New Blog! linandlav.com!

Hello all! Because of your readership, I have moved to a bigger and better site! If you liked what you read in House Shaped Dreams, please follow me over to Linen and Lavender! All the same types of stuff, just a prettier home!

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The Artifaux Desk

Since we’ve moved into our dream home, my “office” has gone from the kitchen counter to the couch to the kitchen table. The reason? I have been waiting for a specially commissioned desk from my dad and his friend, Paul, or as they have named themselves “Super Duper Office Furniture”.

The office is a special place for me because for the first time in my life, I am a fully remote employee. So my office needs to be comfortable, beautiful, professional, bright, clean, inspiring. I want it to make me smile. I want it to be enjoyable. So I couldn’t just have any desk. It needed to be the perfect desk. And I found it! It’s called the Artifox desk. You can find it here…For $2000. Hah!

Needless to say, I did not purchase this desk. Instead, I commissioned Super Duper Office Furniture. And it is finally here!!!! Can you tell the difference?

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The conclusion? I can tell the difference because this desk was made from the blood, sweat, and tears of people that I love. So everyday I walk into my office and I think of these guys!

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Thanks Super Duper Office Furniture! You’ve made a very happy customer!

 

Clean Silver with Everyday Pantry Items

I never expected to have antique heavily tarnished silverware. But it just so happened that I acquired some from my late grandmother. Her extensive collection was seemingly gathered over a lifetime. Dozens of different designs from simple to ornate. I used this opportunity to fill some gaps in my kitchen as well as pick out some extremely unusual items, some of which that I don’t even know their real function.

Like this one for example. WHAT IS THIS? I feel like Ariel from the little mermaid discovering “human” things.

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Anyways, as you can see, the pieces are tarnished. So I used this super simple method found on Apartment Therapy. All you need is baking soda, salt, vinegar, and water. Easy as pie and here are the results!
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Eating Our Way Through Texas

We had our very first guests in the new house just a few weeks ago. I’ll refrain from showing pictures of the guest room because let’s just say it’s lacking in the decor department. I will however share our weekend of eating because in my opinion that is one of the most important duties of a good hostess; making sure your guests are well fed.

Stop #1: B&B Butchers

When you have out-of-towners coming to Texas, a steakhouse is a must. I decided to take them to B&B Butchers.

The menu has a mouthwatering combination of steaks, sides, and things like oysters, crabcakes and even some bacon dishes. In the end we all ordered 8oz filets with all different sauces. Mine was topped with a red wine reduction and foie gras, one of my guests had truffle butter, the other au poivre, and my husband had it plain. Honestly, it didn’t matter how it was prepared, it was all delicious and cooked perfectly (a rare warm for me).

The crabcakes were divine, the onion rings delightful, and my warm carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, delicious.

Stop #2: Lee’s Chicken and Donuts

Next up was a rather spontaneous visit to Lee’s chicken and donuts. I had heard about this opening awhile back and was instantly intrigued, so imagine my excitement when we drove past it while antiquing in the heights! The breading on this chicken is just so flavorful. And the sides really shined for me. The potato salad was the sweet creamy sort and the creamed corn was amazing. And yes of course we should top it off with a praline bacon donut. Of course.

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Stop #3: The Salt Lick

Next, we travel to Austin for an unbelievably filling day. First, the legendary Salt Lick. We waited a healthy one hour to be sat, quickly ordered and scarfed down our bbq and left happy and ready for a nap. The brisket melted in your mouth. The sauce is one of my favorites because I feel like it is more vinegary than molassesy like many are. And their potato salad is unique. it’s almost closer to room temperature mashed potatoes. I know this makes it sound bad, but it is really, really good.

Stop #4: Ramen Tatsu-Ya

And finally, we ended up at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. I have to admit that when we pulled up to the Research Blvd location, I questioned whether I was in the right place. But as a drove through the rundown parking lot, and rounded the corner, I saw the line starting to form and knew. They way they run things is quite odd as pretty much everyone waits outside and they never seem to really fill the restaurant. It’s kind of just a revolving door of people coming in, ordering at the desk, sitting down and stuffing their face, and then right back out again. By the end of my food adventure I was pretty much full up to my ears. No more food could fit. So though the broth was the richest I have ever tasted and the agitama was the most delicious and flavorful I have ever had, I had to throw in the towel.

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I Love Texas Food!

 

Magic Matcha Cake

I recently discovered what is called “Magic Cake”. From what I’ve gathered, it is called this because one batter goes into a pan, and three completely different layers come out. I can confirm that this occurred. The bottom layer was almost like a gelatin, the middle a custard, and the top something similar to a sponge cake.

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My magic cake recipe happened to call for matcha. Ever since my husband and I went to Morimoto’s restaurant in Maui, we have been obsessed with matcha desserts. Theirs is called ‘Road to Matcha’. And it is with that dish in mind that I created my first restaurant style dessert.
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