Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays #47

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

I don't have a recipe to share with you today {I know, bad host!} but I do want to remind you about the Kitchen Favorites link party this Friday.  Check out this post for more information.  Hope to see you here on Friday morning with all your favorites!

What did you cook this week?

Party Rules:
1.  Add a link in your post back to this post
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to your post.  You will find the button and code on my sidebar

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shabby Apple Dress Winner

The winner of the Shabby Apple Dress giveaway is comment #15...

Congrats to Amanda!  Amanda blogs over at Small Talk
I hope you enjoy your new dress!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a quick post to say Happy Thanksgiving! 

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with lots of love and family {and good food too!}.

I'm thankful for a lot of things, including this blog.  I'm thankful for all of you who stop to visit, all the wonderful people I've "met" through this blog, and all of the experiences it has brought me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

*** Have you entered my Shabby Apple Dress giveaway yet?  Click here to enter. ***
Did you expect a Thanksgiving recipe today?  Sorry, I was craving peanut butter cookies. 

My Aunt Mary gave me this cookie cookbook sometime when I was in college.

It remains one of my favorite cookbooks.  If I remember correctly, there were roommates and a few boys who benefited from this book.  It seems like I baked cookies quite a bit in college!

- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter; beat until light and fluffy.  Add peanut butter, vanilla, and egg; blend well.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. 

2.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Use fork to flatten balls in criss-cross pattern.

{ The mats on my baking sheets are called Silpats.  I learned about them years ago from Martha.  Thay are a dream to cook with - never any mess on your cookie sheets to clean up!  You can buy them at Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, or other kitchen stores }

3.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 6 to 9 minutes or until set and golden brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheets and let cool on wire racks.

{ Yield:  Recipe claims 4 dozen....I got closer to 3 dozen. }

What did you cook this week?

Party Rules:

1.  Add a link in your post back to this post
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to your post.  You will find the button & code on my sidebar.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway

I have a great giveaway for you today from Shabby Apple!

Do you know about Shabby Apple?  They are an online boutique of beautiful women's dresses.

Here are just a few of my favorites (I could easily spend several hours going through all their dresses...)

Pretty, right?  I would love to wear any one to a holiday party this year.

The giveaway today is for the Nothin' Like a Dame dress.

I really like the classic style of this dress with the fun addition of ruffles around the collar.  Wouldn't this be a festive dress for Christmas or New Years?

Entering is simple. 

Head on over to Facebook and "like" Shabby Apple.  You must "like" Shabby Apple on Facebook to be eligible to win.  Then come back here and leave me a comment.  That's it!  One comment per person, please.

*** Giveaway is open to residents of the United States, or those with US mailing addresses ***
{ Apologies to my non-US friends }

*** A winner will be chosen by random on Friday, November 25th ***

*** I will contact the winner via email.  Please leave your email address in your comment if you don't have a Blogger account ***

Good Luck!

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall in Photos

No words today, just a few photos of Fall in my neighborhood.  I hope Fall is just as pretty where you are.

Stop back on Friday for an exciting giveaway!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: My Favorite Mac & Cheese

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

The Mac & Cheese at The Green Well is probably my favorite meal in town.  I've been ordering it for several years and have a hard time even considering ordering something different when I'm there.  I even mentioned The Green Well Mac & Cheese in this post.

I've searched online for the recipe before and never had any luck.  I decided to look again and found it right away!  And it was posted almost two years ago.  That's two years of me missing out on making this amazing dish at home.  Click right here for the recipe.  As excited as I was to find the recipe online, the exact measurements and directions were incomplete.  For the most part, I think I figured it out. 

- Canola oil & olive oil
- 3 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
- 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
-1 cup snow peas cut in half
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced 
- 3/4 cup whole cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt, pepper, basil and thyme
- 1-1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 large onion, caramelized
- 8 oz cavatappi pasta, cooked

{ I left out truffle oil and ham, both are included in The Green Well's recipe }

1.  The key to preparing this recipe to to cook several of the ingredients first.  Cook the chicken, bacon, and pasta before you start making the recipe.  Also caramelize the onion ahead of time.  You could even do that a day or two in advance.  I think a leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken would work really well.

2.  Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add bacon, chicken, snow peas, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic to pan and saute until garlic caramelizes.

3.  Add cream and all four cheeses and stir.  Add caramelized onions.  Continue to cook over medium-high heat until sauce is bubbly and thickens.  Add pasta and stir until coated.

4.  Serve and enjoy!  Recipe makes four servings.

I'm pretty excited to be able to enjoy my favorite restaurant meal at home!

What did you cook this week?

{ Party Rules }

1.  Add a link in your post back to this post.
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to your post.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kitchen Favorites Link Party: 12.2.11

Hi guys.  Happy Friday!  Are you ready for the weekend?  I know I am!

I'm going to host a link party called "Kitchen Favorites".  I thought it would be fun to see what people like to use in the kitchen.  You could link up a post about your favorite ingredients, favorite pantry staples, favorite baking tools, favorite kitchen appliances, favorite cookbooks, or a combination of anything that's a favorite for you in your kitchen!
The party will be on Friday, December 2nd.   Just in time for the Holiday season.  I'm sure we all do more cooking around the holidays, so maybe you will find a new favorite or a gift idea for your favorite cook!

See you three weeks from today for the party!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Designer Diaries: New Elementary School

I'm back with another installment in my Designer Diary Series.  This time it's to share a little bit about an elementary school I designed that is currently nearing completion.

In the early stages of the design process, I sometimes start with just a palette board.  I make up several paint palettes along with inspiration photos for the client to look over.  It's a nice way of getting them to chose a direction for their building, without overwhelming them with lots of design decisions all at once.

Here is the board they choose:

 { I've cropped off the titleblock @ the bottom of the board, that's why it looks a little funny }

At the next design meeting I came back with options for the finishes.  This is what they choose:

The image below shows a small portion of the school.  This is the floor pattern they chose for the corridors:
And here is a photo of the flooring being installed:

I know the quality of these photos isn't the best - this job is out of state so I haven't been able to visit the site to take photos.

The flooring is linoleum by Forbo.  Linoleum gets a bad rap because most people refer to sheet vinyl as linoleum.  Huge, huge difference - not at all the same thing!  Real linoleum has been around long before sheet vinyl and is manufactured of natural ingredients (linseed oil, resins, natural pigments, and jute backing).  Linoleum is definitely making a comeback and is once again popular.  This building will be LEED certified, so linoleum was the perfect choice for many reasons.  I've also specified Armstrong linoleum - both are great manufacturers.

This is the floor pattern they selected for the cafeteria:

Tile behind the drinking fountains:

I know, I'm sure this isn't exciting to you, but I just love seeing anything that I designed!  I wish I had more photos of the building to share.  So far, this is all I have!

These are a few of the fabrics I used on furniture throughout the building.  The top one is from Arc Com and the middle and bottom one are both from Momentum.  All three are Crypton - a high performance upholstery.

I just love this one:

And this one too:

This is a very small portion of the complete design.  Most people think that interior design is chosing colors and selecting patterns.  In reality, it is just a VERY small portion of the process.

Hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

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