Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Inspired Pear Negroni Cocktail

Just had to share this fabulous classic Negroni Cocktail recipe that we tried yesterday - perfect for fall with an apple and pear flavored twist. So simple, so good!


Here's what you need for one cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Laird's Apple Brandy
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 3/4 oz. St. George's Spiced Pear Liqueur 
  • Barlett Pear Slice for garnish
  • Large Ice Cubes

Stir over ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with one large ice cube . Love this look- and your cocktail won't get watered down!  Garnish by slipping a slice of pear into the glass.

We served ours in these lovely Cast of Crabs Double Old Fashioned Glasses - so pretty and the perfect complement to a great day at the beach!

P.S.  Take Advantage of our 15% off  Pre-Holiday Glassware Sale!  Simply add "SHELLS17" to your shopping cart when buying any of our coastal barware and wine glasses. Sale continues through November 24!  Perfect time to stock up for holiday gifts and holiday parties -

Here's a few of our fave designs!



 Lobster Pod - look for the one lobster that insists on going his/her own way!




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Coastal Artists - Betsy Drake and Richard Hamilton

I have been working with Betsy Drake and Richard Hamilton since 2004, when I first met them when I had our old "brick and mortar" retail store. I am continually impressed with their beach cottage pillow designs - truly affordable tiny works of art for coastal homes!  


I have carried their slightly overstuffed indoor/outdoor pillows and floor mats both in my former "brick and mortar" store in Poulsbo, and always on our website.  They have been a wonderful small, family owned company to work with over the years. 


Dick and Betsy are inspired by their travels and by their coastal lifestyle in North Carolina, and their artwork reflects their adventures!

Their coastal and tropical home decor line includes several sizes of pillows  - all featuring their colorful, artistic realistic renderings of  sea life, sea shells, coastal scenes and more. Many of them are created to display together, or just to add that extra pop of fun for inside or outside. 


The pillows were first, and then they eventually expanded into floor mats.  These are just too fun!  Color resistant and durable with a non-slip backing. 



One of the best parts about working with Betsy and Dick?  Every single beach home decor product is made in the U.S.A, created with printed outdoor fade resistant fabrics, made for years of wear and enjoyment.  We love them.


Dick gave me  a call yesterday, and for the first time EVER in our history of working together, they are sponsoring a 15% off  sale on all of their products on our site!  So excited to show off all of these tiny works of art. 



Come See!  Simply add a pillow (or two!) to your cart and the 15% savings will reflect on the check-out page.













Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Introducing our Outer Banks Collection!

So excited to showcase our new Trisha Yearwood Home Collection - Outer Banks! We are one of the few online retailers where it can be found. All of the pieces in this coastal style collection were created by Trisha and her team to celebrate memories of special times at the beach with her family.


"I fondly remember spending days at the beach as a child, relishing family and that amazing breeze coming in from the shore. The collection was created in honor of those cherished memories we desire to create and it fills our homes with relaxed coastal style."



I have very few celebrity "crushes", but Trisha Yearwood is high on my list.  She is incredibly accomplished! 15 million albums, 3 New York Times Best Selling Books and has won an Emmy for her hit Food Network show "Trisha's Southern Kitchen".

(P.S.One of my favorite cooking shows; her recipes and instructions are so easy, anyone can make them!)

Hope you all enjoy her new coastal style collection as much as we do.  All of the pieces are meant blend together, but can also stand on their own to add something special to your shore side home.




Monday, August 28, 2017

Thinking of our friends in the Path of Harvey

Wow.

We are simply overwhelmed with the images of Houston and the coastal areas of Texas.   So easy to help even from far away, the American Red Cross is there and can assess the best needs of all of the families affected by this terrible crisis in Texas.

Local Texas food banks are also taking online donations to help feed those directly affected by Harvey disaster - click to go directly to their sites:

Houston Food Bank
Galveston County Food Bank
Corpus Christi Food Bank

We also wanted to make sure that we posted the link to the Red Cross Donation Page - simply choose from their drop down menu to donate directly to Hurricane Harvey Relief.

Red Cross Donation Page: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation or can help by calling 1-800-Red Cross or can even easily text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10.00 donation.


We will be sending our donation today, and urge you to do the same.











Friday, August 25, 2017

Cioppino - Updated!

Cioppino - my go-to for feeding a crowd at our beach house. Instant party - and so easy and festive with fun dinnerware and coastal themed glassware.

Keep in mind, that this recipe began its' life on the docks of San Francisco's Fishermans Wharf; the fleet would gather and "chip-in" whatever they could spare from their days' catch to create this incredible delish "stew".

My best advice? Use whatever seafood is in season in your area, and feel free to substitute or adjust the amounts. They key is to simply NOT overcook the seafood.  There is nothing worse than overcooked rubbery prawns or scallops.

Ingredients:


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 chopped yellow onion (sweet if they are available)
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic (or 2 large)
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 chopped yellow, red, orange, or green bell pepper.  (I am partial to yellow for the color!)
  • 1 + cup of white wine (more if you want!)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, or clam stock if you would like.  
  • 1 large can of Italian Style diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley - love the Italian flat parsley for this recipe!
  • 1 T. oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 1 T. thyme (fresh or dried)3 T. basil, or simply chop and throw in fresh basil to taste
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste


Now for the seafood: Feel free to substitute or eliminate any of these choices!


