Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I have such a passion for creating guilt-free desert recipes. Sometimes they are pretty horrible, and I tend to promise myself that for special occasions and holidays I will just use full fat and go all-out on decadent deserts. However, there is nothing better than mixing a special combination of stuff that is actually good for you that also happens to be delicious. Plus, I have big eyes, and would rather eat a triple portion of something more guilt-free than a tiny sliver of a fat-packed pastry. If you have been following my blog for a while (thank you, seriously) than you may have seen last year when I attempted to make my famous bourbon pumpkin cheesecake low fat and no sugar. The results weren’t bad, but they weren’t great. Maybe it is just that I always make this cheesecake, and I am so accustomed to how unbelievably awesome it is that this “healthy” version just couldn’t compare. At any rate, I knew this year I was using the full fat cream cheese and regular old sugar.

My mom has been testing out a gluten free diet, so to honor that I decided to make a fattening, but gluten free pumpkin cheesecake as my health conscious option for the year. I’m sure the filling will be as amazing as usual, but you’ll have to check back about the crust. I am not eating this beauty until tomorrow!

When making gluten free crust (which I have now done several times) a lot of recipes will tell you to mix several measurements of rice, tapioca, almond, hemp, or other varieties of wheatless flour. This is complicated, expensive, and kind of annoying. Luckily the gluten free craze has gotten so big that at even the most generic of grocery stores you can usually find all-purpose gluten free flour, where the mixing has already been done for you. This makes the gluten free baking process so seamless, that to me there is minimal point in using other flours in any baking.

So, for banging’ gluten free pie crust you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • one stick of butter
  • 4 tbsp of almond milk

Combine everything, adding the butter last. Sprinkle the milk one tablespoon at a time. Roll out on parchment paper to desired size and place in either a form spring pan or pie tray. Then add the desired filling. This year I used last year’s recipe except with actual fat! Find the full recipeĀ here.

Happy Thanksgiving my darlings!

 

 

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Light Layers

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Layering is something that New Yorkers have in their blood. Its the best way to stay warm, and it takes true style to do it correctly. As a Floridian, it is something I have sort of acquired over time, and it doesn’t always come naturally to me. I have to play around with layered looks, because my gut instinct with style is to throw on a frilly dress and some lipstick and call it a day. When the thermostat dips, a classic button down/sweater combination is always a good idea. It is effortlessly chic, classic, and cozy. A good denim button down is as important as your favorite jeans, it goes with everything (except possibly the jeans) and is the perfect base upon which to build an amazing outfit.

With this look I simply combined some dusty rose tones with my Levi’s shirt and the results are a pulled-together ensemble that looks simple yet chic. Honestly, this is probably one of the easiest looks to recreate, as most women have pieces that are similar to the ones pictured in their wardrobes. If layering doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t worry, practice seriously does make perfect!

Check in on Wednesday for a gluten free pumpkin pie recipe and Friday for my Black Friday tips and holiday wish list! Wishing you all safe travels this week!

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From Head to Toe:

Hat: H&M, Denim: Levi’s via Piperlime, Sweater: H&M, Pants: Uniqlo, Shoes: Peter Fox, Bag: c/o Gigi NY

Photos by Anabella V Photography

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Housing Works Annual Fashion for Action Benefit

Writing for Joonbug had granted me press passes to some fancy shmancy events, as well as inspired me to even start this blog in the first place, so thanks Joonbug! From Fashion Week to Champagne Week, (yes, that is a thing here in New York) Joonbug has given me the opportunity to see a side of New York City typically only depicted on Page Six or in Sex and The City. However, if you keep up with our daily coverage, we let you know the inside scoop of events that you can attend, too! Housing Works Fashion for Action Benefit is, by far, the event I would most recommend to any self-proclaimed fashionistas or shopaholics. VIP tickets to the event were $100, but they gave you access to what was the best sample sale I have ever attended. Think Derek Lam dresses for $25, Ted Baker silk blouses for $10, Jimmy Choo’s for $125, and $50 Wild Fox sunnies. Typically, Housing Works is one of my favorite places to find great thrifted items, but all of this stock was NEW and current season!I was there as press, but I spent the first two hours feverishly grabbing everything I could carry and having a shopaholic-induced frenzy. Below you can see me in line for the fitting room, and I think no further description is really necessary.

