Monday, April 30, 2012

Garden Party:

Garden Party:

Garden Party: by nsaich featuring a flower print dress

      Over the last week I have been diligently weeding my back yard. My dandelion plants weeds had grown to over 13 feet tall and had taken over every square inch of space available. After I had that problem remedied I decided that the only way the place wouldn't end up in disarray again would be if I planted a garden, so I did. Admittedly, I went a bit crazy planting over a dozen different herbs, 2 types of edible flowers, as well as tomatoes (red and yellow), hot peppers, radishes, and bell peppers. I could not be more excited to cook with fresh herbs and produce this summer season! 
      I've honestly never been much for gardening up until now. My father would ask me to help him with yard work and I would tentatively assist him with digging, tilling soil and the like... trying with so much effort not to get dirt under my finger nails or get my jeans grass stained. Lately, I could care less about the grime and mud... letting myself fully appreciate how refreshing it is to spend time outside doing something productive. But after all the hard work is done for the day, I'd love to slip on this unusual zucchini printed dress by Dolce and Gabbana and attend a fabulous garden party! I'll just have to figure out how to get all the dirt out from under my nails before applying that electric shade of Nars yellow nail varnish!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Give Me A... Quiche!

      After discovering how simple it was to make home made pie crust (my 3 ingredient recipe, here), I thought why not make a quiche. An everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-quiche to be exact. Basically I rolled the pie crust and gently layered it into a prepared pie pan. Then I scrambled up a couple eggs and added whatever I had in my fridge (fresh grated parmesan, red onion, peas, potatoes, you name it). Baked at 375 degrees to golden perfection, then devoured. Typically quiches are served for breakfast, but I consider them to be appropriate at any time of day. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rain Or Shine !

Rain Or Shine !

Rain Or Shine ! by nsaich featuring a navy umbrella


      Rain boots have been high on my "Nico's Most Wanted" list lately, any one of these pairs would do! And don't forget the umbrella to match.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smoothie Breakfast Bowls:

      I've been surrounded by really sick people lately! Literally everyone I know has either a cough, a sore throat, runny nose, or all of the above. To compensate for exposing myself to lots of germs I've been eating smoothie breakfast bowls each morning. A cool smoothie blended with blueberries (antioxidants), peaches (potassium), pineapple (vitamin A), honey (mother nature's energy boost), and fresh squeezed orange juice (vitamin B) topped with sliced banana (potassium) and slivers of almonds (vitamin E) makes for the most delicious morning meal. Not only is this breakfast tasty but it also packs in a ton of healthy vitamins and immunity boosters!

   Combine frozen pineapple, peaches, orange juice, blueberries, and honey in a blender until a smooth mixture forms. Pour smoothie into a serving vessel and top with sliced banana and chopped almonds.



Monday, April 23, 2012

Favorite Face: Georgia May Jagger

      Recently, I spotted the golden Georgia May Jagger in a Rimmel London commercial and immediately felt inspired by her. Perfectly coiffed hair, and a pout like her father's (Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones) to compliment the slight gap in her two front teeth. Others may not like that extra space between Georgia's teeth but I think it is beautiful. Unique traits like that are what make us recognizable and authentic. As someone who is very self conscience about smiling and showing my teeth, she is my latest style icon. 

(Image sources 1, 2, 3)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Top it off

Top it off

Top it off by nsaich featuring a leopard print long sleeve shirt

      Recently while rifling thru my closet I realized that I own quite a few separates that don't really have any tops that go with them which is when I thought to myself... what are the essential shirts every girl should own? Every woman knows that she should own a "little black dress," but does she know what tops she simply MUST have in her closet? As a result I got brainstorming and here is what (I believe!) are the essentials:

1: White Sequin Tank- Ideal for layering under blazers for a night downtown or for wearing with colored denim during the day! I feel like dressy sequins mix perfectly with casual white for a truly versatile piece. 

2: Striped Top- Stripes are a forever print that never goes out of style and can easily be worn year round. I like three quarter sleeves because the cut works in both the Spring and Summer as well as a layering piece in the cooler months. (See how I styled stripes with florals in this post, and click here for a windy weather look)

3: Leopard Print Silk Button Up- Great day to evening top! Wear it buttoned to the top with a cami under neath and a blazer over top for the office. At night, remove the blazer and roll up your sleeves! 

4: Red (Slightly Sexy) Top-  Like walking into the room wearing a red dress, I feel like a sexy red top evokes the same effect. I like the idea of choosing a style that isn't too dressy so that it can be worn during the day as well with skirts, jeans, or slacks and a blazer. 

