Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Can't make This Up

In his blog, Annals of Americus, Mathew Newton writes
"Essays, reportage, and commentary on life in post-millennial America".
He describes his blog as "topics include, but are not limited to,
 intimate ramblings, visual studies, shocking nonsense, social/cultural/political analysis."

In one of his recent posts called Graveyard Consumerism,
he offers some very astute insights and observations 
of the American pastime called the flea market.

The sights, sounds, and smells at a flea market are as much a part of the experience as sifting through the discarded possessions of strangers. Part of the appeal is the bizarre voyeurism it involves, gawking at things people once believed they needed but have since found no use for. And as any flea market veteran will attest, the experience is purest when the people you are buying from have just emptied their attic or garage, packed it into a car, and driven to a parking lot somewhere to sell it all. It’s a cleansing ritual — a hit-and-run way to quickly purge things that have outlived their usefulness.
For more photos and... wisdom.

Quote of the Day

Ah, how good it feels, the hand
of an old friend.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Afternoon Delights

Matzo Toffee 

This is too easy and too good... not to make some and share.

  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled matzos
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl, toss matzo pieces with almonds.
  2. In a saucepan, bring butter, sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil over medium, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle matzo mixture with syrup, and toss.
  3. Using a heatproof spatula, spread mixture onto prepared sheet. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let chocolate melt 5 minutes; spread chocolate over matzo toffee. Refrigerate until chocolate has set. Break into pieces, and serve. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 5 days.) 
 So is this...
Chocolate, Nut and Fruit Covered Matzo
via Martha Stewart

Spring Traditions

I have a revered fascination for the Jewish religion.
This is always, especially renewed come Spring and the 
holiday of Passover. So rich with stories, flavors
and traditions, the food and culture deserve to be shared.
From Michael Berg:

"Leavened bread represents our ego, our need to be known, to rise, to overtake others, all the negative aspects of ego and selfishness. This time of year, then, is an important time of reflection -- what is my “leavened bread;” what is it about myself that I want to refrain from, that I want to remove from my life? Through this reflection we become better, stronger, and more connected to the supernal Light, receiving the blessings and fulfillment for which we are destined." 
Michael Berg is a Kabbalah scholar and author. He is co-Director of The Kabbalah Centre, You can follow Michael on twitter, His latest book is What God Meant.

‘Uncle Morty’s Gourmet Matzos Brie’

First crumble but don’t emulsify a box of unsalted matzos (Streit’s Matzos—in business since 1925). Marinate the matzo until soft in whole milk. Draw the milk—it can be reused but not in breakfast cereal because the kids hate that. In a separate bowl, scramble 5 eggs. Meanwhile, sauté a yellow onion, finely chopped, in a little oil or butter if you aren’t of a mind to have your matzos brie with jelly. Add the cooked onions to the eggs. Add the eggs and onions to the soft matzos. Toss these ingredients about and pour into a frying pan with a generous amount of butter. Turn often until golden brown. You want the matzo to still be moist when served so don’t over fry! Add salt (or better yet, truffle salt if you’re feeling decadent) and pepper. Serve it up hot.

From Joan Nathan:

The first time I met a real McCoy matzo brei maven, I was in the Bronx at my Polish mother in law’s. She took a matzo square and carefully set it into cold water. Then she dabbed it dry, scrambled some eggs over and under it, heated up some margarine or chicken fat in a frying pan, and carefully placed the matzo on top of the sizzling fat. Gently cooking it until golden on both sides, she served it to us. For my husband Allan, this is matzo brei.
Yiddish for “fried matzo”, this is one of those holiday recipes that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion- just gastronomy. An eagerly anticipated Passover treat, it is also served year round for breakfast or brunch in the United States. In Europe, it’s a common Passover dinner.
Despite the simplicity of the dish, matzo brei has as many variations as there were shtetls in Eastern Europe. Though one thing is certain- it cannot be made with milk (unless, of course, you’re Steven Spielberg). With milk, it is like pastrami on white bread or chicken livers with mayonnaise. How could Eastern European Jews, with only goose fat available for frying, include milk in matzo brei?
Perhaps the American fascination with matzo brei began in the Jewish hotels in the Catskills, or it may just be the ease of preparation at home. After all, it consists of soaking matzo in water, squeezing gently, and then frying in grease with an egg. The dish can be molded to a savory or sweet palate, depending on how it is served, and it can also be made soft or crispy. For savory breis, mushrooms, Swiss chard, spinach or whatever is available in your supermarket or farmers’ market will do. Sweet toppings include honey, cinnamon-sugar, and even — by some iconoclasts — catsup!
One Passover I held a matzo cook-off when the late Sheila Lukins was visiting. I honestly can’t remember who won, but her secret ingredient, caramelized onion, proved that the wonderful variations of matzo brei are truly endless, and every household claims that its version is the best. The following is my most basic version of this Passover classic, one that I am told the famous Emanuel brothers – Rahm, Zeke, and Ari make. Be creative and put your own imprint on this age-old recipe.

