Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sweet Indulgences - Black & White Cookies

I'm a big fan of black and white cookies ever since I lived in NYC where they are in all the bakeries.  I made this recipe from Smitten Kitchen last year for our New Year's Eve party and was really happy with how they turned out.  The cookies are really more like cake with a vanilla and chocolate frosting - the best of both worlds!

By the way, if you aren't already following Smitten Kitchen, I highly recommend you do.  One of the best food blogs ... period!

Have a sweet & Happy New Year!

Images via:  Smitten Kitchen

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download the recipe, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Inspiration - New Year's Day Is Every Man's Birthday

"New Year's Day is every man's birthday" - Charles Lamb

The New Year.  A chance to start anew.  Time for reflection and time for change.  Time for clearing the clutter in our lives - both mental and physical.  Time to plant new seeds to blossom into realities. How very fortunate we are to have this opportunity to grow and start another year!

Image via:  Bella Bella Vita

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pinterest - My Favorites This Week

Dog Lovin'  - Snow buddies

Flower Love - Fruit & Flowers

Bread Love - Olive Thyme Mini Muffins {Gluten-Free}
click here for recipe

Dog Lovin'  - Laughing all the way!

Happy Weekend & Happy Pinning!

Images via:  Pinterest {all photos linked back to pin}

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Friday, December 27, 2013

In The Kitchen - New Year's Eve Appetizers

Roasted grape, ricotta & thyme crostini
Image via:  Indulgy

In the kitchen today planning my New Year's Eve recipes and these dishes caught my eye.  They all look delicious and fairly simple to pull together.  Crostini is a great finger food that packs a lot of flavor ... using a panini press to grill the bread would make this dish even easier to make.

Hierloom Tomato & Basil Lasagne Cupcake 
Image via: goodeggs.com

I've had these lasagne cupcakes from Heirloom LA before at a catered event and they are unbelievable!  You can order them online at the link above - just heat and serve.  They will certainly be the hit of your party!

Lasagne Cakes from Bella Bella Vita

I've also made and posted my own version of Lasagne Cakes and loved how they turned out.  They were super easy to make with fresh lasagne sheets I bought at the grocery store.  Click here for recipe.

Apple Whisky Chicken Meatballs
Image & Recipe:  Inside Bru Crew Life

Who doesn't love meatballs and bbq?  I'm definitely making these!

Pizza muffins 
Image & Recipe:  Pin Cookie

Ah, pizza.  Love these pizza "muffins" and they'll be much easier to eat as finger food.  I've always found eating a slice of pizza while standing at a party to be so awkward and I usually pass.  These are perfect!

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Ed Wheeler's Santa Claus

American artist Ed Wheeler's whimsical santa series brings a smile to my face.  He skillfully inserts pictures of himself as Santa in famous works of art, creating a  'santa intervention' in these paintings that we know so well.  Brilliant!  I love that by looking at these pieces in a new way, I also notice other details that I hadn't before.  What a great way to study the masters again!  

The Philadelphia Museum of Art displayed Ed's paintings this month and they now sells his Santa Classics cards.  You can buy them here.  Be sure to visit Ed's website to see his entire Santa portfolio, as well as his other works.  I'm certain you'll be glad you did!

To learn more about Ed Wheeler's process in creating these pieces, check out this great article:

Thank you for making me smile today Ed!

Images via:  Ed Wheeler

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dog Lovin' - Merry Christmas From Indigo & Lily

Christmas dog toys

Indigo & Lily wish you a very Merry Christmas!  Santa was very good to them and left them lots of new crunchy and squeaky toys to play with!

Indigo with her Christmas reindeer

Lily with her Christmas moose

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sweet Indulgences - Amazing Gingerbread Houses

Image via:  Pinterest

Sharing some amazing gingerbread houses today as we countdown to Christmas.  Love the creativity and feel like a kid again when I see a gingerbread house.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I have ... wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Image via:  Goodies By Anna

Image via:  Pinterest

Image via:  Pinterest

Image via:  weheartit.com

Image via:  Katherine's Corner

Have a sweet day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Inspiration - Be Present In The Moment

"Be present in the moment" quote

Wishing you lots of wonderful moments this holiday season!

Image via:  Bella Bella Vita

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pinterest - My Favorites This Week

Dog Lovin' - Innocence

Chalkboard Art - Happiest Season by Valerie McKeehan

Gift Wrap & Tags - parchment w/ baker's twine & evergreen

Sweet Indulgences - DIY cookie stamps - love!

Happy Weekend & Happy Pinning!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

In The Kitchen - Festive Holiday Recipes

I wanted to re-share some of my recipes from previous posts that would be a festive addition to any holiday table or party. These are all fairly quick and easy to make and are my favorites.  It's a safe bet that I'm bringing at least one of these dishes if I'm invited to your house for dinner.  I made the Golden Beet Tartar this week and literally ate the entire thing on my own in two days!

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download any of theses recipe, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.

Happy Holidays & Buon Appetito!

Images via:  Bella Bella Vita

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Floral Watercolor Artist Marney Ward

Pulse of a Peony

Watercolor artist Marney Ward has a magical touch when it comes to conveying light in her floral paintings. The flowers are so lifelike and I love that they all seem to be back-lit.  I also appreciate Marney's skilled brushstrokes and the bleeding of the background color.  Her control of water is amazing.  Beautiful, vibrant color!

Sharing some of my favorites today.  Take a moment to visit Marney's website to view her portfolio and learn more about her.  I think you'll be glad you stopped by! 

Golden Poppies

 Orchid Glow

Cardinal Clematis

Essence of Rose

Thank you for inspiring me today Marney!

Images via:  www.marneyward.com ("Paintings" page)

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