Tag Archives: Food Network

Friday Finds


But seriously.  TGIF.

It’s been another long week, amiright?

This Friday Finds isn’t nearly as cool as last week’s post, but it’ll do pig.  It’ll do.

Here’s what I’m obsessing over this week.

This entire outfit from Anthropologie.


I am obsessed with everything in this picture. Even her hair. I *will* have that fabulous red bag lady sweater at some point in the very near future, if I have anything to do with it.
And I do.

However, I don’t see myself purchasing very expensive jeans in the near future, so I made a substitution.

These deconstructed Gap jeans.

Gap Deconstructed Real Straight JeansGap Deconstructed Real Straight Jeans

I was in Tallahassee last weekend for a hair appointment, and hopped over to the mall and tried these on.  I got them in short length, because I’m short, but also so that I could wear them more like the ones in the Anthro picture above with my own bag lady sweaters (until I purchase that red one, of course).


Bag lady sweaters are the BEST.  Mary Kate and Ashley exemplify the perfect bag lady chic vibe I like to go for in the fall.


Right? Ultimate bag lady chic.

Another thing I’m loving lately is my new favorite Food Network Show, Heartland Table


She isn’t Southern, per se, but she appeals to a Southern viewer, which I find refreshing amongst the “Southern” Food Network crowd.  There are no airs about this gal.  No cane syrup-sweet accent she’s laying on too thick.  She uses a normal human amount of butter in her recipes.  She doesn’t break into uncomfortable song at the end of every episode. But she grows her own food, visits and talks with farmers, and is really laid back and almost suspiciously normal-acting in front of the camera.  Like, I could be friends with this girl.  I could be this girl.
Except, by no fault of my own, I would have a cane-syrup-thick accent.

Anyway, I love her show.  She makes pie dough from scratch, grows her own lettuce, and doesn’t  annoy the shiz out of me.  I highly suggest you check her show out!  I’ve got all of them DVR’d, if you want to come over and marathon it with me.

Bobbi Brown Makeup


I haven’t been loving my makeup for the past year or two.  I feel like my skin has changed a lot (#midtwenties), and I just couldn’t figure out what worked for me.  I saw this feature on Bobbi Brown on CBS Sunday Morning (my FAVE!) and loved her natural aesthetic.  Then I started seeing Katie Holmes around in her Bobbi Brown, and she’s looking better than she ever has, IMHO.  So Saturday after my hair appointment, I went and got a full makeover at the Bobbi Brown counter in Dillard’s.  It was awesome.  I wish I could have bought everything they used on me, but alas, I still have to save up for those J.Crew boots, Madewell boots, and red bag lady sweater from Anthro.  I did purchase the liquid foundation pictured above, as well as the undereye corrector and concealer.  I am LOVING it all.  If you’re interested in the CBS Sunday Morning feature on her, {click here}.  I love how she puts her philosophy: “All women are beautiful.  What beauty is to me, is not looking like a super model, not looking like a Barbie doll.  It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and knowing how to use makeup to make you look better and enhance who you are.”
Isn’t that what we all want out of our makeup?

Speaking of all things girlie, I’m also loving my borrowed curling iron from Charity.

Ion Titanium Pro Curling Iron

I am just now learning to use these girl tools, and I really didn’t know how to use a curling iron. But Charity let me borrow this curling iron, and after a quick text tutorial from Rachel, I am feeling fairly confident at actually doing things to my hair.  Thanks Charity and Rachel! As proof of my new-found hair potential, please enjoy this awkward bathroom selfie.


I can be quite the awkward turtle, I’m well aware.  I’ve just been blowing it out straight, which takes surprisingly little time, then run a flat iron through it, then a curling iron.  Or just the curling iron.  I don’t really know, I’ve only been doing it for a few days and I am really new at actually doing things to my hair.  Update: here’s one from this morning after using the curling iron – I’m getting better!

Any product or curling iron suggestions for me?

So that’s what I’m loving in my world right now.  What are you loving?

Happy Fall Friday!  Go forth and soak up all the glorious Fall weather we’re having!



Cherry Hand Pies

When I posted about my homemade almond extract project on Monday, I suppose I was putting the pit in front of the cherry, so to speak.

I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world I did with all those cherries I had to have eaten to get to all those pits?

Ate them by the bowl-fulls, mostly.

