Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello February!

When I think of February, I tend to envision red, or at least pink, gems and jewels. The birthstone for February is amethyst - although not red, it is still a beautiful stone.
Happy February!  And, Happy Birthday! -  if this is your special month.

Celebrate your birthday in style!

...and Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


My husband participates in an annual Chili Cook Off - no prize money, it's just for fun and a paper crown. I take a dessert, and of course, cast my vote for his famously delicious chili - I will share that recipe someday, too. But today, I thought I'd share the new dessert recipe I've decided to take. I haven't tried it yet, but I can't image how anything called Chocolate Brownie S'mores being anything but fabulous - at least the children will like it.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 large cold eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups large marshmallows
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the brownie batter. Add the butter and chocolate together in a microwave safe bowl.  Use medium power setting to microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 1-2 minutes more.   Alternate method: put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted.
Once butter and chocolate are melted, stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and arrange marshmallows on top. Toast under broiler until golden - watch closely, this only takes 1-2 minutes. Cool on a rack, and then gently remove the brownies from the pan and foil lining.  Cut into squares. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Powder Your Nose

I've been thinking about updating my guest bathroom. Actually, with no tub or shower, I guess it would be more accurate to call it a powder room.  After Millie at The Laurel Hedge revealed her amazing bathroom makeover, I was inspired to get serious about my own project. Millie's reveal gave me some really good ideas - check it out.

At this point, I'm still searching for inspiration images. Here's just a few I've found, but I'm still looking for 'the' one.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

A Different Beat

Drum lights /shades add a new interest in lighting options. Although I'm still uncertain of where I could use one in my home, I do find that in the right room or space, I like the look - a drum-shade light fixture adds a fun, new twist.

My hope is that someone will, or has already created a universal drum-shade that will fit my existing chandelier - wouldn't it be wonderful to have the ability to 'try' the idea without making a major investment?!


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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy January

Here's wishing Happy Birthday to those born in the lovely month of January, and Happy New Year to all.  May those with a birthday this month get everything they wish for - something with a garnet stone would be nice. Happy January!

Hava a wonderful New Year!

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