Friday, April 26, 2024

Pots de Creme: a quick little sweet treat ♥

Hello Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Despite it still being cold, the sun is shining today and I'm happy about that. 

Today I wanted to quickly share with you a delicious chocolate dessert I made yesterday for the first time.  Lately my sweet tooth has been ravenous!  That's a strong word but trust me, it's fitting!  I seem to need something sweet every night.  Is it my age? I don't know, but I'm craving dessert all the time! 

This past week I started a project of flipping through all my cookbooks and bookmarking recipes I want to make.  I had a busy work week, but made sure to carve out some time to make a dessert because time in the kitchen is my therapy.  I find on very busy days if I do something for myself, even something small like make a quick dessert, it makes the day special and is not all about work or chores or adult stuff.  It's about me. Even better if chocolate is involved.  

This recipe comes from Susan Branch's Sweet's to the Sweet cookbook.  It's the most darling little keepsake dessert book and one of my favorites.  I picked this recipe because it looked easy, had very little ingredients, and looked like the perfect little sweet treat for my family.  
(I was right  )

Here's how to make it:

It will literally take you 5 minutes and is so worth it. Plus it sounds very French : )  

3/4 cup whole milk
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine (I used chocolate chips)
1 lg egg
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp vanilla 
pinch of salt 
3 Tbsp rum 
whipped cream

Heat milk slowly, just to boiling point.  Put all other ingredients except rum & whipped cream into a blender.  Slowly add hot milk and blend for 30 seconds. Add rum and continue blending for 1 more minute.  Pour into serving dishes & chill.  

Top with whipped cream (I used Cool Whip) and enjoy! 

Add sprinkles for magic ❇

I served in my mother's beautiful depression glass dessert dishes which made made my heart happy.  

She loved chocolate as much as I do 


I only used 2 Tbls of rum instead of 3 and that was plenty for us.  I image you could just leave it out if you prefer.  In any case,  the chocolate was so creamy and delicious!!!  This made 4 servings which was perfect for us, and quite frankly I'm glad there were no leftovers because I would have eaten it all.  
Susan Branch continues to be my fairy God mother : ) 

*I also made a little video of me making this in my kitchen yesterday which I'm upload soon.  I'll let you know when I do*

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, filled with sunshine, flowers, and sweet treats! 

I won't tell you how I have to go back into battle looking for a car tomorrow because my exhaust was blowing black smoke yesterday....  For now, let's just think about chocolate!

 That's fine with me! 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

10 Things I Love: Today ♥


Hello Friends! Happy Saturday! ♥

I usually don't blog on Saturdays but this afternoon I am finding myself cozy at home instead of car shopping, which was the plan.  It turned out to be a very rainy morning and do you want to know what's worse than car shopping? It's car shopping in the rain.  The good news is that we have it narrowed down to what we like, now we just need to find the best "deal."  It's progress.  And so it continues.  Stay tuned...(and pray for me:)

So last week I ended up having a busy work week.  I spent most of it at my desk, frustrated, with my face buried in my computer. Not exactly what I love, but sometimes you have no choice in the matter. I found myself complaining more than usual about the littlest things.  After a good night sleep last night and the decision not to go car shopping this morning I had the idea of doing a "10 things I love" post because it reminds me to appreciate all the little things in my everyday life that make me happy.  There are certainly more of those than there are things to complain about.  Its an exercise in gratitude (of which I have a lot of).

 So without further adu, here are 10 very random things I love, today:

1. Weekends! Ok that's a given.  Everyone loves weekends. But after a work week from hell you love them even more!  A slow Saturday morning is something I dream about.  This morning I drank 2 cups of coffee on the couch with a blanket while watching a Reelz documentary on Marilyn Monroe.  The rain made it extra dark out so I lit a candle and plugged in my twinkle lights and it was blissful.  

2. 80's sitcoms.  I love an 80's sitcom.  There were so many! Lately I've been watching The Facts of Life on Tubi.  I love it. It's better than the news, that's for sure.  It takes me back to when I was kid and for every night of the week there was a TV line up. Remember that? And you had to be home or you would miss your show.  I loved watching Cheers, Taxi, Family Ties, Threes Company (which was slightly inappropriate but I never noticed back then), Happy Days, and Lavern & Shirley. It feels very nostalgic to watch these shows again and reminds me of my childhood.  It's the same reason why I love Peanuts and I Love Lucy.  TV shaped me and it wasn't a bad thing.

