Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not Your Everyday Kitchen Apron

I know, I know this has nothing to do with food, or savoring the weekend, etc., but I just couldn't help but tell the whole world about my new love and new find.  I stopped by Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day as I just love going in there to see what new gadget or gizmo I can get my hands on to sneak back into the house without my hubby finding out since he says we don't have any room for anything else....... So, anyways, I found these in the store and practically screeched out loud! they're SOOOO adorable!  I'm so excited about these.    I wanted them ALL and imagined myself in all of them and finally came to my senses realizing that if any, I could only have one.  The one I chose was not my first choice, I ended up getting the one that kinda matched my kitchen decor.  So. . . . , without further ado.......may I present.......the kitchen apron collection:


Audrey Ladybug Poppy Apron by Jessie Steele
Isn't she adorable?!! Just look at the cute red bow!  I will wear this one when I'm watching Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday" along with my red lipstick.


Lolita Multi-Tini Apron
So feminine, so dainty....I love it!!  I will wear this one when I'm in the mood to dance around the kitchen with a goblet of Sparkling Cider.


Gigi Toile Hostess Apron by Jessie Steele
I'll wear this one when I cook a French dish - like Beef Bourgignion


Kiss the Cook Apron

This one I'll wear when I have alot, alot of people over the house for dinner.  If you can't figure out why, just ask me :)  lol, jk!!


Polka Dot Monogram Apron

This one I'll wear when I'm in the mood to feel retro like in a "I Love Lucy" mood.



Lolita Who Needs a Man Apron
This one I'll wear when I'm mad at my hubby ~ so I guess I'll never wear it!  lol, jk!


Queen of Everything Apron
This one I'll wear when I wanna feel like royalty - I need to find Elise's (my daughter's) tiara to wear with it.

Lolita I'm Kinda on a Diet Apron
Hmmmmm, I don't know if I'll ever wanna wear this one, but it is cute and colorful

Cookin' Claus Apron
This one I'll wear, duh! during Christmas!!! Isn't it adorable!!!?  I can't wait for Christmas!!!


Good Food Good Life Apron
This is the one I ended up buying even though I wanted all of them!  I bought this one mainly because it matches my kitchen decor - kinda Frenchy - coffee cafe-ish.  I will wear this one when I'm in the mood to cook some gooooooooood food.  Which will be everyday  :)


and now...... I saved the best one for last.....


The Little Black Dress Apron
Oh my goodness!!!  Look at the pearl necklace at the top!!!  Isn't she simply adorable and beautiful??  I adore this one the most!!!  I'll of course wear it when I'm feeling pretty and wanna dress up!!!  or maybe feel like Maria in West Side Story and wanna sing, "I Feel Pretty".  You have to see this one in person, SO CUTE!!!!

What a way to get all dressed up, even if you're not going anywhere.  So which one's your favorite?  Do tell.

You can also buy these online at:  Bed, Bath and Beyond.   They have many more and I want them all.  Do you think I might be able to sneak them into the house without my hubby finding out?? :)  ~isavortheweekend

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

by Martha
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 4 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans and set aside.

Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder two times and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir only until thoroughly blended.

 Gently fold in the zest.

Pour batter into the prepared pans and level tops with an offset spatula. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until a cake tester comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool in the pan about 10 minutes; then remove to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients to combine.

 If necessary, add additional confectioners' sugar to desired consistency.

Pour glaze on top of cakes.....

...... and serve

I watched Martha (Stewart) bake this the other night in her show, "Martha Bakes".  Well, I was smitten immediately.  I love sweet lemon in just about anything, anytime and I couldn't wait until the weekend to start baking these babies so decided to bake them the following day!  Meyer Lemons peaked my curiosity as well as I'd never heard of them.  Martha said to try to use them but if they couldn't be found, regular lemons would work.  I had to google to find out what a Meyer Lemon was and it's a good thing I did because otherwise, I would not have recognized them at the grocery store.  Here is the definition for a Meyer Lemon according to Wikipedia:  

The Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) is a citrus fruit native to China thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. It was introduced to the United States in 1908 as S.P.I. #23028[1] by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China.[2]

So the following day, I made sure to stop by the store to buy my Meyer Lemons as well as some other items.  I almost overlooked the Meyer Lemons only because I first thought that they were tangerines, color shape and all.  I was still skeptical at the checkout counter as well as when I got home. So, I got home, grilled some burgers (a quickie dinner) and soon after excitedly started on my pound cakes.  As soon as I cut that Meyer lemon open, WOW!!!  The strong, lemony smell permeated my kitchen and I was then convinced that these were definitely lemons and not tangerines.  It took me a couple hours from start to finish and I'm content to say that, I have not one but two freshly baked Meyer Lemon Pound Cakes in my refrigerator waiting for me at home, at least I think I do, unless someone else got into them!  ~isavortheweekend

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pre-Spring at Spottswood Place

Pansies, Phlox, Virginia Bluebell
Who says I have to cook food to savor the weekend?  We were blessed with a beautiful, warm springy like day just days before the official start of spring here in central Virginia.  My family and I have been under the weather for about a month now and almost on the mends, so grandma and I decided to get out of the house and go make a stop at the nearby garden store.  We found lots of Pansies, Phlox, Virginia Bluebells and Rosemary (hidden).

It's not spring yet but with such a beautiful day outside, I wanted to go out into my backyard of which I'm not too familiar with just because we've only been living here a couple of months.  I did a little raking, dug up some dirt and oh, that lovely smell of fresh soil sprung up from the ground.  Don't you just love that smell???  If only they could bottle it.

