Monday, February 28, 2011

Favorite Photos of the Day

Two of my favorite photos of late by Portland, Oregon photographer Corey Arnold.  They both just crack me up.  What I find really interesting is that he's also a commercial fisherman by trade.  This image is part of an ongoing series of images about the relationship between people and animals in the modern world.   Check out more of his work at

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Winter Warmer

It's officially winter in Southern California.  What that really means is that we've encountered a few sprinkles and the temperature has dropped to 50 degrees in the morning.  I'm not going to complain; we've got it good.  You may actually think I'm crazy when I say this but I actually miss a good ol' Nor'Easter.  You know, the kind of storm that looks good from the inside of a frosted window.  The kind  that calls for snow days and a steaming cup of hot chocolate.  So to remind myself of those blustery nights, I like to cook up a big pot of soup.  I found this recipe on Tasting Table, a subscription site that dubs itself the "free daily email for adventurous eaters everywhere."  In other words, it's well-edited site full of local dining, wine, shopping, recipe and food travel recommendations.

A recent post featured former sous chef Chris Bradley from famed NYC restaurant Gramercy Tavern and his delicious recipe for Curry Cauliflower soup.  Consequently, he is now running the show at a new restaurant in the Whitney Museum of American Art.

I changed the recipe according to my specifications.  Instead of vegetable stock I used chicken stock and I omitted the yogurt (b/c I don't like mixing any dairy in my soup).

Hope you like!

Curry Cauliflower Soup

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets (about 10 cups)
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ leek, white and light green parts only, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Reserve 1 cup of small cauliflower florets, ¼ cup of onion, ¼ cup of leeks and ¼ cup of carrots for garnish.
2. In a large pot, warm ¼ cup of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, leek and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until soft, about 10 minutes longer.
3. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, combine the coriander and cumin seeds and toast until they are fragrant and slightly browned, about 2 minutes. In a square of cheesecloth, combine the toasted seeds and the cilantro and tie into a bundle, securing it with a piece of kitchen twine. Add the spice bundle, turmeric, curry powder and garlic to the vegetables in the pot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the vegetable stock, bring a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth bundle, then puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the puree to the pot and keep warm.
5. In a large skillet, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the reserved cauliflower, onion, leek and carrots and cook until the vegetables are just tender and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve.
6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Divide the hot soup among 6 deep bowls, garnish with the reserved vegetables and drizzle with the yogurt mixture. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Picking Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm bringing back a "series" I briefly started last year that is a compilation of my favorite things.  It'll cover a fairly broad range but mostly focus on some of my favorite photographers, artists, designers, food items, etc.  Today's pick comes from Etsy, the fabulous purveyor of amazing handmade goods crafted by folks like you and me.

DKIM-ART sells beautiful original illustrations and prints on Etsy.  Love her style, sense of imagination and color palette.

She has many more prints and illustrations available for sale on her site so check out her shop today!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where the Grass is Always Greener

This past autumn, my boyfriend Wendel and I traveled up to Northern England and Scotland for a holiday break.  This location inspired us because Wendel is an avid cyclist and he got accepted to race in the "Three Peaks Cyclocross Race."  Calling this race crazy is an understatement.  Thankfully it's situated in beautiful North Yorkshire so at least you can admire the beautiful countryside before you collapse from exhaustion.  The race takes anywhere from 3-6 hours to complete and entails climbing three peaks, none of which are rideable because of the steep incline.

Anyway, I'll be posting a variety of pictures from our trip over the next couple weeks.  These first shots are from the Northern Lakes District located in northwest England.  We stayed in a charming lakeside town called Keswick on Derwentwater.  I was surprised to learn that the region is quite mountainous so it's perfect if you're a fan of mountain biking and hiking/walking.  You can also walk around the perimeter of the entire lake.  These are two of my favorite shots from the region...

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Match Made in Heaven

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I started thinking about things that are meant to be.  Perfect pairs, if you will.  Like Audrey Hepburn and cigarette pants.  Or George Clooney and a five o'clock shadow.  A gin and tonic or NYC and Frank Sinatra.  The list could go on!

I think one of my favorite pairings has got to be chocolate and peanut butter.  How can you go wrong?!  So I scoured Epicurious and found a drool-worthy recipe called Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte.  The name is a bit misleading because it's definitely a pie and not a torte.  I'm still a bit shy when it comes to baking pies but this recipe was not in the least bit intimidating.   I think the most difficult aspect was not sampling the chocolate/peanut butter batter!

A few things to note:
I followed one of the suggestions on Epicurious reviews and added just a touch less peanut butter so the pie wouldn't be runny.

Keep in mind that ovens vary - I had to bake my pie twice as long as the recipe stated.

And lastly, pre-bake the pie shell at 400 degrees F for about 10-20 minutes.  Don't forget to poke with a fork so it doesn't puff up.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte Epicurious | September 1999
Yield: Makes 8 servings
1 pre-baked pie shell
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup lightly salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Heat oven to 325°F. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until it ribbons, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwavable bowl, melt peanut butter, butter, and chocolate on high 1 minute. Stir and repeat until mixture is smooth. Cool.
In three additions, fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Pour into a prepared pie shell. Sprinkle peanuts over top of pie. Bake 12 minutes. Surface will be soft and somewhat liquid in the center. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and serve. Filling will be slightly runny and ooze out of the pie wedge.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!

No, I'm not referring to Valentine's Day, silly.  I'm talking about FASHION WEEK in NYC.  Oh how I wish I was there to check out the latest on the runways, hob nob with the likes of Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs and admire the best in street style (which I really think is the best part).  Alas, it won't be this year.

Thankfully, I've got my friend Jamie Beck, a photographer in NYC, who can fill me in on all the details.  If you're not familiar with her blog From Me To You, you must check it out at

She is one of 24 fashion/style bloggers that Tumblr chose to capture their take on everything Fashion Week - from runways, street style, behind the scenes and events.  They were even profiled in The Wall Street Journal.  She's even blogging about what she plans to wear each day because you can't just wear any old thing to Fashion Week.

So check out her stunning photography....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Been a Long Time

Okay, I'm officially ashamed of my lack of discipline.  Last year's resolution was to keep my blog going and I was totally motivated until I got busy.  But that's a poor excuse b/c everyone is busy.  Well, I guess it's never too late to make new resolutions so here goes...third time's a charm.  I'm officially resurrecting my blog.

Here's a picture I took in Palos Verdes.  I've been shooting a lot of landscapes and the neighborhood, with it unspoiled beaches and cliffs, is quite breathtaking.