Monday, June 30, 2008

Je t'aime L'Atelier Vert

I fall in love so easily.
Here are 5 (ok 7) recipes I want to try this week
from L'Atelier Vert's kitchen:

Sorrel tart
(Tarte d'oseille)

Tagine of fish with onions and confit of fresh lemons
(Tagine de poisson auz oignons et aux citrons confits à l'instant)
ooo or
Filet of sole, spring vegetable couscous, juice with sweet spices
Filet de sole, couscous léger aux légumes de printemps, jus aux épices douces)

Spring lamb chops grilled with green garlic and mint
(Cotelets d'agneau grillées à l'ail vert et à la menthe)

ooo or...Lamb tagine with bitter orange and honey

"Flourless" almond cake with apricots and rosemary
(Moelleux d'amandes aux abricots et au romarin)

Rhubarb-rose bread pudding with strawberry-rose sauce
(Pain perdu à la rhubarbe et à la rose, coulis fraise-rose)

and possibly I can make this beautiful sounding recipe for rose syrup if I get out to
my folk's house and steal all of their roses. If I do, I promise to share.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Memento Mori

Abraham Mignon
Still Life with Fruit, Fish, and a Nest, c. 1675

Adriaen Coorte, 1697

Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606-1683/4)

Can I only keep only posting about what I get at the famers market? I may have to start a whole new blog just for this...but the haul was was decadent! If we had had some kind of out-of-season feathered fowl and a gaggle of bright-eyed herring hanging over the edge of the table, a Dutch Master could have come in and painted the whole overflowing bounty, a commentary on our overly-fruitful existence, a call for moderation, a reminder that life is fleeting...
Jan Davidsz de Heem
Vase of Flowers, c. 1660
painting images borrowed from the Rijkmuseum

A Tomato is Born

Do you see it behind there? Just one short week ago they look like this and It's like one day you wake up and you look and you think, "my, they grow up so fast."
And below, my first nasturtiums are popping. I planted them from seeds so I'm feeling kind of...proud today.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I suddenly have

Camera envy.

Maybe it's because I've been looking at so many blogs with gorgeous photos. Maybe it's because one of the brides who came over for a consultation last week had a small digital camera with her that could run circles around my little old canon elph.

I guess it had been rolling around in my mind--this feeling of wanting to make my photos better--when I looked deeper into a lovely blog that is new to me called cookworm. I saw she had won a contest on Food + Photography (congratulations!) and when I clicked through it was as if a whole new world had opened up to me...they listed which cameras each photgrapher had used.cookworm's really great photographs and
the winning photo, (third)

Jim, who is an amazing photographer, has a big Canon EOS1D Mark 2 (with a hyper alloy battle chassis and an overhead cam drive). It's always looked big and complicated to me but he was thinking about selling it and now I am thinking about learning to use it and maybe even purchasing a macro lens for it. I'd like to be able to take better pictures of my jewelry, of my food, of all the things that inspire.

May I ask what kinds of cameras do you all use for the kinds of work you do? And what kind of accoutrements do use with it?

Friday, June 27, 2008


Tilleul from diptyque in Paris, my all time,
hands-down favorite, no matter what I say here.

This has been a good week. We're in good shape on the work front, The Farmer's Market is overflowing with possibilities and the Linden trees are in full blossom on my street. I'm a sucker for Linden or Tilleul in French. It's sweet scent will catches the breeze, and whether it's dry and sunny or even hot and muggy --the fragrance of Linden can transport me to...I guess to a French road, lined with big fragrant trees leading me to...
dinner in a garden, hopefully in Provence, wishfully here...and if I were to eat anything, I'd love to try this, a recipe for "Marc Meneaus's chicken in a linden infusion" from the wonderful L'Atelier Vert, and I would serve it in this, from her lovely on-line shop in Linden yellow. last three photos from L'Atelier Vert

Matcha? You Betcha! (or What I Learned About Baking Cookies)

This is a fortuitous recipe. Not only for it's enticing and simple ingredients, the delicate and fragrant flavor of Matcha tea with rich butter and the beautiful presentation possibilities of a such a lovely cookie, but because, it introduced me to a beautiful blog, Canelle Vanille, which inspired me to bake again. I haven't done much baking in a very long time, I got to do it with my really good pal Ana who is an incredible baker and tea aficionado...we had a lot of fun doing it. She also taught me something interesting about baking that I didn't know before so I've been "enriched" so to speak. She's posted about it today too (with a good tip about Matcha.)

