Shifting Gears

October 11, 2018

Fall. Time to turn up the heat, spice things up, enjoy the seasons bounty and get ready to adjust our mindset before Winter and the holidays are upon us.

Some simple inspiration to make the seque, top to bottom.

Terra cotta petals with a cream backside… the Leonidas rose. Picture perfect as Mother Nature changes everything around us.

Exotic spice blends like Zaatar and Ras el Hanout bring a little something special and exotic to everyday eats.

The perfect fiber blend to bridge all of the seasons, Purl Soho’s  Flax Down… Baby Alpaca, superfine Merino and Linen, worked together with their Linen Quill in True Turquoise. https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2018/09/05/swath-wrap/

Flor samples for consideration for a pending Winter project. Neutrals are great but a plaid underfoot might just be fun. https://www.flor.com

On a weekend night of binge watching, a Texican dinner of Chili Verde will transport you to the southwest and warm you up. https://simplequietmodern.com/2015/10/27/a-little-needed-comfort/

Locally.grown and processed apples and apple cider…the Fall possibilities are endless and not to be missed. What’s your pleasure? A cocktail of Bourbon and cider or apple pie for breakfast?

Photos: gp

 

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Where’s that list?

December 12, 2014

I find it’s easy to refer back to gifts that I have received and have enjoyed when trying to come up with a gift idea for someone else. While most of them could easily fall into that “stocking stuffer” category budget wise, you’ll hear down the road that their impact was greater than something more extravagant. Really…it’s the small things that make the difference, don’t you think?

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A journal or sketch book…always a clean sheet at hand. The perfect place to record a thought, a plan, a sketch, a dream.

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Ras el Hanout…Mix up a batch of this Moroccan spice blend from the recipe found here.http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/ras-el-hanout While great in meat, vegetable and cous cous recipes, you might include this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower soup to get things started.  http://www.kirstenjohnstone.com/2012/10/roast-cauliflower-soup/

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Heath holiday tall modern cups…ruby red inside, red suede outside. Peppermint hot chocolate will feel right at home, as would coffee, tea or a fistful of tulips or winterberry. You’ll be thought of with every use.

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Clementines, cloves and snow…really. “Winter” fragrance 3 wick candle at Bath and Body Works.

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Deerskin gardening gloves…indispensible. Protection for your hands when gardening or to keep in the car in the event you make an unplanned stop at the nursery. I’m never without a pair…or two.

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Luxurious yarn in a gift card from Purl Soho, Jimmy Beans Wool or Yarn.com.  Who wouldn’t be excited with a gift of cashmere, merino wool or alpaca? And, for the fiber freak…it’s all about the picking. It’s almost like two gifts.

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The mini wisk. I received this one as a gift years ago and it’s still in my top 5 favorite utensils.

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The “Ropey”…who’s special kid wouldn’t love a new one? 

Modern cup photo: Heath Ceramics. All other photos: gp

 

In and Out

January 16, 2014

There was a time when I looked forward to the “In and Out” lists that were published at the end of one year and the start of a new. I actually helped produce many. What’s out…what’s in?  What’s hot and what’s not? It was fun. It kept things fresh. It’s time again to revive that tradition, but with a more discerning eye.There is so much information floating  about, and with things changing in the blink of an eye, there comes a need to re-evaluate. If you hear that something is “trending” the fact is that it’s ship has sailed. And, what’s now available everywhere is a knocked off to the 100th power cheezy incarnation barely resembling the distinction or quality of the original thought. So, if you will indulge me;

Cupcakes?  We know their time has passed but what’s in line to take their place? Mini pies? No, too much crust. Cronuts? Nice try. Maybe it should be a Mini Crostata ( Crostatita?)…like a pie that eats like a cookie. Hmmm…

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CFL and LED bulbs: Who would have ever thought that a government would put a stop to the use of the classic incandescent lightbulb yet still allow the production of  gas guzzlers like the Chevrolet Suburban or the Cadillac Escalade? Doesn’t seem quite fair does it?  Not much we can do but slowly shell out the incredible prices for these less than appealing light sources and pray for a better option. I’m trying to like the Plumen 001, but I’m just not there yet. Until then, CFLs  and LEDs out…sunlight and candlelight in.

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photo via http://usshop.plumen.com/products/plumen-001-screw-fitting

Mason Jars…except for the fact that I use one or more everyday, from holding a bunch of parsley in the refrigerator to shaking up a quick vinaigrette, I really think these deserve a big “out”. Most especially at events and weddings. Unless your nuptials are taking place on a back porch in Appalachia and there’s Moonshine in them, there is no reason to be serving your guests drinks in a Mason jar. Clever? NO. Cute? NO. And, don’t get me started on the” dead relatives in a jar” used as centerpieces. ( Like this photo from internetland ).

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Salted caramel?  OK, a good caramel should have always had a salty note…adding sea salt is just redundant. Hasn’t anyone ever dipped a McDonalds fry into their chocolate shake? The salty sweet thing isn’t new…the same  goes with caramel.With an exception, like the hand-made caramels from Bequet Caramels in Bozeman, MT…who have set the bar amazingly high, I think the salted caramel could use a rest.

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http://www.bequetconfections.com/

Do the homework. Now that everyone and their mother has latched onto the term “mid-century modern” the market is flooded with new “inspired by” product as well as a lot of old kitschy stuff at every auction and estate sale. The fact is that there is a lot to know and a lot more for most people to learn. Just because something was made in 1950 does not make modern…or desireable. And the new “inspired” items are even less modern…less desirable. Some classic pieces are still in production however, and at workable price-points, like this Noguchi Rudder table designed in 1947.

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photo via http://hivemodern.com/pages/product6716/herman-miller-isamu-noguchi-rudder-table

Pimenton: Smoked Paprika. How much of this can we eat before we are sick of it? I guess when it’s an ingredient in an apple pie baked in a Mason jar or dusted over a salted caramel we’ll know.  I’m thinking the tide should be shifting to the Moroccan Spice blend  Ras el Hanout.  To North Africa what curry is to India, this mysterious (and heavily guarded) blend of spices, pods, barks and aromatics is used on everything from meats and poultry to grains and vegetables. Mix up a batch of your own and you can start keeping your own spicy secret.

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We’ve sure been eating our green leafies, haven’t we? Who’d have thought we would not only like Kale, but that we’d like it raw and in a salad with Brussels Sprouts?  Don’t get too comfortable. Better start getting used to the new “it” veg…Cauliflower. You might want to start by simply roasting it. What you’d think would pale by comparison will  have you coming back for more…and more.

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Tattoos: At least you can paint over graffiti. But ink? Not as easy. Maybe it’s time to make the unmarked body a new status symbol. If not that, maybe a 2 or 3 day waiting period is in order before pulling that trigger.

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Artisanal Bitters: I want to know who has that much time on their hands. Or, drinks so much that they need a stash of blackened pineapple or long chili-chai bitters. Simply pretentious. Maybe it’s time for the classics like Angostura or Peychaud’s to stage a comeback…and maybe the Champagne Cocktail as well.

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Black is the New Black; always was. Wear whatever color you want but don’t go for mass approval by calling it the new black. Black is black. It is not emerald-green, or orchid or brown. Black = IN. Enough said.

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