Monthly Archives: August 2014
Post by Alison Hein.
Summer is flying by, and I can’t believe I haven’t shared any blueberry recipes this season. Well, we’re about to rectify that with these berry-rich creamy crêpes. The blueberry crop was lush and bountiful this year, and if you look around, you should still be able to find perfectly ripe, tangy-skinned, sweet-fleshed berries.
Thin, lightly sweetened crêpes are filled with a creamy blueberry spread, then rolled and topped with thick, zesty blueberry sauce. First, make the sauce with fresh fruit, simmering the berries stovetop until they burst and meld. Next, prepare the sweet, blended berry and cream cheese filling (also great for spreading on bagels). Finally, make the thin pancakes and assemble the final dish. Add a sprig of mint, if you like, for garnish. Voila! The berry best kind of breakfast in bed. 🙂
2 cups (1 dry pint) blueberries
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add blueberries, water, sugar and vanilla to small, heavy pot. Place on stove over high heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, until blueberries are soft and popped open, and syrup is thickened. Set aside and allow to cool. Syrup will continue to thicken while cooling, so adjust cooking time to your preference.
Makes about 1 ½ cups of syrup.
¼ cup blueberries
6 ounces whipped cream cheese
4 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Puree blueberries in blender. Mix in cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Set aside until ready to assemble crêpes.
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
In large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Whisk egg into milk, then whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until batter is thick and smooth. Let batter rest a few minutes before cooking.
Heat about 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy 6-inch pan over medium heat. When hot, but not smoking, add ¼ cupful of batter to pan, swirling to cover bottom. Cook crêpe 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned, flipping once. Keep warm while cooking remaining crêpes, monitoring heat and adding oil as necessary.
To assemble, place crêpes on serving plates. Spread each crêpe with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream cheese filling. Roll up, and top with Blueberry Sauce. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 7 crêpes.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes. Illustrated by Sanjay Patel.
My boy has a great uncle who loves to shower him with wonderful and educational toys. That can be interpreted as a bad thing but all it means is nothing commercial and lots of beautifully handmade stuff and occasional books. This book came from a museum! It’s super extra fancy already, you can tell. In fact, the Rubin Museum of Art is mere steps from our very own Charles P. Rogers showroom!
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth is an adorable and amusing retelling of an ancient Indian story; the writing of the epic Hindu poem, Mahabharata. According to legend, Ganesha, elephant-headed god of the Hindu pantheon, uses his tusk as a pen to transcribe the story as the poet Vyasa dictates. The version in this book varies the story a bit. In this version, young god Ganesha loves the candy laddoo. He can’t get enough laddoo. When he tries to bite into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, one of his tusks breaks off!
Needless to say, Ganesha is quite upset, until Vyasa calls out to him and offers him a great new use for his broken tusk. And that’s how the Mahabharata was written!
The illustrations for this book are wonderfully bright, geometric, and colorful. I have heard them compared to Charlie Harper’s awesome illustrations, which is high praise indeed. This is a great book to introduce kids to Hindu religion and the Mahabharata or, if you already know about it, it’s a fun way to revisit it.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
A daybed is more than a place to sleep. Sure, it’s a “real” bed, and albeit smaller in size, it can be as comfy its sprawling king-size companion. Moreover, a daybed offers options that in this day and age, we can all appreciate.
A daybed is a viable alternative to a sleeper sofa in a guest room or multipurpose room. Usually more comfortable than a pullout couch, a daybed allows more room for your favorite furniture, or play space for the kids.
Place a coffee table or a few compact cocktail tables in front, and you’ll create a lounge-like feeling without much effort.
Add an ottoman; take a load off and prop up your feet during TV-watching time.
Also a fantastic solution for the occasional bedroom (think your college student who returns on weekends and holidays), a daybed makes the room feel like something other than a bedroom when the space needs to function differently. Throw a few pillows and you have a den. Remove the pillows, and your almost grown-up offspring will nestle into his or her room in no time.
Charles P. Rogers takes daybeds seriously, like they do all of their beds. Take the Suitcase Leather Daybed http://www.charlesprogers.com/suitcase-daybed-p-486.html, for instance. Not only is this a versatile design –– depending on how you dress it, you can use it as a twin bed in a child’s room (add primary colors like red and yellow for a youthful feel), or as an extra-deep sofa in a masculine library (go with earth tones for sophistication).
