Tag Archives: New Year’s Day
Breakfast in Bed – New Year’s Day Hearts
Post by Alison Hein.
Through a perfectly advantageous alignment of the stars (or perhaps the contents of my pantry), and the great generosity of my sweet niece Rebecca, I’ve come up with a New Year’s Day breakfast to start the year off right.
Rebecca presented me with a rustic slate board / serving tray that she knew I would enjoy using and photographing for the blog. Right you are, Rebecca – look how cute it looks with a mélange of makings artfully arranged upon its smooth surface! Playing a little game of mix and match, I ended with a grouping of powerful yet balanced flavors – sweet, salted Black Forest ham; pungent, creamy chèvre;
and foresty, aromatic rosemary.
Use a heart-shaped ring for cooking if you have one. Make this dish for a loved one. Start the new year off with a great and generous breakfast in bed.
I wish you a very Happy New Year in which the stars are perfectly aligned!
Heart-shaped egg rings
Goat Cheese Rosemary Hearts
2 slices of bread suitable for toasting, such as brioche or Texas toast
2 thin slices Black Forest ham
1 tablespoon butter
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) goat cheese
½ to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
Use the heart-shaped egg ring to cut out two hearts from the bread and ham slices. Set aside while cooking eggs.
Heat a heavy frying pan over low heat. Add butter, continuing to heat until butter is melted. Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk until thick and yellow. Add goat cheese, mixing together with a fork. The mixture does not need to be perfectly smooth as cheese will melt during cooking. Stir in chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
Place two heart-shaped rings in the frying pan, then carefully pour half of the egg mixture into each ring. Cover, and continue to cook over low heat until eggs are set and lightly crisped on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook the eggs in the oven at 350° for about the same amount of time.
While eggs are cooking, toast bread. Place toasted hearts on a warmed plate, then top each with a slice of ham and one egg heart. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
NOTE: You can find heart-shaped egg rings in local kitchen specialty stores, or on many popular websites, such as Amazon.com. You can also make this recipe without the rings, cooking the eggs in two smaller pans and placing on top of regular toast.
Bedroom Design: Begin Again
Post by Erin Sears.
Here it is, friends- 2013! Aren’t you excited? A new year is ahead of us and anything is possible! YAY!
Okay, that’s all the enthusiasm I can muster considering I woke up in a disaster of a bedroom this morning and my head hurts. The truth is that I’ve let things go around here. A few years ago, I completely redid my bedroom- new linens, bright rugs, awesome art. I deep cleaned and smudged the room with sage until the past was but a wisp of a memory. I vowed to keep the space looking tidy and lovely. However, the shine has worn off my once beautiful room and things have gotten messy. My grandmother would say that things are looking a little long in the tooth, so here we go! It’s time to begin again.
The New Year provides us with a fantastic opportunity to assess and evaluate our living spaces. Ask yourself the following questions about each room: Is it functional? Is it beautiful? Would I want others to see it? Do I like being here? Do I LOVE it?
Take those essential questions and take a good look around. Sprucing up your sleeping space can feel overwhelming at first, so here are four areas to consider when beginning:
- Clean your room! A little bit of cleaning and purging can go a long way. You’re not in college anymore. Futons and fiberboard “furniture” do not belong in your bedroom. Get rid of anything broken or ugly. Be honest. Let go.
- Color and Pattern: Adjust the palette of your room with new paint, new bedding or new curtains. Use your wardrobe to initiate color choices. What colors do you naturally gravitate toward in clothing? What looks good on you? You want to look gorgeous in your room. You want to go to bed feeling calm and wake up feeling good. Use color as your driving force. Pattern can work in the same way, but be careful not to go overboard. Just because you like flowers it doesn’t mean you want to sleep in a garden. With that said, a well-placed stripe or print can really bring your bedroom to life. Consider saving pattern for curtains, pillows or bedding.
Bed choice: Start here. This should be where you spend the bulk of your money. Choose a bed that inspires you and invest in a good mattress. It’s worth it. Do not buy furniture sets. They’re lazy decorating and rarely a true expression of self. If you inherit a bedroom set and you love it, select the best piece for the room. Repurpose, give away, or sell the rest. Really.
Nightstands: There are two ways to go with this- matching and not matching. Matching nightstands can provide a room with balance and symmetry. These are good things. If you have more eclectic taste, you can go with two different nightstands. My nightstands do not match. One is a round French café table that I fell in love with at garden shop. It’s large enough to hold a lamp and many books, but still in scale with the room. My other nightstand is an old telephone table that I bought used. It has wooden bead accents, a shelf, and two deep pockets on each side for magazines. I took a pillowcase in a just right color to the paint store and had them match it and then painted the table in that dreamy shade. LOVE.
Additional pieces: Dressers, vanities and other furniture pieces are space dependent. We’re all looking for smart storage solutions and these can make wonderful additions to spacious rooms.
4. Lighting: Lighting is an essential component of any room. In the bedroom, overhead lighting can make things look too harsh. To avoid this, I opt for bedside lamps. There are lots of ways to go with lighting and I’ll probably highlight them in another post, but like nightstands, your lamps can match or not. I use two different lamps made of the same material with similar shades. They coordinate, but are not identical.
Start by changing a few elements of your room and see where the changes take you. Remember, your room does not have to be finished all at once. Great rooms are designed, developed, and edited over time. The journey is part of the fun.
Happy New Year!
Breakfast in Bed: New Year’s Day Hot Toddy
Post by Alison Hein
On New Year’s Day, people around the world will be celebrating – with food! Health, prosperity, love and luck are signified by festive, global dishes. In Japan, they will ring in the new year with “toshikoshi soba”, lengthy buckwheat noodles associated with longevity. Germans will be dining on hearty pork and sauerkraut, meant for abundance and luck. And here in our own southern United States, “Hoppin’ John”, a dish made with round black-eyed peas and salt pork, is believed to bring good fortune and a circuitous close to the year.
Perhaps you’re planning a get-together with friends and family on the first day of the year, or maybe just a quiet day of reflection. Even a day of recuperation from the night before…
You may consider a hot toddy – made hot and sweet, then splashed with alcohol and wintry spices – a good old-fashioned cold remedy or insomnia cure. I recently learned it was also a favored libation at New Year’s Day open houses, or “collations”, which were popular in colonial New York. Get this – people hosting open houses took out newspaper ads to let their friends and neighbors know of the upcoming festivities. Guests were greeted with punch, hot toddies, cakes and other snacks. This practice remained popular for many years, until bands of young men started racing from home to home, grabbing food and drink before hieing off to the next party. It makes me laugh to think of trying this in present-day New York. ☺
Hot Toddies are simple to make, but be careful, just a hint of brandy and spice makes them alarmingly addictive. Vary your toddies by using whiskey, rum or bourbon. Make them with water or tea, fiddle with the spices, or float a thin slice of lemon on top. Then serve them at your own “collation”, or simply keep them to yourself and quietly celebrate the first breakfast in bed of the year.
Happy New Year!
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon honey
6 ounces milk
¼ teaspoon mace
1 cinnamon stick
Nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
Add brandy and honey to a small heat-proof glass, such as an Irish coffee mug. Pour milk into small, heavy pot and heat over medium to medium-low heat until warmed. Stir mace into milk. Pour warm milk into glass containing brandy and honey. Stir. Add cinnamon stick, sprinkle with nutmeg if you like, and serve immediately.
Makes one Hot Toddy.