Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill

I don't often post recipes, but this one is too good not to share!  On our recent vacation to Florida, we visited Bonefish Grill.  It's a great restaurant that is really popular down there, and is run by the same people that own Outback Steakhouse.  The line was OUT THE DOOR when we went, and we found out it was because of their $5 Bang Bang Shrimp.  I wondered: What was so great about this shrimp? was to die for!  It was so good that after eating the appetizer, I ordered more with my dinner!  Actually, addicting is a better word for it.

So here is the actual recipe.  There are a lot of copycats recipes for the sauce out there, but this is the real version (I have an inside source that cooks for the restaurant).  There are two key parts to this recipe: the sauce and the frying technique of the shrimp.

The Sauce
1 cup mayonaise 
3 tbsp Huy Fong chili garlic sauce 
1 tbsp Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce 
1 tsp lemon juice 

I like to do the sauce first, just to get it out of the way.  The shrimp cooks very quickly, and you won't have time to do anything in the mean time.  The Hug Fong Chili Garlic Sauce is the secret ingredient, and it's important you don't make any substitutions.  This can be found in the ethnic aisle at Stop and Shop or ordered on here.   My boyfriend's addicted to the stuff - he puts it on all his foods and uses it as salsa.  The sweet chili sauce is also available in the ethnic aisle or on amazon, but there are many other brands that would probably work too.  

Frying the Shrimp
When you are done, it is time to get to the shrimp.  Peel and devein (I recommend using unpeeled shrimp; they taste better and cost less, but they are time consuming).  Set up your dipping stations, as if you were making cutlets.  In your first bowl, put in some cornstarch (flour would also work, but cornstarch makes them crispier).  In your second bowl, you will need a whisked egg (or milk if you don't have any egg), and in your third bowl you will need about a cup of panko bread crumbs.  Panko bread crumbs are Japanese style bread crumbs, and are what will make these really crispy.  Don't use seasoned panko bread crumbs - they are way too salty and will ruin the taste of the sauce.

In a frying pan, put about an inch of vegetable oil and put the heat on medium-medium high.  You can tell when it's ready by dropping a pinch of corn starch in.  If it bubbles, you are ready to go.  One at a time, coat the shrimp in cornstarch, then egg, then panko.  These babies will cook fast, so as soon as you have put your last shrimp in the pan you will probably need to flip the shrimp you put in first.  When the shrimp are ready, I like to lay them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.  

When you are ready to eat, you can cover them in sauce and serve on a bed of iceberg or romaine lettuce.  The best way to coat is using a Ziploc bag (I didn't do this for the picture, which is why the sauce is not distributed evenly).

You will not be disappointed - this is such a treat and you will be addicted once you try them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Polished at the Gym

If you are like me, you need all the help you can get to get to the gym.  One big motivator for me to get to the gym (and stay at the gym) is to have clothes that make me feel good.  If my gym wear is flattering and shows off my body in a positive way, it will motivate me to go to the gym and work on looking better.  If my outfit is comfortable and stays put during my workout, I will be more likely to actually finish my workout!

This is one of my favorite outfits.  The top is from Athleta and has a built in bra, flattering straps, and seaming that is SO flattering.  The color is so much fun too.  The pants are Nike Dri-Fit (purchased off ebay).  They are the perfect length, they stay put when I am running, and they suck in my stomach with a wide waistband.  And lastly - my beloved sneakers.  They cuties are so much fun, and actually make me a little excited to go to the gym.    And yes, I do usually "match" when I go to the gym.  I am who I am, and going to the gym won't change that.  :)

Here are 5 Rules I live by when buying gym wear:

1. Know the areas of your body that make you self-conscious, and build your workout wardrobe around it.  And conversely, know the area you feel best about and show it off!  For me, I am very self conscious about my stomach.  So when I buy clothes, I make sure that the pants have a wide waistband that will keep me in and I make sure to buy tops that are long enough to not ride up.

2. Pretend you are shopping for a dress.  Look for all of the things in your gym wear that you would look for in a dress: a flattering shape, straps that complement your body, a flattering neckline, and stratefic seaming.  My favorite tops have an empire waist and strong seaming that floats the shirt away from my torso (my area I dress to flatter).