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As one of the premier organizations in NYC to use a sales model to run a non-profit, Housing Works helps educate, employ, and treat NYC citizens in the fight against AIDS and HIV. Their annual benefit, this year hosted by fashion powerhouses Zac Posen and John Varvatos, raises money to support their youth education and prevention efforts. Obviously, this was a great excuse reason to spend some hard-earned money. Though the event has passed, I would mark your calendar’s for next year, because I was literally flabbergasted by the prices. The benefit party was also pretty spectacular, with models in the House Works finds, and Mr. Posen and Mr. Varvatos there to talk about the cause. The ultimate highlight was seeing posing goddess and America’s Next Top Model judge Miss Jay Alexander, who graciously agreed to make a slow motion video with myself and my blog wife Kathy. Watch it here.

The charitable aspect of the event, combined with the ridiculous deals, and the amazing people involved (the whole Housing Works staff is wonderful) make this possibly one of my favorite nights for fashion here in the city. Not to mention I got a bunch of unbelievably awesome clothes for practically no money. To see the pieces in action you will have to stay tuned…

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Boho Ballerina

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As the holiday season approaches festive colors and forgiving fabrics are truly the way to go! I love adding some holiday sparkle while also covering my impending food baby with a skirt a pouty as this one. I would be hard pressed to find a better Thanksgiving option than a tulle skirt. I could eat an entire pumpkin pie and the elastic waistband on this beauty would leave everyone none the wiser. A Carrie Bradshaw-esque ballerina skirt is as much of a wardrobe staple to me as a great LBD (which I actually wore as a top under this skirt in this post, coincidentally).

One of my favorite wardrobe secrets is to wear your dresses as tops, or as skirts with different tops over them. A flirty dress can be dressed up with a structured blouse, and a body-con dress can make for the perfect skirt. It is a great way to get extra mileage out of your wardrobe, as well as to come up with new outfit combos if you feel like your looks are a bit tired but you don’t want to spend money on new clothes.

I am attending a super special event hosted by New York’s best line of thrift stores, as well as Zac Posen and John Varvatos tomorrow. I am seriously beyond excited! Can’t wait to share my designer finds with you guys! Check out the post event coverage on the blog on Friday!

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From Head to Toe:

Coat: ASOS (old, similar here), Boots: Vince Camuto, Bag: ASOS, Dress (worn as top): c/o Nomad, Skirt: Lily and Violet

Photos by Anabella V Photography

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Timeless Looks: A.K.A. The Time I Wore My Prom Dress on My Blog

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Y’all know I love a great little black dress, but what about a sumptuously long, sinfully curve hugging black dress? I found the perfect one when I was 17. So I wore it to prom (spoiler alert! You can see a photo of how I styled it back then at the end of this post). It is really the simplest of dresses. Made out of the most smooth and soft silk, it feels like a nightgown. With no zippers or tight seams, I would literally sleep in this dress every night. It is so the opposite of my usual taste, simple, classic, and timeless, yet somehow it was perfect for the occasion; worth the $450 I spent on it (which was an unthinkable fortune to me back then) because it is so classic and easy to wear I’ll probably be able to wear it when I am an old lady.

I decided to photograph it at an equally timeless location, New York by Gehry. The backdrop of the New York City skyline is an endlessly amazing scene, and I feel a perfect compliment to an easy and elegant dress like this one. It is also the perfect opportunity for me to tell you about how you can join me to take equally fabulous photos in front of the New York City skyline.

Anabella and I are now booking photoshoots at this iconic location. Whether you are looking for a LinkedIn shot, high fashion photos, or something a little more demure, we will be launching a website in the coming weeks with full photo packages available for purchase. I will help style you, and Anabella will create gorgeous photos for your personal use. I am so excited to share this opportunity with you guys, as no one knows better than me the uniquely special experience of having a collection of photos that truly represent who you are. In the meantime, feel free to contact me for more booking inquiries:

cara{dot}kovacs{at}gmail{dot}com

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Photos by Anabella V Photography

Prom 2008:

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