Black and White Stripes

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Posting another old outfit today. I’m seriously loving ankle and cropped pants. Dressier than jeans, but still not overdressed.

I also realized that I may or may not have a stripe obsession.

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Tee – J Crew, Pants – J Crew Minnie, Heels – Cole Haan from Nordstrom

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College Pride

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For “pride” day at work, we were encouraged to sport high school, college, or company attire. Since I’m a very proud Bruin, I decided to represent UCLA!

I paired my Banana Republic ankle pants with white wedges, and a UCLA tee with a white tank layered underneath. Simple and cute, the wedges dressed up the outfit, but still paired well with the tee.

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Top – UCLA store, Crops – Banana Republic, Wedges – Jessica Simpson

Salumi Backroom Lunch

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Salumi is one of those Seattle restaurants on everyone’s “must visit” list, and with nearly 700 reviews and four and a half stars on Yelp, it is clearly a local hot spot. They’re only open Tuesday-Friday 11am to 3:30/4pm, and they often run out of “the good stuff” just after noon. Luckily, I work with some amazing folks who also love food. One of my coworkers arranged for us to take part in the “backroom lunch.” We made our reservation months in advance, and not one of the ten of us backed out.

The backroom private lunch is only offered on Wednesday and Thursday, and is a 5-course “chef’s whim” menu. We arrived just before noon, and were greeted with bread, olives, and a massive plate of cured meat.

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Tempting as it was, we waited for our whole group to arrive before digging right in. There was also delicious house wine available.

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We poured the wine, chatted with Chef Brian to confirm my gluten allergy restrictions, and promptly devoured the plate of cured meat.

The next appetizer course was bruschetta and onions. The bruschetta was apparently amazing (unfortunately I was unable to try it).

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The onions were slightly fermented (tasted almost like a version of sauerkraut), warm, and incredibly delicious.

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The next course featured short ribs and pancetta wrapped chard.

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The short ribs were bone-in and perfectly cooked, and the chard definitely invoked lots of comments along the lines of “so, I do like chard after all!”

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The next course was another cured meat course, beef tongue.

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It was actually my first time trying tongue, and it was superb. Chef Brian was also happy that everyone at the table tried it (and enjoyed it!).

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Next was a fava bean fontina frittata.

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Finally, we reached the main courses. First, was the pasta course. IMG_4513

It was a carbonara with pork jowl and asparagus.

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Even though I couldn’t take part, everyone else loved it. The plate was cleaned!

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Next, we had sautéed peppers with two types of sausage, fennel sausage and green peppercorn and garlic sausage.

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It was a simple dish, but quite delicious. My favorite was definitely the green peppercorn and garlic sausage.

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We finished off every last pepper!

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To finish off, dessert! He paired grapes with Beecher’s cheese and candied chili mango.

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The cheese was delicious (of course!), but the true delight was really the candied mango. It was the perfect blend of sweet and spice.

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Two and a half hours later, we were intoxicated on delicious food. We did make sure to snag a photo with Chef Brian outside the restaurant!

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Obsessed with my Moccasins

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I may or may not be completely obsessed with my new moccasins! Last Thursday, I went with a group of coworkers to lunch at Salumi, an incredible restaurant in Seattle (blog post to follow!). The lunch was 2 1/2 hours, and most of us ended up working from home for the remainder of the day.

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I kept it casual, with a tee, jeans and moccasins, but added a faux leather jacket and bold necklace to jazz it up.

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I made sure the jeans had plenty of stretch to accommodate the food baby!

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Jeans – True Religion from Nordstrom (similar), Tee – Stem from Nordstrom, Jacket – Nordstrom BP, Necklace – Anthropologie, Moccasins – Minnetonka from Nordstrom

Purple and Black

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I’m definitely working to branch out color wise, but I do often fall back to my favorite color scheme, purple, black, and grey.

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I love tank tops and blazers for summer. When it’s warm outside, you can ditch the blazer, but the blazer makes a big difference in air conditioned offices.

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Adding a statement necklace is a great way to bring the outfit up a notch. I paired the outfit with a multi-strand faux-pearl necklace that I got in Japan.

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Blazer – Nordstrom BP, Tank tops – Nordstrom BP, Jeans – Joe’s from Nordstrom, Heels – Cole Haan from Nordstrom, Necklace – Purchased in Japan

Seared Lamb Lollipops with Duck-fat Glazed Turnips

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Glazing root vegetables has turned into my absolute favorite preparation. I love how the glazing brings out the flavor, but makes the texture just melt-in-your mouth delicious.

For the final course of our dinner party, Nick paired his seared lamb lollipops (served here with cauliflower couscous and here with sous-vide glazed sunchokes) with duck-fat glazed turnips.

For the turnips, he used the recipe for glazed vegetables from the French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller. Combine peeled and sliced turnips with salt, sugar, and rendered duck-fat in a vacuum sealed bag. Sous-vide at 185F until tender (probably about 40 minutes). To finish, pour all contents into a sauce pan and reduce until the liquids coat the turnips in a glaze.

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20 pounds, DVF, and a DietBet Champ

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So, I did it! I lost exactly 20 pounds in 8 weeks, which was 11.1% of weight loss, and I won the competition at my work!

For weigh-in day, I wore my new Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, which was my “waist under 30 inches reward” from a few weeks back.

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Wrap dresses are fabulous for most body shapes, but I did make sure to wear a bandeau over my bra just to make sure I didn’t overexpose at work!

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I paired the dress with simple nude heels, and statement gold earrings.

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I’m a huge fan! It was my first DVF purchase and definitely a worthwhile splurge.

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Dress – Diane von Furstenberg from ShopBop, Heels – Vince Camuto from Nordstrom, Earrings – Purchased in Japan