Trip Recap: NOLA

Hey y’all and thanks for stopping by today!

I wanted to recap my three outfits of my weekend and share with you the places I wined and dined. Scroll through to read about my trip and shop my looks!

NOLA Food

Blaze – Blaze is a build your own pizza joint and it is DELISH! There are keto and gluten free options. I went with the traditional red sauce and mozzarella. I added pepperoni, bacon, oregano, and salt. It’s cooked in a brick oven and ready to serve. There are several locations all over New Orleans so definitely stop by!

Willa Jean – I love this New Orleans staple! It is southern cooking at its finest. We started with the artichoke + cheese dip and finished with the biscuit and sausage gravy. They also have the BEST frozen drinks. I stared with the Frose, but then switched to the Strawberries ‘n Cream. Willa Jean is a NOLA must stop if you’re visiting!

Molly’s Rise and Shine – Y’all. This place was a first try for me this go-round in New Orleans. I got a biscuit with egg, cheddar, and sausage. This place is an homage to your childhood with a large Clark Griswald on the wallpapered wall. It’s an awesome spot that’s perfect for breakfast!

Other spots I went to this past weekend included Tomas Bistro for a rehearsal dinner and Race + Religious for my last wedding of 2019. It was an absolute great time!

My Outfits

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Shop: Dress, Earrings (TJ Maxx find – C&C California), Shoes, Bracelets (here, here, and here), Bag (Gucci – no longer available)

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Shop: Dress, Shoes (Gucci – different color), Bag (Gucci – no longer available), Bracelets (here, here, and here), Earrings

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Shop: Dress, Earrings, Bracelets (here and here), Purse (Gucci – no longer available)

As always, thanks for reading!

Xx

Barefoot Contessa’s Crab Mac n Cheese

Hey friends!

Happy Labor Day! I’ve been at my parents’ house all weekend and on Saturday, we had a delicious dinner of crab legs and steak. We ended up with leftover crab and decided to put it to good use and try out some crab mac and cheese.

I’m putting the recipe below if you want to try it out for yourself!

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster or crab meat
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster or crab and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.
  4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Here’s our finished product below

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Enjoy!

Xx

How Merlot Can You Go?

Happy Tuesday and thank you for stopping by ThatBlondeRebel!

My sweet Mama (fellow blogger @frickspicks) recently turned 60 and we decided to make a family trip of it! My parents, older sister, and I made the scenic hour drive from San Antonio to the Texas Hill Country. Unfortunately, my rockstar nurse brother couldn’t make it, but I think we drank enough wine for him, too.

We ventured to Fredericksburg, Texas, also known as the Tuscany of Texas, or simply put, the Texas Wine Country.

Typically, I keep these posts short and sweet and strictly, fashion. However, I loved our trip and think you should all do as we Frick’s did, and indulge yourselves in some vino.

Scroll through to shop my cuddly, chenille sweater (LESS THAN $50), read our itinerary, and see some photos of the memories we made.

First of all, how cute are my parents?! We had a great dinner followed by drinks and dancing at one of the local watering holes (scroll down for more on that).

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Shop my look: Sweater (here), Sunnies (here), Earrings (here), Ring (here), Bracelets (here and here), Bag (here), Leggings (here) — wine not included 😉

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Our Saturday was filled with touring wineries and making friends over cheese and uncorking bottles.

Weekend Information

  1. Lodging – Where to stay was obviously a tough decision. Do we want to be close to Main St. or more rustic and out of town? We chose to be close to the happenings of town and stayed at Ella Bell’s Haus. This house is a 1935 Craftsmen that has been completely renovated with brand new amenities. The house sleeps six, includes an outdoor firepit, and is immaculate. It is charming and cozy and the owners, Ron and Kim, really thought of everything when it comes to a vacation property.
  2. Dining – We brought along some necessary breakfast foods (bananas, chocolate croissants, coffee cake) and some snacks (custom cookies and chips and salsa), but we knew we were going to venture out for dinner both nights. We went to Crossroads which has a great outdoor dining space and is connected to a large bar. We had a great meal: jumbo shrimp, scallops, asparagus, kale, mashed potatoes, steak, and a country fried steak. Add some wine and beer to the mix, and we almost had to be rolled out of there. Easily enough, we hopped in to the bar and danced off our rich dinner. Everyone in the place was so friendly and the ENTIRE bar sang happy birthday to my mom and cheered as the band sang their custom birthday anthem and shouted “HIP HIP HOORAY” (which is a family thing so it was so special and unplanned that they did that). The next night we went to August E’s and actually sat next to the sweetest couple who we wine toured with earlier in the day who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. This place is awesome. There is tons of artwork adorning the walls, it has almost an industrial gallery vibe. The food was AMAZING; my sister ordered sushi, my dad a pork chop, and my mom and I had steak. Our waitress, Brenda, was the absolute best and brought out a creme brûlée with Happy Birthday in chocolate sauce. I had mentioned in my reservation that it was my mom’s birthday and wow, they delivered. Every employee who came into contact with my mom told her happy birthday. The customer service was fantastic.
  3. Wine Touring – So I have been to Fredericksburg before, and went on George’s 290 Wine Tour. George is fantastic tour guide and I knew we had to book with him for our special weekend. He picks you up in an excursion limo and there, you meet the other patrons of the tour. 10 people easily fit into the excursion. George gives you a run-down of where he is taking you. He had previously asked me which wineries I visited the last time so he could tailor the tour to some new venues. There are SIXTY wineries in Fredericksburg, so the options are aplenty. Lunch is included in the price and I had a great ham sandwich on a tasty croissant from Fredericksburg’s famous Peach Tree Restaurant. George is an expert on the wineries and I knew we were in good hands with him all day. I HIGHLY recommend getting in touch with George for your trip!

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Overall, it was a great weekend filled with A LOT of laughs and A LOT of wine. I can’t wait to head back to the hill country again!

Also, this post has made me thirsty, and I know I’ll be breaking open one of my new bottles of wine after work!

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, y’all.

Xoxo, Liza

Sweet Home Chicago

Planning a trip to the Windy City anytime soon? I’ve got you covered!

I moved to Texas in third grade, but this southern gal knows her way around a big Midwestern city!

Keep reading for a guide to the good grub Chicago has to offer! (p.s. I’ve linked my outfit for you – this top is only $13 and comes in 4 colors. Plus, my colorful earrings are under $40!)

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Shine Restaurant 756 W Webster Ave This Asian cuisine and sushi bar is top notch. Specialties: potstickers and cashew chicken! DELISH! They also deliver, so if you’re needing a night of r&r, this is your best bet!

Southport Grocer 3552 N Southport Ave This place is a great spot for new takes on great breakfast classics. I’m talking biscuits and gravy, but throw in some brisket! What about a bread pudding pancake? YUMZIES!! They also have a beermosa that is pretty solid.

Erie Cafe 536 W Erie St This was probably the best meal of the trip. I’d been here before, but decided to try something different, and I was not disappointed. We started with shrimp cocktail, I had a few glasses of Whispering Angel (SERIOUSLY SO GOOD), and for the main course? Homemade cheese ravioli with a vodka cream sauce. I died and went to pasta heaven! We ended the meal with some fresh key lime pie. Amazing meal, amazing service. I could not recommend this place more!

Portillo’s 100 W Ontario St Casual spot, but a classic. Best Italian beef sandwich IN THE CITY! I like to get mine on a croissant! The fries are great, too! My family even orders Portillo’s to Texas so we don’t miss out throughout the year.

Butcher’s Tap 3553 N Southport Ave I have been here several times, but I spotted something on the menu I hadn’t seen before. A chorizo burger. Did your mouth water? Chorizo and beef patty, a layer of refried beans, a kick of pepper jack cheese, topped off with a few tortilla strips. Insert all the heart eyes and burger emojis.

Now I’m hungry again. Oops.

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Shop this look: Top (here), Earrings (here), Sunnies (here), Bag (similar here), Bracelets (here, here, here, and here), Necklace (here), Jeans (here), Shoes (here)

Happy Monday, friends!

Xoxo, Liza