Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Raspberry Ricotta Cake

Good morning! Did you enjoy your weekend? The weather here was beautiful, hot and sunny.  Everybody is trying to squeeze the last days at the ocean and the last days from summer, it is almost as if the boardwalk will be rolled up after next weekend. Certainly there will be less tourists but there will still be a plethora of people taking in the waters and the sand between their toes until the fist chill is in the air and the water is too cold to walk in. 

I am trying to hold off from making anything remotely resembling Fall/Holiday baking flavors simply because once I start I will not stop. Pumpkin is my all-time favorite thing in the world and I cannot wait to start trying new things but August just seems a little too early. 

So this week I decided to make another fruit cake using my favorite summer berry, raspberries. This cake could not be easier, you do not even need a mixer, you simply mix it all in one bowl with a spoon and pour it in a pan.  

Raspberry Ricotta Cake
Recipe from Bon Appetit


  •  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 11/2 cups ricotta
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries divided

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by 3/4 cup raspberries, taking care not to crush berries. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining 1/4 cup raspberries over top.
  • Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding. NOTE: If using frozen berries the cooking time is longer. 

    I hope that you have a fabulous week! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Silent Sunday 8-28-2016

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday Favorites from Alexandra's Kitchen, Elle Decor, Kirsty Mitchell's Photography, Seth Herlinger and More

Good morning! How are you this beautiful Friday morning? I am fabulous and as I say every single Friday, ready for the weekend. I have books to read, and a spot at the ocean waiting for me. What about you? What are your plans?

Baked Ricotta Cheese from Alexandra's Kitchen

As I mentioned I have spent the last couple of weeks in Wisconsin and cheese is a staple there. One of my new favorite dishes is this Bake Ricotta Cheese from Alexandra's Kitchen. It is delicious easy and a great accompaniment to aperitifs. 

I love to mix up a new cocktail to start the weekend and this Elderflower Spanish Gin and Tonic from Craft and Cocktails is on my list for the weekend. 

If you missed my post this week featuring this scrumptious and easy Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce make sure to check it out. I promise that you will love this refreshing dessert.

Image from Elle Decor

Looking for some reading material for Fall. Elle Decor suggests these books for 2016.

Kirsty Mitchell Image from Arto Philia

I have been an admirer of Kirsty Mitchell the photographer for many years, her story and work are amazing. This week she is taking orders for the second printing of her fabulous book Wonderland and I cannot wait to get mine. 

Thanks to my friend Marsha I discovered an amazing photographer, called Seth Herlinger . Check out his site HERE.

Yesterday was the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. We are certainly very lucky to have these beautiful parks in the USA. 

Did you discover a must read or must see this week? If so please share with us. I hope that you have a  happy and safe weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just Curious...What Have You Been Up to on Your Summer Vacation?

Good morning! I hope that you are well and having a great week. I have been catching up at home and work and frankly need a day to relax so I am happy the weekend is upon us. I am still finding it hard to believe that it is just a week to September! In my mind Fall starts in September and I am already compelling a list of pumpkin recipes, holiday activities, etc.

Way back in May I made a wish list for summer and asked what was on yours as well. I am happy to report that I did everything on my list but camp and I managed to cram in so much more. My summer has been filled with trips to Philadelphia(twice), Wisconsin, Missouri, and trips around Virginia. There has been lots of time at the ocean, visiting family, hosting family and friends, outings on my paddle board, and so much more.

I have been able to be as busy as a bee and as relaxed as a slug. I have read a ton of books. I have cooked, baked, grilled, eaten my weigh in cherries and drank an ocean of limeade. I have walked and swam, biked and paddled. Honestly,  I have been having such a great time I am for the first time ever reluctant for summer to come to an end.

So I am curious, what have you been up to on your summer vacation? Have you traveled? Had a stay-cation? Read or watched movies? Have you grilled a favorite dish or invented something new? Did you spend time with family or take time to yourself? Whatever you did I would love to hear about it so please share your adventures!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce

Good morning! How are you? I apologize for my sporadic posting these last few weeks, between house guests and travel I just decided to focus on family and enjoy the waning days of summer. I am home and without guests for a few weeks so posts should be more regular. 

One of my favorite things to do with family and friends is to cook/bake and make treats. Over the summer there has been a lot of that going on. One of the desserts that I make frequently is Panna Cotta with all sorts of fresh fruits and fruit sauce, but this time I decided to try something new and similar, called Swedish Cream. Have you had it before? If not, it is fresh, creamy, rich and delicious and an easy to make last minutes dessert. (By last minute, I mean at least 3-4 hours chill time). 

Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce


1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup of cold water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Stir gelatin into cold water and let stand 1 minute. Combine whipping cream, sugar and soaked gelatin in saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until gelatin dissolves, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool 15 minutes. Whisk in yogurt, sour cream and vanilla. Divide mixture among 6 to 8 stemmed glasses; refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. To serve, top each dessert with raspberry sauce and a few fresh raspberries. Garnish with mint sprig.

