Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lime Mascarpone Blondies!

I have a huge folder of recipes in our online bookmarks. John has made me divide them into categories because they were becoming.. unruly. (And everyone thinks I am the organized, ocd, neat-freak. HA!) They are currently divided into Baking, Dinners, To Try, and To Try When We Get Back to the US. (Ok. So maybe I am all of the above things.. but he is too! Only about different things.) Unfortunately, my "to try" folder just won't shrink. It keeps growing and growing and growing which means that I just have to keep cooking. Rats. I just hate that. 

This morning I decided to knock a couple of recipes of the list. 

Really, I had too much time on my hands. When that happens, I cook. or bake. or clean. or walk the dog. Today, I chose the bake option. I had a lime and some marscarpone cheese that needed to be used soon so I pulled this recipe out of the folder and tadaa! Oh My Word, good. Make these immediately. It will make your Wednesday much better.

Lime Mascarpone Blondies
adapted from 

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x9 baking dish. 

- In small mixing bowl, whisk together butter and sugar. 

- Add egg and vanilla, whisk to combine. 

- Add lime juice, zest, and mascarpone cheese. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps of cheese. 

- Add remaining ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt;stirring well to combine. Batter should be smooth. 

- Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ok, I thought it might be fun to take a vote on what recipe I should make next and post. Here are the choices:

1- Savory Acorn Squash Pudding

2- Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

3- Savory Cheese and Chive Bread

Can you see a theme? I'm in the mood for fall. Just let me know which one you would like to see here by leaving a comment.

Take that Martha!

Yes, you read correctly. I have beaten Martha Stewart at her own game. I have made a better cookie.

I found this recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies for about 6 months ago and have made them several times. They are pretty good. The original recipe is ok... probably one of the better oatmeal raisin recipes I have found but it needed work. They came out too cake-like. I like my ORC chewy and slightly soft. So, whenever I made them I would think of the changes I needed to make for the next time. Then "the next time" came along and I would forget to make the changes. Does anyone else do that?? Or is it just me?? 

This weekend I made them. Twice. I finally remembered to make the changes. And, they are amazing! The perfect cookie. Now, it is up to you! If you want to feel like a domestic goddess and -slightly- better than Martha, make these cookies! It's a nice little ego boost.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
adapted from

1/2 cup (1 stick in the USA) Butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 2/3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter and brown sugar with mixer.
- Add egg and vanilla, mix well. 
- Next, add salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Mix well with a large spoon. 
- The oatmeal and raisins are mixed in last with a large spoon. Drop by the rounded spoonful on a baking sheet, bake for about 8 minutes or until slightly brown on top. 

Sorry, no pictures today. I will update this post with one later!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Last Saturday, while J was here, we took her and her friends to the flower market in Nice. I, unfortunately, did not bring my good camera. (What was I thinking?!?) But, I did take the little point and shoot, thinking that it would be ok for a few shots. Then the battery died on it. (Really?? My luck is amazing.) I did get a shot or two in before it crashed on me.

 Aren't these amazing? Love Sunflowers.

I really wanted to buy some of these... but we only had enough cash for one purchase. We opted for more strawberry preserves instead of flowers. 

We really love food. 
Speaking of which, we are going to a food festival in a town nearby this weekend. WoooHoooo! Our fridge will be filled with stinky cheese! 

Enjoy your weekend guys! I'll see you back here on Monday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Guest

Our vacation weekend was spent with one of my very good friends from college. She came through Nice on her tour of Europe with 3 other girls and it was so so great to see her. 

J was not only a good friend in college, she was also my roommate. Well, when she was there, she was my roommate. J picked one of those degrees that you had to study for all the time so most of her days were spent in the library. I did not. Still, she was the best roommate that I had in those 4 years. (Although, really, the competition was not that steep. Man, did I have some doozies...) We cooked a lot of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and rice crispy treats and we pretty much mastered the mashed potato, microwaved baked potato, fantastic salads, and baked chicken marinaded in italian dressing. I know what you are thinking- wow! What gourmet chefs we were as college students! And, compared to everyone else... we were. 

J and I spent the weekend laughing, catching up, and making plans for all kinds of things that we have to do when John and I get back to the states. I look forward to every single one of them.... but especially making more of these:

and having a few more moments like this:

I love those friends that things always pick up right where they left off. Those are the best kind to have! Especially when you are living on a different continent..... 

Almost the weekend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wish you were here!

Well, our wonderful vacation week is over. So sad. John is already back at work this morning and I am getting back into my weekly routine. Walk the dog, breakfast, workout, dishes, laundry, etc etc etc. It really never ends.

One of my favorite vacation days was our trip to Jaun les Pins and the only sandy beach in our immediate area. And it is 25 minutes away. I guess that's better than 10 hours away in the States!! It was so relaxing and we didn't have a million rocks poking us while we laid there. ahhhhh. So nice. 

Looking toward Antibes from the beach

Mountains in the distance

John and I love this old man and his pipe. There was another man sitting in this spot and he left. This guy hopped into his spot in about 2 second, lit his pipe, and settled in! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sadie on a picnic

For lunch yesterday, the hubs and I went for a picnic in our favorite park. We packed up our french bread, french cheese, some melon, tomatoes (for John, not for me!), and, of course, our favorite fuzzy friend, Sadie. John took a book, his ipod, and a drawing pad to keep him busy after we ate. I took a book. I'm easy to please that way. 

There was only one thing we forgot- a good distraction for Sadie. So, our little nosy dog kept herself occupied walking around, trying to catch pigeons, and staring at every person, dog, or leaf that came along. 

She reminds me of Dug, the dog in "Up" here. 

"What was that??? I think I heard a leaf fall way over that hill!"

John, relaxing the afternoon away


Smiling through the slobbery doggie kisses... 

What a great afternoon. Love spending time with my 2 favorites.

Love this place!

A beautiful double rainbow outside our apartment a couple of weeks ago. Amazing. 


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Banana Banana Bread

Quick recipe for you today since we are on VACATION this week. Woohooooo! I say that, but we aren't really doing anything this week. John and I went to Italy this morning, going to go into the mountains later this week, and then the beach. Oh, and a dentist appointment for me. Hurray! Love those. Really, I don't hate the dentist but I am not looking forward to this one. At all.

I made this bread the other day because we had a few bananas that were... well... brown. We just didn't eat those Cheerios fast enough I guess. It is moist, tender and sans nuts. John says it tastes like a bread form of banana pudding. What more do you need to know? 

Banana Bread
adapted from allrecipes

2 cups all purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 medium bananas

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 in loaf pan. (I made muffins because I didn't bring a loaf pan to France... )
- Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and bananas, mix well. 
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Add banana mixture to this until well incorporated.  
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. (about 60 minutes)
- Let loaf cool for 10 minutes, turn out onto wire wrack to complete cooling. 


Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthday Extravaganza!

It's a tradition for me to make John a birthday sign.. I've done it every year since we got married. Last year I made it out of leftover cardboard boxes.... It was pretty. See? I think this year's is better.... 
  Cake was good too. From scratch! Cake and Icing. Ohh man. Makes me want a piece right now. Maybe that will be my lunch.... 
Happy birthday to my husband! And, Happy weekend to everyone else!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Big Day!

Today I have:

Baked a Cake
Wrapped presents
Put up a birthday sign
Bought the last things I needed for dinner
Cleaned the kitchen 8 times. ( I baked a cake, remember. It's a messy business.) 
Omitted telling John that one of his presents arrived today (Score one for me! I am not good with keeping gifts secret. I want you to have it NOW so I can see the look of joy on your face. Yeh. I love gift giving.) 

And now, I am writing a blog to tell my wonderful husband

pictures to come later!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Evening in Nice

 It's so sad that we got the best dog possible on the first try. No other dog will ever be able to compare. Honestly, I'm not even sure our own children will be able to live up to this dog. 

Checking on the neighborhood. 

My two Favorites. 
Please ignore the box in the background. We order Sadie's food and I hadn't thrown the box away yet. 

Beautiful Sky. 

Really? Can a human kid be this cute? Come on.. She is the cutest. Admit it.  And, she's smart. Genius, in fact. 

It's probably a good thing we don't have a real child yet. They would think they were the greatest thing since sliced bread.

It's Wednesday! YEH! Only two more days until the weekend!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

For Sale!

For anyone who might be reading this in Nice, or anyone who is willing to pay for the shipping, the hubs and I are trying to sell a couple of things. Since we will be moving back to the States in about 6 months, we are already trying to downsize some of the items that we have to take back. Plus, a little extra cash is always nice! 

 Quechua 2 second tent

 2 people and a dog fit in here! 
TV, turned on about 20 times... We just don't watch a lot of TV and don't really need it. 
Both were purchased in 2009 and are in perfect condition. If interested, just comment and I will get in touch with you!

Monday, September 6, 2010

On a Personal Note

I wouldn't normally make the blog so personal,  but I think today I will make an exception. My husband, John, and I had a rough weekend. As did many of the people that we know back in the US. Our wonderful friend and former pastor passed away. Jonate was only 31 years old and he and his wife had just had their first child. He was an amazing influence on both of our lives and taught us and thousands of others how to worship and grow in spiritual maturity. There are genuinely no words. All that I ask is that you would lift his wife, little girl, and the rest of their family in your prayers. 

I also lost my "Dickson Granny" this weekend. Growing up, my family lived about 6 hours from the rest of our extended Family so we adopted aunts, uncles, brothers, and one Granny -Granny Mary. She was wonderful fun and always treated my mom, dad, and I just like we were her own. Days at her house were filled with laughter, lemonade, and frozen Reese's cups. 

Jonate and Granny- You will both be missed greatly. Thank you for the laughs, tears, jokes, and lessons learned. May you both rest in God's perfect peace.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Simple, fantastic Couscous

Now that everything is finished with the Paris trip and we are busy planning our other trips for this year.... and praying we don't deplete our savings in the process.... I thought I would share a FANTASTIC summer salad recipe with you. Great for Labor day cookouts, casual dinners, and picnics!

Chick Pea and Couscous Salad
Serves 6 ( I mean, it makes a LOT of salad!)

1 1/2 cups cooked couscous
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 whole green onion, chopped
1/4 cup chervil ( You can use Parsley... but it won't taste same.. I promise.)
Salt and Fresh Black pepper
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 or 2 limes, juiced. 

- Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. All of the ingredients can be adjusted to taste. 
-Eat while warm! It just isn't as good cold.  

Enjoy! Halfway to the weekend! Yeh!