Hi and welcome to my Weekend Meanderings with Elizabeth and Juliet. This month has been flying by. I have been loving our June weather and some of these cooler days. I can hardly believe it’s Father’s Day weekend already. Are you doing anything special? We are making Max a breakfast of French Toast per his request and then a BBQ with my dad and my boys.
On Sunday Max is meeting up with his guy friends to Circumnavigate Lake Tahoe for Science. This is a public kayak event and part of UCDavis TERC or Tahoe Environmental Research Center. The trip is a 7 day thing, but Max is just joining friends for one day of it. It’s meant to celebrate the beauty of the lake, raise awareness of threats to the lake, help do some research, and hear from scientists. Funds help raise money for Tahoe. You can read more about it here. Sounds really fun and if you can’t do this year, maybe next time? I love this organization dedicated to preserving Lake Tahoe. They also have an Instagram page to follow, so you can stay on top of events.
Nigella’s Madeira Cake
Both Max and my dad love this cake, so I will be making it for our barbecue. I am sure I shared it before, but it’s the easiest and one of the most delicious cakes. It is also spectacular served with fresh strawberries in summer.
This comes from one of my first and most favorite cookbooks, Nigella’s How To Be a Domestic Goddess. I don’t think it worked for me, but I did dutifully work through a lot of the recipes and the Madeira cake, which is basically a lemon pound cake, the first recipe in the book and a winner. The crust is amazing and this cake tastes even better the second day..if it lasts that long!
It’s an easy cake to lug to a gathering. It’s lovely for tea or a birthday and makes a sweet gift too. Go to Nigella’s site for her exact recipe that is printable, and make sure to toggle to US measurements if you need cups vs. grams. If that seems tricky, this is a screen shot of the recipe from my Cookery Bubble on my Instagram from the book.
I see on the comments someone has tried this cake with oranges as a stand in for lemons and I will try that next time! The Domestic Goddess Book is now 20 years old, but still ahead of others with its modern look and simple recipes accompanied by great stories. Still one of the best!
The Forest Feast Roadtrip Cookbook
Speaking of cookbooks, I also just bought the wonderful new Erin Gleeson Book, Forest Feast Roadtrip, chock full of recipes from all the best spots in our amazing state.
Erin lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but traveled the state during the pandemic with her young family and stayed in California’s most gorgeous places. Some of my favorite spots like Humboldt, Tahoe, Sea Ranch, Santa Barbara, and Palm Springs and others are featured in her book. Yummy recipes reflecting the tastes of those areas and along with the stunning photos in cute Airbnbs make this a must have in your California cookbook collection!
This book has over 100 vegetarian (not vegan) recipes all I am excited to try! If you’re not familiar Erin has a whole collection of her Forest Feast cookbooks, which are a treat with her watercolors, photography and healthy recipes. You can follow Erin on Instagram too.
We’ve been making the date shakes non-stop from this book this month and they are delicious!
Dining Room Refresh
I’m slowly working my way through the house things I’ve been putting off and I thought I’d share a small change I love in the dining space..
I had a light wool rug I moved to our living room and to replace it, I had bought a darker polypropylene rug, which was supposed to wear well, but hated it. The space just felt dark. I knew I wanted something lighter and prettier here with my iron and steel table.
I found the Alamere rug on Serena & Lily. I like this for three reasons, it is a jute/wool flat weaves, the price was not outrageous, and it is reversible. I’ve been stalking it for a while and I am really pleased with it. I think it improves the space and lends a luxe look the other just couldn’t thanks to the soft colors and a raised pattern.
I also was in need of window help here. We had light woven panels, but they gave little privacy and we needed more sun filtering on hot days. I just ordered custom linen Roman style shades for some other windows (more on that soon), but custom made drapes for this long expanse start above $2,500! As I just spent money on the shades, I had to save somewhere else. I was going to order some basic white panels from Pottery Barn, but then happened on these unique panels at the Cupertino Homegoods.
I’m not a huge Homegoods fan, because I am always looking for quality, but sometimes they have just the thing. Something about these just spoke to me, and they were nice. They have a raised ogee shape that is a bit fringy. They are a dark smoky blue and are even marked down. They are Rachel Ashwell brand. Up close, this photo is making them look grey, but they’re more smoky blue.
I brought them home and four panels worked with my space. I also kept two of the woven panels for sheers in the center when I want just a little light diffusion. The panels are 96 inches and puddle a bit, which gives it even a more romantic feel and look….
So for a total of $80 I now have new drapes too. I guess you’d say this room is a little high, little low, but that’s kind of my favorite way of decorating! You can find the panels here. You can find more pretty curtain styles by Rachel Ashwell here. Her things seem to be of a nicer design and quality.
