as GOLD as it gets

Life, Food + Style

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book recommendation: the pocket wife

I was searching to find something that I enjoyed reading as much as some of the ones I’ve been reading this summer. I’m not even sure how I found out about The Pocket Wife but I’m so glad I did. This is a murder mystery (sensing a theme?). But what makes this book SO interesting is the lead character is bipolar, and due to that, and a boozy afternoon she can’t remember what happened between her and her neighbor who is now dead…but she thinks she’s the last one to have seen her alive.
The book does a great job showing how manipulative people are and how people can turn your weakness or vulnerability against you (in her case her mental illness) to further their cause or point blame or attention away from themselves. It does a great job of taking you through how frustrating it feels to spiral through ups and downs as she tries to figure out what happened with things point back at her. I really loved this book!
the pocket wife book review

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diner en blanc in the rain


I was so excited to go to diner en blanc in philly this year with andrea (my soul sister and former philly roommate, bridesmaid, coworker…you know she’s basically everything to me). In case you don’t know, Diner en Blanc occurs across the world and is basically a chic white pop-up picnic thats an all night party! It’s invite only and tickets are coveted. You bring everything from your table & chairs to your picnic feast and are shown to an undisclosed super secret location where everyone lines up table after table for a massive picnic and party. Diner en Blanc occurs rain or shine and they mean it. We were absolutely soaked but had a great time. I’ll walk you through the night and what we packed.


We met up with our group at the sports complex having no idea where we were going. Meeting spots were all around the city. Notice how fresh-faced (and good my hair looks) before it started pouring. philadelphia DEBOnce we got the go ahead from our team leader we started walking south…and we knew exactly where we were going because its basically the only thing that direction…the navy yard. We were all basically hoping for the art that was a bummer but I think we had a ton more space being at the navy yard.
diner en blanc tablescape

Tablescaping: You’ll bring your own table (they provide the specs, square only!), two white folding chairs, white tablecloth and white china (nothing disposable) and silverware. We also added a small vase and faux flowers, battery-operated taper candles and candle holders (dollar store), and wine glasses. You’ll also need to bring a white trash bag for the end of the night.
We planned a simple meal – focaccia, assorted meats, brie, macarons and champagne. We also brought greens but forgot salad dressing. People were willing to share but honestly, we were full and didn’t need/want it.

deb tablesIt’s interesting to see what people bring. Our neighbors brought cheese plates and sandwiches to one side while our other neighbors had sushi, lobster rolls, pasta…(yeah, I don’t think those things go together either).

After dinner people start getting up, there is live music, a dj, everyone is dancing…it’s just a huge party where everyone is in the best mood after weeks of anticipation!diner en blancIt would have been a totally different experience had it not rained. And we were frustrated and a little cranky (read: I was a little cranky because I was not only wet but sweaty). But at one point we just said…”whatever. 4,100 other people are here, in white and soaking wet, lets just have fun”
rain at DEBAround 9pm they play Viva la Vida – yes Coldplay is still amazing – and light sparklers. Its so beautiful and luckily by the end of dinner the rain had stopped.
diner en blanc sparklers

If you have the chance to go to Diner en Blanc – go! It is so fun and such a gorgeous event. It’s so fun to see people come together for a night where everyone is excited about the same thing, everyone looks great and ready to have fun!

Have you been the Diner en Blanc? I’d love to hear about your experience! To find out when DEB will be in your city click here.

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book recommendation: the truth and other lies

Let me say: this book is SO GOOD! I found The Truth and Other Lies to be the perfect read. It was suspenseful but really easy to follow. The book gave you both a good insiders look into the main character and the mystery where you didn’t feel like “shoot, I should read that again to figure everything out”. The book follows a famous author…who doesn’t end up writing any his own books, it’s his wife who lives a secluded life that writes the books and doesn’t care about any of the fame, while he thrives on it and she has him publish her books under his name. He has a girlfriend…and you can see where this is all going. You oddly are rooting for and against him at the same time and can’t quite figure out what you should feel.

I highly recommend this. It’s a really quick read. I zipped through it in about 2 days!

the truth and other lies book review

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Today marks our three wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it!
This year has been a big lesson in patience and perseverance for us both. With the busyness our jobs, house hunting, each other…lots of patience. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
People are always quick to tell you that marriage is hard. (OMG IT IS.) But its also amazing to do life with your best friend and build your own family.


Happy that this one is my plus one for life.LindJordWeb-571

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making enchilada’s without chillis in adobo!

