I'm such a fan of Tricia Rose's linen sheets and bedding. I just noticed her breezy, pretty cocktail napkins. I love fabric cocktail napkins; they're so much nicer than flimsy paper ones, and as Tricia says, they are "crisp and seemly" when served with a plate of oysters or a glass of Champagne.
Having a decanter of whiskey or bourbon on the sideboard seems both old-fashioned and grown-up chic, a little touch of Mad Men style. This luxe decanter from DwellStudio is so stylish and pretty; I've had my eye on it for a long time!
Need a gift for a cocktail aficionado who has everything? How about a bitters bottle? This tiny Japanese bottle is designed to hold bitters, like those homemade fennel bitters your cocktail-mad friend is brewing up on the weekends.
Orange curaçao is often considered a low-end liqueur, overly sweet and sometimes garishly colored. This bottle, however, is a curaçao that got the artisanal, historical treatment. It was developed to an old recipe by Alexandre Gabriel and cocktail historian David Wondrich. As the official description says, it is complex and bittersweet, tasting of bitter orange peel and adding something a little wonderful to any cocktail so lucky to have it.
I've had several cocktail shakers pass through my kitchen, but I finally found the one I'm holding onto. OXO sent me this shaker last year to try out, and it's been barely put away since. Why? It's truly leakproof (unlike one of my previous shakers), and double-walled, so you can shake until your cocktail is well and truly chilled - without freezing your hand off. (So this is the right shaker for making that Ramos Gin Fizz you've been meaning to try.) When the cocktail is shaken, press the button on top and pour; unless the button is pressed it's airtight. The shaker is generously sized; I make double and even triple batches in it when serving a group. It has a removable gasket that's dishwasher-friendly, too. Great performance; easy cleanup. It's doesn't have the cred of the old-fashioned Boston shaker, but for this cook with small hands and a tendency to spill things, this gets the job done better than anything else.
Up until recently I wouldn't have called myself a tequila drinker. I hadn't really had the opportunity to try some of the more interesting, artisanal types of tequila, like this organic bottle from Casa Noble. It's triple-distilled, crystal clear, and it has a complex, peppery aroma that reminds me of mango, papaya, and mint. I've been drinking it in the best sort of margarita, the simplest, with just lime and agave syrup. So delicious - I'm hooked.
About 5 years ago I had the pleasure of working with David Ellison, the man behind the Lorimer Workshop in Rhode Island, to build a farm table for our house. This huge, lovely table is the centerpiece of our home, constructed of salvaged wood from an old train station, with all the character that brings. I can't speak highly enough of David, who considers the kitchen table to be the heart of the home; building these tables for life and gathering is akin to a mission for him - not just a business. His prices are very reasonable, and he builds heirlooms to treasure.
Every kitchen needs music, yes? I needed a radio or speakers for my new kitchen, since I listen to music, podcasts, and NPR round the clock when cooking. I've long wanted one of these handsome Tivoli radios. I love the old-fashioned dials, which click and turn smoothly, and the ability to plug in an iPod.
This product is super local to those of you in the Ohio distribution zones for Snowville Creamery, a wonderful dairy in Southern Ohio (see my tour of Snowville here). They just began producing yogurt as well, to my delight. They do a terrific plain yogurt, but their 6% butterfat flavored yogurts, in smaller sizes, are kind of blowing my mind. Their flavors are so fresh: Lemon-Ginger is a favorite, and next I'm going to try Coffee-Cardamom. But their Turmeric-Mace flavor was the latest, and most interesting. I was skeptical but so intrigued when I bought this. The yogurt has a shocking neon yellow color from the turmeric, and a subtle, perfectly balanced note of spice from the mace. It's just sweet enough, and the spices complement the tangy yogurt far better than I could have believed. Amazing stuff. I practically licked the carton clean.
