Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Hi Friends:

Let me start by saying, I'm picky about granola. Whether in breakfast cereal, snack food or bar form, ingredients and texture matter! First and foremost, it should be healthful - low in sugar and fat. If it rivals a candy bar, I'll take the candy bar, thank you. Next, I prefer a mix of oats, nuts and dried fruit with minimal spice added so the flavors of the key ingredients are discernible and the granola is versatile enough to be combined with yogurt, hot cereals or used as a topping for fruit and desserts. Finally, I like it crisp which is achieved by baking. With chewy granola, the baking time is either eliminated or shortened. 

As an avid recipe reader, I can't tell you how excited I was to come across "A Better Granola" created by a Bon Appetit staffer. This recipe has it all: egg white for crunch, customizable, healthful ingredients and it's easy and fun to make! I made one small change: the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and I reduced that to 1/4 teaspoon in compliance with my prerequisite of minimal spice. For the full recipe, click above; now let me walk you through it!
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts. I used 1/2 cup each of walnuts, almonds and pistachios. The pistachios add great color and flavor.
You can add either 1/4 cup of olive oil or warmed coconut oil. I opted for coconut oil as it is actually heart healthy and helps with blood sugar control.
I added the suggested agave syrup, a natural sweetener that is low glycemic (does not cause blood sugar spikes), but the recipe says you can swap maple syrup or honey for the agave if you like. The unsweetened coconut shavings/chips are a must!   
Toss all ingredients to combine and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake granola, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and dry - 40 to 50 minutes. Note: the recipe says it will crisp as it cools and, sure enough, it crisped nicely!
Mix in 1 cup dried fruit. I used cherries for their tart flavor.

The granola stays crisp and flavorful when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Give this recipe a try (click on the link above); it's a great one to make with your kids!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fire-King Batter Bowls!

Hi Friends:

One of my most vivid childhood memories is that of my mom making corn muffins or whipping up pancake batter in her Fire-King batter bowl. Every time I use mine, I think of her, and I can't tell you how often I use this bowl! 
Fire-King is an Anchor Hocking brand of glassware that was made from the 1940s to the 1970s for everyday use. This glassware comes in a variety of colors. The jade green color known as Jade-ite was made popular by Martha Stewart. Fire-King pieces were popular as promotional items back in the day. Batter bowls were given away with the purchase of flour. The Fire-King line of dishware is sought after by collectors and can be found in antique malls and flea markets.  I love that its durable, utilitarian and filled with nostalgia. Should you acquire a piece, do not put it in the dishwasher as the harsh detergent and high water temperature will etch and dull the finish over time.
Georgia's has been on the hunt for Fire-King batter bowls; we have three colors in our inventory: Jade-ite, white and ivory. Contact us for more information! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lisa and Nikki's Friday Finds!

Hi Friends:

What has inspired and delighted us this week? Here they are - the sights, sounds, tastes and one-of-a-kinds we loved!

Amaretti di Saronno, an Italian almond-flavored macaroon. These traditional biscuits made with egg whites, sugar and apricot kernels have a romantic history. In the 18th century, a bishop surprised the town of Saronno with a visit. A young couple paid tribute to him with this sweet treat they had baked. The bishop was so pleased that he blessed the two with a happy and lifelong marriage resulting in the preservation of the recipe for generations. Available everywhere, they are the perfect sweet bite to have with coffee! 
For next to nothing, you can brighten a dreary winter day with Daffodils or a Hyacinth. Hyacinths smell heavenly! 
We love method's planet-friendly products, but the new dish + hand soap is truly inspired. Packaged in a bottle made of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic, this soap comes in two scents: sea minerals and sweet water. Even cooler, the ocean plastic used to make these bottles was collected by method employees!
Kelly Clarkson's performance of the patriotic song "My Country, 'Tis of Thee'" at President Obama's inauguration this week was truly moving. But let us not forget that globally, we all love our native country. So, "long may all lands be bright, with freedom's holy light." 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Hi Friends:

Years ago, when Shabby Chic first arrived on the scene as a casual, practical decorating style for families, I was hooked. The focus was on cozy comfort and shunned the precious and stiff. Slipcovering, repurposing and utilizing vintage time-worn items contributed to both character and function. There was no theme beyond liking what you liked and recognizing that an eclectic look can be successful, warm and inviting. I was drawn to whites and creams in everything from dishes to linens to painted furniture for its elegant simplicity and ability to work in any room. Alabaster accessories became a favorite.

If you are not familiar with it, alabaster is a soft, smooth stone made of sedimentary gypsum rock formed from a type of calcium. It can be found in many countries especially England, the United States and Italy. Generally white or translucent, it resembles marble. Both are carved into decorative works, but alabaster is more affordable. Alabaster pieces are timeless and have great vintage appeal. It's also a great way to add an earthy element to your decor. Have a look at what I have collected! If you like the look, you can find alabaster lamps and accessories at antique stores, flea markets and on eBay.
Alabaster Urn Lamp
Mini Alabaster Lamp Purchased in Volterra, Italy
Alabaster Grape Cluster 
Carved Alabaster Fruit
Alabaster Soap Dish and Cup from Volterra, Italy  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pot Roast!

Hi Friends:

This post is written with my son, AJ, in mind. Armed with a great crock pot, he is looking for tips on making a tender, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast that is quick and simple to prepare and results in a meat ready for repurposing in  a variety of dishes. 

