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October 27, 2009

DIY | Fall Bouquet | Wedding | Claire Ryser Photos

This bouquet of Roses & Wheat is so simple to create!

I started with cream garden roses, pale pink roses, and wheat.

Gather the roses, then wrap with floral tape.  Start adding the wheat around the outside, creating a collar of wheat.  Then continue to tape until you have a sturdy handle.

 Cut the ends of the bouquet (I like about 8 inches of stems below the blooms), then wrap in burlap cover all of the floral tape.  Secure the burlap with pearl pins.

Thanks to Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios for taking the beautiful photos!

DIY | Pumpkin Place Cards | Photos by Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios

Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios stopped by a couple weeks ago to document some DIY projects.  We created a Fall inspired tablesetting that featured these mini pumpkin placecards. 

 I started with white mini pumpkins and wrapped the stems with blue painters tape.

Next, I sprayed the pumpkins with a soft gold spray paint.  Be sure to spray about 12 inches from the pumpkin in light layers.

After drying for 10 minutes, I removed the tape.

I made a vertical cut in the the stems with a pair of floral shears. 

I inserted a name card in the cut of the stem.


The finished table.  To see more photos of the table, click here!

Visit Claire's Blog at  

Entertaining | Fall Inspired Wedding Shower Table | Natasha's Mulberry & Mott | Claire Ryser Photos

A couple of weeks ago, Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios came over and we had a fabulous day - she took photos while I put together this flirty Fall table setting.  Natasha's Mulberry & Mott created the cake - their "Bee Hive" cake - isn't it so whimsical?!  I accented the table with Blue Hubbard squash.

This table is all about mixing rustic with refined - For a luxurious yet rustic feel, I layered natural oatmeal linens, a wide burlap runner and a classic ticking stripe runner.  I used my mission style farm dining room chairs with ticking stripe pillows for extra comfort.

This bouquet is another example of rustic and refined - I made it with ivory garden roses, soft pink tea roses and wheat.  

I wrapped the stems in burlap, then fastened it with pearl pins.  For DIY instructions to make this bouquet, click here!

Natasha Goellner of Natasha's Mulberry & Mott made this "Bee Hive" Cake - the mountain of meringue is so incredible.

I love Natasha's style - very soft and romantic details.

I made these pumpkin place cards from mini white pumpkins - so simple - for the DIY instructions, click here!

I placed single rose blooms around the table for big impact, but little cost... why spend hundreds on a floral centerpiece when this small bud brings just as much charm!

Claire - Thanks so much for kindly taking these photos - you are TOO talented!

See more of Claire's work here!
Visit Natasha's Mulberry & Mott at Mission Farms in Leawood, KS or here!

October 23, 2009

Entertaining | Halloween Pasta | Tomato Cream Sauce, Roasted Chicken and Pancetta Pasta

Tomato Cream Pasta

1/2 pound of chicken

olive oil

Sea Salt & Pepper

1 pound of pasta, cooked

1/4 pound of pancetta

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1/4 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons of basil

Roast chicken (drizzled with olive oil, salt & pepper) for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  For sauce, saute the garlic in olive oil, then add tomatoes, sea salt & sugar.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add heavy cream, bring to a low boil for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.  Add cheese, basil, chicken & pasta. 

Entertaining | Simple Appetizer | Roasted Garlic & Goat Cheese

Roasted Garlic & Goat Cheese

1 large head of garlic

1/4 cup of olive oil

12 ounces of soft goat cheese

1 baguette, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut top 1/4 inch off heads of garlic to expose cloves. Place garlic in small baking dish. Add oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Turn garlic cut side up. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until garlic skins are golden brown and cloves are tender, about 55 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic cloves from skins.  In an oven proof dish,   place goat cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Searve with sliced baguettes.

Workshops | Halloween Cooking Class

This week I held my Halloween Cooking Class and Workshop at A Thyme for Everything.  Above are the recipe cards that were at each place setting. 

(You can print all of the recipe cards by clicking on this image to get the full size version.)

All of the class members made a version of this spooky centerpiece.  

We used a variety of rust-colored and gold mums, black eucalyptus, spiders and webs to get the spooky effect. 

Each member also decorated their own "ghost" cupcakes to take home!

October 19, 2009

HOME | Prize Antiques | Kansas City | Steve Rogers

Last week, Mrs. Blandings directed her readers to Steve Rogers' studio space in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Prize Antiques.  He is opening a "Pop-up-Shop" on the Country Club Plaza for the Holidays (opening Oct. 29th).  So, like a diligent follower, I made an appointment with Steve and, wow, am I glad I did...

Above : a zinc pedestal table.  I think this would be the perfect oversized object in my living room.

Steve's taste is a bit indescribable and lovely - a mix of rustic yet refined European pieces, industrial objects, and primitive treasures.  I love this wall of portraits.  Completely DIY-able.    

Above : This is one of my favorite pieces - of course it was the most pricey in the studio (I'm cursed with good taste).  It is a French library cabinet stocked with leather books.  Although this particular item was a little out my price range, I found several other great pieces that were VERY reasonably priced... like the mantle below. 

Hands off, Readers!  I've got my heart set of this one.  I'm thinking it would look great in my very empty dining room.  Just the charming element I've been looking for!

