Year: 2011

thanksgiving table setting ideas

The countdown begins, in my opinion, since it is officially one week to Thanksgiving.  While I contemplate the menu for this year’s feast with family, I am also searching  for table setting inspiration.  I usually shift gears and turn to country themed settings because of the occasion and choose, probably like everyone else, autumn colors to set the right mood. I found some ideas here that are pretty easy and not over the top, so I am going to draw my table setting from a combination of the photographs I have included below. What theme are you going with?

thanksgiving wish – healthy side dish

I love the holiday but hate turkey, is that so bad? No matter how the bird has been cooked and prepped, I absolutely cannot stand eating more than a sliver just to keep the chef- for- the- day happy. So, this year, I am actually involved in the prep work and since most of the participants are as conscious of eaters as I have become in the last 10 plus years, I am going to introduce side dishes which truly offer wholesome nutrition without having to watch the calories. First up is Shaved Parsnip Salad, which I found here,  and which will be the first course. Ingredients 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 2 hearts of romaine, cut into bite-size pieces 3 parsnips (about 8 ounces), peeled and shaved very thinly (on a mandolin or with a vegetable peeler) 4 medjool or 6 regular dates, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces Directions Whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss parsnips, …

a pair of jeans and a closet full of designer shoes

There is something to be said about a great fitting  pair of jeans, a gray t-shirt and a pair of the sexiest designer shoes.  It’s funny how far accessorizing a simple pair of blue jeans has come,  and because of that I have included my favorite selection of designer shoes to compliment my collection of jeans.  Well, of course I had to throw in my favorite bag  as well 🙂 which I plan to duplicate. 1. 7 for all mankind midrise bootcut USD160 2. James Perse drapped neck cotton jersey USD95 3. Current/Elliot roller low rise bf fit jeans USD195 4. Black Joffe faux nappa boot USD1095 5. Valentino Studded Suede ankle boots USD995 6. Chloe Mountain Canvas and suede wedge USD650 7. Drumas patent round toe shoes USD785 8. Sofft Shoes Belvedere ankle boots USD110 9. Chloe Marcie large python and leather tote USD3995 (Must find an imitation)

having one of those weeks

Once in a while, we all have one of those moments, one of those hours, one of those days, one of those weeks and so on. Well this week, it seems I am having one of those…Maybe it’s the time change, maybe it’s the stress of the realities, not sure, but I think I will take the rest of the week to gather my thoughts and return hopefully refreshed and full of hope. Thanks for your patience.

healthy baking: fall cake recipe

I am not a fan of frosted bland layer cakes. I  much prefer bundt cakes made with dried fruits and nuts, maybe some fresh lemon or orange peel shavings (aka rinds), and definitely infused with  cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Since this type of cake is not very popular in the U.S., most restaurants and cafes offer either carrot cake or zucchini bread as an alternative. So I usually order either to give me the fix I need, if and when I crave for a slice of  “robust” cake. I want to state here that I can only tolerate the cream frosting on either cake since it actually and truly compliments the flavors throughout it. Over the weekend, while I searched for a cake to bake for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, I came across this visually amazing blog and found an interesting recipe for a cake which I wanted to share with everyone who comes across my blog and also make for this year’s Thanksgiving dessert table. Harvest Cake (Makes 1-9inch cake, to make a layered cake …

some fashion and personal style

Sometimes when we put an outfit together, we cannot visualize how it would really look. I know this because sometimes when I see a few pieces suggested together in a magazine or a print ad, I wonder how that would really look as an ensemble. So for that, I have added a few items of clothing from here – first separately for the optimist and the pessimist in me and other women as well, and then the final result just incase the negative  trait over rules the positive from a visual point of view. 1.Top: Maje Leopard Silk Crepe Sweater $245 2.Pants: Vionnet Cadiz stretch crepe pants $905 3.Jacket: Carven Wool Blend Felt Cocoon Coat $970 4.Ankle Boots: Pierre Hardy Sued Ankle Boots $895 5.Bag: Proenza Schouler ps1 Keep all small texture bag $1150 6.Earings: Isharyanilenymph 18K Gold plated drop earings $160

boutique hotel pick – bacara resort and spa – santa barbara, california

Fall is a perfect time, in my opinion, to escape to a resort and spa hotel. I think, even though the weather may be a bit brisk and unpredictable, the romance of such a property do more than make up for it. I know I just got back from Italy but, I can’t help think about a weekend escape right before the holidays. My favorite is the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California. I not only enjoy the drive down to Santa Barbara, but once at the hotel, I seldom leave for the entire weekend.

comfort food – lasagna with caramelized onions

Eating healthy is a challenge during the colder months of the year, and although I maintain a pretty regimented meal plan on a weekly basis, once in a while I crave the greasiest, the fattiest meal and no matter how much I fight the crave, I give in to it, once a week. Here is a recipe I found, as usual from my favorite site here, which I cannot wait to try over the weekend and of course share with everyone, who is very loyal to my blog. Let me know what you think? Ground Beef, Caramelized Onion, and Spinach Lasagna: Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net 1 tbsp olive oil, more if needed 2 sweet yellow onions, sliced thickly 1 pound of lean ground beef (I used 93/7) 1 tsp dried basil 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/4 tsp onion powder 1 pinch of red pepper flakes Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese 1 egg 1 …

villa in tuscany if only for a week

I just can’t snap out of it, I know I have said this before, but it really is difficult to go to Europe, even for two week, then come back to the states and adjust to the every day norm. While I was in Tuscany, the day tour I took drove through some of the most beautiful landscapes in that part of the world and the guide pointed out numerous villas perched up on the hillside. Of course, every woman on the bus awed and oohed, while the husbands rolled their eyes or laughed at us for fantasizing  about owning one. Now, I for one, have always dreamed of moving to Paris some day but in addition to my fantasy of living in Paris, I wouldn’t mind owning a Tuscan villa just for the summer months :).  So, to make my day less gloomy, I found my villa of choice from here.  Happy Monday.