However, when I realized that the last of my plethora of cherries were a little past their peak, I decided to do something else with them.  Cooking something is a really good way to disguise the fact that it’s not super fresh.  Shhhhh….Don’t tell Wheat that.

Over-Ripe Cherries | Oysters & Pearls

First, I had to pit them all.  After reading the many suggestions on Chowhound for how to pit cherries quickly, and trying a few different methods (seriously didn’t get the bobby pin trick?!), I came up with a pretty dern efficient way to get ‘er done.

Easy Way to Pit Cherries | Oysters & Pearls

I scrounged around in my college kitchen remnants and found a funnel flask.  I tried an icing piping star tip and tried to pit cherries a la Martha Stewart, but I just ended up bending the tip.  The funnel worked MUCH better.  It’s sturdy, stable, and fit perfectly.

Just place a cherry (stem removed) stem side down on top of the funnel and push it down!

The pit almost always stayed in the tip of the funnel, and the cherries (mostly) remained intact.  Beware though – this is a MESSY process.  I highly recommend an apron.

Anyway, I was left with a bowl full of pitted cherries!

Pitted Cherries | Oysters & Pearls

And their pits!  Into the freezer went the pits for future almond extract.

Cherry Pits | Oysters & Pearls

Now what to do?  I wanted something easy.  I decided to go with cherry hand pies!

Semi-Homemade Miniature Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

Semi-Homemade because I didn’t have the time nor the energy to make the pie crusts.

After a decent amount of Googling, I came up with a super simple recipe for cherry pie filling based on probably 8 I found and liked online.

Cherries, Sugar, Salt, & Vanilla for Pie Filling | Oysters & Pearls

Simple Cherry Pie Filling


– approximately 2 cups of pitted fresh cherries
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon (a little overflowing) vanilla extract
– 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I eyeballed half of a 1/4 teaspoon – aka just a pinch!)
– 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (aka 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons)
– 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water (again, 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons)


Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water and set aside.  Add the cherries, sugar, vanilla, and salt to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat for about five minutes, or until the cherries really start to release their juices.  Re-whisk the cornstarch/water mixture and add it to the cherries.  Stir together and bring to a rapid boil, stirring often.  Remove from heat (just after bringing to a boil).  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Boiling Cherry Pie Filling | Oysters & Pearls

Cherry mixture boiling (above) and the finished pie filling (below) for reference and pretty pictures.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling | Oysters & Pearls

To make the hand pies (aka tiny, hand-held size pies), I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts.  Just call this post Semi-Homemade with Nata-lie.  #foodnetworkjokes

Using a Vintage Biscuit Cutter to Cut Mini Pie Crusts | Oysters & Pearls

The first round I tried using an old biscuit cutter to cut out circles, which I filled with about 1 tablespoon of filling, then placed another one on top and crimped the edges with fork tines.  I do not recommend this method.  It is messier and has more chances of leaking, and I didn’t think they were as cute as the second method.

Round Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

Second go-round I tried using a much larger scalloped cookie cutter and then folding that in half.  Winner winner!

Fold Over Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

For whatever method of hand pie formation you use, to create an egg wash, I mixed two egg whites (or if you save egg whites in the fridge like I do, two tablespoons of egg white) with one tablespoon of cold water.  Use a pastry brush to brush the egg white wash over all the hand pies.  I then sprinkled some sugar on them for a little sweetness and sparkles.  Oh, and don’t forget to use a sharp paring knife to cut slits in the top.  Otherwise, your cherry hand pies will most definitely explode.

Bake on parchment paper or a Silpat (I only had one Silpat, so one baking sheet has parchment paper and one has a Silpat).

Side note: Silpats are awesome.  I want 20 of them, and if you bake or cook a lot, so should you.  They are French silicone non-stick, non-slide, awesome baking sheet liners that are also perfect for rolling out doughs.

I baked these at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  They could have stayed in a minute more, but they turned out REALLY tasty!

Miniature Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

And what doesn’t taste better in miniature form?

Semi-Homemade Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

I went a little crazy with the pictures.

Mini Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

This was on Sunday, and Wheat came home from playing golf to a house smelling like cherry pie, and I won the wifey of the year award.

I barely. did. anything.  Again, do not tell Wheat this.

Cherry Hand Pies | Oysters & Pearls

Make these.  Go forth and impress people, y’all.

Harold, however, was unimpressed, as he did not get to taste-test any cherry hand pies.

Worn Out Pup | Oysters & Pearls

Sorry, Hal.