Tag Archives: kitchen

Steal or Splurge?

7 Jun

I’ve been eyeing this adorable fruit basket at Anthropologie for some time now.

I came very close to purchasing it a couple weeks ago, but the baby needed to be nursed and I got distracted and never went back to it.  But on a recent trip to Target, I wandered into the seasonal aisle and found a ridiculously similar product.  In book the Target version is superior for three reasons:

1.  It’s plastic.  I have three boys…enough said.  While the Anthro version is beautiful, it wouldn’t last a week at my house.  Although plastic, the Target fruit basket has all the same details, right down to the grainy surface that mimics the original, paper version.

2.  It’s crazy cheaper.  The Anthro basket will set you back $20.  At Target, not only will it only cost you $5, but you actually get two–small and large!

3.  You have about 4 summer time inspired colors to choose from.

Since it’s a seasonal item, you better run out and get yours right away!

Perfect Panels

20 May

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I am currently making my godmother some new curtains for her newly remodeled kitchen. The challenge was finding a great print, kind of modern, to add some bright color to the space.

I am making simple panels from 45″ wide fabric. Measure desired finished length. Add 4 1/8″ to length measurement and cut the fabric in a straight line. This part will be very easy if you have a rotary cutter and mat. These measurements will allow for the following seam allowances:

For the top, I folded over 1/2″ of the cut top edge and then folded over again to 2 3/4″.

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Sew first seam at 1 1/4″.

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Sew a parallel seam at 2 1/2″. This will leave 1 1/4″ for the standard curtain or cafe rod to fit. If you are using a larger curtain rod, adjust the measurements accordingly.

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For the bottom stitch, I folded over 1/4″ of the cut edge and then folded over again to 5/8″. Stitch 1/2″ seam.

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Since the salvage edges won’t fray, I only turned in the sides (salvege edges) about 5/8″ once. Stitch 1/2″ seam. Remember to stop at the curtain rod opening, you won’t want to sew that closed!

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This is a simple way to make your own curtain panels for your home.

Tea for Two?

9 May


I know the Royal Wedding has ended… Mother’s Day is over too.. but it is still Spring and the flowers are in bloom! It’s the perfect time for an English Garden Tea. As an annual tradition, we will be attending the Garden Tea at the Heritage House in Riverside, Ca on Sunday.

We are celebrating our anticipation with tea time posts this week! What would Tea Time be without scones!

I have a slight obsession with these tastey pastries! I made my scones with dried cranberries (un-sweetened) and orange zest! What are your favorite types of scones?

Yummly

28 Apr

I recently discovered this fantastic website…I love it so much I had to share it with everyone! The website is called Yummly. It’s a recipe search engine. I know what you are thinking.. just Google chicken recipes, or visit food network’s website or Martha Stewart’s website. Why should I check out this one? Why is this one so special?

A while ago, I tried a recipe out that I found for mint chocolate chip cookies. I searched on google for mint chocolate chip cookies using fresh mint. I don’t remember which site I got it from, it was posted online and I stumbled upon it. It was the only recipe I could find using fresh mint, that might have been my first red flag. Second red flag, no fresh mint cookie recipes on Food Network either. I made the cookies according to the recipe posted. Needless to say, it was a complete disaster! These cookies literally have me gagging at even the smell of mint! They were TERRIBLE!

The purpose of telling that story was to say finding legitimate recipes online via goggling is a nightmare. Searching through pages upon pages of results is annoying. Enter Yummly!

Yummly let’s you search, browse or discover recipes specifically to fit you! What a great idea! I can search recipes based on the food..then narrow my search by cuisine, my tastes, allergies, diet and more! It searches recipes from even the most reliable resources, such as real simple, food network, Martha and more… It is now my go to for new recipes! Check it out! I know you’ll bookmark it just as I did!

Terrific Tile

27 Apr

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about tile lately. I know that sounds extremely random to you, but I am a Certified Kitchen Designer…I get random questions about tile, cabinets, appliances and more everyday. I decided it might be a good idea to share my thoughts and tips on design every once in a while.

Tile can be an excellent way to add design and style to a bathroom or kitchen. It’s also a great opportunity to bring some color and/or texture to the party. Today, I thought I’d share kitchen backsplash ideas.

There are tons of different tiles on the market today. Tile has a wide price range and you can easily fall in love with a very expensive tile. I come across this problem quite often. I have a great tip though… By using an inexpensive field tile and creating a border or decorative inserts with the tile you love, you can save money, add some style and interest to your space! These are some examples of kitchen backsplashes I designed…

It’s important to plan your backsplash design. In cases where you add a border or other decorative trim, make sure that your outlets, switches and the covers will not interfere with your design. The same goes for a planned equal layout of decorative insert tiles, or a “mural” design.

