Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest Room Makeover at the Beach

Yes, I am addicted to Pinterest and it has affected my life!  For several months I have been pinning ideas for The Fisherman's guest room.  He inherited the room, with painted grass around the baseboards and a garden of flowers on the walls. 

BEFORE
Let's start with the before pictures. The guest room is really small and challenging with two windows and a closet door ...

and lots of flowers and bees!

The room arrangement was less than desirable.



AFTER
The update began with paint -  Sherwin-Williams Accessible Beige. Moving the bed opened up the room.  During a trip to Ikea I found bedding and curtains for an unbelievably low price.


So this is the result of three days of work.  Still to come are lamps, pictures and a mirror for the girls to use for makeup and hair!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kitchen Update


After many years of dreaming of a new kitchen, it has finally happened.  The ideas for my kitchen have been floating around for some time and after much research and shopping, my new dream kitchen is a reality.  There are so many people I need to thank and the first is my grandson, Reeves.  He spent many hours going to Atlanta and visiting every kitchen, appliance, and lighting store within 50 miles.

And then there are the folks at Southern Cabinet Works in Newnan.  Shanon was the designer and she took my ideas, wishes and must-haves and created a beautiful, working kitchen.  Jeff, Robert, and Matt built and installed the cabinets and did so with a lot of patience and expertise.  But before they could do their magic, Rich had to remove all the old cabinets, Tony had to install the lighting with all my dimmers, and Chris of Uptown Kitchens ran the duct work for ventilation.  And let's not forget Mike and Matt, the plumbers as well as Eddie the painter.  All did a fabulous job and the result is my beautiful kitchen!


Before

The Old Kitchen

Needs Updating!
Renovation Begins!
Cabinets Removed

Decorated for Christmas





Sunday, January 15, 2012

Proscuitto, Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini


I love appetizers and this is one that is not only simple to make but quite delicious. The inspiration was the wonderful proscuitto in the frig and my homemade fig preserves. Give it a try, I promise you won't be disappointed!
 
 
Proscuitto, Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini
1 baguette
Goat cheese, softened
Fig preserves
Proscuitto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices.  Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake until lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes.  Spread slices with goat cheese.  Top with fig preserves and proscuitto. 

Chocolate Biscotti Cookies


The need to bake overwhelmed me today.  My goal was to make biscotti.  I love the crunch and soakabililty (is that a word?) of the twice baked cookie.  After a quick search on the Internet, I printed off Giada De Laurentiis' recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.  A trip to the grocery store and I was ready to start baking with just a few changes to the recipe.  But in my haste, I did not read the recipe completely, I zeroed in on just the ingredients.  This was not a recipe for the tradition biscotti - it was a recipe for biscotti cookies.  I was disappointed, but that disappointment was quickly replaced with satisfaction because these cookies are good!  I did make a few changes from the original recipe with the addition of espresso powder and substituting pecans for walnuts.  This is a delicious cruchy cookie and very easy to make.

Nutella Biscotti Cookies
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to mix.
In another bowl, combine the butter, Nutella and sugars. Cream the ingredients with an electric mixer until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanille and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
Using a tablespoon scoop, spoon the cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet about 4 inches apart.  Press with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday in the Kitchen

My assignment for tonight's neighborhood Christmas party was to bring an appetizer.  My first thought was Artichoke Dip, that lucious cheese dip that has been a favorite for years.  Then I thought, why play it safe? 

Black Pepper Cheese Shortbreads
So today was all about trying new recipes, some with success, others not so great.  The first recipe was Kale Chips since there was kale in the garden ready to be picked.  I used the standard recipe with olive oil and seasoned salt, but I did not like the results.  I think the problem is my kale, the curly variety.  The biggest problem was not the flavor, but the texture.  But I'm not giving up.  Next time I will try a different variety and see if what happens.
Next on the list are two recipes from Virginia Willis' new book, Basic to Brillant, Y'all.  As I am writing, the Black Pepper Cheese Shortbreads are in the oven, with one minor change.  Instead of sharp white Cheddar cheese, I am using extra sharp Cheddar since that was what was in the frig.  I was "brillant" and added a pecan garnish.
The second recipe is Mini Country Ham Cheddar Biscuits.  They are hanging out on our cold screened-in porch waiting for their time in the oven.  I decided to go "brilliant" with time and make the Honey Bourbon Butter.  Who knew that adding bourbon would add such an unique flavor to the honey?

