Sunday, February 28, 2010

Key Lime Meringue Tart

Yesterday Cassandra was having a classmate/  roommate over to celebrate her Birthday. In honor of her dear sweet friend she made her this for her Birthday party. Yum, the thought of this sweet/ tart dessert just makes my mouth water. I am sure everyone had a wonderful time at the party. Happy Birthday Erica.

*Image compliments of Bon Apetit



  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (from about 18 limes) or regular fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes


  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


  • 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom
  • Kitchen torch



  • Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, and coarse salt in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over medium saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until curd thickens slightly and instant-read thermometer inserted into curd registers 140°F for 3 minutes, 5 to 6 minutes total (do not allow to boil). Remove bowl from over water. Gradually whisk butter into curd a few cubes at a time until smooth, allowing butter cubes to melt before adding more. Strain curd through fine sieve set over small bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and chill overnight. DO AHEADLime curd can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Using electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Add flour and salt and beat just until blended. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface to 11- to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch, then fold overhang in, forming double-thick sides extending ¼ inch above sides of pan. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 20 minutes.
  • Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until crust is golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Cool crust completely in pan on rack.
  • Spread curd evenly in baked crust. Chill while making meringue.


  • Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until meringue is very thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and coarse kosher salt.
  • Spoon meringue in dollops atop curd, then spread and swirl decoratively with table knife. Using kitchen torch, brown meringue in spots, creating white and golden peaks and valleys. Chill uncovered at least 1 hour before serving. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Remove sides from tart pan. Place tart on platter and serve.

  • Images compliments of: Bon Appetit

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We are so sorry to be posting on Fireplaces when all anyone wants is SPRING!!!!!!!!!!! But we had some of these uniquely designed fireplaces that we thought would be fun to post on.  The use of ceramics, wood, and large slate stones in these images are so different and fun. The idea of a fireplace in a dining room is so intriguing to us. To entertain with a beautiful crackling fire is just perfect.  The way the planks of wood are used to make the fireplace are just amazing. The large planks that are placed vertically make a great alternative to expensive stone.  Fireplaces add so much to an interior, they are such a gathering area. I remember Thanksgiving on Martha's Vineyard one year where my Grandfather would have all the wood stoves humming away for warmth.  He had a stove or fireplace in every room of the little house. And in the big house he had wonderful coal stoves that had been converted to wood.  It was always the way we heated the houses.  I am going to sit next to my fireplace and stay warm with the snow up here in the north!

Images compliments of: Tina Rowden, Things that Inspire, Sherry Hart, Decorpad

Friday, February 26, 2010

Black Walls

We just love these interiors. They are clean and crisp in their design. There are so some with the wow factor to them. For example the flooring in the Miles Redd kitchen is just spectacular, the great yellow upholstered yellow chair that just pops out from the black walls. We also just love the last image with the simple double mirror and the pull up chair. The question is would you dare to paint your walls black? It sure does make a stamement to a room design. Have a wonderful weekend!

*Images compliments of Canadian House and Home,,, Miles Redd

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Old Favorites

Ok so I had put these images in a post for safe keeping to be able to walk down memory lane with them. I am so afraid of losing them. I have them pulled from magazines and have them in respective blog files but I thought a blog post would be a third safe spot. So, I have them in three different files. I was not expecting to post with them but Melissa found them and wanted to. So here are some of my all time favorites to be remembered, never forgotten, always to be go to images, they still stir excitment when viewed. These are but a few of my all time favorites. Many more have been stored away. I have not yet mastered the scanning technique. Something on my list to do. Learn to scan really well.

images compliments of: Steven Gambrel, Jonathan Adler, Lyons,Mary McDonald, Miles Redd

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Upholstered Head Boards

When Melissa entered her Junior year at Tulane she moved into her very own apartment. She worked so hard to make her new home fun and inviting.  Her bed was the main focus of her design in the apartment. She worked all summer before her junior year to save up for her bed. She looked at Ikea, Target, Ballard Designs, West Elm and Pottery Barn. There were alot of phone calls to me to check out the beds she had found on line and a few trips to Ikea. She was all set on a bed from Ikea but the style she liked did not come in a simple clean white. So she moved on to Target, where she found the perfect one. It was a tufted ultra suade upholstered head board. Perfect! It was white and the ultra suade would be easy to keep clean. It was ordered and excitment mounted on it's expected arrival to Melissa in New Orleans. She waited and waited, checking her tracking number and finally she was told it had been delivered. But wait, Melissa did not have her wonderful new upholstered head board, it had been delivered to the wrong house. So in the pouring rain she drove up and down the streets around her home to find her bed. She called so excited"I found it three streets over!" With a sigh of relief, she put it in her car and drove it home with a huge smile on her face to set up in her new apartment. That was too close a call. 
 An upholstered head board is such a wonderful design element. Here are some wonderful examples that dress up a bedroom.

images compliments of: Kimberly Ayers, Country Living, Atlanta Homes, Elizabeth Dinkel

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DIY-Zig Zag Lampshades

Last week I saw this DIY project on Starfish and Sundresses and thought it was the cutest thing!  I decided to give it a try.  
I ordered this zig zag fabric from Allegro Fabric for $9 a yard!  I got 2 yards, one for each lampshade.  They sent it quickly and this is how it arrived!  At first I got really frustrated because I wasn't sure how to make it fit and be straight on the lampshade.  This was difficult.   
So...I decided to change lampshades and tried this shape instead:
I used clothing pins to keep the fabric tight around the lampshade.  

Here is the final product!  One of them:
Here is the second one!
My Bedroom with both lampshades!
Click here to see our previous post on Zig Zags!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mariette Himes Gomez New Book: Apartments

We are so happy to highlight Mariette Himes Gomez's new book Apartments. This wonderful book is the latest book of a series of three books that started with Rooms and then Homes and now Apartments. With this book Mariette shows us how to transform any apartment; even the smallest pied a terre.  There are a number of fun chapters in the book that can give insight into the design elements of the apartment. The chapters are Dark and Light, Family home, White by Design, and Ocean Front Purity. This book is filled with fantastic full color photographic images that will inspire the reader. The book provides practical building, buying, renovating and design tips that will act as a great guide to the design process.
Apartments really is a great tool that compliments Mariette as such a wonderful designer and we are so lucky that she shares all of her wonderful work and knowledge with us in her lovely books.
Apartments is now available at Barnes & Noble and is featured on our Amazon Favorites on our sidebar. 

*Images compliments of: Mariette Himez Gomez, Photographs by Scott Frances

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recipe Sunday: Lettuce Cups

Easy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

45 Minutes/5 Minute Prep

1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 lb ground chicken
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
rice noodles, to taste (optional)
iceberg lettuce leaf or flour tortilla, as needed

1. Whisk together water and cornstarch in large mixing bowl until smooth.  
2. Stir in teriyaki sauce.
3. Add chicken and water chestnuts. 
4. Mix to coat. 
5. Marinate for 30 minutes. 
6. Cook and sir in small batches in hot oil in a wok or large skillet until no longer pink. 
7. Serve with rice noodles and lettuce leaves or flour tortilla.

*Compliments of Recipezaar and PF Changs  

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Zebra Benches...A Great Find!

I am so excited to tell all of you about my new purchase...This is the first time I have actually felt like a real "bargain hunter" so to say...I was at Old Navy and Michaels yesterday getting supplies for a project I am working on and I stopped over at World Market after reading The Matters of Style Blog and seeing these cute Bath Mats.  The bath mats were a no-go but this was:
I was beyond excited and it was on sale from $119 to $59...I then used my negotiation skills and got $10 more dollars knocked about a deal ($49.99 for this baby was totally worth it!)

I called my mom and sent her a picture...she of course loved it, but then I got to thinking how fun it would be to have another one!  I did some major research and calling of a bunch of stores and found one in another store around New Orleans.  So now I have two of these fun stools and can't wait to find a spot for them!  You can also order them online at World Market for only $59.99! 

Casa Sugar also posted about them:

Friday, February 19, 2010

End of Bed Benches

There is something about a bench at the end of the bed. It adds a finishing visual touch to the bedroom. Benches come in so many different shapes and designs. The benches in the images below have fun punches of fabric, making them great additions to the room. The idea of a set of benches also has such symmetry, giving a balance to the room and a lead off of the matching lamps. The design of the benches also give a feel for the design of the room, be it modern, country, glamorous, slip covered relaxed. They also do not take up a lot of space in the room the way a club chair or larger piece of furniture would, but they still provide seating, grace and style. Have a great weekend. Look for our Sat post with exciting news of a wonderful new design book.
All benches shown below can be purchased through Shop Chic Coles.  If you are interested in pricing, please email us at

*Images compliments of House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Country Living, Atlanta Home, Shop Chic Coles