recipe friday


8 oz cream cheese
1 jar marshmallow crème

Mix ingredients together

Serve with Fresh Fruit:
·Pineapple chunks

a beginner's kitchen

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here!

I am receiving such a great response from my Recipe Friday series.  Thank you to everyone.  I am so glad this has turned into an enjoyable time to share some great recipes that I have run across over the years... and who doesn't like a new and EASY recipe to try and share? These weekly installments can be printed out to a three ring binder for a fantastic recipe book. A few beginner cooks have even contacted me and asked exactly what I would recommend to purchase for their start-up kitchen.

Here's what I've found to be the best equipment to have on hand at all times - When picking out kitchen tools, there are two ways you can go:
ONE: High End.  You can choose to invest in the best equipment possible. It is worth the investment because it will last you a lifetime, but it can be really expensive starting out. So if  you don't have the budget for high end...
TWO: Go Restaurant Supply Store.  Restaurants buy there so the equipment is made to last a long time with continual use. 

Now, for the list - This is great to keep on hand for gift purchases, too! 

Pots and Pans
For ease, I have chosen All Clad Cookware with links to William Sonoma's website (these links offer you  the different uses for each item)

Big Stock Pot - perfect for soups and stocks.
Medium Saute Pan - for all frying.
Saucepans with lids (1 big and 1 small).

Again, I've chosen links to William Sonoma (which offers more information for each item)
Bread Knife with a serrated edge.
Chef's Knife  - either big or small depending on your comfort.
Knife Block - I highly recommend a safe, designated storage space for knives... to protect their edges and your fingers.  NEVER place cutting knives in the dishwasher... hand wash only.

General Equipment
Cutting Board(s) - I prefer a wooden cutting board for produce and a synthetic cutting board for meats.

Graduated Glass Bowls (10 for $40, fantastic).

Baking Equipment
Cake Pans (min. of four in various sizes).

Spoons and Cups for dry measure.

Clear Measuring Cups for wet measure (glass or plastic).

Mixer - either standing or hand held, depending on your budget.

Now, remember the old saying - take good care of your tools and they will take good care of you?  This also applies to your kitchen tools... keep them clean and sharp and they can last a lifetime.

What is your FAVORITE equipment in your kitchen?  What couldn't you live without?

sunday in bed

It’s Sunday and everyone deserves a day off.

I present for your enjoyment a snapshot of choosing to be just plain lazy for the day.

Here’s wishing you a restful Sunday.

recipe friday

EGGNOG - not just a decadent Holiday Treat anymore.

12 fresh eggs
1 ½ C sugar
1 qt milk
1 qt cream
3 C bourbon
½ C dark rum
2 C cognac
1 T vanilla
2 tsp sugar
½ qt heavy cream
2 tsp sugar

Separate eggs and whip yokes
Add sugar, milk, cream, bourbon, rum and cognac
Chill up to 2 days

Right before serving: beat 12 egg whites stiff, add vanilla and sugar
Add to yoke mixture

To Serve
Top with mixture of heavy cream and sugar beaten to light peaks

happy fourth of july

July Fourth is Independence Day

The Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence on July 4th, 1776.

It's a day that gives us time to reflect & say, "God Bless America"

Happy Fourth of July, everyone - please celebrate safely.

it is 108 degrees...

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here!   

I don't know about you but I don't think I can take this heat anymore. It's July 3rd and already 108 degrees.... boy, do I love my air conditioner!  Along with heat comes imaginative ways to keep cool.  I, myself, just jump into my pool in the back yard, but there are so many more...

Here are a few more imaginative ways to keep cool:

Can't drop a few hundred on an air conditioning unit? No problem. This popular YouTube video shows you how to make your own using little more than a box fan, copper wiring, and a foam cooler. Follow the video instructions and presto, makeshift coolant. It might not be as effective as the store-bought models, but in a pinch, not a terrible option.

How about a trip to an indoor ice skating rink that is open year-round. Public skating is very inexpensive and it may be the only time you're more than happy to take a few spills if it means an instant cool down.

Yes, ice cream feels cold going down, but wait until you start digesting it. You won't be feeling so refreshed anymore. Instead, how about enjoying some homemade popsicles, made with whatever juice you can round up? Better yet, try freezing fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, pears, and grapes, and enjoy them either on a kabob or straight out of a cup.

Granted, you've got to be at the end of your heat wave rope, but consider tossing your bed sheets and pillowcases into the freezer an hour or two before turning in. While the rest of the nighttime swelters, you'll enjoy a nice, cool way to drift off to sleep.

Drink plenty of water. Sounds obvious, but here's a newsflash: Super-sized sodas don't count as water. If the body is not properly hydrated, it heats up faster than usual. Experts recommend that we normally consume eight glasses a day. But in times of extreme heat and dehydration, expect to depend on even more. (Iced coffees, by the way, don't count either.)

Sure, the heat in the TV viewing room might be oppressive, but maybe you can trick yourself into thinking otherwise. How about popping one of these "cold" movies into the DVD player?

It could just be more mind over matter, but every now and then throughout a hot day, log on to the US Antarctic Project's website, where you'll find a Web cam at McMurdo Station at Ross Island, where the mean annual temperature is 0 degrees. According to the site, "Temperatures may reach 8°C [46°F] in summer and -50°C [-58°F] in winter." So, think about that for a moment. It actually may make you appreciate the heat.

