Happy weekend dears! Autumn leaves are falling, there is finally a slight chill in the air and Thanksgiving is fast approaching; what a time to be alive! Here are some fancies to usher you into the festive week ahead.
On the Orient Express, that is. My husband and I went to see this star-packed delight last Friday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the cinematography, period costumes and nostalgia of a great Agatha Christie tale, Murder on the Orient Express is the perfect movie to take in with the whole family next week. No covering Grandmother’s eyes or ears, this flick is clean as a whistle!
If you live in or around Atlanta, this year’s Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse looks sublime. It is open through December 10th for touring and they have plenty of fabulous events to attend as well. I’m partial to the ethereal swan and blush adorned powder room by Clary Bosbyshell of Margaux Interiors Ltd. and can’t wait to see the rest of the home!
While everyone enjoys a lovely pie, I veered from tradition last Thanksgiving and made a pumpkin bread pudding and accompanying Grand Marnier caramel sauce. I don’t have photographic evidence of it so you’ll have to take my word, it was absolutely delicious and a big hit. Ready to wow with your culinary prowess on Turkey Day? Here’s how to make it:
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
1 pound challah or brioche bread
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
15 ounces pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, diced into small cubes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9 inch baking dish.
- Cube the bread into 1 inch pieces, place them in the baking dish.
- Whisk eggs in a bowl, add milk, pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt. Mix all the ingredients to combine then pour mixture over bread.
- Dot the top of the bread with butter and walnuts.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set. Allow to cool, serve warm! (Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, win win.)
Grand Marnier Caramel Sauce
via Averie Cooks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon light-colored corn syrup
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (or a little more!)
1 teaspoon salt if you prefer salted caramel
- Making this is always a bit intimidating for me! In a large saucepan add sugar, water, corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
- Allow mixture to boil for 5-12 minutes or until it turns caramel colored. Stir it occasionally, making sure the sugar mix doesn’t get on the sides of the saucepan too much to prevent crystallization. It will most likely be smoking a little, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn! Once the perfect caramel color has been achieved, reduce the heat to low.
- Ever so slowly, add in the cream which will bubble vigorously so watch out!
- Add the Grand Marnier and salt very slowly as it will bubble again then whisk until sauce is smooth. Boil it for an additional minute so it becomes thicker.
- Store in a glass heat-safe container uncovered until it reaches room temperature. Put a lid on it and it will keep for at least two weeks!
Need a headline to get the Thanksgiving table conversation off of football and on to how culturally informed you are? Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 “Olive Trees” is a cautionary tale of how plein air painting conditions can go awry. It has just been discovered that there is actually a very old grasshopper stuck amongst the thick layers of paint in this work along with some flies. van Gogh was a master at his easel and an unsuspecting entomologist too! For the full story, go here.
Our daughter is due to arrive any day now and I’ve finally finished her nursery in the nick of time. Above is a little sneak peek of the room, I promise to share more soon! I’m also looking forward to having some down time, or as much of that as you can have with a newborn, to work on some interesting art history and decorating posts (my favorite kind!) so stay tuned.
Wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving!