Chicken Encilantrada

Chicken Encilantrada

This Sunday I am cooking one of my favorite dishes! Chicken Encilantrada…I got this recipe from one of my best friends. Her mother made it growing up in Laredo, Texas and they shared it with me. It is truly one of the most delicious Mexican dishes I have ever had!

Chicken Encilantrada is the perfect meal to make on a Sunday because it takes a few hours to prepare and it is perfect to serve for your friends and family. If you’re not cooking for a group, the leftovers heat up well and you can enjoy them for a few days. My friend told me the name “Encilantrada” comes from cilantro and this delicious green sauce seeps into the chicken making the most wonderful, savory flavors.

Some of the main ingredients for Chicken Encilantrada.

Chicken Encilantrada 

Serves Four

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

1 bay leaf

1 handful of peppercorns

1 white onion

1 carrot

3 cloves of garlic

5 big tomatillos 

1 jalapeno 

1 handful of cilantro

3 cups of chicken broth 

1 tbsp. cumin

1 7 oz. can of Herdez salsa verde 

1 tbsp/chicken of Knorr Caldo con Sabor de Pollo (chicken flavor bouillon) 7.9 oz

To Make:

Boil the whole chicken with bay leaf, peppercorns, carrot, garlic and some onion in a large pot. Cover all ingredients with chicken broth and water and boil for 30-45 minutes.

In another pot, boil tomatillos and jalapeño in water until they’re soft and cooked through.

Add the cooked/drained tomatillos and jalapeño to blender with a chunk of raw onion, handful of cilantro, garlic cloves, cumin, salsa verde, knorr chicken bouillon, a little broth and mix until smooth. At the end of the blending process, add a little olive oil to the mixture and blend once more.

Once the chicken is cooked and cooled, shred it.

Add the blended sauce to a sauce pan and warm it through.

Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and toss to combine.

Chicken Encilantrada

You can serve Chicken Encilantrada in tortillas for tacos or on top of rice and beans for a lighter version. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my husband and I do and that you all have a beautiful Sunday! Happy cooking!

XO,

Brit

 

Brit’s Picks

Brit’s Picks

Happy Friday, loves!! I am loving this weekend because there are so many amazing sales happening!! And right now, my FAVORITE dress of the summer is currently on sale and still available in a few sizes!! Use the code SUMMER on the J.crew website to get an extra 40 percent off of this showstopper of a dress.

We’re all wearing face masks when we go out now so why not get a really cute one? I love all things pastel so of course I am loving the new Stoney Clover pastel masks with these fun beads! Stoney Clover is also making clear cases for masks which are definitely an upgrade from the ziplock bags I’ve been carrying my masks around in!

I was browsing online the other night and I think I’ve created my dream summer outfit! Paring this white linen crop top and pants with simple tan sandals and rainbow accessories is the perfect look for a night out this summer for pretty much any activity. The rainbow pompom straw bag is currently on sale for just $51! If you want to dress it up a bit, you could swap out the wrap sandals for the Loeffler Randall Penny Knot Mules.

Times have been tough and I’ve noticed people are giving more gifts than usual to cheer friends and loved ones up. If you’re looking to do something like that and needing some inspiration, these are a few of my favorite gifts lately. I just randomly found the Bliss Jelly Glow Peel the other day at Target and I don’t normally experiment with drugstore skin care, but I caved in…I just love all things pink… and I’m so glad I gave this a shot! At $10, this peel has not irritated my face, but rather has truly made it glow! It is so easy to use too. You just rub it on in a circular motion after you wash your face and it takes away all of your dead skin–it is fabulous and I’m sure you and your friends will love it! Candles are also a great gift option, who doesn’t love candles?! The Fornasetti Candles are a little pricey, but smell great and really make a statement. I also just LOVE these lemon cocktail napkins…get a set of these, a nice bottle of vodka and a sparkling French lemonade and you’ve got yourself a beautiful and summery hostess gift!

