Friday, March 9, 2012

Irish Cream Truffles & Irish Cream Toffee Coffee Ice Cream

I have two treats perfect for your Saint Patrick's Day celebration or anytime.  First, I've got some decadently rich, smooth as silk truffles  guaranteed to melt in your mouth...

and secondly, a rich Irish Cream Coffee Toffee Ice Cream that is nothing short of creamy and crunchy heaven for your mouth!

 Both of these recipes are easy to prepare, and both are made with the homemade Irish Cream I shared a few days ago.  

The truffles are lovely set out on a plate, served with coffee and other desserts.  They are great as gifts for the hostess or at Christmas, packed in airtight containers.  

Nancy's Irish Cream Truffles

12 oz chopped chocolate.  (You can use semi sweet or milk chocolate or a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture.  I like milk chocolate best but used semi sweet here because that's what I had on hand.)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 Cup Shawn's Homemade Irish Cream (recipe HERE
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Combine chocolate and cocoa in food processor.
Process until coarse and set aside.

Place butter, Irish cream and cream in a saucepan.  Heat on medium heat, stirring frequently,  until hot.  

Pour hot cream mixture in chocolate mixture and process until smooth and shiny 

Allow the chocolate truffle mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, which takes about an hour.  Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.  
Remove from the fridge and scoop up a spoonful at a time and roll into balls.  I roll mine a little less than an inch but make whatever size you want.  I then roll in powdered sugar or cocoa powder.  I think chopped toffee or chopped, roasted almonds would be yummy to.  

Store in the refrigerator or freeze if you won't be eating these in the next few days. 

For the ice cream  I decided to keep this as simple as possible I'd use store bought Coffee Ice Cream.  I like Blue Bell brand and think it's about the best store bought you can get.  It's more expensive than others but well worth it if you want the best quality.

Coffee Toffee Irish Cream Ice Cream

1/2 gallon Coffee Ice Cream
4 Heath Candy Bars, chopped
2 cups Shawn's homemade Irish Cream

Stir or Mix the ice cream, candy bars and Irish Cream until blended  and return to freezer until ready to serve.  Top with additional chopped Heath bars, a bit of Irish Cream and whipped cream if desired.

I usually soften the ice cream in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so that it is easier to mix.


Simply scoop about 1 cup of the ice cream into individual serving dishes and pour about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the Irish Cream over the top.  Top with chopped Heath Bars and whipped cream.   We do this most of the time.  

We cannot get enough of this ice cream at my house!

Another Irish Poem

The limbs that move, the eyes that see,
these are not entirely me;
Dead men and women helped to shape,
the mold that I do not escape;
The words I speak, the written line,
these are not uniquely mine.
For in my heart and in my will,
old ancestors are warring still,
Celt, Roman, Saxon and all the dead, 
from whose rich blood my veins are fed,
In aspect, gesture, voices, tone,
flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone;
In fields they tilled, I plow the sod,
I walk the mountain paths they trod;
Around my daily steps arise -
the good, the bad - those I comprise.

~ Richard Rolle c 1300 - 1349 ~

I'm joining:
 On The Menu Monday
Foodie Friday
A Stroll Thru Life
How Sweet The Sound
Metamorphosis Monday
Romantic Home
Rooted in Thyme
Designs by Gollum

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bees and Daisies Aesthetic Movement Transferware Tablescape

I was going to do an Irish themed post, again, but Shawn thinks I might be going overboard so I was thinking about how 
I have seen several posts recently featuring brown transferware, specifically from the Aesthetic Movement which you can read about HERE and thought I'd share this impromptu tablescape with brown transferware from that period (appx. 1870-1910).  

I had quickly put this table together a a few months back for a client before shipping the set to her.  Since Spring is so quickly approaching I thought this would be a perfect time to show it.  The pattern is Bees and Daisies, circa 1885, by George Jones and it's one of my Aesthetic Movement favorites.  Actually, it's just one of my favorites period.    

Rather than placemats, I opted to use sheets of preserved moss allowing them to hang over the edge of the table.  They go with the natural theme of the plates.

The flatware I used is by Wallace, called Butterfly.  I LOVE this, but wish I'd had Napolean Bee when I put this together.  Oh well!

Aren't the little bees adorable?  On each of the pieces in this pattern the bees are placed randomly.  Usually there is a trio of them but sometimes only one or two.

I did keep one large platter from this pattern for my collection of brown transferware from the Aesthetic Movement.  You can see it on the top, right side of my bookcase.

These 125 year old plates are as in style today as they were in the late 1800's!

I made a simple arrangement for the table in an old, filigree wooden planter with some greenery, silk daisies and bumblebees.

