Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Corn Fritters: A Summer MUST

I have a secret!
A secret family recipe, that is!

These are pretty much our trademark.  The staple food of summer.
Well, and winter, because we keep the batter on hand in the freezer for random cravings.
Are you ready for this?
They're called...


Freaked out yet?  I know it sounds weird, but take my word for it.
They. Are. AH-MAZING.

Here's what you need:

  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Salt
Yup, that's it!  Let's get started!

A standard serving is 2 ears of corn and one egg.  I was making this recipe for my sister and me, so we used 4 ears of corn and 2 eggs.  Just keep the proportions right, okay?

Oh, and let me explain the tools I used.  The green and yellow thing you see in the picture above is a corn silk brush, used to get all the little strings out of the kernels.  Not mandatory, just helpful.  And what's that thing on the right?  It's a corn creamer.  Do you need one of those?  Nope!  Just use a cheese grater to cream the corn!

Your first step is to brush off the corn and get the silks off.

Next you're going to want to cream the corn.  I used my handy dandy little creamer tool, but like I said above, just use a cheese grater.

Warning: it's messy.  Hence the grass in the background.  We do it outside.

This is what your corn cob should look like when you're done.  You want to CREAM it.

DO NOT under any circumstances cut the kernels off the cob.  Do you understand?  That will NOT be yummy.  And if you're using a cheese grater, don't grate too far down onto the cob.

Your finished product should look like this.  See that awesome, creamy texture?

Pick up your stuff, go inside, and dump that delicious creamed corn into another dish.  Then add your eggs and beat it like crazy.

Get out the butter and your largest frying pan.  Now listen closely.  You need a WHOLE LOT of butter for these fritters.  More than you think you're going to.  I promise.  

Just remember that the only other ingredients are corn and eggs, take a deep breath, and cut yourself a large slab of butter.  We're talking about a tablespoon per batch.

And melt it all around.

Now it's time to add the batter.  Put a few dollops into the pan and let 'em frizzle for awhile.

Wait until the edges are brown and crispy and the middles have dried up a bit before you flip them.

Once they're done, shake some salt on top and enjoy!

These corn fritters are the most amazing summer treat you will every try and our family's pride and joy.  

Promise me you'll make them before the summer ends?  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Maine Moments

There's nothing quite like coming back from a weeklong trip, getting all cozy in bed, and opening up the laptop to draft the following day's post.  Well, except for the fact that you have to acknowledge the fact that you were gone for the week...and tell your readers a little something about what you were up to...but you can't just ramble because then they will get bored.  

I have nothing but the utmost respect for travel bloggers, but let's face the facts.  I am not one of them.  As I'm writing this I realized that I never even finished recapping our anniversary trip.  Oops.

Onto Maine, though.  

The last time I was there, I was 12 years old (half a lifetime ago -- eeek!) and hated my life because my parents made me become a junior ranger.  I promise, that story is coming soon.  After hearing Walker and his family rave about their unbelievable Maine vacays for years now, it's safe to say that I was just a smidge excited to join them this time around.

Because my fabulous mother-in-law is the photographer of the group, I do not have any of the official, good quality pictures just yet.  So for now, let's just take a look at some iPhone snaps.

When you leave at 5 in the morning, you're hungry at odd times.

We couldn't get into the house until 3:00 and we rolled into Ellsworth around 2:30 or so.  Walker looooves antiquing, so we killed some time there.

Our room was gorgeous!

First morning!  We made tea but filled up the cups a little too much...

Guys.  I ate a lobster. 
First one in my LIFE.
Liking seafood is kind of a new thing for me.
BIG, BIG deal.

Marshall works at a vet office.  He loves him some doge (apparently that's like an internet thing -- I didn't really get it, but they said it all weekend, so I accepted it)

Payback for the fact that I grew up without brothers.  Marshall ruined almost every shot I tried to take of the eggs benedict.

Coming home (about 7:45 am) we found a rest stop with animals.  We had to pose with them.  Obvs.

This photo is called: Kate hates road trips, but even more than that, despises when her feet get cold.

That's all for today!  

Note: If you want in on those stellar snaps (okay, fine, some halfway decent snaps) then be my snappy friend (@kategsteven)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hill Collection: Decorating Tips Galore

Hi all! I'm Astleigh from Hill Collection and I'm thrilled to be dropping by the blog while Kate is away (Maine is a must travel-to for me one day)! Outside of my day job as a writer and designer (the graphic side of things), I absolutely love to dabble in interior design. Home décor is my thing through and through.

When looking for a rental home for our first year of marriage, husband and I had a want-list of the items in a home we just had to have, but could ultimately live without. After months of nothing, a quaint townhouse popped up that not only had what we needed, but all of what we wanted. And that included built-ins *swoon* on both sides of the fireplace (another want item). Ecstatic wouldn't even describe my joy.

Built-ins are good for two things: books and (well, mostly) decorative items. Really, they're storage for beautiful things. Little by little it has come together, but it has taken months to get it where I want it. With as many shelves as this particular built-in has, I made sure to keep decorating 101's in my head as I meticulously placed each item. 

It's extremely important to remember a few things when you start decorating a big, organized space:
  • Don't make your built-ins too busy. Select your favorite display items and start there. If you have to eliminate some for the sake of a clean look, then do so. I promise it doesn't hurt that badly.
  • When in doubt, less is more. 
  • Use what you have. Books are great for sprucing shelving up, whether to fill empty space or help prop something up.
  • And husbands require space too (see bottom shelves), even if they don't always keep it the tidiest!
  • Storage is a great feature to add in; using the baskets I was able to find a neat way to store movies that I didn't otherwise want displayed. Plus, it gives the shelves a unique look. 
  • I'm about mirroring and symmetry without perfection. On each side of my fireplace I have mirrored the opposite shelf without using the exact same items. For instance, I have glass jars with photo frames across from one another, but they're not the same in any aspect. There are also succulents opposite succulents. Below, do you see it??
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither were my built-ins' décor. Over years, I have collected trinkets that are finally finding a place of their own. I am also keeping my eye out for bargains on great pieces. Hello, ends of Target aisles (they're golden!). Little by little the pieces have fallen into place. So keep in mind that it takes time. Even though it can be difficult, patience is certainly required.

It's all in the details. That's what I've always got in the forefront of my thoughts when planning out a room or space in my mind. Make sure your pieces have something in common, that there's a matching detail amongst them. Otherwise you'll end up with shelves that look like cluttered chaos. And no one wants that. 

It's important to make your home feel like you, filling it with the things you love and adore. Using a little bit of decorative vision you can turn a space into something wonderful, simple, fresh, and inviting. I hope you're feeling inspired so that you too can have a love affair with home design!