life

February Faves

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Hello! I hope you’re having a cozy winter so far, and if you’re done with winter, hang in! Only a month or so to go! My days have been filled with posting vintage items into Posy’s shop, navigating the shopping feature on Instagram, applying for vintage markets, reviewing last year’s numbers and putting them to use for 2019’s goals and lots of baking, organizing, listening and reading. I thought it’d be fun to do a round up for you of my current February faves!

First up, nothing works better at getting me out of bed in the morning than a hot cup of tea and something baked. My go-to are Sara Foster’s muffins (particularly her banana oatmeal chocolate chip muffin) and the Test Kitchen’s pumpkin spice muffins. But I also love a good scone and prefer ones with oats in them for extra fill and energy! Last night, I baked up a batch of the Test Kitchen’s Glazed Maple-Pecan Oatmeal scones; they are hearty and delicious! Here’s the recipe in case you want to give them a try:

Glazed Maple-Pecan Oatmeal Scones

*Sidenote: Rolled oats will give the scones a deeper oat flavor, but quick-cooking oats will create a softer texture; either type will work here.  Half-and-half is a suitable substitute for the milk and cream combination.*

(Makes 8 scones)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats or quick oats

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled

Glaze: 3 Tablespoons maple syrup & 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, whisk until combined and drizzle over cooled scones

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread oats and pecans evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-9 minutes; let rest on wire rack.  Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.  When oats are cooled, measure out 2 tablespoons for dusting counter and set aside.  Line second baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk milk, cream, maple syrup and egg in large measuring cup until incorporated.  Reserve 1 tablespoon in small bowl for glazing and set aside.
  3. Pulse flour, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined, about 4 pulses.  Scatter butter evenly over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 12-14 pulses.  Transfer mixture to medium bowl and stir in cooled oats.  Using rubber spatula, fold in liquid ingredients until large clumps form.  Mix dough by hand in bowl until dough forms cohesive mass.
  4. Dust counter with 1 tablespoon reserved oats, turn dough out onto counter, and dust top with remaining 1 tablespoon reserved oats.  Gently pat dough into 7″ circle about 1″ thick.  Using a bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough into 8 wedges and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing wedges about 2″ apart. Brush tops with reserved egg mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon sugar.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 12-14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.  Let scones cool on sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve.

One of my favorite designers, Emily Henderson, just welcomed a new member to her team, Michael, whom she’d first met at the Rose Bowl Flea.  He loves vintage, thrifting and wrote an enthusiastic and fun post “7 Tips for Creating a Unique Home You Really Love” (hint: a big part of his suggestions is to incorporate vintage!). When you have a moment…perhaps with a scone in hand…give it a read! Also, I’m really excited Emily’s bringing back her features on trolling Craig’s List for their best finds, city-by-city, as well as DIY projects for the home and more thrift store finds and tips.  Emily, and now Micheal, do a terrific job showing you how to bring in the vintage and mixing it with the new.

Michael Keck Living Room 21

A good maker friend, Amy Richards, introduced me to Danielle at the Merriweather Council Podcast which has “Tips, Insights, Advice and Tough Love For Handmade Business Owners.” I know Posy’s not handmade, but a lot of her advice, like reflecting on your own buying habits to market your business’ products, is helpful. And the first episode I listened to sought small biz owner advice from one of my favorite shows, “Gilmore Girls!!”

A podcast that really struck a chord and I can’t stop thinking about is the episode “Finding More Life In Less Stuff” on the Young House Love podcast featuring an interview with author Joshua Becker. He is the author of “The Minimalist Home,” which I can’t wait to read.  The way he talks about not wanting to be a manager of stuff, and what are we really working for, is exactly how I’ve been wanting to live my best life. He’s not saying get rid of everything, but he is preaching “rational minimalism.” As a business owner, who is selling tangible things, this really helped me focus my goals with Posy and how I want to be a resource for those special gifts as well personable items in your home that invoke positive memories or connection to a loved one, and not just selling stuff.  I highly recommend listening!

