Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fruits of Labor: yogurt pumpkin cake

What is it about fall that just makes you want to bake? 
I love the spices, the newly in season ingredients, and pumpkins!

this cake is a treat on a crisp fall day with a cup of tea or coffee ~ a little spice a little subtle earthy pumpkin flavor and this great zip from the yogurt. 

If your looking for another cozy fall recipe, check out my Grao-De-Bico recipe in the recent 5th volume of Kinfolk 


1 1/4 sticks of butter, softened 
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs 
1/2 cup of plain yogurt 
3/4 cup of pumpkin 
2 cups of self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg 
1/2 tsp of freshly grated cinnamon 

preheat the over to 325°
Place the softened butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the yogurt and beat well until combined. With a spatula fold in the sifted flour. Finally hand mix in the pumpkin until smooth. 

Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased bunt pan or into two small loaf pans. Bake for 60 mins or until cooked through (if made in two pans cooking time will likely be shorter than 60 mins).

Remove from oven and let cool then turn out of the pan. Serve warm with tea or coffee on a crisp fall day!


Monday, October 8, 2012

lulu & co

I spied these sweet little dresses over on asos and couldn't resist giving them their own post. From Lulu & Co they are sweetly nostalgic in shape and anything but with their playful prints!!
cute, non?!

Monday Mood Board

fall colors abound. 
Yesterday was the most perfect of fall days and it was a beautiful day to stroll about the city and usher in the new season. the farmers market was full to the brim with every sized gourd, squash, green and orchard bounty. 
Lovely ~ 

images: gourd, house, mushrooms, shoes, necklace, portrait 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Mood Board

Do you ever find at times you feel more inspired than others? I am sure you have probably felt this way at some point. Thats how blogging has felt the last few weeks, lacking inspiration. 
But the change of seasons always inspires me and I am off to new york on wednesday and very much looking forward to it. It has been too long since i was last there. I have a list a mile long of things I want to do and places I want to visit. I am so excited to see old friends and simply stroll for a while in a city that is not mine. 
I am feeling inspired already! 

images, clockwise: chrysler building, hair, camera, eyes, outfit, artwork, runway, new york

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

things im loving

 this perfect fall outfit. it makes me excited to think about transitioning my wardrobe 
the mysterious botanical photographs of Karl Blossfeldt
How gorgeous food looks on grey transferware & this spectacular recipe
this smooth slivery room that feels full of late summer breezes
 and this photo. I haven't seen it before and I love everything about it. It feels like a moment captured on one of the last days of summer on the Cape. When the sun is still strong but the air has turned and a chill laps at its heels. 

My most favorite kind of beach day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fruits of Labor : summer tomato tart

Finally! the tomatoes are ready. The sun has been bright enough and hot enough to plump them up and they are delicious. I cant get enough. 
I have been eating them every which way, but this little tart is something special. Its quite easy, even with its made from scratch flaky crust. I love the presentation too - for a weeknight dinner, hot or cold, or so pretty for an occasion with friends. 
I like to mix and match varieties of tomatoes for texture, color and presentation. You can use any little molds you may have, just be sure to lightly grease the bottom & sides.  A larger tarte tin works well too. 
Bon Appetit!
For the Crust: 
      1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
      1/4 teaspoon sugar
      fine sea salt
     1/2 cup cold unsalted butter. cut into 1/2 inch dice 
    1/4 cup ice water 

***try to process & touch this dough as little as possible. that will keep it tender 

in a food processor (i use my hand blender attachment) combine the flour, sugar & 1/4 teaspoon salt. pulse to mix. 
add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you are using a food processor keep the dough in the machine and slowly drizzle in the ice water. If not, I dump the mixture out into a stainless bowl and very gently mix with my hand as I add the ice water. When the dough forms a loose ball turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight. 
Remove dough from refrigerator about 20 mins before rolling it out. 

For the Filling:
5 oz of fresh goat cheese. crumbled 
2-3 medium heirloom tomatoes. ripe. or substitute in some cherry tomatoes. cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. 
1 teaspoon of fresh basil. cut into strips 
1 teaspoon lemon thyme 
1 tablespoon EVOO. 
salt & pepper 

Preheat oven to 425°
Lightly flour your work surface and begin to gently roll out your dough. Dough should be about 1/8 of an inch thick or about 11" round if using a tarte pan. Cut dough to fit and press gently into into greased molds. Trim any overhanging edges. Place dough lined molds on a baking sheet, cover with tinfoil and press lightly over the dough. You can use pie weights here if you wish. Bake about 10 minutes. Then remove foil and bake and additional 2 minutes or until crust is a light golden color. 
cool slightly. 

Reduce oven temperature to 400° 
Distribute goat cheese over the bottom of the crust and arrange tomato slices in a pretty fan shape. top with cherry tomatoes if using. Sprinkle basil, thyme, salt & pepper and a drizzle of EVOO over the top of each tart. 
Bake until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around the edges and the crust is golden. 30-40 minutes. 
transfer to a wire rack and cool. gently remove from pan and serve. 

I like to accompany mine with a lightly dressed frisee salad & soft boiled egg. 

*recipe adapted from Rustic Italian. domenica marchetti. 2011. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hallway Inspiration

A defined entry has an important place in design. It should be welcoming, give a little hint of whats to come beyond the door and above all functional. 

