Monday, December 10, 2012

Whoa, it's already December 10th, how did this happen??!!  Thankfully we finished up our Christmas decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving!  But, I am totally lacking on my gift ideas for a few guys in our family.  Here is a super fun list I found over at The Art of Manliness,  for some unique stocking stuffer ideas for men...





Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Give Thanks Banner ~ Tutorial

Good Morning!

Since our fireplace is not centered (drives me bananas), it can be a little tricky to decorate our mantel without it looking wonky.  I have been looking for the "perfect mirror" to hang, but still no luck, so I decided to fill up some of the open wall space with this simple give thanks banner...


It seriously only took about 10 minutes to put together! I have created a PDF file of the banner letters  to share with all of you.  Here is how easy it is:

1.  Click HERE to download & print a copy of the letters on to white or cream cardstock
2.  Using scissors, cut the letters out following the black lines 


3.  Use double sided tape to stick the cut out letters to kraft paper
4.  Cut a small border around the letters
5.  Add a clothespin to each letter to hang from ribbon or twine 


Voila, now you have a neutral and rustic fall banner! 




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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Tags & Labels

Good Morning!

I recently came across these cute and classy Halloween labels that would be perfect for adding to some fresh baked goodies to give out to friends.  



I just love the simplicity of these lil labels!   Head on over to The Creativity Exchange to download your free copy HERE!





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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October

 

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To do this fall…

  • bake pumpkin chocolate~chip bread
  • make mulled wine 
  • take photos of all the changing leaves
  • make grandpa’s chili
  • carve pumpkins
  • celebrate Oktoberfest
  • make pumpkin pancakes
  • go apple picking @ local farm
  • make caramel cheesecake apple dip
  • drink pumpkin spice lattes
  • try new fall recipes
  • make fall sangria
  • take a walk & enjoy the crisp air




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Orecchiette with Greens, Garbanzo Beans and Ricotta Salata

Since I'm always looking for an excuse to stop by our local cheese shop, Cheese Central, (they are so friendly and my favorite part about shopping there is that you can try any of their amazing cheeses before you buy it, who doesn't love a little cheese tasting) I thought it would be fun to try out this recipe and pick up some ricotta salata.   Everything about this simple pasta dish is excellent, so fresh,  filled with protein and veggies.  Our sun-gold garden tomatoes added a perfect burst of sweetness!  Bon Appetit!


Orecchiette with Greens, Garbanzo Beans and Ricotta Salata
adapted from:  Giada at Home

Ingredients:
1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon (or more, depending on how much heat you want) crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces Swiss chard or mustard greens, stemmed
12 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest
fresh Parmesan to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Add the Swiss chard and crushed red pepper flakes, cook until wilted.  In batches, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and lemon zest. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Parmesan Lavash Chips with Tomato-Basil Dip

Good Morning!

I can't believe how fast summer flew by, and it's already starting to feel like fall!  Since NFL football  starts tonight, thought I would share a simple and savory appetizer to kick of the season!  These lavash chips are a fun alternative to pita and are perfectly crunchy paired up with this creamy dip.  Cheers!



Parmesan Lavash Chips with Tomato-Basil Dip
adapted from: Giada at Home

Ingredients for the chips:
Two 9-by-12-inch whole wheat lavash breads
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan

Ingredients for the dip:
1 cup tomato-basil sauce
1/4 cup (2 ounces) creamy gorgonzola, at room temperature (optional)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone, at room temperature

Directions:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

For the chips: Brush the breads with the oil using a pastry brush and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Cut each bread into 32 triangles and arrange in a single layer, cheese-side-up, on 2 baking sheets. Bake until light golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

For the dip: Bring the tomato-basil sauce to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the gorgonzola and mascarpone until incorporated. Pour the dip into a serving bowl and serve the chips alongside.




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Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Arch Rock Fish

Good Morning!

A few weeks ago, I was down in Santa Barbara visiting one of my favorite people, my little sister Katie, and we of course focused our days together on food, beach and food.  We stumbled upon this awesome, low key neighborhood restaurant off the main drag of State Street, Arch Rock Fish.  It's now one of my "must eats" in Santa Barbara - it's so great that we ate there 2 out of the 5 days I was visiting, ahhh!  The best part about Arch Rock is their super fresh, perfectly prepared fish and their ridiculous happy hour happening all week, especially on Monday/Tuesday 3-close, and Sunday ALL DAY!  




 Lobster



Lobster Slider 



 Crispy Fish Slider



Grilled Fish Taco



Crispy Calamari



 Mahi Mahi Sandwich with Parmesan & Truffle Tots


So excited for the next trip to visit the Sister, and another round of eats & drinks at Arch Rock! 
 Cheers!





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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No-Bake Desserts

Since it's been well into the 100's lately, I have been far, far away from the kitchen, just can't cook/bake when it's blazing hot out!  Here a few no-bake desserts I'm excited to try out soon...


Nutella Cheesecake



Pineapple Cheesecake



Brownie Batter Cheesecake



 Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake Shots



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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge ~ August

Come join the fun, it's time for another month of photo a day challenge!   

I must admit, I failed to participate for the month of July, but can't wait to start it up again!   If you missed my post about this awesome challenge,  you can catch up HERE.   Excited to see what photos you capture for August!  Cheers!

