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Monday, July 1, 2013 Labels: Cook With Me, Household Tips and Tricks
In the summer, a lot of people like to entertain family and friends. And sometimes that means long term guests and you want your house looking its best before they come, but that takes money! Well making over your guest room and bathroom doesn't have to take a lot of money at all if you use a few tips. Even a couple of little changes can make a big difference.
Step 1: New Curtains & Rods
New curtains can make any room look brand new. Since we just painted the room a beautiful sky blue, I wanted to find curtains that would tie in the blue walls and the brown furniture, so when I found the Laurel Floral Curtains from World Market, I knew they would fit the room perfectly! I also got the Bronze Curtain Rods because they matched the colors of everything in the room. So with just these two things, the room already had a huge difference in how it looked.
Step 2: Add a Personal Touch
Pretty much everyone knows my love of birds so of course my house has bird items throughout it, but I didn't have any in the bedroom. So I found this beautiful Green Calla Lily Top Vase and decided it was perfect for a single peacock feather to sit in on the nightstand. It's a small personal touch, but it will definitely get your guests talking!
Step 3: Vintage Games and Books for the Kids
Most of the time when family visits, kids come along too. And when the adults are busy or even napping, kids need something fun but quiet to do. I love to leave some vintage games and books on the nightstand for the kids because it can keep them busy, even on a rainy day!
Step 4: Get New Knobs for the Bathroom
These next two steps have to do with the guest bathroom. An easy way to spruce up a bathroom is getting new knobs. It's so simple and cheap too! I decided to replace my knobs with the Antique Brass Bird Knobs because they fit nicely with my bird house. We also just finished painting the bathroom too so the knobs tied everything in.
Step 5: A Covered Clothes Hamper
When guests stay for an extended stay, they need somewhere to put their dirty clothes. But nothing is more embarrassing that seeing someone else's undergarments, so make sure you have a nice covered clothes hamper just for them. This beautiful Trista Seagrass Round Hamper is perfect for guests and since it's covered, it's private too.
Step 6: Make a Special Welcome Dessert
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup fresh raspberries briefly chopped
3 Tablespoons Torini Raspberry Syrup From World Market
To make the caramel:
Have ready a round flan mold and a large roasting pan. Combine 1 cup of the sugar, Torini, and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color, about 10 minutes; don’t stir with a spoon but gently swirl with a fine whisk. Pour the caramel into the flan mold. Tilt the dish so that the caramel evenly coats the bottom and a bit up the sides, place in the roasting pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath and keep it hot.
To make the custard: Combine the cream, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low flame. Bring the cream to a brief simmer, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the cream come to a full boil to prevent it from spilling over. In a large bowl, cream together the whole eggs and yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar; add a pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture; don’t add it too quickly or the eggs will cook. Pass the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup to ensure that the flan will be perfectly smooth. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.
To create the water bath: Pour the hot (not boiling) water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the mold; be careful not get water into the custard. Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the custard is barely set and just jiggles slightly. Let the flan cool in the water bath, then refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a dessert plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out. Decorate with fresh raspberries and a little Torini over the top of each flan.
So with these 6 simple and easy steps, you can make a a place just perfect for your guests! Thanks to World Market, I'll be able to set up my outdoor dining and outdoor entertaining a lot easier knowing my guest room and bathroom are finished!
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