Friday, September 21, 2012

Foodie Friday 9.21.12

Smokey Corn Chowder with Shrimp

With the arrival of Fall and the slight chill in the air, my mind has begun to turn to thoughts of soup. Sadly, I had not prepared for this moment when I went shopping earlier in the week, so when the desire struck, I had to improvise. One such improvisation was to use the above recipe as inspiration for modifying a store-bought can of chicken and wild rice soup. I took some shrimp I had on hand, tossed it in olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled it. I then defrosted some frozen corn, added salt and pepper, and grilled it too. I added both to the canned soup warming on the stove, along a few tablespoons of milk, and finished it all off with a liberal amount of paprika and (more) pepper. Voila! Chicken and rice soup that was so much more... (Next time, I'll planned ahead and try the soup recipe above. Still, it's nice to know what I can pull together in a pinch!)

Below are some more recipes I've made or am looking forward to trying this Fall...

Mexican lime Soup with Chicken and Avocado

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg on Toast

Caprese Soup

Caprese salad is one of my favorites in the summer. I love the idea here of extending the season a bit longer with a cheesy, tomato-y version of French onion soup.

English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar

Speaking of French onion soup, this was my other go-to for an unplanned soup week, and I again used what I had on hand. In this case, it was Trader Joe's French Onion Soup from the freezer. Have you ever tried it? Not too shabby for those times when you're feeling to lazy to make soup from scratch. (I know it's crazy, but years ago I bought two ramekins exactly the right size for baking this soup - 4"dia., 2 1/2" h. I've never regretted it.)

Again, next time, I'm trying this English Cheddar Soup from chef Jaime Oliver. (I love the idea of adding sage and cheddar!) 

Chicken Provencal Stoup

This is one of my tried and true staples of Fall (and winter), and I've been making to rave reviews for years. The olive tapenade absolutely makes the dish, (although the Herbs de Provence don't hurt either)!

Artichoke Soup, Crispy Salami, Lemon Parsley Quinoa

Tuscan Bean Soup

They all look so good, don't they??

What's your favorite soup for Fall? 

Images as linked above, except 6

Dibs! (The Sofa Edition)

This edition of Dibs! is all about sofas; beautiful, way beyond my means, sofas! These are the davenports I dream of...the ones that make me drool all over my keyboard and pinch myself awake. They are the statement pieces that make a room and the workhorses that quietly gloat in their vintage-y supremacy.

One day, I tell myself. One day...

Rosewood Case Sofa by Milo Baughman

That rosewood is to die for! The mocha velvet's pretty yummy too...this one may be my favorite.

Adrian Pearsall  Sculptural Sofa

The first of (three!) Adrian Pearsall's on the list. This one is so sleek and so low that I may have no choice but to perch on its edge and daintily sip a martini.

Burled Sofa By Milo Baughman

Oh, Milo...! Another designer that made the list more than once, this crushed velvet sofa has a burled wood frame and lofty chrome legs. Unlike the one before it, this two-seater makes me want to snuggle in with a good book.

Danish Tufted Leather Sofa

Tufted olive leather battered to time-worn perfection. So versatile, so lovely.

Adrian Pearsall Sculpted Sofa

The second Adrian Pearsall on the list, this sofa's luscious blue hue stopped me cold in my tracks.

Danish Teak & Leather Sofa

I'm not normally a big fan of black leather sofas. Unless...unless, they're vintage and the perfectly broken-in leather is mixed with warm wood, like this one...

Danish Upholstered Ocher Sofa

At 100" in length, this sofa seems longer than it is. But looking at it, I have the urge to try and see how many friends I can cram on it all at once (just for fun).

PK31/3 Seat Sofa by Poul Kjaerholm

Another leather sofa - this one in cognac, by the understated craftsman Poul Kjaerholm. Love it!

Adrian Pearsall Sofa

The final Adrian Pearsall sofa on my list. This one looks like it could easily tip over if you sat on it. But it's so sculptural  and so impossibly cool, that I just had to include it.

Black Velvet and Solid Rosewood Sofa

Though this velvet sofa is a contemporary custom piece, I love the interpretation of vintage elements in its overall design.

Milo is back! This time with an elegant chrome and (silk?) sofa that just screams retro glamour.

Frits Henningsen Sofa

A mahogany and navy wool masterpiece, this 1940's Danish sofa by Frits Henningsen may be my second favorite piece. It's a bit straight-laced, but I just love the way the wood frame cradles the cushions at the front.

Do you have a favorite? Which one makes your heart beat a little faster, just looking at it?

