Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Chef Babs’s Turkey Meatball Subs
I normally do not spend much time making sandwiches at home. Unless it is tuna, I tend to stay away from making them myself. I am not sure why, but most sandwiches bore me. One night, however, desperate for a new recipe but not wanting to venture to the grocery store, I looked at the contents of my fridge and decided to try my hand at a meatball sub. It is the perfect meal to enjoy in the fall. It is also tasty and impressive enough to serve to guests who come over to watch the football game of the weekend. It would also be a hit later in the winter at a Super Bowl Party.
1.5 lbs Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (casings removed)
½ cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs
¼ c. Olive Oil plus more for drizzling
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Jar of your favorite marinara sauce
¼ c. Fresh Basil
4-6 Large Sub Rolls (I prefer Wheat)
4-6 Slices Provolone Cheese (1 per sub)
4-6 Slices Mozzarella Cheese (1 per sub)
Combine the Italian Sausage, egg, breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Roll the meatballs in your hand into the desired size (I use about two tablespoons per meatball). Continue to make meatballs until you are out of the sausage mixture. Place the meatballs on a non-stick skillet over high heat on the stove top. Cook the meatballs until they are beginning to brown. Turn them so that they brown on all sides (about 7-9 minutes). Once the outsides have browned, pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs and turn the heat down to medium. Cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Drizzle the subs with olive oil and place in the broiler for about 2-3 minutes, until the subs are lightly toasted. Once the meatballs have finished cooking, place them in the subs and place one slice of provolone and one slice of mozzarella on the top of each sub. Place one whole basil leaf in the middle of each sub. Place the subs back in the broiler until cheese is melty (about 1 minute). Serve with a salad and a cold beer or cider.
Grandma Christine’s Fresh Apple Cake
I love apples in the autumn. I eat one for lunch every day from September to December. They are the one food that I never tire of eating. Their hardiness and freshness also makes them a perfect fruit for baking. This cake recipe has been in my family for at least 50 years and is the perfect cake to finish a hearty meal, like stew, but is also great served for breakfast as coffee cake. My father’s mother used to make it every fall, and my Aunt and mother continued the tradition. Now I bake it at least two or three times between September and December. If you want to make it even more special, drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 ½ cup Wesson oil
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups apples, chopped and peeled
1 cup chopped nuts
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp All Spice
Sift and measure the flour. Then add the soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and cloves and resift. Cream the oil, sugar and eggs together. Add vanilla and beat in. Add the apples and nuts. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix well. Bake in greased, floured Bundt pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then at 325 degrees for 30-40 more minutes.
Shortcut: You can use canned apples (found in the baking section with the pie fillings) instead of fresh apples. Rinse them off before using and then chop them up.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes
I happen to be a big fan of pumpkin and cupcakes, but until last weekend, I had never before combined the two. A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for pumpkin cupcakes in a new cookbook The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook that my friend gave me for my birthday and is rapidly becoming my new favorite cookbook. Everything that I have made in it is wonderful. The cupcakes are creative, tasty, and easy. The Hazelnut Cupcakes may be the best cupcakes that I have ever tasted (the recipe calls for a spoon of Nutella in the center). Even better, you do not need to be a skilled baker to master these recipes. My other favorite recipe, which is seasonal, is the recipe for pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes. What I like about these cupcakes is that people who do not generally care for pumpkin enjoyed them. Averill, for instance, will not eat pumpkin pie, but happily ate a couple of these delightful cupcakes! They will also make a nice addition to any Thanksgiving feast. Since I do not have permission to publish the recipe, to obtain it you will have to purchase the book. It retails on Amazon for $18.45. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is especially a great purchase for people with children from the ages of 4-11.
All photographs courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
On chilly fall days like today, all I want to do is to curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and read the afternoon away. If I had the luxury of doing so in one of these window seats or reading nooks, all the better. There's just something so cozy and peaceful about these beautiful, confined spaces that makes me want to kick off my shoes, grab a soft blanket and nestle in for a lazy afternoon. In fact, these images are so cozy and peaceful, that I won't spoil the mood with any more unnecessary verbiage -- sometimes it's nice to sit back and soak in the pretty, no?
And don't forget to enter HERE for your chance to win a 5 x 7" oh, kirby! print of your choice. I'll be selecting the winner on Monday. Happy weekend, everyone!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
A few months ago I literally stumbled into Crave Cupcakes while killing time over at Houston's Uptown Park before a dinner meeting. After buying a dozen on the pretense of treating Dave for his birthday back in May, I've been using just about any excuse (baby showers, birthdays, random Tuesdays) to swing by and order two or four...or twelve. As a self-appointed connoisseur of the cupcake (I've had my fair share, believe me), I can honestly say that these are the best money can buy -- and yes, even better than Sprinkles or Magnolia. At $36/dozen they aren't cheap, but boy are they worth it. Moist, flavorful, and with just the right amount of icing. And today, after waking up at 4:30 am to participate in a company charity event, I'm in need of a sweet pick-me-up more than ever. Alas though, Crave Cupcakes don't exactly jive with my recent efforts to eat healthier, so a little day dream eating will have to suffice for now.
Of course it doesn't hurt that they're pretty to look at as well. If you order at least 24 hours in advance, you can even select from an assortment of cute decorations to personalize them further.
While you can take your cupcakes to go (or even have them delivered -- Lord help me!), their storefront is so retro chic it's worth eating one (or two) there to fully appreciate the ambiance. Something about it feels very Southern Californian to me.
Unsurprisingly, I love all of the soft turquoise; it's the perfect counterpoint to the cool whites and rich chocolate browns. Unlike a lot of cupcake bakeries in Houston, this one doesn't look cutesy or overly sweet (thankfully). The large menu board displays the flavors currently on offer that day.
