Tuesday, April 22, 2014

farmer's market . . . home away from home

 


I was excited when Priscilla, the Community Coordinator for DogVacay,  invited me to participate in their Home Away from Home project.  The lovely folks at DogVacay 'strive to make their cuddly clients feel at home, even when they're far from it. Sometimes, it just takes some good people, a great environment, or a sense of comfort or familiarity.'

Knowing that this means something different to everyone, inspired them to reach out to bloggers and the Community and ask,  "What is your home away from home?" 

For surfers, it might be the beach . . . for an animal lover, a shelter . . . or for an avid gardener, maybe it's their garden. 

For me, it's a Farmer's Market. The Farmer's Market reminds me of a simpler time. It's a source of beauty and inspiration.  

I began visiting Farmer's Markets more than 20 years ago. I have fond memories of early Saturday morning strolls under and through the tall white canopy tents. 

It's a unique experience of sights and smells. Fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, fresh breads, ART, musicians, flowers . . . and so much more . . . nestled under tall white tents . . . all under the big blue sky. And everyone is so friendly, vendors and shoppers alike.




It's a wonderful environment to relax and stroll, visit with local growers, learn about new fruit and vegetable varieties, sample foods, ooh & ahhhh over heavenly desserts brought in by local bakeries, and visit with local artisans.

And for a blogger like me, the Farmer's Market is a great source of inspiration. I find many of the fruits and vegetables you see in my posts from our local Farmer's Market. They're the base of many of the dishes you see. My favorite find is always fresh-cut flowers. I buy them every week, whether from the market or the Farmer's Market; but there's something extra special about the ones I find at the Farmer's Market. 

For me, the Farmer's Market is my home away from home. It's a source of inspiration and beauty . . . a connection that reminds me of my past and brings me joy. It's a simple tradition that I share with my little ones. I hope that as they grow, they too, will find enjoyment and inspiration here.

Where is your home away from home?




I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.





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Monday, April 14, 2014

a Spring-inspired table . . . bud vases and flowers



fresh cut flowers & lots of bud vases
white dishes & linen napkins
soft floral backdrop
a few mismatched chairs








 

  




LET'S STAY in touch!








Sharing with . . . .

Suburbs Mama, The TablescaperStephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeCedar Hill FarmhouseStoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front PorchTumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life, The Comforts of HomeElizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleCity Farm HouseChef in Training, The Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeFinding FabulousThe Style SistersThe Comforts of Home, Fluster Buster,Kitchen Meets Girl, Lady Behind the Curtain Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed PilgrimageNo Minimalist HereLamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to YoursSimply Dream and Create Delightsome Life. Katherine's CornerNancherrow Jennifer RizzoJann OlsonHome Maid Simple, 504 Main52 MantelsLiving Better Together,  Common GroundThe Cottage MarketBacon Time, Sunflower Supper ClubChic California, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaSewlicious Home Decor







Thursday, April 10, 2014

lemon & honey tart with salted shortbread crust



Two of my favorite food magazines are bon appetit and Cooks Illustrated. Have you heard of them? Both boast incredible, inspiring photos, delicious recipes, and if you're interested in how to make fool-proof, amazing dishes and desserts then Cook's Illustrated is your magazine.

I have several years of back issues . . . and I refer to them often. They fill many baskets throughout our home.

While glancing through the January 2013 issue of bon appetit I came across this gorgeous photo of a lemon honey tart with salted shortbread crust. Oh. my goodness. Isn't it beautiful!?!


 


I was completely drawn in by the slices of lemon suspended in the tart. The recipe revealed that these beautiful slices were from Meyer lemons. Have you ever baked with them? They remind me of a cross between a lemon and a mandarin . . . and can sometimes be slightly orange. Meyer lemons have a sweeter, more floral taste than regular lemons, making them great additions as fruit rather than just juice . . . and for adding lemon flavor without the mouth-puckering sourness of other lemons.