Images: as linked above

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Mad Men Fix

I don't know about you, but I find the amount of time that elapses between Mad Men seasons to be almost unbearable. Why must we wait so long for each one? Doesn't Matthew Weiner know we need our fix?  Thankfully, others are willing to step in and take up the cause when Weiner won't. And what better way than with a video of all of our favorite cast members performing Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up"? Seriously, I ask you - what better way??


Friday, September 14, 2012

Foodie Friday 9.14.12

It's kind of crazy, but I never really starting cooking eggs until about five years ago. In all my years growing up, I would avoid them. I was ok with hard-boiled eggs and deviled eggs, but if I was going to eat them scrambled, someone else was going to have to make them, and there had better be a lot of other stuff scrambled in with them. When I went out for breakfast or brunch, I would usually order one of the sweet options - waffles, french toast or pancakes. 

That all changed early on in my relationship, when my boyfriend started making me his favorite scramble - eggs, sausage, polenta and Parmesan cheese. It wasn't fancy, but it was made with love, and soon I found my view on eggs changing. So much so in fact, that I began to bookmark recipes and make them myself. 

Here are a few that I've made or am anxious to try...

Croque Madame French Toast Cups

A middle ground of sorts, this Croque Madam combines my old favorite, french toast, with salty ham, Gruyère and a baked egg. How can that not be good?

Caprese Eggs Benedict

In general, I'm a big fan of eggs benedict, and to this day, it's the only egg dish I'll order with any regularity at a restaurant. This caprese version, with basil and tomato, looks delicious. 

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

I'm intrigued by the idea of poaching eggs in tomato sauce, and am dying to try this dish. The flavors sound amazing.

The Spanglish Sandwich

Created by Thomas Keller, this recipe was developed specifically for Adam Sandler in the movie Spanglish. It's like a BLT with egg and cheese. Yummy!

Avocado Toast with Poached Egg

I've posted before about my love for avocado toast, but this version takes it to a whole new level with the addition of cilantro and a poached egg.

What's your relationship with eggs like? Are you a longtime lover? Or, are you like me, still in the honeymoon phase with this delightful protein?

Images as linked above

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Good Life

This post doesn’t fall under the category of subjects that I normally blog about (design, food, and the like), but it does fall under the categories of “good people” and the "good life,” two other areas about which I’m pretty passionate.

You see, I believe that everyone, no matter what their circumstance in life, deserves a chance - a chance to be smart, to work hard, to make something of themselves. So, when I read Andrew’s post on his wife’s wildly popular blog, Elements of Style, it really resonated with me. In it, Andrew movingly describes his introduction and subsequent involvement with a cause called Summer Search; a program built on the premise that, given the right tools and dedicated support of others, even those that have been dealt the worst hands in life can move forward and achieve their dreams.

I could tell you more, but I could never do it as well as Andrew. So, head on over to Elements of Style, read Andrew’s post, and if you are moved half as much as I was, maybe you too will join the list of good people, doing good, to give others a good life.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dibs! (The Glam Edition)

That's right, I'm taking out my imaginary wallet full of imaginary money and making these beauties mine! 

1stdibs has long been my go-to source for furniture and lighting inspiration. I love the style, ingenuity and craftsmanship of vintage and antique pieces, and never fail to get a rush of pure design adrenaline when I stumble across the perfect piece for my project. That said, I'd have to use Monopoly money if I were to ever buy them for myself. But, that doesn't stop me from dreaming. So, dibs! (Unless, of course, you have actual money to pay for them, in which case I will graciously acquiesce, and allow you to make these gorgeous items your own.)

P.S.  If you're interested in James Mont, I wrote a piece on the designer and his works for Apartment Therapy a while back - James Mont: Bad Boy of American Design (He was quite the scandalous character!)

Images as linked above

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday's Word 9.5.12

The best kind of people have kalon in spades. They are the givers of the world. Those that know that it's not what you say, but what you do that defines you. They are the ones that do what's right when no one is watching, the ones that truly want what's best for others, no strings attached.

At a glance, they may appear almost ordinary. But spend a few minutes with one, and you'll know that you've encountered someone special. Someone worth knowing. Someone that may just change your life for the better, if you let them...



Aljaferia Palace, Zaragoza, Spain

I have always been drawn to the delicate art of tracery and latticework in architecture. There’s just something so exquisitely wonderful about the desire to craft lace out of inherently solid materials...don't you think?

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Louis Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott Building, Chicago

King's College Chapel, Cambridge

Doha Office Tower, Qatar - Ateliers Jean Nouvel / Nelson Garrido

The Royal Mansour Hotel, Marrakech

Relief pattern wall in the Alhambra

Are you as enchanted by these lacy works as I am?

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7