28 May 2010

{à table: stuffed mushrooms}

I said that I would post on this little side dish HERE, and so...before the weeks pass too long, I thought I should make good with my promise.  Often times, I put so much effort into a main dish, that the side dishes get neglected.  Well, not this night!!  I was craving mushrooms (as usual) and when I came across the below recipe, there was no question what we'd be having for dinner.  And get this...these satisfying, figure friendly, stuffed mushrooms don't even use butter!!

Serves 4 - Calories 63

What you need...
1 box (10 oz) white mushrooms, cleaned
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs (I used garlic + herb flavored
1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Pop the stems off the mushrooms and chop; arrange the mushroom caps in a single layer on the prepared pan.  Reserve 2 tbsp of the scallions for garnish.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped mushroom stems, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

3. Divide the mushroom stem mixture amoung the mushroom caps.  Combine the panko and Parmesan and press the crumbs gentl into the mushroom stem mixture.  Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Garnish with the reserved scallions and serve.

Happy Foodie Friday!!!  Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to pay a little attention to your side dishes. :)



{recipe via CYT}

26 May 2010

{sweet treat tuesday - on wednesday: frozen yogurt, literally}

Last week the temperature was pushing the very high 90's chez moi.  I was craving something sweet, but had a couple of stipulations: 1) no oven, 2) light and fresh dessert, 3) figure friendly, 4) easy, easy easy.  Then, all of the sudden I had remembered a snack that I used to make: frozen yogurt.  How had I forgotten about this simple, yet satisfying dessert?!  I'm sure you've tried this or heard of this...but, in case you've forgotten about it (like me)....then here's a reminder to try this the next time you want to satisfy a sweet tooth. 

What you need...
*Yoplait Whipped Yogurt - your preferred flavor
* Fresh berries
* A little dish

What you do...
*Freeze Whipped Yoplait - preferrably over night
*Take out of freezer and let set for a second (it will help when scooping out)
*Top with fresh berries

Now....of course you can eat it out of the 'carton', but do yourself a little favor and make it special by scooping your dessert into a dish.  Growing up, my grandpa would always say: "never eat breakfast at a fast food place and never put cartons on the table."  Tables are so much prettier and a meal is much more enjoyable when you take an extra moment to 'dress it up'. 

Cheers to a simple and sweet day!!


25 May 2010

{sisterly love}

Hi! Sorry for the week-long delay.  What a fun, but crazy time.  I decided to completely change our house.  I went through every room and rearranged furniture, added things, purged things, finally unpacked most all of our boxes and even cleared out our garage!  {silent applause...}

Then, this weekend, I got on a plane and headed home to surprise one of my sisters (Suzette)....for her HS Graduation!!  She was definitely surprised... 

...Her shocked but happy face was more than a million words.  My youngest sister, Liberty, was definitely instrumental in helping arrange all the little details.  Last night was her graduation and she was glowing (and looking much older than just having completed high school).  I'm so glad to have been a part of that moment.

Here are some moments captured after the ceremony...

{My funny, beautiful and smart sisses: Suzette + Liberty}

{The proud parents...}

{the beloved grand-mere: Meme}

{the three of us...}

I'm excited to say that I'll be spending about a month here...and travelling around the area.  Yay for family time!! {...And yay for escaping the Texas heat.} :) I'll try to keep up on my posting, but don't be surprised if it's a bit wrapped up in my travels...


xx, Naphtali

18 May 2010

{sweet treat tuesday: caraway cookies}

Not long ago, I posted a delicious cookie recipe for Rosemary and Lemon tea cookies.  They were a huge hit, and so when I came across this recipe, using caraway seeds, I had to try it out.  Now...admittedly, this was my first time using caraway seeds and though the experience was fun, I will probably not use them again, in this recipe.  I know, right?! What am I saying?? I'm showing you a recipe that I won't use again?  Crazy. truth - I really do think this is a great, fun and unique cookie (just taste specific).  SO...if you're not partial to caraway...try POPPY SEEDS!  They would be a GREAT variation!