Matzo Brei, adapted from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook

    Serves 2-3
  • 3 matzo squares
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chicken fat, oil, or butter for frying
  • cinnamon-sugar, honey, maple syrup, or catsup
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and pour into a bowl. Break the matzos and soak in the water for about 5 minutes. Drain and gently squeeze dry. Return the matzos to the empty bowl.
Stir the eggs and salt and pepper with the matzos.
Heat the chicken fat, oil or butter in a frying pan. Then, take tablespoonfuls of batter at a time, gently frying, patting the center down a bit. You can make several small pancakes or one large pancake. When golden brown on one side, turn gently with two spatulas and fry on the other. Serve as is or topped with cinnamon-sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even catsup! These and more at GOOP.

Quote of the Day

Safe in the hallowed quiets of the past.
J. R. Lowell

Monday, March 29, 2010

It Seems Like Yesterday

I love looking at photos that archive products from 
days gone by, it's fascinating to look into the past this way
as well see how far graphics. product designs have changed.
These were all brought to you by The American Package Museum,
an online museum if you will, whose purpose "is to preserve
and display specimens of American package design form the 
early decades of the 20th century. 
The curator, Ian House, is dedicated to creating a community for 
those who share the desire for such an endeavor.

Quote of the Day

The Flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing birds is come.
Song of solomon

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Leisure Saturday Nibble (fest)

 So It's a gorgeous, Spring
kind of Saturday and
being outside is a must-
so is food and drink... the first thing 
I think of is 18th street in the Mission.
Main stop...Pizzeria Delphina, yes, the wait can be, well a wait
but it's always worth it. Thin crust Neopolitan pizza using fresh,
local, seasonal ingredients, most wines by the glass but 
(why think small). Wait for one of the tables outside and it'll feel
like you're on vacation.
Take a walk up and around Valencia Street to say, 24th Street
and you will be treated to many new shops with interesting,
edgy and artsy perspectives.
Dessert is always a must on Saturday so gear up and wait in line 
at the expanded Bi-Rite Creamery...
Whether in the mood for ice cream such as
honey lavender, salted caramel or roasted banana,(pictured)
or a (ridiculously) delicious baked good, you'll be in good hands.
Then finish the day, picking up something to share with friends 
over dinner at the Bi-Rite Market 
 boasting a huge array of organic,
sustainable, and locally-produced items, a better ending 
could not had. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Little League Season Has Arrived

 Personally, I'm a NCAA Basketball fan myself
but I'm a sucker for small town parades and little league.
These are some of the photos taken  by Lecia Phenney and I just
have to share, this is just a taste of her talent.

Friday Lunch Date

Hey, what's not to like about eating lunch outside and
saving money (for the weekend) ? Enter the Taco Zone:
Sunshine + tacos = Friday
Check out Los Compadres taco truck Spear St @ Folsom St
This is what Kimberly had to say on Yelp...
Yummy yum yum...I'm so glad to have a taco truck like this only a couple of blocks away from my office!

It can get really busy during the height of the lunch hour, but I usually try to go on the early side when the wait isn't so bad. The carne asada super taco (my usual) comes with a generous helping of meat and it's loaded down with rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, cheese, onion, guac and sour cream. This thing is huge...and heavy! It's on a soft taco and they provide you with a fork, but I end up picking up the taco part with my hands once I've eaten some of the fixings off the top. (I eat this at my desk so nobody has to witness me tackling this monster!) Combine the taco with a bag of their thick, crispy chips and a side of salsa (which is included with the order) and you have some goooood tasty eatin'...all for $7.50! I always order mine spicy (vs. mild) because I love spicy food, but you should know that it really IS spicy.

On a similar but diferent note consider the tacoshed project .

Quote of the Day

Happiness is above all things the calm, glad
certainty of innocence. 
Henrik Ibsen

