Nutella Sunday Breakfast…with my little Heidi!

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Cozy fall weekends are for hibernating in your pajamas and watching old movies. This weekend, my daughter and I finished reading the book Heidi together. To celebrate, we made a chocolaty breakfast in bed and watched the movie Heidi (the one with Shirley Temple).

The windows were open and we imagined that we could smell the wild flowers high in mountain meadow where Heidi’s grandfather lived.  Aww, fresh fall air…you can almost smell the Swiss Alps! Weekends are made for hitting the reset button, snuggling with your little reading buddy while watching an old movie and indulging in something chocolatey.

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My daughter let me know that she loves me more than Nutella!  I imagine Nutella is not far behind. Bananas and Nutella go together like Heidi and her grandfather…they compliment each other beautifully! This is one of the most perfect coffee cakes ever. It’s moist and chocolaty sweet…perfect for a Sunday morning.

Nutella Banana Coffee Cake

  • Cake:
  • 1 C of unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 4 eggs at room temp
  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • Filling:
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 C Nutella spread
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • Topping:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 C hazelnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch pan.
  2. Melt the 1 C of butter and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and add the melted butter.
  5. Using a spatula, mix the dry into the wet until combined.
  6. Layer half the batter into the pan, lay the smashed bananas on top and drizzle the Nutella spread…I microwave my Nutella for 30 seconds to make it pourable.
  7. Layer the remaining batter over the Nutella and banana filling using a spatula, smooth out the top of the batter making sure it’s even and reaches the edges of the pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the streusel…smash 4 softened butter, flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a fork.
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes until set when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Your Nutella weekend won’t be complete without Nutella hot chocolate. You HAVE to make this! My daughter said, “Mom, you are the BEST mom in the world” when I served the Nutella banana coffee cake with Nutella hot chocolate. She also asked, “Do you think Heidi had chocolate breakfasts too?” Hmm…with all the goats milk, I’m sure she probably whisked a little Swiss chocolate in there.

Fall Sunday mornings are made for Nutella and Heidi! Wishing you many more fall weekends…may they be full of Nutella, your favorite pajamas and snuggle buddy to enjoy a frothy, creamy, chocolaty Nutella breakfast!

Nutella Hot Chocolate
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Marshmallows
  • Crushed hazelnuts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Extra Nutella
  1. Heat milk in a medium sized saucepan on medium – high heat until beginning to warm and steam. Add the spread, cocoa powder and sugar, and whisk until dissolved and combined. Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring, and take off heat.
  2. Serve with your desired toppings.

Guten Appetit from my little Heidi!

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You’ve Got Mail!!

My husband calls me on the phone, “You’ve got mail!” Those are the BEST three words to hear!! He asks me if he needs to open it to put it in the fridge! That tells me it must be a HelloFresh or CraftedTaste. I can’t wait to get home and see! The day just gets instantly better when there’s a package waiting for you. These five monthly subscriptions make life a lot sweeter and easier. There’s nothing better or more simple than a subscription box…pay a small monthly fee, then wait for a box of goodies to show up at your door. Love it? Keep it! Not so much, cancel or send it back (if it’s a Stitchfix) and move onward!

 

Stitch Fix Box

Stitchfix

This is for the person who wants to update their closet but is maybe pressed for time to shop…think, working mothers with young children! Stitch Fix can step in as your personal stylist. They carefully collect a profile of information outlining your size and style then send you a box of five clothing and accessory items. You’ll pay a $20 styling fee per box, but if you keep any of the pieces, the $20 counts toward your purchase. If you keep all five, you’ll receive an additional 25% off the total price. Stitch Fix gives you the personalized advice you’d typically find in a boutique or higher-end department store but…the stylists rely on the initial survey to make perfect selections. Stitch Fix asks questions like…“How do you prefer clothes to fit the bottom half of your body?” and “What do you like to flaunt? What would you rather keep covered?” Try it, your closet will thank you!

$20/month

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CraftedTaste

Cocktail of the month subscription? Yes, please!! I like to drink seasonally but sometimes get stuck on my same summer cocktails. Crafted Taste delivers amazing craft cocktails from some of the world’s top bartenders. It’s fun to discover a new drink and get to play around with ingredients that might be hard to find on your own. Each kit includes all the full sized ingredients needed to create the cocktail at home, easy to follow instructions, other cocktail ideas you might want to experiment with and recommended food parings. Crafted Taste is all about learning, experimenting, sharing modern cocktails, and expanding your home bar.

