Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

I love weddings: the over the top dresses, the pre-ceremony jitters, the toasts (and roasts!), the free-flowing drinks, the crazy dancing, and the very public and exciting declaration of love and commitment. Earlier this month I went to a wedding that had it all – my friend, Sunny Ozell, was marrying Sir Patrick Stewart in Lake Tahoe. John and I headed out with our close friends, Jason and Alexis, and met up with some other soon-to-be great friends for a weekend of festivities that included ridiculous amounts of nachos, brutal games of Celebrity, swimming in the glorious water, and absurd amounts of time debating whether or not we should all just up and move to California already.

We shared our cabin in the woods with some extremely talented culinary geniuses. Betsy Devine, the wonder woman behind Salvatore Brooklyn Ricotta showed off her prowess in the kitchen — and her prowess in dressing – I wish you could have seen what she was wearing. Too good. Nekisia Davis, the mastermind behind Early Bird Granola, was wowing us at every turn with her wit, general awesomeness and mad queso-making skills. I can’t stop thinking about that stuff, but who the hell makes queso when they’re not on vacation? I don’t think I can bring myself to do it just for two of us at home, but next time I’m away it will be the first thing I share with loved ones. Danny Amend, the chef at Marco’s (formerly of Franny’s) engaged us in conversation and made food with an attention and love that was inspiring, and the results were of course delicious. As if that wasn’t enough food love, the esteemed food writer Melissa Clark of the New York Times was staying a mere couple towns over with her husband and daughter, Dahlia, who acted as flower girl extraordinaire.


The wedding party Read More


Cutest ring bearer ever, Sunny's nephew Will Read More


Sir Ian officiating the ceremony Read More


LeVar Burton giving a toast Read More


Crazy beautiful sunset over Lake Tahoe Read More


The wedding took place in one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever been, The Thunderbird Lodge, on the Nevada side of Tahoe. After the gold rush, George Whittell, Jr., bought 29 miles of lake front property for $6 an acre and the only property built on the land is his home, where the wedding took place. We watched the ceremony at what felt like the edge of the world – the sun was shining, the lake was twinkling and Aperol fizzes were in-hand. We were ready for a performance and that’s exactly what we got. Sunny walked down the aisle to “How Could I Love You More” by Arkestra One, chosen for her by another talented friend, Lori Hon, who makes her living creating fantastically cool playlists. After the extraordinary entrance of the bride in her Temperly gown, followed by the world’s cutest nephew as ring-bearer, her best friend, Jillan LaVinka stepped forward to give her reading. I assumed we were in for some common quotes about love, patience and kindness but I was dead wrong. Hidden between the pages of her Bible was the most original, funny and loving speech cobbling together song verses as disparate as “ She was a fast machine she kept her motor clean” with “And you can hear it in my accent when I talk, I’m an Englishman in New York” to ” You, you make loving fun, and I don’t have to tell you that you’re the only one” only to end with “She shook me all night long”. I’m not used to wedding speeches making me laugh till I cry but that was clearly a theme at this wedding because next up was Kate James of Second City fame, ready to enlighten us on what love is all about. I imagine it can be a blessing or a curse to have a seriously funny comedian give your toast at your wedding but this one was all blessing. Watch the video where she shares with us all the misconceptions surrounding love. I’m pretty sure that the most desired favor to take home in your luggage (besides the Maggie Bracelets and The Graces, which we were honored to have included in the festivities) had to have been a hard copy of her toast to be hijacked and used at all future weddings.

The post-speech merriment inevitably led to insane dancing – Harper Blynn made a surprise appearance and we danced like maniacs until Sunny got on the mic and sang “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”. Genius. The party moved to the lakefront gazebo where I begged Ben to woo us all with one of my favorite songs, Lovely Day. For weeks John and I had become obsessed with the idea that Sunny’s friends would serenade her with this most perfect of love songs. Once we discovered Ben’s exquisite voice at the bachelorette party a few weeks prior we decided he was the voice we’d been waiting for — it wasn’t super hard to convince him – I’d sing on command if I had that voice like that too. I’ll remember that scene for the rest of my life – looking out on that spectacular lake, surrounded by new and old friends and listening to one of my favorite songs being sung by one of my favorite voices made me happy to be alive. And, in my book that’s what weddings are all about — being alive and celebrating the whole of what that means.