Caraway Cookies

2 Cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 Cups sugar
1 egg, beaten*
2 Tbsp caraway seeds** (variation Poppy Seeds)
Raw sugar, for sprinkling (optional)***

1) Lightly grease cookie sheet(s) with butter.
2) Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

3) Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the beaten egg for brushing and add the rest into the mixture*, together with the caraway seeds.  Bring together to form a soft dough.
4) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cookie dough thinly and then cut out rounds (about 36).
5) Transfer the cookies to the cookie sheets, brush with the reserved beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.
6) Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until cookies are crisp and lightly golden in color.
7) Let cookies cool on a wire rack.

*I put the entire egg into my mixture (as the dough was too dry).  I then prepared another egg for brushing. 
**Caraway Seeds have a very nutty and anise flavor.  They are VERY taste specific.  For a variation, try substituting Poppy Seeds.  In fact, next time, I will, as I wasn't a huge fan of the flavor.
***If you use the Caraway Seeds - definitely sprinkle on the raw sugar.  For my personal taste, it helps with the unusual flavor.

Happy Tuesday!!  Make this day sweet....

17 May 2010

{pms smoothie}

The other day I was flipping channels and happened upon the show, Doctors.  Have you seen it? I never have.  I would have kept flipping, but just as I tuned in, they were showing a recipe to cure PMS.  Of course, I had to watch. Now, I think if it were a true cure, then there would be much more hype and it, but I can see the validity in the drink actually reducing symptoms. 

Study after study was conducted regarding PMS.  A result of the surveys, case studies and research was a PMS Smoothie.  Of course you'll have used these ingredients before, if you've ever attempted a smoothie, but apparently the blend of these items together is the key. This nutritious drink if full of magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. 

• 1 cup low-fat yogurt
• 8 oz. orange juice
• 1 cup fresh strawberries
• 1 banana
• 1 tablespoon molasses (or to taste)

Add ingredients to blender and blend approximately 45 seconds. Add ice if necessary. 

What I love about this smoothie, is it uses all natural ingredients (not powders, fillers, etc.) ...just the way I like it.

Come on...admit it.  You've been there before: moody, anxious, tense, bloated... So, when it's that time of month - try this (and then let me know what you thought)!! 

Happy Monday Lovelies {hope you all had a splendid weekend}!

recipe source | photo source

14 May 2010

{à table: spaghetti squash spaghetti}

It's Food Friday again!! How has this week passed so quickly?!

One of Mister's love languages is service (though I believe that must be a common one between most men, and of course, moms).  Either way, I knew that he'd be in the field and training so long, that I wanted to make a special dinner.  One of his favorites is spaghetti, but as I'm trying to cut my calorie intake, I wanted to find a solution that would satisfy both of us.  Thankfully I happened upon a fantastic recipe.  The solution....

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Taking out the pasta cuts our normal meal from about 550 calories (if not more) to just 300 calories (if not less)...depending on your portion control!

What you need:
1 Large spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 Cups prepared marinara sauce
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop and discard all seeds.  Rub the squash inside and out with 1 Tbsp of oil and season the inside with salt and pepper.  Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foi.  Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until the rind is slightly soft and gives with a little pressure.

3. With a fork, scrape the flesh out into an oven proof bowl, creating the thin strands of "spaghetti".  Cover and keep warm in a very low oven.  this can be done ahead and rewarmed in a low oven or microwave.

4. **Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic.  Stir until the garlic is lightly golden, about 30 seconds, then add the marinara sauce and simmer until warm.

5.  Place the squash strands in 4 pasta bowls, top with the sauce and sprinkle with the cheese.  Serve immediately. 

**I made a "chunkier" version of my homemade spaghetti to fully satisfy Mister, but either way - the squash is delicious with sauce.  I didn't miss the pasta one bit!!!

{You may notice the stuffed mushrooms in the picture too.  Don't fret - I'll be sharing that recipe very soon!!}


Happy Friday and wonderful weekend to all of you fantastic people!!

{recipe courtesy CYT}

13 May 2010

{belgian leek tart}

What a week.  To let you in on a little secret {or not so much of a secret}...Mister leaves tomorrow for training. What does this mean? This means that we will be away from each other for nearly 2 months.  Ugh.  I know families face this all the time, in our line of life, but it doesn't make it easier.  Mister is my best friend.  I'm amazed daily at how blessed I am to be married to such a man.  So....I'm not looking forward to these next couple of months, help....I'm heading back to my parents and friends in Boise, ID (for the entire month of June)!!  I'll fill you in more about that later.  For now, since my mind is a bit occupied, and I've decided to repost this gem of a recipe {from a previous blog I managed}. 

