Wednesday, March 31, 2010

garden inspiration

Balconies jungle


Balcony Gardens




There are so many lovely balcony gardens out there ... each one inspires me even more!
It's so warm here today, and will be for the next for days - heaven!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

cold mint

cold mint
Mint is such a hearty weed, it will show itself without any TLC.  Since it's still so cold out, I thought I'd warm it up a little.

Monday, March 29, 2010

wedding tie

If only Jesse would wear a tie like this one to our wedding ... or, maybe, this one:
Or, maybe, this one?
But, alas, he is just not that adventurous.  Though, we were so happy to find Me and Matilda's etsy shop, because she agreed to make Jesse a supper skinny (we're talking only an inch and a half wide) black cotton tie to wear with his rather chic khaki chino suit.  You wouldn't believe how tough it is to find a super skinny black tie out there on the interweb!  And to find one that is homemade, and only $25, (as compared to the $65 listed for one at Calvin Klein), we could not be happier.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


strawberry jellies
Did I mention how much I am enjoying The Craft of Baking?  Because this morning I jumped out of bed and whipped up some of the brown butter waffles - yum! who knew that browning butter on the stove and adding the stuff to the batter would imbue waffles with such a rich, nutty flavor.

Later in the day I made these strawberry jellies, for passover.  Have you noticed those fruit jellies that seem to pop up each year in the passover section of the grocery store?  While I am not sure why they are associated with the holiday, I decided to make them from scratch for our seder, because organic strawberries and organic sugar makes such a better candy, don't you think? (and I am enjoying nibblin on the remnants, you know, those pieces that didn't - quite - make it into perfect circles.)

my necklace

Wouldn't this be a great necklace for a bride to wear to her wedding?  ahem ... my wedding?

from {anthropologie}

Saturday, March 27, 2010



Happy weekend!  What are you up to this sunny day?  I am enjoying these lovely daffodils.  Daffodils are my favorite flower of all time, and so gazing at these beauties fills me with happiness.


I've also been keeping an eye on these little seedlings - from left to right - small peppers, edamame, bell peppers, and cucumbers.  The cukes and edamame are begging to go into the ground, but I want to hold them behind a bit from the cold (some are already outside and I am crossing my fingers for their longevity.)


I am enjoying this book immensely, on referral from Amy Karol, who raves about it.  I knew that I could trust her judgment, as I so enjoyed everything that I made from Rustic Fruit Desserts, another one of her recommendations.  I can't wait to try these recipes!

Friday, March 26, 2010

cold weather planting

It's the end of March, which means it is time to plant the first of the crops.  Accordingly, in the ground (or pots), I have recently planted carrot seeds, beet seeds, and mesculan salad mix.  These plants can withstand the chilly weather, and actually thrive when planted way before the hot and muggy summer days.

I also planted two sweet pea plants and an edamame plant.  Not because I planned it that way, mind you, but because I have started a bunch of seeds indoors, and these little ones ended up shooting out of the dirt like they were on a mission.  Therefore, although it is a bit early for them to meet the outside climate, out they have gone.  I will cross my fingers that these little ones make it.

stones to inspire

I adore these photos by {resurrection fern}  I feel like I would stare at them for hours if they were in my home (and they might be soon enough).  How absolutely lovely!  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


chive potatoes

Inspired by my last post, I decided to use those chives in the first of my "garden recipes."  Above I display two different dishes:  the first, on the left, buttered new potatoes that I made as a side last night with my homemade crabcakes, and the second, dinner tonight, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and paprika.  All sprinkled with lovely chives. 

I have made potatoes in many different ways, many different times - from roasting, to boiling, to steaming, to frying.  However, I have found that steaming the potatoes in a dutch oven on the stove, a la Barefoot Contessa style, bears delightfully buttery, perfectly cooked, results.  

Herbed New Potatoes
(adapted from Ina Garten)


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds small white or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh green herbs, such as parsley, chives, and dill


Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot.  Add the whole potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss well.  Cover the pot tightly and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife.  From time to time, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning.  Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes.  Don't overcook! Toss with the herbs, (I recommend chives) and serve hot.

I tend to make alot of potatoes at once, because I never fear that they will go bad.  For, I am almost always in the mood to chop some up, fry up some eggs, and season everything with paprika (my all time favorite spice.)


Monday, March 22, 2010

spring warrior


Just after the last snow storm melted away, I immediately noticed that amongst the barren, brown soil - chives began to jut out, at a rapid pace, from the herb planter.  

This is the third year for these chives.  So far, they are the biggest bunch to appear, as happens with each successive season.  Chives are a great herb to grow: you can cut a bunch haphazardly at the bottom, tear them if you will, and they will just continue to grow.  In other words, no worries about using them up.  I love using kitchen shears and cutting them into tiny pieces, sprinkling them over oven roasted and buttery new potatoes.  Or, simply, as a spicy garnish to fresh veggies or a salad.

I must also admit, dear readers, that I have also been known (on more than one occasion) to eat them raw, whole - plucked right out of the dirt while I stand on the balcony, barefoot.  Nothing like a little onion-y breath in the morning to wake you up!  (just remember to brush your teeth before you go to work).

Friday, March 19, 2010

the beginning


Last September, I planted multi-colored carrot seeds in a long rectangular planter on my balcony. I then, sadly to say, abandoned them. 

All winter long, they sat - through cold, snow, and winds. Every now and again - I would dig one up, just to see if it had grown. Each time, however, I was disappointed at their snail-like progress. I would frown, re-bury it in the dirt, and find warmth and shelter inside.

Though, this morning, when I dug these little guys up - I must say, I was proud! Together, in a bunch, they are pretty adorable. To look at anyway, I am not yet sure about the eating part.