Friday, July 31, 2009

minimal love: elisabeth dunker

welcome to the perfect kitchen of elisabeth dunker, blogger at fine little day, as well as artist, stylist and photographer, etc. etc. i am drooling over this space. i love how welcoming and calm the space feels. the pallet is stunning don't you think? and im a sucker for checkered floors - i never envisioned my wedding as a little kid only my kitchen and the floors have always been checkered. these however are so chic, look they are not pure black but more of a grey or slate tone - the danish modern chairs around the farmhouse table and the simple and elegant grouping of plates behind it all!!

notice i haven't mentioned the light fixture because what ever i say about it will not do it justice so lets me just say this.aaaaaaaaah!
a poul henningsen design from around 1958. its stunning - it takes my breath away.

ok confession
- i found these images via design*sponge- normally i try not to rip off other blogs, especially not a big girl blog like design*sponge but i'm sooo inlove i just had too

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the purple monster in my fridge

so i have a less than spectacular post today and for that i apologize but i have been trying all day to come up with a fun and different eggplant recipe - to no avail - they are all seemingly traditional either stir-fry or italian....hummm whats a girl to do? ill let you know what i do end up making with this purple monster.

also i have a few new things up in the shop check out the seductive mahogany pitcher - so provincial i love it!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

terriffic trays

happy monday all - so this weekend i decided that some sort of a tray would look really cool on my large round brown leather tufted ottoman/coffee table - either on top of a stack of books or in place of them. what i cant really decide on however is if i like a more casual or more formal look - ive posted some trays in both categories that i find myself loving!!

i found the following 4 items all on etsy by searching tray and home decor
find this one here

this ones in my shop!

this one is a nice intersection of the casual elements of wood and the formal elements of metal in the following trays
and the ones below are more formal but i think they are still simple and certainly sophisticated enough to be demure on my table -

Saturday, July 25, 2009

fruits of labor: esther's cottage farm swedish cucumbers

i have been getting tons of cucumbers in my produce box, perhaps you have a similar problem or dont know what to do with all those cucumbers growing in your garden? here is a delightfully fresh and easy recipe - it is an adaptation of my great-grandmothers recipe for swedish cucumbers, but ive punched it up a bit.
this would be really fun and unexpected at a summer bbq!

the recipe that follows is for 1lb of cucumbers but as you will see it can be easily increased to accommodate more.

1lb of cucumbers
1 1/4 cups of water
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1/4 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of parsley finely chopped
1/8 cup of sliced red onion

combine water, white vinegar, sugar, salt, parsley in a large bowl

the easiest, most efficient and i think nicest way to do this next step is on the mandolin, (a rather ingenious kitchen accessory i must say. if you don't own a mandolin they are rather inexpensive the one i have cost about 8$ though some can be as pricey as 100$ or over) if you aren't equipped with a mandolin, slice the cucumbers and red onion as thinly as you can -

peel the cucumbers and then slice them on the mandolin right over the liquid mixture then do the same for the red onion until you have approx. an 1/8 cup in the mixture (you don't want too much or all you will taste is onion). stir it all together and let it sit at least 2 hours - though i recommend over night or even 2 days ahead as they get better the longer they sit in the brine.

this is also a nice light accompaniment to meat or served over fresh sliced summer tomatoes. once you taste these im sure you will think of many things to do with esther's swedish cucumbers -

Thursday, July 23, 2009

sneak peak - dreamy apothecary jar

its been posted! check it out in the shop

a beautiful apothecary jar. would be beautiful in a window on its own, filled with little memories from your travels or even as a terrarium with a small lady slipper orchid in it perhaps or a lovely fern - a million possibilities

trip to the farmers market

there is nothing like a trip to the farmers market on a bright, warm sunny day - all of the produce is swelled with ripeness and color and smell, and those samples are every bit as good as just looking at the fruit. here is a visual journey of just such an experience -

and there are wonderful shops to be seen inside of the san francisco ferry building - below are some pictures from my favoite

i love the baskets in these pictures they remind me of the baskets in this picture from my post about bohemian interiors. see the whole post here
i think they are wonderful! they are from the gardener. an inspired shop here in the bay area.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

fruits of labor: top secret bean salad

this is my favorite salad to eat, make, bring, look at.... ok you get the idea. its colorful, flavorful, easy to make and generally fun! so im finally going to divulge my top secret fiesta salad recipe -

2 10oz. cans of black beans (you could make em fresh to but i see no need unless you are crazy)

2 ears of corn boiled or 2 8oz cans of whole kernel corn

1 4oz can of whole green chilies

1 medium sized orange pepper cut into small chunks

1 cup of finely shredded red cabbage (mandolin suggested)

1/4 of a small red onion

2 scallions

6 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of orange juice (fresh or otherwise)

1 1/2 limes zested and juiced

3 tsp of red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp of cumin

2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

ok i know it seems like a lot of ingredients but its gonna be amazing trust me - combine everything in a large bowl

drain and rinse black beans, add to bowl

drain and rinse corn if using canned or cut kernels away from cob after cooking - toast in a dry frying pan over high heat stirring constantly until skins are blistered, and dark brown (you will get a combo of all these looks but you don't want to burn them just give them a true toasting) - then add to bowl

drain and rinse whole green chillies, dice and add to bowl

dice red onion and add to bowl

slice all parts of the scallions into 1/16" rounds and add to bowl

cut orange pepper into small chunks and add to bowl

finely slice red cabbage (its easiest on a mandolin) and then run your knife through it a coupla times just to make the strands a bit shorter (so that later no one has to contend with them dangling half in half out of their mouth, ew)and add it to the bowl

then just add everything else except the cilantro and S&P. stir it with a rubber spatula so as not to mush the beans up. add S&P to taste, remember its a lot of veggies and beans so it may require more salt then you would have though - very last thing fold in the cilantro. cover and chill up to a full day ahead but at least 1 hour.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the thing about bohemian

the thing about bohemian is that its all about the eclectic - its about collecting what you love and having it all sit together harmoniously in your space -
and what better incentive to make a purchase or acquire something than because you love it- because you want to look at it every day or better yet use it every day. the "bohemian" - distilled down is about just this- having things in your space that bring back a memory or that make you happy to be around - not something that's just in the space cause its the right color - oh and i think casual relaxed comfort enters into the equation in a big way! along with color, texture and layers.

these images are a favorite inspirations out of my design file - originally found in the pages of domino(tear) the home of amandapeet. i love that you can identify other styles in her decor but when they all come together they form something else. like the grain sack upholstered couch - a provencial flair nicely accompanies the mediterranean pouf and the black and white rug or the market basket under the desk paired with an asian styled lamp and a more modern desk. it all becomes seamless-

below are some fun pieces if your want your "collecting" to move a little faster than "every sunday" or "every time i travel"

vintage turkish pillows - pile them up with other pillows you love and be on your way to achieving a sophisticated collection you'll love

achieving find the pillows here and the pouf and glasses here

Embossed camel leather pouf

these great canisters from anthropology
and this great fabric from grainsack for great fabric