what’s ringin our belle…round 103

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We could use some fresh towels


Via Anthropologie

Slow cooker Buffalo Meatballs


Via How Sweet Eats 

Best day to buy a plane ticket


Diet mistakes that hurt your skin


Via Pinterest 

Drooling over these Pillows


Via Etsy

Til next time…

a&a

perk up that Monday, belles… 

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A purchase always helps us start the week with a smile.  Thought we would share this one with you.  The author of  The Girl on the Train has come out with a new psychological thriller. Just in time to add to your summer reading list!


Thank you Paula Hawkins! From Amazon

a&a

belles love going over-the-top…with this mushroom quiche

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A while back, we ran across this post from Smitten Kitchen and this incredible Over the Top Mushroom Quiche.  The recipe was from Thomas Keller – previously published in Food & Wine using his famous/infamous (depends how you see it) buttery pastry shell.  This pastry is famous because it is so beautifully flaky and delicious…infamous because of its tendency to bring many a regular-belle cook to her knees in agony!  In other words, we regular-belle cooks need a few more very specific guidelines in order to make it work.  Enter sweet Smitten Kitchen!  Read her spot-on tips for working with the pastry here…and read our belle-tips below for the most amazingly amazing (and successful) mushroom quiche you have ever tasted!!!

Our number one tip:  Do a few steps ahead!  This is not a done-in-a-day deal for the everyday, busy cook!!

Prep your pastry, sauté the mushrooms/shallots, make the custard, grate the cheese… ALL a day or two ahead!!

Check out our steps below:

1-2 days before serving, gather and measure the pastry ingredients:

from Smitten Kitchen


Ready to go…

from Smitten Kitchen


Our pastry in process…

Now for the filling…

1-2 days before serving, gather filling ingredients:

from Smitten Kitchen


Our mushrooms in process…

via Smitten Kitchen


Our notes:  

We used a combo of oyster, baby portabellas, and white mushrooms.  Once done, cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Next, we made the custard in two portions.  We simply placed the ingredients in two large mason jars, did a quick shake, and stored in the fridge until serving day.

On the day you plan to serve this divine concoction…here’s the how-to:

Roll out your dough.  It’s pretty stiff at first, but keep working…and keep it cold!!  Once you have a 16″ circle, place in the greased ring of a 9″ springform pan (no bottom, unhinged, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet).  Place parchment paper inside the dough and fill with weights (we used a slightly smaller springform with coins inside…Smitten Kitchen uses rice and/or beans) to keep the dough in place…otherwise, it will slide right down the sides of your springform and leave you devastingly disappointed!  

Again…here are some specifics from Smitten Kitchen:


We chose to par-bake our shell which yields an amazingly browned, flaky crust.  This is done at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Remove beans/rice/coins and bake another 10 minutes for good-measure browning.

Now for the assembly…

Place 1/3 of your cheese in the bottom of the crust.  (By the way…if some cheese is good, more cheese is better!!  We used a full cup of grated emmentaler)

Cover the cheese with about half of your mushrooms

Pour one of your jars of “custard” over this layer, and do it all again – ending with cheese.

Time for the baking!  Place the quiche in the oven at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours…

And you might get something that looks like this disappointing mess!!  We were convinced we had failed miserably!!  The crust apparently sprang a leak despite our best efforts and following Smitten Kitchen’s tips very carefully.  We figured we were just no match for this endeavor.  We were just not worthy!  Or were we??…

Although it might have turned out to be a slightly messier version of Mr. Keller’s creation, it was, indeed, a success!!

We initially thought would never attempt this beautiful mess again…but it is just TOO GOOD!!!  We will indeed be doing this one again and again!  And ya know what they say…practice makes perfect!

On another note…we recently found this article touting the benefits of certain superfoods, including MUSHROOMS!!  Just another reason to have this one on repeat!

a&a

kickin’ up our heels…

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The color, the block heel and the height make these shoes sheer perfection…

For those of you who can #shoplocal at our fave spots…here are some picks from Muse Shoe Studio in Greenville…

This Marc Fisher “tie-up” is perfect for an all-day or all-night summer outing!

It’s the “Remone” and sells for $170

This super comfy kick is from Lucky Brand…and just $119

And the Vash clutch ($143) is the perfect complement!

And for the online shopper…

By Raye from Revolve Clothing

Or these… 


By Raye from Revolve Clothing
How about These?

By Sam Edelman from Revolve clothing
Or try These


By Free People from Revolve Clothing
And get a load of these


By Hinge from Nordstrom
Last but not least

By Via Spiga from Nordstrom

And for those of you who would like an espadrille (block heels and espadrilles are a belle’s best option for summer lawn parties!)…


Try the “Dusty” from Bettye Muller (available at Muse Shoe Studio) along with that awesome Mar Y Sol straw bag ($135)!!

Kick ’em up, belles!!

a&a

what’s ringin’ our belle…round 102

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We are obsessed with burrata cheese…so we know we are going to inhale this


Via Half baked harvest

We love finding out secrets…and these are great ones about Whole Foods

Via Domino

The truth about dressing rooms

Via Racked
Some great veggie hacks….

Via Reifinery29

Cocktail umbrellas have a little secret…who’d a thunk???

Via refinery 29

Ring-a-ling!

a&a

belles are blushing…kickin’ up our heels. 

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Looking for the perfect nude shoe to go with spring’s blushes and neutrals?  Well…we found some options at Nordstrom that just might tickle your fancy…


Both of these are absolutely beautiful on!  

On the left, the Stuart Weitzman “Nudistsong” in “Naked Suede” lives up to its name!  For those with a pinky-peach skin tone, this one disappears…in an excellent way!

On the right, the Pour la Victoire “Elisa” sandal is just the right matte metallic to get their attention without screaming “look at me all bright-n-shiny”.  No one wants a screamin’ shoe!

Although these are both a bit on the “tall” side with sky-high heels, they are actually quite comfortable if you dare to go there.

Give ’em a try…cause, of course, it’s #allabouttheshoe

a&a 

an easy Easter treat..belles want s’more please…

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With Easter just a few days away and the arrival of a plethora of peeps, we thought we’d try a great recipe from one of our favorite blogs…How Sweet Eats

All you’ll need is a few of your favorite peeps. We chose Easter eggs, pink rabbits and yellow peeps. The yellow might even be considered vintage now…what with all the colors and shapes on trend now. 

Then reach into your pantry and grab a bag of chocolate chips. We used semi-sweet because that’s what we had but feel free to mix or use milk, dark etc. 


and now grab your handy dandy jar of peanut butter .
A little dolloping is required

The only other item you will need is an oven proof skillet or dish. We used a pie plate because we were serving a smaller number of folks. 

Now let your creativity shine…


Set your broiler on, and voila! 

Belles beware !!!

Now we have to admit, this where we ran into a wee bit of trouble. We put it under broiler and flames emerged within 30 seconds!!!  And it wasn’t warm enough underneath…not exactly what we had hoped for.

Thankfully we are partial to burnt peeps and we can’t show a pic because we ate the top right off in mere seconds. 
We re-peeped and it went in at 500 for a very few minutes and then we hit the broiler (one rack further down this time ) until gently browned, The teen belles entered en masse and inhaled giving their thumbs up of approval. 


Full and original recipe Here

Here’s what we did:

The Belles Easter Peeps 

2 cups chocolate chips 

1/2 cup peanut butter 

About 25 peeps 

Graham crackers for dipping 

Preheat oven to 500 

Place chocolate chips in an oven proof skillet or pie plate

Dollop peanut butter over chips 

Arrange peeps, and feel free to crowd them 

Place in oven for about five minutes at 500 degrees to allow chocolate and peanut butter to melt

Now crank up the oven to broil and watch carefully and constantly! 

Carefully remove and serve 

Watch the belle-bunnies devour!

a&a

drinkin’ on the job…up on the roof

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Our most recent TALKGreenville contribution…


Well folks, it’s official. Our beautiful little city is growing “UP”…as in UP on the Roof. High atop the spanking new Embassy Suites in downtown Greenville, this über-cool spot will knock your socks right off! From their creative team behind the bar (with oh-so-clever bottled cocktails for efficiency and consistency) to the fresh, locally-sourced eats, the experience is truly top-notch. 
What they are cookin’ up… 

sample menu from winter 2017

 

Whether you are up for just a bit of grazin’ or ready for the full meal deal, UP has you covered. Serving a wide variety of items “From the Farm”, “From the Ranch” and “From the Sea”, they have something for every palate…even the finicky ones! We were lucky enough to get to sample the “Humpty Dumpties” (their daily deviled eggs) while we sipped. One word…egg-cellent!

And as for the libations…

The folks at UP have it figured out!  Seeking consistency and speed, they decided to bottle their signature cocktails!  Just order, and watch them pop and pour.  Brilliant!  


The “My Tie”…

As rum fans, we were literally fighting over this drink! Mount Gay Eclipse and Black Barrel rums are blended meticulously with Cointreau, hand-squeezed lime juice, simple syrup and orgeat syrup. We can’t even begin to describe the tantalizing taste thrill that this bev produced. Let’s just say we drained the bottle and wanted more!


Bo’s Point of View…

If a classic is more to your liking, then an elevated classic is the way to go. This divine concoction will be right “UP” your alley! Woodford Reserve, black walnut bitters, pink grapefruit juice and honey simple syrup will have you appreciating this taste thrill of “panoramic” proportions! Truly a point of view you will embrace!! And the classic coupe had us at first glance. Just sayin’


While one might expect such an “uppity” place to be a bit “high-brow” (get it?), the vibe here is cool and relaxed. Although one would feel quite chic and fit in perfectly all dressed up for a night on the town, the more dressed-down folks will feel right at home as well. You do you…and just enjoy the view!

from eatupdrinkup.net

We encourage you to go Up and go often as the bar and kitchen teams are always creating somethin’ fresh and new. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on the latest and greatest! As they say at UP, ”take in the great views…and our team will take care of the rest”. These mixologists really “raise” the bar, and their skills are “above” and beyond. Go ahead and enjoy this new version of the “mile high” club…we did!   

Up On the Roof . 250 Riverplace . Greenville . eatupdrinkup.net