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Back Pocket Pasta/Meals on Wheels Fundraiser Book Signing Party Tomorrow Eve

Tickets are still available for our ‘Back Pocket Pasta’ book signing party tomorrow eve with Colu Henry. Starting at 6 up to 8 p.m. she will be signing her fabulously lovely book, Spinasse treats will be served and Cavatappi wine will be poured, as well as San Pellegrino with a twist. The profits from the sale of her book will be donated to Meals on Wheels, an organization so very near & dear to my heart. As a kid, my mom volunteered for many years, delivering meals to the homes of seniors in our community. Not only was she delivering nourishment but also company/friendship to the folks who rarely got out of their homes. A bit about the organization:

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.

Tickets for the event Thursday evening are $35, which gets you a signed copy of the book and a chance to meet Colu, who you will just adore + nibbles & drinks. It will be such a fun night, I so hope to see you there! Give the shop a call at 206.652.8350 to purchase or send an e-mail directly to me at tedkennedywatson@watsonkennedy.com 



 

 

Feta Orzo with Roasted Chicken & Cauliflower, Capers and Green Olives

Often a satisfying meal can be pulled together from many things already had in your pantry and/or fridge. Such was the case with this lunch at WestWard yesterday. We had our friend Adrienne coming over and we knew we just wanted to sit and chat with the fire going, so I wanted to make something in a bowl that we could easily eat while sitting on the sofa talking away. We had a box of orzo pasta, green olives and a head of cauliflower. TPS made a quick run for a few other things, and lunch was in the works.

Put on a large pot of water to boil, add a tablespoon of salt once it begins to boil. Pre-heat oven to 400 while you begin prepping things. He picked up two chicken breasts with the skin on and the bone in. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts would work great for this too. On a sheet pan add the chicken breasts and coat liberally with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Get into that hot oven. Check the internal temp of the meat with a meat thermometer at 45 minutes. You want it to be 160. While that is cooking away put an entire box of orzo in the boiling water and cook to the time instructions on the box. Once done, drain, put in a large bowl, salt the pasta, add pepper, give a good glug of olive oil, and add the juice of one lemon, stir. Break up half the feta into the orzo while the pasta is still warm. Stir again. Then let sit while everything else cooks away. This is a room temp meal, so no need to worry. 

While the chicken cooks away, cut up a whole head of cauliflower. Break up the florets so they are quite small. Think less than bite sized. Add all to another sheet pan, add a good amount of olive oil, salt & pepper. Mix all around until coated. Then cut up a handful of pitted green olives, adding that to the mix. To that add a generous spoonful of capers. Mix all around and add to the hot oven where the chicken is cooking away. Stir several times in the cooking process. Take out when the cauliflower has started to brown a bit. Add the entire contents, oil and all to the bowl of orzo and feta. All the extra olive oil from this and the chicken help coat the orzo, add a ton of flavor, and create a bit of a sauce when melded with the lemon juice. Almost there!

When the chicken is done, take out of the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let it sit for 10 minutes to rest. Once ready, either cut up or pull the meat from the bone and add all to the excitedly awaiting bowl of orzo/feta/cauliflower/green olives/caper goodness. I took the skin off and did not add to the mixture, but by all means, do if you would like. Any juices that have formed on the pan with the chicken for sure add to the pasta. We want every bit of flavor. Mix up everything now that the chicken has been added. Now add the other half of the feta and another bit of pepper. Stir. Lastly, add the juice of another lemon. Stir. Take a taste. Add one final bit of salt if you think it is needed. Lunch is served.



 

 

Spring Refresh, Part Two

The best part about a ‘refresh’ whether it is at one of the shops or in your own home, is it enables you to see your possessions in a different light. Just the mere fact that objects are placed in a new position gives them new life. You see things differently.

Case in point, our ‘art’ section. It got a completely new home and totally different than it did when it was laid out on the big green vintage tanker desk. All the exact same goods, but totally different visually on this display unit.

The Le Jacquard Francais napkin sets and the Gien plates taking the spot where the art section had once been, bringing together the rest of the display with the stacks of French dish towels.

Our ‘kids’ section is ever growing and is now right next to the art supplies tying it all together.

Cook book anyone?

We turned one of the tables into a dining table so I can set it once a month with a new setting to show all the different ways things can be mixed & matched. The below, bringing all the black and white and creamy product together which is always fun as the products are often changing so it is interesting to see things mixed together. The new artwork encaustic blocks by local artist Theresa Stirling just dreamy and bringing the entire display together.



 

 

Spring Refresh, Part One

As I write this from my comfy chair on the island with Bailey snuggled up right next to me on my left side, my body still a bit stiff from moving displays around for four days–but my soul is energized having spent those hours doing one of my all-time favorite activities, display. Armed with Amy, Heather & Olivia by my side (over a combined 40 years of WK creativity by these 3), we tackled almost every vignette in the 3000 foot space. We laughed, we chatted, we laughed some more, all the while creating as we went. Oh, I should not forget coffee. Lots of coffee was consumed.

