Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brooks Brothers Fall Fashion

Good morning! Last week was New York fashion week and while I love to see all of the bloggers, street fashion and the amazing clothing from the shows I must admit often times those clothes don't always fit my lifestyle.

Not to mention the fact that the shows were featuring clothes for Spring 2015 and we are heading into Fall/ Winter 2014. 

Recently though I received a catalog via snail mail from Brooks Brothers and I found that this seasons traditional looks would suit almost anyone this Fall.

After all what is not to love about classic button down blouses, cable knit sweaters, hounds tooth jackets, plaid capes, scarfs and sweaters, a great quilted jacket and a pair of wellies?

Do you have a "go to" look for Fall? I personally favor white button down shirts, or white t-shirts with cashmere sweaters, riding boots or wellies, jeans and either a quilted Barbour or a camel colored coat and of course any chance I can I throw on a little plaid! I can never get enough plaid in my wardrobe.

All images taken by me of the latest Brooks Brothers catalog

What do you think? Does the classic style of these looks appeal to you are are you more hip and trendy? I would love to hear about your Fall/Winter wardrobe plans and if you found anything spectacular while perusing the clothing from New York Fashion Week.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie

Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was lazy, hot, rainy and humid and then overnight it was Fall. Sunday morning the air was crisp, there was a slight breeze, a lot more leaves across the porch and I could smell the faint hint of a wood  fire in someones fireplace. Out with the shorts and t-shirts and in with the comfy yoga pants and fleece for the early morning walks in the snap of your fingers. 

Cool weather makes me want to nest and bake! As I wanted to warm up the kitchen and keeping room without turning on the heat I thought a pie was in order. Nothing fancy but something comforting, easy and delicious, a coconut cream pie seemed to fit my mood.  Luckily when I was reviewing Teeny Lamothe's cookbook , Teeny's tour of Pies last month I made a few extra pie crusts so I simply got one out of of the freezer, let it bake and set  to work on the filling.

This pie is easy, if you do not have a homemade shell simply use store bought or perhaps even graham cracker crumbs. Then all you have to do is toast the coconut, make the pudding and top liberally with freshly whipped cream.  In no time you have the perfect pie to relieve your sweet tooth.

Coconut Cream Pie

1 Pre-baked pie crust
Crust recipe HERE


11/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
11/2 cups coconut milk
11/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnish with:
1 cup heavy cream, whipped and sweetened
toasted coconut

Heat oven to 350. Spread coconut on baking sheet and toast for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown. Watch the coconut and stir occasionally as it can burn fast.

In a medium sauce pan mix, the coconut milk, heavy cream, eggs, egg yolk, salt, flour and corn starch. Mix well. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. The mixture takes about 20-25 minutes to thicken. Make sure that you bring it to a full boil. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla bean paste and toasted coconut. Fill pie shell. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 5 hours. Then top with sweetened, whipped heavy cream. Garnish with coconut.

Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to medium peaks and sweeten to taste with 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar.

I love this pie, it is sweet, creamy and nutty, the coconut taste is just right. The filling is very versatile in that you can swap out the coconut milk and just use the equal amount of milk, half and half or heavy cream and you have a neutral filling for banana cream pie, a pie topped with fresh berries or whatever else you can imagine. 

What did you bake or make this weekend? 
Is your weather cooling off? Do you feel Fall coming? Or did you have a little snow?

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday Favorites from Mai Tai's Picture Book, Yonks, Once Upon a Chocolate Life, Pinch of Yum and More

Good afternoon! Things are finally settled here, I managed to retrieve my photos and restore my blog, but not without a lot of sweat.

After writing a few of these "Friday Favorites" posts I realize that more often than not my favorite links include traveling, food and books and this week is no exception.

Image HERE Mai Tai's Picture Book

This week Di from Yonks and Mai Tai from Mai Tai's Picture Book have been visiting London and their adventures and photos are fabulous as always. A little fashion, a little food and some beautiful sights.

Image Di Yonks

It time and money are no object you could go on a spectacular adventure to "ten sights like no other", from Petra, to Madagascar, to see the Northern Lights and the Terracotta Army and more, over a month long journey. Visit Very First for more details on this once in a lifetime trip and many more!

Image from Pinch of Yum

For those of you who may be tailgating this weekend or just stuck in the house watching movies because of the rain, this Cheesy Chili Dip from Lindsey at Pinch of Yum looks and tastes delicious. Honestly anything that is cheesy and can be scooped up with chips is a winner in my book!

For something easy and sweet, try this Oreo Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake from Once Upon a Chocolate Life that I made last week! It is so fabulous you might want to make sure that you have someone to share it with because you may eat the whole thing in one sitting.

