IMint Chocolate Tartine
Happy Autumn and Welcome to The Craine’s Nest!
It’s Fall and for me, that means baking season! Admittedly, I’m not much of a baker, but I am attempting different things and trying to get better at it. Lucky for those of you who are like me, this recipe is one that even the least baker-y of people can embrace! It’s easy, kind of fun, and definitely delicious!
I LOVE Cadbury Chocolate. All of it. The gooey creme filled eggs. The white, milk, and dark chocolate. The mini eggs. It’s all ridiculously good, but their Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar is my absolute favorite. To me, there is no better chocolate on the planet. It’s smooth, it’s rich, and it’s crazy delicious. That’s why, when I decided to do a Chocolate Tartine, there was no question which chocolate I would use. I know dark chocolate has stolen the show as of late, but you know what? I still like milk chocolate better! So… if you’re looking for a really yummy, really simple dessert, then you’ve come to the right place! Anyone can do this. You don’t have to be a baker. It’s a snap AND a crowd pleaser.
Lemon Chocolate Tartine
Image found on Pinterest
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Lately, I’ve been loving… Blush and Copper. This duo combines beautifully, to create a sweet effect in any room or vignette. The sheen of the warm copper sitting beside the blush of the cool pink, is pretty, feminine, and relaxing. Place these lovely mates alongside warm, rich wood, and you strike a peaceful and harmonious visual balance.
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Summer’s in full swing here in Temecula and we’ll be hosting a brunch at our place, this weekend. I’d like to do something different than the usual Mimosa. We’re in a new house, surrounded by life, vegetation, and beauty and I want something more interesting (and more fresh) than store-bought O.J. and sparkling wine. Also, sometimes I like to pretend I’m a chef or drink innovator of some kind and bust out the gourmet ingredients… about 10% of the time this actually works out. The other 90% it’s everyone saying “oh yeah, this is good… mmm… interesting flavors” things like that, and a week later the leftovers are still sitting in the fridge, or drinks are left to melt, half full on the table… but it’s ok, because I still enjoy trying! Luckily, this one turned out. At least in my mind it did. You can try it for yourself and let me know!
We recently discovered a huge rosemary bush that spans about half a city block just behind our back fence line, so I decided that whatever drink I make, that should definitely be incorporated. We’ve come to realize that rosemary grows wild all over this town… it’s a beautiful thing!
So, with all that fresh rosemary in my possession, I’ve decided to do a twist on the classic Mimosa. I’ll be swapping the orange juice with fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit and the sparkling wine for sparkling rose. A rosemary simple syrup and a sprig of fresh rosemary rounds it out. It’s yummy and refreshing!
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I’m finally getting back in the saddle and feeling more myself, after our big move to Temecula. We’ve been here about 6 months now, settled in a bit, made a few friends, and have regained some energy, I’m happy to say!
What I’ve learned: it’s hard moving with a 2 1/2 year old! Hopefully, we’ll stay put for a little while… at least long enough to figure out if Temecula is the place for us.
The people in our family who have decided that Temecula is their beloved home and THE best place they’ve ever lived, are Gabe and Zoe. They love it here. In fact, Zoe asks me regularly, if we “can please stay in ‘Mecula forever?”! Gabe’s made lots of friends and has freedom here that he didn’t have in San Diego (our La mesa neighborhood was a little questionable). His friends come over a lot, so I thought it was time to get his room together and make it something he could be proud of. We worked hard and Gabe loves it.
Hello and welcome to The Craine’s Nest! Thanks for dropping by. Today, I hope to inspire with a quick and easy DIY for your record collection… the one that’s been hanging around your house, looking for somewhere to go, while collecting dust… yeah, that one.
If you’re not a person who has records, ever wanted to have records, or ever even considered buying records, the notion of having so many will sound crazy. But if you’re like us, then read on!
