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Monday, September 1, 2014

Pie Crust Revisited - The Perfect Summer Pie

Nothing beats the heat of the summer like a fruit pie. I have spent several weeks perfecting and repurposing my traditional gluten free pie crust and have created this series to show a few highlights.

This gluten free peach and blackberry lattice pie was baked for a fabulous BBQ party at my friend's house and was definitely a hit. I got the fruit at a local farmer's market that sets up every Friday evening a few blocks away so it was farm to table fresh and makes such a difference! Recently, I went back to Boston for a week and the first thing I noticed was how unappetizing a lot of the "fresh" fruit and vegetables have become. Their markets are filled with overripe fruit that originates from California and I have become so spoiled living close to America's main food sources.

Continue reading for my new gluten free recipe or for a vegan version, check out my original recipe.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1970s Bow Blouse

If someone asked me what my least favorite style decade was, I would definitely say the 70s. I tend to avoid it like the plague when shopping for vintage patterns. Yet, recently I've been trying to find more separates patterns and less vintage dresses to round out my closet and I stumpled upon Simplicity 8348 (1978). There's a flowy easiness to this tunic blouse that I loved.

I somewhat regret using a slippery sheer polyester fabric as my first attempt in making a blouse. Especially with all the gathering in the yoke. I probably stuck every pin I owned across the top and still and to redo the gathers 3-4 times. If I had to do it over, I'd make it more form fitting for myself. When not tucked in, it looses a lot of shape and isn't as flattering.

Otherwise, this pattern was fairly quick to manage and I created a few more as gifts once I got the hang of it. I think using a bold statement print makes for a great work to evening look. This bow blouse even works dressed down with a pair of jeans.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stay Cool With Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Cream Bars

After inviting some friends over for a pool party, I faced the dilemma of providing treats that were vegan, kosher, dairy free, nut free, and gluten free in order to accommodate everyone's dietary needs. With a little thought and research, I came up with these refreshing mint coconut bars -- a much needed cool and creamy treat for a hot summer's day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Sweet Summer Snack to Satisfy Nostalgia

My childhood summer days often consisted of Grandma's ice box cake.  She would make a log alternating her homemade whipped cream and chocolate wafers, refrigerate overnight, and serve to family and friends.  Its lightness and richness make it an easy fix for a summer treat. It has become a classic family treat.

The recipe originates from Nabisco dating all the way back to 1929. Of course, the original Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers are not gluten free so recently I went on the hunt for the closest alternative.

I found I could get a quick fix with Pamela's dark chocolate chunk cookies and Whole Foods canned whipped cream which tastes close to the original recipe. Stack any amount of cookies and consume instantly for a delicious snack. I also added a few berries to mine.

If you'd prefer to make a traditional log cake for serving, I suggest using cool whip or making your own whipped cream.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Decorating With Shells

Whether you are redecorating a room or planning a wedding, shell decor has always been a popular choice. I've compiled a list of my favorite shell themed tutorials as well as their store bought counter parts to assist you in your next beach themed project. Happy creating!

oyster and pearl cookies: DIY via DIY Louisville
shell skewers: DIY via Martha Stewart
oyster shell salt cellars: DIY via Design Sponge
Ocean themed parties are quite popular among fellow bloggers. Above are my three favorite ways shells were incorporated into the food styling. If you like the shell skewers, try using longer sticks for cocktail stirrers.

oyster centerpiece: DIY via oncewed // DIY via What's Ur Home Story
seashell lights: DIY via Martha Stewart // shell votives: DIY via bhg
Shells look great illuminated in light so make them the light source. Use them as a candle holder or even the candle itself. Leave the shells natural or paint them metallic. Alternatively, if you are lacking shells or time, you can purchase shell candles from a variety of etsy sellers.

seashell hair pins: DIY via Swell Blog
oyster mirror: DIY via Up to Date Interiors
oyster shell dish: DIY via Martha Stewart
Add a little shell chic to your jewelry and bathroom as well. I think the oyster mirror would also make a great mirrored plate on a vanity. If you prefer to add a pop of color, I found Anthropologie styled fabric-covered clam shells for sale on etsy and the maker was also kind enough to make a youtube tutorial.

clam shell panter: $129 via Ballard Designs // DIY via Curb Alert!
conch shell planter: $22 via modclay // DIY via radmegan
Shells are naturally a great shape for planters. Shell shaped glassware and ceramics was also incredibly popular in the 1970s so check grandma's attic or a local antique store for something to repurpose.