Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Design | Vintage Seekers: 1968 Ambassador Airstream

I only recently discovered Vintage Seekers: a unique platform dedicated to original 20th century design and collectibles. Inspired by the authenticity, style and integrity of products that have stood the test of time, the Vintage Seekers team has carefully curated a lifestyle collection that brings together the best examples of design, fashion, motoring, watches, wine and memorabilia.

A fantastic and rare opportunity to purchase a state-of-the-art 1968 Airstream Ambassador, with bespoke layout featuring full luxurious office, rear lounge and center kitchen, with a secret washroom behind the bookcase. Made to measure and built to last, with every last detail of artistry and craftsmanship.

Distinctive for their gleaming aerodynamic silver exteriors, Airstreams were manufactured from high-polished original aircraft-grade metal. As well as being stylish lifestyle pieces perfect for summer travel or festivals, Airstreams represent a great future investment for buyers as they gain in value every year. Due to the labour-intensive nature of the restoration, only a couple of these luxurious, vintage Airstreams are completed each year.

This 1968 Ambassador Airstream is no longer available to purchase but that shouldn't stop you from checking out everything else Vintage Seekers has to offer. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

D&D | Los Angeles: Cookbook

San Francisco doesn't really have a summer so while we wait for it to show up Ryan and I got the idea to visit some close friends in LA this past weekend. I'm going to be writing a different post about our trip later on but we got to spend some of our vacation with our truly fabulous friends Ben and Brad. We were only able to spend one morning with the boys but Ben took Ryan and I on a walk through their neighborhood - Echo Park - and introduced us to this incredible little boutique market called Cookbook (amongst other things). Cookbook is a neighborhood green grocer specializing in responsibly grown, super tasty: meat, cheese, bread, fruit, vegetables, coffee, chocolate, freshly prepared foods & more.

We went in to pick up ingredients for a frittata but as soon as we walked in I was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful produce! Particularly the golden plums which I used to make Golden Plum Jam with Rosemary. The sweet girl that was working graciously told me I could take photos so I snapped as many as I could in the 5 minutes we were there. It's a tiny space with a small selection but it truly is a one stop shop that carries everything you would need to make a fresh and healthy meal.

This isn't a review of Cookbook (5 stars hands down) but more of a praising of great food and a commitment to quality ingredients in an adorable part of Los Angeles known as Echo Park. Next time you find yourself in LA be sure to stop by Cookbook... you won't regret it!

Dish | Golden Plum Jam with Rosemary

I am feeling beyond great about this quick and easy plum jam! Since making it last night we have already gone through the entire first batch. Just so you know, this recipe only makes a small amount of jam so please don't think Ryan and I are jelly addicts! My friend Henry made lamb last night which paired perfectly with the plums, then Ryan and I finished off the rest this morning on fluffy english muffins. So good!


2 cups plums, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 sprig fresh rosemary

1  |  Cook plums and lemon juice in a non stick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.

2  |  Add sugar and rosemary and stir until everything is combined. Continue cooking on medium heat for another 15-20 minutes until the jam reduces and is the consistency of honey. At this point it's done, just remove from heat and allow it to cool in a seal-able jar.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dish | Basil Pesto

My schedule has been off lately. I've been busy with work/freelance and mini vacations and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down anytime soon. I've barely been able to cook - which is driving me nuts - even though I have a pretty great list of ideas and projects written down just waiting to be checked off. I got out of work around 9 last night and the idea of making anything felt like a nightmare so I figured, "What's easy?" The answer: Basil Pesto!

Pesto can be used for so many things! It's great on pizzas or use it as a dip or sauce for different breads and pasta dishes. I was able to get everything I needed to make pesto linguine at the corner store on my walk home from work. Doesn't get any easier then that.


4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (almonds or walnuts work too)
2 garlic cloves, with the skin on
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1  |  In a medium size skillet, roast garlic cloves with the skin still on over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden; 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch these guys carefully as they tend to burn quickly. Remove skillet from heat and let cool completely.

2  |  Place the basil in a food processor (highly recommended) or a mortar and pestle. Add the garlic, making sure you peel it first, then the pine nuts. At this point you can add the olive oil and lemon juice and pulsate the food processor in intervals of 5-10 seconds until everything starts to smooth out and blend together. If it's still too chunky you can add small amounts of olive oil to break it down.

3  |  Add the parmesan cheese. Give it one last good blend then add salt and pepper to taste. It's done!

From here you can add it to anything you want. I boiled up some linguine, gave it all a good toss and served it with a hunk of baguette on the side. Simple and delicious food at it's best.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

D&D Restaurant Rating | Just For You Cafe

I recently did a review on Hard Knox Cafe - one of my favorite spots in the Dogpatch - and here I am, back with another review from a cozy little spot just around the corner... Just For You Cafe. The entire corner of 3rd & 22nd Street is a food lovers dreamland with the more upscale Serpentine across the street and the cities newest/favorite ice cream spot Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous next to that! I wish I had the stomach to challenge myself to some sort of all-you-can-eat Dogpatch extravaganza, but then I remember nobody would be competing alongside myself, and there would be no prize. Unless you consider a food coma a prize.

