February 23, 2018

the cake we can't stop eating !

One of the best things about winter in

southern california is that all the
citrus trees are producing tons of fruit right now…

especially oranges and lemons!

It starts in early December,
and is still going strong now in mid February.

navel orange tree that has the juiciest fruit,

so perfect for munching on or for baking!

Just look at these beauties...

That brings me to this amazing cake

My husband’s aunt and uncle are visiting from New York City and we wanted to treat them to a special home-cooked meal.

I totally love them because they’re so cultured, but yet so down to earth. And, they love a good theme dinner as much as I do!

I’ll never forget when they entertained us at their country home in Bedford, New York and created a whole French themed dinner with a movie for us! Aunt Jackie is a fabulous cook, and I remember she made filet mignon paired perfectly with an amazing French wine and then we watched “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, a classic movie about the French revolution.

So for our evening hosting them, we had an Italian-Argentine theme which featured flank steak with chimichurri sauce and this amazing Orange Olive Oil Cake.

I’ve made this cake dozens of times because it’s a family favorite, and my oldest son always requests it for his birthday. If you’ve never had a cake made with olive oil, you’re in for a real treat! 

And add to it freshly zested and juiced oranges, and you literally will find it hard to stop at just one piece. My grandmother made olive oil cakes all the time. It's very typical in Italy.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

Butter, for greasing the pan
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice and zest of 1 orange (about 3 tablespoons juice, 1 tablespoon zest)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. 

Mix together the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until blended and light. Drizzle in the olive oil and vanilla and mix until light and smooth. Add the orange juice and zest and mix well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another medium bowl. Add the flour mixture half at a time to the wet ingredients and mix on low just to incorporate. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool 15 minutes, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.   (Recipe courtesy Melissa d'Arabian)

Don’t be intimidated. This cake is soooo easy to make. It’s my first time baking it in this cute heart-shaped silicone pan from Ikea. I topped it with thinly sliced tangerines which soaked a little extra juice into the cake.

It was a real hit with Uncle Bob, who had three pieces! The cake disappeared so fast on Wednesday night, that I made another one yesterday and that one disappeared within hours too! It really pairs nicely with wine, coffee, tea or milk. 

I love to dip it in my morning cappuccino!

I really hope you try making this cake, and if you do, please let me know how you like it!

ciao! fabiana

p.s.  Remember the lovely weekend
my husband and I had staying at

These rooftop photos were taken there!

p.p.s. The mangia jacquard napkins are from World Market.

February 22, 2018

color inspiratation: blue and white

Nothing is more chic
than the color combination

This classic combo is both
casual and sophisticated at once.

So today I’m sharing a little dose of

Which one caught your attention?

ciao! fabiana

photo credit: 1, 2, 5, 7, House Beautiful  3 Elle Décor  4 Country Living
6 House & Home  8, 11 Veranda  9 Martha Stewart  10 Serena & Lily

February 21, 2018

jennifer aniston, nicky hilton & more

Jennifer Aniston 

graces the cover of Architectural Digest this month 


the timing could not have been more A W K W A R D…

( you know, with her divorce just announced. )

I’m not one to kick anyone when they’re down, 

so I won’t!

I appreciate her style, but it’s not exactly
my cup of tea… so…

I’m sharing some of my favorite pages with you…

To me, 

Jennifer’s style is serious, earthy and
dare - i - say,
a bit masculine….

so very zen…

you don’t see a lot of color in her spaces…

“a scene of pure domestic bliss”… A W K W A R D…


In this same issue,

Candace Bergen and her daughter Chloe Malle
livened things up a bit by hamming it up in the

garden of their gorgeous East Hampton home.

They’re soooo cute!

That alfresco table with the blue windsor chairs are
set with perfection,

and are right up my alley!!

It looks like something out of a fairy tale,

doesn’t it?


Nicky Hilton Rothschild also brightens up this issue
with her fun and cheery décor.  

Which home was your favorite?

ciao! fabiana

p.s.  these pillows are so fun!

photo credit:  Architectural Digest

February 20, 2018

featured designer: raili clasen

Interior décor with a fun, youthful twist
best describes local interior designer

She’s been a favorite of

when she debuted her own
here in Newport Beach.

This month, there’s a gorgeous feature on
her newest home on Lido Island gracing the pages of

Raili has a knack for creating bold and bright
design plans perfectly in line for casual California living.

I love her signature H E L L O accents. 

They just make me smile!

Here’s Raili's first home that we saw on the

gets a dose of color with the vintage red and yellow
message of HOPE.

Raili showcased her ever-evolving style with
this fan favorite

So fun!

Just sharing a few other favorite Raili rooms…

 we loved the Dover Shores home she designed


the great news is…

Raili will have another home featured on this year’s


I can’t wait to see it on May 17th!

Stay tuned for more “Featured Designers” this month

where I'll be sharing the work of my favorite local designers.

ciao! fabiana

photo credit: Raili Clasen,  BH&G, & HGTV

For more on Raili, check out this brand new book:


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