Cooking with Kids

20160628-053824.jpg Encouraging youngsters to enjoy cooking has always been big in our household. Our nieces over the years have cooked up some pretty amazing meals with and for us, and it has been so fun to watch them get better and better at it as the years progressed. They are now grown and are all impressive cooks, with one of them a well-regarded chef in New York (I know, I am a very proud Uncle), the below photo taken last Summer with paella on the menu. When our 8 year old godson Magnus recently said to TPS that he wanted to cook a meal with him, they started planning the menu on the spot. This Sunday was the day.
Steamed clams with pesto bruschetta
Grilled shrimp
Orzo pasta with grilled cauliflower & broccoli + tomatoes
Grilled portobellos with parmesan
Flourless chocolate cake with raspberries
Blueberry & peach crisp
It was cool to watch him in the kitchen cutting, mixing and cooking away. I think when I was that age I was making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. The rest of us chatted the afternoon away out on the deck in the sun as they cooked away and then were treated to all the above. What a special meal, what a special day.

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The Latest Flower Magazine Has Arrived

20160627-072503.jpg I was honored when asked to write one of the articles for the current flower magazine. My love of Instagram was showing, as I interviewed 3 of the top flower photographers in the business, Miguel Flores-Vianna, Stacy Bass and Ngoc Minh Ngo. They shared their tips for setting up & shooting images from smart phones. It is something so many of us do daily from our mobile devices, so getting some pointers is always a good thing. The trio could not have been more delightful and gracious all along the way. Copies arrived at both shops and you can also check it out via the flower website.



 

 

My Week on Instagram

20160626-063035.jpg I have shared in the past my love of Instagram. I find it so inspiring. Snippets & snapshots of all my favorite things by many of my favorite folks. It is also an outlet for me to share little pieces of beauty or inspiration throughout my day. From the first eve of Summer on the deck at WestWard, to a little tableau of shop goods, to a shot of the jasmine growing up the wall at The Gainsborough into our living room window, excitement over a new book written by a friend, to the passing of someone I have long admired–moments to share.

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20160626-064849.jpg Click here to check out more or to follow along.

A lovely, lovely Sunday to you! We have our 8 year old godson Magnus and his family coming over to the island this afternoon. He had said to TPS awhile back that he wanted to cook with him sometime, so today is the day. Can’t wait to see what they whip up for us!



 

 

It Always Comes Down to the Basics

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A Sea of Lilies

20160624-031823.jpg The Market was a sea of lilies the other day. The heady aroma they give off, heavenly. Lilies are one of those flowers where one stem can fill an entire room with scent. Of course, if you want to gild the lily, pun intended, a big bunch of them is pretty extraordinary too.

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Ted’s Tip No. 67

20160623-053148.jpg An ordinary roll of parchment paper picked up at the grocery store can be used for so many simple stylish uses. Line an old silver tray with it slightly askew for a visual app/cheese tray for your next gathering. Plus it makes clean-up a breeze.



 

 

A Citadelle G&T

20160622-063806.jpg Stumbled across a yummy find awhile back that I thought I would share as we head into Summer gin & tonic season. We like to set out a variety of gins for a ‘help yourself’ G&T station during the sunny months when we have guests out on the island. It is a fun way for them to try something new or stay with an old favorite. The blue from this bottle of Citadelle quickly caught my eye, the fact that it is made in France sealed the deal for me. And then we tried it with guests a few weeks ago. Oh boy, really tasty. I had never heard of it until I spotted that blue bottle. From the bit of quick searching I have surmised that the brand has been given new life in the past several years. As it was produced in the 17th century, Citadelle gin is distilled in small copper pot stills with a naked flame. Using centuries old know-how passed down through five generations of master distillers, Alexandre Gabriel and the Pierre Ferrand cellar master have brought back to market a complex, refined and elegant gin. Look for the beautiful blue bottle. Cheers to Summer!



 

 

A New Shipment of Hotel Silver Has Arrived

A new shipment of vintage English hotel silver bowls arrived the other day. From the 1940’s to 60’s, these pieces have lived quite a life already. They have been given a second life while being re-silvered and look awesome with a fresh coat. This makes them food-safe, so they are meant to used & enjoyed. Perfectly chic filled with a host of things like nuts and dips and crackers for the cocktail hour. Lovely with a flower floating in it. And my true test of an object is they look divine with nothing in them at all gracing a coffee table or kitchen counter. For information on any of the pieces, always feel free to give us a ring at the shop at 800.991.9361 or shoot us an e-mail at purveyor@watsonkennedy.com

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Summmaaaa Pasta

20160620-083538.jpg With a nod to Summer officially beginning this evening, I thought I would share a super simple Summmaaa pasta dish with you. Easy to whip up with all the variety of great veg out now or coming our way in the next few months. Whatever vegetables you decide to put into this is up to you. Use what you like, and use what looks freshest at the moment.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, my magical number when cooking, so the oven is nice and hot for when you are finished cutting up the vegetables. Cut up an entire head of cauliflower, making sure the pieces are quite small. The idea is all the pieces of everything you add to this is close to bite sized. Put the cauliflower pieces onto a sheet pan, drizzle all with extra virgin olive oil, then salt & pepper liberally. Then cut up a large bunch of asparagus, spreading out on its own sheet pan and getting the same oil treatment. You want each veg on its own pan as things cook differently, so that way you can pull them out individually when done. Put both in the hot oven and cook until things get nice and golden. Stir along the way. Once done, add all to a large pasta bowl.

Now get the pasta water ready to boil. When boiling add a few ears of corn, take out when done. Cut the corn off the husks when cool enough to handle and add to the bowl. Salt the corn. Sorry, I forgot to add the corn to the above bowl before I snapped the picture. Bring the water back up to a boil and add the pasta and cook to desired doneness from the instructions on the box. I am a fan of Cavatappi pasta, but truly, use whatever shape pasta you like best. Salt the water liberally and add a few splashes of olive oil. While the pasta is cooking away in the hot water bath, shell sugar snap peas and add them to the pasta bowl with the other veg. I love using raw for this as the heat of the pasta will cook them ever so slightly when tossed in, but they will have the slightest crunch which I really quite like. Then grate a good amount of fresh Parmesan cheese and add to the bowl. Stand back and admire just how pretty that all is…

When the pasta is done, take a measuring cup and fill it with the corn/pasta water. Set aside and then drain the pasta well. Add the hot pasta to the beautiful awaiting bowl. Mix in as much of the pasta as you think works well with the amount of veg you have. FYI, you might not use all of the pasta, and that is ok. Then add a bit of the pasta water to the lot. Mix around again. Salt and pepper all. Have a taste. You might want to add more cheese. You might want to add a little more of the pasta water. You might want to add a little more salt and pepper. Or not. It might just be perfect. You decide. Now enjoy it just as it is. Or serve it alongside a piece of chicken or fish. Or crumble chicken, Italian sausage or salmon into the pasta for a truly one bowl meal. As said above, this can all be changed up by what vegetables look best this Summer. Roasting them in the oven caramelizes them a bit and really brings out the flavor which adds so much to this pasta dish. Enjoy!

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Happy Father’s Day

20160619-072946.jpg May this Sunday be a time to spend together with your dad. Or a phone call to just hear his voice. Or a few moments spent thinking about our dads who are no longer with us. A time to give thanks and honor him, Father’s Day.