Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Recipe | Warm Goat Cheese, Fig + Hazelnut Salad

This is sponsored post written by me on behalf of Holland House Cooking Wines and Vinegars
Recipe and opinions are my own

 In the summer we are so good about eating plenty of leafy greens, actually most nights you'll find a simple salad on our dinner table, but as soon as the season changes I no longer crave salads with the same frequency.  This one, however, has a few key things going for it: 1. warm cheese  2. hazelnuts and 3. dried figs, making it very crave-worthy even on chilly nights!  

It is the perfect salad for a special weekend lunch, which is how we had it on Sunday.  Or ideal for entertaining, because it makes a pretty presentation and includes cheese so you can skip the pre-dinner cheese board or appetizer if you like.   Sometimes I add a little chopped tarragon or basil if I have it on hand.  Enjoy!

 ^^ The best way to slice the cheese rounds is with plain dental floss, which we don't have, so I used a knife and cleaned it each time before slicing. ^^

Warm Goat Cheese, Fig and Hazelnut Salad

Mixed greens (Enough to feed 4)
1 TBS Holland House Champagne Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, diced
3 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
12 dried figs, cut in half

5 oz roll of plain goat cheese
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped (I use my mini prep food processor to make it fast)
Optional Fresh Herbs: basil, chives or tarragon (add if you have them, it's delicious with them or without them)

Pre-heat broiler
Combine champagne vinegar, mustard, then slowly whisk in olive oil to make an emulsion.  Add salt, pepper, scallions and parsley and whisk together.  Toss dressing (I don't use all of it, just enough to wet the greens.  I save the rest for seconds the next day), figs and salad together (add any additional herbs if you like).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll goat cheese log in chopped hazelnuts until well coated.  Slice log into 1/2 thick rounds and place on parchment sheet.  Warm the cheese under the broiler for 1-2 minutes depending on heat of broiler.  Be careful not to let cheese start to melt too much or burn the nuts.  It goes quickly, so just keep an eye on it. Top warm cheese slices on plated salad.  Eat while cheese is still warm.

This is sponsored post written by me on behalf of Holland House Cooking Wines and Vinegars
Recipe and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Celebrations | Charlie Turns 6!

I didn't mean to disappear for a couple weeks like I just did.  October is my favorite month of the year and I try to enjoy it to it's fullest.  The splendor of autumn in the midwest never ceases to amaze me.  It almost appears out of nowhere and never stays around long enough.  All the sidewalks filled with crunchy leaves, the chilly morning walks (or bike rides lately) to school, the afternoons baking (I recently tried this recipe and it's amazing), watching gusts of wind shake buckets of golden leaves  off the trees - yes, living in the storybook world that is October is all it's cracked up to be.

Charlie celebrated his 6th (!!!!) birthday on the 16th.  Another reason October is the greatest. Usually it falls on the prettiest weekend of the year.  Our colors always peak right around the second week in October.  A very fitting day to celebrate this bright, life loving little guy.

This year his class went on a field trip the morning of his birthday and I was one of the chaperones.  It was so special to get to spend so much of the school day with him.  We went to a nearby park and they did a series of nature inspired activities.  Thankfully the weather cooperated because it had been raining the last 8-10 days prior (the less glorious side of October!).  He had the best time. And so did I.

 ^^ Once back at school, C presented his Star of the Day poster.  A few of my favorite things he included were: favorite food - "my Mom's chocolate cake" , one of his favorite things to do at home - "cuddle my stuffed animals", and favorite place to visit - "Cape Cod." Of course there was also lots and lots of sports, nerf gun, pizza, Lego and Star Wars mentions too.^^

 ^^ For his birthday dinner he wanted Larosas pizza and homemade chocolate cake (with blue stars).^^

 ^^The gift he was most excited about was his new scooter, which he rode to school on the morning of his birthday, telling everyone, "it's my birthday and I got a new scooter!!"  He had planned to only open one gift before school and the rest in the afternoon, but by 7:05 AM they were all unwrapped and Andrew was busy assembling Lego sets for him. ^^

 ^^ On Saturday afternoon we partied at Pump It Up!  Charlie desperately wanted a party where he could have a lot of boys and they could run and be wild.  It was the first party I'd ever done at an indoor play place.  I'm usually not the biggest fan and prefer to make everything cute and thoughtful with a party at home, but I have to say it was so simple and completely stress free and the boys had such a great time.  It was perfect for Charlie.^^

^^They all got sweatbands in their treat boxes, it's Charlie signature football and soccer look. :) ^^

Friday, October 3, 2014

Interiors | A NEW option for decorating consults...

Since day one of offering decorating consults I've wanted to find a way to make the final presentation feel just a little more special + personalized, especially for e-design clients because we never have that face to face interaction.  After developing and tweaking the decorating plan for a room, I typically email the inspiration board and source list (unless you are local, then I print them for you).  It works great and we all get super excited and then I pretty much turn the reins over to you to make it all happen.  However, I wanted to give an option for those that want just a bit more, like having me handle the sample ordering and printing the inspiration boards and room layouts on high quality linen card stock.  I wanted to create a pretty place for you to store all the ideas too since for most of us our rooms evolve little by little, over time, and it's nice to have a spot to refer back to the plans and details now and again versus looking back through old emails.

Enter the NSH STYLE BOX!
 (NSH - that's short for Nine & Sixteen Home, just in case you were wondering.. :))

It is a pretty way to "wrap up" a project, plus a practical and accessible way to preserve your decorating plans.  Since I limit the number of clients I take on (this is a part time gig for me) it feels nice to be able to offer something a little special at the end of a project.  In the future, I may make this a standard feature. I will revisit the idea when I look at my rates for next year, but for now it is optional. 

If you are interested in a consultation click here
or email me at: nineandsixteen@gmail.com