throwback thursday: original Joe’s recipe

posted in: Family, Good Food, Recipe | 17
comfort food
Forget Rice-a-Roni, this is the REAL San Francisco treat.

If you grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960’s, chances are your family had this for dinner at some point. For a time, it was the signature dish at a restaurant called Original Joe’s, though I only ever enjoyed it at home. This was one of my Dad’s favorite dinners, and at our house we had this at least a couple of times per month.

A few weeks ago I had a hankering for this tasty scramble and tracked down the recipe online. Here’s a very basic version; you can add any number of seasonings including but not limited to Worcestershire sauce, chili and cumin, soy sauce, cilantro, whatever.

“Original Joe’s” Recipe (serves 4)

2 TBSP olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
8 oz. ground chuck (you can also use ground turkey)
1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and with excess liquid squeezed out in paper towels
8 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground on both if you have available)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (I use a Parmesan/Reggiano blend)

Heat oil in skillet, cook garlic and onion until soft. Add meat, stirring until browned. Add spinach, stir and cook until heated through. Add eggs, stir and cook until eggs are dry. Add Parmesan, stir until melted.

You can serve with garlic bread, baguette or rice for an easy, tasty dinner.


rethinking classic

Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly
Images via Pinterest here and here.


When it comes to style taxonomy “Classic” is a word often used to describe a specific look. Symmetrical, tailored, polished, presumably timeless. Think white shirts, trench coats, Breton striped tops, black pumps, ballet flats…the pieces that always seem to comprise those “10 Items Every Woman Must Own” lists. While details and silhouettes may change over the decades, the idea is that a wardrobe of classics will cover you for most occasions and look good year after year. I’d always aspired to have a traditionally classic wardrobe, one with that kind of simple elegance exemplified by the style icons venerated by my mother’s generation: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelley, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. (And more recently, by my own: Carolina Herrera and Ines de la Fressange.) It’s a look I’ve always admired and aspired to…and one that has never felt right on me. Many of those more tailored garments just didn’t fit, either physically or emotionally. They always skewed frumpy on me. But for a long time I persevered, thinking if I could just find the right cuts, the right sizes or lose enough weight, that iconic classic look would finally come together.

Over the last few years my style (both in preference and practice) has been evolving away from the crisply classic, and toward something softer, more fluid and draped. (And I should clarify, “fluid” to me doesn’t mean “flowy,” necessarily and I still avoid very voluminous pieces.) Even though these more fluid styles appeal to me aesthetically I resisted at first, having bought into the notion that opting for less fitted, less tailored clothing meant “giving up.” Giving up on attractiveness, on caring about my appearance, on femininity, and giving up on an ideal I’ve held in my head for decades. Instead, I’ve found that the softness, movement and fluidity feels more womanly, not less, and that I feel more myself, less self-conscious, more bien dans ma peau than when I was trying to force myself into more confining clothes. (Perhaps before I was also trying to fit myself into a mold of more contained, girlish femininity, another vestigial remnant of my mother’s ideals? Just a thought.) The fluidity suits my curvy shape better, too, and looks more current. I’ve bought and worn pants and skirts with elastic waists, even to work. The earth did not stop spinning, and I did not gain 80 pounds or stop washing my hair.  :-)

I’m going to take a sidetrack for a minute about that notion of giving up, or “letting oneself go” and fitted clothing. When Lisa at Privilege and I cross-posted about denim styles, she received a lot of feedback that she looked great in skinny jeans and should wear them more. Lisa has always expressed that she doesn’t like how she looks or feels in skinny jeans, not out of any insecurity but rather because they’re just not her thing. She posted a response to the comments, including acknowledging the cultural messages we receive about “good” bodies and displaying them. I’ve posted before about the notion of “flattering” which for most of us today, boils down to “makes you look thin(ner)” or whatever version of “conventionally attractive” you are attuned to. While most of us want to enhance our appearance, Flattering can become a real tyrant. If conventional figure flattery were my style Prime Directive, I’d probably wear nothing but fit-and-flare dresses. (They create the illusion of a waist, and highlight my legs.) But they aren’t my thing, and I’ve latched onto the notion of Flattering Enough, while opting for clothes that feel like a more organic expression of my self and style. It’s not about hiding or camouflage; it’s about starting from what appeals aesthetically and emotionally, and then finding a balance with what works for my body.

But back to the concept of Classic style, I think despite those “10 Items” wardrobe lists that keep popping up on Pinterest, cultural notions of style have also evolved in recent years. Whether every designer runway reflects it or not, comfort has become a higher priority, and fabrics with stretch have become the norm. (Fashion is having a Comfort Moment in a big way.) And outside of the fashion scene, our culture has also shifted in a more relaxed direction. The internet has globalized style to some degree, and that style is much more casual than even 20 years ago. The kind of tailored corporate uniforms that used to be expected in most workplaces would now be perceived as stuffy and out-of-date. Which isn’t to say that if you have a closet full of pencil skirts and crisp white blouses that you love and wear daily you need to get rid of them, just that there is no longer a single standard for what constitutes a classic wardrobe, or a work-appropriate one.

