Shirt Dress & Over-the-Knee Boots

Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Just as I was getting all into layers and scarves and jackets, the weather decided it would be fun to warm up for a day. Yeah, fun if I hadn’t already made a full-on commitment to embrace winter. And fun if it wasn’t going to snow two days later. What a tease! I mean I wait all year to wear my favorite over-the-knee boots and then the weather tries to go and ruin my plans. Obviously, you can see that didn’t work out well (for the weather). A little warm air wasn’t coming between me and my boots.  A jacket, on the other hand, I’m more than happy to let the weather come between me and those puffy things any old time (am I the only one who feels restricted by jackets?! I’ve always hated wearing them!).

P.S. I rarely blog on the weekends, but for special posts I make exceptions. If you haven’t seen yesterday’s post yet, make sure you go check it out. It’s a fun one!

Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Joe Fresh Hat (similar) // Forever 21 Sunnies // Club Monaco Shirt Dress (similar) // H&M Shirt // Timex Watch c/o // Similar Over-the-Knee Boots // Chanel Bag 

Blog Tour

Blog Tour || Runway Chef Happy Sunday! I believe that this is the first ever Sunday post for little ol’ RC. But special posts, call for special occasions! Recently one of my dear blogging friends nominated me for a blog tour. Mary-Katherine (or MK) of Gold-hatted Lover and I actually went to the same small-town college in the middle of Kansas (talk about small world, right?!) and though we’ve never met in person, we email all the time and I just know this sweet girl and I would instantly be real life besties if we lived closer! I’m continuing the blog tour today by answering a few questions she asked me and introducing you to a few of my favorite blogger ladies (I have so many, it was so tough to choose!). 
 
What are you working on?

Right now I’m working on expanding the Runway Chef brand beyond the blog. I’m also working to create more video content (so let me know if there is anything you’d like to see!) and ultimately I’m always working to create better content and grow my audience. Oh, and I’m excited to finally be working on a much-needed site redesign!

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

For me, fashion and food is a way of life, so when I share a recipe or an outfit, it is not “just a recipe” or “just an outfit.” It is a part of a story, a story of creating a beautiful and stylish life woven together by the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the places we go, and the way we live.

Why do you write/create what you do?

Because nothing, save my husband, brings me greater joy than sharing about the things I love!

How does your writing/creating process work?

Like any creative my mind is constantly racing with a million thoughts and ideas and things to do. I keep a million and one to-do lists at all times and I try to stick to a block schedule with certain days for writing, certain days for creating, and certain days for other projects, but usually all blog/business things consume all of my life (much to the dismay of my poor husband). Obviously, this is a question I’m still trying to answer….

But enough about me….let’s talk about these 3 fabulous ladies!

Pretty Mayhem Pearl from Pretty Mayhem- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Truly, my favorite thing about blogging is the people I’ve met (or in this case “met”) from all over the world. Case in point- Pearl. This girl resides half a world away yet I feel like we would be the best of friends. We both love to travel, we enjoy good food, and you better believe we both love our bubbly!

“Hi there! I’m Pearl, a French girl living in Melbourne with a passion for entertaining, travelling, and all things pretty. My blog ‘Pretty Mayhem’ is my virtual version of the ultimate ‘soirée’ where everyone is invited, people from all over the world are mingling and the champagne is forever flowing. I hope you’ll come and join the party! xx”

Wander Hour Katherine from Wander Hour- Another fun thing about blogging/social media? Sometimes you search hashtags that lead you to Instagram accounts that lead you to blogs that lead you to people like this girl. I only recently found Katherine’s blog but it’s quickly become a favorite thanks to our shared loves of food, fashion and travel. My one complaint- I wish I had found it sooner!

“Aloha! My name is Katherine Lou and I was born and raised in Southern California but Hawaii is currently my home. I am the lifestyle blogger and photographer behind Wander Hour where I document my life in Hawaii through my photographs, my love for food, and fulfilling my wanderlust desires!”
 

