Monday, March 23, 2015

for this chilly night....

this really has been the longest winter.  i know we should be moving on to some beautiful spring recipes but it's still sooo cold out.  i thought i would share one more soup recipe.  it is super easy and tastes really good.  only 7 ingredients.

this past weekend i wasn't going to be home... except i was.  long story.  opening up our hearts to the unexpected frees us somehow.
in any case,  it turned out super productive.  i put the finishing touches on the new downstairs bath and i think it came out super cute.

we redid the photo wall on the stairs and i was happy with that too. it's a bit difficult to take a photo tho it's a strange angle,  i'll try again when its daylight.

 our new light fixture got installed which i love.  it can be super bright for projects or super low for cozy dinners.

i know this long winter is coming to an end, i can almost feel spring looming in the distance.
until then,  have one more bowl of steaming soup, you'll love it.

zuppa toscana

1 pound of ground hot sausage.   i might 1/2 the hot portion next time
1 small white onion diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 ounce jar of roasted red peppers drained and diced.
1 bunch of kale chopped (stems removed) into bite size pieces
1 pd of potato gnocchi
1/2 c heavy cream
salt and pepper
optional topping (freshly grated parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon)

add italian sausage and diced onion to the large stockpot.  cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is completely browned, stirring occasionally and breaking up the sausage with a spoon.  drain out as much of the excess grease as possible.
then add in the chicken stock and diced roasted red peppers, and bring the mixture to a simmer (still over medium-high heat).  once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and add the kale and gnocchi and stir to combine.  continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi are cooked through and tender.  stir in the heavy cream.  season to taste with salt and pepper.  (i used about 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.)
serve warm with desired toppings.
highly recommend using "hot" italian sausage for this recipe, i found it to be quite spicy.   if you want you can use 1/2 pd hot italian sausage and 1/2 pd of regular.  with so few ingredients, the sausage is actually the ingredient that provides most of the seasoning for this soup, and much of the heat will be dispersed over the multiple servings.  so unless you're really averse to spicy food, take the chance and go hot with this one!


love sent, xo

Saturday, March 21, 2015

hope you are having a great weekend...

i love the internet.  a few interesting/random links i came across this week.

love this list

5 ways to decrease anxiety

great lingerie

ideas to slow down    we can all use a little more of this

how crazy is this?

looking forward to reading this   i just love food/love stories.

just love these casual dresses and can't wait for summer

pleeeeease stop snowing.....

love sent, xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St Patricks Day!!!!!

                                  frozen in this lens of time - i miss you in this heart of mine.

finest irish man i've ever known.

love sent, xo

Saturday, March 7, 2015


this was a mixed bag week.  lots of stuff going on.  our downstairs bathroom is totally torn up which in turn has turned the entire down stairs upside down.  i can never figure out how one small project can spill over into so many  other areas.  but... it's all worth it.
at least  i keep telling myself it will be.
it's easy to forget all the progress we have made if i focus on the mess....

so,  in the mean time i'll just keep cooking so the house smells good.  yesterday i made these sweet little heart shaped cinnamon rolls.  they were really good and they looked really cute....

find the recipe here   i stuck with plain vanilla drizzle rather than maple.  i just shaped the rolls into hearts.

                                                loving my new french press coffee pot.

i finally finished a book i have been reading for several weeks. it wasn't always easy reading as some of the story is so difficult to read.  "global mom" is a heart wrenching story of family, the sacrifices for a career, living in eight countries, acquiring sixteen addresses,  the joys, the hardships, and the journey itself.  it was written by the wife of one of our vp's in germany.  i found it really interesting. living in this global world has it's challenges for sure. remaining a loving intact family while maneuvering this global world takes your whole heart.

looking ahead....
what better way to combat this winter weather than by looking ahead to spring.  remember to put your clocks ahead one hour tonight.  one extra hour of day light starting tomorrow.
in celebration i am trying this beautiful spring cocktail tonight, if nothing else it looks beautiful.

pink lady cocktail

1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
3/4 oz apple jack
1/4 oz lemon juice
1-2 dashes of grenadine
1 egg white.

pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker. shake first with no ice then
add ice and shake vigorously. garnish with a lemon twist or a cherry.

here's to spring.  happy saturday.

love sent, xo

Friday, March 6, 2015

friday night dessert

vanilla ricotta dessert ravioli with orange mint dipping sauce


for filling

1/2 c whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, from 1 medium orange
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 egg, beaten
24 round potsticker (gyoza) wrappers 
powdered sugar

vegetable oil, for frying

dipping sauce

1/2 cup fresh orange juice, from 1 medium orange
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


for the ravioli:

in a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, mint leaves, and orange zest. scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and mix well. using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the potsticker wrappers with the beaten egg. spoon 1 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture into the center of the potsticker wrappers. fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. pinch the edges of the dough to seal.

in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. 
in batches, fry the ravioli for 30 seconds on each side until golden. 
drain on paper towels.

dust with powdered sugar

 dipping sauce:

in a small saucepan, combine the orange juice and sugar over medium heat. rring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool for 20 minutes. stir in the chopped mint.

arrange the ravioli on a platter. pour the dipping sauce into a small dipping bowl and serve alongside the ravioli.

enjoy, xo

Thursday, March 5, 2015

s'more sundaes

when you make a super easy dinner aka fish tacos, you can finish your meal off with this super easy dessert.

smores sundaes

coffee ice cream
chocolate syrup
cinnamon graham crackers

scoop the ice cream in your desired container, drizzle with chocolate syrup.  toast marshmallows
over low heat on your burner until golden. place on top of ice cream and top it off with a graham cracker.
it tastes amazing and looks nice too.   you can use any ice cream of your choice.

crunchy fish tacos..

fish tacos are always a winner in our house.  i think the avocado cream take these to the next level. add lots of crunchy red cabbage and some chipolte mayo = perfection.

these are a super easy week night dinner

serves 4
4 pieces of mild white fish (tilapia or  flounder) anything similar
1 c panko bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 c flour
1 egg beaten
canola oil
1 pkg of soft tortilla shells

dip pieces of mild fish into first flour, then egg wash then bread crumbs.
fry in a small amount of canola oil until brown and crispy approx 2-3 min per side.
drain on paper towels

1 small red cabbage shredded ( i mixed mine with the chipolte mayo (about 2 tbsp)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped red onion
slices of lime

avocado cream

1/4 cup sour cream
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 ground pepper
1/2 cup mashed avocado
mix all together and serve over fish tacos


love sent, xo