Caramelized Red Onion Marmalade

This week’s recipe for caramelized red onion marmalade is one I enjoyed making as much as tasting.  The culinary gods rewarded me with the most aromatic treat as I cooked the onions. They took pity on my crying heart – these onion tears were so worth it!  The entire kitchen filled with the aroma of sweet red onions, red wine, and brown sugar.

caramelized red onion marmalade

This will make a delicious topping for a steak, patty melt, pork chops, bruschetta, cheeses, pizza, omelettes- edible and endless possibilities.

Caramelized Red Onion Marmalade


4 large red onions, thinly sliced

½  cup  red wine

½  cup red wine vinegar

½  cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

½  cup honey

½  teaspoon Kosher salt

pepper to taste


Combine onions, red wine, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and honey together in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 7 minutes.

Reduce heat and simmer until the onions appear caramelized and the sauce is the thick, the consistency of marmalade. Season with salt and pepper and stir.  Remove from heat.  Serve warm.



Color Me Inspired: Choosing Paint Colors

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Exterior or interior painting is by far one of the most inexpensive, impressive, and immediate options for changing and refreshing home decor. I like to think of color as personality plus in a gallon, quart, or sample size container.  It can infuse a space with decorative drama, calming appeal, or high octane energy.  It is proven that color affects our mood and how we perceive the feel of the space we are in.


A couple of years ago on the eve of one of our trips out to America’s playground, I watched what proved to be a color your world show during Vegas Week on the Travel Channel.  The premise of the segment focused on how environment and interior design affects gamblers.  Color plays a huge role in casino interior design, especially pertaining to the mood and behaviors of gambling guests.

neon paint colors

Blues are typically avoided due to their perceived calming effect, reds remains a popular color choice for the excitement factor, and purples evoke an intimate, warm, and inviting feeling.  Color holds the power to calm, excite, bore and entice.  It is a fascinating concept.

choosing paint colorsHeirloom Tomatoes

Sherwin-Williams colors from top to bottom:

Cherry Tomato || Daredevil || Quilt Gold || Luau Green || Real Red ||  Auric

Color choices reflect our personalities and tastes.  Sure, there is both implied and true rules for color selection in interior design and decorating. Smaller spaces appear larger when a lighter color is used.

A softer paint color choice can be the better way to go in spaces with plenty of natural light.

neutral palette is a focal points best friend.

-Lauren-Conrad-homeMy Domaine

Between the walls of every space there is a colorful heartbeat.  A color choice can come from a favorite article of clothing, piece of jewelry, home decor accessory or fabric, or a treasured collectible.  I like this simple and logical principal- if a color makes a bold statement, the walls of a space can wear it well.

Schumacher IkatSchumacher Adras Ikat Print in Jewel

Benjamin Moore colors top right to bottom:

Exotic Red || Peony || Caponata || Mohair ||  Bavarian Cream || Abstracta || Spring Purple

leather bound booksVintage Volumes

Sherwin-Williams colors from top right to bottom left:

Tricorn Black ||  Roycroft Copper Red || Cupola Yellow || Blue Mosque || Cerise || Spatial White || Gale Force ||  Auric ||  Dutch Cocoa

When deciding what color to paint a space, these are some of the things I take into consideration:

What is the overall feeling this space needs to convey?  Formal or casual? Relaxing bedroom or high energy kitchen?

The visual flow and compatibility with the overall color palette.

Texture and sheen, or lack thereof.  Will it be flat matte or the soft sheen satin eggshell?  The glosses shine in the vein of durability- the choice range being the easy to clean sheen semi-gloss to the  woodwork, furniture, and high sheen, high traffic friendly high gloss.

Lighting.  A space blessed with plenty of natural light can support darker color choices.  Natural light will accent the prominent tone of the color. The color of the paint you see in the store will not be the color of the paint you see on the walls in your home.  Paint colors will cast different colors at different times of the day based on natural and artificial lighting (basically the same principal as photographing with natural light vs. night shots).

Small space + light colors = open up and say size.

Small space + the b&b principal (balanced & bold) = hello, gorgeous!

Color is not just for walls.  Painting a ceiling with a contrasting color or sheen creates a dramatic focal point that will spread the color love by guiding the eye to the wall color.


Tobi Fairley

Benjamin Moore Midnight Navy

Hue you calling neutral?   White, beige, black, and brown are no longer the only kids on the neutral block.  Flawless gray areas are considered a classic neutral.  A bold color can be the Switzerland of the space, as long as warm and cool shades exist in colorful harmony while balancing the hue.