 

$130/month

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HelloFresh

My friend Lisa told me about HelloFresh over the summer and I’ve been hooked sense then. I’ve gotten my Mom and my fellow teacher friends hooked too…everyone loves HelloFresh! My husband and I do love cooking dinner, but on busy weeks we sometimes wish there was someone else to take care of the planning and shopping. This is a huge reason of why our family enjoys HelloFresh. It’s perfect for a busy family who loves to eat well. It’s also a no brainer…saving you a grocery store trip! It also works with your budget…three meals for four people at only $129!! HelloFresh delivers great recipes and fresh ingredients to your doorstep weekly or as you’d like them too…there’s no commitment. I love that I can cook quick and healthy meals for my family and everyone is happy!

$60-129/month

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Birchbox

This is the perfect present for your best friend, mom, teachers…One of my favorite packages to receive! Birchbox lets you try high-end beauty samples and discover new products without committing to buying a full-size item. Based on your personal profile, each box will contain five to six travel-size skincare, makeup, and perfume samples, all geared to your specific taste. You might also score some non-beauty extras—think hair ties, water bottles, and ear buds. The company also caters to men…check out Birchbox Man as well.

$10/month

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ThePeriodStore

Tea, dessert, ibuprofen and tampons. What do these four products have in common? They’re all included in The Period Store’s monthly packages. Women can customize their monthly package right before their period starts…just fill out information about their cycles on the website and can customize packages to include your favorite products. Each package also comes along with some painkillers, two tea bags, a 5×7 piece of art and a gourmet treat.

$30/month

These amazing monthly boxes may be a gift from you to you, but that doesn’t take away any of the excitement…just wait until you get the phone call, “You’ve got mail!”

Ice Cream flavors based on your favorite cocktails

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What’s better than an ice cold cocktail on a hot summer day? An ice cream flavor based on your favorite cocktail, of course! In the sizzling month of August, sometimes even a well-chilled and iced glass of Aperol Spritz isn’t enough to cool you down. On those days, it’s best to have a boozy ice cream waiting for you in your freezer.

As someone who eats ice cream nearly every day, I can tell you that it taste so much better when you make it yourself. It’s all worth it when you start scooping.

Making ice cream is very similar to making a cocktail…both require few ingredients…the flavorings and fruit make it special. It’s fun to get creative and combine ingredients to share for all to enjoy.  Fruity liqueurs like Aperol, Limoncello and crème de cassis can give ice cream a distinctive flavor and personality.  For an added unique flavor, use a fresh vanilla bean. The seeds of a vanilla bean impart a floral aroma that goes well with the liqueurs and the scattering of dark speckles add to the beauty of the ice cream. Try these three summer cocktails to turn into ice cream… Aperol Spritz, Kir Royal, and Limoncello Spritzer

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Aperol Ice Cream

6 large eggs
1 large vanilla bean
4 T Aperol
1 ½ C whole milk
1 ½ C heavy crème
¾ sugar
*optional 1/8 tsp orange oil

Separate the eggs in a bowl. Split vanilla bean, add milk, 1 cup of crème, and sugar to a saucepan with the vanilla bean. Add remaining ½ C crème to the bowl with the egg yolks (I like to save the egg whites for breakfast). Whisk the yolks and crème. Temper the egg yolks (add about ¼ C of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture so they don’t scramble). Then add it all to the milk mixture. Stir on medium low heat until the back of a wooden spoon is coated. Add Aperol. Strain custard and discard vanilla bean. Cool, chill, then churn.

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Kir Royale Ice Cream

6 large eggs
1 large vanilla bean
4 T crème de cassis             
1 ½ C whole milk
1 ½ C heavy crème
¾ sugar
1 C rasberries, crushed

Separate the eggs in a bowl. Split vanilla bean, add milk, 1 cup of crème, and sugar to a saucepan with the vanilla bean. Add remaining ½ C crème to the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk the yolks and crème. Temper the egg yolks (add about ¼ C of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture so they don’t scramble). Then add it all to the milk mixture. Stir on medium low heat until the back of a wooden spoon is coated. Add crème de cassis and rasberries. Strain custard and discard vanilla bean. Cool, chill, then churn.

