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A N O M A H A W O R L D - H E R A L D P U B L I C AT I O N • S E R V I N G N E B R A S K A & W E S T E R N I O W A

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 INSPIREDLIVINGOMAHA.COM

the holiday issue


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Heirlooms and

curated ColleCtions

N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • VO L U M E 1 7 • I S S U E 6

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chris Christen 402-444-1094 | chris.christen@owh.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR & DESIGNER Jessica Thompson 402-444-1120 | jthompson@owh.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Marjie Ducey 402-444-1034 | marjie.ducey@owh.com COPY EDITOR Shelley Larsen

1702 Cuming Street Omaha, NE 68102 402-502-5265 • prairieinbloom.com

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ON THE COVER Mantel of Amy Sporrer, Photographed by Jeffrey Bebee CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS Jeffrey Bebee, Heidi Hoffman, Kurt A. Keeler, Chad Lebo CUSTOM PUBLISHING SALES MANAGER Lauren Miller | 402-444-1261 | lauren.miller@owh.com

HELPING YOU MAKE A STATEMENT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES Emily Martin | 402-444-1411 | emily.martin@owh.com Marilyn Martin | 402-444-1405 | marilyn.martin@owh.com Deborah Fernsell | 402-444-1209 | dfernsell@owh.com EVENTS Tam Webb | 402-444-3125 | tam.webb@owh.com Tayler Kirtley | 402-444-1161 | tayler.kirtley@owh.com

1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102 Inspired Living Omaha (ISSN 23795948) is a publication of the Omaha World-Herald. ©2019, Omaha World-Herald, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the specific written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information, no responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for content, opinions or practices, or how the information herein is used. All materials submitted, including but not limited to images, logos and text that appear, are assumed to be the original work of the provider, and the publisher is not responsible for unintentional copyright infringement.

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2 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019


AMPHITHEATER

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CONTENTS HISTORIC GEM 8

A HOUSE OF ANY COLOR

DESIGN DONE RIGHT 16

AN ENGLISH CLASSIC

RECIPES 22 46

Find Holiday Sparkle Here CreAtive. UniqUe. LoCAL. Fine Art, Custom Glass, Bronzes & Jewelry

GINGERBREAD TREES THE HIDDEN PANTRY: SOUPS

HOMESPIRATION 24

MAGICALLY SIMPLE

HOST 28

8

CHRISTMAS, REFINED

MEET THE EXPERTS 31 32

INTERIORS JOAN AND ASSOCIATES KITCHENS REDEFINED

SPEAKING OF PLANTS 38

PROGRESS REPORT

SMALL SPACES, BIG STYLE 41

DIY ALTERNATIVE TREE

NEAR + FAR 42

28

TORONTO WINTER GETAWAY

LUXURY HOMES 45

AN ADVERTISING FEATURE

EXPERIENCE LOCAL

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6 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019


EDITOR'S NOTE

DOLLOPS OF DELICIOUSNESS that night.

SAM SIFTON, THE NEW

For a restaurant critic, it can

YORK TIMES FOOD EDITOR, got a taste of Omaha

be a challenge working under the

recently in conjunction with

guise of anonymity. “Wigs don’t

the 16th annual Lauritzen

work so well for fellas.” His foil for

Gardens Antiques Show.

restaurant staff expecting a prep-

He confessed to arriving with a hoity-toity speech on food and culture for his Sun-

py-looking guy: An open-collar CHRIS CHRISTEN

day Luncheon & Lecture ap-

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

pearance but scrapped it after a whirlwind introduction to our city’s restaurant scene and an evening of wining and dining with the LGAS inner circle. “New York is not going to tell you anything about the art of entertaining,” Sifton told the sold-out audience of 500. “This is a sophisticated crowd.” For the next hour, Sifton served up a delightful smorgasbord of insights, anecdotes, musings and quips about his career, his love of Thanksgiving and the joys of food as a cultural experience. If this was impromptu speaking, it was as smooth as the Unstrung Harp cocktail served as guests mingled and found their seats. Some takeaways from the talk by the affable critic and author: “Anytime we interact with food and wine, it’s a cultural experience.” “Thanksgiving is the greatest American holiday, bar none.” His 2012 book, “Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well,” is a best-seller. “There is no need for fear” if you’re in the kitchen on the fourth Thursday of November, Sifton says. To aspiring home chefs: “If you cook on a regular cadence and invite people over to share it, your life is going to be better.” Two keys to a great party: Serve more alcohol than you think you should, and recognize that you’re not going to change

black shirt and some gold chains. On the road as national editor for The Times, Sifton almost always spent time in the kitchens of

the newspaper’s correspondents. “I kept coming across one book: ‘The New York Times Cookbook’ by Craig Claiborne.” Published in 1961, it was a best-seller for most of a decade. Sifton’s Omaha experience included “a wild day of eating” with former World-Herald food critic Sarah Baker Hansen. They hit Archetype, Farine + Four, Coneflower Creamery, Time Out Foods, Block 16 and Mercury. (Time ran out, or he would have had a Runza fix, too). Sifton found the crab Rangoon-topped Three Happiness Burger at Block 16 “shockingly delicious” and told his social media fan base later: “I’m bringing that to Brooklyn, stat.” The visit wasn’t long enough for a complete taste of the restaurant scene, including “a very interesting pizza game,” he told the LGAS crowd. “I’ll be back.” Visiting the Big Apple? Try the high-end Greek restaurants on 59th Street and the grilled fish with lemon in Queens. And just in case you’re curious (the LGAS crowd was), Sifton prefers his Thanksgiving stuffing baked outside the bird, in copious amounts. Happiest of holidays from our homes to yours!

MAKE IT AT HOME The Unstrung Harp cocktail originated at the now-closed Tenpenny restaurant in NYC. The recipe was inspired by Edward Gorey’s 1953 novel of the same name. Back in 2011, NYT Cooking declared the Unstrung Harp the “Drink of Summer.” Now you can enjoy it anytime time of year. Unstrung Harp Yields 1 drink Time: 2 minutes 1½ ounces Gosling’s Black Seal rum 1 ounce ginger syrup (see note) 2 limes halved and crushed 3½ ounces prosecco Shake the rum, syrup and limes with ice and pour into the largest and most sturdy wine glass you can find. Add prosecco. Note: To make the ginger syrup, dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar into a tablespoon of ginger juice from grated ginger. Cheers!

anyone’s mind on any particular subject

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8 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019


HISTORIC GEM

A HOUSE OF ANY COLOR Historic Gold Coast beauty gets a “trust us” makeover

I

STORY MARJIE DUCEY PHOTOGRAPHY JEFFREY BEBEE f Jenni Herchenbach were to win the lottery, the first thing she’d do is hire a full-time carpenter. “And I would keep them

busy,” she says.

