Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hometown Holiday!

Calling all Vintage Home Collective Fans, Customers, Family & Friends. The City of Geyserville will be having their annual treelighting festivities from 6pm~8pm this coming Saturday, November 27th. Our store will be open from 10am until 9pm with special discounts in the evening and also a special gift with purchase and treats for our valued customers all day long! And all you locals will be happy to see that we will be selling FRESH CHRISTMAS TREES right in our very own parking lot...you won't have to drive into Healdsburg of Cloverdale this year ~ HOW COOL IS THAT!!! We are light and bright and beautifully decorated for the joyous holiday season, so please mark your calendars for this wonderful event. There are always new surprises at Vintage Home Collective. Come experience the old town country feel for yourselves. You'll be delighted!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Inspiration!

As the big day approaches and the weather starts to cool, entertaining makes its move indoors. Elevate your upcoming Thanksgiving meal with a centerpiece inspired by the harvest season.

A quick trip to the market yielded these fall centerpieces. Use whatever flowers, fruits and vegetables you find, such as baby pumpkins, carrots, persimmons, and, of course, oranges. Here are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing! Your guests will surely Ohhh & Ahhh!

Thanksgiving Greetings!

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us at Vintage Home Collective!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Best Fig Tart, Ever!

I could also call it the easiest fig tart, ever. Really. It has an astonishingly small list of ingredients: a pie crust, some luscious figs, with a hidden layer of frangipane, which, despite the fancy-sounding French name, is simply a concoction of toasted almonds, sugar, butter, and egg that you can make easily in a food processor.

The key to the magic here is the frangipane. It's one of those things that sound far more difficult and fancy than they really are. It's basically equal quantity (by weight) of almond meal, butter, and sugar, with one egg to bind it all together. That's a truly fantastic recipe, and one so versatile I find a use for it in practically all my fruit tarts, from the summery stone fruits to the fall harvest of pears and apples. Right about now, with melting soft and tantalizingly sweet figs making an appearance all over the place, you can create a fig tart with a base of this frangipane and it will turn even the most ardent fig hater into a lover.

The slight problem I found with the original recipe I dug up is the almond flour. If you bake all the time and have access to great almond flour from a professional pastry source, then it'll work just fine. But the rest of us, with access mainly to what's available at the supermarket, finding good (and fresh) enough almond flour to use in this recipe will be challenging. So, I adapted the recipe to use whole almonds which are readily available and generally far fresher than any almond flour you can buy.


75g whole almonds (about 1/2 cup)

75g sugar, you can use half granulated sugar and half confectioner's sugar, or just all granulated sugar (about 1/8 cup granulated plus 1/4 cup confectioner's, or just 1/3 cup granulated)

75g butter at room temperature

1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Roast them for about 10 minutes, or until slightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

Put the cooled almonds and the sugar into a food processor and process until fine. Add the butter and the egg and pulse until well-combined. If you don't want to use it right away, divide the frangipane into four equal parts, wrap each tightly in plastic. They will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, and up to a month in the freezer.

To make a 9" fig tart

1 9" pastry dough

about 10 large figs or about 15 small ones

1/4 the recipe of frangipane above

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Roll out your pastry dough to about 10-inch diameter - more or less won't harm anything. Spread about 1/4 of the quantity of frangipane on the dough, leaving about 1 inch parameter around the outer edge of the dough. Quarter the figs (only halve if small) and arrange them -pointy end up will be prettier- in concentric circles to cover the frangipane. Fold the edges in, pinching a little to make sure they stick. If you want, you can brush the dough with eggwash and give it a good shower of sugar. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the pastry edges are golden brown. If you really want to be indulgent, serve your slice with a scoop of Butter Pecan Ice Cream...go ahead...we won't tell!

Some New Photos From The Shop!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Decorating With Fall Colors

The shades of autumn such as orange, yellow, dark green, rust and brown make lovely accents for the home. Discover how you can bring the warm and wonderful hues of fall into your rooms.

Red Brown
Red browns have a warm, rosy glow. Salvaged doors inspired this Vermeer-like setting: Fabrics were selected for reddish tones that complement the wood. Texture and luster are important here, too: Daylight brings out the sheen of the velvet comforter and satin pillow, lending life to the room.

Dark Yellow
On this daybed, opulent fabrics and a rich palette of burnt red, deep gold, and pale cream and gold create a sense of depth.

Dark Red
An assortment of lacquered plates and trays creates a bold display in a living room. To color it red, lacquer is tinted with cinnabar or vermilion. Lacquer can also be dyed black, green, yellow, gold, or brown by adding various pigments, as in the lacquered eighteenth-century Chinese side table.

Brown Gray
In this dining room, the homeowner chose a dark stain for the table to set off painted chairs, as an antique sideboard stands out against the gray walls. The chandelier adds a hint of color.

Red Damask
An ornate, vividly colored fabric, such as this Turkey red damask tablecloth, instantly adds warmth and a sense of refinement.

A coppery-red arrangement of astilbe and celosia warms a cool-gray hallway. Above the flowers, a Directoire-style girandole holds a white porcelain model of a mandarin figure. A Chinese ceramic garden seat in a deep sang de boeuf red stands under the table.

Bold Brown
In a luminous white setting, dark brown has the impact of black, without the harshness. This sofa is upholstered with velvet the color of bittersweet chocolate; white piping makes the fabric look even darker. A varied collection of smoky-glass bottles and vases lightens the mood.

Orange Walls
This traditional English-style foyer, painted pumpkin-orange, offers a warm welcome to all who enter. Paired with plenty of whites -- the wainscoting, ceiling, risers, trim, and balusters -- the walls feel crisp, particularly when outlined with brown grosgrain ribbon (which is adhered with craft glue). The warm browns of the wood harmonize well with orange, animating and restraining it.

Yellow Lamp
If you are not ready to commit to a large swath of color, consider an autumnal-hued accent, like this golden lamp with bold black shade.

Red Foliage
One temporary way to bring autumn indoors is to create a natural display such as a blazing tree branch and greenish gourds.