Monday, April 30, 2012

more than brunch ... Kinfolk San Francisco

I am still feeling giddy after the SF Kinfolk dinner. Actually, it was a brunch that was beautiful in every single way. Goods from local San Francisco vendors were set up so each guest could take something home. Fresh flowers were wrapped so each person could take home a bouquet and the Heirloom Cafe was transformed into a small farmers' market. The people I had the chance to talk to, eat brunch with, and toast with completely inspired me. Heirloom Cafe was bustling with creative energy and positivity. I am honored that I was apart of such an intimate and heartfelt event. All week I worked on jam for the event and I was so touched that Nathan and Julie asked me to bring some of my preserves for everyone. I wrapped each of my jams in a burlap like fabric that I found at my favorite fabric store and tied each one with twine. Underneath the fabric, I created a label with one of my favorite John Muir quotes ... that hopefully inspired each person in some way.

It is quite rare that I get the chance to sit down at a table with people I know little about ... and enjoy a meal together ... a meal that encourages conversation and laughter. But, by the end, I grew attached to my table as everyone was truly unique, friendly, and I cherished each and every conversation. Emma shared stories about her trip to France, Bubba made us all laugh with his story about his first set of glasses, Annie was the sweetest and had such a sincere personality, Rose made me laugh, laugh, and laugh. Rose and her brother even gave me one of their vintage stouts that had been aged in bourbon barrels to take home ... a gift that I can't wait to crack open. Then there was Maggie and Hannah who I know I will meet again as they asked me to teach them all about jamming .. I am holding them to it. I am amazed that after several hours the people at my table  were no longer strangers but people who touched me with their stories and enthusiasm for life. Thank you to everyone who made the Kinfolk SF brunch so special ... it was a day I will try to emulate for future gatherings and meals.

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M. F. K. Fisher

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

first of the season strawberry jam

Strawberries. They are simple, sweet, and completely satisfying. This week my hands have been stained red from all of the strawberries I've been slicing and dicing. Strawberry season is underway and some of my favorite u-picks open in a week ... something that I am more than excited about. But until then, I have my local strawberry farmer at the local farmers' market supplying me with the best of the best strawberries. Strawberries are perfect in salads, drizzled on desserts, dipped in powdered sugar, or my favorite ... in jam. My first batch of strawberry jam did not last too long as I enjoyed that little jar in two sittings ... for breakfast and lunch.  I like to enjoy jam on its own and by the spoonful ... as you can taste the jam for what it is ... a precise combination of fruit and sugar.  I've been busy jamming for an exciting event that I can't wait to share with you. So, my days have been surrounded with the sweet smell of jam bubbling on the stove giving off aromas of first of the season berries ... it is enchanting.  I am on Cake today sharing a recipe for vanilla ice cream that would pair perfectly with fresh strawberries. Wishing everyone a great Wednesday. Bisous.

Monday, April 23, 2012

a slow Sunday

Yesterday was just what I needed ... slow, easy going, and mellow. We've been go, go, go, lately (from (Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, to Davis) which is nice but sometimes, you just need one of those days that slows you down ... I love Sundays for that reason.  On Sunday we got up early, found the jam jars that I had been searching high and low for, visited with my favorite strawberry farmer who gave me an amazing discount ... she saved me forty dollars on three flats of strawberries, and then went to one of our favorite coffee shops where I got to use my sweet Portland cozy. I was even dressed to drink coffee yesterday ... and sported my morning buzz shirt from Dressing On The Side.  So, from a farmers' market jaunt that had me appreciating Earth Day and local farmers, to a coffee shop visit where my cozy came in handy ... yesterday reaffirmed why I love Sundays.

For the next week, The Cozy Project is offering 15% off to Coeur de La readers ... coupon code: coeurdela.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Friday and some good stuff

Have you been to Blue Bottle's Oakland location? If you have yet to go ... go. Lately, I've been in the area and have found any excuse to go. I love the location, the outdoor seating, and the baristas are incredibly friendly but not in that ... in your face kind of way. They are nice, genuine and helpful. Recently, I made a little foodie jaunt up to Oakland and of course stopped at Blue Bottle. I picked up some beans, my friend treated us to gibraltars, and we sat outside and mostly talked about life, coffee, and food ... my favorite conversations.

