Monday, November 22, 2010

Howard Living Room- 1809WESTdesign

I recently took on a new interior design client. Her condo's living room needed a breath of fresh air, and a new floor plan!
The goal: Give "hand-me-downs" a "pick-me-up!"
The space: Hard angles and difficult dimensions made the room a difficult one to lay out. I created a new floor plan that flows and functions.
The scheme: I created two decor schemes- incorporating existing furniture items (saving money!), giving others a new life, and pulling the room together in a sophisticated and interesting manner.
Take a look!

Menu For the Week

Monday~ Greek Chicken Salad
Tuesday~ Chicken Piccata with Arugula Salad and Angel Hair Pasta
Wednesday~ French Onion Soup
Thursday~ Happy Thanksgiving!!
Friday~ MMM.... Leftovers!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Highlights from NYT Design Mag

It's always such a delight to find the Design Issue of the NYT Magazine carefully tucked inside the Sunday Times.
Here are some things that tickled my fancy. (Do I see a dream Christmas list forming? Why, yes I do!)

Reversible Tote from Tiffany (Actually, they misquoted the price in the Mag- its 395, not 595. Ahem.) The Camel/Gold combo will be an instant classic, in my book.

Stick the Snail from Donna Wilson- He's just darn cute. And kinda grumpy.
seating for eating
Studioilse's Seating for Eating- Clean, simple, oddly proportioned.

Matt Pug's Owls- Cute little owlies in oak, walnut and a myriad of colors.

Oh and THIS house.

Indian Take-In

Easy Chicken Masala
Surprisingly, there aren't a whole lot of options for good, cheap, quick Indian food here in Central Austin. So, when we don't feel like shelling out 40+bucks for Clay Pit, or driving down to Tarka, or up to Bombay Bistro- here are my go-to recipes for a yummy Indian feast. (Yes, there's India Palace, and Star of India- but sometimes even they seem to far to travel. And they're not that cheap, either. We like a sampling of everything for our Indian fix!)
(Modified slightly from Bon Appetit- and I apologize for all the borrowed photos lately! By the time dinner is ready, this baby is ready to EAT! I'll try to take more pics.)

Event: Indian Take-In
Easy Chicken Masala
Basmati Rice with Cumin, Peas, and Carrots
Caramelized Cumin-Roasted Carrots
Cool Cucumber Raita
Oven Warmed Naan (Indian flat-bread, HEB makes white, wheat and garlic versions and sells it in the deli area.)

Easy Chicken Masala
1 c plain yogurt
1/4 c coarsely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp garam masala (Indian spice mixture available at Whole Foods or Central Market in bulk spice section)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 roasting pieces OR 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 pkg chicken tenders
2 small onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Mix yogurt, cilantro, olive oil, salt, garam masala, and garlic in a roasting pan or large bowl. Add chicken and coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Or overnight!)
PH oven to 400 degrees. Arrange onions on a large rimmed baking sheet to form bed for chicken. Arrange chicken pieces on top of onions in a single layer. Discard remaining marinade. Roast chicken until cooked through and juices run clear. (30mins to an hour, depending on cut of chicken used. Breasts/tenders will take significantly less time than bone-in chicken pieces.) Serve chicken with roasted onions. 

Basmati Rice with Cumin, Peas, and Carrots
1 c basmati rice
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 c frozen peas and carrots mixture

Cook rice according to package directions. While fluffing, add cumin seeds and peas and carrots. Cover and let veggies thaw before serving. (Approx. 5 mins)

Caramelized Cumin-Roasted Carrots
non-stick spray
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into diagonal 1/4 inch slices
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp kosher salt

PH oven to 400 (Same as for chicken recipe.) Spray roasting pan with non-stick spray. Combine carrots and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on roasting pan. Roast carrots until tender and lightly caramelized; turning once. 35-40 minutes.

Cool Cucumber Raita
(One way to make raita... out of many. I could do a whole post about different takes on yogurt sauces.)
2 c plain yogurt 
1 english (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 tsp finely chopped fresh mint

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill 30 mins. Serve with chicken and warmed naan.

Tortilla Soup- Roaring Fork Style

There are so many variations on Tortilla Soup- and, I love them ALL!

This version (based on Roaring Fork's recipe) is super spicy, super thick, and seriously good. Put your leftover turkey or chicken to use. And have a cold beer... or in my current condition, a cold glass of water, on hand.

Tortilla Soup a la Roaring Fork

2tbs veggie oil
1 small onion, diced
1 dried ancho, seeded and minced
1 poblano, seeded and chopped
1 small jalapeno,  minced
1/2 c chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp garlic, minced
3 c chicken broth
1 c coarse cut/toasted corn tortillas
1/4 c cilantro
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

For chicken/avocado "relish":
1 c roasted and shredded chicken meat
1 avocado, diced
1 squeeze lime

For garnish:
Cilantro sprigs
Sour Cream
Monterrey Jack Cheese
Lime Wedges
Extra Tortilla Chips/Toasted Strips

Heat oil over med hi in large stockpan. Add onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Saute until vegetables are tender. Add chicken broth, tortilla pieces, and cilantro and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med low and simmer until reduced by 1/4 (about 30 mins.)
Puree soup with hand blender, or in small batches (carefully) in regular blender. (Do not seal top completely while blending hot soups!)
Combine chicken and avocado in a small bowl. Squeeze lime over relish.
Divide chicken mixture (relish) into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of relish. Top with cheese, sour cream, cilantro sprigs and a squeeze of lime.  Serve with tortilla chips. 

Cool Mornings, Warm Tummy- Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipes
A nice twist- with a healthy kick- on a classic. (From Cooking Light Magazine). It is tasty with or without the peanut butter glaze! Perfect with a cup of Anderson's House Blend coffee. YUM!
I'll have to try to make the CHOCOLATE banana bread. (Also from Cooking Light!)

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/3  cup  creamy peanut butter
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 6.75  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4  cup  ground flaxseed
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • Cooking spray
  • Glaze:
  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  1% low-fat milk
  • 1  tablespoon  creamy peanut butter


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.
4. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread.

Menu For the Week

Lots o' new recipes this week!

Sunday~ Tortilla Soup- Roaring Fork Style
Monday~ Chicken with Shallots, Garlic & Vinegar, Mashed Root Vegetables with Horseradish, Sauteed Spinach
Tuesday~ Tri-Tip Roast with Parsley-Cherry Tomato Sauce, Spinach Salad, Roasted Potatoes
Wednesday~ Patty Melts, Yellow Squash Casserole
Thursday~ Fiesta Por Madres (Chicken Chalupas!)
Friday~ Out?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Holiday Cookbook!

I'm putting together my favorite faves for the holidays... Stay tuned.

Monday Night Football Worthy Salad

Works well for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Night Football as well!

Buffalo Chicken Salad- From a "15 Under 15" posting
Vary it up with Original Ranch Dressing+Blue Cheese, made from scratch.
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, cilantro)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp mayo
1/4 c crumbled blue cheese
Whisk together in a small bowl, or shake together in a lidded jar. (Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu for the Week

Monday~ Buffalo Chicken Salad
Tuesday~ Chicken Tikka Masala, Cumin Roasted Carrots, Raita, Naan
Wednesday-Friday~ Fly By The Seat of Our Pants!
But, at some point, I'll be making Peanut Butter Banana Bread. YUM!