What’s For Lunch?

October 11, 2021

If the cool rainy Fall days are having you craving a bowl of soup, well, you are not alone. I whipped this up on the fly with what I had in the pantry. Perfect, because I was not interested in running out for a single ingredient.  A good handful of small Yukon Gold potatoes, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, some chicken stock and a bag of baby arugula and you are good to go.

Start by chopping the onion and sautéing it in in a glug of olive oil until translucent. Add a couple, 3 cloves of garlic peeled…smashed with the side of a knife and cook for a minute. Cube the scrubbed potatoes with the skins on into quarters and add to the pot with an additional glug of olive oil and toss around for 3-4 minutes until some of the starch has leached out and a nice potato fond has developed on the bottom of the pan. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Add approximately 6 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium low and cook until the potatoes are cooked. Stir in a bag of pre-washed baby arugula, cover and remove from heat. When the arugula is wilted, blitz it up with an immersion blender to a rough puree. Top it off with a scattering of roasted pepitas. Done. Under 1/2 hour start to finish. If you are lucky enough to own a Heath Ceramic Chez Panisse Soup Bowl for serving…well, even better.

 

It’s three o’clock…

September 22, 2021

and you need a little somethin somethin to hold you over till dinner. This is it. Apricot, Date and Cashew Snack Balls. You know how we love a simplequietmodern recipe…few ingredients and even fewer steps with the best possible result. Simply gather your ingredients, pulse them up in the processor, roll them into balls. Really…that’s it. Since finding this recipe by Gena Hamshaw on Food 52 I’ve made a batch every week. I’ve also modified the ingredients like adding a few toasted hazelnuts to the mix or subbing in some raisins for a few of the apricots. Each change is as good as the original. Now go get your healthy snack on.

 

 

From the top, photo:  gp

second photo: Alpha Smoot via Food 52

For recipe:  https://food52.com/recipes/30743-apricot-date-and-cashew-snack-balls

Get the Grill On

September 6, 2021

While I’ve never warmed up to the idea of grilled Romaine, I have on occasion enjoyed the severely grilled hot dog. When I saw this “Big Little Recipe” from Food 52 I started rethinking things. Grilled Romaine with Hot Dog Crispies and Pickle Mustard Vinaigrette seemed to tick all the right boxes; simple, short list of ingredients, easily adjusted for one or two to a larger group. And, what better time to take this for a test run than Labor Day. The grill is already going, right?

Photo:  https://food52.com/recipes/83773-grilled-romaine-hot-dog-crispies-pickle-mustard-vinaigrette

Ok, this “Cremator” from Rutt’s Hutt in Clifton, NJ  might need to be on my bucket list. I’m thinking it may have been the inspiration for the salad’s hot dog ” crispies”.photo: Barstool Sports

I’m Back

August 27, 2021

Clearly, the last year and a half have been challenging for all of us. Tech issues being the last to be tackled has left me and simplequietmodern basically MIA. But, now we’re back. And, glad to be back to be sure. Before we attempt to catch up, I think a random selection of images from past posts will remind us of where we’ve been and help me focus more clearly on where we’ll go from here. Thank you for checking in and thanks in advance for your patience should we encounter a hiccup or two as we come back up to speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top to bottom:

It’s hard to believe but Baby Hambone Jaxon is celebrating his ninth birthday. Even with Covid you know there will be treats.

If you’re still working from home you might want to consider some appropriate task lighting. This Muuto Tip lamp through Knoll could fit the bill. Photo:Knoll

And no… I still have not narrowed down the candidates for the reupholstering of this vintage Saarinen Executive Lounge chair.

You don’t think you need it until you do. The Landscaper’s Hori Hori  Photo: Terrain

My first generation Herman Miller Aeron chair is in need of a tune up. Easier said than done. Photo: Herman Miller

I had the opportunity to install this Billow wallcovering from Knoll on a residential project. Yes, slowly some beautiful things were getting done. Photo: Knoll

Just as the pandemic hit I had treated myself to a pair of Vivobarefoot Gobi II Desert Boots. What can I say? I love a desert boot. Two thumbs up.  Photo: Vivobarefoot

My favorite design inspiration…vintage Florence Knoll  Photo: Knoll

Still looking great even after a twister last summer tore the yard up good. This climbing hydrangea hides a cluster of electrical meters while the tall clipped yew hedge does the same for the furnace and A/C.

