Sunday, May 31, 2015

Silent Sunday 5-31-2015

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Friday Favorites from Pretty Petals, The Scribe, Nine + Sixteen and More

Good morning! I hope your week has been great. My parents are visiting this week and I have not seen them since December so it has been fabulous. We have spent time at the beach, shopping and reading, eaten a lot of good food and of course spent many hours just catching up. 

Image from The Style and Travel Magazine

Here are a few of my favorite finds from around the web this week.

I am a huge fan of  Alexander McQueen and would love to see the Savage Beauty exhibit that is currently in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum; luckily Pam of the Style and Travel Magazine has been to see it recently and even better she went with Paul of The Magical Christmas Wreath Company.

Image from Nine + Sixteen

I love salad, even more so if they are easy and delicious and this Grilled Vegetable Salad from Nine + Sixteen looks like it fits my criteria.  In fact I will be making it tonight. 

Image from Leslie at Pretty Petals

Leslie from Pretty Petals always makes healthy and delicious food and this week she featured a Minty Smoothie that would be the perfect way to start your day. 

Image The Style Scribe

Summer is officially upon us and I am looking for a few new things to add to my wardrobe. This week The Style Scribe posted a great collage of a few things I definitely will be getting, like these Tory Burch flats and tunic. 

Are you a person that makes "to do lists"? I find myself making more and more of them as I age. I might have to rethink that after reading this interesting article A Brief History of the To-Do List on Farnam Street blog

Are you a happy person? If so how many of these 8 Things do you do in the first 5 minutes of your day?

Did you find anything interesting this week on the web, a new book, movie or recipe? If so please share.

I hope that you have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Good morning! I hope that you are having a great week. I am trudging along, as I always do after a nice, long, leisurely weekend.  My parents arrive today though so that should give me a bust of energy to get me through to Friday. 

I have been cooking and baking up a feast in preparation of their arrival. One of my favorite things that I made are these Lemon Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars. They are tart, and sweet with a buttery crust and creamy cheesecake filling. All the flavors of summer on one easy bar. 

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars


11/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick of melted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Raspberry Swirl
1/2 cup of raspberries
1 Tablespoon sugar


Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan with foil, leave an overhang so that you can remove it from the pan easily. For the crust, in a small bowl combine the sugar, graham crumbs and cinnamon, mix then add the melted butter. Mix well, until the crumbs are moist, pour into prepared pan and press into the bottom and a little up the sides. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat softened cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until combined and smooth. Add the eggs, zest, juice, vanilla and salt and beat until just combined. Pour into prepared crust. 

Put raspberries and sugar into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You can then strain the mixture or use it as is.

Dot the top of the cream cheese filling with raspberry puree and then swirl with a skewer to make  desired design.

Bake the cake for 30 minutes until edges are set but still a little jiggly in the center. Remover from oven and cool on wire rack. Once cooled, refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove bars from pan then cut and serve and enjoy!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day: Remember OUR Troops!

Please take a minute and remember our troops on this Memorial Day 2015!

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday Favorites Gimme Some Oven, Annie Eats, Dorie Greenspan, Food Tanks and More

Good morning! Memorial Day is upon us, can you believe it? Time just seems to be flying by and Summer starts this weekend, pretty soon it is going to be Christmas. But let's not think about that now, let's celebrate Memorial Day and remember our Armed Service members, those who are active, our Vets and those who have paid the ultimate price.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini-Tarts

Summer is all about berries so why not make these Strawberry and Rhubarb Mini-tarts from Dorie Greenspan.

Hoogie Rolls

Will you be barbecuing this weekend? Then you may want to make these Hoogie Rolls from Annie Eats, I think I am going to try these rolls with my barbecue pulled pork.

Gimme Some Oven Red White and Blue Margaritas

Every party needs a signature drink and this Red, White and Blue Margarita from Gimmee Some Oven looks like the perfect holiday cocktail, in fact you could make it alcohol free and serve it as well.

