Friday, December 15, 2017

Treasures 2 - A Knitted Spaceship and Wizzle, Twizzle and Betty

When I was a little girl, we lived in Connecticut where my father practiced medicine in an office that was part of our house. Many of his patients were neighborhood folks, some of whom lacked resources with which to pay the doctor. So my father took tomatoes, pickles and hand knitted items in return for tetanus shots and check ups.

One such knitted item was this flying saucer. At the time, dad and I would sit in the evening and watch hours of Sagan and Nova. I think he probably shared some of this info with his patients. And now, I have inherited this magnificent piece of art.

It is one of my greatest treasures, although Wizzle, Twizzle and Betty only make their appearances during the Christmas season. Perhaps I'll keep them out all year 'round?

Monday, December 4, 2017

What I Love About Christmas

Sometimes, during the Christmas season, we get lost in the "GET."

But what really "FEELS" good are these things...

Whats the stuff that evokes your favorite Christmas feelings?


John S. Goodall

It's the whole ENTIRE film, guys! The whole thing!!! (Thanks You Tube!!!!)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Diversions #2 - How to Get Dressed

I'd say I am what some might a call a "slave to fashion," or perhaps a "fashion maven," or a "clothes horse." whatever the nomenclature is, I'd say it's true. I, like my mother and grandmother and sister, truly love fashion. I love textiles, the culture of clothing and dressing, the fashion world glossy magazines and shopping. But I also love history. In fact, I have curated an art show about fashion and published an academic paper in a university art magazine about the fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli and the costumes of Walter Schnakenberg.

Today we will look over something like this:

Mrs. Cadoux at The Tate
A friend of mine shared this with me becasue she knows my great love of clothing and fashion history. She's pretty thoughtful.

In the 18th Century (Britain specifically - for our purposes), wealthy women had servants to dress them. They needed lots of help getting dressed becasue the chore was sheer drudgery. See the video below which delineates all of the extraordinary details and the great undertaking that getting dressed was. This was the time of the Rococo art movement in Europe so opulence was a mark of high society and the fashion reflects that as well as the art.

This is from The Lady Lever Art Gallery 

But you can read more here at the Encyclopedia of Fashion.
And here at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
And here, too, at Jane Austen's World.
Monday, November 13, 2017

A Gentleman in Moscow

I haven't posted about a book in a while. In fact, it's been years. But this was such a great read that I cannot pass it by. I want to share it with the world! It is "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles. My friend Joan told me about it. It was a selection for her book club (which I have inserted myself into). At first I was reluctant to read it (fearful it was a dramatic novel) but I am so glad I did. It is one of my Top 10 favorite books!

Below is the trailer for the brilliant novel "A Gentleman in Moscow." This little film is equally magnificent!

from Delphine Burrus on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017 - Poppy Barach and Julie Audet, Photographers

I found two great photographers who have flawlessly captured this mysterious time of year.

Poppy Barach's images are haunting and rich. You can follow her on Instagram, here.

And, Julie Audet. Her images are filled with wisdom and magic. And she can be found on Instagram, here.

Poppy Barach

Julie Audet

Poppy Barach

Julie Audet

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Diversions - A New Category - Crows and Ravens

I'm adding a new category. That is two new categories, this month! This one is called "Diversions" and it's for those days that I can't be asked to write something thoughtful, or to style some food that I just want to eat, or for those days that I am just not feeling all that creative. For lazy blogger days I guess you could say. But I think you'll find it entertaining. Hopefully, anyway. Or they might not be diverting in the least. That won't do! So see for yourselves and give me some feedback!

So, I'll start with something seasonal. How about Ravens, crows and other soft billed birds that are black and eat carrion?! Seems so spooky a la Edgar Allan Poe. But they are super intelligent, tool using ornithological specimens and are therefore noteworthy. It's such a shame my mother hates them. That's true. Her words, not mine. She hates them. I love them and in Sacramento since we have the largest tree canopy in the world (now surpassing Paris) we are home to many of these beautiful Corvidae. Here are these 10 Amazing Crow Facts And 10 more about Ravens. Ravens frighten, amaze and intrigue us. They are magnetic beings; clever, industrious, even creative!

Audrey Kawasaki 
Crows, Ravens and other Corvids are all terribly diverting. No? Check this out, Aves Noir. It is so elegant, haunting and ethereal. You might enjoy something like that this time of year. As an amateur ornithologist and a lover of big black birds, I visit quite often.

I love this time of year; I cannot emphasize it enough. May all Corvidae be blessed.

Eeeeee! I found this one too! (Sacramento is mentioned; we are famous!)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cream of Asparagus Soup - Keto!

It's fall and therefore it's soup season around here. Bulo came into the kitchen the other day and exclaimed, "It's fall - soup time!" So for our menu's I've added soup to just about every night's meal. All the recipes for Cream of Asparagus that I found online called for a roux. I'd prefer to keep the flour out. So this recipe is senza flour or any grains and it is therefore a great Keto side dish. If you are unfamiliar with the Keto Lifestyle, here is a cool little visual aid to help you better understand. That aside, this recipe, regardless of how you're eating, is warming and delicious especially served with baked salmon.

No flour and only grass fed dairy. Try Natural by Nature Dairy products.

Yield: 4 Side Servings

Cream of Asparagus Soup - Keto!

