Sunday, May 3, 2015

Silent Sunday 5-3-2015

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Friday Favorites from House of Turquoise, Surroundings, Made by Girl, The New Diplomats Wife and More

A happy Friday to you! I hope that you had a great week. Any special plans for the weekend? So far the only thing I have planned is watching the Kentucky Derby, will you be watching? If so and you are looking for a few ideas for cocktails and snack check out my post 15 Fabulous Kentucky Derby Party Ideas.

Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies

I made the Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies (above) that I featured from Broma Bakery and let me tell you they are melt in your mouth delicious! If you are entertaining for the Derby or just entertaining yourself, you should make a batch of these brownies. The good news is that if you are making them for yourself the recipe only makes a small 8x8 inch pan, the perfect size for a party of one.

Chocolate Pancakes from Made by Girl Blog

Since tomorrow is Saturday you probably deserve a special treat for breakfast to give you the strength to cheer on your horse for the Kentucky Derby I thought you might enjoy these Double Chocolate Pancakes from Made by Girl. These might also be an excellent idea for Mother's Day breakfast.

Image from The New Diplomat's Wife

Spring is in full bloom in many places and one of my favorite things is the cherry blossoms in Washington,  D.C. This week The New Diplomats Wife showcases the beautiful cherry blossoms in Copenhagen.
Take a look at this fabulous house by JMA Interiors that I discovered this week on House of Turquoise.

Image from Carla Aston Design

Speaking of fabulous houses, one of my favorite blogger, Debra Pearson Milne of the blog Dumbwitt and Tellher moved to Aberdeen, Scotland two years ago and began renovation on a 100 year old flat. Recently she and her husband Graham finished the renovation and put the flat on the market. The renovation is so stunning that it is no surprise that the flat sold very quickly. You can read all about the renovation and see the before and after photos on Carla Aston Design blog. 

Are you watching Outlander? I am a huge fan of the books and was resistant to the TV show but have jumped aboard eagerly. This post by Surroundings features Jamie's house Lallybroch and location in Scotland.

Did you discover and books, movies or recipes to share this week? If so please share with the rest of us.

Have a great week and enjoy the Derby!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

15 Fabulous Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

Good morning! How is your week coming along? Mine has been great, although it has been a little cold it is amazing what a few days of sun can do to your mood and disposition.

That said I am looking forward to the weekend, not only for a little rest and relaxation but because I can't wait for the Kentucky Derby. I love the pomp and circumstance of the day, the beautiful horses, hats and of course the food. 

Mint Julep Bar Image from Southern Living

I love a good party and I love party food even more, appetizers are my favorite things to serve and eat. I  like the idea that you can try lots of little things; so I thought I would round up a few ideas for the weekend in case you are hosting or attending a Derby party. 


Mint Julep from Better Homes and Gardens

Sweet Tea Mint Julep from Spicy Southern Kitchen


Spicy Pecans from Honey and Jam

Sean Brock Pimento Cheese

Benedictine Dip

Hot Brown Tart from Southern Living

Bourbon Meatballs

Ham Sandwiches from Savoury and Sweet

Cheese Grits from The Vintage Mixer


Thoroughbred Pie from Spicy Southern Kitchen

Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies from Broma Bakery

Bourbon Blondie's from Relish

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies by Cookies and Cups

Salty Bourbon Squares from Amandeleine

Will you be attending the Derby? Attending a party or just watching along at home? Whatever the case I hope you enjoy the race. I will be make the pimento cheese dip and a few of these desserts and instead of a julep I think I will stick with a mint mojito.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Greek Salad with Lemon Herb Vinagrette

Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? Were your able to get out and enjoy a little sun? We did not really see any sun until late Sunday afternoon, the rest of the time it was cold and rainy, about 45 degrees. 

No matter, my mind is already firmly set on Summer. Most afternoons you will find me with on the front porch, book in hand and a glass of tea on the table, soaking up as much of the afternoon sun as I can. I mentioned that I am looking for lighter recipes, salads and easy food for the coming months. I don't wont to be chained to the kitchen this summer, unless I am making something sweet.

I made this salad this week,  a little twist on a Greek Salad, minus the black olives and the addition of hard boiled eggs for a little protein. Just add a little vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing and you have the perfect lunch.

Greek Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 small red pickled red onion
chopped heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup feta cheese

Herb Vinaigrette

1 tsp. dried basil
1 tap. fresh garlic
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients into a jar or bottle, place lid on and shake vigorously.

Drizzle dressing on salad and enjoy.

If you would like more salad recipes, check out my Salad Pinterest Board or if you have a delicious salad or dressing recipe please share it with us.

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday Favorites from The Enchanted Home, Traditional Home, A Spicy Perspective, What She's Having and More!

Good morning! Are you ready for the weekend? What are your plans? An adventure somewhere, a concert or perhaps a good book? All of that sound good to me, throw in some time relaxing in the sun, perusing my favorite blogs and the weekend would be complete.

