Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Renting an apartment through Haven in Paris would be lovely. I'd like to enjoy some macarons on this quaint little patio overlooking a Paris sunset. 

Stumbling Across an Old Favorite...

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz 
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: 
I love you as certain dark things are loved, 
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries 
hidden within itself the light of those flowers, 
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body 
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, 
I love you simply, without problems or pride: 
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you, 
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, 
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

-Pablo Neruda

Ratatouille Tart and Cold Melon Soup

Not only are these two recipes healthy and delicious they are also beautiful, seriously consider making one the next time you have company coming over for dinner. I also found that the Ratatouille Tart would make a good brunch item. 

Ratatouille Tart

adapted from 
Cuisine at Home
August 2009

Dough (recipe follows)

1 yellow squash
1 large zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1/4 red onion
3/4 c shredded firm chevre (goat cheese)
2 Tbs thinly sliced fresh basil
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

For the dough: Pulse 1 1/2 c all purpose flour and 1/2 tsp each of table salt and black pepper in
a food processor. Add 6 Tbs of cold, diced unsalted butter and 3 Tbs cold diced shortening; pulse
until pieces of butter and shortening are the size of peas. Add 3 Tbs ice water; pulse to combine.
Shape dough into a flat disk. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Fit dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Press dough into edges and trim excess. Cover dough with foil and fill with dried beans. Bake until crust feels dry, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake shell for another 5 minutes, until light brown. Let crust cool to room temperature.

Using a mandoline, or the slicer blade of a food processor, slice squash, zucchini, and bell pepper into rounds, and the onion into half-rounds. Sprinkle chevre and basil over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange vegetables around the edge of the shell, repeatedly overlapping two slices of squash, two slices of zucchini, a slice of bell pepper, and three slices of onion (or whatever combination you wish). Arrange a smaller circle inside the first. Use squash slices to cover the center.

Drizzle tart with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tart is golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes.

Melon Soup

Melon soup usually is associated with Thailand, although it's also popular in Bali and on other Indonesian islands. Light coconut milk lowers the fat content of this version and keeps the soup from separating.

Makes 4 servings (about 7 cups)
Total time: 30 minutes

For the Soup:
3 cups diced seedless watermelon
3 cups diced cantaloupe
3 cups honeydew melon
1 can light coconut milk (14 oz)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh gingerroot
1-2 tsp siracha or chili garlic sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Blend sliced melon, coconut milk, 1/4 cup lime juice, sugar and gingerroot for soup in a blender until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Transfer soup to a large bowl.

Whisk siracha into soup until combined; season to taste.

Fabulous Idea for Charity

One of my favorite blogs Sea of Shoes posted this a while back, how inspirational: 

"My mom showed me this sofa in Australian Vogue Living a while back, and we both thought it would be a great idea to copy. How easy would it be to buy some old furniture, have it redone in canvas, give some kids some sharpies and let them go crazy on it?My mom and I both quickly realized this project's potential to be a very fun way to raise money for many different charities. We immediately got in touch with my aunt, Sidney Aldridge, a pediatritian at Cook Children's Hospital here in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Sidney Aldridge initiated the idea that Cook Children's Hospital was in need of a Palliative Care program at the hospital, and now that this program is well under-way, Sidney is very involved with it's fundraising.We were not aware of what exactly a Palliative Care program was at first, so here is Dr. Sidney Aldridge to tell you in her own words...
There are now many little patients who are living longer and better because of our advances in medical technology  but they do live with very complicated medical problems, and many will unfortunately still die at a young age. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult journey for these little children and their families.
A new specialty has emerged in Pediatrics to help these most special patients called Palliative Care. The Palliative Care team would like to provide support for a family at the initial diagnosis, then all along the course of that child's life, and finally, help the family prepare for their child's death.
    The Palliative Care team helps the child with symptom and pain relief, and also provides much needed psychological and spiritual support for the child, their siblings and parents during these very difficult times. The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, psychologists, and spiritual leaders, such as ministers, priests, and rabbis. The Palliative Care team wants to help a little child live as well as possible for as long as possible, and then help make the end of that child's life be as pain-free and peaceful as possible.
As you can imagine, it takes very special people to be able to practice Palliative Care.  This kind of treatment requires hours and hours with each patient and family, and is not adequately funded by insurance companies.  We rely on wonderful charity organizations such as the Careity Foundation here in Ft Worth to provide this much needed care.  The Careity Foundation has an amazing charity event, a Western-themed Gala called "Branded" here every August to raise money for our new Palliative Care program here at Cook Childrens Medical Center, and they have provided us with immeasurable support.
The project got more exciting for us when we were invited to the hospital to bring our chair to the kids.The chair will now be auctioned off at the annual Branded event. 
For more information, visit their website. "

Friday, August 21, 2009

Design Inspiration

What an incredible design idea, if only I'd thought of it. The set can be yours just order from THE

Tree House

I wish my childhood tree house was this cool! 

Fab Photo

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Images to Love

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chef Envy

My very favorite chef, and huge celebrity crush will be on the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night, August 17th at 11:35 ET/PT on CBS. If you love food the way that I do you should not miss the show. Eric Ripert and his amazing New York restaurant Le Bernardin are not to be missed. It was without a doubt one of the most memorable meals I had while living in the city.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wonderful Spaces

Wonderful spaces, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sorry I've Been Away!

After a small hiatus I'm back! These past few weeks have been a little crazy {that might just be an understatement}. I have been conducting focus groups as part of an overhaul for Darkness to Light's training of facilitators working within the special needs population. They have gone quite well and I've met some really wonderful and passionate people so I'm thankful for the opportunity.

I also had a special visitor last weekend, an old friend came down from college. To say that I was nervous to see my friend doesn't even begin to cover it. I felt like a five year old the night before Christmas. The weekend was fabulous filled with long walks on the beach, frolicking in the ocean, raw oysters, piano playing {he's so good}, backyard BBQs, fish tacos, and late night swings on the pier. Sometimes I had to pinch myself it seemed so surreal. He's gone now, back to his hometown but I have some really wonderful memories.

 Last night I made my mom a birthday dinner and much to my surprise it came out perfectly. The menu was taken from Ina Garten's anniversary dinner with Jeffery. French Rack of Lamb, Parmesan Asparagus, and Orzo. 

Orzo Recipe


  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
  • 3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Rack of Lamb Recipe: 


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 racks of lamb, "frenched" (see note)


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the salt, rosemary, and garlic until they're as finely minced as possible. Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar and process for 1 minute. Place the lamb in a roasting or sheet pan with the ribs curving down, and coat the tops with the mustard mixture. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve.

Note: "Frenching" refers to scraping the meat off the tips of the bones. Ask your butcher to leave 1/8 inch of fat on the meat.

Asparagus Recipe:


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges.