Tuesday, November 30, 2010

umm...where did you come from?!

I am sort of, kinda in love with these shoes.
How darling?

Plus the website has some pretty fun finds.
How did I just now stumble across this?
take a peek at http://www.endless.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Epiphytes, Flora Grubb, and the Perfect use of Tillandsia

If there is one thing those closest to me know about my plant obsession, it is that it hits a crazy high when it comes to epiphytes. I LOVE epiphytes. Mosses, lichen, tilandsia, some bromeliads, (not all!) and orchids all reside in the epiphytic category and reign supreme in the world of photosynthetic beauty. Often called Air-Plants, epiphytes rely on water (moisture) from the air (or rain) and often grow in trees and on other plants in very humid climates. Orchids are probably the most commonly used epiphytes in terms of decorative horticulture. They are also some of the harder plants to grow- some species require several years for one spike to appear and months to bloom. Orchids are great and all, but when it comes to epiphytes, my attention moves elsewhere- Tillandsia. An epiphytic bromeliad, Tillandsia ranges in size, texture, color, and can produce some of the most gorgeous blooms imaginable. Another great thing about Tillandsia? It is relatively easy to care for (just keep it out of direct light, and mist it occasionally!) and can make for some of the most gorgeous, unique, and inventive arrangements around. Enter- Flora Grubb (Yea, thats her real name). Above and below are some of her creations (photos from her website- http://floragrubb.com/idx/index.php You can buy these beauties there!)

I absolutely love the combination of lichen (flat textural stuff on the tree- lichen equals algae plus fungus) lined trees and the tillandsia. The textural quality is amazing!



A Tillandsia cake, and table decor

I know I will be posting more on Flora and her
brilliant designs later on!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank Goodness for Thanksgiving!

If there is one thing I could not live without,
it would be cranberries. I am in love with cranberries
and always feel like a million-bucks after eating them.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

2 bags of cranberries
2 cups of sugar
1 bottle of Pom
rinse berries, add POM, bring to a boil
after 2 minutes add sugar and boil for 15 min.
serve cold

After brining, I rinsed the turkey in and out and set it in
this heavy duty hefty pan
Cover tightly with tin foil and place in the oven at 275 f
roast at 10 minutes per lb

then I added herbs De Provence to one stick of
softened butter with a tablespoon of olive oil
and zap them in the microwave.

pull the bird out of the oven and push the temp up to 375

Brush the butter and oil on the bird liberally
and place back in the oven until the timer pops up,
basting every 20 minutes.

Birds out! Carve and enjoy!

Jeanine's Sweet Potatoes

and Leslie's Veggie Quiche

Leslie's Arugula, beet, goat cheese, walnuts,
and avocado salad. Drizzled with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar

My amazing plate of Thanksgiving goodness

Easy flower arrangements

and a tin candle holder from Roost

small mercury-esque glass votive holders
99 cents each at Target

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If You Brine It, They Will Come....

It was the night before Thanksgiving,
and all through the house,
not a spice in the pantry,
was left untouched.
The turkey was snug,
all trussed and brining in its bag
in hopes that eight guests,
soon would be there....

Okay...so I tried..
it really doesn't sound great..but you get the idea...

This year, Matt and I are hosting Thanksgiving for eight
so tonight I am brining our turkey.

Ain't she a beaut'?! At a little over 16lbs.
this baby is asking for some brinin' and cookin'

my brine adapted from The Pioneer Woman,
Ree Drummond's favorite brine,

orange peel, bay leaves, rosemary,
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups kosher salt,
some pepper, minced garlic, water and apple cider

add some apple cider and water,
then the spices and herbs

Boil for a few minutes

let it cool down (I threw ice cubes in it to speed it up)

pour over the turkey

make sure that the brine enters the cavity

flip halfway through.

I will brine for roughly 16 hours

I will let you know how it goes...

More later!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

let the festivities begin!

Our dear friends, Allie and Clif, hosted a vegetarian pre-Thanksgiving potluck dinner this past weekend.

Clif Carving the "tofurky"
it was pretty tasty

Ruth made a Moroccan carrot dish that was quite yummy.

green beans, savory pie, Ruth's Carrots,
and Gary's vanilla acorn squash slices

Faux-lamb pie (savory)

Allie, pondering the table below. Is everything there?

and it was...

Allie's blueberry pie
(she made three pies- Allie=Martha)

and then there were these things...
and by things, I mean heavenly morsels.
Adam made thin butter cookies
topped with a dollop of cream cheese,
powdered sugar, and nuts
drizzled with chocolate.

we all would eat one and then complain that
they were so rich. Five minutes later we were all eating a second,
and ten minutes later a third.

and on a very excited side-note: In celebration of my first time hosting Thanksgiving, I bought myself my first ever piece of Le Creuset! Below, meet my Chili Red enameled steel stock pot! Of course, I did not buy it full-priced (who can at my age?). I got a pretty amazing deal on it, which I am pretty proud of.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ratatouille Revisit


use only fresh ingredients
(leave the frozen in the freezer, please)

I have never been one for exact measurements,
so measure out what you need to serve your brood (or just yourself!)

2 cups of eggplant, diced
1-2 cups of zucchini, diced
1-2 cups of carrots, diced
2 cups of diced tomatoes
1-2 cups of onion

you will also need:
a pinch of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
olive or canola oil
1 1/2 cups of couscous (optional)

two tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar

below is Whole Foods 365 brand Aged BV
I also love Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegar
(its amazing and extremely affordable)

The acidity in the balsamic vinegar
helps distinguish each flavor from the next.
(a great veggie flavor organizational tool, if I may!)

baby eggplant

Getting Started:

Dice all of your veggies

heat 1 tbs of olive or cold pressed canola oil
in a large fry pan,
add a pinch of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

add the eggplant, onion, and zucchini
saute 3 minutes on medium-high heat
add carrots and 1/2 of water
cook until veggies are soft, but not mushy

add the tomatoes

add a splash of aged balsamic vinegar
lower heat and saute for another
3 minutes

serve with warm, lightly salted couscous! Yum!

recipe by MK