Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stacked Pear Salad

I made this Stacked Pear Salad to go with our Christmas dinner. I had it last year at Christmas dinner party and loved it. They look so pretty and taste great too! You can make the salad with many different variations.
This year I made a spinach salad with toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette. Last year my friends served it with a spinach salad with feta, chopped pecans, and a raspberry vinaigrette. You serve the salad stuffed inside a cored pear that has been cut into thirds. And you can drizzle honey on top or a little extra salad dressing. The honey looks really pretty on top, I forgot to do that to these in the picture. It also helps the pear sit flat on the plate if you cut a small slice off the bottom.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Champagne Cocktails

Frozen Champagne
  • 4 scoops lemon sorbet
  • 2 ounces chilled vodka, citrus vodka or limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
  • 2 ounces prosecco or other sparkling wine or Champagne
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint


Blend lemon sorbet on low speed and pour in vodka or lemon liqueur in a slow stream. Add prosecco or Champagne. Pour cocktails into a chilled martini glass and serve, garnished with a sprig of mint.

Recipe by Rachel Ray

White Nectarine and Raspberry Champagne Floats

  • 3 very ripe white nectarines, halved, pitted and cut into eighths
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 1 bottle chilled Champagne, Prosecco, or sparkling wine
  • 1/4 cup Chambord
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish


Combine nectarine slices, raspberries and sugar in a small bowl and mash with a fork.
Add scoops of ice cream to 4 large glasses and divide most of the nectarine and raspberry puree among the glasses. Top each with a few more scoops of ice cream then the remaining puree. Fill the glasses to the top with the prosecco and drizzle each with some of the Chambord. Garnish with mint sprigs.

 Recipe by Bobby Flay

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kids Cape

Tonight we celebrated Christmas with two families that we love. It was a fun and crazy evening with all three boys running around. Alexis made Capes for all three of the boys with the first letter of their name on the back. They loved wearing them and looked so cute. It is such a great gift idea for little ones. Wish we would have gotten a picture of all three of them in their new backpacks Fallon got them from Potterybarn Kids (also with their names on them) so cute!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Converse Kids

I love the Converse kids shoes for Hudson. I usually can't find them on sale, but today I found them on sale at Gap Baby. I didn't even know they sold Converse. They are marked down to $19.99 with an additional 25% off, making them only $14.99! They usually cost around $30.00. They have them in black with velcro, the ones pictured above, lace up ones, and they have girls ones too.

North Pole Pancakes

We made some North Pole pancakes this morning with the mold from Williams Sonoma. I half expected them to not turn out as cute as they advertise, but they were very easy to use and came out perfect. Hudson loved them. The pancake pen they sell comes in handy for filling the molds and you can also use it to make other shapes and letters. The pancake pen costs $9.95 and the molds are $19.95

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Dinner Menu

Riesling Onion Soup with Herbed Croutons
Brined Roast Chicken with Wine Jus
Green Beans with Almonds
Classic Mashed Potatoes
Creme Brulee

    Riesling Onion Soup with Herbed Croutons

    • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
    • 4 large yellow onions, about 2 lb. total, thinly
    • 2 leeks, including pale green tops, sliced
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 2 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
    • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups Riesling
    • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

    For Herbed Croutons:
    • 1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
    • 2 Tbs. olive oil
    • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 Tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as
        tarragon, rosemary, thyme and flat-leaf
       parsley, in any combination
    • 1/2 lb. Italian fontina cheese, cut into
        small cubes

    In a large, wide saucepan or soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, leeks, garlic and tarragon and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes more. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Pour in the stock, return to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until reduced slightly, about 45 minutes. (The soup can be made up to this point up to 24 hours in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before continuing.) Season with salt and pepper.

    To make the herbed croutons, preheat an oven to 300°F.

    Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, butter and herbs. Lightly coat each bread slice on both sides with the oil mixture. Toast the bread in the oven, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. (The croutons can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored, tightly covered, at room temperature.)

    Preheat a broiler.

    Arrange individual ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet and ladle the soup into the bowls. Top each serving with 2 or 3 croutons and an equal amount of the cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiler 7 inches from the heat source and broil until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove from the broiler and serve immediately. Serves 6.
    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, by George Dolese (Oxmoor House, 2004).

    Brined Roast Chicken with Wine Jus

    • 1 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup iodized or plain salt
    • 1 quart hot water
    • 3 quarts cold water
    • 1 chicken, about 6 1/2 lb., giblets reserved for
        another use
    • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
    • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
    • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
    • 1 small celery stalk, coarsely chopped

    For the Wine Jus:
    • 1/2 cup crisp, dry white wine, such as Sauvignon
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 1 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

    In a plastic container or stainless-steel bowl large enough to hold the chicken, stir and dissolve the salt in the hot water. Add the cold water and stir. Rinse the chicken, then submerge it in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, the longer the better.

    Preheat an oven to 400°F.

    Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with the butter and season inside and out with pepper. Place the thyme and rosemary sprigs in the cavity.

    Place the chicken on its side on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken on its other side and roast for 30 minutes more. Turn the chicken on its back and place the onion, carrot and celery in the cavity. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 45 minutes more. Pour the juices from the chicken cavity into the pan and transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, make the wine jus. Strain the cooking juices into a bowl. Skim off any visible fat from the surface and pour the juices back into the roasting pan. Set the pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the stock and boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the jus into a sauceboat.

    Carve the chicken and serve hot with the wine jus.
    Serves 6 to 8.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Chicken, by Rick Rodgers (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Craft Room Christmas Tree

    I put a small Christmas tree in my craft room and decided to decorate it with some of the fabric yo yos that I had made. I have a ton of fabric scraps lying around, so I used all different kinds of fabrics, and tied knots on the ends of the branches. I also decorated the tree with some old buttons and pins that I have collected. All I used was old craft supplies, and I think it turned out pretty cute!

    Recovered my Chair

    Here's the chair that I finally recovered in Amy Butler fabric. I bought it at Merchant's Square and all I needed to recover it was some cute fabric and a staple gun!

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Silver Christmas

    I am liking all of the silver and white Christmas decorations this year! Here's how I have added some of it to our house this year for Christmas. I made a new bench cushion with Amy Butler fabric. The mistletoe topiary and wreath are from Target, and the silver ornaments are also from Target, and TJ Maxx. I found the silver branches at Pier One Imports; and they have a good selection of Christmas branches right now.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    Christmas Decorating

    It's officially time to start decorating for Christmas! I love all of the greens, silvers, and whites used in these pictures. These pictures are from Pottery Barn and bhg.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Vintage Rose Wraps

    I spotted these cute Vintage Rose Wraps at the Cornerstone Holiday Boutique. They would make great gifts for the holidays, and are sold for $12 each.