Monday, August 30, 2010

Well smack my butt & dip me in chocolate!

So, we all know my love of all things CHOCOLATE... hot chocolate, mocha coffee, chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels & potato chips & truffles & bacon &.... well you get the picture!

Thats why when I found THIS

I HAD to have it!!! {And yes I got the coffee flavored also} Its chocolate air! "all chocolate flavor none of the guilt!"

But I dont think I could go this far... actually I KNOW I couldnt go this far, chocolate or not, I have my limits!


Nothing screams "crazy combo" more than a chocolate-covered onion. The taste is obviously comparable to taking a chunk of a raw onion and following up with a bite of Hershey's chocolate. Photo courtesy of Jean-Paul de Guzman via Flickr ... this just makes me think of Shrek!


Made by the insect candy company HOTLIX, which also produces chocolate-covered worms and sugar-encased scorpions, these wafers of white chocolate contain swirls of milk chocolate mixed with a creepy-crawly insect in every bite. Photo courtesy of ...eeewwww!


Yes, this is real: chocolate-covered squid. While Noah Weinstein was cooking squid in his Oakland, California, home, he was intrigued with the thought of covering it with chocolate. First he boiled the squid, then coated them in a spicy chocolate mix. Photo courtesy of Noah Weinstein..... thanks but no thanks Noah!!

However... my birthday is right around the corner {and by that I mean November 20th} & if any of you were just perplexed as what to get me... I must have some of this!!

Holy Monkey Butts!!!!! Vodka??? YES PLEASE!! Bacon?? YOU KNOW IT!! Chocolate??? SOLD AMERICAN!!!

As for tonight... I have a pint of Baskin Robins World Class Chocolate calling my name! Have a sweet night!!

♥ Tawny

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Dinner... Welcome to the Familia!

And welcome once again to our dinner table!
"Entrare, Sedersi e Godere!"... Come in, sit down and enjoy!

This week The Chef & I wanted to share one of our favorite sunday dinner recipes!
Its always a bit magical when we pull out the family cookbook, all tattered, held together by years of tape... pages all yellowed & stained with sauce splatter... little notes scribbled in the margins faded but still beautiful. The smell of it makes me think of history & love that have been in the family for generations... I am honored to be apart of it all.

We sincerly hope you try this amazing recipe! It feeds your stomach as well as your soul!

Gnocchi Puttanesca

Ingredients {Gnocchi}
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 (1-pound) russet potato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cook the butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the thyme leaves. Set aside.

Pierce the potato all over with a fork. Microwave the potato until tender, turning once, about 12 minutes. Cut the potato in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; discard the skin. Using a fork, mash the potato well. Mash in the salt and pepper. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the egg; discard the remaining egg. Sift the flour over the potato mixture and knead just until blended.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms and the work surface into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope (about 20 inches long). Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough over a wooden paddle with ridges or over the tines of a fork to form grooves in the dough.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until the gnocchi rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Continue cooking until the gnocchi are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the hot thyme-butter in the skillet. Toss to coat.


1 pound gnocchi
1 (2-ounce) can anchovies, drained, oil reserved, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large skillet, heat the reserved oil from anchovies over medium-high heat. Add chopped anchovies; saute until aroma is released. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and dried crushed red pepper. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. To the skillet add gnocchi and toss in anchovy mixture to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.Spoon into shallow bowls. Top with the Pecorino and parsley...serve.

A tavola non si invecchia.
At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.

♥ Tawny

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Kvelling!!!!!

Im so excited that i have been nominated for a blog award!
{its my first, thank you very much!}

And now for the rules!!!
{I take my award responsibility very seriously... just like Miss America}

#1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the Versatile Blogger Award:
Thank you!!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! to The Blue Fairie of Dancing with a Spatula Wand Im so honored you like my recipes & my music *blush* okay and... first, you had me at Blue Fairie ♥... also, your blog name makes my heart smile... SO CUTE... and now I want to be a belly dancer!!

#2. Share 7 things about yourself.
1. I am addicted to laffy taffy & kettle corn ice cream... {not at the same time}
2. I am a professional crafter for... well, I dont know if Im allowed to say.. but its NOT Michaels or JoAnns {hint}
3. I have been in the top secret storage warehouse of ELVIS PRESLEY & read his personal script from Blue Hawaii
4. If I dont have caffine in the morning... RUN
5. My hubby the chef feeds me icecream in bed every night.
6. I HATE spiders & traffic
7. When I wear dresses... I spin.

#3. Pass the Versatile Blogger Award along to 10 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!
1. Lindsay of Crochet D Lane
2. Melissa of Organized Chaos
3. Theresa of My MiNuTia ummm... have you heard of Silver Bella???
4. Sherry of Pashnada
5. Lolliblog = eye candy
6. Because I said so... a mom blog.
7. A Beautiful Mess = Inspiration
8. A Faniful Twist = magical.
9. Emmy from Confessions of a Paper Freak
10. Fawn she makes me jealous... in a good way!

