Another thing I really don’t need but totally want, regardless

iphone meat thermometer

Don’t you ust love how the little orange loop/handle matched the orange part of the app of the phone? Photo by Mark Weinberg for Food52.

I wouldn’t say that I’m against tech stuff per se, but I do tend toward the vintage, handmade, analogue variety when I can get my hands on it. Hence the rotary phone, the vinyl LP’s, the hand stitched laptop sleeve… But sometimes you have to hand it to the super modern digital version of a thing. This range thermomenter that hooks up to your iPhone (or iPad) and gives you accurate temperatures, tells you when your roast (or hard candy, or home brewed beer) is ready to come out of the oven, and looks cute in the bargain is one of those exceptions to my rule.

You can even hook it up to your iPad in the kitchen and then have it send alerts to your iPhone so you don’t have to keep coming back to the oven to check the meat.

I would already own this if I didn’t have, oh, 4 or 5 oven thermometers in our kitchen drawer already. Though to be honest, I’m just one yard sale away from getting rid of all of them to make room for this baby…

Monday, Monday– or a few links to start easing us into summer

Scott Kelly's strange and beautiful photographs of the Earth from space.

Scott Kelly’s strange and beautiful photographs of the Earth from space.

Check out Krrb’s screen-free ideas to keep the kids busy on a road trip.

And here are a few screen-time tips for those of us parents who belong to the everything-in-moderation school.

But then again, sometimes, looking at screens can be a transcendent experience… like when you look at astronaut Scott Kelly’s photographs of the Earth from space.

It’s getting hot out there– so maybe it’s time to upgrade an old t-shirt into an airy twist-back top.

Nothing says summer like a triple flavored home made popsicle, if I do say so myself…

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could fill, like, 100 water balloons at the same time? Well it seems our prayers have been answered.

Perhaps a little whipped yogurt cheesecake with roasted rhubarb for desert?

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is almost upon us… and if you haven’t gotten it together yet, here are a few gift ideas. And if they arrive on Monday or Tuesday? Hey– better late than never, right?

father's gift box

Here is a box full of goodies that anyone would love… artisinal chocolate, coffee, handcrafted mug, sage bundle and other treats carefully curated by Chef Deena and offered by the ladies at Stone Fox Bride. Order by the 17th. Father’s Day Gift Box, $95.

leather earbud caddy

The gift of organization is always appreciated, especially when old school style meets new school tech. Leather iPhone earbud keeper, $28.

juniper soap

Who wouldn’t want their daily shower to be filled with the scent of evergreen, snowmelt and Mt Hood’s Timberline Trail? Juniper Ridge Trail Body Wash Soap, $32.

teakwood water bottle

Sure it’s just another stainless steel water bottle… But it looks so cool! S’well stainless steel teak wood bottle, $50

pizza pven

If your dad has a back yard, doesn’t he need a pizza over to go in it? Uuni 2S Wood Fired Pizza Oven, $299.

piozza stone

And if there isn’t a back yard for the oven, upgrade his kitchen-made pies with a pizza stone. Sparq Home Pizza Stone, $65.

hobo eat kit

And once he has made the pizza, he’ll need something to eat it with, right? Hobo eat kit, $28.95

Monday, Monday– or a few links about the end…

Hundred of butterflies are released to commemorate the life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Hundred of butterflies are released to commemorate the life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

There have been a few too many memorial services in my life these past few months, which is never fun. But it can be a profound reminder of our fragile place in this universe. Or just a reminder that we’d better get organized lest the state inherit everything when we’ve gone.

Because oh lordie just look at what is going on with Prince.

To help give you an idea of what we’re up against, I give you the business of death as an infographic.

Turning your loved one’s cremains into a tree might seem a bit crazy but is profoundly beautiful at the same time

The delicate art of obituary writing, explained by the pros.

