Rosy Embers

I’m beginning to believe my fruit selection is guided more heavily by the coloration of the produce than I originally thought. I mean, I’ve always know this was a factor in my decision making, but without a doubt, I selected these glowing red pears purely because of their gorgeous skins.

A pile of yellow-green cousins sat in the next bin over and I gave them hardly any thought. But whose to blame for this slight? Me or the unappealing appearance of the ordinary green pears? I think the answer is clear. The spotted ruby red is so perfect for this time of year! I love the dark undertones of purple and gold that are only noticeable in a certain light.

When housing beauties such as these, I also enjoy displaying them on pretty embroidered tablecloths. The tablecloth is such a simple and beautiful way to change the feeling of a space and combined with a bowl full of tantalizing fruit, a room comes alive.

Did I mention that these pears are sooo delicious?

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Spiral Diner

Speaking of dear friends and good food, I had the joy of receiving my friend Mandy as a traveling guest in our home a few weeks back. We enjoyed a beautiful day of delicious food, thrift-hunting, and catching-up. For lunch, we dined at the Fort Worth famous Spiral Diner & Bakery, a vegan cafe for people that like really good food!

Besides the scrumptious cuisine, their quirky, artsy, ’50s diner decor makes this a truly unique eating experience.

Well, hello Mexican Elvis with reading glasses! (this guy made us laugh so hard!)

If you live close by, I highly recommend a lunch date at the Spiral Diner! You’ll love the food and will definitely leave felling pretty darn good about your healthy choice.

Thanks for the lunching with me, Mandy!

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Instagram = Instant Obsession

I have joined Instagram and am totally hooked! What’s Instagram, you ask? It is a free application available for the iPhone (they’re working on adapting it to other platforms) that allows you to share your candid photos with a community of followers easily and instantly using brief captions and pre-designed filters to create unique and beautiful images. Thanks to my dear friend, Mandy, who introduced me to the app, I now have a Hilary Inspired Instagram channel. Besides the fact that I have become totally obsessed with the whole idea, I love binge able to capture simple moments in life and see them through a different lens… literally! Here are a few of the snapshots I’ve taken since I joined.

Aren’t these filters fun?!

You can download the app for free via The App Store on your phone or computer. If you have an iPhone (remember, more platforms coming in the future if you don’t have an iPhone) join me by searching for the username “hilaryinspired” and clicking the “Follow” button. I’d love to return the favor!!

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Eating Beautifully

Push has now finally come to shove…David and I are not getting a moment younger and so, with the intention of a long, happy, healthy life, we have decided to take a more serious look at our diet. (Yikes, a diet). Ok, let’s not think of it as a diet. Perhaps improved eating would be a better description! In reality, we are not as interested in weight loss (although that certainly wouldn’t hurt a few regions of my figure), but rather better overall health. So, it has fallen on me to make wiser selections at the grocery store. As many of you probably know, that can be difficult! In a recent trip to my new favorite grocer (if you have a Sprouts in your neighborhood, you must visit!) I had a simple yet fantastic realization. New rule of thumb – Eat Beautifully!

Perhaps it’s an overly simplistic idea, but I have found that the healthiest foods are often the most beautiful…wouldn’t you agree? Fresh, whole, straight from the hand of God foods!

Now, before you hold me to a purist standard, I should say that the goal is lofty (and I just might occasionally find myself astray). But while we may not adhere to it strictly, the intention has been decidedly made. The philosophy in a nutshell? Beautiful food, healthy body, happy life!

Just as we beautify our living spaces to enhance our lives, why not beautify our food choices to improve our health? Sometimes its just that simple.

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My Heart Yearns for…

…Cream! Jamie and Molly aren’t helping my addiction one bit either! These ladies are the two behind the scrumptious collaboration of photographer and food stylist via my favorite blog and daily read, From Me To You.

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, Jamie and Molly shared a charming recipe worth indulging in on the annual holiday dedicated to following your heart. And what pulls at my heart strings more than sweet dairy and fruit syrup? (Ok, well there are a few other things that do…but not many!)

The recipe is amazingly simple (trust me, I tried it and was totally surprised!) and so, I decided to pass it along to you as well. (Find the complete spread HERE).

Coeur a la Creme

Special Equipment: Four 4” Coeur a la Creme molds, cheesecloth

• 1/2 cup farmer’s cheese

• 1/2 cup creme fraiche

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

• 2/3 cup heavy cream, very cold

Line each heart mold with a piece of cheese cloth so that the cloth hangs over the sides of the mold by about 2 inches. Set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the farmer’s cheese, creme fraiche, sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Remove the paddle and replace with a whisk attachment. Add the heavy cream and whip until you have the texture of whipped cream (this happens quite quickly- don’t over whip!)

Spoon the cream into the lined molds. Fold the cheesecloth over the top so that the entire surface area is covered with cloth. Place the finished molds on a plate and refrigerate overnight.

Raspberry Sauce

• 4 pints raspberries, rinsed and drained

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/2 lemon, juiced

Place half of the raspberries in a bowl and muddle with a fork. In a medium saucepan, combine the muddled raspberries, whole raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Place over medium low heat and gently simmer until the raspberries have softened and begun to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Cool completely and set aside or refrigerate until ready for use.

To Assemble:

Place a large spoonful of the chilled raspberry sauce on a plate. Take a heart mold and peel the cheesecloth from the top of the cream. Carefully invert the heart onto the center of the plate and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Repeat with the remaining molds and serve immediately.”

Many thanks to Molly for preparing such a lovely treat and even more appreciation to Jamie for sharing the experience with the rest of us at home!

Bon appetite and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Giving Thanks!

Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays of the year! Besides the over consumption of deliciously fattening foods, Thanksgiving has remained a relatively simple holiday, free from many of the materialistic/consumer driven distractions surrounding Christmas (no offense Christmas). For the most part, Thanksgiving is a day to pause our busy lives and embrace the presence of family and loved ones over a carefully prepared meal well worth giving thanks for. Work is put aside, troubles are temporarily forgotten, and life’s blessings are recognized and appreciated…come to think of it, shouldn’t this be something we take a moment out of every day to do?

Here is a snippet of my Thanksgiving with David and his parents, Tom and Kibble. It was beautiful day, a scrumptious meal, and much needed time of rest and fellowship. Thank you both for making the trip West to join us!

So, in the spirit of gratefulness, I want to tell you all how much I appreciate your support and encouragement of this blog and my work. I wouldn’t be doing this without you….many thanks!

* I used my fine china from our wedding for the very first time this Thanksgiving (yeah, I know…its been 4 years! Better late than never, though.)…that was so special and a luxury I feel incredibly blessed to have.

**Also, I will be posting extra photos of our Thanksgiving on Hilary Inspired’s Facebook page… “like” the page to check out the album.

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Appetite for Inspiration

Photo Credit: House of Brinson

By now, most of you are probably well ahead on your Thanksgiving planning and preparation…so I trust that today’s post will be merely inspiration to fuel your existing plans. Since I am also in the middle of my own holiday preparations, I will keep things short and sweet. You absolutely must visit House of Brinson (remember their home HERE?)

Photo Credit: House of Brinson

After discovering the Brinson’s several months ago, I have kept up with their beautiful culinary posts ever since. Both Susan and William have been documenting their Thanksgiving preparations with delicious recipes and table setting inventory. Take a moment to inspire yourself…they have some beautiful ideas for Thanksgiving table setting! HERE (check out their recent archive of posts for more beauties).

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