Plus they all had catchy theme songs.  Especially this one.  I know you know it....: ) 

3.Walking.  I'm still going on my daily walks.  It's usually after dinner with John.  Twice around our neighborhood is one mile and usually takes us about 20 minutes.  Sometimes after a big meal or if we feel extra energetic we go four times, that's 2 miles, which is big for me.  I often think of my mom who was in a wheelchair for the last few years of her life and who would have loved to have been able to walk just a few steps.  I feel privileged  to be able to do it.  John and I also have some of our best talks while walking which I am also very grateful for. 

4. Cottage cheese and avocado on an English muffin.  Oddly specific, yes - but I've been having this for breakfast lately and am thoroughly enjoying it. I know some of you may have an aversion to cottage cheese, but personally I love it. It's a nice alternative to yogurt in the morning.  I've been sprinkling it with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and YUMMMM is it good : ) 

5. Otters.  Ok, another one that's oddly specific and maybe just plain ODD, I know.  But have you ever looked up otters? They are so cute! I made the mistake (or maybe it wasn't) of liking a video on Instagram of a mama otter hugging her baby otter and now my "for you page" is loaded with Otter content! I'm not mad at it.  The videos and pictures make me smile and naturally I forward them to John who likes them too!  Treat yourself and search Otters on your Instagram.  

You're welcome : ) 

6. Spring in New England.  Color is starting to appear.  Buds are budding and my whole neighborhood is yellow from forsythia bushes and daffodils in peoples yard.  The trees are starting to turn green and in a few weeks we will have tulips.  In the early mornings (when it's not raining) I am happy to see rays of sunshine in the kitchen as I pour my morning coffee.  We like this time of year.  It means summer is coming too, which if fun to think about.  I've put away most of my heavy sweaters and pajamas and am dressing a bit more lightly.  I can get away with just a cardigan when I go out and you know how much I love a cardigan.  LOTS! ♥

7.  Real butter on toast, very sharp cheddar cheese with Ritz crackers, my Dad's homemade brownies, take out eggplant subs from the place down the street, pink grapefruit fizzy water, and chocolate covered pretzels.  You think these things mean nothing but they really mean something when you're hungry.  That is all : ) 

8.  Cookbooks. I love my cookbooks.  I read them like books.  I enjoy flipping through the pages and looking at the pictures.  Would I ever consider making my own Cheezits? Of course not.  But Valerie Bertinelli says I can and it looks so easy!  This week I pulled out a stack of my favorite cookbooks, some new some old, and bookmarked a bunch of recipes I want to make in the coming weeks.  It will be fun to blog and video them for you.  Stay tuned for that! 

9.  Visits to the library, going to Panera Bread with Rob & John, listening to podcasts while I'm working, cracking the windows on a cool day and letting the fresh air come in, working on my puzzle (same one, I'm determined to finish), and taking my first cup of coffee back to bed with me and slowing drinking it while I wake up.  It's a nice way to start the day.  I love all those things. 

10.  The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.  I adore this painting.  I can't remember when I first saw it, but I just know that I've loved it forever.  I love the way it looks and the way it makes me feel.  And then one day I heard a song by Don McLean called Vincent and the first line was "starry starry night, paint your palate blue and gray...." and I almost cried because it was so beautiful.  A few years ago I visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston when they were showing a Van Gogh exhibit. I saw so many of his paintings, including Irises, but not The Starry Night.  Where is it? The last time I googled it, it was located at the Met in New York. 

 It's a wish of mine to see it in person one day, and I will ♥

And there you go. 

 10 random things (plus a few more) I'm loving today and I feel grateful for each and every one ♥

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.  We are off to 4:00 mass tonight and then I'm making pizza for dinner.  It looked like the rain has stopped so maybe I'll get my walk in tonight after all.  


Stay cozy friends! Enjoy your Sunday. Byeeeeee...xoxo 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Spring arrived over the weekend! YAY ♥

Hello Friends! 

Happy Tuesday (that feels like a Monday!). I hope you all had a nice weekend.  
Ours was very nice. 

Saturday morning I got a haircut and then treated myself to a new pair of glasses so the weekend started off good for me.  I was due for both! : ) 


I made a quick pitstop at our local library and had to stop and take a picture of the courtyard because it looked so pretty.  The flowers are in full bloom and was such a pleasant sight to see.  

It was a beautiful sunny day! 

