as GOLD as it gets

Life, Food + Style

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incredible baked ham sammies

This is the perfect recipe to share before you have your easter ham and start thinking how to serve up those leftovers! I love myself a good sandwich and sometimes making them at home (or with leftovers) can leave something to be desired. This recipe adapted from the classic ham + swiss on a hawaiian roll will have you gobbling them up and its perfect to make ahead of time for an easy weeknight dinner. Make them in the small/slider size or full size hamburger bun and its sure to please your family (my husband ate THREE!).

incredible baked ham sambas | as GOLD as it gets blogThe secrets in the seasoning! These rolls taste rich and buttery and like a fresh everything bagel. I perused several similar recipes but decided to go with the full size rolls and the following measurements. You’ll prep these the night before and leave them to rest in your fridge. I had read that some people found that they were soggy after baking so I was careful to adapt my ingredients so they wouldn’t be soggy. They look like the picture below once they’ve sat overnight.

incredible baked ham sambas | as GOLD as it gets blog

1- 6 count package of hawaiian rolls
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1 tsp onion flakes
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp ground mustard
10 oz package of ham
cheddar cheese for each sandwich

1) Using a large casserole dish, place the bottom of the hawaaiian rolls in the casserole and build your sandwich. I used two pieces of ham and one slice of cheddar cheese.
2) Melt your butter and stir in the seasonings. With a whisk or spoon, carefully pour directly over the top of each bun. Be sure to not let too much excess run under the sandwich to prevent sogginess.
3) Let sit overnight in refrigerator.
4) Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and serve.

These could not be easier! I am not a fan of swiss cheese so I was eager to swap cheese from the classic hawaiian ham sandwich (and you could really do any cheese, perhaps next time I’ll try gouda!). A simple ham sammie taken to the next level with a little seasoning and a night in the fridge!

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irish beef stew

I have to say that I’ve had this recipe pinned for a quite a while and haven’t made it. Working with red meats always freaks me out a bit and the only other time I worked with stew meat it came out too chewy (aka I cooked it too long). I finally decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad that i did! I don’t think I have had something like this since I was in Scotland…in high school! It’s perfect for a cold day when you want a hearty meal. I skipped and tweaked a few things to fit what was in my pantry.

irish beef stew + mashed potatoes | as GOLD as it gets blog

Start by browning the meat over the olive oil, being careful to not fully cook. Add in carrots, garlic and onion and cook for 5 more minutes. Add in your beef broth, garlic powder, rosemary, oregano and bay leaf, then cover and simmer for two hours.

irish beef stew | as GOLD as it gets

Melt your flour and butter in a small pan to create a roux, add roux, peas, salt and pepper to your stew. If you aren’t a salt fan, or are watching your sodium intake I wouldn’t add salt at the end. Mine tended to be pretty salty so be sure to taste-test before you go pouring in more salt. Bring your heat up to medium-high and simmer for 10 more minutes. Before serving remove bay leaf. irish beef stew | as GOLD as it gets

I served this over mashed potatoes and it was amazing! It’s the perfect comfort food for a cold day

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound beef stew meat
3 large carrots, peeled & chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 – 1 teaspoon salt (optional depending on your own taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Full directions above

Recipe slightly adapted from A Teaspoon of Happiness

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first attempt at cake pops

There’s a lot of things that making cake pops can teach you including patience, precise and quickness! This was my first attempt at making cake pops and I knew they were a bit tricky so I spent some time pouring over some other people’s experience….there’s a lot of differing information but I’ll share what I did here and what I will change for the future.

cake pops | as GOLD as it gets

You start by making a regular cake from a box (easy!). I used this recipe that is suppose to be a dupe for the Starbucks birthday cake pops. I used a Pillsbury white super moist box mix and used a large round pan and cooked according to the box directions (34 minutes). cake pops | as GOLD as it gets

I cut the cake into pieces so it could cool faster (my first lesson in patience) and popped it into the fridge. If you add the frosting too soon it will obviously be too wet and possibly soupy!cake pops | as GOLD as it getsAs you can see my edges were brown so I through the “crust” or outside part out and just used the soft middle for the cake pops. You want to make sure that your cake is fluffy and broken up with your hands really well so that your cake pops can be smooth.

