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Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Weekend!

I wish my leaves were turning pink. 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

D*S book signing & Asheville

Libby, Jen and I made the trek to Asheville, NC for the Design*Sponge book signing, and boy, did we have fun.

 Grace was perfectly sweet and a joy to meet.
Her new book, Design*Sponge at Home, is a treasure trove of lovely design and great content.

Blurry photo, my eyes closed. 
"Cute!"  proclaims the picture-taking-bystander.

Before the signing, we spent a lovely afternoon wandering around Asheville, making sure to take in some sweets at The Chocolate Lounge...

... and sampling some amazing chips at The Gourmet Chip Company. 
Go there! And get the kettle chips with Belgian dark chocolate and the caramel dipping sauce. Or get the Parisan. Or the Americana. Or anything on the menu, 'cause it's all awesome.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

I don't like shrimp. And I don't like grits. But Cory loves them both, as do most of my Southern friends. So he's actually the one who made this recipe, and it got rave reviews. If you're like me, look away. But if you like shrimp and grits, this one's for you!

Shrimp and Grits
(adapted from Bobby Flay's recipe here)

3 c. water

2 c. milk
1 tsp. salt 

1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. stone-ground grits
3 T. butter
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. thinly sliced green onions (tops only)
2 cloves garlic, minced

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain, crumble into large pieces and set aside.

Combine water and milk in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add the grits and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. In a large lightly-greased skillet, cook the shrimp until they turn pink. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, green onions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. 

Combine about 3/4 of the shrimp mixture with the grits., mix well. Spoon into a serving bowl. Top with the remaining shrimp mixture. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

Note: To make the dish extra pretty, save a pinch or two of the bacon, green onions, and cheeses, garnish the dish with those right before serving.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Glimpse

Our monthly cooking club met this past weekend, for a good old-fashioned Southern feast.

We made Low Country Boil (also know as Frogmore Stew) and served it in the traditional way, dumped on a table lined with newspaper.

It was delicious and quite fun to eat!

We also had some killer shrimp and grits, courtesy of Cory. He did such a good job making them, the pot was scraped clean in no time. 

Dessert was more fall-appropriate than it was in keeping with the Southern theme... we made a scrumptious apple crisp using this PW recipe.

Not pictured:
- sleeping in
- buying some sweet cruiser bikes
- Barbie pink manicure
- Halloween costume planning
- starting Christmas shopping
- courderoy pants
- funny videos
- hide-and-seek with a dog

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy Weekend!

 Source: via Erin on Pinterest

It's finally turned nice and chilly here, and I love it. Time to break out the sweaters! I think I'll spend my weekend sipping hot chocolate and trying to convince my hubby to let me buy all the boots in the world.

Happy weekend to you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fresh Apple Cider

We had an awesome experience tonight making fresh apple cider with some friends. They had built their own apple press, and we got to help them test it out, and oh man, was it ever good. So pure and fresh and sweet and wonderful! It's now spoiled me for the store-bought stuff.

Here's a little peek at the process...

 Quartered apples were ground (using a rigged up garbage disposal) into a rough applesauce.

 The ground apples discolored quickly, but that's why cider is brown, so it's ok. The mixture was placed into mesh bags inside the press.

The juice immediately began to drain out into the bucket. At this point, we sampled the fresh cider, and wow, was it good.

The juices drained out on their own for a while, and then every last drop was pressed out using weights and a jack system.

What we didn't drink fresh was pasteurized in glass bottles so that it will keep longer... though I don't think the bottles we came home with will last very long anyways!

It's so great to have innovative friends like this, and we loved having this experience!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Muse Fest

Libby, Jen, and I attended the VIP night of Muse Fest, and indie art, music, and film festival in Rock Hill, SC. It was great fun, and a job well-done by the organizers. Check out the full post over at the ICP blog!

The building where the festival is held is UH-MAZING. It's an old courthouse, and I want to live in it. Check out those ceilings! And the wall of P.O. boxes!

There's a wonderful little art gallery there as well, and while they housed many wonderful treasures, my favorite was this concrete stump. Pretty sure I need one of those.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekend Glimpse

My weekend...

I made some treats for our sunday school class at church,
and only a few crumbs remained.
Also, loving my new tea towel from Jonathan Adler!

 The weekend was spent working on the bathroom remodel with my friend, and we stayed quite busy. Her husband had the messy job of cutting all the marble tiles on the wet saw for us... he did such a good job!

Here's a little peek at the bathroom.... there's still a few finishing touches to be done, but the majority of the work is done!
I'll be sure to share the full project once it's complete.

Not pictured:
- lots of Jimmy John's 
- Netflix (Pysch!)
- pedicures
- demolition
- beautiful white marble
- jumping in an ice-cold swimming pool
- fresh salsa
- kitten snuggles
- Target shopping
- new throw pillows

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bathroom Makeover, In Progress

Just a quick post to say I'm working on a very fun project this weekend... a friend and I are doing a complete makeover of her bathroom! Yesterday was demolition time, we ripped out all the old fixtures and the old fugly tile floor, today we're laying some beautiful white marble. I can't wait to share the finished project! In the meantime, take a look at the inspiration board to see some of our ideas...