Image A Vintage Contessa via style mind chic life

I discovered Style Mind Chic Life some time ago and always enjoy her posts, this is one of my favorites because it features her favorites from a recent link party. Make sure to check out theLink party because it is unique and filled with so many fabulous and new to me bloggers.

Lou, Boos, and Shoes posted Lovely Things a reminder that it is the little things in life that make us happy, so lets savor them. 

Image food Tank's

I love to discover new books and this is an excellent food centric Spring reading list from Food Tanks. I am really looking forward to reading the book about apples, especially since I learned that there are over 700 varieties of apples grown all over the world. Who knew?

Did you find anything interesting this week in the world to share, a book, a movie or a recipe? If so please let me know and I will add it to my links.

I hope that you have a wonderful, safe weekend and please, if you should see a soldier, thank them for all of their hard work and sacrifices. I would appreciate it as the sister of a former soldier and I am sure that they would as well.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Remember Our Troops: Memorial Day Thoughts

Memorial day, the "official start" of summer and a typically happy day to get out meet friends and celebrate with a barbecue or a day at the beach. Of course everyone knows the real meaning of Memorial Day is a holiday set aside to remember the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the armed services. 

I wonder though how many actually remember those brave men and women on Memorial Day or any other day. Lately all I have seen on the news is the crisis with ISIS, the unrest in the Middle East and so much more. All of these are areas that our American soldiers, who happen to be your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, moms, dad, aunt, uncles, friends or neighbors are fighting for our freedom and safety.

I hope that this Memorial Day each and everyone of us take the time to really think about these men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be happy and secure in our homes, out enjoying the sunny weather and sharing a meal with family and friends. 

Maybe this weekend we could do one or ore of the following:

1. Fly your flag and support the troops.

2. Go the the local Memorial Day parade or Memorial to the soldiers in your town and leave flowers to show your support. 

3. If you see any soldiers while traveling, walk up and shake their hand and thank them for all their hard work and sacrifices. 

4. Go to a site, like or and pick a soldier to send a care package to.

5. Donate your time to Wounded Warrior Project.

6. If you know a family that has lost a loved one let them know that you care. Even though it may seem awkward or a painful everyone wants to know that their loved one is remembered and loved.

7. Listen to their stories. 

8. Volunteer your time or goods to the USO. Most airports and military bases have USO facilities where soldiers and their families can "have their spirits lifted." 

9. Vist the VA.

10. There are a million ways to say thank you we all just have to make the effort to do it.

I know many do not support military intervention and I am not here to talk about that or to preach. I simply want to remember all of those men and women who are away from home and family and doing whatever it takes to keep us safe and sound. As the saying goes, "freedom isn't free." it costs time away from family, and friends, loss of limbs and life. 

On that note, to all of my friends and family and those soldiers I do not personally know, who have served or are currently in the US military I thank you for your sacrifice. My thoughts and prayers and with you and your family. 

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Novel Interiors by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

If you are a fan of great literature,  quotes, beautiful photography and of course home decor than you will love this book as well. It is filled with the stunning photographs of Ivan Terestchenko and the homes of what I consider "everyday people." 

It is like you walked into the homes of friends, each is so warm and comforting. The focus is on the details, a chair, a table, butlers pantry, a bookcase, a gallery wall. Not every room or photo will appeal to everyone but perhaps a detail on the bed, like the pillows, or the stove in the kitchen, or the frames on the wall will appeal to you. 

The book is divided into six chapters, my favorite is "Shall I put the Kettle On", the cosy nooks, well worn comfy sofas, and transfer ware in this chapter make me wish for a rainy day, a cup of tea, and a chance to sit and relax in any one of thee comfy homes. 

I loved so many of the rooms in the book because they looked like "collected" interiors, rooms that were put together over many years with favorite pieces including books, art, perhaps items purchased on the home owners travels, not all purchased in one store and plopped down in the house.

