• World Market Blog: Outdoor Date Night with Chris Loves Julia

    Sometimes corralling a babysitter to hang with the kids while you and the spouse escape is, well, hard. Expensive. And only lasts for one evening! But if you take some time to spruce up your outdoor space and make it special, you can lock the kids inside and have an outdoor date night all to yourselves.

    Accessories Make the Space

    Three years ago, we added a deck to our backyard, but every year we find ways to improve it and enjoy it a little more. This year, we added two three-seater sofas for long summer nights chatting away with even more family and friends, a pouf to prop our feet up, my favorite vase of all time and a few other accessories from World Market to make our outdoor living space look (and function) just as good as our indoors.

    Outdoor Date Night Ideas

    During the day, we basically live out here. Our girls running around from the swingset to the couches, kneeling around the table for a quick drink. But after the sun goes down and they’re all tucked in, it’s our favorite spot to unwind together. And what’s an outdoor date night under the stars without a perfect snack– a charcuterie board! Here’s how to put together a simple one with ingredients (and that killer board) you can find at World Market.

    Building a Charcuterie Board for Two

    When the night is settling in and you finally have a quiet moment to spend with that special someone, a charcuterie board is a great way to incorporate snacks without feeling like you’ve gone overboard on the food. But the key to charcuterie is balancing sweet, salty, and rich flavors, as well as incorporating a variety of textures, while keeping it light. Here are a few tips for building a charcuterie board for two.

    1. Limit yourself to two meats, and about 6-8 thin slices of each. I like including a nice Italian Salame, as well as some kind of ham like prosciutto. And for cuddling up close, maybe avoid the spicy or garlicky meats.

    2. Include two crunchy elements. I like one to be sweet and the other to be salty, so some simple water crackers and shortbread cookies are reliably appreciated. Even for those with gluten sensitivities, you can find good options.

    3. While you want sweetness included, you don’t want it to be candy levels of sweetness. So add a small handful of dried fruit – figs are a favorite and go great with cured meats, but dried cherries or peaches are also great.

    4. Like the meats, limit yourself to two cheeses – one sliced and sharp, like a good cheddar, and the other rich and spreadable, perhaps with a spoonful of preserves.

    5. Always include an element of brightness, like Greek olives or sweet baby pickles. The brine will help cut through the fats present in the meat and cheese, and will help this snack not sit so heavy in the belly.

    You can absolutely make your backyard a perfect little haven. It doesn’t take a zillion dollars and it doesn’t have to take forever. The only thing standing between you and an outdoor date night like this is a comfy spot to sit, a beautiful array of nibbles (maybe some wine?) and the kids’ bedtime. Happy snuggling!

    Discover more outdoor decor for your space, and get more details about the Chris Loves Julia backyard makeover!

    For more World Market blogs, go to: http://www.worldmarket.com/blog/

  • Cocktail & Dessert Pairings: The Latest Trends For 2018 from Sift Dessert Bar

    The Bar Series: Cocktail and Dessert Pairings

    Just about everyone’s heard of dessert pairings with wine or beer, but there’s one more unexplored frontier in the world of booze and sweets: cocktails. This is a big challenge considering that cocktails are usually made more for sipping on their own or enjoying with a meal than an after-dinner dessert. However, it’s a challenge we’re totally up for.

    Mixed drinks bring a whole new complexity to the table. By their very nature, they combine flavors in a way that’s intended to bring out a unique flavor in the drink itself, which means it can be tough to pair it with food that meets it beat for beat. Mixologists are both chemists and innovators, coming up with all kinds of cool, experimental cocktails that linger on the palate long after you take that last sip. So we had to choose our cocktails carefully. Enjoy the results!

    Salted Caramel White Chocolate Chip Cookie & Hot Buttered Rum

    Salt and liquor just seem to go together, particularly when you’re trying to enhance the other flavors of the drink. That’s why we chose Hot Buttered Rum for our first cocktail. It’s a delicious cold-weather treat, and it has a delightful level of spice and sweetness that pairs beautifully with salted caramel and white chocolate.

    To make spiced buttered rum, you can make your own spiced butter by following a recipe online – usually, it’s softened butter mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. All your favorite holiday spices. From there, take one ounce of spiced rum, add a tablespoon of the butter, and top with hot water. Blend well, and add some honey, an orange slice, or maple syrup for more sweetness. Yum! Enjoy alongside plenty of cookies.

