Thursday, March 24, 2011

Little Surprises

When looking at  how people decorate their space my favorite thing is to discover the hidden details or random things used in a unique way. Sometimes the most random things get make an impact. I think it shows a persons personality.

Images via

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Oatmeal Stout Cake with Apples & Whiskey Cream

In honor of St. Patty's Day tomorrow! I found this via the Big Girls Small Kitchen blog, which is one of my new faves.


Oatmeal Stout Cake with Apples & Whiskey Cream
Makes 1 loaf
The whiskey is optional, as is the cream. The cake is wonderful with and without ‘em.

1 cup oats
11/2 cups oatmeal stout or other dark stout beer
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup neutral oil
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1-2 tablespoons whisky
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Table. Cloth.

I'm having a dinner party Friday night and I have yet to figure out the menu. I'm too distracted searching for pretty tablecloths!

This is my fave.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What I Want: Backyard Studio

Though I have a lovely view of the lake from my corner office (woohoo!) I would so much rather work from home. But rather than plant my bum on my couch every day and make a permanent dent, I think I would build a backyard studio/office. How great would one of these be?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Cider-Glazed Mini Apple Muffins

This past weekend I had an impromptu relaxing Sunday and spent absolutely zero (yes, zero!) hours in the lab working on my design project. So what if it was because I left my keys in my office? Oops! Anyway, it was wonderful to just lounge around at home. And how did I start this great day? By making these cute little muffins

I must admit that I read the recipe way too quickly and thought it said apple cider vinegar (which I have in my cupboard) instead of apple cider (which I don't have). Again, oops. So instead I shredded the other half of the apple and it worked like a charm.  Instead of walnuts I used almonds because that's what I had. Although I didn't do the glaze since I was missing the all-important apple cider, I think they were still very, very tasty!

Cider-Glazed Mini Apple Muffins

For muffins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apple
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider
  • 1 large egg

For cider glaze
  • 2 cups unpasteurized apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Make muffins:
Preheat oven to 400°F. and grease twelve 1/8-cup mini-muffin cups (about 1 3/4 inches across top and 3/4 inch deep).
Lightly toast walnuts and chop fine. Core and peel apple and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a saucepan melt butter and stir in brown sugar. Remove pan from heat. Whisk cider and egg into butter mixture until smooth and add to flour mixture, stirring until combined well. Stir in walnuts and apple. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake 15 minutes, or until golden.
Make glaze while muffins are baking:
In a 2-quart saucepan boil cider 15 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/2 cup, and pour through a sieve lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth to remove sediment. Return cider to cleaned pan and add sugar. Simmer mixture, stirring, until syrupy, about 5 minutes. While muffins are still warm, with a wooden pick make several holes in top of each muffin. Brush warm glaze over muffins several times until absorbed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inspiration: Marimekko

I'm working on my next big project for class and have started looking for some prints and patterns that will inspire me. I can't help but always go back to Marimekko.

I love the bold patterns and the bold colors. And the use of circles...I have a thing for them and I would be happy having every single pattern consist of nothing but circles!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Music Monday: Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats

Jose Gonzalez + his cover of The Knife's "Heartbeat" = a freakin' match made in heaven.

What a perfect way to start the week.

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