Picture the three of them standing with their arms stretched high holding the above heavy birdcage while I am on a ladder between them bolting it into the wall. I initially had the drill set on ‘reverse’ and could not for the life of me figure out why the first screw would not go into the wall. We laughed until we cried with laughter.

Fun to get a big grouping of John Derian up on the wall.

The London and Paris displays had been combined and are now each their own areas so they can spread out as they are ever growing.

The nautical area moving to where the bird section had been, getting a major refresh as some stellar artwork got added to the section.

Paper napkins & guest towels now get their own display unit along with a few other lovelies.

Even the big green window display looking out on to Spring Street got a little love with the addition of some new product that recently arrived. New goods always add a freshness to a vignette.

Reds, creams and earthy colors stepping up to the plate and getting their own area, living across from the lavender & blue wall.

We like to group most ‘like’ goods together, creating a visual story. Sometimes the color of an item warrants being included. Sometimes something is added for pure whimsy, other times because it is truly the only spot we have left in the shop. It is all very scientific. Insert very large smile. End result, hopefully a visual feast.

All the above from the front part of the space. Tomorrow gets the back of the shop vignettes. 

Happy Sunday everyone! Sending love from WestWard, T



 

 

Pink & Green Blooms

Flower Friday brings us these jaunty blooms with a preppy pink & green vibe. The are quite, quite pretty just as they are, but once the magical dance of them opening begins, look out. Each one a little masterpiece.



 

 

Scallops, Sun Golds & A Mess Of Herbs

This is a recipe taken from Back Pocket Pasta by our friend Colu Henry. Scallops are always something I know I will find at the grocery store on the island, so this became our Sunday supper and was the first thing to try out her new book. It was sooooo good!

Colu believes in heavily salting the pasta water, as she often uses some of that water to mix with the pasta and the other ingredients to create a sort of sauce when everything gloriously mixes together. Begin by filling a large pot with water and bring that to a boil, then add 2 tablespoons of salt and return to a rolling boil. While that is bubbling away, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Then cook the salt & pepper seasoned scallops, 3 minutes a side. Take them out of the pan and set aside on a plate.

Wipe out the skillet, change the heat to low, add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and add a thinly sliced shallot and cook until carmelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Take out and set aside. This is not the season for Sun Gold tomatoes (which I am excited to in this dish when they start showing up at farm stands) so she recommends using grape tomatoes, which I did. Add them to the skillet and let cook away for about 8 minutes or until they start to burst open, releasing their juices, which will become part of the sauce.  Season heavily with pepper and lightly with salt. While the tomatoes cook away add 3/4 of a pound of linguine to the boiling salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking away add 2 sliced garlic to the tomatoes along with a half of a cup each of chopped tarragon, chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and sliced 1/2 inch long chives. Mix all together with the tomatoes in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the shallots you have already cooked.  

Here is where most folks toss all the pasta water away and drain the pasta. Don’t. Here is where you will need tongs or long spoons–you want to pull the pasta out of the boiling water and add the pasta right to the skillet of tomato goodness. Then add a 1/4 of a cup of the hot cooking liquid to the lot.  Now mix all around. The pasta water starts bringing all the ingredients together to create the ‘sauce’ and each strand of pasta is lovingly coated it in. Once all is combined, and certainly add more pasta water if needed, separate into 4 bowls, sprinkle with any remaining herbs from what you had chopped, along with a sprinkling of chunky sea salt, then add the scallops to the top of it all. Dinner is served.

Tickets are available for Colu’s book signing at the shop next Thursday eve, the 30th of March. The price is $35 which gets you her book, treats by Spinasse and wine by Cavatappi–along with a heck of a fun time. We will be donating the profits from the sale of the book to Meals on Wheels. (More on this amazing organization later) Call 206.652.8350 to purchase tickets and reserve your spot. Hope to see you there!



 

 

(MALIN+GOETZ) Votive Candles in Shop

Just the perfect sized candle for travel or scattered here & there about your home, the (MALIN+GOETZ) votive candle is sure to please. Both shops are fully stocked, they make swell little host/hostess gifts too.



 

 

Spring Is In The Air



 

 

Two in One

Sometimes you get an extra special bloom, where there are two heads on a stem. They are like finding a four leaf clover in my book. Which leads me to–Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy Flower Friday!



 

 

Inspiration in Green

As the rain pitter patters away on the window sill (a very familiar sound these past few months) at this early morning hour, green is on my mind as Spring is soon upon us. All this water creates growth, so we are in for a serious dose of green in the days ahead. Here is a little green inspiration in many forms until then.