Friday, September 24, 2010

再见 and Au Revoir!

Look what came just in time for me to whisk off to Shanghai and Paris! I ordered these sold-out Jeffrey Campbell Lita shoes over a month ago and they showed up at my door yesterday--nice surprise. I'm spending the whole day packing for my two-week trip and cleaning my apartment. I'm feeling a little nervous about being gone for so long, especially since I know I'll miss Suz Monster (my pup) so much. The longest time I've ever spent away from her has been eight days, so this exponentially longer amount of time is giving me the jitters.

Anyway, I'll be sure to update while I'm gone--expect lots of pictures from both cities. See you next week. xoxo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

There's something immensely satisfying about baking your own bread. I've always wanted to try it and yesterday morning, feeling inspired (and craving old-fashioned toast and strawberry jam for breakfast), I decided to give it a go.

I used an incredibly easy recipe from Alice Waters' book "In the Green Kitchen" for Irish soda bread and voila! I had a fresh, steaming loaf cooling on my kitchen counter in under an hour. Seriously. It was that easy. Since it was my first time, I kept a wary eye on the oven the entire time it was baking and took it out about five minutes too early thinking the crust was getting a bit too brown for my liking; it turned out fine, but just a little too doughy. I would recommend relaxing with a good book while it's in the oven and letting it be for the entire baking time.

Looks good, doesn't it? Weekend project! Let me know how it turns out. xo

Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from "In the Green Kitchen," by Alice Waters

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Measure the flour, salt, and baking soda and put them through a sieve into a large bowl. Run your fingers through the flour to lift and aerate it. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. To mix the buttermilk into the flour, use the fingers of one hand, stiff and outstretched, and stir in a big circle, working from the center out. The dough should be soft, but not sticky; add a bit more buttermilk if needed. In a few turns, you will have a moist shaggy dough.

Rinse your hands, and turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently roll and pat it into a tidy round shape about 2 inches high. Don't knead the dough; it will make it tough. Put the ball of dough onto a baking sheet. Cut a deep cross in the loaf from side to side and poke a hole in each quarter. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 400 F, and continue baking for another 25 to 30 minutes, until crusty and browned. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Can See All Your Moves Are New

It's the official first day of fall today. Do you ever get a feeling that something great is about to happen; that you're just waiting, on the brink of some key moment, a turning point that you will look back on years from now and remember as a point of consequence, a brief flash of time that happened to carry some unforeseen weight. Sounds weird, I know, but every once in a while I get some kind of intuitive feeling of expectation and it's never been wrong. I have it now.

The boy expressed a bit of sadness that summer was over via text last night and my instant response was, "Fall is going to be great, I can tell." And it's true. In more ways than one. September is a fresh start for all of us--it's time to take the reins on all of the things we want, all the secret little thoughts and hopes, and start making them happen. There's nothing that's out of reach and that's an irrevocable fact--as long as you don't talk yourself out of believing it, of course. :)

I love the weather in New York right now--it's just chilly enough to start putting on the layers and adding things like socks and gloves and hats to my ensembles, but not so cold that I'm reluctant to go outside at all. I'm wearing: Alexander Wang shorts (skort?), Charlotte Ronson tee, Joie jacket, Topshop hat, Madewell socks, Jessica Simpson shoes. Happy fall. xo

All photos by my amazing friend and photographer, Mark Iantosca.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ravioletti with Sausage and Browned Sage Butter

I recently picked up the gorgeous little Frankies Spuntino cookbook but hadn't had a chance to actually try any of the recipes until yesterday. This dish seemed like exactly what I was looking for: comfort in a bowl. With exactly four days to get all my ducks in a row before leaving the country for two weeks, I was feeling a bit frantic and I needed something substantial, something soothing to calm my frayed nerves. And what better than this bordering-on-ridiculously-decadent pasta: Cavatelli with Sausage and Browned Sage Butter (except I couldn't find cavatelli at Whole Foods, so I substituted with cheese ravioletti).

In the book, the authors say that this pasta is a "10-1 favorite for what a guy will order on a first date" at their much-loved restaurant. Those are some odds. Interesting. I suppose it does have typical masculine characteristics; it's got muscle and brawn and some great meat. In other words, not only is this bowl of browned buttery goodness excellent for an early fall day when you need some food for the soul, it's also a good one to whip up for your man late at night when it's just the two of you, talking the day down over a simple homemade meal and some wine.

Try it and let me know what you think. (Disclaimer: the browning of the butter and frying of the sage leaves in this recipe causes A LOT of smoke. Turn on your vent fans or be prepared to meet the wrath of your fire alarm the way I did--oops.) xo

Ravioletti with Sausage and Browned Sage Butter
Adapted from Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual

2 links hot Italian pork sausage
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground white pepper
Cheese ravioletti
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Put a large pot of water on to boil and salt it well. Meanwhile, put the sausages into a wide saute pan with 1/2 inch of water and turn the heat to medium. After 10 minutes, flip the sausages over and simmer them for another 5 minutes (replenish the water if it threatens to boil off). After 15 minutes, the sausages should be firm and cooked through. Remove the sausages to a cutting board (discard the water) and slice them into coins just shy of 1/2 inch.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. After a minute, add the sausage coins in an even layer and let them cook, untouched, unstirred, unfussed with, until they're deeply browned on the first side. Flip and brown them on the other side. The browning is integral to the ultimate depth of flavor of the finished dish--don't stint on it. When the sausage is browned, remove it from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels and return the pan to the burner.

