"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Shann Spishak Studio: Get the Look


Happy Monday, my friend! 
I was browsing Etsy this morning in full-speed-ahead procrastination mode when I happened upon this charming, homey print at Shann Spishak Studio. It's called, Espresso Morning, $8, which basically summed up the day thus far...I was immediately inspired - wouldn't it be fun to recreate the look in real life? Here' what I found (with a few ad-libs)...


Ikea dish towels, .79 cents each; Divine Twine, $15 at Whisker Graphics.

 Le Creuset Marseille 3 1/2 Quart Signature Round French Oven, $179.99  Overstock; Blue and white Ruan Hoffmann hand-painted tile, $178 at Anthropologie.

  Farmhouse Drainboard Sink, $1,875 at Vintage Tub and Bath. Mason Jar bouquet, $39 from The Sunflower Guy.

 
 Keurig K-10 Mini Plus Brewing System, $99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. J. K. Adams 1761 Cutting Board with Handle, $79.95 at Sur La Table.


Friday, September 26, 2014

PinTest: Garlic Pull Apart Bread AKA Magic Bread

 Since it's officially fall (no matter what the outside temperature says here in So Cal), I found myself compelled to bake. So, when a Pinterest recipe for Garlic Pull Apart Bread caught my eye I couldn't resist. Completely helpless.

Posted by Melanie Hiester on the Carmel Moments blog, the recipe has been shared more than 44 thousand times on Pinterest. Check out her amazing photos and you'll understand why!

True to the hype, the recipe was easy to follow and a big crowd pleaser.

One taste tester (my 17-year-old son) proclaimed the bread:
"Freakishly good!"
My 14-year-old Entrepreneur-In-Training commented:
 "You've got to retail this!"
 The yeast and sugar formed a heart!
A good sign I think! 

 Mincing garlic and parsley made the house smell amazing!

 The only downside to this PinTest was that while my KitchenAid mixer was kneading - the motor burned out! I started to smell something burning, then the machine stopped and started smoking...uh-oh!! Honestly, the machine has been more of a kitchen trophy than a tool for the past year, so it certainly wasn't from over-use - I was devastated.

 This is what it looks like going into the pan...

 For my part, I'm going to rename the recipe "Magic Bread" because it vanishes in the blink of an eye.

I think the bread could also make a great appetizer served with Marinara sauce - or honestly, on it's very own maybe with some spiced nuts, dried fruit, cheese and a nice cocktail...who needs dinner!

Here's the recipe from Carmel Moments:
Magic Bread
aka Garlic Pull Apart Bread 
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (8 oz) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (8 oz) milk (I used 1%)
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 5½ – 6½ cups (1 lb 9 oz – 2 lbs 3 oz) bread flour
For Topping:
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 4 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 4 cloves garlic, mined
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Sprinkle water with sugar and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes until foamy. Mix in butter, milk, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir in additional flour gradually. Add enough flour until dough is smooth. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but clears sides. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, oregano and minced garlic. Cut dough into 1-in. pieces; dip into butter mixture. Layer into 2 – greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Temperature should read 200 degrees. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Makes 2 loaves.
- See more at: http://carmelmoments.com/pull-apart-garlic-bread/#sthash.tE36vqgf.dpuf
 Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup (8 oz) warm water
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (8 oz) milk
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups bread flour (I cheated and used all purposed flour and it still worked!)

For Topping:
8 Tablespoons butter (whole bar) melted
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 4 teaspoons dried)
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions:
1. Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle water with sugar and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes until foamy. Mix in butter, milk, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir in additional flour gradually. Add enough flour until dough is smooth. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but clears sides. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.

2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, oregano and minced garlic. Cut dough into 1-in. pieces; dip into butter mixture. Layer into 2 – greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 

3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Temperature should read 200 degrees. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Makes 2 loaves.
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (8 oz) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (8 oz) milk (I used 1%)
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 5½ – 6½ cups (1 lb 9 oz – 2 lbs 3 oz) bread flour
For Topping:
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 4 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 4 cloves garlic, mined
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Sprinkle water with sugar and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes until foamy. Mix in butter, milk, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir in additional flour gradually. Add enough flour until dough is smooth. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but clears sides. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, oregano and minced garlic. Cut dough into 1-in. pieces; dip into butter mixture. Layer into 2 – greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Temperature should read 200 degrees. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Makes 2 loaves.
- See more at: http://carmelmoments.com/pull-apart-garlic-bread/#sthash.tE36vqgf.dpuf

Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (8 oz) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (8 oz) milk (I used 1%)
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 5½ – 6½ cups (1 lb 9 oz – 2 lbs 3 oz) bread flour
For Topping:
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 4 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 4 cloves garlic, mined
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Sprinkle water with sugar and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes until foamy. Mix in butter, milk, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir in additional flour gradually. Add enough flour until dough is smooth. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but clears sides. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, oregano and minced garlic. Cut dough into 1-in. pieces; dip into butter mixture. Layer into 2 – greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Temperature should read 200 degrees. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Makes 2 loaves.
- See more at: http://carmelmoments.com/pull-apart-garlic-bread/#sthash.tE36vqgf.dpuf

