Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a spring drive

going for a long drive
making a stop
for a sandwich
drifting with the wind
a glistening sun
and the sun is setting
over a red barn

When I was a baby (not too long ago)
 my mom and dad would take me on long drives
 because
 this was the only thing that would get me to fall asleep.
I believe ...
this is why I still love taking long drives.
I love sitting in the passenger seat,
taking off my shoes
and looking out the window.
Going on long drives are one of my simple pleasures
and 
luckily,
Marc is willing to drive.
One of our recent drives took us 
over the Santa Cruz Mountains
into
Santa Cruz,
along the coast
and into the small town of Pescadero.
We stopped in Santa Cruz at Kelly's French Bakery for lattes and a sandwich
then set out along the coast.
We admired the views, watched wind surfers, and took pictures.
While driving through Pescadero
we stopped at a red barn and watched the sun going down over the green
California hills.
Spring was alive on this drive 
and 
it was beautiful.
If you could go on a drive where would you go?



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bubbles and Shrimp on the Barbie

I am hard at work perfecting my bubbles
my sister and her bubbles
a perfect bubble on a Spring day
garlic bread
grilled asparagus
a garlic butter drizzle
shrimp on the barbie
a shrimp and avocado salad with wasabi dressing
the chefs .... Merci Beaucoup

Two months ago,
 my sister bought some bubbles at a local craft store.
She forgot them at my house
 and
 I found them in my linen closet.
 So,
 I did what any adult would do
 ... I threw them away
Ha just kidding
 ...
 I invited my sister over
 and
 we went to the park and played with bubbles.
 The weather was perfect
 and
 we both relaxed and laughed
 while trying to create the perfect bubble.
 All of the little kids at the park
 went wild for our bubbles
 and
 we laughed and laughed for hours.
 Later, I had two very special chefs make Marc and I dinner.
 And,
 being that Marc and I are in the kitchen quite a bit
 it was incredible having someone make dinner for us. 
We feasted on fresh asparagus,
 warm garlic bread
 and
 devoured a shrimp and avocado salad with wasabi dressing.
 I could not have made a better dinner if I tried;
 everything was so tasty.
 I love that when Spring rolls around
 I find myself outside more
 and
 enjoying meals that are prepared outside
 ... shrimp on the barbie for example.
 What is your favorite meal that someone has made for you
 and 
how are you??

Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberry Love

I love ....
Fresh Stawberries

Picking Strawberries
Baskets of Goodness

First off,
  thank you
for all of your sweet comments on the Birthday Post.
 Today's post is inspired by Anna at Much Love
...
 different bloggers are posting about things they love,
 and
 I could not resist,
  I LOVE fresh strawberries.
 Three weeks ago
 strawberries started popping up at my local Farmers' Market
 and since then ...
  I haven't had enough of them.
 My favorite way to eat them is in a bowl with a drizzle of honey,
 and
 a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
 However,
 I love eating them right out of the basket.
 Strawberries are such a hearty, sweet fruit that are perfect for jams, pies (strawberry rhubarb), or they are perfect alone.
 What do you LOVE?

The winner of my blog birthday giveaway is Mara from M loves M. Congratulations Mara!!
 Please email me with your address so I can send you your goodies.
Enjoy your Monday everyone!!! 
* I watched Food, Inc this weekend ... have any of you seen it? What did you think? *

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog


Coeur de La
is 
now 
a year old!!!
A year ago
I started Coeur de La
because I wanted a place to put my ideas, photos and recipes
and soon it evolved into so much more.
Happy Birthday Coeur de La!!!
Thank you 
to all of my sweet followers of Coeur de La!!
I love reading your comments, emails and have loved 
getting to know all of you!!
All of you brighten my day and inspire me with your blogs.
 I feel lucky to be a part of such a 
beautiful community.
So in honor of you
 because you make Coeur de La
what it truly is
....
I am hosting a birthday giveaway
and here is what one person will receive:

a farmers' market tote... you know how much I love Farmers' Markets
a sweet or two inside the tote
a box of my favorite tea ... it's not from Paris but it's called Paris Tea
a pair of monkey slippers 
don't worry not my own ... 
I do have a pair and they are my favorite
an APRON from Sew Melly ... I already peaked in the bag
ADORABLE
and
a simple something ... it's a surprise... from my favorite store

This giveaway will end  
Saturday, March 27th at midnight
so,
to enter:
Leave a comment telling me your favorite birthday memory
be a follower of Coeur de La
and
I am curious, what is your favorite post on Coeur de La??
I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend
and 
again,
Thank you for supporting Coeur de La.