Hundreds of butterflies created a beautiful memorial for one of the most poetic authors of our time…

OK I am outing myself as a trekkie here, but this may be, in my humble opinion, one of the most moving death/funeral scenes ever filmed.

Or actually maybe John Hannah (as Matthew) reading Auden’s “Funeral Blues” in Four Weddings and a Funeral takes the cake. I challenge you not to cry…

Last night for dinner we had the 3 P’s (pasta, peas and prosciutto) and it was really good

These are three things that i know my 8 year old likes, so she can't object to trying them in combination... at least one time...

These are three things that i know my 8 year old likes, so she can’t object to trying them in combination… at least one time…

In my next life, I’m going to be one of those food bloggers who cooks meals during the day in my kitchen next to the picture window that floods the entire soapstone or reclaimed wood counter with lovely, even northern light. My masterpieces will be photographed in pottery dishes (handmade by my daughter, natch) with linen napkins and tiny vases of flowers casually placed nearby.

Unfortunately for you all, I have yet to be reincarnated and, as such, am just barely getting a shot off before the food gets shoveled into the mouths of my waiting family. (I include myself in that group, by the way.) But hey, if this isn’t authentic, I don’t know what is.

Flowers or no, this recipe, which I stumbled upon while searching Smitten Kitchen for I don’t know what) is delicious, fast, and easily elevated to culinary peaks simply by purchasing quality ingredients. We didn’t happen to have tortellini, so I skipped the part where you make the tortellini crispy (don’t worry, we’ll be doing that next week, I’m sure!) and used the shell pasta we had on hand. Add some top notch prosciutto and creme fraiche from The Bedford Cheese Shop (about as top as a person can get, in the notch department) and we were good to go.

Total home run, if I do say so myself.

Crispy Tortellini with peas and prosciutto
(from Smitten Kitchen)

In the skillet
3 thin slices prosciutto (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 13-14 ounce package frozen cheese tortellini (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup frozen peas, no need to defrost
1/3 cup water

To finish
3 tablespoons crème fraîche or mascarpone
Juice of half a lemon, more or less to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few fresh mint leaves, cut into thin slivers
Grated parmesan (optional)

Heat a large, deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. If using, add prosciutto in a single layer and cook until curling and browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Flip over and let cook until browned on the other side. Transfer a paper towel to blot oil and cool.

Add oil to same skillet and heat it for a minute. Add frozen tortellini in a single layer and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until they’re browned underneath. (We skipped that and just added al dente shells) Sprinkle with frozen peas and add water to pan. Be careful; it’s going to ROARHISS wildly. Put the lid on, and let them steam for about 5 minutes but don’t go too far because if the water cooks off too quickly, you’ll want to add a splash more. At 5 minutes, all water should have cooked off. Scoop pasta and peas into bowl. If you find any pasta has stuck, just add a splash more water over high heat to “deglaze” them off — loosen them with a thin spatula and toss them around until they’re crisp again.

Immediately dollop on crème fraîche so it melts over the pasta. Squeeze lemon juice over, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, crumble prosciutto over (if using), then slivers of mint and parmesan, if desired. Dig in. Give your freezer a pat on its back.

Monday, Monday– or more links about fashion, dance and tiny cubes of food…

This danced out version of the exquisite corpse game we played as kids is mesmerizing and beautiful and a crash course on who’s who in contemporary dance. (Plus our good friend and local action hero Elizabeth Streb is there at 2:49!)

This is an incredible, mind-blowing reality checking interactive chart about World War II.

If I were in charge, the Encyclopedia Britannica entry for OCD would most certainly include a photo of these tiny, perfectly cut and strangely beautiful cubes of food.

Yes, there is a blog out there called The Pen Addict.

There may actually be help for the junk drawer that lurks in each and every one of our homes (except for maybe Martha Stewart’s…)

How to make your own cucumber kimchi, according to the great David Chang.

And lastly, for all you Grace Coddington fans out there, this NY Times slideshow is a captivating survey of a remarkable life in fashion. Which, by the way, seems to be constantly evolving and growing even now, well into her seventh decade. There is hope for us all.

