Celebrate

A Valentine's Day Treat from the Farmhouse by charity buchika

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It's almost Valentine's Day - one of my favorite occasions for whipping up an extra special treat!  

But I have to confess that I'm just not into adding about 1,000 drops of food coloring to any given combination of butter and sugar in order to make something that looks Valentine's Day appropriate.

What I really love is being able to celebrate the holiday by giving my husband and son something that's distinctive from the usual 'hearts and candy' fare, something that's thoughtfully made to truly nourish their hearts and souls.

So this year, I turned to a couple of farm-fresh ideas to make a simple pound cake into a heartwarming Valentine's Day dessert.

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First, I added a little touch of hibiscus powder (Yep- hibiscus! I get mine from Stock + Spice) to this cake's glaze to make it perfectly - but naturally! - pretty in pink. Not that you need more reasons to eat a slice or two of this delicious cake, but here's a little article about the health benefits of hibiscus.

Then, forgoing the expected candy hearts or red hots I opted to sprinkle on a few tiny fresh blossoms. These might be chamomile flowers, or maybe some type of asters... Hmmm... please comment below if you happen to know what they are!

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I think they're so dainty and sweet. They make this cake just right for a modern farmhouse Valentine, don't you think?!

(Cake recipe originally from The Vanilla Bean Blog)

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Cardamom Pound Cake with Hibiscus Glaze
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks | 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (594g) granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons hibiscus powder
Instructions
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated, scraping down sides of the mixing bowl as needed.Add 1T vanilla and mix on low to combine. Add the 1/3 of the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.Add the sour cream and mix until the batter is just combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour and mix on low to combine.Add 1/2 c heavy cream and mix until the batter is just combined. Add the remaining flour, and mix on low until just combined.Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl and make sure the mixture is completely combined.Pour batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to even out the topBake the cake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.Move the cake to a wire rack with a piece of parchment underneath the rack, and let cool for 15 minutes.Invert the cake onto the rack.While the cake is still warm, pierce all over with a long skewer or a fork. For glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, 1 T vanilla, 1/4 c heavy cream, and the hibiscus powder. Apply glaze to cake with a pastry brush or drizzle on with a spoon. Let the cake cool before slicing/serving.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings
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Enjoy!

If you make this cake for your Valentine, snap a pic, post it on Instagram, and tag us @teaselwooddesign. It's so fun for us to see you using our ideas!

Photography by Whitney Nichols

2 Apps + A Cocktail for the Holidays by charity buchika

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We thought we'd share the easy-peasy appetizers and cocktail recipes from our Scandinavian-inspired party table setting with you.

Enjoy!

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Blackberry Ombre Sparklers
Festive + beautiful, this is a perfect signature cocktail for the holidays! (Originally from Mon Cheri Bridals)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bottle champagne
Instructions
In a small saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil on high heat and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 12 ~ 15 minutes. The blackberries will become soft and bright in color and a pinkish purple syrup will form. Take off the heat and drain the blackberries, keeping the syrup in a separate bowl. Set both aside and allow to cool.Once blackberries and simple syrup are cooled, spoon about 4 tablespoons of syrup into the bottom of each champagne flute.Top with champagne. Garnish with fresh blackberries or the cooked blackberries and a sprig of rosemary.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4
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Blue Cheese Tart with Cranberry Chutney
I found this creamy, savory/sweet appetizer recipe from The Galley Gourmet. It's at its best the day it's made, but in a pinch it can be reheated and served the next day.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 T cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 3-4 T ice water
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 2 extra large egg yolks
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
  • 4 oz. quality blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c packed light brown sugar
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 t chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
Instructions
For the tart dough: In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the flour butter, shortening, and 1/4 t salt just until the mixture resembles pea-size meal. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture and pulse until incorporated.Squeeze a handful of dough together. If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until incorporated.Turn dough out on to a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the corners of the plastic wrap, bring the dough together into a small rectangle.Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until firm.Preheat the oven to 350º F. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface into a 17- x 8- inch rectangle. Fit the dough into a 13 1/2 x 4 x 1- inch fluted rectangle tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess overhang and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Lightly prick the bottom and the sides of the tart shell with a fork. Line the shell with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides of the tart are set and edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 325º F. For the Filling In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, yolks, 1/4 t salt, and pepper until combined. Place tart shell on a baking sheet and scatter cheese over the bottom of the shell. Slowly pour cream mixture into the shell. Bake until the filling is golden and puffed, about 30-35 minutes. Cool tart completely on a wire rack.For the chutney: Combine shallot, cranberries, sugars, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, and 1/2 t salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries have popped and the shallots have softened, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool. The chutney can be made up to one week ahead and refrigerated, covered. Cut tart into 32-38 pieces and serve topped with chutney. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 32-38 bite sized squares

