June 25, 2021

an old-fashioned apple dessert we love

It’s kind of funny, but we just started harvesting from our little apple tree in the backyard. Isn’t June kind of early for apples? Well, I really don’t mind, because this variety of Anna apple grows so well here in southern California.  


We eat them right off the tree, I make deliciously spicy ginger applesauce, and I sometimes peel, core and slice the apples to freeze for making pies and desserts later in the year.  


Yesterday I had a little time in the morning to bake a little something, so I decided on one of my all-time favorites, a Huguenot Torte. I first discovered this recipe while visiting Charleston years ago. It’s a really popular dessert there in that part of the Lowcountry. 


As a souvenir, I bought myself a copy of Mrs. Whaley Entertains, a charming little cookbook filled with recipes and stories. Many of Mrs. Whaley’s recipes have become staples for me in my kitchen. Her version of the Huguenot Torte is included in this book and is soooo good! 

In addition to the Huguenot Torte, “Marty’s Pork Tenderloin” made with rosemary, garlic and apricot jam is an amazing dinner party recipe. I’ve made it so many times, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.  (recipe also include below) 


Now back to the apples...  🍎🍏   

This apple recipe is easy to make and comes together quite quickly. There’s no crust to make, and after the eggs are whipped, you just pop everything else right in the mixing bowl... except the whipped cream or ice cream, of course!

Add to a buttered baking dish and toss in the oven... that's it.  


Here's a peek at my little fruity charmer. Apple season here in Newport Beach is just starting, and I recently planted another apple tree called “Beverly Hills”. This variety also does very well here in our climate and with a name like that, I just had to have it! 


Fresh out of the oven, the top of this dessert forms its own crispy crust and the flavor is so good, it’s reminiscent of a pecan pie, but not as sweet.  


I’ve also adjusted this recipe with less sugar and more apples, because why not? We need to use up those precious apples! 


It’s light and so yummy with whipped cream, but around here, we like to add a bit of French vanilla ice cream. A few seconds in the microwave and you get that soft serve texture that I love! 


You can try this recipe the original way it was made by Emily Whaley, or you can adjust the sweetness like I did. I hope you try it. I'd recommend using a granny smith apple, if you’re not sure. 


As of now, half this dessert is gone, and going fast! I may have to make it again tomorrow... 

I took these snapshots right on my kitchen table, and you can see my favorite blue and white runner by Pacific & Rose is supplying lots of color and texture to the breakfast room. It’s the perfect shade of blue!

Blue and white just feels so fresh and summery, and I’m happy to be in full swing of the season. I hope it’s not too hot where you are! Happy Wednesday  


ciao! fabiana 



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June 23, 2021

celebrating summer in small ways


It’s been a whole month since I’ve been here on the blog. I’ve just finished 12 big projects for a magazine’s Spring 2022 issue, and I finally have some breathing room!  


Summer is officially here, and while I’ve spent most of this year working on my garden, this is the best time of year to enjoy all the flowers, fruits and veggies.

I’ve also been to a handful of local yard sales where I found some little treasures, like this oval blue and white transferware bowl for a whole dollar! 

It’s perfect for gathering strawberries from the garden, and I've been using it pretty much on a daily basis for other things too. 


I created a couple of fun flat-lays featuring the colorful summer issue of Country Sampler Farmhouse Style.    

This next shot was inspired by the actual cover photo, and I used peaches, garden flowers and the same lavender striped napkin as the cover shot to surround the magazine.  


Do you have this summer issue yet? 

I also wanted to share this little bouquet I put together as a gift for a friend. The colors I stuck with for this look were creamy whites and pinky-purple flowers.  


A fun collection of blue and white plates has been on this exterior wall for over two years now and are doing great! I love the way the trumpet vine just grows through and around them. 


That's the view I get from the breakfast room, living room and from my desk. 

Now onto a little tablecape news...


In between creating and photographing the 12 projects I just finished, I also styled a few tables for Pacific & Rose’s new line of table linens and pillows. 


This “Belita” tablecloth is giving me French country farmhouse vibes, and I love how it looks with the “Luka Blue” napkins and pillow. 


That colorful pitcher on the table is another recent yard sale find, and yes, it was only a dollar too! It kind of reminds me of the pretty ceramics and dishes they use at The Ivy in Beverly Hills.  


My next blog post will be devoted entirely to this new line of Pacific & Rose’s new items, and I can’t wait to show them to you!  


Lastly, I want to share these amazing ranunculus (or ranunculi) that I grew from corms, which are like little bulbs. The color is so fabulous, and I just love how they look in and amongst these vintage crocks and mustard pots. 

In case you're wondering, here are the flower varieties I used for the other little arrangement.... 

I hope your summer's off to a great start! I'm thrilled to be back here in my happy place on the blog. 


ciao! fabiana  


For lots of fun extras, follow me on instagram! 

I’d love it if you all came for a visit to my virtual shop to check it out!   



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