Monday, December 30

Ham & Potato Hash

This morning was my first morning home in several weeks. I've been working like a mad-woman and busy celebrating the holidays. Needless to say, cooking has been sparse. Today we were craving a home cooked breakfast, and this favorite recipe of ours hit the spot!

Here's a simple potato hash that will take you about 30 minutes from start to finish. Fry up an egg or two to go with it, and you're set!

Ham and Potato Hash

4 tablespoons of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes 
1 cup of petite jean cooked ham, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cut your potatoes in half (length-wise), and then into 1/2 inch think pieces. Mine turn out like triangles. In a saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add your potatoes. Cover your potatoes with water, and bring the water to a boil. Cook 7-9 minutes or until potatoes get tender. Skins will start to fall off (unless your peeled them prior to cooking, which is also an option). 

In a cast-iron skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add your chopped onion, cooking until soft. Add chopped bell peppers to the onions, and allow them to cook together for 3-5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients (draining any excess water off the potatoes before adding them to the skillet). Cook until browned, about 10 minutes.


Tuesday, December 24

Holiday Hors D'oeuvres

Christmas is HERE! Have you got everything cooked, wrapped, and sparkling? In case you're scrambling around (like me), I wanted to share a list of TEN quick links to help you out in the kitchen. These are holiday favorites from one of my most trusted recipe sources, The Local Palate:

1. Marinated Duck Breast 
2. Candied Pecans
3. JalapeƱo con Queso with Chorizo
4. Peanut Brittle
5. Pork Tenderloin Sliders
6. Pepper Sauce
7. Roasted Brussel Sprouts
8. Old Fashioned Potted Doves
9. Coffee Cake Breakfast Bread
10. Sweet Potato Pie

The Local Palate has become my favorite magazine! It explores southern cooking, traditions, and cultural history featuring unique locations and the very best chefs. If you get any down time over the holidays be sure a check out their blog!

Monday, December 23

Hometown Style

Growing up I always felt like my hometown (Russellville, AR) had great style sense. With plenty of bankers, farmers, and duck hunters, there was a nice mix of outdoors enthusiasm and that 1990s drive to be sucessful. The men mixed their Carhartts with Ralph Lauren button-downs, and chose Land Rovers instead of trucks for hauling gear. All the while, their wives made Patagonia vests chic - paired with fur boots, diamonds, and designer handbags.

Inspired by small town Arkansas, and the holiday seasons, I wanted to celebrate some great pieces reflective of my hometown's style.

Start with a few classics (like the ones I've featured here), and then mix in your favorite luxury items! This recipe is sure to make holiday outfitting simple and successful!

Penfield Jacket // Madewell Tomboy Workshirt //  Fair Isle Camp Socks // J.Crew Elbow-Patch Sweater // Nordic Prints  // Carhartt Watch Hat // Patagonia Retro-X Vest // Anthropologie Plaid Scarf //  Tretorn Aspelina Boots

Thursday, December 19

I've been missing you! Let's warm up with a Hot Toddy

I've missed blogging, but have at least had the opportunity to sit back and think about the direction and design of this little work-in-progress. There is so much I don't know, but the one thing I do is TOAST is about to get a facelift. Stay tuned everybody!

Here are a few photos from life and Instagram as of late, and a classic Hot Toddy Recipe just in time for the holidays:


The Hot Toddy has been quite popular around our house this winter!

I found it was extra nice with some local honey when I was sick with a sore throat and congestion. 

Enjoy in your favorite mug with someone you love :)

Hot Toddy

2oz Bourbon (or Brandy)
6oz Hot Water
1tsp Honey (or other sweetner)

Thursday, November 14

Knit Wit

Just recently I started teaching myself to knit. After checking out several library books and extensive online "research," I settled on a project. This adorable snood from By Hand London. Seemed easy enough, and would help me towards my greater goal, knitting us a cozy couch blanket. 

Easy is a relative term. Despite some pretty good YouTube videos, circular knitting was quite the challenge for this newbie. I'd recommend at least a little experience before spending an entire afternoon trying to join the cast-on stitches while they're twisting all around. Eventually I gave up!

That was okay though. 

At the library, I had found this great book, Simple Knitting by Erika Knight.


