Ah, one of my very favorite desserts. This is one of the more sensual here in the series      (at least I think so) mainly because of its silky smooth texture.

This recipe, though somewhat exotic sounding, is really rather simple to make. Pre-packaged lady fingers are key, but if you have time and want to be adventurous, there are several recipes online for the homemade kind.

I’ve never added the brandy, simply because we’ve not had it on hand, and it still tastes wonderful. As for the Marsala, be sure to get the sweeter kind – you won’t regret it.


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 c. Marsala
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups strong coffee or espresso
  • 1/4 cup brandy OR Frangelico liquer
  • 18 store bought Ladyfingers
  • 2 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped OR shaved
  • Good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

1. Place 6 large wineglasses in the refrigerator to chill.

2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and whip 10 to 15 seconds longer, just until sugar is thoroughly incorporated.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the mascarpone and Marsala together until smooth and creamy. Gently fold a third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone, to lighten. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to combine.

4. Remove the wineglasses from the refrigerator. Stir the coffee and brandy together in a small bowl. One at a time, dip the ladyfingers into the coffee-brandy mixture twice, taking care not to leave them in more than 5 seconds or they may fall apart. Place two or three halves into the bottom of the glass, pressing down so they fit snugly.

5. Spoon a portion of the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers, then sprinkle with the grated chocolate. Top with another layer of ladyfingers, and repeat layering two more times, ending with a layer of cream. Dust lightly with remaining chocolate and a fine dusting of cocoa powder if so desired.

6. Assemble your dessert cups in the afternoon so that the y dessert has plenty of time to chill.

Tip: Halve the recipe to make two generous servings, and, use wine glasses for the presentation

A  little Ray LaMontagne, candlelight, and tiramisu… sounds like romance waiting to happen.


31 Days of At-Home Date Night Recipes and Ideas

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It’s that thing that defines a major part of who we are. We plan for it, dream about it, and sometimes venture into it without much thought about the ‘after’.

I love being married and have been now to the same man for 13 years. We’ve had our shares of ups and downs (sounds so cliche, doesn’t it?) Really, that’s just a nice way of saying that there have been hard times that have come from without and times when our selfishness and sin have been the culprit.

We married young, I was barely 22 and he 23. We waited six years to have children, for various reasons. We took being able to go out whenever we wanted for granted, not realizing that life after kids would change the face of our dating landscape.


Seven years and 4 kids later, we’ve gotten rather creative with our date nights. Through the years we’ve had to re-think our vision of what that meant.

Sometimes a bottle of wine, special dessert, and a fire are really all that’s needed to get the other fire started.


So won’t you join me ?
For the next 31 days we’ll be diving into how to make our date nights at home a little a little more creative and a lot more fun!


Rethinking Romance

I love Valentine’s Day. For some reason it has become one of my favorite holidays. The last couple of years I’ve tried to make it more about the kids instead of us, because as my husband said Valentine’s Day wasn’t really as important to him as to me. Now, that may sound terrible, but I did ask – he didn’t just volunteer the information.

You see, the past several years I’ve looked at this day as the day that I should be guaranteed some sort of romance. But this weekend has changed all that.

Right now I’m writing this at 9:00pm, in my pajamas, in bed with tissues and cough-drop wrappers on my nightstand. This weekend we all, 4 children and myself, save my husband, got sick, and he has been taking care of us.

This year the gifts that he has given – the box of tissues bought just for me; hot tea; Tylenol; and the words “I love you with all my heart” while all I can do is concentrate on not coughing – make the flowers and cards pale in comparison.

He has given and shown a true love this past week. A love that gives of itself before seeking its own. He’s given me a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love for Valentine’s Day, and I’ll cherish it forever.


Image We don’t do Ultimatums

Last year my husband and I were having some growing pains in our marriage, particularly in the area of communication. Problem was we couldn’t talk if no one went first.

I wrote him a letter about some changes I hoped to see (please don’t jump to the worst possible scenario). There are some renovations and repairs in our home that need to be taken care of that would make life a little easier.

As I was writing the letter, in an emotional state I might add, the idea of an ultimatum came to mind. But then I knew that I couldn’t do that, that I wouldn’t do that.

 There is a difference in the words ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’. One implies powerlessness, and the other strength.

There is no room for ultimatums in our marriages, not because we are powerless and can’t give one, but because we have the power to build up our marriages and NOT give one.

So, whatever it is you’re struggling with in your marriage, don’t give an ultimatum. Not because you can’t but because you won’t.


Communication, or the lack thereof

My husband looks at me and asks me what’s wrong. Did he offend me? Did he do something wrong? And, instead of being honest, I swallow my hurt and frustration, tell him no, and continue to fold laundry. I tell him I have a headache and I’m tired. He gets me some water and aspirin – the lie having caused the headache and the lack of communication causing a rift.

