The Conservatory

Oh, what I wouldn't give for access to a green house or small conservatory! I'm knee deep in winter sprouting experiments. My little green babies line the studio windowsill waiting for the frost to break and a shot at life outdoors. I'm running out of room quickly!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if...


Basically, I just mined THIS beautiful board on Pinterest for all of these lovely photos.

Sarah Saw Something

Time for another installment of Sarah Saw Something, where I share little bits and bobs that I found interesting in the blogosphere this week. Enjoy!

I'm loving all the brash color in this home I saw at The Way We Are.

Another amazing house tour - you'll love this Hacienda I saw at Chic and Posh.

Creative Carmelina reminded me this week that the best meals are often the simplest.

And finally, these guys reminded me (again) that I might just be the luckiest girl on Earth.

Me and the boys taking a walk through Canyon Park in Cedar City Utah, 
where Jack is working at the Shakespeare Festival for the next five weeks.

Sunday Rest

The world pressing against me at this moment happens to be my bed.  I think I should stay here a little longer and enjoy the quietude of my sheets.  Jack has the boys in the front of the house so that I can get some Sunday rest.  Bless him.

And on the home front, I baked up some lemon scones and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night in anticipation of my Dad's arrival from Scotland.  I figure if you have someone visiting from the UK, you'd better have proper scones and cookies on hand. 

Tea and Flowers

One of my favorite things about visiting my father in the UK is that we have tea every afternoon. No matter what, we stop what we're doing and pull together a beautiful tea with scones and cream and the works. I adore the tea ritual. Maybe I should instate a little tea time in our house - bring a little of Britain home to Dallas.

Or if you're not a tea drinker, turn your old cups and saucers into lighting fixtures!

More Valentine Frilliness

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day when it comes to big fancy dinners and over-priced long stemmed roses. Its really a racket. However, I do so love the color pink and I'm a big ol' romantic sap most of the year. So there are things about Valentine's Day that really appeal to me. For instance, heart shaped chocolates and cookies, pink floral print dresses and the ability to put pink, purple and red together without having to explain yourself to the design police.

Want to make the delicious looking cookies above?
Cake on the Brain can help.

Macaroons are for Lovers

I know you're wondering, "Gosh, I wonder what I should get Sarah from La Maison Boheme for Valentine's Day?" Well, I'm here to help. No one needs to wander, alone in the dark, looking for the perfect Valentine confection. Here it is: Macaroons from famous French patisserie, Laduree. Laduree is so magical and wondrous that they were commissioned to make all the pastries for Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. Isn't that rad? Their macaroons are world famous and rightfully so. Once, I was staying with a friend and I saw that he had a small box of these delights in his fridge. He had recently been to Paris. I knew immediately what they were. I opened the box and without hesitation stole one. It was a minty green color and the coconut filling, while subtle was to die for. I almost cried - not because of my petty theft, but because of the exquisite deliciousness of this magical cookie. Here they are.

This is the Paris store front.

And this is one of Laduree's sitting rooms where you can enjoy your French macaroons with tea or champagne. I know, me too - I just wet my pants.

Brown Butter Cookie Company

While in the small seaside village of Cayucos, CA this week my mother and I happened upon a cookie shop. We never pass a bakery without looking and sampling so we headed inside for a closer look. The lovely ladies of the Brown Butter Cookie Company are my new favorite people. I know this sounds crazy, but if everyone in the world could enjoy one of their signature brown butter sea salt cookies, we might achieve world peace. I'm not kidding around people. These little baked dough balls are the bomb! Here is their retail space on Main Street in Cayucos, CA. If you aren't in a position to make a pilgrimage to this sacred cookie temple, you can order off their website.

Here are the peace-makers and their dough rolling operation. Every cookie is made by hand and last year these ladies rolled over 75,000 cookies. I would have also posted a photo of the cookies I bought, but I ate them as fast as I could.

What the...

This cake is out of control. Now that I have a new fancy schmancy kitchen with a working oven, I might turn this mother out for our housewarming party. Yep - that's right, we are all moved in to our new home and officially out of our apartment!

Here is the recipe from Whisk Kid's awesome cooking blog:

Super Epic Rainbow Cake
I'm adding a disclaimer here: THERE IS A LOT OF FROSTING IN THIS CAKE. I think it's too much, personally, but I used a lot because I wanted the cake to be very striking visually. It is intentional.
White Cake (but not really)
I made things difficult on myself and altered a coconut cake recipe for this. I don't know why I didn't just make a white cake from a white cake recipe, but.... I didn't. Here's the source if you're looking to make a coconut cake. It looks divine, but my friends don't like coconut :(
2 sticks butter, room temp
2 1/3 c sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Someday I will make a post, besides my pancakes or mint macarons, that doesn’t involve this recipe!)
I made this recipe twice today because I underestimated the amount of buttercream I would need/ I would recommend that you do the same because you would need a HUGE bowl to make this much buttercream at one time!
To fill and crumb coat:
9 egg whites
1 ¾ c sugar
4 sticks of butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:
5 egg whites
1 c sugar
2 sticks butter, room temp
1 tsp lemon extract

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.

200th Post Party

Happy 200 posts! Who knew there was so much to blog about! When I started La Maison Boheme almost a year ago, I thought it would be a simple, private online journal where I could stash away inspiring photos for a someday home. 200 posts and a year later, my someday home is a reality and La Maison Boheme has a following of readers - yes YOU - my amazing readers! Thanks for sharing a little intersapce with me and a big thanks for coming to my party! Cheers to La Maison Boheme and here's to another 200 posts! Now let's get tipsy and eat these cupcakes! xo - Sarah

Sugar Rush

I'm about to blow your mind. Are you ready? These are cookies. I know. I'll give you a moment. They are made by Sweet Ambs. I was racking my brain, looking for an upcoming occasion that might require uber beautiful cookies - but then I just thought, screw it - I deserve pretty sugar in my belly with or without a wedding shower to attend.