Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cioppino Night!

Friday was Cioppino and games.
John's family has been making cioppino for as long as he can remember and when he said he wanted to share the recipe and make it for us we gladly let him!
It was an awesome night with family and friends.
I did make bruchetta for an appetizer which is a favorite in our house!
And John took care of the rest! It was soooo nice!

Lots of bread, lots of seafood, lots of Sauvignon blanc, lots of friends, lots of pictionary, lots of laughter, lots of LOVE!

Wind Advisory? Pfsh!

So yesterday on my way to class the radio says:
"...there is a wind advisory from 8am to 8pm today...blah...blah...blah..."
So we ignore that and go to class, and work, and grocery store, etc.
when we get home this is what I find...

LAME! That sign started over our front door! Not only did the crazy wind blow down the sign into our neighbors yard but it also broke off the letters and frame! (yes, of course I had to take a picture!)

Geez! Apparently when the say its going to be windy THEY MEAN IT!

Monday, January 21, 2008


my holiday:

red wine.

a bowl or rigatoni, linguisa, chicken, peppers, fresh tomato sauce, garlic, chopped Italian parsley and of course some freshly shaved Parmesan.

a meal cooked and cleaned up by my foodie roommate.

painting a threesome of canvas' for my bathroom.

another glass.





Dinner Party!

This Friday my cousin Dominique and her husband Brandon hosted a dinner party/game night at their house and it was a BLAST!
She made tomato bisque, mixed greens salad with chevre medallions, angel hair alfredo, chicken pesto & last but not least I made tiramisu for dessert! It was a total Italian feast! and DELICIOUS! I learned how to make tiramisu last may in Italy and I thought I would share the fab please enjoy!
4 egg yolks 8 tablespoons sugar (130 gr)
1 pound mascarpone (500 gr)
1/2 pint heavy cream, beaten to stiff peaks or the same amount of Italian meringue (225 ml)
1/2 qt brewed coffee (Illy Coffee) (500 ml)
1/2 pound sponge cake (or 40 Pavesini biscuits – Barilla imports them) (500 gr)
2 tbs cocoa powder (10 gr)
1. Using a mixer or a wooden spoon, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth and fluffy (about 15 minutes by hand, 5 with the mixer).
2. Cook the entire mixture in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly, until temperature reaches 160F degrees. Salmonella will be gone at 160F. Never stop stirring or the egg will curdle. This is the Bain Marie Method (which is to place the pot on another steaming pot or to place a smaller pot inside a bigger one half filled with boiling water)
3. Transfer the mixture immediately to a bowl and cool to room temperature continuing to stir to prevent the mixture from curdling. Make sure the mixture is not too hot or you will melt the cheese!
4. Add the mascarpone to the egg mixture and using a whisk, beat until well blended and velvety.

5. Gently fold in the whipped heavy cream and set aside.

6. Meanwhile dip the sponge cake that you have re-baked for 5 minutes (or Pavesini) briefly in the brewed coffee so that both sides are wet. Place on a plate to drain.

7. Arrange the drained sponge cake or Pavesini on the bottom of 4 4-inch diameter ramekins or glass serving cups. If using ladyfingers or Pavesini, line the cups with the biscuits. Fill the center with the mascarpone cream, sprinkle with cocoa powder and refrigerate for two hours before serving.

*Variations: Macerate fruit with sugar and use the liquid to dip your Pavesini with. Use the fruit to make layers alternating mascarpone/egg mixture, Pavesini soaked in the fruit juice and fruit.
*You can add liqueurs to the brewed coffee.
*Chocolate shavings can be added to the mixture and for topping.
* For a low fat variation, use ricotta instead of Mascarpone
* For those who can not have coffee, fruit juice, simple syrup or tea can be substituted
Of course the guitar hero made it to game night!

And no body is ever too old for a game of Sorry!

The big game of the night was this seriously intense match of Pictionary!

The whole night was just so much fun!
Good food, good wine, great games!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Studio Space

Well.. its been a while but I told myself no blogging until I was done "organizing the house" before this next semester starts & A HUGE part of that was my studio space. I am going to be pushing myself creatively in and outside of my classes this next semester and nothing helps jump start creativity more than re-organizing my space. just going through all my art supplies and doing the whole "oh-yay-i-forgot-i-even-had-this" & "ahhh-i-love-these!" gets me ready to jump back in! So i read this book:

over my "vacation" and I grabbed a few really helpful ideas:

First thing i did was separate out all my "themed supplies" so that meant papers, embellishments, ribbons, everything! and each major theme got its own drawer. This way if I am working on any project that is themed I just pull out the appropriate drawer, I love this! I put together a little birthday project and card in no time! There was no "oh I think I have a little something birthday in with my ribbon or embellishments or whatever!" I knew exactly what I had because it was right in front of me, no more searching!

I got these drawer units at target and just made my own labels to fit with sticker paper
Next, I made and inspiration box. I have a love for magazines... I probably get it from my mom who let me dig into her Martha Stewart Livings, Home Companions, Os, Real Simples... well you get the point WE LOVE OUR MAGAZINES! My mom also taught me a super valuable trick:
tear out what you LOVE and then GET RID OF THE REST!
I generally read a magazine once through and then go back and tear out the pages that have something (could be anything) inspirational, cleaver, neat, ect. and then we throw away the actual magazine. If we didn't do this I think we could build a good portion of the great wall with our magazines! whoa.
So the only problem was that I was left with piles of mag clippings, one for home, one for scrapbooking, one for photography, and the list goes on... and that just really was no help. So now each category has a file in my inspiration box (which was a steal at target! yay for clearance office supplies!) This way when I am in a particular crafting mood but need just a little project inspiration I just pull the file, use the idea, and then toss the make room for fresh clippings!

One of my favorite ideas was to organize by color. HELLO?! why didn't I think of this before, this is after all how we craft right? We build projects by color and we design by color and on and on... so I have separated all the embellishments by color as well as the ribbon. Its been so much more productive its just amazing, I can truly say this will change your crafting WORLD!

So now the fun part... DECORATING! working on a few decorative touches to give the studio some much needed eye candy! More pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

this one is for YOU...

this one is for the mom who just survived a family vacation,

this one is for the mom who kept her composure through 10 days of crying, whining, yelling, wanting, fighting,

this one is for the mom who got zero sleep on her vacation,

this one is for the mom who knows her daughter,

this one is for the mom who knows her son,

this one is for the mom who knows her husband,

this one is for the mom who knows her family,

this one is for the mom who cares for, feeds, dresses, plays with,provides for, and loves,

this one is for the mom who is strong,

this one is for the mom who is intelligent,

this one is for the mom who is patient,

this one is for the mom who is kind,

this one is for the mom who IS mom.

this one is for you.

Van Vleck family vacation 2008

Official Website...

Pleased to announce I have a new home for my Kreative Photography! I hope you all will visit and share the good news!