Late week musings…..

Hi there! How has your week been? Mine, busy and very productive.? I still am trying to get used to writing down 2013! Anyone else with me here? No small talk, going to delve right into this weeks post. Lots to dish about, so let’s go. Call this my weekly newsletter.? Hope you have a splendid weekend…..

?

?


I have not showed much of the extensive landscaping/masonry work that is going on around here. For weeks on end, we have had a nonstop battalion of very talented workers completing much of the? masonry work on the patios/walkways/landscaping. It is still going on but the bulk is just about done. To say we are thrilled with how its turning out is a serious understatement. Now I cannot wait till spring! We have two small patios off of the kitchen/family room/breakfast room that are nearly done, here they are…..

So happy we were able to use the old planters from original home, we have 8 total so this was great

?We are going to have a built in BBQ done later in the spring to the side…much more to come soon!

?



Can you imagine losing your blog one morning? This, for bloggers is the ultimate nightmare.? Twice this past week I read about long term bloggers signing into their account only to find out their entire blogs were wiped out. That’s right..no longer there! Disappeared. Gone. Can you imagine? This freaked me out in a big way. I cannot imagine something I pour so much hard work, love and devotion to leaving me without any notice. That is beyond a bad breakup.

?So as I started prowling….it seems the thing to do and likely many of you seasoned bloggers know this is to regularly back up your blog. Did you know this? I found two really easy tutorials and have since done this. Great and priceless advice. Secondly it also really has me thinking maybe a switch to WordPress at some point in the near future is in order…any thoughts on that? Between other less significant problems with blogger and hearing this, I am feeling a bit nervous, hopefully undue stress on my part. So would love to know your thoughts on this matter! Click here if you want to learn how to back up your blog.

?

?

?


I visited my blogging friend, Sharons’ blog, one you all likely know, French Country Home (its like a mini vacation every time you click over there). Anyway one of her posts about having received small baking rounds totally intrigued me and prompted me? that very afternoon to visit Sur La Table, a phenomenal kitchen store (its highly addictive) and to buy my own little versions. I ended up with the cutest 4″ springform pans and came home and got busy. I started with mini Cherry cheesecake and ended with the most delicious potatoes au gratin! And it didn’t stop there…….

?

?The next night we were having friends for drinks then heading to dinner. I was brainstorming about a last minute appetizer to serve, and immediately thought of my heavenly good pesto cheese dip which is normally baked in a Pyrex then spooned onto crostinis. This time I decided to try out my “new little friend’ and lets just say he did not disappoint. The finished product was a perfectly rounded mold of the pesto cheese dip and I garnished with a few tomatoes that had been broiled and served with the costini. Thanks Sharon for unleashing a springform beast in me! I can’t stop thinking of ways to make all of our foods small and round:) My boys think I am seriously possessed. Tonight? Its individual eggplant parmigiana!!! Tomorrow…who knows!

?

?

(Don’t love the quality of these pics, taken with iPhone at night but you get the idea)

The innocent little springforms that fueled a cooking marathon with no end in sight!

“The helper” was my wonderful mandolin….love this thing!

?

Perfectly thin potatoes every time in seconds…….

?My mini cherry cheesecakes…..soooo good!

?The heavenly potatoes au gratin…….just so good and looked so pretty!

?Roasted chicken asparagus and the mini potato, healthy and pretty!
Coming out of the oven, let them sit a few minutes

My experiment, the pesto dip going in the oven…fingers crossed!

?Voila! It worked……added some extra grilled tomato on top.
?Added warmed crostinis with a drizzle of olive oil and its instant elegance!

?

?





I don’t know about you? but I am already looking forward to spring. Unless we get a serious big dose of the white stuff, I have serious ADD during the winter. If we are going to have to deal with the cold…lets make it pretty. Bring on the snow. I normally do not shop for spring clothes this early but couldn’t? resist these pretty accents that are classic and practically seasonless. So I put together this little mood board of some great recent finds/loves. Best part….some of them, most of them,? are really reasonable. Well not the Prada bag but……most of it:)

?

?

? One more thing I recently saw and immediately fell in love with, the new spring collection from Tory (yes we are on a first name basis:) LOOOVE these shoes. I want all three!! I cannot possibly narrow it down….they are all so great looking! The flats are a no brainer, as there is not heel height to have to mull over! But the wedges and heels are so darn cute too!



Finally tackling my dining room. Also planning on recovering my breakfast room chairs, I love my Pugsley fabric but its about 10 years old and quite faded so its time for a fresh change. The plaid chairs are temporary and I am excited to have finally made the time to select fabric for the chairs. I am also working simultaneously on the chinoiserie for the dining room and that has me incredibly excited. I will do a whole post on one of my favorite things, chinoiserie soon. . I want to keep it simple because I really want the chinoiserie to shine and not have much competition!? I am going to devote an entire post to the dining room next week, but here’s a sneak peek of the fabrics that have made it to the final round…….

?

And dining room contenders though its still in the early rounds…I am probably using two fabrics on the chairs

?

?


Its always fun to share the results from my Which would you Choose posts. So, I asked you out of 16 designers who you would hand your home to…and here are the top four. Several others vied for a close 5th place..what can I say, you have excellent taste!

?

1st place John Jacob

2nd place Phoebe Howard
3rd place Mcalpine, Ferrier and Booth
4th place Charles Faudree

I will share the results from this week’s coat edition next week.
I want to have a party with a blue and white theme (naturally) just so I can set a table that looks like this. This picture is enough to get my braincells working overtime just to think of an occasion to recreate this dream of a tablescape! Perfection…the green against the blue and white!


?


Store biz…so excited about adding this fabulous line of tole hand painted pieces to my online store. I am starting with a few pieces and will gradually add on. They are really special. LOVE them! All pieces will be added to “new arrivals” over the weekend. Feel free to contact me here with any questions.

?

?

Adore this black chinoiserie wastepaper basket, so classic!

And looooove these blk. chinoiserie brackets!

Also have this in a cream version which is also stunning!

How about this for a library/office or family room? Yes!

And you know I love this lamp. Already ordered one for my own office:)

?