That’s what happens when you live in

an architecturally significant home like the Smyth House in Omaha’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The stately 1906 residence at 38th and

garage designed by famed Omaha archi-

were considering new-home construc-

tect Thomas R. Kimball.

tion at West Shores in Waterloo when

Jenni and husband Scott have spent

the Smyth House came on the market

the past two years renovating the prop-

— as the 2013 Omaha ASID Designer

erty and don’t expect to ever truly be

Showhouse.

finished. “As long as we live here, there will be a project list,” she says. It may seem too big for the almost-empty nesters but with six daughters, that may not be an issue for long. “It could be filled some day with 36 grandchildren,” Jenni says. The couple bought the house in 2013

Webster Streets has eight bedrooms and

after a two-year search that stretched

about 6,000 square feet, plus a detached

from Crescent to Weeping Water. They

That gave the pair a chance to poke around on their own and fall in love with it. It’s not a frou-frou house, Jenni says, with lots of fireplaces and built-ins, but she never tires of the view as she pulls into the driveway. “It was the only one we both walked into and said, ‘This is it,’” Jenni says. “It was special,” Scott says.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

PARLOR The piano is a 1923 Steinway and was refurbished by Lindeblad Piano Restoration, of Pine Brook, N.J. Pocket doors leading into the room are cherry on one side and oak on the other.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 While they haven’t had to do a lot inside besides paint, the outside has undergone a transformation.

quarts of paint samples sitting in their foyer), the Herchenbachs decided on Sherwin-Williams’ “Aloof Gray” for the main color, “Urbane Bronze” for the base and windows and “Snow-

One not without controversy.

bound” for the trim. The peaks are “Pewter Green,” in homage

The Herchenbachs wanted to redo the facade to look as close

to the home’s original color.

as possible to the original, minus the pea green paint. Some

The choices add depth to the house’s architectural details,

neighbors were alarmed to learn that the white house was

says Jenni, who enjoys watching passers-by gawk at the multi-

going to be painted a new color.

ple stories, columns and porches, restored in all their glory.

After hours of consideration (at one time there were 22

10 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

In other work, metal siding was removed and the original


cedar siding was restored. That project gave the couple a

DINING ROOM

look at the house’s original color. The capitals at the top

The wood paneling is original to the house. Pocket doors divide the living and dining rooms. The ceiling light fixture is believed to be original to the house and Jenni sourced coordinating sconces (not shown).

of each column were restored, from horsehair-and-terracotta to a more modern cast. That necessitated raising the roofs above them, and lots of phone calls by Scott to find a company that could craft the replacements. “To get the exact same size was a nightmare,” he says. Halfway through the project, they switched

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

STAIRWELL & LANDING

SECOND-FLOOR PORCH

The second-floor ceiling medallion is an Omaha ASID Designer Showhouse addition. The window seat is original to the home.

Jenni and Scott often enjoy coffee and cocktails on the porch, which they say is also a great place to watch a movie, enjoy a fire and watch storms roll in.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 contractors, and started over successfully with Stein Construction. They declined to specify how much all the work cost. “A zillion and counting,” they said with a smile. Now that the outside is done, they’re happy with their choices and feel as though they’ve stayed true to the house that so many people remember. They also renovated the yard and fountain, making it more expansive for the entertaining they love with less maintenance. A kitchen makeover is on the to-do list along with the upstairs master bath. They’ve already started refurbishing the basement. The couple says this is the “forever” home they’ve always wanted. Jenni says, “This house feels so good when it’s full of people, laughter and music.”

12 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

WIDOW’S WALK Jenni and Scott say they have the best view of the city from atop their house.

OFFICE The wallpaper was added during the 2013 Showhouse renovations. Jenni decided on a dark slate gray for the other walls. “My office gets the most incredible morning light,’’ she says. “If I can’t be on the widow’s walk for sunrise, my office is the next best place.” The day bed in there allows for extra space for guests.


Making the Season Merry & Bright With gingerbread houses, trees adorned with colorful confections, festive carolers, brilliant indoor and outdoor light displays, and a towering poinsettia tree, you can make sweet memories at Lauritzen Gardens this holiday season. Cozy up by the fireplace, roast a marshmallow, walk through the lush conservatory, and enjoy the sights and sounds of garden trains. No matter your age, the days between November 23 and January 5 are sure to be merry and bright!

lauritzengardens.org

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EXPERIENCE L O CAL | A SP ONSORED FEATURE

EXPERIENCES THAT LAST What to give a child? Creativity, confidence and connection

ELF:THE MUSICAL, STARTING NOV. 29

SPECIAL FOR THE ROSE THEATER

I

magine a gift that takes your child or grandchild on an amazing adventure, inspires them to accomplish their

wildest dreams and gives them confidence

to conquer whatever lies before them! It’s possible with the gift of an experience at The Rose Theater. “Live theater and theater education have a crucial role in developing the minds and hearts of our young people,” Artistic Director Matthew Gutschick says. “Plus, it’s an experience that involves enjoyable quality time as a family.” And, according to the Journal of Consumer Research, forges strong bonds. Here are four ways you can give the gift of theater to children ages 3 to 18 this holiday season.

1

Take the kids to a star-studded live theater performance with Backstreet Boys’ Howie D. While

any show at The Rose is certain to bring smiles, this is an opportunity to see a true music celebrity in a world-premiere event, in your own backyard. Howie Dorough will debut “Howie D: Back in the Day” at The Rose, Jan. 31–Feb. 16. It’s an inspirational story about finding your passion in life and discovering your true voice. Kids will love the original pop music performed by Howie D. You will love the message about being yourself and overcoming challenges to achieve your dreams. GIFT PACKAGE IDEA Present tickets ($25 each) with Howie’s latest CD,“Which One Am I?” with songs from “Howie D: Back in the Day.” Plan a day together watching Backstreet Boys videos and practicing their signature dance moves. After the show, talk about your child’s dreams and goals.

2

Give them the world — of theater! For $20-$27 per ticket (less, if purchased at Hy-Vee), your family

can rock out with mole rats, climb the Alps, play with a furry friend and more.

14 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

GIFT PACKAGE IDEAS • “Corduroy” — Wrap tickets for this spring show with a cuddly bear like the one in the production. • “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” — Pick up a copy of Mo Willems’ book by the same title. Or make an entire Mo Willems book package for holiday reading:“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,” “An Elephant & Piggie Biggie,” “Knuffle Bunny:A Cautionary Tale” and others. • “The Diary of Anne Frank” — This show introduces older kids to historical events while helping them develop empathy and compassion. Pair tickets with the original book, a blank diary and a pass to the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society and Riekes Museum for a firsthand look at Jewish culture. • “The Little Engine That Could” — A Rose First Stage production designed for very young children. Present the tickets ($12 each) with a train-themed book and a toy train. • “The Sound of Music” — Families of all ages will appreciate the world’s favorite musical when it bursts onto The Rose stage in June. Package the tickets with a soundtrack or DVD from the musical and plan a sing-a-long night to discover your own inner Von Trapp family talents.