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two of my Favorites

on our way
stopping for a chai latte at La Boulange
waiting at Taylor's
the ahi burger with sweet potato fries
a refreshing glass of lemonade
a stop for a whoopie pie
one of my favorite places
chantilly eclair
toasting to a lovely day

I love taking Day Trips 
...
 and
 when the weather is right
 there are two places I love to visit:
 Both,
 are located about 15 minutes from each other
 and
 I absolutely can't visit one without visiting the other.
 If you happen to be in the Napa Valley
 you must put these on your list of musts.
 Marc and I always order the Ahi Burger at Taylor's
 with a side of sweet potato fries and a fresh cup of lemonade.
 By far
... 
the Ahi Burger is the best burger I have ever tried
and
 my taste buds always thank me.
 Luckily, we split the burger
 because
 just down the road is one of the loveliest bakeries I know
.... 
Bouchon Bakery.
 A stop in the Napa Valley wouldn't be the same without stopping here.
 Just look at the eclair we ordered,
 fresh,
 soft,
 and
 filled to the brim with whipped cream.
And, to wash it down
we always go to Domaine Chandon
for a glass of champagne!!
  Throw in a whoopie pie and a chai latte,
 and our day is complete.
 Where are your favorite places to day trip?
 And,
are you a creature of habit,
 is there somewhere you must go,
 or a sweet you must order?
My blog's first birthday is on Friday
 and
 I am celebrating with a giveaway for all of you.
 Hello to my new followers, how are you? 
Supposedly, Taylor's Refresher is now Gott's ...
when Marc and I went recently it was still Taylor's
is the name change true?
is this true?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cupcakes with Rose Petal Buttercream

an exciting find
rose petal buttercream
a baking success
all dressed up
I saved one for you

The other day while grocery shopping,
 I stumbled upon rose petal jelly.
 A few weeks back,
I had rose petal ice cream that made me fall in love with roses!
  Ok, maybe I didn't fall in love with roses
 but
 the point I am trying to make is that it was incredible.
 I decided to buy the rose petal jelly
 and
 see what I could make with it.
 After, several minutes of contemplating I knew what I would make
....
 I was a bit apprehensive
 because
 I have had a couple baking mishaps,
 but thought
 .... why not give baking another shot,
 and so I did.
 I followed the directions word for word,
 measurement by measurement
 and
 ingredient for ingredient.
 And, what do you know
 the cupcakes came out perfectly!! 

The buttercream frosting was simple
 and fun to make. 
Here is the recipe for you buttercream lovers!! 

1 cup of butter (2 sticks at room temperature)
4-5 cups powdered sugar (however, I used 4)
1/2 cup rose petal jelly (I used 4 tablespoons)
1 drop of red food coloring (I added this... it's Spring and I wanted a light pink frosting)
 
1.in a medium bowl beat butter till creamy
2. add powdered sugar
3. add 4 tablespoons of rose petal jelly, or however much you would prefer
4. add 1 drop of red food coloring if you desire a pink frosting 
5. with a mixer beat the powdered sugar and butter until creamy
I made several small changes to the rose petal buttercream
however,
you can find the original recipe at cupcakeblog.com

Enjoy!!

So, if you are in the mood for the perfect Spring cupcake
 give these cupcakes a try.
 I was amazed that the frosting actually tasted like roses.
 I loved the combination of the vanilla cupcake and the rose petal buttercream,
 perfect for a soft spring day!!!
What is your favorite jam? And, how are you enjoying Spring?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Celebrating Spring at Crown and Crumpet

a place for more than tea
I love this sign
all of the details are delightful
my favorite print
tea
a cup of Paris tea and sweets
celebrating Spring with Tea and Friends

There is no better way to celebrate Spring
 than with a a cup of tea
.... 
and
 that is exactly what I did.
If you live in San Francisco or visiting,
 you must go to Crown and Crumpet.
 I first heard of Crown and Crumpet through Sfgirlbybay
 when she blogged about it,
and I knew immediately
 I had to go there.
 Myself and three friends went
 and
 we could not have been more delighted.
 Crown and Crumpet is a treasure.
 The menu is amazing
 with a wide variety of sweets, savory dishes and teas.
 A must order is the Paris Tea,
 it is light, creamy and simply wonderful.
 I loved the details in Crown and Crumpet:
 the saucers and teapots had cute sayings, and the sugar cubes were small delicate pastel flowers.
 The decor was bright,
 whimsical
 and
 all together LOVELY.
 I met the owner Amy
 while browsing through Crown and Crumpet's shop.
 She was incredibly friendly
 and
 passionate about what she and husband are doing.
You can tell they have put so much love into Crown and Crumpet.
 So,
 the next time you are in San Francisco
 stop into Crown and Crumpet
 and
 you will see that you get much more than a cup of tea!!