Take dinner outside on the deck, where the grill isn't just for hamburgers and hot dogs. Try grilling vegetables, including asparagus, peppers, and corn on the cob. Give grilled pizza a whirl. Pretty much anything can be grilled. Just know the proper temperature for the grill and go for it

On steamy days, head right to your supermarket's frozen food section, and bask in the glory of Freon. Open a door, pretend you're looking for some semblance of chocolate-mint ice cream, and let the cool down take over. If you feel bad about the store's wasted energy, just take your time in the meat section. (I actually did this when I lived off base at Clark Air Base in the Philippines - no air conditioning in the tropics - trust me, we got creative. My daughter used to play in a cool water filled bathtub each day.)

Thanks to the amount of blood that flows through the neck, a simple, cool towel provides ample relief from the heat. (Works every time!)

Wash your car. It needs it anyway. But obviously, this is a job that can help you take the heat off as well. The water from the faucet is going to be cold, and if you have help, there's the added bonus of spraying him or her with the hose. Of course, on these occasions, you'll want him or her to return the favor too.

Even at room temperature, tomatoes provide a certain quenching. To get some at their ripe peak, head off to one of your local farmers’ markets and enjoy a fresh, juicy heirloom tomato. Just bite into it like an apple and let the juices flow!

Don't forget to breathe. Not only can deep breaths relax you, turns out it can also keep you cool. According to yogawiz.com: "If you pay conscious attention to your breathing you will notice that you are inhaling cool air and exhaling warm air. This is because the air gets heated in your body." Thus, concentrated breathing will result in the even distribution of cool air.

Ok, this is a really easy one - The promise of abundant air conditioning should be enough to drag you to a matinee showing at your favorite movie theater.

Eat spicy food. As if you're not sweating enough, right? Well, in this case, the extra perspiration will help in telling your body just how hot you are. That will enable the sweat pores to open up a bit more, allowing a natural cooling effect. It doesn't mean your best bet is an all-you-can-eat Buffalo wing joint, but a little Mexican or Indian food might indeed do the trick.

In the end, nothing really beats the heat like a good old-fashioned dip, whether it’s in a pool, lake, pond, or the ocean.... 

And if a picture is worth a thousand words... how about a picture to help lower the temperature a few degrees... For your cooling pleasure: Santorini Greece - 

Thanks goes here for some of these great ideas!

different colors for different moods

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here!

This All in the Detail may help you understand a little bit about some color choices for your home - from color tints to color trends, and everything in-between. Some trendsetters in the Interior Design industry have devoted their energies to studying the effects of color on moods and the economy.  It has been determined that you can surround yourself in colors that offer you a visual therapist.

Let’s Start with the Boldest Color of Them All – One of the Three Primary Colors on the Color Wheel - RED

Red is bold and intense and the reigning drama queen of colors. It’s the color of passion and power and because of its reputation for stimulating appetites; red is often used in dining rooms.

But Red is so strong that it might just overpower a room.  So, one way to ensure that it doesn’t - pair it with an equally dramatic opposite color to balance the hues in the room.  Try a color choice like chocolate brown to compliment a bold fire engine red….or you can use red sparingly as an accent in a room if you really don’t want all the drama.

But… if you have a strong personality – then your home should reflect it with a strong color palette.  A good note to remember when choosing color palettes for your home:  the deeper the color tone – the stronger the statement.

The Most Popular Color is Another Primary Color on the Color Wheel - BLUE

Over 65% of the people worldwide picked some shade of blue as their favorite color.  Whether it’s navy blue or lavender blue…. BLUE is the clear winner.

The color combination of blue and white goes as far back in history as anyone can remember.  Its roots definitely stem from exported English and Italian porcelain, and today you can scarcely open up a home décor magazine without seeing blue-and-white on all its pages.

To keep the blue color current, try combining deep cobalt blues with pale aqua blues, and, of course, don't forget to add plenty of white to the palette – I recommend to most of my clients that if you are going to have a predominately blue theme in the room be sure to paint your woodwork a semi-gloss white – the high sheen of the white paint will not only compliment the blues, it will keep everything crisp, clean and will really make the blue POP. Another idea is to use painted white furniture in a blue room to add a pleasant, welcoming touch.

Blue and white in a master bedroom can create a quiet retreat from everyday stressful life.  Keep the bedroom simple with a quiet palette… use all white bed linens and paint the walls a calm, cool blue.  With this color choice, be sure to continue the simple calming theme throughout the room – for instance, you could dress your windows with a simple style window covering, like Roman shades. In a bedroom, remember to always keep it simple…. You want to rest there and that means rest everything – including your eyes and your mind.

The Number One Color Trend combination is blue and celadon.

One of the comfort color trends for this year is a mixture of light blues and celadon, which is a pale sea-green color. Designers today are using these two colors to create romantic and inviting rooms. If a room has a romantic feel, your subconscious will be drawn to it.  And if your subconscious is drawn to it… you will feel comfortable in it.  In other words… if you’re drawn to a room…. you’ll feel like you’re at home in it.   

I want to add one last note: my all time favorite color combination 

What do you think about a complementary palette of Whites and Khakis

This is one of my favorite color combinations… in my wardrobe and in the home…. You can always take your cue for your home’s color palette from your wardrobe.  If you look good and feel good wearing those colors, why not surround yourself in them in your home?

I’m going to finish up here with a little secret I give most of my clients.  I can’t stress this enough - It’s always important to stay focused on your color palette when designing a room.  So, the secret? Here it is – when designing a room - match one of the room’s dominate colors to a paint color strip from your local paint store …and then - carry that strip with you everywhere you go as a reference – that way, you can be sure that if everything you pick out for that room matches or compliments the paint strip then everything you pick out for that room will also match or compliment everything else once you place it in the room. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to tie a whole room together with just ONE paint strip as your guide.

*Did you notice the colors chosen were Red, White and Blue?