Monthly Archives: September 2013

Paris Envy

On this cozy, rainy, cool Autumn day:

I finished Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co., a memoir by Jeremy Mercer.
book
I sewed up a Chocolat pillow.
PicMonkey Collage

While listening to my Carla Bruni station on Pandora.
Little-French-Songs-album-Carla_Bruni

With my two little girls (who have quite obviously French names) playing/sleeping in the office with me. IMG_2778_Edit

I did not do this on purpose, but I think I might have a problem. I think I will call it Paris Envy. Maybe there’s something about the changing seasons, the feeling that anything is possible that seem to permeate the air along with the crispness that sets in, but my mind always starts to wander the globe this time of year. Feeling pretty anchored at the moment, I will just have to dream for awhile.

If you are experiencing Paris Envy as well, I am finding that it is slightly appeased with some of the aforementioned things.

The book, Time Was Soft There, was a gift from my fellow English majory brother, who knows what a bibliophile I am.  Not only is it a book, but it’s all about an iconic bookstore, run by a serious book lover, in Paris.  I don’t want to launch into a review.  I will just say that I really enjoyed it, and I’m a book snob.  It is light enough to enjoy for a cozy, rainy brain candy type read, but also rich/deep enough to make you think, reflect, muse and feel like you’re doing something that might be good for your brain.  Having kids, I really like to find this middle ground in a book.  It’s a lot harder now that I have kids to carve out the time to read (at all!) some of the thicker (page numbers and subjects) books I once enjoyed.  A Moveable Feast will have to wait. But if we’re going to go full on brain candy, I’d rather just veg in front of a Grey’s Anatomy marathon.  So this kept me from full on lobotomy in front of the t.v.  And transported me a little.

The pillow can be found in our Etsy shop, Peachtree Park.  I have always been a sucker for French script.  And who isn’t a sucker for chocolate.  And cozy pillows.  When I saw this fabric, I just had to create the combination.  Or again, maybe it’s just my Paris Envy.  And I will tell you a secret (I am feeling generous today!), in case you are so inclined to sew one of your own- this fabric is from the gorgeous Eclectic Elements collection by Tim Holtz.  You can find it at Hawthorne Threads, my favorite place to find fabulous fabric (I realize after re-reading this it sounds a lot like an ad, but the only affiliation that I have with them is I love their taste in fabric and buy it!).

The Carla Bruni Pandora station is a perfect taste of French songs and mood, perfect background music for a project, reading a book, hanging with friends or family, eating chocolate (hmm, that must be on my brain), or whatever you’re doing while indulging in your Paris Envy.

Sorry, you can’t have the girls though!

I think Paris Envy for me is also a great lesson in pleasuring the senses.  And I will just bask in that for now.  Maybe a little Paris Envy is good for my bien-etre (well-being)!

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Filed under Book, Etsy Finds, Fabric Finding, Food

Welcome to Fall: Kabocha Squash at Its Best

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At the risk of becoming a food blog, I can’t help but post another food related topic. Late summer/early fall is so fantastic for food.  The amount of fresh fruit and veg around makes my little heart go pitter-patter.  One of my absolute favorite foods harvested this time of year is the Kabocha Squash.  When it’s ripe and ready, and prepped right, it is so insanely good.

kobacha

We first came across the Kabocha squash several years ago on a trip to the Oregon Coast. We visited the gorgeous and refreshing Barking Dog Farms – https://www.facebook.com/BarkingDogFarm.   The owner gave us this perfect tip on how to prepare it.  Writing this out may be a bit tough, because, honestly, I don’t really measure this one.  So I will do my best guess, and hope for the best- so these measurements are approximate- modify to your taste.  (I went back and made this recipe again and actually used measuring instruments- have modified based on my findings).  Here it is:

*Roasted Kabocha Squash*

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1 kabocha squash- cut off skin, empty middle (seeds, etc.), cubed- you only want the orange part.

1  1/2 tsp. kosher salt – you can add a bit more after it’s cooked to taste

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

ground pepper (aprox. 1/4 tsp. or so)

4 TBSP. olive oil to coat squash

– Put squash cubes in a bowl, add ingredients and toss till coated well.  I often put all ingredients in a gallon bag, close it, and shake, to ensure the squash is evenly coated.  Then transfer to a cookie sheet or baking pan, preferably metal (I use parchment paper under the squash- less cleanup and usually a better squash- mostly because my pans are lacking!  If you have good bakeware, don’t bother). Spread out the squash to make one layer, if possible.

Bake in oven for approx. 20 minutes.  Check to see if  the squash is fork tender. If it is, take it out.  If not, give it a bit longer.  I usually add a bit more salt to taste if needed.  Enjoy!

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Ok, obviously, there is no worry about this being a real food blog.  I usually don’t write up recipes.  Apologies for all of the approximations!  With three kids, one being a newborn, and plenty of other things on my plate, I tend to measure and do complicated recipes a lot less than I used to.  I love a great food I can make up fast, easy, and everyone loves it (and seriously, everyone in our house loves this squash!).  That is this recipe- so despite the awful recipe writing I handed you, I hope you’ll be able to get your hands on this fantastic squash and try it out! Happy End of Summer!

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