Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

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Southern Charm

February 27th, 2014 · 4 Comments

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As a newly minted southerner myself, I’m always fascinated by southern culture!  The first year we lived in Texas, I was surprised to find out things really are different in the south.  It’s true: the pace is a little slower, the people are a LOT friendlier, and the landscape is a little more colorful than I’ve seen anywhere else.

So I was super excited to tackle some classic southern recipes in celebration for Bravo’s new reality series, Southern Charm!  (Check out the trailer here!) It’s about a group of twenty-somethings in Charleston, and I love that it’s showing all the traditions of southern culture, and the behind-the-scenes drama too! 

I’ve already set my DVR for the premiere on Monday — it’s basically everything I look for in a reality show!  Southern aristrocrats, backstabbing drama… I.  Cannot.  Wait!

For this post, I picked two of the ultimate classic southern recipes: Strawberry Shortcake and Sweet Tea!  (Incidentally, these are two of Chad’s favorite things on this planet, so I had a very happy husband when he got home!) One of my favorite things about southern culture is the way that it can be so traditional and so modern at the same time, so I thought these were the perfect dishes to try!  They’re both recipes that his parents and grandparents have made, but they’re perfectly at home in our modern kitchen.  Kind of like this show — a little old, a little new, and the perfect guilty pleasure. 

(And yes, I totally ate shortcake for breakfast after making this!)

So mark your calendars for the premiere on March 3rd, and in the meantime, get in the mood by whipping up these southern recipes!

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Sweet Tea

INGREDIENTS
Pinch baking soda
2 cups boiling water
6 tea bags
3/4 cup white sugar
6 cups water
1 lemon, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a large metal bowl or glass pitcher (must be heat-proof). Carefully our in boiling water, and add sugar and tea bags. Stir, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, pour in cool water, stir again, and then refrigerate.  Serve over ice with sliced lemons.

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Strawberry Shortcake

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 cups whipped heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup of white sugar, setting aside a few for garnishing.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tbsp white sugar and salt.  Cut in the shortening until combined, and then add the beaten egg and milk.  Stir until just combined.

Spread the batter onto a greased 8-inch cake pan.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, and then allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes on a wire rack.

Slice the partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with the whipped cream and reserved strawberries, and serve.

And remember to tune in on Monday, March 3rd at 10/9c for the Season Premiere of Southern Charm only on Bravo!

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Tags: desserts · food · sponsored

bejeweled

February 6th, 2014 · 3 Comments

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Somehow even though I barely fit into anything in my closet, I find myself wanting to dress up more now than ever!  I don’t know if it’s just that I’m trying to take advantage of my last few months of freedom before the baby gets here, or if I’m just generally feeling excited about life right now (or maybe a little of both!), but I’m bursting with energy lately.

A *lot* of that excess energy has gone into our house — I’ve been on a rampage lately!  People say that being pregnant makes you prone to “nesting” and it is SCARY how true that is!  Lately it seems like I can’t walk through our house without finding a dozen things that I need to tinker with right now… and then spending the rest of my day getting them done.  It’s seriously compulsive!  I guess the good news is that our house will look amazing just in time for the baby to turn everything upside down!

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to dress my growing bump!  I’m starting to get really into it now, especially as it becomes more pronounced.  This dress is actually a non-maternity dress, but it’s empire-waisted enough that it still works, and the pale pink color is perfect for these pre-Valentine’s Day weeks.

But more than anything, this dress needed some great accessories.  BHLDN’s Seapearl bracelet was basically perfect for this look — just delicate enough to add the perfect finishing touch.  I’ll be breaking it out again on Valentine’s Day!  (Hint, hint, Chad — where are we going?)

Madewell dress (similar here), BHLDN Seapearl bracelet, BHLDN Luna Moth earrings.

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Tags: sponsored · style

peanut butter bars

January 3rd, 2014 · 1 Comment

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Oh, I know.  You’re *so* over baking right now.  You made Thanksgiving dinner, and then Christmas cookies, and then Christmas dinner, and then a few special treats for New Year’s, and now you’re ready to hang up your oven mitts until Valentine’s Day, thank you very much.

But… I bet I can tempt you into one more recipe.  Just one more.  An hour of your time, tops.  A few more dirty dishes.  And in exchange for that tiny little bit of effort… Peanut Butter Bars.

Still not convinced.  Here’s my clincher: No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yup, you can have these delicious bars without even turning on the oven!  So if anything can get you back into the holiday spirit, it’s this recipe. 

Also, can I brag for a second?  These plates are from two different Noritake patterns, and I fell in love with how they looked together!  The black and white BoB and WoW patterns are a little more casual, and perfect for taking my longtime favorite (Cometa) into more low-key parties.  One of my favorite things about Noritake is how easy it is to mix and match their patterns — I feel like I get so many different options just by owning a bunch of pieces from a selection of different patterns!

And, as a quick reminder, you can always use the coupon code SUGARLAWS for 15% off!  (And check out some of my favorite patterns on their site here!)

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter (I did mine in the microwave on 20-second intervals), stirring until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

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Tags: food · holiday · sponsored