Friday, April 22, 2011

Earthly Love

Happy Earth Day! I want to let you in on a little secret: in honor of Earth Day, if you bring your own tumbler into Starbucks today, you will receive a free brewed coffee or tea! You're welcome:)

Today is a bit insane for me, so I just wanted to say Happy Friday and wish you a very happy Easter weekend! See ya next week!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting Sidetracked

With Easter brunch a mere four days away, I've been busy deciding what to bring, as I have volunteered for dessert duty. Though apparently I've gotten rather sidetracked because while a far cry from dessert, I am now dying to try these basic but lovely looking deviled eggs with smoked paprika. Most of my 25 years, I have turned my nose up to deviled eggs, but lately, I think my tastebuds may be changing!

Whatever I do end up making for dessert, you can bet a pretty tray of these will be coming too!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

{Gluten Free} Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

I've been pretty good about taming my sweet tooth as of late (with the exception of that amazing creme brulee on my birthday, of course!). And so, it felt like an appropriate time to finally bake something ooey, gooey and chocolatey this weekend! And amazingly, what caught my sweet affections was this gluten-free chocolate peanut butter tart I spotted over at A Home in the Making. Because for one, who doesn't go bananas for any chocolate peanut butter combo, and second, it's always nice to have recipes on hand for those with food allergies. So I gave it a shot. And to say my husband and I were impressed would be an understatement.

The texture is silky and decadent and perfectly chocolately paired with a slightly salty crust. It's lovely. And if you happen to leave it in the freezer for a few hours, it resembles something of an ice cream cake texture. Be still my heart!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
Seen on A Home in the Making

Peanut Butter Crust
1/4 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup blanched almond flour, packed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons honey

Chocolate Filling
1 can coconut milk
4 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
3 egg yolks

Peanut Butter Crust

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Melt peanut butter and butter in a heat proof bowl.
3. Stir in vanilla, egg and honey.
4. Add dry ingredients and stir to form dough. It'll be sticky.
5. Press the dough up the sides of a 9" tart pan.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, turn off the oven and do not open the door. Leave until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Filling & Assembly

1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/4 cup coconut milk, honey and salt and simmer on low.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the coconut milk and cocoa powder. This helps the de-clump the cocoa powder. Add the mixture to the saucepan.
3. In another separate bowl, separate the egg yolks, and slight beat with a fork. Add 1/2 cup of the warmed coconut mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly and then add the egg mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Keep whisking. Cook for 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat stirring until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, chocolate and butter until chocolate and butter are melted.
6. Remove your tart shell from the oven, and pour chocolate filling in almost to the brim.
7. Cool tart uncovered in the freezer until the top becomes firm. Transfer to the refrigerator and cover with plastic wrap.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend in Photos

I know this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, but I am hardly ready for the weekend to be over! It was lovely and warm and everything a perfect Spring weekend should be!

We enjoyed a delicious breakfast my hubby whipped up, walked our pups to the park down the street where they were able to get a load of energy out, celebrated at a lovely bridal shower for one of my dearest friend's little sister, and finally, savored some fabulous homemade ravioli with Chris' parents! But I guess the fun had to end sometime...Merry Monday!

{My husband is the best!}

{Don't mind Abby-she had just taken a dip in our pool}

{The lovely bride-to-be and her mom. Love these ladies!}
{Delicious bruschetta}
{Ravioli making!}
{The spread: sun dried tomato and artichoke, spinach and ricotta and
butternut squash in a brown butter sage sauce - All amazing!}

Friday, April 15, 2011

{In Bloom}

I got home yesterday afternoon and decided to take a peek at our front patio to see how all our plants were doing and was so delighted at what I saw! Spring is definitely in the air! My succulent garden is flourishing, I found another surprise bloom on the plant next to our front door and my roses are growing like crazy! So naturally, I busted out my new toy (aka: the Canon) and took a few shots of everything.

Enjoy a little peek at what's blooming at our house!

