Part of making a healthy lifestyle a priority is taking the time to cook well rounded meals.
I am so pleased to have one of my favorite projects featured in the May/June 2015 issue of AtHome in Fairfield County.
Apricot makes me think of sun kissed skin and sheer femininity.
I had so much fun working with Connecticut Cottages and Gardens to compile wall paper collections for a feature in the April 2015 issue.
Design books are a great resource and something I love to collect.
Part of making a healthy lifestyle a priority is taking the time to cook well rounded meals. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not one to spend a lot of time in the kitchen; however, I do want to help my kids learn the importance of cooking at home rather than relying on pre-made, processed foods or indulgent takeout meals. I love Food and Wine Magazine because it has really inspired me to cook at home. Many of the recipes not only look delicious, but are dishes I can actually see myself preparing at home.
I’d like to feature some of the recipes that catch my eye from time to time as part of my commitment to sharing how important health and fitness are to me. Preparing dinner at home more often is a reasonable goal for anyone, no matter how busy, and is a great part of an overall healthy approach to mealtimes. Here are some recipes that recently caught my eye!
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
salt and pepper
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 head escarole (3/4 lb), with dark leaves discarded and remaining leaves torn
2 oz prosciutto, chopped
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
extra virgin olive oil
4 skinless salmon fillets, 4 oz each
salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
1. Make the ragu. In a deep skillet, add the oil, shallot, and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes start to break down, 4 minutes. Add the beans and stock and simmer until the beans are hot, 2 minutes. Add the escarole, prosciutto, and lemon zest and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until the escarole is just wilted, 4 minutes. If the bean ragu is too thick, add a little water.
2. Prepare the salmon. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush it with oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and set on the baking sheet. In a bowl, whisk both mustards with the wine, 2 teaspoons of oil, the garlic, thyme, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Broil the salmon fillets 6 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, until the top just starts to brown. Spoon the mustard on the salmon and broil for 5 minutes, until the fish is nearly cooked through and the top is browned. Spoon the bean ragu into bowls, top with the fish, and serve.
1 lb fresh Black Mission figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Toasted crostini, for serving
Goat cheese, for serving
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Lightly brush the cut sides of the figs with olive oil and grill until lightly browned and warm, 2 minutes. Transfer the figs to a bowl and top with the basil, balsamic vinegar, and the 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and let stand for 20 minutes. To serve, top crostini with goat cheese and figs.
What is your favorite source for memorable recipes?
I am so pleased to have one of my favorite projects featured in the May/June 2015 issue of AtHome in Fairfield County. I loved working on this one of a kind dining room. Having a great relationship with a client who let me run with my ideas allowed the dining room to become everything I envisioned. Pick up a copy of the magazine to read more about the project and each of the beautiful elements in the room.
Modern day bath.
Apricot makes me think of sun kissed skin and sheer femininity. It evokes happiness, liveliness, and a kind of sweet freshness. Apricot is not as intense as orange, but has a lighter approach – it holds a yellow-pink undertone, making it possible to mix it with other palettes or maintain one consistent value.
2. Great palette. Image via Elle Decoration.
3. Dolce & Gabbana Pumps
4. Stunning makeup.
8. Living room design by Jeffrey Bilhuber.
I had so much fun working with Connecticut Cottages and Gardens to compile wall paper collections for a feature in the April 2015 issue. Each collection is based on a specific palette but combines patterns and textures to show a range of possibilities. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and let me know what you think!
A favorite seafood of mine, swordfish is a mild tasting, white-fleshed fish. It is also a heart healthy choice because of its omega 3 fats. Swordfish is particularly good grilled either as a steak or kebobs. It’s also delicious broiled or sautéed.
During the times when I cannot the grill swordfish, I like to cook it in a provencale sauce made with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and herbs. When I cook this for my family, I will add clams and mussels to the dish, making it a much heartier meal.
4 8 oz swordfish steaks, 1 inch thick
1 lb mussels, cleaned (optional)
12 little neck clams, cleaned (optional)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
1 c white wine
1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
¼ tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
crushed black pepper
Sea salt to taste
½ to 1lb fresh or dry linguini (optional)
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the garlic and onions till golden, then add the black crushed pepper and red crushed pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and stir the mixture, letting the flavors absorb. Crush the tomatoes by hand and add them to the pan. Stir in the chopped basil and parsley, then season with the sea salt. Add more pepper if needed. Let the mixture simmer.
Remove the skin from swordfish, and cut away the darker areas, and place in the sauté pan, spooning sauce over fish. Cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam the cleaned clams and mussels in a separate pot. Once they are opened, add to the sauce and simmer until ready to serve. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
If you are preparing the linguini as a side dish, boil water in a separate pot, add linguini, and cook as directed. Drain the linguini and place in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Chop some basil and parsley to add to the linguini and toss until all ingredients are absorbed.
Transfer the swordfish steaks to warmed individual plates, add the clams and mussels with the sauce. If serving linguini with the meal, place the swordfish, clams, and musses over the linguini and top with fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and, of course, a salad. Enjoy this delicious meal!
Design books are a great resource and something I love to collect. I am always keeping an eye out for new releases that might be full of inspiration. While design books are an investment for me, they make great coffee table books for anyone interested in interior design. Here are a few new books I can’t wait to browse through.
Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living
Charlotte Moss, Garden Inspirations
Anouska Hempel, Ansouska Hempel
Nicki Haslam, A Designer’s Life
Netherlands based artist Peter Gentenaar works with paper to create huge, undulating sculptures. These enormous, but delicate, sculptures grew from Peter’s initial work as a printmaker. When working on engravings, he often found that commercial paper wasn’t thick enough for his engravings. He then began to experiment with making his own paper and learned that by using a specific method of beating the pulp, creating sheets with thin ribs of bamboo, and then allowing the pulp to dry, the shrinking of the pulp pulls the bamboo ribs in such a way as to create these rolling, unique sculptures. In developing his artistic process, Peter even built his own equipment to achieve the results he wanted.
I love the free from element to Peter’s work. The pieces remind me of sea creatures; very graceful and eloquent. They have magnificent scale, but are delicate and feminine in a way that is really pretty. The way color is integrated into the sculptures is just striking.
Many of Peter’s sculptures are suspended from the ceiling; others are free standing or hung on a wall. His work can be see all over Europe as well as in Abu Dhabi. You can see more examples of his work on his website.
Go vertical. Image from a vignette I created for Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.