Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ozery Bakery: Morning Recipes

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!

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I wasn't kidding when I said I wanted to cook more this year, so when I discovered these fun Ozery Bakery breads I couldn't want to share with you all! These small round bites can be made into scrumptious snacks quickly and easily. While they're not gluten-free, they're perfect to have around for when friends come over. Check out 3 super easy recipes using these Ozery Bakery snacking rounds below!

Cranberry Orange French Toast

For this recipe i used the cranberry orange snacking rounds, which means there are little chunks of cranberry and orange inside for a twist on the usual french toast! 

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Step One

Whisk egg & milk - I used just 1 egg with almond milk which was enough for 3-4 snacking rounds.

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Step Two 

Pierce the rounds with a fork and dunk them in the egg mixture. Fry on low heat with olive oil or butter. I used olive oil but I think butter would have been better since you could kind of taste the olive oil.

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Step Three

Rinse fresh fruit and chop as necessary.

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Step Four

Top the french toast cranberry orange rounds with fresh fruit and syrup, and enjoy!

Chocolately Fruit Snacks

I used apple cinnamon rounds for this recipe.

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Step One

Cut rounds in half.

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Step Two

Melt chocolate on the stove. I love dark chocolate so I used 60% dark Ghirardelli chocolate chips, but you can use any kind you prefer.

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Step Three

Top with dollops of Greek yogurt. I used 1 yogurt container for these 6 pieces.

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Step Four

Add chopped fruit and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Enjoy!

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Salmon / Tuna Sandos


In place of the snacking rounds, I used the Ozery Bakery One Bun multi-grain for these tuna sandwiches. They're a bit bitter and pre-sliced in half for easy sandwich creation.



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Step One

Combine tuna or salmon (I used salmon here), with mayo and apple cider vinegar.

Step Two

Rinse romaine, spinach, or any other favorite greens to add to the sando. You can also add pickles if you're a fan of those (which I definitely am).

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There you have three delicious recipes (I told you they were super easy!) using Ozery Bakery buns. I love how there's no crust on these, they're so convenient and made with the best ingredients. Any of these recipes would be so perfect for Superbowl Sunday which is fast approaching! Hope you enjoyed these and let me know what you think if you try them!

Comment Challenge: How would you nosh on Ozery Bakery bread?
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Coach Dinky Crossbody: Why Fashion is Important

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Photos by Icy Li Photography.
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Let's get real: From recent elections, to feuding countries and environmental changes, today's world is pretty crazy.  For a second there I felt like maybe it was a good idea to put style and food posts on hold, but then I got to thinking - things like fashion are important now more than ever. 

Why do you think people enjoy sports, or art, or philosophy? Not only are they a welcome distraction to everyday and major conflicts, but they also serve as a reminder that there is still joy and beauty in the world. To me, fashion (and great food), are no different than getting a few hours of excitement out of the latest sports game, or letting out your creative side by creating a painting or writing a novel.

If you have a passion for style, cultivating the perfect outfit by putting together textures, colors and silhouettes is your Superbowl. It's a great way to have control over something in your daily life when you can't necessarily control events of the world. This doesn't mean we won't stand up for what we believe in or make our voices heard, it just means that there's nothing wrong with continuing to focus on other passions along the way.

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Now we can get to the fun stuff! I'm a firm believer in treating yourself for a job well done, and my first big treat to myself after high school was a small black Coach clutch. Ever since, Coach has been my favorite handbag designer (and I still use that bag regularly)! 

Fast-forward a few years: Allow me to introduce you to Acorn, my new favorite Coach dinky crossbody bag from their pre-spring 2017 collection. I named her not only after her classic shade, but also after our photoshoot on the most photographed street in the world - Beacon Hill's historic Acorn Street!

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Update: Be sure to check out my recent collaboration for Coach: The Fragrance as well!

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Gold Leaf Gourmet: Strawberries and Cream Verrines Recipe

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!

Gold-Leaf-Gourmet-Strawberries-and-Cream-Verrines-Recipe

Who here loves to cook? As many of you know, Chow Down USA has a plethora of restaurant reviews, but one of my New Years Resolutions for 2017 is to cook more! I have the perfect gourmet Valentine's Day recipe for you all - it's pink, chocolaty, and delicious!

I discovered Gold Leaf Gourmet and thought it was perfect - they literally send you a box filled with ingredients and instructions to make these delicious, gourmet and pretty meals. I channeled my inner Julia Child (while N was quoting Gordon Ramsay's kitchen phrases in an English accent), and I definitely felt like a pro chef.  

Gold Leaf Gourmet sent me their gluten-free Strawberries and Cream Verrines recipe to try, along with ingredients, dishes and simple step-by-step instructions to follow (use code CHOWDOWN20 for 20% off through February 14th, 2017). They even list the few items and tools that are not included so you know what you need to get ahead of time (like half & half, a whisk, etc.). It really doesn't get any easier than that to make a gorgeous gourmet dish like this! Read on for the easy recipe which only took about 15-20 minutes.

What Was Included
  • 1 pouch panna cotta mix
  • 1 pouch strawberry mousse mix
  • 1 pouch pink chocolate curls
  • 15 white chocolate leaves
  • 1 piping bag
  • 1 smooth round piping tip
  • 12 clear dessert cups
  • 12 dessert spoons
Shopping List
  • 2.5 cups half & half
  • 0.5 cups water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
Extra Tools
  • whisk
  • mixing bowl
  • stand or hand mixer
  • liquid measuring cup
  • flat rubber spatula

Step One: Prep Panna Cotta

Boil the panna cotta mix with half & half for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Next, pour the mixture into the 12 dessert cups, filling each halfway. Refrigerate until this sets, about 1 hour.

Step Two: Prep Strawberry Mousse pt. 3

Use the mixer to whip heavy cream to soft peaks (1-3 min).

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Gold-Leaf-Gourmet-Strawberries-and-Cream-Verrines-Recipe

Step Three: Prep Strawberry Mousse pt. 2

Whisk the Strawberry Mousse Mix and water. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture in 2 batches (do half of the cream, fold into the strawberry mix and then do the same with the remaining half). 

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Gold-Leaf-Gourmet-Strawberries-and-Cream-Verrines-Recipe

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Step Four: Prep Strawberry Mousse pt. 3

Assemble the piping bag and fill with Strawberry Mousse.

Step Five: Strawberry Layer

Set aside 3 strawberries for decoration, and chop up the remaining strawberries into little pieces to spoon on top of the panna cotta in the dessert cups (after it set in the fridge for 1 hour).

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Gold-Leaf-Gourmet-Strawberries-and-Cream-Verrines-Recipe

Step Six: Pipe

Pipe the strawberry mousse on top of the chopped strawberries layer.

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Step Seven: Decorate!

This is my favorite step. Add in the quartered strawberries, pink chocolate curls, and white chocolate leaves to make the dessert cups really appetizing, and refrigerate up to 6 hours until they're ready to serve!

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Gold-Leaf-Gourmet-Strawberries-and-Cream-Verrines-Recipe

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I forgot how relaxing and almost meditative it is to cook, and the end result is so scrumtious! Gold Leaf Gourmet makes it so easy by delivering everything you need right to your doorstep. It's perfect for a girl's night, date night, or just to treat yourself or a loved one. Don't forget to use code CHOWDOWN20 for 20% off through February 14th, 2017

Comment Challenge: What's your favorite dessert to cook?

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Luna and Terra Alpaca Knits, Brown Suede Skirt, and Maven Watches

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Photos by Icy Li Photography.

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Beanie & Scarf: c/o Luna & Terra | Brown Suede Skirt: c/o Zaful | Sweater: H&M

When I first moved to Boston, everyone told me I would get sick of the snow REAL quick. Well, I moved here in October of 2013 (my plane literally flew over Fenway Park as the Red Sox won the World Series), right before one of the worst winters on record. Everyone told me if I survived that winter I'd be fine in New England - then the winter of 2014 hit which was an even stronger winter! The train system shut down for days on end, I saw people literally skiing down main streets and crawling through snow tunnels on the sidewalk. And I loved every. single. minute. of it. 

I think it would be really tough to live here if you didn't enjoy the snow, but to me it's still this magical, sparkling phenomena that makes everything look prettier and gives such a fun crunch to every step you take. I honestly don't think I'll ever get sick of it.

Now in my fourth Boston winter, I was so excited for our recent first snow storm of the season. The trick is dressing the part, of course. Beanies and scarves are non-negotiable in freezing temps, and looking stylish in the process is a serious cherry on top! That's why I was so excited to discover Luna and Terra, a winter accessories brand whose name reflects its mission statement: moon and Earth in Latin, signifying their dedication to never-ending inspiration and a commitment to protecting and conserving the environment

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Luna and Terra is a "consciously warm" brand creates high-quality beanies, scarves, headbands and gloves which are SUPER soft, warm, and stylish beyond measure. The coolest part is that they're made with 100% alpaca wool, so that every single time you wash them, they actually become SOFTER and WARMER. Aka these items are pure magical. They're so easy to wash too - simply handwash with special wool detergent and warm water, and lay flat to dry. They will last you forever and just get better with age. 

It's the best winter investment, not to mention ethically sourced, cruelty-free, and sustainable for thousands of years. So you're doing our planet a favor by purchasing these rather than from a fast-fashion company if it's in your budget. Plus, you'll just look really, really cute.

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The suede skirt trend is still going strong, and I'm loving this brown suede skirt from Zaful to layer in the winter! It's less than $23 and a really soft material, which I like a lot better than the stiff versions I've seen. I think this one conforms to your shape much better, which is good especially if you're petite and is better for movement. 

The website shows it as having almost a red tint, but it's really more of a chocolate brown which is better in my opinion and will go with more outfits. The front are real buttons (not some faux  buttons with a zipper on the side), which is much appreciated too. I really have no complaints on this one and the price is certainly right!

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I'd like to also introduce you to the coolest new watch brand: Maven Watches. These watches have gorgeous, unique designs and are made with high-quality materials meant to last for decades. The internal mechanisms are created with Swiss movement and stainless steel, while the outside boasts sapphire crystal glass, Italian leather, and 3ATM water resistance. 

Made in Hong Kong, the artisan collection symbolizes the marriage of nature and bustling city streets in its city of origin. I love the Earth tones of the olive green face and brown leather band (which is interchangeable). Look out for Maven Watches, as they are making a big push on Indiegogo in mid-February! Sign up for their email newsletter to get updates before anyone else. 

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Book: Amazon | Sweater: Gap | Watch: c/o Maven Watches | Rings: c/o Moonchild  

Who else is reaching Capture Your Style by Aimee Song? She was one of the first bloggers I ever started following (back at UCLA), and so far I'm loving the new tricks and tips I'm learning from her Instagram strategy book. P.S. the Gap Factory near us was having a 50% off EVERY regular priced item, so I scored 2 of these cozy sweaters this weekend (pink and blue, they also come in white, black, and gray). I definitely recommend grabbing one if you're in the market for more sweaters this season (I can never seem to get enough of them)!

Comment Challenge: What are your favorite winter pieces this season?

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