Monday, October 28, 2013

Yeasted Brown-Butter Waffles


When you think about homemade waffles, what comes to mind?  For me it's a fun Saturday morning activity that I pay for the rest of the day (multiple naps from too much food, too many dishes to wash, and waffle batter everywhere).  However I recently discovered a waffle recipe that takes all of the con out of pulling out the old waffle iron.

1).  This waffle batter is made in stages.  You start it the night before, as it needs to sit for 8 to 12 hours.   All you have to do in the morning is whisk in 2 eggs and a little baking soda.

2).  This batter is light, spongey, and yeasty as opposed to dense and sugary.  We're talking tons of flavor without all the weight.

3).  I don't really have a third thing.  These waffles are just awesome.

I found this recipe in the November Bon Appetit (I've been loving my recent subscription, as you can obviously tell).  I was immediately intrigued by the addition of the yeast to this batter, and wondered what it would do the the flavor/texture.  The answer: a lot!  These waffle's light texture and complex flavor all come down to the yeast.  This recipe is different enough to make it special, but still classic. Since most of the work is done the night before, this is the perfect breakfast for company.  You can just wake up and look like a super awesome host as you quickly whip up homemade waffles.  Be sure to look as beautiful as possible while you do this.  Let's be that person.

Olie thinks these taste exactly like Waffle House waffles.  It's been a while since I've had Waffle House, so I couldn't tell you if he's right or not.  But I do know that these waffles are crispy on the outside, spongey on the inside, and super easy to make.  The leftovers also toast up really well in the oven.  So, in theory, you could make them a few days in advance and look like an even more amazing host!  You'll be like Molly Weasly; these waffles will appear out of no where!  I think I just planned your Sunday brunch.  For the next 20 or so Sundays.

Check out the full recipe at bonapettit.com

Monday, October 21, 2013

Peace, Love, and Slouchy Layers

Loving this new slouchy kimono from Urban Outfitters.  I'm so happy that the weather is starting to turn.  I like to wear as many articles of clothing as possible.  I never know what to wear in the summer.  Shorts and a t-shirt?  Boring.  But I'm great at dressing for cooler temps.  And speaking of layers, Forever 21 has the cutest jackets at the moment.  Go check it out (online, not in the store, it's always nuts in there).  I have about ten in my cart.  Going to have to make some tough decisions.  I don't need (read: can't afford) ten jackets.  But it is definitely jacket time and I'm loving it.

Kimono: Urban Outfitters, Button-down: Zara, Jeans: Zara, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Watch: Fossil, Assorted Jewels

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hog and Hominy's Pasta with Chorizo and Chickpeas


So........if you're a Memphian, you have doubtless heard a lot about Hog and Hominy.  One of Memphis' newest and most exciting restaurants, they were also in the running for Bon Appetit's The Hot Ten: Best New Restaurants in America in 2013.  I've only eaten there once, but it was an unforgettable meal (anyone who can make collard greens as well as my mom must be a genius).  They are known for Southern comfort food with an Italian twist. And for a love of pork (most Memphians fall into this category).

I was so excited to see one of their recipe's in the September issue of Bon Appetit, and knew right away that I had to make it.  To be fair, I was a bit wary.  Chorizo and pasta?  Hmmmmm.......  But it was delicious!  It's not weird, or trying too hard, it's just a great twist on classic pasta with meat sauce.  The chick peas are a really nice touch.  And it was so easy to prepare.  I love meals that I can just slap together as a sort of afterthought.  I love to cook, but I don't like to kill myself in the kitchen.  I definitely prefer the eating to the cooking.

Give this recipe a try.  It was a very inexpensive dish (in true Southern form) and a great change from my normal pasta dishes.  Go to bonappetit.com for the full recipe.

Oh and don't forget the lemons!  I completely forgot to serve this with lemon zest and I think it really would have brightened up the flavors.  A little lemon zest makes everything better.

Friday, October 18, 2013

House Tour: The Bedroom


The next room I want to share with you on my house tour is the bedroom.  Unlike the living room, I wanted to keep this room very simple and minimal.  For some people this may not be very minimal, but for me it definitely is.

My favorite part about decorating a house is the DIY projects, and this room is full of them.  One thing that Olie and I have said throughout this whole decorating process is that we don't want our house to look like everything came from Target.  Not that Target isn't awesome, cuz it totally is, but Target products tend to have that Target look.  DIY is a great way to make things more personalized and unique without breaking the bank.
The focus of the room is on the bed.  I love white bedding.  I think anything else is just too much.  Simple, white bedding looks clean, fresh, and comfortable.  We found the headboard at Pottery Barn Outlet for half off.  It had a few dings and scratches, so we decided to paint it yellow.  I sewed the panel to go behind it to give the bed a bit of punch.  Two very simple DIY's that give the bed a lot of character.  I love the lamp on the bedside table, but I'm not crazy about it in that particular spot.  I'm still playing around with it in my head.  Should I simply get a new lampshade?  Should I move it to another room?  Should I keep it the way it is?  Still undecided.  But a house is always growing and changing, which is good.  I want to always be improving it and making it our own.
Like I mentioned in the home tour of our living room, there is a lot of repetition in our house.  Here, you can see the Christmas lights that are the same as the ones in the living room.
And the low shelf!  Another DIY!
More candles and flowers.  Simple touches like these are what make a house a home.  Candles are always inviting and make a room feel cozy.
Every room in the house has a piece of my art in it.  This room is very small, so a big piece really dominates the room, which I like.  And a cat in the window always makes a room feel home-y!  
Thanks for stopping by!  I'm looking forward to sharing the rest of the house with you!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hump Day Artist: Elizabeth Peyton

