Thursday, July 30, 2009

Homemade Ice Cream Experiments: Chocolate-Coconut Sorbet

Seattle's temperatures have reached an all-time high this week, which is really unfortunate in a city with very little air conditioning, something this southern girl will never understand. Luckily, I have an awkward, but adequate portable AC unit and a love for all things frozen and sweet to get me through these dog days.

I'm a chocolate lover and a coconut advocate, which is why this sorbet recipe appealed to me, but it's also a great solution for people who want to avoid the whole lactose thing. It's rich, sweet, and all-together yummy.

Chocolate-Coconut Sorbet

Recipe courtesy of The Perfect Scoop

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups Thai Coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm the water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate pieces and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the coconut milk and vanilla. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If a layer of coconut milk has firmed up on top, simply whisk it in before churning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Food for Thought

When I was in Savannah last week, I happened to have one of the greatest dining experiences of my life. It was a meal, a feast really, specially prepared by a chef at The Olde Pink House for eight of us lucky ones. The menu was inspired by what the Habershams, a prominent family in Georgia's early history, would have eaten. That said, what was so impressive about the meal was how it remained as true as possible to 18th century dining and still managed to be so very delicious. I've never eaten such well-researched food. Here's the menu:

Crab and Corn Chowder with Welsh Rarebit
Pale Ale, Sweetwater 420, Georgia

First Course
Scalloped Oysters
Sauvignon Blanc, Meriau "L'Arpent des Vaudons", Loire Valley 2007

Second Course
Stewed Rabbit with Pattypan Squash and Cellared Vegetables
Chardonnay, Roux Pere et Fils, Burgundy 2007

Third Course
Oxtail en Croute with Sundancer Peas in Madeira Sauce
Pinot Noir, Paul Pillot, Burgundy 2007

Entree Course
Spiced Venison with Pan Roasted Potatoes and Greens
Cotes du Rhone, E. Guigal, Rhone Valley 2005

Carolina Gold Rice Pudding and Syllabub with Brandied Peaches
LBV Port, Sandemans, Portugal

Absolutely the best dining experience I've had in a restaurant. What's the best meal you've ever eaten?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Scent-sational Giveaway!

Update: Paula of two ellie is the winner!

I've got a giveaway for you! Robin Lynne, southern belle, photographer, and soapmaker extraordinaire has kindly offered up one of her solid perfumes available at Savannah Soap Kitchen. With scents like pomegranate lemon, banana pudding, cinnamon l'orange, and honey almond, you might have a hard time choosing just one.

Check out the list of scents here, then leave a comment below before midnight on Wednesday. One lucky recipient will be chosen at random.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I just love nautical-themed fashion. There's something so cheery and summery about stripes, anchors, and red, white and blue. Etsy has an entire guide dedicated to seaworthy items. These are just some of my favorites.

[Skirt: theclosetstuffer; Boat Shoes: DearGoldenVintage; Clutch: JohnMetBetty; Locket: shopcloverbelle; Tote: bayanhippo]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Party Pictures

Just a few photos from the anniversary party for some floral and foodie inspiration.

Ginger flowers and birds of paradise.

Mini buffalo burgers, warm tomato sandwiches with fresh basil, and mini crab cakes.

Pan-seared scallops.

Marriage and Music

I came across this video earlier today on Love. Obsess. Inspire., but now it's floating around everywhere. This looks like the most fun you could have at a wedding. What a brave bride and groom! Love it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coast to Coast

I'm back from my trip down to Savannah. The anniversary party was beautiful, the weather wasn't too hot, and the rest of my time was filled with family and friends, thunderstorms, and fantastic food. I'll recap my adventures, culinary and otherwise, throughout the week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary

I'm off to Savannah for a few days to celebrate my parents' 30th wedding anniversary. Aren't they cute?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Movie

I saw (500) Days of Summer at an early screening last month, and it's the most original romantic comedy I've seen in while. It's charming, funny, and sweet. The leads are delightful. The soundtrack is terrific. It's the perfect alternative to a summer blockbuster. See it.

Cutest scene ever.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Three of a Kind

I'm enamored with this Anthropologie dress and the three color combinations it comes in. Cotton, delicate, and bright, it looks perfect for summer. And it has pockets. I'm a sucker for a dress with pockets. Which one is your favorite?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Short and Sweet: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Some friends and I recently had a girl's night in, so I brought along my favorite fast, but impressive treat: chocolate covered strawberries. There are many methods to this delectable madness, but my tried and true solution is Nestle chocolate chips. It doesn't get any easier (or more irresistible) than that. Bring along a bottle of Prosecco, and you'll have a real crowd-pleaser.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

6 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pound of wash and dried strawberries
2 ounces melted white chocolate (optional)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Dip strawberries in melted chocolate and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.

For a little flair, I melt a couple of ounces of white chocolate. Just dip the tines of a fork in melted white chocolate and wave in different directions over the strawberries, Jackson Pollock style. Then, stick the strawberries back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tote-ally Stylish Maps

I came across one of these tote bags back in February, and I still find myself wishing I had bought it. MAPTOTE is the the brainchild of a stylist and a cartographer. No joke. Their cotton bags feature silk-screened illustrations of different cities and their iconic sights and neighborhoods. From Nantucket to Paris, there are plenty of choices, so you can pick your favorite destination and represent. MAPTOTE has also teamed up with Target for a special edition denim bag, which highlights the age-old east coast/west coast rivalry.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Sips: Watermelon Lemonade

Over the weekend, I was inspired by one of my favorite food blogs, smitten kitchen, to make this summery concoction for the 4th of July. The recipe comes courtesy of Bubby's, a great spot for brunch, pie, and homestyle cookin' in New York. This lemonade is refreshing and not too sweet, summer day perfection.

Watermelon Lemonade
Recipe courtesy of Bubby's

2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces fresh watermelon puree, strained through course strainer to remove seeds
1 1/2 ounce simple syrup
6 ounces water

Shake and serve over ice with a big wedge of fresh watermelon for garnish. Makes 2 glasses.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Balloon Swoon

Between Pixar's Up and these beautiful engagement photos by Jessica Johnston, I've been reminded just how whimsical balloons are. I think it's time to take them beyond children's birthday parties.


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