My sister-in-law, an avid reader, gifted me with a beautiful book for Christmas that I recently finished.  It’s Vanessa Hua’s debut novel, A River of Stars, and is story of motherhood, friendship and creative survival.  Really special book!

Been hard at work getting lots of fun, colorful and personable vintage into Posy’s shop! Here is a roundup of some of my faves:

Alright, time to get back to washing out turquoise mason jars and posting quirky “new” planters into the shop! Keep an eye out on (@posymarket) Instagram for the latest shop updates and peeks into beautiful old homes as well as inspiration for incorporating your thrift store finds into your space! And if you really want to be in the know, and get a discount on your next Posy purchase, be sure to sign up for the Posy Post (our quarterly newsletter)!

Happy cocooning this winter!!

Cozy Up to Some Comfort Soup Recipes

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As much as I love all the fresh summer produce, I am craving cooler days and hearty recipes by the end of September. Ready for that change…and to be able to bake and cook without sweltering heat! So, as soon as things cool off, my belly is ready for comfort soups and freshly made bread for dipping.  Here are three of my tried-and-true comfort soup recipes that you can tuck into and will hopefully warm you up during these cool days. And how nice is it that soup tastes even better when it’s had time to sit and marry flavors…a great make-ahead meal.  Enjoy!

 

Pasta and Bean Soup: Pasta e Fagioli

(My mom’s adaptation of a Tuscan soup by Mario Batali)

Ingredients

1 pound Italian sausage (casings removed)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried basil, and dried parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium Spanish or Vidalia onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

1 small (6 oz.) can tomato paste

1 16 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

2 quarts chicken/vegetable stock

2 cups beans, drained and rinsed (combination of cannellini, red kidney and garbanzo…or any combo you like!)

1 pound fresh tortellini or mini-ravioli (or you can serve with bread on the side instead of pasta in the soup…or do both!)

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

Directions

In a Dutch oven, sauté the sausage in olive oil until no longer pink.  Gently break apart into small pieces with a wooden spoon while browning.  Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on a dinner plate covered with paper towels.  Leave about 2 tablespoons of drippings in the Dutch oven.  Discard the rest of the drippings.  Into the Dutch oven, add the diced carrots, chopped onions and all the herbs (except the garlic).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium-high heat until they are browned and soft, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and minced garlic, and cook over low-medium heat about 8-10 minutes.  (This really intensifies the flavor!)  Add the stock, beans and petite diced tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Add the sausage back to the pot in the last 10 minutes to warm through.  Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to package directions.  Remove the soup from heat and allow to rest covered for 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings, if needed.  Divide the tortellini among 6 serving bowls and pour soup on top.  Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese or any grated cheese of your choice.  If desired, garnish with chiffonade (thin slivers) of fresh basil leaves.  Keeps well in refrigerator but free without pasta added.

Italian Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
8 cans vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon ground pepper or more to taste
1 cup chopped carrots
1 vidalia/Spanish onion, chopped
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over for stones
½ cup fine barley or rice (not instant)
Salt and Pepper

Saute the chopped onion and carrots in a little olive oil and 1 Tbl. butter in a 6-quart stock pot. Add the herbs (except bay leaf) and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, broth, lentils, barley or rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Remove bay leaves and check seasonings. We usually add some salt to boost flavor.

 

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
(from Simply Recipes; you can find a newer version)

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 small celery stalks, chopped
1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 ½ pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1” pieces (about 5 cups)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups half and half
2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Directions
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add chopped celery stalks and leek, sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot.
Add half and half and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Cover and refrigerate soup. Bring soup to simmer before continuing.) Ladle into bowls. Serves 6 to 8.

I truly hope you enjoy cooking and eating these delicious comfort soups! Cheers to a cozy mealtime!

