Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kendallina's Father's Day Gift Guide

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.  -- Bill Cosby
Cut your kids some slack Bill. What do you get a Dad who has everything? ... and by everything I mean a lifetime supply of Jell-O pudding pops

So Father's Day is around the corner (June 20th) .... and most of us know that men are notoriously hard to buy for. For those of you without a clue what do get Dad this year ... here are a few ideas, with plenty of time for them to get to you before the holiday! Just click on the image (even in the collage's) to view the retailer/price. 

Or if you have a stellar gift idea, leave a comment and let us all know! :P

Cater to those frosty libations that strike his fancy... 
 Fresh Beer from the Tap                         Wine Chilled 
                                                     to the Perfect Temperature 

Or channel his inner Anchorman with a fancy Scotch/Brandy Decanter 

Make him KING OF THE TAILGATE with the ultimate VULCAN BBQ/COOLER-All-In-One: Insulated Waterpoof Cooler Section, 3 Piece Stainless Steel BBQ tool set, and a portable Propane BBQ grill with lid..... This is so cool I EVEN want one 

Speaking of the Manly Domain of Grilling ... what about some fancy tools to decorate his Summer Kingdom:
A BBQ pit top and Rotisserie Kit, A Non-Stick Rib Rack for the perfect Finger-lickin Ribs, A Corn Griller Basket for those many summer time ears he'll be cookin up, And the ultimate in Grilling luxury: A Stainless Steel BBQ set

Or if he might need a manual to get the Kingdom up and running.....
Everything from Grillmaster Bobby Flay, to Famous No-Nonsense/A$$hole of Hell's Kitchen Gordon Ramsay, to Morton's Steakhouse Bible for perfect Steaks, to Just when you think you have heard of everything ..... Italian Guru Mario Batalli's GUIDE TO TAILGATING NASCAR STYLE ... Really? But hey ... I'd still eat it. 

Then there's always the classic "Tie he wouldn't buy for himself" :)

And if worse comes to worse .... Remember everyone loves a Jell-O Pudding Pop
Mmm Chocolatey Pudding Goodness .... Cosby was on to something I'm tellin ya.. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

You say tomato ... I say delicious: Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Parmesan Risotto and Prosciutto

Want a delicious Italian meal without the heaviness of pasta or meat? This is a great fresh alternative. It can even be made into a vegetarian dish if you omit the Prosciutto. Without further ado, Kendallina's Recipe for ...

(Although I only made 2 because it was just me tonight :P) 
1 Teaspoon plus 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 ripe but firm large tomatoes
4 slices Prosciutto di Parma
4 thick slices fresh mozzarella
salt and pepper

For Risotto:
3/4 cup Arborio Rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
3 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano is the best if you can find it)
*Technically you CAN use Instant Risotto, although fresh made tastes much better. If you are pressed for time then Lundburg makes a decent version, make sure to get the "Creamy Parmesan" flavor. But I suggest to take a stab at making it yourself!

1. In a separate sauecpan pour chicken broth and heat until warm. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan heat 2 Tablespoons butter and add onion and garlic. Simmer until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add rice, coat, and cook until rice is translucent, about 2 minutes.

2. Add wine and simmer until it is fully absorbed, about 3-5 minutes. Always keep stirring (wooden spoon is best), this is key throughout making the risotto to make sure it does not burn at the bottom. Then ladle the broth in about two ladlefulls at a time and keep stirring until it is absorbed and adding more broth until the rice is cooked but still firm, about 20-25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides, careful to not piece the skin. Place tomatoes in a baking dish. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

4. After the risotto is cooked. Add 1 tablespoon butter, the 1/2 cup of Parmesan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and stir until mixed well. 

5. Scoop the Risotto into the tomato halves.

5. Pop tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. Take the tomatoes out and place 1 piece of Prosciutto and 1 slice fresh mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan and some red pepper if you like a little heat. Drizzle with olive oil. 

