Spectator Shoes

May 17, 2010

I am loving this trend, but I am worried that if I were to wear spectator shoes they’d make my already stumpy legs look even stumpier. This girl somehow managed to pull it off though:

Is it the A-line skirt above the knees that makes it work? Or is it just her long legs that make it cute?

Via The Sartorialist

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Glazed Chocolate Cake

May 13, 2010

I hosted book club a couple weeks ago. We read the Great Gatsby so it seemed appropriate that we had a cocktail party. So I made some horrible cocktails that just did NOT work out. Probably not enough booze. I need to work on that. I always have my cocktails made for me. Anyways, luckily for me, the cake turned out. It was very chocolatey and rich.

First, you coat the cake pan with cocoa powder:

Then mix all the dry ingredients:

I read somewhere once that you should bake with room temperature eggs so if I remember I take the eggs out early and pour warm water over them so they’re warm when it’s time to use them.

Then you mix together the butter, sugar, and eggs. Of course, I forgot to take the butter out early so I had to microwave it. I’m forgetful like that.

Then you mix in the dry ingredients and the sour cream. I never said this was healthy.

Pour the batter in your pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Also, tap it on the counter a couple times to get rid of air bubbles.

Don’t forget to lick the batter – it was quite tasty!

The final cake without the yummy ganache:

The chopped chocolate for the ganache: (Is it just me or is chocolate a complete headache to chop? Is my knife not sharp enough?)

Then bring your cream to a boil. This always makes me nervous because I don’t want to scald it, but it somehow worked for me.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and voila!

Just pour that deliciousness over your cake and you’re done!

Full Recipe:

Serves 10 to 12

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for whipped cream (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-round cake pan; line bottom with a round of waxed or parchment paper. Butter paper; dust bottom and sides of pan with cocoa, tapping out excess.
  2. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour.
  3. Spread batter in prepared pan. Tap pan firmly on countertop once to eliminate large air bubbles. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely (bottom-side up). Set rack with cake over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake, letting it run over sides; spread gently with an offset spatula or table knife to coat. Let set, about 30 minutes.
  4. If desired, whip cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Serve cake with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Chair Lust

May 12, 2010

I’ve been on the search lately for the perfect chair for our living room….not that I have any money to spend on one or anything. But if I DID I would buy this chair:

And while I’m at it I’ll buy the lamp too.

New Cardigan

May 11, 2010

This looks exactly like something Emma Pillsbury would wear.

And I WANT IT!

From Anthropologie.

Stackable Chairs

May 10, 2010

For those two readers out there I am sorry for the lack of posting around these parts – I threw my back out Tuesday night and have been crawling around the house high on vicodin ever since.

Anyways, since nobody wants to hear me whine let’s talk instead about an issue I have with the fiance’s and my house. The living room isn’t really conducive to hosting great parties – there really isn’t enough seating. Of course we could buy more chairs, but there just isn’t that much room for them. I am constantly struggling with this because I had no idea how to go about fixing it.

However, I saw this great post on Apartment Therapy that mentioned that there are some great modern stackable chairs available. Now I have my heart set on a getting at least a pair. Specifically these from Target would be ideal.

Stripes

May 4, 2010

I’m tired of people saying Seattle has no fashion. Just check out this girl who was featured on It’s My Darlin’.

Vintage Photos

May 3, 2010

Vintage photos seem to be quite the thing these days. As I see more and more of them I find myself getting inspired to start digging through old family photos to see if I can find any that I could use in decorating.

Recently my grandparents moved from their house to a retirement community and my mom found boxes of old photos while helping them move. While we were going through them I was simply viewing them with curiosity and not once thought about commandeering some for decorating purposes. But now I’m thinking I will have to dig through them once more.

This photo will serve as my inspiration as I look.

At the moment I can’t decide if I should mix old with new or keep all the photos old. Thoughts?

Stenciled Walls

April 29, 2010

I love patterned walls and especially love the new modern wallpaper patterns popping up everywhere. There’s just one problem though: the fiancé HATES wallpaper and I have been forbidden to ever use it.

You see when he first moved into his house (now our house) he had to take down wallpaper and it was a HUGE headache. So no matter how many times I try to convince him it’s different now he’s been too traumatized to ever consider wallpaper again.

The solution? Stenciled walls of course. The two of us stayed at the Nines in Portland several months ago and I fell in love with the décor there and one of the aspects of it was the stenciled walls, which I’m sure took ages to do, but looked phenomenal.

Ever since then I have kept my eyes open for inspiring stenciled walls and bookmarked this Apartment Therapy How To post. Here’s a pic of a patterned wall that I think was done really well.

What I Want For My Honeymoon

April 28, 2010

A summery cardigan from Nordstrom.

Slouchy capris from Rouche.

A pretty bracelet from Anthropologie.

A fun plaid bikini from Anthropologie.

A flouncy dress from Banana Republic.

Sky High Bad ass heels from L.A.M.B.

And most importantly – a pair of slouchy roll up denim shorts. This particular pair is from Banana Republic.

Now who’s going to buy them for me?

Pork Tournedos

April 27, 2010

Over the weekend I tried out a new recipe: Pork Tournedos with Sage and Prosciuttos from Sara Moulton’s cook book “Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals”. Overall, I would give it a 2 out of 5 in difficulty and a 4 out of 5 for tastiness.

First, take a pork tenderloin and cut it into 8 even pieces. Emphasis on the EVEN. I kindof messed that one up..

Yummm…raw meat. So…as you can see here I failed to cut these evenly, which is why I had issues with this recipe. At least it’s an easy fix! Basically, the meat didn’t cook evenly so there were some pieces that ended up being overcooked.

Cook the pork by sauteing it in a pan with EVOO. I always have difficulty with this because it gets insanely smoky and I usually end up finishing them in the oven once they’ve got a nice crust, which is exactly what I did this time.

Next is the sauce:

I did a few things different from the recipe. First, I forgot to buy some fresh sage at the store…so I left that out. Second, the recipe called for lemon slices, but I just used lemon juice. Lastly, I increased the amount of butter because that is always a good idea.

The first step of the sauce is to saute the prosciutto:

After it’s sauteed for only around 30 seconds add the broth, capers, and lemon juice. After the chicken broth has reduced down start adding the butter bit by bit.

Then you get the final product:

I might need to work on my presentation skills, but it really was tasty! Here’s the full recipe:

One 1-pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce prosciutto di Parma, cut into strips (about 1/3 cup loosely packed)
1/2 lemon, peeled, cut into sections and the sections chopped
1 tablespoon drained, bottled capers
1 tablespoon rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh sage
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or Chicken Stock (See Episode 103)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced

Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium-high; add the pork and sauté until well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the pork and sauté until browned on the other side and the temperature has reached 145°F on a meat thermometer, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the prosciutto di Parma to the skillet and sauté 30 seconds. Add the lemon, capers, and sage; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Return the heat to high; add the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by 1/3, stirring to incorporate the browned bits from the pan. Stir in the butter and any juices from the serving platter. Bring the sauce to a boil and serve over the pork.