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, August 8th, 2012

This coleslaw is inspired by an old Sunset Magazine recipe that I’ve been making for years.  I tweaked it using what I had from my weekly shop and you can do the same,  just use the freshest vegetables you can find and it will shine.

I am realizing that I’m a bit more like my Mom than I knew — she loathes writing down recipes — and I was feeling the same way but went ahead and wrote this because it’s just too good not to share. I’m serving this with black beans (recipe to come), corn tortillas, avocado slices and corn salad. Summer in all it’s glory. Enjoy and please let me know if you like it. Happy cooking.

Santa Fe Slaw

4 c. shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1 jalapeno, chopped
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
1/2 c. pepitas toasted with 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 ear of raw shaved corn
2 scallions, chopped

3/4 c. Vegenaise
1 whole chipotle in adobo
3 T ground Guajillo chile powder (you can get at Kalustyans)

Combine cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeno, lime juice, pepitas, corn and scallions in a large bowl. Toss to combine making sure to thoroughly coat with the lime juice. Let marinate while you make the dressing. Combine Vegenaise (you can use regular mayonnaise if you like), chipotle with it’s juice and 3 T guajillo chile powder — if you can’t find this, use some type of chile powder, preferably one with a smoky taste — in a small blender. Cover vegetables with dressing, mix to combine thoroughly, refrigerate and let sit for 2 hours.

Taste: Cookies

Friday, December 16th, 2011

In honor of today’s “Taste” segment of Loving’s Five Senses, my kitchen has been turned into a holiday cookie factory! The goodies in question are all of Danish origin and you can probably find the same cookies being made in my grandmother Esther’s kitchen, as I write this. The spices at work include cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cardamon & cloves. Almonds are essential in every recipe.

Vanilla Wreaths, otherwise known as Vanillekranse, are cooling below,

Brown cookies, otherwise known as Brunekager, have a crunchy addictive taste.

Joedekager are delicious cinnamon and almond explosions.

It’s possible that they taste better than they look. You’re welcome to take a bite or two or three tomorrow at the store. xoxo

Taste: Autumn on a Spoon

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Ah, Thanksgiving. Nothing beats a crisp November day spent with family, friends, and food! Year after year we’ve all got the usual suspects on our shopping lists: turkey, stuffing, cranberries, potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie. It can be hard to steer away from the staples on this particular holiday. However, if you are looking for a deliciously inventive twist on the familiar and classic flavors, we at C&P have a must-try recipe for you. John insists that it is truly the most spectacular of all Thanksgiving dishes. A moist pumpkin sponge cake filled with fluffy ginger buttercream all rolled up into a perfect holiday package. This dessert embodies enough decadence to impress guests while creating the coziest of atmospheres with its warm and spicy, autumn flavors. Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa, this recipe will certainly not disappoint!

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

Ingredients, Cake:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting

Ingredients, Filling:

  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger
  • Pinch kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar evenly over it. (This will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper. With a light touch, roll the warm cake and the towel together (don’t press!) starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and cream together for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Stir in the crystallized ginger, and salt.

To assemble, carefully unroll the cake onto a board with the towel underneath. Spread the cake evenly with the filling. Reroll the cake in a spiral using the towel as a guide. Remove the towel and trim the ends to make a neat edge. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve sliced.

Smell: Perfume Moment

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

I’ve loved and collected fragrance for many years. I adore all they have to offer: the packaging, how it makes me feel, that little bit of hope in a bottle. Lucky for me the best perfume store ever, Aedes de Venustas, is en route to my subway stop. I’ve bought a lot of my favorites there – the gorgeous owners always make perfect suggestions and I inevitably leave with something beautiful to add to my ever growing collection. If you haven’t been there I suggest you go, it’s really special – the cozy space, their endless knowledge of fragrance, their two adorable dogs – I love it all.

Some of my favorites that I’ve bought from them: Montale White Musk, Molecules, Diptyque Tam Dao, Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien and many more.

What are some of your favorite scents – please share as I clearly need to add to my tray of beauty!

Listen: Genius

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

For today’s “Listen” segment in Loving’s Five Senses, we want to share our Rainy Day playlist with you.

The theme here is Genius. We pay a moment’s tribute to the musical magicians that make us sway and swoon.

Leonard Cohen‘s “So Long Marianne”

Kanye West‘s “Runaway”

Jacqueline du Pre playing Max Bruch’s Kol nidrei

What’s on your rainy day playlist? Stay Dry and Enjoy!

Toast of the town.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, summer is a time for leather. Not the icy black or gray or white variety that ensconces us during winter, but the warm, broken-in caramel of basic brown. Found on the beaded belts that snake through the loops of cut-off denim shorts; on braided huarache sandals that camouflage the chips of your two-week old pedicure, and on leather cords that suspend shells, bones, horns, antlers, and other natural ephemera acquired on camping trips, hikes, and coastal ventures. The hue can also be found on the new Castor & Pollux wallet that arrived in the store today, in the beautiful, rich, long-awaited shade that falls somewhere between walnut and coffee with just the right amount of milk in it.

We don’t have any photos yet, but we created a mood board of sorts. Enjoy.

SMELL: Honeysuckle!!!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

I know that this news has been out for a while, but it seems especially appropriate now that the mercury is inching a little closer to tolerable every day. (Shhh – don’t jinx it!) First, a little backstory: I recently became a subscriber to PANTONE‘s newsletter, and boy, is it ever awesome getting weekly updates from them about all things color-related. I didn’t know that this organization existed until reading about it in a New Yorker piece about the science and  marketing of color, and having been the child that was too entranced by the visual symphony of 96 Crayolas neatly arranged in their box to actually use them, I was extremely jazzed to find out that there were people who seemed to approach color with the same level of nerdy awe that I did.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I am a little late in writing about what everyone already knows: that the Pantone Color of the Year is the springy, floral, ladylike Honeysuckle! (Patone 18-2120, to be specific.)

