Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Sappy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year's Eve! 

I am total sap and I love putting my husband through the same routine every year...  Where I recount all the major events that have occurred this past year, and ask that we "reflect" on them ("In February, Alyssa & Chris got married and we traveled to Florida!  Remember how sunny it was that day?").  He puts up with it (even with an occassional roll of the eyes)...  but, maybe, he secretly likes my sentiment?  This is what I tell myself!  We will be celebrating the New Year's holiday at a friend's house tonight, so I will have to torment him with this tradition on the way to the party (rather than 10 minutes before the ball drops). 

2009 was a big year for me, and I truly look forward to even more exciting adventures in 2010.

Happy New Year, Everyone!  Hope you have a fabulous New Year's kiss!

ps:  "SAPPY" as defined by the Urban Dictionary: "Something or someone very lame, or so sweet that it makes you want to puke."  Haha.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Vintage!

An awesome vintage rug in fabulous condition, just listed in my shop.  It measures about 3' x 5.5' (perfect for an entry or hallway!).  I love the unique pattern and gorgeous color...

available HERE.


Mapped Out

Loving this picture from Martha Stewart.  Framing maps is a great way to create an instant collection...  plus, I love that this look is somewhat vintage-inspired... like a hallway from a library or prep school.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Going Retro: A New Year's Eve Party Menu

I saw that Katie Lee Joel was on the Early Show this morning with a retro inspired New Year's Eve menu (derived from the ever-so-stylish show, Mad Men).  First of all, let me say that she was adorable.  I wish she had shown that much personality when she was the host of Top Chef!  Second of all, I loved the menu!  I personally think that the 1960s knew how to throw a party...  so, she immediately had my attention.

The Menu

Oven-fried Chicken Satay

" I love to serve fried food at parties, but when there's a big crowd, I find myself stuck in the kitchen frying while all of my guests are having fun. By coating chicken in cornflakes and baking it, I get the same crunchy effect without all of the labor. I like to serve this with homemade BBQ sauce, but you could also use honey mustard, ranch dressing, or duck sauce. "

*Satay - An Indonesian favorite consisting of small marinated cubes of meat, fish or poultry threaded on skewers and grilled or broiled. Satay is usually served with a spicy peanut sauce. It's a favorite snack food but is also often served for an appetizer and sometimes as a main dish.

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
4 cups cornflakes
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
BBQ sauce, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Thread chicken pieces onto skewers, working the skewer in and out of the meat. Using a pastry brush, brush each piece of chicken with Dijon mustard.  In a food processor, combine the cornflakes, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pulse to a coarse meal and transfer to a shallow dish. Dredge each chicken skewer in the cornflake mixture until evenly coated. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve with BBQ sauce.


Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Aioli
" This is a great hors d'oeuvre to make ahead of time for a cocktail party. I steam the asparagus and make the aioli the day before and store them in the refrigerator until serving time. "

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and peeled
1 head of garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath. Boil the asparagus for 2 minutes and plunge into the ice water. Drain and chill until serving time.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the top off the head of garlic. Place the garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Wrap tightly. Roast for 35 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the garlic, until the garlic is soft and deep golden brown. Let cool completely. Squeeze the peel of each clove to release the garlic.

In a food processor, combine the roasted garlic, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Pulse until garlic is completely incorporated. Serve alongside the chilled asparagus.


Meatloaf Sliders

" The most popular recipe from my first cookbook was meatloaf. I called it "manloaf' because if you make it for a man, he's destined to fall in love with you. Everyone loved it, even Oprah! So many people are serving sliders at parties that I decided to miniaturize my meatloaf for a party and turn it into a small sandwich-a meatloaf slider. These mini manloaves were the hit of the party! "

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
24 slider-size hamburger buns

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooking rack on top. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, the onion, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Use your hands to mix everything together.

Divide meat by the tablespoonful and shape each into a thin patty. Place on the prepared rack. Brush the patties with the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup. Bake for 20 minutes.  While meatloaf is baking, spread mayonnaise onto one side of each bun. Place each meatloaf slider in a prepared bun and serve.