Belgian Leek Tart with Aged Goat Cheese {Flamiche Aux Poireaux}

 what you need...

crust --  
 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

filling --

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled aged goat cheese (such as Bûcheron), rind trimmed
1 1/2 cups Leek Confit 

what you do --

**crust --
1) Combine 4 tablespoons ice water and cider vinegar in small bowl.
2) Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3) With machine running, slowly add water-vinegar mixture, processing until moist clumps form. If dough seems dry, add ice water by teaspoonfuls.
4) Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours. 
5) Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.
6) Roll dough out on lightly floured work surface to 12-inch round.
7) Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides. Fold in overhang and press to extend dough 1/2 inch above sides of pan.
8) Line pan with foil and dried beans or pie weights.
9) Bake until dough looks dry and set, about 30 minutes.
10 Remove foil and beans and continue to bake until crust is pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
11) Remove from oven and cool while preparing filling. 

filling --
1) Whisk milk, cream, egg, egg yolk, and salt in medium bowl to blend.
2) Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over bottom of warm crust.
3) Spread leek confit over and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
4) Pour milk mixture over. 

bake until filling has puffed, is golden in spots, and center looks set, ( 35-40 minutes). Transfer to rack; cool slightly. Remove pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.   

**Dough can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Allow dough to soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.}

Enjoy and Happy Thursday to you all!! 

{P.S. You can find a picture of my meringues over at Simply Grove today!!}

{recipe courtesy Bon Appetit}

12 May 2010


I may just read the day away....{and I'm okay with that}! 


11 May 2010

{sweet treat tuesday: brown sugar meringues}

I've posted on meringues before {see HERE}, and it seemed to cause a little stir.  People either love them or hate them. Me?! I love them.  They are addictive.  No guilt though, peeps...the recipe I'm about to show you can be guilt free.  These cookies are a mere 11 calories!!

Ingredients ~

*3 egg whites
*Pinch of salt
*1/2 cup of light brown sugar
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to do ~ 

1) Preheat the oven to 225 degrees

2) Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or silicone sheet

3) In a large standing mixer fitted with a whisk, or a hand-held mixer, beat the egg whites and salt on high speed until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar slowly while beating, a few spoonfuls at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shinny (about 3-5 minutes).  Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

4) Using a large tablespoon, drop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet in the shape of kisses - about 2 inches apart.  Or cut the corner off a large plastic bag, filled with meringue, and squeeze out the kisses. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

5) Turn the oven off and keep the door ajar.  Let cool for 1 hour in the oven.  Store in a tin or wrap loosely in aluminum foil; do not store in plastic wrap or glass or the cookies will become soggy. 

6) Try not to eat all of the meringues in one setting. :)

Happy Tuesday and...make this day sweet!!

{recipe: cyt }

09 May 2010

{happy birthday, brother}

{You know the fashion rule: "before leaving the house, take a look in the mirror and remove one thing..." Well, I think that principle could easily apply to the blog world at times.  And, I really think that it should have applied to the post below.  Maybe one too many pictures?! But, you have to understand...I am overly proud of my little brother.  Overly.  So...I couldn't help but show some of these proud memories! Hopefully, it won't be too hard to endure.... :) }

My best friend growing up???  Undoubtedly, my brother!

I always hear stories of siblings fighting, but not us.  We were inseparable, best friends who always stuck up for each other.  I remember always wanting him to succeed.  Let me put it this school, our teachers ended up putting us on the same sporting team (or any team for that matter) because if not, we would  deliberately sabotage our own that the other would win.  I know - crazy, but true.  True as can be.  

Here are some fun memories of my bubba/boomer/brother...