The Lavender Gin Lemon Drop
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10 days to go, and the countdown to Summer has officially begun! Despite Southern California’s “Perennial Summer”, we do experience some of our cloudiest weather, this time of year. Yes- June Gloom has kicked in and while I love cool, cloudy days in January, I find them a bit depressing in June. It’s a little chilly (around 65ish, which is like, totally burrrrr here, in SoCal!) and VERY grey… I know what you’re thinking… “yeah, poor southern Californian… she thinks 65 is cold… there’s probably one cloud in that sunny sky”… but rest assured, it’s REALLY grey. So, while I await the return of the summer sun, I’ll take this opportunity to perfect some refreshing cocktails. When those beautiful days come back, I’ll be armed and ready!
I’ve concocted 2 Lemony Lavender Gin Cocktails, 1 Shaken and 1 Stirred. Perfect for a Summer Party or sipping by the pool. We’re all waiting for you, beautiful Summer Solstice! See you when you get here.
Image by Egle Athari
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A friend of mine recently invited me to join a book club, and while I’ve always thought book clubs would be stuffy and uptight, I’m happy to have found this one is not! For the most part, it’s a great mix of girl talk, good food and drink, and an interesting discussion about the book that we’ve read. The group is made up of creative, entrepreneurial women, which is my comfy little nook, and I like that I’m reading books I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself.
The first book that I read with the group, was Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler. I’m not gonna lie… I was pretty bored for the first hundred pages or so and then, unexpectedly, everything turned around. The novel was suddenly brought to life with imagery and color, when Scott and Zelda, the dynamic duo, moved to New York City. Through many different countries and surroundings, Fowler did a great job of capturing their extraordinary personalities and their crazy, mixed-up love. She recreated environments of the era in beautiful detail, making me feel like I was right there with Scott and Zelda, at the many speakeasies, clubs, and hotels they frequented. With her awesomely vivid descriptions of the style, food, and drink of the day, Fowler created a lively backdrop for an array of colorful characters.
Fowler also included many a Jazz Era Cocktail (mostly all about gin!), such as the Orange Blossom, which is one of the drinks I’ll be revamping here, today. I jotted down all of the drinks as I read through the book, and I’ve put a modern spin on the ones that captured my imagination the most.
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Lately, I’ve been dreaming about Summer. Mostly, the cooler, younger summers of my teen years, spent on the Central Coast of California. I filled many an afternoon, hanging out with friends, getting beautifully bronzed via baby oil (it was the 80’s, what can I say?!!!), and swimming in the salty ocean water. Not a care in the world… it was REALLY fun and sort of heavenly, looking back. Free as a bird and completely oblivious- it’s hard to understand that kind of freedom ’til it’s gone! Soft warm sand, gentle ocean waves, seagulls flying free… I have sweet and happy memories of those sun-kissed days!
Happy Spring and welcome to The Craine’s Nest!
The sun is shining, flowers are in bloom, and Mimosa Season is upon us!
The truth is, while I love the idea of mimosas, I’ve never been a huge fan of the OJ and Sparkling Wine thing… too sweet, too sticky, too much… so this Spring, I’ve been reinventing the traditional version, using fresh ingredients.
Hi there and welcome to The Craine’s Nest!
Today, I’ll be showing you a modern take on gift wrapping that’s perfect for your Spring Occasion. Whether your heading to a wedding, baby shower, or birthday party, you’ll be able to find something in this variety of wrapping options, that works for you. From bohemian to romantic to beachy, these gift wraps are beautiful and unique.
My usual practice is to grab something right before a party, throw it in a bag with some tissue paper, and call it a day… but, I do love wrapping presents (especially if I’m not rushed!), and I had fun creating these packages. Painting the wrap and making the boxes would be a great afternoon project to do with the kids, and if you’re an organized-planner-type, you can do it ahead of time. It’s always nice to have things on hand when you need them. Done in advance or on the spot, you’ll find that even the most practical person, really appreciates a beautifully wrapped gift!
Giving a thoughtfully wrapped present creates a bit of ceremony. The person receiving the gift knows you took the time to make it special, and in turn, takes just a little more time to appreciate it. It’s a “stop and smell the roses” opportunity. Also, having a beautiful package available for a gift to inhabit, might just inspire and motivate you to buy that present ahead of time, instead of rushing to get it at the very last minute!