A passion for food + fashion

Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

It’s in the Can…

In Food on June 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’m kind of in awe of this Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato recipe I stumbled upon via Food52.For one thing, just about all the ingredients are CANNED: tomatoes, breadcrumbs, sardines. It also makes me wonder, what else can I be making with tinned sardines? I love how meaty they are—and cheap. As a starving student in Paris, I used to eat a tin of these for dinner.

What I love about this recipe is that you pour off the olive oil from the sardines into a skillet and sauté garlic in the olive oil until fragrant. You then add sliced fennel and red chile flakes, then some canned tomatoes and your sardines, dry vermouth and lemon juice for a little brightness and then your linguine. It’s all topped with toasted breadcrumbs with lemon zest and all in takes about 15 minutes to prepare, making it our new favorite weeknight go-to. And the dish is just LOADED with flavor. Serve with a very cold glass of rosé. For the full recipe, click HERE.

Kitchen Makeover

In Design, Fashion on June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

My friend Kim Friday, who is a senior fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily, is also a fierce cook. So when I noticed kitchen demo photos going up on her Facebook page a couple months ago, I couldn’t wait to see the finished results. She started with this.

Kim Friday’s Kitchen: Pre-Makeover

Poor little Lola (pictured above) needed a more stylish space for her kibble, so Kim took her editor’s eye and created a super chic kitchen in a 30-square-foot space. Here it is, ready for its closeup! The paint colors all have lovely names like the Martha Stewart Popcorn on the walls or the Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breathe on the cabinets. The space seems so much bigger thanks to sleek cabinets, integrated appliances (like a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawer) and other clever space savers. She gives us the skinny, below…

The Reveal: Kim Friday’s Kitchen

What were some of the design challenges in designing the space?
First and foremost its size—30 square feet, welcome to New York City!—and L-shape. I used finger pulls for hardware, a garage door to conceal the microwave, an integrated dishwashing drawer that blends right into the cabinets, and painted pegboard (in honor of Julia Child) the same color as the wall so the pots and pans look like they are floating. Everything has its place.

A pegboard is painted the same color as the wall so pots appear to be floating.

My building was also a challenge as it was constructed in 1931, which meant all kinds of soffits that concealed plumbing or electrical that couldn’t be moved. My kitchen designer, Sally Humphreys, had her work cut out for her.
Did your experience as a fashion editor come into play?
I think for me the new kitchen had to tick three boxes that were equally important—maximize space, be super functional and look great. I approached it much like I would a shoot starting with tear sheets and images of kitchens I liked, paint chips, appliances and accessories that spoke to me. When I couldn’t find specific things I wanted I improvised, which is very much a stylist’s trick. My spice rack is in fact a picture shelf from West Elm, and I made my own kitchen mat with fabric, spray adhesive and polyurethane.

Metal Picture Ledge via westelm.com

Kim’s spice shelf

What is the first you cooked in your new kitchen?
I planned on doing a simple salad with sweet grape tomatoes that my vegetable guy on Madison/72nd squirrels away for me, drizzled with the J. Leblanc hazelnut oil I got on my birthday trip to Paris, and a cheese soufflé, served with a gorgeous bottle of ’98 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame that I’ve been saving for the occasion. Plans changed when it was finally finished on the weekend True Blood premiered it’s new season. I always host True Blood Sunday with friends so instead the first meal ended up being an ode to Louisiana with a crazy good seafood gumbo with cornbread muffins and a mixed berry crumble for dessert.
What five things will we always find in your pantry/fridge?
1. Intelligentsia coffee, I live for their El Gallo organic breakfast blend
2. Couscous – I like Savion’s Homestyle Plain Passover version that’s made with Matzo
3. Some sort of fish, lately a lot of local wild flounder and sea scallops
4. Assorted vegetables. In the winter root vegetables and kale, in the summer I love all sorts of tomatoes, beets, spinach and sweet corn
5. Stoli Vodka & Rose’s Lime Juice for gimlets
What five things will we always find in your wardrobe?
1. T by Alexander Wang v-neck tee shirts
2. Slouchy Tse Cashmere sweaters
3. Rick Owens or vintage Ghost wide-leg pants or pull-on midi skirts
4. Statement Accessories – lately it’s this massive black leather bangle by Honest Joe, a gorgeous wood and horn ring my pals at Sticks & Stones in Portland gave me and my engraved neon Original Satchel Company bag.
5. Ann Demuelemeester boots in winter, Christian Louboutin sandals in the summer.
What is your advice for designing a space that looks good and gets the job done?
Make a list of what you use regularly and what are the biggest challenges when you are cooking, then start ripping out tear sheets from magazines and printing pics from websites and blogs. You’ll see a trend fairly quickly of what you gravitate towards.
From left: Fretwork bracket in doorway salvaged from the porch of Kim’s childhood home. Umbra floating shelves hold her favorite cookbooks.

