This week I shared a peek into the Toulouse kitchen of Sandrine Follère, a French painter and sculptor, who welcomed me into her home with a beautiful and improvised lunch that capitalized on the delicious ingredients that the south of France offers.
As Sandrine is an accomplished and experienced artist, I was curious how her art affects her cooking, and vice versa. I asked her about this and here's what she said.
When warm weather came to Brooklyn this year, Rich threw an intimate "Hello to Summer" gathering for some friends in his lushly planted rooftop garden. Called for the afternoon, when the flowers would be at their fullest and the plants at their greenest, the party featured drinks and appetizers that were heavy on the garden-fresh ingredients.
Here's a full look at the party, from the setup to the cocktail recipes, including a few gardening tips along the way. Planning an outdoor party this summer? Here's some inspiration for making it a relaxed and delicious gathering.
The signature cocktail for Rich's "Hello to Summer" rooftop gathering was inspired by the fragrant summer herbs already flourishing in his lush outdoor planters. Built around a handful of muddled basil, mint and parsley, this drink tastes fresh from the garden. You can find the same freshness, whether from the basil plant on your kitchen counter or at your local market. Here's our recipe for the most refreshing cocktail of the summer.
I spent the last ten days in Toulouse, in the southwest of France. It's a warm, sunny city in the summertime, with a relaxed vibe and late night hours that remind me more of Spain than Paris. I had several good meals in Toulouse, but none better than the ones shared in friends' homes.
I wanted to show you one of them — a no-cook, no-sweat feast that was pretty splendid, and also so inspiring for laid-back summer meals.
Coffee isn't just coffee in Sweden. It's a lifestyle.
Sweden is in the top three of the world's biggest coffee consumers (surpassed only by Finland and the Netherlands), and while Swedes certainly drink coffee in the morning like the rest of us, what's even more important in this Scandinavian country is the coffee break.
After an especially brutal winter, Rich was even more excited than usual to see springtime come to his beautiful roof garden. In the summer months, the rootop is his favorite room in the house, with walls of hydrangea and boxwood and pots of herbs and lettuces. So naturally, Rich wanted a little fanfare to celebrate the start of the season. To properly welcome summer, he threw a casual afternoon gathering for some friends and neighbors, serving food and drinks inspired by the bounty already flourishing in the garden. This week we'll be telling you all about his party, the recipes, the decor, and the shindig itself, starting today with the Party Plan. Want to see how he did it all?
Summer Solstice, from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), the so-called longest day of the year. It's the time to celebrate the sun and summertime and all that it offers: sticky, prodigious watermelons, velvety stone fruit, resolute zucchinis and bold, Rabelaisian tomatoes. Fireflies and fireworks and fire escapes. The opportunity to wear white linen shirts and buy too many ears of corn at the farmers market, or sit back and reap the rewards for your labors in the garden (resolute zucchinis indeed). This is the time of radiance and extroversion and plentitude. Don't sit it out!
Here's the last installment of the DIY wedding reception series I've been sharing with you this week (you can see all the posts here). Shopping for a big event like a wedding reception is not like a normal grocery run, and there are a few tips I've picked up to make it a little easier. These tips can be helpful for a range of parties, too — whether you're cooking for 50 at a graduation barbecue, or 200 at a wedding reception.
Several of you asked me about the crudité and hummus cups I served at the wedding I've been sharing with you this week. These are one of my favorite make-ahead appetizers for a big group; it's so nice to have some fresh, crunchy vegetables in an easy-to-eat format.
Here are a few tips for making these really stand out.
No matter how well-planned or orchestrated a party is, there is probably something you feel you could have done better. That was certainly the case at the wedding that I catered last month for my friends (see all the posts about it here).
So, in the interest of sharing, learning, and minor embarrassment on my part, let's take a look at the three things I probably should have done differently.