3

The Rose Studios for Youth Artists in west Omaha. Enrollment is open through Jan. 1 for spring concerts complete with costumes, sets, professional lighting and more. For ages 2 to 18, starting at $30 per month. GIFT-GIVING IDEA Announce the news with a personalized dance bag or a Broadway cast recording and vocal music book.

4

Perform in a short play with a DRAMA class or camp. Camping takes on a whole new meaning at

The Rose. Summer camp 2020 information will be available in early January, so pick up a gift certificate and let your kids see what it means to spend summer on the stage. Camp experiences run one to four weeks. Registration is open for winter and spring drama classes. GIFT-GIVING IDEAS Fill a clear reusable water bottle or lunch box with Starburst candy and include a tag that reads, “You are sure to be the STAR at theater camp!” along with a Rose Theater T-shirt (available at the theater’s Rose Boutique).

Put your budding artist in the spotlight with a BROADWAY at

For more information on experiential

The Rose class in dance, musical

gifts from The Rose Theater, call 402- 345-

theater, voice or acting. Coming in 2020:

4849 or visit www.rosetheater.org.

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DESIGN DONE RIGHT

AN ENGLISH CLASSIC All she wants for Christmas is more Spode

STORY MARJIE DUCEY PHOTOGRAPHY JEFFREY BEBEE

J

enni Toebben loves it each November when, with Thanksgiving behind her, she can finally pull out her carefully marked Christmas bins and start decorating for the holidays. Her kids won’t let her start any earlier. It’s almost like opening a scrapbook, she

says.

“I’ll have an ornament given to me by someone who is no

longer around and certain ones I’ve given to the kids depending on what has gone on in their lives,” she says. Cookie-cutter ornaments go on the kids’ tree. “When I first got married I could not afford anything. I did cookie cutters with curling ribbons.” Toebben loves everything about Christmas. She says her traditional two-story house in The Farm subdivision in Elkhorn is perfect for the holiday, which is one of the reasons she loves it, too. Her home has three fireplaces, lots of room to entertain and plenty of space for her four trees, each with its own theme. The house has a formal dining room, where she decorates the table differently each December. Last year, it was gold and silver. This year, she’s considering nutcrackers. She has plenty. A lower-level storage room is bursting with

CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 16 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


FAMILY ROOM

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16

with plates and addicted to the English

she’s a Realtor and shows her two Sussex

Christmas items. She’s on the lookout

brand, she says, especially the blue-and-

and one English toy spaniels. She and

all year; it was still hot when she spotted

white variety.

Bertram, Pirbright and Roberta drive to

adorable Stewart red plaid plate chargers she had to add to her collection. It’s the same way with the Spode pieces that dot the house and fill her largest tree in the living room. She’s obsessed

18 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

“I can go to an estate sale or some junky antique shop, and I have a radar for blue and white,” she says. The tree in her office is done in pastels and adorned with houses and dogs;

about 30 shows a year. Her Christmas decorations don’t come down until the end of January because of two events earlier in the month. The children’s tree is on the lower


level. It’s bright with primary colors and lots of animals. “I collected a lot of it for my kids as

and is the dressiest of the four. Each tree is assigned its own storage bins. Same with the greenery for the

they’ve grown up,” Jenni says. “When

mantels and similar ornaments, many

Emma and Spencer were little I would

glass because they are inexpensive and

have them help me decorate that tree.”

add pops of color.

The tree in the family room off the kitchen is done up in gold and burgundy,

Jenni would much rather go to

CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

DINING ROOM Jenni decorates the dining table with a different theme each year.

FAMILY ROOM Jenni with three of her dogs. They travel to about 30 shows a year.

SUNROOM The tree in Jenni’s office has lots of dogs and houses (she’s a Realtor).

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 someone’s house than a restaurant for a night out and has several parties over the holidays. One year, she did an exhausting seven in 10 days. At least it kept her house clean, she says, laughing. She bakes, too: cookies and English muffin bread. “It is one of my favorite holidays,” she says. “I love winter. It’s a time when families get together. It’s fun because you make your house look different. People kind of get in the spirit, which I like.”

20 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

LIVING ROOM This tree has more ornaments than any of the others. “There are lots of memories on that tree,” Jenni says.

LOWER LEVEL Jenni’s children, Spencer and Emma, received nutcrackers every Christmas while they were growing up.


EXPERIENCE L O CAL | A SP ONSORED FEATURE

Y

MAGIC IN THE AIR Christmas characters come to life at Rockbrook Village

ou might see Rudolph at Rockbrook Village this year. Or maybe Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen.

Not to mention The Grinch.

Omaha’s Rockbrook Village is hosting its

“It’s a really cool experience for the people who come, and that’s why it’s so popular every single year,” she says. “The event also helps get the word out more about Rockbrook Village and about our store.”

annual Santa in the Village holiday event

BY MAGGIE O’BRIEN SPECIAL FOR ROCKBROOK VILLAGE

Nov. 30. Combined with

Visitors can take a break from shopping and the festivities to dine at

Small Business Saturday, it

local favorites Pasta Amore,

may be the shopping center’s

The Hunger Block and

best yet — with live reindeer

Jaipur, among others.

and The Grinch participating

“It’s a wonderful day,”

for the first time.

says Leo Fascianella, Pasta

Returning are holiday

Amore’s owner and chef. “We

favorites like free cookies,

are busy, but we are always

hot cocoa and carriage rides

busy. What I like best about

— not to mention Santa

it, though, is to see the young

himself.

little kids and their families

“The reindeer are an

who come out together to see

extra element of fun, and

Santa. It’s a beautiful thing

we’re very excited to have

that is unusual these days.”

them with us this year,” says

Santa in the Village and

Andrea Carson, Rockbrook

Small Business Saturday

Village marketing director.

are scheduled from 1 to

“Between the holiday spirit

4 p.m. and will include a

in the air and our unique mix

select group of local makers,

of locally owned merchants

artisans and small-batch

offering incredible holiday

food purveyors with pop-up

deals, it’s a great time to visit

shops throughout the Village.

the Village.”

Look for the large, red “Pop-

The Rockbrook Village

Up Shop” signs in front of

slogan, “Home grown,

participating stores.

locally owned,” has long

Great Harvest Bread

been a successful approach

Company is looking for a

to building community

vendor to team up with this

and sustaining a unique

year. In 2018, owner Marian

collection of businesses

Cihacek says, a mushroom

offering an array of products

and microgreen grower

and services that can’t be

helped the restaurant make

found anywhere else in the

mushroom soup and special

metro area, Carson says.

salads for the day.

The shopping center’s central location at 108th

to customers who might otherwise miss

Street and West Center Road and small-

it. Nestled in the west end of the shopping

town feel are pluses for merchants and

center near the Garden Cafe, Four Sisters

consumers alike. Many Rockbrook Village

Boutique offers affordable, contemporary

“Whoever we get, we like to incorporate whatever they have in our shop,” she says. “It was really fun, and there’s nothing like cross-marketing with

retailers are planning special sales — the

apparel and accessories, as well as Husker

another small business. Everyone benefits

day after Black Friday — to celebrate Small

gear.

that way.”

Business Saturday and the holidays. Sarah Spooner, owner of Four Sisters

Spooner says her staff is brainstorming ways to celebrate the day, including giving

For more information, visit rockbrookvillage.com. Businesses interested

Boutique, says Small Business Saturday and

out goodie bags to the first 100 people

in being a pop-up shop should email Carson

Santa in the Village introduces her store

through the door.

at andrea@rockbrookvillage.com.

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RECIPES

gingerbread trees Surprise Santa with a stunning gingerbread forest when he arrives at your house. Make sure to include a tall glass of milk!

TEXT + PHOTOGRAPHY HEIDI HOFFMAN

INSTRUCTIONS Gingerbread dough (see recipe) Parchment paper Varied sizes of snowflake cookie cutters Small star cookie cutter Royal icing (see recipe) Powdered sugar

22 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Roll out the gingerbread dough to Âź-inch thickness. Using varied sizes of snowflake cookie cutters, cut out 12 snowflakes. Using a small star cookie cutter, cut out one star. Transfer cutouts to the baking sheet and bake in batches for 10 minutes or until golden brown at the edges. 3. Once baked and cooled, pipe royal icing onto each cookie and stack together. Dust with powdered sugar.


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GINGERBREAD DOUGH ½3 cup light molasses 1 cup light brown sugar 14 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons honey Zest of one lemon 4 teaspoons ground ginger 2 teaspoons cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon baking soda 4 cups flour, sifted 1 teaspoon salt 1 lightly beaten large egg

1. Pour molasses into a large saucepan with brown sugar, butter, honey, lemon zest, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir frequently over low heat until sugar is dissolved. 2. Increase the heat to bring mixture to boiling. Remove from heat and beat in baking soda. Mix briefly until combined, then let cool for 15 minutes. 3. Sift flour and salt, then fold into the mixture in batches, using a stand mixer. 4. Add the egg and mix until just combined. 5. Scrape out dough onto plastic wrap, cover and refrigerate for one hour. Tip: Do not overwork the dough, or cookies will spread during baking. ROYAL ICING 2 cups powdered sugar 1 lightly beaten large egg white ½ teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon water Food coloring (optional) Piping bag

1. Add powdered sugar, egg white, lemon juice and water into a bowl. Mix together until soft peaks form. 2. Use food coloring to create your desired colors, if applicable 3. Spoon into a piping bag for easy decorating. Tip: Prepare icing ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

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HOMESPIRATION

Magically simple

EVERY ROOM OF THIS AKSARBEN BUNGALOW HAS A CLASSIC TOUCH OF CHRISTMAS

24 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

STORY MARJIE DUCEY PHOTOGRAPHY JEFFREY BEBEE


my Sporrer decorates twice for Christmas. First at her midtown shops, Spruce and Rosie Jane, and then at her three-bedroom bungalow in the Aksarben area. It’s not a job she dreads. She actually enjoys every minute. Her secret? Decorations are freed from basement storage a week in advance, allowing for time to plan and prepare. There’s no last-minute and hurried trips to the store for hanging wire or extra bows. “Then when you want to decorate it’s fun and not a task,” she says. Because of the busy schedule at her shops this time of year, decorating at home is done the weekend before Thanksgiving. It’s a given with her that every room will have an element of the season. Ornaments peek out between cups and glasses in cupboards. The bathroom is decked out, too. Trees in each bedroom are a must. “We all spend so much time in our kitchen and bedroom — you can’t just stop with the family room and dining room,” she says. “The whole house should feel like Christmas.” Sporrer lived in Connecticut for years before moving to Omaha in 2012 and grew accustomed to the more traditional style of decorating. Although homes may have been on a grander scale there, she says, the classic style still works in smaller homes. “You have to have those little pops of Christmas everywhere because smaller neighborhood homes can’t accommodate huge trees,” she says.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

LIVING ROOM The big tree sits in the front room but Amy has hundreds of smaller ones throughout the house.

THE BAR Even this bar area off the kitchen gets a festive touch.

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25


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 Her decorations are far from overwhelming, however. The trick, she says, is to just add to your current decor. “I don’t put anything away,” Squeezing in her decorations is made somewhat easier for Sporrer because she has collected about 200 small trees and vintage houses that she can tuck everywhere. It can turn into a fun “I Spy” game for her guests. One of her favorite spots? Behind the glass doors of her kitchen cabinets. Once the holidays are over, tear down is easy. Totes are clearly marked for santas and trees. Ornaments from that year’s big

26 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

tree are put away separately, so she can create a new look the next year. That’s not difficult considering the oodles of decorations in the basement. “My Christmas collection is huge and always growing,” she says. “Some new, some vintage.” It has followed her through many moves and will likely be on the go again. As much as Sporrer loves her home and neighborhood, she’s feeling the itch for a new project. Maybe mid-century this time. But no matter where she lands, one thing will never change. “I love Christmas. I always have.”


inspiredlivingomaha.com

27


HOST

Christmas, refined After 30 years, couple trades red and green for silver and gold STORY CHRIS CHRISTEN PHOTOGRAPHY JEFFREY BEBEE

S

orry, Santa. The outdoor lights, the

toy train under the tree, the snow village in the living room — they will always

have a special place in a family’s Christmas story. But it’s time for a change. The kids have kids of their own, and all those traditional Christmas touches just aren’t expected anymore. “Consider it fully appreciated after 30 years,” says Rose McCormick of Beyond the Vine. She’s finding that as baby boomers age, their tastes are gravitating to modern traditional decor. When it comes to accessories — holiday decorations included — less is more, she says. Last year, McCormick helped a retired Omaha couple with a holiday makeover that took Christmas decorating in a new direction. “Our decor has always been very traditional and child-oriented with seven grandchildren,” the homeowner says. “This time we went for understated elegance.” Her husband was in full agreement. “Simpler is best,” he says of the new look of winter whites, gold and silver. Preparing a dinner party for 12 close friends in December 2018, the couple

and pine — in white vases set the length

for the culinary flavors but also for the

called on McCormick to help them turn

of the table provided the crowning touch.

time together.

their dining room into a shimmering winter wonderland.

