California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

LAKE TAHOE plus...Shiree's Very Vanilla Homemade Ice Cream with Peaches and Brown Sugar


















Friday morning David and I drove from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe for three lovely days of hiking, dining, and swimming.  Neither of us likes to gamble so there wasn't much argument about what we would do with our two days and two nights.  That was easy.























Tahoe is only 95 miles from Sacramento and leaving at 9:00 in the morning put us there at 11:00 with enough time to have a wonderful outdoor lunch on the charming tri-level deck of Freshies.  David and I had their delicious fried shrimp tacos with mango salsa.  Since David didn't really want dessert we split MY slice of coconut creme pie "David style": 1/4 for me and 3/4's for him.

Don't you hate it when the waiter brings two forks?



















David wanted to show me one of his favorite spots, Fallen Leaf Lake, so after lunch at Freshie's (good food, but service ranges from indifferent to downright negligent) we took  a 3 hour hike.  Fallen Leaf is an easy hike with pretty scenery.  We didn't go all the way around the lake but instead went back to the hotel, sat in the hot tub, then went to dinner.


















Our helpful hotel clerk referred us to a restaurant right on the water.  It had great food and a nice wine list but again, indifferent service and a surly hostess.  How is it that service was friendlier at big, impersonal Harrah's























Saturday morning involved some serious sleeping in.  We had a quick breakfast on the balcony of Ezekiel English muffins and watermelon, picked up some provisions, and headed to Emerald Bay.























The trail begins from the highway above and continues down to the bay.  We hiked all the way out to the input of Lake Tahoe.  It is about 4 miles of easy to moderate hiking.  Children can manage but not adults who are very overweight or out of shape.

















 The Rubicon Trail is nicely maintained and there are a few campsites available in the summer not far from Vikingsholm Castle.  We saw a lot of wildflowers and several little waterfalls and grotto's.























This trail includes many downed trees and other interesting photo opportunities.

















 I chose our hotel from Expedia.com.  Our room was nice with a third story view of Lake Tahoe.  We especially loved the double decker hot tub and waterfall.  Since there was no DVD player in our room I brought along my little portable player.  We managed to fit in a movie one evening after dinner.






















 After a small altercation between David and I about where to park, we made our way into Harrah's.  High heels triumphed over male impatience.


















A trip to Lake Tahoe would be remiss without a buffet dinner, although we could have done without the 45 minute line.  We bypassed the salad counter completely and filled our plates with overdone fillet Mignon (how could they), sushi, shrimp, and some uneaten tomatoes in a very dilly dill vinaigrette.  They gave us a table for two in the family reunions section but the view of the lake was spectacular.  A mediocre buffet turned out to be quite satisfactory for both of us.  And good service too.


 
Shiree's Very Vanilla Homemade Ice Cream with Peaches and Brown Sugar

1 quart half and half
1 C. sugar or agave syrup
few dashes of salt
2 1/2 to 3 T. Madagascar vanilla (available at William-Sonoma)

2 to 3 peeled and sliced peaches
lemon juice
1 1/2 to 2 T. dark brown sugar

In a frozen yogurt-ice cream maker (mine is Cuisinart) combine half and half, sugar or agave syrup, salt, and vanilla.  Process 25 to 30 minutes and transfer to a Tupperware container. Freeze overnight or to desired consistency.

Combine peaches, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Serve ice cream in parfait glasses and top with peaches and garnish with mint.  Absolutely delicious!




Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ANTIQUES SPELL 'HOME'. Plus...Shiree's Salmon and Artichoke Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette!




Maybe its just me, but something that seems to be missing from many designer works today is the use of antiques.


Don't misunderstand. I love the new modern with its bright colors and shiny surfaces and it can be perfectly livable...to a certain extent.  However, I think a number of my readers will agree the monochromatic rooms with bright pinks, bright blues, and all white furniture will be over the bell curve of style in five years or less. 

And then what will you have?


A house full of one style of furniture that doesn't go with anything, requiring you to begin from scratch, furnishing your house all over again.  This is great for designers because we get to start your project with a clean slate.  But what about you?  Can you afford to replace all your furnishings in five years?


And more importantly, do you really want to?  I have long been reporting to any and all who will listen that to have an interior that will evolve with you over the course of your lifetime, you must invest in different styles and eras of furnishings.  Whether costly or moderately affordable, the quality must be the best you can buy.  



I don't claim to be Lee Stanton or Axel Vervoordt but I have done this long enough to know their styles are timeless.  They are experts in the field of antiques.  Mixing the old with the new gives a personal, well rounded interior that will age gracefully and will "take well to" occasional updates like new accessories and fabric treatments.


 Lee, a noted antiquarian, has been collecting antiques for about 30 years. Lee had a wonderful store in San Juan Capistrano for many years and recently opened a new showroom in Los Angeles on trendy La Cienega Blvd.  Lee says he attributes his success to his passion for antiques, finding the right combination of form, function, style, and integrity. Lee says, "my showrooms are a reflection of my lifestyle. They are an extension of my home and my life."



