1826 is a gift to Miami

For whatever reason Chef Danny Grant decided to open a restaurant in Miami (Lebron, le ladies etc) I am thankful. His 1826 restaurant in South Beach is a show stopper. I would usually share pics of what I ate but the flash was so obnoxious I figured I could explain with my words.

FOOD

Sensational. Each dish was a surprise of flavor and had us asking “What the hell was in that?” From the bread to the dessert, there was no detail overlooked. The burrata dish is a must and was so divine I’m going to try to recreate it – anyone got a dehydrator I can borrow? My husband had the lamb shank which was cooked to perfection and nestled in a soft lovely sauce that had subtleties of cardamom and other spices. I got the seafood stew in which the waiter poured the hot creamy broth over the mix of fish, shrimp and vidalia onions so the wafts of curry could slap me right in the face. Nicely done.

SPACE

Lovely design. Beautiful wine cellar. You can also select your beer/wine/cocktail off of a convenient and informative iPad. There is also a third floor that has a lounge but we’re saving that rendevous for a weekend evening.

STAFF

Attentive. Knowledgeable. Unpretentious. My fav.

 

Hopefully, this gift from Grant will be appreciated by the Miami critics and continue as a South Beach treasure.

 

http://www.1826collins.com/

 

When you’re avocados are saying “Eat me now”: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Avocado and Chocolate are just about my two favorite things. I eat both almost everyday… but never together. Until now. A friend brought over a bag of local avocados and I’m sure many of you feel the same when I talk about the anxiety of using an avocado at exactly the right moment.

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This image captures the sentiment perfectly. My mom gave me a good tip to put them in the fridge as soon as they’re ripe and that will buy you an extra couple of days. REALLY the fridge? Who would have thought of that. Clearly not me.

Let’s get to the good stuff – I was faced with all these ripe avocados and thought to myself

“Guacamole? No, I’ll eat the whole bag of chips.”

“Avocado toast? That’s so 2013.”

“With chocolate? That’s weird, but hey, so am I.” Hence, AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE. Silky and smooth, this dessert concept may frighten you, but I assure you that the mere purpose of the avocado is to add that soft velvety texture. Try it, you won’t be missing the guac.

Eñoy!

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AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Serves 4 to 6

2 ripe avocados (I’ve used Hass and Florida and they both rocked)

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (can also use vegan chocolate to make this a completely vegan dessert)

1/2 cup coconut milk (pour right from the can)

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons amber (dark) agave syrup

1 teaspoon sea salt

Optional toppings could include: graham crackers, pretzels, marshmallows, berries, nuts

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt chocolate with coconut milk in a bowl over boiling water. Stir frequently.

2. In a food processor add remaining ingredients. Add chocolate mixture once it is cooled.

3. Blend until there are no avocado chunks remaining.

4. Chill and serve

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Wedding with Rent the Runway

We went to a beautiful wedding recently at the JW Marriott Hotel. It was a gorgeous night in Miami and this location could not be better. For formal weddings where I want to wear a gown I generally like to rent since these occasions are far and few between. I rented this Badgley Mischka gown from Rent the Runway which is a lovely piece that would look great on any body type. I was also considering this sequin green number but I’m happy I didn’t because someone else was wearing it!

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I accessorized with this Loren Hope necklace and Jeffrey Campbell heels.

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Very Merry Christmas Decor

Nick and I have been in our condo for just about 3 years, and now that we’re married and have a puppy it seems only right to get our first Christmas tree and properly decorate our home. Unfortunately he was out of town for the Home Depot fiasco of scouting and transporting a tree. Not an easy task when you’re in your work wear and dragging around a little dog. Needless to say, everything came together quite nicely.

My most proud piece is my first DIY banner. I learned how to make them from this lovely blogger: Ella Claire

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This last one here is our wedding invitation that I cut into strips and twirled. I also make these for my friends as part of their wedding gift – huge hit!

Skirts required: Winter Florida Weather

Ahh December, holiday decor, sunshine and skirts. Miami is a beautiful place to be in December and that’s because the temperature doesn’t go below 65. This OOTD is dedicated to you 305.

Sweater – H&M, similar here and here / Necklaces – Nordstrom Rack & Madewell / Skirts – ASOS / Boots – Vince Camuto

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Holiday Treats Part II + Puppy Holiday Sweater

The morning after Thanksgiving can be quite a doozy. To help recover from my turkey hangover I supplied these amazing Gingery Muffins from one of my fav blogs A Cozy Kitchen.

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Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

For muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs

For glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tablespoon whole milk

1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in middle. Line a muffin tin with liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground allspice and ground cloves.
3. In a measuring cup, stir together buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
4. In a another bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in molasses until well combined and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated.
5. (Don’t be alarmed if mixture looks separated and curdled.) Scrape bowl and add one third flour mixture, beating on low speed just until flour is incorporated. Add half buttermilk mixture and once batter is smooth add another third flour mixture. Add remaining buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture, and beat until incorporated and smooth.
6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin about 3/4 of the way. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in tin for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.
7. While muffins are cooling, mix together powdered sugar with milk and stir until smooth. When muffins are completely cooled, pour icing on top of muffins and top with candied ginger. Serve right away. If you’re baking these things up and taking them somewhere, I’d recommend icing ‘em right before serving.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAlso can’t beat a hot cup of apple cider. It’ll make your lips smack!

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Pepper was also looking very festive in her Christmas sweater by Freshlotus.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!