A private caterer (a dear friend)

“The whole point of a beautiful table

prepared a menu that included ba-

is to make guests feel special, whether

con-wrapped shrimp with teriyaki

they’re family, close friends or your

pagne linens, gold-rimmed china, gold

glaze, beef medallions with mushroom

bridge or book club,” McCormick says.

flatware, metallic starburst spheres,

demi-glace sauce and warm chocolate

“Add great food and the ambiance is

flocked branches and white lights. Fresh

soufflé with raspberry coulis.

magical. It’s a lovely memory for you and

They dressed the tabletop in cham-

florals — amaryllis, roses, tulips, freesia

28 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

It was a meal to be savored, not only

your guests.”


inspiredlivingomaha.com

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MEET THE EXPERTS | A SP ONSORED FEATURE

BEYOND THE WELCOME MAT 5 tips for getting your home holiday-ready

BY LINDI JANULEWICZ SPECIAL FOR INTERIORS JOAN AND ASSOCIATES

G

etting ready for the holidays often means planning for guests in your home. Here are five ways to offer a warm welcome.

Invest in an ottoman or two. They’re great for shared-space seating and adding visual interest to an open floor plan, can double as a coffee table and are kid-friendly. Some ottomans even offer storage for remote controls, game controllers, movies, children’s toys and other small, frequently used items.

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Give a tired space — the one you’re obsessing about — a quick update. Install a new lighting fixture over the kitchen table, swap out the area rug in the entry, bring some fun or drama to the powder room with a bold wall covering, anchor the sofa with new artwork. Small changes can and do have big impact. Remove or edit everyday accessories from rooms before bringing out your holiday decor. Adding holiday items to an already full shelf or tabletop muddies the look and steals focus. Carefully select what stays out and what tucks away for the season for maximum impact. Opt for clear acrylic chairs rather than folding chairs for extra seating. Acrylic chairs look especially tidy at folding tables. Drape the tables with floor-length linens for a polished look without adding visual weight to an already crowded space. Find acrylic chairs wherever party rentals are available. But reserve them well in advance! Create a cozy room for overnight guests. Essentials: comfortable bedding, fresh towels, soft lighting, convenient access to outlets for personal electronics and basic toiletries. Bonus items: A fan, black-out draperies, fresh flowers or greens in a vase, reading material, bottled water and snacks.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter Get a hand-picked selection of stories and photo galleries from the Inspired Living staff delivered straight to your inbox.

INSPIREDLIVINGOMAHA.COM

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INTERIOR DESIGN: INTERIORS JOAN AND ASSOCIATES

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31


MEET THE EXPERTS | A SP ONSORED FEATURE

12

COST-SAVING KITCHEN RENOVATION TIPS

BY DOUG MEIGS SPECIAL FOR KITCHENS REDEFINED

K

BEFORE

elly S. King has helped clients modernize kitchens across the Omaha metro (and around the

close glides for greater functionality drawers).

BACKSPLASH

32 years. His Omaha-based

Add a tile backsplash (or replace an

company, Kitchens in strategic, costsaving renovations.

Replace or retrofit drawers with soft(while removing rickety, noisy, sticking

world) for more than

ReDefined, specializes

DRAWERS

outdated backsplash). Try a simple, traditional subway tile. Or consider a bold

KELLY S. KING

OVEN HOOD Remove a microwave over a stove and put

Here are King’s Top 12 upgrades for a brand-new look without gutting the kitchen.

it in the pantry. Add a range hood and

available.

chimney above the stove for a dramatic

COUNTERTOPS

statement in the kitchen (possibly with

REPAINTING/REFINISHING

new tiling, reclaimed wood or different paint finishes around the hood).

Refinishing or repainting existing cabinets offers an easy kitchen update — but

FLOATING SHELVES

don’t cut corners. Thorough cleaning,

Consider replacing upper cabinet boxes

sanding and primer application are

with new floating shelves for an open feel.

essential before painting/staining. For the

Local hardware stores sell basic floating

primer, King uses a “state-of-the-art and

shelving options. Custom-built floating

environmentally friendly” chemical bond

shelves can carry more weight with more

coat that his company produces. “A good

design options available.

refinish or paint job done right can last

HINGES

years; a poor job may yellow and chip after a few months,” he says.

Add soft-close hinges to hide exposed

CABINET DOORS Replacing doors with outdated style

tiling statement utilizing the plethora of color, pattern and texture options now

Replace old granite or Formica countertops with beautiful zeromaintenance quartz.

HARDWARE Install new, designer cabinet hardware (handles and knobs) for a bold statement.

FLOORING Refinish that tired, old flooring. Or replace it with wider plank wood, engineered wood or synthetic luxury vinyl planking.

hinges and prevent doors from slamming

To learn more, call 402-204-1299, or visit

shut.

kitchensredefined.com.

can transform a kitchen. Remember to repaint/refinish the cabinet boxes to

AFTER

match upgraded doors and drawers.

REFACING “Refacing” means to replace the exterior layer of cabinetry. It gives the appearance of totally new cabinets. “For example, you and then do new walnut doors,” King says, adding that there are many fun refacing options with specialty and exotic woods.

CROWN MOLDING Adding new crown molding (or replacing existing crown molding with a larger style) can transform any room.

32 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

PHOTOS BY PAULA MOSER

can skin over oak with a walnut veneer

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SANTA BABY I need a little something under the tree... for Me

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alternative christmas tree STYLING + PHOTOGRAPHY

HEIDI HOFFMAN

1. Start by mapping out your wall hooks in a tree shape using small pieces of wall-safe tape. 2. Once tree shape is designed, remove tape as you adhere Command hooks to the wall. 3. Add Christmas lights in a zig-zag pattern. 4. Fill in with ribbon, tinsel and ornaments. 5. Hang a star at the top of the tree and arrange holiday decor and wrapped packages on the floor to complete the display.

inspiredlivingomaha.com

37


GARDENING

PROGRESS REPORT I get an F on spending but a passing grade on planting for pollinators

new (and smaller) pots that I got to dress up

season, there’s one area where I

my raised vegetable garden. Previous plants

definitely earned an F.

did much better in my dilapidated but huge

A big fat

plastic planters.

glorious I-don’t-regret-it-for-

What I thought was a bril-

a-minute failing grade on

liant idea for extra space in my

controlling my plant spending

vegetable garden backfired.

habits. I bought every amazing

I decided to fill the empty

flower that caught my eye and

areas with wildflower seeds

way overspent — again — at the

after writing that even a six-

Spring Affair in Lincoln last

foot patch could make a big

April. But I also made sure that

MARJIE DUCEY

SPEAKING OF PLANTS

almost every plant I brought

difference to pollinators. For good measure, I tossed in every leftover seed packet I had. Six weeks later, I had very

home was either a native species or good, according to the tag, for

few flowers, but all the weeds I had carefully

butterflies and bees. That’s my biggest focus

pulled had roared back. I’m going to try

going forward.

