Happy Friday, ladies!  We’ve made it through another week, and in all honesty, I cannot believe February is almost halfway over.  Where is the time going?  I think we’re all ready for Spring to arrive, that’s for sure.  And although the weather here in Athens has warmed considerably, we’re just not quite there yet.  So in hopes of moving Spring alone more quickly, I’m going full technicolor today—in stark contrast to yesterday’s neutral OOTD.  We’re featuring a cozy striped funnel-neck sweater and one of the easiest (and most delicious) recipes yet!  

Cozy striped funnel-neck sweater

Today’s OOTD is a super simple colorful way to make the transition from winter to spring.  This cozy striped funnel-neck sweater is from Ann Taylor but already sold out!  (Like so many things these days.)  So, I’ve rounded up similars here, here, and here.  I went matchy-matchy with these red pants from Frances Valentine.  My ballet flats are old, but again, I’ve found similar here, here, and here).

Sweater (sold out, similar here, here, and here, Ann Taylor) | Pants (Frances Valentine) | Ballet Flats (old, similar here, here, and here Tory Burch) |Watchband | Bangle | Earrings

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Greek chicken & hummus wrap

Want a deliciously healthy and simple recipe this weekend?  Well, here’s one for you:  a Greek chicken & hummus wrap.   Whether you cook the chicken fresh or pick a rotisserie one up at your local grocery, you really can’t go wrong with this recipe.  


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Greek Chicken and Hummus Wrap

  • Author: Beth Djalali


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp Greek vinaigrette dressing
  • 4 (10-inch, burrito size) flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup hummus, store-bought
  • 3 cups chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 2 medium grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) feta cheese, crumbled


  • Preheat your grill over medium-high heat to 425 degrees. Pound chicken to an even thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet.
  • Brush chicken breasts lightly with about 1 Tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush grill grates lightly with oil, and grill chicken, rotating once halfway through cooking until it registers 165 in center, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate, cover with foil, let rest 10 minutes then dice into cubes. Transfer chicken to a bowl, pour vinaigrette over chicken, and toss to evenly coat.
  • To assemble wraps spread about 3 Tbsp hummus over each tortilla, top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese, then wrap tortillas.


I substituted the chicken breasts with a rotisserie chicken. No muss no fuss.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 598
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 1205 mg
  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 43g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 42g
  • Cholesterol: 124mg

Sweater (sold out, similar here, here, and here, Ann Taylor) | Pants (Frances Valentine) | Ballet Flats (old, similar here, here, and here Tory Burch) |Watchband | Bangle | Earrings

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Classic Margarita

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Classic Margarita

  • Author: Beth Djalali


The Classic Margarita is a simple cocktail to throw together with fresh ingredients. No mix required!


Units Scale

1 1/2 ounce blanco tequila

1 1/2 ounce triple sec

1 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1 lime wedge for garnish


Run a lime wedge around the rim of a glass and dip in salt.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Shake for 30 seconds.

Strain the cocktail over the glass rimmed with salt and garnish with a lime wedge.


Sweater (sold out, similar here, here, and here, Ann Taylor) | Pants (Frances Valentine) | Ballet Flats (old, similar here, here, and here Tory Burch) |Watchband | Bangle | Earrings

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Fridays with Oscar

Oscar, Ollie, and I are wishing you the best possible weekend.  

Sweater (sold out, similar here, here, and here, Ann Taylor) | Pants (Frances Valentine) | Ballet Flats (old, similar here, here, and here Tory Burch) |Watchband | Bangle | Earrings

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We just posted a new DAILY LOOK, so make sure to check it out. Daily Looks is a really simple feature:  a dedicated photo feed of my daily outfits. And you can shop those outfits easily through the shop the widget below the picture. 


As a reader pointed out, I went full-on Cruella de Vil yesterday with my tweed jacket.  Make sure to check it out.  

Friday is finally here, and this weekend is Super Bowl weekend? Will you watch? Who are you rooting for? I’ll definitely put on the game, even though I don’t have a dog in this fight. (Except Oscar, of course.) That’s OK, though. Georgia had a great run in 2021:  the World Series and National Championship ain’t bad. For those of you looking to make it through the weekend in one piece and (maybe) show up for work on Monday, we’ve got 2 things you need 2 survive the big game:  an Aperol cocktail and a super simple take on nachos good for one or more!    And, of course, it wouldn’t be Friday without that smart-casual style we’re known for around here. 

Smart casual style

Today’s OOTD couldn’t be simpler:  this button-trim sweater is from Ann Taylor and jeans from Wit and Wisdom. I do love little adornments like buttons, especially on a classic neck sweater. (So much so that I featured one prominently on yesterday’s how-to-style faux leather pants.) 

Sweater (three colors, Ann Taylor) | Denim (Wit and Wisdom) | Snakeskin sneakers (old from Vince, similar and similar 2)

Grapefruit Aperol cocktails

Anyone who follows me regularly knows my love affair with Aperol cocktails. Today, I’ve got a real simple grapefruit Aperol cocktail that’s perfect to satisfy this weekend. If you’re looking for other Aperol cocktails, check out my introduction to Aperol. But also check out this winter Aperol cocktail. If you love Aperol, you’ll love this too.  

