Monday, November 30, 2009
They filmed most of Cider House Rules at the house, and our irritating tour guide was super into this. He loved sharing "insider info" with us, like an awesome story about how they weren't supposed to film inside the house and then they did anyway.
The wedding exhibit was sort of strange, but we did learn some fun facts. The most interesting was that the tradition of not seeing each other prior to the ceremony was invented in the 1920s in a movie to add drama. But I just spent seven full minutes searching for this on Google, and it cannot be verified, so take that for what you will.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The basic premise is that entertainer Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) is tired of show business, tired of the late nights, tired of the constant travel. He leaves it all behind to open a quiet Inn in Connecticut that will only open on holidays.
There is lots of singing and dancing, beautiful costumes, and, of course, a love story. My family adores it.
* * * * *
I'm thinking a lot about traditions lately. Peter and I have been together for enough years now that we have some of our own. Everything feels very special to me this year, I think because we are in the midst of planning our wedding and becoming a family, in the official sense.
I should stop before I make myself cry at my desk. I've become quite sappy.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I don't have a picture of pumpkin crunch! But this is my Thanksgiving table last year.
My family has adopted it into our own Thanksgiving traditions, and this Thursday, when Peter and I are at his Uncle Jack's house celebrating the holiday, I will introduce it to them. I hope they love it as much as I do.
*A note about this recipe: Pumpkin Crunch isn't going to win any awards for being healthy or making use of local ingredients. Try not to hold that against it. I certainly don't.
15 oz can of pumpkin
12 oz evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups pecans, crushed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 box yellow cake mix, without pudding
2 sticks butter, melted (!)
POST EDIT: My sweet friend tells me it is supposed to be 2 sticks of margarine, not butter! Use this if you want to be more authetic. And Southern.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar and eggs in a bowl with a fork or whisk until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 inch glass pan (spray first with non-stick coating). Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans over cake mix. Drizzle melted butter on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Friday, November 20, 2009
2. I hand sewed this cute little bird last night! I highly recommend this to new sewers looking for a quick project. It took about an hour and a half, start to finish. And that's mostly because I had to read the directions 800 times. Not that they were confusing. I was just paranoid about making a mistake.
Find the instructions here. It would be a great little weekend project. I'm going to try to make some more. And I also have another sewing project in the works! Hopefully I'll be able to share next week.
The girls that work there are so helpful and nice. I said some really cool things like, "This is totally the best store ever!" and, "I want to come back EVERY DAY." Not weird at all. They took it all in stride, maybe because they know they work at the best place on Earth.
Anyways, I made my little project last night. Check back later to see it!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
And this morning! Getting ready together and drinking coffee and having someone around to tell me that my outfit looked cute! That's one of the things I miss the most about having roommates. It is so great to have an adorable person around that likes clothes and understands what jewelry you should wear with what, and can actually form an opinion when you ask if you should be wearing flats or boots with your outfit.
I really like this house guest thing so far.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We went to Willow Brook in South Windsor, which is an Executive Par 3 course. Beginning golfers, can I give you a quick suggestion? Seek out an Executive Par 3 course! It is so gratifying to see the hole when you are at the tee, and know that it is a manageable distance you can actually hit.
We've played on larger courses before this, and it is really difficult to not get frustrated while you hit and hit and hit the ball, creeping closer to the hole. I can't tell you how obnoxiously pleased I was to drive the ball onto the green a few times. And even to make par on one hole!
Well, I guess I will admit that it involved hand-punching, some cheering, and a lot of fishing for compliments. But that's normal, right?
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
And the patchwork quilt? Darling. I also kind of want the baby that's lying on top of it, but umm...not for another three to five years (Peter, are you reading this? Just checking!).
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Photo of the original, taken my sister. But I swear, mine looked just like this!
Trattoria Sostanza style buttered chicken or Pollo al burro
You will need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper
Add the butter to a small-ish cast iron skillet. Melt the butter over a medium-low heat until it is just becoming brown, about 10 minutes. A good tip from Sostanza was that the chicken should be packed into the pan because it gets less dried out that way. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto chicken and add to the skillet. Cook on one side for five minutes, then flip. Repeat, until both sides have been flipped twice (about 20 minutes cooking time total).
Pour all of that brown butter over the chicken. Don't be stingy! You've already decided to make a dinner with a whole stick of butter in it, so don't back down now.
At Sostanza, we always order buttered tortellini to go with it, but last night I served it with swiss chard-mashed potatoes and salad. A slightly lighter combination that was delicious.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
We are throwing a little Christmas party this year, despite my nervousness. I am so excited that a few friends from DC and my sister and her sweet boyfriend will be coming. It's still a long way off (NYC friends: mark your calendar for December 19th!), but I'm starting to look at different menu and entertaining ideas:
- Cranberry Caipirinha - we drank lots of caipirinha's in Brazil. It might be fun to do a holiday version of the drink for the party. Also, I'm kind of a sucker for pink drinks.
- White Crudites with Buttermilk Dip
- Classic Gougères - ever since I read about Molly Wizenberg's cocktail party fantasies in Bon Appetit, I've wanted to have one myself and serve these.
- Classic Cheese Plate
- Mini Meatballs with Yogurt-Dill Sauce
- Spicy, Sweet and Salty Rosemary Nuts
- Layered Peppermint Crunch Bark - these are so pretty, and so delicious.
Oh, I just love the holiday season.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Here are some of the pretty rugs I really like:
From Pottery Barn