Fall Staples: Unique Watch, Plaid Thermos & Chic Camel Coat

FALL STAPLES: JORD FRANKIE SERIES WOOD WATCH | 
GENIUINE THERMOS® RED HERITAGE PLAID BOTTLE | VIP ME CAMEL LAPEL LONG COAT | 
PUMA VIKKY PLATFORM SUEDE SNEAKERS 

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY THERMOS L.L.C., JORD WOOD WATCHES, VIP ME FASHION & BLOG LOVIN' BUT THE CONTENT AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE ARE MY OWN.


The wintry chill is finally setting into the streets of Gotham and brrr! I need a warm cup of something to keep me going in the next colder months. That's why I've partnered with Genuine Thermos® Brand and created a non-dairy drink recipe to share with you guys! 

Non-Dairy Chai Latte

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 heaping Tbsp loose leaf black tea

1 whole anise pod

2 Tbsp whole chai spice blend - use less if ground

Cane sugar, honey or other sweetener of choice

1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (e.g; almond milk)

Dash of nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Add water, tea, anise and spices to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes to fully steep.
  2. Remove from heat and add non-dairy milk and sweetener of choice and stir. Warm for 2-3 minutes off the heat, and then pour over Geniuine Thermos® bottle using a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more for sugar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan) for sweetness, and ground cinnamon for a little extra warmth.

The Thermos® brand heritage plaid tumbler is an amazing vacuumed insulated beverage bottle. What's great about not just the design (how freaking cute is the red?!) but also its double purpose to being able to serve both hot and cold drinks. A perfect drink holder for someone like me that's always on the go! It's also a great stocking stuffer for the upcoming season. :)

Thermos® brand will be offering a limited time promotion that gives you guys the chance to enter to win Genuine Thermos® Brand products through a promotion that is hosted on the Thermos brand Facebook page. There will be a total of 10 randomly selected winners for the promotion. Thermos brand and Spong will be facilitating the shipments. Don't miss out! Click here now!

Along with my new favorite Thermos brand tumbler, there are a few other fall pieces I've been wearing nonstop that I know will transition into my winter wardrobe as well! The JORD wood watch I received is from the beautiful Frankie series in dark sandalwood and an emerald face. I was appreciative of their custom wrist measuring and the incredible green emerald face. It is such a cool, chic watch!

I'm so crazy for these unique watches I've partnered with JORD to bring you a special giveaway. Enter your name and email into the giveaway here to get a $20 gift card to any JORD watch. One lucky winner will receive a $75 gift card, but here's the score: Even if you don't win the giveaway, you still get the $20 gift card regardless, so what're waiting for?! The giveaway ends November 27th, so enter here now!

The other two fall staple pieces I've been obsessed with are the VIP ME camel lapel long coat with a belt and the cutest silver brooch. The coat fits me well and I love the back of it that flares out just a bit to bring a subtle, feminine touch. Use 'Suzanne379' to get $5 off your purchase of any order over $50! The PUMA suede Vikky platform sneakers are super comfy. I feel as if I'm walking on clouds when in them. They're truly amazing and know I'll be wearing them a lot more before the wet, snowy weather kicks in. These sneakers will be released on Dec. 15th in stores, so keep your eyes peeled for them! Also makes for another great holiday gift (or treat for yourself). 

Lastly, even though I stopped working as a figure skating coach (yup, that's right – on & off for ten years) before making the change the focus more on my career as a writer and digital content creator, I still love to go skating when possible! Before I even taught skating, I was a trained figure skater. The sport has always been a big part of my life, and though I've built a love/hate relationship with it – I still miss skating from time to time and am definitely thinking about doing a get-together with bloggers for a day of skating, more chai lattes and laughter! What do you guys think? I'd love to share this with you, imagine the fun to be had!   

LOVE & XX'S,

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Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by GOODFOODS but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 


Hi, everyone! I have to admit - this week hasn't been my best week. I've had all sorts of technical issues when it comes to work, but I just keep telling myself,

"Chill. It's just a camera, not an arm or a leg."

However, having one of my 'babies' behave erratically during an already chaotic time is not exactly in my favor. And I also experienced, once again, the lesson of saving your work every five minutes. I know, I know. Before you lecture me about this, writers, perhaps, have a tendency to get in 'the zone' and will automatically forget to save every few minutes. I know, hit CTL + S and you're good to go - alas, when I did, my computer crashed and needed to restart. So three hours of (IMO) a pretty snazzy article had to be redone from the start. Dislike button, much? Ugh, it really irks me when too much is happening all at once and you feel like you'll never finish anything. But with discipline & hard-earned perseverance, there's nothing I cannot do! I will overcome and conquer! It's all about knowing what's really important and keep on keeping on, right?  

Which is why I partnered with GOODFOODS and had to #SHARETHEGOODNESS of fresh, never artificial-anything, ingredients when it comes to pre-made foods. Whenever it get absolutely crazy around the Spiegoski-Decamps house, I try and 'cheat' my way around certain steps when it comes to cooking. No, nothing like a tv-dinner, but rather, shortcuts or an alternative way to get through a recipe and save time & energy. Yet still remaining true to healthy eating and incorporating that into our lifestyle daily. 

Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon

 photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 large Sweet Potato, cooked, unpeeled and mashed

4 slices Bacon, cooked

4-5 GOODFOODS Grab N' Go Chunky Guacamole

1/4c. Kimchi, chopped

1/4c. chicken broth

salt & pepper, evoo

Directions:

  1. Clean sweet potatoes leaving skin on. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove potatoes from water and cool. Peel and smash with fork. Mix in chicken broth, evoo, and s&p.
  3. Plate tortilla chips down on serving plate. Use a dollop of mashed sweet potato on each chip, followed by GOODFOODS Chunky Guacamole, bacon and kimchi.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

What I loved about GOODFOODS's Grab & Go Chunky Guacamole was not only did it come with tortilla chips perfect for appetizers along with the freshness of the guacamole, but its high quality taste. When you think of anything pre-made, your first instinct would be, 'no', but you want to know what is on their ingredients label? Hass avocados, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and garlic. Doesn't get anymore fresh than that! And this appetizer is perfect for any game day, no matter the team or sport, the combined flavors will leave everyone happy! Can make it for any tailgate or just an everyday snack too! I have to admit though, I'm more of a basketball fan rather than my husband's fascination with football. Boys.. ;)

You can find other GOODFOODS products here. They have different kinds of guacamole and other dips like a Greek yogurt one. Does artichoke jalapeño or feta cucumber sound enticing? Trust me when I say this, you won't be disappointed when you #SHARETHEGOODNESS with #GOODFOODS. To find a GOODFOODS store near you go here.

This post is sponsored by GOODFOODS, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


PHOTOS + VIDEOGRAPHY BY: SUZANNE SPIEGOSKI 

{NEW VIDEO PRESS PLAY} The latest on our YouTube channel - How to Make Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon! Mmmmm... Catch the RECIPE at www.suzannespiegoski.com Be sure to #Subscribe for new videos every week to see more of my style, food & cooking, beauty tutorials and more!

LOVE & XX'S,

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MaQ Shepherd's Pie

Sponsored Post: This post is intended for 21+ and sponsored by Wente Vineyards, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 Check out Wente Vineyards Wine  Here .

Check out Wente Vineyards Wine Here.

Happy Sunday! The fall season has arrived and you know what that means - I get to cook all my favorite recipes to share with you guys! I am also discussing more about my passion in cooking today with Wente Vineyards wine! You'll rarely see me drink a glass of red during the warmer seasons, but as soon as that crisp air kicks in, I'm stocking up on a ton of pinot noir! And Wente Vineyard's Riva Ranch Pinot Noir is absolutely delicious! I had to create a hearty Autumn dish to perfectly go with my new favorite wine!  

One of my go-to fall meals is the classic Shepherd's pie (or Cottage pie as it's sometimes called). Rich in ground beef with carrot, onion, & garlic, and topped with gorgeously browned mashed potatoes, I did a tiny twist on my creation. Using the German Shepherd rolling pin from Stodola, I created thin-like biscuits to put on top of the pie. I was going to go for a rectangular pastry puff piece, but was concerned it might come out too mushy on top of the mashed potatoes. So instead I made circular biscuits using a glass. I loved how the pastry gave the dish more texture. It's flaky goodness made me oh so happy!  

