It’s been a while and I’m excited to be back! Today, I will share an easy-to-make Valentine’s Day Dessert.
I’ve missed writing and being here, and my plan is to dedicate a whole lot more time to The Craine’s Nest, this year. I have a good feeling about 2018, and I’m excited to work hard on this project, so that it might catapult to the next level. Come along for the ride and please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, and suggestions… maybe collaborations?! I would love to hear from you!
Here’s a short and sweet post on a breakfast you can throw together and feel good about. Today on the menu, Avocado Toast with Poached Egg, Lime, and Chopped Rosemary. It’s easy, delicious, and healthy.
Hope you’re enjoying some cool breezy Fall weather. Here, in Temecula, we’re still in the dead heat of what feels like an eternal Summer but today, I’m locking my self in my air-conditioned house and pretending it’s cold outside! It’s supposed to be 98 degrees on Thanksgiving, but I’ll still be making this yummy cold weather dessert… my Granny smith Apple and Strawberry Crumble with Maldon salted Toffee Sauce. For those of you getting snow, with a fire going, and your warm cozy socks on, grab a hot toddy, and let’s start baking (I wish I was there with you)!
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.
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.
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!
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 I’ve regained some of my energy, 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 iffey). 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.
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 (like 65ish, which is 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.
A friend of mine recently invited me to join a book club, and while I’ve always thought book clubs might 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 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.