Monday, March 31, 2014

Apricot Honey Goat Cheese Spread

As you know, Easter is right around the corner and you have probably already been perusing some recipes.  How about bringing some apricot honey goat cheese spread for the special day.  It is super delicious, easy to assemble (only 3 ingredients) and you can package it in whatever cute vessel you have lying around.  It is easy to transport and it would be great with 34 crackers as coffee and quinoa suggests or Lesley Stowe's raincoat crisps...either would make a great presentation.  I would pair it with a couple additional wedges of hard cheese and some nuts and dried fruit.  Voila you have a great appetizer for Easter and if your host calls you and asks what you would like to bring, you already have a plan in place.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Plastic Bag Storage Art?

Most likely everyone has a stash of plastic bags somewhere in the home.  You have to, it's a necessary evil...there are times when you just NEED a plastic bag. Now with the stores starting to charge it will become more necessary then ever.  You can carry all the reusable bags you can but sometimes you just have more groceries than bags.

I keep mine to a minimum and have purchased a plastic bag holder which keeps them semi organized.  But check out this neat little trick that I found over at Savvy Sugar. It's amazing how many bags they get in that small bowl AND it doesn't even look messy.  Plus what a great trick for putting a couple in your purse.

Smooth a plastic bag horizontally on your work space and start folding it up in three-inch sections. Continue folding until you reach the other side.
Starting at the closed end of the plastic bag, begin folding diagonally, creating a triangle. Keep folding until you reach the other side.
Now tuck the ends into the fold, and you have a nice little triangle of a plastic bag.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Estate Sale Look Book

After looking at my accumulation of odds and ends collected from estate sales, I decided to try to be more organized.  I still want to have fun and be able to grab items that I find interesting but I want to have more of a focus.  There is in fact alot of furniture pieces that I see that are definitely good buys but I don't have the space to store or the space to refurbish.  So, I must stick to the little projects for the time being.  After perusing for hours I believe the following are my estate sale look book for the next couple of weeks.

Milk Glass-I would like some milk glass pieces to use as planters.  I love the look and they feel like Spring an add a touch of romanticism to the room.  These pieces go fast though so I need to be on task.

Bench/Ottoman-I love this look and am on the hunt for a bench that is more sculptural like the one below.  Almost every house has something similar but usually in a heavier wood piece.  My eyes are open for something that feels a little lighter.

Mirrors-Can you ever have enough mirrors?  These are usually in piles in the basement and I'm going to take the time to dig through in hopes of finding the perfect treasure.

Plates-I love the playful look of these plates.  They add a great pop of color to an entryway.  Plus plates are literally at every house for $1, so it is just a matter of picking out the perfect ones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Barbacoa Pot Roast

Well I've been on my (mostly) no carb diet for about 1 month now and I'm finding it is getting more difficult to entertain the palate.  I find myself really wishing for some different textures and colorful flavors.  When I saw this barbacoa pot roast recipe I actually cried a little.  I'm going to make a big ole burrito bowl...minus the rice of course.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Link Love

Cannelle et Vanille
Clams in a light fennel and shallot broth

Great idea for a DIY birthday cake.

Lovely Indeed
DIY air plant bell cute.

Chinoiserie Chic
Love this new trend of framing vintage scarves.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

Spring is in the air AND it's a Monday which calls for a celebratory lunch cocktail.  I think this Minted Marrakesh is the perfect refreshment.  Looks and tastes delicious!  I'm going to pair it with a simple salad and sit back and savor the indulgence. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Glass Class

Recently a representative at Anchor Brewing schooled everyone on the perfect glass for beer.  While most people think it is the mug, it is in fact the classic pilsner flute.  The stem prevents your fingers from warming up the beer, and the shape prevents the carbonation from escaping and the foamy head from dissipating.  Now to find the perfect set of glasses at my next estate sale!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Things I'm Lovin'

While everyone waits for the warmer weather I find it helpful to focus on the little things in my life that are currently giving me joy.  Would love to hear and see yours.

My little Rosie whose crazy antics crack me up daily.

Some flowers my husband brought home for me...just because.

My favorite magazine arrived in the mail and it's always a pleasure to carve out a little special reading time.