Because of that I had to do a little inspection in the yard at home and I was happy to notice some buds budding.  Yay! 

And this pretty tree in our front yard has started blooming. 

Spring has finally arrived and I thought it would never get here.  

I also saw a red cardinal on Saturday! It flew by me so fast I couldn't snap a picture, but it made my heart soooo happy to see it 

On Sunday morning we went to mass.  We got there early and I snapped this photo as I was admiring the sun reflecting through the stained glass windows.  

It felt so peaceful and beautiful 

After mass this happened!  John drove us to breakfast.  He's doing great.  I'm a mess. 

We made it safe and sound! He parks better than I do and he's only been driving a few months.  

We had a yummy breakfast and then it was on to car shopping...ugh.  

I won't bore you with the details but we came empty again.  I did see one that I kind of liked but the dealer wasn't open and I think I could probably do better elsewhere anyway.  We are going back out into battle next Saturday, so my car lives on for another week....hopefully! I'll just ignore the noises and the smell (I'm not even kidding!).

Yesterday we were all home and had a nice relaxing day.  I'm hoping the ease of the weekend carries throughout the week.  John is on school break this week and is taking full advantage of some much needed down time.  Last night my Dad made spaghetti for dinner and we watched several episodes of Cheers. Can I just say, don't you just LOVE an 80's sitcom?! I do! They don't make shows like that anymore : ) 

Have a wonderful day Friends!  Wishing you all a fabulous week! I'm off to make myself a cup of tea and visit some of your blogs!  

Byeeee! xoxo 

Monday, April 1, 2024

A New Week ♥

Good Morning Friends!  

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I'm having a bit of breakfast this morning, taking advantage of some leftovers we have from our brunch yesterday. You can always tell the day after a holiday because the fridge is stacked : ) 

We had a very nice Easter.  We went to a beautiful Easter vigil mass at our church on Saturday night. On Sunday my family came for brunch around 11. John and my Dad hid eggs for the little ones which was really fun.  Yes, it was strange without my mom.  I was trying to keep busy cooking and serving food, but it was always in the back of my mind that she wasn't there.  However, I know she would be so happy (she IS so happy) that we were all together carrying on traditions, especially for my Dad 

  Anyway, I was so busy I forgot to take pictures!!  We had eggs (which Rob cooked for me - he was the egg guy!:), fried potatoes, maple bacon (which I almost burned but I didn't), ham and cheese sliders (which were a hit), and baked French toast.  I loved the French toast.  I got the recipe from my friend Jan who brought it to a brunch our friend Lisa's house a few months ago. I splurged on the Brioche bread but seriously, it made all the difference! I'll link the recipe here.  We had fruit and tons of desserts too.  After everyone left and we cleaned up the house, we went for a long walk around the neighborhood, which was so nice.  It was actually a beautiful, sunny day (which is rare lately) and it felt good to get some fresh air and process the day. 

And now I can't believe it's April 1st!  I have a very busy work week with meetings and two training sessions that will done over zoom.  On Friday night my nephew is making his confirmation, so we'll be going to that and dinner afterwards.  Rob is his sponsor : )  This weekend I unfortunately have to start seriously looking for a car.  I say unfortunately because I hate car shopping, especially when it's something you have to do, not WANT to do.  My car has been acting up for the past couple of months and I had a feeling something was not quite right.  Apparently my engine has something called "blow-by" which I don't really understand, I just know it's bad.  It has to do with compression in the engine ????  Basically I'm on borrowed time! If it were up to me I would just have Rob go by something and bring it home.  I'm not picky. But he insists I go with him to endure the torture.  Too many choices.  I like it simple (and affordable: ). So we'll see what happens.  Saturday is the day.  I told him I require a large coffee to take with me while we "shop around." UGH. 

I'm planning burgers and salads for dinner tonight and want to stop working by 4 this afternoon so I  can have a little tea time with me and my book.  I've been reading The Wife Upstairs and I'm really into it.  I've also been thinking about maybe reviving my YouTube channel.  I would like to maybe do some recipe demos, so I'm going to jot down some notes.  It's been a few years since I filmed anything but looking back it was something I enjoyed.  I'm trying to be better at taking time for myself, so we'll see. It's a new month and my head is full of new ideas and wonder. I'm strangely motivated and I feel like I should go with it before it disappears! lol  

Have a great Monday, friends! Thanks for stopping by today.  

I hope wherever you are, you have sunshine!