Baked Grapefruit – A Delicious Dessert or Breakfast

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Whenever I talk about baking a grapefruit, most people look at me like I’m crazy, but trust me, this is SO EASY and absolutely DELICIOUS. Whether your looking for a light dessert as we head into spring or something new for breakfast, you’re going to want to try this!

What you’ll need:

  • Large Grapefruit
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Your choice of toppings: Whipped Cream, Vanilla Ice-Cream, Granola and Greek Yogurt are some of my favorites!

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What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Cut the grapefruit in half against the grain
  • Use a knife to section the grapefruit
  • Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar on each half of the grapefruit. (You can use less or more depending on taste)
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the grapefruit is warm and juicy
  • Top with your desired topping. For dessert, I love a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. For breakfast, a scoop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of granola is great!

<3wc

VOF’s New Year’s Resolutions

Happy-New-Year-2014-Greetings

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year! Sorry we took a hiatus over the Holiday Season. I know you all understand how crazy it can get. We hope that you all had a safe and fun Holiday with your friends and family. W and I were both lucky enough to get to travel back home and be with our loved ones. It was a nice relaxing break full of snow, wine and desserts, but sadly all good things have to come to an end. So, here we are, back to reality. As we enter 2014, W and I both have some resolutions that we want to share with you.

  1. BLOG. Before starting VOF, W and I talked about doing this for a long time. In 2013, we took the step to get this thing going, but it is now time to really see how far we can take it. So stay tuned for lots more from VOF in 2014.
  2. READ. We admit it, reading is not our strong point. We always make excuses before bed, but this year that will change. We will read at least 30 minutes before bed each night.
  3. GET STRONG. You all know that the VOF girls will be walking down the isle this year and it will come faster than either of us realize. Of course, dieting is always a thing for brides, but we not only want to be slim. We want to be toned. Let the workouts begin!
  4. STOP SHOPPING. W and I both love to shop, trust us. This one will be tough, but we all know how expensive weddings can be.  We can save a lot of money by not buying the unnecessary extras. I guess we’ll have to live vicariously through you and the Wednesday Wishlist. 😉
  5. STOP BUYING LUNCH. It is easy to get in the habit of buying lunch at work. When you are tired in the morning, packing lunch does not always feel like the ideal thing to do, but that $10 3-4 times a week really starts to add up. Stay tuned for some great recipes that make excellent lunch leftovers.

These 25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Actually Make for 2104 from Elite Daily, also has some great ideas that the VOF girls will definitely be taking to heart. We’d love to hear what your resolutions are as well, so let us know what you think!

Cheers to 2013 from VOF!

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<3wc

Turn your Thanksgiving Leftovers into Something Spectacular!

Who can deny how great a turkey sandwich tastes the day, or maybe 2 days, after Thanksgiving, but after awhile, there are only so many turkey sandwiches and left overs you can eat. However, if  you are like my family, you cook WAY too much and have enough turkey to last weeks after Thanksgiving day. Here are some creative and delicious recipes that I came up with this year to use up those leftovers in a fun and scrumptious way.

Slow-Cooker Southwest Turkey Chili: Warning: This recipe is SO EASY and all your friends and family will be impressed, I promise!

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Ingredients:

2 cups chopped leftover turkey

32 oz container of chicken broth

1 14 oz can of ro-tel diced tomatoes and chili.

1 6 oz can of tomato paste

1 /2 blocks of cream cheese

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

1 Tbs cumin

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

1/2 of a large red onion, diced

3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bag (1 lb) frozen bell peppers

1 can black beans (drained)

1 can corn (drained)

Any other frozen or canned veggies you may like

Salt to taste

Sour Cream (to top it off)

Fresh Cilantro (to sprinkle on top)

Fresh lime (for garnish)

Tortilla chips (to scoop with chili)

Chopped Avocado (for garnish)

Instructions:

Chop all necessary ingredients

Sauté red onion, jalapeño, garlic, and a pinch of salt under onions are soft

Pour sautéed ingredients into a large slow cooker, add remaining ingredients (with the exception of the crushed tortilla chips and cream cheese) along with about a  Tbs of salt and stir.

Put the slow cooker on low for 8 hour.

After 3 hours, add the cream cheese. Push the blocks under the chili mixture and let the mixture continue to cook.

After about 1 hour, stir melted cream cheese into chili. You will need to continually mix the cream cheese about every 30 minutes until it is fully incorporated into the chili.

In the last hour, stir in the crushed tortilla chips.

Serve with chopped avocado, a dollop of sour cream, fresh squeezed lime, and chopped cilantro. Serve tortilla chips on the side.

Enjoy!

Ranch and Green Bean Casserole Twice-Baked Potatoes: I know this might sound funny, but trust me! This combination is heavenly during this season!

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Ingredients:

1 Packet of Ranch Seasoning

4 Russet Potatoes

1 cup leftover Green Bean Casserole

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 Tbs black pepper

Sour Cream and Green to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Poke holes in the potatoes using a fork (on all sides) and wrap individually with aluminum foil.

Bake potatoes on rack for about 1 hour, or until potatoes feel soft to touch.

Remove potatoes from oven and remove aluminum foil. Let cool for about 20 minutes, or until comfortable to touch.

Once cool, cut a “canoe” shaped slice into the top of each potato and dispose of the cut out potato skin.

Scoop out center of potatoes and put in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly, until light and airy.

Scoop mixture back into potatoes, filling the empty potato skins and creating a mound on top.

