Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Weekend, Friends!

This weekend is brought to you by the shades of Autumn.

And a little ballad from Ingrid Michaelson.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Coco Before Chanel

Georgia O'Keefe had it; Frank Lloyd Wright had it; Earnest Hemingway had it. A vision, a way of distilling an idea down to its most sublime reality. And Coco Chanel had it too, which is why she is an icon, often copied but never with her unerring eye and panache. Born in the days of corsets and crinolines, she revolutionized the way women dressed. Then and forever. I can’t wait to see this movie.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dressing to Please

"Yes, Miss Kilman stood on the landing, and wore a mackintosh; but she had her reasons. First, it was cheap; second, she was over forty; and did not, after all, dress to please."

I was reading these lines from Mrs. Dalloway the other night and this sort of chill went up my spine. I had difficulty with it for a few reasons; are we to dress cheap and dowdy after the age of forty? And, while I don't follow the latest trends slavishly, and I'm not interested in 'dressing to please' in the way Virginia Woolf implies, I do try to dress to please myself. But above all, I should like to avoid becoming Miss Kilman.

I'll admit, I've been a little lazy lately, putting on whatever comes to hand, being a little too 'matchy', with the result of spending the entire day vaguely dissatisfied and uninspired. But those words haunted me, so I turned a blind eye to my spending hiatus, scanned the pages of the latest j. crew catalog, grabbed my bag and went to the store. Armed with fancy ideas about colors, and layers, and textures, I found a few things that give me a fresher outlook on the day. Luckily for me, the current fashions aren't particularly 'matchy' these days. And now, to go back to the closet to send away those things that bore me to distraction ...

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Tomato Bisque

I've been cooking a lot lately. Perhaps it's the change of seasons; I've been craving warm comfort foods. I also had a bit too much wine at last night's event, so a tomato-based soup really hit the spot.

1 large onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
6 large ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
1 handful fresh basil, chopped finely
1/2 pint cream or half & half
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook until they wilt. Add the tomatoes and basil and let them cook on medium heat until the excess liquid boils out, about 45 minutes. At this point I use an electric hand mixer to refine the texture; you can use a food processor too. Add the cream.

You should end up with a thickly textured bisque that can chase away gray clouds in your head. I freeze the left-overs to save for the week.

Do you have a favorite comfort food? What is it?

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