 

Summer = Pie

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I love to bake and have had lots of great teachers in my mom, sister-in-law, friends and my TV obsessions…Great British Baking Show and the America’s Test Kitchen.  But, living in the south, means hot summers and no one wants to stand over a hot oven, so I turn to quick baking or, no-bake-at-all, pies!

It’s become my gifting tradition in my family to bake whatever the birthday person wishes for and this June my mom chose coconut pie.  It turned to the Test Kitchen for a recipe and used my mom’s old pie plate to truly make it special. It was delicious!

 

Coconut Cream Pie

(From the Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook)

Their notes: Don’t use low-fat coconut milk here because it doesn’t have enough flavor. Also, don’t confuse coconut milk with cream of coconut. The filling should be warm–neither piping hot nor room temperature–when poured into the cooled pie crust. To toast the coconut, place it in a small skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes. It burns quite easily, so keep a close eye on it.

FILLING
1 (14oz.) can coconut milk (see note)
1 cup whole milk
½ cup (1 ¼oz) unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup (4 2/3oz.) sugar
¼ tsp. table salt
5 large egg yolks
¼ cup (1 ounce) cornstarch
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust, baked and cooled (below)

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1” pieces
5 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbl. sugar
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Process the graham cracker pieces in a food processor to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the butter and sugar over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate.
2. Sprinkle the mixture into a 9” pie plate. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until the crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 13-18 minutes.

TOPPING
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
1 ½ Tbl. sugar
1 ½ tsp. dark rum (optional)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbl. unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see note)

1. For the filling: bring the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
2. As the milk mixture begins to simmer, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the egg yolks, and cornstarch together in a separate bowl. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the simmering coconut milk mixture into the yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the simmering saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds.
3. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Cool the mixture until just warm, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour the warm filling into the baked and cooled pie crust. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling and refrigerate the pie until the filling is chilled and set, about 4 hours.
5. For the topping: Before serving, whip the cream, sugar, rum (if using), and vanilla together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whip until the cream forms soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread the whipped cream attractively over the top of the pie and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.

A very good friend of mine introduced me to buttermilk pie and it was love at first sight! It’s one of those pies that goes great with fresh summery fruits like peaches and berries.  I’ve had it with strawberries and even cranberries. It’s so versatile and easy and I think I may need to bake one asap! I’m a huge fan of Joy Wilson, of Joy the Baker, and was given my first cookbook of hers while pregnant with my son, and I think that’s where he and I both became obsessed with Joy and baking in general! Here’s a recipe for her Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Sauce. Go get you some!

Pies don’t have to be all about fruit…chocolate and pie go hand-in-hand! One of my favorite recipes is from Real Simple Magazine’s November 2004 issue.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

(Real Simple Magazine, November 2004)

PIECRUST
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 ½ Tbl cold water
½ tsp. vanilla

Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the water and vanilla. Pulse until the dough just comes together. Form into a disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 15 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a 12” circle. Fit the dough into a 9” pie plate. Refrigerate until needed.

FILLING
1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp. dark rum (optional)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups pecan halves
¾ cup chocolate chips
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients. Stir in the pecans. Scatter the chocolate over the prepared piecrust and cover with the filling. Bake until the center is set, 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely. Serve with the cream, if desired.

There are SO many amazing pie recipes out there! I hope you enjoy these three and feel free to point me in the direction of your favorite pie recipe! If you’ll excuse me…I’ve got some butter to cut!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Vintage Treasures

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Whether you’re tackling some spring cleaning, or just want to focus on fixing up your latest vintage score, the tools you need are right in the kitchen!

