Monthly Archives: June 2009

Happy Tape

From JH:

so much better than scotch

so much better than scotch

This tape confirms my love for Japanese everyday-design items. A gift from the girl who taught me the importance of gift wrapping (KRB, I am forever grateful), it’s called Happy Tape and it comes in so many gorgeous prints and colors. My collection (above) is just the beginning. Look here:

hot pink 5-pack ($22)

hot pink 5-pack ($22)

pink & gray sparkle 2-pack ($11)

pink & gray sparkle 2-pack ($11)

spring 10-pack ($34)

spring 10-pack ($34)

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Filed under Gift Ideas, On the Cheap, Raw Materials, Simple Syrup

A Note on Gardening Style

From JH:

happy feet

sperry top-siders

Sperry Top-Sider’s Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes have to be the best––they’re stain-and-water-resistant, they have a rubber sole for traction, and the grommets are rust-proof. So if they get wet, you won’t slip, and they won’t be ruined. I’ve been wearing them for three weeks, and they’re comfortable, functional, and ready to take a walk to the garden center at a moment’s notice. Just a quick wipe with a dry towel and they’re as good as new.

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Filed under Clothes and Accessories, Gardening

Yayoi Kusama

From DW:

aftermath of obliteration of eternity, 2009

aftermath of obliteration of eternity, 2009

It is  rare that an art exhibition gives you what this one does.

A feeling of elation, followed by a natural unadulterated mind-expansion, and  possibly, wet toes.

I have been 3 times and it keeps getting better.  It also just makes you think.

Tomorrow is the last day of this wonderful show at Gagosian.

Follow the dots to the booth at the back.

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Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational, Simple Syrup

Green Depot on the Bowery

From DW:

The laundry section

The laundry section

 I can’t say enough about the customer-friendly anti-thesesis of Home Depot… Green Depot!

They have eco-paints in beautiful hues, they have recycled flooring options from vinyl to oak, and they even have workshops on how to green your home!

Green Depot also has  section committed to making laundry duty kind of fun; A wool ball for the dryer decreases drying time and your carbon footprint, little lavender sachets to make said drying time smell delightful, and Charlie’s soap–a best kept secret of  laundrettes everywhere.

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Filed under Do It Yourself, Raw Materials

Tonight’s Menu: Cowboy Rib-Eye with Cranberry Bean Salad and Charred Ramps

From JH:

before we eat...

moments before mealtime

First things first: Charred ramps? Their season is long over, we know. But cleaning out the refrigerator earlier today day I found a bundle of them sealed in an airtight plastic bag––leftovers from the stock that JB and I bought in April––and guess what? They were in pretty good shape. Talk about a nice surprise. Why not cover them in olive oil and throw them on the grill, I thought? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Next: the steaks. JB wanted to christen our brand new Weber One-Touch grill with the best, so he bought two HUGE rib-eyes from Grazin’ Angus Acres, the primo meat purveyor at our neighborhood farmer’s market. Following this recipe for Cowboy Rib Eye from Saveur, he gave our steaks a sticky, caramelized crust and mild, sweet/spicy flavor. It was excellent. Note: It’s all about the rub, but if you can’t find the guajillo and pasilla chiles that it calls for (we couldn’t), just forget them. All will be wonderful, still.

Lastly: the salad. Bean salad is a summer staple in our home, though no two bean salads that I make are ever the same. This one stars cranberry beans and is served over a bed of arugula that’s been dressed with the bean salad juices/vinaigrette. Here, like this:

CRANBERRY BEAN SALAD

2 cups cranberry beans, soaked for 4 hours, then boiled for 30 minutes until soft, but not mushy

3 celery stalks, with leaves, diced

2 green onions, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

the juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cups olive oil

1 tsp red chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 cups fresh arugula

In a large bowl, toss the beans, celery, green onions, parsley, and garlic. Add the chili flakes and lemon juice and toss again. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil, and toss. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and let the bean salad sit at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the vinaigrette thickens and coats the beans with ease.

Remove some, but not all, of the vinaigrette from the bottom of the bean salad bowl. Toss as much or as little as you like with the arugula. Plate the arugula first, then place generous spoonful of the bean salad on top of the glossy greens.

It’s really simple, and the bean salad only gets better with time. In fact, it’s actually better the next day, so I suggest making it in bulk.

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Filed under Cooking Chronicles

From Seed to Salad

From JH:

This is the post I’ve been waiting for…

fresh-picked garden arugula and rosemary

act 1: fresh-picked H&O garden arugula (and rosemary)

H&O arugula with lemon juice and olive oil

act 2: H&O arugula salad

The joy of eating food that I’d grown from seed was extreme––a perfect first. How did it taste, you ask? I’ll tell you, it tasted exquisite. It was peppery and bitter and earthy, and so fresh and flavorful and healthy. Eating it raw stung my tongue a little––it’s that kind of arugula. Just a splash of lemon juice and olive oil was all it needed.

Care for a flashback? Click here.

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Filed under Cooking Chronicles, Do It Yourself, Gardening, The Growth of a Garden

Would You Believe This Is NYC?

From JH:

right in my own backyard

right in my own backyard

If you shift the focus upwards you’ll see a whole mess of things––chain-link fences, fire escapes, telephone wires, cement––but the scene in this frame is real, and in my backyard, and the product of a lot of hard work, the memories of which simply dissolve into the peaceful, lavender-blue color of these Scabiosa ‘Blue Diamonds’ (a.k.a “pincushion flowers”) when I look at them.

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Filed under Flora, Gardening, The Growth of a Garden