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BIG GIRL SITE someone got a fancy new makeover

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There comes a time in every website’s life when the bubble-gummed & bootstrapped, “I did it myself!” look no  longer cuts it. We had one of those moments at the end of 2015 & decided that if we were going to be taken seriously as website full of thoughtful living pieces, entertaining tips, and killer cocktails, it’s time we started looking the part!

So, like every good creative, we decided to re-create ourself. We ditched the blog-like layout, changed our color palette, revamped the home page, & swapped out our flats for a shiny new pair of gold metallic wedges.

HERE ARE SOME FUN NEW THINGS TO EXPLORE:

– Recipes to impress your Mother-in-Law

– EXPLORE categories

– Meet the team in our ABOUT section

– Easter entertaining essentials

Shout out to the web design wizards, Kelly & Andra of With Grace and Gold. They are fabulous design unicorns that dreamt up the new website look and executed it like a dream. While not only a joy to work with, these girls are freakishly talented and very well priced. If you are in the market for branding, website design, or brand strategy, I couldn’t recommend anyone else more highly!


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GINGER & WALNUT DARK CHOCOLATE BARK

DARK CHOCOLATE BARK - LAUREN KELP

Happy Monday! Constance here. Please tell me I’m not the only one who is seriously struggling with coming off of the chocolate high after the holidays?! It seems to be so much more difficult than it was last year. I’m a firm believer in the gradual change, and I think that this little recipe falls a bit more into the power bar/trail mix category than the dessert category. Right? And dark chocolate is basically a superfood. Thus, I bring you Ginger & Walnut Dark Chocolate Bark. It’s easy. It’s delicious. And it’s obviously super healthy…

DARK CHOCOLATE BARK - LAUREN KELPDARK CHOCOLATE BARK - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-18 oz. dark chocolate chips or chunks

-2 tablespoons almond extract

-1 cup candied ginger, chopped

-1 cup walnuts, chopped

-1 cup shaved almonds

DARK CHOCOLATE BARK - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
-In a medium sized saucepan, heat chocolate on low until melted. Stir often.
-Once melted, add almond extract and whisk until smooth.
-Remove from heat and add all but 1/3 cup of ginger, 1/3 cup of walnuts and 1/3 cup of almonds.

-Stir until evenly combined.
-Pour chocolate mixture into prepared pans.
-Sprinkle the remaining ginger, walnuts and almonds evenly on both prepared pans.
-Refrigerate bark for at least one hour (preferably overnight) until firm.
-Remover from refrigerator, cut into squares, and serve.

DARK CHOCOLATE BARK - LAUREN KELP


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HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELPOoh, dear, dear friends, you are in for a treat today. For all of my cheese lovers out there, today’s recipe is for you! We’ve got the most glorious baked brie and it’s basically a cheap & easy lifesaver. It takes no time, is cheap to make, and makes you look like a total pro! Go ahead invite the mother in law over, you just popped a brie in the oven 😉 – xoxo, LK


Oh friends. Constance here. Is anyone out there as excited as I am that the holidays are over? Never before in my life have I uttered that sentence. I almost feel ashamed saying it, but it couldn’t be more true this year! I think it must be a combination of a way too busy holiday season around our house (I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe for a couple of days there!) and an overwhelming sense of excitement about 2016. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but there’s something about this year that has me giddy. I have a feeling 2016 is going to be quite the game changer.

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELP

All of this excitement, however, doesn’t come without some sort of reflection. I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the art of entertaining, especially when it comes to the holidays. Confession: I’m 100% certain that that busyness I mentioned earlier had much to do with me spending way too much time in the kitchen trying to impress our guests rather than cooking smarter and spending more time actually enjoying my loved ones. There’s a way to be intentional and make much of your guests, without entirely missing the celebration yourself, and I truly believe that if that’s not happening there’s a big problem.

