Unique Idea: Screen Door Pantry

Another genre of my collection that you'll be seeing a lot of is home ideas. Since we'll be looking for a house soon you can bet that I'll be looking for design inspiration. This is one idea that I absolutely love:

Its so unique, affordable and just all around awesome. Hopefully we'll have a pantry so that I can actually put this one to the test (hope you like it, Tony!) I also love the use of old jars as storage containers and the fact that they illuminated the inside. The only problem: you have to be organized since everything is on display...but, that's not a bad thing!

Wedding Inspiration

Because we are busy planning our wedding you can probably count on the 30% random assortment being well, mostly wedding related ramblings. This post is just about my basic wedding inspiration. Before we began looking at venues or cakes or thinking about flowers, before anything, I created this inspiration board:

This really embodies the feel I'm hoping to achieve on our big day... a casual but beautiful ceremony with a laid-back brunch reception to follow...and, inspired by fall of course. I loved the idea of using simple jars as centerpieces and the rustic burlap on the tables. Unfortunately I collected these images before this blog began so I can't give credit to where I found them (same goes for below!). Anyway, we have decided on a venue for the ceremony and reception and I think it will be perfect for the style we are hoping for!

Peterson- Dumesnil House, Louisville, KY
The photo doesn't begin to give justice to how gorgeous the house is. I'm still keeping my same theme and hoping for a more vintage feel. I'm also set on using jars for centerpieces - old blue Ball jars to be exact...I am so excited about this idea! My parents already have a few and Tony and I have been able to find a handful at the local Peddler's Market (we're also accepting jar loans from other family members, *hint hint.)

More inspiration for jar centerpieces
Another thing I'm excited about is making my own invitations, other decorations, and maybe even cake -- more to come on all of those topics later but for now I just wanted you to get the idea of what we're going for! I could post on wedding topics forever but that's all for now.
This blog could be just the remedy for Tony's, my parent's and my co-worker's ears - somewhere else to talk about the wedding other than constantly rattling on to them!

Recipe: March Madness PB "Blossoms"

In honor of March Madness I've decided to post an idea for basketball cookies that, just by chance, I came up with last year. I had decided to make traditional Peanut Butter Blossom cookies for Easter which was also, coincidentally, a big day for college basketball. At the last minute I decided it would be fun to attempt making the cookies look like basketballs and just see how they turned out. This is what I ended up with:

These cookies are already a cinch and to make it easier I was using pre-made cookie dough that day. I simply used food coloring (it took quite a bit) to turn the dough orange and baked the cookies like normal. After they cooled I melted the Hershey Kisses and used a sandwich bag as a piping tool to draw on the basketball lines. They ended up looking pretty awesome and tasted just like the regular blossom cookies! If you want to make a basketball themed cookie and are looking for something other than ordinary sugar cookies, I would definitely recommend giving this a shot.

You can find a traditional, non-shortcut version of Peanut Butter Blossoms here.

Original Collector: me

Monday, March 30, 2009

Recipe: Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting

Ok, I finally decided to collect this recipe because I saw versions of it posted everywhere around St. Patrick's Day. I avoided it for awhile because I find the thought of these cupcakes slightly disgusting (Guinness is nasty) but, on the other hand, they are so unusual that that I'm very intrigued. After all, Guinness and chocolate are supposed to be great together and cream cheese and Bailey's is a no-brainer. So I'm filing this one away for next March...I'm sure Tony won't complain.
From Nook & Pantry
2 C unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 C Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light or dark brown sugar
4 oz. or 1/2 C unsalted softened butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg
1/2 C sour cream
1 12 fl. oz. bottle Guinness or stout beer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter or line with paper cups 2 12 count muffin tins.
In a large bowl briefly whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add one egg and beat until evenly mixed and fluffy, make sure to scrape down the mixer bowl once in a while. Add the second egg and vanilla extract and beat again until light and fluffy.
Add the sour cream and beat in, then with the mixer running, slowly pour in the Guinness.
Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and slowly stir the batter until it is evenly mixed and there are no streaks of flour. Make sure to stop the mixer frequently to scrape down the sides and make sure to mix up any flour pockets hidden on the bottom of the bowl.
Divide 1/4 C of batter into each muffin cup, you’ll get about 20 – 24 cupcakes.
Bake at 350 degrees F on the middle rack for 20 – 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake in the middle of the pan should come out clean. Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through baking. Set on a rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.
For layer cakes: baking 25 – 30 minutes, rotate the pans around halfway, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean.
Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz. bar of cream cheese, softened
1 4oz. stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 C confectioner’s sugar
4 – 6 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, add the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the Bailey’s, more or less depending on how boozey you want the frosting, and beat until completely incorporated into the frosting.

Original Collector: me

Recipe: Spiced Apple Butter

For my first real entry I wanted to post a special family recipe: my grandmother's spiced apple butter. I must admit that I've never made this by myself (yet) but it's always been a family staple. Each year we'd have a homemade stock pile of jars to share, all made from the apples out of my grandfathers garden. I doubt there was a day our fridge was without an open jar because I could, and most likely did, eat it straight with a spoon. Who am I kidding?...I still eat it straight out of the jar because there is NO better apple butter on earth! Come to think of it, it was really the only apple butter I knew for most of my childhood (I was lucky!) This fall, when apple-pickin' time is here, the following recipe will be top priority:

12 cups sliced apples
3 cups apple cider
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Peel, core and slice apples. Cook apples in cider on stove until soft. Transfer cooked apples to a heavy roaster-type pan, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bake in oven at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally. Will need to bake a minimum of 2-3 hours until thick (use your best judgment) and then ladle into pint jars leaving 1/2-inch head space. (Makes approximately 6 pints.) Process in water bath for 10 minutes after water starts boiling.

Original Collector: My Grandmother

An introduction, an explanation


Before I began planning my wedding I was frighteningly unaware of the vastness of the blogging world. While searching for inspiration I’ve stumbled across blogs on every single topic under the sun and WOW, I’m impressed. How can this naivety be? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve actually been a member of the blogging world since 2005 where I share a private blog with my hometown best friends…a laid-back blog of 2 parts catching up, 1 part gossip, and 1 part “Dear lord, please keep me from being bored at work!” It’s a wonderful, comfortable space to hang out with my old friends (all now in separate corners of the globe) that has served well and, hey, it’s the closest we can get to meeting up for happy hour.

As for this blog…well, this will serve as my own life’s “recipe” box or a more accurate description: a hodgepodge, catchall of all things I love. For years I’ve had a serious obsession with cutting, tearing, rewriting, saving, or book marking anything and everything that inspires me. This habit has inevitably created a cluttered mess of piles of magazine clippings, printouts and disordered, arbitrarily named folders on my desktop. My collection is roughly 70% recipes and 30% other inspirational fascinations: photos, projects, interior design clips, jewelry, artwork, and random items I love but have no use for and/or cannot afford. Welcome to my attempt at organizing and compiling all of these tidbits….maybe you’ll find something you love too.

Disclaimer: In no way do I guarantee that I will update this blog daily, weekly or even monthly. I do not guarantee that I will not completely forget about or abandon the blog after 1 or 2 weeks. I will try my best to update but knowing me this could be another short-lived fascination that gets filed away in the rest of my collection.


Saturday, March 28, 2009