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Onion Dip Recipe for the Golden Globes

133This Sunday is the Golden Globes. Of all the awards shows, it’s the only one where the nominees and audience are eating and drinking. Over 9,000 glasses of champagne will be poured during the night — not including the ones you may be pouring at home.

I’m interested in seeing the table settings. The preview photos showed lots of cream colored linens and gold rimmed plates, which as you know is close to my heart! The centerpieces are being designed with multiple  types of flowers, including several breeds if roses, all in shades of golden yellow, peach, and blush pink. The menu the stars will be enjoying sounds decadent —  grilled eggplant with sun-dried tomatoes and mini sweet peppers to start, with an elegant spin on surf and turf for the main course — a spice crusted braised beef and smoked trout with a tomato dill sauce. There’s also going to be an almond sponge cake topped with a gold dusted chocolate arc. A little intense to try recreating at home. Instead, try a tried and true party favorite — onion dip. Serve in an elegant bowl with thick cut potato chips.

Caramelized Onion Dip

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat the oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cover. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until the onions are fragrant and golden brown. Remove from the stove and let cool.

Blend the mayonnaise and sour cream together in a medium bowl. Stir in the cooled caramelized onions, salt, and pepper. Cover dip and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to give the flavors a chance to blend.


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Herbal Decorations — and Remedies

Photo by Silus Grok

Even though the holidays are over, that’s no reason to stop decorating your home. Once the extravaganzas and excess of the holidays is over, it’s sometimes nice to simplify things. But simple doesn’t have to mean plain or boring. Instead of ribbons and bows and things that sparkle, try natural decorations. Even though we associate fresh herbs with spring and summer, there are a number of herbs that are hearty enough to face the frost, like rosemary, lavender, thyme and sage. Not only do these herbs go nicely with the sorts of foods we want to be eating now, they brighten your table and environment with their simple looks and soothing aromatics. They can be arranged with eucalyptus and are also a good accent visually with bowls of brightly colored and in-season citrus fruits, which are also both aromatic and health affirming.

These herbs can help soothe you once you get sick as well. Eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary are good for colds. You can put a few sprigs in the bottom of a hot shower and let the herbs infuse the steam. Or put some herbs, peeled ginger and citrus peel in a muslin bag and float in a warm bath. One thing that I love is to do is take a pot of steaming water and throw some herbs into it and then drape a towel over it and steam my face for as long as is comfortable — it soothes a sore throat and congested nose. I hope that you only have to explore the decorative uses of these herbs this winter!

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Home Advice From Houzz: What 20 Tools Should You Have In Your Home


Keeping a well stocked tool case — or drawer — can go a long way to make any home repairs and  projects go much more quickly and easily. But while most of us have a hammer and screwdriver and maybe a wrench, what other tools should you have at hand? Houzz comiples a list in this great article, 20 Tools Every Homeowner Should Have. (Spoiler: you should have 2 kinds of screwdrivers and a C-clamp. Do you?)

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Spring Flower Arranging Tips


Does all of this Spring warm weather have you wanting to brighten up your space by bringing the outdoors in? One of the quickest — and fragrant — ways to bring some Spring into your home or workspace is with flowers.  Some tips to make the most of your blooms:

Pick your flowers. We are just about to enter peak time in terms of choices of flowers, from tulips, daffodils and hyacinths to lilacs and dogwoods, the spring is a time of renewal for plants. Farmers markets are a great — and sustainable — place to pick up some in season blossoms. With these seasonal blooms, it’s some times nice to get a bunch and have a single flowers arrangement — think of a low vase overflowing with lilacs or a tall vase filled with colorful tulips.

Pick your containers. Will your flowers look best in a tall or short vase? And don’t just think of traditional vases when you are deciding how to arrange and display your flowers. A glass milk bottle is great for flowers, or even a beer or soda bottle for some tall arrangements, like a few Gerber daisies or some just picked wildflowers. A tin bucket is a rustic way to show off an abundant bouquet. And don’t forget your Annieglass — short blossoms floating in a bowl can be absolutely gorgeous, especially on the dinner table.

Think in odd numbers. Group flowers in groups of 3s, 5s, 7s, or 11s. Odd numbers in groupings are often more pleasing to the eye.

Select a variety of texture and heights. If you are not going to using a single type of flower for your arrangements,  have fun  with mixing and matching.  Think about when you decorate a room or your table or even get dressed, what colors and styles do you love together? Start by placing the more structural flowers first in the middle and then build your arrangement out from there. Then go back and add filler flowers and greens to the arrangement to add interest and fill any bald spots.

Take the odd ones out. If you are buying — or the recipient of — a predesigned bouquet, don’t be afraid to do some rearranging to suit your style. You can make a formal bouquet more casual, or a casual arrangement more formal. Also don’t be put off by any flowers you don’t like — if you see a great looking bouquet of roses in a florist or grocery store, but it has carnations, daisies, babies breath, insert the name of your floral pet peeve here, remember you can take those flowers out of the arrangement and repurpose them. You may not like the way carnations or daisies look in a formal arrangement, but if you pull them out you may like them in a small vase of their own, to brighten up your desk or powder room or some other unexpected place.

Florist’s secrets. Use rubber bands, floral tape — or even plain transparent tape from your desk— to nudge your flowers into your desired shape. If your vase is clear you can veil the stems by wrapping a large leaf around the interior of the vase.

What to do with a drooping orchid.

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My Other Home in Hawaii

I can never get to Kauai often enough. I have a vacation home there, called the Bird’s Nest, and try to go as often as we can. Now its beauty has been brought to everyone in the movie The Descendents.

I was there a year ago when they were filming in in my little home away from home, Hanalei. From my hula class, I could see a long caravan of rented trucks pulling up outside the green church. They took over the entire town for several days and filmed MY beach (Hanalei), MY town (same), MY neighbors (nearly everyone in the bar scene) in MY bar (Tahiti Nui, which is called Tiki’s in the movie).

I did get a fair amount of teasing, as I was straining to look for George Clooney at every opportunity. I heard he liked to play basketball at the green church outdoor court but I never saw him! Here is a great story about it and the other movies made on Kauai. http://photos.mercurynews.com/2012/02/travel-kauais-starring-role-in-the-descendants/5221/ You can see my home away from home here:

The outdoor shower at the Bird's Nest

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