas inspired by it, but their chicken is really, really excellent, and I barely like chicken. It was a great start to our day.

t rex inside 
vinylmation table

We went around Downtown Disney and bought ourselves some Vinylmation toys - these toys are our favorite! We had collected various vinyls since we started dating, and when Disney came out with them, it was like the perfect marriage of our favorite things. Plus, unlike our other vinyl collections, there is a system in store where you can trade your Vinylmations at various locations throughout the parks and in Disney stores. This works out perfectly since the first two boxes we ever bought happened to be the same toy! A new series, called Park Starz, features custom shaped vinyls, and I hope to get more of these. They are adorable and feature some characters from our favorite rides. We didn't realize at first who this little guy was (the Ice Gator from Blizzard Beach) but he is awful adorable.

disney park starz packaging park starz : ice gator

Jason also took some cute photos of me in my dress for the day. 
Sunshine & Daisies Sunshine & Daisies Sunshine & Daisies
dress : anthropologie bright bandana dress
bag : foley + corinna disco city clutch remixed
necklace : crave jewelry via etsy remixed
sweater : xhilaration via target
shoes (unseen - husband fail! but not really) : bamboo via modcloth

We went putt putt golfing at an off-site course (since we were driving there anyway) called Pirate's Cove then went to the Yacht Club for our dinner - we walked around the Epcot resort area (Yacht Club, Beach Club, Board Walk, and the Swan and Dolphin hotels) before dinner and took photographs.

looking at the epcot resorts boardwalk 

 We also saw this awesome Stitch gingerbread piece that I saw featured on the Disney blog before I came - I loved it! It was great in real life - Stitch is my favorite character.

stitch's boardwalk bakery 

 Our dinner at the Yachtsmans Steakhouse was stellar - we really just let ourselves enjoy a crazy birthday meal! Our meal started with onion bread with roasted garlic and butter (free with your meal - always a plus!) that was AMAZING. Oh how I love roasted garlic!! I also ordered an amazing wildberry margarita that was way too easy to drink.

yachtsman steakhouse

We both had steak - I had a filet mignon with red wine sauce and mashed potatoes while Jason had an aged New York strip with au gratin potatoes. We also added caramelized onions and mac and cheese as sides. Jason's steak was perfectly cooked and paired with a peppercorn brandy sauce that was to die for - his steak was the highlight of the meal. His potatoes were quite delicious too and I really enjoyed the cheeses, whatever they were, that they chose in it. My steak was great, but it did pale a bit in comparison, and my mashed potatoes were a good thick consistency with a lot of flavor - quite yummy. The caramelized onions were a bit disappointed - they tasted to be doused in a strong cooking sherry and a lot of salt to me - not quite what I would have imagined. The mac and cheese was great in flavor but was really watery. The truffle oil was delicious in it and definitely made up for it's less than stellar consistency.

onion bread & garlic at yachtsman steakhouse

We ended with a cheese plate. Disney does cheese plates so well. I'm not sure what it is, but their selection of cheeses and pairings are perfect and always delicious. This one featured a young goat cheese marinated in olive oil with peppercorn, a smokey blue cheese with honeycomb, and two cows milk cheeses - the best being a harder cheese paired with pear butter! MM! See the photo below for the beautiful presentation.

cheese plate at yachtsman steakhouse

It was the most wonderful and best date night! It was amazing to see my husband again after so long - I miss him a lot already.

Lastly, I saw my guinea pig's too! This is a photo of me and sir tom while he was getting wiped down and eating carrots.

  sir tom & me

Monday, November 28, 2011

of bagels & bagles

I spent my Thanksgiving weekend and birthday (! and my husband's - we were born on the same day) in Orlando vising Jason for the first time since we moved apart. It was wonderful to finally be with my husband again - and so easy to fall back into our old life style. Maybe too easy! I easily ordered him to go get me drinks - when did I become so lazy?

full sail studios

First, on Thanksgiving, we visited my husband's school, Full Sail University, where he is studying to receive a master's degree in Game Design. He is owning. He is an awesome, hard worker and I'm super proud of how well he is doing (and will do - I have belief in him - but more than belief - like he's just good.) The school is nice - and these photos were taken in front of really nice sets that they have built.

of bagles and bagels

of bagles and bagels

dress : easy doe-s it sugarhill boutique via modcloth
shoes : loeffler randall for target
raynor's collar : mod dog on etsy
necklace : ornamental things
bag : foley + corinna disco city clutch
ps. that's my "bagle" raynor. she is a basset/beagle, or a bagle, hence the name of this post

