When Will YOU Choose to be Happy?

Source: sayingimages.com

For the last few months my life hasn’t been what I want it to be. I hated my job. I hated that I let the office bully walk all over me.  I hated that I forced myself to smile when all I wanted to do was yell. I hated everything.

My life just sucked.

Then I came across the following quote:

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. – Groucho Marx

Source: reumomtoid.blogspot.com

Aha! I realized that I had a choice, and just knowing that I have that control has made all the difference. From that day on I decided not to be miserable.

I decided to let my inner child out more often.

I decided to tell myself that I am beautiful and loved every day.

I decided to do random things with people who bring me joy.

I decided to do more baking and not care about getting fat.

I decided that I would go to work because I felt like it and not because I had to.

Most importantly, I decided that I decide.

Life is too short. Choose happiness!

She's my BFF. Aren't we cute?

How to Host a Victorian Tea Party

Sandwiches, Scones, and Tea, Oh My!

My first high tea experience was at Harrods in London back in early 2011. If you know anything about Harrods, you will know that this set my expectations quite high! Last week I decided to have my own Victorian tea party, and I wanted to share some pictures and tips in the hopes that it would give you some ideas if you would like to host one as well.


1. The Decor

Your table must be visually appealing. I decided to accomplish this with freshly cut flowers from my backyard.

The Place Setting

Roses From My Garden

Try Adding a Bow to Your Vase!

2. The Scone

As you probably know, the scone is an essential part of English tea. The ones you see below are delicious cranberry-orange scones, and the recipe can be found at food.com.

Cranberry-Orange Scones and Raspberry Jam

3. The Sandwiches

Tea sandwiches can be your chance to experiment with culinary creativity and mix interesting flavors! Below are the four tea sandwiches I served my guests.

Salmon and Cream Cheese Sandwiches (Sprinked with Dried Dill)

Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts

Sliced Pear and Brie Cheese Sandwiches

Dried Fig and Honeyed Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Colorful labels for your sandwiches are helpful for your guests, and red or pink rose petals make the overall food presentation more lively!


4. The Dessert

This portion can vary based on your preferences which can depend on your time constraints, baking skills, etc.

Clockwise: Walnut Pastries, Coconut Cookies, French Truffles, Yogurt Pretzels, French Macarons; Center: Walnut Tart

5. The Tea

Ah yes, good tea is integral to any Victorian afternoon tea. After all, with the tea is where it all began! It is a good idea to be well-rounded with your teas and have one black tea, a green tea, and an herbal tea:

Cup of Earl Grey

My Cute Owl Teapot Filled With Orange Blossom Herbal Tea!

Blooming Flower Tea (Green Tea)

So next time you’re wondering what to do over the weekend, throw a fancy tea party! Your friends will rave over the delightful afternoon you prepared for them. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and thanks for reading 🙂

Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno 2008

Classy and Flavorful!

I was looking for a nice Italian wine when I came across the Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno 2008 from Marche, Italy. You might look at the long exotic-sounding name and think “Wow this must be a fancy schmancy expensive wine”. Except it wasn’t. For $8.99 this wine is a steal!

Rosso Piceno is a red wine blend made from 70% Sangiovese and 30% Montepulciano, both which are the two most harvested native grape varieties in Italy. This particular one also happens to be made from organically grown grapes!

So when I first opened this bottle of wine and tasted it, I was underwhelmed by the flatness and lack of flavor. However when I let the wine breathe (by pouring it through a nice Vinturi aerator my mother bought for me), the flavors seem to come alive and I was able to taste things that were masked before! The change was pretty astonishing and I was pleasantly surprised what a difference aerating makes on this one.

The wine starts out quite dry, and as mentioned before, letting it breathe is extremely crucial! Post-aeration this Rosso Piceno blossomed into a fruity, lively, and very enjoyable red. The flavor is fresh and bursts with personality, and it leaves a nice, light aftertaste after it has left your mouth. The lightness combined with the mesmerizing flavors really make it an experience that is flirtatious and pleasing to the senses.

I enjoyed a glass of this wine with some Pepperidge Farm jam cookies which proved to be a pairing that is truly divine. Yum!

A Match Made in Heaven!

What the Heck is a MOFONGO??

Mofongo de Camarone

Mofongo de Camarones YUMYUMYUM!!!

Mofongo. What a funny word! However there is nothing funny about how delicious that thing up there can be. This is the story of how I discovered scrumdiddlyumptiousness called Puerto Rican cuisine.

The story is actually quite simple. I wanted to take one of my dear friends out to dinner. I found a Groupon for a restaurant in North Hollywood called “Mofongos” with stellar Yelp reviews. We went to eat and I was blown away.

So here is the answer you’ve been waiting for: A Mofongo is basically a fried, mashed plaintain bowl that can be filled with beef, chicken, or shrimp and poured with a stewed sauce. The one that I ate was made with DELICIOUS spices, mashed plaintains, and was filled with lots of JUICY shrimp and olives. The plaintain also had pieces of crunchy pork rinds which made it even more nomlicious and the plaintain just soaked up all the broth to make a surprisingly delicious (probably unhealthy but besides the point) and unforgettable dinner.

We were pretty stuffed but just had to try the Tres Leches. This dessert is a cake that is soaked in tres leches (or three milks): evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. The cake was surprisingly light and not too sweet. There were moist cake pieces between layers of fluffy whip cream which made it slightly reminiscent of tiramisu. A delectable way to end our lovely dinner!

Tres Leches SO GOOD!!

Later that night I started craving Mofongos. All I could think about was eating delicious Mofongos. Could it be the beginning of a Mofongo obsession (Mofession? Obfongo?)??

I will DEFINITELY be back.

Mofongos Comida Caribena
5757 Lankershim Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 754-1051
Be sure to make reservations!