September 29, 2017

amazing pink wildflowers at home

I spotted these pink flowers on a climbing vine in a friend’s yard the other day, and I couldn’t resist clipping a few branches to bring home with me. Aren’t they the most amazing color?

Pink flowers are always so feminine and flirty, and even though they’re not really much of a fall color, I thought they’d be so pretty in this vintage blue pitcher.

And they look amazing with blue and white for the weekend... then we're back to fall 

I'm so happy it's Friday and officially the last weekend in September. Yes, Monday starts the beginning of my favorite (because it's my birthday) month and it'll be an all-out Halloween pumpkin extravaganza around here!

Seriously, we'll have lots of pretty pumpkins, but for now I'm going to enjoy a little pink!   

ciao! fabiana

September 27, 2017

vintage books and candlesticks

Doesn’t the idea of Fall make you want to break out all the cozy, comfortable things that were put away for the warmer months? Warm throws, fuzzy slippers, and even brass candlesticks lead to thoughts of sipping a warm cup of coffee next to the fire on a chilly morning.

I love getting out my vintage and antique books and setting up a fun Halloween vignette or two. They’re the perfect complement for pumpkins, candles and cute little owls.

So when you’re out at a book store or thrift shop, be on the lookout for pretty shabby chic vintage books

I love ones with titles that remind me of the spooky nights leading up to Halloween… Anything by Edgar Allen Poe is perfect and I love the Gothic novels like Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and even books of poetry by Lord Byron. Did you ever read the Tell Tale Heart or The Raven in grade school? I distinctly remember reading those Poe stories, and the classic Washington Irving story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, one of my favorites! 

Having grown up near the Catskills and the Hudson River, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow brings back amazing childhood memories of eerie Halloween nights, autumn leaves dancing around me, the wind howling and trick or treating through my quaint neighborhood, with the thought that the headless horseman could appear at any moment... and to add to that, my friends and I were really good at conjuring up spooky tales while we walked from house to house on Halloween night.

That’s why these old books give me such a comfortable, cozy vibe during these amazing Fall months. Thank you to all my English teachers who made reading so fun!! 

By the way, this pretty copy of Wuthering Heights is from Barnes and Noble. I just reread it a few years ago, but I’m ready to dive into it again. It’s filled with romance, as well as gothic elements that I love. The Newport Beach Public Library has a great used book store and that's where I picked up a few more of these lovely little volumes for just a dollar or two. 

I have so much fun looking for quirky, Halloween related titles!  

always an interesting combination.

ciao! fabiana

September 26, 2017

tommy bahama’s key lime pie recipe

Celebrate National Key Lime Pie Day today 
with Tommy Bahama’s special recipe
Drop in to a restaurant near you, 
or whip one up for yourself! 

The one thing that everyone can agree on is that
 the Tommy Bahama Key Lime pie has 
long been a guest favorite and the 
perfect ending to any meal.

Originally, the remote island of Key West wasn’t easily accessible. Transporting food and other supplies was challenging, so local products like Key limes and foods with long shelf lives, such as sweetened condensed milk became essential foods on the island. Now the official pie of the state of Florida, with origins dating back to the early 20th century, one could say Key Lime pie is as American as apple pie.

Tommy Bahama’s Famous Key Lime Pie
Serves 8

1 10" graham cracker crust
1 egg white
2 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
9 large egg yolks
1 cup key lime juice
1 lime, sliced into 8 equally-sized "wheels"
White Chocolate Mousse Whipped Cream as desired (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Brush egg whites onto uncooked pie shell using a pastry brush, making sure the shell is evenly coated. Pour off any excess egg whites.

Place pie shell in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Shell should look golden brown.

Let cool at room temperature.

While the shell is cooling, mix the egg yolks and condensed milk together using a wire whip until incorporated.

Pour the key lime juice into the mixture of yolks and condensed milk, slowly mixing with the wire whip until incorporated.

Add the key lime pie mixture into the cooled pie shell.

Adjust the oven temperature to 250° F and bake pie for 25-30 minutes. The finished pie should have a "Jell-O"-like consistency.

Place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Cut into 8 even slices when serving.

For the White Chocolate Mousse Whipped Cream:
8 fl. oz. heavy cream
3/4 oz. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp. instant white chocolate mousse

Using an electric mixer, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.

Using the whisk attachment, beat cream mixture on high speed for 2 minutes.

Add the white chocolate mousse to the cream mixture and mix until it reaches the consistency of stiff peaks.

Place the whipped cream into a piping bag with an open star tip.

When serving, pipe it onto each piece of key lime pie. (If you do not have a piping bag, you can simply dollop a generous scoop of the whipped cream onto the center of each piece.)

Cut a slice in your lime "wheels," twist and place in the center of each piece.

ciao! fabiana

photo credit: Tommy Bahama


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