Thursday, April 16, 2015

Apple Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones

On my last post I shared with yall how delicious the food was on the Country Living shoot at Christi Wilson's home. One of my favorite meals was the morning Christi brought out these delicious Apple Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones. They were savory without being heavy and paired perfectly with a pretty bowl of fruit. Christi shared the recipe with me and I think it's too good to keep all to myself.



Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones
Yield 8-10 Scones

(Recipe from The Pastry Queen Cookbook by Rebecca Rather along with Alison Oresman. Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country's Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe)

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1-1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 to 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl on low speed.
With the mixer running, gradually add the cubes of butter until the mixture is crumbly and studded with flour-butter bits about the size of small peas.  Add the grated cheese and mix just until blended. (This can also be done by hand. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Gradually cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles small peas. Stir in the cheese.)

Add the green onions, bacon and the 3/4 cup of buttermilk to the flour and cheese mixture. Mix by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated. If the dough is too dry to hold together, use the remaining buttermilk, adding 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is pliable and can be formed into a ball.
Stir as lightly and as little as possible to ensure a light-textured scone. 
Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured flat surface. Pat the dough into a ball. Using a well-floured rolling pin, flatten the dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 to 10 equal wedges, depending on the size scone you prefer.

Whisk the egg and water in a small mixing bowl to combine. Brush each wedge with the egg wash. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle. Serve warm.



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Recent Styling Work for Country Living Magazine May 2015 Issue

The May issue of Country Living is out and I'm so excited about the story that features the  lovely home of Christi Wilson of The Brown Shed


Photograph by : Annie Schlechter 
This family room is absolutely hands down one of my favorite rooms. Ever. It's light, bright, colorful, cozy, feminine without being fussy and I love how it connects to the kitchen. It's the perfect space to simply "be" with your family. 

And the Wilson's are all about family; and hospitality and gardening and chickens and sweet dogs and eating really good food in their authentic farmhouse kitchen. 


When we're working on shoots we usually only have time to grab a quick bite and then it's back to work. On this shoot, Christi spoiled us rotten for three days with delicious homemade meals. And she made it look so easy!  She's a natural at putting together delicious casual meals.  I was so impressed with how easy she made it look with a team from a magazine invading her home. We tend to make a big mess during these shoots. It was quite a treat to be so tended to. Southern hospitality at its best. 


Homemade pies, scones, muffins, soup, grilled sandwiches. Quiche!! I just remembered the quiche she made with a pecan crust from her tree!  

I have a scone recipe to share with you coming up in the next blog post. Maybe Christi will share some of her favorite recipes on her blog for us...pretty please?

As you'll see from the story, Christi has a great eye for finding that just right antique. Her home is full of one of a kind finds. It was a dream to style her home because all I had to do was ask and she had exactly what we needed. I loved walking out back to The Brown Shed to gather up a basket of vintage goodies to style with. 










Vintage bottles and ranunculus waiting for their close up.


My partner in crime, Paige Hull of The Vintage Round Top, assisted on this shoot.  She's a steamin' demon.  Since we were working close by we got to stay in Paige's cottage in Round Top, Texas. If you haven't seen it, take a look and fall in love. It's dreamy. 

If you love Christi's style, I've got good news. She's updated her Etsy store and stocked it with vintage items just like you see in her Country Living feature. She'll also have plans for her adorable chicken coop coming soon.


To see more of this feature click here to view the Country Living slideshow and pick up the May 2015 Issue to read all the details. 

Thank you Christi, for the hospitality. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Moth Wing Diaries by Lori Vrba

Let me begin by saying that Lori Vrba has been my best good friend for 35 years. We've grown up together. Lived together. Had babies together.  I think some of our best growing has been over the last decade and we're not exactly spring chickens. And we're proud of that. 


It's an amazing thing to watch someone you're close to find their passion and then watch their star rise. 


Lori is a fine art photographer and mixed media artist living in Chapel Hill, NC.  She shoots with an old Hasselblad camera and makes pictures in her darkroom down in the basement of her home. It's as cool as it sounds. 

I'm beyond proud to share that her first book, The Moth Wing Diaries, has been published by Daylight Books and is now available

Winged Victory by Lori Vrba
Rebecca's Palm by Lori Vrba


You can read one of the best interviews Lori's given on Lenscratch to get a deeper understanding of where the work springs from and her process. I know you'll be inspired.