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Grapefruit Aperol Cocktails

  • Author: Beth Djalali


A light and refreshing alternative to grapefruit margaritas with an edge.


Units Scale

16 ounces tequila

4 ounces Aperol

12 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

8 ounces triple sec

4 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

4 ounces simple syrup

Fresh grapefruit and limes slices for garnish

salt for rims


  1. Fill a pitcher with ice and add tequila through simple syrup. Stir well to combine.
  2. Place salt on a small plate. Run a grapefruit wedge around the edge of the glass and dip in salt on plate. Fill glasses with ice and pour cocktails into prepared glasses.
  3. Garnish glasses with fresh grapefruit and lime slice.

old fashion glassespitcher | tidbit plates

Mini nachos

If you’re not spending this weekend with a large crowd, but you still want to get in the Super Bowl spirit, then this recipe is for you.   I put together these mini nachos:  a super simple way to make delicious nachos for a few. I mean, you can’t go wrong with shredded chicken, but substitute for any protein (or not), and these things are just as delicious.  

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Mini Nachos

  • Author: Beth Djalali


Units Scale

1 bag tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups shredded chicken

3/4 cup cooked black beans

3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

1 avocado, diced

3/4 cup salsa

1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat your broiler on low. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On the baking sheet, build a small spiral of 15 chips, stacking them close together in a 3-inc circle. Repeat to make a total of 6 piles.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chicken and 2 tablespoons black beans on top of each pile of chips. Top each with 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the cheese is totally melted, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  5. Top each pile with 2 tablespoons scallions, a few jalapeño slices, 2 tablespoons avocado, 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Serve immediately.

Sweater & jeans

Sweater (three colors, Ann Taylor) | Denim (Wit and Wisdom) | Snakeskin sneakers (old from Vince, similar and similar 2)

Snakeskin slip ons

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much fun sneakers can really be. They don’t get featured that often over here on the blog, but how cute are these snakeskin slip ons from Vince? (Similar here and here.)  Animal print adds visual interest to any outfit. And when you already have something fun going, why not make it that much more fun-er? (Double comparative for emphasis only!) 

Sweater (three colors, Ann Taylor) | Denim (Wit and Wisdom) | Snakeskin sneakers (old from Vince, similar and similar 2)

Fridays with Oscar

Happy Friday, ladies! And enjoy the big game this weekend with friends and loved ones.  

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Daily Looks

If you haven’t checked out our new addition to the blog, DAILY LOOKS, make sure to do just that. Daily Looks is a really simple feature:  a dedicated photo feed of my daily outfits. And you can shop those outfits easily through the shop the widget below the picture. Today’s look is below.  

Daily Look 2.11.22

TGIF! We made it through another week. This week the weather has bounced from rain to snow to sleet and back again. Today is dry, but gray skies swirl overhead. It’s a great day to stay inside, whip up a tasty meal and cocktail, and binge-watch TV. I think you’re gonna like today’s OOTD too, as I’m throwing in a few tips to look chic casual

What shows have you been watching? I stumbled upon Emily in Paris that has mixed reviews. Personally, I think it’s a cute show. Darren Star the creator of Sex in the City is at the helm of this series. There are definite similarities between the main characters Carrie and Emily respectively who tend to make dumb life decisions. But we wouldn’t have the conflict necessary to move the plot along if they didn’t. Any movie, book, or television show needs conflict and lots of it. The fashion inspiration alone is worth tuning in for and it’s lighthearted fluff so I’m hooked!

Tips to look chic casual

Oscar was definitely in a mood during our photoshoot. The mood of no more photos, please, it’s naptime. I think he just might want an early retirement… isn’t he a hoot! Ollie just might have to step in and steal your thunder buddy. Ha!

Today’s outfit is fitting for Friday:  walking that line of chic casual, with a bit more on the casual side. What’s easier to throw together than a t-shirt (yep, it’s one of my wardrobe basics. Don’t miss part 2 of our Wardrobe Basics Seris Essential Tops) coatigan, and blue jeans? It’s an easy-style recipe that works!  A coatigan adds chicness to the outfit, and paired with a neutral tee and a classic pair of denim—you’re all the way there.  The tee is old from Vince (similar here and here), the coatigan is from Jenni Kayne, and the blue jeans are from Frame.

Anyone remember clogs? They’re back! And I’m loving it. All through high school, you would find me on any given day wearing a pair of brown or blue suede clogs. This pair was purchased from Ann Taylor last fall. If you’re looking for comfort try Dansko clogs that have a memory foam footbed. Tory Burch has a shearling clog and Steve Madden carries a faux fur-lined clog that looks adorable.  The clogs push this outfit to the casual side of things, but swap them out for, say, wedges or ballet flats, and you’re headed back in the classic chic direction.     

denim | tee (similar here and here) | coatigan | clogs (similar here, here, and here) | earrings | bangle | watch band

denim | tee (similar here and here) | coatigan | clogs (similar here, here, and here) | earrings | bangle | watch band

Instant pot lemon chicken

instant pot lemon garlic chicken

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instant pot lemon garlic chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

  • Author: Beth Djalali
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


A quick and easy meal perfect any time of year.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs I used bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice squeezed from about 1 lemon; or more to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold cream OR milk OR water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • lemon slices to serve (optional)