My latest and greatest estate sale find.  Two bright teal club chairs with nail heads for $40...go me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Nightcap

 Just the saying, "Would you care for a nightcap?" sounds grown-up, sexy and a little naughty at the same time.  It congers up flashes of old movies and probably the best movie with a nightcap scene is The Graduate.  We're soon to be moving into more space and so my dream of owning a bar cart is soon to be a reality.  But I don't want it to be something that I stage and fill once and then it just becomes another thing to dust every week.  I plan on fully utilizing it for parties and dinners but I wanted to somehow make it a little more integral.  And this is what got me thinking about the nightcap.

Apparently there are rules to the nightcap and if I plan to do it right then I should study up, so I checked out Rosie Schaap's advice.

(1)    A nightcap should be a one-off, not “one more” of whatever you’re drinking. As great as a good cocktail is, according to Schaap, that’s not how to end a night. She says, “Your last drink should be set apart, so pick something special, something to sip slowly; one serving of one spirit, neat.”

(2)    A nightcap should be brown. Stick with the classics: top-shelf whiskey, good brandy (usually Cognac), a burnished, potent, amber liqueur.

(3)    A nightcap shouldn’t stray too far from the movements that preceded it. If you’ve been drinking whisky cocktails, move up to a neat single malt. If wine, Schaap recommends cognac.

(4)    A nightcap should be warming. In Schaap’s words, “After the initial burn subsides, a soothing comfort remains, the liquor equivalent of a cup of hot milk. Just much better.”

They've even got a Perfect Last Drink Playlist, I think I'm going to love this!

 Closing Time,” Tom Waits
“Cognac Blues,” Dizzy Gillespie
“Hemingway’s Whiskey,” Guy Clark
“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” Frank Sinatra
“Last Call for Whiskey,” Choker Campbell & His Band
“Night Cap,” Charlie Parker
“One for My Baby,” Billie Holiday
“The Parting Glass,” the Pogues
“Straight, No Chaser,” Thelonious Monk

***photo credit Onward Reserve

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Link Love

The Candid Appetite
Fun thing to do with leftover pot roast...sliders with sriracha aioli.

Smore's Brownie Pie

Love how this light fixture brings everything together.

FED + fit
Great snack to have waiting for guests...spicy cashews.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's day has arrived

And if you are anything like me you'll be avoiding the crowds and quietly celebrating at home.  Here are a few things to choose from to get your Irish going.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese

Irish Potato Pancake

Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

Irish Lamb Stew

Friday, March 14, 2014

Oil Pulling

The latest health trend is something called oil pulling...which is the act of placing 1 tablespoon of oil (olive, coconut, sesame or sunflower) into your mouth and swishing and "pulling" vigorously for 20 minutes.  Now let me start by saying that I've always been open to homeopathic or ayurverdic methods.  This is due to the fact that my little sister was born with severe allergies to everyday foods. After my parents exhausted modern medicine practices without any results they turned to homeopathy as a last ditch effort.  My sister soon was cured...we'll never know if it was the bizarre beet soup we consumed every night along with popping charcoal tablets or just simply the act of growing older. 

So, when I hear about things like oil pulling I think, "well it's a product that I have in my kitchen so why not give it a go".  I preface with my open mind because my husband believes all things like this to be hocus pocus most likely put out by the oil companies.  He doesn't have one bone that believes in natural remedies.  As a matter of fact he looked at me like I just grew another head when I explained the procedure.

I have sensitive gums and when I go to the dentist he always breaks out with "gum scraping" as something I should consider. thanks.  So, if this was the miracle everyone is making it out to be then maybe I would never have to hear the dentist utter those words again?  So I "pulled" for one week so far.

Here is my unprofessional opinion.  I used olive oil because I had it in the cabinet and the taste didn't bother me at all.  In 2 days you'll notice the whitening of the teeth and for those of you who have priced Crest White Strips lately, this is a bargain.  Here is something that I noticed that other people haven't mentioned.  The act of utilizing your jaw muscle intensely for 20 minutes has left my turkey neck feeling firmed.  So, there are 2 in my eyes pretty awesome results in a quick amount of time.  I will say that your mouth does feel cleaner but it may be that you just swished oil around in your mouth and so your tongue glides easily over your teeth?  My teeth sensitivity seems to be letting up a little but I think it is to soon to tell due to the fact that the time of month sometimes dictates this.  My synopsis...for the whitening power and for the firming of the turkey's worth giving it a shot and I for one am going to continue the trend.

