Tuesday, March 26, 2013

color story

spring blossom display

I am constantly flipping pages in magazines for color inspiration, in ads, clothing, products, indoor or outdoor settings, essentially mentally capturing color pairings.  Unique color combos, recently in a magazine ad for gin, spied navy, turquoise and tuscan yellow together, fab.  
I try to incorporate color pairings into my life, whether in gift wrap choices, color pairings in my clothes, updating color schemes in my home decor, imbedded in the world around me

A friend once remarked, "Look outside, colors in nature are a perfect blending of many different colors and tones, which all works well together".   In a recent paper flower project for a local stylist,  I googled the Pantone colors for this year for inspiration.  Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, released her forecast for 2013.

2013 Pantone

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

final 4 snacks

As the final four basketball tournament is fast approaching, I decided to serve my guys a recipe that is simple to do, can be done ahead of time, baked and served warm.  An old English favorite.  It is reminiscent of pigs in a blanket or in Martha Stewart's wedding magazine, stuffed with Chinese sausage and sliced thin.  Comfort food, yummy!

sausage rolls

Sausage rolls

2 lbs  sausage (use original Jimmy Dean's)
2 cups panko
2 large eggs
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 T shiracha or sliced pepperoncini
2 T tomato paste
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 egg yolks, extra, lightly beaten
Sesame seeds or fennel seeds to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, shiracha sauce, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
Cut each pastry sheet in half.  Divide the sausage mixture into 8 equal portions, roll each into a sausage shape and place along the center of the pastry portions.  Roll to enclose, with the pastry seam underneath.  cut the sausage rolls into the desired lengths and place on a baking tray.  Brush with the egg yolk and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.  Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  

 After having leftover Guinness from cooking my corned beef, thought I would make a cheese sauce with some of the leftover beer.

Cheese sauce (Country living)
1/4 cup(s) dark beer (such as stout or porter)
1/4 cup(s) Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
      3 1/2 ounce(s) Cheddar cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups

Make the dip: Combine the beer, mustard, butter, and cayenne in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the cheese. Continue cooking until smooth and all the cheese is melted -- about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

spring ahead

sweet pea vines

2013...looking forward to new creative projects.  Selected several photos of Spring blooms to share.
These lily clusters are perfect to brighten up any interior spaces, until our local flowers appear.  These crepe petals are threaded on cotton paper twist cording.  These blooms will definitely last until fall.

Cotton curl ribbon flowers and leaves create a colorful divider. Just around the corner, Easter.   Crepe paper Easter lilies, cascading down, makes a perfect curtain or backdrop.

incredible edibles

I am obscessed with my new cookbook, "Ottenlenghi", the English version from the notable restaurant in Notting hill. The fabulous duo also have a previously released cookbook, "Plenty" and the newly released "Jerusalem".  Everything I have made from the cookbook is incredible.   The first is the fennel, feta and pomegranate salad, crisp and lightly dressed to reveal that incredible crunch of sliced fresh vegetables. I added brussel sprouts and arugula. 

Fennel and feta salad (based on the original recipe from "Ottenlenghi, the cookbook")


1/2 pomegranate
2 medium fennel bulbs
3 T olive oil
4 tsp sumac, plus extra to garnish
juice of 2 lemons
4 T tarragon leaves
4 T roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
6 oz arugula
2 cups brussel sprouts, blanched for 3 minutes and roughly chopped
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Remove the leaves of the fennel, keeping a few to garnish later, and trim the base, making sure you leave enough of it still attached to hold the slices together.  Slice very thinly lengthwise  a mandolin would come in handy here).

In a bowl, mix the olive oil, sumac, lemon juice, herbs and some salt and pepper.  Add the fennel, arugula, and brussel sprouts and toss well.  Taste for seasoning but remember, the feta will add saltiness.

Layer the fennel, then the feta and then the pomegranate seeds in individual serving dishes.  Garnish with fennel leaves, sprinkle over some sumac and serve immediately.

Serves 8
Bon Appetit!