Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pretty Playing Cards

I don't give much thought to decks of cards. They're one of those things that I don't remember buying, but I always have stashed away somewhere in a junk drawer. But these two beautiful decks designed by Karla Pruitt put other cards to shame. I'm already inspired to play solitaire and host poker nights more often.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Thoughts of the Week

I've got Easter on the brain this week. This Easter bark is too clever.

Bunny ears to make your ice cream cute.

And the Easter basket of my dreams.

Also, I can never resist a pavlova.

I love the style of this Chicago condo.

Macaron ice cream?! Yes please forever and ever.

Hope you have some fun in store this weekend and spring is in the air wherever you are. We're heading to Houston -- dog, baby and all -- to celebrate Jonah's birthday! Harrison's bringing his new sunglasses.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Girl Scout Cookie Inspiration: Samoa Ice Cream Terrine

I have love for all Girl Scout cookies, but Samoas hold a special place in my heart thanks to the tasty trifecta of chocolate, caramel and coconut. I tried to recreate the magic in a terrine version with three pints of gelato. It's all the flavor of the beloved cookie in frozen form.

Samoa Ice Cream Terrine

1 pint of coconut gelato
1 pint of caramel gelato
1 pint of dark chocolate gelato
1 cup toasted coconut
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Line the inside of a loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting a few extra inches hang out over the edges. I found taping the excess plastic wrap to the outside of the pan helped the first layer go in smoother. Let the pint of your first layer of ice cream or gelato (coconut), soften for about 20 minutes, so it’s spreadable. Using a rubber spatula, spread the whole pint in a flat layer over the bottom of the pan. Place loaf pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

While that layer freezes, remove your second pint (caramel) from the freezer, so it can soften. Once the first layer is firm, spread the second pint of ice cream over it and return the loaf pan to the freezer. Repeat the process with your third layer (chocolate). Once you’re finished, cover the top layer with plastic wrap. Let the finished terrine freeze for at least 6 hours. Once it's ready, unfold the plastic wrap and invert the pan onto a serving plate. With a little wiggling, the terrine should slip out. Remove plastic wrap and garnish with toasted coconut. Melt chocolate and drizzle or pipe over terrine. Slice with a serrated knife and serve immediately.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cord Case

I'm always in need of more organization in my life, which is why I like the idea of the cordito. Instead of finding tangled headphones at the bottom of my bag, they could be neatly organized alongside all my other electronic accoutrement and rolled up in a handy leather burrito.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread

I wanted to bake something green for Saint Patrick's Day, so I turned to the always trusty pistachio. This dough comes together so quickly, and the shortbread is buttery and crumbly with happy flecks of green sprinkled throughout. The cookies are delicious as is, but I decided to step things up because you know, Erin go Bragh and all of that, so I dipped the shortbread in melted chocolate and sprinkled with additional pistachios. Enjoy them with Irish breakfast tea and have a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Pistachio Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Bon App├ętit

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup natural unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted, chopped
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter, pistachios, egg yolk, and vanilla. Pulse until moist ball forms. Transfer dough to work surface. Divide dough in half. Form each dough half into 8 x 1 1/4-inch log (if dough is too soft, chill until firm, about 30 minutes). Wrap logs in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. Can be made 5 days ahead; keep chilled. Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rolling log after every few slices to retain round shape. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake shortbread until barely golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool shortbread on baking sheets.

Optional: Melt 3 ounces bittersweet and 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, stir and dip cooled cookies halfway into chocolate. Finely chop 1/4 cup of pistachios and sprinkle over cookies. Let set for about an hour until chocolate hardens.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Same Suit

I bought this Seafolly swimsuit in black years ago, and I still absolutely love it. Old-fashioned cutesy and very forgiving, just what I'm looking for in swimwear. Anthropologie now has the same swimsuit in a selection of patterns and colors. Pineapples! Polka dots! I'm thinking of ordering one, and since I know it works, avoiding the pain of trying on swimsuits.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

By the Bar

When I'm shopping, I generally go for the liquid soap, but apparently bar packaging is where it's at. Some pretty paper, a subtle scent and you've suddenly won me over.

[found here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fair Feather

I love the detail in these large prints of feathers. It's just the sort of simple image that would make a big impact in a living or dining room.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thin Mint Chocolate Bark

I love chocolate bars, and I love Girl Scout cookies, so I thought why not combine them? If you can manage to set aside some Thin Mints before devouring a whole sleeve of them, I'd say it's for a worthwhile cause.

Thin Mint Chocolate Bark

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8-10 Thin Mint cookies

Melt both chocolates in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave in 30-second increments. Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet. Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Crumble thin mint cookies over the melted chocolate and gently press the larger pieces into the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Break the bark into pieces and serve at room temperature.


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