dining alone, I’m here to help. Nothing washes over you like a big hug than a comforting bowl of pasta. And, what’s even better is when that pasta dish can be made with just a few pantry ingredients you most likely have on hand. Add in one pot and ten minutes and you’re reading to dig in. Really, it’s just that simple.

Start with a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Over medium heat melt a tablespoon of butter and add 4 oz. of orzo pasta tossing to coat. Continue to stir until pasta just starts to toast up. Add 1 cup chicken stock and a good grind of black pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for ten minutes. Set your timer and check at ten minutes, continue cooking a couple of minutes more if necessary until all of the liquid is absorbed. Plate up and dress with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. That’s it. Done and done. No need to guild the lily here, no Parmesan necessary. How easy was that? All that’s left to do is grab the remote and settle in for a little binge watching.

The original recipe from Sue Krietzman can be found here. https://food52.com/recipes/75234-sue-kreitzman-s-lemon-butter-angel-hair-pasta

While it calls for angel hair pasta, I have found it to work as well if not better with my favorite, orzo, or regular spaghetti broken into 2-3 inch pieces.. Any pasta shape can be used, just adjust the liquid and cooking time as needed.

photos: gp

Simple Makeover

March 2, 2020

It might not be where you cook, but rather what you cook in that needs addressing. Before you start ripping out cabinets and knocking down walls you might take a look at that mixed and unmatched collection of pots and pans of yours. Sure, everyone means well when they pass a piece off to you and it’s sometimes fun to pick up a saucepan at a garage sale because ” it was only two dollars”, but really, isn’t it time for some grown-up cookware? I think it is. And, this matte black vitreous enamel collection from Crane Cookware will satisfy your simplequietmodern sensibilities. Designed in London and cast in France this group is free of cadmium, PFOA, PTFE and lead, is 100% Vitreous enameled, is made of 30% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable. The Saute’, frying pans and casserole have ergonomically designed handles and will move seamlessly from any cooktop to oven to table. All things considered, you might still want to redo the kitchen but it might take on a new simplicity if you start here as your inspiration.

 

photos: https://www.cranecookware.com/

 

A New Take

February 24, 2020

My favorite Winter salad usually shows up at Thanksgiving and Christmas and perhaps again at the New Year. It’s a simple combination of Frisee’, Bosc Pear, Red Onion, Blue Cheese and toasted Walnuts lightly dressed in a vinaigrette of Olive Oil, Lemon Juice and a touch of Garlic. While I love it’s combination of seasonal ingredients it seems like it’s always been allocated to the category of ” holiday “. While craving it recently, and having no luck finding Frisee’ at the market, I decided to switch it up a bit and substituted Shaved Brussels Sprouts for the greens and have it as an entree salad one night for dinner. The surprise I didn’t see coming is that it’s almost better than the original. Then a few days later I switched it up again using Honeycrisp Apple for the Pear, Maple Cayenne Glazed Walnuts and an even simpler dressing of Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar with a splash of a Maple Syrup. Again…success. Good thing there is plenty of Winter left to add this salad to the weekly rotation.

No measuring here, add as much or as little of each as you’d like. Cutting the pears or apples into small batons compliment the thinly shaved Brussels Sprouts and red onion. Keeping the blue cheese chunky and the Walnut halves quartered results in  sort of chunky chopped salad that hits all the right notes…sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy.

The simplest recipe ever for Maple Cayenne Glazed Walnuts can be found here. https://simplequietmodern.com/2013/11/30/mmmm-maplely/

photos: gp

 

 

 

We’ll See

February 9, 2020

We go through this often…the prediction of an early Spring followed immediately by snow, cold and yes, more snow. It’s Winter. In reality, the official start of Spring is still weeks away…plenty of time to prepare for it’s arrival, get inspired or simply switch things up to ward off cabin fever.

 

top to bottom:

Last year’s garden addition under this years last “dusting”

Forcing an armful of flowering branches definitely speaks to the promise of Spring.

Get super proactive and start now to plan a trip to the New Mexican desert next Winter and paying a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe residence and museum in Abiquiu. photo: https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/

Get on it and shake things up with this Alexander McQueen inspired velvet from Knoll Textiles. If not a chair then perhaps just a pillow will do the trick. Photo: https://www.knoll.com/knolltextileproductdetail/Arezzo

You could always spend more quality time with your favorite sidekick. Yes, even knee deep snow can be fun with this guy.

Now is a great time to revisit, reconsider and actually finish a stalled project. While these balls of newsprint yarn were created during snow days of Winters past, they still sit waiting to be transformed. Now’s as good a time as any.

Pull out that Sharpie and a clean pad. Start sketching and editing and committing some new ideas for your Spring garden projects to paper for when the weather finally breaks.

A little sustenance. The simplest recipe ever…Labneh. This Mediterranean dip and spread is basically Greek yogurt with a good pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon stirred in, placed into a cheesecloth lined strainer and left to drain out the whey over 24 hours. Serve up with a drizzle of good olive oil and a healthy dusting of Za’atar to spread on a variety of breads and vegetables.

 

Photos except where noted: gp

 

 

The devil, as they say,

January 27, 2020

is in the details. Take this plywood clad kitchen. No moldings or unnecessary trim, illumination provided by minimalist ceiling mounted sockets with silvered bulbs, seamlessly integrated stainless steel top and back splash and a near invisible flush mounted exhaust fan. simplequietmodern perfection. The simplicity of the design elevates the humble plywood to an entirely new level. I can see a similar stunning end result if the ply were swapped out for OSB, providing an equally elegant color and texture. All that’s needed is a place to perch while you wait for the pot to come to a boil or the oven timer to go off. Arne Jacobson’s 1955 High Dot Counter Stool, in black steel and leather, is light enough to compliment without distraction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen photos: Marie Francois Plissart via: Remash.tumblr.com

https://hivemodern.com/pages/product13015/high-dot-stool-2-pack-arne-jacobsen-fritz-hansen

osb photo: gp

Snowed in…

January 19, 2020

or, just off for the long legal holiday weekend? Either way it’s a great time to pull together the latest entry in my Meatless Monday arsenal…G’s Jacked-Up White Chili. An easy enough transformation really, I simply replaced the cooked chicken thighs in a favorite white chicken chili recipe with canned green Jackfruit in brine from Trader Joe’s. A handful of pantry items, minimal prep and a quick cook and we’re starting the year off right with a hearty and healthy snow day lunch or simple supper.

 

photos: gp

 

 

 

 

 

Time Flies

January 12, 2020

Well, it just does. There is no other explanation for the fact that simplequietmodern has just celebrated it’s eighth anniversary. At this time each year I am always interested in what subjects, products or photos you’ve been drawn to most. Black fences seems to have shot to the top of the list again along with a few of my favorites from Heath Ceramics…their new Muir flatware, classic field tiles and the updated Coupe line of Edith Heath’s iconic dinnerware. The simplicity of Spring flowering bulbs rounds out the top 5. Nice. So, thank you for faithfully checking in and checking things out…for indulging me in inspiring you and for your continued support and friendship.

 

 

 

 

photos:

Black fence: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/trend-alert-black-fences/

Muir flatware, Coupe Line and Heath Field Tile: https://www.heathceramics.com/

Tulips: gp