    The O.G. Cupcake & Triple Espresso Martini


    Coffee and chocolate, are we right? Of course, we are. This is a long-beloved pairing, and with a little creativity, you can kick it up a notch. There are a few different methods of creating this cocktail – you can brew and cool espresso and add it to vodka, or start with espresso-infused vodka, either purchased or homemade. Blend with coconut rum, a splash of amaretto, and a touch of chocolate liquor for a wonderful coffee lover’s dream cocktail.

    Obviously, the absolute best pairing for this tasty drink is an equally tasty chocolate cake. Our O.G. Cupcake is chocolate cake filled with white chocolate mousse and topped with our signature cream cheese cookies ‘n cream frosting. Each flavor blends seamlessly with coffee, coconut, and amaretto in the drink to leave a lingering creamy, sweet, luxurious taste on your tongue. A must-try!

    Elderberry Macarons & Lemon Drop

     Who doesn’t love the sweet and sour classic Lemon Drop? It’s tart, it’s refreshing, it’s delightful. Simply blend lemon juice, vodka, triple sec, and simple syrup to make it. Take a sip, then turn to your dessert pairing: an Elderberry Macaron. Yes!

    Elderberries are tart, sweet, and juicy, exactly like this lemon drop. However, they have a signature berry flavor, which is absolutely wonderful alongside the bright citrus flavor of lemons. You may be familiar with using lemon to brighten up blueberry dishes, and the same principle works here. They play off each other beautifully.

    Challenge complete! When you’re indulging in sugary treats, it’s a good idea to use a lighter hand with the sugar in your drinks so that you don’t overwhelm your sweet tooth. The drinks featured here certainly play with sweetness, but they also rely on spice or tartness to balance it out. If you’d like to experiment with your own cocktails, it’s a good trick to keep in mind!

    We’re always happy to Sift deliver cupcakes and other sweets to your home or event space. For our local friends, picking up at any of our locations is easy – we’re located throughout the San Francisco and North Bay Area. Be sure to check out the other pairings in our Bar Series!

    For more Sift Dessert Bar blogs, go to: https://www.siftdessertbar.com/blogs/love-cupcakes-the-sift-blog

  • Pure Barre: 10 Ways to Improve your Workout Motivation

    Those who succumb to lethargy covet the perseverance inherent to the impeccably chiseled and impossibly fit. Fortunately, we can employ proactive measures and practical tactics that’ll make our desire for a healthy lifestyle far more than a pipe dream. In fact, fitness aficionados have dedicated their experience and expertise to devising motivational strategies. For those who don’t fancy themselves a natural-born athlete, here are some techniques you should heed if you wish to cultivate motivation.

    1. Monitor Your Progression

    An improvement of any magnitude is worth documenting. Tracking your progress helps bolster confidence and cement motivation. When you hold yourself accountable, the chances of skimping on a workout considerably lessen. Whether you document your progress via pictures or charts, noting your growth bodes well for favorable outcomes.

    2. Bid Farewell To Outside Influences

    Though our society is riddled with demoralizing pressures, it’s imperative not to lose sight of the goal you want to achieve. Incessantly comparing yourself to others is a toxic deterrent, so be sure to remain goal-oriented and focus solely on yourself.

    3. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

    An innocuous incentive is warranted every now and again. Rewarding yourself to new protein powders and workout gear instills enjoyment into the process, so go ahead and treat yourself!

    4. Find Solace In Others

    Braving the workout journey alone is ill-advised. Confiding your misgivings and stumbling blocks to a trusted confidant makes working out more endurable. There’s no shame in admitting you need support, so be sure to seek consolation if need be.

    5. Unburden Yourself From Guilt

    It’s human nature for us to cast the first stone on ourselves. In order to thrive, we mustn’t be so hard on ourselves. In essence, knowing how to give yourself grace is conducive to a healthy lifestyle and productive workout regimen.

    6. Establish A Good Rapport With Fellow Gym-Goers

    If you frequent a specific environment, you’d likely want it to be a convivial one. Knowing that your gym session will be rife with friendly and familiar faces will undoubtedly motivate you to workout. With that said, try to make fast friends with others who have embarked on the same fitness endeavor as you.

    7. Rise And Shine

    Though mornings can be gruesome, they’re also prime time for working out. Condition yourself to wake with the sun if you want to see a stark difference in your motivation levels.

