Friday, August 30, 2013

Learn How to make Buttermilk Biscuits

Fresh and fluffy homemade Buttermilk Biscuits are a great way to start the day.

On-the-go Buttermilk Biscuits are hot, fluffy and ready to eat when you’re running out the door. Eat them warm from the oven with butter and honey or jam, or stack scrambled eggs, sausage patties or bacon in between for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich.
Buttermilk Biscuits

Serves 10
Prep time: 20 minutes • Cook time: 12 minutes

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 Tablespoons butter, cold and cubed into smaller pieces
1 cup buttermilk or buttermilk substitute (recipe follows)
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
Flour for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. In a medium bowl and using a wooden spoon, combine all dry ingredients.
3. Add butter cubes to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or fork, combine butter into the dry ingredients, without over-blending, until it resembles coarse meal.
4. Add the buttermilk slowly then stir until the mixture is just combined. It will still be a bit dry, but should hold together when pressed.
5. Dump dough mixture out onto a lightly floured board. Using your hands, gently pat the dough until it is approximately ½-inch thick. Do not over-handle the dough and do not use a rolling pin; simply flatten the disc out with your hands.
6. Starting at the very edge, cut dough into circles using a round cutter.
7. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet with the sides of each biscuit touching one another.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly brown on the top.
9. Remove from the oven, brush with the 1 tablespoon of melted butter and serve warm.

Buttermilk Substitute

Most people don’t keep buttermilk on hand but a substitute is easy to make. Combine 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar for each cup of nonfat or 2% milk. Allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes or until you notice the milk curdling. Stir together and use as a substitute for buttermilk in any recipe.

Source: Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

French Twist

A distant cousin to the roasted, plastic-encased chicken you find in the supermarket, home-cooked poultry is superior thanks to your quality control: the poultry you select, seasonings that have less sodium and homemade care. Imagine adding the convenience and healthful benefits of rotisserie cooking in your own kitchen.

La Cornue, the French artisan company that’s produced handmade ranges for more than 100 years, has designed the first built-in gas rotisserie approved for use inside the home. A striking addition to the kitchen and a showpiece for entertaining, the Flamberge measures only 32 square inches and 15 inches deep and cooks meat, poultry or fish to moist, self-basted perfection. It can roast three small chickens at a time, or two larger ones, and up to a 12-pound turkey. You control the speed, so if guests are running late, slow it down and dinner won’t be affected. When they arrive, your guests will be drawn to the sight and aroma of an anticipated feast. An added touch: an ID plate can be engraved with a family name or a special inscription for display on your new investment.

By Hillary Black

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From Dated to Divine

How to you redecorate rooms that are architecturally flawed? Play up scale and add eye-catching elements, recommends designer Marlaina Teich. That way, you refocus the design away from the room’s flaws and instead draw the eye to its best assets.

Part of a c. 1915 Italian Renaissance-style mansion, a bedroom suite by Marlaina was plagued by design dilemmas, including peeling paint, old fixtures, odd architectural angles and limited space. Equally daunting were the restrictions placed on how the rooms could be altered. To preserve historic integrity, nothing was allowed to be structurally removed from the rooms.

So how could she accomplish a complete transformation without gutting the rooms? “Always start with a plan,” Marlaina says. Her plan for the space was to “trick the eye” with the use of unusual materials and dramatic furnishings.

In the bedroom, Marlaina hid the fireplace’s odd angle and placement by embellishing it with unusual, light-reflecting wall tiles made from mother-of-pearl Capiz shells, thereby drawing attention to its scale instead of its position. To add more drama, she replaced the lighting fixture with a platinum and crystal chandelier. A custom-made etched glass fireplace screen is one more light-reflecting detail.

Turning to the problematic window wall, Marlaina continued to use the luminescence theme on the oversized headboard by upholstering it in pearlized leather.

The custom-made silk drapery that flanks the outer corners of both windows was specifically designed to pull the eye away from the fact that the queen-sized bed covers a portion of each window. For bold contrast, Marlaina used a deep, henna-colored paint on the walls.

By Bonnie Joy Flam

Monday, March 25, 2013

Inspiration for a Cottage-Style Bedroom

Photo: Thinkstock

The quest for shelter is one of the strongest human drives. When we imagine a place to keep the rain out and the warmth in, most of us picture the quintessential cottage, a small abode lit with a crackling fire, a soft place to sit and, at the end of the day, a comforting place to lay our heads down in easy slumber.

