Friday, July 29, 2011

lake george

OR rather "scenes from my childhood."

Yesterday was a perfect day. The sun was shining and, despite the 84 degree temperature, there was a cool breeze, no humidity, just perfect. My mother and I decided to take a drive up to Lake George for lunch, shopping, and Martha's. This time of year is pretty busy up there, as you can imagine, lots of tourists, so we stayed in the car and were quite content with the windows down, driving around the lake and mountain for a couple of hours. The Adirondacks in the summer hold a very special place in my heart. When I was younger I spent summers at Girl Scout camp in Lake George, or on bike trips around the mountains, or {on very special occasions} day trips to the Great Escape.

No trip the Great Escape was complete without a trip to Martha's after for the best ice cream EVER. Seriously. I have been very vocal about my love for soft serve ice cream and how it should be made, Martha's does it perfectly. It's so creamy and custardy, mmmm. Plus they change their flavors everyday, yesterday they had Mocha twist, which is coffee and chocolate twist, so delicious. I also love their peanut butter and chocolate twist, and mint and chocolate... which they have tomorrow... perhaps another drive is required?

west elm

I'm kind of loving West Elm's fall preview, it's looking a little Anthropologie meets Dwell, but more affordable. Nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

geronimo balloons/100 layer cake

Every week 100 layer cake does a pop-up shop where they sell wedding merchandise from a small shop at a discount. This week Geronimo! is selling some of their jumbo balloons with pom-poms, perfect for engagement shoots. Aren't they awesome?


Warning: posts may be sparse this week.

I'm home in Upstate NY for some much needed family time and relaxation. I plan on spending much of the week sitting in the backyard and enjoying weather under 100 degrees. There will also be trips to the race track and Cooperstown, so I'm sure I'll have much to report later on. I may check in from time to time, but have a great week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sunday sweets {chocolate pie}

Jacob and I have relatives visiting so it's difficult to sit down at the computer for a prolonged period of time, but I wanted to share this recipe with you guys. On Sunday, we had spent the entire day cleaning the house for our visitors, so when it came time to bake something I really wasn't in the mood. I had seen this recipe in Food & Wine and remembered that it was really quick and easy, perfect.

The pie, despite being incredibly simple, is really good. Better than I expected actually. Add a little {or a lot} homemade whipped cream, and you've got yourself a lovely Sunday dessert.

1 packaged pie dough crust, such as Pillsbury {you could do homemade pie crust if you're feeling particularly motivated}
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving

  1. Directions:
  2. 1.Preheat the oven to 350°. Ease the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the crust lightly with a fork. Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.
  3. 2.Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.
  4. 3.Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.


Friday, July 22, 2011

happy {hot} weekend!

Yesterday was Jacob's birthday so I tried my best to fill it with his three favorite things: beer, food, and Charleston. We had a fantastic time at all our favorite Charleston stops including FIG. We usually walk away from dinner there discussing the amazing pork trotter appetizer, but last night all we could talk about was their coddled sea island farm egg. Probably one of the most amazing things I've eaten in a while, and so simple, just perfect.

This weekend the weather channel has declared a heat advisory for the area so I think I'll be taking their advice and staying indoors. I'm going home to NY next week and seriously looking forward to some cooler weather, so the heat wave better be over by then.

In the meantime, enjoy these gems from around the web:
2. Hilarious art prints with some of my all time favorite characters.
6. Finally, last but not least, my lovely friend Kelsey has just opened an etsy shop. Her illustrations are so whimsical and pretty, please drop by and check them out!

the row and toms collaberation

How amazing is this new line from Toms? They collaborated with The Row {Mary Kate and Ashley's high end fashion line, so right off the bat I'm all for this} and all shoes are made from Italian wool and cashmere. They're a little more pricey than the usual Toms shoe but definitely chic enough to spend a little extra I think.

duvel artist series glasses

If any of you have had the chance to read Jacob's blog, you are well aware of his many obsessions {most involving beer}. He has filled our kitchen cabinets with beer glasses for some time now, and I allow, perhaps even encourage, this habit because I have a fondness for glassware too. He can have his tulips and pint glasses, as long as I can keep collecting my antique coupe glasses, and, despite the lack of space in our cabinets at the moment, this agreement works out fine. Yesterday, we came across some of the Duvel Artist Series glasses at CBX and I felt that if I was ever going to push Jacob to buy more glassware, this was the time to do it.

