Cooking with P. Allen Smith

Now that it’s August, we have to savor the last bit of summer sweetness. This calls for a recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks by P. Allen Smith. This is a great collection of recipes that features each season’s best flavors.

This cookbook features recipes that use seasonal produce.

This cookbook features recipes that use seasonal produce.

Nothing tastes more like summer than blackberries, so today we baked P. Allen Smith’s Rustic Blackberry Cobbler in Ramekins. This recipe calls for store-bought dough and sliced fresh fruit…easy and delicious! For good measure, we added fresh peaches to the mix. Anything baked in pie dough is going to be good, so you could use any type of fruit—cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and even tomatoes.

Fresh fruit and ready-made dough make this recipe easy.

Fresh fruit and ready-made dough make this recipe easy.

Here’s the recipe:

Butter
1 package refrigerated ready-made pie crust
4 cups fresh blackberries
½ to 1 cup sugar
Salt
Grated zest of 1 orange (I used lemon)
8 teaspoons Triple Sec or fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Butter the ramekins. Stretch and work the dough to cover the inside of the ramekin, letting excess dough hang over the sides. Fill with fruit, sugar, and remaining ingredients. Cover filling with dough and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. It’s tempting to dig right in, but let these cool for about 15 minutes.

Bake until golden brown.

Bake until golden brown.

This is just one of many P. Allen Smith’s books that Paul Michael Company has in store. And with other kitchen accessories, like handmade cutting boards, dishes, bowls, napkins and domes, we’re here to help you get cooking.

Savor the taste of summer!

Savor the taste of summer!

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ROCKstar New Arrivals

PMC Geodes

In April of this year, Paul Michael returned triumphant from an Arizona picking trip with a truckload of ancient geodes and fossils – and, not one of his employees were particularly surprised. Over the years, Paul acquired a number of curious objects: a three hundred year old, 32-ft boat from southern India, swans made from cypress stumps hand-carved in West Monroe, pencil-thin beeswax prayer candles made by and purchased from a Catholic priest in Sitka, Alaska. See, Paul Michael hasn’t grown his stores by doing the expected. He strives every day to do the exact opposite. “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” Paul quips.

Paul’s true passion lies in creating, and to create he needs cool stuff and a cool space. #1 – Check! To understand how this painter’s palate sizes up, imagine just one of his four warehouses in Southeast Arkansas filled to the brim with his collection of antiques, oddities, and architectural salvage.

PMC Architectural Salvage

PMC Antique Signs

#2 – Double Check! Not only has Paul been developing a creative working environment for his skilled furniture makers and craftsmen to work, but every employee, from the home office payroll clerks to the Monroe store managers, work towards proliferating the Paul Michael ideals, quality, and lifestyle. From his exclusive line of hand-made furniture & accessories made from locally harvested and architectural salvaged lumber to the well-known Creation Station, the Paul Michael Company, intrigues employees and the public alike.

PMC Gigantic Amethyst

You may be thinking, “Why does a Home Decor and Furniture store want geodes and fossils”. No, we are not expanding into a museum… We truly believe that nature makes the best art, and there is no better testament than fossils and geodes. We are selling them “raw” and letting you get creative with their use. Statue them on an entree way console for an instant conversation piece, or position them in your family room bookcase like a badge of flair. Whatever you decide, know that these objects from the caves of Hot Springs, Arkansas, the mountains of Morocco, and extreme southern Brazil are unique and genuine… Quality. The only thing Paul knows.

Be on the lookout for Paul’s incredible selection of crystals, geodes, petrified wood, and fantastic fossils- arriving at a store near you this fall!

The Comforts of Home

There’s nothing like the comforts of home, especially when you’re a guest. Whether it’s an afternoon visit or a week’s stay, it’s those small details that make a room cozy, calm and comfortable.

At Paul Michael, we know how to make guests feel at home. Here are a few amenities that can help you be an excellent host.

1. Plush accessories like pillows and ottomans encourage guests to stay a while and relax.

Pillows and a cushy ottoman invite relaxation.

Pillows and a cushy ottoman invite relaxation.

2. Art and plants add visual interest.

Bedside amenities.

Bedside amenities.

3. A lamp adds extra lighting next to the bed. For late night reading, put books and magazines on the nightstand.

Brighten up the room with a lamp.

Brighten up the room with a lamp.