So to remedy this for future celebrations, I’ve decided to learn from my mistakes this year, and share with you the recipes that truly did work. The ones that are simple and quick, but still communicate to your guests that the dinner you’ve invited them to is a celebration! And you guys, this is the pièce de résistance. Because who doesn’t love brie…

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELPINGREDIENTS:

-12 ounce wheel of good brie (a younger brie works best, but ask your cheese monger for a good option)

-honey (the more the better)

-3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELPINSTRUCTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Remove brie from packaging and place in camembert baker or on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with honey (we prefer to completely cover the top of the brie, but it’s up to you). Top with fresh rosemary sprigs.

-Bake for 12-14 minutes.

-Remove from oven, and serve with crusty french bread.

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELP


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SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA Hello again beautiful people, and welcome to Monday morning! We’re so glad you’re here, and since we realize you may be less than thrilled with the current time and day, we wanted to share a little recipe that may help bring some cheer to the beginning of your work week – the swanky frittata!

I’m currently in the middle of some serious cleaning and purging of everything in our household, and this yearly event always makes me crave the  simple, classic, go-to’s in life. Like the tailored little black dress, the perfectly curated linen closet, the newly arranged and edited book shelf, and the classic and perfected recipes that never grow old. Back to basics is my spring theme, and this frittata is an essential component of our little regimen.

The best part is, it’s basic appeal allows you the freedom to mix things up if you choose! So show us your take on this classic by tagging #LKmakes, and we’ll be featuring our favorites soon!

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

INGREDIENTS:

-3 teaspoons olive oil

-2 cloves minced garlic

-4 eggs

-1/2 cup milk

-2 ounces goat cheese crumbles

-2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 lemon, juiced

-2 large handfuls of arugula

-Fresh cracked pepper

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

DIRECTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 375.

-In an 8″ cast iron skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-low heat.

-Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

-In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

-Add egg mixture to skillet and increase heat to medium. Cook until bottom begins to set, about 5-6 minutes.

-Transfer skillet to oven and continue to cook until edges are slightly brown, about 8-10 minutes.

-While frittata is baking, whisk together 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the juice from one lemon, and fresh cracked pepper. Toss with arugula.

-Remove frittata from oven, let cool slightly, and top with arugula. Serve and enjoy!


SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA


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CHOCOLATE FUDGE

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP

Hello & Happy Monday, you beautiful birds! It’s chocolate day here at LK HQ and we are busting out a good one – chocolate fudge! It’s pure heaven and it’s perfect to share, gift, or indulge in after a good meal. Thankfully, Foodie Bad Ass Constance Higley brings her A-game and knocks this guy out of the park. Can’t wait to hear what y’all think! – xoxo, LK


Hello friends! Constance here. Remember how we said Mondays were made for chocolate? We weren’t kidding. It’s what we live for…at least on Mondays. I’ve always steered clear from any sort of fudge recipe, thinking it was way out of my league. And the whole tahini thing (see recipe) threw me for a complete loop. But like with anything that may seem scary, once you get started you realize it’s truly easy and so worth it. And any recipe that I can make the day before a dinner party and freeze overnight is 1000 times worth it!

If you love chocolate, dessert, a good time, or a delicious recipe – this little guy is absolutely for you! Check it out and see what I mean…

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-1/2 cup pure maple syrup

-3 tablespoons coconut oil

-340g hulled tahini

-2 tablespoons cocoa powder

-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

-sea salt flakes

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.

-Slowly heat the maple syrup and coconut oil until just melted.

-Remove mixture from heat and add the tahini, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

-Mix together until combined into a smooth, runny paste.

-Transfer mix to prepared 8×8 pan, and top with sea salt flakes.

-Place pan in freezer for at least 4 hours to set.

-Remove from freezer, but into small squares, and serve immediately.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP


constanceRecipe adapted from My Darling Lemon Thyme.

