love. life. eat. of the week

Desktop

Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower | Uniqlo’s Legging Pants | Soba Noodle Dish {delish} | Linen Throw | Andrei Davidoff Ceramics | Acne Scarf | Alice Munro tribute | Domino is back! | O.M.G. Mill Mercantile | Vogue UK‘s Claire Danes feature | Reclaim your sanity | Entrepreneur + digital impresario, Yuli Ziv’s very astute new book, Fashion 2.0: Season of Change: A Forecast of Digital Trends Set to Disrupt the Fashion Industry | Paul Harding’s follow-up to his Pulitzer prize winning novel | Delfina Bada’s lovely interview + home |

And, of course, my special boy.

IMG_3191IMG123

shelf trophies: books I love, from me to you…

IMG_2403IMG123

Joan Didion’s The White Album + Slouching Toward Bethlehem: Everything from Didion’s writing process to water plants and Haight Ashbury, her essays are biting and will propel your own personal velocity | Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her: on adultery, love, heartbreak and the spaces in between | Claire Watkin’s Battleborn: dark, mythic, glorious and severe short stories focusing on the Nevada landscape | Claire Messud’s The Hunters + The Woman Upstairs: a novella and a novel that speaks to brilliant women the verge | Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go: a family wrestles with the death of its patriarch | V. Nabokov’s The Eye: what happens after an affair jolts you into the afterlife | Krys Lee’s Drifting House: unflinching and graceful stories centered on the Korean-American experience | Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove: magical stories that test your imagination and suspend disbelief | Nick Flynn’s The Reenactments: a meditation on memoir, movie-making and memory | Alice Munro’s Dear Life: this is her final book and it needs no introduction | Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home: how a disturbed interloper interrupts a fragile house | Lauren Grodstein’s A Friend of the Family: a swift, enveloping novel centering on the bomb that is the next door neighbor | Sarah Manguso’s The Guardians: a graceful meditation on loss |

IMG_2400IMG123

love.life.eat. of the week

IMG_7993
love: Alexander Stille’s take on memoir writing: After all, in writing about my parents, wasn’t I something of a body snatcher? | The world through a child’s eyes: Bianca Giaever asked a six year old friend what her movie should be about, and this is the result | Alice Munro’s heartbreaking, soulful story collection, Dear Life | The glee I feel embarking on a book-buying blitzkrieg: Lawrence Wright’s exhaustively researched book on Scientology, Going Clear (read his New Yorker article, which was the impetus for the book), Matthew Sharpe’s You Were Wrong, because Matthew is our new Don DeLillo, and Ali Smith’s There but for the, because her writing is surprising and always puts me on pause.

life: my extraordinary life change | Discovering Frankie Thompson’s blog, an ex-Londoner who decided to leave it all and travel the world | Design Sponge’s really smart round-up on social media etiquette, do’s + don’ts.

eat: chocolate profiteroles with passion fruit | brown butter rosemary sage cornbread | white chocolate coconut banana s’mores

blood orange coconut loaf with blood orange syrupy glaze

IMG_7934
Baking is home to me. Whenever there’s an air of disquiet I find myself covered in flour, mixing batter in bowls. I like the tactical nature of baking, sifting dough, shaping it with my hands. There’s something soothing and melodic about the alchemy of baking, how it allows you to create something from nothing. Cakes and cookies and pies have been my constant through the years, and I often feel there’s nothing that some time alone and a batter can’t cure. Well, almost. Hot ovens comfort me in a way that’s sometimes difficult to explain, and there’s nothing, at least for me, that replicates the feeling of putting on the mits, getting a blast of hot air on my skin as I unearth the next great object of devotion.

While I’ve taken a holiday this week, I’m experiencing a bit of personal frenzy. Amidst the wintering, I’m trying to find some space, some quiet, and although I feel the next few months will be challenging, I’m hopeful for the magic that lies on the other side. So today I spent the morning baking my heart out. Baking it out like song, like sermon.

