Saturday, October 6, 2012


There is nothing quite like the taste of carrots fresh from the garden. Especially if is happens to be YOUR garden and you've harvested them yourself.

Just look at these pretty carrots- and the purple beans too. Both came from my garden. And so did the onion I am cooking them with.

 Chop 'em- toss 'em in a wok with some sliced onions and the oil of your choice, peanut oil? olive oil? a splash of pumpkin oil?
This is what I call my kitchen sink veggie fry- I just raided the frig, freezer and pantry. I ended up adding some frozen corn, some brown rice and some water chestnuts- it was a perfect light meal. Too bad I didn't have any peanuts to toss in.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So, for my 60th birthday we went all out, big party, with lots of really cool elements. 

For me, that means everyone (and I mean everyone, staff included) has to wear a crown. A crown of my making. I designed and made every one- and had a blast- a little wine a little paint and alone time in the studio.

I encourage you to make your own for your next party- or just for the hell of it...

What you'll need-

-heavy craft paper (somewhere in between cover stock and regular paper works well)
-colored pens/paints
-double sided tape
-super small hole punch
-elastic thread

I made my own design- several of them actually, so my 60 guests aren't wearing the exact same style (yes, I made 60).

I made my patterns first- most simple and easy to cut, but a couple of the designs are a bit more complicated. 

Next I cut my paper in half to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, and traced the pattern onto my sheet. Next I cut out the pattern. Then I turn the paper over and use the 'back' side as my 'canvas'.  That way if there are any pencil marks they won't show on front of the crown. And I should say here that if your paper is too coarse the paint will absorb into the paper and it will take more than one coat to 'take'. Look for a smoother finish when purchasing paper.

Now comes the fun part. I used acrylic pens (bought online) as well as other paints that I applied with the end of a chopstick to create dots, just dip the end of the chopstick in the lid of the paint and voila!

Make sure you let them all dry completely, then add names (here too you can see I wrote the names with an acrylic pen, and added dots as accents). Let those dry as well. Do this before you tape the crown together.

The next step is to take a piece of double sided tape to on end of the crown and bring the other end over and press to seal the deal. 

I have a pretty small hole punch (you don't want a 'normal' size punch because the hole is too large).

Use the punch to create a hole on either side of the crown, and knot the end of the elastic thread (you'll want to measure, but I used about 15" to allow for knotting, if you have kids it will be smaller) and loop one end thru the first hole with the knot on the inside of the crown, then thread the other end into the other hole from outside to inside and knot so the knot will not show.

-make pattern
-cut crowns
-punch holes

There you have it, a crown fit for a queen or king...

 Of course, I made mine the prettiest of all- it was my birthday after all!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I picked up this little after dinner snack (dessert if you will) while in Italy on one of our last evenings in Varena.

It is so simple and tasty it is ridiculous. Simple ingredients:

dried apricots
whole unsalted almonds
chèvre shaped into oval (using teaspoons)
your favorite honey for drizzle

drizzle honey over fruit, cheese and almonds to taste

Voila- serve with tiny spoons for scooping goodness, and top off with sips of your favorite dessert wine.

Don't be shy, lick that honey right off the spoon with wild abandon- you know you want to.