And last but not least, a little something to make you think and smile. Proof that one person can make a difference in the world, even when you have nothing! Click HERE for Kamala's story!

I hope that found something here of interest and as always, please share your finds from around the web! Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Technical Difficulties

Good morning! It has been a challenging few days. Yesterday I lost 5000 photos on the web and my blog. I am trying to recover both.

Friday favorites will hopefully post today or tomorrow!

I will keep you posted! In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

20 Fun Fall Things to Do and Make

Good morning! Things are starting to look a little like fall here, crisp yellow leaves litter my deck, pumpkins, gourds, and pine cones have sprung up a the market and pumpkin recipes are everywhere. Fall is my favorite time of the year for so many reasons, the colors, the weather, the food and the family gatherings. I think people slow down, hunker in and relax more, or at least I do. 

Image from On Sutton Place

Each year I try to make a list of things I would love to do to celebrate the changing season and this year is no different. Here are a few of my ideas.

1. Visit a pumpkin patch
2. Go to a bon fire
3. Take a hayride
4. Decorate pumpkins
5. Pick some sun flowers

6. Trick or treat
7. Jump in the leaves
8. Enjoy a Fall picnic
9. Try some new pumpkin recipes
10. Bake some old favorites.

11. Take a scenic drive to see the Fall colors
12. Make mulled cider
13. Attend a college football game
14. Visit the farmers market
15. Have a chili cook off with friends

16. Make popcorn balls
17. Take more bubble baths
18. Enjoy long lazy afternoons on the front porch with a tartan blanket, a cup of cocoa and a pile of books
19. Visit a corn maze
20. Enjoy more time with family and friends!

Are you a fan of Fall? Do you have any special activities or things that you like to see, do or make to take in the season? If so, please share your ideas and recipes, it is always fun to see what other people see as  quintessentially Fall.

I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Morning Buns

Good morning! It is going to be another beautiful, hot and sunny day here. However I read yesterday that 7 states are bracing for a polar vortex and will be getting SNOW! Snow in September, a month earlier than normal. 

I don't know about you but that scares me a little. if we are getting snow in September what the heck will winter be like.

I think a snow day in September would be cool, the opportunity to sit by the fire with a cup of cocoa and a good book or perhaps spending a little time in the kitchen with a new recipe?

Cinnamon Roll made by Pine Cones and Acorns

I love cinnamon rolls and am always trying to find the recipe that I remember from my childhood. My sister on the other hand loves Morning Buns, for those of you who do not know what they are it is basically a flaky, croissant like roll with buttery, cinnamon and sugar goodness in the inside. 

Morning Buns Pine Cones and Acorns

I thought as I was enjoying a lazy weekend that I would attempt to make a few batches, let me be honest from the start, it takes 2 days and is a lot of work. The end result is totally worth it though! I loved these bun and will definitely make them over the holidays!

Morning Buns


1 Recipe for Nigella Lawson Danish Pastry

6 tablespoons browned butter, cooled
1/3 cup sugar + more for dusting
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt

In a small bowl combine, sugars, spices and zest, set aside.
With a pastry brush, brush the inside and bottom wells of 12 cupcake tin. Sprinkle with sugar and coat the wells, dumb out excess sugar.
Roll pastry dough into a 8 x 20 inch rectangle, coat with browned butter, the sprinkle with spice mixture, press spices lightly into dough. Roll dough, like a jelly roll and cut into 12 even pieces. Places rolls into pan. Set aside to raise in a warm, draft free spot for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. 
Preheat oven to 375, then bake buns until golden and fluffy, about 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven, invert on wire rack. After 10 minutes roll in sugar. Enjoy!

 Danish Pastry Recipe
Recipe from Nigella Lawson

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk at room temp

1 large egg at room temp

2 1/4 cups white bread flour

1 package rapid rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into slices

Beat egg, water and milk together, set aside. Put flour, yeast, salt and sugar into food processor and pulse to mix, add the cold slices of butter and process until the butter is cut up, empty into a bowl and add the milk mixture. Fold together, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days.

To turn into pastry, let dough come to room temp, and on a lightly floured surface roll into a rectangle. Then fold into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterwards so that the closed fold is on your left. Roll out again to a rectangle and repeat the steps above 3 times.  The dough my be sticky and hard to work with(it was for me), if so put into refrigerator between turns. 
Wrap in plastic and return to refrigerator for 20 minutes until ready to use.

Have you ever made croissants or morning buns? I hope that if you try this recipe or if you have a morning bun recipe of your own that you share it with me. 
Stay safe and warm in the storms and have a great day!

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