Simple summer pleasures. What’s better in August than local Midwest Glads…especially in white.

Before Cauliflower Pizza Crust…this Southern Chow Chow. The perfect blend of pickled cauliflower, onions and yellow peppers brightened with Turmeric.

As the shadows grow longer a simple linen covered daybed could be just the spot to kick back and take a nap.  Photo: Remodelista

Cordyline Red Star… Again, the seasonal selection to fill my modern low bowl planters after my search for Artichokes turned up zip.

Yes you can! Make yourself some homemade vanilla ice cream. Just a few ingredients and no ice cream maker needed.

Unless noted, all photos by GP

I didn’t include links here, but if you use the search bar at the top of the page you will be taken to the original post.

 

 

 

A bowl of cherries…

July 19, 2020

on a hot July afternoon sounded perfect. Turning them into a cocktail after another week of madness on every level…even better. For your consideration, the Cherry Bourbon Old Fashioned.

This couldn’t be easier. Pit 6-8 fresh cherries and add to your glass. Next 3 dashes Bitters, a tablespoon of maple syrup, a squeeze of lemon. Muddle to break the cherries and release their juice.

Continue with 2 oz. of Bourbon, a bit of ice and a quick stir. Done. Now, turn off the news, head outside to the yard and have a seat. You’re welcome.

photos: gp

 

 

Room To Spread Out

July 14, 2020

If you have to work from home you might as well treat yourself and go big. No cramped cubicle now, no way. Pulling your chair up to a work surface like this will have you feeling like you’ve just moved into the corner office. At the end of the day there is still room to cozy up with family or friends for dinner. There is something to be said for a big, simple, modern table. It’ll carry you through.

 

photo: https://remash.tumblr.com/

 

you’ve got this. OK, a recent twister not only tore up the neighborhood, but the snapped poles and downed lines left us without power for several days. Still, ya gotta eat, right? And, without refrigeration you need something that will hold up pretty well. This simple Summer salad fits the bill. Have it by itself for lunch or pull out the grill and serve it alongside some grilled chicken sausages or burgers for dinner. In this particular case my Covid-19 pantry had all the usual suspects…green beans, kidney beans, garbanzos, green pepper and red onion. After draining, add the beans to a bowl with 1/2 cup of diced red onion and 1/2 of the green pepper diced. Toss with the simplest vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic, a good pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. After a quick toss, cover until ready to serve and adjust the S & P if necessary. With tonight’s dinner covered all there is to do is wait.

photos:gp 

 

Is it me or is everyone having a difficult time keeping track of what month it is…what day it is? It seems like during the entirety of this Corona lock down the weather has kept us thinking it’s more like Fall than Spring and the sun has taken a back seat to the gray and rainy skies. A little inspiration seems to be in order to get us through the next few weeks to be sure. While the upcoming holiday weekend and unofficial start of Summer will be different than we know it, a little inspiration may ease the discomfort of continued shelter in place and social distancing orders. The simplest of things can bring new joy and freshness to a stale situation or outlook so look around with new eyes and see what happens. I’ve selected a few items from the simplequietmodern archives that might help get you started.

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Top to bottom:

Sheltering in place might have you contemplating a second place to get away to once we’re able to move around freely. And, while working from home may become the new normal for some, a simplequietmodern cabin with WIFI may be a neccesity.  Photo: Leonardo Finotti via Remash Tumblr

 

A comfortable place to kick back, either tucked away in the yard or on the front porch for those all important breaks between Zoom meetings. This reissue of the originalWestport Adirondack Chair design comes to mind immediately. Photo:Loll Designs

 

A simple spring dinner of steamed artichokes takes advantage of the season and satisfies while keeping time in the kitchen to a minimum. Photo: gp

 

If you need something to keep your hands busy and out of that bag of chips, this Elementary Wrap by Purl Soho is it. A modern hand-knit using their Linen Quill yarn results in a lovely seasonal project that will take care of that spring chill or tick off a special gift completed for the upcoming holidays.  photo: gp  https://simplequietmodern.com/2018/05/02/elementary/

 

The garden centers are open again. A quick stroll through might just tempt you to make a modification to your present landscaping. This Sunjoy Gold Pillar Barberry will add a little brightness even on those days the sun stays hidden. photo: gp

