Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chocolate Croissants

dark chocolate
plump croissants
an egg
glistening 
fresh from the oven
pain au chocolat

There is something so perfect
 about
 making
 homemade chocolate croissants.
  I never knew that rolling out pastry dough
 could be so therapeutic.
 Placing each piece of dark chocolate
 in the middle
 of my triangular dough
 could not have made me happier.
 And
 the smells that filled my kitchen
 took me straight to Paris.
recipe
 and
 could not believe how simple it was.
  I bought my pastry dough at Whole Foods,
 let it defrost,
 broke apart my dark chocolate
 and
 cracked an egg to rub over each croissant.
  My favorite part was rolling the croissants
 and
 I loved knowing that inside
 was a surprise
 that would later
 ooze through each croissant.
  I finished the croissants at 9pm
 and 
enjoyed a delightful snack while studying
 but
 even better
 I slept soundly knowing that my morning breakfast
 would
 be
 Pain au Chocolat!!!
 The next time you are craving a chocolate croissant
 make your own
 ...
 you will love every moment.
 Bisous!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

butternut squash and extra sharp cheddar

fresh butternut squash and pine nuts
extra sharp cheddar cheese
rolling out pizza dough
the first slice

Flipping through the pages of Real Simple
 I immediately stopped at this recipe:
 I stopped
 because
 I thought it was interesting
 ... 
hmmm, I thought,
 could this be good?
 I love butternut squash
 and
 I can't say enough good things about extra sharp cheddar cheese
 so
 I made the decision
 ... 
Marc and I would make the pizza!!
 And
 were we surprised,
 it was incredible.
 The extra sharp cheddar and butternut squash
 made a perfect pair.
 The pizza was all together hearty and oozed with warmth. 
 Making pizza is one of my favorite things to do
 and
 I can't remember the last time I went out for pizza 
... 
I would much rather stay home,
 roll dough,
 grate cheese
 and 
devour homemade pizzas.
 If you are interested in the recipe go here
 ...
 you will not be disappointed
 Wishing you a lovely week!
 Bisous!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh Color

a plethora of colorful berries
a closer look
arranged in a different way
soft orange
strawberry coconut
I love going to the Farmers' Market 
to 
admire 
all of the 
COLOR!!!
Enjoy your weekend
and 
thank you
for 
all of your sweet 
comments
and 
support!!
BISOUS!













Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buttered Lattes and Cupcakes

I need to go back to
and
 grab a buttered latte
enjoy a cupcake
or two
(don't worry this was Marc's)
and 
make sure 
there
 is
 nothing left to take home














Tuesday, May 18, 2010

afternoon walks and chocolate scones

take a walk
and
smell the roses
 or
 admire a California Poppy
end your walk with ...
a cup of tea and chocolate scones

When you go for a walk
 do you take the time to smell the roses?
  Two weeks ago,
 Marc's family visited
 and 
we went on an afternoon walk.
 And, I noticed
 that they took the time to smell the roses.
So,
on Sunday,
 Marc and I took a Sunday stroll
 and
 stopped to smell the roses and admire them as well.
 My camera was in hand
 and I snapped away.
 My 50mm lens has quickly become one of my favorite lenses
 but
 I won't lie
 it took some getting used to.

 After our walk,
 we came home and enjoyed 
a cup of tea
 and 
 homemade chocolate scones.

Last week I found a yummy recipe
 that of course
 I altered
 and
 made fresh chocolate chip scones.
 The key ingredients were vanilla,
 orange juice
 and
 oddly a bit of heavy whipping cream.
 I used such a small amount of whipping cream
 that it ended up working with the orange juice.
 As for the dark chocolate,
 I crushed it with a rolling pin
 and
 covered my scones with dark chocolate chunks
 .... 
pure bliss. 
And, the perfect way to end a walk.
Wishing you a lovely day!!
Bisous

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Taste of Summer

a place to relax
grab a cup of coffee
admire
watch
enjoy
appreciate each bite
indulge
inspire

Summer is right around the corner
 and
 I am anxiously awaiting Summer's arrival.
 Last week,
 I "had to" make a trip up to College Avenue 
 to pick up a gift for my mom 
...
 her favorite perfume
 China Rain can only be purchased at Body Time
 so,
 I took the opportunity to grab dinner,
 dessert and coffee
 at

Marc and I snagged seats at the counter.
 I love counter style seating
 because
 it is incredibly interactive and cozy.
 Marc ordered braised pork with creamy polenta and roasted cauliflower 
and
 I ordered a lemon marinated chicken sandwich with fresh fennel 
... 
we could not have been happier.
 We sat,
watched
 and 
chatted with the owner
Paul
who is also the head chef. 
 One of the other chefs
 delighted us with her stories 
of culinary school.
 
Afterwards,
 we each ordered cupcakes 
... 
I went with a Raspberry Cupcake
 and
 Marc chose a Lemon Meringue Cupcake
 and
 to wash it down
 we had two cups of slow dripped Blue Bottle Coffee.
 All in all,
 our meal was incredible.
 I loved the setting 
as it was perfectly suited for Summer. 
We chatted,
 laughed, 
and made friends with other customers.
 What is your favorite place to grab a bite to eat and why? 
I hope all of you have a lovely Monday 
and 
I am headed over to catch up on your blogs ... our internet is fixed.
BISOUS!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

sweet strawberries

the perfect duo
vanilla is key
all together lovely
all dressed up
a refreshing glass
cheers

Being that strawberries are in season
 I have found myself buying basket
 after
 basket
 of
 fresh, plump strawberries.
 So,
 being that I am in this routine
 I thought I would share with you two recipes that include these little jewels:
 strawberry water with lime
 and
 strawberries with fresh whipped cream.
Both recipes
...
 were introduced to me by my Mom 
... 
and it is quite true
Moms really do know what is best.