Keep the heat at medium-high and add the sage, the remaining butter, and a few twists of white pepper. Stir the butter and scrape at the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. After a minute or two, it should stop foaming and start to take on color. That's when you should drop the ravioletti into the boiling water. Continue to cook the butter until it's deeply browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes more, which should be just about how long it takes the ravioletti to cook.

Do not drain the ravioletti too thoroughly. The water clinging to the pasta will give the sauce body. Add it to the butter sauce along with the sausage and stir. Add the cheese, stir again, and portion the ravioletti among serving bowls. Scatter each with a few pinches of parsley. Serve immediately.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Say You've Been With Me This Whole Time

And we're back to our regular scheduled programming. New York Fashion Week was a doozy and I've spent the past 72 hours in a semicomatose state drifting in and out of sleep, sorting through a mountain of gift bags and making half-hearted attempts to hang up the clothes that somehow ended up scattered across the floor of my apartment. I call it "Hurricane FW." Happens every time.

This week, I'm trying to wrap up any loose ends before I take off to Shanghai on Saturday--I'll be going as part of Charlotte Ronson's team as she opens up her very first store in China. Very exciting. Then, I'll be flying directly from Shanghai to Paris for yet another fashion week, after which I'll surely be spending another ridiculously extended period of time doing nothing but sleeping.

Fall is exhausting! And so, I thought the dress above was an appropriate one to post for today. It's by Kimberly Ovitz and it's one of my favorite ones to wear out at night, namely because it feels like I'm wearing a chic nightgown out. It's basically a super-soft, long, slouchy white t-shirt with a chunk of hemline cut out of it. Of course, I love. There's something really current about a dramatically asymmetrical hemline right now. I saw it on chic girls all over fashion week and nobody does it better than Kimberly Ovitz. Making myself a mental note to buy this little baby soon.

All pictures by Mark Iantosca. xoxo

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

And that's a wrap! New York Fashion Week is officially over. I closed out the week by going to see the collection of one of my favorite designers, Oscar de la Renta. Mr. de la Renta shows all of his collections in the Park Avenue Armory, which is a grand, all-white, airy space that provides a perfect setting for his exquisite clothes. I loved his ladylike spring collection, especially his always-showstopping slew of incredible gowns at the end. Karlie Kloss opened the show and also closed it by floating slowly down the runway in a dramatic, but uber-feminine and playful green and pink floral gown with a voluminous pink bolero over it. Beautiful. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Temperley London Spring 2011

I stopped by Milk Studios yesterday to check out Alice Temperley's latest collection for spring. While I always find at least a handful of looks I absolutely love in her collections, I found myself lusting after this particular offering even more than usual. Mixed in with some covetable daytime pieces (white lace long-sleeved blouse, military green drop-waist dress) were a slew of jaw-dropping romantic red-carpet looks that would do any young starlet justice.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pamela Love Spring 2011

Photos by Harry Beee.

Pamela Love is one of my current favorite jewelry designers--her pieces always have this tough, earthy, super substantial quality to them that I love. Her spring showing was predictably awesome with heavy, updated spikes, leather accents, grommets, and half-moon shapes that made me think of the sky. Want one of everything, por favor. All of these gorgeous photos taken by my friend and man-about-town Harry Beee

Charlotte Ronson Spring 2011 Backstage

Just a few shots I took backstage at Charlotte Ronson's Spring 2011 show. This season's showing was my most favorite yet from her--she opened with Lisa Loeb's "Stay," and that just about says it all--lots of chic 90s grunge inspiration in the form of delicate flowy floral dresses layered with knit hats, socks and plaid. So good.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jenni Kayne Spring 2011

Just got back to my desk from Jenni Kayne's super pretty, super cool spring showing. Her inspiration this season was the girl on a road trip "from the big city to the expansive Southwest, from a bustling urban street to an endless dusty road....Desination: Joshua Tree." Love. Especially since Joshua Tree sounds exactly like the kind of place I'd like to escape to once this insane week is over.

I love the whites and tawny browns, dusty roses and magentas. The whole collection looked like a desert sunset. So perfect. xo

Bon Appetit Cafe at Lincoln Center

The genius folks at one of my favorite food magazines, Bon Appetit, have developed a pop-up cafe at Lincoln Center serving tired, hungry and sleep-deprived fashion-weekers delicious food made by some of the best celeb chefs out there, including Michael White, Laurent Tourondel, Emeril Lagasse, Cat Cora, Christina Tosi, and more. I popped by for lunch this afternoon to sample the goodness and, as expected, it was fantastic (especially the blueberry and cream cookies by Momofuku's Tosi). What an incredible concept. Go by if you have a chance! xo