  • Brown meat: Set instant pot to sauté. Add oil to pot and add thighs skin-side down. Cook, in batches if needed, until golden and crisp. Flip and cook until browned on the other side. Remove chicken from pot.
  • Start sauce: Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until starting to soften, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning. Stir, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Pressure cook: Place chicken thighs back in the instant pot. Secure lid and set the pressure valve to “sealing”. Choose “pressure cook” (or “manual”) and “high” for 12 minutes (for large thighs, about 2 thighs per pound; cook for 8 minutes if chicken thighs are small, about 4 thighs per pound). Naturally release pressure after cooking time is up (just switch off the instant pot and leave it alone until pressure is gone).
  • Finish sauce: Carefully remove thighs. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Pour cornstarch slurry into pot, stir well and simmer until sauce has thickened. Stir in butter until melted, then serve sauce over chicken with lemon slices, if desired.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 501
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Fat: 39g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 196mg

instant pot lemon garlic chicken

instant pot lemon garlic chicken


Winter Aperol spritz

winter aperol spritz

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winter aperol spritz

Winter Aperol Spritz

  • Author: Beth Djalali


A refreshing winter cocktail.


  • 3 ounces Aperol
  • 3 ounces Prosecco
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces club soda or sparkling water
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 1 orange zest twist
  • 1 sprig of rosemary


Combine the Aperol, prosecco, and cranberry in a glass with ice. Add in an orange wedge and a twist. Pop in a sprig of rosemary for festiveness. It’s so pretty and easy!

winter aperol spritz

winter aperol spritz

Uncommon Threads

If you’re looking for something besides TV Uncommon Threads is offering Style Your LIfe series that consists of three virtual workshops. The series costs $95 for all three workshops: charcuterie board making, wine experiencing, and herb garden growing. All proceeds from this series directly benefit Uncommon Threads a non-profit organization that helps low-income women see and feel their true potential.

If you’ve ever wondered where my clothes go after a closet cleanse it’s Uncommon Threads. You can even shop online and just might stumble upon an item or two of mine! You will be hearing more about Uncommon Threads in the future as I’m partnering with them to raise awareness and money.

denim | tee (similar here and here) | coatigan | clogs (similar here, here, and here) | earrings | bangle | watch band

denim | tee (similar here and here) | coatigan | clogs (similar here, here, and here) | earrings | bangle | watch band

Oscar and I wish you a lovely weekend!

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In case you missed it

Tips to look chic casual

If you missed the Anti-aging Skincare post please check it out. 100% of the proceeds raised from your purchase from Georgia Skin Cancer will go directly to Uncommon Threads. And your skin will look a-ma-zing after using their medical-grade skincare products from their Curated line. Use code BETHD until February 19th for 15% off your purchase.

Fridays with Oscar is always about the celebration of simplicity and comfort. Since it’s Friday, I chose a casual outfit to kick off the weekend. Fridays are always about casual ease, whether it’s what I wear or what I eat. Today, I’m sharing a quick and easy version of chicken noodle soup and a refreshing, healthy mocktail instead of the usual cocktail. So come on in and stay awhile, even if it’s only virtually. And I do love to whip up a cocktail to sip and savor and enjoy come five o’clock. 

Striped hoodie from Madewell

December, January, and February are the months I slip into my winter uniform:  a sweater and jeans (or some variation thereof). Who doesn’t love an oversized sweater when it’s cold outside? Or maybe you prefer a cardigan, crewneck, or v-neck? Today I’m showcasing a striped hoodie and a pair of green chinos (that can act as a neutral) from Madewell. And if where the temps are dropping where you are, make sure to tuck a button-up or long sleeve tee underneath the hoodie for an extra layer of warmth.

Ok, ok. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Is there room in my closet for yet another striped sweater?” The answer is “yes,” especially when that hoodie is color-blocked with neutral shades of green and ivory. I’m loving this lightweight hoodie from Madewell because of its neutral color scheme. The power of neutrals is that they mix and match with so many other items in your wardrobe.

Blue jeans are always a good choice on any given day, but I also like variety. That’s when a pair of chinos come into play. They have the comfort and casual feel of blue jeans with a little extra something. This utility pant from Madewell exudes casual ease. Add a pair of suede loafers from Ralph Lauren (limited sizes similar here and here), and this OOTD definitely harkens back to my prepster days and ways.

pants | sweater | suede loafers (limited sizes similar here and here

How I make chicken noodle soup

Today, I’m bringing you an old family favorite: chicken noodle soup for the soul. It’s the perfect winter dish:  super simple and unbelievably tasty. The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken. If you can find organic go for it, but remember you can swap a whole chicken for chicken breasts only if you’re so inclined. And be sure to make extras:  this soup freezes and will be waiting for you with open arms if you catch a winter cold.  

placemats | napkins | flatware | bowl | plate | glass | serving bowl | ladle

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Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Author: Beth Djalali


Units Scale

1 rotisserie chicken

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped carrots

1 large yellow onion, chopped

6 tbsp butter

96 oz chicken broth

12 oz wide egg noodles

1/3 cup corn starch

1/4 cup water


  1. Place the carrots, celery, onions, butter in a large stock pot on medium high heat and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes
  2. Place the entire chicken on top of the vegetables and then pour the broth over the top. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. While the soup simmers, mix the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. At the end of the 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the soup and pour the cornstarch mixture into the broth slowly while continuously stirring. Once it is all combined, stir in the noodles and let them cook 6-8 minutes or until just tender.
  4. While the noodles are cooking, remove the chicken meat from the bones and chop it into bite-sized pieces. When the noodles are tender, stir the chicken in and mix well.

