Friday, July 29, 2011

{friday cocktail: ginger sour}

I have been wanting to use our bottle of Domaine de Canton, french ginger liqueur, to make a cocktail for some time.  So far we have only used it topped with champagne or as a small addition to other cocktail recipes.  I found this recipe on Domaine de Canton's website which has about 50 other cocktail recipes using the liqueur.  This recipe calls for a half ounce of simple syrup which I completely forgot to add when making the cocktail and it turned out great.  I would actually say that the addition of simple syrup would make this cocktail far too sweet, here is the website without it:


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{diy projects tab}

Check it out! I created a Diy projects tab so that you can more easily navigate some of the past DIY projects I have posted here!

I did this especially for you. You are welcome.

{highly refined jello shots}


A few months ago, I saw a post about Jelly Test Kitchen on Martha Stewart's Everyday food blog and I have wanted to try out one of their many amazing recipes ever since.  Last weekend we had some friends over to check out our rooftop pool and have some tacos- what better to go with the tacos than cucumber margarita jello shots? I followed their recipe here.

 {"shot" alongside the cayenne salt}

I cannot stress enough how easy these were to make; in total it took me maybe 7 minutes.  The most time consuming part was tying the cucumber garnish around the shots: and truth be told, I would completely skip this step if I was you.  While the cucumber tie garnishes are super fancy and pretty in pictures, they didn't really taste all that great with the texture of the jello.  After we taste-tested one, I decided to just place a small sliver of peeled cucumber on top of the shots and this was far less time consuming and complimented the texture much better!

Monday, July 25, 2011

{raspberry ricotta scones}

I have always loved the sweeter side of breakfast like french toast or fruit & yogurt, but my favorite thing is a really good fresh baked scone.  Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe for Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta scones last week and I immediately went out to pick up the ingredients.  These were incredibly  quick to prepare (about 10 minutes to make up the dough) and the result was sweet and moist even though the recipe uses whole wheat flour. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

{friday cocktail: boxcar}

For this Friday's cocktail, I wanted to try out a recipe from the 1960s Esquire Drink Book that I surprised Chris with earlier this week.  This cocktail is very similar to a Ramos Gin Fizz and the Signora Lavender that was on here a while back.  Still not sure how I feel about the sugar rim, but I am 100% on board with any cocktail containing egg white:


Thursday, July 21, 2011

{a little recent shopping}

My recent trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a little shopping.  One place I always go to, even though we have multiple locations in Los Angeles, is the massive Zara in Union Square.  Here are some of the things I picked up this past weekend:

I am pretty weak when it comes to anything with bows on it, especially shoes. These studded bow slingbacks were a great sale find at Zara and I cant wait to wear them this holiday season.  The best part about them is the heel is just bit shorter at 3 inches than most of my heels so I am hoping these will be super comfortable all night long.

I was lucky to find this purse serverely marked down which is great because I have been looking for a bigger purse that I can bring out with me and not have to worry about setting it on the floor or someone spilling a drink on it because it didn't cost a fortune.

I picked up these multi color stripe grosgrain ribbons at Britex and plan to use them for an upcoming DIY project I have in mind.  I also never miss their basket of sale buttons which is where I found these two different types of gold crest buttons.  I plan to switch out some of the more generic buttons on my cardigans with these.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{etsy finds: tassel keychain decisions!}

I have been searching for a leather tassel keychain for some time now. (don't ask me where this want came from, I have no idea I just know that I need one asap).   I found a few on Etsy, but now I am having trouble deciding which one to purchase!  Here are the ones on the short list:

So far I am leaning towards this last one and I am kind of shocked that all the tassel keychains on Etsy seem to be $30, weird.

{gift idea for the guys}

The other day I was reading an article in Esquire, which is actually Chris' magazine subscription but I enjoy it as well, and it mentioned some old school cocktail books that Esquire had published back in the 1950s and 60s.  A quick search on Amazon and I was able to find both Esquire's Drink Book (available here) and Esquire's Guide to Modern Etiquette (available here).  I ordered both of these books which were listed in "vintage" condition as a little surprise for Chris.

 {the cocktail book which didn't come with a dust jacket}

By far the best part about vintage books is when you find ones that have personal notes written inside the cover. Both of the books I purchased had been given as gifts in their past lives and had cute little notes written inside. The Drink Guide even has notes throughout the pages near some of the recipes:

 {the original gift giver's note inside the cover}

 {original owner's recipe notes written throughout the cocktail book}

While the drink book was clearly something Chris would be interested in, the etiquette book was given more as a joke and it is absolutely hilarious let me tell you.  Here are some choice 1950s etiquette quotes from the book regarding different types of social affairs:

"The Luncheon: Even a guy who doesn't know what time it is can tell the different between Luncheon and Dinner.  The menu is lighter.  There are no candles on the table. Placemats or colored cloths are used in the place of the conventional dinner damask."

"The Ball: Only the very, very rich -and the old rich at that- have ballrooms at their homes these days, so if you are invited to a ball it will probably be held at a club or hotel. The invitation will read "At Home" regardless."

If you are looking for a gift for a guy in your life, I highly recommend a vintage cocktail book since most of the recipes are still relevant today. The Esquire one is great, but if you need more ideas check out this extremely extensive list.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{fashion illustration by Inslee]

I have always loved whimsical fashion illustration, especially Ruben Toldeo's drawings for Nordstrom. While browsing around on Pinterest, I came across another extremely talented illustrator, Inslee by Design.  She has a fabulous blog where she sketches images of friends and celebrities or showcases some of her custom comissions. She also has very affordable selection of prints and notecards in her shop. Clearly,  I am obsessed already.

{a framed print from her shop}

{all images via Inslee by Design}

{spicy coconut milk & squash soup}

After coming across Budget Bytes recipe for Spicy Pumpkin & Coconut Milk soup while waiting for our flight in the airport this past Sunday, we both decided this would be an easy and comforting meal to make after a long weekend vacation.  Although we substituted the pumpkin for squash and we added granny smith apples for garnish, we basically followed this recipe.   This soup by far yields 6 servings and we are attempting to freeze the leftovers to see how well that works out.

{yes, I realize the soup resembles a big bowl of cheese}

Monday, July 18, 2011

{a weekend in san francisco}

Chris and I spent the weekend up in San Francisco with the rest of my family to celebrate my Mom's birthday.  Here are some photos from our weekend (a few of these were taken with Instagram on my brand new iphone!):

 {the view from our room at the Grand Hyatt in Union Square}

 {a pin I made with The Curiousity Shoppe inside Madewell}

 {newly installed "urban gardens" on Powell Street}

 {a little champagne before dinner}

{the birthday girl}

{rigatoni w/ wild boar & white truffle at Firenze in North Beach}

Friday, July 15, 2011

{friday cocktail: big mak}

Chris was also a groomsmen in the wedding party I posted about earlier this week.  He received by far one of the coolest groomsmen gifts ever, the groom created a book using of all his favorite cocktail recipes and gave that to all the guys along with a beautiful crystal rocks glass from Tiffany & Co.  For this Friday's cocktail, I bring you one of the recipes from The Cocktail Companion: Drinks for the Discerning Gentleman called a Big Mak: