Try The World Food Boxes

A few months ago I came across this really cool subscription service.  You know the type (they are very trendy right now) where you join for a monthly fee and they send you a compilation box of products (ex. Birchbox, Graze, etc).  The one that caught my eye was, "Try The World".  This home delivery box features amazing & unusual food products from all over the world.  The first to arrive on my doorstep was, Argentina. 

Argentina in a Box

Argentina came packed with cookies, chimichurri sauce, dulce de leche sauce, salsa verde sauce, tea and more. I'm super excited to jump in & get cooking.  

Argentinian tradition calls for serving quince paste alongside mild cheeses, like MANCHEGO!

Argentinian tradition calls for serving quince paste alongside mild cheeses, like MANCHEGO!

The possibilities are endless....

The possibilities are endless....

Up next (it was a surprise) was a "speciality box" that came with my purchase.  Hello Paris!  I couldn't be more thrilled. 

Big box of Paris 

Big box of Paris 

This box is full of treasures.  The container of Fleur de Sel is worth the price of admission.  But, happily there are other treats like chestnut cream, jam. savory butter cookies and more!  Now the question is what should I make first? 

The Try The World concept is pretty simple; every two months a box arrives with 6-7 items that represent a particular culture.   Boxes can be purchased bi-monthly, semi-annually or a full subscription annually.  Prices vary based on the allotment you choose.  Also included in the boxes is a card describing each full size product and a cultural book with music, movies, recipes and more from each selected country.  

Every box is full of surprises! 

Every box is full of surprises! 

So, if you are a foodie or a lover of world travel - I think you'll get a real kick out of this subscription.  It's a great chance to try new ingredients and it's a also a chance to stretch your culinary wings.  I am a little behind in my cooking adventures - but, these treats certainly make me want to get back to it.  Soon! 

For more details, visit Try The World.  

Book Review: Short Stack Cookbooks

As I get back in the swing of things on the block, there are a number of things I have been holding onto that I wanted to share with you.  First up is an amazing food magazine called, "Short Stacks". These beautiful little gems are only the size of a pamphlet but, they are packed with goodness.  Each issue has an ingredient theme & all the receipes included feature that speciality.  Some of my very favorites include: eggs, buttermilk, grits, lemons & prosciutto di parma. Each book is written by a different author.  The authors are some of America's best food writers, cookbook authors, food stylists and chefs.   

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Beautifully gorgeous slice of cheesy prosciutto bread, a handful of green olives, and a glass of ice-cold white wine.  via shortstackmagazine 

Beautifully gorgeous slice of cheesy prosciutto bread, a handful of green olives, and a glass of ice-cold white wine.  via shortstackmagazine 

Some of the authors featured in these books are favorites of mine including, Virginia Willis (Vol 5 - Grits) who has written two of my very favorite cookbooks {Bon Appetit Y'all & Basic to Brilliant, Y'all}, Ian Knauer (Vol 1 - Eggs) who worked at Gourmet Magazine for years and a beautiful cookbook called The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food and Angie Mosier (Vol 4 - Buttermilk) who has collaborated on some of the best books in the business with Mat & Ted Lee, Kevin Gillespie & Eric Ripert (holy big-shot).  

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Each book features about 20-25 recipes - but, it totally depends on the volume.  While there are no images included in the books, Short Stacks does have a large social media foot print where they are do share loads of gorgeous photography & feature many of the recipes in the books.  

The books are available as single purchases or via a yearly subscription.  Personally, I don't want to miss an issue so I have the subscription. I have yet to be disappointed by an issue.   They are all gems.  They offer subscriptions on an annual basis, rather than a rolling basis.  New subscribers can sign up in the fall & they close those subscriptions in January.   

Brunch Anyone?? Broiled Caesar salad with poached eggs from Vol. 1! via ShortStackMagzine

Brunch Anyone?? Broiled Caesar salad with poached eggs from Vol. 1! via ShortStackMagzine

Each issues is beautifully handcrafted & is a little bit of heaven. 