7. Pop the tomatoes back in the oven for 5 minutes. Then flip oven to BROIL for 2 minutes to brown the cheese on top. Take out caaaarefully... it's very hot! And then plate! I drizzled some Balsamic Cream (thickened sweeter Balsamic vinegar ... can be found at most groceries and definitely at gourmet food stores) on the plate for decoration and a hint of sweetness..... but mainly just cause I'm fancy like that. ;) ... E' finalmente...... MANGIA! (And finally... EAT!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fashion Porn: The Style, Clothes, and Knock-Offs of "Sex and the City 2"

 If you are a female .... and not dead, you know SEX AND THE CITY 2 is now out in theaters. In fact, most of you have probably seen it already. There has been lots of debating about the success of the plot and we could banter back and forth about that all day .... but let's be honest.... A good majority of us didn't go to the theater for the plot..... we just wanted to see what the Fab Four were wearing this time around. 

Much like the plot there were some serious fashion hits and misses.... but if you want you and your wardrobe to get a little "Carried Away" this summer ... Kendallina is here to help you. 

Here are some of my favorite looks from the film. For most of the looks I included the originals with the prices so you can scoff (BEWARE: avoid drinking Cosmos when reading prices or you might choke), and some mighty affordable knock offs and inspired looks. 

This might be THE iconic Carrie look in the film. Here Mrs. Preston wears a Halston Heritage dress for $325.  She accessorizes it with a $1,500 silver Chanel clutch, plus $995 jewel-encrusted Louboutin Pigalle 85 python heels and Mykita & Bernhard Wilhelm shades. They’re limited edition Franz glasses for $525. Add to the ensemble a Solange Azagury-Patridge gemstone necklace (prices upon request). 

Those shoes are to die for... but I don't know about you ... a grand is a bit much to drop on shoes even IF you could find them. Here are some hot look-alikes: 
Michael Antonio Women's Lloyd Pump,Gold,8.5 M US

XOXO Dress, V Neck Dolman Sleeve Mini White M

And if you feel like splurging here is the original Halston but in a fun green:
Halston Heritage Deep V Cocktail Dress in Green
Or in the Original White

Cant forget the clutch! 
La Regale Satin Pleated Clutch,Gold,one size or La Regale Mesh Slim Frame Clutch,Gold,one size

For all you Domestic Diva' who adored Charlotte's cupcake apron .... good news! The EXACT one is totally affordable! Probably the cheapest thing they wore in the entire film....
The "Arabian Chic" look was mostly achieved by bright and flowy fabric and lots of Maxi-Dresses. Net-A-Porter calls this look "GYPSET" (Gypsy + Jet Set?).... they describe it as a kind of "luxurious bohemian globetrotter". 

But that being said ....I don't care who you are .... Harem Pants are NOT ok. Got it? NO HAREM PANTS. I don't care what Charlotte said ... this is NOT PRINCESS JASMINE WITH COCKTAILS.

Similar ... yet cheaper:
Jessica Simpson Women's Maxi Dress,Geranium,Small

Some other inspired options:
She's Cool Studded Halter Maxi Dress CORAL REEF X-Lg Jrs
Element Saga Maxi Dress
Of Two Minds Voile & Lace Long Dress
Juniors' Plus-Size Pure Energy® Lilac Sleeveless Maxi Dress - 2
Armani Exchange Halter Maxi Dress

Then there was Samantha's "oh no she di-ent" Miley double take. 
Unfortunately knocking off a gorgeous detailed number like this Matthew Williamson dress is just not possible without looking cheap. So unless you want to fork over the $3500 for the original ... don't bother..... 

What about those killer boots?
The Originals:
Dolce Vita Women's Marilyn Boot,Marrone,6 M US

Bebe has an almost identical pair:

A shorter more summery version:
Guess Women's Blarney Platform Sandal,Black,8.5 M US

And now the pièce de résistance... Carrie's "she is totally going to cheat on Big -WHY CARRIE WHY DON'T DO IT- Date with Aidan.... but damn she looks hot" dress from Emilio Pucci's Fall 2010 collection. 

Good luck getting your hands on an original one of these babies for.. get this... $9000... BUT starting July 30th you can get an almost exact knock off from Edressme.com for $398.

And no SATC episode or movie would be complete without the classic "CARRIE WTF WERE YOU THINKING" outfits:

And if you are in SATC withdrawl and you can't get enough Carrie, Candace Bushnell came out with a NEW book that tells the story of Carrie before she was "Carrie".... starting with her Senior Year of High School. SATC for the Gossip Girl Generation. Pick it up for a fun beach read.
The Carrie Diaries

And just for fun ... take In Style's "Which SATC Character is your Style Twin" quiz