Tuesday, May 31, 2011

summer celebration.

Even though this past weekend was suppose to be the kick-off to Summer, the weather wasn't always cooperating. Today, on the other hand (with the exception of the wind) feels exactly how a Summer day shall...I can't wait to enjoy this summer with my fiance (soon-to-be-hubby), family & friends with: 

 Star-lit night skies

Root beer floats

Cut-off jean shorts


I hope you all have a great start to your week!

Friday, May 27, 2011

color blocking.

Even these popsicle's are showing off how color blocking can look SO good this season. I know it's been a treat week over here at SimpleLove, but I found these while perusing pinterest and thought they were a perfect treat for the long weekend ahead. Memorial Day is the kick-off to summer isn't it? Let's hope we get ONE nice day outta the weekend. PA-LEEZE MN! 

 There really is no particular recipe for these. Feel free to use whatever juice, lemonade or yogurt you prefer. 

 Ingredients used shown above: 
Grape Juice
Pink Lemonade

Vanilla Greek Yogurt mix,
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
2 tbsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of vanilla bean paste or extract

For the Raspberry Puree,
1 pint of raspberries
1tbsp. of sugar
1 tbsp of white wine (optional) 
add the raspberries, sugar and white wine into a blender or food processor & blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a sieve to remove the seeds.

To make the stripes, pour a layer into the mould and let set for at least an hour in the freezer, repeat after each layer. stick the popsicle stick in right away and it should stand upright. Once all the layers are completed, freeze the popsicles overnight.
Freeze time will differ depending on temp. of freezer.

Have a safe and great Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

cranberry-pistachio cupcakes.

Wow, I have been having a tough week with Blogger...so sorry about some of these posts being a little screwed up! 
Today's cupcake: Cranberry Cupcakes w. Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting.

I came across this cupcake while flipping through foodgawker, a website that is full of amazing recipes from other blogger's. A must for those weeknight dinners that need a little inspiration.

2 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour (I've had a hard time finding cake flour, you can use 3/4 a cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp. of cornstarch as a substitute. This equals 2 cups of cake flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F)
Line your cupcake pans
Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy
Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla
Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt & mix well
Combine the milk with the cranberry juice
Pour one third flour mixture into the butter mixture, then half of the milk mixture
Repeat ending with the flour mixture & mix well again
Spoon batter evenly among cupcake liners & bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean
Cool before frosting

Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 
1 Can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1/4 c cold milk
1 Package (3.4 ounces) Pistachio Instant pudding mix

Frosting Directions:
In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and pudding mix for 1 minute
Spread over cooled cupcakes
Sprinkle chopped pistachio and dried cranberries over top.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


YAY! Today my blog hit 10,000 hits! 

Thank you so much for reading!
Please become a follower if you aren't already. 

C is for cookie.

I woke up this morning dreaming of chocolate chip cookies...even for the amount of how much I REALLY do love chocolate, this has actually never happened before. I thought it was perfect to share the exact recipe for the chocolate chip cookies I was dreaming of & I know everyone says "their" recipe is the best...but these are TRULY the best! 

[actual cookies from recipe]

Ingredients: [makes about 30 cookies]
1 cup of butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 cups of packed light brown sugar
1 cup of sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. of almond extract (this is KEY!) 
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.
2 tsp. of baking soda
2 tsp. of salt
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (can use milk chocolate if you prefer) 

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs and almond extract
Next, combine the flour, baking soda and salt...add this to the creamed mixture of butter and sugars and mix well. 
Stir in chocolate chips
On a greased baking sheet, spoon dough into tall balls (so they are under baked on the inside, chewy on the outside) 
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 min. or until light golden brown on top. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


So it was announced yesterday who will be taking the stage for this years 20th annual Macy's Glamorama, benefiting Children's Cancer Research Fund. Grammy Award winner, Bruno Mars will be headlining along with a performance from current hit makers, Far East Movement.

"Artrageous" is this years theme, featuring designers such as: Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs & Sonia Rykiel.

The show will take place Friday, August 5th at the Orpheum Theater. Ticket prices range from $60-$1000.

