Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Skirt

I've decided to invest in a tree skirt this year, and this felt, button-covered design from Crate and Barrel has won my heart.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cranberry Craving

I basically spent the long weekend in one of two places, hovering over pots and pans in the kitchen or on the couch stuffing myself. My favorite dish to prepare was this delightful cranberry sauce. The pop-pop-pop of the cranberries splitting as the mixture came to a boil is my new favorite sound. This recipe is simple and fast, and the results are a not-to-sweet, perfectly tangy cranberry sauce that is great amidst the sea of food on your Thanksgiving Day plate or on a turkey sandwich two days later. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Orange-Scented Cranberry Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rotary Club

Although seemingly impractical, I currently have a soft spot for these vintage rotary phones.

Chocolate, Coconut, and Chaos

The chaos of the holidays has hit. I'm struggling to organize travel plans, get some early Christmas shopping done, and most urgently, buy all my Thanksgiving essentials before the grocery store turns into a madhouse. In the midst of all this, it's important to take time to enjoy the little things, like coconut and chocolate.

I'm a big fan of bars when it comes to potlucks and group events. These black-bottom coconut bars come together fast and are a crowd pleaser. Plus, they're like a macaroon and brownie in one, and when it comes to this time of year, even desserts should give you more bang for your buck.

Black-Bottom Coconut Bars
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

Chocolate Base
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

Coconut Topping
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 package sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces), 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling

For chocolate base: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang; butter bottom and sides of foil (not overhang). Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave. Add sugar and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in egg, then cocoa and flour until smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake just until sides begin to pull away from edges of pan, 10 to 15 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool slightly while preparing coconut topping. Keep oven on for topping.

For coconut topping: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Gently mix in flour and coconut (except 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling). Drop mounds of mixture over chocolate base; spread and pat in gently and evenly with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup coconut. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Lift cake from pan, peel off foil, and cut into 24 bars.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trapper Keeper

I'm not fully confident in my ability to pull off this look, but I'm in the market for a trapper hat. They're just so quirky and fun, aren't they?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

I'm pleased to announce the winner of the giveaway! It's Simply Mel of REVERIE.

Congrats, Mel! You'll have to let us know what you buy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

To Market, To Market

Banjo music, hot cider, and free samples. A Saturday at the farmers' market makes me very happy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

There's Been a Murder ... in Savannah

Tonight's episode of The Office held a special place in my heart. Especially when Andy said a Savannah accent is like "molasses just sort of spilling out of your mouth."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Big Tuesday Giveaway!

Updated: Simply Mel of REVERIE is the winner.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I've been hunting for a good pair of walk-to-work shoes, but now that Seattle has decided to get all cold and wet, a nice pair of walking boots seems to make sense too. Clarks shoes are known for being comfortable, but they also manage to be cute. Maybe I need some comfy flats, clogs and heels too. See these styles and more from Clarks.

I'd say it's time to start shoe shopping! Thanks to the good people at, one lucky reader will receive a $75 gift certificate to spend on Clarks or any other brand that Onlineshoes carries. They've got everything from Adidas to UGG, so you're sure to find something fit for your feet.

To enter, check out and then leave a comment below before midnight on Sunday, November 15th. If you want two chances to win, become a follower or let me know if you already are one. One lucky recipient will be chosen at random. Sorry -- open to U.S. residents only.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tape Unmasked

Before I wrap another present or send another package, I'm investing in some of this colorful masking tape. It's made from a Japanese paper called washi, and it comes in all sorts of shades and patterns. Wouldn't you love a package covered in this stuff to show up on your doorstep?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Team Crew

J.Crew is killing me (and my bank account) lately. Their layers and accessories make me so happy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bridesmaid Bliss

I just love this wedding featured on Once Wed. The bridesmaids wore assorted vintage dresses in the sweetest shades. Isn't that just the nicest thing you could do for your bridesmaids? The groomsmen look pretty nifty too.

[Photos: Raya Carlisle Photography]

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I could eat brunch every day and be a happy camper. There's something so relaxed and pleasant about it. On Sunday, the hubs and I went to Art Restaurant for a feast of fresh fruit, thick-cut bacon, waffles, and lighter than air lemon ricotta pancakes, and I could do it all over again right now.

Coffee Keeper

How cute is this carafe? The color and shape would look so perfect on my kitchen counter. Leftover coffee has never been so fun.


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