I hope you loved my picks this week and I hope everyone has a SAFE and HEALTHY weekend!

XO,

Brit

Black Friday in July Sale at Macy’s

Black Friday in July Sale at Macy’s

Macy’s is having a Black Friday in July sale that will last through Monday and it is not one you want to miss! They are taking up to 70 percent off of fine jewelry, clothing and home goods!

I feel like Macy’s gets a bad rap because they aren’t the flashiest, but what I love about them is that they offer many of the same brands as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman’s and Nordstrom, but because of their massive sales, you can get a better price on the exact same items. Some of my favorite clothing brands they carry are Weekend Max Mara, Lauren Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. They also sell home goods and things like that so it is a one-stop shop.

For their Black Friday in July Sale, Macy’s is offering major discounts on different items each day so if you see something on sale today, make sure you buy it because it might not be on the deal tomorrow. During sales like this, I love to stock up on household items like hand towels or new dishes that maybe you’ve been putting off getting for a while.

I hope you love all of my picks! Let me know what you are loving from the Macy’s sale!

XO,

Brit

Summer Reading: All About the Gilded Age

Summer Reading: All About the Gilded Age

This summer I made a few small goals for myself…one of them was to read a new book each month. In June, I started with Empty Mansions: the Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune, and because I’m a sucker for themes, I decided to make my July and August selections about the Gilded Age as well. And with all of the unpleasantness of 2020, I couldn’t think of a better time to take a literary vacation to a time of luxury and opulence.

The Gilded Age–a phrase coined by Mark Twain (renowned writer and outspoken critic of Huguette Clark’s father) in his novel, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, was a time of unprecedented economic growth in the United States roughly from 1870-1900. At the time, industries in the U.S. were booming, the transcontinental railroad was being built and as a result, the notorious Fifth Avenue mansions were being built by the Vanderbilts, Astors and Clarks and the stunning palaces built by these families dotted the shores of Newport, Rhode Island. Unimaginable fortunes were being made in oil, copper and gold and the United States was coming into its own as a world power.

Written by Pulitzer Prize winner, Bill Dedman and Clark’s cousin, Paul Clark Newell Jr., Empty Mansions was a fabulous book to start my summer reading with. Huguette Clark–the daughter of copper magnate W.A. Clark, spent the last 20 years of her life living in a hospital room in New York City even though she had three luxury apartments on Fifth Avenue, a mansion in New Canaan, Connecticut, and a palatial compound in Santa Barbara.

This book intrigued me for a few reasons….first and foremost, Huguette’s mother, Anna, was born in Butte, Montana, a small mining town where Huguette’s father made his fortune. Butte is just a short 30-minute drive from Anaconda–an even smaller mining town where all of my family is from. Huguette was also married in Santa Barbara about two minutes from where I was married, at the Four Seasons, so I had all of these parallels with her that were just so interesting to me.

The book itself is incredibly well written and so fascinating. Huguette’s father almost seems like he was a character from a Wild West film–fighting native Americans for land and tricking his way into the senate. His political background was particularly interesting to me because of how it intertwined with my family’s stories. For years, I have heard my grandmother talk about how Anaconda, Montana (the town both of my parents grew up in and where most of my extended family lives) should have been the capital of the state, but that someone (I now assume that someone is W.A.) stashed ballots to make the town lose the vote. After reading Empty Mansions, I now understand the bitter rivalry between W.A. Clark and the “Copper King” Marcus Daly–who was pushing for Anaconda to become the capital.

A far cry from her boisterous father, Huguette lived the majority of her life as a recluse. She spent a large portion of her fortune on her beloved dolls and a stunning collection of impressionist paintings that museums could only dream of having today. In a time when most would be relishing their fine surroundings and hopping between compounds in Manhattan and Santa Barbara, Huguette lived out the last two decades of her life in hospitals, arguably being manipulated by the doctors and nurses around her. If you are looking for a bizarre and intriguing summer read, I would highly recommend Empty Mansions.

