Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blogs I Love: Shop Sweet Things

At the moment, I'm loving the blog Shop Sweet Things.  With the holidays right around the corner, I'm on the prowl for fun, original gift ideas for family and friends, and Shop Sweet Things is a wonderful resource.  I especially enjoy the "Sweet Things Under $20" feature.  Can I help it if I see a few things for myself?

I've been hunting for a new iPhone cover and, lucky me, I found a post entitled, "16 Eye-Candy Cases to Dress-Up Your New iPhone 5."  OK, so I still have an iPhone 4, but I'm sure I can find iPhone 4 versions of at least a few of these adorable cases.  My favorite is the striped iPhone case that can be found on Etsy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Style Me Pretty Launches New E-Magazine

Image via

Check out Style Me Pretty's new e-magazine! Style Me Pretty is a fantastic blog for brides-to-be, which features photos from real weddings, ideas for DIY wedding projects, and an extensive bridal fashion guide.  The introduction of the e-magazine adds yet another resource for wedding inspiration.

So often bridal magazines recycle the same content month after month, and fill the pages with more adds than articles.  What I love about Style Me Pretty (both the blog and the e-magazine) is that the focus is on beautiful new images any bride can use as inspiration.  Even if you're not planning a wedding, try translating some of the great ideas into your next event.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Most Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie is Worth the Wait!

A few years ago, the New York Times published what is, hands down, the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried.  The key to executing this recipe is to let the dough rest for approximately 36 hours prior to baking.  The author of the article, who adapted the recipe from Jacques Torres, explains that this allows the dough to soak up the liquid and achieve a better consistency and a richer, more sophisticated taste. 

Dont let the recipe intimidate you.  It is not any more difficult than the typical cookie recipe.  The main challenge for the cook is waiting patiently for a few days--which is well worth it!  Although the recipe calls for bread flour and cake flour, I used all purpose flour.  I also substituted regular chocolate chips for the chocolate disks.  And I don't have a mixer with a paddle attachment, so I just used a standard hand mixer.  Clearly the key factor is to achieve the full restimg time, rather than follow the minutia of the instructions.  Keep reading for the best cookie recipe ever!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Best in the West

Sunset Magazine recently released its picks for the West's best local food shops, and several San Diego shops made the list!

Homegrown Meats in La Jolla offers grass fed beef raised in the Palomar Mountains.  Happy cows indeed!

Image via

Sugar and Scribe Bakery in Pacific Beach makes scrumptious desserts, while Catalina Offshore Products' offerings include fish caught in local waters.

Image via

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How to Host a Book Swap

Book clubs are lovely, but let's face it: it's almost impossible to find a date that works for all your friends, decide on a book that everyone will enjoy, and actually get people to read it!  Hence the book swap.  A book club-lite of sorts.

I hosted a "Books & Brunch" book swap last month.  Here are the details:

Assorted pastries, berries, tea sandwiches, and Bloody Mary's

Each person brings two or three books and discusses them with the group.  Numbers are drawn, and each person picks a new book in order, until no books are left.  Refreshments are enjoyed, and the conversation turns to general gossip.  So easy!