The batter was so pretty...we made it one day and then I baked them myself early in the AM before the heat of the day. They came out much thinner than Aran's--I didn't have parchment or a silicon mat to line the pan and know very little about the dynamics of baking---I greased the pan instead and they came out flat--Ana told me later, the butter will make the cookies spread and is good when you want a thin cookie but maybe not if we wanted the thick beautiful diamants. I'm ready for a do-over. I even bought the parchment.

It didn't detract from the beautiful soft flavor of the cookie. Had some for breakfast, out in the early morning air, with a little mint and jasmine tea, invited Ana to eat the rest with me mid-morning and the rest is a happy ending and a new recipe to add to my favorite recipe list.

A Really Custom Week

Had some fun custom orders this week. Even nicer that they were for some old friends, people I can create for specifically and contemplate their pieces with a more thoughtful direction--it's almost like getting a gift myself when I do custom work.

The necklaces above are for my good friend Ada Limon, poet extraordinaire, who is leaving her position at GQ to become Creative Director at Travel + Leisure! I had given her a little custom necklace with a little "A" foil-backed cabochon (I could only find A's, J's, and K's but am on the lookout for more letters!) so she asked if I could do some more like it for her two best friends at work as a parting gift.

Kristin, who's an interior designer and is no stranger to color, wanted something striking to go with her rich plum Vera Wang dress for a wedding in Chicago. It has a little wishbone charm and some amethyst colored pearls and turquoise glass Czech beads sewn into the lime green tulle, but I wanted to sew some antique silver sequins sewn into the tulle for sparkle, so it would catch the color of her dress--this way it would complement it without being matchy-matchy which she didn't want. I love that she went for something so vibrant--I think she wears it really really well!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last Night in Union Square and a Pretty Good Batch of Pesto

I actually just wanted to go the market, buy some spelt bread and take some pictures since the colors are so incredible right now (and I am supposedly in "design incubation mode".) I ran into some nice company for a spell and we clicked away and talked about all of our favorite stuff at the market.The orange roses and soft-pink stock
were the prettiest thing, especially after making color boards all day yesterday.
And they smelled nearly Shakespearian.

The "Local Honey" Bee guy was pretty funny. Watching all the lady bees at work was really cool but made me feel...uh..kind of lazy.
He had marked the queen, he said, with a blue dot but we couldn't find her.
We did however, see a baby bee being born (how's that for alliteration).
He's looking for people to raise bees in NYC and has an organization called
Bees Without Borders that I'd like to look into a little further.

Rue, said to ward off evil spirits, from my favorite vendor Trina from Silver Heights Farm.
I love the kooky little mitten-shaped leaves. (Aww man...I should have said "Rue" for my entry in Calico Daisy's contest! Oh well...)
I bought some epazote plantlings yesterday from her, which my friend Craig was talking about on Sunday.
We have so many chilies about to pop, we're going to have make a mexican midsummer feast (please cook it Craig).

And then dinner, not necessarily in that order

I planted a lot of Basil in my pots so I could make pesto and pistou all summer but it's in the markets as well.

This is my first harvest pesto:
A big bunch of any kind of Basil leaves
a big handful of pine nuts (just about 1/2 c or more if you like)
3 cloves of garlic
a little sea salt
1/4-1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
a hunk of parmegiano-
reggiano cheese to grate in afterwards

Crush the first three ingredients in a food processor or if you're really cool use a mortar and pestle. Pour in the olive oil slowly while you mix until you have a nice loose paste or the consistency you like. I don't like to add cheese to the mix, but I did grate it on after. We also ate it with some great goat cheese from Consider Bardwell Farms, my new crush, and all was well with the world.

I served it on boiled new potatoes and green beans --the Genoese way minus the pasta but by all means and of course, throw in some thick spaghetti and Bob's your uncle!