Recently, my husband accidentally placed a still-wet bowl on our vintage wooden sideboard table, leaving a white ring behind. At first I panicked, and then after a surprising online search, discovered that the mayo in our fridge could remove it! I learned from Bob Vila that the light mark is actually a sign that the moisture is trapped in the varnish and hasn’t gotten through to the wood yet. He suggests ironing, which I don’t recommend. It left more marks, rather than removing the ring. I followed his steps for using mayo, “Dab a bit onto a rag, then gently apply the mayonnaise directly to the stained area. Let it sit for at least an hour or as long as overnight, reapplying the mayonnaise if the initial coating dries out.”  I left my mayo for a few hours and it did the trick. You can’t even tell where the stain happened!

Photo of vintage wooden furniture with vintage baskets

Personally, I’m team patina, but I know not everyone likes their brass that way. So, if you’re team shine, there’s an easy way to bring it back! Using Apartment Therapy’s guide to cleaning brass, you can mix the juice from 1/2 lemon with 1 teaspoon or so of baking soda, creating a paste that you can apply with a rag or toothbrush. What I love about this technique is that it doesn’t completely strip the brass of it’s vintage patina, making it look brand new.  You buy vintage because it’s vintage…not something that can be easily found at any big box store.  Also, as a sidenote, the Oxo brush is amazing…small head, firm bristles and this little rubbery pointy nub on the other end that’s great for crevices.  Be sure to check to see if your piece is actually brass first! Use a magnet…if it sticks, there’s probably another metal at play, but if it doesn’t, then you’ve most likely got a true brass piece.

Cleaning vintage brass with baking soda and lemon juice

Finally, some folks are wary of taking home a vintage piece that has a less-than-pleasing odor, but there’s a remedy for that too! When it comes to containers, or things that have been closed and left for long periods, an odor naturally develops.  As long as there are no signs of mold or other serious issues, I typically have found that some baking soda, coffee grounds or even tea tree oil can nip that stinch in the bud! For plastic containers, like Tupperware or thermoses, I’ll simply shake a good amount of baking soda into the container, covering the bottom, and let it sit with the lid off. I’ll even put a layer on the underside of the lid, as I don’t want to trap the scent back in there next time it’s closed.  For jewelry boxes or wooden furniture, sometimes I’ll put sprinkle baking soda directly on the piece and later vacuum it up, or you can put the baking soda, or even coffee grounds, on a small plate inside the piece to soak up the scent.  If it’s something washable, like glass, I’ll use diluted white vinegar if the dish soap doesn’t do the trick.  Another great trick, I learned when my kids were babies and I was using a Diaper Genie to dispose of their diapers, is a little dash of tea tree oil on a piece of cloth left in the container.  It’s a great odor neutralizer!

Vintage red yellow black plaid thermos

Alright friends, I hope this was helpful! Happy spring cleaning!

April Patchwork Market

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Morgan Grimm, talented lady and event planner extraordinaire, puts on one good market. I have never been disappointed as a vendor at her Patchwork markets, even when my sales weren’t spectacular. I always leave energized because of the folks I’ve met. So many amazing vendors under one roof, all willing to share ideas (and sometimes granola bars) and talk shop, as well as these terrific customers who are excited to grab a delicious Fullsteam beer and support local makers and small shop owners. I feel like I’m part of something when I’m there…living in this area, this resurgence of small batch, quality goods and creative folks collaborating. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday! (Did I mention I get a 5 hour break from my kids too?! Icing on the cake.)

Photos taken by the lovely couple behind Radian Photography:

Patchwork-15 Patchwork-20

antique mall

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I’m very excited to share that Posy will be renting a spot at the eclectic antique mall, Cheshire Cat Gallery, in downtown Raleigh’s Cameron Village starting February 1! It’s such a relief to have a place to share all the great furniture and big vintage items currently taking up residence in my attic. It’s my own little spot in the vintage world and one that I hope will get more eyes on Posy. I get to paint and decorate however I’d like…which means I’ve been Pinterest crazy of late! One wall, one peg board and some definite elbow grease needed to get this spot shining! (This is a pic of my spot with its current resident. Keep on the lookout for Posy’s transformation!!)

Cheshire Cat Before