For other recipes, like Sausage Ball Appetizers and Devils On Horseback, click HERE.

Now, let's talk cocktails.

She made Kiwi-Lillet Gimlets and Old Fashion Manhattans (one of my favorites).  But, she also included recipes for Meyer Lemon Collins, Blood Orange Sidecar, Champagne Cocktail, and Pineapple Strawberry Punch!  I have listed the recipes for the Gimlets and Manhattans here, but if you want the others, visit the Early Show website link HERE.


Kiwi-Lillet Gimlet

" A couple of years ago, a friend brought me a bottle of Lillet. It quickly became my favorite summer drink, just poured over ice with a splash of soda. I started experimenting and came up with this spin on a gimlet. The frozen kiwi looks so pretty in the glass and the mint and gin make it very refreshing on a hot day. Be careful - it goes down easy! "

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
4 cups Lillet blonde
1/2 cup club soda
1/4 cup gin
Fresh mint leaves
2 cups ice


Freeze the kiwi in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  In a pitcher, combine the Lillet, club soda, gin, and mint. Add frozen kiwi and 2 cups of ice. Serve in highball glasses.


The "Perfect" Manhattan with Drunken Cherries

2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce good-quality sweet vermouth
Dash of bitters
1 drunken cherry (recipe follows)

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters. Shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the Drunken Cherry.

Drunken Cherries:

" Fill a one-quart mason jar with fresh, plump cherries (pits removed). Pour your favorite bourbon oven them until they are all covered. Seal the jar and refrigerate at least 24 hours, but the cherries will keep for up to three months. The longer they marinate in the bourbon, the better they taste! These cherries are great in Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, or even over vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert. "

I really like her style, and think I might have to buy her book, available HERE

Until today, I was less familiar with Katie Lee Joel's cooking and more familiar with her fabulous house featured in Domino and designed by Nate Berkus... 


Monday, December 28, 2009

Etsy Favorites!

I hope that you got everything that you wanted for Christmas this year!  Did you shop on Etsy for gifts?  Maybe you just got distracted and ended up buying Etsy gifts for yourself?  (This is often what happens to me)...  Well, these are some of my favorite Etsy items...  lingering on my "favorites" wishlist! 

handmade leather bag from Tanya Work
available HERE.

sterling two tone belt loop ring from Wire Your World
available HERE.

block printed chevron fabric bucket from Home Sweet
available HERE.

24k gold quartz necklace from Laura Lombardi Jewelry
(or ANYTHING for Laura Lombardi Jewelry, her shop is amazing)
available HERE.

"sea of tranquility" in 20" x 20" size, from IS Photography
(contact seller for special order sizes like this)
available HERE.

vintage wool Gucci shawl from Mascara Jones
available HERE.

a 2010 desk calendar from one of my favorite shops, Alicia Bock
(I'm a fan, and have a collection of her work hanging in my guestroom)
available HERE.

Etsy is full of fabulous professional shops.  I like to browse through the Gift Guides for new beautiful things...  it's easier that way. 

Right now, I'm off to Alicia Bock and get myself a desk calendar...  before they sell out.  Happy shopping!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Getting Ready for 2010... and looking back on 2009!

This year has flown by.  Christmas is over and in 4 days 2010 will be upon us.  Are you ready for the new year?

