August 28, 2019

recipes for those warm days of summer

Those hot days of summer aren’t letting up so I thought it was the perfect time to share two of my go-to recipes of the season. As I have mentioned, I’ve been eating Paleo since February and it’s really opened my eyes up to so many new yummy recipes.

A classic Waldorf Salad includes apples, grapes, celery and walnuts and with the addition of chicken this is a great choice for dinner any night of the week. The dressing makes sure to stay within the Paleo guidelines and the addition of lots of fresh herbs and garlic makes this the yummiest ranch dressing ever!

The Strawberry Chia Pudding recipe is a great choice for breakfast, but I love it as a dessert too. It’s so easy to make, and you’ll be amazed how the sweetness of the strawberries shines in each bite.  

Paleo Chicken Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a great family dish to make any time of year, but it's especially refreshing in the warmer months.

Recipe via Pete Evans of “The Paleo Way” and Danielle Walker of “Against All Grain”.

Salad ingredients:

1 cup red grapes, halved
1 ½ celery stalks, thinly sliced, including a few inner leaves
1 green apple, cored and diced
½ cup soaked walnuts, chopped
2 large handfuls of mixed salad greens (such as baby spinach and arugula)
1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken

For the Herb Ranch Dressing:

½ cup paleo-friendly mayonnaise
3 tablespoons coconut milk
(in a can for authentic coconut flavor)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped dill sprigs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon onion powder
sea salt

To make the herb ranch dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, toss all of the ingredients together with about half of the herb ranch dressing. Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4–5 days.

Serves 3–4 as a main

Strawberry Chia Breakfast Pudding

Recipe via Lauren Conrad

2 cups strawberries, leaves removed
1 can coconut milk
5 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place coconut milk and strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an airtight storage container.

Add chia seeds and vanilla into the coconut milk mixture, and use a whisk or fork to stir.

Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight or at least 3-4 hours. To serve, Garnish with berries. Stays fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!


I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at our cottage photo shoot from yesterday. If you want a sneak peek, check out my insta-stories here on Instagram.  

ciao! fabiana

Photo courtesy of Pete Evans and Lauren Conrad

August 27, 2019

i found the most beautiful flowers...

All the flowers are prepped and ready to go for today’s photo shoot at Laura’s little cottage in old-town Orange. This collection is specifically for the table.

I have in mind a garland of eucalyptus with these pretty flowers strewn down the center of the table in a manner that reminds me of a flower crown. I hope I can pull it off! 

Trader Joe’s was my first stop yesterday, because what I had in mind were flowers similar to mums in size, shape and color. I brought along a photo of the dinner plate we’re using for reference.

We hit the jackpot! They had exactly what I was looking for, and I wound up getting three different  types of chrysanthemums and some absolutely lovely blush pink dahlias. For a bit different flower form, I also picked up some gorgeous peachy-pink stock.

All-in-all these flowers were super inexpensive! Those huge bouquets of mums were only four bucks, and although I'm not a huge fan of these colorful tufted flowers, these are so perfect for today! 



Chrysanthemums or 'mums'


This reminds me of a few other times I’ve used mums for my tablescapes and décor…

Chrysanthemums, roses & eucalyptus for Serena & Lily

Tiny white mums with blue hydrangeas

Lime green mums for Easter

White and green mums with chamomile flowers.

And like I said, mums are not among my favorite flowers, but I do use them often for that "certain look" I’m after, and I have to say the little white ones are quite adorable!

ciao! fabiana

August 26, 2019

collections: august plate finds

Happy Monday! I can hardly believe it’s the last week in August already. We have one last week to enjoy the true feeling of summer!

Whatever the season may be, it doesn’t stop me from visiting my favorite thrift stores, both here locally and while I’m away.

In fact while I was in Savannah, I spent a few hours treasure hunting and found just a couple of adorable additions for my table.  

two plates from Savannah

A lovely salad plate and 8 little bread and butter plates were found at different shops, but somehow go together beautifully. They both feature hand-painted details and depictions of birds.

The smaller plate on top was found with a larger group of 8 plates and 4 matching cups and saucers. The blue transferware pattern is amazing, and so southern! It’s called “Plantation Colonial” by Mason’s.

What I really love about these kinds of transferware plates is that after the transfer pattern is applied, the plates are all hand-colored, in this case with pink, yellow and green.

It’s been a month of finding hand-painted transferware, because just last week I found these little Myott “Forget-Me-Not” plates. I kind of like the unexpected paring of them with the bolder blue chinoiserie plate underneath.