vulture.com
This week's Hump Day Artist is Elizabeth Peyton, a contemporary artist who primarily paints and draws portraits.  She is an incredible draughtsman, and her paintings have a quickness to them; each painting looks like it was painted in a matter of minutes (though it probably wasn't).  She is well known for her paintings of celebrities, but almost all of her subjects (celebrity or not) have that 90's heroine-chic look (young, pale, thin, ratty t-shirt, lounging around doing nothing).

Unlike most people, I grew up looking at art.  But, like most people, not much of that art was what you would call modern or contemporary.  I remember going to the The Art Institute of Chicago with my dad in the 10th grade.  The painting above was one of Elizabeth Peyton's works that was on display.  I had seen it in a recent issue of Vogue, but I was so shocked when I saw it in person.  This painting looked so fresh, like it had been painted a few hours earlier.  Every brushstroke was so present and real.  It really knocked me down.  This self-portrait is incredibly small, but really packs a wallop.  I'll never forget that day: not only was it my first experience with contemporary art, but also a huge game-changer in the way I viewed both art making and art viewing.  All thanks to one tiny little painting of a woman with her dog (and one heart-stopping John Currin, but more on that later).
huffingtonpost.com

Recently, Peyton shocked the art world with her portrait of Justin Bieber.  A new low?  I don't think so.  I love to see an artist who makes decidedly "fine" art turn her attention to someone so un-cool as Justin Bieber.  Don't mistake me, the Biebs is possibly one of the biggest stars ever, but he doesn't have the clout that someone like Kurt Cobain, Meg White, or Barack Obama have (all have been subjects of Peyton).  It's almost like she is poking fun at herself; this recent portrait just highlights her own fanboy tendencies.  But, isn't that all art its?  Don't we just paint things that we like?  We come up with these ridiculous reasons for why we make work, but in all honesty, most of us are just painting the things we want to see (I spent an entire 6 months painting sandwiches).   And who doesn't want to see the Biebs?

Check out more of Elizabeth Peyton's work at gagosian.com
nytimes.com

huffingtonpost.com

whitney.org

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Painted Grunge






Has anyone seen the 2014 Spring/Summer J. Crew presentation?  I'm always a big fan of J.Crew.  The clothes are always interesting, fresh, and incredibly wearable.  One of my favorite looks showed was a pair of army pants with paint splatters all over them.  Um......I'm an artist, so I have about a billion pair of pants with paint splatters on them.  It's the artists dream!  It totally inspired me to bust out a pair and make them wearable for everyday.  Not an artist?  Go help paint a friend's house.  You'll do a good deed and be super stylish.  J.Crew style.

Check out the whole J.Crew line at style.com

Top: Old Navy (men's), Pants: Levi's (men's), Boots: Zara, Watch: Fossil, Assorted Jewels

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hump Day Artist: Dana Schutz



This week's Hump Day Artist is Dana Schutz.  Talk about someone who knows how to paint!  This woman pushes paint around like it's her job (oh wait, it is her job, and she makes bank at it).  Schutz's paintings are a world all their own.  This is a place where people are half human/half slug/half robot.  A world where people eat their own faces, or break bodies apart and put them back together into something completely and totally wrong.  All in the most beautiful color palette I've ever seen.

Painters often get broken up into different categories.  In actuality, it's less like categories, and more like a bunch of snooty sororities.  There are your technical painters.  The ones that work like old masters, honor the painting tradition (pre mid-twentieth century, of course), and never want painting to be anything but that.  There are your irreverent painters: the ones that don't care if something is archival, they don't care if something is beautiful, they just slosh paint around (I think you could say I'm a member of this sorority).  And then there are the painters that only paint for some dumb philosophical, anti-painting reason and actually don't care about painting at all.  But we won't talk about them, they aren't important to this conversation.

Schutz's work definitely earns a point for the traditional team.  Schutz's paintings are so beautiful, so magical (yes, I said magical), that, for the viewer, the subject is almost an afterthought.  Which is crazy because the subject is always absolutely nuts!  Schutz is the artist that we all wanted to be when we were teenagers.  Her work is nerdy and weird and gross, but she paints it so well that she somehow gets away with it.  She paints what she wants and we lap it up.  An old, weird hot-pink naked guy reclining on a beach?  Yes, please.