Steve - Thanks for being so kind and showing me around your studio AND answering all of my antique novice questions!

Visit Prize Antiques website here, and be sure to stop by his shop on The Plaza (across from Houston's) opening Oct. 29th!

October 14, 2009

Recipes | Prosciutto, Peas & Pasta with Roasted Chicken in a Parmesan Cream Sauce

The key to fixing a great cream sauce (in my humble opinion) is to make it light and flavorful - not thick and goopie.  So, I use some wine, chicken broth and... pasta water, along with heavy cream and parmesan cheese.  The water from the pasta contains starch that will help thicken the sauce without having to add a large amount of cream and cheese.  

Prosciutto, Peas & Pasta (with Roasted Chicken in a Parmesan Cream Sauce)

1 pound of chicken
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 pound of fettucini  
1/4 pound of Prosciutto, sliced, then cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of pasta water
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Roast the chicken by placing it on a baking sheet and roasting it at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Let sit and chop into cubes.  Boil pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the water from boiling.  
Cook prosciutto in a saute pan, then remove from the pan and set aside.  In that same pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic.  Cook for 1 minute.  Deglaze the pan with wine, broth, cream and water from pasta.  Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes - stirring.  Add peas.  If the sauce gets too thick, add more pasta water, broth or wine to thin it out.   

Add pasta to the thicken sauce,  along with the prosciutto, parmesan and chicken.  Toss together.  Add some black pepper on top for serving.  

October 13, 2009

Workshops | Halloween Class Next Tuesday! | Cupcakes and Tomato Cream Pasta

My next cooking class at at A Thyme for Everything (Lee's Summit) is next Tuesday, Oct. 20th at 6pm.   We will create these ghostly cupcakes, as well as a spooky Halloween centerpiece - all of which you can take home!   We'll also create a dinner that is delicous, but simple enough to prepare for a large group - perfect for a pre-trick-or-treating feast.

A Haunting We Will Go Halloween Menu

Roast Garlic & Goat Cheese Spread with Baguette Slices
Pancetta and Roasted Chicken Pasta with a Tomato Parmesan Cream Sauce (so good!)
Field Greens and Roasted Nut Salad with a Homemade Dijon Vinaigrette 
Ghostly Cupcakes (to taste and to take home)
Spooky Centerpiece (to take!)
$55 per person

To make your reservation, call Jet at A Thyme for Everything, 816-554-3755, or visit

October 12, 2009

Workshops | Eddie Ross's Holiday Workshop at Creative Candles in Kansas City | Eddie Ross on HGTV for a Halloween Special!

Eddie Ross (designer and blogger) will be airing a Halloween special on HGTV this Sunday, October 18th!  To watch the trailer, click here.

Eddie will also be coming to Kansas City to do another fun workshop at Creative Candles.  (Remember his flower arranging workshop earlier this summer?) This workshop will be about Holiday Entertaining - my favorite!  For more information, visit the Creative Candles' Facebook page, or contact Creative Candles at

October 08, 2009

Entertaining | Mini Pumpkin Placecards

During a recent photo shoot (photos coming soon!), I put together a fall inspired tablesetting.  For the placecards I spray painted these mini pumpkins a silvery-gold color.  

*Tape the stems of pumpkins with painters tape.
*Spray lightly with paint (about 8 inches away)
*Pick up the pumpkin and spray the bottom
*Allow to dry for 1 hour and remove tape
*Snip the stem to allow for card label insertion
*Insert placecard into the stem

October 07, 2009

Recipes | Kevin's Famous "Heneghan Home Brew " | Spiked Apple Cider

Every year my brother-in-law, Kevin, makes his Famous Spiked Apple Cider.  He brings it to our football tailgates to keep us warm - from the inside out.  Last year for Christmas, I made Kevin these custom labels and jars for his popular libation.  I'm thrilled that he agreed to share his secret recipe (along with his tips) with us.  Thanks, Kevin!  

Kevin's Spiked Cider

1 gallon apple cider
1 quart apple juice
8 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 liter of EverClear
In large pot combine cider, apple juice and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and bring to a boil again.  Boil for an additional 15 minutes.  (I missed this second boil part this year hope it tastes ok.)

Cool completely.  (I fill the kitchen sink with a lot of ice and some water and place pot directly from stove into the sink; you can use coolers or tubs of ice as well) – usually takes an hour to cool.  Add 1/2 liter of EverClear and stir thoroughly and I mean thoroughly.
Use a ladle to pour in jars.  If there are too many cinnamon particles you can strain through a cheesecloth.  Funnels are handy during this process but Jill won’t buy me one  :)
   If you don’t have jars, you can use empty liquor bottles (Boones Farm), glass jugs, or beer growlers.  Place a cinnamon stick in each jar/bottle.
I prefer sipping it cold but you can heat it up on stove or in microwave and serve hot.


October 02, 2009

Recipes | Tomatoes Healthy Snack

By the time I get to the store, then home and ready to fix dinner I'm a starving beast.  This simple 'hors d'oeuvres' is my secret snack to curb my hunger without losing my appetite...  

Tomatoes (heirloom if they have it!)
Sea Salt & Fresh Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Told you it was easy... but you should try it - it works!

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