November 8, 2014

birthday weekend

My family surprised me with a fun weekend at the Alisal Ranch and the quaint California-Danish town of SolvangThey know how much I love this part of California, with its rich history and gorgeous and quiet landscapes. The Alisal Ranch originally opened in 1946, and still retains its old-fashioned California ranch feeling with its traditions and vintage cabins. 

Clark Gable even married his wife Lady Sylvia Ashley there in the old library in 1949! We settled into our adorable little two room cabin at Alisal and spent our first afternoon fishing at the lake. Dinner at the ranch is definitely a fine dining experience, and we all enjoyed our gourmet dinners and their outstanding desserts, like their famous Alisal Oatmeal Pie

With luxuries like telephones and tv’s taken out of the equation, we enjoyed quiet family game nights, horseback riding, hiking and swimming. They also offer great spa treatments, hay rides, golf, tennis and archery. Next time, our visit will be longer, for sure! 

We stopped into Solvang a few times for their authentic Danish pastries and butter cookies, while strolling the streets and visiting all the souvenir shops that feature Scandinavian knick-knacks and some cute blue and white delft pottery. Solvang is only five minutes from the ranch, and just 35 miles from Santa Barbara.  All-in-all, it was a relaxing and fun weekend! 

ciao! fabiana

November 7, 2014

my friday five

The Cloak Pendants from Room and Board are stunning with their black slate-like porcelain shades and walnut details. Doesn’t the pair look amazing over this dining room table?

I just got these little gold, silver and bronze bowls from West Elm (only $4 each!).  They will be perfect for holiday entertaining.  I love their retro-chic look!

Speaking of entertaining, I can’t wait to try this with my holiday guests on a cold autumn night, Hot Buttered Apple Cider

A little apple brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and butter with your  toasty apple cider can’t be all bad! 

Hot Buttered Apple Cider

3 cups Calvados (apple brandy)
7 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
12 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
12 cinnamon sticks
Whole nutmeg


Bring Calvados, brown sugar, and butter to simmer in large pot over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Add apple cider, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks; bring to boil. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving. Ladle cider mixture into 12 cups. Add 1 cinnamon stick from pot to each. Grate nutmeg over and serve. (12 SERVINGS)

A few cheerful mums are 
all it takes to liven up a room! 
I got these at Trader Joe’s.

Love this long bob, 
what they are now calling the lob.

ciao! fabiana

November 6, 2014

foxy's fabulous frozen yogurts

My family and I were invited to try all six flavors of Foxy’s Premium Frozen Yogurt, and I was thrilled with the opportunity!  Foxy’s flavors are really unique and very luxurious, plus I love the super cute names and eye-catching packaging!   They have a cool retro vibe and “pashing" is now all the rage in the frozen yogurt world.  Even with their sophisticated flavor profile, Foxy’s Pash is built on a zero fat base.  As Foxy says, “it’s great on your lips and good for your hips!”

Foxy’s is perfect for all-occasions, 
from after-school snack to late night treat. 
 I had a little fun staging a few scenarios. 
family game night  
The first two picks that my family tried during our after dinner taste test were the Frisky Pash and the Cheeky Pash flavors.  Both were really creamy and not overly sweet, which we loved.  I am more of a nutty/chocolate flavor gal, so my faves were the Frisky, Naughty, Fancy, and Sneaky Pash flavors (love the dark chocolate flakes), but I must admit the fruity Cheeky and Sassy were also really delicious, and favorites of my hubby and boys!  
Cheeky Pash (Mango & Passionfruit Smoothie)
Fancy Pash (Dark Chocolate & Tangerine Zest)
Frisky Pash (Pecan & Praline Crunch)
Naughty Pash (Butter Toffee & Caramel Chunks)
Sassy Pash (Vanilla Bean & Strawberry Hunks)
Sneaky Pash (Wild Berry & Chocolate Flakes)
after school snack

late night treat

anytime you're feeling sneaky !

ciao! fabiana

This post is sponsored by Foxy's
however all opinions are genuinely my own.

November 5, 2014

thanksgiving table inspiration

Stopping by my local Pottery Barn is 
always a great source of inspiration 
for me during the holidays.  
I love the rustic qualities of this table 
setting with the glitzy additions 
of mercury glass & pretty china.  
It’s earthy, with a definite Italian vibe! 

ciao! Fabiana

staircase question

I am trying to decide whether to change my runner 
or go for the bare wood look.

Do you prefer your stairs with a runner or without?

ciao! Fabiana

November 2, 2014

breakfast by Bette Davis

This is the perfect recipe for a Sunday morning, or anytime you have leftover steak and potatoes. We’ve made it many times without the beets, but now I am in the habit of just roasting a few beets the night before.

I thought the recipe got its name from the color of the beets, but as legend goes, a red flannel shirt would be all Ms. Davis wore when she prepared this dish! It’s hearty and yummy and the whole family will love it!

2 cups cooked corned beef (or leftover steak)
3 cups cold boiled potatoes
1 ½ cups cooked beets
¼ cup of cream or ½ & ½

Chop the beef, potatoes and beets. Season with salt and pepper and moisten with cream. Put into hot buttered ironware frying pan. Stir and spread evenly. Brown slowly over medium heat. Serve with poached or fried eggs on top.

ciao! fabiana


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