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Thursday, May 31, 2018


Soup for me, is one of those meals that works any time of the year.  I agree it's especially wonderful in the winter months, but I also have my share of soups at other times of the year as well.  

This particular soup caught my attention since it seemed so different than the "typical" soup varieties.  The house smelled wonderful while the sweet potatoes were roasting!
It came together really quickly, and it tasted yummy!  The white swirl on the top is sour cream, but you could substitute yogurt if you prefer.


1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1½ inch cubes
2 large shallots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground thyme
¼ tsp. ground cumin
3 cups chicken stock
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. sour cream or plan yogurt


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place sweet potato cubes and shallots in a large storage bag.  Drizzle with oil.  Sprinkle with salt, thyme, and cumin.  Seal bag and toss so all pieces are well coated with olive oil and seasonings.

Spread the mixture on a foil or silicone lined baking sheet.  Roast for 25 minutes or until cooked through and nicely carmelized and browned around the edges.  Remove from oven.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat chicken stock in a saucepan on the stovetop until steamy.

Place the cooked sweet potatoes and shallots in a blender and add the hot chicken stock.  Puree until smooth.  NOTE:  when blending hot liquids, fill the blender bowl no more than a third full, and start with short pulses.  This may mean you need to work in batches.  Or use an immersion blender.

Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.  Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream garnish.


recipe c/o:

Friday, May 11, 2018


It's always an extra special project for me when I'm making a wedding gown for a family member.  In this case, it was my nephew's bride.  She wanted a long sleeve off-the-shoulder gown.   The bodice was made of lace and the form fitted skirt was a net overlay with a crepe underlay; the drape of the skirt was absolutely beautiful.
There were actually many unique design elements in addition to the off-the-shoulder design.  The back of the gown had a large keyhole opening.  The perimeter of the gown had a large lace border, the sleeves secured with covered buttons and the skirt itself had a number of appliques handstitched on to the netting. 

I first began the project back in September of 2017 (for an April 29th wedding date), once we finalized the design and I took her measurements I was off to the races finding all of the fabrics and trims I would need.  Some I found locally, others I found online. 

Because of the off-the-shoulder design and the keyhole back, fitting the bodice was the biggest challenge.   But with a few extra fittings, and some extra effort, (one of which was adding a silicone strip to the top of the bodice to keep it from slipping; the same strip you find on a strapless bra) it ended up fitting really well!                                   
I like to spend time on the bustle of my gowns.  Since so much of the day, the gown is spent in the "bustled" position,  I try to make it extra special.  Because of the shape of Aisha's train (long and narrow), I was able to come up with a really lovely bustle design that looked so pretty during the dances!

I also made Aisha's birdcage veil and garter.  I made the veil so the "blusher" could be tucked behind the flower (after the ceremony) allowing her to wear it the entire evening.

On her garter, I used feathers, to match those in her veil and added a touch of "someting blue" with some beading. 

The wedding palette of the day was various shades of purple; the bouquets and centerpieces were so pretty, and the bridesmaids chose their own style of gowns.  In April, the unpredictable Colorado weather was the only potential concern, but as luck would have it, the wedding day was a dry and balmy 80 degrees! 

What an honor it was to be a part of this special day for my nephew and his bride.  I wish you both a lifetime of happiness!