Monday, January 28, 2008

perfect Sunday morning

I made French Toast for breakfast yesterday and it was delicious. The secret? Orange zest. You probably don't need a recipe to make this simple treat, but here it is anyways. For two people.
3 eggs
1/3 c milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest from 1 orange
4 slices bread
Whisk together all ingredients in a flat bottom dish. Heat a non-stick pan on medium and add a little butter before placing soaked bread in the pan. Flip only once and you'll get a lovely golden brown color. Keep finished toast in the oven while you cook the rest.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Slice the zest-less orange for eating. And make sure to have a cup of coffee too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I heart Marimekko

Here is the much larger version of the same fabric project. It still cost under $60 and took about an hour for two of us to do. Details on how-to are in the previous post.

Monday, January 21, 2008

simple wall art

Here is a very easy project you can do to create art for your walls. It requires no drawing, and is very light which is a must in our apartment.

You'll need to make a frame. I bought these from an art store for $.61 ea. They fit together like a puzzle.

Choose a fabric you like and cut to the size of your frame giving yourself about 2" extra on all sides. I used iron-on interfacing to give the fabric structure and mask the outline of the frame. Staple the fabric to the back of the frame starting in the middle and doing the corners last. Fold to make a sharp corner.

And here they are. I quite like the final product, and I'm planning to do a much larger one using a gorgeous Marimekko fabric I bought a few weeks ago.

Monday, January 14, 2008

etsy finds

Looking through the thousands of pages on etsy can be daunting. Here is just a little taste of the many amazing things you can find.

We don't fight about much, but for some reason what goes on the walls is always a big "discussion." Jose Lampreia is something we can agree on, and so we bought one of his gorgeous photographs and I bet we'll get more.
I bought one of these purses by blackbags, and then my sister bought one. And then a friend bought one. And we are all happy about it. I love all the pockets.

I don't think I even need to say anything about these. They speak for themselves. Many more darling shoes are available. Made by Diddle Dumpling.

I want this bag. I really, really want it. Made by Paco and Lupe and oh so cute.
I've had my eye on several prints from Jill Dryer. When the new office is set-up, I think I just might finally get one.

I noticed these great mugs from yogagoat months ago, and if I could spend that kind of money on mugs I would in a second.

Cristina wore a Cyberoptix TieLab tie at our wedding. I'd like to order one of each, they are that cool. By the way, they make great Valentine's Day gifts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We had friends over for game night on Friday and I made this amazing Orange Pound Cake. It is, not surprisingly, another terrific recipe from Ina Garten.

1/2 lb. unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 1/2 c sugar, divided
4 eggs, at room temp.
1/2 c orange zest
3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 c fresh orange juice, divided
3/4 c buttermilk, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
Cream the butter and 2 c sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add orange zest.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla and 1/4 c orange juice.
Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the eggs starting and ending with the flour. Pout batter into pans and bake for 45 minutes-1 hr.
While the cakes cool for 10 minutes, heat the remaining sugar and orange juice in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the syrup over the cakes and cool completely.

If you'd like to glaze the cakes (and I highly recommend it) combine powdered sugar with just enough orange juice to allow you to pour over the cakes. This will be 1-2 Tbs for 1 c powdered sugar.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

new from ciuccio

I've been working on some new products for ciuccio, and one of them is these coaster sets (look on etsy if you're interested in purchasing.) I've ordered some new fabrics from reprodepot, and can't wait. I'm planning on making some place mats and table runners as well. Custom sizes and sets will be available.

le bambine

If you've ever wondered why ciuccio only posts every week or so, the answer is above. By day I am nanny extraordinaire for these three cuties. I've been with them full-time since Alli was 3 months old, and she'll be 4 years next month. The twins, Emilie and Grace, are 7 months.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

felt board

It's one of the easiest projects to do with kids, but it seems long forgotten. Buy a stack of felt and cut out shapes. It sticks to itself, so you can cover a board with one large piece (felt is available by the yard, or in 8 1/2" x 11" sheets) and practice letters, shapes or anything else you can manage to cut.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

caramel sauce

I can't take credit for this delicious recipe, that goes to the amazing Ina Garten, but I will take pleasure in passing it on. Cristina and I are completely addicted.

1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c water

mix the water and sugar in a med sauce pan. Without stirring, cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the heat up to to medium and boil until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (350 if you have a candy thermometer). I find it takes at least 10 minutes. As soon as it browns, turn off the heat and add the cream and vanilla. It will splatter, so be careful. Turn the heat back onto low and stir for a few minutes until the caramel dissolves and becomes smooth. Cool for several hours before eating with ice cream.

Monday, January 7, 2008

flea market find

I had to beg for it, but the seller finally agreed to let me have the table for less than the asking price. You see, I saw it on our way out which means I pretty much had no cash left. But that green color is amazing, and the size is perfect, and I wanted it so bad.

the first of many

I've never been much of a writer, so the idea of a blog didn't appeal to me much at first. Consequently this will probably end up being more about images and recipes than rants and raves. What else can you expect from this blog? Little projects I craft up, delicious things to bake, pictures of the wee ones, and the occasional must buy. I also happen to know several amazing crafty-types and if they agree, I'll be including them and some of their brilliant ideas as well.