Friday, February 25, 2011

david lebovitz's gateaux bastille

The weekend, that is.

Oh my, am I happy it's Friday.

It's not that this week has been bad, persay, just draining. Most of my office was empty this week, which left me to hold down the fort- not my favorite activity. The weather has also been interminably dreary.

To cheer myself up, I decided to make gateaux Bastille last night as a Thursday evening treat. By far the most disgusting dessert I've ever made. I took one bite and cringed. They tasted singed and sawdusty, just awful. Then I tossed each and every one of the little cakes straight into the trash. I followed the recipe exactly! David Lebovitz, how could you deceive me so? A lamentable waste of Scharffen berger chocolate.

I didn't take any pictures of the sorry things, so instead I offer you this much prettier pictures of French macarons. I wish I had had one of those last night instead of the revolting tar-flavored hockey pucks posing as gateaux bastille that came out of my kitchen. Hmph.

ANYWAY. Temporary dessert setbacks aside, I'm very much looking forward to the weekend. Tonight we're meeting our friends Jo & Morgan for a casual dinner at Fat Angel and then tomorrow we're driving up to Napa to spend some time with Daniel's parents. Excited to get out of the city for a bit.

Hope everyone has a delightful weekend.


I LOVE these boyish looks from Paul Smith.

Image: missmoss

Thursday, February 24, 2011

kay rentschler's belgian endive gratin

More often than not, I'm cooking for two these days- but every so often I find myself preparing dinner just for myself. If I'm feeling exceptionally lazy, I'm likely to head straight for the tunafish and crackers, but sometimes I manage to make slightly more of an effort. 

Last night, that meant endive gratin.

I found this recipe on The Wednesday Chef, but I it's originally from Kay Rentschler and was published in the NY Times. It was incredibly easy to throw together and it made for a rich and rather elegant little supper. I also enjoyed running a piece of bread along the bottom of the pan to catch some of the leftover buttery breadcrumbs and sauce. 

Belgian Endive Gratin

2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons coarse fresh bread crumbs
1 minced garlic clove
2 large heads Belgian endive, cut in two
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 3/8 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 ounces Black Forest ham, cut into  1/4-inch cubes ( 1/4 cup)
1. Heat oven to 450. Melt butter in a small skillet until foamy. Add bread crumbs and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant, 10 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Rub endive with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut-side down in a shallow baking dish. Roast until spears are golden brown on bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn endive with tongs, add cream and ham, return to oven, and bake until cream has reduced to a glaze, 4 to 5 minutes more.
3. Sprinkle bread crumbs over endive, turning spears to coat. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve.
Yield: 4 side-dish servings.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the loveliest

Sometimes I wish I were a ballerina.

Or a fairy.

Or someone who owned a Rodarte dress. That would probably be just as good.

Images: WeHeartIt

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

chile pies (and ice cream)

Tonight after dinner, Daniel and I decided to go on a postprandial stroll around the neighborhood. We found ourselves in front of Chile Pies & Ice Cream, and since neither of us had been there, we decided to drop in for dessert.

Daniel had zero interest in the green chile & cheddar pie (...understandably) so we ultimately ended up settling on the peach pie, with lemon cookie ice cream. Pie a la mode.

We didn't eat a whole pie, no, but we did enjoy a very ample slice with two scoops of ice cream. The ice cream tasted just like those lemon frosted Girl Scout cookies. 

Chile Pies & Ice Cream
601 Baker Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

pulp fashion

On Saturday, I went to see the Pulp Fashion exhibit at the Legion of Honor with Daniel's mother, Cathy. Since the day was completely wet and soggy, it was pretty much the perfect time to visit a museum. Pulp Fashion is an exhibition of the work of Isabelle de Borchegrave, a Belgian artist who works in paper. Meaning, she fashions period costumes (dresses, shoes, jewelry, etc.) entirely out of paper.

It really was quite amazing- the attention to detail, the craftsmanship. Everything looked so gorgeous. It made me wish it was still appropriate to wear panniers and lace ruffs. Le sigh.

Most of the people in the exhibit were, unsurprisingly, women, and I kept hearing people say "which dress would you choose if you got to pick one?" I also overheard one little girl turn and ask her mother if everyone wore clothes made out of paper back then. 
I'm hoping I can get my mother to come see this the next time she's in town- really a great exhibit. 

*Photography was verboten in the museum so I had to content myself with poaching these photos from the museum website.

Friday, February 18, 2011

cozy friday

The weather has been exceedingly rainy in San Francisco the past few days. There's even been hail. I'm using the wet and sodden conditions as an excuse to stay in on a Friday night, which sounds like perfect heaven to me right now. My friend Kinzie coming over for dinner in a few hours and we're going to eat lobster ravioli in my cozy apartment. Then I plan to force her to watch old episodes of Sex and the City with me whilst nestled in blankets in front of the television, supplied with cups of hot tea and leftover pear cake. I already feel smug about not having to set foot outside the apartment, even for a minute. It's going to be marvelous.

So happy Friday! Hope everyone else has plans they're equally excited about.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Since I've moved into the new apartment, I've had decorating on the brain. I've never been one to pore over design magazines or websites, but I've started to do so recently and it's helped me a lot in terms of beginning to flush out my tastes when it comes to how I want my space to look.

When I first moved, my mother sent me an enormous stack of House Beautiful (they are all currently residing in a milk crate next to the sofa...) and I've spent some time leafing through them, but in truth, my favorite source for apartment inspiration these days is Lonny's online magazine.

My current obsessions are glass coffee tables

wingback chairs

and lamps with Edison bulbs.

Love love love. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

making it home

These days, our weekends mostly revolve around making home improvements or running apartment-related errands. Needless to say, we've been really busy. It's been mostly fun, though hemorrhaging money makes me feel a bit drained at times. 

Yesterday we painted our entryway- the first time I've ever painted an apartment.

It was a little bit scary at first- it seemed like such a big commitment, once the first swish of dark paint went onto the formerly white walls- but now I'm loving it.

For some reason, choosing a color and painting the walls makes the place feel so much more personal to me. Much more like home.

To celebrate the homeyness, I decided to make roast chicken for dinner. Nothing seems more like home than a roast chicken.

I tried a new recipe, though- one from Melissa Clark (whom I adore), and although I have to admit I felt a little bit faint rubbing tablespoon after tablespoon of butter into the chicken, the end result was delicious.

I served it over orzo, with a side of fennel & romaine salad. And when Daniel added a second coat of paint to the walls, I baked brownies. We stayed in, drinking cups of milk and eating our brownies, so happy to making what is turning into a perfectly lovely home.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a few days in cairo

One year ago today, I was in Cairo. 

Given everything that's going on in Egypt today, it's hard for me to fathom how that was possible. 

I never talked about my trip to Egypt here or shared any of my photos because the blog wasn't really up and  running at that point. But I've been thinking a lot about my short visit there recently. My trip to Egypt was a Christmas gift from my parents. It was a place I'd always wanted to go, and from Paris it was a relatively short flight. In addition, my aunt and cousin were spending the year living in Cairo, so I'd be able to stay with them.

{shoe coverings at Ibn Tulun Mosque}

 {Khan el-Khalili}

 {feteer dough}

Cairo is an amazing place. It's always a bit discomfiting to see things you've heard about all your life face to face- the pyramids, the sphinx, Tutankhamun's funeral mask- and to match your expectations against the reality. I had an wonderful guide named Wael who showed me the city- I can't imagine how I would have survived without him.
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