Monday, January 18, 2010

White Bathrooms

To know me is to understand my love for white bathrooms! There is something so serene about them. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this post on Living Etc which featured 83 different white bathrooms. Here are a few of my favorites....

I love the combination of textures in this room.

Imagine getting to soak in this tub every day.

Fantasizing of my upcoming trip to Japan...


So girly and old-fashioned.

And here's a shot of my very own white bathroom. ♥

Friday, January 15, 2010


Minestrone is one of my favorite comfort foods, probably because my Mom often made it growing up. I love it's earthy flavors. This recipe can be prepared two ways; regular or pureed. I like to puree the leftovers and eat them for lunch for a few days.

olive oil
3 leeks
4 carrots
4 zucchini
3 white rose potatoes (about 1 pound)
italian seasoning
3 tomatoes
5 cups broth
15 oz can garbanzo beans
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons basil
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Start by preparing all of your vegetables. Clean the leeks and finely chop the light green and white parts (discard the dark green leaves). Peel and slice carrots. Dice zucchini. Peel and chop carrots. Dice tomatoes in a food processor. Drain and rinse your garbanzo beans. Chop basil into fine pieces. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute the leeks for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. Saute for 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth. Partially cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and basil. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Serve crusty bread on the side.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shrimp & Noodle Soup

After expanding our stomachs to uncharted territory throughout the entire month of December, my husband and I decided to lighten it up for a few weeks. I found this recipe in one of my healthy cookbooks. It originally called for chicken, but after having watched Food, Inc. the night before I decided to substitute shrimp. Its an Asian inspired soup, low in fat and calories but rich in flavor.

Serves 4

6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
6 ounces ramen noodles
2 cups bean sprouts
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, quartered
2 lbs shrimp, deveined

In a large saucepan bring broth, garlic, ginger, & soy sauce to boil. Add the noodles, return to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro. Meanwhile, steam shrimp in a separate saucepan. Pour water (or white wine) over shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a steady bubble. Check after 3 minutes of steaming. When they're just turning pink remove from heat and give them a good stir. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shrimp. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

Teacup Pin Cushions

I recently made these teacup pin cushions. I found the teacups an antique store in my neighborhood. Then I cut an old angora scarf into 2 squares (one for each cushion), made little balloons out of them, and filled each with stuffing. With embroidery floss I tied the balloons closed and cut off excess fabric. After that I drizzled craft glue into the bottoms of the cups and dropped the cushions in to set. They make such sweet little gifts for friends who like to sew.

Wrapper's Delight

One of my favorite things to do in life is wrap and give presents. So imagine my delight when I found this darling paper by nineteenseventythree. So perfect for my sister-in-law's birthday present!

Snap Crackle Pop!

Last night we celebrated my sister-in-law's thirtieth birthday. It was a true 80's style pizza party, complete with some of our favorite childhood movies playing in the background. Rice Krispie treats were the ultimate party food for me growing up, so I thought it would be fun to bring some. After preparing the treats I melted some milk chocolate chips over a double broiler, then whisked in a little butter and milk. Once the chocolate was warm and gooey I poured it over the treats, leveled it out with a spatula, then popped them in the fridge to set for a few hours. I then sliced them into 1-inch bites. They turned out to be a big hit at the party. Happy Birthday Joan, I love you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Red Wine Biscuits

1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine flour, sugar, pepper, rosemary, salt, & baking powder in a food processor and pulse a few times. Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat wine in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil for about 3 minutes. Mix wine and olive oil and then add to dry ingredients. Process until dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and roll to 1/8 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter (or a champagne flute, as I did) cut dough rounds and place on cookie sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Enjoy with goat cheese and what else.....a glass of red wine!