Image Here

This week I have been dreaming of summer and travel. I have a list a mile long of things I want to do and see and sadly France is not on the summer list. I can however visit Tina at The Enchanted Home and gaze longingly at her stunning photos of Provence and if I think hard enough transport myself back to sunny days spent at the market or the cafe with the smell of lavender wafting through the air. 

Show House Traditional Home
Speaking of summer, I could imagine spending long days relaxing and reading in this room of the Traditional Home Stately Homes by the Sea House. You can check out the rest of the house and its history by clicking here.

Summer Cobb Salad from A Spicy Perspective

If you are like me you are already pondering a change in the menu from soups and comfort foods to salads, barbecue and more. This Summer Cobb Salad salad from A Spicy Perspective seems like the perfect meal for a warm summer day. 

Summer Berry Tart From What She's Having

Maybe I will just skip the salad and go for a slice of this Summer Berry Tart from What She's Having. Doesn't this look scrumptious? 

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Or I may have to make a pan of these Blackberry Cheesecake Bars. Hopefully I will not eat the entire pan myself, anyone want a piece?

Image Ralph Lauren Home via Pinterest

If you are looking for summer recipes and ideas check out my SUMMER Pinterest Board

Like many of you I am a voracious reader but I cannot say that I have read to many books that I feel have changed my life. Starting this month I am going to read or reread  32 Books That Will Change Your Life a list compiled by Buzzfeed. Oddly enough,  I have already read most of these books but I must not have been in the right mind frame if they did not "change my life." Have you read any of these? How did you feel?

I know this is about the time that many are getting ready for their bikini, this body at 47 years old is not going to see a bikini but I will be hitting the beach. So I was curious, do any of you have a Fitbit? If so and you would like a virtual walking partner let me know. I generally walk between 10,000 and 12,500 steps a day and am always up for a challenge. 

What did you find interest this week, any books, movies or recipes that you think I need to look at? If so please share.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dori Greenspan Hidden Berry Torte

Good morning! Wednesday already, can you believe it, some weeks I do not know where the time goes. This week is whizzing by and I feel as if I am continually trying to catch up. What about you, how is your week shaping up?

I love baking, I find it relaxing and satisfying. I enjoy seeing the raw sugar, flour and eggs turn into a cake, a pie, cookies and more. And I absolutely love seeing the faces of the recipients who are typically people that I know do not bake or have no one to make things for them. Often they will tell me that the cookies remind them of their mom or their grandmother and that is a nice feeling. 

Dorie Greenspan is one of my baking idols, she is the author of Baking with Julia and makes everything seem easy. Not to mention that there is a large population of the blog world that enjoy her recipes as well as baking in clubs like Tuesday's with Dorie of which I have followed for years. 

I am baking this year from her book Baking: From My Home to Yours and this Hidden Berry Torte is one of the first things I have made. The crust is so good that I am embarrassed to say I ate the dough raw, yes I know one should not eat dough with raw eggs but it was that good. Once it is baked the crust is like a sweet shortbread and honestly you could just eat that and call it a day. Initially I was taken in by the photo of this torte but then shied away from making it for sometime because of the cottage cheese of which I am not a fan. I should have known that mixed with cream cheese and sugar this would turn into a silk, creamy, sweet filling that the perfect compliment to the berries and the crust.

This torte may just be my new favorite dessert!

Hidden Berry Torte
Recipe from Baking by Dorie Greenspan

Crust Ingredients

13/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/3 cup thick berry or cherry jam

9 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 (1 cup) ounces cottage cheese, at room temperature 
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg 
2 large eggs at room temperature


Butter a 9" spring-form pan, and dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicon mat.


Put the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse just to blend. Toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal. Stir the egg yolks and vanilla together with a fork and still pulsing the machine, add them to the machine and pulse until the dough comes together in clumps and curds. Do not let the dough come together in a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. If you want to roll the dough, gather it together and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes before rolling. Or you can press the dough into the pan and about 11/2 inches up the sides. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Center the rack in the oven and preheat to 375. Fit a piece of buttered foil into the bottom of the pan and fill with rice, beans or pie weights, then place pan in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes. Don't let the crust get too brown.

Lower the oven temperature to 350.


Stir the jam ad spread it over the bottom of the crust in an even layer, you can do while the crust is still warm.

Put the cream cheese and cottage cheese into the food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Process for 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the sugar, spices and salt, and process for another 30 seconds. With the machine running add the eggs and process, scraping the bowl as needed for a final minute. Pour the filling over the jam.

Bake the cake for 60-70 minutes or until the cake is puffed and no longer jiggly. Gently transfer spring form pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. During the cooling the filling will collapse and form a thin layer.

Run a blade between the crust and the sides of the pan, then open and remove the sides of the spring-form. Chill the torte slightly or thoroughly before serving. 


I made my own berry jam and then added a layer of raspberries to the bottom. Also, when I made the crust I had a little problem with the dough. I was lazy and pressed it into the pan and it was sticky and did not look pretty. Next time I will roll it as suggested. Then I missed the direction where it said to chill the dough once in the pan. In the end the crust turned out fine, just not so pretty.

Linking to:
Rattlebridge FarmThe Charm of the Home
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