April 27, 2011

Appletini Green and Southern Living Magazine

My dears, do I have a treat for you today!  Run, do not walk, to get the May issue of SOUTHERN LIVING.  And then supplement your reading of the article "the Lush Life" (on page 104) in the magazine with these behind the scenes pictures I took on their spring scouting trip for the photo shoot. 

Rebecca and Ralph, who wrote and photographed the story for SL, beautifully captured in both words and images the vibe of my friend Marquette's home. It was at Rebecca's suggestion that he paint his front door that delicious shade of green (Appletini, S-H-410 by BEHR), shown here in its pre-painted state.  She has, no doubt, sparked a trend...L'il Sis is at this very moment contemplating such a change to her front entry. 

On more than one occasion I have told my friend John Boy (who helped with the design) that if I had to trade my garden space for any other in OKC, it would be THIS garden space.

It contains in spades all of the things I adore in a gardenscape. Minute attention to detail.  Strong evergreen structure contrasted against a blousy, billowy presence.  Practical and beautiful use of hardscaping and plant elements.    Wonderful and appropriate focal points and use (not OVER-use) of garden ornament.

And LOTS of clipped box, container plantings, and the use of my absolutely favorite colors ( chartreuse, purple, white and green) for accent.  Sigh....simply stunning.
Soooooo many great ideas to steal from this wonderful place....and the article...and these pictures.  

They are yours for the taking, my dears.

Inspiration is thine.

April 23, 2011


happy easter from  p o t a g e r

April 22, 2011

Easter Basket Sophistication

My friend Color Girl, as her name implies, is nutso about color. And math.  And dark chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.  ("Which one of these things is not like the other..." I am humming.)  Three things worthy of her adulation.  So to oblige her, last year (and the year before that, for that matter) I made her a very colorful, and yes, rather sophisticated, Easter basket.

A black tie (err, blue and yellow tie) event for the chocolate Easter Bunny. 

Enjoy hopping through these images, won't you?

April 19, 2011

Lemon Cake For Easter Brunch

Easter is so late this year.  Usually it has come and gone by now, just like the tulips and the hellebore and daffodils.  It has thrown me a bit off, actually.  This dissonance between my idea of Easter in the garden, and, this year, the reality of Easter in the garden.  My idea of blossoms usually cut for my Easter table, and the actual blooms I will snip to adorn the Easter spread.  I am so rigid sometimes.

Still, one thing generally stays the same each year...something tart and lemony for dessert.  Last year I served this delicious (too delicious, I must warn you) Lemon Cake from the Barefoot Contessa's Parties! cookbook.  It's a little bit time consuming, but worth the effort. Also, the recipe makes two loaves. You'll have plenty left over to have a slice with your afternoon tea later in the week.  Sheer citrusy delight.


1/2 pound     unsalted butter at room temperature

2  1/2 cups     granulated sugar

 4                       extra large eggs at room temperature

1/3  cup          grated lemon zest (6-8 large lemons)

3 cups             all purpose flour

1/2 tsp.           baking powder

1/2 tsp.       baking soda

1 tsp.               kosher salt

3/4 cup           freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 cup           buttermilk at room temperature

1 tsp.               pure vanilla extract

For the Glaze

2 cups              confectioners' sugar, sifted

3  1/2 Tbs.      freshly squeezed lemon juice (though I usually use more for a thinner glaze)  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease, flour, and line the bottom of two     8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.  Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 40-45 minutes to one hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

When the cakes are done, let them cool for ten minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes.  Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth.  Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Check in later this week to see what lemony confection I'll bake this year.  With a little help from my friend here,  I'm sure.

April 16, 2011


I sometimes (okay, often) accuse Husband of being spacey and lacking in certain  sensitivities.  He, in turn, would say that I am temperamental, sometimes (okay, often) harsh, and prone to histrionics.

Still, there are times when Husband is wise.  With an acquired intelligence, born of over twenty years of marriage to the love of his life, 

and an informed mind...of weather patterns, global climate change, and geographical predilections,

he innately knows, that in a deep, mysterious, inexplicable, yet seemingly causal way

that when I go outside this morning to clean up the debris (yet again) from the most recent wind storm

it will, most certainly, in one way or another, be his fault.

And so he decided to go canoeing. 

And he didn't even invite me. 

Isn't he the smart one?