Deeply delicious

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | | 22 comments
I’m certain I’ve shared my love for Ina Garten and her fabulous talents  Not to mention how I wish I were her or at least related.  If I can’t be her, I’ll just copy her J

This recipe was shared with me by a sweet bloggy friend, Suburban Princess.  Because of this recipe, we now have a love hate relationship. J I LOVE that she shared it and all its chocolaty goodness. I HATE that it’s so darn good it calls my name and taunts me until I eat more than my share {the whole darn thing!}

It is AMAZING! Don’t let the process scare you. It’s actually really easy. With that said, you do need to follow the steps and don’t take short cuts. The custard really needs to chill until its completely cooled.  The other *must do* is making sure your ice cream maker bowl is frozen. I actually keep mine in the freezer at all times so that I don’t have any additional wait time.
Deeply Chocolate Gelato
Adapted from Ina Garten
2 ¼ cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream

3/4cup sugar, divided
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 extra large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. Kahlua
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt
8 ounces, roughly chopped good chocolate *optional
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Heat the milk, cream, and ½ cup sugar in a 2-quart saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the milk starts to simmer. Add the cocoa powder and the chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Remove from heat.

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Place the egg yolks and the remaining ¼ cup sugar in a mixer bowl and beat on high for 3-5 minutes until light yellow and thick. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture in the egg mixture. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture back in the saucepan and cook over med-low heat until thick. Stir constantly. A candy thermometer will register about 189 degrees. Don’t allow the mixture to boil.

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Pour mixture into a bowl and add Kahlua, vanilla, and salt. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on tip the custard and chill completely.



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Pour the custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Stir in the roughly chopped chocolate, if using, and freeze in covered containers.


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Allow gelato to thaw slightly before serving.

There is no way this batch will be around when my husband returns since I'll be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I'm linking up with Miz Helen and This Chick Cooks today. 
 Please stop by for a peek at some other yummy recipes.


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Sunday Brunch

Monday, June 27, 2011 | | 13 comments

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There is a sweet little hidden spot not far from our home that hosts not only a fabulous brunch but also beautiful gardens. They also do amazing dinners that I hope to enjoy one date night soon.

We stole away for a little visit to this beautiful spot on a sunny Sunday in the early afternoon. It was the perfect day in every way.

The sun was out
There was a slight breeze
Sweet summer dresses were a must
and slowing down life {even if only for a short time} was required!

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Picnik collage

Our reservations were shortly after church. This was the perfect time as I always seem to be quiet internally at this time so the transition was very enjoyable.

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I've always admired the color yellow on homes. It's just so welcoming. There are two buildings on the Stonecroft property. They offer over night and weekend package deals. We live so close that it wouldn't be much of a getaway for us but I think we are missing out on a special treat.
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During our meal we were entertained by a gregarious 3year old who was designated the family photographer for the day. It was too funny ~ she actually knew what she was doing and took several good shots.

This place knows what they are doing when it comes to working with families. They have a lovely lush large lawn with a big basket of games for the children {big and small} to keep them entertained so that all guaranteed a relaxing visit. I myself wanted to join the croquet game that was just about to begin.

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Our time together {as husband and wife} has been minimal lately. My husband has been on travel or out at sea A LOT this year. I don't share about that often as I'm a little unsure about who reads my blog ~ slight paranoia. Because of this, I try to enjoy any time we do get to spend with one another as it is brief and he'll so be off again.

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We lingered and enjoyed every minute of our time together and taking in all the summer loving beauty. I'm really looking forward to our next visit. I have heard from a reliable source {our neighbor} that their evening meals are over the top! They too had an exceptional visit and couldn't say enough about the chef or service.

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I love the pebble roadways and stone walls ~ so New England.


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Clever one

Saturday, June 25, 2011 | | 13 comments
Bulldogs have a bad rap for being the "dumb dog" on the block. Well this little guy had the last laugh!

This afternoon I heard water running but couldn't figure out where it was coming from since I was the only {human} one home. Apparently, Bentley was thirsty so he turned the hose on.

Yup, he figured out how to turn the nozzle on the handset so the water would come out and lapped away.

Mission accomplished! :)

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Bountiful blueberries

Friday, June 24, 2011 | | 15 comments


It has been very chilly with yet another heavy dose of rain (several days long) here in my neck of the woods.

I've had to trade in my cute summer tops and sundresses for sweaters and layers. The weather is causing me to turn on the oven {for heat} to satisfy my urge to bake.

Blueberries are very plentiful in the market right now as well as in my frig. I also had a few oranges in the fruit bowl that needed to be used.

What does one do when they have fruit spilling out of their containers (and you're freezing)?

Make muffins!

