Friday, August 18, 2017

FALL FAVS-Footwear :Part 3

Details and patterns- add flair to seasonless kicks...


Chunky Heeled Chelsea Boots+Chukkas
LATIGO-lace-y punch-out collar edge on faded red block heel Scout bootie-$119

Pikolinos burnished leather chunky heel shoes-fuse urban/artisan inspirations-Canada $195 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

FALLS FAVS-Seasonless Footwear

Part Two
Fall footwear-fast $ approachable way to seasonally transition to autumnal times when it's still summery temps. For weeks -and weeks.
Our picks -on trend made for walking footwear= smart buys that'll wear well into Spring.



SUPRA's women's mid top CUTTER-snazzy silhouette-vulcanized sole, slightly fit, minimal branding with that gold hardware lateral zipper.actually functions ez on/off.
Spring look-with functional block color outsole- pattern designs-refs the brand's surf/sake inspirations.
on right-SUPRA's Skytop Evo with gold Tcage-at quarter, heel + collar-and black foiled leather+black lycra upper-paired with white foxing...on left Skytop II-streamline look of the original in brick red foiled leather upper+black-neat detail-high foxing tape provides optimal shoe flex -vulcanized sole construction-distinctive tongue with 2 pull tabs.
NATIVE-insane lightweight-comfortable, affordable and vegan=win times 3! Men's  Johnny Treklite delivers in 4 colors $95-boasts hiking boots construction like compression EVA midsole, micro-fleece lining, treklite 2 part outsole w/ultra-light rubber outsole, metal eyelets, foam insole, upper-coated ripstop nylon-PU coated that's waterproof backing-defender repellent systems w/ Scotchguard™
women's NATIVE low moc slip-on-micro-fleece lining, white foxing-lightweight outsole


Revived Butter made in Italy brand-nailed it when it came to our musts for Fall accessible prices given the feminine deluxe materials and craftsmanship of each and every pair. LOVE...beige spotted pony on left bunch in Bella bootie $498,  Pecker pointy toe slide $338 and squarish leather cap toe flat-stylish touch to a comfort silhouette. Lilac Metal Brocade Cali $388-and Tanya Pink Metal Brocade $328- adds instant glamor to even the basic denim-white tee uniform...

Pointy toe booties in front...are (imo) most versatile it look has a whiff of retro elegance...from casual leggings to frilly Fall dresses-including cocktail frocks-top pick -BELLA silhouette....delivers in leather, velvet, satin or super chic swirling metal brocade-form $398. In the back-tie it up with a bow-ROMA mid calf leather boot-has that slightly wide top width-can tuck jeans suede or nappa $498

chunky heel is the easiest way to walk -add height...NIECE in black suede with floral embroidery  shouts out to country western flair-for city slick gals. $418. Chelsea boots gone luxe-Nadine sleekly available in nappa, suede and (not pictured) blue steel velvet $480

BUTTER LOVE=Ali Multi Velvet Paisley -had us grabbing our 70's YSL vintage out of the closet to pair with these 21st century block heel beauties $398

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fall Favs-SEASONLESS Apparel

Part One

70'sº in December-snow burying flowers-nope-this isn't JUST the weather in the southern hemisphere-anymore.

With all the buzz (and hoped for retail $) of the much hyped Fall collections...practically speaking -smart buys to get in autumnal mood are three seasons wearable- multi-tasking-urban/outdoor trendy designs -and price approachable.

Top Picks:
NAU-sharp urban functional design paired with eco-friendly sourced components-make NAU a fav label. For Fall -this chic knit -with shoulder button-adds to flattering diagonal drape-in pale grey color take wearers from cool Fall nights-to over AC-ed under interiors in July.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Snack Nation: New Products+Forever Favs...

New and old snacks...get 'cleaner' -crafty the best sweet indulgences...


Craft Beer Salsa by Mrs. Renfro's-fun medium heat-with beery flavor...merger of two local Texas businesses-the aforementioned +Rahr&Sons-cold ones...and at 15 calories-2 tbsp serving-tasty way to perk up chips and salads without adding the pounds.

Garden of Eatin  USDA Organic Nacho +Ranch Corn Tortilla Chips=   crisp triangle sized, scoop up the dip/salsa musts-with the addition of creamy cheddar cheese-or buttermilk-that surprisingly (to us)-worked with traditional spice-y heat we expect from this popular crunch. The Nacho flavor-has hints of tomato, onion, cayenne pepper and garlic -with organic cheddar cheese-while the Ranch contain 6 grams fat -25% less than other brands-and is gluten-free/certified Kosher-with organic black pepper, white pepper, chili pepper and cumin-giving off subtle heat.

