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All of the content and images featured on The Garden of Eden are © Darcy Eden 2011-2013 unless otherwise stated.  If you post an image of mine on your blog/website, please link back to The Garden of Eden and credit me accordingly.  Thanks! 

Images that are not my own are credited as such.  If I have either failed to credit accurately or someone wishes an image to be removed from this blog, I will gladly comply.

Wednesday
Nov272013

Sequins & Stripes

As we turn the corner toward Christmas, the festive holiday clothes are popping up everywhere.  I'm a sucker for stripes on anything and am loving these striped tops that have the added element of sequins!  Either would add a bit of sparkle to an outfit without being over the top.  Pictured at left is a top from Calypso (currently 50% off, although still pricey) and at right is a bargain option from J.Crew Factory for just $49.00!  Images credit to Calypso and J.Crew.

Tuesday
Nov262013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This is an unconventional post on the eve of Thanksgiving.  We are heading to Philadelphia to spend Thanksgiving with Rob's side of our family so I am not caught up in the prep work that usually leads up to the holiday.  It's quite nice to have an empty fridge and no anxiety about the upcoming holiday!

My Dad just celebrated a birthday and I never know what to get him (as is the case for all of the men in my life).  This year I kept it simple and baked his favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  Since freshly baked cookies are always the best, I baked off half the batch and froze the rest of the dough and gave him the frozen dough.  With a note detailing baking instructions on the freezer bag or tupperware, the recipient can have cookies straight from the oven any time (and can bake just 1 or 2 at a time).

A note about these cookies.  I first attempted to make them considerably smaller than the suggested 1/4-cup size scoop per cookie (I was making mine more like 1 tbsp per cookie).  When I baked those, they were quite flat and crisp.  When I stuck with the recommended 1/4-cup size, the cookies turned out much better.  It may be the altitude, but I'm guessing its the tried and true method of from Flour

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe adapted just slightly from the Flour Bakery Cookbook
Yield = About 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup (245 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Preparation

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  If you use a hand-held mixer, this will take about 10 minutes.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula to release any clinging butter or sugar.

2.  Beat in the eggs on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the bowl and the paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

3.  In a separate, medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add the raisins and toss to combine.  On low speed (or with a wooden spoon), slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.

4.  For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3-4 hours) before baking.  When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  Drop the dough in 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart.  Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand or the back of the spoon.  I was tempted to make these balls smaller, but don't - they turn out best when the dough balls are 1/4-cup in size.

6.  Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center.  Be careful not to overbake!  Soft, chewy centers are what you want with these cookies.  Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack.  

7.  The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  The unbaked dough can also be portioned off into the balls (like in step #5) and then frozen in an airtight container or ziploc and baked off as needed!

Tuesday
Nov262013

Flat Black Cult Vintage Football Tees

We are in the heart of football season (did you see the awesome Pats victory last Sunday night?) and you can show your team spirit with one of these vintage t-shirts from Flat Black Cult.  They aren't offering all of the teams yet, but the ones they are offering are rad.  I'm adding the Broncos shirt to my Christmas list!  All images credit to Flat Black Cult.

Monday
Nov252013

2013 Gift Guide for Men

December is just around the corner and I'm starting to think about gifting!  I find Rob impossible to shop for, but here are a few ideas that might work for the man in your life.  Does anyone have any other ideas?  What will you be buying this year?  I seem to be drink-heavy this year, which was unintentional.

 

#1 - Patagonia Better Sweater - I have two of these and wear them all the time.  They are cozy and warm and come in a range of colors.  They aren't too outdoorsy that you'll be out of place wearing one in, say, Brooklyn (and if you wear one in Denver, you'll just blend in).

#2 - Whiskey Stones - Rob uses these in his cocktails and they seem to work well for keeping a drink cool without watering the drink down.  We store ours in the freezer so they are always chilled and these would make a nice stocking stuffer.  If your man is into making cocktails at home, you could also consider this large, square ice cube tray.  This WSJ article describes in detail why the shape of your ice matters!  If you live in Denver, Williams & Graham even sells their giant ice cubes either at the bar or at Proper Pour in the Source.

#3 - Smathers & Branson Lumberjack Needlepoint Flask - I've already revealed my obsession with buffalo plaid and Smathers & Branson is a brand I love - this combines both.  This is perfect for tailgating, Christmas tree hunting, and general tomfoolery. 

#4 - Barbour Liddesdale Quilted Jacket - My favorite go-to coat for men that keeps you reasonably warm (this isn't a winter coat, but it is perfect for fall and spring) and will always be in style.  This looks just as snazzy with jeans as it does paired for dressier occasions. You can't go wrong with Barbour.

#5 - Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth - The possibilities are endless!  Listen to music or podcasts in the shower, when you are outside doing yard work, when you are camping and don't want to run down the car battery, etc. We have used ours in all of the aforementioned situations and love the convenience and ability to recharge.

#6 - Decanter and Pewter Decanter Tags - Perfect for the liquor aficionado to class up the bar area and don't forget the tags that come in 8 options (including blank so you can customize).  

#7 - Hermetus Bottle Opener & Resealer - Another stocking stuffer item, this not only opens bottles, but reseals them!  I don't know how this technology works, but with the increasing number of craft beers that come in bombers, I think this would come in handy.  

#8 - Penfield Big Bear T-shirt - Just for fun, comes in an array of colors. 

#9 - Leather Koozie - Sure, the foam versions are fun, but why not class it up with leather koozies? J.L. Hulme also offers a version that can be monogrammed! 

#10 - Extracto Coffee - Aside from Monmouth Coffee in London (and they won't ship to the states - I've asked), the best cup of joe I've ever had was at Extracto Coffee in Portland this summer.  Luckily, the beans can be ordered online.  

#11 - Brooks Brothers Manicure Set - For the gentleman who travels regularly, the tools that always come in handy on the road.  You could put one of these together yourself and save quite a bit of money, but these items will always be useful (I use Rob's mini-scissors on every trip).  The kit contains nail and cuticle scissors, a nail file and tweezers.

#12 - The Beer Buckle - Perfect for the social man in your life, this buckle allows him to carry a beer AND have two hands free.  

#13 - Ramp Bamboo Ski Poles - If skiing is on the agenda this year, maybe a snazzy set of poles is in order?  I don't know about you, but I have the random poles that came with my first set of skis and I've never given them much thought.  I like the look of these!

Friday
Nov222013

Fat Bunny Press

Another adorable letterpress find out of San Francisco, California!  Fat Bunny Press has some cute designs, particularly for the holidays and if you have a penchant for French Bulldogs (I know the card is for Halloween - if you order now, you'll be prepared for next year).  I love the fossil birthday card - it's perfect for someone with a sense of humor!  All images credit to Fat Bunny Press.