Patrick at the helm of the Thunderbird Yacht Read More


Best time ever! Read More


Kate James and her extraordinary toast Read More


Melissa Clark with Daniel and Dahlia Read More


Two of the best girls: Nekisia Davis (Earlybird Granola) and Betsy Devine (Salvatore Ricotta) Read More


Gorgeous C&P Maggie bracelets, The Graces candles and delicious Early Bird Crack of Dawn Bars Read More


Good Times!! Read More


Getting serious on the dance floor Read More


Harper Blynn and Sir Ian Read More


Sunny serenading the groom Read More


All photos: John von Pamer

Video: Freja Mitchell


Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

It’s been so long since I’ve posted I’m just going to dive back in with one of my favorite things, The Aperol Fizz. I associate this with all the beauty of summer: long, leisurely evenings, beyond delicious produce, humid days and a general relaxation that allowed me to close the store for Sundays and Mondays and even sneak out early on a few occasions. My good friend, Francine of Franny’s fame, shared this recipe many moons ago before the cookbook was published. Now that the cookbook is on shelves (you should buy it. And, I’m not just saying that because John shot it or Cindy styled it, or Franny and Andrew and Melissa wrote it — although, those are all good reasons, but it’s just a fantastic addition to any kitchen library) many more have access to the recipe but for those who don’t, here’s a little gift. Either way, it’s a beautiful drink, and one I intend to hold onto until the last feelings of summer slip away.

The Aperol Fizz

-Fill highball with ice
-Add 1 1/2 ounces Aperol
-Add a heavy splash of lemon (1/2 ounce)
-Add a squeeze of simple syrup (1/4 ounce)
-Stir and then top with Prosecco and stir again
-Garnish with a lemon twist
We like to use a lighter style Prosecco, one with not too much fruit — Bisson or Bisol are good options.



Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Kim Chi Fried Rice  is one of my favorite things to make and is in constant rotation at our house. This week the flavor ante was seriously raised when one of my favorite people, Alexis, gifted us a fermentation crock. I don’t imagine there are many people that would be as excited about this gift as I was but given the fact that I’m well on my way to making almost all of our condiments — almond milk, hot sauce, cashew cream cheese, bitters — it seems appropriate that this lovely little crock is now taking center stage in our kitchen. I also heard that I almost got a dehydrator for Christmas from John but he decided to hold off after reading the dimensions online and opted for a Dries Van Noten dress instead. The man knows my deep loves; gorgeous clothing and obscure food projects.

I made my first batch of Kim Chi the day I received the crock and I have to say, it’s good. I mean, it’s REALLY good. I cobbled together the Dok Suni recipe and the Neo Homesteader recipe and made something between the two and it’s pretty much perfect. I’m going to assume your don’t have a fermentation crock — correct me if I’m wrong — so for this recipe I suggest using Mama O’s Extra Spicy Kim Chi which is what I’ve always used in the past and it works great. Let me know how you like this recipe and please let me know if you want more food ideas here, I’m working on content for  the blog and would love to hear your thoughts and wants for this coming year. Happy Happy New New Year Year!


2 T Coconut Oil & 1 T Sesame Oil
Head of kale, stems removed and leaves torn small
2 inches of ginger, peeled and cut small
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and cut small
2 T Tamari
1 T Mirin
1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped Kim Chi and leftover juice
Generous squirt of Sri Racha (I like very spicy food, if you don’t you can omit the Sri Racha altogether)
3-4 Cups day-old rice. I typically move between brown and white, depending on what we have left-over. Both are good.
Toasted nori

Heat up  your wok and add the oils, swirl around till glistening.  Add your ginger and garlic and actively move around so they don’t brown. They should become fragrant but not burnt. Add the Tamari and Mirin, swirl to cover the the garlic and ginger over high heat. Add your kale stems and cook for about a minute, then add your kale leaves, stirring rapidly. At this point add the rice and smash into the sauce, garlic and ginger, you want them to come together and create a cohesive whole. I usually add my Sri Racha here, but like I said, if you don’t love hot food you don’t need it. Add your Kim Chi and juice and toss around in the wok till a little crispy, a few minutes. Take off heat, add toasted nori and Shichimi and you’re ready to enjoy!





Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Summer can be pretty great, even when it’s 100% humidity and 1000% thick. At least you get to eat tomato and basil pasta and sip a Campari & Soda with it. John whipped this up while I lay reading a book about witches and vampires.

1/2 Pack of Gluten-Free Pasta
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Maldon Sea Salt
Handful of Basil

Boil pasta according to package. Saute garlic and tomatoes briefly. Toss with pasta, olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with basil leaves. Next make Campari and Soda – Shot of Campari, splash of blood orange juice, top with seltzer. Walk to pool, present to your loved one and enjoy thoroughly!


Friday, May 25th, 2012

I only eat quinoa in the summer and when it’s summer, I eat A LOT of it. Seems to be the one thing that satisfies my hot weather cravings. And being that it’s Memorial Day weekend it only seemed appropriate to start off our Friday food post with the taste of summer.
I hope you all have lots of delicious events this weekend spent lovingly with family and friends. Enjoy yourselves immensely, I know I will be.

1 c. quinoa
A bunch of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of mint
1 cucumber cut into small pieces with the seeds taken out
A couple scallions
A bunch of pitted and chopped Moroccan black olives

Rinse your quinoa. Boil 2 cups vegetable stock and add quinoa to it. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Take off heat, keep lid on and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff it up and spread it out on a baking try to cool.

1/3 cup olive oil
2T tamari
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T tahini
1 clove garlic

Blend together till you have a nice creamy consistency.

Add dressing (a little less than all of it) to the cooled quinoa along with the tomatoes, mint, scallions, olives and cucumbers. Season with freshly ground pepper and preferably Maldon sea salt. Serve over greens or eat it right out of the fridge. That’s what John did with pretty much the whole batch. He loves himself some quinoa.


Saturday, May 12th, 2012

I’ve been making a lot of these lately. It’s the perfect breakfast: simple, nutritious, filling and tastes like summer.


Bag of mixed frozen fruit (around 10 ozs.)
Sambazon Acai Smoothie packet
1/4 cup pecans
1 T Coconut Manna
1 T Maca Powder
4 pitted Medjool dates
5 leaves kale (swiss chard, spinach or any other green will work here)
2 cups almond milk (you can use hemp, rice or soy but I prefer homemade almond)

Add all to your blender (hopefully you’re lucky like me and have a VitaMix, I love that appliance so much it’s kind of absurd.) Turn on high for about 30 seconds. Enjoy!


Friday, April 13th, 2012

Just happened upon this site, A Year in Food, (how did I not know about this?!) and I want to hole up all weekend and cook from it. Love stumbling upon all the little gems on the internets.

Have a great weekend all!


Friday, April 6th, 2012

I’m not normally the biggest Francophile but this video from Bon Appetit (are you loving the new BA as much as I am?!) made my heart pitter patter. Now all I can think about are upstate summers, cooking with friends, kids in donkey costumes (I personally always wore a gorilla costume as a child) and swimming.


This Persian Rice will be on our table at some point next week, but I’ll substitute cashew cream for the yogurt. Delicious!

Beautiful pictures from Julian Broad and Bon Appetit


Friday, March 30th, 2012

I agree: this is the best lentil salad EVER. I ate it every day for lunch this past week and am sad to see the container nearing empty. Once again, thanks to Cindy, I have another fantastic recipe to add to my recipe binder (just started my binder project and it’s bringing me massive amounts of happiness – my Virgo is yelling “hallejulah!”).

Add this salad to your lunch rotation next week, I am absolutely sure you’ll love it and feel great after every meal.

BTW, this is another great food blog, My New Roots. I have another food lady to crush out on!



Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I feel like Heidi Swanson exists in the part of my brain that plans and daydreams about meals. It never fails that when I go to her site there is something there that inspires me and gets me into the kitchen. Tonight that happened with these Sesame Almond Rice Balls. I used to eat something like these many moons ago at Lucky Juice Joint (remember that place?) and they always made me happy. Now, thanks to Heidi I can recreate that long lost treat at home. Looks like I know what’s for dinner tomorrow night! Thanks, Heidi.

PS. I was lucky to have another of her recipes at Cindy’s house today which was fantastic. Zucchini Spinach Soup – try it, you won’t be disappointed.