Friday, April 19, 2013

two weeks in turkey


I'm getting ready to head back to Turkey for an extended trip on Tuesday -  almost two weeks! I haven't thought about packing, and although I'll be working for the first week, D. will be joining me for the second, and we've not done any planning. 

This will be my third time in Istanbul and D.'s second, so we've been considering exploring outside of the city into some of Turkey's other incredible destinations. With enough time for probably a two day side trip, we're having a hard time choosing. The weather forecast isn't super warm, so the beach doesn't beckon...Instead we are thinking about the following:

Cappadocia is a strangely lunar landscaped region in the center of the Anatolian region of Turkey. This once highly active volcanic field is now home to caves and troglodyte dwellings carved into rock formations formed by years of lava, water and wind.

During Roman times, many Christians fled into Cappadocia and hid in vast interconnected underground cities. Mosaics, churches, monasteries all survive today.

One of the must-do activities is a balloon ride (eeps!) and for accommodations, caves/cave hotels. As they say, "when you're in Rome" or Goreme...

The Kelebek Hotel comes very highly rated with amazing cave rooms and sweeping views of the balloons taking off over the valleys every morning.

In addition to hiking and exploring the caves and ancient ruins - the region is a big wine producer, center of Anatolian cuisine and home to many traditional carpet weavers. So there's plenty to do, even if you just want to sit on your cave terrace and soak in the surroundings.

Doesn't this look incredible? Has anyone traveled here before?

Images: 1/2/3/4/5

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Something to listen to while you drink your coffee

Saw these guys last night - they were fantastic. The Bad Plus, Seven Minute Mind off of their new album, Made Possible.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Twice-Marinated Fish


I think cooking can be split into two core concepts, techniques and flavor profiles.  My bookcases are overflowing with cookbooks, I have dozens of pins pinned on pinterest, binders of pages torn from magazines, but rarely do I actually cook from a recipe (unless I'm baking, and then shit gets serious).

So - when I'm pouring over these myriad sources of inspiration, I'm usually looking for new techniques, or new pairings of flavors to incorporate into my repertoire.

Unfortunately for D., once I nail a successful way of cooking something, I usually repeat repeat repeat and it becomes the sanctioned way of doing that thing. For example, for years I have cooked fish in a foil packet. Prep is easy, clean up is easier and the resulting fish always incredibly juicy, tender and creates its own sauce in the process. The formula is basically fish + foil + olive oil, S&P, lemon juice (and maybe a little white wine). Throw in some cherry tomatoes, maybe some green onion or minced shallot - then into the oven. 10-15 minutes later:dinner. You can see why a process as simple as that could lead one to pass over any other fish recipes that involve further commitment, time or energy.

I've been working on this lifetime goal project of compiling an index of all my cookbooks, noting each recipe I want to try in a crazy google doc; endlessly categorizing. In the process I came across an interesting recipe in American Masala  for twice-marinated halibut that sounded delicious and like a radical departure from foil-packet fish.

The recipe coupled a new technique - marinate, brush with herb paste, then broil with a delicious flavor combination of cilantro, garlic, ginger, curry and coconut. Unfortunately we didn't have the requisite ingredients on hand, so we adapted it to fit what we did and the results were fantastic.

It takes a little more work than foil packet fish... but the results are worth it.

Twice-Marinated Fish
Inspired by Twice-Marinated Halibut, American Masala

~1 lb white fish (we used rockfish, but halibut, tilapia, flounder all could work)
1 lemon
4 cloves garlic
1 cup parsley leaves (tough stems removed)
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil (about 4 tbs)
Salt & Pepper

Place the fish in a large ziploc bag along with 2 cloves of the garlic, peeled & minced, juice from half a lemon and plenty of salt & pepper. Allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, mix remaining 2 cloves garlic (peeled), parsley leaves, vinegars, salt & pepper - add in olive oil slowly until mixture comes together into a rough pesto-like sauce.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and pre-heat the broiler.


Remove fish from marinade and place on baking sheet. Make two diagonal cuts across fish. Brush liberally with herb paste, making sure to press mixture into cuts.

Place fish under broiler and watch carefully. Allow to cook until flesh is opaque in the center and flakes easily with a fork.  For our rockfish which was about 1" thick, it took about 15 minutes and I flipped the filet over halfway through the cooking time.


Drizzle fish with more lemon juice and serve.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kitchen Kitsch

In honor of last weekend's premiere of everyone's favorite mid-century series, Mad Men, I had to post these fantastic menus of yesteryear from the Mad Men era (and before).

Cool Culinaria was yet another discovery in my search for new online art sources. Their collection of historic menus is excellent, and always growing. Their giclee prints are very affordable and include not only the menu cover, but a copy of the inside spread, so you can browse all of the retro offerings (lots of fizzes and flips).