When you move into a new place the possibilities seem endless and quite tangible, but then the newness wears off and you find yourself going day by day with things as they are. I think it takes a while of living somewhere to realize what problems there are to be solved and how to go about solving them. So its been a year and I have finally figured out how to remedy the little narrow hallway that leads into the house. (go here to see the paint before & after)

First I needed to understand what function the space had to serve.... storage, a place for shoes to go on and off, a spot for keys, extra light to shine into a dark closet and it all had to be 15" wide or less. 

So a year later and I finally have a bit of inspiration for the space!

tray, decorative boxes, lamp, console, storage, stool, basket 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012


on a hike at a beautiful spot in bodega bay overlooking horseshoe cove. 
  this happened........... (thanks to my cute friend for the note) 

 Now I cant stop smiling from ear to ear. 

Just wanted to share :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

fruits of labor

A delightfully easy recipe for those late summer berries that are now in abundance. One of my favorite morning treats is this blackberry apricot skillet cake. You can substitute almost any fruit into the cake and its a lovely thing to bring for a brunch. Its rustic and hearty but still light and it looks beautiful in the heavy cast iron skillet. The trick to this is to preheat your cast iron pan, that way the batter develops a wonderful crust on the bottom. 
Here I have also sprinkled the top with a lavender sugar that I brought back from Sweden but any course grain sugar will do. 


Blackberry Apricot Skillet Cake 

1/2 cup butter at room temperature 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
2 tablespoons of lavender sugar to sprinkle on top (any sugar can be substituted here)
2 eggs lightly beaten 
1 tablespoon of baking powder 
dash of salt
1/2 cup of milk 
2 cups of flour 
1 cup of blackberries 
1 1/2 cups of apricots sliced thinly 

cream together the butter and sugar 
add in the egg
sift in the dry ingredients (being careful not to over mix) 
add the milk 
carefully fold in the fruit. 

preheat your oven to 375 and place your 12" skillet in the oven. Remove skillet just before you are ready to pour in the batter. Butter sides and bottom of pan and pour batter in, it should sizzle a bit. Sprinkle lavender sugar over the entire top. 

Return pan to oven and bake 20-30 minutes or until cooked through. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Mood Board

its all about navy this monday. so summery and sophisticated and its a stunning compliment to so many other colors. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sights from Stockholm. Part 2

everything in Stockholm is very well kept. Minimal but with loads of appeal. I thought I would share a few of my favorite shop fronts with you today. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Mood Board

feeling inspired by the rich ripe colors of late summer. the berries at the farmers market are beautiful and luscious at the moment I just couldn't help myself with this mood board 

images: blackberries, cheeses, copper, fish, eggs, portrait 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sights from Sweden

well, I had an amazing trip. Sweden was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Stockholm is a gorgeous city and many photographs were taken. Thought I would share a few with you today. 
Enjoy these sights from Sweden.... 
 this little guy had his breakfast right outside our window every morning. he was quite sweet and not exactly shy. 
 I loved the branches that many people had hung on their doors. Im not sure exactly what its all about but I loved how simple and elegant it looked. 
 There were beautiful flowers both inside and out. The Swedes do love their blomma and I love them for it. So many delightful flower shops, I think I must have stopped to chat with each proprietor. And all public places are filled with color too. I saw a lot of allum and this park was also filled with divine lavender.

a few more post to come ... 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Mood Board

Its a brand new month! Summer is fully upon us and in a few short days we will be gathering and celebrating American independence. 

I just cant believe i have been away from this space for almost an entire month. It has been filled with new experiences, friends, family, travels and of course a whole lot of work. I am excited to share over the next few weeks. 

But today Im kicking off my return with a blast of color and summer flavor. 

images: flag, watermelon, enamel, lounging, barn, lobsters, radishes, bar

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


a casual but pretty little outfit. im leaving on a jet plane today, back to the east coast. this is the summer for travel and im thinking about outfits that are both stylish and comfortable for extended (& very unglamorous) plane travel. 

check ya on the flip side. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

monday mood board

just a hint of scandinavian inspiration on this rainy monday morning. In exactly one week I will be bound for stockholm! A trip I have been anticipating since november.... I can't believe it is almost here. 

images: credenza, teapot, flowers, shelves, hair

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Urban Cartel

 simple, beautiful utilitarian pieces with modern appeal fill the virtual shelves of Urban Cartel. I am smitten with the soft glazes and the controlled organic nature of this "contemporary porcelain" from the melbourne, australia shop
 I have mostly white dishes & prep bowls in my kitchen and any of these would easily accompany them. The thought of using the lipped bowls in my next (and probably unsuccessful) baking endeavor makes me quite happy indeed.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Uprise Art

I had lunch yesterday with some dear friends who are in town visiting. We were chatting away about all sorts of things (the kinds of conversations you can only have with good friends) it was a wonderful way to spend part of an afternoon. 
In the course of that conversation they told be about a relatively new company called Uprise Art. I was very excited at their description and rushed home to check it out. Uprise Art allows you to bring contemporary art into your space for a time. You sign up and for a small fee each month you can have a piece by one of their artists hang in your home. And it all arrived custom-framed, hand delivered and installed into your home. 

At the moment they are only in New York and just recently in Boston but oh how I wish this service were available in San Francisco. I can hardly think of a better way to experience and grow an art collection at this point in my life.