Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Waterfall

I'll get to enjoy "Spring" three times this year!  When we were in Washington two weeks ago, all of the flowering trees were in full bloom - I was in heaven.  Now that I am back home in southeastern Michigan, the trees are just beginning to show their buds, so we are still days from any real color.  I love this time of year.  I'll experience my third Spring in late May when I travel to northern Michigan.  The seasons are a full 2-3 weeks behind and I'll get to see Bradford Pears and Weeping Cherries all over again!  What a life. 

I wanted to show you this perfect sign of Spring - impromptu mountain waterfalls!  We took a gorgeous ride through the West Virginia mountains on our way from Washington D.C. to visit the grounds of historic Gettysburg.  The April Showers that fell earlier in the week created spontaneous waterfalls all along the winding road.  It was misty and beautiful!  I held onto my "always try" philosophy and rolled down the window to grab a photograph and it worked!  While not crystal clear, it does show you the rich green foliage and tumbling sprays of water that took my breath away. 

I sang a little of John Denver's "Country Road" as we drove along this gorgeous mountain road.  I just couldn't help myself.  

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Brunch

It was early, but it was worth it.  We had a Royal Brunch this morning at 4 o'clock in the morning and watched every minute of the wedding festivities for Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

I was happy to have this occasion to open my jar of official Windsor Castle strawberry jam that I bought at Windsor Castle last June - remember?  Just perfect to serve with homemade scones and clotted cream.

I thought that it would be nice to share my quiche recipe.  It garnered a lot of praise and felt like the perfect regal breakfast dish.

Royal Brunch Quiche

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sauteed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 package of steam-in-the-bag frozen asparagus,  steamed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 (8 oz) bag of shredded Swiss cheese
1 Pillsbury "unroll and bake" refrigerator pie crust, uncooked
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 3/4 cups of whole milk
a few swipes of freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of bottled nutmeg 
a few cranks of cracked pepper
a sprinkling of fine salt
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Select a pretty baking dish (I loved using this one) and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.  Using cooking shears, unroll and cut the pie crust and arrange the pieces in the pan to cover the bottom and some of the edges of the pan.  Arrange cooked chicken on top of crust.  Arrange asparagus pieces on top of chicken.  Spread cheese over asparagus.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, milk, nutmeg, pepper and salt.  Pour egg mixture over everything in the baking dish.  Place the quiche into the oven, shut the door and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.  Bake until custard sets, approximately 45 minutes.  Serve and enjoy. 

If there is a Royal Wedding, you can make the quiche the day before, allow it to cool and then refrigerate it overnight. Re-warm it in a 350 degree oven and serve at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

What I wouldn't give to be in London right now.  I have been watching the Royal Wedding coverage on TV (and the Twitter feed @ClarenceHouse) all week and love that people are camping out on The Mall for a chance to see the bride and groom.  And the crowd will be able to watch the ceremony on live video screens in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square So fun!  I love when a crowd gathers for a happy occasion - when the consensus is that something is so special that they should stop their lives for a while in order to witness it.

Well, all I can do from "across the pond" is celebrate.  I've planned a 4 AM brunch to watch everything LIVE and as the wedding draws near I am happy to say that everything is ready!  Baked French Toast, Chicken & Asparagus Quiche, Scones, Lemon Curd, Strawberries and the coffee maker is set to brew.

I downloaded the official wedding program and printed a copy so that we would be able to follow exactly what is going on.  And afterwards, for the first time, the wedding ceremony and music will be available on iTunes.  I'm serious!

No matter where you are, I hope you will watch the Royal Wedding with me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Click to Preview "Paris: Delight in the City of Light"

New Feature! You can "Click to Preview" (see above or click here) and actually flip through pages of my new book, "Paris: Delight in the City of Light"!


I really felt like I was walking around inside hospitality last weekend.  Hospitality as a living breathing thing. 

We were visiting friends in Washington, D.C. and there were small touches everywhere designed to make us feel happy and welcome.  Fresh flowers.  Newspaper clippings of events around town.  Brochures and maps to help us plan a day trip to Gettysburg.  And sweet treats in the little refrigerator to eat when the mood struck (Dan was eating chocolate chip cookies before the suitcase was even open).

My favorite moment of the weekend was our big breakfast together.  We ate in the dining room with pretty dishes, delicious food (muffins right out of the oven!), hot coffee and bright conversation. 

When I was a teenager, my dream was to own a country inn.  I read and re-read a North American edition of "Country Inns and Back Roads" trying to decide which descriptions sounded like the inn of my dreams. 