 

Why wait for the September running of the Kentucky Derby? This perfectly modern julep works for me any day . http://gardenandgun.com/media/mint-julep photo: gp  

 

Cabin Fever? Get out of the house and take a look at your place from a new perspective. Take a few phone pics from different approaches and try to view things as your neighbors or passersby do. You might be surprised to find that things are looking pretty good.  photo: gp

 

Who doesn’t like ice cream? My recipe for Pistachio Semifreddo will have you amazed that yes, you made it yourself.  photo: gp https://simplequietmodern.com/2015/05/24/whip-it-fold-it-freeze-it/

 

River rocks…or landscapers egg rock… can add that little touch of zen when used used in the landscape. As long as you’re home you might as well start another project to keep you outside. photo: gp

 

Not all potato salads are created equal. While I can often get a craving for potato salad like Mom made, I most often opt for this salad from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food…Potatoes Vinaigrette. Photo: gp   https://simplequietmodern.com/2014/05/04/a-simple-lighter-spin/

 

Memorial Day weekend is when those pots get planted. But, with what? I’m not into annuals…too bright. And last year’s planting of lily grass and Blonde Ambition Blue Grama grass while beautiful, did not winter over as I had expected. Now, I guess it’s back to my original choice…Blue Dune Grass. Fast grower, simple modern statement and, the deer won’t eat them. Check, check and check.  photo: gp

 

 

 

If you can,

May 4, 2020

pick up a carry out order and support your local Mexican restaurant tomorrow. If you can’t, you can still cook and celebrate in place. Shaking things up with Chef Alex Stupak’s recipe for Cheeseburger Tacos couldn’t be easier. The key is the meat to cheese ratio, basically 1/1. Fill some warm tortillas, top with a few classic toppings and you’re done.

Alex Stupak’s Cheeseburger Tacos   Serves 4-6

1 tsp. lard or vegetable oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
Salt
1 lb. white melty cheese such as chihuahua, Monterey Jack, or Muenster, grated
12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small tomato, cut into 12 slices
1 avocado, cut into 12 slices
½ medium white onion, minced
Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula or Valentina, for serving
Chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the lard until it shimmers. Add the ground beef and cook over moderate heat until it’s browned and crumbled, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted in,about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat in the pan. Spread the mayonnaise on the warm tortillas. Divide the cheeseburger filling among the tortillas and top with the tomato, avocado, and onion. Drizzle with hot sauce, garnish with cilantro, and serve with lime.

Photos: Evan Sung

 

 

Reset

April 6, 2020

It’s apparently going to be another long month of isolation and social distancing, daily briefings will bring more sad news than good news. I keep thinking that all of this corona madness might be a blessing in disguise of a sad sort. The challenges that we are all now facing might force us to hit the proverbial reset button. The threat of Covid-19 is bigger than any of us yet affects us all in profound ways. We interact differently, we work differently and for many we find ourselves with plenty of alone time…time to listen to that still small voice that comes from within. Thankfully those reports of knock down, drag outs over toilet paper are behind us. If you are like me you are witnessing a gentler, friendlier, less selfish and more thoughtful community. And, as long as we are all in this war against an invisible enemy, that’s a good thing. It’s always a good idea to teach by example, so there is no better time than now to be that good example. Check in on people from time to time. Sure, those that are spending a lot of time alone could benefit from a quick chat or text, but, what about those that are now home all day with their kids taking on the new job of teacher? They might even need the contact and kind word more. Thank those who are continuing to work for our benefit…at the grocers and drugstores, gas stations and especially the Doctors and healthcare workers. Thank as well the restaurants, from fast food to fine dining, who had to retool to providing drive-up and curb service in order that their employees could still enjoy a livelihood. Thank them with your support…order a pick-up or delivery order as often as you can over the next month. Finally, treat yourself. While out for provisions, picking up some flowers to brighten your environment can do wonders to ward off cabin fever. And, while you’re at it, pick up an extra bunch to treat a friend or neighbor. No need to have face to face contact, just leave by their door and text a message that a little surprise has been left. With any grace at all, the sacrifices we are forced to make now will be behind us in a month or so and, hopefully, we will all be better for the experience.

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photo:gp