Here comes summer!!

photo: Brooke Williams

Nothing says summer quite like a cold one on the dashboard of a motorboat…

And then, suddenly, summer sets in. Memorial Day has come and gone, and my plan was to post this playlist back on Friday before everybody took off in their cars all harried and looking for something new to listen to while they sat in traffic on the Taconic or the LIE.

But nope. Didn’t manage to get it together.

But hey, it’s never too late for a new bunch of songs. And there will be plenty of traffic-filled hours logged on the road during these next few months during which a new playlist will be much appreciated.

So without further ado, I give you a few tunes (via Spotify) to help us all get in the mood for the sultry days ahead.

Wait, last year’s bathing suit doesn’t still fit?

It’s looking like it’s actually going to be hot enough to go swimming this weekend… Which means it is long past bathing-suit-shopping-for-the-kids time. Here are some suits that have caught my eye during my most recent late night internet surfing sessions…

bobo choses swim suit
This print was inspired by David Hockney, whose work always makes me think of sunshine and carefree days. Bobo Choses David swimsuit, $59

pop up shop cat suit
We will not be getting a cat as a pet any time soon (we’re all allergic) so maybe this cat suit will suffice… Popupshop’s Black Cat swimsuit, $38.

wolf and rita bikini
This is the kind of bathing suit a sort of goth badass princess would wear. Wolf & Rita Amelia bikini, $69.

seersucker swimsuit
Nothing says summer like seersucker… J Crew Seersucker swimsuit, $52.50


I don’t have a son, but if I did, I’d like to see him running around in these Wolf & Rita swimming trunks.

wolf and rita two piece bathing suit
The perfect compromise between my daughter’s urgent desire for a bikini and my personal preference for one piece suits…
Nununu Star Tankini, from $51.

boy tie die swim trunks

One last cute one for the boys… because I can’t resist an indigo tie die… Stella Cove boy swimsuit, $45.

A clean start for summer

eggwhite soap

This bar of Eggwhite Soap, or Eiwit Zeep as it’s known by the locals, hails from Belgium, though the Swedes are also known for their slightly different formulation of the same basic thing.

Now I admit that I am a sucker for a beauty product with old fashioned european style packaging, so when I saw this little bar of Eggwhite Soap, read the label which promised removal of all impurities and a fresh glow on the skin, I had to have it. The $5 price tag didn’t hurt either.

The timing is perfect… Summer has suddenly pounced upon us, and with the heat comes an extra layer of grime that requires a bit more effort in the daily face washing department. Who knew that generations of Swedish and Belgian women have been harnessing the protein rich power of egg whites, the soothing healing of chamomile and the deep moisture of palm oil and lecithin to keep their skin so lovely?

So much better than layers of foundation and powder. And much less expensive than dermabrasion.

I am wholeheartedly jumping right on this bandwagon.

Monday, Monday… or more links about superheroes, skin care and snacks

Unlike the horrible Batman vs. Superman, this new Captain America movie (Civil War) is actually good. If you’re into loud, totally unrealistic, action-packed superhero movies like I am, that is…

Evidently drinking bitters is a time tested way to wake up the digestive system, a bodily function that we often take for granted until it malfunctions. This recipe for grapefruit bitters makes a perfect base for a festive summer cocktail (and it’s good for us to boot!)

Check out this group of artists who twist thousands of Rubik’s Cubes into massive murals.

I’m thinking we might make this Moroccan spiced soap for teacher gifts this spring. We’ll let you know how it turns out!

Who doesn’t immediately want to start reading any article called The 5-Step Skin-Care Routine Everyone Should Be Following?

Design Matters, the podcast of the inimitable Debbie Millman, is the perfect way to dive deep into the world of design and begin to understand why… well… design matters.

I am most certainly going to make these brie and grape crostinis a part of my memorial day entertainment situation.