For tickets, call 952.893.9355 or visit: Childrenscancer.org/Glamorama

Monday, May 23, 2011

NYC guide: part 2

I knew it wouldn't be long before the NYC guide: part 2 surfaced. There are just TOO many great places not to share. With a lot of people traveling throughout the summer months, I wanted to make sure I had my recommendations up & available for all you city dwellers.

Kittichai, located at 60 Thompson Street [inside the Thompson Hotel]

What do I say about this place...I could really go on & on. My fiance and I were given the name of this restaurant by recommendation and I can honestly say, it was and has remained the best dinner I've ever eaten.
The atmosphere is beyond intimate and gorgeous, along with the best tasting food. I will say to save this place for a special occasion though it is a bit on the pricey side, but worth EVERY PENNY!

 Beauty & Essex, located at 146 Essex Street
[view from the outside]

walk inside & find...

Beauty & Essex was also a recommendation. We were told to head over and look for a pawn shop, plan on standing in line, but know whats inside is worth it. We found the pawn show, stood in line and were impressed upon walking in. We were present on a Saturday night and boy, was it packed. To guarantee yourself a place along with no waiting in line, make a reservation for dinner and stay for the night.

 Burger Joint, located at 119 W. 56th Street [inside Le Parker Meridian Hotel]

Now this place is just fun! A tiny hole-in-the-wall if you will. Located in the back left corner of the Le Parker Meridian Hotel. It is CASH ONLY and you order off a cardboard menu, but you CANNOT find a better burger, fries and malt for under $10 in the city! Make sure you plan on waiting in line...the place only seats about 50 and it's a major celeb-citing location. 

 Gansevoort Hotel, located at 18 9th ave.

Gansevoort offers a great mix. The rooftop bar is perfect for those beautiful New York nights. Even if it is a bit chilly, they offer places inside to lounge. You will find great DJ's mixing fabulous remixes to show off your best dance moves, and an impressive, diverse NY crowd.

Serendipity III [NYC], located at 225 E. 60th Street

[the infamous frozen hot chocolate]

Serendipity is something you have to check off the list while visiting New York City. There is ALWAYS a wait, so make sure you put your name in and plan on shopping the area while waiting. (there is a Bloomingdale's & Urban Outfitters close by) Their food is nothing to rave about, but their desserts, especially the frozen hot chocolate is the talk-of-the-town. I've finished a whole one by myself!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

cupcake deck.

Last week at my shower, I received the perfect gift which contains about 20 NEW cupcake recipes. It's called The Cupcake Deck

I flipped through and there are some great recipes, so today's cupcake comes outta The Cupcake Deck

Today's cupcake is: White Mountain Chocolate Cupcakes
Don't these look yummy?

Ingredients: [makes 12 cupcakes]
3 oz. of unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/2 cup [one stick] of butter, at room temp.
1 1/4 cups of sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sour cream [sounds weird, I know, but TRUST ME]
1/2 cup of water

"Seven Minute Frosting" ingredients: 
1 1/4 cup of sugar 
1/3 cup of water
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 tsp. of almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners

Put the chocolate on top of a heat-proof bowl, or double broiler. Place it over the top, NOT TOUCHING a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate until it's melted and smooth. remove the pan from atop and let cool for a bit. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside for later. 

In a large bowl, while using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until its smooth and creamy. (about 2 min.) Scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing as needed. 
On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. 
On medium speed, add the eggs (one at a time) mixing until each is mixed fully into the batter.
Add the vanilla extract and beat the mixture until creamy...about a min.
Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks are viable.
On low speed, add in half the flour mixture, mixing just enough to incorporate it. Mix in the water, then mix in the remaining flour mixture until all is incorporate and ALL the batter looks smooth. 