? In addition to my beautiful French tea//bar towels, that are made in France, just got in greatest looking aprons. I LOVE these. They are so great looking, they are pretty enough to wear? even once your guests have arrived!! Just got added under new additions.

?

?

?

A few new silver items that are new additions to my very popular silver collection…..

?Stunning silver cake plate…14.5″ round
Beautiful scalloped decorative flower bowl/planter

?Large decorative ornate tray 28.5″ long by 14.5″ wide…..stunning for serving or display

?Wine cooler (holds 4-5 bottles) 14″ round by about 9.5″ tall

?

?



? And by popular demand I have just added this gorgeous crystal handcut etched dome cake plate/cloche. Talk about adding some serious beauty to your kitchen! And what a gorgeous gift too! Only getting in 6 pieces. Click here to see.

I own this and its a definite jewel in my kitchen.








Some other great things coming this way soon. Just to let you know, I am phasing out of the canvas art. I have about 5-6 pieces left. Unfortunately the vendor is not reliable and the containers often take much longer than initially promised, its too unpredictable, so when these are gone, I will no longer carry the canvas art.?

?

?


Also my monogrammed linens are going up about 20%, they will still be a bargain even with the price increase. Prices will be going up early next week. As always if you have any questions about any of my products, just email me here!

?

?

So that is about it over here in my tiny corner of the world. As always, thanks for stopping by and seeing whats new. Whats going on over there? Any exciting plans for the weekend ahead? Hope whatever you do is wonderful and relaxing…until Monday!

?

?


Photobucket

Late week musings…..

Hi there! How has your week been? Mine, busy and very productive.  I still am trying to get used to writing down 2013! Anyone else with me here? No small talk, going to delve right into this weeks post. Lots to dish about, so let’s go. Call this my weekly newsletter.  Hope you have a splendid weekend…..
 
 
I have not showed much of the extensive landscaping/masonry work that is going on around here. For weeks on end, we have had a nonstop battalion of very talented workers completing much of the  masonry work on the patios/walkways/landscaping. It is still going on but the bulk is just about done. To say we are thrilled with how its turning out is a serious understatement. Now I cannot wait till spring! We have two small patios off of the kitchen/family room/breakfast room that are nearly done, here they are…..

So happy we were able to use the old planters from original home, we have 8 total so this was great

 We are going to have a built in BBQ done later in the spring to the side…much more to come soon!
 
Can you imagine losing your blog one morning? This, for bloggers is the ultimate nightmare.  Twice this past week I read about long term bloggers signing into their account only to find out their entire blogs were wiped out. That’s right..no longer there! Disappeared. Gone. Can you imagine? This freaked me out in a big way. I cannot imagine something I pour so much hard work, love and devotion to leaving me without any notice. That is beyond a bad breakup.
 So as I started prowling….it seems the thing to do and likely many of you seasoned bloggers know this is to regularly back up your blog. Did you know this? I found two really easy tutorials and have since done this. Great and priceless advice. Secondly it also really has me thinking maybe a switch to WordPress at some point in the near future is in order…any thoughts on that? Between other less significant problems with blogger and hearing this, I am feeling a bit nervous, hopefully undue stress on my part. So would love to know your thoughts on this matter! Click here if you want to learn how to back up your blog.
 
 
 
I visited my blogging friend, Sharons’ blog, one you all likely know, French Country Home (its like a mini vacation every time you click over there). Anyway one of her posts about having received small baking rounds totally intrigued me and prompted me  that very afternoon to visit Sur La Table, a phenomenal kitchen store (its highly addictive) and to buy my own little versions. I ended up with the cutest 4″ springform pans and came home and got busy. I started with mini Cherry cheesecake and ended with the most delicious potatoes au gratin! And it didn’t stop there…….
 
 The next night we were having friends for drinks then heading to dinner. I was brainstorming about a last minute appetizer to serve, and immediately thought of my heavenly good pesto cheese dip which is normally baked in a Pyrex then spooned onto crostinis. This time I decided to try out my “new little friend’ and lets just say he did not disappoint. The finished product was a perfectly rounded mold of the pesto cheese dip and I garnished with a few tomatoes that had been broiled and served with the costini. Thanks Sharon for unleashing a springform beast in me! I can’t stop thinking of ways to make all of our foods small and round:) My boys think I am seriously possessed. Tonight? Its individual eggplant parmigiana!!! Tomorrow…who knows!
 
 
(Don’t love the quality of these pics, taken with iPhone at night but you get the idea)

The innocent little springforms that fueled a cooking marathon with no end in sight!

“The helper” was my wonderful mandolin….love this thing!

 

Perfectly thin potatoes every time in seconds…….

 My mini cherry cheesecakes…..soooo good!

 The heavenly potatoes au gratin…….just so good and looked so pretty!

 Roasted chicken asparagus and the mini potato, healthy and pretty!
Coming out of the oven, let them sit a few minutes

My experiment, the pesto dip going in the oven…fingers crossed!

 Voila! It worked……added some extra grilled tomato on top.
 Added warmed crostinis with a drizzle of olive oil and its instant elegance!

 
 
I don’t know about you  but I am already looking forward to spring. Unless we get a serious big dose of the white stuff, I have serious ADD during the winter. If we are going to have to deal with the cold…lets make it pretty. Bring on the snow. I normally do not shop for spring clothes this early but couldn’t  resist these pretty accents that are classic and practically seasonless. So I put together this little mood board of some great recent finds/loves. Best part….some of them, most of them,  are really reasonable. Well not the Prada bag but……most of it:)

 
 
  One more thing I recently saw and immediately fell in love with, the new spring collection from Tory (yes we are on a first name basis:) LOOOVE these shoes. I want all three!! I cannot possibly narrow it down….they are all so great looking! The flats are a no brainer, as there is not heel height to have to mull over! But the wedges and heels are so darn cute too!

Finally tackling my dining room. Also planning on recovering my breakfast room chairs, I love my Pugsley fabric but its about 10 years old and quite faded so its time for a fresh change. The plaid chairs are temporary and I am excited to have finally made the time to select fabric for the chairs. I am also working simultaneously on the chinoiserie for the dining room and that has me incredibly excited. I will do a whole post on one of my favorite things, chinoiserie soon. . I want to keep it simple because I really want the chinoiserie to shine and not have much competition!  I am going to devote an entire post to the dining room next week, but here’s a sneak peek of the fabrics that have made it to the final round…….

