The other week I snapped away a few images of “things” that caught my eye at the Market shop. Stuff, ephemera, objects, things, bits & bobs–whatever words you like best. Obviously, and I smile as I type this, you know I like all of those words, and what they are quite a bit. Just a few bowls, jars, boxes and platters of things pleasing to the eye.
This sunny (or cloudy like the above) time of year is a perfect time to have a rosé tasting. By no means does this need to be formal or fancy. There are just so many good rosé wines out there, that it is fun to try a variety with guests at your next dinner or party. Just pick up several different bottles and have them out when guests arrive. It is a pleasurable way to spark conversation, and it is a stellar way to choose a new crowd favorite. We did this last Sunday out on the island and it was a festive way to get the afternoon rolling before dinner was served. This is also a great time to use bottles that were given as gifts. A lovely remembrance of a gift from a friend shared with other friends. The love multiples. For the above wines, the Bandol was the crowd favorite, with the AIX coming in a close second. But all were hugely enjoyed measured by the stories and laughs had along the way.
We are so pleased to have the beautifully sensuous & sumptuous line, Antica Farmacista, now gracing the shelves at Watson Kennedy. Very Italian influenced, the company is actually based right here in Seattle. Which I love. Not only here in Seattle, but about a block from the Market shop. Which I love even more. Antica Farmacista was established in 2003, and was the first company to introduce the home ambiance reed diffuser in the United States. They have expanded the line tremendously since then. Think liquid hand soap, lotions, and candles. All of which are now stocked on our shelves. It really is such a pretty, pretty line. With outstanding scents. Plus, you know I love great packaging. Antica has that in spades. All ready to be wrapped up and given as a gift.
Turn soon to be stale bread into delectable croutons. Turn oven to 350 degrees to pre-heat while you cut up the bread into bite sized pieces. Scatter them onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. A winning trio in so much of my cooking. Put tray in the oven being sure to keep an eye on it and move around the bread often to make sure things cook evenly. Pull out when nice and golden. Then liberally dust with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You now have tasty, tasty croutons for salads or for snacking. These also make fab hostess gifts if you fill up a cello bag with them and close off with an earthy colored ribbon.
Ahhhh, Summer. Or Summmaaa as I have started to call it. Bountiful. Colorful. Insert whatever summery word suits you. The Market yesterday was a riot of color. The yellows really catching my eye the most.
And my oh my, the dahlias. Each week I am seeing more and more. The variety is what I find most captivating about them. So many different shapes, sizes and colors. Just happiness packed into a flower.
I have written about this a bit before, but I would like to say a few words again. I have always wanted to have my daily blog post be a bright spot in your day. Keeping it upbeat and positive is incredibly important to me. This is how I try and live my life each day. There can be so much darkness in the world. The horrific event that happened the other day has me teary just typing this. My heart just aches for the families who lost loved ones on that flight. I sometimes feel funny posting such light things after such a tragedy. Please know these events affect me greatly, but I feel we must not let that darkness overshadow or overcome all the good there is in the world. Not by sticking our head in the sand, but rather by staying positive and not letting events like these overcome us.
So I will focus on the beauty of the day. There is so much of it around us.
With much love,
It is always a bit of a thrill to try a new food for the first time. My book signing the other afternoon at Met Market was my first time to have a Watermelon radish. Also known as Rooseheart or Red Meat, it is an heirloom Chinese Daikon radish. They were so kind and were serving things I wrote about in the book. Radish with butter and a bit of sea salt was on the menu, along with a few other tasty bits. But I was so taken with the Watermelon radish I had to buy one and take it home so we could share it with guests. Last evening our Friday night pizza & martini dinner would be the time. The radish is the size of a tennis ball with a thick white skin. You cut that away to reveal a pinky reddish center. It is a bit softer than a standard radish. The taste is sublime. To add to the sensation, I spread a healthy dollop of soft French butter to the top, then added a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel salt. A perfect bite sized packed with a myriad of flavor sensations. Just a simple thing to serve with drinks. If you see one of these on your grocery shopping excursions, give it a try. Really enjoyable.
Happy Summer Saturday to you all! I am excited for my walk around the Market this morning before I open the shop to see all the bounty the season has been producing–will share that with you tomorrow.
I will be signing Style & Simplicity this afternoon at the Sand Point Metropolitan Market from 4 to 6 here in Seattle. If you are in the area, please stop by. Met Market is just one heck of a grocery store. Meticulous, beautifully stocked, and just the nicest folks working there. I am so honored they are carrying my book.
We had a seriously fun thing happen yesterday at one of the shops. We were asked if the First & Spring location could be used to shoot FedEx print and film ads. Being a big fan of FedEx, how could I say no? Actually, I said a big YES quite quickly, as I knew it would be a blast, and it was! Famed photographer Doug Menuez from New York shot the print portion, and I feel terribly as I am not finding my note with the name of the fab gent who shot the film portions. Both were so gracious and so lovely to work with. I was fortunate to be part of both portions of the shoots. Our beloved Amy was called into action for one of the print shots with me, which was really cool. Makes me smile to know a little bit of Watson Kennedy will grace some of the FedEx world ads in the coming year. Not sure when things will start showing up, but please send me an e-mail if you see any pop up in your neck of the woods. Really, such a fun day!
Those white dahlias I wrote about the other day made the trek on the ferry and were enjoyed on Sunday at the supper table. Spreading them out in single stem vases, which this time were heavy based juice glasses we brought back from a trip to Italy over 20 years ago. Just simple clear drinking glasses that let the dahlias shine. For 10 bucks the dining table and a few spots in the house were flowered. The white dahlias adding a Summery freshness to the creamy & white table.
You know when I make something we really enjoy, I like to pass it on and share. Given the season and that herbs are so plentiful, this uber herby vinaigrette is one of those things. We got our hands on a beautiful piece of tuna last week, so I tried to make from memory a Salad Nicoise I had enjoyed at Buvette on a solo visit and really wanted to make for Ted. After a little Google searching, I came up with a vinaigrette recipe, as this was the one component I was coming up dry on for the salad. A recipe by Tyler Florence was what I took the most away from, so I want to give a shout-out in thanks! I altered it just a bit. Here is what I whipped up that is pretty tasty, really herby, and also worked as a marinade for the tuna before I grilled it. So it really did double duty.
Mince 1 large garlic clove as finely as you can. Chop up 2 tablespoons of parsley, as well as 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh chopped tarragon. Put all of that in a jar that has a lid. To that jar add the juice of 1 lemon, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add liberal amount of salt and fresh cracked black pepper and a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. Vinaigrette is always the time to use your very best olive oil. Now put that lid on and shake, shake, shake. Make this very first thing when you start your cooking so it can sit a bit and all blend together before you dress your salad. This is divine on any salad, not just Salad Nicoise. Just know it packs a serious herby punch, but what a good punch it is. This can easily sit in the fridge for a few days too. Enjoy!