Inside was this adorable dishcloth project! I knew from the minute I saw it I'd have to try them. Sure enough, dishcloths were a lot more manageable for this first time knitter. After completing one, and almost another one, I called it a night. Only to find the next morning, our precious pooch had helped himself to snacking on my bamboo needles, the 1.5 dishcloths, and remaining yarn. Plenty of curse words and a call to the vet later..... nothing to show.

So instead of sharing with you photos of finished projects, here's some advice:

Or a glass of bourbon in my case :) Here are also some knitting links to keep us inspired.  Even if life may not be gong as planned right now.


  Pearl knit throw blanket DIY 

Sunday, November 10

Techie Troubles & Accessories

Two weeks ago the inevitable finally happened, My five year old MacBook Air bit the dust.

It had been showing serious signs of collapse, and I thankfully purchased an external harddrive to back up my photos and most important documents. Despite haivng what I need off it, I am still mourning, its loss to a ridiculous degree. It was the first big purchase I had EVER made for myself, and without it (and my digital subscription to The New Yorker), I don't think I would have made it through my graduate school's three hour long lectures.

So my questions have begun: Now what do I get? Another MacBook Air? A MacBook Pro? Are they really that different? Or do I just go with a desktop? Because when was really the last time I took my laptop anywhere? Decisions. Decisions.

Any advice would be welcomed! I would love to hear what you use and recommend! Sadly, posts will be rare until I'm able to get a new computer. 

In honor of this techie theme, I put together a list of a few of my favorite tech accessories all from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, or J.Crew (links below):

 Triple C™ for J.Crew USB phone charger

  Cypress iPad Mini Sleeve Camo

Tuesday, October 29

October Instagrams

These just about sum up the month; Time well spent with my dog, drinking coffee, obessing over all things pumpkin, embarking on a few rare craft projects, and letting myself get wrapped up reading e-books. How have you celebrated October?

You can follow me, livkrysti, on instagram, here!

Sunday, October 27

Mulled Wine Recipe

Last December, we were snowed in for three days - the best three days ever - I might add. During that time, we perfected our mulled wine (or Glogg) method. Mulled wine is something we make from what we have available so it may vary slightly from batch to batch. 

The essential ingredients for mulled wine include: Wine, Bbandy, sugar, orange, and mulling spices.

Last night we used Chewing the Cud's mulling spices (from my October OliveBox), which made a great drink without much hassle at all. You may already have the spices you need around your kitchen though. 2 Cinnamon sticks, 2 star of anise, and 8 cloves are all you really have to have. Ginger is sometimes added, but we never seem to have any. For that extra bite ginger would add, I have sometimes substituted all spice in its place. A sweeter red wine will work best, but when you are snowed in you use whatever you have - and can always add more sugar as you cook!

Once you get your ingredients together, place 1/4 cup of sugar (to one bottle of wine) in the bottom of a sauce pan adding just enough wine to cover. Heat liquid, stiring until it begins to thicken. Add your spices and let simmer 3-4 minutes before adding the remaing wine and then 1/4 cup brandy. Bring the liquid back to a simmer until aromatic, about 15 minutes, tasting and adjusting the sweetness as you go. Strain and serve in your favorite mug. Enjoy!

Friday, October 25

Real BHLDN Brides

Just in case you missed it....

BHLDN posted new photos to their Real Brides album on Facebook.

We were totally honored BHLDN (pronounced "beholden") chose one of our wedding photos to feature! My wedding dress was by the super talented Catherine Deane, and like many brides I knew it would be my dress the first time I saw it.  

Scroll through, and see if you notice a familiar face :)



Friday, October 18

Weather Essentials

In general, I like a nice rainy day. They seem to move at a slower pace, and have to be the best excuse for curling up with a cup of tea and a good book or magazine. It's not until I'm  caught off guard in the rain that I cuss it. Because by then my hair is frizzing, my entire face feels sticky, and whatever new item of clothing I decided to wear is getting drenched. Ugh.

Someday I'll be old and maybe I'll watch the weather channel like my parents, but until then here a few items that could bright 'em up any rainy day:

 (1) Hunter Rain Boots (2) J.Crew Camp Socks (3) Madewell Parka (4) J.Crew Hair Ties

Hunter + Rag & Bone Boots

Women's camp socks 

Classic Camp Socks  

Penfield® Kasson Parka 

Madewell + Penfield Kasson Parka 

  metallic hair tie pack
 Metallic Hair Ties