I wanted to make people feel comfortable and happy with beautiful linens, helpful travel information, homemade baked goods and friendship.  My teenage dreams came rushing back to me when I sat down to this breakfast.  This was what I loved; this was hospitality.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beekman Boys comment on Paris: Delight in the City of Light

"Paris, Delight in the City of Light" is a glorious weekend in Paris with a friend. Anne Reeves captures Parisian fantasies in their reality, and finds the Parisian reality of your fantasies. Wonderfully photographed and written, this book is nothing short of its title...pure delight." 
 -Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lunch at Teaism

This is my kind of lunch!  I just returned from Washington, DC (more posts on the trip later this week) and I was able to fit in a trip to Teaism.  This is my bento box lunch of fried chicken bites, cucumber-ginger salad, cold sweet potatoes and rice dusted with Furikake (a seasoning of seaweed flakes, sesame seeds, sugar and salt) along with my favorite drink, an icy ginger limeade.

I first tried Furikake on rice at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens  When I found a shaker of Furikake in the Morikami gift shop, I bought myself a jar to use at home.  It is my go-to topping for rice when I roast salmon - yum!  Furikake is beautiful, interesting and delicious.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lemon Tea Cookies

I love tea cookies and I have been experimenting with recipes so that I will be able to have a variety of simple & delicious cookies (baked and ready-to-eat) in the freezer for whenever I want to serve tea.  This incarnation is a straight-forward lemon cookie.  I prefer them without frosting (although an icing made of powdered sugar and lemon juice would be delish!) and think they are my new favorite for a Spring Tea. 

Lemon Tea Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons, plus 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter in mixing bowl. Beat in sugar.  Beat in egg.  Mix in lemon juice and zest.  Add flour, salt & baking powder. Mix well. Divide dough in half and wrap in waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour. Use plenty of flour on board, rolling pin & cookie cutter to prevent sticking. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out circles with a biscuit/cookie cutter.  Bake at 375 degrees on an ungreased/Silpat covered cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Flowers

Spring has been slow-to-arrive in Michigan and the flowers are way behind schedule.  It is late April and the local forsythia bushes have yet to bloom! 

This has left me craving bright yellow, so I have chosen tulips and mums for my Easter bouquet.  I tucked two Easter eggs (from the craft store) that look like old-fashioned German decoupaged eggs to add some interest.  So sweet!     

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paris: Delight in the City of Light by Anne Reeves

Ooh la la!  My new book, PARIS: Delight in the City of Light is now available online.  A soft-cover modern coffee table book with full-color photographs on each of the 120 pages, including addresses & websites of my favorite shops, sweets and treats.PARIS: Delight in the City of Light by Anne Reeves is full of Hints and Tips to bring your dreams of Paris to life. Shops to visit, Pastries to order, Places to photograph. I discuss everything that brings me delight in Paris - with photographs that make it real. It will be like taking me along on your trip!

To buy your copy, click the "Add To Cart" button at the top of my blog (next to the book cover).  After you place your order, I will email you to find out how you would like your book inscribed.  Merci!  ***CLICK "preview" button to see inside my book!

International Customers, my "shopping cart" feature does not accept international orders at this time.  Email me at: with your address and I will respond with the shipping price and "how to purchase" details. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Candle

Look at this sweet Easter candle that I made for the kitchen!   

Many years ago, I bought a beautiful white pillar candle (similar in shape, but covered with old letters) made and decorated by Anna Corba at a shop in Savannah.  I have been on the lookout for plain wax-filled glass pillar candles ever since, so that I could design my own candle with layered images. 

So you can imagine how happy I was when I found this plain pink wax-filled glass pillar candle at Jungle Jim's in Ohio.  I immediately "knew" that I would make an Easter candle to light in the kitchen.  I went to my Dover Holiday Clip Art book, flipped to the Easter section and chose a "girl with a lamb" for one side and and a "small bunny" for the other.  I put a tangle of lilacs to decorate the base.  I printed out all of these images with my color printer onto plain white paper and then cut out and decoupaged the images onto the glass with Mod Podge.  Once the images had dried, I coated the entire glass with Mod Podge 5 times - allowing dry time between each coat.  Love it!

A little girl in an Easter dress - that is delight.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Bunny

When my Dad goes out for Easter candy, he doesn't kid around!  This magnificent chocolate bunny graced our Easter table last year and I'm just getting the chance to show it to you now!   

