Monday, February 28, 2011

Little Bee

If you're looking for something to read, try Little Bee.  You won't regret it.  Per the book cover, I'm not supposed to share with you any more details...just read it.

Kenneth Brown Design

I heard about Kenneth Brown last week when One King's Lane did a Tastemaker Tag sale on him.  I liked his collection and decided to check out his portfolio.  He categorizes his designs into two categories: Tailored Transitional and Warm Modern.  After perusing his entire online portfolio, it was abundantly clear that I fall into the Tailored Transitional side.  Not one of the Warm Modern designs was up my alley despite the description of "Warm Modern" making me think it would.

Here are my favorite Tailored Transitional spaces:

If you aren't a One King's Lane member and you are interested, click here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adorned Abode is on Facebook

Would love for you to "like" the Adorned Abode Facebook page.

Spicy Italian Sausage and Pasta Carbonara

What you'll need:
8 ounces (half of a box) of fettuccine
1 1/2 cupsof frozen peas
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more to top with
salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:
Grill the sausage.
Cook pasta according to package directions and add in frozen peas for the last minute. 

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together half and half, parmesan cheese and egg yolks.

Save 1/2 cup of hot pasta water.  Drain pasta and peas and return to pot.  Add in egg mixture and saved pasta water.  Cook over low heat until sauce thickens.  Serve with sausage and top with parmesan cheese.

Super fast and easy!  Original recipe from Real Simple here.

It's been a while...

...since I have really been feeling Crate & Barrel.  I've swung through the store, shopped the outlet store, and flipped through many, many of the catalogs I receive in the mail but honestly nothing has tempted me lately.  And just as I can't pinpoint why I haven't been into it lately, I can't seem to figure out what it was about the Spring 2011 catalog that had me dog-earring nearly every page.  Here is a round up of my favorites from the latest catalog:

Has it just been me or have you been feeling Crate & Barrel the whole time? 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Decorating on a Dime Martha Style

The other day my girl Martha had a post about cheap and cheerful decorating ideas and I'm proud to say that I thought of one all on my lonesome!  I know since I haven't posted about it yet that you can all assume I am making this up but I assure you I'm not.  Move over, Martha! 

Anyway, the one that I thought of was using a mirror as a tabletop.  I have a beautiful, antique, round wooden table that my grandmother gave me that we use as a side table in our den.  I love it but it is getting worse for the wear.  So, last week I measured and ordered a mirror to fit over the top.  I thought it would not only help protect it but modernize it some.  Plus, we don't have an abundance of light in that room so with a lamp sitting on top of the mirror, I am hoping it will reflect some.  I'm supposed to pick up my mirror this weekend so I'll take pics when I have it set up. 

All that said, I'd disagree slightly with Martha's idea being on the cheap...while I'm sure buying a piece of glass is less expensive than purchasing a whole table, it wasn't inexpensive by any means to have a piece of custom mirror cut and beveled on the sides so it isn't sharp.  Just sayin'.  While you are in great anticipation of waiting for my pictures, you can enjoy Martha's version in the meantime:

Next: Decorating frames with dried beans.  This idea looks pretty cool from a distance but I'm questioning how cute it really is up close.

Grouping lots of different mirrors together.  They are completely different in styles, shapes, sizes but are joined by the same paint color.  Seriously cheap if you scour thrift stores for your finds.

This is something I am to do if I ever have built in's: hanging framed art within book shelves.  You could frame a cute fabric scrap, a meaningful card or note, a photograph...lots of options!

Covering photo frames with fabric.  Easy and super cheap.  And how cool would it be to further coordinate fabrics in pillows, etc. wtihin your room.

Same idea as covering the frame with fabrics but here you use paper or fabrics to make the mats for your pictures.

Hanging empty frames.  I have one of these on my wall in my den and I only hung it there because I wasn't sure what else to put there...I've never gotten so many compilments on something so random.  And just imagine how cool a big grouping would look!  On another note, I luh-huve that bench.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bringing home the bacon.

So, this is a start of a new project for me.  As I'm sure you can tell from my blog, I love my new hobby of knitting.  There are so many great things that you can make.  Since I've started knitting, I've had this idea of wanting to make a bunch of knitted foods for a child's kitchen.  It's washable and fun.  Here is my first start...bacon!  It was an easy first project but fun.