Happy Weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

For the Love of Scarves

I am a lover of scarves. You might say I collect them (at least, that's a kind way to put my obsession). I wear scarves year-round... lightweight ones in the summer, big flowy ones in the spring and fall, and thick warm ones in the winter.

I saw this brilliantly done video about 25 ways to wear a scarf, and had to share.

And here are some of the scarves I'm loving these days...

From top, left to right:
The Chain Warmer / Mint and Gray Colorblocked Scarf / Lace-pieced Scarf / Pom Pom Cowls / Mr. Darcy Scarf / Eggplant Cowl / Snow Leopard Scarf / Mint to be Scarf / Grey Stripes Infinity Scarf / Green Turkish Scarf / Leather Buckle Herringbone Cowl / Pink Bedouin Scarf / Mustard Yellow Cowl / Coral Triple Fringe Scarf

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Autumn Tablescape

I had the pleasure of helping design the table for our Italian feast, and it was great fun. The hostess and I decided to steer away from the typical autumn color scheme, and went with cool tones of purples, blues, greens, and black.

A bouquet from the farmer's market supplied plenty of pretty posies, supplemented with a few greens clipped from my garden.

Small circles of wood, stacked and scattered down the center of the table, provided the perfect base for our woodland tablescape. Bits of dried moss tucked in here and there completed the look.

We added a few mercury glass votives, and the candlelight did it's magic.

The table was set with blue and white dishes, mismatched green glasses, silverware with blackened handles, and deep blue linen napkins.

Mini pumpkins, spray-painted with chalkboard paint, made the perfect placecards. I sent each guest home with a bit of chalk so they could decorate their pumpkin how they wished.

I love how the table turned out!

Italian Feast

This past weekend we enjoyed an Italian feast with friends. Each couple took a course, and we each presented and served it in turn. It was marvelous evening, to say the least.

The menu:
Appetizer: Antipasto di Terra: Fagottino al Provolone
Salad: Insalata Caprese
Bread: Focaccia with Rosemary and Shallots
Pasta: Ravioli: Sausage & Spinach with Lemon Basil Oil, Artichoke & Bacon with Roasted Heirloom Pepper Sauce, and Butternut Squash with Garlic Parmesan Cream.
Entrees: Chicken Bryon and Beef with Mushrooms (can't remember the name!)
Dessert: Zeppoles with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cream and Plum Sauce
Drinks: Frescos and Espresso

And now a visual feast for you (all the awesome photos by Micah Coston)...

I highly suggest hosting a dinner like this with your friends... it's a great way to try new dishes or cuisines without too much pressure on one person!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekend Glimpse

Another delightful fall weekend, the only thing missing was a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.

 I made about a million ravioli (with my mom's help). I created 3 new recipes for this batch, and will be sharing them next week (2 of them that is, 1 still needs perfecting).

Some spoils from the farmer's market... some crazy-looking beans ("October beans," says the craggly-toothed farmer), brown speckled eggs, and as many little white pumpkins as would fit in my bag.

Heather and I had a fabulous girls night out on the town, which included quesadillas, a dance show, main street strolling, apple fritters, and lots of gabbing and giggling.

Not pictured:
- flour, in my kitchen, everywhere
- aprons
- a gigantic white button mum
- cheese shopping
- boots. I want them all.
- Trader Joe's
- italian feast with friends, next up.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weekend Glimpses

Thanks to a very special wedding, I haven't had a spare second to blog recently. I'm bursting at the seams with things I want to post about, but in the meantime, here's a quick look at the past couple weekends.

Last weekend, thanks to the generosity of some sweet friends, I was able to attend an amazing culinary event here in Greenville, Euphoria. It was a whole day of cooking demos and tastings galore, with world-class food & drink & chefs. Pictured above is just a peek at some of the treats I enjoyed.
You can have the recipes too! Get them here.

 There was an authentic vintage Le Creuset vehicle on site, so Lib and I had some fun with it.

This past weekend was consumed with Courtney's wedding. It was wonderful, amazing, perfect, and glorious. I'll have a million recaps to share in a few weeks once the photographer's images are ready... I brought my camera thinking I would be able to snap a few shots, but the image above of Cory's boutonniere is the only one I took, and that was at the end of the night, once we were back home. My maid-of-honor-wedding-coordinator-keeping-people-from-freaking-out duties kept me kinda busy. ;-D

 Courtney was the most gorgeous bride... it did my heart good to see her so happy, I don't think she stopped beaming all day.
I'm so very happy for her and her new hubby, Jon!
(photo above by Becka Fitzgerald)

Etsy waits for no man... I had to make and package up a few custom orders on Sunday, which was fun... good to get back into it after a few weeks off.

Not pictured:
- nail polish
- a braid in Cory's hair
- fall flowers planted
- air mattress
- Wendy's
- candy buffet
- sleepover with little cousins
- miles of velvet ribbon
- flatting pieces for Cory's work
- fiddlehead ferns, searching and finding
- cardigan sweaters
- berry tarts
- hedge trimming
- ravioli planning
- kitty noses