Friday, August 31, 2012

Acapulco Cliff-Hanger

via Forbes

1 cup watermelon chunks, pureed in the blender and strained (makes about 1/3 cup)
2 ounces light tequila
1 ounce lemon simple syrup
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce Cointreau
Ginger Ale Soda

This inventive drink will take the edge off a scorching afternoon. Fill a chilled glass with ice. Pour everything, except the soda, into the glass and stir to chill. Add soda and stir again. Squeeze the lime on top and drop into the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sofa Styles


The Chesterfield with its tufted back, high rolled arms, and sometimes tufted seat is both classic and masculine. It is often upholstered in leather.

Created by Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century the camelback is a traditional and formal style.  The camelback sofa has a tight, serpentine back, high rolled arms, often a tight seat, and sometimes exposed legs and stretchers.

 English or Club
The English or Club sofa has a slightly rounded arm set back from the front of the seat, often with a tight seat and slightly rolled back, no skirt, and low, turned legs on castors.

Based on a 17th-century sofa made for Knole, a house in Kent, England, this sofa has a straight, high back and angled arms that can be adjusted to open out or stand up straight (once useful for keeping out drafts). The back and arms traditionally connect with finials wrapped in cords.

The Lawson has a low, squarish back, with arms that are lower than the back. The form can have square or rolled arms.

 Midcentury Modern
These sofas have straight, squared lines and a very streamlined form, with low, often squared legs.

This modular seating is configured from components that include armless sofas, as well as end and corner units, ottomans, and sometimes even sleep sofas, or chaises.

In the tuxedo sofa, the arms are as high as the back. It usually has fairly clean lines with straight or slightly flared arms.


The back of this 18th-century Louis XV–style sofa curves into the arms in a continuous line. It usually has wood trim and carved cabriole wood legs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pistachio Cardamom Ice Cream Pie


Buttery Pie Pastry, using 3 tbsp. light brown sugar instead of the powdered sugar
5 cups pistachio ice cream (preferably not artificially tinted green), softened until easily spoonable $
2 teaspoons rose water*, optional
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons freshly shelled roasted salted pistachios*

1. Press cold pastry over bottom and up sides of a 9-in. pie pan. Crimp edges of pie with your fingertips and prick all over bottom with a fork. Chill 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°.
 2. Bake pastry on bottom rack of oven until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
 3. Stir ice cream with rose water and cardamom until smooth. Spoon ice cream into crust, set on a plate, and freeze at least 4 hours.
 4. Peel papery brown skin from pistachios with a paring knife, then put nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Sprinkle ground pistachios over pie. Serve immediately.
 *Find rose water at well-stocked grocery stores and at Indian and Middle Eastern markets. In-shell pistachios are a brighter green than the type sold shelled.
 More pie tips:
 Let the pie soften for 5 minutes at room temp to make slicing easier.
 If you're having trouble freeing your pie from its pan, set it over a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes and then slide a thin knife between the pan edge and the crust. It should pop right out.
 Make ahead: Once the pie is fully frozen through step 3, it keeps for up to 4 days, double-wrapped in plastic wrap. Top just before serving.

Recipe and Image via

Lemon Cake


    * 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)   
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 tablespoon lemon zest
    * 2 cups sugar
    * 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
    * 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    * 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
    * 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
    * Whipped Frosting


   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
   2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
   3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
   4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
   5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

Recipe via Martha Stewart

Monday, August 27, 2012

Million Dollar Property Monday

This beautiful Italianate mansion is in Houston, Texas.  Located in the exclusive River Oaks area, this home is on the market for $10,000,000.  Featuring 6 bedrooms and 8 baths within an interior over 11,000 sq. ft.  This mansion boasts his and her baths, an elevator, pool and spa, summer kitchen, and exercise room.

You can visit Greenwood King Properties' listing of this home here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Watermelon Breeze

photo by Kelsey Marie Photography

3 cups cubed chilled watermelon
1 cup coconut water
squeeze of fresh lime
Ice if needed
Sprig of mint

Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.

Makes two servings.

90 calories per serving.

Recipe via

Wintzell's Bacon-wrapped Shrimp

24 Large Gulf Shrimp
3 cups Italian dressing (Wishbone)
3 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
1lb. Lean Bacon

Peel Shrimp, Butterfly the shrimp, Clean and Rinse.
Trim Jalapeno Pepper and clean seeds out. Cut each pepper to julienne strips. Take the strips and insert into the butterflied back of the shrimp.
Wrap each Shrimp in ½ slice of bacon and toothpick to hold together. Repeat for all shrimp.
Place 24 shrimp into a shallow preferably plastic or pyrex pan and pour the dressing over the top. Cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate for min. 12 to no more than 36 hours.
To cook, place shrimp on preheated grill (350-400) and cook each side for 4 min. or until bacon is done. Remove from heat and serve.
Shrimp will cook during the marination process so judge doneness by the Bacon.

Our favorite shrimp dish on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pineapple Basil Cocktail

via The Kitchn

3 medium to large basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin strips
quarter of a lime
1/4 cup organic pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz gin
club soda

Put the basil and lime in the bottom of a glass and muddle, either using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Add pineapple juice, gin, and ice cubes, and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of pineapple, lime wedge, or a sprig of basil.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Designer Spotlight - Thom Filicia

Interior designer Thom Filicia is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of the New York City-based design firm, Thom Filicia, Inc.  Thom started his career at the renowned design firm, Parish-Hadley, Inc., but rose to fame on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  Thom Filicia's aesthetic is classical, yet modern interiors.

You can visit Thom Filicia's website here -

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Million Dollar Property Monday

This week's luxury listing is in Phoenix, Arizona.  Sotheby's International Realty calls this home a "Romantic Adobe Villa."  On the market for $4,700,000 and boasting 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and an interior over 5,000 sq. ft., this home is an oasis in the desert.

You can visit Sotheby's listing of this property here.