A little "beginning of the week" inspiration from Kerrisdale Design.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
IT IS OFFICIALLY THE HOLIDAY SEASON!
Bright and early this morning we hit the road to get our Christmas tree... at Costco. Yes, our beloved Kirkland sells a Christmas tree and for $34 you can't beat it with a stick. FYI, they do not cut off the bottom for you nor do they provide rope to tie it to your car. However, it seems to be of good quality and so far we're pleased.
Getting our tree really put me in the mood to do some holiday decorating. I decided to tackle the front door. I did all my decorating for a grand total of about $35. The past several years I have been buying my holiday decorations AFTER the holidays. Everything is on sale in January and you will be able to find killer deals. My items came from Garden Ridge, Michaels, and Ballard Designs Outlet.
Here is how I started...
3 faux boxwood garlands (Ballards)
13 faux berry bunches (Michaels)
1 small faux boxwood wreath (Ballards)
Horn (Garden Ridge)
Here is a list of the steps:
1. Affixed small nails around the perimeter of the door
2. Hung garland with wire
3. Used wire to tie the separate garlands together
4. Added berry bunches by inserting the wire ends into the garland (no wire needed)
5. Removed individual berries from a single bunch and attached them to the small wreath
5. Removed original decorations from the horn (rope and cheap-looking bow)
6. Attached boxwood wreath to the horn with wire (making a small loop for hanging)
7. Put a small nail in the door
8. Hung wreath and horn
The final product...
Posted by outsidetheworkroom at 11:46 AM
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
This year we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house. I like prepare in advance for a dinner party, and Thanksgiving is no exception. And since it's such a big meal, I have begun preparing a solid 2 1/2 weeks in advance.
We will be having Mole-Spiced Roasted Turkey as our main course. This afternoon I made the mole gravy. Ina Garten let me in on the following tip: make Thanksgiving gravy ahead of time with drippings from a roasted chicken. I think this is genius because my idea of a good time is NOT stirring and sweating over a stove 10 minutes before dinner. And if you've never made gravy before, that is not the time to experiment.
The Mole-Spiced Roasted Turkey recipe in it's entirety can be found here.
Here's where I started...
(First I put my delicious little chicky in the oven with about 1/2 cup of chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
Salt & Pepper
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
(Additionally: 3 cups chicken stock, 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour mixed with water)
To make the recipe make-ahead friendly I mixed together the rub/paste ingredients. Instead of putting them on the chicken I put them aside during the roasting process. When the chicken was done cooking I put the pan over a medium flame, added more stock, and scraped up the brown bits. Then, I transfered to a sauce pan. I added the paste and the remainder of the broth (plus an additional cup more of broth.) I brought the mixture to a boil and then let simmer until thickened. Lastly I added about 1 Tablespoon of butter and the flour/water mix.
The taste of the gravy changed quite a bit over the next hour so I am letting it marry in the fridge overnight. Then it's off to the freezer for a nap until Thanksgiving dinner!
Posted by outsidetheworkroom at 5:08 PM
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I was recently looking at the Aiden Gray Home Web site and found some really cool stuff. Check out a few pieces...
Crushed Pebble Doves, suggested retail price $63
Flash Card Set, suggested retail price $189
Finial Collection, suggested retail price $504
Rustic Books, suggested retail price $297
Brussels Lamp, suggested retail price $594
Posted by outsidetheworkroom at 11:20 PM
Monday, November 1, 2010
This weekend I cleaned my natural-fiber rug. I can't even tell you what type of rug it is (jute maybe?) It's been in our dining room for about six years now. I am embarrassed to say it's never been properly cleaned.
I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.
Good thing I never removed the cleaning instructions!
However, I did not trust the pin-on instructions so I consulted my Bible, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook. Martha (I like to think of us being on a first name basis) suggests cleaning natural-fiber rugs by simply blotting spills immediately and using a professional service for deep cleaning. Our rug did not need a deep cleaning so we removed it from the dining room and hung it over the back of the deck to get some fresh air.
But, it needed a little bit more than a good airing so I decided to go old-school on it. I beat it with a broom. The method was highly effective. A lot of dirt came out as well as some of the loose fibers from the rug.
I was even able to get out a little bit of pent-up frustration!
Our freshly "cleaned" rug is headed back into the dining room.
I have made a promise to myself to clean it more than every six years.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN YOUR NATURAL-FIBER RUGS?
Posted by outsidetheworkroom at 5:01 PM