Entries from September 2011

luke irwin: amazing rugs and a pretty amazing story to boot.

September 30, 2011

ok, so first, let’s just say that i am a little more than infatuated with luke irwin’s ikat collection.  each piece is made to order and completely stunning…

as if the rugs weren’t enough…the story behind luke’s professional journey is magical by itself.  there is a home in the country, a kismet beginning and a success story.  it’s nice to come for the carpets and stay for so much more.

i am constantly amazed by all the inspiration surrounding me everyday…not just the pretty pieces, but the hopes and dreams behind them.  take a moment this afternoon to read a really nice article presented by wsj magazine.  i find so much comfort when someone truly figures out what he or she is supposed to be when they grow up.  oh and of course, it’s always nice when inspirational stories are accompanied by beautiful rugs and photos of beautiful country homes…have an exquisite weekend. xo mrs. french

blissful eats with Tina Jeffers: Cheesecake brownies

September 29, 2011


What can I say about today’s recipe?  Not much, except that anytime you utter the words brownie and cheesecake in the same sentence, my household goes nuts.  The only thing that keeps my boys from devouring the entire pan as soon as they come out of the oven is that they are so rich and decadent you can only eat one. As it is, they never last for more than a day or so.  The creaminess of the cheesecake helps cut some of the richness of the brownie.   My son loves brownies, my husband loves cheesecake, and I love both.  These are the perfect way to make everyone happy with one perfect dessert concoction.  

I adapted this recipe by taking my favorite Baked brownie recipe and adding a cheesecake layer to the top.  I also like to add a little ricotta to my cheesecake to lighten up the mixture a bit.  I hope you enjoy my adaptation!  

If you’d like to see some more recipes during the rest of the week you can visit me at www.scalingbackblog.com I’d love to have the company!

Cheesecake brownies

Adapted from Baked

Yield | 12 large brownies


For the brownie layer:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the cheesecake layer:

     8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup suga
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9 x 13 inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.  Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of the double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature at this point. 

Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is a just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.

For the cheesecake layer:

Beat the cream cheese, ricotta and sugar together until smooth.  Add the yolks and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.

To assemble the brownie:

Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Distribute the cheesecake mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture and drag the spatula through the mixture to swirl the cream cheese mixture with the brownie batter.   Bake the brownies for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving. Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 4 days.

wee wednesday: coral & tusk

September 28, 2011

i am smitten with the ridiculously clever embroidered pieces from coral & tusk

i really do love it all but the fox with the sparkler is just too wonderful to handle!  xo mrs. french

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