December began in a flurry of icing sugar, clouds of winter-white whipped cream and cool peppermint candy canes. My mother’s birthday was last week and I make her a peppermint bonbon tart every single year. It’s her very favourite. The recipe has been in our family forever – or at least since the gelatin-dessert-crazed sixties – and I absolutely love it. My grandmother used to make this tart for my mom when she was a girl. The recipe was eventually passed to me, as the designated dessert enthusiast of the family. I made my typical, modern adjustments and adaptations (replacing shortening with butter; freshly whipping the cream; etc.) while keeping its vintage charm. Continue reading “Peppermint Bonbon Tart”
If there’s one thing you will always find on my counter or kitchen table in the summer, it’s a watermelon – the bigger the better. Like a basket of apples in the fall, or pumpkins in winter, it’s an iconic part of our ever-changing “kitchen table still life.” I will let it sit there, getting riper by the second in the afternoon heat while I admire its variegated jade and emerald skin, until someone reminds me that I really should cut it so that we can enjoy it with more than just our eyes. And then the boasting starts. Who can eat the most? Who will take the title of Watermelon Master? This contest is almost always initiated by my husband, Rich, who claims to be able to eat the entire watermelon in one sitting. I don’t doubt that he would, if given the chance, but it’s an accolade that the kids are not willing to let him have. While I certainly don’t condone these brutish, gluttonous brag-fests, I have to admit, they’re wildly entertaining. Continue reading “Watermelon Mojitos”
I’m a bit selective when it comes to bringing items into our home. My husband would argue that I’m just paralyzingly picky. I blame it on my tendency toward perfectionism. I spent a year scouring antique shops and flea markets for a painting for our dining room. Something with a bohemian flare to fit with the rest of the house, in soothing hues of blue and green to match the green walls in the room, which, I should mention are not yet green. When I finally found it – an antique reproduction of a John Audubon blue heron – I knew intuitively that it was the one. But about the green walls – that is to say, the walls which are currently just a vision of a painting project we planned three years ago. I can’t seem to find just the right shade. Green, but not too green – more of a silvery-teal, like Tuscan kale after it has just been washed. I’ve been through dozens of paint swatches, each an infinitesimal variation on the same shade, of which my husband claims to see no difference. I haven’t settled on the right one. Selective or just picky? The problem, I think, lies in the curtains. Continue reading “Moscow Mule + Ginger Beer Tonic”
We all know the rules: drink 8 glasses of water a day, limit alcohol and caffeine, cut out refined sugar, etc, but I believe that what we are drinking is more important than what we’re not.
I’ve written a lot about my inside-out approach to skin care. While I try not to obsess over what I eat (or drink), and I thoroughly subscribe to the notion of everything in moderation, including moderation, I do like to make conscious decisions and choices that naturally nourish my skin from the inside out. I don’t spring back from a day of eating junk food or a night out drinking as easily as I did in my twenties, and it shows on my skin. Continue reading “Green Tea and Rose Spritzer”
For her tenth birthday this year, Eva asked for chocolate cupcakes with green frosting. She also asked for balayage highlights, a new purse and some tasteful pieces of jewelry, so what I thought she meant regarding the cupcakes was a very sophisticated dark chocolate cake with swirls of mint buttercream. What she actually meant were monster cupcakes with green icing hair, googly eyes and sprinkles. We compromised. I made the chocolate cupcakes with mint swirls and she decorated hers with monster eyes and sprinkles. Ten is like that. You get to be both almost grown-up and still a child at the same time. It’s good to be ten. Continue reading “Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream”