July 30, 2010

the black fruits of satan

Okay, so that title is a little dramatic.

Over the weekend we went hiking in Satan's Kingdom, a series of beautiful & well-marked trails with an air of mystery to them, in that it is very difficult to find out anything about the origin of the area's compelling nomenclature, as well as details about the paths & piece of land itself. Not another soul was to be found traipsing along the trails on that sweet summer day.

We did, however, find some of the juiciest & sweetest blackberries growing trail-side.






choc it up to good design


photo from here

Brothers Michael & Rick Mast are artisan chocolate makers in Brooklyn, New York, who create their bars in small batches by hand. Their dedication to each detail involved in the production of their wares, from selecting & roasting the raw cacao beans to the packaging of their bars & the design of their factory, is absolutely beautiful. And, as you might expect, the resulting chocolate is superb. Stunning.

Here is a wonderful & inspiring film about them from The Scout, as well as gorgeous photos of their factory by The Selby.

July 29, 2010

quiet color

Yet another interior with tall ceilings & windows & gorgeous wood floors, this time in Brooklyn. The light fixtures certainly delighted me.






So unpretentiously & quietly stylish, I love all of the original fixtures & details combined with simple, modern furniture. I can imagine spending hours cooking in that kitchen while family & friends hang out, & not wanting to get out of bed in the morning what with the soft light sifting through the windows.

from here via here

July 26, 2010

ladies who dine

Last night's gathering again did not disappoint, & may actually have been my favorite yet; a tough call owing to how consistently excellent each meal has been. Someone aptly noted that every month is like Thanksgiving, in that we look forward to getting together & eating incredible food to the point of bursting, all minus any potential family drama.





Japanese cuisine is a favorite of mine, & we have the incredibly good fortune of having someone in our midst who lived in Japan & worked in a sushi restaurant in San Francisco, as well as someone who has insider knowledge of Letamaya Chef Hiroshi Hayashi's recipes, a fantastic restaurant our little town was lucky to be home to for a short but sweet time. Add to that the culinary imagination & expertise of all present, & it was in a word, amazing. I'm salivating just recalling everything.

We also got to help our lovely friend warm her charming gem of a new home, so some healthy house-envy also factored in.

Oh, a month seems a long wait until next time...

fruit tempura
a sweet dessert variation on the traditional dish

1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup ice water or cold beer

prepare the fruit
cut a variety of fruit into bite-size pieces: I used mangos, plums, peaches & bananas;
pineapple, strawberries & nectarines would be excellent as well.

for the batter
Combine the dry ingredients. Beat the egg, add the chilled water & combine well. Add the liquid mixture to the dry, mixing until just moistened & lumpy.

to deep fry
Dip the fruit into the batter & deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels & serve immediately while warm.
I served the results with vanilla ice cream & a chocolate wasabi sauce (bittersweet chocolate with butter, & wasabi to taste).

July 25, 2010

best lunch

This morning my husband cut some kale, spinach & chard from our garden, then tossed it quickly with olive oil, salt, pepper & chili flakes in a pan in which he'd pan-roasted some of the garlic we'd harvested a couple of weeks ago, just until it was warm, and....


it was the best lunch ever.

July 24, 2010

weekend DIY

Here's a fetching little lamp that is simple & modern, from a woman whose fabric designs I've long admired & lusted after. As illustrated here, her work in wood is absolutely stunning as well.

how to here via here

July 23, 2010

vast elegance

Something tells me I might be hankering for more space... the interiors that have been calling to me as of late are vast spaces that swoop up to high ceilings with windows to match in scale, & wide swaths of open floor.

Case in point is gallerist Thomas Andre's Berlin-Grunewald home. I love how all of the elements work together here: the floors are to die for, as well as the unusual tiled ceiling that echoes the parquetry in the first photo; graceful & airy Mies & Platner chairs & tables dotted throughout keep the space feeling open while functional for small groups or a small crowd. A collection of paintings leaning against & lining walls always gets my vote, and, being a gallerist, he doesn't disappoint.






Elegant & comfortable, I can picture many a gathering taking place in this handsome abode; as long as the little masked nude leering from the chandelier above the stairwell is ok with it... yikes!

from here via here

carving out a sculptural niche

While I'm on the subject of books...

A few contemporary artists who are creating breathtaking work, each approaching the altered book & book carving genres so differently, & in such skillful & compelling ways.

boom


Based in Amsterdam, Irma Boom is a prodigious graphic designer who specializes in bookmaking, & often makes miniatures of her work. Oh, how I would love to get my mitts on one of these little beauties...

from here via here

July 22, 2010

applied book arts

More lovely bibliophilic pieces on which to feast the eyes... & adorn the body & home.
from here


from here


from here



from here

two for one

These incredible little objects would thrill any camera-toting bibliophile types, myself included: pinhole cameras constructed from vintage books.
Brilliant, & beautiful...


from here via here