    8. Don’t Expect The World Of Yourself

    While it’s paramount to set goals, it’s equally as essential for those aspirations to be attainable. While an hour-long gym workout may be what you desire, you’ll likely have to work up to it. In short, you should establish realistic targets while making earnest efforts to achieve them.

    9. Don’t Harp On Past Blunders

    Perhaps this is your second or third attempt at abiding by a workout schedule. If so, don’t allow previous drawbacks to dampen your momentum. As an attempt to stay steadfast in your current undertaking, allow the past to remain in the past.

    10. Acquire A Cheerful Disposition

    Optimism is the cornerstone of success. With that said, it’s crucial to maintain a positive and optimistic mindset. One bad day doesn’t define your entire progress, so take the journey in stride.

    For more blog posts, go to: http://purebarre.com/blog/

  • Trader Joe's Grilled Flat Iron Steak

    Consider this your basic blueprint to achieving grilled steak goodness: nail down the technique in this recipe, then change things up with marinades, seasonings, and oils, and you can have steak on the menu all summer long.

    A word to the wise—grill temperatures can vary widely! Use the recommended cooking time below as a starting point, and adjust as necessary to the quirks of your grill.

    Serves: 4  Prep Time: 25 Minutes  Cooking Time: 7 - 8 Minutes

    INGREDIENTS

    - 
Steaks

    - 
2 packages (4 steaks) TJ's USDA Choice Premium Angus Beef Flat Iron Chuck Steak


    - 
TJ's Olive Oil


    - 
TJ's Sea Salt & Black Pepper Grinders


    - 
Supplies

    - 
Meat thermometer




    DIRECTIONS


    - Remove steaks from packaging. Rub each each steak generously with olive oil, and salt and pepper both sides. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cover and let rest about 20 minutes before you're ready to grill.
    - Heat grill to high. Place steaks in the center of the grill and cook 4 minutes (don't touch them at all during this time—this ensures you achieve maximum grill marks!).
    - Reduce heat on center burners to medium. Flip steaks and cook 3-5 minutes more, to desired doneness*. Remove steaks from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


    Degree of Doneness:
    - Rare (cool red center)—125°F
    - Medium-Rare (warm red center)—135°F
    - Medium (warm pink center)—145°F
    - Medium-Well (slightly pink center)—150°F
    - Well (little or no pink)—160°F

    *The USDA recommends steaks and roasts be cooked to 145°F (medium) and then rested for at least 3 minutes.

    For more Trader Joe's recipes, go to: https://www.traderjoes.com/recipes

  • Whole Foods: Try the Trend

    Dutch Baby Pancakes

    A Dutch baby pancake is a pancake-crêpe-popover hybrid that is a match for lots of sweet and savory toppings and is large enough to share. Plus, it has a party trick — it puffs up in the oven though quickly fall once removed from the oven. Once cooked, choose from a myriad of toppings to really make it your own. Try powdered sugar, syrup, fruit preserves, lemon curd and big wedges of fresh lemon, cinnamon sugar, your favorite nut butter or seasonal fresh fruit like berries and mangoes.

    Check out this basic Dutch baby recipe then pull inspiration from these six examples below.

    1. Chocolate

    This cocoa-based Dutch baby from @theoliveandmango is topped with rich chocolate sauce and a strawberry sauce. It would also be a crowd-pleasing dessert after dinner or brunch.

    2. Lemon & Blueberry

    The fruit-filled Dutch baby by @thetravelingspoonchef takes a classic dessert pairing — sweet and tart — and creates something that would be celebrated during breakfast too.

    3. Spring Onion


    You had us at goat cheese. Who says Dutch baby pancakes need to be sweet? This version with spring onions, herbs and goat cheese, would be a perfect star on a weekend brunch table. Credit: @rhubarbariansblog

    4. Lemon Ricotta & Tomatoes

    This take on a savory Dutch baby pancake is one to save for summer’s highly prized tomatoes. Enjoy more flavor in every bite by adding fresh herbs into the batter, then top with tangy lemon ricotta and sliced tomatoes. This is a pancake you can enjoy for any meal. Credit: @dianemorrisey

    5. Chai-spiced


    Tea lovers will rejoice in the sweet, aromatic spice mixture in this custardy Dutch baby pancake. Bonus: It can be mixed up the evening before and just given a quick whisk in the morning before baking. Credit: @paulajroy

    6. Apple

    Ever wish you could have apple pie for breakfast? This Dutch baby packed with sliced apples and topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar will satisfy that pie craving in the morning hours. Blogger @ashmmccormick also has recipes for lemon and berry compote versions.