This summer, I am taking a deep-dive into the Gilded Age by reading Empty Mansions, A Season of Splendor and To Marry an English Lord.

For the month of July, I am reading A Season of Splendor: the Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York by Greg King. Caroline Schermerhorn Astorthe Mrs. Astor, reigned as the queen of New York society for nearly half a century and single-handedly decided who was in and who was out of the upper crust of society through a social register known as “The 400” …a list W.A. Clark could never gain access to.

In August, I plan to read To Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth and Marriage, Sex and Snobbery in the Gilded Age by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace. As fans of Downton Abbey know, during the Gilded Age, it became commonplace for American oil and textile heiresses to raise their social status by marrying English aristocrats who had titles and estates, but no money to run them.

Come back next month for my review of A season of Splendor! I hope you’re all enjoying your summer. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re reading!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

For the third stop on Brit’s Summer Travel Series, we are heading to the Lone Star state! Until a few months ago, I was just a visitor to Austin, not a resident. Through my visits to Austin over the years and after living here for a while, I have learned a few things about the capital of Texas and am sharing them with you for your next visit!

I’ve always thought Austin is where Texas meets L.A., and it’s crazy to think that nestled in the rolling hills of Texas, there is a burgeoning tech hub with chic restaurants and more outdoor activities than you can imagine. The first thing to figure out for your trip is where to stay and Austin hotels do not disappoint.

The coolest hotel in my opinion is the Hotel Saint Cecilia. This boutique hotel is in the heart of the city, just off of South Congress and a quick jump across Lady Bird Lake from downtown. If you’re interested in proximity to town, the South Congress Hotel and W Austin are both great options.

The Commodore Perry Estate is brand new and I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but it looks incredible! Auberge Resorts brought the nearly one hundred-year-old Commodore Perry mansion back to life and the storied estate looks better than ever.

Austin’s restaurants are as delicious as they are well designed. My absolute favorite restaurant has to be Clark’s Oyster Bar. It is my vibe to a tee and the food is SO good! If you are a seafood lover like me, then this is the place for you. My husband and I love going for dinner together and it’s also a wonderful brunch spot with your girlfriends! I’m not sure if there is anything better than a dozen oysters with Clark’s famous French fries and a glass of one of their many fabulous wines. Their sister-restaurant, Perla’s, is also fabulous and is a larger space if you’re looking for a group outing.

If you’re interested in Mexican food or TexMex, ATX Cocina and Matt’s el Rancho are my favorites. Matt’s el Rancho is more traditional and great for larger groups and families… you can’t leave without getting the Bob Armstrong Dip! ATX Cocina is a gorgeous restaurant in downtown and they serve modern Mexican food and delicious margaritas.

For sushi, we prefer Soto on South Lamar, we love going for happy hour and getting the Chef’s Choice–it’s five pieces of some of the most amazing and innovative sushi I’ve ever had! We also can’t get enough of Sway…I think about their Blue Crab Fried Rice all of the time and the design of all of their restaurants is just so cool.

For lighter fare with subtle French vibes, I highly recommend Launderette and June’s All Day. The food is incredible and again, the vibe will not disappoint. If you’re looking for the most romantic spot in Austin, I suggest Mattie’s. The food is described as southern and it is delicious. But the setting in out of this world. The restaurant is in an old mansion and the grounds have the most beautiful oak trees that have…Peacocks in them! It is so wonderful and perfect for a date night or special occasion.

Austin is known for its taco scene and for good reason. We are still working on this list, but trying out taco trucks and restaurants in Austin has been one of my favorite things to do with my husband since we’ve moved here. If you’re not interested in driving around to look for a taco-focused restaurant, but still want a taco, you’re in luck. I’ve noticed all of the coffee shops here also sell breakfast tacos, which is something I am more than okay with!

The activities in Austin are endless and if you love the outdoors, you will be in heaven here! Unlike many other parts of Texas, Austin is jam-packed with lakes, rivers, hiking trails and plenty of bike lanes!