again next spring, maybe with zinnias and

I had a few disappointments. First off were the two Monet weigela that I spent big money on after a road trip to

cosmos. The biggest thing I learned this year? Too often, I buy plants, water them for

Canoyer Garden Center in Papillion. The

a few days and forget about them. With all

plants fried in the heat although the tag said

the rain last spring, and how pretty and

they could take full sun.

successful so many of my plants proved

My broccoli didn’t fare well in the fancy

38 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

to be afterward, I have to keep that water

UN S PL A S H .CO M

L

ooking back at the gardening


I usually don’t write down my observations of the growing season, but I think it’s a good idea. container handier in the future. I usually don’t write down my observations of the growing season, but

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GARDEN CAFE

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I think it’s a good idea. Michele Minnick started keeping a garden journal four years ago when she realized she couldn’t remember from year to year what worked and what didn’t in her flower beds and containers. The owner of the Garden Gallery in Olde Towne Elkhorn even created her own version to keep track of things such as when and where something was planted, when it bloomed, how tall it got and what made it a success or failure in her garden. “Just little things that will help me to plan for what I want it to look like next year,” she says.

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She adds pictures, too, to jog her memory about great color combina-

THE LEGENDS

tions or what she may need to plant more of next spring. She starts jotting notes midway through the growing season, often in incomplete sentences. She says if you start to journal that way, make sure you include enough information to recognize what plant you’re talking about. “I look at it during the winter just to get excited,” she says. “I love to see each year what my garden looked like. Sometimes I’ll do the same container and it will look completely different. I like to compare.” Do you keep a journal? I’d love to hear what works for you.

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41


HARBOURFRONT CENTRE

N E A R + FA R

12 FAVORITE WAYS TORONTO ENGAGES, ENTHRALLS AND ENTERTAINS

NYC’s little sister STORY CHRIS CHRISTEN

42 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

PHOTOS CHRIS CHRISTEN + KURT A. KEELER


NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

C

CN TOWER

anada in the dead of winter

at night with illumination of the rink’s

5. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME

doesn’t sound smart, but

arches, the city’s official Christmas tree,

Brookfield Place, 30 Yonge St.,

our family’s desire for a hol-

3D “Toronto” sign and Old City Hall in

iday getaway saw nine of us

Entertainment District

the background.

on Air Canada’s 2½-hour, nonstop flight from Omaha to Toronto last December. Though smaller than New York City, Toronto has a similar vibe with its soaring skyscrapers, hip neighborhoods, cool attractions and excellent public transportation. Our five-day itinerary concentrated on the city core. Here are our 12 favorite discoveries.

1. CN TOWER 301 Front St. West, Entertainment District Toronto smartly clusters three significant attractions in one tidy pedestrian plaza: the soaring CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and the small-but-engaging Toronto Railway Museum. We got our bearings from the top of the CN Tower, the city’s iconic symbol. The 360-degree view of the harbor and downtown was worth the $38 adult admission. For a hair-raising thrill and a fee, check out the

3. ST. LAWRENCE MARKET 93 Front St. East, Old Town Named No. 1 Food Market in the

100 Queen St. West

interactive. Go one-on-one against lifesize, animated versions of Hall of Fame goalies and shooters, view hockey flicks

butter tarts, maple candy, Montreal-style

and clips, and learn about legends of the

bagels, fresh-roasted coffee, sweet and

game and their gear. Admission: $20

savory crepes and Toronto’s signature peameal bacon sandwich. Aisle after aisle of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats and poultry. The red brick emporium sits in Old Town, birthplace of Toronto. Also here: The Gooderham Flatiron Building, St. James Park with its doggie fountain, and a multicultural mash-up of restaurants, bistros, pubs and boutiques. In the vicinity: Mill Street Beer Hall in the Historic Distillery District. Victorian industrial architecture and cobblestone streets make this the perfect spot for the German-inspired Toronto Christmas Market, Nov. 14 to Dec. 22.

4. HARBOURFRONT CENTRE 235 Queens Quay West, on the waterfront

2. NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

home of the Stanley Cup, is highly

World by National Geographic. Sample

EdgeWalk. Nearby: an “eggcellent” breakfast spot: Evviva, 25 Lower Simcoe St.

My brother’s party of seven raved about the experience. The museum,

Toronto sits on the shore of Lake Ontario, so a walk along the waterfront

Toronto’s answer to NYC’s Rockefeller

was a must. We made a delightful stop

Center. The square is a celebrated attrac-

for ice skating at Natrel Rink. I begged

tion year-round, with a reflecting pool

off, not wanting to embarrass myself,

in summer and a skating rink in winter.

but reconsidered and skated for the first

The holiday scene is especially magical

time in years — without falling down!

6. THE BATA SHOE MUSEUM 327 Bloor St. West, downtown A museum devoted to the history of footwear. Who knew? We lucked into “Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes.” Fashionistas will want (and need) more than an hour here. Steps away: BloorYorkville for upscale shopping. Nearby, giant ceramic heads by Omaha-based artist Jun Kaneko: One guards the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art; two welcome you to the posh Bisha Hotel.

7. ROL SAN 323 Spadina Ave., Chinatown Chinatown is everything you’d expect: Asian grocery stores, contemporary fusion restaurants and sidewalk vendors. We enjoyed a gargantuan meal at Rol San, a classic on the dim sum scene. The flavors were divine. A place packed with locals always is a good sign!

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8. KENSINGTON MARKET Vicinity of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street Adjacent to Chinatown, offbeat Kensington Market is a walkable bohemian neighborhood filled with graffiti, indie shops, vintage boutiques, coffee houses, art spaces and lively painted Victorian houses.

9. CASA LOMA HISTORIC CASTLE 1 Austin Terrace, north of downtown Toronto’s most distinctive private residence, built in 1914, is a family

KENSINGTON MARKET

RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM

favorite during the holidays for the period decorations, live entertainment (aerialists in the Great Hall!) and Christmas market. Think “Downton Abbey” in scale and style. Crowded but worth it. Admission: $22.50.

10. LOOSE MOOSE TAP & GRILL 146 Front St. West Just two blocks from our hotel, this neighborhood watering hole was our group’s rendezvous spot. Noisy, friendly and packed before events. Storied pub feel.

11. THE SECOND CITY 51 Mercer St., Entertainment District Alley entrance. “Saturday Night

NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

Live” atmosphere and format. Inventive young comedians who skewer everything from politics to popular culture. We had a ball at “It’s a Wild, Rowdy, Wonderful Life,” a mostly scripted two-act revue followed by a third act of improvisation.

12. KIT KAT ITALIAN BAR & GRILL 297 King St. West Tiny, kitschy mom-and-pop restaurant serving authentic Italian fare with attitude to match. We felt like family. Look for the grinning kitty at the bar and the Wishing Tree.