And I couldn’t stop reading this passage from Alice Munro’s story collection, wondering if the reason why I cleave to it so has something to do with my current state of affairs. We’ll see, see, see:

It still seemed as if we could make our way out of the crowd, that in a moment we would be together. But just as certain that we would carry on in the way we were going. And so we did. No breathless cry, no hand on my shoulder when we reached the sidewalk. Just that flash, that I had seen in an instant, when one of his eyes opened wider. It was the left eye, always the left, as I remembered. And it always looked so strange, alert and wondering, as if some whole impossibility had occurred to him, one that almost made him laugh.

IMG_7921

INGREDIENTS
For the loaf
1 1/2 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp freshly-grated blood orange zest (you’ll need two large blood oranges for this recipe)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp (30ml) blood orange juice
1/3 cup coconut milk

For the glaze
2 tbsp brand orange juice
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 inch with coconut oil cooking spray (feel free to butter the pan if you don’t mind dairy).

In a large bowl, rub the blood orange zest into the sugars with your fingertips. Not only does this release the grapefruit essence and some of the juice, you’ll find your sugar wonderfully damp and fragrant. Add the sugar mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the oil until smooth, and then add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a second bowl. In another bowl, combine 2 tbsp blood orange juice and coconut milk, and whisk together until combined. Add the flour and the coconut milk mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Spread the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter to ensure there are no trapped air bubbles. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

For the glaze, whisk the sugar and juice until a thick glaze forms.

When the loaf is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting it onto a rack set over a tray or tin foil. Poke holes in loaf with a skewer or toothpick, then spoon or brush the 2 tbsp of reserve juice over the loaf. Let the loaf cool completely while it absorbs the syrup. Pour over the glaze once the bread has cooled. I couldn’t wait, as you can see, so I had a bit of a mess. But WHO CARES? It was still good.

IMG_7917

love.life.eat. of the week

8307786645_afb127e514_b

love.: After working in book publishing, a beastly business that shows the unseemly side of publishing art, I found myself paralyzed — unable to read books for pleasure as I once did. It took years to undo this unraveling, but it’s worth it because I feel as if I’m in a bit of a literary renaissance. No longer do I care about the big books, the punch of the Believer-reading lot, I visit bookstores as if I’m a normal sort of person looking for something to read, and believe me when I say the ride has been nothing short of thrilling. I’ve discovered two extraordinary books this past month: Krys Lee’s story collection, Drifting House and Deborah Levy’s remarkable Swimming Home. While Krys Lee’s stark story collection focus on Koreans — emigrating (or fleeing) North Korea — coming undone, Deborah Levy presents us a family unraveling at the seams once a strange, fiery interloper is found floating in a pool. As Francine Prose so astutely reveals, “Swimming Home is unlike anything but itself. Its originality lies in its ellipses, its patterns and repetitions, in what it discloses and reveals, and in the peculiar curio cabinet Levy has constructed: a collection of objects and details that disclose more about these fictional men and women than they are willing, or able, to tell us about themselves.”

Next up I’m diving deliriously into Sarah Manguso’s The Guardians (update: read it in one sitting + it’s magical) and Alice Munro’s latest story collection. I’ll let you know how it goes.

IMG_7473

life: The new year holds so much promise, and I’m diving in, feet first into a bevy of culinary adventures. After a year of trepidation, I’m finally taking my first Sunday Suppers class. Consider this a cooking class cum dinner cum gathering with strangers who share one common passion: food. I’m also taking a puff pastry + eclair class at The Brooklyn Kitchen with a sweet friend, and I’ve signed up for French classes at the Alliance Française (FIAF). And if I ever tire of New York, really tire of it, I’ll remind myself to tick off items on my dear friend Mary Phillip’s Sandy’s list.

eat.: If I could have any kale salad right now, this Christmas version would just about do. These pistachio, dark chocolate and olive oil muffins are calling my name in the worst way, while these orange cardamon scones will have me rethinking my almond croissant affliction. I’ve never met a bread I haven’t adored, so color me smitten with this simple olive version. Finally, you haven’t LIVED until you had the pillowy donuts from The Fat Radish, and here’s the recipe. YOU’RE WELCOME.