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What A Summer For Interior Design, Cooking Tips And Wine

 Yes, I know this is the last week of August.  Don’t push the idea summer is over, Lisa.  Well, it is.  Over, done, gone-ski.  (Yep, there is a smidge of Polish in here.)  Lisa saying goodbye to summer 2013I was a busy little design bee all summer, running from a design show, to design events, to planning and hosting an epic blogging retreat.  Oh and I have a day job as an interior designer too.  Thank you God for sending me clients who appreciate someone who likes to be well versed in the latest design trends and materials.


Cooking with Capital Cooking EquipmentPart of my visit to the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles was the invitation to participate in the Battle of The Bloggers cook-off challenge sponsored by Capital Cooking Equipment.  Here I am with Stacy Garcia, owner of Garcia Cabinetmakers in Huntington Beach, California.  (Her hubby Michael was kind enough to be our photographer.)

  • If you love to cook, really cook, like a pro – a Capital Range must be on your list!
  • Practice helps, but if given too large of pan – roasting garlic on the stove will not work.

Marinara TestingWe knew ahead of time we’d be making marinara so I practiced.  No, I totally perfected it – at home.  I was able to make marinara in less than 15 minutes infused with flavor!  My two secrets: toasting the garlic, in a small skillet with a top and a zip-top bag.

Above is a side by side test of marinara using the exact same ingredients, one is cooked in a saucepan the other in a sous-vide type method in a plastic bag.  OMG, the baggie version was flippin awesomeness!  Bursting with garlic and basil flavors, a major tastebud explosion and fast.  At home.

At the competition, not so much.  A large skillet to toast a small amount of garlic and only foil as a cover – does not work.   My garlic didn’t have enough flavor to make the sous-vide method work.  I lost.  But these are your cooking tips.

Aside from numerous interior and kitchen and bath products found at Dwell, I also learned about creating fabrics for interior design from Trina Turk.

Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion
Next it was off to Memphis, TN for the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion.  What did I learn here?  A lot.

Brizo Shower Head photo by Courtney M. PriceA lot about kitchen and bath faucets and bathroom shower sprays – how they are manufactured and why you want one.  To begin with, who doesn’t like a shower with power and feels like it is making and impact on the cleanliness one is seeking?St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Target HouseMy oh my, our visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Target House, where families and patients stay while children are being treated at St. Jude, was life changing.   I learned good things, miracles, happen at St. Jude.

Blogger Retreat photo by Lynne KnowltonFour days later I was driving to the backwoods of Canada, well more like farmland in the middle of nowhere Canada for the Blogger Retreat.

Back story:  Blogger Retreat began with an internal tug to get to know the people I’d met from the Twitter-verse and online in the design blog community.  I wanted more.  All it took was a casual mention of this desire to my pal Lynne of Design The Life You Want To Live, my soul sister whom I’d only met once before, and we were bursting with ideas of creating a retreat.  In the middle of an ice storm in April, we had the makings of something we weren’t sure what would happen or where it might go, the first annual Blogger Retreat was born – without any pain.

If you ever wondered how and why things occur, know this… the energy of a group of women with no real connection can produce one of the most elevating and epic experiences of a lifetime.

Who knew?  We harnessed the power to create, to elevate one another, to grow, to learn and to build.  Keep watching for what the next 12 months brings!

Lynne and LisaLynne was the hospitality goddess, opening her home, her barn and treehouse to a group of women who in most cases didn’t know one another.  I was organization, content design, food & cocktails.

Wanna be inspired?  Take a peek at what some our attendees wrote:

All are wonderful women who offer a personal yet different take on our retreat.  Take a few minutes and enjoy Kathy’s slide show as she offers a very moving viewpoint.

Now we arrive at the get, I referred to.  Your get.

Next month at Decor Girl we’ll be announcing a photo contest so you can win this:

Dacor Wine SaverA full size Discovery WineStation® from Dacor.  How is this for a get?

Next week I’ll introduce you to the WineStation® through an interview with  Steve Joseph, President of Dacor and the grandson of the Founder.  Stay tuned, my summer harvest might be your fall bounty.


Photo credit: 1, 5 & 8 – Courtney M. Price; 4 – Brizo; 7 – Lynne Knowlton; 9- Dacor.

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8 Responses to What A Summer For Interior Design, Cooking Tips And Wine

  1. A busy summer indeed, with an exciting lead-in to fall- that wine station is a serious giveaway!!!

  2. Splain that sous-vide garlic roasting technique. Sounds delicious.

  3. Like your site’s new look!

  4. Thank you! The hard word happened over at WayLay Design (link at the bottom of the page). They are the best and WordPress gurus!

  5. Okay, so I had heard about chefs using a sous-vide method to infuse flavor into something. Being a good midwestern gal with an I can do anything mantra… (Sometimes this works and sometimes not.) I thought why not cook the sauce in a ziplock bag in a pan of boiling water?

    Basically everything which went into the saucepan went into the plastic bag in equal portions. Same perfectly toasted garlic in both. 10 – 12 minutes later 2 bowls of sauce, one husband and a batch of homemade deep fried ravioli, the taste testing began. Saucepan version = bland, yawn-able tomato sauce. Sous-vide = major flavor. It worked.

    The saucepan sauce after a day in the fridge with the flavors melding together and reheated, tasted just as good as the 10 minute stovetop sous-vied version.

    Who knew?

  6. For sure, anyone who is a wine lover needs to get their camera ready!

  7. What is your “…perfectly toasted garlic” technique?

  8. Small dry heavy skillet (mine is a Calphalon) med-high heat and a top. Peel the garlic cloves, toss them in and cover – not too many they need a little breathing room. Keep an eye on them, move around and don’t burn. You’ll smell the toasting.

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