5: White Silk Button Up- I don't think I need to speak much on how a white button up is an excellent multitasker in your closet. However, I LOVE how overly sexy items (like my sequined gold disco shorts!) are instantly made classy by pairing them with a white button up and conservative heels. 

6: A Uniquely You Top- The example I have above might not be a universal style but it is very much me. I think its important to have a couple of pieces that don't follow trends but rather, what you would naturally gravitate toward. This is what makes personal style. 

7: Floral Print Blouse: Floral is another print that always returns each spring, find one you love and wear it for years! I prefer darker floral prints because then you can wear them in the Winter as well and still look seasonally appropriate. 

8: Polka Dot Blouse- (Yet again!) Another print that is never really out of trend. Dressed up, polka dots can give off a pin up vibe. Dressed down, polka dots seem effortless and casual. Stick with black and white color combinations, they tend to match more! (See how I styled polka dots: 1 & 2

9: Chambray Button Up- Just like your denim jeans, a chambray top will match everything. For spring, I'd love to wear one with colored denim or as a light weight jacket over sun dresses!

*Tip- Please click the link below the photo for details on each item!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Beach'n Cupcakes!

      This past Easter I baked up a batch of "beach'n" cupcakes. I used a typical white cake recipe and added blue food coloring and banana/coconut extracts in lue of typical vanilla. A lush blue cream cheese frosting and chopped candied pecan "sand" helped achieve the beachy look I was going for. 

*Tip: Instead of sprinkling the chopped pecans onto the cupcake, simply turn the cupcake over and dip it into a narrow bowl of chopped pecans, creating an "island" in an ocean of cream cheese frosting! 

      To make these tropical flavored cupcakes really sing I added cocktail umbrellas and gum balls (as beach balls!) to bring together the entire vacation theme!

       Over the weekend, I'll be enjoying my own private island from the comfort of my own home in the form of these cupcakes : )


Thursday, April 19, 2012

What-A-Melon Salad:

      Yes folks, that's a hunky slice of utterly juicy watermelon there on that plate. It's my firm belief that salads don't have to be boring and should include generous helpings of fruit (don't limit yourself to just veggies). Cheese is always a welcome addition to composing a salad as well (parmesan, goat cheese, feta, it's all gouda!). For this particular dish I layered romaine lettuce, watermelon, feta cheese, red onion, and balsamic dressing for a new take on "fruit salad!"

Magic Ingredients:
-1 tablespoon mayonnaise
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon agave
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1 small watermelon 
-1/8 cup thinly sliced red onion
-Lemon (for garnish)
-Feta cheese
-Romaine lettuce

Getting Started:
1: Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, agave, and pepper together in a small bowl to make the dressing, set aside.

2: Chop and prep fruit and veggies.

Tip: Use a round cookie cutter or wine glass to cut the watermelon into circle.

I thinly sliced a red onion using a mandolin, but a knife works just as well too!

2: On a serving plate, layer the romaine leaves, watermelon, feta cheese, red onion, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar dressing.

3: Garnish salad with lemon wedges and serve!

      I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to salads. For example... why do they have to be a prequel to a main dish? For example, I ate devoured this "What-A-Melon" salad for breakfast recently while watching Saturday morning cartoons (Daria anyone?!).


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easy Homemade Pie Crust!

      The rain has been relentless here in Santa Cruz this week. Just when you think the sun will show her pretty face the dark glares of a storm set in. In effort to avoid leaving the house to purchase my usual pre-made frozen pie crust, I opted to make my own. What I originally thought would be challenging task actually proved to be the perfect therapeutic activity for a rainy day. 

Magic Ingredients:
-2 sticks cold salted butter
-3 cups flour
-1/4 cup ice cold water

1: Slice the cold butter into small cubes and place in a large mixing bowl with the flour.
2: Using your hands, blends together the cold butter and flour until a course sand like texture forms. 
3: Add the ice water and using your hands, mix together the dough until a ball forms.
4: Divide the ball in half and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to using.

Use the pie crust for any of these recipes:
1, 2, 3, 4, or for your own creation!

I bet you didn't think it would really be that easy to make your own pie crust from scratch huh?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Men's Style Feature: Gingham & Khaki

Shades- Emporio Armani, T-Shirt- Urban Outfitters, Gingham
Shirt- Vintage, Coat- Zara, Denim- Deisel, Shoes- H&M

"I like that this outfit works for multiple occasions. It's
 both dressy/casual and can be worn day/night."