All things do come together in a space to influence the whole of the look, and when the correct balance is achieved- look out!  A small space does tend to appear larger if lighter colors are used, but large patterns or bold colors balanced with the proper lighting can make a dramatic statement. Painting is a great way to test the waters and step out of the decorative comfort zone.  Most paint brands have paint samples for purchase.  Take the time to purchase paint samples of the color or colors you have narrowed your choice down to.

Roses~ Vincent van Gogh

Apply a couple of coats of the paint to an area on the wall you will be painting, allowing to completely dry.  Okay, turn on the lights, pull back the curtains or open the blinds, shutters etc… and let the light in.

Take a look. Study. Decide.

Hold that thought until later in the day when the light will be different.

Take a look.  Study.  Decide.

Now, hold that thought until evening when the light has once again changed.

Take a look.  Study.  Decide.

The tones of the color will come to call at different times of day.  In other words, the color will show you how beautiful and right it is for you to live with at any time.






When The Pear Begins To Rot: A Kitchen Repaint Project

Our  kitchen repaint is nearing the final stages however, my accessorizing vision is not quite at 20/20.  When we started the initial remodel of our house, the color choices I selected really made an impression on me.  My tastes change, lighting becomes unflattering, and I begin to question my past decor choices.  Do you do that?  I have the luxury of not being on a time clock when selecting  the color, design, and decor of my own home. The process is slow, thorough, and one I try to make right the first go round.  Do I get it right the first time every time?  Of course not.  “Re” is a big part of my design and decor vocabulary.


The color selecting process has purposely been at a snail’s pace. I wanted a rich color to complement the countertops and backsplash.  The space is blessed with natural light, white cabinets and molding, and tile flooring that is a decorative chameleon.  With all that going for the space one big issue went against it.  The previous kitchen paint color, Anjou Pear by Sherwin-Williams, was beginning to rot.  Anjou Pear is a beautiful color, but it was time for a change.

Dave the Builder was surprised to find out the kitchen was the redo target. This all came about with me thinking I wanted to change the color of the dining room.  The more I studied the space, sketched out the ideas, and walked by the dining room 900 times a day, the more I realized I did not want to change the color.  The second I came to the realization it was in fact the kitchen in need of a change, the master plan decoratively began to come together.


Hello, Curio Gray by Sherwin-Williams.  Ours was not an instant attraction, but my how you have grown on me.


I fought the good fight against a television in the kitchen, but as you can see I lost.  The electrical and cable outlets are leftovers from my parent’s kitchen-office combo design.  Dave did not move them when he remodeled the kitchen because he wasn’t sure what we would do with the space.  Instead of moving the outlets he has suggested we simply buy a bigger television.  A master problem solver, that Dave the Builder.  The eyesores outlets will be relocated sooner than later.  The point of the image is to show the new home of the architectural pediment and the new lamp.  I have an antique iron fence piece in mind to complete the look.

baluster lamp

An Italian iron lantern in storage is the light fixture I’m leaning toward to replace the current alabaster chandelier in the breakfast area.  Paint colors choices for the perfect lantern patina are narrowed to three~


Better Homes & Gardens

Decorative decisions, decorative decisions.  Stay tuned.


Smoky-Sweet BBQ Pot Roast

A few weeks ago I posted the recipe for Southern Living Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub. Dave the Builder bought an English cut roast at the market and suggested we season the roast with the Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub. We put the seasoned rub to the Places In The Home taste test and it scored 5 forks out of 5 forks.  Here’s our grading scale:


Scale of 1-5 Forks

1 fork:  Never Again

2 forks:  Where are the Antacids?

3 forks:  TLC (Tastes Like Chicken?)

4 forks:  Will be Cooking This Dish Again!

5 forks:  Share Worthy Recipe!!


Working on home decor projects makes it necessary for the dinner menu to be lovin’ from the oven friendly.  Season the chicken, pork, or beef, pop it in the oven, and forgetaboutit!  This week’s recipe deliciously met those requirements.

Smoky-Sweet BBQ Pot Roast


1  3-5 lb. English roast

¼ cup smoky-sweet bbq rub

8 ounces regular cola

4 ounces water

For Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub:

¼ cup kosher salt

¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Rub roast with smoky-sweet bbq rub.  Place in 4 qt. oven proof pot or roasting pan.  Combine cola and water together and pour over roast.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until tender.



Metals of Distinction: Using Metal Colors in Interior Design and Home Decor

Inspiration is a powerful motivator.  I’ve been keeping late hours the past few weeks catching up on emails, sourcing, writing and supervising the kitchen paint project.  Earlier today I didn’t think I would have the energy to write up a post, but here I am at the keyboard typing out what I hope is informative as well as inspirational information for using metal colors in interior design and home decor.

