Friday, May 23, 2014

Reading Material

This week I was not able to get to my links post on Monday, and since I will be traveling and relating my travels next Monday I decided to get them out to you today. I wish everyone a lovely weekend, even though I'm looking forward to this trip, I'm dreading the very early morning flights I'll be taking.

We all go through periods of stress that get us stuck in one mindset that doesn't let us think clearly, for that reason I thing this article on How to Carry On is a great read for the day.

I don't know if I related to you my attempts at making a smudge stick that have not moved forward as I have not been successful at drying the herbs that I need, until I found this post about Drying Herbs that I'm sure will be quite helpful.

As much as I love to travel I tend to hate a lot of the airports I have visited for their very uncomfortable seating and bad lighting, this post about the Airport of the Future gives me wanderlust hope.

The changes in the weather make everyone's allergies flourish, so it's always nice to have some natural remedies to Fight Off those pesky allergens.

I love fruits and the combination of Strawberries and Honeydew sounds like the perfect ending for a hot summer lunch.

Finally, I will be posting on my Instagram feed over the next few days in an attempt to chronicle my trip... so, please stop by @efournierm or @ElieFournier on Twitter.

Have a lovely weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Next Flight

Here I go again! Saturday I will hopping on a plane to go on a business/pleasure trip. I have been looking forward to this trip as I will be visiting one of my favorite places and people.

Sunday I arrive in Rhode Island to visit my dear friend and mentor Babs. She is an amazing lady who has lived a great life and an inspiration to everyone who meet her... she is such beautiful that men fund themselves always attracted to her.

I will be in one of my favorite cities for just 2 days. The only couple I've ever set up with just had their second baby, a little girl, and I can't wait to meet her.

Finally, Miami will be my last stop to meet with some people I work with, while I enjoy of the place I called home for a long time. Join me next week as I take a nice trip tot see my friends and expand my business relationships.

Have a lovely day!!!

Dinner Preparations

Tonight we have guests for dinner and have to shamefully admit I didn't prepare well in advance and will be running most of the day. Usually, I'm quite prepared leaving little to chance and enough room to change things around... Not this time! Ha!

Thankfully, the main course has been marinating since last night as I'm cooking some lamb chops {check this post!}, couscous with roasted veggies {tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and shallots}, a baby green salad with Dijon mustard dressing, fresh bread with herb butter, red wine and vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries.

We'll set up a semi formal dinner setting as our guests are very close and we want everyone to feel relaxed but also feel they are special. The table will be plainly decorated to allow plenty of space for the dishes that will be placed on the center, probably a few flowers scattered all over.

Last night I took care of whatever could be made ahead of time like the roasted veggies, cleaning and hulling the strawberries, and marinating the lamb. Today is mostly reserved for cooking and buying the rest of the ingredients needed for dinner. The big conundrum is some finger foods to entertain the guests while I cook... I guess the trip to the supermarket will be a creative one as well.

The most important thing to consider when you don't plan a dinner party is that your guests should feel comfortable, that the food has to be delicious regardless of it being simple and that the wine is excellent... the rest is easy!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dinning al Fresco

I have always been a fan of eating out and a picnic is just even better. A few years ago when I lived in LA, I used to go to a park to read and would always enjoy seeing families and other people having picnics no matter if it was summer or winter... of course, LA winters are quite mild.

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Whenever you can plan it, chose a site near a tree so you have support for decorations like lanterns, battery operated string lights, or flowers that can create the perfect mood.

Opt for foods that require refrigeration as you may run the risk of your food getting spoiled. If you bring something that needs to be cold, fill plastic bags with water and freeze them so you can put them with you food to keep it cold.

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Go for comfort, bring pillows and lost of blankets that you can lean into, keep you from the cold and prevent for you and your food to get dirty or covered from the sun.

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Comfort applies also to you food, look for foods that are easy to eat and if your ingredients have water in them, like tomatoes, leave them out and add them when your are ready to serve that way sandwiches won't get soggy or salads get watery. Now go out and enjoy the great outdoors!

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 12, 2014


How was your weekend? Mine was good but with a very unsuccessful attempt at pad thai... ha! I have been planning to make it and finally did to admit it was a little insipid, far from tasting like those at great restaurants. This week I'll be reconnecting with some friends I've been working on meeting with for a while, actually for a long time, and I can honestly say it feels pretty good!

We all suffer from stress and this article about changing the threat of stress, gives great advice on how to deal with it, turn it around and build something new from it.

I first heard of Cindy Gallop a while ago when I saw a presentation she made about how much our world has changed the idea of love and physical connections, this video is part of her work to make us see things the way they should be.

This fig tartlet has my mouth watering and making plans to hunt fresh figs in my area... hmm!

I love this Clothing Rack made at home... i think we all need one for those clothes we try over and over again on days we just don't know what to wear.

Finally, a little Blackberry Drink to welcome the new week, you can make it without the alcohol and still keep it refreshing... Cheers!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Watercolor Desert

I am so happy to start today my collaboration with Angi Pauly, a talented artist with a vivid imagination. Today's artwork was originally designed for one of Angi's friend in Austria using watercolor and pencil... Hope you enjoy this little story!

Having kitchen helpers has always been a blessing for Baya when dealing with large events at the kingdom. On the eve of the wedding of the fae king, she was in commissioned to create a desert so memorable that fairies would be talking about it for a long time.

“Baya, here are the freshest and finest lingonberries in the forest” Pauli said as he handed her the delicious tangy red berry he had carried from the deep forest. They had brought hundreds of the precious fruits, which were rumored to be the favorite of the king’s future wife. 

"The red color of the fruit will symbolize their love" Baya told Pauli and Kip as she remembered the feelings she had seen for the beautiful girl in her monarch's eyes, the girl who stole the hearts of the people. "This is a fine day" she said to them. She has brought out king back to life, back into everyone's favor, and color has returned to our fair country".

She thought of macarons flavored with the juice of the passion red fruit filled with a thick layer of lingonberry jam. The cloud like desert would symbolize the lightness of heart of the couple, and its sweetness would represent Baya's wishes for the future of the couple.

"Hurry up, we have much to do and little time to waste" she said, as her helpful friends rushed the sugar, almonds, eggs and vanilla into the kitchen, so Baya could start with the preparation of the much awaited treats. 

The king's wedding was beautifully decorated with thousands of flowers that fell from the sky as if they were rain drops. The attendants laughed and danced while they sipped the best beverages in the realm. And Baya's desert marked the sweet beginning to a time of prosperity for the whole kingdom.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

City in the South

I've been reading this book where one of the characters lived for a while in a city called Crotone, which sparked my curiosity and made me look into it. The city is located in the south of Italy in the region of Calabria and overlooking the Ionian Sea.

The city was founded circa 710 BC and became one of the most promising cities of the Italian cities under Greek rule. It flourished to such a degree that it's citizens were well know for its physical strength and skills that earned them several Olympic games titles, being Milos of Croton the most famous and whose statue can be found at the Louvre.

Crotone's great citizens were physicians, philosophers and even the great Pythagoras who founded his school at the city. The city faced many ups and downs throughout history and today is once again a flourishing city {and province} attracting many tourists to enjoy its ancient ruins and emerald colored waters.

Among its attractions are the Cathedral dating to the 9th century built in the Neoclasical style with richly Baroque decorated interiors. The castle of Charles V is testament of the Spanish rule and influence of the region in the 16th century. The Castella is the castle built on a small island off the coast and built in several styles depending on the influence that city was under. Finally, as an important ancient city, the Capo Colonna archeological site is where people can visit the ruins of the temple of Hera Lacinia.

The food in Crotone is rich a varied as its main ingredients are products of the sea influence by French, Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Local markets are located in winding alleys that sell local artifacts and handicrafts. No doubt discovering this Italian gem has been a great thing as I wanderlust about visiting one day.

Have a lovely day!