Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

  • a written word......is the choicest of relics. - not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself...

plaid dress

These last few days have been so hot that I want to wear the least amount of clothes and the loosest clothes. The heat wave is killing me. So this light and airy dress has been on major repeat. So much so that I even got a, ‘That dress again?’ No AC has been cool enough for me and with all of the water I’m drinking I still can’t keep my body temp down. Maybe I’m just heated up with excitement for all the fun things happening right now!

Dress, Dolce Vita Sandals, Fossil Backpack, Tory Burch Sunglasses

 

Tory Burch sunglassesPlaid summer dresscloth and stone dress

Note: Can’t wait to share why I was MIA last week!

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The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is known for its high tea. It’s like going to Claridge’s in London, but in L.A.. The hotel and beautiful tea room is elegant but not stuffy. The fluffy lounge chairs and overstuffed couches help create a relaxed vibe that makes you want to stay a little longer. In typical English fashion scones are served with jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. The mini sandwiches pair well with the tea and champagne. But unlike in England, afternoon tea started with strawberries in cream, which was a lovely addition to the meal. It may not seem like a meal, but I filled up fast. I didn’t even get the chance to taste all of the delicate desserts.

High tea at The Peninsula Hotelhigh tea at The Peninsula Hotel

Note: Even the China was simple yet elegant.

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gift guide for dad

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Banana Republic Sunglasses
  2. Nixon Watch
  3. Pendleton Blanket
  4. Old Navy Shirt
  5. Ted Baker Tie
  6. Fossil Wallet
  7. Williams-Sonoma Steak Sauce Set
  8. ECCO Sneakers
  9. Balsam Fir Incense
  10. Dolce & Gabbana Cologne
  11. Mr. Porter Messenger Bag
  12. Williams-Sonoma Beer Mug
  13. Caputo & Co Bracelet

Father’s Day is right around the corner and I still don’t know what I’m going to get my dad. I’m hoping this gift guide for dad helps me as much as it helps you.

Note: Dads can be hard to shop for.

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strawberry dessert recipe

It would look better if these were all the same size and the jam didn’t spill out the sides, but I wasn’t going for looks. If you want a homemade style pop tart, then do like I did and pack them full with strawberry filling.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 tablesppon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, cold

Fruit

  • 2 cups quartered fresh strawberries
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam

Other Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar

mini strawberry pop tarts

Directions

  1. Make the dough. Mix together 5 tablespoons cold water and the vinegar in a measuring cup and keep cold.
  2. Combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the cold butter over the top and then pulse a few times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the vinegar mixture a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until the dough just comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until the dough just comes together. Form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 48 hours.
  3. While the dough is chilling, cook the fruit. Combine the berries and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, the fruit starts to breakdown, and the juices start to release, about 8 minutes. Stir together the lemon juice and cornstarch until combined, add to the boiling fruit, and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Stir in the jam. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll half of the dough out into a large rectangle that’s just larger than 9 x 8 inches and is 1/8 inch thick. If the dough is dry and not sticking together, add water until you can roll it out. Trim the sides with a knife so that you have a 9 x 8 inch rectangle with straight edges.
  6. Cut the rectangles into thirds lengthwise so that you have three 3-inch strips. Then cut the strips into fourths so that you have 12 small 3 x 2-inch rectangles total. Carefully transfer these rectangles to one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Gather the scraps of both halves and re-roll to create more rectangles. You will get 4-6 more.
  7. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of fruit filling in the center of half of the rectangles so that it is slightly heaped, but do not spread out. Make sure not to overfill them, although it might happen by accident. Ideally leave about 1/4-inch boarder all around. Brush the boarder with the egg wash. Lay another rectangle of dough over each fruit filled piece and press gently around the edges to seal slightly. Use the tines of a fork to press the two layers of dough together. Put the baking sheet in the fridge until the pastries are chilled, about 20 minutes.
  8. Lightly brush the tops of the pastries with the milk. Use a toothpick to poke 8 holes over the top surface of each pastry to allow the steam to escape during baking. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or lightly frost before serving.

mini strawberry pop tarts

Note: Recipe from Bobby Flay’s cookbook Brunch at Bobby’s.

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Hippie style

I’m feeling free! And this Free People top makes me feel even more free-spirited with its loose fit and bell sleeves. The vintage inspired floral print reminds me of my mom’s 70’s style. I love looking at pictures of her and her friends and seeing what they wore then. It’s all coming back around again. From the shirts to the flare pants. I paired my boho top with old flare jeans that I’ve had for years. Lucky for me I held on to them and they came back in. This is one style that I’m okay with wearing again.

Free People Top, 7 for All Mankind Jeans, Fossil Backpack, Vince Camuto Shoes, Tory Burch Sunglasses, Nakamol Wrap Bracelet

Free People styleFree people styleFossil backpackFree PeopleFree People

Note: Fashion in the 70’s is definitely one of my favorites.

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