Lastly, backsplash field tile should be no larger than a 6×6 tile. Remember that a standard backsplash, from countertop to bottom of the wall cabinets, is typically 18″ high and any tile larger than a 6×6 will require many cuts and can complicate a design if you chose to add inserts or borders. Personally, 4×4 tiles are a perfect size.

Surprising Summertime Sweets

25 Apr


This past weekend my husband schooled me in the kitchen for the second time this month. He says he’s going to be the Master Pie Maker in our house! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though…this is only his second pie and he baked the same kind each try. I must admit though… I was surprised he tackled the task of fruit pies in the first place.

Strawberries, so sweet and delicious. I love strawberries and am so thankful I didn’t get the family gene that’s allergic to them. I bought 2 large packages of strawberries from my local market on sale. They sat in the refrigerator for about a week. My husband doesn’t let anything go to waste in our house so he decided to make his first fruit pie! It turned out so good, I bought two more packages hoping for the same result…it worked!

Cool Coloring

23 Apr

Better hurry and color your eggs! Last night we finished ours. We tried a new tie-dye technique. Super cool! ….HAPPY EASTER!!!

Egg-cellent Leftovers

22 Apr

With Easter only days away, I’m already contemplating what to do with all the dyed, hard boiled eggs we will have. Of course coloring eggs is a must each Easter because the kids love it so much…but what do I do once the Easter bunny leaves them?

There are the tried and true recipes we can all fall back on. I’m sure each of us has our own version of deviled eggs, egg salad for sandwiches and our favorite homemade potato salad. All of these are great ways to use up the leftover colored eggs. I was thinking of something different…

My husband really likes what he calls a BLAT or what everyone else calls them, a BLTA. A delicious and simple bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich. I was thinking of trying a BELT sandwich. I will use my hard boiled eggs, sliced, with tomato, lettuce and bacon on toasted whole grain bread. This is a great option to have for lunch on Monday or any day following Easter Sunday!

If breakfast is more your thing, try sliced hard boiled eggs with a toasted English muffin, bacon, and cheese a la McDonald’s.

The Cheesecake Chronicles: Pumpkin Cheesecake

5 Nov

9:34pm: Okay so we at Whoopie Cookie decided to have a Pumpkin Cheesecake “Throwdown” (a la Bobby Flay on The Food Network). I was coming off a great cheesecake victory! My first ever and it was spectacular! Being that it’s Fall and the fact that I have a pumpkin food fetish, I decided to try cheesecake of the pumpkin variety.

The night started out great. I made the crust faster and with more confidence than the first time I battled cheesecake. I was feeling like a pro. In the oven it went and onto blending up the filling. Ugh… the filling. I let the cream cheese soften a little too much. It was kind of runny instead of creamy and I hadn’t even added the last ingredient, eggs. I decided to give it 5 minutes in the refrigerator to set… disaster averted. I returned the mixing bowl to my stand mixer, I was locked and loaded. Speed low, I added egg number one, threw away the shell… egg two next. Egg two cracked, into the mixing bowl…with half the shell that slipped its slimy way out! Oh no! I’m trying to stop the mixer before the shell was in a million pieces… but I turn the speed the wrong way- into hyper mode!! What the?!?! I finally got it stopped. I removed the bowl from the mixer and fished out the egg shell. Thankfully, it only broke into 2 halves. I stuck both hands in feeling for shell, I was a little happy to feel how silky smooth the filling was. I guess you call that the silver lining? I dodged, so far, two potential cheesecake disasters! I pour the mixture into the crust (now out of the oven). Perfection! I carry the tray gently to the oven and place it on the rack. I slide the tray and it gets stuck for a second… just enough time for the filling to cover the crust on the backside! (Insert expletive here…)! I shut the oven door and start to laugh… now I know what Julie Powell felt like while she was on her mission to complete the Julie/Julia Project! I know cheesecake is no Beef Bourguignon or boning a duck… to me, it feels pretty close! 35 minutes left until cooling time…

10:32pm: The cheese cake is out. I prepared the sour cream topping. I know it sounds gross, but it’s a mixture with sugar and vanilla so it’s actually good! I spread that on top and I have five more minutes until cooling time! By the way… it smell delicious! Who cares what it looks like, as long as it tastes good, right?

10:45pm: Waiting 45 minutes for cooling in the pan. If I can get past the removing of the springform side…

11:26pm: Only one more hour of cooling, now that the pan sides are off. Then I get to go to bed. It seems as though I may have pulled this off! Can’t wait to try a slice tomorrow… and Laura- if you are reading this- I am 99% sure I got all the egg-shell out! I’ll see you tonight! 😉

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