reading list

it feel like i’m always buying a cookbook. that said, there are always more that i’m dying to get my hands on…

slanted_door

lately all i want to eat is thai, vietnamese, chinese. dumplings, noodles, spring rolls. korean bbq and hot sauce. i didn’t grow up eating a lot of food like this, but i’m on a mission to incorporate this style of food into my repertoire. every page of this book is gorgeous. every. page.

mypariskitchen

david lebovitz’s blog is a treasure… it’s more or less chock-full of everything i’d ever want to know. i scoured it deep this summer and last while planning long-weekend trips to paris. (thanks for this recco, by the way…) so it’s a no-brainer that i need this book.

this cookbook is so exciting that it has it’s own video! which i’ve watched about 17 times, because i also love the apartment. i don’t know if i really need a lot of the recipes in this book (does anyone really need a recipe for avocado toast or a grain bowl?) but it looks stunning all the same.

plentymore

obviously. if you don’t already own yotam ottolenghi’s earlier cookbooks, ottolenghiplenty, and jerusalem, get those while you’re at it. you need them.

mmitk

last on my list, for now at least, is this book. it was a great pleasure to be one of the assistant food stylists on this book. quite possibly the most fun two weeks ever! being around so much beautiful food, gorgeous props, and nice, talented people was a real treat.

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funny story.

bklyn3

 

this story is funny kind of like the way finding a hair in your soup is funny. it involves something that every new yorker loves to talk about: real estate.

it goes like this: couple finds apartment they want to buy and renovate. it’s decently priced in a brooklyn neighborhood that is about to experience skyrocketing rent and sale prices. they make an offer and it’s accepted! contracts are signed! hooray! couple waits as seller cancels the closing one two five seven times for mysterious reasons having to do with building code violations and fines.

but before all the canceled closings, couple puts almost all their belongings into storage and moves to furnished airbnb apartment in new neighborhood to more easily oversee renovation that surely is about to start any second. couple quickly realizes temporary apartment is a mouse and cockroach infested shit hole. even the dog is depressed. couple moves again four months later to second unfurnished temporary location which is actually lovely and HERE WE ARE.

are there worse problems out there? obviously. we have an apartment. it’s on a block with three community gardens. one of them has chickens. it’s close to the subway. i like living here very much.

basically i’m just anxious to get going… to start designing the new space, to get everything out of storage and unpacked and settled away. that’s all. i have pinterest and houzz folders that might explode because they are crammed full of ideas for lighting and flooring and faucets and plates. i have four versions of floor plans drawn for all three floors.

someday… it will happen someday.

anyone else have a buying-real-estate-in-nyc horror story? drop me a line in the comments, i’d love to hear about it.

image

hello again/ on my radar…

hello again! i took such a long hiatus from the blog that i almost couldn’t remember how to sign in. there have been a lot of things i wanted to share over the last several months, but sitting down to create a post seemed just like too much work lately. which sounds crazy. so i’m snapping out of it!

in june i went to see my friend tammy of stella jams fame in bozeman, montana. she took me to the farmers market on a rainy saturday morning and introduced me to meredith rivers, the ceramist behind dishes with soul. i truly wanted to cram the whole collection into my carry-on and call it a day. instead i’ve procrastinated for four months. but i have my eye on so, so many of her pieces. i love the raw and undulating edges, and the way some bits fold over almost like a dumpling skin. for my line of work, the shallow bowls and platters are perfect for shooting salads, soups, roasted vegetables… oh pretty much anything.

i have a feeling this line is destined for the shelves of ABC carpet & home. (also known as heaven on earth). since i last looked at meredith’s site back in late june, it looks like she’s been nominated as 2014 finalist for martha stewart’s american made award. congratulations, meredith! i love your work.

disheswithsoul_1

 

disheswithsoul_2

rug crush: tikau

tikaui mean BIG TIME rug crush… enough to justify all caps.

in a post several months back, i moaned and groaned how after being in a new apartment for almost two years, we still had no rugs. except bathmats, which don’t count. truth is, i’m very picky about rugs and would rather have a naked floor than something that’s just… meh.

enter my favorite store in the world, tiina the store, with all it’s amazing finnish design. they had various rugs from tikau all over the store this summer, and as i love stripes (my facebook quote is “i like stripes”. or it was, anyway. i think they get rid of that.) i was unable to resist.

i digress. long story short, the unbleached wool, handwoven black & white striped rug seen in the upper left corner of the photo is now on my bedroom floor. and i LOVE IT. (more caps.) even my dog loves it. (proof here)

ps. since it’s a woven rug with no pile, i got the thickest rug pad available at abc carpet & home. the way to figure out what size you need? easy, you have them cut it 1″ less all the way around. extra ps: take a cab home.