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Limoncello Ice Cream

6 large eggs
1 large vanilla bean
4 T Limoncello             
1 ½ C whole milk
1 ½ C heavy crème
¾ sugar
*optional 1/8 tsp lemon oil

Separate the eggs in a bowl. Split vanilla bean, add milk, 1 cup of crème, and sugar to a saucepan with the vanilla bean. Add remaining ½ C crème to the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk the yolks and crème. Temper the egg yolks (add about ¼ C of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture so they don’t scramble). Then add it all to the milk mixture. Stir on medium low heat until the back of a wooden spoon is coated. Add limoncello. Strain custard and discard vanilla bean. Cool, chill, then churn. Make sure to serve a cordial of limoncello to go with your ice cream. You may even like to pour a tablespoon of limoncello on top of your ice cream.

Summer is about light spirits, fresh fruit and ice cream. Scoop up something cold and boozy and remember that it’s still summer!

 

 

 

Marguerite, the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl

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Around the time I was really pregnant, all I craved was raisin bran cereal. It was comforting to me and made my growing belly happy. It’s suiting that both my children love raisin bran today!

Raisins also remind me of my grandmother. That red box was always there…used in oatmeal, granola, cookies, cakes, bread, and salads. Fresh, chewy and plump raisins are perfect on there own too…enjoying raisins in any way can truly give you a nostalgic feeling and a reason to smile.

My children have an even better relationship with the little red box than I do. They will happily skip down the snack aisle at the grocery store to say hello to their distant cousin, Marguerite, the Sun-Maid raisin girl. “Can we go see our cousin and put her in our basket?” It’s makes everyone smile when they open up the pantry and see her kind face.

My husband’s parents have roots in California that run deep. The very first Sun-Maid raisin girl was a great, great, great cousin on my husband’s Mom’s side.

The Sun-Maid raisin girl came about when Marguerite’s Dad (William Banks) invented a new process for drying raisins and began to deal with the Sun-Maid raisin company. William Banks had a picture of his daughter, Marguerite, holding a basket of raisins…Sun-Maid liked it and decided to use the idea of having Marguerite as the spokes person for raisins! The company bought his photo and she became the very first Sun-Maid raisin girl.

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Marguerite Evelyn Cecilia Banks was born in 1888. She would later change her name to Namara, after her Irish mother’s maiden name, McNamara.

Marguerite Namara was a real renaissance women! Her success as the Sun-Maid raisin girl was only the beginning! She was also a famous opera singer, an accomplished pianist, an artist who studied under Claude Monet and a silent screen movie star. Marguerite’s fast-paced life included running with an eclectic group…she was friends with Isadora Duncan, Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin.

We know her best as the raisin girl. This is a picture of my daughter dressed as Marguerite for culture day.

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Our favorite raisin recipe to make is oatmeal cookies. Raisin cookies are so comforting with there soft and chewy texture and buttery sweet flavor…it’s a bonus that raisins are a great source of vitamins and iron. These old fashioned raisin cookies are easy and quick to make.  Bake them until the centers are still soft and just beginning to turn brown yet their edges are a lovely golden brown color. Think of Marguerite when you enjoy them.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon backing soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups of raisins
1/2 cup pecans

  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • Mix the flour, baking soada and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture gradually and mix well.
  • Stir in the oats, raisins and nuts.
  • Drop by rouonded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on the cookie sheets a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Marguerite Namara said in an interview in 1954 that her dream would be “...to live on a farm, preferably somewhere near Monterey. I’ve never before given myself a real vacation, and it would do me a world of good. No telephones ringing, nobody to powder the old nose for, or rouge the lips. Just to go about as is, in old loose clothing, would be close to being in paradise.” 

I imagine that her red bonnet suited her very well.

 

Summertime Birthday Inspiration

Summertime is the most popular time to have a baby. Chances are you know many people who have summer birthdays coming up. Here are a few of my favorite people who have inspired me to create the perfect summer birthday party…recipes, music and gift inspirations for each special person. Bonne fête!!

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Inspiration for your Taurus childhood best friend who is playful, fun‑loving, adventuresome, and rebellious (mostly when she was sixteen).  We grew up on Pretty in Pink and Desperately Seeking Susan. If Madonna’s Get in to the Groove comes on, it’s time for disco dancing and glitter make-up!

Jen’s birthday fun…

DRINK: the perfect summer cocktail

GIFTS: Birchbox, It’s All Good: recipes by Gwyneth Paltrowpretty earrings

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)/ Michael Jackson

2. Head to Toe/ Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam

3. 1999/ Prince

sharoncooley1

Inspiration for your Gemini mother-in-law who is energetic, quick-witted, and super systematic. Her recipe for a happy life might go like this…read a good book, love your job and cook with gas!