So,
 I will be blogging here and there this week.
 However, I will be reading your lovely blogs as much as I can.
 Sending you much love!!!
Caroline

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Marc enjoyed some Guinness while baking
Sporting my new red glasses and admiring the Pineapple Buttercream

Marc and his Magic
Pineapple Butterceam Frosting: DELICIOUS
Pineapple Upside Down Cake

After feeling like I've been hanging upside down... from being sick to finals...
I thought.... why not make a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!
I found a recipe.... courtesy of the oh so lovely Paula Deen
and
Marc and I 
spent the evening in the kitchen. 
I must give credit where credit is deserved.... 
I only made the Pineapple Buttercream Frosting
Marc made the rest.... and when it comes to baking I am not as precise as he is.
For example
I find it perfectly normal to change recipes 
by 
adding extra sticks of butter to recipes
and
any baker knows 
that the recipe is a recipe for a reason
STICK TO IT... 
I suppose this is why
 I love to cook because I can improvise!!
So, while Marc measured, and stirred
I watched and awed at his precision.... I love when Marc is in the kitchen!!!
I whipped up the Pineapple Buttercream Frosting... 
such an easy recipe:
1/2 cup of butter... softened (don't worry I did not add extra this time)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice... I did change this and it's worth it
I added 3 tablespoons 
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
and
simply mix it together until creamy, smooth and buttery
This Frosting is incredible!!!
So
Marc whipped up his batter, drizzled brown sugar on his baking dishes
and 
finished his recipe.... 
45 minutes later
we had Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!!!
(we left out the cherries in the recipe but that is our own personal preference)
What is your favorite thing to bake, cook or create?
Happy Thursday
and 
if you haven't already.... enter The Pleated Poppy Giveaway
Giveaway ends Saturday.
 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I am sporting green and can't be happier....
I take my last final for the quarter
in
one hour
and 
after
I am
RELAXING!!!
I hope all of you have a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
And,
a lovely day!!
I could not resist using this photo,
It is of my friend Monica embracing Spring and also making a wish.
How do you embrace Spring?
-Adrienne Cook
(picture taken by Monica's husband Daniel)

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Visit Home...

bringing the bikes
dessert at one of my favorite restaurants.... The Union Hotel
my dad
Enchiladas at my Grandma's 
Marc being Marc ;P
Hello
enjoying a Saturday afternoon bike ride
Spring is in full bloom
my brother
Home

Over the weekend, 
Marc and I decided to head home to visit with family.
 I always seem to forget how much I love the town where I grew up
.... when I was younger I could not stand how small it was
 and 
it hasn't been till recently
 that I have fallen in love with this quaint little town. 

While we were in Benicia... yes this is where I grew up... 
Marc and I... 
went to lunch at our favorite restaurant The Union Hotel
 with my dad and his fiancee
 The Union Hotel is where Marc and I had our rehearsal dinner
so it brings back great memories.
 The Union Hotel has the best desserts and lemonade,
 and I love going here whenever I am home.

In the afternoon,
we went on a bike ride downtown with our brothers,
 and 
I forgot how much I love being on my bike. 
On our bike ride we:
 stopped at a local cafe
 my brother ordered a pop, Eric and I had tea, and Marc had water.
I could not believe how beautiful the trees were, they were in full bloom
after our break,
we cruised passed old Victorians,
 reminisced
 about when all four of us worked as lifeguards at our local pool
and
 cruised around the Marina,
 and
 I got to thinking about how I would love to try sailing

Later that night
 Marc and I visited with my grandma
.... we enjoyed her homemade enchiladas, rice and beans.
 Marc and I started a recipe book for of all her recipes
... something that I know our family will hold dear

Going home was exactly what I needed
.....
 this week is quite crazy with finals
 so
 it was absolutely lovely relaxing at home.
What is your favorite thing about going home?
 And, where is home for you?
XO