Traditional Home


In order to keep my painter happy the air is turned to artic blast, the coffee is brewing, and the radio dial is set to classic rock.  “Heavy Metal” by Don Felder played this morning, and now it is stuck in my head. Between that song and the Olympics, the inspiration for this using metal colors in interior design and home decor post was born.


Using metal colors in interior design and home decor adds depth, warmth, and sophistication to the feel of the space.

Home Decorators 

Traditional Home

using metal colors in interior design and home decor

Pewter. Copper. Gold. Nickel

D Magazine

House Beautiful

In Honor of Julia Child’s Birthday: Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Happy Birthday, Julia Child!  August 15th marks the birthday of Julia Child, one of my absolute favorite cooks.  Currently, I am without proper kitchen facility during of our kitchen painting marathon.  If one can’t cook, one can certainly join in the Julia Child birthday celebration by posting one of her favorite Julia Child dishes, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

Julia Child

“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken.  Bon appétit.”

Julia Child


Mrs. Child’s practical and palatable approach to food and her in Julia’s kitchen advice, wry sense of humor, and signature brand of cooking techniques continue to inspire the foodie faithful of the this culinary world we deliciously exist in.


I continue to marvel at the tenacity of Mrs. Child.  She was a woman who knew exactly what she wanted, and deliciously excelled in achieving it. The informative timeline of Julia Child’s life is a fascinating read.


What makes a great chef?  In the case of Julia Child, I believe her mass appeal is derived from her ability to impress upon us her passion for the process from pegboard to prep to plate.


In honored celebration of Julia Child’s birthday, this week’s recipe is from the Julia Child and Jacques Pepin cookbook and PBS series of the same name, Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home. 

Julia and Jacques Cooking at homeJulia and Jacques, Cooking at Home

Julia and Jacques Chicken Pot Pie


For the crust:

3  cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2  Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening

1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons ice water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

For the Filling:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup thinly sliced leeks

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 cup frozen baby green peas

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2½ cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups leftover roast chicken, cut into ½-inch chunks.


For the crust:

Combine flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse together just until the mixture is crumbly and butter is broken into small pieces. Pour 1/3 cup  ice water into the machine, and pulse 3 or 4 times. Squeeze a little dough in your hand to see whether it clumps together and is evenly moist. If not, add 2 tablespoons of water, and pulse 1 or 2 times more. Don’t overmix so that the dough forms a ball.

Turn out dough, pâte brisée, on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lift the ends of the plastic to gather dough together inside. Press into a large disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery, leeks and tarragon, and cook, stirring just until slightly softened but not browned (reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning), about 3 minutes. Transfer cooked vegetables to a bowl, wipe out the skillet, and place it back on the stove.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking until the mixture bubbles and smells cooked. Do not let it brown. Whisk in 2 cups broth and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in cream, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, just until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in remaining broth.  In the episode, Julia states  “And as always, you want to  make more sauce than you think, don’t you think?  Never enough.”

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add cooked vegetables and peas, chicken and sauce to 8-ounce deep pie dish or other baking dish.  Mix gently and taste for seasoning.

Flour a work surface. Remove dough from refrigerator, and cut in half. (Set aside half for another recipe.) Roll out remaining dough, turning and flouring often, and cut a shape approximately the size of your baking dish plus 1½ inches overlap all around.

Whisk egg in a small bowl. Brush onto rim of dish. Roll dough up onto the rolling pin, and unroll over dish, so it rests evenly on top of filling. Press overlap onto the rim and against the outside of the dish, sealing tightly. Poke tip of knife through crust to create 3 steam holes near the center. Place on cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degress, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling through steam vents.

Allow to rest and cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 8.

Bon appétit!  Happy cooking!

Chilled Black-Eyed Pea Salad

The Places In The Home summer salad series continues with a chilled salad recipe perfect for summer.  This recipe for Chilled Black-Eyed Pea salad will not disappoint.

Chilled Black-Eyed Pea Salad


2 cups dry black-eyed peas

6 cups water

1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon fine black pepper

1 medium bell pepper, chopped

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

½ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 ½  teaspoon sea salt


Wash black-eyed peas. Drain black-eyed peas and place in a deep pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.

Drain off the water, add fresh water and return to burner.  Add powdered chicken bouillon flavor, garlic powder, and pepper.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and cover with slight vent.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender.  Drain off water and place peas in a large mixing bowl.  Allow to cool.

Chop bell pepper, celery, onion, green onions, tomatoes, and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk  together mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.  Season with sea salt and additional pepper to taste.

Pour into the vegetables and gently fold all ingredients together.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

I like a little salad with my pepper.