Cottages are scattered about in our collective consciousness, filled with memories of summer twilights, simmering soups on the old stove, cats curled on the window-seat and perhaps a tiny bedroom in the attic. Whether it was Grandma's house every Fourth of July or that memorable weekend house in the Hamptons, the cottages in our memories provide a benchmark for how we want our own everyday lives to feel.

Over the centuries, painters have been captivated by the unsung nobility of peasants and their way of life. Using their amazing talent to convey color and light, the masters, particularly the Dutch and the Flemish, depicted a highly idealized vision of the country life, showing thatched cottages with small windows and an entryway brimming with flowers and animals. Even today, modern painters attempt to capture the allure of a cottage in pastoral settings at various times of the day, with the ancient peasant-dwelling as their inspiration. And in these shared images and memories, you too can find inspiration for cottage style decor in your bedroom.

By Erika Kotite

Source: Well Styled Home Magazine

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How To Create a Comfortable Cottage Full of Personal Style

From his tiny beach cottage to his clients’ expansive ocean-side estates, designer Randy Boyd knows how to build a comfortable home full of personal style. Follow his tips to get his signature look:

home cottages

Pick what pleases your eye
Regardless of the trends or expectations, only things that appeal to your aesthetic will help you create the perfect home.

Always be aware of scale
Don’t force a purchase if it’s not the right size and scale. Even if you love a piece in the store, if it’s not the right fit, chances are you won’t love it at home.

Invest in antiques when you can
Buy antique items when you can and when it’s practical for you. Not only will they last longer than most new furniture, but they will add an unmatched element of warmth and style.

If you can splurge on something, splurge on upholstery
Cutting corners on fabric often leads to having to redo the project sooner. Buy the best upholstery you can afford because it will save you money in the end.

Don’t rely on matching
For fabrics and accessories, blending is much more interesting than matching. Consider a palette to stick with, but don’t get too hung up on matching colors and patterns precisely, which can be boring and predictable.

By Jickie Torres
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

Source: Cottages and Bungalows

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Finished Masterpiece - Home Decoration

Le moulinsur la Couleuvre à Pontoise(1881) by Paul Cézanne
“It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.” –Paul Cézanne

Like artists, homeowners often experience the terror of the blank canvas. What furniture is appropriate? What wallpaper should we hang? What tile should we install? There are so many choices—sometimes even the best of us freeze up. Instead of moving forward, we stop, as if waiting for divine revelation.

Or inspiration.

While it may not solve every design dilemma, I’ve always believed that having the right color palette in hand is the best first step. Once you’ve chosen your primary, secondary and tertiary colors, the rest of the battle (and yes, sometimes renovation feels like winning a war) is just so much easier. Surprisingly, these colors often coexist in one item—like they were best friends all along—and this item can provide inspiration throughout the rest of the project. Whether it’s a rug, a vase or a swatch of wallpaper, this one piece acts as a trustworthy guide, a la Lewis and Clark, as you venture forward through uncharted territory.

Fortunately, I think this is where the Victorian enthusiast draws more comfort than other homeowners. We have an abundance of reference material available, from period-inspired wallpapers to historically accurate paint palettes to professional color experts. There are historical societies and other experienced homeowners. There are a plethora of books and, if you live in the right neighborhood, a bounty of local turn-of-the-century homes that have already been lovingly restored.

And, of course, there is our magazine—Victorian Homes.

For the Victorian homeowner, a blank canvas doesn’t have to be feared. It can—and should—be the onset of an exciting adventure. Brushstroke after brushstroke should exhilarate and stimulate and motivate you on to the next.

Because the bottom line is, more than any other homeowner, color, paint and wallpaper truly are our friends.

By MerrieDestefano

Friday, March 15, 2013

Keys to Crafting the Perfect Home

Cynthia Tuverson shares her experience with home redecorating, remodeling and discovering the keys to crafting a perfect cottage or bungalow.

home collectible
home collectibles

  • Follow your heart. Evaluate what is just another trend or expectation and what is something that you truly love.
  • Experiment with different styles until you find one that makes sense for you. With this house I just looked around, and the moment I knew I could grow old in this environment I knew this was the right setting for me. 
  • You don’t have to do anything in an overly expensive way. Spend on the things that really matter to you.
  • Have the right people helping you. Everyone from Tumbleweed & Dandelion really understood my style and ideas, and they helped me with all the things I couldn’t do myself, like painting my dining room wall, executing vintage treatment and French glazes, and all the touches that make the design work.

home renovation
Home Renovation
By Jickie Torres
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

Posted by Cottages and Bungalows