 
And dining room contenders though its still in the early rounds…I am probably using two fabrics on the chairs

 
 
Its always fun to share the results from my Which would you Choose posts. So, I asked you out of 16 designers who you would hand your home to…and here are the top four. Several others vied for a close 5th place..what can I say, you have excellent taste!
 
1st place John Jacob

2nd place Phoebe Howard
3rd place Mcalpine, Ferrier and Booth
4th place Charles Faudree

I will share the results from this week’s coat edition next week.
I want to have a party with a blue and white theme (naturally) just so I can set a table that looks like this. This picture is enough to get my braincells working overtime just to think of an occasion to recreate this dream of a tablescape! Perfection…the green against the blue and white!

 
Store biz…so excited about adding this fabulous line of tole hand painted pieces to my online store. I am starting with a few pieces and will gradually add on. They are really special. LOVE them! All pieces will be added to “new arrivals” over the weekend. Feel free to contact me here with any questions.
 

 

Adore this black chinoiserie wastepaper basket, so classic!

And looooove these blk. chinoiserie brackets!

Also have this in a cream version which is also stunning!

How about this for a library/office or family room? Yes!

And you know I love this lamp. Already ordered one for my own office:)

 
  In addition to my beautiful French tea//bar towels, that are made in France, just got in greatest looking aprons. I LOVE these. They are so great looking, they are pretty enough to wear  even once your guests have arrived!! Just got added under new additions.
 

 
 
A few new silver items that are new additions to my very popular silver collection…..

 Stunning silver cake plate…14.5″ round
Beautiful scalloped decorative flower bowl/planter

 Large decorative ornate tray 28.5″ long by 14.5″ wide…..stunning for serving or display

 Wine cooler (holds 4-5 bottles) 14″ round by about 9.5″ tall
 
 
  And by popular demand I have just added this gorgeous crystal handcut etched dome cake plate/cloche. Talk about adding some serious beauty to your kitchen! And what a gorgeous gift too! Only getting in 6 pieces. Click here to see.

I own this and its a definite jewel in my kitchen.

Some other great things coming this way soon. Just to let you know, I am phasing out of the canvas art. I have about 5-6 pieces left. Unfortunately the vendor is not reliable and the containers often take much longer than initially promised, its too unpredictable, so when these are gone, I will no longer carry the canvas art. 
 
 
Also my monogrammed linens are going up about 20%, they will still be a bargain even with the price increase. Prices will be going up early next week. As always if you have any questions about any of my products, just email me here!
 
 
So that is about it over here in my tiny corner of the world. As always, thanks for stopping by and seeing whats new. Whats going on over there? Any exciting plans for the weekend ahead? Hope whatever you do is wonderful and relaxing…until Monday!
 
 
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End of the week musings…..

Well hello and Happy Friday! Its raining here, much cooler and I must say I am kind of digging this weather, something very cozy about a rainy day. Phew…its been a busy, hectic exhausting week. Son was sick, I got a migraine (likely from not sleeping for three days straight), had to carry on with various commitments including a small birthday luncheon for a really special friend.Thankfully that morning I woke up feeling better, and had enough energy to see me through the “casual” luncheon I had planned, funny….no matter how “casual” it might be..its still a lot of work to entertain and do it in a style that is true to who you are. I always like to share a few highlights and have included some here along with other randomness…you know me and my random thoughts, we go hand in hand like butter and popcorn:) And here we go…….





So for the luncheon, I stuck to what I do well…and what I consider pretty easy, remember this was done after not literally sleeping since Sunday. Served it buffet style…..kept it simple and casual. ?I also tried these wonderful little tomato tarts from Yvonne over at Stone Gable?(click on link for her recipe), they were as pretty as they were good and a nice accompaniment to this lunch of lemon dill salmon, summer spaghetti, a chopped Greek salad and the tarts. I started with my now expected crostinis and served them on my Bavarian bread board, and served individual vege crudites along with my yummy peach sangria…yes it is now a staple over here! My talented baking friend baked the most superb DIET, yes I repeat DIET (as in Weight Watchers friendly) Carrot cake as the birthday cake…it was heavenly. And instead of sugar uses applesauce, she promised to send the recipe and when I get it, I will share it because yes it ?was that good! So here are some highlights……..

Lets just say this is a staple in my kitchen…..uses the best of summers fresh ingredients!

The tomatoes marinating to add to pasta later

Fish going in the oven

I bake it with lots of fresh dill and lemon slices

My crostini assembly line getting ready for battle!

No summer gathering is complete without a fresh fruit tray!

And you know my peach sangria has been busy mixing all the yummy flavors (to those of you like me who are judging the pitcher, no worries I did not serve with this, its just a really oversized one so I pour directly into the glasses and serve on tray)!

The tomato tart getting ready for the oven

Sliced veges ready to get filled into little individual crudite cups

Fish is done!

These are cute and make it very easy to eat

Got my new orchids in my big oversized bowl….normally they last about 4 months or so, so they really are a very cost effective investment when compared with fresh cut flowers

Doing a “taste test” of the peach sangria actually did about three

Poured the sangria into the glasses, and add a few chunks of fruit to each glass
Crostinis in the works…..went with three variations
Love serving it on the oversized bread board (available in my online store under European Kitchen, comes in 3 sizes)

I love this picture…..hope it doesn’t sound like I am bragging but this looks really “food-y magazine-y”….don’t you think? I love the colors and texture together…….
A close up, did portobello mushrooms and parmesean flakes, then prosciutto with parm flakes and a caprese version, tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil

The pastas getting mixed and the tomato tarts are done!

These were really good and very light…thanks Yvonne!
There they are again, there was not a single one left!

The fish, best part is that this can be served room temp and tastes wonderful

This summer pasta is so flavorful and light and is served at room temp
All set and about to serve…….

And the yummy carrot cake……..

And my sweet friend gave out party favors, oversized wonderful bags of the most yummy smelling potpourri. I couldn’t decide which was a better favor, this or the fact that there’s a nice big slice of leftover carrot cake chilling in the fridge for a midnight snack…come to mama!

So that sums up my little luncheon..it was fun, we had lots of laughs and somehow the rainy stormy weather made it feel even cozier…does that make sense? To me, house parties are always the best, more intimate and definitely more relaxing.




Moving on……..discovered this wonderful line of bags and I am in love with so many it was hard to choose just one but finally I did, and cannot wait for it arrive. Thanks to the girls over at The Buzz, a pretty little pink something caught my eye which led me to this fabulous line! ?Arent’ these fun? What a great and snazzy way to jazz up any summer outfit! To visit Monya, click here. Which is your fave?



The pretty little something featured over at The Buzz….



For this weeks which would you choose in which I had you choose your favorite summer outfit to wear to a backyard party, there were several that were very close but a strong first place winner…here’s the results! Might I say you have excellent taste:)
1st place with 29 votes
2nd place with 26 votes
3rd place with 25 votes
And tied for 4th with 13 votes each

Several of the others were very close behind….there were no losers in this bunch:)


Also very excited got this fabric and trim ordered for our main powder room so at last our guests can use it and not feel like they are ‘on stage’ while going to the bathroom (this bathroom has a very tall window which is beautiful but ugh……needing some privacy for obvious reasons). So far we do not use this bathroom for that reason, so we are really glad this is finally in the works! Will show you the big reveal when its all said and done.

Not much in the house except added a few prints from our old house here and there….

A friend and I were on a decorating committee for a fundraiser and bought these cherry blossoms for about 30 tables, so i have a lifetime supply!! We split them and I decided to fill the vases at least for now…better than sitting in a box in the basement collecting dust!

Hung these botanical prints above back stair…….
Added these beautiful prints to guest bedroom and not sure if I showed you this bench or not….isn’t it sweet? Disregard pillows…they are literally 27 years old, I got them made for our NYC apt. when we got married!! Somehow they just have been hanging around……….

Some random pictures are thrown in here too………

I just like this picture, took it last week with my iPhone when I stopped at a local farm….isnt’ this so nostalgic in a great “wish I lived in the old days” kinda way? Or is it just me?

And how beautiful is this….a local nursery really does it up every season, they have a pair of these (and they are about 10 feet tall I kid you not) flanking their driveway….

Close up…disregard fabrics…..it will be changed when i get my butt in gear and start attacking some rooms!

Well that’s about it for now…….might be back sometime over the weekend. Finally we are here this weekend….yippee!! Hope you have a great Friday and a fabulous weekend. Until next time……..



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End of the week musings…..

Well hello and Happy Friday! Its raining here, much cooler and I must say I am kind of digging this weather, something very cozy about a rainy day. Phew…its been a busy, hectic exhausting week. Son was sick, I got a migraine (likely from not sleeping for three days straight), had to carry on with various commitments including a small birthday luncheon for a really special friend.Thankfully that morning I woke up feeling better, and had enough energy to see me through the “casual” luncheon I had planned, funny….no matter how “casual” it might be..its still a lot of work to entertain and do it in a style that is true to who you are. I always like to share a few highlights and have included some here along with other randomness…you know me and my random thoughts, we go hand in hand like butter and popcorn:) And here we go…….


So for the luncheon, I stuck to what I do well…and what I consider pretty easy, remember this was done after not literally sleeping since Sunday. Served it buffet style…..kept it simple and casual.  I also tried these wonderful little tomato tarts from Yvonne over at Stone Gable (click on link for her recipe), they were as pretty as they were good and a nice accompaniment to this lunch of lemon dill salmon, summer spaghetti, a chopped Greek salad and the tarts. I started with my now expected crostinis and served them on my Bavarian bread board, and served individual vege crudites along with my yummy peach sangria…yes it is now a staple over here! My talented baking friend baked the most superb DIET, yes I repeat DIET (as in Weight Watchers friendly) Carrot cake as the birthday cake…it was heavenly. And instead of sugar uses applesauce, she promised to send the recipe and when I get it, I will share it because yes it  was that good! So here are some highlights……..

Lets just say this is a staple in my kitchen…..uses the best of summers fresh ingredients!

The tomatoes marinating to add to pasta later

Fish going in the oven

I bake it with lots of fresh dill and lemon slices

My crostini assembly line getting ready for battle!

No summer gathering is complete without a fresh fruit tray!

And you know my peach sangria has been busy mixing all the yummy flavors (to those of you like me who are judging the pitcher, no worries I did not serve with this, its just a really oversized one so I pour directly into the glasses and serve on tray)!

The tomato tart getting ready for the oven

Sliced veges ready to get filled into little individual crudite cups

Fish is done!

These are cute and make it very easy to eat

Got my new orchids in my big oversized bowl….normally they last about 4 months or so, so they really are a very cost effective investment when compared with fresh cut flowers

Doing a “taste test” of the peach sangria actually did about three

Poured the sangria into the glasses, and add a few chunks of fruit to each glass
Crostinis in the works…..went with three variations
Love serving it on the oversized bread board (available in my online store under European Kitchen, comes in 3 sizes)

I love this picture…..hope it doesn’t sound like I am bragging but this looks really “food-y magazine-y”….don’t you think? I love the colors and texture together…….
A close up, did portobello mushrooms and parmesean flakes, then prosciutto with parm flakes and a caprese version, tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil

The pastas getting mixed and the tomato tarts are done!

These were really good and very light…thanks Yvonne!
There they are again, there was not a single one left!

The fish, best part is that this can be served room temp and tastes wonderful

This summer pasta is so flavorful and light and is served at room temp
All set and about to serve…….

And the yummy carrot cake……..

And my sweet friend gave out party favors, oversized wonderful bags of the most yummy smelling potpourri. I couldn’t decide which was a better favor, this or the fact that there’s a nice big slice of leftover carrot cake chilling in the fridge for a midnight snack…come to mama!

So that sums up my little luncheon..it was fun, we had lots of laughs and somehow the rainy stormy weather made it feel even cozier…does that make sense? To me, house parties are always the best, more intimate and definitely more relaxing.