Mocktails for Dry January

This month is dry January. So, I’ve hopped on the bandwagon as they say, as this month is all about reset, refresh and renew on the blog. So… mocktail anyone? Today we’re featuring a sparkling raspberry lemonade. This drink is refreshing and easy to make. Make sure to garnish with a lime wedge or mint, and voila! You won’t even miss the booze.  

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Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

  • Author: Beth Djalali



1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed

5 raspberries

1 bottle sparkling water (Topo Chico or Pellegrino)

5 drops stevia


Raspberries, lime or mint for garnish


Muddle the raspberries in the bottom of a glass. Pour the lemon juice over the top.

Add ice, stevia, and sparkling water. Mix well. Garnish with a lime wedge or mint leaf.

Fridays with Oscar

Alright ladies, Oscar and I wish you a lovely weekend! Stay warm, and enjoy some homemade chicken noodle soup. Cheers!

pants | sweater | suede loafers (limited sizes similar here and here

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Hello friends, Happy Halloween! Welcome to Kelly’s Kitchen. It’s great you’re here today. I have an old favorite to share with you; plus, this week I am sharing a holiday gift guide with items perfect for the home cook. Today we are making Hungarian Mushroom Soup. My good friend Heidi reminded me of this recipe last week and I couldn’t help but be transported back to when I lived in Alaska. 


Many years ago when I lived in Homer, Alaska, I worked at a cafe called Two Sisters Bakery. Hungarian Mushroom Soup was on a regular rotation; it was my favorite soup and I always looked forward to when it was on the menu. One Saturday, I was distracted while ladling a serving into a to-go cup and it overflowed, giving me second degree burns on my left hand. Even still, it remained my favorite and I learned a valuable lesson: PAY ATTENTION. 😉

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I used 1 package of white button mushrooms, plus 2 small/medium sized portobello mushrooms. This yielded about 4 cups of mushrooms for this recipe, even though it only calls for 12 ounces (which is about one package of mushrooms).  I like a lot of mushrooms! Also, I like to slice them pretty thick so they’re meaty and don’t shrink up too much in the cooking process. Start with the prep and then everything goes pretty quick. 

* A note on the paprika: Traditional Hungarian paprika has several levels of flavor from mild to spicy. It’s fine to use regular ol’ paprika if you can’t procure a Hungarian variety of paprika. Or try smoked paprika – which is what I used. 

You will start by cooking your 2 cups of onions in about 2 tablespoons of the stock. I am using chicken bone broth, but you can use whatever you like, make it vegetarian by using veggie stock if you like! Cook your onions just until they’re translucent. Then add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of the dill, 1/2 cup of your stock, the tablespoon of paprika and the soy sauce. Stir to combine, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

While that is simmering, in a separate skillet, over low heat, melt your butter. Whisk in the flour. We are making a roux. When all the flour is incorporated and a paste forms, whisk in the cup of milk and keep whisking over low heat until a thick and smooth gravy forms. I scraped this roux into a separate bowl to get it out of my cast iron so it would be easier to pour into my mushroom mixture. 


By now the mushroom mixture is cooked down a bit and has created more moisture. Stir in your roux until it’s all incorporated. Then add in the remaining stock. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Just before serving, stir in the 1/2 cup sour cream, parsley, remaining dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Plate it up!

Top with more dill and parsley if you like. I happened to have crusty sourdough I made last week, so I toasted that up in the oven to go alongside. This soup is so so good! It’s hearty and really hits the spot on a cool fall day. Although, with Hurricane Zeta blowing though Athens, we haven’t exactly been having a cool fall days! Nevertheless, this is an easy weeknight dish. 

The recipe is below, and be sure to read on for my Holiday Gift Guide! If you’re looking for another hearty soup, try my Potato and Corn Soup. Thank you all so much for stopping by today. I do hope you make this Hungarian Mushroom Soup, it’s a great one to keep on file. Take care, be well and have a happy Halloween!


Hungarian Mushroom Soup

  • 12 oz Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups Onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tsp Fresh Dill
  • 1 tbsp Hungarian Paprika (You can use regular paprika, or try smoked paprika)
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Stock (Chicken, Beef or Vegetable)
  • 2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  1. Saute onions in 2 Tbsp stock with a pinch of salt

  2. Once onions are translucent, add mushrooms, 1 tsp dill, 1/2 cup stock or water, soy sauce, and paprika.

  3. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

  4. In a separate skillet, melt butter and whisk in flour and cook, whisking, a few minutes. to form a smooth paste.

  5. Whisk in milk and continue whisking over low heat about 10 minutes – until smooth and thick.

  6. Stir roux into mushroom mixture and add remaining stock. Stir to combine.

  7. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

  8. Just before serving, add salt, pepper, lemon juice, sour cream, remaining dill and parsley.

kelly’s kitchen gift guide


hi gang! this week’s fridays with oscar has us nearing the end of october. my neighborhood is looking the part too. some neighbors have elaborate halloween scenes set up in their yards, complete with skeletons, spider webs and jack-o-lanterns. others have harvest-themed porch decor with fantasy pumpkins, leafy wreaths and pots of mums. all of this festive decor and the crisp evening air make oscar’s after dinner walks just that much more enjoyable! so sit back and enjoy a cocktail and appetizer with us, all together now!


