Friday, January 28, 2011

The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee;
A clover, anytime, to him is aristocracy.
Emily Dickinson

Honey of A Carrot Cake

6 eggs
2 cups honey 2 oz. softened butter
3 cups milk 5-1/3 cups Biscuit mix (1 lb. 8 oz.)
1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon 1 ½ tbsp. Nutmeg
3 ¾ cups Grated carrot (12 oz.)
3 cups Dried unsweetened coconut (8 oz.)
Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe below)

Beat together eggs, honey and butter until well combined; beat in milk. Reserve. Stir together biscuit mix, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat into reserved honey mixture until just combined. Stir in carrot and coconut. Pour into greased and floured 20” X 12” X 2” baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees F. until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean, about 50 minutes. Cool: spread with frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together 12 oz. softened cream cheese with 6 oz. (1/2 cup) honey until smooth.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rio San Trovaso and palace : Color photochrome print.

Bigoli in salsa (Venetian spaghetti with sauce)

Ingredients: one onion, one garlic clove, extra virgin olive oil, one tin of anchovies (or salted sardines)
Thinly slice onion and garlic, making them wilt in oil and very little water (onion needs to remain white). Get rid of salt from sardines by washing them under running water (or use anchovies from tin without conserving oil). Cut them all in small pieces and let them cook with onions for 5 minutes together with an added hot chilly pepper, which will be removed in the end. Finally, a dash of white wine; when wine is evaporated, pour onto spaghetti, cooked al dente and strained well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Simple Rustic Bread Recipe

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/4 cups water
3 teaspoons yeast
3 cups unbleached bread flour, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Combine the water, yeast and 1 cup of flour; stir to form a batter. Allow to ferment for 1 hour.

Add the remaining 2 cups of flour along with the salt and knead the dough for 10-12 minutes.

Place the dough in a bowl at room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Dust a baking sheet with the cornmeal. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently shape it into a ball. Place it on the baking pan and cover with a towel. Allow it to rise for 1 hour.

Position the oven rack to the center of the oven and place a shallow pan of water directly on the oven floor. Preheat the oven to 425F.

Using a sharp knife, slash the loaf and put it in the oven. Bake the bread for about 20-30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack or towel to cool before slicing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Best wishes for a cozy weekend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

  • Barcelona Hot Chocolate

  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 ounces good-quality dark or bittersweet (60 to 70 percent cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 2-inch piece orange rind strip
  • 1/4 cup whipped topping
  • Cocoa powder

Combine 2/3 cup boiling water and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan, stirring until chocolate melts. Add milk and next 5 ingredients; cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk. Heat 5 minutes or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan, stirring frequently (do not boil). Discard rind. Pour 1 cup mixture into each of 4 mugs. Spoon 1 tablespoon whipped topping over each serving. Dust with cocoa powder.

Recipe from Cooking Light

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Penne Frittata with Basil and Ricotta
Makes one 10-inch frittata; Serves 10 to 12


* 6 large eggs

* 1/2 c whole milk

* 1/2 c fresh ricotta cheese

* 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

* 3 cups cooked and drained penne rigate pasta (from 7 ounces dry)

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

* Garnish: fresh basil


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together eggs, milk, ricotta, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in cooked pasta and chopped basil.
2. Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat bottom and sides of skillet. Pour in egg mixture, and cook until edges are just beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until eggs are completely set, 10 to 12 minutes. Invert onto a plate, and re-invert onto a serving dish. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Garnish with basil.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim

Hot Spiced Tea
3 c water
1 3″ piece of ginger, cut into large discs
4 black tea bags
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1/2 t black peppercorns
2 c milk
2 T honey

In a large covered saucepan, bring the water and ginger to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add in tea bags, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, and milk and continue to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until fragrant and dark. Taste. If not strong enough for your liking, let simmer longer. Strain to remove solids and whisk in honey and return to heat so that the honey melts into the tea. Divide into mugs and serve hot.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"To the world you may be just one person,
but to one person, you may be the world."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We so enjoyed our visit to Curacao in November. It is a lovely island to visit. While exploring Punda, don't miss the Floating Market. All along the Sha. Caprileskade, just around the corner from the Handelskade, you will find one of Curaçao's most famous and picturesque sights. Venezuelan merchants selling their fresh produce from small fishing boats. During the days they spend on Curacao island between their trips to and from Venezuela, their authentic fishing boats double as living quarters. Nearby on the plaza Jo Jo Correa there is often a small artisans' market featuring local crafts.