Recipe via The Galley Gourmet

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Dried Fruit & Pistachio Baked Brie
This yummy recipe is great for a quick holiday app. Originally from Home.Made.Interest, it's a classy stand-in for the not-so-classy typical holiday 'cheese ball.'
Ingredients
  • 1 wheel of brie
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup honey
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place brie on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper (just in case it leaks). When the oven reaches 350°F place brie in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Combine dried fruit, pistachios, and honey in a small bowl. Remove from oven, top with the fruit, nuts, and honey, and serve with crackers.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Our Annual Gift Guide- 5 Favorite Gifts for Farmhouse Style All Through the House! by charity buchika

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What?! You say you didn't get our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide??? (insert cry face emoji)

If that's the case, it's probably because you haven't subscribed to The Farmhouse Blog yet. (you can do that right here, right now!)

Not to worry! While you may have missed our full gift guide, here are a few of our top picks:

Everyone loves a great candle! Ours come in 4 cozy scents:  Christmas Orange, Holiday at the Cape, Highland Forest, and Winterwoods

Everyone loves a great candle! Ours come in 4 cozy scents: Christmas Orange, Holiday at the Cape, Highland Forest, and Winterwoods

The  Endeavor Single Rope Bracelet  in White is our new winter wardrobe staple (other versions available)

The Endeavor Single Rope Bracelet in White is our new winter wardrobe staple (other versions available)

Wooden spoons as a gift? Yep, as long as they're sculptural and chic like our artisanal  Round Tear Drop Spoons !

Wooden spoons as a gift? Yep, as long as they're sculptural and chic like our artisanal Round Tear Drop Spoons!

Whatever the weather where they live, everyone on your list will love our  Washed Linen Throw . It's just right for a touch of warmth by the fire or for a breezy summer evening on the patio. Choose from Blue or Grey.

Whatever the weather where they live, everyone on your list will love our Washed Linen Throw. It's just right for a touch of warmth by the fire or for a breezy summer evening on the patio. Choose from Blue or Grey.

Use it every day or just to adorn your kitchen counter, The  Farmhouse Honey Pot and Wooden Dipper  set adds true farmhouse charm to any home. 

Use it every day or just to adorn your kitchen counter, The Farmhouse Honey Pot and Wooden Dipper set adds true farmhouse charm to any home. 


Of course, there's so much more to pick from in our online shop, so browse away! Since we ship everything, you'll be able to take care of all your holiday shopping in one fell swoop! 

Oh, and remember to subscribe so you never have to miss out on specials, goodies, and announcements again!

Happy Holidays!!!

Charity

A Simple (But Oh-So-Fancy!) Holiday Appetizer by charity buchika

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If your life looks anything like mine does from early November right through to New Year's, you're going to need this!

Running around shopping, decorating, and gathering with family and friends is always great, but I'd rather eliminate the stress of trying to figure out what I should make to put out before big dinners, let alone what to bring to all the cocktail parties, tree trimming get-togethers, and celebrations we're invited to.

These Cranberry & Brie Bites are the perfect party food - they're easy to make, they look sophisticated, fancy, and festive, and they're delicious. While I can't take credit for the recipe - that goes to Nicky of the wonderful Kitchen Sanctuary blog - I do find myself making them again and again.

Nicky actually did a handy (and really cute) video tutorial on exactly how to make the Cranberry Brie Bites here.

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Cranberry Brie Bites
This recipe is from Kitchen Sanctuary, a great food blog out of the UK. Her recipe appears on her blog in video form (see link above) but I've written it out here for you.
Ingredients
  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 4-6 T melted butter
  • enough for 20 1" squares brie cheese
  • 1 c cranberry sauce or preserves
  • 20 small fresh thyme sprigs
Instructions
Unroll pastry and brush entire surface with melted butter.Carefully cut into an even number of squares, approx. 1.5" x 1.5". You'll need 40 squares to end up with 20 'bites.'Place 1 square of pastry on top of another - both with the buttered sides facing up - and transfer to a non-stick cookie sheet.Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden brown. Top each pastry with a 1" x 1" square slice of brie then bake again for 2 more minutes or until brie fully softens and just starts to drip down the pastry.Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.Transfer to a serving platter and top each with a dollop of cranberry sauce or preserves. Garnish each with a sprig of fresh thyme.Serve & enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approx. 20 bites

Take my word for it and keep the ingredients for these yummy nibbles on hand all holiday season and you'll be good to go, no matter when a celebration pops up!