Cookie Shot

Dominique Ansel of Cronut fame is releasing his latest creation today in NYC.  This is a chocolate chip cookie cup with a shot of milk poured right in.  Now, the Cronut was a little more intimidating in trying to make your own because I mean c'mon where do you start with that one.  But this one I think would be worth a shot of mimicking at home to avoid standing in line for hours.  Now of course you wouldn't have the special organic vanilla bean cold infused milk from upstate New York but my guess is it wouldn't suffer to much!  What do you think?  I think you bake some cookies in a stoneware sake cup and pour in some milk and serve your guests the new "hot" dessert.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pizza Frittata

I've been on a low carb diet for a couple of weeks now and I can say that it hasn't been to terrible.  I eat a lot of salads for lunch so I thought this would be a transition that wouldn't be to crazy.  I just needed to remove my beloved potatoes and rice from the nightly meal.  So far, so good...but then I got an intense pizza craving which is kinda bizarre because I'm not a huge pizza eater.  I have trouble controlling my portion size with pizza so it is one of those things that I eat about once a year on special occasions.  But the craving was so strong that it left me no choice but to try to come up with an alternative which is what I did with Rachel Ray's pizza frittata.  Now this is not Domino's, but it did have similar flavors and I really loaded up the hot sopressata and added some roasted red peppers.  It was quite tasty and cured my craving.  If anyone else has any low carb recipes that they a sister out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Apple Tastic

Someone deserves a big pat on the back and's me.  I accomplished my DIY goal for March.  I've loved the look of the above golden apple candle for some time now but spending $150 on this was never something I could justify.  So, imagine my surprise when I saw these little beauties at an estate sale for $2.50 (they came in a pair).  Plus the look on my sister's face when I got excited and picked them up was priceless.

Now, for the DIY'ing magic.  These had about 10 years of different colors of candles melted in them, so I put the oven on 200 and turned them upside down on a cookie sheet covered with foil. After about 10 minutes all the wax just melted away.  I then purchased 2 cans of spray paint in metallic gold and gloss white.  Then my husband had some vinyl electrical tape which I used to put around the lip of the where the lid fits so I wouldn't get to many layers of paint there to prevent the lid from sitting flush.
I wanted some difference in color, so I painted 1 gold outside with a white inside and vice a versa.  It took a couple hours to get about 3-4 coats on evenly.  Now, I realize it is not AS cool as the inspiration but it cost a total of $12.50 for 2 and still looks pretty chic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Link Love

Fashion Reporter
Looks like stackable rings are making a big comeback this summer.

Looking for a St. P Day dessert...caramel whiskey sauce.

Design Files Open House
Painting + Chair = easy and stylish

Hungry Rabbit
Mini French Apple Cakes...adorable for a brunch.

Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Patrick's Day No Bake Cereal Bars

Do you want to want to throw out a nod to St. Paddy's day but are short on time and bloated from all the beer you just drank for Mardi Gras?  How about sinking your teeth into these easy peasy cereal bars made with lucky charms from Sugar and Cloth.  I think it'll leave you feelin' lucky.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Hurricane Anyone?

It's that time of year again where the Hurricane's should flow freely.  Celebrate Mardi Gras right in the comfort of your own home with this great recipe from The Sensuist.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Crafty Wednesday

These spheres add a nice sculptural element to decor and believe it or not it can be done with a couple embroidery hoops.  Who knew?  If you have a bunch of blank bookshelves staring you in the face then this would add the perfect touch and for just a few dollars.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Link Love

Dough Puncher
What a lovely little dessert...angel food cake with lemon curd.

The Flair Exchange
Great twist on the normal swizzle stick.

Feasting At Home
Meatball and Spinach soup sounds warm and cozy.

A Beautiful Mess
This globe is gold genius.