84th Academy Awards

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super jazzed about the Oscars this year, which is unusual for me. As a film lover, the Academy Awards is usually my number one awards show night of the year, followed by the Tonys. This year, none of the nominees intrigued me enough to do what I call my Oscar Catchup, where I spend a ton of money to see all of the films nominated in the month between the announcement and the the actual event that I hadn’t already seen.

I honestly meant to, but I never got around to it. This means, I don’t feel as if I can judge whether the winners deserved their awards or not, so I won’t. I’ll just talk about the fashion.

Best Dressed

via Hollywood Reporter

Choosing between Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad and Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford was probably the toughest decision I made all week (I know, I know, first world problems). J. Lo was sexy and classic, yet Gwyneth was minimal and modern. Ultimately, I decided on Gwyneth because that cape just took the entire look over the edge. She looked so chic and timeless.

Honorable Mentions

via Hollywood Reporter

Of course J. Lo is first on the Honorable Mentions. She was so close. Maybe next year.

via Hollywood reporter

Giuliana Rancic looked dazzling in Basil Soda. It’s almost like what a Vegas showgirl wears when she gets dressed up.

via Hollywood Reporter

Angelina Jolie (and her right leg that now has its own Twitter account: @angiesrightleg) stunned as always in Atelier Versace. She’s just a best dressed staple at this point.

via Hollywood Reporter

Octavia Spencer stayed faithful to the designer who best knows her curves, Tadashi Shoji; obviously with good reason seeing as she won an Oscar last night for Best Supporting Actress.

via Hollywood Reporter

Milla Jovovich wowed in Elie Saab Couture. I love the detailing and the sleeved one shoulder look.

Clearly, neutral tones were a huge trend on the red carpet and, as someone who always wears neutrals, I greatly appreciated it.

What do you think of the Oscars red carpet? Who was your favorite?

P.S. I’m still not over Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress. Sigh.

Friday Favorite: DVF and Current/Elliott Skinny Jeans

Diane Von Furstenberg teamed up with denim line Current/Elliott to create a capsule collection with colorful, floral, springtime prints including my new favorite skinnies ever:

Typically, I find tropical prints such as this to be tacky, but of course DVF finds a way to make it chic and sophisticated. This pair comes in two other bright colors but there’s something about chocolate that spoke to me. If my favorite from the collection isn’t enough to make you drool, browse through what’s already available from the collection here and find your own. As for me, these are going on my wish list (otherwise known as my “things-I-will-buy-when-I-have-a-real-person-salary” list). Happy Friday!

Homemade Spicy Chicken Empanadas

Awhile back, I made empanadas. Homemade empanadas. The entire process took around four hours but they were worth it. My three taste testers (i.e. my roommates) loved them. I used this recipe for the dough but I made my own filling, which I’ll write out down here. The green chimichurri sauce is from her site as well.

*Note* Because I used a whisk instead of a food processor, I added an extra cup of flour because the dough was still quite soupy and sticky. I only got about 10 empanadas out of the batch and I used the rim of a wide coffee mug to cut out the circles. The dough stretches out a lot when you fold over the empanada. Now, onto the filling…

Ingredients:

1LB Chicken Breast, cubed

1 Onion, diced

1 Tomato, diced

1 Green Pepper, diced

1 Bunch of Green Onions, chopped

A couple of ounces of goat cheese, crumbled

3 Tbs Chipotle Powder (or any spicy, hot red pepper)

1 Tbs Fresh Oregano, chopped (if you make the sauce, you won’t let any oregano go to waste)

2 Tbs Ground Cumin

Salt and Pepper

1 Egg, divided (for those who don’t cook, this means separate the egg white from the yolk)

*The instructions for cooking my filling is basically the same as Laylita’s but with different ingredients so I just revised hers and I take no credit for them.

1. Prepare the empanada dough and sit them on a plate in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are tender. While the onions are cooking, mix chicken, chipotle pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl chill until ready to use.

3. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently. Let the meat mixture cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.

4. To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a fingertipful of tomato and goat cheese.

5. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.

6. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 25 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Finished result:

I don't have a fancy camera or fancy photography skills but trust me, they're golden, delicious beauties.

I highly recommend trying these out on a Saturday or Sunday. If you do, be sure to tell me how they turn out for you!

Rihanna’s Birthday Cake

I’ve never been a huge fan of Rihanna, sure her style is amazing and her songs are catchy, but I have never connected with her enough to buy any of her albums. But, I was a big fan of Chris Brown in high school and I even went to his “Fan Appreciation” (read: good publicity) tour post-Rihanna (and I caught some flack for it from a couple of people), but lately he really has not put out anything I want to listen to either.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m not ride or die for either of them but I’m also not against them. I know everyone has their opinions on them remixing each other’s songs and possibly dating again and I wanted to put my two-cents in. I believe in second chances and if Rihanna is willing to give him a second chance then that’s her business, not ours. I think they are a ridiculously good-looking couple and if they are still in love all these years later (and Chris has gotten his anger issues under control) then I wish them the best. Chris made a mistake, I think he has more than repented for it, so I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to continue throwing it in his face. Everyone makes mistakes and you grow from them and move the eff on.

With that said, I’m kind of obsessed with “Birthday Cake,” because it’s so freaking catchy. It’s been on a constant loop in my mind since it came out yesterday. Give it a listen if you haven’t already!

Friday Favorite: Adele

Welcome to the first Friday Favorite! Every Friday I will post something or someone that I love and/or am currently obsessed with. This Friday, I’m profiling Adele. I have an unhealthy obsession with this woman and I’m not afraid to admit it.

If you ever watch her or read her interviews she’s so real and also incredibly humble about her amazing talent. I was thrilled when she swept the Grammys last weekend because she deserved every award she was nominated for. I’ve had her album ever since it came out and I am still not tired of any of her songs, which is saying something for me. Whenever I listen to Adele, I feel like she just gets me and her voice puts my soul at ease as I drift away to another place. And, she is one of the few singers that sounds the exact same live as on recording. Adele is a boss.

And because she is such a beautiful woman, I’m going to end this post with pictures of her.

credit: hypervocal.com

this month's Vogue cover

credit: magtrends.com

credit: theguardian.co.uk

Smash

I never judge a show by its pilot so I needed to give Smash a second episode before I could form an opinion on it. The first episode was so-so but at the end performance of “Let Me Be Your Star” gave me serious goosebumps and I knew I had to come back. I originally thought Smash would just be a grown-up version of Glee, but I’m glad I was wrong. It’s quite different and they focus more on narrative than musical numbers, which I appreciate.

But, with that said, the dialogue is lacking and the actors do the best that they can with the script. I really like that the musical numbers are incorporated into the storyline and the characters are consciously singing, unlike most musicals where the singing occurs spontaneously and outside of reality.

Here’s “Let Me Be Your Star.” I highly suggest you listen to it. It’s very moving and befitting of anyone who has big dreams; not even in the entertainment business. It describes the yearning anyone has to make a difference in the world. Aspiring politicians, doctors or scientists who want to find cures and vaccines, writers who want to touch the soul of their audience, or teachers who want to leave an impression on the students that come in and out of their lives. We all hunger for a face and a name to remember.

And speaking of Glee, in a strange coincidence “I Will Always Love You” was in the script for last night’s episodes and the decided to keep it in and wrote a nice note at the end for Whitney Houston. Amber Riley sang it very well in my opinion.

Grammys 2012

First off, rest in peace, Whitney Houston, Queen of Pop. Her passing was a very sad moment in our family history. My mom honestly feels like Whitney was one of her closest friends and as someone who grew up with her beautiful voice floating throughout my home, I feel as if I’ve lost someone important to my life as well. Her memory will live on forever in our hearts and we will always love her.

Onto the Grammys, anyone who knows me knows that I live for awards shows. All of them. Any of them. I watch them all (well, there are a few I can’t sit through…). I especially love the glamourous ones, such as the Grammys, where everyone wears gowns and tuxedoes. I don’t usually bother with worst dressed because why bother talking about something I don’t like? That is unless it’s especially heinous…

Unfortunately, no one really wowed me on the red carpet. All of the risks were bad ones and all of the good outfits were super safe. The best of the night for me was Jessie J. Although I hated her hair and the dress was average, the reflecting silver was beautiful.

photo credit: justjared.buzznet.com

Of course, my favorite performance was Jennifer Hudson. It was an emotional moment for all of us and I think the subtle way J. Hud sang showed that, as she was on the verge of tears the entire way through. Then, after that, Adele because I worship her and almost everyone else was either boring or annoying (I’m talking to you Nicki Minaj). I wish I could post the video but, you know, the copyright police are all over YouTube. So, here’s a link to one on Perez Hilton’s gossip blog.

What was your favorite (or least favorite) Grammy moment, outfit, or performance?