Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Handmade gift

I made this for my neighbor and friend's daughter's first birthday.

Happy Birthday Isabella 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Galette Des Rois

This is one of my favorite cakes!

This post might be a little late since this cake is meant to celebrate Epiphany* but you can pin this recipe for later!


1 box puff pastry (it should contain 2 square doughs and can be found in the frozen section of your grocery store near the philo dough)
1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
1 3/4 cups frangipane (recipe below)
1 whole almond or fired bean or ceramic token

The Frangipane, which can be prepared several days ahead, should be removed from the refrigerator 1 hour before use. 


On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 of the pastries out into a 10 or 12 inch circle. (The frozen dough will be square, so just roll it out to extend it to the size you want and trim the edges to make it a circle)
Place the first dough on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the rim with a 1 to 1 and 1/2 inch band of beaten egg.

Spread the frangipane over the pastry on the cookie sheet taking care not to touch the band of egg. Place the almond or bean or token on the frangipane close to the edge (this reduce the risk of cutting into it at serving time)

Roll out the second dough and cut it the same size and place it on top, pressing the edges firmly to seal. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Before baking, brush the whole surface with beaten egg and with a paring knife, mark firmly with a diamond or spiral design. Preheat over to 425 degrees and bake galette 10 minutes, then lower heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 35-40minutes, until golden brown.


The galette can be frozen before baking. Freeze on a baking sheet, then wrap in plastic and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. To bake, thaw 2 hours on a baking sheet in the refrigerator, than brush with egg, decorate with a knife and bake as directed.

This galette is best served warm!



1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 Cup sugar

1 Cup Blanched, ground almonds
1 Egg (whole)
1 Egg yolk

1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon rum (optional)
pinch salt


In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the almond powder alternately with eggs. Continue beating until light, then beat in cornstarch, rum and salt.


Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to one week. Can also be frozen for up to one month.

* Epiphany is a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dining Room Tour

Welcome to our Dining Room!

Mantle is by Pottery Barn

Rug is by The Company Store

Invisible Floating shelves Hold cooking books against the wall (can be purchased on Amazon)

Table is made by me. View the DIY here.

Winter Decor in the background!

The chairs are from Restoration Hardware and made of hardwood and metal. I added the vinyl numbers.

This Beautiful Cabinet is made of exotic wood and comes straight from Bali. I purchased this beauty at a Carolina Furniture Store 

One of the many wood signs I make and sell is displaying part of my cutting board and rolling pin collection.

More antique items 

Our Dining Room Lamp is a simple and inexpensive fishermen Lamp purchased at Ikea.

Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day and Night Moisturizer

My cold weather skin routine consist of a mixture of essential oils which help moisturize, revitalize and energize my skin during the winter months. The best advice I have ever received on how to care for my skin during this time of the year is to treat it as if it is an "evenly balanced" skin to avoid oiliness and breakouts.
If you prefer the feeling of cream rather than oil on your face, you can add and mix a few drops of the following mixtures to the usual amount of moisturizer you use before applying it to your skin.

Face and Neck Day moisturizer for evenly balanced skin

Bergamot - 5 drops
Neroli - 5 drops
Carrot - 3 to 5 drops
Chamomile Roman - 5 drops
Lavender - 5 drops
Lemon - 5 drops

Diluted in 2 Tablespoons Almond or Hazelnut oil. (note: mix the essential oils together well before adding your base oil)
This moisturizer should be applied to damp skin. Massage it and dab the face with a tissue until no excess oil shows on the tissue.

Face and Neck Night moisturizer for evenly balanced skin

Geranium - 10 drops
Palma Rosa - 10 drops
Fennel - 5 drops
Lemon - 5 drops

Dilute in 2 tablespoons Apricot kernel oil to which you have added 10 drops of evening primrose oil.
If you feel that your skin needs extra nourishment, add 5 drops of carrot oil.

Small facts about these oils:
Bergamot energizes the skin and is great for eczema
Neroli is a great dry skin and age fighter oil
Carrot is one of the best oils for your skin. It is great for all types of skin even sensitive skin and hydrates the driest skin.
Chamomila Roman is great for all types of skin and a bacteria buster which helps problem skin fight breakouts. It is a great oil for those who suffer from dermatitis and eczema.
Lavender is great for all types of skin and is considered to be a fantastic antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral and anti fungal.
Lemon hydrates any oily, dry or disturbed skin. It is a great skin energizer and wrinkle and acne fighter.
Geranium is great for all skin types including eczema prone skins. it is an excellent hydrating and age fighting oil.
Palma Rosa is great for dry, oily or disturbed skin and adds hydrating agents to any oils.
Evening primrose is excellent in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. It also helps to prevent premature aging of the skin. use a 10 percent dilution.
Sweet Almond oil contains glucosides, minerals, vitamins. Rich in protein and good for all skin types. Helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation. Is used as a base oil.
Apricot Kernel has minerals and vitamins. Good for all skin types, especially prematurely aged, sensitive, inflamed and dry.. Is used as a base oil.
Hazelnut contains vitamins, minerals and protein. It has a slight astringent action and is good for all types of skin. Used as a base oil.

For more information about essential oils and their benefits refer to:

available on amazon and other book stores.

If you would like to read and older post on "anti wrinkle face oil", please click here

Thank you for reading.