I have some pretty exciting stuff to share with all of you today ... perfect for a Friday. The Sugar Cube's cookbook just came out (I pre ordered mine and it came yesterday) and I highly recommend you purchase it. The photos are great, Kir is amazing, and all of the desserts are incredible. So, if you love sweet stuff then the cookbook was made just for you.

Camping. One of my favorite activities. I love packing up my things, escaping the stresses of the week, and sleeping in the great outdoors. I am pretty much the happiest when I am camping thus, I am so excited to share with you, Shelter Co. Kelsey and her husband are two avid campers and creators that just launched Shelter Co. I've known Kelsey for quite some time growing up in the same town and she has always inspired me by her creativity. So, Coeur de La readers show Shelter Co some love!! Congrats Kelsey!!

As for the winner of The Cozy Project Giveaway ... Lena from A Crimson Kiss you've won!!! Thanks to everyone who entered but you won't leave emptied handed per say. For the next week, The Cozy Project is offering 15% off to Coeur de La readers!!! I am pretty excited as I already know which one I will be getting ... the coupon code is: coeurdela.

Wishing everyone a weekend filled with simple sweet things. We are headed to Carmel to do some hiking along the coast and I could not be more excited.


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Cozy Project Giveaway: Cozy Love

Coeur de La ... Cozy Love 

One day while I was on Instagram I stumbled upon the cutest of creations ... cozies by Jen of The Cozy Project. I am sure if you have lingered on Coeur de La long enough you know that I am a coffee lover who will search high and low for good espresso. Well, I am over the moon to say Jen is giving one Coeur de La reader one of her sweet cozies. I recently just snagged the Portland cozy to remind me of all of my past coffee adventures and future ones. So whether you drink coffee or tea, a cozy is the perfect addition to your morning mug. I love artists and crafters who put so much love into their work, and Jen absolutely does that. Here is a little more about her:

Jen from The Cozy Project
I am happiest when I am being creative so I have a few outlets ... painting, taking pictures, drawing, sewing... and of course YARN! My mom taught me to crochet when I was young and these days I carry a bag of yarn and a hook almost everywhere I go. I live in Portland, Oregon and I love it here. When I am not crafting, I like to play outside (even in the rain), listen to music and spend time with my family and friends. I love to give handmade gifts and I made my first cozy for a friend. It was so fun to make and everyone loved it and insisted I make more. At some point I became unable to stop and figured that in order to support my yarn habit and maintain space in my apartment for living, I probably should sell them and an Etsy shop seemed like the perfect plan. I really love having a shop and I feel honored when people choose me to make their handmade gifts.

The Cozy Project Link Love:

The Coffee Cozy Giveaway Details
One Coeur de La reader will win the cozy featured above on Friday, April 20th.
1.Visit Jen's shop at The Cozy Project and leave a comment telling me your favorite cozy
2. What do you like most about drinking coffee or tea
*additional entries* (but not required) show some love and happily follow Coeur de La and The Cozy Project

Bonne Chance and Bisous.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

500th post and garden juice

There are certain things that are simply good for you and your body knows it. I first started juicing about a year ago when I came back from a trip to Maui. I was inspired by my friend's husband who had been juicing beets from their garden. Before my trip it had not occurred to me that a beet would taste divine juiced. Nor had I given juicing basil, mint, kale, or bell peppers much thought. However, something happened in Maui as I was absolutely inspired, nourished, and amazed. I loved the way beet juice made me feel ... simply alive. So, for my 500th post (exciting stuff) I thought I would share with you a simple juice recipe that keeps me feeling fresh, happy, and alive. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, simple things, and those honest to goodness little things that keep you feeling alive. 

the everything in your garden juice  
2 pink lady apples
2 oranges or blood oranges 
5 basil leaves
1/2 (raw)purple beet
4 strawberries
2 carrots

In a standard juicer combine all your fruits. I like to juice the softer fruits first and then save the beets and carrots till the end. Place your favorite juice glass (an old jam jar for me) into the freezer before making your juice. Give your juice a stir, pour into your favorite chilled glass, drink slowly, and enjoy each and every sip.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fried Rice Recipe from Soul Aperture

Simple Things Series
Today on Coeur de La Christina from Soul Aperture is sharing a delicious family recipe. Whenever I read her words I am always inspired and moved. Soul Aperture is a breath of fresh air and I am so happy she is her on Coeur de La today. So, without further ado ... 

