Over the years, I’ve collected various heart ornaments and plates. I use the heart ornaments at Christmas and then save them for Valentine’s Day.
Just a few snapshots of our Christmas decorations this year. Love the display of mercury glass with fresh greens.
Shell bottles and fresh greens … along with red velvet ornaments purchased at ABC Home in NYC.
Just added red frames, striped ornaments and red mercury glass to existing book shelves. No time this year to do any more!
I’ve been on a roasted broccoli kick lately. It started this spring when I bought a tray of broccoli rabe from Trader Joe’s. Then I found a recipe with balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes … a great combination with broccoli!
I’ve modified the recipe from Country Living, as I like to cook creating the fewest dirty dishes possible. My husband loves me for it, as he usually has “clean up” duty.
Spicy Balsamic Broccoli Rabe
1 1/2 lbs Broccoli Rabe (2 trays from Trader Joe’s)
3 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp ground Pepper
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 – 2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim the ends from the broccoli rabe. Thinly slice the garlic cloves.
2. Place broccoli on large, rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper. Use tongs to toss the broccoli on the baking sheet. Sprinkle sliced garlic evenly on broccoli. (You may use a medium bowl and toss all ingredients to evenly coat.)
4. Remove baking sheet from oven. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.
If you’re looking for a light lemony dessert for those hot days of summer, this is perfect! It’s lowfat, easy to make and you can even make it ahead of time.
It combines light, airy lemon flavors with crispy coconut. I usually make it a day ahead of serving.
Frosty Lemon Cooler
1 cup crushed Coconut Cookies (I use Trader Joe’s Coconut
2 Tbs. Butter, melted
2 Egg yolks
1 tsp. grated Lemon Peel
1/3 cup Lemon Juice
2/3 cup Sugar
Dash of Salt
2 Egg Whites
2/3 cup Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
2/3 cup water
1. Crush coconut cookies and combine with melted butter. (I use 18 of TJ’s Coconut cookies, which results in a bit more than 1 cup. I put the cookies in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.) Reserve 1/4 cup of the crumbs and spread the remainder in a 9×9 pan.
2. Stir together egg yolks, lemon peel and juice. Add sugar and salt, mixing well.
3. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, milk powder and water. Beat on high speed with an electric mixer to stiff peaks (about 5 minutes).
4. Add egg yolk mixture to egg whites and beat low just until blended. I often fold in the lemon egg yolks to mix well.
5. Pour over crumbs in pan. Top with remaining crumbs. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and freeze.
6. When serving, dip the bottom of pan in warm water for 10 seconds. (I usually use a rimmed cookie sheet and fill it with hot water.) This makes it much easier to cut the dessert. Cut into 9 squares.
Just a few quick snapshots from a recent summer tablescape … using blues and white. The sources are as follows:
- Runner from Pottery Barn (2012) – although I believe they still have this.
- Glass beads from the Irvine Antique Flea Market – over the past 3 years
- Woven placemats, white dishes and candles from TJMaxx.
I have turquoise linen napkins and white cotton napkins that I use with this table setting. I also use these same items on our table outside for al fresco dining. Enjoy!
Happy 4th of July!
I found this cute red stripe burlap star at Pottery Barn (on sale!) I ended up making a few more made burlap stars for decorations … directions coming soon!
I took a few months off from blogging. During that time I’ve tried a number of new yummy recipes. So … I’m ready to share with you the best ones. I also have a very fun vacation coming up in two weeks: Paris, the Amalfi coast and Berlin. (I know … interesting combo.) But, I’m sure to have some fun travel tips and pics to share after the trip.
While it isn’t quite tomato season, I do always enjoy a good tomato bruschetta. I ran across this recipe last fall, but just tried it this past week. The lemony, feta spread makes such a nice addition to a traditional tomato bruschetta.
I made this for a party last night – and all that tried it thought it was quite good. My husband and I had some with our lunch today. Yum!
Once again, I was able to get all of the ingredients at Trader Joes. I bought some cherry tomatoes to add to the baby heirloom tomatoes — quite a good combo. And, I loved the variety of color with yellow, orange, red, purple and green.
Tomato Bruschetta with Whipped Feta
6 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup Good Olive Oil, divided
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper (freshly ground, preferred)
2 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
2 Tbsp. minced Shallots (about 2 shallots)
2 tsp. minced Garlic (2 cloves)
2 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
2 lbs. ripe, small heirloom Tomatoes, sliced in halves
3 Tbsp. fresh Basil leaves, sliced (Plus extra for serving)
20 to 25 diagonal baguette slices (1/2 inch thick), toasted *
1. Place feta and cream cheese in a food processor. Pulse until cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of Olive Oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. of Salt and 1/4 tsp. of Pepper and process until smooth. Refrigerate spread until ready to serve.
2. Place pine nuts in a dry saute pan over low heat. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often until lightly browned. Set aside.
3. For the tomato topping (up to an hour before serving), combine shallots, garlic and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow shallots to absorb vinegar. Whisk in remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1 tsp. Salt and 1/2 tsp. Pepper. Add tomatoes and stir gently. Set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in basil and tasted for seasoning.
4. To assemble bruschetta, spread each baguette slice with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place tomatoes on top. Put bruschetta on plates and scatter with the toasted pine nuts and reserved basil.
* I misread the recipe and did NOT toast the baguette slices. I thought it was a bit odd not to toast the bread, but it was still very good. And, it was easy to eat, as sometimes toasted crostini can be a bit difficult to bite through.