Simple Finish

December 23, 2018

A quick twist to Nigella Lawson’s Meringue Gelato Cake will have you serving up the perfect sweet ending to your holiday dinner with barely any effort at all. Much like my Pistachio Semifreddo, it’s as easy as whip, fold and freeze. Start by lining a loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving enough to fold over the contents of the filled pan. Next, roughly crush 2 cups of store-bought meringues…Trader Joe’s Vanilla or peppermint are perfect. Measure 1 oz. of candy canes and crush in a zip-lock with a rolling pin and shave 1 oz. of dark chocolate into fine shards. Lastly, whip 1 1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream to soft peaks. Now, gently fold the chocolate, crushed candy canes, meringues and 2 tablespoons of white Creme de Menthe into the whipped cream. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, level and fold plastic wrap over to cover. Freeze at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. To serve, unmold onto a serving platter and cut into thick slices. A simple sauce of equal parts dark chocolate melted into heavy cream with a splash of white Creme de Menthe and a light touch of candy cane dust finishes each serving beautifully. Serves 6-8.

 

 

 

photos: gp

If you’d like Nigella’s recipe, it can be found here: https://food52.com/recipes/77525-nigella-lawson-s-meringue-gelato-cake-with-chocolate-sauce

Feeling more pistachio than peppermint? My recipe for Pistachio Semifreddo can be found here: https://simplequietmodern.com/2015/05/24/whip-it-fold-it-freeze-it/

 

 

 

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Down to the Wire

December 17, 2018

There’s still time for some small last minute gifts. Here are a few sqm ideas to help you tick those last few boxes on that list.

Top to bottom:

From Heath Ceramics Classic Red Collection: the Tall Modern Cup in Ruby Red and Suede Red. It would be particularly special if it was filled with fresh flowers once a month for a year. photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/products/tall-modern-cup-ruby-red-suede-red

Memo blocks by Ito Bindery. Photo: https://www.odetothings.com/products/ito-bindery-memo-block?variant=5444084498463

Some homemade sweet treats are always appreciated… especially by those who are cooking and baking challenged. Use the search bar right at the top to access simplequietmodern recipes for Shortbreads, Maple Glazed Walnuts or Bourbon Balls for starters. Photo: gp

These Italian woven paper bags by UASHMAMA feel like leather. They can be the gift or become a special gifts modern reusable wrapping. Photo: https://www.purlsoho.com/uashmama-paper-bag.html

Potted white Helebores bring an unexpected freshness that will charm now, on the Solstice, Christmas and through to the New Year. Being able to plant it in the garden once winter breaks is an added bonus. Photo: gp

The holiday fragrance of cinnamon and fir poured into a reusable Heath Red Suede Cup. Once the candle is gone this gift keeps on giving…as a teacup or small vase. Photo: https://www. a .com/products/candle-large-modern-cup-ruby-red-suede-red

 

 

 

She Must Have Known

December 12, 2018

Decades before the arrival of the flat panel TV, Florence Knoll had designed the 116 credenza…simple case, sliding panel doors, leather pulls, interior drawer and shelves set on iron legs. As you would expect over the last 70 years it’s minimal style genius was put to great use in living rooms, dining rooms and offices alike. Today, I can’t help thinking that Florence must have had a premonition that the 116 would be a great perch for today’s flat screen. And, it would if you were able to get your hands on one. Hey Santa, a little help please? I’ve got just the spot.

Photo: Plastolux

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Forecast: Chance of Coral

December 8, 2018

You have to love the optimism of the Pantone Color Institute. Every December brings us their prediction of a color that we will be seeing a lot of in the coming year. Each prediction has them waxing poetic on their selection…hoping to convince us of the relevance of their choice. I’m  still waiting to see previous Color of the Year selections like Marsala, Serenity and Purple Passion flood the marketplace. While the 2019 color of the Year, Living Coral, is pretty enough I’m not convinced we’ll be seeing it everywhere. It makes one wonder if Pantone, when it comes to forecasting, might have better luck predicting the weather.

Images: https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-of-the-year/color-of-the-year-2019

 

 

Friendly Reminder

December 5, 2018

As your gift purchases from cyber week start arriving, don’t forget to save that packing material. In a few weeks they’ll come in handy when those gifts need to be wrapped. The addition of some found objects, simple cord, repurposed ribbon or the most restrained spritz of metallic or color is all that’s needed to create a distinctive presentation that is cost-effective, ecologically beneficial and best of all free.

photos: gp

 

O Christmas Tree

November 30, 2018

Or, no Christmas tree. While I love a fresh tree I’m never opposed to rethinking the traditional Christmas tree by deconstructing it or reimagining it in simplequietmodern style. A sheet of plywood and a few strings of lights? BOOM! Modern Christmas magic!

Photos and Geneva Vanderzeil’s complete DIY tutorial found here: https://apairandasparediy.com/2015/12/diy-string-light-christmas-tree/

 

 

Jackpot

November 25, 2018

I recently ran across an unused gift card in my desk drawer…then another. Then, an online credit memo. Yoo hoo! What I had tucked away for safe keeping I had completely forgotten about. I think I’ll use this “found cash” to jump start my holiday shopping…maybe pick up a little perk for myself in the process. Just in time for Cyber Monday. Check those drawers, people.

 

 

 

A few ideas to kick off the season, top to bottom:

A new glaze, Zinc, on Heath Ceramics Coupe Dessert Bowl courtesy of that unearthed online credit memo. Photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/bowls/products/dessert-bowl-coupe

This Floating Gemstones Necklace Kit from Purl Soho provides enough material to create several great gifts in the month ahead. Photo: https://www.purlsoho.com/floating-gemstones-necklace-kit.html

Also from Purl Soho, Posy, a hand-dyed Superwash Cashmere, Merino and Nylon blend yarn. Gift the skeins to your favorite knitter or whip up a warm cap or scarf in this Winter-busting shade…Sour Gooseberry. Photo: https://www.purlsoho.com/posy-gift-list-gallery.html

If you’re itching to start decking the halls, Trader Joe’s has the best value in town with their mixed evergreen wreaths. Photo: gp

Start them now and you’ll have gorgeous amaryllis in bloom for Christmas. This moss covered bulb is available from Terrain. Photo: https://www.shopterrain.com