Sunday, January 30, 2011

Save As Draft

Available Now!
  My friend Cavanaugh Lee, has a new book coming out on February 1st.  I did a pre-order on Amazon and got a shipping notice on Friday - just can't wait to read it!   Cavanaugh was a former actress, turned lawyer (which is how I met her), turned author.  She's now got a new book coming out and I'm so excited about it.  My book club will be reading Save As Draft in March, and Cavanaugh will be calling in to join the discussion!   If you are interested in a similar arrangement, please let me know and I'll see if the author can join your book club too!   Meanwhile I hope you'll read the book and support my good friend in her writing debut! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pink Coat

I love Pink Saturdays but I've never linked up.  Generally I just visit blogs, enjoying all the pink.  Today I woke up thinking about a pale pink coat I saw on The Sartorialist (love this blog) and just can't stop thinking about it for a couple of reasons.  It reminds me that when I've visited Paris, I've been so impressed with the older women and their polished look.  My observation is that the Parisian older woman doesn't try to hide her age, she has taken very good care of herself (my sister kept trying to tell me to get more facials and use a good throat cream), is well put together, generally in a classic style and is out walking.  This picture that was featured in October was a perfect example. 
Photo from The Sartorialist
On this gorgeous WARM day, I'm heading to Viking Cooking School for a class in basic French cooking techniques.  Happy Pink Saturday!!! A bientot.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Winner!

Congratulations Sarah at Hyacinths For the Soul!!!   The Random Number Generator picked number 4 and you were number 4 linking up.  

I'll be emailing you offline to get your address so I can pre-order the book and get it shipped.  Meanwhile, THANK YOU to all the pie baking, partying participants!!!   I hope everyone had time to sit down with a good cup of coffee and a great piece  of pie. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's a Pie Party!

It's time for the all-American treat....PIE!
Link up and join the party!

My husband's birthday is Monday so we decided on a Banana Cream Pie for his special day.   The recipe is pieced together from two different recipes - parts can be credited to Emeril and other parts are from Ron Silver's Bubby's Homemade Pies.
Here's the recipe with pictures.  Enjoy and Pie-Party On!!!

Nut Pastry Dough:
1/2 cup finely chopped, raw, unsalted walnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Make dough and bake ahead.  It will need to cool down before adding bananas, cream filling, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. 

Vanilla Pudding
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch

Combine 2 cups of the cream, the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. Combine the egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl, and whisk pale yellow in color. Set aside.Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon to cook out the cornstarch and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. (The mixture may separate slightly. If so, remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

Chocolate Sauce

3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Scald the half-and-half and butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Place the chocolate and vanilla in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Add the hot half-and-half and let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. 
To assemble the pie spoon some of the vanilla pudding into the pie crust. Add, 1 1/2 cups sliced bananas covering the pudding. Cover the bananas with remaining pudding.  Top with whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.  Use extra chocolate sauce to decorate each serving dish. 
 My husband is so excited about his birthday pie.  
Everyone participating in the pie party will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of the Country Living The Little Book of Pies & Tarts: 50 Easy Homemade Favorites to Bake & Share that will be released in April!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Keep watching for more info about a Pie Party as we celebrate National Pie Day, January 23.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

HGTV and Blogs

 Over the past couple of years I've stopped watching HGTV though I used to love it.  Over time I would try to find some of my favorite shows or HGTV personalities but they weren't there.   I used to love watching Joan Steffend, Kitty Bartholomew, Erica GlasenerRebecca KollsSusie Coelho and Paul James...where are all these great show hosts now?  
At night (when I win the channel changer) I flip through the channels and usually skip HGTV because whatever is on the air is a show about buying real estate, internationally.   While I wish I were hunting for a house in a sunny and warm international location, generally I skip such programming because unless I win the lottery or come into some kind of incredible inheritance that I'm not expecting, I'm cozied into my lovely little home in Georgia.  But mentioning this makes me wonder why house hunting is airing almost every night?  Last I heard, the housing market in the U.S. is near flat.  Wishful thinking maybe?
Chip Wade
Occasionally I flip and find Curb Appeal: The Block.  That's a show I really like and as a matter of fact, Chip Wade has been over to help me with some small details on the exterior of my house (read more about his visit here).  He's very helpful and very affordable!
Today, while home for snow day number 2, there was one show airing that was worth watching and I saw an ad for Candice Olson but over all it look liked the "G" (gardening) in the channel name may no longer be airing and sadly, a lot of great programming is no longer on the air.  Now I know why my tv viewing is limited to 2 or 3 channels.  

Have blogs replaced some of these terrific shows?   I have to admit that I enjoy many of the blogs I read and they are far more entertaining that shopping for real estate!  In fact, bloggers send you emails and are much more interactive than a tv show.   Do you still watch HGTV?  If so I'm just curious what are your favorite shows?   I would love to hear your comments.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Waiting for the Snow but Fearing the Ice

It's snowing!!!!
Yes, a winter storm is headed to Georgia so yesterday everyone I know got out to buy groceries and other creature comforts. Down south we don't handle wintry weather too well. If there is a hint of snow, and especially ice, in our weather forecast, schools are apt to close and work places generally delay openings.  It's such a treat! We are really hoping the predicted ice doesn't leave us without power but just in case I've got a couple of new books by my side and I'm ready do a little unexpected relaxing tomorrow.  Maybe a pajama day?
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we wake up to a beautiful snowy day. 
It's been snowing for nearly 2 hours. We've got nearly 2 inches and look how light it is outside.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do You Compete For the Remote?

I love old movies.  I mean I REALLY love old movies and my husband LOVES the news.   My husband and I both are generally easy going but when we sit down to watch tv you should see the passive aggressive behaviors we exhibit!  Both of us are trying to figure out how we can "take control" and of course I trying to see what's on TCM (Loretta Young movies were on tonight) or IFC (Portlandia starts on 1/21) and my husband flips right over to CNN.   Sometimes I wish I kept stats on how many nights we repeat the same behaviors.  It's comical really. 
Speaking of old movies, have you ever poked around on YouTube for old films?  Sometimes on Friday nights when I lose control of the remote, I watch movies on YouTube.   They are divided up into segments but it's still a great way to watch an old movie.  
And while I'm on the topic of old movies, let me just add that my good friend John (click on John's name to see some of his holdings) has loaned some of his Hollywood couture to an exhibition in London being put together by Hamish Bowles.  
 I'm thinking I'll be making a trip when this one opens! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolutions, Positive Thoughts, Goals and Words

Today I've spent some time trying to decide how to approach this new year.  Should I make a single goal or resolve to change just one thing?  Perhaps I could work on a number of things in my life?  Maybe add a few positive thoughts to my calendar or do as I've seen others do, just select a few key words to help me navigate myself down a more positive path.  
Starting the new year gives me a blank calendar with plenty of days ahead to accomplish whatever goals I make for myself so I'd prefer to list a number of things I hope to achieve in the coming year.  So here are a few things I plan to do.  
 Drink more water enjoy more weekends go to the beach ●do more leisure reading ● visit with friends and family
● sit outside under a starry sky ● be more active
 ● make more memories ● travel ● de-clutter ● stay balanced ● set boundaries ● have more belly laughs ● find more opportunities to perform random acts of kindness ● learn new things ● have more adventures
  ● jump in a mud puddle ● cry tears of joy ● listen to more music, and lots, lots more.   I'm looking forward to doing everything on my list and more in 2011.