I received a lovely surprise yesterday from my friend Marcy who lives back East. She snapped a photo of Style & Simplicity on the shelf at her local Barnes & Noble in New York. The gesture was so lovely and much appreciated as I love seeing my book in situ, even as we near the second anniversary of the release. I wrote it hoping it would have longevity in the market and not be a title that was out but then gone in a flash. I have so many of you to thank for that, as many of you continue to give it as gifts. I know this because when I work the shops I often sign and personalize them, or I receive notes/e-mails from far & wide telling me of the gift received, which tickles me so. But the thing that most made me smile in this photo was that it also included The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman and Around Beauty by Barbara Barry. Deborah hosted the swellest book party for me at her home in New York and Barbara wrote the most heartfelt foreword to my book. What a fun coincidence that the three books would be right next to one another. A happy trio, indeed.
This is such a great dish for entertaining because the shrimp marinate with the garlic, getting infused, so you can prepare this before guests arrive. Then all you need to do is quickly cook them up right before ready to serve. Here goes.
Either peel & devein shrimp yourself, my preferred way, or buy them that way. Truly, either is perfectly fine. Lay them out in a bowl or platter and pour over a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. They want to be swimming in it, this will all make sense in a bit. Chop up finely several cloves of garlic and spread about. Liberally salt and pepper the whole lot. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. Or cook right away, just let that mixture sit for at least 15 minutes. It can sit in the fridge for a good long while marinating. Next zest 2 lemons, putting the zest in a bowl. Then juice those 2 lemons into the same bowl. Set aside. Then chop up a generous handful of Italian parsley. Place in a little bowl. You will use this later.
Get water boiling for pasta. Cook a box of your favorite linguine. If you use fresh, even better. While that is cooking away, you are ready to cook the shrimp. On the stove top, get a pan heated on medium high, add a big knob of butter. Place the shrimp, all the glorious EVOO they have been swimming in, plus the garlic into the pan. Cook the shrimp not more than 2 minutes a side. Take off of heat. Add the lemon zest/juice from the waiting bowl. Stir around. The lemon mixes with the butter and the olive oil to make a bit of a sauce. Then add the parsley. After you have drained the pasta, add all, the shrimp mixture & pasta, back into the empty but still warm pasta pot. Place the lid back on and let sit for a few minutes to marry all those amazing flavors. Serve. Just so simple and hearty. We served this the last 2 Sundays alongside grilled steaks for a Summery surf and turf to guests. Ample enough to serve just as it is, with a green salad, baguette and a glass of rosé.
Transform a bare wall into a rotating ephemera gallery. Use interesting pushpins or double stick tape to display favorite photos, ticket stubs, beautifully handwritten cards & envelopes–really whatever makes you smile.
PS, I was hoping to announce the 5 winners of the flower magazine subscription contest today, but we have been experiencing some major computer issues at WK this week, and all the entries are sitting in an e-mail folder I have been unable to access. Arghhhhhh. Hugely sorry. Fingers crossed this will be fixed today and I can announce the 5 winners tomorrow. Oh my word, I have received sooooo many amazing entries. Thank you for that, and thank you for your patience on this one.
If you are in the Boston area of Roslindale tomorrow, please join me from 4 to 7 at Joanne Rossman’s magical shop for a book signing. Also joining me will be my friend, artist Denise Fiedler from San Francisco. She will be showing her works and taking orders for her now famous pet portraits she creates from vintage papers. A fun, festive evening is assured! Funny how the world works. Joanne and I both know a ton of the same folks. So often this year people have said to me I need to do a signing at her shop. We will make the drive to Boston from Hawthorne tomorrow, which will be so pretty this time of year. Can’t wait to see her shop. I have heard so many fabulous things about it. Hope to see you there!
Turns 1, First Anniversary–just not sure of the proper terminology. Either way, one year ago today Style & Simplicity was released. My oh my, what a wonderfully incredibly special year it has been. For all of you who have followed along, sent a word of encouragement, bought a book, given a book–a heartfelt THANK YOU from the bottom right up to the top of my heart.
To all of you who attended the book launch party at the shop one year ago tonight, what a special night that was. One I will never forget. The amount of love shown was just off the charts. The thought of that eve and event will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.
To all of you who sell my book at your shop, to all those who attended a book signing along the way, a HUGE merci. I really just can’t thank you all enough. You have shown me much love throughout. I have heard so many thoughtful cool stories–shared experiences from parts of the book that spoke to you. A recipe tried, a stored family heirloom unearthed and enjoyed, a piece of art purchased on a trip that will be a remembrance always.
Before we eat our food, really take a moment to look at the beauty of it. Let it feed our souls as well as our bodies. Revel in the textures, the color variations, the aromas. Giving thanks for the abundance and beauty before us.
I have a favor to ask. I would love to start a collection of images from shops that carry my book. If you see Style & Simplicity at a store, if it is no trouble to snap a photo of it and send it to me via e-mail, that would be hugely appreciated. The above I snapped when I was at one of John Derian’s shops in NYC a few weeks ago. The below was posted in situ the other day on Instagram by a very cool & lovely shop, Upstairs at Pierre Lafond. On a trip to Santa Barbara a few years ago, on our meandering we were fortunate to stop into this gem when we were in Montecito. It tickles me to no end to see my book in other environs. Thank you so much in advance if you do end up seeing it somewhere. A reader sent me an image of it at the Harvard Bookstore, and it just made my day. I may not have made it into Harvard, but my book did! Insert very large smile. email@example.com
I hope everyone had a lovely week-end. We had a Valentine dinner at home in town on Saturday eve with family. We kept the table quite simple with pink tulips and white plates/bowls/napkins for bouillabaisse. Extra cut-out hearts from old sheet music we had at the shop would pull it all together. They danced down the middle of the table. Add a little Champagne and we were set to celebrate the holiday of love.
I like the idea of drinking a Summery drink on a cold day, as long as that chilly drink is consumed by a fire or wrapped up in a blanket reading a good book. This was just the ticket yesterday, as the temperature dipped, so this sunny drink it would be.
A Style & Simplicity originated at my Seattle book signing party last May, and has been thoroughly enjoyed since. You may certainly use Veuve, but Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco, works perfectly and is much more budget friendly. The secret is using Meyer lemon simple syrup. We sell it at the First Avenue shop, but I know it is now available at many grocery shops. Simply fill your favorite tumbler with ice, add a slice of Meyer lemon, then add a spoonful of the simple syrup, then pour in the bubbly. Give all a nice stir. Will take you right back to a sunny day.
I am excited to report that I will be signing copies of Style & Simplicity tomorrow, Saturday from 10 in the morning until noon at Haystack Antiques in Bellevue, Washington. Owner Debbie Nordstrom has amassed a stellar group of dealers to create a vintage heaven of goods. I wrote about my love of antique malls in my book–there is always so much extraordinary variety as each dealer presents things in her/his own way, creating tons of visual interest. It will be fun to be surrounded by all that cool vintage while I sign books. If you are on the Eastside, stop in, I would love to see you. Top it off with a little vintage shopping. That is just what I will be doing after. Our car is ready to be filled up!
A lovely Friday to you all as we ease into November…