Mother-in-law birthday fun…

SALAD: Green Goddess

GIFTS: a really good cookbook, flowers every month, houndstooth clutch (because she’s a really big Alabama fan)

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. You Send Me/ Sam Cooke

2. When I Fall in Love/ Nat King Cole

3. All I have to do is Dream/ The Everly Brothers

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Inspiration for your Leo Dad who is truth‑loving, loyal and passionate. My children call him “Coach” because he coached most of the teams my brother and sister and I played on…my daughter’s soccer team too. He will encourage you to give great effort, sing a song for fun, and always cheer on your favorite team.

Dad’s birthday fun…

SIDE DISH: Green rice with nectarines and corn

GIFTS: pinhole press photomy son wants to give him a new golf “stick”, Birchbox for men

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. Sherry Baby/ Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

2. Where Did Our Love Go/ The Supremes

3. Louie Louie/ The Kingsmen

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Inspiration for your Gemini Mom who loves copper, entertaining and majolica. She’s patient, charismatic and immensely creative.

Mom’s birthday fun…

ENTREE: Sausage and roasted peppers

GIFTS: Dinner Diaries, sun and sea necklace, a pretty phone case

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. Somebody to Love/ Queen

2. One/ Three Dog Night

3. Suspecious Minds/ Elvis

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Inspiration for your Gemini husband who makes the best cocktails, lives for Alabama football, and is a huge Beatles fan. He’s positive, diligent, charming and resourceful.
Derek’s birthday fun…

DESSERT: chocolate cake with m&m’s like this! 

GIFTS: beard trimmerThe Beatles LyricsBose Quiet Comfort Noise Canceling Headphones

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. King for a day/ XTC

2. 2112/ Rush

3. Women in Love/ Van Halen

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Inspiration for your Cancer daughter who is artistic, imaginative and fantasy‑rich.

GIFTS for your daughter: American Girl Doll, heart sunglassessnowball machine

Your Cancer son who is daring, exciting and athletic.

GIFTS for your son: Lego airplane, PokemonLED light up football

DESSERT: cinnamon ice cream

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. Blame it on the Boogie/ Michael Jackson

2. Chicken Dance

3. Starchild/ Jamiroquai

 

Wishing all your summer birthday celebrations to be fun and festive. Bonne fête!!

P.S. My birthday is in the summer too! xx

Can I Have Another Piece of Aperol Flourless Chocolate Cake?

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Any time is a good time for chocolate cake. Remember that Crowded House song from the 90’s, Can I have another piece of chocolate cake? My friend Jen and I played that song over and over again the summer we were fearless and fifteen. Chocolate cake has no season…it’s good ANY time of year.

The great thing about this time of year is that when you’re snowed-in…your pantry is most likely full of the staples that you need to make a chocolate cake.

When I told my husband that I had an idea to put a few tablespoons of Aperol (my favorite liqueur) in my batter…he said, “Are you sure about that?” “YES,” I said! I was absolutely positive that chocolate and orange go beautifully together and that Aperol would make the perfect accompaniment to my flourless concoction.  I just knew it would work!

While you’re inspecting your pantry (and bar) to see if you have all the supplies you need to make Aperol Flourless Chocolate Cake, enjoy some of these classic chocolate scenes from Julie and Julia, Sex and the City and I Love Lucy to get you excited for that first chocolatey bite!

THIS scene from Sex and the City is one of my favorites. Miranda can’t stop herself from eating her homemade chocolate cake and decides to throw the cake in the trash.  Best line…”Your good friend Miranda has just taken a piece of cake out of the garbage and eaten it. You will probably need this information when you check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic!”

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You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say “nothing” I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort. 


 

After Ricky and Fred get upset about the girls’ spending, Lucy and Ethel go to work in a candy factory while the boys do the housework. Lucy and Ethel are stuffing their faces and clothing with chocolates while trying to keep up with a speedy conveyor belt.

Aperol Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 T Aperol
  • 1 1/4cups sugar
  • large eggs, separated
  • cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
  1. Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350. Generously butter 10 inch spring form pan. Butter and flour the pan.
  2. Chop chocolate in small pieces and melt with butter over very low flame, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, Aperol and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add egg yolks, one at a time. Sift cocoa and salt over chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
  3. In standing mixer, beat egg white at high speed until peaks form but are not yet stiff (you can add a tablespoon more sugar here to help it along). Gently fold into chocolate mixture using a spatula until evenly combined.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake 35-40 min or until cake forms thin crust on top. Remove before its sides move from pan.
  5. Cool for ten minutes, invert on a plate then reinvert on cooling rack. If you have a little audience of children that can’t wait…don’t even bother inverting the cake.
  6. Let cool completely before sifting powdered sugar over top.

