Jewels and Dresses

A domestic goddess at the moment I am not.  I've been out of the kitchen this summer enjoying other creative endeavors and it feels great.   I started making jewelry with some rough cut saphires I brought home from Istanbul and it's become a small obsession.  I loved creating these images inspired by my jewelry, these gorgeous Waxwing dresses and the divinely beautiful Stephanie Williams.  My pieces are being sold exclusively right now at http://waxwingshop.com/collections/jewelry

Hair and Make-up by Lily Montemarano

Fashion by Luisa Guigliano @ Waxwing

Thank you ladies for your supreme talent!!!


Kelp Is The New Kale

My friend Brendan is short, bald and brilliant. Some of you may remember him from UVM...he was the unkempt, blustery guy in orange suspenders from Newfoundland with a crazed look in his eye to learn more.  We recently found one another after a ridiculously long hiatus (yay facebook) and I can happily say Brendan has stayed true to his college rants about working to make the world better or more beautiful.

I spent last weekend tooling around the Thimble Islands touring Brendan's kelp and oyster farm.  We drank wine, sampled kelp pickles and found the friendship right where we had left it....true and awesome.  Most importantly though, Brendan is going to make the world better AND more beautiful.  He has figured out a method to farm the ocean that restores health to our waters, provides a sustainable food source and creates clean energy.  It was so smart and inspiring.  Please check out his kickstarter campaign...and if you can, join him to support expanding his beautiful little farm into something with huge, globally important potential.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/greenwave/3-d-ocean-farming-saving-our-seas

You heard it here first but The New Yorker is featuring Brendan's farm in Talk of The Town next week.  Cool!!!


Truffle Egg Pie

I'm still here!  It has been a silly busy spring with soccer, tennis, baseball, swimming, dance...oh and that other little thing..work.  I have managed a little cooking here and there.  This was a last minute potluck party contribution that I whipped together with eggs, gruyere and some truffle butter that I was saving for something special.  If you don't have truffle butter lying around you can use the regular stuff and it will still be delicious.  More posts coming soon, stay tuned. xxz

Recipe:

Pate Brisse (I used Martha Stewart's recipe)  http://www.marthastewart.com/948287/pate-brisee

I rolled out a small round and baked it at 375 degrees in a cast iron pan coated with butter for about 25 minutes, or until lightly brown.  Cover the dough with aluminum foil and weigh it down with some rice or beans so the dough does not puff up while baking.

While the dough is baking mix together in a medium bowl:

5-6 large eggs

3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

1/4 cup cream or half and half

a few snipped fresh basil leaves

sprinkle of salt and pepper

Melt on low heat in a small heavy bottom pan two tablepoons of truffle butter and add a teaspoon of minced garlic.  Turn off the heat and mix into egg mixture when the butter has cooled a little and when you are ready to pour the egg mixture into the half baked crust.

Remove the crust from the oven, discard the foil and beans and fill the crust with the egg mixture.  Return the pie to the oven and bake for about 30 more minutes or until the egg is firm in the center.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.


Easy Pork Chops

When I cook meat for my family I generally treat it as a side dish.  I'll buy one top quality steak, simply grill it, slice it into thin strips and serve with tons of vegetables, potatoes and maybe a special sauce.  I did the same with these organic pork chops from Berkshire Farms the other night and we all agreed it was the best meal we'd had in a while.  I coated them with Turkish spiced flour and salt, fried them in a hot pan and served them with green herb mashed potatoes, garlicky kale and drizzled everything with a garlic parsley sauce.  My husbands birthday request was for me to cook the same dinner two nights later but he wanted his own pork chop....hmm, a complement, or a subtle hint?

Recipe:  Spiced Pork Chop With Green Garlic Parsley Sauce

4 top quality pork chops

kosher salt

1/2 Cup flour

1-2 teaspoons, depending on taste Turkish meat spice (or mix together paprika, black pepper, dry garlic, cumin, oregano, and red pepper)

Grapeseed oil or other high temperature oil

1 Lemon

Sprinkle the pork chops with kosher salt and allow them to come to room temperature while you are preparing the rest of your meal.  Mix the flour and spice on a plate with another dash of salt.  About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, heat on a high flame a large heavy bottomed pan and generously coat with oil.  Coat both sides of the pork chops with the flour mixture and place in the pan.  Allow to sizzle for a minute or two and turn the flame down to medium high.  Fry each side for about 4 minutes.  Two pans might be necessary or you could cook them in two batches. Remove the pork chops to a cutting board, cover with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving. 

I make a green garlic parsley sauce that is delicious with everything.  I wash and pick half a bunch of parsley, mince a few large garlic cloves and puree it in a blender with about a half cup of olive oil.  I transfer the puree to a small cast iron pan and warm over low heat for a few minutes to just slightly soften the garlic.  Mix in a little salt and pepper toward the end. 

Serve the pork chops drizzled with this sauce and a wedge of lemon.