Monday, September 30, 2013

3 way Dates

I am not a big (sun) dried fruit fan in general but the one thing I do love are dates.  We were invited to a dinner party this Saturday and I decided to bring over dates styled 3 ways. Two savory versions and one sweet one. Below are the pictures and recipes.

1. Sweet Dates
To make the sweet dates, use 1/2 cup of almond paste and mix with 1/8 cup of mascarpone cheese until you have a soft mixtures. De-pit the date (I used the medjool date variety) and using a piping bag, pipe the mixture into the dates. Close the date back up and roll the date in granulated sugar.
2. Dates stuffed with Boursin
De-pit the dates and let a package of Boursin come to room- temperature. Pipe the boursin into the de-pitted dates and close the dates back up. If you would like, you could also add a pecan or a walnut into the cheese for a nice garnish and flavor enhancer.

 3. Dates wrapped in Bacon
Follow the same process as described above.  Then wrap the stuffed dates in a half slice of thin bacon and bake on a rimmed baking sheet in a 425F preheated oven for 30-40 minutes- until the bacon is cooked.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall is in the air- stocking weather

Space Echo- Photo credit
I came across these fun Strathcona stockings on Instagram.  Perfect for cooler weather and fun under skirts, dresses or pants. I love the bold colors and prints. These hand painted hosiery are designed by Ryley O'Byrne and look great on anyone. What is your favorite pattern?
Also, make sure to check out her art directing as seen on these  fashion shoots- simply beautiful!
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Water colour- photo credit

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's happening to our bread?

One thing I miss most about living in Europe is the fresh bread.  Bread in the States doesn't seem nearly as fresh and tasty as it does in Europe.  That being said, we do have our favorites here too but last week our local grocery store stopped carrying it. What are we going to do without our favorite loafs?  We tried a variety of other breads over the last few weeks- some too flimsy (even after toasting it), some too small, some too oddly shaped.  So, I decided to make my own (still oddly shaped).  I saw this easy recipe. It's fast, looks pretty tasty and seems to have very little down time. It is looking a little funky but it smells delicious. I guess I will have to try and perfect this over the next few days.

....and I tried it again, this time I let it rise a little longer than the suggested 10 minutes (about 30 to be precise). It filled out a little and the end result was prettier.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What we read last night- a favorite

Before bedtime we always read a book (or two). As Sas has gotten older, the books have gotten better. No longer is she interested in just pictures of objects but she is enjoying short stories and beautiful illustrations that go along with it. "I can fly" by Ruth Krauss with illustrations by Mary Blair is one of my favorites. We read it last night. The illustrations are whimsical, the book is not too long and you can start reading the first sentence and have your little one finish it.  What is your favorite children's book?  Do you remember your favorite illustrator?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baby room tour: Cloudy with a chance of baby

Our littlest one has the biggest room in the house. This room used to be our office and was most logically going to be the nursery since it is right off of the master bedroom as well as on the same floor as Sas' bedroom.This room is great for many reasons, it has 2 huge windows that let in a ton of light, great hardwood floors as well as 2 doors (one opening into the master and one into the hallway). I didn't plan for the baby room to have a theme (clouds) or particular color scheme (yellow/black/white) but it all fell into place in the end. My first inspiration came from a picture I saw on instagram of a half painted black wall with some book shelves (I prefer browsing instagram over pinterest).  Besides having an inspiration room in mind, I wanted to use furniture, art work and toys that we already had; Sas' old white crib, some left over paint from the t.v. room and a couple of salvaged shelves as well as some of her books.  Paul painted the entire room white so I could start of with a clean slate. After (re) building the crib and adding a chair to the room, it still felt a little empty so we looked for a large rug. Crate and Barrel had this yellow and cream rug on sale (that is now no longer available in yellow) and it added the right amount of color and warmth to the black and white room. We added a few colorful prints above the crib (by artist Dalek) and it instantly transformed the room into a cute and cozy baby room. Also, a lot of Saskia's toys were used as decorations around his room; some building blocks, colorful books, bunnies and some new toys sent by family and friends. Finally, I added some wooly pockets to add some oxygen and greenery to the room, after all he will be spending countless (restful) hours in his room. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Friday from this cutie!

TGIF! I'm working on a post for this coming Monday: a baby room tour. This cutie has the largest room in the house and pretty much the cutest room as well. Below you see a sneak of his gallery wall. More details to come on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sweater weather!

