January 25, 2013


Last weekend, after being tipped off by a good friend of mine, I grabbed my girl Tracy and headed to a fabulous flea market that has been sitting right under my nose, practically blocks away from where I live, for who knows how long. What a surprise spot full of gems! I wound up with a great new shelf for my pantry, some vintage party invitations, a swirling 60's printed bedspread complete with pom-pom trim and this gorgeous, crinoline lined vintage white cotton skirt you see here on the left, from Mousetrap Vintage. As soon as I laid eyes on this piece I knew I had to have it in my collection. This is that special item of clothing that will get me through the winter doldrums by inspiring all the light and airy dressing coming after the next three long, chilly months.
I have always had a strong gravitational pull toward such snowy frocks. I am quite sure it has everything to do with an unforgettable moment of standing on a chair in the basement of an old seamstress while being fitted for my first custom piece of clothing, a Communion dress. I will also admit to a heavy fascination with Gibson Girls and ladies of the Gilded Age and spending far too much time wondering how they managed to keep their pallid gowns unmarked by a wayward splash of au jus, the occasional tipple of sherry or wine or an accidental drag in the gutter. I know that when I am dressed in shades of ivory I am asking for trouble, the only consolation being the stain stick and Oxyclean waiting near the hamper at home. Nevertheless, I am hoping to embrace this milky hue more often. Wearing white is clean, cool and classic. It carries with it a sense of free-spiritedness, purity, summertime, simplicity, femininity, newness, and confidence. Here is a assemblage of inspirational pieces plucked directly from pinterest. Enjoy!

January 24, 2013

a variation on pesto

I just made my first batch of kale pesto. After a weekend excursion to the Italian Market in South Philadelphia, I found myself standing in my kitchen among a sea of produce, fretting about eating and cooking everything before it starts to go rotten. My first inspired moment came after perusing recipes for kale and deciding on an attempt at pesto. This was a quick, easy and versatile dish to whip up. The best part about it is that it makes a hefty batch and after I had the first portion over linguine, I used it to top a sardine sandwich for yesterday's lunch and plan on having it today on a crusty baguette with capicola and pecorino and a nice drizzle of olive oil. But first... the recipe.

1 bunch of kale (washed, trimmed and torn roughly)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of walnuts (toasted or untoasted-your preference)
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
olive oil, at least a 1/4 cup

Start by pulsing the nuts, garlic and cheese in a food processor until crumbled and mixed well while getting a large pot of water boiling. When the water boils, drop the kale in for a minute or two. The kale will turn bright green and become slightly limp when it is ready to be scooped out. Douse the greens with cold water and strain out in a colander. (I like to save the strained water from the kale to add into the pesto to help soften it up a bit in the end and the water from boiling the kale can be used to boil your pasta in.) When the leaves cool a bit they go into the processor along with the lemon juice and get blended in with the previous ingredients. Slowly add the olive oil until the consistency changes from rough to creamier. Add some leftover kale water if you would like at this point too. Feel free to salt and pepper to taste. I find the cheese stands in for salt and the kale and garlic speak for the pepper. Eat on anything and everything.

January 22, 2013

big chill

It seems that winter may finally come in and seized it's frosty hand upon us here in the northeast. Last night we were treated to a brief snowfall that brought with it plummeting temperatures that promise to stay below freezing for at least the next week. Fortunately last week I was lucky enough to slip in a balmy escape to the sea for a cozy visit with family. After packing my bags and heading out early on a cloudy Sunday morning, I descended upon the coast in a thick, enchanting fog that barely lifted my entire stay. I managed to get in a vigorous walk, a soak in the old claw foot and plenty of time reading (I highly recommend Grace Coddington's autobiography). It was just the thing to restore my spirit in the new year.