Thanksgiving turned out well! I made Herb Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy, Autumn Potato Gratin, and Creamed Corn. True to myself, I like to look for recipes more to inspire than to follow. The recipe I followed the closest was the Turkey - which indeed turned out with an amazing flavorful crust - and the gravy I improvised a bit more. I used mostly Woodchuck apple cider and added bay leaves and rosemary that I strained out. Delicious! My au gratin potatoes I had Jason help with - he sliced a lot of baby red potatoes thin and then I made the cream sauce - I added extra garlic, a bit of extra herbs, and I put a chunk of the reggiano cheese we picked for sprinkling on top in as well as some rind - it really helped to add the cheesy flavor everywhere. I also never measure, which is both bad and good. The creamed corn I really messed with - I caramelized the onions and deglazed them with a bit of the cider I had on hand (Magners) but not too much. Then I added the corn and cream at the same time along with some seasoned salt, white pepper, brown sugar, tumeric, and a bit of thyme and rosemary. After cooking for awhile (about 15 minutes) I added some yellow corn meal which helped to thicken it, then I cooked for about 15 more minutes. The corn was soft. To add an extra and delicious kick, Jason chopped up some aged irish cheddar for me and we mixed that in. It was the best creamed corn ever! Unfortunately, this picture does no justice.

More to come! Wait for tomorrow for more photos from Downtown Disney!

thanksgiving dinner

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Modcloth "No Place Like Home-Page" Winner

Thanks Modcloth! I was so happy to see my image from Instagram up on the site!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Very Etsy Christmas

I've been searching the internet for items for my Amazon wishlist (oh wait...I just search the internet for things to buy all the time...not just around Christmas/Birthday time) and this year I decided to center the list around items on my "favorites" list on Etsy. Here are some of my favorite picks for the holidays - stores and items alike.

All of African Grey's items are adorable - I can't help but love them. I want all the little corgi items.

The PolkaDotMagpie's bunting necklaces are so perfect - amazing match of whimsy and style.

These adorable silver and concrete necklaces from lulubugjewelry are adorable and elegant - I love the bright colors with the silver.

I'm really hoping for a wall decal from tropicraft to brighten up my apartment without paint.

And last but not least, for the sweet tooth, salted caramel lollipops from This Charming Candy. I want these oh so bad. I'll buy them for myself soon enough.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Yellow Spider

Thanksgiving is soon approaching - which means a trip to Orlando is coming in a few days - and tomorrow a haircut! I have been working in the office for half the day and scanning for the other half - it makes it easier to scan and I honestly can't sit on the floor all day (I have no desk). This outfit is a pretty easy and comfortable one - and this dress is a good staple of my wardrobe - I've worn it to interviews and work forever. At some point in time, one of my sister in laws friend even borrowed it for a party. It is so incredibly versatile.

  Little Yellow Spider

Little Yellow Spider

Little Yellow Spider

dress : forever 21
belt : vintage
shirt : gap
tights : j crew
shoes : fossil
necklace : ornamental things via kismet
collar : the mod dog via etsy

Sunday, November 20, 2011

'American' Onion Soup

I hate to seem like that crazy patriotic person, you know, the one that renamed French fries "Freedom Fries" back when we all hated France for some reason or the other (I didn't....by the way...I'm actually fairly fluent in French....parlez-vous?) but that's not what this recipe it about. This recipe is about taking the traditional soup a l'oignon gratinee and using fresh ingredients, like unpastuerized apple cider and American made sharp cheddar, and putting a small twist on what we know so well. It's amazingly delicious.

What You Need:
A soup pot or a 3-4 Qt Sauce Pot for smaller servings (I just half the recipe)
Any mix of 4 onions (I use 2 Yellow/Vidalia Onions, 1 Red Onion, 1 White Onion)
Unpasteurized Apple Cider (Can't find any? My husband swears by using Woodchuck Amber)
All Purpose Flour
Beef Stock & Beef Broth (I use Swanson brand...it's easier)
Seasoned Salt
Unsalted Butter
White Pepper
Bay Leaves (about 5)
A Dry White Wine (I use the kind available in the grocery store)
Worcestershire Sauce
Crusty French Bread OR Garlic Croutons
White Cheddar Cheese (I use Cracker Barrel Vermont White Shredded)
Mozzarella cheese (I use Sargento's)

First, chop the onions into thin slices, by cutting the top and bottom off the onion, then slicing in half, then into thin slices. You can put these aside in a bowl or on your cutting board. Really any amount of about 4 onions works - you could use all the same onion, but I prefer the taste of these three together. While you are cutting your last onion, start to melt about 4 Tbsp of butter in your pot on a low heat.

