Blog Archive for August, 2011

foxy dress


One of my customers sent me photos yesterday of the adorable dress she made using the Foxy print from Anika. SO cute! Apparently, this is her first time sewing a dress, and I think she did a fabulous job. The pattern is an Amy Butler pattern, and the print is Foxy.

Every year our friends Steve and Damon hold what they call an “Italian scratch party” in honor of Steve’s Italian grandmother. Everyone brings an Italian dish that they’ve made from scratch, and then, once the party is underway, we all make handmade ravioli using Steve’s grandmother’s recipe and her beautiful antique ravioli tools. You can choose to make the filling, make the dough, roll it into long strips or assemble the little raviolis, crimping the edges with grandmother’s brass roller (or a fork, if you missed out on the fancy tools). It’s always a great time, and the food is absolutely divine!

This year, I signed up for dessert, and since I’ve been on a bit of a tiramisu kick lately, I decided to give it a try. Since the party can get large, I thought I should make a big one, so here’s the recipe for a giant (party sized) tiramisu:

10 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup sugar for yolks
4 cups mascarpone cheese
5 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar for whites
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
3 cups cooled espresso
1+ cup Kalhua
2 packages Savoiardi lady fingers
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 – 1 cup shaved chocolate

First whip the cream and return to the refrigerator until needed. With an electric hand mixer, whip the yolks and the sugar together until light in color and thick (ribbon stage). Add in the mascarpone until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then add in the sugar and beat until stiff. Fold the eggwhites into the mascarpone mixture, and then fold in the whip cream.

Pour the espresso and kalhua into a shallow bowl or pie plate. Soak the ladyfingers in the mixture, 1 at a time, being careful not to over-soak (I did 3 quick turns per cookie), and arrange in the bottom of a large serving dish (mine was about 10×15″). Then pour 1/2 of the whipped mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth with a spatula.

Dust the bottom layer with cocoa and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Then repeat the steps to create a second layer.

Chill until thoroughly cooled and serve!

I just noticed it’s been almost 2 months since we planted our garden, so I thought I’d post an update. It’s been growing like crazy, especially the tomatoes!

Here are the cucumbers making a home on their makeshift pallet trellis:
And the first grapes ripening on the arbor:
And remember that little “volunteer” squash plant? Well, it’s turned into the monster gourd that is taking over the yard:

Oh, my, it’s been so long since I posted! Sorry for the unplanned blog break! We just got back a few days ago from a family reunion down in Carmel Valley, and the preparation and recovery from said event has kept me very busy. It’s amazing how fast catching up after a vacation undoes the benefit of the vacation! We had such a good time, though, with lots of family and good food, and I got to enjoy some of my favorite California spots – the Big Sur coast, Nepenthe and Carmel-by-the-Sea, as well as some great hiking up in the hills.

Unfortunately, what I didn’t do was take any pictures of all those beautiful places. D’oh!

However, upon our return, I realized I had two days to get a press photo of Anika out, and no photo. SO, necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to finally sew the Oliver+S pattern that I bought for Anabelle using some of the Anika prints, and we organized a hasty photo shoot in the back yard. I never realized how handy children are as models in a pinch! So, instead of photos of the CA coast, here are a few photos of Belle sporting her new Anika outfit, the 2+2 blouse and pleated skirt from Oliver+S. Which, by the way, was divine to use! Such an elegant and well-made pattern! I am now on the hunt for more of their patterns… just need to find more excuses to sew!