Sorry, no recipes for these, you will have to buy the book!  Thanks, Virginia for a great cookbook that allows us to take our creations from basic to brilliant!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Potato, Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

To my surprise, I have broccoli in the garden! I have planted broccoli many times before but have never had much success. This year I decided to try it again and the four plants have grown and produced some beautiful heads. The garden and the weather were the inspiration for this recipe. A cold, rainy day, where the high for the day is in the morning calls for a bowl of warm, thick soup. Serve with a simple fruit salad and you have a meal that will add some sunshine to any dreary day.
Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon aleppo chili
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 pounds potatoes, diced
1 head broccoli
2 cups grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper
Sour cream
In a heavy Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute onion and celery until tender, seasoning with salt as it cooks. Add flour, paprika and aleppo chili to pot and stir until the flour bubbles. Add the broth, milk and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes and the potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes cook, cut broccoli into bite-size pieces and steam until tender crisp. When the potatoes are tender, use a potato masher to break up some of the potatoes. Reduce the temperature to low and add the broccoli and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chocoflan

I admit, I am not a baker. Kenny will be the first to tell you that if flour is involved, there is more on me than in the cake! But Chocoflan is truly one of those easy, delicious recipes that I will make again.

When I decided to give it a try I had to borrow a bundt pan from Dale. But since then I bought Williams-Sonoma's Anniversary Bundt and it works great. The handles on the pan make it easy to remove from the hot water after baking. I also had to substitute caramel sauce for the cajeta.This is a fun cake to make and bake. Caramel sauce in poured into the buttered pan, followed by a chocolate cake batter and topped with a flan mixture. While baking the flan sinks and the chocolate cake rises.

Next time you need a dessert to impress guests, bake a Chocoflan!

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

It is a big mistake to watch the Food Network while working out. But I must admit that Guy was the inspiration for tonight's dessert. And it was seasonal, with fresh Georgia peaches from the Veggie Patch and blueberries from our garden. After a quick search on the Internet for Guy's recipe I decided to do my own version. The result was a delicious cobbler. Next time you have access to fresh blueberries and peaches, give this a try.


Blueberry Peach Cobbler


Filling
2.5 to 3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 pint blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Mix together in a large bowl.

Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick cold butter, diced
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the butter is the size of very small peas.






Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch iron skillet. Pour in the fruit mixture and top with the flour mixture. Bake 45 minutes or until lightly brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Garden Update

For the last two weeks we have been planting the garden with lots of success and a couple of failures. The tomatoes and peppers are thriving, growing daily and enjoying the warm weather and recent rain. The butter peas and scalloped squash are up and growing. Purple hull crowder peas are slowly peeking through the soil. The failures include the La France green beans and zucchini and yellow squash. They were planted early and it looks like they will need to planted again. The cucumbers are questionable. We were unable to find seeds so we bought a few plants. I'm not sure how they are going to do. We have always had more success when planting from seed.
Everyday the garden changes. Kenny is working on the irrigation and then we will begin mulching.
Tending to the garden is a lot like tending to your children. You work hard to provide the perfect environment so they will grow and flourish.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chicken Salad


Every good Southern cook has a favorite recipe for chicken salad. For years, my

chicken salad of choice was seasonsed with curry. When deciding on a menu for Bunco, I decided to create a menu that could be made ahead and served with little effort. After my technique class on chicken at Williams-Sonoma, I had lots of chicken and

Chicken Salad

2 chickens, cut up
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup pecan pieces, roasted
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup lowfat sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups grapes, halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken pieces on baking sheets. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour, or until done. When cool remove the skin and chicken from the bones. Cut into chunks.

Mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add the nuts, vegetables, fruit and tarragon to the chicken. Add mayonnaise and sour cream mixture, adding just enough to moisten the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve on croissant rolls with lettuce. Yield: 10 - 12 servings.