Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

How good do these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from Little Brown Pen look? Amazing, right? I am going to make the dough tonight so that we can serve them at our Christmas party on Friday night. Fingers crossed that they turn out as pretty as Nichole's did. I'm also planning to make my mom's signature Cranberry Cookies, and my sister is making a batch of Sugar Cookies too! We're going to be swimming in cookies!

Terrain at Styer's Holiday Displays

While working on a story for ElleDecor.com about Christmas windows, I contacted Terrain at Styer's to inquire about their holiday displays (a long-time fan of Terrain, I knew they'd be amazing). What Terrain sent back to me were shots a gorgeous winter wonderland scene. Terrain didn't make it into the piece I was writing, since the displays were too far afield from the usual window display, so I thought I'd share them here.

In the winter at Terrain, the sheds that hold plants in the warmer months are stocked with wreaths and Christmas trees and decked with twinkling lights. Nearby antique garden chairs surround a rustic table from which a tree appears to grow and tree stump stools circle a fire pit – perfect examples of Terrain’s whimsical, natural aesthetic.

To see more of the store's holiday displays, check out a recent post on Remodelista with photos on decorative details throughout the shop.

Photos: Greg Lehmkuhl & Melissa Bartley -- CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE!

A firepit surrounded by tree stump stools and a stash of plaid blankets? Yes, please!

I love the effect of all the white Christmas lights against the nighttime sky -- beautiful, no?


How adorable is this Christmas Tree shed? So cute. I love how Terrain effortlessly mixes vintage props in with their offerings.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

DIY Idea: Hook Mirror

I spotted this mirror in the PBTeen catalog and thought it would make a great DIY project. You could take a simple, framed mirror and add either hooks or pegs to the perimeter to create a similar effect: A mirror that doubles as an organizer for your accessories.

Hang-A-Round Mirror,
$129 (on sale), PBTeen.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Turkey Soup Recipe from My Mom

My mother always made turkey soup after Thanksgiving, which is exactly what I did this year. I made mine very loosely following a recipe from Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook (my healthy soup bible) adding kale to Brody's mix. However, my mom shared her own recipe on her own blog, and I'll share it with you now since her soup is delicious.

My mother says, "I like this soup best when it’s made with the carcass of a turkey that’s been brined and cooked in a kettle-type barbecue, which gives it an intense, smoky flavor. But it’s also fine made with a plain roasted turkey or chicken carcass. In either case, browning the bones will intensify the flavor."

Turkey Soup with Barley and Wild Mushrooms

To make the the Broth:
The browned turkey carcass
Water to cover
1 bay leaf
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, left whole
2 tsp. salt

Remove the meat and place the carcass in a large soup pot and brown it in the oven for about an hour, with the vegetables below, if you wish.
Bring to a boil and then simmer slowly, covered for 1½ to 2 hours; strain and chill until ready to use. If chilled, all fat can be removed easily. You will probably have more broth than you need for the recipe.

For the Soup:
3-4 Tb. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp. marjoram or rosemary
½ cup barley, rinsed
2-3 quarts turkey broth (or more)
1 Tb. tomato paste
½ pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
¾-1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup very hot water or broth
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
Salt and ground pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
Cayenne pepper or hot sauce (if desired)
Sour cream

Cook the onions, carrots and celery in half of the olive oil for about 7-8 minutes, until lightly wilted; then add the potatoes and marjoram or rosemary and stir to coat the potatoes lightly. Add the broth, barley and tomato paste, bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour until the vegetables are fully cooked.

While the soup is cooking, soak the dried mushrooms for ½ hour, drain (saving the soaking liquid), and wash thoroughly. Chop and saute with the fresh mushrooms with the remaining olive oil. Strain the cooking liquid through cheesecloth (or a paper towel) into the mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, then add the mushroom mixture to the soup. The recipe may be prepared ahead to this point.

Just before serving, add the cubed turkey to the soup and taste soup for seasoning. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and cayenne or hot sauce, if desired—or pass at table. Stir in I cup chopped parsley and serve in heated bowl with sour cream.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Inspiration: Modern Gingerbread Houses

My sweet (no pun intended) friend Jane sent me this link when she read about my modernist gingerbread dreaming. Last year, Creative Room challenged 10 architects and designers to create "candy-filled homage to The Case Study House Program organized by Arts and Architecture Magazine from 1945 to 1964." Here are a few of my favorite designs. However, I think I can do better, don't you? Details of gingerbread project coming tonight, but here's a link to a video in the meantime (it's finally up online on AOL!).


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