Saturday, August 16, 2014

curating one's kitchen

Saturday mornings are the best for many reasons,  one of my favorites being the Off Duty section of the Wall Street Journal,  as well as shopping online for my kitchen.  This morning, One King's Lane is featuring a lovely sale curated by chef Jody Williams of one of my favorite bistros in New York, Buvette.

A few of my favorites from this morning's sale:

S/6 Laguiole Steak Knives, Wood

Hammered Ice Bucket, Silver

Lidded Copper Fish Pot

English Wicker Picnic Baske

Copper Colander

Antique Wood Pantry Box w/ Lid

European Pine Farmhouse Table

French Martell Cognac Ashtray

European Cutting Board

Friday, August 8, 2014

chimichurri is always a good idea

Last night mr. butter and I hosted a party for one of the most courageous women I know.  One year ago yesterday, my friend Laurie was in a terrible accident (does being run over by a car count as terrible - i think yes) and on July 28th she completed IronMan Canada in under 15 hours!  One of our friends brought a Wonder Woman wine glass for her and it's an absolutely fitting title.

I didn't take a single photograph last night... which is very typical when I'm hosting.   While I can't take credit for any of the food (I hired a caterer), I knew we were grilling flank steak, so I made a chimichurri sauce to serve drizzled with the meat.  I don't like to brag, but this sauce is killer.   I had several requests for the recipe - so here it is.   You have to make it the night before,  and it gets better every day after that.

Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce used primarily for meat. The key ingredients are parsley, garlic, oil and vinegar.  Some chimichurri's are green.  I like the sweet acid that tomatoes and red peppers add to the flavor combination. I also like a little heat - which is what the paprika provides.

Chimichurri Sauce


1 medium onion; finely chopped
4 cloves garlic; finely minced
1/2 of a red bell pepper; seeded and finely diced
2 peeled tomatoes -  I prefer San Marzanos
1 small bunch flat leaf-parsley; chopped (should equal about 1/2 cup)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon hot hungarian paprika
1 Teaspoon bay leaf crushed into very small flakes
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1 Teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water1/2 Cup Olive Oil


Combine all of the fresh ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly and allow to sit for 30 minutes.  This will allow the salt to sweat the veggies = tasty!

Add the vinegar and water, stir to combine and allow to sit for another 20 minutes or so.

Finally add the olive oil.  Make sure everything is mixed together,  cover and put it in the fridge overnight.

Serve at room temperature.  It's good on steak, eggs, chicken, swordfish, salmon, a sandwich, you name it.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bacon Vinaigrette, adapted from Food and Wine Magazine

dining al fresco is even better with BACON!!!
I came across this recipe yesterday, while flipping through Food and Wine Magazine during my pedicure (of all places to find a new recipe).   I LOVE bacon, and this vinaigrette perfectly marries the delicate smokey pork with the sharp sweetness of vinegar, and bright fresh basil.  I served this for dinner last night along side grilled lamb sirloin.  I substituted asparagus for the wax beans, and then tossed it together with a few handfuls of arugula.  Mr. Butter found the whole thing to be a little rich, but I had seconds... go figure.  If you wanted to add cheese to this, I would recommend a soft goat cheese.  One could also toss this with fresh pasta and offer it as an entree.  Either way,  this recipe will certainly be a delicious addition to your Memorial Day menu.
the original recipe in Food and Wine

Bacon Vinaigrette w/ Tomatoes and Basil:


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 strips bacon cut into lardons
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced ( i use a garlic press)
1/2 cup chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste


Make sure to have all of your ingredients prepped and portioned before you begin cooking the bacon.  Everything should be combined while the bacon is still very warm.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat, stirring until golden - about 7-8 minutes

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the vinegar, tomatoes, shallot, garlic, and basil.

If you're not using it right away,  let it cool, and store - in an airtight container -in the refrigerator.  Re-heat in a skillet before using it.

That's it - so simple, and absolutely delicious.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

paleo brownies, for breakfast.

this morning's breakfast
brought to you by,  last night's dessert
Last night I had a hankering for brownies. You know the "gotta have 'em",, gooey, super-chocolatey brownies.  Since I don't have a "go-to" recipe for brownies, I'm always willing to try something new in this department.  This time I followed a recipe from a recently discovered Paleo blog, Paleo Newbie.  I am not strictly "paleo" by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm always happy to forgo processed ingredients, and this recipe does just that.  These Mudflat Brownies are so easy to make, and they are absolutely delicious.  I'm sorry I don't have more pictures, but hadn't planned on blogging about these,  until I tasted how good they were! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ice cream, you scream for Jeni's Splendid...

picked up this gem at Cherry Bombe Jubilee   just in time for ICE CREAM SEASON! 
but it's not my first rodeo
all gone
we're super fans of Jen's Splendid Ice Cream

Friday, March 28, 2014

Juuuubilee hee hee. Cherry Bombe is da bomb.