Just For You Cafe "started out in 1990 as a little bitty diner on 18th Street in Potrero Hill, a sleepy neighborhood on the east edge of San Francisco. We had two tables and a countertop that sat a dozen folks elbow-to-elbow. The place was always packed with patient customers eager for some good home-cooking, even if it meant waiting 45 minutes for Sunday brunch at the one table we had that could seat four people. In 2002, we moved to our current location in Dogpatch, a gritty little neighborhood of old Victorians, warehouses and factories at the foot of Potrero Hill, just a few blocks from the shipyards of San Francisco Bay. We’re located right off 3rd Street - the old main route into San Francisco - and you can look up the road to see the new ballpark, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team."

The first thing you should do when you get to Just For You is order the beignets! Out of the few times I've gone I have always been welcomed and greeted with the question, "Do you guys want to start with some beignets?" to which I always answer, "Yes!" They're basically a meal on their own so order the single dish if you want a snack but I highly recommend getting the order of three... you won't regret it. It's also worth noting that eating these with maple syrup on top can/will change your life.

As for the food, Ryan made a very smart choice ordering the homemade biscuits & gravy. These guys are known for their breads. Their white, wheat and cinnamon-raisin bread is baked right on location - with no additives or preservatives - and you can buy a loaf to take home! I snuck a few bites of the biscuits & gravy and I have to say for being such a heavy meal historically, the biscuits at Just For You were light and fluffy and beyond tasty! I did a breakfast-lunch combo of sorts in ordering the fried egg sandwich. Basically a BLT with a perfectly fried egg between two slices of their delicious wheat bread. It was everything you could ask for from a small independent diner. Just For You is one of those places I wish I could keep secret and only share with the people that matter most to me. It just feels like home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Design | Sourced Grocer

This project came to my attention via Swiss Legacy. I sometimes forget that all you have to do is ask, so that's what I did when I sent the super friendly guys over at One Iota - the multidisciplinary studio responsible for this beautiful project - an email telling them how much I would love to get images and a project description for their latest case study Sourced Grocer. This is probably only half of what they sent me!

Project description from One Iota:

The central ideologies behind the Sourced Grocer brand was that of respecting the seasonal nature and sustainability of food. The people behind the food and ultimately the tastes, desires, generosity and pleasures of those who consume and enjoy food.

Overall our ambition for the project was to create a brand that was versatile and fun. Communicating messages of
pride in the local community and encouraging customers to support their local grocer and eat thoughtfully
knowing the providence and seasonal nature of the food they consume.

The posters and hand outs feature oddly coloured shots of fruit and vegetables that we literally nailed to our
wall in the studio and shot in high res. The rationale behind the odd colouring was to engage the viewer to
sub-consiencly question the produce they are looking at, and in conjunction with the branding statements begin
them on the process of questioning the origin and seasonality of produce they consume in everyday life.

I mean honestly, it's just all so beautiful! It's projects like this that keep my faith for print design alive.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dish | Candied Walnuts

I was in Las Vegas this past weekend celebrating my best friend Jared's birthday. Jared's a chef at Revel in Seattle - which I should mention is doing incredibly well - and seeing him over the weekend reminded me of the simple candied nut recipe he had told me about last year (or at least something really close to it). These candied little gems are perfect for salads and addicting as a snack! Between the heirloom lettuce salad with strawberries and goat cheese I made the other night and just snacking on the walnuts, Ryan and I finished off the first batch in two days!


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whole walnuts (you can use any type of nut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  |  Place a Silpat mat or a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add the sugar and walnuts.

2  |  Cook and stir constantly with a spoon until the sugar melts and turns a golden brown. Remove skillet from heat and add the vanilla extract. It should sizzle but give it one last good stir and empty the skillet onto the non-stick surface. Spread the nuts out evenly and cool completely before using/eating.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Design | Malika Favre

Malika Favre is a French graphic artist living in London. My first recollection of Malika's work was the Wallpaper Pin-ups Alphabet commissioned by Wallpaper for their Sex and Art issue. Her blend of stylized vector work and typography is pretty flawless and incredibly sexy. 

This is another project for Wallpaper, commissioned for their November issue.

Being a designer I have an idea of what goes in to making these sleek illustrations and in theory it seems approachable and as if I would easily be able to recreate something similar, but the truth is that although I technically know how to illustrate it is like pulling teeth for me. I get frustrated when I draw and I tend to put so much emphasis on it being perfect that I often end up a big ol' basket case. Malika's graphic style has given me a knew found hope and desire to try my hand at vector design from here on out. 

Check out some of my other favorites from this very talented woman.