casual fall outfit of the day

it’s easy to put together a casual outfit when the base is a pair of comfortable boyfriend jeans (similar here, here). add a touch of sophistication with a light and airy printed button up top, like this one from Ann Taylor. and then bring it back to casual with a warm and soft cardigan. this sweater is several years old (similar here, here). 

similar sweater 1 | similar sweater 2 | printed top | similar jeans 1 | similar jeans 2 | similar driving moccasins | similar belt  these driving moccasins are old, but there are always similar options (here, here, here). i like the soft leather typical of driving moccasins. they are so comfortable, like wearing slippers! 


similar sweater 1 | similar sweater 2 | printed top | similar jeans 1 | similar jeans 2 | similar driving moccasins | similar belt  

fresh figs with gorgonzola and prosciutto

today’s appetizer is super easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. it’s a delicious mix of sweet and savory flavors. it’s gluten free and overall not an unhealthy indulgence. 

figs with gorgonzola and prosciutto

  • 8-12 fresh figs
  • crumbled gorgonzola
  • 1 package sliced prosciutto
  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. slice the stems off the figs and slice lengthwise to create quarters, leaving the figs attached at the bottoms.

  3. fill centers with crumbled gorgonzola.

  4. slice the prosciutto slices in half lengthwise and wrap each fig with prosciutto, leaving the tops exposed.

  5. bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and prosciutto is slightly crisp.

all wrapped up and ready for the oven. meanwhile, oscar and pax are hoping for a piece of prosciutto to hit the floor.

similar rectangular trays | tidbit plates | coupe glasses | similar plaid napkins 

hot out of the oven, i topped these delicious bites with toasted chopped walnuts. they added a perfect amount of crunch and flavor to cut through the soft and sweet fig. 

the Mott & Mulberry

this cocktail is a wonderful fall drink, thanks to the apple cider and the slightly bitter Amaro, it’s just the ticket for a crisp fall cocktail. and don’t skimp on the garnish! Gala apples are particularly good in Athens this season. the fanned apple slices are a pretty topper for a delicate fall drink. 

Mott & Mulberry

  • 1 oz Rye
  • 1 oz Amaro
  • 3/4 oz apple cider
  • 1/4 oz pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • apple slices for garnish
  1. In a shaker, combine everything except the ice and apple slices. Fill the shaker with ice, cover and shake well. Using a fine sieve as well as a cocktail strainer (preferably a Hawthorne), strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe. Garnish with the apple slices.

doesn’t that just look so tempting! a perfect fall cocktail. 


all together now! fridays with oscar and ollie

it’s days and weeks like this in athens that we make full use of the three-season porch. the air is fresh and crisp. the sun is warm and keeps the chill in the air at bay.  

many of you have been asking after ollie. she is always with us on fridays with oscar. but she often prefers to remain behind the scenes, batting around my fall decor or otherwise being mischievous while our concentrations are elsewhere. 

this week though, her curiosity and interest in watching oscar and pax play in the yard brought her front and center. and junior style was right there with his camera to catch her. 


well ladies, another week in the books. in case you missed monday’s post, the Talbots friends and family sale is in full swing until october 25, so be sure to head over there to take advantage of great sale prices. as always stay tuned to the blog for all our upcoming posts. we are heading into the holiday season; beginning next week, we will kick off the season with our annual gift guides. think of style at a certain age as your one stop shopping guide for the holidays! oscar, ollie and i wish all of you a wonderful weekend!


Hi everyone! Welcome to Kelly’s Kitchen. Several weeks ago, a reader requested we cover salad dressings from scratch. You know the ones: Ranch, Caesar, Thousand island, Italian…I contemplated doing one big post with all of them, but then I thought I’d break them out a bit because at least one of them is slightly more complex. So that one is the star of the show today. Hello, Caesar! 


There are cheats to making your own Caesar dressing; I have used them. Namely, using mayonnaise as a base. This is totally fine. But I will say that when you make the whole thing from scratch, the difference will surprise you. The result is more luscious and doesn’t have that mayonnaise tang. 

Hello, Caesar! 

The ingredients are basic. We have olive oil and vegetable or grapeseed oil, lemon juice, egg yolks, garlic, Dijon, salt, pepper, parmesan and anchovy fillets. 

Y’all probably know this by now, but I like everything prepped and ready to go. So do that first. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world if you just take the time to get it all prepped. 

Grate your Parmesan on the fine side of a box grater. Then gently rub the grated cheese between your fingers to create more of a granular texture, rather than stringy. It ends up being more like store bought grated cheese. All set.


Then, chop your one clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and six anchovy fillets together.