While I highly doubt the dozens and dozens of cupcakes baked here each morning come out of this vintage oven, I absolutely love the retro touch. It also coordinates with a half dozen vintage turquoise mixers on display by the cashier.
While I have yet to have the privilege of sampling every flavor they offer (there are 28 flavors, many of which are only available on certain days), my favorite so far is a tie between the red velvet (shown above left) and the vanilla on chocolate (shown above right).
...All I can say is, as far as my waistline is concerned, I'm very, very fortunate that Crave is a bit out of the way for me.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
By way of a brief introduction, Sarah is an artist, vintage clothing dealer, and freelance costume designer from Georgia. Although Sarah is a self-taught artist, she has an undergraduate degree in art history and master's in museum studies from St. Andrew's University, both with a special focus in historical clothing. Drawing upon her historical background, Sarah creates lovely, stylized portraits of both famous and ordinary historical figures that possess a certain undeniable charm. Any oh, kirby! print or original painting would be lovely additions to any space where you're looking to add a little bit of timeless whimsy. Be sure to check out Sarah's other Etsy shop oh, kirby! the vintage shoppe, which features vintange clothing, as well as her lovely blog.
OetA: What historical periods and types of fashion are you most interested in? Why?
SK: There are so many that pique my visual interest. I don't think I could pin down one, or even a few, periods in fashion history! But if I had to choose, I have always been very drawn to the Rococo period and the Renaissance period. It's quite funny, too, because they are so different from each other. One is the epitome of decadence, frilly and pastel, and the other is very rigid, with more earthy, realistic colours. I also love the Victorians, because their frills had a strange, pinned-up, gothic quality, and I find this inspiring both for my art as well as my own personal style.
Sarah, modeling some of her own vintage finds
OetA: Tell me a little bit about your vintage clothing Etsy shop. Where do you find most of the pieces? Do you have any helpful hints on vintage clothing shopping in general?
1. Head on over to Oh, kirby!'s Etsy shop and select your favorite 5 x 7 print.
2. Come back here and leave me a comment, letting me know which print you'd select if you won.
3. If you'd like a second entry, become a follower of Odi et Amo (and be sure to let me know you have by leaving a second comment).
I'll be taking entries until midnight CST, Sunday, October 25, and the winner will be announced Monday, October 26, 2009.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I know that for a lot of people, color can be a scary thing. Hours can be spent agonizing over a bold color choice for walls or upholstery (or even just a throw pillow): "Will this color work with the other colors in the room?" "What other colors could this work for in the future?" "Am I limiting myself to only working within a narrow range of colors and/or styles?" That sort of thing.
If you happen to fall into this color-cautious camp, then please allow me to make a suggestion: go with turquoise. Whether in accessories to give an otherwise neutral space some pop or as the dominant color in a space, turquoise (or turq-WAZ as Alison would say) is a surprisingly versatile color and should under no circumstances be relegated to the kids' room. In fact, I'd venture so far as to declare turquoise a neutral; it can work with just about any other color and in any style of decor.
Admittedly Whittaker uses a softer version of turquoise in this dining room, but this is a quieter, more traditional take on the color that may be more palatable to folks looking for a more subtle statement.
This library was just about the only room I liked in the feature on this Houston home in a recent issue of House Beautiful (black vinyl walls, oh my!). That said, that deep turquoise (or peacock blue) paired with that gorgeous ikat print and stunning Persian rug make my heart skip a beat.
While turquoise does indeed deserve a place outside the realm of childrens' bedrooms, it is nevertheless a great choice for the under-18 set. This room designed by Jodi Macklin takes full advantage of turquoise's youthful, bold spirit by pairing it with hot pink and lime. The plaid bedskirt and floral curtains are also a great illustration of the golden rule (keep the palette the same, but vary the scale) on mixing patterns.
I love how Gambrel is able to successfully incorporate turquoise walls into a masculine interior. I never thought turquoise could ever read as "moody", but with the dark curtains, pendant and fireplace, it somehow does.
The turquoise lamp that launched a thousand posts. Still stunning after all this time.
Another gorgeous example of a turquoise chandelier, this time courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller out in California. I love this paired with the very traditional, very orate ceiling medallion.
And, of course, what would this post be without a roundup of my favorite turquoise items?
Sourcelist (clockwise from top left): 1. Christina Table Lamp by Bungalow 5 from Clayton Gray Home ($450) 2. Blue Beaded Globe from Pieces ($695) 3. Vintage French Glass chandelier from Revival Home & Garden ($1,200) 4. Mira sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams ($) 5. Vince and Vincent Lamp from Stray Dog Designs ($425) 6. Zebra Waste Basket and Tissue Set from Clayton Gray Home ($160) 7. Lacquer Umbrella Stand from Jonathan Adler ($295) 8. iittala mug from AllModern ($14.40) 9. Turquoise Glass Jars from Grace Home Furnishings ($35-$55).
Sourcelist (clockwise, from top left): 1. Lush square pillow by Unison from AllModern.com ($36) 2. Turquoise Vases from Jayson Home & Garden ($80-$98) 3. Large lucite frame from Dabney Lee at Home ($120) 4. Azure pillow from John Robshaw ($98) 5. Writing Desk from Russell and McKenna ($2100) 6. Amanda Blue quilt by Roberta Roller Rabbit ($125) 7. Turquoise Pill Carafe from Jonathan Adler ($48) 8. Cyan pillow from John Robshaw ($105) 9. Ginny Shower Curtain from India Rose ($95) 10. Turquoise Moroccan pouf from John Derian ($265) 11. Turquoise Art Deco lamp from Target ($59.99).