Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feeling Blue



Good morning! Are you feeling blue at the thought of a few more weeks of winter? Take a look at these fun abstract paintings titled "Summer Abstracts."






I think these four pieces would look beautiful grouped like this over a bed or on a large white wall. Odd really because I do not have a white wall in my house! 

Now if you were an artist you could paint yourself a set of these using any color that you like. I would love to see something in pink and orange, my new favorite color combination. Sadly, painting is not one of my talents, what about you?





Writing books is not one of my talents either but it is just one of Kristy Woodson Harveys' in addition to the blog that she writes with her mom. Slightly South of Simple is available NOW for pre-order on Amazon. Click HERE to get your copy of what is going to be the best Spring/Summer book this year!


Have a great day!



If you would like more information about these pieces: Click the links below. 



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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Guinness Chili



Bowls



Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was busy. I had a lot of stuff to catch up on and managed to get it all finished. Sadly that did not leave a lot of time to enjoy the nice weather. It's funny because all I hear about lately is the weather, the unseasonably warm weather, the unseasonably wet weather. It seems this year winter is a little confused everywhere. 







This week it is back to "winter" weather here so yesterday I made a pot of chili which I find is the perfect lunch on a cold day. This chili is so easy and it is delicious, if I do say so myself. 


Guinness Chili 
Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic 
1 lb ground beef 
1 lb. ground pork
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 can of Guinness beer
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes 
1 can each pinto beans, black beans, light kidney, dark kidney (4 cans total, drained and rinsed)
1 can hominy

Garnish
grated cheese
sour Cream
cilantro

Instructions
 In a Dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat, then add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Then add the ground pork, ground beef and the garlic. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the cocoa powder, the salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Stir well, then add the Guinness beer, and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and all of the beans and hominy, stir well. Cover the pot and let mixture cook for 11/2 hours. 

Garnish with grated cheese, sour cream, onion, jalapeño peppers or whatever else you like.





I hope that you have a fabulous day! Enjoy your day off if you have today off to celebrate presidents day!




Links to this look:
1. White Two Handled Bowls 2. Tartan napkins (similar) 3. Vintage Dirilyte Flatware (similar) 4. Vintage baking pan.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday Favorites from Tone on Tone, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Invaluable, Gwen Moss, Cooking Curries and More


Good morning! Did you have a good week? Mine was tiring, and it seemed to be very busy but I feel as if I did not get a lot done. Have you ever had one of those weeks? I just want to relax, eat pizza and stay home this weekend, although that is not in the cards because I have a "to-do" list a mile long. 

I will find time though to visit a few of my favorite finds from this week. 






I have been craving salty and sweet things this lately, so this week I made Fleur de Sel Hot Chocolate  and it is the perfect treat after a long, cold week. 


Image Gwen Moss

Speaking of salted chocolate, don't these Salted Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes from Leslie at Gwen Moss look delicious! The good news, they are gluten free and dairy free.






One of my all time favorite and easiest desserts is panna cotta, so when I saw this Salted Chocolate Panna Cotta from Cooking Curries I knew I had to put in on my list of things to try. 


Image Loi Tone on Tone


If you live in Washington D.C, or are contemplating a move there, I have the perfect house for you. Loi and Tom of Tone on Tone have just listed their newly renovated Tudor on the market. Even if you are not moving make sure to go over and see this beautiful house at Tone on Tone.

Have you seen the movie Remember? If not, it is an excellent movie about a Holocaust survivor with dementia that goes on the hunt for a Nazi war criminal. 


I love art and history and the stories behind peoples collections. This week while perusing one of my favorite auction sites, Invaluable I came across an upcoming auction by Christies,  Boniface de Castellane & Anna Gould: A Way of Life. I found the title intriguing so I set off down the rabbit hole that is Google and discovered some interesting stories about this French dandy and his American heiress and their incredible life and collection. 

You can read more about the auction here and more about their house and life on the blog Strange FlowersHERE and HERE and HERE.





This week I had the great pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Slightly South of Simple written by Kristy Woodson Harvey. There are not words to describe how much I love this book! Kristy is an incredibly talented writer and one of my favorite parts of her writing is that you feel as if you know her characters, and you grow to love them as if they are your own friends and family.