 {our first day of school...yes, that's the same lunch box. Ha!}

{how cute is my brother's smile?!}
 {fun in the sun}

{our favorite vacation spot - Oregon Coast}
{our pastime activity}

{banquet at our sophomore year of university}

{dancing at my wedding}

Boomer~ I couldn't ask for a better brother or friend.  Thank you for sticking up for me and loving me continually.  You know how to live life to the fullest and to pursue your dreams, while still giving and loving those around you. Even though we're far a part, I know that we're still close in heart.  Happy Birthday! ~ Sissy*

And to all you dear hearts that endured this personal post....I wish you the loveliest of Mondays!!
xx, Naphtali

*He always called me Sister.  Always.  And maybe that's because my name isn't the easiest to pronounce for a kid. :)

{i love you, maman!}

{my mom pulling my brother and me.  admittedly, i'm the baby sucking my thumb.}

Maman ~

Thank you for being my hero, confident, friend, sounding board, teacher, inspiration, biggest supporter, dreamer, lifeline and prayer support.  Thank you for teaching me french, to cook, to love, to listen, to appreciate change, to not judge, to treasure memories and to love people {especially the French}. Thank you for loving me, unconditionally.

Je t'aime, maman ! 

07 May 2010

{à table: chicken à la tomato sauce}

For this week's Foodie Friday, I have a super simple dinner for you!  I actually didn't plan on posting this, but the other night when I served up dinner...Mister was so happy with it, that he said I had share.

You know those days...when you don't want to fuss over the stove; think about a satisfying dish for everyone; don't have time to go to the store? Well, that's what I was feeling.  I raided my pantry, freezer  and fridge and had a vague remembrance of a dish that I had tasted years prior.  I knew what I was going to serve!  Chicken à la tomato sauce ~

Like I said, I raided my rations, so you can do the same.  There are a ton of different variations to this, and actually there's probably a proper recipe out there.  But, I just figured out something with what I had on hand...

*Chicken Breast(s) - I used three. Leftovers are a blessing (even if you do like to cook!!!)
*1 large can crushed tomatoes
*1 small can tomato sauce - or crushed tomatoes (whatever you have/want)
*Magi Sauce (I always have this on hand, but you could equally use Worcestershire sauce.)
* 1-2 Tbsp Sour Cream (Or creme fraiche or even plain yogurt!)
*Fresh basil
*Parmesan cheese
*1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
*Garlic Powder (of course, you can use fresh garlic...I just didn't have any)
*Salt + Pepper

1) Season both sides of chicken (Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder)
2) In a deep pot, medium heat, add the olive oil and sear both sides of the chicken (until a good "crust"/browning has occurred). 
3) Cover seared chicken with tomato sauce, splash in sauce magi (or whatever you're using). 
4) Add lid on pot and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 45 min - 1hr (depending on thickness of Chicken).  Stir every so often.
5) Stir in a bit of fresh basil.  (I added some about 10 minutes before serving.  You could do it earlier or at very end.) 
6) When chicken is cooked through, turn off heat and stir in sour cream
7) Serve over rice (which I had).  I originally would have suggested pasta, but honestly the rice was so yummy with the, I'll probably do this again.  
8) Top with fresh basil and Parmesan Cheese. 

As I said...a hundred variations.  I might try a few new things next time, but then again, Mister was so happy with it - so, maybe I won't!

Happy Friday, weekend, kitchen times...and (of course) à table !


{The picture was an I said, I didn't plan on posting this!}

06 May 2010


J'aime etsy ! many great products. 

j'aime fun clocks via urban spoon...

j'aime pretty earrings via down and out chic (also a daily blog inspiration!!)...

j'aime this box that's used as a prop, via flores des sol. Even though it's not for sale :(...

j'aime this alphabet print via sycamore street press...

j'aime this jug light by tbD (so fantastic!!)...

Hope you are inspired today and are finding things that you "aime"!!


05 May 2010


Saw these adorable cuddlies over at Table Tonic and couldn't help but repost.  I don't have a wee one, but have plenty of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who would look adorable with this accessory!!

{happy cinco de mayo!!}

In my preference, I'd be French every day {as I'm sure you're sick of hearing}, but in honor of this day...and my "almost-Mexico" new city: Happy Cinco de Mayo!

In truth, since moving here, I have been inspired to try new versions and new recipes  of yummy Mexican food.  So...what's more appropriate than celebrate today with a fantastic recipe?!  I found this via Epicurious and wow - this is so good, so fast and could be changed up a million different ways ( know what I mean).  You can make this healthier, naughtier...whatever you fancy. 