(If you need more simple + quick party food recipes,  these are a few of my other go-to's)

The Easy Way to Create Gorgeous Fresh Flower Arrangements for the Holidays (and All Year Long!) by charity buchika

As you probably already know, I can't get enough of fresh flowers. I keep our farmhouse pretty well stocked with them everywhere you look year-round. They just make a home look and feel so much more beautiful and welcoming!

The key is in mixing together store bought flowers (I happen to love Trader Joe's bouquets) with flowers, branches, and greenery from your own yard or garden!

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Seriously, mixing it up is the absolute easiest way to make inexpensive bouquets look just a little bit undone, while still having a finished, luxurious feel (which sounds a lot like Teaselwood's room designs, too, doesn't it?!).

Do you remember I told you I had a secret about where the flowers for the Harvest party (above and below here) came from? Well, my photographer Whitney and I totally raided her beautiful yard and my garden for them! She did the arranging on these.

photo by Whitney Nichols Photography

photo by Whitney Nichols Photography

Ivy, flowering branches, and just about anything else that's growing in your outdoor spaces are fair game - even edibles like kale, potato vines, and herbs.

Trust me, forget about that tired baby's breath - sage and basil are THE BEST with roses!

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In addition to Trader Joe's, we always check in at our regular local haunts just to see what's in.

Being able to have fresh flowers around the house is truly one of those 'simple pleasures' in life and a touch of luxurious beauty for our homes that's really accessible when you approach it this way.

Again, it's no big secret, but if I had to point to another 'key ingredient' to getting the Teaselwood look for your own floral arrangements, it would be to use simple containers - like the stoneware pitchers and vessels I design exclusively for Teaselwood -  with fancy flowers. 

Creating that little bit of tension is what makes it interesting and not overly fussy. 

So take out your garden shears and head to your yard the next time you're having a get together or you just want to treat yourself (and your home) to the simple pleasure of fresh flowers!

A Casual + Stylish Harvest Party by charity buchika

Harvest party Teaselwood Design

Once we finished the design of my friend, Geraldean's equestrian chic-meets-mountain retreat den, we couldn't wait to celebrate both the beautiful space and the start of fall!

If you're going to celebrate the 'Teaselwood way,' you only need 4 things:

  1. Friends + family
  2. Beautiful, simple food
  3. Cocktails
  4. Fresh flowers

So Geraldean and I got a few ladies together and got our party on!

Friends 

Geraldean dressed everyone up in clothes from her shop, Skanaeteles 300'. She offers personal styling services there, so she knows her fashion. We even got our makeup and hair done. It was a true girls' night!

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Ladies in clothes from Skaneateles 300' Harvest Party Teaselwood Design WhitneyNicholsPhotography-0824_preview.jpg

Doesn't everyone look amazing?! 

Food

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I put together this charcuterie tray in minutes using fresh fruit (simple grape clusters and figs sliced in half are so pretty + fall-ish!), salami, prosciutto, and cheeses from - wait for it! - Trader Joe's.

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Seriously - they have the absolute best tasting cheeses there. And I love their rosemary and fig crackers. Yum! (This is not a sponsored post, by the way - I just shop there all the time!). 

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It's so easy to put a gorgeous spread like this together. You can do it too, I promise! (full disclosure: the sage leaves from my garden help make it gorgeous) 

By the way, this particular tray isn't from my online shop, but I often use my wood cutting boards in the same way. You can choose from several sizes, shapes, and colors here.

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I also made my cranberry and brie bites. It's one of my favorite party recipes because they work all the way from October to New Year's. I promise to post the recipe for you soon!

Cocktails

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We let everyone serve themselves cocktails from Geraldean's new bar setup (we just repurposed her den's existing built-ins!). 

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Fresh Flowers

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You'd think we spent a fortune on the fresh flowers I put all over the room, but I've got a secret about that - you'll never believe where they came from! Stay tuned for a post on that soon.

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We all had such a great time. I just can't think of better reasons to celebrate than enjoying the simple things - friends, home, and the beauty of the season. We totally brought the Teaselwood idea of 'Fine Living Simplified' to life!

Are you inspired to celebrate too? There's still time to snag some great partyware (not to mention hostess gifts, if you're the invitee!) from the shop before the season's over! 

5 Beautiful Gifts for a Stress-free Mother's Day by charity buchika

Happy Mother's Day to all of you beautiful, style-loving mamas. We at Teaselwood Design want you to know something:

You might not have it all together, but you are everything to your children. You might feel like a mess in a dress (or in sweatpants, if we're being real). You might wonder if you're being the best mom you can be or if you should try harder. You probably lose sleep worrying about your little babes, even when they're 17 years old. Your home might be chaotic despite your best efforts to wrangle it-and that's okay. We give you permission to be imperfect, to be human.

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