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ST. LAWRENCE MARKET

BATA SHOE MUSEUM


LUXURY HOMES

709 S. 96TH ST. $2,800,000

Celebrating 30 years of success and expertise in business!

Impressive District 66 Prudy/Slack designed home. Quality constructed by Dan Witt & set on approx. 3 secluded acres complete with tennis court and swimming pool. Over 9000 finished sq ft, 8+ car garage, 9+ bath locations, 5 bedrooms with walk-in closets, 4 fireplaces. The master features 2 enormous walk-in closets/rooms, 2 bath locations plus walk-in shower & whirlpool. Master suite overlooks access to private garden & patio. The second floor features a hallway with balcony windows overlooking the main floor living/great room. Generously sized second-floor bedrooms have walk-in closets, Jack/Jill configured baths. Please note that all measurements are approx. Blueprints available for review upon request. Seller requests 24-hour showing notice.

Meet the Experts

Nick and Asha Agarwal at

Carolyn Kesick 402-669-0940

Oriental Rug Palace

120 N. Lakeview Way, Ashland • $1,400,000 Simply showstopping and exquisite, this executive estate in Ashland is like none other. With over 7000 sq ft of high end finishes and entertaining space, with breathtaking and unbeatable views at every turn. Open the door and be wowed by the generous space and flowing open concept main floor, featuring chef’s kitchen with new high-end appliances and oversized island, wine bar, smooth ceilings, surround sound, new fireplace, and loads of natural light. Recently remodeled master retreat with its own private deck, coffee bar, heated tile floors, and a to-die-for master shower. Sunroom with a view for miles, private office, formal dining room, loads of cabinets for storage and all heated tile complete the main floor. Basement w/ full second kitchen, sunken family room, wine cellar, billiards room, 2 guest suites with full bathrooms, pool room with towel storage, hot tub and sauna, and a convenient second laundry room, play room and fitness room. Brand new deck, railing, Da Vinci roof and much much more.

Michael Maley 402-981-7400

Visit our showroom and explore the unique selection of fine handmade rugs, quality furniture and decorative accessories. Add warmth, luxury and style to your home that reflects you…

Stop by today for an enjoyable shopping experience and take advantage of great savings throughout the showroom, as we celebrate our 30 years in business!

21285 Rawhide Road $1,399,000 Welcome to this timeless 1.5-story family home on 2.4 acres for resort-like living, fun and relaxation. Enter and be captivated by the great room’s 18-foot limestone fireplace and views of lush grounds. Main floor master suite, sitting area and expansive walk-through closet leads to a 5-piece bath. Eat-in gourmet kitchen, laundry, library, wet bar also part of the open and inviting main floor. Enjoy four large bedrooms upstairs and access to private bathrooms, walk-in closets and second laundry area. Walk-out basement with full kitchen, many built-ins, electric fireplace, plus plenty of room for pool table, ping-pong and darts. Additional bonuses: exercise room, room with daylight windows, ¾ bath, ½ bath and multiple utility and storage rooms. This caring community has many events, a private park, pond, horse trails, in an unparalleled setting just minutes to Elkhorn schools, shopping, dining and more. Inside and out, there is no other place like this home.

Karen Jennings 402-290-6296

rugs | furniTure aCCessories Professional rug Cleaning, rePair, aPPraisals

Oriental Rug Palace

980 S 72nd St. Omaha, NE 402-390-1122 www.orientalrugpalace.com inspiredlivingomaha.com

45


RECIPES

Quick comfort

ALL-DAY SOUPS IN ABOUT 15 MINUTES

I

savor the quirks of regional food. Before moving to the Cornhusker State, I could never have told you if

a Runza was a sandwich or a wrestling move. I would have assumed ordering a Tiger Meat sandwich ends with a knock at the door by U.S. Fish & Wildlife agents. And I certainly had never washed down a bowl of chili with a warm cinnamon roll. Growing up in central Pennsylvania had its own long list of food foibles, including beef bologna sweet enough to hand out at Halloween. But when leaves turn and frost starts to bite, I think mostly of my Keystone State’s fascination CHAD LEBO

THE HIDDEN PANTRY

with hearty soups. Our church’s biggest fundraiser of the year was the Chicken Corn Soup Festi-

val featuring plastic foam bowl after plastic foam bowl of “carby” protein-filled soup thickened with enough crushed saltines to double as delicious drywall spackle. McClure, Pennsylvania, has been honoring Civil War veterans for 128 years with a Bean Soup Festival that also annually crowns the McClure Bean Soup Queen (along with all rights and privileges thereof). Soup is taken seriously. The only bad part of rich hearty soups (please note that I don’t consider fat and calories to be bad things), is that most take hours and hours of cooking. With a few techniques, though, a rich from-scratch soup can be whipped up in about 15 minutes. Neither of these recipes cheats and uses storebought stock or bouillon to nail that cooked-all-day flavor. Instead, they rely on high heat, salty fats and an umami kick from a little fish sauce. In essence, the fresh ingredients are cooked like a stir fry and then pureed at the end. The other trick is that the potato and squash are grated instead of cut into chunks, so they soften in minutes rather than hours. Focus on the methods and techniques and add or swap ingredients to make your own swift but satisfying fare.

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CREAMY POTATO BACON SOUP YIELDS 2 QUARTS Classic combination of potato, bacon and cream, but instead of cooking the soup for hours, it is ready in minutes. The fish sauce in the recipe adds depth to the flavor but does not make it “fishy.” If you really want to skip the fish sauce, just taste the soup at the end and add salt as needed to make up for it.

INSTRUCTIONS 4 cups hot/boiling water 3 cups potato, shredded with skin ¾ pound bacon, chopped 1 cup heavy cream 1 red bell pepper, minced ½ cup chives, chopped 1 stalk celery, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons sweet onion, minced 2 teaspoons hot sauce 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)

1. Chop, shred and otherwise prep all ingredients. Leave the skin on the potato and shred using a box grater or food processor. 2. In thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, fry all the chopped bacon until browned but barely crispy. Stir constantly. 3. Remove 2/3 of the bacon and reserve to top the finished soup. Leave remaining bacon and the grease in the pot. 4. Add olive oil. Over high heat while stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot, fry the red pepper, celery, garlic, onion, hot sauce and fish sauce for 2-3 minutes. 5. Add the hot/ boiling water and the shredded potato and continue cooking over medium-high heat. While stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until potato is softened. 6. Remove from heat, add all of the heavy cream and 2/3 of the chives and puree with a hand or stand blender. 7. Taste for salt and add more if needed. 8. Serve topped with the chopped bacon, remaining chives and garlic Parmesan croutons. More of the heavy cream or even sour cream can be drizzled on top, too.