Can you see the yardstick we propped up next to him?  25 inches of pure delight!  Buying a giant chocolate rabbit is something of a tradition in my family and every few years my Dad gives in and gets one.  It is a limited edition milk chocolate rabbit made at Morley Candy in Clinton Township. 

The rabbit came in a nest of Easter grass (sprinkled with chocolates) and was wrapped in clear cellophane with a large yellow bow.  Whenever there is a giant rabbit in the house, my parents keep him on the front table. In the days leading up to Easter, my Dad will cut a hole in the cellophane so that you can lean in and smell the chocolate.

Then last Easter, my parents brought "dessert."  Can't you just see my Dad coming up the front steps carrying him?!  What a treat and so welcome at our Easter table.  We definitely had fun nibbling at his ears.  In the following week we did our best to eat him, and then we packed up the extra to enjoy in chocolate chip cookies, brownies and fondue.  All I can say is, that was SOME bunny!      

Monday, April 18, 2011

Washington, D.C.

I am in Washington, D.C.!  A weekend jaunt to see friends, take pictures and have a little adventure.  I will be returning home around when you read this and will give you a glimpse at my trip once I get my bearings. 

This is a big week for me:  My book will be available online on Thursday, April 21st and there is a book launch party for me the day before!  Oh, and I'm hosting my big family Easter dinner on Friday.  Bring it on - I can't wait! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Don't you love this?  An antique Jell-O cookbook touting "wonder dishes" - Ha!  My mom has a soft spot for Jell-O and has started collecting pamphlet size Jell-O cookbooks like this.   

The best thing about cookbooks from the 1950's is reading the introductions about how you can wow your guests with your colorful and delicious creations.  They almost make it sound like the circus is coming to town, right in your very own kitchen!

All kidding aside, I always make Jell-O at the holidays.  I've made this layered Jell-O so many times that when Easter approaches, my friends ask, "Are you making your Jell-O?"  They know me well. 

Are there any holidays that wouldn't be complete without your Jell-O?

Layered Jell-O Salad:

Boiling water
7 (4-serving size) boxes of different flavors of classic Jell-O
1 large carton of sour cream

Choose a glass rectangular pan, about 13 x 9. Spray with plain non-stick cooking spray.

Stir 1 1/4 cups of boiling water into 1 package of Jell-O. Stir until dissolved. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the pan. Place in the refrigerator. Leave the balance of the hot Jell-O on the counter to cool to room temperature. When the Jell-O in the pan has set, it is time to make the creamy layer. Mix 3 Tablespoons of (room temperature) sour cream into the remaining liquid Jell-O on the counter. Whisk gently until the sour cream is incorporated and there are no lumps. Having both ingredients at room temperature helps this. Slowly pour the creamy mixture onto the set Jell-O in the pan. Use the bowl of the spoon to slow down the stream of liquid, so that the pouring liquid doesn't dent the layer below. Tip the pan to coat the entire first layer in creamy Jell-O, if necessary. Repeat until all of your layers are built!


Be sure to let each layer set before proceeding to the next. I make a few layers each day and it seems easier.

Buy flavors that are different colors so that each layer looks distinct. Lemon (yellow) next to Apricot (lt orange) is hard to see. Put blue (watermelon) in between. I love the "Island Pineapple," be sure to get that!

To serve, slice into squares with a knife and lift out with a small spatula. Serve from the pan, it can only be moved once - pan to plate. But it is gorgeous and delicious!

The result is ALWAYS gorgeous and perfect for a big Easter dinner. I wanted to show you a picture, but by the time it is ready to serve, you wouldn't have time to make it yourself! You really must see my finished layered Jell-O here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Toy Story

I had just met a nice young couple in my neighborhood, when their three-year-old daughter walked from behind them and proceeded to give my knees a big hug.  Without introduction, she knew that we were kindred spirits. 

Her parents were surprised that she walked over without encouragement, so I brushed it off saying, "Oh, well, she knows that I'm an Aunt and that we like a lot of the same things, don't we?  Barbies and stuff, right?"  To which she nodded her head. 

I find great joy in toys, candy and pretty colors, don't you?  Delight is really just this toy store window all grown up.  Today's Wish:  May you embrace your love of "childish" things so much that others can sense it.    

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Collecting Sea Glass

My dear friend has moved to an oceanfront cottage in Hawaii.  Sounds dreamy, doesn't it?  But moving is moving, regardless of how glamorous the destination, so (in addition to planning a trip to see her!) I have been trying to think of things to help her adjust to her new beach-y lifestyle. 