SALTED CARAMEL APPLES

SALTED CARAMEL APPLES - LAUREN KELPHello party people! I know everyone is gearing up for the holiday season, but we are still enjoying this gorgeous Fall weather here in Chicago. It’s beyond rare that we don’t have snow on the ground at this point in time, so I am basking in all the “light jacket” glory.

Our fabulous Food Contributor Constance must have taken my Fall musings to heart as she whipped up the most gorgeous salted caramel apples the universe has ever seen. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, and all those potlucks you are about to attend.

Dip, serve, and repeat – that’s what I say! For the perfect shareable dessert, put in the refrigerator for a few minutes so the caramel hardens and cut into easy to serve slices.

SALTED CARAMEL APPLES - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 cups granulated sugar
-12 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into 1-inch cubes
-1 cup heavy cream
-3 teaspoons of SEE SALT

SALTED CARAMEL APPLES - LAUREN KELPINSTRUCTIONS:

– In a semi-deep non-stick pot, heat sugar over medium high heat, stirring often.
-The sugar will soon start to clump together. This is ok and what it is supposed to do!
-The sugar will soon start to break down into a liquid and you’ll want to switch to a whisk to get rid of the clumps.
-Once the sugar is in liquid form, you’ll want to continue stirring for about 2 minutes.
-Carefully add the butter. The mixture will hiss and splatter a bit. Continue stirring until all the butter has melted.
-Once the butter has melted, CAREFULLY add the heavy cream. Since the heavy cream will be cold, your mixture will bubble and splatter a bit as well. Stir the mixture then let boil for 3 minutes.
-Remove from heat, stir in the SEE SALT, and let completely cool before you pour it into any jars.
-Store in the refrigerator and warm up slightly to drizzle or use for desserts.

SALTED CARAMEL APPLES - LAUREN KELP

Recipe by Table for Two.


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ROASTED SHALLOT & POMEGRANATE FLATBREAD

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

Happy Monday, babe-trons! Fall is officially here (that’s including you Texas and Arizona) and we couldn’t be happier. Bring on the plethora of hearty comfort food! If you are looking to step up your flatbread game, may we suggest this delicious roasted shallot & pomegranate option. It’s divine and perfectly hearty, but not in a “I can’t button my pants” way. See what we mean below! – xoxo, LK


Hello beautiful people! Constance here. I hope you all had the most wonderful time celebrating this weekend! And you guys–it’s November! It’s finally here. I’m ecstatic.

We’ve been on the search for the perfect fall inspired flatbread recipes, and I have to tell you–this one has my heart. I must confess, I really haven’t spent much time cooking with shallots, and do I regret it? Wholeheartedly. We’ve been using them in almost everything this past month, and I am obsessed. The combination of the roasted shallots, rosemary & pomegranate is oddly nostalgic and makes me so excited for cold weather, warm fires, and some true quality time spent around the table with those I adore.

We always love hearing about your favorite combos! Share your favorite flatbread recipes with us this week by tagging #LKmakes!

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELPROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:

-2 c. whole wheat flour

-1 pkg. or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast

-3/4 tsp. salt

-1 c. warm water

-1 tbsp. olive oil

-1 tsp. honey

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR FLATBREAD:

-pesto

-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

-1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

-1 medium sized shallot, sliced into small fans and roasted with fresh rosemary until slightly crisp

-fresh cracked pepper

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.

-Add yeast and salt. Mix well.

-Add water, oil and honey; mix well.

-Cover with a moist cloth and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.

-Place dough on a lightly floured surface and slowly spread and press the dough into your desired thickness and shape.

-Lightly coat the dough with a thin layer of pesto.

-Top the flatbread with the crumbled goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, shallots & rosemary.

-Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

-Remove flatbread from oven, top with fresh cracked pepper and enjoy.