Once chopped, use the flat side of a wide chef’s knife to make a paste with the anchovies and garlic. Using your left hand (or right, if you’re a lefty :), apply pressure to the knife side as you drag the flat side of the knife down. Then push the mixture together and repeat pressing,  flattening and dragging the knife through the mixture until a smooth paste develops.

I like to use a large bowl with a rubberized bottom whenever I am whisking and pouring at the same time. If you have one, use it, or you can place a damp towel under a glass or plastic bowl. 

Then, scrape your anchovy paste into the bowl and whisk in your two egg yolks, two tablespoons lemon juice and ¾ teaspoon Dijon. Whisk until well mixed.

Then, a drop at a time start whisking in the two tablespoons of olive oil. Then in a steady stream, whisk in the ¾ cup of vegetable or grapeseed oil. (I like the grapeseed oil because it feels lighter than vegetable oil.)

Keep whisking until the mixture is thickened and glossy. Finally, whisk in the three tablespoons of finely grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice, if you like. Then just set the bowl aside while you make the croutons.


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. I am using half a loaf of homemade sourdough, but you can use a country loaf or other crusty bread. If all you have around is sandwich loaf bread, that’s OK! No matter what type of bread you’re using, just be sure to tear your pieces of bread to create a lot of craggy edges to collect the olive oil. 

I like to toss my bread chunks with olive oil in a large bowl, then spread them out on a rimmed sheet pan. Then, I season with salt and lemon zest. I had some leftover grated parm so I sprinkled that on too. Because, why the heck not!

Bake the croutons, toss them at least once, for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. 

I don’t like my salad to be too weighed down with dressing, so I poured about ⅔ of a cup into a separate measuring cup, leaving about ⅓  cup in the mixing bowl. I tossed in my Romaine and poured about ⅓ of the dressing over the top and tossed it with my hands to coat the lettuce. 

Then I scooped the dressed lettuce into a serving bowl and set aside. Then I tossed my still warm croutons in the dressing left in the mixing bowl. Go ahead and pour a little more dressing over the croutons and toss to coat the croutons. 

Top the dressed lettuce with your dressed croutons and use a Y peeler or wide slice side of a box grater to shave ribbons of parmesan to place on top. Add more fresh cracked pepper, if you like. Hello Caesar!


And that’s it! I had some dressing leftover which I will use as a sandwich spread, probably. Or as a dip for some sourdough focaccia I made this week. Homemade Caesar dressing feels intimidating at first. Maybe it’s the anchovies. Or maybe it’s the egg yolks…? But it really is easy. It’s not like making a hollandaise sauce or anything that involves the eggs scrambling. Or butter and eggs breaking. So don’t be intimidated! 

I hope you say Hello, Caesar! and give this recipe a try. It’s a good one to have in your repertoire and it will definitely impress your friends and family when you can tell them it’s homemade Caesar dressing! 

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. If you’re interested in another classic salad, try my recipe for Three Bean Salad, or German Potato Salad. Stay tuned, I will cover more from-scratch salad dressings; and with the holidays coming up, let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to see in this column. Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too! Take care everyone, be well. xo Kelly

Hello Caesar!

Caesar Dressing

  • 6 Anchovy Fillets, oil packed and drained
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 large Egg Yolks
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice, plus more
  • 3/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable or Grapeseed Oil (preferred)
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper


  • 3 cups Torn Bread Pieces, about 1" x 1"
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Lemon Zest, optional
  • Grated Parmesan, optional
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  1. Chop together anchovy fillets, garlic, and pinch of salt. Use the flat side of a knife blade to smash into a paste, then scrape into a large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard.

  2. Drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in finely grated Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Tear bread into 1" chunks. Toss bread with olive oil in a bowl. Spread on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.

  4. Pour off 2/3 cup of dressing into separate cup, leaving 1/3 cup in the mixing bowl. Add Romaine to bowl and add about 1/3 cup more dressing on top. Toss with your hands to coat the lettuce and transfer to a serving bowl.

  5. In mixing bowl, toss croutons in dressing remaining in bowl, adding more dressing if desired. Toss to coat croutons in dressing. Top salad with croutons and shaved parmesan. Top with cracked black pepper, if desired.


Hello everyone, welcome to Kelly’s Kitchen. I am so happy you’re joining me today. Although fall has arrived, the temperatures in Athens this week have been in the high seventies. It’s been a very lovely fall so far. The warm sunny days haven’t deterred my cravings for brothy, savory soups though! So today, we are making Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Garlic. 


This recipe is by Alison Roman. It appeared on the NY Times Cooking site about six months ago. I made this pretty much to the recipe, without many modifications. But I am already looking forward to making it again with a few tweaks and additions, which I will share as we go along.

Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Garlic

For the grated ginger, I use my zester, but you can use the fine side of a box grater too. Also, don’t bother to peel the ginger, it’s not necessary, especially since you’re grating it, the skin virtually disappears. 

Also, a mandoline will give you nice even, thin garlic slices.

The recipe calls for one pound of ground pork, but I am going to cook off two pounds and remove about a pound of the cooked pork for something else. But first, let’s toast our garlic. You want to use a neutral oil, like vegetable oil or my favorite, grapeseed oil

Let the oil get hot over medium heat, toss the garlic into the pot in a single layer, if you can. Stir them frequently so they don’t get too dark, otherwise they will be bitter. Just a nice golden color. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and lay them on a paper towel. If some get too dark, you can just pick them out.

