October 6th was the 14th Anniversary of my Dad passing away.

Seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago, all rolled into one big bunch of emotions.

Every October, a small dark cloud rolls over me.

The ache in my heart as active as ever.

Yet, in the last 14 years I found love and have a family of my own.

Unimaginable joy.

I am happy.

I have a wonderful life.

But with the happiness, there is the underlying knowledge that I will always have pain when it comes to the loss of my Dad. That’s ok.  Time has made me aware of the gifts that have unfolded as a result of grief.  It has made me a more compassionate person. It broke my heart open and allowed me to fall in love with my husband. It made me closer to my family. It made me want to be better in all aspects of my life. To honor his memory is to appreciate all that my father taught me and to live through his example.

This gives me strength.

After it happened I found it hard to imagine life without my Dad.

Now, I tap into the sadness, let it come and experience it.

Every time I do there is growth.

To feel is to heal.

There is no growth without pain.

What happens as a result is that a new life unfolds and it can be good if you let it.

And you should.

It’s what they would have wanted.





It’s fall in Los Angeles which means HOT.

If you are an Angeleno you know what I mean.

No sweater weather, no warm cider, or cuddling with your special someone under a blanket at a football game.

Instead it’s air conditioning on full blast, shift dresses and trips to the beach.

 The worst is getting into your car and grabbing the steering wheel only to discover

it is hotter than the surface of the sun and you’ll loose a layer of  tender skin that has stuck to your car seat. 


So the only thing to do is to cool off by eating something cold and I have the perfect recipe.


I got the recipe from my friend Megan who is a member of my Cooking Club and she brought dish last time we met.

It’s a Pamela Salzman recipe for Food Processor Strawberry Gelato.

I’d say its more sorbet like, but whatever it is, it’s delicious!

Another bonus is that it is actually on the healthier side of things, especially if you cut the sugar.

It’s easy to make, and will definitely

cool your jets.


Here’s the recipe:

Food Processor Strawberry Gelato

2 pounds strawberries hulled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

1/4-2/3 cup granulated sugar (depending on sweetness of strawberries)

1/4  Cup Whole Greek Yogurt

3 Tablesppons freshly squeezed orange juice

Once Cut Toss Strawberries with sugar and orange juice in a large bowl.

Arrange on a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours.

Once the strawberries are frozen, scrape off of the sheet into the food processor and add the Greek Yogurt.

Pulse a couple of times and then blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl about 3-4 minutes.

There will be big chunks of strawberries, but they will break down!

Serve Immediately or put into a sealed contrainer and freeze.





P.S. It’s great to be back!

Thanks for the encouragement Naomi, Jessica and Simone 


White shoes and jeans

I love white shoes.

For the longest time I just thought they were tacky.

Okay if you were a nurse or a bride.

Something Mrs. Roper would wear on a cruise.

 Very Carmela Soprano.

I hadn’t owned or wanted to own a pair since my white Buck shoe craze/phase in college.

And that was a really long time ago.

But now I own two pairs.

And I don’t think they are tacky at all.

Prada White Penny Loafers

I bought these white loafers two months ago and I haven’t taken them off.

My new go to shoe, they’re neutral and go with everything.

 They look great with all sorts of jean styles, shorts, and pants.

I keep on trying to put other shoes in the rotation, but I keep on circling back to these.


Of course you can never go wrong with these white Adidas style athletic shoe…the style has been around forever.

Paris Fashionweek ss2014 day 7, outside Vionnet, Place Vendome, Magda Laguinge

White Roger Vivier Shoes

I also have a pair of white patent leather Roger Vivier flats similar to the ones above, but with a black buckle.

A bit worn, but so loved that in my closet they shall remain.


Pierre Pone Hicks

White Jean and White

 I think my flat white shoes need a high-heeled sibling.



 I am loving the look of white pumps!

Never thought I’d be looking for a pair.


Dolce & Gabbana White Pumps

Photo: Harper’s Bazaar

But I am.



Lead Photo:



It’s been a while since I’ve had to get the umbrella and rain boots out, but we are experiencing a rain storm in Los Angeles that’s one for the records.

California Rain Forecast

 I really don’t mind it at all. California is in a serious drought and we need this downpour desperately.

 I like the change in weather and the rain is nice.  It’s hard to complain about months of sunny skies and low 70’s when my Chicagoland sister is smack in the middle of the Polar Vortex (she now thinks  Zero is balmy) but it does get a tad boring having the same forcast day after day.

 I was looking forward to staying in baking and making soup, but had a few necessary errands before becoming a shut in.

