Thursday, October 20, 2011

OMGeezy (long post- read it to the end- it's chock full of goodness)

This recipe- I HAVE to share.

I saw the original in October 2011 issue of Living.  They are called Pretzel-Shortbread bars (pg. 86). The ingredients are simple and things I had on hand:
butter, flour, pretzels, eggs, baking powder, sugar
and I had this brainstorm to add one other ingredient that I thought just might put this salty sweet treat over the top- NUTELLA
Check it out:
This is a double batch that I put in a 13"x9" pan ( the original recipe calls for a 4.5"x13" shortbread pan-which I do not have).  My regular baking dish worked out just fine.  I started by spraying the pan and putting a piece on wax paper on the bottom and up the sides a bit.
Then I pulverized 31/2 cups of pretzels in the food processor-creating a powder with a few small chunks.
I put 1 cup of the mixture in a bowl with 1 cup of flour, and 1 tsp. baking powder
in a mixer bowl I put 2 sticks (1 cup) room temperature butter, 1 cup sugar, and 2 egg yolks and mixed them for a full 5 minutes-until they were light and fluffy
then I added the pretzel/flour mixture
then I put another 3 cups of pretzels in the food processor-(you're going for larger chunks this time)
I mixed in 1 cup of the pretzel chunks and pressed the mixture into my prepared pan
then I spread about 1 cup of Nutella on top of the pressed dough and sprinkled the remaining pretzel chunks on top of that (and pressed them down a bit)

then I baked them at 325 for 26 min.s
they are DIVINE (it was my dinner tonight)
and because I made a double batch- we could use some help eating them- so if you're in the area and need a sweet treat, stop on over- we have plenty;)
on a home decor note- I've been doing some reorganizing of furniture since my recent dining room redo- so, I moved the file cabinet into the living room as a makeshift side table on the right side of the couch- the round side table into the dining room to hold the plant next to the windows, the owl table and chairs from the kitchen into the book room as a new little art studio for the kids, trampoline down into the playroom, and rattan bookroom chair into the dining room (TMI I know,- especially if you've never been in my house)

The point of this explanation is that I recovered a couple pillows for the chair that is now in the dining room today- with that fabulous fabric I talked about here.  It looks great- and was a very quick project.  The room has a very loungey, living room type of feel to it now.
Once we have a light fixture in place we need to have a serious dinner party!! at which I might just serve the bext pizza I've ever made...I meant to post this solo last week- but never got  around to it- so now I'm turning this post into an epic one- with two recipes-so I hope you're still reading, because this one, is lust-worthy.
I had a pizza party a couple weeks back and decided to make an apple pizza pie (something I've done before but never this successfully) It was so good I had leftover dough and made it again 2 days later..
Here's the main idea- I always use this insanley good homemade dough recipe (I use 1/2 white whole wheat and 1/2 white flour for the dough)
The sauce for this pie is this:
D made a special 30 minute trip to get 3 jars of this stuff- it's that good.
then I added sliced apple, sliced brie, a drizzle of EVOO, a little fresh parm, salt and pepper- and cooked it
when it came out I topped it with a spinach salad- dressed with a homemade dressing (EVOO, vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, fresh garlic, salt and pepper)
My mouth is watering, even though my belly is full of Nutella pretzel bars- it is SO GOOD.

Make it, would you? and invite me over for dinner?!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We Are Almost Ready To Dine!

Here it is

These super-lovely cinderella pumpkins are from Trader Joes of all places- and did you know that they are totally edible and supposedly delicious??? Stay tuned for some pumpkin-themed recipes!

I am love-love LOVIN' the way the chairs look with the rug, and the table, and the walls and ceiling:)))

Although I don't have the super-specifics (paint color name. etc.) I will tell you my theory behind the design...

The yellow rug was a given- I actually fell in love with one at a persian rug dealer in town- and it was waaaaaaaaaaay over budget.  This one is from West Elm.  I saw Emily use it on an episode of Secrets From a Stylist and loved it- and it's more reasonable priced for an all wool- flat weave (my preference- not a big fan of pile)- and it's a 8x10.

I found the image below (it's currently on my Pintrest dining room inspiration board) and thought that the gold ceiling might work in my space- echoing the yellow/gold rug.
I also liked the dark walls and how they unexpectedly worked with the gold ceiling...