Each issues is beautifully handcrafted & is a little bit of heaven. 

Libbie Summer's Sticky Toffee Chicken Wings: How delicious do these look?  (And, I don't even really like wings) 

Libbie Summer's Sticky Toffee Chicken Wings: How delicious do these look?  (And, I don't even really like wings) 

Short Stacks is a real hidden gem among a sea of food content.  However, I love how handcrafted these books are.  They are beautiful & have REALLY great recipes.  If you are a cook in your own right or someone you love has a food interest - these are a stunning gift.  Check them out! 

Website: http://shortstackeditions.com 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/shortstackeds 

Photography provided by Short Stacked 

 

Back in the swing of things ....

Hello and welcome to the new blog!  I'm really pleased to be back and ready to share all the cool things I have discovered in the last few months.  While I was taking a break, I decided it was time to "freshen" things up around here.  I was using an older template that just wasn't working for me anymore.  I wanted to move things around a little & get a little more freedom on how I post content.  

That being said - I am not a web designer.  I am not a graphic designer.  This little piece of the world is just my thoughts & views on what interests me.  I don't even have a proper logo (maybe someday).  But, I was able to make most of the changes I wanted.  It's nothing fancy - but, it's all mine.  

Now - onto more exciting things like .... SUMMER!  

I have a love / hate relationship with the season.  I am not a hot weather girl.  I enjoy fall & even some parts of winter.  However, I will say after that last two brutal winters we have had in the midwest, a little bit of warm weather is welcome.  What I do love about summer is all the fun & color that it brings into our lives.  

The other thing I love about summer is the casual and laid-back lifestyle.  No need for Sunday best.  Maybe just a pair of cute capri pants & some flip flops.  Most importantly - let your hair down.  Literally.  Mine has been up in a ponytail for almost 6 months straight.  My tresses need to breath.  Perhaps even a "beachy wave"?? 

Perhaps the best part of the summer months is that long awaited vacation.  Personally, I haven't been on a vacation in over 2 years.  I am more than due for one. While I make my plans for my trip, I think it's a perfect time to think how to bring that 'vacation' feel to your regular life.  

Find a little time to enjoy a picnic with friends or maybe throw a dinner party in your garden? Get up early & hit the Farmer's Market.  Bring home your bounty & challenge yourself to try something new for dinner this week.   There are so many easy ways to bring a bit of joy & relaxation into your life.    

If all else fails ... find yourself a little pink house to rent.  That will fix everything! 

Movie Houses Are The Best!

I have always wanted to live in a "movie house".  A movie house is that amazing & glorious home that only exists in TV or movies.  There are a few of my very top favorites that I thought would be fun to share.  I would love to know some of your very favorites sets or homes featured on the big or small screen. 

Up first.... The home from the film "It's Complicated". 

It's Complicated

I'm not sure that there has been a more beautiful home -- and certainly, not a better kitchen.  It's picture perfect and I am not the only one who thinks so.  There are entire blogs based on the gorgeousness of this house.  This film (starring Meryl Streep) was directed by the much respected Nancy Meyers.  Myers is known for creating beautiful films that feature amazing sets & designs.  This is not the only film by Myers on my list.  

Next Up... "Baby Boom".  Baby Boom came out when  I was 12 years old.  It was probably a little mature for me to understand that real issues in the film - but, what I did connect with was the idea of living in the country, driving a Jeep Wagoner (my mom always had one when I was little) and making baby applesauce.  It sounded like heaven!  Still does.  Who doesn't want to chuck it all - move to Vermont - live in a GORGEOUS & charming Cape Cod and fall in love with the town vet?  Sign me up!  (Let's just skip the part where she had to spend every single penny of her savings fixing the place up). 

Baby Boom

 Next on my list is probably my very favorite apartment from a movie.... "You've Got Mail". 

You've Got Mail

There is nothing about the apartment that Meg Ryan lives in that I don't love.  I mean, who doesn't want to live in a beautiful brownstone in NYC?  This stunning & spacious apartment has all the things I love - books, cozy furniture and white woodwork.  You can tell that Kathleen Kelly (Ryan's character) grew up in this apartment with her mother and it was passed down to her after her death.  Otherwise, how could ANYONE afford such a beautiful place?  Thank goodness for "Rent Control". This apartment just screams - a real person lives here! I adore it. 

You've Got Mail

Now, back to houses..... Up next is one of my very favorites, the home from "The Family Stone".  This is my DEFINITION of a movie house.  Not only is this home in the "country side" of New England - but, it's huge.  What's not to love? I think one of the reasons this home resonates so much is the film is set during the holidays.  Everyone's home always looks better all decorated up.  At the end of the day, this house got me from the first moment.  I mean - look at that huge wrap around porch.  Heaven! 

For the next home we have to cross the ocean and head to England.  The quaint & charming cottage in "The Holiday" is the stuff of English dreams. Without a doubt, I could spend the rest of my life living in this beautiful cottage.  The concept of being surrounded by books, cups of tea and countryside is my idea of Utopia. 

The HolidayDeep in my soul I have always wanted to chuck it all and move to the English countryside.  I mean, I speak the language - what's not to love? 

The Holiday

The final house I want to spotlight is another Nancy Meyers film, "Something's Gotta Give". 

Something's Gotta Give

This home is on lots of people's list of all time favorites and I completely agree.  This home in the Hampton's is pure perfection. 

Something's Gotta Give So, that's it.  That's my list of all time favorite homes featured in movies.  There is definitely a "style" that I am drawn too.  I'm not a modern / stark kind of girl.  Nope --- give me cozy and charming any day of the week.  I would love to hear some of your favorites.  If you could live in any movie house - which would you pick? 

Cheers! 

 

The Land Girls

One of my greatest {passions / hobbies / interests} is World War II history, specifically the European front stories.  I am an avid watcher of the History Channel and anytime there is anything focused on Nazi history, English strategy or D Day stories of American bravery, I am hooked.  I can spend an entire day on the sofa absorbed in a marathon of Churchill or Hitler.  The entire era holds me in rapt attention.  

One of the lesser known areas of World War II history that I am a huge follower of is the Woman's Land Army. The amazing bravery & heart of women that went into the fields of England, ensuring the health & well being of their country men.  In effect the Land Army operated to place women with farms that needed workers, the farmers being their employers. 

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The Women's Land Army was developed during "The Great War" (World War I) and during the lead up to England's declaration of war on German in 1939.  As the prospect of war became increasingly likely, the government wanted to increase the amount of food grown within Britain. In order to grow more food, more help was needed on the farms and so the government started the Women's Land Army in June 1939.  These "Land Girls" primarily already lived in the countryside - but, more than a third came from London and the industrial cities of the north of England.

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It wasn't just England that utilized the amazing workforce of women, the Women's Land Army of America was formed in the United States as part of the Emergency Farm Labor Service, lasting from 1943 to 1947, and the Australian Women's Land Army was formed in Australia, lasting from 27 July 1942 until 1945. These amazing women single-handedly helped win the war for their countries - all the while feeding not only their fellow country men - but, their boys fighting overseas. 

Popular culture has also taken a keen interest in the fork lore of the "Land Girls".  Books, television series, movies and fashion have all shined a spotlight on these amazing ladies.  One of my favorite BBC television series, "Land Girls" ran from 2009 - 2011. (PS - the series is available for stream on Netflix).  Additionally, there is a darling movie called "Land Girls" staring the beautiful Rachel Weisz that is also available to stream.  Both spotlight the bravery of these women, but also their ability to look fashionable while doing it.  

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The Land Girls (BBC Television Version) and Land Girls Motion Picture

Lastly, the Land Girls continue to make themselves known by popping up in cultural references and in fashion.  There isn't a fashion season that doesn't have a designer popping a little farm girl chic into their collection.  There is a vast part of culture that loves this nod to the past.  Personally, I think a Halloween costume is SCREAMING my name! 

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LAND GIRLS ARE EVERYWHERE!

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