Friday, April 18, 2014

Sherbert Shop

Dress: Wet Seal Shoes: Nautica (no longer available) Bag: J. Crew (past season) Midi Rings: Bing Bang NYC Shard Ring: Bing Bang NYC (on sale!!)

Summer and ice cream go hand in hand, and this year there is a whole new way to enjoy your sugary goodness: in your wardrobe. Sherbert colors are in in a big way. I love this dress because it's comfortable, has a feminine shape and really feels like the season. I am also really feeling the trend of unconventional jewelry right now. Midi-rings, unique shapes, odd combinations... It all feels so fresh yet delicate. There's something almost elvish about it that I just can't stop swooning over.

Photos by Vivian Lin

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kangaroo Cooking School: Risotto

The first rule of Kangaroo Cooking School is don't talk about... Wait. That's something else. Lets get right to the risotto!

I got multiple recipe requests last week when I Instagramed a picture of a simple garlic/mushroom/parmesan risotto I whipped up with what I had on hand (yes guys, it really is that easy!) As a gluten free girl risotto is one of my true loves, so I am happy to oblige. I know that a lot of people feel intimidated by the idea of risotto, but it's really not much harder than boiling pasta. Once you make it once or twice you will see how easy it really is, and I guarantee you will begin to create risotto concoctions of your very own.

Necessary Supplies
  • Large non-stick skillet
  • Pot with a tight fitting lid
  • Ladle 
  • Cooking Spoon 
  • 1 cup risotto 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (always cook with wine you would drink)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth (a little less than one of those big boxes)
  • 2 cups thick sliced portabello or crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup grated parmesan chesse 

Don't be afraid to make substitutions and use what you have on hand. Mushrooms can be left out, or replaced with chopped asparagus, onions, mixed spring veggies, or tomatoes. Vegetable broth can be used in place of chicken broth for a more zingy flavor, and wine can be omitted for a richer dish. In a pinch butter can be replaced by a cooking oil, too.

  1. Begin by chopping the mushrooms and garlic while the butter melts in the skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Place the chopped garlic into the pan with the melted butter and saute until it begins to brown. Be careful that your heat is not too high, or you will end up with burned butter and garlic. Don't be afraid to turn the heat down to medium-low if you are getting too violent of a sizzle going.
  3. Pour the premeasured broth into the pan with the tight fitting lid. Cover, then turn heat to high.
  4. While your broth comes to a boil toss the mushrooms into the skillet with the garlic and butter. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  5. Keep an eye on that stock. Once it reaches a boil turn the heat down to medium or medium-low in order to maintain a slight simmer.
  6. Pour 1 cup of risotto into the skillet with the mushrooms, garlic, and butter. Saute for 1-2 minutes, or until it is thoroughly coated in butter and beginning to change color.
  7. Pour 1/4 cup of wine into the skillet. This is a good time to take note of your heat. If you get a violent burst of pops and sizzles it's too high. If you pour the wine in and it just sits there it's too low. The goal is a slight simmer. Adjust your heat slowly until it is achieved. 
  8. A lot of people are afraid of risotto because they believe it must be stirred constantly. I've found no benefit to uninterrupted stirring. I usually strive for around a 60/40 ratio of stir to no-stir time.
  9. Once most of the wine is absorbed, add one ladle of simmering stock to the skillet. Continue stirring frequently until it is nearly absorbed, then repeat. 
  10. After the last ladle of stock is almost completely absorbed turn off both burners. 
  11. Add 1 cup of grated parmesan to the hot risotto and stir until just melted. 
At the end of the day risotto is not some mystery grain for the french chef- it's big rice that releases starch as is cooks, resulting in a creamy sauce. Thinking of it as such will demystify its cooking. Just like rice it absorbs hot liquid. The more it absorbs, the softer it gets. I don't believe there is a "right" risotto, so prepare it to your liking. Some people prefer it quite chewy, and this can be achieved by withholding a ladle of liquid. Other people (me!) like it softer, and that's easily achieved by using an extra ladle of liquid.

Risotto is a great dish to master to your tastes because it really is quite easy, yet elegant. Enjoy! If you try the recipe let me know how it turns out. Also, let me know if you would be interested in more Kangaroo Cooking School posts!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Mood Lifters: Favorite New Things Edition

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was excellent because Coachella. No, I didn't go to Coachella. Rather, I enjoyed the quiet, traffic-free, no-wait-for-brunch city that Los Angeles becomes when a large chunk of the population migrates out to the desert for the weekend. Urban bliss.

This week I've prepared a special Monday Mood Lifter featuring my favorite new things. There's sure to be something here to brighten even the glummest of Monday moods.