Island Taxi Curacao Cocktail Recipe

1 oz Light Rum (Havana Club if you can get it)
1 oz Curacao
1 1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
dash of Simple Syrup
sugar for the rim
lime wheel for garnish

1. Chill a cocktail glass. Moisten the rim with a piece of lime, then sugar the rim.

2. Add your cocktail ingredients to a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lime wheel. Lick & sip.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

  • Chai-Buttermilk Spice Cake

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 6 chai tea bags
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Pour boiling water over tea bags in a bowl; steep 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags; cool to room temperature.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in brewed tea and vegetable oil. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-third of egg whites into batter; gently fold in remaining egg whites. Spoon batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Édouard Manet, Fish (Still Life), 1864
oil on canvas, 32.1 x 73.4 cm, The Art Institute of Chicago

Bouillabaisse for the Rest of Us

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 small fennel bulb, stalks discarded, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 cups chopped canned tomatoes, with their juice
2 T Pernod, or other anise flavored liqueur
2 strips of orange zest, about 1/4-inch by 3 inches
2 T chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
1/4 t dried tarragon
3 or 4 saffron threads, crumbled
1/8 t cayenne pepper
4 cups fish or chicken stock, or water
2 lbs white-fleshed fish fillets, such as red snapper, sole, cod and/or halibut, cut into chunks
1 lb lobster, crab, shrimp and/or scallops
16 slices French bread, toasted and rubbed with a halved piece of garlic
1/4 cup chopped basil

Heat 3 T olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, fennel and garlic over medium heat until softened, but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add wine, increase heat, and simmer until wine is reduced by half. Stir in tomatoes, Pernod, orange zest, parsley, bay leaves, tarragon, saffron and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, until flavors are blended. Add stock, return to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add fish to pot, and cover. Gently cook for 5 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Add shellfish and cook for 5 more minutes, or until done. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of oil.

Place a couple pieces of toast in each serving bowl. Ladle stew over toast and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Afternoon Tea.

Classic Victoria Sandwich

knob of butter, melted

8oz/225g butter, softened

8oz/225g caster sugar

4 large free-range eggs

8oz/225g self-raising flour, sifted (you may need a bit extra)

For the filling:

6 tbsp good-quality strawberry jam

280ml/10 fl oz heavy/double cream, lightly whipped

To serve:

icing sugar, for dusting

For this sponge cake recipe, you'll need two 15cm-17.5cm/6in-7in cake tins

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  • Gently heat the knob of butter in a pan and brush two 6in-7in/15cm-17.5cm cake tins with the melted butter. Line the bottom of the two cake tins with a circle of greaseproof paper.

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, using an electric whisk or a wooden spoon. Beat well to get lots of air into the mixture (this should take a couple of minutes).

  • Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add a tablespoon of flour if the mixture curdles.

  • Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon. Be careful not to over-mix it.

  • Pour the mixture equally between the two cake tins and level off the top with a spatula. Make a slight dip in the center with the tip of the spatula if you don't want them to be pointed in the middle.

  • Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently with a finger and are pale golden in color.

  • Remove from the oven and take them out of the tins after about 5-10 minutes. Place them on a wire rack, remove the greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely (for about half an hour).

  • Spread the sponge with the jam and the whipped cream, then carefully sandwich together.

  • Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Feminine Home Magazine

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Vintage Rose Collection

Monday, January 3, 2011


This is a classic hot toddy (1 part dark spirit to 3 parts boiling water, sweetened) with a few tweaks. I used rye instead of the typical bourbon or whiskey, raw sugar instead of white, and I slipped in a few dried cherries and some lime zest to scent the drink. It's a revitalizing antidote post-snow-shoveling, or post-holiday-anything. By the time you reach the bottom of the mug, the cherries are plumped up and boozy. Drink and treat in one -- cheers!

  • 2-inch-long piece lime zest
  • 4 dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 2 ounces rye (or other dark spirit)
  • 6 ounces boiling water
  1. In a mug, combine the lime zest, dried cherries, and sugar. Add the rye. Pour in the boiling water, and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Sip and enjoy!