Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boggy Creek Farm salvation & roasted eggplant soup recipe to keep you warm & toasty!

There is a place that is my equivalent to a Buddhist meditation retreat:  Boggy Creek Farm.

As I turn onto Lyons Street at the four way stop, my lips autopilot into a smile.  I approach the entrance, hidden and humble.  One must drive slowly up the gravel driveway as you pass the row of sunflowers, "Come in, slow down, we've been waiting for you," their whispers waft through the air as they beacon you in.  I crawl to a park and my smile deepens.

This is my grocery store, and, it fills me with light and life.  I used to come once every few months, I now come once a week. I hardly step into the bustling HEB any more, or even my once favored Natural Grocer.

Everything's slower here.  It's like you're in a film set in the 1800's far from the city folk, but you are minutes from downtown Austin.  The historic white farmhouse greets you as the mountain high pecans sway above, farmdog Buddy scampers around as you sit to watch hens peck around, flowers abound the property and the crops are in every direction around you.

I know my cashier, I know my farmer and their easy pace and friendly advice and conversation are the highlight of my week, without exception.

In the mood to cook something yummy with my BC eggplants, I googled a roasted eggplant soup recipe.  I didn't have 3 medium tomatoes or cream, but I had a jar of Larry's homemade fire roasted tomatoes which I'm sure were even better and I used 1 cup half and half as a replacement.  Takes about an hour to make.  Here the recipe is for you:

3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
4 cups non-chicken broth/stock
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a baking sheet.  Brush with sunflower oil.  Roast around 45 minutes.  Take out and scoop the eggplant from the skin into a large saucepan.  Discard the skin and add the roasted veggies and thyme to the same saucepan.  Add broth. Puree into a blender and return to saucepan.  Stir in cream as you simmer.  Salt and pepper and ladle into your bowl with a few sprinkles of goat cheese and mint (I added).

Here it is:

Enjoy and stay warm y'all!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friend Friday: Design by You

So.... don't freak out...I know... 2 posts in 1 day.  But, this has been on my mind:  I am in love with your taste.  Seriously.  I see little pockets of design brilliance in my friends homes all the time.  So why not share and inspire?  It's not just the crazy overachiever types who seem to do it all and make us want to gag.  It's you too.

I popped on Facebook and was dying!

#1 Remy, the muse, sweet thang, dog - Can you call her that?  Are dogs really that tiny??  I feel like she needs her own name.  And even her name, I want to call her Remington Steel for some reason.

#2 I am pretty much in love with everything in Bryce Smith's pad:

Where to start... I mean, "mange" backwards, the owl planter with the perfect "I'm bored off my ass" expression, the paper heads.... It's a unicorn, people.

The tree painting, which I'm convinced is Bryce-made.  Even the lamp looks good.

And..............Remy!!!  Nuff said.


Breakfast Bowl to Survive Back-to-School 4 You!

We made it through the first week of school - WHEW.  Sam began Kindergarten and Iris 2nd grade.  It was emotional.  For me.  We left our wonderful child development center after 7 years, and our baby is in elementary school.  I know.  I am a mushy mom.  I can't help it.  He looks so ready, right?

Me.  Not so much.

And, I can say Sam had no tears, only enthusiasm for more, more, more.  More of his classroom and after care.  He's exhausted, but hey, kindergarten is freakin' exhausting!

And, I'm getting through it with some good nutrition.  Here's one for all the moms & dads.  

Easy peasy breakfast bowl:
your favorite yogurt
a handful of quinoa or granola
a splash of chia seeds
sunflower seeds too
and almonds
and a good dose of berries,
especially superfood blueberries to get through it all

Good luck y'all and have a GREAT school year!! XOXO

Monday, April 21, 2014

My made up Roasted Brussels Sprout arugula toasted almond salad - BOOM!

Yummy improv salad!   My made up roasted brussels sprout arugula toasted almond salad - BOOM!

Toss Brussels sprouts, whatever number your hearts delight, with a little (1 tbs) olive oil, salt and pepper (a few twists)

Roast 35-40 min at 420 flipping every 10 min or so.  If they look a little burny, ya done it right.