Sparkle and Shoes Kelly from Sparkle and Shoes- So much love for this girl! She was one of the first blogging friends I made here in NYC, and we’ve pretty much been blogging besties since! She is one of the sweetest girls I know and we always have a blast hanging out!

“Hi RC Readers! My name is Kelly and I blog over at Sparkles and Shoes.  Alyssa and I met last fall at a blogger meet-up during Fashion Week and instantly clicked. On my blog you can find my thoughts on the latest fashion trends, stories about my life, features on things I find interesting and lately, as Alyssa has been inspiring me, recipes I have made.” 

 
I hope you enjoyed getting to know these ladies and their blogs as much as have. Now make sure to go show them some blog love!
 

Creamed Onions and Mushrooms

Creamed Onions & Mushrooms || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes This little dish and I go way back. I don’t remember the exact year, but dates aren’t important when it comes to love. Yes, it’s true. I love these creamed onions and mushrooms. I know it’s kind of a weird to have emotions for food, but I’m a weird person and putting emotions into food is part of what makes me love food even more. Not only is this dish filled with emotions of love, it’s also filled with emotions of happiness and memories. Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving at my Grandparent’s house. I don’t remember the details, I don’t even remember which family members were always there, but I remember my Grandfather’s stuffing (a French recipe from his family, made with sausage and chicken liver…it was the one time I would make an exception for eating liver because this stuff was to-die for!), and these creamed onions and mushrooms that my Grandmother would make. They were, hands down, my two favorite items at the Thanksgiving table. Every year, when the holidays roll around, I can’t help but crave them. In my world, no Thanksgiving table is complete without either. Last year was the first time I had been to Thanksgiving at my Grandmother’s in a while. So many things have changed (my Grandfather’s stuffing recipe is, sadly, long gone), but her creamed onions had not. Despite being 95 years-old (yes, she still cooks for herself every day!) they were just as good as the ones I remember from childhood. Mine don’t taste nearly as delicious, but if I’m cooking as long as she is, I have a lot of Thanksgivings to practice…..

Creamed Onions & Mushrooms || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes

Creamed Onions & Mushrooms || Runway Chef Creamed Onions & Mushrooms || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes Creamed Onions & Mushrooms || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes

Creamed Onions & Mushrooms
Serves 4
Pearl onions and mushrooms in a creamy gravy; A perfect addition to the table during the holiday times
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb fresh (or 16 oz frozen bag) pearl onions (see notes)
  2. 1 1/2 cups (about 5 oz.) of sliced mushrooms
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  5. 1/3 cup of water (see notes)
  6. 1/2 cup milk (2% recommended; see notes)
  7. 1/2 cup half & half (see notes)
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  10. 1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
  11. 1 teaspoon of thyme, tarragon, or Herbs de Provence
  12. 2 tablespoons of dry sherry
Instructions
  1. In a medium-large saucepan, set over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the sliced mushrooms until they are golden brown, about 5-7 minutes (if the mushrooms start to stick at any point just add a little more butter). Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside in a small dish.
  2. Using the same saucepan, add the peal onions and 1/3 cup of water and let simmer over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Remove water and onions separately and set each aside. (This step can also be complete in a separate saucepan while the mushrooms are cooking.)
  3. Next, melt the 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the same pan. Once melted, turn down the heat to low and add in the flour, whisking the butter and flour together creating a rue-like mixture. Keeping the pan on low heat, add back in the 1/3 cup of water, as well as the milk, half & half, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme. Keep stirring until mixture thickens (feel free to add cornstarch or more flour if it's not thickening....I would recommend adding the flour about 1/2 tbsp. at a time, stirring and waiting a few minutes to see if it thickens more before adding additional flour).
  4. Once stirred together, add back in the 16 oz of cooked pearl onions and the sautéed mushrooms to the pan, slowly stirring so the onions and mushrooms get coated in the gravy mixture. Add in the sherry, once again mixing all ingredients together.
  5. Let simmer, on low heat, on the stove top, or if made in oven-safe pan, place in oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. I typically let this simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  2. This dish can be made in advance, which makes it great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holiday dinners. You can either prepare the entire dish a day in advance, then store it in the fridge, in the pan with the lid on and then just reheat it for about 15 minutes prior to serving, or you can make this the morning of your big meal and allow it to simmer either on low heat on the stove or in a crockpot set to low heat.
  3. For the onions, I use a bag found in the frozen section of Trader Joe's. You can also found them in the produce section and peel them yourself (something I do not recommend) or you can find them in jars. If you use jarred onions, simply use the liquid they come in instead of boiling them in water.
  4. For the milk and half & half, you can use all milk (2% is best, as you want a creamy texture), all half & half, or you can use a mixture of 50% heavy cream, 50% water, or a combination of any of the three. For me, I typically base this on what I have in the fridge at the time, which usually tends to be milk and heavy cream.
  5. You can substitute port for the sherry.
Adapted from A family recipe
Adapted from A family recipe
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine

Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Kenwood Vineyards. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

The countdown is officially on. T-minus 7 days til it’s turkey time people! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve already been dreaming up all of the goodness that I will be stuffing my face with. I mean, how could I not?! It’s the ultimate foodie day. Believe it or not, though, it’s not just the food that I want to gobble up this time of year. I also gobble up the chance to slow down and spend time with family and friends, or the opportunity to host holiday gatherings, and participate in holiday activities. To me, the holidays are more than just food. They are like warm, fuzzy blankets thick with memories, traditions, scents, and stories and I look forward to when I can wrap myself up in them every year, making them thicker with new memories and traditions each season. Mulled wine isn’t a holiday family tradition, per se, but the aromas that arise while making it are a part of my holiday “blanket”. It’s basically like liquid gingerbread, or, as some people say, Christmas in a cup. For me, the scents bring back memories of my Grandfather making his special turkey stuffing, or helping my Grandmother cook, or the first Thanksgiving where Mr. RC’s family and mine met for the first time. Wine and wonderful aromas were involved in all of those memories, memories which have now come full circle to me making mulled wine for the hubby and I to enjoy while we take in the holiday times. Fun and memories aside, remembering to give thanks and give back is always a crucial part of our holiday season, as well. It can be easy to take for granted the family we have by our side, the food we have on our tables, the roof over our heads, and the clothes keeping us warm. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or not, Mr. RC and I always make an effort to tell each other the things we are grateful for. I also keep a gratitude journal to write down three things I’m grateful for each day. And volunteering to those less fortunate has always been, and still is, a big part of my life. When I heard about Kenwood Vineyards, the wine I used in today’s mulled wine recipe, I was intrigued, not only because we’re wine fanatics, but also because of their partnership with WhyHunger. Wine + a good cause? I’m all ears! WhyHunger is a leader in the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to healthy, affordable food and also through grassroots solutions for self-reliance and community empowerment. Kenwood Vineyards, a winery located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, is dedicated to making premium wines that truly represent the Sonoma’s world-renown vineyards. They source grapes from dozens of vineyards, many farmed sustainably, and their wine is made  in a “small lot” or “cuvee” style, meaning each lot from each vineyard is kept separate the entire process to allow the wines to reach their fullest flavor potential. This Thanksgiving, Kenwood Vineyards has partnered with WhyHunger to do their part in ending hunger. Not only are they matching contributions made to the charity, but they will also be donating $25,000. Whether giving back is already a family tradition or not, I suggest mulling up some wine and then mulling (I had to, sorry!) over ways you can get involved. Here are a few ideas to get you started- 

  1. Make a donation to the Kenwood Vineyard/WhyHunger food drive.
  2. Buy an extra turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and donate to a local soup kitchen who will be serving Thanksgiving meals.
  3. Cook an extra turkey on Thanksgiving. Make it into sandwiches, then pass them out to homeless people.
  4. Spend time as a family, either before or after your Thanksgiving dinner, serving dinner at a local soup kitchen.
  5. Invite someone who has no family to dine with you and your family on the holiday.

How do you and your family give thanks and give back during this time of year?

Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine || Runway Chef #holidayrecipes

Easy Crockpot Mulled Wine
Serves 6
A tasty drink with festive aromas ("Christmas in a cup!") that's perfect for warming up during the holiday season
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine (I used Kenwood Vineyard's Pinot Noir)
  2. 1 cinnamon stick (about 4 inches long)
  3. 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half
  4. 15 grates of fresh nutmeg
  5. 5 whole cloves
  6. 1 large pinch of dried ginger
  7. 1 large pinch of allspice
  8. 2 grates of black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon of brandy (see notes)
  10. 2 tablespoons of orange cognac (see notes)
  11. 1 tablespoon of molasses
  12. 4 tablespoons of honey
  13. 1 orange
  14. 1 lemon
  15. 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional; see notes)
  16. Fresh fruit for garnish (optional; see notes)
Instructions
  1. In a large crockpot set on high heat place all the spices. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step will help the aromas to fully release before any liquids are added.
  2. Next, add in the brandy, cognac, molasses, molasses, and honey. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  3. Lastly, add in the wine and the citrus fruit. For the orange and lemon, I like to peel them, cut them into sections, then squeeze the juice into the wine mixture, before tossing in the fruit as well as the peels.
  4. Cook on high for 30 minutes. Add in the cranberries (if you are using them, which you definitely should, as they soak up all the spices and wine making one tasty treat at the bottom of your glass!), stir, then turn the heat to low and continue cooking for another 1- 1 1/2 hours. Serve immediately or turn the crockpot setting to "Keep Warm" until you are ready for the wine.
Notes
  1. This is perfect for holiday festivities and parties. Not only does it smell great, but it serves a lot of people, it's easy to throw together and it doesn't require much effort or maintenance. It goes great with appetizers, as well as popcorn for those holiday movie nights.
  2. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for large gatherings.
  3. Leftovers can be stored directly in the crockpot. Just place the lid on and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. This also makes it super easy to reheat.
  4. You can prepare this up to a day in advance. Just start heating it about an hour before you're ready to serve it. If you are planning to serve this at a party or gathering, just make sure to turn the setting back to the "Keep Warm" once the drink is heated through.
  5. For the dried fruit- Feel free to use whatever kind you like, cranberries, apples, apricots, etc are all good.
  6. For the cognac and brandy- Feel free to use only one of them, just make sure to do a full 3 tablespoons of whichever one you choose. You can also omit the brandy and cognac entirely.
  7. To make fruit garnishes, I used a pear, which I sliced into about 1/4 inch thick slices. I then used a mini cookie cutter to gently cut out shapes. You can either drop the fruit shapes directly into the mugs or you can place them on wooden skewers.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Happy Hour

Happy Hour {Central Park castle} || Runway Chef {It only took us 4 1/2 years of wandering Central Park to find the castle…}

I apologize in advance if the better part of this post looks like fall threw up all over it. Since I know snow is just on the horizon, I’m trying my best to hang onto every last drop of burnt orange and buttery yellow that I can. In fact, while there are still plenty of signs of fall in Central Park, snow was already on the ground when we ventured upstate last week for a little trip to the Culinary Institute of America. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for snow. But I’m learning to savor things in the present so I don’t have to look back at something that I missed in an effort to too quickly move onto the next thing. The changing seasons is as good a place as ever to practice being present. While everyone else is all like “I’ve got my tree up and my stocking hung and cookies baked for santa”, I’m just over here trying to catch the last leaves falling from the trees….

Are you hanging onto fall like I am, or have you already embraced the holiday spirit?

Happy Hour {salted caramel & coconut brioche donut} || Runway Chef {Salted Caramel & Toasted Coconut Brioche Donut from the CIA}

Happy Hour {fall in Central Park} || Runway Chef {Peeking at fall through the castle windows}

Happy Hour {Trader Joe's truffle products} || Runway Chef {You could say we like truffles…}

Happy Hour {Culinary Institute of America} || Runway Chef {I was a huge fan of the cooking themed street names on the CIA campus}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef