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Thursday Trends

Brass is back

Brass is back!

But it’s not your mom’s brass from the 90s. Think gorgeous, satiny luster. Think industrial, but warmer than the cool metal tones we’ve been seeing. It’s the “poor man’s gold.” Which for this girl on a budget, is music to the ears! I for one am beyond excited and can’t wait to start using it in my house. It seems to pair best with cool or neon colors. Think contrast.

What do you think of this new trend? Is it time for brass to have it’s moment again, or too soon?

1. Hammered Brass Plates, $40
2. Natural Brass Light Pendant, $195
3. Vintage Brass Table Lamp, $325
4. Libations Bar Cart, $599
5. Lily Candleholders, $24 – $29
6. Antique Brass Curio Case, $58

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Weekly Faves

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This DIY Anthropologie wreath, this Winter Sun Cocktail, these measuring spoons, and this peony bouquet.


Steamed Meyer Lemon Pudding with Treacle Sauce

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This dessert is good, ya’ll. I mean, eat one and then go back for another good. This was the dessert that went with my English-themed dinner in honor of the season premier of Downton Abbey. This dessert is perfect, because it’s pretty easy, but looks super impressive.

Cooking the individual puddings in a water bath makes these have a deliciously spongy texture, and the syrup that you line the ramekins with creates an amazing layer of smooth lemon curd on top of the inverted pudding. Plus, the “treacle sauce” is made like magic during the steaming process and trickles down over the pudding as soon as you invert it on your plate. It has such a light lemon flavor, and paired with fresh berries is so amazing it would even have cheered up Edith after being jilted at the alter.

I found this recipe at cookingchanneltv.com, and stayed pretty true to the recipe, besides changing the lemons to Meyer lemons for something extra special, and using light corn syrup in place of the golden syrup they call for. These can be eaten warm (the preferred method), or cold (my hubby’s preference).

Steamed Meyer Lemon Pudding with Treacle Sauce

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter, at room-temperature, for greasing the ramekins
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 3 lemons), plus 2 teaspoons zest
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Fresh berries, such as blackberries or raspberries, for serving
Special equipment: Six 6-ounce ramekins

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the ramekins with the butter and place in a roasting pan.

Whisk together the corn syrup and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice in a small bowl, and then divide evenly among the six ramekins.

Whisk together the lemon zest, sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Stir in the milk and flour, alternating 3 times (ending with the flour), and then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks in a separate bowl, and then gently fold the them into the batter using a rubber spatula until just combined.

Pour the batter into the ramekins, filling them up to about 1/4 inch from the top since they will rise quite a bit in the oven. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until about halfway up the sides of the ramekins, making sure not to get any water in the ramekins themselves. Bake until the cakes have puffed up and turn light brown on top, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let the ramekins sit in the water for about 10 minutes before carefully removing them.

Place a small plate on top of a ramekin and turn upside down to release the cake. If the cake does not naturally let go of the ramekin, run a knife along the sides of the it and try again. Garnish with some fresh berries and whipped cream.


New year, new motivation

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Happy New Year everyone! It’s hard to believe that we are almost 2 weeks into 2014 already. One of my resolutions is to be more diligent with posting to my little blog here. I appreciate each and every one of you who follow me, and I want to bring you more and more exciting recipes and posts.

I may have not mentioned this before, but I am a huge Downton Abbey fan. The new season kicked off here in the U.S. last weekend, and to celebrate I made an English dinner! Shepherd’s Pie was the main attraction, followed by a delicious dessert of steamed lemon pudding. The new season looks to be just as great as the previous three have been!

I found a yummy looking recipe on allrecipes.com, and pretty much followed it exactly, although I did omit the mushrooms and added a bit of the thyme to the mashed potato topping. Enjoy!

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients
3 large potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1 large carrot, shredded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, plus another 1/4 teaspoon for potatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop the potatoes into quarters and boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until fork-tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Stir in the turkey, carrots, parsley, thyme, garlic and chicken bouillon powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until turkey is broken up and fully cooked through. Drain, and stir in the flour.

Transfer the turkey mixture to a buttered, deep casserole dish. By this time, the potatoes should be done. Strain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with butter, milk and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mashed potatoes over the turkey mixture in the casserole dish and swirl with a fork to barely mix the potatoes and meat mixture.

Cook for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned.


Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

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This salad is pretty scrumptious. The roasted butternut squash pairs beautifully with the cider dressing and the pomegranate seeds. Tart, tangy, sweet and nutty, this salad is a burst of flavor, and perfect for capturing the flavors of fall. Slightly modified from an Ina Garten recipe, I will be eating this salad over and over the next few months!

Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider dressing

Ingredients
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula (or mixed baby greens if none is available), washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the greens in a large salad bowl and add the roasted butternut squash, the walnuts, the pomegranate seeds and the grated Parmesan. Spoon 3 tablespoons vinaigrette over the salad, or just enough to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Husband-approved banana pudding

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Everyone, my hubby is a banana pudding connoisseur. He has tried lots of versions of banana pudding in his life, and takes this seriously! With this in mind, I scoured the web for an amazing sounding pudding, and finally found it! The pudding turned out amazingly thick and creamy, and the hubby pronounced it the best he’s ever had! Now, I have a confession. The original recipe from Just a Taste called for a delicious sounding caramel sauce, however my first attempt at caramel was not successful. I have since been googling “how to remove burnt caramel from a pan”……

This should not discourage you, however, and I hope you try it! So here’s the recipe for the pudding, sans caramel sauce!

Husband-approved Banana Pudding

Ingredients
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (3.4 oz) box instant banana pudding
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cold heavy cream
6 large bananas, sliced
1 box Nilla Wafers

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and the vanilla and banana pudding mixes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese (it’s very important that it’s softened, or else you will have lumps of cream cheese in the finished pudding).

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently combine this with the cream cheese mixture. Once combined, gently mix with the pudding mixture until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, place a layer of Nilla Wafers on the bottom of a serving dish (or use individual mason jars). Top with pudding, then top with the sliced bananas. Optionally, you can crush the remaining Nilla Wafers and sprinkle on top of the pudding, then top with sliced bananas.


Getting ready for Thanksgiving

 

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It’s been crazy here lately! New job, new car, and several home projects ticked off of the list. I can’t tell you how happy I am that the holidays are literally right around the corner, and we can spend time with family and friends. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I did a “dry run” of some of this dishes I’m thinking about trying. Up first, is Sage and Garlic Chicken with a Pomegranate Pepper Sauce, adapted slightly from the blog, In Sock Monkey Slippers! Can I just say, “yum?” This chicken was incredibly moist, tangy, with just a hint of sweetness from the pomegranate. My hubby liked it so much, he went back for thirds! Coming up later this week, Banana Pudding and Butternut Squash salad with Cider Dressing. Stay tuned!

Sage and Garlic Chicken with Pomegranate Pepper Sauce

Ingredients
4  pound fryer chicken
1 Tablespoons dried sage, plus 1 teaspoon for glaze
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 Tablespoons softened butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine the butter, sage, garlic, and salt in a bowl and mix well until combined. Rub the butter over the entire chicken including the cavity and underneath the skin.

Truss the chicken and place in a roasting pan surrounded by winter squash or other vegetables. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until chicken reaches 165°F.

While the chicken is roasting, pour the pomegranate juice in a sauce pot and add pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the juice has reduced by a little over half and formed a syrup, about 15 minutes. Leave over very low heat until chicken is finished.

Spoon half the glaze over the chicken when it’s removed from the oven. Reserve the rest of the glaze for serving. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with pomegranate seeds for garnish.

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