Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday Favorites from The Noble Pig, Ardemonia, Midwest Living and More

Good morning! Happy Friday to you. I am so excited that the weekend is upon us, I have had a cold all week and have been miserable and that is why I am posting so late. I am looking forward to relaxing, making a few of the things I am featuring today and getting out on the water.

I cannot remember if I mentioned it but my husband and I just purchased paddle boards last weekend and after a few practice runs Sunday we went out this week at about 6:30 am. It was so incredibly peaceful, calm and beautiful. The water was still, the sky was cloudless, the only sound was from the nearby birds looking for breakfast and us paddling along across the water. It was perfect.

As always my favorites include food and this week is not exception. Summer to me is all about burgers, and I think this Mediterranean Burger with Creamy Feta Curry Dressing, from The Noble Pig will be perfect after a long day of paddling. 

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski via Redbook

Summer is all about relaxing, and after a long day at the beach or doing yard work our favorite thing to do is sit on our front porch with a cool drink, appetizers and each other for company and conversation. One of my all time favorite things to sip on is a Classic Mojito. You can find the recipe for it and many others HERE.

This week while dreaming of Summer holidays I discovered the most BEAUTIFUL blog Ardemonia written and photographed by Giulia Bellato. The Cotswold's in England are one of the most picturesque places on earth and one of my favorite places to travel and Giulia stunning photos have me itching to get back. Please get a cup of coffee or two and a donut and take an hour or two to enjoy this wonderful blog. I promise that you will not be disappointed!

Image from Midwest Living Magazine

As you know from previous posts I spend a lot of them time in the Midwest as it is where my family is as well as my husbands.  One of the things we enjoy when we are together is exploring new places. This month Midwest Living featured their 12 Favorite Midwest Hikes. I am looking forward to seeing a few of these places.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! Be safe and enjoy!

Friday, May 30, 2014

My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Good morning! I hope that you are having a great week! The sun is shining and the temperatures are already in the 90's, it is definitely starting to feel a lot like summer.

I know that a lot of people do not like to cook in the summer because it is too hot, I am not that person. I love to cook anytime of the year and most especially when I have a new cookbook.

I have long been a fan of David Lebovitz, the American pastry chef and blogger who packed up his belonging and moved to Paris ten years ago and has never looked back.

Last month David released his ninth cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.   The book is a combination of  mouthwatering recipes and stories. I have to tell you that of all of his cookbooks and I have many, this is my favorite.

I love that in addition to the delicious recipes, and stunning photographs the book features so many great snippets of his life.  I enjoyed reading about his quest for the perfect sink, or finding the best produce at the market, and the stress of shopping at the Supermarche. Although visiting Paris is a wonderful adventure, if you have spent any length of time there you know that the French have a lot of idiosyncrasies we just don't understand and David shares many of them in this book.

My husband gave me this book less than a month ago and we have made at least two recipes from it each week. In fact we even made the Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce twice in one week because they were so good. 

My Paris Kitchen contains the quintessential French favorites, like French Onion Soup, Duck Confit and Croque Monsieur bu it also contains Caramel Pork Ribs, Indian Cheese Bread, Hummus and many other recipes that I never thought of as being French, and frankly they are not but they are inspired by David's life and experience in Paris.

Do you have the book My Paris Kitchen? If so what is your favorite recipe that you have tried? If you do not have the book or are unfamiliar with Davids blog, I urge you to check them both out.

Have a great day!

You can find David's blog HERE and his book HERE

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fried Oysters with Tomato Remoulade

Good morning! I hope that you had a relaxing weekend and that you spent some times with those that you love. 

My weekend was great because all of it was spent with my husband and pups. We marinated, cooked, fried, barbecued and more and when we were finished with that we spent time at the beach and out on the water trying to master paddle boarding.

One of my husband's favorite things to eat in the summer is fried oysters and he has wanted to make them at home for years. I am a little weird and do not like the smell of fried food in the house especially seafood. Lately, I have come to realize that time together is so much more important than the smell of fried food in the house. So this weekend he made the fried oysters and I made the sauces.

Fried Oysters

12 oysters freshly shucked
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
3 tablespoons hot sauce
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 cups canola oil

1. In a small shallow bowl place the flour, in another small shallow bowl wish the eggs and the hot sauce, and in a third shallow bowl place the Panko breadcrumbs.
2. Dredge the oysters in the flour, shake off any excess, then dip into the egg mixture and finally roll in the Panko breads crumbs. Place all oysters on a plate and refrigerate until the oil heats up.
3. In a cast iron skillet heat the oil to 325, then place the oysters in oil in a single layer and fry 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels, while oysters are still hot sprinkle with salt.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce of your choosing. 

Tomato Remoulade Dipping Sauce
Recipe from


1 cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
11/2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2  tablespoons fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove of garlic 
dash of Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve with hot oysters. 

I have to be honest, I do not eat seafood of any kind so I personally did not try these. My husband, Bill who loves fried oysters said these are easy to make and delicious!

