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Archive for August, 2011

I just wanted to quickly share an appetizer I’ve been making a lot recently that is perfect for the upcoming tailgate season: mini twice-baked potatoes. They’re super easy and adaptable, and they end up looking very chic. Plus, there’s no actual baking involved unless you really want to go the extra mile.

I start by finding the tiniest white potatoes I can find (you really only need about 15-20 even for a group because you get two appetizers out of every potato). Then, I boil the potatoes whole until the insides are soft but outsides are still firm (I test them by cutting one or two in half). Then, drain them and rinse them under cold water until they are cool enough to touch.

Cut them in half keeping in mind that you will scoop out the middle, so make sure that you pick the side to cut that will leave you with the two deepest halves. I use a little melon-baller to scoop out the middles and discard the middles into a bowl. Then add a combination of sour cream, cheese (cheddar or whatever kind you like) and chives to the potato mixture and mash it all together. Then, begin the process of re-filling the potatoes.

Continue ’til they’re done!

At this point, you could pop them in the oven to make them a little oosier and crispier, but I’ve been serving them at room temp and they’ve been delicious as-is! Enjoy!

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Camp Winnie

Ryan and I spent the past week in New Hampshire with Ryan’s family. Ryan’s cousins, the Hayes’s, also joined us. In total, there were 14 adults and 6 kids… it was a madhouse and so much fun! We were at Lake Winnipesaukee, which got shortened to Lake Winnie and then adapted to Camp Winnie, which was more fitting given the number of activities you could do at any one time: kayak, swim, boating, etc. Here are some of my favorite pics from the trip.

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There’s not too much going on these days, so I thought I’d share a few updates I made to my living room a few weeks back.

In the June issue of House Beautiful, a gorgeous Victorian row house was featured that I just adored. The interior design, by Ken Fulk, was so fresh, unfussy, casual, and organic, with just a touch of glamour. A lot of the overall pieces in the living room reminded me a little bit of my own living room: a white sofa with navy pillows, mix of dark wood and lighter pieces. Too bad I don’t have a crocodile wall paper fireplace, though, or that fabulous geometric pendant.

Wow, that side-by-side makes my place look like a dump, but let’s chalk it up to bad lighting and bad photography, shall we? One of the little details I loved about the Ken Fulk room, is the hurricane lamps on the coffee table.

I felt like they were just the right amount of bling. Too bad, these babies are made by Ralph Lauren and cost at cool $550 for the three of them. Luckily, as I was browsing in Target a few weeks ago, I came across these bad boys.

Yep, cheap-o replicas. I played around with a couple different combinations of candle sizes (if I remember correctly, I believe there was one more size even larger than the two pictured). I originally wanted to exactly recreate the inspiration pic with the staggered, three-different-sizes look (papa-bear, mama-bear and baby-bear, if you will). But I decided that on my more narrow coffee table, a combination like that might end up looking a little uncoordinated and overgrown. So I finally settled on three of the small hurricane lamps (on the left) which were $9.99 a piece.  While I was at it, I scooped up a rattan tray and some plain white candles, so I would have everything I needed for the complete look. And, here’ s the finished product.

Not bad, for a little over $30, huh? I love how the silver detailing picks up on the handful of other metallic tones I have in the room, like the lamp on our side table.

And, just for a side-by-side reminder.

It’s been an interesting journey—these past two years of having my own place with Ryan—of making decorating mistakes, being afraid of making decorating mistakes, being too ambitious with color and palette, being not ambitious enough. For some reason, I’ve always felt weird about taking someone’s exact design and copying it… maybe because it feels a little like plagiarism? Maybe because it wouldn’t feel like a home if you just took someone else’s furniture and plopped it into your house?

But, I’m beginning to understand that it’s ok to learn from and even copy the best (wow, how underwhelming does that revelation sound). But, yes, this is just clicking for me. In this case, for instance, even though I set out to replicate the original inspiration exactly, by my not having access to the original materials, because the houses are completely different, because all the pieces in my room are different from the original’s, it makes this little arrangement unique to me.

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