Fill each cupcake liner with a generous amount of batter. (leaving about 1/8 remaining at the top) 
Bake just until the top of the cupcake feels firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (about 20 min.) 
Cool the cupcakes for about 10 min in the pan, while then removing them onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Frosting directions: 
Put sugar, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a heat-proof on top of a double broiler and blend with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until opaque, white and foamy. (about 1 min.) 
Put the bowl OVER, & not touching the barely simmering saucepan (like while making the cupcakes) 
Be careful of the cord from the electric mixer. Make sure it's not getting splashed with water. 
Mix on high speed until the frosting forms a soft peak that stands straight up if you stop the beaters and lift up. (about 7 min.) 
The frosting temp. should read about 160 degrees F.
Remove the container of frosting from the double broiler, add the vanilla and almond extracts. 
Continue to mix for 2 min. to further thicken the frosting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

heard it here first.

[Missoni Print]

I posted back on March 7th about the Italian designer, Missoni creating a line for Target. It's being released in stores September 13th and things are still hush hush, with the exception of filling us in on 2 select items being featured- bikes and patio furniture...Missoni bikes and patio furniture YES, please! Read the full article here!

style rules.

Here are 6 styles rules to follow this Spring & Summer: 

 #1. Bare it all, wear nude!
From dresses to lips and even shoes...
this dress found here!

#2. Long in length!
Cover up in comfort this summer with a floor length maxi dress. 
this dress found here!

#3 & 4 Statement stones!
found here!

In necklace form...statement jewels are key this season!
this necklace can be purchased here!

#5. Red hot!
 Step out this summer in some form of a fiery red hue. 
Shoes found here!

#6 The perfect print! 
whether it's floral, stripes or any other print this season. Mix your prints, or even add a printed scarf to a solid for an added pop.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NYC guide:

I've been to NYC quite a few times now and feel every time I visit, I'm learning & discovering  more and more great places in the city. I wanted to make a guide for anyone that is planning on taking a trip out to New York City with a few of MY favorite places for all of you to try.

Blush Nail Salon- located at 218 E. 5th St.

This place is BY FAR my favorite nail place hands down. I've had my nails done before in NYC and enjoyed it as well, but this place had me inspired and wanting to open my very own nail salon. The treatments were divine, the music was fun and the prices were incredibly reasonable. 

 Babycakes [nyc]- located at 248 Broome St.

I've had Magnolia Bakery cupcakes before and please don't hate me, but didn't think they were all that great. Ya, the bakery is adorable, but the frosting is a little too buttery & grainy for my liking. Babycakes is a different story folks. These cupcakes are amazing & "good" for you. 
"In a city dominated by cupcakes overflowing with sugar, flour and butter cream, it’s easy for those with persnickety diets to feel left out. BabyCakes offers all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. Rest assured, all sweeteners have been chosen responsibly and used sparingly. White sugar will never be found in our bakery, nor will we ever use toxic chemical sweeteners. Instead, most products are sweetened with agave nectar—a natural syrup from a cactus which is low on the glycemia index and often a safe alternative to most non-insulin dependent diabetics. Occasionally, unprocessed and unrefined sugar is used in certain goods, although sparingly."
 A must-have in my book!

Pinkberry- located all over the city, check the website for locations.

Since there are no locations in or even close to MN, It's always a delight whenever I find myself walking into a Pinkberry. My favorite is original yogurt with strawberries and chocolate chips. All of their yogurt flavors and toppings are always fresh and delicious. Cant make up your mind on what to get? They are very generous in the sample department. It's just a great treat-simple-as-that! 

Buddakan- located at 75 9th Ave.

I've been twice now and the food has never disappointed. I would say this restaurant could be compared to Chino Latino here in Minneapolis with it's modern Asian cuisine. The food is meant to be served family style, with individual portions plated. Plan on ordering a lot of choices off the menu and sharing tastes of all. The atmosphere is great and dress code is described as: downtown chic, fun & hip...everything this restaurant delivers!

Spice Market NYC- located at 403 W. 13th St. (& the corner of 9th)

Spice Market is a truly unique experience from the menu to the atmosphere. There is nothing that compares in my mind. They offer the most unique pairings for your pallet and an intimate atmosphere with dark lighting. The perfect place for a date! This place is always busy, so make sure you have a reservation set to get a guaranteed spot. You won't be disappointed!

I have MANY more places to share with you...and you can most definitely look forward to a NYC guide, part 2 to come soon.