Strawberries and Fresh Whipped Cream
Ingredients
small carton of heavy whipping cream
fresh strawberries
sugar (you can adjust the amount depending on how sweet you want your whipped cream)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
hand mixer

1. pour a 1/2 cup of heavy cream into a bowl
2. add sugar ... the amount will vary depending on your sweet tooth, 
I add about a handful of sugar
3. whip your cream on the medium setting on your hand mixer, be careful not to whip for too long or you may end up with really thick butter, 
hey but that is ok too. 
4. Add vanilla when the cream is about half way done
5. mix until light and fluffy
6. Enjoy your whipped cream with your fresh strawberries
 ... 
I like to serve the strawberries and whipped cream in cute tea cups.
*whipped cream is incredibly simple and the taste and the texture is entirely up to you ...
so have fun with it 
and 
make some homemade whipped cream.


Strawberry Water with Lime
Ingredients
one basket of strawberries (about 1 cup)
a tablespoon of lime juice
sparkling water
water
ice cubes
sugar

1. place strawberries in a blender and blend 
2. add 1 cup of water
3. blend until smooth
4. add lime juice to your liking
5. add sugar ... again add as much as you would like it depends on how sweet you want your water
6.blend
7. add a cup of sparkling water 
and 
a couple of ice cubes
8. blend and enjoy
After a long run, 
I love drinking this water with dinner.
 It is all together refreshing and incredibly tasty.

Also, the winners of the giveaway are: Micaela, Lily from Big Bang and Homemade Grits 
...
Congrats!!!
please email me at writingldy@gmail.com with your addresses
 so 
I can send you your books!!!
Enjoy your Thursday!!
Bisous!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

rhubarb
rhubarb with sugar
strawberries
oh sweet strawberries and rhubarb
canned
a present for my mom

Over the weekend I jammed away ...
  no
I did not pull out my banjo
 ...
instead ...
 I purchased several mason jars,
 a bunch of rhubarb and over 100 strawberries
 and 
whipped up Jam.
 I saw the recipe on Lovely Morning and immediately knew I had to JAM!!!
 I was a bit apprehensive at first
  only because the recipe seemed so simple 
...
 and
 I thought to myself
 ...
 surely making jam is a lot more difficult
 and if it is this simple 
...
 why the bleep haven't I been making jam???
 So,
 I chopped up my rhubarb,
 soaked it in sugar for an hour,
 stemmed my strawberries and crushed them,
 and
 then boiled my rhubarb and strawberries for over an hour 
.... and in the end
I had JAM!!!
 YES JAM!!!
 I canned it up
 (next time I will get smaller jars ... I ended up with only four jars ... really huge jars)
 and
 made a special jar for my mom for Mother's Day.
 So,
 the point of this little rant
 is to get all of you jamming
 .... 
you will not regret it
 and so far
 this is what I have created with my rhubarb jam:
a strawberry rhubarb panini with gruyรจre cheese
strawberry rhubarb crepes with dark chocolate and powdered sugar
strawberry rhubarb on sourdough bread with whipped butter
spoonfuls of rhubarb straight from the jar
and
strawberry rhubarb drizzled over vanilla ice cream
the combinations are endless!!!
I am still without internet
 and
 I promise my posts and visits to your blogs will be more frequent
 once the internet in my home is up and running
 ... but for now ...
 this will do.
 I miss all of your blogs and will announce the winners of the Giveaway
 on Wednesday. 
Happy Tuesday!
Bisous
For the Recipe you can find it over at Lovely Morning ...
hurry on and head over
you will love it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ici

Ici
incredible flavors
oh so cute
homemade cones
oh gelato
I love gelato

This weekend I will be headed here
 ... ici ... 
which in French means here,
 yes ... here!!!
I stumbled upon this gelato shop four years ago with my aunt
 and for awhile I
 ... tucked the memory of my trip into my pocket.
However,
lately,
I've been making weekly visits ... it is just too good to pass up!!
 Ici is located on one of my favorite streets
 ...
...
College Avenue in a nutshell:
there is the most delightful bookstore
an old fashion soda fountain that serves incredible goodies
amazing cafes
sandwich shops
cheese shops
flower shops
and 
restaurants galore
Oh ...
 and last but not least
 Ici of course!!
Just around the corner from College Avenue is
 my dad's favorite breakfast spot Rick and Ann's
 ...
 we meet here almost every week
and
 their scones are incredible ... the last scone I had was a ginger scone ... oh my!!!
So,
the next time you are in the area
I am urging you to stop at Ici.
 Their gelato flavors are unique,
 all together amazing
 and
 simply wonderful.
There is usually a line but it is worth the wait
 ...
 and
 don't just get one scoop go for the gold and get three!!!! 

And,
 stop by Lauren's Blog
 ... I did a little post for her How to Series.
As for the Homemade Life Giveaway ...
 leave a comment including your favorite recipe by Saturday 
and
 you could win a copy of my current read
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Bisous!