GOOD HEALTH-better for you crunches-takes south of the border inspiration-with its savory Organic Tortillas Black Bean & Rice chips-slightly salted to perfection with Himalayan Salt. USDA Organic-non-GMO-organic whole grain whose masa flour and organic whole grain brown rice flour-blended with aromatic heat from red cayenne pepper, cumin, chili pepper-impressively mixed with SURPRISE -vegetables like carrots, broccoli, beets +spinach (all organic)-all serving up nutritional goodness (vitamins A, C K, Bs and even tad of IRON). Impressive-great way to give vegetable phobic a 'hidden' dose of goodness-sans trans fats or artificial colors.
Addiction alert-why do you think each and every MLB dugout probably goes through a case of sunflower seeds per game...sure beats the days of yore staple-chewing tobacco. NEW Flavor Fusion-Nacho Dill by GIANT. Sunflower seeds from North Dakota -grown by family farmers...get a seasoned twist...that-as we were told -super popular-especially now available Dill Pickle Flavored and BBQ-join the original salted version.  Widely available...and fyi-bags are resealable if for some strange reason-not eaten up all at once.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Gourmet Takes - Ballpark Inspiration: Part 2

Dressed Up Burgers, Scrumptious Crunchy Salads, Sophisticated Salty+Spicy Seasonings=Tempting  Takes on Ballpark Staples to eat at home.

California based, Cypress Grove's soft-ripened -Humboldt Fog jettisoned American gourmet cheeses from insular cult fav to mass adoration, as THE ORIGINAL AMERICAN® imo.
Cheese burgers-or grilled cheese PLEASE...ditch the processed bleh for melted nirvana via TRUFFLE TREMOR- a creamy luscious soft-ripened goat cheese enhanced with the aromatic earthiness of black truffles. A fav of ours (outta, like 3000+ selections)- from most recent Fancy Food Show-sold in wheel and mini sizes & widely available-including  company website w/ flat rate shipping $.

Corn on the cob companion, Kaiser roll/bread enhancer, or a rich full flavored BBQ enabler to grilled meats-fish-vegetables ...real deal Smoked Maplewood Amish Roll Butter by family owned Minerva Dairy may just steal THAT finger lickin' good ad slogan from a certain franchise...

Non-flavored-the hand packed-Amish Roll Butter -with premium lush thick textured ( 84% butterfat), is made by slow-churning process. Factoid-Minerva Dairy was founded in 1894-is fifth generation owned!!!!

Salads made of satisfying, slightly crunchy -and very slightly (barely) nutty, cooked up-  Pereg Naturals-KANIWA-aka Baby Quinoa-a superfood (protein, iron, calcium, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins-B AND fiber loaded) grain-like seed, native to Peru/Bolivia (non-GMO and gluten-free) ...will have even junk food only eaters-reassessing their notions of bland boring eats. Pereg Naturals-a maker of the popular- ready in minutes delicious flavored/seasoned whole grain entrees (pictured below) -introduces this quinoa botanical relative -that even for non-chefs-easily cooks up via simmering/sitting-and serves up deliciously-retaining its crunchy texture-(and imo-mush proof) with whatever spices, chopped/sliced/diced fresh vegetables, and/or protein is on hand. Can even used instead of breadcrumbs as coating.
PLUS: tempting entrees prepared with KANIWA-like this plant based burger  or veg, chili recipes-simply replaces artery cloggers without feeling food indulgence deprivation=HOMERUN!

France's LA BALEINE-is probably Americans first bonjour to gourmet salt. Set to deliver... their new sodium reduced natural sea salt-imo-  has best selling status potential-and a big bonus for  those who never met a salt shaker they didn't like-but for health reasons-need to cut back on the sodium ( like up to 50%). Interested-we tried and found no difference-practically-as La Baleine manages to preserve same salty taste as regular ole' table salt-and texture of fine version-via "presence of marine minerals directly from the sea..." FYI-stil loaded with potassium, magnesium, sea minerals and calcium-as yet another reason-even non-fancy feasters we know- use sea salt. Period.

Sun dried tomatoes have a heavenly pungent intense taste -yay- is brilliantly captured bottled ketchup-by California based Traina Foods. Spoil alert-try their take on this shelf stable-see it everywhere condiment-and you'll never go back to that mass market muck. EVEN BETTER: Traina Foods intros a new savory-rich USDA Organic Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup--that  delivers all the distinctive taste of sun-dried tomatoes-set to deliver soon. FYI-guaranteed to elevate+enliven any home version of backyard picnic staples-french fries & burgers-plant or meat based.
SOFI AWARD winner -Woodland Farms' Manitou Trading Bulgogi Seasoning-one of 82 blends offered up by this entity-is a zesty blend based on the trendy Korean BBQ staple-with tangy red miso, ginger- garlic, brown sugar, dab of sesame and sizzling hot red chili peppers. A little goes a long way-try a pinch or two on grilled anything...or add to butter/dips/dressings for added savory flavorings.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ballpark Inspirations: Feasts for Foodies

Stadiums nationwide- have amped up concession offerings-with exotic/ethnic cuisines and name dropping restaurant/food truck outlets serving up gourmet fare.

