4/24/2014

INTERIORS: CLASSIC MEETS COMFORT & SOPHISTICATION...

If you saw this post or are an avid pinner of interiors on Pinterest, then this space might look familiar to you. I posted a photo of the dining area of this amazing Brooklyn townhome here a few weeks ago. I was and still am in love with the lighting, the millwork and the windows in that space. So pretty! As it turns out, I'm actually in love with the entire home... I found it the other day and finding it was like opening a surprise gift. This home is gorgeous!! The decor is the perfect mix of classic (that pretty piano), comfort (I could see myself grabbing a book from that perfectly styled bookcase and parking myself on that cozy-looking couch outside the kitchen) and sophistication (the modern lighting and very clean lines). The beams, dark cabinetry, butcher block countertops and the rug in that AMAZING kitchen create an invitation of warmth that would make me want to cook in it all day. And that butlers pantry?? Yes and yes!! The whole space is just perfection in my book... 


Interiors: Blair Harris Interior Design
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4/22/2014

CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY CAKE...

So over the last few months, I have been gathering inspiration for food, food styling and food photography from cookbooks. Like, lots of cookbooks. I've been collecting them and perhaps I might be developing a slight problem. Maybe. But I find them to be so relaxing! One of my recent purchases was Paul Lowe's cookbook, "Eat & Make."  Paul is the editor of Sweet Paul Magazine, an online magazine that is always so beautifully done. In the magazine, Paul shares delicious recipes that are always perfectly styled. So when I saw he was coming out with his own cookbook, I knew I had to purchase it...

One of the first recipes I flipped to was this chocolate and raspberry cake. The recipe inspired me in three ways. One - I love chocolate. That's a given. Two - chocolate and raspberries together are heavenly, so I could only imagine how much better they would be if they were baked together. Three - the list of ingredients was short. I love a good dessert with a short list of ingredients! So I had to make this and I'm SO glad that I did! It was simple to make, turned out beautifully and was delicious. It's a fudgy cake with an intense chocolate flavor. But the intensity is cut once you bite into a sweet raspberry that has baked into the cake. Fabulous... This would be the perfect, simple dessert for a summer dinner party or a special celebration...



Here is what you need and what to do:

10 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and divided
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh raspberries, plus more for serving
Powdered sugar & mint, for garish

1. Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan using the wrappers from the two sticks of butter. That trick works perfectly here! Set the pan aside.

2. Place the two sticks of butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Don't forget to save the wrappers from the butter to butter the pan! Beat the butter and the sugar until creamy - about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time.

3. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture in 3 or so batches to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well after each addition.

4. Add the sour cream and 1 cup of the melted chocolate to the batter and mix well.

5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. The batter will be pretty thick, so even out the top of the batter using a regular spatula or a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the raspberries on top of the batter.

6. Bake for about 1 hour or until the center of the cake is slightly set. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should be wet, but the sides should be fully set. The cake will be dry if it cooks too long, so start checking it after 55 minutes or so.

7. Completely cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. Once it has cooled, run a knife around the edge of the pan and then release it. Garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar, and a sprig of mint. Serve with a side of the remaining melted chocolate, raspberries and maybe a scoop of a good quality vanilla ice cream...

Enjoy!

Images by me

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4/21/2014

PORTRAITS FROM THE WEEKEND...


{Easter tulips... }

Hi there!! How are you? I am back this week with a refreshed mind and a renewed spirit! It's been quite a busy few months on the work front and thankfully the busyness ended last week! I thought I would only need a few days last week to recuperate, but my creative juices were frozen. I also needed to catch up on sleep, trash tv (you'd gasp if you knew what I watched, but it was a wonderful escape!), good friends, errands, cleaning, organizing-- everything. Life is much better now! Anyway, I also started a project that I've been thinking and talking about for a few years. My master bedroom is going to get a much needed makeover! This summer. For real. It's happening. I even gave it its own hashtag (see below). So it has to happen right?? The room is going to be serene with a quiet and neutral vibe. Just what I need and just what I love. Stay tuned... :)

{Wall color options for my master bedroom makeover happening this summer, which will herein be referred to as "#shmastermakeover."

{Those pancakes from this cookbook were my Easter morning breakfast. They were amazing... }


{A favorite fedora from Target that I wore several times last week. Makes me excited for summer... }


{A homemade "lime green juice" that has been in heavy rotation lately... It's the juice of an apple, a peeled orange, a peeled lime and a handful of kale. Simple and delicious I tell ya... }

Images by me


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4/11/2014

INSPIRED BY...

The windows. The lighting. The rug. The molding. The everything...

I hope you all have a good weekend! This was the final week of my deadline at work (THANK GOD), so it was crazy in my world this week. I am going to take a few days off next week to recollect myself and refresh my spirit. In the meantime, here is a little inspiration to keep you company... I will see you back here later next week!

How beautifully my three favorite English words are framed in two languages... 


The windows - again. 


That soft entry... 

Images 1/2/3/4
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4/09/2014

I'M WEARING: A FLORAL TOP ON THE TRACKS...

I mentioned here a while back that I have this thing for railroad tracks. They are straight-forward, simple, rustic, and organized. Those are a few of my favorite adjectives and perhaps the reasons why I like railroad tracks. Either way, I thought this was the perfect place to photograph one of my favorite tops at the moment. I really love flowers, but I don't wear them much. But the feel and colors in this top attracted me to it and it was the first purchase I made after the holidays with the money I received from "Santa." It made me excited for spring and thankfully it is here! I just had to celebrate that by wearing this fun top at one of my favorite places...


Top: J.Crew (on sale!!) | Jeans: Joe's | Tote: K.slademade, similar here and here | Heels: Ivanka Trump (old) | Watch: Michael Kors | Lips: "Slopes" by Bobbi Brown

Images by Paula Coldiron

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