Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Heartfelt Home Cafe: why I love Julia Child ♥


 
Hello and welcome back to the cafe!  Firstly I would like to thank all my twitter, instagram, and blog friends for all of your kind words and feedback .  Creating this space for us has been a thrill for me and knowing that you love the idea too, makes it all the more exciting! It seems I'm not the only one who loves cafes and dreams of a perfect place to gather, talk, laugh, and drink coffee (& tea! : )  I have appreciated all of your ideas and will be taking them to heart in the coming weeks and months. My friend Rosinda suggested that we travel to a new city each time we visit the café and I love that idea.  We can combine our love for cafés with our endless Wanderlust! Thanks Rosinda
 




I've found so many lovely things for our cafe on Pinterest (my newest obsession!).  Every time I post something from Pinterest I will link back to the website or blog it came from through the "via" link I will put under the photo.  
 
You will find a wealth of inspiration, recipes, ideas, and new blogs.  

For example...



Wouldn't these tea bag shaped shortbread cookies (dipped in chocolate) be darling in our cafe?!  Can you imagine a tray of these with our tea next Monday when we get together to discuss Downtown Abbey? I think they are a must! I love this idea! ♥♥♥






Luckily for us we are located right next door to a florist (how convenient : ).  I picked up some beautiful flowers to decorate the tables today. How could I resist these lovelies?  One bunch for every table.  You can take yours home if you want to?  ♥
 
 



On the menu today we have warm almond croissants dusted lightly with powdered sugar.  

Mmmm.....  
 



And since Fall is in the air, how about a cinnamon apple chai tea? Doesn't that sound heavenly? It's a hug in a cup.... 






Or how about these delectable pumpkin apple spice donuts?  I mean, could you just.....eat them all?!  I could! And don't forget, calories don't exist here! Another reason why I love this place ♥
 
 

 
 
Ooh, I think I just heard the postman.  Excuse me for just one moment while I step outside and check the mail...... 

Here it is! There's something for you!  Enjoy your snail mail! We don't get enough of it these days, don't you agree?  
 
 


 
So now that you have your mail and your cuppa  pull up a chair. Your seat is waiting for you....♥
 
 


Are you comfy? Great! Let's talk.  How are you? In real life my days have been busy. It took no time at all to fall back into the school routine - homework, packing lunches, etc. The weeks are flying by and I feel like September is going by in one big blur.  We are finally experiencing our first burst of Fall weather - cool and crisp - and I'm loving it.   I've decorated my house inside and out with mums and yesterday I made Susan Branch's Cornbread with honey bee butter! It was so good! Hubby is loving Football as much as I'm loving nesting.  Pumpkin spice and cinnamon candles are keeping the house cozy while outside it smells of burning leaves.  How I love the Fall! ♥
 

  
 
 
I am so happy because last week I finally got to read this book that I had somehow missed out on for years.  My Life in France by Julia Child.  As if it were possible for me to love Julia even more it has happened. Have you read this book?  I loved it beyond words! The way Julia described first arriving in Paris in 1948 gave me chills.  Her first French meal that changed her life and how she could not believe that people actually drank wine with lunch?!

 Julia enrolled in  Le Cordon Bleu cooking school to fulfill a passion she had for cooking.  She did not speak a word of french and was in a class of all men.  Determined to succeed (after failing her first final exam) she graduated and a star was born. 

 With the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia succeeded in changing the way Americans related to food.  She gave us the courage to try new things and taught us is OK if they don't always come out perfectly. Julia was awkward and sometimes clumsy in the kitchen, but she would never apologize.  "It's okay" she would say.  "You are alone in the kitchen".  She was real.  She was what we all wanted to be. 

 Without Julia there would be no Food Network or the celebrity chefs we know today.  Julia was a pioneer.  And her first book was not published until she was 49 years old.  In some ways, that's my favorite part.  If you are a fan of Julia or just love to read about inspirational, determined women, give this book a read.  I promise you will love it.  ♥
 



Thank you for joining me in the Heartfelt Home Café today.  I hope you enjoyed your visit.  Drop me a line and let me know what you a reading.  I'm in between books right now and looking to start something new.  It's getting darker earlier now and somehow books are more a comfort at night, with a quilt and a hot cup of tea.
 
