Friday, February 27, 2015

Frock Fridays: Spring Switchover

Three things have happened in the last week to make me want to buy some new dresses: winter finally lost its magic, I've started doing my biannual assessment of my wardrobe, and our tax refund came through.  A dangerous combination, wouldn't you say?

But really - I would rip all of my tights to shreds if I could.  Never seeing another boot again would make me a happy woman.  And my coat is desperate to go to the dry cleaner and then to hibernate for nine months in my closet.  I am so over being covered up all the time!  I can't wait for the first day of bare legs and ballet flats this spring.

I'm no less ruthless when it comes to my closet and dresser.  When the season truly begins to change, I'll go through every drawer and hanger; I'll make one pile of things to be packed away until fall, another of pieces to donate, and a third to trash.  Then I'll pull out one of the boxes from under my bed and rediscover what I packed away when the weather turned cool.  (By the way, I've used the same two under-bed storage boxes since high school and totally recommend them for both their functionality and their longevity.)  Most of what I stored will be found homes in my closet and dresser, but some items will probably be tossed onto the "donate" pile because my measurements and tastes have changed a bit since September.

Those aren't reasons enough to buy new dresses, of course, but seeing some extra money in our bank account makes me feel like I could maybe, just maybe, justify one new frock!  I'm loving these for spring...

spring dresses
top row, left to right: Lands' End / Lands' End / Lands' End / Boden / Boden
bottom row: left to right: Gap / Ann Taylor / Escada

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Easy Not-Too-Sweet Granola

It's still absolutely freezing in DC, which generally calls for hot breakfasts: oatmeal, cinnamon raisin bagels toasted with cream cheese, those reduced-fat turkey bacon sandwiches from Starbucks... Unfortunately, though, most of my favorite hot breakfast options start the day off on a really heavy note.  Even Weight Watchers-friendly oatmeal feels too dense for right now.  I want light!  I want fresh!  I want spring!

Ah, there's the crux of it - I want spring.  I want weather that doesn't demand comfort food.  And that, at the moment, seems impossibly far away.

So let's fake it, shall we?  Cook light and the warm weather shall come.  And therefore I give you my new (cobbled together from a few different recipes around the web using things I already had in the house) granola.  Sprinkled over half a cup of fat-free Greek yogurt with a sliced banana, half a cup of this delicately sweet and perfectly crunchy granola brings us to a 6 PlusPoint breakfast and, hopefully, spring.

Apple Sauce Granola
serves 12

2c Cheerios
3c quick oats
6 tbs honey
1/2 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
113g unsweetened apple sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spread the Cheerios and quick oats out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients together in a medium bowl.  When the grains come out of the oven, pour them into the bowl and combine well.  Spread the granola evenly across the baking sheet, trying to keep as many clumps together as possible and bake again for 15 minutes, tossing once again and checking regularly in the last 5 minutes.  You want the granola to get as brown as possible without burning.  Remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy as preferred!