Moving on……..discovered this wonderful line of bags and I am in love with so many it was hard to choose just one but finally I did, and cannot wait for it arrive. Thanks to the girls over at The Buzz, a pretty little pink something caught my eye which led me to this fabulous line!  Arent’ these fun? What a great and snazzy way to jazz up any summer outfit! To visit Monya, click here. Which is your fave?

The pretty little something featured over at The Buzz….


For this weeks which would you choose in which I had you choose your favorite summer outfit to wear to a backyard party, there were several that were very close but a strong first place winner…here’s the results! Might I say you have excellent taste:)
1st place with 29 votes
2nd place with 26 votes
3rd place with 25 votes
And tied for 4th with 13 votes each

Several of the others were very close behind….there were no losers in this bunch:)

Also very excited got this fabric and trim ordered for our main powder room so at last our guests can use it and not feel like they are ‘on stage’ while going to the bathroom (this bathroom has a very tall window which is beautiful but ugh……needing some privacy for obvious reasons). So far we do not use this bathroom for that reason, so we are really glad this is finally in the works! Will show you the big reveal when its all said and done.

Not much in the house except added a few prints from our old house here and there….

A friend and I were on a decorating committee for a fundraiser and bought these cherry blossoms for about 30 tables, so i have a lifetime supply!! We split them and I decided to fill the vases at least for now…better than sitting in a box in the basement collecting dust!

Hung these botanical prints above back stair…….
Added these beautiful prints to guest bedroom and not sure if I showed you this bench or not….isn’t it sweet? Disregard pillows…they are literally 27 years old, I got them made for our NYC apt. when we got married!! Somehow they just have been hanging around……….

Some random pictures are thrown in here too………

I just like this picture, took it last week with my iPhone when I stopped at a local farm….isnt’ this so nostalgic in a great “wish I lived in the old days” kinda way? Or is it just me?

And how beautiful is this….a local nursery really does it up every season, they have a pair of these (and they are about 10 feet tall I kid you not) flanking their driveway….

Close up…disregard fabrics…..it will be changed when i get my butt in gear and start attacking some rooms!

Well that’s about it for now…….might be back sometime over the weekend. Finally we are here this weekend….yippee!! Hope you have a great Friday and a fabulous weekend. Until next time……..

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You asked, so here’s the recipes and some store biz!

Hi there……allow me to preface this by saying that this ?is a pretty long post. So sit down, relax, carve out an extra five minutes and grab another cup of coffee! I was flattered and overwhelmed by how many people emailed and asked for the recipes for the yummy food and beverage I featured in yesterdays post. Trust me, these are all easy and do not require some kind of special Herculean skill……that’s the great news! So i am happy to share the recipes, bear in mind however I have made all of these for so long and so often, I could practically do it blindfold and ?I no longer follow ?an actual recipe, so these are all approx. amounts. Happy cooking, I promise these are all guaranteed to be a hit!

Crostinis-

Get a big loaf of french bread or a baguette. Slice in 1/2″ slices, I do this ahead of time and place in a airtight ziploc. Chop up one or two packages of mushrooms, 7 cloves of garlic and put about 3 TB of olive oil in a skillet, heat up and sautee mushrooms and garlic. Set aside. Get a fresh mozzarella (fresh really works best) slice in small approx. 3″ slices. Set aside. About 10 min before you want to serve……drizzle olive oil over the bottom of a baking pan, place breads on it so one side will get the olive oil. Put in heated oven at about 375 for a few minutes just until they are starting to get crisp. Remove and put cheese on and turn up oven to about 450, let cheese just start to melt (about 3 min) take out and put mushroom mixture over the cheese…serve and gobble up!

For the tomato/olive/zuchinni brushetta

Do same thing with bread. In a bowl add 3 cups chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped black olives , sea salt, olive oil. Mix well. Chop up two zucchinis in small pieces and drizzle olive oil and bake high at about 450 until starting to turn golden. Remove and cool then add to tomato mixture. Marinate for up to a few hours. Toast your breads like above and you can do this with or without the cheese. Add topping right before serving so as to not get soggy. I also like adding shaved Parmesan to some to give it a little kick.

Chinese chicken salad-

1 head of cabbage, 3 nice sized chicken breast, soy sauce, sugar, 2 bunches scallions, about 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 2 packs chicken Ramen noodles, one pack rice noodles, 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, rice vinegar.

Shred cabbage very thin with a good sharp knife or a mandolin, which makes it easy. Boil chicken in salted water. When cool, shred to small pieces. Chop up 2 bunches of scallions. Bake almonds until golden brown. Add cabbage, chicken, scallions and almonds and set aside covered. In small mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, the sesame seeds, 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil (not olive any vegetable or corn is fine),the chicken seasoning packets from ramen noodles and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, toss over salad up to 30 min. before you want to serve, add rice noodles at end. The original recipe calls for the ramen noodles (crushed first) to also be added but I peronsally prefer it without. Yum yum.

Greek chopped salad-

Get the ripest yellow and red tomatoes you can find (approx. 8) Cut into wedges. Get 1/2 a green bellpepper and 1/2 a yellow bellpepper and cut into nice size chunks. Cut up 4 cloves of garlic, 1 large cucumber, 1/2 a red onion and really good fresh feta cheese. About 1/4 cup black olives. Mix all together (I normally add cheese at end) and add sea salt, fresh pepper and a nice amount of light olive oil. I add a small amount (maybe a few tablespoons) of vinegar as well. Very tasty and fresh!

Peach Sangria (are you getting hungry yet….because I am)!

Take a big pitcher, fill with one bottle of dry white wine, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Peach Schnapps, add 3 sliced peaches and 1 sliced orange to mix. Add about 2 tablespoons sugar and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour ideally for a few. Upon serving add about 1/2 liter of ginger ale and mix. Can serve with crushed ice, and I add a sprig of mint if I happen to have it. This is a sure hit!

The Summer pasta dish recipe I have featured before but here it is again……

Take 4 pints of really ripe cherry tomatoes. Cut in half, add 7-8 sliced garlic cloves, about 5-6 chopped basil leaves, sea salt and about 1/8 cup olive oil. Add black pepper set aside room temp for about 4 hours covered. Cook pasta very al dente, drain. Add fresh chopped basil and a generaous amount of parmesean and add tomato mixture to pasta. Toss and add more cheese and garnish with basil. Absolutely wonderful!

