Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fast Food With Style.

... Oh yes, I'm a very good cook indeed!! I love to create also in the kitchen! LOLYou know, my Italian DNA :)
Today I want to share some quick and easy recipes with you ... As I have been very inspired and busy all summer round, I needed something to be prepared as quickly as possible, to spend all my spare time in the studio!... 

BLACKBERRY AND REDCURRANT TARTE

Ingredients:
1 disk of ready- to- use puff pastry 
blackberries
redcurrants 
(even raspberries and blueberries if you have them)
1 quart custard (I use to make it, but you can use ready- made too)
sugar


Method:
Unroll your puff pastry on a parchment lined round baking pan. Roll up the edge.
Simply pour custard on it, then the washed fruit, and dust with sugar.
Brush the outside of the tart with milk (or beaten eggs).
Bake in a preheated 180°C (350° F) oven, for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. 




***
PRAWN AND VEGGIE PASTA

Ingredients:
(serves 2)
Fresh pasta
about 15 prawns
about 10 small tomatoes
garlic
fresh zucchini, julienned 
fresh chopped parsley

Method:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the fresh pasta until 'al dente', then strain.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook prawns with oil, garlic, tomatoes, for about 5 minutes, season with salt.
Add chopped parsley and julienned zucchini, cook and stir well for 2 minutes.
Toss with the cooked pasta over medium heat to serve.

***

ITALIAN RICE BALLS (ARANCINI)


Ingredients:
cooked rice (also leftovers, any kind of risotto, approx. 1 cup uncooked white rice)
Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
breadcrumbs
cheese (Cheddar, Gouda)
(a frankfurther)
(canned peas)

Method:
Make a risotto, as you like it. Let it cool. Leftovers are GREAT to make these rice balls!
Add Parmesan cheese and 2 beaten eggs, and mix well. You can also add canned peas to the mixture if you want. In the below pics you can spot I used them.
Dampen hands, and roll rice mixture into balls, putting a piece of cheese or frankfurther in the middle of the ball, then coat with breadcrumbs.
Deep fry until golden brown, 5-6 at a time, turning as needed.
Drain on paper towels, and let cool a bit before serving, they're HOOOT out of the frying pan!
They are also suitable for deep-freezing.


... Bon appetit, my friends!

Oh, I meant to say I just discovered a colorful brand new blog ' that will tantalize not only your eyes but all your senses!"! Food-with-Style, please pop in if you need inspiration in the kitchen!
Monica.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gift Wrapping Ideas.

For me, one of the best parts of gifts is packaging... I mean yummy packaging, the one which makes you aahing and oohing, even if  the box's empty! LOL
Since the recipients have already received these, I think I can share them with you!
I have wrapped the gifts in tissue paper, then in (original) vintage music paper sheets. I then pinned a ribbon rose I made on a vintage lace and ribbon bow. VoilĂ !

A small copy of a vintage postcard.

Isn't this super-cute? It is an antique small perfume bottle I received as gift on Valentine's day from my dear girl friend Karriann ...

Another one, with a different color palette...



It really is the little touches that make your tokens of love and affection so appreciated! Don't you think so?
Monica.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summery Birdcage.


Last month, I created this eye- catching centerpiece, using fresh Vendela roses, ivy and shells to embellish my white birdcage... a romantic tulle bow finished it off.
Enjoy!









As I love a very simple look for things around my home, I left it this way after its debut as a centerpiece, ready to be displayed in the living room.


Monica.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

White Bookcovers.

Finally I am ready to show you what I had been up to...
I love having all my favorite books wrapped in fabric book- covers, both to enjoy the pleasure of having similar and matching colors throughout my home and keep my reading private if I bring them along with me...
I sewed many of them before (also as gifts), but I always used floral or colored fabrics.
This summer, I thought to make some out of a vintage muslin bedspread I had.

I made good use of vintage/antique laces, hankies, crocheted doilies and buttons to add elegance and an exquisite feminine touch to them...



I pinned a vintage safety-pin with a love theme to one of them, and tied little charms with a knot to the ribbons I always insert in the middle of the upper opening before sewing. These will serve as bookmarks.

I finished them off with tiny MOP vintage buttons too.



I am now ready for hours of well-earned relax with them!!
Till next project ;)
Monica.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Almost Finished!

Could you believe Summer is almost finished?
September is just around the corner, and Fall projects and decorations are frantically swirling in my mind, preventing me from restful sleep!
Autumn is my absolute favorite of the Seasons, with its gorgeous color palette, bountiful Nature, pumpkins and gourds, scarecrows, cobs and that 'homecoming' feeling often associated with it...

I played with these end-of-summer hues and natural elements...

... isn't the blue-green of fading hydrangeas so matching mother-of-pearl iridescence?


Hope your summer days are shaping up nicely, and you are enjoying summer activities as soon as this lasts...

As for me, I'm already in a deep Fall mood! Pumpkin pie, anyone?
Monica.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Christmas-in-August Tea Party.

What could better suggest Christmas atmosphere in the middle of summer, than sunflowers, starfish and baubles??

Today I hosted a 'Christmas in August' Party with some friends, completely enjoying the simple pleasure of a scrumptious afternoon tea in the garden!

For this special occasion I arranged this centerpiece with fresh sunflowers and herbs from the garden-soo summery and divinely scented!
Naturally I added vintage baubles...


The buffet under the patio was cozy and easy-to-prepare. Summer suggests a relaxed atmosphere also for the hostess, doesn't it! LOL

Cucumber sandwiches are the #1 of appreciated tea delicacies...

... together with jam tartelettes (the ones featured here are 'Bonne Maman Lemon and Raspberry Tartelettes')...

and pineapple and lime juice.


I definitely had a terrific afternoon! This is such a clever idea for lazy summer days!

Monica.