dressed to entertain

dress / necklace / shoes

A new series for the new year! We liked December’s sample post so much, that we decided to continue sharing wardrobe inspiration with you. While entertaining, I think it’s best to choose a few simple pieces that are unfussy, yet make make a big impact. This dress is definitely an example of that. You’ll be able to move around in it- to put out last minute appetizers and mix up drinks- and since it’s silk, it will remind you of your favorite pajamas. I’ve really been a little obsessed with florals this month (most likely because I can’t wait until spring!), and darker wintery florals make me even happier. If you throw on a necklace and simple flats at the last minute, you’ll be ready to go with an outfit of just three items.

Inspiration: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5


I always find the best recipes come out of nowhere, when I’m making something I never even intended to put on the blog. In fact, I had big plans to post a recipe for a Tuscan white bean and kale soup today but, truthfully, the photos came out horribly! I’m feeling the need to re-work my photo styling/ figure out a better way to deal with the winter lighting. I love the warmth of the photos from this sour cream coffee cake, but that was taken in my mom’s kitchen- so yeah, need to work on recreating that.

But I digress….let’s talk about oatmeal! Before you go running to the hills because I put bacon in this oatmeal and you’re trying to eat well in the new year- hear me out. There is only one slice per serving, and I used organic nitrate free bacon so we’re not talking about the worst thing for you. Add in some slivered almonds and flaxseed and you’ve got a hearty but not overly indulgent breakfast to fuel you through the morning. I had planned to add sautéed apples but didn’t realize I was completely out, so feel free to add that in to give it some fruit content. But even without, this breakfast is definitely one of those reason to get out of bed in the morning meals. And I definitely need that when it’s a balmy 30° outside. Oh January…

More killer oatmeal! Apple Pie Oatmeal, Bruléed Pumpkin Oatmeal, Creamy Blueberry Steelcut Oats

Channeling-Contessa-Maple-Bacon-Oatmeal-1 Channeling-Contessa's-Maple-Bacon-Oatmeal-2

Maple Bacon Oatmeal

Serves 3

  • 1 cup scottish oats (could also use rolled or steel cut)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 slices thick cut organic bacon
  • 2 T flax seed
  • 3 T slivered almonds
  • maple syrup and cinnamon for serving

Begin frying the bacon over medium low heat, cooking for about 5 minutes on each side until the bacon is nice and crisp (the key to cooking bacon well and not burning it, is to do it low and slow).

Cook the oatmeal according to the package instructions, but for every cup use two cups water and one cup milk. Once the oatmeal is cooked whisk in the salt and flax seed.

Once the bacon is finished cooking pat dry and slice into small pieces. Divide the oatmeal among three bowls. Top each with one slice chopped bacon, one tablespoon slivered almonds, and a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Weekend wishes 9


Get creative : with vegetables (I haven’t been making very many exciting dishes lately, so it’s time to get inspired, and try something new! Also, I think many people may have added improved diet to their New Year’s list. There’s so much more than salad- try these poblano and portobello fajitas!)

Look: forward for the New Year (It’s the first weekend of the year, and it’s a great time to decide what you’re hoping to accomplish in the next year. What new things do you want to try? Pick some things to check off your life list. I had my first ‘check’ yesterday by finally making it to Balthazar)

Bring: Fresh flowers inside (Now that your tree is out of your living room, it’s a great time to freshen up your decor a bit. Flowers remind me that spring is near)

 {From our trip to Italy in 2012}

Well, first off, thank you guys! If you chimed in yesterday I so appreciate it. I love learning about all of you out there, instead of just being the one always talking about myself. If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out yesterday’s post and leave a little note so I can learn more about you as a reader.

Now. You may have noticed that there hasn’t been any sort 2012 in review and New Year’s resolutions post around here. The latter portion is simply because I don’t really believe in resolutions and find it’s better for me to be conscious and take note of changes I want to make in my life throughout the year, rather than on one specific date. I definitely used to be the kind to pump out a laundry list of resolutions, all of which never actually happened! That said, given where everyone’s head is at this time of year, I do plan to spend some time in January talking about my philosophies on eating, exercise, maintaining balance in my life, and what not. I’m definitely not a master of it all, but feel pretty at peace with those departments of my life- and would love to share.

The 2012 in review? Given the fact that January 1st, 2013 marked CC’s second birthday warrants even more of a reason to do a post of this kind! But truthfully, I was just more eager to look ahead. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want CC to be in 2013. Yesterday’s post was part of that, and I’ve also been spending some time just sort of reflecting on the blog itself. The blog world has changed a lot and I have a pretty solid feeling we’re going to experience some even bigger changes this year. But with all of that, I find myself really drawn back to my roots- food. I want to spend more time in the kitchen, share more recipes, and just in general bring us back to food. I’m also eager to keep talking about running your own business, with a new focus on blogging, and hopefully serving as  a resource for you on all on that. But. There is one key change I want to make, and that is to work on getting out from behind the camera and showing more of me on this blog! Pictures of me cooking instead of just photos of the food, more pics from everyday life, and so on. I happen to be the least photogenic person in the world, but am ready to work on that! So that’s the plan. Til then, have a fabulous weekend. xx

I realize this decadent sour cream coffee is probably the last thing you want to see after all the holiday cookies and cakes, but I couldn’t help but share. The photo just came out so well! That and when you are ready to take a break from your post holiday detox, this cake is a phenomenal way to start. Just make sure you have 10+ people around because this thing is downright huge.

Now, moving on to more important matters. I want to talk about you. Up until recently I had this funny idea in my head that if I put it to you guys- ie asked you what you wanted to see around these parts, that the question would in some way suggest I was unable to come up with content on my own. I know, really silly. And maybe kind of selfish? In any event, now I’m asking. So the first part of your assignment is to tell me the following: What makes you come to CC everyday? What do you want to see more or less of? And most importantly, what do you want to see that’s not here right now? For those of you who have left comments and questions- no worries I’ve got you covered, but if you haven’t shared your opinion before, hop to!

Number two! Yep, I’m feeling pretty demanding today. Can you tell me who you are? I know some of you, but there are thousands- and well, I want to know more! What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you love to eat? Did you see Les Mis? Or anything else you’d like to share!

I appreciate you all so much and without you, well, CC wouldn’t even be possible. So in 2013 I want to make sure I know you all better- and we’re covering what you want to read! Sound like a plan? Let’s do it.

Oh! And coffee cake recipe below.

Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Shutterbean
makes 12-16 servings

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons each vanilla & water

Maple Frosting/Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°.

Beat butter and granulated sugar together until light & fluffy. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together and blend into mixture.

Combine nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into a grease, flour-dusted 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the nut mixture. Continue layering to make three layers of each, ending with the nut mixture. Blend vanilla and water in a bowl and drizzle it over top.

Bake cake for about 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 20 mintues on a wire rack, then remove from the pan.

In a small bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, maple syrup & vanilla together to make the glaze.

With a spoon drizzle glaze on top of the cooled cake and serve.