50 Shades

February 21, 2018

Well, at least three not counting the other 47 shades of Winter gray outside. It’s hard to decide…organic linen chambray in charcoal, organic crinkled cotton percale in pewter or organic cotton percale in carbon. You could leave it to a coin toss to narrow the field or examine the choices by subtle detail. Coyuchi offers the linen in a great minimalist set consisting of a flat sheet, pillowcases and a duvet cover…eliminating the top sheet. Their crinkled percale is a lighter shade but lures you in with the crisp rumple that percale promises. The deep carbon of the organic percale from CB2 , well it doesn’t get more modern than that. A combination of all three might just be the right solution as we tick away the last four weeks until Spring.

 

 

top 2 photos: https://www.coyuchi.com/

bottom photo: https://www.cb2.com/organic-carbon-organic-cotton-percale-sheet-sets/f14581

 

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Have a Seat

February 18, 2018

As we continue to celebrate Florence Knoll let’s take a look at a piece that she simply referred to as a ” fill in”. The influence of her mentor, Mies van der Rohe, is evident in its spare geometric profile. Still Florence made it her own, blending it seamlessly into the rest of her furniture collection. Originally designed in 1954 the Florence Knoll Bench is available in a 2 or 3 seat version upholstered in leather or any of the approved Knoll Textiles. Suitable for any situation where a little extra place to sit is needed… in an entry, at the foot of the bed, even as a cocktail table alternative… this bench was designed to ” fill in” beautifully.

Photos: https://www.knoll.com/product/florence-knoll-bench

 

 

Everyone loves…

February 11, 2018

a happy ending. No matter what your Valentine’s Day plans are for Wednesday, finish things off with these Chocolate Raspberry Champagne Truffles. Gather your handful of ingredients and it’s as simple as melt, set, cut and dust.

 

G’s Chocolate Raspberry Champagne Truffles

Prep an 8″ loaf pan by buttering it lightly and lining with a piece of parchment leaving a couple of inches of overhang on the long sides.

Gather your ingredients:

20 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

a pinch of kosher salt

1/2 package Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Raspberries ( 1.2 oz package) lightly crushed

1/3 cup Champagne or Prosecco

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, for dusting finished truffles.

 

In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water combine chocolate, cream and salt until smooth. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

Remove from heat and stir in champagne until thoroughly incorporated and then mix in the freeze-dried raspberries.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.

Refrigerate to set up at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

Remove truffle loaf from pan using parchment sling after loosening edges with a knife warmed in hot water, then dried.

Cut the loaf in half crosswise. Cut each half into sixteen pieces, re-heating and drying the knife as needed. Toss the individual rectangular truffles in the sifted cocoa powder to coat.

Yield: 32 two bite truffles

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Photos: gp

My inspiration was Cindy Rahe’s recipe for found here: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/champagne_chocolate_truffles/

 

 

 

 

Six Weeks

February 7, 2018

The remaining month and a half of Winter is plenty of time to get in gear…get motivated…get inspired. You could organize your junk drawer for starts or ponder the simplequietmodern beauty of work such as this. Rock on Top of Another Rock, 2010/2013 by Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Serpentine Galleries, London.

 

Photo: http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/fischli/weiss-rock-top-another-rock

 

 

Reason to Celebrate

January 19, 2018

If I could be anywhere tomorrow for just the day it would Amsterdam, celebrating National Tulip Day. As Tulips are my absolute hands down favorite I’m already geared up to celebrate myself here at home. It doesn’t take much…a pristine glass cylinder vase filled with cool water and a bunch or five in any color…any variety.

Photos: gp

 

Snow up to here…

January 19, 2018

temps down to there. Makes the idea of slaving over a hot stove downright inviting. So, for this New Year a new entry in the growing arsenal of Meatless Monday recipes. Farro Porcini Risotto with Parsley Walnut Pesto. Rich, hearty, aromatic and best of all, on the table in about 30 minutes. This just moved to the top of my rotation.

I added a little shortcut to this already simple recipe from Martha Stewart, https://www.marthastewart.com/312975/farro-and-porcini-risotto, by using 1/2 jar of  Trader Joe’s Pesto Alla Genovese with the parsley and toasted walnuts and an additional splash of olive oil. The weekend’s here, why wait till Monday.

Photos: gp

 

 

 

To Wrap or Not

January 7, 2018

While the jury is still out on the efficacy of protecting the garden by wrapping it in burlap, the practice continues, primarily among the affluent due to its significant cost. There are two schools of thought as to the application; one more closely wrapped, draped and sewn into place, the other, attached to a wooden framework leaving a bit of breathing room between the “protection” and the plant itself. Both add a Cristo-like quality to the landscape …one minimalist and architectural, the other more like garden couture. While my preference is the minimalist architectural approach, especially given the neutral quality of the jute fabric itself, I can’t help imagining that burlap in color against the dismal winter landscape. A singular pop of hot pink, orange or chartreuse might be the visual spark needed to get us through the next couple of months. Couldn’t hurt.

 

All photos: David La Spina for The New York Times