No flour in this one! But it is hearty and delicious irrespective of the lack of grains or a roux.


Cream of Asparagus Soup - Keto!
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 yellow onion and 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 Cup heavy cream (grass fed, organic only)
  • 1 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 2 lemons. 1 juiced and zested. Reserve the other.
  • 2 Cups chicken stock (you can make your own bone broth to add to this if you prefer)
  • 4 Tbs. goat cheese (for garnish)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper (use sparingly)


  1. Remove woody part of stem from the asparagus and steam prepared asparagus.
  2. Cook onion in olive oil until translucent.
  3. Add both the asparagus and onion to food processor and process. (Reserve 4 asparagus stalks).
  4. Add onion/asparagus to soup pot. Add the stock and heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  5. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and seasonings.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with goat cheese, lemon zest and crushed red pepper. Serve with a slice of lemon to squeeze into soup before enjoying.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Soul Warming - One Pot Tuscany Pumpkin Fusilli - October is National Pasta Month

The star of this show!

Yield: 6 Hearty Servings

One Pot Tuscany Pumpkin Fusilli

This recipe is a heart warming, autumn filled, aromatic, comfort food formula that is a massive crowd pleaser. Plus it's all thrown together in one pot! The star of this show is the Tuscany Pumpkin pasta sauce by Cucina Antica.


One Pot Tuscany Pumpkin Fusilli
  • One jar Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (plus this jar filled with water)
  • 2 Hot Link Sausages (I prefer the Evergood brand)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced and slices halved
  • 5 Cups (roughly 10 oz.) Fusilli pasta (good substitutes are Radiatori, Rigatoni or Rotini)
  • One generous bunch fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh oregano and thyme for garnish


  1. Add all ingredients to a sturdy large pot. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-18 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Monday, October 2, 2017

October - It's Decorative Gourd Season Mother@#$%^&*

You can see these on the front stoop, right now. They're being decorative.

Many years ago, perhaps seven or something, I was at a book club meeting and one of the ladies loudly piped up, in a silent lul, "It's decorative gourd season mother@#$%^&*!" And she drew from her pocket one of the most magnificent pieces I have ever heard or read in my entire life. The room was silent as she began to read.  The silence lasted only mere seconds as the words tumbled from her mouth. She was, first of all, an excellent wordsmith herself and an even better expresser of said words. The 10 of us in the room were quite literally rolling on the floor, stomachs clutched in pain, as we wretched with hysteria at this freaking awesome phenomenon!

I myself at the time, never knew or had even heard of McSweeney's. But my word, it was a gift of spirit that night, that I was so vigorously introduced to the wonder of a great laugh, an interesting story or a blathering of sophisticated etymology that has now become a pretty exceptional companion.

So, for your autumn reading pleasure,  may I suggest you go and read this wonderful work of art by Colin Nissan.  It's Decorative Gourd Season, Mother@#$%^&*. Beware, the language is @#$%!
Friday, September 29, 2017


This is Amadeus.

Amadeus is one of my all time favorite things. He inspired a new post (this one ;) and a new category on P and P. From time to time I'll do a "Treasures" post that will showcase my little ditties, specialty items and tchotchkes in my own collection. And sometimes little things that I want.

Amadeus was an Ermine in his life. Now he only looks like one. I found him here in Sacramento at one of my favorite stores. It's a charming little store called Bleu.

In the next couple of weeks I'll share several of my favorite shops - provided that you like to shop a bit. I consider myself a boutique maven. I have a friend that joins me just about every Spring to do a whirlwind Sacramento Boutique Day. That sounds like something I should actually put together as an actual event. Epiphany!
Friday, September 22, 2017

Fancy Tarragon Aioli

Yield: 1 Cup

Fancy Tarragon Aioli

This is great on hard cooked eggs (pictured) and roasted artichokes or any type of crudite. My husband likes it on a roast beef sandwich with tomato, onion and Arugula.


  • 1/2 Cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs dried Tarragon
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients well.
  2. Transfer to a fancy serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold (about an hour).
  3. Serve with par cooked carrots, asparagus and broccoli. Or, a boiled and then roasted artichoke.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Friday, August 4, 2017

Crustless Goat Cheese Vegetable Tatin

Before going in to the oven.
This one is not just a pretty face. She packs a wallop of health and tops it with a cherry of exceptional taste.

There are certain vegetables my husband does not like. Summer squash, like Zephyr, Zucchini and Crook Neck are on the "I won't eat them, so do not cook them," list. Unless I fancy them up like in this amazing and super easy crustless "tarte."

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patricks Day and a Brand New Soda Bread

Credit: Joan Lamoreau
Yep, I've been really, really lazy. Just so you know, blogging is hard, keeping up with life and then adding said life to blog even harder and then there is the pressure. You see something cool, you want to share something cool and then you realize laundry and groceries trump something cool.

But I'm getting back to it. Who knows how often or when or what or anything. But I'll do my best to get back to chronicling cool stuff. I have a Pin Board that is even called Basic Coolness. I like cool stuff, knowing full well that my cool is not the same as somebody else's cool, but (said with a twinkle in my eye) I know who my tribe is and they know who I am.

With that said, I am going to dedicate this post to my friend Peter. He lost his mother yesterday, and the world is a lesser place without Elaine.