Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy New Year!! May 2012 be Healthy, Happy and Prosperous!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!!

Deck the Halls


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Chandeliers

It doesn't take much to make a table sparkle if you decorate the chandelier above it.  This really adds to the festive Holiday mood.  So get out a few ornaments, garland, ribbon and pine cones and see what you can do!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bento Box #12

Bento Box #12
Top Fabric: Vervain  "Barania" Red.  This is a Medium Duty Silk/Wool Suzani Pattern.  It's great for your window treatments and decorative pillows.
Left Top: Fabricut "Zenith" Bronze.  Great for all upholstery.  This is a very Heavy Duty chenille.  Good for high wear areas.
Left Middle and Bottom:  Edward Ferrell "Hadley" Tobacco  and "Dover" Fudge Leathers.  These are great for upholstered pieces especially ottomans.
Center: Scalamandre "Paddington Velvet" Old Rose.  This is a Heavy Duty cotton velvet that is also great for all upholstery.
Bottom Right: Prismatek "Tristan" Brown,Orange and Red .  This is a Poly/Rayon that is excellent for window treatments and decorative pillows that would add a whimsical touch to your room.
Paint Colors:
Walls: Benjamin Moore "Chocolate Sundae" 2113-10 OR "Lenox Tan" HC-44
Trimming Benjamin Moore "Grand Teton White" OC-132
Once again, this is a Transitional Grouping.  You can use it either with contemporary--go for the Polka dots here OR traditional style. 
Pair this with a neutral carpet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bento Box #11

Bento Box #11
Top Left: CarletonV "Cornelius " Silver Fox . A Heavy Duty Cozy Chenille.  Great for all upholstered pieces.
Top Background: CarletonV" Marrakesh"  Slate/Gold. A fabulous "Ikat" print in 100% silk from Thailand.  This is a stunning fabric for Window treatments and decorative pillows.
Middle Right: Villa Romo"Striato" Tornado This also a Heavy Duty Chenille that is great for all upholstery pieces.
Front Center: Duralee "Linen" Sahara . A Heavy Duty Rayon/Cotton Linen.  This is excellent for Window treatments-especially Roman Shades.

Paint Colors:
Walls: Benjamin Moore "Whale Gray" 2134-40 OR Benjamin Moore "Springfield Tan" AC-5
Trimmings: Benjamin Moore "Pale Oak" OC-20
This palette combination is Transitional and will work well in any space.  Pair it with a neutral carpet.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bridal Registery 104 Everyday Glassware

Everyday Glassware

Everyday glassware should be :
1. Sturdy!  Sturdy! Sturdy! Don't go for the thin glass unless you plan to replace often.  When purchasing ,feel the weight of the glass in your hand and also make certain the rim has some thickness to it OR you will be replacing them alot.
2. How Many?  Select 12 tall iced beverage glasses.  8 short glasses that can double up for juice. At least 12 sturdy stemmed glasses that can serve as a water goblet or an everyday wine glass.

This is an area to get creative.  For instance you can do Canning Jars without or with handles (shown above) or the imported Mexican glassware (shown above).  Beer mugs can also be great for iced beverages. You can mix and match designs.  Have fun with this item since there are many styles to choose from. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bridal Registery 103: Stainless Flatware

Stainless Flatware
When purchasing everyday flatware I suggest 12 place settings. This covers everything from small buffet dinners to dinner for 2.  The question here is What to select??
There are a few pointers to follow:
1. Look for something with an 18/8 or 18/10 number.  WHAT IS THAT???
This is the number that refers to the percentage content of chromium/nickel. This is what  makes up the stainless steel alloy.  The higher the back number(nickel content) the higher the sheen. 0 means no nickel therefore, it looks dull and cheap.  The 18 is the chromium which keeps the flatware from rusting. 
2. Knife Construction is the next step. 
a. Is the knife made of one single piece of stainless stamped by a machine?
b. Is the knife constructed in the "drop forge" method where molten steel is poured in a mould?This gives the knife a better blade.
c. Is the knife constructed of a "hollow handle" with a higher quality blade inserted? This obviously makes the best of the 3.
3. Look at the final finish on the flatware.  In the stamped versions, the fork tines and edges of spoons are usually sharp and square. In the hand forged and hollow knife versions, more time is spent on the edges so they usually have rounded edges and smooth fork tines
4. Look at the design and weight.  The utensils should feel balanced and comfortable in your hand.
5.If future availability is important to you, stay away from boxed sets.  They are usually around for a few years and then the style is changed.
6. Price point--with the above information find the flatware that best fits your budget!