The wall color was more tricky- I had a bunch of colors up- and ultimately decided on this lovely dark, warm gray (in the aisle of home depot without testing it on the wall first).  It's the type of color that when you walk into the room, you don't know exactly what color it  is- and despite it's darkness- the room is plenty light and the ceiling and floor assist in the lightness I think, plus the white washed table really balances out the darkness.  The room is classy, cozy, and interesting.

What's left to do?
Take a look see....

a light would be nice- I fell in love with this modern take on the antique french ones that are in various design mags right now-

and this knock-off is a little more reasonable...I haven't found anything else I like as much as this yet....and my Bday is right around the corner (HINT HINT;)  and yes....I know it's sad and slightly pathetic that I am hinting that I would like my relatives to buy my a friken chandelier for my 31st birthday:) but I would- okay?

Then there's my good old friend the Brimfield couch.  Oh- how I cannot wait to reupholster this bad boy and lay down for a nap, or curl up with a good book and a cup of tea on it!  I originally had planned on a patterned fabric, but after the chair fabric (which I am IN LOVE with) it's even more beautiful in person)...and the rug- I am now leaning toward a highly textured (possibly tweed, linen, or maybe burlap) solid in turquoise instead.  Problem is- this is time consuming project- and right now my time is eaten up by graduate studies- not couch refurbishing, sadly enough.  But- it- will- get- done...

Then there's this...thing.  I will not bore you with the details of all the ideas I have for this piece- because truthfully none of them are very heartfelt- as what I'd really like to do with is piece is take a sledge hammer to it- and replace it with this....

but- alas my budget dictates otherwise- so I will do something crafty to make it look more presentable one of these days!

and then there's this desk piece.  It's from an estate sale- it needs some serious TLC (i.e wood filler, sanding, painting) also- not on my priority list right now, but it too, will get done!

Beyond that- I will someday also do full length window treatments (I'm thinking in natural/ivory or white with some fun trim)

and of course- artwork for the walls- and perhaps some floating shelves to hold glassware- making the desk into a little bar-area? Iam also debating a crazy wallpapered accent wall...regardless I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Unrelated kid pics below:)

We put up a few key Holloween decorations last week (not a huge fan of seasonal decor-these are all rejects from my mother- queen of seasonal decor- it works in her house- it does not work in mine) but the kids love it- especially Mr.Skeleton hanging on the back door.  ZZ is drawing him here (for at least the 5th time in 3 days:)- I set her up Reggio Emilia style- drawing from observation- she did an awesome good.

and here's the dynamic duo watching Daddy mow the lawn the other day- it has become a spectator sport around these parts:)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Busy Bee...

that's here's a quick glimpse of what I've been doing on my too-few-and-far-between days off:)

Workin' on the dining room face lift that I started planning,oh, maybe 5 months ago:)  My vision has evolved since I did my original design board- here are a few glimpses of what's happening...

Here is the interior of our front door before:
and after: I LOVE this color- it was kind of a crazy-call (I've been making some crazy-ish design decisions lately- thankfully, so far they have all worked out...fingers crossed)

I was actually trying this color out as a possibility for the dining room walls- inspired by the picture below, as well as another picture of a similarly hued dining room in the most recent House Beautiful.  I love the super-saturated hue + how they painted everything- moulding and all which makes it look very "architectural".

anyway, the color is Martha Stewart's Moonlit Pool- I did 3 coats in interior high gloss enamel- and boy, does that baby shine! I love the contrast of it with the yellow-green chinoiserie walls in the entryway.  I'm glad I didn't use it on the walls of the dining room- it would've been overkill.  I am thinking I will probably do the hall closet door the same color as it's also part of the entryway).  The color works really well with some of the punches of teal in the living room..., specifically the salvation army lamp I sprayed

Here's a sneak peak at the 2nd crazy-ish design decision- I painted the ceiling of the dining room metallic gold.  Here's my brain-speak rational "the ceiling is already a hot mess with all the patching, plaster crack, bumps, etc.- so if it look horrid- we'll eventually drywall over it- and worse case I can always paint it back to white"
WELL- let me tell you- if you've never painted a ceiling before- it SUCKS- seriously, not fun- really hard, really messy- super sore for like, 3 days following...enough said- you get the idea.
Thankfully I am really loving ceiling- so it's staying gold for a while:)

And lastly- here's a peak at 1 of the 3 new fabrics that have come in this past week. I love the texture of this Premier Print denton fabric- isn't it divine??? It was originally going on my chairs- but I had a change of heart...stay tuned to see the wall color, reupholstered chairs- and new rug that I am loving so much I just might have camp out on it tonight;)