December 2, 2011

away we go!

image courtesy of flappergirl
Heading to Atlantic City today with plans to attend a bonfire on the beaches of North Wildwood tomorrow evening. Barely have time to pack my bag before I have to dash to catch my train! Beachy posts coming soon!

November 28, 2011

photo of the day

(story of my life)
The Cafe by Robert Doisneau.
I love the spontaneity and intimacy of his work.

November 24, 2011

side dish


For Thanksgiving I whipped up this little side dish of wild rice with vegetables and sausage. I thought it was a nice compliment to such a heavy meal and an alternative to stuffing since the grains aren't the bulk of the dish which keeps things light. This most definitely could stand on it's own as a great meal and is sure to make for excellent leftovers. This meal has plenty of fiber and doesn't skimp on flavor.
Ingredients:
- olive oil
- 1 cup of wild rice
- bunch of kale
- 4 small-medium sausage links
- 2 large mushrooms
- half an onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cups of broth
Prep:
Start by chopping the kale and breaking off any thick stems at the bottom of the leaves and discarding them. Next, place the chopped greens in a bowl of cold water to soak any dirt or sand out of the shredded leaves. While that is soaking get to cutting and chopping the other veggies. Mince both the garlic and celery stalk. Chop the onion (I used red onion this time) in large cuts as well as the red pepper. (Though I went for a smaller chop on the pepper since I like to have varying sizes and colors in plate.) The mushrooms were halved and then sliced. Lastly cut up the sausages into rounds. I used two apple and two sage sausages which really make this ridiculously tasty.

Cooking:
Start by heating some olive oil (about a tablespoon each) in two pots/pans. In one start sauteing the garlic and celery, soon after adding the onion. In the other toast your dry rice. Once the rice starts to smell likes it's cooking and toasts a bit, slowly add the broth, stirring it in until it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer away until all the stock has cooked in and the rice is tender.
When the onions have softened a bit, add the red pepper. After add the kale and put a lid on it to wilt the  greens. In a third pan start cooking the sausage in a touch of oil eventually adding the mushrooms once the meat has cooked through. Once your rice is finished absorbing, the kale has wilted, and the mushroom are tender, mix all three pots into one and voila! Dinner is ready!


November 17, 2011

home brew

gillian's summer brew
This past September, while holiday-making in Edinburgh, I had the pleasure of sipping on some homebrew (homemade wine). It was fruit-based, deliciously tart and deceptively strong. Since then I have been contemplating getting around to making a batch of my own but haven't quite come to the doing part.

I recently came across a kindred spirit and friend's recipe for infused cordials on her blog. I am a huge fan of Miss Gillian. In her writing and music she is an inspiration to me, not to mention she seems to radiate kindness and calm. Her take on the home brew surely makes this a more do-able project. I should probably get started on some batches on my own since this would make a lovely gift for the upcoming season.

November 15, 2011

one to watch


I am finally getting around to my round up of the film festival. After seeing seven films in just under two weeks I have decided that the one I enjoyed most was the final screening I attended; House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close). There isn't much of a story involved here. This is a Renoir come to life though painted with a very Lynchian hand. Paris, the eve of winter, 1899. A glimpse into life at one of the last grand brothels that is on the brink of closing due to the ever growing trade of independent streetwalkers. The sets and costumes are lavish, the acting is solid, the soundtrack is a strange but perfect mix of 1960's soul and rock music. I recommend trying to catch this one in the theater if you can. It makes more sense on the big screen and two hours in a dark theater are exactly what is needed to experience this dreamy escape properly.





November 11, 2011

heady stuff

At dawn of the 20th century head pieces were all the rage in evening attire for women. The whimsical and sometimes ridiculously large hats and bonnets of day dressing were left on their perch in favor of jewel encrusted lace, feather adorned silk, metal studded leather, all dripping with chains, stones and fringe. Along with these mystical crowns came some very intricate and lavish hair styling. This trend lasted well into the 1920's and then disappeared, never to really be seen again except festooning the occasional modern day bridal veil. The flower children in the 1960's donned make-shift headbands salvaged from old leather cords, belts and scarves but their interpretation seems anything but grand. I, for one am in favor of seeing a resurgence in this frivolity. Perhaps tonight, when meeting my lady friends for spirits of the green hour, I will fashion something something glittering and plumed to don upon my 'do.
the father of headdress inspiration
alphonse mucha
dancer, cléo de mérode
model, evelyn nesbit
actress, gloria swanson
my great-grandmother on her wedding day
writer, rebecca west







November 10, 2011

moonstruck


In addition to yesterday's astrological bent on today's full moon, I have come across another traditional tidbit of information concerning November's celestial satellite. This month's moon is called The Beaver Moon. According to the Farmer's Almanac this name was attributed to the early northeastern Native Americans since this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, which ensured a supply of winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon. Enjoy the extra light in the sky tonight and take care while out and about. I have already sensed quite a fervour in the air while wandering through the city earlier today.

November 8, 2011

surrealist pop

Last week my aunt emailed me a picture of a woman in a plastic bubble floating on top the Seine River. I was familiar with the shot and was excited to share with her the fact that this was one in amazing series of fashion photographs by Melvin Sokolsky. These pre-photoshopped images, created with cables and cranes, were produced for Harper's Bazaar 1963 Spring Collection and feature the very elegant and glamorous Simone D'Aillencourt modeling la mode du jour. I am completely captivated by these bizarre, conceptual, fabulously high fashion images. The effort that went into producing one shot must have been massive. Sokolsky's penchant for mixing whimsy and beauty is something I never tire of looking at.











October 28, 2011

philadelphia in pictures

Today is the Philadelphia Photo Day. Get outside with your camera or cell phone and take part of this project. In keeping with the theme I decided to post some classic shots of my family out and about in our hometown.







October 25, 2011

common scents


I have always fancied myself a Chanel No. 5 girl. It is classic and legendary. A feminine, soft, powdery, floral fragrance. It comes in a simple, clean-lined, no-nonsense bottle. It is both modern and old-fashioned. It is French. And it has been my go-to scent for many years now.

When I recently came across a book on The Art of Perfume it got me very interested in some of these scents from yesteryear. I adore the labels and the advertisements. They easily capture the mystery, glamour, sweetness and romance of scented waters.

I am especially fond of the Deco & Nouveau style artwork on the labels and in the advertisements as well as the oriental themes. I have done some searching and have found that the original Eau de Cologne is still being manufactured. Since the late 18th century it continues to go by the name No. 4711 and has always been a very closely guarded formula blending citrus, rosemary and "other proprietary ingredients". It is quite easy to find for sale online and I am about to order a bottle for myself. You can't beat the price and it will look so sublime on my dressing table. I am also very much intrigued by Florida Water, another obscure but still obtainable "splash". This lemony concoction promises to "cool a headache & help jangled nerves". I have this page bookmarked and I am ready to fill my shopping cart.