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Warm up fall with our Cauliflower Hazelnut Soup
Published: October 19th 2014
Warm up fall with our Cauliflower Hazelnut Soup
Method

Toast the hazelnuts

Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the skins start to peel away, and they are a light brown. Be careful not to overcook / burn because the flavor of the nuts will change dramatically.

When they are done, allow them to cool slightly and then roll the nuts between your hands to release the skins. Discard the skins and set the peeled hazelnuts aside while you prepare the soup.

Prepare the soup

Place the leeks and garlic in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat with some olive oil. Sauté for about two minutes, until everything is soft. Add in the cauliflower and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower starts to brown.

Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, place a cover loosely over the top and cook for about 20-30 minutes.

Carefully transfer the soup to a blender. Add in 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice or vinegar. Blend until you have a smooth puree. Taste and adjust any seasoning as necessary. You will probably want to add a little more salt and maybe another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Keep in the blender while you prepare the sage.

Fry the sage

In a small cast iron/frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the sage leaves for about 2 minutes on each side until they become nice and crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel.

Assemble the soup

Pour the warm soup into individual bowls. Top with the exrta chopped hazelnuts, fresh cracked pepper, chives, and/or micro greens. Also, if you like, you can sauté a couple of florets of cauliflower to add on top.

This is best served warm, right away. It also makes great leftovers. It will keep for several days in an air-tight container in the fridge.

SPICE UP FALL
Published: October 19th 2014
SPICE UP FALL
Method

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Prepare the dough. Combine flour, salt and butter in cuisinart or bowl. Add ice water slowly while pulsing in cuisinart until it gets clumpy. Gather the dough together, being careful not to over handle it (if overworked it wont be light and flaky). Cover in saran wrap and if you have the time, let it rest in the fridge for 20-30min (or longer if you want to prepare the dough ahead of time, allowing it to return to room temp before working with it).

Butter you tart pan generously. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to be large enough to cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides. Add additional flour as you roll to keep it from sticking. When finished, roll the dough around your rolling pin and unroll it onto your tarte plan (like Brigitte does in the video). Press the dough down so it fits snug into the pan, cutting off excess dough that falls outside the top of the pan.

Prick a few holes in the dough to prevent it from puffing up. Cook it for about 10 min at 450°F or until it begins to brown.

Spread the tomato achaar on the dough. Layer half of the combination of gruyere, emmental and parmesan cheeses. Then layer your sliced tomatoes and top with another layer of cheese. Cook it for about 20 min at 450°F. The crust needs to be golden to brown and the cheese should be nice and melted and almost browned and crusty.

Sprinkle the finished tarte with fleur de sel, chopped parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm or cold.
Morocco 2014
Published: September 21st 2014
Morocco 2014
"Whenever he was en route from one place to another he was able to look at his life with a little more objectivity than usual. It was often on trips that he thought most clearly and made decisions that he could not reach when he was stationary."
Morocco 2014
Mr. and Mrs. Irving were so kind to invite me to Tangier where they rented a fantastic house in the Old Mountain, with views looking out onto the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Emilie Irving is the owner of the wonderful shop Xenomania on East 6th Street and Bowery, which is full of antique textiles and jewelry you must stop by for tea in the fall. She has an impeccable eye and, luckily for us, is an equally great hostess!
Morocco 2014
Landing in Casablanca from New York, we took a meandering train ride to Tangier.
It's approximately a four-hour trip by car and six by train, but I recommend the train as a way to unfold into the Moroccan countryside. Make sure to get first class tickets, as you'll want the air conditioning and the roomier cabins.
Morocco 2014
Morocco 2014
Arriving in Tangier, we visited the fish market where lively fishmongers paraded their wares. The types of fish were astounding: live clams, massive swordfish, and even a shark's head! Emilie sniffed some fish to make sure they were fresh and into our straw market baskets they went.
Morocco 2014
Now that dinner had been decided, it was time for shopping in the famous Tangier Medina. First stop was at a shop called Bazar Tindouf to look for textiles and bric-a-brac. I bought a pair of leather slippers in faint lemon, and the ladies found various jewels. Located down the street was Chez Dounia where I bought a cocoa djellaba (a traditional, long robe). Bargain the Moroccan goods down 30% a relief from the dramatic mark-ups in India!

