Thursday, July 30, 2009

Napkin Rings

I had a moment
of down-time today,
amidst the two and fros
of my time in Washington.

So here is what I found...

So wonderful.

via: BROOKLYNrehab

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I am off to
for the next week.

Hopefully I will
be able to
post often...

but if I don't
I will begin my
normal posting
when I get back.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan


I made this
while I was in California
a few weeks ago.

It was heaven.

Eggplant Parmesan


1 large eggplant
Kosher salt
1 28-oz can stewed tomatoes (seasoned)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fine dry Italian breadcrumbs (or flavored croutons finely chopped - I used Caesar Croutons)
4 large eggs, beaten
1 lb of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves


1 Prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to tasted and set aside.

2 In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg, then back into the flour. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

3 Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.

4 Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.

5 Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Serve.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wonderful Map

I just think
this is

If you look

it is a map
of Paris.

But not just
an ordinary
hand drawn map,
but a cut out map.

Made by:
Famille Summerbelle

P.S. They have one of London too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Elizabeth Messina

I love this.

It makes me want to
throw a party...

just so I could take
these kind of pictures
of the guests.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chapter Books

How great
are these

They come in
sets of 3...

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3.

You can find them at:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Christina Courtin

I just got her
new album...

and I have been
listening to it
non stop.

You can
listen to it

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Creamy Gruyere & Shrimp Pasta


I made this
for dinner
the other night.

And it was just

Creamy Gruyere & Shrimp Pasta
Adapted from: Recipe Girl

8 ounces penne pasta
¼ cup flour
½ tsp salt
2 cups half and half
1¼ cups (5 ounces) Gruyere cheese, grated (can also use Swiss)
1 Tbs butter (ok to use light butter)
1½ lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pesto
2 Tbs dry white wine
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook and drain pasta.

3. Combine flour, salt and half and half in a large skillet. Stir thoroughly to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 1 more minute, until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in
1 cup of the cheese, stirring until melted. Set aside.

4. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add shrimp, wine, pesto and cayenne, and cook just until shrimp begins to turn pink.

5. Add pasta and shrimp to cheese mixture and toss to combine. Spoon everything into prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Catching Up

I spent some time
catching up
on my favorite blogs.

Here are a few
wonderful things
that I found...

What a lovely way
to grow household herbs.

I would love to sleep
under this Wisteria Canopy.

I love this
Canary Yellow Dress.

I am loving these
chunky fabric flower necklaces
more and more everyday.
via: the sartorialist

This dinnerware
is amazing.
via: gleena

I would love
to go camping
in this.
via: {frolic!}

This Cameo
is so beautiful.

This is the second time
I have seen this kitchen.
And I just love it more and more.
via: Concrete and Honey

To have a room like this
would be heaven.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


One thing I love
about California...


As a child
I grew up with a
Apricot tree
in my backyard.

It is always fun
to go apricot picking
when I visit
my childhood home.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Have you seen
this website yet?


They have so many
great items to buy there.

Here is what
I would love to buy.

(over-sized gray tee)
(peacock feather scarf)



(feather earrings)

Thanks Whitney
for introducing me
to one of my favorite sites.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells

If you like
Sweet Italian

then you must
try this recipe.

It is delicious.

Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells


1 12-ounce package jumbo pasta shells
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large egg
16-ounces ricotta cheese
10-ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, chopped further
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs ( I actually used crushed Caesar croutons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes with herbs, tomatoes broken up


1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 teaspoon salt per quart of water). Cook the pasta shells according to the instructions on the package. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

2 Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking up the sausage into smaller bits. Cook sausage until cooked through, and no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute more. Remove pan from heat.

3 Beat the egg lightly in a large bowl. Mix in the ricotta, chopped spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, basil, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and sausage mixture. Fill each cooked pasta shell with some of the ricotta, spinach, sausage mixture.

4 Spread 1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes over the bottom of each of the baking dishes. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells in the dishes. Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top of the pasta shells.

At this point you can make ahead, to freeze (up to four months) or refrigerate before cooking. (If freezing, cover with foil, then wrap with plastic wrap.)

5 Heat oven to 375°F. Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.

Serves 8.

Suprise Gift

My Nephew
bought me flowers
the other day.

How sweet
is that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Little Photographer

My 5 year old nephew,
stole my camera
the other day.

These are the photos
that he took....

I am quite proud of him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dutch Baby with Orange Sugar

Monday Morning Brunch.

Dutch Baby with Orange Sugar
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

1/6 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

• Put skillet on middle rack of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

• Stir together sugar and zest in a small bowl. (You could also use Lemon zest if preferable).

• Beat eggs with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and frothy, then beat in milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and continue to beat until smooth, about 1 minute more (batter will be thin).

• Add butter to hot skillet and melt in oven, swirling to coat. Add batter and immediately return skillet to oven. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

• Serve immediately, topped with orange sugar.


One of the many reasons
why I come to visit

is to see these little guys...

(He is learning to swim)

(a bit hesitant of the pool at first)

(the newest edition to the Finch family)

I love my nephews.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Banana Split Cupcakes

How did you spend
your 4th of July?

I spent it with family
and with these....

Banana Split Cupcakes.

They are another recipe
from my new cookbook.

And they are delicious.

Banana Split Cupcakes

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 ½ cups milk (to make it vegan just use soy)
2 1/8 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
½ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (use margarine if vegan)
2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
splash of milk
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, almost melted


Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Set aside.

Combined apple cider vinegar and milk in small bowl. Stir well and set aside.
In a bowl, mash banana with canola oil until incorporated. Add extracts and mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk and banana mixtures to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth (try not to overmix it).

Fill each muffin cup with ¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting: With electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue to beat until all the sugar is incorporated. Add a splash of milk and 1 tsp vanilla and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.

For Chocolate frosting: add partly melted chocolate chips and mix until smooth (but there there still will be chunks of chocolate).

For Cherry frosting: add 2 tbsp of Maraschino Cherry juice and mix.

After frosting, top with banana chip and maraschino cherry. Serve!

Friday, July 3, 2009


My mom and I
made this today
for breakfast.

It is by far,
the best Quiche
I have ever tasted.

Sausage & Mushroom Crustless Quiche


1/2 medium onion, diced (1/2 cup)
6-oz cremini mushrooms (1 cup)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup cooked sage flavored ground sausage (Jimmy Dean works good)
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
handful of chopped spinach


Preheat oven to 400F.

Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan.

In a medium frying pan, cook sausage onion and mushrooms with a bit of olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until onions are translucent and tender, sausage is fully cooked and mushrooms are browned. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking soda, pepper and salt. Whisk in milk, then stir in mushroom mixture with sausage, tomatoes and spinach.

Pour quiche base into prepared pan. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.


I'm in California
and adjusting to the
2 hour time difference.

Not bad....
but it is causing me
to wake up at 6 am.
(which is not my normal routine)

Speaking time....

How amazing
is this vintage clock!

I am desperate
to buy one just like it.