Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hail Caesar!...salad

This is a monster of a Caesar salad. I didn't follow any particular recipe but tried to make sure it had a good balance of veggies (romaine, peppers) and proteins (chicken, eggs, prosciutto). And of course a few tasty morsels tossed in. That is to say, FRIED CAPERS. Ohmygod. Forget what you know about those pungent, briny pearls. Frying capers transforms the flavour and texture into something milder and aromatic, with a pleasant light crunch. Sooooo good. Make a batch and save the leftovers for pasta or beef carpaccio. Mm-mm. 

So, the salad. You know you want it. 


To prepare chicken:

Shred 1-1/2 cups of roasted or rotisserie chicken. 

To make hard-boiled eggs:

Place 6 eggs in a saucepan and add cold water until the eggs are submerged by at least 1 inch. Add 1 tsp white vinegar. Bring to a slow boil, uncovered, then reduce heat and allow eggs to simmer for one minute. Remove the saucepan from the element, cover, and allow to sit to 12 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Remove and dry the eggs, then discard the shell. Coarsely chop.

To prepare prosciutto:

Cut up 6-8 slices of prosciutto in small strips. Dry heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the prosciutto. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until the prosciutto is starting to brown and turn crispy.*

To make blackened peppers:

Core and deseed 4 or 5 red or yellow peppers. Cut in half vertically, then place on a baking sheet skin-side up. Roast at 450°F for 20 minutes. The skin should be mostly blackened. If not, broil for a few minutes further. Using tongs, place the peppers in a large sealed ziplock bag for 20 minutes. At this point the skins should slip off quite easily and they can be discarded. Dice the peppers. 

To make roasted garlic:

Cut the cap off a head of garlic so the tops of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Roast in the oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes. Squeeze out the roasted cloves and mash with a fork. 

To make capers:

Drain, rinse and thoroughly dry 1 jar of capers, reserving 1T of the brine. Pour enough canola oil into a small sauté pan to cover the bottom. Heat oil on a high setting it reaches 350°F. Add the capers and sauté for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan, until light brown. Drain well on paper towels. Set aside 1/4 cup of capers for the recipe and refrigerate the rest for a later use. 

To assemble salad:

Wash and tear up 1-1/2 heads of romaine lettuce. In a large salad bowl, toss lettuce, chicken, prosciutto, eggs, peppers, garlic and capers with commercial or homemade Caesar salad dressing, croutons, grated parmesan, cracked pepper and fresh lemon juice to taste. 

*'Health Canada recommends dried and salted deli meats in pregnancy as a safer alternative to non-dried deli meats.' 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What I've been wearing lately (2nd trimester)

a.k.a. the arrival of the bump

What they say is true: the second trimester is AWESOME. I've been lucky and had an easy pregnancy so far. Still, it was nice to get a surge of energy after the never-ending fatigue of the first 12 weeks. 

These photos were taken around week 19 (4.5 months 5.5 months), when many of my pre-pregnancy clothes still fit over my growing belly. Some of the best pieces have been my thrift store finds! 

Posting will continue to be erratic but I have a couple of recipes I can't wait to share, and I'll take more outfit photos now that I've really transitioned into maternity wear. So, keep checking back in!


I wore this beloved thrifted skirt often in the early stages of pregnancy, just hiked up a little higher. Nowadays, I wear it partially unzipped with an elastic belly band over top (about $8 from Old Navy's maternity section) and a longer top to cover

Skirt - Joseph Ribkoff, thrifted
Blouse - Adrienne Vittadini via Saks Off Fifth
Blazer - Banana Republic
Earrings - Aldo Accessories
Shoes - Aldo Outlet

I didn't wear this cardigan much pre-pregnancy. I like how it frames my belly in these photos, and gives the whole ensemble a bit of a scholastic vibe. I wore this midi-length skirt hiked up over my belly. While it's got sharp tailoring, the material is basically sweatpants so it's nice and stretchy. 

Skirt - Femme de Carriere
Tee - Banana Republic
Cardigan - Atmosphere, clothes swap
Necklace - Hand-me-down
Shoes - Via Spiga via Saks off Fifth

These high-waisted, faux leather (and very expensive) leggings have been amazing through the first half of my pregnancy. Bonus: you can dress like you're going to a club, throw on a black blazer and no one at the office will say a peep because she's pregnant.

I even took these pants to my tailor to see if she could temporarily turn them into maternity wear. When she answered no, I stored them away and bought a pair of faux suede maternity leggings from H&M. 

Leggings - Wilfred via Aritzia
Black tank - Winners
Sequined tank - Sportsgirl
Blazer - Mexx
Boots - Aquitalia via Century 21

This empire-waist dress with darts accommodated my growing belly well in the beginning. However, it's non-stretch and eventually got too snug. Sidebar: I find myself liking the look of cardigans a lot more. 

Dress - Calvin Klein
Cardigan - Banana Republic, clothes swap
Boots - Aquitalia via Century 21
Necklace - consigned

Elastic-waist trouser-style pants = much-needed breathing room.

Sweater - Winners
Pants - Vero Moda
Shoes - Via Spiga via Saks off Fifth

This stretchy knit wool skirt has a lot of give below the elastic waistband. I can wear it hiked up, so long as I'm wearing a top in a thicker fabric. 

Sweater - Olsen, thrifted
Skirt - Carroll, thrifted
Shoes - Via Spiga via Saks off Fifth
Earrings - Laura
Bracelet - R&W Outlet

This dress is fully lined and clings in all the right places, thanks to rutching down the sides. I wore it for a winter wedding reception, along with nude maternity tights from H&M. 

Dress - Ralph Lauren Outlet
Shoes - Aldo Outlet
Clutch - Bob Mackie, consigned

*Sigh* I look forward to reuniting with these leggings again. 

Leggings - Wilfred via Aritzia
Long-sleeved tee - Guess
Vest - Calvin Klein via Winners
Shoes - Aldo
Scarf - Sirens

These boots were a splurge purchase when I visited a friend in NYC, even at 50% off. But they fit like a glove, keep me toasty warm, are weatherproof (!!) and, so f*#$% comfortable. I can't say enough great things. No wonder the Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of the brand.

I sang the praises of this wrap top in a post from two years ago (here) so I'll save repeating myself.

Leggings - Wilfred via Aritzia
Top - Rebecca Ruby, thrifted
Tank - The Bay
Boots - Aquitalia, Century 21
Necklace - Laura