I think my best idea is that she could start a collection of "found objects" that wash ashore.  I tore out this article from Coastal Living magazine to mail to her and hope she before long she can make a tabletop display of sea glass, driftwood and other treasures that she finds on beach walks.

All of this talk of sea glass reminded me of a darling shop I visited on Little Cranberry Island (Islesford) in Maine.  It's called "Island Girl Sea Glass" and when I did a Google search to provide a link, I see that Travel & Leisure magazine has found her too!  I met island girl, Kelly, when I was touring the island and found the weathered look of her shop (above) to be irresistible.  Do you love sea glass?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sweet Birthday Surprise

Oh to be the girl who gets this cake!  I was invited to a surprise birthday party and this gum paste masterpiece was hiding in the kitchen.  It has been a while since I have seen gum paste flowers up close and I was so impressed by the workmanship!  I envy bakers with professional skills like this.  Imagine being able to make a garden with your fingertips.

I am highlighting this cake because I wanted to put the "everyday beauty" spotlight on bakeries and gum paste flowers.  The next time you order a cake for a special occassion, considering ordering something spectacular. 

This is a cake that I'll never forget;  it made all of the guests (and the birthday girl!) feel special and isn't that what a celebration is all about?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sugar Bowl Planter

What could be prettier on the front table?  Since I am hosting Easter dinner this year, my mind has been thinking a lot about dishes.  I will be setting two tables of eight (in kitchen and dining room) and I want the color scheme of each table to compliment one another.

As a result, I have been pulling out my collection of dishes and trying to come up with the best combination for each table.  I love this pattern (it was my grandmother's) but in my mind it is not sturdy enough for a big meal in a busy kitchen.  I just can't let a piece chip or break.  So...I came up with this way to showcase it.  A double stem miniature orchid that I "planted" in the sugar bowl!  It looks so sweet on the front table and because of the soft colors, has a decidedly Easter feel.  Love it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Paris: Delight in the City of Light

I am so very excited about my book, Paris: Delight in the City of Light, and while there is still one more week before it will be available online, I am honored to have such high praise written about my book from journalist, cookbook author and culinary icon, Patricia Wells: 

"Anne Reeves has written and photographed
the most tantalizing book on Paris:
She misses nothing! Markets, flower stalls, pastry shops,
 and boulangeries, not to mention restaurants
and must-see places to picnic or
 just breathe the air of everyone's favorite city. 
 A delight, page by page, bite by bite!" - Patricia Wells

What a thrill!  You simply cannot imagine what these words mean to me.  Some of my "everyday moments" are becoming quite extraordinary!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Royal Wedding and The Goring

I just went to a party where I heard that Kate Middleton and her family will be staying at The Goring hotel in London during the week of the Royal Wedding!

I couldn't believe it!  I absolutely love The Goring hotel - I stayed there in June and it was one of the finest hotel experiences I have ever had.  Gorgeous accommodations, an exceptional staff, delicious food.  If I felt like a princess, it's no wonder she wants to stay there! 

The photo above was taken in The Goring's large formal garden behind the hotel.  It is enclosed on all four sides by buildings, so it should offer a wonderful place for a private outdoor party.  What fun they will have!

I also thought you might like to see inside.  I took this photo at High Tea in the lounge overlooking the gardens.  I loved dining in a bright, yet cozy, enclosed porch with vibrant yellow china.  I thought it was just plain good luck that my cigar box purse (shown on the table) matched the room!  I think this will be a lovely place for a bride to have her morning coffee, don't you?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Royal Wedding 2011

I am so excited for the Royal Wedding that I've decided to host a 4 o'clock in the morning!  I know that I'll be glued to the television watching all the fanfare, why not make a party of it? 

Because it is a weekday, I know the group will be small (so far my husband, parents and best friend are "in") but that doesn't matter.  I am following my grandmother's philosophy, "You've got to make your own fun."

I'll be using my fine china and serving: Ham & Broccoli Breakfast Casserole, Baked Pecan French Toast, fruit salad, scones, orange juice and coffee.  Yum!

I've loaded "The Royal Wedding" app (I'm serious!) on my iPhone to keep me informed and I'm just starting to ask people who I think would like to come to a 4 o'clock in the morning.  Trust me, it's a short list.

Now all I need is a commemorative plate to celebrate the wedding of "Will and Kate!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tea Drawer

You know that I am an "English Breakfast" girl, through and though.  But I dabble in other varieties now and then and I certainly like to have lots of choices on hand for my friends.  