In addition to the great period artwork, their website offers insight into the history of the restaurants including famous dishes. The Martin Bros. menu above is from the restaurant that invented the po'boy. How about that for your kitchen?

Monday, April 8, 2013

kitchen rug

Photo by Flickr user farrcol
Recently I have been inspired by pictures of beautiful kitchens on Pinterest with dramatic orientals and kilims spread across the floor. These rugs, typically more suited for a living room or bedroom look luxurious in a kitchen especially on such beautiful wood floors.

Photo by Grey Crawford for High Gloss
Photo Pieter Estersohn for Elle Decor
I'm not sure that such a design choice would have the same effect in my dark little cave of a kitchen - white tile floors and blonde laminate cabinetry to boot. Still, I'm more than sick of our little sink rug and am wondering if something like this could be exactly what the room needs to make me love it more?

What do you think of these options?

 All of these rugs are from the Home Decorators Collection. You can find them here: 1/2/3/4

Friday, April 5, 2013

missed connections

I'm assuming that since her book came out almost two years ago, she's received plenty of press coverage and regularly posts amazing new work to her blog, that you're probably already familiar with Sophie Blackall and her work - especially this project illustrating 'Missed Connections' from Craigslist.

If not, this is a treat. I adore Sophie's work and while pulling affordable art options for the bathroom piece, I remembered how fond I was of her and spent quite a bit of time browsing her Etsy store.

Here are some of her gems available for purchase - I feel like gifting these to everyone I know.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

belt love

This belt read my mind. It went out and became exactly what I felt like I needed and complained about the lack of in my life. Slim, low profile beautiful leathers. Wear it high, wear it low. The High-Low Belt from Everlane (which if you're not already into, you should be).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Art needed

Bathroom art has been on the agenda as of late. This new frame we picked up from Ikea looks great on the grey walls, now we just need something to put in it. Many of our photos feel a little strange, because I doubt our guests want smiling faces staring at them while stepping in and out of the shower, and although we have rolls of unframed posters, they don't fit the square shape we need here.

As I've been searching for a solution - I was disappointed to discover that my go to solution for inexpensive art online, 20 X 200 seems to have closed up shop. Although they were a big favorite for me, their demise has forced me to seek out other options - and I am pleased to have found many.

Here are a few thoughts for my bathroom, and new art shop discoveries for you:

This print by Tina Crespo is from Society 6 - which is probably as well-known as 20X200 ever was. Loads of prints of all descriptions, with plenty of pop culture references. Products range from art prints and cards to iPhone cases.

Also from Society 6 and continuing with the circle motif is this ampersand print by Matthew Tyler Wilson, but with a mostly gray-scale bathroom, I think I'd like to see something with a little bit of color.

More color this is not, but yet another Society 6 option by Zach Terrell.

I like the antiquated look of this prismatic print by Uncle Buddha I found on Etsy. Although there are treasures to be found - browsing through the overwhelming amount of crap can be overwhelming.

Also from Etsy is this strange compilation of vintage horse stills by Outtake Prints.

One last option from  Etsy:  A rad skeeball photo by photographer, Kaleidoscope Eyes.

A hit of citrus from this Kate Laboon print on Mammoth & Company. This site has such fantastic art. I could spend hours browsing.

Sort of psychedelic floral motifs on this piece by Yellena James on Tiny Showcase. This site has a very edited selection filled with gems. If I hadn't been focused on a square format print, there would have been plenty of other options to catch my eye.

I like the mid-century graphic feel of this sun by Caitlin Keegan on Little Paper Planes. For some reason it reminds me of Disney's small world...anyone? Little Paper Planes offers great series of prints that work well together for filling a wall or lining a hallway.

A cheeky print by Colpa Press also on Little Paper Planes.

A final frothy option from Little Paper Planes by Amy Borrell.

Another moderately mid-century piece, this one from Helen Dardik and available on Poster Cabaret which is such a great site. Wonderful featured artists, lots of print options. I love. As for this print, maybe a little too childish, but the red would look nice.
A dreamy print of a summertime painting by Leah Giberson on Poster Cabaret.  I adore her work.

A great pop art piece by Joseph McDermott on ArtFlakes.  This site takes the cake for me. So much wonderful stuff to browse - so many artists whose work I've seen before and thought, I wonder if I could buy a print of that: here, all here. 

"Love" by Famous When Dead also on ArtFlakes.

Finally the print that's winning in my mind is this sweet fluorescent heart from Banquet Atelier. I think it would look really great against the grey walls and bring the needed pop of color to the room.