PARIS TEXAS

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My posting inconsistency can be completely attributed to my busy schedule and a bit of creative burnout.  On the upside there are plenty of events from now until the new year to keep me on my toes and hopefully spark my muchness back into existence. Two weekends ago Eloy and I started our social engagement tour with a quick turn through Seattle for a fall wedding. We snapped a few on-the-go shots of the newest shirt of Eloy’s printing press with luxe vintage fur collar outside my sister’s Capitol Hill apartment.  Seattle’s overcast weather begs for a sleek black outfit and boots, something Angelinos can only dream about wearing at the moment with our 80 degree days. It was nice to experience rain and bundle up for a couple days, plus it gave me an opportunity to use  my cuddly fur collar that I love.  I found the collar at a thrift store a couple years ago and it quickly became my go-to winter accessory. I have mixed feelings on fur both real and faux but there is one thing I am sure of, what is done is done and vintage furs should be used. This fur collar has pins on the reverse so that it can be attached to coats or sweaters.  It can elevate a casual outfit while adding comfort, interest, and warmth with minimal effort.
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ALL TREAT, NO TRICKS

IMG_4086It wouldn’t feel like Halloween without a special treat! I decided to whip up some ice cream sandwiches with some Halloween flare for my office potluck today.  Funfetti sugar cookies and pumpkin ice cream where sure to delight.  Easy to make and lactose free as an added bonus… I am so please with how these little cuties turned out!  Here’s how I did it:

What you need:

Ice Cream: 30 oz. full fat coconut milk, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup real maple syrup, 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 oz Rumchata

Cookies: 1 cup softened butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 egg, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 2 3/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1/8 cup sprinkles

What to do:

Ice Cream: Mix all ingredients for ice cream, except rumchata, and add to ice cream maker. Let churn for 15 min and then add Rumchata and churn until soft serve consistency. Line large ( 11×17 works well) Pyrex baking dish with wax paper, pour in ice cream and spread evenly. Let set in freezer until hard enough to cut shapes out with biscuit cutter.

Cookies:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together in mixer and then add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to mixer gradually until all the flour mixture is well integrated. Add sprinkles.  Separate dough in to two large balls. Roll out each ball about 4mm thick and cut out cookies with a biscuit cutter (same size that the ice cream will be cut with). Place cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with coloured sugar. Bake for 6 min. Let cool 10 min transfer to rack with spatula.

Finishing: Allow cookies to cool completely before building sandwiches and make sure ice cream is at a good temperature for cutting.  Cut out ice cream disks one at a time and build each sandwich individually wrapping it in wax paper with a string.  Place all sandwiches in the freezer to set and remove for 10-15 min before serving.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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breakfast-lunch-dinner

IMG_4060When it comes to cooking at home the biggest hurdle can be deciding where to start. What type of protein? What side dish? Seasonings? The endless possibilities can leave one spoiled for choice and a bit lost. I like collecting meal ideas that are suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that when I can’t think of what I want to cook I can pull something from the archives.  Here is a little something simple I made for Saturday’s lunch that can work for any meal and is healthy as well!! The whole thing throws together fairly quickly which is good when hanger has already set in.  I cook for two so the recipe below is enough for a pair of portions.

What you need:

2 eggs, 1/2 pound uncured turkey bacon, 1 jalapeno, 1/2 medium yellow onion, 1 roma tomato, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 avocado, 2 organic hand made tortillas(sorry to be snobby here but they taste the best), 2 cups arugula or rocket greens, 1 lemon, 2 tbsps veggie oil, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)

What to do:

Chop the turkey bacon, onion, and tomato finely,  and mince the garlic and jalapeno. Saute the bacon and vegetables with the veggie oil in a skillet until the onions begin to turn translucent then move to one side of the skillet and begin toasting the tortillas. While sauteing the bacon-veggie mix, poach the eggs to your desired consistency. I use silicone poaching pods from Crate and Barrel… They are a godsend. The whole poaching process takes less water and definitely less effort. Squeeze half of the lemon over the greens and toss then split them between the two plates. Plate the main dish tortilla first with the bacon and veggies on top. Sprinkle cheese if desired and lay the poached egg over the tortilla and sauteed mix. Slice the avocado and place it next to the egg. Squeeze the other lemon half over the two plates and finish by lightly seasoning with salt and pepper.

