Let’s talk color. I honestly think that my love for colors changes with my mood. One day I am in love with yellow, the next minute it’s pink, and then I step foot into an entirely green bathroom and it’s emerald city green all the way. This is probably why I tend to favor a more neutral palette for my own home with only slight pops of the bright stuff. Recently however, emerald green has really won me over. I’m not sure that I am brave enough to live in a completely emerald room quite yet, but I sure do admire those who do!
Now this bathroom is much more my style: graphic tile work, a black white and gold palette with just a touch or emerald. Let’s save this as a dream bathroom, shall we?
collection of ideas for my future abode. So, would you decorate with emerald green? Do you like a lot or a little color in your home?I may not be a homeowner just yet but you better believe I have quite the
Jam is a magical thing. It’s like summer in a jar…sweet, sticky, and reminiscent of the slowest days of summer. Whether you are experiencing spring weather or snow, one thing is for sure, making a batch of these Strawberry Jam Crumb Bars will make you feel like summer is in full swing!
The floral combination of Meyer lemons, sweet strawberry jam, and elderflower liqueur make these far from your ordinary crumb bar. All of that sweet goodness sandwiched in between a buttery cookie crust and crumble and you have a little bite of jam filled heaven in a square.
I highly recommend cutting these crumb bars small. That way you won’t feel guilty going back for a second or third…and believe me, you will!
photos by Freutcake
Strawberry Jam Crumb Bars- adapted only slightly from Tutti Dolci
1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs Meyer lemon zest + 1 tsp reserved
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 Tbsp elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper in both directions. (This is essential for easy removal)
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add 2 Tbs Meyer lemon zest and mix. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until just combined; dough will resemble coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of dough for topping.
4. Press dough into prepared baking dish using hands or the flat bottom of a glass.
5. Place jam in a small bowl and whisk in 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 1 Tbsp elderflower liqueur.
6. Carefully spread jam mixture over crust.
7. Toss remaining dough with 2 tsp of water to form large crumbs. Sprinkle over jam mixture.
8. Bake until top is golden, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in baking dish on a rack, then cut into bars with a sharp knife.
If you have a serious sweet tooth, you might try adding this glaze on top!
6 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
1 Tbsp elderflower liqueur
1/2 tsp Meyer lemon zest
Whisk together and drizzle over cut bars. enjoy!
When we were in grade school, my younger sister had a pen pal. Looking back on it now I’m sure it was a class assignment of some sort but I envied her each time a letter would arrive in the mail. The thought of sharing secret letters with another girl my age, across the country or better yet across the world seemed fantastically adventurous. Now after all these years I have a pen pal of my very own! Well, more like a modern-day pen pal since our letters arrive in the form of email. Either way, my Blogger BFF (as I like to refer to her) Jacquelyn is the best pen pal a girl could have. She’s a friend that I can bounce creative ideas off of, share recipes with, and absolutely adore…even though we’ve never physically met. I’m certain that if we lived closer we would spend many a weekend sipping these Gin & Tarragon Cocktails together, geeking out over beautiful design, and thoroughly enjoying each others company. I hope you have a very happy weekend spent with friends that inspire you!
The Tarragon Cocktail- recipe by The Boys Club
1/2 oz. Tarragon Simple Syrup
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1. Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice.
2. Strain into martini glass.
3. Garnish with thin lime slice.
4. For an added touch, also garnish with candied tarragon leaves.
Tarragon Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped
1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the tarragon leaves. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Take off heat and let the mixture sit for an additional 10 minutes before straining. Strain the tarragon leaves out of the simple syrup. Let the syrup cool completely before using.
* Can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Thank you Jacquelyn for the the delicious recipe! xo Leah
I really can’t complain about working from home. I stay in my pajamas long after I should and generally enjoy not having to be out the door at an early hour. Everyday I am thankful for a job that allows me this type of flexibility and creativity. Like any job however, working from home has it’s downsides.
There are the days when working alone for hours on end with only the sound of my typing to keep me company drives me absolutely stir crazy. To combat the feeling that the walls are closing in, I try to spend at least one day a week out of the office. I treat myself to a cup of coffee or lunch at a spot like The Market on Holly. It’s a nice change of pace to pack up and work in a different space.
The Market on Holly is the cutest little gourmet food shop and cafe with delicious salads, sandwiches, and pastries to choose from. Plus, I love the emerald-green subway tiles and pendant lights that make this interior really pop. It never hurts to find an inspiring space to work either.