Enjoy your week, my friends! Let's meet again soon! xo
 
 
 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Heartfelt Home Cafe


 


Welcome to The Heartfelt Home Café!  The Heartfelt Home Café is a virtual space I have created for us to gather.  After a particularly stressful week at work I thought about how wonderful it would be to actually have a café that I could go to, meet my friends, have coffee, tea, & treats, and talk about whatever is on our minds.  How relaxing....  


 
 
 


I have a love for cafe's.  I love the smell of coffee, most of them have comfy chairs, and books, and are filled with the sounds of friends talking and laughing.  Whenever we travel, my husband and I  always pop into a local coffee or tea shop to get the feel of our environment.  The coolest people hang out in these places. And that's where you come in...










This is our space.  I need your help building our café.  Last night I created a pinterest board  (here)with ideas and images of what I thought you would like.  I picture our café on the corner of a cobblestone street in some beautiful European city.  I think next to a florist would be perfect because I could get bouquets of fresh cut flowers every morning to fill our space. 


 
 
Wouldn't this be lovely?
 
 
 
 

We  have an assortment of gourmet coffees and teas, all served on beautiful china.  If you are hungry there are pastries, croissants, and an endless variety of sweet treats, cookies, brownies, cakes, and chocolates. (and naturally everything is fat free at The Heartfelt Home Café - calories do not exist here : ) And maybe once a month we could have a wine and cheese tasting - after hours ♥




 
 
 
 

Music is key. I love the sounds of classical music in the background while I'm working, but I am open to any suggestions. I want you to be comfortable. What are you in the mood for?  I think white twinkle lights around the windows would be charming and I'll have vintage stationary available for you in case you would like to make a note or write a letter.  There is a charming old fashioned mailbox right outside next to the lamppost.  How convenient. We have at least one wall full of books available for you to take - all the classics of course.  Just be sure to return it so the next person can enjoy.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




When you come to the café I encourage you to bring your current book, sewing project, or whatever else you may be interested in.  Our café is a place where we can share ideas and get inspiration. And don't worry about the time.  It stands still here.  Stay as long as you like.
 
 
 
 
Wouldn't it be grand?



It's a place for dreaming.  We can talk about what it would be like to go to Paris one day.  And someone in the group will surely have already been (as is usually the case) and she can tell us how truly fabulous it really is.  And then I will go get us more brownies because we will need them ♥



 
 
 
 
If you have any suggestions for our café please let me know.  I would love your ideas. The café would be nothing without you.  Every week I will visit this place with a new topic to discuss.  Maybe a book or a recipe or a TV show.  I just heard today that the new season of Downton Abbey starts September 21st!  We will have much to discuss after that!
 
 
 
 
I will no doubt still be doing my regular postings, but having this café will give me a new escape.  And isn't that what we all need once in a while?
After I leave here tonight I have real life laundry to do and a Spiderman lunchbox to pack. It's all good ♥
 
 
 
 
So do please join me in the café.  Leave me your comments & suggestions for our special place.  You are always welcome here and I am happy to have you  ♥♥♥
 
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer days & nights and a chocolate chip skillet cookie you will love ♥

 
Hello! How did it get to be August? I looked at the calendar today and it suddenly dawned on me that in only a few short weeks it will be September!  The Summer is going by so fast.  I've really been terrible at keeping up with my blog this Summer.  So many post ideas have come and gone but have never made it onto my computer.  I've been in an ice cream/movie marathon/summer reading coma that keeps me on my couch at night with either a spoon, a remote, or a book in my hand.  We are in the thick of the lazy, hazy, days of Summer! (Lazy being the key word here : ) 
 
 
 
 
The weeks between mid July and mid August feel like a blur to me.  I celebrated my 40th birthday (I can't believe I survived it! : ) and this past weekend my son turned 7! Why is it that the days go by slow yet the years go by fast?  It's scary to me.  Here he is blowing out his candles and making his birthday wish.  He's such a wonderful, funny, smart little boy.  Love him so much! xoxo
 
 
 
 
Aside from birthday's, we've been keeping ourselves busy with camp, beaches, library's, amusement parks, music lessons, and lot of ice cream! Just what summer is supposed to be ♥  Last night I made the most delicious Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie! Served warm with vanilla ice cream....oh my word was it gooood......but more on that later....
 