    To see the original blog post, visit http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog

  • Trader Joe's: Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich Recipe


    Serves: 6 - 8  Prep Time: 5 Minutes  Cooking Time: 25 - 30 Minutes

    INGREDIENTS

    For Pulled Jackfruit

    - 
2 cans TJ’s Green Jackfruit in Brine
    - 
1 1/2 cups TJ’s Organic Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce & Marinade
    - 
1 tablespoon TJ’s Olive Oil
    - 
3 tablespoons Water
    
- 1 package TJ’s Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns
    - 
1 TJ’s Yellow Onion, diced, for garnish



    
For Tangy Cole Slaw
    - 
1 bag TJ’s Organic Shredded Green & Red Cabbage with Orange Carrots
    - 
1/4 cup TJ’s Mayonnaise (or TJ's Greek Yogurt)
    - 
1/4 cup TJ’s Apple Cider Vinegar
    - 
TJ's Salt & Pepper, to taste

    DIRECTIONS

    Prepare Pulled Jackfruit:
    Drain jackfruit and pat dry. Partially shred jackfruit chunks into smaller pieces. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add jackfruit and sauté for five minutes. Add BBQ sauce and water to pan and stir to evenly coat jackfruit. Cover pan and simmer on medium-low heat, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally and pulling jackfruit apart as it becomes tender. 

    Prepare Tangy Cole Slaw: While jackfruit cooks, in a large bowl, toss cabbage blend with mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

    Prepare Sandwiches: Place a scoop of pulled jackfruit on the bottom of a bun. Top with diced onions, coleslaw, and bun top. Eat and repeat until satisfied!

    To see original recipe, go to 👉🏻 https://www.traderjoes.com/recipes

  • Global Connections: Drink a Great Cup, Do a Good Thing.

    Coffee thrives where people do. We support the communities where our beans are grown, lending hands and knowledge to make life and coffee better.


    Spreading the Wealth of Knowledge

    Partnering with TechnoServe to wield coffee for positive change

    Peet's has worked with many of the same exceptional farmers and estates for over 40 years. What we've learned in that time holds true today: where the land is respected and the people who farm it live well, the coffee is – quite simply – better. In 2000, we partnered with international non-profit TechnoServe to spread that wealth, teaching small-scale farmers how to craft quality coffee that fetches a market premium.

    TechnoServe is committed to creating opportunities that directly benefit the rural poor. As they see it, economic development is what drives sustainable social progress; schools, health clinics and libraries cannot be maintained without financial resources, which are generated by profitable businesses and the jobs and incomes they provide. Since 1968, TechnoServe has worked in a total of 22 developing countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa.

    Starting with our former Chairman, Jerry Baldwin, our team of coffee experts has spent the last decade traveling the globe with TechnoServe, providing world-class advice on how coffee growers can improve their quality and earn higher prices selling to the specialty market. Peet's has worked successfully with small-scale farmers in Rwanda, Tanzania and other parts of Africa, helping them elevate their coffee quality to become regular Peet's producers. Our popular Uzuri African Blend is made up entirely of TechnoServe coffees.

    Our partnership with TechnoServe yields dividends for all involved. Just as any truly sustainable solution should.

    To learn more about TechnoServe's coffee work or make a donation, please visit: http://www.TechnoServe.org

    View a video about the farmers behind Uzuri African Blend.

    Original blog post 👉🏻 https://www.peets.com/blog

  • Target Stylist Zanna Roberts Rassi Is Here to Help You Get Your Closet Ready for Spring


    With temps beginning to rise and long, sunny days on the horizon it’s the perfect time to update your closet with a few new on-trend pieces from Target-exclusive brands A New Day, JoyLab and Who What Wear! But don’t put your winter wear away just yet! There’s still plenty of ways to incorporate your favorite pieces into your spring looks. We tapped Target Stylist Zanna Roberts Rassi to share how to declutter and transition your closet like a pro. Check it all out, below!

    Spring is here! What advice do you have for guests looking to clean out their winter wardrobe?