I hope that you had a fabulous 2009.  (I know that it was a bit gloomy with recession and political debate churning through the headlines...  but, we have a lot to be thankful for, I think.)  For me, this year was a busy one.   Looking back on 2009, these were some of my personal milestones...
  • First of all, I started this blog which has only been a positive influence on my life!  I have loved meeting all of you in the blogosphere and look forward to meeting even more in the year to come!
  • In 2009, my husband and I purchased a historic home in need of love and attention. I think that work on this home will dominate the "project list" indefinitely! We have started moving, and while moving is a total drag, I can't wait to begin our first projects... beginning on the third floor (ripping down plaster walls, installing new electrical, and adding central air).
  • In 2009, I feel like I finally understood what I want to do with my career.  I get it now.  I know what I want, I know my design perspective, and I don't ever want to compromise that.  And, along those lines...
  • In 2009, I purchased the domain rights to (from an expensive domain squatter!) which is a major thrill for me.  I hope to someday soon bring a larger variety of inventory to the shop, including vintage furniture, art, and a more extensive line of home accessories!  Stay tuned...  this is all in the works.
  • On a personal level, my sweet (and crazy) sister got married to the most amazing guy ever in 2009.  The whole family traveled to Florida to celebrate her birthday in June.  In August, my Papa passed away and the entire family came together to honor his life.  My husband and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary, my childhood friend got married, and most recently, one of my best friends announced that she and her husband are expecting their first baby (she is the first of the group to embark on such a journey!). 

2009 was a blessed year and I am looking forward to new adventures in 2010.  Thanks to all of my blogging friends who made this blog a fun place for me!   Here's to 4 more wonderful days of 2009, and a joyful New Years Eve!

P.S.  And, congratulations to my blogging friend, Jenny (and her husband, Michael), on the birth of their third baby!  Read about her Christmas surprise HERE.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Treats!

I make these pecan bars for every Christmas.  Since, we alternate Christmas between my husbands family in upstate New York and my parent's house in Indianapolis, nobody gets tired of them!  You can dip them in chocolate, or not.  Either way, they are delicious!

The recipe is HERE.

This coconut cake is also a winning Christmas cake.  It's a little rich, but it's amazing.  I highly recommend it!  And, if you make it, double the recipe and you will get three 9" cakes which will create a nice triple layer (the recipe alone makes 2 eight inch cakes).

The recipe is HERE.

I might branch out and try to make these this year.  Maamoul, a middle eastern cookie stuffed with a sugary date and orange mixture.  Yummy!

On a less sophisticated level, I am obsessed with these pocket sized (sugar free!!) Werther's Original!  Now, I can eat as many as I want...  on the go, no less.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

That Hobby Looks Like a Lot of Work

Read the extremely insightful New York Times article on Etsy sellers HERE.

UPDATE: I see that Joanna's husband, Alex, wrote this article!  Great article, Alex!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shipping, Wrapping, and Shipping!

Sorry, people.  Can't talk today, I'm wrapping and shipping High Street Market boxes.  The shop is busy, and Christmas is nine days away... 

But, I did make another Hot House Flowers footstool.  I couldn't resist. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Vintage!

Just listed today!

Press: Apartment Therapy Feature!

Thank you, Sarah Coffey, for writing such a nice feature on High Street Market yesterday!  And, thanks to Melanie for telling me about it! 

I was completely surprised and flattered!  Read Sarah's Apartment Therapy post HERE.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hot House Flowers Footstool

My love for this Celerie Kemble print continues...  (if you follow me on twitter, you know I'm obsessed).  So really, how awesome is this harp-shaped footstool?  It looks good with Hot House Flowers, I think. 

I love it. 

Just listed it in the shop!  Click HERE!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Get Cozy Winter Wishlist

It's about 24 degrees outside with 25 mph winds...  which in combination, makes it feel like a lovely 15 degree day!  What a rotten day to be outside.  Thankfully, my only "outside" work today will be visiting my buddies at the Post Office to drop of High Street Market packages.  Until then, let's dream of cozy fireplaces...

And, warm cuddly beds...

Since this season has only begun, I will need a few "supplies" to get me through it.  My Get Cozy Winter Wishlist must include one of these:

a pair of fuzzy slippers...

a Chloe striped cashmere cardigan, please.  I mean, a girl's gotta stay warm...

with cashmere leggings...

a pair of cashmere fingerless gloves (so, I can use the laptop)...

one of these...

and, a hot cup of this...

with a spike of THIS! 

Haha...  In reality, I shouldn't have any of these things (except the Baileys!) because this winter involves me ripping out walls, and living with drywall dust.  A Chloe cardigan deserves better.

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