Monday, February 28, 2011

Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil

In recent years, I've noticed polenta making it's way onto every gourmet menu in town and taking over as the new side dish (often replacing mashed potatoes).  I grew up eating my mom's polenta (she served it with chicken cacciatore) which was incredible.  Only recently have I seen it anywhere else, and I'm happy it's making an appearance!  I made these as a quick, easy appetizer over the weekend and they were remarkable.  I'm definitely making them again next time I have a dinner party because they seem gourmet but only take a few minutes.  

Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil  (adapted from the Trader Joe's cookbook)
One package of pre-cooked polenta cut into 1/2 inch rounds
10 oz sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper
truffle oil
marsala wine

I sauteed the mushrooms in marsala wine for about 10 minutes.  In a separate pan, I sprayed it with my olive oil mister and sauteed the polenta rounds for about 5 minutes on each side (until brown).  Then arrange the polenta rounds on a plate, top with mushrooms, a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle of truffle oil and serve. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Party

Jessica Alba in Versace (2006)
Charlize Theron in Gucci (2004)
Demi Moore in Versace (2010)
Natalie Portman in Rodarte (2009)
Michelle Williams in Vera Wang (2006)
Kate Hudson in Versace (2003)
It's finally Friday and I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend with lots of rain (and indoor activities) as well as a date with girlfriends to watch the Oscar's on Sunday.  And by "Oscar's" I mean "red carpet" since I'm admittedly more interested in the gowns than the awards.  In an effort to prepare myself for all the beautiful dresses, I've been reminiscing on my favorites from years past.  Will you be watching the Oscar's this weekend?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rhinestone Cowboy

Ariat Boots (c/o Langston's), Forever 21 skirt and blouse, Ray-Ban sunglasses, DIY clear studded clutch

These Ariat Cowboy boots have quickly become a wardrobe favorite of mine, making me temporarily abandon all other boots in my closet.  I love mixing and matching different looks to create a "balanced" outfit and these boots are perfect for that.  I've been pairing them with feminine pieces (such as lace and florals) as well as edgier items like this clear studded clutch.  What's your go-to item to create an interesting dynamic to an outfit?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wooden Wedges

1. Messeca Colbee $169
2. Cynthia Vincent Chandler $325
3. See by Chloe Cross Strap Wood Wedges $260
4. Dolce Vita Sancia $165
5. Jeffrey Campbell Architectural Wedge $148
6. Diane Von Furstenberg Opal Wedges $295

One of the prominent trends I'm seeing for Spring is the wooden wedge and I couldn't be happier.  I love the structured look and rustic feel of walking around on a wooden platform.  I've been pairing mine with wide leg jeans, spring dresses, and denim shorts (among other things).  Will you be wearing wooden wedges this Spring?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Chipotle Yellowfin Tuna Roll
Charred Tuna Wanton Tacos
Thai Chicken Empanadas
XO Style Edamame
Gabe and I recently had dinner at Zengo, a Latin-Asian Fusion restaurant on the rooftop deck of Santa Monica Place.  The bold mix of flavors was truly unique and exceptional.  We ordered an array of small dishes from Peking Duck Tacos to Carnitas Rice Noodles and enjoyed every bite.  My only regret is that we didn't try the Mango Mojitos, which I've heard are phenomenal.  I'm envisioning a happy hour soon to try all the interesting cocktails they offer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rainy Weekend

best movie ever
 Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies (recipe here)
 Gabe loves playing this one.
I just picked up some new chick-lit from the library. {via}
It's supposed to rain most of the weekend and I have to admit I'm looking forward to a relaxing few days indoors.  I'm hoping to watch movies (my favorites are listed here), bake cookies, play board games, eat comfort food (I'm making this for dinner tonight), and read.  I can't imagine a better way to spend a rainy weekend. I'll be back on Tuesday to tell you all about it.  How do you spend your free time when it's raining?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

J.Crew Spring

I realize I'm not the only one who's fallen in love with the J.Crew's Spring line.  If I wasn't already anxious for warm weather, their bright colors, stripes, and statement jewelry are definitely making me long for 80 degree temperatures.  I can picture myself wearing these pieces to all summer events from pool parties to date nights and everything in between.  What clothes are you looking forward to wearing this Spring?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lobster Mac & Cheese With Truffle Oil

Ever since I bought a bottle of Truffle Oil, I've been dying to make Lobster Mac & Cheese with Truffle Oil and Valentine's Day seemed like a great time to test it out.  I had never cooked with lobster before so this recipe forced me to step out of my comfort zone (which was one of my resolutions).  I have to admit I was impressed with how it turned out.  It was rich, creamy, cheesy, and so delicious.  I combined a few recipes, using this one to cook the lobster tail and this for the mac and cheese (I used panko bread crumbs instead of homemade).  And even though this wasn't the main course for our Valentine's Day dinner (we grilled steaks as well), it definitely stole the show.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

 Gabe loved them!
As many of you already know, one of my favorite aspects of any holiday is the food (namely, desserts).  For Valentine's Day I felt the need to bake something and these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies seemed perfectly appropriate.  This was actually my first attempt with Whoopie Pies and they were remarkable.  I'm pretty sure they'll blow your mind.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2  Tbsp.  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2  tsp.  baking soda
  • 1/4  tsp.  salt
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1    egg
  • 1  tsp.  vanilla
  • 1/2  cup  buttermilk
  • 1  1-oz. bottle  red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
  • 1  recipe  cream cheese frosting (recipe here)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in food coloring.
3. Spoon batter in 1- or 2-inch diameter rounds, about 1/2-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between each round.
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes for 1-inch cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for 2-inch cookies, or until tops are set. Cool completely on baking sheets on rack. Remove cooled cookies from baking sheets.
5. To fill, dollop Whoopie Pie Filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Makes 60 one-inch or 42 two-inch cookies.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Romance and a Giveaway Winner

Gabe and I celebrated Valentine's Day on Saturday by making dinner together, drinking wine, eating chocolates, and playing board games.  The weather was warm and sunny all weekend and I completely took advantage by spending most of my time outside, walking on the beach, wearing sun dresses, and getting coffee with girl friends.  It was the perfect weekend.  What are your Valentine's Day plans?

On a separate note, the winner of the Ariat Boots Giveaway is....Erin from Pursuit of Love, Laughter & Travels.  Congrats, Erin!  I'll e-mail you to coordinate. Langston's is offering free shipping on all orders (within the US) through the end of today with coupon code redvines.  Thanks again to Langston's Western Wear for hosting and thank you to everyone who entered.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blog Anniversary

This Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of Red Vines for Breakfast.  They say "time flies when you're having fun" and that's exactly how I feel about this last year of blogging.  I'm so thankful for all my readers who've made the first year so special and I'm looking forward to what the next year brings!

Don't forget to enter the Ariat Boots Giveaway if you haven't already.  Sunday is the last day and I'll announce a winner on Monday.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Buy This, Not That

Asos Statement Skull Ring-$21.52
Alexander McQueen Knuckle Duster- $550

I think we can all agree there's something really special about this Alexander McQueen Knuckle Duster ring.  It's interesting, unique, and really fun.  Of course, it's also out of my price range.  But this Asos Statement Skull ring is a close second for only $20.  What a great deal!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cake Footballs

 half-time shenanigans
Superbowl Sunday turned out according to plan with lots of delicious food and treats.  I made these cake balls into the shape of footballs using yellow cake and cream cheese frosting and they were a big hit!  They tasted like a cross between a really dense gooey yellow cake and a donut and were so fun to make.  I used a yellow cake mix for the cake and this tried and true recipe for cream cheese frosting (adapted from  

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
  • 6 ounces white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
-To make the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing: Melt the white chocolate and allow to cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted white chocolate and softened butter. Beat until it is the consistency of whipped cream.