cake pops | as GOLD as it getsOnce you add your frosting use a big spoon to mix it all together evenly. Then I used a cookie scoop to divide up the mixture. At this point I stopped using the directions and tried to dunk one – such a fool. Obviously it crumbled, and obviously it was a huge mess. Turning back to the directions I read that you have to FREEZE them for two hours. My second lesson in patience.

cake pops | as GOLD as it gets

After an hour I checked on these and rolled the balls a little tighter. These started out looking like drop biscuits and they need to be more compact and round. I let them freeze for another hour before I melted the chocolate and got to dipping! Take them out one at a time (max two at a time) so they stay cold and intact. Even the warmth of your hand will have them get mushy again. dipping cake pops | as GOLD as it getsI dipped the end of the stick in the chocolate and then dipped the whole cake pop to act like a glue. Some people swear by this, others say they don’t see any difference…but it seemed to work for me. I only had trouble keeping it on the stick if it was a little bit larger. The weight was just too much to be balanced.

Next time, I want to experiment thinning the chocolate out more. The pink especially seemed difficult while the yellow was a bit thinner. I included a little veggie oil to thin it out and think that next time I need to really work on making them smoother…but for a first time (and to only have my husband eat them) they are fine!

Do you have any cake pop tips? I’d love to hear what works for you!

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what is bayalage?

Up until a few years ago I always had my hair highlighted but it’s the pits when it grows back in and your roots come back in a straight line. GROSS. I’ve been getting bayalage for a couple of years now and I’m so surprised how many people have no idea what it is! Articles have been popping up touting it as the best new thing, but it isn’t new. I mean, just look how long Giselle has had her golden locks!bayalage | as GOLD as it gets

A few things about bayalage: It is the best if you want your hair color to look fresh, and not extreme. If you might wait a little longer in-between touchups, I usually go six months which is honestly a little long but I get my hair cut about every 3 months or so and thats the best timing for me and if you want to minimize damage from coloring your hair.

bayalage | as GOLD as it gets

Excuse the 8am in-car photo: You can see that while my hair had grown out – it didn’t have a straight line of where my hair had grown in.

bayalage | as GOLD as it gets

Your colorist will paint or sweep the color onto your hair. This isn’t done “perfectly” like highlights where they basically measure and weave the color pretty evenly throughout your hair. It is actually pretty amazing how the colorist will pick and choose which pieces to apply the color too. It is totally freehand. Once they have applied all the color you get saran-wrapped and you sit without heat for about 30 minutes. bayalage | as GOLD as it getsThis was waiting for the valet to get my car…you can see that it doesn’t look drastically different, just brighter and fresher!

If you are looking for bayalage in the philadelphia area I highly recommend Kristen at Adolf Biecker salon! She’s fantastic.

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philadelphia brunch – cafe la maude

I am behind in my posting! What better way to give you some early morning drool worthy brunch pictures? I went to brunch with my friend Kendra and I’m so lucky that she hired me for my first job out of college and even luckier to call her a friend, not just a former boss! She lovely in every way and always knows everything there is to know about whats going on and what’s good in Philadelphia.

cafe la maude card

We went to Cafe La Maude, a parisian-lebanese bistro in the norther liberties section of philly. It did not disappoint! The owner and his wife were right at the door greeting customers as they came in.

Parisian Zá

Our brunch was amazing…are you drooling yet?caprese benedictAbove is the caprese benedict! It was just as amazing at it looks.

It’s the feel of Paris and the taste of Beirut all hidden in Philadelphia! You won’t find it by strolling the city so make a point to take a quick trip up to northern liberties!

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preview: a very lilly birthday + #lillyfortarget

My birthday just happens to be exactly one week before the #lillyfortarget line launches. I am, of course, have a very lilly birthday party with the launch. There are so many fun things to play around with – I’m currently thinking flamingos, pineapples and some palm trees. Our biggest questions so far is WHEN WILL LILLY BE FOR SALE. Has anyone heard? Are stores opening at midnight? Let me know if you’ve heard!

27 lilly flamingo print


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