Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Some tasty bites for your New Years Eve enjoyment....

Sable with creme fraiche, dill and whitefish roe on seeded crackers

Minted mashed peas with harissa yogurt and chopped black walnuts on whole grain crostini

White truffle butter-sauteed morel mushrooms on brioche toasts with thyme sprigs

Chili and dill pickled quail eggs and shaved shallots on cracker rounds

Salted dark chocolate-dipped candied oranges

Thank you for your continued support - it has been a wonderful year sharing good food and life with you all! I love how much this little blog has grown with your help, shaping and reflecting so many adventures - great and small - along the way.  I look forward to all the new goodies we'll cook up together in the coming year. Wishing you all the very best in 2013!!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!


I made, styled and photographed this story for the latest issue of Llamas Valley. They asked me to produce something fun for the holidays, and I immediately thought of pie. With options for savory or sweet goodness enveloped by flaky and comforting crust, their versatility and historic relevance (pies are an ancient way to preserve and transport deliciousness...) make them essential in any cook's repertoire. I hope you will be wowed enough by these images to try one or many of the recipes. Each was o-u-t-r-a-g-e-o-u-s-l-y delicious. Some pies here are easier to prepare than others, but be brave, roll up your sleeves, and tell me which are your favorites!  All recipes can be found on their new - and free! - iPad edition, here. Good luck, and good eating!!!

making our wreath for the front door, using rose hips to accent the greenery

I am thrilled to be spending the holidays with my parents. They are inspirations for so many things in my life, and I will soak up the precious days we'll have together - no doubt framed by lots of good eating and drinking. I have some special gifts planned, including a hawthorne berry infused vodka which I made over the past few months. It is surprisingly delicious.

With any luck, I will share some festive treats (that are easy to make!) as we gear up for New Year's Eve.... stay tuned.

As this year comes to a close and we renew ourselves for 2013, I am reminded that there is so much to be grateful for. I wanted to share some organizations that do a lot of good to help others in need, in hopes to raise awareness, as well as to offer you the chance to make a year-end contribution in making them even more effective. With the recent tragedy of Hurricane Sandy still very present, there is essential ongoing work to help the various communities affected get back on their feet. Donate here to help people in Staten Island, New York City, and New Jersey. 

For the past year or so, I have followed the phenomenal story of a boy named Cain, who made waves with his cardboard arcade. Because so much support came his way, the Imagination Foundation was born to bolster kids worldwide. Donate here to support kids in developing themselves, flourishing in the fun of stimulating creativity. 

Lastly, something extremely dear to me: the crucial raising awareness for the wonderful furry creatures that enrich our lives, making our house a home and who become our family. The reality is that millions (crazy, but true) of animals are needlessly destroyed every year, dropped off at shelters and left to a most unfortunate fate. Please, please, if you are considering getting a dog or a cat (and other animals, too!), adopt from a shelter, especially those known as "kill shelters". You will save a life and for your reward and receive a lifetime of unconditional love. This is one organization here in NYC dedicated to placing animals before they meet their doom. Helping to spread word about animals who come through their doors is of great help. You never know who may be ready to foster or adopt! Perhaps you were even thinking of bringing an animal into your home. There are so many amazing creatures who need you, and thank you. Just over two years ago, we rescued a couple of cats who were going to be destroyed the next day. In the time since they have become the loves of our lives. Totally!!! Thank you for reading, and for considering how you can make a contribution in creating a meaningful, great 2013.

Happy Holidays everyone!!! xxx

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My New York

I am really excited to share with you a long-term project I have been working on for a while now. I have been designated to highlight (some of) my favorite places in this fair town, for a new website launching early in 2013, called REstylesource. The idea is to showcase local artisans, small producers, and fantastic neighborhood merchants, in direct counter to the big box stores and online entities that seem so dominant these days. REstylesource will feature great places nation-wide; I have been sourcing great finds in New York City. I feel quite lucky to be given the chance to scout these great places and then share them with such a meaningful and large audience. 

Kudos to each of the wonderful small businesses featured - you guys make our experience a personalized one - truly unique.

Quintessentially rustic environment and food, served with refinement - West Village, NYC


Fanciful and unusual objects and textiles for the home - Soho, NYC

Holler & Squall ~

The best in weathered and worn, gorgeous furniture and reliquary objects - Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

Handcrafted menu, featuring Stumptown coffee - Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

American food with a southern twist... "belly filling goodness" - Chelsea, NYC

Prohibition-era style setting, top-notch cocktails - Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Are you eager to check out these wonderful people and places *now*?? They're as good as they look! Just so you know, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I have scouted and showcased numerous more dynamic locales to share, and I cannot wait to see how you all love 'em. Thanks for checking in. :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our Global Kitchen: Food, Culture, Nature

A couple weeks ago The American Museum of Natural History sent me a press preview invitation for their new exhibit, now open to the public, called Our Global Kitchen. With my fingers on the pulse of food in one way or another these days (i.e. all over the place, which I just l-o-v-e), I knew this should not be missed. It did not disappoint.

Our Global Kitchen is one of the most information-dense exhibits I have visited, filled with details on historical kitchens both simple and grand; ancient growing and eating practices; meals from around the world (and different époques); various solutions to the very real and worsening issue of food scarcity; alternating food demonstrations, and more. Generally, everything food.

Since we all eat and have a gazillion relationships to food, I thought it relevant to share and encourage you to find out more for yourselves. Go see Our Global Kitchen and bring your friends, your family, so you can chew over the layers, together.

Container gardens on display. Samples of watercress, mustard greens, thyme varieties, and more were available to taste.
This piece really struck me.  Seems criminal that the "hard and flavorless" is what is widely available.

The figures detailing meat production are dismaying, astounding. On right, future-forward ways of growing more to feed more.
Yup, worms. Maguey larvae were a delicacy in the Aztec court, and remain popular today.

The great Aztec marketplace circa 1500 - insects and lizards as popular meat sources, available for trade

These items are really the tip of the iceberg... the exhibit touched briefly on the truth behind these figures.

This towering display shows what an American family of four wastes in one year

I have shared what might seem like a considerable bit, but the exhibit delves into much more. It is a fairly comprehensive look at all our identities through food: where we have been, and where we are headed. Appropriate for all ages, allow at least a few hours to take it all in. When you've finished, go find some great food (and maybe a drink or two) to share as you ponder....