Monday, December 31, 2012


I can't believe 2012 is coming to a close and we're at the cusp of a brand new year! Be safe, have a blast, and kiss the ones you love. Adieu! See you next year!
Leonard Freed, Grand Central Station, New Year's Eve, 1969

Monday, December 24, 2012


I've been on a baking marathon... one, sometimes two pies a day. Here's a new recipe, a combination of my two favorite pies - Buttermilk and Honey Pies. Delicious. Happy Christmas everyone!

Buttermilk Honey Pie
Pie Crust:
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons of butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons ice-cold water, more or less 
  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter, and with two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the fat until flour resembles coarse meal. Add cold water a tablespoon at a time until dough starts to clump together but is not too wet. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
Pie Filling: 
zest of one lemon
6 egg yolks 
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature 
1/3 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt  
  1. Preheat oven to 500º F, with a rack in the bottom third. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat.  
  2.  Roll out your pie crust between two sheets of plastic. Using a rolling pin, start from the center and use short strokes to roll out the dough until you have a 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick round disc slightly bigger than your pie pan. Gently drape it over the pie pan, then trim the edges so that the dough doesn't extend over the rim. Crimp the edges, or just pinch the cracks together to make it uniform. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, make the filling. Combine the lemon zest, brown sugar, egg yolks, and flour in a medium bowl. Whisk until the flour is lump free. Gradually add the butter and honey; stirring. Then the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt. 
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 325º F.
  5. Fill the pie shell with about 2/3 of the buttermilk-honey filling. Move into the oven, placing on hot baking sheet. Quickly, pour the rest of the filling into the pie crust. Bake until the filling is set, about an hour. Gently remove from the oven, allow to cool. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Baggu Medium Leather Tote // J. Crew Tall Toothpick Jean in Huron Wash // J. Crew Breton Strip Crew Neck // Rag & Bone Alda Scarf  // Ash Leather Sneaker //  iPod Shuffle

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I remember spending hours making the perfect mix tape. And I remember the excitement of getting one from someone else. Just when you think those days are long gone... Milktape. The "tape" holds about 15 songs (128 MB) and plugs right into your USB port. Genius.

Friday, November 30, 2012


The November 2012 issue of Cooking Light featured their Best Recipes of Our first 25 Years. The featured Recipe Makeover was for one of their very first apple pies with a walnut crust, which to save 300 calories, the Test Kitchen had removed the bottom crust making it more of a cobbler than a pie. For the current issue, they revamped the original recipe by bringing back the bottom crust (as well as a few more calories) but used improved techniques that produced flaky layers of goodness no one could resist. One of those techniques included vodka. Vodka inhibits gluten formation, the culprit for tough crusts. But don't worry, the alcohol vaporizes in the oven leaving no after-taste. Each pie yields 10 serving size wedges at 281 calories per slice. 

Walnut-Crusted Apple Pie
1 pound Pink Lady apples (about 2), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 pound Golden Delicious apples (about 2), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
3 tbsp ice-cold vodka
cooking spray
1 tbsp 2% reduced-fat milk
1 large egg yolk
  1. Combine first 8 ingredients; toss to coat.
  2. Place nuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. Weigh or lightly spoon 6.75 ounces flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt to food processor; pulse 5 times. Add butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor on, slowly add vodka through food chute, processing just until combined (do not form a ball.) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 to 4 times. Dived dough into 2 equal portions. Gently press each portion into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  4. Unwrap and place 1 dough piece on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 10-inch circle. Place into a 9-inch pie plated coated with cooking spray. Spoon apple mixture into a pie plate. 
  5. Unwrap and place remaining portion of dough on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into 12-inch circle. Place over apple mixture. Press edges of dough together. Fold edges under, flute. Cut slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape. 
  6. Combine milk and egg yolk, stirring with whisk. Gently brush top of dough with milk mixture. Place pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet; bake at 425º for 20 minutes in lower third of oven. Shield edges of pie crust with foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350º (do not remove pie from oven); bake an additional 30 minutes or until browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today is National Bavarian Cream Pie Day! Bavarian Cream Pie is a chilled, no-bake custard dessert made from eggs, gelatin, and whipped cream. It can be flavored with vanilla, chocolate,  liqueurs, or fruit. The custard is then poured into a pie shell and chilled until set.

Bavarian cream, or Crème Bavaroise, is a cold dessert of egg custard stiffened with gelatin, mixed with whipped creams (and sometimes fruit puree or other flavors), then set in a mold, or used as a filling for cakes and pastries. It is often credited to the forefather of haute cuisine, French chef Marie Antoine Carême (1784-1833). However, in German the suffix 'crème' refers to the gelatin mold (i.e. Schokolatencreme, Weincreme, etc.) usually flavored with chocolate, lemon, kirsch, etc. Making it more than likely that French chefs working in Bavaria brought the recipe or variations of it back to France, calling it Crème Bavarois. Recipes first appeared in America in Boston Cooking School cookbooks by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, 1884, and by Fanny Farmer, 1896, for "Quick Bavarian Cream."