Cherry Bombe - Issue 2
 Two issues down, and the ladies at Cherry Bombe Magazine seem to be just getting started.  I've been raving about this publication to anyone who will listen.  In their own words,
"Cherry Bombe is a beautifully designed biannual magazine that celebrates women and food.  Those who grow it, make it, serve it, style it and everything in between.  It is about sustenance ad style and things that nourish the mind, the eye and, of course, the stomach."
There - I couldn't have said it any better.  The brainchild of Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, who met working at Harper's Bazaar, Cherry Bombe was initially funded through a Kickstarter campaign. Please take a few minutes to visit their campaign page (which is now static). Kerry and Claudia's passion for this project is so apparent, and their dedication continues to fill the pages with delicious content.

Such as this recipe for Hermès Madeines - hip hip hooray!  I included it in a post a while back, but in case you missed it...
image from Cherry Bombe Magazine - Issue 2
But wait, there's more! On Sunday I'm lucky enough to be attending the inaugural Cherry Bombe Jubilee!!!!!  An all day conference/ celebration focused on women in food. I'm going to be taking heaps of notes, and absorbing as much inspiration as possible.  I'm looking forward to being in the same room as these incredible women - chefs, writers, and eaters, all with some serious heft in the culinary world.

DETAILS HERE!   I wish I could invite you all to join me, but it's sold out - sorry. :(  NEXT TIME!

Friday, March 21, 2014


Bakers Heirloom Seeds
"Mistress Mary, Quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells,
And so my garden grows
-old English nursery rhyme

I've started my seeds, most of them anyways.  Tomatoes, fennel, coriander, dill, cucumbers, black-eyed susans, dahlias.....just to list a few... 

grow babies grow!

Monday, March 17, 2014

"il faut cultiver notre jardin"

"You have to cultivate your garden" -  Voltaire

I had such a wonderful time at my first gardening class this past Saturday.  What a wonderful group of people, all with different stories and from different "gardening backgrounds".  Our hosts,  Craig and Sarah Cyr of the Wine Cellar and Bistro were absolutely gracious.  We also have a wonderful teacher, woman named Liberty, from the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA). After spending a few hours tilling, and hoe'ing, and weeding, we shared a gorgeous lunch, prepared by Craig.  The weather was absolutely perfect, and it was such a beautiful day to be outside, get our hands dirty, and meet new friends.  I'm already looking forward to next month's class.  In the meantime,  I promise to have a new recipe for you this week. It's been a while!

lots of work to do
the hoop house, full of chicory weed
hoe down
seeds, in a lovely little wine box #opus
seeds, seeds, seeds

gathering baskets
gathering for lunch
Grüner Veltliner 
irish cheeses
lunch is served
Sarah presents the wine

Sunday, March 16, 2014

sunday brunch. short and oh so sweet.

yesterday I worked outside in a t-shirt ( I'm going to tell you all about my gardening class tomorrow!)....and this morning it's snowing out.
so I made an omelette, and then we had some ice-cream.....really, really, really GOOD ice cream.
toast rack

omelette prep: mushrooms, fontina cheese, thyme....#keyingredients

so hard to make eggs look pretty....but they taste so good!
Jeni's Splendid IceCream is just that. SPLENDID

I could go on, and on, and on about this ice cream, but I'd rather you just scoot on over here, and let Jeni and her team tell you the who, what, why, and how.  And there's also Jeni's Blog , which is killer. I will say, that these little pints are pure joy.  The flavors are so bright and fresh, combined with the creamiest, grass-fed goodness you can imagine.  I try to keep a few containers hidden in my freezer, since ice-cream is the perfect dessert for any occasion. I especially love to serve a bowl at the end of a fancy dinner.  It's a nice way to relax, and who doesn't love ice-cream? It's true that I really do have to hide them though, because Mr. Butter loves ice-cream more than me.

Friday, March 14, 2014

grow garden grow!

I am so looking forward to my first (in a series of 13) gardening class tomorrow. The classes, which are the result of a partnership between a favorite local restaurant, The Wine Cellar & Bistro and the  CCUA (Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture), will be held on an organic farm, just outside of town. They will take us through the entire growing season, beginning tomorrow, March 15th with Indoor Planting, and ending in early October.  I'll be posting updates from each class, as well as plenty of pictures and recipes from my latest gardening exploits.