Whether you’re a Texan looking for a weekend getaway or from out-of-state, Austin will be the perfect destination for you! Come back next week to see Brit’s next stop on the Summer Travel Series!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Picks

Brit’s Picks

Happy Friday, loves!! I am so excited about this long weekend and finally having a chance to hangout and relax with my husband and friends.

I have been living in this Ro’s Garden cover up this summer. I ordered it in a size small and love the loose fit…it is perfect to wear for a long day on the beach or the boat. It is one of those dresses that you can easily throw on to run in to grab lunch or comfortably wear on the beach all day because of its light-weight and breezy fabric. I also love the red and pink flowers on it– you could even wear it for the Fourth of July tomorrow with a blue swimsuit. I wore it here with my favorite tan slides, but how cute would it be with the Melissa heart pool sandals?! And of course no summer outfit is complete without a pair of sunglasses and my current favorites are these Gucci lookalike sunnies from Amazon…I swear you cannot tell the difference from the real ones, but they are only $12.99!! These do sell out quickly so be sure to grab yours soon!

1. Gucci Lookalike sunnies 2. Ganni Polka Dot Midi Dress 3. Hermes Face Mask 4. Staud Maxi Dress 5. Juicytube–Spring Fling 6. Spiritual Gangster Tee 7. Prada Slides 8. Ro’s Garden Caroline Cover up 9. Alo Biker Shorts 10. Slip Sleep Mist 11. J.Crew Cotton Pajamas 12. Melissa Heart Pool Sandals

Face masks have become this summer’s hottest accessory and how chic are these Hermes masks?! In addition to being uber-stylish in these masks, the proceeds from the masks are donated towards the purchase of diabetic alert service dogs for children and teens. If you’re looking for a little glam under your face mask, my favorite lip gloss from middle school is back! Lancome’s Juicy Tubes are back!! My favorite shade is SringFling…it’s the perfect dewey pink gloss!

Saks Fifth Avenue has some of the cutest new dresses in for summer and I am drooling over them!! The white Staud maxi dress with multi-colored lining is such a perfect dress, whether you’re staying at home or going to brunch with your friends. I am also in love with this new Ganni polka dot dress. Both dresses would pair perfectly with Prada’s Raffia slide sandals.

Ever since I’ve started going back to the gym after quarantine, I’ve changed my workout style. I have been loving oversized Spiritual Gangster tee shirts (the SOFTEST!! material) and pairing them with biker shorts which I never thought I’d say!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had trouble sleeping the past few nights. The J.crew cotton pajamas are my absolute favorite–they are breathable and light, but offer coverage, which is perfect for summer in Texas. They are also 50 percent off right now with the code GOFOURTH. I’m hoping new pajamas and the chamomile sleep mist from Slip will help me get back into a regular sleep schedule soon.

I hope you all have a safe and healthy Fourth of July and enjoy all of my picks this week!

XO,

Brit

Patriotic Sips: Rosé, White and Blue

Patriotic Sips: Rosé, White and Blue

Fourth of July weekend is finally here and after a long and hectic month of June, I am ready to relax with my favorite drink for the holiday…rosé! From sparkling to still and even *canned* I’m sharing my favorite blush wines with you in time for the weekend.

This time last year, I was sipping rosé poolside in the south of France…how cute is our pink hotel?!

My go to for still Rosé is of course, Miraval. I love the taste, it is widely available and it is a great price…I’d also be lying if I didn’t say I love the fact that it’s owned by Brangelina. But if Miraval isn’t available, my rule of thumb when ordering rosé is to try to get a bottle from Provence. Many other wine regions have started making their own rosé blends, but I haven’t found many I love outside of Provence. I don’t like sweet or heavy wines and the wines from the south of France just seem to be my favorite.

For other still rosés, I love Minuty rosé, but it is not as easy to find here in Texas, Whispering Angel and Summer in a Bottle. If you’re in the mood for sparkling rosé, which I often am…I would highly recommend, Perrier Jouet Blason Rosé, Veuve Clicquot Rosé and Freixenet Italian Rosé.

