Friday, May 2, 2014

Foodie Friday


One of my 'bff's' is a lovely Lebanese gal who is ONE fantastic cook. I asked her recently for her hummus recipe and like many good cooks she had no measurements, just estimates, but graciously gave it to me. Hers is like none you have ever tasted before and honestly mine is just O.K.
Start with dried garbanzo beans and follow directions for soaking and cooking on the package. 

 Did you know these beans are one of the most healthy? They are full of fiber and anti-oxidants and are proven to decrease cardio-vascular risks, regulate blood-sugar, and many other things. Go here for a great article.

The ingredient list for Najwa's hummus is simple; 
beans, tahini and lemon juice and salt.  

10 health benefits of tahini:

  1. It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron. 
  2. It's a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification
  3. It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there. 
  4. It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. 
  5. Helps to promote healthy cell growth. 
  6. Prevent anemia. 
  7. Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone. 
  8. It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts. 
  9. It's easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss. 
  10. It is high in unsaturated fat (good fat!)

Purée beans in food processor and add about 1/4 cup each of lemon juice and tahini to start. I keep tasting and adding bits more of each one until it tastes like what I remember. I also add a few dashes of cayenne for a little zing and salt to taste.
My favorite way to serve it with baby bells, you might enjoy it with your favorite cracker and it's delicious over meat. Najwa serves hers with fresh pita with a drizzle of olive oil.

Spring is here, do you have any flowers yet?  
Mine are on the cusp, cut your favorite and bring them in! 

Moore Designs is here to help you turn your house into a lovely home.
School's almost out, now is a great time before all of the summer activities!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Foodie Friday

Sweet and Savory

Recently I learned of a deliciously delectable dessert made with avodacos!
You can serve it to the skeptic's in your household that cringe at the very thought of anything 'healhty'. They won't know the difference and will be asking for more.
I pureed the avocado first...
...then added the in the rest (I also added a dash of cayenne for a little zip).
The recipe calls for 3-4 tablespoons of cocao, I used 4 for extra chocolately-ness (is that a word?).  I also only used 2 tablespoons of water for the consistency I wanted. 
The 'MR' - with raised eyebrow- liked it. 
I would definitely serve it at my next dinner party!

Now on to something savory...

Growing up I was introduced to brussel sprouts and they were never my fave.
Of late with trying to eat more 'green' I have rediscovered this tasty cruciferous
cancer fighting veggie.
Melt a tablespoon or so of grass fed butter along with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper...
...toss with split brussel sprouts and roast in the oven at 425˚ for 8 minutes or so. I tossed them a couple of times while they were roasting. They really are quite tasty.
Anything blooming at your house yet?  

Moore Designs would love to help you make your house into a beautiful home.
E-design services available.  


Monday, March 17, 2014

Project Monday

Getting ready for spring!

This was my back deck last year...I 'Waterlogued' the image.
Close up of the birdies last year. The female cardinal (not shown) perches herself at the transom of the bay window in the kitchen when the feeder is empty and sings to me. I'm really not crazy, she has done it a number of times.
I got a great deal on this table and 2 chairs from Ballards Outlet a few years back. The heat and the elements 'weathered' them more than I like. The bamboo director style chairs were a find from HomeGoods and I had custom  canvas covers in good outdoor fabric made.

Time to do something.
I bought Sherwin Williams 'Deckscapes' exterior deck stain #3001 Shagbark. 
It has a paint texture, not thin like stain.
All painted....really happy with the finish.

Next project is to do some repair on the deck and paint it too.
I 'think' I want to paint a design on the deck floor to look like a rug.

I'm ready to get some color out there.  Are you planning for spring?

Moore Designs is ready to help you create the home of your dreams
E-design services available!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks

Sid Dickens, a brilliant artist, in front of a wall of memory blocks that he and his team of artists create from his studio in Vancouver, Canada. The memory blocks are hand-crafted in plaster and each have unique designs that are hand painted and stained as well as gold and silver leafed. As you can see there are images reflected from a deck of cards, letters, floral, spiritual and architectural motifs.
Each year he unveils new collections and retires some. The blocks are not inexpensive but after retirement, values have been known to increase quite handsomely.
 I admired them for many years before starting a collection of my own.
Each are given a name, this is Empress.
Harlequin - retired
 Mozart - retired
 French Crest
 Medieval Cross 
 Watermark - retired
 Under Stars - retired
 Screen Passage - retired

My preference are those that are black and white or more neutral in color rather than those painted in brighter colors and I like to find those that are or nearing retirement.

I have the Star of Zanzibar - retired on my bookshelf waiting to add to the wall collection.  Just need two more!

For an example of how a value can increase, Chess Pawn (not in my collection!)
is for sale on ebay.  She's a beauty for sure.

Do you have something special that you like to collect?

Moore Designs is here to help you create the home of your dreams.
E-design available.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Project Monday

Painted Furniture


Years ago I painted this hutch (circa 1970-ish) black from sort of a creamy white. I wanted a glossy look and used oil, this was way before the chalk paint craze. One thing I didn't know about oil is that it has a propensity to chip. With several moves and attempts at touch up, it.was.time.
I started painting and realized I hadn't take a 'before' shot. 
I decided to keep the inside light, te outside color is Annie Sloan's slate gray and the inside is old white. After painting the white it was too bright for me.
I painted over it with SW Crushed Ice - which is a pale gray and the color I have used on most of the interior walls of my home. You can see it on the left of this picture. 
I got this far and had to put the brushes down to go visit these fellers in Washington state.
One week of lots of lovin'.

When I got back I used Amy Howard's technique of waxing and using dust of ages over it. See post here where I described in detail.
Clear wax, dark wax, dust.


Oops!  With starting, stopping, traveling and working in different lighting conditions I missed this one door.  Good example though of the difference of waxing and dusting (left) and just painting. I've got 6 chairs and the table legs of the table to do so I will fix it.  :)

Hobby Lobby has a wonderful selection of door pulls and handles. I have lucked out each time I have gone looking for pulls to find them 50% off.
I found some to update the cabinet a bit. 

Difficult to get a good shot with the reflection in the glass.

All finished and cleaned up pretty well for an old girl.

Moore Designs is here to help you create the home of your dreams.
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Foodie Friday

Rachel Ray's Fiery Chicken Chili

I shared this a few years ago, but it is worth the repeat.  
I had never heard of 'chipotle in adobo' before I came across this recipe, 
now I make sure it's always in the pantry.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped, sauce reserved
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
  • 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 3 15 1/2 ounce cans  pinto beans, rinsed
  • Chopped avocados, cilantro leaves, grated cheddar cheese, chopped scallions and sour cream, for serving
****I use 1 can petite diced and one can crushed tomatoes, and black beans (no pinto)

  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and paprika and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the spices are fragrant, about 7 minutes. Stir in the chipotle and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the meat begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beans and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat and simmer the chili briskly, stirring often, until thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add more adobo sauce to taste, serve with avocados, cilantro, cheese, scallions and sour cream - I know this will become one of your favorites too!

I recently picked up several stems of pussy-willow at Whole Foods - they and Trader Joe's have the bestest flowers! These are sweet arrangements, I know you can do it!

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