Monthly Archives: January 2012

Fruits of Labor: breaking the mold

January 24, 2012

 i have a soft spot for vintage molds (here). There is a scene in the first season of downtown abbey when daisy carefully releases a jelly from its mold… i pretty much die at that scene. 

At the moment I am fostering a mold and its gorgeous, handmade and has the loveliest cherries crafted into the top. Its pretty much been screaming at me to use it but truthfully i was a little intimidated and unsure. Insert christmas present from my mom (donna hay’s seasons), a slightly modified recipe, a little bit of luck and…. magic. 

It was my fist ever panna cotta and I must admit it was much easier than I expected. I did take a bit of the easy route and made a simple vanilla version. But I was elated as I carefully released the mold and there was this perfectly formed bit of sweetness….. i pretty much died at the scene. 
Sorry for the terrible night shot but this lovely was not going to last till morning. 

Recipe Adapted From Donna Hay

2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 Tablespoons milk
1 C of cream
1 C of milk (i used 1%)
1/3 C brown sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
and a mold or molds of some sort that can facilitate 2 1/2 cups or 1 1/4 cups each. Lightly Greased 

place the gelatine and 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl, stir to combine and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes or until gelatine has dissolved. Place the cream, 1 cup of milk, brown sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Add in the gelatine and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool

Pour the cream mixture into your lightly greased  mold/s and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until set. carefully run the tip of a sharp knife around the rim of the mold. invert onto plate/ or plates 

to find the mold i used in my shop

kitchen island inspiration

January 19, 2012

 im on the hunt for a kitchen island. our kitchen is a big wide open square, everything is pushed to the edges, and it would benefit from the addition of some type of island or cart. This addition would better utilize the open space. It would also be nice to have some extra, accessible storage for those things we use every day, and my growing collection of cookbooks 

 my concern is, that while i would jump at the chance to have a big old square butchers block in the center of the kitchen, my kitchen table is already very wood heavy. It sits in an dining nook just off the kitchen so I don’t want them to compete. This leads me toward a metal island, but they all seem to look a bit sterile, a bit hospital. I also like the open feel of a cart-like island more than a closed cabinet type.

what do you think? 

images: 1, 2, 3, 4 

flea market finds

January 18, 2012

 flea market find ~ 
    a big chunky necklace made of bone and sliver. i love the creamy earthy colors of the natural materials. great with big heavy winter sweaters i think it will carry into other seasons too. 

A Sense of Place

January 17, 2012

 Sonoma proved to be a fabulous weekend and our little 1930’s cabin overlooking the river made it even more enjoyable. Its sweetness was inviting and made each of us feel very at home during our stay. I am always amazed by that feeling I can get in a house that is unfamiliar and doesnt belong to me provides such a strong sense of place. 

I could have sat on that big back porch for a life time. Even in the chilly winter mornings as the mist rose up blue from the pine ladened hillside on the opposite side of the river. the sun was strong enough to sit and warm my face. a cup of coffee between my hands and it was a perfect first few minutes of the day. 

Flowers for Friday

January 13, 2012

 the evening light these days is simply gorgeous. it seems to power into my kitchen windows each afternoon full of promise. A rich golden hue hints at the possibility of spring even though it is only the start of january, the light seems much stronger at this time of day than its weak steely morning self. I couldnt help but try to capture some of it for this weeks flowers for friday post. A collection of objects interrupted but the bright green of tiny air plants and a burst from a fern frond clipped from the plants on my patio. I am also eagerly waiting on a few paperwhite bulbs, being gone I did not want to start forcing them until now, but the entire time I was away they were “burning a hole in my pocket” as I couldn’t wait to get home and start them. 

I am off on a girls weekend to Sonoma to celebrate the upcoming wedding of a dear friend. It will be nice to spend the time with everyone and I am very much looking forward to exploring a new part of my California world that I have not been to yet (im a napa girl). We have planned some hikes, bbqs from the back deck which overlooks the river and a trip on the Winter Wineroad  for sunday. It should be a full one. 

What are your plans for the holiday weekend? 
See you back here on tuesday. 


A Fresh Start

January 9, 2012

Hello! and a happy new year to everyone. Im back from my holiday travels and so happy to be home. It was wonderful to be away and spend times with friends and family on the east coast and ireland, but its always so nice to come home again. 
I have lots of new items for the shop and will be listing them soon and have been pouring over new design and cookbooks and cant wait to share. 

How are you spending the first few weeks of the new year?