May 2011 archive

Plating the Walls

When Cole and I first moved into our current home, I was overwhelmed with decorating. Fast-forward four years, when the thought of decorating a new house is thrilling and yet utterly terrifying to me! One thing that I have always tried to utilize in my “design savvy” {note: I probably have no design savvy but it sounds super professional to call it this}, is the concept of making the ordinary extraordinary. Ok, that might sound a little more complicated than it is. It’s basically taking everyday objects and using them in a unique manner.

Case in point: I have tons of dishes. My grandmother was in the antique business, and I am blessed to have a few stunning china sets from her. On top of that, I just may have “over-registered” for our wedding {oops, sorry Cole}, and ended up with a little more than I actually needed. {Note: this is a giant understatement. I did not need 5 sets of dessert dishes}. The result is a townhouse filled with more china than I could ever possibly need {especially considering the amount of time I order take out and eat it straight out of the container… sorry mom… oh and speaking of mom…}.

My brilliant, and truly design savvy mother suggested that I use my china surplus in a more unconventional manner: on the wall. And so, that is how a set of antique dessert china from my Nana, as well as a stunning set of “L-O-V-E” dessert plates ended up on the walls of my butler’s pantry and powder room, respectively.



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{Note: I hate posting photos of my home on the blog, almost as much as photos of myself}.

And so friends {because, let’s be honest, f you are reading this you are probably my actual friend or a blood relative}, I am planning to take my “plating the walls” concept to a new scale in the new house. Thankfully, I have all of these images to lust after in the meantime.



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{via sunset}



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{via oh so darling}



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{via livet hemma}



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{via modern jane}



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{via hudson goods}



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{via mmm crafts}

Hope you enjoy plating your walls… and making the ordinary extraordinary {because that just sounds like I know what I am talking about}.

xoxo,

Niki

Cakery Friday: Lemon Lemon Loaf

I have only heard amazing things about the Baked cookbook {you know, the bakery in Brooklyn that people swoon over}.And so I decided to try their Lemon Lemon Loaf as a treat for my Dad. My father LOVES lemon pound cake, consumes it on a daily basis, and considers himself quite the connoisseur.  He was truly impressed by the deliciousness of this cake; it’s very light and airy.

I have to admit, this was a time consuming but well worth it effort. The method of preparation was unlike any I had tried before {the batter is made in the food processor and not the typical Kitchenaid preparation}. And you MUST make the optional glaze, it’s a make or break with this loaf.



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Gather all of the ingredients.



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In the bowl of a food processor combine 2 1/4 cups sugar, 8 large eggs, 1/4 cup grated lemon zest {approximately 4 lemons}, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.  Pulse to combine.



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With the motor running drizzle in 2 cups {4 sticks} of melted butter. Then add in 1/2 cup of sour cream {I substituted with greek yogurt} and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.



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Sift together 1 1/2 cups of cake flour, 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.



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Transfer the liquid batter into a large bowl and gently fold in the dry ingredients.



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Divide the batter between 2 loaf pans that have been greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes then remove from pan and brush with lemon syrup and when fully cooled drizzle over with glaze.



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To make the syrup:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 1/3 cup of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Brush generously over the loafs after they have been removed from the pans {the syrup will soak into the cakes… yum}.

To make the glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If the mixture is too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk again, adding small amounts of lemon juice and/or confectioners’ sugar until you get the right consistency. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.



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To find the whole recipe click here.

Happy Baking!

xoxo,

Ali

A White Hot Secret

I have to tell you a secret. I haven’t exactly spent each and every night up until 4 am with my babies, as I may have alleged in previous posts. Not quite. Nope.

In fact, my very incredible, wonderful, handsome and loving husband {is that enough kissing up?}, Cole has graciously volunteered to watch our tiny yet adorable progeny, while I, his wife {ridden with guilt} drive my post-partum self down to the American Airlines Arena to watch my beloved Miami Heat play in numerous playoff games, in their quest to be NBA Champions. If that was not a run-on sentence I’m not sure what is {sorry mom and all of my middle school English/grammar teachers}.


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That’s right, aside from the twins, drinking coffee, and papery & cakery, the Miami Heat are pretty much the center of my universe these days. And while the rest of the country might despise us, that’s just because they are clearly jealous that they: 1. do not have Lebron James, Chris Bosh and D-Wade on their team; and, 2. do not live in Miami/South Florida {which is the topic of an entirely other blog post for the future, where I will debate why people choose not to live in warm weather climates year round}. I digress….

The heat are white hot if I may say so myself. They ask the fans to wear white to each and every home game {I am convinced that this is extremely spiteful considering white is not exactly a flattering color on someone who a. just delivered twins, and  b. avoided the sun for the past 11 months straight}. Nonetheless, white is hot hot hot down here in the MIA. Just like the Heat.

Clearly, I am dying to have a white party {obviously, I will be wearing black in light of recent post-partum status}. It would look something like this. Of course, Lebron, Bosh and Wade would be there.



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Ok fine, if I must wear white I would go with this Shoshonna dress {and clearly I would look exactly like the model wearing it too}.



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And since I’m living in a white fantasy I would be wearing these Manolo’s too. {This is my make-believe, and therefore they won’t even hurt my feet}.



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Go Heat!

xoxo,

Niki



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