Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Salty Sweet Heaven

After a couple missed weeks of 


I'm finally back!!!

This week it's been all about the coffee.
It's been chilly here in Southern California,
and last week when we took our little getaway
up the coast it was even chillier.

So bring on the lattes!!
We had the absolute best latte in the world made with 
one of the newest Torani syrups...


Yes...that's right
Salted Caramel!

Oh my goodness...buttery, sweet, a tiny hint of salt and that
luscious caramel all mixed with delicious coffee and of 
course just a tiny bit of whipping cream!!!

Heaven in a cup!!

I'm officially hooked.
What's your favorite cup of coffee?

Want to see more great
Tuesday picks then head on over to
and take a peek.

Happy Tuesday!



Friday, May 27, 2011

Remembering

While Memorial Day often signals the start 
of the summer vacation period,
we should not forget what the holiday truly serves to remember.

It is a holiday of honor.
It used to be call Decoration Day, an interesting fact that I didn't know.
It commemorates Americans who have died during military service.

Star Flag Sugar Cookies

So amidst our BBQ's and family gatherings this long weekend,
take a moment to remember those that have fallen serving our country.

Say a prayer.
Show your American colors and proudly fly your flag.
Visit a local cemetery and place some flowers.

Most importantly...
remember.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...well almost

I had big plans for a post today but 
after getting back late last night from a little 3 day getaway up the coast,
and trying to get out the door to work this morning...
well, it's just not going to happen.

So I'll leave you with a couple close up shots from the 
California Central Coast, 
and bring a new post in a couple days. 





Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pretty Soup

There is something comforting about soup.
Memories of childhood maybe, or just the
warming feeling you get when you eat it.

Thanks to an unusually chilly spell here in Southern California,
I decided to tackle a recipe that I've been wanting to make
for quite some time.  It's a very simple recipe, just a little time consuming.

Southwest Sedona Spicy Avocado Soup
with
Roasted Corn Salsa
atop
Oven Dried Tomatoes
drizzled with
Lime Sour Cream
(that's quite a mouthful for just the title)

You will need:
3 Roma Tomatoes
olive oil
salt/pepper

(this is the part that takes a while and you have to allow time for)

slice tomatoes into 1/4" slices, place on a parchment paper lined sheet pan
drizzle lightly with olive oil
season with salt & pepper
place in a 200 degree oven for about 2 hours
(the tomatoes will dry out and have the appearance of fruit leather)


Now for the soup part...

You will need:
2 large avocados
4 cups chicken stock
2 limes-juiced
1Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsps Sherry
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper


peel and mash the avocados
place avocado, chicken stock, lime juice, cilantro & sherry 
in a food processor and puree
(I did mine directly in the pot with an immersion blender-one less pot to clean)
season with salt, pepper and the Sedona spice
(the Sedona spice is available here or you 
could sub it out with some chili powder, paprika and lime zest)
place in stock pot and heat at time of service

Now for the corn salsa:
1/2 cup roasted corn kernels
1 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
dash of white pepper

combine all ingredients and hold to serve atop the soup

I promise you are almost there...
just one more thing to make.

Lime Sour Cream

1 cup sour cream
1 lime zested and juiced
combine and place in a squeeze bottle

Now that you've made all the pieces to this delicious puzzle,
it's time to start assembling...

place heated soup in bowls
top with 2-3 slices of oven dried tomatoes
top with a spoonful of the corn salsa
drizzle with lime sour cream
and
Ta Da!


This is one of the prettiest recipes I've made in a long while.
The colors play off each other so well.
The vivid red tomatoes "pop" against the avocado green,
which is flecked with the deep cilantro green.
There is a little burst of yellow from the corn,
and then it's finished with white swirls of sour cream.


While looks are a huge part of food, 
obviously taste ranks up there just a bit higher.
So how was the taste result?
Divine!
The soup has a velvety texture thanks to the avocado.
The oven dried tomatoes are so sweet, which balances the spiciness
of the soup perfectly.
It's fresh and bright from the lime juice and cilantro.
A make again?
Most definitely!!

So pretty soup...
that's also pretty delicious!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thirteen


Thirteen years ago, I was given the best Mother's Day present ever.
One that will never be topped....ever.
My youngest son decided to show his face to the world, 
just a little earlier than we all had planned.
A precious little bundle that rarely fussed, slept like an angel and had the most
easy going disposition for a baby, that I've ever known.

As he grew, his personality has remained constant.
He was the happiest toddler, greeting anyone and everyone 
wherever you went.  Kind of a mother's nightmare really...
"Hi, I'm 3 years old, what's your name?"
Not really something you want your child saying to the mechanic working on your car!