George Jones began operation in 1864 at Stoke Upon Trent at the Trent Potteries Works.  In 1873 it became George Jones & Sons Ltd.   They produced earthen and majolica wares.  If you are a majolica collector or admirer you might be familiar with some of the incredible majolica pieces George Jones produced which are highly sought after today. 
George Jones died in 1893 and the works became known as Crescent Potteries in 1907. 
In my last post I showed you all a green transferware plate I'll be using in my Saint Patricks Day tablescape.  They are also by George Jones.    I figured I should tell you all about these plates now because I'm not mentioning English anything in my Irish tablescape for St. Patrick's Day.  Just don't tell anyone I'm using English transferware when you see these in my table next week!   Besides, they've actually got an Italian scene on them anyway! 

 And, here's Trevor trying to get into every tablescape I do.  You all 

would not believe how many pictures I have of his big head in my 

photo shoots!

See you all tomorrow with a recipe for my Irish Cream Truffles and Irish Cream Toffee Coffee Ice Cream! Mmmm.  I'm still posting a few more Irish things before St. Patrick's Day!

Common Ground 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bedrooms ~ Green, Serene

 With St. Patricks Day less than two weeks away I've been into Irish, drink, history, poetry, and of course the color green.

March madness has made me mad for green. 
 Source: Squiddo - Keeping a Nature Diary

 Symbolic of nature, green is known to be the easiest color on the eye.  It is said that the color green can actually improve vision.  I don't know if that's true but it's a nice thought nonetheless.  The psychology of green is that it is a calming, stress relieving, refreshing and healing color.

 People waiting to appear on TV sit in "green rooms" to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients and is believed to promote healing.

Green also symbolizes fertility and was the preferred choice of color for wedding gowns worn by 15th century brides. Today still, the color green has a sexual connotation.  How many times have you heard that if you like green M & M's you're horny!?!

  Currently green is one of the most popular colors to decorate with and what better place to use this peaceful, and sexy, color than in the bedroom?

Here are a few of my favorite green bedrooms.

Although I like an occasional painted piece, I still prefer the look of dark wood furnishings, like the antique, hand carved bed above.   I like the view from my bed to be just as pretty as the bed itself, and in this case it is.  I do find this soothing, calming and refreshing.  The wreaths are a pretty touch too!
Photo: Tria Giovan; Designer: Phillip Sides

Here is another green room I find irresistible....more dark wood, more toile de jouy.  I would feel right at home here. 
 Did I mention that all these bedrooms feature toile de jouy?  No?  
All of these bedrooms feature toile.


I thought this room was pretty with the pink, Spring-ey accents but if it were mine I'd choose a different accent color like purple for a lively mix, or blue to echo nature, or perhaps brown for a hint of an organic, earthy feel.    A coral/salmon shade would be pretty as well, offering a fresh and fruity mix. 
Of course, I'm still liking these dark woods though!

Carleton Varney 

And if any of these were my rooms...I'd have to put up some, you know, some plates.  Transferware plates that is.  Maybe something like this which you'll be seeing more of in the next week or so:
The toile in this bedroom paired with plaid and crisp white linens embroidered with green accents I find to be utterly serene.

Photo: Stewart, Tabori and Change
Did any of you all notice that the four rooms above are papered in the same toile?  I must like that a lot!

Toile overload here.  I like it.  I'd probably put a mirror over the dresser and add a few pictures to break up the monotony potential.

This perfectly charming bedroom is in the home of one of my favorite bloggers,  Carolyn Aikens.  Carolyn, if I ever come visit, can I please stay in this room? She loves transferware also and collects a variety of colors.  I spy a green transferware vase from the Aesthetic Movement over there on the wicker nightstand.

I love the mix of floral patterns with subtle touches of pink along with the toile in this room.

And we can't forget about baby.  No, not my baby.  Been there, done that a time or six.
But, maybe for Grandbaby.  Someday.

Stanzas To Erin

Still green are thy mountains and bright is thy shore,
And the voice of thy fountains is heard as of yore:
The sun o'er thy valleys, dear Erin, shines on,
Though thy bard and thy lover forever is gone.

Nor shall he, an exile, thy glad scenes forget -
The friends fondly loved, ne'er again to be met -
The glens where he mused on the deeds of his nation,
And waked his young harp with wild inspiration.

Still, still, though between us may roll the broad ocean,
Will I cherish thy name with the same deep devotion;
And though minstrels more brilliant my place may supply,
None loves you more fondly, more truly than I.

~J. J. Callanan~

taken from the book The Poetry and Song of Ireland, for those of you who come here and share my love of poetry and history.

I'm joining:

 French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

 The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

 The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday

Very Merry Vintage Style for Share the Love Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays

Angie at Knick of Time Tuesday

Cowgirl Up at Cedar Hill Ranch