Brass Tacks for Boys

In Baby Love, Design on June 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

Last winter while pregnant with our second son, I started to think about where we were going to put the little guy. Would we turn our guest room into the baby’s? Or have him bunk up with his big brother? My husband is the youngest of three boys, and ultimately made the call. Share a room. He grew up in New York. He and his middle brother, Tim, shared a bedroom in which they would invent games, do their homework together, throw a ball back and forth. Hearing him talk about it, I wanted our boys to make their own memories in a shared room. Practically speaking, this meant finding twin beds, which is easier said than done. I knew I wanted a sort of early 20th century iron bed frame. I love these Hamilton Steel Bed Frames from Schoolhouse Electric in Oregon, but at $1,250 each they were a little out of my budget:

And then I made the eBay score of the century—two brass beds from 1901 for less than the price of one of the above. These beds had been living in the Reno garage of a Berkeley professor’s parents. The parents had purchased them from the Tahoe Tavern (below)—Lake Tahoe’s first grand hotel, which burned down in the 1960s—and their boys grew up sleeping in these solid brass beds.

The frames are so heavy you can barely lift them—so much more substantial and enduring than anything you could buy new. I love the history behind them, and I bet they last another 110 odd years. They look great with vintage Superman sheets (another eBay score!) and a summer-weight cotton Ticking Stripe Blanket in Breton red from Brahms Mount. We picked up an eco-friendly Sultan Heggedal mattress and box spring from Ikea, and I covered the box spring with a fitted percale sheet with yellow stars from Garnet Hill for my little superhero instead of a dust ruffle for a less fussy look.

One day we’ll have both beds set up, but for now we just have the one along with a crib featuring more red stripes and this Roberta Roller Rabbit baby blanket for my littlest monkey!

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

In Food, Recipes on June 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

For Father’s Day, we got my husband a new DeLonghi panini press and for our maiden voyage decided to christen it with Green Goddess Grilled Cheese—a sandwich that includes three of my favorite things: cheese, tarragon, anchovy. I can’t tell you what a winning combo this is—the combination of oozy cheeses with the tangy Green Goddess goodness will have to speak for itself. I believe the original inspiration for this sandwich comes from the Panini Happy blog, but we threw ours together using what we had in the fridge. I grabbed some basil, tarragon, chives and Italian parsley from the back yard.

I threw that in the mini Cuisinart along with some chopped shallots, minced garlic and a generous squirt of anchovy paste. I prefer to use the paste because you can keep a tube on hand at all times and you don’t have to worry about those pesky little anchovy bones from the tinned variety.

I added a splash of white wine vinegar along with a few ounces of crème fraîche, although you could also use sour cream, and then gave it a whir.

Don’t worry about adding any salt—the anchovy paste will take care of that. The herb mixture then went into a bowl with grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and then generously spread on slices of whole wheat. Fresh sourdough would have been far better.

We then brushed the sandwiches with a little olive oil and put them into the press for about six or seven minutes they reached melted perfection. We gobbled them up in seconds flat. And then my husband made himself another… Happy Father’s Day!

The Foodinista’s Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

Makes 4 sandwiches

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

3-4 ounces crème fraîche

1 cup grated cheddar

1 cup grated mozzarella

8 slices of sourdough bread (or favorite sliced bread)

Olive oil

Heat panini press to medium. Meanwhile, add first 9 ingredients to the bowl of a mini food processor and pulse to blend. In a separate bowl, add cheeses and herb mixture. Mix to combine. Lay out bread and top four slices with about 1/2 cup of mixture each. Cover with remaining four slices. Brush bread with olive oil. Grill in panini press for 6-7 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Soft Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta

In Food on June 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Last week we had a big magazine photo shoot at our house and my former Bon Appétit colleague Jeanne Kelley styled the food. She brought along some eggs from her chickens and after the shoot was over, she left a bowlful for me…

…including one of her chicken’s palest blue eggs, which are the subject of Jeanne’s award-winnning cookbook, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes.

Jonathan Gold has said “Jeanne Kelley is not like you and me … the eggs laid by her chickens could blind you if you looked directly into the yolk.” He’s not kidding.

With eggs this fresh, it’s best to do as little as possible. I heated up a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. I whisked the eggs with a little salt and some chives snipped from our garden, and then when the butter was bubbly poured the eggs into the pan, tilting the pan occasionally to let the runny parts slowly cook.

After a couple minutes, when the eggs were just barely cooked, I removed from heat and folded in some fresh ricotta and sprinkled with fleur de sel. There is nothing quite like a perfectly scrambled egg, particularly if it was laid by one of Jeanne’s chickens.

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