Too Hot to Eat

August 2, 2022

Sometimes it’s even too hot to cook. But, you have to eat, right? When I ran across this recipe it ticked all the right boxes… simple, fresh and summery. While a hot August night calls for something refreshing, this New Potato Salad with Soft Green Herbs fit the bill. Add a bit of grilled protein and finish with some cool seasonal fruit and your done. All that’s left is to sit back, relax and count the Fireflies.

 

 

A pound and a half of boiled new potatoes and 2 cups of assorted soft green herbs ( I used mint, dill, chives and parsley ) is the start. Blitz up a dressing of green onion, the juice and zest of a lemon, a splash of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Toss it all together gently. It’s that simple.

photos: gp

Ready to be put into use immediately is the Summer Seasonal Collection from Heath Ceramics. With Easter right around the corner it seems like a natural to get your order in now. This collection is available now but is sure to sell out quickly. I’m thinking the yellow pieces might be a great way to brighten the days while we’re waiting for Summer to finally arrive.

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A bit of forced rye grass with the addition of a cracked eggshell whispers Easter.

The Classic Heath Modern Cup in Sunflower

A bunch of pink hyacinths would feel right at home in that tall modern cup. And who wouldn’t love to receive the both as a gift?

Sunnyside Tea Towels will make cleaning up after Easter brunch a pleasure.

What’s Easter without the classic yellow Peep?

The Sunflower glaze on the classic Heath Budvase.

All Roads Grid napkins in Fuschia are part of the Heath Summer Seasonal Collection. These will surely get a workout from Easter through Labor Day.

Pink and Yellow. Something tells me with the way the last two years have been it’s a combination we might just be needing right about now.

Heath Plaza Dessert bowls and Sunnyside Napkins, also part of the Summer Seasonal Collection.

A big vase of forced Forsythia brings springtime right in to the table. It’s hard to beat.

All Heath Summer Seasonal photos by Heath Ceramics.

All other photos: gp

 

 

 

 

It’s Just The Sweetest

March 16, 2022

I’m talking maple syrup. And while it’s season and the trees are tapped and the sap is flowing I can’t help but think about all the ways I love to use it. I’m sure I can manage to slip it’s warm rounded sweetness into one thing or another several times a week. From sweet to savory, cocktails to dessert, maple syrup just adds that little earthy something that regular sugar seems to lack. I’ve noted below an assortment of applications that have become my simplequietmodern favorites over the last ten years.  Now let’s tap into that dark amber goodness.

Gently reducing maple syrup by half and adding fresh blueberries to warm is the perfect topping to your favorite pancake or French toast recipe. It takes the chill off the berries and keeps that fresh quality that is lost when they’re cooked into the pancake.

 

A tablespoon or two whisked into a simple vinaigrette of olive oil and apple cider vinegar is as good on a Salad Lyonnaise as it is my take on a shaved Brussels Sprout salad with Bosc pear, Bleu Cheese and Maple Cayenne Glazed Walnuts.

 

Don’t save these for the holidays. Maple Syrup Sriracha Bacon Wrapped Shrimp. Really, you might want to make a double batch and just call it dinner.

 

If you haven’t tried this Maple Cube from Tonewood  now’s a good time to get on it. A grate over fresh Spring berries can’t be beat.

 

Jack Daniels Maple Syrup Ketchup?  Yes Please.

As a snack, with cocktails, on a salad or as a gift these Maple Cayenne Glazed Walnuts hit every note perfectly.

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Substitute a tablespoon of dark amber maple syrup for the muddled sugar cubes in your next Old Fashioned and you won’t be making them your old way again.

Sometimes a little something nostalgic is just what’s needed. Maple Walnut Fudge reminds me of countless family road trips which honestly weren’t that much fun. Whipping up a batch without leaving home? Preferable.

 

photos: gp

 

American Modern,

February 16, 2022

now in black and white. Russel Wright’s American Modern dinnerware, a midcentury modern classic, is now available in matte black and matte white. The American Modern line has been gracing America’s homes since its introduction in 1939, in all of the mixed colors we’ve come to recognize and love. Everyone had their favorite in the offerings of coral, brown, gray, blue and chartreuse. But, somehow this re-issue of selected pieces in black and white brings to each a new level of sophistication. The 3 piece dining sets,  assorted serving bowls, plates and platters are now available to mix and match with your vintage pieces or use on their own. I’m thinking all black…or, all white. Time for a coin toss.

photos: Food52.com

As simple as…

February 10, 2022

1 2 3. You can carry in dinner on Valentines day, but make dessert from scratch. With just three ingredients and about 10 minutes time you’ve got the perfect Valentines Day treat, Bruleed Raspberries. Fill an ovenproof ramekin with fresh raspberries, top with a generous amount of sour cream and sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar evenly over the sour cream. Pop the ramekins under the broiler until the brown sugar starts to caramelize then serve it up. That’s it. Seriously. Make this.

 

 

 

 

photos: gp

 

 

 

Brrrrr, It’s Cold

January 23, 2022

Shoveling’s done, dinner’s in the oven, fire’s going and you’re about to get your binge on. All that’s missing is a quick comforting snack on this bitter cold Sunday afternoon. Me, I’m thinking about making two. Not only because they compliment each other perfectly, but because I had all of the items on hand and I couldn’t decide between them …Blistered Shishito Peppers and Pizza Fritte.