Wow I am getting hungry again! Happy cooking and thanks for liking what I made! These are all user friendly, if I could offer just one piece of advice, get the absolute freshest ingredients you can find…I do believe it really makes a difference, bon appetite!

Onto a little store biz, I have gotten lots of questions this week over various things so am addressing some of them now through this blogpost ……reminder linens were supposed to ?going up as of June 15th. I am going to be changing the prices on Monday simply because I don’t have the time it takes to get it done this weekend. ?For anyone who has been considering them, its a good time to take advantage of the current selling price. Even at the price increase they are still a bargain compared to what these same linens sell for elsewhere……..

Lanterns…..I have sold a lot of lanterns. A few patterns are now either sold out totally or discontinued. I am going to be adding a few new styles but if you are ordering it is a good idea to email me first at theenchantedhome@gmail.com to find out if I have the exact lanterns you are looking for in the right size.

Last from one of my favorite vendors….got some new pieces! So excited…these are truly amazing. My only regret is that most of these were either one or two of a kind, no more:( Otherwise I would have ordered many multiples. ?A little sneak peek! Lots of orders on the gorgeous chargers….am sorry to say they are actually oversold. Trying to get more but so far, no luck, naturally will keep everyone posted if I do get them!

OK so here’s the new loot! Since there is only one of everything, and its time consuming to list this online, I will not be listing these this weekend.??I have a busy day and weekend ahead, so if you see something you want please email me…theenchantedhome@gmail.com and I will let you know the price and invoice you. Its a lot of work to list just one thing, but for items not sold by next week I will start listing them online. Feel free to email with any questions as always. And a few of the pretty things up for grabs.
Love this gallery tray for a multitude of reasons

And this stunning tray for a vanity or bar and of course love that I snagged another trophy!

Love this handpainted wood tray of a French country scene

This is truly a “grande dame” I got two (one for me and one for you) Its very very large and so ornate and so fabulous!

As is this magnificent serving/display bowl. Looks very old and very important.

LOVE these oversized pheasants…how stunning!

And this fabulous French tray (I own it and use it all the time)

Another amazingly beautiful bowl, stunning details

And you know my penchant for black…these GORGEOUS black tole pieces make my heart sing…….thankfully I got two of many of them and you know I have my own little ‘stash”, to me EVERY room looks better with a touch of black……

This could be an oversized wastepaper basket, planter, or used for logs/magazines

Matching tissue paper holder

This large planter is positively regal!

How about this oversized champagne/wine bucket, probably good for 3 or 4 bottles!

Anything with a crest I am a sucker for……

And this elegant footed “tub” perfect for drinks or plants…..very oversized

All piled up and ready……….
So that’s whats cooking over here! Wishing you a fabulous day and ?terrific weekend, thanks for stopping in!

Photobucket

You asked, so here’s the recipes and some store biz!

Hi there……allow me to preface this by saying that this  is a pretty long post. So sit down, relax, carve out an extra five minutes and grab another cup of coffee! I was flattered and overwhelmed by how many people emailed and asked for the recipes for the yummy food and beverage I featured in yesterdays post. Trust me, these are all easy and do not require some kind of special Herculean skill……that’s the great news! So i am happy to share the recipes, bear in mind however I have made all of these for so long and so often, I could practically do it blindfold and  I no longer follow  an actual recipe, so these are all approx. amounts. Happy cooking, I promise these are all guaranteed to be a hit!

Crostinis-

Get a big loaf of french bread or a baguette. Slice in 1/2″ slices, I do this ahead of time and place in a airtight ziploc. Chop up one or two packages of mushrooms, 7 cloves of garlic and put about 3 TB of olive oil in a skillet, heat up and sautee mushrooms and garlic. Set aside. Get a fresh mozzarella (fresh really works best) slice in small approx. 3″ slices. Set aside. About 10 min before you want to serve……drizzle olive oil over the bottom of a baking pan, place breads on it so one side will get the olive oil. Put in heated oven at about 375 for a few minutes just until they are starting to get crisp. Remove and put cheese on and turn up oven to about 450, let cheese just start to melt (about 3 min) take out and put mushroom mixture over the cheese…serve and gobble up!

For the tomato/olive/zuchinni brushetta

Do same thing with bread. In a bowl add 3 cups chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped black olives , sea salt, olive oil. Mix well. Chop up two zucchinis in small pieces and drizzle olive oil and bake high at about 450 until starting to turn golden. Remove and cool then add to tomato mixture. Marinate for up to a few hours. Toast your breads like above and you can do this with or without the cheese. Add topping right before serving so as to not get soggy. I also like adding shaved Parmesan to some to give it a little kick.

Chinese chicken salad-

1 head of cabbage, 3 nice sized chicken breast, soy sauce, sugar, 2 bunches scallions, about 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 2 packs chicken Ramen noodles, one pack rice noodles, 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, rice vinegar.

Shred cabbage very thin with a good sharp knife or a mandolin, which makes it easy. Boil chicken in salted water. When cool, shred to small pieces. Chop up 2 bunches of scallions. Bake almonds until golden brown. Add cabbage, chicken, scallions and almonds and set aside covered. In small mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, the sesame seeds, 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil (not olive any vegetable or corn is fine),the chicken seasoning packets from ramen noodles and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, toss over salad up to 30 min. before you want to serve, add rice noodles at end. The original recipe calls for the ramen noodles (crushed first) to also be added but I peronsally prefer it without. Yum yum.

Greek chopped salad-

Get the ripest yellow and red tomatoes you can find (approx. 8) Cut into wedges. Get 1/2 a green bellpepper and 1/2 a yellow bellpepper and cut into nice size chunks. Cut up 4 cloves of garlic, 1 large cucumber, 1/2 a red onion and really good fresh feta cheese. About 1/4 cup black olives. Mix all together (I normally add cheese at end) and add sea salt, fresh pepper and a nice amount of light olive oil. I add a small amount (maybe a few tablespoons) of vinegar as well. Very tasty and fresh!

