Cooking with Miss Dahl

Confession: at night, when the rest of you flip through magazines or novels on your night stand, I read cookbooks.  There is something so hypnotic about letting my eyes wander through lists of ingredients before I doze off for the night.  

As I turn a cookbook's pages, I get intoxicated by the perfectly delicious color photographs.  I imagine dinner parties I might host or recipes I might try. And, as I shut my eyes for the evening, I dream of fluffy meringues or caramely apple tarts or cozy chicken pot pies...and, of course, I wake up ravenous.
This all leads me to my recent great cookbook discovery. Months ago, I started seeing Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights appear everywhere in blogland.  I must admit, what immediately attracted me to the book was the pink and turquoise color palette on the cover.   Just recently, after drooling over the book on Amazon, I treated myself to my very own copy. 


Dinner Time

Saturday evening, along with some dear friends, I dined at a wine bar in Orange County called Wine Works for Everyone.   But more than just pouring glasses of Pinot Noir and Viognier, the restaurant specialized in dishes that paired well with their favorite wines.   The experience (food, wine, and ambiance included) was perfectly lovely, one that I will repeat as soon as possible.
At Wine Works, we ordered a Malbec from Argentina, a wine that seems to have become wildly popular (due to low price and consistently deep flavors) in recent years.  To compliment the spicy notes of the Malbec, I selected short ribs from the menu.  The meat was so perfectly autumnal and satisfying that I set out to recreate the dish at home tonight. At first I was mildly phobic about this seemingly tricky cut of beef, but I discovered a slow cooker recipe that closely mimicked the ribs I tasted over the weekend and was extraordinarily easy as well! 


Words to Live by

Each morning is a gift.  Experience the supreme pleasure of being. 


Spooky Vintage

It would seem that I haven't met my Halloween quota for the week.  So, without further adieu, here's a little fall flavor.  Today, I'm craving a retro Halloween.  Have a handful of candy corn and enjoy some spooky vintage designs!


Dinner Time

In the middle of the week, I need dinners that are fast and involve a few ready-made ingredients.  I love "fortifying" marinara sauce by adding onions, garlic and fresh herbs.  Tonight, I made one of the ultimate comfort foods: stuffed shells.  The benefit of this recipe is that I had enough to make double batches and freeze one for next week!  As Ina would say, "how easy is that?"

Comfy Chic

Snuggies. Uggs. Stretchy pants.  Comfort has become the dirty word in fashion because of shapeless items like these. 

If you've ever watched more than five minutes of TLC's long-running program, What Not to Wear, you have inevitably seen Clinton Kelly roll his eyes when one of his sloppy students mutters the words, "but it's soooo comfy."  On the show, Kelly tosses out heaps of sagging sweat pants and unstructured shoes and hoodies. 


The Weather Report

"Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life." John Updike
It never rains here.  And for once, I am not being dramatic or hyperbolic in this assertion.  It never rains here. I honestly do not remember a drop of precipitation from May until September.  


Taste Testing: Pumpkin Pancakes

From time to time, I like to share some of my latest culinary finds with y'all.  I am not one to stick to my shopping list---I impulsively add new grocery items to my cart according to my whim.  Recently at Trader Joe's, I discovered "Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix." 


Dream House

If I could have one designer decorate my space, without question, I would choose Canadian Sarah Richardson of Sarah's House on HGTV. 
In her most recently televised design project, Sarah redesigned a mid-century modern home from the inside out.  She refashioned every detail, adding sophistication and elegance to the house.  One idea central to Sarah's design was to infuse each room in the house with a different and unique color palette.  
This is my DREAM living room: touches of coral and pink against warm neutrals.  Impeccable!


On Living Small

My husband and I have never owned a house.  We are career renters.  At first, we rented because we were young and broke and had no other options.  Now, we rent as a choice.


Words to Live by

It's Thursday, how about a little mid-week, spontaneous joy?  Do something that thrills you and share a your zest for life with others.  Nobody likes a grump, so choose happiness everyday:


Pinkalicious Sofas

Some of my friends' little girls love flipping through the pages of the illustrated childrens tale, Pinkalicious.  After indulging in far too many pink cupcakes, Pinkalicious turns pink from head to toe, suffering from a not-so-dreaded case of pinkitis.   

These days, I fear I have become stricken with the same affliction.  For as much as I try to cure myself of pinkitis, all I dream of are pink interiors and pink food and pink dresses---yet another thing I have in common with five year olds (my predilection for mac & cheese and Pixar movies among others) . 


Dinner Time

Fall's flavors are comforting and belly-warming, perfect for a Monday night dinner.  
Tonight we dined on seared pork chops with pear-apple sauce, Parmesan Brussel sprouts and roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes.  A feast made for a fall evening!


A Weekend Wish

May your weekend be filled with all of the delights of autumn!

Hear the crunch of leaves beneath your feet.
Pack a picnic for you and your sweetie.

Frugal Fall Fashion Favorites

By Francis Miller for Life Magazine, 1958
As much as those T.J. Maxx commercials may grate on my nerves, I do commend their cutesy coinage of the term "frugalista."  I simply cannot stand paying full price or department store prices for much of anything.  Here are a few of my favorite fashion finds this fall.


Wedded Bliss

Five years ago, we said "I do."  On a cool fall evening in El Paso, Texas, my dear sweet hubby and I committed to love, honor and cherish one another.  Despite the peaks and valleys of day to day life, we have both done our best to fulfill those vows. 
I still remember all of those people who had come to celebrate with us on that magical day.  I recall passing by smiling faces as my dad proudly escorted me to the front of the church.  I remember how the candlelit sanctuary looked so perfectly dreamy through my diaphanous veil. 


Designing for the Bibliophile

"Libraries: the medicine chest of the soul." 
Inscription over the doorway to the library at Thebes

Today I am dreaming of my very own library with built-in bookcases a plenty.  I need a place to proudly display my old ragged copy of Gatsby and my stacks of art historical biographies and my favorite page-turners.  

Wouldn't it be perfectly lovely to settle down into a favorite cozy chair with a cup of Lady Grey tea and leisurely browse through old books?
By Miles Redd via House Beautiful
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