My favorite sparkling rosé!

Last month, my friend Erica and I tested out canned rosé. Canned beverages often get a bad rap, but they are so practical in the summer. You can throw them in a bag and take them on a boat or to the beach or wherever you want to go! They are also much cheaper to buy than bottles and come in more manageable sizes. We tested out five canned rosés and ranked our favorites!

In first place, we chose the Crafter’s Union, in second, the Porch Pounder, in third, Ava Grace, in fourth the House Wine and in fifth, Underwood.

I hope you have enjoyed my rosé selections! Leave me a comment and let me know which one is your fave and I hope you have a great weekend celebrating the Fourth of July!

XO,

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Santa Barbara

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Santa Barbara

This week we are heading to the west coast for Brit’s Summer Travel Series! Known as the American Riviera for its nearly perfect climate and resemblance to the famed French Riviera, Santa Barbara is the ultimate summer vacation destination.

The Marina at Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara has a special place in my heart not only because I got married there, but also because I’ve been going for so many years, it feels like a second home to me. My father-in-law used to live in Santa Barbara so I was lucky enough to have a locals guide to this iconic coastal California town. But Santa Barbara is not your typical California beach town filled with surfer dudes and laid-back attitudes, it is incredibly chic and oozing with European charm. Situated between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this quiet town is just 80 miles north of Los Angeles, and is packed with museums, vineyards, restaurants and some of the top-rated hotels in the world.

In addition to learning about the area from my father-in-law, I also spent two years planning my wedding in Santa Barbara. During that time, I researched and toured venues, resorts, restaurants and attractions extensively to determine where our dream wedding would take place. Because of this, I have compiled a tried-and-true list of where to stay, play, eat and drink along the American Riviera.

The hotels in Santa Barbara are some of the best in the world. I’m slightly biased, but my personal favorite is the Four Seasons. It is set on the most beautiful property over looking the Pacific Ocean and the gardens are truly stunning. As a guest of the hotel, you have access to the Coral Casino, which is a private social club across the street that has the most adorable pool and beach club. The level of service at the Four Seasons is unlike anything I have ever experienced at a hotel. Whether you’re hanging out at the Jungle Pool or the Coral Casino, lush chair coverings and towels are laid out for each guest and attendants bring around fun snacks like frozen grapes and peppermint patties throughout the day. The Spa and accommodations at the hotel are amazing and worth every penny of the hefty price tag.

If you’re interested in other high-end hotels in the area, the San Ysidro Ranch is an incredible choice (JFK and Jackie Kennedy Onassis honeymooned there) and offers a unique luxurious garden experience for their guests. I also love the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara although it is located quite a ways from the town of Santa Barbara. My dad and I stayed at the Bacara the week before my wedding and we had the best time. The resort is stunning and there is SO much to do–hiking, biking, golf, restaurants, several pools and an amazing spa.

While in Santa Barbara, there is no shortage of activities to do for people of all ages. My favorite place to go when I’m in town is Ganna Walska’s Lotusland. The story behind this stunning property is so fascinating and the grounds have been maintained to perfection since Ms. Walska’s death in 1984. Reservations are required for a visit so make sure to do that well in advance. With Lotusland’s proximity to San Ysidro Ranch, I would suggest a 10 a.m. reservation at Lotusland and brunch at the ranch after.

During the summer months and when COVID isn’t an issue, taking in a polo match is always a great experience or a hike to Cold Springs Tavern will make for a great day. If you prefer to stay in Santa Barbara proper, there are a number of wonderful wine tasting rooms, shopping and restaurants to enjoy. Two of my favorite tasting rooms in the downtown area are Au Bon Climat and Happy Canyon and The Funk Zone is a must-do for wine-lovers.

When you’re in Santa Barbara, Brophy Bros. is a must. I know, I know. It’s on the marina and looks like a tourist trap, but I promise you it is not. Locals love it and they have delicious oysters and clam chowder with one of the best views in the city. There are several fabulous Italian restaurants in the area as well. Our favorites are Ca’Dario and Olio e Limone and Lucky Penny for pizza.