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Design Detail: Contact Paper

 Tea Rose

With a show of hands, who can say they love the contact paper lining their kitchen cupboards and drawers? Uh-huh. Exactly.
Since reorganizing the kitchen cabinets is on my Autumnal to-do list, I wanted to start from the bottom up and explore options for lining the shelves. Thanks to a quick Internet search, what I found was mind blowing (in a Where have you been all my life? kind of way). 
Chic Shelf Paper is an online resource that operates on the premise, "For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.” Amen.
Billed as "The web's largest selection of stylish shelf paper" the company also offers color customization as well as a pre-cutting service designed to save time and money. 
With hundreds of styles to choose from, I selected a few that caught my eye, as well as several from a smaller resource, Time Savors, on Etsy -to show you here.
The funny thing is, now I have a different problem...which one to choose? 

Suggestions?

 Basket Weave - Wheat

 Chandelier Damask in Cadet Blue

Charcoal Gray Subtle Stripe

 Blue Danube

 Moorish Pink

 Pink Fruits on Yellow

 Gold Leaf Damask

Birds and Berries

 Gypsy Garden

Pastel Yellow Stripe

Ava Hot Pink at Time Savors on Etsy

 Small Chevron in Black at Time Savors on Etsy

Small Chevron in Aqua at Time Savors on Etsy

 Serendipity Serenade

Seashell Medley

 Cheetah Print

Zebra Print

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Walkabout: Maison Midi at American Rag

French charm, sunny colors, dishes, glassware, tote bags, stripey rugs and art books are just a few of the swoon-worthy staples at Maison Midi - the oh-so-addicting home store adjacent to the grand daddy of trendy vintage clothing stores, American Rag Cie on La Brea in Los Angeles.
Mark Werts, legendary retailer and founder of both inspiring spaces says what makes Maison Midi unique is "passion and love".
It's obvious, oui?
Cafe Midi is a Parisian style sidewalk cafe with an inside counter and comfy banquette at the back of the store; and bistro tables, chairs and umbrellas out front. The perfect place to ponder those purchases you were considering...
The food, prepared by Chef Edouard Moyal is fresh and draws inspiration from French cooking as well as Moroccan and Mexican dishes. The lemon bar is generous! Bon appetit!
 Maison Midi and Cafe Midi are located at
 148 S. La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles is open daily, however, if you like the look but can't get to Tinsel Town anytime soon, check out the store online at

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Art & Design: Parachute Market LA

At first glance, the Parachute Market, last weekend's curated collective of directional design resources, could easily intimidate the uninitiated. Nifty food truck out front, check; attractive hipsters with beards and hats (not necessarily worn together), check; dialed in DJ spinning perfect soundtrack for browsing high end design, mimosa bar, juice bar and artisanal snacks check, check and double check.

However, in spite of the fact the designers and architects represented included many of the southland's most impactful and prominent, the vibe remained friendly, inclusionary and most notably passionate. Honestly, I've seen more attitude thrown around at the Gap.
The premiere artists, designers and curators showing inside the cavernous JF Chen showroom in West Hollywood were eager to talk about what they do, how they do it and why.
Jill Elizabeth, the artist and creator behind the company Untitled Rug, explained she began working with textiles after being diagnosed with toxic poisoning as a result of working with a previous medium.
Greg Wooten, co-owner of The Window gallery in Los Angeles happily discussed the construction of mid-century wooden sculpture and furnishings; Aeryn Shein enthusiastically presented his sculptural art and jewelry; and the twin Koharik brothers at Collected patiently answered my questions about the limited edition leather desk (sold!), inspired lighting, and a table top that turned out to be constructed from sliced pine cones.


 Puppy love. This piece was part of the contemporary art shown by Alexandre Huygevelde of San Francisco's Gallery 925.

Reflecting on design: A birdhouse from The Field Research Studio of the Otto Design Group.

 Leather tote ($550) from Alchemy Works...it is described as a "Men's Bag" designed by Stephen Kenn -but since when did that stop me? LOVE!
 Los Angeles darlings of design, Scout Regalia were in the house to showcase their super-fun furnishings, fixtures, lean-to's and bikes.

 Stripes are always classic. Paper mache zebra and stacked Louis Vuitton trunks (below) were shown by Big Daddy's Antiques.
 Perforated steel Mathieu Lanterns ($525) from Atelier de Troupe.

The concept behind the biannual event is to showcase iconic, period pieces alongside work that is destined to represent the era in which we live. Organizers Bianca Chen and Coryander Friend are hoping to reinvent the typical design show into something with more of a gallery feel. If you ask me, it worked.
I'll be sure to let you know when they are planning their next show, until then, Friend and Chen have created a brand new e-commerce website for virtual browsing.

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