Top of My Wishlist: Hand-Forged Knives by NYCutlery

Top of My Wishlist: Hand-Forged Knives by NYCutlery

As an avid cook and kitchen professional, I can be kind of, well, obsessive ((cough, cough)) about my food preparation tools, knives topping the list. To work with a sub-standard knife is not only ineffective and dangerous, it’s just plain … Continue reading

Bridge Street Is Back Baby!

It’s nearly ten months since Hurricane Irene barreled through Vermont. While there will be a degree of re-building to do for some time, overall the Green Mountain State has bounced back admirably, due in no small part to the amazing sense of community here.

Clean-up the morning after the flood started bright and early with lots of eager volunteers.

For those of you who have followed the fate of the Blue Building, situated on historic Bridge Street in the center of town and the former home of The Green Cup Café where I was pastry chef, she is coming back strong at long last.

Raging water of the Mad River on 28 August 2011

After a long, arduous winter of foundation work on the building, there is now new life buzzing in the spaces. The Green Closet (a chic, resale shop), The Sweet Spot (amazing sweets and house-made ice cream), the new restaurant “Peasant” (rustic Italian fare) coming in August and also, as serendipity would have it, soon to be the new home of Design Bistro!

The Blue Building just a few weeks ago – great volunteers come out to help install new clapboards. Photo from the Mad River-Irene Facebook page.

Along with the sprouting of new life around us in the woods, fields and gardens, it seems our wee treasure of a town is  bursting forth with renewed energy as well! It is very heartening to see, indeed.

Here is a link to a recent article in a local paper with more details on what’s in store:

Bridge to Tomorrow | Seven Days.

Also, one of the new businesses in the building, The Sweet Spot, has a Kickstarter page to help them get out of the gate. Check it out!

Monday Colour + Design Bistro

Okay, keep this to yourself, (I have my reputation to think about for chrissakes) but I’ve been hammering out the plan for my new business and actually enjoying it. I’m having fun. Why do I feel like I should be whispering? The word on the street was this would be horribly gruelling, but instead I am like a six-year-old with a new toy…basically…obsessed. Um, you know, in a good way. But more about that in a moment…

Happy idea from the Little Bit Funky blog!

I know it’s Monday and all, yet I am going to parade on your rain mercilessly by sharing this colourful and cheery little kitchen tip I ran across on the ever-nifty LittleBitFunky blog (via French By Design). You know that drawer in your kitchen with all those random wooden spoons and utensils? Now don’t give me that blank look…you know what I’m talking about. Yes, I thought so. Well open that drawer – be brave – and pull out everything with a plain wooden handle and line them up neatly, like this:

Awaiting cheer and whimsy…

Then paint them all sorts of wonderful colours that you absolutely love. Colours that make you smile all the way from your toes. This is absolutely crucial. No cheating. Because later, when you grab these previously-drab-but-now-cheerful tools to stir your oatmeal or taste your spaghetti sauce, or whack the lid of the applesauce jar so it will open, you’re going to smile. That little knowing smile that only your best friends know…the one where the corners of your mouth turn up and your eyes get that twinkle? Yes, that’s the one.

Once they’re done, keep them out where they can be seen. Where kitchen visitors can marvel at your craftiness. Visible so they can work their cheerful magic.

Even on a Monday.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Oh, and that business plan? Well, as I mentioned to you a while ago, my creative leanings have led me back into the visual arts –  graphic design to be specific. Of course, I had to weave food into it all somehow, which is why my fledgling business is called Design Bistro. Bistro – as in quality, friendly, well-made, with a classic sensibility. I can hardly believe it, but I am nearly ready to launch this puppy. You will be the first to know, don’t you worry. In the meantime, have a gander at my new logo. I did it myself! And guess what? Every time I look at it? I get that little smile:)…yes, that’s the one!

Now go make it a great week!

Food + Art

Food + Art

Lately my pastry career has been merging with my rejuvenated graphic design career which I have recently unearthed from the attic, dusted the cobwebs off of and, with some elbow grease, am encouraged in finding a warm, bright lustre being … Continue reading

LOVE LOCKS in Paris – Happy Valentine’s Day from the City of Amour

LOVE LOCKS in Paris – Happy Valentine’s Day from the City of Amour

Today marks the first year anniversary of The Buttery Fig! It is a day to celebrate love, so I thought it apropos to share my introduction to the love padlocks that adorn many of the bridges of Paris. Upon strolling … Continue reading

Are Celebrity Chefs Responsible For Our Health?

Are Celebrity Chefs Responsible For Our Health?

“The people who invite us to wallow in food seldom remind us to beware” is how Frank Bruni begins his recent article on Paula Deen’s recent “coming out” about her diabetes (three years after the fact, but, hey, who’s counting?). … Continue reading

OYSTERS IN PARIS – Brasserie Wepler

OYSTERS IN PARIS – Brasserie Wepler

‘Tis December and yet it’s not visions of sugarplums that are dancing in my head and the gingerbread will have to wait, for this time of year I dream instead of tiered trays of huîtres on the half-shell nestled in … Continue reading

To hell with Black Friday…I’m celebrating ESPRESSO WEDNESDAY!

To hell with Black Friday…I’m celebrating ESPRESSO WEDNESDAY!

Do you know what today is? Do you? Do you? Do you?!? Well, if you haven’t heard, today is National Espresso Day. Now this definitely has made it to the top of my list of Holidays To Celebrate. It’s easy, … Continue reading

The BACON CHRONICLES – Part One

The BACON CHRONICLES – Part One

What IS it with bacon? Anything of the pork persuasion. Honestly. Why does it have to be so wicked good? Vermont is a primarily rural state, so here it would not be considered an odd thing to tell you that … Continue reading