I did try to sauce and it is scrumptious! I think it would be excellent not only with seafood but crudites as well.

Tell me, what delicious things did you make or eat this weekend? Do you have any recipes to share? I am looking for some summer salad recipes, I would love to say of the healthy variety but I really like to try new potato salad recipes in the summer so if you have a family recipe or one that you just love, please share it here! And of course any sweet recipes for cake, cookies, bars etc.

I hope that you have a great day!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
~ George S. Patton

Good morning! Although Memorial Day means barbeque's and picnics and days at the beach let us also remember those who have sacrificed their lives to let us enjoy the freedoms that we so often take for granted.

Today my thoughts, thanks and prayers are with my brother and his family who sacrifice not only holidays but everyday milestones like school plays, days at the pool, family dinners, birthday's and more. Thank you Joe, I love you!

Thank you to all the vets and their family's for your sacrifice.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday Favorites from The House of Edward, Seasons & Suppers, Baking Bites, Savor Home and More

Good morning! Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! For many Memorial Day weekend is the official kick off to summer; vacations, trips to the beach, parties, barbeque's and more. For me it symbolizes a time to slow down and enjoy life; my husband and I enjoy long afternoons on the porch with a book and a glass of wine, or time spent soaking up the sun, or just doing nothing.

This weekend I will be doing a lot of the above and also taking my first stand up paddle board lesson. I am sure that that will be an interesting feat and I will let your know how it does. In addition I will be taking the time to enjoy of few of my great finds from the web this week.

Image Pamela Terry

As I always say I am fascinated by blogs and blog writers, how they got started, what keeps them motivated and how they write. This week Pamela at From the House of Edward wrote a fabulous piece titled Why I Write. Pamela's writing is magical, and enchanting among other things. If you do not know her blog do check it and and if you find you like her work I highly recommend her wonderful book From the House of Edward: Essays by Pamela Terry

Image Jennifer at Seasons & Suppers

Weekends are all about food in our house. The illusion that there are no deadlines or work to be done and that time is endless allows me to spend hours in the kitchen and this weekend I have a few things on my radar. One of which is this delicious Rhubarb and Sour Cream Cake by Jennifer at Seasons and Suppers. This beautiful blog is chalk full of recipes and beautiful photography.

Grilled Peach Sunday

Another thing I want to try is grilled fruit! Although we grill veggies and meats fruit is not something I have tried yet so I think this recipe for Grilled Peaches by Baking Bites. Check out this recipe and several others for Memorial Day Weekend.

Image from Shoot Factory via Savor Home

Although I love my kitchen I would not be adverse to cooking or baking in this stunning London kitchen that Tiffany at Savor Home featured this week!

Check out these beautiful photographs by Derek Galon of his interpretation of the old Masters.

I hope that you have a happy and safe weekend! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Barbeque Ideas

Good morning!  I am having another crazy week. Since Monday I have had the air conditioner repair man and the irrigation man, a doctors appointment and yesterday Paris my pup was spayed.  Oh, and in my spare time I worked. 

I am now counting the hours until the long Memorial Day weekend. All I want to do is read, relax, go to the beach and eat lots of food at the barbeque's.

Summer barbecue's are one of my favorite parties to attend, not only because it is always nice to see family and friends but because there are so many great foods to eat. Burgers, sausage, brats, steaks, potato salad, cole slaw, salads and of course dessert...cookies, brownies, cobblers and more.

Glazed Bacon Burgers Photo by Debra Mclinton

Grilled Flank Steak from Counrty Living

Grilled Fish Country Living

Grilled Cheese Wheel Martha Stewart

Image Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Goat Cheese Potato Salad

Grilled Romaine Martha Stewart

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Vegetabe PAsta Salad BHGH

Classic Cole Slaw from That Skinny Chick Can Back

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

Vanilla Peach Coffee Cake

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Will you be attending or having a barbeque? What is your favorite food to make or eat at the barbeque?  Share your ideas and recipes please, I am looking for a few new ideas.

Have a great day!

P.S:  All chocolate recipes are from Once Upon A Chocolate Life

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm Back from Sunny Sawgrass Resort

Good morning! I hope your week is going well. I am back from a nice long trip to my old stomping grounds in Florida and it was wonderful. My husband has been working a lot lately so it was nice to have a weekend away to spend time together.

We spent two days on Amelia Island enjoying the sights, eating at old favorites and new, including Bar Zin Bistro and Wine Bar and the famous T-Ray Burger Station and visiting friends.


Then we moved over to the Sawgrass Marriott, home of The Players Championship to sit by the pool, relax and attend a wedding. If you are looking for a premier resort and spa and are going to be in the Jacksonville area you should definitely check out the Sawgrass Marriott.


The grounds are stunning, the golf course world re-known and the rooms and villas beautiful and comfortable. I have stayed here a few times before and I love it more with each visit. 

The weather was perfect and not at all typical for this time of year, it was sunny, there was no humidity, and just the right temperature to sit at the pool. I cannot remember the last time I sat by the pool, read and relaxed; I think it is going to be something I do a little more often.

The wedding was beautiful, after all is there anything that embodies faith, hope and love more than a wedding? 

Sadly, during the wedding we found out that our friend passed away of a heart attack that morning and it did take a lot of the joy out of the day because after the news it was all we could think about. 

I hope that you have a good day and remember, life is fragile so tell those you care about that you love them and give them a hug. 

NOTE: I was not compensated in anyway by the Marriott Corporation or the Sawgrass resort, my opinions are my own. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

A little break...

Good morning! I just wanted to let you know I am taking a little break for the next few days. I am heading to a wedding and spending a nice long weekend with my husband. This weekend is actually extra special because it is the weekend we met and fell in "love at first sight" 18 years ago. 

We have had our ups and downs like any couple but I love Bill as much today as I did the first day I met him. He is funny and makes me laugh every day, he is intelligent and never stops in his quest to learn new things. He loves adventure and challenges and lucky for me I get to go along on many of them. I had no idea when we met all those years ago at Marco Island how blessed I would be to have this wonderful man in my life. 

I hope that you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cherry Slab Pie

Good morning! I hope that your Mother's Day was wonderful and that your week has started off with a bang.

White Ruffle Cake Plate

I have a crazy week, a visitor, a wedding and all of life's other activities to keep me busy.  For years I have been a night owl and my husband an early bird, although he encouraged me to be the same and get up early I fought it and all of the benefits. With the "help" of my pup Paris I am learning to like it. My first wake up call is at 4:00 and then she goes back to sleep  until 6:00 or 6:30, after that between the jumping on the bed and being licked to death there is no option but to get up and at it. By 10:00 am I have accomplished more than I used too in an entire day!

White Ruffle Cake Plate

My weekend was relaxing, my husband and I took our pups walking, we cooked a few new and interesting meals and spent some time working on our tan at the beach. I also made this Cherry Slab Pie.

 It is very similar to the Slab Apple Pie that I love to make in the Fall but of course with the flavors of Summer. And in fact it is easier to make because the filling is cherry pie filling you purchase at the store, of course you could make your own but this is faster and tastes delicious.

White Ruffle Cake Plate

Cherry Slab Pie


3 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of solid shortening (Crisco)
2 egg yolks
8 Tablespoons of water

1-2 cans of cherry pie filling



2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of soft butter
4 tsp of warm water

Prepare glaze after cake is cooled. Mix powdered sugar and butter. Add water gradually and blend. Pour over cooled pie. Cut and serve. 

Directions for Dough:

Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder until blended. Cut shortening into flour. In separate bowl mix egg yolks, and water. Add to flour mixture.
Mix until dough forms a ball. Separate into two balls. Roll out one ball between two Silphat mats, to fit a cookie sheet. Place in bottom for crust.

Arrange cherry pie filling on bottom crust. Roll out second ball of dough for top crust and pinch edges.
Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cool and frost with glaze.

White Ruffle Cake Plate

What does your week look like? Busy, exciting, anything fun and interesting on the menu? As I always say I love to learn new recipes so if you have made something interesting this week, please share!

White Ruffle Cake Plate

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Friday Favorites from Collage of Life, Gwen Moss, Kimberly Taylor Images and More

Good morning! It's Friday and I could not be happier. My husband has been traveling all week and arrives home tonight, I cannot wait to sit with a glass of wine and fill each other in on our weeks activities. Not to mention that it seems as if this week has been so  l-o-n-g. I only hope the weekend will feel just as long, only without all of the work.

Many that read blogs are also blog writers. I personally am always fascinated by the story behind blog and this week Jeanne at Collage of Life has written a beautiful post about how, why, when she started her blog. If you are not familiar with Jeanne, she is an incredibly talented writer and an ex-pat who has lived in Australia, New Zealand, England, the USA and Vietnam. Her blogs are filled with adventures, beautiful photography and of course writing. 

This Sunday is Mother's Day and Leslie at Gwen Moss featured the perfect gift for moms this week on her blog. I cannot wait to do it for mom own mother!

It is no secret that I LOVE France and I love to see it from the eyes of other bloggers. This week on Kimberly Taylor Images you can see Kimberly's stunning photos from Two Weeks in France. 

Image Veronica's Cornucopia

I know that I am not the only Pinterest addict and after spending a few productive hours on Pinterst this week I discovered this recipe for David Lebovitz Chocolate Cake on Veronica's Cornucopia. I would love to make this this weekend!

Are you a fan of the blog Advanced Style? If so, check out this article about the new documentary Ari Seth Cohen made featuring beautiful stylish women in their 70', 80's and 90's! I have never looked as good as these ladies, I think I might learn a few things from them. 

I hope that you found something new here and as always if you found something fabulous this week, please share it!

Have a wonderful weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day!