Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the life...

Itching to travel...

good morning sunshine...

Audrey Hepburn ::

I'm Loving...

big sur bakery + blueberry scones

1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
1/4-1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1.) To keep the blueberries intact throughout baking, place on a tray in the freezer two hours before baking (genius, no? I can’t wait to make use of this technique in other recipes). 30 minutes before you begin baking, place the butter, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and then place in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.) Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Remove bowl of chilled ingredients from freezer and use a pastry cutter to break up the butter into pea sized bits. Make a well in the center, and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Stir just until ingredients are combined. Then, add the blueberries and carefully stir them into the dough.

3.) Place a round, 3-inch cookie cutter directly onto the parchment paper. Using your fingers, take a fistful of dough and press down lightly into the cutter, leaving the top a bit ragged. Pull the cutter away, and push any rowdy dough that rolls onto the parchment back towards the scone. It need not be perfect – I’ve found the more haggard the scone looks prior to baking, the more handsome the end result will be. Repeat this messy process until you have used up all of your dough; you should have about a dozen scones. Then, sprinkle each scone generously with the can sugar.

4.) Bake for 15-20 minutes; until golden along the edges, yet still moist at the center. Remove to a cooling rack. Makes about 1 dozen.

peanuts + chocolate

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup cocktail or Spanish peanuts
• 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter until soft. Slowly add the sugars and mix until smooth. Beat in the egg, peanut butter, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Sift the flour and add to the other ingredients. Beat just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and the peanuts. Chill the mixture for about an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator and roll into 1-inch balls. Press with a fork dipped in flour, in a cross-hatch pattern. Bake cookies for approximately 10-12 minutes.

wedding on the sand


quote of the day ::

thinking of paris...

... and i'm dying to go back!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Ideas

This is the prettiest Easter table! The colors and decor are so fresh and bright for spring . . .

Monogrammed Pillows

I love the personalized touch that monogramming adds . . . these outdoor pillows are a perfect and comfortable addition to any chair or couch.

beach + outdoor lounging

I'm dreaming of a home on the water and endless opportunities to decorate...

blue + white

... my favorite color combo

carrot cake cookies

recipe from martha stewart


Nutella Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
For the cookie:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt (if you only have regular salt add under a teaspoon)
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sugar for rolling cookies in

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In your stand mixer bow place the chocolate hazelnut spread (nutella), butter, and both sugars. On medium low speed cream together mixer for about about 3 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla and blend until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Shape the cookie dough into 1 inch, about 1 teaspoon sized round balls. Rolls the cookie balls in sugar and place the cookies on a heavy cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Place in oven and bake for 6 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookies sheet for about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For ganache:
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

In a medium heavy duty sauce pan heat heavy cream just to the boiling point.
Remove from heat and add in chocolate chips. Allow to stand for 2 minutes.
With a whisk, mix until smooth. Allow to cool to just about room temperature.
Spoon a small amount of the ganache on to the bottom of one cookie.
Top off with another cookie and allow to set. Then enjoy!

Interior Design

I love the contrast between the dark wood and the white walls, floors, and ceiling...
I probably would never do this to my kitchen, but I definitely appreciate this pretty, rustic style accented with green tiles...
I love the beach-y look that this entry way has to offer. Linen chairs... bamboo flooring... navy and white accents...

Friday, March 26, 2010

backyard kitchen

... a dream outdoor (fully equipped) kitchen!

dining room heaven

omg this room! the view! the windows! the light! the long table! the beautiful chairs with such fun pillows! the vaulted ceilings! the black and white palette! I'm in love.

classic : whisky sour

1 small lemon wedge
turbinado sugar, for rimming glass
1/4 cup bourbon, preferably Maker's Mark
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup ice cubes
orange slices for the rim

Rub the lemon wedge around the rim of a 12-ounce rocks glass. Place turbinado sugar in a shallow dish. Dip the rim of the glass in the sugar to coat; set aside.
In a large cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and ice. Cover, and shake vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and cold. Pour into prepared glass, and garnish with orange slice.

chocolate bars

Chocolate Bars
makes 60 bars
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350˚
Set aside 2 tablespoons of butter. In a large bowl beat remaining butter until fluffy. Add brown sugar and baking soda, beat until combined. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in flour and rolled oats, dough will be stiff.
For the filling, in a medium saucepan combine the reserved 2 tablespoons butter, chocolate, and condensed milk. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat, add vanilla and chopped nuts.
Press 2/3 of the rolled oats mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Spread chocolate filling over the oat mixture. Dot the remaining rolled oats mixture on top.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned (the chocolate filling will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

cocoa granola

Cocoa Chocolate Granola
makes approx. 5 cups
3 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 300˚F.
In a large bowl combine the oats, cocoa, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, sugar and salt. Stir well to blend.
In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine the honey and oil, whisking occasionally, until the honey is a pourable consistency. Pour over the oat mixture, and stir well to combine.
Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Half way through the baking time, give the mixture a good stir to help it cook evenly. When it's ready remove from the oven and let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent it from cooling into a solid sheet, let cool completely.
When cool, add the chocolate and dried cherries, stir to combine. Store in an airtight container.

cherry almond granola bars

Cherry Almond Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (or more) cup dried cherries
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

pink & navy

This photo shoot by La Partie Events & Sweet Monday Photography is to die for! I love the color palette... the contrast between navy and light pink is beautiful. I love the berries and the sweet pies and cake. I'm usually a sucker for a more traditional style, but this modern wedding has me swooning.
images from smp