Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Eats Wednesday

Oktoberfest II:
Apple Strudel

In further celebration of Oktoberfest, I thought some eye candy,

or rather eye dessert, would be in order for this week's Good Eats Wednesday.

This apple strudel has my mouth watering and in anticipation

to give this recipe a whirl...

The recipe is from the Berghoff Cookbook via

"Directions: This popular dessert takes its name from the flaky pastry used to wrap around the filling like a strudel, the old German word for "whirlpool". In Germany, it was a traditional harvest-time dessert and still is today during Munich's Oktoberfest. Strudel is best served the same day it is baked, and warming it for 10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven (never in a microwave) enhances it, especially if you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


1 ¼ cups apple juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick (5 cups)

½ cup dark seedless raisins

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans

4 sheets phyllo dough

1/3 cup melted butter

3 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs

Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Vanilla ice cream, for garnish

Directions1. In a small bowl, create a slurry by combining ¼ cup of the apple juice with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch; mix until smooth and set aside. 2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the apples with the remaining apple juice, and the raisins, sugar and cinnamon until the apples are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the cornstarch slurry (it may have settled) and add to the apple mixture, stirring constantly until smooth and lump free. Simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the pecans, cover and chill. 3. Preheat the over to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.4. Lay out one phyllo sheet on a clean, flat, lightly floured surface. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of dry bread crumbs. Repeate this procedure with two more layers of phyllo, butter and crumbs. Top with the fourth sheet of phyllo. Spread the apple filling evenly onto phyllo surface, leaving a ½ inch clean edge on all sides. Roll into a log, folding edges at each end beneath the log, and brush with melted butter. Carefully place the strudel on the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Bake the strudel for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before cutting into 2-inch slices and sprinkling with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Serve plain or with ice cream.

Recipe courtesy of The Berghoff Family Cookbook by Carlyn Berghoff and Jan Berghoff with Nancy Ross Ryan. Photography by Eric Craig." Read more:

Check out Chef In for their amazing Apple Strudel food photography and recipe for homemade dough. I would like to give this recipe a try during the holidays, when there is more time for homemade dough.

Although, "strudel" is a German word, the dessert is typically associated with being Austrian. The oldest strudel recipe from 1696 is found today at the Viennese City Library. For the Austrian version, the dough is supposed to be so thin, you can "read a love letter through it!"

For those Sophia Coppola Marie Antoinette lovers, remember the mocking line when young Marie met her new royal family for the first time and one of the court ladies said behind her back, "I hope you like Strudel." :)

Either way, it looks delicious!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Moment in Time

Happy 70th Birthday Wizard of Oz!

The fully restored DVD was released today in honor of it's milestone.

It surely has made a place in everyone's heart!

Has anyone ever seen The Return to Oz?

Of course it doesn't compare to the original. As a child, it scared the living day lights out of me. But there was something about it, that was intriguing.

There's no place like home...
there's no place like home...
there's no place like home.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Clink, Clink... Cheers!

Photo from Rueters

It's that time of year again! I have a friend over in Munich, Germany right now celebrating Oktoberfest, and I'm so jealous. This is on my Bucketlist to visit Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. I did get to visit Germany earlier this year and saw some beautiful castles and charming towns along the Rhine river.

I LOVE Oktoberfest outfits! I've been teasing the boyfriend all year that I would make us matching outfits. Last year we went to a local fest and had a blast.

Photo via

Watch out honey... the sewing machine is loaded and ready!

Hofbrauhaus from

A vintage ad via flick.
So until next year.... here's hoping...

via flickr...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

On a Sunday...

The Florida Sky

When I first moved to Florida, I was in awe of the beautiful sky. I grew up in a smoggy area of California, where it rarely gets this blue. Then I went to college in Oregon where it is rainy and gray a good majority of the year. So, I have a huge appreciation for the beautiful fluffly cumulonimbus clouds and bright blue sky.

I also love the summers here, when the afternoon thunderstorms roll in. It does get hot and muggy, but the late night heat lightening storms are a true gift from above. Sometimes they last 30-40 minutes of the sky lighting up behind the clouds every few seconds. It's better than any fireworks display, especially knowing it's an act of nature.

Please excuse the telephone lines. :)
What is Your weather like today?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Friday


Driving to work the week, I saw a rainbow both Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Yesterday, it was a bright and beautiful Double Rainbow!!

I tried to snap photos on my camera phone, but it doesn't work to well when you are driving on the interstate. :)

"In Greek mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger (Iris) between Earth and Heaven. In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by Goddess Nüwa using stones of five different colours. In Hindu mythology, the rainbow is called "Indradhanush", meaning the bow (Sanskrit & Hindi: dhanush is bow) of Indra, the God of lightning, thunder and rain. Another Indian mythology says rainbow is the bow of Kama, the God of love.
Irish leprechaun's secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. This place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer. When walking towards the end of a rainbow, it will move further away.

After Noah's Flood, the Bible relates that the rainbow gained meaning as the sign of God's promise that terrestrial life would never again be destroyed by flood (Genesis 9.13-15)[25]:
I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."

Information & Images via Wikipedia.

Hope everyone has a bright and shiny weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travel Thursday


One of America's best fall locations.

Image via

In my senior year of college, I took a business entrepreneur class as a final elective. My professor had designed the software Business Plan Pro, sold at Best Buy, etc. Our final project was to create a real business plan for a dream business, as if we were really going to present it to a bank for assistance. My choice was a run a Bed & Breakfast Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.

I still dream that one day I can run this small Inn, spending my days baking, planning small events, writer's getaways, craft workshops, culinary escapes, hosting an intimate wedding occasionally and just enjoying life in a beautiful home with a garden in a serene setting.

Confession, I still have never been to Asheville, and for the past 2 years have been wishing to go each fall, but other circumstances have prevented it.

Asheville has so many exciting things to do outdoors, and beautiful drives in the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and Smoky Mountains. About once a month, I peruse on BBOnline for Inns For Sale.

I had my eye on The Lion & the Rose (above) forever. It was on the market for a few years, and I would just dream of the day. Looks like they have new owners, their website and blog makes me wish I was part of the family. Maybe one day when they are ready to retire... :)

Here are a few other breathtaking places to stay...

The Biltmore Estate at Christmas.

Most images found via Romantic Asheville.
To learn more about Asheville, check out these great sites:

Happy Traveling!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good Eats Wednesday


On my European Express trip earlier this spring, I traveled with my tour group through the Alsace region of France. We stopped briefly at a rest stop, and I was baffled by this region and it's eye popping dish that was on every form of tourist paraphernalia. I was hooked!

Post Cards from the Region.

A regional girl in a traditional Alsacienne outfit. Image found here.

I grabbed everything I could find including a regional cookbook, postcards, magnets, and a tea towel with the stunning display of food. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush, I grabbed the cookbook in Italian, well at least it's interesting to look at.

While there is no specific recipe for Choucroute. It is typically sauerkraut preparred in Riesling or other white wine, sometimes with an onion or apple, seasoned with peppercorns, cloves, garlic, bayleaves, and juniper berries. It is heated with the wine or stock, and often goose or pork fat. It includes generally three kinds of sausages: Frankfurt sausages, Strasbourg sausages, and Montbeliard sausages. In addition, there is a choucroute garnie consisting of ham hock, shoulders, pork knuckles, and back bacon. Potatos are often part of this dish as well.

If you are a meat and potatoes kind of girl, or guy, this could be your dish!
May I suggest, a side of Tums, Rolaids, or Pepto to go along?

Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple Bobbing!

Photo via flickr.

Information below from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Apple bobbing, also known as bobbing for apples, is a game customarily played on Halloween. The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Because apples are less dense than water, they will float at the surface. Players (usually children) then try to catch one with their teeth. Use of hands is not allowed, and often are tied behind the back to prevent cheating.
In Scotland this may be called "
dooking," i.e. ducking.
In Ireland, mainly Co. Kerry it is known as "Snap Apple", and in
Newfoundland and Labrador, Snap Apple Night is a synonym name for Halloween.


Apple bobbing originates from Celtic times when Halloween was called Samhain in some Gaelic languages, when apples were associated with love or fertility. Some say this comes from the Roman goddess Pomona. whilst others note that this game is an important part of the Celtic pagan religious festival of Samhain when families would gather together for a communal feast. The current game is based on a New Year tradition, where whoever bites the apple first in the group will be the first to marry. The similar tradition of throwing rice at a wedding evolved from this, except apples were thrown originally. The popularity of this game is falling, possibly because people may regard it as unsanitary, although there is a variation on the game where the apples are hung on string on a line.Girls who place the apple they bobbed under their pillows are said to dream of their future lover.

World record
On 19 February, 2008, New Yorker, Ashrita Furman, bobbed 33 apples in one minute to establish a world record.

In Novels
Agatha Christie's mystery
Hallowe'en Party is about a girl who is drowned while apple-bobbing.

Sounds like an interesting read for October....

I have never participated in Bobbing for Apples... have you? I don't have faith that I can sucessfully catch an apple without getting water in my nose.

Photo via wikipedia.

I'm curious to know if any readers have ever caught the apple?! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Housewarming!

My mom and step-dad spent their first night in their brand new home last night located in Truckee, Ca. She was even carried over the threshold! It was a new construction home with Winter Creek Homes, and they have been waiting for the day to FINALLY be finished.

Truckee is located about 45 minutes from the south rim of Lake Tahoe. I'm extremely excited to visit them in their new location in 3 short weeks! It will be a whole new change, but a good one. However, it is currently 40 degrees Faherheit there--and it's about 90 degrees here in FL. I have no winter clothes!!! I'm thinking about this cute sweater from Anthropologie.

The winners for Postcards From Home is:


Melanie's Randomness

Cathi (the 50th follower!)

Thanks to everyone for following and entering!
Email your addresses to
and your postcards from sunny Fort Lauderdale will be in the mail! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Peaceful Sunday

Collection of Photos

Lily pads at Isola Bella Mansion, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Two fish statues in the gardens of Isola Bella Mansion, Italy.
Balcony from the Viszcaya Manion in Miami.

Lady marble statue in front of Monte Carlo Resort in Las Vegas.
Ceramic face in Ephram's Alley, Philadelphia (oldest residential street in the U.S.)

In the clouds of Switzerland, between Zermatt & the Matterhorn.

Water fountain in Keukenhof Gardens, Holland.

Petrified Hills in Arizona.

Statue in Bath, England.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. :)


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