September 17, 2019

blue door cottage magazine shoot

Just a quick post today as I’m headed to Little Balboa Island for a photo shoot at the adorable Blue Door Cottage. 

You may remember the table I set there for a dinner party. It was all blue and white with a touch of yellow brought in with lemons. 

Here’s a peek at the preliminary table we’re styling for the cottage today.


these cute starfish make another appearance!

In the kitchen, we’re also styling this shelf which hopefully will turn out to be an adorable “shelfie”.  This is how it normally looks when guest arrive to stay at the Blue Door Cottage.↑

And, here’s how it looked at my fist photo shoot. 

Today we’re changing things up a bit and putting together a fruity cocktail here on the butcher block counter, and then adding a few goodies to the shelves. 

This red and white pillow is the latest addition to the living room. My friend Elizabeth with Pacific and Rose has the most amazing Boho block-printed textiles, and I couldn’t resist a pair of these pretty “Butapillows for the cottage. 

While I was shopping with Elizabeth at Seaside Gallery, where she also has a little storefront, I also stocked up on the prettiest tablecloths and napkins for my own house. What 'til you see them! They're so perfect for fall! 

I'll be back later this week with more snapshots from today's photo shoot with Cottages & Bungalows, so I hope you'll check back soon.

ciao! fabiana 

September 16, 2019

the pumpkins at roger's gardens

There are plenty of pumpkins to go around right now at Roger’s Gardens. This was the scene on Friday when I stopped by to pick up a gift for a friend and to check out their gorgeous gourds, of course!

Here’s a peek at how they styled their entry. Simple and very ZEN...  

and these cascading pots of succulents are also in the front courtyard. 

Of course, this is a popular time of year at Roger’s with their spectacular Halloween display. 

This year’s theme is Alice in Wonderland. 

So decadent!

But these pumpkins are what I’m focusing on today... 

I didn’t see any of those gorgeous blue–green pumpkins i was looking for, but they should be coming in any day now! 

It’s a great excuse to visit again! 

ciao! fabiana 

September 14, 2019

yummy french onion soup

You may have seen my French-inspired tablescape yesterday, and I promised to have the yummy French Onion Soup recipe today, so I wanted to give you some insight on it first. 

My neighbor Maureen has impeccable taste and loves all things French, so when she was downsizing her kitchen a bit, she passed along her vintage French soup bowls to me.  

You know the heavy white ceramic ones with the lions’ head handles? Well, these pretty bowls were longing for some home-made hot soup to fill them! 

This was my first attempt at making French Onion Soup, so as usual, I put my own spin on it. I’m on a Paleo diet, so that means no bread and cheese, but my family would love the crusty, cheesy topping, so I made adjustments... 

The soup itself is Paleo, so we just add the topping and all’s good! Now here’s the Fabiana twist.... A few more herbs than the traditional recipe calls for. My garden is filled with fresh herbs most of the year, so why not?! 

All I added to the traditional fixing of this soup was some fresh sage and a few fresh bay leaves. These two herbs are cooked down with the onions and just elevate the flavor profile tremendously. For me, the soup was amazing, even without the crispy topping. 

Paleo Friendly French Onion Soup 
4 large sweet onions, cut in 1/4 inch half-moon slices 
3 tbsp olive oil and/or butter 
4 – 5 sprigs fresh thyme 
10 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced or chiffonade 
2-3 bay leaves 
5 cups vegetable or beef broth 
1 tbsp tomato paste  
1 small French baguette, sliced on a bias into 3/4-inch thick pieces 
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 
12 ounces medium-hard cheese, such as a combination of Gruyere, Fontina, or Swiss, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/2 cups) 


Add oil, onions, thyme, sage and bay leaves to a pan over low heat and cover with lid; steam for about 20 – 30 minutes or until onions reduce down. 

Remove pan lid and continue to cook for approximately 90 minutes; check every 30 minutes or so, until the last 30 minutes when the onions will need stirring more often to avoid black bits or burning. 

When the onions are a deep all-over butterscotch color, add the tomato paste and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Use a splash of stock to deglaze the pan, then add the rest of the stock before simmering over low heat for an hour. Remove bay leaves.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Arrange bread on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until deep-golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side; set aside. 

Ladle 1 cup hot soup into four 13-ounce ramekins or ovenproof bowls. Arrange the bowls on a rimmed baked sheet. Place 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup to cover the surface of the soup completely. 

Sprinkle 3 ounces grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges. Watch carefully so that the cheese doesn't burn. Serve immediately. 

Prep Time: 10 mins 
Cook Time: 3 hours 
Yield: 4 servings 

With the weather cooling off a bit, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! If you’re in the mood for a tomato soup, check out this recipe and for an amazing Potato Watercress Soup, check this out. 

ciao! fabiana 

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