Color sample courtesy of The Gloss.

When I was a pipsqueak growing up in Philadelphia, all of the honeysuckle in our yard was white, so the choice of name confused me initially. Then I found out that nature offers it in a variety of colorways, including the bright, coral-y, ever-so-slightly fluorescent hue of Pantone’s choosing.

(This image came from a Gone With the Wind blog called How We Do Run On. Thank you, internet, for providing us with wonders such a Gone With the Wind blog!)

Honeysuckle shares a color with one of our favorite things here at Castor & Pollux: quince!  A few flowering stalks of this prickly stuff unfurling out of a ceramic vase creates a mood that is simultaneously organic, feminine, and raw. Its thorniness reminds of the denouement of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, where Maleficent creates the obstacle course of thorns to prevent Prince Philip from waking the princess – only less goth and more Laurel Canyon.

Photo by David Beaulieu.

Reading about the positive power of Honeysuckle made me want to pull everything at the store that jives with this unique, peppy tone. Apologies for the less-than-stellar photo, but how uplifting is this delicious assortment?!

Clockwise from top left: Hacienda Montaecristo silk rebozos, Meredith Wendell Rope bracelet, Stefania Pia Luxury Hardware necklace, RGB nail polishes in Pink and Too Red, Stefania Pia sculpture, Lipstick Queen glossy pencils in Chase and Crime.

So, despite being a little bit late to the Honeysuckle party, we think now is the time to champion it. Let’s all agree to invoke this warm color in the hopes of bringing on the picnicking, shopping, and endorphins weather!

Love, Emily

TASTE: Introduction

Friday, March 4th, 2011

In the interest of making my way through the massive cookbook collection I’ve accumulated (and justifying purchasing more of them) we introduce our new column, Recipe Friday. This will be made up of some pics on the process, some pics of the final dish (although, I have to report that this dish was so good that we simply dove in and forgot all about taking the pictures as we were too busy eating it!) and our thoughts on making it.

We’re beginning with a simple and beautiful recipe pulled from the pages of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, one of my newer additions to the library. It’s been almost a year that I’ve gone without gluten and I have to say it’s pretty infrequent that I really, truly miss it – some nights when we’re at Franny’s and John is indulging in the clam pizza I get a little weepy about what I’ve lost but mostly I’m just happy about what I’ve gained, and that is an all around healthiness and wellness that eluded me so often before.
Even your friends who don’t have allergies will gladly partake in this spread – pork campagne, mustard, cheese, cornichons, crackers and some greens with pickled red onions, grated parmesan, Frantoia olive oil and a bit of lemon. I suggest making this on a weekend as it takes two days from start to finish and keeping it in your fridge for the week to be enjoyed at your leisure.
I hope you like it as much as we did.

Pork Campagne from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef  (Thanks, Shauna and Danny!)

2 1/2 pounds ground pork (we bought this from The Meat Hook in Brooklyn and it was perfection)

3 large egg

2 T chopped garlic

1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary and fresh thyme mixed together

1 T brandy (I used Armagnac)

1 tsp each kosher salt and cracked black pepper (I used Maldon salt)

1 T canola oil

10 to 12 strips of bacon (again, from The Meat Hook and outrageously good)

Preheat the oven to 375.
In a bowl, combine the pork, eggs, garlic, herbs, brandy, salt (I used Maldon salt here because I listened to NPR last week when the owner of The Meadow was on and he explained that kosher salt is essentially the equivalent of Cheez Wiz – who knew? But since he wrote a book on salt and owns a store that sells only salt, chocolate and flowers I decided to listen to him.) and pepper with your hands. Don’t use a food processor here, the texture will become too fine.
Form a little patty of the campagne. Bring a small saute pan to medium-high heat. Pour in some oil and fry up the patty.. Taste the campagne to see if it’s seasoned well for you: it should have a hit of rosemary, a hint of brandy, and the warm feel of pork. Add more of the ingredient you are missing and season the meat mixture with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Line a terrine pan or 9 x 11 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, using a big enough piece to have the edges spill over the sides. Place the bacon in the pan, with the edges hanging over the sides. Pat the pork mixture into the pan. Wrap the bacon pieces, tenderly, ove the top of the campagne, and fold the plastic wrap over the top. Cover with aluminum foil. (I thought it was weird to have the plastic wrap cook but contacted Shauna and asked her and she said it was fine. I have to say that mine melted a bit but was able to pull away at the end – I might do a bit more research and find out the specific kind of plastic wrap that others have used with success.)
Transfer the loaf pan to the over and cook the campagne until the edges have shrunk away from the sides and the fat has settled into the crevices, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The internal temperature should be at least 15o.
Remove pan from the oven and put a 2-pound weight of some kind (we had a brick lying around waiting for the air conditioner to be propped up on it this summer) on top of the campagne. Let it remain until the campagne has cooled to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight.
To serve, slice the campagne and serve with capers, cornichons, mustard and crackers.
Share with people you love.

2 1/2 pounds ground pork (we bought this from The Meat Hook in Brooklyn and it was perfection)

Virgo Power!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

I am full blown exploring my Virgo tendencies this year as evidenced by the above. I’ve always wanted to let my list loving self have a louder voice but my “spontaneous” side would beat her down like an annoying little sister. No longer. I mean, I’ve even hired a professional organizer; did you see this piece about my organizer, Barbara Reich, in the New York Times? I have serious things to accomplish this year and I think having this Virgo friend on my shoulder will help me out immensely.  Outer order contributes to inner peace, right? Let’s do 2011 up – more lists to come.

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