Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Midweek Morsel - Pesto Tortellini w/ Sausage & Brussels Sprouts

Welcome to Midweek Morsel, my new series in which I share some of my favorite go-to dinners that are easy to prepare and quick to get on the table for those busy midweek nights.

This week's morsel is so easy it barely needs a recipe. I basically threw in pasta, sausage and sprouts and dinner was done.

Pesto Tortellini w/ Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

What You'll Need:
1 pkg pesto tortellini
1/2 to 3/4 lb sausage, brats or chicken sausage
1/2 lb brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper
shaved parmesan cheese

To Make:
Cook pasta according to package directions. While water comes to a boil, grill or broil sausage 5-6 mins per side. Set aside. Trim and halve or quarter sprouts (depending on size). Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper. Saute over med-high heat 10 mins or until crisp-tender.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Slice and add sausage. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil, add sprouts and a large handful of shaved parmesan.
Toss and serve.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Stunning Stars Of The SAG Awards

The celebs were all aglow last night and the red carpet was filled with gorgeous gowns, lots of jewels and flowy hair. You could tell this was a night by actors, for actors and everyone was more excited to get into the show than to chat on the red carpet.

My Best Dressed goes to Amanda Seyfried in Zac Posen.

Also Loved....

Satin & Sparkle

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen, Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta, Naomi Watts in Marchesa
Indigo Girls
Jessica Lange in J. Mendel, Guiliana Rancic in Max Azria Atelia, Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior,
Nicole Kidman inVivienne Westwood

Black Drama
Julie Bowen in Johanna Johnson, Tina Fey in Oscar de la Renta, Elizabeth Moss in Dolce & Gabbana

Love you....but not your dress
Julianne Moore's Chanel dress looked gorgeous until she started to move. The portion under the bust was driving me crazy. Julianna Margulies in Chado Ralph Rucci , Claire Danes in Givenchy 


Did you tune in? What did you love?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Holy Grail - Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oil is one of those skin care products that I just can't live without. Once you figure out how to use it and find one you like there is really no reason to go back to a typical face wash.

Years ago while working in cosmetics I fell in love with a cleanser by Origins called Liquid Crystal. It was (of course) discontinued and I went on my journey to find a replacement. My skin has always had a mind of it's own. Sometimes sensitive, dry at times and oily at others, so I needed a cleanser that I could use no matter what condition my skin decided to be in that day. 

After trying many different brands, Shu Uemura stood out to be the best. In the 1950's Mr. Uemura, while working as a makeup artist, developed this cleanser while looking for a way to remove stage makeup and impurities while protecting skin's delicate balance.

Cleansing Oil Pioneer
"In 1967, Mr Uemura made history by introducing the first 
oil-based cleanser to Japan. The cleansing oil's exceptional reputation and 
gentle effectiveness quickly convinced the public of its skincare
benefits and is now an emblematic product of the Shu Uemura brand."

Cleansing oil isn't just for people with dry or sensitive skin. Oil attracts oil so this works quite well to properly cleanse oily skin. The tricky thing about them is the way in which you wash your face.

1. Start with freshly washed hands. Dry them thoroughly.  
2. Gently massage 1 pump of oil onto DRY face, over lashes, lips and anywhere you have makeup.
3. Rinse your hands and massage face with wet hands. (Adding water at this step emulsifies the oil into a milky cleanser.
4. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry.

All traces of makeup (even stubborn liner and mascara) will be gone. Your skin is left balanced and clean without being stripped. Acne starts to disappear, dry skin is nourished and fragile skin is protected.

My favorite is the High Performance
Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula.
5oz. - $31

There is a formula for practically every skin type.

Others I've tried along the way:
Some were too think, others too thin. Some didn't quite remove all my makeup or I didn't like the smell. 

Origins - Clean Energy: This was added as the replacement for Liquid Crystal but it never quite lived up to the original for me.

If they ever discontinued Shu Uemura I'd try:

The only drawback to cleansing oil is that your face needs to be dry to properly work. But what happens when you're in the shower and your face is already wet? Cleansing Oil-In-Gel to the rescue! For use on wet or dry skin and exceptional when paired with a Clarisonic.

Shu Uemura Pure:nu Cleansing
Oil-in-Gel. 3.38oz $25

**Holy Grail Series: This is the place where I share my most coveted finds that have made it to HG status. To qualify for this, a product must exceed my expectations to the point of bliss, usually after trying countless others. It's a can't-live-without item that I keep a back stock on and will surely lose my mind if it's discontinued. (First world problems, I know)**

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Midweek Morsel - Shanghai Style Chilean Sea Bass

**Congrats to Crystal who is the winner of 2 tickets (and cocktails!) to SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody at PlayhouseSquare this Sunday. Show runs tomorrow through 1/27 and tickets are $10-$45**

Welcome to Midweek Morsel, my new series in which I'll share some of my favorite go-to dinners that are easy to prepare and quick to get on the table for those midweek work nights.

First up: Shanghai Style Chilean Sea Bass. Over a Friday night happy hour at Light Bistro we struck up conversation with the couple next to us who just so happened to live down the street from us. The gentleman said that after working as a photographer for American Greetings his entire life he has 'retired' into a job as fish monger at Classic Seafood at the West Side Market. Which then made us realize where we'd seen him before. This meeting snared us 2 pounds of sea bass, which is 1 pound too many for the two of us and sent me searching for a new recipe since it looked like we'd be eating fish two nights in a row.

Shanghai Style Chilean Seabass
Shanghai Style Chilean Sea Bass

What You'll Need:
Rice - sticky/white - I was out of sushi rice so I used basmati
1 bag baby spinach
1 lb. sea bass
sesame seeds - handful
2-3 scallions (green parts only)
salt, pepper, ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
Ponzu sauce

To Make:
Sprinkle fish with salt, pepper and ginger. Place in a bamboo steamer or steam basket and steam about 15 mins. Check for doneness.
Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions.
Wilt spinach by placing 1 tablespoon olive oil in a med-high skillet and add 1 clove minced garlic. Cook garlic for about 30 seconds. Add spinach in large handfuls, adding more as it wilts down. Cook just until all the spinach starts to wilt and remove immediately from burner. Season with pepper.
Place rice in the center of a large bowl and surround it w/ hot spinach. Set cooked fish on top of rice. Ladle Ponzu over top of the fish and around spinach. Garnish w/ sesame seeds and scallions.

*note - I didn't realize we were out of Ponzu until I got home from the market, so I made my own using this recipe:

mix together:
1/3 cup soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil


Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Globes 2013 - Trends, Hits And Misses

::Just a few more days to enter to win a pair of tickets to Spank! the Fifty Shades Parody at Playhouse Square. Details here::

Last night's red carpet was a whirlwind of nude illusion. I was prepared for massive amounts of candy-colored confections and bright springtime hues but the stars had another plan entirely. Plunging necklines met thigh-high slits and cut-outs, sheer overlay and lace topped the list of trends. Hair was swept to the side in a gorgeous array of curls, body and waves.

When it's right, it's right, and these ladies were beyond stunning.

Trends of the night:
Nude Illusion
Whether wrapped in tulle or covered in lace, nude gowns with fishtail hems were quite popular.

Show A Little Leg
Nothing like giving Angelina Jolie's leg a bit of competition.

The Gilded Age
Glittery gold was a popular mid-winter choice but I just couldn't get into Julianne's tulle bottom.

Ladies In Red
Red is always a classic red carpet pick.

Columns Of Perfection
Form-fitted and sleek turned out to be a good call here.

I Love You, But.....Not Your Dress
Love the seafoam color of Jessica's gown, but the fit and her hair were just off. Oh Rachel, why? You are such a dream, but I do give you credit for taking a risk. Kaley's overly made up look is a bit too much for such a young woman.
images via here, here

What did you love?

Friday, January 11, 2013

January Events & A Raucous Giveaway

Oh January. You get such a bad rap. Often grey, cold, and a letdown from all those festivities we enjoyed from October to December. Being a winter person, I don't mind January all that much. Primarily because by the time it rolls around I'm ready. Ready for something new, ready to recuperate, ready to get full a night's sleep, put away the bubbly and cookies and get back on track. But for some, January can kind of suck. So here a few fun events (and a giveaway!) to get you out and about and make merry with 2013.

Friday, January 11th
Tremont Art Walk  6-10pm

Works from Leslie McCafferty, Elaine Dowling and the Luminescence collection.
Bundle up and hit the streets of Tremont for a little urban adventure. Enjoy a wine tasting at Wine & Design while checking out works from Leslie McCafferty and Elaine Dowling then walk around the corner to 2509 Professor Ave and check out Kim's new Evie Lou location. Don't forget that doubting Thomas has an awesome Luminescence collection and Banyan Tree has a wicked post-holiday sale going on.