MaQ Shepherd's Pie

 Photos & recipe by  ©   Suzanne Spiegoski  

Photos & recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1.5lbs ground beef or lamb
Olive oil
1 large carrot
1 onion
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves
1/2c red wine (Wente Vineyard Riva Ranch Pinot Noir 2014)
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2c chicken broth
2Tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper
5 large potatoes
1/4c heavy cream
3Tbsp butter
2 egg yolk
1c Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Peel potatoes. Boil in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain, cool and set aside.
  3. Grate onion and carrot. Mince garlic and fresh herbs.
  4. Add olive oil in pan and cook meat until brown. Drain grease.
  5. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and salt & pepper.
  6. Add thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Add chicken broth. Cook on medium heat until most sauce has thickened.
  8. Meanwhile, mash potatoes in a bowl. Add salt & pepper, butter, heavy cream, egg yolks and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  9. Place meat in casserole dish. Then layer with mashed potato mixture. Take a fork and lightly poke.
  10. Cook in oven for 20-22 minutes. Serve immediately.

--- For the MaQ Shepherd biscuits, I used puff pastry and the German Shepherd rolling pin from here.

What's the secret to getting that nice golden color on the mashed potatoes? Parmesan cheese! I tried to focus the browning around the edges so the biscuits would have all the room they needed to also bake nicely on top.

Karl Wente, a 5th generation winemaker, blends his two passions of making wine and making music together. I love music and normally have some on while I cook (and maybe dance), and blending passions with Wente Vineyards is something you can do too! Watch Karl's video and share what inspires you or what you might pair your bottle of Wente wine with! I know I will be going through a ton more of red wines from them. :) 

Try Wente Vineyard wines and take advantage of their free shipping for a limited time only! Use code, 'JRNYSHIP1' and join the Wente newsletter to stay in touch with all things Wente! I used the Riva Ranch Pinot Noir 2014 wine to cook the minced meat with. Smooth and full of body it was also the perfect wine to accompany dinner with! I even got to enjoy dining al fresco afterward! Got to take advantage of this gorgeous weather we've been having in New York!  

What are your unexpected ways of pairing wine with your passion? I'd love to hear and see what favorite wines you all drink while out and about doing your favorite thaaaannng! Are you more into reds or whites? Maybe only rosé? Alright, Sunday Brunch is here and leftovers of MaQ Shepherd's Pie is calling my name! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone! 

LOVE & XX'S,

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Our Thanksgiving Spread

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was filled with warmth, love & full bellies! I am thankful for every day. Every sunrise or sunset I get to see makes me filled with gratitude. However I'm thankful most for my husband, Gilles and our fur baby, MaQ. They are my family and without them I'm not sure where I would be today. Their love makes each day worth getting up for. I love these two more than anything else in the world. Thank you both for always having my back.

Today's post is all about my cook-a-thon from yesterday's feast! I've been cooking our turkey's for the past 7 years and I must admit, this year's turkey was the best yet! I got a decent-sized bird to last us for days, just shy of 14 pounds! I panicked the first time I handled a turkey. The idea of cooking the darn thing was intimidating enough, let alone preparing all the side dishes and appetizers, cocktails, etc. Secondly, I was honestly grossed out. But now, with persistent practice in the kitchen, I prep faster and with more confidence, therefore with much more ease. It's a breeze now and I relish the idea of cooking a 20+lber one day, ha ha! This year was also the first time where I never felt overwhelmed! My cooking skills are improving, and I'm so happy to share with you my progress thus far! Here are a few tricks of the trade I've learned from the many Thanksgiving dinners I've made in the past years:

ALWAYS PREP IN ADVANCE! I can't tell you how many times I was that dingdong who'd rush to the market on the day of Thanksgiving. BAD Suz! BAD. Life is continuously hectic in New York, and I never could seem to manage to prepare anything beforehand and made everything on the actual day! This year in particular, I bought everything I needed the day before. Lol. I also made the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Eve, which definitely helped take off a little pressure from all the cooking on the day of.

BUTTER, BUTTER & MORE BUTTER. What's the secret to French cooking? That's right, folks, the more the better. If you want your turkey to have a super moist, rich taste, the key is where you put the butter. I like to season mine first with a variety of herbs & seasonings, then take the mixture and place it under the skin. The trick is to not to rip the entire skin off though. I will poke a hole through each end on both sides, and will especially be generous with the butter when it comes to the breast. I put most of the butter in this section because this part of the turkey has a tendency to be the most dry.