3. Listen to your gut! (no pun intended).  If you are self conscious before you leave your house, you will be miserable once you start twisting, moving and sweating.  If your shirt is too tight, your shorts are riding up, or your bra is's only going to get worse once your on the treadmill.

4. Less is more. What I mean by this is it's better to have only a few workout outfits that are really good quality rather than a drawer stuffed full of clothes you are not comfortable in.  Spend money on your gym wear, even if that means you can only afford a few key pieces. Cheap "lounge wear", old sweats and your husbands old t-shirts are not meant for working out - they will ride up, chafe, pull, and stretch.  You will be tugging and pulling at yourself, and feeling self-conscious.  Cotton clothing holds on to sweat and will make you feel miserable.  Quality gym wear is made to breathe and keep you dry, and are designed for the specific movements your body will be going through when exercising (Nike running shorts are designed to not ride up).  I went for years struggling through workouts wearing cheap clothing I had bought at Bob's or Victoria's Secret because I didn't want to drop a lot of money on workout clothing, and I never felt comfortable.  Once I finally invested in some good pieces, I kicked myself for all of those years of torture!

5. When you find "the one", buy multiples!  I remember I found THE PERFECT pair of gym pants on Ebay - They were a paid of flared leg Nike Dri-Fit black pants with a wide waistband.  They were comfortable, they looked great, and they stayed put during my workout.  I came home and ordered two more pairs from the same seller.  The same is true of the workout top shown in the picture - I love it so much that I own it in lime green and pink.  It can be hard to find good gym wear, so when you do find something that works for you- stock up!  Gym clothes are the only time that I am a big supporter of buying multiples.

Some of my favorites:
1. Athleta Revelation Capri: $79

2. Nike Dri-Fit at Bare Necessities: $45

3. Nike Dri-Fit at Ebay: TBD

 4. Nike Dri-Fit at Bare Necessities: $45

Nike Free Run at Nordstrom

VaVa Tank at Athleta: $55

Achala Tank at Athleta: $35

Chakra Tank at Athleta: $55

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just Can't Get Enough...

Inspiration Photo: Ashes Into Fashion

Well, I just can't get enough of blazers and especially my coral blazer.  For such a bright color, I have been surprised by what a versatile piece it has become.  I've worn it with neutrals and whites, but never would have thought of this color combination if it weren't for seeing this gorgeous picture of Ashley!  Such fun pops of color, and a great way to color block for work.

What I'm Wearing
Jacket: Banana Republic Coral Blazer - $130
Belt: Ann Taylor LOFT Mustard Belt- $14
White Tee: Ann Taylor LOFT - $9

I recently did a guest post for Amy on one of my favorite blogs, Low Carb High Style - check it out!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sun, Sand and...Air Conditioning???



Inspiration Photo: Tweed and Toile

We all have tons of cute outfits to wear in the hot summer weather.  But what about when you need to dress in the summer when it's cold?  I went to the movies to see Spiderman, and knew the air conditioning was going to be blasting.  I wanted to stay warm but still look summery.  I knew white pants were my answer, and I couldn't wait to pair them with my comfy chambray shirt from J. Crew.  Next time I will add a cute necklace, like in the inspiration photo.  Can't wait to wear this shirt nonstop in the fall!

What I'm Wearing
Jeans: Ann Taylor LOFT Signature Straight White Jeans: $52.50 on sale
Bracelets: Leather Cuff: Bloom Downtown (Kendi's store!), Others: Ann Taylor LOFT

I have added tons of new clothes to my eBay store - major closet cleaning going on!!! Check it out - lots of J. Crew, Banana Republic, and vintage finds.  Everyday Polished eBay Store

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Summer!

Happy July!  After a much needed little break from EVERYTHING after the school year ended, I'm back!  This was an outfit I wore for a night out with the girls last week.   Love this top but let me tell you, it is BRIGHT.  But I am a sucker for bright blue....anytime I see a rich colored blue piece of clothing, I buy it.  I feel a little bit neon when I wear this for work...still trying to decide if it's too bright for school, but least it keeps the kids awake.  

What I'm Wearing
Silk Blouse: Greylin - $97 (available in tons of cute colors now!)
Necklace: J. Crew Starry Nights - $38
Jeans: J. Crew Matchstick High Waisted - $100
Shoes: Calvin Klein
iPhone Case: J. Crew - $25