Archive | January, 2017

Oh! It’s Polenta….my Darling!

29 Jan

Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal. It may be consumed hot as a porridge or allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf, which is then baked, fried, or grilled.

After making the polenta, yesterday I chose to cool the mixture on a cookie sheet for 30 -45 minutes in the fridge! After cooling, today using a turned over glass I’d made circles to fry in a sauté pan with a little extra virgin olive oil under medium heat (4-5 minutes)

I then I took a mason jar lid to make a quick guide to house my fresh egg in the same pan. Sea salt and coarse pepper added.  Once browned to my liking, I then took fresh arugula and chopped red pepper sautéed very lightly (less than 1/2 a minute).

To assemble place one polenta cake on a plate, then your egg, following are arugula and red peppers and topped with another polenta cake! A pinch of  freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and coarse pepper….and that’s a great Sunday breakfast; a hit this morning with a spot of Earl Grey tea!

Perfectly cooked egg, arugula, red peppers placed in between two  beautiful polenta cakes

I love the peppery taste of arugula, but any leafy green can be substituted…spinach, kale or even leeks!!  If not for breakfast, then as an appetizer with a seared scallop!  What you can do is endless!  If you have any polenta recipes, please  do share!

Here’s the recipe to make the cornmeal mixture; I created about 8 (4 servings).  Oh! You can keep the extra polenta in the fridge.

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Ingredients

5 cups Water

1 cup Fine Corn Meal (polenta)

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Grated, More If Necessary (I didn’t add, opted to top …minding for those who didn’t want cheese)

Prep

In a large sauce pan, bring water to a rolling boil. Season heavily with salt.  Gradually, slowly add in the cornmeal and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until mixture thickens, stirring often. While polenta is cooking, spray a casserole dish or cookie sheet with a small amount of cooking spray. Line the dish with Saran wrap and set aside.

Once the polenta has thickened (approximately 30 minutes), check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Then pour the mixture into a Saran type wrap lined dish or cookie sheet (I wanted them thin).  Add another layer of Saran wrap on top and smooth it down directly on top of the polenta. Place into the refrigerator to set up.

When you are ready to make the polenta cakes, lift the polenta out. Remove the Saran wrap and place onto a cutting board. Using a round cookie cutter or glass, make 6 polenta circles.

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia 😊

Photo by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

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Living Room Style with Arhaus®

24 Jan

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living room: a room in a residence used for the common social activities of the occupants.

 

And we also know it’s so much more when you are decorating the space!  Usually it reflects the owner’s vision of the space where there are so many ideas and choices to set up this very important room in a home.

Recently asked, if I had been given a furniture item, what would be the style, the mood that would accommodate a beautiful living room.  Not just any furniture item, but from Arhaus!  One of my favorite stores; their sophisticated lines are beautiful in all categories for the home and their showrooms are spectacular!

Since 1986, Arhaus®  has been designing home furnishings!  Beautiful, high quality and so unique!  The company takes their customers seriously and ensures the Arhaus® furnishing meets their high quality standards.

What is the furniture choice? A sectional sofa!  Sectional sofas are meant to have seating without the feeling of restraints of designated seating with style.  There is nothing wrong with a beautiful sofa or a love seat; however sectional sofas give added room and allows the circumference of a room to be fully used when required for that extra seating.

When first introduced,  many thought the sectional sofa was for the lower level of a home; where a game room or bar might be!    Well that’s all changed and Arhaus®’s designers have a beautiful line of sectional sofa’s, over forty-two!  I’d reviewed each description and the steel suspension construction is so welcomed; quality at it’s best!  So it was very, very  hard to choose which one, but I think I got it!

My choice is Darrow, a crescent shaped sectional sofa!  I’d choose this style for it gave me ideas in a living room that would be peaceful,  a Feng-Shui scenario with a modern touch.    This sectional has three options; either 119″, 148″ or 152″, so if a living room could not hold the three sections, the 119″of two sections would comfortably fit in standard size living room.

