creamy polenta + roasted tomatoes and shrimps

pan seared shrimpi may have fallen off the wagon for a little long while but don’t fret, i am back just in time for fall and a perfect dinner pairing for the season. every. single. day. i ask myself “what should i make for dinner tonight?” like i’ve never cooked a day in my life. i have hundreds of dinners pinned, torn out of magazines and on my fridge but in reality, they are either too time consuming, too many ingredients or i’m just not in the mood. but once in awhile, i have an “aha!” moment (rarely). last night it was creamy polenta with roasted tomatoes and pan seared shrimpies. easy peasy, a foolproof weeknight dinner. shall we?

polenta and roasted tomatoes

creamy polenta with roasted tomatoes + pan seared shrimp (serves 3-4)

  • 2 28 ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • handful of rosemary (4-5 sprigs)
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 3/4 cups of milk
  • salt + peppter
  • 3/4 lb of shrimp (optional) plus seasonings – i used s+p, paprika, garlic and olive oil.

here’s how:

preheat your oven to 400F.

if you bought shrimp, now would be the time to marinate. peel and devein your shrimp – if you are unsure of how, here’s a quickie little video. once you’ve finished, place in a bowl and pour over 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of paprika plus some salt + pepper, per usual. place in fridge and let them become friends while preparing your other goodies.

drain your tomatoes and cut them lengthwise in half then peel your garlic and roughly chop those babies up. add those two ingredients to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper + 4 spring of rosemary and toss. pour the mixture into a baking dish and throw em in the oven to get all juicy and tasty for 45 minutes, stirring 2-3 times throughout.

onto the polenta….bring 6 cups of water to a boil. once it is boiling, add 1.5 cups of cornmeal in a steady stream while whisking to make sure it doesn’t get lumpy. continue to whisk 1-2 minutes until the polenta thickens. whisk in a few grinds of salt. turn it down to low and let it cook (and bubble) for 15 minutes.

when the polenta has about 5 minutes left, heat up some olive oil in your shrimp pan (i prefer cast iron) and add shrimp. cook shrimp 2-3 minutes per side and voila. once polenta is done, turn off heat and add in your butter, milk, salt and pepper and whisk. to keep your polenta warm, cover it on up. if it gets too thick, add milk.

by now your roasted tomatoes should be finished, take them out and serve over warm polenta and toss some shrimpies on there to finish. grate some cheese over it if you must, which, you pretty much must. TA-DA!



creamy polenta + roasted tomatoes and shrimps

radish & egg salad sammies

DSC01015i have detested egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, you name it salad ever since i can remember. why you ask? these things usually all have one thing in common: mayo. i am a mayo hater for life and the second i taste it….the plate gets pushed away and put in the sink. until one day…i started seeing recipes using greek yogurt instead of mayo and kinda flipped out. how didn’t i think of this sooner? I CAN FINALLY MAKE ALL THESE THINGS, THE DAY HAS COME! i couldn’t wait to try my hand at egg salad with a twist. then i decided to put it on bread because i’ve never met a sandwich i didn’t like. enter radish & egg salad sandwiches. DSC00995DSC00999DSC01010DSC01022

radish & egg salad sandwiches (makes 4)

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 4-6 pieces of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 bunch of radishes (probably 10 radishes)
  • handful of chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • handful of pea shoots, sprouts or green garnish (arugula would be good too!)
  • 8 slices of whole grain bread

here’s how:

start with boiling your eggs. if you are at a loss on how to boil eggs, follow this easy tutorial. throw your bacon in a pan and let it sizzle away. while those two are going, you can do your chopping. clean radishes, cut them in half then slice thinly. next, thinly slice chives so you have about 3 tablespoons. you can easily add more later if you are chive lover like yours truly.

once your eggs are done, let them cool, peel then chop roughly and put them in a big bowl.  you can also chop up your perfectly crisped bacon and throw it in along with the chives and radishes. now, add in the greek yogurt, dijon mustard and salt.

to assemble, toast the bread slightly, spread on the egg salad and add your pea shoots or green of choice. enjoy!

radish & egg salad sammies

back attack

it’s been a little while and i missssssss this little blog of mine. and when i wore this dress for the first time, i just knew i had to get it on here. does this mean more regular posting again? let’s hope. i wore this flattering little striped number to a surprise for my bestie/cousin/loveliest of ladies..what kind of surprise you ask? the mother of all surprises – an engagement. it was great to see some other family but mostly to see the look on her face when all of her friends were hiding behind the trees where the proposal happened. oh love. let’s get to the comfiest dress in the world now shall we? DSC01098DSC01097DSC01099 and i forgot to add, this bag is my new favorite. i wish i could have it in every fits the world + more inside of it and the leather is like butta. now for some corbin + family appearances…DSC01102DSC01104

