Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts and Pork Chops

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I thought no version of Brussels sprouts could be better than Brussels sprouts cooked in bacon fat. Then, Nick had fry oil out from making wings, so he decided to make deep fried Brussels sprouts.

To prep, he cut the Brussels sprouts in half and heated the coconut oil to its fry point (350 degrees). He cooked the sprouts in batches, until they started browning and the edges started to curl and separate (about 5 minutes). They were plated with a drizzle of balsamic.

He paired them with a seared pork chop (rubbed with habanero garlic pepper) and a dollop of Kozlik’s mustard.

The best approximation I can make for the flavor of the sprouts was delicious movie theater Brussels sprout popcorn (likely due to frying them in coconut oil). I kept eating them out of the bowl before he could even finish all of the plating, they were that good.

Just Leopard

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I kept my outfit simple today, except for my new leopard print scarf. With animal prints, it’s important to keep the rest of your outfit toned down, so it screams classy and not trashy.

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I wore my Joe’s Provocateur jeans, Vera Wang Lavender Lilian flats, a black Trouve tee (similar), and a leopard scarf from Nordstrom BP (similar and similar). I topped the outfit with my new cropped black bomber jacket.

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Stripes and a Shoemint Review

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Shoemint is another one of the Beachmint sites, with Rachel Bilson as the design collaborator, Nicole Chavez as designer, and Steve Madden as the creator. They launched in November, and I tried them out for the first time in February, when I was on the quest for a perfect pair of nude non-patent leather closed toe pumps (surprisingly, not that easy to find). Like the other mint sites, you get a monthly credit, which you can either use to make a purchase (in which case your credit card is charged), or choose to waive that month.

In terms of a review, I’m honestly torn. I adore Rachel Bilson, and have been in love with her style since the O.C. I’m also a big fan of Steve Madden shoes. I had a 20% off code (SHOE20), so I figured it was worth a shot. I got the “Rosemary” in nude (a few sizes are still available). The website claims similar shoes sell for up to $169.95. For $64, I was pretty happy with my purchase. I don’t love the visible inner seam, but it’s the case with most Steve Madden shoes. They were quite cute on and comfortable. I’d definitely pay $64 again, I wouldn’t pay $170.

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My biggest complaint is that even though there are free returns, they charge a $9.95 re-stocking fee if you don’t choose to take a Shoemint credit. That, in my opinion, is where they miss out. It’s hard to know how certain shoes will fit until you try them on, and not being able to return without paying a restocking fee makes me not want to even make the attempt. Especially since they don’t offer customer reviews with feedback on how the shoes fit.

They do have some very cute shoes though, some which are extremely similar to Steve Madden shoes at a definite cheaper price. My other favorites were the Edith (Viktoree by Steve Madden), Michelle (Vipper by Steve Madden), Jolly, and Pauline (Presure by Steve Madden).

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I wore my new striped shirt today, paired with Rich and Skinny boyfriend jeans, the shoemint pumps, and a faux leather jacket from Zara (similar).

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I love the back of the top, and I’m also quite happy with how the nude color of my new pumps matches my skintone so well.

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Looking at the pictures, I think next time I’ll pair my striped shirt with my new black bomber jacket (purchased today from Nordstrom while I was picking up my altered Burberry rain jacket).

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48-hour Short Ribs with Braised Kale and Compressed Pears

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Nick’s adaptation of David Chang’s 48-hour short ribs (from the Momofuku cookbook) is one of my favorite sous-vide meals.

The original marinade is quite high in sugar, so Nick cut that back dramatically. It includes soy sauce, sugar, juice of a few mandarin oranges, toasted sesame oil, mirin, black pepper, garlic, carrots, onions, and water. The marinade is boiled and the solids are strained out.

He got to use his new toy and birthday present, the chamber vacuum sealer (I decided to be nice and give it to him early!) he’s been wanting ever since he got started with sous-vide cooking. They’re quite pricey and massive, but necessary if you want to vacuum seal liquids.

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The marinade is sealed with the short ribs, and then cooked for 48-hours at 140 degrees. David Chang deep fries them after cooking, but Nick typically uses his blow torch.

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He layered the ribs under braised kale, which he cooked with the leftover marinade.

He plated the ribs with another chamber vacuum sealer creation, compressed pears. He sliced the pears a quarter inch thick into wedges and vacuum sealed them flat with a quarter cup of soy sauce. It takes out the air, and infuses them with the delicious salty soy flavor.

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Equestrian Inspired Winter White

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I stepped quite a bit out of my fashion comfort zone today! I made my second winter white attempt, and brought out my white skinnies. To keep them season appropriate, I paired them with riding boots, jewel tones, and a scarf.

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The green top is from Nordstrom (similar), the navy blazer is from Zara (similar), the white skinnies are from AE Outfitters, the scarf is from Nordstrom (similar), and the boots are Corso Como in brown.

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