Monday, October 27, 2008

the dance of leaves

After drying, my leaves leave a sweet smell in the backyard shed. I gently pull them from the stems, and fill my square glass jar with them.This time a French classic pairing of lemon verbena and peppermint.I try to keep them whole, so that when I drop them in my tea glass, they brighten  and dance with each other.It is the beauty of nature, from start to finnish.and then they give their aroma to the water, a clear sunny broth that will soothe.

eye candy

I added the site to my list of art and design blogs, because i don't want you to miss out.Usually covering women's fashion, with pretty shots of adorable stylish young woman and if you read French, a very funny commentary, I find myself smiling with each shot.Today, though I had a big grin: Men ! That was quite a surprise... check out the hair, I guess skinny jeans, skinny, skinny are a check out Garance,and smile with me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


cru means raw in French. There are very few  foods that you eat raw in the old country.The salads, after all, plays the part of palate cleanser after the main protein dish and before the cheese platter.The radishes are slathered with butter, the vegetables are very cooked to the point of utter tenderness,the crunch is out in favor of taste and richness on the tongue.
Raw food, which is appealing  sometimes, usually makes my stomach heavy , when it should have the opposite effect: light and free,  making you ready to work even harder. The deserts are decadent though, with tons of creamy vegetable fat and pureed nuts.They satisfy all senses. The other dishes can be tasty, but I would miss my morning toasts,my hot winter soups, my melted cheeses.
In the meantime, I worked on styling some raw dishes and  these are some examples.pretty, no ?
you can always click on the image to make it bigger...

Friday, October 24, 2008

good bye tomato, Hello potato !

Have you ever tasted the best comfort food ever? which utilises only two ingredients: potato and simple, so divine.
potatoes sliced thin, placed in a 8"cake pan, each layer brushed with melted butter(.o.k, a little salt and a turn of pepper for the top).put in the oven at 425 with a parchement and weight on top for 25 minutes, remove weight and parchement, and cook for an additional 30 minutes to caramelize...... sprinkle whatever you want ( herbs, grated cheese,nutmeg, but be warned: you don't even need it).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the last tomatoes

I am feeling so sad to leave tomatoes behind. I think this week is my last technicolor love affair with heirlooms.I thought to leave you with a last glimpse of summer past.
photos by Lara Hata. Concept,art direction and props by me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What will we do when all the tuna is gone!

Saturday  is tuna day. I love the white tuna from Spain.childhood memories oblige. So I make a salad with cherry tomatoes, tuna, lemon and mayonaise, and I put bread, onions, peppers on the grill.Then, rub a garlic clove on the crusty edges, slap  the salad on, and put the onions in a fancy crown.

Friday, October 17, 2008

land of contrast

last call for vacation memories.Old and new, indigenous and upscale, warm and cold, loud and soft, quiet and vibrant. It was all there in San Miguel. The rooster across the street on the rooftop, kept us company, and the days were parceled in leisure segments between meals.We went to an old factory transformed into a center of art and design.very beautiful buildings, some great art, and artisanal furniture that I could have had shipped if I had had enough pesos. Here are a few examples that caught my eyes :

Then, as I said, we had the difficult decision to make about where we would eat next.The choices were numerous, and we did not have a bad meal.We ate in  traditional mexican  cafes( great rajas tacos,enormous margaritas..) to  more hip , fusion kind of a places. It was all there, around every corner. The guacamole was originally presented at a little  terrace  on the plaza.
the blue wall was a waterfall, cooling the outdoor patio where we ate another day...

Then, my eyes are still closing on the ochres of the walls, the colors so rich like a wool blanket on a crispy cold night, colors of the South, of what I imagine Africa to look like.

the rainy season of summer had just ended, and the countryside was covered in wildflowers. We enjoyed a peaceful walk in the Botanical gardens, blessed by the Dalai  Lama as a  special place of peace

Monday, October 13, 2008

mood colors

The saturated hues in warm tones brought out the happy disposition. How can you not melt in front of mango,tomato,raspberry and peppers walls ? The eyes become alive and the heart sings a little dance. I love the beautiful children everywhere ( another heart balm), like this one learning to walk on the cobblestones of our hilly street, a still life in dark red.
I tried to capture the bleeding walls in a small watercolor.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the house on the hill-casa de la cuesta

We just got back from San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and my head is full of colors, tastes and emotions.The town is at about 6000 ft( or 1,800m ) and some of the nice streets are built on hillsides, like our bed and breakfast. We had a great view of the city from our many balconies,and the whole place was like a museum dedicated to the soul and beauty of the country. I will just share today a few images from la casa de la Cuesta.