Archive for May, 2012

French breakfast radishes

photos: m&j

Spicy, light, delicious, but also a little bit decadent and such an easy and sophisticated accompaniment to cocktails before a meal – these French breakfast radishes are super crunchy with just the right amount of kick. The butter is unsalted and softened overnight before it is potted. And the sea salt is hand-harvested from Jacobsen, of course (thanks again, JJ, for the great gift and also for reminding us of this fab serving suggestion)!

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Brideshead Revisited

© Miramax Films, 2008

Just at the height of our Downton Abbey withdrawal, this gem from 2008 reappears and satisfies with all the splendor, drama and “upstairs” British finery we’ve been longing for – based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh. Upon second viewing, we’re once again struck by the lushness of the setting, the wonderful taboo of the story and sheer magnificence of the truly disgracefully wealthy in the earlier part of twentieth century England.  Beautifully directed by Julian Jarrold and starring Matthew Goode, Emma Thompson and Ben Wishaw who a year later went on to star in one of our all-time faves, the glorious Jane Campion beauty, Bright Star. Its chock full of everything period and pretty you want in a drama about obscene inherited wealth and class, including a perfect unseemly, disturbing underbelly. Enjoy!

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lilacs and lilies

photos: m&j

This oddly early and overly warm spring has our favorite posies coming at us all at once and in full force – and almost an entire month sooner than usual! Heady, inspirational and almost overwhelming to those of us who may, indeed, have been bumble bees in another life (as Mr. Elliott likes to say). Thank you, dear Barb for sharing these gorgeous blooms from your lovely garden – we can’t imagine a more appreciated or a more beloved gift!

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sweet, old gal takes a big, long trip!

photos: m&j

This amazingly textured (and tattered) fabric sampler, dating back to the year 1748 just came to us via a dealer in the UK and somehow got “miss sent” to India on the way to New York City! We were so happy that the piece finally arrived intact, considering the extended journey (not to mention the single sheet of tissue it was wrapped in within the envelope). And we are pleased to report it is no worse for the wear, whatsoever, and has found a permanent place in our props collection. How amazing that a 7-year-old did this precise and lovely handiwork? Just mind boggling.

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Brooklyn “twee” artisanal products

food photos: m&j  artisan portraits: Jonathan Nesteruk for New York Magazine

After reading the New York Magazine cover story last week about the exponential rise of “twee” artisanal products coming out of dear and near Brooklyn, NY, we realized – not only did we want all of them – but we also already had a pretty fair share of these “food nerd items” on hand in our own pantry. And we happily recommend them all!

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simple crowd pleaser dessert

photos: m&j

A recent foray deep into the world of Häagen-Dazs has given us a whole new appreciation for the confectioner’s handiwork (not that we didn’t already each have a few pints of the stuff on hand in our freezers at all times, anyway). But they really do offer some truly perfect dessert items – like their milk chocolate covered vanilla ice cream bars. If you’re a milk chocolate person, nothing is better. For a fun and effortless dessert, consider whipping out a box of these and serving one to each guest with a shot of bourbon – we prefer Blanton’s. It’s a nice individual treat and the whiskey warms the body up when it must eat ice cream during these occasionally chilly & damp spring nights (which we must).

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NYC gardenia cutting garden

photos: m&j

With three gardenia plants growing currently at our place on 16th street (some given as recent birthday gifts), we are truly spoiled when it comes to having sweet, heady posies on hand (and at nose) virtually at all times. They need lots of sun and water, but are otherwise quite easy and we’ve had luck keeping them alive over the winter – which is always a happy surprise. An occasional handful of coffee grounds makes them extra happy). These three cuttings in a hanging glass votive holder from our favorite shop of the moment, Haven’s Kitchen makes a pretty nosegay anywhere in the house, especially when entertaining – and so much nicer than just lighting a scented candle!

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