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 pound tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (I never buy iceberg, so substituted bib)
  • 6 large radishes, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat coarsely shredded (4 cups)
  • 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 (1-pound) can refried beans, heated
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso añjo (aged white cheese, also called cotija) or ricotta salata

04 May 2010

{sweet treat tuesday: rosemary cookies}

As with most things, I love the idea of baking.  I love it much more than cooking, but I married a man that prefers savory over sweet. (WHAT?!) Mister kindly eats all my creations, but no need to compromise because I found a perfect treat that works for the both of us!  Not too sweet and not too savory: Rosemary cookies. 

Don't be afraid of rosemary while baking!! It's a fun change and would be absolutely belle chic to serve with an afternoon of ladies....

Here's what you do:

2 Tbsp butter, softened
4 Tbsp sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
4 Tbsb lemon juice
1 egg, separated
2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 3/4 C all-pupose flour, sifted
superfine sugar, for sprinkling - optional (I used raw sugar)

1) Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
2) In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3) Add the lemon rind and juice, then the egg yolk, and beat until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Stir the chopped fresh rosemary.
4) Add the sifted flour mixing well until a soft dough is formed.  Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

{I LOVE how pretty the dough looks with the rosemary and lemon zest peaking through!!!}

5) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough thinly and stamp out about 25 cookies with a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter.  Arrange the dough on the prepared cookie sheets.

{I used a pretty cookie cutter to create the scallopped edges...}

6) In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg white over the surface of each cookie, then sprinkle with a little sugar, if desired.
7) bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
8) Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.

{Simply arranged on my beautiful French plate....they're ready for serving!}

Not only are they perfect....because of the chic ingrediants and taste; they are perfect because they are totally european in style! And trust me, any time I can pretend to be from Europe, I do. {For proof see HERE and HERE.}
A typical household staple in Europe (at least in the past) were small butter cookies or other such 'harder' cookies (often found in a tin). When I lived in France, it was common to take one's afternoon tea with a little cookie - one that wasn't too sweet, but perfectly satisfied and easily complimented a hot drink.

Impress your friends, family and even yourself with these super fast, easy and yummy treats, that are a perfect compliment to afternoon tea!

Happy kitchen times...

P.S. Mister hasn't stopped eating these up!!! 

{recipe - cookshelf baking, Emma Patmore; photos - my own}

03 May 2010

{a litte of this, a little of that}

This weekend, I did a little of this....I watched a little of that....And I purchased some of these....
As I stopped blogging for so long, not sure if you remember my post about these cloth un-paper towels....but, I've wanted them for so long!  I finally decided that it was time.  I hope I'm as happy with them as I've been dreaming of. Mister and I have been trying to be more aware of our waste, and our over use of paper towels has been getting on my nerves.  Hopefully these BirdE towels will be the answer to our quest.  On verra*...

What did you do this weekend?

*on verra = we'll see (literally "one will see")

02 May 2010

{black | white}

I have never (and will never) claim to be a designer or even claim to know what I'm doing.  I do, however, recognize what I like.  Since - forever - my favorite look in home and clothes has been black and white (ok, ok...and a ton of grey!).  I love the classy, chic appearance and love how other colors can pop with the combination.  I had to take note (again) while looking through the ever inspiring Apartment Therapy yesterday.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of this fantastic duo...

note that amazing door....

I know that there's a lot I can do now (as a renter) to decorate to my design preference....but, oh! I'll be so over-joyed to own my own home and really go crazy...(like paint a door, just like that first photo)!

Happy Sunday!

{all photo's via AT}

01 May 2010

{derby darling}

Anyone else watching the derby? Looks quite wet there...but, who cares when you can darn a hat and sip a sweet drink? I think I'd quite like to be a derby darling, today.



{laundry day}

Actually, in truth, I don't have a specific laundry day, but, as I was not in the mood to do any house chores this week, I am facing them now. I've always loved the idea of a clothes line, but our current dusty back yard would just make more work for me (as this wind hasn't died down since we moved here). That's okay though (don't feel too bad for me), I'm fairly certain that our humble clothes wouldn't look quite as nice as this romantic layout above.  So, I'll happily just dream about a random clothes line, graced with lacey frocks and strung up in a lush forest...



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