If you live in or near Chapel Hill, NC., you have two opportunities to see Lori's work. Daylight Project Space in Hillsborough will exhibit her work through May 22nd.
And the historic Horace Willliams House in Chapel Hill will open with an exhibition on April 12-26. Artists reception will be April 12, 2-4 pm. 

If you're in the Houston area, plan ahead as Lori will be exhibiting work beginning June 6 at Catherine Courturier Gallery.

Also, follow Lori on Facebook for all the up to the minute details about shows and signings.




Congratulations dear friend! Can you believe I just blogged about your book?!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Recent Styling Work for Country Living Magazine

I get the strong feeling that everyone has had quite enough of winter and is ready for spring. Myself included!
While you're enjoying the last days of winter snuggled by the fireplace be sure to visit the new Country Living magazine website. They've redesigned it and it has a fresh new feel.
And speaking of fresh, I was honored to style the April 2015 feature of the charming Bellville, Texas cottage of Houston's own Bailey McCarthy, owner of Biscuit Home

Click here to see the full slideshow on the Country Living website. How sweet and inviting is that pink front door?


Photography by Roger Davies
Bailey's style is daring (a black kitchen!) and whimsical while giving a nod to traditional in a way that's youthful and refreshing. 
She's made it easy to shop the look she's created in her farmhouse on her website by creating  a Country Edit of pieces found in her home. Would you dare to mix it up like Bailey has?
What a beautiful country place they've created for themselves.  It was lovely to share it with them for a few days during the shoot which happened to fall on my birthday. I thought that was reason enough to smooch that darling pony :)  





Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fifty Shades of Blush and Bashful

It's true that you never forget your first love. 

When it came to boys, I was lucky enough to marry my first true love and we're living happily ever after. I'm a lucky girl.
But when it comes to color, well..me and pink dated a very long time then broke up. I felt like I was the one that gave and gave and gave. Sacrificing my dignity for those pink laminate counter tops in our first home 25 years ago. The custom floral chintz bedding with cabbage roses the size of my head. The mauve dust ruffle. I hear the kids are calling it 'Marsala' these days. Ha!...rookies. The soft pink teflon skillet that cooked the perfect scrambled eggs on the weekends. Oh yes...I know that was all my idea, but pink, you quickly turned ugly and cold. I know I held on too long, but I needed you. I was young and didn't know better. You were everything to me. 
When the babies came I just couldn't handle your fiery heat any longer and we said goodbye.  I thought that would finally be the end of us.

But just recently, on a cold gray winter day somewhere in a deep dark dusty rose corner of my heart, old feelings began to stir. It was an urge that led me to the dim and dingy corners of cheap thrift stores to fill bag after bag with books in every shade of blush and bashful I could find, just to get a little taste of you. I lied to the cashiers, telling them all those pink books were for a school project. Oh, the thrill of hiding you in the back of my car....I haven't felt this alive in years! 

I justified going back to you with thoughts like "It's just this one room. Just for a little while. It won't hurt anyone, especially if I add some brass and new pillows. I deserve it. I want my color senses to feel alive in the way only you can make it happen, pink." 
And now we're back together. It feels so right ,pink. You're my hot and steamy little valentine to myself. My foolish color folly. 

Now, shut up and kiss me.


















Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Paperwhites and Fern

Isn't it funny how as soon as we put away the Christmas decorations we start thinking about Spring? 
We live too fast. 
It's winter...let's enjoy that! (says the southern girl who has never shoveled snow in her life). Texas has had some really cold and gray days and I'm fighting the gray with green. 

Ferns, paperwhites, lavender, boxwoods; anything green that I can easily plant or snip and bring inside is fair game. 


I've had really good luck growing these three ferns inside: plumosa, maidenhair and boston.
They've done well in low light and I've supplemented their water with a good misting weekly.   
             



Paperwhites are the easiest thing I've ever grown. They're so forgiving. And, I hereby decree they're not just for the holidays, so there!  I keep it simple by growing them in a container with gravel or rocks and keep them watered. That's it.
I bought quite a few at Christmas and have been planting them a few at a time. I'll miss them when they're gone.

Have fun planting bulbs in ironstone, teacups, mason jars; anything that holds water.

After they bloom you can stake them up with bamboo skewers and string. I love how simple they are to care for and their sweet smell. They do like to drink a lot of water so
check them daily.

Tell me......What's your secret weapon for fighting the gray days of winter? 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tomorrow is New Year's Day

"When you wake up from dreaming, who will you see?"

My best good friends' favorite days of the year are the last one and the first one. Because she's a kick ass mixed media artist she made this little movie to celebrate. 

Have a happy one! See ya next year!