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Simple fresh ingredients ~ always tasty and so much healthier.

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Can you see the fresh orange zest? Even the batter has a slight orange tint from the fresh juice.

The fragrance is amazing.

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Fresh from the oven and ready to be sampled.

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Recipe

1 cup quick oats
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 large oranges well juiced)
2 tsp grated orange zest (I add a pinch more)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs well beaten
3 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
31/2 cup blueberries

Combine oats, orange juice and zest. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Blend in eggs, oil and sour cream. Stir together all the dry ingredients. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the oat mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries. Fill muffin tins and bake 18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

 Enjoy!
{share if you're feeling generous :)}

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A Change of Pace

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | | 15 comments

I celebrated my first day of summer vacation by going back into school bright and early this morning.

Yes, you read that correctly.

 If you know me well, this doesn’t surprise you in the least. I just don’t do disorganized well … at all!!! This may sound on the edge of being committable but I cannot relax knowing that I have projects that are unfinished, piles, or shops half done. It drives me CRAZY. This in turn drives those in my life crazy.

Soooooo, back to school I went to put all to rest for the summer.

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This is the second {or maybe third} load of “treasures” that I brought home this summer to clean, reorganize and store away. It’s a good thing my husband isn’t home to see this display ~ it spreads to every available surface in our living area.
He just doesn’t seem to understand the need for bins upon bins of classroom/teaching materials :)
Tomorrow morning I'll enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee with the paper on my patio and then I’m hitting the beach for some much needed quiet time. My beach bag has been ready to go for several days now. I can't wait for the change of seasons and a very enjoyable slower pace of life for the next couple of months.

*Is anyone else having trouble with blogger? I tried many times to post this last night and it wouldn't allow me ~ ugh!


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A Day of Celebration

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | | 15 comments
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{This was taken while he was attending Montessori. He loved "his" school! They called him a miniature Mr. GQ ~ we still giggle over this and remains one of my favorite memories.}

Today my sweet boy {now a man} is celebrating a special birthday!

Regardless of his age or height he will always be my little guy.
I vividly remember the day he was born.
He arrived with a full head of white blond hair and the biggest blue eyes. Even the doctor comment on the amount of hair he had for a little blondy.

So sweet and cute!
Nicholas weighed in at 9lbs 2oz
They called him a moose {in a most loving way} in the nursery.
He loved to snuggle and the nurses were sad to see him go.
When they put him in my arms he had a smile on his face which remains in place to this day. Many compliments have been expressed at his happy go lucky, bright and smiling personality. This too is still in place ~ a delightful character trait.

Many of the characteristics have remained while other wonderful qualities have developed. It's been a delight watching him evolve into the person he is today.

The time has gone by so {too} quickly. I've barely had time to catch my breath from the non~stop activities of raising a child.

Today
On this very special day I wish him much happiness, loads of love, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Nicholas reads my blog while he is away at school {so sweet!} to see what we are up to here at home.
Today, Nicholas,  we are celebrating your special day made just for you!

Love you tons and tons~
Mom

I wrote Nicholas a letter to commemorate this birthday that I will share soon. Because it is personal, I wanted Nicholas to read it first before I shared it here.


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I'm still here ...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | | 16 comments
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{Garden Party Arrangement}

 
I have so much to share with you but no time to get the pictures uploaded or a post prepared.The past three weeks have been crazy busy and the end isn’t insight until next week.

For those of you already enjoying summer vacation, I’m wishing you sunny skies, relaxed schedules, and fun family times! I’m almost there as the light at the end of the tunnel is finally visible :)

A few highlights of what’s been going on in my corner of the world...

~ The Child and Family Agency Wine Tasting and Auction was a HUGE success! We had a sold out event with fun for everyone. On top of that, we raised a record amount for our cause which will be greatly appreciated and go to very good use.

~ An evening of celebration was enjoyed at the Coast Guard Academy to honor a few fellow teachers in their amazing accomplishments ~ these women are so dedicated and have hearts of gold!

~ It only took me a solid week but I finally distributed the 5 yards of dirt and 8 yards of mulch around our yard {this isn’t including the original 8 yards that were already laid} that were delivered the week of solid rain. This was an incredible workout/ weight loss plan but next time I’m hiring someone to take on this task.

~ My garden is planted despite the torrential rains and now record heat ~ I’m ready for some normal weather.

~ The Garden Party I hosted in my home for my sweet friend was not only fabulous but we actually surprised her! You have no idea the difficulty behind this task ~ a  true miracle

~ The end of the year is here and over the next 2 weeks I’ll be busy with those activities. We are kicking off the fun with Field Day tomorrow. I’m happy to report that the sky will be blue and the sun will be out in all its glory ~ the recipe for a fun filled day at play!



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