Thursday, May 30, 2013

Styling Magazine by Coty Farquhar

Good morning! I hope your week is going well. I am already looking forward to the weekend. Holidays make me tired.

Just curious, are you a fan of well written magazines? Magazines with more than just interiors and fashion? Don't get me wrong, I love both fashion and design but I love going beyond that. 

A little art history, a lesson in gilding, botanical illustration, perfume bottles and of course well written articles and beautiful styling and you have the May issue of "Styling Magazine" by Coty Farquhar.

Styling Magazine is a FREE online magazine produced by the incredibly talented Coty Farquhar. Coty is a photographer, stylist, blogger, former Assistant Editor at Vogue Living and so much more. 

From the Southern Highlands of Australia where she lives and works, Coty produces a feast for the senses each month. In addition to her own contribution to the magazine Coty has assembled a team of talented people, including Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home and Lisa of The Lisa Porter Collection.

If you are not familiar with Styling Magazine click HERE to be transported to a beautiful, sophisticated and magical world, the world of Styling by Coty Farquhar.

In addition to Styling Magazine you can follow Coty on Pinterest and Facebook.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Colors of Summer

Good morning! I was thinking over the weekend about Summer. So many things to see and do and everything seems to be in technicolor. 

 It is a little like the movie The Wizard of Oz, it starts out in black and white (like Winter) and then boom, the house falls on the witch and everything is in color--Summer.

Whatever the case Summer has arrived in my house and everything is bright and colorful. 

The towels are fluffed and ready for the beach.

Peaches are fresh from the market to be eaten with the juices running down your hands, or perhaps in a cobbler?

 My kayak is dusted and ready to launch. 

The sweet potato vines and other containers are planted. 

Fresh tomato's and purple basil, is there a meal more simple?

 The clear blue water waiting for a swimmer.

The season is still young. There is still time for long walks before the sun sets, time on the porch watching the lightening bugs, fresh squeezed lemonade, and so much more. Tell me, what do the colors of your summer look like?

What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?

I hope you have a great day! Be careful if you life in the Plains State and the Midwest, there is bad weather in your forecast for the next few days. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blackberry & Blueberry Ricotta Cake

Good morning and welcome Summer! I hope that you had a great weekend.

 Mine was busy, and relaxing at the same time; now this morning I feel like I need a day to recuperate. Perhaps too much sun?

We went to the farmer's market on Saturday and I left there feeling as if I had never tasted real food. Do you know what I mean? So often the produce from the grocery store has little if any taste. Then when you try something locally grown or even from your own garden it taste so much better. 

Our market had kale, peaches, tomatoes, onions and more. Next week they will be harvesting a few squash blossoms, I cannot wait to try out some new recipes for those. Do you have any suggestions?

In addition to all of the peaches and tomatoes I consumed I also had a few pieces of this custard cake.

I found this recipe on  Pinterest and you can find it and about 2400 other "recipes to try" on one of my boards.  I love to bake, and do a fair about of cooking. However, at the rate I am pinning recipes my husband and I will have to quite our jobs to make and try all of these recipes before the year is up. 

One of my favorite things about Pinterest are the wonderful people, places and things one discovers. This week I discovered Patty's Food Blog. The blog is a feast for the eyes. I only wish I could have reached through the screen to try some of her recipes. 

Blueberry&Blackberry Ricotta Custard Cake
Recipe from Patty's Food via Standard Baking Co. Pastries

11/2 Cups of cake flour, sifted
21/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
dash of cinnamon
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
11/4 cups of sugar
1 cup PLUS 3 tablespoons of whole milk ricotta
3 large eggs, room temperature 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
11/2 cups of mixed blueberries and blackberries


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 9x5 pan with cooking spray. 
In a medium bowl combine the sifted flour, the baking powder, and salt. Whisk together.
Place butter and sugar in an electric mixer with a paddle. Cream until light and fluffy. 
Add ricotta, then mix on medium/low for a few seconds. Scrape the sides.
Add eggs one at a time, scrape bowl between each egg. Then add vanilla. 
Gradually add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Scrape bowl again and mix for 30 seconds more. Fold in the berries very gently so as not to break them up.
Pour batter into pan(S), smooth top and insert in oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, and then rotate pan and reduce the temperature to 325 and continue to make for an additional 30 minutes. 
Remove from oven, let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then remove and cool on wire rack. 

NOTES: I added more nutmeg than original recipe and a little cinnamon. And baked mine into two small loafs.

This cake is delicious. Although it looks like bread it is a pound cake. The consistency is moist, rich and has a custard texture to it. It is not too sweet and the burst of summer berries are a wonderful addition. I will be making it next with raspberries.

Do tell, what did you do this weekend? Did you go to the beach, a parade, perhaps a movie?

I hope that you have a wonderful day! 

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style
Stone Gable
The Brambleberry Cottage
No Minimalist Here
Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Musings

Good morning! I hope that you are having a relaxing weekend. 

Today in the midst of the picnics, parades and trips to the beach, take a pause to remember those who are serving or who have served the United States of America. 

Thank the wives, children, parents, families, and friends of all those who have served and have paid with their time and in many cases the ultimate price, their lives.

We will never forget you!

Enjoy your day! Be safe!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Plans

Fruit Pie Williams Sonoma

Good Morning! Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of Summer for many and is filled is barbeque's. trips to the beach, picnics, scrumptious food and more.

Williams Sonoma

I LOVE summer food. Burgers, potato salad, coleslaw, corn salad, you name it. Although I have many favorite recipes I enjoy trying new ones and I have discovered  great recipes on  PinterestWilliams Sonoma Blog, and Southern Living Magazine this week. The recipes are unlimited.

Bacon Wrapped Burger Southern Living

Pan Roasted Corn Salad Williams Sonoma

Veggie Potato Salad Southern Living

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Williams Sonoma

Of course I cannot celebrate a holiday without dessert. Barbeque's and picnics are all about sweets to me, brownies, cereal treats, and cup cakes to name just a few. All of the desserts below were made by me and can be found on Pinterest at Once Upon a Chocolate Life Board or Pine Cones and Acorns Board.

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend? A parade, a picnic, a day at the beach? I hope that whatever you do you have fun and are surrounded by family and friends. Be safe in your travels!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday French Favorites

Good morning! 

As I have mentioned several times this week, Anita at Castles Crowns and Cottages hosted a spectacular party this week, Irresistible France. There were 40 or so bloggers that participated over the course of the week, some just once and others more often. Each and every post was not only a feast for the eyes but also for the imagination as we were wined, dined and whisked from one corner of France to the other. 

These are a few of my favorite links. 

"What if Jay Gatsby had lived in Paris? by Veronique at French Girl in Seattle.

Waddesdon Manor, built in the style of a French chateau by Baron de Rotheschild,  in the heart of the English countryside introduced by Paul from The Magical Christmas Wreath Company. Paul spent a Spring day at the French market and exploring the beautiful gardens of Waddesdon. I cannot wait for more posts on this magnificent home.

Fountainbleu, Chantilly, Vaux le Vicomte, Giverney and Chartres each and everyone a fabulous place to visit.  I have been to all of them a few times with friends and family and if you are going to Paris and would like to learn about these day trips from Paris  visit the amazing travel blog written by Sandy at You May Be Wandering

A delicious Gateau Fondant aux Poires from Barbara at Moveable Feasts and from Deana at Lost Past Remembered a scrumptious Tarte Tatin and the history of this iconic French dessert. By the way if you love food and it's history than you will want to visit and explore more of Deana's blog. The blog is an education in food, architecture, history, art and more not to mention a feast for the eyes. 

 Stephanie from Millefeuilles shared a story of the Belle Epoque and memories of her grandmother. Stephanie is working on a PhD in Baroque Garden design, in addition to her beautifully written blog, and fabulous photos she crafts the most magical little mice. 


This last one was not a participant of the party but is from a favorite blog friend and is simply a wonderful post, written by Jeanne at Collage of Life entitled "When Life Gives You Lemons."

If you have not had the opportunity to visit these blogs you can follow the link HERE to these and many other adventures. 

Enjoy your weekend and be safe!