BUT most backyard bbq chefs, urban masters of city park grills, and outdoor campers (picnic glampers) hauling around provisions, still seem to prepare (prefer) the culinary classics- inspired by yesteryear's ballpark staples. 

What's different... sophisticated global palates and a preference for cleaner ingredients have upped the epicurean menu-adding spicy flair, and gourmet global flavorings -less the artificial additives and preservatives.

Part One:

                                                                 The DOG...
This nostalgic baseball stadium staple-has evolved from it's Coney Island boardwalk palatable beginnings...and is now not only meaty flavorsome-but ALSO a good source of healthy protein. 

Top pick-Bronx based A&H- had our family grilling +eating up its refrigerated Premium Beef Kosher Hot Dogs... (no nitrates or nitrates-and available in low sodium and reduced fat options too)---in minutes. 

Each 'Top Dog' delivers several bites of juicy deliciousness with smoky crispy casing grill stripes-easily fancied up for gourmand feasting- or simply served with just plain ole' yellow grain mustard. A backyard staple-for day or night time meals.
Available in a 12 oz patriotic red, white and blue package-with of 7 hot dogs-SRP $8.99. 

                                                                       The Buns...
AHHH-hotdog/hamburger/sandwich buns are not created equal-the original and organic ONE BUN pre-sliced chewy ones by OZERY Bakery are actually tasty and wholesome (made with real deal heart-healthy whole grains-non-GMO verified-delivering 7 grams/protein). 
Need proof of full-flavored goodness? OZERY baked buns are delish eaten on their own vs-the standard ones where any extras get relegated to feeding the local wildlife.
PLUS Kosher, no preservatives or additives, colorings or artificial flavors-in any Ozery Bakery products, actually.

Sauerkraut for the new century-red hot Korean Kimchi and German origin cabbage - sauerkraut-team up in this salty- savory new organic product by Eden Foods. This heated up zesty flavor-comes courtesy of organic red bell peppers, onions, garlic, ginger root, cayenne pepper, yellow mustard seed and chili pepper. And no additives or, win-win-both Kimchi+Sauerkraut-made via a fermentation process-are natural sources of good for you probiotics and other nutrients. Available in 18oz glass jar.

Pernicious Pickling Company-Extra Spicy Pickles-Habanero Hotties-spicy crunch-juiciness of fresh cucumbers freshly seasoned in apple cider vinegar and three types of peppers-plus garlic, dill + black peppercorns-for added kicks to any BBQ mainstay...and that ole' Brunch standby-spicy Bloody Mary. YUMMY. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Healthy+Better Tasting Drink Trends:Manganese, (with some magnesium potassium, zinc) loaded, naturally sweet (xylitol) Birch water-tapped from trees-joins coconut and maple as an in-demand hydration a new addition targeting active adventurers.


USDA Organic TREO are gulp-able fruity sips of Birch Water Infusions that contain only 10 calories per bottle- easily becoming fav drinks of ours. Available in four flavors (Strawberry, Coconut Pineapple, Blueberry, and Peach Mango l-r)-all contain pure birch water tapped from Vermont trees...AND all are  authentic tasting-non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan-naturally packed with minerals+electrolytes-+ only 1 gram of sugar. FYI stevia and erythritol are the sweetners. Bonus points-bottled in PET bottles.
SAP! Birch +Maple Sparkling Soda and Seltzer -in convenient aluminum cans-tapped from Vermont trees-with minerals+46 naturally occurring nutrients/electrolytes-aid hydration-naturally not too sweet sip. SAP! Maple soda-80 calories, Birch soda-25 calories, and Maple Seltzer-40 calories-all USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free. Make good mixers too!
SÄPP BIRCH-taps Vermont trees in late Spring for its subtle sweet flavored (Rosehip, Nettle, Original) waters naturally containing minerals+anti-oxidants. Bonus-member of 1% For the Planet-and packaging-is 100% recyclable....and USDA Organic non-GMO, vegan-original has 10 calories/bottle serving.

Bahia- northeastern Brazil sourced  OBRIGADO Coconut Water...added 3 fruit infused flavors to their non-GMO 100% premium coconut water product line-up...that all have a refreshing taste that might appeal even to those who don't like coconut water in general. Pictured r-l Pineapple Strawberry, Mango Acerola, and Tangerine-plus original-all natural packed with Vitamin C and potassium.
Muscle cramp banishers-like spicy mustard and hot peppers-come in a way more convenient form=zero calorie Pickle Power Pickle Juice shots. Sugar caffeine, gluten, and GMO refrigeration is required with an extended shelf life of 2 years...handy! The 100% Natural Pickle Juice Sport contains 10x more electrolytes than sugary sports drinks -while an Extra Strength Pickle Juice Shot-has 15% more electrolytes. Tastes-as one might pickle juice.