It has been a joy inheriting and living with our family antiques. The vintage Gump's cigarette holder was given to me by my mother-in-law Mary Etta Segerstrom. Mary Etta has also given me numerous antique and vintage linens including an exquisite butter yellow organza applique' tablecloth and 12 matching napkins.  The set is very special to me.


My great grandmother's dresser now sits in the living room and houses many antique books and extra serving pieces that wouldn't fit in the dining room hutch.  The  over sized oak cabinet that was once part of my father-in-laws tungsten laboratory now houses many of our hard bound books, a small television, and stereo.



My favorite designers who use antiques in their projects are Nancy Braithwaite of Atlanta, Suzanne Rheinstein of Los Angeles, previously of New Orleans, and Michael Smith, of Santa Monica.




A humble European hutch houses my business books and some of my fabric samples.



My late husband's extensive soldier and military collection spans some 55 years of collecting from the US, Britain, and France.  This set hung on his bedroom wall as a child.



I created a salmon salad from the leftovers of an outdoor dinner from last Friday night for good friends Kathleen Dunagan and John Deaver. We had a bottle of Acacia Chardonnay, fresh picked white corn on the cob, and a delicious rotelli pasta salad with poached chicken, sun dried tomatoes, toasted walnuts, sauteed yellow bell pepper, and sage-balsamic vinaigrette. The latter is one of my favorite recipes and is courtesy of friend Jennifer Stoicheff formerly of Alchemy and currently Wren Catering of Murphy's, California.  For the party, I did pale pink hydrangea floral arrangements.


Shiree's Wild Salmon and Artichoke Heart Salad with
Dijon Vinaigrette

Grilled wild salmon, barely reheated
marinated artichoke hearts
mixed wild greens with arugula (or rocket for you east coast readers)
red onion
Dijon vinaigrette
fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice (Meyers are a cross
between a lemon and a tangerine and wonderfully flavorful)
extra virgin olive oil

Scatter greens on a large dinner plate. Top greens with artichoke hearts, thinly sliced red onion, and reheated, shredded, and deboned wild salmon. Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, freshly ground sea salt and pepper, and slowly dribble in olive oil.

Pour over salad greens and enjoy with a glass of chilled Pinot Gris.  Bon Apetit.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WEEKEND DESIGN RETREAT with Shiree Segerstrom. Plus...her GREEK SALAD!





What does the word retreat mean?  If you're like most women, it's not "leaving the scene of a battle" or having seconds on desert, but an excuse to relax and pamper yourself.



The ideal retreat is aesthetically pleasing, inducing feelings of wellness and progression.  It requires a little time getting there although not necessarily a plane trip.  Usually good food is involved and sometimes companionship.



There is often some exoticism, something slightly foreign and special.  A retreat conjures thoughts of leisurely days, healthful, delicious food, and relaxation.  Still other retreats consist of business planning, closeness for couples, or a fun get together for girlfriends.



What about a retreat for girlfriends? A long weekend at the Sonoma Mission Inn
 perhaps, where you could indulge in spa treatments, facials, mani/pedis, sight see, go wine tasting, and have spectacular meals.  The weather there is perfect this time of year.



The Design Retreat with Shiree Segerstrom will be held Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19th in the 1931 Spanish style home and garden you've seen featured on this blog.  The curriculum includes many of the important design lessons I've learned from college and tons of ideas and sources I've gleaned from years doing the purchasing, design, and merchandising for my five different S.S.Home House and Garden boutiques


as well as years as a display stylist. The course is aimed at women who have moved into a new home within the last 12 months; just recently been married and are co-mingling furnishings with a spouse; or those who are fixing up their existing home.  If there are best friends interested in attending together, all the better.





The light hearted feel of the class and the special treatment will certainly build commoraderie. It's an enjoyable experience made even more special by the visit to a wonderful gold rush town featured in San Francisco Magazine and the inspiring interior design, architecture, antiques, and garden where the retreat will be held. The cost is economy friendly and includes a wonderful morning



mixer at the house, two days of design curriculum, and a proper farewell tea in the garden. Also two optional lunches, cost not included, at the Diamondback Grill, Sonora's most popular restaurant venue in an historic downtown building. The Diamondback has a wonderful wine bar and savvy menus.  The building has been remodeled to maintain the old walls and ceilings but reflects modern and contemporary styles as well.



Please RSVP via email to shireesegerstrom@att.net.



Shiree's Greek Salad

baby leaf spinach
cucumber
red onion
fresh Greek feta cheese (not crumbled)
kalamata olives
medium shrimp
fresh chopped thyme, and basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh lemon juice
white wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

PS...LOOK for our ROOM SERVICE ad in San Francisco Bride!





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