Another great book that I read is Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants. This beautifully written and photographed book is divided into three sections by season: early, mid, and late, so you can look forward to something in your garden all year long.  Each of the 47 plants has a description on one page and the next page has a floral arrangement or recipe for things like pickled vegetables, edible flowers, herbal teas, infused oils, and more. Not having a garden or a green thumb everything in this book was interesting and informative to me. I think it would be a fabulous gift for the people in your life who love gardening and are looking to expand their knowledge or for someone who is just starting a garden and needs a little inspiration and instruction. 





I cannot believe that Easter is just around the corner.  If you are looking for a few updates to your Easter decor I found these illustrated rabbit salad plates from Southern Living and think they would make a whimsical addition to your table.


Did you find anything interesting movies, books or recipes this week? If so I would love to hear about them. 

Have a great weekend. 




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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Just Curious...What did you do for Valentine's Day?




Good morning? How are you? I hope that you are having a great week. Did you have a nice Valentine's Day? I am curious, what did you do to celebrate the day dedicated to love? 

They say 160 million cards are exchanged on Valentine's day, second only after Christmas, that could explain why people call it a "Hallmark" holiday. I personally sent and received a few cards celebrating the day, from my husband, family and friends. 






I made homemade chocolate treats and sent them to my family and little treat bags for my neighbor kids. 

Aside from that my husband and I made dinner, we shared a piece of this chocolate fudge cake which I whipped up and we watched a movie. We are not really into Valentines Day, ironic really considering that is the day we became engaged to be married. I personally believe that every day gives us an opportunity to say and show our loved ones how we feel about them, not just Valentine's day. 







I remember as a child being very nervous on Valentine's day because when I was growing up every child was not made to give every other child in their class a Valentine card.  In the school's that I attended we had little mailboxes and at the end of the day we opened them up at the Valentine's party and everyone would count their cards to see how many they received.






 Of course there were some kids that were disappointed that they did not get a card from their "crush" and there were the popular girls and boys who had so many cards they mailbox was bursting. I was in between both of these camps, some years I did not get a card from my secret crush but received cards from people I did not know had a crush on me. Young love, its confusing when you are in grade school.






I would love to hear about your day. I noticed on my Instagram feed that there were lots of chocolate, flowers and even a few diamonds given. Were you the lucky recipient of any of the above or something totally different. Did you make a special breakfast or dinner or did you go out? Did you have a sweet treat after dinner? 

Whatever you did I hope it was fun and that you were surrounded with the love of your family, friends, and community. 

Thanks for sharing your Valentine's day with us!

Have a great day!



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day




Happy Valentine's Day. I hope that your day is filled with love.


Raspberry Almond Crumb Bars



Good morning and a very happy Monday to you! How was your weekend? I know that many of you received a lot of snow this weekend. I do not want to rub it in,  but not only did we not get snow it was 75 and sunny, it felt like a mild summer day. We actually sat outside for most of the day Sunday in the sun and read. We loved it and so did the pups. 






Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, do you have big plans? On Valentine's Day, twelve years ago, after 10 years together my husband proposed. Funnily enough Valentine's day is not a big deal in our house; we typically stay in, cook something interesting, I always bake something, we share a bottle of champagne, exchange cards, sometimes gifts and that is it. What about you?







If you feel like making a treat for Valentine's day, I made this scrumptious raspberry crumb cake last week and it would be a very easy and delicious breakfast to share with your loved ones on Valentine's day. The great part is that you make everything, the batter and the crumb topping in the same bowl. It cannot be any easier than one bowl and one pan. 







Raspberry Almond Crumb Cake 
Recipe from Serious Eats

Batter
11/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/2 pint fresh raspberries, divided

Crumb Topping
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
18 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Adjust the rack to the middle of the oven, then preheat to 350. Prepare a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt, then add the butter, oil, egg, vanilla and milk and whisk until smooth. Spread into the pan. 

Drop raspberry preserves over the top of the batter and swirl into the batter. Scatter half of the raspberries over the top. 

In the same bowl as the batter, combine the flour, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon, and salt. Add vanilla and melted butter and then combine using your hands util mixture forms moist crumbs. Scatter over the top of the batter, then scatter the rest of the berries over the top. 

Bake until the center of the cake is firm to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. The original recipe called for an 8 x 8 pan and it took about 60- 65 minutes to bake.  Let cool, and enjoy. 






I hope that you have a great day!





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