 

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Heat up a couple glugs of oil in your favorite cast iron skillet until shimmering and toss in your Shishito peppers. Fair warning, they will sputter and pop. A quick turn and blister the other side, drain on a paper towel and hit with a sprinkle of coarse salt. Then while the pan is still hot add more oil to about 1/2″.  Tear off nice size pieces from a ball of pre-made pizza dough, pull and flatten slightly and fry in hot oil. Turn when the bottoms are golden and fry on the reverse side. Drain, sprinkle with coarse salt and serve with a drizzle of hot honey.

photos: gp

 

 

Happy Anniversary to…

January 6, 2022

simplequietmodern. Yep, ten years down and ready to dig into number eleven. As always, you know what I say about any celebration…there’s gotta be cake. To be sure, there will be cake at some point, but for now I’m thinking a glass of something festive to toast and a box of sparklers will have to do the trick in these uncertain times. It’s not a time to be gathering and I’m not about to polish off a cake by myself. For now I might just dream about cakes from the last decade that are contenders.

 

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After the bubbly, from the top:

What’s more festive and modern than a naked confetti cake?  Photo: Bon Appetit

Maybe something simple. It doesn’t get any simpler that chocolate cake with with white frosting.

Mocha Layer Cake with Sour Cream Ganache?  I feel a nap coming on. photo: the Hungry Mouse

I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this cake for years. Cake and meringue baked together and stacked with whipped cream. And, did I mention it has walnuts in it? Maybe this year.

Or perhaps this showstopper created by my friend, architect Kirsten Johnstone. Yes, please. photo: Kirsten Johnstone

Photos: gp unless noted.

 

Wake Up

January 1, 2022

It’s a brand new year. And, with that, comes the hope of a better year. Not too much to ask, is it? Before we get started we might need a little sustenance on this long holiday weekend. Any of the following are easy to pull together in just a little time and pair nicely with a glass or two of something sparkling. Happy New Year!

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From the top:

Pop that cork, it’s time to start cooking. Champagne or Prosecco straight or with a festive splash of peach or pomegranate juice will get things started.

If you were lucky enough to have been gifted a Panettone  for the holidays, now’s the perfect time to turn it into French toast and serve it up with a big bowl of Cara Cara oranges. Done.

Chilaquiles are a always a fun way to start the day, or the New Year. Rick Bayless will walk you though it here. http://www.fronterafiesta.com/cook/starters-snacks-a-light-meals/355-chilaquiles-with-salsa-and-eggs-

One of my super simple favorites that I don’t make often enough is Salade Lyonnaise. A slab of artisan toast topped with a salad of frisee’, a poached egg and some beautiful thick bacon. My Maple Vinaigrette is easy enough: 2 tablespoons general use olive oil, 1 tablespoon apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup. For any special breakfast, brunch, lunch or light supper, this is hard to beat.

photos: gp

Sweet Treats

December 9, 2021

When it comes to the holidays, sweet treats seem to take center stage. They also seem to take over, as we hurry to try every new recipe or explore every popular new trend. We end up scrambling to gather our goods and eke out the time in the kitchen to get things done. Now, with both supply chain issues and increased prices throwing a wrench into the works, it might b a good time to limit your holiday offerings to just one  or two, just to simplify things. I’ve pulled a few favorites from the last ten years that will not only give you a a great result… no one will be disappointed.

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From the top

Nothing says simple in a holiday cookie than shortbread. Sugar, butter and flour plus a little simple decoration if you’d like and you’re done. https://simplequietmodern.com/2014/12

These classic nut horns are every grandma’s secret recipe. Until now you thought it was lost. You’re welcome. http://www.afriendtoknitwith.com/2016/12/mrs-donatos-nut-horns.html

Nothing says retro Christmas like a Bourbon Ball. This recipe from Garden and Gun magazine could not be easier.  https://simplequietmodern.com/?s=bourbon+balls

While you can enjoy these Maple Glazed Walnuts all year long, they are particularly welcome with a holiday cocktail. The original recipe can be found here, http://www.fifteenspatulas.com/

A spicy Molasses Cookie can’t be beat at Christmastime. Gild the lily if you must with a bit of raspberry or apricot preserves and turn them into thumbprints.

When I was having oven issues several years ago this amazing recipe for Candied Orange and Ginger Bark kept everyone happy. What’s not to love?…dark chocolate, candied orange, candied ginger and pistachios!  http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/candied_orange_and_ginger_bark.php

photos: gp

 

 

It’s Been 10 Years

December 6, 2021

Yep, hard to believe, but this month marks the end of 10 years since the start of simplequietmodern. Ten years has brought a lot of posts, ideas and pictures. Let’s look back at December 2012 and see what we were up to, shall we? Here are a few favorites of yours…. a few of mine.

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A makeshift tree of fallen birch from the yard decorated in simple contrast with a collection of vintage glass ornaments in pink.

A tray of Ina Garten’s Gougere straight from the oven. A chilled bottle of champagne can’t be more than an arm’s length away.

Vintage Christmas ornaments… edited to this group of all silver and pink.

Fresh quince waiting to be cooked down into quince paste, or Membrillo. A welcome addition to any holiday charcuterie board.

While I could make them all year round I limit my favorite Espresso Hazelnut Cookies to Christmastime.

And, lastly… but most importantly, the arrival of my partner in crime, Baby Hambone Jaxon 3000. Quite simply the best.

photos: gp  Revisit all the posts here.   https://simplequietmodern.com/2012/12/