Flutter Sleeve Tops
On the hotter days I have been wearing a few flutter sleeve tops that feel pretty and feminine. I have found some here and there, and though I don’t have the most toned arms, I hope the pretty shoulder details make up for that. I just spotted this Flutter Blouse from Cloth & Stone, one of my favorite brands and it checks all the boxes for me with soft material, looser fit and well stripes..I love the fabric.
I was very excited to see a new film of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is out this July in theaters starring Dakota Johnson. Persuasion was the first Austen book I ever read. I remember the exact summer I read it, lounging in my parent’s yard as a college student… and it’s a wonderful book. I don’t know if the film does it justice as I see they’ve added some modern language to it.
Either way, it looks like a fun film and if you’re looking for a different summer read, this is a great time to read or reread the novel, before the film comes out.
Black Outdoor Pillows
I’ve been wanting to refresh the outdoor pillows and though I shared this post with many outdoor pillow choices, I still needed something with black to go with my yard. Annie Selke had these cute modern ones which will give my patio a graphic pop.
There is also this fun pattern on One King’s Lane, and this dotted one at Annie Selke which reverse to the opposite pattern.
The post a few weeks ago with more outdoor pillows here!
Did you know this Sunday the 19th is also Juneteenth? This year will only be the second time we as a country celebrate it as a national holiday. Biden signed it into law last year, but people have been celebrating this date, marking the emancipation of African Americans from slavery in Texas for a long time.
I just found this great list of films to stream that better show the reality of being black in this nation. I think it’s a great time to take a few nights this summer to watch some of these..and share one of those films with family as well when kids are home.
Also on Instagram I follow the most eloquent woman Lynae Vanee, who does a weekly rant in her parking lot. She is funny and straight up. She’s a scholar in African American studies and I love her take on the state of the world and history and she is one to follow if you want to understand better the black experience in America. Love her and you can follow her here.
Well that’s my meanderings for this week. Please stop by my lovely pals Elizabeth and Juliet’s blogs and see what’s happening in their spaces!
PINECONES AND ACORNS
MAKE MINE A SPRITZER
Thank you for being here. Have a lovely weekend,
Last week’s post had my summer go-to’s in sunscreen, shorts, body lotion, the best warm weather jacket, a beautiful pink kitchen, easy summer dress and more.
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La Contessa says
All looks great!
I have met Rachel Ashwell in Pleasanton of all places!
My mother collected cookbooks and I only have a few left really need to size it down some more this reminds me to do that!Somewhere I read if you have the original Julia Childs cookbook first edition it’s worth over one thousand dollars!I pointed that out to one son let’s hope he remembers to keep!
I donot know how you DO ALL THAT YOU DO!!!
You met her? I love her video series. She seems like the nicest person. I had no idea about the Julia Child cookbooks! I have to keep my eye out. I need to get to your new post! Sorry the last days were crazy. Can’t wait to read more about the caftans and oils.. xx
Vikki Belardi says
Kim I love your posts. So much good information. I have one of Erin’s cookbooks and gave one to my daughter. Also love the black and white pillows. Still hoping for a get together. Maybe Tahoe this summer. A boat ride!
Hi Vikki! Aren’t her cookbooks great? They are so lovely too. Yes hopefully we can meet up. Tahoe would be fun. xo
Great post! Love the kitty on the bench 🥰. Now I want to check out the curtain panels at home goods!
Thanks so much Elaine. The panels are really nice.. and she has other styles too!
Mary-Ellen Krull says
What a wonderful post! I could comment on every single thing! I will just say that I need some of the black and white pillows as mine in that color wave are fading. And I have a bag of self rising flour I purchased for another recipe and this will be good to use it up! It is just self rising not cake flour so I hope it works!
Thanks for your post, Kim! Always interesting and useful!
Hi Mary-Ellen! Thank you.. I know and it’s hard to find black and white pillows! Yes I think the recipe says self-rising and cake flour. I think I’ve used both and it seems to work. I have yet to have a fail with this cake. Thanks and hope you have a lovely weekend. xo
Happy weekend, Kim! Absolutely adore Marlo reveling in her new foyer spot. Our Abby loves a similar spot in our home. Cats are the best! Can you believe I don’t have a single Nigella cookbook? What?! Well, enough is enough I’m ordering this one right now. And also Erin Gleeson’s. I could use some good vegan recipe inspiration. Her cookbook shelves are amazing. I love your new rug and those drapery panels are the find of the century. So romantic and beautiful in your dining room. Excited to see these new pillows in your backyard. I can’t believe we’re nearly through June. I appreciate the information on Juneteenth … I was just thinking I need to learn more about this day … a long overdue Federal holiday. And I’m going to follow Lynae. Sounds like you guys have a great Father’s Day plan and I love that Max is going to spend time out on the lake … and for such a great cause. Enjoy it all! xo
Oh my gosh, I didn’t know about the new movie. Persuasion. I love anything and everything Jane Austen. My first book was Pride & Prejudice. And, like you, I can remember where I was when I first read it. We need more Jane Austen adaptions … the best and much needed palate cleansers. xo
Agree! I am so glad you are an Austen fan too! Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite. xx
Those cats sure know how to find the sun don’t they?? I love that Abby does that too. The Nigella books are great and I love the Forever Summer book too. Thanks so much I hope the yard will look nice. Yours is always beautiful.. I’m working on mine. Honestly I don’t know much about Juneteenth also and reading about it all. Luynae is great! Enjoy your barbecue and hope Jim has a good Father’s Day! xo
Mary Ann Pickett says
Cake and Jane Austen! What more could you want. Love the new rug!!
