Saturday, November 19, 2011
The key to making your new furniture piece look professional is S-P-A-C-I-N-G! You want to make sure that each nail is equidistant to the next. To make this process much easier, I created a quick template that will help you space these perfectly . Simply print, cut out and place over the piece of furniture. Hammer each of the nails in the designated space. Once you have a row, pull the template away and start over with your next row. Add as many or as few nails as you would like!
Looking for ideas? Check out the images I collected as inspiration. You can accomplish many of these looks on your own.
image from left to right: Restoration Hardware Chair, Marco Cabinet, Pottery Barn chair detail, Visconti storage ottoman, Marco side table, Restoration Chair, West Elm headboard.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Mushroom Tagliatelle with Truffle Oil and Scallops
2 cups mixed mushrooms (oyster, crimini, enoki, white)
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot finely chopped
1 package of thick noodles such as tagliatelle or fettucine
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 lb small scallops (optional)
Pecorino Romano cheese
In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan on low-medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms and cook until soft and tender, about 4-5 minutes. If you wish to include scallops, add to the pan and cook until cooked through. Toss pasta and mushroom mix along with chopped parsley. Drizzle with the truffle oil and grate some pecorino cheese on top. Serve and enjoy!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
What most people don't realize is that animal print is fairly 'neutral'. Whether you use leopard, zebra, cheetah, giraffe cow etc...the colors typically range from black to tans, yellows, browns and oranges. Keep this in mind when decorating. Supplement the space with colors that add contrast and interest. Pair a zebra print with a deep or vibrant color. There is no wrong way to do it and unless you are adding animal print wallpaper (I recommend NOT doing this!) you can quickly reverse it. Once you get tired of it, you can easily swap out that pillow, rug or other decorative item with something else.
Here, you will find a picture of a small bedroom (11X13) that originally felt stale (white walls no furniture or window treatments). A dark accent wall, some white linens and a splash of animal print now make this room an inviting and chic space!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
With all this talk about St. Patrick's day, I decided to make some sugar cookies and then decorated them with green and white. There are sweet, just a little chewy and simply delicious.
3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups butter, softened (NOT melted)
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla.
Combine the dry ingredients and mix on slow until the dough forms. Cool dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.
If you like sweeter cookies (or don't want to frost them), shape dough into 1 inch balls and then roll on sugar. Otherwise, use a small cookie scoop to place onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 7-9 minutes or until edges begin to brown slightly. Remove from oven and let cool in a cooling rack. Frost and decorate however you prefer!
The new address is:
For my returning readers, please continue to check in for new ideas. I will regularly add new entries; and will also be adding some fun new features. New readers, WELCOME! I hope that my decorating, entertaining and food/drink ideas are a great resource to you. In order to continue supporting this blog please forward it to any friends/family members you think might enjoy it as well!
Also, if you have any new ideas/suggestions on postings you would like to see (or even need some design advice), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to hearing from you!
Monday, March 8, 2010
12 graham crackers, crushed
3 tblsp butter, melted
1 tblsp, sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 packages, cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
Fresh berries, chocolate chips, coconut, caramel or any topping you choose.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin pan(s) with foil liners. If you prefer not having liners, I would recommend purchasing a special mini cheesecake pan. You can find it online. It retails for less than $20.
In a large bowl mix crushed graham crackers, 1 tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Add 1 teaspoon into each paper cup. Press lightly.
In a separate container, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy (make sure cream cheese is at room temperature). Add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Mix until combined.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the pressed graham crackers. Fill each until 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes. Cool on a rack and top with fruit, chocolate, caramel or anything else you can dream of. Here is where you can get real creative.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I spend my Saturdays helping decorate custom cakes with one of Chicago's most amazing pastry chefs. Every week these ladies and gents are working hard to create unique cakes for weddings, birthdays and any other celebration you can think of. Below are just 3 examples (out of at least 15 cakes) from today ...just another Saturday at TipsyCake! Love it! http://www.tipsycakechicago.com/
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I love coming up with simple appetizers for dinner parties and other events. Puff pastry is perfect for this. It's flaky, buttery taste is a great base for any kind of filling; sweet or salty.
I made these mushroom and goat cheese pasty puffs for a birthday party. Within 15 minutes, they were gone! So easy, tasty and unique. Give them a try for your next party.