Free knitted bacon project here.

Two things I can't get enough of lately...

My latest drink obsession is Frangelico which is hazelnut liquor.  I'm not typically a liquor person but every once in a while - especially after a good Italian meal - my husband enjoys a glass of port.  Blech.  But I didn't want to miss out on a fun after dinner drink.  So a waiter we had about a year ago brought me a taste of Frangelico and I nearly died it was so good.  It is a dessert in and of itself!  If you haven't tried it, treat yourself! 

The other thing I love lately is Philosphy's Snow Globe body cream.  It may have been a holiday special but I adore it.  It doesn't smelly Christmas-y at all.  Instead, it just smells super fresh like you've just gotten out of the shower.  And the thing I love most about it is that it really lasts.  Lately I've found it at TJMaxx for really reduced prices from the original $25 price tag.  Warning: if you live in the DC area, don't bother looking for it at TJ Maxx because I've bought 'em out...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aunt Tucker's Tex Mex Ravioli Casserole

We were in Norfolk last weekend to visit my grandmother.  My aunt made this Tex Mex Ravioli casserole that was a big hit.  She originally got the recipe from Southern Living but has changed it up slightly. 

Tex Mex Ravioli Casserole
What you'll need:
1 jar medium salsa
1 10oz can of tomato purree
1/2 tsp cumin
1 28 ounce bag of frozen cheese ravioli (unthawed)
1 19 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro
1 bunch of thinly sliced green onions
1 cups shredded sharp cheeddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese

What you'll do:
Combine the first three ingredients and pour 1/2 cup of the sauce onto the bottom of a lightlyh greased pan.

Top evenly with frozen ravioli, layer with beans, cilantro, onions and remaining sauce.  Top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for five additional minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

This was yummy and a unique take on a traditional italian dish.  My husband and I were talking about it on the way trip back home and decided that to make it even a little more tex mex that we would substitute the tomato puree for a can of Rotel (green chile and tomato mixture you can get in the tomato aisle).  My husband is also of the belief that no meal is complete without meat (a theory to which I personally do NOT subscribe but anyway...).  He had the idea of using meat stuffed ravioli instead of just cheese and serving this casserole along side a salad.

Knock it off.

I recently came across the Knock Off Decor site and thought it offered great inspiration for those who like to decorate on a budget - like me!  Although, I'm not sure I am nearly this crafty.  Regardless, this site links up to blogs with play by play tutorials on how to achieve these looks.  They have copy cat creations of lots of big name stores like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Ballard Designs, and Restoration Hardware, to name a few.

Here are some examples of ones that I'd like to consider trying sometime if the mood strikes.  In a few instances I truly like the copy better than the original.

Anthropologie Chair


Ballard Designs Mirror



Ballard Designs Newsprint Dress Art



Pottery Barn Fork and Spoon Art



Pottery Barn Tea Cup Lamps



Horchow Mirrored Desk



Have you tackled any of your own knock off designs? 

All of the tutorials for these can be found here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

My husband was reading a southwestern cookbook and started missing his native New Mexico home.  So, we concocted this dinner to try to cheer him up.  I did the peppers and he took on the red chile sauce and meat.  Together it was a great combo (but mine totally won!).  I don't know how he fixed the meat but supposedly he is going to do a guest blog post soon (don't hold your breath).  If you've never tried poblano peppers, you are in for a treat.  You can find them in most grocery stores these days.  Don't be intimidated - they aren't hot but they have great flavor and they are a great change from your ordinary old bell peppers. 

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
2 large poblano peppers (1 pepper can serve two people)
1 medium yellow onion
1 package of spanish rice
1 tbsp butter
1 cup Mexican cheese of your choice (we couldn't find cojito today but that would be awesome)
1 handful of fresh chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
3/4 cup chicken stock

Split the peppers down the middle and remove the seeds.  Heat a pot of water to a boil and cook peppers for about 5 minutes to begin to soften them.  Meanwhile, cook the Spanish rice to the package directions.

Remove peppers in water from heat to cool.  Heat butter and onion in another sautee pan until the onions are cooked through. 

While the onions are cooking, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.  Add in the cooked rice and sautee with the onion mixture. 

Add the chicken broth, cilantro and cheese and mix everything together so that cheese is melted and evenly distributed.  Stuff the peppers with the mixture and top with a little more cheese. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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