To be perfectly honest, I think I should stay clear of sweaters and sweatshirts. I find sweaters to be bulky and unflattering unless they are very thin or have a fun graphic print on them. However, it is difficult to not cozy up in sweaters especially when it gets to be cold outside. Below are some of my picks for this winter. I already own the 3.1 Philip Lim for target sweatshirt below- BOOM! There is something so fun about wearing it. You can see me wear it here. Also, I am madly in love with Wildfox couture, they are fun and girly. p.s. their swim collection is not to be missed.

Sweater weather!

from left to right, top to bottom 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Friendship is magic!

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My daughter loves "my little pony friendship is magic". What a shock that an almost 4 year old girl loves pink and fruity colored little horses. For her upcoming birthday she gave me very specific instructions for this years cake. Namely, she wants a my little pony chocolate cake, filled with m&m's and cinnamon toast crunchy bites. Now, I am not 100% down with the flavor combination but I will try to include m&m's and some kind of cereal. I will try to built a momofuku like cake from the inside with a major pony explosion on the outside. Here are some of my current favorites from around the web. I will definitely include a rainbow made out of fondant with clouds (she always draws rainbows that way) as well as some nice smooth fondant around the cake.  As a cake topper, I will most likely use an edible print of the entire pony gang. Also, how amazing are these sugar cookies below?

sugar sugar bakery, photo credit
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photo credit via sugar cookies cake and more

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jersey and Pearls

What is better than a vogue magazine and champagne? Well, not much but a vogue magazine and salted caramels are not bad either AND it travels a little better than champagne.  I wrapped up a little welcome-to-San-Francisco package for my bestie who just moved to SF after having been in LA for a long long time.  The other day Paul and I were shopping for vintage props for one of his shoots while we bumped into an entire stack of old school vogue magazines from the 60s and 70s. This particular vogue from January 1965 grabbed my attention right away especially since it was filled with fashion outfits that could be worn today. Also, it contains a great editorial on Jersey and pearls (that might have to be the name of my future blog). Below are some of my favorite images as well as some of the caramels that I made.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday from this cutie!

Avocado Salad

This is a simple and delicious salad to whip up and serve alongside a sandwich for lunch or a buttery piece of fish for dinner. Since we have a steady stream of avocados currently in our household (because of this) we have come to love the recipe below:

1 ripe avocado, cubed
3 Roma tomatoes, cubed
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
Toss together with some Olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar and kosher sea salt to taste.

Mix it all together. As easy as 1,2,3.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One, two, three, four....Go!

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Just 4 more days until the Philip Lim for Target collection will hit the store unless you were one of the lucky few like these. I am super excited for this. I just can't get enough of the BOOM sweat pant outfit and also love some of the bags.  I am not sure if there will be a huge line outside of the Kansas City store but I am not taking any chances and will try to get there in time this Sunday morning. I will report back on Monday to let you know if I was able to find anything. Below are my favorites.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The cowboy versus the ladies man?

Which do you like better? Personally, I think of Bastiaan more as a ladies man than a cowboy but only time will tell. Another one of our super cute presents that we received for the little man- the stachifier.  Unfortunately this is just for props since our dude has been spitting out pacifiers from the moment he was born (just like his sister).

 Secretively, I am really just hoping he will grow up looking like Ryan Gossling. 

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Monday, September 9, 2013

A trip to Jungle Jim: a foodies paradise

Belgian goodies for on a slice of bread in sprinkle form (left) or spreadable form (right)

While cruising through Cincinnati Ohio, Paul made a stop at Jungle Jim's. Jungle Jim's is an 200,000 square feet (yes, you did read that correctly: 200,000) international grocery store which holds up to 150,000 products. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to go myself but with Paul's good judgement and lots of back and forth texting of pictures we got quite the international food collection at home right now.  Besides being able to buy pretty much anything you can imagine at Jungle Jim's, it also looks like you just entered an amusement park. The store is filled with murals, creatures (think an enormous fuzzy mouse dressed up like Elvis, cars, dancing corn) and let's not forget about the monorail. They also have an entire "Dutch" section. Here are some of the goodies we scored and that are hard to live without. My new favorite being the Biscofff crunchy spread which is a cookie paste that looks a lot like the consistency of peanut butter with chuncks of crunchy cookies inside (Ahmaaazing on bread).

Beschuitjes aka crisps, great to have as a snack with a cup of tea

This needs to explanantion...
A variety of Dutch Licorice aka DROP!
Hello Panda cookies from Singapore