Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Antique Farm Apparatus as Art

A few weeks ago I was at an Antique Market in Ann Arbor.  There is a vendor who deals in industrial and agrarian implements to display as art.  I have been looking for something 3D to display on the stair wall.  I found these rusted, spoked, parts of machinery that were perfect for the wall.  
I used construction paper models taped to the wall to decided where to display the 5 pieces.  Then I went to Home Depot looking for a way to hang them.  I found these great hangers that are made for drywall that you just poke into the wall with your hands.  
Click on the instructions photo to see how it works.
Here is a photo of the installed "art".  I'll be going to the Antique Market in September to see what I can find to add to the wall.  I'm also thinking I need new sconces!  

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bruschetta with Rosemary, Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Prosciutto

I saw this recipe in the August issue of Bon Appetit 
and just had to try it.

Start by roasting tomatoes
Brush baguette slices with the tomato marinade and then toast.
Top toasted breads with ricotta and thinly sliced prosciutto.

Finish with a topping of roasted tomatoes.  
(I opted to leave off the microgreens since I was serving the bruschetta with a caesar salad)

This was incredibly delicious.  I loved the creamy ricotta as opposed to a fresh mozzarella.  Hubby and I agreed that we could have eliminated the prosciutto as well since the roasted tomatoes have such an intense flavor, amplified by the sweet and creamy ricotta topping the crispy toasts. 

  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 large plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), quartered lengthwise

  • 12 1/2-inch-thick diagonally cut baguette slices (each 3 to 4 inches long)

  • 12 tablespoons ricotta cheese, divided

  • 6 thin prosciutto slices, cut in half crosswise

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 cup microgreens or baby arugula

  • Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir 6 tablespoons oil, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Add tomato quarters and stir to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lift tomatoes from marinade and arrange, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet (reserve marinade for toasts).
    Roast tomatoes until skin is browned and blistered and tomatoes are very tender, about 35 minutes. Cool tomatoes on sheet. Maintain oven temperature.
    Meanwhile, arrange bread slices on another rimmed baking sheet. Brush top of each with reserved marinade (including garlic and rosemary bits).
    Roast bread until top is golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool toasts on sheet.
    Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese on each toast; sprinkle with pepper. Fold prosciutto halves over and place on ricotta. Arrange 2 tomato quarters atop prosciutto. Whisk lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon oil in medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add microgreens and toss to coat. Top bruschetta with microgreens. Arrange on platter and serve.

  • Friday, August 27, 2010

    Grilling Inspiration

    Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times
    Seems like I've grilled everything except butter and ice cream and about now I could use some inspiration.  
    Mark Bittman, known as "The Minimalist" has 101 Fast Recipes For Grilling.  In these brief and easy recipes, Mark covers fruit, vegetables, bread, tofu, meat, fowl and fish.  How about a grilled salad or grilled guacamole?  Here's are some examples:

    21. Waldorf salad revisited, sort of: Grill cut apples until browned but not mushy; grill chunks of Napa or savoy cabbage, also left crisp; grill halved red onion. Chop or shred all together with blue cheese, walnuts and a little yogurt.
    37. Moist grilled chicken breast? Yes: Pound chicken breast thin, top with chopped tomato, basil and Parmesan; roll and skewer and grill over not-high heat until just done.

    Click here for the NYTimes article with recipes and grill an inspired dinner this weekend.  

    Enjoy your weekend.  

    I'm taking our puppy, Sydney, on a Paw Walk to raise funds for a dog park.  Some other fun stuff too. See you on Monday.  

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Poketo at Target

    I was shopping at Target the other day and came across designs by Poketo.
    Laptop Sleeve  $19.99
     Founded by Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, Poketo is a limited edition designer of art products, accessories, apparel and decor.  The products are fun and accessible.  They take "art off the gallery walls and makes them part of your everyday life".  Well, their products are certainly fun and are VERY affordable.  

    Dots Card-Wallet  $9.99
    Stripes Tote in a Tote Bag  $12.99
    Trees Water Bottle  $12.99
    Abstract Tech Pouch  $9.99  Great camera case!
    Bears Umbrella  $12.99

    Gems 3-in-1 Pouches $14.99

    Look for Poketo next time you are at Target.  They are only available for a limited time.  

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Spa Details

    A new Salon & Spa opened in my community and I treated myself to a mani/pedi this past weekend.  Not only were the treatments a "treat", the ambiance was as well.

    ASHKA Spa
    The "Nail" room was decorated in soft mauve and silver.  I love the mirrored manicure tables.
    In Ashka's mission statement, they assert that they are committed to environmental responsibility.  Abiding by that commitment, the decor of the "nail" room is shoes.  The owners took old shoes and boots and adorned them with fanciful embellishment and then spray painted the completed shoe with a metallic paint and then displayed them on glass shelves on the walls.  The finished product is delightful and girlie.  Well done Ashka!  

    Wouldn't that shoe idea be fun for table decorations for a shower or fundraiser?

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Saving Peppers

    Blessed with a bounty of beautiful jalapeno peppers, I decided to roast the peppers and preserve them for months when I won't be able to harvest fresh peppers.
    After roasting the peppers thoroughly, I placed them in a paper bag to steam.

    It was then very easy to remove the skin, split open and remove the seeds and ribs.

    I chose to preserve the pepper in olive oil as opposed to freezing them.  I'll be able to incorporate the preserved peppers into chili, soups and stews or add to an antipasto salad.  You can use this method with bell peppers and other varieties of peppers as well.  Freezing the roasted peppers is an equally fine method of preserving.  

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Sweet on Stripes

    I'm not what you'd call, "whimsical".  The closest I get to a print is paisley.  I do, however, love stripes.  I'm wearing a striped shirt as I write this!
    As I make purchases for the house or myself, I see if I can find the item in a color or stripes.  You're going to brush your teeth anyway, why not reach for a colorful, striped toothbrush.  It will make you smile inside (and out!).  Striped Toothbrush $4.99 edentalstuff

    Utilitarian Stripes

    1 Canvas Ice Cooler $27.50 amazon.com  2 Hammer $26 Alice Supple Co  3 Ironing Board Cover $24 CityChicCountryMouse Etsy

    Personal Stripes
    1 Thoughts Textured Journal $8 Anthropologie  2 Striped Cosmetic Case $70 Kate Spade 3 Ray Ban Rare Prints $130.50 Frames Direct  4 Striped Tokyo Tote $39 RibandHull Etsy  5 Stripe Canvas Zipper Pouch $10 Erickuo Etsy

    Storage Stripes

    1 Box with lid set of 3 $16.99 Ikea  2 Box with lid pack of 2 $7.99 Ikea

    Kitchen Stripes
    1 Phuzion Series Sushi or Cheese Tray $170. Uncommon Goods  2 Mixed Stripe Placemats and Runners $16.50- $46 The Open Room  3 Green Striped Glasses $14 MollysCloset Etsy  4 Tray $3.99 Ikea 5 Painter's Stripe Pitcher $68 Anthropologie  6 Striped Covered Jar $12.99 Target

    Decor Stripes
    1 Porcelain Striped Table Lamp $215. Shades of Light  2 Striped Shower Curtain $28 Garnet Hill 3 Three-strip Towels $16-$36 Ballard Designs  4 Free Bird Floor Lamp $525 Uncommon Goods

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Mandalyzing: Featured on Today's Post

    What a nice honor to be featured on the blog, MANDALYZING 

    Amanda recently purchase some of my hammered silver bangles and blogged about them today.  You can check it out here.  Thanks Amanda!

    Jalapeno Poppers

    What to do with a plentitude of jalapeno peppers?
    The garden is producing jalapenos faster than I can use them.  I decided to try Jalapeno Poppers, a popular appetizer/bar food.  
    The peppers are sliced in half with seeds and ribs removed.  Pepper halves are then stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and Monterrey jack cheese.  

    The pepper halve are dredged in flour, then egg mixture and finally panko.  Rather than frying, these poppers are baked, saving many fat calories.  The panko makes a nice, crispy crust.  

    These pepper poppers were delicious and I'll make them again, and probably soon since I still have lots of peppers!  Click here for the recipe.  

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    PixyMe: iPhone and iPod Touch app

    I just have to share my new favorite app.  PixyMe is an application that enables you to send and electronic card or make a printed postcard and have it mailed.  Here are some examples of the PixyMe images (I added the text), or upload your own photo and personalize it with a PixyMe frame.  
     From the Celebrate category
    From the Food category

    A Love image

    Travel image and Holiday image

    From the Nature category

    Sports image used as invitation to Super Bowl Party

    This image is one of my photos with a PixyMe frame.

    This stamp image is on the "back" of the electronic postcard on the address side and your message is on the left, just like a real postcard.  If you choose to have the card printed and mailed, a real stamp is used.  Printing and mailing a card is $1.99.  Emails are free with the initial $1.99 app fee.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    One Thing Leads to Another

    We've had Sydney for three weeks and she is showing great promise as a Leader Dog.  She has been on many public outings and remains under control and calm.  She is learning to obey commands and is mostly house broken.  Following Leader Dog requirements, we needed to acquire a crate for Sydney.  Which led to ...
    ... reworking the mudroom.
    Custom laminate counter top mounted on adjustable Ikea table legs and an Ikea shelf with drawers and charging station from Target clearance.  Which led to ...
    ...adding shelves in the coat closet for bins to hold the mittens, scarves, and hats.  Add to that a bin for boots and a bin for dog food.  
    All the closets in the condo were unpainted and pathetic.  
    Which led to ...
    ... painting all the closets in the condo and installing ClosetMaid shelving systems.

    Closet space is maximized for our personal paraphernalia leaving space for guests belongings. 

    And that is what we did on our summer vacation.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010


    I saw this great watch in Elle magazine today.  The face is Pantone color chips.  I thought it would be fun to check out other Pantone influenced products.

    Pantone is a standardized color matching system.   

                                You can read about it by clicking here.

    I saw these Pantone mugs at a museum gift shop.  
    The mugs are $12 each and come in many colors.  There are also espresso mugs and tea mugs.  Click here to view the options.
    How about a Pantone memo pad for back to school supplies?  
    Wire Ring Memo A6 $17.50  Available in 7 colors

    Carry your favorite Pantone color chip with you as a key ring.
    Sonia Spencer Designs Keyring- Turquoise  $45.

    Choose your color and have a seat!  Pantone folding chair.

    Coin purse $18

    Luggage Tag $15
    Love Color


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