Casual dinner with friends, kids optional

Recently I invited friends over with their kids for pizza. After really thinking about it I decided I wanted to cook, but I wanted to come up with something that I could prep and basically have ready before they got here. And if all else failed we could still order pizza.

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My menu : Roasted Chicken, Roasted Potatoes with aioli, Sautéed Green Beans with almonds, and Roasted Red Onion and Arugula Salad. Dessert : Salted Chocolate chunk cookies (made the day before).

I currently have one oven, hopefully I will get a set of double ovens in the near future, so until then I have to have a plan of attack. My plan was to prep the green beans and roast the red onions that morning (or you can do it the day before).  While my chickens sit out to reach room temp, I cook the potatoes about half way and lay the arugula out on platter in the fridge. Then while the chickens roast, the roasted onions come to room temp. I attempted to make the aioli early and it separated before we even sat down. When the chickens were done I set them on the counter and tented them with foil so they could rest for about 30 min. Then I cooked the green beans on the stove and threw the potatoes back in the oven to warm them.

When I want to cook something that I know will work every. single. time. I go with Roasted Chicken. My all time favorite recipe is Food52 Barbara Kafka’s Simple Roast Chicken. This is the best, the main trick with this recipe is allowing the chicken to come to room temperature. I usually let it sit out on the counter for about an hour and a half. Also make sure your oven is semi clean if not just cleaned, because this is roasted at a high temperature it usually smokes up the kitchen.

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Potatoes are always a favorite, especially when I can make them ahead of time! Adding the aioli makes them a little more special. Although I did mess it up this time around, it still tasted great! The aioli recipe I used is from Mimi Thorisson French Country Cooking.

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One of the reasons I chose to do green beans was it is easy and I could do it on the stove while I used the oven for the potatoes. Toping it with crushed almonds elevates it as a side dish.

 

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This salad is one of my favorites and my husbands as well. It is easy to assemble last min as long as all of the prep work has been done ahead of time. I don’t love walnuts so i use pecans. I prefer to use platter instead of a salad bowl, everything tends to fall to the bottom.  Food52 Roasted Onion Salad

 

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For dessert I wanted to stay simple, and who doesn’t like Chocolate Chip Cookies? Especially when they are dusted with flaked sea salt. These were a total hit and a lifesaver, about 5 minutes into dinner the kids started to rebel so cookies to the rescue and paw patrol didn’t hurt! That bought us a chance to actually enjoy our meal!

 

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Current Makeup Routine

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Lately I have been leaning towards a more natural look, skin that actually looks like skin, natural looking eyebrows, thick eyelashes and a “your lips but better” lip. I have finally found products that help me to achieve that look.

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Glossier Balm dot com in Rose

I love Glossier’s Balm dot com, I have every single one. I love that the rose adds a slight sheen and a barely there tint.

Glossier Generation G

Generation G is amazing. It give the look of a stained lip that is so beautiful. I read that they came up with the idea because they loved the look of lipstick that had been wiped away. Like is one of my favorites, its a beautiful light pink.

Beautycounter Lip Sheer

When I want a creamy option I go for Beautycounter’s lip sheers. Petal is a beautiful everyday  very wearable color. Over the holidays I would mix Plum and Currant together to get more of a night time look.

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Bobby Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

I think I received this sample from a recent Sephora order, but I will definitely be buying the full size. This mascara does not clump or flake. I goes on beautifully and while wearing it one of my friends asked if I had done something to my lashes.

Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler

I always use an eyelash curler. It opens the eye and makes you look more awake.

Glossier Boy Brow in Blond

Clearly I have a thing for Glossier! Their boy brow does not disappoint. I like that I can quickly throw it on as I run out the door and look a little more polished. Or if I have more time I will put it over my brow pencil.

bareMinerals Frame & define in Universal light

Out of all the eyebrow pencils that I have tried this is by far my favorite. The pencil itself is thin but not so thin that it will easily break, like others I have tried. It is easy to use and looks natural if you use short quick strokes over your brows.

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Becca Backlight Priming Filter

I love this primer, it creates a gorgeous glow to the skin. I put this on after my moisturizer and before my foundation.

Estee Lauder Double wear

As of right now this is my Holy grail foundation that I found because my mom bought the wrong color for herself. It is a light to medium coverage foundation that is build able. This foundation is so natural  looking and my skin actually looks like skin. I wear 2C3 Fresco.

bareMinerals Sheer Sun

I started using this bronzer over the summer and I don’t think I will ever go back. I love that this bronzer is a serum, it blends beautifully and gives a nice warmth to the face.

Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder

Finally I do a light dusting of this powder all over my face. It sets my makeup and gives an airbrushed look to the skin.

 

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New Years Eve for two

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Our caviar tray: Shredded egg yolk and whites, Capers, Creme fraiche, Shallots lightly marinated in red wine vinegar and toast.

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This year we chose five different types of oysters to try: Pemaquid Mooky Blue, Basket Island, Montauk Pearl, Saint Simon (our favorite), and Wellfleet Fieldpoint.
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Our Cheese plate: Raw Morbier, Cornichons, Manchego, Serrano ham (sliced paper thin using our industrial meat slicer)  Gaeta olives and Lesley Stowe raincoast crisps.

 

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years Eve! While New Years Eve is normally a fun excuse to get dressed up and go to a party, I have found it can be a major let down! We tend to have so  many expectation for events and they don’t always play out the way we hoped. Inevitably someone gets sick or cannot find a babysitter. So six years ago while I was very pregnant with my first son my husband and I decided to stay in and go all out with the hors d’leuvres. We had such a fun time watching movies and stuffing ourselves, that it has become a tradition in our house. This year we decided on oysters, which my husband shucked himself (thankfully there were no injuries!), a cheese plate and caviar. After we put the kids to bed we watched reruns of Miami Vice, my husbands favorite show, and finished just in time to watch the ball drop in Times square. It was the perfect way to end 2016.

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