Saturday, October 29, 2011

Design | Peter Gronquist: The Evolution Will Be Fabulous

It was difficult finding information about this series of sculptures - The Evolution Will Be Fabulous - by artist Peter Gronquist, but based on the images and some of the reviews I found it looks and sounds like the pieces are huge, consisting of taxidermy, weapons and gilded iconic brands.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dessert | Vanilla & Nutmet Pot de Creme

I had a real day off to myself. No freelance projects to catch up on. No chores to finish. Just a day to relax and walk a little bit slower then I normally would. I figured it was a good opportunity to get some early morning sunshine and run a few errands so I could take advantage of the afternoon light and photograph a recipe I've been wanting to try out. You see, my kitchen is located in the back of our house and only gets morning light; and seeing how I work 5 days a week, it makes it nearly impossible to ever cook during the day. Most of my food posts are photographed in the evening when I get home from work, making it nearly impossible to photograph without setting up a huge lighting system. I know that my pictures aren't the best they could be, but I'm working on it.

This mind-blowing dessert comes from Not Without Salt, a great blog out of Seattle. Of the dessert, they say, "This softly spiced custard is reminiscent of egg nog and is destined to become a new holiday tradition. It is lightly sweet, cool and creamy and can easily be transformed into Nutmeg Creme Brulee with the addition of a torched sugar crust."

VANILLA & NUTMEG POT DE CREME  |  Recipe inspired by Not Without Salt

2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
6 yolks
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

1  |  Pre-heat your oven to 320°F. In a medium sauce pan add the cream, vanilla seeds and bean, and the nutmeg. Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

2  |  In a medium bowl add the yolks, salt, and sugar. Whisk until lightened and well combined. Bring the cream back up to a simmer. Turn off the heat and slowly add hot cream to the yolk mixture, stirring while pouring.

3  |  Strain this mixture with a fine mesh sieve to remove vanilla bean and unwanted egg bits. Pour this into four oven-safe ramekins. Place these in a larger baking dish (I use a cake pan). Place this into the pre-heated oven then pour water into the baking dish holding the ramekins. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the center of the custards still jiggle slightly when gently shaken. Start checking at 30 minutes then check every 5 minutes or so, until done. The custards will continue to set once out of the oven.

4  |  Let cool slightly then place them in the fridge to set – about 2 hours. Just before serving sprinkle with a bit more freshly ground nutmeg and a pinch of sugar.

Do not be deceived by the thin crust on top. The second your spoon goes into this light and creamy custard... there are no words! It's just that good, and definitely something I will make throughout Autumn and Winter.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Design | Sam Kittinger: Board Games

I love the type treatment and re-design of these classic Parker Brothers board games by Baltimore based student Sam Kittinger. Makes me wish the actual games looked like this!

Of the project, Sam says, “These re-designs of classic Parker Brothers board games stemmed from a desire to de-construct the overdone packaging board games nowadays are so known for. Drawing inspiration from vintage, modernist game box designs, these re-inventions focus on simplistic imagery, experimental typography, and limited color schemes.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dish | Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

I. AM. TIRED! Henry and I just got back from an impromptu one-night camping trip - near Lake Tahoe - in what truly had to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my 26 years on this planet. A magical place called Buckeye Hot Springs. You see, my friend Henry and I could be considered amateur hot springs enthusiasts... we only started checking out local hot springs once we moved to San Francisco. There are the trusty old spots like Harbin, Orr, and Mercey, but in deciding where we wanted to go we figured maybe it was time to check out something a little more adventurous! We wanted that open spaces/tons of nature/a million stars in the sky/might be woken up by a bear outside your tent kind of camping. It was the kind of camping trip that makes you think about your childhood. Maybe I've been in the city too long, other people go camping all the time, but it's a rare treat for me and this particular trip is one I will never forget.

For my part of the deal I said I would prepare all of the food for the trip. The night before we left I spent a few hours in the kitchen and busted out finished meals we could travel with/could be eaten warm or cold. We weren't even sure if we could have a fire until we got there so we didn't want to pack a bunch of cooking equipment for no reason. Dinner was a Broccoli & Pesto Orzo. Lunch, a Green Bean & Quinoa Salad. And last but (obviously) not least... breakfast! We had to borrow our neighbor's cast iron skillet to make it happen, but this Baked Blueberry Oatmeal turned out great, and was a perfect start to our 34°F morning.

BAKED BLUEBERRY OATMEAL  |  Recipe inspired by Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen"

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups blueberries, or mixed berries
1/3 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup toasted chopped almonds
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar

1  |  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter an 8 inch baking dish. Place the berries in a layer at the bottom of the baking dish.

2  |  Mix the oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle the dry mix on top of the blueberries.

3  |  Mix the milk, butter, maple and vanilla together. Pour the liquid on top of the oats. Let it seep through to the bottom. Sprinkle a handful of fresh berries on top and bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the top is just browned. Sprinkle the top with the toasted almonds and Turbinado sugar.

We carried the hot skillet and a side of vanilla Greek yogurt down to the water to have our oatmeal next to the river - perched on a log - before taking a dip in the hot springs. AND I finally got to use mine and Ryan's pewter camping dishes! I'm sad the camping season is basically coming to a close, but I think we ended it on a pretty high note.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Design | Faber Castell Single-Line Portraits

This is just flat out amazing! Art Director and Designer Hwee Chong of Singapore recently updated his portfolio with his version of three (very) famous portraits: Girl with a Pearl Earring, Self Portrait, and Mona Lisa. And what makes these portraits so extraordinary? They were created using a single line of ink... Faber Castell ink to be clear.

Be sure to check out the video!