Kluster Jewelry's Spring Line

Kluster's motto is Happy Jewelry for Happy People, and once I took one of their lovely pieces for a test drive I totally understood why! The craftsmanship that goes into them is topnotch, the stones are ultra-high quality, and the designs are whimsical and cheerful.

(Items not to scale. Clockwise: Petite Cloud Nine NecklacePink Peacock Earrings, Playful Peach Two-Tone Necklace, Spotted Leopard Bracelet in Jasper)

Cory Vines T-Shirts

Cory Vines is a new active wear company that is rethinking your workout wardrobe. Their goal is to bring high quality sport cloths to the market at a reasonable price. Let me tell you guys, I'm sold. Their Neighborhood Collection Boatneck (c/o) is the softest T I have ever owned. I find myself reaching for it again and again because I love how it feels on my skin.

LUSH Easter Goodie  

You guys already know about my serious crush on LUSH cosmetics. This ethical, ecologically minded company churns out some of the best bath products around. Seriously, I'm addicted. I've got a date with a Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb (c/o) tonight! Plus, hello, how cute is that bunny bomb?

(Left to right: Brightside Bubble Bar, Bunny, Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb)

L.K. Bennett Spring Collection

This new launch feels bolder than the past few collections from L.K. Bennett. I am loving the bright colors and the uniquely artistic feel. I'll take one of each, please!

Nelson J. Hair Mask

I love to spoil my hair with masks because the healthier it is the less time I spend styling. Argan oil is my favorite mask ingredient, but not all argan hair products are created equally. The quality of the oil makes a huge difference! Lately I have been loving this mask by Nelson J, because it features a moisture complex that is 100% derived from argan. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Bike Ride a Day Keeps the Gym Away

Top: Banana Republic Pants: Banana Republic   Shoes: Tory Burch (similar) Necklace: Capwell+Co (C/o)

Another hallmark of an LA summer is changes in many people's preferred mode of transportation. In a city famous for its horrific traffic a chance to peddle you way to the grocery store or out to lunch is welcome with open arms. I would much rather be whizzing along on the back of my Felt cafe bike getting real exercise than stuck in a stopped line of cars practicing patience breathing exercises.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pool Party

Top: Banana Republic (similar) Bikini: Reef Shoes: Sofft (similar) Ring: Hand crafted in New Mexico Scarf c/o: Joules

The entire social landscape changes in Los Angeles in the spring. Events move outside, and no opportunity to be near water is missed. That doesn't mean style goes out the window though! Tying up my  hair frees me from concerns about the effects of sun and wind, and an easy chambray top allows me to enjoy party snacks without stress.The whole look is so classic it would be difficult to pin it to an exact decade, and that is what I am always striving for.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mood Lifters: Game of Thrones Edition

In honor of tonight's Game of Thrones premier I have prepared you a special set of mood lifters, and I'm giving them to you a day early. Enjoy this visual feast, fit for the true ruler who will rightfully claim a seat upon the iron throne.

The Mother of Dresses 

This Issa Metallic Chiffon Maxi is lovely enough for a true Khaleesi. Plus, you don't have to worry about the scale print clashing with your winged babies.







Jewels Fit For a Lannister 

Even if you're not from the wealthiest family in the seven kingdoms you can adorn yourself with these arresting pieces from Prima donna. The Lucite Saber Golden Collar , the Sharqi Cymbal Gold Collar, and the Citali Cutout Wrist Cuff bring serious sparkle without requiring serious coin. Plus, they have a Khaleesi inspired design!







The One True Hair Accessory 

Viserys Targaryen taught us all to word our demands for golden crowns carefully. Avoid any potential confusion by making sure not to enrage Khal Drogo, and asking for the Jennifer Behr Laurel Leaf Headband by name.







Battle-Ready Leather 

Not all rightful rulers dress in lace and gold. Channel your inner Arya Stark in these rugged leather pants from All Saints.







A Feast Fit for a King 

Even with a royal food taster eating out can be dangerous in the seven kingdoms. Protect yourself by preparing your own food with A Feast of Fire and Ice, the official Game of Thrones cookbook.







Travel Beyond The Wall

Still craving more Game of Thrones Goodness? The serious devotee can explore the forbidden zone with Iceland Travels.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sunny Stroll

Dress: Calvin Klein (old) Shoes: Prada Bag, bracelets, belt, and head scarf: Vintage

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Sparkle

Top: J. Crew   Skirt: Banana Republic   Bag: DKNY (past season) Shoes: Sofft (similar) Bracelet: Kiel James Patrick

Sometimes statement pieces like this glittery green skirt can feel hard to pair. I often find the trick is to focus less on matching and more on creating balance. In this outfit the sheer wattage of this skirt is cranked down a notch by elegant slippers and a comfortable T-shirt to create a memorable daytime look.