Petal Power: Alex Monroe’s Language of Flowers

Petal Power: Alex Monroe's Language of Flowers

Flowers are an eternal symbol in jewellery design, but often it’s form over symbolism that captures a designer’s eye. Not quite for British jeweller Alex Monroe, whose upcoming Language of Flowers collection celebrates how blooms were perceived and presented by the Victorians. Known for capturing women’s hearts with his cute yet eclectic style, Alex’s past collections have explored […]


Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini

Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini | @naturallyella

For the longest time, the thought of cooking berries felt so strange to me. Berries were a summer treat, best (read: only) eaten raw and there was really no good reason to heat up the house. And then one morning I was baking banana bread and decided to toss some strawberries in along side to top oatmeal I was also making. It turned out I had been missing out on a new level of fruit eating.

Roasting fruit does something magical where the sugars from the fruit come out even more, making the fruit just a touch sweeter and for some, a bit more mild. I also found when roasting blackberries, it made the fruit more easy to work with in recipes.

While these goat cheese crostini would make a lovely addition to any party, I actually eat this for breakfast during the summer. I’ll occasionally swap out the goat cheese for a whipped cream cheese ( which is really good on homemade bagels) or even ricotta and I’ll often toss whatever fruit I have hiding into the mix (peaches and blackberries may be my favorite combination). Of course if you don’t feel like heating up your oven, you could always good the berries on the stove top (or just lightly mash them raw- just as good!)

See the Recipe.

The post Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini appeared first on Naturally Ella.


Chicken Prosciutto Involtini

Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

I’m a self-proclaimed thigh girl, but if a properly cooked
chicken breast gets dolled up with a bunch of umami, I’m willing to go both
ways. My two main complaints with chicken breast are that it can taste bland and is easily
overcooked—but after a bunch of tinkering
in the kitchen, I came up with a Whole30-friendly recipe that tackles both of
these issues: Chicken Prosciutto Involtini.

By slathering the flattened breasts with an Italian-inspired seasoned mayonnaise, I amped up the flavors of the chicken breasts and kept ’em juicy.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Then, I wrapped each stuffed breast in a cozy prosciutto blanket before popping them in a hot oven.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam


When the meaty packages finished cooking, I plated them atop marinara sauce for my hungry family. Try this recipe, and serve it alongside some zoodles,
roasted vegetables, or your favorite mash!

Serves 4



Place the tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water to
rehydrate, about 10 minutes. (If you’re using oil packed sundried tomatoes, simply drain them.) Set aside the tomatoes while you prepare the chicken.

Preheat oven to 425°F with the rack in the middle.

Pat your chicken breasts with paper towels and pound until ¼-inch thick.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Sprinkle both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper, and place the breasts skin-side down.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Fish the softened tomatoes out of the water and squeeze dry
before finely mincing the tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine the chopped
tomatoes with the mayonnaise and basil. I won’t tell anyone if you used Primal Kitchen’s mayonnaise instead of making your own.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Divide the flavored mayonnaise into fourths and add a dollop
to each flattened chicken breast.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Spread the mayonnaise over the breast, leaving a ½-inch edge.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Carefully roll each breast to form a cylinder.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

two pieces of prosciutto around each breast and secure with two toothpicks.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Place the swine-wrapped chicken breasts on a parchment paper
lined baking sheet. Brush the olive oil on top of the meaty packages.

Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes or until the thickest
part registers 150°F. (Yeah, I know that the UDSA’s recommended temp for chicken is 165°F, but
Serious Eats says 150°F is fine, and I haven’t gotten sick yet. So there.)

Rest the chicken for 5 minutes while you heat up the
marinara sauce.
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Slice the chicken…
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

…and place on top of the sauce. Mangia!
Chicken Prosciutto Involtini by Michelle Tam

Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times_ bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013)._


The Year (Decade?) of Magical Thinking

Jennifer Dawes ring

Do you ever have that vortex-of-time thing happen to you? Where hours go by while you are with someone or doing something, and it’s never enough time? This happened to me about a week ago, when

Transformation: Jennifer Dawes designed this ring around a heart-shaped Csarite gem from the Courtney Collection that is intentionally only slightly faceted by Jean-Noel Soni of Top Notch Faceting. The idea is to keep some of the inherent, natural beauty of the raw gemstone in place. This magical Csarite changes from kiwi green to pale pink depending on the light source, and the ring can also convert to a pendant.

We were at suspended lunch at Boat Street Kitchen near my idazzle studio when we both had a series of epiphanies that gave me, at least, goosebumps. We were discussing the future of retail in the jewelry business, responsible sourcing for gemstones–hashing out some of the major challenges of the jewelry market–when it hit me. We could start to solve any of those problems, through our brain power, hard work, collaboration, and our many intersecting connections with incredible people. Jennifer has a name for this: Magical Thinking.

Looking for a Sign: Vicente Agor wanted to design a collection of jewelry that celebrated native Hawaiians’ legend of Hokule’a, a voyager canoe navigated using ancient Polynesian techniques of the stars, moon, sun position, and ocean swells. When he found this opal in Tucson earlier this year, with the central figure of the surfer in the swells of the ocean of blue opal, Vicente knew he had the foundation for his new collection. Hokule’a was born.

I have reached a point in my life where I truly feel that if I can dream it, it can happen. Not in an irrational, child-like sort of way. It takes serious perseverance and some lucky breaks to realize most goals. There is a lot of hard work involved from idea to actual inception: lists, logistics, spreadsheets, documents, phone calls and endless emails. But there is other momentum afoot and I think it should be mentioned.

Erika Winters wedding band

Writer to Designer: Jewelry writer and photographer Erika Winters dreamed of designing her own collection of fine jewelry using historical diamond cuts and signature details. Earlier this year, Erika launched her signature Erika Winters rings in 18 karat gold and platinum to great acclaim.

At the recent Power of Blogging panel at the Las Vegas JCK Show, my fellow panelists–Danielle Miele, Barbara Palumbo, and Katerina Perez–mentioned the good things that have come through our blogs and social media: ideas, connections, opportunities. There is something about the free exchange of information and the tremendous cross-pollination of social media that makes us better than we could ever be as individuals. When we collaborate and support each other, as I feel is happening right now, we are better than just ourselves. We can harness the collective creativity and momentum that is out there.

I’ll tell you more about the specific ideas in future posts. But I want to know: what do YOU want to have happen in your life or business? Maybe if we give it a name or a voice, through a comment below or in social media, we can start to make it real. Hashtag #dreamitanddoit and #idazzle, and let the Magical Thinking begin!

View this post on The Year (Decade?) of Magical Thinking