Bon appetit knew what they were doing when they paired Meyer lemons and honey, given that both have floral undertones . . . and compliment one another. Add a slightly salted shortbread crust and you have a perfect combination of sweet and salty. The lemon slices add a hint of zing, which rounds out this tart beautifully.




This recipe is very similar to making lemon bars, except that there's one more step. You'll make a honey and sugar mixture for the lemon slices to soak in, in advance.  This is an important step, as it softens the slices and tames any traces of bitterness.






Wouldn't it be gorgeous for an Easter brunch, a shower, tea party, or a Summer dessert?

It will certainly be the Bell of the Ball on our Easter brunch table!




Ingredients
CRUST 
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup powdered sugar

FILLING & Assembly
1 LARGE Meyer lemon, if possible (a larger Meyer will yield more slices, which makes for a prettier tart)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 10 Meyer lemons)
      
Preparation
CRUST
Coat spring form pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Place butter and powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Add dry ingredients to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles medium-size pebbles (dough will not come together completely). Transfer dough to prepared pan. Using your fingers, press dough evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of pan.
DO AHEAD: Crust can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

FILLING & Assembly
Using a mandolin, slice Meyer lemon into paper-thin rounds. If you don't have a mandolin, then use a small serrated knife and cut very THIN slices. Remove seeds. 
Using a whisk, mix the sugar, honey, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add lemon slices and using a spoon, GENTLY toss to coat. Let sit until lemon is softened and sugar is dissolved, 60 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Lemon slice mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Place rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 325°. Bake crust until center is firm to the touch and edges are beginning to turn golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

When crust is almost done baking, whisk eggs and egg yolks in a medium bowl to blend. 
Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl; add to egg mixture and whisk to combine. 
Whisk in lemon juice. Add lemon slice mixture; mix GENTLY to combine.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°. Pour filling into hot crust. Using a fork, move the lemon slices around so that there is even coverage. 

Bake until filling is set and slightly puffed around edges, 35-40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely. Chill for at least 4 hours, then unmold. Serve cold.

DO AHEAD: Tart can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

**I've read many reviews that this tart does not work with regular lemons, only Meyer lemons. Regular lemons are too tart and bitter.




 




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Sharing with . . . .

Suburbs Mama, The TablescaperStephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeCedar Hill FarmhouseStoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front PorchTumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life, The Comforts of HomeElizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleCity Farm HouseChef in Training, The Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeFinding FabulousThe Style SistersThe Comforts of Home, Fluster Buster,Kitchen Meets Girl, Lady Behind the Curtain Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed PilgrimageNo Minimalist HereLamberts LatelyLive Laugh Rowe, Sweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to YoursSimply Dream and Create Delightsome Life. Katherine's CornerNancherrow Jennifer RizzoJann OlsonHome Maid Simple, 504 Main52 MantelsLiving Better Together,  Common GroundThe Cottage MarketBacon Time, Sunflower Supper ClubChic California, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaSewlicious Home Decor








Sunday, April 6, 2014

a few touches of Spring in our living room . . .



pink tulips
indigo blue floral patterns
feathers
hand-blown brown eggs





 

 





 












LET'S STAY in touch!





Sharing with . . . .

Suburbs Mama, The TablescaperStephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeCedar Hill FarmhouseStoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front PorchTumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life, The Comforts of HomeElizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleCity Farm HouseChef in Training, The Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeFinding FabulousThe Style SistersThe Comforts of Home, Fluster Buster,Kitchen Meets Girl, Lady Behind the Curtain Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed PilgrimageNo Minimalist HereLamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweThe Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to YoursSimply Dream and Create Delightsome Life. Katherine's CornerNancherrow Jennifer RizzoJann OlsonHome Maid Simple, 504 Main52 MantelsLiving Better Together,  Common GroundThe Cottage MarketBacon Time, Sunflower Supper ClubChic California, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaSewlicious Home Decor











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