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My Favorite Things 2011 Edition

Friday, December 16, 2011





For the second year in a row, I am participating in My Favorite Things Party over at 320 Sycamore . I must admit, I have been looking forward to this post for months. I love to see what other peoples favorite things are and to share my list. There  is one repeat from Last Year's List and lots of new ones for me to share. Merry Christmas!


                 

What can I say about Chicken Poop  Lip Junk? I love it. It tastes herbal, yet almost like lemonade on my lips. I have one in my purse. And my car. And my camera bag. You get the picture.
 I am generally not a make up type girly girl. I like clean make up and anything easy. Hours putting on makeup and doing my hair is not on my short list of priorities. But I do try to not leave the house without something on my lips. My favorite lipgloss at the moment is Clinique Glosswear fir Lips in Sunset. It is creamy, shiny and just the right punch of color for me.


 I am the biggest anglophile I know! I love anything English and these boots are a quintessential part of any English girl's wardrobe. I have the Hunter "huntress" boots in navy blue and I wear them all the time. They are perfect for running the kids to the bus stop or throwing on over jeans to run errands. Kate Middleton would be proud . <3





I am in love with anything paper. Journals, stationary, calendars...you name it, I love it all. For the past two years I have ordered these adorable calendars for my computer desk. Because it makes me smile . You can find this calendar and other cute products at Lemonade Paperie

One of the things I love about being a foodie is all of the local shops that carry amazing foods. Fortunately , Pittsburgh does not disappoint. One of my favorite olive oils is made by a great company  Olio Fresca . Seriously, their Persian Lime Olive Oil is amazing! I use it with a splash of balsamic for a quick dressing, with  minced cilantro, garlic and a bit of salt for bread dipping and as a marinade for chicken and steak fajitas. It is citrusy and light. Perfection in a bottle.
 I love my house to smell yummy. I buy so many candles throughout the year, yet this one is one that I seem to come back to time and time again. It is lemony and minty and summery!


 This one made the list from last year. I wear Amazing Grace every day and always have people ask what I am wearing. Simple and clean.



Urbani White Truffle Sea Salt. Love this stuff. I add just a bit to pasta and it really puts it over the top. Pricey, but worth it!


I am in love with my Keurig. I am a huge coffee drinker. When I say huge, I mean 3 to 4 cups a day.And I also use the Keurig to make the boys hot chocolate and hot apple cider. I recently started making tea and iced coffee as well. Thank you, Keurig.You make me a very happy girl.


 I have always used a planner. I am one of those people that have to write down everything (color coded, no less) about my day. Because of my obsession with planners, I have used many of them.Some are good, some not so good. I chose this particular planner because there were so many people talking about it in blogland. So glad I jumped on the bandwagon. It is perfect for me. With 4 kids, a husband and a very active social calendar, I can fit everything I need on the pages. And I love that it is customized with my name . There are many covers to choose from and add ons as well. I chose the Henry David Thoreau quote planner above. Because I love quotes  almost as much as I love planners.You can find them HERE .

Thanksgiving Decor

Thursday, November 10, 2011













If you are a reader of Fresh Plate, you will have noticed by now that Fresh Plate has become  Fresh Plate Fresh Home. I have had a food log for years now and I am a food writer.But lately I was becoming bored  with just the food aspect of the blog. Mainly because I do more than cook. I am a mom of 4, I craft, I make jewelry, I decorate, I enjoy the classics (art,literature and  music) .There is so much more to me than cooking food.So as I merge fresh plate into fresh home I hope that you,my readers,will appreciate that I have made this blog venture I have created into what makes me complete.I will continue adding recipes, but they will be between posts on all facets of my life.


That being said, here is a post on Thanksgiving decor. I am not much of a Halloween person, so I tend to decorate the house with muted browns,creams ,oranges and yellows during October and  November. These pictures are of our living room. We live in a very old farmhouse and because of that,  my rooms are closed off to one another.Not very inducive to entertaining, which is a huge issue for me with this house. My next house will definitely have more open space.
I made wreaths for the windows.Super easy.I wrapped a foam form wreath in burlap and added a single orange pumpkin to the middle. (BTW, the widow sills have since been cleaned.Lol. The wreaths that were in the widows before the burlap ones were spanish moss, which were incredibly messy and dirty. I learned my lesson o  those things!)  The pillows on the couch are a favorite of mine.Found them at Target. The framed pictures over the chair are actually placemats (also from Target). I loved the embroidered yellow,so I framed them.I added a cute runner to the coffee table and added a pottery pumpkin my mom sent me (how lucky I am that my mom and her sisters love pottery as much as I do!) and the candle holder  is a diy project.I cut off the sleeve of a old sweater and stuck a glass candle holder  in  it. So easy to do!


Christmas is just around the  corner and I am already planning out the house decor.So stay  tuned for upcoming posts o DIY wreaths, nutcrackers, and stockings as well as great holiday recipes, tips and gift ideas!

Old Fashioned Southern Potato Salad

Friday, June 24, 2011


Everyone has their ideal of what potato salad should taste like. I have tasted dozens of them over the years, and in my opinion, the only recipe that works is this one. I like my potato salad to have a tang to it. So vinegar has to be an ingredient. If it isn't, then don't call it potato salad. This is an old southern recipe that I make from Easter to Harvest. I have even turned a few non-potato-salad eaters into "Liz, can you please make potato salad for this weekend" potato salad eaters. It is a staple on our spring and summer table. You can lighten it up by using low fat mayo, which I do on occasion. But if you want the real , full fat, full flavor version, I suggest Duke's Mayo, which I cannot find up north. I stock up when I go home to NC to last me in between visits. But any mayo would work.

* I grew up watching my nana make this salad , and  when she adds the relish, she always pours about half a tespoon or so of the juice in the pickle jar in with the salad and mixes it up with the  other ingredients. She also does the same with her tuna salad and her chicken salad. I am not sure it makes a big difference, but since she does it, I do it too.

Old Fashioned Southern Potato Salad

* 6 cups cooked, diced potatoes ( I use yukon gold, they seem to hold up better)
* 1 cup diced celery
* 1/2 cup onion
* 4 chopped  boiled eggs
* 1/4 cup chopped  jarred pickle relish
* 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I use Duke's brand)
* 2 tablespoons mustard
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, being careful not to mash the potatoes.
2. Chill for a few hours before serving

Monkey Bread

Monday, June 20, 2011


Can't get any better than sweet bread with cinnamon sugar for a yummy breakfast! One of my family's favorites!


Monkey Bread

SERVES 12 , 1 tube pan

3 (8 ounce) cans buttermilk biscuits
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Cut each biscuit in fourths .
Shake biscuits in bag with sugar and cinnamon.
Layer biscuits into greased tube pan.
Sprinkle with nuts.
Melt margarine and brown sugar and boil 1 minute.
Pour over biscuits.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let stand 10 minutes .