Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for September 2014

73 Questions with Reese

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Written by bevanddara

September 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

What’s Blue and White and Beautiful All Over?

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Christian Siriano’s Spring/Summer 2015 line is the answer. I am so happy for the success he’s had since Project Runway (speaking of, how awesome is this season!?).  He’s one of my favorite people to follow in Instagram.

Here are a few of my favorites.

CSSS2015_38 CSSS2015_37 CSSS2015_33 CSSS2015_28 CSSS2015_25 CSSS2015_22 CSSS2015_12 CSSS2015_8 CSSS2015_5

Written by bevanddara

September 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Dara, Fashion

Fall Meals

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Well, it’s officially fall (and we officially suck as bloggers – my goodness!).  Last night I made this yummy meal from Martha’s new “One Pot” cookbook.  Using only one pot is SO up my alley – I LOVE when Mike makes dinner but I also hate it because that means that I’m on clean up duty . . . which means that I have to clean EVERY SINGLE dish, pan, pot, utensil, that we own.  Is that a man thing?  Or just my man thing?

I used chicken sausage instead of pork and it’s still missing something . . . maybe more flavorful chicken sausage?  Still good enough to post.

Martha Stewart makes meals on the TODAY show in New York, on Sept. 22, 2014.

Sweet potato and sausage soup


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 sweet potatoes (1 pound total), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup small pasta shells
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped mixed leafy greens, such as kale and Swiss chard
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes, broth, and water; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook 3 minutes less than package directions recommend. Reduce to a simmer, add greens, and cook until pasta is tender and greens are wilted, 4 minutes. Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Tonight I’m thinking of making Caramelized Onion and Yogurt Pasta + Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts.  Looks pretty good, right?



Written by bevanddara

September 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Dara, Food

i picked the wrong tomato

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It is very,very hard to deny one’s green thumb. I am trying to ignore my longings to add some color to the beautiful green grass and trees that I  look at in our yard. Look Dara-No COWS!0915140854

However, when my earthboxes came to Riverview, I HAD to plant some fresh basil.  While at the store selecting herbs, a tomato plant jumped in my cart. 0915140855

I have not had good experiences growing tomatoes in Florida. It seems that when you move a few hundred miles south from Philadelphia to Tampa, you must adjust growing times and conditions.  Jason,my lawn maintenance engineer (what else would you call someone who mows the lawn,trims palm trees and mulches one’s yard with a backhoe?) had a good laugh at my expense when i planted tomatoes in May in the sunniest part of the yard.  In Florida one plants tomatoes in the fall in partial shade. After several more failed attempts, I learned to buy tomatoes.

So…I’m giving tomatoes another chance.  I think Dad will enjoy watching them grow. My mistake this time? I thought I bought a bush tomato,but this variety grows 7 to 15 feet tall!!!!!!They also produce 1000 tomatoes!!!! Did you notice that the pot that jumped in my cart had TWO plants!!!Perhaps I should go buy some more herbs and research tomato plants before I let a more appropriate tomato jump in my cart.

Written by bevanddara

September 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Bev, Flowers

What brings me back? Carrot Cake

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In my head I have written quite a few blog posts during my absence from BevandDara .  Maybe someday I will write to explain “What I did during my summer vacation”.  How much easier it is to start writing again with a simple request from you…the best carrot cake recipe.

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cup oil  (this is an old recipe.  you could probably cut the oil back to one cup.)

4 beaten eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts

3 cups grated carrots

Mix sugar, oil, and beaten egg.  Sift flour, salt, soda and cinnamon together.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture in four parts.  Fold in nuts and carrots.

Bake in tube pan 350 degrees 55 to 50 minutes.  13×9 inch pan 300 degrees 60 minutes.


The best part…Cream cheese frosting!

1 stick butter (8 Tablespoons)

8 oz. cream cheese (being originally from Philadelphia I would ONLY use Philadelphia cream cheese)

1 box confectioners sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 c chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients except nuts until creamy. Frost cake, sprinkle nuts on top.

I’m salivating just writing the recipe.  I think I’ll try to make one this weekend.

Written by bevanddara

September 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Bev, Food

I Have To Stop Wearing Head To Toe Black

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Written by bevanddara

September 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

Back to School

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My Facebook is flooded with pictures of the kiddos going back to school.  I have no clue how I’ll feel when Julian starts his first day . . . I guess I’ll be sad because he’s growing up but so excited for his new adventure (ask me in another 4 years and I’m sure my tune will change!!!).  I was watching the Today show one day and saw Maria Shriver interview this woman named Elle who has a YouTube channel called Whats Up MOMS.  I’ve watched a few of their little videos and have fallen in love with them.  They’re so funny and easy-going about being a Mom . . . they kind of say what you’re thinking.

Anyway, they did a Back to School video and its hilarious.

Whats even more hilarious is the behind the scenes video.  You have to go to the YouTube channel to view that  . . . I can’t figure out how to paste it for some reason.

You can see Maria’s interview with Elle here.

Happy Friday!

(P.S. Is Bev alive?!  What has happened to her!?!?)

Written by bevanddara

September 5, 2014 at 9:50 am