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April 30, 2013

Spring at Our House | Photo Tour



Welcome!  Each season I've done a little photo tour of our house.  Because I decorate in mostly neutrals, it really gives me the chance to transform our house with the addition of seasonal colors through flowers, pillows, etc. 

Tours from the past :
Holiday Home Tour
Autumn Tour
Fall Front Porch







DIY pillows inspired by our trip to Seaside... step-by-step later this week!


Mike's painting... also from Seaside.  I love the fresh clean palette it adds to the room.










Tours from the past :
Holiday Home Tour
Autumn Tour
Fall Front Porch

April 29, 2013

Kentucky Derby Style | Sugar & Charm | J.Crew

I'm often asked to participate on other blogs.  I don't always have the time to do them, but for some reason this "ask" seemed really fun... dream shopping.  Eden from Sugar & Charm asked me to select my dream outfit for a Kentucky Derby party. 

I have a fairly distinct (eh, minimal?) style.  I'm very particular about what I purchase and wear... although if you looked at my closet it might seem quite boring!  Lots of basics.  Lots of solids.  Lots of oxfords, cardigans, cropped pants and ballet flats. 

I'm a self proclaimed J.Crew monster.  I know my size, I know what I like - and it always seems like they have it... with some added character pieces to spice things up.  So, suuur-prize sur-prise, my entire "dream outfit" is from J.Crew.  While I can (and do) spend hours dreaming about my "future" multiple multimillion dollar homes, for some reason I can only dream in beautiful J.Crew basics when it comes to my wardrobe.  

As you can see, along with the outfit- the gold rimmed julep glasses with the "H" monogram would be a must... and banana cupcakes.  

Here is a link to the feature on Sugar & Charm - it has links to all of the items.  Enjoy!

Spring Entertaining (and ideas for Mother's Day!) Workshop in KC May 7th



My Mother's Day (Spring Entertaining!) Class at a Thyme For Everything is next week, May 7th!  It is a menu of perfect Spring Party food... Here is the menu we'll prepare :  

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Parchment Packets with Seafood, Lemon & Chives
Spring Pea Risotto
Cherry Cupcakes

Here is the link to register, or call (816)554-3755.

April 24, 2013

Chocolate Molten Cakes in a Cupcake Pan






 

When I first started my catering business I wrote all of my favorite recipes in a little blue journal book so I'd have them with me all of the time.  Over the years I've shared a couple of recipes from this little journal, but not all.  Truthfully, when I started this blog (forever ago...?) I was a burnt out on all of those recipes I'd made hundreds of times.

Now, after a four year break from the catering business, I am ready to dive back in to some of those old favorites, because after all, they were really great recipes for entertaining.  This Chocolate Molten Cake recipe was one of my first and best go-to's as a caterer.  I always served it at dinner parties - with great success.  The ingredients and supplies are humble - chocolate chips and a cupcake pan!  They work great for parties because the batter is made in advance, then baked right before dessert and served warm.

I made these last year for a friends dinner.  While the recipe makes 6-12, they work great in the freezer.  Just bake all of them together, then freeze the leftovers.  You can reheat in the microwave for just 30-60 seconds.


Now, onto the recipe, perfect for any celebration....

Chocolate Molten Cakes
makes 6 medium cakes or 12 small individual cakes

Sign-up here for an emailed version of my Printable Recipes.



2 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of cocoa
......

3/4 cup of butter
12 ounce of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream
5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of flour

Prepare cupcake pans by coating the inside of each with melted butter by swirling it around.  Then sprinkle the insides with cocoa, coating completely.

To make the batter, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, then top it with butter and cream.  Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth.  When chocolate has cooled slightly, stir in eggs, sugar and flour.  Pour into prepared cupcake pans.  Refrigerate for 1 hour (at least) and up to a couple of days.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes for regular 12/pan size and 15-18 for jumbo 6/pan size, just until the outsides and most of the top have set, and the centers are still slightly runny.  You can insert the tip of a knife to test.   You just want a bit of the very center to be a thick pudding like texture.   Let them cool for 5 minutes, then place a sheet pan on top of the muffin pan and invert them. 

Serve with whipped cream, ice cream and dusted with chocolate or cinnamon.

 

Melting chocolate with the butter and cream this way is so easy - microwave!



The pans buttered and cocoa-ed while the chocolate is in the microwave.



Perfectly melted.







You can fill them almost all the way to the top - they don't puff too much.



Cooling for 5 minutes to help them continue to set.



Top with a sheet pan...


Ready for the flip...



Mid-Flip











So, so good.  You really must try them.



10 seconds later...


Sign-up here for an emailed version of my Printable Recipes.


Here is the easy-to-pin strip!

 







Summer
The older I get, the less concerned I am about trends and the latest, in general. Instead I want our home to feel gracious, comfortable, and tried and true. I like pretty things. Remember pretty?
During the summertime, I like our lives to stand still and away from the rest of the world. I think of that quintessential summer cottage that sits at the end of a shady lane somewhere, maybe next to the water, that is removed from time. I think of bare feet in the grass playing under the cherry tree, the smell of fresh laundry, lush green backyards with rose-scented air, over-stuffed beds with crisp white sheets layered with small print linens, slow mornings spent piddling in the kitchen and late sunset dinners on the patio.
The Garden Home Collection feels like this to me. It is a classic combination of blues and greens with hints of lilac and peony pink. I have baskets full of potted plants (thanks to Tessa of Nine and Sixteen for the inspiration), and cheerful stripes and checks that give that collected, charming look that a feels little country, but fresh and summery at the same time.
Oh happy summer, you are just around the corner.





Striped Ribbon for turns these gift basics into something lovely.


Tessa (nineandsixteen.com) inspired this set up - she's queen of cozy and charming.  I realized I already had all of these items, but putting them together like this makes the coziest little corner.

Basket Tray
Lake Blue Checked Napkin
Classic Creamers Set
Botanicals



Green Fleur 20" Medium Pillow Cover
Lake Blue Check 22" Large Pillow Cover




It is all about the mix and match that makes a home feel cozy and collected.  Some of these pillow covers are from collections past, then mixed with the new Green Fleur & Lake Blue Check Pillow Covers - they feel comfortable and fresh.

I use 22" Large Covers on the outside, then two 20" Medium on the inside, or one 20" and one rectangle for accent.

Shop Pillow Covers >



Classic Cream & Sugar Set (Sugar seen, here)








I freshened our guest bedroom with new enlarged 11x14" Botanicals and some Green Fleur Pillow Covers.  The green always looks so nice with our blue guest room.



Botanicals & Pillow Covers >


I love how sweet this room feels - scalloped duvet, stacks of quilts on the chest in the dormer window.







Back down in the kitchen, I moved all of the potted plants to the window to make it feel like a greenhouse in here.



The sideboard is dressed up with Green Leaf Plates for a touch of a garden feel.



Perfect for summer garden entertaining - beautiful color with a graceful patina.  Slightly rustic, but so, so pretty.



Shop all linen collections >


Lake Blue Check Napkins >











Green Fleur Tea Towels >


Strawberry Copper Cookies Cutters >


Make in Nebraska, these copper cookie cutters are heirloom quality.  They come packaged in a gift bag with a recipe card, tied with a ribbon.  Such a nice gift.


Fluer Napkins tied with Small Navy Striped Grosgrain Ribbon.




Green Fleur Napins
Green Leaf Plates
Basket Trays
Navy Striped Grosgrain Ribbon




Wraps : School House Blue, Lilac & Peony

















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