Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Foodie Files

The warmer it gets, the more I crave simple fact, anything with more than a handful of ingredients all of a sudden feels cumbersome rather than complex.  It's a phase to be sure but it's kind of a refreshing one.  To that end, I decided to post two very basic "recipes" in lieu of one demanding one for today's Foodie Files.  They're more ideas for your back pocked than anything else but I hope they hit the spot!

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream:
Slice peaches in half and remove the pits.  Grease your grill (full disclosure: I just used my George Foreman) with a touch of butter and place peaches face down.  Grill for about 5 minutes or until warmed throughout, then top with a scoop of delicious vanilla ice cream.  Side note: I picked up the peach pictured below from The Peach Truck, Nashville's roving Georgia peach distributor.  I kid you not, their peaches are the best I've ever had in my life.  Seriously.  Bar none.  We were delighted to have them set up shop at Nicole Marie Salon and Spa today and we're hoping to have them back soon!  Nashville friends: make sure you're following us on Twitter (@designmuseblog & @NMSalonSpa) so you don't miss their next visit.

Infused Water:
This isn't my first go-round with infused water (click here for proof), but it's by and large my most refreshing concoction yet.  I made a giant batch for the shop today with 4 cucumbers, 8 lemons, 8 limes and a handful of mint leaves, though unless you're making it for a small army I'd recommend scaling it down.  Make a note: this one's a thirst quencher to be sure!  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

I adore this dress for two simple reasons...1) it's from Zara, one of the few 'can do little to no wrong' stores in my life and 2) it reminds me of a (non-Zara) dress I have and wear as often as possible.  This color doesn't suit everyone but if there's ever a time it's gonna work, it's summer (thank you tan skin).  Marrying chic and comfortable can be a tricky endeavor, but outfits like this make it look effortless.  

1. Long Dress, Zara $59.99  2. Onyx Necklace, Saint Laurent $3,450  3. Nail Foundation, HIPP x RGB$18  4. Flamenco 36 Shoulder Bag, Loewe $2,600  5. Dottie Wedge Sandals, Diane von Furstenberg $228
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Get It Together: Copper Casual

1. Wireframe Trays, Cooperativa Panoramica  2.  Turned Wood Candleholder, Serena & Lily $158  3. Desert Sand Pouf, Zinc Door $248  4. Wiley Industrial Cord Pendant, West Elm $216  5. Harbour Cane Bed, Serena & Lily $1,095  6. Vintage Suzani Textile, Jayson Home $795
Monday, June 24, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013

Working For The Weekend

I've got a touch of a bittersweet thing going on at the moment.  My BFF and her husband are putting on their fourth annual Rendezvous Conference in Miami and it's the first one I've ever missed!  Such a bummer, right?  At the same time, I'm quite psyched about the work-related activities I've scheduled for this weekend so the silver lining is 1) at least I'm not missing out in vain and 2) how many people can actually even say that with a straight face?  Not many I imagine.  Have such a wonderful, restful couple of days and let's catch up Monday.  Enjoy the links!

Um, this is gorgeous.


This would make a great gift.

Awesome idea...

The unlikely item on my "to buy" list.

This is how you age.

A good word.

As always, so proud of these guys!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Foodie Files

I'm not quite sure what to call this week's recipe...banana brownies?  Banana bars?  Banana squares, perhaps?  All I know is it's quite good.  If you like banana bread, you'll love this.  I found the recipe here, bought a couple bananas and waited for what felt like weeks for them to ripen.  I can say with confidence that the deliciousness was worth the wait.  Give them a try and don't miss out on the frosting!  I'm a cake girl myself but I'll tell you what, this brown butter frosting is killer.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBS milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9" x 13" cake pan.  In a large bowl, beat together sugar, Greek yogurt, butter, and eggs until creamy.

Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.  Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. 

Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown (I let the residual heat finish .  Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming.  Whisk until delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.

Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk.  Whisk together until smooth. 

Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting (the frosting will be easier to spread while still warm).  

Cut, serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

Today's Mirror, Mirror is an interesting take on a beautiful summer suit.  I've been on a monochromatic kick for quite awhile now and I can't even apologize for it.  Admit it, that's gorgeous!

1. Checkered Brocade Top, Matches Fashion $481  2. Check Brocade Trousers, Matches Fashion $554  3. Shannon Crossbody Bag, Uncovet  4. Edith Jeweled Cuff, J. Crew $178  5. Primary Aztec Drops, Bauble Bar $32  6. Love Potion Rose Gold Heels, ThreadSence $42
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Get It Together: Modern Nautical

1. Navy Blue Pillow, Artedona $58  2. Scoppio Sphere, Z Gallerie $24.95  3. Conran Lucina Table Lamp, Keep $175  4. Giron Iron & Leather Dining Chair, ABC Carpet & Home $595  5. Boston Blanket, Artedona $289.58  6. Clem Table, Jayson Home $695
Monday, June 17, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Foodie Files

I think I'd like to dedicate this summer to trying new on being a little braver and a little more wonder-filled (not to be confused with wonder-ful, though that would be acceptable outcome as well).  To that end, I tried two mostly unrelated but equally delightful activities this week: scuba diving lessons and pan searing scallops.  The scuba diving turned out to be way scarier than I was anticipating (though I'm so glad I did it and would love to do it again) and the scallops ended up being way easier than I expected, which was a great surprise.  The recipe below is a variation of this one from Fine Cooking and I couldn't possibly overstate how delicious it is!  If you're not sure about scallops might I suggest 1) joining me in my summer of trying new things and/or 2) Making this sauce for a white fish of some is so, so good!