The last chapter, "The Style Gurus" lists by chapter the books and authors that inspired Lisa to write the book, many of which are favorites of mine; Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Vita Sackville-West, Nancy Mitford , Ernest Hemingway and so many more. 

I hope that you check out Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. 

Have a great day! 

P.S: If you feel like baking a treat to enjoy while you peruse this book try these Frosted Fudgy Brownies from Once Upon a Chocolate Life.

Note: I was provided a copy of the book to review by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. If you love books and have a blog than you may be interested in checking out Blogging for Books

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Swedish Almond Cake

Good morning! A happy Monday to you! How was your weekend, did you get any sun or were you in the ferocious weather that seemed to take over the Mid-west for most of the weekend? I was lucky, the weather was gorgeous, sunny,  and perfect. 

I am a huge fan of chocolate obviously because I have another blog, Once Upon A Chocolate Life devoted solely to that, but my other favorite flavor is almond. I love it in cakes, cookies, danish, candy and pretty much any other thing that I can flavor with it. Lately, I have been baking a lot with marzipan and almonds and this weekend I baked the easiest and tastiest cake of all of the recipes I have tried so far. It is perfect with a cup or tea for breakfast or served as dessert perhaps with a few berries. 

Swedish Almond Cake
Recipe from Shugary Sweets
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp coarse sugar (pearl sugar)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9' round pan and cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, blend sugar with zest from one lemon. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in salt and almond and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and melted butter then pour batter into greased and floured 9 inch cake pan. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds on top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool several minutes, then run a knife around the pan and turn out onto cooling rack remove parchment and turn upright to cool. 


Have a great week!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Friday Favorites from Bakers Royale, I Prefer Paris, A Breath of Fresh Air, Spledid Market and More

Good morning! How was your week? Mine was great, but I felt like I was playing catchup the entire week because I was out of town for the last 5 days. Once I got home I had to settle in, get some work done and do all of those other boring tasks that one does when they have been out of town like mail, laundry etc.

I am caught up on the home front and now I can spend the weekend visiting my favorite blogs and doing a little reading. We are having weather that is 10-15 degrees above normal so I may even find myself at the beach.

Warm weather has me thinking about traveling, although I have many trips planned for the coming months none of them are to Europe this summer. I guess I will just live vicariously through some of my favorite blogs.

Chelsea Market image from Splendid Market

Emily of Splendid Market  is in London and posted about the fabulous Chelsea Market. A little warning, do not read the post if you have not had breakfast as you will surely be licking the screen.

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

Here are 20 fun facts about the Louvre that you might not have known from I Prefer Paris.

Mary of A Breath of Fresh Air blog is on the move again on a river cruise around Germany, Austria, Amsterdam and more. This post of one of my favorite cities Amsterdam, it is only photos but they capture the essence of this fabulous city.

My parents are coming over Memorial Day weekend and I want to try out a few new recipes on them, these Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter cream from Bakers Royale are at the top of my list. I think I may serve some with chocolate butter cream as well, after all shoe doesn't love a variety of cupcakes?

Lemon Bars from Willowbird Bakery

I also have to make these Lemon Shortbread Crumble Bars from Willowbrook Bakery because my mom LOVES lemon and I want to make her something special to belatedly celebrate Mother's Day. 
I am also going to be spending time at the new Blog Class I signed up for with Emily at Jones and Company. Although I have been bogging for a few years I fell as if there are a million things I do not know, like taking better photos, writing more thoughtful posts, finding my voice, and so much more. Emily write a beautiful and popular blog and I thought why not learn from an expert! What I love is that the class is all on video and it is at your own pace, in fact you have access to all of the information for 1 year! If you are looking for a few tips you might want to hop over and check it out for yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

One more thing, today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! I you want some recipe ideas check out my other blog Once Upon a Chocolate Life I frequently make chocolate chip cookies and have lots of recipes on there!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Did You Know...

