Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Peaches of the Season

I found a recipe that I had set aside so that I would be sure to make it before the end of peach season.  Lucky that I ran across it early this week as I was in possession of the last fresh Michigan peaches of the season.  The recipe is from the NY Times and is titled, Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler/Cake.  (substitute peaches for nectarines)   This is NOT a pretty dessert.  It isn't a cake to cut and serve on a beautiful plate.  It isn't juicy like a crisp or crumble.  This is a dessert to be served in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream and a cup of coffee or tea.  It is a dessert you will want to eat for breakfast too.  The sweet in this dessert is from the fruit and it is not overwhelming.  What is characteristic about this cake is the nutty, buttery richness that comes from "browning" the butter.  

The assembly of the dessert is strange.  Butter is melted in a pan and allowed to turn golden and slightly brown.  This gives the butter a nutty aroma and flavor.  The butter is poured into an 8x8 pan.  The batter is layered on top of the butter and that is covered with peaches that have been brought to a  simmer with sugar and lemon juice.  Almonds and Demerara sugar are sprinkled over top along with some freshly grated nutmeg.

I didn't lie did I?  Not at all pretty.  Wish you could smell and taste it.  
You can see the cake/cobbler part on the left with the gooey peaches on the right.   
This is easy to make.  Give it a try.
Brown Butter Nectarine Cobble/Cake
3 cups fresh nectarines or peaches in 1/2 inch slices
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup  buttermilk
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the fruit slices, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice.  Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer, then take the pan off the heat.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until it smells very nutty, turns golden, and flecks of dark brown appear, 2 to 3 minutes.  Pour the brown butter into an 8 inch by 8 inch baking dish.  
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Scrape the batter on top of the brown butter, use a spatula to even out the batter but be careful not to mix it into the butter.  Scatter the nectarine slices and juice on top of the batter without stirring.  Sprinkle with the almonds, nutmeg and Demerara sugar.  Bake until golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm.
6 to 8 servings. 

Have a sweet weekend

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pleated Skirt Love

I'm seeing lots of pleated skirts and I love the idea.  I'm usually a pencil skirt sort of a girl but the pleats are a bit softer and more romantic.  

I could do this, or maybe a turtleneck, tights and boots when it is cold.

pleated skirts

                pleated skirts by spiralstyle 

I found this guide to the fit of  a short pleated skirt in Lucky Magazine.

How would you wear a pleated skirt?  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Jewelry Designs

This week I noted the first holiday decorations for sale at Target and today I received my first catalog featuring Christmas decorations and gifts.  I've been busy getting jewelry ready for holiday delivery to my gallery venues.  Here are a few things I've been making.

Chain suspended silver crescent earrings. $30

Quad disc earrings $38

Double ring swing earrings $30

For the holidays, I've listed sets of bangles at a bit of a reduction over single bangles prices.
Set of 3 bangles $38  Set of 5 bangles $64

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Musings: Autumn

No denying that autumn is here so a little autumnal decor is in order.  A mum from the Farmers Market is a perfect solution.  

When fall arrives, I like to use seasonal produce.  I couldn't resist the butternut squash at the market.  

Sage is an herb I tend to reserve for the autumn months.  I guess it is because I associate it with Thanksgiving.  It is a pretty looking herb and very pungent.  I love it with white beans and sausage as well as turkey, chicken and pork. 

The butternut squash was roasted and combined with bacon and sage for this risotto.  You can view the recipe here.  This Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage would be perfect for Meatless Monday.  If you are really strict about being meatless, use vegetarian broth and eliminate the bacon.  

Dimply Plum Cake Baking, from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

A plum cake for dessert or breakfast.  See blog post here.  This is a favorite with hubby for a mid-morning snack at work.

I hope you had a relaxing weekend and got to spend some time outdoors.  Have a fabulous Monday.  XXOO

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week's End & Goodbye to Summer

This week seemed to fly by but it was productive.  I'm ready for a change of pace this weekend.  

Remember our Leader Dog puppy, Sydney?  Today she moves to South Carolina where she will be a Leader Dog for a blind man.  I was able to meet the gentleman this past week and see him in action with Sydney.  Yes, Sydney did remember me and it was so good to see her.  She sailed through her training and will be a wonderful help and companion to her partner, Tony.  

 I made a rustic plum tart and decided to bake it on my pizza stone.  The crust dough must have been too rich and the plum juices leaked all over the stone and oven creating quite a "burned" odor.  The tart totally fell apart and I scraped it onto a platter.  It looked like a train wreck!  Did I throw it away?  Heck no, I scooped the juicy plums and buttery rich crust into stemmed dessert glasses and topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Hubby declared it delicious.  

I did redeem myself with this mushroom/onion/Gruyere pizza.  

For the first day of fall, my deck flowers are still flourishing.  I'm actually embracing cooler weather, sweaters and scarves.

I spotted this inspirational list from makeup artist and business woman, Bobbi Brown.  I think it is a good way to close the week.

Have a most pleasant weekend.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trend: Python

I received both my October issues  Elle Decor and Elle magazines this week.  In both magazines, python was featured as a trend.  I put together a few python items.  One collection is fashion, especially accessories and the other, home and personal items. 
Python Print Trend

I think a little python goes a long way.  
Python items

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paris Doors

When I am in Paris, I am intrigued by the  doors. 
I am curious about what is behind the doors.  Would I find a grandiose apartment filled with lavish antiques or a spare, more modern decor?   Is there a courtyard, lush with greenery or just the laundry hanging to dry?  But what I sincerely enjoy is the doors themselves.  They truly "celebrate the entrance" as my architect-friend likes to say.  Here are some images of doors that caught my eye on my last trip to Paris. 

How old must this entrance be?

Entry at a medieval castle.

Dachshund door knocker in the Marais.

One of many doors at the Louvre.

A very nice invitation to shop!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DIY: Ricotta Cheese

I read an article in a food magazine about making your own ricotta cheese.  I've never attempted to make cheese before but this recipe promised that homemade ricotta was fast, simple and a deliciously pure product, compared to the store-bought item.

With only 3 ingredients, milk, salt and acid (distilled vinegar or lemon juice), homemade ricotta was simple.  Just heat the milk and salt, add the acid, drain and enjoy.  I used 1 quart of whole milk and the result was about 3/4 cup of ricotta which you can see in the photo above.  Click here for an online recipe and more detailed directions.  

Acid causes the milk to form curds.  These are then removed to a cheesecloth lined colander and allowed to drain.

This is the result of curds allowed to drain for about 1 1/2 hours.  Allowing the curds to drain longer would of course produce a dryer cheese.

I like to eat my ricotta spread on toast or crackers with sliced figs or dried fruit and some pistachios.  Homemade ricotta has a mild flavor and a soft, more delicate texture than store-bought ricotta.  

This was a fun, easy project.  Any chance you'd try this or have you tried it for yourself already?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cole Haan Sullivan Street Ariel Hobo Bag

Last week I talked about "vinous" or wine colored shoes.  I decided I needed a larger handbag and I would look for one in a wine-y color.  I walked into a Cole Haan store and was immediately greeted and told that all items in the store were reduced by 25%.  Say no more, I love Cole Haan products, and I wasn't going to leave without a new bag.

Voila!  I love my new Sullivan Street bag.  Plenty of room for all my "stuff" and my puppy's gear as well.  

One of the big reasons I purchased this bag is that it works as a shoulder bag.  The other bags I looked at needed a strap for use as a cross body bag.  

Handy pockets inside and a flapped pocket on the outside as well.

This Brooke Flap Tote is awesome in gray.  It was a hard decision but I just didn't want that long strap.  Gorgeous though.   

Do you like a cross body bag or a shoulder bag?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

This week was spent connecting with friends and accomplishing tasks and errands that needed to be done but certainly weren't exciting or glamorous.  A few unexpected things happened along the way to make me smile.

I found these lovely antique glasses at a new shop.  The price was literally less than glasses at Ikea!  Hard to tell in the photo but they are a lovely amber color with a gold rim.

I spotted this rainbow on Sunday while walking the puppy.  Can you see that it is a double rainbow?

Who knew that the Missoni for Target opening would close on the same day?  I got a sweater, candle, tie and bowl.  They never did have the stacking cups I wanted.  Was there anything left at your Target?

It has gotten so cool here in Michigan and frost is predicted to Friday morning.  I hope my garden is not destroyed.  It does feel good to wear sweaters and scarves again and sleep with the window open and the comforter pulled up to my chin.  

The antique market is in Ann Arbor this weekend.  Hubby and I will try to avoid U of M football traffic and make it to the market.  

I hope you have a lovely weekend filled with things you love to do and shared with those you love.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Images and Inspiration from Sweet Paul Online Magazine

The fall edition of Sweet Paul online magazine is now available.  I wanted to share some photos to whet your appetite and motivate you to check it out.  I think the styling of the photos is splendid.  You can click on the links below the photos to be taken to the same page in the online magazine.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I happened to pick up the audio version of I Don't Know How She Does It at the library the other day.  I wasn't thinking about the movie adaptation being released this weekend.  Now that I'm listening to the book, I can't wait to see the movie.  

Any woman could relate to this book.  As women we juggle work, home and family, and that can take many forms depending on age, marital status, work, child responsibilities or parental responsibilities.  This is a story of struggle for balance between work and family.  

The movie is a comedy and I don't know how the reviews will be but I'm sure Sarah Jessica Parker will be wearing some amazing clothes.  

Did you see these photos in Vogue?

Real life SJP with hubby Matthew Broderick.

SJP in Chanel and Manolos

Wearing Michael Kors

The girl can certainly wear clothes!


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