Bavarian Cream Pie
1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups whipped cream
9" pie shell (see below)
Sliced strawberries
  1. Put the split vanilla bean in cream and slowly bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour. 
  2. Remove bean and scrape out seeds, add them to the cream and discard the pod. 
  3. Sprinkle the gelatin into the milk and set aside. 
  4. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until light and frothy.
  5. Warm the cream mixture back up and slowly whisk into eggs. Place the mixture over simmering water and stir continuously until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and add milk and gelatin mixture. 
  6. Place bowl in ice bath and stir until at room temperature. 
  7. Fold in whipped cream and pour mixture into baked pie shell. Place in the fridge for 4 to 5 hours or until mixture is set.
  8. Top with sliced strawberries.
Single All-Butter Pie Crust
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 tablespoon of cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoon ice-cold water, more or less
  1. In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Dough should still have some pea-sized pieces of butter.
  2. Add ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time, using a fork to mix it in. When dough starts to hold together, shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  3. Remove dough from fridge and between two pieces of plastic, roll out gently and evenly in short strokes from center of dough outward to form a 10-inch wide round, about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick.  
  4. Remove top sheet of plastic, turn pie plate upside down in the center of dough circle, and flip plate over right side up. Carefully remove second sheet of plastic and tuck under excess outer edges of dough and flute.
  5. Chill pie base 30 minutes in freezer.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove pie base and place parchment paper or sheet of foil over the pastry base, making sure to cover the edges too. Place dried beans, or pie weights over the surface of the covering. This prevents the crust from rising from air bubbles. Place in oven and bake blind for 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven and dock the dough, piercing the base with a fork in several places to allow the air to flow through. This helps to prevent air bubbles. Don't overdo it. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until light golden brown.  
photo // joe pastry

Monday, September 3, 2012


I came across these photos on mrwaterslide (flickr) and couldn't resist re-posting them. They come from the pages of 'A Vermont Family Album' dated Labor Day 1957 in Peacham, VT. Talk about getting down & dirty in the best possible way... eating pie, of course.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Not many folks know I have a thing about eggs. Not to eat. In fact, I go through periods when I won't eat an egg at all. No, my obsession with eggs has to do with their inherent symbolic nature. Fertility, birth, potential, fragility, transformation, and even the soul. Remember that scene with Robert DeNiro in "Angel Heart" when he cracks, peels, and devours an egg? Brilliant.

I'm also obsessed with the thought provoking paintings of Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber. Like the one above titled, The Egg Explodes/You are Born. Food for thought. You can see more brilliant paintings on their blog, personal message.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Hey gang! I haven't posted in awhile thanks to a hectic work schedule. I'm happy to say I'm back just in time for National Raspberry Cream Pie day!

Here's a vintage recipe for Cream Pie from Woman's Home Companion Cook Book. To turn it into a Raspberry Cream Pie, just add berries to filling.

Cream Pie
single crust pie (see below)
2/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or 5 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
  1.  Prepare pastry and make a baked 9-inch pastry shell. 
  2. Combine sugar, cornstarch or flour and salt in the top of a double boiler; stir in cold milk. Cook over boiling water until thickened, stirring constantly. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer.
  3. Stir a little of the hot mixture into slightly beaten egg yolks; add to remaining mixture in double boiler and cook for 2 minutes over hot, not boiling, water, stirring constantly. Cool and add vanilla. 
  4. Pour into baked shell. If desired cover with meringue and bake in a moderate oven (325º F) about 15 minutes or until lightly browned; or just before serving top with whipped cream. 
Fruit Cream Pies: Arrange sliced bananas, peaches, or any slightly sweetened berries in pastry shell before adding cream filling; or place fruit on top of filling. May be topped with whipped cream if desired. 