Scalamadre Umbrella

  I dusted off my rainy day gear and got ready to brave the rain. After getting dressed I realized my raincoat was 20 years old and needed to be put down.  My beloved Scalamadre Zebra umbrella has been played with too many times by a 6-year-old  and is bent and sad looking.


And I really wanted a shorter rain boot for running around.  I love my Hunter Wellies, but sometimes they’re a pain to pull on and off.

 When I returned to my warm house and a crackling fire I poured a large glass of wine and  started doing a little internet shopping to update my rainy day gear.

Much more fun than sorting tax receipts.

How cute are these Valentino rain boots?

 I’m obsessed with anything with a “V” and a Spike .

Valentino Rain Boots

It’s a tight race, because these Rag and Bone for Hunter boots are adorable.  Any black and navy color combo always catches my eye.

Rag and Bone Rain Boots

I love a trench and this is the perfect model to replace my sad old coat.

The khaki/camel color is classic and timeless.

The price is right too.

It’s $128 and you can get 35% off your purchases!


This Jean Paul Gaultier is the perfect umbrella to replace my newly retired one.

It’s fun and sure to brighten any rainy day.

I also love that it’s compact and I can throw it in a bag or purse.

Jean Paul Gaultier Umbrella

It may be another 6 months, but  the next time the rain comes I am armed and ready!

xoxo Carrie

Photos: Top, Second

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

We all have Holiday Traditions

That’s what makes Holidays fun.

One tradition I wait all year for is Monkey Bread.

Christmas morning would not be complete without it.

Coffee/Fire/Christmas Music/ Monkey Bread and it’s been that way as far as I can remember.

I also like knowing that the same thing will be going on with my sisters at their homes Christmas morning.

It is the perfect thing to tide you over until Christmas Brunch.

It’s gooey, delicious, makes the whole house smell amazing, and it’s super easy so no added stress.

It is a recipe that will take you 10 minutes and you do it the night before.

The next morning all you have to do is pre-heat your oven and pop the pan into the oven.

It’s midwest goodness, certainly not a culinary masterpiece or high-end in any way, but even the biggest foodie snob will be swayed.

Here’s the recipe.

Monkey Bread

1 package frozen dinner rolls (18-20)

½ cup pecans

1 package butterscotch pudding (do not use the instant kind, the old school real deal)

6 Tablespoons melted butter

½ cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Grease a Bundt pan with Pam or Canola Spray
  2. Sprinkle bottom of pan with the pecans
  3. Arrange 18-20 dinner rolls in pan
  4. Sprinkle Package of pudding over rolls
  5. Combine melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon
  6. Drizzle mixture over rolls
  7. Cover with plastic wrap that you have sprayed with Pam so it doesn’t stick to rolls
  8. Let the Monkey Bread Sit over night
  9. Bake in 325 degrees oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Invert on plate and serve

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

xoxo Carrie

Gift Giving: Treating Others (and Yourself) This Holiday Season

Cottage and Wreath

Happy Holidays Everyone!

It’s getting down to the wire for Holiday Shopping, so I thought I could help you all along with some of my favorite Holiday Gifts.

 I’m in the buy one gift for someone else and one gift for me type holiday shopper.

So use this list as a guide for others and don’t forget to treat yourself!

Shopping is such hard work.

Scalamadre Umbrella

I adore Scalamandre’s Jumping Zebra pattern.

I always have and always will.

This umbrella will be sure to brighten any cloudy day.

Scalamandre Umbrella

I bought these cork screws by the dozen and paired with a nice bottle of wine it’s a great gift.

Anchor Cork Screw

Anchor Cork Screw

My Mother’s Maiden name was Fox and so I gravitate towards all things Fox.  This little guy is named Franklin and he makes an adorable doorstop or a desk accessory.

Franklin Fox doorstop

Fox Doorstop

It’s hard to go wrong with this tray.

The blue color is so chic and will be a nice accent color to other serving pieces. Or use it on a table or desk, great for office supplies or a perfume collection.

Square Serving TrayServing Tray

I love Valerie confections Peppermint Bark.

It comes round once a year, a great grab and go gift.

Presented beautifully in an ivory box tied with a red bow.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

I love a home filled with a beautiful scent.

Here’s a candle with a beautiful scent and a gorgeous container that you can keep and use forever.

Fornasetti Candle

Fornasetti Candle

Check out this gorgeous piece.

I love the shape.

Chilling Bucket

Chilling Bucket

I like giving shoes as a gift.

The plaid is so fun and the Etta pumps are extremely comfortable.

So even my flat wearing friends can pull these off.

Plaid Shoes

Plaid Etta Pumps

The black and white geometric ring from Kelly Wearstler is a winner.

Simple and sexy.

Sottsass Ring

Sottsass Ring

I’ve loved Donna Tartt since her Secret History days.

We’re the same age, she’s a brilliant writer and has a perfect haircut.

Girl Crush.

Her latest  novel is a must read.

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Good Luck Shopping!

xoxo Carrie

Veg Out!

Cooking Club Table

I hosted Cooking Club this past month and decided on a vegetarian theme.

I am always looking for a vegetarian option at home and when I am entertaining.

I have a good number of vegetarians in my life so I like to have an arsenal of recipes on hand that will impress them and still satisfy the others at the table who are not.

I also try to have our family eat a vegetarian diet a couple of days a week and I was bored with my usual recipes, and needed some inspiration.

I knew my Cooking Club gals would turn it out and would introduce some delicious new recipes that I could put into rotation.

They did not disappoint.

I think it may have been one of the top meals we have cooked.


The host makes the main dish so I decided to make a couple of tarts.

Always a crowd pleaser and filling.

The first was a Corn and Heirloom Tomato Tart  recipe by Daniel Boulud published in  Elle Decor a few months back.

Perfect for the last days of summer sweet corn and juicy tomato’s.

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

The other, a wild mushroom tart from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

I am a wild mushroom fanatic and this recipe satiated that obsession.

An added bonus was that it was super easy.

Either tart is perfect for a light lunch or dinner party.

 Make one for the family and dine on the left overs all week.

Sally's Cauliflower RecipeSally  made a Roasted Cauliflower and Chick Pea recipe from Gwenyth Paltrow’s new cookbook,  “It’s All Good”.

Gywneth Cookbook

I’ll come clean and will admit to owning the cookbook.

I have actually found numberous recipes that are not short on flavor and  healthy to boot.

 Of course there are the annoying “Gwyneth” bits to the book.

But I will give credit where credit is due.

Sally's Eggplant

Sally raised the bar with this Burnt Eggplant and Tahini recipe from the “Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi” Cookbook.

Plenty Cookbook

Normally not a huge fan of the eggplant, but this had such depth of flavor, the smokiness of the blackened eggplant and sweet pop of pomegranate made it a winner.

I hoarded the left overs and hid it from my husband.


On a side note, member Heather was unable to attend, but she swears by Plenty’s

Green Bean Salad with Mustard and Tarragon  recipe.

Jessica's Carrot Soup

Another hit was Jessica’s  Carrot Soup with Lime Creme Fraiche.

A recipe from a family friend and it rocked.

It’s officially my new go to soup recipe.

Carrot Ginger Soup w/ lime crème fraiche

Ginger Oil:

1 c. canola oil

2 T ground ginger

1-1/2 T ground turmeric

Carrot-Ginger Soup:

2-1/2 T olive oil

1 white onion, thinly sliced

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 small jalapeno, seeded & thinly sliced

1 t peeled grated fresh ginger

4 large carrots (~1 pound), peeled & sliced

4 c. chicken or veg broth

salt & cayenne pepper

Lime Crème Fraiche:

1/2 c. crème fraiche

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 T minced fresh cilantro

Salt & Garnish w/ Sprigs of cilantro

Freshly cracked black pepper

To make the Ginger Oil:

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Carefully whisk together &

pour into a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over med-hi heat & return to

the bowl.  Refrigerate overnight to infuse the oil w/ flavor.  The following

day, carefully ladle off the yellow ginger oil & store in a bottle or other

airtight container.  Discard the solids.  The oil will keep in the

refrigerator almost indefinitely.


Heirloom Tomato with Yogurt Basil Drizzle

We finished off the night with Lentils from Lulu,Heirloom Tomato with Basil Yogurt Drizzle from Megan, Truffled Israeli Cous Cous with Meyer Lemon and Basil and Zucchini Parmesan Crisps from Nicki. For dessert Stacy made her family’s Zucchini Bread recipe (not only perfect for dessert but also with a cup of coffee the next morning) and my hero Vanessa who rallied despite being 38 weeks pregnant (I was couch surfing at that stage in my pregnancy) with her delicious and complex Chocolate Thai Green Curry Cake.

Seriously good stuff.

Try out the recipes and let me know which is your favorite.

Bring more vegetarian dishes to your diet.

Healthy, flavorful, delicious.

So my dear readers kick that pork chop to the curb and get cooking!

xoxo Carrie

Food Photos: Sally Horchow, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi and Whole Foods.


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