April 30, 2008

Bumbleberry Black Bottom Pie

Cielo, of The House in the Roses, is having a Dessert Carnival today! The recipe below was my contribution to this fun event. If you want to drool over and perhaps collect some other yummy dessert recipes, be sure to head over to her site. As for this dessert right here, doesn't the name "bumbleberry" just make your mouth water? Trust me, it's as delicious as it sounds. The best part is that it's very simple to make and is a perfect spring or summertime treat.

"bumbleberry"--a wonderful combination
of blueberries, raspberries & blackberries

topped with whipped cream & shaved chocolate

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons orange juice
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup each blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (or any combination desired)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream whipped with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons orange or berry liqueur (optional)
shaved chocolate (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate with orange juice in a small heavy saucepan or double boiler over low heat. Stir until smooth and let cool. Butter a 10-inch pie plate.

  • Beat yolks with sugar in a bowl until very thick and pale in color. Add cinnamon and melted chocolate, beating slowly until blended. Beat whites with salt until stiff. Add whites one-third at a time to mixture, folding in gently with a spatula. Pour mixture into the pie plate, level with spatula, and bake for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool. As crust cools, it will sink in the center, forming a shell.

  • In large bowl, toss berries with sugar. (Note: be sure to use firm raspberries or they will fall apart rather than stay intact when you mix them). Fill cooled pie shell with berry mixture. Spread with whipped cream and sprinkle with shaved chocolate. Voila!

Just Watched

I must say, I really enjoyed this movie! Granted, I don't condone one-night stands, but other than that one objection, the rest of the movie was quite sweet and endearing. Just don't watch this movie expecting it to be realistic. It's more of an urban legend. If you watch it with this point-of-view, you'll be less likely to nitpick and more likely to enjoy the movie.

April 28, 2008

A Classic

If you ever had the opportunity to take a peek into my closet this is what you would find--several pairs of blue jeans, a pair or two each of black and gray slacks, brown cargo pants, several sets of white/black/gray t-shirts in crew neck or v-neck versions, zip-up hoodies in white/black/gray, and several versions of the classic white shirt. I'm not entirely opposed to color. I have some red, blue, brown and green items of clothing thrown into the mix, although I do avoid oranges, yellows and purples. I am also wary of loud prints or patterns. The items I listed above are my main staples, the foundation of my wardrobe. On any given day I am wearing a combination of these items of clothing. Now that I am no longer working and am a full-time stay-at-home mom, I have been relying heavily on the jeans/t-shirt/hoody combination! All this to say that I am fond of clean, simple styles. This is precisely why I was first drawn to the designer Anne Fontaine years ago when she first introduced her line of classic white shirts. In the years since, she has managed to elevate the white shirt to near iconic status and has expanded into other areas as well.

Her story

Her Paris boutique

A few of her pieces

Her expansion into accessories

April 25, 2008

Room With A View - IX

Happy Weekend!

Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
courtesy of Conde Nast Traveler

April 21, 2008

Maison Fleurie

This is where we chose to lay our head on our one night anniversary getaway. Don't you just love the name Maison Fleurie, which translated means "the flowering house."

hubby parking Winston

the perfect parking spot

sitting serenely near twilight

sherry anyone?

fresh cut roses straight from the garden

our cozy little nest for the night

Our Romantic Rendezvous

The first order of business was a bath and massage at Lavender Hill Spa.

the bath house

garden statuary

pretty pot and blue flowers

Per a friend's recommendation, we visited Woodhouse Chocolate. Talk about eye candy! There were edible tea cups, thrones, snails and topiaries, to name a few!

decisions, decisions

impressive display

our goody bag

and voila!

Next we visited this winery. Why this winery, you ask? Well, I saw a picture of a double heart sculpture that was located at this particular winery and I told hubby we had to visit because it was obviously symbolic of the loving union we were celebrating.

"Poetry" wine
incidentally they also have a place called
Poetry Inn (now that's a place to stay at!)

yes, those are the hearts I mentioned

a close up

Monet-type arches

lovely lavender

leaving it all behind

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa (translated "Castle of Love"--how appropriate!) was one of our last ventures before heading back to the daily grind. Call it our fairytale ending! When we arrived at the castle, I nearly had to pinch myself because I thought I was back in Tuscany! There were the same rolling green hills, the same tall, skinny cypresses and a medieval-looking castle right before our very eyes. Apparently, the owner, Sattui, is a self-confessed medieval architecture fanatic who also owns a former monastery and a Medici palace in Italy. Go figure.

the path that winds uphill to the castle

hubby viewing one section of the castle

main entryway

framing the gentleman

herringbone pattern and hubby's legs

one of numerous dragon ironworks

a medieval well
wonder if this is historically accurate?

Wait--they have running water!
What's the well for then?
All jokes aside, I really like this sink.

every castle needs a dungeon

and here it is
a wine dungeon, in lieu of a wine cave
and a knight to stand guard

cool arched ceilings

and candles to light the way

April 17, 2008

Around the House - V

It's been a while since I posted one of these. Just in time for our nine-year anniversary, here is our wedding photo from April 17, 1999! My, does time fly!! We leave tomorrow for our overnight, so have a great weekend!

April 16, 2008

More Thanks

More thanks are in order! This one goes to a gal I mention quite frequently in my posts. You know who you are, and let me just say thank you for your glowing commendations! It's enough to make a girl blush. Stay simple and stay sweet!!

"The Beautiful Life" Indeed

Remember that giveaway I won a few days back? Well, I finally received it yesterday. Take a look! It's possibly the best giveaway ever! They were wrapped so prettily it was almost a shame to have to open them. At least the contents were as pretty as the packaging!



April 14, 2008


I got this fun post idea from Tres Poshe Preppy. This should give you a little more insight as to my style preferences. Due to some technical difficulties, I was unable to align my text correctly above the pictured items. Let's use our imaginations and pretend that all the photos on the left have the title "SO ME" above them and all the photos on the right have "SO NOT ME" above them.