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

 

 

 

Shifting Focus

February 2, 2022

From biting bitter cold to major snowstorms, we are sure to be glad that January is behind us. Now’s a good time to shift our focus to other beautiful forms of Winter White that aren’t as challenging. From a simple vase of forced spring branches to dreaming about a a coveted new addition to your home, a little distraction isn’t out of order as we try to keep warm until the thaw.

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Top to bottom:

For me, a fresh dump of snow is pretty for about 10 minutes. That’s it.

A bunch of white fringed tulips generally take the edge off all of that cold white stuff.

Planning ahead certainly guarantees some additional garden interest. This Blonde Ambition grass is certainly holding it’s own.

What do you mean you haven’t potted up that Amaryllis you received as a Christmas Gift? Get on it.

I know. Put it on your want list now. One large Saarinen dining table…six Saarinen Executive Chairs. You can’t go wrong with white on white, tone on tone. Photo: Knoll

Check that pantry and you might find the few ingredients needed to whip up a batch of this no-churn Bourbon Ice Cream.

Poke around the yard (or neighborhood)with a pair of pruners in your pocket. You could come home with a few flowering branches to force into bloom.

Too afraid to add that dining table to your want list?  How ’bout a more do-able side table? photo: Knoll

I can never have enough white tulips to pull me through Winter. This white Parrot variety is a particular favorite.

If you’re going to be stuck inside bingeing movies, how great would it be to do it stretched out on this classic Florence Knoll sofa dressed in creamy upholstery?

Shoveling is horrible. Period. But, a hot soak or scrub down afterword with some Birch scented bath salts? Lovely.

Winter White Cashmere. Now, that’ll keep you cozy till spring.   Photo: Naadam

 

 

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

 

 

Takin’ a minute…

January 13, 2022

on this cold, gray day to do a bit of daydreaming and sort through some inspiration for upcoming projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top to bottom:

Vintage midcentury Italian fixture by Stilnovo   photo via Plastolux

Modern landscaping   photo via: Remash Tumblr 

Vintage modern Paul McCobb Planners group desk  photo via Plastolux

Simple concrete courtyard   photo: Remash Tumblr

Public art installation at the London Fruit and Wool Exchange   photo via Plastolux

Vladimir Kagan Korduda Sofa   photo via Plastolux

A gorgeous heart oak cube…perfect.   photo via Plastolux

Vintage 60’s Platner Lounge Chair reimagined in Zebra.    Photo via Plastolux

Minimalist Palm Springs residence by the Kaplan Group   photo via Plastolux

 

 

 

 

New Year,

January 9, 2022

new outlook. It’s always great to start the New Year armed with what you need to tackle whatever comes your way. A new yearly calendar ( yes, old school ) a handful of new Uniballs and black Sharpies and a crisp blank journal is where I always start. That’s pretty much all you need to do a quick jot of your goals, plans, and inspiration, contained for easy reference. That covered, maybe hone and old skill or develop a new one to help you work your way through the day smarter, not harder. And, if you’re still working from home, maybe treat yourself a little and up the business casual with some cashmere…a classic crew neck sweater for the waist up...cashmere sweatpants from the waist down. 2022, we’re ready for ya.

 

 

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photos 1 & 3: 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

Clearly,

December 29, 2021

with all that’s going on in the world….yes, more bad news. We have apparently run out of colors! Imagine that. Which brings me to Very Peri, Pantone’s pick for color of the year 2022. Very Peri, a color that the Pantone Color Institute created specifically for this annual honor. Didn’t we already have a Periwinkle? I thought we did. And, if memory serves, it was a distinctive member of the Crayola collection for decades. Will we be seeing this ” new ” shade everywhere next year? Who knows. My guess is that it will follow in the footsteps of Pantone’s flop of 2015…Marsala. Remember that dud?

 

If you’d like to learn more about Very Peri, read the words of Leatrice Eiseman, extolling the qualities of this new hue. Fair warning…it’s a snooze fest.  https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2022

Very Peri photo: Pantone.com

Crayola Periwinkle photo: ColumbiaCoatings.com

If you’d like to revisit Marsala…https://simplequietmodern.com/2014/12/18/marsala-a-swing-and-a-miss/

 

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful

December 25, 2021

If more churches looked like this there would be an end to the myriad excuses used to get out of attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The genius behind this renovation is British designer John Pawson. His collaboration with architect Jan Hobel, through their careful and deliberate refining and editing, has created in this 1,000 year old church near simplequietmodern perfection. You can almost hear the angels voices.

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Of all the holiday posts of the last ten years, this was my favorite. I decided to repost it now as I was reminded of how healing a space could be in it’s stunning simplicity. In yet another year of Covid, however you spend the day, be healthy… be careful. Merry Christmas.

photos: http://blog.thedpages.com/john-pawson-a-new-language-in-church-architecture