1 lb. large sea scallops
1 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
3 TBS unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
2 TBS finely diced shallot (1 medium shallot)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 lemon wedges for serving

Rinse scallops under cold water and pat with paper towels...surface moisture will mess with the browning process so make sure they're nice and dry.  Heat a large pan over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the oil and butter and heat until quite hot.  Pat the scallops dry once more and put them in the pan in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and let sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes.

Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is well browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat, transfer the scallops to a plate, and set them in a warm spot.  Let the pan cool for a minute before you make the sauce.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add a piece of the butter (1/2 TBS) and the shallots and sauté until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half, another 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the herbs and lemon zest.  Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until the butter melts into the sauce.

Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Gently roll the scallops in the sauce to warm them through. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the scallops.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

How lovely is this shirt?  I think I'd probably wear it with everything in my closet all summer long...dress it down with jeans, dress it up with sequins- this shirt can handle it all.  I paired it with a few ladylike pieces in this particular ensemble...a brightly colored sleeveless button down underneath and a pair of nude heels would look great, too!

1. Gold Mesh Choker, Refinery 29 Shops $58  2. Toulouse Floral, J. Crew $398  3. Big Apple Tote, Marc Jacobs $2,895  4. Stretch Crepe Skirt, Net-A-Porter $595  5. Elisha Pump, Badgley Mischka $109.97

All Set: A Tuscan Summer

Few things delight me as much as a well set table so I was thrilled my Mom put this gem together...the color palate brings the warm tones of Tuscany to mind and the sweets she featured look heavenly.  We picked up these plates at an antique show about a year ago and have been itching to use them ever since.  There's nothing quite like a good vintage find!  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Get It Together: Modern Marvel

1. Aura Pendant Lights, Design Within Reach $345  2. Soundwave Plate, CB2 $4.95  3. Pascal Red Shell Chair, Overstock $149.39  4. Potted Moss, Crate and Barrel $10.95  5. Eco Big Dots Blanket, Zinc Door $150
Monday, June 10, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013

Working For The Weekend

It's possible that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.  In fact, that definitely happened.  But somewhere around my second cup of coffee things starting looking up...maybe it was the coffee itself (the power of coffee is remarkable) but my money is on the gang that delivered it (my brother and cousins).  At any rate, there's nothing like coming out of a pointless bad mood to make you realize how ridiculous your bad mood was in the first place.  There are so many delightful things to be thankful for and I've all of a sudden found myself acutely aware of them.  It's nice.  Here's hoping your weekend is filled with gratitude and smiles (and maybe a pool...I don't know about you but I'm currently on the hunt for one to lounge by).  Enjoy the links!

This is terrific news!

Hmm...worth a look-see.

I know it's ridiculous but I just want it, okay?

Crafting and kids and pasta...I love all these things.

My roommate just found this online.  So adorable, right?

Worth noting I suppose.

Guys!  This is real!  I saw it work and it blew my mind.

You've gotta love a good collaboration.
Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Foodie Files

While this beer battered asparagus recipe may not be the healthiest way to enjoy your veggies, it's a fun and delicious way and there's something to be said for that.  Even though I'm not much of a beer drinker (excepting only my Dad's brews), I've always loved a good beer batter.  I used a Newcastle Brown Ale and loved it, though I'm sure a variety of other beer would've worked as well (though might I suggest the "don't cook with alcohol you wouldn't drink" guideline applies).  Enjoy!

1 cup flour
1 lemon, zested
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beer
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
Vegetable oil, for frying

Heat the oil to 375 degrees (I just bought a frying thermometer so I was pumped to christen it...if you don't have one just set your flame to medium high and wait for the oil to should take about 4-5 minutes).

Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Then whisk in the beer.  Dip asparagus into the batter a few at a time. 

Cover completely, shake off excess batter and place in the oil to fry.  After about a minute remove each stalk, dip it in the batter a second time and place back in the oil.  Fry until golden brown.

 Line a cookie sheet or sturdy plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Serve immediately or place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

Crazy as it may be, I'm obsessed with this flower crown.  Just nuts about it!  Instead of styling it to compliment a hippie vibe, I went simple and chic...there's no reason to introduce another element that competes for attention.  A bold, red lip and an interesting braid would complete the look...and sure, folks will stare but that's the price you pay to not be boring :).  

1. Black Midi Dress, Miss Selfridge $34  2. Oversize Flower Aliceband, Topshop $28  3. Jules Smith Americana Choker, Shopbop $98  4. Liberty Leather Shopper, Victoria Beckham $1,350  5. Caged Metallic Single Sole Pump, Charlotte Russe $28.50
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Get It Together: Arizona Sun

1. Gabby Sabrina Chandelier, Candelabra, Inc. $697.50  2. Apothecary Candles, Jayson Home $36  3. Primitive Copper Turkish Hammam Bowl, Imogene + Willie $65  4. Midnight Mohair Throw, Serena & Lily $250  5. Succulent Arrangement, Target  6. Surya Heritage Orange Pouf, Zinc Door $303  7. Milo Baughman Sofa, 1stDibs
Monday, June 3, 2013