July 27, 2011

A Dream Kitchen...Pink French Country Toile!

He said he can "feel it!" At least one more move may be on the horizon for us. As we all know, you never know what life will bring your way. We have had our share of relocations throughout our marriage and reflecting back on these, all job related, they have all been good. No, I take that back. Those seven months in Illinois were not the greatest, but we have been fortunate enough to live in beautiful states, raise the children in great little cities and school districts, send them to wonderful state colleges and become acquainted with good neighbors. So if one more move is in store for us, we will welcome the change...as long as it is back to Texas or Atlanta....home to family!

So if the doors to The Maine House close, we will purchase what will probably be our final home! I have decided to play around with a wish list, beginning with kitchen design!

A Maine House Mosaic

I am a girly-girl at heart! I was wondering what my dream kitchen would look like if I could choose any design I wanted and if Darling would agree on the chosen colors! I ADORE  the color "pink" and FRENCH COUNTRY...so by combining the two as the main attraction,  I am going to try it on for the look and feel. By selecting pink toile wallpaper it would help create a French country vibe, but with a flair of elegance. Lavish pink balloon curtains would dress every window. Molding featuring carved bows and swags would outline the entire room for a true feminine influence. I would also select a black granite countertop for a massive island,  which would be graced with an elegant crystal chandelier. The Divine Miss M tells me crystal chandeliers are "out of style and dated", but I replied that this would be perfect for us since we are "out of style and dated also!!!!" HA!

I love farmhouse style kitchen sinks so I would like to definitely explore the possibility of adding one of these. Bronze or pewter french country faucets, tile backsplashes, white shutters on one window, seeded glass cabinet doors, which are lighted to showcase elegant Waterford crystal and a round country dining table with high back chairs will complete the dining nook! I am going to think on this for awhile. I like it today, but as Scarlet says...."tomorrow is another day!" I am known to change styles and colors... so stay tuned!

It's the summer month of July, so these two simply divine sweets are
 must-haves on your dessert menu!
They are both infused with our inspiration color of pink!

Estelle's White Chocolate Lindt Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding (small box)
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
White chocolate Lindor truffles by Lindt ~ approximately 24

Unwrap white chocolate Lindt truffles and place in a bowl for use later. In a separate bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350. After five minutes, lightly press a Lindt truffle into each partially baked cupcake. Let the cupcakes bake an additional 13 minutes (total of 18 minutes). Cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together, then add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar. Estelle's also tints the frosting with a touch of red food coloring to create the perfect shade of "blush and bashful!'

White Chocolate Raspberry-Swirl Gelato
 (adapted from Frozen Desserts by Williams-Sonoma)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange-flower water or rose water, optional

Raspberry Swirl Sauce
1 6-oz. container of fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon Chambord
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

In a saucepan, whisk together milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream until blended.
Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and small bubbles form around the edges, 4-5 minutes. Do not allow to come to a boil. Begin whisking the yolks while slowly pouring 1/4 of the hot liquid into the yolks. Then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (160-170 degrees F), 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the chopped white chocolate over the top of the custard and let stand 1 minute. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and the custard is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract and flower water, if using. Pour the hot custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and cool completely in an ice bath, 30-45 minutes. Once the custard has cooled to room temperature, remove it from the ice bath. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a “skin” from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.

While custard chills, prepare the raspberry swirl sauce. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and pulse until well blended. Pour through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the seeds. Refrigerate until needed.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Gelato is finished when it reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream. Pour 1/4 of the gelato into a plastic freezer container. Drizzle some of the raspberry liquid over the gelato and swirl with a toothpick. Continue layering gelato and raspberry sauce, ending with the sauce. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

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