Wandering Jude
I love, love, love this ground cover not only because it's beautiful with it's small, shiny leaves and small pastel blue/lilac colored flowers but also because it does a good job at covering large barren places.  Very hardy and hardly any maintenance at all.  It's a perennial and it just keeps on spreading.  My type of plant :)

Yellow Daffodil
I found a patch of Daffodils in the backyard and another Daffodil patch in the front.  I was concerned that I didn't have any at all so this was my first sighting of the two.

Lemon Thyme
This is my Lemon Thyme herb that I've had since last summer.  It was my only herb (from herb row) that survived the move and survived the winter.  Yea, my type of plant ;)

I have no idea what this is ~ somebody help me!
But whatever this plant is, there are several in the back yard and I'm thrilled!

The gazebo in our backyard
I have so many ideas for this gazebo.  I dream someday of it being surrounded with pink and white Azalea bushes, along with Phlox and Ivy.  If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Today, was sunny, warm and just plain beautiful.  Tomorrow it's back in the mid 40's.  But that's okay because Spring is indeed around the corner.  ~isavortheweekend

Friday, March 11, 2011


This was not made from scratch.  I used a Pillsbury Chocolate cake mix.  Dumped it in a bundt cake pan.  Frosted it with Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate frosting and topped it off with some maraschino cherries, also dumped some of the cherry syrup into the middle.    Needed something to bake quick and easy as I was feeling under the weather today BUT had enough strength to whip this up in my new gas stove/oven. 

We bought this stove back before we moved into our new home, 3 months later it is finally installed.....the right in a professional hooked it up.  I asked hubby to see if he could please have it ready to use by my birthday and sure enough, he did :)

This was the floor model at Sears and we bought it at a wonderful price.  Gas stove, with a conventional/convection oven!  WOW!!  I am so excited :)  We did away with the electric smooth top.  I am convinced I will never, ever use a smooth top again for as long as I live.  I for the most part have cooked with a gas stove all my life and just can't get away from it.

I wanted thick, cast iron grates with a middle burner, lots of stainless steel.  The knobs are metal, not plastic.  Now,  I can't wait to wake up in the morning and cook our first big breakfast on it :)

My birthday cake being baked inside my birthday present :)

Isn't she a beaut??!

Happy Birthday to me!!  
I am SOOOO blessed
I didn't mind baking my own cake
as I needed a good reason since
I wanted to use my new stove.
You'd probably do the same, right? ;) ~isavortheweekend

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Marsala

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)
All-purpose flour for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 oz. crimini or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Pound all the chicken breasts flat (cover each piece with plastic wrap and pound with a flat meat mallet) until they are about 1/4" thick.  Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.

Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.  When the oil is nice and hote, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.  Slip the cutlets into the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once - do this in batches if the pieces don't fit comfortably in the pan.  Remove the chicken to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm .and pepper.

Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat.  Now, add the mushrooms and saute until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.  Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol.  Add the chicken stock and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly.  Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the chicken through.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.  Thanks to Chef Elise, this is what I came home to this evening;  breaded chicken smothered in a wine mushroom sauce served over a bed of white rice.  Tasty, filling and satisfying.  I especially loved the mushrooms.  They are so delicious when they soak up all the sauce.  Thanks again Lisee!  ~isavortheweekend

Very Berry Italian Trifle

8 trifle sponges or a sponge cake, cut into slices
1 cup red currant jelly
8 - 10 Amaretto cookies (the hard version)
1/2 cup Limoncello
juice of half a lemon
12 oz. blackberries
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups Mascarpone cheese

Split the trifle sponges and make little sandwiches of them by spreading 1/4th of the jelly in each, then place them into the base of your glass bowl.

Grind up the Amaretto cookies in a food processor.  Sprinkle most of these evenly over the sponges and reserve some crumbs for sprinkling over the top at the end.  Pour half of the Limoncello over these.

Put the remaining jelly into a wide saucepan with the lemon juice and melt over a low heat. Add the blackberries and turn up the heat for a minute or so just until the juices start running. Pour berry mixture over the sponge sandwiches to cover and let sit while you complete the rest of the recipe.

.With a hand-held electric mixer, mix the egg yolks with the sugar until you have a thick smooth yellow paste.  Add in the remaining Limoncello and continue mixing until you have a light mousse mixture. Mix in the Mascarpone cheese until everything is smoothly combined.
Finally, in another bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm.  Fold these into the lemony, egg-y Mascarpone mixture.  Spread this gently over the blackberries in the glass bowl.  .Cover the assembled trifle with plastic cling wrap and leave in the fridge for the flavors and textures to steep and meld for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Take the trifle out of the fridge for about 40 minutes to an hour before it’s needed to get to a cool room temperature.  Sprinkle remaining amaretto cookie crumbs on top

I found this recipe from a new favorite blog chef named, La Bella Vita.  There's just something about cake smothered in berry juices and who knows what else but the picture she posted, sold me right off the bat.  Here it is:
See what I mean?

I thought about possibly making this for company that we're having at the end of the month so I had Elise make it this week just to see if it was good enough ;)  Well hands down, it's fantastic!  The only thing we substituted was the Limoncello as we didn't have any and never got around to buying some.  I did some research and I could of used lemon syrup just as well but I couldn't find that either while at the store.  I decided to make my own and even though Elise didn't think it worked, I don't want to say it didn't work but I'm sure having a strong sweet lemony flavor would have made this dessert so much better if that's even possible.  I've never had Marscapone Cheese before (at least I don't think so) but I'm really liking it.  It's got a creamy, sweet cream cheese taste to it but much better tasting.  It tasted so much better the 2nd day as the cake had more time to soak up all the juicy juices.  Don and Grandma absolutely loved it.  My only regret is I really want to taste it either with the Limoncello or lemon syrup.  ~isavortheweekend
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