It can still be helpful, though, to think in terms of wardrobe “classics” (though by one’s own definition) in order to build and maintain wardrobe cohesion. What are those pieces that work for your lifestyle, body, aesthetic? What do they have in common and how can they work together? What design elements or colors are you always drawn to? These are your “classics.”

My classics? Jeans, slim black pants, soft jackets, tees, ankle boots, scarves. What are yours, and has your idea of a “classic” wardrobe changed over time?


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on the fringe

Top: Ralph Lauren Fall 2015 Bottom: Tom Ford Fall 2015 All via
Top: Ralph Lauren Fall 2015 RTW
Bottom: Tom Ford Fall 2015 RTW
All via

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether a particular trend will have “legs” and whether pieces purchased this season will look dated in a few months. I’ve been perusing some of the Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear collections shown so far and couldn’t help but notice there’s a lot of fringe going on, as 70’s styles appear to remain a strong influence on current and near-future fashion. (HuffPo has more.) I love a bit of fringe for the movement and drama it adds. If you can watch any videos of some of these fashion shows, some of these clothes are even lovelier in motion.

And for a bit of nostalgia that goes back even further…what I wouldn’t give to have an adult-sized version of my childhood Daniel Boone/Davy Crockett suede fringed jacket…

Fess Parker Daniel Boone
Yeah, we had the fake coonskin caps too.

Of course if I had an extra $5k just lying around…

Saint Laurent fringed suede jacket
Saint Laurent fringed suede jacket

well, in another life. ;-)

Fringe has long been associated with bohemian styles, but is a design detail I’ve spotted lately on more modern or minimalist pieces. It’s a nice way to add some texture and visual interest to a monochromatic look too. While I love the look of some of those fringed outfits above, something wearable for every day is more in my wheelhouse, which means accessories.

The fringe on the sides of this simple bag take it from blah to eye-catching.

Rebecca Minkoff Clark Hobo
Rebecca Minkoff Clark Hobo

Tassels are fringe’s kissing cousins, and a fun way to incorporate the look in small doses.

French Kande tassel necklaces
French Kande tassel necklaces

Fringe has its classic side too…

Gucci 'Frame' Loafer
Gucci ‘Frame’ Loafer


Do you have fringed items in your wardrobe? Are they every day pieces or more for special occasions?


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shape shift

cardigan | top | scarf (similar) | pants (similar) \ bracelet | shoes (similar)
cardigan | top | scarf (similar) | pants | bracelet | shoes (similar)

Lately, I’ve been drawn to soft shapes with a lot of movement, floaty bits that dance along when I walk. I’d purchased these jersey slouchy knit pants a few months ago, thinking they might be good for my Hong Kong travel wardrobe, but they ultimately didn’t make the cut. They’re so comfortable, and when combined with the right pieces, flattering even. Just for grins I tried them with my long cardigan, and loved the result.

Alexander McQueen scarf, French Kande bracelet
Bracelet: French Kande

Of course, the sheer silk scarf really makes the outfit. I spied this scarf on a rack at Neiman Marcus last spring, and it was as they say, un coup de foudre. I may have gasped out loud when I saw that print. I was surprised to find out it was an Alexander McQueen piece, as there were no obvious skulls. (Turns out there are skulls, but they are subtle and only visible when the scarf is laid out flat.) Sadly I’ve not been able to find it online anywhere, but perhaps an intrepid Sales Associate could help you track it down.

Clarks open toe shoes
These are Clark’s from last year; I’ve included some similar styles in the widget below.

Le Monsieur and I are planning a long weekend getaway next month for our 20th anniversary, and I thought this would be a good outfit for one of our evenings out. But I’ve also styled (and worn!) these pants for the office, and will show you that soon.

Eileen Fisher long cardigan, Alexander McQueen scarf
Wearing the Chanel Rouge Coco “Arthur” on lips, Chanel “Tentation” on toes. This polish wears like iron.

A few people have asked me about my photo process. I don’t have a photographer, or any special lighting setup. During the winter months, I’m limited to taking outfit photos on weekends and have to rely on “good” natural light, so probably have about an hour to 90 minutes total per week in which to shoot. I use a DSLR on a tripod, and a remote shutter trigger (which you can sometimes catch a glimpse of in one of my hands) set for a 2-second delay.

Have you tried any new clothing shapes recently?

Linked up with Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.


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they’re ba-a-a-ck….

posted in: Jackets, Style, Tees, Tops | 12
linen 3/4 sleeve tee
J.Crew linen 3/4 sleeve tee

…the J.Crew 3/4 sleeve linen tees. In lots of colors too. I picked up a couple of these last Spring and have worn them quite a bit. They run a bit larger than Crew’s cotton, and be warned the lighter colors are not opaque. You may want to add a camisole. Wash in cold water, line dry.

And, J.Crew has apparently gotten the memo:

J.Crew's style suggestions for our cohort
Some of J.Crew’s style suggestions for our cohort

what do you think of their suggestions? (More here.) I’m crushing on this lemon yellow jacket, in the “40’s” section.

As of this posting, everything at J.Crew is 20% off with code SHOPPINGTIME.
Affiliate links in this post may generate commissions for See complete disclosure policy here.

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