                       dress: ASOS | bag: cuyana | sunnies: ray-ban | jewelry: gifted




back attack

walkin’ on sunshine

it’s about a week since we have been back in chicago and i think  i am ready for another vacation, wouldn’t that be nice? corbin and i were in jamaica for six days and it was a much needed break from life in the city. if you’d like to see, here’s a little peek into our trip…

jamaicaDSC00970photo 1most days were spent lounging on the beach, reading books, pretending to be a dolphin in the water and scarfing down the best jerk chicken i have ever had right on the beach. i am now on a quest to find or create the same chicken, i’ll let ya know how that one turns out. however, one day we were feeling adventurous and we hopped on a boat to go snorkeling and cliff jumping, it even included a complimentary foot massage on the way back, sold.DSC00917DSC00925DSC00941photo 5DSC00831DSC00969DSC00820we stayed in lucea, about an hour from montego bay, and it couldn’t have been nicer. the people in jamaica really do make the country what it is today, i wish i could have bottled up their personalities and brought it back! and if i learned one thing from the trip it was..”we don’t have problems here, we only have situations.” ha! words to live by. the last day we were there, we found this secret spot next to the spa with all different types of showers, however this one had to be my favorite by far… DSC00979DSC00981and by the end of our trip, i made a new little friend. let’s call him harry..DSC00899

walkin’ on sunshine

sanctuary spring line

Slide3when picking out clothes, i subconsciously focus on a few different things – comfort, versatility and price point. one, i hate being uncomfortable, even for the sake of a great piece, it just is not worth it to me. two, i love when a piece can be worn from day to night or from a day running errands to going out on the town. and lastly, while i would just love to say price doesn’t matter, it does. that being said, when i saw the spring sanctuary line i was kind of flipping out. all of the pieces are unique in their own ways, with their laser cut outs and leather cap sleeves, yet totally affordable. my current favorite is the striped short sleeve dress, what about you?

track skirt | short sleeve dress | laser vegan sweatshirt | fashion track short | scarf print cafe

sanctuary spring line

of a kind

baggu bagstriped tee

working at a startup myself, its always great to hear encouraging stories from others about their feelings on the community. sometimes it can be tough, controlled chaos many say, but it is also just as much rewarding to see a company, your company, grow.

i was perusing mashable’s new series, “the first 100,” when i came across a great new fashion startup and shopping destination — of a kind. created by friends claire mazur and erica cerulo, ‘of a kind’ is a one-stop-shop for everything unique + up and coming.


“We aim to support and promote on-the-rise fashion designers who get us excited by giving you access to their unique products and stories. we hope to offer something special and rare to others like us: People who want to know the story behind everything, people who are the first to hear the next big artist/designer/musician/chef, people who shop as much for the expereince as they do for the product.”

the online site offers a wide variety of products that feel truly special, from apparel to jewelry to weekender bags. i’ve shown you some of my favorites, what are yours?

baseball tee

of a kind

dippin’ eggs

DSC00461dippin’ eggs….are my new best friend. anything i can cook in one pan…and then continue to eat out of that same pan is A++ in my book.  another great thing? you can literally eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner — or all three, which is what i have succumb to. i saw the original recipe on the londoner and did not stop thinking about it until it was in my belly (and on my shirt.) fail. anywho, it is quite simple to cook up and actually the hardest part about it is waiting for the eggs to cook on top…because by that time, you will be salivating. sausageDSC00428eggs

dippin’ eggs (serves 2-4)

  • 2 links of italian sausage or chorizo (casings removed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 can of tomato sauce
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • a few eggs (up to you!)
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • handful of soft cheese (feta, goat, boursin)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • s + p
  • sourdough or multigrain bread

here’s how:

first off, if you have a cast iron pan on hand – use it! if not, any regular one will do. first, start off by adding your olive oil to the pan over medium heat. once its hot, add your sausage and garlic and let it fry up for a bit, maybe 6-8 minutes. now, add your peppers and cherry tomatoes then pour your canned tomatoes over it. season with some salt and pepper, teaspoon of paprika, tablespoon of honey, pinch of red pepper flakes and give it a good mix around. once this is bubbly, turn the heat down to medium low and let it cook down and reduce, about 15 minutes. by now, about 1/3 of the liquid will be cooked off and you can add about half of your chopped cilantro.

now the fun part! add your eggs on top, however many you choose. just plop them wherever and let them cook like any old egg. i found this took longer than expected, so i covered the pan to make the eggs cook faster! this is a great time to toast up all of your dipping bread. when the eggs are just about done, add your cheese – i used boursin. sprinkle the rest of your cilantro over the top and let it cook a few more minutes until its semi melted and gooey. now take to the table and eat right out of the pan – but don’t burn yourself like i did:)

eggs in sauce

dippin’ eggs