I've chosen this photo (the gorgeous display in a friend's specialty grocery store) to represent my "Tea Drawer."  I've dedicated one of the narrow drawers in my kitchen to tea!  It is full of boxes and tins just like this and my tea-drinking friends get a kick out of opening the drawer and perusing my selection.

Green?  Herbal?  Decaf? From Paris?  Poland?  England?

What I love is that much of my selection was given to me.  Because I am known for drinking/serving/loving tea, friends will often show up with a box as a present "for the tea drawer."

Do you have a tea drawer?  Do your friends have one?  The next time you go for a visit, bring along a box of your favorite tea to add to their collection.  I know they will love it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Modern and Square

I now consider myself to be a Thoroughly Modern Millie.  I may sew, craft and bake like it's the 1950s, but I can also pull out my iPhone and complete a business transaction right on the spot!  When I say, "I take Visa," I mean it!

You know that I am always on the go.  When I am out and about in different cities, I often meet people who end up wanting to buy my book, Moments of Delight.  Or the necklace that I'm wearing.  Or my book on Paris, the moment it comes out.  You get the idea.

Now that interaction is a whole lot easier.  Square is a new device (the white adapter shown above) that plugs into an iPhone and allows my business to take credit cards on the go!  Safe, secure and "authorized" while we both stand there.  It is modern and fabulous and I thought you'd want to know about it.  To learn more, go to Square.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vegas Skyline

Whenever I hear that a friend is heading to Las Vegas, I give them one suggestion. 

"Be sure to have drinks on the open-air patio (64th floor up!) at Mix.  It is a wonderful (and quiet) way to take in "The Strip" after dinner.

Head to THEhotel at Mandolay Bay and ride the elevator up to MIX lounge.  There is a cover charge (typical of Vegas) but for a romantic space where you can enjoy a glass of wine (and this view!) out under the stars, what could be better?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Puzzle Material

Some might say that this would make a great puzzle!  Personally, I don't think my eyes do it!  I photographed this veritable "Where's Waldo" of ornithology last month when I was in Florida.  Can you see the birds in the waves? 

I didn't see any natural predators, but these birds certainly have the perfect camoflage for feeding along the coast.  Their deep pink legs disappeared into the froth every time a wave came on shore and I kept having to wait for the water to recede to know where to aim my camera. They were that hard to see!I just downloaded a free iPhone app to identify birds (iBird Lite) so I can tell you with confidence that this is a group of White Ibis

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Paris: Shops, Sweets and Streets

(Want this tote featuring the Musee D/Orsay clock? You can order one on Etsy!)

You will be hearing a lot from me about Paris is the coming weeks.  The final draft of my book, Paris: Delight in the City of Light is at the printers (yea!) and you will be able to buy a copy here on my blog very soon.

Right now I am working on press releases, a marketing strategy and promotional materials.  Wahoo! 

I have worked on this project for two years now and for those who love Paris and have been keeping an eye out for this book release, I'm sure you'll think it was worth the wait! 

Soon you will be able to hold my view of Paris in your hands and read all about the Shops, Sweets and Streets that I love.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shell Toothpicks and Bacon-wrapped Dates

These toothpicks are almost too pretty to use!  I bought this beautiful set of (real!) seashell-topped toothpicks at a little shop in Florida and I can't wait to put them out at my next little party.  The WONDERFUL news is now I can direct you to a place online to buy shell-topped toothpicks for your house! One of my favorite places now offer shell-topped toothpicks - get some at Fancy Flours today. 

I am planning on serving bacon-wrapped dates as a hearty appetizer.  This appetizer is always a hit - each bite is sticky, sweet, salty and savory all at once! 

Bacon-wrapped Dates

You cut a slice of raw bacon into 3 equal pieces (2-3 inches long) and then wrap each piece around a whole pitted dried date.  Place the seam side down on a slotted broiler pan - be sure to have the broiler pan base on as well to catch the drippings.  The dents in the pan are perfect for resting each date in, seam side down, this will keep the bacon snug around the date.  (*If the bacon starts to unfurl, give in a use a standard toothpick to secure.)

Broil a few minutes and then, using tongs, turn each date over and broil on the other side until the bacon is completely cooked - approx 4 minutes on each side.

Arrange the bacon-wrapped dates on a small ceramic dish and serve with shell topped toothpicks for an appetizer that is beautiful, interesting and delicious!