Dawn or Dusk,

December 30, 2015

either or both could have been the inspiration for Pantone’s selection for the Color (s) of the Year for 2016. Rose Quartz and Serenity…the first, according to Pantone, a warm embracing rose tone…the latter, a cool tranquil blue. Together they bring to mind the blended colors of the sky at daybreak or sunset. One glance up and you can feel the calm.

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An early start one day had me experiencing what I think Pantone had in mind .Try as we might, it’ll be hard to top this perfect application by Mother Nature.

 

Top: via: Pantone Color Institute Bottom two photos:gp

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It may seem like you’ve over done it, but between Christmas and New Years Eve you still have to eat. Fancy enough for company yet simple enough for any day of the week…Mushroom Stroganoff. A handful of ingredients and minimal prep will have four steaming bowls of comfort on the table in about 30 minutes.

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Photos:gp

Cookies and Cocoa?

December 24, 2015

Maybe for Santa. Now that the decorations are up, the shopping is done and dinner for tomorrow is ready for the oven it’s time to relax with a Christmas Manhattan. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

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The perfect simplequietmodern Christmas cocktail.  Fill a rocks glass about 2/3 with ice, add a couple shakes of bitters, 1/2 oz. of sweet vermouth and 2 1/2 oz. bourbon, a maraschino cherry crushed against the side of the glass and give it all a quick stir. Recipe by Andy Ward for Bon Appetite.

Merry Christmas!

 

Photo:gp

 

 

Candlelight the Night

December 20, 2015

The Winter Solstice…Dec 21 2015.   Take advantage of the longest night of the year to relax in the glow of candlelight. Even a simple supper can take on a magical quality when lit with a single flame. Tomorrow? More magic. A little more light each day until Spring.

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A modern sixties inspired clear “dot” vase + one clear votive cup and candle. That’s it.

 

photos: gp

 

 

 

Deconstructing the Tree

December 18, 2015

This year, a vase full of white pine boughs, another of frosted cones and a pile of lights. Separate elements, yet still giving you the modern equivalent of a fully decorated tree. A few minutes to set up…a few to take down when the festivities are over. That simplifies things doesn’t it?

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Photos: gp    

Small Gifts

December 15, 2015

Small gifts always seem to make the best gifts. You are thought of fondly by the recipient with every use. Better yet, small gifts don’t need to break the bank to make a lasting impression. Here are a few simplequietmodern suggestions should your shopping list have a few entries that need to be checked off. There’s still time…get crackin.

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Conifer chart tea towels ensure one won’t run out of evergreens during the holidays. And, if you help cleaning up as well the cook will love them even more. Photo: http://www.shopterrain.com/best-bets/conifer-chart-tea-towel

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This natural birch muddler will make short work of prepping the next Mojito, Cuba Libre or Mint Julep.photo: http://www.cb2.com/wood-muddler/s552025

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A pinch of salt is always at hand in this small ramekin in linen from Heath Ceramics.photo: http://www.heathceramics.com/small-ramekin

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A pair of fingerless mitts will be a welcome gift that you made yourself. There’s still plenty of time to crank out a few pair with the pattern found here. This photo: gp http://www.afriendtoknitwith.com/2008/09/toasttoasty.html

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If you don’t know a baker who needs one, you might gift yourself this modern take on the classic bundt pan from Nordic Ware. The bundt might just be the new cupcake. photo:http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/heritage-bundt-cake-pan/?cm_src=AutoRel

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It’s not a sweater, but it’s a start. 100% cashmere that looks like it was spun right off the goat. photo:http://www.purlsoho.com/newoooh.html

 

 

Always On Hand

December 11, 2015

Parsley, walnuts, Parmesan and Bucatini…simplequietmodern pantry staples. And, just what you need for Walnut-Parsley Pesto with Bucatini… a perfect Meatless Monday supper to give you a break from all the holiday party fare. Hearty and satisfying, you won’t be missing the moo, cluck or baa.

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This deconstructed pesto variation, adapted from the Chris Morocco original found in Bon Appetite, will serve four and can be whipped up at a moments notice. Gather your ingredients: 12 oz package of dried Bucatini, 1 cup of toasted walnuts, 2 cloves of garlic finely grated, 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley and a couple good pinches of red pepper flakes. Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped and add to a bowl containing the chopped parsley, parmesan, garlic and pepper flakes. Stir in oil to combine and season with salt and pepper. Cook the Bucatini according to package directions. Drain, reserving about a cup of the pasta water. Add pesto to the pasta adding small amounts of pasta liquid as needed until until the pasta is well coated. A glass of wine and a bowl of clementines and dinner is done.

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Photos:gp