  • 1/2 lb of fish, cut into bite size chunks. Can be any kind of fish, cod, snapper, salmon - just make sure to remove the bones!
  • 1.5 lbs of  steamer clams
  • 1.5 lbs of mussels cleaned and debeared
  • 12-18 large prawns
  • Calamari (squid) if you have available
  • Bay Scallops or Large Scallops
  • 1 cooked Dungeness crab or cooked Lobster. Cleaned, cracked and divided into serving size pieces
  • 12 oysters (I don't use these, but you might like them)
  • 6-8 oz. bay shrimp


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, (love my Le Creuset dutch oven!) add chopped yellow onion and saute' for a minute or so. Add dried red pepper flakes and saute' while onions are getting carmelized. 1-2 minutes
  2. Add minced garlic and saute with onions and dried red pepper for another 3-4 minutes. Then add chopped bell pepper (in your color choice!). Continue cooking over medium heat until tender and lightly browned. Add canned tomatoes, wine, chicken/clam stock and bring to a boil.  
  3. Add tomato paste, bay leaves, then lower heat to simmer. Cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add parsley, oregano, thyme and basil and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes, or until sauce is thick and rich.  
  4. Add fish - cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then toss is the clams and mussels, after about 5 more minutes add the prawns, scallops, calamari (and shucked oysters if you want). Bay Shrimp and crab goes in last as it's already cooked and there is no need to overcook it.  Cover the pot, and continue simmering until the clams and mussels have opened and the remaining seafood is cooked through, approximately 10 minutes longer.

Because this is a "San Francisco" treat, and because we have such wonderful local Half Moon Bay bakeries, we make sourdough grilled toast slices to serve with the Cioppino. So yummy to dip into the stew!   Parmesan is also a great topping for the Cioppino if you like. 


Serve with a lovely white wine.  Absolutely your choice, but Tom and I recommend serving a really good chilled Chardonnay, as it complements the tomato base and and the rich seafood.  Voila' now your party is ready for guests!


Our Octopus Bowls? So glad you asked! We used our Octopus Dinnerware from Abbiamo Tutto - absolutely incredible Italian hand painted dinnerware that I thought would match perfectly with our Italian fisherman inspired dinner party.








Have a great weekend!







Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summertime Fruit Inspired Mojitos!

Perfect time of the year to find new reasons to have yummy cocktails - cannot go wrong with any of the summertime fruit infused rum drinks!  Presenting seven of my favorite Fruity Mojito Recipes -
Not sure which one to try for this weekend? Start with fruit that is in season in your coastal town!

For us on the Northern California Coast, that would definitely be strawberries...

1. Don't these strawberry, minty mojitos look delish?  Recipe Discovered at Joyful Healthy Eats (cute blog!)


2. When we were still Pacific Northwest Dwellers - Blackberry would be my absolute go-to!
Complete Recipe can be found at Divine Lifestyle


3.  Tom would vote for Blueberries every day if I would let him!  He grew up in Portland, the Blueberry capital of the Pacific Northwest... Found this minty blueberry concoction at Baking Beauty.net


4. Another new fave here in California is Peaches! This year, we have an absolute crazy crop of goodness, this might be on my list to try this weekend - from LipGlossandCrayons  Love the idea of taking out my collection of vintage canning jars.....


5. yummm..... watermelon!  August is the perfect time to scoop up fresh,
ripe red watermelons.   Looks like a great combination of flavors from Watch What You Eat


6. Must not forget Raspberry and Mint Mojito! Another summer favorite fruit that we simply cannot get enough of - Recipe Found Here


7.  OOOOOO - this mojito cocktails looks so rich and delish!  Mango Mojitos with a easy twist - Nutmeg Nanny recommends using mango nectar to avoid the whole peeling mess.   That is an idea that I can get on board with!


Must haves - Pretty Glassware to show off your gorgeous summer fruit!



 Dancing Dolphin Etched DOF Glassware (we have these and love them!




Enjoy National Rum Day!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Creating a New Small Foyer for a Coastal Home

First thing on my list this weekend is creating a small foyer space - our old apartment didn't really have an "entry", but the closet was huge and we had a ton of space to hang up our coats, sweaters, and tuck away beach boots.  Our new home is a little bit different; entry way with tiny closet (we can't even fit all of all our coats in it!) complete with terrible lighting. (actually NO lighting in the closet)  Plus we are walking on the beach every day, tracking in sand (not really upset about that!) - as you can probably guess we need to make this space work better for us.

Collecting ideas for a small space...









This is actually my favorite idea! A bamboo hall tree like this would work perfectly!  Am carrying my measuring tape in my purse into every local vintage and antique store in our area to find just the right size, so far I haven't found exactly what I want.  But I do love the hunt!

(all images and sources can be found on our Pinterest Board - Welcome to the Beach House)


P.S. We do have some great wall hook ideas on our site!















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