Bento Box #10

Bento Box #10
Background Fabric:  Kravet "Handwork Floral" Azure Cerise. This is an embroidered linen suitable for window treatments or decorative pillows.
Bottom Left: Duralee " Linen/Rayon" Winter White. This is a great linen that doesn't wrinkle because of the rayon content.  It is heavy duty and makes excellent slipcovers or window treatments.  If you are brave it is also good for upholstery.
Bottom Center: Osborne and Little "Varese" Teal.  This is a 100% cotton velvet, great for upholstery but lightweight enough for window treatments.  It is medium duty.
Bottom Right: Stroheim and Romann "Chadwick Strie" Garnet. This is a heavy duty velvet perfect for all upholstery.

Wall color:
 For the "Dramatic Spirit"
 Benjamin Moore "Venezuelan Sea" 2054-30 or "Beau Green" 2054-20 Trimmed out in Benjamin Moore "Acadia White" OC-38
For the "Quiet Spirit" Benjamin Moore "Crystal Blue" 2051-70 Trimmed in Benjamin Moore "Cotton Balls" OC-122

This is a great look for Living /Family Room or DiningRoom

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mercer's Yummy Corn Muffin's

Mercer's Yummy Corn Muffin's
2 eggs
1/2c vegetable oil
1c sour cream
1 box "JIFFY" corn mix

Muffin Construction:
Beat eggs and add the rest.
Pour batter into greased muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Yields --1 dozen small muffins.
SERVE with the Chili Recipes.

Cindy's Turkey Chile

Cindy's Turkey Chili
1T olive oil
1 large yellow onion,chopped
3 Cloves garlic,minced
1 Red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 lbs. Ground turkey
2T flour
3T Chili powder
2T Cumin
2tsp Powered Cocoa
Cayenne pepper to taste
1/c Tarragon vinegar
2T coffee
1 28oz can diced plum tomatoes
2 15oz cans undrained black beans
S&P to taste

Chile Construction:
Heat oil over med. high heat in large pot. 
Add onion,garlic read and green peppers.
Saute' for 5 minutes.
Add turkey and continue to saute'.
Stir in flour,chili powder,cumin and cocoa.
Cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
Add cayenne,vinegar,coffee, tomatoes, and salt.
Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add black beans and simmer 10 minutes.
Serve with condiments: Sour cream,.chopped scallions, cilantro, cheddar cheese and sliced avocado.
Have for dinner with Salad and Corn Bread!

Debbie's Chili

Debbie's Beef Chili
1 1/2 yellow onion diced
1 green pepper seeded and diced
1 stalk celery sliced
1 clove garlic diced
1 small jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
3lbs ground sirloin or chuck
1 14 1/2oz can stewed tomatoes
1 3oz. can tomato paste
1 8oz can tomato sauce
Tabasco to taste
1T Cumin
2T Chili powder
1 large can Red kidney beans
Cayenne pepper to taste
3oz beer
6 oz Pelligrino or Perrier
2 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chili Construction:
1. Saute onions, green pepper, celery , garlic and jalapeno pepper in 2T olive oil.
2. Add ground sirloin, brown and drain off liquid.
3. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT the kidney beans.
4. Simmer over low heat for 2 hours. THEN add kidney beans and simmer for another 1 hour.
Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar as condiments.
For dinner, serve with salad and corn bread!

