Clothing ETC.

Cheers 2015!

I hope you had a great time last night surrounded by your beloved ones. 2014 was an amazing year here at Peonies and Caramel. I learned so much from working on each and every post and I loved seeing your likes and reading your comments.

2015 is going to be an exciting year for me as I’m preparing for the arrival of our new baby boy in March while continuing to work hard on the blog to bring you new and original content. Thank you for being a part of this amazing journey.

Have a fabulous year!

Shani

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Photo by Kate Bolt

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Clothing ETC.

Festive attire

It’s the last few days of 2014 so, it’s time to think about festive attire. There will be dinners, parties and work related gatherings requiring attire suitable for the occasion.

This is my first planned outfit for the week. Festive but not too much, glitzy but not too sparkly. The knee high boots are the classic 5050 boot by Stuart Wietzman. They were my splurge buy this winter along with this beautiful metallic sweater by Maje (on sale now). The boots are just so comfortable. I wear them day and night and they just add that Chic factor to any outfit.

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Photos by Kate Bolt and were taken at the studio of Barry Elz 

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Shakshuka

I must write a post about one of my favorite dishes. It is my signature dish for brunch or for a light dinner. This is another traditional dish and I grew up with my dad’s version where he used a lot of diced peppers. My version is more Greek in its style using kalamata olives and feta. Shakshuka is a super easy dish that can serve as the star of any gathering. All it needs is a good white bread to accompany it. For best flavors serve it with Tahini on the side.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can of rustic cut tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add kalamata olives and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes to allow the olives to soften (this will remove some most of their bitter flavor). Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook further for about 10 minutes.

Make 4 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pure each into its own dip taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle the feta over the eggs. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, until the eggs are set. Remove from the heat, and leave for a couple of minutes. Spoon into individual plates and serve with tahini.

Note: This recipe I only used 4 eggs since it was only made for two. This base is good to use with up to 10 eggs.

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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Clothing ETC.

Feathers

I have a weakness its for feathers – on shoes, dresses, jewelry… and I want to wear it all. That being said, one must be very careful to not overdo it. Nobody wants to look like big bird.

The trend of feathers is not really a trend since it can be found every Winter in different variations. Finding one timeless item is a good investment that will prove itself year after year. Think dark colors instead of something bright and daring, and the combination with black leather leggings or a statement necklace is one of my favorite looks.

Here are my ideas! As you will see, most of the items tend to be more festive – just in time for the Holiday season.

P.S – Almost everything is on sale at the moment! Check Net-A-Porter and Neiman Marcus for more info.

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Clothing ETC.

Midnight Blue

On Monday my sweet daughter inquired  about my favorite color. I actually had to stop and think about this, there was no obvious answer! Nothing jumped out right away. She obviously thought it was odd since she immediately replayed that her’s are purple and pink – surprise, surprise.

So, I thought some more and realized my favorite colors are (once again, surprise, surprise!) gray and blue. Needless to say she DID NOT like my answer. I tried to explain to her that when you grow up your taste changes and that I liked purple once too. She just looked at me and walked away.

This is my favorite blue outfit that works really well with the bump. The dress is by Vince and was purchased three years ago. I always wear it as a tunic with a vest or a chunky sweater for a more boho-chic look. Try something bold and wintery over a sleek dress today…you might love it and you will look chic.

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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Clothing ETC.

Embellished

Ladies and gentleman it’s time to take out the bedazzler gun! Rhinestones are back in style.

According to the designers this Winter we should all wear embellished shoes. No matter if it’s a fancy high heel sandal or sneakers – big rhinestones are a must! It has a Wow factor that will take every outfit from the ordinary to  extraordinary. I love how every designer had his own interpretation of the trend. Miu Miu kept it understated and simple, where Dolce and Gabbana and Giuseppe Zanotti went all out with big statement shoes.

This is my superstar team of embellished shoes. One thing is for sure – I’ll be dreaming on those Miu Miu oxfords all night long.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ALL1

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Clothing ETC.

Grayish

Gray is definitely one of my favorite colors. No matter the occasion or the season Gray is always in. Now that I’m expecting baby no.3  I’m desperate to incorporate my favorite cloths with my growing bump.

This is a perfect example: some of my favorite pieces pair well with new items suitable for a bump. As always, I incorporate the main stream with the high end, and Zara is my go-to store to do it. The vest and the sweater dress are in stores now and are perfect for Fall/Winter.

These photos were taken just a few weeks ago, now it’s all about snow, snow and some more snow.

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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Stuffed Peppers

This is one of those recipes that every family has. My late grandfather used to make it using only green peppers since he liked the bitterness in them. I only use the red ones since I love the sweetness in them. Some will precook the rice to shorten the cooking time and some will use only dry rice and let the peppers cook longer. Every family has a story of her own. This is mine.

Note: The peppers are cooked in a tomato sauce. Mine changes each time, according to what I have at my pantry. The sauce should be easy and simple to accompany the peppers. 

Sauce, peppers and seasonings
7 red bell peppers (Try picking the big ones that can hold the stuffing)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large can of rustic cut tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sugar in the raw, salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stuffing
1 cup basmati rice
1 pound sirloin ground beef
2 tbsp chopped dill
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp baking soda
Salt and freshly ground peppers

Start with the stuffing. Cook the rice according to direction on the package. Limit cooking time to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed but the rice is not fully cooked. Set aside.

Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and add the baking soda. Using a little bit of ice cold water, mix the baking soda with the beef (this is a family trick that will make the beef airy). Add the dill, dijon mustard and season with salt and freshly ground black peppers. Pour over the rice. Mix everything together well (you may need to use your hands).

Using a small knife gently remove the top cap of the pepper while keeping it intact. Use the knife to remove any seeds left inside and random white pieces. Without forcing the peppers, stuff each one with an equal amount of the mixture. Close each pepper with its top.

In a large pot (which you have a tight-fitting lid for) pour the tomatoes and season with 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground peppers. Depending on how acidic the tomatoes are you may need to season with a little bit of sugar to balance the flavors. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Carefully arrange the peppers. The tomato sauce should almost cover them. Add hot water if necessary to reach that level. Bring to a boil again and then lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for about an hour. The stuffing should be fully cooked and the peppers tender but still keeping their shape.

Use tongs to remove peppers from the pot. Spoon sauce in a moat around them or slice open peppers and douse with sauce on top. Enjoy!

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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Clothing ETC.

Winter Essentials

I don’t like the cold weather, I don’t like the rain and I REALLY don’t like the snow. I rather be basking in 79 degrees all year long. The only thing I do love in those cold Winter months are the accessories. So many different coats, hats, ear muffs, scarves and gloves.  Every day is an adventure full of texture and warm textile.

Here are my ideas for the upcoming Winter months in black, gray/neutral and blue

Stay warm and cozy because the polar vortex is on the horizon…

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A Drink to Die for

Halloween is tomorrow so blogs and magazines are all about DIY crafts. I am not a crafty person, so I chose to do Halloween with an adult twist. Obviously, i turned to my partner in crime Kate (who by the way takes most of the photos for my blog). Last year at our book club’s holiday party she served us a cocktail to die for. Seriously, I was quite hung over the next day after two glasses. This is a slightly different version, but still a perfect fit for Halloween. Cheers!

The James a-la Kate
4 Tbs Raspberry Stoli vodka
2 Tbs St. Germain Elderflower liquor
Half lime, Juiced
Using a cocktail shaker, mix in with ice and a splash of club soda. Shake well and serve over an icy glass.
Don’t forget to chill glasses prior to trick or treating!
 
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Photos by Kate Bolt
 
 
 
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