We picked up the Eley Kishimoto {back right} and the Denis Meyers {front} versions, both of which are sold out on the website, and apparently are a bit rare. So that was exciting. I'm really excited to use the Eley Kishimoto one, mostly because of the gold metallic lightning bolts, pretty rad no?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

design shows you should be watching

Secret from a Stylist is on HGTV Saturday nights at 9:00... it's kind of amazing. Emily Henderson takes a couple, figures out each of their styles and then melds the two to make one, cohesive, awesome room. She starts by taking one of their styles and creating a room based entirely on that, so that the couple can see how dominating going with one style can be. She then comes back and layers in the other's style. The only problem with this show is that it's in L.A. and she gets all sort of amazing deals from antique warehouses that I am unable to go to without an expensive plane ticket.

An added bonus to this show is that one of my favorite bloggers was featured on it, Oh Joy! {first photo, that's her wallpaper in the background too}.

If you have any kind of interest in interior design, you should be watching Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo Tuesday nights at 10:00. Tonight is the season finale, but you can see the rest of the season on On Demand. My personal favorite designer on the show is Kathy Ireland. I love her for many reasons: her scratchy British accent, her eccentric French housekeeper, but mostly, because her designs are amazing {shown above}. She creates spaces that, had I the money, I would create for my house. An almost crazy mix of texture, textiles, and color.. but it all works, and I love it.

Another show, would be Flipping Out on Bravo, but that's been on for a while, so you should all be watching it by now, right?

day dreams {new england summer}

Lately I've really been craving some New England summer traditions. Lobster bakes, grey wooden houses, clam chowder, stripes, and harbors...sigh. There's such a distinct feeling of ritual in that area of the country, one that, when away from it, one tends to really miss. If it weren't such a long drive, I might insist on a summer vacation to Cape Cod immediately.

Monday, July 18, 2011

sunday sweets {pineapple upside-down cake}

This Thursday is Jacob's birthday so I wanted to bake something this weekend in honor of him. He once told me his mother used to make him a pineapple upside-down cake for his birthday every year, so I thought it would be fitting. I had never made one before, and it's been a long time since I've even eaten one, so I was excited for something different.

We all remember the nostalgic canned pineapple upside-down cakes of our childhood, but I wanted to do something a little different. I found this recipe in our Ad Hoc at Home book which is amazing! Sometimes Thomas Keller's recipes can be a little intimidating, but this book makes them seem achievable for a cook at any level. Plus, as with any of his books, it's absolutely beautiful.

For pan schmear:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dark rum
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
Kosher salt
1 Gold (extra -sweet) pineapple

For the cake:
1 1/3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, combine the butter, honey, rum, sugar, and vanilla, and beat until smooth and well blended. Spread 1/3 cup of the schmear over the bottom of a 9-inch silicone cake pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt. (The remaining schmear can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 1 month; bring to room temperature before using.)

Cut top and bottom from pineapple, and cut away peel. Cut pineapple lengthwise into quarters, and cut off core from each section. Cut each piece crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Beginning at the perimeter of the pan, make an overlapping ring of pineapple slices with the curved side facing out. Make a second ring inside the first one, overlapping the slices in the opposite direction, working toward the center of the pan. Reserve any pineapple for another use.

Sift flour and baking powder together; set aside.

Put butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding second and scraping down the sides as necessary. Beat in milk. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, beating just until combined.

Pour batter into pan and spread over pineapple. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan for even browning and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 to 30 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the cake, invert onto a serving platter, and serve warm.

Friday, July 15, 2011

have a magical weekend!

It's finally here, the end of the Harry Potter phenomenon, and I must say I'm feeling incredibly nostalgic. Having grown up with the books and the movies, it's quite sad to know that this is it. I'll probably have to reread the series at least once a year {i've already read the entire thing about 4 times through} to make up for the absence of new material.

Around the web:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

white accents

And in keeping with the white theme this morning, here are just a few ideas for white accents. The couch is the one I seriously considered before going with the Andre, and aren't those his and her bust vases amazing?

day dreams {white interiors}

Let me be frank. I could NEVER have an all-white room, I couldn't even have an all-white couch, trust me I've thought about it. There was one couch I was absolutely in love with, but I had to pass it up because the white would be ruined in about 2 seconds {the brown tweed couch I bought maintains it's color, but was still vulnerable to attack from Franklin}. That said, I do think there's something particularly lovely about white interiors. They always look so clean and calm. I especially love the white-washed, rustic look of some of these rooms. Having white floors and walls can really make simple, otherwise ordinary objects pop like flowers and books. I also feel like all of these rooms probably smell like laundry or gardenias.
I think this look works really well with beach cottages, perhaps one day I'll have one and I'll decorate it all in white {and maybe some blues}, and there will be no dogs allowed. A girl can dream.


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