Peach Sangria (are you getting hungry yet….because I am)!

Take a big pitcher, fill with one bottle of dry white wine, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Peach Schnapps, add 3 sliced peaches and 1 sliced orange to mix. Add about 2 tablespoons sugar and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour ideally for a few. Upon serving add about 1/2 liter of ginger ale and mix. Can serve with crushed ice, and I add a sprig of mint if I happen to have it. This is a sure hit!

The Summer pasta dish recipe I have featured before but here it is again……

Take 4 pints of really ripe cherry tomatoes. Cut in half, add 7-8 sliced garlic cloves, about 5-6 chopped basil leaves, sea salt and about 1/8 cup olive oil. Add black pepper set aside room temp for about 4 hours covered. Cook pasta very al dente, drain. Add fresh chopped basil and a generaous amount of parmesean and add tomato mixture to pasta. Toss and add more cheese and garnish with basil. Absolutely wonderful!

Wow I am getting hungry again! Happy cooking and thanks for liking what I made! These are all user friendly, if I could offer just one piece of advice, get the absolute freshest ingredients you can find…I do believe it really makes a difference, bon appetite!

Onto a little store biz, I have gotten lots of questions this week over various things so am addressing some of them now through this blogpost ……reminder linens were supposed to  going up as of June 15th. I am going to be changing the prices on Monday simply because I don’t have the time it takes to get it done this weekend.  For anyone who has been considering them, its a good time to take advantage of the current selling price. Even at the price increase they are still a bargain compared to what these same linens sell for elsewhere……..

Lanterns…..I have sold a lot of lanterns. A few patterns are now either sold out totally or discontinued. I am going to be adding a few new styles but if you are ordering it is a good idea to email me first at theenchantedhome@gmail.com to find out if I have the exact lanterns you are looking for in the right size.

Last from one of my favorite vendors….got some new pieces! So excited…these are truly amazing. My only regret is that most of these were either one or two of a kind, no more:( Otherwise I would have ordered many multiples.  A little sneak peek! Lots of orders on the gorgeous chargers….am sorry to say they are actually oversold. Trying to get more but so far, no luck, naturally will keep everyone posted if I do get them!

OK so here’s the new loot! Since there is only one of everything, and its time consuming to list this online, I will not be listing these this weekend.  I have a busy day and weekend ahead, so if you see something you want please email me…theenchantedhome@gmail.com and I will let you know the price and invoice you. Its a lot of work to list just one thing, but for items not sold by next week I will start listing them online. Feel free to email with any questions as always. And a few of the pretty things up for grabs.
Love this gallery tray for a multitude of reasons

And this stunning tray for a vanity or bar and of course love that I snagged another trophy!

Love this handpainted wood tray of a French country scene

This is truly a “grande dame” I got two (one for me and one for you) Its very very large and so ornate and so fabulous!

As is this magnificent serving/display bowl. Looks very old and very important.

LOVE these oversized pheasants…how stunning!

And this fabulous French tray (I own it and use it all the time)

Another amazingly beautiful bowl, stunning details

And you know my penchant for black…these GORGEOUS black tole pieces make my heart sing…….thankfully I got two of many of them and you know I have my own little ‘stash”, to me EVERY room looks better with a touch of black……

This could be an oversized wastepaper basket, planter, or used for logs/magazines

Matching tissue paper holder

This large planter is positively regal!

How about this oversized champagne/wine bucket, probably good for 3 or 4 bottles!

Anything with a crest I am a sucker for……

And this elegant footed “tub” perfect for drinks or plants…..very oversized

All piled up and ready……….
So that’s whats cooking over here! Wishing you a fabulous day and  terrific weekend, thanks for stopping in!

Photobucket

Escape with me to fabulous Paris part II

Ok, this is getting downright ridiculous. Woke up to another 15 inches of snow..its unbelievable. I had to enclose some pictures because seeing is believing. Feel like we are drowning in the white stuff! Still very much on my high from my wonderful trip…what an inspirational city! In keeping that French feeling alive, I decided to spend the day making something I have not made in many years, Beef Bourguignon. This is a fabulous recipe I have had for years and was passed onto me by a family member, then while in Paris I obtained another recipe, which was quite similar so I combined the two and the result was pure magic! I cannot tell you how this was literally devoured by my entire family, throw in a few loaves of crusty french bread and a nice bottle of wine…and you are in for a real treat!


So I have included the recipe below the pictures. Anyway as promised, more visual stimulation from the fabulous city of Paris. Today’s pictures are various shots I took of the architectural wonders that seem to grace every city block as well as some of the incredible antiques we came across while drooling in the antique district! Let me know if you have a favorite. No matter how many times you go to Paris, I can’t imagine that you ever tire of seeing all the splendor that makes this city truly the most beautiful in the world!



?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The famous sign outside Bistro Lipp



?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?A gorgeous cathedral


?? ? ? ? ? ? ?One of the corner buildings at the Louvre along the Seine

Love the black that is used in abundance in French decor
You can only imagine how wonderful this smelled!

Took lots of “cartouche” pictures since we are fine tuning the design for our own homes cartouche detailing over the front window

Stunning ceiling medallion…love the scalloping

Now this is what I call molding!

A quaint lovely little French bistro

At every turn, something delicious was calling my name……

All these are chocolates..even the purse!

This is what I would call a mouth watering window display

A typical Parisian street

Love the narrow alleys

A pretty corner at every turn

Love both the cartouche and the railing…got all kinds of inspiration

Different view same window

The limestone detailing on every building is so spectacular

One magnificent?corner of the Louvre

A corner building at the Louvre

Having lunch at popular Angelines

A beautiful bakery/patisserie

Oooh, those look good!

The infamous Eiffel tower against a cloudy gray sky looks so majestic

In the Jardin des Tulleries in the winter…still beautiful

Walking along the Seine admiring the view

The beautiful apartment buildings along the Seine river

The magnificent Musee d’ Orsay?

Love the symmetry in French architecture

Another?gorgeous cartouche

One of the antique mantles we are considering…..love the marble

A 80 year old antique mantle that we are hoping will fit for our dining room

Another view of the same mantle

So many beautiful sconces everywhere I looked, this one plated in 22kt gold

Even the pedestrian bridges are spectacular!

Every entry to every building is breathtaking

The level of detail astounds me every time

Hey, I know now where my architect got his “divine inspiration” for the cupola

Building at the Lourve

The stunning Musee D’ Orsay on a drizzly afternoon

The courtyard in front of the Lourve?

Typical cute little bistro

Another pretty corner….

Another bistro….

Fell in love with this spectacular window and the limestone that adorns it

Is this stunning or what? I am obsessed…..

Loooove the color of this door!

The macaroons oh the macaroons….

They look like little jewels…

Such pretty displays

Got some of these lovely toiletry products for my mom!

The famous Bistro Lipp

And then back to New York and the snow….makes my patio table look like a wedding cake!
Mother Nature’s latest “gift” (at least I am trying to stay positive)

It is majestic looking- have to admit!

Stunning!

Teddy doesn’t know what to make of it

Its a heavy snow so it hugs each and every branch

Should I stay or should I go (in case you are curious he opted to come back into the warmth of the house)
Hope you enjoyed this visual vacation to Paris..it was such a treat, coming home was a bit of a letdown, but as my husband likes to remind me “that’s why they call it a vacation”. So until next time, I have these wonderful pictures to reflect back on. Here is the recipe for the Beef Bourguignon which I promise you is worth the cooking time…you will absolutely love it, I promise!


BEEF BOURGUIGNON

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup?Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied ?red wine (ideally?like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  • ?2 cups beef?broth?(I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds??beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don’t use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh?thyme?leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset “weighs a ton” pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French! ?Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper) ?one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon.?


Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac…you then should take a match and light it right in the pot…STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol)?


Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover…at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove.?


After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small saut? pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and saut? mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme…get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!
  • .
  • And a few picture highlights from my little cooking adventure yesterday……


?BON APPETIT!







Escape with me to fabulous Paris part II

Ok, this is getting downright ridiculous. Woke up to another 15 inches of snow..its unbelievable. I had to enclose some pictures because seeing is believing. Feel like we are drowning in the white stuff! Still very much on my high from my wonderful trip…what an inspirational city! In keeping that French feeling alive, I decided to spend the day making something I have not made in many years, Beef Bourguignon. This is a fabulous recipe I have had for years and was passed onto me by a family member, then while in Paris I obtained another recipe, which was quite similar so I combined the two and the result was pure magic! I cannot tell you how this was literally devoured by my entire family, throw in a few loaves of crusty french bread and a nice bottle of wine…and you are in for a real treat!


So I have included the recipe below the pictures. Anyway as promised, more visual stimulation from the fabulous city of Paris. Today’s pictures are various shots I took of the architectural wonders that seem to grace every city block as well as some of the incredible antiques we came across while drooling in the antique district! Let me know if you have a favorite. No matter how many times you go to Paris, I can’t imagine that you ever tire of seeing all the splendor that makes this city truly the most beautiful in the world!



                                         The famous sign outside Bistro Lipp



                                        A gorgeous cathedral


              One of the corner buildings at the Louvre along the Seine

Love the black that is used in abundance in French decor
You can only imagine how wonderful this smelled!

Took lots of “cartouche” pictures since we are fine tuning the design for our own homes cartouche detailing over the front window

Stunning ceiling medallion…love the scalloping

Now this is what I call molding!

A quaint lovely little French bistro

At every turn, something delicious was calling my name……

All these are chocolates..even the purse!

This is what I would call a mouth watering window display

A typical Parisian street

Love the narrow alleys

A pretty corner at every turn

Love both the cartouche and the railing…got all kinds of inspiration

Different view same window

The limestone detailing on every building is so spectacular

One magnificent corner of the Louvre

A corner building at the Louvre

Having lunch at popular Angelines

A beautiful bakery/patisserie

Oooh, those look good!

The infamous Eiffel tower against a cloudy gray sky looks so majestic

In the Jardin des Tulleries in the winter…still beautiful

Walking along the Seine admiring the view

The beautiful apartment buildings along the Seine river

The magnificent Musee d’ Orsay 

Love the symmetry in French architecture

Another gorgeous cartouche

One of the antique mantles we are considering…..love the marble

A 80 year old antique mantle that we are hoping will fit for our dining room

Another view of the same mantle

So many beautiful sconces everywhere I looked, this one plated in 22kt gold

Even the pedestrian bridges are spectacular!

Every entry to every building is breathtaking

The level of detail astounds me every time

Hey, I know now where my architect got his “divine inspiration” for the cupola

Building at the Lourve

The stunning Musee D’ Orsay on a drizzly afternoon

The courtyard in front of the Lourve 

Typical cute little bistro

Another pretty corner….

Another bistro….

Fell in love with this spectacular window and the limestone that adorns it

Is this stunning or what? I am obsessed…..

Loooove the color of this door!

The macaroons oh the macaroons….

They look like little jewels…

Such pretty displays

Got some of these lovely toiletry products for my mom!

The famous Bistro Lipp

And then back to New York and the snow….makes my patio table look like a wedding cake!
Mother Nature’s latest “gift” (at least I am trying to stay positive)

It is majestic looking- have to admit!

Stunning!

Teddy doesn’t know what to make of it

Its a heavy snow so it hugs each and every branch

Should I stay or should I go (in case you are curious he opted to come back into the warmth of the house)
Hope you enjoyed this visual vacation to Paris..it was such a treat, coming home was a bit of a letdown, but as my husband likes to remind me “that’s why they call it a vacation”. So until next time, I have these wonderful pictures to reflect back on. Here is the recipe for the Beef Bourguignon which I promise you is worth the cooking time…you will absolutely love it, I promise!


BEEF BOURGUIGNON

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied  red wine (ideally like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  •  2 cups beef broth (I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds  beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don’t use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset “weighs a ton” pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French!  Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper)  one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon. 


Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac…you then should take a match and light it right in the pot…STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol) 


Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover…at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove. 


After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small saut? pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and saut? mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme…get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!
  • .
  • And a few picture highlights from my little cooking adventure yesterday……


 BON APPETIT!