Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Bruschetta

One of my all time favorite appetizers at Italian restaurants is bruschetta.  Oddly enough, I never really loved tomatoes on their own, but I love bruschetta. Love.  Here is a recipe I used for my family dinner last night.  It is so easy and sooo delicious!  Enjoy!

Ingredients

 1 baguette, cut in half length-wise and toasted
2 teaspoons chopped or minced garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (if you find it's too oily after 2, just leave it be)
1/4 cup cubed mozzarella cheese (or more if you love it as much as I do!)
2 1/2 cups diced roma tomatoes 
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaf or basil paste to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Recipe


1.  Dice up your tomatoes to the size of your liking in a bowl.  I like mine a little chunkier (as shown).


2.  Add fresh basil or basil paste (as pictured above)  and mix in thoroughly.  Next add in your olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and all other remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for 20 or more minutes to let the flavors marinade.  Cut some fresh french or italian bread and put the tomato mixture right on it or toast it up first.  


So delicious (and so easy)!!

Enjoy!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Website Profile: KoutureKiss.com

images via www.kouturekiss.com
I decided to revisit my StumbleUpon account after a very long time without using it.  Pinterest and the blog have pretty much taken over my online time and I truly forgot what a awesome things StumbleUpon brought me to.  Exhibit A: My new go-to makeup and hair tutorial site:  www.kouturekiss.com.  This site has everything you would want to know concerning hair and makeup how-to's.  
Check it out and let me know if you know of any other sites similar to Kouture Kiss!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Easy Classic Italian Lasagna

For Christmas, my dad bought my mom a brand new deep lasagna pan.  We've never had the urge to make lasagna before, but once the pan was in the house, it's all we could think about.  We waited for our lazy Sunday to invest time and make the perfect Sunday dinner--a nice classic lasagna in our new pan.  And let me just say, it. was. delicious.  This is definitely one of my new favorite meals and though it is time consuming, it requires few cooking skills and is sure to last much longer than one meal!

Easy Classic Italian Lasagna:

 

Ingredients (to fill one 13 x 9in lasagna pan + a little extra)

Extra virgin olive oil to sautee
1 large red onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 1/2 lbs ground beef
4 15oz cans Hunt's tomato sauce
2 lbs ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
3 tbsp grated parsley
1 box (18 noodles approx) lasagna noodles
Sliced or grated mozzarrella cheese (amount may vary)
Cooking spray to prevent noodles from sticking!

Recipe


 1.  Mince red onion and coat the bottom of your pan with extra virgin olive oil to sautee.  Once onions are translucent, add in chopped garlic and sautee for an additional 1-2 minutes.


2.  Add in your ground beef bits at a time and stir until all meat is completely browned.  Make sure you mix in all yummy onions and garlic!  Drain the excess fat.


3.  Add in your sauce and stir until well combined.  Put heat on medium low and cover if possible.  Let sauce simmer for about 30 minutes.


4.  Pour yourself a glass of wine and put the water on to boil for your noodles.  Even the cook deserves a little break ;)


5.  Cook noodles according to package directions.  Spray a few baking sheets with cooking spray to lay them on when they are done cooking in order to prevent sticking.


6.  In one bowl, beat the eggs and parsley together until well combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta and parmesan cheeses.  Then add both mixtures together in one large bowl until well combined.


7.  Coat the bottom of your lasagna pan with the meat sauce first.  Then place noodles over the sauce, until whole layer is covered.  Next, add ricotta cheese mixture, then another noodle layer.  Next add layer of thinly slice mozzarrella cheese and more of the meat mixture.  Add another layer of noodles, and more of the ricotta cheese.  Top it off with more noodles with sliced mozzarrella cheese and sprinkled parmesan on top.  Preheat the oven to 375 and cook for approximately 40 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and a little browned.  Serve and enjoy!!


Ready to eat!


I'm literally going to have the leftovers now...enjoy!   Stay tuned for a recipe involving all the leftover ingredients ;)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Top 5 Budget Friendly Shopping Apps

Now that the holidays are over, tis the season to make returns, capitalize on post-Christmas sales, and be a little selfish.  It's a new year and it's a new you...right?  Well, in my attempt to redo my wardrobe, I've needed help.  I haven't needed help finding things I love, but I've needed help finding things I love within my price range.  I needed some sort of little bird in my ear telling me where I can find nice quality clothes in my style for not a lot of money.  I didn't get the bird, but through some research, I did find a lot of helpful free apps that have guided me to sales, better prices, and coupons galore.  

Here are my Top 5 Budget Friendly Shopping Apps:


image via itunes app store

  1. RetailMeNot

Popular mostly for its coupon website, RetailMeNot on the go is just as good (if not better).   Check out in-store and online deals, discounts, and coupons for many popular stores and online shops. 

image via itunes app store

  2. Red Laser

Red Laser is such an awesome concept, and so great when it comes to buying products from department stores or stores that hold a lot of different brands.  With your smartphone, use the "scan" button to scan the bar code of any item.  Within seconds, watch as Red Laser finds prices from other retailers for the same item.  Always be sure to get the best price for whatever items you want!

image via itunes app store

3. The Coupons App

The name kind of says it all...this app has a lot of coupons.  It uses your location in order to find the best deals/coupons in your area.  This would be very useful for college students, because it basically tells you where you can get free or discounted food, clothes, gas, and more in order to get you by for less.

image via itunes app store

4. Zoomingo

I feel like this app is way underrated.  This separates its deals into categories based on your interests.  It shows you deals and discounts on clothes, shoes, exercise equipment, accessories, and much more.  It's kind of like shopping in an online store, but it compiles tons of different items from all over the web.

image via itunes app store

5. iSlick

This is one of my favorite apps to browse through daily.  Deals are uploaded every day for all different item discounts or over store discounts.  I use this app specifically whe I'm trying to think of gift ideas, because you can get so much for your money with some of these deals that you wouldn't have found otherwise!  I highly recommend this app (thought it can be dangerous during Black Friday season!!).  

Please comment and let me know of other apps that make your shopping experience more convenient for you (and your wallet!).

Enjoy!
Thursday, January 3, 2013

Online Shop Profile: 1015 Store

Before the holidays, I received a shipment from 1015store, an online shop that has tons of clothing for young women.  Oh, and did I mention that all of it is for only $10 or $15??  It is so fun to browse this site for clothes, because there are no surprises when it comes to price.  It's a simple and affordable online shopping experience and there are options for all types of styles and sizes (they also have a plus size section!).  
Here are a few of my favorite items:
image via www.1015store.com
I have to say, this is my absolute favorite shirt from the site.  I have this shirt, and the first time I wore it, I received tons of compliments.  It is classy, flirty, fun, and comfortable.  The lace detailing on the back gives this regular shirt a fun and pretty accent.

image via www.1015store.com
This is your typical basic tank with a fun flare.  The fabric is extremely comfortable and I love the color and the accents on the sleeves.  It's perfect for a night out or a casual day!

image via www.1015store.com
This is a blazer with a perfect feminine touch.  It comes in all different colors, and its lightweight feel is perfect for any occasion.  

What's your favorite look on www.1015store.com?

Enjoy!





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