Communication is such a murky subject. There are numerous levels. There’s the ‘survival communication‘. The “did you get the clothes out of the dryer? S is out of underwear!” Then there’s the surface talk’ The “How was your day? Rough, yours? Kids were crazy, cute, then crazy again.”

It’s the deep talk, the heart talk, that is difficult to get to. Between the busyness of the day and the weariness in the evening, sometimes there’s nothing left to give.

How many times have we had to peel back the layers of life to get back to the ‘us’ – the couple that used to talk for hours? We have to make the time to communicate. We have to take it and put that time to good use.

My husband and I live in the same house together, we live life together, but communicating what’s on our hearts is sometimes difficult. After mulling this over and trying to get to the root cause of our lack of communication, I’ve come up with a couple of things. They may not be your reasons but perhaps they’ll help you figure out yours.

The first is complacency. Sometimes talking takes too much effort (there, I said it and my husband admitted this too). Much to my chagrin, sometimes I’m okay with not making that effort. It’s sort of like when you know you should be spending time with your kids but you know that pile of dishes won’t clean itself and you choose the dishes over love (please tell me I’m not the only one doing this!) You’ve lost that moment, to what, housework? But the times that you’ve chosen play over work have been so sweet. That’s the way it is with talking with my man. When I choose talking over the 25 tasks on my ‘to-do’ list, it reaps so many more rewards. The dishes will always be there but the opportunity to build that relationship might not be.

Okay, so I told you that there were a couple of things – here’s the second. FEAR. One word, but such a big one. I’m afraid sometimes to tell that man that I love with all my heart, what is going on inside my brain. I’m afraid because with love comes the power to hurt, and if I don’t talk, I don’t give him that power, right? Wrong.

But how many times have I been surprised when I do bear my heart and we have had a wonderful conversation?

Fear will do that to you. It’ll creep in and tell you things that aren’t true. Lies that will keep your relationship from growing because you believe them over what you know to be true. And the truth is my husband loves me and  wants to talk too. The truth is, he holds my heart protectively.

Do you know something wonderful? God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) When I am fearful, I am weak, undisciplined, and selfish. These character traits don’t build relationships but rather tear them down.

The love of God is amazing and more powerful than we could ever fathom. He can give us the strength to make the effort to have genuine heart conversations. And, He alone can conquer the fear that holds us back from becoming a couple who brings Him glory in our relationships.



Trust is a funny thing. Over time it can be built up or it can come crashing down in an instant. There are times when I find that I don’t trust that man of mine. That tall, ruggedly handsome, jack-of-all trades. Why do I let the fear taint the everyday? Why is it that when he gives me a fantastic gift  the first thing that runs through my mind is ‘Why, what has he done?’ Not, amazing gratitude. Why is it that when he offers to help someone carry signage away from the picnic pavilion, I see him helping a beautiful woman, who obviously isn’t carrying around the marks of giving birth to 4 children in 5 years, instead of just helping someone in need. I question his motives.

This lack of trust curls around my heart and wafts through almost every area of my life. Does he know what he is doing with our finances, why hasn’t he fixed the house yet, is it really best to let the kids have those suckers…

This lack of trust in the man that God has given me, is it really a lack of trust in God? For me, in the end, it is.

A verse that keeps running through my mind is Proverbs 3:5, 6. If you’ve grown up in Christian circles, then you will have memorized this when you were 3 and can recite it backwards and forwards while doing a handstand. It is amazingly deep, but sometimes with familiarity, comes forgetfulness.

But, if you aren’t familiar with the verse, here it is:

Proverbs 3:5,6 (ESV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

(emphasis added)

          You might be wondering why I’m starting out with a verse about trusting God and not about my husband. But I think that unless I’m truly trusting in the Father, I can’t completely trust my husband.

God is always faithful – ALWAYS. There is never a time when He is not. I thought that it might be a good idea to look up the word ‘faithful’ and see what it really meant. On my search, I found that the word ‘faithfulness‘ is often paired with the phrase ‘steadfast love’. Well, what does that mean? So off again to the dictionary to see what exactly ‘steadfast’ means. Most of us know what the connotation of the these two words are but maybe not the denotation. ‘Steadfast’ means ‘fixed’ or ‘unwavering’. And, ‘faithfulness’ means ‘true to one’s promises’. So,

God’s love is unwavering and He always keeps His promises.

When I look at my love for my husband in this light, I realize that I fail on a daily basis. Now I know that this article is supposed to be about me trusting him and his love for me, blah, blah, but I’m finding that God is using this to call me out on the sin in my own heart. How many times have I wavered in my love for my husband and how many times have I not been true to my promise?

Now that this has come to light, I want you, if you’re willing, to walk part of this path with me. Over the next month, instead of doubting our husbands, let’s look into our own hearts and see where we are doubting God, and where we could improve on being steadfast and faithful. Beware, fear is going to take hold, pride too, and will try to get our focus onto what (we think) our husbands are doing wrong. But know this, I’m praying for you, and more importantly, we have an Advocate with the Father who is interceding for us right now.