Myott “Forget-Me-Not” plates

And Forget-Me-Nots are one of my favorite old-fashioned flowers. Their color is so vibrant and blue that you can’t help but love them. They’re also rumored to be Princess Diana’s favorite flower. 💙


You know mixing and matching plates is one of my favorite pastimes, and here's a bit of an unexpected look. 

Again I took the small “Plantation Colonial” plates I found in Savannah and set in on a French breakfast plate from Williams-Sonoma (see below).

To further enhance this look, I placed a Wellsbridge stoneware dinner plate in Aqua from Target (found while thrifting) and used it as base as a charger would be.

Blue and white is absolutely my favorite look to work with. I just love how all different tones of blue work together.

The artistry of hand-painted transferware is right up there on my top-five list of favorite plates.

Staffordshire fine bone china

Here are a few more bread & butter plates recently found. I’m loving this mini size more and more lately.

They’re just so perfect for stacking and mixing!

Hand-painted Johnson Bros "Harvest Time"

And it’s kind of funny that I’ve been finding so much of this hand-painted porcelain lately, but another common thread with these finds is that many of them feature birds.

I do love birds and guess what? I looked up their symbolism on My Dream Symbolism and here’s what it says:

Birds in dreams are usually good signs. They might be symbols of your goals, desires and hopes. They are also a sign of peace, freedom, harmony, balance, ideas, joy and love.

Birds can symbolize freedom of thinking, our hopes and fears. They can also symbolize some situations in our life.

Flying birds signify prosperity and abundance. They might be a symbol of your career. They also might symbolize your social life. 

For women, dreams about birds might indicate happy relationships or meeting their soul mates soon.


ciao! fabiana

August 25, 2019

my favorite pumpkin spice cookies

The addition of pumpkin spices 
makes these spritz the perfect cookie for fall

The pumpkin shape and aromatic flavor of these
cookies will definitely get you in the mood for fall.

Celebrate the arrival of fall with these easy-to-make pumpkin spice butter cookies that will be sure to tingle your taste buds and put you in that perfect autumn mood. 

Traditionally known as spritz, these light butter cookies are usually made around Christmas, but now with the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, they’re perfect for fall. 

Warm all your senses on those cold autumn afternoons, with Pumpkin Spiced Spritz and a hot cup of coffee.

Did you ever make spritz cookies growing up? I have vivid memories of decorating spritz during the holidays when I was a little girl and being amazed at how beautiful the cookies were when they came out of the oven.  

Tingle your taste buds and put yourself in that perfect autumn mood with these delicious Pumpkin Spice Spritz.

These adorable holiday cookies are so easy to make with the help of one simple kitchen gadget, a cookie press, which comes with a variety of different disks.

Create your own little blend of glittery sprinkles by combining different colors of sparkling sugars.

My cookie press came with this adorable pumpkin shape, but leaves and circular forms can easily be dressed up for fall. Additional disk shapes for other holiday and themes can also be purchased and added to your collection.

A custom mix of sparkling sugars gave me the desired
shine I was going for on these little pumpkin cookies.

The recipe for these cookies is very straight forward and foolproof. I found that the cookies stick better to metal cookie sheets, as opposed to parchment paper or a silpat. 

The first cookie probably won’t turn out pretty, so just throw it back into the bowl of batter. It just takes a little bit of practice to figure out how much clicking is needed to get the perfect cookie on to the baking sheet.

For this batch of cookies, I created my own little blend of glittery sprinkles by combining orange, yellow, gold and white sparkling sugars. This custom mix gave me the desired festive look I was going for. 

In addition to the glittery colors, I used natural food color in the batter to give the perfect pumpkin hue.

Pumpkin Spice Spritz Cookies 

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
natural orange food color (optional)
Sprinkles for garnish

1.   Preheat oven to 350.

2.   Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium-low until well combined and airy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

3.   Add the vanilla and the egg; mix to incorporate.

4.   If desired, add a few drops of natural food color and mix until combined.

5.   In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

6.   With the electric mixer on low, add flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

7.   Fill the Cookie Press with cookie dough.

8.   Press the cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.

9.   Decorate cookies with seasonal sprinkles.

10.  Bake until firm and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

11.  Remove cookies from oven and let set for 2 minutes.

12.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Spritz Cookies will keep up to a week in an airtight container.
Makes about 4-5 dozen.

Feel free to add your own special touch to this recipe!

ciao! fabiana

This article originally appeared on Romantic Homes online.


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