You can follow me here:  
Instagram (@lapetitevie)  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Twitter (@lapetitevieblog)




Friday, July 27, 2012

Let the Games Begin!


We are so very excited for the 2012 Olympic games in London!


This year, we are especially excited about watching someone we actually know, Tugce Canitez from Turkey!  She is a ridiculously amazing basketball player (Golden State Athletic Conference player of the year, an NAIA First Team All-American and the State Farm Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NAIA Player of the Year) that we were lucky enough to watch as she played on the Westmont Women's basketball team alongside my sister, Katie.  We are so proud of Tugce and beyond thrilled to cheer her on as she represents her home country Turkey in this memorable experience. 

Here is Tugce's schedule if you would like to follow along!

July 28:      Turkey plays against Angola @ 6:30 a.m. (PDT)
July 30:      Turkey plays against Czech Republic @ 3:15 a.m
August 1:    Turkey plays against United States @ 2:15 p.m.
August 3:   Turkey plays against China @ 8:45 a.m.
August 5:   Turkey plays against Croatia @ 12:00 p.m.

Cheers & Happy Weekend!!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Panzanella

We are so excited about our first garden tomatoes of the summer, they amazingly sweet and bursting with so much flavor...
 


This past weekend my husband and I indulged in one of our favorite salads, panzanella!  It's the perfect blend of crunchy bread, mild hints of garlic and lots of fresh tomato and basil goodness!  Bon Appetit!



 Tuscan Bread & Tomato Salad ~ Panzanella
 serves: 4

Ingredients:
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 12-inch baguette
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
8 very ripe assorted tomatoes (3lb.), large ones chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces or cute into ribbons

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small pan over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, and garlic; stir until butter melts, about 2 minutes.

Cut baquette into 1/2-inch cubes and put in a 10x15-inch baking pan.  Pour oil mixture over bread and mix well.  Bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let bread cool in pan.

In a bowl, mix remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir in tomatoes, basil and bread cubes.  Serve at room temperature in shallow bowls, garnish with extra basil.




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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY ~ Envelope Liners

I have a slight obsession with stationary, just love it all!  It's so bad, that I'm pretty sure I have been hoarding collecting cards and stickers since grade school that I purchased from our local drug store, and still have not used them, ahhh!  So the obsession continues....I am loving envelope liners, I had no idea how easy it was to glam up a plain white envelope!




Supplies:
  • Envelopes
  • Fun paper (scrapbook paper, gift wrap, magazine cut-outs, anything that catches your eye)
  • Pencil
  • Paper cutter/ruler & Xacto Knife
  • Double-sided tape



Assemble:
  • Once you have cut/trimmed up your paper to fit the inside of the envelope (be sure not to cover the seal along the top edge of your envelope, your liner should stop short of the gummed edge once you stuff your liners in each envelope) open your envelope flap and apply a a strip of double-sided tape just under the sealer on the top edge of the flap. 
  • Carefully slide the liner inside the envelope to rest at the bottom.
  • Lightly press down around edges to ensure the liner sticks to the envelope.
  • Fold the flap down and press to crease liner.





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Monday, July 9, 2012

Chocolate & Cheese Danish

Good Morning!

I can't get over how easy these super chocolatey and perfectly flaky danishes are to make.  They seriously only take a few minutes to put together and taste just like they came from the bakery!  Perfect lil morning treat with coffee, enjoy!


Chocolate & Cheese Danish
adapted from:  Giada at Home

Ingredients:
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 (9-inch-square) sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Directions:
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses, egg yolk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 equal-sized squares. Put 4 pastry squares on each prepared baking sheet. Spoon about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the filling into the center of each piece of pastry. Fold 1 corner of the pastry diagonally over the filling to within 1-inch of the opposite corner. Using a pastry brush, brush the folded-over section lightly with the beaten egg. Fold the opposite corner over the egg-brushed pastry to form an open-ended Danish.

Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.



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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Golden Rules of SPF

I LOVE being out in the sun and having that summer glow!  But, I must admit, I'm not always the best at applying sunscreen, so I thought I would share a few helpful tips I recently came across...


SPF, what???
Terminology on sunscreen labels can be so confusing.  SPF actually isn’t an ingredient in sunblock or sunscreen, it stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a number that indicates how well a product blocks UVB rays.

SPF 15 was once the standard dermatologist recommendation for daily sunscreen, but now many doctors say SPF 30 is the new 15.  Although no sunscreen shields you from 100% of UV light, SPF 30 offers 96.5%  protection versus SPF 15's 93.5% -- and more protection (even just 3 percent) is always better for glowing skin!

Sunscreen up!
  • 365 days a year.  UVB rays (they burn you) peak in June, but UVA rays (they age you) stay constant year-round.
  • Rain or shine. 40% of UV rays penetrate skin on cloudy days.
  • At least every 90 minutes when outdoors; immediately after a swim.
  • 30 minutes before going outside, to allow ingredients to activate.
  • Wear SPF 30 with broad-spectrum UVA/ UVB protection - apply to your face, neck and hands every single day and smother it onto your body when you are going to be outdoors in the sun.



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Friday, June 22, 2012

Dining Al Fresco

Good Morning!

Summer is officially here, woohoo!  Perfect time for all of the fun outdoor dinner parties, and evening drinks while enjoying the cool summer breeze.   Here are a few of my favorite backyard settings...










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