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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Recipe #4

Good morning darlings!
I am seriously in love with my cookbook. Every time I look through it I am inspired to just grab my bowl and mixer and just get started. My latest inspiration was Almond Biscotti and it was so good I must share the recipe with you, dolls. 
Don't they look heavenly?
Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I added this to the recipe)
2 eggs
2 egg whites (the original recipe says 2 egg yolks but I changed it up a bit)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease two cookie sheets.
  • In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Then make a well in the center of the mixture and add eggs, butter, and almond extract  into the mixture. Stir until dough starts to form a ball.
  • Add almonds and mix with hands (add some flour to hands so dough isn't too sticky)
  • Divide dough into three equal portions.
  • Shape each portion into a 14-inch-long loaf and place loaves about 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Flatten loaves slightly until about 1 1/2 inches wide.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and light brown.
  • Cool on cookie sheets for 15 minutes.
  • Cut in slices and enjoy with a cup of coffee, or since is summer, a big cup of Gelato!
Photo by yours truly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

America's Best Natural Pools

Darlings,
Today I came across this article about America's best swimming holes from New York to California. Check out these natural swimming pools that are absolutely perfect to beat a hot summer day. 
Havasu Falls (Supai, Arizona)
Little River Canyon (Alabama)
Johnson's Shut-Ins (Reynolds County, MO)
The Blue Hole (Wimberley, Texas)
Carlon Falls (Yosemite National Park)
Cummins Falls (Cookeville, Tennessee) 
Redfish Lake (Stanley, Idaho)
Sliding Rock (Brevard, North Carolina)
Havasu Falls has definitely captured my attention and now I am dying to take a dip in that lovely and refreshing retreat.

What about you? Which one would you love to jump in this summer?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Green... And Very Classy Future

Darlings,
This morning during breakfast I found the July edition of this year Popular Science magazine on the kitchen counter and I was blown away by an article titled Plans For Tomorrow.  
It was all about this magnificent boat very fittingly named the Physalia whose sole job is to travel Europe's rivers, making filthy water drinkable while at the same time generating more energy than it uses. A coat of titanium dioxide paint brushed onto the silvery shell will "neutralize pollution by absorbing ultraviolet rays, enabling a chemical reaction that decomposes organic and inorganic toxins". But not only will it help the environment; the vessel will also be a floating museum of sorts, a nightclub, and a lab for scientist who study aquatic ecosystems. Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is quite the genius if you ask me. 
Now tell me, would you consider the Physalia a great and realistic idea or just another cool one? 
Images from here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Have a Marvelous Weekend!

Darlings,
Today is a very special day. After all, it is my parents' 21st wedding anniversary! I have been greatly blessed, thanks to the fact that my mom and dad fell in love at a summer camp many years ago. I love you mom and dad, and I hope God blesses you both with many more years together. 
Weren't they just absolutely adorable?

Have a marvelous weekend full of love, dolls!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another Treasure For My Collection

Darlings, 
I couple of years ago I purchased a great book at a rummage sale (great places to find amazing books) and then forgot all about it... until this morning. While going through some old boxes of  mine (some from my boarding school years) I stumbled upon this 1987 book, and after looking throughout I realized why bought it. It is simply so captivating! It takes you on a journey behind the inspiration of Banana Republic... From Clark Gable and Kate Hepburn to Amelia Earhart and native Tahitian women. Definitely inspires you to always travel in style.
Photos by yours truly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Recipe #3

Hello darlings!
Last night I got inspired to finally make something I had been wanting to make for awhile now... Poppy Seed Cake with Almond Icing.  After all, it is Sean's favorite type of cake and I wanted to surprise him with it when he came over this morning. He was so surprised and absolutely loved it! and after trying it myself I believe it became my favorite too. 
Cake:
Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
13 fluid ounces evaporated milk
1/4 cup poppy seeds


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and add eggs, vanilla, oil and milk. Mix well and fold in the poppy seeds. Pour into a 10 inch tube pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Glaze:
Ingredients
1 cup sifted confectioners (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Directions
In a medium bowl, blend milk with confectioners' sugar. If necessary, add additional milk to make desired consistency. Stir in almond extract. Drizzle over cake. 

Wedding Wednesday: Puerto Vallarta

Darlings,
When I saw these pictures I was truly blown away. After all, I believe I have a weakness for weddings by the sea... now you know which venue I will choose for my very own ;). 
Erin and Damien's wedding took place at a gorgeous villa overlooking the beaches in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Photos by Michelle Turner

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1000 Awesome Things

Hello darlings!
Yesterday I came across this pretty awesome website which plans on listing 1000 awesome things (one each weekday)... but if you just want to know them all right away, you can always buy the book. I would LOVE to add this book to my collection.
These are the last 5 awesome things posted:
  1. Hearing a song that reminds you of someone you love.
  2. Watching soccer and actually seeing a goal (Specially one made by Portugal)
  3. Taking Friday off.
  4. Licking all the flavors off your finger (yeah... depends on the flavors)
  5. When your shoes are tight enough to stay on your foot but loose enough to slide on and off without untying them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Have a Marvelous Week!

Darlings,
I am sorry I have neglected you lately, but as this new week lies before us I hope you all have a marvelous week. I know Monday isn't usually the favorite day of the week, but just keep this in mind and everything will be ok.
I did not make this graphic, I just can't remember where I found it :(

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To The First Man to Win Over My Heart

Darlings,
As far back as I can remember, I have always been a daddy's girl... and right now is hard for me to put into words how much this man means to me. So I will list a fraction of the many things we've done together, or he has done for me, in the last 20 years.

  • Going to work with him as a little girl and been allowed to do the same biology experiments his students would do in his amazing lab (I believe it was there that my passion for medicine started).
  • Going camping whenever we could... and wherever we could.
  • Mountain biking every trail there was... from the moment I could ride a bike.
  • Collecting sea shells from morning till dawn for my kindergarten science fair project.
  • ... and helping me with every science fair project after that.
  • Caving, rappelling, and snorkeling together in Puerto Rico two summers ago since I was finally grown-up enough to do the "hardcore" stuff.
  • Buying me a sewing machine the minute I decided sewing would be my new hobby.
  • Taking a drive together when I just need someone to talk to.
  • Taking me to see my love (...an hour an a half away) when the missing-him factor gets too high.
  • Eating everything I cook or bake... whether it is edible or not.
  • Encouraging and supporting every dream I set off to accomplish... and guiding me in the process.
  • Making me laugh when I am about to cry... and giving a shoulder to cry on when crying is what a need.
  • Loving me unconditionally.
Te amo Papi...
Photos by my mom and I.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wedding Wednesday

Good morning darlings!
Let's start this day with one of the loveliest wedding pictures I've ever seen. Mindy and Jonathan's wedding was at the gorgeous Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont... and I couldn't have chosen a more fitting theme for it than the one they chose. Simply stunning!

Photos by Susan Stripling.