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP


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ROASTED SHALLOT & POMEGRANATE FLATBREAD

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

Happy Monday, babe-trons! Fall is officially here (that’s including you Texas and Arizona) and we couldn’t be happier. Bring on the plethora of hearty comfort food! If you are looking to step up your flatbread game, may we suggest this delicious roasted shallot & pomegranate option. It’s divine and perfectly hearty, but not in a “I can’t button my pants” way. See what we mean below! – xoxo, LK


Hello beautiful people! Constance here. I hope you all had the most wonderful time celebrating this weekend! And you guys–it’s November! It’s finally here. I’m ecstatic.

We’ve been on the search for the perfect fall inspired flatbread recipes, and I have to tell you–this one has my heart. I must confess, I really haven’t spent much time cooking with shallots, and do I regret it? Wholeheartedly. We’ve been using them in almost everything this past month, and I am obsessed. The combination of the roasted shallots, rosemary & pomegranate is oddly nostalgic and makes me so excited for cold weather, warm fires, and some true quality time spent around the table with those I adore.

We always love hearing about your favorite combos! Share your favorite flatbread recipes with us this week by tagging #LKmakes!

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELPROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:

-2 c. whole wheat flour

-1 pkg. or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast

-3/4 tsp. salt

-1 c. warm water

-1 tbsp. olive oil

-1 tsp. honey

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR FLATBREAD:

-pesto

-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

-1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

-1 medium sized shallot, sliced into small fans and roasted with fresh rosemary until slightly crisp

-fresh cracked pepper

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.

-Add yeast and salt. Mix well.

-Add water, oil and honey; mix well.

-Cover with a moist cloth and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.

-Place dough on a lightly floured surface and slowly spread and press the dough into your desired thickness and shape.

-Lightly coat the dough with a thin layer of pesto.

-Top the flatbread with the crumbled goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, shallots & rosemary.

-Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

-Remove flatbread from oven, top with fresh cracked pepper and enjoy.

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP


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SPINACH & FIG SALAD

SPINACH & FIG SALAD - LAUREN KELPHello, hello! There is no denying it – from Arizona to Texas, it finally feels like Fall! That means it’s all about figs all the time here in the LK kitchen & we aren’t even slightly upset about it. Read how our wonderful Food Editor whipped up another Autumnal inspired recipe – this time a delicious fig salad – for you all! xoxo – LK


Hello & Happy Monday, friends! Constance here. So, I know we talk a lot about chocolate, and wine, and if you hang out with Lauren and myself long enough, you’ll know that French Fries are our favorite food, but there is a healthier side to this shop talk.

We’re on a bit of a health kick/detox in our house, and I’m trying with all of my might to get creative with it. You may or may not have noticed I have a strong affinity for figs. They seem to pop up in every other post. I just cannot get enough. Would I rather they be dipped in chocolate? Probably. But this little spinach & fig salad comes in as a close second!

Simple is an understatement here. This salad is so easy and it’s great for a Monday lunch or a Friday night dinner party-your choice!SPINACH & FIG SALAD - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-6 oz. Trader Joe’s Heirloom Red Spinach

-10-12 figs, quartered

-3 plums, sliced into thin wedges

-1/4 cup sliced almonds

-Oil & balsamic vinegar to taste

 

SPINACH & FIG SALAD - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, figs, plums and almonds.

-Sprinkle with oil & vinegar.

-Mix to combine evenly.

-Serve with fresh cracked black pepper.

SPINACH & FIG SALAD - LAUREN KELP


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AVOCADO LOX

AVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELP

Hello friends & happy Tuesday! We hope you had a wonderful long weekend spent celebrating like never before. If you are anything like us, you are a bit slow to the grind this morning. So, we are sharing one of our favorite, super easy, no stress breakfasts to get you going – the avocado lox!

It is a twist on the classic lox, and there’s a reason people stick to the classics, right? Holidays are meant for relaxing–not spending all day in the kitchen. This little recipe pleases the masses with minimal prep time. Basically, if you can slice an avocado, you’ve got this! It’s our little twist to step this number up a notch!

AVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELPLOX - LAUREN KELPAVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELPAVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELP


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