BUTTERNUT & PEANUT SOUP WITH CHORIZO YIELDS 1½ QUARTS This rich and hearty soup can easily be a full meal. If you are not a fan of chorizo, it can be swapped for Italian sausage or even an unsweetened breakfast sausage. Butternut squash is wonderful, too, but this also works with acorn squash, pumpkin or even sweet potatoes and yams.

INSTRUCTIONS 4 cups hot/boiling water 3 cups butternut squash, shredded (without skin) 1 pound Mexican chorizo 1 cup peanuts, roasted and salted 2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup parsley, chopped 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons sweet onion, minced 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or use extra salt as needed)

1. Chop, shred and otherwise prep all ingredients. Cut off the skin from the butternut squash and shred using a box grater or food processor. 2. In thick-bottomed pot over high heat, fry 3 tablespoons of the oil and all the chorizo until browned but not crispy. Stir constantly. 3. Remove 2/3 of the chorizo and reserve to top finished soup. Leave remaining chorizo and fat/oil in the pot. 4. Add remaining olive oil. Over high heat while stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot, fry the peanuts, onion, garlic and fish sauce for 2-3 minutes. 5. Add the hot/boiling water and the shredded butternut squash and continue cooking over medium-high heat. While stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until squash is tender. 6. Remove from heat, add the butter and 2/3 of the parsley and puree with a hand or stand blender. 7. Taste for salt and add more if needed. 8. Serve topped with the remaining chorizo and parsley, and garlic Parmesan croutons. A dollop of sour cream is a nice touch, too.

GARLIC PARMESAN CROUTONS YIELDS 2 CUPS Fresh croutons and storebought versions are very different beasts. Ones freshly fried are rich with olive oil and crispy without being hard. Any fresh or stale bread can work, but baguette-like loaves are best. For best flavor and texture, make them and use them right away. They’re not meant to be saved.

INSTRUCTIONS 2 cups bread, ½ inch cubes ¼ cup olive oil 3 tablespoons Parmesan, freshly grated 2 cloves garlic ¼ teaspoon fine salt

1. Cut the bread and set aside. 2. Smash the cloves of garlic and remove the “paper.” Do not chop or mince the garlic. You want whole cloves that are slightly smashed. 3. In thickbottomed skillet over high heat, fry the garlic in the olive oil. Tip the skillet to side, so that the oil puddles to “deep fry” the cloves until browned. 4. Remove the garlic and set the skillet on a flat surface. 5. Add the bread and salt, and fry until browned and crispy but not hard. Stir constantly. 6. Remove from skillet but leave the croutons. 7. Sprinkle grated cheese over surface and let melt for 2-3 minutes. 8. Best served warm or within an hour. inspiredlivingomaha.com

47


SMALL BUSINESS DIRECTORY

ALL SEASONS FLORAL AND GIFTS

Make the Holidays Happy with flowers, gifts and attire for all occasions. Specializing in Troll Beads, and florals for holidays, weddings, galas, funerals and corporate events. 16939 WRIGHT PLAZA, SUITE 136 402-991-9300 SHOPALLSEASONSFLORALOMAHA.COM

Beau Joyau Like our name, Beau Joyau is a “beautiful jewel.” Gorgeous jewelry. Stylish casual attire. Largest varied collection of Polish Pottery in the Midwest. Put us on your Christmas bucket list. HILLToP PLaZa 2947 SouTH 108TH ST. 402-301-7103 BeauJoyau.CoM

EHLY’S INTERIORS

We do windows! We repair blinds! Family owned and operated for over 41 years. Full interior décor service: blinds, fabrics, drapery, upholstery, wallpaper and carpeting. Stop by our showroom to see the latest in décor fashions. 2312 BOB BOOZER DR 402-330-6557 EHLYSBLINDS.COM

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ERWIN’S JEWELERS Erwin’s offers an extraordinary selection of fine j ewelry, wedding and engagement rings, and jewelry repairs. Our extensive gift collection suits all tastes and includes a wide variety of collectible, hand-painted Cozenza glass - Perfect for the Holidays! 223 W. MISSION AVE., BELLEVUE 402-291-2454 ERWINSJEWELERSCO.COM

Spruce InterIorS and GIftS roSIe Jane BaBy and GIftS We’ve got exactly what you need to fill the stockings of everyone on your list this holiday season! fun hostess gifts, beautiful ornaments, unique accessories and treasures for little ones. follow us on Instagram. 5018/5022 LeaVenWortH Street omaHa, ne @SpruceomaHa @roSIeJaneGIftSomaHa

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LEGACY ART & FRAME

New Life ThrifT

A cozy little shop around the corner in Dundee filled with great finds, antiques, consignments and chandeliers. We offer framing for antique and contemporary works of art. 111 N 50TH ST 402-330-6665 LEGACY ART & FRAME ON FACEBOOK

Always a fun experience! fin d designer, vintage, antiques, clothin g and furniture. Shop NLTique Boutique for special items. holiday Seasonal Store is n ow open . Call for pick up of your estate sale leftovers, clothing and furniture. Like us on facebook! 7007 S 36Th ST, BeLLevue 402-731-9311 NewLifeThrifT.NeT

TEXTILES

Perfect for gift-giving: Custom Ottomans $125 Cuddly Throws $175 A great way to spruce up any room for the holidays and beyond. 149TH ST & INDUSTRIAL RD 402-399-8764 TEXTILESINTERIORS.COM

Village needleworks omaha’s premier needlepoint shop. Your destination for turnin g your passion for needlepoint into a work of art. located in Countryside Village. 8709 sHaMroCk road 402-391-1191 Villageneedleworks.CoM

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• • • •

Certified Interior Designers In-Home Consultation Personalized Service Premium Brands

A STYLE THAT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU Every space in your home should be a reflection of you. From comfort and convenience to style and sophistication. That’s why the creative interior

designers at Nebraska Furniture Mart’s Design Gallery are here. We work with you every step of the way to bring your vision to life. Bringing you the latest styles and personalized service all at NFM’s Legendary Low Prices. We’re here to help you create a style that can only be described as “you.”

T H E D E S IG N GA L L ERY

700 South 72nd Street, Omaha, N E 800-359-1200

nfm.com/design-gallery ©2019 Nebraska Furniture Mart, Inc.


You’re not like everyone else. 2019 Maserati Ghilbi S Q4 GranLusso. Yours from $94,065* Maserati of Omaha 6611 L Street, Omaha, NE 68117 (402) 592-1015

*MSRP excludes taxes, title, an registration fees. Starting price refers to base model, optional equipment not included. A more expensive model may be shown. Pricing and offers may change at any time without notification. To get full pricing details, see your dealer. Š 2018 Maserati north America, inc. All rights reserved. Maserati and Trident logo are registered trademarks of Maserati SpA. Maserati urges you to obey all speed limits.

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Inspired Living Omaha - The Holiday Edition 2019