Besides its handsome appearance and practical nature, this style boasts a pop-up trundle for an extra overnight guest.
Recently, interior designer Robin Baron featured the Suitcase Leather Daybed on a WFSB segment. You can see the daybed in action here:
Post by Alison Hein.
It’s summertime! And peaches are in peak season. Head out to western New Jersey and its numerous u-pick farms, their hefty fruit trees laden with lush, pink-skinned, fragrant peaches. Flavors of fresh-from-the-tree fruit are sprightly and intense. I picked some recently, and after satisfying my craving for raw peaches (by, er, eating about four of them), I decided to lightly caramelize a couple of them and add them to a giant, baked crepe-like pancake, sometimes called a Dutch Baby.
While I was fiddling around in the kitchen, my new recipe somehow got mixed up with the Vanilla Ice rap song Ice, Ice, Baby (yes, there may be something wrong with me), and somehow new lyrics were born for my Peach Baby (definitely nothing wrong with that):
Peach, Peach, Baby
Peach, Peach, Baby
All right stop, and head to the kitchen
Peaches are ripe – here’s a brand new invention
Inspiration grabs ahold of me tightly
Flow like batter, sweetly and lightly
Will it ever stop? Yo, I hope not
Those Peach Babies really hit the spot.
I hope Vanilla Ice doesn’t mind me borrowing the rhythm of his iconic classic, and I hope you enjoy a peachy, rhythmic breakfast in bed. Don’t forget to rap along. 😉
2 large peaches
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter
¾ cup milk
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
Place a 12–inch diameter cast iron frying pan, or other oven-proof pan, in oven and preheat to 425°.
Peel peaches by cutting a small “x” in the bottom of the fruit. Carefully drop the peaches into boiling water and blanch for up to one minute. Remove peaches from pot and immerse in ice water. Peel off peach skin starting at the “x’. Slice peach by cutting lengthwise to the pit, and pulling slices away from pit. Place peach slices in a large bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and cinnamon until evenly mixed. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan, add peaches and sauté until soft and lightly caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Crack eggs and add to a blender or food processor. Mix until thickened and frothy, about 1 minute. Turn blender or food processor to low speed. With blender or food processor running, gradually pour in milk until mixed. Gradually add flour and salt until well mixed.
Remove heated frying pan from oven. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. When melted, spread peach slices evenly across bottom of pan. Pour blended batter over peaches and return to the oven. Bake pancake until puffy and well-browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining sugar and serve immediately.
Makes 1 large Peach Baby; or 2 to 4 servings.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Stick Dog by Tom Watson.
Once, when my kid was sick and being forced to bed rest for a couple days, I perused the library’s downloadable e-books to find something to keep him both immobile and entertained. I happened across a book called Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog which discussed (okay, “discussed” might be a strong word for it) the adventures of a stray dog called Stick Dog and his friends as they try to score a meal of free hot dogs. My son enjoyed the story and it has been a topic of discussion (more appropriate term here, I think) ever since.
WELL let’s fast-forward. He got a Kindle Fire for his birthday and as much as he’d like it to be nothing more than a Minecraft-playing machine, I have strong opinions about this. As a librarian, I cannot let what is loosely termed an e-reader go un e-read. So I have been loading it up with library e-books in a not-so-subtle attempt to show him the other features of his toy. In this process, I came across the book Stick Dog. I had no idea we had jumped right in with the sequel! Furthermore, the whole Stick Dog thing makes a LOT more sense in print than it does in audio format. Apparently the whole point is that the author (or the narrative author, who is a kid) is terrible at drawing. His art teacher disapproves of his stick dogs. So he draws a series of stick dogs, each with different features to prove that they may look terrible, but at least they look different.
This is the premise of the book. Peppered with self-consciously bad illustrations, we are taken on the adventures of Stick Dog and his friends, Poo-Poo (because he’s a poodle, not THAT kind of poo-poo!) Stripes, Mutt, and Karen. I love that one of the dogs is named Karen. It’s dumb, it’s simple, and if you are six, it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Join Karen and Poo-Poo as they seek out the source of those delicious hamburgers!