Brownies In A Frying Pan!

What could be simpler than baking brownies in a cast iron skillet? My cast iron skillet is one of my favorite kitchen items. Of course make sure your pan is clean and well seasoned before you embark on this great recipe! To make certain just look here in my blog for some easy steps.This photo and recipe inspired by A Beautiful Mess Read the details after the jump! 

Fashion Inspiration Fall 2014

I love this look for a variety of reasons.This was presented by Vogue Australia, October, 2014. The serpent skin was a trend that I wore and enjoyed from the late 70's and early 80's. The ear cuff I also enjoyed wearing during that same time frame. I was a recent graduate from a private hairdressing school during those years and was working my first job 'behind the chair' in a very busy upscale salon. Every new stylist in this salon seemed to have a huge fear of  'special occasion hair' commonly referred to as the 'updo'. This exact hairstyle and a few close variations, worn by this model was one that I employed with ease, thus maintaining the coveted position of staying 'behind the chair ' and not 'behind the broom'! This photo courtesy Little Plastic Horses.


Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread

This is a whole new twist on an old favorite. Although it's optional, I would recommend the chocolate ganache on this banana bread. Its a wonderful, moist chocolate cake/bread loaded with lovely banana flavor!This great recipe was inspired by Give Recipe and the photos are courtesy Dust Jacket Attic.

Fall Fashion 2014

I love the contrast here. Typically, he would be wearing the monochromatic colors, however he is sporting a playful violet pant and plum tie with a white polka dot hankie.The starkness of her 'bare foot' look is again in full contrast to his Nordic designed socks and great looking blue suede shoes. This is a real couple(not models!) photographed on the streets of New York by The Sartorialist.


Fashion Sense 2014

I love this plaid pencil skirt. The cropped neutral colored knit sweater is a great topper. Casually professional.

This look packs a little more punch. The mannishly- is that a word?! tailored ankle skimming pants are a personal favorite. These pants become very sexy by allowing a full view of those wonderful heels! Again a cropped sweater, this time showing a little glimpse of tummy.
Fabulous looks both from Zara. Photos via Dust Jacket.
Our workplace,  lifestyle and of course our budget dictate the fashion choices that end up in our closets. I have enjoyed the fashion savvy expressed  here by Robyn Dowsett.
She is the owner of  SecondDebut clothing store. Self proclaimed fashion rebel, she says that you should wear what makes you 'most happy and authentic'. In other words, lets not get totally caught up in a particular 'color' that is this seasons favorite just because a celebrity is wearing it. To avoid a 'fashion disaster', wear styles that work for you, in colors that appeal to you. Have some fun your next fashion purchase. Clothing stores that carry previously enjoyed merchandise allow you to explore some new color and style combinations without breaking the bank. In any case, what we are wearing does affect our mood. Today, it's -27 degrees Celsius where I live. That means VERY cold, so... no bare feet in high heels for me or cropped sweaters... I'm wearing my comfy fleece shirt and jeans, sipping coffee to stay warm and dreaming of Spring weather and the fashion that arrives with it!...


Cast Iron Skillet-How To Care For It!

Your cast iron skillet, when cared for properly should last a lifetime or most probably several lifetimes. With one of these pans you can, bake a cake, sear your roast, fry a crispy edged egg, or potatoes, even stir fry your vegetables. Here are just a few simple instructions to help you enjoy this type of cookware.
 Remember to preheat your pan before using. To help you make sure that the temperature is perfect, some water droplets in the pan should sizzle and roll around. If they evaporate immediately on contact with the pan, then your pan is too hot. With some experience, you will get to know the right heat setting for your iron cookware.
After use, let your pan cool, and wash it very briefly with soapy water. Add a small amount of coarse grain salt and then canola oil to the pan. If there is stubborn food residue left in your cookware, return it to the stove top with this mixture over low heat and stir/scrape with with a spatula. I find that simply rubbing this salt/oil mixture against the bottom of the pan with my fingers effectively removes any food bits left in my skillet.
  Then simply flush out the salt/oil mixture with warm water and wipe out the pan with some paper towel. This should leave a very light coating of oil in your pan. Here's a little video via Design Sponge to show just how easy the salt/oil clean up is.
 Never leave water  in your pan in an attempt to remove food residue, as your pan will rust. If  a rust spot happens, scrub that rusty spot with steel wool and re season your pan.
Iron skillets that are properly seasoned and used over appropriate heat are generally as non stick as Teflon pans. If you find that foods are sticking then you are probably cooking with too high of a temperature and/or your pan needs to be re seasoned.
Proper seasoning of your pan is very simple. Apply a light coating of canola oil on your pans' cooking surface either with a small brush or paper towel. Remove any residue with a paper towel. Turn your pan upside down on the middle rack of your oven. Heat the pan in the oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the pan cool down and repeat. Usually twice is sufficient to restore the smooth dark surface of a properly seasoned pan. Here is some extra reading on cast iron cookware from Whats' Cooking America.
The image above is courtesy of the folks at Uncrate.
Cooking with cast iron cookware is a unique and enjoyable experience. Once bitten by the bug, you'll want to add a dutch oven or griddle to your collection. Armed with the above information for seasoning and caring for cast iron, don't be afraid to purchase a good vintage piece of cookware even if it has a few rust spots.