Head to saatchigallery.com for more of Dana Schutz's work.  All images from saatchigallery.com




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

House Tour: The Living Room


Decorating a house is a real challenge.  My husband and I moved about 4 months ago into a great little rental house (buying a house is way too grown up for me).  Since moving, we've been steadily working towards making this house our own.  This is the first place we've lived in where we could paint, where we have a yard, and where we actually have enough room to move around (our first apartment was like a closet.  It was teeny-tiny).  Putting this place together has been a ton of work, but a ton of fun.

Our house is by no means "done." There are still a lot of areas that need work, and tons of projects that I have planned. However, I'm finally to a place where I'm feeling really pleased with our home. So I thought I would share what we've done so far with you!

Today, I thought I'd give you a peek into our living room. This is, without a doubt, my favorite room in the house. It also just recently came together. We had been saving up for a while for a new couch (mucho dinero) and a new rug (not as much dinero, but still a decent amount of dinero). There was also an entire corner devoted to cords. Our internet router will only work in one specific area of our house, and it is a very inconvenient area (see the mirror on the floor in the picture above?  Behind that is a huge mess of cords).  Since this room took the longest to put together, I'm definitely pretty proud of it. 

(Disclaimer: my house is very dark, so photographing it is a bit of a challenge.  This room is probably the brightest in the house, and it's still so dark!)

I'm in love with our couch.  I had always had it in my head that we would get an orange couch, but I instantly fell in love with this mustard color.  My mom and I picked out the rug and the couch on the same day in the same store (Macy's).  I think they are a match made in heaven.



The blanket on the rocking chair was knitted by my great-grandmother.  I love the orange chevron mixed with the blue chevron on the rug.  Normally I wouldn't place two similar patterns so close together, but I like it.  You gotta break a couple of rules, or it just gets boring.

I'm a big fan of simple things.  I think the best way to make a house pretty is to simply add some candles and flowers.  It's an easy way to make it feel special.  We burn candles all the time here.  If you're a Memphian, head to Garden Ridge.  They have really cheap candles. (Is Garden Ridge just a Memphis thing?  I think it might be.)

Our house is really small, so we wanted it to be consistent from room to room.  A lot of the colors get repeated (gray, orange, yellow).  And we have these big, round Christmas lights in almost every room.  We used these lights for our wedding and have been using them ever since.  They add a really nice, warm glow.  Also, Olie built these low shelves not only for this room, but for the bedroom and guest bedroom as well.  The two floor pillows were made by me.  I fell in love with that fabric, and they were one of my first projects on my new sewing machine.

A lot of Olie's video game stuff is sprinkled throughout this room.  I never want to be one of those wives that hides their husband's stuff in a closet.  This is his house too! (if it were up to me, every room would be hot pink or red).  I try to make it a part of the decoration.  This has been a big challenge as a lot of video game consoles are just big black boxes.  But the old Super Nintendo console and games were so fun to put out.
And that's our living room!  Stay tuned for more tours to come!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Getting Graphic







These pants are my new fall purchase.  I've always wanted a pair of high-wasted jeans.  To my surprise, they are a little hard to work with.  My main problem with them is that my butt is kind of.......out there.  They are just a little bit sexier than I intended.  For example: when I shot this outfit post I got catcalled.  Good for the old self-esteem, but still.  Not really what I was going for.  So I tend to wear them with something either funny or conservative.  Hence the classic loafers and the scarf.  I got these loafers at the Cole Haan outlet this summer for 50% off.  Definitely a good buy.  

Shirt: Old Navy, Pants: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Cole Haan, Scarf: Thrifted, Assorted Jewels

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Need An Intervention


I'm having a serious new obsession. It's not the pie. Forget the pie. Don't even look at it. It's the fluffy mound of amazing-ness on top of it. Oh yeah. Homemade whipped cream.

Oh whipped cream!  I wish I could quit you! But I can't. I give up.

I will say, it's always the simple things that get me. Bread and butter. Black coffee. A perfect strawberry. So, it's really no surprise that whipped cream is my new crack. I always try to eat a healthy breakfast. I've succeeded in this for 25 years. No longer.  I'm broken.

So maybe you shouldn't make it for yourself. Maybe you should keep eating your healthy breakfast, instead of spoonfuls of whipped cream (there are a few strawberries in there. Maybe a little granola.  Maybe). You should go on living in a world where there is no such thing as homemade whipped cream. You're probably better off.

Who am I kidding, you need this! We all need this. Buy some heavy whipping cream. Add a handful of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract (apparently, it's great with a little rum in it).  Whip the crap out of it.  You want it nice and firm.  Then add to everything. Granola. Fruit. Coffee.  Hamburgers (honestly, I would eat this, I have a problem).

Your whipped cream will keep its shape for about 3 or 4 days, if you're lucky.  So, eat it up.