Lately I have been craving a break from the hustle and bustle from everyday life. I’m craving something easy. Something rustic. Something straightforward. Nothing fussy or complicated. But instead something simple and unadulterated.
Enter this cake. Read more
Most of us will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with boatloads of margaritas and guacamole among other delicious libations. But today I wanted to celebrate the folklore of Mexican culture in a different way.
It’s no wonder why Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival became a best-seller when it was first published in Mexico in 1989. In it, Esquival skillfully interwove the ordinary with the extraordinary. She tells the tale of Tita, the youngest of three sisters who is dictated by family tradition to remain single for the rest of her life to take care of her mother. We witness the nurturing Tita’s struggle to be true both to family tradition and to her own heart. What ensues is a unique, entertaining and passionate story that starts off about love, life and food and then proves that all three are entwined and interdependent.
Get lost in this tasty slice of Mexican literature. Whether you buy it for the recipes at the start of every chapter or the tastefully written sexual energy of the characters’ romance, there’s a little something in this novel for everyone.
Solo Travel for Women. My husband introduced the concept to me some years ago – the notion of women stepping out of their comfort zone and experiencing the beauty of the world on their own. At first I thought, wow, that’s brave. But certainly not something I had the guts to do. Then earlier this year I took a leap of faith, all thanks to a European airfare sale email from American Airlines. London had their cheapest round-trip fare from New York. And just like that, my first ever solo trip was born.
I’ve always been fiercely (and sometimes dangerously) independent. But in the days leading up to the trip, I was a ball of all sorts of emotions and secretly hoping that my hubs or one of my BFFs was coming along. My mind was playing tricks on me and I came up with a nutty list of do’s and don’ts for the trip. Walk the streets with confidence and unless you’re about to step off a cliff, never look afraid or lost. Don’t tell anyone you’re traveling alone. Your hubs is “at a conference while you sightsee” or “your girlfriend is under the weather in the hotel room” or “you’re meeting relatives in 30 minutes”. If some creepy guy is trying to talk to you, get out of the discussion by saying you’re waiting to meet your husband. I won’t bore you with the rest of the really crazy ones. (Don’t make fun. I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies.)
Foolish thoughts aside, I boarded my flight. I knew a great adventure was in store and I could have never imagined how incredible it would be. Read more
I have many sources of inspiration when it comes to deciding what to bake – TV, blogs, magazines and my hubs’ insatiable appetite for cookies, chocolate chip to be exact. But often times I’m stumped or in a funk. The last time I just couldn’t figure it out, I took one of the most reliable baking book I know (by Dorie Greenspan) and told myself I would bake whatever the booked opened up to. When the pages turned to a marble loaf cake, I said to myself, “Dang – couldn’t I have gotten something a little more exciting…this couldn’t be more traditional and plain?”
Traditional. Customary. Conventional. Usual. Fixed. Long-established. Old-fashioned.
Plain. Unadorned. Pure. Bare. Simple. Natural. Ordinary. Normal. Everyday. Dull. Boring.
I almost talked my way out of making this cake and flipping to another page.
Thank goodness I didn’t because then I would have missed out on what turned out to be Delicious. Striking. And quite Out of the Ordinary and Enjoyable. Read more
Weekends mean three things to me – BRUNCH, BRUNCH, BRUNCH!!!!
Who doesn’t love brunch? It’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s warm, it’s yummy AND it’s a great excuse mix up a cocktail early in the day.
So on your way home tonight, make sure to pick up the fixings to make a killer brunch this weekend.
My favorite homemade brunch includes this quiche up above with a mix green salad and glass of bubbles. Sure, it’s delicious but it’s special for a few other reasons.
If you you wanna have your eggs in a sammie instead, try making these biscuits to stuff them in. But don’t forget the bacon. Cuz everything in life is better with bacon. And cheese. And bubbles.
And if you think everything in life is better with chocolate, then this waffle will become your new BFF.
To further satisfy your sweet tooth, make these fluffy pancakes and drizzle them with LOTS of maple butter. Then save the extra maple butter to drizzle over whatever else tickles your fancy. Go crazy go crazy. Read more
Sorry for neglecting the blog for the last couple of weeks. I have been distracted. Not with anything in particular. But with life in general. And not with life’s mishaps.
It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things that go wrong in life. The things we wish were different. The pet peeves. The things we want but can’t seem to attain. Over the past few weeks I have been making a conscious effort shift my energy and focus on all the things that make me feel incredibly blessed and happy to be me, some of which include:
my husband (too many reasons to list but most of all, I love that he never gets in the way of letting me be me, even when being me means I bring home 2 new coach purses)
my sisters (especially Sue, who I can somehow talk to up to 10 times a day and always have something new to say)
my dog (the most loyal friend a girl can ever have is a mini dachshund who can cuddle with her and not only listen to every word she says but respond to everything with a wiggle of the nose or ears)
my travels (I’ve been to some incredible places in just the last week and the best is yet to come)
my girlfriends (they are only a few but with them, there’s no need for more)
my new coach bags (never thought I would love a bag so)
and finally – these cookies – because the best thing to do when planning a day in Paris (more on that later) is to make french cookies. Read more
It’s because I love things like risotto that I haven’t seen my high school weight since, well, high school. But if weighing 115 pounds means I never get to enjoy this risotto, sorry hips, thighs and belly – this risotto wins.
With copious amounts of creamy carbs and cheese, few things are more comforting than this dish. But as much as I loved to eat it, I never cared to try it at home because let’s face it, who wants to stand around babysitting a pot for 40 minutes of constant stirring. And these days the only thing that can get a straight 40 minutes of my attention are two of my not-so-guilty TV pleasures – Teen Mom and The Real Housewives. When I recently came across a risotto recipe featuring lemon (on a day when it was cloudy and cold and gross outside), I decided this was just the thing to help brighten up my day and help me conquer the winter blues. Read more
Raise your hand if Jello Pudding Cups bring out the kid in you? And by kid I mean when your spoon can’t dig more pudding out of the cup you switch to a couple of other utensils and attack with cup and wrapper with your fingers and tongue? (Me, Me, Me!)
What if I told you that you could make some pudding at home that is even better? Sure it takes a bit more work than just ripping off a wrapper and digging in, but not much more.
This chocolate pudding was this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays pick by Leslie of Lethally Delicious. It was so creamy and delicious that once you make it, I’m sure you will overlook the fact that I am posting this a little late. All you need is six ingredients that come together quite simply and bake in a pan with simmering warm water into one of the most luscious things you will ever taste. Read more
I seek balance in life. And by balance I mean, I want to have my cake and eat it all of it! I want my hair to be curly on Saturday and straight on Sunday no matter that the heat index is reading. And I’m still trying to figure out how to stuff my wide feet into my dream pair of somewhat narrow Manolos.
Cake, hair and Manolos – all the important things in life. In the meantime, I will settle for the epitome of a balanced cookie – the black and white. Read more