(photo)

 

make it: chia chocolate pudding

bkp_5_6_13_chiachocpudding1i’m not normally much of a chocolate person but i do have a taste for it once in a while. i’ve been trying to cut back on sweets, too, but i don’t think this really counts as anything to feel bad about. unlike the pudding that comes in a little disposable cup and has absolutely zero nutritional value, this version actually brings something to the party – lots of protein, natural sweeteners, and, it’s dairy free. i like it better than the real thing.

bkp_5_6_13_chiachocpudding2

chia seed chocolate “pudding”

add 1/2 cup filtered water to 2T chia seeds. let it sit and thicken for about 10 minutes, transfer to the vitamix, and add:

1 cup raw unsalted cashews, 5 or 6 dates, (remove the pits!), 1T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1T maple syrup or agave nectar, 1t vanilla. start with 1/2 cup of coconut milk (or almond milk) and pulse, adding more milk to achieve desired consistency. i usually add about 1 cup of the milk total. also, if you like a stronger chocolate flavor, you can add another tablespoon of the cocoa powder.

it’s good to eat right away, but i think it’s even better once it sits in the fridge for a few hours. it seems like the chia seeds keep thickening even once they’re ground up, and the texture is just great.

bkp_5_6_13_chiachocpudding(photos by laura kinsey for bklynprairie.com)

 

eat it: sesame noodles

sesamenoodlessesame noodles…. ever since realizing that i can totally make these at home, they’ve become a bit of a problem. a little bit healthy and a little bit not, i want them at almost every meal. this dish has everything – great texture, great flavor….they’re irresistible to me.

now, for you by-the-book types, i know my version is kind of japanese and maybe kind of thai, and kind of not really authentic at all. but this is how i do it, and it’s good!

for the sauce:

2T tahini

2T creamy peanut butter

1T each of mirin, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and siracha. either regular sesame or toasted sesame oil is fine, and you can add some hot chili oil as well, if you have it!

1t grated ginger

juice from 1/2 a lime

for garnish:

handful of rough-chopped cilantro, thinly sliced scallions, and sesame seeds.

for the noodles:

the options are many. in the picture above, i used regular old pasta noodles (actually my last choice – just what i happened to have on hand) but you can use ramen, udon, rice noodles, or buckwheat soba noodles. my new favorite noodle is the black bean “spaghetti” from the brand Explore Asian. they have two ingredients (black beans & water!) and about 25 grams of protein per serving and almost half your daily requirement of fiber. they’re a perfect backdrop for the sauce.

the sauce! oh yes. easist thing ever – mix everything in a bowl, and toss with the cooked/rinsed/drained noodles. scatter the sesame seeds, scallions, and cilantro over the top. if the sauce seems a little thick, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water or regular hot water to thin it out.

(photo by laura kinsey)

 

wanted

almost two years into this new apartment, and i still don’t own one rug. not one in any room. tiny exception: the 2×3 kitchen mat i bought two weeks ago. rugs are expensive and they are a committment. but i can find any of these rugs here in nyc, i might have found some winners…

pinocchiopinocchio rug from Hay…

 

dotcarpetdot carpet from scholten & baijings

house envy 4.0

today is my dear, dear friend tammy’s birthday. she and her husband are moving to bozeman, montana in a couple weeks, so when i saw this house in architectural digest last month, i knew i had to save it to post today. happy birthday, tammy!

what a gorgeous place. i’m especially loving the exposed ceiling trusses, the pendants above the dining room table, and those crazy comfortable-looking leather chairs in the living room. you can see the entire slideshow here.

(photography by Joshua McHugh)

 

new online magazine

the dream dining column is on holiday this week. it needed to rest. instead, i’m sharing some images from the new online magazine home & delicious. i love a magazine dedicated to my two favorite things… home decor and amazing food. thanks to emmas designblogg for keeping me in the loop!

see more of the issue here