Regardless of whether you choose to use the oven or a crock pot, the key to a good pot roast is braising, a combination cooking method that uses both dry and moist heat. A whole cut of meat is first seared to brown and seal and then simmered in liquid until fork tender. A variety of cuts of meat are suitable for braising, but you'll get the best results if the meat has some marbling. Lean cuts will tend to be less tender and more dry. 

I use water as a braising liquid, but you can further enhance flavor by using a good stock or wine. Using water gives me a neutral foundation. When making a beef roast, I can shred leftovers and then add barbecue sauce to make sliders or add Mexican seasonings for tacos. 

5 easy steps for a beef roast:

-Pour a little oil into a heavy lidded pot (one that can go into the oven if you are not going to be using a crock pot) and place over medium heat. Season a chuck roast or bottom of the round on all sides and add to the pot. Brown all sides thoroughly. Remove meat and set aside.
-Add chopped onion to the drippings and sauté. You can also add chopped carrot, celery and even mushrooms if you like. This combination is called mirepoix which is French for a combination of vegetables that add flavor.
-Add the braising liquid to the onion/vegetables in the pot, scraping and stirring in any browned bits as this adds great flavor.
-Return the meat to the pot and be sure there is enough liquid to cover just over half of the meat. (If you are using a crock pot, place the meat along with pot liquids and vegetables in the crock and set time and temperature-typically 6 to 8 hours on low). Cover and put roast into a 300 degree oven. The roast is done when it pulls apart easily with a fork. A 3 to 4 pound roast will take approximately 3 hours. Important - your meat should simmer not boil! I like to leave my lid slightly ajar to ensure a simmer and I turn the meat once or twice during the process.
-When the roast is done, remove it and any vegetables from the pot and make a rich gravy by simmering sauce until it thickens. You can also add a roux to thicken (flour and water mixture). 
Slice and serve! Mashed potatoes required! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lisa and Nikki's Friday Finds!

Hi Friends:

What has inspired and delighted us this week? Here they are - the sights, sounds, tastes and one-of-a-kinds we loved!

Bring a little nature inside with this pinecone garland window decor. All it takes is a few varieties of pinecones, some twine and burlap bows!
A chance meeting with designer Rachel Ashwell, founder of Shabby Chic at her store in SoHo, New York City. I have been a follower of her time-worn style and ideas on practical living for more than 20 years! 
Don't you want to crawl into this bed in her store?
A wall of yarn at Purl Soho in New York City. If you knit, crochet or enjoy any type of needle work, follow their craft blog, the Purl bee, where they publish great ideas and you can shop for project supplies.
Erika Conaway in the Broadway musical A Chorus Line currently touring across America. Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this show is a must see! Catch it in a city near you.
I may be late to the party, but I have arrived and am totally hooked on Downton Abbey  airing on PBS! If you're like me and have some catching up to do, you can find Season 1 and 2 on Hulu. Besides having an irresistible story line, this Masterpiece Classic series offers vintage and antique lovers an opportunity to revel in the lifestyle of an aristocratic British family in the early 1900's.  Violet Crawley played by Maggie Smith is a favorite character. Take a look at some of her best one-liners! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pewter Door Decor!

Hi Friends:

A couple of months ago, while traveling through Ohio, I saw an inspired front door. It was decorated with pewter pitchers of varying shapes and sizes tied together. I got out of the car and snapped a picture with the hope that I could recreate it as it embodied everything I love: repurposing, charm, and  vintage one-of-a-kind items. Take a look! Inviting don't you think?
I've always loved pewter; for one thing, it doesn't scream, "polish me!" A metal consisting mostly of tin, it has a long utilitarian history. I think the dark, silver-gray tones work well with all color palettes and pewter pieces can be both functional and decorative. I have a mid-century pewter tea set with rattan handles that I love for it's understated appeal. 
So, with the plan to make a similar door decor, I kept my eyes peeled at flea markets and antique malls for old pewter pieces that I could use for this project. It didn't matter if they were really time worn, as that would only add to the overall charm and character. Here's what I came up with!
There are, of course, many ways to celebrate the beauty of old pewter/metal pieces. How nice would a grouping look on a sideboard or mantel or a great pitcher used as a vase? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section; we would love to hear from you!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vintage Shoe Racks!

Hi Friends:

Well, it's January and for many of us that means snow, ice, dirty slush and salt. This further means coats, hats, scarves, mittens, boots, drippy shoes and wet paws. My sad, tiny laundry room just can't stand up to the onslaught. At no other time do I wish more for a sleek, functional mud room. Over the years, I have managed to make a few improvements to the space - my top loading machines are now front loaders to allow for a counter top, wire shelving has been replaced with cabinetry and I have a great vintage accordion coat rack (which is sadly not visible in winter thanks to all the coats, hats and scarves). The big problem, though, has been corralling all of the boots, shoes and sneakers that litter the floor. So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon vintage shoe racks from early 20th century shoe factories while shopping for Georgia's. In a word - awesome! These racks ranged from single to multi-tiered. Some were on vintage saucer wheels and all had great utilitarian style and patina. We bought several for Georgia's including a boot rack that can be repurposed as a wine rack. These racks would also work well for magazines, books, and games. I love the idea of fitting them with baskets as well. Luckily, one was small enough to fit into my laundry room. Problem solved in vintage style! 
Georgia's is expanding! These racks and more will be available on Etsy soon. In the meantime, follow us on facebook and we will let you know when we have items up for sale on One Kings Lane. Consider signing up for this site; their vintage and market finds are inspiring! 

We hope your new year is off to a great start!