Bake on 375 for about 30 minutes. Finish on broil for just  a few minutes to achieve a crisp on top.

Top with sour cream and green onions and serve! Try adding some leftover turkey to these babies and making them a meal in themselves! 🙂

<3wc

Popping the Question to your Bridesmaids: How the VOF girls did it.

Happy Monday from VOF! Well, it’s official, I finally asked W to be my MOH, as if she didn’t already know ;). Don’t worry, she said YES! Since W got engaged about 7 months before me, she obviously popped the question a long time before I got the chance. If you haven’t done it before, popping the question to your besties is kind of stressful (I can’t even imagine putting myself in S or M’s shoes when they proposed!) W and I both wanted to ask in creative ways that were meaningful and unique. Here is what we came up with!

W popped the question with none other than a ring pop! Gotta love the idea of using some childhood nostalgia. She created these ADORABLE boxes with a bunch of treats related to her wedding. Think mini bottles of champagne, nail polish in her wedding colors, paint chips with more color options, balloons for the celebration, and the “ring” to make it official, not to mention that the box itself has made the perfect jewelry box on my dresser ever since she asked. Here is the little notes she included with the perfect gift:

The big day

I’ve got my man, but I still need my girls! We don’t yet have a place or a date, but I know exactly who I’d like to be there –YOU! I’d be honored to have you be part of my big day.

The gals

Your job will be simple:

Keep my train out of any mud puddles (god forbid it rains in Portland!)

Feel beautiful

Have a great time (this is a requirement) and get the party started

Understand how much I appreciate you being part of our special day

With the (depressingly vast) distance between us, I know it’s nearly impossible for each of you to be involved each step of the way. That’s why I’d like you to be involved as much as you’d like to be.  Please don’t worry about showers or gifts, I know a “destination” wedding can be hard on the pocket books. We can tackle the Bachelorette Party when we get to it, at a time and place that works for everyone.

The dress

Your dress that is!

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After W put so much effort into asking, I had no choice but to step up my game! I didn’t want to copy her and had to come up with my own cute way of asking. I chose to go with a custom hanger from Etsy (Being engaged has made me even more obsessed with Etsy than before!). I can’t wait to see all my bridesmaids dresses hanging next to mine on these beauties 11 months from now (or yesterday to be exact). I included a cute little poem along with hangers that read:

The time has come for Steven and I to join our lives as one.

We look forward to our wedding day filled with family, friends, and fun.

The date is set for the 27th of September, 2014.

Our colors are Black, Pink and Gold with a touch of glimmer and sheen.

To make that day more special and create memories that will last,

There is one favor from you, my friend, that I would like to ask…

This hanger is for a very special dress.

Will you use it next year? Please say yes!

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How did you ask your bridesmaids to join your special day? We’d love to hear your ideas!

<3wc

Getting Creative with Save the Dates

Her at The Vows of Friendship, W and I are working to customize our weddings and seek creative ways to accomplish things, but we are finding it so hard to be original. Between Pinterest and so many amazing sources (*cough*cough* Style Me Pretty, Snippet and Ink, 100 Layer Cake, Green Wedding Shoes, etc.), it feels like almost everything has been done. This especially feels like the case with our Save the Dates. W and I are both taking our engagement photos within the next month or so and are both so excited to share them with you! I am currently working on a top secret project for our Save the Dates, so stay tuned for the final result! In the meantime, here are some of our favorite inspiration images for Save the Dates and just why VOF loves them:

This Kraft Paper Save the Date is wonderfully simple, yet feels romantic at the same time. We love the handmade elements and personal touches. Would I be crazy to try to make 300 hundred of these?

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How could this Illustrated Save the Date not make you smile? This couple did a lovely job branding their wedding and incorporating fun, personal elements that add character and set them apart. 

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This Sweet Typographical Save the Date just makes me swoon. As self-proclaimed design nerds, how could we not fall in love with these beauties? We’re envisioning, a watercolor invite with handwritten calligraphy. Sigh!

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This Scroll Style Save the Date has a royal, elegant feel. We love that they kept it simple and elegant, using calligraphy and velum. Just tie with a thin gold ribbon for extra pizazz and it could be perfect!

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Do you have any great ideas for Save the Dates? Let us know! We love hearing from you.

<3wc

VOF’s Top Fashion Picks Now

Tartan Pride

W and I are proud to be Carnegie Mellon Tartans, and this season’s plaid trend couldn’t be more fitting for us. Try a pair of plaid ankle length trousers, a white blouse, ankle booties and chunky jewelry.

Tartan Pride

I have always envied fur, counting down the days of summer till it is appropriate to wear again (even in Los Angeles weather). Pair a fur vest with a printed shift dress, a pendant necklace, knit tights and a great pair of thigh-high riding boots.

Fall Fur

Exotic Prints

As W and I start planning our honeymoons, we are dreaming of luxurious spa days in Thailand, sipping café au laiter in Paris, and cozying up by the Trevi Fountain in Rome. This season, take inspiration from fabrics and textures from around the world. Try pairing a printed dress with a classic bucket bag, leather leggings and a pair of velvet ballet flats.

Exotic Prints
 

All Glammed-Up

For our followers paying attention to my wedding planning, you know I love all things that sparkle. This season is your chance to channel your inner 1940’s Hollywood star. Think luscious red lips, fur collar trenches, classic pumps and an overload of jewelry.

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We’d love to see your favorite fall finds! Let us know what you think.
<3wc