Since so many of my days are spent baking sweets and eating them too, I love finding places that offers healthy lunch choices like salads, grains and veggies. This market is like a dream come true for me.
Of course I wouldn’t pass up a grilled veggie with goat cheese on ciabatta sandwich either!
Yes, a change of scenery does a creative mind good and is a fabulous excuse to share some of my favorite places with you. So, do you work from home? How do you combat the stir crazy?
Photos by Joanne Pio for Freutcake
The Market on Holly
57 E. Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
As I share this recipe for Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes in honor of St. Patrick’s day, I’ll start by mentioning that I happen to be an American with zero Irish ancestry.
Do you remember when it was REALLY important to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day in high school? It seemed as if the entire student body all became full-blooded Irish for a day the way they donned their shamrock pattered tees and sparkly shamrock buttons. Each year I wore my obligatory green to ward off the threat of pinching, and spent the school day feeling like a big fat fraud with not one ounce of Irish blood in my body.
Then came college. No “Kiss Me I’m Irish” tees for this girlie. But don’t feel sorry for me, I enjoyed the celebrations just as much as the next lassie and drank my green beer with the rest of them.
Now a day I usually pass on the green and bake something festive instead. Last year it was Irish Stout Brownies, rich and decadent. This year it’s Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Cupcake with Baleys Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting. Take some advice from someone with zero Irish blood…You don’t have to be Irish to absolutely LOVE these cupcakes but you might feel a wee bit more Irish if you do! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
photos by Leah Bergman
Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes- recipe via Tutti Dolci
makes 40 mini cupcakes
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Baileys Irish Cream Buttercream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a mini muffin pan with baking cups. Whisk together boiling water and cocoa, then cool completely. Whisk in Baileys.
2. Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and beat well. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Add cocoa mixture, then finish with remaining flour mixture.
3. Fill each baking cup with a slightly rounded tablespoon of batter, to about 1/4 inch below the top of the liner. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 2 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Holding an edge of each liner, carefully lift the cupcakes from the pan and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.
4. To make buttercream, beat butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add Baileys and beat on medium speed until airy.
5. Fit a pastry bag with a tip and pipe a spiral onto each cupcake. Decorate with festive St. Patrick’s Day party sticks and enjoy!
Last week was a bit of a drag. I was fighting a cold and didn’t feel half normal until Saturday. Luckily I was back on my feet in time for The Cream Event at Vibiana Sunday evening. I may not be a bride-to-be but this event had me (almost) wishing I could do it all again. The planning that is! I had such a blast meeting so many of you, browsing the booths, and snacking on delicious food. The table decor was inspiring, the cocktails were flowing, and Fiore Beauty was doing their thing beautifying all of us one set of falsies at a time. It was quite the shin-dig and the perfect way to start a new week!
What inspired you this week? Was it a book you read or a building that caught your eye? Here are a few images rounded up from my weekly inspiration…
1| The thought of a day spent on a sail boat with a good book. 2| This naturally bright color palette. Nature always gets it right. 3| Being brave enough to try neon lips. 4| Baking an extra dark chocolate truffle tart.
note: many of the original sources could not be found as a result of Tumblr.
Happy Friday! I have a secret to tell you about this Cucumber Cooler cocktail recipe. There isn’t one bit of cucumber in this drink, aside from its garnish! So what’s with the name? It’s refreshing, cool and crisp as a cucumber but honestly I’m still trying to figure that part out for myself.
I considered muddling a bit of cucumber in, to justify the name, but after one refreshing sip I left well enough alone. This drink is all sorts of delicious!
The Cucumber Cooler is a drink worthy of a seersucker suit, a lazy day spent on a porch swing, and a good ol’ southern drawl. Yes, I can almost feel the humidity now…
Have a relaxing weekend and sip on one of these why don’t you!
photos by Leah Bergman
Cucumber Cooler- adapted slightly from Hendrick’s
1½ parts Gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire or Hendrick’s)
¾ part St. Germain
¾ part fresh lime juice
¼ part simple syrup
5 mint leaves
1. Muddle mint in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
2. Add Gin, St. Germain, lime juice, simple syrup, and shake well.
3. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with cucumber.
NOTE: A very Happy Birthday to my Dad who makes the best Gin & Tonic ever tasted.