Kim, your new curtains look fabulous! I love the color and the “high low” of the room.
I hope that you have a wonderful Father’s Day with your dad, I am sure that he will love the cake. A cake made with love is the best gift ever.
What an interesting trip that Max is taking, I am going to follow your links to learn more. When we lived in Virginia just up the street from the Chesapeake we were frequently attending events on preservation of the animals, the pollution and of course clean up of the water.
Nigella is a goddess! I have all of her cookbooks. Put the Christmas one on your list, there are so many great recipes in it.
I cannot remember which book the recipe is from but also look up Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake oh my goodness, it is so good. It is a cross between a brownie and around cake.
As for Jane Austin, love all of her books and have several sets of them. I never tire of rereading them. Summer always reminds em of reading, some of my happiest days were walking back and forth to the library with my books.
Have a great weekend Kim, enjoy every minute with your sweet day and family.
Thanks Elizabeth! High and low is my thing! Yes Max loved the trip and learned so much about saving the lake! I do not have the Christmas book! Thank you. I am on its with the dense chocolate cake loaf. Wow just it’s name.. Aww how nice you also remember summer reading. I have to tell you Elizabeth I spent many summer days riding my bike to the library and lugging home piles of books! xo
Linda Salazar says
The new rug looks great and I love the color of the drapery panels. I know what you mean about Homegoods, if my hairdresser wasn’t two doors down I wouldn’t venture in there as often. But every time I get a haircut I pop in before my appointment. Sometimes I score great finds by Three Hands Corp (on clearance even!) which is weird because their stuff is only available now to the trade. I also found a faux shagreen tray last year almost identical to the one you bought at HG. Years ago when Erin Gates came out with her line of candles, I recognized them from her blog and snagged a couple for $10 each. (I wanted them for the vessels not so much the candles).But the kicker was a Momeni rug I purchased of Erin’s last year from One Kings Lane, recently going for $600 less at HG than what I paid. Ugh. 😩 So great deals can be found!
The cake sounds yummy…I love some of Nigella’s recipes. I remember that cookbook!
Hi Linda thank you so much! Wow don’t you love that about Homegoods? You can sometimes find very nice brands there -which I love! i have seen Serena & Lily there and a few other really nice brands..The faux shagreen trays are so nice. Wow they had her Momeni rugs? I guess it’s really all luck of the draw there right? Nigella is always good! Have a great week. xo
Karen H. says
Well, Kim, I didn’t think you could improve on your lovely dining room, but wow, it looks luxe with the new rug and drapes! Give me some Jane Austin, that delish Nigella cake and a Cuppa! Enjoy. Xo
Karen thank you! So sweet of you. I agree with all of that! xx
Hi Kim, have you read Nigella’s How To Eat? It’s an early book (1998), the subtitle is The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food, so you can perhaps tell that it’s a bit more than a cook book. Lots of great information plus her beautiful turns of phrase.
I have had a copy of Persuasion for decades, but haven’t yet read it – I should remedy that this summer. The movie looks really fun, and Henry Golding too! Fun fact: my husband went to the same secondary school in Swaziland as Richard E. Grant, and his claim to fame (in his own mind) is that he was once in a production of The Crucible with Richard!
Patricia, I do not know of that book! I will have to put that one on my list. Yes it would be a great summer to read Persuasion, which is SO good! I know Henry Golding is such a doll. Wow how cool your husband was acting with Richard! I would brag about that too. He’s such a good actor isn’t he? Well the Crucible is an interesting play too.. and heavy! Does your hubs still act at all? Drama was my major in school. xo
Oh wow, you did drama at university – that must have been fun! No, I don’t think my hubby ever did it after school, but he does like to clown around!
I found this review of How To Eat – I think it will whet your appetite for the book.(Sorry!) 😊
Oh, and make sure to read the other article mentioned at the top! https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/oct/06/how-nigella-lawson-changed-food-writing?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
That you so much Patricia! xx