 
 
   
Here in New England the days have been incredibly H-O-T and sticky, but look at what the sky has been doing. Can you believe these clouds? I've never seen them so big and fluffy ♥  We were at the playground that day.  I looked up and could not take my eyes off the sky.  I wondered what the night would bring. 
 
 
 

You know that perfect time of the day when he sun begins to set and you see little rays of light peeking through the trees? I was actually quick enough to capture one of those moments that same day. The setting sun through the Rose of Sharon in my back yard.  So pretty ♥




And then this happened.  I took it all in and then said thank you to the universe ♥  I was in awe of its beauty.  This Summer has seen the most beautiful sunsets ever!  Even in my little yard they blow me away.  I watch the colors change from pink and orange, to purple, to blue, then to black. 


 
 
And then night falls. I've been fascinated by the night sky lately. I look up and wonder if anyone else is dreaming the same dreams as I am.  Remember that Mama Cass song "Dream a little dream of me..." ♥ I can't get it out of my head.
 
 
 
 
In case you were wondering what I dream about, I dream of  far away places.  I keep these figurines in my bedroom...as if I need a reminder...  The Eiffel Tower is so old it's beginning to curl.  (heavy sigh....)
 
 
 
 
We've been to the ocean a lot this summer.  Luckily it's only a 15 minute drive from my house. I like going on cloudy days to watch to the boats.   Its not as hot and the clouds are incredible. 
 
 
 
 
Morning coffee on the beach is my favorite. We pack a picnic with coffee and donuts and enjoy the morning before the crowds come. 
 
 
 
 
We throw rocks in the ocean and wonder where they'll end up. ♥  
 

 
 
Trying to get my son to do his Summer reading is hard.  For me it's easy. I'm currently reading When Autumn Leaves by Amy Foster.  I can't put it down! There is a charming little town, fun characters, and (yes!) magic spells. Love it! ♥  I just finished a book about Marie Antoinette which was great, but for a change I wanted something a little lighter.  This is perfect.  I can't wait to get back to it tonight!
 



 Remember that skillet cookie I was telling you about?  I had never made a skillet cookie before, but always wanted to try one.  I did a quick google search for a recipe and this is what  I came up with.  I had all the ingredients on hand and I threw it together right before dinner.  By the time we were done, so was the cookie.  If you want to give it a try, here is the recipe. I found it (here) at www.Lemon-Sugar.com



 
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 
In an 8 inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted add the sugar and brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. 
 
In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg.  Add a small amount, about 1/4 cup or so, of the melted sugar and butter to the egg mixture (to temper it) and whisk to combine.  Pour the egg mixture back into the skillet and stir until completely combined. 
 
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Using a wooden spoon, carefully add to the skillet.  Stir to completely incorporate the dry ingredients. 
 
Add vanilla and chocolate chips.  Stir to combine.
 
Bake 15 - 20  minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Best served warm, but let cool slightly to set before cutting. 
 
Enjoy! ♥ 
 
 
 
 
Simple Summer Pleasures!
 
 
So that's what I've been up to. 
 


It's nothing fancy.  Just trying to enjoy the summer day by day, watering my plants and watching the sun go down. Maybe having a margarita here and there.  Reading books and watching Netflix. All is well in my corner of the world. ♥♥♥

I hope you are enjoying your Summer days and nights!  September is coming and Summer is slipping away.  I'm ready.  Are you? : )