      When Shahin showed up at my door wearing this outfit, I knew I had to feature it on Satin & Salt! I'm finding that gingham shirts are a universal wardrobe staple for both men and women (I love this version for myself, in yellow). Like stripes and plaid, gingham is also what I would consider to be a "forever" print, meaning it never really goes out of style. I also love how Shahin wore a colored undershirt vs a basic white T.  A simple enough idea, (using items you may already own in your closet) that creates a lot more visual interest in your outfit. If you're the kind of guy who digs accessories, I suggest this watch too. 


PS: You can view Shahin's music and art blog by clicking here

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bedside Tables:

Bedside Tables:

Bedside Tables: by nsaich featuring red soled high heels

      My nightstand (/home office desk) is looking pretty shabby lately. I'm talking wood and paint chipping off and missing handles people! Perhaps a home makeover project is in order but until then I'll be dreaming of these artful bedside tables. I think the "Eclectic" version is perfect for me, lots of drawer space, lighting, and small storage vessels for my jewels! Which do you like best?


Friday, April 13, 2012

Asparagus & Zucchini Risotto:

      Although I am not a vegetarian (my candied bacon sandwich is evidence of the contrary), I do appreciate a savory and filling dish that highlights the flavor of fresh vegetables. Since I'm from Stockton (the asparagus capital of California), naturally I love asparagus and my boyfriend digs anything made with zucchini so I went with that combination for this risotto. Some people tend to be intimidated by the idea of making risotto (I mean it sounds ultra fancy right?!) but the process is actually quite simple, there is just a lot of constant stirring involved. But all of the stirring is worth it in the end when you're perched in front of a heaping bowl of creamy and delicious risotto, not even the carnivores will complain about the lack of a protein!

Magic Ingredients:
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup minced onion (view my tutorial for chopping onions here)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- Salt
- Pepper
- Grated parmesan (use at your own disgression)

Getting started:
1: Chop your asparagus and zucchini into similar sizes to ensure proper cooking. 

2: Boil the veggies in 3 cups of hot water and 1/2 teaspoon salt for 4 minutes (or until tender). 
3: Strain the veggies in a colander and run ice cold water over them (this stops the cooking and locks in the bright green color). Set aside.
4: Slowly bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups vegetable stock to a boil, mean while...
5: In a large saute pan, soften the minced onion with the vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt on medium heat. Saute onions for 5 minutes, then add in minced garlic and rice and saute for another 4 minutes.
6: Add in a cup of the boiling vegetable stock mixture and stir continuously until all of the liquid is absorbed by the rice. 
7: Add the vegetable stock mixture in increments of 1/2 cup, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and has reached a tender and creamy texture.   
8: Stir in vegetables to warm thru, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with grated parmesan cheese. 

      This recipe is just as delicious reheated as it is freshly prepared, perfect to make ahead for a intimate dinner party!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Style Feature: Orange County

      We have a special guest on Satin and Salt today, my lovely neighbor, Fallon! She was nice enough to let me do her makeup and selected an outfit from her closet to style her with! The peplum trend is in full effect for spring and I love how Fallon's top mixes in a dash of floral print (similar cut out version here). Bright accessories like orange shoes and a hot pink lipstick completed the look!

Will you be wearing peplum?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter!

       Yes, I know that for some of you Easter was this past Sunday. But for others, Easter might be in full effect this upcoming Sunday! So with that being said... Happy (belated?) Easter! It's true when I say that I get anxious before each holiday. I always try to make every one more special than the last. This year  I out did myself with a festive Easter center piece, lots of decorated eggs (hallowed eggs, hard boiled eggs, and deviled meringue eggs), and a ton of fresh spring recipes! I was lucky enough to spend the day with close friends (Like Paris of Glitterati and Glamour) watching movies, chatting, and eating lots of delicious food! If you aren't celebrating until this Sunday, I hope my round up of projects and recipes will spark some holiday inspiration!

(A ceramic carton hold decorated eggs, votives, fresh 
florals, and sugar candies in the shape of peas & carrots!)

A version of my citrus salad recipe.

Monster Eggs: For all the children (and young at heart) in your life!

Quiche with homemade pie crust! (Full recipe to come!)

Asparagus and zucchini risotto, my new specialty!
(Recipe soon to come)

Banana cupcakes, cream cheese frosting,
and candied pecan "sand." (Recipe soon to come)

Chocolate dipped chicks (recipe here)

Almond & lemon flavored devil meringues.

      See you back here soon for new updates and recipes! I've been cooking like a mad crazy woman!