Single Crust Pie Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening or butter, chilled
3 tbsp cold water
  1. Sift flour; measure; add salt and sift again. 
  2. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in half of the shortening (or butter) until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Cut in remaining shortening (or butter) coarsely until particles are about the size of peas.
  3. Sprinkle water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over small portions of the mixture; with a fork press the flour particles together as they absorb the water; do not stir. Toss aside pieces of dough as formed and sprinkle remaining water over dry portions; use only enough water to hold the pastry together. It should not be wet or slippery. Press all together lightly with the fingers or wrap dough in waxed paper and press together gently. Bear in mind that the less the dough is handled the more tender and flaky the pastry will be. Chill dough.
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board or canvas into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches larger in diameter than top of pan. Fold over and place in pan; unfold and fit loosely. Trim edge with scissors, leaving about 1 inch of pastry over rim of pan. Fold 1/2 inch of edge under and make a standing rim; flute with the fingers along edge of pan. 
  5. Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Chill thoroughly. Bake on upper shelf in a hot oven (450º F) about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a lower shelf after the crust is set if the edges are browning too fast. Cool the shell thoroughly before adding filling.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Stranded in this spooky town  
Stoplights are swaying and the phone lines are down  
This floor is crackling cold, she took my heart, I think she took my soul  
With the moon I run far from the carnage of the fiery sun
Driven by the strangle of vein showing no mercy I do it again,  
Open up your eye, you keep on crying baby, I’ll bleed you dry 
Skies they blink at me, I see a storm bubbling up from the sea
And it's coming closer 
And it's coming closer
You shimmy shook my bone leaving me stranded all in love on my own 
Do you think of me? Where am I now? Baby where do I sleep?  
Feel so good but I'm old, 2000 years of chasing's taking its toll
And it’s coming closer  
And it’s coming closer  
And it’s coming closer  
And it’s coming closer

(closer, kings of leon) 

ph: humanoid

Saturday, July 21, 2012


a woman

a car

an island.

She has kept her head lowered... to give him a chance to come closer. But he could not, for lack of courage. She turns and walks away.

In the Mood for Love

Sunday, July 15, 2012


don't hold yourself like that
you'll hurt your knees
I kissed your mouth and back
but that's all I need
don't build your world around volcanoes melt you down

what I am to you is not real
what I am to you you do not need
what I am to you is not what you mean to me
you give me miles and miles of mountains
and I'll ask for the sea

don't throw yourself like that
in front of me
I kissed your mouth your back
is that all you need?
don't drag my love around volcanoes melt me down

what I am to you is not real
what I am to you you do not need
what I am to you is not what you mean to me
you give me miles and miles of mountains
and I'll ask what I give to you
is just what I'm going through
this is nothing new
no no just another phase of finding what I really need
is what makes me bleed
and like a new disease she's still too young to treat
like a distant tree
volcanoes melt me down
she's still too young
I kissed your mouth
you do not need me

(volcano, damien rice)

Saturday, July 14, 2012


a woman

a car

an island.

"Don’t you recognize me, Mr. Mahé? I am Julie. Julie Roussel."

La sirène du Mississipi


Monday, July 9, 2012


 Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

a story of youthful restlessness.

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

holden caulfield...



in the life


a teenager.

NY Times, Book of the Times.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


off with your head
dance 'til you're dead
heads will roll
heads will roll
heads will roll
on the floor

glitter on the wet streets

silver over everything
the river's all wet
you're all chrome

dripping with alchemy

shiver stop shivering
the glitter's all wet
you're all chrome

the men cry out

the girls cry out
the men cry out
the girls cry out
the men cry out
oh no

the men cry out
the girls cry out
the men cry out
the girls cry out
the men cry out
oh no

off, off with your head

dance, dance 'til you're dead (dead)
heads will roll
heads will roll
heads will roll
on the floor

looking glass

take the past
shut your eyes
you realize

looking glass

take the past
shut your eyes
you realize

glitter on the wet streets

silver over everything
the glitter's all wet
you're all chrome
you're all chrome

off, off, off with your head

dance, dance, dance 'til you're dead

(heads will roll, yeah yeah yeah) 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


a woman

 a car

an island.

"This here's Miss Bonnie Parker. I'm Clyde Barrow. We rob banks."

Bonnie and Clyde

Friday, July 6, 2012


frida kahlo, 1931, ph: imogen cunningham

Empanadas de Dulce
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
Fillings of applesauce, pineapple, peaches, mincemeat or pumpkin
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter to crumbles. Add water and mix until pastry dough comes to a ball, leaving the side of the bowl.
  2. Roll out 1/8-inch thick. Cut 4-inch circles.
  3. All fillings should be sweetened and spiced with cinnamon. Place a teaspoon of filling on half of each round. Moisten edges and fold doug in half over filling. Seal with a fork or fingers at outer edges.
  4. Bake on cookie sheets for 20 minutes at 375° F or deep fry in hot vegetable oil. Cool on racks or paper. Makes 15-20 turnovers.
Apricot and Almond Filling
Heat apricot jam until it melts, then stir in finely ground blanched almond. The mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape. Flavor with almond extract, cinnamon or grated orange rind, adding only a small amount at a time.

Coconut and Brown Sugar Filling
Mash together flaked coconut with brown sugar. Moisten with lime juice and a little honey. Flavor to taste with ground ginger.

