the winter salad

The Winter Salad

I don’t post many salads, if you’ve been reading here a while, you know that. Normally I feel that salads aren’t deserving of a recipe. But this I need to share with you. It gives a wink to the gloomy time of year, but is shinning on the possibilities of the coming seasons. It’s light and refreshing, something that is hard to come by these January days.The Winter Salad-2

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nutella tuesday: 3 ingredient nutella mousse

Alright guys, here we are the second week into our Nutella Tuesday series. What do you all think? Are you liking this series? Today we have a Nutella mousse topped with cream –of course. Pretty wonderful, I mean it’s chocolate folded into whipped cream chilled and topped with more whipped cream. I love mousse, if I am ordering a dessert at a restaurant and there is a mousse on the menu, chances are I will order it. What is there not to love. Chocolate + cream. So please, partake, and make this Nutella recipe.





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personal nutella banana crumble

I am sure you all have made commitments to eat very well in this new year, well I am here to dash those plans with a new blog series: Nutella Tuesday!

You probably know about my Nutella obsession. I still remember the first day I had it, it was in Ireland, and my life was forever changed. That was right when Nutella was getting popular in the States, so when I got home it seemed like everywhere I looked there was Nutella everything. Not much has changed since then Nutella is still a top trending flavor, and well deserving.

I recently bought the official Nutella cookbook. I will be basing and adapting recipes from that book as well as other Nutella recipes, to bring a series Nutella Tuesdays! What do you think? Do you like that idea for a series?

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especially eli giveaway!

Giveaway at III


I am so excited about todays giveaway. My dear friends hand makes this beautiful jewelry, another one of those products that pictures never do it justice. She designed this necklace after my logo/header. I am totally in love with the result. And one very lucky reader gets to have this handmade copper necklace.

Thank you so much to Especially Eli for designing and making this. You are very talented. Now you all had better enter, because this is a very awesome giveaway.

The details:

Visit Especially Eli and leave a comment below to enter! A winner will be chosen at random, Thursday, Jan 9th at 5:00PM Pacific time.

The winner will receive this necklace, courtesy of Especially Eli.

Giveaway at

(Me trying to be awesome and show you the necklace. And failing. Really Madey, a bathroom mirror pic? Really?)





you must eat here: cafe sprüngli. bahnhofstrasse 2 zürich, switzerland

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Honestly, this place is like the royalty of chocolate shops in Zurich. And it’s so expensive. I could only afford two truffles and a couple of dark chocolate bars to bring back to friends in the states. My sister and I had every intention of eating lunch in the Sprüngli cafe, but after looking over the menu, it was decided it was just too pricy. I’m sure the cafe is wonderful, but if your working on a little bit of a budget, just grab the best truffle you will ever have from the chocolate chop at Sprüngli.

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culinary council with tom douglas & nancy silverton

Macys Culicary Council in Portland, Oregon-12

Last week I attended Macy’s Culinary Council cooking demonstration with Tom Douglas and Nancy Silverton. In the middle of hustling Washington Square Mall, a small crowd watched as these two amazing chefs taught us how to deal with holiday entertaining. Both chefs cooked, and I starred in awe of the grace they had in the kitchen, and flavor complexes they came up with for their dishes.

We were all completely spoiled, besides being in complete raptures over watching the chefs work, everyone in attendance was treated to a sample of the dishes Nancy and Tom created. Everything, and I mean everything I put into my mouth was a symphony of complex flavors.

Seeing these amazing chefs work was a honor. It was so fun to watch the shoppers go by and look and wonder. Some recognized who was cooking, I heared one of the shoppers say as they walked by, “That’s Tom Douglas! He makes our rubs!”. (Incase you didn’t know Tom has a great line of spices and rubs.)

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holiday cranberry drink

Classic Hot Chocolate


My sister actually developed this recipe. Reduced cranberries with oranges and cinnamon. I love it warm, but it’s wonderful cold too. Not to mention the smell as it simmers on the stove, cinnamon-cranberry bliss! It’s a refreshing change from heavy hot chocolate. It’s also very easy to make in large batches, and keep for parties, or later in the week. You can serve this as soon as it’s reduced, but the flavors deepen if you let it sit overnight. You may need to adjust some of the flavors after you let it simmer too. Just taste, add some sugar if needed, or maybe more orange juice.

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

6 cups water

3 cinnamon sticks  (or  3 teaspoons ground cinnamon)

1 orange, cut into 4ths

1/2 cup + 1/4 cup orange juice (about 2 oranges)

Combine everything, except the 1/4 cup orange juice with 6 cups water. Bring everything to a boil, boil for 10 minutes. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour.  Add sugar if needed (it depends on how sweet your cranberries are), and the 1/4 cup orange juice.

Let sit overnight before serving. Serve hot or cold.




photo tip: framing images

There is one pinnacle rule when it comes to framing and cropping an image. If you have ever taken an art class then you have probably heard of the rule of thirds. This is a method used for centuries to draw your eye to the subject of your image (or painting). My favorite thing to do with the rule of thirds is to break it. However, I do more often then not, apply the rule of thirds to the pictures I take. And I urge you to use and practice this rule before ever attempting to break it. I shot everything on the thirds for years to make sure I had the basics down. You have to know the rules before you can break them                 


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chocolate medallions, with fluer de sel & pomegranate

Salted Chocolate Pomegranate Medallions Is everyone feeling sentimental yet? Is the Christmas music and glittering lights making your heart melt a little because of the sentimentality? I know you are, so don’t even try to lie to me. Christmas does that to people, it’s the one time of year where I fell 12 again. We have the tree up, and of course the holiday music blasting 24-7. These are so simple to make, and an explosion of complex flavors. It literally takes a matter of minutes to make a few of these little medallions as I like to call them. I used a semi sweet chocolate, though dark, or even milk chocolate would be fine here. Continue reading