Thursday, July 29, 2010

Always One to Accessorize!

Tickled by Tassels!
I was browsing in a local fabric store a couple of weekends ago and discovered that they were having a clearance sale on curtain tassels. I certainly didn't need any tassels for my curtains, but the fact that they were on clearance made me pause and reflect on how I could use these beautiful adornments.

As I thought about how I could utilize them, I remembered that we were invited to an upcoming party. As it is way too hot in DC right now to knit some wine bags (see post on knitted wine bags), I realized that these tassels would make beautiful wine bottle embellishments.

When I brought them home and tried them out, I was delighted with the results! 

From now on, I'll keep a few of these handy for when I need a quick adornment!

Quick note: When buying your tassels, make sure they are short enough to display correctly. If they are too long, it creates a messy presentation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cakes I Make

Cakes I Make!
A friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her 1 year old's birthday party. Her little girl loves the ocean and wanted a cake that would reflect that.

After thinking about the design, I decided to make a blue marbleized buttercream frosting to represent the ocean. I created the icing by slightly mixing blue food dye with the buttercream frosting* to create a marble look. I then crushed some graham crackers to place around the sides of the cake to mimic the beach.

To complete the fun beach theme, I placed teddy grahams inside of candy peach slices to look like they were floating on inner tubes in the water.

Quick tip: If you are making the cake ahead of time, do not place your teddy grahams or peach slices on top of the icing until a couple of hours before you serve the cake. The teddy grahams will soften over time.

The cake was a big hit! Everyone thought it was creative and delicious...and the birthday girl successfully blew out her first candle!

*Buttercream Frosting Recipe
1/2 cup shortening1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Directions: In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel Gift Ideas

Travel Gift Ideas

I loved this gift idea from my sister-in-law, Maureen, and my niece, Kathleen! They just returned from a wonderful trip to France and gave my partner and I a jar of fresh Herbes de Provence as a souvenir gift.

They loved these spices used in all the varying French dishes! Maureen explained that you can use a dash of it in olive oil to create a delicious dipping oil served with warm bread, or create a salad dressing by allowing the spices to infuse with the olive oil for up to 30 minutes. You can also simply rub them on meat, fish or poultry!

I love the smell of the herbs and the presentation was perfectly French! What a great way to bring home a little taste of France to your friends and family!

Thank you Maureen and Kathleen for this Dandy Gift Idea!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Easy Summer Dessert

Easy Summer Dessert...And the Winner Is!
The response to our Peach Dessert Competition was overwhelming! 
Thank you all for your recipe submissions!

Now, it's time to announce the winners... 

The 1st runner up is Courtney from Virginia! 
Courtney submitted her favorite recipe for "Peach and Raspberry Crisp" from the Food Network. This recipe has been her go-to recipe for summertime peaches!

Courtney wins the "Dandy Candy: Sweet Candy for Your Ears" CD!
A compilation CD of specially selected music 
by yours truly for your summer enjoyment. 
Congratulations Courtney!

And finally, the winner of the Domestic Dandy Peach Dessert Competition is...

Katie from Washington, DC! 
Katie submitted a delicious and easy recipe called "Lazy Peach Cobbler" from her hometown in Ohio! Her simple recipe called for only 5 ingredients and took a little under 10 minutes to prepare!  

As the winner, Katie will receive
the exclusive "Domestic Dandy Apron!" 
Congratulations Katie!
May you wear your Dandy Apron with pride."

Katie's recipe is below...

Lazy Peach Cobbler
6-8 servings
¾ cup sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
½ cup milk
1 stick butter
4 cups peeled sliced peaches

Melt butter in 1.5-2 quart casserole dish. 
Mix flour, sugar and milk together.  Pour over melted butter into casserole dish (DON’T STIR INTO BUTTER).
Place sliced peaches on top of batter (DON’T STIR INTO BATTER).
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Of course the real winner was my partner Brian who served as the taste tester!
Thank you again for all your submissions! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Easy Summer Dessert

Easy Summer Dessert

Today, I'm turning the tables on you!

Our good friends gave us some delicious peaches that were picked fresh in South Carolina. I thought it would be fun to hear from all of you about a favorite dessert recipe using these peaches! It can be a family favorite that was passed down through the generations or a recipe you found online that has become your go-to staple.

The only rules for submitting your recipe is that it has to be easy to prepare and not require a lot of time or ingredients.

Once I receive the recipes, I'll try them out, and post my favorite on "The Domestic Dandy!" 

Send your favorite recipe to!

Good luck!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Flower Power

Flower Power
These Bloomers are not just for Grandma anymore!!

Our Hydrangeas are in full bloom in the garden! I love the lush decadent heads of these beautiful flowers and the fullness that a few stems add to an arrangement.

Here I've combined several varieties of hydrangea. I love the mix of colors created by the delicate white petal of the oak leaf hydrangea mixed with the lime green and pink of our Annabelle and big leaf hydrangeas.

It makes a beautiful accent to any room in the house!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Don't Get Stuck On Labels....

Don't get stuck on labels...bring the outdoors in!
 I love these coral embroidered outdoor pillows from Pottery Barn...
But instead of adding them to our outdoor patio set, I like the summer accent they provide to our living room.

When you are looking for home decor don't get trapped by what the label says. You can mix anything up to create your own signature style.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Dandy Exposed...

A Dandy Exposed...
The Domestic Dandy is featured in this month's Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine! Check out "My Torrid Affair with Fashion Blogs here!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wardrobe Malfunction

Wardrobe Malfunction
Yes, there are many wardrobe malfunctions in our lives. As the heat continues to rise, I became aware of another pet peeve.

I can't stand those peaks that occur on button down short sleeve shirts.

It makes a Dandy look…well...less than dandy.
To rectify the problem, I do a simple alteration to my shirts.

By simply sewing an angled line down the inside seam of the sleave (about ½ “ to an 1“ depending on your arm size) you can really create a tailored look for little time and expense.

 I do this with all my shirts where this is a problem and love the results!
If you have more time, you can also alter the sides of the shirt yourself to create an even more tailored look. These alterations are simple to do and no need to drop them off at the tailor anymore!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Not Just for the Kids!

Not Just for the Kids!
You remember running around your family's yard swirling and twirling your sparkler in the air? Me too! Well sparklers are not just for kids!

This July 4th impress your guests with a culinary fireworks display of your own! 
I enjoy placing sparklers on top of cakes and cupcakes in place of candles.
It's fun to watch people's faces light up with glee...or maybe it's the sparks begin to fly. 
Either way it's a guaranteed fun time!

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