Link Party

Favorite Souvenirs Link Party

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to the link party all about travel souvenirs! I’ll share a few of my favorites and then it’s your turn to link up.  I have a lot of little things I’ve brought home from our travels, my number one favorite I mentioned here and it is a pair of vintage glasses we brought home from The End of History in New York City ten years ago.  We toast to our anniversary with champagne every year in these amber Empoli mid-century glasses we found tucked away in a corner of the shop.

vintage glasses end of history

second image from here

Next up is a special treasure – a black and white sketch and watercolor Matt found at a Paris street faire in 1999 – you can catch a glimpse of Notre Dame in the background where he is talking to the artist Pierre-Yves.  It was so simple and lovely we just had to bring it home!  It’s been framed in classic black and gold and now hangs in our living room. paris art

 

I’m a dork when it comes to collecting travel tchotchkes and the one I always bring home if I can is a mini monument.  Yes, it’s true I have a “monument collection”!  Don’t mock me, I totally love it, and I can’t stop myself from picking them up from a street vendor or local tourist shop.  We’ve seen a few monuments in our travels from the Coliseum to the Alamo and it’s my crazy way of tying together the memories from the pictures with the actual trip itself.    

monument collection

 

But I have to say of all the things I treasure most, it’s my travel journals.  Someone once told me in my early twenties to keep a travel journal on big trips and I’ve always followed that advice.  Before the kids came along we did a lot more traveling abroad and I always kept a journal on the trips – do you do this?

travel journal memories

My travel journals are my favorite treasures and that “thing” I name when asked “What would you grab if your house was on fire?”  (Other than the kids and pets of course.)  Inside I’ve jotted down all the memories from the day and with a simple glue stick secured the receipts, maps, napkins from restaurants, and ticket stubs too. The pictures and written notes of the funny moments are the best ‘souvenir’ in my world, better than any thing I could bring home.  I bring them out every few years and we crack up recalling all the sights, sounds, and phrases overheard from those weeks spent in foreign lands and not captured in pictures.  

So friends, what about you?  What treasures have you discovered in your travels? 

Link up your favorite souvenirs, can’t wait to see!  You can link up through May 31st!

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Favorite Kitchen Gadgets {Link Party}

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I love food.  I know I have must have mentioned this before.  Yes, I’m a foodie – gimme gimme some savory sauces and some tasty treats and I’m one happy gal.  So I was playing in the kitchen a few weeks ago and thought up this idea where we all tell about our favorite kitchen gadgets, large and small.

A few others came to mind for me.  My blender for the morning smoothies, my super sharp pizza cutter for the kids frequently cooked cheese versions.  But there are three that once I acquired them, made my world complete and all of them around $10.   Here’s the quick run down three of my favorite kitchen gadgets!

First up, the five blade herb scissors.  I admit, I thought these were just a novelty at first, but after repeated uses with these shears to chop my chives and mince my thyme, I’m sold.  They’re awesome for anything that includes fresh herbs from soups to salads to roast meats and fish and they dice them up super fine in just a few snips.  herb scissors for roasting

I’m a big time egg person.  Is there a label for that?  If there is, well slap it on me because our family goes through two dozen a week on average.  My man makes a fantastic scramble, and I love a soft boiled egg with just salt and pepper, which is why I love this little gadget, a mini nonstick egg poacher that sits inside a frying pan in steaming water.  Eggs Benedict?  Coming right up!  Or let them sit in the poacher in the pan a minute more and you have perfect soft boiled eggs for a loaded Cobb (another favorite meal).

egg poacher gadget

 

The citrus squeezer or lemon juicer has changed my life forever.  I bow to this gadget.  You simply cut a lemon in half, insert it, and squeeeeeeeze.  Instant lemon juice without any seeds for anything from hot tea to marinade to lemon tart to a personal favorite, a raspberry lemontini!  I will share this recipe soon, pinky swear!  *hiccup*

lemon juicer for cocktails

 

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Apricot Almond Shortbread Bars + Cookiepalooza Party

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

‘Tis the season of baking and I did my share last week!  One of my favorite recipes I make every year is apricot almond shortbread bars, they’re always a big hit at our Christmas party and my go-to recipe if I ever get invited to a cookie swap. 

This recipe originally appeared in Bon Appétit in December 2005, and I made it when it first was published. Over the years I’ve modified it slightly, subtracting the almond paste, adding orange zest, and also doubling the recipe to make a full cookie sheet.  You can find the original recipe here.  The following is my version of apricot almond shortbread bars: 

apricot almond shortbread bars centsational girl

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