Homemade Chicken Soup

1 Chicken cut into pieces (discard the packet with giblet's)
1 large yellow onion skinned and cut in quarters
6 carrots skinned and cut in half
Leafy top part of 1 bunch of celery (cut the top 5" off the celery stalks)
6 stems of fresh  dill and parsley tied together with cotton string (this is your Herb packet)
1  32 oz box of College Inn Chicken Stock
1 bag  12oz. of Egg noodles of your choice
In a large stock pot:
1. Put rinsed chicken on bottom of pot
2. Add onion,carrots,celery on top
3. Cover this with cold water and box of chicken stock
4. Place Herb packet on top
5.Cover and cook over medium flame
6.When this begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and skim off  the top any foam that has appeared.
7.Simmer for 2 hours over low heat.
8. With tongs remove and discard the Herb packet
9.Place a strainer over another large pot and place chicken pieces and carrots in strainer and let broth drain off of them,  Reserve these pieces on a plate.  They will  eventually be  returned to the broth. Put broth that drained off  these pieces back into original stock pot.
9.Now drain the original broth through the strainer into a clean large pot.  Discard all the residue, onions,celery that is left in the strainer.
10. Cut carrots into slices and place in the pot with the strained broth.
11. Take skin off chicken and cut into pieces.  Place the chicken pieces you want in the broth. You can make  chicken salad with any chicken that you don't wnat to use in the soup.
12. Salt and pepper the broth mixture to taste and place covered in the refrigerator overnight.  As the broth chills the fat will rise to the top and harden. Remove this hard fat with a spoon and return the broth to the stove and reheat and season to taste.
13. In separate pot boil  salted water for the bag of egg noodles of your choice.Follow directions for this on the bag.  Cook noodles and drain
14. Place 1 cup of noodles in a bowl and ladle in the hot broth with carrots and chicken.
15. Garnish with clipped fresh dill.
16. Enjoy your homemade soup with a salad and sliced french bread.

Homemade Lentil Soup

HomeMade Lentil Soup
1. 1 large yellow onion diced.
2.  6 carrots cleaned and diced.
3. 4 stalks of washed and diced celery
4. 1 chopped cloved garlic
5. 2T olive oil
6. 3  32oz. boxes of  "College Inn" beef,chicken or vegetable broth
7. 1 bag of lentils (Rinsed in a strainer)

Soup Construction:
1. In a large stock pot , heat oil over a medium heat.
2. Add chopped garlic.
3. Add diced onion,celery and carrots and cook--stirring until onion is clear.
4. Add stock slowly stirring bottom to loosen any ingredients and continue stirring all  together
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste,
6.Add cleaned, rinsed lentils and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.76. Serve with a salad and sliced french bread.  Enjoy!

You can add 1 ham steak or 1 package of canadian bacon Cut into bite size pieces BETWEEN steps 2 and 3.
This  makes the soup a heartier meal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bridal Registry 102---The Everyday Dishes

Get at least 12 settings!
This is something you will be using everyday and for casual dinner parties and buffets.
 Going WHITE is not a bad idea----  It can be mixed with virtually anything.  A floral mug, bowl, glass dishes, wooden salad bowls. the possibilities are endless.  If this is too plain for you, a nice neutral pottery feel is also very versatile.  If this is also too plain--select a color that works well long term--please NOT black! Traditional colors such as blues, greens will work. The whimsical "Fiestaware" or the more traditional "Blue Willow" patterns are longtime favorites ---Then you can add simple accessory items.
1.  A set of glass dishes goes a long way--they can be used for salad, desserts, glass bowls are great for ice cream and cereal.  The price point on glass is also very  favorable.
2. If you are big salad people--invest in some wooden salad bowls which add texture to the table settings and offer hefty salad portions.  Remember wood NEVER goes in the dishwasher.  It should be hand washed and dried immediately.
3. Oriental Shops have great Blue and White dishes and bowls that are inexpensive and can be added where needed.
4. If you are buying table settings try to get MUGS instead of cups and saucers.  UNLESS you are the "Proper Tea" person--- you will rarely use the cup and saucer. 
Not EVERYTHING has to be matched--a little mix up adds interest and makes for a GREAT table!

Crate and Barrel
Sur Le Table
William Sonoma
Pottery Barn