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August 31, 2018

Fall Collection | Preview

Maybe we are this way before the beginning of every season, but it feels like the anticipation of fall is the greatest of all.  Is it the autumnal colors that fill the sky, the unmistakable crispness in the air, the smell of woodsmoke in the evenings that fill our neighborhoods or is it the trips to the pumpkin patch and cider mills?  Whatever the reason is, I'm 100% on board.  

I have such fond memories of fall.  I can still remember what it felt like in high school, to walk to my car on October mornings wearing my cheerleading uniform - legs freezing but with a big letter jacket on - the air couldn't have been more crisp.  Or in college, walking to class through piles of crunchy leaves on sidewalks while more orange and red leaves fluttered down overhead.  Emma and I always take long walks and gather the most beautiful leaves we can find, along with sticks and pinecones for kindling.  Mike and I spent our honeymoon in Tuscany in the fall - clad in sweaters, scarves and jeans, exploring villages in cities, drinking wine, eating pasta and sitting by fires.  

Maybe we all love fall so much because after a summer of being out and about, we can finally just be home.  Our evenings will no longer be spent at the pool, but at home around a candle lit dining room table or on the sofa with a movie (or a game!) on and fire going.  We can take after dinner strolls bundled in fleeces while Mr. Darcy and Emma kick through the leaves.  We can spend slow Saturday mornings in our comfies, baking donuts and drinking coffee and cider.  It is all so good.

Today I'm sharing a look at the Fall Collection.  I've completely outfitted our home for fall using my favorites from the new items that will be in store next week with the launch of the collection.

Join me here for the Fall Launch on Wednesday, September 5th at 8am Central.

August 30, 2018

Chocolate Glazed Baked Donuts

Last week I started a "Homemade Celebrations" series.  Basically, my theory is that instead of running out to buy everything for your family's celebrations, try your hand at making instead.  The philosophy isn't about making life harder, but more simple.  It isn't always more simple or better to make it yourself - in which case, yes! go out and buy it.  However, I think we needlessly get intimidated by things like making simple flower arrangements, baking birthday cakes, etc.  It isn't that hard and it can be so much fun to do it yourself.

I love good bakery donuts, but they are so hard to find.  I want them fresh, I want them warm and I want them no too sweet.  Frying homemade donuts is not something I want to do very often... maybe 2-3 times a year.  However, I've finally perfect a baked donuts recipe that is so yummy - tender, soft, fluffy.  The best part is that you can make the batter ahead of time, Scoop it in a Disposable Piping Bags in the freezer or fridge, pipe them into the Donut Pan, then bake them anytime you want.  (I do the same thing with muffins!)  They take 6-8 minutes to bake.  Literally, by the time the coffee is ready I can have warm, fluffy cake donuts any day of the week and I don't have to leave the house.  This could get dangerous!

Baked Cake Donut Essentials : 

I've topped these with a chocolate glaze and sprinkles - perfect for a morning birthday treat.  Or for a Friday.  Or Tuesday.  We also love tossing them in cinnamon and sugar, or powdered sugar.

For the recipe, I started with the King Arthur Flower recipe, but modified it after trying it a couple of times.  (more butter and brown sugar, less flour)

There is also a new Mini Donut Pan available in my store.  Have you ever?!  These are the cutest things I've ever seen.  I think they would be darling for a ladies breakfast or shower.  Served with a pumpkin spice or vanilla latte?  omg.

Stay tuned for more toppings ideas!

Baked Cake Donuts

makes 12 large donuts or 24 mini

6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 granulated sugar
1/2 light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of milk
2 1/4 flour
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing pan
recipe for glaze follows below

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixer, mix together 6 t of melted butter, oil and white and brown sugars until smooth.  Add eggs, beating until combined.  Stir in baking powder, soda, salt and vanilla.  Pour in milk, then top with flour.  Mix on low just until incorporated.

Scoop the batter into two large piping bags.  Brush the donut pans with the melted butter.  Pipe batter into pans until they are almost full.

Large Donuts : Bake donuts for 8 minutes until golden and puffed.
Mini Donuts : Bake 5-6 minutes until golden and puffed.
Let them cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto parchment to glaze.

The batter is similar to a muffin batter - super easy to mix together.

This recipe will make about 2 batches.  Split the batter between two large disposable piping bags.  Save one for later in the fridge (if using within a couple of days) or the freezer.  Just get it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before so it is thawed ready to go in the morning.

I write on the bag with a sharpie so I can tell it isn't muffin batter!

The piping bag makes it so much easier to put it in the pan.  Fill them almost to the top to get fluffy, full donuts.

Glaze while they're still a little warm, but not too hot.

Chocolate Glaze 

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup of milk3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar (desired consistency)

*Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar if you don't want any lumps.

In a microwave safe measuring cup, heat butter and milk in the microwave until butter is melted.  Add cocoa and heat for 30 more seconds, stir vigorously when it comes out to break up any lumps of cocoa.  Stir in powdered sugar, starting with 1 cup at a time, then add more if you'd like it to be thicker.  

And top with sprinkles, of course.

I hope you find an occasion (like any day of the week) to make them soon : )

Baked Cake Donut Essentials : 

August 28, 2018

Viburnum Berries, Prints & Slate Grey Ticking Stripes

Everyone looks forward to Lilac, Peony, and Hydrangea Seasons, and of course the Fall Foliage Season.  They seem to be celebrated everywhere and I share in the enthusiasm.  However, there are also tiny "seasons" in-between these that I look forward to.  One of these is when my Viburnum bushes produce these deep, navy blue berries.  They are similar to New England's privet berries but much easier to grow here.

I found a Botanical Print that features the very same berry my bush produces.  They are a perfectly matte, deep navy blue.  This print is part of a larger collection I discovered this season.  See them here, in my store along with coordinating mats and frames.

I framed mine and included them in our Family Room.  This room is our more "formal" room of our home.  I really enjoy the tone-on-tone neutral color scheme in here, and these prints fit the bill perfectly. 

I've added my Slate Ticking Stripe Pillows to this room, as well.  They feel so at home.  There is something about the ticking stripe that feel just right in this room.  It seems to fit so well with the early American antique furniture and oatmeal linen furniture.

I am used to switching out pillow covers every season, but I might consider leaving these here to stay.

This is the perfect use for the new Navy Gingham Wrapping Papers that I added to the store last week.  Along with the Moss Green Satin ribbon, it coordinates with the Viburnum Berries just beautifully.

I found some Crab Apple Branches that are helping this room feel perfectly seasonal for the beginning of September.  They are not over the top (pumpkins!) Autumn, but it feels like that could be around the corner.

Creamware Creamer, here >
Navy Gingham Wrapping Paper >
Moss Green Satin Ribbon >
Rattan Basket Tray, here >

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