Faber Castell from eric yeo on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dish | Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

This recipe comes from Virginia Willis' latest cookbook "Basic to Brilliant Y'all - 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company" which I found via Tartelette, an incredible blog I just discovered! Of the soup, Tartelette creator Helene Dujardin says, "This Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup is one of those I want to have on repeat this Fall and Winter. Not only was it tasty, it was also the kind that does not need much else but a nice piece of country bread smeared with a dab of butter and sprinkle of grey salt."

... So that's exactly what we did!

ACORN SQUASH & SWEET POTATO SOUP  |  Recipe inspired by Virgina Willis/Tartelette

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 of a sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 mini acorn squash, peeled and cubes
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1  |  Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot set over medium high heat. Add the onion and curry powder and cook until the onion is almost translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, acorn squash, stock, maple syrup, thyme and nutmeg.

2  |  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Let the soup cool a little.

3  |  Puree the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or a blender/food processor. Reheat the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

This couldn't be easier AND it's gluten free! This one's a keeper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Design | Dwell: Greener Pasture

Like a little chapel on the prairie, architect Jean-Baptiste Barache’s simply elegant retreat in the tiny Normandy town of Auvillier is a modern play on centuries-old forms and technology.

Damp Upper Normandy, a workingman’s land of ragged rains and rapeseed fields, is not the first place that comes to mind for an exercise in off-the-grid living. This isn’t the Normandy of well-heeled Parisian weekenders and American cineasts who flock to nearby seaside resorts, with their saltwater spas, annual film festival, and champagne brunches. It’s a farming land dotted by modest prefab commuter clusters, rusty grain silos, and cows of the white, tawny, and Rorschach varieties. The climate is intemperate; winters are long, summers fickle. But it is exactly what Jean-Baptiste Barache was looking for to undertake this experiment: to elaborate on an architecture seeking to integrate us with, not isolate us from, the elements.

“Constraints nourish a project,” he says. And if that’s the case, it’s been a feast for the architect, whose home forgoes electricity altogether. Read more at Dwell.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dish | Stuffed Baked Apples + Autumn Pizzas

I am on a roll with all of this seasonal cooking lately! Ryan and I had a perfect day on Sunday: a trip to the hardware store, sandwiches at Hazel's Kitchen, redecorating our bathroom, and a final stop at the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a few Autumn inspired recipes I have been wanting to try.


1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 1/4 teaspoons ginger zest
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chilled butter
4 large Fuji apples
1/4 cup apple juice
Vanilla Greek yogurt

1  |  Toast almonds and pecans over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes; allow to cool before chopping. Combine nuts, brown sugar, honey, orange and ginger zest in small bowl. Mix in whipping cream. Let sit until sugar dissolves and filling thickens, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

2  |  Preheat oven to 350°F. Using small sharp knife and starting at side of apple at center point, cut around each apple to make slit in skin to prevent bursting. Using small end of melon baller, scoop out core and all seeds to within 1/2 inch of bottom. Place apples upright in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon filling into hollow of each apple. Mound remaining filling on top of each apple. Pour apple juice around apples. I added a tablespoon of fresh orange juice too. Butter large sheet of foil. Loosely tent dish with foil, buttered side down.

3  |  Bake apples until barely tender, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until apples are very tender and sauce is bubbling thickly, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer apples and sauce to bowls. Serve with yogurt.

- - -

Some of you might remember a post I did about pizzas back in May (please refer to that post for directions). Pizza is a fun thing to make at home because it allows you to use whatever ingredients you want to experiment with. For this particular round of Autumn inspired pizzas, I went with a Caramelized Onion, Wild Mushroom & Rosemary Pizza with White Wine Sauce and Mozzarella + a Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage Pizza with Fontina. Sorry I'm not doing a full post about these guys, I just felt like sharing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Design | 10 Magazine’s Louis Vuitton Editorial

Louis Vuitton teamed up with 10 Magazine for this glamorous/silly Fall 2011 editorial. Artist Barry Reigate is responsible for the  pop-art clown overlays. This fantastic spread was shot by Christian Anwander, styled by Sophia Neophitou, and modeled by Marike Le Roux.

via Trendland.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dish | New York Steak with Mushrooms & Red Wine Sauce + Crusted Butternut Squash

In my last post, I mentioned my love of all things Autumn. We so rarely eat red meat at our house but with the start of the new season and Ryan being consumed by school already, I thought it would be nice to relax and have one of those special occasion kind of nights, just for us.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Assorted mushrooms, cut into large pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 New York steaks
2 minced garlic cloves
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1  |  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

2  |  Melt 1 tablespoon butter with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Season steak with salt and pepper. Add steak, garlic, and rosemary to skillet. Cook about 5-7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest while preparing sauce.

3  |  Discard garlic and rosemary from skillet. Add wine; cook, stirring up bits, until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 3 minutes. Stir in stock; bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; Whisk in 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in mushrooms and 1 tablespoon tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

4  |  Spoon mushroom mixture onto plates. Serve steak over mushrooms.

- - -

CRUSTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH  |  Recipe inspired by Sprouted Kitchen/Plenty by Yotam Otteleghi

1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1  |  Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the squash; Slice it in half length wise and discard the seeds. Cut into 1/4” slices.

2  |  On a baking tray, pile the squash, drizzle the olive oil and the nutmeg and toss everything to coat evenly. All should have a thin coat of oil, amount may vary based on size of the squash. Spread them out in a single layer on the baking tray. In a food processor pulse together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, both herbs, a few pinches of salt and a lot of fresh black pepper.

3 |  Sprinkle the topping on the squash. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the tops are browned and the squash is cooked.