Monday, August 30, 2010

I love a good before and after

One of my daily reads is Erin Gates' blog "Elements of Style," the companion to her thriving design business in Boston. If only I were in Boston, we would be friends perhaps (I also feel that way about Erika Powell, but I digress... blogs somehow make me feel as though I'm creepy without ever intending to be).

This morning, I had to share her kitchen remodel for a client. I can't tell you what a fan I am of marble and white in a kitchen. And I also have a hard time letting people do anything other than white on a cabinet (painted is always fine, but wood makes me really want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them until they drop the subject).

So get a load of this baby:

I love how clean it is, without losing any amount of prettiness. I think that's a hard combination to pull off so kudos to Erin.

These were the befores, by the way:

Had to post this...

Bringing my big whopping grand total for August to three posts. Shameful.

But regardless, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post on this gem: LuAnn de Lesseps from Real Housewives of New York has published her new digs in NY Social Diary.

To be fair, I couldn't bring myself to read the whole article because I'm not interested in her enough (now if it was Bethenny...), and after seeing the photos, I still wasn't interested in reading it more closely. Maybe I missed something earth-shattering... but probably not.

(get a load of that hearth get-up... yuck)

I passed over the more boring images, but you can see the whole article here. Perhaps others like it, but it's not my cup of tea.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You're on my list.

Caviar dreams, tuna fish budget.

Hearty Oats & Summer Fruit

Let's face it, one of the things that really floats my boat is food. Not only is it something I've had a passion for since way back when, it's something that really makes me feel better -- and I'm not talking about the "eat my feelings" kind of way, I'm talking about how making something to share can make me feel like a better person. Also, there is nothing better than when a recipe either turns out perfectly, or when successfully cooking or baking without a recipe can feel like a complete and utter victory.

So get used it, there might be a lot more food posts. Right now, I'm channeling my creative energy into it rather than a house because it is so much cheaper than tearing down a wall or buying sets of glassware.

Yesterday I brought back one of my favorite breakfasts that has now become my lunch and probably quite soon, my dinner. Oats -- but let me say, these are anything but gluey and sticky. By cooking the oats like pasta for only a minute or so, it makes them much more grain-like. My next endeavor is a savory version of this, with probably mushrooms and other summer/fall veggies.

For the time being, here is how to make a quick breakfast -- everything done in the time it takes to boil water and cook them.

Quick Cook Oats with Summer Fruits

Add as many fruits and nuts as you desire, obviously, but I love combination including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, the list can go on. In winter, diced apple and dried cranberries make a great substitution for a lack of fresh fruit.

1/2 c. Old Fashioned/Steel Cut Oats
1 peach in a 1/2 dice
Small handful of nuts, like walnuts or pecans
Brown sugar or agave, to taste

Boil water in a medium size pot. While water is heating, prep fruit and nuts. Add them to your breakfast bowl and top with brown sugar/agave. Once the water has boiled, add the oats and wait for the water to resume boiling. At this point, you should see the oats almost dancing in the water, quickly replaced by the starches from the oats being released and creating foamy water that threatens to boil over -- pour the oats into a fine sieve and once drained, combine with fruits and nuts, about a minute.

For convenience, I usually let the oats cool for a bit in the time it takes me to wash my pot and sieve. For me, it's worth the minute it takes to do the dishes and know I never have to come back to a mess.