Add your pork and the crushed red pepper flakes to the same pot you toasted the garlic in. Season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Brown the pork and break it up into bite size pieces as it’s cooking.  

When your pork is browned, add your four cups of chicken stock, four cups of water, and three tablespoons of soy sauce. When I make this again, at this point I will add a tablespoon of Red Boat Fish Sauce

Bring this up to a simmer and add half the onions and all of the ginger. Taste it to see if it needs more soy sauce, salt or pepper. 

While it’s simmering, I got my water boiling in a separate pot for the noodles. The rice vermicelli only takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. Once the noodle water is boiling, turn off the heat, drop in the noodles, cover and set a timer for 8 minutes. 

Meanwhile, back to my soup. Now I add my spinach, and stir to wilt the leaves. I turned down the heat to very low and let it all come together.

When your noodles are cooked, strain them and I like to run cool water over them just to stop the cooking. The hot soup broth will warm them back up.


Let’s Plate Our Soup!

I like wide shallow bowls for noodle dishes like this, when I have a variety of toppings. I use about a handful of the rice vermicelli, and I just plop it into my bowl.

Then I ladled my soup over the noodles, making sure I scooped from the bottom of the pot to get a good amount of pork.

Then top with cilantro, remaining sliced onions and toasted garlic. I also added sliced red peppers for extra heat. My red peppers are actually Serranos that have turned red. But jalapeño or Thai chile would be good too. 


In addition to adding fish sauce to this broth, I would also add a little rice vinegar or lime juice right at the end. While the store bought chicken stock is more convenient, next time I might make a richer stock with pork or beef bones. But ultimately, this recipe is an easy weeknight dish with great flavors. The fresh onion and toasted garlic really amp up the savory richness. 

I love a brothy Asian-inspired soup any day of the year, but there’s something about the turn to fall when almost all I want to eat is soup! What’s your favorite fall dish to make? Let me know in the comments below! 

If you like Asian noodle dishes, you might like my recipe for Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowls, it’s great any time of year! Thanks everyone for stopping by today, I hope you give this recipe a try. Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too! Take care everyone, be well. xo Kelly

Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Garlic

  • 3 tbsp Neutral oil like Grapeseed or Vegetable
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, more to taste
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Water
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari, more to taste
  • 1 Large bunch pea leaves or spinach, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Finely Grated Fresh Ginger, from about 1 1/2" piece of ginger
  • 6 oz Rice Noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 Medium yellow, white or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped, stems and leaves
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium.

  2. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices become nicely toasted and golden brown, 2 or 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic and set aside.

  3. Add pork and red-pepper flakes to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up large pieces, until the pork is well browned and in small bite-size pieces, 5 to 8 minutes.

  4. Add chicken broth, soy sauce and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or so, until the pork is very tender and the broth tastes impossibly good. (Give it a taste and season with salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes and soy sauce, if you want.) Add pea leaves, half of the onion slices, and all of the ginger. Stir to wilt the leaves.

  5. To serve, ladle soup over noodles and top with remaining onion, cilantro and toasted garlic.


Hi friends! I am super excited about today’s recipe. The idea for it comes from my Dad, who lives in Northern California. Each year, he and his wife count the days until it’s Hatch chile season. So this year when he told me they got their shipment from New Mexico, I had to wonder if I would be able to get them easily in Athens, Georgia. Well, I was able to get them locally. (thank you, Trader Joe’s!) So today, it’s my take on Chile Relleno. 


Hatch chiles are similar to Anaheim chiles, but are native to the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. They are prized for their spicy sweet flavor and you can get them in a range from hot to mild. Mild is best for making chile relleno. So if you can’t find them, an Anaheim chile will work just fine. 


My Take on Chile Relleno

I am going a little rogue with this Mexican dish: I am stuffing them with chorizo and jack cheese, and adding panko to the breading for a nice crispy crust. 

But first I need to roast the chiles. I cut their tops off, set them out on a sheet tray and broiled them on each side until they were bubbly and had a nice char to them. Just put them in and keep an eye on them, they go pretty quick.

Then put them in a Ziplock for just 15 minutes and the steam will soften the chile so they are easy to peel.

Then, carefully peel off the skin and remove the seeds. I didn’t bother with removing them altogether, I just got rid of the main cluster of them at the top of each chile.


Rest of the Prep

I had some leftover grilled tomatoes from Joojeh Kabob we made over the weekend, so I took those charred grilled tomatoes and I pureed them with two of the smallest roasted Hatch chiles I had. Then I rough chopped one yellow onion, 5 cloves of fresh garlic, and a good handful of cilantro (stems and leaves) in the food processor. I also added a glug of olive oil.

I mixed the onion, garlic, cilantro mixture into the tomatoes and added lime juice (half a lime) and Kosher salt to taste. Set it aside to let the flavors hang out a bit. 