Our painter encouraged us to use this paint in our kitchen, and he was aided and abetted by the salesman at Sherwin-Williams, who was so enthusiastic about its washable qualities I sprang for it. It's expensive , but we were able to get it during a big sale, bringing the price closer to $40 a gallon. I've had occasion now to wash the (white!) wall over my stove backsplash, and I've been really impressed with how well it cleans up. Its washable qualities are really fantastic - two thumbs up!
ixxi is a Dutch company that lets you make huge yet affordable pieces of art. I love having art in the kitchen, and I hung a big print of Vermeer's The Little Street in my space. Huge pieces of art are often prohibitively expensive, but ixxi has this ingenious method of printing on small square tiles, that you then snap together with "i" and "x" plastic connectors (hence their name, ixxi - get it?). I was turned on to this company by Janel, who stumbled on them in the Amsterdam airport. I love having a way to do huge prints for a very reasonable amount of money. You can order from their image bank, like I did, or upload your own photographs for the ixxi treatment.
You can't beat welded old-fashioned stools like these. Rubber feet protect the floors and keep them from skidding, and their square, classic shape is always in style. Really love the colors on these too! They come in 18-inch and 30-inch heights, and in persimmon, a military green, blue-gray, and white.
If you're into blue in the kitchen, then you'll love Heath Ceramics' new seasonal collection for spring and summer. They did this set with dipped and layered glazes that produce shades of beautiful indigo. I especially like this pair of containers, complete with wood tops and leather handles. As always, with Heath, you're paying a pretty penny for hand craftsmanship and classic pieces from a small business with real history behind it. The pieces in this seasonal collection will be available, in limited quantities, from April 1 - October 1, 2013.
I've been making egg bakes in muffin cups for breakfast, and I've learned the hard way that they do best in silicone pans or in cups like these. I like these cups a lot, as they are versatile and can be used for many things. And of course they are reusable, which means less paper in the trash.
This little hand grinder is a very effective way to get your French press coffee ground in the morning - wherever you are. It travels really well, so if you're a coffee addict and want to tote your coffee gear with you, this is a great grinder. It's good for the home, too, especially if you're OK with a little bit of a workout in the morning.
We were in Colorado this past week, and we had dinner with some friends who pulled out these stainless steel wine tumblers, laughing about how they couldn't keep wine glasses in one piece (especially with a new baby in the house). These stainless steel tumblers are certainly unorthodox, but they were so fun to use on a casual evening. They're pretty hefty, and they kept the wine (and beer) super cold. Yes, you miss seeing the color of the wine, but give me these over the red plastic cups at a backyard barbecue any day.
Alder & Co. is my other favorite shop in Portland (I also mentioned Canoe in Monday's Daily Find). Carla and Rebecca have stunningly good taste and collect unique, beautiful things from around the world for this little shop. (Actually, it's growing a bit; they moved to a new location over the weekend! I'm excited to see what else they bring into the store.) This tray caught my eye, with its cheery message - the same one we send you off with every weekend. Happy cooking!
We can't let Dessert Week go by without looking at a cake plate, right? I have far too many cake plates already, but if I had room for one more, this ultra-modern, matte black piece from CB2 would be it. I love the modern take on what is often an old-fashioned or frilly item for tea parties. This would come in handy at parties, serving tea sandwiches or cupcakes, but it wouldn't be out of place on the weeknight table either. Great price, too.
Kelly Bernal of Lettered & Lined recently emailed me with her sweet kitchen prints, which look like handwriting on a chalkboard. She says, "My 'Illustrated Guide' kitchen series includes 'Specialty Coffee Drinks', 'Perfectly Steeped Tea', 'Measure Equivalents','Culinary Herbs' and a few other sassy ones just for fun." I think they're all fun too, and rather useful! This tea print, for instance, shows the brewing time for all sorts of teas. Print size is 11x14.
Over the past year, while I was writing my book about pudding and no-bake desserts (it's out May 7!), I always had an eye out for pretty cups for serving pudding and custards. I was good and restrained (who has room for a dozen different custard cups?) but these rosy glasses are still on my window shopping list. I can just see them piled high with creamy chocolate mousse.