If you’re looking for a casual vibe, Hillstone’s Honor Bar in Montecito is always a favorite as well as the Paradise Cafe and the Public Market in Santa Barbara…the Hangover Noodles at the Empty Bowl cannot be missed. If you’re looking for something fancier, the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch and Lucky’s Steakhouse in Montecito are fabulous options.

For breakfast and brunch, Jeannine’s in Montecito is divine and McConnell’s Ice Cream is always a great way to end the night.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip to Santa Barbara with me and I hope we can all visit this beautiful city in person again soon. No matter where you go in Santa Barbara, you will not be disappointed. Come back next Tuesday to see where we will be traveling to next for Brit’s Summer Travel Series!

XO,

Brit

Saks Fifth Avenue Designer Sale

Saks Fifth Avenue Designer Sale

As the Fourth of July approaches, so do the sales! Today, I’m rounding up my favorites from the Saks Fifth Avenue Designer Sale where you can get pieces from brands like Zimmerman, A.L.C and so many more for up to 70 percent off.

I hope you find some goodies from the Saks sale! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re most excited to buy this summer!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Picks: Fourth of July 🌟

Brit’s Picks: Fourth of July 🌟

Happy Friday, y’all!! Can you believe we are just a week away from Fourth of July celebrations?! Today I’m sharing my favorite patriotic finds to complete your party preparations! From your attire to decor, I’ve got you covered!

Are you still searching for the perfect Fourth of July decor for your party?! Target and Amazon have the cutest patriotic decorations at affordable prices and you will be able to get them in time for your celebration! I’m a big fan of stars so of course I love banners and garland made with red, white and blue stars. I also think these Meri Meri confetti rockets are a fabulous party favor for your friends and family.

As far as my Fourth of July outfit, I will be wearing my new Daily Sleeper Atlanta dress! I ordered mine in a size small and in the “Azure Blue” color. I love the color of this dress and how feminine and comfortable it is. As much as I do love this dress, it did take two months to be delivered so I wouldn’t recommend planning on wearing it immediately, but I will say, it is totally worth the wait.

For other festive looks, I would pair the USA crop top or the beautiful Mi Golondrina top with a pair of white L’Agence Margot high-rise jeans. This is my all-time favorite pair of jeans…I have them in white and a classic blue and get so many compliments whenever I wear them.

I also love the white LoveShackFancyxTarget dress for a festive option….you can pair it with some turquoise earrings and maybe a red bow in your hair and you with have the perfect outfit. I ordered this dress online in a size 2 and it fits perfectly. It looks almost exactly like the LoveShackFancy Edie dress, but much more affordable. It’s still in stock in a few sizes at Target, you don’t want to miss this one! I shared this navy blue polka dot dress from Tory Burch last week and I had to share it again because it is just too cute and it is now under $200. This is a quintessential Fourth of July dress and would be so cute with a red headband or jewelry to show your American pride.

If you’re hitting the beach, pool or the lake, I would suggest this gorgeous high-waisted red bikini from Mara Hoffman. I have a few bikinis from Mara Hoffman and I normally wear a small in the top and medium in the bottoms. These swimsuits are definitely an investment, but they fit perfectly and are made so well… you can keep them for years!

No outfit is complete without a great pair of shoes and for this Fourth of July, I will be wearing the Zara bow slides. They just got marked down to $35 and are a perfect neutral for summer. If you’re looking to splurge this holiday weekend, look no further than these chambray Chanel beauties or these chic Gucci slides. They are the perfect compliment to any patriotic look you have planned!

Whether you’re barbecuing with family, going out on the boat or the beach for the fourth, you will definitely need a festive face mask and of course, Evian face mist to beat the heat!

What are your plans for the Fourth? Leave me a comment and let me know! Hope you are all staying safe, happy and healthy this weekend!

XO,

Brit