4. A colorful rug gives bare feet something soft to step on.

Add color and texture with rugs.

Add color and texture with rugs.

5. In the bathroom, add glass jars so guests can see where cotton balls, soap and Q-tips are stored.

6. A large wooden mirror helps guests look their best.

7. Candles are always a nice touch that adds color and fragrance.

8. A wooden tray serves as a designated space for this and that.

9. Colorfully stitched hand towels are a lovely accent.

Bathroom accessories are essential.

Bathroom accessories are essential.

10. Fill a vase with something interesting, like butterflies or exotic flowers.

11. A bonus counter top accessory is a radio. This lets guests connect and charge their phone while playing familiar tunes.

Fill vases with something lovely!

Fill vases with something lovely!

As host, be sure to take inventory of your space so that you can accommodate your guests. Paul Michael has all the essentials you need to create a home away from home. From nightstand to counter top and everything in between, we have the details covered so you and your guests can enjoy the comforts of home.

Branching Out

Bringing the beauty of nature inside with flowers doesn’t have to be expensive or high maintenance. While real flowers can add fragrance, the short life span doesn’t live up to the investment. Faux flowers are the secret to year-round blooms that add a punch of color to liven up your space.

Faux flowers have come a long way from fake. Our team at Paul Michael Company has hand picked life-like blooms that can fool even an expert eye. The trick is in the styling. Wire stems invite you to bend and shape blooms into a picture-perfect design.

Make a simple statement with one single stem.

Combine sizes and bold colors to accent neutral spaces.

SONY DSC

Mix and match different varieties that have a common palate. Texture from baskets goes a long way, too.

Branching out with faux flowers is easy to do when Paul Michael Company stocks a huge selection. Come by and branch out into faux flowers – the secret’s out.

Pots to Plant In

Dig in to Summer. An easy and inexpensive way to do this is by planting fresh blooms in planters – but not just any planters. Think beyond the plastic pot. Instead, go for a decorative container that enhances the plant’s natural beauty. This creates curb appeal and a welcoming statement.

Plant a patio garden of herbs. Keep it simple with succulents. Fill ‘em up with flowers. Or give the gift of a garden in a pot. The possibilities are endless, so dig in and go from this…

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or this…

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to something like this…

Get your green thumb in gear by shopping the selection of planters we have in store. From terra-cotta, to bold and bright, and everything in between, Paul Michael has containers that can make your patio the main attraction.

Belmont Plantation: An Old Home and a New Business

Belmont Plantation

It‘s not just southern women that age gracefully but also our homes. Belmont Plantation has been standing since 1857 and is a reminder of the style and sophistication southern homes have always possessed. As some of you know may already know, we are working diligently to make our product available online. During the process it was decided that we needed a special place to photograph it all. The plantation owners graciously allowed the Paul Michael Company to do a photo shoot for our upcoming web store.  With our beautiful merchandise and their amazing home it was easy to achieve the results we wanted. It also reminded us that the Paul Michael Company truly has a place in any home including an antebellum beauty like Belmont!

Fearless Photographer

Here’s a little behind the scenes action from the shoot. Luckily our fearless photographer wasn’t afraid of heights- the ceilings are 14 feet tall! Below is a picture of the living room as we found it, full of old world character and beautiful antiques.

Belmont Living Room

And here is the Paul Michael Company twist. Drum roll please…………………………………………………

PMC Belmont Living Room

Ta-Da!!! We kept one of the family’s existing chairs in the photograph because it blended so well into this bohemian look.

Check back to find out more information about the launch of our new website and to peek at more pictures from this fabulous photo shoot.

PS- If you’re on the lookout for your very own plantation home Belmont is on the market 🙂

Time to save BIG

Attention shoppers, we’ve got a sale in progress and it’s a big one. Through July 14th, you can save 25% on merchandise throughout the store. This type of discount means it’s the perfect time to go big. 

 

Think farmhouse tables…farm table

 

leather and upholstered chairs…leather chair

upholstered chair

 

rugs…kilim rugs

 

and bookcases…bookcase

These are statement pieces that can transform a room by being the focal point or tying the space together. Lean a large mirror against the wall to open up the room with light, or complete your outdoor living space with teak benches and adirondacks. 

Make a statement without spending a fortune. With 25% off, there’s no reason to shop around. Visit Paul Michael by July 14 to think big and save big.