Friday, November 26, 2010

Food Glorious Food

If Kleinfeld is the bridal mecca, then Williams-Sonoma is most certainly the cook's mecca.  Which makes it the perfect place to talk about during this month of the cooks and foodies' holiday -- Thanksgiving!

I love food, all kinds of food.  So you would think that Thanksgiving would be my favorite holiday.  But it's not. Well it is because of my time with my {large!} extended family, but it isn't because of the food.  For some reason THAT much food just turns me off.  It's too overwhelming I think. I wind up eating very little and mostly just dessert :)

If I were solely in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, I would fill it with a mixture of small plates and larger entrees that are unique twists on traditional fare.  Like the Sausage-Leek Corn Bread Stuffing recipe below....yummm!

Williams-Sonoma's Holiday Guide is a great companion for your holiday cooking plans.  It's filled with delicious unique recipes and great cooking tips to make your holiday cooking quick and easy.

Enjoy and eat well! 


3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green portions
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 package (1 lb.) La Brea Bakery corn bread stuffing
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, roasted, peeled and smashed into a pulp
3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, leeks, sage, salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a very large bowl.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it into large chunks, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onion mixture, add the stuffing and parsley, and stir until well combined.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk the garlic into the broth until combined. Stir the broth mixture into the stuffing 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is completely absorbed into the croutons and does not pool in the bottom of the bowl. Taste a crouton; it should be moist throughout but not crunchy or mushy. You may not need all of the broth.

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10 to 12.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Artsy Smartsy

I LOVE taking pictures.  In fact, I think I'm even some of my friends and family members' unofficial official family photographer. Thanks to the digital camera revolution I can just snap away all the time without any additional cost.  I don't get paid, but I don't mind.  Because the photographic storybook that I have is irreplaceable.  {That's why I have it backed up in 2 separate places!}

But that's not the topic of this post.  When you take as many pictures as I do, it really is a waste unless you have some way to see them and use them.  Photo albums are great --- LOVE MyPublisher for that -- but unless you have lots of coffee tables, you won't be pulling them off the shelves often.  Framed photos are wonderful too, but they can get a little boring and predictable.  

Artsy Couture has a fabulous alternative to the average framed photographs -- Gallery Blocks!  Gallery Blocks are "professional photographic prints adhered to solid wood with perfect 90° corners." They come in both single sizes and multiple floating images {like the one in the picture above}.  The floating blocks are my favorite because it's so hard to choose just one!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cover Your Alcove

I admit, sometimes it is difficult for me to make a decision.  Especially about things that either cannot be changed or would be costly/time-consuming to change.  I think about what-ifs.  What if I hate it later.  What if it goes out of style.  What if I find something better!

It took me forever to decide on my wedding dress.  I went back and forth between two dresses until I just went with my gut.  It turned out wonderfully.  I was happy and until this day I have no regrets.  In fact, I think I would have regretted going with the other dress.  But I digress...

When you're redecorating or decorating your home, there's always this tension between decorating based on what's popular at the moment --- like wood paneling of the 60s or the black and white & abstract art style of the 80s -- and decorating and painting with a future sale {or your future taste} in mind.  Considering I've bought and sold more houses in my young life than I care to think about, I'm always thinking about "what happens when we sell?" as I am designing. 

But who wants non-offending various shades of beige walls throughout their house?  {Been there don't want to do that again}  That's why I love LOVE my latest find Casarttm Coverings

Casarttm Coverings are removable hand-painted murals and decorative finishes. The murals are printed on canvas-like vinyl with a repositionable, adhesive backing.   Essentially "Magnet-like slipcovers for your walls"!  You can change your wall covering seasonally or whenever you want a new look!  But without the usual paste and mess of traditional wallpaper.  I'm soooo getting some of these.

Pink Designs modern bedroom