Thursday, May 22, 2014

Vinnie Louise

My nearest and dearest friend, Ginny, has launched a beautiful, inspiring, online boutique called Vinnie Louise.
SHE is beautiful and inspiring and the heart and soul that she has poured into this business is EVIDENT in the way she treats her customers and curates her collection. She supports independent designers who are pouring THEIR heart and soul into each and every one of their pieces and that just makes me want to SHOP! Isn't that just a better experience? Knowing that you're helping to grow someone else's dream into reality? Yes. It is better. And yes, this is a shameless plug for my sweet friend because she deserves it and YOU'RE going to love it (and love me for it).

James and I hosted a little launch party for Vinnie Louise with some of our closest friends and flipping through these photos just made me realize ALL over again how much I LOVE the way food brings people together. Around a table, around a pile of jewelry, around a fire... food is that beautiful staple that binds all kinds of situations and people together... turning mundane life into EVENTS and friends into family.
So, in honor of spring/ almost summer, here are our go-to, 'throw together'
meals we share on a really regular basis with our friends and family that just pop over or when we host a shin-dig:

EASY EASY EASY avocado on toast and our classic grilled chicken over kale salad.
 Cut thin slices of your favorite loaf, preferably sourdough, but anything works... toast it 'til crunchy! While it's toasting, mash the avocado flesh until pasty and salt and pepper it. Cut skinny slices of tomato and a few pieces of cheese... we always use white cheddar because we literally cannot survive without it. When the toast is done, quickly pop it in the oven on light broil (or microwave) with the cheese on top until it's just melted. Pull it out, pile on the tomatoes and avocado, squeeze fresh lemon juice all over it and add more salt and pepper. TA DA! Watch out, you'll go for like, 10 of these not realizing.
Next, grilled chicken... fire up your grill and heavily salt and pepper a cutting board. Olive oil your chicken breasts and press both sides of the breasts into the salt and pepper. Nothing else. Really, nothing else. Grill it to perfection. While those are grilling up nicely.... FINELY chop a big old pile of kale. For those of you that shop religiously at Trader Joe's like we do, we usually use one bag of their kale for a party of four. 
The KEY to a great kale salad is the chop... just go to town and chop it to death until it's almost like confetti. Trust me, it's just better. Then chop up 2 or 3 stalks of celery and toss it in. Next, mash up an avocado, just like you did for the avocado toast and mix it around with salt and pepper and the juice from 1 lime. Add it into the bowl. If you've made a batch of fresh hummus recently, add in a big dollop of that.. if not, that's alright, add in a big dollop of greek or plain yogurt. Toss in 2 handfuls of craisins and shred in some white cheddar, and don't be shy with it. Then get out a jar and fill it with 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 heaping Tablespoon stone ground dijon mustard and a lot of salt and pepper and shake it around... there's you're dressing, I'd use most of it but that's personal preference, just remember that there's already a few other "wet" ingredients in the salad and if you don't want to drown your kale, dress it after you've tossed it, then toss again.

Pop that beautiful chicken breast on top of a mound of salad and dinner is served. It's fresh and easy and people love it... delicious and simple, perfect for lunch or dinner gatherings. And then after you've rewarded yourself in your head for eating a salad for dinner... treat yourself to a top and a dress from Vinnie Louise... after all, you're OBVIOUSLY getting back that summer, girlish figure by eating salads for dinner, right?!
Right. :)
Here's some inspiration for you.

LOTS OF LOVE and happy Memorial Day weekend to you! Go reward yourself with a new, fun top for the weekend festivities!
and by the way... accessories are 20% today with code: jewelme

FOLLOW @vinnielouise on instagram for news on great pieces and discounts!

so proud of you ginny girl.

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