Dinner Time: Beef Stew

On a cool February Sunday, homey and satisfying beef stew is the perfect slow-simmering, make-the-house-smell-divine kind of meal to enjoy with your family.  


Dinner Time: Southwest Pulled Chicken

My current favorite sandwich also involves one of the simplest crockpot tricks ever.  Somehow a deceptively easy meal just tastes better than one that required 47 steps and 103 ingredients.  This sweet yet zesty pulled chicken is delicious on a simple bun (if you're a purist), but I take it to the another level of yummy by adding a slightly spicy Southwest slaw.  


Flowers for Friday

Just three delicate pink tulips in a petite Chinoiserie vase delights me so!  Hope your Friday is lovely, dearies! 


Flowers for Friday

If your Valentine didn't bring you the posies you wanted, treat yourself this Friday!  I splurged on fuchsia roses and purple freesia to celebrate another week.


Dinner Time: Spaghetti Carbonara

If I had a little Italian Nonna, I bet she would have made this for me on a chilly Sunday evening.  Spaghetti carbonara is Italian soul food, grandma-style.  It is pasta with a warming hug and a pinch on the cheeks.

With a few pantry staples and fresh bacon and eggs, this simple yet decadent dinner is just a boil, sizzle and whisk away.  In just a few minutes, you'll feel like you've been carried away to a cozy Roman farmhouse.


Cocktail du Jour: Ginger Margarita

I purchased this bottle of ginger liqueur, Domaine de Canton, after admiring its unique orientalist bottle.  I'm sure my husband loves my habit of buying fancy bottles of stuff I've never tasted (the Campari experiment being my worst decision) and taking up precious Bourbon real estate on the bar.  
Not knowing exactly what to make with such an unusual elixir, I searched for ginger-inspired cocktails.  That is how the ginger margarita was born.


Birthday Cake

It seems just about everyone has their own very favorite birthday cake.  Maybe it was the plain old boxed white cake mix your mom made on your special day?  Or perhaps you indulge in German chocolate from your favorite bakery?  In recent years, red velvet has become my signature birthday cake.  It's the one decadent treat I look forward to every January 20th.


Playtime in Paris

One of my favorite design bloggers, the always-talented Gabrielle Blair (aka Design Mom), recently posted a sweet video of her daughter Betty exploring Paris.  Once I saw Betty skipping along the Seine, nibbling on macarons and standing in her best Eiffel Tower pose, I began daydreaming of one day taking my daughter to the city of lights.  I can only imagine how much more wonderful my favorite city becomes when viewed through the curiosity and innocence of children. 


Pretty Monday: Golden Glam

I love an awards show.  The couture gowns, the speeches, and the who's who of Hollywood all together in one ballroom make for a fun night of martini-sipping and vicarious glamour.

Here were my favorite ensembles at last evening's Golden Globes:
Coral mermaid glamour for Jessica Alba


Cocktail du Jour: Hot Bourbon Cider

When the January nights are cold and dark, sometimes a nice toasty and tasty beverage warms the soul.  My husband is a bourbon aficionado so we have an assortment of the Kentucky-born elixir on our bar at any one time.  A variant on the Hot Toddy or Hot Buttered Rum, this decadent cocktail is best sipped by a roaring fire (or in our case, while watching a DVD of a roaring fire).  And, if you need an excuse for consuming this treat, it also is believed to help the common cold.  I shall have one this evening, preventative medicine, you see.  Bottoms up, dearies!


Returning to the Abbey

Ah, alas the time has come for the return of my beloved Downton Abbey.  This evening, the characters so many of us have come to love (and a few to detest among the lot) are brought back to PBS for the U.S. premiere of Season Three.  For me, there are few programs which offer the delightful escapism of Downton Abbey.  


Flowers for Friday

With its soft yellow and pink face, this orchid reminds me of the singing flowers in Alice in Wonderland.  When I pass by the lovely blooms in our entryway, I secretly hope I'll catch them humming along.


A Sweet Treat: Banana Pecan Cake

If you made resolutions that involve any of the following: will power, bikinis, marathons, skinny jeans, salads.  STOP READING NOW!

And for the rest of you, let's eat cake!

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