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pastry Puffs
1 puff pastry sheet (packages have 2)
1 large container of mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the puff pastry using a sharp knife into 2x2 squares. Place the squares in a mini muffin pan pressing down the centers to make small baskets. Using a fork, poke small holes in the base of the baskets. Bake until the edges are golden. Approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool.
In a large pan, melt the butter. Add garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Saute on medium-high heat until the mushrooms are tender and golden. If you would like, add a couple of tablespoons of white wine. If you don't have any readily available, omit.
Place the puff pastry baskets on a serving platter. Using a knife, cut out a circle in the middle of each, in order to make a small cavity for the mushroom filling. Add warm mushroom mix and sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Try to offset dark masculine furniture with lighter colors and soft fabrics. In the example below, a dark leather couch is a good complement to two beige microfiber chairs. Silk cushions and some decorative accessories make this room a suitable area that doesn't scream bachelor pad or girly room.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The key to a dining area is striking the balance between casual and formal. You want a space that is nice enough to accommodate guests but casual enough that it can be used on a regular basis. If you have the luxury of having a formal living room, its a different story. I'm talking urban-condo living where you have to maximize every sq foot!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Oatmeal cookies are sooooo good. I can
never have just one, mostly because they have the perfect balance of sweetness, texture and I guess it never hurts that I try to convince myself that simply because they have oatmeal, they're somehow healthy (suuuureeee...).
Anyway, I have tried lots of recipes and finally think I have a winner. I like the combination of oatmeal and raisins and prefer chewy softer cookies, so if this describes you too, try it!
3/4 cup butter, softened
¼ cup oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup raisins (can be substituted for chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter, oil and brown/white sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs. Slowly add the flour until everything is combined. Add baking soda and salt. Fold oats and raisins to the mix.
Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes and then drop in rounded spoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes (or until edgest start to brown slightly) and then allow them to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wow, it has been a while! Life has been crazy and as such, I have been scrambling to find time to do all the things I love most...like writing my blog. I have been wanting to add a new posting on some amazing super sized cupcakes I recently made. They are about 3 times the size of a regular cupcake which means 3 times the goodness! Yum! These are part of a concept that I will write more about in an upcoming posting...but for now, wanted to give you a taste. ;)
Monday, September 14, 2009
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup milk
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce
2 tilapia filets (can use Sole too)
3/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vegtable oil
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons of capers, drained
Melt 1 teaspoon of butter with oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.
While butter melts, sprinkle fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour; shake off excess flour.
Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until butter turns golden brown. Add fillets to pan; sauté 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fillets from pan. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in two teaspoons of butter with a whisk. Serve sauce over fillets. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
To come, a posting on more modern pieces...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
One of the best parts about baking is getting to share sweet treats with friends/family. Cookies are the easiest to package and carry around. Here is an example of how I packaged some of the cookies I baked in the previous post. A little 'home-made' seal, some ribbon and a cellophane bag used to package lollipops does the trick! You can also add a card on the side. Since I have the world's worst handwriting, I found some great stamps with little messages you can quickly stamp on. Easy and inexpensive; a thoughtful & tasty gift everyone loves.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
packaging but the quality is simply amazing. I purchased a couple of pounds of shrimp for the Paella I made on the previous post and ended up having some leftovers so I decided to create something on the lighter side that still packed lots of flavor. I had seen a recipe on the Food Network at one point that included tequila and shrimp so having both ingredients on hand I decided to come up with my own twist for a salad.
What you Need:
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Here is my version of an empanada (I had to make some adjustments based on what is available at local stores).
These are great as an appetizer.
1 package of Goya brand white corn disks (found in the ethnic frozen food section)
1 pound of ground beef
2 potatoes, boiled and diced
1 spanish onion
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 package of chorizo
In a large saucepan, add onions and garlic until slightly browned. Add chorizo, ground beef, cumin and bay leaves; mix with the onion blend until the meat is mostly cooked through. Add tomatoes. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Add cooked and diced potatoes after 10 minutes and let sit . Allow the ground beef mix to cool before making empanadas.
Lay the Goya disks on a floured surface. Put filling in the middle and join the edges. Press with a fork to seal the empanadas.
Fry them in a large pan until the edges are slightly browned. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with cilantro.
For a healthier option, you can bake the empanadas in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large tomatoe, cut in thick squares
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 of a med size onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
1/8 tsp dry oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 leaves fresh basil
1/2 fresh mozarella ball, cubed
Friday, July 10, 2009
Choco-Butterscotch Chip Cookies
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks of butter
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips