Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Art Of Contrast

    Hello sweeties! First and foremost, thank you to all those who actually sent me tea recommendations, I'm feeling a lot better now! The weather upstate has been temperamental as of late. On some days it's brutally freezing, and on others it's pretty decent. On one of the good days, I opted for this cream sweater dress I got from H & M, and paired it with a black leather vest and a light scarf. I love the nice contrast these pink heels add to the entire outfit. In preparation for the "back to basics" trend this Spring as seen at Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang and a few other fashion designers, I decided to go for basic colors such as black and white. I'm certainly looking forward to the weather getting warmer(spring break!!!). I had to wear a jacket over this outfit because even the good days just aren't warm enough. Oh well, at least it was sunny out :).

                                 Hope everyone's having a great week thus far! Thanks for reading - Onivie xo!
                         Sweater Dress - H&M, Leather Vest - Forever 21 (here), Scarf - H&M, Heels - Payless


Friday, January 18, 2013

Tea Party!

    Unfortunately, I'm quite ill as I write this, I have the flu. However, one thing I have learnt to appreciate is the healing power of tea! Nothing beats a cup of mint tea after a long day. I was incessantly coughing all day yesterday, and decided to make myself some before going to bed. It immediately helped with the cough and congestion due to its cool and refreshing flavor. I slept like a baby afterwards. :)

    Besides mint, I enjoy other tea flavors - lemon, green tea, English breakfast etc. In order to make my teatime more sweet, I added hand made paper strings to the tea bags. I pretty much just cut out decorative paper, glued them together using a glue stick, sewed them together (similar to how I sew in buttons) and attached them to the teabags using the same needle and thread. Not bad, right? I think this serves as a great idea for parties and weddings as well!

                                    If you have any recommendations on tea flavors, please let me know!

                                                                  Thanks for reading - Onivie xo!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Snap Crust

This has become one of my favorite dessert recipes to make because it's just so easy and yummy of course! I never really liked sweet potatoes growing up. I became so accustomed to Irish potatoes, and didn't quite understand why potatoes had to be "sweet". I would still pick Irish potatoes over sweet potatoes today (especially when it comes to fries), which is why when my sister told me about this recipe I was highly cynical. However, in my opinion, this tastes nothing like sweet potatoes (yay!) and in fact tastes more like pumpkin pie. One thing I really like about this recipe is that the crust is made out of ginger snap cookies which is a very tasty alternative.

 You Will Need

  •    25 gingersnap cookies
  •    7 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled)
  •    1 medium sweet potato (peeled and cut into large chunks)
  •    2 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  •    1/2 teaspoon of salt
  •    3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  •    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •    Pinch of ground cloves
  •    1/4 cup of sugar
  •    3 large eggs
  •    1 cup of condensed milk

   Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

   Start by putting the cookies in a blender and pulse until it is fairly fine. Pour it into a bowl, mix it with 4 tablespoons of melted butter and press the mixture into the sides and bottom of a 9 inch (I used a 9 and a half inch) pie pan. Bake for about 15 minutes until it is slightly dark and set aside.

   Turn your oven up to 375 degrees. Fill a saucepan with water and boil your sweet potato until it is tender (this took about 45 minutes). In a bowl, combine flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and keep aside. Pass the potato through an electric mixer. While doing this, add the milk, eggs, sugar and mix until well combined. Stir in the remaining 3 spoons of melted butter until combined. Add the dry flour mixture and mix! mix!! mix!!! (If you don't have an electronic mixer for this part, you can use manually mix it in a mixing bowl).

  Pour the mixture into the cooled gingersnap crust and bake until it is set for about 35 minutes(You can dip a knife in and if it comes out dry, then it is probably set. You don't have to dip it too deep in). Serve at room temperature, with ice-cream/whipped cream if desired. I had it with cookie-dough flavored ice-cream (as you can see from the pictures), and it was delicious!

                                                                              Thanks for reading - Onivie xo!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Peplum & Peter-Pan ✿


    Happy Thursday everyone (not that there's any thing really special about Thursdays lol). I'm so glad I am getting the time to blog tonight, hopefully I can keep it up. The other day, my brother and I dressed up to church, and I figured I'd share our outfits with you guys! Albeit I am back in school and adjusting to the cold weather, these pictures enable me pleasantly reminisce about the good ol' sunny days!
   I'm presently in love with this dress! With fashionable details such as the peaked shoulder, a solid Peter Pan collar, a ruffle peplum, a sleek silhouette and realistic blossoms on a black background, this knit dress makes me feel sophisticated and fits perfectly in place. :)

Thanks for reading! - Onivie xo

Dress - Modcloth, Hot Pink Blazer (sister's) - JcPenney, Vintage Clutch - Forever 21, Rose-Gold Watch - Liz Claiborne. 

Rock my brother's look! - Blazer - Express, Dress Shirt - Tommy Hilfiger, Red Bowtie - Sean John (you can get one at Macy's), Jeans - Calvin Klein, Shoes - Aldo

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Buba and Wrapper - Nigerian Fashion

        The name of the outfit I have on is called a buba and wrapper. The buba (pronounced "boo-bah") is the blouse I have on, and the wrapper is wrapped around the blouse. This outfit it is widely worn in West Africa, and my mom particular brought it from Nigeria. :)
        Growing up, I always thought this was more of an archaic trend, probably because the only people around me I saw wear it were my mom and aunts. However, it's back in style and we young folks are definitely rocking it lol! I particularly love the print on the one I have on, you can see other patterns here.

                                                   My sister and I fooling around lol.

         Buba and Wrapper - Made in Nigeria. (If you're interested in buying one, let me know and I'll see what I can do), Necklace - Forever 21, Earrings - Aldo, and Rose-Gold Watch - Liz Claiborne

                                                     Thanks for reading - Onivie xo!

Puff-Puff (Nigerian Recipe)

   Puff-puff is a spongy/fluffy Nigerian snack that is deep fried. My younger sister made some the other day, and they were really delicious! Prior to this, the relationship I had had with puff-puff was a love-hate one. Sometimes, when I made it properly, I loved it and other times it was just a complete disaster! My sister finally showed me the right way to do it, and was nice enough to allow me share this recipe on here :D

 You Will Need

  • Three cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (avoid putting too much sugar so it rises).
  • 1 teaspoon on baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast
  • A pinch of salt
  • Two cups of lukewarm water
  • Vegetable Oil (It doesn't matter what type of oil you use really, the second time we made it we used Sunflower oil).
   Start by mixing the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast and salt. Add water in small quantities mixing everything by hand. Keep kneading the batter until it's smooth and not too watery. It should look similar to the image below:

Cover your mixing bowl (we used a pot because we're cool like that lol) with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and ensure it is airtight! Leave it to rise for at least 4 hours, it should look similar to the image below when it is ready to be deep fried.
                                              It should look spongy with some air bubbles

    Pour some oil in a deep pot (it should be at least 4 inches deep) and allow it to heat up. Test that the oil is hot enough by putting a drop of the batter into the oil. It will sizzle and come to the top if it is hot. 

When the oil is hot enough, using your thumb and index finger, scoop some batter into the oil. Put in as many scoops as your pot can take, but be sure to prevent over-crowding. Once the underside is golden brown, flip the puff-puff to the opposite side, so it is fried as well. Drain the puff-puffs using a colander after frying (you can use a paper towel to soak away excess oil).

                                                             Deep frying the puff-puffs

And you're done! You can sprinkle some sugar over it if you want to.

I noticed a lot of cultures share this same recipe, but call it different names. I met a lady from Holland the other day and she had made something similar with raisins in it (maybe I should try that some day). She referred to them as "Olivos" and they tasted really good. Oh and some other African cultures have different names for it as well, if you know any, please share!

                                     Hope you enjoyed this recipe and thanks for reading - Onivie xo!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Creme Brulee! (First Attempt)

    Creme Brulee, which is also know as burnt cream, is a dessert consisting of a custard base, topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. This was my first time attempting to make creme brulee, and it was a tricky procedure for me because I do not own a torch (which produces a very nice finishing ). I used a broiler instead, which produced decent results, and it still tasted really delicious. It came out a little bit burnt on top (which I actually prefer)! As you can see, the presentation is a tad bit messy, but my next attempt should hopefully be a lot better haha. Keep reading for the recipe I used. :)

   You Will Need

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup of fine white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ramekins
  • A blow torch (optional. If your oven has a broiler, you should be fine)
  • A large baking pan
    Start by mixing the heavy cream and the vanilla extract in a cooking pot and allowing the mixture to warm up for 10 minutes on a low temperature  In a different bowl, blanch the egg yolks and sugar by whisking the mixture and then gradually stir in the warm cream.

    Pour the mixture into your ramekins using a cooking spoon and fill the ramekins as close as you can to their edges. Place the ramekins in your baking pan, and put the baking pan in your preheated oven (the oven should be preheated to 275 degrees F), and then pour about three cups of boiling water in the baking pan around the ramekins. Allow the custard to bake in the oven for about thirty minutes. The custard will be quite wobbly when it is set. It should not be liquid in the center and it will firm up considerably in the refrigerator, so take out when it has that jiggly consistency. 
   Carefully take the ramekins out of the oven, and put them in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours until it is ready to serve. Two hours later, sprinkle a fine layer of sugar over their tops, this layer should be of even thickness. You can sprinkle the sugar and then shake it back and forth to evenly spread it.

  Now the fun part, move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go. Place the ramekins in the oven on the top rack and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes, rotating the ramekins so they broil evenly and then take them out when they are golden brown and bubbling. Serve at room temperature. 

And that's it! :D

    Let me know if you have any questions/concerns/suggestions! 

                                                          Thanks for reading - Onivie xo!

Happy New Years!

                                                          Happy New Year everyone!

     I wore this chained collar top and a Nigerian ankara skirt to a New Year's Eve party with family and friends. I love how elegant and playful this skirt is, and in order to highlight its vibrant print, I paired it up with a black top.

I tend to always have my hair up in a bun haha, just because it's easy for me to do, especially when I'm in a rush. However, I tried something different tonight and surprisingly loved the outcome. :)

                          Thanks for reading and may 2013 bring you love, peace and joy! - Onivie xo

                                                                  Black Chained Collar Top - Forever 21
                                                                  Earrings - H & M
                                                                  Skirt - Ankara (Made in Nigeria)
                                                                  Shoes - Comfort Plus by Predictions