Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate.

With winter here, the cold weather, and the holidays in the air, hot chocolate is the perfect comfort drink for the season. I was craving a rich cup of hot chocolate last night so I decided to make one and add a little fun spin to it...by making it a red velvet hot chocolate!

So red velvet cake is basically a cake flavored with cocoa powder for a chocolate-y taste and vinegar to make the cake rich and fluffy. Red food coloring started being added to this cake batter years after its creation to enhance the red color. I basically added these same concepts (minus the vinegar) to typical hot chocolate ingredients. It turns out so rich and, well...velvety! You'll definitely want to share these with friends and family. 

These are the ingredients I used...

I started by simmering skim 1% milk in a pot. Most people use whole milk, which makes the drink creamier, but I personally can't take the taste of all the fat in whole milk. 

After simmering the milk, I added cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate until the chocolate melted and the cocoa was incorporated. To the mixture, I added vanilla and some red food coloring to enhance the chocolate flavors and intensify the red color. And voila! 

I topped it all off with mini marshmallows which nicely melt into the hot chocolate. I'm dreaming of this hot chocolate as I type this, it was that good! (Recipe at end of post) 

I enjoyed my yummy red velvet hot chocolate by the fireplace surrounded by Christmas decor. 

2 cups milk of your choice 
2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate (chopped or chocolate chips) 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon red food coloring 

1. Put the milk into a pot and heat on medium until it simmers. 
2. Once the milk has simmered, add the cocoa powder and semi sweet chocolate and whisk until melted and incorporated into the milk. 
3. Add the vanilla and food coloring. Whisk until incorporated. 
4. Ladle the hot chocolate into a mug and too with marshmallows. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Va Va Red.

This weekend I had the honor of attending the wedding of a close friend of my boyfriend's. It was a beautiful wedding, and it was apparent the couple was really happy. In addition to the traditional Armenian dinner, they had a buffet of every type of seafood you could imagine plus a whole roasted alligator, which I tried for the first time! (tasted like chicken)

I really wanted to step up my fashion game for this wedding and I was so happy with how my look turned out. I received so many compliments so I wanted to share my outfit and where you can shop for each piece.

Here's my entire look...

My dress is from Her Velvet Vase. I fell in love with it immediately when I saw it online. It's super fashion forward and the top draping gives it an edge, while also covering any problem areas I had around my waist.

My shoes are from Nine West, and I have to say they were extremely comfortable for being a high stiletto heel. It was perfect for dancing the night away. I got them a while ago, but I found them still available here.

My necklace is inspired by Cartier Amulette collection and I snagged this piece at Levik's Jewelers.

Lastly, I really wanted to pair my red dress with red lips so I ventured out to Ulta and discovered this Matte Lip Cream from NYX in Amsterdam and it was amazing. It goes on like a gloss but it's consistency is like a cream and it stays matte on your lips. I found also that I didn't have to keep reapplying it all night because it stayed very well. These lip creams come in a set of 3 including this red Amsterdam color.

What do you guys think of my look? What are some of your favorite black tie looks? Share them with me!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holidays in the Air.

It's December! I really can't believe how fast the year went by, but I am also so excited for the end of the year holidays. I love decorating and entertaining with festive ornaments, decor, and accoutrements and I want to share some of my favorite swag of this season. These pieces are trendy and really compliment most decor that you probably already have, so they are perfect. The prices on them are super budget friendly as well.

1. Mercury Glass Tree - Target
2. Winter Berry Wreath - Nordstrom
3. Gold Antler Pillar Candle Holders - One Kings Lane
4. Merry Christmas Garland - Paper Source
5. Sequin Noel Decorative Pillow - Target
6. Red Etched Cocktail Shaker - Pier One
7. Kate Spade Fa-La-La Globe Ornament - Nordstrom
8. Reindeer Wood Napkin Rings - Paper Source
9. Naughty/Nice Dishtowels - Nordstrom 
10. Nordic Snowflake Dishware - Crate and Barrel

I'm wishing all of you happy holidays and hope that you will be reveling in the holiday cheer and entertaining with fun decor and ornaments! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftover Monster Sandwich.

I'm hoping all my followers had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed the leftovers as much as I did! This year I poked up all my leftovers and made a colossal turkey day sandwich that makes you wish Thanksgiving was every day. 

When I say this sandwich is a colossal monster, I'm not kidding. I made this a triple decker sandwich so I could fit all my favorite side dishes into it. 

I used oat nut bread and toasted it a bit. You can use your favorite kind of bread, but I find grainy breads like wheat bread go better with the flavors in the rest of the sandwich. 

I like warm sandwiches so I heated everything up, including the turkey. To the sandwich, I added stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry mayo, which I made by mixing leftover cranberry sauce with some mayonnaise. All the recipes for these sides can be found on my post on last year's Thanksgiving: http://www.taltalsays.com/2014/11/thanksgiving.html?m=1. 

Here's how I assembled my sandwich...

1. Mix 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce. 

2. Toast 3 pieces of desired bread. Spread the cranberry mayonnaise on each slice. 

3. Warm the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. 

4. Start assembling! To the first slice of bread, spread first the stuffing, then the mashed potatoes, and then some turkey. 

5. Top this with the second slice of bread and repeat step 4. Top that with the last slice of bread.