COVER TURKEY WITH FOIL. Remove the foil when there is only 1 hour left to finish cooking the bird. This is the time to baste the turkey from the cooked juices, I usually try to do this every 10-15 minutes (for an hour), giving it a nice brown on the skin. Doesn't it look delicious?!

USE UNFLAVORED DENTAL FLOSS TO TIE THE LEGS. It's easy to remove and even easier to tie if you have an extra pair of hands. (Thanks, hubby bear for the awesome teamwork!) I'm not sure what everyone else uses, but I've been using this method for years and it's never failed to secure them tightly!

A VARIETY OF SIDES GOES A LONG WAY. Some of my favorite trimmings are mashed potatoes and stuffing (or dressing as the South calls it). I could literally survive on the stuff! But you never know who's going to show up, so it's a good thing to mix it up and try different and new recipes. I also made my version of candied yams & apples, which is on the sweeter side comparatively to the other dishes. Salad is also a great starter. I mixed mine with mushrooms, red & yellow peppers, onion, cucumbers, tomatos and shredded carrots. I also will normally have some kind of bread at the table but I totally forget about it in the photo! Last are the cranberry sauce and green beans which are always winners.

HOW TO GET THE FLUFFIEST MASHED POTATOES. A whisk! Just whip those taters up like you're whisking eggs and it'll be the airiest potatoes of your life! Secret's also in the right amount of butter and milk. Don't forget the salt too!

APPEARENCE DOES COUNT. Any kind of decorative effort brings liveliness to a place/setting. Whether it's flowers, funky-looking squash and pumpkins, or a fabulous table runner, I try to keep the spread looking simple yet appealing. Plus, you'll still have all your decorations after which will still keep your place looking fun and festive, unless you like to jump into Christmas right away.  :)

What are some of your favorite tricks for Thanksgiving dinners? Favorite sides? What about your least favorite dish you still come across? Like fruitcake during Christmas? Ha ha! Have a safe rest of your Black Friday and enjoy the Holiday weekend! <3

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

Parsnip Risotto With Beets And Walnuts

We're less than a week from Thanksgiving! It's my favorite holiday and my love for cooking is at it's ultimate height this month! Lots of turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry everything; I'm drooling over my keyboard as I type!

Every year for Thanksgiving I try to come up with a different dish in addition to my more traditional dishes. This week, I tried out a recipe I discovered on Pinterest through the Love With Food website. A risotto lover (hubby included), I was excited with the idea of putting more earthy flavors and tones with the rice component. Parsnips are naturally sweet and have always paired well with the pungent taste of beets, in my opinion.

Parsnip Risotto With Beets And Walnuts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 medium large parsnips, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 & 1/2 cups risotto rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable bouillon
  • 100 grams walnuts, chopped
  • 4 large beets, peeled and boiled
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1/5 cup soy yogurt or soy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Peel the onions and cut in small pieces.
  2. Peel and cut parsnips in medium bite-sized chunks.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the onions until glassy.
  4. Add the risotto rice and mix to coat the rice with the oil.
  5. Add the white wine and cook until the wine has been absorbed.
  6. Add the parsnips and half of the vegetable bouillon and cook, stirring until the bouillon has been absorbed. Add other half after, stirring continuously.
  7. Slice the cooked beets.
  8. Heat the vegan margarine in a second frying pan.
  9. Add the chopped walnuts and lightly toast.
  10. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add to the walnuts.
  11. Add the beet slices and cook at light heat to warm the beets.
  12. When the risotto is soft, add the soy yogurt and mix well.
  13. Serve the risotto on a large serving platter with the beets and walnuts on top of the risotto and garnished with a dollop of soy yogurt (optional), a few walnut pieces and thyme leaves.

I love thyme and it perfectly goes well with the walnuts, though next time I would love to try this recipe with actual butter and cheese (mmmm... fatty alert) because the soy yogurt was really not my thing! I didn't even bother to add the dollop on top, though the recipe calls for it.

Are you a risotto fanatic like me? What are some of your favorite risotto recipes? Whatever plans you have for this weekend, we hope it's a relaxing and enjoyable one!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz