Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Porches Inn

I'm dying for a weekend at the utterly cool Porches Inn in western Mass. When the Massachusettus Museum of Contemporary Art was built in a 19th century mill complex in North Adams, a nearby set of Victorian row houses were converted into this unique hotel. The 47-room inn, self-described as "retro edgy with industrial granny chic", is a great combination of re-development, revitalization, art, and style. The fact that it's tied to Mass MoCA is very cool, but the inn also includes thoughtful amenities like a bonfire pit, pool, and hiking trails in the surrounding Berkshires.

playful but classic

I was in CVS yesterday, waiting to have a prescription filled and browsing the magazine rack. The selection sucked so I picked up Traditional Home - not usually a shelter mag I'd reach for. But I loved what I saw in this month's issue! Traditional...maybe. Spunky and classy...yes!

Friday, January 29, 2010

vietnamese pho

This delicious soup has been on my Must Make list for a while. It's freezing (i.e. Chicago cold) in the Bay State today, so this brothy, beefy, light, deliciousness is hitting the spot. Warning: roasting the beef bones made our house smell horrible, in my opinion. Like Upton Sinclair, Back of the Yards, awful.

Roast 2 pounds beef bones (with marrow) in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then add 1 quartered onion, 5 cloves garlic, 3-inch piece peeled ginger to pan of bones. Drizzle with vegetable oil and toss to coat. Roast another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Fill stock pot with 3 quarts water, add beef bones and onion mixture, 5 star anise, 1 cinnamon stock, 5 black peppercorns, 1 tsp salt, and bunch of cilantro. Bring to boil and simmer for 1-2 hours, until broth is medium brown. Strain liquid through cheesecloth-lined sieve into sauce pan.

Add 1/4 cup fish sauce, 1 tbs rice vinegar, place over low heat and keep at low boil. Meanwhile, soften rice or egg noodles and thinly slice a sirloin steak against the grain. Make an onion relish with thinly sliced yellow onion, thinly sliced radish, 1 tbs rice vinegar, chopped cilantro, and 1 tsp Sriracha sauce. Place the noodles, raw steak slices in the bottom of a bowl, add the simmering broth to cover. Top with onion relish. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

quadrille fabric

You know it, you love it - it's Quadrille Fabric! Or at least you've seen it before, like here:

I just popped into the Quadrille website and am totally overwhelmed by the fabulous fabric. Has anyone seen that A&E show Hoarders? That would be me, except with fabric. Food, nah...I'd eat it. Junk, nah...I hate clutter. But I would squirrel away in heaping piles of gorgeous textiles. "Oh, I'm saving that for the tufted settee I reupholster someday." I see an intervention in my future. In the meantime, here's some more quadrille for you fabric addicts out there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

sew: a needle pulling thread

well, my sister has motivated me. I want to start quilting and in order to that, I need to better learn to sew. I was thinking smaller projects are key and at my cousin beth's house this weekend I fell madly in love with her beds and decided the key is in the pillow. not too many, but enough. especially for those of us still lacking a headboard.

therefore, I bought 4 yards of this tanya whelan fabric:

to turn our bed:

into this (and by this, I only mean the tall square pillows in the very back, almost serving as a headboard ... ish):

"a" is for apron and anna

my little sister, anna, is quite the little crafty one. she mastered knitting last year and is now taking on sewing. as of late, she is enamored with apron projects and got the book a is for apron, by Nathalie Mornu, for christmas.

she completed her first project last night. now I am smitten too. how cute is this?

so choice

Saw this awesome rug on the blog, Elements of Style - I'm obsessed with graphic rugs! And most of the ones I lust over cost a fortune (*cough*)....Madeline Weinrib.

The price on this one is so nice.

lavender love

I'm not a huge purple fan, but this bathroom is lovely. The black vanity "butches" it up and the curvy mirror adds an exotic touch.