#4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the Versatile Blogger Award.
Okay... off I go!!! Miss Americas job is never done!!! :)

♥ Tawny

Monday, August 23, 2010

Its almost Fall Ya'll!

Who has two thumbs & is ready for Fall??

Its been so hot here in the 405! & with a "cold front" coming tonight the temps MIGHT drop from 106 to a balmy 85 degrees! And that has me doing a happy dance!

And with all this talk of Fall, I realized it was time to get crackin on my Halloween costumes!

Unfortunatly... all my original pics were lost with the old computer!!! ARG! that is not helpfull when you've revamped your business... & with that came a name change!!
{did I say ARG!}

Soooo... I guess this means LOTS of new designs!! YIPPEEE!!!! I have been sketching my little tushy off! This Halloween we will be visited by a car hop... a cuppie cake... Alice... AND the Mad Hattress!! and if we are lucky a few more!!

But for now... how about an oldie but a goodie?...

Isnt she sweet!
{That darling little witch is Xiera... her mom is Lindsay of Crochet D Lane} You can find her adorable blog HERE.

So I guess its time to click my heels together & get busy making some Halloween wishes come true!

♥ Tawny

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Dinner.... drinks anyone?

I will have to admit that I concidered the following as your Sunday Dinner feature...

1. turn on computer
2. find favorite pizza delivery
3. order

thats how tired I am right now.... HaHa! But I couldnt do that to you, so I thought we would keep it simple, cool & Thirst quinching!

This is one of our favorite things to whip up when we have guests...

Rosemary Lemonade


20 fresh lemons
2 cups of simple syrup
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup sugar
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary (reserved 2 for garnish)
1 quart of water (spring water)
1 whole lemon sliced for garnish


Cut the lemons in half and juice it through a cheesecloth or

In a medium saucepan, combine the rosemary sprigs, sugar, and water, and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened and well-infused.

In a pitcher, add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and water, then pour in the infused syrup. Do not pour all the syrup in at once.

add 2 fresh sprigs of rosemary, sliced lemon for garnish, and crushed ice.

Want a limeyer {I know thats NOT a word!} version... well then add Limes!!

I like to give this as hostess gifts as well, by putting the fresh herbs in pretty bottles with the lemons then pouring in the lemonade.

Also, you can of course make this a fabulous adult beverage & add a peach vodka! YUM!

So if this week hands you lemons...

♥ Tawny

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things I ♥ today...

One of my favorite things to do to unwind after a long day is to browse a little eye candy on the interwebs!!!

I love flickr! These images have made my eyes happy! Enjoy!!

1. Savoy camera... it will be mine... oh yes, it will be mine!
2. This sweet little Shasta is my dream
3. I want these sweet little cones all around my house!
4. If this little bouquet was on my desk at work it would make everything happier!!

oh & if I had this stationary set I would write love notes & fairy tales all day long!

It is from Etsy seller Quirky and Cute Art by Stephanie Fizer her store is spectacular!

Have a great week blog friends!
♥ Tawny

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome to Hollywood! Land of Dreams.....

You know that last scene in Pretty Woman where the Rasta guy is walking across the street & he says...
"Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin"??
I dont know how many of you know this... but a few weeks ago I had my "whats your dream" break through

I decided those few weeks ago that I was going to dig myself out of this creative funk... I was going to jump back into my studio & reconnect with the Tawny that I put on the back burner 2 years ago. & to make a long story short... its working.

I have tuned out all the noise... & now Im back on the right path.

I havent been this inspired in so long!
I am determined to make this crazy dream of mine come true, & so I started diving into the sea of information there is out there about building a blog... crafting & selling... website design... & just basic eye candy!

& I thought I would share a few here!

First & foremost... Handmade Market Place by Kari Chapin... is my new bible!

If you want to make the crazy world of handmade your life... you gotta check out her book! I found Kari's book one day when I was blog surfing. I came across Tranquility Du Jour & was hooked... & then Kimberly interviewed Kari about her book. I went & bought it THAT NIGHT! I ♥ it!!

Also through the beauty of the blogsphere I came across Confessions of a Paper Freak


I have to admit I clicked onto Emmy's blog in the hopes of winning a giveaway... & in the end I feel like I got so much more!
Right now {Emmy} is nearing the end of her blog series "Your The Boss"
Its a MUST read... there are so many tips & words of encouragement!

There are so many others in this crazy, busting at the seams, crafty, bloggy community that have inspired me & made me want to make this dream come true... too many to list here... so i guess all there is left to say is...
Whats your dream?