Continuing on to the famous Madini Perfumer, a tiny shop with large crystal glasses full of exotic fragrances ranging from delicate white sandalwood to Moroccan rose. I bought Oud, which holds its own in any fish market, and my lovely date bought Mimosa. This ancient shop is a must for giftsdont miss the coordinating soaps, which are beautifully packaged.
Morocco 2014
Morocco 2014
The next day we traveled to the beach for a lazy lunch at Da Renzo, a sleepy Italian restaurant. An older gent told us what he was serving for lunch and we went with the flow through wonderful risottos, pastas, and bottles of rosé. Besides the pasta, the real perk was lounging in his private beach spot and watching the camels pass, as well as the general chaos of a beach full of lively locals.
Morocco 2014
Rabat
On the way to Rabat, we hired a car to drive us to Asilah, a sparkling seaside medina, where we stopped for a fish lunch at Casa Garcia. Sit upstairs to have a view of the ocean and afterwards, get lost in the pastel-painted souk. We found subtle green pottery and handmade raffia shoes that were perfect for summer.
Morocco 2014
Morocco 2014
Morocco 2014
Morocco 2014
Casablanca
We had half a day in Casablanca so we focused on Hassan II Mosque, where tours run every hour. Perched on the ocean, this mosque is incredibly constructed of marble from Agadir, cedar from the middle Atlas, granite from Tafraoute - its a tour of materials from all over Morocco.
Morocco 2014
Morocco 2014
Morocco
stay
eat
shop
Bazar Tindouf
Bazar Tindouf
shop 64 Rue Liberte, Tangier
Gallerie Tindouf
Gallerie Tindouf
72 Rue de la Liberte Tangier
Madini Parfumer
Madini Parfumer
5 Bd Pasteur en face Place Faro, Tangier.
Librarie des Colonnes
Boutique Majid
Boutique Majid
66 Rue Les Almouhades, Tangier.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Published: September 09th 2014
Upon landing in Sri Lanka, I immediately wanted to compare it to India. At a swanky dinner party in a renovated colonial mansion, the smartly outfitted host gently reprimanded me to leave India in India- so I did that.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
With that, I could behold Sri Lanka opening up before me- a land of Buddhist, Tamils, Muslims, and Christians recovering from a war but moving forward, surrounded by perfect oceans, rambling jungles, and scores of temples.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
To kick-start my senses, I searched for the local markets, as they are the best place look at colors and textures to get some ideas for prints. Pettah is the main market in Colombo. My driver warned me that professional pickpockets managed to snag his cell phone from his shirt pocket, so beware! I waded into the surf of humanity; past food stalls, smiling hawkers barking out the merits of their goods in mountains spilled out on the pavement in blinding sunlight. Completely lost down a back alley, I ended up in a banana warehouse where fellows in bright plaid sarongs hoisted massive bunch of neon green bananas with relaxed ease.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
To counter the chaos of the local markets, I headed to the regal Cinnamon Gardens to pay homage to Geoffrey Bawas house, the premier Sri Lankan architect. His house calmly welcomed me with whitewashed rooms interrupted by internal palm gardens. The juxtaposition of old and new is striking here; I was amongst perfectly curated local crafts mingling inside a modern house. The living rooms were covered in a 20 feet long antique textile joined with modern furniture  a veritable mix of old and new - modern and colonial, all of which reveal that what is Sri Lanka.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
A few hours south of Colombo, I stopped at Pinnawala Elephant Reserve. Herds of blue grey elephants rollicked in the river, set against a layered canopy of jungle. Next, I was off to Kandy, which is the home of the Temple of the Tooth and the Ersala Perahere, the countrys most raucous Hindu festival. I like to buy puja- offerings of vibrant lavender and pink flowers at temples as they are always delicately organized so I can make merit, as well as find some color stories for prints. I finished the day at the nearby the Peradeniya Botanical gardens, strolling by a bewildering variety of palms. My favorite is the Dr. Suez-looking kauri pines, which are twisted as if they were dancing in the wind over the picnicking families.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
The next morning, I set out for a citadel called Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is massive rock you climb up to see the commanding views of the valley- a lush green canopy as far as the eyes can see. Also in the vicinity is Kaludiya Pokuna, an archeological reserve. It had moss-covered stupas with worn caves that calmly wait buried in the trees.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Always pressing on in search of more visual ideas, I took the old highway South with the ocean on one side and trains chugging past on the other side. Of course there was a traffic jam, but for good reason as there was a Hindu parade sharing the road, a cornucopia of gods on bikes carrying paper flower trees, stilted figures hobbling past, and dark demons growling at the sarong clad families who were lining the street to clap and cheer. Pressing on to Jeffrey Bawas gardens is the perfect way to finish the day. The gardens snake over hills and down to lake terraces, accompanied by sculptures overgrown with vines. It is here that I found vistas completely relaxed and brimming with contemplativeness, like this country. I finally have some ideas for my garden I have been struggling with.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Fall 2014 Inspiration
I always believe in happy accidents in travel and design. Design comes when I am not in search of it-when I stumble into it headlong. Dazzling Sri Lanka gave me the energy and colors for this Fall collection- banana greens, dusty blue grey elephants framed, by jungles- raucous plaid sarongs and offering flowers in pink and yellows. I offer up this new collection like a puja to you- I hope your prayers will be answered.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
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