Arhaus® Darrow Sectional with Design Choices by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Arhaus® Darrow Sectional Sofa with design styles by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Now, let’s dove in my excitement of my choices:

  • Arhaus® provides the Darrow sectional sofa in eight beautiful colors; however I was drawn to their custom colors.  One in particular, it’s name is Taranto Blue.  The fabric has look of a herringbone style pattern; which is quite attractive.
  • The paint, I’ve chosen Benjamin Moore’s Feather Gray to be the accent color in the room.  While the wallpaper choice is a shimmer of gold and a luster of gray by Fabricut.
  • Then there’s this gorgeous hand-knotted contemporary rug name Yiska, also by Arhaus® ; it also plays with the color scheme chosen.  It gives the look of reflected water.
  • Keeping with the curve pattern dimensions from the Darrow sectional sofa, I chose this electic Trocadero Kidney brass cocktail table by designer Jonathan Adler.  The table is covered in a pieced and lacquered inky charcoal goatskin and adorned with three, inset sand-cast brass medallions.
  • Next is a tall floor lamp. Also brass; with clear Lucite accents by Savafieh.  And yes, I would use two floor lamps in the far corners of the room (opposite the main window in the living room that allows sunlight to stream in).
  • For accent pieces, it can be limitless in ideas.  I chose white vases of different heights and shapes – giving some crispness.  As for greenery, little cacti plants to place throughout the room.  To scent the room, fresh flowers like colorful peonies, hydrangea and mulberries.
  • Lastly, a 3 panel painting of an inviting Buddha head that can be placed on the living room wall to also tie in the curveness of the Darrow sectional sofa and the color hues selected.

This was a pleasure to do!! You can get great ideas for your home.  Take a moment to view Arhaus®’s website, there’s something for everyone! Arhaus…your home!

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letia Mitchelll 403 Letia 🙂

Reference of choices: Arhaus®, Jonathan Adler, Fabricut , West Elm, and Savafieh.

Pump Up The Volume on Your Vegetables! 

8 Jan

img_1605Vegetables can be boring, if you don’t change up a bit! So starting off the New Year, I’m trying things new, being creative! 😊

So my cutting board was very useful this afternoon with all the chopping and julienning being done!

Fresh fennel, onions, kale, carrots!

Fennel, an acquired taste raw….however when roasted with virgin olive oil with sprinkles of Himalayan pink salt and coarse pepper; its wonderful! That’s how I prepared it!  Placed on the bitten rack of the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  It can be paired with a roasted pork loin and even accompany a broiled salmon.  I’m roasting them to be as a side to my arugula salad  for lunch today and add to my boxed lunch tomorrow ( that’s the plan…it’s so good)!

Beautiful fennel!

Then taking raw carrots, kale (remove middle stem) and onion, I’d julienned, then formed them together  in a palm size circle by taking a dip in a tempura batter of rice flour, tsp of soybean oil, Sea salt and cornstarch*!

* or a tempura batter mix from the grocery store will also do.

I’d settled twelve of them on a tray and placed in the fridge to get cold (1 to 3 hours ).  The little circles can be cooked in the oven at 350 degrees, on each side for 10 minutes.  Or you may pan fry in vegetable oil for 3 minutes until golden brown.  These will be my go to snack on it’s own!  

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Vegetable circles in a tempura batter, placed on a cookie sheet.

 

 

Taking arugula leaves washed and dried, tossed in a lemon dressing of extra virgin oil, Dijon mustard, fresh squeezed lemon with a pinch of sugar. Added diced tomatoes, olives was a winner!  You can even add some fresh shaved Parmesan cheese if you like for this beautiful salad!

Now taking the serving size in consideration, the calories can be low (for example the vegetable circles is 2 at 70 calories for each).

With changing the look of your vegetables can be really good!  The different ways can give the incentive to trying different vegetables and eat more of them for a healthy start to this new year!

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Arugula salad, vegetable circle snacks and roasted fennel.

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia  😊

The bulb’s foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant are used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. The small flowers of wild fennel (known as fennel “pollen” ) are the most potent form of fennel, but also the most expensive. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in color when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal. The leaves are delicately flavored and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. Young tender leaves are used for garnishes, as a salad, to add flavor to salads, to flavor sauces to be served with puddings, and also in soups and fish sauce.

Photos by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design ®

 

 

 

 

 

 

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