{lovely succulents}

{new surprise bloom}

{flowering Meyer lemon tree-apparently that's a good thing!}


{one of many rose bushes ready to bloom}

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Royal Reading

Is anybody else as geekishly excited about the upcoming royal nuptuals as I am? What a cute couple William and Kate make! And growing up with a diehard Princess Diana fan of a mother, I too have always found myself intrigued by the royal family.

Lucky me, I was given William and Kate: A Royal Love Story as a birthday present and am loving getting the back story of their relationship-you know, more than the shallow layer I get from my weekly People magazine updates. I'm only about halfway through this book, but I would already recommend it to anyone interested in the details of how the Prince and his lovely bride-to-be fell in love! It is a truly sweet story!

ps~ mark your calanders-April 29th!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twenty-Five in Photos

Happy Tuesday, lovelies! I just wanted to share a little from my lovely weekend!

It was a wonderful combination of surprises and birthday traditions! The weekend started with my sweet husband planning an entire day near the Bay, which consisted of things I've never done yet have always talked about. Mostly scenic places I've wanted to visit. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to play with my birthday present-a Canon EOS Rebel T2i!!! I LOVE it so much and definitely need to keep playing with it in order to utilize its full potential!

The rest of the weekend included some birthday shopping with my mom, our traditional mani/pedi and some really good eats!

And to top off an already perfect weekend, we indulged in a spa day yesterday, followed by lunch and dessert at one of my favorite little french bistros. It was a perfect way to celebrate turning 25!

Here's a little peek at the weekend festivities!

Superb day in San Francisco! Our first stop was the very large farmers market at the Ferry building, where we lunched and picked up some lovely gourmet chocolates!

Then it was off to Fort Point for some spectacular views of the Golden Gate!

While driving the coastline we were lucky enough to catch this awesome view of the whole city.

Next we took a short hike to the Point Bonita lighthouse. It doesn't get better than this!

My new toy!!

Point Bonita lighthouse

And finally, we went to the Redwoods, something I've been talking about for a while!

Simply magnificent!

And for dinner we had some amazing braised short ribs at March aux Fleurs, a charming little french restaurant just outside of Sausilito!

After what was a total day of relaxation at the Meritage spa in Napa, mom and I lunched at Bistro Jeanty, where we indulged in tomato soup in puff pastry.

and the most incredible creme brulee that has ever touched my tastebuds!

Bistro Jeanty! If you are ever in the Napa area, I highly recommend checking out this little bistro. You will not regret it!

And finally, we took a walk through the sweet town of Yountville and soaked up the gorgeous weather (ahem, and tried to walk off lunch).

All in all, a perfect birthday!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm 25 today! Woohoo!! And to mark the occasion of turning a quarter century, I'm off to Napa with my mom for a lovely day of pampering!

Have a wonderfully sweet day!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Birthday Bliss

Great news-I feel 100% better today! Goodbye congested, sneezing, nasty allergy symptoms and hello birthday weekend! I can't wait, both for the birthday festivities I've been told about as well as the surprises my husband has up his sleeve! Plus, Monday is set aside for a day of total pampering at a spa in the wine country with my mom-it should be absolute bliss!

Have a simply divine weekend!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Down for the Count

 I had the very best intentions of finishing up some projects last weekend and sharing them with you lovely readers this week. But truth be told, my seasonal allergies have had me down for the count these past several days. Such a bummer! And with a birthday coming up in just a few days, I very much doubt I will be doing home improvements of any kind this weekend. Ah well, you win some, you lose some...

I promise, next week will be better and hopefully I'll be back to regular postings. For now, I'll be busy getting myself back to health. Happy Tuesday!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Have a Sunny Weekend!

Happy Friday! So happy we finally made it to April {my favorite month}!  Anything fun going on this weekend? Ours is shaping up to be a lovely one with a bid on new kitchen counter tops, using some birthdays freebies I received from a few of my favorite places and getting our bedroom ready to reveal a few pics next week! 

 Have a delightful weekend!

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