Slice whole roasted almonds (or roast your own - by putting in a sauce pan on a low-ish burner and flipping every few minutes or so 'til they smell all yum and roasty)

Throw in those toasty almonds with halved grape tomatoes (so, you take a little tomato and a knife and cut it in half ;) --) and Boggy Creek Farm arugula (jump in your car and go to Boggy Creek Farm Wed-Sat 8am-1pm for the freshest just picked) or grab the packaged greens if your a time stressed mom and missed the farm.  BUT, DO promise you'll give yourself and your kids that experience oh so soon - YOU DESERVE IT! :)

Add your roasted brussels sprouts and toss in your dressing. Add shaved parmesan and a few twists of fresh pepper and VOILA!  You are the super star and you make yummies for the tummy your whole fam will like!

Dressing = 1/2 squeezed lemon, 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil to taste and salt and pepper to taste. Mix that bad boy up.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Phase II: DIY Headboard & Bench Makeover - Bedroom Remodel by Mel

Some of you know my journey for a bedroom remodel on a very tight budget without compromising a bedroom we really love.  The inspiration room:

{designer Sarah Richardson}

I envisioned a very white (like white on white) room with a grass green pop of color headboard and built in side table/window seats with storage for either side of our queen bed with black and antique brass accents around the room.  

First step = new quilt. We had a very eclectic floral persimmon Anthrolopolgie quilt that just plum wore out, despite being the softest thing on earth.  Saturated color to all white is a big change.  We literally waited 3 months for our Quatrefoil quilt to be handmade by Matteo and it was so worth it, although in the meantime I found an Anthropologie clearance quilt that I layer with it.  

I think there were 8 days of painting total although I know I've told people it was 10 or 12.  It freakin' felt like it.

Breakdown =  4 days sanding the 5 lift windows and 3 door frames in our 1941 bungalow, 2 days painting, 1 day painting doors, and 1 day painting the ceiling = pure Hell.  You can see my Phase I  full plight here and here.

P.S.  Ignore that one of the curtain rods and curtains are down temporarily due to a dry wall foul.

Phase II:  Headboard and bench

The bench was so threadbare that nobody in a decade has seen it without a throw on top.  The maroon one at the end of the bed was on it during Christmas time, a rust & brown one the rest of the year.  So, there's no true before and after of the bench.  And the before of the headboard is, well, non-existent.  I've actually never had a headboard.

I should also mention we lowered the bed to the box spring and bought a pretty white box spring cover for a finished look. We plan to raise the curtains nearly to the ceiling and with the high headboard and euro shams, it will hopefully make the room look larger.

The Inspiration:

I searched for 6 months or more for the perfect green fabric.   Como Linen Velvet in Grass Green.  I found it here at Fabric On the Net, and since it was a huge splurge at $85 per yard, it scared the living daylights out of me.  There were lots of swatches going back and forth.  And my frugal heart didn't spare a thread.  I bought 3 yards - 2 for the headboard, 1 for the bench.                                                             

I'm making linen cotton covers for the Euro shams that reside naked as of now and plan to frame my prize lady (I won her in a FB 24 hour auction benefiting the Filipino refugees earlier this year) from my friend & neighbor Jennifer Balkan in a demur brass frame to live above the headboard with brass sconces in the curved carved out area on either side for bedtime reading.  See Jennifer's work here.
{Jennifer Balkan painting - oil on map}

Next on the list Phase III: Built-in side table/window seats
These will be side tables with a window seat combo to flank either side of the bed.  We have two windows on either side of the bed and on the adjoining wall.  I've always been a fan of window seats and the bonus is two storage benches, side table book storage, and drawers on both sides. It's time for Mike's "come with" furniture (as in, this furniture comes with this single dude) and my childhood furniture to make way for our grown up space.

Next post, the DIY tutorial for the bench makeover and headboard.  For now, I'm "Ester" Bunny'd out.  Hope you all had a Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Target, you are killing me with your Woven Global Collection

This is super quick and I promise a little more.  But....I can't get over Target right now.  I've been swooning over their Threshold Woven Global collection and nearly bought this little bench as a coffee table for the red couch in Iris & Sam's room.  My guy talked me out of it, but still, every time I enter the store... I find myself back in the home goods section taking it out, looking it over and still impressed by the quality of these pieces for the price, loving the tone of the wood and the casual, artisan feel.  The small benches are so sweet too.  I can easily see them as an end table or paired at the end of a bed, or of course, just a little sitting stool.

It reminds me of my friend Heather Liskow's beautiful goods she brought from Kuala Lampur here  
and just how warm and inviting these coveted things are.  

                                                   {image from Target, $109 for bench}

                                      {image from Target, $69 little stool, $29-$39 baskets}

Couldn't you just die over these?  L-O-V-E them.