It's never been a secret that fried rice is a dish that is made in many homes, when it's clean out the fridge day. At least that's how the story goes in my childhood home. My grandfather's mother was from China, and his father was from Jamaica. Blessed I am, to have grown up in a home, where so many cultures came together in the kitchen. I can't even begin to tell you all the stories that came out of that tiny, yellow kitchen, as the breath of the wok, made it's way into the air. This fried rice is one of the dishes that I make on days, where my cupboards hold a little of this, and not so much of that. I don't always have shrimp on hand, when making this dish, I make due with whatever... eggplant, button mushrooms. It's a simple dish, that goes along way and holds the sweetest memories, for me. And don't forget to scrape the dark bits of rice, from the bottom of the wok, they are so worth it. : )

Fried Rice
A swirl of nut oil {peanut oil} or grape seed oil into your pan or wok
3-4 cups cooked {cold} white or brown rice
1/2 pound shrimp {peeled and deveined}
1/3 pound asparagus or long beans {whatever is in season}
a few mushrooms {cleaned and sliced}
3 cloves of galrlic smashed and chopped fine
1-2 small chili peppers such a serrano {seeded and chopped}
2-3  Tbs light soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2-3 chopped green onions {tops included}
about a 1/3 cup basil chopped
a handful of parsley chopped

Heat wok over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is heated add peppers and garlic, saute until fragrant. Add your choice of vegetables, asparagus, mushrooms... stir fry, add shrimp and cook until pink. Turning up heat if need be, add rice, breaking up pieces, cooking about 3 minutes. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar, stirring well, heat thoroughly. Add green onions, basil, stir well. Add parsley to garnish.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Simple Living by Melissa of Reverie Daydream

I am excited to introduce a woman who has inspired me in so many ways, Melissa of Reverie Daydream

Simple living is a priority in my family’s world.  We do our best to live life without having the burden of over-thinking.  In 2011, we said good-bye to our San Francisco jobs in the corporate world and relocated to the Northern California wine country.  Seekers of sunshine, fresh air, and easy living, we settled in and have focused our daily lives on a “below our means” budget while we chase our dreams and make them a reality. Beneath our cottage roof lives an artist {papa}, a writer/yogi {mama}, and an avid explorer of all things {4-year-old girl}.  We seek to fill our free-time with friends, family and outdoor fun.  

One of our favorite places to spend a weekend afternoon is Rubicon.  Once we arrive, we are transported to the other country we hold dear to our hearts, France.  Francis Ford Coppola has transformed this Rutherford winery into a slice of French heaven.  Bocce Ball, wooden sailboats, French artists crooning throughout the lush property, and exceptional wine meant to be sipped as one lingers through the sun-filled hours of a lazy afternoon.  We gather here with those we love and hold dear to our inner circle, we laugh, we converse on art, books and mouth-watering recipes.  Mainly, we find beauty in the moments here when time stands still and the focus is on the here and now.  A focus we exercise daily in bringing into every hour of our lives.  Living simply. Living now. Living well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The "Simple Things" Series

shake, pour, and drink

 a pear vanilla cocktail ... at home

As the days get longer, sweeter, and lovelier I find myself dreaming of Spring gatherings, delicious food, and  meals with friends. Being that Coeur de La is all about simple goodness I am excited to announce my "Simple Things" series. A series where some of my favorite women (who cherish life's sweetness) share some their favorite ... simple things

And today, I will be kicking off the series with the sweetest of cocktails. This past weekend I made a pear vanilla cocktail that I have been dying to try since September. Who can pass up fresh pear and vanilla? I served my cocktail in a chilled martini glass rimmed with sugar and each sip was even better than the first. Rather than going out and grabbing over priced cocktails my husband and I enjoyed an hour of chatting, sipping, and laughing at home while I practiced mixology. An at home happy hour is truly one of the simplest of things. Happy Monday!

The recipe for the Pear Vanilla Cocktail can be found HERE ... and for more delicious recipes visit Two Tarts.