Raspberry Sauce:

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups water plus 2 Tablespoons water, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan combine two cups water, sugar and raspberries. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Mash the berries through a sieve to remove as many seeds as possible. Return juice to the pan. 
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Mix until smooth. Add cornstarch to the raspberry juice, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. 
Set aside to cool and then add to the top of the cream mixture. 

What have you been making and baking? If you have a recipe to share I would love it, especially one that showcases fresh fruits.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 19, 2016

White Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and White Chocolate Buttercream

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend! I have been away spending time with my family in Wisconsin and attending my family reunion. As I said before I come from a large family and we are scattered across the US, Canada  and a few are overseas so it was nice to see almost all of them in one place at one time, which is very rare. 

We talked, laughed, reminisced and of course ate lots of great food.  I made several desserts while at home and this White Cake with Fresh Raspberries and White Buttercream was one of them. I love this cake because it is light, refreshing and delicious. 

White Cake 
Recipe from Add a Pinch

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 3 9" round cake pans with cooking spray and set aside. 

Cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add the 3 cups of sugar, one cup at a time making sure to incorporate the sugar fully before adding the other. Then add the eggs one at a time, be sure to incorporate each egg before adding another. 

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then in another bowl whisk together the milks, vanilla and almost extracts. Add to the butter/shortening mixture, alternating between the milk and the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Stir all ingredients until well mixed then stop mixer and scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Evenly distribute into cake pans and and then bake for 25-30 minutes. Insert toothpick and if it comes out clean remove cakes from oven and let cool. Then frost with frosting. 

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
8 oz. white Ghirardelli chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
4-5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Chop chocolate, place in bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Cook for another 30-40 seconds, stir until smooth. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low, add vanilla and mix. Then add the heavy whipping cream and the melted chocolate and beat on high until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically to be sure everything is incorporated. 

Have a great week!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Raspberry Coffeecake with Crumble Topping

Good morning! How was your weekend? The weather was spectacular here, sunny, not too humid and a slight breeze. Between the weather and the furious pinning of Fall baking, and ideas on Pinterest and the pumpkins, yes pumpkins are the grocery store it is beginning to feel a lot like Fall though. As I have said the last few weeks, I don't know if I am ready for Fall yet, are you? 

I was at the grocery store this weekend and there was a plethora of raspberries among other things so I decided to use my stand-by recipe for coffeecake and make a Raspberry Coffeecake with Crumb Topping for Sunday morning breakfast.  I have made this with  mixed berries, cranberries, peaches and basically anything I have in the house and it is fabulous each and every time. If you have not tried it yet put in on your list, it would be great for the holidays!

Raspberry Coffeecake with Crumble Topping
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups sour cream
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda 
1 Teaspoon salt

2 cups raspberries, plus more if you want to garnish

Crumb Topping:
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8" spring form pan with cooking spray, or butter and flour. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. 

To make the crumb topping, combine the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and mix until it resembles small crumbs. 

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together using  a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Then beat in the eggs on at a time. Add the almond extract and sour cream and continue mixing until just combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. set aside. Stir the flour mixture into the wet batter and mix.  
 Place the cranberries to a small bowl and add a tablespoon of the flour mixture.  Toss the berries in the flour to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. 
 Add the mixed berries to the bowl and stir just until combined.

Place the crumb topping evenly over the batter and bake  for approximately 50 - 60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.  Dust the top with powdered sugar and sugared berries if you like. 

Have a great week!

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Friday Favorites from Kristy Woodson Harvey, French Essence, My Design Chic and More

Good morning! A happy weekend to you, have you had a good week? My week was busy, busy, busy. My husband was out of town and for some reason I always decide that is the best time to do major projects, like cleaning out all the closets, garage, etc. Between that, work and hot vinyasa yoga every day I am worn out and it goes without saying looking for a little rest. 

Although it was toasty in town this week I could not go another week without baking, it is how I relieve stress. This week I made the most scrumptious Devils Food Cake with White Buttercream Frosting. This cake is a keeper and may now be my new favorite. The reason is because the cake is a cross between a brownie and a cake so it has a wonderful dense and fudge like texture. Coupled with the whipped buttercream it is perfect! Or at least I think it is.

Image Once Upo a Chocolate Life

If you are looking for something a little cooler, say a topping for ice cream on these hot humid days than you should try Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce. You can put it on ice cream, cakes, brownies, fruit or even eat it from the jar.

For those of you who love watermelon and are looking for a way to celebrate the weekend, this Watermelon Cocktail from Duke's Farm is perfect for you!