He will befriend anyone and loves people.
He is not shy...not in the least bit.
He loves to laugh, and has the quickest and wittiest sense of humor.
He loves science, random facts and roller coasters.
He eats peanut butter and mustard like they are going out of style.
He is my baby, but he is now a teenager.


We celebrated his birthday this week with a menu of his choosing:

Spaghetti Tacos
(they are exactly what the name says and surprisingly they are quite good)

Caesar Salad

Hamster Cake

This wild and delicious cake was a huge hit...he had a little mohawk, 
spaghetti whiskers, and was painted in "camo" colors.
Thanks to my talented friend and her
creativity for tackling his cake request...thanks Jill!

In true teenage boy fashion and amidst much laughter the poor hamster 
promptly got a lobotomy after his candles were blown out!
Who knew hamster brains had confetti sprinkles and tasted of vanilla?
Lol!

To our boy who makes us laugh.
Gives the biggest and best hugs.
We love you...

Happy Birthday Dakota!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Sweetest Package

Tuesday has rolled around yet again
and that can only mean one thing...


This week I'm just "tickled" about someone's sweet gesture
and what I got!!!

I enjoy writing my blog and I also follow a lot of great blogs out there.
There are some that make you laugh,
make you think, give you a great project idea or craft instructions.
I love reading the comments that you all leave me and I try
really hard to leave comments on all the blogs that I follow.

One blog I love is
My Life Under The Bus
Patty is a crack up...
she makes me laugh,
has the best projects and her jewelry is a delight.
A couple weeks back I left her a comment, feeling kind of "bummed" out
about something.  Leave it to a great bloggy friend to sense
that maybe I needed a little cheering up.
What shows up in my mailbox but
THIS...


The best little package ever!!
She even stamped the envelope with an "M",
made me the cutest tag and sent me the prettiest 2 pairs of earrings ever!
Talk about a pick me up!!!


I love both pairs...they are so pretty and so "me"!
I'm even including a dorky picture so you can see how cute they look.
They couldn't match my sweater any closer Patty!
So from me to you a 
HUGE
Thank you!!


You can find Patty here on her

blog

here on

etsy

and here on

facebook


So that's what has been
Tickling My Fancy
this week.

Want to see more great things,
then head on over to
Yes Teacher
and check out some more!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Winner and Pecans


I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone
who entered the giveaway
and of course to 

The random generator has spoken
and 
number 24
is our winner!

The shortbread will be making it's way 
very shortly to the 
lovely Emily
over at

Congratulations Emily!!!
If you aren't familiar with her blog,
take a moment to sneak a peek,
she has the most amazing photos!
True Random Number Generator  24Powered by RANDOM.ORG


(You'll have to forgive the askew Random Generator,
Blogger was non cooperative this morning and wouldn't
center the darn thing!!)

So now for a yummy recipe that I tried last weekend
and totally loved.
They were gobbled up in no time flat.
With Mother's Day this weekend,
they'd make a lovely addition to any brunch menu!



Pecan and Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 oz pecans - finely ground
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real thing)
1 cup milk
4 tbsp butter - melted
3 1/4 oz dark chocolate - coarsely chopped into small pieces
chopped pecans - to decorate

12 cup muffin tin lined with muffin papers

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the ground pecans and sugar.
Put the egg,maple syrup, milk and melted butter
 into a second bowl and beat well.
Beat into the dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate pieces.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin papers, sprinkling the top 
with the extra chopped pecans.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven 18-20 mins or until risen and golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm.

They are delicious!!
They have a wonderful texture with the ground pecans in the batter,
and the maple syrup adds a unique sweetness.

To all my blogger mommies out there,
wishing you a wonderful
Mother's Day this Sunday.
May you enjoy a lovely day with your families.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Free Light

It's


yet again...yippee!

This week I'm so excited about my new lamp!!!
Isn't it cool?
And the best part...
It was FREE!!

Well almost...I saved and saved and saved up my
American Express points until I had enough for this
woven veneer floor lamp from
West Elm


It's got a little mid century flair and is very textural which I love.


I have it in the eating area/nook off our kitchen and
it really cozies up the space.
Casts a nice glow on all our dinners!


Also...
 if you haven't entered my GIVEAWAY yet,
don't waste any more time...you only have a couple of days left!
It's a yummy one...so make sure you check it out.


Want to see more
Tickle Me Tuesday finds...
then head on over to
Yes Teacher
and see some more!

Happy Tuesday!

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