July 5, 2012

Shabby Kitchens

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Pinterest is my new favorite thing. Whenever I am looking for inspiration I get on my computer and  pull up pinterest. PINTREST HAS BECOME SUCH AN ADDICTION!

Today I went looking for shabby chic kitchen inspiration and as usual was not disappointed. Look at these gorgeous kitchens I found.

The first photo is from Shabby Chic White via Pinterest.The first thing that drew my attention was  how cozy and inviting this all white kitchen is. The natural wood flooring and white beadboard paneling bring  texture and warmth to the room.  I love the nontraditional open shelving. Not only is this a great way to display vintage collectibles, it also makes them more accessible. You all know what a big fan I am of using fabric skirting to hide unsightly appliances or anything else you want to keep hidden.

In this photo from media-cashe2 via Pinterest, a to die for farmhouse sink is calling my name. The combination of the unique elaborate upper glass door cabinets and the rustic two toned bottom cabinets are perfect together. I long for a kitchen island but it's not a possibility in my galley kitchen.

In this photo from the Ticking and Toile blog  a fabulous chandelier hanging over a distressed island brings vintage character to this otherwise modern kitchen.

April 8, 2012

Fabric Ideas for Patio

I decided to update my boring beige and green back patio with some more colorful fabrics and paint.  I didn't realize how expensive outdoor cushions were until I started pricing them. So I started looking at discount stores and fabric stores for some inexpensive alternatives .Trying to find coordinating fabrics from different stores and manufactures is not an easy task but I did find these prints with the same aqua color that I think go together well.  I found a yard of outdoor fabric  to cover the cushions on the 4 dining chairs, a small chair cushion  and a set of two larger ones for the price of 1 seat cushion in the high end stores.  I plan on using the blue's and green's from the cushions to paint the chairs and table.

Does anyone have any inexpensive and colorful  DIY projects I can incorporate into my patio makeover?

March 11, 2012

Another Great Use for Pallets - Small Space Pallet Garden

The upcoming arrival of Spring takes my thoughts from indoors to outdoors. I love to grow my own herbs and vegetables and am always looking for creative and attractive DIY ways to utilize as much available space as possible for gardening. This includes using attractive pots on my porches and deck, so I was thrilled to find this post at Apartment Therapy which repurposes a wooden pallet into a beautiful garden display perfect for any small outdoor space.

And who would have thought to turn old plastic storage tubs and trellises into a useful porch garden.

For more great "gardening without a garden" ideas like these check out the original post here.

February 17, 2012

Thrifty Finds

At a thrift store in downtown I found a vintage Daher tin for only .25 cents. As I love all things blue this little tin immediately caught my eye. Taking a closer look I saw it was stamped on the bottom.

Later I stopped at Ross and in the clearance section I found these terrific metal keys for  a $1.49.

I also found this cool mirrored soap dispenser also for only $1.49.

February 13, 2012

Chocolate Trufffles Recipe from The Nate Berkus Show

Classic Ganache Chocolate Truffles (Paul Young)
 Yield: 50 chocolates
The two key elements of a truffle are the ganache - an emulsion of melted chocolate and cream- and the tempered chocolate, which is used for coating the truffle.
9 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
First, chop the chocolate into small, even-sized pieces or use the small chocolate disks called pistols, which require no chopping, and place in a heat proof mixing bowl. Place the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. This will fully dissolve the sugar and kill any bacteria that may be present in the cream.
Turn off the heat and allow the cream to cool for 1 minute. (Pouring the cream onto the chocolate while boiling will scorch it and cause the cocoa butter in the chocolate to separate, resulting in a curdled ganache.) Now pour the rested cream over the chocolate pieces and mix well with a rubber spatula or whisk until smooth and very glossy.
Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature. Place it, covered, in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firmly set.
Rolling the truffles
Remove set ganache from the fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop even-sized pieces of the chocolate and place onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Powder your hands with cocoa powder, and then, using your fingers, begin to roll the ganache into evenly shaped spheres. Take care not to take too long over this as the ganache will begin to melt and become impossible to roll. Place the rolled truffles bake onto the parchment paper.
You can eat the truffles at this point, as they are dusted in cocoa powder, but I think a real truffle needs to have a crisp shell to protect it and to give a textural difference. To create this shell, you will need to coat your truffle in tempered chocolate. (If you are not eating the dusted truffles, place them in the fridge until needed.)


Paul's Venezuelan Chocolate Chile Chicken
Serves: 4
4 organic chicken thighs
4 organic chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
14 ½ ounce can tomatoes, chopped
3 fresh red chiles, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons dried pure ground ancho chile (or any other mild chiles, ground in a spice grinder)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
5 ½ ounces Venezuelan dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely torn cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a casserole dish over medium high heat, brown the chicken pieces in batches, and put on a plate. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Pour in the orange juice and zest and stir up the browned bits in the casserole. Add the tomatoes with their juices, fresh and dried chiles, coriander seeds, and sugar, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, lift out the chicken and stir the chocolate into the remaining sauce. Return the chicken to the casserole, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve with the sauce smothered over the chicken

Linking to:
Mod Vintage Life
A Bowl Full of Lemons