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hello Thursday

Brilliance and Creativity is Anywhere You Want it to Be
As anyone in the fashion industry will attest, it's no runway show, no designer presentation, no Fashion Week fete unless Lynn Yaeger is there. A longtime fixture in the style scene, Yaeger was a columnist for the Village Voice for over 30 years who also contributes regularly to Vogue, the New York Times' T magazine and other prominent publications. But what intrigues us most about Yaeger is her penchant for collecting. She skips fashion shows for antique markets (shhh—don't tell!) and her morning ritual involves trolling eBay armed with her shortlist of favorite search terms. Yaeger was kind enough to give us a rare glimpse inside her apartment—a well-appointed showpiece for her collections—and will be joining The Inside Source as a guest columnist. This, the first in a series of four columns, is her personal collecting story. The following articles will feature Yaeger's conversations with other style makers—from designers to boutique owners to antique dealers—on the collectibles that keep them awake at night.
Here is what I do every single morning, in between teeth-brushing and waiting for the coffee to boil: I turn on my laptop and type “baby locket” into eBay. This is followed by “baby brooch” and then either “sweater 1930-46 (Depression, WWII)” or “antique enamel charm bracelet” or “Becassine doll." I do this because I am an avid, some would argue rabid collector, with a shifting catalog of enthusiasms that at the moment includes vintage cardigans and 1920s bracelets; rag dolls meant to resemble French cartoon characters (the aforementioned Becassine dolls} and Victorian children’s jewelry—the rarer, the more elusive, the less findable, the better.
For the complete story and more...visit The Inside Source...
for now, a few photos to share...

Quote of the Day

This is another day! And flushed hope walks
Adown the sunward slopes with golden shoon.
Don Marquis

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vintage Travel Day

Just saw on A Continuous Lean this fabulous new book from
TASCHEN  called Los Angeles, Portrait of a City.
A "photographic tribute to the City of Angels" - it is that and more.
This will be one of the best investments I make this year.
On a similar note...
 Ryan at Neat Stuff also shares some fantastic vintage glimpses
into the palm studded urban metropolis.
So, the last few days has found me obsessed about 
the beauty, the grit, the glamour, the creativity
that is and always was Los Angeles. 

Here is a taste...

I Live in Northern California and I love it here
but I grew up in LA and not until recently would I ever entertain
the idea of going back for more than just 
a short vacation.
  Right now though, there is so much happening (again) in LA -
the foodie circuit is off the charts, urban sophistication is permeating everything
and the world of art and culture is cutting edge.  
Whether through photos, daydreaming or roadtrip,
I can't wait to go back.

A Morning Ritual

Strawberries  and Espresso        
 So beautiful and simple... fresh strawberries, mascarpone cheese
on grilled bruschetta, made all th more decadent with a little
 cinnamon and sugar. We all deserve this from Sophistimom.
 Everybody  (well, most of us) have a favorite 
morning beverage, mine? Espresso. 
Ritual Coffee in San Francisco, with their uncompromising selection of 
green coffee, to their unflagging attention to roasting; 
from their rigid freshness standards, to their navy seals' style barista training.
You will always find yourself thinking...
"I don't know why, but this just tastes better". 
Ritual Coffee Roasters 1026 Valencia Street

Quote of the Day

There comes the morning with the golden basket
in her right hand bearing the wreath of beauty,
silently to crown the earth.
Rabindranath  Tagore

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I saw this house on SF Luxe, when I was perusing for 
party pics. Too nice not to share.

I think, no matter the weather, a great view is a nice luxury.
For more photos and interior shots go to SF Luxe.
Similar but different, two houses by architects
whose influence is apparent in Tom Ford's beautifully styled life
and movie, A Single Man.
Richard Neutra, John Lautner
Modern lines, good bones and lots of light...
what's not to love?

Quote of the Day

(by Volker via pixdaus)
In ourselves,
In our honest hearts and chainless hands,
Will be our safeguard. 
Thomas Noon Talfourd

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Different Pile of Sticks

So many of the projects at Godspeed got me thinking of 
French Fries, I thought the only right thing to do,
would be to share a fantastic recipe from Zesty Cook.

     Form +Easy = Delicious

Let's Build Something Today

Art + Form + Function= Godspeed
Godspeed started on Christmas Eve 2008 in Tel Aviv, Israel, when an artist and a designer,  Joy van Erven (Holland) and Finn Ahlgren (Sweden), met.
Rapidly Godspeed developed itself as a statement on contemporary design. An unorthodox mentality and choice of unconventional materials opposed to the high style and form based world of design resulted in a conceptual designing company with a down to earth approach.
Godspeed makes furniture in a one-hour time frame.
Eliminating the sketching phase and producing every piece by themselves, Godspeed became a very unconventional designer’s brand.
Godspeed emphasizes on the human aspect and usage of its products and offers a different perspective on daily life.
The usage of raw, scrap materials and the recognition and awareness of decay, on both materials and products, upgrade the value to the purchasers’ lifestyle.
Humor, straight forwardness and witty comments and solutions are significant to Godspeed’s unique style.
 For some more great (DIY?) ideas
 and inspiration checkout Godspeed's work.

Quote of the Day

Spring, the sweet Spring, is the
pleasant year's king.
Thomas Nashe

Friday, March 19, 2010

Grow... Eat... Re-Connect

It really doesn't get better than this.
Outstanding In The Field has just published their shedule for 2010.
Hands down, the best $200 you will spend 
for the most unique dinner you'll ever have.
More than a dinner, an experience.
Their mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.
Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 they have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.
Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, everyone settles in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.