Tuesday, February 9, 2016

3 favorite kale recipes

“Eat Kale!”  We hear all the time that kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods, but finding a recipe you like can be tricky. Kale can be tough, and it has that really thick stem in the middle that is just a nuisance.  I like to get rid of the stem all together by stripping off the leafy parts, and then I tightly roll 1-2 leaves together and chiffonade the kale, so you get thin little ribbons of kale.  This can then be used for salad or your favorite recipe.  Here are 3 of my favorites, but be creative, add a little to your eggs in the morning, a bit in your favorite salad or finish off plating your spaghetti with tiny ribbons of kale and parmesan cheese, freshly grated, of course!!   

Kale, Walnut and Avocado Pesto


1 8.8oz bag of kale
4 garlic cloves
2 lemons, juiced
1 cup of walnuts
1­2 avocados
About ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 18oz packet of pasta 

1. Start by lightly steaming the kale. I used a steaming basket which sat in a saucepan to do this in two batches. You want to get the kale a little softened, without properly cooking it. It will take just a couple of minutes and will turn bright green. 2. Now start cooking your pasta. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your spaghetti. While it's cooking, you will make the pesto. 3. If you have a large food processor, put the kale in with the walnuts, avocado, garlic and lemon juice in and whizz until it's blended but still chunky. 4. If you're using the hand blender method as I did, put the kale into a large bowl. Pour in the lemon juice. Place the walnuts and garlic on top of the kale and pour the olive oil over them. Press the hand blender down over all of the garlic cloves and blend until the garlic is completely pureed in that spot. Now move the blending stick around and blend all of the walnuts (these can be a little chunkier) and kale to achieve the desired texture. Some bits of kale could be left almost whole if you'd like it more textured. 5. When the pasta is ready, drain and return the pan. 6. Top with the pesto, add salt and pepper to taste, and then use tongs to distribute it. It can take a lot of work to get the pesto mixed in, because the kale sticks together a lot! You may need to add a little more oil.  Serves 4.

Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Olive Oil

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 bunches of kale, rinsed and dried, ribs and stems                  removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté for two minutes, until the garlic just begins to brown.
2. Add the kale in batches and toss to coat with oil. When all of the kale is added to the pan, cover and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking for three minutes, or until the moisture has mostly evaporated. Serve immediately.


5 cups chopped kale — you want it chopped pretty finely to avoid the toughness that kale can have
2 cups shredded green cabbage
3 cups broccoli slaw
½ red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup dried cranberries, plus more for garnish
½ cup sunflower seeds, plus more for garnish
For the Sweet & Spicy Dressing
1 cup plain, Greek yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tbsp whole grain mustard
¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper
salt & pepper

Make the dressing first.  Put all of the dressing ingredients into a big bowl and whisk.  Set aside. 2. To assemble the salad, toss your chopped kale, broccoli slaw, and green cabbage together.  Add the cranberries, and the sunflower seeds.  Dress the salad and toss together. Let the salad sit for 30 minutes for flavors to meld.  Serves 4.

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ciao! fabiana

Saturday, February 6, 2016

trinket trays and plates

I like to gather small plates and dishes and use them as trinket trays for jewelry, keys, spare change, and anything else we may set down at the front door.  These pretty glass trays, with great quotes and designs, are some of my favorites.  They have pretty curled up corners and look great just about anywhere.  I have a small one on my desk to set my rings and earrings on, you know how you have to take off earrings sometimes, when you’re on the phone? These are perfect for that!  I also have one in my bathroom to hold my jewelry while I’m in the shower. Where do you set down your jewelry? 

 Let me know which one of these you would pick!       

ciao! fabiana

seeing red

With Valentine’s day right around the corner, the color red catches my eye, especially those pretty rooms with lots of dramatic reds. I love how this cozy reading nook's cushions and pillows are balanced with red on the floor, window and ceiling. Who wouldn't want to curl up in this huge window seat?
Sometimes a space needs just an accent piece that serves as a focal point, and red is the perfect choice.  This chinoiserie mirror is to die for in lacquered red!
Red zinnias and coleus are not the typical flowers we use for arrangements, but their red hues add a dramatic edge to this lovely bouquet. I do like to admire those homes that have that extra kick of RED!
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ciao! fabiana 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

coffee: some of my favorite things

Every morning I wake up and look forward to a warm cup of espresso with a little foamed milk on top.  I make it right here in the comfort of my kitchen with my stove top espresso maker, just like my mother and grandmother have done.  It is so easy to prepare Italian coffee this way, and it’s ready in 5 minutes!  Trudeau makes a beautiful sleek espresso maker that is so functional and so easy to clean.  I recently got one for myself, and it’s one of the best ones I’ve tried.  And, Trudeau’s white porcelain espresso cups are the perfect size to enjoy my brew.  The fun part is, any time a friend stops by, I am ready with coffee in minutes!     
Top it off with a little cocoa powder, and we're all set! 
Who wouldn’t be smitten by these lovely cups and saucers covered with little red and white hearts?  I am in love with these larger cups because they are so fun, but they are the perfect size for cappuccino, which is basically espresso with steamed milk and foam.  I like my milk thick and frothy, so I can mix it into my coffee like meringue!  So yummy!  (The cups and saucers also come in elegant black and white)
Just in time for Mardi Gras, my favorite coffee flavor right now is “Mardi Gras KingCake” by Community Coffee.  It’s a blend of cinnamon and vanilla flavored coffee, made from only the best coffee beans in the world.  It’s not really sweet.  It just has the great aroma of cake, and hints of these spices.  You’ve gotta try it! 
And lastly, I’ve started journaling this year, during my morning coffee time.  Sometimes, it's not first thing I am able to do in the morning, but I try to make time for myself, even if it's only for a few moments. This pretty Eccolo journal is small and easy to take with me.  Each page features an inspirational bible verse that helps me gather my thoughts for the day.  My morning alone time usually isn’t too long, but I try to enjoy every moment!  "Pray more, Worry Less" is a great reminder too!  And, as you can see, here is another one of my favorite coffee cups!  I’m hooked! 
ciao! fabiana

Sunday, January 31, 2016

announcing my new blog shop!

Hi Friends! I wanted to share my new BLOG SHOP with you. It's an extension of my Ciao Newport Beach Blog, via eBay. I have some fun new and vintage gift items for sale, including some fun Valentine's Day items. All items are influenced by favorite things that I love to share on the blog. Come on over and check it out! 
A few Coffee related goodies.
Some chic vintage finds.
Gift ideas for holidays.  These make great hostess gifts too!
I love these inspiring and pretty journalscoffee mugs
and trinket trays and dishes!  Let me know what you think!! 

Check back soon, as I will be adding 
new and seasonal items weekly.
Also, I am offering free delivery this 
month to Newport-Costa Mesa friends. 

ciao! fabiana

Saturday, January 30, 2016

favorite looks from country living

Flipping through this month’s Country Living magazine…
I spotted this cozy kitchen nook.
I love the combination of vintage pieces
from the artwork and the lighting to
the table and mix of fabrics on the pillows.
Chalkboard walls are always so homey in the kitchen.
They are like comfort food for the eyes! 
Well, hello there!
This guy's hideaway is nestled right under the kitchen island,
tucked away and all dressed up in buffalo check and ticking stripes!
I'm always a sucker for vintage maps,
and this room is wall-to-wall maps!
 Modern and organic elements combine 
perfectly in this light-filled dining room.
A grouping of milk glass vases is so sweet.
Ooh, I have to add a few of these to my collection!

ciao! fabiana

Friday, January 29, 2016

the luxury of a vanity table

Vanity tables are not as common now as they were in mid-century homes, but they are making a comeback.  Used mainly for primping, they now can serve multiple modern uses.  It’s a great place to store and display your jewelry.  Vanity tables with drawers can be fitted with compartments to hold rings, bracelets and necklaces.  Why not make it your phone charging station?  Pamper yourself with a beautiful space just to call your own.  Add a pretty mirror and lighting, and you are all set!  And a little Chanel No.5 please. Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not a luxury.” Coco Chanel.

ciao! fabiana

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