Go on and ask, “Can I have another piece of chocolate cake?” You know the answer will be yes!

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Related Posts:

Fall in love with chocolate

Aperol Spritz Cocktail

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag und prost! 

P.S. This is really the BEST Crowded House song

Four Famous Margots

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Do you know many people named Margot? It’s a strong name for a strong women. These are some of my favorite…

Margot Fonteyn’s real name was Peggy and she was born in England in 1919…spending most of her childhood in China. At fourteen, her family returned to England and she danced for England’s Royal Ballet. Margot is known for being magical on stage. Her love to dance for her audience made her luminous. She danced up into her early 70s, and retired to Panama to live with her husband. Margot’s age didn’t matter. She was more herself dancing on stage than anywhere else. She said, “Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable.”

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Margot Tenenbaum is one of the coolest movie characters ever! A prodigal playwright, winning a Pulitzer prize in the 9th grade. She began smoking at age twelve simply because she wanted to have a secret. She was curious and traveled the world. Margot’s style is timeless. She even has a cocktail named after her.

The Margot Tenenbaum cocktail: Served in a champagne saucer: 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 ounces bourbon, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, top with Zucca

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Margo Chester from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation is a hilarious snob and has no problem letting her neighbors know how much she hates their Christmas spirit…with or without her husband’s support!

Margo: You just march over there and slug that creep in the face. Todd: I can’t just attack someone. Margo: All right then, if you’re not man enough to put an end to this junk, then I am.

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Did you watch the Oscars Sunday? Margot Robbie looked stunning! She’s a twenty-four-year-old Australian with old Hollywood glamor, similar to Marilyn Monroe. She says, “There are things in life that don’t come to me naturally, and social media and the internet and all those things are some of them, somewhere between taxes and cooking!”

My favorite Margot is my friend and today is her birthday. Margot likes Romy Schneider, Eduscho coffee, and the show Booze Traveler…she’s sooo Austrian! She’s also very sweet and says this about parenting, ”Like creating a great wine, It’s not just about the type of grape.  More like what type of dirt did they grow in, how many days of sunshine…lots of love and energy goes into that.”  You can tell she’s also a wonderful mother.

Alles gute zum Geburtstag to my friend!! xx

Juice Your Way to Beautiful Skin

 

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Drinking fresh juice is a great way to start the day. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just feel and look so tired…we all need to reset and restart. The cure for that feeling is fresh juice. It’s like drinking liquid health. Not only can it make you feel good but it can improve your skin’s appearance and make you glow like a pearl. It’s easy to look your best when you feel good about what you’re putting in your body. If you’re dreaming of having a flawless face that requires little makeup then start juicing. Drink your way to gorgeous skin and let your inner beauty shine through.

Here are ten foods that can help you get amazing skin:

ApplesApples not only keep you healthy but they help to give you flawless and glowing skin. Apples contain antioxidants that prevent wrinkles.

Pears: Pears help to keep our skin smooth and soft. They are rich in vitamin C and K and help keep wrinkles away and skin clear and moisturized.

Cucumbers: Cucumbers are rich in silica and can improve the complexion of your skin and because it’s high in water content, it also keeps your skin hydrated.

Lemons: Both lemons and oranges are high in vitamin C and act as a good cleanser to give you flawless skin.

Carrots: Carrots are loaded in vitamin A which prevents blemishes and wrinkles.

Celery: Celery, like cucumbers, help to hydrated the skin and gives you a natural glow.

Beets: Beets are full of vitamin A, C and K which reduces blemishes, rejuvenates the skin, prevent blemishes and wrinkles.

Strawberries: Strawberries make the skin younger and smoother, whiten teeth, and reduce under-eye puffiness.

Kale: Kale is full of fiber, sulphur and rich in vitamins A and C. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that helps you stay less bloated, which can prevent puffiness on the face.

Ginger: Ginger improves the appearance of your skin by removing toxins and stimulating circulation. It improves elasticity making your skin more firm and youthful.

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Try these recipes to get you started juicing:

Orange Surprise

Carrot juice is surprisingly sweet, and goes well with oranges.