There you have it! A low fat and healthy yet satisfying meal you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Whip it up and enjoy!
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A lesson in ana-TEA-my

tableIt’s been over  a week since Tina and I hosted our lovely ladies tea.  Tina stopped by the other night with the sweetest gift, a book on vintage tea parties!!! Amazing. Didn’t I say I couldn’t ask for a better neighbor? Looking at the book got me thinking… Tina and I put so much thought and research into our party and I should share it.   Though we weren’t completely traditional, we tried to hit the important points. Here is a break down of what we served/ did to make our afternoon tea party a success…

To Serve:

We were lucky that Tina had the perfect amount of vintage China cup/saucer/plate combos to serve our six guests and ourselves. Using a mixed set of China is brilliant. It not only adds interest to the overall appearance of the tea, but it helps in determining which cup and plate are yours.  For the rest of the serve wear I pulled out all my wedding gift goodies.  I feel when setting the table for tea its nice to create different levels with tiered trays and pedestals for visual interest. I used cloth napkins Eloy printed for our wedding and our gold flatware from West Elm.  I also was able to use some vintage silver pieces i have including a silver tea pot given to me by my mom. The only thing I felt was missing were some demitasse spoons… I will have to hunt for them for next time.

To Drink:

It all starts with tea, obviously. It is nice to have a variety so that everyone’s taste is suited. Tradition says that Earl Grey and English breakfast are most popular but we took a departure here. We served two loose leaf green teas, and two individual serve teas.  The individuals were a berry blend and a coconut chai. We served our tea with an option of milk and sugar, honey and lemon are for when you are sick so none of that. In addition to tea bubbles are nice and get the conversation flowing.  Also having a beverage server on hand with a bit of water with lemon is nice for staying hydrated.

To Eat:

Here is where Tina and I excel! Food! And we had no shortage of it.  As far as I can tell, the key with tea time food is to have a wide variety of sweet and savory nibbles.  Eating small treats is more lady like and you get to taste more when the bites are small.  Here is what we had on our menu:.

Savory: Cucumber with Chive Butter Tea Sandwiches, Locks and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Openfaced Curry Chicken Sandwiches with Apricot Chutney, Fig and Olive Crackers with Goat Cheese, Mushroom Popovers

Sweet: Matcha Tea with Guava Petit Fours, Almond with Berry Petit Fours, Lavender Scones, Lemon Ginger Scones, Lemon Curd Tarts, Salted Browned Butter Shortbreads, Chocolate Mousse, Berries and, of course, Spotted Dick(pudding) with Custard

If you are not a chef or the baking type never fear!!! Trader Joes and other super markets have small sweets and appetizers for entertaining that will definitely do the trick! Try going to a local bakery and seeing if they can put together a variety of small treats for a bargain.

Floral:

To me a vary important part of Tea is floral.  Small, low, and dainty floral arrangements make for a pretty and colourful table.  The day before our tea I made my way to the flower district to pick up some buds for our table. I stayed away from pastel flowers since our tea was a fall tea.  I also looked for interesting and different flowers on special.  I was able to get five bundles for just over $20 that I made one larger tall , two large short , one medium short, and three small short arrangements out of while still leaving enough to add a few accents to the serving trays and decorating the petit fours. When picking your blooms, go for the unexpected and pair it back to something a little traditional.  I liked how the bright fuchsia gypsies looked with the yellow tea roses. Also picking flowers that are on the petit side help to keep the arrangements small and dainty.

Hopefully that’s enough info to get you started on hosting your own tea!!! Happy planning!!
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