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WELCOME! BIENVENIDOS! BIENVENUE!

Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy visiting my page as much as I am enjoying creating it. Please come back as many times as you want. Contact me at chiquiandita@gmail.com for inquiries or to submit articles or pictures of your décor. You may visit my shop at chiquianditashop.etsy.com.

Thank you for visiting my casa!

Tania


"The most essential part of designing your home is that you create a home that truly represents you...or the person you aspire to be."
Lori Fradella
Source: apartmenttherapy.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

Plan a Perfect Brunch


With its casual elegance, brunch is one of our favorite meals for entertaining, and one of the easiest to prepare. From beautiful trays and casual silverware to elegant plates and napkins, this assortment will have your table practically setting itself. Enjoy these recipes to make your next brunch a success.



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Recipes
Wapsie Valley Corn Pancakes
These versatile pancakes are just as good savory as they are sweet. At breakfast, serve with fresh berries and syrup; for dinner, top with smoked fish, grilled lobster or fresh corn salad. Because the dried corn kernels used in this recipe are rather large and hard, you will need to grind them twice. Grind them on the medium setting of your grain mill, then pass them through a second time on the fine setting.

 


    Ingredients:
2 cups finely ground Wapsie Valley corn
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
Melted unsalted butter for brushing griddle

Directions:


In a small bowl, whisk together the ground corn, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, canola oil and egg yolks. While whisking, slowly add the ground corn mixture, whisking well to prevent lumps from forming. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

Put the egg whites in a medium bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes more. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half of the whites into the batter until just incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites until incorporated.

Preheat a griddle or a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. When the griddle is hot, brush with butter.

Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the griddle with more butter as needed. Makes about twelve 5-inch pancakes.

Recipe Courtesy of Dan Barber, Blue Hill.
Courtesy by WilliamsSonoma.com




A classic French sauce for beef, béarnaise is the perfect accompaniment for our variation on eggs Benedict. We substitute filet mignon for ham and béarnaise sauce for the traditional hollandaise.

Ingredients:

Steak and Eggs Benedict

For the béarnaise sauce:

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 2 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup clarified butter, warmed
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 8 filets mignons, each about 2 oz. and 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 eggs

Directions:

Preheat a broiler.

To make the béarnaise sauce, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, shallot and the 2 tsp. tarragon. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vinegar is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then strain into a heatproof bowl. Add the water and egg yolks. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a small saucepan and whisk until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Let cool for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly pour in the clarified butter and blend until incorporated. Add the 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, or to taste, and the 1 Tbs. tarragon. Season with salt and white pepper and process to combine. Transfer the sauce to a double boiler and keep warm over very low heat.

Lightly spread each cut side of the muffins with 1 tsp. of the butter. Broil until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the broiler, cover the muffins with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 tsp. butter. Season the filets with salt and black pepper and cook until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium, or until done to your liking. Keep warm.

Fill an egg-poaching pan with 1/2 inch water, set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lightly coat the poaching cups with nonstick cooking spray and crack an egg into each cup. Cover and cook until the whites are firm and the yolks are glazed over but still soft, about 3 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the eggs to a warmed plate and repeat with the remaining eggs.

Place 2 muffin halves on each of 4 warmed individual plates. Top each muffin half with a filet, an egg and some of the béarnaise sauce. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.
Antipasto Platter
A large platter of antipasti opens an Italian-inspired meal with an abundance of flavors, colors and textures, allowing guests to compose their own first course. Any Italian cured meats can be substituted for the coppa and soppressata.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. coppa dry salami, thinly sliced and skin
    removed
  • 1/2 lb. soppressata salami, thinly sliced and skin
    removed
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 cups mixed olives, such as picholine,
    Kalamata, Niçoise and oil cured, in any
    combination
  • Stuffed cherry peppers (see related recipe at
    left)
  • Mâche with walnut oil and balsamic vinaigrette
      






Directions:

Arrange the salami, walnuts, olives, stuffed cherry peppers and salad in various bowls and plates and place on a large platter or tray. Alternatively, serve the salami and walnuts on one platter, pair the olives and stuffed peppers on a second platter, and offer the salad on a third platter or in a bowl. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).
Tea sandwiches, like those you might find in a British-style teahouse, should be as petite and thin as possible. Loaves of thinly sliced sandwich bread, available at most grocery stores, are perfect for making these traditional teatime offerings.

Ingredients:

  • 32 thin slices peeled English (hothouse)
    cucumber
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room
    temperature
  • 8 thin slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup watercress leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup radish, onion or sunflower
    sprouts (optional)
  • Coarse salt, preferably fleur de sel, to taste

Directions:

Using paper towels, pat the cut surfaces of the cucumber slices to remove any excess moisture. Lightly butter one side of each bread slice. Scatter the 1/2 cup watercress leaves evenly over all of the buttered bread slices. Layer the cucumber slices over the watercress leaves on 4 of the bread slices. Top the cucumber with some of the sprouts and a pinch of salt. Top with the remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side down.

Using a sharp knife, cut off the crusts from each sandwich and then slice the sandwiches in half, either straight down the middle or on the diagonal. If smaller portions are desired, cut each half in half again.

Arrange the sandwiches on separate plates of a tiered plate stand or on a cake stand or platter. Garnish each sandwich with a watercress leaf. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, Edited by Chuck Williams (Oxmoor House, 2004).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Creating the Perfect Dining Room

No matter how casual, every meal should feel like a special event. Start with the basic- table and chairs- and start adding accessories.


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 A dining room with enough light, a chandelier or just simple candles will create instant drama.

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