Bring the heat up to a medium heat and put the onions in the melted butter. With a whisk, try to coat them with butter. Then sprinkle the onions with between 1 and 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt (I sprinkle generously because I like salt) and whisk to distribute evenly. Caramelize the onions - don't stir too often or they won't brown. There are many great videos out there if you aren't too familiar with this step - just use Google! Here's a good link to start : http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_caramelize_onions/

When the onions get to the point where they are sticking to the pan a bit, grab your apple cider. Pour 1/2 cup of apple cider in, and let the apple cider simmer down so that the onions are almost to the consistency they were before, only with a bit of apple cider still there.

From there, put in 4 TBSP all purpose flour. Whisk this into a roux. It will look like onions mixed with sand almost. Most likely, this is going to stick to your whisk a bit. Cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat. When well blended, pour in 3/4 cup beef stock and whisk together until you see no more flour clumps. From there, throw in your 4 bay leaves, pour in 2.5 more cups of beef broth, and 3/4 dry white wine. Move to a medium-high heat and get it up to a light boil, then throw in your 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, 2 tteaspoons white pepper, and 1 more teaspoon of seasoning salt. Let simmer for about 20-ish minutes, or until a bit of the broth cooks down.

While the soup is simmering, preheat your oven to the "broil" (or top-broil for some) setting. Cut your french bread - this can be really any white bread from a previous meal or even garlic and cheese croutons - into small cubes. Or better yet - skip the knife and just rip the bread! Throw these into an oven safe soup crock (many places sell these for like 4 dollars a pop). Once the soup is done, ladle the soup over the bread until there is about 1/4inch of room between the soup and the top of the bowl.

Grab your cheese. Sprinkle with mozzarella first so that the soup is covered with some gaps. Fill in the gaps and cover again with the white cheddar cheese. Put this in your oven to broil for about 4-5 minutes - just keep an eye on it. I time it by knowing I can feed my dog and put the extra soup in a tupperware container. The cheese should be bubbly and a bit brown. Pull it out of the oven with caution and set on a plate. Let cool and then enjoy!

Tea & Tattoos

I had a really exciting day today. Well, actually, the first half I suppose wasn't. I spent my day working from home wrapped in blankets, using my dog's bed as a desk chair, and scanning fabrics for a material library at work. Uneventful, sure, but I got a good pile done and was able to stay home with Teemo (who simply slept...I tried to use him as a table.... haha maybe? not really).

Fabric Stack

Anyhow, I bought this dress from Modcloth for a reason. I have been waiting for awhile just to get settled in, but this little beauty has been planned for awhile. Jason and I agreed I could get my second tattoo as a gift to myself for getting a job (and to celebrate our marriage, of course!). I have loved these birds for awhile and was so excited to get my second tattoo. Brad at 717tattoo did an amazing job - I'm so happy.

Love Birds

I got this awesome backless dress for the occasion and to show off once this heals up. Plus it's just an awesome dress and you can't tell it's open in the back if I have a sweater on, which is great.

Green Tea

Green Tea

Green Tea

sweater: banana republic (outlet)
tights : target
shoes : fraiser fir flat from modcloth
headband : forever 21
mug : fiesta ware in lemongrass
watch : marc by marc jacobs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gray Stables

I moved to Harrisburg at the beginning of October, and I have had every intention of making this blog happen since. I've been active in many fashion communities around the web since 2008, like PopSugar,, Chictopia, & LookBook, and my blog www.kitkatherine.info used to be completely based around fashion. I finally felt it was time to resurrect this passion of mine.

I'm in love with many things, one of them being Modcloth. This outfit features a dress from my most recent order, the Easy Doe-s It Dress.

Gray Stables

Gray Stables 2

Teemo and I have some work to do on his modeling skills!

Gray Stables 3
dress : easy doe-s it dress by sugarhill boutique
belt : vintage
bracelet : kate spade
necklace : crave jewelry design
wedges : mossimo via target
bag : valhalla brooklyn larch bag
So please, stay tuned, and look out for more outfits plus recipes (I cook a lot and want to share) and other posts.