Good morning! I am a little off schedule this week because I have been out of town. I will be back tomorrow with my Friday Favorites post but I thought I would remind you or tell you, in case you did not know that I have two other blogs. 

Once Upon a Chocolate Life is pretty self-explanatory, it is a blog where I showcase all things chocolate. Mostly recipes, but sometimes products that I love or anything else that is or includes chocolate, art, graphics and more.

Decadent Chocolate Cake

The other blog is called Between Sisters Between Friends and it is a blog of quotes. I have collected quotes for years and I like to share them with my sisters and friends so I thought rather than sending them one at a time to them I would compile them all in one place and that is at this blog. If you are  a fan of quotes than check out Between Sisters Between Friends.

I hope that you check out my other blogs, I think you may find something that you will like.

Have a great day!

Salted Triple Chocolate Cookies

Good morning! How was your Mother's day weekend? We spent the weekend with my in-laws, step-kids and grand-kids and it was so much fun to have a house filled with family ranging in age from 6 months to 88! 

A few weeks ago I discovered this recipe for Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Smitten Kitchen and since then I have made them 5 times, for myself, friends, family and again for me. They are now my favorite chocolate chip cookies ever! The cookies are crunchy, and crispy on the outside, with a moist, gooey, chocolaty center and a hint of salt. The perfect salty/sweet combination. The only thing I changed was adding three kinds of chocolate instead of just chocolate chunks. 

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of turbine sugar (aka. Sugar in the Raw)
3/4 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 pound chocolate (I used 60% dark chocolate chips, 75% dark chocolate chopped into chunks and semi-sweet chips)
Flaky sea salt to sprinkle on top.

Heat oven to 360 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silphat baking lines. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars and mix for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg, and vanilla, and mix until fully incorporated, be sure to scrape the bowl once or twice. Beat in the salt and baking soda until combined, then add the flour and mix on low until just mixed. Stir in the chocolate chunks and chips.

Scoop cookies onto baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 11-12 minutes until golden on the outside, but still gooey on the inside. Let rest on baking shed for 5 minutes and then cool on wire rack. 

If you would like to see the original recipe, visit Smitten Kitchen.

I hope you try these cookies, if you do please let me know what you think. 

Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday Favorites for Mother's Day!

Good morning! This weekend is Mother's Day, a fabulous day set aside to celebrate our moms and all they do for us. This is the perfect time to showcase your talents in the kitchen, you could serve your mom breakfast in bed or just make a great meal for the entire family. 

Image from Momtastice via Nuggets Market

I think these Coin pancakes by Nuggets Market would be a fabulous addition to Mother's day breakfast or brunch don't you? 

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Or maybe you could make a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake? This cake is delicious, I should know I make it all of the time. 
If you would like something a little less sweet perhaps a savory quiche is more to your liking? 

Image Baked Bree

And of course don't forget the Vanilla Spiced Latte from Baked Bree.

Image from Dreamy Whites

You could go and pick your mom a huge bunch of lilacs or maybe get her something special from the Dreamy Whites Shop. I love the blog and the store as well.

Hand-painted Elephant Cuff from Halcyon Days

Or perhaps a beautiful bangle from one of my all time favorite places,  Halcyon Days. I actually received the bangle above for Valentines day and it is so beautiful!

Halcyon Days Bangles from Scully and Scully

They also have a beautiful assortment of skinny bangles if you are looking for something a little smaller.

Image HERE

My mom is partial to perfume, as am I, so I am thinking of a little Jo Malone.

Although presents are always fun, I think the best thing that you can give your mom for Mother's day is your time. I am sure that she would love spending the day with you doing whatever. I know that I would love to be spending the day with my mom, luckily my sisters will be with her and I will see her in a few weeks!

What will you be doing with your mom to celebrate her special day? Will you be making breakfast in bed? Maybe lunch? Or will you be going on a special outing?

Whatever you do, have a wonderful time and a great weekend!