Then it’s on to the chorizo. This is Mexican chorizo which is a soft sausage. It comes in a casing that you remove and cook it like ground meat. I am using 8 ounces of chorizo. The brand I get is portioned out in 2 ounce sausage links, but otherwise you can make the whole package and save what you don’t use for breakfast tomorrow! Chorizo and eggs in a tortilla is THE BEST breakfast. (just sayin’)

The chorizo cooks pretty quickly over medium high heat. It’s done when the texture is crumbly and it’s slightly more brown than red. Use a slotted spoon to remove chorizo from the pan and let it drain on a few folded paper towels. 

I am using pre-shredded Monterey Jack cheese. To make filling the chiles easier, I mixed my shredded cheese with the cooked chorizo ahead. This made the possibility of tearing the chile as I filled it less of an issue. 

For toppings, I have chopped cilantro, sliced scallion, avocado and Cotija cheese. All of this is optional, but really goes nicely, especially with the roasted tomato salsa. 


Making the Relleno

Take your chile and slice a slit down the center. If you can, try not to cut it all the way to the bottom. Only go as far as you have to to get filling into the bottom without compromising the chile. 

My mixture is pretty crumbly so I decided to hedge and use toothpicks to help keep it closed. 


The Set Up

Set up your breading station right to left: prepared chiles; then in shallow bowls,  ½ – 1 cup all purpose flour, 1-2 beaten eggs, ½ -1 cup panko. Then finally, a sheet tray with a wire rack placed inside. 

A note on the ratios: I usually go for the higher quantities for the dredge because nothing is worse than having to break your assembly stride to beat more egg. So I used: 2 eggs, 1 cup flour and 1 cup panko. I definitely had leftover, but that was ok. 

Also think ahead on your fry station set up. Go right to left. I have my breaded chiles; then my dutch oven filled with about a ½ inch of grapeseed oil, heating to 350 degrees. I turn my burner on low to get the oil going while I fill and bread my chiles. Then I turn the burner up to medium high once I am ready with the chiles. 

Then I have my landing tray: another sheet tray lined with a wire rack. This will keep your rellenos from getting soggy bottoms while they cool. 


Tools to have

If you don’t already have one, you must get a fish spatula for a job like this. It is life-changing! Another great tool is a pair of large chef’s tweezer-style tongs. They have a very pointy tip which makes turning the chiles much easier because you don’t have gangly tong tips accidentally scraping off any of your panko crust. Also, have your handy thermometer to read the oil temp. 

When your oil is hot, gently lay in one chile at a time, with a maximum of two in the pot. after about 3 minutes, check the bottoms, and if they are golden brown flip them over. 

To flip: in your right hand use your fish spatula to lift up one side of the chile. With your left hand use your tongs to gently help scoot the chile onto the fish spatula. With your fish spatula hand, slowly flip the chile over onto the tong arms and then gently pull out your tongs from under the chile. 

Repeat this process for the four chiles. 

Once slightly cool, pull out your toothpicks and plate up your Hatch Chile Rellenos! 

You guys, I have to say I haven’t made these before because they have never been my favorite Mexican dish. I think usually at restaurants, they’re always too cheesy and too soggy. But when my Dad got all excited about making chile relleno with his Hatch chiles, I had to try my hand at it. 

Dad, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for today’s recipe inspiration! And thank you, everyone for spending some of your Saturday with me this week. Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too! Take care everyone, be well. xo Kelly

Hatch Chile Relleno with Chorizo and Panko

Tomato Salsa

  • 2-5 Roasted Tomatos
  • 1-2 Roasted Hatch Chiles, skins removed
  • 1 Small to Medium Onion
  • 4-6 Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 1/4 Bunch of Cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Chile Relleno

  • 4-6 Large Hatch Chiles or Anaheim Chiles
  • 8-10 oz Mexican Chorizo, cooked
  • 1/2-1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1-2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2-1 cup Panko
  • 1/2" Grapeseed or vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven
  • Sliced Avocado, optional topping
  • Cilantro, optional topping
  • Cotija Cheese, optional topping

Tomato Salsa

  1. Purèe tomatoes and Hatch chiles to a chunky salsa consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside

  2. Rough chop onion. Peel and smash garlic cloves. Add cilantro, onions, garlic and olive oil to food processor. Process to a chunky salsa consistency.

  3. Stir onion garlic mixture into tomato chile mixture, add lime juice and season with Kosher salt to taste.

Chile Relleno

  1. Broil chiles until they are blistered and charred on both sides. Put chiles in a Ziplock and let them steam for 15 minutes.

  2. Cut off chile stems and remove seeds. Carefully peel the charred skin off of the chiles. Set aside.

  3. Cook your chorizo until the sausage is crumbly and browned. Using a slotted spoon transfer the chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  4. Prepare your dredge station with shallow bowls with flour, egg and panko.

  5. Prepare your fry station with 1/2" grapeseed or vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Turn your burner on low.

  6. Mix your cooked chorizo and cheese and set near your dredge station.

  7. Slice each chile down the center only long enough to easily fill with filling. Gently fill each chile with filling and close the chile with toothpicks. Repeat with each chile.

  8. One chile at a time, carefully dredge each chile in the flour, then the egg, then the panko.

  9. Turn up the heat on your burner to medium high to get the oil to 350 degrees. Then carefully place two chiles in the oil, frying for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Adjust burner temp to maintain 350 degrees. Repeat for remaining chiles.

  10. Remove toothpicks from each chile, plate with toppings and whatever sides you like.


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