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Archive for December, 2011

Don’t throw away those Christmas cards yet!!  Here is a wonderful idea that includes saving the environment, getting another use out of those Christmas cards without sending them to a landfill AND best of all, you are helping the kids of St. Jude!  Check out this link!

http://www.stjudesranch.org/shop/recycled-card-program/

Lovely Christmas Cards that St. Jude will love!

They suggest shipping your cards through the USPS Flat Rate Boxes that hold up to 70 lbs because it is the cheapest way to do it.  Don’t have that many friends?  Me neither- I only have about .5 lbs worth!  But you can ask your kids to go around your neighborhood collecting card-donations and collect some cards from your friends as well!  You’ll have a big pile in no-time!  I may even send my wedding cards to St. Jude once I get all my thank yous out!

It’s a great way to give back!

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These cookies are  a tribute to my favorite cookie lady: Joan M. Hennessy.  She would be proud of these little guys o:-)  even though they don’t hold a candle to her shortbread cookies!

These are pure magic!  And they’re soooo easy! Go! Go now!

Thumbprint cookies filled with strawberry pie filling

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
Red Jelly (feel free to use whatever flavor you’d like!)
Green Mint Jelly (ditto!)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla thoroughly.

Work in flour and salt until dough holds together. Shape dough by teaspoonfuls into 1-inch balls.

Beat egg white slightly. Dip each ball into egg white, then roll in nuts (I opted not to roll in nuts).

Place 1″ apart on ungreased baking sheet. Press thumb deeply into center of each.

Bake 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from baking sheet. Fill thumbprints with jelly.

Found them here: http://www.momswhothink.com/christmas/the-best-christmas-cookie-recipes-ever/1.html

I used strawberry pie filling because I didn’t have any jelly.  It tasted delicious but would be very hard to travel with them because it doesn’t harden.

~JMH~   In loving memory of Joan M. Hennessy.  You are missed every day.  ~JMH~

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As an interior designer (read: not a decorator) I can’t help but imagine my future home and what it will look like.  I do know that I will NOT live in something an architect designed… that’s for sure.  My house will be functional AND pretty! -Functional being the key word there, architects.   And…it might just include this bathroom…  I see it as a guest bathroom, on the second floor, with white towels, fancy soap and Remede Shampoo (http://www.remede.com/body_shampoo_actif.html) for our visitors.

Loving the white marble counter top, loving the faucets and fixtures, the light colored mill-work under the sink and totally loving the straw baskets!  Most of all, though, I’m loving the clean, simple look of this space!  It’s not overwhelming, there aren’t any hiding places for all the junk that accumulates in bathrooms yet there is just enough storage for the essentials; some extra rolls of toilet paper, a box of tampons and some air freshener.

Ahhhhh, gushing over here!  Love it!

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So I’ll send another pretty fabulous dip idea your way since me and the hubby spent part of our afternoon preparing our dips for tomorrow night’s NYE party.  This one is a WINNER if you like blue cheese…even if you don’t like blue cheese, you should give this guy a try!

I found this on a little blog called The Noble Pig.  It’s one of my favorite recipe-blogs!

http://noblepig.com/2009/10/12/blue-cheese-dip-with-caramelized-onions.aspx

Blue Cheese Dip with Carmelized Onions  (Adopted from Cuisine at Home)

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon Port

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)

6 ounces plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tablespoons scallions, chopped

Salt and cayenne to taste

Carmelize the onions in olive oil with sugar and salt in heavy skillet over medium low-heat.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching, but do not stir too often.  The will brown better if left alone.  After 5 minutes of cooking, cover the pan (the lid keeps moisture inside so the onions won’t burn easily).  Cook until brown and very soft, 20-25 minutes.  Stir in the port, scraping up any brown residue left on the bottom of the pan; cool onions slightly.

Blend cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise, Worcestershire and lemon juice in a bowl.

Add cooled onions, scallions, salt and cayenne to taste; stir to blend.  Cover and chill at least two hours but 24 hours is preferred.  The dip really changes flavor over that time.  Serve with potato chips.

Now, while potato chips sounded like a lovely idea, I used soft pretzel nuggets from Philly Soft Pretzel Factory last NYE when I made this.  It was AMAZING!  This year, I am in a little bit of a pickle…I live in California and there are no places to get REAL soft pretzels so I bought some Super Pretzels and I’m hoping they do the trick!  If not, we might just need to whip out a bag of potato chips!

Enjoy!

Update: I really wasn’t feeling the potato chip idea SO I decided to go with these:

Viola! Pretzle thins!

Excellent choice, if I say so myself!  Especially the Everything Pretzel thins!

Yummy!

And it was a huge hit!

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This dip has been my go-to dip of choice for awhile now.  Why you ask?  Well, it’s generally a crowd pleaser, it doesn’t require 300 different ingredients, a monkey on a unicycle could make it,  and it’s usually things that you have in your refrigerator and/or pantry.  My mom made it for a party a few years back and we haven’t stopped making it since!

Let’s get to it!  Here’s what you’ll need:

Mexican Corn Dip Ingredients

3- 11 ounce cans of Mexican Corn (drained)

12 ounces of Mexican Blend Cheese- shredded (3 cups)

1 cup of mayo (I use light mayo)

1 cup of sour cream (I use light sour cream)

1- 4 ounce can of diced green chiles (drained)

2-4 ounces of diced jalapenos (drained) – this depends on how spicy you want it.  Raw jalapenos work great too!

2-3 green onions (chopped)

1 dash of tabasco (I never usually put this in)

Pepper and salt to taste

1 teaspoon of sugar

Mix it all together

And, here’s the hard part:

Chill for 24 hours!

Serve with Tostito’s Scoops or something similar and you have yourselves a killer dip!
Enjoy!

We'll need more dip...

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So as an interior designer (read: not a decorator), I often find myself walking into a room and staring at the ceiling.  Or strolling down a hallway and admiring the flying buttresses above…. weird, I know.  So I happen to notice things like front doors on homes too.  Take this one for example:

Beautiful Blue Door

It makes a statement, adds a touch of color, but still remains classy and put-together.  The gray and white paneling and door frame combined with the light wooden floor on the porch really mellows out this semi-bright-light blue and, in my opinion, is awesome!  I could see this door in the Hampton’s somewhere, or on a large lake surrounded by trees and sailboats.  (I’m actually thinking of the house in “What Lies Beneath”)

See:

Harrison and Michelle's home in "WLB"

I just love the siding, the setting- everything!

Yes? Are ya with me on this one?

Anyway- I dig it.  What about you?

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Maybe I’m channeling summer with this post but it’s pretty great no matter what!

Three Tier Beverage Dispenser

Find it on http://www.houzz.com/photos/360220/Stacked-Optic-Glass-Beverage-Server-modern-serveware-

for $100 and use it for every summer (spring or fall) fiesta!  Looks gorgeous filled with different colored beverages and citrus slices or herbs!  I am feeling a watermelon lemonade with a sprig of rosemary floating around tier 2… what do you think?  Pretty beautiful!

 

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