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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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…

SONY DSC

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.

How About a Spunky Trunk from Paul Michael Home?

trunks

image via Houzz

You would be amazed at what you can do with a recycled trunk!  A vintage trunk from can make the perfect coffee table or end table for your living room.  Old steamer trunks add personality and storage to any room and complement any decor.

The flat or rounded lids on many trunks were often decorated with leather or wood-burned designs, and feature brass hinges, studs and latches.  They were the designer luggage of an earlier era, and now they can add a designer touch to your home.

A vintage design steamer trunk can be used to store linens and blankets at the foot of your bed.  A trunk standing on end is the perfect night stand, especially if you add a small tension rod or some shelves on the inside to create extra storage.  A trunk with a rounded lid can look like a pirate’s treasure chest, making it a great toy box for a playroom.

Visit Paul Michael Company’s stores to see the new collection of old “spunky trunks” for your home.

 

So Many Rug Styles… How Can You Possibly Choose?

interior design home decor

Image via Better Homes & Gardens

The right rug can define a whole room.  Rugs are great ways to differentiate different areas within a room or to define a space beneath furniture.  They add comfort and warmth to wood and tile floors and create extra visual interest to carpeted floors.  A rug can showcase your personality and inform a color scheme.  There are seemingly countless styles and shapes and colors of rug from which to choose, so where do you begin?  Try these tips to help get you started.

Bring a sample of the colors in the room or take a picture. This will help you determine which color of rug will work best. If you have solid color furniture, you can choose a rug with a pattern to help establish a mood. Dark colors will help create an atmosphere of intimacy for the room while light colors will help a small room appear larger. You can also select warm colors such as red or yellow to bring warmth to the room or cool colors such as blue or green to give the opposite effect.

Determine where you want the rug placed. If it’s in a high traffic area such as a hallway, then you will want be sure the rug is durable and easy to clean. You may also consider a dark color to avoid dirt or stains being noticed right away.

The Paul Michael Company offers a wide selection of rugs that will go perfectly for any room.  Come visit any of our locations to see the unique rugs you can use in your own home!

Unique Garden Decor Made With Repurposed Household Goods

garden decorating

Image via Pinterest

Are you looking for unique decorating ideas for your garden? You may not have to look any farther than your own household. Instead of sending your old “junk” to the landfill give them new life in your garden. These reclaimed items can be conversation starters and give your garden a whole new look.

What kinds of items can be re-purposed from your home to you garden. Well, let your mind take flight but following are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Bottles (especially dark blue) for a bottle tree
  • Claw-foot bath tubs
  • Boots and shoes
  • Pallets
  • Glass and glassware
  • Ladders
  • Old tins
  • Coffee cans
  • Boards and other types of lumber
  • Beds, such as futons and even cribs
  • Tables
  • Anything your heart and head can think up

Reusing old household items is a grand way to salvage them. You keep the objects out of landfills and give them new life in your garden. Your garden will get a new look and be filled with objects that were once part of your home.

For more information on unique decorating ideas check out The Paul Michael Company. These experts have “genuine treasures at unguessable prices”!

Decorating Your Walls with Hanging Area Rugs

geometric rugs

Stunning rugs available at Paul Michael Company

Your home is your space to do with what you want. Who says area rugs have to go on the floor? Make a statement by hanging one on the wall!

Indeed, rugs are versatile – probably more so than you originally thought. If you can’t quite wrap your head around the idea of placing a rug anywhere but underneath your feet, these ideas might help to change your mind.

  • If you have an old, much loved rug that is too worn out to put on the floor – you can use it on the wall. This will keep it from looking old due to foot traffic.
  • You can play around with different sizes of rugs – you may have a small one, triangular one or even a square one, and you can hang it on an appropriate wall.
  • A hanging rug can be used as a focal point or serve as a demarcating area between two living areas.
  • In case you want to use more than one rug in a room, make sure that they complement each other.
  • Just keep some unique decorating ideas in mind – use either plain or subdued colors if your room already has a busy décor or vice versa.

A wall hanging rug adds texture and warmth to your house. Looking for rugs to decorate your walls? Check out on of our stores today!

image via Paul Michael Company

Decorating Ideas for Your Coffee Table

print pillow

Pull from the colors of your pillows to decided how to accent your coffee table

Decorating your home is not always easy. You glance around your living room and notice how you like the way everything looks, except the coffee table. You realize that’s the missing link. Check out these home decorating ideas to get you inspired to breath life onto your coffee table.

  • Add a collection of items you treasure onto the coffee table. For example, display your children’s artwork or prints from your last vacation.
  • Place a throw rug over the coffee table to add texture to an otherwise plain surface. The trick to making this look work is to choose exotic and unique pieces, such as a rug from Turkey or one that has African designs on it.
  • Go for a natural design on the coffee table using sand, rocks and candles. Fill a glass bowl with tiny rocks, and place a decorative candle inside. Light it, and watch how the flickering light makes everything in the room glow.

Contact Paul Michael Co. to find out more information about how we can help enhance the beauty of your home. We have stores in multiple locations throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

 

image via Paul Michael Co