Is there anything more grown up and glamorous than having real, actual art on your walls? J and I have been doing a decent job growing our art print collection, but taking the next step - owning original art pieces - seems so far off.
Until I found this genius web site: buysomedamnart.com. Have you guys heard of it? It's an online gallery with some stunning - and surprisingly affordable - pieces on there.
Here are some of my favorites.
Thread by Noemi Jennifer.
Chasing Utopia by Kayleigh Fichten.
Angela by Lauren George.
Chimeric Light Green by Nathalie Chikhi.
Possible Potentials by Jordan Buschur.
Turn by Wendi Turchan.
As promised, here is the salad that got me through the winter. This is what you make when it's all slush and gray and cold out, you desperately need something fresh and bright and bitter and green, and the grapefruit are marvelously abundant and virtually nothing else is.
This salad does the trick every time.
Start by supreming one large grapefruit. You can substitute two or three blood oranges, or use a combination, but I find it much harder to remove the pith from blood oranges. Make sure you save the juice that inevitably squirts out.
Set your grapefruit aside, and thinly slice one fennel bulb and one medium shallot.
You can stop there, or bulk up the salad with one pound baby arugula, washed and dried well.
Crumble in one-third cup blue cheese.
The dressing is simple, so you'll want to use high quality ingredients: about one third cup olive oil, one quarter cup balsamic vinegar and any leftover citrus juice from when you were removing the pith.
J and I had just won a bottle of fruity arbequina olive oil from We Olive (if you donated to fund heart disease research, they entered you into a raffle), so I used that and it was perfect.
Toss everything together thoroughly, making sure that your salad is evenly coated with olive oil and vinegar. As you're tossing, the blue cheese breaks down and makes everything creamy and delicious. Add salt and pepper and you're ready to go.
How is your Tuesday going? Computer problems are delaying my posts, but more (non-complaining, actual substance) to come.
I've been neglectful, I have. It's been a whirlwind. Thanks for sticking around!
First there was the trial that consumed my life (we won! Thank goodness), and had the jury deliberating so long that I missed my flight to South Carolina! But was able to make it in only a day and a half late, and still in plenty of time to enjoy Greenville and celebrate the wedding of two very lovely people. More on that later.
Now that I can catch my breath and get back in my routine, it's time for all the things that went undone during the last two weeks. Namely:
Daybreak in the Meadow by Olivia Joy St. Claire.
When I first moved to New York, there were a few friends in California that I would exchange real letters with - not emails, but real, honest-to-goodness letters and notecards. Though the snail mail exchange dwindled as my New York roots developed, I came across some of those old letters the other day and it did make me feel warm and toasty inside.
Last weekend, I picked up a cheery pack of brightly-flowered notecards, to begin my letter-writing campaign anew. I wrote one to my grandmother - I know it will bring a smile to her face when she gets it in the mail, and that made the writing all the more fun.
(Though I've realized how dependent I've become on the ability to proof-read my writing before it becomes permanent - my spelling has become careless!)
You don't have to say much in a letter - it really is the thought that counts.
Left to right, top to bottom:
1.) Life is Beautiful from Rifle Paper Co.
2.) Periwinkle from Smock
3.) Gold botanical from Rifle Paper Co.
4.) Heart from Smock
5.) Empire State Building from Oblation Papers
6.) Hello, There from Smock
7.) Gold Hearts from Sugar Paper
8.) Elephant Hello from Sugar Paper
Wouldn't you be happy to sift through your catalogs and junk mail and weird magazines addressed to the previous tenant to find one of these pretty little things?
Photo at top from Kimberose Photography.
I love roasting vegetables, and I'll usually be pretty simple about it - olive oil, salt and pepper, and maybe some garlic or dried red pepper flakes, maybe some herbs if I have some on hand - but otherwise, I like to let the vegetables sing.
However, as I watched snow flurries quietly twirl past my window, I decided I needed to kick up my game a bit. I turned to this spice mix from a Smitten Kitchen recipe - she uses it on sweet potato wedges, which I've made before and they are awesome, you should try it - but I realized it also works on other sweet, starchy vegetables. The carrots here are the perfect foil to this earthy, fragrant blend.
I started with a one pound bag of carrots, scrubbed thoroughly and then sliced into coins (I left the peels on). Do your carrots have their leafy green tops? Lucky you: give them a rough chop and saute with some olive oil, sea salt, a little minced garlic (one clove should do the trick) and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to finish them off.
Smitten Kitchen calls for whole coriander seeds, but I only had ground, so I made do and it was fine.
I started by grinding 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds in this baby mortar (I've also used my burr grinder but I find that a) it doesn't work as well with small amounts of spices and b) I have a hard time getting the oils from the spices out of the grinder afterwards).
Next, I added: 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. I mixed that all together with my mortar and pestle until it was a pretty uniform blend.
I've cooked the carrots two different ways, in the oven and on the stovetop: the first way is probably tastier and the second way is definitely faster, so you do you.
Finish with a sprinkling of roughly chopped parsley.
If this never-ending cold weather has you tired of roasted vegetables, this will wake your taste buds back up and keep your side dish from ever seeming like an afterthought.
A few weeks ago J and I braved the snow and bitter cold and were rewarded with a completely wonderful evening at the Brooklyn Museum. The Members Preview and reception for the new Kehinde Wiley exhibit was packed, and awesome.
The glass-walled lobby is always beautiful, and I'm not going to turn down the free bars they set up inside it, but the real magic was the Harlem Chamber Players and the Met Opera singers that performed with them. It was thrilling and electric and an excellent surprise start to the visit.
The art wasn't bad either.
From stained glass to bronze sculpture to the gilded scenes heavy with religious symbolism above, Wiley's clearly got technical chops. It was impressive to see such a high level of skill and artistry from one person across so many different mediums.
The heart of the show, though, was the humanity and dignity Wiley brought to his subjects, and his juxtaposition of current, everyday people and objects against the ornate backgrounds and classical poses and styles in an art form that used to be reserved for the noble and wealthy.
Portraiture for the modern masses.
These pictures don't even begin to do justice to the beauty and grace of Wiley's work. I couldn't pick a favorite painting - they were all so powerful and fantastic.
Between the art, the music, and the two free drinks a pop, I'd say it was one of our better date nights - and that was before we followed it up with a jerk chicken feast at the Islands. Definitely worth venturing out into the cold.