Battle of The Bombshells Happy Hour Kickoff - 8-10pm Around the Corner, Lakewood

Sign up to participate in the 2013 flag football game where Blondes square off against Brunettes in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association. FYI-redheads are free agents.  Not interested in playing? Sign up to coach, join a committee or just swing by to show support for your girls. $20 includes food and drink. There will also be a raffle with some seriously cool prizes.

Thursday, January 17th
SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody - PlayhouseSquare 1/17-27th {$10-$45}

Grab your girls and hit Spank! "A hysterical unauthorized musical satire that brings the naughty fun of the saucy best-selling book to life in one laugh-filled, high-energy show Part Chippendales, part Second City."

And...... I have a pair of tickets to give away for the Sunday, January 20th, 3pm show. The winner is also invited to a pre-show cocktail.

To Enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me the last show (movie, theatre, concert, etc) you saw with your girlfriends.

2. Follow @smittenincle and @playhousesquare on twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you did.

3. Tweet "I need a Girls' Day Out with @smittenincle & @playhousesquare " and leave a comment on this post letting me know you did.
*you can tweet this once per day for add'l entries - just be sure to leave a comment for each

Good Luck! Contest ends on Tuesday 1/15th at midnight and a winner announced Wednesday.
I was invited to this Girls' Day Out along w/ Charlene, Jen and Amanda. Be sure to check out their blogs for additional entries!

Thursday, January 17th
Partners Trivia Night presented by Playhouse Square - Black Dog Kitchen & Bar 6:30P (Trivia starts at 7P) {Partners $20/non-Partners $25}
Join me as PlayhouseSquare Partners introduces Trivia Night! This event is open to all. Create your own team or sign up individually. Price includes buffet and 2 drink tickets for beer, wine and select liquor. Teams of 4-6 will answer questions in themed rounds ranging from fun to ridiculous and prizes will be awarded to the winning team. Tickets avail at the door or by calling Molly at 216.640.8416

Friday, January 18th
Karaoke at the Cat 9P {free}

Karaoke at the Cat is back! And I'm co-hosting along with the fab Jen from Why CLE?, Alicia from Poise in Parma and Amanda from Clue into Cleveland. You know what else is happening at 9 o'clock? Late Night Happy Hour. That's right. All your favorite slurps at happy hour prices til 11P. It could only get better if someone sings "Livin' on a Prayer."

Wednesday, January 23rd 
Clinica Gastonomica Veneto - Dante Tremont {$55}

Ticket price includes five food and wine pairings. Reserve a spot by calling 216.274.1200

::Disclosure-I am a member of PlayhouseSquare Partners and co-chair for Trivia Night. I received 2 tickets for myself and 2 to giveaway for the Spank Parody c/o PlayhouseSquare. I am also being compensated for co-hosting at the Cat. All musings are my own::

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back To Shellac - CND Rubble

I'm back to Shellac! I've always had great luck with it and even took a six month or so break to save some money see how my nails would do and, most importantly, try all the Zoya & Essie colors I'd been accumulating. My nails went back to their pre-shellac behavior of breaking and peeling every now and again. I missed being able to wash dishes without rubber gloves on and peeling labels off things without fear of breaking a nail. But what I missed most? The SHINE. Day-of, high-gloss shine even 2 weeks later. So I'm back and I adore it as much as I remember.

Color of the week: Shellac Rubble

Shellac Rubble - indirect sunlight

Shellac Rubble - direct sunlight

Please disregard the portion of my finger I inadvertently stabbed with a steak knife.

*manicure by Sarah at Dep Nails in North Olmsted 440.979.1008

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, New Look

Happy New Year! It's a whole new year, clean slate, fresh start and all that goodness. The wonderful Carrie over at Carrie Loves Design is responsible for the newest incarnation of SMITTEN that you see today.

Super-easy, quick, and quite lovely to deal with, she is your go-to girl should you need any design needs. From custom projects to pre-made templates on her etsy store, she's got exactly what you need for a multitude of budgets. Even if you're not sure exactly what it is you want. ...and don't forget to check out her creative blog!

Here are some of my faves:

I took a wee holiday break and I'm now ready to get back to the food, fashion and fun that is SMITTEN.


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