Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Perfect Bite Of Summer: Peach Crostini

You know those summer weekends so packed with sunshine and deliciousness that they're like a perfectly ripened peach? Golden, rosy, sweet and you wish they went on forever?

 My Illustration

On Sunday we stumbled on the perfect concoction for a just such a peachy summer afternoon.

You drizzle a few baguette slices (we used day-old) with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and brown under the broiler. Let cool, then top with a spoon full of ricotta cheese, a bit more salt and pepper, a few slivers of basil and drizzle with more olive oil. Meanwhile, sauté sliced peaches in a bit of butter and some triple sec. Let cool, then add them to the crostini and dust with finishing salt (we used a smoked gray fleur de sel)

Easy! And they disappear as quickly as a perfect late-July day.

I have a hunch there were a few little things that helped make them so delicious:
  • Really good ricotta (whole milk, hand-dipped and fresh) 
  • Good olive oil 
  • Perfectly ripe farmstand peaches, which my friend Katherine sautéed beautifully, keeping their gorgeous golden color --no browning-- and not letting them get mushy

A perfect prelude to a summer lunch. Like eating little slices of golden sunshine - and they pair deliciously with rosé. Yum.

What tastes like summer to you?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Reading: Gold By Chris Cleave

Happy Friday, all! Are you excited for the Olympics? Any event you're most excited to see? I'm actually pretty interested in Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle's take on the Opening Ceremonies.... and if when/if the Duchess of Cambridge will appear and what she''ll be wearing.

Of course, if you can't find a taxi to take you to London for the games, Etsy has you covered with all sorts of fun memorabilia. Here are a few of my favorites:


And who needs a front row seat to the action when you have Gold by Chris Cleave? The novel centers on two women in the run up to the 2012 London Games. Fiends and rivals Kate and Zoe both compete in the sport of sprint cycling. They share a hometown (Manchester) a coach, and the fact that at 32, the London Olympics may mean their last chance for glory. The two met at 19, but each chose a very different path and set of priorities to bring them to this moment.

I'm only one chapter in, but I'm already hooked. So my main Olympic event may be page turning! 

Happy Friday! Wishing you a golden weekend! XO

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Butterflies On A Garden Path: Valli, Monet and Me

When Giambattista Valli presented his Fall 2012 Couture collection in Paris earlier this month, it took my breath away and then stayed with me, fluttering like a butterfly somewhere on the outskirts of my mind.

It winged it's way back to the surface yesterday and recaptured my imagination as I strolled through a rose garden...


Vali had explained that his mind was on two parts of a garden when he created the collection, "a flower garden and a nympeah."

Which brings the butterfly now floating through my memory to Monet's Garden in Giverny, where I once spent blissful days painting in the artist's allées and under the willow trees.

I remember Frank, our art historian guide, explaining the theory that the two parts of Monet's creation were like two parts of the self: The light-filled-flower garden, a bursting riot of color lining well-ordered pathways--the conscious mind, the public self. The shadowy water garden, with an ever-changing, rippling pond half-hidden by willow trees--the subconscious, the interior self.

What a lovely garden path of art, fashion, flowers and memory to wander down on a sunny summer afternoon.

Happy Wednesday, all. Hope it's a rosy one! XO

Images: 1/Vogue, 2/Giambattista Valli tumblr, 3/I Dream Of, 4/Style.com, 5-6/Vogue.com, 7/Georgia Lane, 8/Monet.org, 9/Claude Monet, 10/I Dream Of; 11/Style.com, 12/I Dream Of, 13/Claude Monet 14/Style.com, 15/I Dream Of, 16/Prince of Scots

Monday, July 23, 2012

Favorite Summer Flavors: Lobster

Happy Monday, all. Did you enjoy your weekend? We had a little lobstah-venture...

Nope, unfortunately we didn't get to go to the lobsters, but the lobsters did come to us!

Living in the Puget Sound region means a happy abundance of fresh seafood, but sadly there are no lobsters to be found in our cold waters. Which makes it a big party the one Saturday each summer when there is a "lobster drop" at Bert's, our corner grocery store. The big tub of live lobsters flown in from Maine hits the sidewalk at 9:30 AM and by lunch time they've all disappeared.

And in the evening there's a collective shriek - steam escaping from shells, not screams - as the lobsters slip into pots all over the neighborhood.

I do love a lobster boil! Any excuse for a summer party and to gorge on butter and lemon.

A table set for a lobster feast always looks so festive - red lobsters paired with corn yellow and creamy citrus shades.

I'd love to pick up this platter for next year's feast. And there's always a perfectly lobster-themed hostess gift to be found. Like the Nezinscot Guild Maine Lobster Kit, coasters from Sesame Press and wine bag from Etsy.

As we wiped the last of the butter from our chins and fingers, it seemed as if we should be able to go for long walk on the beach.

We needed to remind ourselves we were in Seattle, not Nantucket. And the lobsters would be back next year.

Have you had a Lobster Boil yet this summer?

Images: 1/via Vibrant Beauty , 2/Sail Power and Steam Museum, 3/ Hamptons Magazine, 4/Serious Eats , 5/The Decorlum Studio, 6/Mr. H, 7-9/I Dream Of, 10/Pottery Barn, 11/Wisteria, 12/Coastal Living, 13/Replacements.com, 14/ 15/Sesame Press, 16/Tagalong Bags, 17-18/Mr. H.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Date Night Idea: An Evening In Roma

Happy Friday, everyone! You may not be able to hop a plane to Rome at a moments notice tonight, but as a feasible alternative, might I suggest the next best thing: a few hours in the Eternal City by way of Woody Allen's delightfully silly To Rome with Love.

Several story lines co-exist together, layered over each other like the city itself, where several civilizations are often present, one on top of the other, on the same little patch of soil.

An affectionate love letter to a complex city, each of the plot lines bring to life all that is endearing and frustrating about the Italian capital - the overwhelming history, the twists and turns of its streets, piazzas and roundabouts, a fascination with celebrity (the tag Paparazzi originates here), the baggage of being so fiercely associated with passionate romance, not to mention the ridiculously sublime beauty of the place. 

It's a delicious little aperitivo of a film and as sweet and fleeting as gelato melting in the Campo de Fiori sun. So start your evening with a Processeco or Negroni and end at your favorite gelateria. A date night with all that's wonderful about Rome, without the jet lag.

What's your favorite date night idea?


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