Empanadas de Camota con Pina (Mexican Pineapple-Yam Turnovers)
1 cup cooked yam, mashed
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
5 or 6 tbsp ice water
  1. Combine mashed yam with pineapple and remaining ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture looks mealy. Add water, just enough to hold pastry together when kneaded lightly.
  3. Roll out pie pastry 1/8-inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut out 4-inch circles.
  4. Spoon filling on one half of the circle. Wet edge of pastry with a little water, then fold over other half of pastry. Press edges together with fork tines. Prick pastry tops.
  5. Bake in preheated 375° degrees oven for 15-20 minutes or until delicately browned. Serve at room temperatures. Makes 15 turnovers.

Dulce Poblano de Camotes (Sweet Potato Dessert)

A recipe from Mexico, The Beautiful Cookbook. This is a traditional and old-fashioned dessert made from camotes or the more common sweet potato. This is a bit like a sweet potato pie without the crust.

3 sweet potatoes about 6oz each
1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground canela (cinnamon)
1/2 cup creme fraiche or thick cream
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (rind only)
1/3 cup raisins
  1. Cook the sweet potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 25 minutes. Drain and mash the hot sweet potatoes with the 1/2 cup sugar and the butter, canela, cream and half of the orange peel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and the remaining orange peel. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the dish and bake for 10 minutes. Garnish with the raisins and let cool.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


"As thin as a repeated dream." 
- f. scott fitzgerald, Dyed Siberian Horse

illustration//james hadley chase  
(just another sucker, today magazine, june 4, 1960)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


"I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it... Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters."
 ernest hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Sunday, July 1, 2012


All the wild horses
All the wild horses
Tell her with tears in their eyes
May no man's touch ever tame you
May no man's reigns ever chain you
And may no man's weight ever defrayed your soul
And as for the clouds
Just let them roll
Roll away
Roll away
As for the clouds
Just let them roll
Roll away
Roll away 

(all the wild horses, ray lamontagne)

ph// eye poetry 

Saturday, June 30, 2012


 a woman

 a car

 an island.

"What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can..."
- Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Act 1

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Monday, June 25, 2012


Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

a true life novel.
"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did."

Lily Casey Smith...

mustang breaker,



poker player,

racehorse rider,



 ranch wife,

And author's grandmother.

NY Times Review

Sunday, June 24, 2012


watchin' a stretch of road, miles of light explode
driftin' off a thing I'd never done before
watchin' a crowd roll in. out go the lights it begins
feelin' in my bones I never felt before

people always told that bars are dark and lonely
and talk is often cheap and filled with air
sure sometimes they thrill but nothin' could ever chill
like the way they make the time just disappear

feelin' you are here again, hot on my skin again
feelin' good a thing I'd never known before
what does it mean to feel, millions of dreams come real
a feelin' in my soul I'd never felt before

and you always told me
no matter how long it holds, if it falls apart
or makes us millionaires, you'll be right here forever
we'll go through this thing together
and on heaven's golden shore we'll lay our heads

(my morning jacket, golden)

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Yesterday, I took an amazing tour of ECHO'S Global Village Farm, located in N. Fort Myers, Florida. ECHO, or Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, is committed to fighting world hunger through innovative options, agricultural training, and networking with community leaders and missionaries in developing countries. 

lowlands //nursery

The demonstration farm teaches non-governmental workers, missionaries, and food growers hands-on, affordable, and sustainable farming techniques that can then later be applied in developing countries. The tour gives you a small glimpse of the many challenges families face growing food in extreme and harsh conditions due to terrain, climate, and economic circumstances.

wick & tire gardens
intern // rice paddies

The farm, divided into six areas including tropical monsoon climates, semi-arid tropics, tropical highlands, tropical rainforest, hot humid lowlands, and urban gardens, is managed by an agricultural intern who spends one year cultivating, harvesting, and researching numerous crops. The seeds from these plots are then packaged and shipped overseas as potential new food crop. 

bamboo // banana tree
mature maringa tree // maringa seed pod

Considered The Miracle Tree, the Moringa is a wonder plant that not only thrives in extreme conditions but is also highly nutritious, and one crushed seed can purify two liters of water, killing 95% of the bacteria it.

mango // banana
biogas // bread oven

ECHO experiments with and creates models for Appropriate Technology, which refers to simple technologies made from local or recycled materials that are appropriate to the technical skills and income level of a given community. These innovations can not only improve living conditions but  also generate much needed income. Some examples includes biogas, the process of turning cow manure into gas for cooking or lights, water pumps and purifiers, improved cook stoves and ovens, and solar food dryers. 

duck coop // fish and duck pond

Man-made fish and duck ponds provide families with food source. Ducks on the farm release solid wastes into the pond through the slats of their coop, stimulating the growth of algae, which in turn provides food for the Tilapia fish. ECHO teaches how the integration of animals into farming activities is beneficial in multiple ways.


Even though the farm is meant to be purely utilitarian, you can't help but admire all the beauty around you. 

sunflower // bamboo
geiko // pink hibiscus
lily pond // grasshopper