  • 3 oranges
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • a few big handfuls of kale
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger

Cut oranges and carrots into chunks, and remove big seeds or pits. You don’t need to worry about those in fruits like apples and pears…a juicer will filter them out. It’s a good idea to alternate between soft pieces and hard ones. Finish with the hard produce to push through anything that’s stuck.

Apple Delight

  • 1 medium beet, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 sweet apples, chopped

Press all ingredients through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.

Green Refresher

  • 2 pears
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

Press pear, ginger, cucumber, and celery through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.

Berry Blend

  • 3 oranges
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup raspberries

Press ingredients through a juice extractor and serve immediately.

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Happy juicing!

Related posts:

Our Daily Juice

Cheers to Breakfast

juicer

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve Cocktails

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Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by the Kennedys in Georgetown, June 3, 1957.

New Year’s Eve means gold sequins, glitter and fancy winter cocktails. It’s time to chill your glasses and get your shaker ready.

The table is set with all that glitters…perfect for your New Year’s Eve party! Put together an evening that dazzles with sparkling drinks, food, and decor.

Don’t pack up the Christmas decorations before you ring in the New Year. Sparkly tinsel makes a festive cocktail topper and we can still be in the spirit of making other spirits bright.

Colder weather brings warmer drinks like red wines, creamy sipping drinks but no New Year’s Eve is complete without a little fizz.

Ring in the New Year in style with these memorable cocktail recipes:

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Saint-Florent Cocktail

  • 6 T gin
  • 3 T fresh lime juice
  • 3 T Aperol
  • 1 T honey syrup (mix 1/4 cup honey with 2 T hot water and mix to dissolve honey)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • top off with Prosecco or Champagne for some festive fizz

In a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with ice. Cover and shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled coupe glasses. Top off with Prosecco (or Champagne) and garnish with a lime wheel.

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Dancer’s Delight

  • 6 oz strong chai tea
  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • 3/4 oz amaretto liqueur
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz soy milk

In a cocktail shaker with ice combine ingredients and shake. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and nutmeg. This may make you feel like doing the dance of the SugarPlum fairy!

mulledwine

Mulled Wine

  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole clove
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus 4 for garnish (optional)
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low about 30 minutes. Serve in mugs with an orange peel. Your guests will feel like they’ve been out on the slopes skiing all day.

Grab a glass and celebrate! It may be New Year’s Eve, but these are cocktails to enjoy all winter long.

The key to setting a celebratory mood is an upbeat playlist. My friend Jen and I have celebrated numerous New Year’s together. The last time our families had New Year’s dinner together, I set my music set on random and it found Phish! It was more of a mellow evening. I this year I’m going with Pandora’s “Mad Men Suite” station. I’m channeling Jackie Kennedy…music of the sixties and cocktails just feels so glamorous. You can’t go wrong with Henry Mancini or Don Draper!

Related Posts:

New Year’s Eve Lobster Fete…Avec Les Enfants

New Year’s Traditions from around the World

Celebrate with Champagne in a Coupe

Classic Mad Men Cocktails

Bonne année et bonne santé! xx

 

Roasting and Toasting with S’mores a Hot Toddy and the Space Station

spacestation

Everything tastes better in the great outdoors…especially s’mores!

This fall, our family started a Sunday night tradition of roasting marshmallows and looking for the Space Station. So far, we’ve been lucky to have clear Texas night skies and being able to spot the Space Station…even if it’s only for a few minutes.

My son asks, “Can they see us? Who’s in it? And then shouts at the top of his lungs, “HI RUSSIANS!!”

smores

The kids hunt for skinny branches while my husband and I sip a hot toddy then we sit in front of our fire pit toasting our marshmallows and staring at the night sky and watching for the Space Station. We will have sticky fingers and cheeks and our clothes will smell like smoke but it’s all worth the sweet memories being made.

S’mores remind me of my fourth grade Girl Scout camp. Amazingly, the first appearance of a recipe in print was in a 1927 Girl Scout handbook.

This dessert can’t get much simpler…a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers. Those Girl Scouts knew what they were doing!

The ideal nighttime snack deserves an equally cozy drink…the Hot Toddy! A classic cold weather drink that was invented in Scotland in the 1700’s. It’s the drink the cold weather beckons you to enjoy at home…or in your backyard by a fire pit and bundled up in several sweaters and a blanket.

A hot toddy with s’mores is the perfect marriage…especially now that the weather has turned cold. Happy roasting, toasting and watching the Space Station approaching!

smores1

Related posts:

Classic Movies and Recipes for an Extended Evening

The Taste of Memory Soup