To be honest, if I saw the title of this dish I would keep scrolling – but please, trust me. They are very good. Somewhere along the line our Target (Princeton Target, I’m looking at you), stopped selling chilli’s in adobo. Unclear as to why they did this but I would just hop over to Wegman’s and get them there…except they don’t seem to have them anymore either. I think that they give enchiladas that smokey heat that authentic mexican dishes have so I was really debating to order some on Amazon until I got the idea to swap in sriracha. Disclaimer: I don’t even like sriracha so if you do I’m sure you’ll think these are amazing. 
sriracha chicken enchiladas

These enchilada’s were a early hit in our relationship and I think one of the first things I made for JPS and definitely the first thing I made for his family (at his suggestion!). I started with SkinnyTaste’s chicken enchiladas and adapted them when I couldn’t find chillis in adobo.
The filing is easy. I cook chicken with garlic salt and pepper in a skillet, pop it in the kitchen-aide with the paddle and shred it up. If you don’t shred your chicken this way. Put the forks away! It will take you about 10 seconds to shred! While you chicken is cooking in the skillet you can make the enchilada sauce.

chicken enchiladas

Saute your diced onion and garlic, throw in your tomato sauce, chicken and cilantro. Add your cumin, garlic powder and a little salt and pepper.
chicken enchiladas

The aroma will really make you salivate!
chicken enchiladas

Once you have let that simmer and flavors blend you want to fill your tortillas and roll them so the seam is down and they are in a little line in your casserole dish.

chicken enchiladas

From here on out its super simple: pour your sauce over the tortillas. I like to spread it out to the end with a spoon because I 100% hate when enchilada’s have crispy edges these are supposed to be gooey and yummy. Not crunchy like a taco. And don’t forget to load it up with cheese…

chicken enchiladas

I like to put a little more cilantro on the top after they come out and feel free to add sour cream! They have the smokey heat from sriracha so salsa would probably be too much for this dish.

For the enchilada sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs sriracha (up to another .5-1 tbs)
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 8 cooked shredded chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
For the enchilada:
  • 8 (7-inch) low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions or cilantro for topping

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Cook chicken tenders with a olive oil in hot skillet. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Once fully cooked throw into kitchen aid mixer and using paddle attachment shred chicken on low. Set aside to cool.
3) In a medium saucepan, use a little olive oil or non-stick spray and salute garlic. Add sriracha, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to pour over tortillas.
4) Saute your diced onion and garlic. once translucent (1-2 minutes) throw in your tomato sauce, chicken, cumin, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth and cilantro, add in a little salt and pepper.
5) Let everything simmer on the stove for around 15 minutes so the flavors can blend. Then you want to fill your tortillas and roll them so the seam is down and they are in a little line in your casserole dish.
6) Once all aligned (they can be very close, it doesn’t matter) pour sauce over the entire tortilla so the edges don’t get crispy. Top with a generous amount of cheese.
7) Cover with foil and cook for 20-25 minutes. Take off foil and broil for 2 minutes so cheese is bubbling.

Now you need have to worry about hunting down chills in adobo – just use sriracha!

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brown butter bourbon peach pie

I’m sorry to have had a brief hiatus but things have been a little bit crazy around here. I just received a huge promotion and will now be the Director of Marketing at my current job. I am so excited about it but I’ve been trying to get things in order while they search for my replacement and being trained for my new position, so my brain has turned to mush. But its the perfect time to come back with this delish brown butter bourbon peach pie.
brown butter bourbon peach pie Continue reading


crockpot picadillo stuffed peppers

This is a great weeknight dinner because the crockpot does all the work! I think this works best if you do the picadillo overnight and wake up in the morning and pop it in peppers and let it go all day so its ready for you when you get home.
picadillo stuffed pepperscrockpot picadillo crockpot picadillo crockpot picadillocrockpot stuffed peppers picadillo

crockpot stuffed peppers picadillo crockpot stuffed peppers picadillo crockpot stuffed peppers picadillo

1lbs 93% lean ground beef
1 cup minced onion (I had vidalia on hand)
1 chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 tomato, diced (I had beefsteak on hand)
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup of water
1/4 cup alcaparrado (you can make your own with green olives with pimientos centers and capers)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 bay leaves
kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste

5 large bell peppers
brown rice (I use the whole grain brown rice microwaveable bag!)
handful of shredded cheese
1/3 cup water

1) Brown your beef in a medium skillet until no longer pink. Be sure to season with salt and pepper when cooking.
2) Once cooked, drain the liquid from the pan and add in onion, garlic and bell pepper and heat for another 4-5 minutes on a lower temperature to help the flavors start to develop.
3) Place everything from the pan into the crockpot. Then add everything else: chopped tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, water, alcaparrado, garlic powder, cumin and bay leaves.
4) You can cook this on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Just like with any other crockpot recipe, you may need to adjust seasonings when its done.
5) Cut the tops off your peppers, fill 1/3 of the bottom with brown rice and then scoop in picadillo. You can also top with cheese. Pour water around peppers in the crockpot but don’t get the inside of the peppers wet, the water will steam them.
6) Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for around 3 hours.

recipe slightly adapted from SkinnyTaste


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