Now, more than ever…

November 25, 2021

is the time to give thanks. However you plan on spending this holiday, do so carefully. Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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Photo of the outdoor feast via https://www.remodelista.com/       all other photos: gp

 

 

Better Get On It

November 13, 2021

With all of the talk about supply chain and shipping issues, now might just be the perfect time to get that Christmas shopping out of the way. Taking advantage of all of your online options will not only get the job done, there will be no standing in line waiting for the next cashier available to assist you. Early Black Friday pricing and free shipping only sweeten the deal. I gathered here a few of my simplequietmodern favorites for this season. So, pull out that credit card, mix yourself a festive cocktail, put your feet up and start shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Preview of 6.5 Inch Cast Iron Skillet

 

 

 

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Top to bottom:

If a simple Brandy Stinger on the Rocks doesn’t put you in the Christmas shopping mood…what will?

simplequietmodern favorite is the Heath Ceramics Tall Modern Cup. In the 2021 Winter Seasonal collection it’s offered in Red Plum and Currant. When it’s not full of coffee, chai or hot chocolate, there isn’t a better container for a handful of seasonal blooms. photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/heath-holiday

Perfect for anyone still bingeing the weekend away watching Netflix, a gorgeous velvet pillow from Knoll Textiles to get cozy with. This one is in Arezzo in colorway: Dolce. Photo: https://www.knoll.com/product/pillows-by-knolltextiles-shop?p=TP-K14421_1218

What’s not to love about a Baroque pearl?  Even better in this modern treatment…a simple gold filled ball chain threaded through a large hole by Ana Mari Ortega. And, if you’re feeling it, go with two to be worn together or threading both chains through both pearls. Photo: https://www.anamariortega.com/collections/fun-jewelry-necklaces

If you have the time, snagging a couple of skeins of Purl Soho’s Cashmere Tend and whipping up a luxurious scarf may be just the ticket for someone on your list. Or, gift the yarn itself and let them create their own. Added bonus, the Merino wool, Cashmere and nylon blend is washable and available in 18 colors. Photo:https://www.purlsoho.com/cashmere-tend.html

No one does a fragrance candle like Diptyque Paris. This limited edition Sapin captures  just what this holiday season needs…Pine and a hint of wood smoke. Perfect. photo: https://www.nordstrom.com/s/diptyque-sapin-candle-limited-edition

Also from Heath Ceramics Winter Seasonal Collection is this square tray in Chili. Add a few homemade Bourbon Balls to gild the lily. Photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/heath-holiday Recipe for the Bourbon Balls, https://simplequietmodern.com/?s=bourbon+balls

People are definitely ready to celebrate the season…I’ve already seen lights glowing and tree lots stocked and open for business. I personally know the holidays have kicked in when I see these mixed evergreen wreaths available and my Trader Joes. You might pick up a few and surprise some friends, family or neighbors. The last year hasn’t been kind to any of us so that simple act of beauty might just make someone’s day.  Photo: gp

If someone on your list just loves a crispy fried egg… either on a burger, topping a salad or to start the day … this is the gift for them. From Lodge Cast Iron, a 6.5″ seasoned cast iron skillet. Photo: https://www.lodgecastiron.com/product/round-cast-iron-classic-skillet?sku=L3SK3 Eggs photo: gp

I couldn’t leave out the classic Bud Vase, again from Heath Ceramics Winter Seasonal Collection, in Cranberry.  A few twigs of Tallow berry and you’ve got a simple holiday statement that will take your through to the New Year. Photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/heath-holiday  Tallow berry photo: gp

 

 

 

Twenty Years

September 11, 2021

The ultimate in simplequietmodern. I loved these two towers. The simplicity, the pairing, the scale. Even as a kid I knew that their presence would shape my design sensibility…and they did. Today in their footprint are the memorial fountains…a different simplequietmodern. Who could ever have known? I remember that morning in 2001 as if it were yesterday…sunny, clear, crisp. Now, I will never forget all of those lives lost…in NY, PA and DC. Take a moment today to remember them… and this place.

 

 

top photo: Andrea Alassio, bottom photo: gp

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

Never Forget

September 11, 2020

Whatever you are doing today, stop and take a moment to remember the victims and families of the terror attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and those aboard Flight 93 that was brought down in Shanksville, PA. I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 so vividly it is hard to wrap my head around the fact that 19 years have passed. 

1970 photo by Andrea Di Castro

 

 

and the home of the brave. It’s a new kind of 4th. Be safe, mask up….keep your distance.

photos: 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

 

 

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.

 

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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

 

 

It’s A Date

December 29, 2019

It’s no secret that I prefer an assortment of “befores and afters” when gathering for the holidays, particularly New Years. Who couldn’t be satisfied with an assortment of appetizers, a glass of something sparkling with a finish of a little something sweet? That said, it’s not ever a bad idea to switch things up and add a something new to your usual mix. I first got hooked on stuffed dates at a favorite restaurant last winter but put off making them at home figuring they were too time consuming. Once I realized they were easily made ahead of time and rewarmed prior to serving, well that changed things. While there is a bit involved in prep, there are only a few ingredients…three actually…plus two pantry items for the glaze…pitted dates, blue cheese and bacon plus a little apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Stuff pitted dates with a bit of your favorite blue cheese. Cook thin bacon that has been cut in half lengthwise until nearly crisp. While the bacon is still warm wrap each date with a slice and secure if necessary with a soaked wooden pick. Place wrapped dates on a foil lined baking sheet and brush with a glaze made of equal parts maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Heat in a 400 degree oven brushing with additional glaze until warmed through. That’s it…done. Fair warning, these will go fast so plan accordingly.

While you’ve got the oven on you might take a few extra minutes to knock out a batch of gougere and check your supply of gougere’s best buddy…Champagne. The recipe can be found here. https://simplequietmodern.com/2012/12/18/gougere-i-think-its-french-for/

photos: gp