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Dinner... Back to School

Well, the time has come.
BACK to SCHOOL!!! The past couple of weeks around here have been about notebook buying & uniform fittings.

& in the spirit of back to school I thought we {here on the blog} needed a bit of Bento for our Sunday Dinner inspiration!
We are going with bento boxes this year instead of lunch boxes... I have picky eaters... & by that I mean, my kids dont want just normal sandwhiches... & school lunch is well... out of the question {unless its pizza day!}

What is BENTO you ask?? Well, it is the Japanese word for a meal served in a box. Beyond that basic definition though, just about anything goes as to what kind of box or container is used, as well as what is put inside that box...

So to cure the sacklunch boredom we decided to make lunch fun for the kiddos.
It takes a little extra prep time... but its so worth it! grab a few cookie cutters, & other bento accessories {I LOVE Wiltons silicone cupcake molds to seperate side items!} A little bit of art makes healthy eating fun! And its an ecofriendly lunch!

And there are so many adorable bento boxes & accessories out there... we got these... Super Cute huh!

you can find tons of fun Bento boxes & supplies HERE.

So rethink lunch this school year... make it cheap... make it earth friendly.. & make it fun!!

Happy Bentoing!

♥ Tawny

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A little inspiration... a surprise field trip... & my newest addiction

Isnt it awesome that I get paid {occationally} to cruise about town & take in a new breath of inspiration!?
It really was needed... & we all had a super time! I have to say... that as far as surprise field trips go... this one was good.

What girl doesnt love a bit of The French Cowgirl, some antique browsing a cafe lunch & more with her girls??

And the inspiration was... well inspiring!

A very Tawny version of this is being constructed in my garage as we speak!

My camera wanted to click away at all the yumminess my eyes took in... but I couldnt let it. sad.

However with all those colors & textures in my brain I can now sit here & play with my newest addiction...

Yeah, I know Im the last to jump on the digital scrapbooking wagon... but I am in ♥ ♥ ♥!!

Lots more to come this week... so keep checking back!!
& oh... are you following me?? you want some cool freebies & a rad back to school giveaway?? click that follow button!!

♥ Tawny

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sundays are for Brunchin'!

Ahhhh.... Sunday!
I live for these relaxing... snuggling... coffee sipping... blog surfing... no where to rush off to days!

A little cinnamon vanilla coffee, a little brioche & jam, & the beginnings of a spectacular brunch are born!

Sundays were made for this!

West Coast Style Oscar Benedict


1 cup white-wine vinegar
8 large eggs
2 pounds fresh cooked crab meat
4 English muffins, split and toasted
Avacado sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, {for serving}


In a large saucepan, bring vinegar and 16 cups water to a boil over high heat; immediately reduce heat to a low simmer.
Crack each egg into an individual bowl, checking for shells. Working in two batches, gently drop eggs, one at a time, into simmering water and cook for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat process until all eggs are cooked. Let water continue to simmer.

Return eggs to simmering water until heated through, about 1 minute. Place each English muffin face up on a plate. Top each muffin half with slices of avacado, crab meat and a poached egg. Top eggs with Hollandaise sauce and garnish with chives.


2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Coarse salt
Cayenne pepper
Freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a heatproof bowl, set over a simmering water bath, whisk together yolks with 1 tablespoon water until fluffy and doubled in volume.
Whisk in butter until melted and well combined; mixture should thicken and coat the back of a spoon.
Season with salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice.
Let stand at room temperature until ready to use, up to 1 hour.

Brunch Appetite!

♥ Tawny

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How about dessert??

I came home this weekend with Mimosas on my mind!
And this is the best thing about being married to The Chef... I can say, "You know what sounds good??..." & POOF! Like magic I have a delicious treat!!

So, when I said a mimosa slushy sounded good... THIS is what I got!

Peach Champagne Sorbet

Get your ice cream scoops ready!
& have some frosty fun!!!

1-1/2 pounds peaches
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup champagne
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put the peaches in a large saucepan and cover them with boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Peel the peaches; halve them and remove the pits. Transfer the peaches to a food processor and coarsely puree. Pour into a medium bowl.

In a medium nonreactive saucepan bring the sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil over moderately high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest and let simmer about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set the syrup aside for about 10 minutes.

Strain the syrup into the peach puree and blend well. Add the champagne, the lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Stir Well. Refrigerate until chilled.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Oh... & I cant forget the cookie treat on the side...

Waffle Cookie

1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
8 tbsp. cocoa
Dash of salt

Cream together the sugar and butter. Add beaten eggs and vanilla, then the flour, cocoa and salt. Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls into each side of your waffle iron and bake about 1 1/2 minutes.

Soooo YUMMY!!

♥ Tawny