    The end of one season and beginning of another is the optimal time to clean out your winter wardrobe! Although time consuming, the best tip to cleaning out a wardrobe is to try things on—effectively “shopping” your wardrobe. When it’s on, ask yourself, does it make you happy? Would you buy it all over again? What’s a new way you could wear this next year that you haven’t tried? Think about ways you can transition your favorite winter pieces into warmer months.

    Which winter items will you keep in rotation for transitional spring dressing?

    Universal Thread denim. No matter what the season, denim is my fail safe. Jeans in the winter with sweaters, in the summer with crisp white shirts and bodysuits with heels for night. Basically I can’t dress without it!

    Sweatshirts with everything—but there is always a balance. Jeans and heels, skirts and sneaks, oversized with tights as dresses. I’ll wear them for the gym, to dinner, you name it!

    Midi dresses are perfect in summer with a cute flat, or in winter with tights and a turtleneck underneath.

    What are some of your top tips for reorganizing a particularly messy closet?


    If your closet is really bad, I find the best way to reorganize is to simply empty it and start fresh. Throw everything on your bed and use the four pile strategy: toss, tailor, donation station, keep. When putting things back, I swear by color coordinating. We do this on set and it’s the easiest way for your brain to sort!

    Another tip I’ve adopted is putting items away with the hanger hooked backwards. After you wear the item, hang it back the right way. After a month, you’ll see what you’re actually wearing and next time decluttering will be a breeze.

    What new items from Target are you adding to your wardrobe this season?


    Anorak: The days of choosing between fashion and function are finally over! The runway was crawling with these updated jackets.
    Rain Boots: With everything.
    Mules: Equally perfect with denim or a dress.
    Cropped Jeans: With a deep cuff!
    Matching printed suit: Wear it as one cool suit or split up and wear with jeans and neutrals!

    Shop Zanna’s spring picks and more in stores or online at Target.com!

    See the original blog post: 👉🏻 https://corporate.target.com/article/2018/03/zanna-roberts-rassi-spring-wardrobe

  • Beets are Beautiful


    Beets are a superfood powerhouse. They are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (good for bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas), betaine, and vitamin B folate. Together folate and betaine help lower blood levels of homocysteine, which can increase your risk of heart disease by causing artery-damaging inflammation. Not to mention beets have been used throughout history for lip and cheek stains! They’re the perfect whole-body beauty food.


    Beet Beauty Juice

    • 1 medium beet
    • 4 stalks kale
    • 1 ½  cups coconut water
    • ¾ cup water
    • ½ apple
    • ½ inch fresh ginger
    • ¼ inch fresh turmeric
    • Optional: ½ lemon
    • Place in Vitamin and blend into a juice. But don’t strain, sip the fiber!
    • Put aside 2 teaspoons to use to activate your Sumbody mask. Try it with our Renew or Rehydrating Get Extreme.

    Simple Steamed Beet Salad

    • Dice beats in ¼ inch squares.
    • Steam until tender and cool.
    • Toss in juice of 1 grapefruit (or the meat of the grapefruit), 1 tablespoon olive oil, 
    • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Top with toasted pine nuts.
    • Optional: goat cheese.

    See the original post at 👉🏻 https://www.sumbody.com/beets-are-beautiful/


  • Bel Aire Plaza Easter Event!

    Bel Aire Plaza is excited to announce this fun event for the family! Get your pictures with the Easter Bunny. And we'll have face painters there, too!

    IMPORTANT: bring your own camera!

    The EASTER BUNNY is hopping over to Bel Aire Plaza at the Patio at Copperfield's and Whole Foods


    Saturday, March 24


    11am - 2pm


    
WIN FABULOUS PRIZES 
FROM THE MERCHANTS AT BEL AIRE PLAZA

 

    Sift Dessert Bar - $25 Gift Card


    Pharmaca - $50 value Gift Basket


    Copperfield's Books - $40 Gift Card

    
La Vie Nail Spa - $35 Gift Card


    Heritage Eats - $25 Gift Card



    Whole Foods - Two $25 Gift Cards

    Lark Shoes - $25 Gift Card

    Just complete the entry form at the Info Table at Copperfield's Books on the day of the event for a chance to win.

    Winners will be emailed or texted by Friday, March 30th if you are a winner! Your prize will be waiting for you at the Bel Aire Plaza merchant who is giving you the prize.

    Good luck!

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