Image Design Chic via Houzz

I am in love...with this Farmhouse , My Design Chic posted this week. I literally love everything from the land to the gardens to the decor and I want to move in.

This week Kristy Woodson Harvey, our favorite Southern writer, announced that she has a new series of books coming out. The first Slightly South of Simple is being released in April 2017! Mark your calendars and if you want you can pre-order from any of your favorite booksellers. 

Here is a little preview of the series:

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.
Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.
Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.
Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

I am always interested in what other people are reading or watching and this week Vicki Archer posted 10 Movies Not to Miss on Netflix. I cannot wait to check out the ones that I have not seen yet. The list looks great so if it is a rainy weekend in your area you now have something to entertain you!

Speaking of movies, have you watched the 2014 movie Testament of Youth? I watched it for the second time this week and it is a fabulous movie. It is sad and a little depressing because it tells the story of Vera Brittain, the British write and her wartime experiences as a nurse, while her brother, finance and secret admirer face life in the trenches of WW I. The movie is beautifully filmed and the acting excellent. Her book Testament to Youth is heralded as one of the most powerful war memoir's ever written.

Well, that is it for this week! I hope that you found something new and interesting. If you discovered, read, watched or made something this week please share with us.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The HighBoy

Good morning! Are you a fan of unique one of a kind pieces and antiques? I am because I love the idea of putting my "stamp" on my home with special things I have found and collected from my travels to the Paris flea markets, the souks in Morocco, and the ferias in Buenos Aries to name just a few of the places I have found some treasures. 

Now however I do not even need to leave the comfort of my home or worry about room in my suitcase and I can find anything and everything I like on one website, from a Mid-century modern table to a sterling silver bracelet. Where you ask?  At The HighBoy. Have you heard of them? If not you need to go over to their website and check them out. 

Girl with the Fan by Di Li Feng available on The HighBoy

The HighBoy It is a fabulous online marketplace for antiques, fine art and design. The Highboy was started in 2014 by Olga Granda -Scott who grew up in the antiques business and her husband Douglass Scott a former strategic consultant, in an effort to make discovering and sourcing antiques and design both easy and  accessible to everyone. 

17th Century Tapestry from Oreillers

The HighBoy has assembled a team of hand-picked antique and fine art dealers from around the country all in one place. One of my personal favorites is Oreillers the premier source for textiles from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th -century European textiles and pillows. 

The site is easy to navigate allowing you to search items by period,  country, style, period, and theme. For instance if you were looking for a Napoleon 111 chaise longue or another chair to go in your dressing room they have one, or a pair of Italian Renaissance candelabras for your dinning room they have those as well. 

Or maybe you are searching for a sterling silver chocolate pot to serve your chocolat chaud from in the morning they have that too! The selection is endless and new items are added daily. 

I am in the process of redoing my master bedroom and am looking for a desk to use instead of a traditional nightstand. I think this early 18th century Louis XIII would be perfect. 

I already have an antique French bakers table in my kitchen  but now that I have seen this French iron one with the red paint and patina and castors I might need it instead!

Not only is The Highboy site fabulous so is their blog. The curated collections are combined with beautiful photos and interesting stories on, The Weekly which details your favorite design interiors, periods, processes, and more. 

The site is a favorite among readers who come to read well written smart, beautiful stories that detail both modern-day design trends and the history of art, antiques, and design.

I should warn you that you can spend hours on The HighBoy, between perusing the beautiful listings and reading their blog you might want to grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine before you visit. 

Have a great day!

Thank you to The HighBoy for sponsoring this post. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Individual No Bake Cheesecake with Berries

Good morning and a happy August to you. I hope that you had a great weekend! We had a nice weekend at home, watching the rain, reading any relaxing. I did feel sorry for all of the people who came to relax by the ocean in the sun  this weekend but I have to tell you that the heat has been blistering and we needed the rain. 

As the temperatures have been so hot I have not allowed myself to turn on the oven and it is killing me. Baking is how I relive stress and that fact that I have not baked in two weeks is starting to bother me, thank goodness for yoga.

I did make these Individual No-Bake Cheesecakes this weekend though, just so I could get in the kitchen and feel as if I was doing something. They are so easy and so delicious and taste just like baked cheesecake. 

No-Bake Cheesecake with Berries
Recipe from Chef Savvy
Makes 2-4 Servicing

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 tsp. sugar

1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. softened cream cheese
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
berries for garnish

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Spoon into 2-4 serving dishes(depending on how big you want your dessert). Refrigerate until filling is ready.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, then either change the bowl or spoon whipped cream into another bowl so that you can reuse the mixer bowl. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and the sugar with the whisk attachment until smooth and creamy and free of lumps. Then filed in the heavy cream. Then whisk with the mixer until combined and lump free. 

Spoon mixture into dishes, top with berries and place in the refrigerator until set, about 1-2 hours. 


I hope that you have a great week!