May 23, 2014

my friday five

A few things that captured my attention this week...

I am still thinking of this dining room 
with its gorgeous chandelier and marble table
from the Newport Harbor Home Tour.

This beachy bohemian eclectic look 
from Life at the Beach.
{Collecting precious mementos 
and making them work together!}

Collect your favorite shades of these Little Shirley vases
 for an instant mood enhancing pop of color

The cutest Memorial Day outfit.

Impress your friends this weekend 
with a yummy summer berry tart.

ciao! fabiana

May 22, 2014

the perfect tea sandwiches

Over the weekend, I had a little time to indulge in watching the food network, and found a new cooking show that I absolutely love. It's called Southern at Heart, with Damaris Phillips who I guess won the food network's next Food Network Star.  

Anyhow, she’s the cutest little thing and she really got me when she started preparing Benedictine sandwiches, which is a staple in Kentucky, but having never been to Kentucky, these were new to me. It's basically a yummy tea sandwich with cucumber and bacon.

In my family, I am known for my cucumber and cream cheese open-faced tea sandwiches, which my boys all love, but this recipe takes the cucumber sandwich to a whole new level, with the addition of BACON!! omg, I had to make these!  

I made it to the market yesterday to buy all the ingredients and got down to business. One of my boys even helped me grate and drain the cucumber, which only took a few minutes. This recipe is very easy and cooking the bacon is the the most time consuming part.

The sandwiches come together very quickly. We opted out on the borage flowers, which boys don't really care about anyways and substituted a little watercress and arugula. This recipe is perfect for a tea party as Damaris showed, or just a yummy lunch for the clan.

Borage, Benedictine and Bacon Sandwiches

Yield: 16 tea sandwiches

8 strips bacon
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices country wheat bread
2 cups fresh borage petals or microgreens or baby arugula

Working in batches if necessary, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

While the bacon is cooking, grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the grated cucumber in cheesecloth and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.

Combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cucumber and red onion and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To assemble the sandwiches, divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between 4 slices of bread. Break the strips of bacon in half and top each sandwich with 4 halves. Sprinkle the borage petals over the top, then cover with the remaining four slices of bread and press down firmly. Cut away the crusts. Slice the sandwiches diagonally in half and then diagonally again, to make triangles. Serve.

Damaris and her cute friend Terra after preparing a scrumptious tea

ciao! fabiana

p.s  the boys loved the Benedictine!

photo credit:
Damaris on Facebook

May 19, 2014

the ultimate beach house in newport beach

Located at the world famous "Wedge" on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beachthis home has the ultimate location. Not only is this a premier surfing and body surfing spot, but the beach setting is a virtual paradise.  

As one of the 8 homes featured on the Newport Harbor Home Tourthe outward appearance of this european style facade is only a cloak to its interior decor.  

The interior is light, airy and beachy. It's California beach living at its best, with subtle references to cottage French and Swedish decor, especially in the master bedroom. And, the view of the Pacific and intoxicating ocean breezes are priceless.

   The cozy great room sets 
the tone for this beach house... 

with an oyster shell chandelier 

in the dining area.

 The views from here are spectacular.

 Upstairs, the master bedroom 

is done in a neutral palette,

with just a hint of a soft ocean blue.

The large sitting area is across from the bed.

The hand-painted ceiling in an adjacent room 
reminds me of something you'd see in
 an early California mission. 

I love the chaise lounge centered in the room.

Here's the view of the Wedge

from the master bedroom,

and looking out toward Catalina Island.

The guest room features
a variety of mismatched

reclaimed wood planks on two walls.

I love the gorgeous teal and orange color scheme

in another guest room.

It's so elegant for a beach house.

Don't you love this old crate used for the orchids?

Seashells and coral highlight the antique books.

Lovely coastal details
highlight the shelves.

The rooftop deck has
all the amenities for entertaining
plus almost 360 degree

views of Newport.


enjoy your weekend ...

ciao! fabiana

For more Newport Harbor Home Tour inspiration,
check out this brand new book:


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